Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Nélio Veiga

17 Oral Microflora and the Risk of Dental Caries in Portuguese Children

Authors: Sara Sousa, Veronique Gomes, Nélio Veiga, Maria José Correia

Abstract:

Objectives: To assess the presence or absence of Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus salivarius in the oral biofilm of children in an elementary school of Viseu, Portugal, and verify the relationship between Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus salivarius and the absence of dental caries. Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed with a final sample of 40 children aged 6-11 years old. Oral examination was accomplished with the identification of their oral health status and oral biofilm collection. Analysis of biological samples by molecular techniques of DNA isolation and identification of three Streptococci bacteria by Polimerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was made. Results: We identified Streptococcus salivarius and Streptococcus gordoni only in the lower interincisal region. These species were also present mainly in the first permanent non-decayed molars. On the contrary, Streptococcus mutans was found mostly in decayed first permanent molars. Conclusion: This preliminary study establishes a possible association between the absence of dental caries and the presence of Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus salivarius. Since these two species are described as alkali producers, it is suggested that their presence somehow confers protection against caries. These results support new dental caries prevention strategies based on oral biofilm modulation by enrichment with alkalinogenic species.

Keywords: dental caries, oral biofilm, Streptococcus gordonii, Streptococcus salivarius

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16 Antibacterial Effect of Silver Diamine Fluoride Incorporated in Fissure Sealants

Authors: Nélio Veiga, Paula Ferreira, Tiago Correia, Maria J. Correia, Carlos Pereira, Odete Amaral, Ilídio J. Correia

Abstract:

Introduction: The application of fissure sealants is considered to be an important primary prevention method used in dental medicine. However, the formation of microleakage gaps between tooth enamel and the fissure sealant applied is one of the most common reasons of dental caries development in teeth with fissure sealants. The association between various dental biomaterials may limit the major disadvantages and limitations of biomaterials functioning in a complementary manner. The present study consists in the incorporation of a cariostatic agent – silver diamine fluoride (SDF) – in a resin-based fissure sealant followed by the study of release kinetics by spectrophotometry analysis of the association between both biomaterials and assessment of the inhibitory effect on the growth of the reference bacterial strain Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) in an in vitro study. Materials and Methods: An experimental in vitro study was designed consisting in the entrapment of SDF (Cariestop® 12% and 30%) into a commercially available fissure sealant (Fissurit®), by photopolymerization and photocrosslinking. The same sealant, without SDF was used as a negative control. The effect of the sealants on the growth of S. mutans was determined by the presence of bacterial inhibitory halos in the cultures at the end of the incubation period. In order to confirm the absence of bacteria in the surface of the materials, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) characterization was performed. Also, to analyze the release profile of SDF along time, spectrophotometry technique was applied. Results: The obtained results indicate that the association of SDF to a resin-based fissure sealant may be able to increase the inhibition of S. mutans growth. However, no SDF release was noticed during the in vitro release studies and no statistical significant difference was verified when comparing the inhibitory halo sizes obtained for test and control group.  Conclusions: In this study, the entrapment of SDF in the resin-based fissure sealant did not potentiate the antibacterial effect of the fissure sealant or avoid the immediate development of dental caries. The development of more laboratorial research and, afterwards, long-term clinical data are necessary in order to verify if this association between these biomaterials is effective and can be considered for being used in oral health management. Also, other methodologies for associating cariostatic agents and sealant should be addressed.

Keywords: biomaterial, fissure sealant, primary prevention, silver diamine fluoride

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15 Induced Bone Tissue Temperature in Drilling Procedures: A Comparative Laboratory Study with and without Lubrication

Authors: L. Roseiro, C. Veiga, V. Maranha, A. Neto, N. Laraqi, A. Baïri, N. Alilat

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In orthopedic surgery there are various situations in which the surgeon needs to implement methods of cutting and drilling the bone. With this type of procedure the generated friction leads to a localized increase in temperature, which may lead to the bone necrosis. Recognizing the importance of studying this phenomenon, an experimental evaluation of the temperatures developed during the procedure of drilling bone has been done. Additionally the influence of the use of the procedure with / without additional lubrication during drilling of bone has also been done. The obtained results are presented and discussed and suggests an advantage in using additional lubrication as a way to minimize the appearance of bone tissue necrosis during bone drilling procedures.

Keywords: bone necrosis, bone drilling, thermography, surgery

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14 Nonparametric Estimation of Risk-Neutral Densities via Empirical Esscher Transform

Authors: Manoel Pereira, Alvaro Veiga, Camila Epprecht, Renato Costa

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This paper introduces an empirical version of the Esscher transform for risk-neutral option pricing. Traditional parametric methods require the formulation of an explicit risk-neutral model and are operational only for a few probability distributions for the returns of the underlying. In our proposal, we make only mild assumptions on the pricing kernel and there is no need for the formulation of the risk-neutral model for the returns. First, we simulate sample paths for the returns under the physical distribution. Then, based on the empirical Esscher transform, the sample is reweighted, giving rise to a risk-neutralized sample from which derivative prices can be obtained by a weighted sum of the options pay-offs in each path. We compare our proposal with some traditional parametric pricing methods in four experiments with artificial and real data.

Keywords: esscher transform, generalized autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedastic (GARCH), nonparametric option pricing

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13 Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms Approach for Word Correction and Prediction

Authors: Rodrigo S. Fonseca, Antônio C. P. Veiga

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Aiming at helping people with some movement limitation that makes typing and communication difficult, there is a need to customize an assistive tool with a learning environment that helps the user in order to optimize text input, identifying the error and providing the correction and possibilities of choice in the Portuguese language. The work presents an Orthographic and Grammatical System that can be incorporated into writing environments, improving and facilitating the use of an alphanumeric keyboard, using a prototype built using a genetic algorithm in addition to carrying out the prediction, which can occur based on the quantity and position of the inserted letters and even placement in the sentence, ensuring the sequence of ideas using a Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) neural network. The prototype optimizes data entry, being a component of assistive technology for the textual formulation, detecting errors, seeking solutions and informing the user of accurate predictions quickly and effectively through machine learning.

Keywords: genetic algorithm, neural networks, word prediction, machine learning

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12 The Coexistence of Dual Form of Malnutrition among Portuguese Institutionalized Elderly People

Authors: C. Caçador, M. J. Reis Lima, J. Oliveira, M. J. Veiga, M. Teixeira Veríssimo, F. Ramos, M. C. Castilho, E. Teixeira-Lemos

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In the present study we evaluated the nutritional status of 214 institutionalized elderly residents of both genders, aged 65 years and older of 11 care homes located in the district of Viseu (center of Portugal). The evaluation was based on anthropometric measurements and the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) score. The mean age of the subjects was 82.3 ± 6.1 years-old. Most of the elderly residents were female (72.0%). The majority had 4 years of formal education (51.9%) and was widowed (74.3%) or married (14.0%). Men presented a mean age of 81.2±8.5 years-old, weight 69.3±14.5 kg and BMI 25.33±6.5 kg/m2. In women, the mean age was 84.5±8.2 years-old, weight 61.2±14.7 kg and BMI 27.43±5.6 kg/m2. The evaluation of the nutritional status using the MNA score showed that 24.0% of the residents show a risk of undernutrition and 76.0% of them were well nourished. There was a high prevalence of obese (24.8%) and overweight residents (33.2%) according to the BMI. 7.5% were considered underweight. We also found that according to their waist circumference measurements 88.3% of the residents were at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 64.0% of them presented very high risk for CVD (WC≥88 cm for women and WC ≥102 cm for men). The present study revealed the coexistence of a dual form of malnutrition (undernourished and overweight) among the institutionalized Portuguese concomitantly with an excess of abdominal adiposity. The high prevalence of residents at high risk for CVD should not be overlooked. Given the vulnerability of the group of institutionalized elderly, our study highlights the importance of the classification of nutritional status based on both instruments: the BMI and the MNA.

Keywords: nutritional satus, MNA, BMI, elderly

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11 Impact of Protean Career Attitude on Career Success with the Mediating Effect of Career Insight

Authors: Prabhashini Wijewantha

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This study looks at the impact of protean career attitude of employees on their career success and next it looks at the mediation effect of career insights on the above relationship. Career success is defined as the accomplishment of desirable work related outcomes at any point in person’s work experiences over time and it comprises of two sub variables, namely, career satisfaction and perceived employability. Protean career attitude was measured using the eight items from the Self Directedness subscale of the Protean Career Attitude scale developed by Briscoe and Hall, where as career satisfaction was measured by the three item scale developed by Martine, Eddleston, and Veiga. Perceived employability was also evaluated using three items and career insight was measured using fourteen items that were adapted and used by De Vos and Soens. Data were collected from a sample of 300 mid career executives in Sri Lanka deploying the survey strategy and data were analyzed using the SPSS and AMOS software version 20.0. A preliminary analysis of data was initially performed where data were screened and reliability and validity were ensured. Next a simple regression analysis was performed to test the direct impact of protean career attitude on career success and the hypothesis was supported. The Baron and Kenney’s four steps, three regressions approach for mediator testing was used to calculate the mediation effect of career insight on the above relationship and a partial mediation was supported by the data. Finally theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords: career success, career insight, mid career MBAs, protean career attitude

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10 Indoor Microclimate in a Historic Library: Considerations on the Positive Effect of Historic Books on the Stability of Indoor Relative Humidity

Authors: Magda Posani, Maria Do Rosario Veiga, Vasco Peixoto De Freitas

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The presented research considers the hygrothermal data acquired in the municipal library of Porto. The library is housed in an XVIII century convent and, among all the rooms in the construction, one, in particular, was chosen for the monitoring campaign because of the presence of a great number of historic books. Temperature and relative humidity, as well as CO₂ concentration, were measured for six consecutive months, in the period December 24th - June 24th. The indoor environment of the building is controlled with a heating and cooling system that is turned on only during the opening hours of the library. The ventilation rate is low because the windows are kept closed, and there is no forced ventilation. The micro-climate is analyzed in terms of users’ comfort and degradation risks for historic books and valuable building surfaces. Through a comparison between indoor and outdoor measured hygrothermal data, indoor relative humidity appears very stable. The influence of the hygroscopicity of books on the stabilization of indoor relative humidity is therefore investigated in detail. The paper finally discusses the benefits given by the presence of historic books in libraries with intermittent heating and cooling. The possibility of obtaining a comfortable and stable indoor climate with low use of HVAC systems in these conditions, while avoiding degradation risks for books and historic building components, is further debated.

Keywords: books, historic buildings, hygroscopicity, relative humidity

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9 Exploring the Perspective of Service Quality in mHealth Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Wan-I Lee, Nelio Mendoza Figueredo

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The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, mobile health, service quality, use intention

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8 Experimental Characterization of the AA7075 Aluminum Alloy Using Hot Shear Tensile Test

Authors: Trunal Bhujangrao, Catherine Froustey, Fernando Veiga, Philippe Darnis, Franck Girot Mata

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The understanding of the material behavior under shear loading has great importance for a researcher in manufacturing processes like cutting, machining, milling, turning, friction stir welding, etc. where the material experiences large deformation at high temperature. For such material behavior analysis, hot shear tests provide a useful means to investigate the evolution of the microstructure at a wide range of temperature and to improve the material behavior model. Shear tests can be performed by direct shear loading (e.g. torsion of thin-walled tubular samples), or appropriate specimen design to convert a tensile or compressive load into shear (e.g. simple shear tests). The simple shear tests are straightforward and designed to obtained very large deformation. However, many of these shear tests are concerned only with the elastic response of the material. It is becoming increasingly important to capture a plastic response of the material. Plastic deformation is significantly more complex and is known to depend more heavily on the strain rate, temperature, deformation, etc. Besides, there is not enough work is done on high-temperature shear loading, because of geometrical instability occurred during the plastic deformation. The aim of this study is to design a new shear tensile specimen geometry to convert the tensile load into dominant shear loading under plastic deformation. Design of the specimen geometry is based on FEM. The material used in this paper is AA7075 alloy, tested quasi statically under elevated temperature. Finally, the microstructural changes taking place during

Keywords: AA7075 alloy, dynamic recrystallization, edge effect, large strain, shear tensile test

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7 Expansion of Cord Blood Cells Using a Mix of Neurotrophic Factors

Authors: Francisco Dos Santos, Diogo Fonseca-Pereira, Sílvia Arroz-Madeira, Henrique Veiga-Fernandes

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Haematopoiesis is a developmental process that generates all blood cell lineages in health and disease. This relies on quiescent haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that are able to differentiate, self renew and expand upon physiological demand. HSCs have great interest in regenerative medicine, including haematological malignancies, immunodeficiencies and metabolic disorders. However, the limited yield from existing HSC sources drives the global need for reliable techniques to expand harvested HSCs at high quality and sufficient quantities. With the extensive use of cord blood progenitors for clinical applications, there is a demand for a safe and efficient expansion protocol that is able to overcome the limitations of the cord blood as a source of HSC. StemCell2MAXTM developed a technology that enhances the survival, proliferation and transplantation efficiency of HSC, leading the way to a more widespread use of HSC for research and clinical purposes. StemCell2MAXTM MIX is a solution that improves HSC expansion up to 20x, while preserving stemness, when compared to state-of-the-art. In a recent study by a leading cord blood bank, StemCell2MAX MIX was shown to support a selective 100-fold expansion of CD34+ Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells (when compared to a 10-fold expansion of Total Nucleated Cells), while maintaining their multipotent differentiative potential as assessed by CFU assays. The technology developed by StemCell2MAXTM opens new horizons for the usage of expanded hematopoietic progenitors for both research purposes (including quality and functional assays in Cord Blood Banks) and clinical applications.

Keywords: cord blood, expansion, hematopoietic stem cell, transplantation

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6 Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions: A Metacognitive Strategy on Educational Context

Authors: Paula Paulino, Alzira Matias, Ana Margarida Veiga Simão

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Self-regulated learning (SRL) directs students in analyzing proposed tasks, setting goals and designing plans to achieve those goals. The literature has suggested a metacognitive strategy for goal attainment known as Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII). This strategy involves Mental Contrasting (MC), in which a significant goal and an obstacle are identified, and Implementation Intentions (II), in which an "if... then…" plan is conceived and operationalized to overcome that obstacle. The present study proposes to assess the MCII process and whether it promotes students’ commitment towards learning goals during school tasks in sciences subjects. In this investigation, we intended to study the MCII strategy in a systemic context of the classroom. Fifty-six students from middle school and secondary education attending a public school in Lisbon (Portugal) participated in the study. The MCII strategy was explicitly taught in a procedure that included metacognitive modeling, guided practice and autonomous practice of strategy. A mental contrast between a goal they wanted to achieve and a possible obstacle to achieving that desire was instructed, and then the formulation of plans in order to overcome the obstacle identified previously. The preliminary results suggest that the MCII metacognitive strategy, applied to the school context, leads to more sophisticated reflections, the promotion of learning goals and the elaboration of more complex and specific self-regulated plans. Further, students achieve better results on school tests and worksheets after strategy practice. This study presents important implications since the MCII has been related to improved outcomes and increased attendance. Additionally, MCII seems to be an innovative process that captures students’ efforts to learn and enhances self-efficacy beliefs during learning tasks.

Keywords: implementation intentions, learning goals, mental contrasting, metacognitive strategy, self-regulated learning

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5 Fostering Preschoolers’ Self-Regulated Learning: A Pilot Study

Authors: Janete Silva Moreira, Paula Costa Ferreira, Ana Margarida Veiga Simão

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Self-regulated learning is a transversal competency in human development and plays a central role in acquiring autonomy. It is a complex and dynamic process involving personal, behavioral, and contextual dimensions, as advocated by the socio-cognitive theory. Moreover, the current social challenges require educational professionals, particularly teachers, to be flexible and personalize teaching practices according to children's specificities. This investigation aimed to support the use of approaches that foster self-regulated learning in preschool through a mixed-method and cross-validation approach. We intended to improve preschoolers' self-regulated learning strategies (i.e., forethought, performance, and self-reflection) through an educational intervention, specially designed for this purpose, hypothesizing different results when comparing levels of intervention. Additionally, we aimed to validate a dynamic assessment method socially. Participants included nine preschool teachers and their students (N = 115). The educational intervention was implemented by teachers while engaging in professional training. Children’s pre and post-measures were collected with a dynamic assessment method validated for the children's age, the Dynamic Assessment of Self-regulation in Preschool (DASP) method, applied by teachers. Focus groups were conducted by the researchers with teachers to assess the social validity of the DASP method. Results will be presented showing significant differences between intervention levels regarding some self-regulated learning phases (i.e., forethought and self-reflection). The potentialities of the DASP method for preschool practices considered by teachers will also be shown. Furthermore, this study contributes to the design of educational resources to promote preschool practices according to self-regulated learning dimensions and preschool authentic activities. The possibilities and constraints of the investigation will be discussed considering theoretical, practical, and policy implications.

Keywords: self-regulated learning, preschool, dynamic assessment, educational intervention, professional training

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4 Detecting Hate Speech And Cyberbullying Using Natural Language Processing

Authors: Nádia Pereira, Paula Ferreira, Sofia Francisco, Sofia Oliveira, Sidclay Souza, Paula Paulino, Ana Margarida Veiga Simão

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Social media has progressed into a platform for hate speech among its users, and thus, there is an increasing need to develop automatic detection classifiers of offense and conflicts to help decrease the prevalence of such incidents. Online communication can be used to intentionally harm someone, which is why such classifiers could be essential in social networks. A possible application of these classifiers is the automatic detection of cyberbullying. Even though identifying the aggressive language used in online interactions could be important to build cyberbullying datasets, there are other criteria that must be considered. Being able to capture the language, which is indicative of the intent to harm others in a specific context of online interaction is fundamental. Offense and hate speech may be the foundation of online conflicts, which have become commonly used in social media and are an emergent research focus in machine learning and natural language processing. This study presents two Portuguese language offense-related datasets which serve as examples for future research and extend the study of the topic. The first is similar to other offense detection related datasets and is entitled Aggressiveness dataset. The second is a novelty because of the use of the history of the interaction between users and is entitled the Conflicts/Attacks dataset. Both datasets were developed in different phases. Firstly, we performed a content analysis of verbal aggression witnessed by adolescents in situations of cyberbullying. Secondly, we computed frequency analyses from the previous phase to gather lexical and linguistic cues used to identify potentially aggressive conflicts and attacks which were posted on Twitter. Thirdly, thorough annotation of real tweets was performed byindependent postgraduate educational psychologists with experience in cyberbullying research. Lastly, we benchmarked these datasets with other machine learning classifiers.

Keywords: aggression, classifiers, cyberbullying, datasets, hate speech, machine learning

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3 How Unpleasant Emotions, Morals and Normative Beliefs of Severity Relate to Cyberbullying Intentions

Authors: Paula C. Ferreira, Ana Margarida Veiga Simão, Nádia Pereira, Aristides Ferreira, Alexandra Marques Pinto, Alexandra Barros, Vitor Martinho

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Cyberbullying is a phenomenon of worldwide concern regarding children and adolescents’ mental health and risk behavior. Bystanders of this phenomenon can help diminish the incidence of this phenomenon if they engage in pro-social behavior. However, different social-cognitive and affective bystander reactions may surface because of the lack of contextual information and emotional cues in cyberbullying situations. Hence, this study investigated how cyberbullying bystanders’ unpleasant emotions could be related to their personal moral beliefs and their behavioral intentions to cyberbully or defend the victim. It also proposed to investigate how their normative beliefs of perceived severity about cyberbullying behavior could be related to their personal moral beliefs and their behavioral intentions. Three groups of adolescents participated in this study, namely a first of group 402 students (5th – 12th graders; Mage = 13.12; SD = 2.19; 55.7% girls) to compute explorative factorial analyses of the instruments used; a second group of 676 students (5th – 12th graders; Mage = 14.10; SD = 2.74; 55.5% were boys) to run confirmatory factor analyses; and a third group (N = 397; 5th – 12th graders; Mage = 13.88 years; SD = 1.45; 55.5% girls) to perform the main analyses to test the research hypotheses. Self-report measures were used, such as the Personal moral beliefs about cyberbullying behavior questionnaire, the Normative beliefs of perceived severity about cyberbullying behavior questionnaire, the Unpleasant emotions about cyberbullying incidents questionnaires, and the Bystanders’ behavioral intentions in cyberbullying situations questionnaires. Path analysis results revealed that unpleasant emotions were mediators of the relationship between adolescent cyberbullying bystanders’ personal moral beliefs and their intentions to help the victims in cyberbullying situations. Moreover, adolescent cyberbullying bystanders’ normative beliefs of gravity were mediators of the relationship between their personal moral beliefs and their intentions to cyberbully others. These findings provide insights for the development of prevention and intervention programs that promote social and emotional learning strategies as a means to prevent and intervene in cyberbullying.

Keywords: cyberbullying, normative beliefs of perceived severity, personal moral beliefs, unpleasant emotions

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2 Evidence-Based Practices in Education: A General Review of the Literature on Elementary Classroom Setting

Authors: Carolina S. Correia, Thalita V. Thomé, Andersen Boniolo, Dhayana I. Veiga

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Evidence-based practices (EBP) in education is a set of principles and practices used to raise educational policy, it involves the integration of professional expertise in education with the best empirical evidence in making decisions about how to deliver instruction. The purpose of this presentation is to describe and characterize studies about EBP in education in elementary classroom setting. Data here presented is part of an ongoing systematic review research. Articles were searched and selected from four academic databases: ProQuest, Scielo, Science Direct and Capes. The search terms were evidence-based practices or program effectiveness, and education or teaching or teaching practices or teaching methods. Articles were included according to the following criteria: The studies were explicitly described as evidence-based or discussed the most effective practices in education, they discussed teaching practices in classroom context in elementary school level. Document excerpts were extracted and recorded in Excel, organized by reference, descriptors, abstract, purpose, setting, participants, type of teaching practice, study design and main results. The total amount of articles selected were 1.185, 569 articles from Proquest Research Library; 216 from CAPES; 251 from ScienceDirect and 149 from Scielo Library. The potentially relevant references were 178, from which duplicates were removed. The final number of articles analyzed was 140. From 140 articles, are 47 theoretical studies and 93 empirical articles. The following research design methods were identified: longitudinal intervention study, cluster-randomized trial, meta-analysis and pretest-posttest studies. From 140 articles, 103 studies were about regular school teaching and 37 were on special education teaching practices. In several studies, used as teaching method: active learning, content acquisition podcast (CAP), precision teaching (PT), mediated reading practice, speech therapist programs and peer-assisted learning strategies (PALS). The countries of origin of the studies were United States of America, United Kingdom, Panama, Sweden, Scotland, South Korea, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and Brunei. The present study in is an ongoing project, so some representative findings will be discussed, providing further acknowledgment on the best teaching practices in elementary classroom setting.

Keywords: best practices, children, evidence-based education, elementary school, teaching methods

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1 Modified Polysaccharide as Emulsifier in Oil-in-Water Emulsions

Authors: Tatiana Marques Pessanha, Aurora Perez-Gramatges, Regina Sandra Veiga Nascimento

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Emulsions are commonly used in applications involving oil/water dispersions, where handling of interfaces becomes a crucial aspect. The use of emulsion technology has greatly evolved in the last decades to suit the most diverse uses, ranging from cosmetic products and biomedical adjuvants to complex industrial fluids. The stability of these emulsions is influenced by factors such as the amount of oil, size of droplets and emulsifiers used. While commercial surfactants are typically used as emulsifiers to reduce interfacial tension, and therefore increase emulsion stability, these organic amphiphilic compounds are often toxic and expensive. A suitable alternative for emulsifiers can be obtained from the chemical modification of polysaccharides. Our group has been working on modification of polysaccharides to be used as additives in a variety of fluid formulations. In particular, we have obtained promising results using chitosan, a natural and biodegradable polymer that can be easily modified due to the presence of amine groups in its chemical structure. In this way, it is possible to increase both the hydrophobic and hydrophilic character, which renders a water-soluble, amphiphilic polymer that can behave as an emulsifier. The aim of this work was the synthesis of chitosan derivatives structurally modified to act as surfactants in stable oil-in-water. The synthesis of chitosan derivatives occurred in two steps, the first being the hydrophobic modification with the insertion of long hydrocarbon chains, while the second step consisted in the cationization of the amino groups. All products were characterized by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and carbon magnetic resonance (13C-NMR) to evaluate the cationization and hydrofobization degrees. These modified polysaccharides were used to formulate oil-in water (O:W) emulsions with different oil/water ratios (i.e 25:75, 35:65, 60:40) using mineral paraffinic oil. The formulations were characterized according to the type of emulsion, density and rheology measurements, as well as emulsion stability at high temperatures. All emulsion formulations were stable for at least 30 days, at room temperature (25°C), and in the case of the high oil content emulsion (60:40), the formulation was also stable at temperatures up to 100°C. Emulsion density was in the range of 0.90-0.87 s.g. The rheological study showed a viscoelastic behaviour in all formulations at room temperature, which is in agreement with the high stability showed by the emulsions, since the polymer acts not only reducing interfacial tension, but also forming an elastic membrane at the oil/water interface that guarantees its integrity. The results obtained in this work are a strong evidence of the possibility of using chemically modified polysaccharides as environmentally friendly alternatives to commercial surfactants in the stabilization of oil-in water formulations.

Keywords: emulsion, polymer, polysaccharide, stability, chemical modification

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