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  • 2018-2022
  • Open Access
  • IT
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  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Poos, Jackie M.; Moore, Katrina M.; Nicholas, Jennifer; Russell, Lucy L.; Peakman, Georgia; Convery, Rhian S.; Jiskoot, Lize C.; van der Ende, Emma; van den Berg, Esther; Papma, Janne M.; +144 more
    Publisher: Research Square Platform LLC
    Countries: Portugal, United Kingdom, Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy

    BACKGROUND: Clinical endpoints for upcoming therapeutic trials in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are increasingly urgent. Cognitive composite scores are often used as endpoints but are lacking in genetic FTD. We aimed to create cognitive composite scores for genetic frontotemporal dementia (FTD) as well as recommendations for recruitment and duration in clinical trial design. METHODS: A standardized neuropsychological test battery covering six cognitive domains was completed by 69 C9orf72, 41 GRN, and 28 MAPT mutation carriers with CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD ��� 0.5 and 275 controls. Logistic regression was used to identify the combination of tests that distinguished best between each mutation carrier group and controls. The composite scores were calculated from the weighted averages of test scores in the models based on the regression coefficients. Sample size estimates were calculated for individual cognitive tests and composites in a theoretical trial aimed at preventing progression from a prodromal stage (CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD 0.5) to a fully symptomatic stage (CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD ��� 1). Time-to-event analysis was performed to determine how quickly mutation carriers progressed from CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD = 0.5 to ��� 1 (and therefore how long a trial would need to be). RESULTS: The results from the logistic regression analyses resulted in different composite scores for each mutation carrier group (i.e. C9orf72, GRN, and MAPT). The estimated sample size to detect a treatment effect was lower for composite scores than for most individual tests. A Kaplan-Meier curve showed that after 3 years, ~ 50% of individuals had converted from CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD 0.5 to ��� 1, which means that the estimated effect size needs to be halved in sample size calculations as only half of the mutation carriers would be expected to progress from CDR�� plus NACC FTLD 0.5 to ��� 1 without treatment over that time period. DISCUSSION: We created gene-specific cognitive composite scores for C9orf72, GRN, and MAPT mutation carriers, which resulted in substantially lower estimated sample sizes to detect a treatment effect than the individual cognitive tests. The GENFI-Cog composites have potential as cognitive endpoints for upcoming clinical trials. The results from this study provide recommendations for estimating sample size and trial duration. Funder: Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre Clinical Research Facility Funder: the Association for Frontotemporal Dementias Research Grant 2009 Funder: NIHR UCL/H Biomedical Research Centre Funder: UK Dementia Research Institute Funder: UK Medical Research Council Funder: Alzheimer's Research UK Funder: the Wolfson Foundation Funder: Alzheimer's Society Funder: Brain Research UK Funder: Bluefield project

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Luca Bigazzi; Lapo Miccinesi; Enrico Boni; Michele Basso; Tommaso Consumi; Massimiliano Pieraccini;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Italy

    Autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are having an increasing impact in the scientific community. One of the most challenging problems in this research area is the design of robust real-time obstacle detection and avoidance systems. In the automotive field, applications of obstacle detection systems combining radar and vision sensors are common and widely documented. However, these technologies are not currently employed in the UAS field due to the major complexity of the flight scenario, especially in urban environments. In this paper, a real-time obstacle-detection system based on the use of a 77 GHz radar and a stereoscopic camera is proposed for use in small UASs. The resulting system is capable of detecting obstacles in a broad spectrum of environmental conditions. In particular, the vision system guarantees a high resolution for short distances, while the radar has a lower resolution but can cover greater distances, being insensitive to poor lighting conditions. The developed hardware and software architecture and the related obstacle-detection algorithm are illustrated within the European project AURORA. Experimental results carried out employing a small UAS show the effectiveness of the obstacle detection system and of a simple avoidance strategy during several autonomous missions on a test site.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Francesca Cialdai; Stefano Bacci; Virginia Zizi; Aleandro Norfini; Michele Balsamo; Valerio Ciccone; Lucia Morbidelli; Laura Calosi; Chiara Risaliti; Lore Vanhelden; +3 more
    Country: Italy

    This study is preliminary to an experiment to be performed onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth to investigate how low gravity influences the healing of sutured human skin and vein wounds. Its objective was to ascertain whether these tissue explants could be maintained to be viable ex vivo for long periods of time, mimicking the experimental conditions onboard the ISS. We developed an automated tissue culture chamber, reproducing and monitoring the physiological tensile forces over time, and a culture medium enriched with serelaxin (60 ng/mL) and (Zn(PipNONO)Cl) (28 ng/mL), known to extend viability of explanted organs for transplantation. The results show that the human skin and vein specimens remained viable for more than 4 weeks, with no substantial signs of damage in their tissues and cells. As a further clue about cell viability, some typical events associated with wound repair were observed in the tissue areas close to the wound, namely remodeling of collagen fibers in the papillary dermis and of elastic fibers in the vein wall, proliferation of keratinocyte stem cells, and expression of the endothelial functional markers eNOS and FGF-2. These findings validate the suitability of this new ex vivo organ culture system for wound healing studies, not only for the scheduled space experiment but also for applications on Earth, such as drug discovery purposes.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ceccarelli, Rudy;
    Country: Italy

    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest circular accelerator ever build, allowing collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV, at a nominal instantaneous luminosity L = 1.0 x 10^{34} cm^{-2}s^{-1}. The Phase-2 of the LHC, known as High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC), is going to start in 2027, aiming to reach an instantaneous peak luminosity up to 7.5 x 10^{34} cm^{-2}s^{-1}. With HL-LHC, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment will gather an integrated luminosity up to 4000 fb^{-1} in 10 years, making it possible to study rare events of the Standard Model (SM) or to search for processes beyond it. The CMS experiment will be upgraded between 2025 and 2027 to cope with the higher luminosity: especially in the regions near the collision point, unprecedented requirements in terms of radiation resistance and granularity need to be met. The first part of this Thesis focuses on the upgrade of the CMS silicon tracker, whose inner section will be made of pixel detectors. The characteristics of the new tracker will be extremely important in the future analysis to be carried out in CMS during Phase-2. For the new Phase, pixel sensors of new conception have been considered, in which the electrodes (p+ and n+) penetrate deep into the silicon from the same side of the sensor: these new pixels are referred as `3D' for their characteristic of having columnar implants as deep as the active thickness of the sensor, while the more conventional planar `2D' pixels have superficial implants of small thickness. Thanks to this structure, 3D sensors can have excellent performance even with high radiation damage, making them suitable for the use in the inner layers of the future CMS tracker. Due to the cutting edge technology needed to produce these sensors, their use for a large scale experiment has only recently become feasible. However, the production processes are more complex than those of planar sensors, and this affects costs and production efficiency. Therefore, 3D sensors have been taken into consideration only for the inner layers of the tracker, while planar sensors will be used in the other layers. In this Thesis, a complete characterisation of 3D and planar pixel detectors is presented. The studies are performed at the INFN and CERN laboratories and in several test beam experiments at DESY. My work was crucial for the characterisation of the detectors both before and after irradiation, to verify that both the sensor and the readout chip are able to resist the high uences expected at the HL-LHC with a minimum loss of performance. The studies I made demonstrated that planar pixel detectors reach a hit detection efficiency of over 99% at a bias voltage of 600 V after an irradiation corresponding the fluence expected after ten years of operations of HL-LHC. 3D pixel detectors have not been tested to these uences yet (new test beams in the near future will target their characterisation), but are expected to reach similar efficiencies with far lower bias voltages, around 150 V. Having high efficiencies at relatively low bias voltages leads to a lower power consumption and reduces the susceptibility to sparking issues with respect to planar sensors. Both of these features are invaluable in the inner tracker environment. Among the studies presented in this Thesis, the spatial resolution of 3D and planar pixel detectors was thoroughly evaluated. Non-irradiated 3D and planar pixel detectors have shown remarkable spatial resolution, down to 2 µm or 5 µm depending on the pixel pitch. The results presented in this Thesis will contribute significantly to the choice of the pixel sensors to be used in the future CMS Inner Tracker. The second part of this Thesis focuses on the measurement of the Vector Boson Fusion (VBF) Higgs production mechanism in the H ! WW decay channel. A particle consistent with the SM Higgs boson was observed in 2012 by the CMS and ATLAS collaborations at the LHC. After the discovery, precision on the measurement of this new particle properties and interactions has progressed as more data were collected. Currently, all production processes have been observed in one or more decay channels or via combination of several decay channels, with no significant deviations with respect to the SM prediction. However, the VBF mechanism, being at the heart of the electroweak symmetry breaking, needs to be studied with ever-improving analysis techniques while waiting for additional data to reduce the statistical uncertainty. Such a rare process is sensitive to new physics phenomena and allows to set stringent constraints on the compatibility of the Higgs boson itself with the SM. The cross section for the VBF mechanism in proton-proton collisions at a center of mass energy of 13 TeV has been measured by CMS in several Higgs decay channels. The H --> WW decay, thanks to its large branching ratio, is ideal for the observation of this production process. The most recent CMS analysis in the H --> WW decay channel, however, mainly focused on the measurement of the global production cross section: the analysis was not optimized with respect to the V BF production mode. In this Thesis, a multivariate analysis was implemented in order to enhance the sensitivity of the measurement of the VBF mechanism in the H --> WW decay channel. In particular, a Deep Neural Network (DNN) was developed in order to isolate the signal events from the background, which is mainly composed by top quarks events, non-resonant WW and gluon fusion Higgs boson production mechanism. The DNN yields four scores for each event, corresponding to the degree of compatibility either with the signal or one of the main backgrounds. These scores are then combined and used in the fitting procedure. This innovative approach was necessary because one of the main backgrounds of this analysis is another Higgs production process, therefore making it difficult to tackle this analysis in a simple signal versus background paradigm. This study is based on the whole Run-2 dataset, collected from 2016 to 2018 with the CMS experiment. The VBF Higgs production mechanism is observed with a significance of 3.6 standard deviations, resulting in the first evidence of this production mechanism in the WW decay channel with the CMS experiment. Moreover, the measured cross section is compatible with the Standard Model within one standard deviation. This work established an analysis strategy that will be used for the LHC Run-3 and possibly beyond it.

  • Publication . Part of book or chapter of book . 2022
    Open Access
    Authors: 
    Tiezzi, Francesco; Maltecca, Christian;
    Publisher: Springer New York
    Country: Italy
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    C. Piselli; A.L. Pisello; B.K. Sovacool;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Country: Italy
    Project: EC | SWS-HEATING (764025)

    An extensive, representative, and, multi-country tailored survey questionnaire eliciting social practices with heat as an energy service and the relative perceptions about heating devices was submitted to a randomized sample of more than 6,000 potential end-users in Europe within the framework of the Horizon 2020 project SWS-HEATING. The project is developing an innovative seasonal thermal energy storage unit for residential use. Moreover, within the project, the role of occupancy variability and use conditions in the performance of the proposed system is assessed. The present study focuses on tailor-made user-building interaction models to be implemented into dynamic simulation for the assessment of the proposed and similar systems starting from the sociological assessment of such large-scale survey results. These models take advantage from the knowledge raised by the findings of the social survey to frame for the first time occupants’ behavior scenarios representative of South, central, and North European countries. In this way, the influence of cultural context and demographic factors and their relation to heating practices are considered when developing these tailored occupant behavior models. Results show the non-negligible influence (up to 43% in the coldest climate) of implementing these models on predicted building heating energy needs, as quantitative demonstration of the role of societal-related variables on final energy use estimation.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Camilla Matera; Lars Dommermuth; Silvia Bacci; Bruno Bertaccini; Alessandra Minello; Daniele Vignoli;
    Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
    Country: Italy
    Project: EC | EU-FER (725961)

    AbstractBy adopting a dyadic extension of the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991), this study examined whether perceived economic uncertainty affects fertility intentions. Three-hundred thirty one heterosexual couples living in Italy participated in a randomized between-group experimental study, in which we manipulated perceived economic uncertainty (low vs. high vs. control). The participants subsequently completed a questionnaire measuring their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and fertility intentions. We employed Structural Equation Modelling in estimating the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model. The model showed a good fit to the data. Women’s attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were influenced by the high economic uncertain scenario, whereas among men these variables were affected only by the positive economic scenario. Attitudes and perceived behavioral control were significant predictors of fertility intentions for both sexes. Significant partner effects were observed as well. These findings suggest that fertility plans should be examined by adopting a dyadic perspective, as individuals’ intentions are affected not only by their own beliefs, but also by those of their partners.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Corongiu, Manuela;
    Publisher: Universitätsbibliothek Braunschweig
    Countries: Italy, Germany

    Bei Geoinformationen muss der Interoperabilitätsbegriff auf verschiedenen Ebenen definiert werden, um die Gestaltung komplexer räumlicher Infrastrukturen umfassend zu berücksichtigen: sematisch, schematisch, Syntax und vor allem über Prozesse und Schritte, die in einem gemeinsamen Rahmen geteilt werden müssen. Die Interoperabilitätsfrage ist der Grundpfeiler des Forschungsthemas und wird unter verschiedenen Aspekten und Sichtweisen analysiert, wobei der Fokus auf drei relevanten Aspekten liegt. Zunächst die 3D-Informationen: aus kartografischer Sicht (2,5D) bis hin zu vollständigen 3D-Modellen. Dann die Verbindung zwischen Referenzgeoinformationen und raumbezogenen thematischen Anwendungen, die im Kontext von Eisenbahninfrastrukturen angewendet werden. Schließlich werden Informationen aus mehreren Quellen in einer integrierten räumlichen Datenbank bei der Verwaltung, Validierung und Aktualisierung im Laufe der Zeit analysiert. Der vorgeschlagene Ansatz geht von den Referenzdaten aus, die auf geotopographischen 3D-Informationen basieren. Die Forschung zielt darauf ab, einen prototypischen Prozess eines 3D-Datenmodells zu entwickeln, das in der Lage ist, zunächst aus kartografischen Karten abgeleitete Geodatenbanken und dann ein räumliches Modell zu beschreiben, das von verschiedenen territorialen Anwendungen und Analysen geteilt werden kann. 3D-Stadtmodelle und die Anbindung von Building Information Models (BIM) wurden in Betracht gezogen. Die Fallstudie bezieht sich auf die Inhalte der Eisenbahninfrastruktur. Die Forschungsziele berühren daher folgende Aspekte: die Entwicklung der Basiskartographie hin zu räumlichen Datenbanken, die Verbindung zwischen einer 3D-Geodatendatenbank und einer 3D-Stadtmodellierung, die Verbindung zwischen 3D-Stadtmodellierung und BIM, die Verbindung zwischen Georeferenz und Geo- thematische Anwendungen im Eisenbahnkontext, die Rolle von Punktwolkendaten in räumlichen Datenbanken und das Multi-Source Geoinformationsmanagement. Zusammenfassend konzentriert sich die Dissertation darauf, eine Roadmap zu skizzieren, um die Interoperabilität mit geografischen Standards und formalen Schritten aufrechtzuerhalten. Jeder Schritt wird als Verbindungspunkt zwischen verschiedenen Geodatenanwendungen ausgeführt. Die Unabhängigkeit von technologischen Plattformen oder Anwendungsformaten war eine der zwingenden Anforderungen. In geospatial information, the interoperability term must be defined at different levels to fully consider the design of complex spatial infrastructures: sematic, schematic, syntax, and, above all, on processes and steps required to be shared in a common framework. The interoperability issue is the keystone of the research topic and is analysed through different aspects and points of view, with a focus on three relevant aspects. First of all, the 3D information: from the cartographic point of view (2.5D) to fully 3D models. Then, the link between reference geoinformation and geospatial thematic applications applied in the context of railway infrastructures. Finally, multi-source information in an integrated spatial database is analysed in management, validation, and update over time. The proposed approach starts from the reference data based on 3D geotopographic information. The research aims to devise a prototype process of a 3D data model able to describe firstly geospatial databases derived from cartography maps, then a spatial model shareable among different territorial applications and analysis. 3D city models and Building Information Model (BIM) connection has been considered. The case study refers to railway infrastructure contents. Consequently, the research objectives touch the following aspects: the evolution of base cartography toward spatial databases, the connection between a 3D geospatial database and a 3D city modelling, the connection between 3D city modelling and BIM, the connection between geo- reference and geo-thematic applications in the context of railways, the role of point clouds data within spatial databases, and the multi-source geospatial information management. To summarise, the thesis focuses on outlining a road map to keep interoperability using geographical standards and formal steps. Each step runs as a liaison point between different spatial data applications. Independence from technological platforms or application formats has been one of the mandatory requirements.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Innocenti, Lorenzo;
    Countries: Italy, Germany

    In den letzten Jahrzehnten wurde die Schwemmholzdynamik in Flüssen wegen der ökologischen Bedeutung für Flusslebensräume und wegen der damit verbundenen potenziellen Gefahren für Menschen und Infrastrukturen weitgehend untersucht, was zu einer zusätzlichen Komponente der Flusshydraulik führte. Trotz neuerer Forschungen ist das Wissen über die Dynamik der transportierten Holzelemente immer noch unvollständig, insbesondere bei der Modellierung der Auswirkungen von Sekundärströmungen auf die Schwemmholz. Die vorliegende Doktorarbeit zielt darauf ab, das Wissen über den Transport von Schwemmholzdynamik in scharfen Flussbiegungen zu erweitern, indem Antworten auf die beiden wichtigsten Forschungsfragen gefunden werden: die Identifizierung der Hauptvariablen, die das Phänomen beeinflussen, und die Bewertung der Fähigkeit von 2D-Tiefenmittelungsmodellen bei der Reproduktion der Auswirkungen von Sekundärströmungen auf die Holzflugbahnen. Zu diesem Zweck wird ein kombinierter physikalischer und numerischer Ansatz verwendet. Physikalische Modellversuche wurden durchgeführt, um den Einfluss (i) der Abmessungen des Schwemmholzdynamik, (ii) der Position der Annäherung des Schwemmholz an die Kurve und (iii) der anfänglichen Ausrichtung des Schwemmholzdynamik auf die Holzflugbahnen in einer scharfen Biegung zu untersuchen. Die Analyse der Experimente erfolgte unter Berücksichtigung der Flugbahnen der Holzstücke entlang der Biegung und lieferte statistische Ergebnisse. Außerdem wurden die Experimente mit Hilfe eines mathematischen Modells analysiert, um den Widerstandskoeffizienten für schwimmende Schwemmholz in einer schraubenförmigen Strömung zu ermitteln. Für die Simulation von Sekundärströmungseffekten wurde das 2D-tiefengemittelte Modell "Iber-Wood" erweitert und durch die Simulation von zwei Versuchsaufbauten und einer flussweiten Fallstudie getestet. Zu den Hauptergebnissen der vorliegenden Arbeit gehören die Bestimmung der Hauptvariablen, die die Trajektorien von Schwemmholz in scharfen Flussbiegungen beeinflussen, die Berechnung von Widerstandskoeffizienten für ein schwimmendes Schwemmholzdynamik und die Verbesserung des Iber-Wood-Modells bei der Simulation von Sekundärströmungseffekten. Darüber hinaus werden zwei nichtdimensionale Koeffizienten angegeben: der Variationskoeffizient, der die Abweichung der Flugbahn entlang einer Kurve ausdrückt, und der Ähnlichkeitskoeffizient, der die Ähnlichkeit zwischen zwei Flugbahnen ausdrückt. In den Laborexperimenten wurde besonders der Einfluss der Holzlänge hervorgehoben, die die Hauptvariable ist, die die Flugbahn einzelner Holzstücke bestimmt. Darüber hinaus bestimmte die Annäherung von Schwemmholzdynamik an die Kurve den Aufprall des Holzes auf das äußere Ufer, auf das die Holzstücke durch die Sekundärströmung gedrückt werden. Das mathematische Modell, das für die Berechnung des Widerstandskoeffizienten definiert wurde, liefert Werte zwischen 0,3 und 1,2, abhängig von der Orientierung der Holzstücke in Bezug auf die Strömungsrichtung. Schließlich konnte mit dem erweiterten Iber-Wood-Modell die Drift simuliert werden, der Schwemmholz während des Transports entlang einer Flussbiegung aufgrund des Vorhandenseins einer spiralförmigen Strömung ausgesetzt ist. In last decades, the role of large wood (LW) in rivers was largely investigated due to the ecological importance for river habitats, and due to the associated potential hazards to humans and infrastructures, resulting an additional component of fluvial hydraulics. Despite recent research, knowledge of the dynamics of transported wood elements is still incomplete, particularly in modelling the effect of secondary currents on the LW dynamics. The present PhD research aims to enhance the knowledge on the transport of LW in sharp river bends by finding answers to the two main research questions: the identification of the main variables that influence the phenomenon, and assessing the capability of 2D depth-averaged models in reproducing effects of secondary currents on wood trajectories. A combined physical and numerical approach is used for this purpose. Physical model tests were performed in order to investigate the influence of (i) LW element dimensions, (ii) the approaching position of LW to the curve, and (iii) the initial orientation of LW, on the wood trajectories in a sharp bend. The analysis of experiments was conducted by considering the trajectories of wood pieces along the bend and providing statistical results. Moreover, experiments were analyzed by applying a mathematical model in order to provide the drag coefficient for floating LW subjected to a helical flow. For the simulation of secondary current effects, the 2D depth-averaged model “Iber-Wood” was enhanced and tested by simulating two experimental setups and a river-scale case study. The main results of the present work include the individuation of the main variables that influenced the LW trajectories in sharp river bends, the calculation of drag coefficients for a floating LW, and the improvement of the Iber-Wood model in simulating secondary current effects. In addition, two nondimensional coefficients are provided: the coefficient of variation for expressing the trajectory deviation along a bend, and the coefficient of similarity for expressing the similarity between two trajectories. Laboratory experiments particularly highlighted the influence of the wood length which is the main variable determining the trajectory of single wood pieces. Moreover, the approaching position of LW to the curve determined the impact of the wood against the outer bank towards which the wood pieces are pushed by the secondary current. The mathematical model defined for calculating the drag coefficient provides values ranging between 0.3 and 1.2 dependent on the orientation of the wood pieces with respect to the flow direction. Finally, the enhanced Iber-Wood model allowed to simulate the drift to which LW is subjected while transported along a river bend due to the presence of the helical flow.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ciano, Matteo;
    Countries: Germany, Italy

    Die Doktorarbeit schlägt eine Methode zur Verbesserung der Genauigkeit seismischer Fragilitätskurven vor The doctoral thesis proposes a method to improve the accuracy of seismic fragility curves

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11,272 Research products, page 1 of 1,128
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Poos, Jackie M.; Moore, Katrina M.; Nicholas, Jennifer; Russell, Lucy L.; Peakman, Georgia; Convery, Rhian S.; Jiskoot, Lize C.; van der Ende, Emma; van den Berg, Esther; Papma, Janne M.; +144 more
    Publisher: Research Square Platform LLC
    Countries: Portugal, United Kingdom, Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy

    BACKGROUND: Clinical endpoints for upcoming therapeutic trials in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are increasingly urgent. Cognitive composite scores are often used as endpoints but are lacking in genetic FTD. We aimed to create cognitive composite scores for genetic frontotemporal dementia (FTD) as well as recommendations for recruitment and duration in clinical trial design. METHODS: A standardized neuropsychological test battery covering six cognitive domains was completed by 69 C9orf72, 41 GRN, and 28 MAPT mutation carriers with CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD ��� 0.5 and 275 controls. Logistic regression was used to identify the combination of tests that distinguished best between each mutation carrier group and controls. The composite scores were calculated from the weighted averages of test scores in the models based on the regression coefficients. Sample size estimates were calculated for individual cognitive tests and composites in a theoretical trial aimed at preventing progression from a prodromal stage (CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD 0.5) to a fully symptomatic stage (CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD ��� 1). Time-to-event analysis was performed to determine how quickly mutation carriers progressed from CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD = 0.5 to ��� 1 (and therefore how long a trial would need to be). RESULTS: The results from the logistic regression analyses resulted in different composite scores for each mutation carrier group (i.e. C9orf72, GRN, and MAPT). The estimated sample size to detect a treatment effect was lower for composite scores than for most individual tests. A Kaplan-Meier curve showed that after 3 years, ~ 50% of individuals had converted from CDR�� plus NACC-FTLD 0.5 to ��� 1, which means that the estimated effect size needs to be halved in sample size calculations as only half of the mutation carriers would be expected to progress from CDR�� plus NACC FTLD 0.5 to ��� 1 without treatment over that time period. DISCUSSION: We created gene-specific cognitive composite scores for C9orf72, GRN, and MAPT mutation carriers, which resulted in substantially lower estimated sample sizes to detect a treatment effect than the individual cognitive tests. The GENFI-Cog composites have potential as cognitive endpoints for upcoming clinical trials. The results from this study provide recommendations for estimating sample size and trial duration. Funder: Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre Clinical Research Facility Funder: the Association for Frontotemporal Dementias Research Grant 2009 Funder: NIHR UCL/H Biomedical Research Centre Funder: UK Dementia Research Institute Funder: UK Medical Research Council Funder: Alzheimer's Research UK Funder: the Wolfson Foundation Funder: Alzheimer's Society Funder: Brain Research UK Funder: Bluefield project

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Luca Bigazzi; Lapo Miccinesi; Enrico Boni; Michele Basso; Tommaso Consumi; Massimiliano Pieraccini;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Italy

    Autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are having an increasing impact in the scientific community. One of the most challenging problems in this research area is the design of robust real-time obstacle detection and avoidance systems. In the automotive field, applications of obstacle detection systems combining radar and vision sensors are common and widely documented. However, these technologies are not currently employed in the UAS field due to the major complexity of the flight scenario, especially in urban environments. In this paper, a real-time obstacle-detection system based on the use of a 77 GHz radar and a stereoscopic camera is proposed for use in small UASs. The resulting system is capable of detecting obstacles in a broad spectrum of environmental conditions. In particular, the vision system guarantees a high resolution for short distances, while the radar has a lower resolution but can cover greater distances, being insensitive to poor lighting conditions. The developed hardware and software architecture and the related obstacle-detection algorithm are illustrated within the European project AURORA. Experimental results carried out employing a small UAS show the effectiveness of the obstacle detection system and of a simple avoidance strategy during several autonomous missions on a test site.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Francesca Cialdai; Stefano Bacci; Virginia Zizi; Aleandro Norfini; Michele Balsamo; Valerio Ciccone; Lucia Morbidelli; Laura Calosi; Chiara Risaliti; Lore Vanhelden; +3 more
    Country: Italy

    This study is preliminary to an experiment to be performed onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth to investigate how low gravity influences the healing of sutured human skin and vein wounds. Its objective was to ascertain whether these tissue explants could be maintained to be viable ex vivo for long periods of time, mimicking the experimental conditions onboard the ISS. We developed an automated tissue culture chamber, reproducing and monitoring the physiological tensile forces over time, and a culture medium enriched with serelaxin (60 ng/mL) and (Zn(PipNONO)Cl) (28 ng/mL), known to extend viability of explanted organs for transplantation. The results show that the human skin and vein specimens remained viable for more than 4 weeks, with no substantial signs of damage in their tissues and cells. As a further clue about cell viability, some typical events associated with wound repair were observed in the tissue areas close to the wound, namely remodeling of collagen fibers in the papillary dermis and of elastic fibers in the vein wall, proliferation of keratinocyte stem cells, and expression of the endothelial functional markers eNOS and FGF-2. These findings validate the suitability of this new ex vivo organ culture system for wound healing studies, not only for the scheduled space experiment but also for applications on Earth, such as drug discovery purposes.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ceccarelli, Rudy;
    Country: Italy

    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest circular accelerator ever build, allowing collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV, at a nominal instantaneous luminosity L = 1.0 x 10^{34} cm^{-2}s^{-1}. The Phase-2 of the LHC, known as High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC), is going to start in 2027, aiming to reach an instantaneous peak luminosity up to 7.5 x 10^{34} cm^{-2}s^{-1}. With HL-LHC, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment will gather an integrated luminosity up to 4000 fb^{-1} in 10 years, making it possible to study rare events of the Standard Model (SM) or to search for processes beyond it. The CMS experiment will be upgraded between 2025 and 2027 to cope with the higher luminosity: especially in the regions near the collision point, unprecedented requirements in terms of radiation resistance and granularity need to be met. The first part of this Thesis focuses on the upgrade of the CMS silicon tracker, whose inner section will be made of pixel detectors. The characteristics of the new tracker will be extremely important in the future analysis to be carried out in CMS during Phase-2. For the new Phase, pixel sensors of new conception have been considered, in which the electrodes (p+ and n+) penetrate deep into the silicon from the same side of the sensor: these new pixels are referred as `3D' for their characteristic of having columnar implants as deep as the active thickness of the sensor, while the more conventional planar `2D' pixels have superficial implants of small thickness. Thanks to this structure, 3D sensors can have excellent performance even with high radiation damage, making them suitable for the use in the inner layers of the future CMS tracker. Due to the cutting edge technology needed to produce these sensors, their use for a large scale experiment has only recently become feasible. However, the production processes are more complex than those of planar sensors, and this affects costs and production efficiency. Therefore, 3D sensors have been taken into consideration only for the inner layers of the tracker, while planar sensors will be used in the other layers. In this Thesis, a complete characterisation of 3D and planar pixel detectors is presented. The studies are performed at the INFN and CERN laboratories and in several test beam experiments at DESY. My work was crucial for the characterisation of the detectors both before and after irradiation, to verify that both the sensor and the readout chip are able to resist the high uences expected at the HL-LHC with a minimum loss of performance. The studies I made demonstrated that planar pixel detectors reach a hit detection efficiency of over 99% at a bias voltage of 600 V after an irradiation corresponding the fluence expected after ten years of operations of HL-LHC. 3D pixel detectors have not been tested to these uences yet (new test beams in the near future will target their characterisation), but are expected to reach similar efficiencies with far lower bias voltages, around 150 V. Having high efficiencies at relatively low bias voltages leads to a lower power consumption and reduces the susceptibility to sparking issues with respect to planar sensors. Both of these features are invaluable in the inner tracker environment. Among the studies presented in this Thesis, the spatial resolution of 3D and planar pixel detectors was thoroughly evaluated. Non-irradiated 3D and planar pixel detectors have shown remarkable spatial resolution, down to 2 µm or 5 µm depending on the pixel pitch. The results presented in this Thesis will contribute significantly to the choice of the pixel sensors to be used in the future CMS Inner Tracker. The second part of this Thesis focuses on the measurement of the Vector Boson Fusion (VBF) Higgs production mechanism in the H ! WW decay channel. A particle consistent with the SM Higgs boson was observed in 2012 by the CMS and ATLAS collaborations at the LHC. After the discovery, precision on the measurement of this new particle properties and interactions has progressed as more data were collected. Currently, all production processes have been observed in one or more decay channels or via combination of several decay channels, with no significant deviations with respect to the SM prediction. However, the VBF mechanism, being at the heart of the electroweak symmetry breaking, needs to be studied with ever-improving analysis techniques while waiting for additional data to reduce the statistical uncertainty. Such a rare process is sensitive to new physics phenomena and allows to set stringent constraints on the compatibility of the Higgs boson itself with the SM. The cross section for the VBF mechanism in proton-proton collisions at a center of mass energy of 13 TeV has been measured by CMS in several Higgs decay channels. The H --> WW decay, thanks to its large branching ratio, is ideal for the observation of this production process. The most recent CMS analysis in the H --> WW decay channel, however, mainly focused on the measurement of the global production cross section: the analysis was not optimized with respect to the V BF production mode. In this Thesis, a multivariate analysis was implemented in order to enhance the sensitivity of the measurement of the VBF mechanism in the H --> WW decay channel. In particular, a Deep Neural Network (DNN) was developed in order to isolate the signal events from the background, which is mainly composed by top quarks events, non-resonant WW and gluon fusion Higgs boson production mechanism. The DNN yields four scores for each event, corresponding to the degree of compatibility either with the signal or one of the main backgrounds. These scores are then combined and used in the fitting procedure. This innovative approach was necessary because one of the main backgrounds of this analysis is another Higgs production process, therefore making it difficult to tackle this analysis in a simple signal versus background paradigm. This study is based on the whole Run-2 dataset, collected from 2016 to 2018 with the CMS experiment. The VBF Higgs production mechanism is observed with a significance of 3.6 standard deviations, resulting in the first evidence of this production mechanism in the WW decay channel with the CMS experiment. Moreover, the measured cross section is compatible with the Standard Model within one standard deviation. This work established an analysis strategy that will be used for the LHC Run-3 and possibly beyond it.

  • Publication . Part of book or chapter of book . 2022
    Open Access
    Authors: 
    Tiezzi, Francesco; Maltecca, Christian;
    Publisher: Springer New York
    Country: Italy
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    C. Piselli; A.L. Pisello; B.K. Sovacool;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Country: Italy
    Project: EC | SWS-HEATING (764025)

    An extensive, representative, and, multi-country tailored survey questionnaire eliciting social practices with heat as an energy service and the relative perceptions about heating devices was submitted to a randomized sample of more than 6,000 potential end-users in Europe within the framework of the Horizon 2020 project SWS-HEATING. The project is developing an innovative seasonal thermal energy storage unit for residential use. Moreover, within the project, the role of occupancy variability and use conditions in the performance of the proposed system is assessed. The present study focuses on tailor-made user-building interaction models to be implemented into dynamic simulation for the assessment of the proposed and similar systems starting from the sociological assessment of such large-scale survey results. These models take advantage from the knowledge raised by the findings of the social survey to frame for the first time occupants’ behavior scenarios representative of South, central, and North European countries. In this way, the influence of cultural context and demographic factors and their relation to heating practices are considered when developing these tailored occupant behavior models. Results show the non-negligible influence (up to 43% in the coldest climate) of implementing these models on predicted building heating energy needs, as quantitative demonstration of the role of societal-related variables on final energy use estimation.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Camilla Matera; Lars Dommermuth; Silvia Bacci; Bruno Bertaccini; Alessandra Minello; Daniele Vignoli;
    Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
    Country: Italy
    Project: EC | EU-FER (725961)

    AbstractBy adopting a dyadic extension of the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991), this study examined whether perceived economic uncertainty affects fertility intentions. Three-hundred thirty one heterosexual couples living in Italy participated in a randomized between-group experimental study, in which we manipulated perceived economic uncertainty (low vs. high vs. control). The participants subsequently completed a questionnaire measuring their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and fertility intentions. We employed Structural Equation Modelling in estimating the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model. The model showed a good fit to the data. Women’s attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were influenced by the high economic uncertain scenario, whereas among men these variables were affected only by the positive economic scenario. Attitudes and perceived behavioral control were significant predictors of fertility intentions for both sexes. Significant partner effects were observed as well. These findings suggest that fertility plans should be examined by adopting a dyadic perspective, as individuals’ intentions are affected not only by their own beliefs, but also by those of their partners.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Corongiu, Manuela;
    Publisher: Universitätsbibliothek Braunschweig
    Countries: Italy, Germany

    Bei Geoinformationen muss der Interoperabilitätsbegriff auf verschiedenen Ebenen definiert werden, um die Gestaltung komplexer räumlicher Infrastrukturen umfassend zu berücksichtigen: sematisch, schematisch, Syntax und vor allem über Prozesse und Schritte, die in einem gemeinsamen Rahmen geteilt werden müssen. Die Interoperabilitätsfrage ist der Grundpfeiler des Forschungsthemas und wird unter verschiedenen Aspekten und Sichtweisen analysiert, wobei der Fokus auf drei relevanten Aspekten liegt. Zunächst die 3D-Informationen: aus kartografischer Sicht (2,5D) bis hin zu vollständigen 3D-Modellen. Dann die Verbindung zwischen Referenzgeoinformationen und raumbezogenen thematischen Anwendungen, die im Kontext von Eisenbahninfrastrukturen angewendet werden. Schließlich werden Informationen aus mehreren Quellen in einer integrierten räumlichen Datenbank bei der Verwaltung, Validierung und Aktualisierung im Laufe der Zeit analysiert. Der vorgeschlagene Ansatz geht von den Referenzdaten aus, die auf geotopographischen 3D-Informationen basieren. Die Forschung zielt darauf ab, einen prototypischen Prozess eines 3D-Datenmodells zu entwickeln, das in der Lage ist, zunächst aus kartografischen Karten abgeleitete Geodatenbanken und dann ein räumliches Modell zu beschreiben, das von verschiedenen territorialen Anwendungen und Analysen geteilt werden kann. 3D-Stadtmodelle und die Anbindung von Building Information Models (BIM) wurden in Betracht gezogen. Die Fallstudie bezieht sich auf die Inhalte der Eisenbahninfrastruktur. Die Forschungsziele berühren daher folgende Aspekte: die Entwicklung der Basiskartographie hin zu räumlichen Datenbanken, die Verbindung zwischen einer 3D-Geodatendatenbank und einer 3D-Stadtmodellierung, die Verbindung zwischen 3D-Stadtmodellierung und BIM, die Verbindung zwischen Georeferenz und Geo- thematische Anwendungen im Eisenbahnkontext, die Rolle von Punktwolkendaten in räumlichen Datenbanken und das Multi-Source Geoinformationsmanagement. Zusammenfassend konzentriert sich die Dissertation darauf, eine Roadmap zu skizzieren, um die Interoperabilität mit geografischen Standards und formalen Schritten aufrechtzuerhalten. Jeder Schritt wird als Verbindungspunkt zwischen verschiedenen Geodatenanwendungen ausgeführt. Die Unabhängigkeit von technologischen Plattformen oder Anwendungsformaten war eine der zwingenden Anforderungen. In geospatial information, the interoperability term must be defined at different levels to fully consider the design of complex spatial infrastructures: sematic, schematic, syntax, and, above all, on processes and steps required to be shared in a common framework. The interoperability issue is the keystone of the research topic and is analysed through different aspects and points of view, with a focus on three relevant aspects. First of all, the 3D information: from the cartographic point of view (2.5D) to fully 3D models. Then, the link between reference geoinformation and geospatial thematic applications applied in the context of railway infrastructures. Finally, multi-source information in an integrated spatial database is analysed in management, validation, and update over time. The proposed approach starts from the reference data based on 3D geotopographic information. The research aims to devise a prototype process of a 3D data model able to describe firstly geospatial databases derived from cartography maps, then a spatial model shareable among different territorial applications and analysis. 3D city models and Building Information Model (BIM) connection has been considered. The case study refers to railway infrastructure contents. Consequently, the research objectives touch the following aspects: the evolution of base cartography toward spatial databases, the connection between a 3D geospatial database and a 3D city modelling, the connection between 3D city modelling and BIM, the connection between geo- reference and geo-thematic applications in the context of railways, the role of point clouds data within spatial databases, and the multi-source geospatial information management. To summarise, the thesis focuses on outlining a road map to keep interoperability using geographical standards and formal steps. Each step runs as a liaison point between different spatial data applications. Independence from technological platforms or application formats has been one of the mandatory requirements.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Innocenti, Lorenzo;
    Countries: Italy, Germany

    In den letzten Jahrzehnten wurde die Schwemmholzdynamik in Flüssen wegen der ökologischen Bedeutung für Flusslebensräume und wegen der damit verbundenen potenziellen Gefahren für Menschen und Infrastrukturen weitgehend untersucht, was zu einer zusätzlichen Komponente der Flusshydraulik führte. Trotz neuerer Forschungen ist das Wissen über die Dynamik der transportierten Holzelemente immer noch unvollständig, insbesondere bei der Modellierung der Auswirkungen von Sekundärströmungen auf die Schwemmholz. Die vorliegende Doktorarbeit zielt darauf ab, das Wissen über den Transport von Schwemmholzdynamik in scharfen Flussbiegungen zu erweitern, indem Antworten auf die beiden wichtigsten Forschungsfragen gefunden werden: die Identifizierung der Hauptvariablen, die das Phänomen beeinflussen, und die Bewertung der Fähigkeit von 2D-Tiefenmittelungsmodellen bei der Reproduktion der Auswirkungen von Sekundärströmungen auf die Holzflugbahnen. Zu diesem Zweck wird ein kombinierter physikalischer und numerischer Ansatz verwendet. Physikalische Modellversuche wurden durchgeführt, um den Einfluss (i) der Abmessungen des Schwemmholzdynamik, (ii) der Position der Annäherung des Schwemmholz an die Kurve und (iii) der anfänglichen Ausrichtung des Schwemmholzdynamik auf die Holzflugbahnen in einer scharfen Biegung zu untersuchen. Die Analyse der Experimente erfolgte unter Berücksichtigung der Flugbahnen der Holzstücke entlang der Biegung und lieferte statistische Ergebnisse. Außerdem wurden die Experimente mit Hilfe eines mathematischen Modells analysiert, um den Widerstandskoeffizienten für schwimmende Schwemmholz in einer schraubenförmigen Strömung zu ermitteln. Für die Simulation von Sekundärströmungseffekten wurde das 2D-tiefengemittelte Modell "Iber-Wood" erweitert und durch die Simulation von zwei Versuchsaufbauten und einer flussweiten Fallstudie getestet. Zu den Hauptergebnissen der vorliegenden Arbeit gehören die Bestimmung der Hauptvariablen, die die Trajektorien von Schwemmholz in scharfen Flussbiegungen beeinflussen, die Berechnung von Widerstandskoeffizienten für ein schwimmendes Schwemmholzdynamik und die Verbesserung des Iber-Wood-Modells bei der Simulation von Sekundärströmungseffekten. Darüber hinaus werden zwei nichtdimensionale Koeffizienten angegeben: der Variationskoeffizient, der die Abweichung der Flugbahn entlang einer Kurve ausdrückt, und der Ähnlichkeitskoeffizient, der die Ähnlichkeit zwischen zwei Flugbahnen ausdrückt. In den Laborexperimenten wurde besonders der Einfluss der Holzlänge hervorgehoben, die die Hauptvariable ist, die die Flugbahn einzelner Holzstücke bestimmt. Darüber hinaus bestimmte die Annäherung von Schwemmholzdynamik an die Kurve den Aufprall des Holzes auf das äußere Ufer, auf das die Holzstücke durch die Sekundärströmung gedrückt werden. Das mathematische Modell, das für die Berechnung des Widerstandskoeffizienten definiert wurde, liefert Werte zwischen 0,3 und 1,2, abhängig von der Orientierung der Holzstücke in Bezug auf die Strömungsrichtung. Schließlich konnte mit dem erweiterten Iber-Wood-Modell die Drift simuliert werden, der Schwemmholz während des Transports entlang einer Flussbiegung aufgrund des Vorhandenseins einer spiralförmigen Strömung ausgesetzt ist. In last decades, the role of large wood (LW) in rivers was largely investigated due to the ecological importance for river habitats, and due to the associated potential hazards to humans and infrastructures, resulting an additional component of fluvial hydraulics. Despite recent research, knowledge of the dynamics of transported wood elements is still incomplete, particularly in modelling the effect of secondary currents on the LW dynamics. The present PhD research aims to enhance the knowledge on the transport of LW in sharp river bends by finding answers to the two main research questions: the identification of the main variables that influence the phenomenon, and assessing the capability of 2D depth-averaged models in reproducing effects of secondary currents on wood trajectories. A combined physical and numerical approach is used for this purpose. Physical model tests were performed in order to investigate the influence of (i) LW element dimensions, (ii) the approaching position of LW to the curve, and (iii) the initial orientation of LW, on the wood trajectories in a sharp bend. The analysis of experiments was conducted by considering the trajectories of wood pieces along the bend and providing statistical results. Moreover, experiments were analyzed by applying a mathematical model in order to provide the drag coefficient for floating LW subjected to a helical flow. For the simulation of secondary current effects, the 2D depth-averaged model “Iber-Wood” was enhanced and tested by simulating two experimental setups and a river-scale case study. The main results of the present work include the individuation of the main variables that influenced the LW trajectories in sharp river bends, the calculation of drag coefficients for a floating LW, and the improvement of the Iber-Wood model in simulating secondary current effects. In addition, two nondimensional coefficients are provided: the coefficient of variation for expressing the trajectory deviation along a bend, and the coefficient of similarity for expressing the similarity between two trajectories. Laboratory experiments particularly highlighted the influence of the wood length which is the main variable determining the trajectory of single wood pieces. Moreover, the approaching position of LW to the curve determined the impact of the wood against the outer bank towards which the wood pieces are pushed by the secondary current. The mathematical model defined for calculating the drag coefficient provides values ranging between 0.3 and 1.2 dependent on the orientation of the wood pieces with respect to the flow direction. Finally, the enhanced Iber-Wood model allowed to simulate the drift to which LW is subjected while transported along a river bend due to the presence of the helical flow.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ciano, Matteo;
    Countries: Germany, Italy

    Die Doktorarbeit schlägt eine Methode zur Verbesserung der Genauigkeit seismischer Fragilitätskurven vor The doctoral thesis proposes a method to improve the accuracy of seismic fragility curves

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