1,065 research outputs found

    Use of low-cost materials for tar abatement process

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    In the present work char, olivine and mayenite were used as bed materials to study ability to remove tar produced in biomass thermal processing. The tar gases formed from the pyrolysis reactions of the olive pomace biomass were forced to pass through the bed material. Nitrogen was used as carrier gas. The temperature of the bed was set at 660 °C and no oxidizing agent was added during the tests. The char was produced from the pyrolysis of olive pomace biomass. Olivine was used without any pre-treatment. Mayenite was synthesized in laboratory using CaCO3 and Al2O3 as precursors. Among the tested materials, mayenite showed the best tar removal capacity and stability, with a total tar removal of about 60% after 60 min time on stream, while in the case of char and olivine the attained value was 15%. The measured average nitrogen-free gas flow value in the tests carried out with mayenite was 0.84 NL min-1, whereas in the case of char and olivine the obtained average gas flow values were 0.65 and 0.55 NL min-1, respectively. Accordingly, the higher average hydrogen amount was measured in the tests using mayenite as bed material (36%)

    Bindarit inhibits human coronary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation, migration and phenotypic switching

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    Bindarit, a selective inhibitor of monocyte chemotactic proteins (MCPs) synthesis, reduces neointimal formation in animal models of vascular injury and recently has been shown to inhibit in-stent late loss in a placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial. However, the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of bindarit in controlling neointimal formation/restenosis have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the effect of bindarit on human coronary smooth muscle cells activation, drawing attention to the phenotypic modulation process, focusing on contractile proteins expression as well as proliferation and migration. The expression of contractile proteins was evaluated by western blot analysis on cultured human coronary smooth muscle cells stimulated with TNF-α (30 ng/mL) or fetal bovine serum (5%). Bindarit (100-300 µM) reduced the embryonic form of smooth muscle myosin heavy chain while increased smooth muscle α-actin and calponin in both TNF-α- and fetal bovine serum-stimulated cells. These effects were associated with the inhibition of human coronary smooth muscle cell proliferation/migration and both MCP-1 and MCP-3 production. The effect of bindarit on smooth muscle cells phenotypic switching was confirmed in vivo in the rat balloon angioplasty model. Bindarit (200 mg/Kg/day) significantly reduced the expression of the embryonic form of smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, and increased smooth muscle α-actin and calponin in the rat carodid arteries subjected to endothelial denudation. Our results demonstrate that bindarit induces the differentiated state of human coronary smooth muscle cells, suggesting a novel underlying mechanisms by which this drug inhibits neointimal formation

    Ophthalmic Solutions with a Broad Antiviral Action: Evaluation of Their Potential against Ocular Herpetic Infections

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    HSV-1 can be associated with severe and recurrent eye infections characterized by a strong inflammatory response that leads to blepharoconjunctivitis, epithelial and stromal keratitis, and retinal necrosis. The incidence of HSV-1 keratitis is 1.5 million every year worldwide, including more than 40,000 new cases exhibiting serious visual failures. Generally, the therapy uses antiviral drugs to promote healing; however, there are currently no compounds that are able to completely eradicate the virus. In addition, the phenomenon of resistance is rapidly spreading among HSV-1 strains, creating mutants developing resistance to the common antiviral drugs; therefore, deep research on this issue is warranted. The efficacy of different ophthalmic solutions already on the market was evaluated for reducing HSV-1 infection. Different plaque assays were set up on epithelial cells, revealing that two ophthalmic solutions were able to inhibit viral replication in the early stages of infection. The data were further confirmed by molecular tests analyzing the expression levels of the principal genes involved in HSV-1 infection, and a strong reduction was observed after only 1 min of eye-drop treatment. Collectively, these results suggested the use of ophthalmic solutions as potential antiviral options for the treatment of ocular herpetic infection

    Application of Patients Reported Outcome measures in Cochlear Implant patients: implications for the design of specific rehabilitation programs

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    Introduction: Cochlear implants (CI) had been developed to enable a satisfying verbal communication, music experiences have remained in the background of research and development and consequently many CI users are dissatisfied by the music they listen to. Nonetheless, concise indications for clinicians to test music abilities and prescribe rehabilitation programs are still lacking. The main aim of the present study was to test the utility of the application of two different Patient Reporting Outcomes (PRO) measures in a group of CI users. A secondary objective was to identify items capable of driving the indication and design specific music rehabilitation programs for CI patients. Material and Methods: A consecutive series of 73 CI patients referred to the Audiology Unit - University of Padova - was enrolled from November 2021 to May 2022 and evaluated with audiological battery test and PRO measures: Musica e Qualità della Vita (MUSQUAV) and Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) Italian version. Results: The Reliability analysis showed good consistency between the different PRO measures, (Cronbach alpha = 0.873). After accounting for epidemiological and clinical variables, PRO measures showed a correlation with audiological outcomes in only one case (rho=-0.170 for NCIQ-T with CI-Pure Tone Average. A willingness for musical rehabilitation was present in 63% of patients, (Rehab Factor, mean value of 0.791±0.675). Conclusions: we support the role of the application of MUSQUAV and NCIQ to improve the clinical and audiological evaluation of CI patients. Moreover, we proposed a derivative item, called Rehab Factor, which could be used in clinical practice and future studies to clarify the indication and priority of specific music rehabilitation programs
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