ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0362.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: VarroMed®; Varroa destructor; winter treatment; summer-autumn treatment; queen caging; brood interruption
Online: 30 August 2021 (12:52:30 CEST)
VarroMed® is a soft acaricide registered for honey bees on the European Union market since 2017 for Varroa control. Researchers involved were partners of different countries of the Varroa control task force of COLOSS Association. Our goal was to evaluate performances (acaricide efficacy and toxic effects on honey bees) of VarroMed® in different climatic conditions. Our results in the tested apiaries showed an efficacy ranging from 71.2 to 89.3 % in summer/autumn, and from 71.8 % to 95.6 % in winter. No toxic effects on bees were observed, except in one apiary, where severe cold climatic conditions played a crucial role. The treatment could be efficiently applied in brood right as well as in broodless colonies. Integrated pest management (IPM) recommendations for bee-keepers are provided in order to apply the best Varroa control protocol.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0148.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Candida spp.; PCR-RFLP; Honduras; HardyCHROM®; MicroScan®
Online: 15 September 2019 (03:30:16 CEST)
Candida species are one of the most important causes of human infections, especially in hospitals and among immunocompromised patients. The correct and rapid etiological identification of yeast infections is important to provide adequate therapy, reduce mortality and control outbreaks. In this study, Candida species were identified in patients with suspected fungal infection, and phenotypic and genotypic identification methods were compared. A total of 167 axenic fungal cultures and 46 clinical samples were analyzed by HardyCHROM®, MicroScan®, and PCR-RFLP. The species of the C. albicans complex were the most frequent, followed by C. tropicalis and C. glabrata. Less common but clinically relevant species of Candida were also isolated. The comparison between the three methods was concordant, especially for the most common Candida species. Fungal DNA amplification was successful in all clinical samples.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0179.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Materials Science And Technology Keywords: transport phenomena; melt pool; dendrite; cellular automaton; MATLAB®, ABAQUS®
Online: 10 February 2023 (04:39:38 CET)
Despite being well established phenomena, solidification principles are experiencing tough challenges in their application to explain microscale transport phenomena in additive manufacturing melt pool. The problem becomes even more complicated when applied to multicomponent bulk metallic glass matrix composites (BMGMC) whose behavior is dubious and still not fully understood. The aim of the present study is to highlight pathways to overcome these challenges. A comprehensive nucleation and growth model based on original KGT theory and Rappaz modification is proposed encompassing actual transient thermophysical BMGMC data to predict evolving microstructure during additive manufacturing. The model is aimed at pictorial representation of in-situ ductile phase dendrite evolution from melt pool during solidification using two-dimensional cellular automaton (CA) methods. It is proposed to be coded in MATLAB® using commercial simulation code ABAQUS® at back end for macroscopic heat transfer model. The results will be compared with experimental values for validation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0774.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; volumetry software; MRI; medial temporal lobe atrophy; Scheltens’ scale; NeuroQuant®; Aqua®
Online: 12 October 2023 (05:35:02 CEST)
: Medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA) remains an important imaging biomarker in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosing and evaluating Alzheimer's disease (AD). We compared the detection performance for determining significant MTA and the correlation with Scheltens' scale between two automatic volumetry software, NeuroQuant® and Aqua®, in non-AD and AD groups. Overall, 127 (non-AD, 54; AD, 73) individuals who underwent three-dimensional T1-weighted volumetric MRI in our hospital between January and August 2011 were enrolled and retrospectively analyzed using NeuroQuant® and Aqua®. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for detecting significant MTA and the correlation for Scheltens' scale with the mean hippocampal volume of each software were evaluated. The study sample’s mean age was 78 (range, 59–97) years. Regarding accuracy and specificity, Aqua® was non-inferior to NeuroQuant®. Aqua® had significantly higher overall specificity than NeuroQuant® for detecting significant MTA. Additionally, the calculated mean hippocampal volume of Aqua® was more correlated with Scheltens' scale (Kendall's τ, - 0.48) than that of NeuroQuant® (Kendall's τ, - 0.20). The accuracy and specificity of Aqua® in detecting MTA are not inferior to those of NeuroQuant®. Additionally, Aqua® has a stronger correlation of mean hippocampal volume with Scheltens' scale than NeuroQuant®.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0218.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: bearing; lubrication; CFD; OpenFOAM®; meshing
Online: 18 October 2019 (11:55:48 CEST)
Efficiency improvement is the new challenge in all fields of design. In this scenario the reduction of power losses is becoming more and more a main concern also in the design of power transmissions. Appropriate models to predict power losses are therefore from the earliest stages of the design phase. The aim of the project is to carry on lubrication simulations of several variants of a cylindrical-roller-bearing to understand the lubricant distribution and the related churning power losses. Several strategies to reduce the computational effort have been used. Among them the sectorial symmetry and three innovative meshing strategies (purely analytical with and without interfaces and analytical/subtractive) that have been implemented in the OpenFOAM® environment. The results of the different approaches were compared among them and with experimental observations showing good agreement and reasonable savings in terms of computational effort.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0203.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Tungiasis; Tunga penetrans; molecular entomology; DNA isolation; Phusion® polymerase; FIREpol® Taq polymerase; low-cost PCR,
Online: 10 November 2022 (11:19:42 CET)
Tungiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by skin-penetrating female Tunga penetrans fleas. Although tungiasis causes severe health problems, its ecology is poorly understood and morphological descriptions of larvae are unavailable. To identify T. penetrans immature stages and sites where they develop, diagnostic PCRs are required. However, flea larvae feed on soil organic matter rich in PCR inhibitors. Here, three DNA preparation methods, a soil DNA kit removing inhibitors, a simple ammonium acetate precipitation approach (AmAcet) and a crude lysate of larvae (CL), were combined with amplification by the highly processive FIREPol® Taq or the inhibitor-resistant Phusion® polymerase. Independent of the polymerase used, frequency of successful amplification, Cq values and PCR efficacies for the low-cost CL and AmAcet methods were superior to the commercial kit for amplification of a 278 bp partial internal transcribed spacer-2 (ITS-2) and a 730 bp pan-Siphonaptera cytochrome oxidase I PCR. For the CL method combined with Phusion® polymerase, costs were approximately 20-fold lower than for methods based on the soil DNA kit, which is a considerable advantage in resource-poor settings. The ITS-2 PCR did not amplify Ctenocephalides felis genomic or Tunga trimammilata ITS-2 plasmid DNA allowing it to be used to specifically identify T. penetrans.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1647.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: Polypodium leucotomos; Fernblock®; photoprotection; photodermatoses; photoaging; hyperpigmentation
Online: 23 June 2023 (08:58:58 CEST)
Exposure to sun radiation leads to higher risk of sunburn, pigmentation, immunosuppression, photoaging and skin cancer. In addition to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), recent research indicates that infrared radiation (IR) and visible light (VIS) can play an important role in the pathogenesis of some of these processes. Detrimental effects associated to sun exposure are well known, but new studies have shown that DNA damage continues to occur long after exposure to solar radiation has ended. Regarding photoprotection strategies, natural substances are emerging for topical and oral photoprotection. In this sense, Fernblock®, a standardized aqueous extract of the fern Polypodium Leucotomos (PLE), has been widely administered both topically and orally with a strong safety profile. Thus, this extract has been used extensively in clinical practice, including as a complement to photodynamic therapy (PDT) for treating actinic keratoses (AKs) and field cancerization. It has also been used to treat skin diseases such as photodermatoses, photoaggravated inflammatory conditions and pigmentary disorders. This review examines the most recent developments in the clinical application of Fernblock® and assesses how newly investigated action mechanisms may influence its clinical use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0527.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: XEN®-63 gel stent; glaucoma; bleb revision
Online: 7 June 2023 (09:29:59 CEST)
The XEN® gel stent reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma. XEN®-45 is widely used while the newer XEN®-63 has a larger lumen that may lower IOP more. We retrospectively compared the first 15 XEN®-63 cases to 15 matched XEN®-45 controls. With a preoperative IOP of 18.1 ± 3.9 mmHg (mean ± SD) and a final IOP of 9.2 ± 4.2 mmHg, XEN®-63 implantation resulted in an IOP reduction of 48.0 ± 23.3%. Similarly, with a preoperative IOP of 18.3 ± 4.5 mmHg and a final IOP of 10.5 ± 2.3 mmHg, XEN®-45 implantation resulted in an IOP reduction of 39.5 ± 17.81%. The median follow-up period was 57 days for the XEN®-63 group and 183 days for the XEN®-45 group. 5/15 eyes of each group underwent open conjunctival bleb revision within the period of observation. Two eyes of the XEN®-63 group also had secondary glaucoma surgery. In both groups only one eye required restart of antiglaucomatous medication. XEN®-63 and XEN®-45 effectively lower IOP and medication. XEN-63 achieved lower IOP over a short follow-up. Com-plication and revision rates were similar.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0415.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Endocrinology And Metabolism Keywords: Chronic Hypoparathyroidism; rhPTH (1-84); Natpar®; Treatment
Online: 24 December 2021 (23:55:38 CET)
The use of recombinant human PTH (1-84) [rhPTH(1-84)] is approved as hormonal replacement therapy in patients with hypoparathyroidism not adequately controlled with conventional therapy. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of 12 months of rhPTH (1-84) treatment in a cohort of patients selected according to the indications of recent hypoparathyroidism guidelines. It is a multicenter, observational, retro-prospective, open label study. Eleven Italian Endocrinological centers were involved. Fourteen adult subjects with chronic hypoparathyroidism treated with rhPTH (1-84) for 12 months were enrolled. Main outcome measures included serum and urinary parameters of mineral metabolism, renal function, oral calcium and vitamin D doses, and clinical manifestations. At 12 months, 61.5% of patients discontinued calcium supplement and 69.2% calcitriol. Mean serum calcium levels quickly normalized after initiation of rhPTH (1-84) treatment compared to baseline (p=0.009). Rare hypo-hypercalcemia episodes were reported. Renal function was maintained normal and no renal complications were reported. Serum and urinary phosphate and urinary calcium were maintained in the normal range. Mean phosphatemia levels linearly decreased from 3 months up to 12 months compared to baseline (p= 0.014). No severe adverse events were described. In conclusion, this study confirm the efficacy and safety of rhPTH (1-84) therapy.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0597.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Clinical Medicine Keywords: Peri-implantitis; Implacure® Protocol; Platelet-rich Fibrin
Online: 23 December 2020 (16:12:26 CET)
Peri-implant diseases are defined as pathological inflammatory reactions in the tissue surrounding the osseointegrated implants. They are classified into two categories: mucositis - defined as peri-implant soft tissue inflammation and peri-implantitis - bone loss in the peri-implant region. A clinical case of a 61-years-old woman with an implant in the 46 anatomical position and a 5-year follow-up is presented. A probe depth of 5mm and a bone defect length of 35% was observed. The Implacure® Protocol was applied, with the main objective of eliminating the biofilm present on the exposed implant surface. There are multiple approaches to treat peri-implant diseases. While non-surgical treatment is essential for mucositis control, the treatment of peri-implantitis surgical treatment should be considered. Regenerative bone reconstruction promotes bone repair in the defect area and reduces bleeding during probing. To achieve that, autologous fibrin combined with Cerasorb M® was used. The proposed approach in the exposed clinical case involves the application of Implacure® Protocol, whose combination of the physical decontamination technique, together with the use of chlorhexidine and orthophosphoric acid, added with the combination Piperacillin + Tazobactam together with hyaluronic acid, provide a base that allows to regenerate bone using platelet-rich fibrin with Cerasorb M® and increase the survival time of the implant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0443.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Hupresin®; affinity chromatography; procainamide-Sepharose; BChE; AChE
Online: 27 June 2018 (10:52:04 CEST)
Affinity chromatography on procainamide-Sepharose has been an important step in the purification of butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) since its introduction in 1978. The procainamide affinity gel has limitations. In the present report a new affinity gel called Hupresin® was evaluated for its ability to purify truncated, partly-deglycosylated human butyrylcholinesterase (rHuBChE) expressed in a stably transfected CHO cell line. We present a detailed example of the purification of rHuBChE secreted into 3940 mL of serum-free culture medium. The starting material contained 13,163 units of BChE activity (20.9 mg). rHuBChE was purified to homogeneity in a single step by passage over 82 mL of Hupresin® and elution with 0.1 M tetramethylammonium bromide in 20 mM TrisCl pH 7.5. The fraction with the highest specific activity of 630 units/mg contained 11 mg of BChE. Hupresin® is superior to procainamide-Sepharose for purification of BChE, but is not suitable for purifying native AChE because Hupresin® binds AChE so tightly that AChE is desorbed with denaturing solvents such as 50% acetonitrile or 1% trifluoroacetic acid. Procainamide-Sepharose will continue to be useful for purification of AChE.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0621.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: RSV; ribavirin; Aerogen® solo; SPAG-2; children; infection
Online: 29 October 2020 (15:38:09 CET)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is associated with adverse outcomes among immunocompromised patients. Inhaled ribavirin has been shown to improve mortality rates. The Small-Particle Aerosol Generator delivery system (SPAG-2) is the only FDA-cleared device to deliver inhaled ribavirin. However, it is difficult to set up and maintain. We developed a method for delivery of this medication using the vibrating mesh nebulizer (Aerogen®). We did not observe any adverse events with this method.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0155.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: object-oriented technique; change detection; eCognition® software; landuse
Online: 29 September 2017 (12:51:40 CEST)
This study compared two object-oriented land use change detection methods—detection after classification (DAC) and classification after detection (CAD) —based on a digital elevation model, slope data, and multi-temporal Landsat images (TM image for 2000 and ETM image for 2010). We noted that the overall accuracy of the DAC (86.42%) was much higher than that of the CAD (71.71%). However, a slight difference between the accuracies of the two methods exists for deciduous broadleaf forest, evergreen coniferous forest, mixed wood, upland, paddy, reserved land, and settlement. Owing to substantial spectrum differences, these land use types can be extracted using spectral indexes. The accuracy of DAC was much higher than that of CAD for industrial land, traffic land, green shrub, reservoir, lake, river, and channel, all of which share similar spectrums. The discrepancy was mainly because DAC can completely utilize various forms of information apart from spectrum information during a two-stage classification. In addition, the change-area boundary was not limited at first, but was adjustable in the process of classification. DAC can overcome smoothing effects to a great extent using multi-scale segmentations and multi-characters in detection. Although DAC yielded better results, it was more time-consuming (28 days) because it uses a two-stage classification approach. Conversely, CAD consumed less time (15 days). Thus, a hybrid of the two methods is recommended for application in land use change detection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0193.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Tolerana®; Pregnancy; Fetal-Maternal Recognition; Reproduction; Reproductive Safety Toxicology
Online: 13 May 2022 (15:14:42 CEST)
As recommended in the ICH Guidelines (S5-R2 and S6-R1), and based on bioethical concerns, we chose bovine embryos (BE) to check the in vitro embryo development considering the use of different amounts of rHGAL-1 as supplementations of in vitro embryo culture (IVP) mediums. Based on procedures for commercial BE in vitro production, using oocytes aspirated from slaughterhouse ovaries, the rHGAL-1 supplementation performed in two experiments (#01 on the oocyte maturation - IVM medium supplemented and experiment #2 on culture step IVC, supplemented SOF medium). There were IVP commercial procedures done, with 3 IVP batches per experiment and distributed the oocytes in four groups of treatment (one control group and three different dosages of rHGAL-1 to supplement both IVM and SOF mediums, using (2, 20 and 40µg.mL-1 respectively). A total of 962 (experiment 1) and 1,213 (experiment 2) oocytes were aspirated and submitted to IVP procedure. There was no damage to in vitro bovine embryos growth, considering cleavage percentage (%CLE), blastocysts development on day 7 (BlD7, BxD7, BhD7), or hatching blastocysts maturation on day 8 (BhD8%), regardless of rHGAL-1 supplementation. The immunohistochemistry assay with D8 embryos cultivated with rHGAL-1 supplementation on the culture medium (SOF medium) could demonstrate the presence of exogenous GAL-1, distributed in mass cell and trophoblastic cells, and the profile observed is dependent of exogenous supplementation and it was more evident in hatched embryos. The findings reassure the use of a reasonable amount of rHGAL-1 for in vitro embryonic development and make using rHGAL-1 in assisted reproduction in humans more reliable and safer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0442.v1
Subject: Engineering, Bioengineering Keywords: Modeling process; SuperPro Designer®; Cell Culture; Public health; Developing countries
Online: 28 October 2021 (15:16:38 CEST)
The production of vaccines of biological origin presents a tremendous challenge for researchers. In this context, animal cell cultures are an excellent alternative for the isolation and production of biologicals against several viruses since they have an affinity with viruses and a great capacity for their replicability. Different variables have been studied to know the system's ideal parameters, allowing it to obtain profitable and competitive products. Consequently, this work focuses its efforts on evaluating an alternative for producing an anti-influenza biological from MDCK cells using SuperPro Designer v8.0 software. The process uses the DMEN culture medium supplemented with nutrients as raw material for cell development; the MDCK cells were obtained from a potential scale-up with a final working volume of 500 L, four days of residence time, inoculum volume of 10%, and continuous working mode with up to a total of 7400 h/Yr of work. The scheme has the necessary equipment for the vaccine's production, infection, and manufacture with yields of up to 416,698 units/h. In addition, it was estimated to be economically viable to produce recombinant vaccines with competitive prices of up to 0.31 USD/unit.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1592.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aging Keywords: osteoporosis; osteoblasts; BMP-2; BMPRIa; C57BL/6 mice; MβCD; QDot®s
Online: 24 November 2023 (09:31:34 CET)
As humans age, aberrancies in several signaling pathways occur. In the aging population, some patients display abnormal bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling. This can lead to osteoporosis (OP), a debilitating bone disorder caused by an imbalance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved usage of recombinant human BMP-2 (rhBMP-2) during spinal fusion surgery as it is crucial for bone formation. However, complications have been reported with rhBMP-2 and primary osteoblasts isolated from OP patients are unresponsive to BMP-2. While patient samples are available, previous medical history may alter results. Therefore, C57BL/6 mice, an aging model that displays aberrant BMP-signaling, can be utilized to investigate OP and aging. We show that BMP receptor type Ia (BMPRIa) is upregulated in the bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) of 15-month mice similar to previous data. We show that a conjugation between BMP-2 and Quantum Dots (QDot®s) effectively binds to BMPRIa and can investigate BMP-2 activity. After incubating BMSCs with methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD), BMP-signaling is restored in 15-month mice as shown by western blotting and the von Kossa assay. MβCD may be used to rescue BMPRIa and the BMP-signaling pathway can be utilized by future therapeutics to treat OP.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1158.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Eudragit® E РО; citrus pectin; apple pectin; diclofenac sodium; interpolyelectrolyte complex
Online: 18 October 2023 (10:17:24 CEST)
Many studies have been conducted using pectin for modified drug delivery. In this regard, the goal of the work was to obtain interpolyelectrolyte complexes based on citrus or apple pectin and the Eudragit® EPO and study properties from the standpoint of using these carriers for oral drug delivery. Turbidity, gravimetry, viscosity, elementary analysis and FTIR spectroscopy, DSC analysis were used for physicochemical characterization. Diffusion-transport characteristics were studied to assess the swelling ability of the matrices and the release of diclofenac sodium. Mathematical modeling of the release parameters was carried out using the Krosmayer-Peppas equation. During the turbidity study, stoichiometry compositions were selected for the studied IPECs EPO/PeсA and EPO/PeсC at pH values = 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0. FTIR spectra of the complexes are characterized by an increase in the intensity of the bands at 1610 cm-1 and 1400 cm-1. According to the DSC analysis IPEC has a certain Tg = 57.3°C. The highest release rates are shown by IPEC EPO/PecC_1 and EPO/PecC_4. The mechanism of drug transport from the matrices IPEC EPO/PecC, IPEC EPO/PecA_3 and EPO/PecA_4 can be characterized as Super Case II. Anomalous (non-Fickian release) is typical for IPEC EPO/PecA_1 and EPO/PecA_2. Thus, the resulting systems are suitable for colon-specific drug delivery systems.
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: printed electronics; Aerosol Jet® printing; direct-write technology; embedded PTF resistors
Online: 4 February 2020 (05:44:32 CET)
Electronic designers nowadays are facing two challenging demands for various applications: miniaturization and increased functionality. To satisfy these seemingly opposed requirements, reducing the number of mounted components—and thus solder joints—in PCB designs becomes an attractive approach by directly printing passive components such as embedded resistors into the circuit. This approach can also potentially increase the reliability, such as “mean time between failures” (MTBF), while reducing the circuit board size. With its unique capabilities for non-contact precision material deposition, the Aerosol Jet® direct-write technology has been enabling additive manufacturing of fine-feature electronics conformally onto flexible substrates of complicated shapes. The CAD/CAM controlled relative motions between substrate and print head allows convenient adjustment of the pattern and pile height of deposited material at a given ink volumetric deposition rate. To date in the printed electronics industry, additively printing embedded polymer-thick-film (PTF) resistors has mostly been done with screen printing using carbon-based paste inks. Here we demonstrate results of Aerosol Jet® printed PTF resistors of resistance values ranging from ~50 W to > 1 kW, adjustable (among several variable parameters) by the number of stacked layers (or print passes with each pass depositing a fixed amount of ink) between contact pads of around 1 mm apart with footprint line typically < 0.3 mm. In principle, any ink material that can be atomized into fine droplets of 1 to 5 microns can be printed with the Aerosol Jet® system. However, the print quality such as line edge cleanliness can significantly influenced by ink rheology which involves solvent volatility, solids loading, and so on. Our atomizable carbon ink was made by simply diluting a screen printing paste with a compatible solvent of reasonable volatility, which can be cured at temperatures below 200 oC. We show that Aerosol Jet® printed overlapping lines can be stacked to large pile height (to reduce the resistance value) without significant increase of line width, which enables fabricating embedded resistors with adjustable resistance values in a limited footprint space.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0648.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: malnutrition; home enteral nutrition; quality of life; NutriQoL®; nutritional status; health status
Online: 11 October 2023 (04:56:02 CEST)
Home enteral nutrition (HEN) is recommended for patients with nutritional requirements who can stay in the familiar environment. HEN guidelines recommend assessing health-related quality of life (HRQoL) to evaluate the effect of the treatment. NutriQoL® is a specific questionnaire developed to assess HRQoL in patients receiving HEN and validated in Spanish population. An observational, descriptive, and prospective study was carried out in two Spanish hospitals to describe the evolution of HRQoL, nutritional and health status in patients receiving HEN in routine clinical practice. Fifty-seven patients participated in the study, of whom 36 were followed-up after their inclusion. Most of them were at risk or moderate malnutrition (61.1%) or showed severe malnutrition (27.8%) at baseline. Patients with HEN showed an overall good HRQoL with a mean basal NutriQoL® score of 69.4, which increased to 74.3 after 12 months of follow-up; fifteen patients showed a clinically significant difference (≥4 points) after three months. The proportion of at-risk or severely malnourished patients decreased at the end of the follow-up period and, according to the physicians, their health status improved. Additionally, physicians considered useful the HRQoL evaluation in clinical practice. In conclusion, HRQoL is probably related to nutritional status improvement and, thus, should be considered for nutritional evaluation in clinical practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2112.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aging Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; oxidative stress; Twendee X®︎; antioxidant; dementia; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species
Online: 1 August 2023 (02:49:59 CEST)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex disease involving multiple factors such as amyloid plaque formation, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere length, and oxidative stress. As the disease began 20 years before the onset of clinical symptoms, treatment of AD after its onset is likely to be too late to have a significant effect. Therefore, prevention from an early stage is important. Twendee X®︎ (TwX, Oxicut®︎) is an antioxidant supplement consisting of eight ingredients. TwX has been proven to prevent dementia in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective intervention trial. To elucidate the mechanisms of TwX on brain and cellular function, TwX was administered in in vitro experiments and in a C57BL/6 old wild-type, and spontaneous hyperglycemia model with accelerated cognitive decline, and its effects on diabetes, brain autophagy, neurogenesis, and telomere length were evaluated in comparison with those of the non-treated groups. TwX protected mitochondria from oxidative stress with higher antioxidant capacity than a single antioxidant. TwX not only lowered blood glucose levels, but also suppressed reduction of brain neurogenesis and loss of autophagy. Telomeres in aged mice were significantly longer than those in non-TwX-treated mice. Development of dementia is based on many factors of brain function. TwX was suggested to prevent dementia not only by its antioxidant effects, but also by its effects on diabetes, brain neurogenesis, telomere deficiency, and energy production.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0094.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: concrete setting time; Coca-cola; silica fume; fly ash; Plastocrete® RT6 Plus
Online: 10 January 2020 (06:55:02 CET)
During the casting in a warmer tropical temperature, a setting time delay is required to maintain the workability of the concrete, commonly achieved by the addition of admixtures i.e. silica fume (SF), fly ash (FA), and Plastrocrete®. However, high sugar content Coca-Cola in niche conditions is proposed as an ingredient for delaying concrete setting time in combination with conventional admixtures. This research aims to compare the setting time of admixtures from Coca-Cola and Plastocrete® RT6 plus in concrete mixing with control data of concrete mixed with SF or FA. The second aim is to measure the compression strengths between combinations of Coca-Cola and Plastocrete® RT6 plus. Concretes were produced with admixtures of SF, FA, Plastocrete® RT6plus, or Coca-Cola. The concrete used to control was f'c20 and f'c 25, while other concrete mixes were produced with the addition of Coca-Cola at 0.15% from the weight of cement at variation of moisture treatments. The first method to produce concrete (f'c20+Plas0.23%+Cola0.15% and f'c25+Plas0.23%+Cola0.15%) did not employ water reduction. The second concrete productions (f'c25+Plas0.46%+Cola0.15% and f'c25+Plas0.46%+Cola0.15%) reduced the addition of water at 8.8% (v/w). The first concrete production method had a setting time 44% longer than control. The reduced water concrete in the second productions had a setting time 34% longer than control. Meanwhile, the Plastocrete® RT6 Plus admixture with the reduced water delayed the concrete setting time by 26% longer than control. The delayed setting time of Plastocrete® RT6 Plus admixture with reduction of water was shorter than in the treatment with Coca-Cola. The combination of the addition of Coca-Cola with Plastocrete® RT6 plus by reducing the amount of adding Coca-Cola to 0.10% with Plastocrete® RT6 plus can delay concrete setting time by 51% longer than normal concrete and increase concrete compressive strength by 13% higher than normal concrete. Mixing Coca-Cola with Plastocrete® RT6 plus not only provided an optimal delay effect on setting time but also significantly increase the compressive strength that was desired during the casting in warm tropical weather applied in building construction of Mulawarman University, Samarinda, Indonesia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0390.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: botulinum neurotoxin; biosensor; CANARY®, detection; B-cell based assay; immunoassay; food matrices
Online: 22 August 2018 (04:59:24 CEST)
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication can lead to the disease botulism, characterized by flaccid muscle paralysis that can cause respiratory failure and death. Due to the significant morbidity and mortality costs associated with BoNTs high toxicity, developing highly sensitive, rapid, and field-deployable assays are critically important to protect the nation’s food supply against either accidental or intentional contamination. We report here that the B-cell based biosensor assay (CANARY® Zephyr) detects BoNT/A in buffer and various food matrices rapidly in ≤ 40 min, in small volumes ≈ 50 μL, with minimal processing of samples, and is extremely portable (suitcase-sized equipment). BoNT/A was detected at limits of detection (LOD) < 0.075 ng ± 0.02 in assay buffer while milk matrices (non-fat, 2 %, whole milk) increased the LOD to < 0.175 – 0.314 ng. Limits of detection for the assay in complex foods were < 1 ng ± 0.0 (neutralized acidic juices-carrot, orange and apple); < 16.7 ng ± 7.7 (liquid egg); and varied from < 0. 39 – 3.125 ng for solid complex foods (ground beef, green bean baby puree, smoked salmon). These results show that the CANARY® Zephyr assay can be a highly useful tool in clinical, environmental, and food safety surveillance programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0201.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: architectural design management; lean design; Last Planner System®; reliable workflow; planning and control
Online: 4 October 2023 (12:15:30 CEST)
The Last Planner System (LPS) aims to enhance planning reliability by reducing variability in construction processes. While LPS applications have been explored in construction and detailed design, its application in architectural design remains underrepresented due to its abstract nature. This study addresses this gap by proposing an LPS framework tailored for architectural design, utilizing LPS metrics to assess planning reliability. Key issues hindering formal planning methods' implementation are identified, and relevant LPS principles are aligned with these challenges, culminating in a conceptual LPS model designed for architectural projects. Building upon the conceptual model, an implementation model is then developed and put into practice within an architectural design company in the United States, resulting in measured improvements in planning reliability and responsiveness. Additionally, it unveils hidden challenges associated with emerging tasks, guiding future design process enhancements. This study demonstrates how tracking design planning performance with LPS metrics can promote LPS adoption in architectural design, offering a benchmark for necessary interventions to achieve desired performance in architectural design.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.2135.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Influenza vaccine; Grippol® Plus; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; vaccine efficacy; cytokines; CRP
Online: 30 September 2023 (08:27:03 CEST)
Background: Influenza vaccine is a tool for preventing infection and reducing exacerbations in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Purpose of this study is to investigate dynamics of CRP and serum cytokines (IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17) in patients with asthma and COPD, as well as to perform a correlation analysis with the clinical parameters of the disease manifestation. Methods: The study included 34 patients with asthma, 20 patients with COPD vaccinated against influenza during a period of remission from 2 to 4 weeks, both groups being under a basic maintenance therapy, and 26 healthy individuals vaccinated with the trivalent polymer-subunit vaccine Grippol® Plus, containing 5 µg of influenza virus strains and 500 µg of azoximer bromide. Results: Observing patients with asthma and COPD, during a year after the vaccination, has revealed a significant reduction in exacerbations frequency (p < 0.05) and duration (p < 0.05) of the bronchial obstructive syndrome (BF). Before the vaccination the IL-6 level in patients with asthma had a direct moderate correlation with duration of exacerbations of the underlying disease (p < 0.05), along with the number of systemic corticosteroids courses during exacerbations (p < 0.05). In 12 months after the vaccination, while assessing cytokine profile of all study groups, a significant reduction in the level of IL-6 was observed, compared to the baseline values (p< 0.05). Conclusion: Conducted analysis of immunological, clinical, and functional parameters of patients with asthma and COPD has proven for influenza vaccine to be effective in BF patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0494.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Polymer inclusion membrane (PIM); Poly(vinylidenefluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene); Vanadium(V); Extraction; Aliquat® 336
Online: 26 November 2021 (09:03:14 CET)
A polymer inclusion membrane (PIM) composed of 50 wt% poly(vinylidenefluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) as its base polymer, 40 wt% Aliquat® 336 as its extractant and 10 wt% dibutyl phthalate (DBP) as plasticizer provided efficient extraction of vanadium(V) from its sulfate solutions adjusted to pH 2.5. It was suggested that V(V) was extracted as VO2SO4− via an anion exchange mechanism. Quantitative back-extraction was achieved in a sulfuric acid solution (6 mol L-1) containing 1 v/v% of hydrogen peroxide. It was assumed that the back-extraction process involved the oxidation of VO2+ to VO(O2)+ by hydrogen peroxide. The newly developed PIM with the optimized composition mentioned above exhibited excellent selectivity for V(V) in the presence of metallic species present in digests of spent alumina hydrodesulfurization catalysts (i.e., Al(III), Co(II), Cu(II), Fe(III), Mn(II), and Ni(II)). The co-extraction of Mo(VI) with V(V) was eliminated by its selective extraction at pH 1.1. The optimized PIM was characterized by contact angle measurements, atomic-force microscopy (AFM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)/derivatives thermogravimetric analysis (DTGA), and the stress-strain measurements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0036.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Sorghum bicolor leaf extract; SBLS; Jobelyn®; antioxidant; Immune-modulatory; anti-inflammatory; anti-anemia; HIV
Online: 7 December 2017 (04:37:20 CET)
The West-African variety of Sorghum bicolor leaf sheath (SBLS) Jobelyn® is a natural remedy, which has gained international recognition for its anti-anemic effect and energy boosting qualities in debilitating diseases. The widespread use of traditional medicine in the region usually confirms its safety, but not its efficacy or deep assessment of their pharmacological properties. The other major issue for herbal-based treatments is the lack of definite and complete information about the composition of the extracts. Despite limitations, efforts have been made in isolation and characterisation of active compounds in this specie of sorghum showing various subclasses of flavonoids including apigeninidin, a stable 3-deoxyanthocyanidin and potential fungal growth inhibitor, which accounts for 84% of the total extract. Non-clinical in vitro and in vivo studies support previous indications that this variety of Sorghum bicolor possesses several biologically active compounds with potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and neuro-protective properties. Clinical studies show that SBLS has the ability to boost hemoglobin concentrations in anemic conditions and most remarkably to increase CD4 count in HIV-positive patients. The multiple effects and high safety profiles of this extract may encourage its development as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of anemia, chronic inflammatory conditions or in the symptomatic management of HIV infections. This review describes the potential therapeutic aspects of SBLS extract and its potential benefits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0069.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: hyaluronic acid; mallow extract; Visiodoron Malva®; lubricating effect; dry eye disease; pilot study; medical device
Online: 3 March 2023 (09:53:15 CET)
Background and Objectives: Mucilaginous substances from plant extracts are known to be able to support the lubricating effect of hyaluronic acid (HA) in dry eye disease (DED). In this pilot study, the combined lubricating effect of HA and mallow extract (Malva sylvestris L.) in patients with DED was assessed. Materials and Methods: 20 patients at 5 ophthalmological practices in Italy were treated with eye drops, containing HA and mallow extract on the one hand, and with eye drops containing HA only, on the other hand, in a two-period crossover design. As primary endpoints, the tear film breakup time (TBUT), the reduction of lissamine green staining of the ocular surface (Oxford Scheme, OS), and the safety and efficacy assessment by the ophthalmologists were evaluated. As secondary variables, the patient symptom score, the ocular surface index (OSDI), and the satisfaction, preference and efficacy judgement by the patients were evaluated. All data were analysed descriptively in addition to an exploratory analysis of the target variables. Results: Both products were well tolerated. There were no statistically significant differences, with regard to the TBUT, OS and OSDI, between both treatments. Anyway, the efficacy and safety assessments by the ophthalmologists and the patients showed results in favour of the combined product. Conclusion: The addition of mallow extract to HA containing eye drops enhances the treatment of DED at least with respect to subjective measurements. Further assessments will have to be done to prove and explain this observation in terms of measurable parameters, e.g. markers for inflammatory cytokines.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0199.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dentistry And Oral Surgery Keywords: periodontal regeneration; aggressive periodontitis; deproteinized bovine bone; enamel matrix derivatives (Emdogain®); guided tissue regeneration (GTR)
Online: 21 January 2019 (08:58:50 CET)
The aim of this article is to evaluate and compare, retrospectively, the efficacy of two regenerative periodontal procedures in patients suffering from aggressive periodontitis (AgP). Twenty-eight patients were diagnosed with AgP, suffering from multiple intra-bony defects (IBD); that were treated by one of two regenerative modalities of periodontal therapy randomly assigned to each patient: a. guided tissue regeneration (GTR) or b. an application of enamel matrix derivatives (EMD) combined with DBX. The monitoring of the treated sites included recordings of probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), and gingival recession. Pre-treatment and follow-up (up to 10 years from the surgery) recordings were analyzed statistically within and between groups. A significant reduction was shown at time on PD and CAL values, however, not between subject groups. CAL values decreased in all sites. At EMD group (44 sites) CAL gain was 1.92 mm (±1.68) from pre-treatment to follow-up (p<0.001) and at the GTR group (12 sites) CAL gain of 2.27 (±1.82) mm. In conclusion, 1-10 years observations have shown that surgical treatment of AgP patients by either GTR or by application of EMD/DBX results in similar successful clinical results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1132.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Atlantic salmon; Salmonid alphavirus 3 (SAV3); Pseudobranch; Immune response; Pancreas disease (PD); In situ hybridization; RNAscope®
Online: 18 October 2023 (08:29:28 CEST)
Salmonid alphavirus strain 3 is responsible for outbreaks of pancreas disease in salmon and rainbow trout in Norway. Although the extensive amount of research on SAV3 focused mainly on the heart and pancreas (of clinical importance), tropism and pathogenesis studies of the virus in other salmon tissues are limited. Here, we used a combination of RT-qPCR (Q_nsp1 gene) and in situ hybridization (RNAscope®) to demonstrate the tropism of SAV3 in situ in tissues of Atlantic salmon, employing a challenge model (by cohabitation). In addition, as previous results suggested that pseudobranch may harbor the virus, the change in the expression of different immune genes upon SAV3 infection (RT-qPCR) was focused on the pseudobranch in the current study. In situ hybridization detected SAV3 in the heart, pseudobranch, gills, pyloric caeca, and pancreas after virus infection, with the heart ventricle showing the most extensive infection. Furthermore, the detection of the virus at different adipose tissues associated with the internal organs of the salmon, suggests a specific affinity of SAV3 to adipocyte’s components. The innate immune response to SAV3 in the pseudobranch after infection dominated over the adaptive responses, yet it did not mitigate the infection in that tissue. The early detection of SAV3 in the pseudobranch after infection, along with the persistent low infection over the experimental course, suggests a pivotal role of the pseudobranch in SAV3 pathogenesis in Atlantic salmon.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2113.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Complementary And Alternative Medicine Keywords: adaptogens; Kan Jang®; Andrographis paniculata; Eleutherococcus senticosus; clinical trial; mild COVID-19; IL-6; inflammatory symptoms
Online: 1 August 2023 (02:30:57 CEST)
Background and aim. The study aimed to assess the efficacy of the treatment of Kan Jang®, a fixed combination of Andrographis paniculata (Burm. F.) Wall. ex. Nees and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim in patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Methods. One hundred forty patients received six capsules of Kan Jang® (n = 68, daily dose of andrographolides – 90 mg) or placebo (n=72) and supportive treatment (paracetamol) for 14 consecutive days in a randomized, quadruple-blinded, placebo-controlled, two-parallel-group design. The efficacy outcomes were the rate of cases turning to severe, the detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 virus over the time of treatment, the duration and the severity of symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, cough, headache, fatigue, loss of smell, taste, pain in muscles) in the acute phase of the disease. Other efficacy measures included improving cognitive and physical performance, quality of life, and the levels of inflammatory blood markers - IL-6, c-reactive protein, and D-dimer. Results. Kan Jang® significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the rate of cases turning to severe (5.36%) compared to placebo (17.86%) and decreased the detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 virus over the time of treatment. The statistical difference in the rates of patients with clinical deterioration in the Kan Jang treatment and placebo control groups was significant (p = 0.0176) both in 112 patients included per protocol (IPP) analysis and in 140 patients included per intention to treat (ITT) analysis (p = 0.0236); the absolute risk reduction of cases by Kan Jang treatment was 12.5%, and the number Needed to Treat by Kan Jang was 8. The patient's recovery time (Number of sick days at the home/clinic) was shorter in the Kan Jang group compared with the placebo group. The rate of resolution of inflammatory symptoms in the Kan Jang® group was significantly higher compared with the placebo group, and relief of the severity of cough, sore throat/pain, runny nose, and muscle soreness. Kan Jang® significantly decreased the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptoms scores compared to placebo in the sample size of 140 patients. However, the relief of fatigue and headache and the decrease of IL-6 in the blood was observed only in a subset of the 86 patients infected during the second three waves of the pandemic. Kan Jang® significantly increased physical activity and workout; however, it did not affect cognitive functions (attention and memory), Quality of life Score, inflammatory markers D-dimer, and c-reactive protein compared with the placebo group. Conclusions. Overall, the results of this study suggest that Kan Jang® is effective in treating mild and moderate COVID-19 irrespective of SARS-Cov-2 variants infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0014.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: neonatal sepsis; blood culture; early-onset sepsis; late-onset sepsis; FilmArray® blood culture identification panel; neonates.
Online: 1 February 2023 (11:50:19 CET)
This prospective single-center study was designed to assess the clinical utility of the FilmArray® blood culture identification (BCID) panel for improving the diagnostic accuracy in neonatal sepsis. Results obtained using the FilmArray® BCID panel were correlated with results of blood culture in all consecutive neonates with suspicion of early-onset (EOS) and late-onset sepsis (LOS) attended in our service over a 2-year period. A total of 102 blood cultures from 92 neonates were included, 69 (67.5%) in cases of EOS and 33 (32.3%) in LOS. The FilmArray® BCID panel was performed in negative culture bottles at a median of 10 hours of blood culture incubation (range 7.5-20 hours), without differences by the type of sepsis. The FilmArray® BCID panel showed a 66.7% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% positive predictive value, and 95.7% negative predictive value. There were four false-negative cases, three of which of Streptococcus epidermidis in neonates with LOS and one case of Granulicatella adiacens in one neonate with EOS. We conclude that the use of the FilmArray® BCID panel in negative blood cultures from neonates with clinical suspicion of sepsis is useful in decision-making of starting or early withdrawal of empirical antimicrobials because of the high specificity and negative predictive values of this assay.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1667.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: masonry walls; CAM® System; shear behavior; reinforcement arrangement; diagonal compression test; pseudo-ductility; anisotropy; elastic moduli; Poisson’s ratio.
Online: 25 October 2023 (14:04:10 CEST)
Among all the active confinement techniques, the use of pre-tensioned stainless steel straps has recently gained much attention. The flexibility of the stainless steel straps allows us to bend and pass them through the thickness of the masonry, thus creating a three-dimensional strengthening system between the two opposite facings. The use of the same perforation for the passage of several straps closed in a loop generates a continuous strengthening system that prevents parts of the structure from falling and injuring the occupants during seismic events. However, the perforations can nullify the in-plane strengthening, as they act as cylindrical hinges and make the reinforcement system labile for certain strap arrangements. Diagonal compression tests on square masonry panels performed in the present study show that the straps improve neither strength nor ductility when running along the mortar head and bed joints, arranged in square meshes. Conversely, they improve both strength and ductility when the straps make angles of 45° with the mortar joints. Furthermore, the experimental results show that the straps exert an anisotropic effect that decreases the apparent in-plane Poisson ratio. They also provide new insights into the diagonal compression test and allow formulating a new proposal for the pseudo-ductility factor.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0193.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: mild cognitive impairment (MCI); mild dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; Ginkgo biloba (EGb761®); Tebonin; anti-dementia drugs; randomized controlled trials
Online: 8 February 2021 (11:37:05 CET)
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild dementia are a clinically relevant health problem in the elderly and Alzheimer's disease being the most common neurodegenerative disorder. Furthermore, MCI and mild dementia are characterized by a deterioration of cognitive function and their diagnosis is mainly based on cognitive examination and, the prognosis of the disease seems to be an essential reason for the diagnosis, because there is a high risk of cognitive decline in the two syndromes. This review describes the effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba (EGb761®) leaf extract for the treatment of dementia syndrome and EGb761® combination therapy with other medications for symptomatic dementia. Tebonin® is a drug of plant origin based on the active ingredient “Ginkgo biloba”. This drug has shown encouraging results, improving cognitive function, neuropsychiatric disorders and consequent reduction of caregiver stress and maintenance of autonomy in patients with age-related cognitive decline, MCI and mild dementia. Nowadays, there is little evidence to support the efficacy of EGb761® combination therapy with anti-dementia drugs and, therefore, more evidence is needed to evaluate the role of EGb761® in mixed therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0174.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Robotics Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); Social Robot; Feeling of Safety and Comfort; Trajectory Planning; Virtual Reality; MATLAB/Simulink®; MQTT
Online: 8 October 2020 (11:06:18 CEST)
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent a new model of social robots for home care of dependent persons. In this regard, this article introduces a study on people’s feeling of safety and comfort while watching the monitoring trajectory of a quadrotor dedicated to determining their condition. Three main parameters are evaluated: the relative monitoring altitude, the monitoring velocity and the shape of the monitoring path around the person (ellipsoidal or circular). For this purpose, a new trajectory generator based on a state machine, which is successfully implemented and simulated in MATLAB/Simulink®, is described. The study is carried out with 37 participants using a virtual reality (VR) platform based on two modules, UAV Simulator and VR Visualiser, both communicating through the MQTT protocol. The participants’ preferences have been a high relative monitoring altitude, a high monitoring velocity and a circular path. These choices are a starting point for the design of trustworthy socially assistive UAVs flying in real homes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0416.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: intermittent fasting; time-restricted eating; bitter taste receptors; appetite; satiety; bitter brake; Amarasate®; water fasting; dietary supplement; calorie restriction
Online: 6 September 2023 (11:20:19 CEST)
Dietary restrictions or reductions such as fasting for weight loss, are often difficult to adhere to in the long term due to increased appetite and food cravings. Recently, gastrointestinal delivery of bitter hops extract has been shown to be effective at reducing appetite in men. Our aim was to determine the effect of bitter hops on appetite and cravings in women, using a day-long, water-only fast. Thirty adult women were recruited and required to fast for 24 h from 1800 h to 1800 h on three occasions and given an ad libitum meal to break each fast. Treatments of either a placebo or one of two doses (high dose; HD: 250 mg or low dose; LD: 125 mg) of a bitter hops-based appetite suppressant (Amarasate®) were given twice per day at 16 and 20 h into the fast. Treatment with both the HD and LD treatment groups exhibited a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in appetite and cravings for food. Two participants reported loose stools and one reported heart-burn while on the HD treatment, and one participant reported loose stools while on the LD treatment. These data suggest that appetite suppressant co-therapy may be useful in reducing hunger during fasting in women and shows that gastrointestinal delivery of bitter compounds may also be an effective method of reducing cravings for food.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0354.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: machine learning; computer-assisted reporting; RadLex®; natural language processing; contextual reporting; The Alberta Stroke Programme Early CT Score (ASPECTS)
Online: 20 April 2020 (01:31:44 CEST)
Objectives: Studies evaluating machine learning (ML) algorithms on cross-lingual RadLex® mappings for developing context-sensitive radiological reporting tools are lacking. Therefore, we investigated whether ML-based approaches can be utilized to assist radiologists in providing key imaging biomarkers – such as The Alberta stroke programme early CT score (APECTS). Material and Methods: A stratified random sample (age, gender, year) of CT reports (n=206) with suspected ischemic stroke was generated out of 3997 reports signed off between 2015-2019. Three independent, blinded readers assessed these reports and manually annotated clinico-radiologically relevant key features. The primary outcome was whether ASPECTS should have been provided (yes/no: 154/52). For all reports, both the findings and impressions underwent cross-lingual (German to English) RadLex®-mappings using natural language processing. Well-established ML-algorithms including classification trees, random forests, elastic net, support vector machines (SVMs) and boosted trees were evaluated in a 5 x 5-fold nested cross-validation framework. Further, a linear classifier (fastText) was directly fitted on the German reports. Ensemble learning was used to provide robust importance rankings of these ML-algorithms. Performance was evaluated using derivates of the confusion matrix and metrics of calibration including AUC, brier score and log loss as well as visually by calibration plots. Results: On this imbalanced classification task SVMs showed the highest accuracies both on human-extracted- (87%) and fully automated RadLex® features (findings: 82.5%; impressions: 85.4%). FastText without pre-trained language model showed the highest accuracy (89.3%) and AUC (92%) on the impressions. Ensemble learner revealed that boosted trees, fastText and SVMs are the most important ML-classifiers. Boosted trees fitted on the findings showed the best overall calibration curve. Conclusions: Contextual ML-based assistance suggesting ASPECTS while reporting neuroradiological emergencies is feasible, even if ML-models are restricted to be developed on limited and highly imbalanced data sets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0190.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Condensed Matter Physics Keywords: inhomogeneous object polarization; AC electro-kinetics; high force; DEP trajectory; micro-fluidics; MatLab® model; mirror charges; edge effects; LMEP; μTAS
Online: 10 February 2023 (09:27:28 CET)
The DEP force is usually calculated from the object’s point of view using the interaction of the object’s induced dipole moment with the inducing field. Recently, we described the DEP behavior of high- and low-conductive 200-µm 2D spheres in a square 1x1mm chamber with a plane-versus-plane electrode configuration from the system’s point of view. Here we extend our previous considerations to the plane-versus-plane and pointed-versus-pointed electrode configurations. The trajectories of the sphere center and the corresponding DEP forces were calculated from the gradient of the system’s overall energy dissipation for given starting points. The dissipation’s dependence on the sphere’s position in the chamber is described by the numerical “conductance field”, which is the DC equivalent of the capacitive charge-work field. While the plane-versus-plane electrode configuration is field-gradient free without an object, the presence of the highly or low-conductive spheres generates structures in the conductance fields, which result in very similar DEP trajectories. For both electrode configurations, the model describes trajectories with multiple endpoints, watersheds, and saddle points, very high attractive and repulsive forces in front of pointed electrodes, and the effect of mirror charges. Because the model accounts for inhomogeneous polarization within the objects, the approach allows the modeling of the complicated interplay of attractive and repulsive forces near electrode surfaces and chamber edges. Non-reversible DEP forces or asymmetric magnitudes for the highly and low-conductive spheres in large areas of the chamber indicate the presence of higher-order moments, mirror charges, etc.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0054.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: Active Front-End converter; back-to-back converter; PMSG; THD; Type-4 wind turbine; wind energy system; Opal-RT Technologies®
Online: 4 September 2018 (05:02:15 CEST)
In this paper, the active front-end (AFE) converter topology for the total harmonic distortion (THD) reduction in a wind energy system (WES) is used. A higher THD results in serious pulsations in the wind turbine (WT) output power and in several power losses at the WES. The AFE converter topology improves capability, efficiency and reliability in the energy conversion devices; by modifying a conventional back-to-back converter, from using a single voltage source converter (VSC) to use pVSC connected in parallel the AFE converter is generated. The THD reduction is done by applying a different phase shift angle at the carrier of digital sinusoidal pulse width modulation (DSPWM) switching signals of each VSC. To verify the functionality of the proposed methodology, the WES simulation in Matlab-Simulink® is analyzed, and the experimental laboratory tests using the concept of rapid control prototyping and the real-time simulator Opal-RT® Technologies is achieved. The obtained results show a type-4 WT with total output power of 6MVA, generating a THD reduction up to 5.5 times at the WES.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0073.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: SARS-COV-2; respiratory tests; Xpert® Xpress COV-2 plus; Xpert(2) Xpress COV-2/Flu/RSV plus; diagnostic evaluation; novel target
Online: 5 December 2022 (10:17:58 CET)
The Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 and Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV tests were rapidly developed and widely used during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. In response to emerging genetic variability, a new SARS-CoV-2 target (RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase) has been added to both tests: Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus and Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test. A rapid evaluation of both tests was performed in South Africa, using residual respiratory specimens. Residual respiratory specimens (n=125) were used to evaluate the Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus test and included 50 genotyped specimens. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test was assessed using 45 genotyped SARS-CoV-2 specimens, ten influenza A, ten Influenza B and twenty respiratory syncytial virus specimens. Results were com-pared to in-country standard of care tests. Genotyped specimens tested the performance of the test under pressure from circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Reference material was included to assess the test limits and linearity. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus test performance compared to reference results across residual respiratory specimens was good (positive per-centage agreement (PPA)=95.2%, negative percentage agreement (NPA)=95.0%) The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test showed good performance across all residual respiratory specimens (PPA=100%, NPA=98.3%). All genotyped variants of concern were detected by both tests. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus and Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus tests can be used to diagnose SARS-CoV-2, and to diagnose and differentiate SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus respectively. The NPA was lower than the recommended 99%, but was influenced by the low number of negative specimens tested. The variants of concern assessed did not affect test performance. It is recommended that sites perform their own assessments compared to in-country standard of care tests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.2147.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Thermodynamics Keywords: AC electro-kinetics; electro-kinetic object manipulation; inhomogeneous object polarization; microchambers; micro-systems; object manipulation; field-cage; μTAS; MatLab® model; thermodynamics; energy dissipation; LMEP
Online: 30 September 2023 (07:40:23 CEST)
In two previous papers, we calculated the dielectrophoresis (DEP) force and corresponding trajectories of high- and low-conductance 200-µm 2D spheres in a square 1x1mm chamber with plane-versus-pointed, plane-versus-plane and pointed-versus-pointed electrode configurations by applying the law of maximum entropy production (LMEP) to the system. Here, we complete these considerations for configurations with four-pointed electrodes centered on the chamber edges. The four electrodes were operated in either object-shift mode (two adjacent electrodes opposite the other two adjacent electrodes), DEP mode (one electrode versus the other three electrodes), or field-cage mode (two electrodes on opposite edges versus the two electrodes on the other two opposite edges). As in previous work, we have assumed DC properties for the object and the external media for simplicity. Nevertheless, every possible polarization ratio of the two media can be modeled this way. The trajectories of the spherical centers and the corresponding DEP forces were calculated from the gradients of the system’s total energy dissipation, described by numerically-derived conductance fields. In each of the three drive modes, very high attractive and repulsive forces were found in front of pointed electrodes for the high and low-conductance spheres, respectively. The conductance fields predict bifurcation points, watersheds, and trajectories with multiple endpoints. The high and low-conductance spheres usually follow similar trajectories, albeit with reversed orientations. In DEP drive mode, the four-point electrode chamber provides a similar area for DEP measurements as the classical plane-versus-pointed electrode chamber.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0135.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: Aspirin; COVID-19; Human blood platelets; Platelet hemostatic function; Angiogenesis; Fatty acids; Immunity; Inflammation; Non-hemostatic function; Atherosclerosis; Cancer; Diabetes; Obesity; Hypertension; Bioactive compound; Water-soluble tomato extract; Kiwi fruit; Fruitflow®; papaya leaf extract; Polyphenols; Evodiamine; Polyphenols
Online: 10 March 2022 (02:42:26 CET)
Platelets have long been associated with sustaining the balance between hemostasis and thrombosis. Platelets, however, are also involved in a wide range of biological activities, including inflammation, immunology, wound healing, cancer biology, and angiogenesis. Platelets' diverse roles are mediated by the expression of various adhesive and immune receptors and the secretion of a diverse array of bioactive proteins, ions stored in granules, and several lipid mediators. Platelets also release pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory, and angiogenic factors and shed microparticles into the bloodstream. The challenge for therapeutic intervention in non-hemostatic disease is identifying the factors that primarily inhibit specific targets implicated in platelets' complicated contribution to inflammation or tumor growth while leaving their hemostatic function intact. In addition, blood platelets are involved in infection and innate and adaptive immunity by mediating complicated vascular homeostasis via specialized receptors and granule release, RNA transfer, and mitochondrial secretion. Anti-platelet drugs/bioactive compounds are developed based on their platelet anti-aggregatory properties; however, very little information is available on their effects on non-hemostatic function. Therefore, a better understanding of the impact of the anti-platelet bioactive on the platelets' diverse roles and mechanisms may help develop new strategies and prevent CVD and other diseases. In this review, a comprehensive overview of platelet multifunctional roles in CVD and other diseases and dietary factors' modulatory effects are described.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0589.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: nanotechnology in pavement engineering; thin surfacings for New-age (Nano) Modified Emulsion stabilised base layers; applicable modified binders for chip seals; Cape seals using anionic New-age Modified Emulsion slurries; Sasobit-M® modified binders for chip seals.
Online: 28 January 2021 (15:35:30 CET)
Emulsion stabilisation of base layers surfaced with chip seals often proves problematic with chips punching into the base and early distress. This can be aggravated by the use of modified binders that restricts the evaporation of moisture from pavement layers. The introduction of New-age (Nano) Modified Emulsion (NME) stabilisation has the advantage that water is chemically repelled from the stabilised layer resulting in an accelerated development of strength. A need was identified to evaluate the early life performance of selected chip seals, together with identified binders. Three different chip seal surfacings with unconventional modified binders were constructed and evaluated using Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT) with the MMLS3. The objectives of the experimental design and testing were to evaluate binder performance, early loss of chips before chip orientation at low temperatures, punching of the chips into the NME stabilised base, deformation characteristics of a Cape seal and the effect of the use of a standard normal modified binder. This paper contains details of the NME base layer, the binder and seal selection and the test results. It is shown that a cost-effective thin chip seal in combination with a suitable binder can be used on a NME stabilised base with confidence.