University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

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    Spinoza e Strauss, ovvero tra filosofia e storia della filosofia

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    Presentazione del seminario di Leo Strauss su Spinoza all'University of Chicag

    Couple stress effects in a thin film bonded to a half-space

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    This study investigates the contact mechanics of a thin film laying on an elastic substrate within the context of couple-stress elasticity. It aims to introduce the effects of material internal length scale, which has proven an effective way of modeling structures at micro to nano-scales, allowing to capture their size dependent behavior. Specifically, stress analysis for a thin film bonded to a couple stress elastic half-space is considered under plane strain loading conditions by assuming that both shear stress and couple tractions are exchanged between the thin film and the substrate. The problem is converted to a singular integral equation, which is solved by expanding the shear stress tractions as a Chebyshev series. The results show that the introduction of couple tractions decreases the shear stress tractions and the axial load in the thin film. When the characteristic length is sufficiently small, but still finite, the results for classical elastic behavior are approached

    Status of the Italian Freshwater Gastrotricha Biodiversity, with the Creation of an Interactive GIS-Based Web Map

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    Gastrotricha are microscopic benthic animals found in almost all water bodies. To date, over 890 species distributed in 71 genera, 18 families, and two orders are known. There are 376 freshwater species, and several are also found in Italy; however, a compendium of the studies carried out so far, and a georeferenced distribution of the species, still need to be provided. This project summarizes information about the diversity and geographic distribution of Italian gastrotrichs. Diversity data, acquired over 239 years, were reviewed and corrected based on taxonomic and nomenclatural updates and, in addition to distribution information, were organized into a data matrix valuable for statistical analysis. The data were fed into geographic information system software to understand the overall figures more easily. The results indicated that Italy is one of the best-known countries regarding freshwater gastrotrichs. With 92 species in 17 genera and three families from 61 investigated localities, Italy counts 17 type localities and 19 endemic species. Despite this high biodiversity, many Italian regions still need to be investigated, and should, therefore, be the focus of future research. The implementation of a web-mapping plugin enabled the creation of interactive maps for an easy and modern method for sharing the work done, and the information acquired

    Intravascular Ultrasound in the Detection of Bridging Stent Graft Instability During Fenestrated and Branched Endovascular Aneurysm Repair Procedures: A Multicentre Study on 274 Target Vessels

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    Objective: The use of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) reduces contrast medium use and radiation exposure during conventional endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IVUS in detecting bridging stent graft (bSG) instability during fenestrated and branched EVAR (F/B-EVAR). Methods: This was a prospective observational multicentre study. The following outcomes were evaluated: (1) technical success of the IVUS in each bSG, (2) IVUS findings compared with intra-operative angiography, (3) incidence of post-operative computed tomography angiography (CTA) findings not detected with IVUS, and (4) absence of IVUS related adverse events. Target visceral vessel (TVV) instability was defined as any branch or fenestration issues requiring an additional manoeuvre or re-intervention. Any IVUS assessment that detected stenosis, kinking, or any geometric TVV issue was considered to be branch instability. All procedures were performed in ad hoc hybrid rooms. Results: Eighty patients (69% males; median age 72 years; interquartile range 59, 77 years) from four aortic centres treated with F/B-EVAR between January 2019 and September 2021 were included: 70 BEVAR (21 off the shelf; 49 custom made), eight FEVAR (custom made), and two F/B-EVAR (custom made), for a total of 300 potential TVVs. Two TVVs (0.7%) were left unstented and excluded from the analysis. The TVVs could not be accessed with the IVUS catheter in seven cases (2.3%). Furthermore, 17 (5.7%) TVVs could not be examined due to a malfunction of the IVUS catheter. The technical success of the IVUS assessment was 91.9% (274/298), with no IVUS related adverse events. Seven TVVs (2.5%) showed signs of bSG instability by means of IVUS, leading to immediate revisions. The first post-operative CTA at least 30 days after the index procedure was available in 268 of the 274 TVVs originally assessed by IVUS. In seven of the 268 TVVs (2.6%) a re-intervention became necessary due to bSG instability. Conclusion: This study suggests that IVUS is a safe and potentially valuable adjunctive imaging technology for intra-operative detection of TVV instability. Further long term investigations on larger cohorts are required to validate these promising results and to compare IVUS with alternative technologies in terms of efficiency, radiation exposure, procedure time, and costs

    Implantable SDF-1α-loaded silk fibroin hyaluronic acid aerogel sponges as an instructive component of the glioblastoma ecosystem: between chemoattraction and tumor shaping into resection cavities

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    In view of inevitable recurrences despite resection, glioblastoma (GB) is still an unmet clinical need. Dealing with the stromal-cell derived factor 1-alpha (SDF-1α)/CXCR4 axis as a hallmark of infiltrative GB tumors and with the resection cavity situation, the present study described the effects and relevance of a new engineered micro-nanostructured SF-HA-Hep aerogel sponges, made of silk fibroin (SF), hyaluronic acid (HA) and heparin (Hep) and loaded with SDF-1α, to interfere with the GB ecosystem and residual GB cells, attracting and confining them in a controlled area before elimination. 70 µm-pore sponges were designed as an implantable scaffold to trap GB cells. They presented shape memory and fit brain cavities. Histological results after implantation in brain immunocompetent Fischer rats revealed that SF-HA-Hep sponges are well tolerated for more than 3 months while moderately and reversibly colonized by immuno-inflammatory cells. The use of human U87MG GB cells overexpressing the CXCR4 receptor (U87MG-CXCR4+) and responding to SDF-1α allowed demonstrating directional GB cell attraction and colonization of the device in vitro and in vivo in orthotopic resection cavities in Nude rats. Not modifying global survival, aerogel sponge implantation strongly shaped U87MG-CXCR4+ tumors in cavities in contrast to random infiltrative growth in controls. Overall, those results support the interest of SF-HAHep sponges as modifiers of the GB ecosystem dynamics acting as “cell meeting rooms” and biocompatible niches whose properties deserve to be considered toward the development of new clinical procedures

    Machine learning and data augmentation methods for multispectral capacitance images of nanoparticles with nanoelectrodes array biosensors

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    A large number of technology applications still remain where Artificial Intelligence techniques, carefully tailored to the specific application needs, could provide performance benefits to hardware technologies. One such area is biosensing with innovative complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor nanocapacitor arrays. These sensors operate as powerful imaging platforms but, despite the advancements in the field, the knowledge necessary for precise and robust interpretation of their response to analytes is still largely lacking.In this work, we leverage the ability of Machine Learning methods for computer vision to construct precise and robust models in different operation scenarios. By recognizing the similarity between multifrequency capacitance maps and multispectral images, we identified optimal Machine Learning algorithms to accurately estimate the size of analytes measured by the nanoelectrode array biosensor.As a relevant case study, we focus on measurements of the radius of dielectric spherical nano-particles dispersed in deionized water and phosphate buffer saline. The performance of large, established image-processing neural networks is compared to that of less complex, purposely developed ones. Sizable training data sets are generated by accurate finite element simulations of the sensor response combined with measured data. An excellent accuracy, comparable to traditional sizing technology, is achieved for the task of providing a quantitative measure of the nano-particle radius when the latter is comparable to the pitch of the pixels in the array. We report a size median error below 15% in all scenarios when a few percent of measured data samples is added to the simulation-based training data set

    The effect of message framing on young adult consumers’ sustainable fashion consumption: The role of anticipated emotions and perceived ethicality

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    The debate about which communication strategies are most effective for inducing consumers to behave sustainably remains open, despite growing attention on more sustainable forms of fashion consumption. To further this understanding, we investigate the effectiveness of positive and negative message framing in promoting sustainable fashion consumption, where the beneficial versus detrimental environmental consequences of choosing second-hand clothing were highlighted. Across two experiments, positively framed messages were more effective than negatively framed ones in prompting consumers to engage in sustainable fashion consumption. Elevation was the anticipated emotion responsible for this effect, while consumers’ subjective beliefs about the ethicality of advertising messages promoting sustainable consumption served as a moderator. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of this research together with its limitations and directions for future research

    Exploring the senses of taste with young children: Multisensory discoveries of food

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    Offering children multiple occasions and settings to approach new or least-liked foods has value both from a taste develop- ment perspective as well as a pedagogical one. New food experiences in positive atmospheres foster pleasure, curiosity and willingness to interact with these ingredients in multiple manners, not only eating or tasting them. This qualitative case study reports 4 and 5-year-old children’s articulation of their experiences in exploratory food ateliers at their preschool. During the study the children’s ideas and perceptions about their sensory experiences with food were documented, while keeping the children at the center of their explorations, in line with the Reggio Emilia approach. Results indicate that the chil- dren reflected on changes in their own attitudes and taste toward least-liked foods, as well as including meta-reflections on complex phenomena such as multisensory perception, cross-modal correspondences and taste development. Thus, by promoting multiple multisensory explorations, the study sug- gests that children can become more open-minded and self- aware, broadening the spectrum of food experiences

    The Relevance of Relevance: Forgetting Strategies and Contingency in Postmodern Memory

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    We live in a “search engine society”. Underlying this self-description of post-modern society there is the crucial dependency of social memory from archives. Apart from moral and legal concerns, search engines are sociologically intriguing subject because of their close connection with the evolution of social memory. In this contribution I argue that search engines are non-semantic indexing systems which turn the circular interplay between users and the machine into a cybernetic system. The main function of this cybernetic system is to minimize the deviation from a difference, that between relevant and not-relevant. Through mechanical archives, post-modern social memory can cope with increasing knowledge complexity. The main challenge in this respect is how to preserve the capability of discarding in order to produce information

    The key role of public health in renovating Italian biomedical doctoral programs

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    Background: A key renovation of doctoral programs is currently ongoing in Italy. Public health and its competencies may play a pivotal role in high-level training to scientific research, including interdisciplinary and methodological abilities. Methods: As a case study, we used the ongoing renovation of the Clinical and Experimental Medicine doctoral program at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. We focused on how the program is designed to meet national requirements as well as students' needs, thus improving educational standards for scientific research in the biomedical field, and on the specific contribution of public health and epidemiology in such an effort. Results: The renovation process of doctoral programs in Italy, with specific reference to the biomedical field, focuses on epidemiologic-statistical methodology, ethics, language and communication skills, and open science from an interdisciplinary and international perspective. In the specific context of the doctoral program assessed in the study and from a broader perspective, public health appears to play a key role, taking advantage of most recent methodological advancements, and contributing to the renovation of the learning process and its systematic quality monitoring. Conclusions: From a comparative assessment of this case study and Italian legislation, the key role of public health has emerged in the renovation process of doctoral programs in the biomedical field

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