Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: Giulio Sciarra

9 Interaction Diagrams for Symmetrically Reinforced Concrete Square Sections Under 3 Dimensional Multiaxial Loading Conditions

Authors: Androniki-Anna Doulgeroglou, Panagiotis Kotronis, Giulio Sciarra, Catherine Bouillon

Abstract:

The interaction diagrams are functions that define ultimate states expressed in terms of generalized forces (axial force, bending moment and shear force). Two characteristic states for reinforced concrete (RC) sections are proposed: the first characteristic state corresponds to the yield of the reinforcement bars and the second to the peak values of the generalized forces generalized displacements curves. 3D numerical simulations are then conducted for RC columns and the global responses are compared to experimental results. Interaction diagrams for combined flexion, shear and axial force loading conditions are numerically produced for symmetrically RC square sections for different reinforcement ratios. Analytical expressions of the interaction diagrams are also proposed, satisfying the condition of convexity. Comparison with interaction diagrams from the Eurocode is finally presented for the study cases.

Keywords: analytical convex expressions, finite element method, interaction diagrams, reinforced concrete

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8 Closed-Form Solutions for Nanobeams Based on the Nonlocal Euler-Bernoulli Theory

Authors: Francesco Marotti de Sciarra, Raffaele Barretta

Abstract:

Starting from nonlocal continuum mechanics, a thermodynamically new nonlocal model of Euler-Bernoulli nanobeams is provided. The nonlocal variational formulation is consistently provided and the governing differential equation for transverse displacement are presented. Higher-order boundary conditions are then consistently derived. An example is contributed in order to show the effectiveness of the proposed model.

Keywords: Bernoulli-Euler beams, nanobeams, nonlocal elasticity, closed-form solutions

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7 Iron(III)-Tosylate Doped PEDOT and PEG: A Nanoscale Conductivity Study of an Electrochemical System with Biosensing Applications

Authors: Giulio Rosati, Luciano Sappia, Rossana Madrid, Noemi Rozlòsnik

Abstract:

The addition of PEG of different molecular weights has important effects on the physical, electrical and electrochemical properties of iron(III)-tosylate doped PEDOT. This particular polymer can be easily spin coated over plastic discs, optimizing thickness and uniformity of the PEDOT-PEG films. The conductivity and morphological analysis of the hybrid PEDOT-PEG polymer by 4-point probe (4PP), 12-point probe (12PP), and conductive AFM (C-AFM) show strong effects of the PEG doping. Moreover, the conductive films kinetics at the nanoscale, in response to different bias voltages, change radically depending on the PEG molecular weight. The hybrid conductive films show also interesting electrochemical properties, making the PEDOT PEG doping appealing for biosensing applications both for EIS-based and amperometric affinity/catalytic biosensors.

Keywords: atomic force microscopy, biosensors, four-point probe, nano-films, PEDOT

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6 A Correlation Between Perceived Usage of Project Management Methodologies and Project Success in Horizon 2020 Projects

Authors: Aurelio Palacardo, Giulio Mangano, Alberto De Marco

Abstract:

Nowadays, the global economic framework is extremely competitive, and it consequently requires an efficient deployment of the resources provided by EU. In this context, Project management practices are intended to be one of the levers for increasing such an efficiency. The objective of this work is to explore the usage of Project Management methodologies and good practices in the European-wide research program “Horizon2020” and establish whether their maturity might impact the project's success. This allows to identify strengths in terms of application of PM methodologies and good practices and, in turn, to provide feedback and opportunities for improvements to be implemented in future programs. In order to achieve this objective, the present research makes use of a survey-based data retrieval and correlation analysis to investigate the level of perceived PM maturity in H2020 projects and the correlation of maturity with project success. The results show the Project Managers involved in H2020 to hold a high level of PM maturity, confirming PM standards, which are imposed by the EU commission as a binding process, are effectively enforced.

Keywords: project management, project management maturity, maturity models, project success

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5 Analysis of the Diffusion Behavior of an Information and Communication Technology Platform for City Logistics

Authors: Giulio Mangano, Alberto De Marco, Giovanni Zenezini

Abstract:

The concept of City Logistics (CL) has emerged to improve the impacts of last mile freight distribution in urban areas. In this paper, a System Dynamics (SD) model exploring the dynamics of the diffusion of a ICT platform for CL management across different populations is proposed. For the development of the model two sources have been used. On the one hand, the major diffusion variables and feedback loops are derived from a literature review of existing diffusion models. On the other hand, the parameters are represented by the value propositions delivered by the platform as a response to some of the users’ needs. To extract the most important value propositions the Business Model Canvas approach has been used. Such approach in fact focuses on understanding how a company can create value for her target customers. These variables and parameters are thus translated into a SD diffusion model with three different populations namely municipalities, logistics service providers, and own account carriers. Results show that, the three populations under analysis fully adopt the platform within the simulation time frame, highlighting a strong demand by different stakeholders for CL projects aiming at carrying out more efficient urban logistics operations.

Keywords: city logistics, simulation, system dynamics, business model

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4 Identification of Training Topics for the Improvement of the Relevant Cognitive Skills of Technical Operators in the Railway Domain

Authors: Giulio Nisoli, Jonas Brüngger, Karin Hostettler, Nicole Stoller, Katrin Fischer

Abstract:

Technical operators in the railway domain are experts responsible for the supervisory control of the railway power grid as well as of the railway tunnels. The technical systems used to master these demanding tasks are constantly increasing in their degree of automation. It becomes therefore difficult for technical operators to maintain the control over the technical systems and the processes of their job. In particular, the operators must have the necessary experience and knowledge in dealing with a malfunction situation or unexpected event. For this reason, it is of growing importance that the skills relevant for the execution of the job are maintained and further developed beyond the basic training they receive, where they are educated in respect of technical knowledge and the work with guidelines. Training methods aimed at improving the cognitive skills needed by technical operators are still missing and must be developed. Goals of the present study were to identify which are the relevant cognitive skills of technical operators in the railway domain and to define which topics should be addressed by the training of these skills. Observational interviews were conducted in order to identify the main tasks and the organization of the work of technical operators as well as the technical systems used for the execution of their job. Based on this analysis, the most demanding tasks of technical operators could be identified and described. The cognitive skills involved in the execution of these tasks are those, which need to be trained. In order to identify and analyze these cognitive skills a cognitive task analysis (CTA) was developed. CTA specifically aims at identifying the cognitive skills that employees implement when performing their own tasks. The identified cognitive skills of technical operators were summarized and grouped in training topics. For every training topic, specific goals were defined. The goals regard the three main categories; knowledge, skills and attitude to be trained in every training topic. Based on the results of this study, it is possible to develop specific training methods to train the relevant cognitive skills of the technical operators.

Keywords: cognitive skills, cognitive task analysis, technical operators in the railway domain, training topics

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3 An Inventory Management Model to Manage the Stock Level for Irregular Demand Items

Authors: Riccardo Patriarca, Giulio Di Gravio, Francesco Costantino, Massimo Tronci

Abstract:

An accurate inventory management policy acquires a crucial role in the several high-availability sectors. In these sectors, due to the high-cost of spares and backorders, an (S-1, S) replenishment policy is necessary for high-availability items. The policy enables the shipment of a substitute efficient item anytime the inventory size decreases by one. This policy can be modelled following the Multi-Echelon Technique for Recoverable Item Control (METRIC). The METRIC is a system-based technique that allows defining the optimum stock level in a multi-echelon network, adopting measures in line with the decision-maker’s perspective. The METRIC defines an availability-cost function with inventory costs and required service levels, using as inputs data about the demand trend, the supplying and maintenance characteristics of the network and the budget/availability constraints. The traditional METRIC relies on the hypothesis that a Poisson distribution well represents the demand distribution in case of items with a low failure rate. However, in this research, we will explore the effects of using a Poisson distribution to model the demand of low failure rate items characterized by an irregular demand trend. This characteristic of a demand is not included in the traditional METRIC formulation leading to the need of revising its traditional formulation. Using the CV (Coefficient of Variation) and ADI (Average inter-Demand Interval) classification, we will define the inherent flaws of Poisson-based METRIC for irregular demand items, defining an innovative ad hoc distribution which can better fit the irregular demands. This distribution will allow defining proper stock levels to reduce stocking and backorder costs due to the high irregularities in the demand trend. A case study in the aviation domain will clarify the benefits of this innovative METRIC approach.

Keywords: METRIC, inventory management, irregular demand, spare parts

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2 The Efficacy of Thymbra spicata Ethanolic Extract and its Main Component Carvacrol on In vitro Model of Metabolically-Associated Dysfunctions

Authors: Farah Diab, Mohamad Khalil, Francesca Storace, Francesca Baldini, Piero Portincasaa, Giulio Lupidi, Laura Vergani

Abstract:

Thymbra spicata is a thyme-like plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family that shows a global distribution, especially in the eastern Mediterranean region. Leaves of T. spicata contain large amounts of phenols such as phenolic acids (rosmarinic acid), phenolic monoterpenes (carvacrol), and flavonoids. In Lebanon, T. spicata is currently used as a culinary herb in salad and infusion, as well as for traditional medicinal purposes. Carvacrol (5-isopropyl-2-methyl phenol), the most abundant polyphenol in the organic extract and essential oils, has a great array of pharmacological properties. In fact, carvacrol is largely employed as a food additive and neutraceutical agent. Our aim is to investigate the beneficial effects of T. spicata ethanolic extract (TE) and its main component, carvacrol, using in vitro models of hepatic steatosis and endothelial dysfunction. As a further point, we focused on investigating if and how the binding of carvacrol to albumin, the physiological transporter for drugs in the blood, might be altered by the presence of high levels of fatty acids (FAs), thus impairing the carvacrol bio-distribution in vivo. For that reason, hepatic FaO cells treated with exogenous FAs such as oleate and palmitate mimic hepatosteatosis; endothelial HECV cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide are a model of endothelial dysfunction. In these models, we measured lipid accumulation, free radical production, lipoperoxidation, and nitric oxide release before and after treatment with carvacrol. The carvacrol binding to albumin with/without high levels of long-chain FAs was assessed by absorption and emission spectroscopies. Our findings show that both TE and carvacrol (i) counteracted lipid accumulation in hepatocytes by decreasing the intracellular and extracellular lipid contents in steatotic FaO cells; (ii) decreased oxidative stress in endothelial cells by significantly reducing lipoperoxidation and free radical production, as well as, attenuating the nitric oxide release; (ii) high levels of circulating FAs reduced the binding of carvacrol to albumin. The beneficial effects of TE and carvacrol on both hepatic and endothelial cells point to a nutraceutical potential. However, high levels of circulating FAs, such as those occurring in metabolic disorders, might hinder the carvacrol transport, bio-distribution, and pharmacodynamics.

Keywords: carvacrol, endothelial dysfunction, fatty acids, non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, serum albumin

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1 Investigation Of The Possible Beneficial And Protective Effects Of An Ethanolic Extract From Sarcopoterium spinosum Fruits

Authors: Hawraa Zbeeb, Hala Khalifeh, Mohamad Khalil, Francesca Storace, Francesca Baldini, Giulio Lupidi, Laura Vergani

Abstract:

Sarcopoterium spinosum, a widely distributed spiny shrubbelonging to the Rosaceae family, isrich in essential and beneficial constituents. In fact, S. spinosum fruits and roots are traditionally used as herbal medicinein the eastern Mediterranean landscape, and this shrub is mentioned as a medicinal plant in a large number of ethnobotanical surveys. Aqueous root extracts from S. spinosum are used by traditional medicinal practitioners for weight loss, treatment of diabetes, and pain. Moreover, the anti-diabetic activity of S. spinosum root extract is reported in different studies, but the beneficial effects of aerial parts, especially fruits, has not been elucidated yet. The aim of the present study was to investigate the in vitro antioxidant and lipid-lowering properties of an ethanolic extract from S. spinosum fruits using both hepatic (FaO) and endothelial (HECV) cells in the attempt to evaluate its possible employment as a nutraceutical supplement. First of all, in vitro spectrophotometric assays were employed to characterize the extract. The total phenol content (TPC) was evaluated by Folin–Ciocalteuspectrophotometric method, the radical scavenging activity was tested by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2, 2'-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) assays. After that, the beneficial effects of the extract were tested on cells. FaO cells treated for 3 hours with 0.75 mM oleate/palmitate mix (1:2 molar ratio) mimic in vitroa moderate hepato-steatosis. HECV cells exposed for 1 hour to 100 µM H2O2mimic, an oxidative insult leading to oxidative stress condition. After the metabolic and oxidative insult, both cell lines were treated with increasing concentrations of theS. spinosum extract (1, 10, 25 µg/mL) for 24 hours. The results showed the S. spinosumethanolic extract is rather rich in phenols (TPC of 18.6 mgGAE/g dry extract). Moreover, the extract showed a good scavenging abilityin vitro(IC50 15.9 µg/mland 10.9 µg/mlmeasured by DPPH and ABTS assays, respectively). When the extract was tested on cells, we observed that it could ameliorate some markers of cell dysfunction. The three concentrations of the extractled to a significant decrease in the intracellular triglyceride (TG) contentin steatoticFaO cells measured by spectrophotometric assay. On the other hand, HECV cells treated with increasing concentrations of the extract did not result in a significant decrease in both lipid peroxidation measured by the Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) assay and in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production measured by fluorometric analysis after DCF staining. Interestingly, the ethanolic extract was able to accelerate the wound repair of confluentHECV cells respect to H2O2-insulted cells as measured by T-scratch assay. Taken together, these results seem to indicate that the ethanol extract from S. spinosum fruits is rich in phenol compounds and plays considerable lipid lowering activity in vitroon steatotichepatocytes, and accelerates wound healing repair on endothelial cells. In light of that, the ethanolic extract from S. spinosumfruits could be a potential candidate for nutraceutical applications.

Keywords: sarcopoterium spinosum fruits, ethanolic extract, phenolic compounds, lipid-lowering activity, antioxidant activity

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