Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 913

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Biomedical and Biological Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

913 Towards Real-Time Classification of Finger-Movement Direction Using Electroencephalography Independent Components

Authors: Mohamed Mounir Tellache, Hiroyuki Kambara, Yasuharu Koike, Makoto Miyakoshi, Natsue Yoshimura

Abstract:

This study explores the practicality of using electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity to predict eight-direction finger movements in pseudo-real-time. Six healthy participants with individual-head MRI images performed finger movements in eight directions with two different arm configurations. The analysis was performed in two stages. The first stage consisted of using independent component analysis (ICA) to separate the signals representing brain activity from non-brain activity signals and to obtain the unmixing matrix. The resulting independent components (ICs) were checked, and those reflecting brain-activity were selected. Finally, the time series of the selected ICs were used to predict eight finger-movement directions using Sparse Logistic Regression (SLR). The second stage consisted of using the previously obtained unmixing matrix, the selected ICs, and the model obtained by applying SLR to classify newly recorded EEG data. This method was applied to two different settings, namely the individual-level and the group-level. To check the validity in the individual-level, the EEG dataset used in the first stage and the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the same participant. To check the validity in the group-level, the EEG datasets used in the first stage were constructed by temporally concatenating each combination without repetition of the EEG datasets of five participants out of six, whereas the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the remaining participant. Second stage classification results of the individual-level showed an average accuracy across participants of 38.62%, which was significantly higher than the chance level (12.87%). For the group-level, the second stage average accuracy was 27.26%, which was significantly higher than the chance level (13.44%). These results showed the possibility of using the ICA-based method in combination with other methods to build a real-time system to control prostheses.

Keywords: Electroencephalography, Brain-Computer Interface, independent component analysis, finger motion decoding, pseudo real-time motion decoding

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912 Towards End-to-end Disease Prediction from Raw Metagenomic Data

Authors: Maxence Queyrel, Edi Prifti, Jean-Daniel Zucker

Abstract:

Analysis of the human microbiome using metagenomic sequencing data has demonstrated high ability in discriminating various human diseases. Raw metagenomic sequencing data require multiple complex and computationally heavy bioinformatics steps prior to data analysis. Such data contain millions of short sequences read from the fragmented DNA sequences and are stored as fastq files. Conventional processing pipelines consist multiple steps including quality control, filtering, alignment of sequences against genomic catalogs (genes, species, taxonomic levels, functional pathways, etc.). These pipelines are complex to use, time consuming and rely on a large number of parameters that often provide variability and impact the estimation of the microbiome elements. Recent studies have demonstrated that training Deep Neural Networks directly from raw sequencing data is a promising approach to bypass some of the challenges associated with mainstream bioinformatics pipelines. Most of these methods use the concept of word and sentence embeddings that create a meaningful and numerical representation of DNA sequences, while extracting features and reducing the dimentionality of the data. In this paper we present an end-to-end approach that classifies patients into disease groups directly from raw metagenomic reads: metagenome2vec. This approach is composed of four steps (i) generating a vocabulary of k-mers and learning their numerical embeddings; (ii) learning DNA sequence (read) embeddings; (iii) identifying the genome from which the sequence is most likely to come and (iv) training a multiple instance learning classifier which predicts the phenotype based on the vector representation of the raw data. An attention mechanism is applied in the network so that the model can be interpreted, assigning a weight to the influence of the prediction for each genome. Using two public real-life data-sets as well a simulated one, we demonstrated that this original approach reached very high performances, comparable with the state-of-the-art methods applied directly on processed data though mainstream bioinformatics workflows. These results are encouraging for this proof of concept work. We believe that with further dedication, the DNN models have the potential to surpass mainstream bioinformatics workflows in disease classification tasks.

Keywords: Precision Medicine, Metagenomics, Deep learning, disease prediction, end-to-end machine learning, multiple instance learning

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911 Deciphering Electrochemical and Optical Properties of Folic Acid for the Applications of Tissue Engineering and Biofuel Cell

Authors: Sharda Nara, Bansi Dhar Malhotra

Abstract:

Investigation of the vitamins as an electron transfer mediator could significantly assist in merging the area of tissue engineering and electronics required for the implantable therapeutic devices. The present study report that the molecules of folic acid released by Providencia rettgeri via fermentation route under the anoxic condition of the microbial fuel cell (MFC) exhibit characteristic electrochemical and optical properties, as indicated by absorption spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL), and cyclic voltammetry studies. The absorption spectroscopy has depicted an absorption peak at 263 nm with a small bulge around 293 nm on day two of bacterial culture, whereas an additional peak was observed at 365 nm on the twentieth day. Furthermore, the PL spectra has indicated that the maximum emission occurred at various wavelengths 420, 425, 440, and 445 nm when excited by 310, 325, 350, and 365 nm. The change of emission spectra with varying excitation wavelength might be indicating the presence of tunable optical bands in the folic acid molecules co-related with the redox activity of the molecules. The results of cyclic voltammetry studies revealed that the oxidation and reduction occurred at 0.25V and 0.12V, respectively, indicating the electrochemical behavior of the folic acid. This could be inferred that the released folic acid molecules in a MFC might undergo inter as well as intra molecular electron transfer forming different intermediate states while transferring electrons to the electrode surface. Synchronization of electrochemical and optical properties of folic acid molecules could be potentially promising for the designing of electroactive scaffold and biocompatible conductive surface for the applications of tissue engineering and biofuel cells, respectively.

Keywords: Tissue Engineering, folic acid, biofuel cell, electroactivity

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910 Preparation, Mechanical Characterization and Biocompatibility of Double Polymer Network for Medical Application

Authors: Abdullah Mouchati, Emile Jubeli, Najet Yagoubi

Abstract:

Alginate based hydrogels are used as scaffolds for tissue engineering and an extracellular matrices model for biological studies. However, the scope of Alginate applications is often severely limited by their mechanical behavior. In the present study, we describe the combination of alginate with acrylic-based polymers in order to obtain a multifunctional biomaterial. This combination involves the improvement of the mechanical strength and the Young Modulus values. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used for the morphological study of double network polymer scaffolds. In addition to mechanical properties requirements, these polymers shall respond to a certain number of biological safety endpoints within an overall risk management strategy. Our study demonstrates that the variable-ratio of alginate: acrylic polymers within the double polymer network offers the possibility to respond to the different mechanical requirements (flexibility, strength) for various biological and medical uses, including 3D cell culture, tissues engineering, and local shock protection

Keywords: Polymer, medical device, Mechanical Properties, biocompatibility test

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909 Characterizing the Rectification Process for Designing Scoliosis Braces: Towards Digital Brace Design

Authors: Inigo Sanz-Pena, Shanika Arachchi, Dilani Dhammika, Sanjaya Mallikarachchi, Jeewantha S. Bandula, Alison H. McGregor, Nicolas Newell

Abstract:

The use of orthotic braces for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients is the most common non-surgical treatment to prevent deformity progression. The traditional method to create an orthotic brace involves casting the patient’s torso to obtain a representative geometry, which is then rectified by an orthotist to the desired geometry of the brace. Recent improvements in 3D scanning technologies, rectification software, CNC, and additive manufacturing processes have given the possibility to compliment, or in some cases, replace manual methods with digital approaches. However, the rectification process remains dependent on the orthotist’s skills. Therefore, the rectification process needs to be carefully characterized to ensure that braces designed through a digital workflow are as efficient as those created using a manual process. The aim of this study is to compare 3D scans of patients with AIS against 3D scans of both pre- and post-rectified casts that have been manually shaped by an orthotist. Six AIS patients were recruited from the Ragama Rehabilitation Clinic, Colombo, Sri Lanka. All patients were between 10 and 15 years old, were skeletally immature (Risser grade 0-3), and had Cobb angles between 20-45°. Seven spherical markers were placed at key anatomical locations on each patient’s torso and on the pre- and post-rectified molds so that distances could be reliably measured. 3D scans were obtained of 1) the patient’s torso and pelvis, 2) the patient’s pre-rectification plaster mold, and 3) the patient’s post-rectification plaster mold using a Structure Sensor Mark II 3D scanner (Occipital Inc., USA). 3D stick body models were created for each scan to represent the distances between anatomical landmarks. The 3D stick models were used to analyze the changes in position and orientation of the anatomical landmarks between scans using Blender open-source software. 3D Surface deviation maps represented volume differences between the scans using CloudCompare open-source software. The 3D stick body models showed changes in the position and orientation of thorax anatomical landmarks between the patient and the post-rectification scans for all patients. Anatomical landmark position and volume differences were seen between 3D scans of the patient’s torsos and the pre-rectified molds. Between the pre- and post-rectified molds, material removal was consistently seen on the anterior side of the thorax and the lateral areas below the ribcage. Volume differences were seen in areas where the orthotist planned to place pressure pads (usually at the trochanter on the side to which the lumbar curve was tilted (trochanter pad), at the lumbar apical vertebra (lumbar pad), on the rib connected to the apical vertebrae at the mid-axillary line (thoracic pad), and on the ribs corresponding to the upper thoracic vertebra (axillary extension pad)). The rectification process requires the skill and experience of an orthotist; however, this study demonstrates that the brace shape, location, and volume of material removed from the pre-rectification mold can be characterized and quantified. Results from this study can be fed into software that can accelerate the brace design process and make steps towards the automated digital rectification process.

Keywords: Orthotics, Additive manufacturing, spinal deformity, scoliosis brace design, sculpting software

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908 Hypoxia Tolerance, Longevity and Cancer-Resistance in the Mole Rat Spalax – a Liver Transcriptomics Approach

Authors: Hanno Schmidt, Assaf Malik, Anne Bicker, Gesa Poetzsch, Aaron Avivi, Imad Shams, Thomas Hankeln

Abstract:

The blind subterranean mole rat Spalax shows a remarkable tolerance to hypoxia, cancer-resistance and longevity. Unravelling the genomic basis of these adaptations will be important for biomedical applications. RNA-Seq gene expression data were obtained from normoxic and hypoxic Spalax and rat liver tissue. Hypoxic Spalax broadly downregulates genes from major liver function pathways. This energy-saving response is likely a crucial adaptation to low oxygen levels. In contrast, the hypoxiasensitive rat shows massive upregulation of energy metabolism genes. Candidate genes with plausible connections to the mole rat’s phenotype, such as important key genes related to hypoxia-tolerance, DNA damage repair, tumourigenesis and ageing, are substantially higher expressed in Spalax than in rat. Comparative liver transcriptomics highlights the importance of molecular adaptations at the gene regulatory level in Spalax and pinpoints a variety of starting points for subsequent functional studies.

Keywords: Transcriptomics, Cancer, Longevity, hypoxia

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907 An Electrocardiography Deep Learning Model to Detect Atrial Fibrillation on Clinical Application

Authors: Jui-Chien Hsieh

Abstract:

Background:12-lead electrocardiography(ECG) is one of frequently-used tools to detect atrial fibrillation (AF), which might degenerate into life-threaten stroke, in clinical Practice. Based on this study, the AF detection by the clinically-used 12-lead ECG device has only 0.73~0.77 positive predictive value (ppv). Objective: It is on great demand to develop a new algorithm to improve the precision of AF detection using 12-lead ECG. Due to the progress on artificial intelligence (AI), we develop an ECG deep model that has the ability to recognize AF patterns and reduce false-positive errors. Methods: In this study, (1) 570-sample 12-lead ECG reports whose computer interpretation by the ECG device was AF were collected as the training dataset. The ECG reports were interpreted by 2 senior cardiologists, and confirmed that the precision of AF detection by the ECG device is 0.73.; (2) 88 12-lead ECG reports whose computer interpretation generated by the ECG device was AF were used as test dataset. Cardiologist confirmed that 68 cases of 88 reports were AF, and others were not AF. The precision of AF detection by ECG device is about 0.77; (3) A parallel 4-layer 1 dimensional convolutional neural network (CNN) was developed to identify AF based on limb-lead ECGs and chest-lead ECGs. Results: The results indicated that this model has better performance on AF detection than traditional computer interpretation of the ECG device in 88 test samples with 0.94 ppv, 0.98 sensitivity, 0.80 specificity. Conclusions: As compared to the clinical ECG device, this AI ECG model promotes the precision of AF detection from 0.77 to 0.94, and can generate impacts on clinical applications.

Keywords: Deep learning, Atrial Fibrillation, convolutional neural network

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906 Task Evoked Pupillary Response for Surgical Task Difficulty Prediction via Multitask Learning

Authors: Beilei Xu, Wencheng Wu, Lei Lin, Rachel Melnyk, Ahmed Ghazi

Abstract:

In operating rooms, excessive cognitive stress can impede the performance of a surgeon, while low engagement can lead to unavoidable mistakes due to complacency. As a consequence, there is a strong desire in the surgical community to be able to monitor and quantify the cognitive stress of a surgeon while performing surgical procedures. Quantitative cognitiveload-based feedback can also provide valuable insights during surgical training to optimize training efficiency and effectiveness. Various physiological measures have been evaluated for quantifying cognitive stress for different mental challenges. In this paper, we present a study using the cognitive stress measured by the task evoked pupillary response extracted from the time series eye-tracking measurements to predict task difficulties in a virtual reality based robotic surgery training environment. In particular, we proposed a differential-task-difficulty scale, utilized a comprehensive feature extraction approach, and implemented a multitask learning framework and compared the regression accuracy between the conventional single-task-based and three multitask approaches across subjects.

Keywords: multitask learning, surgical metric, task evoked pupillary response, TSFresh

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905 Automatic Classification for the Degree of Disc Narrowing from X-Ray Images Using CNN

Authors: Kwangmin Joo

Abstract:

Automatic detection of lumbar vertebrae and classification method is proposed for evaluating the degree of disc narrowing. Prior to classification, deep learning based segmentation is applied to detect individual lumbar vertebra. M-net is applied to segment five lumbar vertebrae and fine-tuning segmentation is employed to improve the accuracy of segmentation. Using the features extracted from previous step, clustering technique, k-means clustering, is applied to estimate the degree of disc space narrowing under four grade scoring system. As preliminary study, techniques proposed in this research could help building an automatic scoring system to diagnose the severity of disc narrowing from X-ray images.

Keywords: Disc space narrowing, Degenerative disc disorders, Deep learning based segmentation, Clustering technique

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904 Improving Pediatric Patient Experience

Authors: Matthew Pleshaw, Caroline Lynch, Caleb Eaton, Ali Kiapour

Abstract:

The problem addressed in this proposal is that of the lacking comfort and safety of inpatient rooms, specifically at Boston Children’s Hospital, with the implementation of a system that will allow inpatient children to feel more comfortable in the unfamiliar environment of a hospital. The focus is that of advancing and enhancing the healing process for children in a long-term inpatient stay at the hospital, though a combination of announcing a clinician or hospital staff’s arrival utilizing RFID (Fig. 1), and improving communication between clinicians, parents/guardians, patients, etc. by integrating a mobile application.

Keywords: Pediatrics, hospital, Technology, RFID

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903 Skull Extraction for Quantification of Brain Volume in Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Authors: Marcela de Oliveira, Marina P. Da Silva, Fernando C. G. Da Rocha, Jorge M. Santos, Jaime S. Cardoso, Paulo N. Lisboa-Filho

Abstract:

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system characterized by neurodegeneration, inflammation, demyelination, and axonal loss. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), due to the richness in the information details provided, is the gold standard exam for diagnosis and follow-up of neurodegenerative diseases, such as MS. Brain atrophy, the gradual loss of brain volume, is quite extensive in multiple sclerosis, nearly 0.5-1.35% per year, far off the limits of normal aging. Thus, the brain volume quantification becomes an essential task for future analysis of the occurrence atrophy. The analysis of MRI has become a tedious and complex task for clinicians, who have to manually extract important information. This manual analysis is prone to errors and is time consuming due to various intra- and inter-operator variability. Nowadays, computerized methods for MRI segmentation have been extensively used to assist doctors in quantitative analyzes for disease diagnosis and monitoring. Thus, the purpose of this work was to evaluate the brain volume in MRI of MS patients. We used MRI scans with 30 slices of the five patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis according to the McDonald criteria. The computational methods for the analysis of images were carried out in two steps: segmentation of the brain and brain volume quantification. The first image processing step was to perform brain extraction by skull stripping from the original image. In the skull stripper for MRI images of the brain, the algorithm registers a grayscale atlas image to the grayscale patient image. The associated brain mask is propagated using the registration transformation. Then this mask is eroded and used for a refined brain extraction based on level-sets (edge of the brain-skull border with dedicated expansion, curvature, and advection terms). In the second step, the brain volume quantification was performed by counting the voxels belonging to the segmentation mask and converted in cc. We observed an average brain volume of 1469.5 cc. We concluded that the automatic method applied in this work can be used for the brain extraction process and brain volume quantification in MRI. The development and use of computer programs can contribute to assist health professionals in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. In future works, we expect to implement more automated methods for the assessment of cerebral atrophy and brain lesions quantification, including machine-learning approaches. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant from Brazilian agency Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (number 2019/16362-5).

Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis, Magnetic resonance imaging, brain volume, skull stripper

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902 Facial Recognition Technology in Institutions of Higher Learning: Exploring the Use in Kenya

Authors: Josephine K. Mule, Samuel Mwangi

Abstract:

Access control as a security technique regulates who or what can access resources. It is a fundamental concept in security that minimizes risks to the institutions that use access control. Regulating access to institutions of higher learning is key to ensure only authorized personnel and students are allowed into the institutions. The use of biometrics has been criticized due to the setup and maintenance costs, hygiene concerns, and trepidations regarding data privacy, among other apprehensions. Facial recognition is arguably a fast and accurate way of validating identity in order to guard protected areas. It guarantees that only authorized individuals gain access to secure locations while requiring far less personal information whilst providing an additional layer of security beyond keys, fobs, or identity cards. This exploratory study sought to investigate the use of facial recognition in controlling access in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. The sample population was drawn from both private and public higher learning institutions. The data is based on responses from staff and students. Questionnaires were used for data collection and follow up interviews conducted to understand responses from the questionnaires. 80% of the sampled population indicated that there were many security breaches by unauthorized people, with some resulting in terror attacks. These security breaches were attributed to stolen identity cases, where staff or student identity cards were stolen and used by criminals to access the institutions. These unauthorized accesses have resulted in losses to the institutions, including reputational damages. The findings indicate that security breaches are a major problem in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. Consequently, access control would be beneficial if employed to curb security breaches. We suggest the use of facial recognition technology, given its uniqueness in identifying users and its non-repudiation capabilities.

Keywords: Learning, Access control, Technology, Facial Recognition

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901 An Effective Modification to Multiscale Elastic Network Model and Its Evaluation Based on Analyses of Protein Dynamics

Authors: Weikang Gong, Chunhua Li

Abstract:

Dynamics plays an essential role in function exertion of proteins. Elastic network model (ENM), a harmonic potential-based and cost-effective computational method, is a valuable and efficient tool for characterizing the intrinsic dynamical properties encoded in biomacromolecule structures and has been widely used to detect the large-amplitude collective motions of proteins. Gaussian network model (GNM) and anisotropic network model (ANM) are the two often-used ENM models. In recent years, many ENM variants have been proposed. Here, we propose a small but effective modification (denoted as modified mENM) to the multiscale ENM (mENM) where fitting weights of Kirchhoff/Hessian matrixes with the least square method (LSM) is modified since it neglects the details of pairwise interactions. Then we perform its comparisons with the original mENM, traditional ENM, and parameter-free ENM (pfENM) on reproducing dynamical properties for the six representative proteins whose molecular dynamics (MD) trajectories are available in http://mmb.pcb.ub.es/MoDEL/. In the results, for B-factor prediction, mENM achieves the best performance among the four ENM models. Additionally, it is noted that with the weights of the multiscale Kirchhoff/Hessian matrixes modified, interestingly, the modified mGNM/mANM still has a much better performance than the corresponding traditional ENM and pfENM models. As to dynamical cross-correlation map (DCCM) calculation, taking the data obtained from MD trajectories as the standard, mENM performs the worst while the results produced by the modified mENM and pfENM models are close to those from MD trajectories with the latter a little better than the former. Generally, ANMs perform better than the corresponding GNMs except for the mENM. Thus, pfANM and the modified mANM, especially the former, have an excellent performance in dynamical cross-correlation calculation. Compared with GNMs (except for mGNM), the corresponding ANMs can capture quite a number of positive correlations for the residue pairs nearly largest distances apart, which is maybe due to the anisotropy consideration in ANMs. Furtherly, encouragingly the modified mANM displays the best performance in capturing the functional motional modes, followed by pfANM and traditional ANM models, while mANM fails in all the cases. This suggests that the consideration of long-range interactions is critical for ANM models to produce protein functional motions. Based on the analyses, the modified mENM is a promising method in capturing multiple dynamical characteristics encoded in protein structures. This work is helpful for strengthening the understanding of the elastic network model and provides a valuable guide for researchers to utilize the model to explore protein dynamics.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, protein structure, elastic network model, ENM, multiscale ENM, parameter-free ENM

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900 Chemical, Structural and Mechanical Optimization of Zr-Based Bulk Metallic Glass for Biomedical Applications

Authors: Eliott Guérin, Remi Daudin, Georges Kalepsi, Alexis Lenain, Sebastien Gravier, Benoit Ter-Ovanessian, Damien Fabregue, Jean-Jacques Blandin

Abstract:

Due to interesting compromise between mechanical and corrosion properties, Zr-based BMGs are attractive for biomedical applications. However, the enhancement of their glass forming ability (GFA) is often achieved by addition of toxic elements like Ni or Be, which is of course a problem for such applications. Consequently, the development of Ni-free Be-free Zr-based BMGs is of great interest. We have developed a Zr-based (Ni and Be-free) amorphous metallic alloy with an elastic limit twice the one of Ti-6Al-4V. The Zr56Co28Al16 composition exhibits a yield strength close to 2 GPa and low Young’s modulus (close to 90 GPa) [1-2]. In this work, we investigated Niobium (Nb) addition through substitution of Zr up to 8 at%. Cobalt substitution has already been reported [3], but we chose Zr substitution to preserve the glass forming ability. In this case, we show that the glass forming ability for 5 mm diameters rods is maintained up to 3 at% of Nb substitution using suction casting in cooper moulds. Concerning the thermal stability, we measure a strong compositional dependence on the glass transition (Tg). Using DSC analysis (heating rate 20 K/min), we show that the Tg rises from 752 K for 0 at% of Nb to 759 K for 3 at% of Nb. Yet, the thermal range between Tg and the crystallisation temperature (Tx) remains almost unchanged from 33 K to 35 K. Uniaxial compression tests on 2 mm diameter pillars and 3 points bending (3PB) tests on 1 mm thick plates are performed to study the Nb addition on the mechanical properties and the plastic behaviour. With these tests, an optimal Nb concentration is found, improving both plasticity and fatigue resistance. Through interpretations of DSC measurements, an attempt is made to correlate the modifications of the mechanical properties with the structural changes. The optimized chemical, structural and mechanical properties through Nb addition are encouraging to develop the potential of this BMG alloy for biomedical applications. For this purpose, we performed polarisation, immersion and cytotoxicity tests. The figure illustrates the polarisation response of Zr56Co28Al16, Zr54Co28Al16Nb2 and TA6V as a reference after 2h of open circuit potential. The results show that the substitution of Zr by a small amount of Nb significantly improves the corrosion resistance of the alloy.

Keywords: Biocompatibility, Medical, metallic glasses, amorphous metal, mechanical resistance

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899 Tumor Cell Detection, Isolation and Monitoring Using Bi-Layer Magnetic Microfluidic Chip

Authors: Amir Seyfoori, Ehsan Samiei, Mohsen Akbari

Abstract:

The use of microtechnology for detection and high yield isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has shown enormous promise as an indication of clinical metastasis prognosis and cancer treatment monitoring. The Immunomagnetic assay has been also coupled to microtechnology to improve the selectivity and efficiency of the current methods of cancer biomarker isolation. In this way, generation and configuration of the local high gradient magnetic field play essential roles in such assay. Additionally, considering the intrinsic heterogeneity of cancer cells, real-time analysis of isolated cells is necessary to characterize their responses to therapy. Totally, on-chip isolation and monitoring of the specific tumor cells is considered as a pressing need in the way of modified cancer therapy. To address these challenges, we have developed a bi-layer magnetic-based microfluidic chip for enhanced CTC detection and capturing. Micromagnet arrays at the bottom layer of the chip were fabricated using a new method of magnetic nanoparticle paste deposition so that they were arranged at the center of the chain microchannel with the lowest fluid velocity zone. Breast cancer cells labelled with EPCAM-conjugated smart microgels were immobilized on the tip of the micromagnets with greater localized magnetic field and stronger cell-micromagnet interaction. Considering different magnetic nano-powder usage (MnFe2O4 & gamma-Fe2O3) and micromagnet shapes (ellipsoidal & arrow), the capture efficiency of the systems was adjusted while the higher CTC capture efficiency was acquired for MnFe2O4 arrow micromagnet as around 95.5%. As a proof of concept of on-chip tumor cell monitoring, magnetic smart microgels made of thermo-responsive poly N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid (PNIPAM-AA) composition were used for both purposes of targeted cell capturing as well as cell monitoring using antibody conjugation and fluorescent dye loading at the same time. In this regard, magnetic microgels were successfully used as cell tracker after isolation process so that by raising the temperature up to 37⁰ C, they released the contained dye and stained the targeted cell just after capturing. This microfluidic device was able to provide a platform for detection, isolation and efficient real-time analysis of specific CTCs in the liquid biopsy of breast cancer patients.

Keywords: Microfluidic, Circulating Tumor Cells, Immunomagnetic, Cell isolation

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898 Multi-Size Continuous Particle Separation on a Dielectrophoresis-Based Microfluidics Chip

Authors: Arash Dalili, Hamed Tahmouressi, Mina Hoorfar

Abstract:

Advances in lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices have led to significant advances in the manipulation, separation, and isolation of particles and cells. Among the different active and passive particle manipulation methods, dielectrophoresis (DEP) has been proven to be a versatile mechanism as it is label-free, cost-effective, simple to operate, and has high manipulation efficiency. DEP has been applied for a wide range of biological and environmental applications. A popular form of DEP devices is the continuous manipulation of particles by using co-planar slanted electrodes, which utilizes a sheath flow to focus the particles into one side of the microchannel. When particles enter the DEP manipulation zone, the negative DEP (nDEP) force generated by the slanted electrodes deflects the particles laterally towards the opposite side of the microchannel. The lateral displacement of the particles is dependent on multiple parameters including the geometry of the electrodes, the width, length and height of the microchannel, the size of the particles and the throughput. In this study, COMSOL Multiphysics® modeling along with experimental studies are used to investigate the effect of the aforementioned parameters. The electric field between the electrodes and the induced DEP force on the particles are modelled by COMSOL Multiphysics®. The simulation model is used to show the effect of the DEP force on the particles, and how the geometry of the electrodes (width of the electrodes and the gap between them) plays a role in the manipulation of polystyrene microparticles. The simulation results show that increasing the electrode width to a certain limit, which depends on the height of the channel, increases the induced DEP force. Also, decreasing the gap between the electrodes leads to a stronger DEP force. Based on these results, criteria for the fabrication of the electrodes were found, and soft lithography was used to fabricate interdigitated slanted electrodes and microchannels. Experimental studies were run to find the effect of the flow rate, geometrical parameters of the microchannel such as length, width, and height as well as the electrodes’ angle on the displacement of 5 um, 10 um and 15 um polystyrene particles. An empirical equation is developed to predict the displacement of the particles under different conditions. It is shown that the displacement of the particles is more for longer and lower height channels, lower flow rates, and bigger particles. On the other hand, the effect of the angle of the electrodes on the displacement of the particles was negligible. Based on the results, we have developed an optimum design (in terms of efficiency and throughput) for three size separation of particles.

Keywords: Microfluidics, Dielectrophoresis, COMSOL multiphysics, particle separation

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897 Calibration of Syringe Pumps Using Interferometry and Optical Methods

Authors: R. Mendes, E. Batista, A. Furtado, M. C. Ferreira, I. Godinho, J. A. Sousa, R. Martins, M. Alvares

Abstract:

Syringe pumps are commonly used for drug delivery in hospitals and clinical environments. These instruments are critical in neonatology and oncology, where any variation in the flow rate and drug dosing quantity can lead to severe incidents and even death of the patient. Therefore it is very important to determine the accuracy and precision of these devices using the suitable calibration methods. The Volume Laboratory of the Portuguese Institute for Quality (LVC/IPQ) uses two different methods to calibrate syringe pumps from 16 nL/min up to 20 mL/min. The Interferometric method uses an interferometer to monitor the distance travelled by a pusher block of the syringe pump in order to determine the flow rate. Therefore, knowing the internal diameter of the syringe with very high precision, the travelled distance, and the time needed for that travelled distance, it was possible to calculate the flow rate of the fluid inside the syringe and its uncertainty. As an alternative to the gravimetric and the interferometric method, a methodology based on the application of optical technology was also developed to measure flow rates. Mainly this method relies on measuring the increase of volume of a drop over time. The objective of this work is to compare the results of the calibration of two syringe pumps using the different methodologies described above. The obtained results were consistent for the three methods used. The uncertainties values were very similar for all the three methods, being higher for the optical drop method due to setup limitations.

Keywords: Uncertainty, Flow, Interferometry, Calibration, syringe pump

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896 Multifunctional Janus Microbots for Intracellular Delivery of Therapeutic Agents

Authors: Shilpee Jain, Sachin Latiyan, Kaushik Suneet

Abstract:

Unlike traditional robots, medical microbots are not only smaller in size, but they also possess various unique properties, for example, biocompatibility, stability in the biological fluids, navigation opposite to the bloodstream, wireless control over locomotion, etc. The idea behind their usage in the medical field was to build a minimally invasive method for addressing the post-operative complications, including longer recovery time, infection eruption and pain. Herein, the present study demonstrates the fabrication of dual nature magneto-conducting Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and SU8 derived carbon-based Janus microbots for the efficient intracellular delivery of biomolecules. The low aspect ratio with feature size 2-5 μm microbots were fabricated by using a photolithography technique. These microbots were pyrolyzed at 900°C, which converts SU8 into amorphous carbon. The pyrolyzed microbots have dual properties, i.e., the half part is magneto-conducting and another half is only conducting for sufficing the therapeutic payloads efficiently with the application of external electric/magnetic field stimulations. For the efficient intracellular delivery of the microbots, the size and aspect ratio plays a significant role. However, on a smaller scale, the proper control over movement is difficult to achieve. The dual nature of Janus microbots allowed to control its maneuverability in the complex fluids using external electric as well as the magnetic field. Interestingly, Janus microbots move faster with the application of an external electric field (44 µm/s) as compared to the magnetic field (18 µm/s) application. Furthermore, these Janus microbots exhibit auto-fluorescence behavior that will help to track their pathway during navigation. Typically, the use of MNPs in the microdevices enhances the tendency to agglomerate. However, the incorporation of Fe₃O₄ MNPs in the pyrolyzed carbon reduces the chances of agglomeration of the microbots. The biocompatibility of the medical microbots, which is the essential property of any biosystems, was determined in vitro using HeLa cells. The microbots were found to compatible with HeLa cells. Additionally, the intracellular uptake of microbots was higher in the presence of an external electric field as compared to without electric field stimulation. In summary, the cytocompatible Janus microbots were fabricated successfully. They are stable in the biological fluids, wireless controllable navigation with the help of a few Guess external magnetic fields, their movement can be tracked because of autofluorescence behavior, they are less susceptible to agglomeration and higher cellular uptake could be achieved with the application of the external electric field. Thus, these carriers could offer a versatile platform to suffice the therapeutic payloads under wireless actuation.

Keywords: magnetic nanoparticles, amorphous carbon, electric/magnetic stimulations, Janus microbots, minimally invasive procedures

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895 Strontium and Selenium Doped Bioceramic Incorporated Hydrogel for Faster Apatite Growth and Bone Regeneration Applications

Authors: Anuj KUMAR, Davinder Singh, Nonita Sarin, K.J.Singh

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Polymeric 3D hydrogels have pivotal role in bone tissue regeneration applications. Hydrogels behave similar to the living tissues because they have large water imbibing capacity in swollen state and adjust their shape according to the tissues during tissue formation after implantation. On the other hand, hydrogels are very soft, fragile and lack mechanical strength. Incorporation of bioceramics can improve mechanical strength. Furthermore, bioceramics synthesized by sol gel technique may enhance the apatite formation and degradation rates which can lead to the increase in faster rates for new bone and tissue regeneration. Simulated body fluid (SBF) induces the poly-condensation of silanol groups which leads to formation of silica matrix and provide active sites for the precipitation of Ca2+ and PO43- ions to form apatite layer which is similar to mineral form of bone. Therefore, authors have synthesized bioceramic incorporated Polyacrylamide-carboxymethylcellulose hydrogels by free radical polymerization and bioceramic compositions of xSrO-(36-x)CaO-45SiO2-ySeO3-(12-y)P2O5-7MgO (where x=0,4 and y=0,2 mol%) were synthesized by sol gel technique. Bioceramics incorporated in polymer matrix induces quicker apatite formation during immersion in SBF by raising the pH with the release of alkaline ions during ion exchange process and the apatite formation takes place in alkaline medium. The behavior of samples PABC-0 (without bioceramics) and PABC-20 (with 20 wt% bioceramics) were evaluated by X-Ray Diffraction and FTIR. In term of bioactivity, it was observed that PABC-20 has shown hydroxyapatite (HA) formation on 1st day of immersion whereas, PABC-0 was shown apatite formation on 7th day of immersion in SBF. The rapid rate of HA growth on 1st day of immersion in SBF signifies easy regeneration of damaged bone tissues. Degradation studies have been undertaken in Phosphate Buffer Saline and PABC-20 exhibited slower degradation rate up to 9%as compared to PABC-0 up to 18%. Slower degradation rate is suitable for new tissue regeneration and cell attachment. Also, Zeta potential studies have been employed to check the surface charge and it has been observed that samples carry negative charge when immersed in SBF. In addition, the swelling test of the samples have been performed and relative swelling ratio % observed for PABC-0 is 607% and PABC-20 is 305%. This indicates that the incorporation of bioceramics leads to the filling up of the voids in between the polymer matrix which in result reduces porosity and increase the mechanical strength by filling the voids. The porosity of PABC-0 is 84% and PABC-20 is 72%. PABC-20 sample demonstrates that bioceramics incorporation reduce the porosity and improves mechanical strength. Also, maximum in vitro cell viability up to 98% with MG63 cell line has been observed which indicate that the bioceramic incorporated hydrogel(PABC-20) provide the alkaline medium which is suitable environment for cell growth.

Keywords: Hydrogels, hydroxyapatite, zeta potential, MG63 cell line

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894 One-Step Synthesis and Characterization of Biodegradable ‘Click-Able’ Polyester Polymer for Biomedical Applications

Authors: Wadha Alqahtani

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In recent times, polymers have seen a great surge in interest in the field of medicine, particularly chemotherapeutics. One recent innovation is the conversion of polymeric materials into “polymeric nanoparticles”. These nanoparticles can be designed and modified to encapsulate and transport drugs selectively to cancer cells, minimizing collateral damage to surrounding healthy tissues, and improve patient quality of life. In this study, we have synthesized pseudo-branched polyester polymers from bio-based small molecules, including sorbitol, glutaric acid and a propargylic acid derivative to further modify the polymer to make it “click-able" with an azide-modified target ligand. Melt polymerization technique was used for this polymerization reaction, using lipase enzyme catalyst NOVO 435. This reaction was conducted between 90- 95 °C for 72 hours. The polymer samples were collected in 24-hour increments for characterization and to monitor reaction progress. The resulting polymer was purified with the help of methanol dissolving and filtering with filter paper then characterized via NMR, GPC, FTIR, DSC, TGA and MALDI-TOF. Following characterization, these polymers were converted to a polymeric nanoparticle drug delivery system using solvent diffusion method, wherein DiI optical dye and chemotherapeutic drug Taxol can be encapsulated simultaneously. The efficacy of the nanoparticle’s apoptotic effects were analyzed in-vitro by incubation with prostate cancer (LNCaP) and healthy (CHO) cells. MTT assays and fluorescence microscopy were used to assess the cellular uptake and viability of the cells after 24 hours at 37 °C and 5% CO2 atmosphere. Results of the assays and fluorescence imaging confirmed that the nanoparticles were successful in both selectively targeting and inducing apoptosis in 80% of the LNCaP cells within 24 hours without affecting the viability of the CHO cells. These results show the potential of using biodegradable polymers as a vehicle for receptor-specific drug delivery and a potential alternative for traditional systemic chemotherapy. Detailed experimental results will be discussed in the e-poster.

Keywords: Nanoparticle, Click Chemistry, chemotherapeutic drug, prostat cancer

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893 Development of Electromyography (EMG) Signal Acquisition System by Simple Electronic Circuits

Authors: Divya Pradip Roy, Md. Zahirul Alam Chowdhury

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Electromyography (EMG) sensors are generally used to record the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles. The conventional EMG sensors available in the market are expensive. This research suggests a low cost EMG sensor design which can be built with simple devices within our reach. In this research, one instrumentation amplifier, two high pass filters, two low pass filters and an inverting amplifier is connected sequentially. The output from the circuit exhibits electrical potential generated by the muscle cells when they are neurologically activated. This electromyography signal is used to control prosthetic devices, identifying neuromuscular diseases and for various other purposes.

Keywords: EMG, Neuromuscular, Low pass filter, High Pass Filter, instrumentation amplifier, inverting amplifier

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892 Evaluation of Biological and Confinement Properties of a Bone Substitute to in Situ Preparation Based on Demineralized Bone Matrix for Bone Tissue Regeneration

Authors: Aura Maria Lopera Echavarria, Angela Maria Lema Perez, Daniela Medrano David, Pedronel Araque Marin, Marta Elena Londoño Lopez

Abstract:

Bone regeneration is the process by which the formation of new bone is stimulated. Bone fractures can originate at any time due to trauma, infections, tumors, congenital malformations or skeletal diseases. Currently there are different strategies to treat bone defects that in some cases, regeneration does not occur on its own. That is why they are treated with bone substitutes, which provide a necessary environment for the cells to synthesize new bone. The Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM) is widely used as a bone implant due to its good properties, such as osteoinduction and bioactivity. However, the use of DBM is limited, because its presentation is powder, which is difficult to implant with precision and is susceptible to migrating to other sites through blood flow. That is why the DBM is commonly incorporated into a variety of vehicles or carriers. The objective of this project is to evaluate the bioactive and confinement properties of a bone substitute based on demineralized bone matrix (DBM). Also, structural and morphological properties were evaluated. Bone substitute was obtained from EIA Biomaterials Laboratory of EIA University and the DBM was facilitated by Tissue Bank Foundation. Morphological and structural properties were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (DRX) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy with total attenuated reflection (FTIR-ATR). Water absorption capacity and degradation were also evaluated during three months. The cytotoxicity was evaluated by the MTT test. The bioactivity of the bone substitute was evaluated through immersion of the samples in simulated body fluid during four weeks. Confinement tests were performed on tibial fragments of a human donor with bone defects of determined size, to ensure that the substitute remains in the defect despite the continuous flow of fluid. According of the knowledge of the authors, the methodology for evaluating samples in a confined environment has not been evaluated before in real human bones. The morphology of the samples showed irregular surface and presented some porosity. DRX confirmed a semi-crystalline structure. The FTIR-ATR determined the organic and inorganic phase of the sample. The degradation and absorption measurements stablished a loss of 3% and 150% in one month respectively. The MTT showed that the system is not cytotoxic. Apatite clusters formed from the first week were visualized by SEM and confirmed by EDS. These calcium phosphates are necessary to stimulate bone regeneration and thanks to the porosity of the developed material, osteinduction and osteoconduction are possible. The results of the in vitro evaluation of the confinement of the material showed that the migration of the bone filling to other sites is negligible, although the samples were subjected to the passage of simulated body fluid. The bone substitute, putty type, showed stability, is bioactive, non-cytotoxic and has handling properties for specialists at the time of implantation. The obtained system allows to maintain the osteoinductive properties of DBM and it can fill completely fractures in any way; however, it does not provide a structural support, that is, it should only be used to treat fractures without requiring a mechanical load.

Keywords: Cytotoxicity, Hydrogel, Bone Regeneration, demineralized bone matrix

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891 Design and Fabrication of Piezoelectric Tactile Sensor by Deposition of PVDF-TrFE with Spin-Coating Method for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Authors: Javad Dargahi, Saman Namvarrechi, Armin A. Dormeny, Mojtaba Kahrizi

Abstract:

Since last two decades, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has grown significantly due to its advantages compared to the traditional open surgery like less physical pain, faster recovery time and better healing condition around incision regions; however, one of the important challenges in MIS is getting an effective sensing feedback within the patient’s body during operations. Therefore, surgeons need efficient tactile sensing like determining the hardness of contact tissue for investigating the patient’s health condition. In such a case, MIS tactile sensors are preferred to be able to provide force/pressure sensing, force position, lump detection, and softness sensing. Among different pressure sensor technologies, the piezoelectric operating principle is the fittest for MIS’s instruments, such as catheters. Using PVDF with its copolymer, TrFE, as a piezoelectric material, is a common method of design and fabrication of a tactile sensor due to its ease of implantation and biocompatibility. In this research, PVDF-TrFE polymer is deposited via spin-coating method and treated with various post-deposition processes to investigate its piezoelectricity and amount of electroactive β phase. These processes include different post thermal annealing, the effect of spin-coating speed, different layer of deposition, and the presence of additional hydrate salt. According to FTIR spectroscopy and SEM images, the amount of the β phase and porosity of each sample is determined. In addition, the optimum experimental study is established by considering every aspect of the fabrication process. This study clearly shows the effective way of deposition and fabrication of a tactile PVDF-TrFE based sensor and an enhancement methodology to have a higher β phase and piezoelectric constant in order to have a better sense of touch at the end effector of biomedical devices.

Keywords: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Piezoelectricity, PVDF-TrFE, tactile sensor, β phase

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890 Metagenomic analysis of Irish cattle faecal samples using Oxford Nanopore MinION Next Generation Sequencing

Authors: Niamh Higgins, Dawn Howard

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The Irish agri-food sector is of major importance to Ireland’s manufacturing sector and to the Irish economy through employment and the exporting of animal products worldwide. Infectious diseases and parasites have an impact on farm animal health causing profitability and productivity to be affected. For the sustainability of Irish dairy farming, there must be the highest standard of animal health. There can be a lack of information in accounting for > 1% of complete microbial diversity in an environment. There is the tendency of culture-based methods of microbial identification to overestimate the prevalence of species which grow easily on an agar surface. There is a need for new technologies to address these issues to assist with animal health. Metagenomic approaches provide information on both the whole genome and transcriptome present through DNA sequencing of total DNA from environmental samples producing high determination of functional and taxonomic information. Nanopore Next Generation Technologies have the ability to be powerful sequencing technologies. They provide high throughput, low material requirements and produce ultra-long reads, simplifying the experimental process. The aim of this study is to use a metagenomics approach to analyze dairy cattle faecal samples using the Oxford Nanopore MinION Next Generation Sequencer and to establish an in-house pipeline for metagenomic characterization of complex samples. Faecal samples will be obtained from Irish dairy farms, DNA extracted and the MinION will be used for sequencing, followed by bioinformatics analysis. Of particular interest, will be the parasite Buxtonella sulcata, which there has been little research on and which there is no research on its presence on Irish dairy farms. Preliminary results have shown the ability of the MinION to produce hundreds of reads in a relatively short time frame of eight hours. The faecal samples were obtained from 90 dairy cows on a Galway farm. The results from Oxford Nanopore ‘What’s in my pot’ (WIMP) using the Epi2me workflow, show that from a total of 926 classified reads, 87% were from the Kingdom Bacteria, 10% were from the Kingdom Eukaryota, 3% were from the Kingdom Archaea and < 1% were from the Kingdom Viruses. The most prevalent bacteria were those from the Genus Acholeplasma (71 reads), Bacteroides (35 reads), Clostridium (33 reads), Acinetobacter (20 reads). The most prevalent species present were those from the Genus Acholeplasma and included Acholeplasma laidlawii (39 reads) and Acholeplasma brassicae (26 reads). The preliminary results show the ability of the MinION for the identification of microorganisms to species level coming from a complex sample. With ongoing optimization of the pipe-line, the number of classified reads are likely to increase. Metagenomics has the potential in animal health for diagnostics of microorganisms present on farms. This would support wprevention rather than a cure approach as is outlined in the DAFMs National Farmed Animal Health Strategy 2017-2022.

Keywords: animal health, Infectious Disease, Metagenomics, Next Generation Sequencing, buxtonella sulcata, irish dairy cattle, minION

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889 Crosslinked Porous 3-Dimensional Cellulose Nanofibers/Gelatin Based Biocomposite Aerogels for Tissue Engineering Application

Authors: Ali Mirtaghavi, Andy Baldwin, Rajendarn Muthuraj, Jack Luo

Abstract:

Recent advances in biomaterials have led to utilizing biopolymers to develop 3D scaffolds in tissue regeneration. One of the major challenges of designing biomaterials for 3D scaffolds is to mimic the building blocks similar to the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the native tissues. Biopolymer based aerogels obtained by freeze-drying have shown to provide structural similarities to the ECM owing to their 3D format and a highly porous structure with interconnected pores, similar to the ECM. Gelatin (GEL) is known to be a promising biomaterial with inherent regenerative characteristics owing to its chemical similarities to the ECM in native tissue, biocompatibility abundance, cost-effectiveness and accessible functional groups, which makes it facile for chemical modifications with other biomaterials to form biocomposites. Despite such advantages, gelatin offers poor mechanical properties, sensitive enzymatic degradation and high viscosity at room temperature which limits its application and encourages its use to develop biocomposites. Hydrophilic biomass-based cellulose nanofibrous (CNF) has been explored to use as suspension for biocomposite aerogels for the development of 3D porous structures with excellent mechanical properties, biocompatibility and slow enzymatic degradation. In this work, CNF biocomposite aerogels with various ratios of CNF:GEL) (90:10, 70:30 and 50:50) were prepared by freeze-drying technique, and their properties were investigated in terms of physicochemical, mechanical and biological characteristics. Epichlorohydrin (EPH) was used to investigate the effect of chemical crosslinking on the molecular interaction of CNF: GEL, and its effects on physicochemical, mechanical and biological properties of the biocomposite aerogels. Ultimately, chemical crosslinking helped to improve the mechanical resilience of the resulting aerogels. Amongst all the CNF-GEL composites, the crosslinked CNF: GEL (70:30) biocomposite was found to be favourable for cell attachment and viability. It possessed highly porous structure (porosity of ~93%) with pore sizes ranging from 16-110 µm, adequate mechanical properties (compression modulus of ~47 kPa) and optimal biocompatibility both in-vitro and in-vivo, as well as controlled enzymatic biodegradation, high water penetration, which could be considered a suitable option for wound healing application. In-vivo experiments showed improvement on inflammation and foreign giant body cell reaction for the crosslinked CNF: GEL (70:30) compared to the other samples. This could be due to the superior interaction of CNF with gelatin through chemical crosslinking, resulting in more optimal in-vivo improvement. In-vitro cell culture investigation on human dermal fibroblasts showed satisfactory 3D cell attachment over time. Overall, it has been observed that the developed CNF: GEL aerogel can be considered as a potential scaffold for soft tissue regeneration application.

Keywords: Biocomposites, Tissue Engineering, Aerogels

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888 Bioinspired Green Synthesis of Magnetite Nanoparticles Using Room-Temperature Co-Precipitation: A Study of the Effect of Amine Additives on Particle Morphology in Fluidic Systems

Authors: Laura Norfolk, Georgina Zimbitas, Jan Sefcik, Sarah Staniland

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Magnetite nanoparticles (MNP) have been an area of increasing research interest due to their extensive applications in industry, such as in carbon capture, water purification, and crucially, the biomedical industry. The use of MNP in the biomedical industry is rising, with studies on their effect as Magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents, drug delivery systems, and as hyperthermic cancer treatments becoming prevalent in the nanomaterial research community. Particles used for biomedical purposes must meet stringent criteria; the particles must have consistent shape and size between particles. Variation between particle morphology can drastically alter the effective surface area of the material, making it difficult to correctly dose particles that are not homogeneous. Particles of defined shape such as octahedral and cubic have been shown to outperform irregular shaped particles in some applications, leading to the need to synthesize particles of defined shape. In nature, highly homogeneous MNP are found within magnetotactic bacteria, a unique bacteria capable of producing magnetite nanoparticles internally under ambient conditions. Biomineralisation proteins control the properties of the MNPs, enhancing their homogeneity. One of these proteins, Mms6, has been successfully isolated and used in vitro as an additive in room-temperature co-precipitation reactions (RTCP) to produce particles of defined mono-dispersed size & morphology. When considering future industrial scale-up it is crucial to consider the costs and feasibility of an additive, as an additive that is not readily available or easily synthesized at a competitive price will not be sustainable. As such, additives selected for this research are inspired by the functional groups of biomineralisation proteins, but cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and compatible with scale-up. Diethylenetriamine (DETA), triethylenetetramine (TETA), tetraethylenepentamine (TEPA), and pentaethylenehexamine (PEHA) have been successfully used in RTCP to modulate the properties of particles synthesized, leading to the formation of octahedral nanoparticles with no use of organic solvents, heating, or toxic precursors. By extending this principle to a fluidic system, ongoing research will reveal whether the amine additives can also exert morphological control in an environment which is suited toward higher particle yield. Two fluidic systems have been employed; a peristaltic turbulent flow mixing system suitable for the rapid production of MNP, and a macrofluidic system for the synthesis of tailored nanomaterials under a laminar flow regime. The presence of the amine additives in the turbulent flow system in initial results appears to offer similar morphological control as observed under RTCP conditions, with higher proportions of octahedral particles formed. This is a proof of concept which may pave the way to green synthesis of tailored MNP on an industrial scale. Mms6 and amine additives have been used in the macrofluidic system, with Mms6 allowing magnetite to be synthesized at unfavourable ferric ratios, but no longer influencing particle size. This suggests this synthetic technique while still benefiting from the addition of additives, may not allow additives to fully influence the particles formed due to the faster timescale of reaction. The amine additives have been tested at various concentrations, the results of which will be discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Green Synthesis, bioinspired, Scale-up, magnetite, fluidic, morphological control

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887 The Superiority of 18F-Sodium Fluoride PET/CT for Detecting Bone Metastases in Comparison with Other Bone Diagnostic Imaging Modalities

Authors: Mojtaba Mirmontazemi, Habibollah Dadgar

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Bone is the most common metastasis site in some advanced malignancies, such as prostate and breast cancer. Bone metastasis generally indicates fewer prognostic factors in these patients. Different radiological and molecular imaging modalities are used for detecting bone lesions. Molecular imaging including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, planar bone scintigraphy, single-photon emission tomography, and positron emission tomography as noninvasive visualization of the biological occurrences has the potential to exact examination, characterization, risk stratification and comprehension of human being diseases. Also, it is potent to straightly visualize targets, specify clearly cellular pathways and provide precision medicine for molecular targeted therapies. These advantages contribute implement personalized treatment for each patient. Currently, NaF PET/CT has significantly replaced standard bone scintigraphy for the detection of bone metastases. On one hand, 68Ga-PSMA PET/CT has gained high attention for accurate staging of primary prostate cancer and restaging after biochemical recurrence. On the other hand, FDG PET/CT is not commonly used in osseous metastases of prostate and breast cancer as well as its usage is limited to staging patients with aggressive primary tumors or localizing the site of disease. In this article, we examine current studies about FDG, NaF, and PSMA PET/CT images in bone metastases diagnostic utility and assess response to treatment in patients with breast and prostate cancer.

Keywords: Precision Medicine, molecular imaging, sodium fluoride, skeletal metastases, fluorodeoxyglucose, prostate cancer (68Ga-PSMA-11)

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886 The Role of Autophagy Modulation in Angiotensin-II Induced Hypertrophy

Authors: Kitti Szoke, Laszlo Szoke, Attila Czompa, Arpad Tosaki, Istvan Lekli

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Autophagy plays an important role in cardiac hypertrophy, which is one of the most common causes of heart failure in the world. This self-degradative catabolic process, responsible for protein quality control, balancing sources of energy at critical times, and elimination of damaged organelles. The autophagic activity can be triggered by starvation, oxidative stress, or pharmacological agents, like rapamycin. This induced autophagy can promote cell survival during starvation or pathological stress. In this study, it is investigated the effect of the induced autophagic process on angiotensin induced hypertrophic H9c2 cells. In our study, it is used H9c2 cells as an in vitro model. To induce hypertrophy, cells were treated with 10000 nM angiotensin-II, and to activate autophagy, 100 nM rapamycin treatment was used. The following groups were formed: 1: control, 2: 10000 nM AT-II, 3: 100 nM rapamycin, 4: 100 nM rapamycin pretreatment then 10000 nM AT-II. The cell viability was examined via MTT (cell proliferation assay) assay. The cells were stained with rhodamine-conjugated phalloidin and DAPI to visualize F-actin filaments and cell nuclei then the cell size alteration was examined in a fluorescence microscope. Furthermore, the expression levels of autophagic and apoptotic proteins such as Beclin-1, p62, LC3B-II, Cleaved Caspase-3 were evaluated by Western blot. MTT assay result suggests that the used pharmaceutical agents in the tested concentrations did not have a toxic effect; however, at group 3, a slight decrement was detected in cell viability. In response to AT-II treatment, a significant increase was detected in the cell size; cells became hypertrophic. However, rapamycin pretreatment slightly reduced the cell size compared to group 2. Western blot results showed that AT-II treatment-induced autophagy, because the increased expression of Beclin-1, p62, LC3B-II were observed. However, due to the incomplete autophagy, the apoptotic Cleaved Caspase-3 expression also increased. Rapamycin pretreatment up-regulated Beclin-1 and LC3B-II, down-regulated p62 and Cleaved Caspase-3, indicating that rapamycin-induced autophagy can restore the normal autophagic flux. Taken together, our results suggest that rapamycin activated autophagy reduces angiotensin-II induced hypertrophy.

Keywords: autophagy, hypertrophy, rapamycin, angiotensin-II, H9c2 cell line

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885 Heater and Substrate Profile Optimization for Low Power Portable Breathalyzer to Diagnose Diabetes Mellitus

Authors: Ramji Kalidoss, Snekhalatha Umapathy, V. Dhinakaran, J. M. Mathana

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Chemi-resistive sensors used in breathalyzers have become a hotspot between the international breath research communities. These sensors exhibit a significant change in its resistance depending on the temperature it gets heated thus demanding high power leading to non-portable instrumentation. In this work, numerical simulation to identify the suitable combination of substrate and heater profile using COMSOL multiphysics was studied. Ni-Cr and Pt-100 joule resistive heater with various profiles were studied beneath the square and circular alumina substrates. The temperature distribution was uniform throughout the square substrate with the meander shaped pt100 heater with 48 mW power consumption for 200 oC. Moreover, this heater profile induced minimal stress on the substrate with 0.5 mm thick. A novel Graphene based ternary metal oxide nanocomposite (GO/SnO2/TiO2) was coated on the optimized substrate and heater to elucidate the response of diabetes biomarker (acetone). The sensor exhibited superior gas sensing performance towards acetone in the exhaled breath concentration range for diabetes (0.25 – 3 ppm). These results indicated the importance of substrate and heater properties along with sensing material for low power portable breathalyzers.

Keywords: Chemical Sensors, diabetes mellitus, substrate, breath analysis, Graphene Nanocomposites, Heater

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884 Development of an Automatic Computational Machine Learning Pipeline to Process Confocal Fluorescence Images for Virtual Cell Generation

Authors: Miguel Contreras, David Long, Will Bachman

Abstract:

Background: Microscopy plays a central role in cell and developmental biology. In particular, fluorescence microscopy can be used to visualize specific cellular components and subsequently quantify their morphology through development of virtual-cell models for study of effects of mechanical forces on cells. However, there are challenges with these imaging experiments, which can make it difficult to quantify cell morphology: inconsistent results, time-consuming and potentially costly protocols, and limitation on number of labels due to spectral overlap. To address these challenges, the objective of this project is to develop an automatic computational machine learning pipeline to predict cellular components morphology for virtual-cell generation based on fluorescence cell membrane confocal z-stacks. Methods: Registered confocal z-stacks of nuclei and cell membrane of endothelial cells, consisting of 20 images each, were obtained from fluorescence confocal microscopy and normalized through software pipeline for each image to have a mean pixel intensity value of 0.5. An open source machine learning algorithm, originally developed to predict fluorescence labels on unlabeled transmitted light microscopy cell images, was trained using this set of normalized z-stacks on a single CPU machine. Through transfer learning, the algorithm used knowledge acquired from its previous training sessions to learn the new task. Once trained, the algorithm was used to predict morphology of nuclei using normalized cell membrane fluorescence images as input. Predictions were compared to the ground truth fluorescence nuclei images. Results: After one week of training, using one cell membrane z-stack (20 images) and corresponding nuclei label, results showed qualitatively good predictions on training set. The algorithm was able to accurately predict nuclei locations as well as shape when fed only fluorescence membrane images. Similar training sessions with improved membrane image quality, including clear lining and shape of the membrane, clearly showing the boundaries of each cell, proportionally improved nuclei predictions, reducing errors relative to ground truth. Discussion: These results show the potential of pre-trained machine learning algorithms to predict cell morphology using relatively small amounts of data and training time, eliminating the need of using multiple labels in immunofluorescence experiments. With further training, the algorithm is expected to predict different labels (e.g., focal-adhesion sites, cytoskeleton), which can be added to the automatic machine learning pipeline for direct input into Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for generation of virtual-cell mechanical models.

Keywords: fluorescence microscopy, cell morphology prediction, computational machine learning, virtual-cell models

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