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Pamplona, Spain

Sobron A.,IMEC | Romero I.,IMEC | Romero I.,HIGH-TECH | Lopetegi T.,UPNA
Computing in Cardiology | Year: 2010

A comparative study of methods for estimating respiratory frequency through electrocardiogram was carried out. Methods were based on beat morphology (QRS area or amplitude) and heart rate variability. In addition a combination of methods was also investigated. For each method, time and frequency correlation between the ECG derived respiration and the real respiration recorded by chest plethysmography were computed as well as the relative error in the respiration rate. Results indicate that combining the spectra of different methods gives overall the best estimation of the respiration rate. This technique obtained a median relative error of 1.07% (mad=22.13) in free breathing signals. Methods based on Area, Amplitude and AMEA had relative errors around 1.10% (17/18). HRV however, had high relative errors in free breathing signals (42.70% (24.26)). Source

Prados-Suarez B.,University of Granada | Molina C.,University of Jaen | Prados De Reyes M.,UPNA | Pena-Yanez C.,San Cecilio Hospital
Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing | Year: 2013

This research is focused on the use of contexts of access as a means to provide the interoperability between different Electronic Health Records Systems (EHRS), as mandated by the european standard ISO 13606. In this standard the interoperability is posed in two levels: at structural level, by the so called "reference model", and at logical and conceptual level, by the "archetype model". The interoperability at the first level is quite difficult to achive, due to the huge variability of EHRS implementations. However the use and the needs of access are very similar in most of the hospitals, since the pathological processes, the protocols, the medical specialities, etc. and the information required for each of them is very similar in most of the cases. This is why we propose to define archetypes in the second model of the standard, based on the different contexts of access and the information pertinent to each of them, determined using fuzzy logic. This way when a doctor accesses from a given context to the EHRS of a different hospital, he/she receives the information that this hospital has determined pertinent for that context. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013. Source

News Article
Site: http://phys.org/chemistry-news/

Ximena Carrión Granda, a Food Engineering graduate from Ecuador, has developed edible coatings containing natural substances with antimicrobial properties in order to extend the shelf-life of fish and seafood products by two to four days due to the reduction of the growth rate of the spoilage microorganisms. This work was developed at the Department of Food Technology of the Public University of Navarre (UPNA) as part of her doctoral thesis. "The edible films and coatings are fine, and continuous layers of edible material placed on food surfaces or separating different phases of a food system to increase product quality, extend the shelf-life or improve food safety", Carrión Granda explains. Her doctoral thesis was supervised by Professor Juan I. Maté Caballero (UPNA) and Professor Jordi Rovira Carballido (University of Burgos). These coatings create "a barrier between the product and the surrounding atmosphere. This way, the food is protected, preventing humidity loss, reducing fat oxidation, controlling discolouration and preserving food quality and properties," Ximena Carrión says. "In addition, the edible coatings can act as carriers of additives such as antioxidants, mineral salts or antimicrobial agents that could reduce the growth of microorganisms on product surfaces". Research on edible coatings has undergone considerable impulse over the last few years, given the changes in the lifestyle of consumers, who demand "fresh products with minimal processing and no synthetic additives that can last as long as possible and are convenient to prepare". The food industry requires emerging technologies to increase food shelf life and offer safe products. This is the case with fish and seafood, given their dietary importance (only in 2014 in Spain, 554,000 tonnes of fresh fish were consumed), being "an excellent source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fats. Nevertheless, they are extremely perishable products, even more than red meat or chicken, due to their high surface humidity and free amino acid content. The spoilage process begins with loss of texture and the production of putrid odours basically caused by the development of microorganisms", Ximena Carrión points out. Hence, the edible antimicrobial coatings are considered "an emerging technology suitable for controlling the microbiological deterioration of fish and seafood". Ximena Carrión developed edible films and coatings based on whey protein isolate and chitosan, a polysaccharide extracted from chitin, a structural element found in the shells of crustaceans (crabs, shrimps and lobsters). Using these, she formed coatings that were "insoluble and colourless", to which she added "different antimicrobial agents that are gradually released on the fish and seafood surfaces, reducing the growth rate at which deteriorating microorganisms grow, therefore extending the shelf-life". Since the food market currently tends towards the consumption of food without synthetic preservatives, she used natural substances with antimicrobial properties, such as essential oils (from thyme and rosemary), plant extracts (from sage, oregano, garlic and rosemary) and lactic acid bacteria (L. plantarum, L. lactis and W. confusa). These compounds were combined at different concentrations into whey protein and chitosan films and their antimicrobial activity was assessed against fourteen bacterial strains related to the spoilage and pathogenicity of fish and seafood. "The best formulations were used to assess the effect on microbial development in fresh tuna and hake fillets and peeled shrimp tails, packaged with and without air –using modified atmosphere– and stored in refrigeration for different periods of time", the new doctor explained. Her results showed that the films containing oregano and thyme essential oils and the extract of rosemary yielded the greatest antimicrobial effect in vitro against pathogenic bacteria (A. hydrophila, L. monocytogenes or S. Typhimurium) and deteriorating bacteria (V. alginolyticus or S. putrefaciens). On application to the different types of fish and seafood, the edible coatings were effective in retarding microbial growth and increasing the shelf-life of the treated products by two to four days. Moreover, the films containing lactic acid bacteria were successfully evaluated in vitro against L. monocytogenes.

News Article | January 25, 2016
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/environment.xml

Spanish engineers developed new humidity sensors to fight bacteria production in highly humid environments. Across various industries, humidity is one of the most monitored and controlled operations aspects. But there are still many problems that threaten the monitoring and controlling processes, especially in environments with very high levels of humidity. Bacteria multiply in environments where with the humidity levels are very high. This results in the "biofilm" formations, which are ecosystems of microorganisms that are typically attached to a surface. Biofilm formations on surfaces lead to material deteriorations, which often affect the devices, including its performance and service lifetime. The deterioration process due to biofilm formation is known as biological fouling or "biofouling," which refers to the buildup of microorganism on wet surfaces. "Right now, the costs arising out of biofouling are very high mainly because of the maintenance work or replacement of equipment," said engineer Aitor Urrutia from Spain's Universidad Pablica de Navarra (UPNA). Urrutia and team developed novel humidity sensors with antibacterial properties for devices that work in high humidity environments. These new humidity sensors prevent biofilm creation and help solve biofouling. Using a combination of nanotechnology and latest developments in fiber optic, the new humidity sensors have improved performance and longer service lifetimes. The humidity sensor has an optical structure that is coated with silver nanoparticles. The coating is less than one micron thick. The humidity sensors are biocompatible and immune to electromagnetic interference. They are also inexpensive, compact and lightweight. The new humidity sensors can be utilized in various industries, including food processing, biotechnology, pharmaceutical industry, home automation, health clinics and hospital. It could help in monitoring human respiration among others. Since the sensors are compact and lightweight, they can be used to monitor humidity levels in areas that have limited access. "Thanks to the embedded silver nanoparticles included, these coatings provide the sensors with two additional functionalities: antibacterial properties and increased sensitivity," said Urrutia. Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering lecturers Javier Goicoechea-Fernández and Francisco J. Arregui-San Martín supervised Urrutia's PhD thesis. The study was published in the journal Nanoscale Research Letters on Dec. 29, 2015.

Home > Press > New sensors to combat the proliferation of bacteria in very high-humidity environments Abstract: The engineer Aitor Urrutia has received his PhD with these devices that combine nanotechnology and fibre optics for use in hospitals or on industrial premises. The Telecommunications Engineer Aitor Urrutia-Azcona has designed some humidity sensors with anti-bacterial properties that combat the proliferation of micro-organisms in environments where the humidity level is very high, such as hospitals and industrial premises for foodstuffs or pharmaceutical products. These devices combining nanotechnology and fibre optics are part of his PhD thesis read at the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA). “Humidity is one of the most controlled and most monitored aspects nowadays owing to its great importance in a whole range of industrial processes or in areas such as food monitoring, air quality, biomedicine or chemistry,” explained Aitor Urrutia, who is from Auritz/Burguete, but who currently resides in Irúñea-Pamplona. “Yet problems remain in terms of measuring and monitoring it in specific situations such as environments where the humidity level is very high”. The proliferation of bacteria in such environments where the humidity is very high is common and this leads to the formation of “biofilms” which are ecosystems made up of these microorganisms attached to a surface. This leads to the problem known as biofouling which causes “the deterioration of many materials and devices, affects their performance and cuts their service lifetimes. Right now, the costs arising out of biofouling are very high mainly because of the maintenance work or replacement of equipment,” pointed out Urrutia. When considering this widespread problem, in his PhD thesis Aitor Urrutia set about building new humidity sensors that would have antibacterial properties for applications that function in environments where the humidity is high and which are conducive to bacterial growth, and thus prevent the creation of biofilms and overcome biofouling. Combining nanotechnology and fibre optics To develop the various humidity sensors, Aitor Urrutia based himself on the combination of the latest advances in nanotechnology (new materials and new manufacturing techniques for coatings and nanoparticles) over new fibre optic configurations. “The sensors developed are made up of an optic structure to which coatings with a thickness of less than one micron are applied,” pointed out the new PhD holder. “Thanks to the embedded silver nanoparticles included, these coatings provide the sensors with two additional functionalities: antibacterial properties and increased sensitivity. That way, the new sensors developed have longer service lifetimes and perform better”. What is more, these fibre optic sensors offer additional advantages such as “their biocompatibility, immunity with respect to electromagnetic interference, their low cost, size and weight, and the possibility of long-distance measuring,” according to Urrutia, whose PhD thesis was supervised by the lecturers in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Francisco J. Arregui-San Martín and Javier Goicoechea-Fernández. The new humidity sensors developed could be integrated into a wide variety of sectors, such as, for example, health centres and hospitals to monitor human respiration, among other applications; on premises and in chambers used in processes in the foodstuff and pharmaceutical industry; in biotechnology and home automation; and in the monitoring of structures or cavities that are difficult to access, such as cooling towers or off-shore facilities. Full bibliographic information P. J. Rivero, A. Urrutia, J. Goicoechea, F. J. Arregui, (2015) "Nanomaterials for functional textiles and fibers," Nanoscale Research Letters 10 (1) 501: 1-2,. doi:10.1186/s11671-015-1195-6 About Elhuyar Fundazioa Elhuyar Fundazioa is a Science and Technology Foundation. Its first mission is to make science accessible to ordinary people and work with our language euskara. Within our product we have dictionaries, University books, web-pages, journals, radio programs and TV programs. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

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