University of Bari Aldo Moro

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    A comparison of intracardiac echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography for guiding device closure of ostium secundum atrial septal defect: A 15-year experience

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    Background and aim: Our aim was to evaluate the fluoroscopy time (FT), procedure time (PT) safety and efficacy when using intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) in comparison to transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) guidance for transcatheter closure of Ostium Secundum Atrial Septal Defect (OS-ASD).Method: Ninety patients (n = 90) diagnosed with OS-ASD underwent transcatheter closure between March 2006 and October 2021. Fifty-seven patients were treated under ICE guidance, while 33 patients were treated under TEE guidance.Results: Mean age was 43 +/- 15 years and 42 +/- 10 years in the ICE and TEE groups, respectively. The majority of patients had a centrally placed defect. Median FT was 8.40 min versus 11.70 min (p < .001) in the ICE group compared to the TEE group, respectively. Median PT was 43 min versus 94 min (p < .001) in the ICE group compared to the TEE group, respectively. Both ICE and TEE provided high quality images. All interventions were completed successfully, except for one patient in the ICE group who experienced a device migration, the development of atrial tachycardia in one patient and atrial fibrillation in two patients in the ICE group which spontaneously cardioverted. There were no other complications.Conclusion: This study on a consistent cohort of patients with OS-ASD undergoing percutaneous closure suggests that use of ICE is safe and efficacious. Compared to TEE, ICE demonstrated significantly shorter FT and PT, decreasing the entire duration of the procedure and x-ray exposure. No relevant differences were observed in terms of success rate and complications

    Semaglutide Modulates Extracellular Matrix Production of LX-2 Cells via Exosomes and Improves Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatotic Liver Disease (MASLD)

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    Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) is closely related to some metabolic disorders, such as central obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs), such as semaglutide, may have therapeutic roles in MASLD associated with T2D. This study aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of semaglutide on MASLD in terms of progression from liver steatosis to fibrosis. We characterized exosomes from ten patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) before (T0) and after 12 months (T12) of treatment with once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide. Six of ten patients were considered responders to therapy (R) based on MASLD severity downgrading by at least one class according to a validated ultrasonographic (US) score. Normal hepatocytes (HEPA-RG) and stellate (LX-2) cells were challenged with exosomes from R and NR patients, isolated before and after 12 months of therapy. Exosomes from both R and NR patients isolated at T0 significantly affected LX-2 viability. After 12 months of treatment, only those isolated from R patients restored cell viability, whereas those from NR patients did not. No effects were observed on HEPA-RG cells. Exosomes at T12 from R but not from NR patients significantly decreased the production of α-SMA, a marker of LX-2 activation, a liver stellate cell model, and ph-SMAD2 and CTGF, involved in fibrosis processes. TGF-β1 was not modulated by the exosomes of R and NR patients. As a downstream effect, Vimentin, Collagen 1A1, and Fibronectin extracellular matrix components were also downregulated, as measured by droplets digital PCR. In conclusion, these results shed light on the potential effectiveness of semaglutide in preventing liver fibrosis in MASLD

    A second life for MAO inhibitors? From CNS diseases to anticancer therapy

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    Monoamine oxidases A and B (MAO A, B) are ubiquitous enzymes responsible for oxidative deamination of amine neurotransmitters and xenobiotics. Despite decades of studies, MAO inhibitors (MAOIs) find today limited therapeutic space as second-line drugs for the treatment of depression and Parkinson's disease. In recent years, a renewed interest in MAOIs has been raised up by several studies investigating the role of MAOs, particularly MAO A, in tumor insurgence and progression, and the efficacy of MAOIs as coadjutants in the therapy of chemoresistant tumors. In this survey, we highlight the implication of MAOs in the biochemical pathways of tumorigenesis and review the state-of-the-art of preclinical and clinical studies of MAOIs as anticancer agents used in monotherapy or in combination with antitumor chemotherapeutics

    Contemporary luxury and the communication of jewellery

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    The aim of this chapter is to analyse key luxury concepts which emerge from contemporary social practices and imagery. The notion of luxury will be considered through its representations and modalities of communication, with the objective to capture the most relevant aspects of its social function and materiality from a cultural and semiotic perspective, while also considering the most recent transformation of this notion in response to the pandemic crisis. What follows looks at the communication of jewellery as a case study. It will consider two periods: the early 2000s – before the 2007 crisis – and the years between 2019 and 2022. The chapter will analyse narratives about jewels, gold and gemstones from the advisement texts and digital platforms of global and Italian brands, while also establishing comparisons between the global and the local. A key conclusion will be that today the notion of luxury is underpinned by the values of rarity, customisation, and sustainability, as well as the idea of something that lasts in time

    Defining “Crisis” in Migration Governance: a Critical Legal Mapping of EU Crisis Response Mechanisms

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    Over the past ten years, the language of crisis has become increasingly common in discourse about migration governance at the European Union (EU) level, and policy responses have been oriented by an emergency rationale that prioritizes short-term solutions over long-term planning. EU migration and asylum law incorporates several crisis response mechanisms, and the addition of a new set of instruments has recently been proposed. This paper offers a critical legal mapping of what counts as a “crisis” in EU migration and asylum law, and the mechanisms for responding to such crises. It exemplifies a complex system in which the tension between the imperative to address threats purportedly arising from unwanted migration is intricately intertwined with the necessity of granting Member States flexibility to respond to contingencies with- out compromising the integrity of the common EU asylum and migration system

    Au nanoparticle decorated reduced graphene oxide and its electroanalytical characterization for label free dopamine detection

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    A facile and cost-effective in situ colloidal procedure has been optimized for the synthesis of a novel colloidal hybrid nanocomposite based on 1-aminopyrene (AP) functionalized reduced graphene oxide (RGO) sheets, decorated with oleylamine (OLEAM)-coated Au nanoparticles (NPs). The effect of relevant experimental parameters, such as the OLEAM:Au precursor molar ratio and AP-RGO:Au precursor w/w, on the morphological features and spectroscopic characteristics of the nanocomposites has been explored to elucidate their formation mechanism. Au NPs, 9-20 nm in mean size, were grown on the -NH2 groups of the 1-aminopyrene molecules that are anchored at the RGO basal plane via aromatic pi-pi stacking interactions. The OLEAM ligand coordinating the Au NPs has been found to endow the nanocomposites with dispersibility in organic solvents, thus enabling their solution processability, essential for their fabrication as films onto screen printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs). Cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were performed to investigate the effect of the AP linker, the OLEAM capping ligand and surface chemistry and morphology of the hybrid nanocomposites on electrical conductivity, heterogeneous charge transfer capability and sensitivity of the nanocomposite modified SPCEs for label-free detection of dopamine (DA), an known biomarker of human neurodegenerative disorders. The AP linker has been found to establish an effective NP-RGO electron coupling, endowing the nanostructured platforms with high electrical conductivity and high electroanalytical activity, which have been found to be dependent on the size of Au NPs. The possibility of easily displacing OLEAM from the Au NP surface by ligand exchange allows modifying the nanoplatform surface chemistry and morphology, which are found to influence the electrochemical reactivity and sensitivity. The hybrid nanoplatforms show superior electroactivity for the determination of DA and viability for the effective detection of H2O2, another relevant biomarker of physiological alterations. The developed platform holds a great promise for innovative point-of-care technological solutions, that, enabling rapid and sensitive monitoring of biomarkers of human diseases, may represent valuable tools in modern medicine.Au nanoparticle decorated RGO as effective nanocomposite for label-free electrochemical detection of dopamine

    Influence of EU circularity indicators through fuzzy AHP approach

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    green deal, the European Commission has proposed a new action plan for the circular economy development. The goal is to identify specific indicators able to provide a measure of circularity at macro level. The objective of this study is to contribute to this effort by determining the most relevant criteria that businesses and academic experts can use to identify additional sub-criteria of the degree of circularity of the economy at macro level. To this end, the study considers four macro indicators and 15 sub-indicators taken from the Eurostat circularity indicators database. The fuzzy AHP analysis has been used to rank indicators and sub-indicators. The proposed study highlights that the main criteria, exhibiting a vast potential to influence the circular economy, are the indicators ‘competitiveness and innovation’ for academic respondents and ‘secondary raw materials’ for business respondents, while patents related to recycling and secondary raw materials are the most significant sub-indicator

    Albanian Return Migration in Times of Economic Hardship: The Role of Migratory Intentions

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    Not all migrants manage to return to the country of origin after some time living abroad. However, this is a highly complex phenomenon that helps to address the reasons which led to migration itself in both individual and household levels, and to highlight issues related to the country of origin and to the destination. In this sense, the context becomes extremely important, and it is likely to expect that the dynamics of return migration change when facing economic hardship. The central aim of this article is to unravel the decision‐making process leading Albanian migrants to return in times of crisis by analyzing returnees’ intentions to remigrate or stay in Albania after having returned. We analyze the influence of economic conditions (objective and subjective in three moments: before migrating, while living in the host country and after their return) on returnees’ migration intentions based on data drawn from the 2013 Survey on Return Migration and Reintegration in Albania (INSTAT-IOM). Our results show that both objective and subjective economic conditions play an important role on returnees’ remigration intentions. More specifically, unemployment and inactivity have a negative influence on remigration plans if experienced while living at the host country, but their influence becomes positive if experienced after returning to Albania. We also found that persistent unemployment is one of the main reasons of returnees’ intentions to remigrate

    A Critical Appraisal of the Protective Activity of Polyphenolic Antioxidants against Iatrogenic Effects of Anticancer Chemotherapeutics

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    Polyphenolic compounds, encompassing flavonoids (e.g., quercetin, rutin, and cyanidin) and non-flavonoids (e.g., gallic acid, resveratrol, and curcumin), show several health-related beneficial effects, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic properties, as well as the prevention of coronary heart diseases. Polyphenols have also been investigated for their counteraction against the adverse effects of common anticancer chemotherapeutics. This review evaluates the outcomes of clinical studies (and related preclinical data) over the last ten years, with a focus on the use of polyphenols in chemotherapy as auxiliary agents acting against oxidative stress toxicity induced by antitumor drugs. While further clinical studies are needed to establish adequate doses and optimal delivery systems, the improvement in polyphenols’ metabolic stability and bioavailability, through the implementation of nanotechnologies that are currently being investigated, could improve therapeutic applications of their pharmaceutical or nutraceutical preparations in tumor chemotherapy

    Un innovativo approccio dell’intervento pubblico nell’economia: l’Orange economy

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    L’articolo approfondisce il tema dell’economia arancione, ovvero, l’economia legata alla cultura e, in particolare, alle industrie culturali e creative. Si evidenziano le positive caratteristiche antropiche e sociali della nuova economia che è oggetto di politiche europee e italiane. In Italia sono stati previsti per il settore in oggetto anche aiuti di Stato specifici. Si esamina anche il caso Colombia, paese dove l’economia arancione sta avendo particolare fortuna a seguito della creazione di strumenti finanziari ad hoc, senza dimenticare le politiche di altri Stati che stanno dimostrando un interesse specifico per questo settore in continua espansione.The paper explores the theme of the orange economy, an economy linked to the culture and, in particular, to the cultural and creative industries. The positive anthropogenic and social characteristics of the new economy are analyzed. This new type of economy is connected to the European and Italian policies. In Italy, some specific State aids are also planned for this sector. It also examines the case of Colombia, a country where the orange economy is having a huge success, thanks to the creation of some financial instruments ad hoc. Moreover, many other States are showing a specific interest in this ever-expanding sector


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