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

Search results for: L. Parisi

8 Robotic Arm Allowing a Diabetic Quadriplegic Patient to Self-Administer Insulin

Authors: L. Parisi

Abstract:

A method which allows a diabetic quadriplegic patient that has had four limb amputations (above the knee and elbow) to self-administer injections of insulin has been designed. The aim of this research project is to improve a quadriplegic patient’s self-management, affected by diabetes, by designing a suitable device for self-administering insulin.The quadriplegic patient affected by diabetes has to be able to self-administer insulin safely and independently to guarantee stable healthy conditions. The device also should be designed to adapt to a number of different varying personal characteristics such as height and body weight.

Keywords: robotic arm, self-administration, insulin, diabetes, quadriplegia

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7 Improving the Design of Blood Pressure and Blood Saturation Monitors

Authors: L. Parisi

Abstract:

A blood pressure monitor or sphygmomanometer can be either manual or automatic, employing respectively either the auscultatory method or the oscillometric method. The manual version of the sphygmomanometer involves an inflatable cuff with a stethoscope adopted to detect the sounds generated by the arterial walls to measure blood pressure in an artery. An automatic sphygmomanometer can be effectively used to monitor blood pressure through a pressure sensor, which detects vibrations provoked by oscillations of the arterial walls. The pressure sensor implemented in this device improves the accuracy of the measurements taken.

Keywords: blood pressure, blood saturation, sensors, actuators, design improvement

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6 Exploiting Kinetic and Kinematic Data to Plot Cyclograms for Managing the Rehabilitation Process of BKAs by Applying Neural Networks

Authors: L. Parisi

Abstract:

Kinematic data wisely correlate vector quantities in space to scalar parameters in time to assess the degree of symmetry between the intact limb and the amputated limb with respect to a normal model derived from the gait of control group participants. Furthermore, these particular data allow a doctor to preliminarily evaluate the usefulness of a certain rehabilitation therapy. Kinetic curves allow the analysis of ground reaction forces (GRFs) to assess the appropriateness of human motion. Electromyography (EMG) allows the analysis of the fundamental lower limb force contributions to quantify the level of gait asymmetry. However, the use of this technological tool is expensive and requires patient’s hospitalization. This research work suggests overcoming the above limitations by applying artificial neural networks.

Keywords: kinetics, kinematics, cyclograms, neural networks, transtibial amputation

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5 Conceptual Design of a Telecommunications Equipment Container for Humanitarian Logistics

Authors: S. Parisi, Ch. Achillas, D. Aidonis, D. Folinas, N. Moussiopoulos

Abstract:

Preparedness addresses the strategy in disaster management that allows the implementation of successful operational response immediately after a disaster. With speed as the main driver, product design for humanitarian aid purposes is a key factor of success in situations of high uncertainty and urgency. Within this context, a telecommunications container (TC) has been designed that belongs to a group of containers that serve the purpose of immediate response to global disasters. The TC includes all the necessary equipment to establish a telecommunication center in the destroyed area within the first 72 hours of humanitarian operations. The design focuses on defining the topology of the various parts of equipment by taking into consideration factors of serviceability, functionality, human-product interaction, universal design language, energy consumption, sustainability and the interrelationship with the other containers. The concept parametric design has been implemented with SolidWorks® CAD system.

Keywords: telecommunications container, design, case study, humanitarian logistics

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4 A Novel Approach to Asynchronous State Machine Modeling on Multisim for Avoiding Function Hazards

Authors: Parisi L., Hamili D., Azlan N.

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to design and simulate a particular type of Asynchronous State Machine (ASM), namely a ‘traffic light controller’ (TLC), operated at a frequency of 0.5 Hz. The design task involved two main stages: firstly, designing a 4-bit binary counter using J-K flip flops as the timing signal and subsequently, attaining the digital logic by deploying ASM design process. The TLC was designed such that it showed a sequence of three different colours, i.e. red, yellow and green, corresponding to set thresholds by deploying the least number of AND, OR and NOT gates possible. The software Multisim was deployed to design such circuit and simulate it for circuit troubleshooting in order for it to display the output sequence of the three different colours on the traffic light in the correct order. A clock signal, an asynchronous 4-bit binary counter that was designed through the use of J-K flip flops along with an ASM were used to complete this sequence, which was programmed to be repeated indefinitely. Eventually, the circuit was debugged and optimized, thus displaying the correct waveforms of the three outputs through the logic analyzer. However, hazards occurred when the frequency was increased to 10 MHz. This was attributed to delays in the feedback being too high.

Keywords: asynchronous state machine, traffic light controller, circuit design, digital electronics

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3 Neural Networks for Distinguishing the Performance of Two Hip Joint Implants on the Basis of Hip Implant Side and Ground Reaction Force

Authors: L. Parisi

Abstract:

In this research work, neural networks were applied to classify two types of hip joint implants based on the relative hip joint implant side speed and three components of each ground reaction force. The condition of walking gait at normal velocity was used and carried out with each of the two hip joint implants assessed. Ground reaction forces’ kinetic temporal changes were considered in the first approach followed but discarded in the second one. Ground reaction force components were obtained from eighteen patients under such gait condition, half of which had a hip implant type I-II, whilst the other half had the hip implant, defined as type III by Orthoload®. After pre-processing raw gait kinetic data and selecting the time frames needed for the analysis, the ground reaction force components were used to train a MLP neural network, which learnt to distinguish the two hip joint implants in the abovementioned condition. Further to training, unknown hip implant side and ground reaction force components were presented to the neural networks, which assigned those features into the right class with a reasonably high accuracy for the hip implant type I-II and the type III. The results suggest that neural networks could be successfully applied in the performance assessment of hip joint implants.

Keywords: kinemic gait data, neural networks, hip joint implant, hip arthroplasty, rehabilitation engineering

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2 Health Outcomes from Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella in High-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Andrea Parisi, Samantha Vilkins, Luis Furuya-Kanamori, John A. Crump, Benjamin P. Howden, Darren Gray, Kathryn Glass, Martyn Kirk

Abstract:

Objectives: Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne enterocolitis worldwide. Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) infections that are Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) (non-susceptible to ≥1 agent in ≥3 antimicrobial categories) may result in more severe outcomes, although these effects have not been systematically examined. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine impacts of MDR NTS on health in high-income settings. Methods: We systematically reviewed the literature from scientific databases, including PubMed, Scopus and grey literature sources, using PRISMA guidelines. We searched for data from case-control studies, cohorts, outbreaks, reports and theses, imposing no language restriction. We included only publications from January 1990 to September 2016 from high income countries as classified by World Bank. We extracted data from papers on duration of illness, hospitalisation rates, morbidity and mortality for MDR and non-MDR NTS strains. Results: After removing duplicates, the initial search revealed 4258 articles. After further screening, we identified 16 eligible studies for the systematic review, and 9 of these were included in meta-analysis. NTS serotypes differed among the reported studies but serotype Typhimurium, Enteritidis, Newport and Heidelberg were among the most often reported as MDR pathogens. Salmonella infections that were MDR were associated with excess bloodstream infections (OR 1.63; 95%CI 1.18-2.26), excess hospitalisations (OR 2.77; 95%CI 1.47-5.21) and higher mortality (OR 3.54; 95%CI 1.10-11.40). Conclusions: MDR NTS infections are a serious public health concern. With the emergence of MDR Salmonella strains in the high-income countries, it is crucial to restrict the use of antimicrobials both in animals and humans, and intervene to prevent foodborne infections.

Keywords: Antimicrobial Resistance, Bloodstream Infection, Health Outcomes, Hospitalisation, Invasive Disease, Multi-Drug Resistance (MDR), Mortality, Nontyphoidal Salmonella

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1 Preliminary Results on a Study of Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Bacillus anthracis Strains Isolated during Anthrax Outbreaks in Italy from 2001 to 2017

Authors: Viviana Manzulli, Luigina Serrecchia, Adelia Donatiello, Valeria Rondinone, Sabine Zange, Alina Tscherne, Antonio Parisi, Antonio Fasanella

Abstract:

Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that affects a wide range of animal species (primarily ruminant herbivores), and can be transmitted to humans through consumption or handling of contaminated animal products. The etiological agent B.anthracis is able to survive in unfavorable environmental conditions by forming endospore which remain viable in the soil for many decades. Furthermore, B.anthracis is considered as one of the most feared agents to be potentially misused as a biological weapon and the importance of the disease and its treatment in humans has been underscored before the bioterrorism events in the United States in 2001. Due to the often fatal outcome of human cases, antimicrobial susceptibility testing plays especially in the management of anthrax infections an important role. In Italy, animal anthrax is endemic (predominantly found in the southern regions and on islands) and is characterized by sporadic outbreaks occurring mainly during summer. Between 2012 and 2017 single human cases of cutaneous anthrax occurred. In this study, 90 diverse strains of B.anthracis, isolated in Italy from 2001 to 2017, were screened to their susceptibility to sixteen clinically relevant antimicrobial agents by using the broth microdilution method. B.anthracis strains selected for this study belong to the strain collection stored at the Anthrax Reference Institute of Italy located inside the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Puglia and Basilicata. The strains were isolated at different time points and places from various matrices (human, animal and environmental). All strains are a representative of over fifty distinct MLVA 31 genotypes. The following antibiotics were used for testing: gentamicin, ceftriaxone, streptomycin, penicillin G, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, vancomycin, linezolid, cefotaxime, tetracycline, erythromycin, rifampin, amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline and trimethoprim. A standard concentration of each antibiotic was prepared in a specific diluent, which were then twofold serial diluted. Therefore, each wells contained: bacterial suspension of 1–5x104 CFU/mL in Mueller-Hinton Broth (MHB), the antibiotic to be tested at known concentration and resazurin, an indicator of cell growth. After incubation overnight at 37°C, the wells were screened for color changes caused by the resazurin: a change from purple to pink/colorless indicated cell growth. The lowest concentration of antibiotic that prevented growth represented the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC). This study suggests that B.anthracis remains susceptible in vitro to many antibiotics, in addition to doxycycline (MICs ≤ 0,03 µg/ml), ciprofloxacin (MICs ≤ 0,03 µg/ml) and penicillin G (MICs ≤ 0,06 µg/ml), recommend by CDC for the treatment of human cases and for prophylactic use after exposure to the spores. In fact, the good activity of gentamicin (MICs ≤ 0,25 µg/ml), streptomycin (MICs ≤ 1 µg/ml), clindamycin (MICs ≤ 0,125 µg/ml), chloramphenicol(MICs ≤ 4 µg/ml), vancomycin (MICs ≤ 2 µg/ml), linezolid (MICs ≤ 2 µg/ml), tetracycline (MICs ≤ 0,125 µg/ml), erythromycin (MICs ≤ 0,25 µg/ml), rifampin (MICs ≤ 0,25 µg/ml), amoxicillin (MICs ≤ 0,06 µg/ml), towards all tested B.anthracis strains demonstrates an appropriate alternative choice for prophylaxis and/or treatment. All tested B.anthracis strains showed intermediate susceptibility to the cephalosporins (MICs ≥ 16 µg/ml) and resistance to trimethoprim (MICs ≥ 128 µg/ml).

Keywords: Bacillus anthracis, antibiotic susceptibility, treatment, minimum inhibitory concentration

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