1,096 research outputs found

    Food waste materials appear efficient and low-cost adsorbents for the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants from wastewater

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    In recent studies, the adsorption capacity of several food waste materials has been assessed by performing adsorption experiments in heterogeneous operating conditions. In a latest study, the efficiency of such food waste materials for the removal of metals and metalloids from complex multi-element solutions was evaluated in homogeneous experimental conditions, which allowed comparing the adsorption capacities of the individual adsorbents. Considering the high efficiency of the examined low-cost adsorbents for the removal of inorganic pollutants, preliminary studies were conducted in our lab for assessing the potential of the investigated food waste materials to adsorb volatile organic compounds from a real polluted matrix of leachate. Some recent studies have shown the efficiency of low cost materials for the removal of industrial organic dyes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and phenolic compounds. However, the food waste adsorbents’ efficiency for the removal of volatile organic compounds was not investigated. Our preliminary studies showed good adsorption capacities of the examined food waste materials for aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Therefore, it is worth to carry out further studies about volatile organic compounds’ removal by food waste adsorbents

    Factors affecting the vaccination choices of pregnant women for their children. A systematic review of the literature

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    In recent years, an increase in vaccine hesitancy has led to a decrease in vaccination coverage in several countries. We conducted a systematic review of studies that assessed knowledge of and attitudes toward pediatric vaccinations, and the vaccination choices and their determinants among pregnant women. A total of 6,277 records were retrieved, and 16 full texts were included in the narrative synthesis. The published literature on the topic shows that, overall, pregnant women believe that vaccines are important for the protection of their children and the community, but various concerns and misunderstandings persist around vaccine safety and efficacy, which reduce the trust of expectant mothers in immunization. Nevertheless, such attitudes and choices vary depending on the vaccine being considered and the corresponding determinants should therefore be studied in the context of each specific vaccination. Further research on this topic is needed, particularly in non-western countries

    Measles among healthcare workers in Italy. Is it time to act?

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    Vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) against measles is strongly recommended in Europe. In this study, we examined the impact of measles on Italian HCWs by systematically and quantitatively analyzing measles cases involving HCWs over time and by identifying the epidemiological characteristics of the respective measles outbreaks. We retrieved data on measles cases from the Italian national integrated measles and rubella surveillance system from January 2013 to May 2019. Additionally, we performed a systematic review of the literature and an analysis of the measles and rubella aggregate outbreaks reporting forms from 2014 to 2018. Our review suggests that preventing measles infection among HCWs in disease outbreaks may be crucial for the elimination of measles in Italy. National policies aiming to increase HCW immunization rates are fundamental to the protection of HCWs and patients, will limit the economic impact of outbreaks on the institutions affected and will help achieve the elimination goal

    Improved visualization of X-ray phase contrast volumetric data through artifact-free integrated differential images

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    Artifacts arising when differential phase images are integrated is a common problem to several X-ray phase-based experimental techniques. The combination of noise and insufficient sampling of the high-frequency differential phase signal leads to the formation of streak artifacts in the projections, translating into poor image quality in the tomography slices. In this work, we apply a non-iterative integration algorithm proven to reduce streak artifacts in planar (2D) images to a differential phase tomography scan. We report on how the reduction of streak artifacts in the projections improves the quality of the tomography slices, especially in the directions different from the reconstruction plane. Importantly, the method is compatible with large tomography datasets in terms of computation time

    A fast, non-iterative algorithm for quantitative integration of X-ray differential phase-contrast images

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    X-ray phase contrast imaging is gaining importance as an imaging tool. However, it is common for X-ray phase detection techniques to be sensitive to the derivatives of the phase. Therefore, the integration of differential phase images is a fundamental step both to access quantitative pixel content and for further analysis such as segmentation. The integration of noisy data leads to artefacts with a severe impact on image quality and on its quantitative content. In this work, an integration method based on the Wiener filter is presented and tested using simulated and real data obtained with the edge illumination differential X-ray phase imaging method. The method is shown to provide high image quality while preserving the quantitative pixel content of the integrated image. In addition, it requires a short computational time making it suitable for large datasets

    Evaluation of a compact multi-contrast and multi-resolution X-ray phase contrast edge illumination system for small animal imaging

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    PURPOSE: In this work the performance of a compact multi-resolution and multi-contrast X-ray phase system based on edge illumination is investigated. It has been designed for small animal imaging and with a limited footprint for ease of deployment in laboratories. METHODS: The presented edge illumination system is based on a compact microfocus tungsten X-ray source combined with a at panel detector. The source has a maximum output of 10 W when the minimum spot size of about 15 µm is used. The system has an overall length of 70 cm. A new double sample mask design, obtained by arranging both skipped and non-skipped configurations on the same structure, provides dual resolution capability. To test the system, we carried out CT scans of a plastic phantom with different source settings using both single-image and multi-image acquisition schemes at different spatial resolutions. In addition, CT scans of an ex-vivo mouse specimen were acquired at the best identified working conditions to demonstrate the application of the presented system to small animal imaging. RESULTS: We found this system delivers good image quality, allowing for an efficient material separation and improving detail visibility in small animals thanks to the higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of phase contrast with respect to conventional attenuation contrast. The system offers high versatility in terms of spatial resolution thanks to the double sample mask design integrated into a single scanner. The availability of both multi and single image acquisition schemes coupled with their dedicated retrieval algorithms, allows different working modes which can be selected based on user preference. Multi-image acquisition provides quantitative separation of the real and imaginary part of the refractive index, however it requires a long scanning time. On the other hand, the single image approach delivers the best material separation and image quality at all the investigated source settings with a shorter scanning time but at the cost of quantitativeness. Finally, we also observed that the single image approach combined with a high-power X-ray source may result in a fast acquisition protocol compatible with in-vivo imaging

    From Data to Phenomena: A Kantian Stance

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    This paper investigates some metaphysical and epistemological assumptions behind Bogen and Woodward's data-to-phenomena inferences. I raise a series of points and suggest an alternative possible Kantian stance about data-to-phenomena inferences. I clarify the nature of the suggested Kantian stance by contrasting it with McAllister's view about phenomena as patterns in data sets

    Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) evaluation for x-ray phase imaging system employing attenuation masks

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    OBJECTIVE: Attenuation masks can be used in x-ray imaging systems to increase their inherent spatial resolution and/or make them sensitive to phase effects, a typical example being Edge Illumination X-ray phase contrast imaging (EI-XPCI). This work investigates the performance of a mask-based system such as EI-XPCI in terms of Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), in the absence of phase effects. APPROACH: Pre-sampled MTF measurements, using an edge, were performed on the same system implemented without masks, with non-skipped masks and finally with skipped masks (i.e., masks in which apertures illuminate every other pixel row/column). Results are compared to simulations and finally images of a resolution bar pattern acquired with all the above setups are presented. MAIN RESULTS: Compared to the detector's inherent MTF, the non-skipped mask setup provides improved MTF results. In comparison to an ideal case where signal spill-out into neighbouring pixels is negligible, this improvement takes place only at specific frequencies of the MTF, dictated by the spatial repetition of the spill-out signal. This is limited with skipped masks, which indeed provide further MTF improvements over a larger frequency range. Experimental MTF measurements are supported through simulation and resolution bar pattern images. SIGNIFICANCE: This work has quantified the improvement in MTF due to the use of attenuation masks and lays the foundation for how acceptance and routine quality control tests will have to be modified when systems using masks are introduced in clinical practice and how MTF results will compare to those of conventional imaging systems

    The transition from refraction to Ultra-Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (USAXS) in a laboratory phase-based X-ray microscope for soft tissue imaging

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    We report on a laboratory-based x-ray microscope allowing for phase-contrast imaging of soft tissue samples. The used beam tracking approach allows retrieval of Ultra-Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (USAXS) or dark field alongside attenuation and differential phase. We show the dependence of the refraction and dark field signal on the size of the imaged features. The application of the technique to a biological sample is also demonstrated
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