Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 157

Search results for: Cristina Busuioc

157 Hydroxyapatite-Chitosan Composites for Tissue Engineering Applications

Authors: Georgeta Voicu, Cristina Daniela Ghitulica, Andreia Cucuruz, Cristina Busuioc

Abstract:

In the field of tissue engineering, the compositional and microstructural features of the employed materials play an important role, with implications on the mechanical and biological behaviour of the medical devices. In this context, the development of apatite - natural biopolymer composites represents a choice of many scientific groups. Thus, hydroxyapatite powders were synthesized by a wet method, namely co-precipitation, starting from high purity reagents (CaO, MgO, and H3PO4). Moreover, the substitution of calcium with magnesium have been approached, in the 5 - 10 wt.% range. Afterward, the phosphate powders were integrated in two types of composites with chitosan, different from morphological point of view. First, 3D porous scaffolds were obtained by a freeze-drying procedure. Second, uniform, compact films were achieved by film casting. The influence of chitosan molecular weight (low, medium and high), as well as apatite powder to polymer ratio (1:1 and 1:2) on the morphological properties, were analysed in detail. In conclusion, the reported biocomposites, prepared by a straightforward route are suitable for bone substitution or repairing applications.

Keywords: bone reconstruction, chitosan, composite scaffolds, hydroxyapatite

Procedia PDF Downloads 194
156 Synthesis of Tricalcium Phosphate Substituted with Magnesium Ions for Bone Regeneration

Authors: Andreia Cucuruz, Cristina Daniela Ghitulica, Georgeta Voicu, Cristina Busuioc

Abstract:

Ceramics based on calcium phosphates have lately increased attention for tissue engineering because they can be used as substitute bones or for bone regeneration since they mimic very well the nanostructure of tough bone tissue, but also because of other advantages such as a very good biocompatibility and osseointegration. This study aims the preparation and characterization of ceramic materials on the basis of TCP (Ca₃(PO₄)₂), within which calcium ions are substituted by magnesium ions (Mg²⁺) in order to improve the regenerative properties of these materials. TCP-Mg material was synthesized by chemical precipitation method using calcium oxide (CaO) and phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄) as precursors. The objective was to obtain powders with different concentrations of Mg in order to analyze the effect of magnesium ions on the physicochemical properties of phosphate ceramics and in vitro degradation in simulated biological fluid (SBF). Ceramic powders were characterized in vitro but also from the compositional and microstructural point of view. TCP_Mg powders were prepared through wet chemical method from calcium oxide (CaO), magnesium oxide nanopowder (MgO < 50 nm particle size (BET) Sigma Aldrich), phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄ - 85 wt.% in H₂O, 99.99% trace metals basis - Sigma Aldrich). In order to determine the quantities of raw materials, calculations were performed to obtain HAp with Ca/P ratio of 1.5.

Keywords: bone regeneration, magnesium substitution, tricalcium phosphate, tissue engineering

Procedia PDF Downloads 240
155 Bacterial Cellulose/Silver-Doped Hydroxyapatite Composites for Tissue Engineering Application

Authors: Adrian Ionut Nicoara, Denisa Ionela Ene, Alina Maria Holban, Cristina Busuioc

Abstract:

At present, the development of materials with biomedical applications is a domain of interest that will produce a full series of benefits in engineering and medicine. In this sense, it is required to use a natural material, and this paper is focused on the development of a composite material based on bacterial cellulose – hydroxyapatite and silver nanoparticles with applications in hard tissue. Bacterial cellulose own features like biocompatibility, non-toxicity character and flexibility. Moreover, the bacterial cellulose can be conjugated with different forms of active silver to possess antimicrobial activity. Hydroxyapatite is well known that can mimic at a significant level the activity of the initial bone. The material was synthesized by using an ultrasound probe and finally characterized by several methods. Thereby, the morphological properties were analyzed by using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Because the synthesized material has medical application in restore the tissue and to fight against microbial invasion, the samples were tested from the biological point of view by evaluating the biodegradability in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and simulated body fluid (SBF) and moreover the antimicrobial effect was performed on Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, and fungi Candida albicans. The results reveal that the obtained material has specific characteristics for bone regeneration.

Keywords: bacterial cellulose, biomaterials, hydroxyapatite, scaffolds materials

Procedia PDF Downloads 46
154 Influence of BaTiO₃ on the Biological Behaviour of Hydroxyapatite: Collagen Composites

Authors: Cristina Busuioc, Georgeta Voicu, Sorin-Ion Jinga

Abstract:

The human bone presents in its dry form piezoelectric properties, which means that a mechanical stress results in electric polarization and an applied electric field causes strain. The immediate consequence was the revealing of piezoelectricity role in bone remodelling, as well as the integration of ceramic materials with piezoelectric behaviour in the composition of unitary or composite biomaterials. Thus, we prepared hydroxyapatite - collagen hybrid materials with barium titanate addition in order to achieve a better osseointegration. Barium titanate powder synthesized by a combined sol-gel-hydrothermal method, commercial hydroxyapatite and laboratory extracted collagen gel were employed as starting materials. Before the composites, fabrication, the powder with piezoelectric features was characterized in detail from the compositional, structural, morphological and electrical point of view. The next step was to elucidate the influence of barium titanate presence especially on the biological properties of the final materials. The biocompatibility of the hybrid supports without or with piezoelectric addition was investigated on mouse osteoblast cells through LDH cytotoxicity assay, LIVE/DEAD cell viability assay, and MTT cell proliferation assay. All results indicated that the analysed materials do not exert cytotoxic effects and present the ability to sustain cell survival and to promote their proliferation. In conclusion, barium titanate nanoparticles exhibit a good biocompatibility and osteoinductive properties, while the derived composite materials based on hydroxyapatite as oxide phase and collagen as polymeric phase can be successfully used for tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: barium titanate, hybrid composites, piezoelectricity, tissue engineering

Procedia PDF Downloads 241
153 Nursing Workers’ Capacity of Resilience at a Psychiatric Hospital in Brazil

Authors: Cheila Cristina Leonardo Oliveira Gaioli, Fernanda Ludmilla Rossi Rocha, Sandra Cristina Pillon

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Resilience is a psychological process that facilitates the maintenance of health, developed in response to numerous existing stressors in daily life. Furthermore, resilience can be described as the ability which allows an individual or group to hold up well before unfavorable situations. This study aimed to identify nursing workers’ resilience at a psychiatric hospital in Brazil. This is an exploratory research with quantitative data approach. The sample consisted of 56 workers, using the Resilience Scale. Of the 56 subjects, 45 (80.4%) were women; 22 (39.2%) were 20- to 40-years-old and 30 (53.6%) were 41- to 60-years-old; 11 (19.6%) were nurses and 45 (80.4%) were technicians or nursing assistants. The results also showed that 50% of subjects showed a high resilience degree and 42.9% an average resilience degree. Thus, it was found that workers seek to develop protective factors in coping with a work environment that does not value the individual subjectivity and does not allow professional development, discouraging workers.

Keywords: health promotion, nursing, occupational health, resilience

Procedia PDF Downloads 400
152 3D Writing on Photosensitive Glass-Ceramics

Authors: C. Busuioc, S. Jinga, E. Pavel

Abstract:

Optical lithography is a key technique in the development of sub-5 nm patterns for the semiconductor industry. We have already reported that the best results obtained with respect to direct laser writing process on active media, such as glass-ceramics, are achieved only when the energy of the laser radiation is absorbed in discrete quantities. Further, we need to clarify the role of active centers concentration in silver nanocrystals natural generation, as well as in fluorescent rare-earth nanostructures formation. As a consequence, samples with different compositions were prepared. SEM, AFM, TEM and STEM investigations were employed in order to demonstrate that few nm width lines can be written on fluorescent photosensitive glass-ceramics, these being efficient absorbers. Moreover, we believe that the experimental data will lead to the best choice in terms of active centers amount, laser power and glass-ceramic matrix.

Keywords: glass-ceramics, 3D laser writing, optical disks, data storage

Procedia PDF Downloads 196
151 Synthesis of Smart Materials Based on Polyaniline Coated Fibers

Authors: Mihaela Beregoi, Horia Iovu, Cristina Busuioc, Alexandru Evanghelidis, Elena Matei, Monica Enculescu, Ionut Enculescu

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Nanomaterials field is very attractive for all researchers who are attempting to develop new devices with the same or improved properties than the micro-sized ones, while reducing the reagents and power consumptions. In this way, a wide range of nanomaterials were fabricated and integrated in applications for electronics, optoelectronics, solar cells, tissue reconstruction and drug delivery. Obviously, the most appealing ones are those dedicated to the medical domain. Different types of nano-sized materials, such as particles, fibers, films etc., can be synthesized by using physical, chemical or electrochemical methods. One of these techniques is electrospinning, which enable the production of fibers with nanometric dimensions by pumping a polymeric solution in a high electric field; due to the electrostatic charging and solvent evaporation, the precursor mixture is converted into nonwoven meshes with different fiber densities and mechanical properties. Moreover, polyaniline is a conducting polymer with interesting optical properties, suitable for displays and electrochromic windows. Otherwise, polyaniline is an electroactive polymer that can contract/expand by applying electric stimuli, due to the oxidation/reduction reactions which take place in the polymer chains. These two main properties can be exploited in order to synthesize smart materials that change their dimensions, exhibiting in the same time good electrochromic properties. In the context aforesaid, a poly(methyl metacrylate) solution was spun to get webs composed of fibers with diameter values between 500 nm and 1 µm. Further, the polymer meshes were covered with a gold layer in order to make them conductive and also appropriate as working electrode in an electrochemical cell. The gold shell was deposited by DC sputtering. Such metalized fibers can be transformed into smart materials by covering them with a thin layer of conductive polymer. Thus, the webs were coated with a polyaniline film by the electrochemical route, starting from and aqueous solution of aniline and sulfuric acid, where sulfuric acid acts as oxidant agent. For the polymerization of aniline, a saturated calomel electrode was employed as reference, a platinum plate as counter electrode and the gold covered webs as working electrode. Chronoamperometry was selected as deposition method for polyaniline, by modifying the deposition time. Metalized meshes with different fiber densities were used, the transmission ranging between 70 and 80 %. The morphological investigation showed that polyaniline layer has a granular structure for all deposition experiments. As well, some preliminary optical tests were done by using sulfuric acid as electrolyte, which revealed the modification of polyaniline colour from green to dark blue when applying a voltage. In conclusion, new multilayered materials were obtained by a simple approach: the merge of the electrospinning method benefits with polyaniline chemistry. This synthesis method allows the fabrication of structures with reproducible characteristics, suitable for display or tissue substituents.

Keywords: electrospinning, fibers, smart materials, polyaniline

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150 Tricalcium Phosphate-Chitosan Composites for Tissue Engineering Applications

Authors: G. Voicu, C. D. Ghitulica, A. Cucuruz, C. Busuioc

Abstract:

In the field of tissue engineering, the compositional and microstructural features of the employed materials play an important role, with implications on the mechanical and biological behaviour of the medical devices. In this context, the development of calcium phosphate-natural biopolymer composites represents a choice of many scientific groups. Thus, tricalcium phosphate powders were synthesized by a wet method, namely co-precipitation, starting from high purity reagents. Moreover, the substitution of calcium with magnesium have been approached, in the 5-10 wt.% range. Afterwards, the phosphate powders were integrated into two types of composites with chitosan, different from morphological point of view. First, 3D porous scaffolds were obtained by a freeze-drying procedure. Second, uniform compact films were achieved by film casting. The influence of chitosan molecular weight (low, medium and high), as well as phosphate powder to polymer ratio (1:1 and 1:2) on the morphological properties, were analysed in detail. In conclusion, the reported biocomposites, prepared by a straightforward route are suitable for bone substitution or repairing applications.

Keywords: bone reconstruction, chitosan, composite scaffolds, tricalcium phosphate

Procedia PDF Downloads 156
149 Ecosystem Model for Environmental Applications

Authors: Cristina Schreiner, Romeo Ciobanu, Marius Pislaru

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This paper aims to build a system based on fuzzy models that can be implemented in the assessment of ecological systems, to determine appropriate methods of action for reducing adverse effects on environmental and implicit the population. The model proposed provides new perspective for environmental assessment, and it can be used as a practical instrument for decision-making.

Keywords: ecosystem model, environmental security, fuzzy logic, sustainability of habitable regions

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148 Designing and Enacting an Adjunct Faculty Self-Study of Teaching Community

Authors: Anastasia P. Samaras, Allison Ward-Parsons, Beth Dalbec, Paula Cristina Azevedo, Anya Evmenova, Arvinder Johri, Lynne Scott Constantine, Lesley Smith

Abstract:

Two cycles of qualitative data were collected. Cycle One sources included participant survey results, participant postings on Blackboard forums, facilitator memos, and meeting notes as well as reflections and notes from whole-group meetings.

Keywords: adjunct faculty, professional development, self-study methodology, teaching

Procedia PDF Downloads 70
147 Design and Implementation of Remote Control Application for Elderly People Who Live Alone

Authors: Cristina Nieves Perdomo Delgado

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The study consists of the design and use of an application for cell phones called “Me Cuido” that consists of remote control of elderly people who live alone with their families. The objective of the study is to analyze the usability of the application by 40-year-olds using the Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction (QUIS) method. The results highlight that the application has a design adapted to the elderly and that it is easy to use and understand.

Keywords: design, assistive technology, elderly people, independence

Procedia PDF Downloads 130
146 Fluorescence Gold Nanoparticles: Sensing Properties and Cytotoxicity Studies in MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells

Authors: Cristina Núñez, Rufina Bastida, Elena Labisbal, Alejandro Macías, María T. Pereira, José M. Vila

Abstract:

A highly selective quinoline-based fluorescent sensor L was designed in order to functionalize gold nanoparticles ([email protected]). The cytotoxicity of compound L and [email protected] on the MCF-7 breast cancer cells was explored and it was observed that L and [email protected] compounds induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cancer cells. The cellular uptake of the hybrid system [email protected] was studied using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM).

Keywords: cytotoxicity, fluorescent probes, nanoparticles, quinoline

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145 Competences for Learning beyond the Academic Context

Authors: Cristina Galván-Fernández

Abstract:

Students differentiate the different contexts of their lives as well as employment, hobbies or studies. In higher education is needed to transfer the experiential knowledge to theory and viceversa. However, is difficult to achieve than students use their personal experiences and social readings for get the learning evidences. In an experience with 178 education students from Chile and Spain we have used an e-portfolio system and a methodology for 4 years with the aims of help them to: 1) self-regulate their learning process and 2) use social networks and professional experiences for make the learning evidences. These two objectives have been controlled by interviews to the same students in different moments and two questionnaires. The results of this study show that students recognize the ownership of their learning and progress in planning and reflection of their own learning.

Keywords: competences, e-portfolio, higher education, self-regulation

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144 Argumentative and Enunciative Analysis of Spanish Political Discourse

Authors: Cristina Diez

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One of the most important challenges of discourse analysis is to find the linguistic mechanisms of subjectivity. The present article aims to raise the need for an argumentative and enunciative analysis to reach the subjective tissue of language. The intention is to prove that the instructions inscribed in the own language are those that indicate how a statement is to be interpreted and that the argumentative value is implied at the semantic level. For that, the theory of argumentation from Ducrot and Anscombre will be implemented. First, a reflection on the study about subjectivity and enunciation in language will be exposed, followed by concrete proposals on the linguistic mechanisms that speakers use either consciously or unconsciously, to finally focus on those argumentative tools that political discourse uses in order to influence the audience.

Keywords: argumentation, enunciation, discourse analysis, subjectivity

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143 Health Status Monitoring of COVID-19 Patient's through Blood Tests and Naïve-Bayes

Authors: Carlos Arias-Alcaide, Cristina Soguero-Ruiz, Paloma Santos-Álvarez, Adrián García-Romero, Inmaculada Mora-Jiménez

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Analysing clinical data with computers in such a way that have an impact on the practitioners’ workflow is a challenge nowadays. This paper provides a first approach for monitoring the health status of COVID-19 patients through the use of some biomarkers (blood tests) and the simplest Naïve Bayes classifier. Data of two Spanish hospitals were considered, showing the potential of our approach to estimate reasonable posterior probabilities even some days before the event.

Keywords: Bayesian model, blood biomarkers, classification, health tracing, machine learning, posterior probability

Procedia PDF Downloads 62
142 Biocellulose Template for 3D Mineral Scaffolds

Authors: C. Busuioc, G. Voicu, S. I. Jinga

Abstract:

The field of tissue engineering brings new challenges in terms of proposing original solutions for ongoing medical issues, improving the biological performances of existing clinical systems and speeding the healing process for a faster recovery and a more comfortable life as patient. In this context, we propose the obtaining of 3D porous scaffolds of mineral nature, dedicated to bone repairing and regeneration purposes or employed as bioactive filler for bone cements. Thus, bacterial cellulose - calcium phosphates composite materials have been synthesized by successive immersing of the polymeric membranes in the precursor solution containing Ca2+ and [PO4]3- ions. The mineral phase deposited on the surface of biocellulose fibers was varied as amount through the number of immersing cycles. The intermediary composites were subjected to thermal treatments at different temperatures in order to remove the organic part and provide the formation of a self-sustained 3D architecture. The resulting phase composition consists of common phosphates, while the morphology largely depends on the preparation parameters. Thus, the aspect of the 3D mineral scaffolds can be tuned from a loose microstructure composed of large grains connected via monocrystalline nanorods to a trabecular pattern crossed by parallel internal channels, just like the natural bone. The bioactivity and biocompatibility of the obtained materials have been also assessed, with encouraging results in the clinical use direction. In conclusion, the compositional, structural, morphological and biological characterizations sustain the suitability of the reported biostructures for integration in hard tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: bacterial cellulose, bone reconstruction, calcium phosphates, mineral scaffolds

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141 Bowen Ratio in Western São Paulo State, Brazil

Authors: Elaine Cristina Barboza, Antonio Jaschke Machado

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This paper discusses micrometeorological aspects of the urban climate in three cities in Western São Paulo State: Presidente Prudente, Assis, and Iepê. Particular attention is paid to the method used to estimate the components of the energy balance at the surface. Estimates of convective fluxes showed that the Bowen ratio was an indicator of the local climate and that its magnitude varied between 0.3 and 0.7. Maximum values for the Bowen ratio occurred earlier in Iepê (11:00 am) than in Presidente Prudente (4:00 pm). The results indicate that the Bowen ratio is modulated by the radiation balance at the surface and by different clusters of vegetation.

Keywords: Bowen ratio, medium-sized cities, surface energy balance, urban climate

Procedia PDF Downloads 493
140 Laser Writing on Vitroceramic Disks for Petabyte Data Storage

Authors: C. Busuioc, S. I. Jinga, E. Pavel

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The continuous need of more non-volatile memories with a higher storage capacity, smaller dimensions and weight, as well as lower costs, has led to the exploration of optical lithography on active media, as well as patterned magnetic composites. In this context, optical lithography is a technique that can provide a significant decrease of the information bit size to the nanometric scale. However, there are some restrictions that arise from the need of breaking the optical diffraction limit. Major achievements have been obtained by employing a vitoceramic material as active medium and a laser beam operated at low power for the direct writing procedure. Thus, optical discs with ultra-high density were fabricated by a conventional melt-quenching method starting from analytical purity reagents. They were subsequently used for 3D recording based on their photosensitive features. Naturally, the next step consists in the elucidation of the composition and structure of the active centers, in correlation with the use of silver and rare-earth compounds for the synthesis of the optical supports. This has been accomplished by modern characterization methods, namely transmission electron microscopy coupled with selected area electron diffraction, scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. The influence of laser diode parameters, silver concentration and fluorescent compounds formation on the writing process and final material properties was investigated. The results indicate performances in terms of capacity with two order of magnitude higher than other reported information storage systems. Moreover, the fluorescent photosensitive vitroceramics may be integrated in other applications which appeal to nanofabrication as the driving force in electronics and photonics fields.

Keywords: data storage, fluorescent compounds, laser writing, vitroceramics

Procedia PDF Downloads 173
139 Receptive Vocabulary Development in Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome

Authors: Esther Moraleda Sepúlveda, Soraya Delgado Matute, Paula Salido Escudero, Raquel Mimoso García, M Cristina Alcón Lancho

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Although there is some consensus when it comes to establishing the lexicon as one of the strengths of language in people with Down Syndrome (DS), little is known about its evolution throughout development and changes based on age. The objective of this study was to find out if there are differences in receptive vocabulary between adolescence and adulthood. In this research, 30 people with DS between 11 and 40 years old, divided into two age ranges (11-18; 19 - 30) and matched in mental age, were evaluated through the Peabody Vocabulary Test. The results show significant differences between both groups in favor of the group with the oldest chronological age and a direct correlation between chronological age and receptive vocabulary development, regardless of mental age. These data support the natural evolution of the passive lexicon in people with DS.

Keywords: down syndrome, language, receptive vocabulary, adolescents, adults

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138 Fractional Order Controller Design for Vibration Attenuation in an Airplane Wing

Authors: Birs Isabela, Muresan Cristina, Folea Silviu, Prodan Ovidiu

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The wing is one of the most important parts of an airplane because it ensures stability, sustenance and maneuverability of the airplane. Because of its shape, the airplane wing can be simplified to a smart beam. Active vibration suppression is realized using piezoelectric actuators that are mounted on the surface of the beam. This work presents a tuning procedure of fractional order controllers based on a graphical approach of the frequency domain representation. The efficacy of the method is proven by practically testing the controller on a laboratory scale experimental stand.

Keywords: fractional order control, piezoelectric actuators, smart beam, vibration suppression

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137 Contribution for Rural Development Trough Training in Organic Farming

Authors: Raquel P. F. Guiné, Daniela V. T. A. Costa, Paula M. R. Correia, Moisés Castro, Luis T. Guerra, Cristina A. Costa

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The aim of this work was to characterize a potential target group of people interested in participating into a training program in organic farming in the context of mobile-learning. The information sought addressed in particular, but not exclusively, possible contents, formats and forms of evaluation that will contribute to define the course objectives and curriculum, as well as to ensure that the course meets the needs of the learners and their preferences. The sample was selected among different European countries. The questionnaires were delivered electronically for answering online and in the end 135 consented valid questionnaires were obtained. The results allowed characterizing the target group and identifying their training needs and preferences towards m-learning formats, giving valuable tools to design the training offer.

Keywords: mobile-learning, organic farming, rural development, survey

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136 Model for Assessment of Quality Airport Services

Authors: Cristina da Silva Torres, José Luis Duarte Ribeiro, Maria Auxiliadora Cannarozzo Tinoco

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As a result of the rapid growth of the Brazilian Air Transport, many airports are at the limit of their capacities and have a reduction in the quality of services provided. Thus, there is a need of models for assessing the quality of airport services. Because of this, the main objective of this work is to propose a model for the evaluation of quality attributes in airport services. To this end, we used the method composed by literature review and interview. Structured a working method composed by 5 steps, which resulted in a model to evaluate the quality of airport services, consisting of 8 dimensions and 45 attributes. Was used as base for model definition the process mapping of boarding and landing processes of passengers and luggage. As a contribution of this work is the integration of management process with structuring models to assess the quality of services in airport environments.

Keywords: quality airport services, model for identification of attributes quality, air transport, passenger

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135 Assessing the Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Nanoparticles by Fluorescence-Labeling

Authors: Laidson P. Gomes, Cristina T. Andrade, Eduardo M. Del Aguila, Cameron Alexander, Vânia M. F. Paschoalin

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Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide prepared by the N-deacetylation of chitin. In this study, the physicochemical and antibacterial properties of chitosan nanoparticles, produced by ultrasound irradiation, were evaluated. The physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles were determined by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analysis. Chitosan nanoparticles inhibited the growth of E. coli. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were lower than 0.5 mg/mL, and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were similar or higher than MIC values. Confocal laser scanning micrographs (CLSM) were used to observe the interaction between E. coli suspensions mixed with FITC-labeled chitosan polymers and nanoparticles.

Keywords: chitosan nanoparticles, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, confocal microscopy, antibacterial activity

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134 Key Factors for a Smart City

Authors: Marta Christina Suciu, Cristina Andreea Florea

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The purpose of this paper is to highlight the relevance of building smart cities in the context of regional development and to analyze the important factors that make a city smart. These cities could be analyzed through the perspective of environment quality, the socio-cultural condition, technological applications and innovations, the vitality of the economic environment and public policies. Starting with these five sustainability domains, we will demonstrate the hypothesis that smart cities are the engine of the regional development. The aim of this paper is to assess the implications of smart cities, in the context of sustainable development, analyzing the benefits of developing creative and innovative cities. Regarding the methodology, it is used the systemic, logical and comparative analysis of important literature and data, also descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. In conclusion, we will define a direction on the regional development and competitiveness increasing.

Keywords: creativity, innovation, regional development, smart city, sustainability, triple helix

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133 Questionnaire for the Evaluation of Entrepreneurship Project Psychopedagogical Practices: Construction Proceedings and Validation

Authors: Cristina Costa-Lobo, Sandra Fernandes, Miguel Magalhães, José Dinis-Carvalho, Alfredo Regueiro, Ana Carvalho

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This paper is a report on the findings of the construction and the validation of a questionnaire monetized in a portuguese higher education context with undergraduate students. The Questionnaire for the Evaluation of Entrepreneurship Project Psychopedagogical Practices consists of six scales: Critical appraisal of the project, Developed Learning and Skills, Teamwork, Teacher and Tutor Roles, Evaluation of Student Performance, and Project Effectiveness as a Teaching-Learning Methodology. The proceedings of its construction are analyzed, and the validity and internal consistency analysis are described. Findings indicate good indicators of validity, good fidelity and an interpretable factorial structure.

Keywords: entrepreneurship project, higher education, psychopedagogical practices, teacher and tutor roles

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132 Drug Residues Disposal from Wastewater Using Carbon Nanomaterials

Authors: Stefan Nicolae, Cristina Cirtoaje, Emil Petrescu, Florin-Razvan Duca

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In the context of the accelerated expansion of urban agglomerations and the exponential development of industry, a huge amount of water is used, and a crisis of drinking water may occur any time. Classic wastewater treatment removes most pollutants but, for some chemical residues, special methods are needed. Carbon nanotubes and other carbon materials might be used in many cases [1-2], especially for heavy metals removal but also on pharmaceutical products such as paracetamol [3]. Our research has confirmed the better efficiency of nanotubes compared to graphene on paracetamol removal from water, but even better results were obtained on single-walled nanotubes (SWCNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets. This can be due to their better dispersion in water which leads to an increased contact surface, so we propose a filtration system of membranes and carbon materials that can be used for paracetamol removal from wastewater but also for other drugs that affect the aquatic life as well as terrestrial animals and people who use this contaminated water.

Keywords: applied physics, wastewater, nanomaterials, enviromental science

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131 Tax Morale Dimensions Analysis in Portugal and Spain

Authors: Cristina Sá, Carlos Gomes, António Martins

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The reasons that explain different behaviors towards tax obligations in similar countries are not completely understood yet. The main purpose of this paper is to identify and compare the factors that influence tax morale levels in Portugal and Spain. We use data from European Values Study (EVS). Using a sample of 2,652 individuals, a factor analysis was used to extract the underlying dimensions of tax morale of Portuguese and Spanish taxpayers. Based on a factor analysis, the results of this paper show that sociological and behavioral factors, psychological factors and political factors are important for a good understanding of taxpayers’ behavior in Iberian Peninsula. This paper added value relies on the analyses of a wide range of variables and on the comparison between Portugal and Spain. Our conclusions provided insights that tax authorities and politicians can use to better focus their strategies and actions in order to increase compliance, reduce tax evasion, fight underground economy and increase country´s competitiveness.

Keywords: compliance, tax morale, Portugal, Spain

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130 Deposit Guarantee Fund: One Perspective

Authors: Rute Abreu, Fátima David, Liliane Cristina Segura

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The Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF) and its communication with the Society, in general, and with the deposit client of Financial Institutions, in particular, is discussed through the challenges of the accounting and financial report. The Bank of Portugal promotes the Portuguese Deposit Guarantee Fund (PDGF) as a financial institution that enhanced the market confidence and stability on the deposit-insurance system. Due to the nature of their functions, it must be subject to regulation and supervision that provides a first line of defense against adversely affect confidence on the Portuguese financial market. First, this research provides evidence of the effectiveness of the protection mechanisms on the deposit insurance system, which provides high and equal protection to all stakeholders. Second, it emphasizes the need of requirements of rigorous accounting process and effective financial report to reduce the moral hazard implications. Third, this research focuses on the need of total disclosure of the financial information which gives higher transparency and protection to deposit client of financial institutions.

Keywords: deposit guarantee fund, Portugal, accounting, financial report

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129 Traced Destinies: A Study on the Migration of Brazilian Children for Switzerland

Authors: Flavia Schuler Gomes, Cristina Brito Dias, Emily Schuler

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One of the emerging themes in modern society is migration. What in the past was a route mostly traveled by men, is currently carried out by women and even children. In this sense, the objective of this research was to understand the experiences and repercussions of the migration in the life of young Brazilians who went to Switzerland. The specific objectives were: to know the causes and consequences of migration; how was the adaptation in the country in emotional and educational terms; as how the interviewees feel the impact of living with two cultures simultaneously. The research had a qualitative methodology. The participants were eight young men and women, between the ages of 18 and 25, who migrated to Switzerland as a child. The instrument used was interview technique of life history. The collected data were analyzed through the thematic content analysis. The results indicate that the young people migrated to accompany their mothers; in terms of nationality, two participants feel completely Swiss, and six believe they share Swiss and Brazilian aspects. None of the participants followed an academic career, having secondary education.

Keywords: adaptation, children, culture, migration

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128 Alignment in Earnings Management Research: Italy Looking towards US

Authors: Giulia Leoni, Cristina Florio

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The paper aims to investigate the factors driving the increasing alignment of Italian earnings management (EM) research to US research on the same field. After characterizing the progressive similarity of Italian EM research with respect to US one by means of an historical comparison, the paper relies on a subsequent secondary source analysis to detect the possible causes of said alignment. Once identified that the alignment increased along three subsequent periods, the paper analyses and discusses this incremental similarity according to new institutional sociology (NIS) and highlights the presence of different combination of isomorphic pressures that help explaining this incremental similarity. The paper contributes to the institutional literature by providing evidence of isomorphism in academic research; it also contributes to accounting research by indicating the forces that are able to drive change and development in accounting research at national and international level. The paper also enlarges the explanatory value of NIS in alternative contexts, like academic accounting research.

Keywords: accounting research, earnings management, international comparison, Italy, new institutional sociology, US

Procedia PDF Downloads 489