Hasselt University
  • Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium
Recent publications
  • Rosa Lilia Segundo Díaz
    Rosa Lilia Segundo Díaz
  • Gustavo Rovelo
    Gustavo Rovelo
  • Miriam Bouzouita
    Miriam Bouzouita
  • [...]
  • Karin Coninx
    Karin Coninx
The present research investigates the effects of Personality Traits (PTs) and Game Design Elements (GDEs) on Player Enjoyment (PE) in the context of serious games. Three Games With A Purpose (GWAPs) were created to revise and correct automatically tagged Parts-of-Speech (PoS) of the Corpus Oral y Sonoro del Español Rural (COSER, [5], ‘Audible Corpus of Spoken Rural Spanish’), the most extensive collection of spoken dialectal Spanish data. The ultimate goal of the project is to build a morpho-syntactically annotated and parsed corpus of the European Spanish dialects through a crowd-sourced gaming environment, whereby players assign a PoS, i.e., a grammatical category (e.g., verb, noun, adjective, pronoun), to a word in an input text thereby confirming or correcting the automatically tagged PoS. This task has been implemented in three GWAPs: Agentes, Tesoros, and Anotatlón. Each game concept includes a set of GDEs (e.g., rewards, challenges, leaderboards, among others) to investigate their influence on PE. This study, which includes 54 participants, shows associations between PTs and GDEs, and some GDEs yielded a positive correlation with PE. These findings hold the potential to inspire future research and guide the design of future serious games.
  • Weikang He
    Weikang He
  • Jingjing Li
    Jingjing Li
  • Yuanyuan Zhang
    Yuanyuan Zhang
  • [...]
  • Nianjun Yang
    Nianjun Yang
A supercapacitor features high power density and long cycling life. However, its energy density is low. To ensemble a supercapacitor with high power‐ and energy‐densities, the applied capacitor electrodes play the key roles. Herein, a high‐performance capacitive electrode is designed and grown on a flexible carbon cloth (CC) substrate via a hydrothermal reaction and a subsequent ion exchange sulfuration process. It has a 3D heterostructure, consisting of sulfur‐doped NiMn‐layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanosheets (NMLS) and sulfur‐doped NiCo‐LDH nanowires (NCLS). The electrode with sheet‐shaped NMLS and wire‐shaped NCLS on their top (NMLS@NCLS/CC) increases the available surface area, providing more pseudocapacitive sites. It exhibits a gravimetric capacity of 555.2 C g ⁻¹ at a current density of 1 A g ⁻¹ , the retention rate of 75.1% when the current density reaches up to 20 A g ⁻¹ , as well as superior cyclic stability. The assembled asymmetric supercapacitor that is composed of a NMLS@NCLS/CC positive electrode and a sulfurized activated carbon negative electrode presents a maximum energy density of 24.2 Wh kg ⁻¹ and a maximum power density of 16000 W kg ⁻¹ . In this study, a facile strategy for designing hierarchical LDH materials is demonstrated as well as their applications in advanced energy storage systems.
  • Cindy Hoeks
    Cindy Hoeks
  • Fabiënne van Puijfelik
    Fabiënne van Puijfelik
  • Steven C. Koetzier
    Steven C. Koetzier
  • [...]
  • Marvin M. van Luijn
    Marvin M. van Luijn
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common and devastating chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS). CD4 ⁺ T cells are assumed to be the first to cross the blood‐CNS barrier and trigger local inflammation. Here, we explored how pathogenicity‐associated effector programs define CD4 ⁺ T cell subsets with brain‐homing ability in MS. Runx3‐ and Eomes‐, but not T‐bet‐expressing CD4 ⁺ memory cells were diminished in the blood of MS patients. This decline reversed following natalizumab treatment and was supported by an Runx3 ⁺ Eomes ⁺ T‐bet ⁻ enrichment in cerebrospinal fluid samples of treatment‐naïve MS patients. This transcription factor profile was associated with high granzyme K (GZMK) and CCR5 levels and was most prominent in Th17.1 cells (CCR6 ⁺ CXCR3 ⁺ CCR4 −/dim ). Previously published CD28 ⁻ CD4 T cells were characterized by a Runx3 ⁺ Eomes ⁻ T‐bet ⁺ phenotype that coincided with intermediate CCR5 and a higher granzyme B (GZMB) and perforin expression, indicating the presence of two separate subsets. Under steady‐state conditions, granzyme K high Th17.1 cells spontaneously passed the blood‐brain barrier in vitro . This was only found for other subsets including CD28 ⁻ cells when using inflamed barriers. Altogether, CD4 ⁺ T cells contain small fractions with separate pathogenic features, of which Th17.1 seems to breach the blood‐brain barrier as a possible early event in MS. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
  • Irene Boateng
    Irene Boateng
  • Beth Stuart
    Beth Stuart
  • Taeko Becque
    Taeko Becque
  • [...]
  • Nick Francis
    Nick Francis
Background Resistance to antibiotics is rising and threatens future antibiotic effectiveness. ‘Antibiotic targeting’ ensures patients who may benefit from antibiotics receive them, while being safely withheld from those who may not. Point-of-care tests may assist with antibiotic targeting by allowing primary care clinicians to establish if symptomatic patients have a viral, bacterial, combined, or no infection. However, because organisms can be harmlessly carried, it is important to know if the presence of the virus/bacteria is related to the illness for which the patient is being assessed. One way to do this is to look for associations with more severe/prolonged symptoms and test results. Previous research to answer this question for acute respiratory tract infections has given conflicting results with studies has not having enough participants to provide statistical confidence. Aim To undertake a synthesis of IPD from both randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and observational cohort studies of respiratory tract infections (RTI) in order to investigate the prognostic value of microbiological data in addition to, or instead of, clinical symptoms and signs. Methods A systematic search of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Ovid Medline and Ovid Embase will be carried out for studies of acute respiratory infection in primary care settings. The outcomes of interest are duration of disease, severity of disease, repeated consultation with new/worsening illness and complications requiring hospitalisation. Authors of eligible studies will be contacted to provide anonymised individual participant data. The data will be harmonised and aggregated. Multilevel regression analysis will be conducted to determine key outcome measures for different potential pathogens and whether these offer any additional information on prognosis beyond clinical symptoms and signs. Trial registration PROSPERO Registration number: CRD42023376769 .
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a heterogeneous group of motor disorders attributed to a non-progressive lesion in the developing brain. Knowledge on skeletal muscle properties is important to understand the impact of CP and treatment but data at the microscopic levels are limited and inconsistent. Currently, muscle biopsies are collected during surgery and are restricted to CP eligible for such treatment or they may refer to another muscle or older children in typically developing (TD) biopsies. A minimally invasive technique to collect (repeated) muscle biopsies in young CP and TD children is needed to provide insights into the early muscle microscopic alterations and their evolution in CP. This paper describes the protocol used to 1) collect microbiopsies of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) and semitendinosus (ST) in CP children and age-matched TD children, 2) handle the biopsies for histology, 3) stain the biopsies to address muscle structure (Hematoxylin & Eosin), fiber size and proportion (myosin heavy chain), counting of the satellite cells (Pax7) and capillaries (CD31). Technique feasibility and safety as well as staining feasibility and measure accuracy were evaluated. Two microbiopsies per muscle were collected in 56 CP (5.8±1.1 yr) and 32 TD (6±1.1 yr) children using ultrasound-guided percutaneous microbiopsy technique. The biopsy procedure was safe (absence of complications) and well tolerated (Score pain using Wong-Baker faces). Cross-sectionally orientated fibers were found in 86% (CP) and 92% (TD) of the biopsies with 60% (CP) and 85% (TD) containing more than 150 fibers. Fiber staining was successful in all MG biopsies but failed in 30% (CP) and 16% (TD) of the ST biopsies. Satellite cell staining was successful in 89% (CP) and 85% (TD) for MG and in 70% (CP) and 90% (TD) for ST biopsies, while capillary staining was successful in 88% (CP) and 100% (TD) of the MG and in 86% (CP) and 90% (TD) for the ST biopsies. Intraclass coefficient correlation showed reliable and reproducible measures of all outcomes. This study shows that the percutaneous microbiopsy technique is a safe and feasible tool to collect (repeated) muscle biopsies in young CP and TD children for histological analysis and it provides sufficient muscle tissue of good quality for reliable quantification.
Poor and unreliable knowledge of the status of freshwater fisheries limits their inclusion in governance processes, thereby impeding effective management measures. This threatens the livelihoods of people, particularly in developing countries. Improved knowledge is required to draw the attention of policymakers and stimulate effective management measures to accelerate the sustainability of the freshwater fisheries. In line with this requirement, this paper provides the state of knowledge of the aquatic ecosystem and fisheries of the Lake Edward system, East Africa, focusing on lakes Edward, George and the Kazinga channel. The state of knowledge was accomplished by reviewing existing data and information on aspects of primary productivity and water quality, invertebrates, fish fauna, fish life history and ecology, and fisheries. The waterbodies have been monitored since the 1930s, albeit sporadically, providing data on all the above aspects but with substantial temporal gaps. Adequate and updated data and information exist on the water quality status of the water bodies, extant aquatic taxa (including fishes) and fish catches but with uncertainties in the latter. Data and information gaps exist on the abundance of biotic communities, fish life history, quantitative trophic ecology and fisheries management reference points. The aggregated data and information can directly support decisions for fisheries management. We recommend regular monitoring to fill the data and information gaps, more comprehensive stock assessments and the development of aquatic ecosystem models.
Background We aimed to study the incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients treated according to low-normal or high-normal mean arterial pressure (MAP) targets. Methods A post hoc analysis of the COMACARE (NCT02698917) and Neuroprotect (NCT02541591) trials that randomized patients to lower or higher targets for the first 36 h of intensive care. Kidney function was defined using the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcome (KDIGO) classification. We used Cox regression analysis to identify factors associated with AKI after OHCA. Results A total of 227 patients were included: 115 in the high-normal MAP group and 112 in the low-normal MAP group. Eighty-six (38%) patients developed AKI during the first five days; 40 in the high-normal MAP group and 46 in the low-normal MAP group ( p = 0.51). The median creatinine and daily urine output were 85 μmol/l and 1730 mL/day in the high-normal MAP group and 87 μmol/l and 1560 mL/day in the low-normal MAP group. In a Cox regression model, independent AKI predictors were no bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation ( p < 0.01), non-shockable rhythm ( p < 0.01), chronic hypertension ( p = 0.03), and time to the return of spontaneous circulation ( p < 0.01), whereas MAP target was not an independent predictor ( p = 0.29). Conclusion Any AKI occurred in four out of ten OHCA patients. We found no difference in the incidence of AKI between the patients treated with lower and those treated with higher MAP after CA. Higher age, non-shockable initial rhythm, and longer time to ROSC were associated with shorter time to AKI. Clinical trial registration : COMACARE (NCT02698917), NEUROPROTECT (NCT02541591).
While occasionally being able to charge and discharge more quickly than batteries, carbon‐based electrochemical supercapacitors (SCs) are nevertheless limited by their simplicity of processing, adjustable porosity, and lack of electrocatalytic active sites for a range of redox reactions. Even SCs based on the most stable form of carbon (sp³ carbon/diamond) have a poor energy density and inadequate capacitance retention during long charge/discharge cycles, limiting their practical applications. To construct a SC with improved cycling stability/energy density Mn‐ion implanted (high‐dose; 10¹⁵–10¹⁷ ions cm⁻²) boron doped diamond (Mn‐BDD) films have been prepared. Mn ion implantation and post‐annealing process results in an in situ graphitization (sp² phase) and growth of MnO2 phase with roundish granular grains on the BDD film, which is favorable for ion transport. The dual advantage of both sp² (graphitic phase) and sp³ (diamond phase) carbons with an additional pseudocapacitor (MnO2) component provides a unique and critical function in achieving high‐energy SC performance. The capacitance of Mn‐BDD electrode in a redox active aqueous electrolyte (0.05 M Fe(CN)63‐/4− + 1 M Na2SO4) is as high as 51 mF cm⁻² at 10 mV s⁻¹ with exceptional cyclic stability (≈100% capacitance even after 10 000 charge/discharge cycles) placing it among the best‐performing SCs. Furthermore, the ultrahigh capacitance retention (≈80% retention after 88 000 charge/discharge cycles) in a gel electrolyte containing a two‐electrode configuration shows a promising prospect for high‐rate electrochemical capacitive energy storage applications.
Purpose Policymakers have struggled to maintain SARS-CoV-2 transmission at levels that are manageable to contain the COVID-19 disease burden while enabling a maximum of societal and economic activities. One of the tools that have been used to facilitate this is the so-called “COVID-19 pass”. We aimed to document current evidence on the effectiveness of COVID-19 passes, distinguishing their indirect effects by improving vaccination intention and uptake from their direct effects on COVID-19 transmission measured by the incidence of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Methods We performed a scoping review on the scientific literature of the proposed topic covering the period January 2021 to September 2022, in accordance with the PRISMA-ScR guidelines for scoping reviews. Results Out of a yield of 4,693 publications, 45 studies from multiple countries were retained for full-text review. The results suggest that implementing COVID-19 passes tends to reduce the incidence of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19. The use of COVID-19 passes was also shown to improve overall vaccination uptake and intention, but not in people who hold strong anti-COVID-19 vaccine beliefs. Conclusion The evidence from the literature we reviewed tends to indicate positive direct and indirect effects from the use of COVID-19 passes. A major limitation to establishing this firmly is the entanglement of individual effects of multiple measures being implemented simultaneously.
Aims Exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH), defined by a mean pulmonary arterial pressure over cardiac output (mPAP/CO) slope >3 mmHg/L/min has important diagnostic and prognostic implications. The aim of this study is to investigate the value of the mPAP/CO slope in patients with more than moderate primary MR with preserved ejection fraction and no or discordant symptoms. Methods and Results A total of 128 consecutive patients were evaluated with exercise echocardiography and cardiopulmonary testing. Clinical outcome was defined as the composite of mitral valve intervention, new-onset atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular hospitalization, and all-cause mortality. Mean age was 63 years, 61% male, and mean LVEF 66 ± 6%. The mPAP/CO slope correlated with peak VO2 (r = -0.52, p < 0.001), while peak sPAP did not (r = -0.06, p = 0.584). Forty-six percent (n = 59) had peak exercise sPAP ≥60 mmHg, and 37% (n = 47) had mPAP/CO slope >3 mmHg/L/min. Event-free survival was 55% at 1-year and 46% at 2-years, with reduced survival in patients with mPAP/CO slope >3 mmHg/L/min (HR 4.9, 95%CI 2.9–8.2, p < 0.001). In 53 cases (41%), mPAP/CO slope and peak sPAP were discordant: Patients with slope >3 mmHg/L/mmHg and sPAP <60 mmHg (n = 21) had worse outcome versus peak sPAP ≥60 mmHg and normal slope (n = 32, log-rank p = 0.003). The mPAP/CO slope improved predictive models for outcome, incremental to resting and exercise sPAP, and peak VO2. Conclusions Exercise PH defined by the mPAP/CO slope >3 mmHg/L/min is associated with decreased exercise capacity and higher risk of adverse events in significant primary MR and no or discordant symptoms. The slope provides a greater prognostic value than single sPAP measures and peak VO2.
Purpose Metabolic network analysis of FDG-PET utilizes an index of inter-regional correlation of resting state glucose metabolism and has been proven to provide complementary information regarding the disease process in parkinsonian syndromes. The goals of this study were (i) to evaluate pattern similarities of glucose metabolism and network connectivity in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) subjects with subthreshold dopaminergic loss compared to advanced disease stages and to (ii) investigate metabolic network alterations of FDG-PET for discrimination of patients with early DLB from other neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy) at individual patient level via principal component analysis (PCA). Methods FDG-PETs of subjects with probable or possible DLB (n = 22) without significant dopamine deficiency (z-score < 2 in putamen binding loss on DaT-SPECT compared to healthy controls (HC)) were scaled by global-mean, prior to volume-of-interest-based analyses of relative glucose metabolism. Single region metabolic changes and network connectivity changes were compared against HC (n = 23) and against DLB subjects with significant dopamine deficiency (n = 86). PCA was applied to test discrimination of patients with DLB from disease controls (n = 101) at individual patient level. Results Similar patterns of hypo- (parietal- and occipital cortex) and hypermetabolism (basal ganglia, limbic system, motor cortices) were observed in DLB patients with and without significant dopamine deficiency when compared to HC. Metabolic connectivity alterations correlated between DLB patients with and without significant dopamine deficiency (R² = 0.597, p < 0.01). A PCA trained by DLB patients with dopamine deficiency and HC discriminated DLB patients without significant dopaminergic loss from other neurodegenerative parkinsonian disorders at individual patient level (area-under-the-curve (AUC): 0.912). Conclusion Disease-specific patterns of altered glucose metabolism and altered metabolic networks are present in DLB subjects without significant dopaminergic loss. Metabolic network alterations in FDG-PET can act as a supporting biomarker in the subgroup of DLB patients without significant dopaminergic loss at symptoms onset.
Unlike most social media, the new platform BeReal encourages users to present an authentic self. Since such self-presentations are assumed to have positive effects, this study examined whether adolescents’ authentic self-presentations on BeReal relate to a higher self-esteem and whether self-concept clarity plays a role in that relationship. The relationships between exposure to perceived authentic self-presentations of others, social comparison on BeReal, and self-esteem were also explored. Of the 367 adolescents who participated in our cross-sectional survey, a total of 148 (40.33%, M age = 16.23, SD age = 1.46; 82.4% girls) had an account on BeReal. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), we found that these adolescents’ authentic self-presentations were not significantly related to their self-concept clarity nor indirectly to their self-esteem. Self-esteem and self-concept clarity were, however, positively correlated. Regarding exposure to others’ content on BeReal, only upward and downward social comparisons on these platforms were significantly related to a lower and higher self-esteem, respectively.
Multicollinearity, or the existence of excessive correlations among (combinations of) predictor variables, is a commonly encountered phenomenon that affects (PLS-SEM) parameter estimates. This chapter provides an extensive overview of multicollinearity, its consequences, detection, and possible solutions. Critical to this overview is the explicit distinction among three types of multicollinearity: canonical structural multicollinearity, numerical multicollinearity, and common-factor multicollinearity. In addition, ridge PLS-SEM—an approach that combines the principles of ridge regression and PLS-SEM modeling—is introduced as an effective approach to mitigate the effects of canonical structural multicollinearity on estimation results.
This paper compares three projects presented at the International Laboratory for Architecture & Urban Design (ILA&UD, 1976-2015) that focused on increasing user participation. ILA&UD was an experimental educational platform that uniquely operated in the crevices of architecture, urban design, and planning. Established by Giancarlo de Carlo in 1976, it was one of many networks emerging in Europe centered on urban form after the post-war reconstruction period. This paper focuses on the formative ILA&UD years (1976-1978), in which the notions of participation and reuse were central. ILA&UD is a discursive site to study debates on participation before they even involved the “user” and before they were carved in stone. By contrasting De Carlo’s studio briefs with three illustrative urban design projects presented by participants from KU Leuven, MIT and ETH Zürich, this paper aims to highlight that the ongoing search for urban design tools and methodologies was indecisively teetering between autonomous and heteronomous approaches to urban form. The three projects explore a range of attitudes, from confirming the power of inhabitation to designing with users. By focusing on ambivalences in the discourse, the paper hopes to nuance the dominant perception that participation entailed, as Kenny Cupers observed, “a straightforward course of empowerment for those involved.”
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Steven Maesen
  • Expertise Centre for Digital Media (EDM)
Ilie-Cosmin Stancu
  • Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED)
Ivo Lambrichts
  • Morphology Research Group (MORFO)
Sara Leroi-Werelds
  • Faculty of Business Economics (BEW)
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Address
Campus UHasselt: Martelarenlaan 42, 3500 Hasselt, Campus Diepenbeek: Agoralaan – Gebouw D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium
Head of institution
Prof. Dr. Luc De Schepper
Website
www.uhasselt.be
Phone
0032 (0)11 26 81 11
Fax
0032 (0)11 26 81 99