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Impact of urbanization and steel mill emissions on elemental composition of street dust and corresponding particle characterization
Klemen Teran, Gorazd Žibret, Mattia Fanetti, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Street Dust (SD) acts as a sink and source of atmospheric particles containing Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) and can pose a possible pathway of PTEs to human bodies. Comprehensive SD study, where 249 samples were collected from rural, urban and industrialized areas aimed to increase the understanding between sedimentation of atmospheric dust derived from anthropogenic activities and elemental composition of SD. Elemental composition for 53 elements (ICP-MS, aqua regia digestion) was determined on fraction <0.063 mm. Significantly increased levels of Sn-Cu-Sb-Bi-Ag-Ba-Mo-Pt-Pb and other elements have been detected in urban environments, compared to the rural ones. SEM/EDS investigation identified that main carriers of Ba, Cu and Sn are most likely particles derived from non-exhaust traffic emissions. Areas around steel mills show a strong enrichment with Cr, Mo, Ni and W, which exponentially decreases with the increased distance from the plant, reaching corresponding urban background 15 and 20 km from the source. SEM/EDS inspection identified spherical and melted irregular particles as the main carriers of the above-mentioned elements. City managers shall adapt measures to reduce amount of vehicular traffic and quantity of deposited SD on the public surfaces and encourage green city planning, while industrial emitters are encouraged to reduce their dust emissions.
Keywords: ironwork, pollution, potentially toxic elements, Slovenia, traffic
Published in DiRROS: 10.06.2022; Views: 121; Downloads: 50
.pdf Full text (10,32 MB)

Building of the Al-Containing secondary raw materials registry for the production of low CO2 mineral binders in South-Eastern European region
Gorazd Žibret, Klemen Teran, Lea Žibret, Katarina Šter, Sabina Kramar, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The bottleneck in the process for increasing production of low CO2 mineral binders, based on BCSA (belite sulfoaluminate) clinkers, is the availability of Al-rich raw materials. For that purpose, a new registry of Al-containing secondary mineral residues (industrial and mine waste) has been developed and is presented in this paper. The methodology of creating the registry consists of three main steps: Gathering ideas, consolidation of ideas, and implementation. In order to achieve this, the following methodology was adopted: Analysis of similar registries by potential end-users and seeking potential solutions and tools to be used, and conducting 3 rounds of stakeholder consultations via workshops in order to determine crucial parameters and features the registry needs to contain. The key discussion points were about which data the registry needs to contain, who shall be the potential users, and what are the stakeholderʼs expectations from the registryʼs portal. Potential individual registry variables were identified as being relevant/irrelevant or available/unavailable, and potential solutions for the registrys sustainability were explored. Each Al-rich waste/residue data entry is divided into 10 slots, describing legal status, location, quantities, chemical (REE included), mineralogical, physical and radiological properties, life-cycle assessment, additional data, and data relevancy. The registry will act as a matchmaking tool between producers/holders of Al-rich secondary raw materials and potential producers of cement clinkers.
Keywords: cement, belite sulfoaluminate clinker, waste, by--product, deležniki, open access
Published in DiRROS: 10.06.2022; Views: 112; Downloads: 96
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The valorisation of selected quarry and mine waste for sustainable cement production within the concept of circular economy
Emilija Fidanchevski, Katarina Šter, Maruša Mrak, Ljiljana Kljajević, Gorazd Žibret, Klemen Teran, Bojan Poletanovic, Monika Fidanchevska, Sabina Kramar, Ildikó Merta, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The cement industry could potentially consume large amounts of solid industrial waste in order to improve its sustainability. The suitability of selected quarry and mine waste as secondary raw materials (SRM) was examined for the sustainable production of cement following the concept of a circular economy. The chemical, mineralogical, and radiological characterization of SRM was conducted in this study. Its potential use in low-carbon and low-energy belite-sulfoaluminate cement was investigated by incorporating the examined SRM into cement clinker. Various characterization methods were used to characterize the cement, including X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), thermal analysis (DTA/TG), and isothermal calorimetry. Depending on the chemical composition of the waste, lower or higher amounts were allowed to be incorporated into the raw clinker mixture for a targeted clinker phase composition. Among the samples, differences were observed in the phase composition of synthesized clinkers, which slightly influenced the reactivity of the cement but did not significantly change the compressive strength of the final product.
Keywords: BCSA clinker, cement, circular economy, clinker, mine wastes, quarry waste
Published in DiRROS: 10.06.2022; Views: 107; Downloads: 81
.pdf Full text (3,34 MB)

Geographical and temporal diversity of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani' in wine-growing regions in Slovenia and Austria
Nataša Mehle, Sanda Kavčič, Sara Mermal, Sara Vidmar, Maruša Pompe Novak, Monika Riedle-Bauer, Günter Brader, Aleš Kladnik, Marina Dermastia, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: As the causal agent of the grapevine yellows disease Bois noir, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ has a major economic impact on grapevines. To improve the control of Bois noir, it is critical to understand the very complex epidemiological cycles that involve the multiple “Ca. P. solani” host plants and insect vectors, of which Hyalesthes obsoletus is the most important. In the present study, multiple genotyping of the tuf, secY, stamp, and vmp1 genes was performed. This involved archived grapevine samples that were collected during an official survey of grapevine yellows throughout the wine-growing regions of Slovenia (from 2003 to 2016), plus samples from Austrian grapevines, stinging nettle, field bindweed, and insect samples (collected from 2012 to 2019). The data show that the tuf-b2 type of the tuf gene has been present in eastern Slovenia since at least 2003. The hypotheses that the occurrence of the haplotypes varies due to the geographical position of Slovenia on the Italian–Slovenian Karst divide and that the haplotypes are similar between Slovenian and Austrian Styria were confirmed. The data also show haplotype changes for host plants and H. obsoletus associated with ‘Ca. P. solani,’ which might be linked to new epidemiological cycles of this phytoplasma that involve not just new plant sources and new insect vectors, but also climate and land-use changes.
Keywords: Bois noir, genotyping, ‘Ca. P. solani’, tuf gene, secY, survey, tuf-b2, stamp
Published in DiRROS: 10.06.2022; Views: 96; Downloads: 68
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P14/ARF-positive malignant pleural mesothelioma : ǂa ǂphenotype with distinct immune microenvironment
Federica Pezzuto, Francesca Lunardi, Luca Vedovelli, Francesco Fortarezza, Loredana Urso, Federica Grosso, Giovanni Luca Ceresoli, Izidor Kern, Gregor Vlačić, Fiorella Calabrese, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction: The CDKN2A gene plays a central role in the pathogenesis of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The gene encodes for two tumor suppressor proteins, p16/INK4A and p14/ARF, frequently lost in MPM tumors. The exact role of p14/ARF in MPM and overall its correlation with the immune microenvironment is unknown. We aimed to determine whether there is a relationship between p14/ARF expression, tumor morphological features, and the inflammatory tumor microenvironment. Methods: Diagnostic biopsies from 76 chemo-naive MPMs were evaluated. Pathological assessments of histotype, necrosis, inflammation, grading, and mitosis were performed. We evaluated p14/ARF, PD-L1 (tumor proportion score, TPS), and Ki-67 (percentage) by immunohistochemistry. Inflammatory cell components (CD3+, CD4+, CD8+ T lymphocytes; CD20+ B-lymphocytes; CD68+ and CD163+ macrophages) were quantified as percentages of positive cells, distinguishing between intratumoral and peritumoral areas. The expression of p14/ARF was associated with several clinical and pathological characteristics. A random forest-based machine-learning algorithm (Boruta) was implemented to identify which variables were associated with p14/ARF expression. Results: p14/ARF was evaluated in 68 patients who had a sufficient number of tumor cells. Strong positivity was detected in 14 patients (21%) (11 epithelioid and 3 biphasic MPMs). At univariate analysis, p14/ARF-positive epithelioid mesotheliomas showed higher nuclear grade (G3) (p = 0.023) and higher PD-L1 expression (≥50%) (p = 0.042). The percentages of CD4 and CD163 in peritumoral areas were respectively higher and lower in p14/ARF positive tumors but did not reach statistical significance with our sample size (both p = 0.066). The Boruta algorithm confirmed the predictive value of PD-L1 percentage for p14/ARF expression in all histotypes. Conclusions: p14/ARF-positive epithelioid mesotheliomas may mark a more aggressive pathological phenotype (higher nuclear grade and PD-L1 expression). Considering the results regarding the tumor immune microenvironment, p14/ARF-negative tumors seem to have an immune microenvironment less sensitive to immune checkpoint inhibitors, being associated with low PD-L1 and CD4 expression, and high CD163 percentage. The association between p14/ARF-positive MPMs and PD-L1 expression suggests a possible interaction of the two pathways. Confirmation of our preliminary results could be important for patient selection and recruitment in future clinical trials with anticancer immunotherapy.
Keywords: lung -- cytology -- pathology, neoplasms, malignant mesothelioma, malignant pleural mesothelioma, tumor microenvironment
Published in DiRROS: 30.05.2022; Views: 109; Downloads: 76
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Expression patterns and prognostic relevance of subtype-specific transcription factors in surgically resected small cell lung cancer : an international multicenter study
Zsolt Megyesfalvi, Nandor Barany, Andras Lantos, Zsuzsanna Valko, Orsolya Pipek, Christian Lang, Anna Schwendenwein, Felicitas Oberndorfer, Sandor Paku, Bence Ferencz, Izidor Kern, Mile Kovačević, Viktoria Laszlo, Balazs Dome, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The tissue distribution and prognostic relevance of subtype-specific proteins (ASCL1, NEUROD1, POU2F3, YAP1) present an evolving area of research in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The expression of subtype-specific transcription factors and P53 and RB1 proteins were measured by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 386 surgically resected SCLC samples. Correlations between subtype-specific proteins and in vitro efficacy of various therapeutic agents were investigated by proteomics and cell viability assays in 26 human SCLC cell lines. Besides SCLC-A (ASCL1-dominant), SCLC-AN (combined ASCL1/NEUROD1), SCLC-N (NEUROD1-dominant) and SCLC-P (POU2F3-dominant), IHC and cluster analyses identified a quadruple-negative SCLC subtype (SCLC-QN). No unique YAP1-subtype was found. The highest overall survival rates were associated with non-neuroendocrine subtypes (SCLC-P and SCLC-QN) and the lowest with neuroendocrine subtypes (SCLC-A, SCLC-N, SCLC-AN). In univariate analyses, high ASCL1 expression was associated with poor prognosis and high POU2F3 expression with good prognosis. Notably, high ASCL1 expression influenced survival outcomes independently of other variables in a multivariate model. High POU2F3 and YAP1 protein abundances correlated with sensitivity and resistance to standard-of-care chemotherapeutics, respectively. Specific correlation patterns were also found between the efficacy of targeted agents and subtype-specific protein abundances. In conclusion, we have investigated the clinicopathological relevance of SCLC molecular subtypes in a large cohort of surgically resected specimens. Differential IHC expression of ASCL1, NEUROD1 and POU2F3 defines SCLC subtypes. No YAP1-subtype can be distinguished by IHC. High POU2F3 expression is associated with improved survival in a univariate analysis, whereas elevated ASCL1 expression is an independent negative prognosticator. Proteomic and cell viability assays of human SCLC cell lines reveal distinct vulnerability profiles defined by transcription regulators.
Keywords: Non-small-cell lung carcinoma, immunohistochemistry, molecular subtypes, prognostic relevance, expression pattern, neuroendocrine subtypes
Published in DiRROS: 27.05.2022; Views: 92; Downloads: 140
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Electric-bus routes in hilly urban areas : overview and challenges
Gregor Papa, Marina Santo-Zarnik, Vida Vukašinović, 2022, original scientific article

Published in DiRROS: 27.05.2022; Views: 121; Downloads: 55
.pdf Full text (14,45 MB)

The time course of quadriceps strength recovery after total knee arthroplasty is influenced by body mass index, sex, and age of patients
Armin Paravlić, Cécil J. W. Meulenberg, Kristina Drole, 2022, review article

Abstract: Introduction: For patients with osteoarthritis who have undergone total knee arthroplasty (TKA), quadriceps strength is a major determinant of general physical function regardless of the parameters adopted for functional assessment. Understanding the time course of quadriceps strength recovery and effectiveness of different rehabilitation protocols is a must. Therefore, the aim of this study was to: (i) determine the magnitude of maximal voluntary strength (MVS) loss and the time course of recovery of the quadriceps muscle following TKA, (ii) identify potential moderators of strength outcomes, and (iii) investigate whether different rehabilitation practices can moderate the strength outcomes following TKA, respectively. Design: General scientific databases and relevant journals in the field of orthopedics were searched, identifying prospective studies that investigated quadriceps’ MVS pre-to post-surgery. Results: Seventeen studies with a total of 832 patients (39% males) were included. Results showed that in the early post-operative days, the involved quadriceps’ MVS markedly declined, after which it slowly recovered over time in a linear fashion. Thus, the greatest decline of the MVS was observed 3 days after TKA. When compared to pre-operative values, the MVS was still significantly lower 3 months after TKA and did not fully recover up to 6 months following TKA. Furthermore, a meta-regression analysis identified that the variables, time point of evaluation, patient age, sex, and BMI, significantly moderate the MVS of the quadriceps muscle. Conclusion: The analyzed literature data showed that the decrease in strength of the involved quadriceps muscles following TKA is considerable and lasts for several months post-surgery. Therefore, we recommend to specifically target the strengthening of knee extensor muscles, preserve motor control, and apply appropriate nutrition to ensure a holistic quadriceps muscle recovery. Since age, sex, and BMI were found to be moderating factors in patients’ recovery, further research should include specific analyses considering these moderators.
Keywords: knee osteoarthritis, total knee arthroplasty, rehabilitation, functional performance, voluntary activation, obesity, body mass index
Published in DiRROS: 26.05.2022; Views: 138; Downloads: 69
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Permanent hydrophobic coating of chitosan/cellulose nanocrystals composite film by cold plasma processing
Ana Oberlintner, Alenka Vesel, Katerina Naumoska, Blaž Likozar, Uroš Novak, 2022, original scientific article

Published in DiRROS: 26.05.2022; Views: 136; Downloads: 86
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Esterification of lutein from Japanese knotweed waste gives a range of lutein diester products with unique chemical stability
Valentina Metličar, Alen Albreht, 2022, original scientific article

Published in DiRROS: 26.05.2022; Views: 123; Downloads: 65
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