Publications by authors named "Luigi Gallo"

83 Publications

In-vivo kinematic assessment of alloplastic temporomandibular joint replacements by means of helical axis: A cohort study with historical control.

J Biomech 2021 May 5;122:110494. Epub 2021 May 5.

Clinic of Masticatory Disorders, Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Alloplastic total temporomandibular joint replacement (TJR) is a surgical procedure used to restore normal mandibular function when conservative therapies fail. The instantaneous helical axis (HA), is a mathematical model used to visualize globally rigid body kinematics. It can be applied to mandibular motion for quantification of movement patterns and irregularities. Aim of this study was to analyze HA pathways in subjects with unilateral and bilateral TJR and compare them to a control group. An optoelectronic system was employed to track mouth opening/closing cycles (n = 3) of 15 patients (7 operated unilaterally, 8 bilaterally, 11 F, aged 24-72) and 12 controls (6 F, aged 23-40). HA position in space was determined for 30 equally-distributed steps of the observed movement. Total mandibular rotation around HA (Φ) and total translation along HA (T) were determined. Angles between HA and the anatomical coordinate system of the head (θ, θ, θ); global fluctuation of HA spatial orientation (θ), distance between condylar center (CP) and HA (d) and its projections on the axes (x, y, z) were calculated. Overall, Φ was larger in controls than in bilaterally operated subjects (p = 0.002, p = 0.003) and θz was larger in unilaterally operated subjects than in controls (p = 0.004) and bilaterally operated subjects (p = 0.002, p = 0.024). During opening, θ¯ was smaller in controls than in unilaterally operated subjects (p = 0.01). The distance d was smaller for alloplastic joints than for controls (p < 0.01 overall). In conclusion, mandibular HA pathways in patients with TJR differ significantly from controls in terms of spatial location and variability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2021.110494DOI Listing
May 2021

Application of Ultrasound Images Texture Analysis for the Estimation of Intramuscular Fat Content in the Muscle of Beef Cattle after Slaughter: A Methodological Study.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Apr 13;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Animal Medicine, Productions and Health (MAPS), University of Padua, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy.

Intramuscular fat (IMF) is a major trait in the evaluation of beef meat, but its determination is subjective and inconsistent and still relies on visual inspection. This research objective was a method to predict IMF% from beef meat using ultrasound (US) imaging texture analysis. US images were performed on the muscle of 27 Charolaise heifers. Cuts from the 12th to 13th ribs were scanned. The lipid content of the muscle samples was determined with the petrol ether (Randall) extraction method. A stepwise linear discriminant analysis was used to screen US texture parameters. IMF% measured by chemical extraction (IMFqa) was the dependent variable and the results of the texture analysis were the explanatory variables. The model highlighted seven parameters, as a predictive and a multiple regression equation was created. Prediction of IMF content (IMFpred) was then validated using IMFqa as ground truth. Determination coefficient between IMFqa and IMFpred was R = 0.76, while the ROC analysis showing a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 90%. Bland-Altman plot upper and lower limit were +1.34 and -1.42, respectively (±1.96 SD), with a mean of -0.04. The results from the present study therefore suggest that prediction of IMF content in muscle mass by US texture analysis is possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11041117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069777PMC
April 2021

Ultrasound of Small Bowel Obstruction: A Pictorial Review.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Mar 30;11(4). Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Radiology, Ospedale del Mare, ASL NA1 Centro, 80147 Napoli, Italy.

Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is a common condition requiring urgent attention that may involve surgical treatment. Imaging is essential for the diagnosis and characterization of SBO because the clinical presentation and results of laboratory tests may be nonspecific. Ultrasound is an excellent initial imaging modality for assisting physicians in the rapid and accurate diagnosis of a variety of pathologies to expedite management. In the case of SBO diagnosis, ultrasound has an overall sensitivity of 92% (95% CI: 89-95%) and specificity of 93% (95% CI: 85-97%); the aim of this review is to examine the criteria for the diagnosis of SBO by ultrasound, which can be divided into diagnostic and staging criteria. The diagnostic criteria include the presence of dilated loops and abnormal peristalsis, while the staging criteria are represented by parietal and valvulae conniventes alterations and by the presence of free extraluminal fluid. Ultrasound has reasonably high accuracy compared to computed tomography (CT) scanning and may substantially decrease the time to diagnosis; moreover, ultrasound is also widely used in the monitoring and follow-up of patients undergoing conservative treatment, allowing the assessment of loop distension and the resumption of peristalsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11040617DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065936PMC
March 2021

Signal acquisition and analysis of ambulatory electromyographic recordings for the assessment of sleep bruxism: A scoping review.

J Oral Rehabil 2021 Jul 2;48(7):846-871. Epub 2021 May 2.

Section of Orofacial Pain and Jaw Function, Department of Dentistry and Oral Health, Aarhus Universitet Tandlageskolen, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: Ambulatory electromyographic (EMG) devices are increasingly being used in sleep bruxism studies. EMG signal acquisition, analysis and scoring methods vary between studies. This may impact comparability of studies and the assessment of sleep bruxism in patients.

Objectives: (a) To provide an overview of EMG signal acquisition and analysis methods of recordings from limited-channel ambulatory EMG devices for the assessment of sleep bruxism; and (b) to provide an overview of outcome measures used in sleep bruxism literature utilising such devices.

Method: A scoping review of the literature was performed. Online databases PubMed and Semantics Scholar were searched for studies published in English until 7 October 2020. Data on five categories were extracted: recording hardware, recording logistics, signal acquisition, signal analysis and sleep bruxism outcomes.

Results: Seventy-eight studies were included, published between 1977 and 2020. Recording hardware was generally well described. Reports of participant instructions in device handling and of dealing with failed recordings were often lacking. Basic elements of signal acquisition, for example amplifications factors, impedance and bandpass settings, and signal analysis, for example rectification, signal processing and additional filtering, were underreported. Extensive variability was found for thresholds used to characterise sleep bruxism events. Sleep bruxism outcomes varied, but typically represented frequency, duration and/or intensity of masticatory muscle activity (MMA).

Conclusion: Adequate and standardised reporting of recording procedures is highly recommended. In future studies utilising ambulatory EMG devices, the focus may need to shift from the concept of scoring sleep bruxism events to that of scoring the whole spectrum of MMA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joor.13170DOI Listing
July 2021

Mechanobehavior and mandibular ramus length in different facial phenotypes.

Angle Orthod 2020 11;90(6):866-872

Objectives: To test the hypotheses that mechanobehavior scores (MBS) were correlated with mandibular ramus lengths (Co-Go) and differed between facial phenotypes.

Materials And Methods: Subjects gave informed consent to participate. Co-Go (mm), mandibular plane angles (SN-GoGn, °), and three-dimensional anatomy were derived from cephalometric radiography or cone beam computed tomography. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) energy densities (ED) (mJ/mm3) were measured using dynamic stereometry and duty factors (DF) (%) were measured from electromyography, to calculate MBS (= ED2 × DF,) for each TMJ. Polynomial regressions, K-means cluster analysis, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Tukey post-hoc tests were employed.

Results: Fifty females and 23 males produced replete data. Polynomial regressions showed MBS were correlated with Co-Go (females, R2 = 0.57; males, R2 = 0.81). Cluster analysis identified three groups (P < .001). Dolichofacial subjects, with shorter normalized Co-Go, clustered into two subgroups with low and high MBS compared to brachyfacial subjects with longer Co-Go. SN-GoGn was significantly larger (P < .03) in the dolichofacial subgroups combined (33.0 ± 5.9°) compared to the brachyfacial group (29.8 ± 5.5°).

Conclusions: MBS correlated with Co-Go within sexes and differed significantly between brachyfacial and dolichofacial subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2319/032420-217.1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8028425PMC
November 2020

Short-term effects of NTI-tss and Michigan splint on nocturnal jaw muscle activity: A pilot study.

Clin Exp Dent Res 2021 Jun 25;7(3):323-330. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Clinic of Masticatory Disorders, Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Objectives: Sleep bruxism is mostly assessed by reporting of tooth-grinding or clenching during sleep and by clinical signs (tooth wear, cracks, or fractures). Parafunctional tooth damage is usually prevented by employing occlusal appliances mainly of the full arch covering type (Michigan splint) and of the partial type covering only central incisors (NTI-tss). To date, the effects of occlusal appliances on sleep bruxism or jaw muscle activity during sleep are still controversial. The present study is a randomized controlled clinical trial that evaluated the effects of two different splint designs on jaw muscle activity in sleep bruxers otherwise healthy.

Material And Methods: Ten patients from a private dental practice were treated by a single operator. A Michigan splint and an NTI-tss device were manufactured individually and used at random order. Electromyographic jaw muscle activity was recorded for four consecutive nights in the first, fourth, and seventh week with and without splint. Participants reported on splint comfort and side effects.

Results: Muscle activity decreased only while wearing the NTI-tss device. Most patients preferred though the Michigan splint due to its greater wearing comfort.

Conclusions: NTI-tss devices proved more effective for the reduction of jaw muscle activity during sleep. The main advantage of the prefabricated NTI-tss is its prompt availability in an acute phase of temporomandibular disorders associated with sleep bruxism. In long-term therapies, patients should be informed of the possible risk of irreversible occlusal changes. Subjective preferences, wearing comfort, and costs should also be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cre2.371DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8204025PMC
June 2021

Rapid Profiling of the Volatilome of Cooked Meat by PTR-ToF-MS: Characterization of Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Veal and Beef Meat.

Foods 2020 Nov 30;9(12). Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals, and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

This study aimed to compare the volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles of cooked meat from different species. Four burgers were prepared and cooked from each of 100 meat samples obtained from 100 animals of five species/categories (chicken, turkey, pork, veal and beef) sourced from five supermarkets and five local butchers. Two burgers were cooked in a water bath and two were grilled. Direct proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass-spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) analysis of the sample headspace yielded 129 mass peaks, 64 of which were tentatively identified. The results showed that turkey and chicken had the largest and the smallest total concentrations of all VOCs, respectively. Of the mammalian meats, veal and beef had greater total VOC concentrations than pork. The proportions of the amounts of all the individual VOCs differed significantly according to species. Additionally, 14 of 17 independent latent explanatory factors (LEFs) identified by multivariate analysis exhibited significant differences between meat species/categories, and therefore helped to characterize them. PTR-ToF-MS has been used for the first time for the rapid and non-invasive profiling of cooked meat of different species/categories. Knowledge of specific VOC profiles paves new avenues for research aimed at characterizing species through sensory description, at authenticating species or at identifying abnormalities or fraud.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods9121776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761320PMC
November 2020

Influence of bolus size and chewing side on temporomandibular joint intra-articular space during mastication.

Med Eng Phys 2020 12 7;86:41-46. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Clinic of Masticatory Disorders, Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Previous studies suggested that, during mastication, magnitude and location of mechanical load in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) might depend on chewing side and bolus size. Aim of this study was to dynamically measure the TMJ space while chewing on standardized boluses to assess the relationship among minimum intra-articular distances (MID), their location on the condylar surface, bolus size, and chewing side. Mandibular movements of 12 participants (6f, 24±1y.o.; 6 m, 28±6y.o.) were tracked optoelectronically while chewing unilaterally on rubber boluses of 15 × 15 × 5, 15 × 15 × 10, and 15 × 15 × 15 mm size. MID and their location along the main condylar axis were determined with dynamic stereometry. MID were normalized on the intra-articular distance in centric occlusion. Repeated measures ANOVA (α = 0.05) showed that MID were smaller on the balancing (0.74±0.19) than on the working condyle (0.89±0.16) independently of bolus size (p < 0.0001). MIDs did not differ between 5 and 10 mm bolus thicknesses (0.80±0.17) but increased for 15 mm (0.85±0.22, p = 0.024) and were located mostly laterally, close to the condylar center. This study confirmed higher reduction of TMJ space on the balancing than on the working condyle during mastication. Intra-articular distances increased significantly for the greatest bolus thickness. Loaded areas were located laterally, for both working and balancing joint.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.medengphy.2020.10.006DOI Listing
December 2020

Rapid Profiling of the Volatilome of Cooked Meat by PTR-ToF-MS: Underlying Latent Explanatory Factors.

Foods 2020 Nov 25;9(12). Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Department of Food Quality and Nutrition, Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all'Adige, Italy.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are important contributors to meat aroma and are variably correlated with each other. To study the sources of variation and the correlations among meat VOCs, meat cuts from five animal species/categories (chicken, turkey, pork, veal, and beef; two animals/species/retailer: 100 meat cuts) were obtained by 10 retailers. Each cut was processed into four burgers, two of which were grilled and two were cooked in a water bath (400 meat burgers). VOCs were detected by Proton-Transfer-Reaction Time-of-Flight Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). From these, 129 peaks were selected, of which 72 were tentatively identified as relevant VOCs. Pearson correlations revealed a large number of positive and negative relationships among the VOCs. A multivariate statistical analysis revealed that 87% of the matrix covariance was explained by 17 independent Latent Explanatory Factors (LEFs), which have been described and characterized. LEFs identified may be valuable tools for reducing the dimensionality of results from VOC analyses and can be useful for better understanding and interpreting the variation in the meat aroma profile, although further study is required to characterize their sensory meaning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods9121738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768462PMC
November 2020

A Short Period of Darkness after Mixing of Growing Pigs Intended for PDO Hams Production Reduces Skin Lesions.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Sep 23;10(10). Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, Università degli Studi di Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Padua, Italy.

Agonistic behavior after the regrouping of unfamiliar pigs has been recognized as one of the major welfare issues for pig husbandry, as it may result in lesions, lameness, and health problems. One scarcely investigated strategy to curb agonistic behavior is reducing the availability of visual stimuli potentially eliciting aggressions. In this study, we investigated the expression of agonistic behavior by growing pigs and the resulting accumulation of skin lesions over a period of 14 days following the formation of new social groups, which occurred in a condition of darkness maintained for 48 h. Compared to a simulated natural photoperiod (12 h light/day), darkness significantly reduced the number of skin lesions on the mid- and rear thirds of pigs' body ( ≤ 0.01). A lack of corresponding decrease in frequency and duration of agonistic interactions suggests that darkness acts by decreasing the efficacy, not the expression, of aggressions. Furthermore, the location of lesions mostly affected by darkness indicates that the latter mostly acted by reducing the possibility of pigs to convey damage to a fleeing conspecific, rather than to one involved in a reciprocal fighting. The lighting regime provided did not affect growth performance traits of a 17-weeks feeding trial. The present results identify in the provision of darkness an easily applicable, and relatively inexpensive intervention, that leads to the reduction of skin lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10101729DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598622PMC
September 2020

Tensile Strength and Failure Types of Direct and Indirect Resin Composite Copings for Perio-Overdentures Luted Using Different Adhesive Cementation Modalities.

Materials (Basel) 2020 Aug 10;13(16). Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Clinic for Reconstructive Dentistry, Division of Dental Biomaterials, Center for Dental and Oral Medicine, University of Zürich, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland.

Perio-overdenture design helps to reduce periodontal diseases and secondary caries on abutment teeth. Composite copings can be cemented adhesively to the abutment teeth with different techniques. In this study, direct/indirect resin composite copings for perio-overdentures, luted using different adhesive cementation modalities were compared. Human teeth (N = 40) were prepared to receive spherical attachment copings and randomly divided into four groups: (1) resin-composite copings bonded directly (DC), (2) composite copings made indirectly, luted with dual-polymerized resin cement (ICV), (3) composite copings made indirectly, bonded with resin composite (ICT), (4) composite copings made indirectly, bonded with resin composite after the immediate dentin sealing method (IDS). Specimens were tested for tensile failure and one-way ANOVA (alpha = 0.05) was performed and the two-parameter Weibull modulus, scale () and shape () were calculated. Mean tensile load (N) was significantly higher for Group IDS (238 ± 81) than for the other groups (144 ± 53-184 ± 46) ( < 0.05). Group IDS (0.54 ± 0.25 mm) showed significantly higher deformation (mm) than other groups (0.2 ± 0.1-0.32 ± 0.15) ( < 0.05). Weibull distribution presented lower shape () for DC (3.33) compared to other groups (3.57-4.99). Cohesive coping failures were more frequent in Group IDS (60%) and mixed failures in other groups (40-60%). In conclusion, IDS copings could be preferred over other fabrication and adhesion modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma13163517DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7475840PMC
August 2020

Shift in the cow milk microbiota during alpine pasture as analyzed by culture dependent and high-throughput sequencing techniques.

Food Microbiol 2020 Oct 8;91:103504. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Research and Innovation Centre, Food Quality and Nutrition Department, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), San Michele all' Adige, TN, Italy. Electronic address:

In the present study, two groups of cows from a permanent lowland farm (PF) were divided during summer and reared in the PF or in a temporary alpine farm (ALP), respectively. Microbiological analyses were performed with the objective to investigate the microbial evolution of milk before, during, and after summer transhumance comparing, in particular, the two groups of cows to determine whether the alpine pasture could directly influence the milk microbiota. A significant increase of all microbial groups was registered in milk samples collected in the ALP. Interestingly, many strains belonging to species with well reported technological and probiotic activities were isolated from Alpine milk (20% Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis/cremoris, 18% Lactobacillus paracasei, 14% Bifidobacterium crudilactis and 18% Propionibacterium sp.), whereas only 16% of strains isolated from the permanent farm milk belonged to the species Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis/cremoris, 6% to Lactobacillus paracasei, 2% to Bifidobacterium crudilactis and 5% to Propionibacterium sp. The MiSeq Illumina data showed that Alpine milk presented a significant reduction of Pseudomonas and an increase of Lactococcus, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus genera. These data confirmed the practice of Alpine pasture as one of the main drivers affecting the milk microbiota. All the microbial changes disappeared when cows were delivered back from Alpine pasture to the indoor farm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2020.103504DOI Listing
October 2020

Application of texture analysis of b-mode ultrasound images for the quantification and prediction of intramuscular fat in living beef cattle: A methodological study.

Res Vet Sci 2020 Aug 4;131:254-258. Epub 2020 May 4.

Department of Animal Medicine, Productions and Health (MAPS), University of Padua, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

Intramuscular fat (IMF) contributes significantly to the aroma and tenderness of the meat, therefore playing a key role in quality determination. Yet, IMF determination methods rely on visual inspection or on fat extraction from meat samples after animals' slaughter. The aim of this methodological study was the elaboration of a process capable of predicting IMF% using real-time ultrasound (RTU) images in live beef cattle. The longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of 26 Charolaise heifers was investigated. In vivo ultrasound images were taken and texture analysis was performed. One week after the animals' slaughter, the whole twelfth rib cut was collected, and IMF% was determined by extraction with petrol ether (Randall) method. Animals were divided in 3 groups depending on their mean lipid content percentage in 100 g meat (Group 1: IMF ≤ 4.24%; Group 2: 4.25% ≤ IMF ≤ 5.75%; Group 3: IMF ≥ 5.76%). Texture parameters were selected by a stepwise linear discriminant analysis using IMF% measured by chemical extraction (IMFqa) as the dependent variable, and the results of the texture analysis as explanatory variables. 6 variables were found predictive and molded into a multiple regression equation, this equation was then validated using IMFqa as ground truth. A high linear correlation between IMFqa and IMFpred was evident (r = 0.8504), ROC analysis perfomed on IMFpred comparing it to IMFqa showed a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 93.7%, while results from the Bland-Altman plot were ± 1.96 (±1.11SD).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2020.04.020DOI Listing
August 2020

Effect of Feeding Adaptation of Italian Simmental Cows before Summer Grazing on Animal Behavior and Milk Characteristics.

Animals (Basel) 2020 May 11;10(5). Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy.

According to the alpine transhumance system, dairy cows are moved from indoor feeding with conserved forage to fresh herbage feeding on pasture. The aim of this study was to assess, as a feeding adaptation technique, the effect of a gradual inclusion of fresh herbage in the diet of Italian Simmental dairy cows before their transfer to alpine pasture on performance, behavior, and milk characteristics. Eighteen cows were assigned to three groups: animals transferred to alpine pasture with a 10-d feeding adaptation period consisting in gradual access to a pasture close to the valley farm (GT), animals transferred to alpine pasture without a feeding adaptation period (AT), and animals kept in the valley farm (IND). During the first two weeks of summer grazing, GT and AT showed higher rumination time and different concentrations of ketones, hydrocarbons, organic acids, toluene, alcohols, phenols, and dimethyl sulfone in milk as compared to IND, whereas no differences were found in milk yield, composition, or coagulation properties. No differences between GT and AT were evident for the studied variables. The feeding adaptation technique used in this study did not influence the performance and milk characteristics of Italian Simmental dairy cows grazing on alpine pasture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10050829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278462PMC
May 2020

The Daily Therapy With L-Arginine 2,500 mg and Tadalafil 5 mg in Combination and in Monotherapy for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective, Randomized Multicentre Study.

Sex Med 2020 Jun 16;8(2):178-185. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Department of Urology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: A synergistic effect of the combination therapy tadalafil plus L-Arginine is conceivable in patients affected by erectile dysfunction (ED).

Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of tadalafil 5 mg and L-Arginine 2.5 grams in monotherapy and combination therapy.

Methods: Recruited patients completed the International Index of Erectile Function - Erectile Function domain (IIEF-EF) and Sexual Encounter Profile diaries completed at baseline and after treatment. The survey was randomized into 3 groups with an equal allocation ratio. Group A received daily L-Arginine 2,500 mg, group B received daily tadalafil 5 mg, and group C received both daily L-Arginine 2,500 mg plus daily tadalafil 5 mg. The duration of therapy in all 3 groups was 12 weeks. Safety was assessed by evaluating all reported treatment-emergent adverse events.

Main Outcome Measure: The main outcome measure was the change in IIEF-EF score and in per-patient percentage of "yes" responses to Sexual Encounter Profile Question 3 from baseline to after treatment.

Results: 300 eligible patients were enrolled, and 100 subjects for each group were allocated. Based on the IIEF-EF score, the participants were divided into 3 categories: severe, moderate, and mild ED. IIEF-EF score increased in group A from 15 ± 7 to 18.1 ± 9.2, in group B from 14.8 ± 6.9 to 20.8 ± 7.3, and in group C from 14.9 ± 7.1 to 22 ± 7.5. In mild ED group, the mean IIEF-EF score increased from 22.1 ± 2.2 to 27.5 ± 2.3 in group A; from 22.1 ± 2.2 to 27.8 ± 2 in group B, and from 22.2 ± 2.2 to 29.3 ± 0.9 in group C. We report a total of 11, 53, and 67 cases of adverse events in group A, B, and C respectively.

Conclusions: Combination therapy was superior to monotherapies. Gallo L, Pecoraro S, Sarnacchiaro P, et al. The Daily Therapy With L-Arginine 2,500 mg and Tadalafil 5 mg in Combination and in Monotherapy for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective, Randomized Multicentre Study. Sex Med 2020;8:178-185.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esxm.2020.02.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261690PMC
June 2020

Virtual Reality for the Assessment of Everyday Cognitive Functions in Older Adults: An Evaluation of the Virtual Reality Action Test and Two Interaction Devices in a 91-Year-Old Woman.

Front Psychol 2020 7;11:123. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

Performance-based functional tests for the evaluation of daily living activities demonstrate strong psychometric properties and solve many of the limitations associated with self- and informant-report questionnaires. Virtual reality (VR) technology, which has gained interest as an effective medium for administering interventions in the context of healthcare, has the potential to minimize the time-demands associated with the administration and scoring of performance-based assessments. To date, efforts to develop VR systems for assessment of everyday function in older adults generally have relied on non-immersive systems. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility of an immersive VR environment for the assessment of everyday function in older adults. We present a detailed case report of an elderly woman who performed an everyday activity in an immersive VR context (Virtual Reality Action Test) with two different types of interaction devices (controller vs. sensor). VR performance was compared to performance of the same task with real objects outside of the VR system (Real Action Test). Comparisons were made on several dimensions, including (1) quality of task performance (e.g., order of task steps, errors, use and speed of hand movements); (2) subjective impression (e.g., attitudes), and (3) physiological markers of stress. Subjective impressions of performance with the different controllers also were compared for presence, cybersickness, and usability. Results showed that the participant was capable of using controllers and sensors to manipulate objects in a purposeful and goal-directed manner in the immersive VR paradigm. She performed the everyday task similarly across all conditions. She reported no cybersickness and even indicated that interactions in the VR environment were pleasant and relaxing. Thus, immersive VR is a feasible approach for function assessment even with older adults who might have very limited computer experience, no prior VR exposure, average educational experiences, and mild cognitive difficulties. Because of inherent limitations of single case reports (e.g., unknown generalizability, potential practice effects, etc.), group studies are needed to establish the full psychometric properties of the Virtual Reality Action Test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7029745PMC
February 2020

Towards a Standardized Tool for the Assessment of Bruxism (STAB)-Overview and general remarks of a multidimensional bruxism evaluation system.

J Oral Rehabil 2020 May 17;47(5):549-556. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

Department of Orofacial pain and Dysfunction, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The aim of the present paper was to give an overview of the general project and to present the macrostructure of a comprehensive multidimensional toolkit for the assessment of bruxism, viz. a bruxism evaluation system. This is a necessary intermediate step that will be detailed in a successive extended publication and will ultimately lead to the definition of a Standardized Tool for the Assessment of Bruxism (STAB) as the final product. Two invitation-only workshops were held during the 2018 and 2019 General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) meetings. Participants of the IADR closed meetings were split into two groups, to put the basis for a multidimensional evaluation system composed of two main axes: an evaluation Axis A with three assessment domains (ie subject-based, clinically based and instrumentally based assessment) and an aetiological/risk factors Axis B assessing different groups of factors and conditions (ie psychosocial assessment; concurrent sleep and non-sleep conditions; drug and substance use or abuse; and additional factors). The work of the two groups that led to the identification of different domains for assessment is summarised in this manuscript, along with a road map for future researches. Such an approach will allow clinicians and researchers to modulate evaluation of bruxism patients with a comprehensive look at the clinical impact of the different bruxism activities and aetiologies. The ultimate goal of this multidimensional system is to facilitate the refinement of decision-making algorithms in the clinical setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joor.12938DOI Listing
May 2020

Virtual reality and music therapy as distraction interventions to alleviate anxiety and improve mood states in breast cancer patients during chemotherapy.

J Cell Physiol 2020 06 20;235(6):5353-5362. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Psychological distress is a common consequence of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and could further exacerbate therapy side effects. Interventions increasing treatment tolerance are crucial to improve both patients' quality of life and adherence to therapies. Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as an effective distraction tool for different medical procedures. Here, we assessed the efficacy of immersive and interactive VR in alleviating chemotherapy-related psychological distress in a cohort of Italian breast cancer patients, also comparing its effects with those of music therapy (MT). Thirty patients were included in the VR group, 30 in the MT group, and 34 in the control group, consisting of patients receiving standard care during chemotherapy. Our data suggest that both VR and MT are useful interventions for alleviating anxiety and for improving mood states in breast cancer patients during chemotherapy. Moreover, VR seems more effective than MT in relieving anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.29422DOI Listing
June 2020

Influence of dietary protein content on the chemico-physical profile of dry-cured hams produced by pigs of two breeds.

Sci Rep 2019 12 13;9(1):19068. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

University of Padova, Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, Legnaro, PD, 35020, Italy.

The use of low-protein (LP) feeds is a good strategy to reduce the environmental release of N compounds, but their influence on the quality of the products must be considered. This study explored the influence of LP diet and two pig breeds (BR) with different lean growth ability on the quality traits of dry-cured hams. We analysed 40 left dry-cured hams from pigs of two BR [Duroc-Danbred crosses (Danbred) and Duroc × Large White crosses (Anas)] fed either conventional (147 to 132 g/kg, crude protein) or LP diet. The LP had a crude protein content reduced by 20% with respect to the conventional. The differences in ham quality resulting from protein reduction were small, with a decrease of the protein and an increase of the lipid content of the ham slice in Anas, but not in Danbred (BR × Diet interaction; P = 0.043). Therefore, the use of LP would be feasible and sustainable, without detrimental effects on products. It was found the pig genotypes with different potentials for lean growth may affect the initial ham weight, fat cover and seasoning losses of hams, but they appear to affect little other chemical, physical and textural quality traits of the dry-cured hams.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-55760-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6911053PMC
December 2019

Responses of Pigs of Different Genotypes to a Variation in the Dietary Indispensable Amino Acid Content in Terms of Their Growth and Carcass and Meat Quality Traits.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Jul 31;9(8). Epub 2019 Jul 31.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

We studied the response of pigs from two crossbred genetic lines (GL) in the 60 to 145 kg body weight interval to a variation in the indispensable amino acid (AA) content of their feed. Ninety-six barrows of two paternal GLs (Hypor Maxter and PIC 337) were housed in eight pens and fed on feeds differing in their standardized ileal digestible (SID) indispensable AA contents. Pigs in four pens received feeds containing 9.4 to 8.0 g/kg of SID Lys (HAA), considered non-limiting, while the others received feeds containing 8.5 to 6.5 g/kg of SID Lys (LAA). The two feeds had identical indispensable lysine, methionine, tryptophan and threonine contents per unit of crude protein (CP). Feed intake, growth, carcass weight, and the weights of the lean and fat cuts were recorded, and samples of were analyzed. Data were analyzed using a two-way factorial mixed model. The LAA feed lowered the estimated N excretion ( < 0.001) compared with HAA, without affecting growth, carcass or meat quality traits. Genetic line had trivial effects and the AA level × genotype interaction was never significant. The two pig genotypes did not differ sufficiently in growth potential and leanness to respond differently.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9080508DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721042PMC
July 2019

Temporomandibular Joint Bioengineering Conference: Working Together Toward Improving Clinical Outcomes.

J Biomech Eng 2020 Feb;142(2)

Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019.

The sixth temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Bioengineering Conference (TMJBC) was held on June 14-15 2018, in Redondo Beach, California, 12 years after the first TMJBC. Speakers gave 30 presentations and came from the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The goal of the conference has remained to foster a continuing forum for bioengineers, scientists, and surgeons and veterinarians to advance technology related to TMJ disorders. These collective multidisciplinary interactions over the past decade have made large strides in moving the field of TMJ research forward. Over the past 12 years, in vivo approaches for tissue engineering have emerged, along with a wide variety of degeneration models, as well as with models occurring in nature. Furthermore, biomechanical tools have become more sensitive and new biologic interventions for disease are being developed. Clinical directives have evolved for specific diagnoses, along with patient-specific biological and immunological responses to TMJ replacement devices alloplastic and/or bioengineered devices. The sixth TMJBC heralded many opportunities for funding agencies to advance the field: (1) initiatives on TMJ that go beyond pain research, (2) more training grants focused on graduate students and fellows, (3) partnership funding with government agencies to translate TMJ solutions, and (4) the recruitment of a critical mass of TMJ experts to participate on grant review panels. The TMJ research community continues to grow and has become a pillar of dental and craniofacial research, and together we share the unified vision to ultimately improve diagnoses and treatment outcomes in patients affected by TMJ disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.4044090DOI Listing
February 2020

Night-time autonomic nervous system ultradian cycling and masticatory muscle activity.

Orthod Craniofac Res 2019 May;22 Suppl 1:107-112

Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Objectives: To test if there was a correlation between night-time masticatory muscle activity, as measured by duty factors, and ultradian cycling of autonomic nervous system (ANS) spectral powers in subjects without temporomandibular disorder (TMD)-related pain.

Setting And Sample Population: The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Three women and four men of average ages 38 ±8 and 56 ± 17 years, respectively, gave informed consent to participate.

Material And Methods: Investigators taught subjects to record heart (electrocardiography, ECG) and masticatory muscle activities (electromyography, EMG). ECG recordings were analysed for ANS ultradian cycling by a polynomial fit to the ratio of sympathetic and parasympathetic spectral powers (ms ). Masseter and temporalis EMG recordings were analysed over 20-minute epochs around peaks and valleys in the ANS ultradian cycles. Duty factors (% time of masticatory muscle activity/20-minute epoch) were determined relative to average threshold EMG (T ) required to produce a given bite force (N). Regression analyses quantified relationships between normalized muscle duty factors and ANS spectral powers.

Results: Subjects made a total of 27 sets of night-time ECG and EMG recordings that averaged 6.6 ± 1.1 hours per recording. Highest average duty factors were associated with T of 1-2 N and showed cumulative masseter and temporalis activities of 9.2 and 8.8 seconds/20-minute epoch, respectively. Normalized masticatory muscle duty factors showed non-linear relationships with normalized sympathetic (R  = +0.82), parasympathetic (R  = -0.70) and sympathetic/parasympathetic spectral powers (R  = +0.75).

Conclusions: Night-time ANS spectral powers showed ultradian cycling and were correlated with masseter and temporalis muscle activities in adult subjects without TMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ocr.12267DOI Listing
May 2019

Effects of Summer Transhumance of Dairy Cows to Alpine Pastures on Body Condition, Milk Yield and Composition, and Cheese Making Efficiency.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Apr 24;9(4). Epub 2019 Apr 24.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

Summer transhumance to alpine pastures (ALP) is widespread in dairy systems of alpine regions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of transhumance of Brown Swiss cows to ALP on the yield, composition, and coagulation properties of milk (MCP), and on cheese yield (CY). The study involved 12 multiparous cows kept at a mountain lowland permanent farm (PF), which were divided into two equal groups: One remained at the PF, the other was moved to the ALP (1860 m above sea level) from July to September. Every month (June to October), daily milk yield (MY) and body condition score (BCS) were recorded, and individual milk samples ( = 60, 2000 mL each) were collected to assess milk composition, MCP, and CY. Compared with PF, ALP cows had a reduced MY and BCS, which was maintained on return to the PF, greater fat and lower protein contents of milk. Neither MCP nor CY were affected by summer transhumance. In conclusion, summer transhumance did not affect the cheese making efficiency of milk but depressed MY and consequently daily cheese yield, which was nearly 2 kg/d lower for the ALP than the PF cows and was only partially recovered after returning to the PF in autumn.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9040192DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523363PMC
April 2019

A Study on the Effects of Rumen Acidity on Rumination Time and Yield, Composition, and Technological Properties of Milk from Early Lactating Holstein Cows.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Feb 21;9(2). Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padova Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

The use of high grain rations in dairy cows is related to an increase in rumen acidity. This study investigated whether the rumen acidity status affects rumination time (RT), and the production, composition, coagulation properties (MCPs) and cheese yield (CY) of milk. One hundred early-lactating Holstein cows with no clinical signs of disease and fed total mixed rations were used. Rumen fluid was collected once from each cow by rumenocentesis to determine pH and volatile fatty acid (VFA) content. The cows were classified according to the quartile of rumen acidity (QRA), a factor defined by multivariate analysis and associated with VFA and pH. Rumen fluid pH averaged 5.61 in the first quartile and 6.42 in the fourth, and total VFA content increased linearly with increasing rumen acidity. In addition, RT increased as rumen acidity increased, but only in the daily time interval from 08:00 to 12:00. Milk yield linearly decreased as rumen acidity increased, whereas QRA did not affect pH, fat or protein contents of milk. Furthermore, the MCPs, assessed by lactodynamograph, and CY were unaffected by QRA. It is suggested that differences in rumen acidity have little influence on the nutrient content, coagulation properties and CY of milk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9020066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406462PMC
February 2019

The influence of feeding behaviour on growth performance, carcass and meat characteristics of growing pigs.

PLoS One 2018 15;13(10):e0205572. Epub 2018 Oct 15.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Legnaro, Padova, Italy.

This study investigated the effect of the feeding behaviour on growth performance, and carcass and meat characteristics of 96 barrows fed ad libitum or restrictively with high or low amino acids (AA) diets according to a 2 × 2 factorial design. The feeding behaviour traits were measured with automated feeders. From 86 kg BW, half of the pigs were given feeds with high indispensable (AA) contents, while the other half received feeds with indispensable AA contents reduced by 9% in early finishing (86-118 kg BW) and by 18% in late finishing (118-145 kg BW). Body lipid and protein retentions were estimated from BW and backfat depth measures recorded at the beginning and end of each period. Pigs were slaughtered at 145 kg BW and carcass and meat quality data were recorded. Phenotypic correlations among feeding behaviours, growth performances, and carcass and meat traits were computed from all the data after adjustment for the effects of feeding treatments. As feeding rate was the behavioural trait most highly correlated with performance and carcass traits, the records of each pig were classified into feeding rate tertiles. Then, the data were statistically analysed using a mixed model, which included feed restriction (FR), AA reduction (AAR), the FR × AAR interaction and the feeding rate tertile as fixed factors, and pen as a random factor. Pigs eating faster (52.1 to 118.9 g/min) had significantly greater final body weights (16%), average daily weight gains (27%), estimated protein gains (22%), estimated lipid retention (46%), carcass weights (16%), weights of lean cuts (14%), weights of fat cuts (21%), proportions of fat in the carcass (14%), and 4% lower proportions of carcass lean cuts than pigs eating slowly (12.6 to 38.2 g/min). Manipulating the eating rate, through management or genetic strategies, could affect feed intake and subsequent growth performance, hence carcass quality, but have little influence on feed efficiency.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0205572PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6188860PMC
April 2019

Genetic variation in serum protein pattern and blood β-hydroxybutyrate and their relationships with udder health traits, protein profile, and cheese-making properties in Holstein cows.

J Dairy Sci 2018 Dec 11;101(12):11108-11119. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy.

The aim of this study was to investigate in Holstein cows the genetic basis of blood serum metabolites [i.e., total protein, albumin, globulin, albumin:globulin ratio (A:G), and blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)], a set of milk phenotypes related to udder health, milk quality technological characteristics, and genetic relationships among them. Samples of milk were collected from 498 Holstein cows belonging to 28 herds. All animal welfare and milk phenotypes were assessed using standard analytical methodology. A set of Bayesian univariate and bivariate animal models was implemented via Gibbs sampling, and statistical inference was based on the marginal posterior distributions of parameters of concern. We observed a small additive genetic influence for serum albumin concentrations, moderate heritability (≥0.20) for total proteins, globulins, and A:G, and high heritability (0.37) for blood BHB. Udder health traits (somatic cell score, milk lactose, and milk pH) showed low or moderate heritabilities (0.15-0.20), whereas variations in milk protein fraction concentrations were confirmed as mostly under genetic control (heritability: 0.21-0.71). The moderate and high heritabilities observed for milk coagulation properties and curd firming modeling parameters provided confirmation that genetic background exerts a strong influence on the cheese-making ability of milk, largely due to genetic polymorphisms in the major milk protein genes. Blood BHB showed strong negative genetic correlations with globulins (-0.619) but positive correlations with serum albumin (0.629) and A:G (0.717), which suggests that alterations in the serum protein pattern and BHB blood levels are likely to be genetically related. Strong relationships were found between albumin and fat percentages (-0.894), between globulin and α-CN (-0.610), and, to a lesser extent, between serum protein pattern and milk technological characteristics. Genetic relationships between blood BHB and traits related to udder health and milk quality and technological characteristics were mostly weak. This study provides evidence that there is exploitable additive genetic variation for traits related to animal health and welfare and throws light on the shared genetic basis of these traits and the phenotypes related to the quality and cheese-making ability of milk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14907DOI Listing
December 2018

Displacement of teeth without and with bonded fixed orthodontic retainers: 3D analysis using triangular target frames and optoelectronic motion tracking device.

J Mech Behav Biomed Mater 2018 09 6;85:175-180. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

University of Zürich, Dental Materials Unit, Center for Dental and Oral Medicine, Clinic for Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics and Dental Materials Science, Plattenstrasse 11, CH 8032 Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the anterior tooth movement without and with bonded fixed orthodontic retainers under incremental loading conditions.

Materials And Methods: Six extracted mandibular anterior human teeth were embedded in acrylic resin in True Form I Arch type and 3D reconstruction of Digital Volume Tomography (DVT) images (0.4 mm voxels) were obtained. The anatomy of each tooth was segmented and digitally reconstructed using 3D visualization software for medical images (AMIRA, FEI SVG). The digital models of the teeth were repositioned to form an arch with constant curvature using a CAD software (Rhinoceros) and a base holder was designed fitting the shape of the roots. The clearance between the roots and their slot in the holder was kept constant at 0.3 mm to replicate the periodontal ligament thickness. The holder and the teeth were then manufactured by 3D printing (Objet Eden 260VS, Stratasys) using a resin material for dental applications (E = 2-3 GPa). The 3D-printed teeth models were then positioned in the holder and the root compartments were filled with silicone. The procedure was repeated to obtain three identical arch models. Each model was tested for tooth mobility by applying force increasing from 5 to 30 N with 5 N increments applied perpendicular on the lingual tooth surface on the incisal one third (crosshead speed: 0.1 mm/s). The teeth on each model were first tested without retainer (control) and subsequently with the bonded retainers (braided bonded retainer wire; Multi-strand 1 × 3 high performance wire, 0.022″ × 0.016″). Tooth displacement was measured in terms of complicance (F/Δ movement) (N/mm) using custom-built optoelectronic motion tracking device (OPTIS) (accuracy: 5 µm; sampling rate: 200 Hz). The position of the object was detected through three LEDs positioned in a fixed triangular shape on a metal support (Triangular Target Frame). The measurements were repeated for three times for each tooth. Data were analyzed using mixed model with nesting (alpha = 0.05).

Results: The use of retainer showed a significant effect on tooth mobility (0.008 ± 0.004) compared to non-bonded teeth (control) (0.014 ± 0.009) (p < 0.0001). The amount of displacement on the tooth basis was also significantly different (p = 0.0381) being the most for tooth no. 42 (without: 0.024 ± 0.01; with: 0.012 ± 0.002) (p = 0.0018). No significant difference was observed between repeated measurements (p = 0.097) and the incremental magnitude of loading (5-30 N: 0.07 ± 0.01-0.09 ± 0.02) (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Mandibular anterior teeth showed less tooth mobility when bonded with stainless steel wire as opposed to non-bonded teeth but the tooth mobility varied depending on the tooth type. Intermittent increase in loading from 5 to 30 N did not increase tooth displacement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2018.06.007DOI Listing
September 2018

Hitomi X-ray studies of Giant Radio Pulses from the Crab pulsar.

Publ Astron Soc Jpn Nihon Tenmon Gakkai 2018 Apr;70(2)

Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK.

To search for giant X-ray pulses correlated with the giant radio pulses (GRPs) from the Crab pulsar, we performed a simultaneous observation of the Crab pulsar with the X-ray satellite Hitomi in the 2 - 300 keV band and the Kashima NICT radio observatory in the 1.4 - 1.7 GHz band with a net exposure of about 2 ks on 25 March 2016, just before the loss of the Hitomi mission. The timing performance of the Hitomi instruments was confirmed to meet the timing requirement and about 1,000 and 100 GRPs were simultaneously observed at the main and inter-pulse phases, respectively, and we found no apparent correlation between the giant radio pulses and the X-ray emission in either the main or inter-pulse phases. All variations are within the 2 sigma fluctuations of the X-ray fluxes at the pulse peaks, and the 3 sigma upper limits of variations of main- or inter-pulse GRPs are 22% or 80% of the peak flux in a 0.20 phase width, respectively, in the 2 - 300 keV band. The values become 25% or 110% for main or inter-pulse GRPs, respectively, when the phase width is restricted into the 0.03 phase. Among the upper limits from the Hitomi satellite, those in the 4.5-10 keV and the 70-300 keV are obtained for the first time, and those in other bands are consistent with previous reports. Numerically, the upper limits of main- and inter-pulse GRPs in the 0.20 phase width are about (2.4 and 9.3) ×10 erg cm, respectively. No significant variability in pulse profiles implies that the GRPs originated from a local place within the magnetosphere and the number of photon-emitting particles temporally increases. However, the results do not statistically rule out variations correlated with the GRPs, because the possible X-ray enhancement may appear due to a > 0.02% brightening of the pulse-peak flux under such conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pasj/psx083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6999749PMC
April 2018

Effects of feed allowance and indispensable amino acid reduction on feed intake, growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing pigs.

PLoS One 2018 5;13(4):e0195645. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Legnaro, Padova, Italy.

The hypothesis that pigs placed on diets with reduced indispensable amino acid (AA) content attempts to offset the reduction in the nutrient density with increased feed intake was tested. In the experiment, feeds with a high or a low AA content were administrated to pigs fed ad-libitum or restrictively according to a 2 × 2 factorial design. Ninety-six barrows were housed in 8 pens (12 pigs/pen) equipped with automatic feeders. Within pen, and from 47 body weight (BW) onwards, 6 pigs were fed ad libitum. The others pigs were allowed to consume, as a maximum, the feed amounts indicated by the breeding company feeding plane to optimize the feed efficiency. In early (86-118 kg BW) and late (118-145 kg BW) finishing, the pigs of 4 pens received feeds with high indispensable AA contents (8.1 and 7.5 g lysine/kg in the two periods, respectively). The other pigs received feeds with reduced indispensable AA contents (lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan) by 9 and 18% in early and late finishing, respectively. Body lipid and protein (Pr) retentions were estimated from BW and back-fat depth measures recorded at the beginning and the end of each period. Nitrogen excretion was estimated as actual intake minus estimated N-retention (Pr/6.25). Pigs were slaughtered at 144 kg BW. Restricted feeding decreased feed intake (-7%), daily gain (-5%), carcass weight (-2.6%) and back-fat depth (-8.0%) but increased gain:feed ratio (+2%). The AA restriction increased feed intake (+5.9%), carcass weight (+4.9%) and intramuscular fat (+17.6%), and reduced carcass weight variation (-36%), with no effects on the feed efficiency and the estimated Pr (142 g/d). N excreted was reduced by feed (-9%) and dietary AA (-15%) restrictions. Irrespectively of the feeding level, the pigs responded to a reduction of the dietary essential AA content by increasing their feed intake.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0195645PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5886589PMC
July 2018

Virtual Reality as a Distraction Intervention to Relieve Pain and Distress During Medical Procedures: A Comprehensive Literature Review.

Clin J Pain 2018 09;34(9):858-877

Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Objectives: This review aims to provide a framework for evaluating the utility of virtual reality (VR) as a distraction intervention to alleviate pain and distress during medical procedures. We first describe the theoretical bases underlying the VR analgesic and anxiolytic effects and define the main factors contributing to its efficacy, which largely emerged from studies on healthy volunteers. Then, we provide a comprehensive overview of the clinical trials using VR distraction during different medical procedures, such as burn injury treatments, chemotherapy, surgery, dental treatment, and other diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Methods: A broad literature search was performed using as main terms "virtual reality," "distraction," and "pain." No date limit was applied and all the retrieved studies on immersive VR distraction during medical procedures were selected.

Results: VR has proven to be effective in reducing procedural pain, as almost invariably observed even in patients subjected to extremely painful procedures, such as patients with burn injuries undergoing wound care, and physical therapy. Moreover, VR seemed to decrease cancer-related symptoms in different settings, including during chemotherapy. Only mild and infrequent side effects were observed.

Discussion: Despite these promising results, future long-term randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes and evaluating not only self-report measures but also physiological variables are needed. Further studies are also required both to establish predictive factors to select patients who can benefit from VR distraction and to design hardware/software systems tailored to the specific needs of different patients and able to provide the greatest distraction at the lowest cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000000599DOI Listing
September 2018