Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 15

Search results for: Jordi L. Tremoleda

15 Cellular Senescence and Neuroinflammation Following Controlled Cortical Impact Traumatic Brain Injury in Juvenile Mice

Authors: Zahra F. Al-Khateeb, Shenel Shekerzade, Hasna Boumenar, Siân M. Henson, Jordi L. Tremoleda, A. T. Michael-Titus


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in young adults and also increases the risk ofneurodegeneration. The mechanisms linking moderate to severe TBI to neurodegeneration are not known. It has been proposed that cellular senescence inductionpost-injury could amplify neuroinflammation and induce long-term changes. The impact of these processes after injury to an immature brain has not been characterised yet. We carried out a controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) in juvenile 1 month-old male CD1 mice. Animals were anesthetised and received a unilateral CCI injury. The sham group received anaesthesia and had a craniotomy. A naïve group had no intervention. The brain tissue was analysed at 5 days and 35 days post-injury using immunohistochemistry and markers for microglia, astrocytes, and senescence. Compared tonaïve animals, injured mice showed an increased microglial and astrocytic reaction early post-injury, as reflected in Iba1 and GFAP markers, respectively; the GFAP increase persisted in the later phase. The senescence analysis showed a significant increase inγH2AX-53BP1 nuclear foci, 8-oxoguanine, p19ARF, p16INK4a, and p53 expression in naïve vs. sham groups and naïve vs. CCI groups, at 5 dpi. At 35 days, the difference was no longer statistically significant in all markers. The injury induced a decrease p21 expression vs. the naïve group, at 35 dpi. These results indicate the induction of a complex senescence response after immature brain injury. Some changes occur early and may reflect the activation/proliferation of non-neuronal cells post-injury that had been hindered, whereas changes such as p21 downregulation may reflect a delayed response and pro-repair processes.

Keywords: cellular senescence, traumatic brain injury, brain injury, controlled cortical impact

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14 Sediment Trapping by Seagrass Blades under Oscillatory Flow

Authors: Aina Barcelona, Carolyn Oldham, Jordi Colomer, Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Teresa Serra


Seagrass meadows increase the sedimentation within the canopy. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about how seagrasses impact the vertical distribution of sediment coming from external sources and reaches the meadow. This study aims to determine the number of particles retained by a seagrass meadow. Based on the hydrodynamics in the vertical direction, a meadow can be separated into different compartments: the blades, the seabed, within the canopy layer, and the above canopy layer. A set of laboratory experiments were conducted under different hydrodynamic conditions and canopy densities with the purpose to mimic the real field conditions. This study demonstrates and quantifies that seagrass meadows decrease the volume of the suspended sediment by two mechanisms: capturing the suspended sediment by the seagrass blades and promoting the particle sedimentation to the seabed. This study also demonstrates that the number of sediment particles trapped by single seagrass blades decreases with canopy density. However, when considering the trapping by the total number of blades, the sediment captured by all the blades of the meadow increases with canopy density. Furthermore, comparing with the bare seabed, this study demonstrated that there is a reduction in the suspended particles within the canopy, which implies an improvement in the water clarity. In addition, the particle sedimentation on the seabed increases with the canopy density compared with the bare seabed, making evident the contribution of the vegetation in enhancing sedimentation.

Keywords: seagrass, sediment capture, turbulent kinetic energy, oscillatory flow

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13 The Fall of Cultural Consumption in Spain during the Economic Crisis of 2008: Lessons for the Upcoming Crisis

Authors: Pau Rausell-Koster, Jordi Sanjuan-Belda


The economic crisis of 2008 had a special impact on cultural consumption in Spain. It fell by almost 30% in a few years, and its share of total family spending decreased from 3.19% in 2007 to 2.38% in 2015. In 2017, unlike other indicators, cultural consumption levels were still far from recovering their pre-crisis values. In times of economic difficulties, the satisfaction of primary subsistence needs takes priority over that of social, cultural and experiential needs, among which cultural consumption would mostly be framed. However, its evolution cannot be attributed exclusively to macroeconomic trends. In parallel to these, technological advances mainly related to the Internet have been disseminated in recent years, which have a very marked impact on the consumption patterns of some cultural sectors. Thus, the aim of this study is to define the causes of the decline in cultural consumption in Spain in recent years, and analyse what type of products, territories and population profiles suffered it especially. From the data analysis of the Family Budget Survey, the study seeks to improve the understanding of the determinants of cultural consumption and their behaviour in the face of macroeconomic trends, as well as identify and extract some policy implications regarding to the upcoming crisis caused by COVID-19.

Keywords: consume patterns, cultural consumption, economic crisis, economic trends

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12 The Minimum Patch Size Scale for Seagrass Canopy Restoration

Authors: Aina Barcelona, Carolyn Oldham, Jordi Colomer, Teresa Serra


The loss of seagrass meadows worldwide is being tackled by formulating coastal restoration strategies. Seagrass loss results in a network of vegetated patches which are barely interconnected, and consequently, the ecological services they provide may be highly compromised. Hence, there is a need to optimize coastal management efforts in order to implement successful restoration strategies, not only through modifying the architecture of the canopies but also by gathering together information on the hydrodynamic conditions of the seabeds. To obtain information on the hydrodynamics within the patches of vegetation, this study deals with the scale analysis of the minimum lengths of patch management strategies that can be effectively used on. To this aim, a set of laboratory experiments were conducted in a laboratory flume where the plant densities, patch lengths, and hydrodynamic conditions were varied to discern the vegetated patch lengths that can provide optimal ecosystem services for canopy development. Two possible patch behaviours based on the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) production were determined: one where plants do not interact with the flow and the other where plants interact with waves and produce TKE. Furthermore, this study determines the minimum patch lengths that can provide successful management restoration. A canopy will produce TKE, depending on its density, the length of the vegetated patch, and the wave velocities. Therefore, a vegetated patch will produce plant-wave interaction under high wave velocities when it presents large lengths and high canopy densities.

Keywords: seagrass, minimum patch size, turbulent kinetic energy, oscillatory flow

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11 Portuguese City Reconstructed from Public Space: The Example of the Requalification of Cacém Central Area

Authors: Rodrigo Coelho


As several authors have pointed out (such as Jordi Borja, or Oriol Bohigas), the necessity to “make center” presents itself not only as a imperative response to deal with the processes of dissolution of peripheral urbanization, as it should be assumed, from the point of view its symbolic and functional meaning, as a key concept to think and act on the enlarged city. The notion of re-centralization (successfully applied in urban periphery recompositions, such as in Barcelona or Lyon), understood from the redefinition of mobility, the strengthening of core functions, and from the creation or consolidation of urban fabrics (always articulated with policies of creation and redevelopment of public spaces), seems to become one of the key strategies over the challenge of making the city on the “city periphery”. The question we want to address in this paper concerns, essentially, the importance of public space in the (re) construction of the contemporary "shapeless city” sectors (which, in general, we associate to urban peripheries). We will seek demonstrate, from the analysis of a Portuguese case study–The Cacém Central Area requalification, integrated in Polis Program (National Program for Urban Rehabilitation and Environmental Improvement of Cities, released in 1999 by the Portuguese government), the conditions under which the public space project can act, subsequently, in the urban areas of recent formation, where, in many situations, the public space did not have a structuring role in its urbanization, seeing its presence reduced to a residual character. More specifically, we intend to demonstrate with this example the methodological and urban design aspects that led to the regeneration of a disqualified and degraded urban area, by intervening consistently and profoundly in public space (with well defined objectives and criteria, and framed in a more comprehensive strategy, attentive to the various scales of urban design).

Keywords: public space, urban design, urban regeneration, urban and regional studies

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10 A Photographic Look on the Socio-Educational Inclusion of Young Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

Authors: Mara Gabrielli, Jordi Pamies Rovira


From a theoretical and interdisciplinary approach to visual ethnography and visual anthropology, this small scale, in-depth study explores the potential of photography as a participatory ethnographic method for a deep-understanding of the socio-educational integration of young refugees and asylum-seekers in the host society as regards their daily experiences, their needs, desires, expectations, and future goals. Qualitative data is collected by the author by observing 12 young participants in the age group 12-24 years per week for 12 months. The data consists of field notes, participatory observation, in-depth interviews with professionals, and the use of visual participatory ethnographic methods. Therefore, the young participants build their stories through the implementation of two participatory photographic methods - the 'photo-diary' and the 'photo-elicitation' - that permit them to analyse and narrate their social and educational experiences from their perspectives, thus collaborating in the construction of knowledge during the different stages of the research. Preliminary findings show the high resilience and social adaptability of young refugees and asylum-seekers to achieve their goals and overcome structural and socio-cultural barriers. However, the uncertainty of their administrative situation during the asylum submission and the lack of specific resources might impact negatively on their educational pathways and the transition to the labour market. Finally, this study also highlights the benefits of participatory photographic methods in ethnographic research, which impacts positively the well-being of these young people, helps them to develop critical thinking, and it also allows them to access information more respectfully when narrating painful experiences.

Keywords: photo-diary, photo-elicitation, resilience, strategies, visual methodologies, young refugees and asylum seekers

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9 Sulfanilamide/Epoxy Resin and Its Application as Tackifier in Epoxy Adhesives

Authors: Oiane Ruiz de Azua, Salvador Borros, Nuria Agullo, Jordi Arbusa


Tackiness is described as the ability to spontaneously form a bond to another material under light pressures within a short application time. During the first few minutes of the adhesive's curing, it is necessary to have enough tack to keep the substrates together while cohesion is increasing within the adhesive. This property plays a key role in the manufacturing process of pieces. Epoxy adhesives, unlike other adhesives, usually present low tackiness before curing; however, there is very little literature about the use of tackifiers in epoxy adhesives, except for the high molecular weight epoxy additives. In the present work, a tetrafunctional epoxy resin based on Bisphenol-A and Sulfanilamide has been synthesized in order to be used as a tackifier. This additive offers improved specific adhesion to two-component (2K) epoxy adhesives. The dosage of the tackifier has to be done carefully not to alter the mechanical and rheological properties of the adhesive. The synthetized product has been analyzed by FTIR and ¹H-NMR analysis, and the effect of the addition of 1 wt % of the tackifier on rheological properties, viscoelastic behavior, and mechanical properties has been studied. On one hand, the addition of the product in the epoxy resin part showed a significant increase in tackiness regarding the neat epoxy resin. On the other hand, tackiness of the whole formulation was also increased. Curing time of the adhesive has not undergone any relevant changes with the tackifier addition. Regarding viscoelastic properties, Storage Modulus (G') and Loss Modulus (G'') remain also unchanged at ambient temperature. Probably, in case higher tackifier concentration would be added, differences in viscoelastic properties would be observed. The study of mechanical properties shows that hardness and tensile strength also keep their values unchanged regarding neat two component adhesive. In conclusion, the addition of 1 wt % of sulfanilamide/epoxy enhanced the tackiness of the epoxy resin part, improves tack without modifying significantly either the rheological, the mechanical, or the viscoelastic properties of the product. Thus, the sulfanilamide presented could be a good candidate to be used as an additive to the 2k epoxy formulation for the manufacturing process of pieces.

Keywords: epoxy adhesive, manufacturing process of pieces, sulfanilamide, tackifiers

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8 Characteristics of Acute Bacterial Prostatitis in Elderly Patients Attended in the Emergency Department

Authors: Carles Ferré, Ferran Llopis, Javier Jacob, Jordi Giol, Xavier Palom, Ignasi Bardés


Objective: To analyze the characteristics of acute bacterial prostatitis (ABP) in elderly patients attended in the emergency department (ED). Methods: Observational and cohort study with prospective follow-up including patients with ABP presenting to the ED from January-December 2012. Data were collected for demographic variables, comorbidities, clinical and microbiological findings, treatment, outcome, and reconsultation at 30 days follow up. Findings were compared between patients ≥ 75 years (study group) and < 75 years (control group). Results: During the study period 241 episodes of ABP were included for analysis. Mean age was 62,9 ± 16 years, and 64 (26.5%) were ≥ 75 years old. A history of prostate adenoma was reported in 54 cases (22,4%), diabetes mellitus in 47 patients (19,5%) and prior manipulation of the lower urinary tract in 40 (17%). Mean symptoms duration was 3.38 ± 4.04 days, voiding symptoms were present in 176 cases (73%) and fever in 154 (64%). From 216 urine cultures, 128 were positive (59%) and 24 (17,6%) out of 136 blood cultures. Escherichia coli was the main pathogen in 58.6% of urine cultures and 64% of blood cultures (with resistant strains to fluoroquinolones in 27,7%, cotrimoxazole in 22,9% and amoxicillin/clavulanic in 27.7% of cases). Seventy patients (29%) were admitted to the hospital, and 3 died. At 30-day follow-up, 29 patients (12%) returned to the ED. In the bivariate analysis previous manipulation of the urinary tract, history of cancer, previous antibiotic treatment, resistant E. coli strains to amoxicillin-clavulanate and ciprofloxacin and extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers, renal impairment, and admission to the hospital were significantly more frequent (p < 0.05) among patients ≥ 75 years compared to those younger than 75 years. Conclusions: Ciprofloxacin and amoxicillin-clavulanate appear not to be good options for the empiric treatment of ABP for patients ≥ 75 years given the drug-resistance pattern in our series, and the proportion of ESBL-producing strains of E. coli should be taken into account. Awaiting bacteria identification and antibiogram from urine and/or blood cultures, treatment on an inpatient basis should be considered in older patients with ABP.

Keywords: acute bacterial prostatitits, antibiotic resistance, elderly patients, emergency

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7 Synergistic Sorption of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) onto Sweet Potato Vine from Binary Mixtures Cr(VI)-Cu(II)

Authors: Chang Liu, Nuria Fiol, Isabel Villaescusa, Jordi Poch


Over the last decades, biosorption has been an alternative to costly wastewaters treatment for metal removal. Most of the literature on metal biosorption was devoted to studying of single metal ions but nowadays studies on multi-components biosorption are booming. Hexavalent chromium is usually found in mixtures with divalent metal ions in industries wastewaters. However, studies on the simultaneous removal of Cr(VI) and divalent metals are hardly found and the cooperative or competitive mechanism governing each metal ions sorption is still unclear. In this work, simultaneous sorption of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) from their binary mixtures by using sweet potato vine (SPV) was investigated. Sweet potato is one of the four major grain crops in China. Each year about 2000 tons of SPV are generated as by-products. SPV could be a low-cost biosorbent for metal ions due to its rich in cellulose and lignin. In this work, the sorption of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) from their binary mixtures solutions was studied by using SPV sorbent. Equilibrium studies were carried out in binary mixtures in which Cr(VI) and Cu(II) concentration was both varied between 0.1 mM and 0.3 mM, Cr(VI) and Cu(II) single solutions were also prepared as comparison. All the experiments were performed at pH 3±0.05 under 30±2°C for 7 days to make sure sorption achieved equilibrium. Results showed that (i) chromium was partially (10.93%-42.04%) eliminated under studied conditions through reduction and sorption of hexavalent and trivalent forms. The presence of Cu(II) exerts a synergistic effect on the overall sorption process in all the cases of the 0.1-0.3 mM binary mixtures concentration range. (ii) Cr(VI) removal by SPV is favoured by the presence of Cu(II) in solution, because more protons needed for Cr(VI) reduction are available due to Cu(II)-proton competition; however sorption of the formed Cr(III) is unfavoured as a result of the competition between Cr(III) and Cu(II) for protons and sorbent active sites. (iii) Copper was partially (9.26%-13.91%) sorbed onto SPV under studied conditions. The presence of Cr(VI) in binary mixtures also exerts a synergistic effect on the Cu(II) removal in all the cases of the 0.1-0.3 mM binary mixtures concentration range. The results of the present work indicate that sweet potato vine can be successfully employed for the simultaneously removal of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) in binary mixtures, taking advantage of the synergistic effect provoked by one of the metal ion to each other, even though the acquisition of higher removal yields has to be further investigated. Acknowledgements—This work has been financially supported by Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of PRC (Anhui15), Education Department of Anhui Province (KJ2016A270) and Anhui Normal University (2015rcpy33, 2014bsqdjj53).

Keywords: sweet potato vine, chromium reduction, divalent metal, synergistic sorption

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6 Bank Internal Controls and Credit Risk in Europe: A Quantitative Measurement Approach

Authors: Ellis Kofi Akwaa-Sekyi, Jordi Moreno Gené


Managerial actions which negatively profile banks and impair corporate reputation are addressed through effective internal control systems. Disregard for acceptable standards and procedures for granting credit have affected bank loan portfolios and could be cited for the crises in some European countries. The study intends to determine the effectiveness of internal control systems, investigate whether perceived agency problems exist on the part of board members and to establish the relationship between internal controls and credit risk among listed banks in the European Union. Drawing theoretical support from the behavioural compliance and agency theories, about seventeen internal control variables (drawn from the revised COSO framework), bank-specific, country, stock market and macro-economic variables will be involved in the study. A purely quantitative approach will be employed to model internal control variables covering the control environment, risk management, control activities, information and communication and monitoring. Panel data from 2005-2014 on listed banks from 28 European Union countries will be used for the study. Hypotheses will be tested and the Generalized Least Squares (GLS) regression will be run to establish the relationship between dependent and independent variables. The Hausman test will be used to select whether random or fixed effect model will be used. It is expected that listed banks will have sound internal control systems but their effectiveness cannot be confirmed. A perceived agency problem on the part of the board of directors is expected to be confirmed. The study expects significant effect of internal controls on credit risk. The study will uncover another perspective of internal controls as not only an operational risk issue but credit risk too. Banks will be cautious that observing effective internal control systems is an ethical and socially responsible act since the collapse (crisis) of financial institutions as a result of excessive default is a major contagion. This study deviates from the usual primary data approach to measuring internal control variables and rather models internal control variables in a quantitative approach for the panel data. Thus a grey area in approaching the revised COSO framework for internal controls is opened for further research. Most bank failures and crises could be averted if effective internal control systems are religiously adhered to.

Keywords: agency theory, credit risk, internal controls, revised COSO framework

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5 Bis-Azlactone Based Biodegradable Poly(Ester Amide)s: Design, Synthesis and Study

Authors: Kobauri Sophio, Kantaria Tengiz, Tugushi David, Puiggali Jordi, Katsarava Ramaz


Biodegradable biomaterials (BB) are of high interest for numerous applications in modern medicine as resorbable surgical materials and drug delivery systems. This kind of materials can be cleared from the body after the fulfillment of their function that excludes a surgical intervention for their removal. One of the most promising BBare amino acids based biodegradable poly(ester amide)s (PEAs) which are composed of naturally occurring (α-amino acids) and non-toxic building blocks such as fatty diols and dicarboxylic acids. Key bis-nucleophilic monomers for synthesizing the PEAs are diamine-diesters-di-p-toluenesulfonic acid salts of bis-(α-amino acid)-alkylenediesters (TAADs) which form the PEAs after step-growth polymerization (polycondensation) with bis-electrophilic counter-partners - activated diesters of dicarboxylic acids. The PEAs combine all advantages of the 'parent polymers' – polyesters (PEs) and polyamides (PAs): Ability of biodegradation (PEs), a high affinity with tissues and a wide range of desired mechanical properties (PAs). The scopes of applications of thePEAs can substantially be expanded by their functionalization, e.g. through the incorporation of hydrophobic fragments into the polymeric backbones. Hydrophobically modified PEAs can form non-covalent adducts with various compounds that make them attractive as drug carriers. For hydrophobic modification of the PEAs, we selected so-called 'Azlactone Method' based on the application of p-phenylene-bis-oxazolinons (bis-azlactones, BALs) as active bis-electrophilic monomers in step-growth polymerization with TAADs. Interaction of BALs with TAADs resulted in the PEAs with low MWs (Mw2,800-19,600 Da) and poor material properties. The high-molecular-weight PEAs (Mw up to 100,000) with desirable material properties were synthesized after replacement of a part of BALs with activated diester - di-p-nitrophenylsebacate, or a part of TAAD with alkylenediamine – 1,6-hexamethylenediamine. The new hydrophobically modified PEAs were characterized by FTIR, NMR, GPC, and DSC. It was shown that after the hydrophobic modification the PEAs retain the biodegradability (in vitro study catalyzed by α-chymptrypsin and lipase), and are of interest for constructing resorbable surgical and pharmaceutical devices including drug delivering containers such as microspheres. The new PEAs are insoluble in hydrophobic organic solvents such as chloroform or dichloromethane (swell only) that allowed elaborating a new technology of fabricating microspheres.

Keywords: amino acids, biodegradable polymers, bis-azlactones, microspheres

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4 Barrier Membrane Influence Histology of Guided Bone Regenerations: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Laura Canagueral-Pellice, Antonio Munar-Frau, Adaia Valls-Ontanon, Joao Carames, Federico Hernandez-Alfaro, Jordi Caballe-Serrano


Objective: Guided bone regeneration (GBR) aims to replace the missing bone with a new structure to achieve long-term stability of rehabilitations. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the effect of barrier membranes on histological outcomes after GBR procedures. Moreover, the effect of the grafting material and tissue gain were analyzed. Materials & methods: Two independent reviewers performed an electronic search in Pubmed and Scopus, identifying all eligible publications up to March 2020. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing a histological analysis of augmented areas were included. Results: A total of 6 publications were included for the present systematic review. A total of 110 biopsied sites were analysed; 10 corresponded to vertical bone augmentation procedures, whereas 100 analysed horizontal regeneration procedures. A mean tissue gain of 3 ± 1.48mm was obtained for horizontal defects. Histological assessment of new bone formation, residual particle and sub-epithelial connective tissue (SCT) was reported. The four main barrier membranes used were natural collagen membranes, e-PTFE, polylactic resorbable membranes and acellular dermal matrix membranes (AMDG). The analysis demonstrated that resorbable membranes result in higher values of new bone formation and lower values of residual particles and SCT. Xenograft resulted in lower new bone formation compared to allograft; however, no statistically significant differences were observed regarding residual particle and SCT. Overall, regeneration procedures adding autogenous bone, plasma derivate or growth factors achieved in general greater new bone formation and tissue gain. Conclusions: There is limited evidence favoring the effect of a certain type of barrier membrane in GBR. Data needs to be evaluated carefully; however, resorbable membranes are correlated with greater new bone formation values, especially when combined with allograft materials and/or the addition of autogenous bone, platelet reach plasma (PRP) or growth factors in the regeneration area. More studies assessing the histological outcomes of different GBR protocols and procedures testing different biomaterials are needed to maximize the clinical and histological outcomes in bone regeneration science.

Keywords: barrier membrane, graft material, guided bone regeneration, implant surgery, histology

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3 Biocompatibility assessment of different origin Barrier Membranes for Guided Bone Regeneration

Authors: Antonio Munar-Frau, Sascha Klismoch, Manfred Schmolz, Federico Hernandez-Alfaro, Jordi Caballe-Serrano


Introduction: Biocompatibility of biomaterials has been proposed as one of the main criteria for treatment success. For guided bone regeneration (GBR), barrier membranes present a conflict given the number of origins and modifications of these materials. The biologic response to biomaterials is orchestrated by a series of events leading to the integration or rejection of the biomaterial, posing questions such as if a longer occlusive property may trigger an inflammatory reaction. Whole blood cultures are a solution to study the immune response to drugs or biomaterials during the first 24-48 hours. The aim of this study is to determine the early immune response of different origins and chemical modifications of barrier membranes. Materials & Methods: 5 different widely used barrier membranes were included in this study: Acellular dermal matrix (AlloDerm, LifeCell®), Porcine Peritoneum (BioGide, Geistlich Pharma®), Porcine Pericardium (Jason, Botiss Biomaterials GmbH®), Porcine Cross-linked collagen (Ossix Plus, Datum Dental®) and d-PTFE (Cytoplast TXT, Osteogenics Biomedical®). Blood samples were extracted from 3 different healthy donors and incubated with the different samples of barrier membranes for 24 hours. After the incubation time, serum samples were obtained and analyzed by means of biocompatibility assays taking into account 42 markers. Results: In an early stage of the inflammatory response, the Acellular dermal matrix, porcine peritoneum and porcine cross-linked collagen expressed similar patterns of cytokine expression with a great manifestation of ENA 78. Porcine pericardium and d-PTFE presented similar cytokine activation, especially for MMP-3 and MMP-9, although other cytokines were highlighted with lower expression. For the later immune response, Porcine peritoneum and acellular dermal matrix MCP-1 and IL-15 were evident. Porcine pericardium, porcine cross-linked collagen and d-PTFE presented a high expression of IL-16 and lower manifestation of other cytokines. Different behaviors depending on an earlier or later stage of the inflammation process were observed. Barrier membrane inflammatory expression does not only differ depending on the origin, variables such as treatment of the collagen and polymers may also have a great impact on the cytokine expression of the studied barrier membranes during inflammation. Conclusions: Surface treatment and modifications might affect the biocompatibility of the membranes, as different cytokine expressions were evidently depending on the origin of the biomaterial. This study is only a brushstroke regarding the biocompatibility of materials, as it is one of the pioneer studies for ex vivo barrier membranes assays. Studies regarding surface modification are needed in order to clarify mystifications of barrier membrane science.

Keywords: biomaterials, bone regeneration, biocompatibility, inflammation

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2 Towards Visual Personality Questionnaires Based on Deep Learning and Social Media

Authors: Pau Rodriguez, Jordi Gonzalez, Josep M. Gonfaus, Xavier Roca


Image sharing in social networks has increased exponentially in the past years. Officially, there are 600 million Instagrammers uploading around 100 million photos and videos per day. Consequently, there is a need for developing new tools to understand the content expressed in shared images, which will greatly benefit social media communication and will enable broad and promising applications in education, advertisement, entertainment, and also psychology. Following these trends, our work aims to take advantage of the existing relationship between text and personality, already demonstrated by multiple researchers, so that we can prove that there exists a relationship between images and personality as well. To achieve this goal, we consider that images posted on social networks are typically conditioned on specific words, or hashtags, therefore any relationship between text and personality can also be observed with those posted images. Our proposal makes use of the most recent image understanding models based on neural networks to process the vast amount of data generated by social users to determine those images most correlated with personality traits. The final aim is to train a weakly-supervised image-based model for personality assessment that can be used even when textual data is not available, which is an increasing trend. The procedure is described next: we explore the images directly publicly shared by users based on those accompanying texts or hashtags most strongly related to personality traits as described by the OCEAN model. These images will be used for personality prediction since they have the potential to convey more complex ideas, concepts, and emotions. As a result, the use of images in personality questionnaires will provide a deeper understanding of respondents than through words alone. In other words, from the images posted with specific tags, we train a deep learning model based on neural networks, that learns to extract a personality representation from a picture and use it to automatically find the personality that best explains such a picture. Subsequently, a deep neural network model is learned from thousands of images associated with hashtags correlated to OCEAN traits. We then analyze the network activations to identify those pictures that maximally activate the neurons: the most characteristic visual features per personality trait will thus emerge since the filters of the convolutional layers of the neural model are learned to be optimally activated depending on each personality trait. For example, among the pictures that maximally activate the high Openness trait, we can see pictures of books, the moon, and the sky. For high Conscientiousness, most of the images are photographs of food, especially healthy food. The high Extraversion output is mostly activated by pictures of a lot of people. In high Agreeableness images, we mostly see flower pictures. Lastly, in the Neuroticism trait, we observe that the high score is maximally activated by animal pets like cats or dogs. In summary, despite the huge intra-class and inter-class variabilities of the images associated to each OCEAN traits, we found that there are consistencies between visual patterns of those images whose hashtags are most correlated to each trait.

Keywords: emotions and effects of mood, social impact theory in social psychology, social influence, social structure and social networks

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1 Sea Level Rise and Sediment Supply Explain Large-Scale Patterns of Saltmarsh Expansion and Erosion

Authors: Cai J. T. Ladd, Mollie F. Duggan-Edwards, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Jordi F. Pages, Martin W. Skov


Salt marshes are valued for their role in coastal flood protection, carbon storage, and for supporting biodiverse ecosystems. As a biogeomorphic landscape, marshes evolve through the complex interactions between sea level rise, sediment supply and wave/current forcing, as well as and socio-economic factors. Climate change and direct human modification could lead to a global decline marsh extent if left unchecked. Whilst the processes of saltmarsh erosion and expansion are well understood, empirical evidence on the key drivers of long-term lateral marsh dynamics is lacking. In a GIS, saltmarsh areal extent in 25 estuaries across Great Britain was calculated from historical maps and aerial photographs, at intervals of approximately 30 years between 1846 and 2016. Data on the key perceived drivers of lateral marsh change (namely sea level rise rates, suspended sediment concentration, bedload sediment flux rates, and frequency of both river flood and storm events) were collated from national monitoring centres. Continuous datasets did not extend beyond 1970, therefore predictor variables that best explained rate change of marsh extent between 1970 and 2016 was calculated using a Partial Least Squares Regression model. Information about the spread of Spartina anglica (an invasive marsh plant responsible for marsh expansion around the globe) and coastal engineering works that may have impacted on marsh extent, were also recorded from historical documents and their impacts assessed on long-term, large-scale marsh extent change. Results showed that salt marshes in the northern regions of Great Britain expanded an average of 2.0 ha/yr, whilst marshes in the south eroded an average of -5.3 ha/yr. Spartina invasion and coastal engineering works could not explain these trends since a trend of either expansion or erosion preceded these events. Results from the Partial Least Squares Regression model indicated that the rate of relative sea level rise (RSLR) and availability of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) best explained the patterns of marsh change. RSLR increased from 1.6 to 2.8 mm/yr, as SSC decreased from 404.2 to 78.56 mg/l along the north-to-south gradient of Great Britain, resulting in the shift from marsh expansion to erosion. Regional differences in RSLR and SSC are due to isostatic rebound since deglaciation, and tidal amplitudes respectively. Marshes exposed to low RSLR and high SSC likely leads to sediment accumulation at the coast suitable for colonisation by marsh plants and thus lateral expansion. In contrast, high RSLR with are likely not offset deposition under low SSC, thus average water depth at the marsh edge increases, allowing larger wind-waves to trigger marsh erosion. Current global declines in sediment flux to the coast are likely to diminish the resilience of salt marshes to RSLR. Monitoring and managing suspended sediment supply is not common-place, but may be critical to mitigating coastal impacts from climate change.

Keywords: lateral saltmarsh dynamics, sea level rise, sediment supply, wave forcing

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