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  • Application of infrared spectroscopy (FTIR and NIR) in vegetable tanning process control

     Canals Parelló, Trini; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Bartolí Soler, Esther
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2013-05
    Journal article

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    The tanning industry is currently influenced by the globalization of international markets. Competitiveness among industries has increased substantially. This therefore results in the need to further control the tanning processes in order to adjust each process thus preventing potentialmanufacturing errors. To avoid compromising production, controls must be performed in the least possible time. In the case of vegetable-tanned leather the official method for determining the `degree of tannage¿or `combined tannins¿ parameters is not directly from a single standardized test method. The procedure to obtain these parameters involves performing several independent analyses and these presentseveral drawbacks. The process is slow, involves the use of pollutants and the reproducibility of results depends on the experience of the analysts who perform the test. Consequently, the determination isinfeasible in some cases. Our work aims to develop a new analytical method for determining the tanning degree and theparameters associated with its calculation (combined tannins, hide substance and leather substance) of leathers tanned with vegetable extracts in order to solve this problem. We prepared a wide group of leathers for this purpose, tanned with a mixture of vegetable extracts (mimosa and quebracho) andhaving different values of the degree of tannage. Initially, the spectra of leather samples were recorded by Fourier-Transform Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Attenuated Total Reflectance cell (ATR).They were also recorded with Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIR) using a fibre optic module. The subsequent mathematical treatment of spectral signals by a Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) chemometric method enabled the calculation of the parameters studied. The analytical method proposed has several advantages over the traditional method. It enables direct leather analysis, without any manipulation, in a very short time and without using chemicals.

    The tanning industry is currently influenced by the globalization of international markets. Competitiveness among industries has increased substantially. This therefore results in the need to further control the tanning processes in order to adjust each process thus preventing potential manufacturing errors. To avoid compromising production, controls must be performed in the least possible time. In the case of vegetable-tanned leather the official method for determining the ‘degree of tannage’ or ‘combined tannins’ parameters is not directly from a single standardized test method. The procedure to obtain these parameters involves performing several independent analyses and these present several drawbacks. The process is slow, involves the use of pollutants and the reproducibility of results depends on the experience of the analysts who perform the test. Consequently, the determination is infeasible in some cases. Our work aims to develop a new analytical method for determining the tanning degree and the parameters associated with its calculation (combined tannins, hide substance and leather substance) of leathers tanned with vegetable extracts in order to solve this problem. We prepared a wide group of leathers for this purpose, tanned with a mixture of vegetable extracts (mimosa and quebracho) and having different values of the degree of tannage. Initially, the spectra of leather samples were recorded by Fourier-Transform Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Attenuated Total Reflectance cell (ATR). They were also recorded with Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIR) using a fibre optic module. The subsequent mathematical treatment of spectral signals by a Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) chemometric method enabled the calculation of the parameters studied. The analytical method proposed has several advantages over the traditional method. It enables direct leather analysis, without any manipulation, in a very short time and without using chemicals. Finally, this method allows systematic, fast and easy process control at a very low cost. Good results were obtained with both spectroscopic techniques used, when compared with those obtained by the traditional analysis

  • Low carbon and low embodied energy materials in buildings: A review

     Cabeza Fabra, Luisa F.; Barreneche, Camila; Miró, Laia; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Fernández Renna, Ana Inés
    Renewable and sustainable energy reviews
    Date of publication: 2013-07
    Journal article

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    This paper presents a review of the literature on low carbon and low embodied energy materials in buildings. Embodied energy is defined and discussed vs. operating energy of buildings and its growing importance due to the implementation of the Energy Building Performance Directive(EBPD) in Europeas example.The difficulty of measuring embodied energy and the difficulty incomparing published data are highlighted, showing an example of proposed new methodology found in the literature. Relationship between embodied energy and embodied CO2 or CO2 footprint is defined. Different materials defined in the literature as low carbon materials are referred, such as cement and concrete, wood, bricks, rammed earth and sandstone. The review shows the research efforts found in the literature to develop new materials with less embodied energy. Finally, the effect of material substitution in the embodied energy of a building is reviewed in the literature

  • Effect of ultrasound on bovine and ovine skins soaking

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Singla Just, Carola
    Journal of cleaner production
    Date of publication: 2013-11-15
    Journal article

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    Ultrasound as the only mechanical effect in the first soaking of bovine rawhides and goatskins were tested. Three different working systems were used at pilot plant level. In the first work system only the soaking float was subjected to the action of ultrasound. In the second and third systems, both the soaking float and the skin were underwent the same action. In the third system a surfactant was added to the soaking float. The variables analyzed were the water absorbed by the skin and its organoleptic properties, the chemical oxygen demand, the suspended solids, and the conductivity of the wastewater. Through analysis of variance in bovine hides, the influence on the results of the hide part (butt, neck or belly) and the work system employed were compared. Related to the values obtained by performing a comparative soaking on stationary way, the use of ultrasound allowed an increase of up to 23% in water absorption of the soaked skins and up to 49% of COD, 58% of SS and 34% of conductivity in soaking floats. For goatskins, due to their thickness and size, a comparison based on the work system was developed. It was proved that for dried goatskins and one of the tested systems of ultrasound application, the skin becomes saturated with water in 36% less time than if it was soaked on stationary way. With the same soaking time, the ultrasound application showed an increase of up to 16% of water absorption in soaked skins and up to 162% of COD, 87% of SS and 9% of conductivity in soaking floats. In both cases, the results were compared with those obtained when the first soaking was performed on stationary way or in drumming. The results show that the use of ultrasound in the first soaking of the skins is a valid alternative that may be useful, at the industrial level, to replace the working systems where the use of drums is not possible.

  • Aplicació Industrial dels Ultrasons en Sistemes d'Adobament Vegetal  Open access

     Combalia Cendra, Felip
    Defense's date: 2013-03-01
    Department of Engineering Design, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    La utilització dels ultrasons en sistemes d'adobament vegetal presenta avantatges respecte els sistemes més consolidats en la indústria en l'actualitat: adobaments vegetals dinàmics on s'utilitzen els bombos com a reactor, i adobaments vegetals estàtics o s'utilitzen les tines com a reactor.Els adobaments vegetals dinàmics s'utilitzen en la majoria d'articles adobats al vegetal i presenten un temps de procés reduït(1 a 4 dies) basat en la ràpida difusió del taní degut a l'elevat efecte mecànic que es produeix a l'interior dels bombos. En contrapartida aquest efecte és el causant de danys irreversibles en la dermis de la pell que poden reduir la qualitat del producte considerablement.Els adobaments vegetals estàtics s'utilitzen principalment en aquells articles (soles i similars) on l'oferta de taní per adobar la pell és tan elevada que ni el correcte control dels principals paràmetres que intervenen en l'adobament eviten danys molt greus en la dermis de la pell. En aquest casos s'opta per sistemes estàtics d'adobament on la pell es submergeix en tines a diferent concentració de taní per dur a terme l'adobament. En aquests sistemes l'efecte mecànic és pràcticament nul, però el temps de procés és llarg(7 a 90 dies) fet que redueix la productivitat i obliga a gestionar un estoc més elevat.L'objectiu principal d'aquesta tesi és dissenyar un sistema d'adobament vegetal per ultrasons a nivell industrial que aprofiti els avantatges dels sistemes que s'utilitzen actualment i n'eviti les seves problemàtiques a fi i efecte d'aconseguir un producte final amb una major qualitat i amb un grau d'optimització del procés que el permeti ser viable industrialment.El sistema preveu utilitzar la potència ultrasònica per disminuir la grandària molecular de les micel'les de taní i així aconseguir una ràpida difusió a través de la pell, sense necessitat d'aplicar efecte mecànic a bombo, i accelerant molt el procés respecte a un sistema estàtic.Per tal d'assolir els objectius plantejats s'ha estructurat la tesi en tres etapes: Estudi inicial: Estudi pilot on es pretén estudiar el comportament dels paràmetres que intervenen en l'adobament amb ultrasons i seleccionar les condicions òptimes per tal de dissenyar el processos posteriors.Estudi en l'etapa de penetració: En base els resultats obtinguts en la fase pilot, es proposa l'estudi en fase de penetració. En aquesta etapa s'estudiaran els paràmetres que intervenen en la difusió del taní en tota l'estructura fibrosa de la pell. S'estudiaran les condicions de procés òptimes per aconseguir la penetració en un temps mínim així com la màxima absorció del taní penetrat. Estudi en l'etapa de fixació: A partir dels resultats obtinguts en l'etapa de penetració es proposarà l'estudi en la fase de fixació. En aquesta etapa s'estudiaran els paràmetres que intervenen en la fixació del taní, un cop aquest ha penetrat completament, per tal d'aconseguir optimitzar la fixació i completar el procés d'adobament. Per tal de poder avaluar cadascuna dels assajos que es duen a terme en l'etapa experimental s'utilitzarà com indicador l'índex de curtició. Aquest paràmetre relaciona el percentatge de tanins combinats i el percentatge de substància pell, permeten quantificar l'absorció. Degut a la dificultat analítica per obtenir aquest paràmetre i el volum d'assajos que s'han hagut de realitzar en la tesi, seria molt interessant per futurs estudis poder comptar amb una nova metodologia per obtenir-lo.Estudiades les tres etapes es proposarà un sistema de treball òptim per ultrasons que sigui alternativa als sistemes industrials existents actualment.

    La utilització dels ultrasons en sistemes d’adobament vegetal presenta avantatges respecte els sistemes més consolidats en la indústria en l’actualitat: adobaments vegetals dinàmics on s’utilitzen els bombos com a reactor, i adobaments vegetals estàtics o s’utilitzen les tines com a reactor. Els adobaments vegetals dinàmics s’utilitzen en la majoria d’articles adobats al vegetal i presenten un temps de procés reduït(1 a 4 dies) basat en la ràpida difusió del taní degut a l’elevat efecte mecànic que es produeix a l’interior dels bombos. En contrapartida aquest efecte és el causant de danys irreversibles en la dermis de la pell que poden reduir la qualitat del producte considerablement. Els adobaments vegetals estàtics s’utilitzen principalment en aquells articles (soles i similars) on l’oferta de taní per adobar la pell és tan elevada que ni el correcte control dels principals paràmetres que intervenen en l’adobament eviten danys molt greus en la dermis de la pell. En aquest casos s’opta per sistemes estàtics d’adobament on la pell es submergeix en tines a diferent concentració de taní per dur a terme l’adobament. En aquests sistemes l’efecte mecànic és pràcticament nul, però el temps de procés és llarg (7 a 90 dies) fet que redueix la productivitat i obliga a gestionar un estoc més elevat. L’objectiu principal d’aquesta tesi és dissenyar un sistema d’adobament vegetal per ultrasons a nivell industrial que aprofiti els avantatges dels sistemes que s’utilitzen actualment i n’eviti les seves problemàtiques a fi i efecte d’aconseguir un producte final amb una major qualitat i amb un grau d’optimització del procés que el permeti ser viable industrialment. El sistema preveu utilitzar la potència ultrasònica per disminuir la grandària molecular de les micel·les de taní i així aconseguir una ràpida difusió a través de la pell, sense necessitat d’aplicar efecte mecànic a bombo, i accelerant molt el procés respecte a un sistema estàtic.

    The use of ultrasound in the vegetable tanning processes, show nowadays, some advantages compared with the standard industrial systems like: dynamic vegetable tanning processes where drums are used as a reactor and static vegetable tanning processes where pits are used as a reactor. The dynamic vegetable tanning process is the most common method to produce full vegetable tanned articles. The production time is quite short (between 1 to 4 days), based on the quick diffusion of the vegetable agents due to mechanical effect produced inside the drums. In contrast, the mentioned mechanical effect can produce irreversible damages in the grain side that decreases the quality of the final product. The static vegetable tanning processes are mainly used in those kind of articles (sole Leather and similar) where the amount of tanning agents to make the product is so high that even the right control of the main parameters involved in the process can't avoid heavy damages in the grain side. With this kind of articles, the skins are immersed in pits with different tannin offers. In this case, the mechanical effect is none, which makes the process long in time (between 7 to 90 days). This point reduces the productivity and forces to administrate a bigger leather stock. The main objective of this PhD is to design a vegetable tanning process assisted by ultrasound, which could take advantage from the standard processes used nowadays and could solve the problems related with each one. This could bring us to a final product with a better quality and a possible process optimization that could make it industrially viable. The system uses the ultrasound waves to reduce the molecular size of the tanning agent's micelles, producing a quick diffusion through the skin without the use of any mechanical effect, and speeding up the process compared to the static system. In order to achieve the exposed objectives the thesis has been structured in 3 parts: Initial study: Pilot study to determine the performance of the parameters involved in the ultrasonic tannage and selection of the ideal conditions in order to prepare the next steps of the process. Study in the penetration stage: Based on the results obtained in the pilot study, an assessment in the penetration stage is proposed. In this phase, the parameters that take part in the tanning agent's diffusion all over the fiber structure of the skin will be studied. Study in the fixation stage: Based on the results obtained in the penetration stage the study in the fixation stage will be proposed. In this phase, the parameters performing in the fixation of the tanning agents will be studied once it has penetrated completely, in order to optimize the fixation and complete the tanning process. In order to evaluate the trials done in the experimental stages, the tanning degree will be used as an indicator. This parameter links the percentage of fixed tannin with the percentage of hide substance, enabling to quantify the absorption. Due to the difficulty to obtain this parameter and the amount of trials done to make this thesis, it will be worth to use new methodologies to obtain this value for future studies. After assessing the 3 stages, an ultrasonic working process alternative to the existing systems will be proposed.

    La utilización de los ultrasonidos en sistemas de curtición vegetal presenta ventajas frente a los sistemas más consolidados en la industria en la actualidad: curticiones vegetales dinámicas donde se utilizan los bombos como reactor, y curticiones vegetales estáticas donde se utilizan las tinas como reactor. Las curticiones vegetales dinámicas se utilizan en la mayoría de artículos curtidos al vegetal y presentan un tiempo de proceso reducido (1 a 4 días) basado en la rápida difusión del tanino debido al elevado efecto mecánico que se produce en el interior de los bombos. En contrapartida este efecto es el causante de daños irreversibles en la dermis de la piel que pueden reducir la calidad del producto considerablemente. Las curticiones vegetales estáticas se utilizan principalmente en aquellos artículos (suelas y similares) donde la oferta de tanino para curtir la piel es tan elevada que ni el estricto control de los principales parámetros que intervienen en la curtición evitan daños muy graves en la dermis de la piel. En estos casos se opta por sistemas estáticos de curtición donde la piel se sumerge en tinas a diferente concentración de tanino para realizar la curtición. En estos sistemas el efecto mecánico es prácticamente nulo, pero el tiempo de proceso es largo (7 a 90 días) hecho que reduce la productividad y obliga a gestionar un stock más elevado. El objetivo principal de esta tesis es diseñar un sistema de curtición vegetal por ultrasonidos a nivel industrial que aproveche las ventajas de los sistemas que se utilizan actualmente i evites sus problemáticas a fin y efecto de conseguir un producto final con una mayor calidad y un grado de optimización del proceso que le permita ser viable industrialmente. El sistema prevé utilizar la potencia ultrasónica para disminuir el tamaño molecular de las micelas de tanino y de esta manera conseguir una rápida difusión a través de la piel, sin necesidad de aplicar efecto mecánico a bombo, acelerando mucho el proceso respecto a un sistema estático.

  • Humic acid derivatives as tanning and retanning agents

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Shendrik, Alexander; Jorge Sanchez, Juan; Olle Otero, Luis
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2012-04-02
    Journal article

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    This study examines the behaviour of three types of humic acids (natural humic acids, regenerated humic acids, and sulphited humic acids) with regard to their capacity to be used as tans and retans. The study makes use of conditions set out in a previous study (See Determination of penetration and fixation curves of leather using humic derivatives). Additionally, subsequent complementary tests were carried out using other retans that are commonly used in the tanning industry in order to compare and improve on the physical properties assessed here

  • Determination of penetration and fixation curves of leather using humic derivatives

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Shendrik, Alexander; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bou Serra, Jorge; Olle Otero, Luis
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2012-06-18
    Journal article

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    This study examines the behavior of three different types of humic acids (natural humic acids, regenerated humic acids, and sulphited humic acids) with regard to their penetration and fixation to the leather. More specifically, through the tests carried out the curves of penetration and fixation were drawn, and from these the optimum pH intervals of penetration and fixation to the leather were determined. The data obtained is essential in view of the subsequent application of humic acids as tanning agents and/or retanning agents

  • Evaluation and adaptive attenuation of the cardiac vibration interference in mechanomyographic signals

     Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Torres Cebrian, Abel; Fiz, José Antonio; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2012-09-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The study of the mechanomyographic signal of the diaphragm muscle (MMGdi) is a promising technique in order to evaluate the respiratory muscles effort. The relationship between amplitude and frequency parameters of this signal with the respiratory effort performed during respiration is of great interest for researchers and physicians due to its diagnostic potentials. However, MMGdi signals are frequently contaminated by a cardiac vibration or mechanocardiographic (MCG) signal. An adaptive noise cancellation (ANC) can be used to reduce the MCG interference in the recorded MMGdi activity. In this paper, it is evaluated the proposed ANC scheme by means of a synthetic MMGdi signal with a controlled MCG interference. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient (PCC) between both root mean square (RMS) and mean frequency (fm) of the synthetic MMGdi signal are considerably reduced with the presence of cardiac vibration noise (from 0.95 to 0.87, and from 0.97 to 0.76, respectively). With the ANC algorithm proposed the effect of the MCG noise on the amplitude and frequency of MMG parameters is reduced considerably (PCC of 0.93 and 0.97 for the RMS and fm, respectively). The ANC method proposed in this work is an interesting technique to attenuate the cardiac interference in respiratory MMG signals. Further investigation should be carried out to evaluate the performance of the ANC algorithm in real MMGdi signals.

  • Determination of functional groups of humic derivatives as tanning-retanning agents

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Shendryck, Alexander; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bou Serra, Jorge; Olle Otero, Luis
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2011-11-28
    Journal article

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    Three types of humic acids of different sources have been analysed in order to quantify the functional groups that may be liable to react with the proteins of leather. The quantification serves to determine the extent to which each of these acids can be used as tanning or retanning agents. The three types of humid acids have been compared mathematically according to their content within the aforementioned functional groups. Humic acids have structures similar to those of vegetable tannins.

  • Determination of the tanning degree of vegetable-tanned leather by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)

     Canals Parelló, Trini; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Borrás, E
    Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Date of publication: 2011
    Journal article

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  • Minimization of the environmental impact of chrome tanning: a new process reusing the tanning floats

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Chico Gutiérrez, Roberto; Cabeza, Luisa F.; Solé, Cristian
    Journal of cleaner production
    Date of publication: 2011-11
    Journal article

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  • Application of ultrasound to obtain a hight quality grain vegetable leather

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Bartolí Soler, Esther
    IULTCS Congress
    Presentation's date: 2011-09-30
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR and NIR) possibilities to determine the tanning degree of the vegetable leather

     Canals Parelló, Trini; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Bartolí Soler, Esther
    IULTCS Congress
    Presentation's date: 2011-09-30
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Snoring analysis for the screening of sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome with a single-channel device developed using polysomnographic and snoring databases

     Jane Campos, Raimon; Fiz, José A.; Sola Soler, Jordi; Gil De Mesquita, Joana Margarida; Morera Prat, Josep Maria
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2011-09-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Several studies have shown differences in acoustic snoring characteristics between patients with Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome (SAHS) and simple snorers. Usually a few manually isolated snores are analyzed, with an emphasis on postapneic snores in SAHS patients. Automatic analysis of snores can provide objective information over a longer period of sleep. Although some snore detection methods have recently been proposed, they have not yet been applied to full-night analysis devices for screening purposes. We used a new automatic snoring detection and analysis system to monitor snoring during full-night studies to assess whether the acoustic characteristics of snores differ in relation to the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) and to classify snoring subjects according to their AHI. A complete procedure for device development was designed, using databases with polysomnography (PSG) and snoring signals. This included annotation of many types of episodes by an expert physician: snores, inspiration and exhalation breath sounds, speech and noise artifacts, The AHI of each subject was estimated with classical PSG analysis, as a gold standard. The system was able to correctly classify 77% of subjects in 4 severity levels, based on snoring analysis and sound-based apnea detection. The sensitivity and specificity of the system, to identify healthy subjects from pathologic patients (mild to severe SAHS), were 83% and 100%, respectively. Besides, the Apnea Index (AI) obtained with the system correlated with the obtained by PSG or Respiratory Polygraphy (RP) (r=0.87, p<0.05).

  • Evaluación de la eficiencia de los músculos respiratorios durante un test de flujo incremental progresivo

     Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Torres Cebrian, Abel; Fiz Fernández, José A.; Gea Guiral, Joaquim; Martínez-Llorens, Juana M.; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    Congreso Anual de la Sociedad Española de Bioingeniería
    Presentation's date: 2011-11-18
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Evaluation of the respiratory muscles efficiency during an incremental flow respiratory test

     Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Torres Cebrian, Abel; Fiz, José A.; Gea, J; Martínez-Llorens, Juana M.; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2011-09-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The aim of this study was to evaluate the respiratory muscles efficiency during a progressive incremental flow (IF) respiratory test in healthy and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) subjects. To achieve this, the relationship between mouth Inspiratory Pressure (IP) increment, which is a measure of the force produced by respiratory muscles, and respiratory muscular activity increment, evaluated by means of Mechanomyografic (MMG) signals of the diaphragm muscle, was analyzed. Moreover, the correlation between the respiratory efficiency measure and the obstruction severity of the subjects was also examined. Data from two groups of subjects were analyzed. One group consisted of four female subjects (two healthy subjects and two moderate COPD patients) and the other consisted of ten male subjects (six severe and four very severe COPD patients). All subjects performed an easy IF respiratory test, in which small IP values were reached. We have found that there is an increase of amplitude and a displacement towards low frequencies in the MMG signals when the IP increases. Furthermore, it has also been found that respiratory muscles efficiency is lower when greater the obstructive severity of the patients is, and it is lower in women than in men. These results suggest that the information provided by MMG signals could be used to evaluate the muscular efficiency in healthy and COPD subjects

  • Normal non-regular snores as a tool for screening SAHS severity

     Gil De Mesquita, Joana Margarida; Fiz, José Antonio; Sola Soler, Jordi; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2011-09-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Snoring is one of the earliest and most consistent sign of upper airway obstruction leading to Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome (SAHS). Several studies on post-apneic snores, snores that are emitted immediately after an apnea, have already proven that this type of snoring is most distinct from that of normal snoring. However, post-apneic snores are more unlikely and sometimes even inexistent in simple snorers and mild SAHS subjects. In this work we address that issue by proposing the study of normal non-regular snores. They correspond to successive snores that are separated by normal breathing cycles. The results obtained establish the feasibility of acoustic parameters of normal non-regular snores as a promising tool for a prompt screening of SAHS severity.

  • Bayes classification of snoring subjects with and without Sleep Apnea Hypopnea Syndrome, using a Kernel method

     Sola Soler, Jordi; Fiz, José A.; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2011-09-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Continuous Analysis and Monitoring of Snores and Their Relationship to the Apnea-Hypopnea Index

     Fiz, José Antonio; Jane Campos, Raimon; Sola Soler, Jordi; Abad, Jorge; García, Maria Angeles; Morera Prat, Josep Maria
    Laryngoscope
    Date of publication: 2010-04
    Journal article

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  • Study of the application of ultrasound in a vegetable tannage

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Borràs Riba, Eulàlia; Castell, Joan Carles; Sorolla, Sílvia
    Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Date of publication: 2010
    Journal article

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    This study concerns the implementation and improvement of a system that applies ultrasound technology to vegetable tanning floats. The system is versatile and requires no major modifications or investment expense for tanneries. In particular, the study investigated grain fineness and fixation of tannins in relation to several mechanical approaches, which included: no mechanical effect (pits), drum, ultrasound, and ultrasound plus drum. A comparative study of energy expenses on the basis of the mechanical effect being used was also carried out.

  • Economic viability of using biogas from tannery wastes in molten carbonate fuel cells

     Castell, Albert; Medrano, Marc; Cabeza, Luisa F.; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2010-05
    Journal article

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    Wastes from tanneries present a good opportunity to produce biogas and use it in high temperature fuel cells for combined heat and power systems. Biogas is considered a renewable fuel, domestically produced and free of carbon emissions, while molten carbonate fuel cells are ultra-clean and highly efficient power generators. In this paper, we study the economic viability of a fuel cell (considerating capacities from 300kW to 1200kW) operating on biogas. The results are based on Spanish legislation, which establishes a special feed-in tariff for biogas and cogeneration. Paybacks range from 5.7 to 8.5 years depending on the fuel cell capacity. Due to the high investment and operating and maintenance cost, the Spanish feed-in tariff for cogeneration using biogas is not enough to make the project economically viable in a short-term. Further fuel cell price reducation and longer lifetime as well as new government subsidies are required

  • Effect of ultrasound on several chromium tanning parameters

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Serrano Montes, Mónica; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Borràs Riba, Eulàlia; Olle Otero, Luis; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna
    Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Date of publication: 2010-05
    Journal article

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    This work studies the effect of several variables on a series of properties of the final leather obtained from chrome tanning, using ultrasounds as the sole mechanical effect during the tanning operation. The variables studied (at two levels by means of a 23 factorial design) are tanning temperature, condition of chrome offered (solid or dissolved) and salt basicity. Our studies indicate that the results obtained measuring parameters such as struck-through time of tanning agent, chromium uptake and its distribution, shrinkage temperature, tensile strength, tear load, grain distension and leather burst distention significantly depend on the previously selected level of one or more of the variables being studied. The study of the evolution of the concentration and basicity of the chromium salts has led us to conclude that reutilization is possible. Results show that ultrasound use in chrome tanning is a possibility to consider in the case of leather goods in which the use of drum may not be advisable.

  • Detección del índice de curtición de pieles curtidas al vegetal mediante la espectroscopía infrarroja (FTIR)

     Canals Parelló, Trini; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Bartolí Soler, Esther
    Lederpiel
    Date of publication: 2010
    Journal article

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    Entropía aproximada móvil con valores de tolerancia fijos como medida de las variaciones de amplitud en señales biomédicas  Open access

     Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Torres Cebrian, Abel; Fiz Fernández, José A.; Gea Guiral, Joaquim; Martínez Llorens, Juana María; Jane Campos, Raimon; Morera Prat, Josep Maria
    Congreso Anual de la Sociedad Española de Ingeniería Biomédica
    Presentation's date: 2010-11-24
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    En este trabajo se presenta un nuevo método para cuantificar las variaciones de amplitud en señales biomédicas empleando la entropía aproximada (ApEn) en ventanas móviles y con valores de tolerancia (r) fijos. Los valores límites de r se corresponden con el máximo y mínimo de la desviación estándar obtenida en todas las ventanas móviles. A esta nueva métrica se le ha denominado ApEnf: entropía aproxima con valores de r fijos. ApEnf se aplicó en señales mecanomiográficas (MMG) diafragmáticas registradas en perros, para valores de r entre 0.01 y 0.4. Los resultados obtenidos indican que al aumentar el valor de r (hasta un cierto valor) las variaciones de amplitud son mejor definidas (señales menos ruidosas), aumentando así la correlación con la señal de presión inspiratoria. Además, en presencia de ruidos de tipo impulsional, sinusoidal y gaussiano, ApEnf para valores de r medios es menos afectado que el RMS.

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    Evaluación de la actividad de los músculos inspiratorios mediante señales mecanomiográficas en pacientes con EPOC durante un protocolo de carga incremental  Open access

     Torres Cebrian, Abel; Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Fiz Fernández, José A.; Gea Guiral, Joaquim; Martínez Llorens, Juana María; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    Congreso Anual de la Sociedad Española de Ingeniería Biomédica
    Presentation's date: 2010-11-24
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    El estudio de señales mecanomiográficas (MMG) de músculos respiratorios es una técnica prometedora para evaluar el esfuerzo muscular respiratorio. En este trabajo se han analizado las señales MMG del músculo diafragma derecho e izquierdo registradas en pacientes con Enfermedad Pulmonar Obstructiva Crónica (EPOC) durante un protocolo de carga incremental. La población de estudio está compuesta por un grupo de 6 pacientes con EPOC severa (FEV1>50% ref and DLCO<50% ref). Se ha obtenido una alta correlación positiva entre la presión inspiratoria máxima (PImax) desarrollada y diferentes parámetros de amplitud de las señales MMG izquierda y derecha (RMS, izquierda: 0.68±0.11 – derecha: 0.69±0.12; entropía de Rényi, izquierda: 0.73±0.10 – derecha: 0.77±0.08; Lempel-Ziv Multiestado, izquierda: 0.73±0.17 – derecha: 0.74±0.08), y una correlación negativa entre la PImax y la frecuencia máxima de la señal MMG (izquierda: -0.39±0.19 – derecha: -0.65±0.09). Además hemos encontrado que la pendiente de la evolución con el incremento de carga de los parámetros de amplitud de la señal MMG, tiene una correlación positiva con el parámetro funcional respiratorio %FEV1/FVC de los 6 pacientes EPOC analizados (RMS, izquierda: 0.38 – derecha: 0.41; entropía de Rényi, izquierda: 0.45 – derecha: 0.63; Lempel-Ziv Multiestado, izquierda: 0.39 – derecha: 0.64). Estos resultados sugieren que la información proporcionada por las señales MMG podría ser utilizada para evaluar el esfuerzo respiratorio y la eficiencia muscular en pacientes EPOC.

  • Interpretation of the approximate entropy using fixed tolerance values as a measure of amplitude variations in biomedical signals

     Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Torres Cebrian, Abel; Fiz Fernández, José A.; Gea Guiral, Joaquim; Martínez Llorens, Juana María; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2010-09-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    A new method for the quantification of amplitude variations in biomedical signals through moving approximate entropy is presented. Unlike the usual method to calculate the approximate entropy (ApEn), in which the tolerance value (r) varies based on the standard deviation of each moving window, in this work ApEn has been computed using a fixed value of r. We called this method, moving approximate entropy with fixed tolerance values: ApEnf. The obtained results indicate that ApEnf allows determining amplitude variations in biomedical data series. These amplitude variations are better determined when intermediate values of tolerance are used. The study performed in diaphragmatic mechanomyographic signals shows that the ApEnf curve is more correlated with the respiratory effort than the standard RMS amplitude parameter. Furthermore, it has been observed that the ApEnf parameter is less affected by the existence of impulsive, sinusoidal, constant and Gaussian noises in comparison with the RMS amplitude parameter.

  • Ensenyament en anglès a la EUETII

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria
    IV trobada sobre semiimmersió a Catalunya
    Presentation's date: 2010-06-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Determinación del índice de curtición de pieles curtidas al vegetal mediante la espectroscopía infrarroja (FTIR)  Open access

     Canals Parelló, Trini; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Bartolí Soler, Esther
    59 Congreso de la Asociación Química Española de la Industria del Cuero
    Presentation's date: 2010-05-08
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Se ha desarrollado un método analítico para determinar el índice de curtición (IC), así como de los parámetros asociados a su cálculo, mediante la técnica instrumental de la espectroscopía de infrrojo medio con Transformada de Fourier (FTIR) con un módulo ATR y el tratamiento quimiométrico de los datos espectrales. Los primeros estudios realizados ponen de manifiesto que es posible realizar la determinación de varios parámetros simultáneamente (IC, taninos, sustancia piel, sustancia cuero) utilizando los espectros FTIR registrados directamente sobre las pieles curtidas con una mezcla de mimosa y quebracho, reduciendo espectacularmente el tiempo de análisis y evitando la utilización de productos contaminantes

  • Características de los ronquidos regulares y no regulares como indicadores de SAHS

     Gil De Mesquita, Joana Margarida; Fiz, José Antonio; Sola Soler, Jordi; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    Congreso Anual de la Sociedad Española de Ingeniería Biomédica
    Presentation's date: 2010-11-25
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Noninvasive evaluation of the respiratory muscular function by means of mechanomyographic signals of the diaphragm muscle in COPD patients

     Torres Cebrian, Abel; Fiz, José Antonio; Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Gea Guiral, Joaquim; Martínez Llorens, Juana María; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    European Respiratory Society Annual Congress
    Presentation's date: 2010-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Noninvasive measurement of inspiratory muscle performance by means of diaphragm muscle mechanomyographic signals in COPD patients during an incremental load respiratory test  Open access

     Torres Cebrian, Abel; Sarlabous Uranga, Leonardo; Fiz Fernández, José A.; Gea Guiral, Joaquim; Martínez Llorens, Juana María; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2010-09-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The study of mechanomyographic (MMG) signals of respiratory muscles is a promising noninvasive technique in order to evaluate the respiratory muscular effort and efficiency. In this work, the MMG signal of the diaphragm muscle it is evaluated in order to assess the respiratory muscular function in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients. The MMG signals from left and right hemidiaphragm were acquired using two capacitive accelerometers placed on both left and right sides of the costal wall surface. The MMG signals and the inspiratory pressure signal were acquired while the COPD patients carried out an inspiratory load respiratory test. The population of study is composed of a group of 6 patients with severe COPD (FEV1>50% ref and DLCO<50% ref). We have found high positive correlation coefficients between the maximum inspiratory pressure (IPmax) developed in a respiratory cycle and different amplitude parameters of both left and right MMG signals (RMS, left: 0.68±0.11 – right: 0.69±0.12; Rényi entropy, left: 0.73±0.10 – right: 0.77±0.08; Multistate Lempel- Ziv, left: 0.73±0.17 – right: 0.74±0.08), and negative correlation between the Pmax and the maximum frequency of the MMG signal spectrum (left: -0.39±0.19 – right: -0.65±0.09). Furthermore, we found that the slope of the evolution of the MMG amplitude parameters, as the load increases during the respiratory test, has positive correlation with the %FEV1/FVC pulmonary function test parameter of the six COPD patients analyzed (RMS, left: 0.38 – right: 0.41; Rényi entropy, left: 0.45 – right: 0.63; Multistate Lempel-Ziv, left: 0.39 – right: 0.64). These results suggest that the information provided by MMG signals could be used in order to evaluate the respiratory effort and the muscular efficiency in COPD patients.

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  • Study of the application of ultrasound in a vegetable tannage

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Borràs Riba, Eulàlia; Castell, Joan Carles; Sorolla, Sílvia
    Annual Meeting of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Presentation's date: 2010-06-12
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    Aplicación de ultrasonidos en la curtición vegetal  Open access

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Combalia Cendra, Felip; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Santiago, Matilde; Sorolla, Sílvia
    59 Congreso de la Asociación Química Española de la Industria del Cuero
    Presentation's date: 2010-05-08
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Se estudia y pone a punto un sistema externo de aplicación de los ultrasonidos en los baños de curtición vegetal. Este sistema es muy versátil y su uso no requiere realizar modificaciones en la tenería ni supone grandes gastos de inversión. Se estudia, entre otras propiedades, la finura de flor obtenida y la fijación de los taninos en la piel en función del efecto mecánico empleado para curtir: sin efecto mecánico (tina), bombo, ultrasonidos y combinación de ultrasonidos más bombo. También se realiza una valoración económica del gasto energético en función del efecto mecánico empleado. Los resultados obtenidos en este trabajo indican que el uso de los ultrasonidos en la curtición con extractos vegetales es una alternativa a tenir en cuenta si se pretende realizar el proceso sin usar el bombo. Se mejora significativamente la calidad de la flor de los cueros y se soslaya en gran parte el inconveniente de una excesiva duración del proceso, típico de una curtición realitzada en tina

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    Regular and non regular snore features as markers of SAHS  Open access

     Gil De Mesquita, Joana Margarida; Fiz, José Antonio; Sola Soler, Jordi; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Jane Campos, Raimon
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
    Presentation's date: 2010-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome (SAHS) diagnosis is still done with an overnight multi-channel polysomnography. Several efforts are being made to study profoundly the snore mechanism and discover how it can provide an opportunity to diagnose the disease. This work introduces the concept of regular snores, defined as the ones produced in consecutive respiratory cycles, since they are produced in a regular way, without interruptions. We applied 2 thresholds (THadaptive and THmedian) to the time interval between successive snores of 34 subjects in order to select regular snores from the whole all-night snore sequence. Afterwards, we studied the effectiveness that parameters, such as time interval between successive snores and the mean intensity of snores, have on distinguishing between different levels of SAHS severity (AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index)<5h-1, AHI<10 h-1, AHI<15h-1, AHI<30h-1). Results showed that THadaptive outperformed THmedian on selecting regular snores. Moreover, the outcome achieved with non-regular snores intensity features suggests that these carry key information on SAHS severity.

  • Study of aqueous patent leather finish with a pull-up effect

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Cuadros Domènech, Rosa Maria; Cobos, M
    Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Date of publication: 2009-03
    Journal article

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  • Lower Pollution Pickle-Chrome process: A no-float/low-salt approach

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Palomares, H; Borràs, Md
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2009-04
    Journal article

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  • Binders cross-linked with polyaziridine. Study of cross-linked polymers for aqueous finishing. Part III: Influence of a cationic pre-bottom

     Olle Otero, Luis; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Borràs, M D; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Cobos, M; Borràs, E
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2009-05
    Journal article

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  • Development of a coating formulation for nubuck imitating full grain

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Shendryk, A
    1st International Leather Engineering Symposium. "Leather Industry-Environment and Progressive Technologies"
    Presentation's date: 2009
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  • Natural Weathering Study of a coating for upholstery leather

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Joaquim, Font; Mireia, Cobos; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther
    105th Annual Meeting of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Presentation's date: 2009
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Optimization of various parameters in vegetable tanning using ultrasound

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Olle Otero, Luis; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Fabregat, G; Díaz, V; Río, J.F.
    Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Date of publication: 2008-04
    Journal article

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  • Nubuck finishing with water-based carbonyl-functional polymers

     Olle Otero, Luis; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Shendrick, A
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2008-09
    Journal article

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  • High chrome exhaustion in a non-float tanning process using a sulphonic aromatic acid

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Olle Otero, Luis; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Borràs, Md
    Chemosphere
    Date of publication: 2008-10
    Journal article

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  • Effect of ultrasound on watery dissolutions of vegetable extracts used in leather tanning

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Díaz, V; Shendryck, A
    Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Date of publication: 2008-04
    Journal article

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  • Minimization of the environmental impact in the unhairing of bovine hides

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Borrás, Md
    Chemosphere
    Date of publication: 2008-08
    Journal article

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  • Optimización de diversos parámetros en el curtido vegetal mediante ultrasonidos

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Olle Otero, Luis; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Río, J.F.; Fabregat, G; Díaz, V
    Tecnología del cuero 67
    Date of publication: 2008-03
    Journal article

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  • Cross-linked polymers for aqueous finishing. Binders crosslinked with polyaziridine. Part I: Behaviour of polyurethane

     Olle Otero, Luis; Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Argelich, J
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2008-05
    Journal article

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  • Cross-linkend polymers for aqueous Finishing. Binders cross-linked with polyaziridine. Part II: Behaviour of acrylic binders

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Fernandez, D
    Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists
    Date of publication: 2008-05
    Journal article

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  • Evaluation of the energy savings when using vacuum dryers with total thermal energy recovery in tanneries

     Morera Prat, Josep Maria; Bartolí Soler, Esther; Cabeza, L; Medrano, M
    Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association
    Date of publication: 2008-12
    Journal article

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  • Rényi Entropy and Lempel-Ziv Complexity of Mechanomyographic Recordings of Diaphragm Muscle as Indexes of Respiratory Effort

     Torres Cebrian, Abel; Fernandez, J Fiz; Jane Campos, Raimon; Laciar, Eric; Galdiz, J B; Gea, J; Morera Prat, Josep Maria
    IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
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  • Study of a patent finishing with a pull-up effect

     Bacardit Dalmases, Anna; Olle Otero, Luis; Font, J; Cobos, M; Morera Prat, Josep Maria
    104th annual meeting of the american leather chemists association
    Presentation's date: 2008
    Presentation of work at congresses

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