University of Udine

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    Component method applied to base plate connections of steel racks

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    This paper deals with the analytical prediction of the rotational strength and stiffness of base plate connections in steel storage racks under bending moment and axial compressive force. Based on the testing prescriptions of the European Code EN15512 and on the findings of an experimental campaign on 21 full scale specimens tested at four different values of constant axial force and under two different types of connection set-up, an analytical procedure relying on the component method is proposed to estimate the rotational strength and stiffness of all load bearing components, and, by suitable assembly of the contributing parts, to obtain a prediction of the overall strength and stiffness of the connection. The aim is to contribute to the definition of improved analytical tools of possible use in the design and product development stage or in the update of existing design codes. Quantitative results are, however, still mixed. Further investigations appear to be required for the stiffness, mainly to describe the nonlinear moment rotation curves observed in the experiments. Strength results are more accurate and as well successful in predicting the failure mode and the loss of strength with increasing compression

    Expression for calculating the compressive strength of concrete containing rice husk ash

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    Concrete is widely used for the construction of various types of structures and is made by materials that come all from the earth’s crust. However, the resource of these natural materials is depleting, and it is nowadays important to find a substitute to them. A solution of this problem can be the use of agricultural waste materials that can be locally available. For example, Rice Husk Ash (RHA) is the residue of completely incinerated rice husk, that is the covering part of the grain of rice. Rice husk is abundant in many parts of the world, and is classified as a highly reactive pozzolana, so it can be used as a partial replacement of cement. During the years, researchers have studied the mechanical properties and the durability of the concrete incorporating different percentage of RHA. The objective of the study presented in this paper is not only to find the "perfect percentage" of RHA replacement, but also to find a new expression for calculating the concrete compressive strength, considering the percentage of RHA replacement. From the comparison on the experimental studies done by other researchers on the concrete compressive strength, the reliability of the here proposed expression is evaluated, and it has found to be in better agreement with the test results, indicating that the here proposed expression has certain universality and can accurately describe the effect of the RHA replacement on concrete strength

    Impact of compounded drugs on the caregivers’ burden of home therapy management in pediatric palliative care: A descriptive study

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    Background: Children with medical complexity need complex assistance, that considerably affects caregivers’ quality of life. They often need multiple medications, with a consequent relevant risk of errors or poor compliance. Galenic (or compounded) drugs are blended in the pharmacy’s laboratory worldwide according to different rules and tailoring the patient’s needs. While their use may sometimes simplify these therapies, little is known about parents’ attitude about this issue. Aim: This study aimed at investigating the complexity of the daily therapy management and exploring the parents’ opinions about galenic compounds. Design: Parents were interviewed by using a structured questionnaire. Setting: Children followed by the Pediatric Palliative Care Network in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, were included from November 2021 to April 2022. Those diagnosed with malignancies were excluded, since therapies are mainly administered through a central venous catheter. Results: Thirty-four parents were interviewed. Fourteen patients took drugs orally, one via nasogastric tube (NGT), 18 via gastrostomy, and one orally + NGT. The mean number of drugs taken every day was six (2–14), in mean 10 (3–18) administrations, that overall required a mean of 44 (8–180) minutes to be delivered. Twenty-eight parents used galenic compounds, and 24 reported relevant advantages, because of a ready-to-use and safe formulation. Conclusions: The therapy management of children with medical complexity relies on parents. Galenic compounds may improve both patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life, either in terms of shorter time of administration or smaller risk of errors. Therefore, their use should be encouraged worldwide, according to the different reference rules

    MRI-informed prostate biopsy: What the radiologist should know on quality in biopsy planning and biopsy acquisition

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    Quality is currently recognized as the pre-requisite for delivering the clinical benefits expected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-informed prostate biopsy (MRI-i-PB) in patients with a suspicion for clinically significant prostate cancer (csPCa). The “quality chain” underlying MRI-i-PB is multidisciplinary in nature, and depends on several factors related to the patient, imaging technique, image interpretation and biopsy procedure. This review aims at making the radiologist aware of biopsy-related factors impacting on MRI-i-PB quality, both in terms of biopsy planning (threshold for biopsy decisions, association with systematic biopsy and number of targeted cores) and biopsy acquisition (biopsy route, targeting technique, and operator's experience). While there is still space for improvement and better standardization of several biopsy-related procedures, current evidence suggests that high-quality MRI-i-PB can be delivered by acquiring and increased the number of biopsy cores targeted to suspicious imaging findings and perilesional area (“focal saturation biopsy”). On the other hand, uncertainty still exists as to whether software-assisted fusion of MRI and transrectal ultrasound images can outperform cognitive fusion strategy. The role for operator's experience and quality assurance/quality control procedures are also discussed

    Consequential-based life cycle assessment of reducing the concentrates supply level in the diet fed to lactating cows in the alpine dairy farming system

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    This study aimed to assess the consequences of reducing the concentrates supply level (CSL) in the lactating cows’ diet on Alpine dairy system’s GHG emissions. Consequential-based Life Cycle Assessment (cLCA) was adopted to assess the consequences within the ‘dairy_system’ (farm plus milk processing) and outside (‘expanded_system’). The functional unit was 1 kg of protein and fat (ProtFat). Data (1-year average) originated from 40 dairy farms in the Alps, collected through farm questionnaires during farm visits. Emissions were evaluated without (GWP) and with land-based emissions (crop- (GWP_LULUC_cb) or global-based (GWP_LULUC_gb) method). The feed conversion ratio was computed in terms of potentially human-edible gross energy (HeECR, MJ feed/MJ milk). Three scenarios were explored: 100% (t0), 75% (t175), and 50% (t150) of the initial CSL. Impact values for both systems were analysed with a mixed model to test the effect of the scenarios. At ‘dairy_system’, 1 kg ProtFat caused 19.0 (GWP), 22.9 (GWP_LULUC_cb) and 23.4 kg CO2-eq (GWP_LULUC_gb) at t0 and HeECR resulted in 0.71 MJ feed/MJ milk. The CSL reduction from t0 to t175 and t150 significantly increased impact values (2–11%) and decreased HeECR (from −10 to −23%). Considering ‘expanded_system’, CSL reduction significantly increased GWP (4%) and GWP_LULUC_gb (3%) but decreased GWP_LULUC_cb (up to −4%). In conclusion, cLCA-based approach evidenced that CSL reductions implied diversified effects on GHG emissions, at Alpine dairy system and at food supply level, giving new insights into the challenge of reducing GHG emissions while favouring the decoupling of milk production from the use of human-edible resources.Highlights Consequential Life Cycle Assessment of reducing concentrates supply (CSL) to lactating cows on the GHG emission of Alpine dairy products was analysed GHGs per protein plus fat in the product increased with decreasing CSL (75% and 50% of initial CSL) but can decrease considering land-use change GHG Decoupling Alpine dairy production from concentrates could be environmentally challenging but feasible

    I volti dell’essere. Philautia e vinculum amoris in Giordano Bruno

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    Il conributo ricostruisce come la nozione di legame costituisca un elemento apparentemente ultimo della filosofia di Giordano Bruno, sul piano del lessico e, al tempo stesso, originario nella sua dimensione concettuale. Muovendo dal problema delle attrazioni fisiche e dalla ripresa e riformulazione in senso infinitista del problema platonico della dissolubilità o indissolubilità dei mondi, dai dialoghi italiani, agli ultimi manoscritti magici, passando per le opere latine, il saggio mostra come Bruno cali la specifica riflessione sui vincula dell’ultima fase della sua produzione, nella prospettiva fisico-cosmologica, piscologico-politica e ontologica, già elaborata in precedenza. Il saggio muove lungo queste tre linee di ricerca, ricostruisce le riformulazione e trasposizioni a cui Bruno sottopone la nozione di legame, osservando come egli ponga un’analogia strutturale tra le dinamiche di attrazione sul piano fisico, su quello psicologico-politico e, infine, ontologico

    Low cancer yield in PI-RADS 3 upgraded to 4 by dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI: is it time to reconsider scoring categorization?

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    Objectives: To evaluate MRI diagnostic performance in detecting clinically significant prostate cancer (csPCa) in peripheral-zone PI-RADS 4 lesions, comparing those with clearly restricted diffusion (DWI-score 4), and those with equivocal diffusion pattern (DWI-score 3) and positive dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI. Methods: This observational prospective study enrolled 389 men referred to MRI and, if positive (PI-RADS 3 with PSA-density [PSAD] ≥ 0.15 ng/mL/mL, 4 and 5), to MRI-directed biopsy. Lesions with DWI-score 3 and positive DCE were classified as “PI-RADS 3up,” instead of PI-RADS 4. Univariable and multivariable analyses were implemented to determine features correlated to csPCa detection. Results: Prevalence of csPCa was 14.5% and 53.3% in PI-RADS categories 3up and 4, respectively (p < 0.001). MRI showed a sensitivity of 100.0%, specificity 40.9%, PPV 46.5%, NPV 100.0%, and accuracy 60.9% for csPCa detection. Modifying the threshold to consider MRI positive and to indicate biopsy (same as previously described, but PI-RADS 3up only when associated with elevated PSAD), the sensitivity changed to 93.9%, specificity 57.2%, PPV 53.0%, NPV 94.8%, and accuracy 69.7%. Age (p < 0.001), PSAD (p < 0.001), positive DWI (p < 0.001), and PI-RADS score (p = 0.04) resulted in independent predictors of csPCa. Conclusions: Most cases of PI-RADS 3up were false-positives, suggesting that upgrading peripheral lesions with DWI-score 3 to PI-RADS 4 because of positive DCE has a detrimental effect on MRI accuracy, decreasing the true prevalence of csPCa in the PI-RADS 4 category. PI-RADS 3up should not be upgraded and directed to biopsy only if associated with increased PSAD. Key Points: • As per PI-RADS v2.1 recommendations, in case of a peripheral zone lesion with equivocal diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI score 3), but positive dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI, the overall PI-RADS score should be upgraded to 4. • The current PI-RADS recommendation of upgrading PI-RADS 3 lesions of the peripheral zone to PI-RADS 4 because of positive DCE decreased clinically significant prostate cancer detection rate in our series. • According to our results, the most accurate threshold for setting indication to prostate biopsy is PI-RADS 3 or PI-RADS 3 with positive DCE both associated with increased PSA density

    The impact of different calibration matrices on the determination of insulin-like growth factor 1 by high-resolution-LC-MS in acromegalic and growth hormone deficient patients

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    Objectives: Calibration is an important source of variability in liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) methods for insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This study investigated the impact of different calibrator matrices on IGF-1 measurements by LC-MS. Moreover, the comparability of immunoassays and LC-MS was assessed. Design & Methods: Calibrators from 12.5 to 2009 ng/ml were prepared by spiking WHO international Standard (ID 02/254 NIBSC, UK) into the following matrices: native human plasma, fresh charcoal-treated human plasma (FCTHP), old charcoal-treated human plasma, deionized water, bovine serum albumin (BSA), and rat plasma (RP). A validated in-house LC-MS method was calibrated repeatedly with these calibrators. Then, serum samples from 197 growth hormone excess and deficiency patients were analysed with each calibration. Results: The seven calibration curves had different slopes leading to markedly different patient results. The largest differences in IGF-1 concentration from the median (interquartile range) was observed with the calibrator in water and the calibrator in RP (336.4 [279.6–417.0] vs. 112.5 [71.2–171.2], p < 0.001). The smallest difference was observed with calibrators in FCTHP and BSA (141.8 [102.0–198.5] vs. 127.9 [86.9–186.0], p < 0.049). Compared to LC-MS with calibrators in FCTHP, immunoassays showed relevant proportional bias (range: −43% to −68%), constant bias (range: 22.84 to 57.29 ng/ml) and pronounced scatter. Comparing the immunoassays with each other revealed proportional bias of up to 24%. Conclusions: The calibrator matrix is critical for the measurement of IGF-1 by LC-MS. Regardless of the calibrator matrix, LC-MS shows poor agreement with immunoassays. Also, the agreement between different immunoassays is variable

    The impact of DC-bus impedance on the switching performance of low-voltage silicon power MOSFETs

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    Typical DC-bus stabilization for low-voltage power circuits consists primarily of ceramic capacitors due to the capacity density and low equivalent series resistance (ESR) resulting in low conduction losses. Particularly in hard-switching and hard-commutation operation, the low ESR and high equivalent series inductance (ESL) of the capacitors in the commutation path restrict the damping of the switch node voltage overshoot and introduce high-frequency ringing, reducing the voltage margin of the transistor. Therefore, this paper analyzes the impact of the DC-bus impedance and proposes a DC-bus snubber based on an RC network to form the DC-bus impedance’s characteristic, which minimizes the overshoot voltage. A comprehensive simulation using measurement-derived component models is shown, which is verified by an in-situ measurement on a test PCB. Furthermore, transient measurements using a double pulse test setup show the effectiveness of the proposed approach

    Subendotyping of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus–Induced Rhinitis and Its Impact on Respiratory Comorbidities

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    Background: The impact of delayed hypersensitivity to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DP) on comorbidities of allergic rhinitis (AR) is unknown. Objective: The primary end point was to test the hypothesis that DP-induced AR could be divided into 2 subendotypes on the basis of presence or absence of a delayed-type mite sensitization detected by the positive result of atopy patch test for DP (DP-APT). The second end point was to evaluate differences in the long-term risk of respiratory comorbidities and nasal airway response to mite exposure. Methods: In a prospective observational study, we included 472 patients with DP-induced AR. A total of 343 patients had positive results of skin prick test/serum specific IgE and DP-APT and were assigned to a subendotype with both IgE- and T-cell–mediated mite sensitization (BMSS). The remaining 129 patients without delayed-type mite sensitization were included in the subendotype with only IgE-mediated mite sensitization. Nasal allergen provocation test with active anterior rhinomanometry, paranasal sinuses computed tomography scan, nasal endoscopy, and spirometry were performed. Results: At baseline, BMSS showed a larger increase in nasal airway resistance, total nasal score, and visual analogue scale score to mite exposure. During a 15-year follow-up, 56 patients developed chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, with higher incidence in BMSS than in the subendotype with only IgE-mediated mite sensitization (50 patients, 14.6% vs 6 patients, 12.4%; P < .001). BMSS also showed a higher incidence of conjunctivitis (25.7% vs 12.4%; P < .01). The rate of adult-onset asthma did not differ between groups, but patients with BMSS showed a more frequent link to chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (6 of 29 patients, 20.7% vs 0 of 10 patients, 0%). DP-APT independently predicted chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps and conjunctivitis. Conclusions: Two subendotypes with significantly different clinical outcome can be identified among patients with DP-induced AR according to the presence of delayed-type mite sensitization detected by positive DP-APT result


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