International Science Index

2624
10011473
Inflammatory Markers in the Blood and Chronic Periodontitis
Abstract:

Background: Plasma levels of inflammatory markers are the expression of the infectious wastes of existing periodontitis, as well as of existing inflammation everywhere in the body. Materials and Methods: The study consists of the clinical part of the measurement of inflammatory markers of 23 patients diagnosed with chronic periodontitis and the recording of parental periodontal parameters of patient periodontal status: hemorrhage index and probe values, before and 7-10 days after non-surgical periodontal treatment. Results: The level of fibrinogen drops according to the categorization of disease progression, active and passive, with the biggest % (18%-30%) at the fluctuation 10-20 mg/d. Fluctuations in fibrinogen level according to the age of patients in the range 0-10 mg/dL under 40 years and over 40 years was 13%-26%, in the range 10-20 mg/dL was 26%-22%, in the 20-40 mg/dL was 9%-4%. Conclusions: Non-surgical periodontal treatment significantly reduces the level of non-inflammatory markers in the blood. Oral health significantly reduces the potential source for periodontal bacteria, with the potential of promoting thromboembolism, through interaction between thrombocytes.

Paper Detail
46
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2623
10011485
Biomechanical Prediction of Veins and Soft Tissues beneath Compression Stockings Using Fluid-Solid Interaction Model
Abstract:
Elastic compression stockings (ECSs) have been widely applied in prophylaxis and treatment of chronic venous insufficiency of lower extremities. The medical function of ECS is to improve venous return and increase muscular pumping action to facilitate blood circulation, which is largely determined by the complex interaction between the ECS and lower limb tissues. Understanding the mechanical transmission of ECS along the skin surface, deeper tissues, and vascular system is essential to assess the effectiveness of the ECSs. In this study, a three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) model of the leg-ECS system integrated with a 3D fluid-solid interaction (FSI) model of the leg-vein system was constructed to analyze the biomechanical properties of veins and soft tissues under different ECS compression. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the human leg was divided into three regions, including soft tissues, bones (tibia and fibula) and veins (peroneal vein, great saphenous vein, and small saphenous vein). The ECSs with pressure ranges from 15 to 26 mmHg (Classes I and II) were adopted in the developed FE-FSI model. The soft tissue was assumed as a Neo-Hookean hyperelastic model with the fixed bones, and the ECSs were regarded as an orthotropic elastic shell. The interfacial pressure and stress transmission were simulated by the FE model, and venous hemodynamics properties were simulated by the FSI model. The experimental validation indicated that the simulated interfacial pressure distributions were in accordance with the pressure measurement results. The developed model can be used to predict interfacial pressure, stress transmission, and venous hemodynamics exerted by ECSs and optimize the structure and materials properties of ECSs design, thus improving the efficiency of compression therapy.
Paper Detail
39
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2622
10011489
Optimization of the Dental Direct Digital Imaging by Applying the Self-Recognition Technology
Abstract:

This paper is intended to introduce the technology to solve some of the deficiencies of the direct digital radiology. Nowadays, digital radiology is the latest progression in dental imaging, which has become an essential part of dentistry. There are two main parts of the direct digital radiology comprised of an intraoral X-ray machine and a sensor (digital image receptor). The dentists and the dental nurses experience afflictions during the taking image process by the direct digital X-ray machine. For instance, sometimes they need to readjust the sensor in the mouth of the patient to take the X-ray image again due to the low quality of that. Another problem is, the position of the sensor may move in the mouth of the patient and it triggers off an inappropriate image for the dentists. It means that it is a time-consuming process for dentists or dental nurses. On the other hand, taking several the X-ray images brings some problems for the patient such as being harmful to their health and feeling pain in their mouth due to the pressure of the sensor to the jaw. The author provides a technology to solve the above-mentioned issues that is called “Self-Recognition Direct Digital Radiology” (SDDR). This technology is based on the principle that the intraoral X-ray machine is capable to diagnose the location of the sensor in the mouth of the patient automatically. In addition, to solve the aforementioned problems, SDDR technology brings out fewer environmental impacts in comparison to the previous version.

Paper Detail
20
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2621
10011500
Prevalence, Associated Factors, and Help-Seeking Behavior of Psychological Distress among International Students at the National University of Malaysia
Abstract:

Depression, anxiety, and stress are associated with decreased role functioning, productivity, and quality of life. International students are more prone to psychological distress as they face many stressors while studying abroad. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence and associated factors of depression, anxiety, and stress among international students, their help-seeking behavior, and their awareness of the available on-campus mental support services. A cross-sectional study with a purposive sampling method was performed on 280 international students at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) between the age of 18 and 35 years. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) questionnaire was used anonymously to assess the mental health of students. Socio-demographic, help-seeking behavior, and awareness data were obtained. Independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA test, and multiple linear regression were used to explore associated factors. The overall prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among international students were 58.9%, 71.8%, and 53.9%, respectively. Age was significantly associated with depression and anxiety. Ethnicity showed a significant association with depression and stress. No other factors were found to be significantly associated with psychological distress. Only 9.6% of the international students had sought help from on-campus mental support services. Students who were aware of the presence of such services were only 21.4% of the participants. In conclusion, this study addressed the gap in the literature on the mental health of international students and provided data that could be used in intervention programs to improve the mental health of the increasing number of international students in Malaysia.

Paper Detail
30
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2620
10011508
A Data-Driven Approach for Studying the Washout Effects of Rain on Air Pollution
Abstract:

Air pollution is a serious environmental threat on a global scale and can cause harm to human health, morbidity and premature mortality. Reliable monitoring and control systems are therefore necessary to develop coping skills against the hazards associated with this phenomenon. However, existing environmental monitoring means often do not provide a sufficient response due to practical and technical limitations. Commercial microwave links that form the infrastructure for transmitting data between cell phone towers can be harnessed to map rain at high tempo-spatial resolution. Rainfall causes a decrease in the signal strength received by these wireless communication links allowing it to be used as a built-in sensor network to map the phenomenon. In this study, we point to the potential that lies in this system to indirectly monitor areas where air pollution is reduced. The relationship between pollutant wash-off and rainfall provides an opportunity to acquire important spatial information about air quality using existing cell-phone tower signals. Since the density of microwave communication networks is high relative to any dedicated sensor arrays, it could be possible to rely on this available observation tool for studying precipitation scavenging on air pollutants, for model needs and more.

Paper Detail
46
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2619
10011509
Analysis of Cross-Sectional and Retrograde Data on the Prevalence of Marginal Gingivitis
Abstract:

Introduction: Marginal gingivitis is a disease with considerable frequency among patients who present routinely for periodontal control and treatment. In fact, this disease may not have alarming symptoms in patients and may go unnoticed by themselves when personal hygiene conditions are optimal. The aim of this study was to collect retrograde data on the prevalence of marginal gingiva in the respective group of patients, evaluated according to specific periodontal diagnostic tools. Materials and methods: The study was conducted in two patient groups. The first group was with 34 patients, during December 2019-January 2020, and the second group was with 64 patients during 2010-2018 (each year in the mentioned monthly period). Bacterial plaque index, hemorrhage index, amount of gingival fluid, presence of xerostomia and candidiasis were recorded in patients. Results: Analysis of the collected data showed that susceptibility to marginal gingivitis shows higher values according to retrograde data, compared to cross-sectional ones. Susceptibility to candidiasis and the occurrence of xerostomia, even in the combination of both pathologies, as risk factors for the occurrence of marginal gingivitis, show higher values ​​according to retrograde data. The female are presented with a reduced bacterial plaque index than the males, but more importantly, this index in the females is also associated with a reduced index of gingival hemorrhage, in contrast to the males. Conclusions: Cross-sectional data show that the prevalence of marginal gingivitis is more reduced, compared to retrograde data, based on the hemorrhage index and the bacterial plaque index together. Changes in production in the amount of gingival fluid show a higher prevalence of marginal gingivitis in cross-sectional data than in retrograde data; this is based on the sophistication of the way data are recorded, which evolves over time and also based on professional sensitivity to this phenomenon.

Paper Detail
12
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2618
10011513
Ozone Therapy and Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Interplay in Controlling Tumor Growth, Symptom and Pain Management: A Case Report
Abstract:

Background: The immune system has evolved several mechanisms to protect the host against cancer, and it has now been suggested that the expansion of its functions may prevent tumor growth and control the symptoms of cancer patients. Two techniques, ozone therapy and pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF), are independently associated with an increase in the immune system functions and they maybe help palliative care of patients in these conditions. Case Report: A patient with rectal adenocarcinoma with metastases decides to interrupt the clinical chemotherapy protocol due to refractoriness and side effects. As a palliative care alternative treatment it is suggested to the patient the use of ozone therapy associated with PEMF techniques. Results: The patient reports an improvement in well-being, in autonomy and in pain control. Imaging tests confirm a pause in tumor growth despite more than 60 days without using classic treatment. These results associated with palliative care alternative treatment stimulate the return to the chemotherapy protocol. Discussion: This case illustrates that these two techniques can contribute to the control of tumor growth and refractory symptoms, such as pain, probably by enhancing the immune system. Conclusions: The potential use of the combination of these two therapies, ozone therapy and PEMF therapy, can contribute to palliation of cancer patients, alone or in combination with pharmacological therapies. The conduct of future investigations on this paradigm can elucidate how much these techniques contribute to the survival and well-being of these patients.

Paper Detail
16
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2617
10011517
Calibration of Syringe Pumps Using Interferometry and Optical Methods
Abstract:

Syringe pumps are commonly used for drug delivery in hospitals and clinical environments. These instruments are critical in neonatology and oncology, where any variation in the flow rate and drug dosing quantity can lead to severe incidents and even death of the patient. Therefore it is very important to determine the accuracy and precision of these devices using the suitable calibration methods. The Volume Laboratory of the Portuguese Institute for Quality (LVC/IPQ) uses two different methods to calibrate syringe pumps from 16 nL/min up to 20 mL/min. The Interferometric method uses an interferometer to monitor the distance travelled by a pusher block of the syringe pump in order to determine the flow rate. Therefore, knowing the internal diameter of the syringe with very high precision, the travelled distance, and the time needed for that travelled distance, it was possible to calculate the flow rate of the fluid inside the syringe and its uncertainty. As an alternative to the gravimetric and the interferometric method, a methodology based on the application of optical technology was also developed to measure flow rates. Mainly this method relies on measuring the increase of volume of a drop over time. The objective of this work is to compare the results of the calibration of two syringe pumps using the different methodologies described above. The obtained results were consistent for the three methods used. The uncertainties values were very similar for all the three methods, being higher for the optical drop method due to setup limitations.

Paper Detail
12
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2616
10011525
Physiological Effects on Scientist Astronaut Candidates: Hypobaric Training Assessment
Abstract:

This paper is addressed to expanding our understanding of the effects of hypoxia training on our bodies to better model its dynamics and leverage some of its implications and effects on human health. Hypoxia training is a recommended practice for military and civilian pilots that allow them to recognize their early hypoxia signs and symptoms, and Scientist Astronaut Candidates (SACs) who underwent hypobaric hypoxia (HH) exposure as part of a training activity for prospective suborbital flight applications. This observational-analytical study describes physiologic responses and symptoms experienced by a SAC group before, during and after HH exposure and proposes a model for assessing predicted versus observed physiological responses. A group of individuals with diverse Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) backgrounds conducted a hypobaric training session to an altitude up to 22,000 ft (FL220) or 6,705 meters, where heart rate (HR), breathing rate (BR) and core temperature (Tc) were monitored with the use of a chest strap sensor pre and post HH exposure. A pulse oximeter registered levels of saturation of oxygen (SpO2), number and duration of desaturations during the HH chamber flight. Hypoxia symptoms as described by the SACs during the HH training session were also registered. This data allowed to generate a preliminary predictive model of the oxygen desaturation and O2 pressure curve for each subject, which consists of a sixth-order polynomial fit during exposure, and a fifth or fourth-order polynomial fit during recovery. Data analysis showed that HR and BR showed no significant differences between pre and post HH exposure in most of the SACs, while Tc measures showed slight but consistent decrement changes. All subjects registered SpO2 greater than 94% for the majority of their individual HH exposures, but all of them presented at least one clinically significant desaturation (SpO2 < 85% for more than 5 seconds) and half of the individuals showed SpO2 below 87% for at least 30% of their HH exposure time. Finally, real time collection of HH symptoms presented temperature somatosensory perceptions (SP) for 65% of individuals, and task-focus issues for 52.5% of individuals as the most common HH indications. 95% of the subjects experienced HH onset symptoms below FL180; all participants achieved full recovery of HH symptoms within 1 minute of donning their O2 mask. The current HH study performed on this group of individuals suggests a rapid and fully reversible physiologic response after HH exposure as expected and obtained in previous studies. Our data showed consistent results between predicted versus observed SpO2 curves during HH suggesting a mathematical function that may be used to model HH performance deficiencies. During the HH study, real-time HH symptoms were registered providing evidenced SP and task focusing as the earliest and most common indicators. Finally, an assessment of HH signs of symptoms in a group of heterogeneous, non-pilot individuals showed similar results to previous studies in homogeneous populations of pilots.

Paper Detail
7
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2615
10011527
Advanced Palliative Aquatics Care Multi-Device AuBento for Symptom and Pain Management by Sensorial Integration and Electromagnetic Fields: A Preliminary Design Study
Abstract:
Background: Although palliative care policies and services have been developed, research in this area continues to lag. An integrated model of palliative care is suggested, which includes complementary and alternative services aimed at improving the well-being of patients and their families. The palliative aquatics care multi-device (AuBento) uses several electromagnetic techniques to decrease pain and promote well-being through relaxation and interaction among patients, specialists, and family members. Aim: The scope of this paper is to present a preliminary design study of a device capable of exploring the various existing theories on the biomedical application of magnetic fields. This will be achieved by standardizing clinical data collection with sensory integration, and adding new therapeutic options to develop an advanced palliative aquatics care, innovating in symptom and pain management. Methods: The research methodology was based on the Work Package Methodology for the development of projects, separating the activities into seven different Work Packages. The theoretical basis was carried out through an integrative literature review according to the specific objectives of each Work Package and provided a broad analysis, which, together with the multiplicity of proposals and the interdisciplinarity of the research team involved, generated consistent and understandable complex concepts in the biomedical application of magnetic fields for palliative care. Results: Aubento ambience was idealized with restricted electromagnetic exposure (avoiding data collection bias) and sensory integration (allowing relaxation associated with hydrotherapy, music therapy, and chromotherapy or like floating tank). This device has a multipurpose configuration enabling classic or exploratory options on the use of the biomedical application of magnetic fields at the researcher's discretion. Conclusions: Several patients in diverse therapeutic contexts may benefit from the use of magnetic fields or fluids, thus validating the stimuli to clinical research in this area. A device in controlled and multipurpose environments may contribute to standardizing research and exploring new theories. Future research may demonstrate the possible benefits of the aquatics care multi-device AuBento to improve the well-being and symptom control in palliative care patients and their families.
Paper Detail
7
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2614
10011531
Matching Coping Strategies to Athletic Retirement Stressors among Japanese Female Athletes
Abstract:

Retirement from sport can be stressful to athletes for many reasons. Accordingly, it is necessary to match coping strategies depending on the stressors. One of the athlete career assistance programs for Japanese top athletes in Japan, the Japan Olympic Committee Career Academy (JCA), has focused on the service contents regarding occupational supports which can be said to cope with financial and occupational stress; however, other supports such as psychological support were unclear due to the lack of psychological professionals in the JCA. Tailoring the program, it is important to match the needs of the athletes at athletic retirement with the service contents. Japanese Olympic athletes have been found to retire for different reasons. Especially female athletes who competed in the Summer Olympic Games were found to retire with psychological reasons. The purpose of this research was to investigate the types of stressors Japanese female athletes experience as a result of athletic retirement. As part of the study, 44 female retired athletes from 13 competitive sports completed an open-ended questionnaire. The KJ method was used to analyze stress experienced as a result of retirement. As a result, nine conceptualized stressors were aggregated such as “Conflict with athletic identity”, “Desire to live as an athlete”, and “Career plan after retirement”. In order to match the coping strategies according to the stressors, each stressor was classified with the four types of adjustments; psychological, social, financial, and occupational changes. As a result, the stressor relating to psychological adjustment accounted for 69.0% of coping-related needs, the financial and occupational adjustment was 21.8%, and social adjustment was 9.2%. In conclusion, coping strategies according to the stressors are suggested.

2613
10011404
Multidisciplinary Approach to Diagnosis of Primary Progressive Aphasia in a Younger Middle Aged Patient
Authors:
Abstract:

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative disease similar to frontotemporal and semantic dementia, while having a different clinical image and anatomic pathology topography. Nonetheless, they are often included under an umbrella term: frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). In the study, examples of diagnosing PPA are presented through the multidisciplinary lens of specialists from different fields (neurologists, psychiatrists, clinical speech therapists, clinical neuropsychologists and others) using a variety of diagnostic tools such as MR, PET/CT, genetic screening and neuropsychological and logopedic methods. Thanks to that, specialists can get a better and clearer understanding of PPA diagnosis. The study summarizes the concrete procedures and results of different specialists while diagnosing PPA in a patient of younger middle age and illustrates the importance of multidisciplinary approach to differential diagnosis of PPA.

Paper Detail
73
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2612
10011406
Maternal Health Outcome and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Dynamic Panel Analysis
Authors:
Abstract:

Maternal health outcome is one of the major population development challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. The region has the highest maternal mortality ratio, despite the progressive economic growth in the region during the global economic crisis. It has been hypothesized that increase in economic growth will reduce the level of maternal mortality. The purpose of this study is to investigate the existence of the negative relationship between health outcome proxy by maternal mortality ratio and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study used the Pooled Mean Group estimator of ARDL Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) and the Kao test for cointegration to examine the short-run and long-run relationship between maternal mortality and economic growth. The results of the cointegration test showed the existence of a long-run relationship between the variables considered for the study. The long-run result of the Pooled Mean group estimates confirmed the hypothesis of an inverse relationship between maternal health outcome proxy by maternal mortality ratio and economic growth proxy by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. Thus increasing economic growth by investing in the health care systems to reduce pregnancy and childbirth complications will help reduce maternal mortality in the sub-region.

Paper Detail
62
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2611
10011410
Affordable and Environmental Friendly Small Commuter Aircraft Improving European Mobility
Abstract:

Mobility is one of the most important societal needs for amusement, business activities and health. Thus, transport needs are continuously increasing, with the consequent traffic congestion and pollution increase. Aeronautic effort aims at smarter infrastructures use and in introducing greener concepts. A possible solution to address the abovementioned topics is the development of Small Air Transport (SAT) system, able to guarantee operability from today underused airfields in an affordable and green way, helping meanwhile travel time reduction, too. In the framework of Horizon2020, EU (European Union) has funded the Clean Sky 2 SAT TA (Transverse Activity) initiative to address market innovations able to reduce SAT operational cost and environmental impact, ensuring good levels of operational safety. Nowadays, most of the key technologies to improve passenger comfort and to reduce community noise, DOC (Direct Operating Costs) and pilot workload for SAT have reached an intermediate level of maturity TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 3/4. Thus, the key technologies must be developed, validated and integrated on dedicated ground and flying aircraft demonstrators to reach higher TRL levels (5/6). Particularly, SAT TA focuses on the integration at aircraft level of the following technologies [1]: 1)    Low-cost composite wing box and engine nacelle using OoA (Out of Autoclave) technology, LRI (Liquid Resin Infusion) and advance automation process. 2) Innovative high lift devices, allowing aircraft operations from short airfields (< 800 m). 3) Affordable small aircraft manufacturing of metallic fuselage using FSW (Friction Stir Welding) and LMD (Laser Metal Deposition). 4)       Affordable fly-by-wire architecture for small aircraft (CS23 certification rules). 5) More electric systems replacing pneumatic and hydraulic systems (high voltage EPGDS -Electrical Power Generation and Distribution System-, hybrid de-ice system, landing gear and brakes). 6) Advanced avionics for small aircraft, reducing pilot workload. 7) Advanced cabin comfort with new interiors materials and more comfortable seats. 8) New generation of turboprop engine with reduced fuel consumption, emissions, noise and maintenance costs for 19 seats aircraft. (9) Alternative diesel engine for 9 seats commuter aircraft. To address abovementioned market innovations, two different platforms have been designed: Reference and Green aircraft. Reference aircraft is a virtual aircraft designed considering 2014 technologies with an existing engine assuring requested take-off power; Green aircraft is designed integrating the technologies addressed in Clean Sky 2. Preliminary integration of the proposed technologies shows an encouraging reduction of emissions and operational costs of small: about 20% CO2 reduction, about 24% NOx reduction, about 10 db (A) noise reduction at measurement point and about 25% DOC reduction. Detailed description of the performed studies, analyses and validations for each technology as well as the expected benefit at aircraft level are reported in the present paper.

Paper Detail
60
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2610
10011413
Mesoscopic Defects of Forming and Induced Properties on the Impact of a Composite Glass/Polyester
Abstract:

Forming processes induce residual deformations on the reinforcement and sometimes lead to mesoscopic defects, which are more recurrent than macroscopic defects during the manufacture of complex structural parts. This study deals with the influence of the fabric shear and buckles defects, which appear during draping processes of composite, on the impact behavior of a glass fiber reinforced polymer. To achieve this aim, we produced several specimens with different amplitude of deformations (shear) and defects on the fabric using a specific bench. The specimens were manufactured using the contact molding and tested with several impact energies. The results and measurements made on tested specimens were compared to those of the healthy material. The results showed that the buckle defects have a negative effect on elastic parameters and revealed a larger damage with significant out-of-plane mode relatively to the healthy composite material. This effect is the consequence of a local fiber impoverishment and a disorganization of the fibrous network, with a reorientation of the fibers following the out-of-plane buckling of the yarns, in the area where the defects are located. For the material with calibrated shear of the reinforcement, the increased local fiber rate due to the shear deformations and the contribution to stiffness of the transverse yarns led to an increase in mechanical properties.

Paper Detail
45
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2609
10011422
A Taxonomy of Behavior for a Medical Coordinator by Utlizing Leadership Styles
Abstract:
This paper presents a taxonomy of non-technical skills, communicative intentions, and behavior for an individual acting as a medical coordinator. In medical emergency situations, a leader among the group is imperative to both patient health and team emotional and mental health. Situational Leadership is used to make clear and easy-to-follow guidelines for behavior depending on circumstantial factors. Low-level leadership behaviors belonging to two different styles, directive and supporting, are identified from literature and are included in the proposed taxonomy. The high-level information in the taxonomy consists of the necessary non-technical skills belonging to a medical coordinator: situation awareness, decision making, task management, and teamwork. Finally, communicative intentions, dimensions, and functions are included. Thus this work brings high-level and low-level information - medical non-technical skills, communication capabilities, and leadership behavior - into a single versatile taxonomy of behavior.
Paper Detail
66
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2608
10011430
Body Mass Index, Components of Metabolic Syndrome and Hyperuricemia among Women in Postmenopausal Period
Abstract:

In recent years, the problem of hyperuricemia is getting a particular importance due to its increased incidence in the world population. The aim of this study was to determine uriс acid level in blood serum, incidence of hyperuricemia among women in postmenopausal period and their association with body mass index and some components of metabolic syndrome (triglyceride, cholesterol, systolic and diastolic pressure). We examined 412 women in postmenopausal period. They were divided in to the following groups: I group (BMI = 18,5-24,9), II group (BMI = 25,0-29,9), III group (BMI = 30,0-34,9), IV group (BMI > 35). We determined uric acid level among women during postmenopausal period depending on their body mass index. The higher level of uric acid was found in patients with the maximal body mass index (BMI > 35). In the I group it was 277,52 ± 8,40; in the II group – 286,81 ± 7,79; in the III group – 291,81 ± 7,56; in the IV group – 327,17 ± 12,17. Incidence of hyperuricemia among women in the I group was 10,2%, in the II group – 15,9%; in the III group – 21,2%, in the IV group – 34,2%. We found an interdependence between an uric acid level and BMI in the examined women (r = 0,21, p < 0,05). We determined that the highest level of triglyceride (F = 18,62, p < 0,05), cholesterol (F = 3,64, p < 0,05), atherogenic coefficient (F = 22,64, p < 0,05), systolic (F = 10,5, p < 0,05) and diastolic pressure (F = 4,30, p < 0,05) was among women with hyperuricemia. It was an interdependence between an uric acid level and triglyceride (r = 0,26, p < 0,05), atherogenic coefficient (r = 0,24, p < 0,05) among women in postmenopausal period.

Paper Detail
45
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2607
10011444
Exoskeleton for Hemiplegic Patients: Mechatronic Approach to Move One Disabled Lower Limb
Abstract:
The number of people suffering from hemiplegia is growing each year. This lower limb disability affects all the aspects of their lives by taking away their autonomy. This implicates their close relatives, as well as the health system to provide the necessary care they need. The integration of exoskeletons in the medical field became a promising solution to resolve this issue. This paper presents an exoskeleton designed to help hemiplegic people get back the sensation and ability of normal walking. For this purpose, three step models have been created. The first step allows a simple forward movement of the leg. The second method is designed to overcome some obstacles in the patient path, and finally the third step model gives the patient total control over the device. Each of the control methods was designed to offer a solution to the challenges that the patients may face during the walking process.
Paper Detail
54
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2606
10011452
Realistic Simulation Methodology in Brazil’s New Medical Education Curriculum: Potentialities
Abstract:

Introduction: Brazil’s new national curriculum guidelines (NCG) for medical education were published in 2014, presenting active learning methodologies as a cornerstone. Simulation was initially applied for aviation pilots’ training and is currently applied in health sciences. The high-fidelity simulator replicates human body anatomy in detail, also reproducing physiological functions and its use is increasing in medical schools. Realistic Simulation (RS) has pedagogical aspects that are aligned with Brazil’s NCG teaching concepts. The main objective of this study is to carry on a narrative review on RS’s aspects that are aligned with Brazil’s new NCG teaching concepts. Methodology: A narrative review was conducted, with search in three databases (PubMed, Embase and BVS) of studies published between 2010 and 2020. Results: After systematized search, 49 studies were selected and divided into four thematic groups. RS is aligned with new Brazilian medical curriculum as it is an active learning methodology, providing greater patient safety, uniform teaching, and student's emotional skills enhancement. RS is based on reflective learning, a teaching concept developed for adult’s education. Conclusion: RS is a methodology aligned with NCG teaching concepts and has potential to assist in the implementation of new Brazilian medical school’s curriculum. It is an immersive and interactive methodology, which provides reflective learning in a safe environment for students and patients.

Paper Detail
47
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2605
10011453
Physiological Effects during Aerobatic Flights on Science Astronaut Candidates
Abstract:

Spaceflight is considered the last frontier in terms of science, technology, and engineering. But it is also the next frontier in terms of human physiology and performance. After more than 200,000 years humans have evolved under earth’s gravity and atmospheric conditions, spaceflight poses environmental stresses for which human physiology is not adapted. Hypoxia, accelerations, and radiation are among such stressors, our research involves suborbital flights aiming to develop effective countermeasures in order to assure sustainable human space presence. The physiologic baseline of spaceflight participants is subject to great variability driven by age, gender, fitness, and metabolic reserve. The objective of the present study is to characterize different physiologic variables in a population of STEM practitioners during an aerobatic flight. Cardiovascular and pulmonary responses were determined in Science Astronaut Candidates (SACs) during unusual attitude aerobatic flight indoctrination. Physiologic data recordings from 20 subjects participating in high-G flight training were analyzed. These recordings were registered by wearable sensor-vest that monitored electrocardiographic tracings (ECGs), signs of dysrhythmias or other electric disturbances during all the flight. The same cardiovascular parameters were also collected approximately 10 min pre-flight, during each high-G/unusual attitude maneuver and 10 min after the flights. The ratio (pre-flight/in-flight/post-flight) of the cardiovascular responses was calculated for comparison of inter-individual differences. The resulting tracings depicting the cardiovascular responses of the subjects were compared against the G-loads (Gs) during the aerobatic flights to analyze cardiovascular variability aspects and fluid/pressure shifts due to the high Gs. In-flight ECG revealed cardiac variability patterns associated with rapid Gs onset in terms of reduced heart rate (HR) and some scattered dysrhythmic patterns (15% premature ventricular contractions-type) that were considered as triggered physiological responses to high-G/unusual attitude training and some were considered as instrument artifact. Variation events were observed in subjects during the +Gz and –Gz maneuvers and these may be due to preload and afterload, sudden shift. Our data reveal that aerobatic flight influenced the breathing rate of the subject, due in part by the various levels of energy expenditure due to the increased use of muscle work during these aerobatic maneuvers. Noteworthy was the high heterogeneity in the different physiological responses among a relatively small group of SACs exposed to similar aerobatic flights with similar Gs exposures. The cardiovascular responses clearly demonstrated that SACs were subjected to significant flight stress. Routine ECG monitoring during high-G/unusual attitude flight training is recommended to capture pathology underlying dangerous dysrhythmias in suborbital flight safety. More research is currently being conducted to further facilitate the development of robust medical screening, medical risk assessment approaches, and suborbital flight training in the context of the evolving commercial human suborbital spaceflight industry. A more mature and integrative medical assessment method is required to understand the physiology state and response variability among highly diverse populations of prospective suborbital flight participants.

Paper Detail
44
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2604
10011457
Influence of Environmental Temperature on Dairy Herd Performance and Behaviour
Abstract:

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of environmental stressors on the performance of lactating dairy cows and discuss some future trends. There exists a relationship between the meteorological data and milk yield prediction accuracy in pasture-based dairy systems. New precision technologies are available and are being developed to improve the sustainability of the dairy industry. Some of these technologies focus on welfare of individual animals on dairy farms. These technologies allow the automatic identification of animal behaviour and health events, greatly increasing overall herd health and yield while reducing animal health inspection demands and long-term animal healthcare costs. The data set consisted of records from 489 dairy cows at two dairy farms and temperature measured from the nearest meteorological weather station in 2018. The effects of temperature on milk production and behaviour of animals were analyzed. The statistical results indicate different effects of temperature on milk yield and behaviour. The “comfort zone” for animals is in the range 10 °C to 20 °C. Dairy cows out of this zone had to decrease or increase their metabolic heat production, and it affected their milk production and behaviour.

Paper Detail
50
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2603
10011459
Robotic Assistance in Nursing Care: Survey on Challenges and Scenarios
Abstract:
Robotic assistance in nursing care is an increasingly important area of research and development. Facing a shortage of labor and an increasing number of people in need of care, the German Nursing Care Innovation Center (Pflegeinnovationszentrum, PIZ) aims to address these challenges from the side of technology. Little is known about nurses experiences with existing robotic assistance systems. Especially nurses perspectives on starting points for the development of robotic solutions, that target recurring burdensome tasks in everyday nursing care, are of interest. This paper presents findings focusing on robotics resulting from an explanatory mixed-methods study on nurses experiences with and their expectations for innovative technologies in nursing care in stationary and ambulant care facilities and hospitals in Germany. Based on the findings, eight scenarios for robotic assistance are identified based on the real needs of practitioners. An initial system addressing a single use-case is described to show perspectives for the use of robots in nursing care.
Paper Detail
96
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10011461
Corrosion Study of Magnetically Driven Components in Spinal Implants by Immersion Testing in Simulated Body Fluids
Abstract:

Magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs) have been used to stabilise and correct spinal curvature in children to support non-invasive scoliosis adjustment. Although the encapsulated driving components are intended to be isolated from body fluid contact, in vivo corrosion was observed on these components due to sealing mechanism damage. Consequently, a corrosion circuit is created with the body fluids, resulting in malfunction of the lengthening mechanism. Particularly, the chloride ions in blood plasma or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may corrode the MCGR alloys, possibly resulting in metal ion release in long-term use. However, there is no data available on the corrosion resistance of spinal implant alloys in CSF. In this study, an in vitro immersion configuration was designed to simulate in vivo corrosion of 440C SS-Ti6Al4V couples. The 440C stainless steel (SS) was heat-treated to investigate the effect of tempering temperature on intergranular corrosion (IGC), while crevice and galvanic corrosion were studied by limiting the clearance of dissimilar couples. Tests were carried out in a neutral artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) under aeration and deaeration for 2 months. The composition of the passive films and metal ion release were analysed. The effect of galvanic coupling, pH, dissolved oxygen and anion species on corrosion rates and corrosion mechanisms are discussed based on quantitative and qualitative measurements. The results suggest that ACSF is more aggressive than PBS due to the combination of aggressive chlorides and sulphate anions, while phosphate in PBS acts as an inhibitor to delay corrosion. The presence of Vivianite on the SS surface in PBS lowered the corrosion rate (CR) more than 5 times for aeration and nearly 2 times for deaeration, compared with ACSF. The CR of 440C is dependent on passive film properties varied by tempering temperature and anion species. Although the CR of Ti6Al4V is insignificant, it tends to release more Ti ions in deaerated ACSF than under aeration, about 6 µg/L. It seems the crevice-like design has more effect on macroscopic corrosion than combining the dissimilar couple, whereas IGC is dominantly observed on sensitized microstructure.

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10011465
Design of Polyetheretherketone Fixation Plates for Fractured Distal Femur
Abstract:

In the present study, a methodology has been proposed to treat fracture in the distal part of the femur bone. Initially, bone model has been developed using the computed tomography scan data of the fractured bone. This information has been further used to create polyether ether ketone (PEEK) implant for this fractured bone. Damaged bone and implant models have been assembled. This assembled model has been further analyzed for stress distribution. Moreover, deformation developed was also measured. It has been observed that the stress and deformation developed was not so appreciable. Thus, it proves that the aforementioned procedure can be suitably adopted for the treatment of fractured distal femur bone.

Paper Detail
34
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10011347
Classifying Turbomachinery Blade Mode Shapes Using Artificial Neural Networks
Abstract:

Currently, extensive signal analysis is performed in order to evaluate structural health of turbomachinery blades. This approach is affected by constraints of time and the availability of qualified personnel. Thus, new approaches to blade dynamics identification that provide faster and more accurate results are sought after. Generally, modal analysis is employed in acquiring dynamic properties of a vibrating turbomachinery blade and is widely adopted in condition monitoring of blades. The analysis provides useful information on the different modes of vibration and natural frequencies by exploring different shapes that can be taken up during vibration since all mode shapes have their corresponding natural frequencies. Experimental modal testing and finite element analysis are the traditional methods used to evaluate mode shapes with limited application to real live scenario to facilitate a robust condition monitoring scheme. For a real time mode shape evaluation, rapid evaluation and low computational cost is required and traditional techniques are unsuitable. In this study, artificial neural network is developed to evaluate the mode shape of a lab scale rotating blade assembly by using result from finite element modal analysis as training data. The network performance evaluation shows that artificial neural network (ANN) is capable of mapping the correlation between natural frequencies and mode shapes. This is achieved without the need of extensive signal analysis. The approach offers advantage from the perspective that the network is able to classify mode shapes and can be employed in real time including simplicity in implementation and accuracy of the prediction. The work paves the way for further development of robust condition monitoring system that incorporates real time mode shape evaluation.

Paper Detail
149
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10011349
Attention Based Fully Convolutional Neural Network for Simultaneous Detection and Segmentation of Optic Disc in Retinal Fundus Images
Abstract:
Accurate segmentation of the optic disc is very important for computer-aided diagnosis of several ocular diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and hypertensive retinopathy. The paper presents an accurate and fast optic disc detection and segmentation method using an attention based fully convolutional network. The network is trained from scratch using the fundus images of extended MESSIDOR database and the trained model is used for segmentation of optic disc. The false positives are removed based on morphological operation and shape features. The result is evaluated using three-fold cross-validation on six public fundus image databases such as DIARETDB0, DIARETDB1, DRIVE, AV-INSPIRE, CHASE DB1 and MESSIDOR. The attention based fully convolutional network is robust and effective for detection and segmentation of optic disc in the images affected by diabetic retinopathy and it outperforms existing techniques.
Paper Detail
96
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10011359
Survey on Awareness, Knowledge and Practices: Managing Osteoporosis among Practitioners in a Tertiary Hospital, Malaysia
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This study evaluates the management of osteoporosis in a tertiary care government hospital in Malaysia. As the number of admitted patients having osteoporotic fractures is on the rise, osteoporotic medications are an increasing financial burden to government hospitals because they account for half of the orthopedic budget and expenditure. Comprehensive knowledge among practitioners is important to detect early and avoid this preventable disease and its serious complications. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the awareness, knowledge, and practices in managing osteoporosis among practitioners in Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR), Klang. A questionnaire from an overseas study in managing osteoporosis among primary care physicians is adapted to Malaysia’s Clinical Practice Guideline of Osteoporosis 2012 (revised 2015) and international guidelines were distributed to all orthopedic practitioners in HTAR Klang (including surgeons, orthopedic medical officers), endocrinologists, rheumatologists and geriatricians. The participants were evaluated on their expertise in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment decision and medications for osteoporosis. Collected data were analyzed for all descriptive and statistical analyses as appropriate. All 45 participants responded to the questionnaire. Participants scored highest on expertise in prevention, followed by diagnosis, treatment decision and lastly, medication. Most practitioners stated that own-initiated continuing professional education from articles and books was the most effective way to update their knowledge, followed by attendance in conferences on osteoporosis. This study confirms the importance of comprehensive training and education regarding osteoporosis among tertiary care physicians and surgeons, predominantly in pharmacotherapy, to deliver wholesome care for osteoporotic patients.

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10011363
Review of Strategies for Hybrid Energy Storage Management System in Electric Vehicle Application
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Electric Vehicles (EV) appear to be gaining increasing patronage as a feasible alternative to Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs) for having low emission and high operation efficiency. The EV energy storage systems are required to handle high energy and power density capacity constrained by limited space, operating temperature, weight and cost. The choice of strategies for energy storage evaluation, monitoring and control remains a challenging task. This paper presents review of various energy storage technologies and recent researches in battery evaluation techniques used in EV applications. It also underscores strategies for the hybrid energy storage management and control schemes for the improvement of EV stability and reliability. The study reveals that despite the advances recorded in battery technologies there is still no cell which possess both the optimum power and energy densities among other requirements, for EV application. However combination of two or more energy storages as hybrid and allowing the advantageous attributes from each device to be utilized is a promising solution. The review also reveals that State-of-Charge (SoC) is the most crucial method for battery estimation. The conventional method of SoC measurement is however questioned in the literature and adaptive algorithms that include all model of disturbances are being proposed. The review further suggests that heuristic-based approach is commonly adopted in the development of strategies for hybrid energy storage system management. The alternative approach which is optimization-based is found to be more accurate but is memory and computational intensive and as such not recommended in most real-time applications.

Paper Detail
121
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10011370
Rule Insertion Technique for Dynamic Cell Structure Neural Network
Abstract:

This paper discusses the idea of capturing an expert’s knowledge in the form of human understandable rules and then inserting these rules into a dynamic cell structure (DCS) neural network. The DCS is a form of self-organizing map that can be used for many purposes, including classification and prediction. This particular neural network is considered to be a topology preserving network that starts with no pre-structure, but assumes a structure once trained. The DCS has been used in mission and safety-critical applications, including adaptive flight control and health-monitoring in aerial vehicles. The approach is to insert expert knowledge into the DCS before training. Rules are translated into a pre-structure and then training data are presented. This idea has been demonstrated using the well-known Iris data set and it has been shown that inserting the pre-structure results in better accuracy with the same training.

Paper Detail
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Community Resilience in Response to the Population Growth in Al-Thahabiah Neighborhood
Authors:
Abstract:

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is the main political, economic, social and cultural center of Jordan and beyond. The city faces multitude demographic challenges related to the unstable political situation in the surrounded countries. It has regional and local migrants who left their homes to find better life in the capital. This resulted with random and unequaled population distribution. Some districts have high population and pressure on the infrastructure and services more than other districts.Government works to resolve this challenge in compliance with 100 Cities Resilience Framework (CRF). Amman participated in this framework as a member in December 2014 to work in achieving the four goals: health and welfare, infrastructure and utilities, economy and education as well as administration and government.  Previous research studies lack in studying Amman resilient work in neighborhood scale and the population growth as resilient challenge. For that, this study focuses on Al-Thahabiah neighborhood in Shafa Badran district in Amman. This paper studies the reasons and drivers behind this population growth during the selected period in this area then provide strategies to improve the resilient work in neighborhood scale. The methodology comprises of primary and secondary data. The primary data consist of interviews with chief officer in the executive part in Great Amman Municipality and resilient officer. The secondary data consist of papers, journals, newspaper, articles and book’s reading. The other part of data consists of maps and statistical data which describe the infrastructural and social situation in the neighborhood and district level during the studying period. Based upon those data, more detailed information will be found, e.g., the centralizing position of population and the provided infrastructure for them. This will help to provide these services and infrastructure to other neighborhoods and enhance population distribution. This study develops an analytical framework to assess urban demographical time series in accordance with the criteria of CRF to make accurate detailed projections on the requirements for the future development in the neighborhood scale and organize the human requirements for affordable quality housing, employment, transportation, health and education in this neighborhood to improve the social relations between its inhabitants and the community. This study highlights on the localization of resilient work in neighborhood scale and spread the resilient knowledge related to the shortage of its research in Jordan. Studying the resilient work from population growth challenge perspective helps improve the facilities provide to the inhabitants and improve their quality of life.

Paper Detail
57
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