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The University of Naples Federico II is a university located in Naples, Italy. It was founded in 1224 and is organized into 13 faculties. It is the world's oldest state university and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation. The university is named after its founder Frederick II. Wikipedia.

Barretta R.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Elasticity | Year: 2013

The linearly elastic and orthotropic Saint-Venant beam model, with a spatially constant Poisson tensor and fiberwise homogeneous elastic moduli, is investigated by a coordinate-free approach. A careful reasoning reveals that the elastic strain, fulfilling the whole set of differential conditions of integrability and a differential condition imposed by equilibrium, is defined on the whole ambient space in which the beam is immersed. At this stage the shape of the beam cross-section is inessential and Cesàro-Volterra formula provides the general integral of the differential conditions of kinematic compatibility. The cross-section geometrical shape comes into play only when differential and boundary equilibrium conditions are imposed to evaluate the warping displacement field. The treatment of an orthotropic Saint-Venant beam is applied to investigate about the locations of the shear and twist centres. It is shown that the position of the shear centre can be expressed in terms of the sole cross-section twist warping. The advantage with respect to treatments in the literature is that the solution of a single Neumann-like problem is required. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Lanzotti V.,University of Naples Federico II
Phytochemistry Reviews | Year: 2012

Bioactive natural compounds from garlic and onions have been the focus of researches for decades, firstly due to their pharmacological effects, and secondly due to their defence properties against plant diseases. In fact, garlic and onion, belonging to Allium genus, are among the oldest food plants known since ancient times and used as ingredient of many recipes and for therapeutic properties. These plants are well known to produce bioactive apolar sulphur compounds but less is known about their polar natural compounds, such as phenols, sapogenins and saponins, that are more stable to cooking, So, we continued our work on the discovery of polar bioactive metabolites from Allium with the isolation of a number of sapogenins and saponins from the wild onion species Allium elburzense, Allium hirtifolium, Allium atroviolaceum, and Allium minutiflorum, and, more recently, from the cultivated white onion, Allium cepa, and garlic, Allium sativum. In particular, the sapogenins and saponins isolated from A. elburzense and A. hirtifolium, named elburzensosides and hirtifoliosides respectively, exhibited significant antispasmodic properties. In addition, the saponins named minutosides isolated from A. minutiflorum showed promising antimicrobial activity. More recently the phytochemical analysis of A. cepa and A. sativum has been undertaken and afforded the characterization of saponins, phenols and N-cynnamic amides which showed significant antifungal activity. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Shear wave velocities have a fundamental role in connection with the mitigation of seismic hazards, as their low values are the main causes of site amplification phenomena and can significantly influence the susceptibility of a territory to seismic-induced landslides. The shear wave velocity (Vs) and modulus (G) of each lithological unit are influenced by factors such as the degree of fracturing and faulting, the porosity, the clay amount and the precipitation, with the latter two influencing the unit water content. In this paper we discuss how these factors can affect the Vs values and report the results of different analyses that quantify the reduction in the rock Vs and shear modulus values connected to the presence of clay and water. We also show that significant results in assessing seismic-induced slope failure susceptibility for land planning targets could be achieved through a careful evaluation, based only on literature studies, of the geo-lithological and geo-seismic features of the study area. © Author(s) 2012.

Ferrazzano G.F.,University of Naples Federico II
European journal of paediatric dentistry : official journal of European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to assess the oral health status in children submitted to liver transplantation in order to evaluate the need to promote suitable dental caries prevention programmes. Thirty-eight children submitted to liver transplantation (4-5 years) were selected and their data were compared to those of an age-matched control healthy group of 78 children. Clinical examinations were carried out and X-ray bitewings were taken, in order to record caries prevalence, caries experience, periodontal health and dental enamel defects. A questionnaire investigating demographic and oral health behaviour data was completed by parents. Caries prevalence was 78.9% in the liver transplantation group and 39.7% in the healthy control group. The dmft mean value was 2.26±2.25 in the liver transplantation group and 0.69±1.51 in the healthy group. The difference in the mean dmft between the two groups was statistically significant (p<0.0001). From the elaboration of the data on periodontal health it resulted that 23.7% of the liver transplantation subjects and 48.7% of controls had a healthy periodontal status, respectively; 39.5% of the liver transplantation children and 23.6% of the controls had plaque and calculus. In addition, 44.7% of the liver transplantation patients and 28.2%% of the control subjects showed bleeding on probing. In the liver transplantation subjects there was a higher prevalence (65.8%) of dental enamel defects with respect to the healthy group (21.8%). The high prevalence of caries and gingival diseases showed the need to promote specific dental caries prevention programmes in liver transplant children.

De Angelis F.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Mechanics and Materials | Year: 2013

A general formulation of constitutive relations in non-smooth elastoplasticity is presented. The treatment applies to general non-smooth plasticity problems and to problems characterized by non-smooth yield criteria or dealing with non-differentiable functions. The mathematical tools and instruments of convex analysis and subdifferential calculus are suitably applied since they provide the proper mathematical instruments for dealing with non-smooth problems and non-differentiable functions. General formulations of constitutive relations and evolutive laws in non-smooth elastoplasticity are illustrated within the presented theoretical framework. Connections between the proposed mathematical treatment and the classical relations in elastoplasticity are illustrated and discussed in detail. The presented generalized treatment is equipped with considerable advantages since it shows to be ideally suited for the development of variational formulations of structural problems in non-smooth elastoplasticity. © (2013) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

Marotti De Sciarra F.,University of Naples Federico II
Physica E: Low-Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures | Year: 2014

Based on a high-order Euler-Bernoulli nonlocal beam theory, a nonlocal finite element method (NFEM) is consistently developed to evaluate the displacement and the bending moment of nanobeams. As a benchmark a simply supported nanobeam under a uniform external load is considered and the numerical solution obtained by means of the proposed NFEM is compared with the exact nonlocal solution obtained by solving a sixth-order differential equation. The comparison shows that the NFEM provides an exact solution of the nonlocal problem, for any value of the internal length parameter, with a coarse mesh. The proposed NFEM does not show pathological behaviours such as mesh dependence, numerical instability or boundary effects. Moreover a cantilever nanobeam subjected to an intermediate applied force is addressed. Contrary to what is reported in the literature, the proposed methodology shows that the nonlocal effects are apparent to both left and right of the application point of the external force. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Ianniruberto G.,University of Naples Federico II
Macromolecules | Year: 2015

The extensional-flow data of Huang et al. [ Macromolecules 2015, 48, 4158 ] of several polystyrene systems are here successfully compared with predictions of a recent model of Ianniruberto [ J. Rheol. 2015, 59, 211 ], provided flow-induced friction-reduction effects are accounted for. For the case of solutions, friction reduction must include nematic interactions between the oligomeric solvent and the polymer molecules. It is here found that the coupling interaction parameter ε must be larger than that based on the mean orientation of the solvent molecules, as measured in mildly oriented systems; the larger ε found here is probably due either to the stronger orientation reached in the extensional flows, or to the fact that only the molecules close to the polymer matter in frictional effects. The model here suggested is the first multimode molecular model (aside from simulations) able to describe, qualitatively and even (almost) quantitatively, the nonlinear extensional rheology of entangled polymers, from melts to solutions. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Messori L.,University of Florence | Merlino A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2014

A crystallographic study of the adduct formed between hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) and NAMI-A, an established ruthenium(iii) anticancer agent in clinical trials, is presented here. The X-ray structure reveals that NAMI-A coordinates the protein, as a naked ruthenium ion, at two distinct sites (namely Asp101 or Asp119) after releasing all its original ligands (DMSO, imidazole and Cl-). Structural data of the HEWL/NAMI-A adduct are compared with those previously obtained for the HEWL adduct of AziRu, a NAMI-A analogue bearing a pyridine in place of imidazole. The present results further support the view that NAMI-A exerts its biological effects acting as a classical "prodrug" first undergoing activation and then causing extensive metalation of relevant protein targets. It is also proposed that the original Ru-ligands, although absent in the final adduct, play a major role in directing the ruthenium center to its ultimate anchoring site on the protein surface. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.

Lapice E.,University of Naples Federico II
Current atherosclerosis reports | Year: 2013

Body iron status has been suggested to be related to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Biologically plausible mechanisms for this association have been described, however epidemiological studies on iron status and CVD risk have provided conflicting results. The lack of consistency is likely explained by differences in the study design, the measures used for the assessment of iron status, the definition of outcomes, and adjustment for confounders. To help clarify the available evidence, we report a systematic review of published cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies evaluating the relationship between different measures of iron status and CVD risk. The most likely scenario that emerges from the available studies is that, in the reference range, iron status has a neutral effect. Extreme conditions of iron deficiency, as well as of iron overload, are associated with modestly increased CVD risk, although with different proposed mechanisms.

Background/Objectives:Fish intake and the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in fish have been suggested to lower the risk of cognitive decline. We assessed whether serum long-chain omega-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are associated with performance on neuropsychological tests in an older population and whether exposure to methylmercury, mainly from fish, or apolipoprotein-E4 (Apo-E4) phenotype can modify the associations.Subjects/Methods:A total of 768 participants from the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study were included. Cognitive function was measured using five neuropsychological tests: the Trail Making Test, the Verbal Fluency Test, the Selective Reminding Test, the Visual Reproduction Test and the Mini Mental State Exam. Multivariate-adjusted analysis of covariance and linear regression were used to analyze the cross-sectional associations.Results:We found statistically significant associations between serum EPA+DPA+DHA and better performance in the Trail Making Test and the Verbal Fluency Test. The individual associations with EPA and DHA were similar with the findings with EPA+DPA+DHA, although the associations with DHA were stronger. No associations were observed with serum DPA. Pubic hair mercury content was associated only with a worse performance in the Trail Making Test, and mercury had only little impact on the associations between the serum PUFAs and cognitive performance. Apo-E4 phenotype did not modify the associations with PUFAs or mercury.Conclusions:Higher serum long-chain omega-3 PUFA concentrations were associated with better performance on neuropsychological tests of frontal lobe functioning in older men and women. Mercury exposure or Apo-E4 phenotype had little impact on cognitive performance.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 13 April 2016; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2016.59. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Montesarchio D.,University of Naples Federico II
Pure and Applied Chemistry | Year: 2012

Artificial ion transporters are synthetic molecules mimicking at a functional level the activity of naturally occurring ion channels or carriers. In the frame of cyclodextrin mimicry, we recently described the synthesis and conformational properties of new carbohydratebased macrocycles having the glucoside units connected through 4,6-linked phosphodiester linkages, named CyPLOS (cyclic phosphate-linked oligosaccharides). The cyclic dimer was then adopted as a versatile synthetic platform to obtain a variety of analogs, carrying long linear alkyl or polyether chains. Diverse, jellyfish-shaped amphiphilic CyPLOS were thus obtained, with the compound carrying four tetraethylene glycol (TEG) tentacles acting as good ion transporter through lipid bilayers. A fine tuning of the properties and complexation abilities of these amphiphilic analogs was realized by introducing special reporter groups at the extremities of the TEG tentacles. Through the design of an azido-TEG functionalized key intermediate, a fluorescently labeled CyPLOS derivative was synthesized, showing a markedly increased ionophore activity, with the fluorescent tag also allowing the investigation of its mechanism of action and localization within the phospholipid bilayers. Incorporation of a spin label at the CyPLOS tentacles-to provide further insight into the study of their interactions with phospholipid membranes by electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy-was also profitably achieved through a postsynthetic functionalization approach. © 2011 IUPAC.

d'Ambrosio Alfano F.R.,University of Salerno | Ianniello E.,University of Salerno | Palella B.I.,University of Naples Federico II
Building and Environment | Year: 2013

The assessment of moderate thermal environments provided with HVAC system is usually carried out by means of the PMV and the PPD indices. The reliability of the PMV to predict the thermal sensation in non-air conditioned environments has been criticized in the past. Particularly, Fanger himself, realizing the difference in the expectations between people not used to occupy conditioned environments and people used to, proposed to widen the use of PMV even in non-air conditioned environments by means of an expectancy factor. This factor, multiplied by the PMV value, returns a corrected vote that keeps into account the difference in expectancy of occupants of non-air conditioned environments.In this paper an expectancy factor value for the Mediterranean climate is proposed. This value has been obtained by carrying out a combined subjective and objective investigation on about 200 Italian classrooms and more than 4000 students both in winter and in summer season. All investigated school buildings were non-air conditioned and ventilated by operable windows. The subjective investigation has been carried out by means of a special questionnaire also containing a direct question on the acceptability to verify the agreement between the percentages of dissatisfied consistent with the votes assigned to the thermal environment and the acceptability. Obtained results seem to show similar distributions with only a slight overestimation (15% about) of the percentage of dissatisfied under neutrality conditions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Melluso L.,University of Naples Federico II | Hergt J.M.,University of Melbourne | Zanetti A.,CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources
Lithos | Year: 2014

Examples of the latest stages of crystallization in evolved tholeiitic rocks can be found in the low-Ti, low-P Ferrar Magmatic Province in Antarctica (e.g., Thern Promontory and Archambault Ridge) and Tasmania (e.g., the Red Hill intrusion and Mount Wellington sill). Evolved rocks of this magmatic province include: a) rocks of basaltic andesite composition containing plagioclase, augite, pigeonite, and interstitial Fe-Ti oxides; b) rocks of andesitic composition with plagioclase as a liquidus phase, a single Fe-rich subcalcic clinopyroxene and Fe-Ti oxides; and c) rocks of dacitic composition displaying granophyric texture, containing sodic plagioclase, alkali feldspar, ferrohedenbergite, fayalite, Fe-Ti oxides, quartz and accessory phases. The latest crystallization stages are thus characterized by the striking chemical convergence of subcalcic Fe-augite and Fe-pigeonite followed by more evolved rocks that preserve quartz-alkali feldspar cotectic (granophyric) relationships, lack subcalcic clinopyroxene and contain coexisting olivine and calcium-rich clinopyroxene. These features are consistent with crystallization at (or below) the quartz-fayalite-magnetite oxygen buffer at temperatures close to 800. °C. The trace element geochemistry of coexisting pyroxenes, feldspar and Fe-Ti oxides are entirely consistent with magmatic evolution caused by fractional crystallization of the observed phases. Similarities and differences with other silicic volcanic rocks elsewhere are also described. There is no evidence for liquid immiscibility. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Bergquist R.,Ingerod | Rinaldi L.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Helminthology | Year: 2010

The possibilities of disease prediction based on the environmental characteristics of geographical areas and specific requirements of the causative infectious agents are reviewed and, in the case of parasites whose life cycles involve more than one host, the needs of the intermediate hosts are also referred to. The geographical information systems framework includes epidemiological data, visualization (in the form of maps), modelling and exploratory analysis using spatial statistics. Examples include climate-based forecast systems, based on the concept of growing degree days, which now exist for several parasitic helminths such as fasciolosis, schistosomiasis, dirofilariasis and also for malaria. The paper discusses the limits of data collection by remote sensing in terms of resolution capabilities (spatial, temporal and spectral) of sensors on-board satellites. Although the data gained from the observation of oceans, land, elevations, land cover, land use, surface temperatures, rainfall, etc. are primarily for weather forecasting, military and commercial use, some of this information, particularly that from the climate research satellites, is of direct epidemiological utility. Disease surveillance systems and early-warning systems (EWS) are prime examples of academic approaches of practical importance. However, even commercial activities such as the construction of virtual globes, i.e. computer-based models of the Earth, have been used in this respect. Compared to conventional world maps, they do not only show geographical and man-made features, but can also be spatially annotated with data on disease distribution, demography, economy and other measures of particular interest. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009.

Bellia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Bisegna F.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Building and Environment | Year: 2013

After decades of intense research, the effects of light on the circadian system have been proved to exist. By studying the relationship between human physiology and light, research has also advanced to the point that there is the belief that these effects will be in future regulated by Standards. Establishing a direct connection among the fundamental radiometric, the traditional photometric and the new circadian approach to lighting becomes a fundamental step for introducing new concepts to lighting practitioners.This theoretical paper has the aim to propose a correlation between the traditional approach to lighting design with the new and still not definitely defined circadian approach by means of a photometric to circadian correlation factor. By this way, once the circadian efficiency function will be experimentally determined, technicians will be able to evaluate also from a numerical point of view the impact of lighting on the circadian system, adding health considerations to the traditional design process. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Messori L.,University of Florence | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II
Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2014

The crystal structure of the main adduct formed in the reaction between cisplatin and bovine pancreatic ribonuclease is reported here. Notably, in both of the protein molecules present in the asymmetric unit, platinum(II) binding takes place exclusively at the level of Met29. In one of the two molecules, the Gln28 side chain completes the platinum coordination sphere, anchoring the cisplatin fragment to the protein in a bidentate fashion. These results contain interesting implications for understanding the biological chemistry of this important drug. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Rainieri C.,University of Molise | Fabbrocino G.,University of Molise | Cosenza E.,University of Naples Federico II
Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing | Year: 2011

Automated modal parameter identification of civil engineering structures has been analyzed in a previous paper. An original algorithm, named LEONIDA, working in frequency domain, has been presented and a number of test cases have been discussed in order to point out advantages and drawbacks. It has been demonstrated that LEONIDA represents a promising and reliable tool, in particular for modal testing. Conversely, integration of such a procedure into a fully automated structural health monitoring (SHM) system has shown that it can be used as modal information engine, but length of record durations, amount of computational burden and response time lead to recognize that serious drawbacks and limitations exist for a class of applications, such as continuous monitoring of structures in seismically prone areas. In fact, a fast assessment of relevant structure health conditions in the early post-earthquake phase is becoming of interest in different European areas. In such a context, the statistical treatment of measured dynamic properties could be certainly useful, but it requires the collection of an extensive amount of local and global data in a short time. As a consequence, availability of reliable, robust and fairly fast data processing procedures for modal tracking is fundamental whenever really effective and useful SHM systems are adopted to support civil protection activities during seismic sequences. This applies mainly to strategic structures, whose health conditions must be rapidly assessed after any seismic event, in order to securely manage rescue operations. In the present paper, the main issues related to a fast, robust and reliable modal tracking for emergency management are outlined. Then, an automated modal tracking strategy for SHM applications in earthquake prone regions is described. It is based on the knowledge of the experimental mode shapes and a revised concept of spatial filtering. Results of sample applications of the proposed procedure refer to simulated data and to real measurements collected by a SHM system. The latter are representative of operational conditions and of the transient response due to the ground motion induced by the recent LAquila earthquake mainshock. Discussion of results will point out advantages and limitations of the data processing strategy. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tricoli P.,University of Naples Federico II
COMPEL - The International Journal for Computation and Mathematics in Electrical and Electronic Engineering | Year: 2011

Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to suggest a new analytical methodology for transient analysis of DC-DC power converters. The closed-form solution obtained following this methodology is suitable both for design of passive elements of the converter and for the development of control techniques. Design/methodology/approach-The methodology is based on a mixed use of Laplace transform and z-transform. The expressions of variables of the set of equations, characteristic of a DC-DC converter, are first evaluated in the Laplace domain for the generic switching interval. The solutions obtained are then z-transformed in order that they match in each contiguous time interval, to form the complete transient response. Findings-The new solution methodology allows the analytical determination of time constants of DC-DC converters, also in presence of large duty-cycle variations. Moreover, it is possible to evaluate easily the influence of passive elements on converter's behaviour, without several numerical simulations. Originality/value-The analytical solution of linear systems is well known both in transient and in steady-state conditions. However, when there is an infinite number of poles in the Laplace transform of the input signals, such as the case of switching power converters, the inversion in a closed form of the Laplace transform of the solution can be cumbersome. The methodology presented tries to overcome this problem by using an approach based on the z-transform. Operating in this way, a closed-form solution can be obtained both in transient and in steady-state conditions, for all the main topologies of switching power converters. The procedure has been explained in detail for the sample case of boost DC-DC converters. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Agarwal N.,University of Utah | Di Lorenzo G.,University of Naples Federico II | Sonpavde G.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Bellmunt J.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Bellmunt J.,University of the Sea
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2014

The therapeutic landscape of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) has been revolutionized by the arrival of multiple novel agents in the past 2 years. Immunotherapy in the form of sipuleucel-T, androgen axis inhibitors, including abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, a chemotherapeutic agent, cabazitaxel, and a radiopharmaceutical, radium-223, have all yielded incremental extensions of survival and have been recently approved. A number of other agents appear promising in early studies, suggesting that the armamentarium against castrate-resistant prostate cancer is likely to continue to expand. Emerging androgen pathway inhibitors include androgen synthesis inhibitors (TAK700), androgen receptor inhibitors (ARN-509, ODM-201), AR DNA binding domain inhibitors (EPI-001), selective AR downregulators or SARDs (AZD-3514), and agents that inhibit both androgen synthesis and receptor binding (TOK-001/galeterone). Promising immunotherapeutic agents include poxvirus vaccines and CTLA-4 inhibitor (ipilimumab). Biologic agents targeting the molecular drivers of disease are also being investigated as single agents, including cabozantinib (Met and VEGFR2 inhibitor) and tasquinimod (angiogenesis and immune modulatory agent). Despite the disappointing results seen from studies evaluating docetaxel in combination with other agents, including GVAX, anti-angiogentic agents (bevacizumab, aflibercept, lenalinomide), a SRC kinase inhibitor (dasatinib), endothelin receptor antagonists (atrasentan, zibotentan), and high-dose calcitriol (DN-101), the results from the trial evaluating docetaxel in combination with the clusterin antagonist, custirsen, are eagerly awaited. New therapeutic hurdles consist of discovering new targets, understanding resistance mechanisms, the optimal sequencing and combinations of available agents, as well as biomarkers predictive for benefit. Novel agents targeting bone metastases are being developed following the success of zoledronic acid and denosumab. Finally, all of these modalities do not appear curative, suggesting that clinical trial enrollment and a better understanding of biology remain of paramount importance. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Quercia A.,University of Naples Federico II
IEEE Transactions on Magnetics | Year: 2013

The paper presents an exact theory for the calculation of the flux linkage of multi-turn coils. The helical nature of the winding and the effects due to its complex geometry, including the leads, are taken into account. The parametric description of a surface bounded by the winding is considered, which leads to the determination of the analytical expression of the flux. The theory is applied to pick-up coil magnetic sensors which, within such general setting, can be fully characterized. As particular cases, some widely used pick-up coil types are discussed. A precise definition of the magnetic section and of the magnetic axis are given, supported by their analytical evaluation. From the developed formulas design criteria directly follow. Finally, the practical applicability of the theory is widened by considering a non-ideal geometry of the winding, specifically to analyze the common effect of turns tilting. © 1965-2012 IEEE.

Rionero S.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics | Year: 2012

A triply convective-diffusive fluid mixture saturating a porous horizontal layer in the Darcy-Oberbeck-Boussinesq scheme is studied. The non-linear global stability analysis of the conduction solution - when the layer is heated from below and salted from above and below - is performed. A new methodology based on the introduction of new fields and on looking either for symmetries or for skew-symmetries is applied. In closed form, global asymptotic non-linear stability conditions of the conduction solution, for any value of the salts Prandtl numbers, are found. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Biggiero L.,University of Naples Federico II
WIT Transactions on the Built Environment | Year: 2014

The impacts of transportation in planning land use and activities are not always intended and can have unforeseen or unintended consequences such as congestion or evident impacts on the local economy where the interventions are conceived. This is the case for Limited Traffic Zones (LTZs), i.e. areas where cars are not allowed in them. In this paper, the impact of these measures on the local economy is analysed, considering as a case study the town of Napoli in the south of Italy, where two Limited Traffic Zones, in two different boroughs and years, named Vomero and Chiaia, have been introduced. Moreover, the impacts due to changes involving one of the LTZ's areas are also observed and analysed through a before-after survey. The direct impact on traffic congestion has not been taken into account. More than 30% of all activities have been interviewed in the two restricted areas and some key points have been assessed for the successful or unsuccessful of car restriction measure. Retailers were also asked about their decrease in turnover in order to evaluate the effects of the LTZ's area after taking into account the actual economic crisis. The survey showed how much the retailers require: efficient public transport; parking places as close as possible; residential and activity density and typology. Those are the main reasons for the success of the Vomero LTZ zone and of the failure of the Chaia restricted zone. Other revealed indicators gathered in the survey confirmed the results underlying the attractiveness of the subzone of Chiaia that is a string of restaurants close to the seafront. © 2014 WIT Press.

Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | Vignolo S.,University of Genoa
International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics | Year: 2011

We study the initial value formulation of metric-affine f(R)-gravity in presence of a Klein-Gordon scalar field acting as source of the field equations. Sufficient conditions for the well-posedness of the Cauchy problem are formulated. This result completes the analysis of the same problem already considered for other sources. © 2011 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Goletti D.,Translational Research Unit | Sanduzzi A.,University of Naples Federico II | Delogu G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2014

An association between biologic agents and reactivation of active disease from latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) has been established. Screening for LTBI is, therefore, now recommended for candidates for biologic drugs. The tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-g release assays (IGRA) are the available commercial tests for detecting LTBI. We discuss their accuracy in immune-competent subjects and patients with autoimmune diseases, as well as potential new approaches to immune diagnosis. IGRA seem to be more accurate than TST in bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccinated subjects and patients with autoimmune diseases. However, longitudinal studies are needed to estimate the risk of progression to TB after IGRA-based and/or TST-based diagnosis of LTBI in these vulnerable patients. New tests are needed to identify those patients with LTBI who will develop active TB and need prophylaxis. © 2014. All rights reserved.

Canani R.B.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVES:: The long-term effects of amino acid–based formula (AAF) in the treatment of cowʼs milk allergy (CMA) is largely unexplored. This study comparatively evaluates body growth and protein metabolism in CMA children treated with AAF or with extensively hydrolysed whey formula (eHWF), and healthy controls (HCs). METHODS:: A 12-month multicentre randomised control trial (RCT) was conducted in outpatients with CMA (aged 5–12 m) randomised in two groups, treated with AAF (Group 1) and eHWF (Group 2), and compared with HCs (Group 3) fed with follow-on (if age <12 m) or growing-up formula (if age >12 m). At enrolment (T0), after 3 (T3), 6 (T6) and 12 months (T12) a clinical evaluation was performed. At T0 and T3, were dosed in CMA subjects serum levels of albumin, urea, total protein, retinol binding protein, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). RESULTS:: 21 subjects in Group 1 (61.9% male, aged 6.5?±?1.5?m), 19 in Group 2 (57.9% male, aged 7?±?1.7?m) and 25 subjects in Group 3 (48% male, aged 5.5?±?0.5?m) completed the study. At T0, the weight z-score was similar in Group 1 (−0.74) and 2 (−0.76), with differences compared to Group 3 (−0.17, p?

Strisciuglio C.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVES:: The primary role of environment on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) onset has been recently stressed. We aimed to investigate the impact of environmental factors in an IBD pediatric cohort. METHODS:: A total of 467 subjects (264 IBD and 203 controls) were enrolled. All patients underwent a questionnaire including 5 different groups of environmental risk factors: family history of IBD and autoimmune diseases, perinatal period, home amenities and domestic hygiene, childhood diseases and vaccinations, diet. RESULTS:: In a multivariate model, motherʼs degree (OR: 5.5; 2.5–11.6), duration of breast feeding >3 month (OR: 4.3; 1.6–10.5), fatherʼs employment (OR: 3.7; 1.2–8.7), gluten introduction <6 month (OR: 2.8; 1.5–5), number of siblings <2 (OR: 2.8; 1.5–5.3) and family history of autoimmune diseases (OR: 2.7; 1–4–5.3) were significant risk factors for CD. Low adherence to Mediterranean diet (OR: 2.3; 1.2–4.5), gluten introduction <6 month (OR: 2.8; 1.6–4.9) and number of siblings <2 (OR: 2; 1.1–3.6) were significant risk factors for UC. Owning pets (OR: 0.3; 0.1–0.7) and bed sharing (OR: 0.2; 0.1–0.6) were protective factors for CD, while owning pets (OR: 0.4; 0.2–0.8) and family parasitosis (OR: 0.07; 0.01–0.4) resulted protective factors for UC. CONCLUSIONS:: Our study confirms that environmental factors are closely linked to IBD onset and may partly explain IBD rise in developed countries. © 2016 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

Martinelli P.,University of Naples Federico II
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians | Year: 2012

Chorioamnionitis is the inflammatory response to an acute inflammation of the membranes and chorion of the placenta. We provide a critical review of the relationship between chorioamnionitis and the risk of prematurity and adverse maternal-fetal outcome. Chorioamnionitis results as a major risk factor for preterm birth and its incidence is strictly related to gestational age. It is associated with a significant maternal, perinatal and long-term adverse outcomes. The principal neonatal complications are neonatal sepsis, pneumonia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, perinatal death, cerebral palsy and intraventricular hemorrhage. The role in neonatal outcome is still controversial and more conclusive studies could clarify the relationship between chorioamnionitis and adverse neonatal outcome. Maternal complications include abnormal progression of labour, caesarean section, postpartum hemorrhage, abnormal response after use of oxytocin and placenta abruption. Prompt administration of antibiotics and steroids could improve neonatal outcomes.

Canonico P.,University of Naples Federico II | Soderlund J.,Norwegian School of Management
International Journal of Project Management | Year: 2010

The literature on management control has expanded considerably in the past few decades, yet only a limited number of publications have been devoted to multi-project organizations (MPOs). This is somewhat a problem given the increasing rise and importance of project-based structures and the role of project management as a significant part of many firms' management control system. This paper elaborates on a contingency framework of management control in MPOs and aims at investigating the control issues that call for holistic frameworks of control mechanisms. Relying on a comparative case study, the analysis shows how control mechanisms are deployed and what implications different choices of management control systems have on the organizational structure of MPOs. In particular, the paper addresses the importance technical complementarities, and the role of 'project interdependencies' and 'project openness' for the design of management control system. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

de Filippo E.,University of Naples Federico II
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2016

Background/objectives:Anemia, leukopenia and, although less frequently, thrombocytopenia are possible hematological complications of anorexia nervosa considered strictly secondary to chronic malnutrition. This is a retrospective study on the prevalence of these disorders in a large cohort of 318 female patients with AN (20.4±5.6 years, body mass index (BMI) 15.9±1.6 kg/m2), recruited in the Outpatient Unit for Malnutrition secondary to Eating Disorders at the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University Hospital, since February 1991 to December 2012.Subjects/methods:Patients were studied on an outpatient basis after obtaining medical history, clinical examination, routine hematobiochemical and endocrine tests, electrocardiography, psychiatric interview and bioelectrical impedance analysis and, in particular, phase angle determination. All patients with other comorbidities, in particular with mean corpuscular volume <80 fl, were excluded for suspected genetic alteration in the synthesis of hemoglobin.Results:Hematologic data showed that 16.7% of patients had anemia, 7.9% neutropenia and 8.9% thrombocytopenia. These abnormalities were strictly related to the duration of illness (P=0.028), and to protein energy malnutrition, in particular, BMI and phase angle (P<0.001).Conclusions:Our study offers description of the incidence of hematologic defects in a selected and large sample of AN female patients, suggesting that its incidence is related to the degree and duration of protein energy malnutrition.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 20 July 2016; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2016.115. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Girard L.F.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Sustainable Development | Year: 2010

Industrial-commercial and tourist ports areas are spaces of difference, rich in potential opportunities but also in contradictions and conflicts. The conservation of their particular landscape is very important for the city/region development, founded on a new metabolism. Port areas will become new spaces where creativity can be practised. Creative and resilient solutions are to be identified at a strategic, planning, design and management level to implement sustainability. Architecture can play a specific role, improving landscape quality and thus producing new values. The paper discusses how and under what conditions port areas can become an opportunity for the whole city development. Effective evaluation processes are suggested at the level of strategic, implementation and management planning to be able to combine tangible (hard) and intangible (soft) values. © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

De Angelis F.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Mechanics and Materials | Year: 2013

The constitutive models of plasticity and viscoplasticity are formulated in a unified framework by taking advantage of the appropriate mathematical tools of convex analysis and subdifferential calculus. Two viscoplastic constitutive models frequently adopted in viscoplasticity are analyzed, the Duvaut and Lions viscoplastic constitutive model and the Perzyna viscoplastic constitutive model. In literature these two models are frequently adopted as alternatives. In the present paper it is discussed on the relation between the two models and it is shown that, under certain conditions and assumptions, the Duvaut-Lions model may be considered as derived from the Perzyna model. © (2013) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

Di Iorio B.,Ospeda le A. Landolfi di Solofra | Bellasi A.,Ospedale SantOrsola Malpighi | Russo D.,University of Naples Federico II
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology | Year: 2012

Background and objectives: Dietary phosphorous overload and excessive calcium intake from calcium-containing phosphate binders promote coronary artery calcification (CAC) that may contribute to high mortality of dialysis patients. CAC has been found in patients in early stages of nondialysis-dependent CKD. In this population, no study has evaluated the potential role of phosphorus binders onmortality. This study aimed to evaluate all-causemortality as the primary end point in nondialysis-dependent CKD patients randomized to different phosphate binders; secondary end pointswere dialysis inception and the composite end point of all-causemortality and dialysis inception. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: This is a randomized, multicenter, nonblinded pilot study. Consecutive outpatients (n=212; stage 3-4 CKD) were randomized to either sevelamer (n=107) or calcium carbonate (n=105). Phosphorus concentrationwasmaintained between 2.7 and 4.6 mg/dl for patientswith stage 3-4 CKD and between 3.5 and 5.5 mg/dl for patients with stage 5 CKD. The CAC score was assessed by computed tomography at study entry and after 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. All-cause mortality, dialysis inception, and the composite end point were recorded for up to 36 months. Results: In patients randomized to sevelamer, all-cause mortality and the composite end point were lower; a nonsignificant trend was noted for dialysis inception. Conclusions: Sevelamer provided benefits in all-cause mortality and in the composite end point of death or dialysis inception but not advantages in dialysis inception. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results. © 2012 by the American Society of Nephrology.

D'angelo L.,University of Naples Federico II
Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) | Year: 2013

Nothobranchius furzeri has emerged as a new fish model for neurobiological and age research over recent years, due to the exceptionally short lifespan, age-dependent cognitive/behavioral decline, expression of age-related biomarkers. The growing interest in this teleost has raised the need to construct an atlas of the whole brain of N. furzeri. The study has been carried out on adult specimens belonging to the long lived strain, originating from Mozambique and named MZM 04/10. In the atlas, the external features of brain, images of sections stained with luxol fast bleu/violet and schematic drawings of the most representative sections are showed. The identification and description of brain structures has been carried out on methodological and hodological studies. Comparative analyses have revealed remarkable and peculiar neuroanatomical characteristics of N. furzeri brain architecture. Thus, a comprehensive whole brain atlas of N. furzeri has been constructed aiming to provide a baseline for structural and functional future experiments on this emerging model organism. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Guarracino F.,University of Naples Federico II
CMES - Computer Modeling in Engineering and Sciences | Year: 2011

The design of many engineering problems requires accurate test results and interpretation in order to evaluate the carrying capacity of circular cylindrical shells subjected to various loads including bending. Apparently anomalous values of axial tensile and compressive strains from recent test results have been lately investigated and explained using Finite Element modeling. As a complement to numerical analyses, in the present paper a simple analytical formula for the estimation of the effects of local conditions in tubes testing and design is provided on the basis of an extended Ritz's approach and of the general linear theory of shells. The findings are discussed and validated. Copyright. © 2011 Tech Science Press.

Verde F.,University of Naples Federico II | Darsena D.,Parthenope University of Naples | Scaglione A.,University of California at Davis
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2010

This paper proposes a low-complexity physical (PHY) layer design to introduce cooperation in the downlink of an infrastructure- based multicell multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) network, aimed at supporting future high-throughput broadband wireless Internet access with large-scale coverage. In such a system, several multiantenna base stations (BSs) are organized in a cellular architecture to serve multiantenna mobile stations (MSs) and are connected to a central service unit via a high-speed wired backbone. To improve the network performance, a novel PHY layer design is proposed that allows cooperation among an arbitrary and unknown number of BSs by suitably randomizing the MIMO-OFDM block codes used by the BSs. Such a randomized MIMO-OFDM code renders the encoding/decoding rule independent of the number of actual BSs cooperating and works without any channel feedback, which greatly simplifies the protocol as well as the MS design. To provide performance insights and develop PHY layer designs, this paper provides analytical upper bounds on the symbol error probability for linear receivers, which allow to accurately evaluate the diversity order and the coding gain achievable through the proposed scheme. Lastly, we present numerical results that validate the theory, and highlight the performance gain and the coverage expansion attainable with our cooperative transceiver. © 2009 IEEE.

Persico M.,The Second University of Naples | Iolascon A.,University of Naples Federico II
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2010

The finding of lipid accumulation in the liver, so-called hepatic steatosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is a common condition frequently found in healthy subjects. Its prevalence, in fact, has been estimated by magnetic resonance studies to be about 35% in the general population and 75% in obese persons. Nevertheless, its presence generates liver damage only in a small percentage of subjects not affected by other liver diseases. It should be defined as a "co-factor" capable of affecting severity and progression, and also therapeutic perspectives, of liver diseases to which it is associated. Herein we will evaluate the impact of hepatic steatosis and obesity on the most common liver diseases: chronic viral hepatitis C and B, and alcoholic liver disease. © 2010 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

De Simone P.,University of Naples Federico II
Unsaturated Soils - Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils | Year: 2011

Collapsible soils are characterized by a loose metastable texture causing their collapse to a stable denser state upon wetting. In this paper measurements of collapse strains of two Campanian (Southern Italy) pyroclastic soils by the single oedometer test technique (ASTM D 5333) are presented. The time evolution of strain is analyzed, recognising a capillary rise phase followed by creep. It is shown that both phases can be represented by a power law, the end of capillary rise (EOCR) time separating the two phases being calculated. Pre-inundation and collapse strains are finally expressed in terms of a void index (Burland 1990), using saturation as the reference state. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Busico V.,University of Naples Federico II
MRS Bulletin | Year: 2013

The future of polyolefin-based materials and the opportunities for further research and development in Ziegler-Natta catalysis are discussed. Thorough control of polymer microstructure and architecture ensured by modern olefin polymerization catalysts and processes warrants further progress in fundamental and applied research for many years to come. © 2013 Materials Research Society.

The use of roundabouts improves intersection safety by eliminating or altering conflict types, reducing crash severity, and causing drivers to reduce speeds. However, roundabout performances can degrade if precautions are not taken during either the design or the operation phase. Therefore, additional information on the safety of the roundabouts is extremely helpful for planners and designers in identifying existing deficiencies and in refining the design criteria currently being used. The aim of the paper was to investigate the crash contributory factors in 15 urban roundabouts located in Italy and to study the interdependences between these factors. The crash data refer to the period 2003-2008. The identification of the crash contributory factors was based on site inspections and rigorous analyses performed by a team of specialists with a relevant road safety engineering background. Each roundabout was inspected once every year from 2004 to 2009, both in daytime and in nighttime. Overall, 62 different contributory factors and 2156 total contributory factors were identified. In 51 crashes, a single contributory factor was found, whereas in the other 223 crashes, a combination of contributory factors was identified. Given the large amount of data, the interdependences between the contributory factors and between the contributory factors and the different crash types were explored by an association discovery. Association discovery is the identification of sets of items (i.e.; crash contributory factors and crash types in our study) that occur together in a given event (i.e.; a crash in our study). The rules were filtered by support, confidence, and lift. As a result, 112 association rules were discovered. Overall, numerous contributory factors related to the road and environment deficiencies but not related to the road user or to the vehicle were identified. The most important factors related to geometric design were the radius of deflection and the deviation angle. In existing roundabouts, the improvement of these factors might be quite expensive, but the crucial role of a moderate radius of deflection and a large deviation angle in the design of new roundabouts was stressed. Many of the contributory factors were related to markings and signs, and these factors could be easily removed with low-cost safety measures. Furthermore, because of the association between the markings, signs, and geometric design contributory factors, the study results suggest that the improvement in markings and signs might also have a significant effect in the sites where geometric design deficiencies were identified as contributory factors. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Napolitano N.R.,National institute for astrophysics | Romanowsky A.J.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Tortora C.,University of Zurich | Tortora C.,University of Naples Federico II
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2010

We examine correlations between masses, sizes and star formation histories for a large sample of low-redshift early-type galaxies, using a simple suite of dynamical and stellar population models. We confirm an anticorrelation between the size and stellar age and go on to survey for trends with the central content of dark matter (DM). An average relation between the central DM density and galaxy size of 〈ρDM〉 ∝ R-2 eff provides the first clear indication of cuspy DM haloes in these galaxies - akin to standard Λ cold dark matter haloes that have undergone adiabatic contraction. The DM density scales with galaxy mass as expected, deviating from suggestions of a universal halo profile for dwarf and late-type galaxies.We introduce a new fundamental constraint on galaxy formation by finding that the central DM fraction decreases with stellar age. This result is only partially explained by the size-age dependencies, and the residual trend is in the opposite direction to basic DM halo expectations. Therefore, we suggest that there may be a connection between age and halo contraction and that galaxies forming earlier had stronger baryonic feedback, which expanded their haloes, or lumpier baryonic accretion, which avoided halo contraction. An alternative explanation is a lighter initial mass function for older stellar populations. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS.

Franchini M.,Immunohematology and Transfusion Medicine | Coppola A.,University of Naples Federico II
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis | Year: 2012

In spite of coagulation impairment, people with congenital bleeding disorders can still develop atherosclerosis and its thrombotic complications. This issue has been particularly addressed in recent years as an increasing number of such patients now reach an elderly age and have to confront age-related comorbidities, including cardiovascular diseases, and as a consequence, challenges concerning the management of concomitant bleeding and atherothrombotic risk. Von Willebrand disease (VWD), caused by quantitative and/or functional defects of von Willebrand factor (VWF), is the most common congenital bleeding disorder, with an estimated prevalence in the general population of 1 to 2%, although clinically significant VWD is much less common. Despite the high population impact of VWD and increasing knowledge of the pathophysiological role of VWF in atherothrombosis, data concerning atherosclerosis and its vascular complications in VWD patients are rather limited, and even more scarce when clinical management is considered. The relevance of this association is certainly underestimated and, possibly, contributes to bleeding complications observed in patients on antithrombotic treatment or undergoing invasive cardiovascular procedures. This review will analyze the available literature data and discuss the implications for management of VWD patients with atherothrombosis, in the light of the information of bleeding risk in the general population and of recent, growing data from hemophilia patients. © 2012 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Giordano A.,University of Houston | Giordano A.,University of Naples Federico II | Cristofanilli M.,Chase Medical
Recent Results in Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs), enumerated by the Food and Drugs Administration-cleared CellSearch® system, are an independent prognostic factor of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. Several published papers demonstrated the poor prognosis for MBC patients who presented basal CTC count ≥5 in 7.5 mL of blood. Therefore, the enumeration of CTCs during treatment for MBC provides a tool with the ability to predict progression of disease earlier than standard timing of anatomical assessment using conventional radiological tests. Randomized clinical trials are ongoing to demonstrate whether CTCs detected by CellSearch® may help to guide treatments in MBC patients and improve prognosis. Moreover, the ability to perform molecular characterization of CTCs might identify a new druggable target in MBC patients. For example, the RT-PCR-based approach AdnaTest BreastCancerSelect™ showed a high discordance rate in receptor expression between the primary tumors and CTCs. Theoretically, the phenotypic analysis of CTCs can represent a "liquid" biopsy of breast tumor that is able to identify a new potential target against the metastatic disease. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Cimino S.,CNR Institute for Research on Combustion | Mancino G.,University of Naples Federico II | Lisi L.,CNR Institute for Research on Combustion
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2013

A novel monolith catalyst with Rh supported on γ-Al2O3 and doped with phosphorous was prepared by temperature-programmed reduction of oxidic precursors and tested for the first time in the CPO of methane at short contact time and high temperature in the presence of sulphur. The catalyst was characterized by ICP-MS, XRD, TGA, SEM-EDS, BET, H2-TPR, quantitative CO chemisorption measurements and in situ DRIFT of adsorbed CO, performed on freshly reduced samples or after exposures to sulphur species at temperatures and conditions close to those expected under actual CPO of methane. Results were compared with the reference undoped Rh/γ-Al2O3 catalyst and the P-γ-Al2O3 support. Both transient and steady state operation of the CPO reactor were investigated particularly with regards to the effect that the addition/removal of variable S quantities in the feed has on catalyst temperature, on the formation of main reaction products, on the approach to equilibrium and on the apparent reaction rate. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Human ribonucleases (RNases) are members of a large superfamily of rapidly evolving homologous proteins. Upon completion of the human genome, eight catalytically active RNases (numbered 1-8) were identified. These structurally distinct RNases, characterized by their various catalytic differences on different RNA substrates, constitute a gene family that appears to be the sole vertebrate-specific enzyme family. Apart from digestion of dietary RNA, a wide variety of biological actions, including neurotoxicity, angiogenesis, immunosuppressivity, and anti-pathogen activity, have been recently reported for almost all members of the family. Recent evolutionary studies suggest that RNases started off in vertebrates as host defence or angiogenic proteins. © 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Garofalo M.,Ohio State University | Condorelli G.L.,IRCCS MultiMedica | Croce C.M.,Ohio State University | Condorelli G.,University of Naples Federico II | Condorelli G.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2010

Death receptors, belonging to the TNF receptor superfamily, induce apoptosis through two different pathways, one involving the effector caspases directly (type I cells or mitochondria-independent death), the other one amplifying the death signal through the mitochondrial pathway (type II cells or mitochondria-dependent death). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs that regulate the stability or translational efficiency of targeted messenger RNAs. MiRNAs are involved in many cellular processes that are altered in cancer, such as differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. In this review we will discuss recent findings implicating miRNAs as regulators of death receptors and pro-and antiapoptotic genes involved in programmed cell death pathways. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II | Cooper D.S.,Johns Hopkins University
Thyroid | Year: 2010

Background: Despite clinical practice guidelines for the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), there are no recommendations on the optimal serum thyrotropin (TSH) concentration to reduce tumor recurrences and improve survival, while ensuring an optimal quality of life with minimal adverse effects. The aim of this review was to provide a risk-adapted management scheme for levothyroxine (L-T4) therapy in patients with DTC. The objective was to establish which patients require complete suppression of serum TSH levels, given their risk of recurrent or metastatic DTC, and how potential adverse effects on the heart and skeleton, induced by subclinical hyperthyroidism, in concert with advanced age and comorbidities, may influence the degree of TSH suppression. Summary: A risk-stratified approach to predict the rate of recurrence and death from thyroid cancer was based on the recently revised American Thyroid Association guidelines. A stratified approach to predict the risk from the adverse effects of L-T4 was devised, taking into account the age of the patient, as well as the presence of preexisting cardiovascular and skeletal risk factors that might predispose to the development of long-term adverse cardiovascular or skeletal outcomes, particularly increased heart rate and left ventricular mass, atrial fibrillation, and osteoporosis. Nine potential patient categories can be defined, with differing TSH targets for both initial and long-term L-T4 therapy. Conclusion: Before deciding on the degree of TSH suppression during initial and long-term L-T4 treatment in patients with DTC, it is necessary to consider the aggressiveness of DTC, as well as the potential for adverse effects induced by iatrogenic subclinical hyperthyroidism. More aggressive TSH suppression is indicated in patients with high-risk disease or recurrent tumor, whereas less aggressive TSH suppression is reasonable in low-risk patients. In patients with high-risk DTC and an equally high risk of adverse effects, long-term treatment with L-T4 therapy should be individualized and balanced against the potential for adverse effects. In patients with an intermediate risk for thyroid cancer recurrence and a high risk of adverse effects of therapy, the degree of TSH suppression should be reevaluated during the follow-up period. Normalization of serum TSH is advisable for long-term treatment of disease-free elderly patients with DTC and significant comorbidities. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2010.

Babilio E.,University of Naples Federico II
European Physical Journal: Special Topics | Year: 2013

This paper considers the dynamics of a simply supported beam under axial time-dependent load. The beam is made of an axially functionally graded material. The motion equations are deduced from the equilibrium in deformed configuration and no restriction is made on the amplitude of the transversal displacement, but that naturally imposed by the inextensibility assumption that is adopted in the present study. The transversal motion equation, that is a partial differential equation, is approximated by its Taylor expansion until third order and then discretized through the Galerkin procedure. © 2013 EDP Sciences and Springer.

Buono S.,University of Naples Federico II
Archives of dermatological research | Year: 2012

The use of microalgae in the skin care market is already established although the scientific rationale for their benefit was not clearly defined. In this work, the biological activities of dermatologic interest of the water extract from the microalga Botryococcus braunii (BBWE) were evaluated by a battery of in vitro assays. At concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 0.001 % (w/v) BBWE promoted adipocytes differentiation by inhibiting hormone-sensitive lipase, thus promoting triglyceride accumulation in the cells. BBWE also induced gene expression of proteins involved in the maintenance of skin cells water balance such as aquaporin-3 (AQP3), filaggrin (FLG) and involucrin (INV). 0.1 % BBWE increased the gene expression of AQP3 of 2.6-folds, that of FLG and INV of 1.5- and 1.9-folds, respectively. Moreover, it induced the biosynthesis of collagen I and collagen III by 80 and 40 %, respectively, compared to the untreated control. BBWE antioxidant activity, evaluated by oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, was of 43.5 μmol Trolox per gram of extract: a quite high value among those found for other microalgae extracts. BBWE inhibited the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene expression and the consequent nitrite oxide (NO) production under oxidative stress. At a concentration of 0.02 % BBWE reduced by 50 % the expression of iNOS and by about 75 % the NO production. Taken together, the results demonstrated that B. braunii water extract exerted an array of biological activities concurring with the skin health maintenance; therefore, it is a potential bioactive ingredient to be included in cosmetic products.

Volta U.,University of Bologna | Bardella M.T.,University of Milan | Calabro A.,University of Florence | Troncone R.,University of Naples Federico II | Corazza G.R.,University of Pavia
BMC Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is still an undefined syndrome with several unsettled issues despite the increasing awareness of its existence. We carried out a prospective survey on NCGS in Italian centers for the diagnosis of gluten-related disorders, with the aim of defining the clinical picture of this new syndrome and to establish roughly its prevalence compared with celiac disease. Methods: From November 2012 to October 2013, 38 Italian centers (27 adult gastroenterology, 5 internal medicine, 4 pediatrics, and 2 allergy) participated in this prospective survey. A questionnaire was used in order to allow uniform and accurate collection of clinical, biochemical, and instrumental data. Results: In total, 486 patients with suspected NCGS were identified in this 1-year period. The female/male ratio was 5.4 to 1, and the mean age was 38 years (range 3-81). The clinical picture was characterized by combined gastrointestinal (abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation, nausea, epigastric pain, gastroesophageal reflux, aphthous stomatitis) and systemic manifestations (tiredness, headache, fibromyalgia-like joint/muscle pain, leg or arm numbness, 'foggy mind,' dermatitis or skin rash, depression, anxiety, and anemia). In the large majority of patients, the time lapse between gluten ingestion and the appearance of symptoms varied from a few hours to 1 day. The most frequent associated disorders were irritable bowel syndrome (47%), food intolerance (35%) and IgE-mediated allergy (22%). An associated autoimmune disease was detected in 14% of cases. Regarding family history, 18% of our patients had a relative with celiac disease, but no correlation was found between NCGS and positivity for HLA-DQ2/-DQ8. IgG anti-gliadin antibodies were detected in 25% of the patients tested. Only a proportion of patients underwent duodenal biopsy; for those that did, the biopsies showed normal intestinal mucosa (69%) or mild increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes (31%). The ratio between suspected NCGS and new CD diagnoses, assessed in 28 of the participating centers, was 1.15 to 1. Conclusions: This prospective survey shows that NCGS has a strong correlation with female gender and adult age. Based on our results, the prevalence of NCGS seems to be only slightly higher than that of celiac disease. Please see related article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/86. © 2014 Volta et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Barone P.,University of Naples Federico II
European Journal of Neurology | Year: 2011

Significant depressive disorders are present in approximately 30-40% of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Depressive symptoms are correlated with poor health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) scores, and are the major determinant of HRQoL. Studies that have evaluated pharmacotherapy for depressive symptoms in PD have shown that there is substantial variability in outcomes. Recently, two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies showed the superiority of nortriptyline and desipramine versus placebo and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The antidepressant effects of dopamine agonists have been explored mainly in open and non-controlled studies. In a 14-week randomized trial comparing pramipexole with sertraline in depressed patients without motor complications, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score decreased in both groups; however, in the pramipexole group, the proportion of patients who recovered was significantly higher. Recently, in the first 12-week double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial in PD patients without motor fluctuations on stable levodopa treatment, pramipexole reduced depressive symptoms as measured by Beck Depression Inventory score, with a significant difference in efficacy in favour of pramipexole. These data suggest that pramipexole might represent an alternative to antidepressant drugs to treat depressive symptoms in PD without adding the risk of antidepressant adverse events, and avoid polypharmacy. © 2011 The Author(s). European Journal of Neurology © 2011 EFNS.

Zicarelli L.,University of Naples Federico II
Society of Reproduction and Fertility supplement | Year: 2010

The purpose of the review is to describe the factors that affect fertility in domestic water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and the techniques that enable an improvement in reproductive performance. On Italian and Latin American farms where natural mating is practiced and bulls are always present in the herd, the inter-calving interval is approximately 400 days and the culling rate is lower than 15%. The buffalo has a tendency for seasonal reproductive activity. Reproduction is favoured when there is a decrease in day length. Ovarian activity stops if conception does not occur within 3 to 5 ovarian cycles. It is important, therefore, that appropriate management of the transition period is practiced, particularly with respect to the hygienic conditions of the uterus. In tropical countries located north of the equator, feed deficiencies and heat stress are considered the main factors that lead to poor fertility in the summer. In Pakistan, for example, the increase in body condition score during the autumn was associated with the commencement of the breeding season in buffaloes. Anoestrus is observed also in Italy, however, where the average daily temperature during the same period is 13.5 to 23.5 degrees C and feeding is constant throughout the year. The only common element between the two areas is the progressive increase in daylight hours between April and June and the day length greater than 12 hours up to September. In Italian herds that apply an out-of-season breeding strategy, an improvement in fertility (measured as the percentage of corpora lutea corresponding to subsequent pregnancy) is observed when water pools are present on the farm. This demonstrates that an improvement in environmental conditions reduces the incidence of embryonic mortality and/or abnormal cycles. To summarize, in the absence of serious nutritional problems, an improvement in environmental conditions increases fertility in buffalo.

Ascione F.,University of Sannio | Bellia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Capozzoli A.,Polytechnic University of Turin
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

In the museum environment, the temporal stability and the spatial uniformity of the indoor microclimatic parameters are necessary primarily for the correct artwork conservation and then for the occupant thermal comfort. Therefore, a HVAC system is usually necessary. This paper above all emphasizes the integration of Building Energy Performance Simulation (BEPS) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes. This coupled numerical approach can provide accurate information about both the HVAC system energy request and the indoor microclimatic control (temporal and spatial distribution of the parameters). Then, a case study concerning a typical museum exhibition room is examined. The annual energy request for three types of all-air system, as well as the temporal variation of indoor temperature and relative humidity, is evaluated by means of a BEPS code. Energy savings can be obtained using a system with desiccant wheel (11%) or enthalpy wheel (9%), compared to the base system. As regards indoor relative humidity control, this is more critical for summer conditions, and the best performance is obtained by the system with desiccant wheel. Then, the spatial microclimatic control is analyzed by means of a CFD analysis, for various thermal load conditions and different air diffusion xequipments. The best performances are obtained by using the swirling (vortex) diffusers; also the perimetrical stripes of slot diffusers show satisfactory performances. Finally, in order to evaluate the ability of air diffusion equipments to assure good ventilation effectiveness, an analysis of the mean age of air is carried out too. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Andreozzi A.,University of Naples Federico II | Manca O.,The Second University of Naples
Numerical Heat Transfer; Part A: Applications | Year: 2010

In this article, the investigation is focused on a configuration made of two horizontal parallel plates with the upper plate heated at uniform heat flux and the lower one adiabatic. Results are presented in terms of velocity and temperature fields, and both the temperature and the velocity profiles at different sections are shown. They are reported at two Rayleigh numbers, 10 3 and 105, and for two aspect ratio values, 1 and 10. Results are also shown in terms of the upper and lower wall temperature profiles. Correlations for average Nusselt numbers and maximum dimensionless wall temperature, in terms of Rayleigh number and aspect ratio, are given for 103≤Ra≤105 and 1≤L/b≤10. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Corbi I.,University of Naples Federico II
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2013

The paper collocates in the general framework of techniques devoted to the preservation, strengthening and repair of architectural heritage against strong earthquakes, i.e. of approaches suitable for applications to masonry structures of architectural or historical interest under the effect of dynamic load induced by ground motions. Benefits related to the reinforcement of the masonry tissue realized by inserting composite elements are evaluated. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lo Storto C.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Mechanics and Materials | Year: 2013

This paper proposes a benchmarking model useful to rank and select aircraft used in the freight industry. The decision-making problem of aircraft ranking and selection is addressed by implementing an extension of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), i.e. the cross-efficiency calculation. DEA efficiency is a useful indicator to evaluate the value for money of an aircraft in the freight industry and its extension - the cross-efficiency measurement - makes it possible to rank aircraft according to this value for money measurements. A sample of 22 air freighters is used to analyze the model validity. DEA scores show that 4 aircraft models only are evaluated as being full 100% efficient, and some old models (i.e., DC 9-10F) are as efficient as the recent aircraft models sold in the market (A300F and A330-200F). © (2013) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

Laudonia S.,University of Naples Federico II | Sasso R.,ENEA
Bulletin of Insectology | Year: 2012

The bronze bug Thaumastocoris peregrinus Carpintero et Dellape (Heteroptera Thaumastocoridae) is reported for the first time from Italy infesting Eucalyptus spp. in several urban and rural sites of the Latium region. The host plants are very common in Italy as ornamental and forest trees. This is the first record of a member of the family Thaumastocoridae from Europe and the Mediterranean region. Preliminary observations on general biological aspects and distribution of T. peregrinus have been conducted.

Smart N.A.,University of New England of Australia | Giallauria F.,University of Naples Federico II | Dieberg G.,University of New England of Australia
International Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Introduction: Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) offers an alternative to exercise training (ExT) in the most severely deconditioned heart failure patients who are unable to exercise. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine magnitude of change in peak VO2, six minute walk distance (6MWD), Quality of Life measured by the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLWHFQ), maximal inspiratory pressure (PI max) and ventilatory equivalent for carbon dioxide (VE/VCO2 slope) with IMT. Methods: A systematic search was conducted of randomized, controlled trials of IMT therapy in CHF patients using Medline (Ovid) (1950-February 2012), Embase.com (1974-February 2012), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and CINAHL (1981-February 2012). The search strategy included a mix of MeSH and free text terms for the key concepts heart failure, inspiratory or respiratory muscle training, exercise training Results: The eleven included studies contained data on 287 participants: 148 IMT participants and 139 sham or sedentary control. Compared to control groups, CHF patients undergoing IMT showed a significant improvement in peak VO2 (+ 1.83 ml kg - 1 min- 1, 95% C.I. 1.33 to 2.32 ml kg- 1 min- 1, p < 0.00001); 6MWD (+ 34.35 m, 95% C.I. 22.45 to 46.24 m, p < 0.00001); MLWHFQ (- 12.25, 95% C.I. - 17.08 to - 7.43, p < 0.00001); PImax (+ 20.01, 95% C.I. 13.96 to 26.06, p < 0.00001); and V E/VCO2 slope (- 2.28, 95% C.I. - 3.25 to - 1.30, p < 0.00001). Conclusions: IMT improves cardio-respiratory fitness and quality of life to a similar magnitude to conventional exercise training and may provide an initial alternative to the more severely de-conditioned CHF patients who may then transition to conventional ExT. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

to assess both clinical and non clinical factors associated with elective caesarean section practice and to highlight those typologies of expectant mothers who underwent elective caesarean delivery even in the absence of clinical risk factors. Birth Certificates archive has been used as data source: 62888 available records of all the births that occurred in the Campania region in 2005 both in public and private hospitals. Only those births pertained to women without previous caesarean sections were analyzed. type of delivery, dichotomized as elective caesarean section and vaginal delivery. after adjusting the data for known risk factors, elective caesarean section practice emerged as much more prevalent in private hospitals than in public ones (53.1% vs 24.3%, p<0.001). A multivariate logistic regression model showed a significant association between primiparity and elective caesarean section. This association was stronger in private hospitals (OR for interaction between parity and hospital typology 1.81, CI 95% 1.62-2.04). Being older than 34 years, having recoursed to medically assisted procreation and a previous voluntary termination of pregnancy cause an increase in the odd of resorting to elective caesarean section (p<0.01). Being foreigner, high educational qualification and young age were protective factors for elective caesarean section (respectively, OR 0.36 CI 95% 0.31-0.42, OR 0.81 CI 95% 0.77-0.86 e OR 0.84 CI 95% 0.78 -0.90). Five different typologies of primiparous women were found by means of a hierarchical classification procedure. A high percentage of elective caesarean section was found in women assisted in private structure with no clinical risk. in Campania there is an excess of elective caesarean sections among primiparous women without manifest clinical risk factors; this excess is higher when the delivery occurs in Private Hospitals. Public health policy and actions aimed at reducing caesarean section rates should be addressed mainly to this typology of women.

Hallden G.,Queen Mary, University of London | Portella G.,University of Naples Federico II
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets | Year: 2012

Introduction: Numerous oncolytic viral mutants derived from a variety of strains have antitumor efficacy with limited or no toxicity to normal tissue. While all modes of administration were determined to be safe in patients with solid cancers refractory to current standard of care, this therapeutic approach requires further improvements to achieve definite efficacy. Areas covered: We review the most promising clinical developments with several oncolytic viruses. The focus is on preclinical and clinical findings with replication-selective adenoviral mutants including ONYX-015, H101 and Ad5ΔCR mutants that, to date, are the most studied oncolytic viruses. Cellular pathways reported to play a role in virus-induced cell killing are reviewed as potential targets for the development of more effective combinatorial therapies. Expert opinion: The most promising clinical outcomes for metastatic cancers have been reported for oncolytic vaccinia and herpes virus mutants expressing the cytokine GMCSF. However, highly efficacious and selective adenoviral mutants have been developed that interact synergistically with cytotoxic drugs in model systems. We anticipate that by delineating the cellular targets for synergistic cancer cell killing in response to adenoviral mutants and drugs such as apoptosis and autophagy signaling, greatly improved anticancer therapies will result in the near future. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.

The paper investigates the energetic and economic feasibility of a solar-assisted heating and cooling system (SHC) for different types of school buildings and Italian climates. The SHC system under investigation is based on the coupling of evacuated solar collectors with a single-stage LiBr-H2O absorption chiller; auxiliary energy for both heating and cooling is supplied by an electric-driven reversible heat pump. The SHC system was coupled with different types of school buildings located in three different Italian climatic zones. The analysis is carried out by means of a zero-dimensional transient simulation model, developed using the TRNSYS software; the analysis of the dynamic behaviour of the building was also included. An economic model is proposed, in order to assess the operating and capital costs of the systems under analysis. Furthermore, a parametric analysis and a subsequent mixed heuristic-deterministic optimization algorithm was implemented, in order to determine the set of the synthesis/design variables that maximize system profitability. The results are encouraging, as for the potential of energy saving. On the contrary, the SHC economic profitability can be achieved only in case of public funding policies (e.g. feed-in tariffs), as always happens for the great majority of renewable energy systems. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Vitale S.,University of Naples Federico II | Isaia R.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2014

The present study was focused to analyze fractures and faults in the Campi Flegrei calderas presently hosting several volcanic edifices, such as lava domes, scoria, and tuff cones. A complex network of fractures and faults affects the volcanic rocks, mostly as planar with highly variable density. Frequently faults appearing as conjugate structures showing normal kinematics often associated with ductile deformation such as drag folds and deflexed layers, suggesting a syn-eruption deformation. However, the most of faults, mainly hosted along the caldera/crater rims, are very steep with dominant normal and secondary reverse movements. The fracture pattern indicates a slight prevalence of NE-SW and NW-SE directions, but N-S and E-W trends also occur. Fractures and faults found in rocks older than 15 ka (Neapolitan Yellow Tuff included), measured in western and eastern sectors of the study area, indicate a rotation of ca. 30° of the main directions among these two sectors. For the faults occurring along the caldera/crater rims, we suggest a kinematic evolution characterized by the reactivation of tensile fractures previously formed in response to both regional extension and locale resurgent dome. Finally, normal faults located in the central sector of caldera, between La Starza and Accademia localities, cutting the youngest volcanic deposits, indicate a constant NNE-SSW extension probably related to the caldera resurgence. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Mazzolani F.M.,University of Naples Federico II
Thin-Walled Structures | Year: 2012

The main aspects of theory, design, codification and application of 3D aluminium structures are examined, by emphasising the peculiar differences with steel, by referring to real cases. The main applications in the field of geodetic domes represent a challenging example of 3D aluminium structures. The theoretical and experimental results were used for setting-up Part 1.5 Shell Structures of Eurocode 9. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Budetta P.,University of Naples Federico II
Natural Hazards | Year: 2011

This paper deals with a finite element stability analysis performed on a sea-cliff affected by a deep notch. The cliff is about 200 m long with height ranging between 8 and 19 m. The notch at the cliff base is about 1 m above sea level, nearly stretching along the entire cliff toe. Detailed geo-structural and geo-mechanical surveys were performed in situ, and rock samples were tested in laboratory. The relevant physical and mechanical properties were used for determining rock mass strength parameters. A finite element approach was implemented using a two-dimensional elasto-plastic finite-element stress analysis program. The stability analysis shows that the notch causes increasing shear strains spreading from the notch end towards the top cliff. Decreasing strength reduction factors affect the cliff as the notch reaches increased depth into the rock mass, and when its depth is about 2 m the analysis results do not converge. At this stage, an uninterrupted shear plane develops along which a roughly prismatic rock block can slide and then topple. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Convertito V.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Zollo A.,University of Naples Federico II
Bulletin of Volcanology | Year: 2011

In this study, we address the issue of short-term to medium-term probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for two volcanic areas, Campi Flegrei caldera and Mt. Vesuvius in the Campania region of southern Italy. Two different phases of the volcanic activity are considered. The first, which we term the pre-crisis phase, concerns the present quiescent state of the volcanoes that is characterized by low-to-moderate seismicity. The second phase, syn-crisis, concerns the unrest phase that can potentially lead to eruption. For the Campi Flegrei case study, we analyzed the pattern of seismicity during the 1982-1984 ground uplift episode (bradyseism). For Mt. Vesuvius, two different time-evolutionary models for seismicity were adopted, corresponding to different ways in which the volcano might erupt. We performed a site-specific analysis, linked with the hazard map, to investigate the effects of input parameters, in terms of source geometry, mean activity rate, periods of data collection, and return periods, for the syn-crisis phase. The analysis in the present study of the pre-crisis phase allowed a comparison of the results of probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for the two study areas with those provided in the Italian national hazard map. For the Mt. Vesuvius area in particular, the results show that the hazard can be greater than that reported in the national hazard map when information at a local scale is used. For the syn-crisis phase, the main result is that the data recorded during the early months of the unrest phase are substantially representative of the seismic hazard during the whole duration of the crisis. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

On December 15, 2008, a rock slide of approximately 4,000 m3 occurred near San Severino di Centola (Cilento, Province of Salerno). The landslide occurred along very steep bedding planes intersected by tectonic joints affecting a rocky cliff. The landslide debris, formed by several boulders, came to a halt along the gentler slope below. Many blocks reached the slope base including the national road n° 562 and injuring a motorist on the road. Furthermore, the road suffered heavy damages causing a halt in traffic for many weeks. Several signs of the impacts were detected along the slope and on the road; also, the volumes of some boulders were measured. The area affected by block trajectories stretch down slope about 4,900 m2. By means of 2D and 3D trajectory codes using the "lumped-mass" method, it was possible to estimate more suitable impact energy restitution and rolling friction coefficients, to reconstruct rock fall trajectories, and to calculate total kinetic energies. Extending to the surrounding slope (surface about 2 ha) these data, a hazard scenario was carried out, displaying the pattern of iso-energy distribution curves calculated along 11 critical profiles, and zones exposed to 70% and 30% of frequencies of block transits and endpoints. Successively, with reference to the Swiss Federal Guidelines, another scenario was prepared on the basis of rock fall intensity values and the return period of the 2008 landslide event. In this way, it was possible to define areas of high, moderate and low hazard. The degrees of hazard are assigned according to their consequences for construction activity and outline zones where additional protection is required. The construction of a retaining embankment was believed suitable for local risk mitigation. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Riccio A.,The Second University of Naples | Riccio A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Cubellis M.V.,University of Naples Federico II
Nature Genetics | Year: 2012

Loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor CDKN1C cause Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and cancer. A new study now identifies potentially gain-of-function missense mutations in CDKN1C that cause the undergrowth-associated IMAGe syndrome. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lombardi G.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of endocrinological investigation | Year: 2010

IGF-I and PTH have synergistic actions on bone and some effects of the anabolic actions of PTH are mediated by local production of IGF-I, as has been shown in vitro and in vivo studies both in animals and humans. PTH can induce skeletal IGF-I expression both in vitro and in vivo. In chondrocytes, IGF-I synthesis is under GH control, whereas in osteoblasts its synthesis is fundamentally under the control of PTH. PTH stimulates the synthesis of IGF-I via a cAMP-dependent mechanism, and this factor has pro-differentiating and prosurvival effects on osteoblasts. In in vitro studies, IGF-I and PTH have shown a synergistic action on the osteoblasts of bone marrow. Human clinical data confirm the interactions between PTH and GH-IGF-I axis on bone. PTH is involved in the development of osteoporosis in adult patients with GH deficiency (GHD). In fact, patients with GHD show renal, skeletal, and intestinal cell insensitivity to PTH, leading to a mild state of PTH resistance and increased serum PTH levels. In addition, GH replacement in these patients restores PTH secretory rhythm, increases bone turnover markers, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D concentration, and Ca absorption/reabsorption, thus contributing to the positive effects of GH on bone. On the other hand, in post-menopausal women with primary hyperparathyroidism a reduced secretion of GH is observed, in association with a greater impairment of bone mass. GH administration resulted in increased IGF-I concentration, decreased PTH concentration, and increased nephrogenous cAMP. In conclusion, the anabolic action of PTH requires paracrine and autocrine effects of IGF-I.

Bojorquez E.,Autonomous University of Sinaloa | Iervolino I.,University of Naples Federico II
Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2011

In this paper, spectral-shape-based intensity measures (IMs) are discussed with respect to ordinary, pulse-like and narrow-band records. First, the analyses address the ability of these IMs to capture the peak and cumulative damage potentials of ground motions. Second, a new vector-valued ground motion IM based on the spectral acceleration at the first mode of the structure, Sa(T1), and a parameter proxy for the spectral shape, namely Np, is introduced. The vector 〈Sa,Np〉 is compared to other state-of-the-art IMs in terms of estimation of the seismic response of nonlinear single degree of freedom systems, reinforced concrete and steel moment resisting frames. Results show that 〈Sa,Np〉 may be especially useful to represent the ground motion potential in the case of records with peculiar spectral shape. Further, it is shown that 〈Sa,Np〉 has the properties of efficiency, sufficiency and scaling robustness. Finally, a scalar ground motion IM based on Sa(T1) and Np is also discussed, and the possibility to compute the seismic hazard analysis for it is illustrated. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Diniz-Filho J.A.F.,Federal University of Goais | Loyola R.D.,Federal University of Goais | Raia P.,University of Naples Federico II | Mooers A.O.,Simon Fraser University | Bini L.M.,Federal University of Goais
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2013

If we were to describe all the species on Earth and determine their distributions, we would solve the popularly termed 'Linnean' and 'Wallacean' shortfalls in biodiversity conservation. Even so, we would still be hindered by a 'Darwinian shortfall', that is, the lack of relevant phylogenetic information for most organisms. Overall, there are too few comprehensive phylogenies, large uncertainties in the estimation of divergence times, and, most critically, unknown evolutionary models linking phylogenies to relevant ecological traits and life history variation. Here, we discuss these issues and offer suggestions for further research to support evolutionary-based conservation planning. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Aniello P.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2016

Functions of positive type on locally compact abelian groups can be defined as positive functionals on group algebras, and play a remarkable role in probability theory and in classical statistical mechanics. By Bochner's celebrated theorem, indeed, they are Fourier-Stieltjes transforms of finite positive measures. Hence, a properly normalized nonzero function of positive type on (the group of translations on) phase space provides a realization of a classical state, so it may be called a function of classical positive type. A similar result holds in the quantum setting as well, where a generalized kind of functions of positive type on phase space - the so-called functions of quantum positive type - are related, via the Fourier-Plancherel transform, to the Wigner quasi-probability distributions. In this paper, we will argue that, as in the classical setting, the notion of function of quantum positive type is of a group-theoretical nature. Exploiting an interesting interplay between functions of classical and quantum positive type, we will then provide an interesting characterization of a class of semi-groups of operators that describe the evolution of certain open quantum systems which are of interest in quantum information science. Finally, a suitable extension of this framework to generalized phase spaces that are relevant for current applications will be proposed. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

Iervolino I.,University of Naples Federico II
Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2011

Significant investments are undergoing internationally to develop earthquake early warning (EEW) systems. So far, reasonably, the most of the research in this field was lead by seismologists as the issues to determine essential feasibility of EEW were mainly related to the earthquake source. Many of them have been brilliantly solved, and the principles of this discipline are collected in the so-called real-time seismology. On the other hand, operating EEW systems rely on general-purpose intensity measures as proxies for the impending ground motion potential and are suitable for population alert. In fact, to date, comparatively little attention was given to EEW by earthquake engineering, and design approaches for structure-specific EEW are mostly lacking. Applications to site-specific systems have not been extensively investigated and EEW convenience is not yet proven except a few pioneering cases, although the topic is certainly worthwhile. For example, in structure-specific EEW the determination of appropriate alarm thresholds is important when the false alarm may induce significant losses; similarly, economic appeal with respect to other risk mitigation strategies as seismic upgrade should be assessed. In the paper the least issues to be faced in the design of engineering applications of EEW are reviewed and some work done in this direction is discussed. The review presented intends to summarize the work of the author and co-workers in this field illustrating a possible performance-based approach for the design of structure-specific applications of EEW. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Fedi M.,University of Naples Federico II | Cascone L.,GETECH
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2011

In potential field problems, the continuous wavelet transform (CWT) has allowed the estimation of the source properties, such as the depth to the source and the structural index (N). The natural choice for the analyzing wavelets has been the set belonging to the Poisson kernel. However, a much larger set of analyzing wavelets has been used for analyzing signals other than potential fields. Here we extend the CWT of potential fields to other wavelet families. Since the field is intrinsically dilated with Poissonian wavelets from the source depth to the measurement level, distortions are unavoidably introduced when CWT uses a different wavelet from the measurement level to other scales. To fix the problem, we define a new form for the continuous wavelet transform convolution product, called "composite continuous wavelet transform" (CCWT). CCWT removes the field dilations with Poisson wavelets, intrinsically contained at the measurement level and replaces them with dilations performed with any other kind of wavelet. The method is applied to synthetic and real cases, involving sources as poles, dipoles, intrusions in complex magnetized basement topography and buried steel drums, from measurements taken at the Stanford University test site. CCWT takes advantage from the special features of the several considered wavelets, e.g., the Gaussian wavelet is useful for its low pass filtering characteristic and Morlet wavelet for its localization property. Hence, depending on the case, an important parameter for the choice of the analyzing wavelet is its central frequency. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Petrosino S.,CNR Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry | Iuvone T.,University of Naples Federico II | Di Marzo V.,CNR Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry
Biochimie | Year: 2010

Although its presence in mammalian tissues has been known since the 1960s, N-palmitoyl-ethanolamine (PEA) has emerged only recently among other bioactive N-acylethanolamines as an important local pro-homeostatic mediator which, due to its chemical stability, can be also administered exogenously as the active principle of current anti-inflammatory and analgesic preparations (e.g. Normast®, Pelvilen®). Much progress has been made towards the understanding of the mechanisms regulating both the tissue levels of PEA under physiological and pathological conditions, and its pharmacological actions. Here we review these new developments in PEA biochemistry and pharmacology, and discuss novel potential indications for the therapeutic use of this compound and of synthetic tools that selectively retard its catabolism, such as the inhibitors of the recently cloned N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase. © 2010.

Appendino G.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Minassi A.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Taglialatela-Scafati O.,University of Naples Federico II
Natural Product Reports | Year: 2014

Covering: up to December 2013. Over the past decade, there has been a growing transition in recreational drugs from natural materials (marijuana, hashish, opium), natural products (morphine, cocaine), or their simple derivatives (heroin), to synthetic agents more potent than their natural prototypes, which are sometimes less harmful in the short term, or that combine properties from different classes of recreational prototypes. These agents have been named smart drugs, and have become popular both for personal consumption and for collective intoxication at rave parties. The reasons for this transition are varied, but are mainly regulatory and commercial. New analogues of known illegal intoxicants are invisible to most forensic detection techniques, while the alleged natural status and the lack of avert acute toxicity make them appealing to a wide range of users. On the other hand, the advent of the internet has made possible the quick dispersal of information among users and the on-line purchase of these agents and/or the precursors for their synthesis. Unlike their natural products chemotypes (ephedrine, mescaline, cathinone, psilocybin, THC), most new drugs of abuse are largely unfamiliar to the organic chemistry community as well as to health care providers. To raise awareness of the growing plague of smart drugs we have surveyed, in a medicinal chemistry fashion, their development from natural products leads, their current methods of production, and the role that clandestine home laboratories and underground chemists have played in the surge of popularity of these drugs. This journal is © 2014 the Partner Organisations.

In the last years ruthenium tetroxide is increasingly being used in organic synthesis. Thanks to the fine tuning of the reaction conditions, including pH control of the medium and the use of a wider range of co-oxidants, this species has proven to be a reagent able to catalyse useful synthetic transformations which are either a valuable alternative to established methods or even, in some cases, the method of choice. Protocols for oxidation of hydrocarbons, oxidative cleavage of C-C double bonds, even stopping the process at the aldehyde stage, oxidative cleavage of terminal and internal alkynes, oxidation of alcohols to carboxylic acids, dihydroxylation of alkenes, oxidative degradation of phenyl and other heteroaromatic nuclei, oxidative cyclization of dienes, have now reached a good level of improvement and are more and more included into complex synthetic sequences. The perruthenate ion is a ruthenium (VII) oxo-species. Since its introduction in the mid-eighties, tetrapropylammonium perruthenate (TPAP) has reached a great popularity among organic chemists and it is mostly employed in catalytic amounts in conjunction with N-methylmorpholine N-oxide (NMO) for the mild oxidation of primary and secondary alcohols to carbonyl compounds. Its use in the oxidation of other functionalities is known and recently, its utility in new synthetic transformations has been demonstrated. New processes, synthetic applications, theoretical studies and unusual transformations, published in the last eight years (2006-2013), in the chemistry of these two oxo-species, will be covered in this review with the aim of offering a clear picture of their reactivity. When appropriate, related oxidative transformations mediated by other metal oxo-species will be presented to highlight similarities and differences. An historical overview of some aspects of the ruthenium tetroxide chemistry will be presented as well. © 2014 by the authors.

Avitabile C.,University of Naples Federico II
Artificial DNA, PNA & XNA | Year: 2012

PNAs conjugated to carrier peptides have been employed for the targeting of miRNA precursor, with the aim to develop molecules able to interfere in the pre-miRNA processing. The capability of the molecules to bind pre-miRNA has been tested in vitro by fluorescence assayes on Thiazole Orange labeled molecules and in vivo, in K562 cells, evaluating the amount of miRNA produced after treatment of cells with two amounts of PNAs.

Aurigemma G.P.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | De Simone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Fitzgibbons T.P.,University of Massachusetts Medical School
Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging | Year: 2013

We have reviewed data concerning cardiac structure and function. We believe that the following conclusions are justified by the data available. Cardiac remodeling in obesity is characterized by concentric geometry at least as often as eccentric geometry (Figure 7). Most, but not all studies also demonstrate subtle, likely subclinical, abnormalities in myocardial function and diastolic filling, some of which are reversible with weight loss. Given the prevalence of obesity, the frequency of these subtle findings is not only of academic interest. If LV remodeling precedes preclinical systolic dysfunction, identification of structural and functional abnormalities might allow us to certain patients for special counseling regarding weight loss, by pointing out that they already have evidence of heart disease. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.

Zhou Z.-F.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica | Menna M.,University of Naples Federico II | Cai Y.-S.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica | Guo Y.-W.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2015

This Review provides a comprehensive overview of acetylenes/polyacetylenes isolated from marine algae and invertebrates, focusing on the isolation, structural characterization, and classification of more than 600 acetylenic molecules. It also highlights the structural diversity generated in this unique class of marine natural products and their potential in drug discovery. The acetylenic molecules described in this review have been divided into five sections on the basis of their biological sources for a better clearness and ease for readers. The structures have been divided into three main classes considering that the main differences between polyacetylenes' structures are the chain length and the functional groups and that acetylenes with 15 carbons are the most common in marine organisms.

Busico V.,University of Naples Federico II
Advances in Polymer Science | Year: 2013

This chapter looks back at the fascinating history of isotactic polypropylene, the first man-made stereoregular polymer, from the largely serendipitous discovery to the modern technologies for the industrial production of reactor blends with high-yield Ziegler-Natta catalysts featuring highly controlled morphology. This is also the story of a great man, Giulio Natta, winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and his team of incredibly talented young coworkers at the Milan Polytechnic, who in just a few years at the end of the 1950s elucidated the structure of the new polymer and that of the novel TiCl3-based catalysts leading to its formation. The pioneering studies that followed on chain microstructure and the origin of the stereocontrol, and the first educated guesses on the nature of the active species, are critically reviewed, and re-visited with the aid of modern experimental and computational tools and methods, to highlight the current picture of what still represents a most important and lively area of polymer science and organometallic catalysis. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

Capasso M.,University of Naples Federico II
Cancer treatment and research | Year: 2010

Neuroblastoma is a pediatric cancer of the developing sympathetic nervous system that most often affects young children. It remains an important pediatric problem because it accounts for approximately 15% of childhood cancer mortality. The disease is clinically heterogeneous, with the likelihood of cure varying greatly according to age at diagnosis, extent of disease, and tumor biology. This extreme clinical heterogeneity reflects the complexity of genetic and genomic events associated with development and progression of disease. Inherited genetic variants and mutations that initiate tumorigenesis have been identified in neuroblastoma and multiple somatically acquired genomic alterations have been described that are relevant to disease progression. This chapter focuses on recent genome-wide studies that have utilized high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping arrays to discover genetic factors predisposing to tumor initiation such as rare mutations at locus 2p23 (in ALK gene) for familial neuroblastoma, common SNPs at 6p22 (FLJ22536 and FLJ44180) and 2q35 (BARD1), and a copy number polymorphism at 1q21.1 (NBPF23) for sporadic neuroblastoma. It also deals with well known and recently reported somatic changes in the tumor genome such as mutations, gain of alleles and activation of oncogenes, loss of alleles, or changes in tumor-cell ploidy leading to the diverse clinical behavior of neuroblastomas. Finally, this chapter reviews gene expression profiles of neuroblastoma associated with pathways of the signaling of neurotrophins and apoptotic factors that could have a role in neuroblastoma development and progression. Looking forward, a major challenge will be to understand how inherited genetic variation and acquired somatic alterations in the tumor genome interact to exact phenotypic differences in neuroblastoma, and cancer in general.

Monteverde F.,National Research Council Italy | Alfano D.,Italian Aerospace Research Center | Savino R.,University of Naples Federico II
Corrosion Science | Year: 2013

The performances of a ZrB2-SiC-LaB6 ultra-high temperature ceramic (UHTC) was investigated in high enthalpy supersonic air flow. The UHTC material reached and maintained steady-state radiative surface temperature of 1973K (monitored by pyrometer) for 5min, and survived the arc-jet plasma exposure without any optical evidence of mechanical damage. The oxide scale covering externally the sample evolved into different textures. Transient thermal analysis processed via CFD provided a good agreement between the numerical steady-state temperature and the temperature distribution obtained experimentally. The contemporary addition of LaB6 and SiC to ZrB2 had a detrimental effect on the overall oxidation resistance. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Graziano G.,University of Sannio | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II | Merlino A.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics | Year: 2014

Halophilic proteins are stable and function at high salt concentration. Understanding how these molecules maintain their fold stable and avoid aggregation under harsh conditions is of great interest for biotechnological applications. This mini-review describes what is known about the molecular determinants of protein halotolerance. Comparisons between the sequences of halophilic/non-halophilic homologous protein pairs indicated that Asp and Glu are significantly more frequent, while Lys, Ile and Leu are less frequent in halophilic proteins. Homologous halophilic and non-halophilic proteins have similar overall structure, secondary structure content, and number of residues involved in the formation of H-bonds. On the other hand, on the halophilic protein surface, a decrease of nonpolar residues and an increase of charged residues are observed. Particularly, halophilic adaptation correlates with an increase of Asp and Glu, compensated by a decrease of basic residues, mainly Lys, on protein surface. A thermodynamic model, that provides a reliable explanation of the salt effect on the conformational stability of globular proteins, is presented. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Aprea C.,University of Salerno | Maiorino A.,University of Salerno | Mastrullo R.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Energy | Year: 2011

In this paper, the energy performance of a walk-in cooler working with R22 and its substitute R422D are experimentally studied. The experimental investigation was carried out considering three different operating conditions; in particular, the AHRI standard has been used as reference for operating conditions. All tests were run at steady state conditions and keeping the external air temperature at 35 °C. The experimental analysis allowed the determination of cooling capacity, the electrical power absorbed, the COP and other variables characterizing the working of the plant. The results demonstrated that the cooling capacity for R422D was lower than for R22, while the electrical power absorbed with R422D was higher than that with R22. As consequence, the COP of R422D was lower than that of R22. Furthermore, technical proposals are introduced with the aim of improving the overall performances of those plants, which could be retrofitted with R422D. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Inglese M.,Radiology and Neuroscience | Petracca M.,Radiology and Neuroscience | Petracca M.,University of Naples Federico II
Schizophrenia Research | Year: 2015

Multiple sclerosis is the leading nontraumatic cause of neurologic disability in young adults. The need to prevent neurodegeneration and promote repair in multiple sclerosis (MS) has gained increasing interest in the last decade leading to the search and development of pharmacological agents and non-pharmacologic strategies able to target not only the inflammatory but also the neurodegenerative component of the disease. This paper will provide an overview of the therapeutics currently employed in MS, with a focus on their potential neuroprotective effects and on the MRI methods employed to detect and monitor in-vivo neuroprotection and repair and the relevance of this information to schizophrenia investigation and treatment. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Canale V.,University of Naples Federico II
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2015

We present some recent results on heavy flavour production obtained with ATLAS during the LHC runs in 2011-2012. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis | Year: 2011

Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is a frequent condition affecting millions of people around the world. Defined by increased thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) and accompanied by normal thyroid hormone levels, SH reflects a mild tissue hypothyroidism that has been associated with metabolic derangements andalthough this issue is still contentiouspossibly with increased cardiovascular risk. Depending on the degree of TSH elevation, SH has accordingly been associated with hyperlipidemia, arterial hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as, increasingly, newly emerging CVD risk factors such as serum C-reactive protein and retinol binding protein 4 levels. There have also been reports of abnormalities in glucose metabolism and of hemostatic parameters, mainly underscored by the increased activity of factor VII. This review discusses the results of the latest studies on the various parameters affected by SH while highlighting the need for timely treatment with levothyroxine. © 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Fabbricino M.,University of Naples Federico II | Korshin G.V.,University of Washington
Water Research | Year: 2014

This study examined the behavior of corrosion potential (Ecorr) of iron exposed to drinking water during episodes of stagnation and flow. These measurements showed that during stagnation episodes, Ecorr values decrease prominently and consistently. This decrease is initially rapid but it becomes slower as the stagnation time increases. During flow episodes, the Ecorr values increase and reach a quasi-steady state. Experiments with varying concentrations of dissolved oxygen showed that the decrease of Ecorr values characteristic for stagnation is likely to be associated with the consumption of dissolved oxygen by the exposed metal. The corrosion potential of iron and its changes during stagnation were sensitive to the concentrations of sulfate and chloride ions. Measurements of iron release showed that both the absolute values of Ecorr measured prior to or after stagnation episodes were well correlated with the logarithms of concentrations of total iron. The slope of this dependence showed that the observed correlations between Ecorr values and Fe concentrations corresponded to the coupling between the oxidant consumption and changes of Fe redox status. These results demonstrate that in situ Ecorr measurements can be a sensitive method with which to ascertain effects of hydrodynamic conditions and short-term variations of water chemistry on metal release and corrosion in drinking water. This approach is valuable practically because Ecorr measurements are precise, can be carried out in situ with any desired time resolution, do not affect the state of exposed surface in any extent and can be carried out with readily available equipment. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Caramia P.,Parthenope University of Naples | Carpinelli G.,University of Naples Federico II | Varilone P.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio
Electric Power Systems Research | Year: 2010

This paper applies the point estimate method to account for the uncertainties that affect the evaluation of the steady state operating condition of an unbalanced three-phase power system. Moreover, since the point estimate method requires that the input random variables are uncorrelated, a suitable adjustment to take into account the correlation is applied. Different point estimate schemes (2m, 2m + 1 and 4m + 1 schemes) are presented and tested. The accuracy of the proposed techniques is tested on a three-phase unbalanced IEEE 34-bus test system; the results obtained applying the Monte Carlo simulation are assumed as reference . Both correlated and uncorrelated input random variables are considered, and multimodal probability density functions are tested. The conclusion is that the 2m + 1 scheme gives the best solution in terms of accuracy and computational efforts; in the case of correlated input random variables, an adequate procedure to take into account the correlation must be applied. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2011

The possibility of making precise predictions for the Casimir force is essential for the theoretical interpretation of current precision experiments on the thermal Casimir effect with metallic plates, especially for submicron separations. For this purpose it is necessary to estimate very accurately the dielectric function of a conductor along the imaginary frequency axis. This task is complicated in the case of ohmic conductors because optical data do not usually extend to sufficiently low frequencies to permit an accurate evaluation of the standard Kramers-Kronig integral used to compute ε(iξ). By making important improvements to the results of a previous paper by the author, it is shown that this difficulty can be resolved by considering suitable weighted dispersion relations, which strongly suppress the contribution of low frequencies. The weighted dispersion formulas presented in this paper permit us to estimate accurately the dielectric function of ohmic conductors for imaginary frequencies, on the basis of optical data extending from the IR to the UV, with no need for uncontrolled data extrapolations toward zero frequency that are necessary with standard Kramers-Kronig relations. Applications to several sets of data for gold films are presented to demonstrate the viability of the dispersion formulas presented in this paper. © 2011 American Physical Society.

D'Urso M.G.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio | Marmo F.,University of Naples Federico II
ZAMM Zeitschrift fur Angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik | Year: 2015

By integrating the classical Boussinesq expression we derive analytically the vertical stress distribution induced by pressures distributed with arbitrary laws, up to the third order, over polygonal domains. Thus, one can evaluate in closed form either the vertical stress produced by shell elements, modelling raft foundations by finite elements, acting over a Winkler soil or those induced by a linear pressure distribution simulating axial force and biaxial bending moments over a pad foundation. To this end we include charts and tables, both for rectangular and circular domains, which allow the designer to evaluate the vertical stresses induced by linear load distributions by hand calculations. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is witnessed by the comparison between the analytical results obtained with the proposed formulas and the numerical ones of a FEM discretization of the soil associated with the loading distribution induced by a foundation modeled by plate elements resting on a Winkler soil. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Raganati F.,University of Naples Federico II | Ammendola P.,CNR Institute for Research on Combustion | Chirone R.,CNR Institute for Research on Combustion
Applied Energy | Year: 2014

Among all the CCS strategies, post-combustion capture provides a near-term solution for stationary fossil fuel-fired power plants, eliminating the need for substantial modifications to existing combustion processes and facilities. In this respect, adsorption using solid sorbents has the potential, in terms of energy saving, to complement or replace the current absorption technology. Therefore, the design of highly specific CO2 adsorbents materials is requested. In this framework, great interest is focused on nanomaterials, whose chemico-physical properties can be tuned at the molecular level. As regards the handling of such materials, sound-assisted fluidization is one of the best technological options to improve the gas-solid contact by promoting a smooth fluidization regime. The present work is focused on the CO2 capture by sound-assisted fluidized bed of fine activated carbon. Tests have been performed in a laboratory scale experimental set-up at ambient temperature and pressure, pointing out the effect of CO2 partial pressure, superficial gas velocity, sound intensity and frequency. Effectiveness of CO2 adsorption has been assessed in terms of the moles of CO2 adsorbed per unit mass of adsorbent, the breakthrough time and the fraction of bed utilized at breakpoint. The results show, on one hand, the capability of the sound in enhancing the adsorption process and, on the other hand, confirm that sound assisted fluidization of fine solid sorbents is a valid alternative to the fixed bed technology, which require also an additional previous step of pelletization. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Giannattasio A.,University of Naples Federico II
Italian journal of pediatrics | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: To investigate the rates of pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and their determinants in children with chronic medical conditions. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Children with HIV infection, cystic fibrosis, liver transplantation and diabetes mellitus were enrolled. Physicians of regional Reference Centres for each condition, primary care paediatricians and caregivers of children provided information through specific questionnaires. For diabetes, 3 Reference Centres were included. RESULTS: Less than 25% of children in each group received pneumococcal vaccination. Vaccination rates against influenza were 73% in patients with HIV-infection, 90% in patients with cystic fibrosis, 76% in patients with liver transplantation, and ranged from 21% to 61% in patients with diabetes mellitus. Reference Centres rather than primary care paediatricians had a major role in promoting vaccinations. Lack of information was the main reason for missing vaccination. Awareness of the severity of pneumococcus infection by key informants of at-risk children was associated with higher vaccination rate. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination rates in children with chronic conditions were poor for pneumococcus and slightly better for influenza. Barriers to vaccination include lack of awareness, health care and organization problems.

Oelke M.,Hannover Medical School | Giuliano F.,University of Versailles | Mirone V.,University of Naples Federico II | Xu L.,Eli Lilly and Company | And 2 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2012

Background: Tadalafil improved lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH; LUTS/BPH) in clinical studies but has not been evaluated together with an active control in an international clinical study. Objective: Assess tadalafil or tamsulosin versus placebo for LUTS/BPH. Design, setting, and participants: A randomised, double-blind, international, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study assessed men ≥45 yr of age with LUTS/BPH, International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) ≥13, and maximum urinary flow rate (Q max) ≥4 to ≤15 ml/s. Following screening and washout, if needed, subjects completed a 4-wk placebo run-in before randomisation to placebo (n = 172), tadalafil 5 mg (n = 171), or tamsulosin 0.4 mg (n = 168) once daily for 12 wk. Measurements: Outcomes were assessed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) or ranked analysis of variance (ANOVA) (continuous variables) and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test or Fisher exact test (categorical variables). Results and limitations: IPSS significantly improved versus placebo through 12 wk with tadalafil (-2.1; p = 0.001; primary efficacy outcome) and tamsulosin (-1.5; p = 0.023) and as early as 1 wk (tadalafil and tamsulosin both -1.5; p < 0.01). BPH Impact Index significantly improved versus placebo at first assessment (week 4) with tadalafil (-0.8; p < 0.001) and tamsulosin (-0.9; p < 0.001) and through 12 wk (tadalafil -0.8, p = 0.003; tamsulosin -0.6, p = 0.026). The IPSS Quality-of-Life Index and the Treatment Satisfaction Scale-BPH improved significantly versus placebo with tadalafil (both p < 0.05) but not with tamsulosin (both p > 0.1). The International Index of Erectile Function-Erectile Function domain improved versus placebo with tadalafil (4.0; p < 0.001) but not tamsulosin (-0.4; p = 0.699). Q max increased significantly versus placebo with both tadalafil (2.4 ml/s; p = 0.009) and tamsulosin (2.2 ml/s; p = 0.014). Adverse event profiles were consistent with previous reports. This study was limited in not being powered to directly compare tadalafil versus tamsulosin. Conclusions: Monotherapy with tadalafil or tamsulosin resulted in significant and numerically similar improvements versus placebo in LUTS/BPH and Q max. However, only tadalafil improved erectile dysfunction. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov ID NCT00970632 © 2012 European Association of Urology.

Spagnuolo M.I.,University of Naples Federico II
Italian journal of pediatrics | Year: 2010

Preliminary evidence suggests an association between obesity and gut inflammation. To evaluate the frequency of glucose abnormalities and their correlation with systemic and intestinal inflammation in severely obese children. Thirty-four children (25 males; median age 10.8 ± 3.4 yrs) with severe obesity (BMI >95%) were screened for diabetes with oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), systemic inflammation with C-reactive protein (CRP) and gut inflammation with rectal nitric oxide (NO) and faecal calprotectin. BMI ranged from 23 to 44 kg/m2, and BMI z-score between 2.08 e 4.93 (median 2.69 ± 0.53). Glucose abnormalities were documented in 71% of patients: type 2 diabetes in 29%, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in 58%, and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in 37.5%. Thirty-one patients (91%) were hyperinsulinemic. CRP was increased in 73.5% with a correlation between BMI z-score and CRP (p 0.03). Faecal calprotectin was increased in 47% patients (mean 77 ± 68), and in 50% of children with abnormal glucose metabolism (mean 76 ± 68 μg/g), with a correlation with increasing BMI z-score. NO was pathological in 88%, and in 87.5% of glucose impairment (mean 6.8 ± 5 μM). In this study, the prevalence of glucose abnormalities in obese children is higher than in other series; furthermore, a correlation is present between markers of systemic and intestinal inflammation and glucose abnormalities.

Branca C.,CNR Institute for Research on Combustion | Di Blasi C.,University of Naples Federico II
Fuel Processing Technology | Year: 2014

The combustion behavior of dry distiller's grains with solubles (DDGS) and the corresponding pyrolysis char using a thermogravimetric system is studied. Comparison with beech wood indicates that DDGS devolatilization occurs with a slower rate and the char consists of two fractions with different reactivity. Thermogravimetric curves, obtained with heating rates between 2.5 and 20 K/min, are used to develop a multi-step global reaction mechanism. The description of DDGS devolatilization requires four reactions, representative of the evolution of lumped classes of components, with activation energies of 95, 107, 106 and 100 kJ/mol, which are lower than those typically associated with wood devolatilization. DDGS char combustion is well described by two reaction steps with activation energies of 137 and 153 kJ/mol that again barely touch the lower limit of the typical range of values reported for lignocellulosic chars. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Serpieri R.,University of Sannio | Rosati L.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids | Year: 2011

The paper illustrates a biphasic formulation which addresses the dynamic response of fluid saturated porous biphasic media at finite deformations with no restriction on the compressibility of the fluid and of the solid skeleton. The proposed model exploits four state fields of purely kinematic nature: the displacements of the solid phase, the velocity of the fluid, the density of the fluid and an additional macroscopic scalar field, termed effective Jacobian, associated with the effective volumetric deformation of the solid phase. The governing equations are characterized by the property of being all expressed in the reference configuration of the solid phase and by the property of employing only work-conjugate variables, thus avoiding the use of a total Cauchy stress tensor. In particular, the set of governing equations includes a momentum balance equation associated with the effective Jacobian field. This equation, differently from the closure-equations proposed by other authors which express a saturation constraint or a porosity balance, is derived as a stationarity condition on account of a least-action variational principle. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Fleischer R.,Nikhef | Knegjens R.,Nikhef | Ricciardi G.,University of Naples Federico II
European Physical Journal C | Year: 2011

The B 0 S → J/ψf 0(980) decay offers an interesting experimental alternative to the well-known B 0 S → J/ψ φ{symbol} channel for the search of CP-violating New-Physics contributions to B 0 S - ̄B 0 S mixing. As the hadronic structure of the f 0(980) has not yet been settled, we take a critical look at the implications for the relevant observables and address recent experimental data. It turns out that the effective lifetime of B 0 S → J/ψf 0(980) and its mixing-induced CP asymmetry S are quite robust with respect to hadronic effects and thereby allow us to search for a large CP-violating B 0 S - ̄B 0 S mixing phase φ{symbol} S, which is tiny in the Standard Model. However, should small CP violation, i.e. in the range -0.1 ≲ S ≲ 0, be found in B 0 S → J/ψf 0(980), it will be crucial to constrain hadronic corrections in order to distinguish possible New- Physics effects from the Standard Model. We point out that B 0 d → J/ψf 0(980), which has not yet been measured, is a key channel in this respect and discuss the physics potential of this decay. © Springer-Verlag/Societá Italiana di Fisica 2011.

Fleischer R.,Nikhef | Knegjens R.,Nikhef | Ricciardi G.,University of Naples Federico II
European Physical Journal C | Year: 2011

The B 0 s,d → J/ψη(′) decays provide new terrain for exploring CP violation. After briefly discussing η-η′ mixing, we analyse the effective lifetimes and CPviolating observables of the B s channels, which allow us to probe New-Physics effects in B 0 s-B 0 s mixing. We have a critical look at these observables and show how hadronic corrections can be controlled by means of the B d decays. Using measurements of the B 0 s,d → J/ψη(′) branching ratios by the Belle collaboration, we discuss tests of the SU(3) F flavour symmetry of strong interactions, obtain the first constraints on the hadronic parameters entering the B 0 s,d → J/ψη system, and predict the B 0 s,d → J/ψη(′) branching ratio at the 5 × 10 -6 level. Furthermore, we present strategies for the determination of the η-η′ mixing parameters from the B 0 s,d → J/ψη(′) observables. We also observe that the B 0 s,d → J/ψη and B 0 s,d → J/ψη(′) decays are-from a formal point of view- analogous to the quark-antiquark and tetraquark descriptions of the f 0(980) in the B 0 s,d → J/ψη(′)f 0(980) channels, respectively. © Springer-Verlag/Società Italiana di Fisica 2011.

Rionero S.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Engineering Science | Year: 2010

The long-time behaviour of a triply convective-diffusive fluid mixture saturating a porous horizontal layer in the Darcy-Oberbeck-Boussinesq scheme, is investigated. It is shown that the L2- solutions are bounded, uniquely determined (by the initial and boundary data) and asymptotically converging toward an absorbing set of the phase-space. The stability analysis of the conduction solution is performed. The linear stability is reduced to the stability of ternary systems of O.D.Es and hence to algebraic inequalities. The existence of an instability area between stability areas of the thermal Rayleigh number ("instability island"), is found analytically when the layer is heated and "salted" (at least by one "salt") from below. The validity of the "linearization principle" and the global nonlinear asymptotic stability of the conduction solution when all three effects are either destabilizing or stabilizing, are obtained via a symmetrization. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Catalano P.,Italian Aerospace Research Center | Tognaccini R.,University of Naples Federico II
AIAA Journal | Year: 2010

A modification of the κ-ε shear-stress-transport turbulence model is presented in this paper with the aim to improve the simulation of flows at a low Reynolds number. For this purpose, the incompressible flow at Reynolds number 6 = 104, around the Selig-Donovan 7003 airfoil, is investigated by using several turbulence models. The focus is placed on the κ-ε shear-stress-transport turbulence model: a model very reliable for transonic flows but for which the application to low-Reynolds-number flows has been questioned. The limits of this model are analyzed in detail. The simulation of the laminar bubble arising on the SD 7003 airfoil has been remarkably improved by the proposed modification. In addition, the accuracy of the κ-ε shear-stress-transport turbulence model has been preserved in the transonic regime at a high Reynolds number, as shown by the simulations of the flow around the RAE M2155 wing. Large-eddy simulations of the flow around the Selig-Donovan 7003 airfoil have also been performed and presented in the paper. The large-eddy-simulation data are used as a reference for the results achieved by the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes method. The computed aerodynamic coefficients are compared with some available experimental data. Copyright © 2010 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

Discetti P.,University of Naples Federico II
Baltic Journal of Road and Bridge Engineering | Year: 2010

The consistency of a highway alignment refers to the conformity of its geometry to driver expectancy and to the improvement of the design consistency and consequently it is necessary to know real speed behavior in order to calculate highway safety. The disparity between design and operating speeds has been shown, in fact several different studies were undertaken to predict the operating speed in different conditions as a function of the alignment features: horizontal and vertical curves, combinations of tangent sections of horizontal and vertical curves; sections prior to or following horizontal curves. In literature however, no studies speak of the operating speed on hairpin curves of mountain roads where driver behavior is influenced by the combination of small radius curves, limited sight distance and the approach to the slope of a tangent. Therefore, a mathematical model was developed specifically for mountain roads using speed data collected on hairpin curve and tangent approaches. The experimental study was carried out using traffic counters capable of recording the following variables during the passage of each vehicle in both directions: vehicle length, instant speed and direction. Video cameras were also used. In this paper the author also investigated the real speed driver behavior by analyzing deceleration and acceleration rates. These rates were calculated for each vehicle and then the 85th percentile of the rate distribution was also calculated. With the availability of acceleration and deceleration rates that respect real driver behavior, it is possible to analyze the defects of existing mountain roads and to evaluate corrective measures that can be implemented.

Prabhakar Karthikeyan S.,Vellore Institute of Technology | Neri F.,University of Naples Federico II
WSEAS Transactions on Systems | Year: 2014

In this paper, a brief review on some of the interesting open research issues in the area of deregulated electricity market is made. To mention them, Power electronics application in power systems, machine design and location of distributed generation in the distribution systems are some.

Manfredi S.,University of Naples Federico II | Manfredi S.,Imperial College London
IEEE Wireless Communications | Year: 2014

Rapid advances in Information and Communications Technologies are enabling the wide diffusion of healthcare systems which allow a continuous remote patient monitoring and diagnostics by doctors. The need for pervasive and ubiquitous healthcare services has accelerated the development of heterogeneous communication architectures that integrate one or more different types of wired and wireless network technologies such as those used in the Internet, and in cellular, wireless body networks, and ad hoc networks. However, these modern healthcare systems have established some additional critical requirements and challenges, compared to traditional wireless networks, such as reliability and the timely access to diagnostic information without failure. The main aim of this article is to propose a healthcare traffic control over the modern heterogeneous wireless network to avoid congestion phenomena and guarantee QoS (Quality of Service) in terms of service reliability and responsiveness. First, a proportional fair allocation control strategy at each healthcare terminal device/router is implemented to regulate the rate of data flow proportionally to the information priority. The priority can be related to both the bandwidth requirement for the reliable communication of a vital signal and to the level of emergency in specific acute care, clinical disease and outbreak/disaster situations. Secondly, we present a congestion control based on the adaptive fairness criterion that can deal with differentiated and dynamic healthcare scenarios. A simulator environment has been built to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approaches. © 2014 IEEE.

Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | Vignolo S.,University of Genoa
Annalen der Physik (Leipzig) | Year: 2010

Torsion and curvature could play a fundamental role in explaining cosmological dynamics. f(R)-gravity with torsion is an approach aimed to encompass in a comprehensive scheme all the Dark Side of the Universe (Dark Energy and Dark Matter). We discuss the field equations in empty space and in presence of perfect fluid matter taking into account the analogy with the metric-affine formalism. The result is that the extra curvature and torsion degrees of freedom can be dealt under the standard of an effective scalar field of fully geometric origin. The initial value problem for such theories is also discussed. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.

Chiodo E.,University of Naples Federico II
4th International Conference on Clean Electrical Power: Renewable Energy Resources Impact, ICCEP 2013 | Year: 2013

Wind speed (WS) probability distribution identification and estimation are the object of an increasing number of studies, especially related to the need of wind energy production evaluation. In this framework, the paper highlights the characterization of extreme WS quantiles, whose values and estimates are very sensitive to the assumed distributional form. This is a crucial issue not only for wind energy production assessment, but also in risk and reliability analysis. For the above purposes, the Lomax model is theoretically deduced and analysed: this model, indeed, well represents the typical "heavy tails" in WS probabilistic distributions arising from field data. A proper Bayes approach for the estimation of both the Lomax survivor function and of the above quantiles is analyzed. A large set of numerical simulations has been performed, and some typical subsets of them are shown to illustrate the efficiency of the estimates, showing excellent results. © 2013 IEEE.

Severino G.,University of Naples Federico II
Water Resources Research | Year: 2011

Well-type flow takes place in a heterogeneous porous formation where the transmissivity is modeled as a stationary random space function (RSF). General expressions for the covariances of the head and flux are obtained and analyzed. The second-order approximation of the mean radial flux is represented as the product between the solution qr(0)(r) valid in a homogeneous domain and a distortion term Ψq(r) which adjusts qr(0)(r)according to the medium heterogeneity. The spatial dependence of the function Ψq(r) is studied. In view of the formation identification problem, the equivalent T(eq) and apparent T(ap) transmissivity are computed. The important result is the relationship T(α)(r) = [1 - omega(α)(r)]TH + omega(α)(r)TG(α may be either "eq" or "ap"), where TH and TG represent the harmonic and the geometric means of the transmissivity, respectively. The position-dependent weight omega(α) is explicitly calculated. Indeed, close to the well, it yields T(α)(0) = T →H, which is understandable in view of the fact that the limit r/I → 0 is equivalent to I→∞ , which is the heterogeneity structure of a stratified formation. Nevertheless, the effective transmissivity of a stratified formation is precisely TH. In contrast, far from the well, one has T (α)(∞) = TG, with the flow being slowly varying in the mean there. It is shown that T(α)(r) grows with increasing r/I. In the case of T(eq), the rate of growing is found (similar to Dagan and Lessff (2007)) to be strongly dependent upon the position in the flow domain, whereas T(ap) is a more robust property. Finally, it is shown how the general results can be used for practical applications. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Viola S.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2016

In 2012, the Laboratory of Recovery and Maintenance at the University of Naples Federico II starts an applied research with the Institute for Composite and Biomedical Materials - IMCB - National Research Council of Italy - CNR, of Naples. The aim is to explore the potential of a patented hybrid foam, Hypucem, as a green technology for the recovery of flat roofs in reinforced concrete buildings.Two green extensive prototypes are developed and tested to provide an adequate response to the problem of residential buildings. The difference between them is in the mode of greening: sowing before or after the on-site assembly, with overlapping layers of green, in the first case, and their integration into special pockets formed inside the panel, in the second. Laboratory tests verify the germination and growth dynamics for a closed-cell polyurethane-concrete foam and for open-cell polyurethane-soil specimens.Trials are carried out in a residential neighborhood realized after Second World War. During six months, the benefits to buildings' performances, in both solutions, are monitored, highlighting the importance of roofs dimensions and accessibility. With a greater ease of installation and inspection, the open-cell polyurethane foam solution, accommodating transplanted vegetation, results more suitable for a direct involvement of users in ordinary maintenance. This attitude is fundamental in order to prevent any decrease in roofs thermal resistance due to the lowering of the green layers performances. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Gualtieri C.,University of Naples Federico II
Environmental Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2010

Although transverse mixing is a significant process in river engineering when dealing with the discharge of pollutants from point sources or the mixing of tributary inflows, no theoretical basis exists for the prediction of its rate, which is indeed based upon the results of experimental works carried on in laboratory channels or in streams and rivers. The paper presents the preliminary results of a numerical study undertaken to simulate the transverse mixing of a steady-state point source of a tracer in a two-dimensional rectangular geometry, which is expected to reproduce a shallow flow. This geometry is that of Lau and Krishnappan (J Hydraul Div 13(HY10):1173-1189, 1977), who collected turbulent mixing data for a shallow flow. In the numerical study an approach based on the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations was applied, where the closure problem was solved by using turbulent viscosity concept. Particularly, the classical two-equations k-ε model was used. Two methods were applied to the model results to evaluate the turbulent transverse mixing coefficient. The effect on transverse mixing of a grid located upstream the tracer source was also studied. Numerical results were generally higher than the experimental data. This overestimation could be explained considering the hypothesis of isotropic turbulence underlying the k-ε model, which can lead to large turbulent viscosities and rate of mixing. However, RANS-based results may still be considered acceptable also providing the large uncertainties associated with literature predictive equations. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Emig T.,University Paris - Sud | Emig T.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Kardar M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

The exact critical Casimir force between periodically deformed boundaries of a 2D semi-infinite strip is obtained for conformally invariant classical systems. Only two parameters (conformal charge, dimension of a boundary changing operator), along with the solution of an electrostatic problem, determine the Casimir force, rendering the theory practically applicable to any shape. The attraction between any two mirror symmetric objects follows directly from our general result. The possibility of purely shape induced reversal of the force, as well as occurrence of stable equilibrium is demonstrated for certain conformally invariant models, including the tricritical Ising model. © 2015 The Authors.

Galderisi M.,University of Naples Federico II
American Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2011

The progression of hypertensive involvement toward heart failure includes myocardial fibrosis and changes of left ventricular (LV) geometry. In the presence of these abnormalities, diastolic abnormalities occur and are defined as LV diastolic dysfunction (DD). They include alterations of both relaxation and filling, precede alterations of chamber systolic function and can induce symptoms of heart failure even when ejection fraction is normal. The prevalence of heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFNEF) increased over time whereas the rate of death from this disorder remained unchanged. In this view, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic management of DD and HFNEF in hypertensive patients is a growing public health problem. DD may be asymptomatic and identified occasionally during a Doppler-echocardiographic examination. This tool has gained, therefore, important clinical position for diagnosis of DD. Comprehensive assessment of diastolic function should be done not by a simple classification of DD progression but by estimating the degree of LV filling pressure (FP), a true determinant of symptoms and prognosis. This can be obtained by different ultrasound maneuvers/tools but the ratio between transmitral E velocity and pulsed tissue Doppler-derived early diastolic velocity (E/e′ ratio) is the most feasible and accurate. The identification of left atrial enlargement may be useful in uncertain cases. The recommended management of DD in hypertensive patients should correspond to blood pressure (BP) lowering and to the attempt of reducing LV mass and normalizing LV geometry. Prospective studies with well-defined entry criteria are needed to establish whether this approach could reflect a better prognosis. © 2011 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.

Rionero S.,University of Naples Federico II
Meccanica | Year: 2014

A multicomponent fluid mixture saturating a porous rotating horizontal layer, heated from below and salted partly from below and partly from above, in the Darcy–Boussinesq scheme, is investigated. Conditions guaranteeing the “cold convection” i.e. the instability of the thermal conduction solution irrespective of the temperature gradient, are furnished. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

De Matteis G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Brando G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Mazzolani F.M.,University of Naples Federico II
Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics | Year: 2011

This paper deals with experimental tests aimed at assessing the structural performance of pure aluminium shear panels to be employed as passive energy dissipation devices with a bracing type configuration. The AW1050 A H24 is adopted as the basic material. It is an aluminium alloy with a negligible content of impurity, allowing it to be considered as a pure aluminium. In this paper, the results of four full-scale 5thinspacemm thick multi-stiffened square-shaped specimens tested under cyclic diagonal loads and characterized by different slenderness ratios are presented. In order to determine the main resisting mechanisms for different shear strain demands, a careful examination of the experimental evidences is provided. Then, the global performance of tested shear panels is evaluated by the comparison of the obtained hysteretic responses, evidencing the effect of the plate slenderness on the energy dissipation capacity. Finally, a suitable analytical model, which could be useful to implement global dynamic non-linear analysis, is set up in order to interpret the behaviour of shear panels for which the development of premature buckling phenomena is completely inhibited. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

BACKGROUND: Accessing intradural lesions via an extended endoscopic endonasal approach requires a relatively large bony removal over the skull base. OBJECTIVE: We describe the Sonopet ultrasonic bone curette with a new dedicated endonasal hand-piece. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used this ancillary device in 27 nonconsecutive endonasal procedures for different skull base lesions (18 standard pituitary operations and 9 extended approaches for either meningiomas or craniopharyngiomas). RESULTS: The ultrasonic bone curette with endonasal hand-piece was easy to use and effective during the removal of the bone covering or when close to the carotid and optic prominences, as well as in preserving the integrity of the superior intercavernous sinus. In only 1 case was small tearing of the dura mater observed during the bony removal. No cases of injury to the major neurovascular structures occurred. CONCLUSION: The Sonopet ultrasonic bone curette is a useful tool during endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery.

Russo G.,University of Naples Federico II
Soils and Foundations | Year: 2016

The empirical evidence for vertical piles under horizontal or lateral loading is firstly reviewed. The load-deflection relationship is nonlinear from the early stages of loading, while the load-moment relationship is nearly linear. Moving from the available experimental evidence, typical design issues are addressed and a validation of the widespread Broms' method is then carried out. To predict the pile-soil interaction, a computer code, NAPHOL, based on a hybrid BEM approach, is fully presented and discussed. A limiting pressure profile, coupled with a cut-off procedure, allows the method to cope with the nonlinear behaviour. Simple guidelines and equations, to calibrate the model parameters, are derived on the basis of the back-analysis of a significant number of case histories. The program is finally used to throw light on the mechanism of the pile-soil interaction under horizontal loading. © 2016 Japanese Geotechnical Society.

Wells Jr. S.A.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Santoro M.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2014

Context: Thyroid cancer is usually cured by timely thyroidectomy; however, the treatment of patients with advanced disease is challenging because their tumors are mostly unresponsive to conventional therapies. Recently, the malignancy has attracted much interest for two reasons: The dramatic increase in its incidence over the last three decades, and the discovery of the genetic mutations or chromosomal rearrangements causing most histological types of thyroid cancer. Objective: This update reviews the molecular genetics of thyroid cancer and the clinical trials evaluating kinase inhibitors (KIs) in patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. The update also reviews studies in other malignancies, which have identified mechanisms of efficacy, and also resistance, to specific KIs. This information has been critical both to the development of effective second-generation drugs and to the design of combinatorial therapeutic regimens. Finally, the update addresses the major challenges facing clinicians who seek to develop more effective therapy for patients with thyroid cancer. Results: PubMed was searched from January 2000 to November 2013 using the following terms: thyroid cancer, treatment of thyroid cancer, clinical trials in thyroid cancer, small molecule therapeutics, kinase inhibitors, and next generation sequencing. Conclusions: A new era in cancer therapy has emerged based on the introduction of KIs for the treatment of patients with liquid and solid organ malignancies. Patients with thyroid cancer have benefited from this advance and will continue to do so with the development of drugs having greater specificity and with the implementation of clinical trials of combined therapeutics to overcome drug resistance. © 2014 by the Endocrine Society.

Brunetti-Pierri N.,Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine | Brunetti-Pierri N.,University of Naples Federico II | Ng P.,Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine | Ng P.,Baylor College of Medicine
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

Helper-dependent adenoviral (HDAd) vectors devoid of all viral-coding sequences are promising non-integrating vectors for liver-directed gene therapy because they have a large cloning capacity, can efficiently transduce a wide variety of cell types from various species independent of the cell cycle and can result in long-term transgene expression without chronic toxicity. The main obstacle preventing clinical applications of HDAd for liver-directed gene therapy is the host innate inflammatory response against the vector capsid proteins that occurs shortly after intravascular vector administration resulting in acute toxicity, the severity of which is dependent on vector dose. Intense efforts have been focused on elucidating the factors involved in this acute response and various strategies have been investigated to improve the therapeutic index of HDAd vectors. These strategies have yielded encouraging results with the potential for clinical translation. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Scalzo V.,University of Naples Federico II
Fuzzy Sets and Systems | Year: 2015

We give new sufficient conditions for the existence of fuzzy maximal elements, fuzzy fixed points and equilibria of generalized fuzzy games. In our results, a key role is played by the existence of upper semicontinuous selection maps of set-valued functions, that we obtain for the class of generalized transfer open lower sections maps. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

De Stefano D.,University of Naples Federico II
Discovery medicine | Year: 2011

In the last two decades, frontiers in new drug development are represented by genetic code inhibitors. Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) is a transcription factor playing critical roles in many inflammatory/immune diseases. Decoy oligonucleotides (decoy ONs) epitomize an ideal pharmacological tool to selectively block NF-κB activation. Their use is currently being investigated in several chronic inflammatory-based diseases. However, decoy ONs' clinical use is strongly hampered by several issues. Chemical modifications and/or delivery systems have been investigated to overcome some of these limits. This review describes the successful preclinical and clinical applications of decoy ON against NF-κB in inflammatory-based diseases.

Calabro S.,University of Naples Federico II
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

Urolithiasis is a common clinical problem in dogs. Struvite and calcium oxalate are the predominant mineral types in dog urolithiasis. The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of two commercial dry foods formulated for the management of struvite urolithiasis with different anion-cation balance on urinary pH. For the trial, twelve privately owned adult dogs showing struvite urolithiasis were studied. The dogs were randomly divided into two groups (A and B) and fed two dissolving diets for 3 months. The analyses of urine were repeated six times. In both diets, the anion-cation balance was negative ( - 203 and - 192 for diets A and B, respectively). At the first urine analysis, pH values of all the dogs were close to 8.0, and bacteria were present in about 70 % of the samples and thus an antimicrobial was administered for 1 week. Both groups showed a progressive decrease in pH values, and after 2 months, in both cases, the recommended pH values for stone dissolution were achieved. From the sampling at 30 d, group A showed pH values significantly (P < 0.05) lower than group B, probably due to the lower anion-cation balance of diet A. The combination of antimicrobial and dietary therapy allowed the dissolution of struvite uroliths in both groups, even if the utilisation of the diet characterised by the lower anion-cation balance seems to decrease the urinary pH more rapidly. In this case, it seems necessary to interrupt the dietary treatment in order to avoid the risk of other diseases.

Jossa B.,University of Naples Federico II
Review of Radical Political Economics | Year: 2014

An analysis of Marx's alienation theory is the starting point for establishing if alienation would actually be cancelled in a system of self-managed firms. As Marx held that alienation comes at various degrees and is strongest in capitalistic systems with hired labor, the author argues that democratic firm management would doubtless reduce alienation in general, but not eliminate those forms that are specifically related to the division of labor, to scarcity, and the resulting need to work for one's daily bread. The author closes his paper with a criticism of Bigo's approach to alienation in centrally planned economic systems and an analysis of capitalism as an inversed world. © 2013 Union for Radical Political Economics.

Guaccio A.,University of Naples Federico II
Biotechnology progress | Year: 2010

Measuring oxygen concentration in three-dimensional cultures, without interfering with cellular activities, is a fundamental request of tissue engineering research. Among the other techniques, it has been demonstrated that phosphorescence quenching microscopy (PQM) represents a valid tool for the detection of oxygen concentration in 3D environments. Indeed, it is not invasive, with high spatial and temporal resolution, and, once calibrated, it is not affected by the presence of extracellular matrix components and other environmental factors. In this work, a description of the PQM experimental set up for oxygen measurements in solutions and 3D polymer-based cellular constructs is provided. Moreover, the advantage and the limits in the use of this technique are critically discussed to provide a technical note for future applications. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Cascetta E.,University of Naples Federico II | Coppola P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice | Year: 2016

Despite some substantial limitations in the simulation of low-frequency scheduled services, frequency-based (FB) assignment models are by far the most widely used in practice. They are less expensive to build and less demanding from the computational viewpoint with respect to schedule-based (SB) models, as they require neither explicit simulation of the timetable (on the supply side), nor segmentation of OD matrices by desired departure/arrival time (on the demand side).The objective of this paper is to assess to what extent the lack of modeling capabilities of FB models is acceptable, and, on the other hand, the cases in which such approximations are substantial and more detailed SB models are needed. This is a first attempt to shed light on the trade-off between (frequency-based) model inaccuracy and (scheduled-based) model development costs in the field of long-distance (e.g. High-speed Rail, HSR) service modeling.To this aim, we considered two modeling specifications estimated using mixed Revealed Preferences (RP) and Stated Preferences (SP) surveys and validated with respect to the same case study. Starting from an observed (baseline) scenario, we artificially altered the demand distributions (uniform vs. time-varying demand) and the supply configuration (i.e. train departure times), and analyzed the differences in modal split estimates and flows on individual trains, using the two different model specifications.It resulted that when the demand distribution is uniform within the period of analysis, such differences are significant only when departure times of trains are strongly unevenly spaced in time. In such cases, the difference in modal shares, using FB w.r.t. SB, is in the range of [0%, +5%] meaning that FB models tend to overestimate HSR modal shares. When the demand distribution is not uniform, the difference in modal shares, using FB w.r.t. SB, is in the range of [-10%, +10%] meaning that FB models can overestimate or underestimate HSR modal shares, depending on timetable settings with respect to travelers' desired departure times. The differences in on-board train flow estimates are more substantial in both cases of uniform and not uniform demand distribution. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Nawaz S.,Chalmers University of Technology | Arpaia R.,Chalmers University of Technology | Arpaia R.,University of Naples Federico II | Lombardi F.,Chalmers University of Technology | Bauch T.,Chalmers University of Technology
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We have investigated the zero-field critical supercurrent of YBa 2Cu3O7-δ bridges patterned from 50 nm thick films as a function of bridge width, ranging from 2 μm to 50 nm. The critical current density monotonically increases for decreasing bridge width even for widths smaller than the Pearl length. This behavior is accounted for by considering current crowding effects at the junction between the bridge and the wider electrodes. Comparison to numerical calculations of the current distributions in our bridge geometries of various widths yields a (local) critical current density at 4.2 K of 1.3×108 A/cm2, the Ginzburg Landau depairing current density. The observation of up to 160 Shapiro-like steps in the current voltage characteristics under microwave irradiation substantiates the pristine character of our nanobridges with cross sections as small as 50×50 nm2. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Turra D.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Lorito M.,University of Naples Federico II
Current Protein and Peptide Science | Year: 2011

Serine protease inhibitors (PIs) are a large and complex group of plant proteins. Members of the Potato type I (Pin1) and II (Pin2) proteinase inhibitor families are among the first and most extensively characterized plant PIs. Many insects and phytopathogenic microorganisms use intracellular and extracellular serine proteases playing important roles in pathogenesis. Plants, however, are able to fight these pathogens through the activation of an intricate defence system that leads to the accumulation of various PIs, including Pin1 and Pin2. Several transgenic plants over-expressing members of the Pin1 and Pin2 families have been obtained in the last twenty years and their enhanced defensive capabilities demonstrated against insects, fungi and bacteria. Furthermore, plants genetically engineered with Pin1 and Pin2 showed altered regulation of different physiological processes (e.g., dehydratation response, programmed cell death, growth, trichome density and branching), supporting an endogenous role in various plant species in addition to the well established defensive one. This review summarizes the current knowledge about Pin1 and Pin2 structure, the role of these proteins in plant defence and physiology, and their potential exploitation in biotechnology. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Meloro C.,University of Hull | Raia P.,University of Naples Federico II
Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2010

Teeth are usually considered the primer to understand mammalian evolution. Their morphology is the result of the complex interplay between adaptation to food processing and somewhat fixed developmental programs. We analyse the morphometry of the first lower molar (m1 = lower carnassial) in 199 carnivore species (64 extant and 135 extinct) in order to clarify the tempo and mode of evolution of two different and possibly related traits, tooth size and tooth angular height. We applied a set of comparative methods and produced disparity through time plots by using four alternative phylogenetic trees. Three of them include fossil species, and were used in order to estimate what an effect the inclusion of fossil species has on the patterns we found for extant species. Our analyses on living species show that m1 size exhibits a weak phylogenetic signal, and that its variance occurs more within than among clades. The opposite applies to m1 angular height, which evolved in an adaptive radiation-like fashion, showing very strong phylogenetic signal and great among-clade variation. These results are thoroughly confirmed after the inclusion of fossil data. Major differences in m1 shape in Carnivora were clearly established early in their evolutionary history, probably as a result of rapid morphospace occupation after the clade radiation. Successive variation in tooth size allowed species to avoid potential overlap in feeding morphologies as a mechanism to limit interspecific competitive interaction within subclades. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Muck W.,University of Naples Federico II | Muck W.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
European Physical Journal C | Year: 2013

We describe the electromagnetic field by the massless limit of a massive vector field in the presence of a Coulomb gauge fixing term. The gauge fixing term ensures that, in the massless limit, the longitudinal mode is removed from the spectrum and only the two transverse modes survive. The system, coupled to a classical conserved current, is quantized in the canonical formalism. The classical field configurations due to time-independent electric charges and currents are represented by coherent states of longitudinal and transverse photons, respectively. The occupation number in these states is finite. In particular, the number of longitudinal photons bound by an electric charge q is given by N=q 2/(16πh{stroke}). © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and Società Italiana di Fisica.

Troncone R.,University of Naples Federico II | Jabri B.,University of Chicago
Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2011

Coeliac disease (CD) is a systemic immune-mediated disorder elicited by gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. The common factor for all patients with CD is the presence of a variable combination of gluten-dependent clinical manifestations, specific autoantibodies (anti-tissue transglutaminase/anti-endomysium), HLA-DQ2 and/or DQ8 haplotypes and different degrees of enteropathy. Recently, gluten sensitivity has received much interest, although the limits and possible overlap between gluten sensitivity and CD remain poorly defined. At present, a number of morphological, functional and immunological disorders that are lacking one or more of the key CD criteria (enteropathy, associated HLA haplotypes and presence of anti-transglutaminase two antibodies) but respond to gluten exclusion are included under the umbrella of gluten sensitivity. The possible immunological mechanisms underlying these conditions are discussed. Emphasis is given to specific autoantibodies as markers of the coeliac spectrum and to the hypothesis that innate epithelial stress can exist independently from adaptive intestinal immunity in gluten sensitivity. © 2011 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

De Caro D.,University of Naples Federico II
IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility | Year: 2013

Recent all-digital spread-spectrum clock generators allow the synthesis of clock signals with a discontinuous frequency behavior. Following the electromagnetic interference (EMI) test guidelines, this paper investigates for the first time the peak-level reduction of the spectrum (modulation gain) achievable by using discontinuous frequency modulated signals in spread-spectrum clocking applications. In this paper, the spectrum of discontinuous frequency clock signals, measured by a spectrum analyzer in a peak-hold mode, is computed analytically in closed form. This expression is used to formulate the problem of finding the optimal discontinuous frequency modulated waveform as the solution of a nonlinear differential equation. A suboptimal modulation waveform, which can be computed in closed form, is also derived in this paper. To verify the effectiveness of developed approach, the spectrum of frequency-modulated clock signals with different modulation waveforms and different modulation parameters (frequency deviation, modulation frequency) has been calculated for two different spectrum analyzer resolution bandwidths (100 kHz, 1 MHz). The obtained results show that discontinuous frequency modulations can result in an improvement of 1.5-2 dB in comparison to continuous frequency clock signals. © 2013 IEEE.

Romano N.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2014

Soil moisture refers to the water present in the uppermost part of a field soil and is a state variable controlling a wide array of ecological, hydrological, geotechnical, and meteorological processes. The literature on soil moisture is very extensive and is developing so rapidly that it might be considered ambitious to seek to present the state of the art concerning research into this key variable. Even when covering investigations about only one aspect of the problem, there is a risk of some inevitable omission. A specific feature of the present essay, which may make this overview if not comprehensive at least of particular interest, is that the reader is guided through the various traditional and more up-to-date methods by the central thread of techniques developed to measure soil moisture interwoven with applications of modeling tools that exploit the observed datasets. This paper restricts its analysis to the evolution of soil moisture at the local (spatial) scale. Though a somewhat loosely defined term, it is linked here to a characteristic length of the soil volume investigated by the soil moisture sensing probe. After presenting the most common concepts and definitions about the amount of water stored in a certain volume of soil close to the land surface, this paper proceeds to review ground-based methods for monitoring soil moisture and evaluates modeling tools for the analysis of the gathered information in various applications. Concluding remarks address questions of monitoring and modeling of soil moisture at scales larger than the local scale with the related issue of data aggregation. An extensive, but not exhaustive, list of references is provided, enabling the reader to gain further insights into this subject. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Berti M.,University of Naples Federico II | Berti M.,International School for Advanced Studies | Biasco L.,Third University of Rome | Procesi M.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis | Year: 2014

We prove the existence of Cantor families of small amplitude, analytic, linearly stable quasi-periodic solutions of reversible derivative wave equations. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

De Angelis M.,University of Naples Federico II
Meccanica | Year: 2013

An integro-differential operator L which models several phenomena in viscoelasticity, biology and superconductivity is considered. The initialboundary problems with Neumann, Dirichlet and mixed boundary conditions are analyzed and results on existence, uniqueness and a priori estimates are achieved. As example of equivalence among L and various p.d.e. systems, the FitzHugh-Nagumo model is considered and results are applied both in the linear case and in the non linear one. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Novosolov M.,Tel Aviv University | Raia P.,University of Naples Federico II | Meiri S.,Tel Aviv University
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2013

Aim: Islands are thought to promote correlated ecological and life-history shifts in species, including increased population density, and an infrequent production of few, large, offspring. These patterns are collectively termed 'the island syndrome'. We present here the first, phylogenetically informed, global test of the 'island syndrome' hypothesis, using lizards as our model organisms. Location: World-wide. Methods: We assembled a database containing 641 lizard species, their phylogenetic relationships, geographic ranges and the following life-history traits: female mass, clutch size, brood frequency, hatchling body mass and population density. We tested for life-history differences between insular and mainland forms in light of the island syndrome, controlling for mass and latitude, and for phylogenetic non-independence. We also examined the effects of population density and, in insular endemics, of island area, on lizard reproductive traits. Results: We found that insular endemic lizards lay smaller clutches of larger hatchlings than closely related mainland lizards of similar size, as was expected by the island syndrome. In general, however, insular endemics lay more frequently than mainland ones. Species endemic to small islands lay as frequently as mainland species. Continental and insular lizards have similar productivity rates overall. Island area had little effect on lizard reproductive traits. No trait showed association with population density. Main conclusions: Island endemic lizards mainly follow the island syndrome. We hypothesize that large offspring are favoured on islands because of increased intra-specific aggression and cannibalism by adults. Stable populations on islands lacking predators may likewise lead to increased intra-specific competition, and hence select for larger hatchlings that will quickly grow to adult size. This view is supported by the fact that lizard populations are denser on islands - although population density per se was uncorrelated with any of the traits we examined. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Liguori V.,University of Naples Federico II
Energy Reports | Year: 2016

Designed to operate with natural gas, the MGT are devices technologically recent with a noticeable number of functional advantages. Energetically and environmentally respectful and with high performance, they produce low emissions mainly of nitrogen oxides of which the toxic devastating effects are a recent scientific medical discovery. Their main problems are in sensitivity to the variation in flux. Many theoretical and experimental investigations applied to improve their functions and characteristics as well as for understanding their flexibility also by operating with fuels different from the natural gas such as the several biofuels. For reasons related to the design economies, the preliminary numerical investigations such as that of the work in question on a model of combustor of a 100 kWe MGT are essential. To limit nitrogen oxides production, established lean premixed conditions. It is studied the behavior of a standard biogas M65 starting from the mouth of flame, through the laminar model up to the whole combustor but through the model k-ϵ, at different adducted flows. It is liked also to submit a hint related to the variation of thermal profiles or of concentrations in the combustor when the supplied natural gases have different composition, as well as at different flows and when adopted simplified kinetic paths of model to understand a sort of acceptable degree of simplification, for studies of first approximation. © 2016 The Author.

De Bellis V.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Energy | Year: 2016

Various solutions are being proposed to improve the performance of spark-ignition internal combustion engines. A very effective approach is the downsizing technique, which allows the reducing of the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) at part load, while maintaining the required performance at high load. On the other hand, the above technique may cause substantial BSFC detrainments at high load because of the onset of knocking combustions.In the present work, a turbocharged spark ignition engine equipped with a fully flexible valve system is numerically investigated by a 1D model (GT-Power™). Proper "user routines" are used to simulate the turbulent combustion process and the knock phenomenon. In a first stage, the engine model is validated against experimental data under both high and part load operations, in terms of overall performance and combustion evolution. The validated model is then integrated in a multipurpose commercial optimizer (modeFRONTIER™) with the aim to identify the engine calibrations that maximize the load and minimize the BSFC under high load knock-limited operations at a speed of 3000. rpm. The effects of different intake valve strategies are compared. The optimized operating parameters are the waste-gate valve opening and the air-to-fuel ratio, while the combustion phasing is automatically adjusted to avoid the knock onset. Proper constraints are assigned for the boost pressure, turbocharger speed, and turbine inlet temperature. The adopted optimization process shows the capability to reproduce the experimentally-identified calibration with satisfactory accuracy. In addition, the results underline the BSFC advantages related to an early intake valve closure strategy with respect to a Full Lift one, due to a better combustion phasing and a reduced mixture over-fuelling.The developed automatic procedure allows for a "virtual" engine calibration on a completely theoretical basis and proves to be very helpful in reducing the engine development costs and time-to-market. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Babilio E.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics | Year: 2014

In the present contribution, the nonlinear dynamics of beams under axial time-dependent excitation is studied. The beams, which rest on a linear viscoelastic foundation, are assumed as axially graded both in terms of geometrical and material properties. The transversal motion equation is derived under two main hypotheses, namely the beams satisfy the requirements of Euler-Bernoulli theory and undergo moderately large deflections (MLDs). © 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Dietary intervention with extensively hydrolyzed casein formula supplemented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (EHCF+LGG) accelerates tolerance acquisition in infants with cow’s milk allergy (CMA). We examined whether this effect is attributable, at least in part, to an influence on the gut microbiota. Fecal samples from healthy controls (n=20) and from CMA infants (n=19) before and after treatment with EHCF with (n=12) and without (n=7) supplementation with LGG were compared by 16S rRNA-based operational taxonomic unit clustering and oligotyping. Differential feature selection and generalized linear model fitting revealed that the CMA infants have a diverse gut microbial community structure dominated by Lachnospiraceae (20.5±9.7%) and Ruminococcaceae (16.2±9.1%). Blautia, Roseburia and Coprococcus were significantly enriched following treatment with EHCF and LGG, but only one genus, Oscillospira, was significantly different between infants that became tolerant and those that remained allergic. However, most tolerant infants showed a significant increase in fecal butyrate levels, and those taxa that were significantly enriched in these samples, Blautia and Roseburia, exhibited specific strain-level demarcations between tolerant and allergic infants. Our data suggest that EHCF+LGG promotes tolerance in infants with CMA, in part, by influencing the strain-level bacterial community structure of the infant gut. © 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology

Lirer S.,University of Naples Federico II
Engineering Geology | Year: 2012

A well instrumented field trial consisting of five piles was installed in an active mudslide in the Basento Valley, Southern Italy, and monitored for 3. years. The large amount of experimental data (slide movements, ground water levels, rainfall heights, pile displacements and strains) was processed to highlight the influence of the row of piles on the local and overall mudslide displacement field, as well as to quantify the shear forces and bending moments within the piles. The experimental evidences have been back analysed by a 3D numerical analysis (code FLAC3D) to gain a deeper insight on piles' structural behaviour and stabilizing effectiveness. In particular, the 3D analysis has given an indication on the length of mudslide on the uphill side of the piles whose displacements are clearly influenced by the piles. Furthermore, the predicted lateral loads on piles are in good agreement with those deduced by processing the experimental data, indicating the capability of 3D numerical analysis as a research tool to integrate the information obtained by field data. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Albanese S.,University of Naples Federico II | Cicchella D.,University of Sannio
Elements | Year: 2012

Modern cities are affected by multiple sources of contamination and pollution, the effects of which overlap in space and time. Toxic metal contamination, organic pollution, smog, acid rain, and greenhouse gas accumulation are the most widespread legacies of an often uncontrolled growth that has deeply changed the geochemical character of the urban environment over the last four millennia. Even though progress has changed human habits and positively infl uenced the quality of city life, the past is frequently a hidden source of environmental problems with the potential to affect the health of current and future urban residents.

Tavani S.,University of Naples Federico II
Solid Earth | Year: 2012

The Cantabrian domain represents the western portion of the Pyrenean orogen, in the area where the Iberian continental lithosphere was subducted toward the north underneath the transitional to oceanic lithosphere of the Bay of Biscay. There, the about 100 km of orogenic convergence have been mostly accommodated in the northern portion of the orogen (i.e. the retro wedge) developed in the Bay of Biscay abyssal plain, while only crustal-scale folding with limited internal deformation occurred in the Cantabrian southern wedge (pro-wedge). Integrated meso- and macrostructural analyses and a reappraisal of available information from the transitional area between the Pyrenean and Cantabrian domains are presented in this work, allowing to set geometric and kinematic constraints on the entire Meso-Cenozoic history of the northern portion of the Iberian Plate, including subduction initiation and evolution in the western portion of the Pyrenean orogen. The structural record of the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous deformation stage, which was associated with rifting and seafloor spreading in the Bay of Biscay, indicates a ridge perpendicular (NNE-SSW oriented) extension, with no evidence of relevant strike-slip components during rifting. A Cenozoic NNW-SSE oriented shortening stage followed, related to the limited (about 100 km) north-directed subduction of the Iberian continental lithosphere underneath the transitional to oceanic lithosphere of the Bay of Biscay. Subduction led to the formation of the poorly-developed Cantabrian pro-wedge, which is laterally juxtaposed to the well-developed Pyrenean pro-wedge to the east. During this convergence stage, the structural framework in the Cantabrian pro-wedge, and particularly along its transition with the Pyrenean wedge to the east, was severely complicated by the reactivation of Paleozoic and Mesozoic inherited structures. Data presented in this work fully support the development of the Cantabrian Mountains as related to indentation and consequent thickening of the Bay of Biscay transitional lower crust during north-directed subduction of Iberian continental lithosphere. In essence, the Cantabrian pro-wedge is a lithospheric south-verging fault-propagation anticline developing above the subduction plane. The structural record in the area indicates that a lithospheric fault-propagation folding stage was predated, during the very early stages of orogenic shortening, by the development of a lithospheric-scale open syncline overlying the nucleation point of lithosphere sinking. Such a syncline is today partially preserved and represents one of the few natural examples of subduction initiation. © Author(s) 2012. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II | Wartofsky L.,Washington Hospital Center
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Context: Levothyroxine therapy is the traditional lifelong replacement therapy for hypothyroid patients. Over the last several years, new evidence has led clinicians to evaluate the option of combined T3 and T 4 treatment to improve the quality of life, cognition, and peripheral parameters of thyroid hormone action in hypothyroidism. The aim of this review is to assess the physiological basis and the results of current studies on this topic. Evidence Acquisition: We searched Medline for reports published with the following search terms: hypothyroidism, levothyroxine, triiodothyronine, thyroid, guidelines, treatment, deiodinases, clinical symptoms, quality of life, cognition, mood, depression, body weight, heart rate, cholesterol, bone markers, SHBG, and patient preference for combined therapy. The search was restricted to reports published in English since 1970, but some reports published before 1970 were also incorporated. We supplemented the search with records from personal files and references of relevant articles and textbooks. Parameters analyzed included the rationale for combination treatment, the type of patients to beselected, the optimal T4/T3 ratio, and the potential benefits of this therapy on symptoms of hypothyroidism, quality of life, mood, cognition, and peripheral parameters of thyroid hormone action. Evidence Synthesis: The outcome of our analysis suggests that it may be time to consider a personalized regimen of thyroid hormone replacement therapy in hypothyroid patients. Conclusions: Further prospective randomized controlled studies are needed to clarify this important issue. Innovative formulations of the thyroid hormones will be required to mimic a more perfect thyroid hormone replacement therapy than is currently available. Copyright © 2012 by The Endocrine Society.

Colella P.,Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine | Auricchio A.,Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine | Auricchio A.,University of Naples Federico II
Human Gene Therapy | Year: 2012

Inherited retinopathies (IRs) are common and untreatable blinding conditions inherited mostly as monogenic due to mutations in genes expressed in retinal photoreceptors (PRs) and in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Over the last two decades, the retina has emerged as one of the most favorable target tissues for gene therapy given its small size and its enclosed and immune-privileged environment. Different types of viral vectors have been developed, especially those based on the adeno-associated virus (AAV), which efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to PRs or RPE upon subretinal injections. Dozens of successful proofs of concept of the efficacy of gene therapy for recessive and dominant IRs have been generated in small and large models that have paved the way to the first clinical trials using AAV in patients with Leber congenital amaurosis, a severe form of childhood blindness. The results from these initial trials suggest that retinal gene therapy with AAV is safe in humans, that vision can be improved in patients that have suffered from severe impairment of visual function, in some cases for decades, and that readministration of AAV to the subretinal space is feasible, effective, and safe. However, none of the trials could match the levels of efficacy of gene therapy observed in a dog model of the disease, suggesting that there is room for improvement. In conclusion, these results bode well for further testing of AAV-mediated retinal gene therapy in patients with other monogenic and complex forms of blindness. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Meola C.,University of Naples Federico II
The Scientific World Journal | Year: 2013

Infrared thermography is becoming ever more popular in civil engineering/architecture mainly due to its noncontact character which includes two great advantages. On one side, it prevents the object, under inspection, from any alteration and this is worthwhile especially in the presence of precious works of art. On the other side, the personnel operate in a remote manner far away from any hazard and this complies well with safety at work regulations. What is more, it offers the possibility to quickly inspect large surfaces such as the entire facade of a building. This paper would be an overview of the use of infrared thermography in the architectural and civil engineering field. First, some basic testing procedures are described, and then some key examples are presented owing to both laboratory tests and applications in situ spanning from civil habitations to works of art and archaeological sites. © 2013 Carosena Meola.

Di Benedetto A.,University of Naples Federico II
Chemical Engineering Science | Year: 2013

A thermal/thermodynamic theory for the calculation of flammable fuel concentrations is derived here. It is based on the coupling between the heat balance equation across the flame, taking into account heat losses toward the environment, and the equilibrium composition equations.From this theory, the flammable region for several hydrocarbons (paraffins, olfeins, aromatics) have been computed at varying fuel concentrations and heat losses.A new concept of flammability limits is also given as the upper and lower fuel concentrations capable to propagate a flame in the absence of heat losses: the adiabatic flammability limits.In this work, the use of these limits rather than the experimental classical limits is strongly suggested for designing measures of prevention and mitigation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Aubry A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | De Maio A.,University of Naples Federico II | Jiang B.,University of Minnesota | Zhang S.,University of Minnesota
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2013

In this paper, we propose a cognitive approach to design phase-only modulated waveforms sharing a desired range-Doppler response. The idea is to minimize the average value of the ambiguity function of the transmitted signal over some range-Doppler bins, which are identified exploiting a plurality of knowledge sources. From a technical point of view, this is tantamount to optimizing a real and homogeneous complex quartic order polynomial with a constant modulus constraint on each optimization variable. After proving some interesting properties of the considered problem, we devise a polynomial-time waveform optimization procedure based on the Maximum Block Improvement (MBI) method and the theory of conjugate-partial-symmetric/conjugate-super-symmetric fourth order tensors. At the analysis stage, we assess the performance of the proposed technique showing its capability to properly shape the range-Doppler response of the transmitted waveform. © 2013 IEEE.

Castellano I.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II | Merlino A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2012

γ-Glutamyltranspeptidases (γ-GTs) are ubiquitous enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of γ-glutamyl bonds in glutathione and glutamine and the transfer of the released γ-glutamyl group to amino acids or short peptides. These enzymes are involved in glutathione metabolism and play critical roles in antioxidant defense, detoxification, and inflammation processes. Moreover, γ-GTs have been recently found to be involved in many physiological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and diabetes. In this review, the main biochemical and structural properties of γ-GTs isolated from different sources, as well as their conformational stability and mechanism of catalysis, are described and examined with the aim of contributing to the discussion on their structure-function relationships. Possible applications of γ-glutamyltranspeptidases in different fields of biotechnology and medicine are also discussed. © Springer Basel AG 2012.

Risitano A.M.,University of Naples Federico II
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2011

Immunosuppression is a key treatment strategy for aplastic anaemia (AA) and the related immune-mediated bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS). For the last 20 years the standard immunosuppressive regimen for AA patients has been anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) plus ciclosporin A (CyA), which results in response rates ranging between 50% and 70%, and even higher overall survival. However, primary and secondary failures after immunosuppressive therapy remain frequent, and to date all attempts aiming to overcome this problem have been unfruitful. This article reviews the state of the art of current immunosuppressive therapies for AA, focusing on open questions linked to standard immunosuppressive treatment, and on experimental immunosuppressive strategies which could lead to future improvement of current treatments. Specific immunosuppressive strategies employed for other BMFS, such as lineage-restricted marrow failures, myelodysplastic syndromes and large granular lymphocyte leukaemia-associated cytopenias, are also briefly discussed. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Bertotti G.,INRIM - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica | Serpico C.,University of Naples Federico II | Mayergoyz I.D.,University of Maryland University College
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

A single-domain nanomagnet is a basic example of a system where relaxation from high to low energy is probabilistic in nature even when thermal fluctuations are neglected. The reason is the presence of multiple stable states combined with extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. It is demonstrated that for this system the probability of relaxing from high energies to one of the stable magnetization orientations can be tuned to any desired value between 0 and 1 by applying a small transverse magnetic field of appropriate amplitude. In particular, exact analytical predictions are derived for the conditions under which the probability of reaching one of the stable states becomes exactly 0 or 1. Under these conditions, magnetization relaxation is totally insensitive to initial conditions, and the final state can be predicted with certainty, a feature that could be exploited to devise novel magnetization switching strategies or novel methods for the measurement of the magnetization damping constant. © 2013 American Physical Society.

We previously reported that the combination of two safe proteostasis regulators, cysteamine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), can be used to improve deficient expression of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in patients homozygous for the CFTR Phe508del mutation. Here we provide the proof-of-concept that this combination treatment restored CFTR function and reduced lung inflammation (P<0.001) in Phe508del/Phe508del or Phe508del/null-Cftr (but not in Cftr-null mice), provided that such mice were autophagy-competent. Primary nasal cells from patients bearing different class II CFTR mutations, either in homozygous or compound heterozygous form, responded to the treatment in vitro. We assessed individual responses to cysteamine plus EGCG in a single-centre, open-label phase-2 trial. The combination treatment decreased sweat chloride from baseline, increased both CFTR protein and function in nasal cells, restored autophagy in such cells, decreased CXCL8 and TNF-α in the sputum, and tended to improve respiratory function. These positive effects were particularly strong in patients carrying Phe508del CFTR mutations in homozygosity or heterozygosity. However, a fraction of patients bearing other CFTR mutations failed to respond to therapy. Importantly, the same patients whose primary nasal brushed cells did not respond to cysteamine plus EGCG in vitro also exhibited deficient therapeutic responses in vivo. Altogether, these results suggest that the combination treatment of cysteamine plus EGCG acts ‘on-target’ because it can only rescue CFTR function when autophagy is functional (in mice) and improves CFTR function when a rescuable protein is expressed (in mice and men). These results should spur the further clinical development of the combination treatment.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 1 April 2016; doi:10.1038/cdd.2016.22. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Colao A.,University of Naples Federico II
Pituitary | Year: 2012

In acromegaly, growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) excess results in a specific cardiomyopathy characterized by concentric cardiac hypertrophy primarily associated with diastolic dysfunction that can lead to impaired systolic function and eventually heart failure. This review of the literature evaluates the effect of therapeutic intervention on cardiac parameters. Clinical studies investigating the impact of treatments for acromegaly on cardiac function published between January 1980 and January 2009 were identified through electronic searches of Medline. Suppression of GH and IGF-1 following surgery or medical treatment with somatostatin analogue therapy is effective in decreasing left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, with subsequent improvement in cardiac function. First-line treatment with somatostatin analogues resulted in improved cardiac outcome compared with first-line surgery, possibly due to somatostatin analogues acting directly through somatostatin receptors on cardiac cells. Additional cardiac improvement has been reported when somatostatin analogue treatment was combined with surgery. In patients where complete biochemical control was not achieved, an improved cardiac performance following treatment with somatostatin analogues has been reported. Treatment with pegvisomant has been demonstrated to reduce LV hypertrophy and improve diastolic and systolic performance. In contrast, reports have suggested that treatment with the dopamine agonist cabergoline increased the incidence of valvular heart disease. Although surgery and somatostatin analogues are effective in improving cardiomyopathy, a greater beneficial effect is observed with somatostatin analogue treatment. Selected patients with acromegaly should consider first-line therapy or pre-treatment with somatostatin analogues prior to surgery to achieve biochemical control and improve cardiac dysfunction. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Vandenberghe L.H.,University of Pennsylvania | Auricchio A.,Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine | Auricchio A.,University of Naples Federico II
Gene Therapy | Year: 2012

Vectors derived from adeno-associated virus (AAV) are currently the most promising vehicles for therapeutic gene delivery to the retina. Recently, subretinal administration of AAV2 has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in patients with a rare form of inherited childhood blindness, suggesting that AAV-mediated retinal gene therapy may be successfully extended to other blinding conditions. This is further supported by the great versatility of AAV as a vector platform as there are a large number of AAV variants and many of these have unique transduction characteristics useful for targeting different cell types in the retina including glia, epithelium and many types of neurons. Naturally occurring, rationally designed or in vitro evolved AAV vectors are currently being utilized to transduce several different cell types in the retina and to treat a variety of animal models of retinal disease. The continuous and creative development of AAV vectors provides opportunities to overcome existing challenges in retinal gene therapy such as efficient transfer of genes exceeding AAV's cargo capacity, or the targeting of specific cells within the retina or transduction of photoreceptors following routinely used intravitreal injections. Such developments should ultimately advance the treatment of a wide range of blinding retinal conditions. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Santoro L.,University of Naples Federico II
Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache | Year: 2011

To describe a new FHM kindred, and to analyse the functional consequences of the disease-associated ATP1A2 p.G301R mutation in human cellular models grown at 37°C. Seven patients were clinically evaluated and gave informed consent for molecular analysis. Extra-pyramidal rigidity of the limbs was present in four subjects and in three of them tongue apraxia was also observed. ATP1A2 and CACNA1A were analysed by direct sequencing. Functional consequences of the mutation were investigated by cell viability assays, Western blots, and immunocytochemistry. Three-dimensional models of the human Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase α2 subunit were generated by homology modelling using SWISS-MODEL. Analysis of ATP1A2 showed a heterozygous mutation, c.901G>A predicting the replacement of arginine for glycine at residue 301 (p.G301R). Functional analysis suggested that the mutation completely abolished Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase function. The phenotypic spectrum of our FHM2 family includes some peculiar features. Functional data confirm that Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase haploinsufficiency caused by the ATP1A2 p.G301R mutation is responsible for FHM in the described family.

Procesi M.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical | Year: 2010

We discuss normal forms of the completely resonant nonlinear beam equation and nonlinear Schrödinger equation. We work in n > 1 spatial dimensions and study both periodic and Dirichlet boundary conditions on cubes. We discuss the applications to the problem of finding quasi-periodic solutions. In the case of periodic boundary and the dimension n = 2, we apply KAM theory and prove the existence and stability of quasi-periodic solutions. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Colao A.,University of Naples Federico II | Petersenn S.,Center for Endocrine Tumors | Petersenn S.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Newell-Price J.,University of Sheffield | And 7 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Cushing's disease is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Pasireotide, a potential therapy, has a unique, broad somatostatin-receptor-binding profile, with high binding affinity for somatostatin-receptor subtype 5. METHODS: In this double-blind, phase 3 study, we randomly assigned 162 adults with Cushing's disease and a urinary free cortisol level of at least 1.5 times the upper limit of the normal range to receive subcutaneous pasireotide at a dose of 600 μg (82 patients) or 900 μg (80 patients) twice daily. Patients with urinary free cortisol not exceeding 2 times the upper limit of the normal range and not exceeding the baseline level at month 3 continued to receive their randomly assigned dose; all others received an additional 300 μg twice daily. The primary end point was a urinary free cortisol level at or below the upper limit of the normal range at month 6 without an increased dose. Open-label treatment continued through month 12. RESULTS: Twelve of the 82 patients in the 600-μg group and 21 of the 80 patients in the 900-μg group met the primary end point. The median urinary free cortisol level decreased by approximately 50% by month 2 and remained stable in both groups. A normal urinary free cortisol level was achieved more frequently in patients with baseline levels not exceeding 5 times the upper limit of the normal range than in patients with higher baseline levels. Serum and salivary cortisol and plasma corticotropin levels decreased, and clinical signs and symptoms of Cushing's disease diminished. Pasireotide was associated with hyperglycemia-related adverse events in 118 of 162 patients; other adverse events were similar to those associated with other somatostatin analogues. Despite declines in cortisol levels, blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels increased soon after treatment initiation and then stabilized; treatment with a glucose-lowering medication was initiated in 74 of 162 patients. CONCLUSIONS: The significant decrease in cortisol levels in patients with Cushing's disease who received pasireotide supports its potential use as a targeted treatment for corticotropin-secreting pituitary adenomas. (Funded by Novartis Pharma; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00434148.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

OBJECTIVES:: Little is known about the impact of pulse pressure on left ventricular systolic function. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether high pulse pressure is associated with subclinical left ventricular systolic dysfunction. METHODS:: The study population included 143 participants (68 newly diagnosed, never-treated hypertensive, and 75 normotensive individuals) evaluated by echo-Doppler, including determination of global longitudinal strain (GLS) by speckle tracking. According to pulse pressure tertiles, participants were divided in two groups: the first group merging the first and second pulse pressure tertiles (n?=?93, pulse pressure <55?mmHg) and the second group including the highest pulse pressure tertile (HPPT; n?=?50, pulse pressure ≥55?mmHg). RESULTS:: The two groups were comparable for sex, BMI, and heart rate, whereas age was higher in individuals with the HPPT (P?

Formisano A.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2016

Masonry building aggregates are large parts of the Italian building heritage often designed without respecting seismic criteria. The current seismic Italian code does not foresee a clear calculation method to predict their static nonlinear behavior. For this reason, in this article a simple methodology to forecast the masonry aggregate seismic response has been set up. The implemented procedure has been calibrated on the results of two FEM structural analysis programs used to investigate three masonry building compounds. As a result, a design chart used to correctly predict the base shear of aggregate masonry units starting from code provisions has been set up. © 2016, Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.

Cioffi I.,University of Naples Federico II
Quintessence international (Berlin, Germany : 1985) | Year: 2012

Orthodontic thermoelastic archwires produce lighter and more biologic forces than superelastic archwires and could therefore offer the possibility of reducing initial orthodontic pain. Nevertheless, evidence concerning this issue is scarce. The aim of this study was to compare pain perception following first archwire placement in patients with thermal heat-activated (HANT) and superelastic (SE) nickel-titanium archwires. Thirty subjects (11 males, 19 females; range, 11 to 26 years of age) were recruited. Metal brackets were bonded in the maxillary or mandibular arch. Round 0.016-inch HANT or 0.016-inch SE archwires were randomly placed and tied with elastic ligatures. Each patient was invited to score tooth pain for 7 days at different time points (8:00, 12:00, 16:00, 20:00, and 24:00) using the visual analog scale (VAS). In both groups, pain was highest at day 2 and lowest at day 7. Patients with HANT archwires had significantly lower VAS scores (P < .005) at days 2, 3, and 4 than subjects with SE archwires. This was also the case after adjusting for analgesic consumption, sports practicing, overlapping pain of different origin, and the concomitance of stressful events. The frequency of analgesic consumption was higher in the SE than in HANT group at day 3 (P < .05). No differences in pain perception were found between time points, nor was any correlation found between dental crowding and pain. No difference in pain perception was found between the maxillary and mandibular dental arches. Initial orthodontic pain is reduced when using HANT orthodontic archwires.

Montemurro F.,Piedmont Oncology Foundation Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment | Di Cosimo S.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori | Arpino G.,University of Naples Federico II
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2013

Recent data show a significant benefit from combining an anti-HER-2 agent with endocrine therapy in HER2-positive and hormone receptor (HR)-positive metastatic breast cancer. However, as the clinical outcomes achieved by these combinations do not favourably match those with chemotherapy, clinicians still perceive HER2-positive breast cancer as an homogeneous group and consider chemotherapy with anti-HER2 agents as the preferred treatment option, regardless of the HR status. Indeed, in HR-positive HER2-positive tumours, chemotherapy with anti-HER2 agents is the backbone of treatment, while endocrine therapy is commonly used in sequence when HR and HER2 are co-expressed rather than as a real alternative. Emerging biological and clinical data challenge this paradigm, suggesting that HER2-positive tumours are rather heterogeneous that HRs co-expression may account for part of this heterogeneity and, finally, that chemotherapy may represent an overtreatment in selected cases. The present review aims to summarise the biological features of HER2-positive breast cancer according to HR status, the role of the bi-directional cross-talk between HER2 and HR pathways on resistance development to anti-HER2 and endocrine therapy, and finally, the novel therapeutic strategies, including but not limited to chemotherapy, targeting these two pathways. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology All rights reserved.

Cooper D.S.,Johns Hopkins University | Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Subclinical thyroid diseases - subclinical hyperthyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism - are common clinical entities that encompass mild degrees of thyroid dysfunction. The clinical significance of mild thyroid overactivity and underactivity is uncertain, which has led to controversy over the appropriateness of diagnostic testing and possible treatment. In this Seminar, we discuss the definition, epidemiology, differential diagnoses, risks of progression to overt thyroid disease, potential effects on various health outcomes, and management of subclinical hyperthyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism. Treatment recommendations are based on the degree to which thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations have deviated from normal and underlying comorbidities. Large-scale randomised trials are urgently needed to inform how to best care for individuals with subclinical thyroid disease. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Calise F.,University of Naples Federico II | Vanoli L.,Parthenope University of Naples
Energies | Year: 2012

This paper presents a design procedure and a simulation model of a novel concentrating PVT collector. The layout of the PVT system under investigation was derived from a prototype recently presented in literature and commercially available. The prototype consisted in a parabolic trough concentrator and a linear triangular receiver. In that prototype, the bottom surfaces of the receiver are equipped with mono-crystalline silicon cells whereas the top surface is covered by an absorbing surface. The aperture area of the parabola was covered by a glass in order to improve the thermal efficiency of the system. In the modified version of the collector considered in this paper, two changes are implemented: the cover glass was eliminated and the mono-crystalline silicon cells were replaced by triple-junction cells. In order to analyze PVT performance, a detailed mathematical model was implemented. This model is based on zero-dimensional energy balances. The simulation model calculates the temperatures of the main components of the system and the main energy flows Results showed that the performance of the system is excellent even when the fluid temperature is very high (>100 °C). Conversely, both electrical and thermal efficiencies dramatically decrease when the incident beam radiation decreases. © 2012 by the authors.

Rinaldi C.,University of Naples Federico II
The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques | Year: 2012

The primary aim of the present study was to determine the survival rates and identify predictors of disease duration in a cohort of Huntington's disease (HD) patients from Southern Italy. All medical records of HD patients followed between 1977 and 2008 at the Department of Neurological Sciences of Federico II University in Naples were retrospectively reviewed and 135 patients were enrolled in the analysis. At the time of data collection, 41 patients were deceased (19 males and 22 females) with a mean ± SD age at death of 56.6 ± 14.9 years (range 18-83). The median survival time was 20 years (95% CI: 18.3-21.7). Cox regression analysis showed that the number of CAG in the expanded allele (HR 1.09 for 1 point triplet increase, p=0.002) and age of onset (HR 1.05 for 1 point year increase, p=0.002) were independent and significant predictors of lower survival rates. We believe that these findings are important for a better understanding of the natural history of the disease and may be relevant in designing future therapeutic trials.

Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II
European Journal of Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Context: Heart failure (HF) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Europe and in the United States. The aim of this review article was to assess the results of the prospective studies that evaluated the risk of HF in patients with overt and subclinical thyroid disease and discuss the mechanism of this dysfunction. Evidence Acquisition: Reports published with the following search terms were searched:, thyroid, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, subclinical hyperthyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, levothyroxine, triiodothyronine, antithyroid drugs, radioiodine, deiodinases, clinical symptoms, heart rate, HF, systolic function, diastolic function, systemic vascular resistance, endothelial function, amiodarone and atrial fibrillation. The investigation was restricted to reports published in English. Evidence Synthesis: The outcome of this analysis suggests that patients with untreated overt thyroid dysfunction are at increased risk of HF. Moreover, persistent subclinical thyroid dysfunction is associated with the development of HF in patients with serum TSH <0.1 or >10 mU/l. Conclusions: The timely recognition and effective treatment of cardiac symptoms in patients with thyroid dysfunction is mandatory because the prognosis of HF may be improved with the appropriate treatment of thyroid dysfunction. © 2012 European Society of Endocrinology.

Stabile A.,University of Sannio | Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | Capozziello S.,Compl University Of Monte gelo
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We investigate the possibility of explaining theoretically the galaxy rotation curves by a gravitational potential in total absence of dark matter. To this aim an analytic fourth-order theory of gravity, nonminimally coupled with a massive scalar field, is considered. Specifically, the interaction term is given by an analytic function f(R,φ), where R is the Ricci scalar and φ is the scalar field. The gravitational potential is generated by a pointlike source and compared with the so-called Sanders's potential that can be exactly reproduced in this case. This result means that the problem of dark matter in spiral galaxies could be fully addressed by revising general relativity at galactic scales and requiring further gravitational degrees of freedom instead of new material components that have not been found up to now. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Scotti N.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Rigano M.M.,University of Naples Federico II | Cardi T.,Italian Agricultural Research Council
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2012

In the past decades, the progress made in plant biotechnology has made possible the use of plants as a novel production platform for a wide range of molecules. In this context, the transformation of the plastid genome has given a huge boost to prove that plants are a promising system to produce recombinant proteins. In this review, we provide a background on plastid genetics and on the principles of this technology in higher plants. Further, we discuss the most recent biotechnological applications of plastid transformation for the production of enzymes, therapeutic proteins, antibiotics, and proteins with immunological properties. We also discuss the potential of plastid biotechnology and the novel tools developed to overcome some limitations of chloroplast transformation. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Loreto S.,Ericsson AB | Romano S.P.,University of Naples Federico II
IEEE Internet Computing | Year: 2012

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is an upcoming standard that aims to enable real-time communication among Web browsers in a peer-to-peer fashion. The IETF RTCWeb and W3C WebRTC working groups are jointly defining both the APIs and the underlying communication protocols for setting up and managing a reliable communication channel between any pair of next-generation Web browsers. © 2012 IEEE.

Guida M.,University of Salerno | Penta F.,University of Naples Federico II
Structural Safety | Year: 2010

The aim of the present paper is to bring arguments in favour of Bayesian inference in the context of fatigue testing. In fact, life tests play a central role in the design of mechanical systems, as their structural reliability depends in part on the fatigue strength of material, which need to be determined by experiments. The classical statistical analysis, however, can lead to results of limited practical usefulness when the number of specimens on test is small. Instead, despite the little attention paid to it in this context, Bayes approach can potentially give more accurate estimates by combining test data with technological knowledge available from theoretical studies and/or previous experimental results, thus contributing to save time and money. Hence, for the case of steel alloys, a discussion about the usually available technological knowledge is presented and methods to properly formalize it in the form of prior credibility density functions are proposed. Further, the performances of the proposed Bayesian procedures are analysed on the basis of simulation studies, showing that they can largely outperform the conventional ones at the expense of a moderate increase of the computational effort. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Izzo A.A.,University of Naples Federico II | Sharkey K.A.,Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2010

Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain. The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and their biosynthetic and degradative enzymes. Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions. It is involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastroprotection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut. Cellular targets have been defined that include the enteric nervous system, epithelial and immune cells. Molecular targets of the endocannabinoid system include, in addition to the cannabinoid receptors, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha receptors and the orphan G-protein coupled receptors, GPR55 and GPR119. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential. Here, we discuss cannabinoid receptors and their localization in the gut, the proteins involved in endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation and the presence of endocannabinoids in the gut in health and disease. We focus on the pharmacological actions of cannabinoids in relation to GI disorders, highlighting recent data on genetic mutations in the endocannabinoid system in GI disease. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Cosentino C.,London Research Institute | Grieco D.,University of Naples Federico II | Costanzo V.,London Research Institute
EMBO Journal | Year: 2011

Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a human disease caused by ATM deficiency characterized among other symptoms by radiosensitivity, cancer, sterility, immunodeficiency and neurological defects. ATM controls several aspects of cell cycle and promotes repair of double strand breaks (DSBs). This probably accounts for most of A-T clinical manifestations. However, an impaired response to reactive oxygen species (ROS) might also contribute to A-T pathogenesis. Here, we show that ATM promotes an anti-oxidant response by regulating the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). ATM activation induces glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity, the limiting enzyme of the PPP responsible for the production of NADPH, an essential anti-oxidant cofactor. ATM promotes Hsp27 phosphorylation and binding to G6PD, stimulating its activity. We also show that ATM-dependent PPP stimulation increases nucleotide production and that G6PD-deficient cells are impaired for DSB repair. These data suggest that ATM protects cells from ROS accumulation by stimulating NADPH production and promoting the synthesis of nucleotides required for the repair of DSBs. © 2011 European Molecular Biology Organization | All Rights Reserved.

Petraccone L.,University of Naples Federico II
Topics in Current Chemistry | Year: 2013

Structural studies have shown that four G-tracts along a DNA strand are the minimal requirement for intramolecular G-quadruplex formation. Longer DNA sequences containing multiples of four G-tracts could, in principle, form higher-order structures based on multiple G-quadruplex blocks. This latter condition is abundantly verified for the telomeric single-stranded overhang (~200 nt) consisting of tens of TTAGGG repeats, thus opening new interesting questions about the structure of the "real" telomeric DNA. How many quadruplex units form in the human telomeric overhang? Which type of quadruplex topologies? Do they interact or not? What about their binding properties? Although many of these questions are still unanswered, recent experimental and computational studies have begun to address them. The existence and relevance of these higher-order quadruplex structures in the human genome is now an interesting and stimulating research topic in the quadruplex field. The recent results, the unsolved problems, and the future prospects for understanding higher-order telomeric quadruplex structures are the main topics of this review. Other studies on long telomeric RNA sequences and on other intramolecular (non telomeric) DNA higher order quadruplex structures are also presented. Graphical Abstract: © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Merola M.,University of Naples Federico II
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2016

Measurements are presented of the single top quark production in proton-proton collisions at the LHC at a centre-of-mass energy of 8 TeV, using data collected with the CMS experiment during 2012. The first analysis, in the t-channel single top production mode, considers decay channels where the W comes from the top decays into electron-neutrino or muon-neutrino. It makes use of a template fit exploiting the pseudorapidity distribution of the recoil jet and the reconstructed top quark mass, using background estimates determined from control samples in data. The measurement of top/antitop cross section ratio is also presented. The second analysis, measuring the associated production cross section of single top quark and W boson, considers final states in which the associated W boson, as well as the one originating from the top quark, decay leptonically. Multivariate methods are used to separate the signal from the topologically similar top pair production background. Multivariate techniques are also adopted in the search for s-channel single top quark production finally reported, in order to discriminate the very small signal from the huge background processes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Merola M.,University of Naples Federico II
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2016

A search for single top-quark production in the s channel in proton-proton collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of √s = 8 TeV by the CMS detector at the LHC is presented. Leptonic decay modes of the top quark with an electron or muon in the final state are considered. The signal is extracted by performing a maximum-likelihood fit to the distribution of a multivariate discriminant defined using Boosted Decision Trees to separate the expected signal contribution from the background processes. Data collected in 2012, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 19.3/fb, lead to an upper limit on the cross section times branching ratio of 11.5 pb at 95% confidence level. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

De Angelis F.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Mechanics and Materials | Year: 2012

In the present work the evolutive laws and the constitutive relations for a model of nonlocal viscoplasticity are analyzed. Nonlocal dissipative variables and suitable regularization operators are adopted. The proposed model is developed within the framework of the generalized standard material model. Suitable forms of the elastic and dissipative viscoplastic potentials are defined and the associated constitutive relations are specialized. The evolutive laws for the proposed nonlocal viscoplastic model are presented in a general form which can be suitably specialized in order to include different models of nonlocal viscoplasticity. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications.

De Angelis F.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Mechanics and Materials | Year: 2012

The equilibrium configurations of compressed elastic beams in an elastic medium are investigated. The analysis is performed on discrete models by means of a geometric non linear treatment. The effect of the elastic stiffness of the medium on the overall stability of the structural system is taken into account through a parameter which represents the ratio between the elastic medium stiffness and the beam stiffness. This parameter shows to have a great influence on the buckling and post-buckling behaviour of the structure. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications.

Enzyme replacement therapy is currently the only approved treatment for Pompe disease, due to acid α-glucosidase deficiency. Clinical efficacy of this approach is variable, and more effective therapies are needed. We showed in preclinical studies that chaperones stabilize the recombinant enzyme used for enzyme replacement therapy. Here, we evaluated the effects of a combination of enzyme therapy and a chaperone on α-glucosidase activity in Pompe disease patients. α-Glucosidase activity was analyzed by tandem-mass spectrometry in dried blood spots from patients treated with enzyme replacement therapy, either alone or in combination with the chaperone N-butyldeoxynojirimycin given at the time of the enzyme infusion. Thirteen patients with different presentations (3 infantile-onset, 10 late-onset) were enrolled. In 11 patients, the combination treatment resulted in α-glucosidase activities greater than 1.85-fold the activities with enzyme replacement therapy alone. In the whole patient population, α-glucosidase activity was significantly increased at 12 hours (2.19-fold, P = 0.002), 24 hours (6.07-fold, P = 0.001), and 36 hours (3.95-fold, P = 0.003). The areas under the curve were also significantly increased (6.78-fold, P = 0.002). These results suggest improved stability of recombinant α-glucosidase in blood in the presence of the chaperone.Molecular Therapy (2014); doi:10.1038/mt.2014.138.

Franceschetti G.,University of Naples Federico II
2012 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Workshop Series on Innovative Wireless Power Transmission: Technologies, Systems, and Applications, IMWS-IWPT 2012 - Proceedings | Year: 2012

In this communication a brief history of the Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) is presented, from its early attempts to most recent accomplishments. As a conclusion, the role of the scientific community in this novel research area, and the right approach to its successful development, are highlighted. © 2012 IEEE.

Lo Storto C.,University of Naples Federico II
Advanced Materials Research | Year: 2014

This paper investigates the levels of technical efficiency in the distribution segment of the natural gas industry in Italy. An empirical analysis is conducted on a sample of 32 gas distributors, while Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is performed to calculate efficiency scores. Technical and scale efficiency, and density measurements are also used. Results show that the sample average technical efficiency is about at 75.58%, with a standard deviation of 31.24%. Scale economies are also relevant in the industry as scale efficiency is only 49.28%, with the bulk of companies showing decreasing returns to scale. Furthermore, from graphical analysis apparently no association between technical, scale efficiency and density measurements emerges, indicating that there is no one optimal way to improve efficiency of gas distributing companies. © (2014) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

Martinelli M.,University of Naples Federico II
Gastroenterology clinics of North America | Year: 2011

Gastrointestinal (GI) motility problems represent an important cause of morbidity and sometimes mortality in patients affected by developmental disorders. This article describes motility disorders in Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, familial dysautonomia, and Williams syndrome. These problems do not often receive appropriate attention, either because priority is given to other medical aspects of the disorder, or because of the inability of affected children to communicate their symptoms. A better approach to the diagnosis and treatment of GI disorders is required to improve quality of life and minimize morbidity and mortality among patients with developmental disorders.

Krifka S.,University of Regensburg | Spagnuolo G.,University of Naples Federico II | Schmalz G.,University of Regensburg | Schweikl H.,University of Regensburg
Biomaterials | Year: 2013

Dental composite resins are biomaterials commonly used to aesthetically restore the structure and function of teeth impaired by caries, erosion, or fracture. Residual monomers released from resin restorations as a result of incomplete polymerization processes interact with living oral tissues. Monomers like triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) or 2-hydroxylethyl methacrylate (HEMA) are cytotoxic via apoptosis, induce genotoxic effects, and delay the cell cycle. Monomers also influence the response of cells of the innate immune system, inhibit specific odontoblast cell functions, or delay the odontogenic differentiation and mineralization processes in pulp-derived cells including stem cells. These observations indicate that resin monomers act as environmental stressors which inevitably disturb regulatory cellular networks through interference with signal transduction pathways. We hypothesize that an understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying these phenomena will provide a better estimation of the consequences associated with dental therapy using composite materials, and lead to innovative therapeutic strategies and improved materials being used at tissue interfaces within the oral cavity. Current findings strongly suggest that monomers enhance the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which is most likely the cause of biological reactions activated by dental composites and resin monomers. The aim of the present review manuscript is to discuss adaptive cell responses to oxidative stress caused by monomers. The particular significance of a tightly controlled network of non-enzymatic as well as enzymatic antioxidants for the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis and antioxidant defense in monomer-exposed cells will be addressed. The expression of ROS-metabolizing antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase (SOD1), glutathione peroxidase (GPx1/2), and catalase in cells exposed to monomers will be discussed with particular emphasis on the role of glutathione (GSH), which is the major non-enzymatic antioxidant. The causal relationship between vital cell functions like the regulation of cell survival or cell death in monomer-treated cell cultures and the availability of GSH will be highlighted. We will also consider the influence of monomer-induced oxidative stress on central signal transduction pathways including mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) ERK1/2, p38, and JNK as well as the stress-activated transcription factors downstream Elk-1, ATF-2, ATF-3, and cJun. Finally, we address signaling pathways originating from monomer-induced DNA damage including the activation of ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated), Chk2, p53, p21, and H2AX. The understanding of the mechanisms underlying adaptive cell responses will stimulate a constructive debate on the development of smart dental restorative materials which come into contact with oral tissues and effective strategies in dental therapy. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

D'Urso M.G.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio | Marmo F.,University of Naples Federico II
Computers and Geosciences | Year: 2013

We present explicit expressions for computing the displacements induced in a homogeneous, linearly elastic half-space by uniform vertical pressure applied over an arbitrary polygonal region of the horizontal surface. By suitably applying Gauss theorem and recent results of potential theory we derive formulas which allow one to evaluate the displacements at an arbitrary point of the half-space solely as a function of the position vectors of the boundary of the loaded region assumed to be polygonal. Representative numerical examples referred to geodetically observed elastic displacements of the Earth surface due to water loads show the effectiveness and the flexibility of the proposed approach. Actually, it allows for a more realistic evaluation of displacements distribution and to achieve a considerable simplification in data handling since it is now possible to avoid tiling of complex regions by the simple load shapes, such as circles or rectangles, for which analytical solutions are currently available in the literature. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Manfredi S.,University of Naples Federico II
Ad Hoc Networks | Year: 2013

The recent development of wireless network architecture and distributed control algorithm allows the onset of large scale robotic application such as monitoring, formation control and flocking, coordination, exploration of unknown environments, and surveillance. In such applications there are many autonomous robots which have capabilities of sensing and acting on the environment and that can communicate with the other robot by wireless communication network defining a Wireless Networked Robotic Systems (in the follows briefly WNR). Usually a robot implements a cooperative algorithm to get some common WNR objective. A widely studied cooperative algorithm allows every robot automatically converge to a common position (consensus or rendezvous) using only local information received from its one hop neighboring robots. Therefore WNR brings together the cooperative control algorithm and the communication capabilities. Despite of a large body of research produced by robotics research community, it is a challenging problem to explore the analysis, the design and evaluation of cooperative algorithm in a more realistic scenario of wireless networked robotic application where the networking and protocol features might affect the overall closed loop WNR performance. In this direction the paper deals with the analysis and design of m-order cooperative control algorithm for fast rendezvous seeking over WNR. Specifically we give a sufficient stability condition of the control algorithm in the presence of heterogeneous time delays affecting the communication through the hops of the WNR. Moreover we analyze the effect of the packet collision phenomena and the presence of background disturbance traffic on the resulting WNR performance. The above sufficient stability condition and analysis, joining with the implementation issues can give a guideline about the design of the rendezvous control algorithm and wireless protocol parameters when we deal with a realistic network environment of WNR. Simulation experiments carried out by a realistic simulation confirm the theoretical findings. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Punzo V.,University of Naples Federico II | Borzacchiello M.T.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Ciuffo B.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies | Year: 2011

Trajectories drawn in a common reference system by all the vehicles on a road are the ultimate empirical data to investigate traffic dynamics. The vast amount of such data made freely available by the Next Generation SIMulation (NGSIM) program is therefore opening up new horizons in studying traffic flow theory. Yet the quality of trajectory data and its impact on the reliability of related studies was a vastly underestimated problem in the traffic literature even before the availability of NGSIM data. The absence of established methods to assess data accuracy and even of a common understanding of the problem makes it hard to speak of reproducibility of experiments and objective comparison of results, in particular in a research field where the complexity of human behaviour is an intrinsic challenge to the scientific method. Therefore this paper intends to design quantitative methods to inspect trajectory data. To this aim first the structure of the error on point measurements and its propagation on the space travelled are investigated. Analytical evidence of the bias propagated in the vehicle trajectory functions and a related consistency requirement are given. Literature on estimation/filtering techniques is then reviewed in light of this requirement and a number of error statistics suitable to inspect trajectory data are proposed. The designed methodology, involving jerk analysis, consistency analysis and spectral analysis, is then applied to the complete set of NGSIM databases. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Rossi C.,University of Naples Federico II
History of Mechanism and Machine Science | Year: 2016

Some examples indicating the surprising level of the technical and scientific knowledge of the Hellenistic scientists and engineers are presented. The latter concern the measuring of the time, the self-propelled carts, the throwing machines and the automatic devices. Some of them, in fact, already contain the concept of automation. A brief reference is also made to the steam cannon. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.

Palermo M.,University of Naples Federico II | Pellegrini N.,University of Parma | Fogliano V.,Wageningen University
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2014

Cooking induces many chemical and physical modifications in foods; among these the phytochemical content can change. Many authors have studied variations in vegetable nutrients after cooking, and great variability in the data has been reported. In this review more than 100 articles from indexed scientific journals were considered in order to assess the effect of cooking on different phytochemical classes. Changes in phytochemicals upon cooking may result from two opposite phenomena: (1) thermal degradation, which reduces their concentration, and (2) a matrix softening effect, which increases the extractability of phytochemicals, resulting in a higher concentration with respect to the raw material. The final effect of cooking on phytochemical concentration depends on the processing parameters, the structure of food matrix, and the chemical nature of the specific compound. Looking at the different cooking procedures it can be concluded that steaming will ensure better preservation/extraction yield of phenols and glucosinolates than do other cooking methods: steamed tissues are not in direct contact with the cooking material (water or oil) so leaching of soluble compounds into water is minimised and, at the same time, thermal degradation is limited. Carotenoids showed a different behaviour; a positive effect on extraction and the solubilisation of carotenes were reported after severe processing. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

Verde F.,University of Naples Federico II
5th International Symposium on Communications Control and Signal Processing, ISCCSP 2012 | Year: 2012

Cooperation diversity schemes employing distributed spacetime block coding (STBC) techniques have been proposed for wireless networks to increase system capacity and coverage even when each node is only equipped with a single antenna. Capitalizing on randomized STBC, a decentralized coding method that has been developed for decode-and-forward relaying, a cooperative communication protocol is proposed for amplify-and-forward relays, which has three distinguishing features that make it fully decentralized: (i) each relay operates in a completely autonomous fashion; (ii) coherent decoding is carried out at the destination without knowing the number of cooperating nodes and the relaying parameters; (iii) maximum likelihood decoding at the destination can be implemented on a symbol-by-symbol basis in the case of full-rate orthogonal STBC. Numerical results are provided to highlight the effectiveness of the proposed scheme in comparison with previously-proposed competitive alternatives. © 2012 IEEE.

Prisco U.,University of Naples Federico II
Science and Engineering of Composite Materials | Year: 2014

The thermal conductivity of wood flour (WF) filled high-density polyethylene composites (wood plastic composite, WPC) is investigated experimentally as a function of filler content and temperature. Samples are prepared by compression molding process of previously blended and extruded WPC pellets, up to 50% weight content of WF. The thermal conductivity is measured by the heat flow meter technique in a temperature range from -15°C to 80°C. Experimental results show that the WPC thermal conductivity decreases with temperature and WF content, with the last effect due to the increase in porosity with the filler content, as confirmed by density measurements. Using the thermal conductivity of bare WF, the thermal conductivity of the wood material in WPC is estimated. This value successfully predicts the upper and lower bounds of the WPC thermal conductivity by means of the parallel and series conduction model of a multiphase composite material.

Holzer P.,Medical University of Graz | Izzo A.A.,University of Naples Federico II
British Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2014

This themed issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology contains review and research articles on recent advances in transient receptor potential (TRP) channel pharmacology. The review articles, written by a panel of distinguished experts, address the rapid progress in TRP channel research in fields as diverse as oncology, urology, dermatology, migraine, inflammation and pain. These reviews are complemented by original research reports focusing, among others, on the emerging roles of TRPV1 in osteoporosis and cystitis and on evodiamine as a lead structure for the development of potent TRPV1 agonists/desensitizers. Other papers highlight the differences in TRPV3 pharmacology between recombinant and native systems, the mechanisms of TRPM3 activation/inhibition and TRPP2 as a target of naringenin, a dietary flavonoid with anticancer actions. New therapeutic opportunities in pain may arise from the strategy to combine TRP channel and cell membrane impermeant sodium channel blockers to inhibit sensory nerve activity. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on the pharmacology of TRP channels. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014.171.issue-10 © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

Bucci O.M.,University of Naples Federico II | Pinchera D.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation | Year: 2012

A generalized hybrid algorithm for the synthesis of uniform amplitude ring-arrays is introduced. The method exploits the analytical properties of the field radiated by a circular array in order to get advantages from the use of convex programming techniques. The method, aimed to the synthesis of circularly symmetric patterns, is very flexible and allows the use of different kind of feeds as well as stepped excitations. The synthesis procedure is demonstrated in the case of high-directivity pencil beam patterns. © 2006 IEEE.

Bolton-Maggs P.H.B.,University of Manchester | Langer J.C.,University of Toronto | Iolascon A.,University of Naples Federico II | King M.-J.,NHS Blood and Transplant
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2012

Guidelines on hereditary spherocytosis (HS) published in 2004 (Bolton-Maggs et al, 2004) are here replaced to reflect changes in current opinion on the surgical management, (particularly the indications for concomitant splenectomy with cholecystectomy in children with mild HS, and concomitant cholecystectomy with splenectomy in those with asymptomatic gallstones). Further potential long term hazards of splenectomy are now recognised. Advances have been made in our understanding of the biochemistry of the red cell membrane which underpins the choice of tests. Biochemical assays of membranes proteins and genetic analysis may be indicated (rarely) to diagnose atypical cases. The diagnostic value of the eosin-5-maleimide (EMA) binding test has been validated in a number of studies with understanding of its limitations. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Quaglietta E.,Technical University of Delft | Punzo V.,University of Naples Federico II
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies | Year: 2013

Recently the growing demand in railway transportation has raised the need for practitioners to improve the design of railway systems. This means to identify a configuration of the infrastructure components (e.g. number of rail tracks, type and layout of the signalling system, layout of station tracks) and the operational schedule (e.g. train headways, scheduled dwell times) that improves given measures of performance such as the level of capacity, the punctuality of the service and the energy saving.Planners and designers involved in this process have the hard task of determining sound design solutions in order to achieve certain levels of network performances in a cost-effective way, especially when investment funds are limited. To this aim, a sensitivity analysis can support early decisional phases in order to better understand dependencies between performances and design variables and drive the decisional process towards effective solutions.In this paper, the Sobol variance-based method is applied to this purpose. A practical application has been carried out for a mass transit line in the city of Naples. Such study has investigated how train delays and energy consumption are affected by variations in design variables relative to the operational plan, the signalling system and factors related to the layout of station platforms. Results highlight the ability of this analysis in explaining the effects of different design solutions from a statistical point of view and finding the most influential factors for a given performance. This aspect suggests to practitioners the usefulness of this approach in addressing decisions towards cost-effective interventions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Iervolino I.,University of Naples Federico II
Earthquake Spectra | Year: 2013

In countries with an advanced seismic technical culture, where best-practice hazard studies (which are therefore necessarily probabilistic) are available, the occurrence of a damaging event often triggers a debate, which is as understandable as it is delicate, aimed toward the verification and/or validation of the ground motion intensity estimates provided by the official hazard maps. Evaluations such as these are typically based either on the comparison of elastic response spectra derived from records of the event in question with uniform hazard (design) spectra, or on superimposing ground motion intensity measures on available hazard curves to retrieve the return period to which they correspond. This short note, using the recent 2012 Mw 6.0 Emilia (Italy) earthquake, discusses a few arguments, according to which this type of exercise should take into account the implications inherent in the probabilistic nature of hazard analyses, in order to avoid the risk of drawing conclusions that may be misleading or that may be likely to cause misconceptions about rationality of the current approach to seismic hazard. In countries with an advanced seismic technical culture, where best-practice hazard studies (which are therefore necessarily probabilistic) are available, the occurrence of a damaging event often triggers a debate, which is as understandable as it is delicate, aimed toward the verification and/or validation of the ground motion intensity estimates provided by the official hazard maps. Evaluations such as these are typically based either on the comparison of elastic response spectra derived from records of the event in question with uniform hazard (design) spectra, or on superimposing ground motion intensity measures on available hazard curves to retrieve the return period to which they correspond. This short note, using the recent 2012 Mw 6.0 Emilia (Italy) earthquake, discusses a few arguments, according to which this type of exercise should take into account the implications inherent in the probabilistic nature of hazard analyses, in order to avoid the risk of drawing conclusions that may be misleading or that may be likely to cause misconceptions about rationality of the current approach to seismic hazard. © 2013, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Ciamarra M.P.,University of Naples Federico II | Sollich P.,Kings College London
Soft Matter | Year: 2013

We demonstrate that particles interacting via core-softened potentials exhibit a series of successive density anomalies upon isothermal compression, leading to oscillations in the diffusivity and thermal expansion coefficient, with the latter reaching negative values. These finite-temperature density anomalies are then shown to correspond to zero-temperature high-order jamming crossovers. These occur when particles are forced to come into contact with neighbours in successive coordination shells upon increasing the density. The crossovers induce anomalous behavior of the bulk modulus, which oscillates with density. We rationalize the dependence of these crossovers on the softness of the interaction potential, and relate the jamming crossovers and the anomalous diffusivity via the properties of the vibrational spectrum. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

De Palma G.,University of Brescia | Manno M.,University of Naples Federico II
Toxicology Letters | Year: 2014

Current levels of occupational exposure to benzene, a genotoxic human carcinogen, in Western countries are reduced by two-three orders of magnitude (from ppm to ppb) as compared to the past. However, as benzene toxicity is strongly dependent on biotransformation and recent evidence underlines a higher efficiency of bio-activation pathways at lower levels of exposure, toxic effects at low doses could be higher than expected, particularly in susceptible individuals. Currently, biological monitoring can allow accurate exposure assessment, relying on sensitive and specific enough biomarkers of internal dose. The availability of similarly reliable biomarkers of early effect or susceptibility could greatly improve the risk assessment process to such an extent that risk could even be assessed at the individual level. As to susceptibility biomarkers, functional genetic polymorphisms of relevant biotransformation enzymes may modulate the risk of adverse effects (NQO1) and the levels of biomarkers of internal dose, in particular S-phenylmercapturic acid (GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTA1). Among biomarkers of early effect, genotoxicity indicators, although sensitive in some cases, are too aspecific for routine use in occupational health surveillance programmes. Currently only the periodical blood cell count seems suitable enough to be applied in the longitudinal monitoring of effects from benzene exposure. Novel biomarkers of early effect are expected from higher collaboration among toxicologists and clinicians, also using advanced "omics" techniques. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Lymperopoulos A.,Nova Southeastern University | Rengo G.,University of Naples Federico II | Koch W.J.,Temple University
Circulation Research | Year: 2013

Heart failure (HF), the leading cause of death in the western world, develops when a cardiac injury or insult impairs the ability of the heart to pump blood and maintain tissue perfusion. It is characterized by a complex interplay of several neurohormonal mechanisms that become activated in the syndrome to try and sustain cardiac output in the face of decompensating function. Perhaps the most prominent among these neurohormonal mechanisms is the adrenergic (or sympathetic) nervous system (ANS), whose activity and outflow are enormously elevated in HF. Acutely, and if the heart works properly, this activation of the ANS will promptly restore cardiac function. However, if the cardiac insult persists over time, chances are the ANS will not be able to maintain cardiac function, the heart will progress into a state of chronic decompensated HF, and the hyperactive ANS will continue to push the heart to work at a level much higher than the cardiac muscle can handle. From that point on, ANS hyperactivity becomes a major problem in HF, conferring significant toxicity to the failing heart and markedly increasing its morbidity and mortality. The present review discusses the role of the ANS in cardiac physiology and in HF pathophysiology, the mechanisms of regulation of ANS activity and how they go awry in chronic HF, methods of measuring ANS activity in HF, the molecular alterations in heart physiology that occur in HF, along with their pharmacological and therapeutic implications, and, finally, drugs and other therapeutic modalities used in HF treatment that target or affect the ANS and its effects on the failing heart. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.

Buonomo B.,University of Naples Federico II
Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering | Year: 2011

We consider an SEIR epidemic model with vertical transmission introduced by Li, Smith and Wang, [23], and apply optimal control theory to assess the effects of vaccination strategies on the model dynamics. The strategy is chosen to minimize the total number of infectious individuals and the cost associated with vaccination. We derive the optimality system and solve it numerically. The theoretical findings are then used to simulate a vaccination campaign for rubella in China.

Passariello A.,University of Naples Federico II | Agricole P.,Biocodex | Malfertheiner P.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg
Current Medical Research and Opinion | Year: 2014

Probiotics may be registered as food supplements or drugs. This article summarizes differences in European regulations of probiotics registered as food supplements and drugs, as well as issues related to the quality of probiotic products. For registration as a drug, the European Medicines Agency demands extensive and detailed quality, efficacy and safety evidence; whereas compulsory analyses requested for food supplements consist only in a nutritional analysis. As a result, the quality of those probiotics registered as drugs, compared to food supplements, is in general controlled with higher standards. Despite these differences and whatever the status of the probiotic product, its efficacy and safety has to be documented in well conducted randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Furthermore, this paper reviews recent evidence on the use of probiotics for gastrointestinal diseases, evaluating all the existing information up to January 2014. In all eligible published studies in which use of probiotics for gastrointestinal diseases were investigated and reported, no language limitations were applied. Special focus is placed on RCTs (or their meta-Analyses) showing positive results, so that the findings may be applicable to everyday clinical practice. Currently, the best documented clinical areas appear to be probiotics efficacy for the treatment of acute gastroenteritis in children and for the prevention of antibiotic-Associated diarrhea both in children and in adults. In other gastrointestinal conditions, some promising observations are emerging, but no definitive conclusions can be reached at present. © 2014 2014 Informa UK Ltd.

Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently not a component of the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome (MetS); however, the development of NAFLD has some common mechanisms with the development of MetS, as they share the pathophysiologic basis of insulin resistance. It is also recognized that NAFLD is the hepatic manifestation of MetS. To define MetS, the presence of at least three of the proposed criteria is required, and sometimes it is sufficient to have only one laboratory value, modified by diet or drugs, for the classification of MetS. Ultrasonographically-detected NAFLD (US-NAFLD) is more stable, only changing during the middle-to long-term. Although controversies over MetS continue, and considering that abdominal ultrasonography for diagnosing NAFLD has high specificity and guidelines to modify the natural course of NAFLD by diet composition or lifestyle have not yet been established, why should we not introduce US-NAFLD as a new criterion to define MetS? © 2013 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

De Caro D.,University of Naples Federico II
IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems | Year: 2013

The recently proposed nand-based digitally controlled delay-lines (DCDL) present a glitching problem which may limit their employ in many applications. This paper presents a glitch-free nand-based DCDL which overcame this limitation by opening the employ of nand-based DCDLs in a wide range of applications. The proposed nand-based DCDL maintains the same resolution and minimum delay of previously proposed nand-based DCDL. The theoretical demonstration of the glitch-free operation of proposed DCDL is also derived in the paper. Following this analysis, three driving circuits for the delay control-bits are also proposed. Proposed DCDLs have been designed in a 90-nm CMOS technology and compared, in this technology, to the state-of-the-art. Simulation results show that novel circuits result in the lowest resolution, with a little worsening of the minimum delay with respect to the previously proposed DCDL with the lowest delay. Simulations also confirm the correctness of developed glitching model and sizing strategy. As example application, proposed DCDL is used to realize an All-digital spread-spectrum clock generator (SSCG). The employ of proposed DCDL in this circuit allows to reduce the peak-to-peak absolute output jitter of more than the 40% with respect to a SSCG using three-state inverter based DCDLs. © 1993-2012 IEEE.

Demartino C.,University of Naples Federico II | Ricciardelli F.,University of Reggio Calabria
Journal of Fluids and Structures | Year: 2015

The prediction of galloping instability is usually based on a quasi-steady approach, in which instantaneous wind forces are derived from the aerodynamic force coefficients obtained in static wind tunnel tests. Several galloping models exist, that differ for the degrees of freedom and for the geometric and aerodynamic characteristics considered. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, it compares the background hypotheses of the different galloping models, and the results they produce. This is done though an application to ice-accreted bridge cables, the analysis of the stability of which is the second aim of the paper. Wind tunnel data obtained by the authors for bridge hangers and stay cables are used in the calculations. As to the comparison among the different models, not existing a benchmark, the research is not aimed at judging the quality of each of them, but rather at pointing out the differences they bring and at discussing their most appropriate application. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Wells J.C.K.,University College London | Siervo M.,University of Naples Federico II
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2011

The scientific study of obesity has been dominated throughout the twentieth century by the concept of energy balance. This conceptual approach, based on fundamental thermodynamic principles, states that energy cannot be destroyed, and can only be gained, lost or stored by an organism. Its application in obesity research has emphasised excessive appetite (gluttony), or insufficient physical activity (sloth), as the primary determinants of excess weight gain, reflected in current guidelines for obesity prevention and treatment. This model cannot explain why weight accumulates persistently rather than reaching a plateau, and underplays the effect of variability in dietary constituents on energy and intermediary metabolism. An alternative model emphasises the capacity of fructose and fructose-derived sweeteners (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup) to perturb cellular metabolism via modification of the adenosine monophosphate (AMP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio, activation of AMP kinase and compensatory mechanisms, which favour adipose tissue accretion and increased appetite while depressing physical activity. This conceptual model implicates chronic hyperinsulinaemia in the presence of a paradoxical state of cellular starvation as a key driver of the metabolic modifications inducing chronic weight gain. We combine evidence from in vitro and in vivo experiments to formulate a perspective on obesity aetiology that emphasises metabolic flexibility and dietary composition rather than energy balance. Using this model, we question the direction of causation of reported associations between obesity and sleep duration or childhood growth. Our perspective generates new hypotheses, which can be tested to improve our understanding of the current obesity epidemic, and to identify novel strategies for prevention or treatment. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Cuocolo A.,University of Naples Federico II | Breatnach E.,Materials Misericordiae University Hospital
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging | Year: 2010

Purpose: Multimodality imaging represents an area of rapid growth with important professional implication for both nuclear medicine physicians and radiologists throughout Europe. As a preliminary step for future action aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of PET/SPECT/CT multimodality imaging practice in Europe, the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and the European Society of Radiology (ESR) performed a survey among the individual membership of both societies to obtain information on the status of multimodality imaging in their facilities and their future visions on training for combined modalities. Methods: A questionnaire was forwarded to all individual members of the EANM and ESR. The main subject matter of the questionnaire related to: (1) study performance, current procedures, current equipment including its supervisory personnel at respondents' individual facilities and (2) vision of future practice, performance and the potential for combined interdisciplinary viewing and training for future professionals. Results: The reporting and the billing procedures of multimodality imaging studies are very heterogeneous in European countries. The majority of the members of both societies believe that the proportion of PET/CT conducted as a full diagnostic CT with contrast enhancement will increase over time. As expected, 18F-FDG is the most commonly used PET tracer for clinical applications. The large majority of respondents were in favour of an interdisciplinary training programme being developed on a European level together by the EANM and the ESR and the respective sections of the European Union of Medical Specialists. Conclusion: The results of this survey show that there is wide heterogeneity in the current practice of multimodality imaging in Europe. This situation may limit the full potential and integration of multimodality imaging within the clinical arena. There is a strong desire within both specialties for the development of interdisciplinary training to address some of these issues. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

Munoz-Garcia A.B.,Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment | Pavone M.,Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment | Pavone M.,University of Naples Federico II | Carter E.A.,Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2011

To face worldwide energy-related environmental concerns, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology emerges as a promising route for clean and efficient production of electricity. Within this context, great efforts have been devoted to the development of SOFC devices able to run at intermediate temperatures and to retain electrochemical performance as good as in the high temperature regime. To this end, materials that have characteristics of mixed ionic and electronic conductors (MIECs) have been proposed as electrodes for SOFC applications. Among many proposed systems, MIEC electrodes based on strontium iron molybdenum oxide (Sr2Fe2-xMoxO6-δ) have been proven to be extremely efficient for intermediate temperature SOFC. However, to advance SFMO-based electrodes further, a detailed understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved and of the corresponding electronic and structural features is needed. As a first step in this direction, we investigate via quantum mechanics the Sr2FeMoO6 (SFMO) material, with a particular emphasis on characterizing the formation of bulk oxygen vacancies, which is a key component of the oxide ion diffusion process in SOFC electrodes. To explore the feasibility of vacancy formation in different local environments, we studied ordered SFMO as well as SFMO with Fe Mo-MoFe antisite defects. The formation energy for oxygen vacancies along M-O-M′ bonds is predicted to follow the trend Fe-O-Fe < Fe-O-Mo < Mo-O-Mo. Therefore, oxygen diffusion should be enhanced for local higher concentrations of iron. Moreover, the reduced material may have enhanced electronic conductivity, as judged by its altered electronic structure. Our results and analysis of the reasons behind this trend highlight the importance of further experimental and theoretical investigations on Fe-rich SFMO-based materials. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Gentile S.,Mental Health Center Cava Of Tirreni Vietri Sul Mare | Gentile S.,University of Naples Federico II
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety | Year: 2014

Introduction: Several concerns have been raised regarding the reproductive safety of the antidepressants most frequently used in clinical practice, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Areas covered: This article aims to assess the risk/benefit ratio of the use of alternative pharmacological options, specifically tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) in pregnancy and puerperium. Expert opinion: Although TCAs have been prescribed for several decades, their own teratogenic potential to cause structural defects remains undetermined. However, some signals seem to exist suggesting that prenatal clomipramine exposure may increase the risk of cardiac defects. Moreover, TCAs have been associated with the risk of prenatal antidepressant exposure syndrome. Among TCAs, clomipramine seems to be associated with more severe and prolonged neonatal symptoms. However, some findings of this syndrome reported with SSRI use, such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, necrotizing enterocolitis and QT prolongation, have not been described after TCA exposure. Hence, current evidence suggests that, as a group, a preference of TCAs over SSRIs in early pregnancy is not justified. In contrast, there appears to be a small gain in safety if TCAs (with the exception of clomipramine) are used in late pregnancy. Among this class of antidepressants, nortriptyline seems to be safest medication for use during breastfeeding. © Informa UK, Ltd.

Lo Vecchio A.,University of Naples Federico II | Zacur G.M.,Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center
Current Opinion in Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Purpose of review: The incidence and severity of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) around the world has increased over the past 20 years due to the emergence of hypervirulent strains, increased use and misuse of antibiotics, and the increase of susceptible at-risk populations. Treatments currently available for CDI are inadequate to impede the increasing spread and virulence of the infection, avoid recurrence in chronic patients or prevent infection in at-risk populations. Recent findings: New and promising evidence has been presented during the past year, focusing on two major points: preservation of gut microflora and optimization of immune response to CDI and toxins. Summary: The review aims to summarize the most recent evidence available on the epidemiology, risk factors and treatment of CDI. New antibiotics with selected action on C. difficile and limited effect on microflora (fidaxomicin) and donor fecal transplantation seem to have a relevant efficacy in treating CDI and reducing its recurrence. The use of selected monoclonal antibodies directed against C. difficile toxins in addition to standard therapy is a new, promising approach for the treatment of recurrent cases. Vaccination could be an additional weapon against CDI. New robust data are needed before recommendations can be made to abandon current treatment based on vancomycin and metronidazole and move toward new frontiers. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health.

Boucenna S.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Morisi S.,University of Naples Federico II | Vicente A.,University of Valencia
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2016

Motivated by what is possibly the first sign of new physics seen at the LHC, the diphoton excess at 750 GeV in ATLAS and CMS, we present a model that provides naturally the necessary ingredients to explain the resonance. The simplest phenomenological explanation for the diphoton excess requires a new scalar state, X(750), as well as additional vectorlike (VL) fermions introduced in an ad-hoc way in order to enhance its decays into a pair of photons and/or increase its production cross section. We show that the necessary VL quarks and their couplings can emerge naturally from a complete framework based on the SU(3)L - U(1)X gauge symmetry. © 2016 American Physical Society.

Gentile S.,Mental Health Center | Gentile S.,University of Naples Federico II
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety | Year: 2014

Introduction: Assessment of the metabolic safety of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) is mandatory in pregnant women, where the occurrence of metabolic complications and, especially, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may severely impact on pregnancy and fetal outcomes.Areas covered: The aim of this article is to review published data reporting the occurrence of GDM during SGA treatment, and to establish whether or not this iatrogenic complication is a relevant concern in clinical practice. Medical literature information published in any language since 1996 was identified using MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and The Cochrane Library. All articles reporting metabolic complications in pregnancies exposed to single, specific SGAs were acquired, without methodological or language limitations.Expert opinion: Among studies assessing the metabolic safety of specific SGAs, we have 18 cases of GDM overall: 5 cases involve clozapine (CLO), 9 olanzapine (OLA)-The SGA agent that shows the highest number of reported cases of pregnancy exposure-And 2 each for quetiapine and risperidone. Four of these cases, 2 involving CLO and 2 OLA, were complicated by serious fetal and/or neonatal consequences. Such reports of SGA-Associated GDM, together with preliminary data coming from retrospective and prospective studies, may represent signals of a potential safety issue. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.

Sepe M.,University of Naples Federico II
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2014

One of the most recent modalities used for the local development of a territory consists in the construction of integrated systems for the management of cultural resources to be benefited through experiential paths. These paths are designed in order to identify existing heritage and, at the same time to support and/or stimulate the development of creative industries. The experiential knowledge of a place can be further improved and virtualized using smart technologies to be applied by the territorial system in all its complexity. In order to frame the issue of territorial experiential paths, the proposed study, carried out in the framework of the research “The historic urban landscape as a resource for local development: an innovative approach for smart strategies to value creation” – within the PRIN – Project of Relevant Italian National Interest, specifically related to the Unesco Recommendation (2011) on the Historical Urban Landscape, aims to illustrate their definitional aspects and its evolution, and how to sustainably organize the territory in order to accommodate those paths. The synthesis of the case study of Pompeii, in the course of development, devoted to identify the cultural and identity resources in order to both widen and differentiate those archaeological ones and create a smart sustainable experiential knowledge of the territory, concludes the contribution. © 2014 WIT Press.

De Palma G.D.,University of Naples Federico II
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Barrett's esophagus is a condition resulting ffrom chronic gastro-esophageal reflux disease with a documented risk off esophageal adenocarcinoma. Current strategies for improved survival in patients with Barrett's adenocarcinoma ffocus on detection off dysplasia. This can be obtained by screening programs in high-risk cohorts off patients and/or endoscopic biopsy surveillance of patients with known Barrett's esophagus (BE). Several therapies have been developed in attempts to reverse BE and reduce cancer risk. Aggressive medical management of acid reflux, lifestyle modifications, antireflux surgery, and endoscopic treatments have been recommended for many patients with BE. Whether these interventions are cost-effffective or reduce mortality ffrom esophageal cancer remains controversial. Current treatment requires combinations off endoscopic mucosal resection techniques to eliminate visible lesions followed by ablation of residual metaplastic tissue. Esophagectomy is currently indicated in multifocal high-grade neoplasia or mucosal Barrett's carcinoma which cannot be managed by endoscopic approach. © 2012 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Andolfo I.,University of Naples Federico II
Blood | Year: 2013

Autosomal dominant dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (DHSt) usually presents as a compensated hemolytic anemia with macrocytosis and abnormally shaped red blood cells (RBCs). DHSt is part of a pleiotropic syndrome that may also exhibit pseudohyperkalemia and perinatal edema. We identified PIEZO1 as the disease gene for pleiotropic DHSt in a large kindred by exome sequencing analysis within the previously mapped 16q23-q24 interval. In 26 affected individuals among 7 multigenerational DHSt families with the pleiotropic syndrome, 11 heterozygous PIEZO1 missense mutations cosegregated with disease. PIEZO1 is expressed in the plasma membranes of RBCs and its messenger RNA, and protein levels increase during in vitro erythroid differentiation of CD34(+) cells. PIEZO1 is also expressed in liver and bone marrow during human and mouse development. We suggest for the first time a correlation between a PIEZO1 mutation and perinatal edema. DHSt patient red cells with the R2456H mutation exhibit increased ion-channel activity. Functional studies of PIEZO1 mutant R2488Q expressed in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated changes in ion-channel activity consistent with the altered cation content of DHSt patient red cells. Our findings provide direct evidence that R2456H and R2488Q mutations in PIEZO1 alter mechanosensitive channel regulation, leading to increased cation transport in erythroid cells.

De Rosa M.A.,University of Basilicata | Lippiello M.,University of Naples Federico II
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2016

In the present paper free vibrations of embedded single-walled carbon nanotubes based on local Euler-Bernoulli beam theory are investigated. The surrounding elastic medium is described as the Winkler and Pasternak models, defined by the kw and kp coefficients. The Hamilton principle is applied to derive the governing equations and boundary conditions, which are solved by using the well-known Differential Quadrature Method (DQM). The influence of the elastic medium coefficients, nonlocal parameter and end supports on the free vibrations characteristics of the single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) is described. Numerical examples are performed to show the accuracy of the proposed method. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Cinque M.,University of Naples Federico II
Proceedings of the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks | Year: 2011

The increasing complexity of smart phones introduces new dependability threats. Often, novel applications and features are delivered with scarce testing, due to the impressive market pressure. Despite these concerns, there is still little understanding on the dependability behavior of today smart phones. This paper proposes the design of a logging platform for the Android OS. The logging platform enables the collection of failure data, useful to assess the dependability of smart phones at runtime. Preliminary experimental results on real-world Android devices show the feasibility of the approach and encourage further research activities. © 2011 IEEE.

De Matteis G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Brando G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Mazzolani F.M.,University of Naples Federico II
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2012

In this paper the heat treated aluminium alloy EN-AW 1050A H24, which is an almost pure aluminium, is proposed as base material for the manufacturing of innovative passive energy dissipation devices for seismic protection of framed buildings. The employment of such a material is a novelty in the field of civil engineering; for this reason the main mechanical properties need to be thoroughly analysed. To this purpose, firstly, a detailed description of the nominal features of the material under consideration is provided and the proposed heat treatment employed to improve the material ductility is presented; then, the main outcomes of an experimental campaign carried out in order to investigate the material behaviour under both monotonic and cyclic static-dynamic loads are shown. Finally, the influence of residual stresses on the material behaviour due to welding is evaluated. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Brigante M.,University of Naples Federico II
Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements | Year: 2013

A numerical reconstruction method is proposed, which is applied to image identification of defects detected in elastic solid samples, in the case when a circular Ultrasonic scanning provides a measurement of the scattering pattern over full interval of the incident polar angle. The problem is first formulated as a system of respective boundary integral equations whose solution is used to calculate the far-field scattering diagram. Then the inverse reconstruction problem is reduced to a minimization of a certain strongly nonlinear functional. The proposed numerical algorithm is tested on some examples of volumetric flaw. It is also evaluated the influence of the error in the input data on precision of the reconstruction. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Gentile M.,University of Naples Federico II | Straughan B.,Durham University
Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications | Year: 2013

Structural stability is studied in the problem of a fluid saturating a porous medium of Forchheimer type when the density of the fluid has a cubic temperature dependence. This problem allows the possibility of resonance between internal layers in thermal convection. In this paper we investigate continuous dependence on the heat source, this source being an important quantity in the resonance problem. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Dell'Acqua G.,University of Naples Federico II
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2011

This study investigates drivers' speed behavior on low-volume roads crossing small urban communities both without a gateway or traffic-calming device and with different forms of gateway and traffic calming along the urban environment. Speeds upon entering small urban areas in Italy were collected along several rural road sections. The site with the greater operating speeds was selected as the design site. Two gateways and integrated traffic-calming devices along the road were set up within the urban area. The gateways aimed to slow the vehicles entering the built-up area, and the traffic-calming devices aimed to complement the gateway effect. The proposed gateway design is a combination of low-cost and fast implementation measures. The traffic-calming treatments presented in the study could easily be implemented in other rural communities.

Marotti De Sciarra F.,University of Naples Federico II
Advances in Mechanical Engineering | Year: 2013

This paper presents a consistent derivation of a new nonlocal finite element procedure in the framework of continuum mechanics and nonlocal thermodynamics for the analysis of bending of nanobeams under transverse loads. This approach is able to provide the overall performance and the influence of specific parameters in the behavior of nanobeams and it is also able to deal with nanomechanical systems by solving a reduced number of algebraic equations. An example shows that the proposed nonlocal finite element procedure, using a mesh composed by only four elements of equal size, provides the exact values in terms of transversal displacement and bending of the nanobeam. © 2013 Francesco Marotti de Sciarra.

Chiodo E.,University of Naples Federico II
International Review of Electrical Engineering | Year: 2013

The probabilistic Burr XII model for the characterization and estimation of the windspeed distribution is analyzed in the paper, in view of wind power production evaluation. Most of the existing methods for such evaluation are based upon the popular Weibull distribution for wind speed statistics. However, recent studies have pointed out some inadequacies in the Weibull distribution. The analysis of many field data show indeed significant "heavy tails" in the probability distribution of wind speed for large values of speed. This constitutes a critical aspect when the Weibull model is adopted, not only for its consequences on wind speed estimation, but especially on wind power estimation. The Burr model is here justified on theoretical grounds, being based on a proper mixture of Weibull probability distributions. After illustrating such derivation, a suitable Bayes approach for the estimation of the Burr model is proposed. The method is based upon the Negative Log-Gamma distribution for the assessment of prior information in a novel way which should be easily feasible for the system engineer. The method appears indeed to be very practical, since it only requires some prior information on the probability distribution of the wind speed. The results of a large set of numerical simulation are reported to illustrate the simplicity and efficiency of the proposed method. © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l.-All rights reserved.

Santolo M.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Electrical Systems | Year: 2015

In the paper a new discrete-time integral variable structure control of grid-connected PV inverter is proposed in order to maximize the input power given by PV arrays and at the same time for using the grid-inverter as a reactive power compensator. In the last years different variable structure controls (VSC) have been proposed in literature. In spite these algorithms have been implemented on digital hardware, they have been developed by means of a timecontinuous formulation neglecting the effects of a microprocessor-based implementation. Such approach can cause an increasing amplitude chatter of the state trajectories which means instability. The proposed VSC is fully formulated in discrete-time, taking into account the effects introduced by a microprocessor-based implementation. Moreover it introduces respect to the classical formalization of the VSC an integral action that improve the performance of the controlled system. After a detailed formalization of the proposed control algorithm, several numerical and experimental results on a three-phase grid-connected inverter prototype are shown, proving the effectiveness of the control strategy. Thanks to the proposed control law the controlled system exhibits fast dynamic response, strong robustness for modelling error and good current harmonic rejection. © JES 2015.

Migliore G.,University of Palermo | Schifani G.,University of Palermo | Cembalo L.,University of Naples Federico II
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2015

In recent years new forms of food distribution organisation, known as short supply chains, have gained ground. The local nature of such distribution has positive effects on the environment and on the local economy. Consumers appear to trust the short supply chain, and it has achieved considerable success. However, the short supply chain has credence characteristics which, by their very nature, cannot be identified through a system of certification. The question we address in this paper is whether it is possible to identify the constituent elements of the credence trait in relation to food quality in the short supply chain. Our hypothesis is that the latter are linked to a range of socially constructed food quality criteria. To develop a more inclusive vision of how such criteria are coordinated in food quality assessment by consumers, use has been made of convention theory. In accordance with convention theory, quality is identified, in a social context and informally, as one of the spheres in which economic activity is regulated by procedures which go beyond regulation by price. The aim of our study was to measure the effects of coordinated conventions of quality in the context of one type of short supply chain: farmers' markets specialised in the sale of organic products. An ordered logit model was implemented. Our results allow credence characteristics to be classified within conventions of quality and could help support strategies aimed at spreading sustainable forms of food distribution and consumption. Future research might go to the direction of validating our results based on a single form of supply organisation. Moreover, additional efforts should be made understanding the effect of situational factors on socio-demographic variables such as gender. Finally, an attempt should be made to merge different theories to better understand the issue of consumer choice. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Neri F.,University of Naples Federico II
WSEAS Transactions on Information Science and Applications | Year: 2010

In the paper we will describe how the software agent paradigm can be a powerful and versatile simulation tool to model and study complex systems. Software agents allow to approximate the behaviour of complex systems under several scenario conditions. In some cases, software agents can also be used to approximate solutions to difficult problems occurring in complex systems. To support our position, we will introduce two different domains: consumer decisions in fast moving consumers goods and mobile telecom network management applications. Finally we will show how a software agent modeling approach could be used to study their behaviour in various scenarios.

Rusciano G.,University of Naples Federico II
Physica Medica | Year: 2010

Raman confocal microscopy, combined with an optical stretcher, is used to study the spatial distribution and the oxidation state of hemoglobin in erythrocytes under stretching condition. In particular, a near infrared laser (λ = 1064 nm) is used to generate multiple time-sharing Optical Tweezers to trap and stretch a single erythrocyte, while a second laser (λ = 532 nm) acts as Raman probe. Our study demonstrates that stretching induces hemoglobin transition to the deoxygenated state. Moreover, by using Principal Component Analysis we prove the reversibility of the oxy{mapping}deoxy hemoglobin transition after application of the optically induced mechanical stress. © 2010 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica.

Capasso R.,University of Naples Federico II
Natural Product Communications | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of Silitidil, a standardized extract of milk thistle, on the serum levels of prolactin in female rats. A 14-day treatment with Silitidil (25-200 mg/kg, per os), a standardized extract of Silybum marianum fruits (milk thistle), increased, in a dose dependent manner, the serum prolactin levels in female rats. Galega (200 mg/kg, per os) given alone neither modified the basal levels of prolactin nor increased further serum prolactin levels when associated with Silitidil. Bromocriptine (1 mg/kg, per os) significantly reduced the high serum prolactin levels induced by Silitidil (200 mg/kg, per os). The results show that the extract of S. marianum fruits significantly increases prolactin levels in female rats; this effect is not potentiated by galega and seems to involve, at least in part, dopamine D2 receptors.

Palladino R.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVE:: The aim of this study is to validate the use of the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) as clinical tool to predict the risk of diagnosis of unsuitability for work in a cohort of Italian workers. METHODS:: A cohort of workers has been observed from January 2006 to March 2014. FRS was calculated at each visit. Health surveillance diagnosis of unsuitability for work was selected as outcome. RESULTS:: Two thousand eight hundred fifty seven workers were observed, 58.9% were men, mean age was 51.6 (±6.7), the mean FRS was 15.1% (±10.7%). Increased values of FRS at baseline were associated with increased rate of diagnosis of unsuitability for work (Hazard ratio [HR], 11.2, 95%CI, 3.3 to 37.8). CONCLUSIONS:: FRS is a strong predictor of diagnosis of unsuitability for work and should be used as a clinical tool for the assessment of fitness for work in health surveillance. Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Procino A.,University of Naples Federico II
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2016

Class I homeobox genes (Hox in mice and HOX in humans), encode for 39 transcription factors and display a unique genomic network organization mainly involved in the regulation of embryonic development and in the cell memory program. The HOX network controls the aberrant epigenetic modifications involving in the cell memory program. In details, the HOX cluster plays a crucial role in the generation and evolution of several diseases: congenic malformation, oncogenesis, metabolic processes and deregulation of cell cycle. In this review, I discussed about the role of HOX gene network in the control of cardiovascular development. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.

Gruber C.,Free University of Berlin | Luongo O.,University of Naples Federico II | Luongo O.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Luongo O.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

Cosmography is used in cosmological data processing in order to constrain the kinematics of the universe in a model-independent way, providing an objective means to evaluate the agreement of a model with observations. In this paper, we extend the conventional methodology of cosmography employing Taylor expansions of observables by an alternative approach using Padé approximations. Due to the superior convergence properties of Padé expansions, it is possible to improve the fitting analysis to obtain numerical values for the parameters of the cosmographic series. From the results, we can derive the equation of state parameter of the universe and its first derivative and thus acquire information about the thermodynamic state of the universe. We carry out statistical analyses using observations of the distance modulus of type 1a supernovae, provided by the union 2.1 compilation of the supernova cosmology project, employing a Markov chain Monte Carlo approach with an implemented Metropolis algorithm. We compare the results of the original Taylor approach to the newly introduced Padé formalism. The analyses show that experimental data constrain the observable universe well, finding an accelerating universe and a positive jerk parameter. We demonstrate that the Padé convergence radii are greater than standard Taylor convergence radii, and infer a lower limit on the acceleration of the universe solely by requiring the positivity of the Padé expansion. We obtain fairly good agreement with the Planck results, confirming the ΛCDM model at small redshifts, although we cannot exclude a dark energy density varying in time with negligible speed of sound. © 2014 American Physical Society.

De Luca Picione R.,University of Naples Federico II
Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science | Year: 2015

In this paper I discuss the relevance of the single-case approach in psychological research. Based upon work by Hurtado-Parrado and López-López (Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 2015), who outlined the possibility that Single-Case Methods (SCMs) could be a valid alternative to Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST), I introduce the idiographic approach (Salvatore and Valsiner Theory & Psychology, 20(6), 817–833, 2010; Valsiner Cultural & Psychology, 20(2), 147–159, 2014; Salvatore Culture & Psychology, 20(4), 477–500, 2014) based on the logic of abductive generalization, rather than the logic of inductive generalization. I present the theoretical, epistemological and methodological assumptions that this approach proposes; in particular, I discuss the re-conceptualization of some now obsolete rigid opposition, the inconsistency of sample use in psychological research, the relationship between uniqueness and general, the relationship between theory and phenomena, and finally the validation process. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Caterino N.,Parthenope University of Naples | Spizzuoco M.,University of Naples Federico II | Occhiuzzi A.,Parthenope University of Naples
Structural Control and Health Monitoring | Year: 2013

The experimental analyses of response time and dissipative capability of two prototype magnetorheological semi-active dampers are presented herein. These activities have been conducted during an Italian research project on devices manufactured in Germany. A detailed report of the response time analysis based on experimental data is presented and commented. It is shown how the control delays are strongly dependent on the effectiveness of the electric part of the control hardware, generally being less than 10 ms if special care is paid in designing the whole control chain. The dissipative capacity of the devices is further analyzed under the action of different imposed displacement laws, investigating a large range of displacement amplitudes, frequencies, and feeding currents. Interesting comparisons in terms of energy are finally drawn between magnetorheological damper used in a passive (constant current) and in a semi-active mode (variable current commanded by an energy-based control logic). Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Graziano M.G.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Intelligent Systems | Year: 2012

Real markets offer economists several occasions for investigating deviations from the perfect competition scheme. We present some problems arising in consumer theory when deviations are determined by the presence of large traders (monopolies, oligopolies) and/or public goods, and/or uncertainty about possible states of nature on which agents are asymmetrically informed. In all of these cases, considering fuzzy cooperative behavior within a coalition of agents provides cooperative solutions to restore classical results. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

The effects of the fungicide methyl thiophanate (MT) on testis were determined in the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula) using morphological and molecular analyzes. Three experimental trials were performed: an acute test using six doses, a two-week chronic test, and ''ecotoxicological'' exposure (3 weeks). The minimal lethal dose (LD50) of pure MT, reached by the acute test, was 100 mg/kg body weight. Testicular histopathology of surviving animals showed a reduced lumen and several multinucleated giant cells 24 h after injection followed by large decreases in spermatogonia (72%) and secondary spermatocytes (58%) and a loss of spermatids and sperms 7 days after. In the chronic test, a dose equivalent to 1/100 of LD50 was injected on alternate days. Complete shutting of the lumen and a great decrease in spermatogonia (82%) were observed. In ''ecotoxicological'' exposure, achieved with a commercial MT compound, testis showed a ecrease in primary spermatocytes (20%) and several vacuoles. An increase in germ cell apoptosis was observed in all experimental groups using TUNEL assay. A decrease in expression of androgen and estrogen receptor (AR and ER) mRNAs was seen in all experimental groups. The reduction in AR and ER mRNAs was correlated to exposure time. Indeed, in the ''ecotoxicological'' treatment (30 days), the decrease reached 82 and 90% for AR and ER mRNAs, respectively. These data strongly indicate that treatment ith MT, damaging the seminiferous epithelium and decreasing steroid receptor expression, might render exposed lizards infertile. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Gentile S.,Salerno Mental Health Center | Gentile S.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2015

Recent information suggests that antenatal exposure to psychotropics may impair child neurodevelopment. Thus, aim of this review is to examine systematically available literature investigating potential associations between prenatal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Methods: Medical literature published in English since 1988 identified using MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and The Cochrane Library. Search terms: antidepressants, autism (spectrum disorders), childhood, children, neurodevelopment, pregnancy, SSRIs. Searches were updated until March 5, 2015. Results: Six out of eight reviewed articles confirm an association between antenatal SSRI exposure and an increased risk of ASDs in children. However, the epidemiologic evidence on the link between prenatal SSRI exposure and ASD risk must still be cautiously interpreted, because of potential biases of analyzed research. Limitations: Main limitations of reviewed studies include: lack of directly validated clinical evaluation, impossibility to identify women who really took the prescribed medications during pregnancy, no assessment of severity and course of symptoms in relation to the pregnancy, lack of information about unhealthy prenatal lifestyle behaviors. Conclusions: Despite such limitations, available data show that some signal exists suggesting that antenatal exposure to SSRIs may increase the risk of ASDs. Thus, there is an urgent need for further, large, well-designed research finalized to definitively assess the existence and the magnitude of this severe risk, thus confirming or denying that we are truly looking at "the fall of Gods", since for many years SSRIs have been considered the first-choice agents for treating antenatal depression (Gentile, 2014; Gentile, 2011a; Gentile, 2005). © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Takjoo R.,Ferdowsi University of Mashhad | Centore R.,University of Naples Federico II