Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 6

Medical, Health, Biomedical, Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering

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  • 6
    Evaluation of the MCFLIRT Correction Algorithm in Head Motion from Resting State fMRI Data

    In the last few years, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was widely used to investigate the architecture of brain networks by investigating the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent response. This technique represented an interesting, robust and reliable approach to compare pathologic and healthy subjects in order to investigate neurodegenerative diseases evolution. On the other hand, the elaboration of rs-fMRI data resulted to be very prone to noise due to confounding factors especially the head motion. Head motion has long been known to be a source of artefacts in task-based functional MRI studies, but it has become a particularly challenging problem in recent studies using rs-fMRI. The aim of this work was to evaluate in MS patients a well-known motion correction algorithm from the FMRIB's Software Library - MCFLIRT - that could be applied to minimize the head motion distortions, allowing to correctly interpret rs-fMRI results.

    University Students Sport’s Activities Assessment in Harsh Weather Conditions

    This paper addresses the application of physiological status monitoring (PSM) for assessing the impact of harsh weather conditions on sports activities in universities in Saudi Arabia. Real sports measurement was conducted during sports activities such that the physiological status (HR and BR) of five students were continuously monitored by using Zephyr BioHarnessTM 3.0 sensors in order to identify the physiological bonds and zones. These bonds and zones were employed as indicators of the associated physiological risks of the performed sports activities. Furthermore, a short yes/no questionnaire was applied to collect information on participants’ health conditions and opinions of the applied PSM sensors. The results show the absence of a warning system as a protective aid for the hazardous levels of extremely hot and humid weather conditions that may cause dangerous and fatal circumstances. The applied formulas for estimating maximum HR provides accurate estimations for Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax). The physiological results reveal that the performed activities by the participants are considered the highest category (90–100%) in terms of activity intensity. This category is associated with higher HR, BR and physiological risks including losing the ability to control human body behaviors. Therefore, there is a need for immediate intervention actions to reduce the intensity of the performed activities to safer zones. The outcomes of this study assist the safety improvement of sports activities inside universities and athletes performing their sports activities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to represent a special case of the application of PSM technology for assessing sports activities in universities considering the impacts of harsh weather conditions on students’ health and safety.

    Comparing Measurements of UV Radiation in Winter and Summer in Finland

    The objective of our study is to investigate UV exposure in Finland through sample measurements as a typical case study in summer and winter. We measured UV-BC weighted radiation and calculated a daily dose, which is about 100–150 times the Finnish exposure limit value in summer and 1–6 times in winter. The measured ultraviolet indices varied from 0 to 7 (scale 0–18), which is less than the values obtained in countries that are located farther south from Tampere latitude of 61 degrees. In wintertime, the UV exposure was modest compared to summertime, 50–150 mW/m2 and about 1–5 mW/m2 in summer and winter, respectively. However, technical means to manage UV exposure in Scandinavia are also needed in summer- and springtime.

    Synthesis, Physicochemical Characterization and Study of the Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorobutanol

    Introduction and objectives: Chlorobutanol is a raw material, mainly used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial preservative in injectable and ophthalmic preparations. The main objective of our study was the synthesis and evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of chlorobutanol hemihydrates. Material and methods: Chlorobutanol was synthesized according to the nucleophilic addition reaction of chloroform to acetone, identified by an infrared absorption using Spectrum One FTIR spectrometer, melting point, Scanning electron microscopy and colorimetric reactions. The dosage of Carvedilol active substance was carried out by assaying the degradation products of chlorobutanol in a basic solution. The chlorobutanol obtained was subjected to bacteriological tests in order to study its antimicrobial activity. The antibacterial activity was evaluated against strains such as Escherichia coli (ATCC 25 922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25 923) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (ATCC = American type culture collection). The antifungal activity was evaluated against human pathogenic fungal strains, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger provided by the parasitology laboratory of the Hospital of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. Results and discussion: Chlorobutanol was obtained in an acceptable yield. The characterization tests of the product obtained showed a white and crystalline appearance (confirmed by scanning electron microscopy), solubilities (in water, ethanol and glycerol), and a melting temperature in accordance with the requirements of the European pharmacopoeia. The colorimetric reactions were directed towards the presence of a trihalogenated carbon and an alcohol function. The spectral identification (IR) showed the presence of characteristic chlorobutanol peaks and confirmed the structure of the latter. The microbiological study revealed an antimicrobial effect on all strains tested (Sataphylococcus aureus (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), E. coli (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Pseudomonas aeroginosa (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Candida albicans (MIC =2500 µg/ml), Aspergillus niger (MIC =2500 µg/ml)) with MIC values close to literature data. Conclusion: Thus, on the whole, the synthesized chlorobutanol satisfied the requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia, and possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity; nevertheless it is necessary to insist on the purification step of the product in order to eliminate the maximum impurities.

    Apparent Temperature Distribution on Scaffoldings during Construction Works

    People on construction scaffoldings work in dynamically changing, often unfavourable climate. Additionally, this kind of work is performed on low stiffness structures at high altitude, which increases the risk of accidents. It is therefore desirable to define the parameters of the work environment that contribute to increasing the construction worker occupational safety level. The aim of this article is to present how changes in microclimate parameters on scaffolding can impact the development of dangerous situations and accidents. For this purpose, indicators based on the human thermal balance were used. However, use of this model under construction conditions is often burdened by significant errors or even impossible to implement due to the lack of precise data. Thus, in the target model, the modified parameter was used – apparent environmental temperature. Apparent temperature in the proposed Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model has been a perceived outdoor temperature, caused by the combined effects of air temperature, radiative temperature, relative humidity and wind speed (wind chill index, heat index). In the paper, correlations between component factors and apparent temperature for facade scaffolding with a width of 24.5 m and a height of 42.3 m, located at south-west side of building are presented. The distribution of factors on the scaffolding has been used to evaluate fitting of the microclimate model. The results of the studies indicate that observed ranges of apparent temperature on the scaffolds frequently results in a worker’s inability to adapt. This leads to reduced concentration and increased fatigue, adversely affects health, and consequently increases the risk of dangerous situations and accidental injuries

    Quality of Life Assessment across the Cancer Continuum: Understanding the Role of an Exercise Rehabilitation Programme

    The Quality of Life (QoL) paradigm is multidimensional, dynamic and modular and its definition differs across the cancer continuum. The challenge in the interpretation of QoL data in clinical research is that QoL is influenced by psychological phenomena such as adaptation to illness. This research aims to obtain a valid and sensitive assessment of QoL change over the continuum disease, and to evaluate a rehabilitation programme aimed at inverting the observed decrease in QoL when patients return to daily living activities. The sample comprised 66 men. Patients were first assessed to establish a baseline (P1-diagnosis). This was followed by a post-test (P2-discharge) and a then-test measurement (P3-retrospective evaluation) and after returning home patients were randomized in experimental and control groups. The experimental group attended a rehabilitation programme over 24 weeks (P4). Results show that from baseline to post-test, QoL decreased significantly. The recalibration then-test confirmed a low QoL in all periods evaluated. Significant differences between the experimental and control groups prove the positive effect of the Exercise Rehabilitation Programme (ERP) on QoL. Understanding the real dynamic of QoL over time would help to adapt rehabilitation programmes by improving sensitivity and efficacy and provide professionals with a more accurate perception of the impact of treatment and side effects on patients’ QoL. Our results underline the importance of changing the approach adopted by health professionals towards one of watchful waiting on patients’ QoL until their complete recovery in daily life.