WorldWideScience

Sample records for sustainable networked delivery

  1. Designing and assessing a sustainable networked delivery (SND) system: hybrid business-to-consumer book delivery case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Junbeum; Xu, Ming; Kahhat, Ramzy; Allenby, Braden; Williams, Eric

    2009-01-01

    We attempted to design and assess an example of a sustainable networked delivery (SND) system: a hybrid business-to-consumer book delivery system. This system is intended to reduce costs, achieve significant reductions in energy consumption, and reduce environmental emissions of critical local pollutants and greenhouse gases. The energy consumption and concomitant emissions of this delivery system compared with existing alternative delivery systems were estimated. We found that regarding energy consumption, an emerging hybrid delivery system which is a sustainable networked delivery system (SND) would consume 47 and 7 times less than the traditional networked delivery system (TND) and e-commerce networked delivery system (END). Regarding concomitant emissions, in the case of CO2, the SND system produced 32 and 7 times fewer emissions than the TND and END systems. Also the SND system offer meaningful economic benefit such as the costs of delivery and packaging, to the online retailer, grocery, and consumer. Our research results show that the SND system has a lot of possibilities to save local transportation energy consumption and delivery costs, and reduce environmental emissions in delivery system.

  2. Hyaluronan microgel as a potential carrier for protein sustained delivery by tailoring the crosslink network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Chunhong [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Zhao, Jianhao, E-mail: jhzhao@jnu.edu.cn [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Engineering Research Center of Artificial Organs and Materials, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Tu, Mei; Zeng, Rong; Rong, Jianhua [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Engineering Research Center of Artificial Organs and Materials, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou 510632 (China)

    2014-03-01

    Hyaluronan (HA) microgels with different crosslink network, i.e. HGPs-1, HGPs-1.5, HGPs-3, HGPs-6 and HGPs-15, were synthesized using divinyl sulfone (DVS) as the crosslinker in an inverse microemulsion system for controlling the sustained delivery of bovine serum albumin (BSA). With increasing the crosslinker content, the average particle size slightly increased from 1.9 ± 0.3 μm to 3.6 ± 0.5 μm by dynamic laser scattering analysis. However, the crosslinker content had no significant effect on the morphology of HA microgels by scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and elemental analysis proved more sulfur participated in the crosslink reaction when raising the crosslinker amount. The water swelling test confirmed the increasing crosslink density with the crosslinker content by calculating the average molecular weight between two crosslink points to be 8.25 ± 2.51 × 10{sup 5}, 1.26 ± 0.43 × 10{sup 5}, 0.96 ± 0.09 × 10{sup 5}, 0.64 ± 0.03 × 10{sup 5}, and 0.11 ± 0.01 × 10{sup 5} respectively. The degradation of HA microgels by hyaluronidase slowed down by enhancing the crosslink density, only about 5% of HGPs-15 was degraded as opposed to over 90% for HGPs-1. BSA loading had no obvious influence on the surface morphology of HA microgels but seemed to induce their aggregation. The increase of crosslink density decreased the BSA loading capacity but facilitated its long-term sustained delivery. When the molar ratio of DVS to repeating unit of HA reached 3 or higher, similar delivery profiles were obtained. Among all these HA microgels, HGPs-3 was the optimal carrier for BSA sustained delivery in this system because it possessed both high BSA loading capacity and long-term delivery profile simultaneously. - Highlights: • HA microgels with different crosslink densities were prepared. • The crosslinker content had little effect on the morphology and size of HA microgels. • The crosslink density

  3. Hyaluronan microgel as a potential carrier for protein sustained delivery by tailoring the crosslink network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Chunhong; Zhao, Jianhao; Tu, Mei; Zeng, Rong; Rong, Jianhua

    2014-03-01

    Hyaluronan (HA) microgels with different crosslink network, i.e. HGPs-1, HGPs-1.5, HGPs-3, HGPs-6 and HGPs-15, were synthesized using divinyl sulfone (DVS) as the crosslinker in an inverse microemulsion system for controlling the sustained delivery of bovine serum albumin (BSA). With increasing the crosslinker content, the average particle size slightly increased from 1.9 ± 0.3 μm to 3.6 ± 0.5 μm by dynamic laser scattering analysis. However, the crosslinker content had no significant effect on the morphology of HA microgels by scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and elemental analysis proved more sulfur participated in the crosslink reaction when raising the crosslinker amount. The water swelling test confirmed the increasing crosslink density with the crosslinker content by calculating the average molecular weight between two crosslink points to be 8.25 ± 2.51 × 10(5), 1.26 ± 0.43 × 10(5), 0.96 ± 0.09 × 10(5), 0.64 ± 0.03 × 10(5), and 0.11 ± 0.01 × 10(5) respectively. The degradation of HA microgels by hyaluronidase slowed down by enhancing the crosslink density, only about 5% of HGPs-15 was degraded as opposed to over 90% for HGPs-1. BSA loading had no obvious influence on the surface morphology of HA microgels but seemed to induce their aggregation. The increase of crosslink density decreased the BSA loading capacity but facilitated its long-term sustained delivery. When the molar ratio of DVS to repeating unit of HA reached 3 or higher, similar delivery profiles were obtained. Among all these HA microgels, HGPs-3 was the optimal carrier for BSA sustained delivery in this system because it possessed both high BSA loading capacity and long-term delivery profile simultaneously. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Self-reinforcement and protein sustained delivery of hyaluronan hydrogel by tailoring a dually cross-linked network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Chunhong; Xu, Guoguang; Wang, Xinghui [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Tu, Mei; Zeng, Rong; Rong, Jianhua [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Engineering Research Center of Artificial Organs and Materials, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Zhao, Jianhao, E-mail: jhzhao@jnu.edu.cn [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632 (China); Engineering Research Center of Artificial Organs and Materials, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou 510632 (China)

    2015-01-01

    A series of self-reinforcing hyaluronan hydrogels were developed to improve mechanical properties and protein sustained delivery thanks to a dually cross-linked network. Hyaluronan gel particles (HGPs, 1–5 μm in diameter) with different cross-linking densities, i.e. HGPs-1.5, HGPs-3 and HGPs-15, were prepared in an inverse emulsion system and used as the reinforcing phase after glycidyl methacrylation, while glycidyl methacrylated hyaluronan with a substitution degree of 45.2% was synthesized as the matrix phase. These two phases were cross-linked under ultraviolet irradiation to form self-reinforcing hyaluronan hydrogels (srHAs) that showed typical cross-linked structure of HGPs connecting the matrix phase by cross-section observation. In comparison to hyaluronan bulk gels and their blends with HGPs, srHAs distinctly enhanced the mechanical properties and BSA long-term sustained delivery, especially srHA-1.5 showed the highest compressive modulus of 220 ± 15 kPa and the slowest BSA delivery (67% release at 14 d). The 3T3 fibroblast cell culture showed that all the srHAs had no cytotoxicity. - Highlights: • New self-reinforcing HA hydrogels with a dually cross-linked network were developed. • Self-reinforcing HA hydrogels greatly enhanced the mechanical properties. • Self-reinforcing HA hydrogels prolonged the sustained delivery of BSA. • The self-reinforcing mechanism and BSA diffusion mechanism were discussed. • Self-reinforcing HA hydrogels had no cytotoxicity to 3T3 fibroblast cells.

  5. Sustainable wireless networks

    CERN Document Server

    Zheng, Zhongming; Xuemin

    2013-01-01

    This brief focuses on network planning and resource allocation by jointly considering cost and energy sustainability in wireless networks with sustainable energy. The characteristics of green energy and investigating existing energy-efficient green approaches for wireless networks with sustainable energy is covered in the first part of this brief. The book then addresses the random availability and capacity of the energy supply. The authors explore how to maximize the energy sustainability of the network and minimize the failure probability that the mesh access points (APs) could deplete their

  6. Microsensing networks for sustainable cities

    CERN Document Server

    Lambrechts, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    This book explores the microsensing technologies and systems now available to monitor the quality of air and water within the urban environment and examines their role in the creation of sustainable cities against the background of the challenges posed by rapid urbanization. The opening section addresses the theoretical and conceptual background of microsensing networks. The coverage includes detailed description of microsensors, supported by design-specific equations, and clear explanation of the ways in which devices that harvest energy from ambient sources can detect and quantify pollution. The practical application of such systems in addressing environmental impacts within cities and in sustainable urban planning is then discussed with the aid of case studies in developing countries. The book will be of interest to all who wish to understand the benefits of microsensing networks in promoting sustainable cities through better delivery of information on health hazards and improved provision of data to envir...

  7. Networks as Tools for Sustainable Urban Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Ole; Tollin, Nicola

    Due to the increasing number of networks related to sustainable development (SUD) the paper focuses on understanding in which way networks can be considered useful tools for sustainable urban development, taking particularly into consideration the networks potential of spreading innovative policies......, strategies and actions. There has been little theoretically development on the subject. In practice networks for sustainable development can be seen as combining different theoretical approaches to networks, including governance, urban competition and innovation. To give a picture of the variety...... of sustainable networks, we present different examples of networks, operating at different geographical scales, from global to local, with different missions (organizational, political, technical), fields (lobbying, learning, branding) and its size. The potentials and challenges related to sustainable networks...

  8. Networks as Tools for Urban Sustainability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Ole; Tollin, Nicola

    2004-01-01

    Due to the increasing number of networks related to sustainable development (SUD) the paper focuses on understanding in which way networks can be considered useful tools for sustainable urban development, taking particularly into consideration the networks potential of spreading innovative policies......, strategies and actions. There has been little theoretically development on the subject. In practice networks for sustainable development can be seen as combining different theoretical approaches to networks, including governance, urban competition and innovation. To give a picture of the variety...... of sustainable networks, we present different examples of networks, operating at different geographical scales, from global to local, with different missions (organizational, political, technical), fields (lobbying, learning, branding) and its size. The potentials and challenges related to sustainable networks...

  9. Adaptive Networks: the Governance for Sustainable Development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.G. Nooteboom (Sibout)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractIn this book, I reconstruct how policy makers, working together in what I term adaptive networks, have enabled a breakthrough in thinking about sustainable mobility in certain policy circles. I define the conduct of leading actors in these adaptive networks as sustainable change

  10. Sustaining Research Networks: the Twenty-Year Experience of the HMO Research Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, John F; Paolino, Andrea R; Thompson, Ella E; Larson, Eric B

    2014-01-01

    As multi-institutional research networks assume a central role in clinical research, they must address the challenge of sustainability. Despite its importance, the concept of network sustainability has received little attention in the literature, and the sustainability strategies of durable scientific networks have not been described. The Health Maintenance Organization Research Network (HMORN) is a consortium of 18 research departments in integrated health care delivery systems with over 15 million members in the United States and Israel. The HMORN has coordinated federally funded scientific networks and studies since 1994. This case study describes the HMORN approach to sustainability, proposes an operational definition of network sustainability, and identifies 10 essential elements that can enhance sustainability. The sustainability framework proposed here is drawn from prior publications on organizational issues by HMORN investigators and from the experience of recent HMORN leaders and senior staff. Network sustainability can be defined as (1) the development and enhancement of shared research assets to facilitate a sequence of research studies in a specific content area or multiple areas, and (2) a community of researchers and other stakeholders who reuse and develop those assets. Essential elements needed to develop the shared assets of a network include: network governance; trustworthy data and processes for sharing data; shared knowledge about research tools; administrative efficiency; physical infrastructure; and infrastructure funding. The community of researchers within a network is enhanced by: a clearly defined mission, vision and values; protection of human subjects; a culture of collaboration; and strong relationships with host organizations. While the importance of these elements varies based on the membership and goals of a network, this framework for sustainability can enhance strategic planning within the network and can guide relationships with

  11. International Symposium on Computing and Network Sustainability

    CERN Document Server

    Akashe, Shyam

    2017-01-01

    The book is compilation of technical papers presented at International Research Symposium on Computing and Network Sustainability (IRSCNS 2016) held in Goa, India on 1st and 2nd July 2016. The areas covered in the book are sustainable computing and security, sustainable systems and technologies, sustainable methodologies and applications, sustainable networks applications and solutions, user-centered services and systems and mobile data management. The novel and recent technologies presented in the book are going to be helpful for researchers and industries in their advanced works.

  12. Optimal content delivery with network coding

    OpenAIRE

    Leong, Derek; Ho, Tracey; Cathey, Rebecca

    2009-01-01

    We present a unified linear program formulation for optimal content delivery in content delivery networks (CDNs), taking into account various costs and constraints associated with content dissemination from the origin server to storage nodes, data storage, and the eventual fetching of content from storage nodes by end users. Our formulation can be used to achieve a variety of performance goals and system behavior, including the bounding of fetch delay, load balancing, and robustness against...

  13. Practical guide to content delivery networks

    CERN Document Server

    Held, Gilbert

    2005-01-01

    With a practical and organized approach to learning and implementation, A Practical Guide to Content Delivery Networks presents a step-by-step process for building a highly available and highly scalable content delivery network (CDN). CDN refers to the infrastructure behind any service that provides utility or access to data to an end user. This book offers terminology, tactics, potential problems to avoid, and individual layers of design, providing clear understanding of the framework for CDNs using a structural and visual approach. The text emphasizes a best-of-breed strategy, allowing a tec

  14. Benchmarking Sustainability Practices Use throughout Industrial Construction Project Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungmin Yun

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite the efforts for sustainability studies in building and infrastructure construction, the sustainability issues in industrial construction remain understudied. Further, few studies evaluate sustainability and benchmark sustainability issues in industrial construction from a management perspective. This study presents a phase-based benchmarking framework for evaluating sustainability practices use focusing on industrial facilities project. Based on the framework, this study quantifies and assesses sustainability practices use, and further sorts the results by project phase and major project characteristics, including project type, project nature, and project delivery method. The results show that sustainability practices were implemented higher in the construction and startup phases relative to other phases, with a very broad range. An assessment by project type and project nature showed significant differences in sustainability practices use, but no significant difference in practices use by project delivery method. This study contributes to providing a benchmarking method for sustainability practices in industrial facilities projects at the project phase level. This study also discusses and provides an application of phase-based benchmarking for sustainability in industrial construction.

  15. Network management and sustainable safety.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    2007-01-01

    There is a trend at the regional level to no longer concentrate traffic on motorways only, but to divert some of it to the secondary road network. This trend is known as Network Management. Because the secondary road network is less safe than the main road network, this strategy will inevitably

  16. Governance innovation networks for sustainable tuna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miller, A.M.M.

    2014-01-01

    Governance Innovation Networks for Sustainable Tuna Alice M.M. Miller Tuna fisheries are among the most highly capitalised and valuable fisheries in the world and their exploitation will continue for the foreseeable future. This means the sustainability of tuna stocks is a pressing

  17. Sustained tobramycin release from polyphosphate double network hydrogels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Dwight D; Fessler, Amber K; Goo, Seungah; Williams, Dustin L; Stewart, Russell J

    2017-03-01

    Sustained local delivery of antibiotics from a drug reservoir to treat or prevent bacterial infections can avoid many of the drawbacks of systemic administration of antibiotics. Prolonged local release of high concentrations of antibiotics may also be more effective at treating bacteria in established biofilm populations that are resistant to systemic antibiotics. A double network hydrogel comprising an organic polyphosphate pre-polymer network polymerized within a polyacrylamide network de-swelled to about 50% of its initial volume when the polyphosphate network was crosslinked with polycationic tobramycin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic. The antibiotic-loaded hydrogels contained approximately 200mg/ml of tobramycin. The hydrogels continuously released daily amounts of tobramycin above the Pseudomonas aeruginosa minimal bactericidal concentration for greater than 50days, over the pH range 6.0-8.0, and completely eradicated established P. aeruginosa biofilms within 72h in a flow cell bioreactor. The presence of physiological concentrations of Mg2+ and Ca2+ ions doubled the cumulative release over 60days. The polyphosphate hydrogels show promise as materials for sustained localized tobramycin delivery to prevent post-operative P. aeruginosa infections including infections established in biofilms. Polyphosphate hydrogels were loaded with high concentrations of tobramycin. The hydrogels provided sustained release of bactericidal concentrations of tobramycin for 50days, and were capable of completely eradicating P. aeruginosa in established biofilms. The hydrogels have potential for localized prevention or treatment of P. aeruginosa infections. Copyright © 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The impact of wireless device access on content delivery networks

    OpenAIRE

    Denney, Justin; Race, Nicholas

    2003-01-01

    Content delivery network architectures are initiatives designed to support the effective delivery of continuous and discrete media to end-users. Mobile devices are now capable of exploiting services such as content delivery, but with the protocols governing the content delivery networks designed for wired networked topologies; an assessment of the impact of mobile devices on the network has never been undertaken. Wireless devices access causes significant issues in the ability of the media tr...

  19. Sensor networks for sustainable development

    CERN Document Server

    Ilyas, Mohammad; Alwakeel, Mohammed M; Aggoune, el-Hadi M

    2014-01-01

    ContentsPreface AcknowledgmentsEditorsContributorsAgricultureA Review of Applications of Sensor Networks in Smart AgricultureAhsan AbdullahWireless Sensor Networks with Dynamic Nodes for Water and Crop Health Managementel-Hadi M. Aggoune, Sami S. Alwakeel, Mohammed M. Alwakeel, and Mohammad Ammad-UddinEnvironmentScaling Smart EnvironmentsDiane J. CookLocalization of a Wireless Sensor Network for Environment Monitoring using Maximum Likelihood Estimation with Negative

  20. Content Delivery in Future Mobile Communication Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonas, Karl; Raber, Sergey

    2003-07-01

    With the fast progress in the deployment of wireless networks during the last few years, the global communication market requires the development of new methods for content delivery towards mobile users. It is currently characterised by the introduction of the 3rd generation of terrestrial mobile networks based on 3GPP's UMTS standard. It is expected that this will eventually lead to integrated all-IP-based infrastructures supporting a variety of radio access technologies (so-called beyond-3G-networks or 4th Generation networks). The integration of mobility support, security and accounting and provisioning of differentiated qualities of service are among the issues which are currently researched in the 4G framework.Since it is not possible to change network protocols and infrastructure at once in order to optimize them for mobile services, it is very important to find an appropriate way for the migration from the current infrastructure towards an integrated architecture, where fixed and mobile networks coexist and interoperate in the most effective and flexible way.The integration of satellite communication networks into the terrestrial mobile communication environment is the focus of R&D activities at the Competence Centre for Advanced Satellite Communication of the FhG FOKUS institute. These activities are presented in this article, with a focus on the CoDeSat Content Delivery over Satellite project.In the remainder of this article we first summarize services and service requirements as they are considered in our work. We then discuss the challenges derived from these requirements with respect to current network and protocol architectures. Finally, we describe our approach, and the current status of our prototype implementation.

  1. Sustained delivery of commensal bacteria from pod-intravaginal rings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunawardana, Manjula; Mullen, Madeline; Yoo, Jennifer; Webster, Paul; Moss, John A; Baum, Marc M

    2014-01-01

    Topical administration of live commensal bacteria to the vaginal tract holds significant potential as a cost-effective strategy for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections and the delivery of mucosal vaccines. Probiotic-releasing intravaginal rings (IVRs) embody significant theoretical advantages over traditional daily-dosage forms, such as sustained and controlled delivery leading to improved adherence to therapy compared to that of frequent dosing. The conventional IVR designs, however, are not amenable to the delivery of live bacteria. We have developed a novel pod-IVR technology where polymer-coated tablets ("pods") of Lactobacillus gasseri strain ATCC 33323, a commensal microorganism of human origin, are embedded in silicone IVRs. The release rate of bacterial cells is controlled by the diameter of a delivery channel that exposes a portion of the pod to external fluids. In vitro studies demonstrated that the prototype devices released between 1.1×10(7) and 14×10(7) cells per day for up to 21 days in a controlled sustained fashion with stable burst-free release kinetics. The daily release rates were correlated with the cross-sectional area of the delivery channel. Bacteria in the IVR pods remained viable throughout the in vitro studies and formed biofilms on the surfaces of the devices. This proof-of-principle study represents the first demonstration of a prolonged, sustained release of bacteria from an intravaginal device and warrants further investigation of this device as a nonchemotherapeutic agent for the restoration and maintenance of normal urogenital flora.

  2. Chitosan microneedle patches for sustained transdermal delivery of macromolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Mei-Chin; Ling, Ming-Hung; Lai, Kuan-Ying; Pramudityo, Esar

    2012-12-10

    This paper introduces a chitosan microneedle patch for efficient and sustained transdermal delivery of hydrophilic macromolecules. Chitosan microneedles have sufficient mechanical strength to be inserted in vitro into porcine skin at approximately 250 μm in depth and in vivo into rat skin at approximately 200 μm in depth. Bovine serum albumin (BSA, MW=66.5 kDa) was used as a model protein to explore the potential use of chitosan microneedles as a transdermal delivery device for protein drugs. In vitro drug release showed that chitosan microneedles can provide a sustained release of BSA for at least 8 days (approximately 95% of drugs released in 8 days). When the Alexa Fluor 488-labeled BSA (Alexa 488-BSA)-loaded microneedles were applied to the rat skin in vivo, confocal microscopic images showed that BSA can gradually diffuse from the puncture sites to the dermal layer and the fluorescence of Alexa 488-BSA can be observed at the depth of 300 μm. In addition, encapsulation of BSA within the microneedle matrix did not alter the secondary structure of BSA, indicating that the gentle nature of the fabrication process allowed for encapsulation of fragile biomolecules. These results suggested that the developed chitosan microneedles may serve as a promising device for transdermal delivery of macromolecules in a sustained manner.

  3. Eco-sustainable routing in optical networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ricciardi, Sergio; Wang, Jiayuan; Palmieri, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    infrastructures are now widely recognized to play a fundamental role in the emission of green-house gases (GHG) in the at- mosphere, signicantly aecting the environmental sustainability of new evolutions in network architectures as well as technological developments in communication devices. In this paper......It is quite easy to foresee that in the next years, the future generation ultra-high speed network infrastructures and equipments will be no longer constrained only by their pure transport capacity, but also by their energy consumption costs and environmental eects. In particular, large network...

  4. Green networking and communications ICT for sustainability

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Shafiullah

    2013-01-01

    Although the information and communication technology (ICT) industry accounted for only 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2007, the explosive increase in data traffic brought about by a rapidly growing user base of more than a billion wireless subscribers is expected to nearly double that number by 2020. It is clear that now is the time to rethink how we design and build our networks.Green Networking and Communications: ICT for Sustainability brings together leading academic and industrial researchers from around the world to discuss emerging developments in energy-efficient netw

  5. Chitosan nanoparticle based delivery systems for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap, Prem Lal; Xiang, Xu; Heiden, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Development of technologies that improve food productivity without any adverse impact on the ecosystem is the need of hour. In this context, development of controlled delivery systems for slow and sustained release of agrochemicals or genetic materials is crucial. Chitosan has emerged as a valuable carrier for controlled delivery of agrochemicals and genetic materials because of its proven biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, and adsorption abilities. The major advantages of encapsulating agrochemicals and genetic material in a chitosan matrix include its ability to function as a protective reservoir for the active ingredients, protecting the ingredients from the surrounding environment while they are in the chitosan domain, and then controlling their release, allowing them to serve as efficient gene delivery systems for plant transformation or controlled release of pesticides. Despite the great progress in the use of chitosan in the area of medical and pharmaceutical sciences, there is still a wide knowledge gap regarding the potential application of chitosan for encapsulation of active ingredients in agriculture. Hence, the present article describes the current status of chitosan nanoparticle-based delivery systems in agriculture, and to highlight challenges that need to be overcome. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Networks for Innovation for Sustainable Tourism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liburd, Janne J.; Carlsen, Jack; Edwards, Deborah

    the transformation toward sustainability through innovation. Networks for Innovation in Sustainable Tourism assembles ten case studies of large and small enterprises and destinations in developed and developing nations that are pursuing innovative practices that will enhance the sustainability of their operations......Innovation is key to responding to the future challenges that confront all sectors of society and the economy. Within tourism, there are numerous corporations and destinations around the world that are responding to the challenges posed by ecological, social, cultural and economic forces and making....... The cases have been prepared for use in research and teaching of innovation, and the analysis and case notes are designed to facilitate discussion and further investigation of innovation, not only in tourism, but in other economic sectors as well....

  7. Service delivery aspects in a reconfigurable photonic access network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roy, R.; Manhoudt, Gert; van Etten, Wim

    2008-01-01

    We discuss service delivery aspects in a reconfigurable photonic access network. The network is viewed as a stack of logical PONs in which a DWDM overlay is used over TDM PONs operating in their native format. The use of optical routers in the network allows for a dynamic change in the network

  8. Community Health Global Network and Sustainable Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebekah Young

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With the achievements, failures and passing of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG, the world has turned its eyes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG, designed to foster sustainable social, economic and environmental development over the next 15 years.(1 Community-led initiatives are increasingly being recognised as playing a key role in realising sustainable community development and in the aspirations of universal healthcare.(2 In many parts of the world, faith-based organisations are some of the main players in community-led development and health care.(3 Community Health Global Network (CHGN creates links between organisations, with the purpose being to encourage communities to recognise their assets and abilities, identify shared concerns and discover solutions together, in order to define and lead their futures in sustainable ways.(4 CHGN has facilitated the development of collaborative groups of health and development initiatives called ‘Clusters’ in several countries including India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Myanmar. In March 2016 these Clusters met together in an International Forum, to share learnings, experiences, challenges, achievements and to encourage one another. Discussions held throughout the forum suggest that the CHGN model is helping to promote effective, sustainable development and health care provision on both a local and a global scale.

  9. Efficient health care service delivery using network analysis: a case ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Efficient health care service delivery using network analysis: a case study of Kwara State, Nigeria. ... Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management ... This paper addresses challenges with prompt health care delivery using Network Analysis of Critical Path Model (CPM) to plan the hospital capacity with a ...

  10. Strategic Networks for Sustainable Tourism Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivelyna Krasteva Yoveva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes an innovative approach towards introduction of an up-to-date sustainable development philosophy founded on the principles of combination and balance of common and individual interests on multilateral perspective, i.e. individuals vs. organizations, public groups vs. governmental authorities, industry vs. macroeconomic development, nation states vs. international regional development etc. The optimal implementation of such an approach is imminently dependent on an authentic self-awareness of own identity, values, purposes and motivation for positive contribution to the common well-being. The author’s arguments are based on the conviction that when more individuals and organizations harness deeper understanding of the mutual benefits within their operations area and undertake collaborative efforts to solve common problem their steadfast long-term development may be secured even in times of social-economic-political-eco-etc. crises and within a dynamically changing environment.Main purpose of current article is the concentration of the research on looking for and applying the principles of consistency, exchange of good collaborative practices and consequently strategic and operational utilization of the synergy effect, systems thinking and the holistic approach. Collaborative efforts would lead to greater effectiveness and optimization that satisfies individual and common interests in multiple environmental dimensions. The study aims to analyze the potential of a new network paradigm for provision of effectively applied strategies within the contemporary sustainable development context.Some good practices within the area of joint development of sustainable strategic networks in tourism industry in Bulgaria are presented. A case study of a culinary and hospitality cluster recently established in the Dobrudzha region is about to demonstrates the strategic network viability and sustainability in a contemporary agricultural

  11. An integrated dialysis delivery network in Ontario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, K; Ryan, H

    1999-01-01

    In August 1995, the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the establishment of new and expanded dialysis services. London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) was successful in expanding its integrated dialysis delivery network with satellites in Stratford, Woodstock and Owen Sound. This achievement required collaboration of LHSC and host hospital staff to meet the challenging RFP requirements. With final approval received in January 1997, efforts were required to establish an operational model supporting self-care and full-care patients, to train satellite staff and patients, and to manage the resulting clinical impact. A balanced scorecard (Kaplan & Norton, 1992) evaluation model was developed. Initial outcome data indicate that full-care patients in satellites require more fallback support to London units, experience more hypotensive episodes during dialysis and, in some cases, demonstrate lower levels of dialysis adequacy and nutritional status when compared to satellite self-care patients. Findings from these data will assist in revising patient inclusion criteria and processes to optimize community-based dialysis.

  12. Building and Sustaining Citywide Afterschool Initiatives: Experiences of the Cross-Cities Network Citywide Afterschool Initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Georgia; Harvey, Brooke

    This paper highlights the experiences of several citywide after school initiatives from the Cross-Cities Network, describing activities and strategies that contributed to building operational and sustainable citywide delivery of out-of-school time programs. The paper presents evidence of success and notes lessons learned, identifying key elements…

  13. The African Field Epidemiology Network--networking for effective field epidemiology capacity building and service delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitta, Sheba Nakacubo; Mukanga, David; Babirye, Rebecca; Dahlke, Melissa; Tshimanga, Mufuta; Nsubuga, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Networks are a catalyst for promoting common goals and objectives of their membership. Public Health networks in Africa are crucial, because of the severe resource limitations that nations face in dealing with priority public health problems. For a long time, networks have existed on the continent and globally, but many of these are disease-specific with a narrow scope. The African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) is a public health network established in 2005 as a non-profit networking alliance of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs (FELTPs) and Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) in Africa. AFENET is dedicated to helping ministries of health in Africa build strong, effective and sustainable programs and capacity to improve public health systems by partnering with global public health experts. The Network's goal is to strengthen field epidemiology and public health laboratory capacity to contribute effectively to addressing epidemics and other major public health problems in Africa. AFENET currently networks 12 FELTPs and FETPs in sub-Saharan Africa with operations in 20 countries. AFENET has a unique tripartite working relationship with government technocrats from human health and animal sectors, academicians from partner universities, and development partners, presenting the Network with a distinct vantage point. Through the Network, African nations are making strides in strengthening their health systems. Members are able to: leverage resources to support field epidemiology and public health laboratory training and service delivery notably in the area of outbreak investigation and response as well as disease surveillance; by-pass government bureaucracies that often hinder and frustrate development partners; and consolidate efforts of different partners channelled through the FELTPs by networking graduates through alumni associations and calling on them to offer technical support in various public health capacities as the need arises

  14. The African Field Epidemiology Network-Networking for effective field epidemiology capacity building and service delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitta, Sheba Nakacubo; Mukanga, David; Babirye, Rebecca; Dahlke, Melissa; Tshimanga, Mufuta; Nsubuga, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Networks are a catalyst for promoting common goals and objectives of their membership. Public Health networks in Africa are crucial, because of the severe resource limitations that nations face in dealing with priority public health problems. For a long time, networks have existed on the continent and globally, but many of these are disease-specific with a narrow scope. The African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) is a public health network established in 2005 as a non-profit networking alliance of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs (FELTPs) and Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) in Africa. AFENET is dedicated to helping ministries of health in Africa build strong, effective and sustainable programs and capacity to improve public health systems by partnering with global public health experts. The Network's goal is to strengthen field epidemiology and public health laboratory capacity to contribute effectively to addressing epidemics and other major public health problems in Africa. AFENET currently networks 12 FELTPs and FETPs in sub-Saharan Africa with operations in 20 countries. AFENET has a unique tripartite working relationship with government technocrats from human health and animal sectors, academicians from partner universities, and development partners, presenting the Network with a distinct vantage point. Through the Network, African nations are making strides in strengthening their health systems. Members are able to: leverage resources to support field epidemiology and public health laboratory training and service delivery notably in the area of outbreak investigation and response as well as disease surveillance; by-pass government bureaucracies that often hinder and frustrate development partners; and consolidate efforts of different partners channelled through the FELTPs by networking graduates through alumni associations and calling on them to offer technical support in various public health capacities as the need arises

  15. Starch/Carbopol spray-dried mixtures as excipients for oral sustained drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringels, E; Ameye, D; Vervaet, C; Foreman, P; Remon, J P

    2005-04-18

    The present study evaluated if mixtures prepared by spray-drying an aqueous dispersion of Amioca starch and Carbopol 974P could be used as matrix for oral sustained drug delivery. The influence of the Amioca/Carbopol 974P ratio (0/100, 25/75, 50/50, 60/40, 85/15, 90/10, 95/5 and 100/0) and the pH and ionic strength (mu) of the dissolution medium on the drug release was investigated. The matrices composed of the spray-dried mixtures with 10% or 15% Carbopol 974P sustained the drug release over the longest time period. At this Carbopol concentration, shear viscosity measurements indicated the formation of an optimal network between the polymer chains of Amioca starch and Carbopol 974P, forming a rigid gel layer offering resistance to erosion during the dissolution experiments.

  16. Ocular Insert: Dosage Form for Sustain Opthalmic Drug Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil Kumar

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Except for skin, the eye is the most easily accessible site for topical administration of a medication. Traditional topical ophthalmic formulations (eye drops and ointments have poor bioavailability because of rapid pre-corneal elimination, conjunctival absorption, solution drainage by gravity, induced lacrimation and normal tear turnover. This leads to frequent installations of concentrated medication to achieve a therapeutic effect. The typical “pulse-entry” type drug release observed with ocular aqueous solutions (eye drops, suspensions and ointments can be replaced by more controlled, sustained, and continuous drug delivery, using a controlled-release ocular drug delivery system. Ocular inserts are solid or semisolid sterile preparations, of appropriate size and shape, designed to be inserted behind the eyelid or held on the eye and to deliver drugs for topical or systemic effect. These are polymeric systems into which the drug is incorporated as a solution or dispersion. They are better tolerated as to drainage and tear flow compared with other ophthalmic formulation and produce reliable drug release in the conjunctival cul-de-sac.

  17. Measuring sustainable accessibility potential using the mobility infrastructure's network configuration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gil, J.; Read, S.

    2012-01-01

    This paper is an exploration into the analysis of public transport networks using space syntax approaches combined with concepts of sustainable accessibility. Present urban development policy aims to achieve sustainable mobility patterns, shifting mobility to soft transportation modes such as

  18. Polyelectrolyte microcapsules for sustained delivery of water-soluble drugs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anandhakumar, S.; Debapriya, M. [Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012 (India); Nagaraja, V. [Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012 (India); Raichur, Ashok M., E-mail: amr@materials.iisc.ernet.in [Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012 (India)

    2011-03-12

    Polyelectrolyte capsules composed of weak polyelectrolytes are introduced as a simple and efficient system for spontaneous encapsulation of low molecular weight water-soluble drugs. Polyelectrolyte capsules were prepared by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembling of weak polyelectrolytes, poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and poly(methacrylic acid) (PMA) on polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) doped CaCO{sub 3} particles followed by core removal with ethylene-diaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). The loading process was observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) using tetramethylrhodamineisothiocyanate labeled dextran (TRITC-dextran) as a fluorescent probe. The intensity of fluorescent probe inside the capsule decreased with increase in cross-linking time. Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride (a model water-soluble drug) was spontaneously deposited into PAH/PMA capsules and their morphological changes were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The quantitative study of drug loading was also elucidated which showed that drug loading increased with initial drug concentration, but decreased with increase in pH. The loaded drug was released in a sustained manner for 6 h, which could be further extended by cross-linking the capsule wall. The released drug showed significant antibacterial activity against E. coli. These findings indicate that such capsules can be potential carriers for water-soluble drugs in sustained/controlled drug delivery applications.

  19. Delivering Sustainability Through Supply Chain Distribution Network Redesign

    OpenAIRE

    Denise Ravet

    2013-01-01

    Purpose - Companies could gain (cost, service, green/sustainable) competitive advantage through the supply chain network. The goal of this article is to study how to deliver sustainability through the supply chain distribution network redesign.Design/methodology/approach - A literature review is conducted to examine research relating to sustainable supply chain strategies and supply chain distribution network redesign.Findings - A study of the supply chain literature reveals the importance to...

  20. Delivering Sustainability Through Supply Chain Distribution Network Redesign

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Ravet

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose - Companies could gain (cost, service, green/sustainable competitive advantage through the supply chain network. The goal of this article is to study how to deliver sustainability through the supply chain distribution network redesign.Design/methodology/approach - A literature review is conducted to examine research relating to sustainable supply chain strategies and supply chain distribution network redesign.Findings - A study of the supply chain literature reveals the importance to rethink the supply chain distribution network design and to treat sustainability as integral to operations.

  1. The Global Network of Biofuel Sustainability Standards-setters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Lasse Folke

    2015-01-01

    The role of network structure in shaping the regulatory scope and content of sustainability standards for biofuels is examined. A critical review of the literature on hybrid governance networks suggests the need to bring in network theory. Through a specific network analysis of the standards...

  2. The use of residential gateways in content delivery networking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartog, F.T.H. den; Bastiaans, B.L.G.; Blom, M.A.; Pluijmaekers, M.G.M.; Mei, R.D. van der

    2004-01-01

    We have investigated and compared various aspects of the storage of multimedia content at residential gateways (RG) in the home or at caches in the public network. From qualitative analyses of Personal Video Recording and Content Delivery Networking techniques, we conclude that service architectures

  3. Fibrin sealant as a carrier for sustained delivery of antibiotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selçuk Kara

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To evaluate the activity and sustained release of antibiotics from fibrin sealant against common strains of ocular bacteria. Methods: Vancomycin, ceftazidime, moxifloxacin and lomefloxacin were incorporated into fibrin sealant in the shape of discs. Each antibiotic disc and control fibrin disc without drug was tested in vitro against standard bacterial strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeroginosa. After 24 hours of incubation at 37 °C, the discs were transferred to new plates of bacteria and triplicated for each antibiotic. Results: All antibiotic discs demonstrated detectable activity after 24 hours. Vancomycin had the longest duration of activity (4 days on the S. pneumonia grown plate. The moxifloxacin discs showed a prolonged inhibition of S. aureus and S. pneumonia for 3 days and inhibited the other strains for 2 days. Conclusion: Fibrin sealants provided prolonged drug delivery, which indicates that antibiotic-loaded fibrin clots could be useful for early ocular postoperative care and treatment. J Clin Exp Invest 2014; 5 (2: 194-199

  4. Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chain Network Design under Disruption Risks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Irshad Mari

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable supply chain network design is a rich area for academic research that is still in its infancy and has potential to affect supply chain performance. Increasing regulations for carbon and waste management are forcing firms to consider their supply chains from ecological and social objectives, but in reality, however, facilities and the links connecting them are disrupted from time to time, due to poor weather, natural or manmade disasters or a combination of any other factors. Supply chain systems drop their sustainability objectives while coping with these unexpected disruptions. Hence, the new challenges for supply chain managers are to design an efficient and effective supply chain network that will be resilient enough to bounce back from any disruption and that also should have sufficient vigilance to offer same sustainability under a disruption state. This paper focuses on ecological sustainability, because an environmental focus in a supply chain system is more important and also links with other pillars of sustainability, as the products need to be produced, packed and transported in an ethical way, which should not harm social balance and the environment. Owing to importance of the considered issue, this paper attempts to introduce a network optimization model for a sustainable and resilient supply chain network by incorporating (1 sustainability via carbon emissions and embodied carbon footprints and (2 resilience by incorporating location-specific risks. The proposed goal programming (GP model optimizes the total cost, while considering the resilience and sustainability of the supply chain network.

  5. Quality guaranteed media delivery over advanced network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhao, Z.; Grosso, P.; van der Ham, J.; de Laat, C.; Fortino, G.; Palau, C.E.

    2012-01-01

    Moving large quantities of data between distributed parties is a frequently invoked process in data intensive applications, such as collaborative digital media development. These transfers often have high quality requirements on the network services, especially when they involve user interactions or

  6. A qualitative study examining the sustainability of shared care in the delivery of palliative care services in the community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demiglio, Lily; Williams, Allison M

    2013-08-29

    This paper focuses on the sustainability of existing palliative care teams that provide home-based care in a shared care model. For the purposes of this study, following Evashwick and Ory (2003), sustainability is understood and approached as the ability to continue the program over time. Understanding factors that influence the sustainability of teams and ways to mitigate these factors is paramount to improving the longevity and quality of service delivery models of this kind. Using qualitative data collected in interviews, the aim of this study is twofold: (1) to explore the factors that affect the sustainability of the teams at three different scales, and; (2) based on the results of this study, to propose a set of recommendations that will contribute to the sustainability of PC teams. Sustainability was conceptualized from two angles: internal and external. An overview of external sustainability was provided and the merging of data from all participant groups showed that the sustainability of teams was largely dependent on actors and organizations at the local (community), regional (Local Health Integration Network or LHIN) and provincial scales. The three scales are not self-contained or singular entities but rather are connected. Integration and collaboration within and between scales is necessary, as community capacity will inevitably reach its threshold without support of the province, which provides funding to the LHIN. While the community continues to advocate for the teams, in the long-term, they will need additional supports from the LHIN and province. The province has the authority and capacity to engrain its support for teams through a formal strategy. The recommendations are presented based on scale to better illustrate how actors and organizations could move forward. This study may inform program and policy specific to strategic ways to improve the provision of team-based palliative home care using a shared care model, while simultaneously providing

  7. Spatial Tiling and Streaming in an Immersive Media Delivery Network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niamut, O.A.; Prins, M.J.; Brandenburg, R. van; Havekes, A.

    2011-01-01

    Within the EU FP7 project FascinatE, a capture, production and delivery system capable of supporting pan/tilt/zoom interaction with immersive media is being developed. Intelligent networks with processing components are needed to repurpose the content to suit different device types and framing

  8. Sustainable Performance in Energy Harvesting - Wireless Sensor Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fafoutis, Xenofon; Di Mauro, Alessio; Dragoni, Nicola

    2013-01-01

    In this practical demo we illustrate the concept of "sustainable performance" in Energy-Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks (EH-WSNs). In particular, for different classes of applications and under several energy harvesting scenarios, we show how it is possible to have sustainable performance when...

  9. Ecological Citizenship and Sustainable Consumption: Examining Local Organic Food Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seyfang, Gill

    2006-01-01

    Sustainable consumption is gaining in currency as a new environmental policy objective. This paper presents new research findings from a mixed-method empirical study of a local organic food network to interrogate the theories of both sustainable consumption and ecological citizenship. It describes a mainstream policy model of sustainable…

  10. SAViNE: social network analysis - inspired content delivery network deployment and experimentation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Leivadeas, Aris; Papagianni, Chrysa; Papavassiliou, Symeon

    2014-01-01

    Over the last years, the content delivery network (CDN) market has been witnessing globally an increase in the development of cloud-based CDNs, as they constitute a viable and cost-effective alternative to traditional commercial CDNs...

  11. SAViNE: social network analysis - inspired content delivery network deployment and experimentation: Doc 1011

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aris Leivadeas; Chrysa Papagianni; Symeon Papavassiliou

    2014-01-01

      Over the last years, the content delivery network (CDN) market has been witnessing globally an increase in the development of cloud-based CDNs, as they constitute a viable and cost-effective alternative to traditional commercial CDNs...

  12. Sustained-release drug delivery of antimicrobials in controlling of supragingival oral biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Doron; Friedman, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Dental caries, a bacterial biofilm-associated disease, is a prevalent oral health problem. It is a bacterial biofilm-associated disease. Conventional means of combating this disease involves oral hygiene, mostly tooth brushing. Supplementary means of prevention and treatment is often necessary. The use of sustained-release delivery systems, locally applied to the oral cavity appears to be one of the most acceptable avenues for the delivery of antimicrobial agents. Area covered: The development and current approaches of local sustained delivery technologies applied to the oral cavity for treatment and prevention of dental caries is discussed. The use of polymeric drug delivery systems, varnishes, liposomes and nanoparticles is presented. Expert opinion: The use of local sustained-release delivery systems applied to the oral cavity has numerous clinical, pharmacological and toxicological advantages over conventional means. Various sustained-release technologies have been suggested over the course of several years. The current research on oral diseases concentrates predominantly on improving the drug delivery. With progress in pharmaceutical technology, sophisticated controlled-release platforms are being developed. The sustained release concept is innovative and there are few products available for the benefit of all populations. Harmonizing academic research with the dental industry will surely expedite the development and commercialization of more products of such pharmacological nature.

  13. International Green Purchasing Network - Sustainable Purchasing Profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    To help you find the resource that is right for your organization, EPA conducted a scan of the landscape and developed summary profiles of some of the leading sources of sustainable purchasing guidance around the globe.

  14. Responsible Purchasing Network - Sustainable Purchasing Guidance Profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    To help you find the resource that is right for your organization, EPA conducted a scan of the landscape and developed summary profiles of some of the leading sources of sustainable purchasing guidance around the globe.

  15. Lifelong learning networks for sustainable regional development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Kraker, Joop; Cörvers, Ron; Ruelle, Christine; Valkering, Pieter

    2010-01-01

    Sustainable regional development is a participatory, multi-actor process, involving a diversity of societal stakeholders, administrators, policy makers, practitioners and scientific experts. In this process, mutual and collective learning plays a major role as participants have to exchange and

  16. Structural dimensions of knowledge-action networks for sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tischa A. Munoz; B.B. Cutts

    2016-01-01

    Research on the influence of social network structure over flows of knowledge in support of sustainability governance and action has recently flourished. These studies highlight three challenges to evaluating knowledge-action networks: first, defining boundaries; second, characterizing power distributions; and third, identifying obstacles to knowledge sharing and...

  17. Application of mathematical modeling in sustained release delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, Mario; Grassi, Gabriele

    2014-08-01

    This review, presenting as starting point the concept of the mathematical modeling, is aimed at the physical and mathematical description of the most important mechanisms regulating drug delivery from matrix systems. The precise knowledge of the delivery mechanisms allows us to set up powerful mathematical models which, in turn, are essential for the design and optimization of appropriate drug delivery systems. The fundamental mechanisms for drug delivery from matrices are represented by drug diffusion, matrix swelling, matrix erosion, drug dissolution with possible recrystallization (e.g., as in the case of amorphous and nanocrystalline drugs), initial drug distribution inside the matrix, matrix geometry, matrix size distribution (in the case of spherical matrices of different diameter) and osmotic pressure. Depending on matrix characteristics, the above-reported variables may play a different role in drug delivery; thus the mathematical model needs to be built solely on the most relevant mechanisms of the particular matrix considered. Despite the somewhat diffident behavior of the industrial world, in the light of the most recent findings, we believe that mathematical modeling may have a tremendous potential impact in the pharmaceutical field. We do believe that mathematical modeling will be more and more important in the future especially in the light of the rapid advent of personalized medicine, a novel therapeutic approach intended to treat each single patient instead of the 'average' patient.

  18. Optimization of emergy sustainability index for biodiesel supply network design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; Tan, Shiyu; Yang, Le

    2015-01-01

    sustainable design. In the proposed model, the emergy sustainability index of the whole biodiesel supply networks in a life cycle perspective is employed as the measure of the sustainability, and multiple feedstocks, multiple transport modes, multiple regions for biodiesel production and multiple distribution......Sustainability is an important and difficult consideration for the stakeholders/decision-makers when planning a biofuel supply network. In this paper, a Mixed-Integer Non-linear Programming (MINLP) model was developed with the aim to help the stakeholders/decision-maker to select the most...... centers can be considered. After describing the process and mathematic framework of the model, an illustrative case was studied and demonstrated that the proposed methodology is feasible for finding the most sustainable design and planning of biodiesel supply chains....

  19. Designing and Evaluating Sustainable Logistics Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Quariguasi Frota Neto (João); J.M. Bloemhof-Ruwaard (Jacqueline); J.A.E.E. van Nunen (Jo); H.W.G.M. van Heck (Eric)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractThe objective in this paper is to shed light into the design of logistic networks balancing profit and the environment. More specifically we intend to i) determine the main factors influencing environmental performance and costs in logistic networks ii) present a comprehensive framework

  20. Polymeric particles for sustained and local drug delivery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramazani, F.

    2015-01-01

    Controlled drug delivery systems have been extensively investigated as means to prolong the action of drugs in the body. In this regard, a drug is incorporated into a carrier (e.g., polymeric material) in such a way that the drug is released from the matrix in a controlled manner for an extended

  1. Networks: Innovation, Growth and Sustainable Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Johnston

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The emergence of the Internet as a measureable manifestation of our social and economic relationships changed the domination of networks in our lives. From about 2000, the internet has allowed us to study and understand the type of networks in which we live, and to model their behaviour. The Internet has fundamentally changed the distribution of wealth. The rich became richer simply because of the larger scale of the trading network and stretched national wealth distributions. Network effects are therefore likely to be responsible for much of the perceived increases in inequalities in the last 20-30 years, and policies to tackle poverty must therefore address the extent to which the poor can engage with society's networks of wealth creation. The greatest challenge to continued growth and prosperity, and therefore to peace and justice, is climate change. The potential cost of inaction on climate change could be as high. Our self-organising social networks have structured our societies and economies, and are now reflected in our technology networks. We can now replicate their evolution in computer simulations and can therefore better assess how to deal with the greatest challenges facing us in the next few decades.

  2. Social network analysis of sustainable transportation organizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-15

    Studying how organizations communicate with each other can provide important insights into the influence, and policy success of different types of organizations. This study examines the communication networks of 121 organizations promoting sustainabl...

  3. Virtual learning networks for sustainable development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Kraker, Joop; Cörvers, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Sustainable development is a participatory, multi-actor process. In this process, learning plays a major role as participants have to exchange and integrate a diversity of perspectives and types of knowledge and expertise in order to arrive at innovative, jointly supported solutions. Virtual

  4. Redesigning care delivery in response to a high-performance network: the Virginia Mason Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Hoangmai H; Ginsburg, Paul B; McKenzie, Kelly; Milstein, Arnold

    2007-01-01

    We examine how an integrated delivery system responded to threatened exclusion from an insurer's high-performance network by attempting to reduce costs through fundamental redesign of care processes. Some factors facilitating this transformation, such as its structure as a large salaried medical group exclusively affiliated with a hospital, might be specific to the organization and its market. Other essential elements could be replicated. But in a fee-for-service payment system, cost reduction from reducing the number of services or changing their mix can reduce profitability. Making the business case for sustaining desirable provider behavior may require that purchasers and plans make equally fundamental changes in payment policy.

  5. Applying a rateless code in content delivery networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suherman; Zarlis, Muhammad; Parulian Sitorus, Sahat; Al-Akaidi, Marwan

    2017-09-01

    Content delivery network (CDN) allows internet providers to locate their services, to map their coverage into networks without necessarily to own them. CDN is part of the current internet infrastructures, supporting multi server applications especially social media. Various works have been proposed to improve CDN performances. Since accesses on social media servers tend to be short but frequent, providing redundant to the transmitted packets to ensure lost packets not degrade the information integrity may improve service performances. This paper examines the implementation of rateless code in the CDN infrastructure. The NS-2 evaluations show that rateless code is able to reduce packet loss up to 50%.

  6. Sustained Delivery of Chondroitinase ABC from Hydrogel System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filippo Rossi

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In the injured spinal cord, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs are the principal responsible of axon growth inhibition and they contribute to regenerative failure, promoting glial scar formation. Chondroitinase ABC (chABC is known for being able to digest proteoglycans, thus degrading glial scar and favoring axonal regrowth. However, its classic administration is invasive, infection-prone and clinically problematic. An agarose-carbomer (AC1 hydrogel, already used in SCI repair strategies, was here investigated as a delivery system capable of an effective chABC administration: the material ability to include chABC within its pores and the possibility to be injected into the target tissue were firstly proved. Subsequently, release kinetic and the maintenance of enzymatic activity were positively assessed: AC1 hydrogel was thus confirmed to be a feasible tool for chABC delivery and a promising device for spinal cord injury topic repair strategies.

  7. Sustainable coastal sensor networks: technologies and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carapezza, Edward M.; Butman, Jerry; Babb, Ivar; Bucklin, Ann

    2008-04-01

    This paper describes a distributed sensor network for a coastal maritime security system. This concept incorporates a network of small passive and active multi-phenomenological unattended sensors and shore based optical sensors to detect, classify, and track submerged threat objects approaching high value coastal assets, such as ports, harbors, residential, commercial, and military facilities and areas. The network of unattended, in-water sensors perform the initial detection, classification, and coarse tracking and then queues shore based optical laser radar sensors. These shore-based sensors perform a queued sector search to develop a refined track on the submerged threat objects that were initially detected by the unattended sensor network. Potential threat objects include swimmers, small unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV's), small submarines, and submerged barges. All of these threats have the potential to transport threat objects such as explosives, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials. Reliable systems with low false alarm rates (FAR) are proposed. Tens to hundreds of low cost passive sensors are proposed to be deployed conjunctively with several active acoustic and optical sensors in threat and facility dependant patterns to maximize the detection, tracking and classification of submerged threat objects. The integrated command and control system and novel microbial fuel cells to power these sensor networks are also described.

  8. Building Trust-Based Sustainable Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-05

    influence relationships among entities? ■ What behaviors affect trust and sustainability (e.g., altruism , reciprocation, cooperation)? Based on these...addition, altruistic behavior can trigger the reciprocal altruistic relationship, the so called “reciprocal altruism .” In this rela- tionship, some... Prosocial Behavior , r. A. Hinde and J. Groebel, Eds. Cambridge univ. Press, 1991, pp. 27–48. [4] C. Castelfranchi and r. Falcone, TrustThe- ory: A

  9. Sustainable Process Networks for CO2 Conversion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frauzem, Rebecca; Kongpanna, P.; Pavarajam, V.

    that are thermodynamically feasible, including the co-reactants, catalysts, operating conditions and reactions. Research has revealed that there are a variety of reactions that fulfill the aforementioned criteria. The products that are formed fall into categories: fuels, bulk chemicals and specialty chemicals. While fuels...... the emissions is the conversion of CO2 into useful products, such as methanol [3]. In this work, through a computer-aided framework for process network synthesis-design, a network of feasible conversion processes that all use emitted CO2 is investigated. CO2 is emitted into the environment from various sources......, such as methanol (MeOH) have the largest market, this network will include a variety of thermodynamically feasible conversion paths [4]. From reviews of work previously done, there are ranges of possible products that are formed from CO2 and another co-reactant directly. Methanol, dimethyl ether, dimethyl...

  10. Value networks in manufacturing sustainability and performance excellence

    CERN Document Server

    Uusitalo, Teuvo

    2017-01-01

    This book highlights innovative solutions together with various techniques and methods that can help support the manufacturing sector to excel in economic, social, and environmental terms in networked business environments. The book also furthers understanding of sustainable manufacturing from the perspective of value creation in manufacturing networks, by capitalizing on the outcomes of the European ‘Sustainable Value Creation in Manufacturing Networks’ project. New dynamics and uncertainties in modern markets call for innovative solutions in the global manufacturing sector. While the manufacturing sector is traditionally driven by technology, it also requires other managerial and organizational solutions in terms of network governance, business models, sustainable solution development for products and services, performance management portals, etc., which can provide major competitive advantages for companies. At the same time, the manufacturing industry is subject to a change process, where business net...

  11. Learning in Networks for Sustainable Development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lansu, Angelique; Boon, Jo; Sloep, Peter; Van Dam-Mieras, Rietje

    2010-01-01

    The didactic model of remote internships described in this study provides the flexibility needed to support networked learners, i.e. to facilitate the development and subsequent assessment of their competences. The heterogeneity of the participants (students, employers, tutors) in the learning

  12. Nanoparticles laden in situ gel for sustained ocular drug delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himanshu Gupta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Proper availability of drug on to corneal surface is a challenging task. However, due to ocular physiological barriers, conventional eye drops display poor ocular bioavailability of drugs (< 1%. To improve precorneal residence time and ocular penetration, earlier our group developed and evaluated in situ gel and nanoparticles for ocular delivery. In interest to evaluate the combined effect of in situ gel and nanoparticles on ocular retention, we combined them. We are the first to term this combination as "nanoparticle laden in situ gel", that is, poly lactic co glycolic acid nanoparticle incorporated in chitosan in situ gel for sparfloxacin ophthalmic delivery. The formulation was tested for various physicochemical properties. It showed gelation pH near pH 7.2. The observation of acquired gamma camera images showed good retention over the entire precorneal area for sparfloxacin nanoparticle laden in situ gel (SNG as compared to marketed formulation. SNG formulation cleared at a very slow rate and remained at corneal surface for longer duration as no radioactivity was observed in systemic circulation. The developed formulation was found to be better in combination and can go up to the clinical evaluation and application.

  13. A sustainable and affordable support system for rural healthcare delivery

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Barjis, J

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available et al., 2009). Furthermore, many projects that have taken place, started by government or non-government organizations, have delivered ‘white elephants’ rather than a sustainable system. The idiom of ‘white elephant’ (Robinson and Toryik, 2005, p.... The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: in part one we discuss the socio-cultural and economic context, which sets the stage for the research carried out and the results presented in this article; in part we discuss the underlying theoretical...

  14. Sustained delivery of biomolecules from gelatin carriers for applications in bone regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Jiankang; Leeuwenburgh, Sander Cg

    2014-08-01

    Local delivery of therapeutic biomolecules to stimulate bone regeneration has matured considerably during the past decades, but control over the release of these biomolecules still remains a major challenge. To this end, suitable carriers that allow for tunable spatial and temporal delivery of biomolecules need to be developed. Gelatin is one of the most widely used natural polymers for the controlled and sustained delivery of biomolecules because of its biodegradability, biocompatibility, biosafety and cost-effectiveness. The current study reviews the applications of gelatin as carriers in form of bulk hydrogels, microspheres, nanospheres, colloidal gels and composites for the programmed delivery of commonly used biomolecules for applications in bone regeneration with a specific focus on the relationship between carrier properties and delivery characteristics.

  15. Characterizing the sustainable forestry issue network in thc United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steverson O. Moffat; Frederick W. Cubbage; Thomas P. Holmes; Elizabethann O' Sullivan

    2001-01-01

    Issue network analysis techniques were applied to the issue sustainable forestry in the United States to identify potential public and private outcomes for the issue. A quantitative approach based on work by Laumann and Knoke [(The Organizational State (1987)] was utilized in conjunction with the Delphi method. Results suggest that the parity in the distribution of...

  16. Sustainability of Farm Credit Delivery by Cooperatives and NGOs in Edo and Delta States, Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alufohai, G. O.

    2006-01-01

    The paper examined the sustainability rates of co-operatives and NGOs in farm credit delivery in Edo and Delta States of Nigeria. The Subsidy Dependence Indices (SDI) and the capital formation rates were determined using both primary and secondary data obtained from 80 and 20 purposively selected cooperatives and NGOs respectively, based on their…

  17. Polymer nanocomposite particles of S-nitrosoglutathione: A suitable formulation for protection and sustained oral delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wen; Gaucher, Caroline; Fries, Isabelle; Hu, Xian-ming; Maincent, Philippe; Sapin-Minet, Anne

    2015-11-10

    S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) is a nitric oxide (NO) donor with therapeutic potential for cardiovascular disease treatment. Chronic oral treatment with GSNO is limited by high drug sensitivity to the environment and limited oral bioavailability, requiring the development of delivery systems able to sustain NO release. The present work describes new platforms based on polymer nanocomposite particles for the delivery of GSNO. Five types of optimized nanocomposite particles have been developed (three based on chitosan, two based on alginate sodium). Those nanocomposite particles encapsulate GSNO with high efficiency from 64% to 70% and an average size of 13 to 61 μm compatible with oral delivery. Sustained release of GSNO in vitro was achieved. Indeed, chitosan nanocomposites discharged their payload within 24h; whereas alginate nanocomposites released GSNO more slowly (10% of GSNO was still remaining in the dosage form after 24h). Their cytocompatibility toward intestinal Caco-2 cells (MTT assay) was acceptable (IC50: 6.07 ± 0.07-9.46 ± 0.08 mg/mL), demonstrating their suitability as oral delivery systems for GSNO. These delivery systems presented efficient GSNO loading and sustained release as well as cytocompatibility, showing their promise as a means of improving the oral bioavailability of GSNO and as a potential new treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Controlled Release System for Localized and Sustained Drug Delivery Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Lidia Betsabe

    Current controlled release formulations has many drawbacks such as excess of initial burst release, low drug efficiency, non-degradability of the system and low reproducibility. The present project aims to offer an alternative by developing a technique to prepare uniform, biodegradable particles ( ˜19 mum ) that can sustainably release a drug for a specific period of time. Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide that has many characteristics to be used for biomedical applications. In the last two decades, there have been a considerable number of studies affirming that chitosan could be used for pharmaceutical applications. However, chitosan suffers from inherent weaknesses such as low mechanical stability and dissolution of the system in acidic media. In the present study, chitosan microparticles were prepared by emulsification process. The model drug chosen was acetylsalicylic acid as it is a small and challenging molecule. The maximum loading capacity obtained for the microparticles was approximately 96%. The parameters for the preparation of uniform particles with a narrow size distribution were identified in a triangular phase diagram. Moreover, chitosan particles were successfully coated with thin layers of poly lactic-coglycolic acid (PLGA) and poly lactic acid (PLA). The performance of different layerswas tested for in vitro drug release and degradation studies. Additionally, the degradability of the system was evaluated by measuring the weight loss of the system when exposed to enzyme and without enzyme. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) were used to characterize the controlled release system. Additionally, the in vitro drug release was monitored by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The results obtained from this project showed that it is

  19. Mixed Transportation Network Design under a Sustainable Development Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Jin; Ni, Ling-lin; Shi, Feng

    2013-01-01

    A mixed transportation network design problem considering sustainable development was studied in this paper. Based on the discretization of continuous link-grade decision variables, a bilevel programming model was proposed to describe the problem, in which sustainability factors, including vehicle exhaust emissions, land-use scale, link load, and financial budget, are considered. The objective of the model is to minimize the total amount of resources exploited under the premise of meeting all the construction goals. A heuristic algorithm, which combined the simulated annealing and path-based gradient projection algorithm, was developed to solve the model. The numerical example shows that the transportation network optimized with the method above not only significantly alleviates the congestion on the link, but also reduces vehicle exhaust emissions within the network by up to 41.56%. PMID:23476142

  20. Mixed Transportation Network Design under a Sustainable Development Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Qin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A mixed transportation network design problem considering sustainable development was studied in this paper. Based on the discretization of continuous link-grade decision variables, a bilevel programming model was proposed to describe the problem, in which sustainability factors, including vehicle exhaust emissions, land-use scale, link load, and financial budget, are considered. The objective of the model is to minimize the total amount of resources exploited under the premise of meeting all the construction goals. A heuristic algorithm, which combined the simulated annealing and path-based gradient projection algorithm, was developed to solve the model. The numerical example shows that the transportation network optimized with the method above not only significantly alleviates the congestion on the link, but also reduces vehicle exhaust emissions within the network by up to 41.56%.

  1. Chitosan-Montmorillonite microspheres: A sustainable fertilizer delivery system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Bruna Rodrigues; Bacalhau, Fabiana Britti; Pereira, Tamires dos Santos; Souza, Claudinei Fonseca; Faez, Roselena

    2015-08-20

    Controlled release fertilizers are efficient tools that increase the sustainability of agricultural practices. However, the biodegradability of the matrices and the determination of the release into soil still require some investigation. This paper describes the preparation of potassium-containing microspheres based on chitosan and montmorillonite clay and the in situ soil release. The chitosan-montmorillonite microspheres were prepared using a coagulation method and different proportions of montmorillonite. The structural, thermal and morphological properties as well the water swelling and fertilizer sorption capacity were evaluated. The best formulations were applied in soil, and the fertilizer release was monitored using time-domain reflectometry (TDR). Montmorillonite clay provides better sorption properties than the chitosan microspheres because of the rough and porous surface. Due to these properties, high levels of fertilizer were sorbed onto the material. ChMMT33-containing potassium shows two specific periods of fertilizer release: the first one lasted approximately three days and was assigned to the external fertilizer on the microspheres. The second was assigned to the internal fertilizer. TDR is an important and fast tool and was used to determine the fertilizer release and the ion movement in the soil. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. GM as a route for delivery of sustainable crop protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Toby J A

    2012-01-01

    Modern agriculture, with its vast monocultures of lush fertilized crops, provides an ideal environment for adapted pests, weeds, and diseases. This vulnerability has implications for food security: when new pesticide-resistant pest biotypes evolve they can devastate crops. Even with existing crop protection measures, approximately one-third yield losses occur globally. Given the projected increase in demand for food (70% by 2050 according to the UN), sustainable ways of preventing these losses are needed. Development of resistant crop cultivars can make an important contribution. However, traditional crop breeding programmes are limited by the time taken to move resistance traits into elite crop genetic backgrounds and the limited gene pools in which to search for novel resistance. Furthermore, resistance based on single genes does not protect against the full spectrum of pests, weeds, and diseases, and is more likely to break down as pests evolve counter-resistance. Although not necessarily a panacea, GM (genetic modification) techniques greatly facilitate transfer of genes and thus provide a route to overcome these constraints. Effective resistance traits can be precisely and conveniently moved into mainstream crop cultivars. Resistance genes can be stacked to make it harder for pests to evolve counter-resistance and to provide multiple resistances to different attackers. GM-based crop protection could substantially reduce the need for farmers to apply pesticides to their crops and would make agricultural production more efficient in terms of resources used (land, energy, water). These benefits merit consideration by environmentalists willing to keep an open mind on the GM debate.

  3. Surgical suture assembled with polymeric drug-delivery sheet for sustained, local pain relief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ji Eun; Park, Subin; Park, Min; Kim, Myung Hun; Park, Chun Gwon; Lee, Seung Ho; Choi, Sung Yoon; Kim, Byung Hwi; Park, Hyo Jin; Park, Ji-Ho; Heo, Chan Yeong; Choy, Young Bin

    2013-09-01

    Surgical suture is a strand of biocompatible material designed for wound closure, and therefore can be a medical device potentially suitable for local drug delivery to treat pain at the surgical site. However, the preparation methods previously introduced for drug-delivery sutures adversely influenced the mechanical strength of the suture itself - strength that is essential for successful wound closure. Thus, it is not easy to control drug delivery with sutures, and the drug-delivery surgical sutures available for clinical use are now limited to anti-infection roles. Here, we demonstrate a surgical suture enabled to provide controlled delivery of a pain-relief drug and, more importantly, we demonstrate how it can be fabricated to maintain the mechanical strength of the suture itself. For this purpose, we separately prepare a drug-delivery sheet composed of a biocompatible polymer and a pain-relief drug, which is then physically assembled with a type of surgical suture that is already in clinical use. In this way, the drug release profiles can be tailored for the period of therapeutic need by modifying only the drug-loaded polymer sheet without adversely influencing the mechanical strength of the suture. The drug-delivery sutures in this work can effectively relieve the pain at the surgical site in a sustained manner during the period of wound healing, while showing biocompatibility and mechanical properties comparable to those of the original surgical suture in clinical use. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Transscleral sustained vasohibin-1 delivery by a novel device suppressed experimentally-induced choroidal neovascularization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideyuki Onami

    Full Text Available We established a sustained vasohibin-1 (a 42-kDa protein, delivery device by a novel method using photopolymerization of a mixture of polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate, triethylene glycol dimethacrylate, and collagen microparticles. We evaluated its effects in a model of rat laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV using a transscleral approach. We used variable concentrations of vasohibin-1 in the devices, and used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting to measure the released vasohibin-1 (0.31 nM/day when using the 10 μM vasohibin-1 delivery device [10VDD]. The released vasohibin-1 showed suppression activity comparable to native effects when evaluated using endothelial tube formation. We also used pelletized vasohibin-1 and fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled 40 kDa dextran as controls. Strong fluorescein staining was observed on the sclera when the device was used for drug delivery, whereas pellet use produced strong staining in the conjunctiva and surrounding tissue, but not on the sclera. Vasohibin-1 was found in the sclera, choroid, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE, and neural retina after device implantation. Stronger immunoreactivity at the RPE and ganglion cell layers was observed than in other retinal regions. Significantly lower fluorescein angiography (FA scores and smaller CNV areas in the flat mounts of RPE-choroid-sclera were observed for the 10VDD, VDD (1 μM vasohibin-1 delivery device, and vasohibin-1 intravitreal direct injection (0.24 μM groups when compared to the pellet, non-vasohibin-1 delivery device, and intravitreal vehicle injection groups. Choroidal neovascularization can be treated with transscleral sustained protein delivery using our novel device. We offer a safer sustained protein release for treatment of retinal disease using the transscleral approach.

  5. Reproductive system behavior following exposure of sustained delivery of npy antagonist in ovariectomized (ovx) rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cason, Zelma; Wilson, Gerri; Golanov, Olga; Tucci, Michelle; McGuire, Robert; Benghuzzi, Hamed

    2012-01-01

    Several investigations have documented that sustained delivery of estrogen can modulate or sustain normal female reproductive functions. However, the literature is lacking scientific evidence regarding the mechanism of estrogen and neuropeptide Y antagonist (NPY) effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The objective of this study was to explore the role of sustained delivery of estrogen and its effects on reproductive unction compared to an antagonist such as NPY. A total of twenty adult female rats (OVX, n=15; intact control, n=5) were divided into five groups (intact control, OVX, sham, OVX + estrogen, and OVX + NPY). Animals in two groups were surgically implanted with a TCP delivery device loaded with estrogen or NPY. Vaginal smears and body weights (BW) were evaluated at baseline and at two weeks post implantation. At the end of two weeks, all animals were euthanized and vital and reproductive organs were retrieved for histopathological evaluation. The results revealed differences in BW between intact control and OVX animals. Furthermore, there was statistical difference (P<0.05) in BW between OVX and OVX + NPY animals. Vaginal smear evaluation revealed that estrogen exposure induced estrus cyclic activities as compared to OVX and sham animals. The animals exposed to sustained delivery of NPY triggered moderate cyclic activities compared to intact control animals. There were no significant differences (P<0.5) in vital organ wet weights among and between animals in all groups. Overall this study proved the capability of TCP to release estrogen and NPY at sustained levels, which resulted inpathophysiological changes in female reproductive organs.

  6. Sustainable Logistics Network Modeling for Enterprise Supply Chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lan Zhu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available With the expansion of the study about green logistics, sustainable supply chain management (SSCM has appeared as a new concept in current economic circumstance. This paper studies the sustainability optimization of enterprise logistics network from a strategic perspective and proposes a multiobjective sustainable logistics optimization model considering three dimensions of sustainability: economy, environment, and society. In this model, the environment factor was measured with a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA method based on Chinese Life Cycle Database (CLCD, while for social factors, Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (GRI are utilized to quantify the social performance. Moreover, the model was solved with an adapted version of the ε-constraint method named augment constraint algorithm (AUGMENCON through GAMS software. The numerical experiment results of a computer manufacturer supply chain show that the proposed model is able to integrate all dimensions of sustainability and simultaneously prove the capability of AUGMENCON in providing a set of trade-off solutions for the decision makers to make different decisions under different environment and social requirements.

  7. Sustainable Value Generation through Collaborative Symbiotic Networks Planning

    OpenAIRE

    Araujo, Juliano; Pintão, Raphael; Rosa, Cyntia,

    2011-01-01

    Part 19: Sustainability Issues; International audience; Industrial Symbiosis is an important component of Industrial Ecology which studies the collaboration and coexistence of companies to achieve mutual benefits. Its concepts have traditionally focused on eco-efficiency and its direct benefits such as costs reduction, resources optimization and environmental impacts reduction. The paper introduces the use of externalities and collaborative networks as tools to amplify the spectrum of opportu...

  8. A Network Analysis Model for Selecting Sustainable Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangsung Park

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Most companies develop technologies to improve their competitiveness in the marketplace. Typically, they then patent these technologies around the world in order to protect their intellectual property. Other companies may use patented technologies to develop new products, but must pay royalties to the patent holders or owners. Should they fail to do so, this can result in legal disputes in the form of patent infringement actions between companies. To avoid such situations, companies attempt to research and develop necessary technologies before their competitors do so. An important part of this process is analyzing existing patent documents in order to identify emerging technologies. In such analyses, extracting sustainable technology from patent data is important, because sustainable technology drives technological competition among companies and, thus, the development of new technologies. In addition, selecting sustainable technologies makes it possible to plan their R&D (research and development efficiently. In this study, we propose a network model that can be used to select the sustainable technology from patent documents, based on the centrality and degree of a social network analysis. To verify the performance of the proposed model, we carry out a case study using actual patent data from patent databases.

  9. Nanostructured platforms for the sustained and local delivery of antibiotics in the treatment of osteomyelitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uskokovic, Vuk

    2015-01-01

    This article provides a critical view of the current state of the development of nanoparticulate and other solid-state carriers for the local delivery of antibiotics in the treatment of osteomyelitis. Mentioned are the downsides of traditional means for treating bone infection, which involve systemic administration of antibiotics and surgical debridement, along with the rather imperfect local delivery options currently available in the clinic. Envisaged are more sophisticated carriers for the local and sustained delivery of antimicrobials, including bioresorbable polymeric, collagenous, liquid crystalline, and bioglass- and nanotube-based carriers, as well as those composed of calcium phosphate, the mineral component of bone and teeth. A special emphasis is placed on composite multifunctional antibiotic carriers of a nanoparticulate nature and on their ability to induce osteogenesis of hard tissues demineralized due to disease. An ideal carrier of this type would prevent the long-term, repetitive, and systemic administration of antibiotics and either minimize or completely eliminate the need for surgical debridement of necrotic tissue. Potential problems faced by even hypothetically "perfect" antibiotic delivery vehicles are mentioned too, including (i) intracellular bacterial colonies involved in recurrent, chronic osteomyelitis; (ii) the need for mechanical and release properties to be adjusted to the area of surgical placement; (iii) different environments in which in vitro and in vivo testings are carried out; (iv) unpredictable synergies between drug delivery system components; and (v) experimental sensitivity issues entailing the increasing subtlety of the design of nanoplatforms for the controlled delivery of therapeutics.

  10. Nanostructured Platforms for the Sustained and Local Delivery of Antibiotics in the Treatment of Osteomyelitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uskoković, Vuk

    2015-01-01

    This article provides a critical view of the current state of the development of nanoparticulate and other solid-state carriers for the local delivery of antibiotics in the treatment of osteomyelitis. Mentioned are the downsides of traditional means for treating bone infection, which involve systemic administration of antibiotics and surgical debridement, along with the rather imperfect local delivery options currently available in the clinic. Envisaged are more sophisticated carriers for the local and sustained delivery of antimicrobials, including bioresorbable polymeric, collagenous, liquid crystalline, and bioglass- and nanotube-based carriers, as well as those composed of calcium phosphate, the mineral component of bone and teeth. A special emphasis is placed on composite multifunctional antibiotic carriers of a nanoparticulate nature and on their ability to induce osteogenesis of hard tissues demineralized due to disease. An ideal carrier of this type would prevent the long-term, repetitive, and systemic administration of antibiotics and either minimize or completely eliminate the need for surgical debridement of necrotic tissue. Potential problems faced by even hypothetically “perfect” antibiotic delivery vehicles are mentioned too, including (i) intracellular bacterial colonies involved in recurrent, chronic osteomyelitis; (ii) the need for mechanical and release properties to be adjusted to the area of surgical placement; (iii) different environments in which in vitro and in vivo testings are carried out; (iv) unpredictable synergies between drug delivery system components; and (v) experimental sensitivity issues entailing the increasing subtlety of the design of nanoplatforms for the controlled delivery of therapeutics. PMID:25746204

  11. Understanding Farmers Information Network Implication For Effective Extension Delivery In Akwa Ibom State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Odoemelam

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Appropriateness of information is a critical factor needed to stimulate the right knowledge and attitude of farmers towards sustainable transformation of agriculture. The study investigated the information network that exists among rural communities in Akwa-Ibom States and its implication for effective extension delivery. Even though AKADEPAkwa-Ibom State Agricultural Development Programmes are highly involved in the dissemination process it is important to analyze the information networks of the farmers to improve exchange of information with the following specific objectives identify the different wealth groups in the study area ascertain the information networks that exists in the area analyze the different information types and assess the strength and weakness of the information sources. Data were generated through Focus Group Discussion and Participatory Observation employing different methodologies like wealth ranking information diagram and linkage matrix analysis using Likerts scale type. Data generated were analyzed with simple descriptive statistics and means. Major results show that in wealth ranking two groups of respondents were identified the female households with mean score between 1.9 and male headed household with mean score of 2.00 2.99. on information network farmer to farmer with 21 market 14 church 15 were highest source of their information network. On perceived weakness and strength of the information network the information quality frequency of use timeliness of information flow and link up of information were adequate while reliability of information was not adequate. The results show that intra community information flow was suitable and accessible to rich farmers while inaccessible and often irrelevant to poor farmers. Therefore in the face of threat to food insecurity prevalent in the country it is important to put in place a platform that will afford farmers to ask questions and get substantive responses

  12. Completing and sustaining IMS network for the CTBT Verification Regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meral Ozel, N.

    2015-12-01

    The CTBT International Monitoring System is to be comprised of 337 facilities located all over the world for the purpose of detecting and locating nuclear test explosions. Major challenges remain, namely the completion of the network where most of the remaining stations have either environmental, logistical and/or political issues to surmont (89% of the stations have already been built) and the sustainment of a reliable and state-of the-art network covering 4 technologies - seismic, infrasound , hydroacoustic and radionuclide. To have a credible and trustworthy verification system ready for entry into force of the Treaty, the CTBTO is protecting and enhancing its investment of its global network of stations and is providing effective data to the International Data Centre (IDC) and Member States. Regarding the protection of the CTBTO's investment and enhanced sustainment of IMS station operations, the IMS Division is enhancing the capabilities of the monitoring system by applying advances in instrumentation and introducing new software applications that are fit for purpose. Some examples are the development of noble gas laboratory systems to process and analyse subsoil samples, development of a mobile noble gas system for onsite inspection purposes, optimization of Beta Gamma detectors for Xenon detection, assessing and improving the efficiency of wind noise reduction systems for infrasound stations, development and testing of infrasound stations with a self-calibrating capability, and research into the use of modular designs for the hydroacoustic network.

  13. PEG-based degradable networks for drug delivery applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostroha, Jamie L.

    The controlled delivery of therapeutic agents by biodegradable hydrogels has become a popular mechanism for drug administration in recent years. Hydrogels are three-dimensional networks of polymer chains held together by crosslinks. Although the changes which the hydrogel undergoes in solution are important to a wide range of experimental studies, they have not been investigated systematically and the factors which influence the degree of swelling have not been adequately described. Hydrogels made of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) will generally resist degradation in aqueous conditions, while a hydrogel made from a copolymer of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and PEG will degrade via hydrolysis of the lactic acid group. This ability to degrade makes these hydrogels promising candidates for controlled release drug delivery systems. The goal of this research was to characterize the swelling and degradation of both degradable and non-degradable gels and to evaluate the release of different drugs from these hydrogels, where the key variable is the molecular weight of the PEG segment. These hydrogels were formed by the addition and subsequent chemically crosslinking of methacrylate end groups. During crosslinking, both PEG and LA-PEG-LA hydrogels of varied PEG molecular weight were loaded with Vitamin B12, Insulin, Haloperidol, and Dextran. It was shown that increasing PEG molecular weight produces a hydrogel with larger pores, thus increasing water uptake and degradation rate. While many environmental factors do not affect the swelling behavior, they do significantly impact the degradation of the hydrogel, and thus the release of incorporated therapeutic agents.

  14. Self-assembled pentablock copolymers for selective and sustained gene delivery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Bingqi [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2011-05-15

    The poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEM) - Pluronic F127 - PDEAEM pentablock copolymer (PB) gene delivery vector system has been found to possess an inherent selectivity in transfecting cancer cells over non-cancer cells in vitro, without attaching any targeting ligands. In order to understand the mechanism of this selective transfection, three possible intracellular barriers to transfection were investigated in both cancer and non-cancer cells. We concluded that escape from the endocytic pathway served as the primary intracellular barrier for PB-mediated transfection. Most likely, PB vectors were entrapped and rendered non-functional in acidic lysosomes of non-cancer cells, but survived in less acidic lysosomes of cancer cells. The work highlights the importance of identifying intracellular barriers for different gene delivery systems and provides a new paradigm for designing targeting vectors based on intracellular differences between cell types, rather than through the use of targeting ligands. The PB vector was further developed to simultaneously deliver anticancer drugs and genes, which showed a synergistic effect demonstrated by significantly enhanced gene expression in vitro. Due to the thermosensitive gelation behavior, the PB vector packaging both drug and gene was also investigated for its in vitro sustained release properties by using polyethylene glycol diacrylate as a barrier gel to mimic the tumor matrix in vivo. Overall, this work resulted in the development of a gene delivery vector for sustained and selective gene delivery to tumor cells for cancer therapy.

  15. Covalent modification of pericardial patches for sustained rapamycin delivery inhibits venous neointimal hyperplasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Hualong; Lee, Jung Seok; Chen, Elizabeth; Wang, Mo; Xing, Ying; Fahmy, Tarek M.; Dardik, Alan

    2017-01-01

    Prosthetic grafts and patches are commonly used in cardiovascular surgery, however neointimal hyperplasia remains a significant concern, especially under low flow conditions. We hypothesized that delivery of rapamycin from nanoparticles (NP) covalently attached to patches allows sustained site-specific delivery of therapeutic agents targeted to inhibit localized neointimal hyperplasia. NP were covalently linked to pericardial patches using EDC/NHS chemistry and could deliver at least 360 ng rapamycin per patch without detectable rapamycin in serum; nanoparticles were detectable in the liver, kidney and spleen but no other sites within 24 hours. In a rat venous patch angioplasty model, control patches developed robust neointimal hyperplasia on the patch luminal surface characterized by Eph-B4-positive endothelium and underlying SMC and infiltrating cells such as macrophages and leukocytes. Patches delivering rapamycin developed less neointimal hyperplasia, less smooth muscle cell proliferation, and had fewer infiltrating cells but retained endothelialization. NP covalently linked to pericardial patches are a novel composite delivery system that allows sustained site-specific delivery of therapeutics; NP delivering rapamycin inhibit patch neointimal hyperplasia. NP linked to patches may represent a next generation of tissue engineered cardiovascular implants.

  16. Dissolving and biodegradable microneedle technologies for transdermal sustained delivery of drug and vaccine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong X

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Xiaoyun Hong,1,2,* Liangming Wei,3,* Fei Wu,2,* Zaozhan Wu,2 Lizhu Chen,2 Zhenguo Liu,1 Weien Yuan2 1Department of Neurology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai, People's Republic of China; 2School of Pharmacy, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China; 3Research Institute of Micro/Nano Science and Technology, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Microneedles were first conceptualized for drug delivery many decades ago, overcoming the shortages and preserving the advantages of hypodermic needle and conventional transdermal drug-delivery systems to some extent. Dissolving and biodegradable microneedle technologies have been used for transdermal sustained deliveries of different drugs and vaccines. This review describes microneedle geometry and the representative dissolving and biodegradable microneedle delivery methods via the skin, followed by the fabricating methods. Finally, this review puts forward some perspectives that require further investigation. Keywords: microneedle, dissolving, biodegradable, sustained release

  17. Dynamic Business Networks: A Headache for Sustainable Systems Interoperability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostinho, Carlos; Jardim-Goncalves, Ricardo

    Collaborative networked environments emerged with the spread of the internet, contributing to overcome past communication barriers, and identifying interoperability as an essential property. When achieved seamlessly, efficiency is increased in the entire product life cycle. Nowadays, most organizations try to attain interoperability by establishing peer-to-peer mappings with the different partners, or in optimized networks, by using international standard models as the core for information exchange. In current industrial practice, mappings are only defined once, and the morphisms that represent them, are hardcoded in the enterprise systems. This solution has been effective for static environments, where enterprise and product models are valid for decades. However, with an increasingly complex and dynamic global market, models change frequently to answer new customer requirements. This paper draws concepts from the complex systems science and proposes a framework for sustainable systems interoperability in dynamic networks, enabling different organizations to evolve at their own rate.

  18. Transnational organizing: Issue professionals in environmental sustainability networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriksen, Lasse Folke; Seabrooke, Leonard

    2016-09-01

    An ongoing question for institutional theory is how organizing occurs transnationally, where institution building occurs in a highly ambiguous environment. This article suggests that at the core of transnational organizing is competition and coordination within professional and organizational networks over who controls issues. Transnational issues are commonly organized through professional battles over how issues are treated and what tasks are involved. These professional struggles are often more important than what organization has a formal mandate over an issue. We highlight how 'issue professionals' operate in two-level professional and organizational networks to control issues. This two-level network provides the context for action in which professionals do their institutional work. The two-level network carries information about professional incentives and also norms about how issues should be treated and governed by organizations. Using network and career sequences methods, we provide a case of transnational organizing through professionals who attempt issue control and network management on transnational environmental sustainability certification. The article questions how transnational organizing happens, and how we can best identify attempts at issue control.

  19. Lyophilized Silk Fibroin Hydrogels for the Sustained Local Delivery of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guziewicz, Nicholas; Best, Annie; Perez-Ramirez, Bernardo; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The development of sustained delivery systems compatible with protein therapeutics continues to be a significant unmet need. A lyophilized silk fibroin hydrogel matrix (lyogel) for the sustained release of pharmaceutically relevant monoclonal antibodies is described. Sonication of silk fibroin prior to antibody incorporation avoids exposing the antibody to the sol-gel transition inducing shear stress. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis showed no change in silk structural composition between hydrogel and lyogel or with increasing silk fibroin concentration. Antibody release from hydrogels occurred rapidly over 10 days regardless of silk concentration. Upon lyophilization, sustained antibody release was observed over 38 days from lyogels containing 6.2% (w/w) silk fibroin and above. In 3.2% (w/w) silk lyogels, antibody release was comparable to hydrogels. Swelling properties of lyogels followed a similar threshold behavior. Lyogels at 3.2% (w/w) silk recovered approximately 90% of their fluid mass upon rehydration, while approximately 50% fluid recovery was observed at 6.2% (w/w) silk and above. Antibody release was primarily governed by hydrophobic/hydrophilic silk-antibody interactions and secondarily altered by the hydration resistance of the lyogel. Hydration resistance was controlled by altering β-sheet (crystalline) density of the matrix. The antibody released from lyogels maintained biological activity. Silk lyogels offer an advantage as a delivery matrix over other hydrogel materials for the slow release of the loaded protein, making lyogels suitable for long-term sustained release applications. PMID:21216004

  20. Locality-Driven Parallel Static Analysis for Power Delivery Networks

    KAUST Repository

    Zeng, Zhiyu

    2011-06-01

    Large VLSI on-chip Power Delivery Networks (PDNs) are challenging to analyze due to the sheer network complexity. In this article, a novel parallel partitioning-based PDN analysis approach is presented. We use the boundary circuit responses of each partition to divide the full grid simulation problem into a set of independent subgrid simulation problems. Instead of solving exact boundary circuit responses, a more efficient scheme is proposed to provide near-exact approximation to the boundary circuit responses by exploiting the spatial locality of the flip-chip-type power grids. This scheme is also used in a block-based iterative error reduction process to achieve fast convergence. Detailed computational cost analysis and performance modeling is carried out to determine the optimal (or near-optimal) number of partitions for parallel implementation. Through the analysis of several large power grids, the proposed approach is shown to have excellent parallel efficiency, fast convergence, and favorable scalability. Our approach can solve a 16-million-node power grid in 18 seconds on an IBM p5-575 processing node with 16 Power5+ processors, which is 18.8X faster than a state-of-the-art direct solver. © 2011 ACM.

  1. A controlled and sustained local gentamicin delivery system for inner ear applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lei; Heldrich, Jonna; Wang, Haibo; Yamashita, Taku; Miyamoto, Shunsuke; Li, Andrew; Uboh, Cornelius E; You, Youwen; Bigelow, Douglas; Ruckenstein, Michael; O'Malley, Bert; Li, Daqing

    2010-09-01

    Intratympanic gentamicin injection (ITGI) has gained acceptance worldwide for the treatment of Ménière's disease. Reports assessing the efficacy of ITGI suffer from high variability between patients. This variability may be due to ITGI, which does not permit a sustained diffusion of gentamicin across the round window membrane. The present study investigates the effectiveness of a sustained local hydrogel system on the delivery of gentamicin into the inner ear for the treatment of Ménière's disease. A matrix of hydrogel loaded with/without gentamicin was explored in vivo. Gentamicin was applied to the ear of mice either through ITGI or in the hydrogel system. Pharmacokinetics, hearing, and balance function were examined to study how the hydrogel system affected the gentamicin delivery and inner ear functions. The 2 gentamicin delivery methods yielded different kinetics curves. The hydrogel system achieved sustained release during a 7-day period, with a flat plateau phase from Day 1 to Day 3 and slow descent in the subsequent days. The ITGI curve dramatically declined after the peak concentration at Day 1 and was almost eliminated by Day 3. The hydrogel system yielded noticeable balance dysfunction with no significant hearing changes. In contrast, ITGI exhibited no significant influences on the inner ear functions after applying the same dose of 40 kg of gentamicin. The hydrogel system established in this research allows for more sustained and consistent and efficient drug release than traditional ITGI for the transport of gentamicin into the inner ear, offering a new and exciting treatment of Ménière's disease.

  2. Synthesis and Design of a Sustainable CO2 Utilization Network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frauzem, Rebecca; Gani, Rafiqul

    In response to increasing regulations and concern about the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are targeted for reduction. One method is the conversion of CO2 to useful compounds via chemical reactions. However, conversion is still in its infancy...... processing block. CO2 conversion processes show promise as an additional method for the sustainable reduction of CO2 emissions....... a superstructure-based approach a network of utilization alternatives is created linking CO2 and other raw materials with various products using processing blocks. This will then be optimized and verified for sustainability. Detailed design has also been performed for a case study on the methanol synthesis...

  3. Design and performance of a sericin-alginate interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell and drug delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yeshun; Liu, Jia; Huang, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Although alginate hydrogels have been extensively studied for tissue engineering applications, their utilization is limited by poor mechanical strength, rapid drug release, and a lack of cell adhesive ability. Aiming to improve these properties, we employ the interpenetrating hydrogel design rationale. Using alginate and sericin (a natural protein with many unique properties and a major component of silkworm silk), we develop an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogel comprising interwoven sericin and alginate double networks. By adjusting the sericin-to-alginate ratios, IPNs’ mechanical strength can be adjusted to meet stiffness requirements for various tissue repairs. The IPNs with high sericin content show increased stability during degradation, avoiding pure alginate’s early collapse. These IPNs have high swelling ratios, benefiting various applications such as drug delivery. The IPNs sustain controlled drug release with the adjustable rates. Furthermore, these IPNs are adhesive to cells, supporting cell proliferation, long-term survival and migration. Notably, the IPNs inherit sericin’s photoluminescent property, enabling bioimaging in vivo. Together, our study indicates that the sericin-alginate IPN hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform for delivering cells and drugs, and suggests that sericin may be a building block broadly applicable for generating IPN networks with other biomaterials for diverse tissue engineering applications.

  4. Sustainability performance measurement with Analytic Network Process and balanced scorecard: Cuban practical case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Medel-González

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The recent years has arisen a global discussion in relation with how to incorporate sustainability at a business level. Corporate sustainability is a multidimensional concept, is the translation of Sustainable Development concept at a business level. Sustainability in organizations must be managed and assessed by decision makers, for that reason a multi-criteria sustainability performance measurement is necessary. The aim of this paper is combine different important tools that helps to make operative corporate sustainability and sustainability performance measurement in Cuban organizations. The combination of Sustainability Balanced Scorecard, multi-criteria decisions models like: Analytic Network Process, and Matrix of Sustainable Strategic Alignment, can help managers in sustainability performance measurement and assessment. The result of this paper focus in a Corporate Sustainability Measurement Network design as a first approach for further sustainability performance measurement systems development emphasizing in multi-criteria analysis.

  5. City networks collaboration and planning for health and sustainability

    CERN Document Server

    Migdalas, Athanasios; Rassia, Stamatina; Pardalos, Panos

    2017-01-01

    Sustainable development within urban and rural areas, transportation systems, logistics, supply chain management, urban health, social services, and architectural design are taken into consideration in the cohesive network models provided in this book. The ideas, methods, and models presented consider city landscapes and quality of life conditions based on mathematical network models and optimization. Interdisciplinary Works from prominent researchers in mathematical modeling, optimization, architecture, engineering, and physics are featured in this volume to promote health and well-being through design.   Specific topics include: -          Current technology that form the basis of future living in smart cities -          Interdisciplinary design and networking of large-scale urban systems  -          Network communication and route traffic optimization -          Carbon dioxide emission reduction -          Closed-loop logistics chain management and operation ...

  6. Big Social Network Data and Sustainable Economic Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umit Can

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available New information technologies have led to the rapid and effective growth of social networks. The amount of data produced by social networks has increased the value of the big data concept, which is one of the popular current phenomena. The immediate or unpredictable effects of a wide array of economic activities on large masses and the reactions to them can be measured by using social media platforms and big data methods. Thus, it would be extremely beneficial to analyze the harmful environmental and social impacts that are caused by unsustainable business applications. As social networks and big data are popular realms currently, their efficient use would be an important factor in sustainable economic development. Accurate analysis of people’s consumption habits and economic tendencies would provide significant advantages to companies. Moreover, unknown consumption factors that affect the economic preferences of individuals can be discovered and economic efficiency can be increased. This study shows that the numerous solution opportunities that are provided by social networks and big data have become significant tools in dynamic policy creation by companies and states, in solving problems related to women’s rights, the environment, and health.

  7. Sustainable strategies for nano-in-micro particle engineering for pulmonary delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, A. Sofia; Tavares, Márcia T.; Aguiar-Ricardo, Ana

    2014-11-01

    With the increasing popularity and refinement of inhalation therapy, there has been a huge demand for the design and development of fine-tuned inhalable drug particles capable of assuring an efficient delivery to the lungs with optimal therapeutic outcomes. To cope with this demand, novel particle technologies have arisen over the last decade agreeing with the progress of pulmonary therapeutics that were commonly given by injection. Nanotechnology holds a considerable potential in the development of new release mechanisms of active ingredients to the deep lungs. For an accurate deep lung deposition and effective delivery of nanoparticles, respirable nano-in-micro formulations have been extensively investigated. Microparticles with nanoscale features can now be developed, and their functionalities have contributed to stabilize and improve the efficacy of the particulated dosage form. This paper reviews the different types of the aerosolizable nano-in-micro particles, as well as their sustainable production and characterization processes as dry powders. This review also intends to provide a critical insight of the current goals and technologies of particle engineering for the development of pulmonary drug delivery systems with a special emphasis on nano-micro dry powder formulations prepared by spray-drying and supercritical fluid-assisted techniques. The merits and limitations of these technologies are debated with reference to their appliance to specific drug and/or excipient materials. Finally, a list of most recent/ongoing clinical trials regarding pulmonary delivery of this type of formulation is described.

  8. Characterization of cubosomes as a targeted and sustained transdermal delivery system for capsaicin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng X

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Xinsheng Peng,1* Yanfang Zhou,1* Ke Han,2,3 Lingzhen Qin,3 Linghui Dian,1 Ge Li,4 Xin Pan,3 Chuanbin Wu3 1Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, 2The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, 3School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, 4Guangzhou Neworld Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Phytantriol- and glycerol monooleate-based cubosomes were produced and characterized as a targeted and sustained transdermal delivery system for capsaicin. The cubosomes were prepared by emulsification and homogenization of phytantriol (F1, glycerol monooleate (F2, and poloxamer dispersions, characterized for morphology and particle size distribution by transmission electron microscope and photon correlation spectroscopy. Their Im3m crystallographic space group was confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering. An in vitro release study showed that the cubosomes provided a sustained release system for capsaicin. An in vitro diffusion study conducted using Franz diffusion cells indicated that the skin retention of capsaicin from cubosomes in the stratum corneum was much higher (2.75±0.22 µg versus 4.32±0.13 µg, respectively than that of capsaicin cream (0.72±0.13 µg. The stress testing showed that the cubosome formulations were stable under strong light and high temperature for up to 10 days. After multiapplications on mouse skin, the irritation of capsaicin cubosomes and cream was light with the least amount of side effects. Overall, the present study demonstrated that cubosomes may be a suitable skin-targeted and sustained delivery system for the transdermal administration of capsaicin. Keywords: cubosomes, skin-targeted delivery, capsaicin

  9. Boredom, sustained attention and the default mode network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danckert, James; Merrifield, Colleen

    2016-03-15

    Boredom is a ubiquitous human experience that can best be described as an inability to engage with one's environment despite the motivation to do so. Boredom is perceived as a negative experience and demonstrates strong associations with other negatively valenced states including depression and aggression. Although boredom has been shown to be elevated in neurological and psychiatric illnesses, little is known about the neural underpinnings of the state. We scanned the brains of healthy participants under four separate conditions: a resting state scan, a sustained attention task and two video-based mood inductions, one known to produce boredom and another we validated to produce a state of interest or engagement. Using independent components analyses, results showed common regions of correlated activation in posterior regions of the so-called default mode network (DMN) of the brain across all four conditions. The sustained attention and boredom induction scans were differentiated from the resting state scan by the presence of anticorrelated activity-i.e. when DMN regions were active, this region was deactivated-in the anterior insula cortex. This same region demonstrated correlated activity with both the DMN and the regions associated with attentional control during the interest mood induction. We interpret these findings to suggest that boredom represents a failure to engage executive control networks when faced with a monotonous task-in other words, when the task demands some level of engagement (watch the movie, search for infrequent targets), but is so mundane that attempts to do so fail.

  10. Cortical networks for working memory and executive functions sustain the conscious resting state in man.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazoyer, B; Zago, L; Mellet, E; Bricogne, S; Etard, O; Houdé, O; Crivello, F; Joliot, M; Petit, L; Tzourio-Mazoyer, N

    2001-02-01

    The cortical anatomy of the conscious resting state (REST) was investigated using a meta-analysis of nine positron emission tomography (PET) activation protocols that dealt with different cognitive tasks but shared REST as a common control state. During REST, subjects were in darkness and silence, and were instructed to relax, refrain from moving, and avoid systematic thoughts. Each protocol contrasted REST to a different cognitive task consisting either of language, mental imagery, mental calculation, reasoning, finger movement, or spatial working memory, using either auditory, visual or no stimulus delivery, and requiring either vocal, motor or no output. A total of 63 subjects and 370 spatially normalized PET scans were entered in the meta-analysis. Conjunction analysis revealed a network of brain areas jointly activated during conscious REST as compared to the nine cognitive tasks, including the bilateral angular gyrus, the left anterior precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, the left medial frontal and anterior cingulate cortex, the left superior and medial frontal sulcus, and the left inferior frontal cortex. These results suggest that brain activity during conscious REST is sustained by a large scale network of heteromodal associative parietal and frontal cortical areas, that can be further hierarchically organized in an episodic working memory parieto-frontal network, driven in part by emotions, working under the supervision of an executive left prefrontal network.

  11. Sustaining a Global Social Network: a quasi-experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, D C; Ferguson, S L

    2017-03-01

    To examine the longer term impact on the social network of participating nurses in the Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI2013) through using differing frequencies of follow-up to assess impact on maintenance of network cohesion. Social network analysis is increasingly been used by nurse researchers, however, studies tend to use single point-in-time descriptive methods. This study utilizes a repeated measures, block group, control-intervention, quasi-experimental design. Twenty-eight nurse leaders, competitively selected through a double-blind peer review process, were allocated to five action learning-based learning groups. Network architecture, measures of cohesion and node degree frequency were all used to assess programme impact. The programme initiated and sustained connections between nurse leaders drawn from a geographically dispersed heterogeneous group. Modest inputs of two to three e-mails over a 6-month period seem sufficient to maintain connectivity as indicated by measures of network density, diameter and path length. Due to the teaching methodology used, the study sample was relatively small and the follow-up data collection took place after a relatively short time. Replication and further cohort data collection would be advantageous. In an era where many policy solutions are being debated and initiated at the global level, action learning leadership development that utilizes new technology follow-up appears to show significant impact and is worthy of wider application. The approach warrants further inquiry and testing as to its longer term effects on nursing's influence on policy formulation and implementation. © 2016 International Council of Nurses.

  12. Development of PEGylated PLGA nanoparticle for controlled and sustained drug delivery in cystic fibrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mazur Steven

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR gene results in CF. The most common mutation, ΔF508-CFTR, is a temperature-sensitive, trafficking mutant with reduced chloride transport and exaggerated immune response. The ΔF508-CFTR is misfolded, ubiquitinated, and prematurely degraded by proteasome mediated- degradation. We recently demonstrated that selective inhibition of proteasomal pathway by the FDA approved drug PS-341 (pyrazylcarbonyl-Phe-Leuboronate, a.k.a. Velcade or bortezomib ameliorates the inflammatory pathophysiology of CF cells. This proteasomal drug is an extremely potent, stable, reversible and selective inhibitor of chymotryptic threonine protease-activity. The apprehension in considering the proteasome as a therapeutic target is that proteasome inhibitors may affect proteostasis and consecutive processes. The affect on multiple processes can be mitigated by nanoparticle mediated PS-341 lung-delivery resulting in favorable outcome observed in this study. Results To overcome this challenge, we developed a nano-based approach that uses drug loaded biodegradable nanoparticle (PLGA-PEGPS-341 to provide controlled and sustained drug delivery. The in vitro release kinetics of drug from nanoparticle was quantified by proteasomal activity assay from days 1-7 that showed slow drug release from day 2-7 with maximum inhibition at day 7. For in vivo release kinetics and biodistribution, these drug-loaded nanoparticles were fluorescently labeled, and administered to C57BL6 mice by intranasal route. Whole-body optical imaging of the treated live animals demonstrates efficient delivery of particles to murine lungs, 24 hrs post treatment, followed by biodegradation and release over time, day 1-11. The efficacy of drug release in CF mice (Cftr-/- lungs was determined by quantifying the changes in proteasomal activity (~2 fold decrease and ability to rescue the Pseudomonas aeruginosa LPS (Pa

  13. Reputation-Based Colluder Detection Schemes for Peer-to-Peer Content Delivery Networks

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    ABDULLAH, Ervianto; FUJITA, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Recently Peer-to-Peer Content Delivery Networks (P2P CDNs) have attracted considerable attention as a cost-effective way to disseminate digital contents to paid users in a scalable and dependable manner...

  14. Levels of sirolimus in saliva and blood following oral topical sustained-release varnish delivery system application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nudelman, Zakhar; Findler, Mordechai; Barasch, Dinorah; Nemirovski, Alina; Pikovsky, Anna; Kirmayer, David; Basheer, Maamoun; Gutkind, J Silvio; Friedman, Michael; Czerninski, Rakefet

    2015-05-01

    Sirolimus (rapamycin) is a mammalian target of rapamycin pathway blocker. The efficacy of sirolimus is currently studied for its antiproliferative properties in various malignancies and particularly in squamous cell carcinoma and other oral disorders. Topical application at the oral cavity can augment sirolimus availability at the site of action by increasing sirolimus levels in saliva and hence efficacy, along with improved safety (low levels in the blood to avoid side effects) and compliance. Our purpose was to evaluate the release profile and safety of a topical sirolimus sustained-release varnish drug delivery system. Sirolimus sustained-release varnish drug delivery system containing a total of 0.5 mg of the drug was applied to nine healthy male volunteers. Saliva and blood levels were determined utilizing mass spectrometry and chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay, respectively. The prolonged release profile and safety were evaluated for the oral topical delivery system. After the application of the drug delivery system, a sustained-release profile was observed in the oral cavity. We have measured moderate sirolimus levels for up to 12 h. The safety was confirmed, and systemic sirolimus blood levels were negligible. After an application of sirolimus sustained-release varnish drug delivery system, prolonged drug levels can be achieved in the saliva. The oral topical sirolimus concentrations were potentially therapeutic along with minimal systemic exposure. These results broaden the potential clinical use of sustained-release oral topical rapalogs.

  15. Prospect Theory for Enhanced Cyber-Physical Security of Drone Delivery Systems: A Network Interdiction Game

    OpenAIRE

    Sanjab, Anibal; Saad, Walid; Başar, Tamer

    2017-01-01

    The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as delivery systems of online goods is rapidly becoming a global norm, as corroborated by Amazon's "Prime Air" and Google's "Project Wing" projects. However, the real-world deployment of such drone delivery systems faces many cyber-physical security challenges. In this paper, a novel mathematical framework for analyzing and enhancing the security of drone delivery systems is introduced. In this regard, a zero-sum network interdiction game is formulat...

  16. Sustained delivery of VEGF from designer self-assembling peptides improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Hai-dong [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China); Cui, Guo-hong; Yang, Jia-jun [Department of Neurology, Shanghai No. 6 People' s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200233 (China); Wang, Cun [Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032 (China); Zhu, Jing; Zhang, Li-sheng; Jiang, Jun [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China); Shao, Shui-jin, E-mail: shaoshuijin@163.com [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China)

    2012-07-20

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The designer peptide LRKKLGKA could self-assemble into nanofibers. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of LRKKLGKA peptides could promote the sustained delivery of VEGF. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides lead to sufficient angiogenesis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides improves heart function. -- Abstract: Poor vascularization and insufficient oxygen supply are detrimental to the survival of residual cardiomyocytes or transplanted stem cells after myocardial infarction. To prolong and slow the release of angiogenic factors, which stimulate both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, we constructed a novel self-assembling peptide by attaching the heparin-binding domain sequence LRKKLGKA to the self-assembling peptide RADA16. This designer self-assembling peptide self-assembled into nanofiber scaffolds under physiological conditions, as observed by atomic force microscopy. The injection of designer self-assembling peptides can efficiently provide the sustained delivery of VEGF for at least 1 month. At 4 weeks after transplantation, cardiac function was improved, and scar size and collagen deposition were markedly reduced in the group receiving VEGF with the LRKKLGKA scaffolds compared with groups receiving VEGF alone, LRKKLGKA scaffolds alone or VEGF with RADA16 scaffolds. The microvessel density in the VEGF with LRKKLGKA group was higher than that in the VEGF with RADA16 group. TUNEL and cleaved caspase-3 expression assays showed that the transplantation of VEGF with LRKKLGKA enhanced cell survival in the infarcted heart. These results present the tailor-made peptide scaffolds as a new generation of sustained-release biomimetic biomaterials and suggest that the use of angiogenic factors along with designer self-assembling peptides can lead to myocardial protection, sufficient angiogenesis, and improvement in cardiac function.

  17. Level-2 Milestone 6007: Sierra Early Delivery System Deployed to Secret Restricted Network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bertsch, A. D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-09-06

    This report documents the delivery and installation of Shark, a CORAL Sierra early delivery system deployed on the LLNL SRD network. Early ASC program users have run codes on the machine in support of application porting for the final Sierra system which will be deployed at LLNL in CY2018. In addition to the SRD resource, Shark, unclassified resources, Rzmanta and Ray, have been deployed on the LLNL Restricted Zone and Collaboration Zone networks in support of application readiness for the Sierra platform.

  18. Riparian Sediment Delivery Ratio: Stiff Diagrams and Artifical Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Various methods are used to estimate sediment transport through riparian buffers and grass jilters with the sediment delivery ratio having been the most widely applied. The U.S. Forest Service developed a sediment delivery ratio using the stiff diagram and a logistic curve to int...

  19. Networking for Education for Sustainable Development in Austria: The Austrian ECOLOG-Schools Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, Franz

    2016-01-01

    This case describes networking for education for sustainable development within the Austrian ECOLOG-schools network. The article presents theoretical concepts of networks in education in general, and the organization of the ECOLOG-network in particular. Based upon these foundations, the concept and results of a participatory evaluation study are…

  20. Polymeric microparticles for sustained and local delivery of antiCD40 and antiCTLA-4 in immunotherapy of cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rahimian, Sima; Fransen, Marieke F.; Kleinovink, Jan Willem; Amidi, Maryam; Ossendorp, Ferry; Hennink, Wim E.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the feasibility of the use of polymeric microparticles for sustained and local delivery of immunomodulatory antibodies in immunotherapy of cancer. Local delivery of potent immunomodulatory antibodies avoids unwanted systemic side effects while retaining their anti-tumor

  1. Sustainability governance of chains and networks: a review and future outlook

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bush, S.R.; Oosterveer, P.J.M.; Bailey, M.L.; Mol, A.P.J.

    2015-01-01

    This paper reviews the extent to which sustainability governance has been integrated into the literature on sustainable chains and networks. The analysis brings together four main approaches to chains and network studies – supply chain management (SCM), global commodity chains (GCC), global value

  2. Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) promotes sustained access to digital research data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Berchum, M.; Kraaikamp, Emilie

    2015-01-01

    Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) promotes sustained access to digital research data. For this purpose, DANS encourages researchers to archive and reuse data in a sustained form. In the online archiving system EASY research data is stored in a permanent and sustainable manner, according

  3. Sustainable and Resilient Garment Supply Chain Network Design with Fuzzy Multi-Objectives under Uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Irshad Mari

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Researchers and practitioners are taking more interest in developing sustainable garment supply chains in recent times. On the other hand, the supply chain manager drops sustainability objectives while coping with unexpected natural and man-made disruption risks. Hence, supply chain managers are now trying to develop sustainable supply chains that are simultaneously resilient enough to cope with disruption risks. Owing to the importance of the considered issue, this study proposed a network optimization model for a sustainable and resilient supply chain network by considering sustainability via embodied carbon footprints and carbon emissions and resilience by considering resilience index. In this paper, initially, a possibilistic fuzzy multi-objective sustainable and resilient supply chain network model is developed for the garment industry considering economic, sustainable, and resilience objectives. Secondly, a possibilistic fuzzy linguistic weight-based interactive solution method is proposed. Finally, a numerical case example is presented to show the applicability of the proposed model and solution methodology.

  4. Constraints in animal health service delivery and sustainable improvement alternatives in North Gondar, Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassen Kebede

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Poor livestock health services remain one of the main constraints to livestock production in many developing countries, including Ethiopia. A study was carried out in 11 districts of North Gondar, from December 2011 to September 2012, with the objective of identifying the existing status and constraints of animal health service delivery, and thus recommending possible alternatives for its sustainable improvement. Data were collected by using pre-tested questionnaires and focus group discussion. Findings revealed that 46.34% of the responding farmers had taken their animals to government veterinary clinics after initially trying treatments with local medication. More than 90.00% of the clinical cases were diagnosed solely on clinical signs or even history alone. The antibacterial drugs found in veterinary clinics were procaine penicillin (with or without streptomycin, oxytetracycline and sulphonamides, whilst albendazole, tetramisole and ivermectin were the only anthelmintics. A thermometer was the only clinical aid available in all clinics, whilst only nine (45.00% clinics had a refrigerator. In the private sector, almost 95.00% were retail veterinary pharmacies and only 41.20% fulfilled the requirement criteria set. Professionals working in the government indicated the following problems: lack of incentives (70.00%, poor management and lack of awareness (60.00% and inadequate budget (40.00%. For farmers, the most frequent problems were failure of private practitioners to adhere to ethical procedures (74.00% and lack of knowledge of animal diseases and physical distance from the service centre (50.00%. Of all responding farmers, 58.54% preferred the government service, 21.14% liked both services equally and 20.33% preferred the private service. Farmers’ indiscriminate use of drugs from the black market (23.00% was also mentioned as a problem by private practitioners. Sustainable improvement of animal health service delivery needs increased

  5. Tailor-Made Pentablock Copolymer Based Formulation for Sustained Ocular Delivery of Protein Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulabh P. Patel

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research article is to report the synthesis and evaluation of novel pentablock copolymers for controlled delivery of macromolecules in the treatment of posterior segment diseases. Novel biodegradable PB copolymers were synthesized by sequential ring-opening polymerization. Various ratios and molecular weights of each block (polyglycolic acid, polyethylene glycol, polylactic acid, and polycaprolactone were selected for synthesis and to optimize release profile of FITC-BSA, IgG, and bevacizumab from nanoparticles (NPs and thermosensitive gel. NPs were characterized for particle size, polydispersity, entrapment efficiency, and drug loading. In vitro release study of proteins from NPs alone and composite formulation (NPs suspended in thermosensitive gel was performed. Composite formulations demonstrated no or negligible burst release with continuous near zero-order release in contrast to NPs alone. Hydrodynamic diameter of protein therapeutics and hydrophobicity of PB copolymer exhibited significant effect on entrapment efficiency and in vitro release profile. CD spectroscopy confirmed retention of structural conformation of released protein. Biological activity of released bevacizumab was confirmed by in vitro cell proliferation and cell migration assays. It can be concluded that novel PB polymers can serve a platform for sustained delivery of therapeutic proteins.

  6. Expanding delivery system research in public health settings: lessons from practice-based research networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mays, Glen P; Hogg, Rachel A

    2012-11-01

    Delivery system research to identify how best to organize, finance, and implement health improvement strategies has focused heavily on clinical practice settings, with relatively little attention paid to public health settings-where research is made more difficult by wide heterogeneity in settings and limited sources of existing data and measures. This study examines the approaches used by public health practice-based research networks (PBRNs) to expand delivery system research and evidence-based practice in public health settings. Practice-based research networks employ quasi-experimental research designs, natural experiments, and mixed-method analytic techniques to evaluate how community partnerships, economic shocks, and policy changes impact delivery processes in public health settings. In addition, network analysis methods are used to assess patterns of interaction between practitioners and researchers within PBRNs to produce and apply research findings. Findings from individual PBRN studies elucidate the roles of information exchange, community resources, and leadership and decision-making structures in shaping implementation outcomes in public health delivery. Network analysis of PBRNs reveals broad engagement of both practitioners and researchers in scientific inquiry, with practitioners in the periphery of these networks reporting particularly large benefits from research participation. Public health PBRNs provide effective mechanisms for implementing delivery system research and engaging practitioners in the process. These networks also hold promise for accelerating the translation and application of research findings into public health settings.

  7. Development of polyether urethane intravaginal rings for the sustained delivery of hydroxychloroquine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Y

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Yufei Chen,1 Yannick Leandre Traore,1 Amanda Li,1 Keith R Fowke,2,3 Emmanuel A Ho1 1Laboratory for Drug Delivery and Biomaterials, Faculty of Pharmacy, 2Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 3Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada Abstract: Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ has been shown to demonstrate anti-­inflammatory properties and direct anti-HIV activity. In this study, we describe for the first time the fabrication and in vitro evaluation of two types of intravaginal ring (IVR devices (a surfaced-modified matrix IVR and a reservoir segmental IVR for achieving sustained delivery (>14 days of HCQ as a strategy for preventing male-to-female transmission of HIV. Both IVRs were fabricated by hot-melt injection molding. Surface-modified matrix IVRs with polyvinylpyrrolidone or poly(vinyl alcohol coatings exhibited significantly reduced burst release on the first day (6.45% and 15.72% reduction, respectively. Reservoir IVR segments designed to release lower amounts of HCQ displayed near-zero-order release kinetics with an average release rate of 28.38 µg/mL per day for IVRs loaded with aqueous HCQ and 32.23 µg/mL per day for IVRs loaded with HCQ mixed with a rate-controlling excipient. Stability studies demonstrated that HCQ was stable in coated or noncoated IVRs for 30 days. The IVR segments had no significant effect on cell viability, pro-inflammatory cytokine production, or colony formation of vaginal and ectocervical epithelial cells. Both IVR systems may be suitable for the prevention of HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted infections. Keywords: intravaginal delivery, matrix system, reservoir system, polymeric drug carrier, drug release, microbicide, HIV/AIDS

  8. Dual Cross-Linked Carboxymethyl Sago Pulp-Gelatine Complex Coacervates for Sustained Drug Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saravanan Muniyandy

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the present work, we report for the first time the complex coacervation of carboxymethyl sago pulp (CMSP with gelatine for sustained drug delivery. Toluene saturated with glutaraldehyde and aqueous aluminum chloride was employed as cross-linkers. Measurements of zeta potential confirm neutralization of two oppositely charged colloids due to complexation, which was further supported by infrared spectroscopy. The coacervates encapsulated a model drug ibuprofen and formed microcapsules with a loading of 29%–56% w/w and an entrapment efficiency of 85%–93% w/w. Fresh coacervates loaded with drug had an average diameter of 10.8 ± 1.93 µm (n = 3 ± s.d.. The coacervates could encapsulate only the micronized form of ibuprofen in the absence of surfactant. Analysis through an optical microscope evidenced the encapsulation of the drug in wet spherical coacervates. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the non-spherical geometry and surface roughness of dried drug-loaded microcapsules. X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and thermal analysis confirmed intact and crystalline ibuprofen in the coacervates. Gas chromatography indicated the absence of residual glutaraldehyde in the microcapsules. Dual cross-linked microcapsules exhibited a slower release than mono-cross-linked microcapsules and could sustain the drug release over the period of 6 h following Fickian diffusion.

  9. Engineered Hydrogels for Local and Sustained Delivery of RNA-Interference Therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Leo L; Burdick, Jason A

    2017-01-01

    It has been nearly two decades since RNA-interference (RNAi) was first reported. While there are no approved clinical uses, several phase II and III clinical trials suggest the great promise of RNAi therapeutics. One challenge for RNAi therapies is the controlled localization and sustained presentation to target tissues, to both overcome systemic toxicity concerns and to enhance in vivo efficacy. One approach that is emerging to address these limitations is the entrapment of RNAi molecules within hydrogels for local and sustained release. In these systems, nucleic acids are either delivered as siRNA conjugates or within nanoparticles. A plethora of hydrogels has been implemented using these approaches, including both traditional hydrogels that have already been developed for other applications and new hydrogels developed specifically for RNAi delivery. These hydrogels have been applied to various applications in vivo, including cancer, bone regeneration, inflammation and cardiac repair. This review will examine the design and implementation of such hydrogel RNAi systems and will cover the most recent applications of these systems. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Preparation and Evaluation of Dexamethasone-Loaded Electrospun Nanofiber Sheets as a Sustained Drug Delivery System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Woo Lee

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Recently, electrospinning technology has been widely used as a processing method to make nanofiber sheets (NS for biomedical applications because of its unique features, such as ease of fabrication and high surface area. To develop a sustained dexamethasone (Dex delivery system, in this work, poly(ε-caprolactone-co-l-lactide (PCLA copolymer with controllable biodegradability was synthesized and further utilized to prepare electrospun Dex-loaded NS using water-insoluble Dex (Dex(b or water-soluble Dex (Dex(s. The Dex-NS obtained by electrospinning exhibited randomly oriented and interconnected fibrillar structures. The in vitro and in vivo degradation of Dex-NS was confirmed over a period of a few weeks by gel permeation chromatography (GPC and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR. The evaluation of in vitro and in vivo Dex(b and Dex(s release from Dex-NS showed an initial burst of Dex(b at day 1 and, thereafter, almost the same amount of release as Dex(b for up to 28 days. In contrast, Dex(s-NS exhibited a small initial burst of Dex(s and a first-order releasing profile from Dex-NS. In conclusion, Dex-NS exhibited sustained in vitro and in vivo Dex(s release for a prolonged period, as well as controlled biodegradation of the NS over a defined treatment period.

  11. Microparticles Produced by the Hydrogel Template Method for Sustained Drug Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ying; Sturek, Michael; Park, Kinam

    2014-01-01

    Polymeric microparticles have been used widely for sustained drug delivery. Current methods of microparticle production can be improved by making homogeneous particles in size and shape, increasing the drug loading, and controlling the initial burst release. In the current study, the hydrogel template method was used to produce homogeneous poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microparticles and to examine formulation and process-related parameters. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) was used to make hydrogel templates. The parameters examined include PVA molecular weight, type of PLGA (as characterized by lactide content, inherent viscosity), polymer concentration, drug concentration and composition of solvent system. Three model compounds studied were risperidone, methylprednisolone acetate and paclitaxel. The ability of the hydrogel template method to produce microparticles with good conformity to template was dependent on molecular weight of PVA and viscosity of the PLGA solution. Drug loading and encapsulation efficiency were found to be influenced by PLGA lactide content, polymer concentration and composition of the solvent system. The drug loading and encapsulation efficiency were 28.7% and 82% for risperidone, 31.5% and 90% for methylprednisolone acetate, and 32.2 % and 92 % for paclitaxel, respectively. For all three drugs, release was sustained for weeks, and the in vitro release profile of risperidone was comparable to that of microparticles prepared using the conventional emulsion method. The hydrogel template method provides a new approach of manipulating microparticles. PMID:24333903

  12. FFT-based Network Coding For Peer-To-Peer Content Delivery

    OpenAIRE

    Soro, Alexandre; Lacan, Jérôme

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a structured peer-to-peer (P2P) distribution scheme based on Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) graphs. We build a peer-to-peer network that reproduces the FFT graph initially designed for hardware FFT codecs. This topology allows content delivery with a maximum diversity level for a minimum global complexity. The resulting FFT-based network is a structured architecture with an adapted network coding that brings flexibility upon content distribution and robustness upon the...

  13. Research collaboration in the discovery, development, and delivery networks of a statewide cancer coalition

    OpenAIRE

    Provan, Keith G; Leischow, Scott J.; Keagy, Judith; Nodora, Jesse

    2009-01-01

    This study examines and evaluates collaborative network involvement among 18 organizations within the Arizona Cancer Coalition. All were involved in one or more of three types of research activity: discovery, development, and delivery, consistent with the 3D continuum developed by the National Cancer Institute. Data were collected in 2007 using surveys of key informants in each organization. Using network analysis methods, we examined the structure of each type of network as well as the relat...

  14. Research collaboration in the discovery, development, and delivery networks of a statewide cancer coalition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provan, Keith G; Leischow, Scott J; Keagy, Judith; Nodora, Jesse

    2010-11-01

    This study examines and evaluates collaborative network involvement among 18 organizations within the Arizona Cancer Coalition. All were involved in one or more of three types of research activity: discovery, development, and delivery, consistent with the 3D continuum developed by the National Cancer Institute. Data were collected in 2007 using surveys of key informants in each organization. Using network analysis methods, we examined the structure of each type of network as well as the relationship between network position and the importance of cancer research to each organization's mission. Findings indicated that while both the discovery and delivery networks were comparably densely connected, their centrality structures were quite different. In contrast, the structures of both these networks were similar to the development network. Centrality in the discovery and development networks was positively related to the importance of cancer research to the organization, but not in the delivery network. Implications of the findings for future research, policy, and planning are discussed. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Retention of in vitro and in vivo BMP-2 bioactivities in sustained delivery vehicles for bone tissue engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kempen, Diederik H. R.; Lu, Lichun; Hefferan, Teresa E.; Creemers, Laura B.; Maran, Avudaiappan; Classic, Kelly L.; Dhert, Wouter J. A.; Yaszemski, Michael J.

    In this study, we investigated the in vitro and in vivo biological activities of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) released from four sustained delivery vehicles for bone regeneration. BMP-2 was incorporated into (1) a gelatin hydrogel, (2) poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres

  16. Taste masking of ofloxacin and formation of interpenetrating polymer network beads for sustained release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Michael Rajesh

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to carry out taste masking of ofloxacin (Ofl by ion exchange resins (IERs followed by sustained release of Ofl by forming interpenetrating polymer network (IPN beads. Drug-resin complexes (DRCs with three different ratios of Ofl to IERs (1:1, 1:2, 1:4 were prepared by batch method and investigated for in vivo and in vitro taste masking. DRC of methacrylic acid-divinyl benzene (MD resin and Ofl prepared at a ratio of 1:4 was used to form IPN beads. IPN beads of MD 1:4 were prepared by following the ionic cross-linking method using sodium carboxymethyl xanthan gum (SCMXG and SCMXG-sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (SCMXG-SCMC. IPN beads were characterized with FT-IR and further studied on sustained release of Ofl at different pH. In vivo taste masking carried out by human volunteers showed that MD 1:4 significantly reduced the bitterness of Ofl. Characterization studies such as FT-IR, DSC, P-XRD and taste masking showed that complex formation took place between drug and resin. In vitro study at gastric pH showed complete release of drug from MD 1:4 within 30 min whereas IPN beads took 5 h at gastric pH and 10 h at salivary pH for the complete release of drug. As the crosslinking increased the release kinetics changed into non-Fickian diffusion to zero-order release mechanism. MD 1:4 showed better performance for the taste masking of Ofl and IPNs beads prepared from it were found useful for the sustained release of Ofl at both the pH, indicating a versatile drug delivery system.

  17. Project configured supply networks: Governance of delivery and failures in operations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koch, Christian

    2008-01-01

      Supply networks in complex B2B- construction deliver knowledge, materials, components, subsystems, competences, workforce and management. The delivery network and its governance forms are partly permanent, partly project specific. Integration upstream varies by project, constituting a range...... as theoretical frame. The case study is a Danish architectural, engineering and construction supply network for one building project. The governance forms found were; internal integration and hierarchy, SCM-efforts, subsystem deliveries, and contracting per project. There was a very uneven upstream integration......; Three engineering design areas were integrated with production and even the client. The architectural design is the most 'clear-cut' singular, whereas the supplies of pre-cast concrete core, elevator and kitchen were integrated knowledge, material, workforce and management subsystem deliveries. 160...

  18. Formulating nanoparticles by flash nanoprecipitation for drug delivery and sustained release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ying

    This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the process for generating nanoparticles with controlled size distribution and of predicting nanoparticle stability for drug delivery and sustained release. We developed and characterized a novel technology to generate organic and inorganic nanoparticles protected by biocompatible and biodegradable polymers with precisely controlled size and size distribution. Computational fluid mechanics (CFD) together with experimental results provided details of the micromixing in the mixer. The particle size dependence on Reynolds number and supersaturation was illustrated. The study of the fundamental mass transfer phenomena leading to Ostwald ripening enables quantitative prediction of the time evolution of nanoparticles with monodistribution and relatively broader multi-distribution using beta-carotene and polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) as a model system. Negatively charged latex particles were used to exam the attachment of the diblock copolymer, PS-b-PEO, on the surface. The stability provided by the Columbic repulsion was replaced by steric stabilization. The attachment of the block copolymers on the surface of the colloids depends on the flow field, i.e. Reynolds number, of the mixing process. The slow degradation of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(gamma-methyl-epsilon-caprolactone) (PMCL) was demonstrated. The slow degradation ensures long-term stability and long-term blood circulation of the polymeric nanoparticles. As a practical application, we formulate the anti-tuberculosis drug, rifampicin, into nanoparticles by conjugation to other hydrophobic molecules (such as vitamin E, PCL and 2-ethylhexyl vinyl ether) by pH sensitive cleavable chemical bonds to increase the drug loading, return stability of the nanoparticle suspension, and control drug release. The in vitro release profiles were provided by using HPLC and E.coli growth inhibition on LB agar plates. The prodrug nanoparticle

  19. Energy Level Performance of Packet Delivery Schemes in Wireless Sensor Networks in Shadowed Channel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnab NANDI

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper evaluates energy level performance of three packet delivery schemes in a Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN in shadowed channel. Three different information delivery mechanisms are investigated using regenerative relays with or without error correction capability. Energy consumption for successful delivery of a data packet for each mechanism is evaluated and compared under several conditions of node density, bit rate, transmit power etc. Energy efficiency of different retransmission schemes is evaluated. Further an optimal packet length based on energy efficiency is derived. Impact of different level of severity of shadowing on energy consumption is also investigated. Further impact of fixed and optimal packet size on energy consumption is analyzed.

  20. Natural gums as sustained release carriers: development of gastroretentive drug delivery system of ziprasidone HCl

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AJ Rajamma

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Objective of this study is to show the potential use of natural gums in the development of drug delivery systems. Therefore in this work gastro retentive tablet formulations of ziprasidone HCl were developed using simplex lattice design considering concentration of okra gum, locust bean gum and HPMC K4M as independent variables. A response surface plot and multiple regression equations were used to evaluate the effect of independent variables on hardness, flag time, floating time and drug release for 1 h, 2 h, and 8 h and for 24 h. A checkpoint batch was also prepared by considering the constraints and desirability of optimized formulation to improve its in vitro performance. Significance of result was analyzed using ANOVA and p was considered statistically significant. Results Formulation chiefly contains locust bean gum found to be favorable for hardness and floatability but combined effect of three variables was responsible for the sustained release of drug. The in vitro drug release data of check point batch (F8 was found to be sustained well compared to the most satisfactory formulation (F7 of 7 runs. The ‘n’ value was found to be between 0.5 and 1 suggesting that release of drug follows anomalous (non-fickian diffusion mechanism indicating both diffusion and erosion mechanism from these natural gums. Predicted results were almost similar to the observed experimental values indicating the accuracy of the design. In vivo floatability test indicated non adherence to the gastric mucosa and tablets remain buoyant for more than 24 h. Conclusions Study showed these eco-friendly natural gums can be considered as promising SR polymers.

  1. Building Rural Surgical Networks: An Evidence-Based Approach to Service Delivery and Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornelsen, Jude; Friesen, Randy

    2016-08-01

    Formalized rural health service delivery networks are emerging as an over-arching response to the attrition of rural surgical and maternity services in Canada. In effective networks, there is strong collaborative leadership, form follows function, core network elements are identified and site-specific variations are accommodated to meet the surgical needs of the population in each geographic catchment. The network catchment must reflect the natural alliances that already exist among health professionals, policy makers, health administrators, academic institutions and communities. Although each key stakeholder plays a key role in determining success, value is added through the synergistic interplay of all participants. Copyright © 2016 Longwoods Publishing.

  2. Leveraging Educational, Research and Facility Expertise to Improve Global Seismic Monitoring: Preparing a Guide on Sustainable Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nybade, A.; Aster, R.; Beck, S.; Ekstrom, G.; Fischer, K.; Lerner-Lam, A.; Meltzer, A.; Sandvol, E.; Willemann, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Building a sustainable earthquake monitoring system requires well-informed cooperation between commercial companies that manufacture components or deliver complete systems and the government or other agencies that will be responsible for operating them. Many nations or regions with significant earthquake hazard lack the financial, technical, and human resources to establish and sustain permanent observatory networks required to return the data needed for hazard mitigation. Government agencies may not be well- informed about the short-term and long-term challenges of managing technologically advanced monitoring systems, much less the details of how they are built and operated. On the relatively compressed time scale of disaster recovery efforts, it can be difficult to find a reliable, disinterested source of information, without which government agencies may be dependent on partial information. If system delivery fails to include sufficient development of indigenous expertise, the performance of local and regional networks may decline quickly, and even data collected during an early high-performance period may be degraded or lost. Drawing on unsurpassed educational capabilities of its members working in close cooperation with its facility staff, IRIS is well prepared to contribute to sustainability through a wide variety of training and service activities that further promote standards for network installation, data exchange protocols, and free and open access to data. Members of the Consortium and staff of its Core Programs together could write a guide on decisions about network design, installation and operation. The intended primary audience would be government officials seeking to understand system requirements, the acquisition and installation process, and the expertise needed operate a system. The guide would cover network design, procurement, set-up, data use and archiving. Chapters could include advice on network data processing, archiving data (including

  3. Composite CD-MOF nanocrystals-containing microspheres for sustained drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haiyan; Lv, Nana; Li, Xue; Liu, Botao; Feng, Jing; Ren, Xiaohong; Guo, Tao; Chen, Dawei; Fraser Stoddart, J; Gref, Ruxandra; Zhang, Jiwen

    2017-06-08

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are typically embedded in polymer matrices as composites, are emerging as a new class of carriers for sustained drug delivery. Most of the MOFs and the polymers used so far in these composites, however, are not pharmaceutically acceptable. In the investigation reported herein, composites of γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD)-based MOFs (CD-MOFs) and polyacrylic acid (PAA) were prepared by a solid in oil-in-oil (s/o/o) emulsifying solvent evaporation method. A modified hydrothermal protocol has been established which produces efficiently at 50 °C in 6 h micron (5-10 μm) and nanometer (500-700 nm) diameter CD-MOF particles of uniform size with smooth surfaces and powder X-ray diffraction patterns that are identical with those reported in the literature. Ibuprofen (IBU) and Lansoprazole (LPZ), both insoluble in water and lacking in stability, were entrapped with high drug loading in nanometer-sized CD-MOFs by co-crystallisation (that is more effective than impregnation) without causing MOF crystal degradation during the loading process. On account of the good dispersion of drug-loaded CD-MOF nanocrystals inside polyacrylic acid (PAA) matrices and the homogeneous distribution of the drug molecules within these crystals, the composite microspheres exhibit not only spherical shapes and sustained drug release over a prolonged period of time, but they also demonstrate reduced cell toxicity. The cumulative release rate for IBU (and LPZ) follows the trend: IBU-γ-CD complex microspheres (ca. 80% in 2 h) > IBU microspheres > IBU-CD-MOF/PAA composite microspheres (ca. 50% in 24 h). Importantly, no burst release of IBU (and LPZ) was observed from the CD-MOF/PAA composite microspheres, suggesting an even distribution of the drug as well as strong drug carrier interactions inside the CD-MOF. In summary, these composite microspheres, composed of CD-MOF nanocrystals embedded in a biocompatible polymer (PAA) matrix, constitute an efficient and

  4. Sustained ocular delivery of brimonidine tartrate using ion activated in situ gelling system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geethalakshmi, A; Karki, Roopa; Jha, Sajal Kumar; Venkatesh, D P; Nikunj, B

    2012-03-01

    The poor bioavailability and therapeutic response exhibited by conventional eye drops due to rapid precorneal elimination of the drug may be overcome by the use of an in situ gelling systems that are instilled as drops into the eye and undergo a sol-to-gel transition in the cul-de-sac which improves patient compliance as the dosage regimen is one drop of the dosage form twice a day. The loss of drug overcomes due to the immediate gel formation between the eye membrane and the drug being entrapped simultaneously in sol-gel transition in the cul de sac. The present work describes the formulation and evaluation of an ophthalmic delivery system of an antiglaucomal agent, brimonidine tartrate based on the concept of ion-activated in situ gelation. Gelrite was used as the gelling agent, which gels in the presence of mono or divalent cations present in the lacrimal fluid. The formulations were evaluated for clarity, pH measurement, gelling capacity, drug content estimation, rheological study, in-vitro diffusion study, antibacterial activity, isotonicity testing, eye irritation testing. In the developed formulations Gelrite Brimonidine-3 (GB3) exhibited sustained release of drug from formulation over a period of 8 hrs thus increasing residence time of the drug, non-irritating with no ocular damage or abnormal clinical signs to the cornea, iris or conjunctiva, stable and sterile. These results demonstrate that the developed system is an alternative to conventional ophthalmic drops, with better patient compliance, and is industrially oriented and economical.

  5. A conceptual framework for analyzing sustainability strategies in industrial supply networks from an innovation perspective.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Bommel, H.W.M.; van Bommel, Harrie W.M.

    2011-01-01

    This article proposes a new conceptual framework concerning the implementation of sustainability in supply networks from an innovation perspective. Based upon a recent qualitative literature review in environmental, social/ethical and logistics/operations management journals, this article summarizes

  6. Organic Nanovesicular Cargoes for Sustained Drug Delivery: Synthesis, Vesicle Formation, Controlling “Pearling” States, and Terfenadine Loading/Release Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay Kumar Botcha

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available “Sustained drug delivery systems” which are designed to accomplish long-lasting therapeutic effect are one of the challenging topics in the area of nanomedicine. We developed an innovative strategy to prepare nontoxic and polymer stabilized organic nanovesicles (diameter: 200 nm from a novel bolaamphiphile, where two hydrogen bonding acetyl cytosine molecules connected to 4,4′′-positions of the 2,6-bispyrazolylpyridine through two flexible octyne chains. The nanovesicles behave like biological membrane by spontaneously self-assembling into “pearl-like” chains and subsequently forming long nanotubes (diameter: 150 nm, which further develop into various types of network-junctions through self-organization. For drug loading and delivery applications, the nanovesicles were externally protected with biocompatible poly(ethyleneglycol-2000 to prevent them from fusion and ensuing tube formation. Nontoxic nature of the nanovesicles was demonstrated by zebrafish teratogenicity assay. Biocompatible nanovesicles were loaded with “terfenadine” drug and successfully utilized to transport and release drug in sustained manner (up to 72 h in zebrafish larvae, which is recognized as an emerging in vivo model system.

  7. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multi-disciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organisations working to assess both ...

  8. Coherent detection passive optical access network enabling converged delivery of broadcast and dedicated broadband services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Osadchiy, Alexey Vladimirovich; Prince, Kamau; Guerrero Gonzalez, Neil

    2011-01-01

    We propose a passive optical network architecture based on coherent detection for converged delivery of broadcast services from a dedicated remote broadcast server and user-specific services from a local central office. We experimentally demonstrate this architecture with mixed traffic types, wav...

  9. Surface engineering of porous silicon microparticles for intravitreal sustained delivery of rapamycin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieto, Alejandra; Hou, Huiyuan; Moon, Sang Woong; Sailor, Michael J; Freeman, William R; Cheng, Lingyun

    2015-01-22

    To understand the relationship between rapamycin loading/release and surface chemistries of porous silicon (pSi) to optimize pSi-based intravitreal delivery system. Three types of surface chemical modifications were studied: (1) pSi-COOH, containing 10-carbon aliphatic chains with terminal carboxyl groups grafted via hydrosilylation of undecylenic acid; (2) pSi-C12, containing 12-carbon aliphatic chains grafted via hydrosilylation of 1-dodecene; and (3) pSiO2-C8, prepared by mild oxidation of the pSi particles followed by grafting of 8-hydrocarbon chains to the resulting porous silica surface via a silanization. The efficiency of rapamycin loading follows the order (micrograms of drug/milligrams of carrier): pSiO2-C8 (105 ± 18) > pSi-COOH (68 ± 8) > pSi-C12 (36 ± 6). Powder X-ray diffraction data showed that loaded rapamycin was amorphous and dynamic drug-release study showed that the availability of the free drug was increased by 6-fold (compared with crystalline rapamycin) by using pSiO2-C8 formulation (P = 0.0039). Of the three formulations in this study, pSiO2-C8-RAP showed optimal performance in terms of simultaneous release of the active drug and carrier degradation, and drug-loading capacity. Released rapamycin was confirmed with the fingerprints of the mass spectrometry and biologically functional as the control of commercial crystalline rapamycin. Single intravitreal injections of 2.9 ± 0.37 mg pSiO2-C8-RAP into rabbit eyes resulted in more than 8 weeks of residence in the vitreous while maintaining clear optical media and normal histology of the retina in comparison to the controls. Porous silicon-based rapamycin delivery system using the pSiO2-C8 formulation demonstrated good ocular compatibility and may provide sustained drug release for retina. Copyright 2015 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.

  10. Sustained zero-order delivery of GC-1 from a nanochannel membrane device alleviates metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filgueira, C S; Nicolov, E; Hood, R L; Ballerini, A; Garcia-Huidobro, J; Lin, J Z; Fraga, D; Webb, P; Sabek, O M; Gaber, A O; Phillips, K J; Grattoni, A

    2016-11-01

    Our objective was to assess the sustained, low-dose and constant administration of the thyroid receptor-β (TRβ)-selective agonist GC-1 (sobetirome) from a novel nanochannel membrane device (NMD) for drug delivery. As it known to speed up metabolism, accomplish weight loss, improve cholesterol levels and possess anti-diabetic effects, GC-1 was steadily administered by our NMD, consisting of an implantable nanochannel membrane, as an alternative to conventional daily administration, which is subject to compliance issues in clinical settings. Diet-induced obese C57BL/J6 male mice were fed a very high-fat diet (VHFD) and received NMD implants subcutaneously. Ten mice per group received capsules containing GC-1 or phosphate-buffered saline (control). Weight, lean and fat mass, as well as cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and glucose, were monitored for 24 days. After treatment, plasma levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine were compared. mRNA levels of a panel of thermogenic markers were examined using real-time PCR in white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Adipose tissue, liver and local inflammatory response to the implant were examined histologically. Pancreatic islet number and β-cell area were assessed. GC-1 released from the NMD reversed VHFD-induced obesity and normalized serum cholesterol and glycemia. Significant reductions in body weight and fat mass were observed within 10 days, whereas reductions in serum cholesterol and glucose levels were seen within 7 days. The significant decrease in TSH was consistent with TRβ selectivity for GC-1. Levels of transcript for Ucp1 and thermogenic genes PGC1a, Cidea, Dio2 and Cox5a showed significant upregulation in WAT in NMD-GC-1-treated mice, but decreased in BAT. Although mice treated by NMD-GC-1 showed a similar number of pancreatic islets, they exhibited significant increase in β-cell area. Our data demonstrate that the NMD implant achieves steady administration of GC-1

  11. Dual-functional Polyurea Microcapsules for Chronic Wound Care Dressings: Sustained Drug Delivery and Non-leaching Infection Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Wei

    A new design of dual-functional polyurea microcapsules was proposed for chronic wound dressings to provide both non-leaching infection control and sustained topical drug delivery functionalities. Quaternary ammonium functionalized polyurea microcapsules (MCQs) were synthesized under mild conditions through an interfacial crosslinking reaction between branched polyethylenimine (PEI) and 2,4-toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in a dimethylformamide/cyclohexane emulsion. An in-situ modification method was developed to endow non-leaching surface antimicrobial properties to MCQs via bonding antimicrobial surfactants to surface isocyanate residues on the polyurea shells. The resultant robust MCQs with both non-leaching antimicrobial properties and sustained drug releasing properties have potential applications in medical textiles, such as chronic wound dressings, for infection control and drug delivery.

  12. Managing cancer care through service delivery networks: The role of professional collaboration in two European cancer networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prades, Joan; Morando, Verdiana; Tozzi, Valeria D; Verhoeven, Didier; Germà, Jose R; Borras, Josep M

    2017-01-01

    Background The study examines two meso-strategic cancer networks, exploring to what extent collaboration can strengthen or hamper network effectiveness. Unlike macro-strategic networks, meso-strategic networks have no hierarchical governance structures nor are they institutionalised within healthcare services' delivery systems. This study aims to analyse the models of professional cooperation and the tools developed for managing clinical practice within two meso-strategic, European cancer networks. Methods Multiple case study design based on the comparative analysis of two cancer networks: Iridium, in Antwerp, Belgium and the Institut Català d'Oncologia in Catalonia, Spain. The case studies applied mixed methods, with qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews ( n = 35) together with case-site observation and material collection. Results The analysis identified four levels of collaborative intensity within medical specialties as well as in multidisciplinary settings, which became both platforms for crosscutting clinical work between hubs' experts and local care teams and the levers for network-based tools development. The organisation of clinical practice relied on professional-based cooperative processes and tiers, lacking vertical integration mechanisms. Conclusions The intensity of professional linkages largely shaped the potential of meso-strategic cancer networks to influence clinical practice organisation. Conversely, the introduction of managerial techniques or network governance structures, without introducing vertical hierarchies, was found to be critical solutions.

  13. Analytic network process model for sustainable lean and green manufacturing performance indicator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aminuddin, Adam Shariff Adli; Nawawi, Mohd Kamal Mohd; Mohamed, Nik Mohd Zuki Nik

    2014-09-01

    Sustainable manufacturing is regarded as the most complex manufacturing paradigm to date as it holds the widest scope of requirements. In addition, its three major pillars of economic, environment and society though distinct, have some overlapping among each of its elements. Even though the concept of sustainability is not new, the development of the performance indicator still needs a lot of improvement due to its multifaceted nature, which requires integrated approach to solve the problem. This paper proposed the best combination of criteria en route a robust sustainable manufacturing performance indicator formation via Analytic Network Process (ANP). The integrated lean, green and sustainable ANP model can be used to comprehend the complex decision system of the sustainability assessment. The finding shows that green manufacturing is more sustainable than lean manufacturing. It also illustrates that procurement practice is the most important criteria in the sustainable manufacturing performance indicator.

  14. A fuzzy multi-objective optimization model for sustainable reverse logistics network design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Govindan, Kannan; Paam, Parichehr; Abtahi, Amir Reza

    2016-01-01

    Decreasing the environmental impact, increasing the degree of social responsibility, and considering the economic motivations of organizations are three significant features in designing a reverse logistics network under sustainability respects. Developing a model, which can simultaneously consider...... a multi-echelon multi-period multi-objective model for a sustainable reverse logistics network. To reflect all aspects of sustainability, we try to minimize the present value of costs, as well as environmental impacts, and optimize the social responsibility as objective functions of the model. In order...

  15. Sustained activity in hierarchical modular neural networks: self-organized criticality and oscillations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng-Jun Wang

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral cortical brain networks possess a number of conspicuous features of structure and dynamics. First, these networks have an intricate, non-random organization. They are structured in a hierarchical modular fashion, from large-scale regions of the whole brain, via cortical areas and area subcompartments organized as structural and functional maps to cortical columns, and finally circuits made up of individual neurons. Second, the networks display self-organized sustained activity, which is persistent in the absence of external stimuli. At the systems level, such activity is characterized by complex rhythmical oscillations over a broadband background, while at the cellular level, neuronal discharges have been observed to display avalanches, indicating that cortical networks are at the state of self-organized criticality. We explored the relationship between hierarchical neural network organization and sustained dynamics using large-scale network modeling. It was shown that sparse random networks with balanced excitation and inhibition can sustain neural activity without external stimulation. We find that a hierarchical modular architecture can generate sustained activity better than random networks. Moreover, the system can simultaneously support rhythmical oscillations and self-organized criticality, which are not present in the respective random networks. The underlying mechanism is that each dense module cannot sustain activity on its own, but displays self-organized criticality in the presence of weak perturbations. The hierarchical modular networks provide the coupling among subsystems with self-organized criticality. These results imply that the hierarchical modular architecture of cortical networks plays an important role in shaping the ongoing spontaneous activity of the brain, potentially allowing the system to take advantage of both the sensitivityof critical state and predictability and timing of oscillations for efficient

  16. Dendrimer-like assemblies based on organoclays as multi-host system for sustained drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Sun, Lili; Pan, Lijun; Lan, Zuopin; Jiang, Tao; Yang, Xiaolan; Luo, Jianchun; Li, Ronghua; Tan, Liqing; Zhang, Shurong; Yu, Mingan

    2014-11-01

    Chemical modification of nanoclay will ensure further progress on these materials. In this work, we show that montmorillonite (MTM) nanosheets can be modified with β-cyclodextrin (CD) via a nucleophilic substitution reaction between mono-6-(p-toluenesulfonyl)-6-deoxy-β-CD and an amino group of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES)-functionalized MTM. The resulting MTM-APTES-CD can be further self-assembled into dendrimer-like assemblies, exhibit a well-dispersed property even in Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline and do not aggregate for a period of at least 20days. The structure, morphology and assembly mechanism are systematically studied by (29)Si MAS NMR, FT-IR, (1)H NMR, SEM, FE-TEM, DLS and AFM, and the change in assemblies during the drug release is monitored using FE-TEM images. MTT assays indicate that the assemblies only have low cytotoxicity, while CLSM and TEM observations reveal that the assemblies can easily penetrate cultured human endothelial cells. When clopidogrel is used as a guest molecule, the assemblies show not only much higher loading capacities compared to MTM and other containing β-CD assemblies or nanoparticles, but also a sustained release of clopidogrel up to 30days. This is attributed to the fact that the guest molecule is both supramolecularly complexed within the dendritic scaffold and intercalated into CD and MTM hosts. Host-guest systems between assemblies and various guests hold promising applications in drug delivery system and in the biomedical fields. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Modeling Sustained Delivery of Agroecosystem Services at a Watershed Scale under Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaradat, A. A.; Starr, J.

    2015-12-01

    The intensive land use and agricultural production systems in the Chippewa River Watershed (CRW) in Minnesota, USA, contribute to inherent environmental problems and have major direct impact on soil conservation, and on several competing agro-ecosystem services (AESs); and may have indirect impact on AESs in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB). Field-scale indicators of AESs are largely absent in the highly diverse soils of the CRW. Therefore, proxy indicators were developed to assess these services under current (A0) and predicted (A2; 100 years) global climate change (GCC) scenarios. Individual indices were developed for biomass, grain yield, NO3- and NH4-N, soil carbon, runoff, and soil erosion for 132 soil series classified into three land capability classes (LCCs). The indices and a weighted index (Iw) were subjected to multivariate analyses procedures, including distance-weighted least squares, and variance components estimation. Three-D maps delineated contiguous areas of increasing or decreasing AESs in response to projected GCC. Largest significant variance portions in Iw were attributed to GCC scenarios; followed by the interaction of crop rotations and LCCs within conventional and organic cropping systems. The AES were predicted with larger certainty under A2 in organically-managed LCC-1 compared to conventional management. Significantly more runoff and soil erosion are predicted in conventionally-managed LCC-2 and LCC-3 under the same GCC scenario, regardless of soil heterogeneity. The modeling framework and the mapped AES indicators are designed to achieve multiple goals and will be used to support farmers in designing specific crop rotations that are suitable for each of the three LCCs and for major and vulnerable soil series in the watershed. Also, the modeling framework will address sustained delivery of multiple AESs, while enhancing soil conservation, water quality, and environmental protection aspects of farming in the CRW and the UMRB.

  18. Building Service Delivery Networks: Partnership Evolution Among Children's Behavioral Health Agencies in Response to New Funding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunger, Alicia C; Doogan, Nathan J; Cao, Yiwen

    2014-12-01

    Meeting the complex needs of youth with behavioral health problems requires a coordinated network of community-based agencies. Although fiscal scarcity or retrenchment can limit coordinated services, munificence can stimulate service delivery partnerships as agencies expand programs, hire staff, and spend more time coordinating services. This study examines the 2-year evolution of referral and staff expertise sharing networks in response to substantial new funding for services within a regional network of children's mental health organizations. Quantitative network survey data were collected from directors of 22 nonprofit organizations that receive funding from a county government-based behavioral health service fund. Both referral and staff expertise sharing networks changed over time, but results of a stochastic actor-oriented model of network dynamics suggest the nature of this change varies for these networks. Agencies with higher numbers of referral and staff expertise sharing partners tend to maintain these ties and/or develop new relationships over the 2 years. Agencies tend to refer to agencies they trust, but trust was not associated with staff expertise sharing ties. However, agencies maintain or form staff expertise sharing ties with referral partners, or with organizations that provide similar services. In addition, agencies tend to reciprocate staff expertise sharing, but not referrals. Findings suggest that during periods of resource munificence and service expansion, behavioral health organizations build service delivery partnerships in complex ways that build upon prior collaborative history and coordinate services among similar types of providers. Referral partnerships can pave the way for future information sharing relationships.

  19. A robust evaluation of sustainability initiatives with analytic network process (ANP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lanndon Ocampo

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a methodology on evaluating sustainable manufacturing initiatives using analytic network process (ANP as its base.The evaluation method is anchored on the comprehensive sustainable manufacturing framework proposed recently in literature. A numerical example that involves an evaluation of five sustainable manufacturing initiatives is shown in this work. Results show that sustainable manufacturing implies enhancing customer and community well-being by means of addressing environmental issues related to pollution due to toxic substances, greenhouse gas emissions and air emissions. To test the robustness of the results, two approaches are introduced in this work: (1 using Monte Carlo simulation and (2 introducing structural changes on the evaluation model. It suggests that the results are robust to random variations and to marginal changes of the network structure. The contribution of this work lies on presenting a sustainable manufacturing evaluation approach that addresses complexity and robustness in decision-making. 

  20. THE SOCIAL NETWORK SITES AND THE GOVERNANCE OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Moisoiu

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The social network sites are becoming more and more complex communities of social dialogue, involving themselves in the governance processes. The stakeholders in different fields are getting engaged to rebuild the institutional capacity and the consensus process. The present paper tries to analyse few mechanisms that enforce online social network sites to play a role in the sustainable development governance. Is there a possibility for these virtual communities to become useful instruments of sustainable development? Do have the social networks the capacity to command and control the economic activity?

  1. A Step towards Developing a Sustainability Performance Measure within Industrial Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samaneh Shokravi

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite the plethora of literature in sustainability and supply chain management in the recent years, a quantitative tool that measures the sustainability performance of an industrial supply network, considering the uncertainties of existing data, is hard to find. This conceptual paper is aimed at establishing a quantitative measure for the sustainability performance of industrial supply networks that considers aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in its environmental performance evaluation. The measure is built upon economic, environmental and social performance evaluation models. These models address a number of shortcomings in the literature, such as incomplete and inaccurate calculation of environmental impacts, as well as the disregard for aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in the input data and, more importantly, the scarce number of quantitative social sustainability measures. Dyadic interactions are chosen for the network, while the network members have a revenue-sharing relationship. This relationship promotes sharing of the required information for the use of the proposed model. This measure provides an approach to quantify the environmental, social and economic sustainability performances of a supply network. Moreover, as this measure is not specifically designed for an industrial sector, it can be employed over an evolving and diverse industrial network.

  2. Multimodal network design for sustainable household plastic recycling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bing Xiaoyun, Xiaoyun; Groot, J.J.; Bloemhof, J.M.; Vorst, van der J.G.A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose – This research studies a plastic recycling system from a reverse logistics angle and investigates the potential benefits of a multimodality strategy to the network design of plastic recycling. This research aims to quantify the impact of multimodality on the network, to provide decision

  3. Leveraging socially networked mobile ICT platforms for the last-mile delivery problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, Kyo; Smith, Timothy; Linhoff, Michelle

    2012-09-04

    Increasing numbers of people are managing their social networks on mobile information and communication technology (ICT) platforms. This study materializes these social relationships by leveraging spatial and networked information for sharing excess capacity to reduce the environmental impacts associated with "last-mile" package delivery systems from online purchases, particularly in low population density settings. Alternative package pickup location systems (PLS), such as a kiosk on a public transit platform or in a grocery store, have been suggested as effective strategies for reducing package travel miles and greenhouse gas emissions, compared to current door-to-door delivery models (CDS). However, our results suggest that a pickup location delivery system operating in a suburban setting may actually increase travel miles and emissions. Only once a social network is employed to assist in package pickup (SPLS) are significant reductions in the last-mile delivery distance and carbon emissions observed across both urban and suburban settings. Implications for logistics management's decades-long focus on improving efficiencies of dedicated distribution systems through specialization, as well as for public policy targeting carbon emissions of the transport sector are discussed.

  4. A Framework for Secure Data Delivery in Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonidas PERLEPES

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Typical sensor nodes are resource constrained devices containing user level applications, operating system components, and device drivers in a single address space, with no form of memory protection. A malicious user could easily capture a node and tamper the applications running on it, in order to perform different types of attacks. In this paper, we propose a 3-layer Security Framework composed by physical security schemes, cryptography of communication channels and live forensics protection techniques that allows for secure WSN deployments. Each of the abovementioned techniques maximizes the security levels leading to a tamper proof sensor node. By applying the proposed security framework, secure communication between nodes is guaranteed, identified captured nodes are silenced and their destructive effect on the rest of the network infrastructure is minimized due to the early measures applied. Our main concern is to propose a framework that balances its attributes between robustness, as long as security is concerned and cost effective implementation as far as resources (energy consumption are concerned.

  5. Application of social network analysis in the assessment of organization infrastructure for service delivery: a three district case study from post-conflict northern Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ssengooba, Freddie; Kawooya, Vincent; Namakula, Justine; Fustukian, Suzanne

    2017-10-01

    In post-conflict settings, service coverage indices are unlikely to be sustained if health systems are built on weak and unstable inter-organization networks-here referred to as infrastructure. The objective of this study was to assess the inter-organization infrastructure that supports the provision of selected health services in the reconstruction phase after conflict in northern Uganda. Applied social network analysis was used to establish the structure, size and function among organizations supporting the provision of (1) HIV treatment, (2) maternal delivery services and (3) workforce strengthening. Overall, 87 organizations were identified from 48 respondent organizations in the three post-conflict districts in northern Uganda. A two-stage snowball approach was used starting with service provider organizations in each district. Data included a list of organizations and their key attributes related to the provision of each service for the year 2012-13. The findings show that inter-organization networks are mostly focused on HIV treatment and least for workforce strengthening. The networks for HIV treatment and maternal services were about 3-4 times denser relative to the network for workforce strengthening. The network for HIV treatment accounted for 69-81% of the aggregated network in Gulu and Kitgum districts. In contrast, the network for workforce strengthening contributed the least (6% and 10%) in these two districts. Likewise, the networks supporting a young district (Amuru) was under invested with few organizations and sparse connections. Overall, organizations exhibited a broad range of functional roles in supporting HIV treatment compared to other services in the study. Basic information about the inter-organization setup (infrastructure)-can contribute to knowledge for building organization networks in more equitable ways. More connected organizations can be leveraged for faster communication and resource flow to boost the delivery of health services

  6. Branding the city of Šibenik as a sustainable tourist destination using social networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dubravko Blaće

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable tourism, as a fast-growing cultural and economic activity, offers great opportunities for steady development of branded regions and cities. Branding is an integral part of marketing, aimed at raising awareness and creating loyalty among customers. Recent trends show the growing impact of social networks in brand creation. Croatia has one of the shortest tourist seasons in Europe, which affects the sustainability of tourism. Therefore, a pilot study of the Dalmatian town of Šibenik has been made in order to examine whether there is room for development of a sustainable tourism model through strengthening its brand with the help of modern technology, predominantly the social networks. The rich tourism potential of Šibenik has not been sufficiently exploited for sustainable tourism through a recognizable tourism brand, and the official development strategies neglected to examine the use of social networks in achieving both goals. Therefore, an online survey has been conducted in order to determine whether Šibenik is recognized as a tourist destination through social networks. The results should help in developing a systematic approach to the branding of Šibenik. It should simultaneously address the issue of its seasonal attractiveness to tourists, thus contributing to the extension of the season and increasing sustainability of tourism activities. In that way, the branding of the city will not turn into a traditional marketing strategy to promote its market, and may contribute to its sustainable development as well as serve as a model to similar cities.

  7. Integrated Network Architecture for Sustained Human and Robotic Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen, Gary; Cesarone, Robert; Deutsch, Leslie; Edwards, Charles; Soloff, Jason; Ely, Todd; Cook, Brian; Morabito, David; Hemmati, Hamid; Piazolla, Sabino; hide

    2005-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Exploration Systems Enterprise is planning a series of human and robotic missions to the Earth's moon and to Mars. These missions will require communication and navigation services. This paper1 sets forth presumed requirements for such services and concepts for lunar and Mars telecommunications network architectures to satisfy the presumed requirements. The paper suggests that an inexpensive ground network would suffice for missions to the near-side of the moon. A constellation of three Lunar Telecommunications Orbiters connected to an inexpensive ground network could provide continuous redundant links to a polar lunar base and its vicinity. For human and robotic missions to Mars, a pair of areostationary satellites could provide continuous redundant links between Earth and a mid-latitude Mars base in conjunction with the Deep Space Network augmented by large arrays of 12-m antennas on Earth.

  8. Formulation Study and Evaluation of Matrix and Three-layer Tablet Sustained Drug Delivery Systems Based on Carbopols with Isosorbite Mononitrate

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Efentakis, M; Peponaki, C

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to develop and evaluate different preparations of sustained delivery systems, using Carbopols as carriers, in the form of matrices and three-layer tablets with isosorbite mononitrate...

  9. Sustained delivery of biomolecules from gelatin carriers for applications in bone regeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Song, J.; Leeuwenburgh, S.C.G.

    2014-01-01

    Local delivery of therapeutic biomolecules to stimulate bone regeneration has matured considerably during the past decades, but control over the release of these biomolecules still remains a major challenge. To this end, suitable carriers that allow for tunable spatial and temporal delivery of

  10. INTELLIGENT NETWORKS, SMART GRIDS CONCEPT, CRUCIAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constantin RADU

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available In this article is presented the concept of smart grids, a very important technology for sustainable development. In the context of globalization of the world lives in an increasingly complex security environment, with rapid changes, some obvious, others less obvious implications in the short, medium or long term, international, national, local and up to every citizen. All countries in the globalized world economy is facing energy problems in terms of climate change have intensified in the twentieth century.

  11. Efektifitas Content Delivery Network Berbasis Open Source Dalam Sistem E-learning

    OpenAIRE

    Nyoman Mirah Wedasari, Ni Luh; Aurelius Nurtanto Diaz, Ricky

    2017-01-01

    One of the new techniques in the process of sending data across a network is a Content Delivery Network. The main concept is to keep the copy of the CDN data from the main server, so that when the client accesses the specific content, data requested and received not from the main server, but rather from the server so that the process is more rapid CDN. With Indonesian internet condition that is not evenly distributed across its territory, the application of CDN is certainly can provide a sign...

  12. New Measurement Base De-embedded CPU Load Model for Power Delivery Network Design

    OpenAIRE

    Okano, Motochika; Watanabe, Koji; Naitoh, Masamichi; Omura, Ichiro

    2015-01-01

    CPU load model including on-chip wiring and package interconnection has been required for printed circuit board (PCB) design of digital products according to the improvement in the speed of CPU operation in recent years. Especially, accurate power delivery network (PDN) information inside CPU is indispensable for PCB design according to requirement of low-impedance and the broadband (from DC to GHz) from the inside of CPU to DC-DC converter. While the detailed impedance information inside CPU...

  13. A Social-Ecological Framework for Urban Stewardship Network Research to Promote Sustainable and Resilient Cities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Romolini

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available To realize more sustainable and resilient urban social-ecological systems, there is great need for active engagement from diverse public agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, natural resource managers, scientists, and other actors. Cities present unique challenges and opportunities for sustainability and resilience, as issues and organizations are frequently intertwined in networks of relations. Understanding and leveraging the range of knowledge types, motivations, skills, and goals of diverse participants and their networks is fundamental to sustainable and resilient cities. As efforts to examine and understand urban stewardship networks continue to emerge, it is increasingly clear that there are no structured or systematic frameworks to guide the integration of social and ecological phenomena. Such a framework could facilitate planning new urban stewardship network research, and provide a basis for comparisons among cities and their urban stewardship networks. In this paper, we develop and present a social-ecological framework for examining and understanding urban stewardship networks. To illustrate this framework and provide examples of its prospective and evaluative utility, we use examples from the U.S. Forest Service’s Stewardship Mapping (STEW-MAP network in the United States from Baltimore, MD, USA, New York City, NY, USA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, and Seattle, WA, USA.

  14. Sustainable reverse logistics network design for household plastic waste

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bing, X.; Bloemhof, J.M.; Vorst, van der J.G.A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Plastic recycling is a legal requirement and can yield environmental benefits. In the Netherlands, there is a complex network of various collection methods, separation centers, sorting centers and reprocessors. The first step of the recycling system, separating plastics from other waste, can occur

  15. Reconfiguration of sustainable thermoelectric generation using wireless sensor network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Min

    2014-01-01

    wireless sensor networks (WSNs), where remotely deployed temperature and voltage sensors as well as latching relays can be organized as a whole to intelligently identify and execute the optimal interconnection of TEM strings. A reconfigurable TEM array with a WSN controller and a maximum power point...

  16. Active ageing roadmap - a collaborative networks contribution to demographic sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Camarinha-Matos, L.M.; Afsarmanesh, H.

    2010-01-01

    The application of the collaborative networks paradigm, and a new generation of collaboration-support platforms and tools, is a promising approach to supporting active ageing, and facilitating better use of the talents and potential of retired or retiring senior professionals. As such, collaborative

  17. Sustained Delivery of Bioactive GDNF from Collagen and Alginate-Based Cell-Encapsulating Gel Promoted Photoreceptor Survival in an Inherited Retinal Degeneration Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisca S Y Wong

    Full Text Available Encapsulated-cell therapy (ECT is an attractive approach for continuously delivering freshly synthesized therapeutics to treat sight-threatening posterior eye diseases, circumventing repeated invasive intravitreal injections and improving local drug availability clinically. Composite collagen-alginate (CAC scaffold contains an interpenetrating network that integrates the physical and biological merits of its constituents, including biocompatibility, mild gelling properties and availability. However, CAC ECT properties and performance in the eye are not well-understood. Previously, we reported a cultured 3D CAC system that supported the growth of GDNF-secreting HEK293 cells with sustainable GDNF delivery. Here, the system was further developed into an intravitreally injectable gel with 1x104 or 2x105 cells encapsulated in 2mg/ml type I collagen and 1% alginate. Gels with lower alginate concentration yielded higher initial cell viability but faster spheroid formation while increasing initial cell density encouraged cell growth. Continuous GDNF delivery was detected in culture and in healthy rat eyes for at least 14 days. The gels were well-tolerated with no host tissue attachment and contained living cell colonies. Most importantly, gel-implanted in dystrophic Royal College of Surgeons rat eyes for 28 days retained photoreceptors while those containing higher initial cell number yielded better photoreceptor survival. CAC ECT gels offers flexible system design and is a potential treatment option for posterior eye diseases.

  18. Evaluation of superabsorbent linseed-polysaccharides as a novel stimuli-responsive oral sustained release drug delivery system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haseeb, Muhammad Tahir; Hussain, Muhammad Ajaz; Bashir, Sajid; Ashraf, Muhammad Umer; Ahmad, Naveed

    2017-03-01

    Advancement in technology has transformed the conventional dosage forms to intelligent drug delivery systems. Such systems are helpful for targeted and efficient drug delivery with minimum side effects. Drug release from these systems is governed and controlled by external stimuli (pH, enzymes, ions, glucose, etc.). Polymeric biomaterial having stimuli-responsive properties has opened a new area in drug delivery approach. Potential of a polysaccharide (rhamnogalacturonan)-based hydrogel from Linseeds (Linum usitatissimum L.) was investigated as an intelligent drug delivery material. Different concentrations of Linseed hydrogel (LSH) were used to prepare caffeine and diacerein tablets and further investigated for pH and salt solution-responsive swelling, pH-dependent drug release, and release kinetics. Morphology of tablets was observed using SEM. LSH tablets exhibited dynamic swelling-deswelling behavior with tendency to swell at pH 7.4 and in deionized water while deswell at pH 1.2, in normal saline and ethanol. Consequently, pH controlled release of the drugs was observed from tablets with lower release (drug release was greatly influenced by the amount of LSH in the tablets. Drug release from LSH tablets was governed by the non-Fickian diffusion. These finding indicates that LSH holds potential to be developed as sustained release material for tablet.

  19. ARCOS Network: A Sustainable Mountain Development Hub for Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert Muvunankiko

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The African continent is endowed with mountains of high productivity, biodiversity, endemism, and cultural diversity. African mountain ecosystems play an important role in economic development, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection. However, climate change and extreme events, as well as human activities, alter the capacity of mountains to provide such services to millions of Africans who depend on them. Since the creation in 1995 of the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS, mountains have been at the core of its programs, and collaboration among stakeholders is a key aspect of its search for sustainable solutions to threats affecting African mountains.

  20. Modifications to ART service delivery models by health facilities in Uganda in promotion of intervention sustainability: a mixed methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakumumpa, Henry; Bennett, Sara; Ssengooba, Freddie

    2017-04-04

    In November 2015, WHO released new treatment guidelines recommending that all diagnosed as HIV positive be enrolled on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Sustaining and expanding ART scale-up programs in resource-limited settings will require adaptations and modifications to traditional ART delivery models to meet the rapid increase in demand. We identify modifications to ART service delivery models by health facilities in Uganda to sustain ART interventions over a 10-year period (2004-2014). A mixed methods approach involving two study phases was adopted. In the first phase, a survey of a nationally representative sample of health facilities (n = 195) in Uganda which were accredited to provide ART between 2004 and 2009 was conducted. The second phase involved semi-structured interviews (n = 18) with ART clinic managers of 6 of the 195 health facilities purposively selected from the first study phase. We adopted a thematic framework consisting of four categories of modifications (format, setting, personnel, and population). The majority of health facilities 185 (95%) reported making modifications to ART interventions between 2004 and 2014. Of the 195 health facilities, 157 (81%) rated the modifications made to ART as "major." Modifications to ART were reported under all the four themes. The quantitative and qualitative findings are integrated and presented under four themes. Format: Reducing the frequency of clinic appointments and pharmacy-only refill programs was identified as important strategies for decongesting ART clinics. Home-based care programs were introduced to reduce provider ART delivery costs. Personnel: Task shifting to non-physician cadre was reported in 181 (93%) of the health facilities. Visits to the ART clinic were rationalized in favor of the sub-population deemed to have more clinical need. Two health facilities focused on patients living nearer the health facilities to align with targets set by external donors. Over the study period

  1. Networked or Un-Networked? A Preliminary Study on KIBS-Based Sustainable Urban Development: The Case of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kunhui Ye

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly pertinent linkages of cities via knowledge intensive business services (KIBS in the 21st century have opened a new window for academia to reconsider the approach to achieving urban sustainability. In this study, city network was investigated with an aim of identifying its attributes in the framework of sustainable urban development. Data about China’s KIBS, which are compiled in an inter-regional input–output table, were calculated following the procedure of social network analysis. It was found that: (1 the degree of nodes (i.e., out-degree, in-degree and betweenness in China varies distinctively from city to city; (2 the hierarchy of the city network is very tiny; and (3 that the network structure is subject to both “a small world” and core–periphery effects. Furthermore, city nodes in China fall into four categories, namely high centrality and power, high centrality and low power, low centrality and high power, and low centrality and power. The implication is that governmental efforts should be made to secure a reasonable decentralization of key city nodes to ensure that urban sustainability is built on a city-to-city basis.

  2. Formulation and evaluation of sustained release enteric-coated pellets of budesonide for intestinal delivery

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Raval, Mihir K; Ramani, Riddhi V; Sheth, Navin R

    2013-01-01

    ...) full factorial design by giving an enteric coating with Eudragit S100. Budesonide-sustained release pellets were prepared by extruder and spheronization technique using a combination of water-soluble and permeable polymers by applying 3(2...

  3. Memory-induced mechanism for self-sustaining activity in networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allahverdyan, A. E.; Steeg, G. Ver; Galstyan, A.

    2015-12-01

    We study a mechanism of activity sustaining on networks inspired by a well-known model of neuronal dynamics. Our primary focus is the emergence of self-sustaining collective activity patterns, where no single node can stay active by itself, but the activity provided initially is sustained within the collective of interacting agents. In contrast to existing models of self-sustaining activity that are caused by (long) loops present in the network, here we focus on treelike structures and examine activation mechanisms that are due to temporal memory of the nodes. This approach is motivated by applications in social media, where long network loops are rare or absent. Our results suggest that under a weak behavioral noise, the nodes robustly split into several clusters, with partial synchronization of nodes within each cluster. We also study the randomly weighted version of the models where the nodes are allowed to change their connection strength (this can model attention redistribution) and show that it does facilitate the self-sustained activity.

  4. Evolution of a Campus Sustainability Network: A Case Study in Organizational Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurland, Nancy B.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution of a sustainability network at a large California public university, as an example of organizational change. Design/methodology/approach: The paper combines participant observation and case study techniques over a three-year period. From 2007 to 2010, the author helped found the…

  5. Sustainable fuels for the transport and maritime sector : A blueprint of the LNG distribution network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thunnissen, Simon K.; Van De Bunt, Luke G.; Vis, Iris F A; Zijm, Henk; Klump, Matthias; Clausen, Uwe; ten Hompel, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is one of the alternative sustainable fuels available to the transportation sector. A new distribution network needs to be in place to enable better accessibility and more efficient usage of this fuel type for all modes of transport. Currently, a chicken-and-egg problem

  6. Solid cellulose nanofiber based foams - Towards facile design of sustained drug delivery systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svagan, Anna J; Benjamins, Jan-Willem; Al-Ansari, Zeinab

    2016-01-01

    Control of drug action through formulation is a vital and very challenging topic within pharmaceutical sciences. Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) are an excipient candidate in pharmaceutical formulations that could be used to easily optimize drug delivery rates. CNF has interesting physico-chemical pro......Control of drug action through formulation is a vital and very challenging topic within pharmaceutical sciences. Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) are an excipient candidate in pharmaceutical formulations that could be used to easily optimize drug delivery rates. CNF has interesting physico...

  7. Bi-objective integrating sustainable order allocation and sustainable supply chain network strategic design with stochastic demand using a novel robust hybrid multi-objective metaheuristic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Govindan, Kannan; Jafarian, Ahmad; Nourbakhsh, Vahid

    2015-01-01

    Sustainability has been considered as a growing concern in supply chain network design (SCND) and in the order allocation problem (OAP). Accordingly, there still exists a gap in the quantitative modeling of sustainable SCND that consists of OAP. In this article, we cover this gap through simultan...

  8. The challenge of sustaining effectiveness over time: the case of the global network to stop tuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quissell, Kathryn; Walt, Gill

    2016-01-01

    Where once global health decisions were largely the domain of national governments and the World Health Organization, today networks of international organizations, governments, private philanthropies and other entities are actively shaping public policy. However, there is still limited understanding of how global networks form, how they create institutions, how they promote and sustain collective action, and how they adapt to changes in the policy environment. Understanding these processes is crucial to understanding their effectiveness: whether and how global networks influence policy and public health outcomes. This study seeks to address these gaps through the examination of the global network to stop tuberculosis (TB) and the factors influencing its effectiveness over time. Drawing from ∼200 document sources and 16 interviews with key informants, we trace the development of the Global Partnership to Stop TB and its work over the past decade. We find that having a centralized core group and a strategic brand helped the network to coalesce around a primary intervention strategy, directly observed treatment short course. This strategy was created before the network was formalized, and helped bring in donors, ministries of health and other organizations committed to fighting TB—growing the network. Adaptations to this strategy, the creation of a consensus-based Global Plan, and the creation of a variety of participatory venues for discussion, helped to expand and sustain the network. Presently, however, tensions have become more apparent within the network as it struggles with changing internal political dynamics and the evolution of the disease. While centralization and stability helped to launch and grow the network, the institutionalization of governance and strategy may have constrained adaptation. Institutionalization and centralization may, therefore, facilitate short-term success for networks, but may end up complicating longer-term effectiveness. PMID

  9. Sustained improvement in clinical preventive service delivery among independent primary care practices after implementing electronic health record systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jason J; Sebek, Kimberly M; McCullough, Colleen M; Amirfar, Sam J; Parsons, Amanda S; Singer, Jesse; Shih, Sarah C

    2013-08-01

    Studies showing sustained improvements in the delivery of clinical preventive services are limited. Fewer studies demonstrate sustained improvements among independent practices that are not affiliated with hospitals or integrated health systems. This study examines the continued improvement in clinical quality measures for a group of independent primary care practices using electronic health records (EHRs) and receiving technical support from a local public health agency. We analyzed clinical quality measure performance data from a cohort of primary care practices that implemented an EHR at least 3 months before October 2009, the study baseline. We assessed trends for 4 key quality measures: antithrombotic therapy, blood pressure control, smoking cessation intervention, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing based on monthly summary data transmitted by the practices. Of the 151 practices, 140 were small practices and 11 were community health centers; average time using an EHR was 13.7 months at baseline. From October 2009 through October 2011, average rates increased for antithrombotic therapy (from 58.4% to 74.8%), blood pressure control (from 55.3% to 64.1%), HbA1c testing (from 46.4% to 57.7%), and smoking cessation intervention (from 29.3% to 46.2%). All improvements were significant. During 2 years, practices showed significant improvement in the delivery of several key clinical preventive services after implementing EHRs and receiving support services from a public health agency.

  10. Bioactive Glass Nanoparticles as a New Delivery System for Sustained 5-Fluorouracil Release: Characterization and Evaluation of Drug Release Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abeer M. El-Kady

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Bioactive glass nanoparticles were synthesized and tested for the first time as a new delivery system for sustained 5-fluorouracil (5-FU release. They were characterized by TEM, DTA, TGA, and FT-IR. The porosity % and specific surface area of glass nanoparticles were 85.59% and 378.36 m2/g, respectively. The in vitro bioactivity evaluation confirmed that bioactive glass disks prepared from these nanoparticles could induce hydroxyapatite layer over their surfaces in simulated body fluid. The in vitro drug release experiment indicated that glass nanoparticles could serve as long-term local delivery vehicles for sustained 5-FU release. The release profile of 5-FU showed an initial fast release stage followed by a second stage of slower release. The initial burst release of 5-FU in the first day was about 23% (28.92 mg·L−1 of the total amount of loaded 5-FU, while the final cumulative percentage of the 5-FU released after 32 days was about 45.6% (57.31 mg·L−1 of the total amount of loaded 5-FU. The application of different mathematical models indicated that 5-FU was released by diffusion controlled mechanism and suggested that its release rate was dependent on glass particles dissolution, changes of surface area as well as diameter of glass particles, and concentration of loaded drug.

  11. A Community-based Partnership for a Sustainable GNSS Geodetic Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dokka, R. K.

    2009-12-01

    Geodetic networks offer unparalleled opportunities to monitor and understand many of the rhythms of the Earth most vital to the sustainability of modern and future societies, i.e., crustal motions, sea-level, and the weather. For crustal deformation studies, the advantage is clear. Modern measurements allow us to document not only the permanent strains incurred over a seismic cycle, for example, but also the ephemeral strains that are critical for understanding the underlying physical mechanism. To be effective for science, however, geodetic networks must be properly designed, capitalized, and maintained over sufficient time intervals to fully capture the processes in action. Unfortunately, most networks lack interoperability and lack a business plan to ensure long term sustainability. The USA, for example, lacks a unified nation-wide GNSS network that can sustain its self over the coming years, decades, and century. Current federal priorities do not yet envision such a singular network. Publicly and privately funded regional networks exist, but tend to be parochial in scope, and optimized for a special user community, e.g., surveying, crustal motions, etc. Data sharing is common, but the lack of input at the beginning limits the functionality of the system for non-primary users. Funding for private networks depend heavily on the user demand, business cycle, and regulatory requirements. Agencies funding science networks offer no guarantee of sustained support. An alternative model (GULFNet) developed in Louisiana is meeting user needs, is sustainable, and is helping engineers, surveyors, and geologists become more spatially enabled. The common denominator among all participants is the view that accurate, precise, and timely geodetic data have tangible value for all segments of society. Although operated by a university (LSU), GULFNet is a community-based partnership between public and private sectors. GULFNet simultaneously achieves scientific goals by providing

  12. Healthy living champions network: An opportunity for community pharmacy's sustained participation in tackling local health inequalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazar, Zachariah; Portlock, Jane; Rutter, Paul; Brown, David

    Evaluations recognize healthy living champions (HLCs) as key contributors to the Health Living Pharmacy (HLP) project's success; the project has served to reduce pressure on family doctor services and clients who would have otherwise not sought professional advice have accessed HLP services. To investigate the impact of innovative networking opportunities in supporting HLCs to function within their role and to explore the network's potential in promoting sustained HLP participation. Twenty of Portsmouth's (England) HLCs (n = 33) agreed to participate in focus groups. Transcripts were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis guided by grounded theory. The transcripts were read repeatedly; recurrent themes were identified and coded manually and consensus was reached by discussion within the research team. Network meetings provide HLCs with professional development, networking opportunities and continued encouragement. Recommendations to develop and sustain the network included the formation of a group committee and establishing of a communication facility accessible between meetings. The successful Portsmouth HLP project informed the design of UK HLP projects. The current focus is to build a successful strategy to sustain the positive outcomes, building on the recognized enablers. This study contributes further lessons learned to guide health commissioners and service implementers to best support staff development, involvement and motivation through innovative practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Direct and sustained intracellular delivery of exogenous molecules using acoustic-transfection with high frequency ultrasound

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Sangpil; Kim, Min Gon; Chiu, Chi Tat; Hwang, Jae Youn; Kim, Hyung Ham; Wang, Yingxiao; Shung, K. Kirk

    2016-02-01

    Controlling cell functions for research and therapeutic purposes may open new strategies for the treatment of many diseases. An efficient and safe introduction of membrane impermeable molecules into target cells will provide versatile means to modulate cell fate. We introduce a new transfection technique that utilizes high frequency ultrasound without any contrast agents such as microbubbles, bringing a single-cell level targeting and size-dependent intracellular delivery of macromolecules. The transfection apparatus consists of an ultrasonic transducer with the center frequency of over 150 MHz and an epi-fluorescence microscope, entitled acoustic-transfection system. Acoustic pulses, emitted from an ultrasonic transducer, perturb the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane of a targeted single-cell to induce intracellular delivery of exogenous molecules. Simultaneous live cell imaging using HeLa cells to investigate the intracellular concentration of Ca2+ and propidium iodide (PI) and the delivery of 3 kDa dextran labeled with Alexa 488 were demonstrated. Cytosolic delivery of 3 kDa dextran induced via acoustic-transfection was manifested by diffused fluorescence throughout whole cells. Short-term (6 hr) cell viability test and long-term (40 hr) cell tracking confirmed that the proposed approach has low cell cytotoxicity.

  14. Surface Engineering of Porous Silicon Microparticles for Intravitreal Sustained Delivery of Rapamycin

    OpenAIRE

    Nieto, Alejandra; Hou, Huiyuan; Moon, Sang Woong; Sailor, Michael J.; Freeman, William R.; Cheng, Lingyun

    2015-01-01

    Mild oxidation and subsequent silanization of the porous silicon (pSi) rendered the resultant pSi particles optimized for rapamycin loading/release as an intravitreal injectable delivery system. The system slowly released rapamycin and safely resided in rabbit vitreous more than 8 weeks.

  15. Structural and biological properties of thermosensitive chitosan-graphene hybrid hydrogels for sustained drug delivery applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeednia, Leyla; Yao, Li; Berndt, Marcus; Cluff, Kim; Asmatulu, Ramazan

    2017-09-01

    Chitosan has the ability to make injectable thermosensitive hydrogels which has been highly investigated for drug delivery applications. The addition of nanoparticles is one way to increase the mechanical strength of thermosensitive chitosan hydrogel and subsequently and control the burst release of drug. Graphene nanoparticles have shown unique mechanical, optical and electrical properties which can be exploited for biomedical applications, especially in drug delivery. This study, have focused on the mechanical properties of a thermosensitive and injectable hybrid chitosan hydrogel incorporated with graphene nanoparticles. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) have been used for morphological and chemical characterization of graphene infused chitosan hydrogels. The cell viability and cytotoxicity of graphene-contained hydrogels were analyzed using the alamarBlue® technique. In-vitro methotrexate (MTX) release was investigated from MTX-loaded hybrid hydrogels as well. As a last step, to evaluate their efficiency as a cancer treatment delivery system, an in vitro anti-tumor test was also carried out using MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Results confirmed that a thermosensitive chitosan-graphene hybrid hydrogel can be used as a potential breast cancer therapy system for controlled delivery of methotrexate. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 105A: 2381-2390, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Direct and sustained intracellular delivery of exogenous molecules using acoustic-transfection with high frequency ultrasound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Sangpil; Kim, Min Gon; Chiu, Chi Tat; Hwang, Jae Youn; Kim, Hyung Ham; Wang, Yingxiao; Shung, K Kirk

    2016-02-04

    Controlling cell functions for research and therapeutic purposes may open new strategies for the treatment of many diseases. An efficient and safe introduction of membrane impermeable molecules into target cells will provide versatile means to modulate cell fate. We introduce a new transfection technique that utilizes high frequency ultrasound without any contrast agents such as microbubbles, bringing a single-cell level targeting and size-dependent intracellular delivery of macromolecules. The transfection apparatus consists of an ultrasonic transducer with the center frequency of over 150 MHz and an epi-fluorescence microscope, entitled acoustic-transfection system. Acoustic pulses, emitted from an ultrasonic transducer, perturb the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane of a targeted single-cell to induce intracellular delivery of exogenous molecules. Simultaneous live cell imaging using HeLa cells to investigate the intracellular concentration of Ca(2+) and propidium iodide (PI) and the delivery of 3 kDa dextran labeled with Alexa 488 were demonstrated. Cytosolic delivery of 3 kDa dextran induced via acoustic-transfection was manifested by diffused fluorescence throughout whole cells. Short-term (6 hr) cell viability test and long-term (40 hr) cell tracking confirmed that the proposed approach has low cell cytotoxicity.

  17. Modified thermoresponsive Poloxamer 407 and chitosan sol-gels as potential sustained-release vaccine delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojarunchitt, Thunjiradasiree; Baldursdottir, Stefania; Dong, Yao-Da; Boyd, Ben J; Rades, Thomas; Hook, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Thermoresponsive, particle-loaded, Poloxamer 407 (P407)-Pluronic-R® (25R4) or chitosan-methyl cellulose (MC) formulations were developed as single-dose, sustained release vaccines. The sol-gels, loaded either with a particulate vaccine (cubosomes) or soluble antigen (ovalbumin) and adjuvants (Quil A and monophosphoryl lipid A), were free-flowing liquids at room temperature and formed stable gels at physiological temperatures. Rheological results showed that both systems meet the criteria of being thermoresponsive gels. The P407-25R4 sol-gels did not significantly sustain the release of antigen in vivo while the chitosan-MC sol-gels sustained the release of antigen up to at least 14 days after administration. The chitosan-MC sol-gels stimulated both cellular and humoral responses. The inclusion of cubosomes in the sol-gels did not provide a definitive beneficial effect. Further analysis of the formulations with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) revealed that while cubosomes were stable in chitosan-MC gels they were not stable in P407-25R4 formulations. The reason for the mixed response to cubosome-loaded vehicles requires more investigation, however it appears that the cubosomes did not facilitate synchronous vaccine release and may in fact retard release, reducing efficacy in some cases. From these results, chitosan-MC sol-gels show potential as sustained release vaccine delivery systems, as compared to the P407-25R4 system that had a limited ability to sustain antigen release. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Sustained delivery of rhBMP-2 via PLGA microspheres: cranial bone regeneration without heterotopic ossification or craniosynostosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wink, Jason D.; Gerety, Patrick A.; Sherif, Rami D.; Lim, Youngshin; A.Clarke, Nadya; Rajapakse, Chamith S.; Nah, Hyun-Duck; Taylor, Jesse A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Commercially available recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP2) has demonstrated efficacy in bone regeneration, but not without significant side effects. In this study, we utilize rhBMP2 encapsulated in PLGA microspheres (PLGA-rhBMP2) placed in a rabbit cranial defect model to test whether low-dose, sustained, delivery can effectively induce bone regeneration. Methods rhBMP2 was encapsulated in 15% poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid), using a double emulsion, solvent extraction/evaporation technique, and its release kinetics and bioactivity were tested. Two critical-size defects (10mm) were created in the calvarium of New Zealand White rabbits (5-7 mos of age, M/F) and filled with a collagen scaffold containing one of four groups: 1) no implant, 2) collagen scaffold only, 3) PLGA-rhBMP2(0.1ug/implant), or 4) free rhBMP2 (0.1ug/implant). After 6 weeks, the rabbits were sacrificed and defects were analyzed by μCT, histology, and finite element analysis. Results RhBMP2 delivered via bioactive PLGA microspheres resulted in higher volumes and surface area coverage of new bone than an equal dose of free rhBMP2 by μCT and histology (p=0.025, 0.025). FEA indicated that the mechanical competence using the regional elastic modulus did not differ with rhBMP2 exposure (p=0.70). PLGA-rhBMP2 did not demonstrate heterotopic ossification, craniosynostosis, or seroma formation. Conclusions Sustained delivery via PLGA microspheres can significantly reduce the rhBMP2 dose required for de novo bone formation. Optimization of the delivery system may be a key to reduce the risk for recently reported rhBMP2 related adverse effects. Level of Evidence Animal Study PMID:24622573

  19. The Sustainable Development Assessment of Reservoir Resettlement Based on a BP Neural Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Li; Huang, Jian; Wang, Wei

    2018-01-18

    Resettlement affects not only the resettlers' production activities and life but also, directly or indirectly, the normal operation of power stations, the sustainable development of the resettlers, and regional social stability. Therefore, a scientific evaluation index system for the sustainable development of reservoir resettlement must be established that fits Chinese national conditions and not only promotes reservoir resettlement research but also improves resettlement practice. This essay builds an evaluation index system for resettlers' sustainable development based on a back-propagation (BP) neural network, which can be adopted in China, taking the resettlement necessitated by step hydropower stations along the Wujiang River cascade as an example. The assessment results show that the resettlement caused by step power stations along the Wujiang River is sustainable, and this evaluation supports the conclusion that national policies and regulations, which are undergoing constant improvement, and resettlement has increasingly improved. The results provide a reference for hydropower reservoir resettlement in developing countries.

  20. The Sustainable Development Assessment of Reservoir Resettlement Based on a BP Neural Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Huang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Resettlement affects not only the resettlers’ production activities and life but also, directly or indirectly, the normal operation of power stations, the sustainable development of the resettlers, and regional social stability. Therefore, a scientific evaluation index system for the sustainable development of reservoir resettlement must be established that fits Chinese national conditions and not only promotes reservoir resettlement research but also improves resettlement practice. This essay builds an evaluation index system for resettlers’ sustainable development based on a back-propagation (BP neural network, which can be adopted in China, taking the resettlement necessitated by step hydropower stations along the Wujiang River cascade as an example. The assessment results show that the resettlement caused by step power stations along the Wujiang River is sustainable, and this evaluation supports the conclusion that national policies and regulations, which are undergoing constant improvement, and resettlement has increasingly improved. The results provide a reference for hydropower reservoir resettlement in developing countries.

  1. [Research Networks in Public Health: Requirements for Sustainability and Effectiveness - a Sociological Perspective].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaff, Holger; Ohlmeier, Silke

    2017-11-01

    The Public Health White Paper draws up a vision of public health as a living, decentralized network that can help improve the health of the population in a sustained fashion. However, the central question remains open as to which prerequisites public health networks should fulfill in order to be effective in the long term. The aim of this paper is to provide a sociological view of the issue and offer some discussion ideas. Parsons' structural functionalism leads to the thesis that science networks in public health require structures that ensure that the 4 basic functions of viable social networks - (1) adaptation, (2) goal attainment, (3) integration and (4) latent pattern maintenance - are fulfilled. On this theoretical basis, suggestions are made to establish functional formal structures in public health networks. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  2. Software Delivery Risk Management: Application of Bayesian Networks in Agile Software Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ancveire Ieva

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The information technology industry cannot be imagined without large- or small-scale projects. They are implemented to develop systems enabling key business processes and improving performance and enterprise resource management. However, projects often experience various difficulties during their execution. These problems are usually related to the three objectives of the project – costs, quality and deadline. A way these challenges can be solved is project risk management. However, not always the main problems and their influencing factors can be easily identified. Usually there is a need for a more profound analysis of the problem situation. In this paper, we propose the use of a Bayesian Network concept for quantitative risk management in agile projects. The Bayesian Network is explored using a case study focusing on a project that faces difficulties during the software delivery process. We explain why an agile risk analysis is needed and assess the potential risk factors, which may occur during the project. Thereafter, we design the Bayesian Network to capture the actual problem situation and make suggestions how to improve the delivery process based on the measures to be taken to reduce the occurrence of project risks.

  3. Functionalized, Biodegradable Hydrogels for Control over Sustained and Localized siRNA Delivery to Incorporated and Surrounding Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Khanh; Dang, Phuong Ngoc; Alsberg, Eben

    2012-01-01

    Currently, the most severe limitation to applying RNA interference (RNAi) technology is delivery, including localizing the molecules to a specific site of interest to target a specific cell population and sustaining the presentation of these molecules for a controlled period of time. In this study, we engineered a functionalized, biodegradable system created by covalent incorporation of cationic linear polyethyleneimine (LPEI) into photocrosslinked dextran (DEX) hydrogels through a biodegradable ester linkage. The key innovation of this system is that control over the sustained release of short interference RNA (siRNA) was achieved, as LPEI could electrostatically interact with siRNA to maintain siRNA within the hydrogels and degradation of the covalent ester linkages between the LPEI and the hydrogels led to tunable release of LPEI/siRNA complexes over time. The covalent conjugation of LPEI did not affect the swelling or degradation properties of the hydrogels, and the addition of siRNA and LPEI had minimal effect on their mechanical properties. These hydrogels exhibited low cytotoxicity against human embryonic kidney 293 cells (HEK293). The release profiles could be tailored by varying DEX (8 and 12 %w/w) and LPEI (0, 5, 10 μg/ 100 μl gel) concentrations with nearly 100% cumulative release achieved at day 9 (8 %w/w gel) and day 17 (12 %w/w gel). The released siRNA exhibited high bioactivity with cells surrounding and inside the hydrogels over an extended time period. This controllable and sustained siRNA delivery hydrogel system that permits tailored siRNA release profiles may be valuable to guide cell fate for regenerative medicine and other therapeutic applications such as cancer. PMID:22902819

  4. Tocolytic therapy for preterm delivery: systematic review and network meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Deborah M; Kirkpatrick, Page; McIntosh, Jennifer J; Welton, Nicky J

    2012-01-01

    Objective To determine the most effective tocolytic agent at delaying delivery. Design Systematic review and network meta-analysis. Data sources Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Medline In-Process, Embase, and CINAHL up to 17 February 2012. Study selection Randomised controlled trials of tocolytic therapy in women at risk of preterm delivery. Data extraction At least two reviewers extracted data on study design, characteristics, number of participants, and outcomes reported (neonatal and maternal). A network meta-analysis was done using a random effects model with drug class effect. Two sensitivity analyses were carried out for the primary outcome; restricted to studies at low risk of bias and restricted to studies excluding women at high risk of preterm delivery (those with multiple gestation and ruptured membranes). Results Of the 3263 titles initially identified, 95 randomized controlled trials of tocolytic therapy were reviewed. Compared with placebo, the probability of delivery being delayed by 48 hours was highest with prostaglandin inhibitors (odds ratio 5.39, 95% credible interval 2.14 to 12.34) followed by magnesium sulfate (2.76, 1.58 to 4.94), calcium channel blockers (2.71, 1.17 to 5.91), beta mimetics (2.41, 1.27 to 4.55), and the oxytocin receptor blocker atosiban (2.02, 1.10 to 3.80). No class of tocolytic was significantly superior to placebo in reducing neonatal respiratory distress syndrome. Compared with placebo, side effects requiring a change of medication were significantly higher for beta mimetics (22.68, 7.51 to 73.67), magnesium sulfate (8.15, 2.47 to 27.70), and calcium channel blockers (3.80, 1.02 to 16.92). Prostaglandin inhibitors and calcium channel blockers were the tocolytics with the best probability of being ranked in the top three medication classes for the outcomes of 48 hour delay in delivery, respiratory distress syndrome, neonatal mortality, and maternal side effects (all cause). Conclusions

  5. Genetically Modified Neural Stem Cells for a Local and Sustained Delivery of Neuroprotective Factors to the Dystrophic Mouse Retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Gila; Sun, Jing; Petrowitz, Bettina; Riecken, Kristoffer; Kruszewski, Katharina; Jankowiak, Wanda; Kunst, Frank; Skevas, Christos; Richard, Gisbert; Fehse, Boris

    2013-01-01

    A continuous intraocular delivery of neurotrophic factors (NFs) is being explored as a strategy to rescue photoreceptor cells and visual functions in degenerative retinal disorders that are currently untreatable. To establish a cell-based intraocular delivery system for a sustained administration of NFs to the dystrophic mouse retina, we used a polycistronic lentiviral vector to genetically modify adherently cultivated murine neural stem (NS) cells. The vector concurrently encoded a gene of interest, a reporter gene, and a resistance gene and thus facilitated the selection, cloning, and in vivo tracking of the modified cells. To evaluate whether modified NS cells permit delivery of functionally relevant quantities of NFs to the dystrophic mouse retina, we expressed a secretable variant of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) in NS cells and grafted the cells into the vitreous space of Pde6brd1 and Pde6brd10 mice, two animal models of retinitis pigmentosa. In both mouse lines, grafted cells attached to the retina and lens, where they differentiated into astrocytes and some neurons. Adverse effects of the transplanted cells on the morphology of host retinas were not observed. Importantly, the CNTF-secreting NS cells significantly attenuated photoreceptor degeneration in both mutant mouse lines. The neuroprotective effect was significantly more pronounced when clonally derived NS cell lines selected for high expression levels of CNTF were grafted into Pde6brd1 mice. Intravitreal transplantations of modified NS cells may thus represent a useful method for preclinical studies aimed at evaluating the therapeutic potential of a cell-based intraocular delivery of NFs in mouse models of photoreceptor degeneration. PMID:24167317

  6. Nano-carrier based drug delivery systems for sustained antimicrobial agent release from orthopaedic cementous material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Thaher, Yazan; Perni, Stefano; Prokopovich, Polina

    2017-11-01

    Total joint replacement (TJR), such as hip and knee replacement, is a popular procedure worldwide. Prosthetic joint infections (PJI) after this procedure have been widely reported, where treatment of such infections is complex with high cost and prolonged hospital stay. In cemented arthroplasties, the use of antibiotic loaded bone cement (ALBC) is a standard practice for the prophylaxis and treatment of PJI. Recently, the development of bacterial resistance by pathogenic microorganisms against most commonly used antibiotics increased the interest in alternative approaches for antimicrobial delivery systems such as nanotechnology. This review summarizes the efforts made to improve the antimicrobial properties of PMMA bone cements using nanotechnology based antibiotic and non-antibiotic delivery systems to overcome drawbacks of ALBC in the prophylaxis and treatment of PJIs after hip and knee replacement. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Sustained systemic delivery of monoclonal antibodies by genetically modified skin fibroblasts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Noël, D; Pelegrin, M; Brockly, F

    2000-01-01

    In vivo production and systemic delivery of therapeutic antibodies by engineered cells might advantageously replace injection of purified antibodies for treating a variety of life-threatening diseases, including cancer, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and autoimmune diseases. We report here t....... This supports the notion that skin fibroblasts can potentially be used in antibody-based gene/cell therapy protocols without inducing any adverse immune response in treated individuals....

  8. Sustained Subconjunctival Delivery of Infliximab Protects the Cornea and Retina Following Alkali Burn to the Eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chengxin; Robert, Marie-Claude; Kapoulea, Vassiliki; Lei, Fengyang; Stagner, Anna M.; Jakobiec, Frederick A.; Dohlman, Claes H.; Paschalis, Eleftherios I.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is upregulated in eyes following corneal alkali injury and contributes to corneal and also retinal damage. Prompt TNF-α inhibition by systemic infliximab ameliorates retinal damage and improves corneal wound healing. However, systemic administration of TNF-α inhibitors carries risk of significant complications, whereas topical eye-drop delivery is hindered by poor ocular bioavailability and the need for patient adherence. This study investigates the efficacy of subconjunctival delivery of TNF-α antibodies using a polymer-based drug delivery system (DDS). Methods The drug delivery system was prepared using porous polydimethylsiloxane/polyvinyl alcohol composite fabrication and loaded with 85 μg of infliximab. Six Dutch-belted pigmented rabbits received ocular alkali burn with NaOH. Immediately after the burn, subconjunctival implantation of anti-TNF-α DDS was performed in three rabbits while another three received sham DDS (without antibody). Rabbits were followed with photography for 3 months. Results After 3 months, the device was found to be well tolerated by the host and the eyes exhibited less corneal damage as compared to eyes implanted with a sham DDS without drug. The low dose treatment suppressed CD45 and TNF-α expression in the burned cornea and inhibited retinal ganglion cell apoptosis and optic nerve degeneration, as compared to the sham DDS treated eyes. Immunolocalization revealed drug penetration in the conjunctiva, cornea, iris, and choroid, with residual infliximab in the DDS 3 months after implantation. Conclusions This reduced-risk biologic DDS improves corneal wound healing and provides retinal neuroprotection, and may be applicable not only to alkali burns but also to other inflammatory surgical procedures such as penetrating keratoplasty and keratoprosthesis implantation. PMID:28114570

  9. Ecological network analysis for economic systems: growth and development and implications for sustainable development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jiali; Ulanowicz, Robert E

    2014-01-01

    The quantification of growth and development is an important issue in economics, because these phenomena are closely related to sustainability. We address growth and development from a network perspective in which economic systems are represented as flow networks and analyzed using ecological network analysis (ENA). The Beijing economic system is used as a case study and 11 input-output (I-O) tables for 1985-2010 are converted into currency networks. ENA is used to calculate system-level indices to quantify the growth and development of Beijing. The contributions of each direct flow toward growth and development in 2010 are calculated and their implications for sustainable development are discussed. The results show that during 1985-2010, growth was the main attribute of the Beijing economic system. Although the system grew exponentially, its development fluctuated within only a small range. The results suggest that system ascendency should be increased in order to favor more sustainable development. Ascendency can be augmented in two ways: (1) strengthen those pathways with positive contributions to increasing ascendency and (2) weaken those with negative effects.

  10. Rainwater Harvesting and Social Networks: Visualising Interactions for Niche Governance, Resilience and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Ward

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Visualising interactions across urban water systems to explore transition and change processes requires the development of methods and models at different scales. This paper contributes a model representing the network interactions of rainwater harvesting (RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations in the UK RWH niche to identify how resilience and sustainability feature within niche governance in practice. The RWH network interaction model was constructed using a modified participatory social network analysis (SNA. The SNA was further analysed through the application of a two-part analytical framework based on niche management and the safe, resilient and sustainable (‘Safe and SuRe’ framework. Weak interactions between some RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations highlighted reliance on a limited number of persuaders to influence the regime and landscape, which were underrepresented. Features from niche creation and management were exhibited by the RWH network interaction model, though some observed characteristics were not represented. Additional Safe and SuRe features were identified covering diverse innovation, responsivity, no protection, unconverged expectations, primary influencers, polycentric or adaptive governance and multiple learning-types. These features enable RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations to reflect on improving resilience and sustainability, though further research in other sectors would be useful to verify and validate observation of the seven features.

  11. Delivery-flow routing and scheduling subject to constraints imposed by vehicle flows in fractal-like networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bocewicz Grzegorz

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The problems of designing supply networks and traffic flow routing and scheduling are the subject of intensive research. The problems encompass the management of the supply of a variety of goods using multi-modal transportation. This research also takes into account the various constraints related to route topology, the parameters of the available fleet of vehicles, order values, delivery due dates, etc. Assuming that the structure of a supply network, constrained by a transport network topology that determines its behavior, we develop a declarative model which would enable the analysis of the relationships between the structure of a supply network and its potential behavior resulting in a set of desired delivery-flows. The problem in question can be reduced to determining sufficient conditions that ensure smooth flow in a transport network with a fractal structure. The proposed approach, which assumes a recursive, fractal network structure, enables the assessment of alternative delivery routes and associated schedules in polynomial time. An illustrative example showing the quantitative and qualitative relationships between the morphological characteristics of the investigated supply networks and the functional parameters of the assumed delivery-flows is provided.

  12. Catalysing low cost green technologies for sustainable water service delivery in Kenya: Feasibility Study Report

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ndirangu, Wangai; Schaer, Caroline

    2017-01-01

    Since 1974, the government of Kenya has recognised water supplies as critical for poverty reduction and development. Kenya’s economic and social development Vision 2030 emphasises the need for adequate and sustainable provision of water supply and sanitation services, with a target to achieve...... universal access by 2030. However, thus far most water development targets have not been achieved. Improvement has been much slower in rural and low income urban areas, and the current funding level is inadequate to achieve universal access by 2030. Over the years, official effort have been complemented...... to planning, standards and operations and maintenance, including source and cost of energy in rural and peri-urban water supplies is a key challenge to functionality and sustainability....

  13. Knowledge Society Network: Toward a Dynamic, Sustained Network for Building Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Huang-Yao; Scardamalia, Marlene; Zhang, Jianwei

    2010-01-01

    The Knowledge Society Network (KSN) "takes advantage of new knowledge media to maximize and democratize society's knowledge-creating capacity" (www.ikit.org/KSN). This article synthesizes the principles and designs of this network which were initiated over 15 years ago, and presents an exploratory study of interactions in the KSN over…

  14. The post-2015 delivery of universal and sustainable access to infrastructure services. Working Paper

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doczi, Julian, Dorr, Tobias; Mason, Nathaniel; Scott, Andrew

    2013-06-15

    In this new working paper, the authors focus specifically on what would be necessary to achieve High Level Panel-style goals and targets for water, energy and transport, if these were to be eventually adopted by world leaders. In all three cases, much of the advocacy - and the proposed High Level Panel goals - have emphasized the need to strive for universal and sustainable access to at least basic levels of services from these sectors. Many of the proposals for post-2015 goals and targets appear ambitious, but what would it take to achieve them? This paper assesses what is needed to achieve goals for universal and sustainable access to infrastructure, specifically water, energy and transport. Using illustrative goals and targets, the paper reviews the development challenges in each sector, and what will be necessary to overcome the barriers to universal and sustainable access to water, energy and transport infrastructure services, in the areas of governance, finance, capacity development and environmental protection. The paper ends with general conclusions about infrastructure in the post-2015 development agenda.

  15. Enhanced acute anti-inflammatory effects of CORM-2-loaded nanoparticles via sustained carbon monoxide delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Omer Salman; Zeb, Alam; Akram, Muhammad; Kim, Myung-Sic; Kang, Jong-Ho; Kim, Hoo-Seong; Majid, Arshad; Han, Inbo; Chang, Sun-Young; Bae, Ok-Nam; Kim, Jin-Ki

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of carbon monoxide (CO) via sustained release of CO from carbon monoxide-releasing molecule-2-loaded lipid nanoparticles (CORM-2-NPs). CORM-2-NPs were prepared by hot high pressure homogenization method using trilaurin as a solid lipid core and Tween 20/Span 20/Myrj S40 as surfactant mixture. The physicochemical properties of CORM-2-NPs were characterized and CO release from CORM-2-NPs was assessed by myoglobin assay. In vitro anti-inflammatory effects were evaluated by nitric oxide assay in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. In vivo anti-inflammatory activity was investigated by measuring paw volumes and histological examination in carrageenan-induced rat paw edema. Spherical CORM-2-NPs were around 100nm with narrow particle size distribution. The sustained CO release from CORM-2-NPs was observed and the half-life of CO release increased up to 10 times compared with CORM-2 solution. CORM-2-NPs showed enhanced in vitro anti-inflammatory effects by inhibition of nitric oxide production. Edema volume in rat paw was significantly reduced after treatment with CORM-2-NPs. Taken together, CORM-2-NPs have a great potential for CO therapeutics against inflammation via sustained release of CO. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Optimization of a truck-drone in tandem delivery network using k-means and genetic algorithm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferrandez, S. M.; Harbison, T.; Weber, T.; Sturges, R.; Rich, R.

    2016-07-01

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of implementing unmanned aerial delivery vehicles in delivery networks. We investigate the notion of the reduced overall delivery time, energy, and costs for a truck-drone network by comparing the in-tandem system with a stand-alone delivery effort. The objectives are (1) to investigate the time, energy, and costs associated to a truck-drone delivery network compared to standalone truck or drone, (2) to propose an optimization algorithm that determines the optimal number of launch sites and locations given delivery requirements, and drones per truck, (3) to develop mathematical formulations for closed form estimations for the optimal number of launch locations, optimal total time, as well as the associated cost for the system. The design of the algorithm herein computes the minimal time of delivery utilizing K-means clustering to find launch locations, as well as a genetic algorithm to solve the truck route as a traveling salesmen problem (TSP). The optimal solution is determined by finding the minimum cost associated to the parabolic convex cost function. The optimal min-cost is determined by finding the most efficient launch locations using K-means algorithms to determine launch locations and a genetic algorithm to determine truck route between those launch locations. Results show improvements with in-tandem delivery efforts as opposed to standalone systems. Further, multiple drones per truck are more optimal and contribute to savings in both energy and time. For this, we sampled various initialization variables to derive closed form mathematical solutions for the problem. Ultimately, this provides the necessary analysis of an integrated truck-drone delivery system which could be implemented by a company in order to maximize deliveries while minimizing time and energy. Closed-form mathematical solutions can be used as close estimators for final costs and time. (Author)

  17. Optimization of a truck-drone in tandem delivery network using k-means and genetic algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Mourelo Ferrandez

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of implementing unmanned aerial delivery vehicles in delivery networks. We investigate the notion of the reduced overall delivery time, energy, and costs for a truck-drone network by comparing the in-tandem system with a stand-alone delivery effort. The objectives are (1 to investigate the time, energy, and costs associated to a truck-drone delivery network compared to standalone truck or drone, (2 to propose an optimization algorithm that determines the optimal number of launch sites and locations given delivery requirements, and drones per truck, (3 to develop mathematical formulations for closed form estimations for the optimal number of launch locations, optimal total time, as well as the associated cost for the system. Design/methodology/approach: The design of the algorithm herein computes the minimal time of delivery utilizing K-means clustering to find launch locations, as well as a genetic algorithm to solve the truck route as a traveling salesmen problem (TSP. The optimal solution is determined by finding the minimum cost associated to the parabolic convex cost function. The optimal min-cost is determined by finding the most efficient launch locations using K-means algorithms to determine launch locations and a genetic algorithm to determine truck route between those launch locations.  Findings: Results show improvements with in-tandem delivery efforts as opposed to standalone systems. Further, multiple drones per truck are more optimal and contribute to savings in both energy and time. For this, we sampled various initialization variables to derive closed form mathematical solutions for the problem. Originality/value: Ultimately, this provides the necessary analysis of an integrated truck-drone delivery system which could be implemented by a company in order to maximize deliveries while minimizing time and energy. Closed-form mathematical solutions can be used as

  18. Diversification of the resources of the Parisian water network : contribution to sustainable management of water resources

    OpenAIRE

    Trinh, Bich-Thuy

    2017-01-01

    At the scale of a city, a sustainable water management raises questions about the links between uses and resources: what water quality is needed for what purpose? The Parisian context is a favourable ground for conducting such type of reflection thanks to the existence of a non-potable water network (RENP) dating from the late nineteenth century. The network is currently supplied by summarily filtrated water from the Seine river (20%) and the canal de l’Ourcql (80%). It is mainly used for mun...

  19. Sustainable Investments in the Road Network Considering the Introduction of Automated Vehicles

    OpenAIRE

    Boonman, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Governments invest a lot of money in the road network and the automated vehicle will play a role in the future. The research question is: How can the current investments in the road network be made sustainable for the introduction of automated vehicles? The communication between cars and infrastructure will be with WI-FI-P and 5G communication. Traffic signs will disappear but not all traffic signs be removed. The road authority probably will invest less in physical and more in the digital...

  20. Network-Coded Content Delivery in Femtocaching-Assisted Cellular Networks

    KAUST Repository

    Shnaiwer, Yousef N.

    2015-12-06

    Next-generation cellular networks are expected to be assisted by femtocaches (FCs), which collectively store the most popular files for the clients. Given any arbitrary non-fragmented placement of such files, a strict no-latency constraint, and clients\\' prior knowledge, new file download requests could be efficiently handled by both the FCs and the macrocell base station (MBS) using opportunistic network coding (ONC). In this paper, we aim to find the best allocation of coded file downloads to the FCs so as to minimize the MBS involvement in this download process. We first formulate this optimization problem over an ONC graph, and show that it is NP-hard. We then propose a greedy approach that maximizes the number of files downloaded by the FCs, with the goal to reduce the download share of the MBS. This allocation is performed using a dual conflict ONC graph to avoid conflicts among the FC downloads. Simulations show that our proposed scheme almost achieves the optimal performance and significantly saves on the MBS bandwidth.

  1. Development of smart hydrogels of etherified gum ghatti for sustained oral delivery of ropinirole hydrochloride.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Somasree; Roy, Goutam; Maiti, Sabyasachi; Bhattacharyya, Uttam Kumar; Sil, Ayantika; Mitra, Ritwika

    2017-10-01

    Gum Ghatti (GG) is a water soluble complex polysaccharide obtained from Anogeissus latifolia. Due to its non toxic and excellent emulsifying characteristics, it was widely used in different pharmaceutical preparations. Currently another facet was explored for its utility as release retardant polymer in oral controlled drug delivery system. As GG solely was incapable of forming microspheres therefore modification of GG to Sodium carboxymethyl (NaCMGG) derivative was done by carboxymethylation process and its gel forming capacity was explored by the use of trivalent cation (Aluminium chloride) which results into complete microbead system in a complete aqueous environment for controlled delivery of Ropinirole Hydrochloride (RHCl). Rheological property of NaCMGG showed pseudoplastic shear thinning behavior. Spherical shape of bead was observed under scanning electron microscope. Depending upon the formulation variables, Drug entrapment efficiency (DEE) varies from 47.66±3.51 % to 71.4±2.65%., and 80 to 90% drug was released in 6h in pH 6.8 phosphate buffer. Drug release was governed by both fickian diffusion and polymer relaxation simultaneously. Compatible environment for drug entrapment was established by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Thus the modified derivative NaCMGG could be a promising polymer in biomedical application. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Development and in vitro characterization of floating sustained-release drug delivery systems of polyphenols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Ohad; Lavy, Eran; Gati, Irith; Kohen, Ron; Friedman, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and characterize floating stomach-retentive matrix tablets that will deliver polyphenols in a controlled release manner. The tablets were prepared by direct compression. A number of polymers were examined and egg albumin was chosen in light of a better performance in terms of floating behavior and decomposition time. Dissolution studies for three representative polyphenols loaded into a number of formulations were performed using the "f₂" factor in order to compare release profiles of different polyphenols and formulations. The release data showed a good fit into the power law equation and zero-order kinetics has been determined for some of the systems. Erosion and textural analysis studies revealed that higher concentration of egg albumin results in a higher gel strength that is less susceptible to erosion, potentially leading to a prolonged delivery time of drug. The ability of egg albumin-based tablets to resist high mechanical forces was also determined, while comparison to cellulose-derived polymers revealed that the latter have a much lower ability to resist the same forces. The developed delivery system has the potential to increase the efficacy of the therapy for various pathological stomach conditions and to improve patient compliance.

  3. Employee Engagement for Sustainable Organizations: Keyword Analysis Using Social Network Analysis and Burst Detection Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woocheol Kim

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The issue of sustainability is a vital long-term goal for organizations and as such has formed the basis of much academic research over the last two decades. Organizational sustainability is defined as the ability for an organization to accomplish a range of economic, environmental, and human performance objectives. As one of the most studied topics in organizational science, employee engagement at work is seen as a critical component to achieving sustainable organizational success. In order to better understand the employee engagement discourse, this study examined the keywords that appear in the titles and abstract of the employee engagement research domain using the burst detection and social network analysis techniques. A total of 1406 employee engagement relevant articles that were published from 1990 to 2015 were included and investigated in the study. The results revealed the fading, emerging, and central themes within the employee engagement domain.

  4. ANALYSIS OF A NETWORK OF COOPERATION IN MISIONES, ARGENTINA: BENEFITS AND LACKS FOR LOCAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Carlos, Michalus; Gilberto, Hernández Pérez

    2012-01-01

    We present a case study of a network of existing cooperation in the province of Misiones, Argentina, composed of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Elaboration of black tea and a group of SMEs from sawn wood, formed from the particular initiative of the tea entrepreneur. The aim is to identify the benefits of working in cooperation and, in turn, highlight the lacks when these processes are not performed in a planned and sustainable local oriented development. The case study that is exposed i...

  5. Flow of natural versus economic capital in industrial supply networks and its implications to sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ukidwe, Nandan U; Bakshi, Bhavik R

    2005-12-15

    Appreciating the reliance of industrial networks on natural capital is a necessary step toward their sustainable design and operation. However, most contemporary accounting techniques, including engineering economics, life cycle assessment, and full cost accounting, fail in this regard, as they take natural capital for granted and concentrate mainly on the economic aspects and emissions. The recently developed "thermodynamic input-output analysis" (TIOA) includes the contribution of ecological goods, ecosystem services, human resources, and impact of emissions in an economic input-output model. This paper uses TIOA to determine the throughputs of natural and economic capitals along industrial supply networks. The ratios of natural to economic capitals of economic sectors reveals a hierarchical organization of the U.S. economy wherein basic infrastructure industries are at the bottom and specialized value-added industries constitute the top. These results provide novel insight into the reliance of specific industrial sectors and supply chains on natural capital and the corresponding economic throughput. Such insight is useful for understanding the implications of corporate restructuring on industrial sustainability metrics and of outsourcing of business activities on outsourcer, outsourcee, and global sustainability. These implications are discussed from the standpoints of weak and strong sustainability paradigms. The calculated ratios can also be used for hybrid thermodynamic life cycle assessment.

  6. Assessing a commercially available sports drink on exogenous carbohydrate oxidation, fluid delivery and sustained exercise performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Justin D; Tarpey, Michael D; Kass, Lindsy S; Tarpey, Richard J; Roberts, Michael G

    2014-03-04

    Whilst exogenous carbohydrate oxidation (CHOEXO) is influenced by mono- and disaccharide combinations, debate exists whether such beverages enhance fluid delivery and exercise performance. Therefore, this study aimed to ascertain CHOEXO, fluid delivery and performance times of a commercially available maltodextrin/ fructose beverage in comparison to an isocaloric maltodextrin beverage and placebo. Fourteen club level cyclists (age: 31.79 ± 10.02 years; height: 1.79 ± 0.06 m; weight: 73.69 ± 9.24 kg; VO2max: 60.38 ± 9.36 mL · kg·-1 min-1) performed three trials involving 2.5 hours continuous exercise at 50% maximum power output (Wmax: 176.71 ± 25.92 W) followed by a 60 km cycling performance test. Throughout each trial, athletes were randomly assigned, in a double-blind manner, either: (1) 1.1 g · min-1 maltodextrin + 0.6 g · min-1 fructose (MD + F), (2) 1.7 g · min-1 of maltodextrin (MD) or (3) flavoured water (P). In addition, the test beverage at 60 minutes contained 5.0 g of deuterium oxide (2H2O) to assess quantification of fluid delivery. Expired air samples were analysed for CHOEXO according to the 13C/12C ratio method using gas chromatography continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Peak CHOEXO was significantly greater in the final 30 minutes of submaximal exercise with MD + F and MD compared to P (1.45 ± 0.09 g · min-1, 1.07 ± 0.03 g · min-1and 0.00 ± 0.01 g · min-1 respectively, P Performance times significantly improved with MD + F compared with both MD (by 7 min 22 s ± 1 min 56 s, or 7.2%) and P (by 6 min 35 s ± 2 min 33 s, or 6.5%, P performance times.

  7. Pharmacokinetic profile of a sustained-delivery system for physostigmine in rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, Donna [Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories (Kent Ridge), 27 Medical Drive, 12-00, Singapore 117597 (Singapore); Zhao Bin [Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories (Kent Ridge), 27 Medical Drive, 12-00, Singapore 117597 (Singapore); Moochhala, Shabbir [Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories (Kent Ridge), 27 Medical Drive, 12-00, Singapore 117597 (Singapore)]. E-mail: mshabbir@dso.org.sg; Yang Yiyan [Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos, 04-01, Singapore 138669 (Singapore)

    2006-07-25

    Physostigmine (PHY) is involved in clinical treatments of glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease and has been suggested as an alternative prophylactic treatment against organophosphate poisoning. However, one of the therapeutic uses of physostigmine is limited by short elimination half-life. In this study, PHY-loaded microparticles, prepared by a spray-drying method with biodegradable poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) with a size ranging from 1 to 5 {mu}M was developed on a sustained release preparation to prevent multiple dosing and yet maintaining constant plasma level. The release of PHY-loaded microparticles was characterized in vitro and in vivo after oral administration in Sprague-Dawley rats. After oral administration of physostigmine-loaded microparticles in rats, the time course of physostigmine in blood plasma was followed over 48 h and samples were analysed using a validated high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) assay. In the pharmacokinetics profile of physostigmine for the elimination half-life and area-under-curve, PHY release was sustained in vitro for over 1 week with a low initial burst release. The pharmacokinetics results show a 15-fold increase in the elimination half-life of physostigmine microparticle formulation, coupled with a larger area under the concentration-time curve (AUC), without affecting the peak concentration and the latency to peak concentration, when compared to the standard formulation.

  8. Sustained delivery of latanoprost by thermosensitive chitosan-gelatin-based hydrogel for controlling ocular hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yung-Hsin; Hung, Kuo-Hsuan; Tsai, Tung-Hu; Lee, Chia-Jung; Ku, Ruy-Yu; Chiu, Allen Wen-Hsiang; Chiou, Shih-Hwa; Liu, Catherine Jui-Ling

    2014-10-01

    Glaucoma is an irreversible ocular disease that may lead to progressive visual field loss and eventually to blindness with inadequately controlled intraocular pressure (IOP). Latanoprost is one of the most potent ocular hypotensive compounds, the current first-line therapy in glaucoma. However, the daily instillation required for efficacy and undesirable side-effects are major causes of treatment adherence failure and persistence in glaucoma therapy. In the present study, we developed an injectable thermosensitive chitosan/gelatin/glycerol phosphate (C/G/GP) hydrogel as a sustained-release system of latanoprost for glaucoma treatment. The latanoprost-loaded C/G/GP hydrogel can gel within 1min at 37°C. The results show a sustained release of latanoprost from C/G/GP hydrogel in vitro and in vivo. The latanoprost-loaded C/G/GP hydrogel showed a good in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility. A rabbit model of glaucoma was established by intravitreal injection of triamcinolone acetonide. After a single subconjunctival injection of latanoprost-loaded C/G/GP hydrogel, IOP was significantly decreased within 8days and then remained at a normal level. The results of the study suggest that latanoprost-loaded C/G/GP hydrogel may have a potential application in glaucoma therapy. Copyright © 2014 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Microspheres made of poly(epsilon-caprolactone)-based amphiphilic copolymers: potential in sustained delivery of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quaglia, Fabiana; Ostacolo, Luisanna; Nese, Giuseppe; De Rosa, Giuseppe; La Rotonda, Maria Immacolata; Palumbo, Rosario; Maglio, Giovanni

    2005-10-20

    Microspheres of amphiphilic multi-block poly(ester-ether)s (PEE)s and poly(ester-ether-amide)s (PEEA)s based on poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) were investigated as delivery systems for proteins. The interest was mainly focused on the effect of their molecular structure and composition on the overall properties of the microspheres, encapsulating bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein. PEEs and PEEAs were prepared using a alpha,omega-dihydroxy-terminated PCL macromer (Mn= 2.0 kDa) as a hydrophobic component. Hydrophilic oxyethylene sequences were generated using poly(ethylene oxide)s (PEO)s of different molecular mass (Mn= 300-600 Da) in the case of PEEs, or 4,7,10-trioxa-1,13-tridecanediamine (Trioxy) and PEO150 (Mn= 150 Da) in the case of PEEAs. The copolymers showed a decrease of Tm and crystallinity values as compared with PCL. Within each class of copolymers, the bulk hydrophilicity increased with increasing the number of oxyethylene groups in the chain repeat unit. PEEAs were more hydrophilic than PEEs with a similar number of oxyethylene groups. Discrete spherical particles were prepared by both PEEs and PEEAs and their BSA encapsulation efficiency related to copolymer properties. Interestingly, the insertion of short hydrophilic segments is enough to significantly affect protein distribution inside microspheres and its release profiles, as compared to PCL microspheres. Different degradation rates and mechanisms were observed for copolymer microspheres, mainly depending on the distribution of oxyethylene units along the chain. The results highlight that a fine control over the structural parameters of amphiphilic PCL-based multi-block copolymers is a key factor for their application in the field of protein delivery.

  10. Sustainability of a community-based anti-retroviral care delivery model - a qualitative research study in Tete, Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasschaert, Freya; Decroo, Tom; Remartinez, Daniel; Telfer, Barbara; Lessitala, Faustino; Biot, Marc; Candrinho, Baltazar; Van Damme, Wim

    2014-01-01

    To overcome patients' reported barriers to accessing anti-retroviral therapy (ART), a community-based delivery model was piloted in Tete, Mozambique. Community ART Groups (CAGs) of maximum six patients stable on ART offered cost- and time-saving benefits and mutual psychosocial support, which resulted in better adherence and retention outcomes. To date, Médecins Sans Frontières has coordinated and supported these community-driven activities. To better understand the sustainability of the CAG model, we developed a conceptual framework on sustainability of community-based programmes. This was used to explore the data retrieved from 16 focus group discussions and 24 in-depth interviews with different stakeholder groups involved in the CAG model and to identify factors influencing the sustainability of the CAG model. We report the findings according to the framework's five components. (1) The CAG model was designed to overcome patients' barriers to ART and was built on a concept of self-management and patient empowerment to reach effective results. (2) Despite the progressive Ministry of Health (MoH) involvement, the daily management of the model is still strongly dependent on external resources, especially the need for a regulatory cadre to form and monitor the groups. These additional resources are in contrast to the limited MoH resources available. (3) The model is strongly embedded in the community, with patients taking a more active role in their own healthcare and that of their peers. They are considered as partners in healthcare, which implies a new healthcare approach. (4) There is a growing enabling environment with political will and general acceptance to support the CAG model. (5) However, contextual factors, such as poverty, illiteracy and the weak health system, influence the community-based model and need to be addressed. The community embeddedness of the model, together with patient empowerment, high acceptability and progressive MoH involvement

  11. Development of a system dynamics model for financially sustainable management of municipal watermain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehan, R; Knight, M A; Unger, A J A; Haas, C T

    2013-12-15

    This paper develops causal loop diagrams and a system dynamics model for financially sustainable management of urban water distribution networks. The developed causal loop diagrams are a novel contribution in that it illustrates the unique characteristics and feedback loops for financially self-sustaining water distribution networks. The system dynamics model is a mathematical realization of the developed interactions among system variables over time and is comprised of three sectors namely watermains network, consumer, and finance. This is the first known development of a water distribution network system dynamics model. The watermains network sector accounts for the unique characteristics of watermain pipes such as service life, deterioration progression, pipe breaks, and water leakage. The finance sector allows for cash reserving by the utility in addition to the pay-as-you-go and borrowing strategies. The consumer sector includes controls to model water fee growth as a function of service performance and a household's financial burden due to water fees. A series of policy levers are provided that allow the impact of various financing strategies to be evaluated in terms of financial sustainability and household affordability. The model also allows for examination of the impact of different management strategies on the water fee in terms of consistency and stability over time. The paper concludes with a discussion on how the developed system dynamics water model can be used by water utilities to achieve a variety of utility short and long-term objectives and to establish realistic and defensible water utility policies. It also discusses how the model can be used by regulatory bodies, government agencies, the financial industry, and researchers. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Bimatoprost-loaded ocular inserts as sustained release drug delivery systems for glaucoma treatment: in vitro and in vivo evaluation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juçara Ribeiro Franca

    Full Text Available The purpose of the present study was to develop and assess a novel sustained-release drug delivery system of Bimatoprost (BIM. Chitosan polymeric inserts were prepared using the solvent casting method and characterized by swelling studies, infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, drug content, scanning electron microscopy and in vitro drug release. Biodistribution of 99mTc-BIM eye drops and 99mTc-BIM-loaded inserts, after ocular administration in Wistar rats, was accessed by ex vivo radiation counting. The inserts were evaluated for their therapeutic efficacy in glaucomatous Wistar rats. Glaucoma was induced by weekly intracameral injection of hyaluronic acid. BIM-loaded inserts (equivalent to 9.0 µg BIM were administered once into conjunctival sac, after ocular hypertension confirmation. BIM eye drop was topically instilled in a second group of glaucomatous rats for 15 days days, while placebo inserts were administered once in a third group. An untreated glaucomatous group was used as control. Intraocular pressure (IOP was monitored for four consecutive weeks after treatment began. At the end of the experiment, retinal ganglion cells and optic nerve head cupping were evaluated in the histological eye sections. Characterization results revealed that the drug physically interacted, but did not chemically react with the polymeric matrix. Inserts sustainedly released BIM in vitro during 8 hours. Biodistribution studies showed that the amount of 99mTc-BIM that remained in the eye was significantly lower after eye drop instillation than after chitosan insert implantation. BIM-loaded inserts lowered IOP for 4 weeks, after one application, while IOP values remained significantly high for the placebo and untreated groups. Eye drops were only effective during the daily treatment period. IOP results were reflected in RGC counting and optic nerve head cupping damage. BIM-loaded inserts provided sustained release of BIM and seem to be a

  13. Injectable supramolecular hydrogel formed from α-cyclodextrin and PEGylated arginine-functionalized poly(l-lysine) dendron for sustained MMP-9 shRNA plasmid delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qianming; Yang, Yumeng; Hu, Qian; Guo, Zhong; Liu, Tao; Xu, Jiake; Wu, Jianping; Kirk, Thomas Brett; Ma, Dong; Xue, Wei

    2017-02-01

    Hydrogels have attracted much attention in cancer therapy and tissue engineering due to their sustained gene delivery ability. To obtain an injectable and high-efficiency gene delivery hydrogel, methoxypolyethylene glycol (MPEG) was used to conjugate with the arginine-functionalized poly(l-lysine) dendron (PLLD-Arg) by click reaction, and then the synthesized MPEG-PLLD-Arg interacted with α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) to form the supramolecular hydrogel by the host-guest interaction. The gelation dynamics, hydrogel strength and shear viscosity could be modulated by α-CD content in the hydrogel. MPEG-PLLD-Arg was confirmed to bind and deliver gene effectively, and its gene transfection efficiency was significantly higher than PEI-25k under its optimized condition. After gelation, MMP-9 shRNA plasmid (pMMP-9) could be encapsulated into the hydrogel matrix in situ and be released from the hydrogels sustainedly, as the release rate was dependent on α-CD content. The released MPEG-PLLD-Arg/pMMP-9 complex still showed better transfection efficiency than PEI-25k and induced sustained tumor cell apoptosis. Also, in vivo assays indicated that this pMMP-9-loaded supramolecular hydrogel could result in the sustained tumor growth inhibition meanwhile showed good biocompatibility. As an injectable, sustained and high-efficiency gene delivery system, this supramolecular hydrogel is a promising candidate for long-term gene therapy. To realize the sustained gene delivery for gene therapy, a supramolecular hydrogel with high-efficiency gene delivery ability was prepared through the host-guest interaction between α-cyclodextrin and PEGylated arginine-functionalized poly(l-lysine) dendron. The obtained hydrogel was injectable and biocompatible with adjustable physicochemical property. More importantly, the hydrogel showed the high-efficiency and sustained gene transfection to our used cells, better than PEI-25k. The supramolecular hydrogel resulted in the sustained tumor growth

  14. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Toby A.; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos; Lees, Alexander C.; Parry, Luke; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Berenguer, Erika; Abramovay, Ricardo; Aleixo, Alexandre; Andretti, Christian; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.; Araújo, Ivanei; de Ávila, Williams Souza; Bardgett, Richard D.; Batistella, Mateus; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Beldini, Troy; de Blas, Driss Ezzine; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Braga, Danielle de Lima; de Brito, Janaína Gomes; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Campos dos Santos, Fabiane; de Oliveira, Vívian Campos; Cordeiro, Amanda Cardoso Nunes; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Carvalho, Déborah Reis; Castelani, Sergio André; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Costa, Francisco de Assis; da Costa, Carla Daniele Furtado; Coudel, Emilie; Coutinho, Alexandre Camargo; Cunha, Dênis; D'Antona, Álvaro; Dezincourt, Joelma; Dias-Silva, Karina; Durigan, Mariana; Esquerdo, Júlio César Dalla Mora; Feres, José; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Ferreira, Amanda Estefânia de Melo; Fiorini, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Lenise Vargas Flores; Frazão, Fábio Soares; Garrett, Rachel; Gomes, Alessandra dos Santos; Gonçalves, Karoline da Silva; Guerrero, José Benito; Hamada, Neusa; Hughes, Robert M.; Igliori, Danilo Carmago; Jesus, Ederson da Conceição; Juen, Leandro; Junior, Miércio; Junior, José Max Barbosa de Oliveira; Junior, Raimundo Cosme de Oliveira; Junior, Carlos Souza; Kaufmann, Phil; Korasaki, Vanesca; Leal, Cecília Gontijo; Leitão, Rafael; Lima, Natália; Almeida, Maria de Fátima Lopes; Lourival, Reinaldo; Louzada, Júlio; Nally, Ralph Mac; Marchand, Sébastien; Maués, Márcia Motta; Moreira, Fátima M. S.; Morsello, Carla; Moura, Nárgila; Nessimian, Jorge; Nunes, Sâmia; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Pardini, Renata; Pereira, Heloisa Correia; Pompeu, Paulo Santos; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Rossetti, Felipe; Schmidt, Fernando Augusto; da Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva, Regina Célia Viana Martins; da Silva, Thiago Fonseca Morello Ramalho; Silveira, Juliana; Siqueira, João Victor; de Carvalho, Teotônio Soares; Solar, Ricardo R. C.; Tancredi, Nicola Savério Holanda; Thomson, James R.; Torres, Patrícia Carignano; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Viana, Cecília; Weinhold, Diana; Zanetti, Ronald; Zuanon, Jansen

    2013-01-01

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far. PMID:23610172

  15. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Toby A; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos; Lees, Alexander C; Parry, Luke; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Berenguer, Erika; Abramovay, Ricardo; Aleixo, Alexandre; Andretti, Christian; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Araújo, Ivanei; de Ávila, Williams Souza; Bardgett, Richard D; Batistella, Mateus; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Beldini, Troy; de Blas, Driss Ezzine; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Braga, Danielle de Lima; de Brito, Janaína Gomes; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Campos dos Santos, Fabiane; de Oliveira, Vívian Campos; Cordeiro, Amanda Cardoso Nunes; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Carvalho, Déborah Reis; Castelani, Sergio André; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Costa, Francisco de Assis; da Costa, Carla Daniele Furtado; Coudel, Emilie; Coutinho, Alexandre Camargo; Cunha, Dênis; D'Antona, Álvaro; Dezincourt, Joelma; Dias-Silva, Karina; Durigan, Mariana; Esquerdo, Júlio César Dalla Mora; Feres, José; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Ferreira, Amanda Estefânia de Melo; Fiorini, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Lenise Vargas Flores; Frazão, Fábio Soares; Garrett, Rachel; Gomes, Alessandra dos Santos; Gonçalves, Karoline da Silva; Guerrero, José Benito; Hamada, Neusa; Hughes, Robert M; Igliori, Danilo Carmago; Jesus, Ederson da Conceição; Juen, Leandro; Junior, Miércio; de Oliveira Junior, José Max Barbosa; de Oliveira Junior, Raimundo Cosme; Souza Junior, Carlos; Kaufmann, Phil; Korasaki, Vanesca; Leal, Cecília Gontijo; Leitão, Rafael; Lima, Natália; Almeida, Maria de Fátima Lopes; Lourival, Reinaldo; Louzada, Júlio; Mac Nally, Ralph; Marchand, Sébastien; Maués, Márcia Motta; Moreira, Fátima M S; Morsello, Carla; Moura, Nárgila; Nessimian, Jorge; Nunes, Sâmia; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Pardini, Renata; Pereira, Heloisa Correia; Pompeu, Paulo Santos; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Rossetti, Felipe; Schmidt, Fernando Augusto; da Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva, Regina Célia Viana Martins; da Silva, Thiago Fonseca Morello Ramalho; Silveira, Juliana; Siqueira, João Victor; de Carvalho, Teotônio Soares; Solar, Ricardo R C; Tancredi, Nicola Savério Holanda; Thomson, James R; Torres, Patrícia Carignano; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Viana, Cecília; Weinhold, Diana; Zanetti, Ronald; Zuanon, Jansen

    2013-06-05

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far.

  16. Formulation and evaluation of sustained release enteric-coated pellets of budesonide for intestinal delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raval, Mihir K; Ramani, Riddhi V; Sheth, Navin R

    2013-10-01

    The aim of present work was to develop intestinal-targeted pellets of Budesonide, a potent glucocorticoid, used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease by extrusion and spheronization method. Current available oral formulations of Budesonide have low efficacy because of the premature drug release in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, a pH-controlled intestinal-targeted pellet of budesonide was established using 3(2) full factorial design by giving an enteric coating with Eudragit S100. Budesonide-sustained release pellets were prepared by extruder and spheronization technique using a combination of water-soluble and permeable polymers by applying 3(2) full factorial design. The pellets were coated by spray coating technique using Eudragit S100 as an enteric polymer. The pellets were characterized for its flowability, sphericity, friability, and in vitro drug release. Release behaviour was studied in different pH media. The release profile was studied for the mechanism of drug release. The optimized formulation showed negligible drug release in the stomach followed by release for 12 h in the intestinal pH. Differential scanning calorimetry and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy studies indicated no interaction between drug and polymer. Scanning Electron Microscopy image of coated pellets suggested a uniform and smooth coat over the surface of pellets. Accelerated stability studies showed a stable nature of drug in the formulation. All evaluation parameter showed that pellets were good in spherocity and flowability. Sustained release pellets of Budesonide could be prepared by extrusion and spheronization which released the drug in intestinal pH for an intestine to treat inflammatory bowel disease. A ratio of polymer combination could be decided using a full factorial design.

  17. Analyzing collaboration networks and developmental patterns of nano-enabled drug delivery (NEDD for brain cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Huang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The rapid development of new and emerging science & technologies (NESTs brings unprecedented challenges, but also opportunities. In this paper, we use bibliometric and social network analyses, at country, institution, and individual levels, to explore the patterns of scientific networking for a key nano area – nano-enabled drug delivery (NEDD. NEDD has successfully been used clinically to modulate drug release and to target particular diseased tissues. The data for this research come from a global compilation of research publication information on NEDD directed at brain cancer. We derive a family of indicators that address multiple facets of research collaboration and knowledge transfer patterns. Results show that: (1 international cooperation is increasing, but networking characteristics change over time; (2 highly productive institutions also lead in influence, as measured by citation to their work, with American institutes leading; (3 research collaboration is dominated by local relationships, with interesting information available from authorship patterns that go well beyond journal impact factors. Results offer useful technical intelligence to help researchers identify potential collaborators and to help inform R&D management and science & innovation policy for such nanotechnologies.

  18. [Health system sustainability from a network perspective: a proposal to optimize healthy habits and social support].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marqués Sánchez, Pilar; Fernández Peña, Rosario; Cabrera León, Andrés; Muñoz Doyague, María F; Llopis Cañameras, Jaime; Arias Ramos, Natalia

    2013-01-01

    The search of new health management formulas focused to give wide services is one of the priorities of our present health policies. Those formulas examine the optimization of the links between the main actors involved in public health, ie, users, professionals, local socio-political and corporate agents. This paper is aimed to introduce the Social Network Analysis as a method for analyzing, measuring and interpreting those connections. The knowledge of people's relationships (what is called social networks) in the field of public health is becoming increasingly important at an international level. In fact, countries such as UK, Netherlands, Italy, Australia and U.S. are looking formulas to apply this knowledge to their health departments. With this work we show the utility of the ARS on topics related to sustainability of the health system, particularly those related with health habits and social support, topics included in the 2020 health strategies that underline the importance of the collaborative aspects in networks.

  19. Packaged water: optimizing local processes for sustainable water delivery in developing nations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dada Ayokunle C

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract With so much global attention and commitment towards making the Water and Sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs a reality, available figures seem to speak on the contrary as they reveal a large disparity between the expected and what currently obtains especially in developing countries. As studies have shown that the standard industrialized world model for delivery of safe drinking water technology may not be affordable in much of the developing world, packaged water is suggested as a low cost, readily available alternative water provision that could help bridge the gap. Despite the established roles that this drinking water source plays in developing nations, its importance is however significantly underestimated, and the source considered unimproved going by 'international standards'. Rather than simply disqualifying water from this source, focus should be on identifying means of improvement. The need for intervening global communities and developmental organizations to learn from and build on the local processes that already operate in the developing world is also emphasized. Identifying packaged water case studies of some developing nations, the implication of a tenacious focus on imported policies, standards and regulatory approaches on drinking water access for residents of the developing world is also discussed.

  20. Well-defined degradable brush polymer-drug conjugates for sustained delivery of Paclitaxel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yun; Chen, Chih-Kuang; Law, Wing-Cheung; Mok, Jorge; Zou, Jiong; Prasad, Paras N; Cheng, Chong

    2013-03-04

    To achieve a conjugated drug delivery system with high drug loading but minimal long-term side effects, a degradable brush polymer-drug conjugate (BPDC) was synthesized through azide-alkyne click reaction of acetylene-functionalized polylactide (PLA) with azide-functionalized paclitaxel (PTXL) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Well-controlled structures of the resulting BPDC and its precursors were verified by (1)H NMR and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) characterizations. With nearly quantitative click efficiency, drug loading amount of the BPDC reached 23.2 wt %. Both dynamic light scattering (DLS) analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging indicated that the BPDC had a nanoscopic size around 10-30 nm. The significant hydrolytic degradability of the PLA backbone of the BPDC was confirmed by GPC analysis of its incubated solution. Drug release study showed that PTXL moieties can be released through the cleavage of the hydrolyzable conjugation linkage in pH 7.4 at 37 °C, with 50% release in about 22 h. As illustrated by cytotoxicity study, while the polymeric scaffold of the BPDC is nontoxic, the BPDC exhibited higher therapeutic efficacy toward MCF-7 cancer cells than free PTXL at 0.1 and 1 μg/mL. Using Nile red as encapsulated fluorescence probe, cell uptake study showed effective internalization of the BPDC into the cells.

  1. Sustained Correction of Motoneuron Histopathology Following Intramuscular Delivery of AAV in Pompe Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    ElMallah, Mai K; Falk, Darin J; Nayak, Sushrusha; Federico, Roland A; Sandhu, Milapjit S; Poirier, Amy; Byrne, Barry J; Fuller, David D

    2014-01-01

    Pompe disease is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the acid-α glucosidase (GAA) gene. Lingual dysfunction is prominent but does not respond to conventional enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). Using Pompe (Gaa−/−) mice, we tested the hypothesis that intralingual delivery of viral vectors encoding GAA results in GAA expression and glycogen clearance in both tongue myofibers and hypoglossal (XII) motoneurons. An intralingual injection of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector encoding GAA (serotypes 1 or 9; 1 × 1011 vector genomes, CMV promoter) was performed in 2-month-old Gaa−/− mice, and tissues were harvested 4 months later. Both serotypes robustly transduced tongue myofibers with histological confirmation of GAA expression (immunochemistry) and glycogen clearance (Period acid-Schiff stain). Both vectors also led to medullary transgene expression. GAA-positive motoneurons did not show the histopathologic features which are typical in Pompe disease and animal models. Intralingual injection with the AAV9 vector resulted in approximately threefold more GAA-positive XII motoneurons (P GAA expression in tongue myofibers and motoneurons, but AAV9 may more effectively target motoneurons. PMID:24336173

  2. The development of Sustainability Graduate Community (SGC) as a learning pathway for sustainability education - a framework for engineering programmes in Malaysia Technical Universities Network (MTUN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johan, Kartina; Mohd Turan, Faiz

    2016-11-01

    ‘Environmental and sustainability’ is one of the Program Outcome (PO) designated by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) as one of the accreditation program requirement. However, to-date the implementation of sustainability elements in engineering programme in the technical universities in Malaysia is within individual faculty's curriculum plan and lack of university-level structured learning pathway, which enable all students to have access to an education in sustainability across all disciplines. Sustainability Graduate Community (SGC) is a framework designed to provide a learning pathway in the curriculum of engineering programs to inculcate sustainability education among engineering graduates. This paper aims to study the required attributes in Sustainability Graduate Community (SGC) framework to produce graduates who are not just engineers but also skilful in sustainability competencies using Global Project Management (GPM) P5 Standard for Sustainability. The development of the conceptual framework is to provide a constructive teaching and learning plan for educators and policy makers to work on together in developing the Sustainability Graduates (SG), the new kind of graduates from Malaysia Technical Universities Network (MTUN) in Malaysia who are literate in sustainability practices. The framework also support the call for developing holistic students based on Malaysian Education Blueprint (Higher Education) and address the gap between the statuses of engineering qualification to the expected competencies from industries in Malaysia in particular by achieving the SG attributes outlined in the framework

  3. Heparinized collagen sutures for sustained delivery of PDGF-BB: Delivery profile and effects on tendon-derived cells In-Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Younesi, Mousa; Donmez, Baris Ozgur; Islam, Anowarul; Akkus, Ozan

    2016-09-01

    term studies are needed to confirm whether this proliferation is outweighs the moderate reduction in the expression of tendon-associated genes. A mechanically robust pure collagen suture was fabricated via linear electrocompaction and conjugated with heparin for prolonged delivery of PDFG-BB. Sustained delivery of the PDGF-BB improved the proliferation of tendon derived cells substantially at the expense of a moderate downregulation of tenogenic markers. The collagen threads were functionally applicable as epitendinous sutures when applied to chicken flexor tendons in vitro. Overall, electrocompacted collagen sutures holds potential to improve repair outcome in flexor tendon surgeries by improving cellularity and collagen production through delivery of the PDGF-BB. The bioinductive suture concept can be applied to deliver other growth factors for a wide-array of applications. Copyright © 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Sustained Local Delivery of siRNA from an Injectable Scaffold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Christopher E.; Gupta, Mukesh K.; Adolph, Elizabeth J.; Shannon, Joshua M.; Guelcher, Scott A.; Duvall, Craig L.

    2011-01-01

    Controlled gene silencing technologies have significant, unrealized potential for use in tissue regeneration applications. The design described herein provides a means to package and protect siRNA within pH-responsive, endosomolytic micellar nanoparticles (si-NPs) that can be incorporated into nontoxic, biodegradable, and injectable polyurethane (PUR) tissue scaffolds. The si-NPs were homogeneously incorporated throughout the porous PUR scaffolds, and they were shown to be released via a diffusion-based mechanism for over three weeks. The siRNA-loaded micelles were larger but retained nano particulate morphology of approximately 100 nm diameter following incorporation into and release from the scaffolds. PUR scaffold releasate collected in vitro in PBS at 37°C for 1–4 days was able to achieve dose-dependent siRNA-mediated silencing with approximately 50% silencing achieved of the model gene GAPDH in NIH3T3 mouse fibroblasts. This promising platform technology provides both a research tool capable of probing the effects of local gene silencing and a potentially high-impact therapeutic approach for sustained, local silencing of deleterious genes within tissue defects. PMID:22061489

  5. Sustained delivery of vincristine inside an orthotopic mouse sarcoma model decreases tumor growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Jamie C; Coburn, Jeannine M; Kajdacsy-Balla, Andre; Kaplan, David L; Chiu, Bill

    2016-12-01

    Sarcoma accounts for 20% of solid tumors in children. Surgery has significant morbidity. We hypothesized that delivering chemotherapy directly into tumors through sustained release silk systems could slow tumor growth. Human Ewing sarcoma cells A673 were cultured with vincristine and doxorubicin to determine half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50). Cells were injected into mouse hind leg to create orthotopic tumors. Tumor volumes were measured using ultrasound. When volume reached >250mm(3,) interventions included: implantation of drug-free silk foam (Control-F), doxorubicin 400μg foam (Dox400-F), vincristine 50μg foam (Vin50-F), drug-free silk gel (Control-G), vincristine 50μg gel (Vin50-G), or single dose intravenous vincristine 50μg (Vin50-IV). End-point was volume>1000mm(3). Kaplan Meier and ANOVA were used. IC50 for vincristine and doxorubicin was 0.5ng/mL and 200ng/mL, respectively. There was no difference between Dox400-F [6±1days to end point (DTEP)] and Control-F (5±1.3 DTEP). Vin50-F (12.4±3.5 DTEP) had slower growth compared to Control-F (pinside the sarcoma tumor with silk gel decreased tumor growth. Applying this intratumoral treatment strategy may potentially decrease the extent of surgical excision. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Local sustained-release delivery systems of the antibiofilm agent thiazolidinedione-8 for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenderovich, Julia; Feldman, Mark; Kirmayer, David; Al-Quntar, Abed; Steinberg, Doron; Lavy, Eran; Friedman, Michael

    2015-05-15

    Thiazolidinedione-8 (TZD-8) is an anti-quorum-sensing molecule that has the potential to effectively prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections, a major healthcare challenge. Sustained-release drug-delivery systems can enhance drugs' therapeutic potential, by maintaining their therapeutic level and reducing their side effects. Varnishes for sustained release of TZD-8 based on ethylcellulose or ammonio methacrylate copolymer type A (Eudragit(®) RL) were developed. The main factors affecting release rate were found to be film thickness and presence of a hydrophilic or swellable polymer in the matrix. The release mechanism of ethylcellulose-based systems matched the Higuchi model. Selected varnishes were retained on catheters for at least 8 days. Sustained-release delivery systems of TZD-8 were active against Candida albicans biofilms. The present study demonstrates promising results en route to developing applications for the prevention of catheter-associated infections. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Development of a qualitative exploratory case study research method to explore sustained delivery of cognitive services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaae, Susanne; Søndergaard, Birthe; Haugbølle, Lotte Stig; Traulsen, Janine Morgall

    2010-02-01

    sustainability of cognitive services.

  8. Surface science analysis of GaAs photocathodes following sustained electron beam delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Shutthanandan

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Degradation of the photocathode materials employed in photoinjectors represents a challenge for sustained operation of nuclear physics accelerators and high power free electron lasers (FEL. Photocathode quantum efficiency degradation is due to residual gases in the electron source vacuum system being ionized and accelerated back to the photocathode. These investigations are a first attempt to characterize the nature of the photocathode degradation, and employ multiple surface and bulk analysis techniques to investigate damage mechanisms including sputtering of the Cs-oxidant surface monolayer, other surface chemistry effects, and ion implantation. Surface and bulk analysis studies were conducted on two GaAs photocathodes, which were removed from the JLab FEL DC photoemission gun after delivering electron beam, and two control samples. The analysis techniques include helium ion microscopy, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS, atomic force microscopy, and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS. In addition, two high-polarization strained superlattice GaAs photocathode samples, one removed from the continuous electron beam accelerator facility (CEBAF photoinjector and one unused, were also analyzed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM and SIMS. It was found that heat cleaning the FEL GaAs wafer introduces surface roughness, which seems to be reduced by prolonged use. The bulk GaAs samples retained a fairly well organized crystalline structure after delivering beam but show evidence of Cs depletion on the surface. Within the precision of the SIMS and RBS measurements, the data showed no indication of hydrogen implantation or lattice damage from ion back bombardment in the bulk GaAs wafers. In contrast, SIMS and TEM measurements of the strained superlattice photocathode show clear crystal damage in the wafer from ion back bombardment.

  9. Sustainable forest management in Latium (Italy: implementation of sector rules based on Nature 2000 Network indications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaglioppa P

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg has declared the year 2010 as “Year of Biodiversity”, though erosion of biodiversity around the world is still ongoing. Some actions were initiated by national Governments and the European Union, like Nature 2000 Network and Sustainable Forest Management. Pursuing the above EU targets, the administration of the Latium region (central Italy has issued several acts with the aim of creating a system of protected areas where the main focus for silvicultural activities is on biodiversity conservation and the preservation of multi-functionality of forests. Priority of forest planning activities and financing has been given to main habitats and species, sensu 92/43/CEE and 79/409/CEE European Directives. The Nature 2000 Network and the regional offices of Forestry and Protected Areas worked together to increase the forest managed areas, to apply the SFM (Sustainable Forest Management practices and to promote local community development. The Forest Conservation Area, with the help of EU Funds, is financing a Forest Management Plan in Nature 2000 sites and protected areas. The offices for Protected Areas and Nature 2000 Network are working to simplify the administrative procedures for logging in special Protected areas and in forest habitats with no specific conservation priority.

  10. Sustainable Technology Analysis of Artificial Intelligence Using Bayesian and Social Network Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juhwan Kim

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI have led to a significant increase in the use of AI technologies. Many experts are researching and developing AI technologies in their respective fields, often submitting papers and patent applications as a result. In particular, owing to the characteristics of the patent system that is used to protect the exclusive rights to registered technology, patent documents contain detailed information on the developed technology. Therefore, in this study, we propose a statistical method for analyzing patent data on AI technology to improve our understanding of sustainable technology in the field of AI. We collect patent documents that are related to AI technology, and then analyze the patent data to identify sustainable AI technology. In our analysis, we develop a statistical method that combines social network analysis and Bayesian modeling. Based on the results of the proposed method, we provide a technological structure that can be applied to understand the sustainability of AI technology. To show how the proposed method can be applied to a practical problem, we apply the technological structure to a case study in order to analyze sustainable AI technology.

  11. Application of Network Analysis for Development and Promotion of Sustainable Tourism in Public Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brach Michał

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The issue of sustainable tourism within valuable natural areas has been extensively discussed ever since the emergence of sustainable development philosophy in the 1990s. In view of growing public interest in nature recreation and tourism development, the importance of addressing this subject matter has hitherto increased significantly. The main objective of the present paper was to offer a tool for supporting development and promotion of sustainable tourism in Poland’s forests managed by the State Forests - National Forest Holding. GIS technology, and specific tools for network analysis were used in the project. During task realization, only free and open software sources were used. The work was performed based on the example of the Forest District Żołędowo (Regional Directorate of State Forests in Toruń, Poland with the use of District’s spatial data resources. A web application was created to present information about tourist attractions and infrastructure on an interactive map with tools for route planning. As a result, there has been developed the web mapping application which provides general access to tourism related information and enables planning touristic routes by pre-specified criteria. Implemented routing algorithms can help traffic management and further protection of the areas vulnerable to anthropogenic pressures. The system created not only promotes attractive tourist sites but also, supports targeting tourist traffic, and accordingly - adds to the progress of sustainable tourism

  12. An integrated networking approach for a sustainable textile sector in Solapur, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishwas N. Khatri

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This article addresses the environmental aspects of an unorganised textile sector with large-scale employment through a case study of the city of Solapur in the state of Maharashtra, India. Waste generated from the textile sector is causing serious problems such as changes to land and agricultural patterns, air quality, health and biodiversity. The methodology includes qualitative and quantitative data regarding the possible impact on climate, health, agriculture, biodiversity, water, air and soil. A detailed analysis was carried out through an extensive literature review. A possible solution in the form of a sustainable networking model for mitigating change is suggested. The sustainable model with integration of information and communication technology (ICT will help achieve the desired development goals. The role of ICT is to channelise the supply chain, which can increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the sector.

  13. A Methodology for a Sustainable CO2 Capture and Utilization Network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frauzem, Rebecca; Fjellerup, Kasper; Gani, Rafiqul

    2015-01-01

    are being investigated and implemented [1]. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the dominant method that is discussed. However, CO2 utilization is receiving increased attention for its ability to help in long-term CO2 reduction and the formation of various chemical products. One of the primary elements...... is the sustainable linkage of carbon capture to produce the CO2 feed and the subsequent conversion processes. A manipulation of an MEA absorption process, the current industrial standard for carbon capture [2], is investigated. The resulting CO2 stream can be directly fed into a variety of conversion processes...... hydrogenation highlights the application. This case study illustrates the utility of the utilization network and elements of the methodology being developed. In addition, the conversion process is linked with carbon capture to evaluate the overall sustainability. Finally, the production of the other raw...

  14. [Application of an artificial neural network in the design of sustained-release dosage forms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, X H; Wu, J J; Liang, W Q

    2001-09-01

    To use the artificial neural network (ANN) in Matlab 5.1 tool-boxes to predict the formulations of sustained-release tablets. The solubilities of nine drugs and various ratios of HPMC: Dextrin for 63 tablet formulations were used as the ANN model input, and in vitro accumulation released at 6 sampling times were used as output. The ANN model was constructed by selecting the optimal number of iterations (25) and model structure in which there are one hidden layer and five hidden layer nodes. The optimized ANN model was used for prediction of formulation based on desired target in vitro dissolution-time profiles. ANN predicted profiles based on ANN predicted formulations were closely similar to the target profiles. The ANN could be used for predicting the dissolution profiles of sustained release dosage form and for the design of optimal formulation.

  15. Priority-Based Content Delivery in the Internet of Vehicles through Named Data Networking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marica Amadeo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Named Data Networking (NDN has been recently proposed as a prominent solution for content delivery in the Internet of Vehicles (IoV, where cars equipped with a variety of wireless communication technologies exchange information aimed to support safety, traffic efficiency, monitoring and infotainment applications. The main NDN tenets, i.e., name-based communication and in-network caching, perfectly fit the demands of time- and spatially-relevant content requested by vehicles regardless of their provenance. However, existing vehicular NDN solutions have not been targeted to wisely ensure prioritized traffic treatment based on the specific needs of heterogeneous IoV content types. In this work, we propose a holistic NDN solution that, according to the demands of data traffic codified in NDN content names, dynamically shapes the NDN forwarding decisions to ensure the appropriate prioritization. Specifically, our proposal first selects the outgoing interface(s (i.e., 802.11, LTE for NDN packets and then properly tunes the timing of the actual transmissions. Simulation results show that the proposed enhancements succeed in achieving differentiated traffic treatment, while keeping traffic load under control.

  16. Energetic Constraints Produce Self-sustained Oscillatory Dynamics in Neuronal Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burroni, Javier; Taylor, P; Corey, Cassian; Vachnadze, Tengiz; Siegelmann, Hava T

    2017-01-01

    Overview: We model energy constraints in a network of spiking neurons, while exploring general questions of resource limitation on network function abstractly. Background: Metabolic states like dietary ketosis or hypoglycemia have a large impact on brain function and disease outcomes. Glia provide metabolic support for neurons, among other functions. Yet, in computational models of glia-neuron cooperation, there have been no previous attempts to explore the effects of direct realistic energy costs on network activity in spiking neurons. Currently, biologically realistic spiking neural networks assume that membrane potential is the main driving factor for neural spiking, and do not take into consideration energetic costs. Methods: We define local energy pools to constrain a neuron model, termed Spiking Neuron Energy Pool (SNEP), which explicitly incorporates energy limitations. Each neuron requires energy to spike, and resources in the pool regenerate over time. Our simulation displays an easy-to-use GUI, which can be run locally in a web browser, and is freely available. Results: Energy dependence drastically changes behavior of these neural networks, causing emergent oscillations similar to those in networks of biological neurons. We analyze the system via Lotka-Volterra equations, producing several observations: (1) energy can drive self-sustained oscillations, (2) the energetic cost of spiking modulates the degree and type of oscillations, (3) harmonics emerge with frequencies determined by energy parameters, and (4) varying energetic costs have non-linear effects on energy consumption and firing rates. Conclusions: Models of neuron function which attempt biological realism may benefit from including energy constraints. Further, we assert that observed oscillatory effects of energy limitations exist in networks of many kinds, and that these findings generalize to abstract graphs and technological applications.

  17. The data collection/data distribution center: building a sustainable African-American church-based research network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldmon, Moses; Roberson, James T; Carey, Tim; Godley, Paul; Howard, Daniel L; Boyd, Carlton; Ammerman, Alice

    2008-01-01

    This article describes the Carolina-Shaw Partnership for the Elimination of Health Disparities efforts to engage a diverse group of Black churches in a sustainable network. We sought to develop a diverse network of 25 churches to work with the Carolina-Shaw Partnership to develop sustainable health disparities research, education, and intervention initiatives. Churches were selected based on location, pastoral buy-in, and capacity to engage. A purposive sampling technique was applied. (1) Collecting information on the location and characteristics of churches helps to identify and recruit churches that possess the desired qualities and characteristics. (2) The process used to identify, recruit, and select churches is time intensive. (3) The time, energy, and effort required managing an inter-institutional partnership and engage churches in health disparities research and interventions lends itself to sustainability. The development of a sustainable network of churches could lead to successful health disparities initiatives.

  18. Network analysis as a tool for assessing environmental sustainability: applying the ecosystem perspective to a Danish water management system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pizzol, Massimo; Scotti, Marco; Thomsen, Marianne

    2013-01-01

    patterns of growth and development. We applied Network Analysis (NA) for assessing the sustainability of a Danish municipal Water Management System (WMS). We identified water users within the WMS and represented their interactions as a network of water flows. We computed intensive and extensive indices......New insights into the sustainable use of natural resources in human systems can be gained through comparison with ecosystems via common indices. In both kinds of system, resources are processed by a number of users within a network, but we consider ecosystems as the only ones displaying sustainable......: it is highly efficient at processing the water resource, but the rigid and almost linear structure makes it vulnerable in situations of stress such as heavy rain events. The analysis of future scenarios showed a trend towards increased sustainability, but differences between past and expected future...

  19. Intratumoral chemotherapy with a sustained-release drug delivery system inhibits growth of human pancreatic cancer xenografts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J P; Stock, E; Orenberg, E K; Yu, N Y; Kanekal, S; Brown, D M

    1995-12-01

    This study provides the first evidence that treatment of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma is markedly improved by the intratumoral administration of chemotherapeutic agents in a novel drug delivery system. The effect of chemotherapeutic agents delivered in a sustained-release, protein-based, injectable gel was evaluated on the growth of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line, BxPC-3. In vitro chemosensitivity of BxPC-3 cells exposed for 24 or 72 h to fluorouracil (0.01-5 mM), cisplatin or doxorubicin (0.1-50 microM) and floxuridine, vinblastine, mitomycin or paclitaxel (1.0-100 microM) was compared with that of untreated cells. In vitro chemosensitivity was also studied with fluorouracil and mitomycin in the poorly differentiated PANC-1, human pancreatic cancer cell line. Survival was determined after 7-10 days. All drugs decreased cell growth in a dose-dependent fashion. The efficacy of fluorouracil, cisplatin and doxorubicin increased with prolonged exposure, rendering these drugs most appropriate for a sustained-release preparation. For in vivo studies, athymic nude mice bearing BxPC-3 xenografts were treated either with fluorouracil, cisplatin or doxorubicin in the therapeutic injectable gel containing epinephrine or with vehicle alone administered intratumorally on days 1 and 4. After 28 days, the mice were sacrificed and tumors dissected and weighed. Tumors in mice treated with the injectable gel decreased in size by 72-79% compared with tumors in untreated controls and tumors treated with vehicle alone. Intratumoral injection of drug solution and intraperitoneal injection of drug in the injectable gel did not change tumor size compared with controls. In a drug-retention study, mice were injected intratumorally with [3H]fluorouracil either in the injectable gel or in solution. Sustained radioactivity was observed in tumors injected with the gel, and, conversely, greater radioactivity was detected in the liver and kidneys in mice receiving the radiolabeled

  20. ENEA e-Learn Platform for Development and Sustainability with International Renewable Energies Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Moreno

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The UNESCO office in Venice (the Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe has promoted, in collaboration with the Italian Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and the Environment (ENEA, an e-learning project on renewable energy: the DESIRE-net project (Development and Sustainability with International Renewable Energies network. The project's aim is to share the best available knowledge on renewable energies among all the countries that have joined the project and exploit this knowledge at every level. Currently the project involves 30 Eastern European and Southern Mediterranean countries as well as Australia, Indonesia, and China.

  1. Injectable Polysaccharide Hydrogels as Biocompatible Platforms for Localized and Sustained Delivery of Antibiotics for Preventing Local Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ziyi; He, Chaoliang; Yuan, Baoming; Dong, Xiaoming; Chen, Xuesi

    2017-04-01

    Biocompatible and antibacterial hydrogels have received increasing attention for preventing local bacterial infections. In this study, a type of polysaccharide hydrogels is prepared via the Schiff-based reaction at physiological conditions. The gelation time and mechanical property of the hydrogels are found to be dependent on the polysaccharide concentration and the polysaccharide weight ratio. 3-(4,5-Dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay and live/dead assay indicate that the hydrogels display nontoxicity in vitro. After subcutaneous injection into rats, the hydrogels exhibit an acceptable biocompatibility in vivo. Furthermore, the bacterial inhibition tests by shaking flask method and agar disc-diffusion method demonstrate that the ceftriaxone-sodium-loaded hydrogels have remarkable antibacterial properties in vitro. The in vivo anti-infective tests further display that the antibiotic-loaded hydrogels display excellent anti-infective efficacies in both superficial and deep tissue infection. Consequently, the injectable and biocompatible polysaccharide hydrogels may serve as promising platforms for localized, sustained delivery of antibiotics for preventing local infections. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Synthetic geopolymers for controlled delivery of oxycodone: adjustable and nanostructured porosity enables tunable and sustained drug release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsgren, Johan; Pedersen, Christian; Strømme, Maria; Engqvist, Håkan

    2011-03-15

    In this article we for the first time present a fully synthetic mesoporous geopolymer drug carrier for controlled release of opioids. Nanoparticulate precursor powders with different Al/Si-ratios were synthesized by a sol-gel route and used in the preparation of different geopolymers, which could be structurally tailored by adjusting the Al/Si-ratio and the curing temperatures. In particular, it was shown that the pore sizes of the geopolymers decreased with increasing Al/Si ratio and that completely mesoporous geopolymers could be produced from precursor particles with the Al/Si ratio 2:1. The mesoporosity was shown to be associated with a sustained and linear in vitro release profile of the opioid oxycodone. A clinically relevant release period of about 12 h was obtained by adjusting the size of the pellets. The easily fabricated and tunable geopolymers presented in this study constitute a novel approach in the development of controlled release formulations, not only for opioids, but whenever the clinical indication is best treated with a constant supply of drugs and when the mechanical stability of the delivery vehicle is crucial.

  3. Gelucire Based In Situ Gelling Emulsions: A Potential Carrier for Sustained Stomach Specific Delivery of Gastric Irritant Drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashwin Saxena

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs are commonly prescribed medications to the geriatric patients for the treatment of arthritis and other painful disorders. The major side effects of NSAIDs are related to their effects on the stomach and bowels. The present study concerns assessment of the potential of liquid in situ gelling emulsion formulations (emulgels as patient compliant stomach specific sustained release carrier for the delivery of highly gastric irritant drug, Piroxicam. Emulgels were prepared, without using any emulgent, by mixing different concentrations of molten Gelucire 39/01 with low viscosity sodium alginate solution prepared in deionized water at 50°C. CaCO3 was used as buoyancy imparting as well as crosslinking agent. Emulgels so prepared were homogenous, physically stable, and rapidly formed into buoyant gelled mass when exposed to simulated gastric fluid (SGF, pH 1.2. Drug release studies carried out in SGF revealed significant retardation (P<0.05 of Piroxicam release from emulgels compared to conventional in situ gelling formulations prepared without Gelucire 39/01. Pharmacodynamic studies carried out in albino rats revealed significantly increased analgesic/anti-inflammatory response from in situ emulgels compared to conventional in situ gelling formulations. Further, in vivo toxicity studies carried out in albino rats revealed no signs of gastric ulceration upon prolonged dosing.

  4. Synthetic Geopolymers for Controlled Delivery of Oxycodone: Adjustable and Nanostructured Porosity Enables Tunable and Sustained Drug Release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsgren, Johan; Pedersen, Christian; Strømme, Maria; Engqvist, Håkan

    2011-01-01

    In this article we for the first time present a fully synthetic mesoporous geopolymer drug carrier for controlled release of opioids. Nanoparticulate precursor powders with different Al/Si-ratios were synthesized by a sol-gel route and used in the preparation of different geopolymers, which could be structurally tailored by adjusting the Al/Si-ratio and the curing temperatures. In particular, it was shown that the pore sizes of the geopolymers decreased with increasing Al/Si ratio and that completely mesoporous geopolymers could be produced from precursor particles with the Al/Si ratio 2∶1. The mesoporosity was shown to be associated with a sustained and linear in vitro release profile of the opioid oxycodone. A clinically relevant release period of about 12 h was obtained by adjusting the size of the pellets. The easily fabricated and tunable geopolymers presented in this study constitute a novel approach in the development of controlled release formulations, not only for opioids, but whenever the clinical indication is best treated with a constant supply of drugs and when the mechanical stability of the delivery vehicle is crucial. PMID:21423616

  5. Synthetic geopolymers for controlled delivery of oxycodone: adjustable and nanostructured porosity enables tunable and sustained drug release.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Forsgren

    Full Text Available In this article we for the first time present a fully synthetic mesoporous geopolymer drug carrier for controlled release of opioids. Nanoparticulate precursor powders with different Al/Si-ratios were synthesized by a sol-gel route and used in the preparation of different geopolymers, which could be structurally tailored by adjusting the Al/Si-ratio and the curing temperatures. In particular, it was shown that the pore sizes of the geopolymers decreased with increasing Al/Si ratio and that completely mesoporous geopolymers could be produced from precursor particles with the Al/Si ratio 2:1. The mesoporosity was shown to be associated with a sustained and linear in vitro release profile of the opioid oxycodone. A clinically relevant release period of about 12 h was obtained by adjusting the size of the pellets. The easily fabricated and tunable geopolymers presented in this study constitute a novel approach in the development of controlled release formulations, not only for opioids, but whenever the clinical indication is best treated with a constant supply of drugs and when the mechanical stability of the delivery vehicle is crucial.

  6. Inequity in ecosystem service delivery: socioeconomic gaps in the public-private conservation network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy M. Villamagna

    2017-03-01

    associated with private conservation lands included beneficiaries of significantly greater household income than benefit zones of other types of conservation areas. Our analysis of ES flows revealed significant socioeconomic gaps in how the current public-private conservation network benefits the public. These gaps warrant consideration in regional conservation plans and suggest that private conservation initiatives may be best suited for responding to the equity challenge. Enhancing the ecosystem benefits and the equity of benefit delivery from private conservation networks could build public and political support for long-term conservation strategies and ultimately enhance conservation efficacy.

  7. Inequity in ecosystem service delivery: Socioeconomic gaps in the public-private conservation network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villamagna, Amy M.; Mogollón, Beatriz; Angermeier, Paul L.

    2017-01-01

    private conservation lands included beneficiaries of significantly greater household income than benefit zones of other types of conservation areas. Our analysis of ES flows revealed significant socioeconomic gaps in how the current public-private conservation network benefits the public. These gaps warrant consideration in regional conservation plans and suggest that private conservation initiatives may be best suited for responding to the equity challenge. Enhancing the ecosystem benefits and the equity of benefit delivery from private conservation networks could build public and political support for long-term conservation strategies and ultimately enhance conservation efficacy.

  8. A catalyst for system change: a case study of child health network formation, evolution and sustainability in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, Charmaine; Ploeg, Jenny; Edwards, Nancy; Ciliska, Donna; Sword, Wendy

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine key processes and supportive and inhibiting factors involved in the development, evolution, and sustainability of a child health network in rural Canada. This study contributes to a relatively new research agenda aimed at understanding inter-organizational and cross-sectoral health networks. These networks encourage collaboration focusing on complex issues impacting health - issues that individual agencies cannot effectively address alone. This paper presents an overview of the study findings. An explanatory qualitative case study approach examined the Network's 13-year lifespan. Data sources were documents and Network members, including regional and 71 provincial senior managers from 11 child and youth service sectors. Data were collected through 34 individual interviews and a review of 127 documents. Interview data were analyzed using framework analysis methods; Prior's approach guided document analysis. Three themes related to network development, evolution and sustainability were identified: (a) Network relationships as system triggers, (b) Network-mediated system responsiveness, and (c) Network practice as political. Study findings have important implications for network organizational development, collaborative practice, interprofessional education, public policy, and public system responsiveness research. Findings suggest it is important to explicitly focus on relationships and multi-level socio-political contexts, such as supportive policy environments, in understanding health networks. The dynamic interplay among the Network members; central supportive and inhibiting factors; and micro-, meso-, and macro-organizational contexts was identified.

  9. Chitosan - Locust bean gum interpenetrating polymeric network nanocomposites for delivery of aceclofenac.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jana, Sougata; Sen, Kalyan Kumar

    2017-09-01

    In this study, aceclofenac-loaded IPN nanocomposites were developed based on natural polysaccharides namely chitosan (CS) and locust bean gum (LBG) using glutaraldehyde as cross-linker. Infrared spectroscopy analysis confirmed the formation of composite materials and ensured the chemical compatibility between drug and polymers. The effect of component polymers on the drug entrapment efficiency (DEE) and particle size of the composites was examined. Increasing LBG content actually decreased the DEE from 72% to 40% and produced larger particles of 372-485nm dimensions. However, an opposite trend was noted as the concentration of CS was increased. Out of these composites, the maximum drug entrapment efficiency of 78.92% and smallest composites of 318nm-size was obtained at LBG: CS mass ratio of 1:5. However, CS: LBG (1:5) provided the slowest drug release profiles in phosphate buffer solution (pH 6.8) up to 8h. The drug release data corroborated well with the swelling properties of the nanocomposites. The composite systems efficiently suppressed the burst release of drug in acidic medium (pH 1.2). The drug delivery from the nanocomposites occurred via anomalous transport mechanism in vitro. Overall, this novel chitosan- and LBG-based nanocomposites system could minimize the gastrointestinal side effects of the drug by providing medication in a slow sustained fashion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Self-sustained motion of microcapsules on a substrate controlled via the repressilator regulatory network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shum, Henry; Yashin, Victor; Balazs, Anna

    2014-11-01

    We design microcapsules that undergo self-induced motion in a fluid along a substrate and are able to collectively self-organize when controlled by a biomimetic signaling network. Three microcapsules act as localized sources of distinct chemicals that diffuse through the fluid. The production rate of each chemical is modulated by a regulatory network known as the repressilator: each species represses the production of the next in a cycle. We show that this system can exhibit sustained oscillations. We then allow the diffusing species to adsorb onto the substrate, altering the surface interaction energy. Gradients in surface energy lead to motion of the microcapsules. We find that regulation via the repressilator gives rise to qualitatively different outcomes. Chemical oscillations can facilitate aggregation of the microcapsules and the aggregate can undergo sustained translational or oscillatory motion. Numerical simulation of the fluid flow, microcapsule dynamics and concentration fields is achieved by a combination of the lattice Boltzmann, immersed boundary and finite difference methods. We assess the role of hydrodynamic interactions by comparison with a simplified model that assumes a constant drag coefficient relating the force on a microcapsule to its velocity.

  11. ANALYSIS OF A NETWORK OF COOPERATION IN MISIONES, ARGENTINA: BENEFITS AND LACKS FOR LOCAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos, Michalus

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a case study of a network of existing cooperation in the province of Misiones, Argentina, composed of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs Elaboration of black tea and a group of SMEs from sawn wood, formed from the particular initiative of the tea entrepreneur. The aim is to identify the benefits of working in cooperation and, in turn, highlight the lacks when these processes are not performed in a planned and sustainable local oriented development. The case study that is exposed is a unique, contemporary data survey with establishments belonging to the cooperative network, interviews with entrepreneurs and managers of production, which led to evidence the benefits of cooperation, which include: use of waste, generation of trust between employers and contribution to environmental stewardship. There were also major shortcomings that prevent greater profit derived from the lack of an appropriate methodological instrument to implement this type of cooperative enterprises, among which stands out: poor use of idle resources, lack of process improvements through innovations joint, non-participation of major players and systematic orientation towards the local sustainable development.

  12. Life, Work and Sustainable Learning Practices: A Study on a Small Business Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Silvia Rocha Ipiranga

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge and knowing processes as work and life practices are not univocal. They are not related to knowledge as an autonomous body of propositions, but permeated with new identities and action modes, which are continuously formed, promoting learning opportunities. The objective of this research is formulated in the understanding of this shift between knowing and knowledge when describing practical learning in everyday work life, reflecting on the implications of this social labor process on small business network sustainability. A qualitative case study approach was used. In line with the theoretical and epistemological choices that guided this research, we decided to use an analysis of discursive practices approach and, accordingly, data collection was based on triangulation techniques in favor of interpretation enrichment. The knowledge to act, revealed in the analysis, suggested that organizations are social worlds forming a standard that holds life, work and organizational practices together. They negotiate, circulate, transform and reproduce, forming a network of actors and favoring sustainable practices learning.

  13. Reduced functional connectivity of fronto-parietal sustained attention networks in severe childhood abuse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heledd Hart

    Full Text Available Childhood maltreatment is associated with attention deficits. We examined the effect of childhood abuse and abuse-by-gene (5-HTTLPR, MAOA, FKBP5 interaction on functional brain connectivity during sustained attention in medication/drug-free adolescents. Functional connectivity was compared, using generalised psychophysiological interaction (gPPI analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data, between 21 age-and gender-matched adolescents exposed to severe childhood abuse and 27 healthy controls, while they performed a parametrically modulated vigilance task requiring target detection with a progressively increasing load of sustained attention. Behaviourally, participants exposed to childhood abuse had increased omission errors compared to healthy controls. During the most challenging attention condition abused participants relative to controls exhibited reduced connectivity, with a left-hemispheric bias, in typical fronto-parietal attention networks, including dorsolateral, rostromedial and inferior prefrontal and inferior parietal regions. Abuse-related connectivity abnormalities were exacerbated in individuals homozygous for the risky C-allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs3800373 of the FK506 Binding Protein 5 (FKBP5 gene. Findings suggest that childhood abuse is associated with decreased functional connectivity in fronto-parietal attention networks and that the FKBP5 genotype moderates neurobiological vulnerability to abuse. These findings represent a first step towards the delineation of abuse-related neurofunctional connectivity abnormalities, which hopefully will facilitate the development of specific treatment strategies for victims of childhood maltreatment.

  14. Exploring trade-offs between VMAT dose quality and delivery efficiency using a network optimization approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salari, Ehsan; Wala, Jeremiah; Craft, David

    2012-09-01

    To formulate and solve the fluence-map merging procedure of the recently-published VMAT treatment-plan optimization method, called vmerge, as a bi-criteria optimization problem. Using an exact merging method rather than the previously-used heuristic, we are able to better characterize the trade-off between the delivery efficiency and dose quality. vmerge begins with a solution of the fluence-map optimization problem with 180 equi-spaced beams that yields the ‘ideal’ dose distribution. Neighboring fluence maps are then successively merged, meaning that they are added together and delivered as a single map. The merging process improves the delivery efficiency at the expense of deviating from the initial high-quality dose distribution. We replace the original merging heuristic by considering the merging problem as a discrete bi-criteria optimization problem with the objectives of maximizing the treatment efficiency and minimizing the deviation from the ideal dose. We formulate this using a network-flow model that represents the merging problem. Since the problem is discrete and thus non-convex, we employ a customized box algorithm to characterize the Pareto frontier. The Pareto frontier is then used as a benchmark to evaluate the performance of the standard vmerge algorithm as well as two other similar heuristics. We test the exact and heuristic merging approaches on a pancreas and a prostate cancer case. For both cases, the shape of the Pareto frontier suggests that starting from a high-quality plan, we can obtain efficient VMAT plans through merging neighboring fluence maps without substantially deviating from the initial dose distribution. The trade-off curves obtained by the various heuristics are contrasted and shown to all be equally capable of initial plan simplifications, but to deviate in quality for more drastic efficiency improvements. This work presents a network optimization approach to the merging problem. Contrasting the trade-off curves of the

  15. The Use of Artificial Neural Networks for Identifying Sustainable Biodiesel Feedstocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoran D. Ristovski

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Over the past few decades, biodiesel produced from oilseed crops and animal fat is receiving much attention as a renewable and sustainable alternative for automobile engine fuels, and particularly petroleum diesel. However, current biodiesel production is heavily dependent on edible oil feedstocks which are unlikely to be sustainable in the longer term due to the rising food prices and the concerns about automobile engine durability. Therefore, there is an urgent need for researchers to identify and develop sustainable biodiesel feedstocks which overcome the disadvantages of current ones. On the other hand, artificial neural network (ANN modeling has been successfully used in recent years to gain new knowledge in various disciplines. The main goal of this article is to review recent literatures and assess the state of the art on the use of ANN as a modeling tool for future generation biodiesel feedstocks. Biodiesel feedstocks, production processes, chemical compositions, standards, physio-chemical properties and in-use performance are discussed. Limitations of current biodiesel feedstocks over future generation biodiesel feedstock have been identified. The application of ANN in modeling key biodiesel quality parameters and combustion performance in automobile engines is also discussed. This review has determined that ANN modeling has a high potential to contribute to the development of renewable energy systems by accelerating biodiesel research.

  16. Calcium Alginate-Neusilin US2 Nanocomposite Microbeads for Oral Sustained Drug Delivery of Poor Water Soluble Drug Aceclofenac Sodium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manjanna Kolammanahalli Mallappa

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to formulate and investigate the calcium alginate- (CA- Neusilin US2 nanocomposite microbeads containing preconcentrate of aceclofenac sodium (ACF-Na liquid microemulsion (L-ME for enhancement of oral bioavailability. The preconcentrate L-ME is prepared by using Labrafac PG, Labrasol, and Span 80 as oil, surfactant, and cosurfactant, respectively. The solid CA nanocomposite microbeads of L-ME prepared by microemulsification internal gelation technique using sodium alginate (SA gelling agent, Neusilin US2 as adsorbent, and calcium chloride as crosslinking agent. L-ME has good thermodynamic stability; globule size was found to be 32.4 nm with polydispersity index 0.219 and −6.32 mV zeta potential. No significant interactions of excipients, drug in the formulations observed by FT-IR, DSC and XPRD. The concentration of SA and Neusilin US2 influences the flow properties, mean particle size, mechanical strength, drug entrapment efficiency, and percentage of drug release. All the formulations show minimum drug release in simulated gastric fluid (SGF pH 1.2 for initial 2 h, maximum drug release in pH 6.8 phosphate buffer solution (PBS at 6 h, followed by sustaining in simulated intestinal fluid (SIF of pH 7.4 up to 12 h. The interaction of SA with Neusilin US2 creates a thick thixotropic gel network structure which acts as barrier to control the release of drug in the alkaline pH environment. Neusilin US2 is a novel filler used to convert L-ME into solid nanocomposite microbeads to enhance dissolution rate of poor water soluble drugs sustaining the drug release for prolonged period of time.

  17. Calcium Alginate-Neusilin US2 Nanocomposite Microbeads for Oral Sustained Drug Delivery of Poor Water Soluble Drug Aceclofenac Sodium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallappa, Manjanna Kolammanahalli; Kesarla, Rajesh; Banakar, Shivakumar

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to formulate and investigate the calcium alginate- (CA-) Neusilin US2 nanocomposite microbeads containing preconcentrate of aceclofenac sodium (ACF-Na) liquid microemulsion (L-ME) for enhancement of oral bioavailability. The preconcentrate L-ME is prepared by using Labrafac PG, Labrasol, and Span 80 as oil, surfactant, and cosurfactant, respectively. The solid CA nanocomposite microbeads of L-ME prepared by microemulsification internal gelation technique using sodium alginate (SA) gelling agent, Neusilin US2 as adsorbent, and calcium chloride as crosslinking agent. L-ME has good thermodynamic stability; globule size was found to be 32.4 nm with polydispersity index 0.219 and -6.32 mV zeta potential. No significant interactions of excipients, drug in the formulations observed by FT-IR, DSC and XPRD. The concentration of SA and Neusilin US2 influences the flow properties, mean particle size, mechanical strength, drug entrapment efficiency, and percentage of drug release. All the formulations show minimum drug release in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) pH 1.2 for initial 2 h, maximum drug release in pH 6.8 phosphate buffer solution (PBS) at 6 h, followed by sustaining in simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) of pH 7.4 up to 12 h. The interaction of SA with Neusilin US2 creates a thick thixotropic gel network structure which acts as barrier to control the release of drug in the alkaline pH environment. Neusilin US2 is a novel filler used to convert L-ME into solid nanocomposite microbeads to enhance dissolution rate of poor water soluble drugs sustaining the drug release for prolonged period of time.

  18. Poly(glycerol adipate-co-ω-pentadecalactone) spray-dried microparticles as sustained release carriers for pulmonary delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawfeek, Hesham; Khidr, Sayed; Samy, Eman; Ahmed, Sayed; Murphy, Mark; Mohammed, Afzaal; Shabir, Anjum; Hutcheon, Gillian; Saleem, Imran

    2011-09-01

    The aim of this work was to optimize biodegradable polyester poly(glycerol adipate-co-ω-pentadecalactone), PGA-co-PDL, microparticles as sustained release (SR) carriers for pulmonary drug delivery. Microparticles were produced by spray drying directly from double emulsion with and without dispersibility enhancers ((L)-arginine and (L)-leucine) (0.5-1.5%w/w) using sodium fluorescein (SF) as a model hydrophilic drug. Spray-dried microparticles without dispersibility enhancers exhibited aggregated powders leading to low fine particle fraction (%FPF) (28.79 ± 3.24), fine particle dose (FPD) (14.42 ± 1.57 μg), with a mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) 2.86 ± 0.24 μm. However, (L)-leucine was significantly superior in enhancing the aerosolization performance ((L-)arginine:%FPF 27.61 ± 4.49-26.57 ± 1.85; FPD 12.40 ± 0.99-19.54 ± 0.16 μg and MMAD 2.18 ± 0.35-2.98 ± 0.25 μm, (L)-leucine:%FPF 36.90 ± 3.6-43.38 ± 5.6; FPD 18.66 ± 2.90-21.58 ± 2.46 μg and MMAD 2.55 ± 0.03-3.68 ± 0.12 μm). Incorporating (L)-leucine (1.5%w/w) reduced the burst release (24.04 ± 3.87%) of SF compared to unmodified formulations (41.87 ± 2.46%), with both undergoing a square root of time (Higuchi's pattern) dependent release. Comparing the toxicity profiles of PGA-co-PDL with (L)-leucine (1.5%w/w) (5 mg/ml) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide), (5 mg/ml) spray-dried microparticles in human bronchial epithelial 16HBE14o- cell lines, resulted in cell viability of 85.57 ± 5.44 and 60.66 ± 6.75%, respectively, after 72 h treatment. The above data suggest that PGA-co-PDL may be a useful polymer for preparing SR microparticle carriers, together with dispersibility enhancers, for pulmonary delivery.

  19. The Value of Sustainable Knowledge Transfer Methods for SMEs, Utilizing Socio-Technical Networks and Complex Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susu Nousala

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper will examine the development of sustainable SME methods for tracking tacit (informal knowledge transfer as a series of networks of larger complex system. Understanding sustainable systems begins with valuing tacit knowledge networks and their ability to produce connections on multiple levels. The behaviour of the social or socio aspects of a system in relation to the explicit formal/physical structures need to be understood and actively considered when utilizing methodologies for interacting within complex systems structures. This paper utilizes theory from several previous studies to underpin the key case study discussed. This approach involved examining the behavioural phenomena of an SME knowledge network. The knowledge network elements were highlighted to identify their value within an SME structure. To understand the value of these emergent elements from between tacit and explicit knowledge networks, is to actively, simultaneously and continuous support sustainable development for SME organizations. The simultaneous links within and between groups of organizations is crucial for understanding sustainable networking structures of complex systems.

  20. Multilayer encapsulated mesoporous silica nanospheres as an oral sustained drug delivery system for the poorly water-soluble drug felodipine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Liang [Department of Pharmaceutics, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, P.O. Box 32, Liaoning Province, Shenyang 110016 (China); Sun, Hongrui [English Teaching Department, School of Basic Courses, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Wenhua Road 103, Shenyang 110016 (China); Zhao, Qinfu; Han, Ning; Bai, Ling; Wang, Ying; Jiang, Tongying [Department of Pharmaceutics, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, P.O. Box 32, Liaoning Province, Shenyang 110016 (China); Wang, Siling, E-mail: silingwang@syphu.edu.cn [Department of Pharmaceutics, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, P.O. Box 32, Liaoning Province, Shenyang 110016 (China)

    2015-02-01

    We used a combination of mesoporous silica nanospheres (MSN) and layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly technology to establish a new oral sustained drug delivery system for the poorly water-soluble drug felodipine. Firstly, the model drug was loaded into MSN, and then the loaded MSN were repeatedly encapsulated by chitosan (CHI) and acacia (ACA) via LBL self-assembly method. The structural features of the samples were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nitrogen adsorption. The encapsulating process was monitored by zeta-potential and surface tension measurements. The physical state of the drug in the samples was characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). The influence of the multilayer with different number of layers on the drug release rate was studied using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and surface tension measurement. The swelling effect and the structure changes of the multilayer were investigated to explore the relationship between the drug release behavior and the state of the multilayer under different pH conditions. The stability and mucosa adhesive ability of the prepared nanoparticles were also explored. After multilayer coating, the drug release rate was effectively controlled. The differences in drug release behavior under different pH conditions could be attributed to the different states of the multilayer. And the nanoparticles possessed good stability and strong mucosa adhesive ability. We believe that this combination offers a simple strategy for regulating the release rate of poorly water-soluble drugs and extends the pharmaceutical applications of inorganic materials and polymers. - Highlights: • A combination of inorganic and organic materials was applied. • Mesoporous silica nanospheres (MSN) were used as drug carriers. • Chitosan and acacia were encapsulated through layer-by-layer self-assembly. • The release rate of the poorly

  1. Sustained delivery of chondroitinase ABC by poly(propylene carbonate)-chitosan micron fibers promotes axon regeneration and functional recovery after spinal cord hemisection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Shilei; Xia, Tongliang; Li, Xingang; Zhu, Xiaodong; Qi, Hongxu; Huang, Shanying; Wang, Jiangang

    2015-10-22

    We describe the sustained delivery of chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) in the hemisected spinal cord using polypropylene carbonate (PPC) electrospun fibers with chitosan (CS) microspheres as a vehicle. PPC and ChABC-loaded CS microspheres were mixed with acetonitrile, and micron fibers were generated by electrospinning. ChABC release was assessed in vitro with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and revealed stabilized and prolonged release. Moreover, the released ChABC showed sustained activity. PPC-CS micron fibers with or without ChABC were then implanted into a hemisected thoracic spinal cord. In the following 4 weeks, we examined functional recovery and performed immunohistochemical analyses. We found that sustained delivery of ChABC promoted axon sprouting and functional recovery and reduced glial scarring; PPC-CS micron fibers without ChABC did not show these effects. The present findings suggest that PPC-CS micron fibers containing ChABC are a feasible option for spinal cord injury treatment. Furthermore, the system described here may be useful for local delivery of other therapeutic agents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The Sustainability of Global Chain Governance: Network Structures and Local Supplier Upgrading in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungchul Cho

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although it has been widely accepted that insertion into global production networks may play a critical role in fostering local supplier upgrading, scholars have yet to fully incorporate heterogeneous configurations of buyer-supplier relationships within networks into empirical testing. Using a representative sample of manufacturing firms in Thailand, we propose a more nuanced empirical framework that asks which features of buyer-supplier relationships are related to which aspects of local supplier upgrading. Our findings, derived from latent class analysis, show that the ways value chains are governed can exert varying effects on different types of technological upgrading. Being a multinational corporation (MNC supplier was found to have positive effects on process and minor product upgrading, irrespective of the types of buyer-supplier networks. However, we found a more radical type of upgrading (i.e., the development of own brands to be negatively related to insertion into ‘quasi-hierarchical’ or ‘buyer-driven relationships’, whilst involvement in ‘cooperative networks’ was associated with a significantly higher tendency of product and brand upgrading. Understanding this inherent relationality provides a crucial balance to previous firm-level findings, suggesting that the sustainability of participation in global value chains depends on the relational structures in which local manufacturers are embedded.

  3. The Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES): Networking of Higher Educational Institutions in Facilitating Implementation of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Mahesh; Mariam, Ayombi

    2014-01-01

    This article will focus on involvement of Higher Education Institutions in promoting Education for Sustainable Development through UNEPs flagship programme Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability. To achieve this, the activities of the network are centered on three pillars: Education, Training and Networking.

  4. Sustained oscillations, irregular firing, and chaotic dynamics in hierarchical modular networks with mixtures of electrophysiological cell types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomov, Petar; Pena, Rodrigo F O; Zaks, Michael A; Roque, Antonio C

    2014-01-01

    The cerebral cortex exhibits neural activity even in the absence of external stimuli. This self-sustained activity is characterized by irregular firing of individual neurons and population oscillations with a broad frequency range. Questions that arise in this context, are: What are the mechanisms responsible for the existence of neuronal spiking activity in the cortex without external input? Do these mechanisms depend on the structural organization of the cortical connections? Do they depend on intrinsic characteristics of the cortical neurons? To approach the answers to these questions, we have used computer simulations of cortical network models. Our networks have hierarchical modular architecture and are composed of combinations of neuron models that reproduce the firing behavior of the five main cortical electrophysiological cell classes: regular spiking (RS), chattering (CH), intrinsically bursting (IB), low threshold spiking (LTS), and fast spiking (FS). The population of excitatory neurons is built of RS cells (always present) and either CH or IB cells. Inhibitory neurons belong to the same class, either LTS or FS. Long-lived self-sustained activity states in our network simulations display irregular single neuron firing and oscillatory activity similar to experimentally measured ones. The duration of self-sustained activity strongly depends on the initial conditions, suggesting a transient chaotic regime. Extensive analysis of the self-sustained activity states showed that their lifetime expectancy increases with the number of network modules and is favored when the network is composed of excitatory neurons of the RS and CH classes combined with inhibitory neurons of the LTS class. These results indicate that the existence and properties of the self-sustained cortical activity states depend on both the topology of the network and the neuronal mixture that comprises the network.

  5. Pregnancy and Delivery in Patients with Mastocytosis Treated at the Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM)

    OpenAIRE

    Ciach, Katarzyna; Niedoszytko, Marek; Abacjew-Chmylko, Anna; Pabin, Izabela; Adamski, Przemyslaw; Leszczynska, Katarzyna; Preis, Krzysztof; Olszewska, Hanna; Wydra, Dariusz G.; Hansdorfer-Korzon, Rita

    2016-01-01

    Objective To present current guidelines regarding treatment of mastocytosis in pregnancy on the example of observed patients. Design Case control national study. Setting Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM). Population or Sample 23 singleton spontaneous pregnancies in 17 women diagnosed with mastocytosis in years 1999?2014, before becoming pregnant. Methods Prospective analysis outcomes of pregnancies and deliveries. Main Outcome Measures Survey developed in...

  6. Linking hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in African papyrus wetlands using a Bayesian Network Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, A.; Gettel, G. M.; Kipkemboi, J.; Rahman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Papyrus wetlands in East Africa provide ecosystem services supporting the livelihoods of millions but are rapidly degrading due to economic development. For ecosystem conservation, an integrated understanding of the natural and social processes driving ecosystem change is needed. This research focuses on integrating the causal relationships between hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in Nyando wetland, western Kenya. Livelihood sustainability is based on ecosystem services that include plant and animal harvest for building material and food, conversion of wetlands to crop and grazing land, water supply, and water quality regulation. Specific objectives were: to integrate studies of hydrology, ecology, and livelihood activities using a Bayesian Network (BN) model and include stakeholder involvement in model development. The BN model (Netica 4.16) had 35 nodes with seven decision nodes describing demography, economy, papyrus market, and rainfall, and two target nodes describing ecosystem function (defined by groundwater recharge, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity) and livelihood sustainability (drinking water supply, crop production, livestock production, and papyrus yield). The conditional probability tables were populated using results of ecohydrological and socio-economic field work and consultations with stakeholders. The model was evaluated for an average year with decision node probabilities set according to data from research, expert opinion, and stakeholders' views. Then, scenarios for dry and wet seasons and for economic development (low population growth and unemployment) and policy development (more awareness of wetland value) were evaluated. In an average year, the probability for maintaining a "good" level of sediment and nutrient retention functions, groundwater recharge, and biodiversity was about 60%. ("Good" is defined by expert opinion based on ongoing field research.) In the dry season, the probability was

  7. Asset sustainability index : quick guide : proposed metrics for the long-term financial sustainability of highway networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-01

    "This report provides a Quick Guide to the concept of asset sustainability metrics. Such metrics address the long-term performance of highway assets based upon expected expenditure levels. : It examines how such metrics are used in Australia, Britain...

  8. Autocatalytic sets and chemical organizations: modeling self-sustaining reaction networks at the origin of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hordijk, Wim; Steel, Mike; Dittrich, Peter

    2018-01-01

    Two related but somewhat different approaches have been proposed to formalize the notion of a self-sustaining chemical reaction network. One is the notion of collectively autocatalytic sets, formalized as RAF theory, and the other is chemical organization theory. Both formalisms have been argued to be relevant to the origin of life. RAF sets and chemical organizations are defined differently, but previously some relationships between the two have been shown. Here, we refine and explore these connections in more detail. In particular, we show that so-called closed RAFs are chemical organizations, but that the converse is not necessarily true. We then introduce and apply a procedure to show how chemical organizations can be used to find all closed RAFs within any chemical reaction system. We end with a discussion of why and how closed RAFs could be important in the context of the origin and early evolution of life.

  9. Effect and Analysis of Sustainable Cell Rate using MPEG video Traffic in ATM Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakshi Kaushal

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available The broadband networks inhibit the capability to carry multiple types of traffic – voice, video and data, but these services need to be controlled according to the traffic contract negotiated at the time of the connection to maintain desired Quality of service. Such control techniques use traffic descriptors to evaluate its performance and effectiveness. In case of Variable Bit Rate (VBR services, Peak Cell Rate (PCR and its Cell Delay Variation Tolerance (CDVTPCR are mandatory descriptors. In addition to these, ATM Forum proposed Sustainable Cell Rate (SCR and its Cell delay variation tolerance (CDVTSCR. In this paper, we evaluated the impact of specific SCR and CDVTSCR values on the Usage Parameter Control (UPC performance in case of measured MPEG traffic for improving the efficiency

  10. Optimization and Simulation of Collaborative Networks for Sustainable Production and Transportation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liotta, Giacomo; Kaihara, Toshiya; Stecca, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Complex and delocalized manufacturing industries require high levels of integration between production and transportation in order to effectively implement lean and agile operations. There are, however, limitations in research and applications simultaneously embodying further sustainability...... dimensions. This paper presents a methodological framework based on optimization and simulation to integrate aggregate optimized plans for production and multimodal transportation with detailed dynamic distribution plans affected by demand uncertainty. The objective function of the optimization model...... considers supply, production, transportation, and CO2 emission costs, as well as collaboration over the multimodal network. Bill-of-materials and capacity constraints are included. A feedback between simulation and optimization is used to plan requirements for materials and components. Computational...

  11. 77 FR 65581 - Verizon Business Networks Services, Inc., Senior Analyst, Service Program Delivery (SA-SPD...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-29

    ... Employment and Training Administration Verizon Business Networks Services, Inc., Senior Analyst, Service..., 2012, applicable to workers and former workers of Verizon Business Network Services, Inc., Senior... hereby issued as follows: ] All workers of Verizon Business Network Services, Inc., Senior Analyst...

  12. Subsidence monitoring network: an Italian example aimed at a sustainable hydrocarbon E&P activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacome, M. C.; Miandro, R.; Vettorel, M.; Roncari, G.

    2015-11-01

    According to the Italian law in order to start-up any new hydrocarbon exploitation activity, an Environmental Impact Assessment study has to be presented, including a monitoring plan, addressed to foresee, measure and analyze in real time any possible impact of the project on the coastal areas and on those ones in the close inland located. The occurrence of subsidence, that could partly be related to hydrocarbon production, both on-shore and off-shore, can generate great concern in those areas where its occurrence may have impacts on the local environment. ENI, following the international scientific community recommendations on the matter, since the beginning of 90's years, implemented a cutting-edge monitoring network, with the aim to prevent, mitigate and control geodynamics phenomena generated in the activity areas, with a particular attention to conservation and protection of environmental and territorial equilibrium, taking care of what is known as "sustainable development". The current ENI implemented monitoring surveys can be divided as: - Shallow monitoring: spirit levelling surveys, continuous GPS surveys in permanent stations, SAR surveys, assestimeter subsurface compaction monitoring, ground water level monitoring, LiDAR surveys, bathymetrical surveys. - Deep monitoring: reservoir deep compaction trough radioactive markers, reservoir static (bottom hole) pressure monitoring. All the information, gathered through the monitoring network, allow: 1. to verify if the produced subsidence is evolving accordingly with the simulated forecast. 2. to provide data to revise and adjust the prediction compaction models 3. to put in place the remedial actions if the impact exceeds the threshold magnitude originally agreed among the involved parties. ENI monitoring plan to measure and monitor the subsidence process, during field production and also after the field closure, is therefore intended to support a sustainable field development and an acceptable exploitation

  13. Effective connectivity of ascending and descending frontal-thalamic pathways during sustained attention: Complex brain network interactions in adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Jagtap, Pranav; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.

    2016-01-01

    Frontal-thalamic interactions are crucial for bottom-up gating and top-down control, yet have not been well studied from brain network perspectives. We applied network modeling of fMRI signals (Dynamic Causal Modeling; DCM) to investigate frontal-thalamic interactions during an attention task with parametrically varying levels of demand. fMRI was collected while subjects participated in a sustained continuous performance task with low and high attention demands. 162 competing model architectu...

  14. Improving Packet Delivery Performance of Publish/Subscribe Protocols in Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto García Davis

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available MQTT-S and CoAP are two protocols able to use the publish/subscribe model in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs. The high scalability provided by the publish/subscribe model may incur a high packet loss and therefore requires an efficient reliability mechanism to cope with this situation. The reliability mechanism of MQTT-S and CoAP employs a method which defines a fixed value for the retransmission timeout (RTO. This article argues that this method is not efficient for deploying publish/subscribe in WSN, because it may be unable to recover a packet, therefore resulting in a lower packet delivery ratio (PDR at the subscriber nodes. This article proposes and evaluates an adaptive RTO method, which consists in using a Smooth Round-trip Time and multiplying it by a constant parameter (K. Thanks to this method, the reliability mechanism of MQTT-S and CoAP would be able to react properly to packet loss and would also be lightweight in terms of energy, memory and computing for sensor nodes where these resources are critical. We present a detailed evaluation of the effects of the K value on the calculation of the adaptive RTO method. We also establish the setting for obtaining the highest PDR on the subscriber nodes for single-hop and multi-hop scenarios. The results for single-hop scenario show that use of the appropriate K value for the adaptive RTO method increases the PDR up to 76% for MQTT-S and up to 38% for CoAP when compared with the use of fixed RTO method for both protocols, respectively. Meanwhile the same comparison for multi-hop scenario, the adaptive RTO method increases the PDR up to 36% for MQTT-S and up to 14% for CoAP.

  15. Improving packet delivery performance of publish/subscribe protocols in wireless sensor networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Ernesto García; Calveras, Anna; Demirkol, Ilker

    2013-01-04

    MQTT-S and CoAP are two protocols able to use the publish/subscribe model in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). The high scalability provided by the publish/subscribe model may incur a high packet loss and therefore requires an efficient reliability mechanism to cope with this situation. The reliability mechanism of MQTT-S and CoAP employs a method which defines a fixed value for the retransmission timeout (RTO). This article argues that this method is not efficient for deploying publish/subscribe in WSN, because it may be unable to recover a packet, therefore resulting in a lower packet delivery ratio (PDR) at the subscriber nodes. This article proposes and evaluates an adaptive RTO method, which consists in using a Smooth Round-trip Time and multiplying it by a constant parameter (K). Thanks to this method, the reliability mechanism of MQTT-S and CoAP would be able to react properly to packet loss and would also be lightweight in terms of energy, memory and computing for sensor nodes where these resources are critical. We present a detailed evaluation of the effects of the K value on the calculation of the adaptive RTO method. We also establish the setting for obtaining the highest PDR on the subscriber nodes for single-hop and multi-hop scenarios. The results for single-hop scenario show that use of the appropriate K value for the adaptive RTO method increases the PDR up to 76% for MQTT-S and up to 38% for CoAP when compared with the use of fixed RTO method for both protocols, respectively. Meanwhile the same comparison for multi-hop scenario, the adaptive RTO method increases the PDR up to 36% for MQTT-S and up to 14% for CoAP.

  16. Building Service Delivery Networks: Partnership Evolution Among Children’s Behavioral Health Agencies in Response to New Funding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunger, Alicia C.; Doogan, Nathan J.; Cao, Yiwen

    2014-01-01

    Meeting the complex needs of youth with behavioral health problems requires a coordinated network of community-based agencies. Although fiscal scarcity or retrenchment can limit coordinated services, munificence can stimulate service delivery partnerships as agencies expand programs, hire staff, and spend more time coordinating services. This study examines the 2-year evolution of referral and staff expertise sharing networks in response to substantial new funding for services within a regional network of children’s mental health organizations. Quantitative network survey data were collected from directors of 22 nonprofit organizations that receive funding from a county government-based behavioral health service fund. Both referral and staff expertise sharing networks changed over time, but results of a stochastic actor-oriented model of network dynamics suggest the nature of this change varies for these networks. Agencies with higher numbers of referral and staff expertise sharing partners tend to maintain these ties and/or develop new relationships over the 2 years. Agencies tend to refer to agencies they trust, but trust was not associated with staff expertise sharing ties. However, agencies maintain or form staff expertise sharing ties with referral partners, or with organizations that provide similar services. In addition, agencies tend to reciprocate staff expertise sharing, but not referrals. Findings suggest that during periods of resource munificence and service expansion, behavioral health organizations build service delivery partnerships in complex ways that build upon prior collaborative history and coordinate services among similar types of providers. Referral partnerships can pave the way for future information sharing relationships. PMID:25574359

  17. Preparation of a Sustained-Release Nebulized Aerosol of R-terbutaline Hydrochloride Liposome and Evaluation of Its Anti-asthmatic Effects via Pulmonary Delivery in Guinea Pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qingrui; Zhan, Shuyao; Liu, Qing; Su, Hao; Dai, Xi; Wang, Hai; Beng, Huimin; Tan, Wen

    2018-01-01

    An aerosolized liposome formulation for the pulmonary delivery of an anti-asthmatic medication was developed. Asthma treatment usually requires frequent administration of medication for a sustained bronchodilator response. Liposomes are known for their sustained drug release capability and thus would be a suitable delivery system for prolonging the therapeutic effect of anti-asthmatic medication. Liposomes prepared by thin film hydration were loaded with a model drug, R-terbutaline hydrochloride(R-TBH), using an ammonium sulfate-induced transmembrane electrochemical gradient. This technique provided an encapsulation efficiency of up to 71.35% and yielded R-TBH liposomes with a particle size of approximately 145 ± 20 nm. According to stability studies, these R-TBH liposomes should be stored at 4°C before usage. Compared to R-TBH solution, which showed 90.84% release within 8 h, liposomal R-TBH had a cumulative release of 73.53% at 37°C over 192 h. A next generation impactor (NGI) was used to analyze the particle size distribution in the lungs of R-TBH liposome aerosol in vitro at 5°C. The therapeutic efficacy of the nebulized aerosol of the R-TBH liposomes was assessed via pulmonary delivery in guinea pigs. The results showed that, compared to the R-TBH solution group, the R-TBH liposome group had a prolonged anti-asthma effect.

  18. Extracellular Matrix (ECM Multilayer Membrane as a Sustained Releasing Growth Factor Delivery System for rhTGF-β3 in Articular Cartilage Repair.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soon Sim Yang

    Full Text Available Recombinant human transforming growth factor beta-3 (rhTGF-β3 is a key regulator of chondrogenesis in stem cells and cartilage formation. We have developed a novel drug delivery system that continuously releases rhTGF-β3 using a multilayered extracellular matrix (ECM membrane. We hypothesize that the sustained release of rhTGF-β3 could activate stem cells and result in enhanced repair of cartilage defects. The properties and efficacy of the ECM multilayer-based delivery system (EMLDS are investigated using rhTGF-β3 as a candidate drug. The bioactivity of the released rhTGF-ß3 was evaluated through chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs using western blot and circular dichroism (CD analyses in vitro. The cartilage reparability was evaluated through implanting EMLDS with endogenous and exogenous MSC in both in vivo and ex vivo models, respectively. In the results, the sustained release of rhTGF-ß3 was clearly observed over a prolonged period of time in vitro and the released rhTGF-β3 maintained its structural stability and biological activity. Successful cartilage repair was also demonstrated when rabbit MSCs were treated with rhTGF-β3-loaded EMLDS ((+ rhTGF-β3 EMLDS in an in vivo model and when rabbit chondrocytes and MSCs were treated in ex vivo models. Therefore, the multilayer ECM membrane could be a useful drug delivery system for cartilage repair.

  19. Interactions between Niche and Regime: An Analysis of Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture across Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Julie; Maye, Damian; Kirwan, James; Curry, Nigel; Kubinakova, Katarina

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to reveal, and contribute to an understanding of, the processes that connect learning and innovation networks in sustainable agriculture to elements of the mainstream agricultural regime. Drawing on the innovations and transition literature, the paper frames the analysis around niche-regime interaction using the notion of…

  20. Polycaprolactone diacrylate crosslinked biodegradable semi-interpenetrating networks of polyacrylamide and gelatin for controlled drug delivery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaiswal, Maneesh; Koul, Veena [Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi 110016 (India); Dinda, Amit K [Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029 (India); Gupta, Asheesh, E-mail: veenak_iitd@yahoo.co [Department of Biochemical Pharmacology, Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Ministry of Defense, New Delhi 110059 (India)

    2010-12-15

    A biodegradable semi-interpenetrating hydrogel network (semi-IPN) of polyacrylamide and gelatin was prepared using polycaprolactone diacrylate (mol. wt {approx} 640) as a crosslinker. The drug-polymer interaction and IPN formation were investigated by attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Scanning electron micrographs of lyophilized matrices revealed porous internal structure with varying pore sizes under equilibrium hydrated conditions, depending upon formulation composition. pH-dependent swelling and degradation was enhanced with increasing gelatin content and decreasing crosslinker concentration (Cs). Compression modulus (CM) (at 20% strain) increased significantly from 23 {+-} 1.4 to 75 {+-} 2.7 kPa (p < 0.02) with increasing Cs (from 0.5 to 2.0 mol%), while it decreased from 162 {+-} 6.4 to 23 {+-} 1.4 kPa (p < 0.05) with decreasing PAm/G ratio. Cell viability studies by MTT assay showed excellent cytocompatibility of matrices with fibroblast L929 cells. Curcumin, a hydrophobic phytochemical, was loaded by a diffusion method and its release profile was investigated in 4% w/v aqueous BSA solution at 75 rpm (at 37 {+-} 0.2 {sup 0}C). Fitting of drug release data in the Korsmeyer-Peppas model suggested sustained release behavior up to 10 days with a combination of diffusion and erosion mechanism (0.5 < n < 1.0; M{sub t}/M{sub {infinity} {<=}} 0.6). The newly developed porous, biodegradable and elastic semi-IPNs may serve as an ideal matrix for controlled drug release and wound healing applications. The possibilities can be explored for pharmaceutical and tissue engineering applications.

  1. Increased Loading, Efficacy and Sustained Release of Silibinin, a Poorly Soluble Drug Using Hydrophobically-Modified Chitosan Nanoparticles for Enhanced Delivery of Anticancer Drug Delivery Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cha Yee Kuen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Conventional delivery of anticancer drugs is less effective due to pharmacological drawbacks such as lack of aqueous solubility and poor cellular accumulation. This study reports the increased drug loading, therapeutic delivery, and cellular accumulation of silibinin (SLB, a poorly water-soluble phenolic compound using a hydrophobically-modified chitosan nanoparticle (pCNP system. In this study, chitosan nanoparticles were hydrophobically-modified to confer a palmitoyl group as confirmed by 2,4,6-Trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS assay. Physicochemical features of the nanoparticles were studied using the TNBS assay, and Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR analyses. The FTIR profile and electron microscopy correlated the successful formation of pCNP and pCNP-SLB as nano-sized particles, while Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS and Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM results exhibited an expansion in size between pCNP and pCNP-SLB to accommodate the drug within its particle core. To evaluate the cytotoxicity of the nanoparticles, a Methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT cytotoxicity assay was subsequently performed using the A549 lung cancer cell line. Cytotoxicity assays exhibited an enhanced efficacy of SLB when delivered by CNP and pCNP. Interestingly, controlled release delivery of SLB was achieved using the pCNP-SLB system, conferring higher cytotoxic effects and lower IC50 values in 72-h treatments compared to CNP-SLB, which was attributed to the hydrophobic modification of the CNP system.

  2. Tailor-Making Fluorescent Hyaluronic Acid Microgels via Combining Microfluidics and Photoclick Chemistry for Sustained and Localized Delivery of Herceptin in Tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jing; Huang, Ke; Chen, Qijun; Deng, Chao; Zhang, Jian; Zhong, Zhiyuan

    2018-01-31

    Antibody therapeutics, though representing a most used biomedicine, suffers from poor in vivo stability, rapid degradation, and frequent injections. Here, we report that fluorescent hyaluronic acid microgels (HMGs) tailor-made by combining microfluidics and "tetrazole-alkene" photoclick chemistry enable sustained and localized delivery of Herceptin in ovarian tumors. HMGs were obtained with a defined size (25-50 μm), narrow size distribution, high stability, and strong green fluorescence. Notably, HMGs exhibited a remarkably high loading of proteins such as Herceptin and IgG with a loading efficiency exceeding 90% at a theoretical protein-loading content of 30 wt %. In vitro protein release experiments revealed a sustained and hyaluronidase (HAase)-dependent release of Herceptin from HMGs, in which 80.6% of Herceptin was released at 1 U/mL HAase in 10 days. The released Herceptin maintained its secondary structure and antitumor activity. In vivo imaging results demonstrated obviously better tumoral retention for Cy5-labeled Herceptin-loaded HMGs following subcutaneous (sc) injection than for the free-protein counterpart. Interestingly, sc injection of the Herceptin-loaded HMGs into SKOV-3 human ovarian tumor-bearing nude mice at a dose of 30 mg Herceptin equiv/kg induced nearly complete tumor suppression, which was significantly more effective than the sc or systemic injection of free Herceptin. These tailor-made fluorescent HMGs appeared as a robust injectable platform for sustained and localized delivery of therapeutic proteins.

  3. Is gentamycin delivery via sustained-release vehicles a safe and effective treatment for refractory Meniere's disease? A critical analysis of published interventional studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlastarakos, Petros V; Iacovou, Emily; Nikolopoulos, Thomas P

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this study is to review the literature on sustained-release vehicles delivering gentamycin in the inner ear of patients suffering from Meniere's disease (MD), and critically assess their respective clinical effectiveness and safety. A systematic literature review was conducted in Medline and other database sources until January 2016, along with critical analysis of pooled data. Overall, six prospective and four retrospective studies were systematically analyzed. The total number of treated patients was 320. A 2 year patient follow up was only reported in 40 % of studies. Inner ear gentamycin delivery using sustained-release vehicles is associated with improved vertigo control (strength of recommendation B), and quality of life (strength of recommendation B) in MD sufferers. In addition, dynamic-release devices seem to achieve high rates of improvement in the appearance of tinnitus (65.4 %) and aural pressure (76.2 %). By contrast, percentages of complete and partial hearing loss appear unacceptably high (31.08 and 23.38 % of patients, respectively), compared to historical data involving simple intratympanic gentamycin injections. Sustained-release vehicles for gentamycin delivery may have a role in the management of MD patients who have previously failed intratympanic gentamycin injections, or those who have already lost serviceable hearing. Their use as first line treatment over single intratympanic injections for all MD patients, who do not respond to conservative treatment should be discouraged.

  4. MaxHopCount: A New Drop Policy to Optimize Messages Delivery Rate in Delay Tolerant Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youssef Harrati

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Communication has become a necessity, not only between every point on the earth, but also on the globe. That includes hard topography, highlands, underwater areas, and also space- crafts on other planets. However, the classic wired internet cannot be implemented in such areas, hence, researchers have invented wireless networks. The big challenge for wireless networking nowadays, is maintaining nodes connected in some difficult conditions, such as intermittent connectivity, power failure, and lot of obstacles for the interplanetary networks. In these challenging circumstances, a new networking model arises; it is Delay Tolerant networking which is based on the Store-Carry-and-Forward mechanism. Thus, a node may keep a message in its buffer for long periods of time; until a delivery or forward chance arises then it transmit it to other nodes. One of the big issues that confront this mechanism is the congestion of nodes buffer due to the big number of messages and the limited buffer size. Here, researchers have proposed buffer management algorithms in order to deal with the buffer overload problem, and they called it Drop Policies. In our present work, we propose a new Drop policy which we have compared to other existing policies in different conditions and with different routing protocols, and it always shows good result in term of number of delivered messages, network overhead and also average of latency.

  5. Gene silencing in non-model insects: Overcoming hurdles using symbiotic bacteria for trauma-free sustainable delivery of RNA interference: Sustained RNA interference in insects mediated by symbiotic bacteria: Applications as a genetic tool and as a biocide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitten, Miranda; Dyson, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Insight into animal biology and development provided by classical genetic analysis of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster was an incentive to develop advanced genetic tools for this insect. But genetic systems for the over one million other known insect species are largely undeveloped. With increasing information about insect genomes resulting from next generation sequencing, RNA interference is now the method of choice for reverse genetics, although it is constrained by the means of delivery of interfering RNA. A recent advance to ensure sustained delivery with minimal experimental intervention or trauma to the insect is to exploit commensal bacteria for symbiont-mediated RNA interference. This technology not only offers an efficient means for RNA interference in insects in laboratory conditions, but also has potential for use in the control of human disease vectors, agricultural pests and pathogens of beneficial insects. © 2017 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  6. The DARTNet Institute: Seeking a Sustainable Support Mechanism for Electronic Data Enabled Research Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pace, Wilson D; Fox, Chester H; White, Turner; Graham, Deborah; Schilling, Lisa M; West, David R

    2014-01-01

    Clinical data research networks require large investments in infrastructure support to maintain their abilities to extract, transform, and load data from varied data sources, expand electronic data sources and develop learning communities. This paper outlines a sustainable business model of ongoing infrastructure support for clinical data research activities. The DARTNet Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that serves as a support entity for multiple practice-based research networks. Several clinical data research networks working closely with a professional society began collaborating to support shared goals in 2008. This loose affiliation called itself the "DARTNet Collaborative." In 2011, the DARTNet Institute incorporated as an independent, not-for-profit entity. The business structure allows DARTNet to advocate for all partners without operating its own practice-based research network, serve as a legal voice for activities that overlap multiple partners, share personnel resources through service contracts between partners, and purchase low-cost (nonprofit rate) software. DARTNet's business model relies upon four diverse sources of revenue: (1) DARTNet licenses and provides access to a propriety software system that extracts, transforms, and loads data from all major electronic health records (EHRs) utilized in the United States, and which also provides clinical decision support for research studies; (2) DARTNet operates a recognized, national professional-society-quality improvement registry that enables organizations to fulfill Meaningful Use 2 criteria; (3) DARTNet provides access to data for research activities that are funded by direct research dollars, provided at prices that generate excess revenue; and (4) DARTNet provides access to large primary care datasets for observational studies and pregrant analyses such as for sample size development. The ability of the system to support pragmatic trials will be described. The DARTNet model

  7. Sustained oscillations, irregular firing and chaotic dynamics in hierarchical modular networks with mixtures of electrophysiological cell types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petar eTomov

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The cerebral cortex exhibits neural activity even in the absence of externalstimuli. This self-sustained activity is characterized by irregular firing ofindividual neurons and population oscillations with a broad frequency range.Questions that arise in this context, are: What are the mechanismsresponsible for the existence of neuronal spiking activity in the cortexwithout external input? Do these mechanisms depend on the structural organization of the cortical connections? Do they depend onintrinsic characteristics of the cortical neurons? To approach the answers to these questions, we have used computer simulations of cortical network models. Our networks have hierarchical modular architecture and are composedof combinations of neuron models that reproduce the firing behavior of the five main cortical electrophysiological cell classes: regular spiking (RS, chattering (CH, intrinsically bursting (IB, low threshold spiking (LTS and fast spiking (FS. The population of excitatory neurons is built of RS cells(always present and either CH or IB cells. Inhibitoryneurons belong to the same class, either LTS or FS. Long-lived self-sustained activity states in our networksimulations display irregular single neuron firing and oscillatoryactivity similar to experimentally measured ones. The duration of self-sustained activity strongly depends on the initial conditions,suggesting a transient chaotic regime. Extensive analysis of the self-sustainedactivity states showed that their lifetime expectancy increases with the numberof network modules and is favored when the network is composed of excitatory neurons of the RS and CH classes combined with inhibitory neurons of the LTS class. These results indicate that the existence and properties of the self-sustained cortical activity states depend on both the topology of the network and the neuronal mixture that comprises the network.

  8. Traffic Engineering of Peer-Assisted Content Delivery Network with Content-Oriented Incentive Mechanism

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    MAKI, Naoya; NISHIO, Takayuki; SHINKUMA, Ryoichi; MORI, Tatsuya; KAMIYAMA, Noriaki; KAWAHARA, Ryoichi; TAKAHASHI, Tatsuro

    2012-01-01

    In content services where people purchase and download large-volume contents, minimizing network traffic is crucial for the service provider and the network operator since they want to lower the cost...

  9. European network for health technology assessment, EUnetHTA: planning, development, and implementation of a sustainable European network for health technology assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, Finn Børlum; Mäkelä, Marjukka; Neikter, Susanna Allgurin; Rehnqvist, Nina; Håheim, Lise Lund; Mørland, Berit; Milne, Ruairidh; Nielsen, Camilla Palmhøj; Busse, Reinhard; Lee-Robin, Sun Hae; Wild, Claudia; Espallargues, Mireia; Chamova, Julia

    2009-12-01

    The European network on Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) aimed to produce tangible and practical results to be used in the various phases of health technology assessment and to establish a framework and processes to support this. This article presents the background, objectives, and organization of EUnetHTA, which involved a total of sixty-four partner organizations. Establishing an effective and sustainable structure for a transnational network involved many managerial, policy, and methodological tools, according to the objective of each task or Work Package. Transparency in organization, financial transactions, and decision making was a key principle in the management of the Project as was the commitment to appropriately involve stakeholders. EUnetHTA activities resulted in a clear management and governance structure, efficient partnership, and transnational cooperation. The Project developed a model for sustainable continuation of the EUnetHTA Collaboration. The EUnetHTA Project achieved its goals by producing a suite of practical tools, a strong network, and plans for continuing the work in a sustainable EUnetHTA Collaboration that facilitates and promotes the use of HTA at national and regional levels. Responsiveness to political developments in Europe should be balanced with maintaining a high level of ambition to promote independent, evidence-based information and well-tested tools for best practice based on a strong network of HTA institutions.

  10. European network for health technology assessment, EUnetHTA: planning, development, and implementation of a sustainable European network for health technology assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Finn Børlum; Mäkelä, Marjukka; Neikter, Susanna Allgurin

    2009-01-01

    in organization, financial transactions, and decision making was a key principle in the management of the Project as was the commitment to appropriately involve stakeholders. RESULTS: EUnetHTA activities resulted in a clear management and governance structure, efficient partnership, and transnational cooperation....... The Project developed a model for sustainable continuation of the EUnetHTA Collaboration. CONCLUSIONS: The EUnetHTA Project achieved its goals by producing a suite of practical tools, a strong network, and plans for continuing the work in a sustainable EUnetHTA Collaboration that facilitates and promotes...

  11. Leadership training and delivery prospects of team leaders in Communication Network Support Services Limited, Ilorin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulahi G. Olatunji

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Training and development of staff has been one of the key focuses of every human resources department of any formal work organisation. This is as a result of the realisation that training is an important determinant of people’s behaviour as well as their general delivery ability at work. In realisation of this, intellectuals and researchers in industrial relations generally have put vested interest in the phenomena of training and work delivery ability. However, despite the enormous volume of literatures available in this regard, very few among them have specifically examined the importance of leadership training as a possible determinant of work delivery. Thus, this study is an attempt to cover this gap. In order to achieve this objective, survey design was used as the research design for the study. A questionnaire was used to elicit information from the respondents, while simple random sampling technique was used to select the study sample. Frequency distribution and percentage were used as descriptive tools, while chi-square was used as an inferential statistical tool in the study. The study found out that leadership training has a significant relationship with the identified work delivery elements measured in the study. The study concluded that leadership training has a significant effect on delivery ability of team leaders and thus recommended that leadership training should be given utmost priority in work organisations so that work delivery prospects of the employees could be realised.

  12. Sustainable Arctic observing network for predicting weather extremes in mid-latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, J.; Sato, K.; Yamazaki, A.

    2016-12-01

    Routine atmospheric observations within and over the Arctic Ocean are very expensive and difficult to conduct because of factors such as logistics and the harsh environment. Nevertheless, the great benefit of such observations is their contribution to an improvement of skills of weather predictions over the Arctic and mid-latitudes. The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) from mid-2017 to mid-2019 proposed by the World Weather Research Programme - Polar Prediction Project (WWRP-PPP) would be the best opportunity to address the issues. The combination of observations and data assimilation is an effective way to understand the predictability of weather extremes in mid-latitudes. This talk presents the current activities related to PPP based on international special radiosonde observing network in the Arctic, and challenges toward YOPP. Comparing with summer and winter cases, the additional observations over the Arctic during winter were more effective for improving the predicting skills of weather extremes because the impact of the observations would be carried toward the mid-latitudes by the stronger jet stream and its frequent meanderings. During summer, on the other hand, the impact of extra observations was localized over the Arctic region but still important for precise weather forecasts over the Arctic Ocean, contributing to safe navigation along the Northern Sea Route. To consolidate the sustainable Arctic radiosonde observing network, increasing the frequency of observations at Arctic coastal stations, instead of commissioning special observations from ships and ice camps, would be a feasible way. In fact, several existing stations facing the Arctic Ocean have already increased the frequency of observations during winter and/or summer.

  13. Research on the comparison of the demethylvancomycin's diffusion-deposition characteristics in the ocular solid tissues of sustained subtenon drug delivery with subconjunctival injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Yi-Qin; Yang, Ye-Zhen; Huang, Xue-Tao; Lin, Ding

    2017-11-01

    To compare the demethylvancomycin's diffusion-deposition characteristics in the ocular solid tissues of sustained subtenon drug delivery with subconjunctival injection. Sixty adult white rabbits were randomly assigned to the subtenon drug delivery group and the subconjunctival injection group. The subtenon drug delivery group was continuously infused demethylvancomycin to the subtenon of rabbits. The subconjunctival injection group was injected demethylvancomycin to the subconjunctival of rabbits. Cornea, iris and sclera were collected for high-performance liquid chromatography analyses to determine drug concentrations at one hour, three hours, six hours, 12 h and 24 h of drug administration. WinNonlin 6.3 was used to calculate the parameters of cumulative area under the curve (AUCcum) of demethylvancomycin. The peak levels of demethylvancomycin concentration of the subtenon drug delivery group and the subconjunctival injection group were 92.406 ± 21.555 and 51.778 ± 14.001 μg/g in cornea, 28.451 ± 10.229 μg/g and 42.271 ± 27.291 μg/g in iris, 153.166 ± 51.738 μg/g and 57.423 ± 18.480 μg/g in sclera. The differences of concentrations between the two groups in cornea and sclera were statistically significant (F = 487.775, p drug delivery group and the subconjunctival injection group was 1808.23 h * μg/g and 273.73 h * μg/g in cornea, 489.12 h * μg/g and 216.16 h * μg/g in iris and 2166.34 h * μg/g and 392.57 h * μg/g in sclera at 24 h of drug administration. The sustained subtenon drug delivery had a better drug permeability and accumulation in the intraocular solid tissue compared to subconjunctival injection, which demonstrated it was probably a promising and effective approach for treating posterior segment diseases and endophthalmitis.

  14. Ensuring Support for Research and Quality Improvement (QI) Networks: Four Pillars of Sustainability-An Emerging Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holve, Erin

    2013-01-01

    Multi-institutional research and quality improvement (QI) projects using electronic clinical data (ECD) hold great promise for improving quality of care and patient outcomes but typically require significant infrastructure investments both to initiate and maintain the project over its duration. Consequently, it is important for these projects to think holistically about sustainability to ensure their long-term success. Four "pillars" of sustainability are discussed based on the experiences of EDM Forum grantees and other research and QI networks. These include trust and value, governance, management, and financial and administrative support. Two "foundational considerations," adaptive capacity and policy levers, are also discussed.

  15. Sustained co-delivery of BIO and IGF-1 by a novel hybrid hydrogel system to stimulate endogenous cardiac repair in myocardial infarcted rat hearts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Rui; Qiao, Shupei; Liu, Yi; Meng, Qingyuan; Chen, Xiongbiao; Song, Bing; Hou, Xiaolu; Tian, Weiming

    2015-01-01

    Dedifferentiation and proliferation of endogenous cardiomyocytes in situ can effectively improve cardiac repair following myocardial infarction (MI). 6-Bromoindirubin-3-oxime (BIO) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) are two potent factors that promote cardiomyocyte survival and proliferation. However, their delivery for sustained release in MI-affected areas has proved to be challenging. In the current research, we present a study on the sustained co-delivery of BIO and IGF-1 in a hybrid hydrogel system to simulate endogenous cardiac repair in an MI rat model. Both BIO and IGF-1 were efficiently encapsulated in gelatin nanoparticles, which were later cross-linked with the oxidized alginate to form a novel hybrid hydrogel system. The in vivo results indicated that the hybrid system could enhance the proliferation of cardiomyocytes in situ and could promote revascularization around the MI sites, allowing improved cardiac function. Taken together, we concluded that the hybrid hydrogel system can co-deliver BIO and IGF-1 to areas of MI and thus improve cardiac function by promoting the proliferation of cardiomyocytes and revascularization. PMID:26251592

  16. Electronic document delivery: directing interlibrary loan traffic through multiple electronic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, C G

    1984-04-01

    The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) uses five different electronic networks for interlibrary loan (ILL) request transmission. The advantages and problems of using electronic networks for ILL request transmission are discussed. Advantages include speed of request transmission, improved capabilities for locating documents, lower labor costs, improved turnaround time, and production of user reports and statistics. Disadvantages include increased work load, additional staff training, coordination of non-standard networks, determining access protocols, and establishing priorities for handling requests.

  17. Engineering online and in-person social networks to sustain physical activity: application of a conceptual model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovniak, Liza S; Sallis, James F; Kraschnewski, Jennifer L; Sciamanna, Christopher N; Kiser, Elizabeth J; Ray, Chester A; Chinchilli, Vernon M; Ding, Ding; Matthews, Stephen A; Bopp, Melissa; George, Daniel R; Hovell, Melbourne F

    2013-08-14

    High rates of physical inactivity compromise the health status of populations globally. Social networks have been shown to influence physical activity (PA), but little is known about how best to engineer social networks to sustain PA. To improve procedures for building networks that shape PA as a normative behavior, there is a need for more specific hypotheses about how social variables influence PA. There is also a need to integrate concepts from network science with ecological concepts that often guide the design of in-person and electronically-mediated interventions. Therefore, this paper: (1) proposes a conceptual model that integrates principles from network science and ecology across in-person and electronically-mediated intervention modes; and (2) illustrates the application of this model to the design and evaluation of a social network intervention for PA. A conceptual model for engineering social networks was developed based on a scoping literature review of modifiable social influences on PA. The model guided the design of a cluster randomized controlled trial in which 308 sedentary adults were randomly assigned to three groups: WalkLink+: prompted and provided feedback on participants' online and in-person social-network interactions to expand networks for PA, plus provided evidence-based online walking program and weekly walking tips; WalkLink: evidence-based online walking program and weekly tips only; Minimal Treatment Control: weekly tips only. The effects of these treatment conditions were assessed at baseline, post-program, and 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome was accelerometer-measured PA. Secondary outcomes included objectively-measured aerobic fitness, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, and neighborhood walkability; and self-reported measures of the physical environment, social network environment, and social network interactions. The differential effects of the three treatment conditions on primary and secondary

  18. Mediatization, Spatial Coherence and Social Sustainability The Role of Digital Media Networks in a Swedish Countryside Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Jansson

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available What does the implementation of new communication networks mean for the spa-tial coherence and social sustainability of rural communities? This paper takes its key from Wittel’s discussion of network sociality, understood as the opposite of Gemeinschaft. Wittel’s argument may inform our understanding of how commu-nicative patterns in rural communities are partly re-embedded through ongoing media transitions. But it must also be problematized. Relating Wittel’s discussion to Halfacree’s model of spatial coherence and Urry’s notion of network capital, as well as to findings from an ethnographic study in a Swedish countryside commu-nity, a more complex view is presented. It is argued that global communication networks under rural conditions contribute to the integration and sustainability of the community, as much as to processes of expansion and differentiation. The results show that network sociality and community constitute interdependent con-cepts. Through their capacity of linking people to external realms of interest, while simultaneously reinforcing their sense of belonging in the local community, online media promote ontological security at the individual level, thus operating as a social stabilizer.

  19. Sustained delivery of rhBMP-2 by means of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres: cranial bone regeneration without heterotopic ossification or craniosynostosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wink, Jason D; Gerety, Patrick A; Sherif, Rami D; Lim, Youngshin; Clarke, Nadya A; Rajapakse, Chamith S; Nah, Hyun-Duck; Taylor, Jesse A

    2014-07-01

    Commercially available recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP2) has demonstrated efficacy in bone regeneration, but not without significant side effects. The authors used rhBMP2 encapsulated in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres placed in a rabbit cranial defect model to test whether low-dose, sustained delivery can effectively induce bone regeneration. The rhBMP2 was encapsulated in 15% PLGA using a double-emulsion, solvent extraction/evaporation technique, and its release kinetics and bioactivity were tested. Two critical-size defects (10 mm) were created in the calvaria of New Zealand white rabbits (5 to 7 months of age, male and female) and filled with a collagen scaffold containing either (1) no implant, (2) collagen scaffold only, (3) PLGA-rhBMP2 (0.1 μg per implant), or (4) free rhBMP2 (0.1 μg per implant). After 6 weeks, the rabbits were killed and defects were analyzed by micro-computed tomography, histology, and finite element analysis. The rhBMP2 delivered by means of bioactive PLGA microspheres resulted in higher volumes and surface area coverage of new bone than an equal dose of free rhBMP2 by micro-computed tomography (p=0.025 and p=0.025). Finite element analysis indicated that the mechanical competence using the regional elastic modulus did not differ with rhBMP2 exposure (p=0.70). PLGA-rhBMP2 did not demonstrate heterotopic ossification, craniosynostosis, or seroma formation. Sustained delivery by means of PLGA microspheres can significantly reduce the rhBMP2 dose required for de novo bone formation. Optimization of the delivery system may be a key to reducing the risk for recently reported rhBMP2-related adverse effects.

  20. Long-lasting fibrin matrices ensure stable and functional angiogenesis by highly tunable, sustained delivery of recombinant VEGF164.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacchi, Veronica; Mittermayr, Rainer; Hartinger, Joachim; Martino, Mikaël M; Lorentz, Kristen M; Wolbank, Susanne; Hofmann, Anna; Largo, Remo A; Marschall, Jeffrey S; Groppa, Elena; Gianni-Barrera, Roberto; Ehrbar, Martin; Hubbell, Jeffrey A; Redl, Heinz; Banfi, Andrea

    2014-05-13

    Clinical trials of therapeutic angiogenesis by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene delivery failed to show efficacy. Major challenges include the need to precisely control in vivo distribution of growth factor dose and duration of expression. Recombinant VEGF protein delivery could overcome these issues, but rapid in vivo clearance prevents the stabilization of induced angiogenesis. Here, we developed an optimized fibrin platform for controlled delivery of recombinant VEGF, to robustly induce normal, stable, and functional angiogenesis. Murine VEGF164 was fused to a sequence derived from α2-plasmin inhibitor (α2-PI1-8) that is a substrate for the coagulation factor fXIIIa, to allow its covalent cross-linking into fibrin hydrogels and release only by enzymatic cleavage. An α2-PI1-8-fused variant of the fibrinolysis inhibitor aprotinin was used to control the hydrogel degradation rate, which determines both the duration and effective dose of factor release. An optimized aprotinin-α2-PI1-8 concentration ensured ideal degradation over 4 wk. Under these conditions, fibrin-α2-PI1-8-VEGF164 allowed exquisitely dose-dependent angiogenesis: concentrations ≥25 μg/mL caused widespread aberrant vascular structures, but a 500-fold concentration range (0.01-5.0 μg/mL) induced exclusively normal, mature, nonleaky, and perfused capillaries, which were stable after 3 mo. Optimized delivery of fibrin-α2-PI1-8-VEGF164 was therapeutically effective both in ischemic hind limb and wound-healing models, significantly improving angiogenesis, tissue perfusion, and healing rate. In conclusion, this optimized platform ensured (i) controlled and highly tunable delivery of VEGF protein in ischemic tissue and (ii) stable and functional angiogenesis without introducing genetic material and with a limited and controllable duration of treatment. These findings suggest a strategy to improve safety and efficacy of therapeutic angiogenesis.

  1. Modified thermoresponsive Poloxamer 407 and chitosan sol-gels as potential sustained-release vaccine delivery systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kojarunchitt, Thunjiradasiree; Baldursdottir, Stefania; Dong, Yao-Da

    2015-01-01

    A and monophosphoryl lipid A), were free-flowing liquids at room temperature and formed stable gels at physiological temperatures. Rheological results showed that both systems meet the criteria of being thermoresponsive gels. The P407-25R4 sol-gels did not significantly sustain the release of antigen in vivo while...... the chitosan-MC sol-gels sustained the release of antigen up to at least 14 days after administration. The chitosan-MC sol-gels stimulated both cellular and humoral responses. The inclusion of cubosomes in the sol-gels did not provide a definitive beneficial effect. Further analysis of the formulations...

  2. The Sustained Effects on Tear Volume of Pilocarpine Hydrochloride in Gelatin by Hydrogel Administered by An Implant-mediated Drug Delivery System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Seunghee; Kim, Hong-Kyun; Kho, Hong-Seop; Park, Young-Seok

    2017-01-01

    Pilocarpine hydrochloride is commonly prescribed to patients with dry mouth and eye using a frequent dosing schedule. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sustained effects of this highly soluble drug carried by a gelatin hydrogel, which was administered by an implant mediated drug delivery system (IMDDS). The IMDDS was installed in a total of 24 rabbits. After complete healing, pilocarpine hydrochloride was administered as 30 mg as raw powder (Group 1; n = 8), 30 mg in gelatin hydrogel (Group 2; n = 8), and 60 mg in gelatin hydrogel (Group 3; n = 8). The effects were evaluated by tear volume measured using the Schirmer tear test for 2 weeks after administration. All 3 groups showed an increase in tear volume from the initial measurement at 1 hour. Group 1 exhibited this increase for 24 hours, while Groups 2 and 3 sustained this increase for 5 days and 7.5 days, respectively. When provided in gelatin hydrogel, highly water-soluble pilocarpine hydrochloride administered through IMDDS resulted in sustained effects with increased tear volume in normal rabbits. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  3. Long-lasting fibrin matrices ensure stable and functional angiogenesis by highly tunable, sustained delivery of recombinant VEGF164

    OpenAIRE

    Sacchi, Veronica; Mittermayr, Rainer; Hartinger, Joachim; Martino, Mikaël M.; Lorentz, Kristen M.; Wolbank, Susanne; Hofmann, Anna; Largo, Remo A.; Marschall, Jeffrey S.; Groppa, Elena; Gianni-Barrera, Roberto; Ehrbar, Martin; Hubbell, Jeffrey A.; Redl, Heinz; Banfi, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Inducing the growth of new blood vessels by specific factors is an attractive strategy to restore blood flow in ischemic tissues. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the master regulator of angiogenesis, yet clinical trials of VEGF gene delivery failed. Major challenges include the need to control the tissue distribution of factor dose and the duration of expression. Here, we developed a highly tunable fibrin-based platform to precisely control the dose and duration of VEGF protein d...

  4. People Centered Innovation: Enabling Lean Integrated Project Delivery and Disrupting the Construction Industry for a More Sustainable Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Paolillo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available People-centered innovation is a paradigm shift in the construction industry. It is derived from the supposition that people not methods, schedules, or budgets deliver projects. Our data suggest that a multilevel, multidisciplinary project team through shared vision, values, and a common vernacular defines, designs, and delivers more successful projects than traditional methods. These projects meet the needs of shareholders, the community, stakeholders, and the planet. We employ the concepts of emotional intelligence and agency theory to explain an integrated project delivery (IPD construction project using lean tactics that not only delivered, but also exceeded expectations resulting in a six-month schedule acceleration and $60M savings over the original estimated cost of the project calculated assuming traditional project delivery methods. The safety rating for this project was 50% better than the national average and the expected improvement in operating margin for the new building is 33% greater. This paper introduces the notion of people-centered innovation to an industry that has struggled to adapt and show positive results over recent decades. Our case study describes the significance of people-centered innovation in construction project delivery. We discuss the implications for the construction industry going forward.

  5. Synthesis and Design of Biorefinery Processing Networks with Uncertainty and Sustainability analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cheali, Peam; Gernaey, Krist; Sin, Gürkan

    Chemical industries usually rely on fossil based feedstock, which is a limited resource. In view of increasing energy demands and the negative environmental and climate effects related to the use of fossil based fuels, this motivates the development of new and more sustainable technologies...... solution obtained after the MINLP by using an in-house software (SustainPRO) that employs ICHEME sustainability metrics. Secondly, the sustainability analysis was included proactively as part of the MINLP optimization problem that is performed to find the optimal processing path with respect to multi-criteria...... assessment including technical, economics and sustainability. The expanded database and superstructure with uncertainty and sustainability analysis form a powerful process synthesis toolbox to be used in design of future biorefineries with multi-criteria evaluation (technical and economic feasibility...

  6. Principles of Neuroempiricism and generalization of network topology for health service delivery

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Niehaus, E

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available -term benefit by applying the technology for education, business, language and health. Cullen [5] (2002), Rao [16] (2003) and Herselman & Jacobs [13] (2005) determined these main factors that prevent rural businesses from obtaining benefits of ICT (Information... and Communication Technology). These barriers to technology use range from a lack of physical access and language problems to affective, emotional and cultural obstacles. Improvements in health service delivery have to be considered in a complex...

  7. Phytantriol and glyceryl monooleate cubic liquid crystalline phases as sustained-release oral drug delivery systems for poorly water-soluble drugs II. In-vivo evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Tri-Hung; Hanley, Tracey; Porter, Christopher J H; Larson, Ian; Boyd, Ben J

    2010-07-01

    Lipid-based liquid crystals formed from phytantriol (PHY) and glyceryl monooleate (GMO) retain their cubic-phase structure on dilution in physiologically relevant simulated gastrointestinal media, suggesting their potential application as sustained-release drug-delivery systems for poorly water-soluble drugs. In this study the potential of PHY and GMO to serve as sustained-release lipid vehicles for a model poorly-water-soluble drug, cinnarizine, was assessed and compared to that of an aqueous suspension formulation. Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to confirm the nanostructure of the liquid-crystalline matrix in the presence of the selected model drug, cinnarizine. Oral bioavailability studies were conducted in rats, and disposition of lipid and drug in segments of the gastrointestinal tract was determined over time. Differences in the digestibility and stability of formulations under digestion conditions were investigated using an in-vitro lipolysis model. The oral bioavailability of cinnarizine using the PHY formulation was 41%, compared to 19% for the GMO formulation and 6% for an aqueous suspension. The PHY formulation provided a T(max) for cinnarizine of 33 h, with absorption apparent up to 55 h after administration. In contrast, the T(max) for the GMO formulation was only 5 h. The PHY formulation was retained in the stomach for extended periods of time, with 56% of lipid remaining in the stomach after 24 h, in contrast to less than 1% of the GMO formulation after 8 h, suggesting that gastric retention was a key aspect of the prolonged period of absorption, which correlated with the formulations' relative susceptibility to in-vitro lipolysis and degradation. PHY provides a dramatic sustained-release effect for cinnarizine on oral administration, which is linked to gastric retention of the formulation and its ability to resist digestive processing. Poorly digested liquid crystal lipid formulations therefore offer a novel class of sustained

  8. Sustained NMDA receptor hypofunction induces compromised neural systems integration and schizophrenia-like alterations in functional brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Neil; Xiao, Xiaolin; McDonald, Martin; Higham, Desmond J; Morris, Brian J; Pratt, Judith A

    2014-02-01

    Compromised functional integration between cerebral subsystems and dysfunctional brain network organization may underlie the neurocognitive deficits seen in psychiatric disorders. Applying topological measures from network science to brain imaging data allows the quantification of complex brain network connectivity. While this approach has recently been used to further elucidate the nature of brain dysfunction in schizophrenia, the value of applying this approach in preclinical models of psychiatric disease has not been recognized. For the first time, we apply both established and recently derived algorithms from network science (graph theory) to functional brain imaging data from rats treated subchronically with the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP). We show that subchronic PCP treatment induces alterations in the global properties of functional brain networks akin to those reported in schizophrenia. Furthermore, we show that subchronic PCP treatment induces compromised functional integration between distributed neural systems, including between the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, that have established roles in cognition through, in part, the promotion of thalamic dysconnectivity. We also show that subchronic PCP treatment promotes the functional disintegration of discrete cerebral subsystems and also alters the connectivity of neurotransmitter systems strongly implicated in schizophrenia. Therefore, we propose that sustained NMDA receptor hypofunction contributes to the pathophysiology of dysfunctional brain network organization in schizophrenia.

  9. Novel 'nano in nano' composites for sustained drug delivery: biodegradable nanoparticles encapsulated into nanofiber non-wovens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck-Broichsitter, Moritz; Thieme, Marcel; Nguyen, Juliane; Schmehl, Thomas; Gessler, Tobias; Seeger, Werner; Agarwal, Seema; Greiner, Andreas; Kissel, Thomas

    2010-12-08

    Novel 'nano in nano' composites consisting of biodegradable polymer nanoparticles incorporated into polymer nanofibers may efficiently modulate drug delivery. This is shown here using a combination of model compound-loaded biodegradable nanoparticles encapsulated in electrospun fibers. The dye coumarin 6 is used as model compound for a drug in order to simulate drug release from loaded poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles. Dye release from the nanoparticles occurs immediately in aqueous solution. Dye-loaded nanoparticles which are encapsulated by electrospun polymer nanofibers display a significantly retarded release. Copyright © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. A Social-ecological framework for urban stewardship network research to promote sustainable and resilient cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michele Romolini; R. Patrick Bixler; Morgan Grove

    2016-01-01

    To realize more sustainable and resilient urban social-ecological systems, there is great need for active engagement from diverse public agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, natural resource managers, scientists, and other actors. Cities present unique challenges and opportunities for sustainability and resilience, as issues and organizations are frequently...

  11. Deterministic Greedy Routing with Guaranteed Delivery in 3D Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Xia

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available With both computational complexity and storage space bounded by a small constant, greedy routing is recognized as an appealing approach to support scalable routing in wireless sensor networks. However, significant challenges have been encountered in extending greedy routing from 2D to 3D space. In this research, we develop decentralized solutions to achieve greedy routing in 3D sensor networks. Our proposed approach is based on a unit tetrahedron cell (UTC mesh structure. We propose a distributed algorithm to realize volumetric harmonic mapping (VHM of the UTC mesh under spherical boundary condition. It is a one-to-one map that yields virtual coordinates for each node in the network without or with one internal hole. Since a boundary has been mapped to a sphere, node-based greedy routing is always successful thereon. At the same time, we exploit the UTC mesh to develop a face-based greedy routing algorithm and prove its success at internal nodes. To deliver a data packet to its destination, face-based and node-based greedy routing algorithms are employed alternately at internal and boundary UTCs, respectively. For networks with multiple internal holes, a segmentation and tunnel-based routing strategy is proposed on top of VHM to support global end-to-end routing. As far as we know, this is the first work that realizes truly deterministic routing with constant-bounded storage and computation in general 3D wireless sensor networks.

  12. How Should a Small Company Interact in Its Business Network to Sustain Its Exchange Effectiveness?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Raesfeld Meijer, Ariane M.; Roos, Kaspar

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we followed the dynamic alignment between networking approaches and business development of a small firm in the printing industry, with the aim of investigating how a small firm embedded in its network can deal with networking paradoxes when developing its business, such that it

  13. Sustained delivery of activated Rho GTPases and BDNF promotes axon growth in CSPG-rich regions following spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anjana Jain

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Spinal cord injury (SCI often results in permanent functional loss. This physical trauma leads to secondary events, such as the deposition of inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG within astroglial scar tissue at the lesion.We examined whether local delivery of constitutively active (CA Rho GTPases, Cdc42 and Rac1 to the lesion site alleviated CSPG-mediated inhibition of regenerating axons. A dorsal over-hemisection lesion was created in the rat spinal cord and the resulting cavity was conformally filled with an in situ gelling hydrogel combined with lipid microtubes that slowly released constitutively active (CA Cdc42, Rac1, or Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF. Treatment with BDNF, CA-Cdc42, or CA-Rac1 reduced the number of GFAP-positive astrocytes, as well as CSPG deposition, at the interface of the implanted hydrogel and host tissue. Neurofilament 160kDa positively stained axons traversed the glial scar extensively, entering the hydrogel-filled cavity in the treatments with BDNF and CA-Rho GTPases. The treated animals had a higher percentage of axons from the corticospinal tract that traversed the CSPG-rich regions located proximal to the lesion site.Local delivery of CA-Cdc42, CA-Rac1, and BDNF may have a significant therapeutic role in overcoming CSPG-mediated regenerative failure after SCI.

  14. Spreading the seeds for a sustainable future: the International Model Forest Network /International Model Forest Network Secretariat

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2001-01-01

    ... network. Funding for the IMFN has been provided by the Canadian Forest Service, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the International...

  15. Enabling the sustainable Faecal Sludge Management service delivery chain-A case study of dense settlements in Kigali, Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akumuntu, Jean Baptiste; Wehn, Uta; Mulenga, Martin; Brdjanovic, Damir

    2017-08-01

    The lack of access to basic sanitation is a global concern and alarmingly prevalent in low- and middle- income countries. In the densely populated settlements of these countries, on-site sanitation systems are usually the only feasible option because dwellers there have no sewers in place to connect to. Using on-site sanitation facilities results in an accumulation of faecal sludge which needs to be properly managed to ensure the well-being of the users as well as the surrounding environment. Unfortunately, often the conditions for faecal sludge management (FSM) within dense settlements are adverse and thus hamper sustainable FSM. We use the normative framework of the FSM enabling environment to gather empirical evidence from densely populated settlements of Kigali city in Rwanda to examine current FSM practices and the extent to which these are being influenced and affected by the setting within which they are taking place. The analysis of the study findings confirms that the existing conditions for FSM in these settlements are inadequate. The specific constraints that hinder the achievement of sustainable FSM include limited government focus on the sanitation sector, high turnover of staff in relevant government institutions, pit sludge management is not placed on the sanitation projects agenda, the existing relevant bylaws are not pro-poor oriented, a lack of clear responsibilities, a lack of relevant local professional training opportunities, unaffordability of FSM services and an inhibition to discuss FSM. Drawing on the involved stakeholders' own perceptions and suggestions, we identify possible approaches to overcome the identified constraints and to allow all actors in the FSM chain to contribute effectively to the management of faecal sludge in densely populated low-income urban settlements. Finally, our study also presents a contribution to the theoretical conceptualisation of the enabling environment for sustainable FSM. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Gmb

  16. Improving sustained drug delivery from ophthalmic lens materials through the control of temperature and time of loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topete, Ana; Oliveira, Andreia S; Fernandes, A; Nunes, T G; Serro, A P; Saramago, B

    2018-02-14

    Although the possibility of using drug-loaded ophthalmic lens to promote sustained drug release has been thoroughly pursued, there are still problems to be solved associated to the different alternatives. In this work, we went back to the traditional method of drug loading by soaking in the drug solution and tried to optimize the release profiles by changing the temperature and the time of loading. Two materials commercially available under the names of CI26Y and Definitive 50 were chosen. CI26Y is used for intraocular lenses (IOLs) and Definitive 50 for soft contact lenses (SCLs). Three drugs were tested: an antibiotic, moxifloxacin, and two anti-inflammatories, diclofenac and ketorolac. Sustained drug release from CI26Y disks for, at least 15 days, was obtained for moxifloxacin and diclofenac increasing the loading temperature up to 60 °C or extending the loading time till two months. The sustained release of ketorolac was limited to about 8 days. In contrast, drug release from Definitive 50 disks could not be improved by changing the loading conditions. An attempt to interpret the impact of the loading conditions on the drug release behavior was done using solid-state NMR and differential scanning calorimetry. These studies suggested the establishment of reversible, endothermic interactions between CI26Y and the drugs, moxifloxacin and diclofenac. The loading temperature had a slight effect on the mechanical and optical properties of drug loaded CI26Y samples, which still kept adequate properties to be used as IOL materials. The in vivo efficacy of CI26Y samples, drug loaded at 60 °C for two weeks, was predicted using a simplified mathematical model to estimate the drug concentration in the aqueous humor. The estimated concentrations were found to comply with the therapeutic needs, at least, for moxifloxacin and diclofenac. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. A LOCATION-INVENTORY MODEL INCLUDING DELIVERY DELAY COST AND CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS IN A STOCHASTIC DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ahmadi Javid

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available

    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a distribution network design problem in a supply chain system that minimises the total cost of location, inventory, and delivery delay. Customers’ demands are random, and multiple capacity levels are available for the distribution centers. The problem is first formulated as a mixed integer convex programming model to optimally solve medium-sized instances, and then a heuristic is developed for solving large-sized instances.

    AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie artikel word ‘n distribusienetwerkprobleem in ‘n voorsieningsketting voorgehou waar die totale koste van die ligging, voorraad en afleweringsvertragings geminimiseer word. Die vraag is lukraak en verskeie kapasiteitsvlakke is beskikbaar in die verspreidingsentra. Die problem word eers geformuleer as ‘n gemengde-heeltal-konvekse model sodat mediumgrootte gevalle geoptimiseer kan word, waarna ‘n heuristieke benadering ontwikkel word vir die oplos van grootskaalse aktiwiteite.

  18. The use of social networking tools for innovative service delivery at ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Social networking tools are impacting on the scholarly and research activities of staff and students in the academic environment. The university library has an important part to play in supporting these endeavours and a Web 2.0/Library 2.0 strategy has been in place in the University of Pretoria Library for a number of years.

  19. Towards Interactive Medical Content Delivery Between Simulated Body Sensor Networks and Practical Data Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xiaobo; Li, Wei; Song, Jeungeun; Hossain, M Shamim; Mizanur Rahman, Sk Md; Alelaiwi, Abdulhameed

    2016-10-01

    With the development of IoT (Internet of Thing), big data analysis and cloud computing, traditional medical information system integrates with these new technologies. The establishment of cloud-based smart healthcare application gets more and more attention. In this paper, semi-physical simulation technology is applied to cloud-based smart healthcare system. The Body sensor network (BSN) of system transmit has two ways of data collection and transmission. The one is using practical BSN to collect data and transmitting it to the data center. The other is transmitting real medical data to practical data center by simulating BSN. In order to transmit real medical data to practical data center by simulating BSN under semi-physical simulation environment, this paper designs an OPNET packet structure, defines a gateway node model between simulating BSN and practical data center and builds a custom protocol stack. Moreover, this paper conducts a large amount of simulation on the real data transmission through simulation network connecting with practical network. The simulation result can provides a reference for parameter settings of fully practical network and reduces the cost of devices and personnel involved.

  20. Dynamic optical fiber delivery of Ka-band packet transmissions for wireless access networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodríguez Páez, Juan Sebastián; Madsen, Peter; Tafur Monroy, Idelfonso

    2017-01-01

    A Reconfigurable Radio Access Unit is presented and experimentally demonstrated. In the unit, an optical switching system is set to dynamically deliver different packets to different points in the network. The packets are transmitted wirelesslty on the Ka-band (26–40 GHz), achieving BER values...

  1. Need for generic, innovative and geometric deliveries in developing self-sustaining capacity building in remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, R. K.; Balamanikavelu, P. M.; Vijayan, D.; Prasad, T. S.

    Everybody uses a bulb to illustrate an idea but nobody shows where the current comes from. Majority of remote sensing user community comes from natural and social sciences domain while remote sensing technology evolves from physical and engineering sciences. To ensure inculcation and internalization of remote sensing technology by application/resource scientists, trainer needs to transfer physical and engineering concepts in geometric manner. Here, the steering for the transfer of knowledge (facts, procedures, concepts and principles) and skills (thinking, acting, reacting and interacting) needs to take the trainees from Known to Unknown, Concrete to Abstract, Observation to Theory and Simple to Complex. In the initial stage of training/education, experiential learning by instructor led exploring of thematic details in false colour composite (FCC) as well as in individual black and white spectral band(s) imagery by trainees not only creates interest, confidence build-up and orientation towards purposeful learning but also helps them to overcome their inhibitions towards the physical and engineering basal. The methodology to be adopted has to inculcate productive learning, emphasizing more on thinking and trial and error aspects as opposed to reproductive learning based dominantly on being told and imitation. The delivery by trainer needs to ensure dynamic, stimulating and effective discussions through deluging questions pertaining to analysis, synthesis and evaluation nature. This would ensure proactive participation from trainees. Hands-on module leads to creative concretization of concepts. To keep the trainees inspired to learn in an auto mode during post-training period, they need to consciously swim in the current and emerging knowledge pool during training programme. This is achieved through assignment of seminar delivery task to the trainees. During the delivery of seminar, peers and co-trainees drive the trainee to communicate the seminar content not only

  2. Improving chronic care delivery and outcomes: the impact of the cystic fibrosis Care Center Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogayzel, Peter J; Dunitz, Jordan; Marrow, Laura C; Hazle, Leslie A

    2014-04-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a multisystem, life-shortening genetic disease that requires complex care. To facilitate this expert, multidisciplinary care, the CF Foundation established a Care Center Network and accredited the first care centres in 1961. This model of care brings together physicians and specialists from other disciplines to provide care, facilitate basic and clinical research, and educate the next generation of providers. Although the Care Center Network has been invaluable in achieving substantial gains in survival and quality of life, additional opportunities for improvements in CF care exist. In 1999, analysis of data from the CF Foundation's Patient Registry detected variation in care practices and outcomes across centres, identifying opportunities for improvement. In 2002, the CF Foundation launched a comprehensive quality improvement (QI) initiative to enhance care by assembling national experts to develop a strategic plan to disseminate QI training and processes throughout the Care Center Network. The QI strategies included developing leadership (nationally and within each care centre), identifying best CF care practices, and incorporating people with CF and their families into improvement efforts. The goal was to improve the care for every person with CF in the USA. Multiple tactics were undertaken to implement the strategic plan and disseminate QI training and tools throughout the Care Center Network. In addition, strategies to foster collaboration between care centre staff and individuals with CF and their families became a cornerstone of QI efforts. Today it is clear that the application of QI principles within the CF Care Center Network has improved adherence to clinical guidelines and achievement of important health outcomes.

  3. Noninvasive prediction of sudden death and sustained ventricular tachycardia after acute myocardial infarction using a neural network algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoni-Berisso, M; Molini, D; Viani, S; Mela, G S; Delfino, L

    2001-08-01

    The early and accurate noninvasive identification of postinfarction patients at risk of sudden death and sustained ventricular tachycardia (arrhythmic events) still remains an unsolved problem. The aim of the present study was to identify the combination of clinical and laboratory noninvasive variables, easy to obtain in most patients, that best predicts the occurrence of arrhythmic events after an acute myocardial infarction. Four hundred and four consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction were enrolled and followed for a median period of 21.4 months. In each patient, 61 clinical and laboratory noninvasive variables were collected before hospital discharge and used for the prediction of arrhythmic events using an artificial neural network. During follow-up, 13 (3.2%) patients died suddenly and 11(2.5%) had sustained ventricular tachycardia. The neural network showed that the combination best predicting arrhythmic events included: left ventricular failure during coronary care stay, ventricular dyskinesis, late potentials, number of ventricular premature depolarizations/hour, nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, left ventricular ejection fraction, bundle branch block and digoxin therapy at discharge. The neural network algorithm allowed identification of a small high-risk patient subgroup (12% of the study population) with an arrhythmic event rate of 46%. The sensitivity and specificity of the test were 96 and 93% respectively. These results suggest that, in postinfarction patients, it is possible to predict early and accurately arrhythmic events by noninvasive variables easily obtainable in most patients. Patients identified as being at risk are candidates for prophylactic antiarrhythmic therapy.

  4. Development of an Injectable Calcium Phosphate/Hyaluronic Acid Microparticles System for Platelet Lysate Sustained Delivery Aiming Bone Regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babo, Pedro S; Santo, Vítor E; Gomes, Manuela E; Reis, Rui L

    2016-11-01

    Despite the biocompatibility and osteoinductive properties of calcium phosphate (CaP) cements their low biodegradability hampers full bone regeneration. Herein the incorporation of CaP cement with hyaluronic acid (HAc) microparticles loaded with platelet lysate (PL) to improve the degradability and biological performance of the cements is proposed. Cement formulations incorporating increasing weight ratios of either empty HAc microparticles or microparticles loaded with PL (10 and 20 wt%) are developed as well as cements directly incorporating PL. The direct incorporation of PL improves the mechanical properties of the plain cement, reaching values similar to native bone. Morphological analysis shows homogeneous particle distribution and high interconnectivity between the HAc microparticles. The cements incorporating PL (with or without the HAc microparticles) present a sustained release of PL proteins for up to 8 d. The sustained release of PL modulates the expression of osteogenic markers in seeded human adipose tissue derived stem cells, thus suggesting the stimulatory role of this hybrid system toward osteogenic commitment and bone regeneration applications. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Mechanically tuned nanocomposite coating on titanium metal with integrated properties of biofilm inhibition, cell proliferation, and sustained drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Sandeep K; Teotia, Arun K; Kumar, Ashok; Kannan, Sanjeevi

    2017-01-01

    The clinical success of coated implants in executing biological functions inclusive of sustainable drug release and long term antibacterial activity without antibiotics is critical. To this aim, a nanohybrid of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) cored in polyvinyl alcohol nanocapsules (Ag-PVA NCs) embedded in chitosan (CS) matrix loaded with anti-inflammatory drug naproxen was prepared. The synthesized nanohybrids that were subjected to coatings on (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) treated titanium (Ti) metal exhibited dual role of excellent inhibition on biofilm formation and sustained drug release. These dual characteristics are achieved mainly based on intrinsic antibacterial property of AgNPs and differential entrapment of drug in PVA polymeric shell of AgNPs and CS matrix. The coatings also demonstrated enhanced mechanical properties with increasing inorganic filler and stress shielding on Ti metal. The biocompatibility tests involving adhesion, proliferation and differentiation of osteoblast cells demonstrated the efficacy of Ag-PVA NCs embedded in CS matrix as a suitable coating material for orthopedic applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Evaluation of carbopol-methyl cellulose based sustained-release ocular delivery system for pefloxacin mesylate using rabbit eye model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultana, Yasmin; Aqil, M; Ali, Asgar; Zafar, Shadaab

    2006-01-01

    The major purpose of this study was to develop and characterize a series of carbopol- and methyl cellulose-based solutions as the in situ gelling vehicles for ophthalmic drug delivery. The rheological properties, in vitro release as well as in vivo pharmacological response of a combination of polymer solutions, including carbopol and methyl cellulose, were evaluated. It was found that the optimum concentration of carbopol solution for the in situ gel-forming delivery systems was 0.3% (w/w), and that for methyl cellulose solution was 1.5% (w/w). The mixture of 0.3% carbopol and 1.5% methyl cellulose solutions showed a significant enhancement in gel strength in the physiological condition; this gel mixture was also found to be free flowing at pH 4.0 and 25 degrees C. The rheological behaviors of carbopol/methyl cellulose solution were not affected by the incorporation of the drug. Drug levels in the aqueous humor of the rabbits were well above the MIC-values of relevant bacteria after 12 hours, the results of an optimized formulation containing 0.18% of pefloxacin mesylate compared well with the 0.3% marketed eye drop formulation, indicating our formulation to be significantly better considering that a similar effect was obtained at half the concentration. Both the in vitro release and in vivo pharmacological studies indicated that the carbopol/methyl cellulose solution had better ability to retain drug than did the carbopol or methyl cellulose solutions alone. The results demonstrated that the carbopol/methyl cellulose mixture can be used as an in situ gelling vehicle to enhance the ocular bioavailability of pefloxacin mesylate.

  7. Promoting Sustainable Food Provision; the Role of Networks in Global Food Governance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterveer, P.J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Food provision in contemporary societies is transforming due to challenges of globalization, sustainability and equity. The interactions between civil society organizations, governments, the food industry, consumers and producers constitute dynamic fields of environmental change in global food

  8. Human resources for health strategies adopted by providers in resource-limited settings to sustain long-term delivery of ART: a mixed-methods study from Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakumumpa, Henry; Taiwo, Modupe Oladunni; Muganzi, Alex; Ssengooba, Freddie

    2016-10-19

    Human resources for health (HRH) constraints are a major barrier to the sustainability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many prior approaches to HRH constraints have taken a top-down trend of generalized global strategies and policy guidelines. The objective of the study was to examine the human resources for health strategies adopted by front-line providers in Uganda to sustain ART delivery beyond the initial ART scale-up phase between 2004 and 2009. A two-phase mixed-methods approach was adopted. In the first phase, a survey of a nationally representative sample of health facilities (n = 195) across Uganda was conducted. The second phase involved in-depth interviews (n = 36) with ART clinic managers and staff of 6 of the 195 health facilities purposively selected from the first study phase. Quantitative data was analysed based on descriptive statistics, and qualitative data was analysed by coding and thematic analysis. The identified strategies were categorized into five themes: (1) providing monetary and non-monetary incentives to health workers on busy ART clinic days; (2) workload reduction through spacing ART clinic appointments; (3) adopting training workshops in ART management as a motivation strategy for health workers; (4) adopting non-physician-centred staffing models; and (5) devising ART program leadership styles that enhanced health worker commitment. Facility-level strategies for responding to HRH constraints are feasible and can contribute to efforts to increase country ownership of HIV programs in resource-limited settings. Consideration of the human resources for health strategies identified in the study by ART program planners and managers could enhance the long-term sustainment of ART programs by providers in resource-limited settings.

  9. The Use of Artificial Neural Networks for Identifying Sustainable Biodiesel Feedstocks

    OpenAIRE

    Ristovski, Zoran D.; Ian M. O'Hara; Wijitha Senadeera; Brown, Richard J.; Mohammed I. Jahirul

    2013-01-01

    Over the past few decades, biodiesel produced from oilseed crops and animal fat is receiving much attention as a renewable and sustainable alternative for automobile engine fuels, and particularly petroleum diesel. However, current biodiesel production is heavily dependent on edible oil feedstocks which are unlikely to be sustainable in the longer term due to the rising food prices and the concerns about automobile engine durability. Therefore, there is an urgent need for researchers to ident...

  10. Associative network based on cyclodextrin polymer: a model system for drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layre, Anne-Magali; Volet, Gisèle; Wintgens, Véronique; Amiel, Catherine

    2009-12-14

    Associative networks have been elaborated by mixing in aqueous media a cyclodextrin polymer to a dextran bearing adamantyl groups. The two polymers interact mainly via inclusion complexes between adamantyl groups and cyclodextrin cavities, as evidenced by the high complexation constants determined by isothermal titration microcalorimetry (approximately 10(4) L mol(-1)). Additional interaction mechanisms participating in the strength of the network, mainly hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions, are sensitive to the pH and ionic strength of the medium, as shown by pH-dependent rheological properties. The loading and release of an apolar model drug, benzophenone, has been studied at two pH values and different cyclodextrin polymer content. Slow releases have been obtained (10-12 days) with slower kinetics at pH 2 than at pH 7. Analysis of the experiments at pH 7 shows that drug release is controlled both by diffusion in the network and by inclusion complex interactions with cyclodextrin cavities.

  11. Sustaining and improving an international service-learning partnership: Evaluation of an evidence-based service delivery model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Lorna M; Li, Li

    2017-06-01

    International service learning (ISL) is an instructional method used by physical therapist educators in the United States (US) to prepare students for rendering culturally competent care. ISL is a faculty led student learning opportunity that includes academic instruction and community service in an international context. Research exists that explores student experiences with ISL, but studies that evaluate ISL partnerships and include global stakeholder feedback are lacking. The purposes of this study were to: 1) integrate a partnership evaluation component into an existing curriculum-based ISL model and 2) through evaluation identify benefits, drawbacks, and suggestions for improving and sustaining the academic-community partnership. Community-based participatory research design using a mixed methods approach was used to evaluate a ISL partnership between a US-based physical therapy program and a service site in Ecuador. Participants were 31 staff working at the global service site. Over three years, 11 interviews were conducted and 26 surveys were administered to global partner staff. Data were analyzed using qualitative thematic content analysis and descriptive statistics. Partnership benefits included the following: continuity of ISL team leadership, targeted rehabilitative efforts, sensitivity to cultural norms, respectful communication, and interaction with local community. Drawbacks were as follows: deficits in cultural awareness, language barriers, and poor treatment carryover. Suggestions for sustaining the relationship incorporated: additional pre-trip communication, education of staff, and improved language skills. As more US teams deliver clinical services abroad, intentional evaluation approaches must include the global stakeholder in the planning, implementation, and evaluation phases to maximize partnerships benefits.

  12. Accountable care organizations may have difficulty avoiding the failures of integrated delivery networks of the 1990s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Lawton R; Pauly, Mark V

    2012-11-01

    Accountable care organizations are intended to improve the quality and lower the cost of health care through several mechanisms, such as disease management programs, care coordination, and aligning financial incentives for hospitals and physicians. Providers employed several of these mechanisms in forming the integrated delivery networks of the 1990s. The networks failed, however, because of heavy financial losses stemming from hospitals' purchase of physician practices and their inability to align incentives, garner capitated contracts, and develop the infrastructure to manage risk. Although the current mechanisms underlying accountable care organizations continue to evolve, whether and how they will have an impact on quality and costs remains open to question. Care coordination and information technology are proving more complicated and expensive to implement than anticipated, providers may lack the ability to implement these mechanisms, and primary care providers are in short supply. As in the 1990s, success depends on targeting specific populations, such as people with multiple chronic conditions who need and may benefit from coordinated care.

  13. How should a small company interact in its business network to sustain its exchange effectiveness?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Raesfeld Meijer, Ariane M.; Kraaijenbrink, Jeroen

    2008-01-01

    This paper investigates the dynamic alignment of network and business development of two small firms in the printing industry. Developments are followed over more than 8 years. The aim of the paper is to understand how small firms can manage their network relations by maintaining both their

  14. An epichlorohydrin-crosslinked semi-interpenetrating GG-PEO network as a xerogel matrix for sustained release of sulpiride.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoosain, Famida G; Choonara, Yahya E; Kumar, Pradeep; Tomar, Lomas K; Tyagi, Charu; du Toit, Lisa C; Pillay, Viness

    2014-10-01

    The current study involved the development of a novel sustained release crosslinked semi-IPN xerogel matrix tablet prepared by chemical crosslinking of poly(ethylene) oxide (PEO) and gellan gum (GG) employing epichlorohydrin (EPI) as crosslinker. A Box-Behnken design was employed for the statistical optimization of the matrix system to ascertain the ideal combination of native polymeric and crosslinking agents. Characterization studies were performed by employing standard polymer characterization techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, and scanning electron microscopy. Formulated matrix tablets displayed zero-order release kinetics, extending over 24 h. The mechanism of drug release was primarily by swelling and surface erosion. Crosslinked semi-IPN xerogel matrix tablets were compared to non-crosslinked polymer blends; results from the study conducted showed that the physiochemical properties of the PEO and GG were sufficiently modified to allow for sustained release of sulpiride with a 100% drug release at 24 h in a controlled manner as compared to non-crosslinked formulations which displayed further release beyond the test period. Crosslinked formulations displayed water uptake between 450 and 500% indicating a controlled rate of swelling and erosion allowing for sustained release. Surface morphology of the crosslinked system depicted a porous structure formed by interpenetrating networks of polymers, allowing for a greater degree of controlled penetration into the system affording it the ability to sustain drug release. Therefore, conclusively, based on the study performed, crosslinked PEO-GG allows for the sustained release of sulpiride from a hydrophilic semi-IPN xerogel matrix system.

  15. The Capacity-Building Stewardship Model: assessment of an agricultural network as a mechanism for improving regional agroecosystem sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison J. Duff

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Working lands have potential to meet agricultural production targets while serving as reservoirs of biological diversity and as sources of ecological services. Yet agricultural policy creates disincentives for this integration of conservation and production goals. While necessary, the development of a policy context that promotes agroecosystem sustainability will take time, and successful implementation will depend on a receptive agricultural audience. As the demands placed on working lands grow, there is a need for regional support networks that build agricultural producers' capacity for land stewardship. We used a social-ecological system framework to illustrate the Healthy Grown Potato Program as an agricultural network case study. Our Capacity-Building Stewardship Model reflects a 20-year experience working in collaboration with potato growers certified under an ecolabel in Wisconsin, USA. The model applies an evolving, modular farm stewardship standard to the entire farm - croplands and noncroplands. The model demonstrates an effective process for facilitating communication and shared learning among program participants, including agricultural producers, university extension specialists, nonprofit conservation partners, and industry representatives. The limitation of the model in practice has been securing funding to support expansion of the program and to ensure that the ecolabel standard is responsive to changes in the social-ecological system. Despite this constraint, the Capacity-Building Stewardship Model reveals an important mechanism for building regional commitment to conservation, with agricultural producers in a leadership role as architects, adopters, and advocates for stewardship behavior. Our experience provides important insight for the application of agri-environment schemes on private lands. The durability of a conservation ethic on working farms is likely to be enhanced when networks engage and support producers in an

  16. The effectiveness of the PRISMA integrated service delivery network: preliminary report on methods and baseline data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Réjean Hébert

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The PRISMA study analyzes an innovative coordination-type integrated service delivery (ISD system developed to improve continuity and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of services, especially for older and disabled populations. The objective of the PRISMA study is to evaluate the effectiveness of this system to improve health, empowerment and satisfaction of frail older people, modify their health and social services utilization, without increasing the burden of informal caregivers. The objective of this paper is to present the methodology and give baseline data on the study participants. Methods: A quasi-experimental study with pre-test, multiple post-tests, and a comparison group was used to evaluate the impact of PRISMA ISD. Elders at risk of functional decline (501 experimental, 419 control participated in the study. Results: At entry, the two groups were comparable for most variables. Over the first year, when the implementation rate was low (32%, participants from the control group used fewer services than those from the experimental group. After the first year, no significant statistical difference was observed for functional decline and changes in the other outcome variables. Conclusion: This first year must be considered a baseline year, showing the situation without significant implementation of PRISMA ISD systems. Results for the following years will have to be examined with consideration of these baseline results.

  17. Computational sustainability

    CERN Document Server

    Kersting, Kristian; Morik, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    The book at hand gives an overview of the state of the art research in Computational Sustainability as well as case studies of different application scenarios. This covers topics such as renewable energy supply, energy storage and e-mobility, efficiency in data centers and networks, sustainable food and water supply, sustainable health, industrial production and quality, etc. The book describes computational methods and possible application scenarios.

  18. Sustainable use of renewable resources in a stylized social-ecological network model under heterogeneous resource distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barfuss, Wolfram; Donges, Jonathan F.; Wiedermann, Marc; Lucht, Wolfgang

    2017-04-01

    Human societies depend on the resources ecosystems provide. Particularly since the last century, human activities have transformed the relationship between nature and society at a global scale. We study this coevolutionary relationship by utilizing a stylized model of private resource use and social learning on an adaptive network. The latter process is based on two social key dynamics beyond economic paradigms: boundedly rational imitation of resource use strategies and homophily in the formation of social network ties. The private and logistically growing resources are harvested with either a sustainable (small) or non-sustainable (large) effort. We show that these social processes can have a profound influence on the environmental state, such as determining whether the private renewable resources collapse from overuse or not. Additionally, we demonstrate that heterogeneously distributed regional resource capacities shift the critical social parameters where this resource extraction system collapses. We make these points to argue that, in more advanced coevolutionary models of the planetary social-ecological system, such socio-cultural phenomena as well as regional resource heterogeneities should receive attention in addition to the processes represented in established Earth system and integrated assessment models.

  19. Development of lovastatin-loaded poly(lactic acid microspheres for sustained oral delivery: in vitro and ex vivo evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan QG

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Qigang Guan,1 Wei Chen,2 Xianming Hu2 1Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pharmaceutical, Shenyang Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China Background: A novel lovastatin (LVT-loaded poly(lactic acid microsphere suitable for oral administration was developed in this study, and in vitro and in vivo characteristics were evaluated. Methods: The designed microspheres were obtained by an improved emulsion-solvent evaporation method. The morphological examination, particle size, encapsulation ratio, drug loading, and in vitro release were characterized. Pharmacokinetics studies were used to show that microspheres possess more advantages than the conventional formulations. Results: By using the emulsion-solvent evaporation method, it was simple to prepare microspheres and easy to scale up production. The morphology of formed microspheres showed a spherical shape with a smooth surface, without any particle aggregation. Mean size of the microspheres was 2.65±0.69 µm; the encapsulation efficiency was 92.5%±3.6%, and drug loading was 16.7%±2.1%. In vitro release indicated that the LVT microspheres had a well-sustained release efficacy, and ex vivo studies showed that after LVT was loaded to microspheres, the area under the plasma concentration-time curve from zero to the last measurable plasma concentration point and the extrapolation to time infinity increased significantly, which represented 2.63-fold and 2.49-fold increases, respectively, compared to suspensions. The rate of ex vivo clearance was significantly reduced. Conclusion: This research proved that poly(lactic acid microspheres can significantly prolong the drug circulation time in vivo and can also significantly increase the relative bioavailability of the drug. Keywords: lovastatin, microspheres, PLA, in vitro release, pharmacokinetics 

  20. Taste masking of azithromycin by resin complex and sustained release through interpenetrating polymer network with functionalized biopolymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajesh, A Michael; Popat, Kiritkumar Mangaldas

    2017-05-01

    The objective was to evaluate taste masking of azithromycin (AZI) by ion exchange resins (IERs) and the formation of covalent semi interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) beads using chitosan (CS) and sodium carboxylated agarose (SCAG) for sustained release of drug. Methacrylic acid (MAA)-based IERs were prepared by suspension polymerization method. Drug release complexes (DRCs) were prepared by different drug:resin ratios i.e. 1:1, 1:2 and 1:4. The resultant DRCs were characterized using DSC, FTIR, PXRD, in vivo and in vitro taste masking, and in vitro drug release at gastric pH. IPN beads were prepared by entrapping DRCs with bio polymers and cross linked with trisodium citrate (NaCIT), and further cross-linked with glutaraldehyde (GA) for sustained release of AZI. In vitro and in vivo taste masking studies showed that MD1:4 DRC formulation was optimal. The release of AZI from DRC was found to be very fast at gastric pH i.e. 97.37 ± 1.02% within 45 min. The formation of IPN beads was confirmed by FTIR. The release of drug from IPN beads at gastric and intestinal pH was found to be "taste masking and newly formulated IPN beads demonstrated sustained release of AZI.

  1. Taste masking of ciprofloxacin by ion-exchange resin and sustain release at gastric-intestinal through interpenetrating polymer network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Michael Rajesh

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to taste mask ciprofloxacin (CP by using ion-exchange resins (IERs followed by sustain release of CP by forming interpenetrating polymer network (IPN. IERs based on the copolymerization of acrylic acid with different cross linking agents were synthesised. Drug-resin complexes (DRCs with three different ratios of drug to IERs (1:1, 1:2, 1:4 were prepared & evaluated for taste masking by following in vivo and in vitro methods. Human volunteers graded ADC 1:4, acrylic acid-divinyl benzene (ADC-3 resin as tasteless. Characterization studies such as FTIR, SEM, DSC, P-XRD differentiated ADC 1:4, from physical mixture (PM 1:4 and confirmed the formation of complex. In vitro drug release of ADC 1:4 showed complete release of CP within 60 min at simulated gastric fluid (SGF i.e. pH 1.2. IPN beads were prepared with ADC 1:4 by using sodium alginate (AL and sodium alginate-chitosan (AL-CS for sustain release of CP at SGF pH and followed by simulated intestinal fluid (SIF i.e. pH 7.4. FTIR spectra confirmed the formation of IPN beads. The release of CP was sustain at SGF pH (75%. The kinetic model of IPN beads showed the release of CP was non-Fickian diffusion type.

  2. Pregnancy and Delivery in Patients with Mastocytosis Treated at the Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Ciach

    Full Text Available To present current guidelines regarding treatment of mastocytosis in pregnancy on the example of observed patients.Case control national study.Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM.23 singleton spontaneous pregnancies in 17 women diagnosed with mastocytosis in years 1999-2014, before becoming pregnant.Prospective analysis outcomes of pregnancies and deliveries.Survey developed in cooperation with the Spanish Instituto de Estudios de Mastocitosis de Castilla-La Mancha (CLMast, Hospital Virgen del Valle, Toledo, Red Espańola de Mastocitosis (REMA, Spain.All 23 pregnancies resulted from natural conception. Obstetrical complications recorded in the first trimester included spontaneous miscarriage (5 pregnancies. Four patients delivered preterm, including one delivery due to preeclampsia at 26 weeks which resulted with neonate death due to extreme prematurity. Five women delivered via cesarean: four due to obstetrical indications and one due to mastocytosis, during which no anesthesia related complications were recorded. Of patients delivering vaginally, two received extradural anesthesia, three required oxytocin infusion due to uterine hypotonia. No labor complications were recorded. In one woman with pregnancy-induced hypertension, early puerperium was complicated by the presence of persistent arterial hypertension. One neonate was born with the signs of cutaneous mastocytosis. Another neonate was diagnosed with Patau syndrome. Four women were treated for mastocytosis prior to conception and continued therapy after becoming pregnant. One patient was put on medications in the first trimester due to worsening of her symptoms. Pregnancy exerted only a slight effect on the intensity and frequency of mastocytosis-related symptoms observed. Worsening of the disease-related symptoms was documented in only four patients (23%. None of the patients showed the signs of anaphylaxis, either before becoming pregnant, or during

  3. Pregnancy and Delivery in Patients with Mastocytosis Treated at the Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabin, Izabela; Adamski, Przemyslaw; Leszczynska, Katarzyna; Preis, Krzysztof; Olszewska, Hanna; Wydra, Dariusz G.; Hansdorfer-Korzon, Rita

    2016-01-01

    Objective To present current guidelines regarding treatment of mastocytosis in pregnancy on the example of observed patients. Design Case control national study. Setting Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM). Population or Sample 23 singleton spontaneous pregnancies in 17 women diagnosed with mastocytosis in years 1999–2014, before becoming pregnant. Methods Prospective analysis outcomes of pregnancies and deliveries. Main Outcome Measures Survey developed in cooperation with the Spanish Instituto de Estudios de Mastocitosis de Castilla-La Mancha (CLMast), Hospital Virgen del Valle, Toledo, Red Espańola de Mastocitosis (REMA), Spain. Results All 23 pregnancies resulted from natural conception. Obstetrical complications recorded in the first trimester included spontaneous miscarriage (5 pregnancies). Four patients delivered preterm, including one delivery due to preeclampsia at 26 weeks which resulted with neonate death due to extreme prematurity. Five women delivered via cesarean: four due to obstetrical indications and one due to mastocytosis, during which no anesthesia related complications were recorded. Of patients delivering vaginally, two received extradural anesthesia, three required oxytocin infusion due to uterine hypotonia. No labor complications were recorded. In one woman with pregnancy-induced hypertension, early puerperium was complicated by the presence of persistent arterial hypertension. One neonate was born with the signs of cutaneous mastocytosis. Another neonate was diagnosed with Patau syndrome. Four women were treated for mastocytosis prior to conception and continued therapy after becoming pregnant. One patient was put on medications in the first trimester due to worsening of her symptoms. Pregnancy exerted only a slight effect on the intensity and frequency of mastocytosis-related symptoms observed. Worsening of the disease-related symptoms was documented in only four patients (23%). None of the patients

  4. Pregnancy and Delivery in Patients with Mastocytosis Treated at the Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciach, Katarzyna; Niedoszytko, Marek; Abacjew-Chmylko, Anna; Pabin, Izabela; Adamski, Przemyslaw; Leszczynska, Katarzyna; Preis, Krzysztof; Olszewska, Hanna; Wydra, Dariusz G; Hansdorfer-Korzon, Rita

    2016-01-01

    To present current guidelines regarding treatment of mastocytosis in pregnancy on the example of observed patients. Case control national study. Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM). 23 singleton spontaneous pregnancies in 17 women diagnosed with mastocytosis in years 1999-2014, before becoming pregnant. Prospective analysis outcomes of pregnancies and deliveries. Survey developed in cooperation with the Spanish Instituto de Estudios de Mastocitosis de Castilla-La Mancha (CLMast), Hospital Virgen del Valle, Toledo, Red Espańola de Mastocitosis (REMA), Spain. All 23 pregnancies resulted from natural conception. Obstetrical complications recorded in the first trimester included spontaneous miscarriage (5 pregnancies). Four patients delivered preterm, including one delivery due to preeclampsia at 26 weeks which resulted with neonate death due to extreme prematurity. Five women delivered via cesarean: four due to obstetrical indications and one due to mastocytosis, during which no anesthesia related complications were recorded. Of patients delivering vaginally, two received extradural anesthesia, three required oxytocin infusion due to uterine hypotonia. No labor complications were recorded. In one woman with pregnancy-induced hypertension, early puerperium was complicated by the presence of persistent arterial hypertension. One neonate was born with the signs of cutaneous mastocytosis. Another neonate was diagnosed with Patau syndrome. Four women were treated for mastocytosis prior to conception and continued therapy after becoming pregnant. One patient was put on medications in the first trimester due to worsening of her symptoms. Pregnancy exerted only a slight effect on the intensity and frequency of mastocytosis-related symptoms observed. Worsening of the disease-related symptoms was documented in only four patients (23%). None of the patients showed the signs of anaphylaxis, either before becoming pregnant, or during pregnancy

  5. Practice patterns in the delivery of radiation therapy after mastectomy among the University of California Athena Breast Health Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayadev, Jyoti; Einck, John; Elson, Sarah; Rugo, Hope; Hwang, Shelley; Bold, Richard; Daroui, Parima; McCloskey, Susan; Yashar, Catheryn; Kim, Danny; Fowble, Barbara

    2015-02-01

    Practice patterns vary with the planning and delivery of PMRT. In our investigation we examined practice patterns in the use of chest wall bolus and a boost among the Athena Breast Health Network (Athena). Athena is a collaboration among the 5 University of California Medical Centers that aims to integrate clinical care and research. From February 2011 to June 2011, all physicians specializing in the multidisciplinary treatment of breast cancer were invited to take a Web-based practice patterns survey. Sixty-two of the 239 questions focused on radiation therapy practice environment, decision-making processes, and treatment management, including the use of a bolus or boost in PMRT. Ninety-two percent of the radiation oncologists specializing in breast cancer completed the survey. All of the responders use a material to increase the surface dose to the chest wall during PMRT. Materials used included brass mesh, commercial bolus, and custom-designed wax bolus. Fifty percent used tissue equivalent superflab bolus. Fifty-five percent of the respondents routinely use a boost to the chest wall in PMRT. Eighteen percent give a boost depending on the margin status, and 3 of 11 (27%) do not use a boost. Our investigation documents practice pattern variation for the use of a PMRT boost and the use of chest wall bolus among the University of California breast cancer radiation oncologists. Further understanding of the practice pattern variation will help guide clinicians in our cancer centers to a more uniform approach in the delivery of PMRT. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. On synthesis and optimization of steam system networks. 1. Sustained boiler efficiency

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Majozi, T

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The traditional steam system comprises a steam boiler and the associated heat exchanger network (HEN). Most research published in literature tends to address both the elements of the steam system as separate entities instead of analyzing...

  7. Cyclodextrin/carbopol micro-scale interpenetrating networks (ms-IPNs) for drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Tenreiro, Carmen; Diez-Bueno, Laura; Concheiro, Angel; Torres-Labandeira, Juan J; Alvarez-Lorenzo, Carmen

    2007-10-18

    Cross-linking of hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP beta CD) with ethyleneglycol diglycidylether (EGDE) in carbopol dispersions enabled the synthesis of cyclodextrin hydrogels with domains of interpenetrating acrylic microgels (micro-scale-IPNs) in a single step under mild conditions. As carbopol proportion increased, the hardness and compressibility of the ms-IPNs decreased, but their bioadhesion force and pH-responsiveness rose. Control HP beta CD hydrogel and ms-IPNs were loaded with estradiol and ketoconazole by immersion in drug suspensions, some of which were autoclaved to enhance (up to a 50%) drug/cyclodextrin affinity. ms-IPNs prepared with 0.8% or 1.0% carbopol showed the highest loading due to their greater swelling degree and, consequently, mesh size. The total loading of the ms-IPNs greatly exceeded (up to 200-fold) the amount dissolved in their aqueous phase, which highlights the main role of drug complexation with the cross-linked cyclodextrins. The affinity of the drug for HP beta CD sustained the release for several days; the rate being also dependent on carbopol content and on pH of the medium. Therefore, an adequate design of the HP beta CD/carbopol ms-IPNs provides a single material with tunable mechanical properties, in which the complexation ability of cyclodextrins is combined with the bioadhesive and pH-responsive properties of carbopol. The ms-IPNs are potentially useful as vehicles of relatively hydrophobic substances.

  8. Dysfunction and dysconnection in cortical-striatal networks during sustained attention: Genetic risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and its impact on brain network function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaibhav A. Diwadkar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Abnormalities in the brain’s attention network may represent early identifiable neurobiological impairments in individuals at increased risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Here we provide evidence of dysfunctional regional and network function in adolescents at higher genetic risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (henceforth HGR. During fMRI, participants engaged in a sustained attention task with variable demands. The task alternated between attention (120 s, visual control (passive viewing; 120 s and rest (20 s epochs. Low and high demand attention conditions were created using the rapid presentation of 2- or 3-digit numbers. Subjects were required to detect repeated presentation of numbers. We demonstrate that the recruitment of cortical and striatal regions are disordered in HGR: Relative to typical controls (TC, HGR showed lower recruitment of the dorsal prefrontal cortex, but higher recruitment of the superior parietal cortex. This imbalance was more dramatic in the basal ganglia. There, a group by task demand interaction was observed, such that increased attention demand led to increased engagement in TC, but disengagement in HGR. These activation studies were complemented by network analyses using Dynamic Causal Modeling. Competing model architectures were assessed across a network of cortical-striatal regions, distinguished at a second level using random effects Bayesian model selection. In the winning architecture, HGR were characterized by significant reductions in coupling across both frontal-striatal and frontal-parietal pathways. The effective connectivity analyses indicate emergent network dysconnection, consistent with findings in patients with schizophrenia. Emergent patterns of regional dysfunction and disconnection in cortical-striatal pathways may provide functional biological signatures in the adolescent risk state for psychiatric illness.

  9. Social learning in innovation networks: how multisectoral collaborations shape discourses of sustainable agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, F.L.P.

    2011-01-01

    The increasing complexity of modern day society has led to the emergence of a specific type of sustainability problems known as complex problems. These types of problems can be characterised by their cognitive complexity and inherent insecurity, their normative complexity that allows for completely

  10. Mobile Virtual Network Operator Information Systems for Increased Sustainability in Utilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joensen, Hallur Leivsgard; Tambo, Torben

    2011-01-01

    In today’s research on creating a more sustainable energy utilisation in society, much effort is directed towards producing or consuming energy. This focus tends to overlook the fact that energy needs to be sold and distributed to the consumers in increasingly open marketplaces where the marketin...

  11. The Sustainable Development of Industry Clusters: Emergent Knowledge Networks and Socio Complex Adaptive Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susu Nousala

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available In a highly competitive global economy the development of sustainable, innovative responses from Industry is now vital. Many industries globally need to respond rather than react to current economic climate through sustainable (economically and environmentally development. The steel industry is a critical player in the urban landscape. Like many industries, small, medium enterprises (SMEs are vital players within the steel industry supply chain. The Australian SME steel housing sector (based in rural and regional areas are still developing systemic capabilities with the aim of realizing its full potential. The question of an effective sustainable industry is much larger than any one player. This paper aims to present a proposed methodological approach for sustainable cluster development based on previous industry wide investigations. Through the lens of scalability of a socio complex adaptive system, SME development becomes arguably the most significant player with regards to industry cluster development. By starting with SME development it's possible to build an understanding of a simultaneous two layered approach, "bottom up – top down" whilst including a very diversified group.

  12. The Bi-Modal Organization: Balancing Autopoiesis and Fluid Social Networks for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Peter A. C.; Sharicz, Carol Ann

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assist an organization to restructure as a bi-modal organization in order to achieve sustainability in today's highly complex business world. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is conceptual and is based on relevant literature and the authors' research and practice. Findings: Although fluid…

  13. Is the topology of the Internet network really fit to sustain its function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosato, V.; Issacharoff, L.; Meloni, S.; Caligiore, D.; Tiriticco, F.

    2008-03-01

    The Internet is one of the most interesting realizations of a “complex” network. As a non-supervised growing object, it allows the study of the selective pressure which drives the network to assume its current structure. The DIMES and the ROUTEVIEWS projects are ongoing projects aimed at evaluating the topological structure of the Internet (at the Autonomous System or AS grain-level) on the basis of different types of measurements. The topological analysis of the networks produced by the two projects has allowed us to infer a growth mechanism which has been used to build up synthetic networks with similar properties. These networks have been used as test-beds for the implementation of a model of traffic dynamics, with the aim of assessing the ability of the Internet’s topology to support the basic actions for data traffic handling. Results have been compared with those obtained by using a random network of similar size. The effects of some structural perturbations (arcs and nodes’ removal, traffic localization) have been also evaluated in terms of the induced variations of the network’s efficiency. The resulting scenario is consistent with the hypothesis that the structure of the Internet is only partially fit to host communication processes and that the intelligence of the TCP/IP protocol is partly needed to overcome some “structural” deficiencies.

  14. Connecting research discovery with care delivery in dementia: the development of the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boustani MA

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaz A Boustani,1–3 Amie Frame,1,2 Stephanie Munger,1,2 Patrick Healey,4 Jessie Westlund,5 Martin Farlow,6,7 Ann Hake,8 Mary Guerriero Austrom,6,9 Polly Shepard,10 Corby Bubp,10 Jose Azar,3 Arif Nazir,3 Nadia Adams,11 Noll L Campbell,1,2,12,13 Azita Chehresa,5 Paul Dexter2,31Indiana University Center for Aging Research, 2Regenstrief Institute, Inc, 3Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM, 4St Vincent Health Network, 5Community Health Network, 6Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, IUSM, 7Department of Neurology, IUSM, 8Eli Lilly and Company, 9Department of Psychiatry, IUSM, 10The Memory Clinic of Indianapolis, 11Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 12Department of Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, West Lafayette, IN, USA; 13Department of Pharmacy, Wishard Health Services, Indianapolis, IN, USABackground: The US Institute of Medicine has recommended an integrated, locally sensitive collaboration among the various members of the community, health care systems, and research organizations to improve dementia care and dementia research.Methods: Using complex adaptive system theory and reflective adaptive process, we developed a professional network called the “Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia” (IDND. The IDND facilitates effective and sustainable interactions among a local and diverse group of dementia researchers, clinical providers, and community advocates interested in improving care for dementia patients in Indianapolis, Indiana.Results: The IDND was established in February 2006 and now includes more than 250 members from more than 30 local (central Indiana organizations representing 20 disciplines. The network uses two types of communication to connect its members. The first is a 2-hour face-to-face bimonthly meeting open to all members. The second is a web-based resource center (http://www.indydiscoverynetwork.org. To date, the network has: (1 accomplished the

  15. Delivery care and the inadequacy of the obstetric care network in Pernambuco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Katharina Rohr

    Full Text Available Abstract Objectives: this study aims to evaluate parturition distribution of live-born children within the First Health Regional Administration (GERES I in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil in 2012. Methods: live Birth Certificates were used to evaluate displacements between pregnant women's residential municipalities and birth localities. Flux maps were constructed to represent pregnant women transferred to Recife, and the estimated number of live-borns with high-risk and regular births was calculated for each municipality. Results: in 2012, only 50% of the births of live babies in the GERES I took place at the original residential municipality of the mother. In Recife, the number of childbirths was 1.5 times greater than expected for this year, with 56% representing non-residents. Eleven municipalities of the GERES I have maternity hospitals, however, none of these responded to the expected number of regular risk births. Conclusions: this disruption of the obstetric network leads to the disrespecting of women's right to know beforehand the place of childbirth and to create bonds with it. Municipalities perform fewer childbirths than expected, resulting in unnecessary transfers and the overloading of maternity hospitals in Recife.

  16. Drawbacks and benefits associated with inter-organizational collaboration along the discovery-development-delivery continuum: a cancer research network case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harris Jenine K

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The scientific process around cancer research begins with scientific discovery, followed by development of interventions, and finally delivery of needed interventions to people with cancer. Numerous studies have identified substantial gaps between discovery and delivery in health research. Team science has been identified as a possible solution for closing the discovery to delivery gap; however, little is known about effective ways of collaborating within teams and across organizations. The purpose of this study was to determine benefits and drawbacks associated with organizational collaboration across the discovery-development-delivery research continuum. Methods Representatives of organizations working on cancer research across a state answered a survey about how they collaborated with other cancer research organizations in the state and what benefits and drawbacks they experienced while collaborating. We used exponential random graph modeling to determine the association between these benefits and drawbacks and the presence of a collaboration tie between any two network members. Results Different drawbacks and benefits were associated with discovery, development, and delivery collaborations. The only consistent association across all three was with the drawback of difficulty due to geographic differences, which was negatively associated with collaboration, indicating that those organizations that had collaborated were less likely to perceive a barrier related to geography. The benefit, enhanced access to other knowledge, was positive and significant in the development and delivery networks, indicating that collaborating organizations viewed improved knowledge exchange as a benefit of collaboration. ‘Acquisition of additional funding or other resources’ and ‘development of new tools and methods’ were negatively significantly related to collaboration in these networks. So, although improved knowledge access was an

  17. Drawbacks and benefits associated with inter-organizational collaboration along the discovery-development-delivery continuum: a cancer research network case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Jenine K; Provan, Keith G; Johnson, Kimberly J; Leischow, Scott J

    2012-07-25

    The scientific process around cancer research begins with scientific discovery, followed by development of interventions, and finally delivery of needed interventions to people with cancer. Numerous studies have identified substantial gaps between discovery and delivery in health research. Team science has been identified as a possible solution for closing the discovery to delivery gap; however, little is known about effective ways of collaborating within teams and across organizations. The purpose of this study was to determine benefits and drawbacks associated with organizational collaboration across the discovery-development-delivery research continuum. Representatives of organizations working on cancer research across a state answered a survey about how they collaborated with other cancer research organizations in the state and what benefits and drawbacks they experienced while collaborating. We used exponential random graph modeling to determine the association between these benefits and drawbacks and the presence of a collaboration tie between any two network members. Different drawbacks and benefits were associated with discovery, development, and delivery collaborations. The only consistent association across all three was with the drawback of difficulty due to geographic differences, which was negatively associated with collaboration, indicating that those organizations that had collaborated were less likely to perceive a barrier related to geography. The benefit, enhanced access to other knowledge, was positive and significant in the development and delivery networks, indicating that collaborating organizations viewed improved knowledge exchange as a benefit of collaboration. 'Acquisition of additional funding or other resources' and 'development of new tools and methods' were negatively significantly related to collaboration in these networks. So, although improved knowledge access was an outcome of collaboration, more tangible outcomes were not being

  18. A statistical study on the development of micro particulate sustained drug delivery system for Losartan potassium by 32 factorial design approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gokul Khairnar

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of polymer and surfactant concentration on drug loading and in vitro drug release of micro particulate drug delivery system of Losartan potassium (LST. Microparticles were prepared by O/O solvent emulsification method. A 32 full factorial design was used to derive statistical equation and construct contour plots to predict responses. The independent variables selected were polymer concentration (A, surfactant concentration (B. Dependent variables were percentage drug loading (Y1 and percentage drug release at 12 h (Y2. The in vitro drug release profile of prepared microparticles was compared with marketed tablet formulation. The release profile of microparticles was found to be sustained as compared to the marketed formulation. The drug loading was found to be in the range of 15.32% (F6 to 22.27% (F5. FT-IR analysis revealed no drug excipient interference. The morphology of evaluated microparticles at −1 level was found to be spherical and smooth in nature while at higher level +1 it was found to be rough, irregular, with erosion, cracks and wrinkles on the surface. In XRD analysis crystalline pattern of pure LST was changed to amorphous pattern when converted to microparticles.

  19. Zone-Aware Service Platform: A New Concept of Context-Aware Networking and Communications for Smart-Home Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinsung Byun

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in networking and communications removed the restrictions of time and space in information services. Context-aware service systems can support the predefined services in accordance with user requests regardless of time and space. However, due to their architectural limitations, the recent systems are not so flexible to provide device-independent services by multiple service providers. Recently, researchers have focused on a new service paradigm characterized by high mobility, service continuity, and green characteristics. In line with these efforts, improved context-aware service platforms have been suggested to make the platform possible to manage the contexts to provide the adaptive services for multi-user and locations. However, this platform can only support limited continuity and mobility. In other words, the existing system cannot support seamless service provision among different service providers with respect to the changes of mobility, situation, device, and network. Furthermore, the existing context-aware service platform is significant reliance on always-on infrastructure, which leads to great amounts of energy consumption inevitably. Therefore, we subsequently propose a new concept of context-aware networking and communications, namely a zone-aware service platform. The proposed platform autonomously reconfigures the infrastructure and maintains a service session interacting with the middleware to support cost- and energy-efficient pervasive services for smart-home sustainability.

  20. Modulatory effects by CB1 receptors on rat spinal locomotor networks after sustained application of agonists or antagonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veeraraghavan, P; Nistri, A

    2015-09-10

    Sustained administration of cannabinoid agonists acting on neuronal CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) are proposed for treating spasticity and chronic pain. The impact of CB1Rs on mammalian locomotor networks remains, however, incompletely understood. To clarify how CB1Rs may control synaptic activity and locomotor network function, we used the rat spinal cord in vitro which is an advantageous model to investigate locomotor circuit mechanisms produced by the local central pattern generator. Neither the CB1 agonist anandamide (AEA) nor the CB1R antagonist AM-251 evoked early (3-24h largely impaired locomotor network activity induced by DR stimuli or neurochemicals, and depressed disinhibited bursting without changing reflex amplitude or inducing neurotoxicity even if CB1R immunoreactivity was lowered in the central region. Since CB1R activation usually inhibits cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) synthesis, we investigated how a 24-h application of AEA or AM-251 affected basal or forskolin-stimulated cAMP levels. While AEA decreased them in an AM-251-sensitive manner, AM-251 per se did not change resting or stimulated cAMP. Our data suggest that CB1Rs may control the circuit gateway regulating the inflow of sensory afferent inputs into the locomotor circuits, indicating a potential site of action for restricting peripheral signals disruptive for locomotor activity. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Wireless Sensor Network Powered by a Terrestrial Microbial Fuel Cell as a Sustainable Land Monitoring Energy System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Pietrelli

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This work aims at investigating the possibility of a wireless sensor network powered by an energy harvesting technology, such as a microbial fuel cell (MFC. An MFC is a bioreactor that transforms energy stored in chemical bonds of organic compounds into electrical energy. This process takes place through catalytic reactions of microorganisms under anaerobic conditions. An anode chamber together with a cathode chamber composes a conventional MFC reactor. The protons generated in the anode chamber are then transferred into the cathode chamber through a proton exchange membrane (PEM. A possible option is to use the soil itself as the membrane. In this case, we are referring to, more properly, a terrestrial microbial fuel cell (TMFC. This research examines the sustainability of a wireless sensor network powered by TMFC for land monitoring and precision agriculture. Acting on several factors, such as pH, temperature, humidity and type of soil used, we obtained minimum performance requirements in terms of the output power of the TMFC. In order to identify some of the different network node configurations and to compare the resulting performance, we investigated the energy consumption of the core components of a node, e.g., the transceiver and microcontroller, looking for the best performance.

  2. An information technology enabled sustainability test-bed (ITEST) for occupancy detection through an environmental sensing network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dong, Bing; Lam, Khee Poh; Zhang, Rui; Chiou, Yun-Shang [Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (United States); Andrews, Burton; Hoeynck, Michael; Benitez, Diego [Research and Technology Center, Robert BOSCH LLC, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (United States)

    2010-07-15

    This paper describes a large-scale wireless and wired environmental sensor network test-bed and its application to occupancy detection in an open-plan office building. Detection of occupant presence has been used extensively in built environments for applications such as demand-controlled ventilation and security; however, the ability to discern the actual number of people in a room is beyond the scope of current sensing techniques. To address this problem, a complex sensor network is deployed in the Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace comprising a wireless ambient-sensing system, a wired carbon dioxide sensing system, and a wired indoor air quality sensing system. A wired camera network is implemented as well for establishing true occupancy levels to be used as ground truth information for deriving algorithmic relationships with the environment conditions. To our knowledge, this extensive and diverse ambient-sensing infrastructure of the ITEST setup as well as the continuous data-collection capability is unprecedented. Final results indicate that there are significant correlations between measured environmental conditions and occupancy status. An average of 73% accuracy on the occupancy number detection was achieved by Hidden Markov Models during testing periods. This paper serves as an exploration to the research of ITEST for occupancy detection in offices. In addition, its utility extends to a wide variety of other building technology research areas such as human-centered environmental control, security, energy efficient and sustainable green buildings. (author)

  3. Sustainable transition of socio-technological systems: How can Governance Network Research and Transition Theory contribute to the transition to biofuel for transportation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ole Erik; Stærdahl, Jens; Søndergård, Bent

    and policymaking for sustainability has to work with issues of understanding how actors and networks configure, requirements to effective networks and metagovernance of governance networks. Research within innovation systems, transition management and technology systems combined with planning and experimental...... activities provides both a theoretical and empirical body of knowledge of such governance processes. The paper presents these approaches and demonstrates how they can be used in relation to the process of developing bio-fuel systems for transportation.......The paper suggests that the challenge of sustainability demands a shift of the attention of environmental planning and policy to the transition of socio-technological systems. Deliberate planning for sustainability then becomes a question of addressing governance structures of socio...

  4. A description and functional taxonomy of rule-based decision support content at a large integrated delivery network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Adam; Goldberg, Howard; Hongsermeier, Tonya; Middleton, Blackford

    2007-01-01

    This study sought to develop a functional taxonomy of rule-based clinical decision support. The rule-based clinical decision support content of a large integrated delivery network with a long history of computer-based point-of-care decision support was reviewed and analyzed along four functional dimensions: trigger, input data elements, interventions, and offered choices. A total of 181 rule types were reviewed, comprising 7,120 different instances of rule usage. A total of 42 taxa were identified across the four categories. Many rules fell into multiple taxa in a given category. Entered order and stored laboratory result were the most common triggers; laboratory result, drug list, and hospital unit were the most frequent data elements used. Notify and log were the most common interventions, and write order, defer warning, and override rule were the most common offered choices. A relatively small number of taxa successfully described a large body of clinical knowledge. These taxa can be directly mapped to functions of clinical systems and decision support systems, providing feature guidance for developers, implementers, and certifiers of clinical information systems.

  5. Freeze-dried, mucoadhesive system for vaginal delivery of the HIV microbicide, dapivirine: optimisation by an artificial neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolfson, A David; Umrethia, Manish L; Kett, Victoria L; Malcolm, R Karl

    2010-03-30

    Dapivirine mucoadhesive gels and freeze-dried tablets were prepared using a 3x3x2 factorial design. An artificial neural network (ANN) with multi-layer perception was used to investigate the effect of hydroxypropyl-methylcellulose (HPMC): polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) ratio (X1), mucoadhesive concentration (X2) and delivery system (gel or freeze-dried mucoadhesive tablet, X3) on response variables; cumulative release of dapivirine at 24h (Q(24)), mucoadhesive force (F(max)) and zero-rate viscosity. Optimisation was performed by minimising the error between the experimental and predicted values of responses by ANN. The method was validated using check point analysis by preparing six formulations of gels and their corresponding freeze-dried tablets randomly selected from within the design space of contour plots. Experimental and predicted values of response variables were not significantly different (p>0.05, two-sided paired t-test). For gels, Q(24) values were higher than their corresponding freeze-dried tablets. F(max) values for freeze-dried tablets were significantly different (2-4 times greater, p>0.05, two-sided paired t-test) compared to equivalent gels. Freeze-dried tablets having lower values for X1 and higher values for X2 components offered the best compromise between effective dapivirine release, mucoadhesion and viscosity such that increased vaginal residence time was likely to be achieved. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Lessons Learnt from and Sustainability of Adopting a Personal Learning Environment & Network (Ple&N)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsui, Eric; Sabetzadeh, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes the feedback from the configuration and deployment of a Personal Learning Environment & Network (PLE&N) tool to support peer-based social learning for university students and graduates. An extension of an earlier project in which a generic and PLE&N was deployed for all learners, the current PLE&N is a…

  7. Social Innovation and Sustainable Rural Development: The Case of a Brazilian Agroecology Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar José Rover

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Food is central to human beings and their social life. The growing industrialization of the food system has led to a greater availability of food, along with an increasing risk perception and awareness in consumers. At the same time, there is an increasing resistance from citizens to the dominant model of production and a growing demand for healthy food. As a consequence, an increasing number of social networks have been formed worldwide involving the collaboration between producers and consumers. One of these networks, the Ecovida Agroecology Network, which operates in Southern Brazil, involves farming families, non-governmental organizations, and consumer organizations, together with other social actors. Using a qualitative approach based on participant observation and an analysis of documents, the article examines this network. The theoretical framework used is social innovation, which is commonly recognized as being fundamental in fostering rural development. Results show that Ecovida has instigated innovations that relate to its horizontal and decentralized structure, its participatory certification of organic food, and its dynamic relationship with the markets based on local exchanges and reciprocal relations. Furthermore, such innovation processes have been proven to impact on public sector policies and on the increasing cooperation between the social actors from rural and urban areas.

  8. Collaborative networks in active ageing - a roadmap contribution to demographic sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Camarinha-Matos, L.M.; Afsarmanesh, H.

    2012-01-01

    Ageing societies face tough challenges namely in terms of their ageing workforce and finding new models to accommodate current demographic trends. The application of the collaborative networks paradigm, and a new generation of collaboration-support platforms and tools, is a promising approach to

  9. Sustaining Employability: A Process for Introducing Cloud Computing, Big Data, Social Networks, Mobile Programming and Cybersecurity into Academic Curricula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Razvan Bologa

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This article describes a process for introducing modern technological subjects into the academic curricula of non-technical universities. The process described may increase and contribute to social sustainability by enabling non-technical students’ access to the field of the Internet of Things and the broader Industry 4.0. The process has been defined and tested during a curricular reform project that took place in two large universities in Eastern Europe. In this article, the authors describe the results and impact, over multiple years, of a project financed by the European Union that aimed to introduce the following subjects into the academic curricula of business students: cloud computing, big data, mobile programming, and social networks and cybersecurity (CAMSS. The results are useful for those trying to implement similar curricular reforms, or to companies that need to manage talent pipelines.

  10. Sustainable Energy Solutions Task 1.0: Networked Monitoring and Control of Small Interconnected Wind Energy Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    edu, Janet. twomey@wichita. [Wichita State Univ., KS (United States)

    2010-04-30

    This report presents accomplishments, results, and future work for one task of five in the Wichita State University Sustainable Energy Solutions Project: To develop a scale model laboratory distribution system for research into questions that arise from networked control and monitoring of low-wind energy systems connected to the AC distribution system. The lab models developed under this task are located in the Electric Power Quality Lab in the Engineering Research Building on the Wichita State University campus. The lab system consists of four parts: 1. A doubly-fed induction generator 2. A wind turbine emulator 3. A solar photovoltaic emulator, with battery energy storage 4. Distribution transformers, lines, and other components, and wireless and wired communications and control These lab elements will be interconnected and will function together to form a complete testbed for distributed resource monitoring and control strategies and smart grid applications testing. Development of the lab system will continue beyond this project.

  11. Ubiquitous Integrity via Network Integration and Parallelism—Sustaining Pedestrian/Bike Urbanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Yen Hsu

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, due to the concern regarding environmental issues, establishing pedestrian/bike friendly urbanism is widely encouraged. To promote safety-assured, mobile communication environments, efficient, reliable maintenance, and information integrity need to be designed, especially in highly possibly interfered places. For busy traffic areas, regular degree-3 dedicated short range communication (DSRC networks are safety and information featured with availability, reliability, and maintainability in paths of multi-lanes. For sparsely populated areas, probes of wireless sensors are rational, especially if sensor nodes can be organized to enhance security, reliability, and flexibility. Applying alternative network topologies, such as spider-webs, generalized honeycomb tori, and cube-connected cycles, for comparing and analyzing is proposed in DSRC and cellular communications to enhance integrity in communications.

  12. City leadership for health and sustainable development: the World Health Organization European Healthy Cities Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsouros, Agis

    2009-11-01

    This paper provides an overview of European Healthy Cities Network (EHCN) organized by the WHO Regional Office Europe. The focus is on the third of five phases covering the period 1998-2002. Fifty-six cities were members of the WHO-EHCN and over 1000 European cities were members of national networks. Association with WHO has given municipalities legitimacy to move into a domain often associated with health service. Equity and community participation are core values. City mayors provide political leadership. Intersectoral cooperation underpins a Healthy Cities approach. The WHO Regional Office for Europe supports WHO-EHCN, providing guidance and technical leadership. Cities' processes and structures are prerequisits for improvements in health and are central to the evaluation of Phase III of the WHO-EHCN.

  13. The perspective of sustainability in networked knowledge society: governance, education, ethics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar AZNAR MINGUET

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This article aims to stimulate thinking about entering the perspective of sustainability in new information societies and knowledge supported by ICTs, and characterized by globalization is far from inclusive. It involves the construction of a global system that promotes the pursuit of environmental quality, social justice and an equitable economy and viable long term. UNESCO has identified three basic ways to get it: governance, education and ethics.Governance can promote equitable social connectivity, changes in patterns of production and consumption and application search and real solutions to the socio-environmental. Education can foster continuing education of those critical, responsible and committed attitudes of respect and harmony with the natural and social environment, international organizations like the OECD, UN and governments through the development of their educational systems, have shaped the competency-based training model, including skills for sustainability are key consider. And all from ethical approaches to guide human capacity to think, act and promote the defense of life on our planet.

  14. On Governance, Embedding and Marketing: Reflections on the Construction of Alternative Sustainable Food Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roep, Dirk; Wiskerke, Johannes S C

    Based on the reconstruction of the development of 14 food supply chain initiatives in 7 European countries, we developed a conceptual framework that demonstrates that the process of increasing the sustainability of food supply chains is rooted in strategic choices regarding governance, embedding, and marketing and in the coordination of these three dimensions that are inextricably interrelated. The framework also shows that when seeking to further develop an initiative (e.g., through scaling up or product diversification) these interrelations need continuous rebalancing. We argue that the framework can serve different purposes: it can be used as an analytical tool by researchers studying food supply chain dynamics, as a policy tool by policymakers that want to support the development of sustainable food supply chains, and as a reflexive tool by practitioners and their advisors to help them to position themselves, develop a clear strategy, find the right allies, develop their skills, and build the capacities that they need. In this paper, we elaborate upon the latter function of the framework and illustrate this briefly with empirical evidence from three of the initiatives that we studied.

  15. Network Northamptonshire: total transport smart city procurement theoretical framework for sustainable economic and social change

    OpenAIRE

    Fassam, Liam; Copsey, S; Gough, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Culture, governance and procurement remains under-researched in current academic literature within a smart city transportation context, with evidence suggesting that procurement is a much-needed aspect of bringing about change at local government level; however, little evidence exists to support this. This paper showcases the research based upon the “Network Northamptonshire” total transport project, whereby a review of the county’s transportation, both public and private, is being undertaken...

  16. The Sustained Delivery of Resveratrol or a Defined Grape Powder Inhibits New Blood Vessel Formation in a Mouse Model of Choroidal Neovascularization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanavi, Mozhgan Rezaie; Darjatmoko, Soesiawati; Wang, Shoujian; Azari, Amir A.; Farnoodian, Mitra; Kenealey, Jason D.; van Ginkel, Paul R.; Albert, Daniel M.; Sheibani, Nader; Polans, Arthur S.

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether resveratrol or a defined, reconstituted grape powder can attenuate the formation of new blood vessels in a mouse model of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). To accomplish this objective, C57BL/6J mice were randomized into control or treatment groups which received either resveratrol or grape powder by daily oral gavage, resveratrol or grape powder delivered ad libitum through the drinking water, or resveratrol by slow release via implanted osmotic pumps. A laser was used to rupture Bruch’s membrane to induce CNV which was then detected in sclerochoroidal eyecups stained with antibodies against intercellular adhesion molecule-2. CNV area was measured using fluorescence microscopy and Image J software. Ad libitum delivery of both resveratrol and grape powder was shown to significantly reduce the extent of CNV by 68% and 57%, respectively. Parallel experiments conducted in vitro demonstrated that resveratrol activates p53 and inactivates Akt/protein kinase B in choroidal endothelial cells, contributing to its anti-proliferative and anti-migratory properties. In addition resveratrol was shown to inhibit the formation of endothelial cell networks, augmenting its overall anti-angiogenic effects. The non-toxic nature of resveratrol makes it an especially attractive candidate for the prevention and/or treatment of CNV. PMID:25361423

  17. The Sustained Delivery of Resveratrol or a Defined Grape Powder Inhibits New Blood Vessel Formation in a Mouse Model of Choroidal Neovascularization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mozhgan Rezaie Kanavi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to determine whether resveratrol or a defined, reconstituted grape powder can attenuate the formation of new blood vessels in a mouse model of choroidal neovascularization (CNV. To accomplish this objective, C57BL/6J mice were randomized into control or treatment groups which received either resveratrol or grape powder by daily oral gavage, resveratrol or grape powder delivered ad libitum through the drinking water, or resveratrol by slow release via implanted osmotic pumps. A laser was used to rupture Bruch’s membrane to induce CNV which was then detected in sclerochoroidal eyecups stained with antibodies against intercellular adhesion molecule-2. CNV area was measured using fluorescence microscopy and Image J software. Ad libitum delivery of both resveratrol and grape powder was shown to significantly reduce the extent of CNV by 68% and 57%, respectively. Parallel experiments conducted in vitro demonstrated that resveratrol activates p53 and inactivates Akt/protein kinase B in choroidal endothelial cells, contributing to its anti-proliferative and anti-migratory properties. In addition resveratrol was shown to inhibit the formation of endothelial cell networks, augmenting its overall anti-angiogenic effects. The non-toxic nature of resveratrol makes it an especially attractive candidate for the prevention and/or treatment of CNV.

  18. Effective connectivity of ascending and descending frontalthalamic pathways during sustained attention: Complex brain network interactions in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagtap, Pranav; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A

    2016-07-01

    Frontal-thalamic interactions are crucial for bottom-up gating and top-down control, yet have not been well studied from brain network perspectives. We applied network modeling of fMRI signals [dynamic causal modeling (DCM)] to investigate frontal-thalamic interactions during an attention task with parametrically varying levels of demand. fMRI was collected while subjects participated in a sustained continuous performance task with low and high attention demands. 162 competing model architectures were employed in DCM to evaluate hypotheses on bilateral frontal-thalamic connections and their modulation by attention demand, selected at a second level using Bayesian model selection. The model architecture evinced significant contextual modulation by attention of ascending (thalamus → dPFC) and descending (dPFC → thalamus) pathways. However, modulation of these pathways was asymmetric: while positive modulation of the ascending pathway was comparable across attention demand, modulation of the descending pathway was significantly greater when attention demands were increased. Increased modulation of the (dPFC → thalamus) pathway in response to increased attention demand constitutes novel evidence of attention-related gain in the connectivity of the descending attention pathway. By comparison demand-independent modulation of the ascending (thalamus → dPFC) pathway suggests unbiased thalamic inputs to the cortex in the context of the paradigm. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2557-2570, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Effective connectivity of ascending and descending frontal-thalamic pathways during sustained attention: Complex brain network interactions in adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagtap, Pranav; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.

    2016-01-01

    Frontal-thalamic interactions are crucial for bottom-up gating and top-down control, yet have not been well studied from brain network perspectives. We applied network modeling of fMRI signals (Dynamic Causal Modeling; DCM) to investigate frontal-thalamic interactions during an attention task with parametrically varying levels of demand. fMRI was collected while subjects participated in a sustained continuous performance task with low and high attention demands. 162 competing model architectures were employed in DCM to evaluate hypotheses on bilateral frontal-thalamic connections and their modulation by attention demand, selected at a second level using Bayesian Model Selection. The model architecture evinced significant contextual modulation by attention of ascending (thalamus → dPFC) and descending (dPFC → thalamus) pathways. However, modulation of these pathways was asymmetric: While positive modulation of the ascending pathway was comparable across attention demand, modulation of the descending pathway was significantly greater when attention demands were increased. Increased modulation of the (dPFC → thalamus) pathway in response to increased attention demand constitutes novel evidence of attention-related gain in the connectivity of the descending attention pathway. By comparison demand-independent modulation of the ascending (thalamus → dPFC) pathway suggests unbiased thalamic inputs to the cortex in the context of the paradigm. PMID:27145923

  20. Women's social networks and use of facility delivery services for uncomplicated births in North West Ethiopia: a community-based case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asrese, Kerebih; Adamek, Margaret E

    2017-12-28

    High maternal mortality has remained an unmet public health challenge in the developing world. Maternal mortality in Ethiopia is among the highest in the world. Since most maternal deaths occur during labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period, facility delivery with skilled birth attendants is recommended to reduce maternal mortality. Nonetheless, the majority of women in Ethiopia give birth at home. Individual attributes and availability and accessibility of services deter service utilization. The role of social networks that may facilitate or constrain service use is not well studied. Community-based case-control study was conducted between February and March 2014 in Jabi Tehinan District, North West Ethiopia. Retrospective data were collected from 134 women who had uncomplicated births at health facilities and 140 women who had uncomplicated births at home within a year preceding the survey. Interviews were held with eight women who had uncomplicated births at health facilities and 11 who had uncomplicated births at home. The quantitative data were entered and analyzed using SPSS for Windows versions 16.0 and hierarchical logistic regression model was used for analysis. The qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and data were used to substantiate the quantitative data. The results indicated that social network variables were significantly associated with the use of health facilities for delivery. Taking social networks into account improved the explanation of facility use for delivery services over women's individual attributes. Women embedded within homogeneous network members (Adjusted OR 2.53; 95% CI: 1.26-5.06) and embedded within high SBA endorsement networks (Adjusted OR 7.97; 95% CI: 4.07-12.16) were more likely to deliver at health facilities than their counterparts. Women living in urban areas (Adjusted OR 3.32; 95% CI: 1.37-8.05) and had better knowledge of obstetric complications (Adjusted OR 3.01; 95% CI: 1.46-6.18) were more likely to

  1. Sustained Neural Stem Cell-Based Intraocular Delivery of CNTF Attenuates Photoreceptor Loss in the nclf Mouse Model of Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankowiak, Wanda; Kruszewski, Katharina; Flachsbarth, Kai; Skevas, Christos; Richard, Gisbert; Rüther, Klaus; Braulke, Thomas; Bartsch, Udo

    2015-01-01

    A sustained intraocular administration of neurotrophic factors is among the strategies aimed at establishing treatments for currently untreatable degenerative retinal disorders. In the present study we have analyzed the neuroprotective effects of a continuous neural stem (NS) cell-based intraocular delivery of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) on photoreceptor cells in the nclf mouse, an animal model of the neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder variant late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL). To this aim, we genetically modified adherently cultivated NS cells with a polycistronic lentiviral vector encoding a secretable variant of CNTF together with a Venus reporter gene (CNTF-NS cells). NS cells for control experiments (control-NS cells) were modified with a vector encoding the reporter gene tdTomato. Clonal CNTF-NS and control-NS cell lines were established using fluorescent activated cell sorting and intravitreally grafted into 14 days old nclf mice at the onset of retinal degeneration. The grafted cells preferentially differentiated into astrocytes that were attached to the posterior side of the lenses and the vitreal side of the retinas and stably expressed the transgenes for at least six weeks, the latest post-transplantation time point analyzed. Integration of donor cells into host retinas, ongoing proliferation of grafted cells or adverse effects of the donor cells on the morphology of the host eyes were not observed. Quantitative analyses of host retinas two, four and six weeks after cell transplantation revealed the presence of significantly more photoreceptor cells in eyes with grafted CNTF-NS cells than in eyes with grafted control-NS cells. This is the first demonstration that a continuous intraocular administration of a neurotrophic factor attenuates retinal degeneration in an animal model of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. PMID:25992714

  2. Sustained Neural Stem Cell-Based Intraocular Delivery of CNTF Attenuates Photoreceptor Loss in the nclf Mouse Model of Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanda Jankowiak

    Full Text Available A sustained intraocular administration of neurotrophic factors is among the strategies aimed at establishing treatments for currently untreatable degenerative retinal disorders. In the present study we have analyzed the neuroprotective effects of a continuous neural stem (NS cell-based intraocular delivery of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF on photoreceptor cells in the nclf mouse, an animal model of the neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder variant late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL. To this aim, we genetically modified adherently cultivated NS cells with a polycistronic lentiviral vector encoding a secretable variant of CNTF together with a Venus reporter gene (CNTF-NS cells. NS cells for control experiments (control-NS cells were modified with a vector encoding the reporter gene tdTomato. Clonal CNTF-NS and control-NS cell lines were established using fluorescent activated cell sorting and intravitreally grafted into 14 days old nclf mice at the onset of retinal degeneration. The grafted cells preferentially differentiated into astrocytes that were attached to the posterior side of the lenses and the vitreal side of the retinas and stably expressed the transgenes for at least six weeks, the latest post-transplantation time point analyzed. Integration of donor cells into host retinas, ongoing proliferation of grafted cells or adverse effects of the donor cells on the morphology of the host eyes were not observed. Quantitative analyses of host retinas two, four and six weeks after cell transplantation revealed the presence of significantly more photoreceptor cells in eyes with grafted CNTF-NS cells than in eyes with grafted control-NS cells. This is the first demonstration that a continuous intraocular administration of a neurotrophic factor attenuates retinal degeneration in an animal model of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

  3. Sustained expression of CYPs and DNA adduct accumulation with continuous exposure to PCB126 and PCB153 through a new delivery method: Polymeric implants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farrukh Aqil

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A new delivery method via polymeric implants was used for continuous exposure to PCBs. Female Sprague-Dawley rats received subcutaneous polymeric implants containing PCB126 (0.15% load, PCB153 (5% load, or both, for up to 45 d and release kinetics and tissue distribution were measured. PCB153 tissue levels on day 15 were readily detected in lung, liver, mammary and serum, with highest levels in the mammary tissue. PCB126 was detected only in liver and mammary tissues. However, a completely different pharmacokinetics was observed on co-exposure of PCB153 and PCB126, with a 1.8-fold higher levels of PCB153 in the liver whereas a 1.7-fold lower levels in the mammary tissue. PCB126 and PCB153 caused an increase in expression of key PCB-inducible enzymes, CYP 1A1/2 and 2B1/2, respectively. Serum and liver activities of the antioxidant enzymes, PON1 and PON3, and AhR transcription were also significantly increased by PCB126. 32P-postlabeling for polar and lipophilic DNA-adducts showed significant quantitative differences: PCB126 increased 8-oxodG, an oxidative DNA lesion, in liver and lung tissues. Adduct levels in the liver remained upregulated up to 45 d, while some lung DNA adducts declined. This is the first demonstration that continuous low-dose exposure to PCBs via implants can produce sustained tissue levels leading to the accumulation of DNA-adducts in target tissue and induction of indicator enzymes. Collectively, these data demonstrate that this exposure model is a promising tool for long-term exposure studies.

  4. Thermosensitive hydrogels a versatile concept adapted to vaginal drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taurin, Sebastien; Almomen, Aliyah A; Pollak, Tatianna; Kim, Sun Jin; Maxwell, John; Peterson, C Matthew; Owen, Shawn C; Janát-Amsbury, Margit M

    2017-11-15

    Vaginal drug delivery represents an attractive strategy for local and systemic delivery of drugs otherwise poorly absorbed after oral administration. The rather dense vascular network, mucus permeability and the physiological phenomenon of the uterine first-pass effect can all be exploited for therapeutic benefit. However, several physiological factors such as an acidic pH, constant secretion, and turnover of mucus as well as varying thickness of the vaginal epithelium can impact sustained drug delivery. In recent years, polymers have been designed to tackle challenges mentioned above. In particular, thermosensitive hydrogels hold great promise due to their stability, biocompatibility, adhesion properties and adjustable drug release kinetics. Here, we discuss the physiological and anatomical uniqueness of the vaginal environment and how it impacts the safe and efficient vaginal delivery and also reviewed several thermosensitive hydrogels deemed suitable for vaginal drug delivery by addressing specific characteristics, which are essential to engage the vaginal environment successfully.

  5. Hydrogels based on interpenetrating network of chitosan and polyvinyl pyrrolidone for pH-sensitive delivery of repaglinide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaghani, Subhash S; Patel, Madhabhai M

    2011-06-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a pH-sensitive chitosan/polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) based controlled drug release system for repaglinide. The hydrogels were synthesised by crosslinking chitosan and PVP blend with glutaraldehyde to form a semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN). These semi-IPNs were studied for their content uniformity, swelling index (SI), mucoadhesion, wettability, in vitro release and their release kinetics. The hydrogels showed more than 95% loading of repaglinide. These hydrogels showed high swelling and mucoadhesion under acidic conditions. The swelling was found due to the protonation of a primary amino group on chitosan. In acidic condition chitosan was ionized, and adhesion occurred between the positively charged chitosan and the negatively charged mucus. In the physiological condition less swelling was noticed. In vitro release study revealed that formulation containing chitosan (2% w/v) and PVP (4% w/v) in the ratio of 14:6 w/w showed complete drug release after 12h. Release profile showed that all the formulations followed non-fickian diffusion mechanism (diffusion coupled with swelling). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic analysis revealed proper crosslinking of polymer and formation of semi-IPN as well as presence of drug in the formulation. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and powder x-ray diffraction (p-XRD) study revealed the presence of repaglinide in crystalline form in the formulations. The surface morphology of semi-IPN was studied before and after dissolution in simulated gastric fluid (SGF, pH 1.2) which indicated generation of open channel-like structure in hydrogel after dissolution. The results of study suggest that semi-IPNs of chitosan/PVP are potent candidates for delivery of repaglinide in acidic environment.

  6. Radio-over-optical waveguide system-on-wafer for massive delivery capacity 5G MIMO access networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binh, Le N.

    2017-01-01

    Delivering maximum information capacity over MIMO antennae systems beam steering is critical so as to achieve the flexibility via beam steering, maximizing the number of users or community of users in Gb/s rate per user over distributed cloud-based optical-wireless access networks. This paper gives an overview of (i) demands of optical - wireless delivery with high flexibility, especially the beam steering of multi-Tbps information channels to information hungry community of users via virtualized beam steering MIMO antenna systems at the free-license mmW region; (ii) Proposing a novel photonic planar integrated waveguide systems composing several passive and active, passive and amplification photonic devices so as to generate mmW carrier and embedded baseband information channels to feed to antenna elements; (iii) Integration techniques to generate a radio over optical waveguide (RoOW) system-on-wafer (SoW) comprising MIMO planar antenna elements and associate photonic integrated circuits for both up- and down- links; (iv) Challenges encountered in the implementation of the SoW in both wireless and photonic domains; (v) Photonic modulation techniques to achieve maximum transmission capacity per wavelength per MIMO antenna system. (vi) A view on control-feedback systems for fast and accurate generation of phase pattern for MIMO beam steering via a bank of optical phase modulators to mmW carrier phases and their preservation in the converted mmW domain . (vi) The overall operational principles of the novel techniques and technologies based on the coherent mixing of two lightwave channels The entire SoW can be implemented on SOI Si-photonic technology or via hybrid integration. These technological developments and their pros- and cons- will be discussed to achieve 50Tera-bps over the extended 110 channel Cband single mode fiber with mmW centered at 58.6GHz and 7GHz free-license band.

  7. Stability and Change in Sustainability of Daily Routines and Social Networks in Families of Children with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Jenny; Granlund, Mats

    2015-01-01

    Background: Children with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) demand intense family accommodations from birth and onwards. This study used an exploratory and qualitative study design to investigate stability and change in sustainability of daily routines and social networks of Swedish families of children with PIMD. Materials…

  8. Self-sustained asynchronous irregular states and Up-Down states in thalamic, cortical and thalamocortical networks of nonlinear integrate-and-fire neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Destexhe, Alain

    2009-12-01

    Randomly-connected networks of integrate-and-fire (IF) neurons are known to display asynchronous irregular (AI) activity states, which resemble the discharge activity recorded in the cerebral cortex of awake animals. However, it is not clear whether such activity states are specific to simple IF models, or if they also exist in networks where neurons are endowed with complex intrinsic properties similar to electrophysiological measurements. Here, we investigate the occurrence of AI states in networks of nonlinear IF neurons, such as the adaptive exponential IF (Brette-Gerstner-Izhikevich) model. This model can display intrinsic properties such as low-threshold spike (LTS), regular spiking (RS) or fast-spiking (FS). We successively investigate the oscillatory and AI dynamics of thalamic, cortical and thalamocortical networks using such models. AI states can be found in each case, sometimes with surprisingly small network size of the order of a few tens of neurons. We show that the presence of LTS neurons in cortex or in thalamus, explains the robust emergence of AI states for relatively small network sizes. Finally, we investigate the role of spike-frequency adaptation (SFA). In cortical networks with strong SFA in RS cells, the AI state is transient, but when SFA is reduced, AI states can be self-sustained for long times. In thalamocortical networks, AI states are found when the cortex is itself in an AI state, but with strong SFA, the thalamocortical network displays Up and Down state transitions, similar to intracellular recordings during slow-wave sleep or anesthesia. Self-sustained Up and Down states could also be generated by two-layer cortical networks with LTS cells. These models suggest that intrinsic properties such as adaptation and low-threshold bursting activity are crucial for the genesis and control of AI states in thalamocortical networks.

  9. Ensuring sustainability of non-networked sanitation technologies: an approach to standardization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starkl, Markus; Brunner, Norbert; Feil, Magdalena; Hauser, Andreas

    2015-06-02

    Non-networked sanitation technologies use no sewer, water or electricity lines. Based on a review of 45 commercially distributed technologies, 12 (representing three concepts) were selected for a detailed audit. They were located in six countries of Africa and Asia. The safety of users was generally assured and the costs per use were not excessive, whereas costs were fully transparent for only one technology surveyed. A main drawback was insufficient quality of the byproducts from on-site treatment, making recycling in agriculture a hygienic and environmental risk. Further, no technology was sufficiently mature (requiring e.g. to shift wastes by hand). In order to promote further development and give producers of mature products a competitive advantage, the paper proposes a certification of technologies to confirm the fulfillment of basic requirements to make them attractive for future users.

  10. Application of Bayesian Decision Networks for sustainable groundwater resources management in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohajerani, Hadis; Casper, Markus; Kholghi, Majid; Mosaedi, Abolfazl; Farmani, Raziyeh; Saadoddin, Amir; Meftah Halaghi, Mehdi

    2017-04-01

    This paper presents management of groundwater resource using a Bayesian Decision Network (BDN). The Kordkooy region in North East of Iran has been selected as study area. The region has been divided to three parts based on Transmissivity (T) and Electrical Conductivity (EC) values. The BDN parameters (prior probabilities and Conditional Probability Tables (CPTs) have been identified for each of the three zones. Three groups of management scenarios have been developed based on the two decision variables including "Crop pattern" and "Domestic water demand" across the three zones of the study area: 1) status quo management for all three zones representing current conditions. 2) the effect of change in cropping pattern on management endpoints and 3) the effect of increasing domestic water demand on management endpoints in the future. The outcomes arising from implementing each scenario have been predicted using the BDN for each of the zones. Results reveal that probability of drawdown in groundwater levels of southern areas is relatively high compared with other zones. Groundwater withdrawal from northern and northwestern areas of the study area should be limited due to the groundwater quality problems associated with shallow groundwater of these two zones. The ability of the Bayesian Decision Network to take into account key uncertainties in natural resources and performing a meaningful analysis in cases where there is not vast amount of information and observed data available -even based partly on expert opinion- emphasizes the advantage of this approach in groundwater resources management process, as limited data availability was a serious problem faced by groundwater resources of the study area.

  11. Once a Navegante, Always a Navegante: Latino Men Sustain Their Roles as Lay Health Advisors to Promote General and Sexual Health to Their Social Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Christina J; Mann, Lilli; Eng, Eugenia; Downs, Mario; Rhodes, Scott D

    2015-10-01

    Little is known about the sustainability of male- and men's health-focused lay health advisors. HoMBReS Por un Cambio was a community-level social network intervention designed to improve sexual health among Latino men who were members of soccer teams. During the year after the intervention implementation, lay health advisors (Navegantes) continued to promote sexual health; over 84% (16 of the 19) Navegantes conducted 9 of 10 primary health promotion activities. Describing where to get condoms was the activity that the most Navegantes reported having conducted. Navegantes had broad reach with their social networks, although the number of Navegantes that conducted each activity differed across the categories of social network members (soccer teammates, nonteammates, and women). Results suggest that HIV-related health disparities may be addressed through lay health advisor interventions because they are sustained after the intervention ends and reach large numbers of community members.

  12. Ditch network sustains functional connectivity and influences patterns of gene flow in an intensive agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favre-Bac, L; Mony, C; Ernoult, A; Burel, F; Arnaud, J-F

    2016-02-01

    In intensive agricultural landscapes, plant species previously relying on semi-natural habitats may persist as metapopulations within landscape linear elements. Maintenance of populations' connectivity through pollen and seed dispersal is a key factor in species persistence in the face of substantial habitat loss. The goals of this study were to investigate the potential corridor role of ditches and to identify the landscape components that significantly impact patterns of gene flow among remnant populations. Using microsatellite loci, we explored the spatial genetic structure of two hydrochorous wetland plants exhibiting contrasting local abundance and different habitat requirements: the rare and regionally protected Oenanthe aquatica and the more commonly distributed Lycopus europaeus, in an 83 km(2) agricultural lowland located in northern France. Both species exhibited a significant spatial genetic structure, along with substantial levels of genetic differentiation, especially for L. europaeus, which also expressed high levels of inbreeding. Isolation-by-distance analysis revealed enhanced gene flow along ditches, indicating their key role in effective seed and pollen dispersal. Our data also suggested that the configuration of the ditch network and the landscape elements significantly affected population genetic structure, with (i) species-specific scale effects on the genetic neighborhood and (ii) detrimental impact of human ditch management on genetic diversity, especially for O. aquatica. Altogether, these findings highlighted the key role of ditches in the maintenance of plant biodiversity in intensive agricultural landscapes with few remnant wetland habitats.

  13. Decision-Making Using Real-Time Observations for Environmental Sustainability; an integrated 802.11 sensor network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominguez, A.; Kleissl, J.; Farhadi, M.; Kim, D.; Liu, W.; Mao, Y.; Nguyen, H. T.; Roshandell, M.; Sankur, M.; Shiga, Y.; Linden, P.; Hodgkiss, W.

    2007-12-01

    Meteorological conditions have important implications on human activities. They affect human comfort, productivity, and health, and contribute to material wear and tear. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD)'s proximity to the Pacific Ocean places it in a temperate microclimate which has unique advantages and disadvantages for campus water and energy use and air quality. In particular, the daily sea-breezes provide cool, moist, and salt-laden air to campus. For the Decision-Making Using Real-Time Observations for Environmental Sustainability (DEMROES) project a heterogeneous wireless network of monitoring stations is being set up across the UCSD campus and beyond. Conditions to be monitored include temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, surface temperatures, solar radiation, particulate matter, CO, NO2, rainfall, and soil moisture. Stations are strategically placed on rooftops and lampposts across campus, as well as select off-campus locations and will transmit data over the UCSD 802.11 wireless network. In addition to rooftop and lamppost stations, mobile stations will be deployed via remotely controlled ground and air units, and stations affixed to campus shuttle busses. These mobile stations will allow for greater spatial resolution of the environmental conditions across campus and inter-sensor calibration. The hardware consists of meteorological, hydrological, and air quality sensors connected to (a) commercial Campbell datalogging systems with serial2IP modules and wireless bridges, and (b) sensor and 802.11 boards based on the dpac technology developed in-house. The measurements will serve campus facilities management with information to feed the energy management system (EMS) for building operation and energy conservation, and irrigation management. The technology developed for this project can be applied elsewhere thereby contributing to hydrologic and ecologic observatories. Through extensive student involvement a new generation of

  14. Agroecology to Promote Just Sustainability Transitions: Analysis of a Civil Society Network in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellinor Isgren

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Agroecology is gaining ground within the debate on how to address systemic social and environmental problems in agriculture. However, it remains marginalized in agricultural research and development plans around the world. This paper analyzes agroecology as a socio-technical niche in Uganda, where its emergence in part can be seen as an unintended consequence of neoliberalist development. The case studied is a civil society network that links farmer groups and non-governmental organizations across different levels. Through the analytical lens of regime dimensions, we find that agroecology is practiced as a smallholder-centric approach that champions collective action, locally appropriate technologies, participatory methods in research and extension, and calls for more active state guidance of agricultural change along specific principles. However, two major concerns are raised; the niche converges with the dominant discourse around commercialization, and policy advocacy is hampered by the apolitical history of NGOs and an increasingly tense political climate. These two areas are critical for agroecology to contribute to just sustainability transitions, and civil society organizations with strong links to smallholder farmers need to be included in the growing scholarly debate both to inform it and to receive guidance from it. Transition frameworks can help facilitate the development of viable institutional designs and explicitly transformative strategies, but we also point towards the need for engagement with theories on civil society collective action and political mobilization.

  15. Shared and disorder-specific task-positive and default mode network dysfunctions during sustained attention in paediatric Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and obsessive/compulsive disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke J. Norman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD share problems with sustained attention, and are proposed to share deficits in switching between default mode and task positive networks. The aim of this study was to investigate shared and disorder-specific brain activation abnormalities during sustained attention in the two disorders. Twenty boys with ADHD, 20 boys with OCD and 20 age-matched healthy controls aged between 12 and 18 years completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI version of a parametrically modulated sustained attention task with a progressively increasing sustained attention load. Performance and brain activation were compared between groups. Only ADHD patients were impaired in performance. Group by sustained attention load interaction effects showed that OCD patients had disorder-specific middle anterior cingulate underactivation relative to controls and ADHD patients, while ADHD patients showed disorder-specific underactivation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex/dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (IFG. ADHD and OCD patients shared left insula/ventral IFG underactivation and increased activation in posterior default mode network relative to controls, but had disorder-specific overactivation in anterior default mode regions, in dorsal anterior cingulate for ADHD and in anterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex for OCD. In sum, ADHD and OCD patients showed mostly disorder-specific patterns of brain abnormalities in both task positive salience/ventral attention networks with lateral frontal deficits in ADHD and middle ACC deficits in OCD, as well as in their deactivation patterns in medial frontal DMN regions. The findings suggest that attention performance in the two disorders is underpinned by disorder-specific activation patterns.

  16. Sustainable Cities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Georg, Susse; Garza de Linde, Gabriela Lucía

    Judging from the number of communities and cities striving or claiming to be sustainable and how often eco-development is invoked as the means for urban regeneration, it appears that sustainable and eco-development have become “the leading paradigm within urban development” (Whitehead 2003......), urban design competitions are understudied mechanisms for bringing about field level changes. Drawing on actor network theory, this paper examines how urban design competitions may bring about changes within the professional field through the use of intermediaries such as a sustainable planning....../assessment tool. The context for our study is urban regeneration in one Danish city, which had been suffering from industrial decline and which is currently investing in establishing a “sustainable city”. Based on this case study we explore how the insights and inspiration evoked in working with the tool...

  17. Assay of 6-gingerol in CO2 supercritical fluid extracts of ginger and evaluation of its sustained release from a transdermal delivery system across rat skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yan; Zhang, Cuiping; Zhang, Mei; Fu, Xiaobing

    2014-07-01

    Ginger has been widely used as healthy food condiment as well as traditional Chinese medicine since antiquity. Multiple potentials of ginger for treatment of various ailments have been revealed. However, the biological half-life of 6-gingerol (a principal pungent ingredient of ginger) is only 7.23 minutes while taken orally. Delivery of ginger compositions by routes other than oral have scarcely been reported. Therefore, we studied a noninvasive transdermal drug delivery system (TDDS) of ginger to bypass hepatic first pass metabolism, avoid gastrointestinal degradation and achieve long persistent release of effective compositions. After establishment of a HPLC analysis method of 6-gingerol, assays of 6-gingerol were performed to compare two kinds of ginger extracts. Then, the characteristics of transdermal delivery of 6-gingerol in TDDS were exhibited. The results showed that the contents of 6-gingerol in two kinds of ginger extracts were significantly different. The maximal delivery percentage of 6-gingerol across rat skin at 20 h was more than 40% in different TDDS formulations. TDDS may provide long-lasting delivery of ginger compounds.

  18. Analysis of Document Delivery Data of the National Academic Network and Information Center ULAKBİM Belge Sağlama Verilerinin Analizi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yurdagül Ünal

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to determine the document delivery requests submitted to the Document Delivery Services Unit of the National Academic Network and Information Center (ULAKBİM. It concentrates on the journals and their age whence document delivery requests were filled. We tracked the data with regards to document delivery requests that were submitted to the Unit for two months. We found that the Documet Delivery Services Unit satisfied two-thirds (6.036 of a total of 9.213 document delivery requests submitted to the Unit during the two months' period of our study. Requests were satisfied from a total of 1.671 journal titles. Almost half (42% of those journal titles were used only once for document delivery purposes. A small number (135 of "core" journals satisfied one-thirds (35% of requests and the distribution of journals conforms to Bradford's Law of Scattering. Half (median of all requests were satisfied from journal issues that were published within the last seven years. This indicates that more recent articles are requested much more heavily, which is parallel with the phenomenon of literature obsolescence. From submission to the mailing of the document, it took a total of 15 days to fill a document delivery request. Data regarding document delivery requests should be gathered for collection development purposes. It would then be possible to identify core journals and their back issues that should be acquired and maintained. Bu araştırmada amaç, ULAKBİM Cahit Arf Bilgi Merkezi Belge Sağlama Hizmetleri Birimi'ne gelen isteklerin hangi dergilerde ve hangi yıllarda yayımlanan makalelere yapıldığını belirlemektir. Çalışmada, belge sağlama istekleri ile ilgili veriler, iki ay süreyle Birim e yapılan isteklerin izlenmesi suretiyle elde edilmiştir. Araştırmamızın sonunda Birim'e yapılan 9.213 isteğin üçte ikisinin (6.036 karşılandığı görülmüştür. İstekler 1.671 ayrı dergiden sağlanmış ve bu dergilerin

  19. Sustainability in logistics practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hans-Heinrich Glöckner; Reinder Pieters; Stef Weijers

    2009-01-01

    This conceptual paper wants to emphasis the use of the concept of sustainability within logistics and especially transportation. While working on a new tool to help companies develop sustainable European networks, we discovered that we want to use a specific concept of sustainability: People, planet

  20. Delay Analysis of Car-to-Car Reliable Data Delivery Strategies Based on Data Mulling with Network Coding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Joon-Sang; Lee, Uichin; Oh, Soon Young; Gerla, Mario; Lun, Desmond Siumen; Ro, Won Woo; Park, Joonseok

    Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET) aims to enhance vehicle navigation safety by providing an early warning system: any chance of accidents is informed through the wireless communication between vehicles. For the warning system to work, it is crucial that safety messages be reliably delivered to the target vehicles in a timely manner and thus reliable and timely data dissemination service is the key building block of VANET. Data mulling technique combined with three strategies, network codeing, erasure coding and repetition coding, is proposed for the reliable and timely data dissemination service. Particularly, vehicles in the opposite direction on a highway are exploited as data mules, mobile nodes physically delivering data to destinations, to overcome intermittent network connectivity cause by sparse vehicle traffic. Using analytic models, we show that in such a highway data mulling scenario the network coding based strategy outperforms erasure coding and repetition based strategies.

  1. LCA and Sustainability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moltesen, Andreas; Bjørn, Anders

    2017-01-01

    LCA is often presented as a sustainability assessment tool. This chapter analyses the relationship between LCA and sustainability. This is done by first outlining the history of the sustainability concept, which gained momentum with the Brundtland Commission’s report ‘Our Common Future report...... is then demonstrated, and the strategy of LCA to achieving environmental protection, namely to guide the reduction of environmental impacts per delivery of a function, is explained. The attempt to broaden the scope of LCA, beyond environmental protection, by so-called life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA......) is outlined. Finally, the limitations of LCA in guiding a sustainable development are discussed....

  2. What A Long Strange Trip It's Been: Lessons Learned From NASA EOS, LTER, NEON, CZO And On To The Future With Sustainable Research Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    The traditional, small-scale, incremental approach to environmental science is changing as researchers embrace a more integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how our natural systems work today and how they may respond in the future to forcings such as climate change. In situ networks are evolving in response to these challenges so as to provide the appropriate measurements to develop high-resolution spatial and temporal data sets across a wide range of platforms from microbial measurements to remote sensing. These large programs provide a unique set of challenges when compared to more traditional programs. Here I provide insights learned from my participation in a number of large programs, including NASA EOS, LTER, CZO, NEON, and WSC and how those experiences in environmental science can help us move forward towards more applied applications of environmental science, including sustainability initiatives. I'll chat about the importance of managerial and management skills, which most of us scientists prefer to avoid. I'll also chat about making decisions about what long-term measurements to make and when to stop. Data management is still the weakest part of environmental networks; what needs to be done. We have learned that these networks provide an important knowledge base that can lead to informed decisions leading to environmental, energy, social and cultural sustainability.

  3. Dopamine modulation of GABAergic function enables network stability and input selectivity for sustaining working memory in a computational model of the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, Sergio E; Tseng, Kuei Y

    2014-12-01

    Dopamine modulation of GABAergic transmission in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to be critical for sustaining cognitive processes such as working memory and decision-making. Here, we developed a neurocomputational model of the PFC that includes physiological features of the facilitatory action of dopamine on fast-spiking interneurons to assess how a GABAergic dysregulation impacts on the prefrontal network stability and working memory. We found that a particular non-linear relationship between dopamine transmission and GABA function is required to enable input selectivity in the PFC for the formation and retention of working memory. Either degradation of the dopamine signal or the GABAergic function is sufficient to elicit hyperexcitability in pyramidal neurons and working memory impairments. The simulations also revealed an inverted U-shape relationship between working memory and dopamine, a function that is maintained even at high levels of GABA degradation. In fact, the working memory deficits resulting from reduced GABAergic transmission can be rescued by increasing dopamine tone and vice versa. We also examined the role of this dopamine-GABA interaction for the termination of working memory and found that the extent of GABAergic excitation needed to reset the PFC network begins to occur when the activity of fast-spiking interneurons surpasses 40 Hz. Together, these results indicate that the capability of the PFC to sustain working memory and network stability depends on a robust interplay of compensatory mechanisms between dopamine tone and the activity of local GABAergic interneurons.

  4. Macro-perspective on the first decade of South African housing delivery and its contribution towards the formation of sustainable settlements and communities

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Napier, Mark

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The economic, social and spatial impacts of the national state housing programme in South Africa over the last ten years have been significant. And yet the ability of the programme to produce settlements which can be described as 'sustainable' has...

  5. A nanomedicine approach to effectively inhibit contracture during bladder acellular matrix allograft-induced bladder regeneration by sustained delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Qianwei; Lin, Houwei; Hua, Xiaolin; Liu, Li; Sun, Ping; Zhao, Zhen; Shen, Xiaowei; Cui, Daxiang; Xu, Maosheng; Chen, Fang; Geng, Hongquan

    2015-01-01

    Macroscopic evidence of contracture has been identified as a major issue during the regeneration process. We hypothesize that lack of angiogenesis is the primary cause of contracture and explore a nanomedicine approach to achieve sustained release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to stimulate angiogenesis. We evaluate the efficacy of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) for long-term (3 months) sustained release of VEGF in bladder acellular matrix allografts (BAMA) in a swine model. We anticipate that the sustained release of VEGF could stimulate angiogenesis along the regeneration process and thereby inhibit contracture. Bladder was replaced with BAMA (5×5 cm), modified with PLGA NPs encapsulated with VEGF in a pig model. The time points chosen for sampling were 1, 2, 4, and 12 weeks. The regenerated areas were then measured to obtain the contracture rate, and the extent of revascularization was calculated using histological and morphological features. In the control group of animals, the bladder was replaced with only BAMA. The in vivo release of VEGF was evident for ∼3 months, achieving the goal of long-acting sustained release, and successfully promoted the regeneration of blood vessels and smooth muscle fibers. In addition, less collagen deposition was observed in the experimental group compared with control. Most importantly, the inhibition of contracture was highly significant, and the ultimate contracture rate decreased by ∼57% in the experimental group compared with control. In isolated strips analysis, there were no significant differences between BAMA-regenerated (either VEGF added or not) and autogenous bladder. BAMA modified with VEGF-loaded PLGA-NPs can sustainably release VEGF in vivo (>3 months) to stimulate angiogenesis leading to the inhibition of contracture. This is the first study to report a viable nanomedicine-based strategy to overcome contracture during bladder regeneration induced by BAMA. Furthermore

  6. Advancing the application of systems thinking in health: analysing the contextual and social network factors influencing the use of sustainability indicators in a health system--a comparative study in Nepal and Somaliland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchet, Karl; Palmer, Jennifer; Palanchowke, Raju; Boggs, Dorothy; Jama, Ali; Girois, Susan

    2014-08-26

    Health systems strengthening is becoming a key component of development agendas for low-income countries worldwide. Systems thinking emphasizes the role of diverse stakeholders in designing solutions to system problems, including sustainability. The objective of this paper is to compare the definition and use of sustainability indicators developed through the Sustainability Analysis Process in two rehabilitation sectors, one in Nepal and one in Somaliland, and analyse the contextual factors (including the characteristics of system stakeholder networks) influencing the use of sustainability data. Using the Sustainability Analysis Process, participants collectively clarified the boundaries of their respective systems, defined sustainability, and identified sustainability indicators. Baseline indicator data was gathered, where possible, and then researched again 2 years later. As part of the exercise, system stakeholder networks were mapped at baseline and at the 2-year follow-up. We compared stakeholder networks and interrelationships with baseline and 2-year progress toward self-defined sustainability goals. Using in-depth interviews and observations, additional contextual factors affecting the use of sustainability data were identified. Differences in the selection of sustainability indicators selected by local stakeholders from Nepal and Somaliland reflected differences in the governance and structure of the present rehabilitation system. At 2 years, differences in the structure of social networks were more marked. In Nepal, the system stakeholder network had become more dense and decentralized. Financial support by an international organization facilitated advancement toward self-identified sustainability goals. In Somaliland, the small, centralised stakeholder network suffered a critical rupture between the system's two main information brokers due to competing priorities and withdrawal of international support to one of these. Progress toward self

  7. Ensuring Support for Research and Quality Improvement (QI) Networks: Four Pillars of Sustainability?An Emerging Framework

    OpenAIRE

    Holve, Erin

    2013-01-01

    Multi-institutional research and quality improvement (QI) projects using electronic clinical data (ECD) hold great promise for improving quality of care and patient outcomes but typically require significant infrastructure investments both to initiate and maintain the project over its duration. Consequently, it is important for these projects to think holistically about sustainability to ensure their long-term success. Four ?pillars? of sustainability are discussed based on the experiences of...

  8. Responsive and resilient supply chain network design under operational and disruption risks with delivery lead-time sensitive customers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fattahi, Mohammad; Govindan, Kannan; Keyvanshokooh, Esmaeil

    2017-01-01

    a multi-stage stochastic program, and model disruptions’ effect on facilities’ capacity. The SC responsiveness risk is limited and, to obtain a resilient network, both mitigation and contingency strategies are exploited. Computational results on a real-life case study and randomly generated problem...... instances demonstrate the model's applicability, risk-measurement policies’ performance, and the influence of mitigation and contingency strategies on SC's resiliency....

  9. Sequential targeted delivery of paclitaxel and camptothecin using a cross-linked "nanosponge" network for lung cancer chemotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hariri, Ghazal; Edwards, Aaron D; Merrill, Tyler B; Greenbaum, Joshua M; van der Ende, Alice E; Harth, Eva

    2014-01-06

    The applicability of a HVGGSSV peptide targeted "nanosponge" drug delivery system for sequential administration of a microtubule inhibitor (paclitaxel) and topoisomerase I inhibitor (camptothecin) was investigated in a lung cancer model. Schedule-dependent combination treatment with nanoparticle paclitaxel (NP PTX) and camptothecin (NP CPT) was studied in vitro using flow cytometry and confocal imaging to analyze changes in cell cycle, microtubule morphology, apoptosis, and cell proliferation. Results showed significant G2/M phase cell cycle arrest, changes in microtubule dynamics that produced increased apoptotic cell death and decreased proliferation with initial exposure to NP PTX, followed by NP CPT in lung cancer cells. In vivo molecular imaging and TEM studies validated HVGGSSV-NP tumor binding at 24 h and confirmed the presence of Nanogold labeled HVGGSSV-NPs in tumor microvascular endothelial cells. Therapeutic efficacy studies conducted with sequential HVGGSSV targeted NP PTX and NP CPT showed 2-fold greater tumor growth delay in combination versus monotherapy treated groups, and 4-fold greater delay compared to untargeted and systemic drug controls. Analytical HPLC/MS methods were used to quantify drug content in tumor tissues at various time points, with significant paclitaxel and camptothecin levels in tumors 2 days postinjection and continued presence of both drugs up to 23 days postinjection. The efficacy of the NP delivery system in sequential treatments was corroborated in both in vitro and in vivo lung cancer models showing increased G2/M phase arrest and microtubule disruption, resulting in enhanced apoptotic cell death, decreased cell proliferation and vascular density.

  10. The CAN-In network: A biologically inspired model for self-sustained theta oscillations and memory maintenance in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovannini, Francesco; Knauer, Beate; Yoshida, Motoharu; Buhry, Laure

    2017-04-01

    During working memory tasks, the hippocampus exhibits synchronous theta-band activity, which is thought to be correlated with the short-term memory maintenance of salient stimuli. Recent studies indicate that the hippocampus contains the necessary circuitry allowing it to generate and sustain theta oscillations without the need of extrinsic drive. However, the cellular and network mechanisms supporting synchronous rhythmic activity are far from being fully understood. Based on electrophysiological recordings from hippocampal pyramidal CA1 cells, we present a possible mechanism for the maintenance of such rhythmic theta-band activity in the isolated hippocampus. Our model network, based on the Hodgkin-Huxley formalism, comprising pyramidal neurons equipped with calcium-activated nonspecific cationic (CAN) ion channels, is able to generate and sustain synchronized theta oscillations (4-12 Hz), following a transient stimulation. The synchronous network activity is maintained by an intrinsic CAN current (I CAN ), in the absence of constant external input. When connecting the pyramidal-CAN network to fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons, the dynamics of the model reveal that feedback inhibition improves the robustness of fast theta oscillations, by tightening the synchronization of the pyramidal CAN neurons. The frequency and power of the theta oscillations are both modulated by the intensity of the I CAN , which allows for a wide range of oscillation rates within the theta band. This biologically plausible mechanism for the maintenance of synchronous theta oscillations in the hippocampus aims at extending the traditional models of septum-driven hippocampal rhythmic activity. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The Traffic Light Cosmos: Quasi-ethnographic approach to sustainable urban relational from the Actor-Network Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Silva

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstracts are the same as lists: One notices right away when something is missing. I warn the reader that the text I present here wants to capture the overall sense, but she knows that here and there gaps and simplifications are unavoidable and make this task difficult. The reader is aware of it not only because it is any abstract’s destiny, but because a map which is the same size as the territory represented does not go anywhere. It has to necessarily be something else than the territory. Thus, this abstract is something other than the thesis to which it refers. In this text that follows I will discuss the platform where I deployed the instances that shaped my research. Secondly, I will refer to two of the several counter-intuitions that populate my thesis in relation to my view on the issue of sustainability, namely, to patience and perseverance in the sustainable future I oppose the presentist impatience of the sustainable instant and, at the end of this section, I will briefly discuss relational urban sustainability, specifically, the normative framework or, if you will, the vindication of control as an instance for sustainability. Third, I will offer some conclusions of my work.

  12. System-Level Influences on the Sustainability of a Cognitive Therapy Program in a Community Behavioral Health Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stirman, Shannon Wiltsey; Matza, Alexis; Gamarra, Jennifer; Toder, Katherine; Xhezo, Regina; Evans, Arthur C; Hurford, Matthew; Beck, Aaron T; Crits-Christoph, Paul; Creed, Torrey

    2015-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine influences on the sustainability of a program to implement an evidence-based psychotherapy in a mental health system. Interviews with program administrators, training consultants, agency administrators, and supervisors (N=24), along with summaries of program evaluation data and program documentation, were analyzed with a directed content-analytic approach. Findings suggested a number of interconnected and interacting influences on sustainability, including alignment with emerging sociopolitical influences and system and organizational priorities; program-level adaptation and evolution; intervention flexibility; strong communication, collaboration, planning, and support; and perceived benefit. These individual factors appeared to mutually influence one another and contribute to the degree of program sustainability achieved at the system level. Although most influences were positive, financial planning and support emerged as potentially both facilitator and barrier, and evaluation of benefits at the patient level remained a challenge. Several factors appeared to contribute to the sustainability of a psychosocial intervention in a large urban mental health system and warrant further investigation. Understanding interconnections between multiple individual facilitators and barriers appears critical to advancing understanding of sustainability in dynamic systems and adds to emerging recommendations for other implementation efforts. In particular, implications of the findings include the importance of implementation strategies, such as long-term planning, coalition building, clarifying roles and expectations, planned adaptation, evaluation, diversification of financing strategies, and incentivizing implementation.

  13. Encapsulation of proteins in hydrogel carrier systems for controlled drug delivery: influence of network structure and drug size on release rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertz, Andreas; Wöhl-Bruhn, Stefanie; Miethe, Sebastian; Tiersch, Brigitte; Koetz, Joachim; Hust, Michael; Bunjes, Heike; Menzel, Henning

    2013-01-20

    Novel hydrogels based on hydroxyethyl starch modified with polyethylene glycol methacrylate (HES-P(EG)₆MA) were developed as delivery system for the controlled release of proteins. Since the drug release behavior is supposed to be related to the pore structure of the hydrogel network the pore sizes were determined by cryo-SEM, which is a mild technique for imaging on a nanometer scale. The results showed a decreasing pore size and an increase in pore homogeneity with increasing polymer concentration. Furthermore, the mesh sizes of the hydrogels were calculated based on swelling data. Pore and mesh size were significantly different which indicates that both structures are present in the hydrogel. The resulting structural model was correlated with release data for bulk hydrogel cylinders loaded with FITC-dextran and hydrogel microspheres loaded with FITC-IgG and FITC-dextran of different molecular size. The initial release depended much on the relation between hydrodynamic diameter and pore size while the long term release of the incorporated substances was predominantly controlled by degradation of the network of the much smaller meshes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Efficient data replication for the delivery of high-quality video content over P2P VoD advertising networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Chien-Peng; Yu, Jen-Yu; Lee, Suh-Yin

    2011-12-01

    Recent advances in modern television systems have had profound consequences for the scalability, stability, and quality of transmitted digital data signals. This is of particular significance for peer-to-peer (P2P) video-on-demand (VoD) related platforms, faced with an immediate and growing demand for reliable service delivery. In response to demands for high-quality video, the key objectives in the construction of the proposed framework were user satisfaction with perceived video quality and the effective utilization of available resources on P2P VoD networks. This study developed a peer-based promoter to support online advertising in P2P VoD networks based on an estimation of video distortion prior to the replication of data stream chunks. The proposed technology enables the recovery of lost video using replicated stream chunks in real time. Load balance is achieved by adjusting the replication level of each candidate group according to the degree-of-distortion, thereby enabling a significant reduction in server load and increased scalability in the P2P VoD system. This approach also promotes the use of advertising as an efficient tool for commercial promotion. Results indicate that the proposed system efficiently satisfies the given fault tolerances.

  15. Social video content delivery

    CERN Document Server

    Wang, Zhi; Zhu, Wenwu

    2016-01-01

    This brief presents new architecture and strategies for distribution of social video content. A primary framework for socially-aware video delivery and a thorough overview of the possible approaches is provided. The book identifies the unique characteristics of socially-aware video access and social content propagation, revealing the design and integration of individual modules that are aimed at enhancing user experience in the social network context. The change in video content generation, propagation, and consumption for online social networks, has significantly challenged the traditional video delivery paradigm. Given the massive amount of user-generated content shared in online social networks, users are now engaged as active participants in the social ecosystem rather than as passive receivers of media content. This revolution is being driven further by the deep penetration of 3G/4G wireless networks and smart mobile devices that are seamlessly integrated with online social networking and media-sharing s...

  16. Formulation and Characterization of Sustained Release Floating ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: Microballoons is a potential suitable delivery system for sustained release of metformin hydrochloride with improved bioavailability when compared with conventional dosage forms of the drug. Keywords: Gastroretentive drug delivery system (GDDS), Solvent evaporation and diffusion method, Higuchi, ...

  17. Integrated health service delivery networks and tuberculosis avoidable hospitalizations: is there a relation between them in Brazil?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popolin, Marcela Paschoal; Touso, Michelle Mosna; Yamamura, Mellina; Rodrigues, Ludmila Barbosa Bandeira; da Cunha Garcia, Maria Concebida; Arroyo, Luiz Henrique; Ramos, Antônio Carlos Vieira; Berra, Thais Zamboni; Santos Neto, Marcelino; de Almeida Crispim, Juliane; Chiaravalotti Neto, Francisco; Pinto, Ione Carvalho; Palha, Pedro Fredemir; da Costa Uchoa, Severina Alice; Lapão, Luís Velez; Fronteira, Inês; Arcêncio, Ricardo Alexandre

    2016-03-01

    The early identification of the Breathing Symptoms within the scope of Primary Health Care is recommended, and is also one of the strategies of national sanitary authorities for reaching the elimination of tuberculosis. The purpose of this study is to consider which attributes and which territories have shown the most significant progress in Primary Health Care, in terms of coordination of Health Care Networks, and also check if those areas of Primary Health Care that are most critical regarding coordination, there were more or less cases of avoidable hospitalizations for tuberculosis. This is an ecological study that uses primary and secondary data. For analysis, coropletic maps were developed through the ArcGIS software, version 10.2. There was also the calculation of gross annual and Bayesian rates for hospitalizations for tuberculosis, for each Primary Health Care territory. There were satisfactory results for attributes such as Population (n = 37; 80.4 %), Primary Health Care (n = 43; 93.5 %), Support System (n = 45; 97.8 %); the exceptions were Logistics System (n = 32; 76.0 %) and Governance System, with fewer units in good condition (n = 31; 67.3 %). There is no evidence of any connection between networks' coordination by Primary Health Care and tuberculosis avoidable admissions. The results show that progress has been made regarding the coordination of the Health Care Networks, and a positive trend has been shown, even though the levels are not excellent. It was found no relationship between the critical areas of Primary Health Care and tuberculosis avoidable hospitalizations, possibly because other variables necessary to comprehend the phenomena.

  18. Sustaining Employability: A Process for Introducing Cloud Computing, Big Data, Social Networks, Mobile Programming and Cybersecurity into Academic Curricula

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Razvan Bologa; Ana-Ramona Lupu; Catalin Boja; Tiberiu Marian Georgescu

    2017-01-01

    ... curricula of business students: cloud computing, big data, mobile programming, and social networks and cybersecurity (CAMSS). The results are useful for those trying to implement similar curricular reforms, or to companies that need to manage talent pipelines.

  19. Transforming the Undergraduate Research Experience through Sustained Mentoring: Creating a Strong Support Network and a Collaborative Learning Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Erika T.; Holmes, Raquell M.; Wirkus, Stephen A.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes how sustained mentoring together with rigorous collaborative learning and community building contributed to successful mathematical research and individual growth in the Applied Mathematical Sciences Summer Institute (AMSSI), a program that focused on women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals from small teaching…

  20. Capacity building for critical care training delivery: Development and evaluation of the Network for Improving Critical care Skills Training (NICST) programme in Sri Lanka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Tim; De Silva, A Pubudu; Beane, Abi; Welch, John; Sigera, Chathurani; De Alwis, Sunil; Athapattu, Priyantha; Dharmagunawardene, Dilantha; Peiris, Lalitha; Siriwardana, Somalatha; Abeynayaka, Ashoka; Jayasinghe, Kosala Saroj Amarasena; Mahipala, Palitha G; Dondorp, Arjen; Haniffa, Rashan

    2017-04-01

    To deliver and evaluate a short critical care nurse training course whilst simultaneously building local training capacity. A multi-modal short course for critical care nursing skills was delivered in seven training blocks, from 06/2013-11/2014. Each training block included a Train the Trainer programme. The project was evaluated using Kirkpatrick's Hierarchy of Learning. There was a graded hand over of responsibility for course delivery from overseas to local faculty between 2013 and 2014. Sri Lanka. Participant learning assessed through pre/post course Multi-Choice Questionnaires. A total of 584 nurses and 29 faculty were trained. Participant feedback was consistently positive and each course demonstrated a significant increase (p≤0.0001) in MCQ scores. There was no significant difference MCQ scores (p=0.186) between overseas faculty led and local faculty led courses. In a relatively short period, training with good educational outcomes was delivered to nearly 25% of the critical care nursing population in Sri Lanka whilst simultaneously building a local faculty of trainers. Through use of a structured Train the Trainer programme, course outcomes were maintained following the handover of training responsibility to Sri Lankan faculty. The focus on local capacity building increases the possibility of long term course sustainability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Use of natural plant exudates (Sanguis Draxonis) for sustained oral insulin delivery with dramatic reduction of glycemic effects in diabetic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhenqing, Hou; Zhenxi, Zhang; Chuanxin, Zhang; Mei, Huang

    2004-07-07

    Sanguis Draxonis (SD), a kind of natural plant exudates, has been prescribed for handling diabetic disorders as a Chinese traditional herb. Surprisingly, SD was found to be a good material for oral insulin delivery. The Insulin-loaded Sanguis Draxonis nanocapsules (ISDN) were prepared by deposition technique. The average size and width of distribution of ISDN were 184+/-24 and 110+/-16 nm, respectively. The insulin encapsulation efficiency of ISDN reached up to 69.6+/-5.6%. In vitro the release profile of insulin from ISDN can be well modeled using an exponential function [Y=1-exp(-0.0275t)], showing that there was no initial burst release of insulin. The stability studies indicated that the majority of initial amount of insulin in ISDN was preserved not only after incubation of ISDN in three kinds of proteolytic enzyme solutions at 37 degrees C for 30 min, but also after its storage at 25 degrees C for 6 months. After a single oral administration of ISDN at the dose of 25, 50, and 75 IU/kg in STZ-induced diabetic rats, the blood glucose level was depressed to 60.5+/-2.7%, 52.6+/-2.3% and 47.3+/-3.1% of the initial value at time point 8 h, respectively, and these marked decreases lasted 2-4 days. When 125I-labeled ISDN was administered orally, the distribution sequence of isotope intensity of 125I radioactivity in rat organs was as follows: liver, kidney, heart, spleen and lung. In addition, 125I radioactivity disappeared progressively as a function of time, parallel to the biological effect. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that ISDN elicits a long-term hypoglycemic effect significantly after oral administration in STZ-induced diabetic rats and it can be considered as a stable and effective system for oral insulin delivery.

  2. How transformational learning promotes caring, consultation and creativity, and ultimately contributes to sustainable development: Lessons from the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL) network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoresen, Victoria Wyszynski

    2017-12-01

    Oases of learning which are transformative and lead to significant behavioural change can be found around the globe. Transformational learning has helped learners not only to understand what they have been taught but also to re-conceptualise and re-apply this understanding to their daily lives. Unfortunately, as many global reports indicate, inspirational transformational learning approaches for sustainable development are rare and have yet to become the norm - despite calls for such approaches by several outstanding educators and organisations. This article examines three learning approaches developed by the network of the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL). These approaches are structured around core elements of transformative learning for sustainable development, yet focus particularly on the ability to care, consult with others and be creative. They seem to depend on the learners' ability to articulate their perceptions of sustainable development in relation to their own values and to identify how these are actualised in their daily life. Together with other core elements of transformative learning, an almost magical (not precisely measurable) synergy then emerges. The intensity of this synergy appears to be directly related to the individual learner's understanding of the contradictions, interlinkages and interdependencies of modern society. The impact of this synergy seems to be concurrent with the extent to which the learner engages in a continual learning process with those with whom he/she has contact. The findings of this study suggest that mainstreaming transformational learning for sustainable development in ways that release the "magic synergy of creative caring" can result in the emergence of individuals who are willing and able to move from "business as usual" towards more socially just, economically equitable, and environmentally sensitive behaviour.

  3. How transformational learning promotes caring, consultation and creativity, and ultimately contributes to sustainable development: Lessons from the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL) network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoresen, Victoria Wyszynski

    2017-11-01

    Oases of learning which are transformative and lead to significant behavioural change can be found around the globe. Transformational learning has helped learners not only to understand what they have been taught but also to re-conceptualise and re-apply this understanding to their daily lives. Unfortunately, as many global reports indicate, inspirational transformational learning approaches for sustainable development are rare and have yet to become the norm - despite calls for such approaches by several outstanding educators and organisations. This article examines three learning approaches developed by the network of the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL). These approaches are structured around core elements of transformative learning for sustainable development, yet focus particularly on the ability to care, consult with others and be creative. They seem to depend on the learners' ability to articulate their perceptions of sustainable development in relation to their own values and to identify how these are actualised in their daily life. Together with other core elements of transformative learning, an almost magical (not precisely measurable) synergy then emerges. The intensity of this synergy appears to be directly related to the individual learner's understanding of the contradictions, interlinkages and interdependencies of modern society. The impact of this synergy seems to be concurrent with the extent to which the learner engages in a continual learning process with those with whom he/she has contact. The findings of this study suggest that mainstreaming transformational learning for sustainable development in ways that release the "magic synergy of creative caring" can result in the emergence of individuals who are willing and able to move from "business as usual" towards more socially just, economically equitable, and environmentally sensitive behaviour.

  4. Data Delivery Latency Improvements And First Steps Towards The Distributed Computing Of The Caltech/USGS Southern California Seismic Network Earthquake Early Warning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubailo, I.; Watkins, M.; Devora, A.; Bhadha, R. J.; Hauksson, E.; Thomas, V. I.

    2016-12-01

    The USGS/Caltech Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) is a modern digital ground motion seismic network. It develops and maintains Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) data collection and delivery systems in southern California as well as real-time EEW algorithms. Recently, Behr et al., SRL, 2016 analyzed data from several regional seismic networks deployed around the globe. They showed that the SCSN was the network with the smallest data communication delays or latency. Since then, we have reduced further the telemetry delays for many of the 330 current sites. The latency has been reduced on average from 2-6 sec to 0.4 seconds by tuning the datalogger parameters and/or deploying software upgrades. Recognizing the latency data as one of the crucial parameters in EEW, we have started archiving the per-packet latencies in mseed format for all the participating sites in a similar way it is traditionally done for the seismic waveform data. The archived latency values enable us to understand and document long-term changes in performance of the telemetry links. We can also retroactively investigate how latent the waveform data were during a specific event or during a specific time period. In addition the near-real time latency values are useful for monitoring and displaying the real-time station latency, in particular to compare different telemetry technologies. A future step to reduce the latency is to deploy the algorithms on the dataloggers at the seismic stations and transmit either the final solutions or intermediate parameters to a central processing center. To implement this approach, we are developing a stand-alone version of the OnSite algorithm to run on the dataloggers in the field. This will increase the resiliency of the SCSN to potential telemetry restrictions in the immediate aftermath of a large earthquake, either by allowing local alarming by the single station, or permitting transmission of lightweight parametric information rather than continuous

  5. Sustainable competitive advantage for accountable care organizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfarlane, Michael Alex

    2014-01-01

    In the current period of health industry reform, accountable care organizations (ACOs) have emerged as a new model for the delivery of high-quality and cost-effective healthcare. However, few ACOs operate in direct competition with one another, and the accountable care business model has yet to present a means of continually developing new marginal value for patients and network partners. With value-based purchasing and patient consumerism strengthening as market forces, ACOs must build organizational sustainability and competitive advantage to meet the value demands set by customers and competitors. This essay proposes a strategy, adapted from the disciplines of agile software development and Lean product development, through which ACOs can engage internal and external customers in the development of new products that will provide sustainability and competitive advantage to the organization by decreasing waste in development, promoting specialized knowledge, and closely targeting customer value.

  6. Mechanisms of Self-Sustained Oscillatory States in Hierarchical Modular Networks with Mixtures of Electrophysiological Cell Types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomov, Petar; Pena, Rodrigo F O; Roque, Antonio C; Zaks, Michael A

    2016-01-01

    In a network with a mixture of different electrophysiological types of neurons linked by excitatory and inhibitory connections, temporal evolution leads through repeated epochs of intensive global activity separated by intervals with low activity level. This behavior mimics "up" and "down" states, experimentally observed in cortical tissues in absence of external stimuli. We interpret global dynamical features in terms of individual dynamics of the neurons. In particular, we observe that the crucial role both in interruption and in resumption of global activity is played by distributions of the membrane recovery variable within the network. We also demonstrate that the behavior of neurons is more influenced by their presynaptic environment in the network than by their formal types, assigned in accordance with their response to constant current.

  7. Integrating evidence into policy and sustainable disability services delivery in western New South Wales, Australia: the 'wobbly hub and double spokes' project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veitch Craig

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Policy that supports rural allied health service delivery is important given the shortage of services outside of Australian metropolitan centres. The shortage of allied health professionals means that rural clinicians work long hours and have little peer or service support. Service delivery to rural and remote communities is further complicated because relatively small numbers of clients are dispersed over large geographic areas. The aim of this five-year multi-stage project is to generate evidence to confirm and develop evidence-based policies and to evaluate their implementation in procedures that allow a regional allied health workforce to more expeditiously respond to disability service need in regional New South Wales, Australia. Methods/Design The project consists of four inter-related stages that together constitute a full policy cycle. It uses mixed quantitative and qualitative methods, guided by key policy concerns such as: access, complexity, cost, distribution of benefits, timeliness, effectiveness, equity, policy consistency, and community and political acceptability. Stage 1 adopts a policy analysis approach in which existing relevant policies and related documentation will be collected and reviewed. Policy-makers and senior managers within the region and in central offices will be interviewed about issues that influence policy development and implementation. Stage 2 uses a mixed methods approach to collecting information from allied health professionals, clients, and carers. Focus groups and interviews will explore issues related to providing and receiving allied health services. Discrete Choice Experiments will elicit staff and client/carer preferences. Stage 3 synthesises Stage 1 and 2 findings with reference to the key policy issues to develop and implement policies and procedures to establish several innovative regional workforce and service provision projects. Stage 4 uses mixed methods to monitor and

  8. Sustained delivery of bioactive TGF-β1 from self-assembling peptide hydrogels induces chondrogenesis of encapsulated bone marrow stromal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopesky, Paul W.; Byun, Sangwon; Vanderploeg, Eric J.; Kisiday, John D.; Frisbie, David D.; Grodzinsky, Alan J.

    2013-01-01

    Tissue engineering strategies for cartilage defect repair require technology for local targeted delivery of chondrogenic and anti-inflammatory factors. The objective of this study was to determine the release kinetics of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) from self-assembling peptide hydrogels, a candidate scaffold for cell transplant therapies, and stimulate chondrogenesis of encapsulated young equine bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Although both peptide and agarose hydrogels retained TGF-β1, 5-fold higher retention was found in peptide. Excess unlabeled TGF-β1 minimally displaced retained radiolabeled TGF-β1, demonstrating biologically relevant loading capacity for peptide hydrogels. The initial release from acellular peptide hydrogels was nearly 3-fold lower than agarose hydrogels, at 18% of loaded TGF-β1 through 3 days as compared to 48% for agarose. At day 21, cumulative release of TGF-β1 was 32–44% from acellular peptide hydrogels, but was 62% from peptide hydrogels with encapsulated BMSCs, likely due to cell-mediated TGF-β1 degradation and release of small labeled species. TGF-β1 loaded peptide hydrogels stimulated chondrogenesis of young equine BMSCs, a relevant preclinical model for treating injuries in young human cohorts. Self-assembling peptide hydrogels can be used to deliver chondrogenic factors to encapsulated cells making them a promising technology for in vivo, cell-based regenerative medicine. PMID:23650117

  9. Sustained delivery of insulin-like growth factor-1/hepatocyte growth factor stimulates endogenous cardiac repair in the chronic infarcted pig heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koudstaal, Stefan; Bastings, Maartje M C; Feyen, Dries A M; Waring, Cheryl D; van Slochteren, Frebus J; Dankers, Patricia Y W; Torella, Daniele; Sluijter, Joost P G; Nadal-Ginard, Bernardo; Doevendans, Pieter A; Ellison, Georgina M; Chamuleau, Steven A J

    2014-03-01

    Activation of endogenous cardiac stem/progenitor cells (eCSCs) can improve cardiac repair after acute myocardial infarction. We studied whether the in situ activation of eCSCs by insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) could be increased using a newly developed hydrogel in chronic myocardial infarction (MI). One-month post-MI pigs underwent NOGA-guided intramyocardial injections of IGF-1/HGF (GF: both 0.5 μg/mL, n = 5) or IGF-1/HGF incorporated in UPy hydrogel (UPy-GF; both 0.5 μg/mL, n = 5). UPy hydrogel without added growth factors was administered to four control (CTRL) pigs. Left ventricular ejection fraction was increased in the UPy-GF and GF animals compared to CTRLs. UPy-GF delivery reduced pathological hypertrophy, led to the formation of new, small cardiomyocytes, and increased capillarization. The eCSC population was increased almost fourfold in the border zone of the UPy-GF-treated hearts compared to CTRL hearts. These results show that IGF-1/HGF therapy led to an improved cardiac function in chronic MI and that effect size could be further increased by using UPy hydrogel.

  10. Variations in Treatment Delivery for Patients with Neovascular AMD in the UK: Results from an Ophthalmology Trainee Clinical Research Network Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanumunthadu, Daren; Nowak, Victoria A; Hassan, Farida; Hossain, Ibtesham; Patel, Darshak S; Hamidovic, Lamia; Abdulhussein, Dalia; Hausien, Isra; Papamichael, Esther; Arunakirinathan, Meena; Quijano, Claudia; George, Sheena; Patel, Praveen J

    2017-12-01

    The aim of this study was to determine treatment delivery patterns for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) across the UK through an ophthalmology trainee research network delivered observational study. Data were collected via an online tool by potential research collaborators identified by the Ophthalmology Trainee Clinical Trial Network (OCTN). Collaborators were asked to comment on periprocedural practices of treatment of nAMD in their eye unit including treatment location and injectors, clinical assessment and routine observation in patients undergoing intravitreal treatment. Data were available from 26 units around the United Kingdom. Survey methodology refinement was approximately 3 months, and the average response time was 4.9 ± 2.4 days. The majority of responders confirmed that treatment was undertaken as a "one-stop" service (n = 15, 58%), delivered in a clean room (n = 23, 88%). In the majority of units, doctors administered injections (n = 24, 92%), but significant treatment was also given by nurse injectors (n = 21, 81%). All collaborators reported that patients underwent visual acuity testing and optical coherence tomography imaging at all visits, but other imaging including fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) did not take place in all cases (n = 17, 65%) and only at baseline visit. These results demonstrate the feasibility of conducting ophthalmology trainee led and delivered observational studies. Our results show that FFA is not routinely used in the diagnosis of nAMD in the units sampled; most injections are carried out in a clean room, and ophthalmic nurses delivering injections is a highly prevalent model of care in the UK.

  11. Managing the critical zone to obtain and sustain multiple benefits from working landscapes: The value of partnerships between LTAR and NSF CZO networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, K. A.; Seyfried, M. S.; Pierson, F. B.

    2015-12-01

    The Critical Zone Observatories add value to earth system science and society by addressing research gaps to understand the critical zone, the surface skin of the earth that extends from the top of the tree canopy to the lower limits of the groundwater. The Critical Zone (CZ) sustains life on earth and provides food, shelter, forage, and fuel and other services to human well-being. This Zone is also where most of human activities take place and thus subject to change and degradation. Managing the critical zone to obtain and sustain these services will require initiatives, policies and incentives that maintain and enhance this zone. The Critical Zone Observatories are seeking to address major gaps in understanding how earth surface evolves over time and how it will respond to future changes. Many of these gaps in our understanding occur at the interface between disciplines, across space and deep time scales, and multiple dimensions. For example, the Reynolds Creek CZO seeks to understand the role of soil environmental variables such as soil moisture and depth that vary across complex terrain in governing soil carbon storage and turnover in a semi-arid environment. For this reason, soil samples are being collected to depth of bedrock. Other networks and agencies such as the new LTAR and NEON are quantifying soil carbon at more shallow depths that will likely capture the variability in near surface soil carbon that is more sensitive to management and climate changes but may underestimate the total stores of carbon on the landscape. The CZOs also provide a platform to conduct interdisciplinary to transdisciplinary science by integrating across geological, soil, hydrologic, ecological, and social sciences to understand the critical zone. The emergence of the CZO Network and the LTAR network brings the opportunity to standardize methods and test hypotheses and ask questions across broad environmental conditions and gradients that could not be achieved with single

  12. A highly sustainable house

    OpenAIRE

    Cordero, Raúl; Mercader-Moyano, Pilar (Coordinador)

    2017-01-01

    A sustainable house is capable of generating and self-sustaining energy by itself to function autonomously, that is to say, without depending on external supply networks. That is possible by supplying the internal energy consumption through renewable energy. This work describes and analyzes the construction of a sustainable house in Paute, Ecuador. The goal of this house was to achieve selfsustainability in several aspects such as construction techniques, creative and functi...

  13. ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT OF THE PARTNERSHIP NETWORKS IN THE CONCEPT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Butenko

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This article summarizes the theoretical background and develops practical recommendations on green activities of partner networks. Particular attention is focused on the ability of domestic enterprises to implement eco-efficient business strategy and find the appropriate balance between making a profit, environmental conservation and social justice.

  14. Governance Strategies for a Sustainable Digital World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Linkov

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Digitalization is changing society by the increased connectivity and networking that digital technologies enable, such as enhancing communication, services, and trade. Increasingly, policymakers within various national governments and international organizations such as the United Nations (UN and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD are examining the original sustainability policy concepts applied within the Brundtland Report of 1987 through the lens of digitalization. While the growth of a digital economy may increase productivity and benefit local and global economies, digitalization also raises potential sustainability challenges pertaining to social (i.e., the benefits or costs imposed by disruptive digital technologies upon social networks and ways of life, including threats to economic sustainability and the rise of economic disparity and environmental wellbeing (i.e., natural resource stewardship and concern for future generations driven by the automation of information processing and delivery of services. Various perspectives have been raised regarding how the process of digitalization might be governed, and national governments remain at odds regarding a single best strategy to promote sustainable digitalization using the Brundtland concept to meet the development needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations (i.e., social and environmental well-being. This paper reviews three governance strategies that countries can use in conjunction with adaptive governance to respond to digitalization sustainability threats: (i a laissez-faire, industry-driven approach; (ii a precautionary and preemptive strategy on the part of government; and (iii a stewardship and “active surveillance” approach by government agencies that reduce the risks derived from digitalization while promoting private sector innovation. Regardless of a state’s digital governance response and how it is shaped by

  15. Scalable Contents Delivery System with Dynamic Server Deployment

    OpenAIRE

    Yuko Kamiya; Toshihiko Shimokawa; Fuminori Tanizaki; Norihiko Yoshida

    2010-01-01

    On providing broadband contents, to provide enough network bandwidth is an important. Existing Contents Delivery Network has mainly focused on increasing network bandwidth statically. Therefore, it is not flexible. In this paper, we propose Soarin, a novel contents delivery system to increase network bandwidth dynamically by deploying delivery servers in a wide area. Moreover Soarin can use various server deployment policy to deploy delivery servers, it can decide which server is suitable for...

  16. Application of Artificial Neural Networks in the Design and Optimization of a Nanoparticulate Fingolimod Delivery System Based on Biodegradable Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate-Co-3-Hydroxyvalerate).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahsavari, Shadab; Rezaie Shirmard, Leila; Amini, Mohsen; Abedin Dokoosh, Farid

    2017-01-01

    Formulation of a nanoparticulate Fingolimod delivery system based on biodegradable poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) was optimized according to artificial neural networks (ANNs). Concentration of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate), PVA and amount of Fingolimod is considered as the input value, and the particle size, polydispersity index, loading capacity, and entrapment efficacy as output data in experimental design study. In vitro release study was carried out for best formulation according to statistical analysis. ANNs are employed to generate the best model to determine the relationships between various values. In order to specify the model with the best accuracy and proficiency for the in vitro release, a multilayer percepteron with different training algorithm has been examined. Three training model formulations including Levenberg-Marquardt (LM), gradient descent, and Bayesian regularization were employed for training the ANN models. It is demonstrated that the predictive ability of each training algorithm is in the order of LM > gradient descent > Bayesian regularization. Also, optimum formulation was achieved by LM training function with 15 hidden layers and 20 neurons. The transfer function of the hidden layer for this formulation and the output layer were tansig and purlin, respectively. Also, the optimization process was developed by minimizing the error among the predicted and observed values of training algorithm (about 0.0341). Copyright © 2016 American Pharmacists Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Nanocapsules based on linear and Y-shaped 3-miktoarm star-block PEO-PCL copolymers as sustained delivery system for hydrophilic molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maglio, Giovanni; Nicodemi, Fabio; Conte, Claudia; Palumbo, Rosario; Tirino, Pasquale; Panza, Elisabetta; Ianaro, Angela; Ungaro, Francesca; Quaglia, Fabiana

    2011-12-12

    Well-defined amphiphilic Y-shaped miktoarm star-block copolymers of PEO and PCL were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone initiated by a PEO-bound lysine macroinitiator. The copolymers were characterized by (1)H NMR, SEC, DSC, and WAXD techniques. Separate PCL and PEO crystalline phases occur in melt-crystallized copolymers when their segmental lengths were comparable and the PCL content was ≤80 wt %. Self-assembling of these copolymers in aqueous medium led to nanoaggregates with low critical aggregation concentration values (0.35 to 1.6 mg·L(-1)) and size depending on composition. Despite the fact that copolymers were not prone to self-organize in vesicles, once processed by a novel w/o emulsion-melting-sonication technique, they gave nanocapsules with a water core and a hydrophilic surface. A macromolecular fluorescent dye was effectively loaded and released at sustained rate by optimizing nanocapsule formulation. The results demonstrate that amphiphilic block copolymers can be assembled in different kinds of nanomorphologies independently of their hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance and architecture through specifically designed preparation techniques.

  18. Use of rotary fluidized-bed technology for development of sustained-release plant extracts pellets: potential application for feed additive delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, J-P; Cardot, J-M; Gauthier, P; Beyssac, E; Alric, M

    2006-07-01

    The aim of this study was to develop sustained release plant extracts as a potential alternative to antibiotic growth promoters for growing pigs. Pellets with a core based on microcrystalline cellulose and 3 active compounds (eugenol, carvacrol, and thymol) were prepared using rotary fluidized-bed technology. Two particle sizes were produced that had a mean size of approximately 250 and 500 mum. Results show the process was able to produce pellets with a spherical and homogenous form when 10% of the active compounds were incorporated into the core. When active compounds were increased to 20%, the pellet became stickier, and the yield decreased from 90 to 65%. Different amounts of coating in the form of an aqueous-based ethylcellulose (EC) dispersion (Surelease) were applied to the core to modify the release of active compounds. The efficacy of the coating was evaluated in vitro using a flow-through cell apparatus. The time to achieve 50 and 90% dissolution increased with the increase in particle size (P eugenol was always faster than for thymol or carvacrol. The close monitoring of plant extract behavior in the gastrointestinal tract could become a key factor in the continued use of phyto-molecules as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters and in optimizing the balance between cost and efficacy. Different microencapsulation technologies can be used, of which the rotary fluidized bed warrants consideration because of the quality of the products obtained.

  19. In Vitro Sustained Release Study of Gallic Acid Coated with Magnetite-PEG and Magnetite-PVA for Drug Delivery System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dena Dorniani

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of two nanocarriers polyethylene glycol and polyvinyl alcohol magnetic nanoparticles coated with gallic acid (GA was accomplished via X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, magnetic measurements, thermal analysis, and TEM. X-ray diffraction and TEM results showed that Fe3O4 nanoparticles were pure iron oxide having spherical shape with the average diameter of 9 nm, compared with 31 nm and 35 nm after coating with polyethylene glycol-GA (FPEGG and polyvinyl alcohol-GA (FPVAG, respectively. Thermogravimetric analyses proved that after coating the thermal stability was markedly enhanced. Magnetic measurements and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR revealed that superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles could be successfully coated with two polymers (PEG and PVA and gallic acid as an active drug. Release behavior of gallic acid from two nanocomposites showed that FPEGG and FPVAG nanocomposites were found to be sustained and governed by pseudo-second-order kinetics. Anticancer activity of the two nanocomposites shows that the FPEGG demonstrated higher anticancer effect on the breast cancer cell lines in almost all concentrations tested compared to FPVAG.

  20. Hyaluronic acid-grafted PLGA nanoparticles for the sustained delivery of berberine chloride for an efficient suppression of Ehrlich ascites tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Priyanka; Kumari, Manisha; Pahuja, Richa; Pant, A B; Shukla, Y; Kumar, Pradeep; Gupta, K C

    2018-02-13

    To promote the specific targeting and elimination of CD44-positive cancer cells, berberine chloride (BRB)-encapsulated hyaluronic acid-grafted poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) copolymer (BRB-d(HA)-g-PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared. The targeted action of these NPs was compared to non-targeted BRB-loaded PLGA NPs and bulk BRB. The in vitro studies demonstrated faster release of BRB and increased cytotoxicity of BRB-d(HA)-g-PLGA NPs in Hela and MCF-7 cells in comparison to BRB-PLGA NPs and bulk BRB. The uptake of BRB-d(HA)-g-PLGA NPs was increased in case of MCF-7 cells as compared to HeLa cells owing to the higher expression of CD44 receptors on MCF-7 cells. The CD44 receptor-mediated uptake of these NPs was confirmed through competitive inhibition experiments. The in vitro results were further validated in vivo in Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC)-bearing mice. EAC-bearing mice were injected intravenously with these NPs and the results obtained were compared with that of BRB-PLGA NPs and bulk BRB. BRB-d(HA)-g-PLGA NPs were found to significantly enhance apoptosis, sub-G1 content, life span, mean survival time, and ROS levels in EAC cells with subsequent decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential and tumor burden ion tumor-bearing mice. Taking into account the findings of in vitro and in vivo studies, the enhanced and targeted anti-tumor activity of HA-grafted PLGA copolymer-encapsulated NPs of BRB cannot be negated. Therefore, HA-grafted nanoparticle-based delivery of BRB may offer a promising and improved alternative for anti-tumor therapy.

  1. Resting-state connectivity of the sustained attention network correlates with disease duration in idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona Maneshi

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: In idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE, a normal electroencephalogram between generalized spike and wave (GSW discharges is believed to reflect normal brain function. However, some studies indicate that even excluding GSW-related errors, IGE patients perform poorly on sustained attention task, the deficit being worse as a function of disease duration. We hypothesized that at least in a subset of structures which are normally involved in sustained attention, resting-state functional connectivity (FC is different in IGE patients compared to controls and that some of the changes are related to disease duration. METHOD: Seeds were selected based on a sustained attention study in controls. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data was obtained from 14 IGE patients and 14 matched controls. After physiological noise removal, the mean time-series of each seed was used as a regressor in a general linear model to detect regions that showed correlation with the seed. In patients, duration factor was defined based on epilepsy duration. Between-group differences weighted by the duration factor were evaluated with mixed-effects model. Correlation was then evaluated in IGE patients between the FC, averaged over each significant cluster, and the duration factor. RESULTS: Eight of 18 seeds showed significant difference in FC across groups. However, only for seeds in the medial superior frontal and precentral gyri and in the medial prefrontal area, average FC taken over significant clusters showed high correlation with the duration factor. These 3 seeds showed changes in FC respectively with the premotor and superior frontal gyrus, the dorsal premotor, and the supplementary motor area plus precentral gyrus. CONCLUSION: Alterations of FC in IGE patients are not limited to the frontal areas. However, as indicated by specificity analysis, patients with long history of disease show changes in FC mainly within the frontal areas.

  2. Mechanisms of self-sustained oscillatory states in hierarchical modular networks with mixtures of electrophysiological cell types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petar eTomov

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In a network with a mixture of different electrophysiologicaltypes of neurons linked by excitatory and inhibitory connections,temporal evolution leads through repeated epochs of intensive global activity separated by intervals with low activity level. This behavior mimics ``up'' and ``down'' states, experimentally observed in cortical tissues in absence of external stimuli. We interpret global dynamical features interms of individual dynamics of the neurons. In particular, weobserve that the crucial role both in interruption and in resumptionof global activity is played by distributions of the membrane recovery variable within the network. We also demonstrate that the behavior of neurons is moreinfluenced by their presynaptic environment in the networkthan by their formal types,assigned in accordance with their response to constant current.

  3. Use of Bayesian Networks to Analyze Port Variables in Order to Make Sustainable Planning and Management Decision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Molina Serrano

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In the current economic, social and political environment, society demands a greater variety of outcomes from the public logistics sector, such as efficiency, efficiency of managed resources, greater transparency and business performance. All of them are an indispensable counterpart for its recognition and support. In case of port planning and management, many variables are included. Use of Bayesian Networks allows to classify, predict and diagnose these variables and even to estimate the subsequent probability of unknown variables, basing on the known ones. Research includes a data base with more than 40 variables, which have been classified as smart port studies in Spain. Then a network was generated using a non-cyclic conducted grafo, which shows port variable relationships. As conclusion, economic variables are cause of the rest of categories and they represent a parent role in the most of cases. Furthermore, if environmental variables are known, subsequent probability of social variables can be estimated.

  4. A cross-sectional examination of the profile of chiropractors recruited to the Australian Chiropractic Research Network (ACORN): a sustainable resource for future chiropractic research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Jon; Peng, Wenbo; Steel, Amie; Lauche, Romy; Moore, Craig; Amorin-Woods, Lyndon; Sibbritt, David

    2017-09-29

    The Australian Chiropractic Research Network (ACORN) practice-based research network (PBRN) cohort was established to provide sustainable infrastructure necessary to address lack of rigorous investigation and to bridge the research-practice gap focused on chiropractic care for future years. This paper presents the profile of chiropractors recruited to the ACORN PBRN, a nationally representative sample of chiropractors working in Australia. Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a cohort study of chiropractors in Australia. All registered chiropractors in Australia were invited to participate in the ACORN study and those who completed a practitioner questionnaire and consent form were included in the PBRN cohort. A total of 1680 chiropractors (36%) were recruited to the cohort database. The average age of the PBRN participants is 41.9 years and 63% are male. The vast majority of the PBRN participants hold a university degree. General practitioners were identified as the most popular referral source for chiropractic care and low back pain and neck pain were the most common conditions 'often' treated by the PBRN chiropractors. The chiropractors in this PBRN cohort rated high velocity, low amplitude adjustment/manipulation/mobilisation as the most commonly used technique/method and soft tissue therapy as the most frequently employed musculoskeletal intervention in their patient management. The ACORN PBRN cohort constitutes the largest coverage of any single healthcare profession via a national voluntary PBRN providing a sustainable resource for future follow-up. The ACORN cohort provides opportunities for further nested substudies related to chiropractic care, chiropractors, their patients and a vast range of broader healthcare issues with a view to helping build a diverse but coordinated research programme and further research capacity building around Australian chiropractic. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the

  5. Capacity Building for Sustainable Seismological Networks in the Americas: A Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute on New Frontiers in Seismological Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabello, O. A.; Meltzer, A.; Sandvol, E. A.; Yepes, H.; Ruiz, M. C.; Barrientos, S. E.; Willemann, R. J.

    2011-12-01

    During July 2011, a Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute, "New Frontiers in Seismological Research: Sustainable Networks, Earthquake Source Parameters, and Earth Structure" was conducted in Quito Ecuador with participants from the US, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean at early stages in their scientific careers. This advanced studies institute was imparted by fifteen volunteer senior faculty and investigators from the U.S. and the Americas. The curriculum addressed the importance of developing and maintaining modern seismological observatories, reviewed the principles of sustainable network operations, and explored recent advances in the analysis of seismological data in support of basic research, education, and hazard mitigation. An additional goal was to develop future international research collaborations. The Institute engaged graduate students, post-doctoral students, and new faculty from across the Americas in an interactive collaborative learning environment including modules on double-difference earthquake location and tomography, regional centroid-moment tensors, and event-based and ambient noise surface wave dispersion and tomography. Under the faculty guidance, participants started promising research projects about surface wave tomography in southeastern Brazil, near the Chilean triple junction, in central Chilean Andes, at the Peru-Chile border, within Peru, at a volcano in Ecuador, in the Caribbean Sea region, and near the Mendocino triple junction. Other participants started projects about moment tensors of earthquakes in or near Brazil, Chile and Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, western Mexico, and northern Mexico. In order to track the progress of the participants and measure the overall effectiveness of the Institute a reunion is planned where the PASI alumni will present the result of their research that was initiated in Quito

  6. The Talloires Network and the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship: Explorations on sustainable and innovative leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brianda Hernandez Cavalcanti

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Higher education does not exist in a vacuum. Institutions of higher learning should serve as vibrant and dynamic anchors to their communities and to society. Civic engagement and community service should be inextricable from research, teaching and learning. The Talloires Network is an international coalition of higher education institutions founded on such a vision. It is because of this vision that the MacJannet Foundation approached the Talloires Network in 2009 to establish the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship. Following in the footsteps of founders Donald and Charlotte MacJannet, the international Foundation is dedicated to providing pathways for individuals and institutions to use their skills for the good of their communities. The MacJannet Prize recognizes exceptional student community engagement initiatives at Talloires Network member universities and contributes financially to their ongoing public service efforts. This special edition journal of Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement features articles from five first-place MacJannet Prize winners and one second-place winner. The articles offer a glimpse of university civic engagement projects in six countries created to help marginalised and vulnerable communities. They highlight the complexity of civic engagement efforts in different institutional environments and regions of the world and provide insight into the pedagogy and practice of engagement. Further, the articles highlight the many challenges associated with this type of work, not only with scaling up the initiatives but with institutionalising them. Finally, these accounts serve as a reminder of the critical importance higher education institutions have in the success of these initiatives and the dedication of the individuals who lead them.

  7. The B-MYB Transcriptional Network Guides Cell Cycle Progression and Fate Decisions to Sustain Self-Renewal and the Identity of Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Ming; Riordon, Daniel R.; Yan, Bin; Tarasova, Yelena S.; Bruweleit, Sarah; Tarasov, Kirill V.; Li, Ronald A.; Wersto, Robert P.; Boheler, Kenneth R.

    2012-01-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are pluripotent and have unlimited self-renewal capacity. Although pluripotency and differentiation have been examined extensively, the mechanisms responsible for self-renewal are poorly understood and are believed to involve an unusual cell cycle, epigenetic regulators and pluripotency-promoting transcription factors. Here we show that B-MYB, a cell cycle regulated phosphoprotein and transcription factor critical to the formation of inner cell mass, is central to the transcriptional and co-regulatory networks that sustain normal cell cycle progression and self-renewal properties of ESCs. Phenotypically, B-MYB is robustly expressed in ESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and it is present predominantly in a hypo-phosphorylated state. Knockdown of B-MYB results in functional cell cycle abnormalities that involve S, G2 and M phases, and reduced expression of critical cell cycle regulators like ccnb1 and plk1. By conducting gene expression profiling on control and B-MYB deficient cells, ChIP-chip experiments, and integrative computational analyses, we unraveled a highly complex B-MYB-mediated transcriptional network that guides ESC self-renewal. The network encompasses critical regulators of all cell cycle phases and epigenetic regulators, pluripotency transcription factors, and differentiation determinants. B-MYB along with E2F1 and c-MYC preferentially co-regulate cell cycle target genes. B-MYB also co-targets genes regulated by OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG that are significantly associated with stem cell differentiation, embryonic development, and epigenetic control. Moreover, loss of B-MYB leads to a breakdown of the transcriptional hierarchy present in ESCs. These results coupled with functional studies demonstrate that B-MYB not only controls and accelerates cell cycle progression in ESCs it contributes to fate decisions and maintenance of pluripotent stem cell identity. PMID:22936984

  8. The B-MYB transcriptional network guides cell cycle progression and fate decisions to sustain self-renewal and the identity of pluripotent stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zhan

    Full Text Available Embryonic stem cells (ESCs are pluripotent and have unlimited self-renewal capacity. Although pluripotency and differentiation have been examined extensively, the mechanisms responsible for self-renewal are poorly understood and are believed to involve an unusual cell cycle, epigenetic regulators and pluripotency-promoting transcription factors. Here we show that B-MYB, a cell cycle regulated phosphoprotein and transcription factor critical to the formation of inner cell mass, is central to the transcriptional and co-regulatory networks that sustain normal cell cycle progression and self-renewal properties of ESCs. Phenotypically, B-MYB is robustly expressed in ESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, and it is present predominantly in a hypo-phosphorylated state. Knockdown of B-MYB results in functional cell cycle abnormalities that involve S, G2 and M phases, and reduced expression of critical cell cycle regulators like ccnb1 and plk1. By conducting gene expression profiling on control and B-MYB deficient cells, ChIP-chip experiments, and integrative computational analyses, we unraveled a highly complex B-MYB-mediated transcriptional network that guides ESC self-renewal. The network encompasses critical regulators of all cell cycle phases and epigenetic regulators, pluripotency transcription factors, and differentiation determinants. B-MYB along with E2F1 and c-MYC preferentially co-regulate cell cycle target genes. B-MYB also co-targets genes regulated by OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG that are significantly associated with stem cell differentiation, embryonic development, and epigenetic control. Moreover, loss of B-MYB leads to a breakdown of the transcriptional hierarchy present in ESCs. These results coupled with functional studies demonstrate that B-MYB not only controls and accelerates cell cycle progression in ESCs it contributes to fate decisions and maintenance of pluripotent stem cell identity.

  9. Obstetrical trauma to the genital tract following vaginal delivery

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Khaskheli, Meharunnissa; Baloch, Shahla; Baloch, Aneela Sheeba

    2012-01-01

    .... All women who sustained genital tract trauma during delivery at the study centre and those referred from periphery with the same condition within 40 days of delivery were enrolled in the study...

  10. Formulation of a Network and the Study of Reaction Paths for the Sustainable Reduction of CO2 Emissions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frauzem, Rebecca; Kongpanna, Pichayapan; Roh, Kosan

    co-reactants, catalysts necessary, operating conditions and reactions, is the next step. The products that are formed fall into categories: fuels, bulk chemicals and specialty chemicals. While fuels, such as methanol (MeOH), have the largest market, this network will include a variety......, primarily greenhouse gas emissions. Of these, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest source and, hence, the reduction of the amount emitted is primary focus of developments [1]. A new and promising process that reduces the emissions is the conversion of CO2 into useful products, such as methanol and dimethyl...... of thermodynamically feasible conversion paths [3]. From reviews of work previously done, there are ranges of possible products that are formed directly from CO2 and another co-reactant. Methanol, dimethyl ether, dimethyl carbonate and ethylene carbonate are just some of the products that can be formed...

  11. Mode of anaesthesia for preterm Caesarean delivery: secondary analysis from the Maternal–Fetal Medicine Units Network Caesarean Registry†‡

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butwick, A. J.; El-Sayed, Y. Y.; Blumenfeld, Y. J.; Osmundson, S. S.; Weiniger, C. F.

    2015-01-01

    Background Preterm delivery is often performed by Caesarean section. We investigated modes of anaesthesia and risk factors for general anaesthesia among women undergoing preterm Caesarean delivery. Methods Women undergoing Caesarean delivery between 24+0 and 36+6 weeks' gestation were identified from a multicentre US registry. The mode of anaesthesia was classified as neuraxial anaesthesia (spinal, epidural, or combined spinal and epidural) or general anaesthesia. Logistic regression was used to identify patient characteristic, obstetric, and peripartum risk factors associated with general anaesthesia. Results Within the study cohort, 11 539 women had preterm Caesarean delivery; 9510 (82.4%) underwent neuraxial anaesthesia and 2029 (17.6%) general anaesthesia. In our multivariate model, African-American race [adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=1.9; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.7–2.2], Hispanic ethnicity (aOR=1.5; 95% CI=1.2–1.8), other race (aOR=1.4; 95% CI=1.1–1.9), and haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets (HELLP) syndrome or eclampsia (aOR=2.8; 95% CI=2.2–3.5) were independently associated with receiving general anaesthesia for preterm Caesarean delivery. Women with an emergency Caesarean delivery indication had the highest odds for general anaesthesia (aOR=3.5; 95% CI=3.1–3.9). For every 1 week decrease in gestational age at delivery, the adjusted odds of general anaesthesia increased by 13%. Conclusions In our study cohort, nearly one in five women received general anaesthesia for preterm Caesarean delivery. Although potential confounding by unmeasured factors cannot be excluded, our findings suggest that early gestational age at delivery, emergent Caesarean delivery indications, hypertensive disease, and non-Caucasian race or ethnicity are associated with general anaesthesia for preterm Caesarean delivery. PMID:25956901

  12. Hydrocolloid-based nutraceutical delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janaswamy, Srinivas; Youngren, Susanne R

    2012-05-01

    Nutraceuticals are important due to their inherent health benefits. However, utilization and consumption are limited by their poor water solubility and instability at normal processing and storage conditions. Herein, we propose an elegant and novel approach for the delivery of nutraceuticals in their active form using hydrocolloid matrices that are inexpensive and non-toxic with generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status. Iota-carrageenan and curcumin have been chosen as models of hydrocolloid and nutraceutical compounds, respectively. The iota-carrageenan network maintains a stable organization after encapsulating curcumin molecules, protects them from melting and then releases them in a sustained manner. These findings lay a strong foundation for developing value-added functional and medicinal foods.

  13. Hydrocolloid-based nutraceutical delivery systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Janaswamy, Srinivas; Youngren, Susanne R. (Purdue)

    2012-07-11

    Nutraceuticals are important due to their inherent health benefits. However, utilization and consumption are limited by their poor water solubility and instability at normal processing and storage conditions. Herein, we propose an elegant and novel approach for the delivery of nutraceuticals in their active form using hydrocolloid matrices that are inexpensive and non-toxic with generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status. Iota-carrageenan and curcumin have been chosen as models of hydrocolloid and nutraceutical compounds, respectively. The iota-carrageenan network maintains a stable organization after encapsulating curcumin molecules, protects them from melting and then releases them in a sustained manner. These findings lay a strong foundation for developing value-added functional and medicinal foods.

  14. H3ABioNet, a sustainable pan-African bioinformatics network for human heredity and health in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, Nicola J.; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; Alami, Raouf; Benkahla, Alia; Brandful, James; Doumbia, Seydou; Everett, Dean; Fadlelmola, Faisal M.; Gaboun, Fatima; Gaseitsiwe, Simani; Ghazal, Hassan; Hazelhurst, Scott; Hide, Winston; Ibrahimi, Azeddine; Jaufeerally Fakim, Yasmina; Jongeneel, C. Victor; Joubert, Fourie; Kassim, Samar; Kayondo, Jonathan; Kumuthini, Judit; Lyantagaye, Sylvester; Makani, Julie; Mansour Alzohairy, Ahmed; Masiga, Daniel; Moussa, Ahmed; Nash, Oyekanmi; Ouwe Missi Oukem-Boyer, Odile; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Panji, Sumir; Patterton, Hugh; Radouani, Fouzia; Sadki, Khalid; Seghrouchni, Fouad; Tastan Bishop, Özlem; Tiffin, Nicki; Ulenga, Nzovu

    2016-01-01

    The application of genomics technologies to medicine and biomedical research is increasing in popularity, made possible by new high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies and improved data analysis capabilities. Some of the greatest genetic diversity among humans, animals, plants, and microbiota occurs in Africa, yet genomic research outputs from the continent are limited. The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative was established to drive the development of genomic research for human health in Africa, and through recognition of the critical role of bioinformatics in this process, spurred the establishment of H3ABioNet, a pan-African bioinformatics network for H3Africa. The limitations in bioinformatics capacity on the continent have been a major contributory factor to the lack of notable outputs in high-throughput biology research. Although pockets of high-quality bioinformatics teams have existed previously, the majority of research institutions lack experienced faculty who can train and supervise bioinformatics students. H3ABioNet aims to address this dire need, specifically in the area of human genetics and genomics, but knock-on effects are ensuring this extends to other areas of bioinformatics. Here, we describe the emergence of genomics research and the development of bioinformatics in Africa through H3ABioNet. PMID:26627985

  15. Characterization of the periplasmic redox network that sustains the versatile anaerobic metabolism of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Mónica N; Neto, Sónia E; Alves, Alexandra S; Fonseca, Bruno M; Carrêlo, Afonso; Pacheco, Isabel; Paquete, Catarina M; Soares, Cláudio M; Louro, Ricardo O

    2015-01-01

    The versatile anaerobic metabolism of the Gram-negative bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 (SOMR-1) relies on a multitude of redox proteins found in its periplasm. Most are multiheme cytochromes that carry electrons to terminal reductases of insoluble electron acceptors located at the cell surface, or bona fide terminal reductases of soluble electron acceptors. In this study, the interaction network of several multiheme cytochromes was explored by a combination of NMR spectroscopy, activity assays followed by UV-visible spectroscopy and comparison of surface electrostatic potentials. From these data the small tetraheme cytochrome (STC) emerges as the main periplasmic redox shuttle in SOMR-1. It accepts electrons from CymA and distributes them to a number of terminal oxidoreductases involved in the respiration of various compounds. STC is also involved in the electron transfer pathway to reduce nitrite by interaction with the octaheme tetrathionate reductase (OTR), but not with cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR). In the main pathway leading the metal respiration STC pairs with flavocytochrome c (FccA), the other major periplasmic cytochrome, which provides redundancy in this important pathway. The data reveals that the two proteins compete for the binding site at the surface of MtrA, the decaheme cytochrome inserted on the periplasmic side of the MtrCAB-OmcA outer-membrane complex. However, this is not observed for the MtrA homologues. Indeed, neither STC nor FccA interact with MtrD, the best replacement for MtrA, and only STC is able to interact with the decaheme cytochrome DmsE of the outer-membrane complex DmsEFABGH. Overall, these results shown that STC plays a central role in the anaerobic respiratory metabolism of SOMR-1. Nonetheless, the trans-periplasmic electron transfer chain is functionally resilient as a consequence of redundancies that arise from the presence of alternative pathways that bypass/compete with STC.

  16. Characterization of the periplasmic redox network that sustains the versatile anaerobic metabolism of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica N. Alves

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The versatile anaerobic metabolism of the Gram-negative bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 (SOMR-1 relies on a multitude of redox proteins found in its periplasm. Most are multiheme cytochromes that carry electrons to terminal reductases of insoluble electron acceptors located at the cell surface, or bona fide terminal reductases of soluble electron acceptors. In this study, the interaction network of several multiheme cytochromes was explored by a combination of NMR spectroscopy, activity assays followed by UV-visible spectroscopy and comparison of surface electrostatic potentials. From these data the small tetraheme cytochrome (STC emerges as the main periplasmic redox shuttle in SOMR-1. It accepts electrons from CymA and distributes them to a number of terminal oxidoreductases involved in the respiration of various compounds. STC is also involved in the electron transfer pathway to reduce nitrite by interaction with the octaheme tetrathionate reductase (OTR, but not with cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR. In the main pathway leading the metal respiration STC pairs with flavocytochrome c (FccA, the other major periplasmic cytochrome, which provides redundancy in this important pathway. The data reveals that the two proteins compete for the binding site at the surface of MtrA, the decaheme cytochrome inserted on the periplasmic side of the MtrCAB-OmcA outer-membrane complex. However, this is not observed for the MtrA homologues. Indeed, neither STC nor FccA interact with MtrD, the best replacement for MtrA, and only STC is able to interact with the decaheme cytochrome DmsE of the outer-membrane complex DmsEFABGH. Overall, these results shown that STC plays a central role in the anaerobic respiratory metabolism of SOMR-1. Nonetheless, the trans-periplasmic electron transfer chain is functionally resilient as a consequence of redundancies that arise from the presence of alternative pathways that bypass/compete with STC.

  17. In vivo and in vitro taste masking of ofloxacin and sustained release by forming interpenetrating polymer network beads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajesh, A Michael; Popat, Kiritkumar Mangaldas

    2017-02-01

    Drug-resin complexes (DRCs) of ofloxacin and ion-exchange resins (IERs) were prepared in different ratios of drug/IERs, that is, 1:1, 1:2 and 1:4 (w/w) and investigated for taste masking by in vivo and in vitro release studies. Human volunteers graded AD1:4 (DRC) as tasteless with an average value of 0.3 ± 0.03 and in vitro study showed that AD 1:4 released only 1.70 ± 0.86% of drug at salivary pH within 30s. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), powder X-ray diffraction (P-XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) studies of AD 1:4 showed the change in the morphology of the drug, that is, from crystalline phase to amorphous phase during complex formation. The release of drug from AD 1:4 was completed within 30 min at gastric pH 1.2 and to extend the release time of drug at gastric pH, it was entrapped with different biopolymers, such as sodium alginate (SA) and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (SCMC), in the presence of ferric chloride and glutaraldehyde (GA) to form interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) beads. FTIR studies revealed that IPN beads were crosslinked with Fe3+ and GA. The release of drug at gastric and intestinal pH was 14.53 ± 1.52% and 65.86 ± 1.29%, respectively, for a contact time of 10 h. The kinetics release study shows fickian diffusion for ionically crosslinked beads and zero-order release for GA crosslinking beads.

  18. Lack of evolvability in self-sustaining autocatalytic networks constraints metabolism-first scenarios for the origin of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasas, Vera; Szathmáry, Eörs; Santos, Mauro

    2010-01-26

    A basic property of life is its capacity to experience Darwinian evolution. The replicator concept is at the core of genetics-first theories of the origin of life, which suggest that self-replicating oligonucleotides or their similar ancestors may have been the first "living" systems and may have led to the evolution of an RNA world. But problems with the nonenzymatic synthesis of biopolymers and the origin of template replication have spurred the alternative metabolism-first scenario, where self-reproducing and evolving proto-metabolic networks are assumed to have predated self-replicating genes. Recent theoretical work shows that "compositional genomes" (i.e., the counts of different molecular species in an assembly) are able to propagate compositional information and can provide a setup on which natural selection acts. Accordingly, if we stick to the notion of replicator as an entity that passes on its structure largely intact in successive replications, those macromolecular aggregates could be dubbed "ensemble replicators" (composomes) and quite different from the more familiar genes and memes. In sharp contrast with template-dependent replication dynamics, we demonstrate here that replication of compositional information is so inaccurate that fitter compositional genomes cannot be maintained by selection and, therefore, the system lacks evolvability (i.e., it cannot substantially depart from the asymptotic steady-state solution already built-in in the dynamical equations). We conclude that this fundamental limitation of ensemble replicators cautions against metabolism-first theories of the origin of life, although ancient metabolic systems could have provided a stable habitat within which polymer replicators later evolved.

  19. Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Contributions to Strengthening Resilience and Sustainability for the East African Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budde, M. E.; Galu, G.; Funk, C. C.; Verdin, J. P.; Rowland, J.

    2014-12-01

    The Planning for Resilience in East Africa through Policy, Adaptation, Research, and Economic Development (PREPARED) is a multi-organizational project aimed at mainstreaming climate-resilient development planning and program implementation into the East African Community (EAC). The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has partnered with the PREPARED project to address three key development challenges for the EAC; 1) increasing resiliency to climate change, 2) managing trans-boundary freshwater biodiversity and conservation and 3) improving access to drinking water supply and sanitation services. USGS FEWS NET has been instrumental in the development of gridded climate data sets that are the fundamental building blocks for climate change adaptation studies in the region. Tools such as the Geospatial Climate Tool (GeoCLIM) have been developed to interpolate time-series grids of precipitation and temperature values from station observations and associated satellite imagery, elevation data, and other spatially continuous fields. The GeoCLIM tool also allows the identification of anomalies and assessments of both their frequency of occurrence and directional trends. A major effort has been put forth to build the capacities of local and regional institutions to use GeoCLIM to integrate their station data (which is not typically available to the public) into improved national and regional gridded climate data sets. In addition to the improvements and capacity building activities related to geospatial analysis tools, FEWS NET will assist in two other areas; 1) downscaling of climate change scenarios and 2) vulnerability impact assessments. FEWS NET will provide expertise in statistical downscaling of Global Climate Model output fields and work with regional institutions to assess results of other downscaling methods. Completion of a vulnerability impact assessment (VIA) involves the examination of sectoral consequences in identified climate "hot spots". FEWS NET

  20. Sustained delivery of propranolol by using multiparticulate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    METHODS: A formulation was prepared without using mineral oil by conventional ionotropic gelation method. All other formulations of oil entrapped floating gel beads of propranolol hydrochloride were prepared by using emulsion gelation method in which sodium alginate was used as a gelling agent and mineral oil was ...

  1. Analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the network form of organization of traumatic brain injury service delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamontagne, Marie-Eve; Swaine, Bonnie R; Lavoie, André; Careau, Emmanuelle

    2011-01-01

    Networks are an increasingly popular way to deal with the lack of integration of traumatic brain injury (TBI) care. Knowledge of the stakes of the network form of organization is critical in deciding whether or not to implement a TBI network to improve the continuity of TBI care. To report the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a TBI network and to consider these elements in a discussion about whether networks are a suitable solution to fragmented TBI care. In-depth interviews with 12 representatives of network organization members. Interviews were qualitatively analyzed using the EGIPSS model of performance. The majority of elements reported were related to the network's adaptation to its environment and more precisely to its capacity to acquire resources. The issue of value maintenance also received considerable attention from participants. The network form of organization seems particularly sensitive to environmental issues, such as resource acquisition and legitimacy. The authors suggest that the network form of organization is a suitable way to increase the continuity of TBI care if the following criteria are met: (1) expectations toward network effectiveness to increase continuity of care are moderate and realistic; (2) sufficient resources are devoted to the design, implementation, and maintenance of the network; (3) a network's existence and actions are deemed legitimate by community and organization member partners; and (4) there is a good collaborative climate between the organizations.