Non INESC TEC publications - Indexed Articles in Journals

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    Quantitative determinations and imaging in different structures of buried human bones from the XVIII-XIXth centuries by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence - Postmortem evaluation
    ( 2016) Diana Filipa Guimarães ; Dias,AA ; Carvalho,M ; Carvalho,ML ; Santos,JP ; Henriques,FR ; Curate,F ; Pessanha,S ; 6888
    In this work, a non-commercial triaxial geometry energy dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) setup and a benchtop mu-XRF system were used to identify postmortem contamination in buried bones. For two of the individuals, unusually high concentrations of Cu and Pb, but also Zn (in one individual) were observed. The pigments of the burial shroud coverings have been identified as the source of contamination. Accurate and precise quantitative results were obtained by nondestructive process using fundamental parameters method taking into account the matrix absorption effects. A total of 30 bones from 13 individuals, buried between the mid-XVlllth to early XIXth centuries, were analyzed to study the elemental composition and elemental distribution. The bones were collected from a church in Almada (Portugal), called Ermida do Espirito Santo, located near the Tagus River and at the sea neighbourhood. The triaxial geometry setup was used to quantify Ca, Fe, Cu, Zn, Br, Sr and Pb of powder pressed bone pellets (n=9 for each bone). Cluster analysis was performed considering the elemental concentrations for the different bones. There was a clear association between some bones regarding Fe, Cu, Zn, Br and Pb content but not a categorization between cortical and trabecular bones. The elemental distribution of Cu, Zn and Pb were assessed by the benchtop p.-analysis, the M4 Tornado, based on a polycapillary system which provides multi-elemental 2D maps. The results showed that contamination was mostly on the surface of the bone confirming that it was related to the burial shroud covering the individuals.
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    Assessing arsenic and selenium in a single nail clipping using portable X-ray fluorescence
    ( 2017) Fleming,DEB ; Nader,MN ; Foran,KA ; Groskopf,C ; Reno,MC ; Ware,CS ; Tehrani,M ; Diana Filipa Guimarães ; Parsons,PJ ; 6888
    The feasibility of measuring arsenic and selenium contents in a single nail clipping was investigated using a small-focus portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument with monochromatic excitation beams. Nail clipping phantoms supplemented with arsenic and selenium to produce materials with 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 mu g/g were used for calibration purposes. In total, 10 different clippings were analyzed at two different measurement positions. Energy spectra were fit with detection peaks for arsenic K-alpha, selenium K-alpha, arsenic K-beta, selenium K-beta, and bromine K-alpha characteristic X-rays. Data analysis was performed under two distinct conditions of fitting constraint. Calibration lines were established from the amplitude of each of the arsenic and selenium peaks as a function of the elemental contents in the clippings. The slopes of the four calibration lines were consistent between the two conditions of analysis. The calculated minimum detection limit (MDL) of the method, when considering the Ka peak only, ranged from 0.210 /- 0.002 mu g/g selenium under one condition of analysis to 0.777 /- 0.009 mu g/g selenium under another. Compared with previous portable XRF nail clipping studies, MDLs were substantially improved for both arsenic and selenium. The new measurement technique had the additional benefits of being short in duration (similar to 3 min) and requiring only a single nail clipping. The mass of the individual clipping used did not appear to play a major role in signal strength, but positioning of the clipping is important.
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    A Simulation Approach for the Design of More Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains in the Pharmaceutical Industry
    ( 2023) Ana Carolina Tavares ; Catarina Moreira Marques ; de Sousa,JP ; 6567 ; 8709
    In a world facing unprecedented challenges, such as climate changes and growing social problems, the pharmaceutical industry must ensure that its supply chains are environmentally sustainable and resilient, guaranteeing access to key medications even when faced with unanticipated disruptions or crises. The core goal of this work is to develop an innovative simulation-based approach to support more informed and effective decision making, while establishing reasonable trade-offs between supply chain robustness and resiliency, operational efficiency, and environmental and social concerns. Such a decision-support system will contribute to the development of more resilient and sustainable pharmaceutical supply chains, which are, in general, critical for maintaining access to essential medicines, especially during times of crises or relevant disruptions. The system will help companies to better manage and design their supply chains, providing a valuable tool to achieve higher levels of resilience and sustainability. The study we conducted has two primary contributions that are noteworthy. Firstly, we present a new advanced approach that integrates multiple simulation techniques, allowing for the modeling of highly complex environments. Secondly, we introduce a new conceptual framework that helps to comprehend the interplay between resiliency and sustainability in decision-making processes. These two contributions provide valuable insights into understanding complex systems and can aid in designing more resilient and sustainable systems.
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    Development of a Collaborative Robotic Platform for Autonomous Auscultation
    ( 2023) Lopes,D ; Coelho,L ; Manuel Santos Silva ; 5655
    Listening to internal body sounds, or auscultation, is one of the most popular diagnostic techniques in medicine. In addition to being simple, non-invasive, and low-cost, the information it offers, in real time, is essential for clinical decision-making. This process, usually done by a doctor in the presence of the patient, currently presents three challenges: procedure duration, participants’ safety, and the patient’s privacy. In this article we tackle these by proposing a new autonomous robotic auscultation system. With the patient prepared for the examination, a 3D computer vision sub-system is able to identify the auscultation points and translate them into spatial coordinates. The robotic arm is then responsible for taking the stethoscope surface into contact with the patient’s skin surface at the various auscultation points. The proposed solution was evaluated to perform a simulated pulmonary auscultation in six patients (with distinct height, weight, and skin color). The obtained results showed that the vision subsystem was able to correctly identify 100% of the auscultation points, with uncontrolled lighting conditions, and the positioning subsystem was able to accurately position the gripper on the corresponding positions on the human body. Patients reported no discomfort during auscultation using the described automated procedure.