Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Riccardo E. Zich

21 An Approach to Physical Performance Analysis for Judo

Authors: Stefano Frassinelli, Alessandro Niccolai, Riccardo E. Zich


Sport performance analysis is a technique that is becoming every year more important for athletes of every level. Many techniques have been developed to measure and analyse efficiently the performance of athletes in some sports, but in combat sports these techniques found in many times their limits, due to the high interaction between the two opponents during the competition. In this paper the problem will be framed. Moreover the physical performance measurement problem will be analysed and three different techniques to manage it will be presented. All the techniques have been used to analyse the performance of 22 high level Judo athletes.

Keywords: sport performance, physical performance, judo, performance coefficients

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20 Vibrations of Springboards: Mode Shape and Time Domain Analysis

Authors: Stefano Frassinelli, Alessandro Niccolai, Riccardo E. Zich


Diving is an important Olympic sport. In this sport, the effective performance of the athlete is related to his capability to interact correctly with the springboard. In fact, the elevation of the jump and the correctness of the dive are influenced by the vibrations of the board. In this paper, the vibrations of the springboard will be analyzed by means of typical tools for vibration analysis: Firstly, a modal analysis will be done on two different models of the springboard, then, these two model and another one will be analyzed with a time analysis, done integrating the equations of motion od deformable bodies. All these analyses will be compared with experimental data measured on a real springboard by means of a 6-axis accelerometer; these measurements are aimed to assess the models proposed. The acquired data will be analyzed both in frequency domain and in time domain.

Keywords: springboard analysis, modal analysis, time domain analysis, vibrations

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19 The Buccal Fat Pad for Closure of Oroantral Communication

Authors: Stefano A. Denes, Riccardo Tieghi, Giovanni Elia


The buccal fat pad is a well-established tool in oral and maxillofacial surgery and its use has proved of value for the closure of oroantral communications. Oroantral communication may be a common complication after sequestrectomy in "Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws". We report a clinical case of a 70-year-old female patient in bisphosphonate therapy presented with right maxillary sinusitis and oroantral communication after implants insertion. The buccal fat pad was used to close the defect. The case had an uneventful postoperative healing without dehiscence, infection and necrosis. We postulate that the primary closure of the site with buccal fat pad may ensure a sufficient blood supply and adequate protection for an effective bone-healing response to occur.

Keywords: buccal fat pad, oroantral communication, oral surgery, dehiscence

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18 A New Categorization of Image Quality Metrics Based on a Model of Human Quality Perception

Authors: Maria Grazia Albanesi, Riccardo Amadeo


This study presents a new model of the human image quality assessment process: the aim is to highlight the foundations of the image quality metrics proposed in literature, by identifying the cognitive/physiological or mathematical principles of their development and the relation with the actual human quality assessment process. The model allows to create a novel categorization of objective and subjective image quality metrics. Our work includes an overview of the most used or effective objective metrics in literature, and, for each of them, we underline its main characteristics, with reference to the rationale of the proposed model and categorization. From the results of this operation, we underline a problem that affects all the presented metrics: the fact that many aspects of human biases are not taken in account at all. We then propose a possible methodology to address this issue.

Keywords: eye-tracking, image quality assessment metric, MOS, quality of user experience, visual perception

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17 Experimental Chip/Tool Temperature FEM Model Calibration by Infrared Thermography: A Case Study

Authors: Riccardo Angiuli, Michele Giannuzzi, Rodolfo Franchi, Gabriele Papadia


Temperature knowledge in machining is fundamental to improve the numerical and FEM models used for the study of some critical process aspects, such as the behavior of the worked material and tool. The extreme conditions in which they operate make it impossible to use traditional measuring instruments; infrared thermography can be used as a valid measuring instrument for temperature measurement during metal cutting. In the study, a large experimental program on superduplex steel (ASTM A995 gr. 5A) cutting was carried out, the relevant cutting temperatures were measured by infrared thermography when certain cutting parameters changed, from traditional values to extreme ones. The values identified were used to calibrate a FEM model for the prediction of residual life of the tools. During the study, the problems related to the detection of cutting temperatures by infrared thermography were analyzed, and a dedicated procedure was developed that could be used during similar processing.

Keywords: machining, infrared thermography, FEM, temperature measurement

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16 Networked Radar System to Increase Safety of Urban Railroad Crossing

Authors: Sergio Saponara, Luca Fanucci, Riccardo Cassettari, Ruggero Piernicola, Marco Righetto


The paper presents an innovative networked radar system for detection of obstacles in a railway level crossing scenario. This Monitoring System (MS) is able to detect moving or still obstacles within the railway level crossing area automatically, avoiding the need of human presence for surveillance. The MS is also connected to the National Railway Information and Signaling System to communicate in real-time the level crossing status. The architecture is compliant with the highest Safety Integrity Level (SIL4) of the CENELEC standard. The number of radar sensors used is configurable at set-up time and depends on how large the level crossing area can be. At least two sensors are expected and up four can be used for larger areas. The whole processing chain that elaborates the output sensor signals, as well as the communication interface, is fully-digital, was designed in VHDL code and implemented onto a Xilinx Virtex 6.

Keywords: radar for safe mobility, railroad crossing, railway, transport safety

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15 Business-to-Business Deals Based on a Co-Utile Collaboration Mechanism: Designing Trust Company of the Future

Authors: Riccardo Bonazzi, Michaël Poli, Abeba Nigussie Turi


This paper presents an applied research of a new module for the financial administration and management industry, Personalizable and Automated Checklists Integrator, Overseeing Legal Investigations (PACIOLI). It aims at designing the business model of the trust company of the future. By identifying the key stakeholders, we draw a general business process design of the industry. The business model focuses on disintermediating the traditional form of business through the new technological solutions of a software company based in Switzerland and hence creating a new interactive platform. The key stakeholders of this interactive platform are identified as IT experts, legal experts, and the New Edge Trust Company (NATC). The mechanism we design and propose has a great importance in improving the efficiency of the financial business administration and management industry, and it also helps to foster the provision of high value added services in the sector.

Keywords: new edge trust company, business model design, automated checklists, financial technology

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14 Naturally Occurring Chemicals in Biopesticides' Resistance Control through Molecular Topology

Authors: Riccardo Zanni, Maria Galvez-Llompart, Ramon Garcia-Domenech, Jorge Galvez


Biopesticides, such as naturally occurring chemicals, pheromones, fungi, bacteria and insect predators are often a winning choice in crop protection because of their environmental friendly profile. They are considered to have lower toxicity than traditional pesticides. After almost a century of pesticides use, resistances to traditional insecticides are wide spread, while those to bioinsecticides have raised less attention, and resistance management is frequently neglected. This seems to be a crucial mistake since resistances have already occurred for many marketed biopesticides. With an eye to the future, we present here a selection of new natural occurring chemicals as potential bioinsecticides. The molecules were selected using a consolidated mathematical paradigm called molecular topology. Several QSAR equations were depicted and subsequently applied for the virtual screening of hundred thousands molecules of natural origin, which resulted in the selection of new potential bioinsecticides. The most innovative aspect of this work does not only reside in the importance of the identification of new molecules overcoming biopesticides’ resistances, but on the possibility to promote shared knowledge in the field of green chemistry through this unique in silico discipline named molecular topology.

Keywords: green chemistry, QSAR, molecular topology, biopesticide

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13 A Spatial Repetitive Controller Applied to an Aeroelastic Model for Wind Turbines

Authors: Riccardo Fratini, Riccardo Santini, Jacopo Serafini, Massimo Gennaretti, Stefano Panzieri


This paper presents a nonlinear differential model, for a three-bladed horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) suited for control applications. It is based on a 8-dofs, lumped parameters structural dynamics coupled with a quasi-steady sectional aerodynamics. In particular, using the Euler-Lagrange Equation (Energetic Variation approach), the authors derive, and successively validate, such model. For the derivation of the aerodynamic model, the Greenbergs theory, an extension of the theory proposed by Theodorsen to the case of thin airfoils undergoing pulsating flows, is used. Specifically, in this work, the authors restricted that theory under the hypothesis of low perturbation reduced frequency k, which causes the lift deficiency function C(k) to be real and equal to 1. Furthermore, the expressions of the aerodynamic loads are obtained using the quasi-steady strip theory (Hodges and Ormiston), as a function of the chordwise and normal components of relative velocity between flow and airfoil Ut, Up, their derivatives, and section angular velocity ε˙. For the validation of the proposed model, the authors carried out open and closed-loop simulations of a 5 MW HAWT, characterized by radius R =61.5 m and by mean chord c = 3 m, with a nominal angular velocity Ωn = 1.266rad/sec. The first analysis performed is the steady state solution, where a uniform wind Vw = 11.4 m/s is considered and a collective pitch angle θ = 0.88◦ is imposed. During this step, the authors noticed that the proposed model is intrinsically periodic due to the effect of the wind and of the gravitational force. In order to reject this periodic trend in the model dynamics, the authors propose a collective repetitive control algorithm coupled with a PD controller. In particular, when the reference command to be tracked and/or the disturbance to be rejected are periodic signals with a fixed period, the repetitive control strategies can be applied due to their high precision, simple implementation and little performance dependency on system parameters. The functional scheme of a repetitive controller is quite simple and, given a periodic reference command, is composed of a control block Crc(s) usually added to an existing feedback control system. The control block contains and a free time-delay system eτs in a positive feedback loop, and a low-pass filter q(s). It should be noticed that, while the time delay term reduces the stability margin, on the other hand the low pass filter is added to ensure stability. It is worth noting that, in this work, the authors propose a phase shifting for the controller and the delay system has been modified as e^(−(T−γk)), where T is the period of the signal and γk is a phase shifting of k samples of the same periodic signal. It should be noticed that, the phase shifting technique is particularly useful in non-minimum phase systems, such as flexible structures. In fact, using the phase shifting, the iterative algorithm could reach the convergence also at high frequencies. Notice that, in our case study, the shifting of k samples depends both on the rotor angular velocity Ω and on the rotor azimuth angle Ψ: we refer to this controller as a spatial repetitive controller. The collective repetitive controller has also been coupled with a C(s) = PD(s), in order to dampen oscillations of the blades. The performance of the spatial repetitive controller is compared with an industrial PI controller. In particular, starting from wind speed velocity Vw = 11.4 m/s the controller is asked to maintain the nominal angular velocity Ωn = 1.266rad/s after an instantaneous increase of wind speed (Vw = 15 m/s). Then, a purely periodic external disturbance is introduced in order to stress the capabilities of the repetitive controller. The results of the simulations show that, contrary to a simple PI controller, the spatial repetitive-PD controller has the capability to reject both external disturbances and periodic trend in the model dynamics. Finally, the nominal value of the angular velocity is reached, in accordance with results obtained with commercial software for a turbine of the same type.

Keywords: wind turbines, aeroelasticity, repetitive control, periodic systems

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12 Mapping Thermal Properties Using Resistivity, Lithology and Thermal Conductivity Measurements

Authors: Riccardo Pasquali, Keith Harlin, Mark Muller


The ShallowTherm project is focussed on developing and applying a methodology for extrapolating relatively sparsely sampled thermal conductivity measurements across Ireland using mapped Litho-Electrical (LE) units. The primary data used consist of electrical resistivities derived from the Geological Survey Ireland Tellus airborne electromagnetic dataset, GIS-based maps of Irish geology, and rock thermal conductivities derived from both the current Irish Ground Thermal Properties (IGTP) database and a new programme of sampling and laboratory measurement. The workflow has been developed across three case-study areas that sample a range of different calcareous, arenaceous, argillaceous, and volcanic lithologies. Statistical analysis of resistivity data from individual geological formations has been assessed and integrated with detailed lithological descriptions to define distinct LE units. Thermal conductivity measurements from core and hand samples have been acquired for every geological formation within each study area. The variability and consistency of thermal conductivity measurements within each LE unit is examined with the aim of defining a characteristic thermal conductivity (or range of thermal conductivities) for each LE unit. Mapping of LE units, coupled with characteristic thermal conductivities, provides a method of defining thermal conductivity properties at a regional scale and facilitating the design of ground source heat pump closed-loop collectors.

Keywords: thermal conductivity, ground source heat pumps, resistivity, heat exchange, shallow geothermal, Ireland

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11 Theatrical Architecture in Bologna at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century: The Renaissance of Modernissimo Cinema

Authors: Giorgia Predari, Riccardo Gulli


The paper describes the history and the stylistic choices adopted in the construction of Palazzo Ronzani in Bologna, which was the first building to rise after the heavy demolitions carried out in the historical center of the city at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1910, the local administration adopted a detailed plan to change the aspect of the city, as it was already happening in the main European capitals. In this context, starting from 1911, the architect and scenographer Gualtiero Pontoni designed for Alessandro Ronzani -the owner of a well-known Bolognese beer company- his Palazzo, which is listed among the first multifunctional buildings in Bologna, containing offices, commercial activities, and entertainment spaces. In an area of about 2000 m², the architect was able to propose a theatre with a capacity of 2000 seats at the basement, shops, a cafè-chantant and a restaurant on the ground floor, clubs, studios and commercial stores on the mezzanine and the first plan, and a hotel on the upper floors. The whole core of the building, at the underground levels, consisted of a reinforced concrete frame (one of the first examples of this type of construction in the city), which allowed the hall to have a free span of 11 x 12 meters, and a height of about 9 meters. Used until 2007 as a cinema, the hall has remained then in disuse for almost 10 years, but now an important functional restoration project with a strong architectural and scenographic value is taking place. It will bring the spaces back to the original geometries, in a historical and artistic condition inspired by the styles of the early Twentieth century.

Keywords: Modernissimo, Palazzo Ronzani, liberty, Bologna

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10 Evaluation of Short-Term Load Forecasting Techniques Applied for Smart Micro-Grids

Authors: Xiaolei Hu, Enrico Ferrera, Riccardo Tomasi, Claudio Pastrone


Load Forecasting plays a key role in making today's and future's Smart Energy Grids sustainable and reliable. Accurate power consumption prediction allows utilities to organize in advance their resources or to execute Demand Response strategies more effectively, which enables several features such as higher sustainability, better quality of service, and affordable electricity tariffs. It is easy yet effective to apply Load Forecasting at larger geographic scale, i.e. Smart Micro Grids, wherein the lower available grid flexibility makes accurate prediction more critical in Demand Response applications. This paper analyses the application of short-term load forecasting in a concrete scenario, proposed within the EU-funded GreenCom project, which collect load data from single loads and households belonging to a Smart Micro Grid. Three short-term load forecasting techniques, i.e. linear regression, artificial neural networks, and radial basis function network, are considered, compared, and evaluated through absolute forecast errors and training time. The influence of weather conditions in Load Forecasting is also evaluated. A new definition of Gain is introduced in this paper, which innovatively serves as an indicator of short-term prediction capabilities of time spam consistency. Two models, 24- and 1-hour-ahead forecasting, are built to comprehensively compare these three techniques.

Keywords: short-term load forecasting, smart micro grid, linear regression, artificial neural networks, radial basis function network, gain

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9 A Benchtop Experiment to Study Changes in Tracer Distribution in the Subarachnoid Space

Authors: Smruti Mahapatra, Dipankar Biswas, Richard Um, Michael Meggyesy, Riccardo Serra, Noah Gorelick, Steven Marra, Amir Manbachi, Mark G. Luciano


Intracranial pressure (ICP) is profoundly regulated by the effects of cardiac pulsation and the volume of the incoming blood. Furthermore, these effects on ICP are incremented by the presence of a rigid skull that does not allow for changes in total volume during the cardiac cycle. These factors play a pivotal role in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics and distribution, with consequences that are not well understood to this date and that may have a deep effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) functioning. We designed this study with two specific aims: (a) To study how pulsatility influences local CSF flow, and (b) To study how modulating intracranial pressure affects drug distribution throughout the SAS globally. In order to achieve these aims, we built an elaborate in-vitro model of the SAS closely mimicking the dimensions and flow rates of physiological systems. To modulate intracranial pressure, we used an intracranially implanted, cardiac-gated, volume-oscillating balloon (CADENCE device). Commercially available dye was used to visualize changes in CSF flow. We first implemented two control cases, seeing how the tracer behaves in the presence of pulsations from the brain phantom and the balloon individually. After establishing the controls, we tested 2 cases, having the brain and the balloon pulsate together in sync and out of sync. We then analyzed the distribution area using image processing software. The in-sync case produced a significant increase, 5x times, in the tracer distribution area relative to the out-of-sync case. Assuming that the tracer fluid would mimic blood flow movement, a drug introduced in the SAS with such a system in place would enhance drug distribution and increase the bioavailability of therapeutic drugs to a wider spectrum of brain tissue.

Keywords: blood-brain barrier, cardiac-gated, cerebrospinal fluid, drug delivery, neurosurgery

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

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


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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7 Evidence of Microplastics Ingestion in Two Commercial Cephalopod Species: Octopus Vulgaris and Sepia Officinalis

Authors: Federica Laface, Cristina Pedà, Francesco Longo, Francesca de Domenico, Riccardo Minichino, Pierpaolo Consoli, Pietro Battaglia, Silvestro Greco, Teresa Romeo


Plastics pollution represents one of the most important threats to marine biodiversity. In the last decades, different species are investigated to evaluate the extent of the plastic ingestion phenomenon. Even if the cephalopods play an important role in the food chain, they are still poorly studied. The aim of this research was to investigate the plastic ingestion in two commercial cephalopod species from the southern Tyrrhenian Sea: the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris (n=6; mean mantle length ML 10.7 ± 1.8) and the common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis (n=13; mean ML 13.2 ± 1.7). Plastics were extracted from the filters obtained by the chemical digestion of cephalopods gastrointestinal tracts (GITs), using 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution in a 1:5 (w/v) ratio. Once isolated, particles were photographed, measured, and their size class, shape and color were recorded. A total of 81 items was isolated from 16 of the 19 examined GITs, representing a total occurrence (%O) of 84.2% with a mean value of 4.3 ± 8.6 particles per individual. In particular, 62 plastics were found in 6 specimens of O. vulgaris (%O=100) and 19 particles in 10 S. officinalis (%O=94.7). In both species, the microplastics size class was the most abundant (93.8%). Plastic items found in O. vulgaris were mainly fibers (61%) while fragments were the most frequent in S. officinalis (53%). Transparent was the most common color in both species. The analysis will be completed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy technique in order to identify polymers nature. This study reports preliminary data on plastic ingestion events in two cephalopods species and represents the first record of plastic ingestion by the common octopus. Microplastic items detected in both common octopus and common cuttlefish could derive from secondary and/or accidental ingestion events, probably due to their behavior, feeding habits and anatomical features. Further studies will be required to assess the effect of marine litter pollution in these ecologically and commercially important species.

Keywords: cephalopods, GIT analysis, marine pollution, Mediterranean sea, microplastics

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6 Environmental Conditions Simulation Device for Evaluating Fungal Growth on Wooden Surfaces

Authors: Riccardo Cacciotti, Jiri Frankl, Benjamin Wolf, Michael Machacek


Moisture fluctuations govern the occurrence of fungi-related problems in buildings, which may impose significant health risks for users and even lead to structural failures. Several numerical engineering models attempt to capture the complexity of mold growth on building materials. From real life observations, in cases with suppressed daily variations of boundary conditions, e.g. in crawlspaces, mold growth model predictions well correspond with the observed mold growth. On the other hand, in cases with substantial diurnal variations of boundary conditions, e.g. in the ventilated cavity of a cold flat roof, mold growth predicted by the models is significantly overestimated. This study, founded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR 20-12941S), aims at gaining a better understanding of mold growth behavior on solid wood, under varying boundary conditions. In particular, the experimental investigation focuses on the response of mold to changing conditions in the boundary layer and its influence on heat and moisture transfer across the surface. The main results include the design and construction at the facilities of ITAM (Prague, Czech Republic) of an innovative device allowing for the simulation of changing environmental conditions in buildings. It consists of a square section closed circuit with rough dimensions 200 × 180 cm and cross section roughly 30 × 30 cm. The circuit is thermally insulated and equipped with an electric fan to control air flow inside the tunnel, a heat and humidity exchange unit to control the internal RH and variations in temperature. Several measuring points, including an anemometer, temperature and humidity sensor, a loading cell in the test section for recording mass changes, are provided to monitor the variations of parameters during the experiments. The research is ongoing and it is expected to provide the final results of the experimental investigation at the end of 2022.

Keywords: moisture, mold growth, testing, wood

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5 Monte Carlo and Biophysics Analysis in a Criminal Trial

Authors: Luca Indovina, Carmela Coppola, Carlo Altucci, Riccardo Barberi, Rocco Romano


In this paper a real court case, held in Italy at the Court of Nola, in which a correct physical description, conducted with both a Monte Carlo and biophysical analysis, would have been sufficient to arrive at conclusions confirmed by documentary evidence, is considered. This will be an example of how forensic physics can be useful in confirming documentary evidence in order to reach hardly questionable conclusions. This was a libel trial in which the defendant, Mr. DS (Defendant for Slander), had falsely accused one of his neighbors, Mr. OP (Offended Person), of having caused him some damages. The damages would have been caused by an external plaster piece that would have detached from the neighbor’s property and would have hit Mr DS while he was in his garden, much more than a meter far away from the facade of the building from which the plaster piece would have detached. In the trial, Mr. DS claimed to have suffered a scratch on his forehead, but he never showed the plaster that had hit him, nor was able to tell from where the plaster would have arrived. Furthermore, Mr. DS presented a medical certificate with a diagnosis of contusion of the cerebral cortex. On the contrary, the images of Mr. OP’s security cameras do not show any movement in the garden of Mr. DS in a long interval of time (about 2 hours) around the time of the alleged accident, nor do they show any people entering or coming out from the house of Mr. DS in the same interval of time. Biophysical analysis shows that both the diagnosis of the medical certificate and the wound declared by the defendant, already in conflict with each other, are not compatible with the fall of external plaster pieces too small to be found. The wind was at a level 1 of the Beaufort scale, that is, unable to raise even dust (level 4 of the Beaufort scale). Therefore, the motion of the plaster pieces can be described as a projectile motion, whereas collisions with the building cornice can be treated using Newtons law of coefficients of restitution. Numerous numerical Monte Carlo simulations show that the pieces of plaster would not have been able to reach even the garden of Mr. DS, let alone a distance over 1.30 meters. Results agree with the documentary evidence (images of Mr. OP’s security cameras) that Mr. DS could not have been hit by plaster pieces coming from Mr. OP’s property.

Keywords: biophysics analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, Newton’s law of restitution, projectile motion

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4 CSPG4 Molecular Target in Canine Melanoma, Osteosarcoma and Mammary Tumors for Novel Therapeutic Strategies

Authors: Paola Modesto, Floriana Fruscione, Isabella Martini, Simona Perga, Federica Riccardo, Mariateresa Camerino, Davide Giacobino, Cecilia Gola, Luca Licenziato, Elisabetta Razzuoli, Katia Varello, Lorella Maniscalco, Elena Bozzetta, Angelo Ferrari


Canine and human melanoma, osteosarcoma (OSA), and mammary carcinomas are aggressive tumors with common characteristics making dogs a good model for comparative oncology. Novel therapeutic strategies against these tumors could be useful to both species. In humans, chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) is a marker involved in tumor progression and could be a candidate target for immunotherapy. The anti-CSPG4 DNA electrovaccination has shown to be an effective approach for canine malignant melanoma (CMM) [1]. An immunohistochemistry evaluation of CSPG4 expression in tumour tissue is generally performed prior to electrovaccination. To assess the possibility to perform a rapid molecular evaluation and in order to validate these spontaneous canine tumors as the model for human studies, we investigate the CSPG4 gene expression by RT qPCR in CMM, OSA, and canine mammary tumors (CMT). The total RNA was extracted from RNAlater stored tissue samples (CMM n=16; OSA n=13; CMT n=6; five paired normal tissues for CMM, five paired normal tissues for OSA and one paired normal tissue for CMT), retro-transcribed and then analyzed by duplex RT-qPCR using two different TaqMan assays for the target gene CSPG4 and the internal reference gene (RG) Ribosomal Protein S19 (RPS19). RPS19 was selected from a panel of 9 candidate RGs, according to NormFinder analysis following the protocol already described [2]. Relative expression was analyzed by CFX Maestro™ Software. Student t-test and ANOVA were performed (significance set at P<0.05). Results showed that gene expression of CSPG4 in OSA tissues is significantly increased by 3-4 folds when compared to controls. In CMT, gene expression of the target was increased from 1.5 to 19.9 folds. In melanoma, although an increasing trend was observed, no significant differences between the two groups were highlighted. Immunohistochemistry analysis of the two cancer types showed that the expression of CSPG4 within CMM is concentrated in isles of cells compared to OSA, where the distribution of positive cells is homogeneous. This evidence could explain the differences in gene expression results.CSPG4 immunohistochemistry evaluation in mammary carcinoma is in progress. The evidence of CSPG4 expression in a different type of canine tumors opens the way to the possibility of extending the CSPG4 immunotherapy marker in CMM, OSA, and CMT and may have an impact to translate this strategy modality to human oncology.

Keywords: canine melanoma, canine mammary carcinomas, canine osteosarcoma, CSPG4, gene expression, immunotherapy

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3 Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes in Spontaneously Occurring Canine Melanoma

Authors: Simona Perga, Chiara Beltramo, Floriana Fruscione, Isabella Martini, Federica Cavallo, Federica Riccardo, Paolo Buracco, Selina Iussich, Elisabetta Razzuoli, Katia Varello, Lorella Maniscalco, Elena Bozzetta, Angelo Ferrari, Paola Modesto


Introduction: Human and canine melanoma have common clinical, histologic characteristics making dogs a good model for comparative oncology. The identification of specific genes and a better understanding of the genetic landscape, signaling pathways, and tumor–microenvironmental interactions involved in the cancer onset and progression is essential for the development of therapeutic strategies against this tumor in both species. In the present study, the differential expression of genes in spontaneously occurring canine melanoma and in paired normal tissue was investigated by targeted RNAseq. Material and Methods: Total RNA was extracted from 17 canine malignant melanoma (CMM) samples and from five paired normal tissues stored in RNA-later. In order to capture the greater genetic variability, gene expression analysis was carried out using two panels (Qiagen): Human Immuno-Oncology (HIO) and Mouse-Immuno-Oncology (MIO) and the miSeq platform (Illumina). These kits allow the detection of the expression profile of 990 genes involved in the immune response against tumors in humans and mice. The data were analyzed through the CLCbio Genomics Workbench (Qiagen) software using the Canis lupus familiaris genome as a reference. Data analysis were carried out both comparing the biologic group (tumoral vs. healthy tissues) and comparing neoplastic tissue vs. paired healthy tissue; a Fold Change greater than two and a p-value less than 0.05 were set as the threshold to select interesting genes. Results and Discussion: Using HIO 63, down-regulated genes were detected; 13 of those were also down-regulated comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Eighteen genes were up-regulated, 14 of those were also down-regulated comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Using the MIO, 35 down regulated-genes were detected; only four of these were down-regulated, also comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Twelve genes were up-regulated in both types of analysis. Considering the two kits, the greatest variation in Fold Change was in up-regulated genes. Dogs displayed a greater genetic homology with humans than mice; moreover, the results have shown that the two kits are able to detect different genes. Most of these genes have specific cellular functions or belong to some enzymatic categories; some have already been described to be correlated to human melanoma and confirm the validity of the dog as a model for the study of molecular aspects of human melanoma.

Keywords: animal model, canine melanoma, gene expression, spontaneous tumors, targeted RNAseq

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2 An Unsteady Lifting Line Approach for Reduced-Order Modeling of Wing Aeroelasticity

Authors: Riccardo Giansante, Massimo Gennaretti


One of the main topics of aircraft design has always been the prediction of aerodynamic loads. The first attempts in this direction were made at the beginning of the last century by Glauert, Prandtl, Theodorsen, Wagner and others, who developed theoretical methods to calculate analytically lift, drag and pitching moment of airfoils and finite wings, both for steady and unsteady flows. Later, technological progress led to the definition of aerodynamic computational solvers based on numerical methods, which permit to study of complex bodies in a wide range of flight conditions. Among these methods, the Lifting Line Theory (LLT) has proven to be a very effective tool for the preliminary design of aircraft aerodynamics that, although less accurate than CFD solvers, provides reliable aerodynamic loads prediction at a significantly lower computational cost. Initially developed by Prandtl for the study of steady flows, it consists of considering the wing represented by a single lumped vortex placed at the quarter-chord line, combined with a system of trailed vorticity that takes into account the spanwise variation of the wing circulation and yields a distributed inflow over the wing, thus altering the local angle of attack. The application of the Kutta-Joukowski theorem relates the local wing lift and circulation. Next, the LLT was modified in order to include the analysis of unsteady flows, with the introduction of the wake shed vorticity effects and of some approximated extension of Kutta-Joukowski theorem to unsteady flows, limited to small perturbations. The aim of this paper is to present a wing-aerodynamics state-space reduced-order model based on a frequency-domain LLT approach, combined with an exact novel extension of the Kutta-Joukowski theorem to arbitrary unsteady flows. Coupled with a wing structural dynamics model, it yields a state-space formulation for wing aeroelasticity that may conveniently be applied for stability and control design purposes. The unsteady extension of the Kutta-Joukowski theorem is derived following the work by Theodorsen on the unsteady loads generated by pitching and plunging airfoils. The state-space wing aerodynamic model is obtained by the rational-matrix approximation of the aerodynamic transfer functions evaluated by the LLT solver, relating the upwash due to the lagrangian coordinates of the wing elastic displacement to the distributed loads. In the paper, the validity of the Kutta-Joukowski theorem for unsteady flows will be assessed by comparison with the simulations of a plunging and pitching airfoil provided by an extensively validated numerical solver based on a Boundary Element Method (BEM) for unsteady potential flows. In addition, the detailed derivation of the frequency-domain LLT model, the corresponding definition of the aerodynamic transfer functions and the rational-matrix approximation procedure will also be described. This state-space wing aerodynamic model will be validated against the unsteady loads predicted by the BEM solver for given wing unsteady elastic deformations. Finally, introducing a structural dynamics model of the wing described in terms of a given set of Lagrangian coordinates and including non-circulatory lift and pitching moment contributions yield the state-space wing aeroelastic model derived from the LLT based on the unsteady Kutta-Joukowski theorem.

Keywords: unsteady aerodynamics, reduced-order modeling, aeroelasticity, lifting line theory

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1 Environmental Fate and Toxicity of Aged Titanium Dioxide Nano-Composites Used in Sunscreen

Authors: Danielle Slomberg, Jerome Labille, Riccardo Catalano, Jean-Claude Hubaud, Alexandra Lopes, Alice Tagliati, Teresa Fernandes


In the assessment and management of cosmetics and personal care products, sunscreens are of emerging concern regarding both human and environmental health. Organic UV blockers in many sunscreens have been evidenced to undergo rapid photodegradation, induce dermal allergic reactions due to skin penetration, and to cause adverse effects on marine systems. While mineral UV-blockers may offer a safer alternative, their fate and impact and resulting regulation are still under consideration, largely related to the potential influence of nanotechnology-based products on both consumers and the environment. Nanometric titanium dioxide (TiO₂) UV-blockers have many advantages in terms of sun protection and asthetics (i.e., transparency). These UV-blockers typically consist of rutile nanoparticles coated with a primary mineral layer (silica or alumina) aimed at blocking the nanomaterial photoactivity and can include a secondary organic coating (e.g., stearic acid, methicone) aimed at favouring dispersion of the nanomaterial in the sunscreen formulation. The nanomaterials contained in the sunscreen can leave the skin either through a bathing of everyday usage, with subsequent release into rivers, lakes, seashores, and/or sewage treatment plants. The nanomaterial behaviour, fate and impact in these different systems is largely determined by its surface properties, (e.g. the nanomaterial coating type) and lifetime. The present work aims to develop the eco-design of sunscreens through the minimisation of risks associated with nanomaterials incorporated into the formulation. All stages of the sunscreen’s life cycle must be considered in this aspect, from its manufacture to its end-of-life, through its use by the consumer to its impact on the exposed environment. Reducing the potential release and/or toxicity of the nanomaterial from the sunscreen is a decisive criterion for its eco-design. TiO₂ UV-blockers of varied size and surface coating (e.g., stearic acid and silica) have been selected for this study. Hydrophobic TiO₂ UV-blockers (i.e., stearic acid-coated) were incorporated into a typical water-in-oil (w/o) formulation while hydrophilic, silica-coated TiO₂ UV-blockers were dispersed into an oil-in-water (o/w) formulation. The resulting sunscreens were characterised in terms of nanomaterial localisation, sun protection factor, and photo-passivation. The risk to the direct aquatic environment was assessed by evaluating the release of nanomaterials from the sunscreen through a simulated laboratory aging procedure. The size distribution, surface charge, and degradation state of the nano-composite by-products, as well as their nanomaterial concentration and colloidal behaviour were determined in a variety of aqueous environments (e.g., seawater and freshwater). Release of the hydrophobic nanocomposites into the aqueous environment was driven by oil droplet formation while hydrophilic nano-composites were readily dispersed. Ecotoxicity of the sunscreen by-products (from both w/o and o/w formulations) and their risk to marine organisms were assessed using coral symbiotes and tropical corals, evaluating both lethal and sublethal toxicities. The data dissemination and provided risk knowledge from the present work will help guide regulation related to nanomaterials in sunscreen, provide better information for consumers, and allow for easier decision-making for manufacturers.

Keywords: alteration, environmental fate, sunscreens, titanium dioxide nanoparticles

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