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An innovative approach to near-infrared spectroscopy using a standard mobile device and its clinical application in the real-time visualization of peripheral veins
Simon Jurič, Borut Žalik, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Excessive venipunctures are a significant problem both in emergency rooms and during hospital stays. Near-infrared (NIR) illumination devices improve venipuncture success rate but their usage is limited by their availability and economic cost. The objectives of this study were to develop a low-cost NIR spectroscopy prototype from a standard mobile device, to evaluate its efficacy and acceptance as an educational tool, and in a clinical setting. Methods: Through a user-centric design process a prototype device was developed. Its educational efficacy was evaluated through a non-invasive, observational study (20 student clinicians, 25 subjects) and its acceptance was assessed using quantitative and qualitative analysis. A smaller clinical trial was performed by a group of 4 medical professionals over a period of 6 weeks that involved 64 patients. Results: The prototype enables real-time visualization of peripheral veins on a variety of Android-based devices. The prototype was 35.2% more successful in visualizing and locating veins (n = 500 attempts) than the nursing students. The acceptance assessment revealed high perception of usefulness, satisfaction, and ease of use. In the clinical trial, 1.6 (SD 1.3) additional veins per patient were identified compared with the traditional visualization methods. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge this is the first study that describes the design, feasibility and application of an NIR spectroscopy prototype developed on a standard mobile device.
Keywords: mobile applications, spectroscopy, near-infrared, NIRS, vascular access devices, health education, feasibility
Published: 29.06.2017; Views: 707; Downloads: 306
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Sugar beet production
Črtomir Rozman, Miroljub Kljajić, Karmen Pažek, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Background and Purpose: The sugar beet is the main field crop used for sugar production in the temperate climatic zone. Since investment in sugar beet industry are long term and ireversible the decision support and economic analysis are required in order to maximise investment returns. Methodology: A system dynamics methodology was chosen to model the impacts of regional sugar factory investments. We present the basic concepts of system dynamics (SD) models and their development in the case of sugar beet production and processing systems. Sugar beet economics are also analyzed using the static technological economic simulation model. Results: The simulation provides answers to strategic questions related to the total sugar beet production and processing system and will be used for the simulation of different scenarios for sugar production and their impact on economic and environmental parameters at an aggregate level. Furthermore, the feasibility analysis of sugar beet production revealed that at the current price and intensity levels (yields), we can expect profitable sugar beet production for both white sugar and ethanol. Conclusion: Preliminary results show that under expected production parameters the sugar beet processing and production would be economically feasible.
Keywords: sugar beet, modeling, system dynamics, economic feasibility
Published: 04.04.2017; Views: 762; Downloads: 141
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POTENTIAL INDICATORS FOR Sustainability assessment of food production on the field level
Saša Štraus, 2012, dissertation

Abstract: The issue of sustainable agriculture has attracted considerable attention. Sustainable agriculture encompasses economic viability, social acceptance, conservation of the environment, and food quality. The present thesis aims to evaluate the sustainability of conventional (CON), integrated (INT), and organic (ORG) production systems (PS). The assessment of sustainability of different PS was made in terms of the four most significant aspects of sustainability—agronomic, economic, environmental, and food quality—at the field level (i). Agronomic parameters such as the number of leaves, leaf area index, fruit characteristics, and seed/oil yield and economic feasibility were evaluated for oil seed pumpkin (ii). The environmental sustainability was assessed through the ecological footprint and weed biodiversity index (iii). The study of food quality determined the internal quality (total phenol, sugar, organic acid, vitamin C, mineral, and nitrate content and antioxidant activity) and sensory evaluation (iv, v). The sustainability of the PS for the four crops was assessed using a qualitative multi-attribute model (DEXi methodology (vi). Because field trial was conducted in protected landscapes (PL), the options for the development of PLs with the ORG PS were evaluated. To obtain the data, a field trial was conducted on a 4000 m2 area in the years 2008 to 2011. Wheat, oil seed pumpkin, red beet, and cabbage grown by the three different PSs—CON, INT, and ORG—and a control plot were studied. They were arranged in a randomized complete block split-plot design with four replications. The production systems differed in plant protection and fertilization strategies, as defined by legislation and standards. Survey of literature point out that indicator are the basis of assessing sustainability, the assessment of sustainability should encompass at least three pillars of sustainability (i). Agronomic parameters (ii) and economic feasibility were evaluated for oil seed pumpkin in the field trial. The leaf area index differed significantly between CON (4.8 for CON and 4.1 for ORG) and other production systems at later growth stages (BBCH = 600-700), and it was highly correlated with the yield (808 kg ha-1 for CON and 723 kg ha-1 for ORG). The yield and all agronomic parameters were significantly lower in ORG; however, the economic feasibility analysis showed that the financial results could be higher because of lower production costs (1.784 € ha-1 for CON and 1.434.5 € ha-1 for ORG) and higher product prices. The same economic feasibility analysis results were also obtained for cabbage and red beet (iii). The Biodiversity Ecological Footprint index (iii) were interpreted using the SPIonExcel tool and the Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index for the weeds species diversity. The ecological footprint of ORG was 3.3 times lower than that of CON (21 ha to 70 ha), and the Shannon-Weaver diversity index of ORG was significantly higher than that of CON (which was 20% higher, 0.66 for CON and 0.86 for ORG). The internal quality were studied for red beet and white cabbage. Sensory evaluation of sauerkraut samples was made. In the case of red beet, the differences were significant for vitamin C (23.3% higher for ORG than for CON), antioxidant activity (30.3% higher for ORG than for CON), and some microminerals (Na, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn) (iv). In the case of cabbage, a significantly lower amount of P and N and a significantly higher amount of Na, Mg, and total phenols (in ORG 0.360 GAE mg g-1 FW and in CON 0.310 GAE mg g-1 FW) was found for ORG than for CON cabbage. The concentration of nitrates is significantly lower in ORG (530 mg kg-1 for CON and 370.37 mg kg-1 for ORG). The sensory evaluation of sauerkraut samples was performed by 100 consumers using a nine-point hedonic scale. The ORG and control samples were evaluated significantly better than the INT and CON samples (overall acceptability was 5.94 for ORG and 5.34 for CON) (v). The core of the qualitative multi-model (DEXi methodology) is a hierarchical tree that divides
Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, agronomic parameters, environmental parameters, economic feasibility, food quality, DEX, protected landscapes
Published: 29.11.2012; Views: 2284; Downloads: 261
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