May 14, 2020
A concise remark about the apparent growing lethality of Covid-19 and about the lockdown effects
The lethality of an epidemic is the death rate per number of infected people. During the course of an epidemic as violent as the COVID19 one to estimate the true lethality would be fundamental to plan a containment and mitigation policy. This is, though, very complicated, because the most seriously infected patients who eventually die, do so after a highly variable time, sometimes not even reported in data. During the current evolution, what is measured, instead, is the ratio between teh number of infected and the the number of deaths recorded on a given day. This is a different thing, which is called "apparent" lethality. In this work, published in the journal Le Scienze, we explain how different it is from the real one, we show that it varies a lot over time and only tends to true lethality at the end of the epidemic . We show that a fast growing apparent lethality corresponds to a decrease of infected, that is to an attenuation of the epidemy. As apparent lethality steadliy increases, the worst is over.
English Version - - May 14, 2020
April 24, 2020
An estimate of direct and indirect deaths related to the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy.
We often hear that the number of victims of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Italy is much higher than the figures provided daily by the Civil Protection. Furthermore, we read more and more news related to deaths not directly due to the virus but indirectly due to the epidemic. In essence, they are often people with serious pathologies, that have nothing to do with COVID-19, but who have difficulty or reluctance to timely enter in hospitals, sometimes dying for that reason. Unfortunately, to date, accurate estimates of these two numbers, i.e., the deaths due directly and indirectly to the virus, are not available. In this note we try to make up for this shortcoming, providing a reliable estimate of these deaths through the statistical analysis of the data made available by the Italian National Statistical Service (Istat) on the total deaths that occurred in Italy until April 4, 2020. We also develop different scenarios starting from the observation of the lower rate of women dying of COVID-19.
English Version - - May 1, 2020
April 21, 2020
Thermoplasmonic‐Activated Hydrogel Based Dynamic Light Attenuator
This work describes the morphological, optical, and thermo‐optical properties of a temperature‐sensitive hydrogel poly(N‐isopropylacrylamide‐co‐N‐isopropylmethacrylamide) [P(NIPAm‐co‐NIPMAm]) film containing a specific amount of gold nanorods (GNRs). The light‐induced thermoplasmonic heating of GNRs is used to control the optical scattering of an initially transparent hydrogel film. A hydrated P(NIPAm‐co‐NIPMAm) film is optically clear at room temperature. When heated to temperatures over 37 °C via light irradiation with a resonant source (λ = 810 nm) to the GNRs, a reversible phase transition from a swollen hydrated state to a shrunken dehydrated state occurs. This phenomenon causes a drastic and reversible change in the optical transparency from a clear to an opaque state.
Advanced Optical Materials - 21/04/2020

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