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Contreras I.,University of Los Andes, Venezuela | Fernandez E.,University of Los Andes, Venezuela | Belandria N.,Giga Group
Rock Engineering and Rock Mechanics: Structures in and on Rock Masses - Proceedings of EUROCK 2014, ISRM European Regional Symposium | Year: 2014

In Venezuela, specifically in Mérida State, on El Valle Road, between the Vuelta de Lola community and El Peñón community, there have been many rockfalls, causing significant damage to both the road infrastructure and to the vehicles on the road. This research aims to identify the level of risk using the Fonseca Methodology, the rock mass quality by Bieniawski, Hoek & Brown and Romana classifications, as well as the estimated operational stability from the analytical safety factor and simulation methods. © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Marco J.,University of Madeira | Cerezo E.,Giga Group | Baldassarri S.,Giga Group
EICS'12 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems | Year: 2012

This paper presents "ToyVision", a software toolkit aimed to make easy the prototyping of tangible games in visual based tabletop devices. Compared to other software toolkits which offer very limited and tag-centered tangible possibilities, ToyVision provides designers and developers with intuitive tools for modeling innovative tangible controls and with higher level user's manipulations data. ToyVision is based on Reactivision open-source toolkit, which has been extended with new functionalities in its Hardware layer. The main design decision taken has been to split the Widget Layer from the lower abstraction layers. This new abstraction layer (the Widget layer) is the distinguishing feature of ToyVision and provides the developer with access to a set of encapsulated classes that give the status of any playing piece handled in the tabletop while the game is running. The toolkit has been complemented with a Graphic Assistant that gathers from the designer all the information needed by the toolkit to model all the tangible playing pieces. As a practical example, the process of prototyping a tangible game is described. Copyright 2012 ACM.

Bakakos P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Schleich F.,Giga Group | Alchanatis M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Louis R.,Giga Group
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2011

During recent years there has been a growing interest in using non-invasive biomarkers to understand and monitor the airway inflammation in subjects with respiratory tract disorders and mainly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Sputum induction is generally a well-tolerated and safe procedure and a European Respiratory Society Task Force has published a comprehensive review on sputum methodology. Induced sputum cell count and, to a lesser extent, mediator measurements have been particularly well validated. In asthma, the sputum and the cell culture supernatant can be used for the measurement of a variety of soluble mediators, including eosinophil-derived proteins, nitric oxide (NO) derivatives, cytokines and remodelling-associated proteins. Sputum eosinophilia (> 3%) is a classic feature of asthma although half of the patients seems to be non eosinophilic. Measuring the percentage of sputum eosinophils has proved to be useful in the clinical arena in helping to predict short term response to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and tailor the dose of ICS in the severe patients but there is scope for the application of other induced sputum markers potentially useful in clinical practice. The widespread application of induced sputum in asthma across the spectrum of disease severity has given insight into the relationship between airway function and airway inflammation, proposed new disease phenotypes and defined which of these phenotypes respond to current therapy, and perhaps most importantly provided an additional tool to guide the clinical management of asthmatic patients. To date sputum induction is the only non-invasive measure of airway inflammation that has a clearly proven role in asthma management. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Thibaut A.,Giga Group | Chatelle C.,Giga Group | Chatelle C.,Harvard University | Wannez S.,Giga Group | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine | Year: 2015

Background. Spasticity is a frequent complication after severe brain injury, which may impede the rehabilitation process and diminish the patients' quality of life. Aim. We here investigate the presence of spasticity in a population of non-communicative patients with disorders of consciousness. We also evaluate the correlation between spasticity and potential factors of comorbidity, frequency of physical therapy, time since insult, presence of pain, presence of tendon retraction, etiology and diagnosis. Design. Cross-sectional study. Setting. University Hospital of Liège, Belgium. Population. Sixty-five patients with chronic (>3 months post insult) disorders of consciousness were included (22 women; mean age: 44±14 y; 40 with traumatic etiology; 40 in a minimally conscious state; time since insult: 39±37 months). Methods. Spasticity was measured with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) and pain was assessed using the Nociception Coma Scale-Revised (NCS-R). Results. Out of 65 patients, 58 demonstrated signs of spasticity (89%; MAS≥1), including 40 who showed severe spasticity (61.5%; MAS≥3). Patients with spasticity receiving anti-spastic medication were more spastic than unmedicated patients. A negative correlation was observed between the severity of spasticity and the frequency of physical therapy. MAS scores correlated positively with time since injury and NCS-R scores. We did not observe a difference of spasticity between the diagnoses. Conclusion. A large proportion of patients with disorders of consciousness develop severe spasticity, possibly affecting their functional recovery and their quality of life. The observed correlation between degrees of spasticity and pain scores highlights the importance of pain management in these patients with altered states of consciousness. Finally, the relationship between spasticity and treatment (i.e., pharmacological and physical therapy) should be further investigated in order to improve clinical care. Clinical Rehabilitation Impact. Managing spasticity at first signs could improve rehabilitation of patients with disorders of consciousness and maximize their chances of recovery. In addition, decreasing this trouble could allow a better quality of life for these noncommunicative patients.

Annen J.,Giga Group | Heine L.,Giga Group | Ziegler E.,Cyclotron Research CentreUniversity of LiegeLiege Belgium | Bahri M.,Cyclotron Research CentreUniversity of LiegeLiege Belgium | And 11 more authors.
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2016

A vast body of literature exists showing functional and structural dysfunction within the brains of patients with disorders of consciousness. However, the function (fluorodeoxyglucose FDG-PET metabolism)-structure (MRI-diffusion-weighted images; DWI) relationship and how it is affected in severely brain injured patients remains ill-defined. FDG-PET and MRI-DWI in 25 severely brain injured patients (19 Disorders of Consciousness of which 7 unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, 12 minimally conscious; 6 emergence from minimally conscious state) and 25 healthy control subjects were acquired here. Default mode network (DMN) function-structure connectivity was assessed by fractional anisotropy (FA) and metabolic standardized uptake value (SUV). As expected, a profound decline in regional metabolism and white matter integrity was found in patients as compared with healthy subjects. Furthermore, a function-structure relationship was present in brain-damaged patients between functional metabolism of inferior-parietal, precuneus, and frontal regions and structural integrity of the frontal-inferiorparietal, precuneus-inferiorparietal, thalamo-inferioparietal, and thalamofrontal tracts. When focusing on patients, a stronger relationship between structural integrity of thalamo-inferiorparietal tracts and thalamic metabolism in patients who have emerged from the minimally conscious state as compared with patients with disorders of consciousness was found. The latter finding was in line with the mesocircuit hypothesis for the emergence of consciousness. The findings showed a positive function-structure relationship within most regions of the DMN. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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