Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Clarissa Fenech

8 Management of Acute Biliary Pathology at Gozo General Hospital

Authors: Kristian Bugeja, Upeshala A. Jayawardena, Clarissa Fenech, Mark Zammit Vincenti

Abstract:

Introduction: Biliary colic, acute cholecystitis, and gallstone pancreatitis are some of the most common surgical presentations at Gozo General Hospital (GGH). National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines advise that suitable patients with acute biliary problems should be offered a laparoscopic cholecystectomy within one week of diagnosis. There has traditionally been difficulty in achieving this mainly due to the reluctance of some surgeons to operate in the acute setting, limited, timely access to MRCP and ERCP, and organizational issues. Methodology: A retrospective study was performed involving all biliary pathology-related admissions to GGH during the two-year period of 2019 and 2020. Patients’ files and electronic case summary (ECS) were used for data collection, which included demographic data, primary diagnosis, co-morbidities, management, waiting time to surgery, length of stay, readmissions, and reason for readmissions. NICE clinical guidance 188 – Gallstone disease were used as the standard. Results: 51 patients were included in the study. The mean age was 58 years, and 35 (68.6%) were female. The main diagnoses on admission were biliary colic in 31 (60.8%), acute cholecystitis in 10 (19.6%). Others included gallstone pancreatitis in 3 (5.89%), chronic cholecystitis in 2 (3.92%), gall bladder malignancy in 4 (7.84%), and ascending cholangitis in 1 (1.97%). Management included laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 34 (66.7%); conservative in 8 (15.7%) and ERCP in 6 (11.7%). The mean waiting time for laparoscopic cholecystectomy for patients with acute cholecystitis was 74 days – range being between 3 and 146 days since the date of diagnosis. Only one patient who was diagnosed with acute cholecystitis and managed with laparoscopic cholecystectomy was done so within the 7-day time frame. Hospital re-admissions were reported in 5 patients (9.8%) due to vomiting (1), ascending cholangitis (1), and gallstone pancreatitis (3). Discussion: Guidelines were not met for patients presenting to Gozo General Hospital with acute biliary pathology. This resulted in 5 patients being re-admitted to hospital while waiting for definitive surgery. The local issues resulting in the delay to surgery need to be identified and steps are taken to facilitate the provision of urgent cholecystectomy for suitable patients.

Keywords: biliary colic, acute cholecystits, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, conservative management

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7 Resistance Analysis for a Trimaran

Authors: C. M. De Marco Muscat-Fenech, A. M. Grech La Rosa

Abstract:

Importance has been given to resistance analysis for various types of vessels; however explicit guidelines applied to multihull vessels have not been clearly defined. The purpose of this investigation is to highlight the importance of the vessel’s layout in terms of three axes positioning, the transverse (separation), the longitudinal (stagger) and the vertical (draught) with respect to resistance analysis. A vessel has the potential to experience less resistance, at a particular range of speeds, for a vast selection of hull positioning. Many potential layouts create opportunities of various design for both the commercial and leisure market.

Keywords: multihull, reistance, trimaran, vessels

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6 “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” Book as an Interdisciplinary Study Basis for Students’ Learning Process about Love and Politics at Old Communist Czechoslovakia

Authors: Clarissa Valença Travassos da Silva

Abstract:

In this article, it is intended to study the book “The unbearable Lightness of Being” by the Czech Republican writer Milan Kundera. The main objective is to be an interdisciplinary study basis for students in the world about love and politics at old communist Czechoslovakia. Love is presented by discussing the relationship between Tomas and Tereza and the discovery of true love. Furthermore, it is debated the Russian invasion in Czechoslovakia and the outcomes of it for the personages, all this related to the contradiction of lightness and heaviness in life. For the production of this didactic material, the researcher based her work on the original book, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Kundera, Milan Kundera’s interviews, Friedrich Nietzche, Zygmunt Bauman and George Orwell, among Brazilian and international articles on the issue.

Keywords: lightness, heaviness, Russia, Czechoslovakia, love

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5 Tribological Characterization of Composites Based on Epoxy Resin Filled with Tailings of Scheelite

Authors: Clarissa D. M. O. Guimaraes, Mariza C. M. Fernandes, Francisco R. V. Diaz, Juliana R. Souza

Abstract:

The use of mineral fillers in the preparation of organic matrix composites can be an efficient alternative in minimizing the environmental damage generated in passive mineral beneficiation processes. In addition, it may represent a new material option for wind, construction, and aeronautical industries, for example. In this sense, epoxy resin composites with Tailings of Scheelite (TS) were developed. The composites were manufactured with 5%, 10% and 20% of TS in volume percentage, homogenized by mechanical mixing and molded in a silicon mold. In order to make the tribological evaluation, pin on disk tests were performed to analyze coefficient of friction and wear. The wear mechanisms were identified by SEM (scanning electron microscope) images. The coefficient of friction had a tendency to decrease with increasing amount of filler. The wear tends to increase with increasing amount of filler, although it exhibits a similar wear behavior. The results suggest characteristics that are potential used in many tribological applications.

Keywords: composites, mineral filler, tailings of scheelite, tribology

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4 Helping the Helper: Impact of Teaching Assistantship Program among Psychology Alumni

Authors: Clarissa Delariarte

Abstract:

With the aim of helping the poorest of the poor achieve quality education, Psychology students supported and served as teacher assistants to its Early Childhood Education Center in two barangays since the program began in 1999. Making use of qualitative approach, the impact of the program to 29 alumni who served as teacher assistants between 2000-2014 was assessed. Results show that the impact to the alumni is in cognitive as well as social-emotional in terms of feelings of deep satisfaction and sense of volunteerism which is being carried out in their respective workspaces. They also expressed positive feelings of inspiration, gratefulness and happiness. A wider perspective in life, being confident, creative and resourceful was also articulated as concrete impacts. It is concluded that the program had an impact on helping the helper and is a concrete manifestation of the academe being successful in its commitment of forming individuals into becoming integrated and compassionate in the service of the Church and Society. It implies that more opportunities of helping others be provided to students since, in the final analysis, is actually an opportunity of helping the helper be of better service to others.

Keywords: applied psychology, life skill, qualitative research, quality education

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3 Studies on Bioaccumulation of 51Cr by Ulva sp. and Ruppia maritima

Authors: Clarissa L. de Araujo, Kátia N. Suzuki, Wilson T. V. Machado, Luis F. Bellido, Alfredo V.B. Bellido

Abstract:

This study aims at contributing to the characterization of the process of biological incorporation of chromium by two benthonic species, the macroalgae Ulva sp. and the aquatic macrophyte Ruppia maritima, to subsidize future activities of monitoring the contamination of aquatic biota. This study is based on laboratory experiments to characterize the incorporation kinetics of the radiotracer 51Cr in two oxidation states (III and VI), under different salinities (7, 15, and 21 ‰). Samples of two benthonic species were collected on the margins of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), acclimated in the laboratory and subsequently subjected to experiments. In tests with 51Cr (III and IV), it was observed that accumulation of the metal in Ulva sp. has inverse relationship with salinity, while for R. maritima, the maximum accumulation occurs in salinity 21‰. In experiments with Cr(III), increases in the uptake of ion by both species were verified. The activity of Cr(III) was up to 19 times greater than the Cr(VI). As regards the potential for accumulation of metals, a better sensitivity of Ulva sp. for any chromium tri or hexavalent forms was verified, while for the Cr(VI) it will require low salinities and longer exposure (>24h). For R. maritima, the results showed the uptake of Cr(VI) increase along with time (>20h), because this species is more resistant for the hexavalent form and useful for any salinity as well.

Keywords: chromium, Cr-51, macroalgae, macrophyte, uptake

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2 Experimental Correlation for Erythrocyte Aggregation Rate in Population Balance Modeling

Authors: Erfan Niazi, Marianne Fenech

Abstract:

Red Blood Cells (RBCs) or erythrocytes tend to form chain-like aggregates under low shear rate called rouleaux. This is a reversible process and rouleaux disaggregate in high shear rates. Therefore, RBCs aggregation occurs in the microcirculation where low shear rates are present but does not occur under normal physiological conditions in large arteries. Numerical modeling of RBCs interactions is fundamental in analytical models of a blood flow in microcirculation. Population Balance Modeling (PBM) is particularly useful for studying problems where particles agglomerate and break in a two phase flow systems to find flow characteristics. In this method, the elementary particles lose their individual identity due to continuous destructions and recreations by break-up and agglomeration. The aim of this study is to find RBCs aggregation in a dynamic situation. Simplified PBM was used previously to find the aggregation rate on a static observation of the RBCs aggregation in a drop of blood under the microscope. To find aggregation rate in a dynamic situation we propose an experimental set up testing RBCs sedimentation. In this test, RBCs interact and aggregate to form rouleaux. In this configuration, disaggregation can be neglected due to low shear stress. A high-speed camera is used to acquire video-microscopic pictures of the process. The sizes of the aggregates and velocity of sedimentation are extracted using an image processing techniques. Based on the data collection from 5 healthy human blood samples, the aggregation rate was estimated as 2.7x103(±0.3 x103) 1/s.

Keywords: red blood cell, rouleaux, microfluidics, image processing, population balance modeling

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1 A Comparative Study of Euglena gracilis Cultivations for Improving Laminaribiose Phosphorylase Production

Authors: Akram Abi, Clarissa Müller, Hans-Joachim Jördening

Abstract:

Laminaribiose is a beta-1,3-glycoside which is used in the medical field for the treatment of dermatitis and also can be used as a building block for new pharmaceutics. The conventional process of laminaribiose production is the uneconomical process of hydrolysis of laminarin extracted from natural polysaccharides of plant origin. A more economical approach however is attainable by enzymatically synthesis of laminaribiose via a reverse phosphorylase reaction catalyzed by laminaribiose phosphorylase (LP) from Euglena gracilis. Different cultivation methods of Euglena gracilis and the effect on LP production have been investigated. Buffered/unbuffered heterotrophic and mixotrophic cultivations of Euglena gracilis has been carried out. Changes of biomass and LP production, glucose level and pH, cell count and shape has been monitored in the course of time. The results obtained from experiments each in three repetitions, show that in the heterotrophic cultivation of Euglena gracilis not only more biomass is produced compared to mixotrophic cultivation, but also higher specific protein concentration is achieved. Furthermore, the LP activity test showed that the protein extracted from heterotrophically cultured cells has a higher LP activity. It was also observed that the cells develop in a distinctive different shape between these two cultures and have different length to width ratios. Taking the heterotrophic culture as the more efficient cultivation method in LP production, another comparative experiment between buffered and unbuffered heterothrophic culture was carried out that showed the unbuffered culture has advantages over the other one in respect of both LP production and resulting activity. A hetrotrophic cultivation of Euglena gracilis in a 5L bioreactor with controlled operating conditions showed a distinctive improvement of all the aspects of culture compared to the shaking flask cultivations. Biomass production was improved from 5 to more than 8 g/l (dry weight) which resulted in a specific protein concentration of 45 g/l in the heterotrophic cultivation in the bioreactor. In further attempts to improve LP production, different purification methods were tested and each method was checks through an activity assay. A laminaribiose yield of 35% was achieved which was by far the highest amount amongst different methods tested.

Keywords: euglena gracilis, heterotrophic culture, laminaribiose production, mixotrophic culture

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