The Scientific World Journal The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Analysis of Japanese Patients Treated with or without Long-Term Epirubicin Plus Ara-C Intravesical Instillation Therapy for Low-Grade Superficial Bladder Cancer Mon, 25 May 2015 13:28:32 +0000 The high incidence of tumor recurrence following transurethral resection (TUR) represents a major problem encountered in the management of bladder cancer. This study examined the efficacy of intravesical chemotherapy in superficial bladder cancer. We retrospectively analyzed 90 Japanese cases with low-grade superficial transitional cell carcinoma (stage T1, grades 1 and 2) who were rendered tumor-free by TURBT (TUR of bladder tumor) and who thereafter were treated with or without intravesical chemotherapy. Among them, instillation was terminated in 2 patients due to adverse effects (severe but reversible chemical cystitis). Remaining 88 patients were divided into 2 groups according to therapy: the TURBT-only group , defined as patients treated with TURBT alone, and the Instillation group , defined as patients treated with weekly intravesical instillation therapies using epirubicin plus Ara-C. Recurrence-free rate was significantly higher in the Instillation group than in the TURBT-only group (, HR = 0.457). The 5-year recurrence-free rate was 58.5% for the Instillation group and 38.6% for the TURBT-only group. Our instillation schedule represents the most intensive regimen among previously reported therapies and resulted in a 54.3% decrease in incidence of tumor recurrence. We believe that the results of this study could provide useful information on management of bladder cancer. Tomonori Kato, Kazushi Nomura, Fukuo Kondo, Masami Wakisaka, and Akira Komiya Copyright © 2015 Tomonori Kato et al. All rights reserved. Properties of Concrete with Tire Derived Aggregate Partially Replacing Coarse Aggregates Mon, 25 May 2015 11:12:34 +0000 Tire derived aggregate (TDA) has been proposed as a possible lightweight replacement for mineral aggregate in concrete. The role played by the amount of TDA replacing coarse aggregate as well as different treatment and additives in concrete on its properties is examined. Conventional concrete (without TDA) and concrete containing TDA are compared by examining their compressive strength based on ASTM C39, workability based on ASTM C143, splitting tensile strength based on ASTM C496, modulus of rupture (flexural strength) based on ASTM C78, and bond stress based on ASTM C234. Results indicate that while replacement of coarse aggregates with TDA results in reduction in strength, it may be mitigated with addition of silica fume to obtain the desired strength. The greatest benefit of using TDA is in the development of a higher ductile product while utilizing recycled TDA. Gideon Siringi, Ali Abolmaali, and Pranesh B. Aswath Copyright © 2015 Gideon Siringi et al. All rights reserved. Subacute Toxicity Profile of Lacidipine Nanoformulation in Wistar Rats Mon, 25 May 2015 11:10:14 +0000 The present study was aimed at investigating the safety of Lacidipine (LCDP) loaded nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) in Wistar rats. NLCs were formulated using ultrasound dispersion technique. Animals were orally treated once daily with NLCs containing 0.140 mg, 0.350 mg, and 0.875 mg of LCDP as low, medium, and high dose per kg body weight, respectively, during 28 days along with blank formulation and pure LCDP. Control rats were fed with water. Animals were observed throughout experiment period and their body weight was recorded once weekly. Overnight fasted rats were sacrificed on the 29th day. Study revealed no signs or symptoms of toxicity or morbidity. No significant changes in the body weight were observed between treated and control group. Significant increase in left testis weight and liver weight was observed in male and female rats, respectively. Haematological estimation revealed significant decrease in haemoglobin count in male rats while female rats showed significant increase in granulocyte count. All the serum clinical parameters were within the normal range and no gross histopathological changes were observed. No delayed effect was noted in satellite group. The results indicate that developed LCDP loaded NLCs are safe when administered orally in rats. Rupesh Shirodkar, Chandrasekhar Misra, Chethan GH, Pallavi Shetty, Zenab Attari, Srinivas Mutalik, and Shaila Lewis Copyright © 2015 Rupesh Shirodkar et al. All rights reserved. Toxic Effects of Ethyl Cinnamate on the Photosynthesis and Physiological Characteristics of Chlorella vulgaris Based on Chlorophyll Fluorescence and Flow Cytometry Analysis Mon, 25 May 2015 06:37:11 +0000 The toxic effects of ethyl cinnamate on the photosynthetic and physiological characteristics of Chlorella vulgaris were studied based on chlorophyll fluorescence and flow cytometry analysis. Parameters, including biomass, (maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII), ФPSII (actual photochemical efficiency of PSII in the light), FDA, and PI staining fluorescence, were measured. The results showed the following: (1) The inhibition on biomass increased as the exposure concentration increased. 1 mg/L ethyl cinnamate was sufficient to reduce the total biomass of C. vulgaris. The 48-h and 72-h EC50 values were 2.07 mg/L (1.94–2.20) and 1.89 mg/L (1.82–1.97). (2) After 24 h of exposure to 2–4 mg/L ethyl cinnamate, the photosynthesis of C. vulgaris almost ceased, manifesting in ФPSII being close to zero. After 72 h of exposure to 4 mg/L ethyl cinnamate, the of C. vulgaris dropped to zero. (3) Ethyl cinnamate also affected the cellular physiology of C. vulgaris, but these effects resulted in the inhibition of cell yield rather than cell death. Exposure to ethyl cinnamate resulted in decreased esterase activities in C. vulgaris, increased average cell size, and altered intensities of chlorophyll a fluorescence. Overall, esterase activity was the most sensitive variable. Yang Jiao, Hui-Ling Ouyang, Yu-Jiao Jiang, Xiang-Zhen Kong, Wei He, Wen-Xiu Liu, Bin Yang, and Fu-Liu Xu Copyright © 2015 Yang Jiao et al. All rights reserved. Electronic Voting Protocol Using Identity-Based Cryptography Sun, 24 May 2015 14:30:56 +0000 Electronic voting protocols proposed to date meet their properties based on Public Key Cryptography (PKC), which offers high flexibility through key agreement protocols and authentication mechanisms. However, when PKC is used, it is necessary to implement Certification Authority (CA) to provide certificates which bind public keys to entities and enable verification of such public key bindings. Consequently, the components of the protocol increase notably. An alternative is to use Identity-Based Encryption (IBE). With this kind of cryptography, it is possible to have all the benefits offered by PKC, without neither the need of certificates nor all the core components of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Considering the aforementioned, in this paper we propose an electronic voting protocol, which meets the privacy and robustness properties by using bilinear maps. Gina Gallegos-Garcia and Horacio Tapia-Recillas Copyright © 2015 Gina Gallegos-Garcia and Horacio Tapia-Recillas. All rights reserved. Psychometric Properties of the Serbian Version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey: A Validation Study among Anesthesiologists from Belgrade Teaching Hospitals Thu, 21 May 2015 08:34:56 +0000 We report findings from a validation study of the translated and culturally adapted Serbian version of Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), for a sample of anesthesiologists working in the tertiary healthcare. The results showed the sufficient overall reliability (Cronbach’s = 0.72) of the scores (items 1–22). The results of Bartlett’s test of sphericity ( = 1983.75, df = 231, ) and Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy (0.866) provided solid justification for factor analysis. In order to increase sensitivity of this questionnaire, we performed unfitted factor analysis model (eigenvalue greater than 1) which enabled us to extract the most suitable factor structure for our study instrument. The exploratory factor analysis model revealed five factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.0, explaining 62.0% of cumulative variance. Velicer’s MAP test has supported five-factor model with the smallest average squared correlation of 0,184. This study indicated that Serbian version of the MBI-HSS is a reliable and valid instrument to measure burnout among a population of anesthesiologists. Results confirmed strong psychometric characteristics of the study instrument, with recommendations for interpretation of two new factors that may be unique to the Serbian version of the MBI-HSS. Bojana Matejić, Miodrag Milenović, Darija Kisić Tepavčević, Dušica Simić, Tatjana Pekmezović, and Jody A. Worley Copyright © 2015 Bojana Matejić et al. All rights reserved. Recent Advances on Building Information Modeling Thu, 21 May 2015 07:16:45 +0000 Yu-Shen Liu, Heng Li, Haijiang Li, Pieter Pauwels, and Jakob Beetz Copyright © 2015 Yu-Shen Liu et al. All rights reserved. Hydrothermal Synthesis of Lanthanide Stannates Pyrochlore Nanocrystals for Catalytic Combustion of Soot Particulates Thu, 21 May 2015 07:14:17 +0000 Nanocrystalline La2Sn2O7 and La2Sn1.8Co0.2O7 with a phase-pure pyrochlore structure were synthesized by a hydrothermal method, and their catalytic activity was investigated for soot combustion. The as-synthesized catalysts presented relatively larger surface area, and pore volume, which was benefit to the gas molecule diffusion in the reaction. A uniform spherical structure with particle size of 200–500 nm was found in SEM. The samples via hydrothermal route are more active for catalytic soot combustion, ascribing to the spherical morphology, high surface area and improved oxygen mobility. After Co, the reducibility was improved and surface oxygen vacancy was produced, resulting in the enhanced activity and selectivity to CO2 formation. Xiaomin Zhang, Xuhui Liu, Peng Lu, Liguo Wang, Zhaoliang Zhang, Xiuju Wang, and Zhongpeng Wang Copyright © 2015 Xiaomin Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Thermal Annealing Effect on Structural, Morphological, and Sensor Performance of PANI-Ag-Fe Based Electrochemical E. coli Sensor for Environmental Monitoring Wed, 20 May 2015 14:29:59 +0000 PANI-Ag-Fe nanocomposite thin films based electrochemical E. coli sensor was developed with thermal annealing. PANI-Ag-Fe nanocomposite thin films were prepared by oxidative polymerization of aniline and the reduction process of Ag-Fe bimetallic compound with the presence of nitric acid and PVA. The films were deposited on glass substrate using spin-coating technique before they were annealed at 300°C. The films were characterized using XRD, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and FESEM to study the structural and morphological properties. The electrochemical sensor performance was conducted using I-V measurement electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The sensitivity upon the presence of E. coli was measured in clean water and E. coli solution. From XRD analysis, the crystallite sizes were found to become larger for the samples after annealing. UV-Vis absorption bands for samples before and after annealing show maximum absorbance peaks at around 422 nm–424 nm and 426 nm–464 nm, respectively. FESEM images show the diameter size for nanospherical Ag-Fe alloy particles increases after annealing. The sensor performance of PANI-Ag-Fe nanocomposite thin films upon E. coli cells in liquid medium indicates the sensitivity increases after annealing. Norshafadzila Mohammad Naim, H. Abdullah, Akrajas Ali Umar, Aidil Abdul Hamid, and Sahbudin Shaari Copyright © 2015 Norshafadzila Mohammad Naim et al. All rights reserved. An Accurate FFPA-PSR Estimator Algorithm and Tool for Software Effort Estimation Wed, 20 May 2015 12:25:26 +0000 Software companies are now keen to provide secure software with respect to accuracy and reliability of their products especially related to the software effort estimation. Therefore, there is a need to develop a hybrid tool which provides all the necessary features. This paper attempts to propose a hybrid estimator algorithm and model which incorporates quality metrics, reliability factor, and the security factor with a fuzzy-based function point analysis. Initially, this method utilizes a fuzzy-based estimate to control the uncertainty in the software size with the help of a triangular fuzzy set at the early development stage. Secondly, the function point analysis is extended by the security and reliability factors in the calculation. Finally, the performance metrics are added with the effort estimation for accuracy. The experimentation is done with different project data sets on the hybrid tool, and the results are compared with the existing models. It shows that the proposed method not only improves the accuracy but also increases the reliability, as well as the security, of the product. Senthil Kumar Murugesan and Chidhambara Rajan Balasubramanian Copyright © 2015 Senthil Kumar Murugesan and Chidhambara Rajan Balasubramanian. All rights reserved. An Improved LC-MS/MS Method for Simultaneous Determination of the Eleven Bioactive Constituents for Quality Control of Radix Angelicae Pubescentis and Its Related Preparations Wed, 20 May 2015 10:07:11 +0000 An improved LC-MS/MS method was developed for simultaneous determination of eleven bioactive constituents of Radix Angelicae Pubescentis and its related preparations. It was the first report on the quantification of bioactive constituents in different preparations of Radix Angelicae Pubescentis by LC-MS/MS analytical method. These samples were separated with an Agilent Zorbax Extend reversed-phase C18 column (1.8 μm, 4.6 × 100 mm) by linear gradient elution using aqueous ammonium acetate and acetonitrile as mobile phase. The flow rate was 0.3 mL min−1. The eleven bioactive constituents showed good regression within test ranges and the recoveries were in the range of 87.1–110%. The limit of detections and quantifications for most of the major constituents were less than 0.5 and 1.0 ng mL−1, respectively. All results indicated that the developed method could be readily utilized as a suitable quality control method for Radix Angelicae Pubescentis and related preparations. Jin Li, Qiu-Hong Zhang, Jun He, Er-wei Liu, Xiu-mei Gao, and Yan-xu Chang Copyright © 2015 Jin Li et al. All rights reserved. Towards an Analytical Age-Dependent Model of Contrast Sensitivity Functions for an Ageing Society Wed, 20 May 2015 09:21:34 +0000 The Contrast Sensitivity Function (CSF) describes how the visibility of a grating depends on the stimulus spatial frequency. Many published CSF data have demonstrated that contrast sensitivity declines with age. However, an age-dependent analytical model of the CSF is not available to date. In this paper, we propose such an analytical CSF model based on visual mechanisms, taking into account the age factor. To this end, we have extended an existing model from Barten (1999), taking into account the dependencies of this model’s optical and physiological parameters on age. Age-dependent models of the cones and ganglion cells densities, the optical and neural MTF, and optical and neural noise are proposed, based on published data. The proposed age-dependent CSF is finally tested against available experimental data, with fair results. Such an age-dependent model may be beneficial when designing real-time age-dependent image coding and display applications. Karine Joulan, Roland Brémond, and Nicolas Hautière Copyright © 2015 Karine Joulan et al. All rights reserved. Perioperative Outcomes in Orthopedic Surgery Wed, 20 May 2015 06:32:36 +0000 Stavros G. Memtsoudis, Vassilios I. Vougioukas, Ottokar Stundner, and Lazaros A. Poultsides Copyright © 2015 Stavros G. Memtsoudis et al. All rights reserved. Adsorption of Selected Pharmaceutical Compounds onto Activated Carbon in Dilute Aqueous Solutions Exemplified by Acetaminophen, Diclofenac, and Sulfamethoxazole Tue, 19 May 2015 09:32:20 +0000 The adsorption of three pharmaceuticals, namely, acetaminophen, diclofenac, and sulfamethoxazole onto granular activated carbon (GAC), was investigated. To study competitive adsorption, both dynamic and steady-state adsorption experiments were conducted by careful selection of pharmaceuticals with various affinities and molecular size. The effective diffusion coefficient of the adsorbate was increased with decease in particle size of GAC. The adsorption affinity represented as Langmuir was consistent with the ranking of the octanol-water partition coefficient, . The adsorption behavior in binary or tertiary systems could be described by competition adsorption. In the binary system adsorption replacement occurred, under which the adsorbate with the smaller was replaced by the one with larger . Results also indicated that portion of the micropores could be occupied only by the small target compound, but not the larger adsorbates. In multiple-component systems the competition adsorption might significantly be affected by the macropores and less by the meso- or micropores. E.-E. Chang, Jan-Chi Wan, Hyunook Kim, Chung-Huei Liang, Yung-Dun Dai, and Pen-Chi Chiang Copyright © 2015 E.-E. Chang et al. All rights reserved. Oxidative Transformation of Controlled Substances by Manganese Dioxide Tue, 19 May 2015 09:21:36 +0000 This study investigated the oxidative transformation of four controlled substances (ketamine, methamphetamine, morphine, and codeine) by synthesized MnO2 (δ-MnO2) in aqueous environments. The results indicated that ketamine and methamphetamine were negligibly oxidized by MnO2 and, thus, may be persistent in the aqueous environment. However, morphine and codeine were able to be oxidized by MnO2, which indicated that they are likely naturally attenuated in aqueous environments. Overall, lower solution pH values, lower initial compound concentrations, and higher MnO2 loading resulted in a faster reaction rate. The oxidation of morphine was inhibited in the presence of metal ions (Mn2+, Fe3+, Ca2+, and Mg2+) and fulvic acid. However, the addition of Fe3+ and fulvic acid enhanced codeine oxidation. A second-order kinetics model described the oxidation of morphine and codeine by MnO2; it suggested that the formation of a surface precursor complex between the target compound and the MnO2 surface was the rate-limiting step. Although the target compounds were degraded, the slow TOC removal indicated that several byproducts were formed and persist against further MnO2 oxidation. Webber Wei-Po Lai, Angela Yu-Chen Lin, Sheng-Yao Yang, and Ching-Hua Huang Copyright © 2015 Webber Wei-Po Lai et al. All rights reserved. BIM-Based E-Procurement: An Innovative Approach to Construction E-Procurement Mon, 18 May 2015 13:31:11 +0000 This paper presents an innovative approach to e-procurement in construction, which uses building information models (BIM) to support the construction procurement process. The result is an integrated and electronic instrument connected to a rich knowledge base capable of advanced operations and able to strengthen transaction relationships and collaboration throughout the supply chain. The BIM-based e-procurement prototype has been developed using distinct existing electronic solutions and an IFC server and was tested in a pilot case study, which supported further discussions of the results of the research. António Aguiar Costa and António Grilo Copyright © 2015 António Aguiar Costa and António Grilo. All rights reserved. Histologic and Metabolic Derangement in High-Fat, High-Fructose, and Combination Diet Animal Models Mon, 18 May 2015 12:05:12 +0000 Background. We used high-fat (HF), high-fructose (HFr), and combination diets to create a dietary animal model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Comparison of both clinical phenotypes has not been well defined. The purpose of this study was to compare histologic and metabolic characteristics between diets in an animal model of NAFLD. Methods. NAFLD was induced in rats by feeding them HF, HFr, and combination (HF + HFr) diets for 20 weeks. The degree of intrahepatic fat accumulation, inflammation, and oxidative stress was evaluated. Metabolic derangements were assessed by the oral glucose tolerance test and the intrahepatic insulin signal pathway. Results. Body weight gain and intrahepatic fat accumulation were more prominent in the HF feeding group than in the HFr group. The expressions of NOX-4 and TLR-4 were higher in the HF and HFr combination groups than in the HF-only group. Other intrahepatic inflammatory markers, MCP-1, TNF-α, and endoplasmic reticulum stress markers, were the highest in the HF + HFr combination group. Although intrahepatic fat deposition was less prominent in the HFr diet model, intrahepatic inflammation was noted. Conclusions. Intrahepatic inflammation and metabolic derangements were more prominent in the HF and HFr combination model than in the HF monodiet model. Jai Sun Lee, Dae Won Jun, Eun Kyung Kim, Hye Joon Jeon, Ho Hyun Nam, and Waqar Khalid Saeed Copyright © 2015 Jai Sun Lee et al. All rights reserved. Assigning Robust Default Values in Building Performance Simulation Software for Improved Decision-Making in the Initial Stages of Building Design Mon, 18 May 2015 11:19:47 +0000 Applying data mining techniques on a database of BIM models could provide valuable insights in key design patterns implicitly present in these BIM models. The architectural designer would then be able to use previous data from existing building projects as default values in building performance simulation software for the early phases of building design. The author has proposed the method to minimize the magnitude of the variation in these default values in subsequent design stages. This approach maintains the accuracy of the simulation results in the initial stages of building design. In this study, a more convincing argument is presented to demonstrate the significance of the new method. The variation in the ideal default values for different building design conditions is assessed first. Next, the influence of each condition on these variations is investigated. The space depth is found to have a large impact on the ideal default value of the window to wall ratio. In addition, the presence or absence of lighting control and natural ventilation has a significant influence on the ideal default value. These effects can be used to identify the types of building conditions that should be considered to determine the ideal default values. Kyosuke Hiyama Copyright © 2015 Kyosuke Hiyama. All rights reserved. Accidental Durotomy in Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Frequency, Risk Factors, and Management Sun, 17 May 2015 14:23:30 +0000 Purpose. To assess the frequency, risk factors, and management of accidental durotomy in minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS TLIF). Methods. This single-center study retrospectively investigates 372 patients who underwent MIS TLIF and were mobilized within 24 hours after surgery. The frequency of accidental durotomies, intraoperative closure technique, body mass index, and history of previous surgery was recorded. Results. We identified 32 accidental durotomies in 514 MIS TLIF levels (6.2%). Analysis showed a statistically significant relation of accidental durotomies to overweight patients (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2; ). Patient age older than 65 years tended to be a positive predictor for accidental durotomies (). Mobilizing patients on the first postoperative day, we observed no durotomy-associated complications. Conclusions. The frequency of accidental durotomies in MIS TLIF is low, with overweight being a risk factor for accidental durotomies. The minimally invasive approach seems to minimize durotomy-associated complications (CSF leakage, pseudomeningocele) because of the limited dead space in the soft tissue. Patients with accidental durotomy can usually be mobilized within 24 hours after MIS TLIF without increased risk. The minimally invasive TLIF technique might thus be beneficial in the prevention of postoperative immobilization-associated complications such as venous thromboembolism. This trial is registered with DRKS00006135. Jan-Helge Klingler, Florian Volz, Marie T. Krüger, Evangelos Kogias, Roland Rölz, Christoph Scholz, Ronen Sircar, and Ulrich Hubbe Copyright © 2015 Jan-Helge Klingler et al. All rights reserved. Ring Counter Based ATPG for Low Transition Test Pattern Generation Thu, 14 May 2015 14:57:26 +0000 In test mode test patterns are applied in random fashion to the circuit under circuit. This increases switching transition between the consecutive test patterns and thereby increases dynamic power dissipation. The proposed ring counter based ATPG reduces vertical switching transitions by inserting test vectors only between the less correlative test patterns. This paper presents the RC-ATPG with an external circuit. The external circuit consists of XOR gates, full adders, and multiplexers. First the total number of transitions between the consecutive test patterns is determined. If it is more, then the external circuit generates and inserts test vectors in between the two test patterns. Test vector insertion increases the correlation between the test patterns and reduces dynamic power dissipation. The results prove that the test patterns generated by the proposed ATPG have fewer transitions than the conventional ATPG. Experimental results based on ISCAS’85 and ISCAS’89 benchmark circuits show 38.5% reduction in the average power and 50% reduction in the peak power attained during testing with a small size decoding logic. V. M. Thoulath Begam and S. Baulkani Copyright © 2015 V. M. Thoulath Begam and S. Baulkani. All rights reserved. Wing Morphometry and Acoustic Signals in Sterile and Wild Males: Implications for Mating Success in Ceratitis capitata Thu, 14 May 2015 13:49:03 +0000 The sterile insect technique (SIT) is widely utilized in the biological control of fruit flies of the family Tephritidae, particularly against the Mediterranean fruit fly. This study investigated the interaction between mating success and morphometric variation in the wings and the production of acoustic signals among three male groups of Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann): (1) wild males, (2) irradiated with Co-60 (steriles), and (3) irradiated (steriles) and treated with ginger oil. The canonical variate analysis discriminated two groups (males irradiated and males wild), based on the morphological shape of the wings. Among males that emit buzz signals, wild males obtained copulation more frequently than males in Groups 2 and 3. The individuals of Group 3 achieved more matings than those in Group 2. Wild males displayed lower pulse duration, higher intervals between pulses, and higher dominant frequency. Regarding the reproductive success, the morphological differences in the wings’ shape between accepted and nonaccepted males are higher in wild males than in the irradiated ones. The present results can be useful in programs using the sterile insect technique for biological control of C. capitata. João Maria Gomes Alencar de Souza, Paulo Augusto de Lima-Filho, Wagner Franco Molina, Lúcia Maria de Almeida, Milson Bezerra de Gouveia, Francisco Pepino de Macêdo, Raul Alberto Laumann, and Beatriz Aguiar Jordão Paranhos Copyright © 2015 João Maria Gomes Alencar de Souza et al. All rights reserved. Minimally Invasive Technique for PMMA Augmentation of Fenestrated Screws Thu, 14 May 2015 08:46:22 +0000 Purpose. To describe the minimally invasive technique for cement augmentation of cannulated and fenestrated screws using an injection cannula as well as to report its safety and efficacy. Methods. A total of 157 cannulated and fenestrated pedicle screws had been cement-augmented during minimally invasive posterior screw-rod spondylodesis in 35 patients from January to December 2012. Retrospective evaluation of cement extravasation and screw loosening was carried out in postoperative plain radiographs and thin-sliced triplanar computed tomography scans. Results. Twenty-seven, largely prevertebral cement extravasations were detected in 157 screws (17.2%). None of the cement extravasations was causing a clinical sequela like a new neurological deficit. One screw loosening was noted (0.6%) after a mean follow-up of 12.8 months. We observed no cementation-associated complication like pulmonary embolism or hemodynamic insufficiency. Conclusions. The presented minimally invasive cement augmentation technique using an injection cannula facilitates convenient and safe cement delivery through polyaxial cannulated and fenestrated screws during minimally invasive screw-rod spondylodesis. Nevertheless, the optimal injection technique and design of fenestrated screws have yet to be identified. This trial is registered with German Clinical Trials DRKS00006726. Jan-Helge Klingler, Christoph Scholz, Evangelos Kogias, Ronen Sircar, Marie T. Krüger, Florian Volz, Christian Scheiwe, and Ulrich Hubbe Copyright © 2015 Jan-Helge Klingler et al. All rights reserved. Efficient Scheduling of Scientific Workflows with Energy Reduction Using Novel Discrete Particle Swarm Optimization and Dynamic Voltage Scaling for Computational Grids Thu, 14 May 2015 07:20:48 +0000 One of the most significant and the topmost parameters in the real world computing environment is energy. Minimizing energy imposes benefits like reduction in power consumption, decrease in cooling rates of the computing processors, provision of a green environment, and so forth. In fact, computation time and energy are directly proportional to each other and the minimization of computation time may yield a cost effective energy consumption. Proficient scheduling of Bag-of-Tasks in the grid environment ravages in minimum computation time. In this paper, a novel discrete particle swarm optimization (DPSO) algorithm based on the particle’s best position (pbDPSO) and global best position (gbDPSO) is adopted to find the global optimal solution for higher dimensions. This novel DPSO yields better schedule with minimum computation time compared to Earliest Deadline First (EDF) and First Come First Serve (FCFS) algorithms which comparably reduces energy. Other scheduling parameters, such as job completion ratio and lateness, are also calculated and compared with EDF and FCFS. An energy improvement of up to 28% was obtained when Makespan Conservative Energy Reduction (MCER) and Dynamic Voltage Scaling (DVS) were used in the proposed DPSO algorithm. M. Christobel, S. Tamil Selvi, and Shajulin Benedict Copyright © 2015 M. Christobel et al. All rights reserved. Patient, Surgery, and Hospital Related Risk Factors for Surgical Site Infections following Total Hip Arthroplasty Thu, 14 May 2015 07:18:39 +0000 Surgical site infections (SSI) following total hip arthroplasty (THA) have a significantly adverse impact on patient outcomes and pose a great challenge to the treating surgeon. Therefore, timely recognition of those patients at risk for this complication is very important, as it allows for adopting measures to reduce this risk. This review discusses literature reported risk factors for SSI after THA. These can be classified into patient-related factors (age, gender, obesity, comorbidities, history of infection, primary diagnosis, and socioeconomic profile), surgery-related factors (allogeneic blood transfusion, DVT prophylaxis and coagulopathy, duration of surgery, antibiotic prophylaxis, bearing surface and fixation, bilateral procedures, NNIS index score, and anesthesia type), and hospital-related factors (duration of hospitalization, institution and surgeon volume, and admission from a healthcare facility). All these factors are discussed with respect to potential measures that can be taken to reduce their effect and consequently the overall risk for infection. Georgios Triantafyllopoulos, Ottokar Stundner, Stavros Memtsoudis, and Lazaros A. Poultsides Copyright © 2015 Georgios Triantafyllopoulos et al. All rights reserved. Chemical Diversity in Lippia alba (Mill.) N. E. Brown Germplasm Thu, 14 May 2015 06:36:31 +0000 The aim of this study was to perform chemical characterization of Lippia alba accessions from the Active Germplasm Bank of the Federal University of Sergipe. A randomized block experimental design with two replications was applied. The analysis of the chemical composition of the essential oils was conducted using a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer. The chemical composition of the essential oils allowed the accessions to be allocated to the following six groups: group 1: linalool, 1,8-cineole, and caryophyllene oxide; group 2: linalool, geranial, neral, 1,8-cineol, and caryophyllene oxide; group 3: limonene, carvone, and sabinene; group 4: carvone, limonene, g-muurolene, and myrcene; group 5: neral, geranial, and caryophyllene oxide; and group 6: geranial, neral, o-cymene, limonene, and caryophyllene oxide. Arie Fitzgerald Blank, Lídia Cristina Alves Camêlo, Maria de Fátima Arrigoni-Blank, José Baldin Pinheiro, Thiago Matos Andrade, Edenilson dos Santos Niculau, and Péricles Barreto Alves Copyright © 2015 Arie Fitzgerald Blank et al. All rights reserved. A Literature Review on the Progression of Agile Manufacturing Paradigm and Its Scope of Application in Pump Industry Tue, 12 May 2015 13:32:55 +0000 During the recent years, the manufacturing world has been witnessing the application of agile manufacturing paradigm. The literature review reported in this paper was carried out to study this progression. This literature review was carried out in two phases. In the first phase, the literature was reviewed to trace the origin of agile manufacturing paradigm and identify its enablers. Further, during this phase, the applications of agile manufacturing reported in literature arena were reviewed. It was also discernable that certain research works have been initiated to apply agile manufacturing paradigm in pump industry. During the second phase, the researches reported on applying agile manufacturing in pump industry were reviewed. At the end of this review, it was found that so far the implementation of agile manufacturing in pump industry has been examined by the researchers by considering only certain components of pumps. In fact, the holistic implementation of agile manufacturing in the pump industry is yet to be examined by the researchers. In the context of drawing this inference, this paper has been concluded by stating that high scope exists in examining the infusing of agility characteristics in designing and manufacturing of pumps. V. M. M. Thilak, S. R. Devadasan, and N. M. Sivaram Copyright © 2015 V. M. M. Thilak et al. All rights reserved. Response of Sugarcane in a Red Ultisol to Phosphorus Rates, Phosphorus Sources, and Filter Cake Mon, 11 May 2015 09:29:24 +0000 We evaluated the effect of phosphorus application rates from various sources and in the presence or absence of filter cake on soil phosphorus, plant phosphorus, changes in acid phosphatase activity, and sugarcane productivity grown in Eutrophic Red Ultisol. Three P sources were used (triple superphosphate, Araxa rock phosphate, and Bayovar rock phosphate) and four application rates (0, 90, 180, and 360 kg ha−1 of P2O5) in the presence or absence of filter cake (7.5 t ha−1, dry basis). The soil P, the accumulated plant P, the leaf acid phosphatase activity and straw, the stalk productivity, the concentration of soluble solids in the juice (Brix), the juice sucrose content (Pol), and the purity were the parameters evaluated. We found that P applications increased levels of soil, leaf, and juice phosphorus and led to higher phosphorus accumulation and greater stalk and straw productivity. These levels were highest in the presence of filter cake. Acid phosphatase activity decreased with increasing plant phosphorus concentration. Phosphate fertilization did not show effect on sugarcane technological quality. We concluded that P application, regardless of source, improved phosphorus nutrition and increased productivity in sugarcane and, when associated with filter cake, reduced the need for mineral fertilizer. Gustavo Caione, Renato de Mello Prado, Cid Naudi Silva Campos, Leandro Rosatto Moda, Ricardo de Lima Vasconcelos, and João Martins Pizauro Júnior Copyright © 2015 Gustavo Caione et al. All rights reserved. The Conventional Non-Articulated SACH or a Multiaxial Prosthetic Foot for Hypomobile Transtibial Amputees? A Clinical Comparison on Mobility, Balance, and Quality of Life Mon, 11 May 2015 08:09:07 +0000 The effects of a non-articulated SACH and a multiaxial foot-ankle mechanism on the performance of low-activity users are of great interest for practitioners in amputee rehabilitation. The aim of this study is to compare these two prosthetic feet and assess possible improvements introduced by the increased degrees of freedom provided by the multiaxial foot. For this purpose, a group of 20 hypomobile transtibial amputees (TTAs) had their usual SACH replaced with a multiaxial foot. Participants’ functional mobility, involving ambulatory skills in overground level walking, ramps, and stairs, was evaluated by performing Six-Minute Walking Test (6MWT), Locomotor Capability Index-5 (LCI-5), Hill Assessment Index (HAI), and Stair Assessment Index (SAI). Balance performances were assessed using Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and analysing upper body accelerations during gait. Moreover, the Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire (PEQ) was performed to indicate the prosthesis-related quality of life. Results showed that participants walked faster using the multiaxial foot maintaining the same upright gait stability. Significant improvements with the multiaxial foot were also observed in BBS, LCI-5, and SAI times and 4 of 9 subscales of the PEQ. Our findings demonstrate that a multiaxial foot represents a considerable alternative solution with respect to the conventional SACH in the prosthetic prescription for hypomobile TTAs. Francesco Paradisi, Anna Sofia Delussu, Stefano Brunelli, Marco Iosa, Roberto Pellegrini, Daniele Zenardi, and Marco Traballesi Copyright © 2015 Francesco Paradisi et al. All rights reserved. Emergency Situation Prediction Mechanism: A Novel Approach for Intelligent Transportation System Using Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks Sun, 10 May 2015 11:16:24 +0000 In Indian four-lane express highway, millions of vehicles are travelling every day. Accidents are unfortunate and frequently occurring in these highways causing deaths, increase in death toll, and damage to infrastructure. A mechanism is required to avoid such road accidents at the maximum to reduce the death toll. An Emergency Situation Prediction Mechanism, a novel and proactive approach, is proposed in this paper for achieving the best of Intelligent Transportation System using Vehicular Ad Hoc Network. ESPM intends to predict the possibility of occurrence of an accident in an Indian four-lane express highway. In ESPM, the emergency situation prediction is done by the Road Side Unit based on (i) the Status Report sent by the vehicles in the range of RSU and (ii) the road traffic flow analysis done by the RSU. Once the emergency situation or accident is predicted in advance, an Emergency Warning Message is constructed and disseminated to all vehicles in the area of RSU to alert and prevent the vehicles from accidents. ESPM performs well in emergency situation prediction in advance to the occurrence of an accident. ESPM predicts the emergency situation within 0.20 seconds which is comparatively less than the statistical value. The prediction accuracy of ESPM against vehicle density is found better in different traffic scenarios. P. Ganeshkumar and P. Gokulakrishnan Copyright © 2015 P. Ganeshkumar and P. Gokulakrishnan. All rights reserved. Online Pedagogical Tutorial Tactics Optimization Using Genetic-Based Reinforcement Learning Thu, 07 May 2015 11:48:51 +0000 Tutorial tactics are policies for an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) to decide the next action when there are multiple actions available. Recent research has demonstrated that when the learning contents were controlled so as to be the same, different tutorial tactics would make difference in students’ learning gains. However, the Reinforcement Learning (RL) techniques that were used in previous studies to induce tutorial tactics are insufficient when encountering large problems and hence were used in offline manners. Therefore, we introduced a Genetic-Based Reinforcement Learning (GBML) approach to induce tutorial tactics in an online-learning manner without basing on any preexisting dataset. The introduced method can learn a set of rules from the environment in a manner similar to RL. It includes a genetic-based optimizer for rule discovery task by generating new rules from the old ones. This increases the scalability of a RL learner for larger problems. The results support our hypothesis about the capability of the GBML method to induce tutorial tactics. This suggests that the GBML method should be favorable in developing real-world ITS applications in the domain of tutorial tactics induction. Hsuan-Ta Lin, Po-Ming Lee, and Tzu-Chien Hsiao Copyright © 2015 Hsuan-Ta Lin et al. All rights reserved.