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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 14211 matches for " Andrea Nicolini "
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Investigation on Thermophysical Properties of Thymic Cell Cultures Exposed to Electromagnetic Fields
Federico Rossi,Andrea Nicolini
Environment and Pollution , 2012, DOI: 10.5539/ep.v2n1p11
Abstract: The paper deals with an investigation of the possible effects of RF electromagnetic fields towards the environment and human health. An experimental facility was designed and built and in vitro experiments were carried out on thymic cell cultures. They were exposed for three and six hours to 144 MHz RF electromagnetic fields. The effects were analysed in terms of the possible variation of their thermophysical properties (density, viscosity, specific heat). Results showed that the tested configuration does not induce alterations of the thermophysical properties of the tested cell cultures.
Evaluation and Optimization of an Innovative Low-Cost Photovoltaic Solar Concentrator
Franco Cotana,Federico Rossi,Andrea Nicolini
International Journal of Photoenergy , 2011, DOI: 10.1155/2011/843209
Abstract: Many researches showed that the cost of the energy produced by photovoltaic (PV) concentrators is strongly reduced with respect to flat panels, especially in those countries that have a high solar irradiation. The cost drop comes from the reduction of the expensive high-efficiency photovoltaic surface through the use of optical concentrators of the solar radiation. In this paper, an experimental innovative PV low-concentration system is analysed. Numerical simulations were performed to determine the possible reasons of energy losses in the prototype, primarily due to geometrical factors. In particular, the effect of the shadows produced from the mirrors on the prototype performances was analysed: shadows are often neglected in the design phase of such systems. The study demonstrates that shadows may affect the performances of a hypothetical optimized PV low-concentration system up to 15%. Finally, an economical evaluation was carried out comparing the proposed optimized system to a traditional flat PV panel. 1. Introduction Solar energy is a huge free resource for the world energetic demand. Direct conversion of sunlight into electricity in PV cells is one of the main solar active technologies, the two others being concentrating solar power (CSP) and solar thermal collectors for heating and cooling [1]. PV cells provide 0.1% of the global electricity generation and are projected to provide 5% of global electricity consumption in 2030, rising up to 11% in 2050 [2]. Many researches showed that the cost of the energy produced by traditional flat PV panels may be reduced by PV concentrators [3–5]. Since semiconductor material is the most expensive part of the PV system and PV cells can theoretically produce more energy if exposed to higher sunlight fluxes, PV concentrators are based on focusing a large amount of solar radiation on a small surface of high-efficiency PV cells. Different concentrator systems were proposed in the past years [3]: however, their economic suitability was limited by the low availability of PV cells able to work in concentrating conditions, the problems in implementing efficient PV cooling systems, the necessity of efficient and cheap solar tracking systems. Nowadays, these technologies reached, for different reasons, a good development level. However, medium and high PV concentration systems (resp. with 20–500x and over 500x concentration levels) need expensive multijunction PV cells which are characterized by high efficiency but a performance drop when they are installed in hot environments (such as deserts) [6, 7]. Furthermore,
Surgical treatment for functional mitral regurgitation secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy: Current options and future trends  [PDF]
Francesco Nicolini, Francesco Maestri, Andrea Agostinelli, Alberto Molardi, Filippo Benassi, Alan Gallingani, Tiziano Gherli
World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases (WJCD) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/wjcd.2013.31A016

There is an increasing number of patients with mitral regurgitation secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy. Recent data suggest that mitral regurgitation (MR) can be surgically corrected in heart failure with symptomatic improvements and favourable reverse left ventricular remodeling. However, several questions remain to be answered, regarding the optimal management of functional mitral regurgitation, the correct timing of surgery and the choice of the surgical technique to perform in patients affected by dilated cardiomyopathy. In the setting of ischemic chronic cardiomyopathy, data derived from the recent literature suggest that concomitant severe ischemic MR should be addressed during CABG to improve survival and quality of life. Most surgeons perform concomitant CABG and mitral valve surgery in patients with ischemic chronic cardiomyopathy and moderate to severe MR. In the setting of chronic dilated cardiomyopathy, most clinicians would agree that correction of severe MR in heart failure is warranted, mostly due to a symptomatic benefit and reduction of number of re-hospitalizations. Moreover, reverse ventricular remodeling has been demonstrated with undersized annuloplasty rings and correction of MR: this could lead to improved contractility, reduction in left ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes, and finally to improved NYHA functional class. Recent large studies suggest that patients undergoing mitral valve repair had improved perioperative survival, shorter length of stay, and improved long-term survival than those undergoing mitral valve replacement because the preservation of the subvalvular apparatus seems to result in superior left ventricular remodelling and in greater improvement in NYHA class. In the near future, data from multi-institutional, randomized prospective trials will help to elucidate many of the questions and concerns regarding repair of severe functional mitral regurgitation. Finally, technology applied to heart surgery is continually evolving and will allow more exciting cellular and novel device therapies for the treatment of functional mitral regurgitation secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy.

Teamwork at University in Spain: The Importance of Foreign Students  [PDF]
Rosella Nicolini
Creative Education (CE) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2015.62011
Abstract: This study discusses the experience of the implementation of a peer-norm in reducing free riding and conflict problems in teamwork activities. This exploratory experiment is run with two cohorts of students in one of the principal Spanish universities. The educational problem is to control for student potential collusion (with clear free riding episodes) in homework projects performed by assigned groups. The peer-norm intends to control for it. The empirical analysis identifies that the success of this norm is associated with the presence of foreign students. Empirically, the presence of foreign students in each cohort brings an educational and cultural background different from the natives’ one. Their presence in work groups turns out to be the key factor to reduce potentially the degree of collusion in the overall cohort because they seem to be less concerned by the “social retaliation” of the mates.
Beclomethasone/formoterol fixed combination for the management of asthma: patient considerations
Gabriele Nicolini,Nicola Scichilone,Andrea Bizzi,Alberto Papi
Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management , 2008,
Abstract: Gabriele Nicolini1, Nicola Scichilone2, Andrea Bizzi3, Alberto Papi4, Leonardo M Fabbri51Medical Department, Chiesi Farmaceutici, Parma, Italy; 2University of Palermo, DIMPEFINU, Palermo, Italy; 3Department of Scientific Affairs, Chiesi Farmaceutici, Parma, Italy; 4Research Center on Asthma and COPD, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy; 5Section of Respiratory Diseases, University of Modena, Modena, ItalyAbstract: Drugs for asthma and other chronic obstructive diseases of the lungs should be preferably delivered by the inhalation route to match therapeutic effects with low systemic exposure. Inhaled drugs are delivered to the lungs via different devices, mainly metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers, each characterized by specific inhaler technique and instructions for use. The patient–device interaction is part of the prescribed therapy and can have a relevant impact on adherence and clinical outcomes. The most suitable device should be considered for each patient to assure the correct drug intake and adherence to the prescribed therapy. The development of new drugs/devices in the past decades improved the compliance with inhaler and possibly drug delivery to the bronchi. The present review focuses on the recently developed beclomethasone/formoterol extrafine fixed combination and technical aspects of drug delivery to the lungs in patient’s perspective.Keywords: beclomethasone, formoterol, modulite, extrafine
Development of Clay Tile Coatings for Steep-Sloped Cool Roofs
Anna Laura Pisello,Franco Cotana,Andrea Nicolini,Lucia Brinchi
Energies , 2013, DOI: 10.3390/en6083637
Abstract: Most of the pitched roofs of existing buildings in Europe are covered by non-white roofing products, e.g., clay tiles. Typical, cost effective, cool roof solutions are not applicable to these buildings due to important constraints deriving from: (i) the owners of homes with roofs visible from the ground level; (ii) the regulation about the preservation of the historic architecture and the minimization of the visual environment impact, in particular in historic centers. In this perspective, the present paper deals with the development of high reflective coatings with the purpose to elaborate “cool” tiles with the same visual appearance of traditional tiles for application to historic buildings. Integrated experimental analyses of reflectance, emittance, and superficial temperature were carried out. Deep analysis of the reflectance spectra is undertaken to evaluate the effect of different mineral pigments, binders, and an engobe basecoat. Two tile typologies are investigated: substrate-basecoat-topcoat three-layer tile and substrate-topcoat two-layer tile. The main results show that the developed coatings are able to increase the overall solar reflectance by more than 20% with acceptable visual appearance, suitable for application in historic buildings. Additionally, the effect of a substrate engobe layer allows some further contribution to the increase of the overall reflectance characteristics.
Role of ZnuABC and ZinT in Escherichia coli O157:H7 zinc acquisition and interaction with epithelial cells
Roberta Gabbianelli, Raffaella Scotti, Serena Ammendola, Patrizia Petrarca, Laura Nicolini, Andrea Battistoni
BMC Microbiology , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-11-36
Abstract: In this work we have analyzed the expression and the role in metal uptake of ZnuA, the periplasmic component of the ZnuABC transporter, and of ZinT, another periplasmic protein which has been shown to contribute to zinc recruitment. We report that the expression of zinT and znuA, regulated by Zur, is induced in zinc-poor media, and that inactivation of either of the genes significantly decreases E. coli O157:H7 ability to grow in zinc depleted media. We also demonstrate that ZinT and ZnuA have not a redundant function in zinc homeostasis, as the role of ZinT is subordinated to the presence of ZnuA. Moreover, we have found that znuA and zinT are strongly induced in bacteria adhering to cultured epithelial cells and that lack of ZnuA affects the adhesion ability. In addition we have found that a fraction of apo-ZinT can be secreted outside the cell where the protein might sequester environmental zinc, inducing a condition of metal starvation in surrounding cells.The here reported results demonstrate that ZnuABC plays a critical role in zinc uptake also in E. coli O157:H7 and that ZinT contributes to the ZnuA-mediated recruitment of zinc in the periplasmic space. Full functionality of the zinc import apparatus is required to facilitate bacterial adhesion to epithelial cells, indicating that the microbial ability to compete with the host cells for zinc binding is critical to establish successful infections. The observation that ZinT can be secreted when it is in the apo-form suggests that its presence in the extracellular environment may somehow contribute to metal uptake or facilitate bacterial colonization of the intestinal epithelia.Transition metals play an essential role in all organisms as they are used as structural or catalytic cofactor in a very large number of proteins [1]. Among these elements, zinc is the one which is found in the largest number of enzymes with known three-dimensional structure [2] and recent bioinformatics investigations have established th
Regulatory and structural properties differentiating the chromosomal and the bacteriophage-associated Escherichia coli O157:H7 Cu, Zn Superoxide Dismutases
Melania D'Orazio, Raffaella Scotti, Laura Nicolini, Laura Cervoni, Giuseppe Rotilio, Andrea Battistoni, Roberta Gabbianelli
BMC Microbiology , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-8-166
Abstract: We report that strains deleted of one or more sodC genes are less resistant than the wild type strain to a challenge with hydrogen peroxide, thus confirming their involvement in the bacterial antioxidant apparatus. To understand if the different sodC genes have truly overlapping functions, we have carried out a comparison of the functional, structural and regulatory properties of the various E. coli O157:H7 SodC enzymes. We have found that the chromosomal and prophagic sodC genes are differentially regulated in vitro. sodC is exclusively expressed in aerobic cultures grown to the stationary phase. In contrast, sodC-F1 and sodC-F2 are expressed also in the logarithmic phase and in anaerobic cultures. Moreover, the abundance of SodC-F1/SodC-F2 increases with respect to that of SodC in bacteria recovered from infected Caco-2 cells, suggesting higher expression/stability of SodC-F1/SodC-F2 in intracellular environments. This observation correlates with the properties of the proteins. In fact, monomeric SodC and dimeric SodC-F1/SodC-F2 are characterized by sharp differences in catalytic activity, metal affinity, protease resistance and stability.Our data show that the chromosomal and bacteriophage-associated E. coli O157:H7 sodC genes have different regulatory properties and encode for proteins with distinct structural/functional features, suggesting that they likely play distinctive roles in bacterial protection from reactive oxygen species. In particular, dimeric SodC-F1 and SodC-F2 possess physico-chemical properties which make these enzymes more suitable than SodC to resist the harsh environmental conditions which are encountered by bacteria within the infected host.Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), including strains of the highly virulent O157:H7 serotype, is responsible for a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from mild diarrhoea to hemorrhagic colitis and the potentially fatal haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) [1]. EHEC colonizes the large intestine mucosa,
Step-down from high dose fixed combination therapy in asthma patients: a randomized controlled trial
Alberto Papi, Gabriele Nicolini, Nunzio Crimi, Leonardo M Fabbri, Dario Olivieri, Andrea Rossi, Pierluigi Paggiaro
Respiratory Research , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1465-9921-13-54
Abstract: This was a prospective, randomised, controlled, two-arm parallel group study. Asthmatic patients who were fully controlled with a high daily dose (1000/100?μg) of fluticasone/salmeterol were randomly assigned to 6?months of open-label treatment with either 500/100?μg fluticasone/salmeterol Diskus daily or 400/24?μg extrafine beclomethasone/formoterol pMDI daily. The primary outcome was the change in morning peak expiratory flow (PEF) values between baseline and the end of treatment. The secondary outcomes included asthma control and exacerbation frequency.Four hundred twenty-two patients were included in the analysis. The PEF values remained above 95% of the predicted values throughout the study. The end-study morning PEF rates showed equivalence between the groups (difference between means, 2.49?L/min; 95% CI, -13.43 to 18.42). No changes from baseline were detected in PEF and forced expiratory volume in 1 second measured at the clinics, in the symptom scores or in the use of rescue medication. Asthma control was maintained in 95.2% of the patients at 6?months. No significant differences between the groups were detected in any other parameter, including exacerbation frequency and adverse events.Stepping down patients whose asthma is controlled with the highest recommended dose of fluticasone/salmeterol to either 500/100?μg fluticasone/salmeterol daily or 400/24?μg extra-fine beclomethasone/formoterol daily provides comparable maintenance of lung function and asthma control.clinicaltrials.gov NCT00497237
Does Large Needle Aspiration Biopsy Add Pain to the Thyroid Nodule Evaluation?
Angelo Carpi, Giuseppe Rossi, Andrea Nicolini, Giorgio Iervasi, Matteo Russo, Jeffrey Mechanick
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058016
Abstract: Thyroid large needle aspiration biopsy is disregarded because it is thought to be associated with pain. This is in contrast with our 32 years long experience. We surveyed reports of pain in patients examined with fine needle aspiration biopsy (78, 87.2% women, mean age 59 years) or FNAB+large needle aspiration biopsy (48, 87.5% women, mean age 60 years). Each patient was questioned regarding a) no unpleasant sensation (score “0”); b) unpleasant sensation (“1”); c) mild pain (no analgesic used; “2”); or d) pain (analgesic used; “3”). The mean size of the needle used was for FNAB 22.3±0.7 or 20.8±1 gauge in the fine needle aspiration or fine needle aspiration plus large needle aspiration biopsy group, respectively (p<.0001). The number of percutaneous punctures was higher in the fine needle aspiration plus large needle aspiration biopsy group. However, the pain score in the fine needle aspiration biopsy or fine needle aspiration biopsy plus large needle aspiration biopsy group was not significantly different. Large needle aspiration biopsy after fine needle aspiration biopsy does not add any discomfort or pain and therefore in light of the demonstrable benefits, should be included in clinical algorithms for the evaluation of thyroid nodules.
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