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1.  Tree Branching: Leonardo da Vinci's Rule versus Biomechanical Models 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93535.
This study examined Leonardo da Vinci's rule (i.e., the sum of the cross-sectional area of all tree branches above a branching point at any height is equal to the cross-sectional area of the trunk or the branch immediately below the branching point) using simulations based on two biomechanical models: the uniform stress and elastic similarity models. Model calculations of the daughter/mother ratio (i.e., the ratio of the total cross-sectional area of the daughter branches to the cross-sectional area of the mother branch at the branching point) showed that both biomechanical models agreed with da Vinci's rule when the branching angles of daughter branches and the weights of lateral daughter branches were small; however, the models deviated from da Vinci's rule as the weights and/or the branching angles of lateral daughter branches increased. The calculated values of the two models were largely similar but differed in some ways. Field measurements of Fagus crenata and Abies homolepis also fit this trend, wherein models deviated from da Vinci's rule with increasing relative weights of lateral daughter branches. However, this deviation was small for a branching pattern in nature, where empirical measurements were taken under realistic measurement conditions; thus, da Vinci's rule did not critically contradict the biomechanical models in the case of real branching patterns, though the model calculations described the contradiction between da Vinci's rule and the biomechanical models. The field data for Fagus crenata fit the uniform stress model best, indicating that stress uniformity is the key constraint of branch morphology in Fagus crenata rather than elastic similarity or da Vinci's rule. On the other hand, mechanical constraints are not necessarily significant in the morphology of Abies homolepis branches, depending on the number of daughter branches. Rather, these branches were often in agreement with da Vinci's rule.
PMCID: PMC3979699  PMID: 24714065
2.  The Real Code of Leonardo da Vinci 
Current Cardiology Reviews  2008;4(1):60-62.
Leonardo da Vinci was born in Italy. Among the researchers and scientists, he is favourably known for his remarkable efforts in scientific work. His investigations of atherosclerosis judiciously combine three separate fields of research. In 1506, he finished his masterpiece, painting of Mona Lisa. A careful clinical examination of the famous painting reveals a yellow irregular leather-like spot at the inner end of the left upper eyelid and a soft bumpy well-defined swelling of the dorsum of the right hand beneath the index finger about 3 cm long. This is probably the first case of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The FH code of Leonardo da Vinci was given immense consideration by scientists like Carl Muller, who described the xanthomas tuberosum and angina pectoris. On the contrary, Akira Endo searched for microbial metabolites that would inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of cholesterol and finally, Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein published a remarkable series of elegant and insightful papers in the 70s and 80s. They established that the cellular uptake of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) essentially requires the LDL receptor. In conclusion: this was the real Code of Leonardo da Vinci.
PMCID: PMC2774586  PMID: 19924278
Familial hypercholesterolemia; Leonardo da Vinci.
3.  On the trail of Leonardo 
A night course taken almost 25 years ago sparked an interest in Leonardo da Vinci that has become a passion for a London, Ont., neurosurgeon. Dr. Rolando Del Maestro now boasts one of the largest collections of da Vinci artifacts in North America.
PMCID: PMC1229105  PMID: 9538858
4.  Microbiological Analysis of Surfaces of Leonardo Da Vinci's Atlantic Codex: Biodeterioration Risk 
Following the discovery of discoloration on some pages of the Atlantic Codex (AC) of Leonardo da Vinci kept in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, some investigations have been carried out to verify the presence of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. To verify the presence of microorganisms a noninvasive method of sampling has been used that was efficient and allowed us to highlight the microbial facies of the material that was examined using conventional microbiological techniques. The microclimatic conditions in the storage room as well as the water content of the volume were also assessed. The combined observations allowed the conclusion that the discoloration of suspected biological origin on some pages of AC is not related to the presence or current attack of microbial agents.
PMCID: PMC4276117  PMID: 25574171
5.  The trabecula septomarginalis (Leonardo’s cord) in abnormal ventriculo-arterial connections: anatomic and morphogenetic implications 
The abnormal ventriculo-arterial connections in atrio-ventricular concordance and situs solitus with two well developed ventricles include the range from tetralogy of Fallot throughout the different forms of double outlet right ventricle to transposition of great arteries.
The infundibular septum and the trabecula septomarginalis are the fundamental anatomical landmarks for the segmental analysis.
In these abnormalities there is a pathological progressive counter-clockwise rotation of the infundibular septum which divorces from the antero-superior limb of the trabecula septomarginalis and achieves his identity. Is there any anatomical evidence of a simultaneous abnormal counter-clockwise rotation of the trabecula septomarginalis?
Malposition of great arteries is a generic term since all relationships have to be expected.
We present specimens with anatomical evidence of a progressive counter-clockwise rotation from 0° to about 180°of the plane passing throughout the trabecula septomarginalis’s limbs.
We can observe sequentially:
1. Malformations in which the posterior limb of the trabecula septomarginalis is committed to the ventriculo infundibular fold: (tetralogy of Fallot, double outlet right ventricle with sub-aortic ventricular septal defect, truncus arteriosus and doubly committed ventricular septal defect);
2. Malformations in which the posterior limb of the trabecula septomarginalis is committed to the infundibular septum (double outlet right ventricle with sub-pulmonary ventricular septal defect, transposition of great arteries).
1. The sequential-segmental analysis identify all the morphologies.
2. The trabecula septomarginalis plane presents a progressive counter-clockwise twist on the long axis.
3. Since the trabeculated portions of the ventricles are the oldest developmental components, our observations support the hypothesis that the abnormal ventriculo-arterial connections could be in relation with a pathological myocardial process during early cardio-genesis.
We are promoting new studies to investigate our anatomical observations.
PMCID: PMC4014757  PMID: 24750982
Ventriculo-arterial connections; Trabecula septomarginalis; Infundibular septum; Ventricular septum; Ventriculo-infundibular fold
6.  Feasibility and effectiveness of a disease and care management model in the primary health care system for patients with heart failure and diabetes (Project Leonardo) 
Project Leonardo represented a feasibility study to evaluate the impact of a disease and care management (D&CM) model and of the introduction of “care manager” nurses, trained in this specialized role, into the primary health care system.
Patients and methods
Thirty care managers were placed into the offices of 83 general practitioners and family physicians in the Apulia Region of Italy with the purpose of creating a strong cooperative and collaborative “team” consisting of physicians, care managers, specialists, and patients. The central aim of the health team collaboration was to empower 1,160 patients living with cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, heart failure, and/or at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD risk) to take a more active role in their health. With the support of dedicated software for data collection and care management decision making, Project Leonardo implemented guidelines and recommendations for each condition aimed to improve patient health outcomes and promote appropriate resource utilization.
Results show that Leonardo was feasible and highly effective in increasing patient health knowledge, self-management skills, and readiness to make changes in health behaviors. Patient skill-building and ongoing monitoring by the health care team of diagnostic tests and services as well as treatment paths helped promote confidence and enhance safety of chronic patient management at home.
Physicians, care managers, and patients showed unanimous agreement regarding the positive impact on patient health and self-management, and attributed the outcomes to the strong “partnership” between the care manager and the patient and the collaboration between the physician and the care manager. Future studies should consider the possibility of incorporating a patient empowerment model which considers the patient as the most important member of the health team and care managers as key health care collaborators able to enhance and support services to patients provided by physicians in the primary health care system.
PMCID: PMC2868351  PMID: 20479952
partnerships; health team; patient empowerment; care coordination
9.  Leonardo da Vinci on Vision 
PMCID: PMC1918888  PMID: 14395232
12.  Imaging atherosclerosis with hybrid [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging: What Leonardo da Vinci could not see 
Journal of Nuclear Cardiology  2012;19(6):1211-1225.
Prodigious efforts and landmark discoveries have led toward significant advances in our understanding of atherosclerosis. Despite significant efforts, atherosclerosis continues globally to be a leading cause of mortality and reduced quality of life. With surges in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes, atherosclerosis is expected to have an even more pronounced impact upon the global burden of disease. It is imperative to develop strategies for the early detection of disease. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging utilizing [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) may provide a non-invasive means of characterizing inflammatory activity within atherosclerotic plaque, thus serving as a surrogate biomarker for detecting vulnerable plaque. The aim of this review is to explore the rationale for performing FDG imaging, provide an overview into the mechanism of action, and summarize findings from the early application of FDG PET imaging in the clinical setting to evaluate vascular disease. Alternative imaging biomarkers and approaches are briefly discussed.
PMCID: PMC3510422  PMID: 23073913
Positron emission tomography; Computed tomography; [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose; Inflammation; Calcification; Vulnerable plaque
13.  Leonardo da Vinci: anatomist 
PMCID: PMC3361109  PMID: 22687222
14.  Leonardo da Vinci 
PMCID: PMC3404309  PMID: 22867656
17.  Leonardo Zamudio Villanueva 
International Orthopaedics  2013;37(12):2545-2546.
PMCID: PMC3843187  PMID: 24122046
19.  International Symposium on Leonardo da Vinci 
Medical History  1966;10(3):294-295.
PMCID: PMC1033613
23.  Leonardo da Vinci's views on arteriosclerosis. 
Medical History  1973;17(3):304-308.
PMCID: PMC1081478  PMID: 4601167
24.  First International Conference between West and East—Leonardo and Lao-Tze. Western Science Meets Eastern Wisdom. Experiences of Scientists and Intellectuals for the Creation of a New Paradigm of Modern Science 
The Conference was organized and supported by: Nei Dan School (European School of Internal Martial Arts), NIB (Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Stem Cell Bioengineering, National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems, Institute of Cardiology, S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna), WACIMA (Worldwide Association Chinese Internal Martial Arts), Arti D’Oriente (Magazine of Eastern culture and traditions), Nuovo Orizzonte (Taiji Quan School in Florence), Samurai (Journal on Martial Arts), and Pinus (First National Institute for the Unification of Medical Strategies). Nei Dan School (, was in charge of the organization. Future meetings of the Centro studi ‘Tao and Science’ will take place in spring 2007 in Firenze and in October 2007 in Bologna. For information: E-mail:; web site:,
PMCID: PMC2249746  PMID: 18317548
east and west; neuroscience; modern science; Taiji

Results 1-25 (293)