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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: The aim of the study is to determine the existing correlation between high-resolution 3D imaging technique obtained through Micro Computed Tomography (mCT) and histological-histomorphometric images to determine in vivo bone osteogenic behavior of bioceramic scaffolds. A Ca-Si-P scaffold ceramic doped and non-doped (control) with a natural demineralized bone matrix (DBM) were implanted in rabbit tibias for 1, 3, and 5 months. A progressive disorganization and disintegration of scaffolds and bone neoformation occurs, from the periphery to the center of the implants, without any differences between histomorphometric and radiological analysis. However, significant differences (p 〈 0.05) between DMB-doped and non-doped materials where only detected through mathematical analysis of mCT. In this way, average attenuation coefficient for DMB-doped decreased from 0.99 ± 0.23 Hounsfield Unit (HU) (3 months) to 0.86 ± 0.32 HU (5 months). Average values for non-doped decreased from 0.86 ± 0.25 HU (3 months) to 0.66 ± 0.33 HU. Combination of radiological analysis and mathematical mCT seems to provide an adequate in vivo analysis of bone-implanted biomaterials after surgery, obtaining similar results to the one provided by histomorphometric analysis. Mathematical analysis of Computed Tomography (CT) would allow the conducting of long-term duration in vivo studies, without the need for animal sacrifice, and the subsequent reduction in variability.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: This paper presents the development of a heuristic-based algorithm for a Home Electric Energy Management System (HEEMS). The novelty of the proposal resides in the fact that solutions of the Pareto front, minimizing both the energy consumption and cost, are obtained by a Genetic Algorithm (GA) considering the renewable energy availability as well as the user activity level (AL) inside the house. The extensive solutions search characteristic of the GAs is seized to avoid the calculation of the full set of Pareto front solutions, i.e., from a reduced set of non-dominated solutions in the Pareto sense, an optimal solution with the best fitness is obtained, reducing considerably the computational time. The HEEMS considers models of the air conditioner, clothes dryer, dishwasher, electric stove, pool pump, and washing machine. Models of the wind turbine and solar PV modules are also included. The wind turbine model is written in terms of the generated active power exclusively dependent on the incoming wind profiles. The solar PV modules model accounts for environmental factors such as ambient temperature changes and irradiance profiles. The effect of the energy storage unit on the energy consumption and costs is evaluated adapting a model of the device considering its charge and discharge ramp rates. The proposed algorithm is implemented in the Matlab® platform and its validation is performed by comparing its results to those obtained by a freeware tool developed for the energy management of smart residential loads. Also, the evaluation of the performance of the proposed HEEMS is carried out by comparing its results to those obtained when the multi-objective optimization problem is solved considering weights assigned to each objective function. Results showed that considerable savings are obtained at reduced computational times. Furthermore, with the calculation of only one solution, the end-user interaction is reduced making the HEEMS even more manageable than previously proposed approaches.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Quality of life and its relationship to oral health is an important consideration in the determinants of health of vulnerable groups. The aim of this study is to assess oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) and its related factors in native and immigrant population families from the Platform of Longitudinal Studies on Immigrant Families (PELFI) study in Spain. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of 401 adults aged 18 years and older from Spain, Ecuador, Colombia, and Morocco. The OHIP-14 instrument was applied, and three summary variables were used (prevalence, extent, and severity). Sociodemographic and self-perceived health variables were included. Bivariate analyzes were carried out to summarize the variables of the OHIP-14 according to sociodemographic and health variables, and bivariate analyzes of the OHIP-14 dimensions was conducted by country of origin. Multivariate linear models were used to investigate predictors for the dimensions of the OHIP-14. Multivariate logistic models were used to estimate the association of OHRQoL with immigration status using crude and adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (OR-95% CI). It was found that 14.8% of men and 23.8% of women reported negative impacts in terms of OHRQoL (statistically significant differences: p 〈 0.05). There were statistically significant differences according to the country of origin in the prevalence and severity outcomes of the OHIP-14 in women (p 〈 0.05), and severe outcomes were observed in Moroccan women. In women, statistically significant differences (p 〈 0.05) in OHRQoL were observed according to age and marital status. There were some differences between OHIP-14 summary outcomes according to the health variables. Some sociodemographic and health variables were predictors for the OHIP-14 and their dimensions with differences by sex. Multivariate analysis showed a statistically significant association between OHRQoL and immigration status for Moroccan women. Differences in OHRQoL were found according to sociodemographic and health variables. Further research could clarify the predictors of OHRQoL through epidemiological surveillance and longitudinal studies.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Although identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global health priority, maternal mental health does not receive much attention even in the health systems of developed countries. With pregnancy monitoring protocols placing priority on the physical health of the mother, there is a paucity of literature documenting the traumatising effects of the birth process. To address this knowledge gap, this qualitative descriptive study aimed to investigate women perceptions of living a traumatic childbirth experience and the factors related to it. Qualitative data, collected via semi-structured interviews with 32 participants recruited from parent support groups and social media in Spain, were analyzed through a six-phase inductive thematic analysis. Data analysis revealed five major themes―“Birth Plan Compliance”, “Obstetric Problems”, “Mother-Infant Bond”, “Emotional Wounds” and “Perinatal Experiences”—and 13 subthemes. The majority of responses mentioned feelings of being un/misinformed by healthcare personnel, being disrespected and objectified, lack of support, and various problems during childbirth and postpartum. Fear, loneliness, traumatic stress, and depression were recurrent themes in participants’ responses. As the actions of healthcare personnel can substantially impact a birth experience, the study findings strongly suggest the need for proper policies, procedures, training, and support to minimise negative consequences of childbirth.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Background: The aim of the present study was to validate and develop the dimensions of the Personal Learning Environments (PLE) questionnaire with regards to the social integration of unaccompanied foreign minors (MENA), in addition to analyzing its psychometric properties. Methods: This study was conducted using an expert panel and exploratory techniques in a population of unaccompanied foreign minors (referred to hereon as MENA). The sample used for the validation was formed of 250 MENA aged between 13 and 17 years, with 206 (83.6%) being male and 41 (16.4%) being female. An expert panel was formed including 10 scholars of Education Sciences. The panel identified four dimensions, which were confirmed through exploratory factorial analysis conducted using the program called FACTOR Analysis (Lorenzo-Seva and Ferrando, 2006). Results: The results indicate that the PLE questionnaire provides reliable dimensions at the level α = 0.902. Examination of Pearson correlations identified significant values (p 〈 0.01) for almost all dimensions, with the highest value being produced for the association between the dimensions of communication and social interaction (CIS) and planning and management of learning (r = 0.641). Conclusions: From this study, it is concluded that the results of the study and the validation of the PLE in MENA populations through the four identified dimensions are valid and reliable for enabling multi-dimensional analyses to be carried out.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2015-08-11
    Description: In the present work, the performance of carbon nanotubes (c-CNTs) functionalized polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based coatings as extractive phases for in-tube solid phase microextraction (IT-SPME) coupled to Capillary LC (CapLC) has been evaluated. Carboxylic-single walled carbon nanotubes (c-SWNTs) and carboxylic-multi walled carbon nanotubes (c-MWNTs) have been immobilized on the activated surface of PDMS capillary columns. The effect of different percentages of diphenyl groups in the PDMS extractive phase has also been evaluated. The extraction capability of the capillary columns has been tested for different organic pollutants, nitrogen heterocyclic compounds and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs). The results indicated that the use of the c-CNTs-PDMS capillary columns improve pyriproxyfen and mainly PAH extraction. Triazines were better extracted by unmodified TRB-35 and modified c-CNTs-PDMSTRB-5. The results showed that the extraction capability of the c-CNT capillary columns depends not only on the polarity of the analytes (as it occurs with PDMS columns) but also on the interactions that the analytes can establish with the immobilized c-CNTs on the PDMS columns. The extraction efficiency has been evaluated on the basis of the preconcentration rate that can be achieved, and, in this sense, the best c-CNTs-PDMS capillary column for each group of compounds can be proposed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2227-9075
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
    Published by MDPI
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: The effect of hydrogen pulse addition on digestion performance of sewage sludge was evaluated as a means for studying the increase in efficiency of methane production. Microbial communities were also evaluated to get an insight of the changes caused by the operational modifications of the digester. An energy evaluation of this alternative was performed considering the theoretical process of coupling bioelectrochemical systems (BES) for the treatment of wastewater along with hydrogen production and the subsequent anaerobic digestion. The addition of hydrogen to sewage sludge digestion resulted in an increase of 12% in biogas production over the control (1353 mL CH4 d−1 at an injection flow rate of 1938 mL H2 d−1). The liquid phase of the sludge reactor and the H2 supplemented one did not show significant differences, thus indicating that the application of hydrogen as the co-substrate was not detrimental. High-throughput sequencing analysis showed slight changes in archaeal relative abundance after hydrogen addition, whereas eubacterial community structure and composition revealed noteworthy shifts. The mass and energy balance indicated that the amount of hydrogen obtained from a hypothetical BES can be assimilated in the sludge digester, improving biogas production, but this configuration was not capable of covering all energy needs under the proposed scenario.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Background: School bullying is a problem that has been considered from various different perspectives in the academic literature. The present work seeks to increase knowledge on the influence of the climate established at the school in order to determine if contextual factors can be used as a reference from which to plan interventions directed towards prevention. Methods: An ad hoc validated questionnaire was administered to 554 pupils in secondary education (compulsory and A Level) who were aged between 12 and 18 years. Results: Descriptive bivariate analysis showed the quality of the relationship established by the individual with their environment to be a key indicator of their susceptibility to school bullying. In the same way, acceptance in school is a protective factor against victimization. Conclusions: The most effective interventions are those which focus on the center of education and involve all of the educational community, taking a transversal approach that transforms the cultural system within which students develop.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Falls, especially in elderly persons, are an important health problem worldwide. Reliable fall detection systems can mitigate negative consequences of falls. Among the important challenges and issues reported in literature is the difficulty of fair comparison between fall detection systems and machine learning techniques for detection. In this paper, we present UP-Fall Detection Dataset. The dataset comprises raw and feature sets retrieved from 17 healthy young individuals without any impairment that performed 11 activities and falls, with three attempts each. The dataset also summarizes more than 850 GB of information from wearable sensors, ambient sensors and vision devices. Two experimental use cases were shown. The aim of our dataset is to help human activity recognition and machine learning research communities to fairly compare their fall detection solutions. It also provides many experimental possibilities for the signal recognition, vision, and machine learning community.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: The present work analyses the traditional method of applying whitening products on Mediterranean greenhouses. Four commercial whitening products (agricultural solar protectors, ASPs), applied at four doses, were compared with a non-whitened cover. The traditional product “Blanco de España” with 99% calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and other three products with 97% CaCO3 that incorporate adhesives were tested. The use of adhesives in ASP did not influence the effect of the different products on the inside temperature, and at the same dose all four products show a similar behaviour. The findings support the maximum dose recommended by other authors of 0.50 kg L−1 (50/100), above which the transmissivity of the greenhouse cover decreases by over 50%. The effect of ASP on the transmissivity of the cover depends principally on the dose applied, but also on the climatic conditions (solar radiation, cloud cover, etc.) and on the time of year (solar elevation). The habitual use of a constant dose throughout the year does not seem to be the most adequate. Recommended doses should vary according to the time of year and the desired degree of transmissivity reduction. The adhesive components are shown to provide a high degree of protection against heavy rain. The study recommends a standardised method of ASP application, establishing a method that allows the grower to verify the concentration of the product that will remain on the greenhouse cover.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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