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Martins C.,University of Minho | Belsky J.,University of California | Belsky J.,King Abdulaziz University | Marques S.,University of Minho | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Pediatric Psychology | Year: 2013

Objective To identify and analyze diverse longitudinal trajectories of physical growth of institutionalized children and their relation to child, family, and institutional factors. Methods 49 institutionalized children were studied for 9 months after admission. Weight, height, and head circumference were measured on 4 occasions, beginning at admission. Data were analyzed using latent class analysis, yielding diverse patterns of growth for each feature, and relations with child characteristics, early family risk factors, and institutional relational care were investigated. Results For each growth feature, 4 classes emerged: "Persistently Low," "Improving," "Deteriorating," and "Persistently High." Younger age at admission was a risk factor for impaired physical growth across all domains. Physical characteristics at birth were associated with trajectories across all domains. Lower prenatal risk and better institutional relational care were associated with Improving weight over time. Conclusions Discussion highlights the role of children's physical features at birth, prenatal risk, and caregiver's cooperation with the child in explaining differential trajectories. © 2012 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved.


Monteiro N.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Monteiro N.,PT Government Laboratory | Ribeiro D.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Ribeiro D.,PT Government Laboratory | And 9 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2014

Inducer molecules capable of regulating mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into specific lineages have proven effective in basic science and in preclinical studies. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) is considered to be the central gene involved in the osteoblast phenotype induction, which may be advantageous for inducing bone tissue regeneration. This work envisions the development of a platform for gene delivery, combining liposomes as gene delivery devices, with electrospun nanofiber mesh (NFM) as a tissue engineering scaffold. pDNA-loaded liposomes were immobilized at the surface of functionalized polycaprolactone (PCL) NFM. Human bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) cultured on RUNX2-loaded liposomes immobilized at the surface of electrospun PCL NFM showed enhanced levels of metabolic activity and total protein synthesis. RUNX2-loaded liposomes immobilized at the surface of electrospun PCL NFMs induce a long-term gene expression of eGFP and RUNX2 by cultured hBMSCs. Furthermore, osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs was also achieved by the overexpression of other osteogenic markers in medium free of osteogenic supplementation. These findings demonstrate that surface immobilization of RUNX2 plasmid onto elestrospun PCL NFM can produce long-term gene expression in vitro, which may be employed to enhance the osteoinductive properties of scaffolds used for bone tissue engineering strategies. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Lopes L.,Hospital of Santa Luzia | Lopes L.,University of Minho | Lopes L.,PT Government Laboratory | Dinis-Ribeiro M.,University of Porto | And 2 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2014

Objective. Although precut is considered an useful alternative when standard methods of biliary access have failed, there is some controversy about it's safety. The study aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of needle-knife fistulotomy (NKF) after a difficult biliary cannulation and whether common bile duct (CBD) diameter influenced complications. Material and methods. Between November 2006 and December 2010, a total of 1087 consecutive patients with naive papilla were submitted to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for biliary access, in an affiliated university hospital. If the biliary cannulation was unsuccessful after 12-15 min, a NKF was performed. The main outcomes were biliary cannulation rate, NKF success and post-ERCP complications. Results. Biliary cannulation by standard methods was successful in 883 patients (81%). In the remaining 204 patients, NKF was performed and allowed CBD access in 166 (81%), leading to a 96% cannulation rate. A second ERCP was performed in 25 patients, with an NKF success of 90% and an overall biliary cannulation rate of 98%. The post-ERCP complication rate was 7.9% (n = 16) with a 6.4% pancreatitis rate and no deaths. The complication for patients with a CBD ≤ to 4 mm was 13.9% compared with 4.5% in the remaining patients (OR = 3.39, p = 0.024). Conclusions. NKF is a safe and highly useful method of accessing the CBD in the setting of a difficult biliary cannulation. Despite its safety profile, extra caution is needed when applying NKF to patients with thin bile ducts. © 2014 Informa Healthcare.


Luz G.M.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Luz G.M.,PT Government Laboratory | Mano J.F.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Mano J.F.,PT Government Laboratory
Nanoscale | Year: 2012

Bioactive particles have been widely used in a series of biomedical applications due to their ability to promote bone-bonding and elicit favorable biological responses in therapies associated with the replacement and regeneration of mineralized tissues. In this work hierarchical architectures are prepared by an innovative methodology using SiO 2-CaO sol-gel based nanoparticles. Inspired by colloidal crystals, spherical aggregates were formed on biomimetic superhydrophobic surfaces using bioactive glass nanoparticles (BG-NPs) able to promote bone regeneration. A highly ordered organization, a common feature of mineralized structures in Nature, was achieved at both nano- and microlevels, being the crystallization degree of the structures controlled by the evaporation rates taking place at room temperature (RT) or at 4 °C. The crystallization degree of the structures influenced the Ca/P ratio of the apatitic film formed at their surface, after 7 days of immersion in SBF. This allows the regulation of bioactive properties and the ability to release potential additives that could be also incorporated in such particles with a high efficiency. Such a versatile method to produce bioactive particles with controlled size and internal structure could open new possibilities in designing new spherical devices for orthopaedic applications, including tissue engineering. This journal is © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Torrao L.,Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave | Queiros S.F.,University of Minho | Teixeira P.M.,Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave | Vilaca J.L.,Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave | And 3 more authors.
SeGAH 2013 - IEEE 2nd International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, Book of Proceedings | Year: 2013

This paper presents Palco, a prototype system specifically designed for the production of 3D cartoon animations. The system addresses the specific problems of producing cartoon animations, where the main objective is not to reproduce realistic movements, but rather animate cartoon characters with predefined and characteristic body movements and facial expressions. The techniques employed in Palco are simple and easy to use, not requiring any invasive or complicated motion capture system, as both body motion and facial expression of actors are captured simultaneously, using an infrared motion detection sensor, a regular camera and a pair of electronically instrumented gloves. The animation process is completely actor-driven, with the actor controlling the character movements, gestures, facial expression and voice, all in realtime. The actor controlled cartoonification of the captured facial and body motion is a key functionality of Palco, and one that makes it specifically suited for the production of cartoon animations. © 2013 IEEE.

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