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  • Publications
  • 2018-2022
  • Open Access
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  • 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
    Authors: 
    Biagini, Carlo; Bongini, Andrea; Ottobri, Paolo; Verdiani, Giorgio;
    Publisher: Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
    Countries: Spain, Italy

    The implementation of BIM methodologies for historical buildings presupposes not only the collection of data and information related to its geometric configuration and to the technical parameters of its constituent elements, but more generally the identification of those semantic values which make it part of the historical-cultural heritage shared in a specific context. It is therefore essential that the modelling objectives are explicitly defined in relation to the specific BIM uses required, in order to avoid risks of over-modelling. This paper proposes a process of geometric validation of building information models of high morphological complexity implemented through Scan-to-BIM procedures. By means of a controlled and interoperable workflow, a chain of software applications is defined that is able to determine the level of geometric accuracy (LOA) of the information model with respect to the numerical model derived from the point cloud. Two case studies of H-BIM modelling of historical monumental complexes dating back to the Romanesque period in Sardinia (Italy) are illustrated: the churches of Sant'Efisio a Nora (Cagliari) and Santa Maria del Regno (Sassari). In the discussion of the results, the need for a prior definition of modelling strategies in relation to the expected BIM uses is highlighted. The digital survey was carried out as a part of the research project titled, “The Romanesque and the territory. Construction materials of the Sardegna Giudicale”, and coordinated by prof. Stefano Columbu. The BIM model was developed by a students’ team as part of the teaching activities of the Architectural Drawing course at the School of Engineering, University of Florence. The imagines are extracted from the drawings of the students, Valeria Siddi, Elena Pastorelli, Liuba Gabrielli, Simone Riccio, Elisa Ricotti.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Gislayne Farias Valente; Gabriel Araújo e Silva Ferraz; Lucas Santos Santana; Patrícia Ferreira Ponciano Ferraz; Daiane de Cinque Mariano; Crissogno Mesquita dos Santos; Ricardo Shigueru Okumura; Stefano Simonini; Matteo Barbari; Giuseppe Rossi;
    Country: Italy

    The mapping of pastures can serve to increase productivity and reduce deforestation, especially in Amazon Biome regions. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to explore precision agriculture technologies for assessing the spatial variations of soil pH and biomass indicators (i.e., Dry Matter, DM; and Green Matter, GM). An experiment was conducted in an area cultivated with Panicum maximum (Jacq.) cv. Mombaça in a rotational grazing system for dairy buffaloes in the eastern Amazon. Biomass and soil samples were collected in a 10 m × 10 m grid, with a total of 196 georeferenced points. The data were analyzed by semivariogram and then mapped by Kriging interpolation. In addition, a variability analysis was performed, applying both the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) derived from satellite remote sensing data. The Kriging mapping between DM and pH at 0.30 m depth demonstrated the best correlation. The vegetative index mapping showed that the NDVI presented a better performance in pastures with DM production above 5.42 ton/ha−1. In contrast, DM and GM showed low correlations with the NDWI. The possibility of applying a variable rate within the paddocks was evidenced through geostatistical mapping of soil pH. With this study, we contribute to understanding the necessary premises for utilizing remote sensing data for pasture variable analysis.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Sara Peri; Jessica Ruzzolini; Silvia Urciuoli; Giampaolo Versienti; Alessio Biagioni; Elena Andreucci; Silvia Peppicelli; Francesca Bianchini; Andrea Bottari; Lido Calorini; +3 more
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Italy

    Oleocanthal, a minor polar compound in extra-virgin olive (EVO) oil, contains anticancer properties, which should be encouraged in its use in oncology. Gastric Cancer (GC), a very aggressive human cancer, is often diagnosed at advanced stages, when surgery is substituted or supported by chemotherapy (CT). However, CT frequently fails due to the patient’s resistance to the treatment. Thus, the aim of this study is to verify whether an OC-enriched EVO oil extract fraction (OCF) may be useful in order to overcome a resistance to GC. We evaluated the OCF effects on an AGS gastric adenocarcinoma cell line wild type (AGS wt) and on its subpopulations resistant to 5-fluorouracil (5FUr), Paclitaxel (TAXr) or cisplatin (CISr). We found that a 60 µM dose of the OCF acts on the AGS wt, 5FUr and TAXr, leading to the cell cycle inhibition and to a ROS production, but not on CISr cells. Resistance of CISr to the OCF seems to be due to higher levels of antioxidant-enzymes that can counteract the OCF-induced ROS production. Moreover, using the OCF plus 5-fluorouracil, Paclitaxel or cisplatin, we found a potentiating effect compared with a mono-treatment in all resistant GC cells, including CISr. In conclusion, the use of the OCF in the management of GC has shown very interesting advantages, opening-up the possibility to evaluate the efficacy of the OCF in vivo, as a valid adjuvant in the treatment of resistant GC.

  • Publication . Conference object . Article . 2022
    Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alessandro Spennato; Simone Zurli;
    Publisher: Municipality of Alanya
    Country: Italy

    During the mid-1990s and the first two decades of the 2000s, the Netherlands underwent a super zoning programme called VINEX to redevelop peripheral areas. The initial objective is to change to an urban landscape design project for high-density housing, favouring places that tend to be elitist. This research looks first at the evolution of VINEX on urban landscape design and then at how the recent NR development programme has sought to correct housing speculation. Finally, by comparing the objectives of VINEX and the NR programme, this research aims to highlight how land reclamation can also be achieved through new policies of green landscape and social inclusion and not only through land consumption, a peculiar characteristic of Dutch planning.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Diego Quintero Balbas; Alice Dal Fovo; Daniela Porcu; Antonina Chaban; Simone Porcinai; Raffaella Fontana; Jana Striova;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Italy

    The application of protective coatings is an effective preventive strategy to avoid metal corrosion. Constant monitoring of the coating’s quality is fundamental for the successful preservation of the metallic objects by reducing their interaction with corroding agents. Their evaluation over time helps to identify failure at early stages and promote their removal and substitution. Several methods have been employed for coating evaluation (i.e., chemical analysis, thickness and homogeneity investigation). In this paper, we compare three methods—Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Confocal Raman Microspectroscopy (CRM), and Eddy Currents (ECs)—to evaluate thickness values and coating integrity. The results from the two optical techniques (CRM and OCT) agree, being able to detect the inhomogeneity of the layer on a micron scale but requiring correction to account for the refraction phenomenon. The Eddy Current is a fast and efficient method for thickness estimation, providing data with millimetric lateral resolution.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Caterina Ciani; Anna Pérez-Ràfols; Isabelle Bonomo; Mariachiara Micaelli; Alfonso Esposito; Chiara Zucal; Romina Belli; Vito Giuseppe D’Agostino; Irene Bianconi; Vito Calderone; +5 more
    Country: Italy
    Project: EC | RNAct (813239)

    Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative pathogen, known to acquire resistance to antibiotics used in the clinic. The RNA-binding proteome of this bacterium is poorly characterized, in particular for what concerns the proteins containing RNA Recognition Motif (RRM). Here, we browsed the A. baumannii proteome for homologous proteins to the human HuR(ELAVL1), an RNA binding protein containing three RRMs. We identified a unique locus that we called AB-Elavl, coding for a protein with a single RRM with an average of 34% identity to the first HuR RRM. We also widen the research to the genomes of all the bacteria, finding 227 entries in 12 bacterial phyla. Notably we observed a partial evolutionary divergence between the RNP1 and RNP2 conserved regions present in the prokaryotes in comparison to the metazoan consensus sequence. We checked the expression at the transcript and protein level, cloned the gene and expressed the recombinant protein. The X-ray and NMR structural characterization of the recombinant AB-Elavl revealed that the protein maintained the typical β1α1β2β3α2β4 and three-dimensional organization of eukaryotic RRMs. The biochemical analyses showed that, although the RNP1 and RNP2 show differences, it can bind to AU-rich regions like the human HuR, but with less specificity and lower affinity. Therefore, we identified an RRM-containing RNA-binding protein actually expressed in A. baumannii.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Lorenzo Marini; Enrico Palchetti; Lorenzo Brilli; Gelsomina Fico; Claudia Giuliani; Marco Michelozzi; Gabriele Cencetti; Bruno Foggi; Piero Bruschi;
    Publisher: MDPI AG
    Country: Italy

    Two wild populations of Helichrysum (Mill.) located at Elba Island (Tuscan Archipelago, Central Italy) were morphologically and phytochemically analyzed to taxonomically identify H. litoreum (population A) and H. italicum subsp. italicum (population B). Micromorphological and histochemical analyses were performed on the indumentum using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Light Microscope (LM). Morphometric analyses on vegetative and reproductive traits were also conducted. Finally, a chemotaxonomic analysis was carried out on the terpene profile of flowers, leaves and bark tissues using gas chromatography (GC-MS). Results suggested that morphological discriminant traits were mainly in leaves and cypselae glandular tissues. Phytochemical analysis indicated that a high relative content of α-pinene and β-caryophyllene were the main markers for population A, while a high relative content of neryl-acetate, α-curcumene, isoitalicene and italicene, especially in the terpene profile of bark tissue, were the main compounds for discriminating population B. The analysis suggested that the wild population A could be mainly ascribed to H. litoreum, whilst population B is defined by H. italicum.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Eleonora Cataldo; Maddalena Fucile; Giovan Battista Mattii;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Italy

    In Mediterranean areas, extreme weather conditions such as high diurnal temperatures during the growing season could tweak vine physiology and metabolism, affecting grapes’ quality. Moreover, uncertainty in spatial and temporal distribution precipitation is an issue for the water resources of the vineyards, forcing the winemakers to continuously face an increasing water demand in recent decades, which has led them to non-sustainable choices for ambient (i.e., irrigation solutions). The aspiration of this experiment was to explore the effects of zeolite treatments (clinoptilolite type) on Vitis vinifera L. (potted vines) ecophysiology and berry metabolism under two water regimes. The plants were subordinated to two different predawn water potential regimes (0 ≤ ΨPD ≤ −0.4, WWCtrl and −0.4 ≤ ΨPD ≤ −0.9, WSCtrl), both associated with zeolite treatments (WWt and WSt). Gas exchanges, predawn and midday stem water potential, chlorophyll fluorescence, temperature, and relative water content were overseen on leaves at veraison, maturation, and harvest. Technological analyses were performed on the berries. Moreover, data were analyzed with principal component analysis and Pearson’s correlations. This experiment supplies new evidence that zeolite applications could impact both physiological profiles (higher photosynthesis and stomatal conductance) as well as berry skin metabolism (sugar and size) of vines, giving a better skill to counteract low water availability during the season and maintaining a better hydraulic conductivity.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Carmen del Pilar Gallardo-Montes; Antonio Rodríguez Fuentes; María Jesús Caurcel Cara; Davide Capperucci;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Countries: Spain, Italy

    Background: Studies on the potential of smartphone apps for people with autism are currently increasing in number, given the large digital supply available and the benefits they offer. We analyzed the opinion of educators from Florence (Italy) and Granada (Spain) regarding the benefits and applicability of apps, frequency of their use, and the type of apps used for people with autism. Methods: The study involved 1261 professionals, of whom 286 worked with apps, using a non-experimental quantitative design, descriptive and frequency statistics, parametric inferential analyses (Student’s t and one-factor ANOVA), and calculation of the effect size (Cohen’s d and eta squared) and intrafactorial correlations. Results: Statistically significant differences were observed in respect of city, sex, age, years of experience, place of work, and type of teacher. The teachers from Granada found more benefits and applicability in apps, and revealed a slightly higher usage than those from Florence. Conclusions: It is an arduous but worthy task for professionals from schools and associations that work with people with autism to acquire the necessary knowledge to apply methodologies based on information and communication technology (ICT), as this will help achieve the integrated development of people with different capabilities.

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