Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 28

Medical, Health, Biomedical, Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering

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  • 28
    Ethnic Andean Concepts of Health and Illness in the Post-Colombian World and Its Relevance Today
    —‘MEDICINE’ is a new project funded under the EC Horizon 2020 Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions, to determine concepts of health and healing from a culturally specific indigenous context, using a framework of interdisciplinary methods which integrates archaeological-historical, ethnographic and modern health sciences approaches. The study will generate new theoretical and methodological approaches to model how peoples survive and adapt their traditional belief systems in a context of alien cultural impacts. In the immediate wake of the conquest of Peru by invading Spanish armies and ideology, native Andeans responded by forming the Taki Onkoy millenarian movement, which rejected European philosophical and ontological teachings, claiming “you make us sick”. The study explores how people’s experience of their world and their health beliefs within it, is fundamentally shaped by their inherent beliefs about the nature of being and identity in relation to the wider cosmos. Cultural and health belief systems and related rituals or behaviors sustain a people’s sense of identity, wellbeing and integrity. In the event of dislocation and persecution these may change into devolved forms, which eventually inter-relate with ‘modern’ biomedical systems of health in as yet unidentified ways. The development of new conceptual frameworks that model this process will greatly expand our understanding of how people survive and adapt in response to cultural trauma. It will also demonstrate the continuing role, relevance and use of TM in present-day indigenous communities. Studies will first be made of relevant pre-Colombian material culture, and then of early colonial period ethnohistorical texts which document the health beliefs and ritual practices still employed by indigenous Andean societies at the advent of the 17th century Jesuit campaigns of persecution - ‘Extirpación de las Idolatrías’. Core beliefs drawn from these baseline studies will then be used to construct a questionnaire about current health beliefs and practices to be taken into the study population of indigenous Quechua peoples in the northern Andean region of Ecuador. Their current systems of knowledge and medicine have evolved within complex historical contexts of both the conquest by invading Inca armies in the late 15th century, followed a generation later by Spain, into new forms. A new model will be developed of contemporary  Andean concepts of health, illness and healing demonstrating  the way these have changed through time. With this, a ‘policy tool’ will be constructed as a bridhging facility into contemporary global scenarios relevant to other Indigenous, First Nations, and migrant peoples to provide a means through which their traditional health beliefs and current needs may be more appropriately understood and met. This paper presents findings from the first analytical phases of the work based upon the study of the literature and the archaeological records. The study offers a novel perspective and methods in the development policies sensitive to indigenous and minority people’s health needs.
    Integrating Geographic Information into Diabetes Disease Management

    Background: Traditional chronic disease management did not pay attention to effects of geographic factors on the compliance of treatment regime, which resulted in geographic inequality in outcomes of chronic disease management. This study aims to examine the geographic distribution and clustering of quality indicators of diabetes care. Method: We first extracted address, demographic information and quality of care indicators (number of visits, complications, prescription and laboratory records) of patients with diabetes for 2014 from medical information system in a medical center in Tainan City, Taiwan, and the patients’ addresses were transformed into district- and village-level data. We then compared the differences of geographic distribution and clustering of quality of care indicators between districts and villages. Despite the descriptive results, rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for indices of care in order to compare the quality of diabetes care among different areas. Results: A total of 23,588 patients with diabetes were extracted from the hospital data system; whereas 12,716 patients’ information and medical records were included to the following analysis. More than half of the subjects in this study were male and between 60-79 years old. Furthermore, the quality of diabetes care did indeed vary by geographical levels. Thru the smaller level, we could point out clustered areas more specifically. Fuguo Village (of Yongkang District) and Zhiyi Village (of Sinhua District) were found to be “hotspots” for nephropathy and cerebrovascular disease; while Wangliau Village and Erwang Village (of Yongkang District) would be “coldspots” for lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to blood lipids examination. On the other hand, Yuping Village (in Anping District) was the area with the lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to all laboratory examination. Conclusion: In spite of examining the geographic distribution, calculating rate ratios and their 95% CI could also be a useful and consistent method to test the association. This information is useful for health planners, diabetes case managers and other affiliate practitioners to organize care resources to the areas most needed.

    Bone Mineral Density and Quality, Body Composition of Women in the Postmenopausal Period

    In the diagnostics of osteoporosis, the gold standard is considered to be bone mineral density; however, X-ray densitometry is not an accurate indicator of osteoporotic fracture risk under all circumstances. In this regard, the search for new methods that could determine the indicators not only of the mineral density, but of the bone tissue quality, is a logical step for diagnostic optimization. One of these methods is the evaluation of trabecular bone quality. The aim of this study was to examine the quality and mineral density of spine bone tissue, femoral neck, and body composition of women depending on the duration of the postmenopausal period, to determine the correlation of body fat with indicators of bone mineral density and quality. The study examined 179 women in premenopausal and postmenopausal periods. The patients were divided into the following groups: Women in the premenopausal period and women in the postmenopausal period at various stages (early, middle, late postmenopause). A general examination and study of the above parameters were conducted with General Electric X-ray densitometer. The results show that bone quality and mineral density probably deteriorate with advancing of postmenopausal period. Total fat and lean mass ratio is not likely to change with age. In the middle and late postmenopausal periods, the bone tissue mineral density of the spine and femoral neck increases along with total fat mass.

    Bone Mineral Density and Frequency of Low-Trauma Fractures in Ukrainian Women with Metabolic Syndrome

    Osteoporosis is one of the important problems in postmenopausal women due to an increased risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. This study is aimed to determine the connection between bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in Ukrainian women suffering from metabolic syndrome. Participating in the study, 566 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into two groups: Group A included 336 women with no obesity (BMI ≤ 29.9 kg/m2), and Group B – 230 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used for measuring of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm BMD and bone quality indexes (last according to Med-Imaps installation). Data were analyzed using Statistical Package 6.0. A significant increase of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and ultradistal radius BMD was found in women with metabolic syndrome compared to those without obesity (p < 0.001) both in their totality and in groups of 50-59 years, 60-69 years, and 70-79 years. TBS was significantly higher in non-obese women compared to metabolic syndrome patients of 50-59 years and in the general sample (p < 0.05). Analysis showed significant positive correlation between body mass index (BMI) and BMD at all levels. Significant negative correlation between BMI and TBS (L1-L4) was established. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were significantly higher in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures did not differ significantly in the groups of patients.

    Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Ukrainian Men with Obesity

    Osteoporosis and obesity are widespread diseases in people over 50 years associated with changes in structure and body composition. Нigher body mass index (BMI) values are associated with greater bone mineral density (BMD). However, trabecular bone score (TBS) indirectly explores bone quality, independently of BMD. The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationship between the BMD and TBS parameters in Ukrainian men suffering from obesity. We examined 396 men aged 40-89 years. Depending on their BMI all the subjects were divided into two groups: Group I – patients with obesity whose BMI was ≥ 30 kg/m2 (n=129) and Group II – patients without obesity and BMI of < 30 kg/m2 (n=267). The BMD of total body, lumbar spine L1-L4, femoral neck and forearm were measured by DXA (Prodigy, GEHC Lunar, Madison, WI, USA). The TBS of L1- L4 was assessed by means of TBS iNsight® software installed on DXA machine (product of Med-Imaps, Pessac, France). In general, obese men had a significantly higher BMD of lumbar spine L1-L4, femoral neck, total body and ultradistal forearm (p < 0.001) in comparison with men without obesity. The TBS of L1-L4 was significantly lower in obese men compared to non-obese ones (p < 0.001). BMD of lumbar spine L1-L4, femoral neck and total body significantly differ in men aged 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 80-89 years (p < 0.05). At the same time, in men aged 70-79 years, BMD of lumbar spine L1-L4 (p=0.46), femoral neck (p=0.18), total body (p=0.21), ultra-distal forearm (p=0.13), and TBS (p=0.07) did not significantly differ. A significant positive correlation between the fat mass and the BMD at different sites was observed. However, the correlation between the fat mass and TBS of L1-L4 was also significant, though negative.

    Numerical Simulation of Bio-Chemical Diffusion in Bone Scaffolds
    Previously, some materials like solid metals and their alloys have been used as implants in human’s body. In order to amend fixation of these artificial hard human tissues, some porous structures have been introduced. In this way, tissues in vicinity of the porous structure can be attached more easily to the inserted implant. In particular, the porous bone scaffolds are useful since they can deliver important biomolecules like growth factors and proteins. This study focuses on the properties of the degradable porous hard tissues using a three-dimensional numerical Finite Element Method (FEM). The most important studied properties of these structures are diffusivity flux and concentration of different species like glucose, oxygen, and lactate. The process of cells migration into the scaffold is considered as a diffusion process, and related parameters are studied for different values of production/consumption rates.
    Exploring the Spatial Characteristics of Mortality Map: A Statistical Area Perspective

    The analysis of geographic inequality heavily relies on the use of location-enabled statistical data and quantitative measures to present the spatial patterns of the selected phenomena and analyze their differences. To protect the privacy of individual instance and link to administrative units, point-based datasets are spatially aggregated to area-based statistical datasets, where only the overall status for the selected levels of spatial units is used for decision making. The partition of the spatial units thus has dominant influence on the outcomes of the analyzed results, well known as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). A new spatial reference framework, the Taiwan Geographical Statistical Classification (TGSC), was recently introduced in Taiwan based on the spatial partition principles of homogeneous consideration of the number of population and households. Comparing to the outcomes of the traditional township units, TGSC provides additional levels of spatial units with finer granularity for presenting spatial phenomena and enables domain experts to select appropriate dissemination level for publishing statistical data. This paper compares the results of respectively using TGSC and township unit on the mortality data and examines the spatial characteristics of their outcomes. For the mortality data between the period of January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2010 of the Taitung County, the all-cause age-standardized death rate (ASDR) ranges from 571 to 1757 per 100,000 persons, whereas the 2nd dissemination area (TGSC) shows greater variation, ranged from 0 to 2222 per 100,000. The finer granularity of spatial units of TGSC clearly provides better outcomes for identifying and evaluating the geographic inequality and can be further analyzed with the statistical measures from other perspectives (e.g., population, area, environment.). The management and analysis of the statistical data referring to the TGSC in this research is strongly supported by the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. An integrated workflow that consists of the tasks of the processing of death certificates, the geocoding of street address, the quality assurance of geocoded results, the automatic calculation of statistic measures, the standardized encoding of measures and the geo-visualization of statistical outcomes is developed. This paper also introduces a set of auxiliary measures from a geographic distribution perspective to further examine the hidden spatial characteristics of mortality data and justify the analyzed results. With the common statistical area framework like TGSC, the preliminary results demonstrate promising potential for developing a web-based statistical service that can effectively access domain statistical data and present the analyzed outcomes in meaningful ways to avoid wrong decision making.

    A Nutritional Wellness Program for Overweight Health Care Providers in Hospital Setting: A Randomized Controlled Trial Pilot Study
    Background: The prevalence of workplace obesity is rising worldwide; therefore, the workplace is an ideal venue to implement weight control intervention. This pilot randomized controlled trial aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate a nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers working in a hospital. Methods: This hospital-based nutritional wellness program was an 8-week pilot randomized controlled trial for obese health care providers. The primary outcomes were body weight and body mass index (BMI). The secondary outcomes were serum fasting glucose, fasting cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density (HDL) and low-density (LDL) lipoprotein, body fat percentage, and body mass. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 20) or control (n = 22) group. Participants in both groups received individual nutrition counselling and nutrition pamphlets, whereas only participants in the intervention group were given mobile phone text messages. Results: 42 participants completed the study. In comparison with the control group, the intervention group showed approximately 0.98 kg weight reduction after two months. Participants in intervention group also demonstrated clinically significant improvement in BMI, serum cholesterol level, and HDL level. There was no improvement of body fat percentage and body mass for both intervention and control groups. Conclusion: The nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers was feasible in hospital settings. Health care providers demonstrated short-term weight loss, decrease in serum fasting cholesterol level, and HDL level after completing the program.
    Resilience in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease in Hemodialysis

    Chronic Kidney Disease is considered a serious public health problem. The exploitation of resilience has been guided by studies conducted in various contexts, especially in hemodialysis, since the impact of diagnosis and restrictions produced during the treatment process because, despite advances in treatment, remains the stigma of the disease and the feeling of pain, hopelessness, low self-esteem and disability. The objective was to evaluate the level of resilience of patients in chronic renal dialysis. This is a descriptive, correlational, cross and quantitative research. The sample consisted of 100 patients from a Renal Replacement Therapy Unit in the countryside of São Paulo. For data collection were used the characterization instrument of Participants and the Resilience Scale. There was a predominance of males (70.0%) were Caucasian (45.0%) and had completed elementary education (34.0%). The average score obtained through the Resilience Scale was 131.3 (± 20.06) points. The resiliency level submitted may be considered satisfactory. It is expected that this study will assist in the preparation of programs and actions in order to avoid possible situations of crises faced by chronic renal patients.

    An Investigation of the Effects of Emotional Experience Induction on Mirror Neurons System Activity with Regard to Spectrum of Depressive Symptoms

    The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of emotional experience induction in the mirror neurons systems (MNS) activity with regard to the spectrum of depressive symptoms. For this purpose, at first stage, 449 students of Kharazmi University of Tehran were selected randomly and completed the second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). Then, 36 students with standard Z-score equal or above +1.5 and equal or equal or below -1.5 were selected to construct two groups of high and low spectrum of depressive symptoms. In the next stage, the basic activity of MNS was recorded (mu wave) before presenting the positive and negative emotional video clips by Electroencephalography (EEG) technique. The findings related to emotion induction (neutral, negative and positive emotion) demonstrated that the activity of recorded mirror neuron areas had a significant difference between the depressive and non-depressive groups. These findings suggest that probably processing of negative emotions in depressive individuals is due to the idea that the mirror neurons in motor cortex matched up the activity of cognitive regions with the person’s schema. Considering the results of the present study, it could be said that the MNS provides a substrate where emotional disorders can be studied and evaluated.

    Design and Fabrication of a Scaffold with Appropriate Features for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
    Poor ability of cartilage tissue when experiencing a damage leads scientists to use tissue engineering as a reliable and effective method for regenerating or replacing damaged tissues. An artificial tissue should have some features such as biocompatibility, biodegradation and, enough mechanical properties like the original tissue. In this work, a composite hydrogel is prepared by using natural and synthetic materials that has high porosity. Mechanical properties of different combinations of polymers such as modulus of elasticity were tested, and a hydrogel with good mechanical properties was selected. Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells were also seeded into the pores of the sponge, and the results showed the adhesion and proliferation of cells within the hydrogel after one month. In comparison with previous works, this study offers a new and efficient procedure for the fabrication of cartilage like tissue and further cartilage repair.
    Antibody-Conjugated Nontoxic Arginine-Doped Fe3O4 Nanoparticles for Magnetic Circulating Tumor Cells Separation
    Nano-sized materials present new opportunities in biology and medicine and they are used as biomedical tools for investigation, separation of molecules and cells. To achieve more effective cancer therapy, it is essential to select cancer cells exactly. This research suggests that using the antibody-functionalized nontoxic Arginine-doped magnetic nanoparticles (A-MNPs), has been prosperous in detection, capture, and magnetic separation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in tumor tissue. In this study, A-MNPs were synthesized via a simple precipitation reaction and directly immobilized Ep-CAM EBA-1 antibodies over superparamagnetic A-MNPs for Mucin BCA-225 in breast cancer cell. The samples were characterized by vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), FT-IR spectroscopy, Tunneling Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). These antibody-functionalized nontoxic A-MNPs were used to capture breast cancer cell. Through employing a strong permanent magnet, the magnetic separation was achieved within a few seconds. Antibody-Conjugated nontoxic Arginine-doped Fe3O4 nanoparticles have the potential for the future study to capture CTCs which are released from tumor tissue and for drug delivery, and these results demonstrate that the antibody-conjugated A-MNPs can be used in magnetic hyperthermia techniques for cancer treatment.
    A Constitutive Model of Ligaments and Tendons Accounting for Fiber-Matrix Interaction
    In this study, a new constitutive model is developed to describe the hyperelastic behavior of collagenous tissues with a parallel arrangement of collagen fibers such as ligaments and tendons. The model is formulated using a continuum approach incorporating the structural changes of the main tissue components: collagen fibers, proteoglycan-rich matrix and fiber-matrix interaction. The mechanical contribution of the interaction between the fibers and the matrix is simply expressed by a coupling term. The structural change of the collagen fibers is incorporated in the constitutive model to describe the activation of the fibers under tissue straining. Finally, the constitutive model can easily describe the stress-stretch nonlinearity which occurs when a ligament/tendon is axially stretched. This study shows that the interaction between the fibers and the matrix contributes to the mechanical tissue response. Therefore, the model may lead to a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms of ligaments and tendons under axial loading.
    Eosinophils and Platelets: Players of the Game in Morbid Obese Boys with Metabolic Syndrome
    Childhood obesity, which may lead to increased risk for heart diseases in children as well as adults, is one of the most important health problems throughout the world. Prevalences of morbid obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are being increased during childhood age group. MetS is a cluster of metabolic and vascular abnormalities including hypercoagulability and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). There are also some relations between some components of MetS and leukocytes. The aim of this study is to investigate complete blood cell count parameters that differ between morbidly obese boys and girls with MetS diagnosis. A total of 117 morbid obese children with MetS consulted to Department of Pediatrics in Faculty of Medicine Hospital at Namik Kemal University were included into the scope of the study. The study population was classified based upon their genders (60 girls and 57 boys). Their heights and weights were measured and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Waist-to-hip and head-to-neck ratios as well as homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were calculated. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Hematological variables were measured. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p ≤ 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the ages (11.2±2.6 years vs 11.2±3.0 years) and BMIs (28.6±5.2 kg/m2 vs 29.3±5.2 kg/m2) of boys and girls (p ≥ 0.05), respectively. Significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios were obtained for boys (0.94±0.08 vs 0.91±0.06; p=0.023). Significantly elevated values of hemoglobin (13.55±0.98 vs 13.06±0.82; p=0.004), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (33.79±0.91 vs 33.21±1.14; p=0.003), eosinophils (0.300±0.253 vs 0.196±0.197; p=0.014), and platelet (347.1±81.7 vs 319.0±65.9; p=0.042) were detected for boys. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratios as well as HOMA-IR values (p ≥ 0.05). Statistically significant gender-based differences were found for hemoglobin as well as mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and hence, separate reference intervals for two genders should be considered for these parameters. Eosinophils may contribute to the development of thrombus in acute coronary syndrome. Eosinophils are also known to make an important contribution to mechanisms related to thrombosis pathogenesis in acute myocardial infarction. Increased platelet activity is observed in patients with MetS and these individuals are more susceptible to CVDs. In our study, elevated platelets described as dominant contributors to hypercoagulability and elevated eosinophil counts suggested to be related to the development of CVDs observed in boys may be the early indicators of the future cardiometabolic complications in this gender.
    Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio: A Predictor of Cardiometabolic Complications in Morbid Obese Girls
    Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory state. Childhood obesity is a multisystem disease, which is associated with a number of complications as well as potentially negative consequences. Gender is an important universal risk factor for many diseases. Hematological indices differ significantly by gender. This should be considered during the evaluation of obese children. The aim of this study is to detect hematologic indices that differ by gender in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 134 MO children took part in this study. The parents filled an informed consent form and the approval from the Ethics Committee of Namik Kemal University was obtained. Subjects were divided into two groups based on their genders (64 females aged 10.2±3.1 years and 70 males aged 9.8±2.2 years; p ≥ 0.05). Waist-to-hip as well as head-to-neck ratios and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. The children, whose WHO BMI-for age and sex percentile values were > 99 percentile, were defined as MO. Hematological parameters [haemoglobin, hematocrit, erythrocyte count, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, red blood cell distribution width, leukocyte count, neutrophil %, lymphocyte %, monocyte %, eosinophil %, basophil %, platelet count, platelet distribution width, mean platelet volume] were determined by the automatic hematology analyzer. SPSS was used for statistical analyses. P ≤ 0.05 was the degree for statistical significance. The groups included children having mean±SD value of BMI as 26.9±3.4 kg/m2 for males and 27.7±4.4 kg/m2 for females (p ≥ 0.05). There was no significant difference between ages of females and males (p ≥ 0.05). Males had significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios (0.95±0.08 vs 0.91±0.08; p=0.005) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration values (33.6±0.92 vs 33.1±0.83; p=0.001) compared to those of females. Significantly elevated neutrophil (4.69±1.59 vs 4.02±1.42; p=0.011) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios (1.70±0.71 vs 1.39±0.48; p=0.004) were detected in females. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in terms of C-reactive protein values (p ≥ 0.05). Adipose tissue plays important roles during the development of obesity and associated diseases such as metabolic syndrom and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). These diseases may cause changes in complete blood cell count parameters. These alterations are even more important during childhood. Significant gender effects on the changes of neutrophils, one of the white blood cell subsets, were observed. The findings of the study demonstrate the importance of considering gender in clinical studies. The males and females may have distinct leukocyte-trafficking profiles in inflammation. Female children had more circulating neutrophils, which may be the indicator of an increased risk of CVDs, than male children within this age range during the late stage of obesity. In recent years, females represent about half of deaths from CVDs; therefore, our findings may be the indicator of the increasing tendency of this risk in females starting from childhood.
    Effect of Natural Binder on Pang-Rum Hardness
    The aim of this study is to improve Pang-Rum (PR) hardness by adding natural binders. PR is one of Thai tradition aroma products. In the past, it was used for aesthetic propose on face and body with good odor. Nowadays, PR is not popular and going to be disappeared. Five natural materials, i.e. agar, rice flour, glutinous flour, corn starch, and tapioca starch were selected to use as binders. Binders were dissolved with boiled water into concentration 5% and 10% w/w except agar that was prepared 0.5% and 1% w/w. PR with and without binder were formulated. Physical properties, i.e. weight, shape, color, and hardness were evaluated. PR with 10% of corn starch solution had suitable hardness (14.2±0.9 kg) and the best appearance. In the future, it would be planned to study about odor and physical stability for decorated product development.
    Thermography Evaluation on Facial Temperature Recovery after Elastic Gum

    Thermography is a non-radiating and contact-free technology which can be used to monitor skin temperature. The efficiency and safety of thermography technology make it a useful tool for detecting and locating thermal changes in skin surface, characterized by increases or decreases in temperature. This work intends to be a contribution for the use of thermography as a methodology for evaluation of skin temperature in the context of orofacial biomechanics. The study aims to identify the oscillations of skin temperature in the left and right hemiface regions of the masseter muscle, during and after thermal stimulus, and estimate the time required to restore the initial temperature after the application of the stimulus. Using a FLIR T430sc camera, a data acquisition protocol was followed with a group of eight volunteers, aged between 22 and 27 years. The tests were performed in a controlled environment with the volunteers in a comfortably static position. The thermal stimulus involves the use of an ice volume with controlled size and contact surface. The skin surface temperature was recorded in two distinct situations, namely without further stimulus and with the additions of a stimulus obtained by a chewing gum. The data obtained were treated using FLIR Research IR Max software. The time required to recover the initial temperature ranged from 20 to 52 minutes when no stimulus was added and varied between 8 and 26 minutes with the chewing gum stimulus. These results show that recovery is faster with the addition of the stimulus and may guide clinicians regarding the pre and post-operative times with ice therapy, in the presence or absence of mechanical stimulus that increases muscle functions (e.g. phonetics or mastication).

    Social Health and Adaptation of Armenian Physicians

    Ability of adaptation of the organism is considered as an important component of health in maintaining relative dynamic constancy of the hemostasis and functioning of all organs and systems. Among the various forms of adaptation (individual, species and mental), social adaptation of the organism has a particular role. The aim of this study was to evaluate the subjective perception of social factors, social welfare and the level of adaptability of Armenian physicians. The survey involved 2,167 physicians (592 men and 1,575 women). According to the survey, most physicians (75.1%) were married. It was found that 88.6% of respondents had harmonious family relationships, 7.6% of respondents – tense relationships, and 1.0% – marginal relationships. The results showed that the average monthly salary with all premium payments amounted to 88 263.6±5.0 drams, and 16.7% of physicians heavily relied on the material support of parents or other relatives. Low material welfare was also confirmed by the analysis of the living conditions. Analysis of the results showed that the degree of subjective perception of social factors of different specialties averaged 11.3±3.1 points, which corresponds to satisfactory results (a very good result – 4.0 points). The degree of social adaptation of physicians on average makes 4.13±1.9 points, which corresponds to poor results (allowable less than 3.0 points). The distribution of the results of social adaptation severity revealed that the majority of physicians (58.6%) showed low social adaptation, average social adaptation is observed in 22.4% of the physicians and high adaptation – in only 17.4% of physicians. In conclusions, the findings of this study suggest that the degree of social adaptation of currently practicing physicians is low.

    Application of Gamma Frailty Model in Survival of Liver Cirrhosis Patients

    Goals and Objectives: A typical analysis of survival data involves the modeling of time-to-event data, such as the time till death. A frailty model is a random effect model for time-to-event data, where the random effect has a multiplicative influence on the baseline hazard function. This article aims to investigate the use of gamma frailty model with concomitant variable in order to individualize the prognostic factors that influence the liver cirrhosis patients’ survival times. Methods: During the one-year study period (May 2008-May 2009), data have been used from the recorded information of patients with liver cirrhosis who were scheduled for liver transplantation and were followed up for at least seven years in Imam Khomeini Hospital in Iran. In order to determine the effective factors for cirrhotic patients’ survival in the presence of latent variables, the gamma frailty distribution has been applied. In this article, it was considering the parametric model, such as Exponential and Weibull distributions for survival time. Data analysis is performed using R software, and the error level of 0.05 was considered for all tests. Results: 305 patients with liver cirrhosis including 180 (59%) men and 125 (41%) women were studied. The age average of patients was 39.8 years. At the end of the study, 82 (26%) patients died, among them 48 (58%) were men and 34 (42%) women. The main cause of liver cirrhosis was found hepatitis 'B' with 23%, followed by cryptogenic with 22.6% were identified as the second factor. Generally, 7-year’s survival was 28.44 months, for dead patients and for censoring was 19.33 and 31.79 months, respectively. Using multi-parametric survival models of progressive and regressive, Exponential and Weibull models with regard to the gamma frailty distribution were fitted to the cirrhosis data. In both models, factors including, age, bilirubin serum, albumin serum, and encephalopathy had a significant effect on survival time of cirrhotic patients. Conclusion: To investigate the effective factors for the time of patients’ death with liver cirrhosis in the presence of latent variables, gamma frailty model with parametric distributions seems desirable.

    Analysis of Threats in Interoperability of Medical Devices

    Interoperable medical devices (IMDs) face threats due to the increased attack surface accessible by interoperability and the corresponding infrastructure. Initiating networking and coordination functionalities primarily modify medical systems' security properties. Understanding the threats is a vital first step in ultimately crafting security solutions for such systems. The key to this problem is coming up with some common types of threats or attacks with those of security and privacy, and providing this information as a roadmap. This paper analyses the security issues in interoperability of devices and presents the main types of threats that have to be considered to build a secured system.

    Evaluation of Thrombolytic Activity of Zingiber cassumunar Roxb. and Thai Herbal Prasaplai Formula

    The propose of this study was to investigate in vitro thrombolytic activity of Zingiber cassumunar Roxb. and Prasaplai, a Thai herbal formulation of Z. cassumunar Roxb. Herbs were extracted with boiling water and concentrated by lyophilization. To observe their thrombolytic potential, an in vitro clot lysis method was applied where streptokinase and sterile distilled water were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Crude aqueous extracts from Z. cassumunar Roxb. and Prasaplai formula showed significant thrombolytic activity by clot lysis of 17.90% and 25.21%, respectively, compared to the negative control water (5.16%) while the standard streptokinase revealed 64.78% clot lysis. These findings suggest that Z. cassumunar Roxb. exhibits moderate thrombolytic activity and cloud play an important role in the thrombolytic properties of Prasaplai formula. However, further study should be done to observe in vivo clot dissolving potential and to isolate active component(s) of these extracts.

    Stability of Essential Oils in Pang-Rum by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

    Ancient Thai perfumed powder was used as a fragrance for clothing, food, and the body. Plant-based natural Thai perfume products are known as Pang-Rum. The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of essential oils after six months of incubation. The chemical compositions were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), in terms of the qualitative composition of the isolated essential oil. The isolation of the essential oil of natural products by incubate sample for 5 min at 40 ºC is described. The volatile components were identified by percentage of total peak areas comparing their retention times of GC chromatograph with NIST mass spectral library. The results show no significant difference in the seven chromatograms of perfumed powder (Pang-Rum) both with binder and without binder. Further identification was done by GC-MS. Some components of Pang-Rum with/without binder were changed by temperature and time.

    Family Carers' Experiences in Striving for Medical Care and Finding Their Solutions for Family Members with Mental Illnesses

    Wishes and choices being respected, and the right to be supported rather than coerced, have been internationally recognized as the human rights of persons with mental illness. In Taiwan, ‘coerced hospitalization’ has become difficult since the revision of the mental health legislation in 2007. Despite trend towards human rights, the real problem families face when their family members are in mental health crisis is the lack of alternative services. This study aims to explore: 1) When is hospitalization seen as the only solution by family members? 2) What are the barriers for arranging hospitalization, and how are they managed? 3) What have family carers learned, in their experiences of caring for their family members with mental illness? To answer these questions, qualitative approach was adopted, and focus group interviews were taken to collect data. This study includes 24 family carers. The main findings of this research include: First, hospital is the last resort for carers in helplessness. Family carers tend to do everything they could to provide care at home for their family members with mental illness. Carers seek hospitalization only when a patient’s behavior is too violent, weird, and/or abnormal, and beyond their ability to manage. Hospitalization, nevertheless, is never an easy choice. Obstacles emanate from the attitudes of the medical doctors, the restricted areas of ambulance service, and insufficient information from the carers’ part. On the other hand, with some professionals’ proactive assistance, access to medical care while in crisis becomes possible. Some family carers obtained help from the medical doctor, nurse, therapist and social workers. Some experienced good help from policemen, taxi drivers, and security guards at the hospital. The difficulty in accessing medical care prompts carers to work harder on assisting their family members with mental illness to stay in stable states. Carers found different ways of helping the ‘person’ to get along with the ‘illness’ and have better quality of life. Taking back ‘the right to control’ in utilizing medication, from passiveness to negotiating with medical doctors and seeking alternative therapies, are seen in many carers’ efforts. Besides, trying to maintain regular activities in daily life and play normal family roles are also experienced as important. Furthermore, talking with the patient as a person is also important. The authors conclude that in order to protect the human rights of persons with mental illness, it is crucial to make the medical care system more flexible and to make the services more humane: sufficient information should be provided and communicated, and efforts should be made to maintain the person’s social roles and to support the family.

    The Effect of Smartphones on Human Health Relative to User’s Addiction: A Study on a Wide Range of Audiences in Jordan
    The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of the excessive use of smartphones. Smartphones have enormous effects on the human body in that some musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and health problems might evolve. These days, there is a wide use of the smartphones among all age groups of society, thus, the focus on smartphone effects on human behavior and health, especially on the young and elderly people, becomes a crucial issue. This study was conducted in Jordan on smartphone users for different genders and ages, by conducting a survey to collect data related to the symptoms and MSDs that are resulted from the excessive use of smartphones. A total of 357 responses were used in the analysis. The main related symptoms were numbness, fingers pain, and pain in arm, all linked to age and gender for comparative reasons. A statistical analysis was performed to find the effects of extensive usage of a smartphone for long periods of time on the human body. Results show that the significant variables were the vision problems and the time spent when using the smartphone that cause vision problems. Other variables including age of user and ear problems due to the use of the headsets were found to be a border line significant.
    Visual and Clinical Outcome in Patients with Corneal Lacerations

    In industrialized nations, corneal lacerations are one of the most common reason for hospitalization. This study was designed to study visual and clinical outcome in patients presenting with full thickness corneal lacerations in Indian population and to ascertain the impact of various preoperative and operative factors influencing prognosis after repair of corneal lacerations. Males in third decade with injuries at work with metallic objects were common. Lens damage, hyphema, vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment and endophthalmitis were seen. All the patients underwent primary repair within first 24 hours of presentation. At 3 months, 74.3% had a good visual outcome. About 5.7% of patients had no perception of light.In conclusion, various demographic and preoperative factors like age, time of presentation, vision at presentation, length of corneal wound, involvement of visual axis, associated ocular features like hyphaema, lenticular changes, vitreous haemorrhage and retinal detachment are significant prognostic indicators for final visual outcome.

    Antibacterial Effect of Silver Diamine Fluoride Incorporated in Fissure Sealants

    Introduction: The application of fissure sealants is considered to be an important primary prevention method used in dental medicine. However, the formation of microleakage gaps between tooth enamel and the fissure sealant applied is one of the most common reasons of dental caries development in teeth with fissure sealants. The association between various dental biomaterials may limit the major disadvantages and limitations of biomaterials functioning in a complementary manner. The present study consists in the incorporation of a cariostatic agent – silver diamine fluoride (SDF) – in a resin-based fissure sealant followed by the study of release kinetics by spectrophotometry analysis of the association between both biomaterials and assessment of the inhibitory effect on the growth of the reference bacterial strain Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) in an in vitro study. Materials and Methods: An experimental in vitro study was designed consisting in the entrapment of SDF (Cariestop® 12% and 30%) into a commercially available fissure sealant (Fissurit®), by photopolymerization and photocrosslinking. The same sealant, without SDF was used as a negative control. The effect of the sealants on the growth of S. mutans was determined by the presence of bacterial inhibitory halos in the cultures at the end of the incubation period. In order to confirm the absence of bacteria in the surface of the materials, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) characterization was performed. Also, to analyze the release profile of SDF along time, spectrophotometry technique was applied. Results: The obtained results indicate that the association of SDF to a resin-based fissure sealant may be able to increase the inhibition of S. mutans growth. However, no SDF release was noticed during the in vitro release studies and no statistical significant difference was verified when comparing the inhibitory halo sizes obtained for test and control group.  Conclusions: In this study, the entrapment of SDF in the resin-based fissure sealant did not potentiate the antibacterial effect of the fissure sealant or avoid the immediate development of dental caries. The development of more laboratorial research and, afterwards, long-term clinical data are necessary in order to verify if this association between these biomaterials is effective and can be considered for being used in oral health management. Also, other methodologies for associating cariostatic agents and sealant should be addressed.

    A Paradigm for Characterization and Checking of a Human Noise Behavior

    This paper presents a paradigm for characterization and checking of human noise behavior. The definitions of ‘Noise’ and ‘Noise Behavior’ are devised. The concept of characterization and examining of Noise Behavior is obtained from the proposed paradigm of Psychoacoustics. The measurement of human noise behavior is discussed through definitions of noise sources and noise measurements. The noise sources, noise measurement equations and noise filters are further illustrated through examples. The theory and significance of solar energy acoustics is presented for life and its activities. Human comfort and health are correlated with human brain through physiological responses and noise protection. Examples of heat stress, intense heat, sweating and evaporation are also enumerated.

    Body Mass Index and Dietary Habits among Nursing College Students Living in the University Residence in Kirkuk City, Iraq

    Obesity prevalence is increasing worldwide. University life is a challenging period especially for students who have to leave their familiar surroundings and settle in a new environment. The current study aimed to assess the diet and exercise habits and their association with body mass index (BMI) among nursing college students living at Kirkuk University residence. This was a descriptive study. A non-probability (purposive) sample of 101 students living in Kirkuk University residence was recruited during the period from the 15th November 2015 to the 5th May 2016. A questionnaire was constructed for the purpose of the study which consisted of four parts: the demographic characteristics of the study sample, eating habits, eating at college and healthy habits. The data were collected by interviewing the study sample and the weight and height were measured by a trained researcher at the college. Descriptive statistical analysis was undertaken. Data were prepared, organized and entered into the computer file; the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS 20) was used for data analysis. A p value≤ 0.05 was accepted as statistical significant. A total of 63 (62.4%) of the sample were aged20-21with a mean age of 22.1 (SD±0.653). A third of the sample 38 (37.6%) were from level four at college, 67 (66.3%) were female and 46 45.5% of participants were from a middle socio-economic status. 14 (13.9%) of the study sample were overweight (BMI =25-29.9kg/m2) and 6 (5.9%) were obese (BMI≥30kg/m2) compared to 73 (72.3%) were of normal weight (BMI =18.5-24.9kg/m2). With regard to eating habits and exercise, 42 (41.6%) of the students rarely ate breakfast, 79 (78.2%) eat lunch at university residence, 77 (78.2%) of the students reported rarely doing exercise and 62 (61.4%) of them were sleeping for less than eight hours. No significant association was found between the variables age, sex, level of college and socio-economic status and BMI, while there was a significant association between eating lunch at university and BMI (p =0.03). No significant association was found between eating habits, healthy habits and BMI. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among the study sample was 19.8% with female students being more obese than males. Further studies are needed to identify BMI among residence students in other colleges and increasing the awareness of undergraduate students to healthy food habits.