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11,184 Research products, page 1 of 1,119

  • Publications
  • 2018-2022
  • IT
  • Flore (Florence Research Repository)
  • GNOSIS Institutional Repository

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  • Open Access English
    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
    Countries: Portugal, Italy, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Belgium ...

    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
    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 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: 
    Ciano, Matteo;
    Publisher: Universitätsbibliothek Braunschweig
    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

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

    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
    Authors: 
    Debora Pratesi; Stefania Mirabella; Giulia Petrucci; Camilla Matassini; Cristina Faggi; Francesca Cardona; Andrea Goti;
    Publisher: Wiley
    Country: Italy
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Chiara De Stefani; Marzia Vasarri; Maria Cristina Salvatici; Lucia Grifoni; Jose Carlos Quintela; Anna Rita Bilia; Donatella Degl’Innocenti; Maria Camilla Bergonzi;
    Country: Italy

    Oleanolic acid (OA) is the main triterpenic acid of olive leaves known for numerous pharmacological properties, including antioxidant activity. However, it is poorly soluble in water and consequently with low bioavailability, which limits its pharmacological application. Microemulsions (MEs) are dispersed systems consisting of two immiscible phases that promote rapid solubilization and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. To improve both solubility and intestinal permeability of this molecule, OA has been formulated in two different microemulsions (ME-1 and ME-2). A solubility screening was carried out to select the ME components, and pseudoternary phase diagrams were constructed to evaluate the region of existence and select the appropriate amount of the constituents. ME-1 was prepared using Capmul PG-8/NF as the oily phase, and Transcutol and Tween 20 (7:3) as surfactants, while ME-2 contained Nigella oil and Isopropil myristate as the oily phase, and Transcutol HP and Cremophor EL (2:1) as surfactants. The OA solubility was increased by 1000-fold and 3000-fold in ME-1-OA and ME-2-OA, respectively. The MEs’ droplet size and the PdI were evaluated, and the stability was assessed for 8 weeks by monitoring chemical and physical parameters. The parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) also demonstrated an enhanced intestinal permeability of both OA formulations compared with free OA. The potential ability of both MEs to enhance the bioactivity of OA against LPS-induced oxidative stress in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages was also investigated. Overall, this study suggests that both MEs promote a bio-enhancement of the protective action of OA against the LPS-induced pro-oxidant stress in macrophages. Overall, this study suggests that MEs could be an interesting formulation to improve OA oral bioavailability with potential clinical applications.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rossella Bardazzi; Maria Grazia Pazienza; Maria Eugenia Sanin;
    Country: Italy

    AbstractDeveloping countries are advancing towards universal energy access with high fertility rates and young population. Socio-demographic and economic evolutions will influence future energy consumption patterns. Herein, we use Mexico as a case study to estimate determinants of residential electricity consumption as well as the importance that a shift in generational preferences has on such energy demand. We build an original pseudo-panel of Mexican households to separately estimate generational and age effects on the use of electricity. Our findings are in line with the few studies performed for developed countries, but the magnitudes are four times stronger. This means that, as they grow older, younger generations in Mexico increase their electricity consumption at a much faster rate than in developed countries. This may represent a significant obstacle in the way of meeting future energy demand, particularly in the context of the energy transition.

  • Embargo
    Authors: 
    Francesco Giardini; Erica Lazzeri; Camilla Olianti; Giada Beconi; Irene Costantini; Ludovico Silvestri; Elisabetta Cerbai; Francesco S. Pavone; Leonardo Sacconi;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Country: Italy
    Project: EC | REPAIR (952166)

    Both genetic and non-genetic cardiac diseases can cause severe remodeling processes in the heart. Structural remodeling, such as collagen deposition (fibrosis) and cellular misalignment, can affect electrical conduction, introduce electromechanical dysfunctions and, eventually, lead to arrhythmia. Current predictive models of these functional alterations are based on non-integrated and low-resolution structural information. Placing this framework on a different order of magnitude is challenging due to the inefficacy of standard imaging methods in performing high-resolution imaging in massive tissue. In this work, we describe a methodological framework that allows imaging of whole mouse hearts with micrometric resolution. The achievement of this goal has required a technological effort where advances in tissue transformation and imaging methods have been combined. First, we describe an optimized CLARITY protocol capable of transforming an intact heart into a nanoporous, hydrogel-hybridized, lipid-free form that allows high transparency and deep staining. Then, a fluorescence light-sheet microscope able to rapidly acquire images of a mesoscopic field of view (mm-scale) with the micron-scale resolution is described. Following the mesoSPIM project, the conceived microscope allows the reconstruction of the whole mouse heart with micrometric resolution in a single tomographic scan. We believe that this methodological framework will allow clarifying the involvement of the cytoarchitecture disarray in the electrical dysfunctions and pave the way for a comprehensive model that considers both the functional and structural data, thus enabling a unified investigation of the structural causes that lead to electrical and mechanical alterations after the tissue remodeling.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alessandro Ramalli; Enrico Boni; Emmanuel Roux; Herve Liebgott; Piero Tortoli;
    Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    Country: Italy
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