Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1112

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Biomedical and Biological Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

1112 Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Towards the Attendance of Antenatal Care Services at Mukono General Hospital

Authors: Nabaweesi Josephine, Namwanje Regina Germina


Antenatal care is referred to as the totality of care given to pregnant women from conception to delivery from a certified health care setting. A number of 8 contacts is recommended throughout pregnancy, according to WHO, 2016. Antenatal services are free in Uganda courtesy of the government of Uganda, though attendance is still very low, which has continued to cause maternal and infant mortality and morbidity from preventable causes. Early booking has an advantage for proper pregnancy information sharing and pregnancy monitoring. The purpose of this study was to determine pregnant women's knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards attendance of antenatal care at Mukono General Hospital. A sample of 60 pregnant women was used, and a descriptive quantitative design was employed. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire consisting of questions about socio-demographic factors, knowledge, attitude, and practice, and this was affected using the structured interview method. Pregnant women had good practice at 90.2%, a positive attitude of 94.6%, and slightly less knowledge of 66.7%. Only 12% were knowledgeable about the number of antenatal care visits recommended, 45% had knowledge about when to initiate first antenatal care visit, and 79% had a positive attitude towards the early booking. We recommend that pregnant women are given all the necessary information regarding antenatal care with special emphasis on the recommended number of visits and when to initiate their first visit and encourage early booking in order to achieve the 8 contacts WHO policy for antenatal care since when we increase knowledge, we increase antenatal care utilization according to Anderson's behavioral model.

Keywords: ANC- antenatal care, contacts, mortality, morbidity

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1111 DenseNet and Autoencoder Architecture for COVID-19 Chest X-Ray Image Classification and Improved U-Net Lung X-Ray Segmentation

Authors: Jonathan Gong


Purpose: AI-driven solutions are at the forefront of many pathologies and medical imaging methods. Using algorithms designed to better the experience of medical professionals within their respective fields, the efficiency and accuracy of diagnosis can improve. In particular, X-rays are a fast and relatively inexpensive test that can diagnose diseases. In recent years, X-rays have not been widely used to detect and diagnose COVID-19. The under use of X-rays is mainly due to the low diagnostic accuracy and confounding with pneumonia, another respiratory disease. However, research in this field has expressed a possibility that artificial neural networks can successfully diagnose COVID-19 with high accuracy. Models and Data: The dataset used is the COVID-19 radiography database. This dataset includes images and masks of chest X-rays under the labels of COVID-19, normal, and pneumonia. The classification model developed uses an autoencoder and a pre-trained convolutional neural network (DenseNet201) to provide transfer learning to the model. The model then uses a deep neural network to finalize the feature extraction and predict the diagnosis for the input image. This model was trained on 4035 images and validated on 807 separate images from the ones used for training. The images used to train the classification model include an important feature: the pictures are cropped beforehand to eliminate distractions when training the model. The image segmentation model uses an improved U-Net architecture. This model is used to extract the lung mask from the chest X-ray image. The model is trained on 8577 images and validated on a validation split of 20\%. These models are calculated using the external dataset for validation. The models' accuracy, precision, recall, f1-score, IOU, and loss are calculated. Results: The classification model achieved an accuracy of 97.65% and a loss of 0.1234 when differentiating COVID-19-infected, pneumonia-infected, and normal lung X-rays. The segmentation model achieved an accuracy of 97.31% and an IOU of 0.928. Conclusion: The models proposed can detect COVID-19, pneumonia, and normal lungs with high accuracy and derive the lung mask from a chest X-ray with similarly high accuracy. The hope is for these models to elevate the experience of medical professionals and provide insight into the future of the methods used.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, convolutional neural networks, deep learning, image processing, machine learning

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1110 Psychological Stress and Accelerated Aging in SCI Patients - A Longitudinal Pilot Feasibility Study

Authors: Simona Capossela, Ramona Schaniel, Singer Franziska, Aquino Fournier Catharine, Daniel Stekhoven, Jivko Stoyanov


A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a traumatic life event that often results in ageing associated health conditions such as muscle mass decline, adipose tissue increase, decline in immune function, frailty, systemic chronic inflammation, and psychological distress and depression. Psychological, oxidative, and metabolic stressors may facilitate accelerated ageing in the SCI population with reduced life expectancy. Research designs using biomarkers of aging and stress are needed to elucidate the role of psychological distress in accelerated aging. The aim of this project is a feasibility pilot study to observe changes in stress biomarkers and correlate them with aging markers in SCI patients during their first rehabilitation (longitudinal cohort study). Biological samples were collected in the SwiSCI (Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study) Biobank in Nottwil at 4 weeks±12 days after the injury (T1) and at the end of the first rehabilitation (discharge, T4). The "distress thermometer" is used as a selfassessment tool for psychological distress. Stress biomarkers, as cortisol and protein carbonyl content (PCC), and markers of cellular aging, such as telomere lengths, will be measured. 2 Preliminary results showed that SCI patients (N= 129) are still generally distressed at end of rehabilitation, however we found a statistically significant (p< 0.001) median decrease in distress from 6 (T1) to 5 (T4) during the rehabilitation. In addition, an explorative transcriptomics will be conducted on N=50 SCI patients to compare groups of persons with SCI who have different trajectories of selfreported distress at the beginning and end of the first rehabilitation after the trauma. We identified 4 groups: very high chronic stress (stress thermometer values above 7 at T1 and T4; n=14); transient stress (high to low; n=14), low stress (values below 5 at T1 and T4; n=14), increasing stress (low to high; n=8). The study will attempt to identify and address issues that may occur in relation to the design and conceptualization of future study on stress and aging in the SCI population.

Keywords: stress, aging, spinal cord injury, biomarkers

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1109 Effective Stiffness, Permeability, and Reduced Wall Shear Stress of Highly Porous Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

Authors: Hassan Mohammadi Khujin


Tissue engineering is the science of tissues and complex organs creation using scaffolds, cells and biologically active components. Most cells require scaffolds to grow and proliferate. These temporary support structures for tissue regeneration are later replaced with extracellular matrix produced inside the body. Recent advances in additive manufacturing methods allow production of highly porous, complex three dimensional scaffolds suitable for cell growth and proliferation. The current paper investigates the mechanical properties, including elastic modulus and compressive strength, as well as fluid flow dynamics, including permeability and flow-induced shear stress of scaffolds with four triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) configurations, namely the Schwarz primitive, the Schwarz diamond, the gyroid, and the Neovius structures. Higher porosity in all scaffold types resulted in lower mechanical properties. The permeability of the scaffolds was determined using Darcy's law with reference to geometrical parameters and the pressure drop derived from the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. Higher porosity enhanced permeability and reduced wall shear stress in all scaffold designs.

Keywords: highly porous scaffolds, tissue engineering, finite elements analysis, CFD analysis

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1108 Polyphenol and Antimicrobial Activity in Olive Oil from Algeria

Authors: Kamel Zemour, Kada Mohamed Amine Chouhim, Mohamed Mairif, Tadj Eddine Adda Ardjan


Many recent studies show the positive effect of phenolic compounds in olive oil on health. They are known for their biological properties, where they have shown potential activity as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial agents. However, this characteristic is rarely studied in olive oil from different regions of Algeria. Different samples collected from the western region of Algeria were evaluated for their polyphenol content, antioxidant activity, and antimicrobial effect. The obtained results demonstrated that this oil is rich in polyphenols and revealed high antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Finally, this study has highlighted the nutritional and pharmaceutical importance of olive oil grown in Algeria.

Keywords: olive oil, polyphenols, antioxidant activity, antimicrobial activity

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1107 A Multi-Tenant Problem Oriented Medical Record System for Representing Patient Care Cases using SOAP (Subjective-Objective-Assessment-Plan) Note

Authors: Sabah Mohammed, Jinan Fiaidhi, Darien Sawyer


Describing clinical cases according to a clinical charting standard that enforces interoperability and enables connected care services can save lives in the event of a medical emergency or provide efficient and effective interventions for the benefit of the patients through the integration of bedside and bench side clinical research. This article presented a multi-tenant extension to the problem-oriented medical record that we have prototyped previously upon using the GraphQL Application Programming Interface to represent the notion of a problem list. Our implemented extension enables physicians and patients to collaboratively describe the patient case via using multi chatbots to collaboratively describe the patient case using the SOAP charting standard. Our extension also connects the described SOAP patient case with the HL7 FHIR (Health Interoperability Resources) medical record for connecting the patient case to the bench data.

Keywords: problem-oriented medical record, graphQL, chatbots, SOAP

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1106 Thick Data Analytics for Learning Cataract Severity from Small Sample of Anchor Images

Authors: Jinan Fiaidhi, Sabah Mohammed


Training eye surgeons on cataract surgery typically starts with the use of simulators to master essential technical and non-technical skills of the surgery procedure. Although the use of the simulation-based training prior to undertaking the actual cataract surgery proves to significantly reduce risks of intraoperative surgery complications like posterior capsule rupture (PCR) and vitreous prolapse, these simulators do not usually take advantage of the new machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to provide higher assistive services like biometry and intraocular lens (IOL) power calculation, scaling cataract severity, suggesting better surgery workflow and prediction of posterior capsule opacification. In this article, we are describing a thick data approach that utilizes a Siamese neural network to provide assistive predictions on the severity of the cataract image. Our research is a continuation of our previous experience gained on scaling the severity of ulcerative colitis and COVID-19 cases. Clinical Relevance— The lens of the eye is mostly made up of water and proteins. A cataract occurs when these proteins at the eye lens start to clump together and block light, causing impair vision. This research aims at employing thick data machine learning techniques to rate the severity of the cataract using a Siamese neural network.

Keywords: thick data analytics, cataract image learning, siamese neural network, triplet-loss function

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1105 MicroRNA Drivers of Resistance to Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Prostate Cancer

Authors: Philippa Saunders, Claire Fletcher


INTRODUCTION: Prostate cancer is the most prevalent malignancy affecting Western males. It is initially an androgen-dependent disease: androgens bind to the androgen receptor and drive the expression of genes that promote proliferation and evasion of apoptosis. Despite reduced androgen dependence in advanced prostate cancer, androgen receptor signaling remains a key driver of growth. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is, therefore, a first-line treatment approach and works well initially, but resistance inevitably develops. Abiraterone and Enzalutamide are drugs widely used in ADT and are androgen synthesis and androgen receptor signaling inhibitors, respectively. The shortage of other treatment options means acquired resistance to these drugs is a major clinical problem. MicroRNAs (miRs) are important mediators of post-transcriptional gene regulation and show altered expression in cancer. Several have been linked to the development of resistance to ADT. Manipulation of such miRs may be a pathway to breakthrough treatments for advanced prostate cancer. This study aimed to validate ADT resistance-implicated miRs and their clinically relevant targets. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Small RNA-sequencing of Abiraterone- and Enzalutamide-resistant C42 prostate cancer cells identified subsets of miRs dysregulated as compared to parental cells. Real-Time Quantitative Reverse Transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to validate altered expression of candidate ADT resistance-implicated miRs 195-5p, 497-5p and 29a-5p in ADT-resistant and -responsive prostate cancer cell lines, patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and primary prostate cancer explants. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: This study suggests a possible role for miR-497-5p in the development of ADT resistance in prostate cancer. MiR-497-5p expression was increased in ADT-resistant versus ADT-responsive prostate cancer cells. Importantly, miR-497-5p expression was also increased in Enzalutamide-treated, castrated (ADT-mimicking) PDXs versus intact PDXs. MiR-195-5p was also elevated in ADT-resistant versus -responsive prostate cancer cells, while there was a drop in miR-29a-5p expression. Candidate clinically relevant targets of miR-497-5p in prostate cancer were identified by mining AGO-PAR-CLIP-seq data sets and may include AVL9 and FZD6. CONCLUSION: In summary, this study identified microRNAs that are implicated in prostate cancer resistance to androgen deprivation therapy and could represent novel therapeutic targets for advanced disease.

Keywords: microRNA, androgen deprivation therapy, Enzalutamide, abiraterone, patient-derived xenograft

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1104 Classification of EEG Signals Based on Dynamic Connectivity Analysis

Authors: Zoran Šverko, Saša Vlahinić, Nino Stojković, Ivan Markovinović


In this article, the classification of target letters is performed using data from the EEG P300 Speller paradigm. Neural networks trained with the results of dynamic connectivity analysis between different brain regions are used for classification. Dynamic connectivity analysis is based on the adaptive window size and the imaginary part of the complex Pearson correlation coefficient. Brain dynamics are analysed using the relative intersection of confidence intervals for the imaginary component of the complex Pearson correlation coefficient method (RICI-imCPCC). The RICI-imCPCC method overcomes the shortcomings of currently used dynamical connectivity analysis methods, such as the low reliability and low temporal precision for short connectivity intervals encountered in constant sliding window analysis with wide window size and the high susceptibility to noise encountered in constant sliding window analysis with narrow window size. This method overcomes these shortcomings by dynamically adjusting the window size using the RICI rule. This method extracts information about brain connections for each time sample. Seventy percent of the extracted brain connectivity information is used for training and thirty percent for validation. Classification of the target word is also done and based on the same analysis method. As far as we know, through this research, we have shown for the first time that dynamic connectivity can be used as a parameter for classifying EEG signals.

Keywords: dynamic connectivity analysis, EEG, neural networks, Pearson correlation coefficients

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1103 Development of Drug Delivery Systems for Endoplasmic Reticulum Amino Peptidases Modulators Using Electrospinning

Authors: Filipa Vasconcelos


The administration of endoplasmic reticulum amino peptidases (ERAP1 or ERAP2) inhibitors can be used for therapeutic approaches against cancer and auto-immune diseases. However, one of the main shortcomings of drug delivery systems (DDS) is associated with the drug off-target distribution, which can lead to an increase in its side effects on the patient’s body. To overcome such limitations, the encapsulation of four representative compounds of ERAP inhibitors into Polycaprolactone (PCL), Polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), crosslinked PVA, and PVA with nanoparticles (liposomes) electrospun fibrous meshes is proposed as a safe and controlled drug release system. The use of electrospun fibrous meshes as a DDS allows efficient solvent evaporation giving limited time to the encapsulated drug to recrystallize, continuous delivery of the drug while the fibers degrade, prevention of initial burst release (sustained release), tunable dosages, and the encapsulation of other agents. This is possible due to the fibers' small diameters and resemblance to the extracellular matrix (confirmed by scanning electron microscopy results), high specific surface area, and good mechanical strength/stability. Furthermore, release studies conducted on PCL, PVA, crosslinked PVA, and PVA with nanoparticles (liposomes) electrospun fibrous meshes with each of the ERAP compounds encapsulated demonstrated that they were capable of releasing >60%, 50%, 40%, and 45% of the total ERAP concentration, respectively. Fibrous meshes with ERAP_E compound encapsulated achieved higher released concentrations (75.65%, 62.41%, 56.05%, and 65.39%, respectively). Toxicity studies of fibrous meshes with encapsulated compounds are currently being accessed in vitro, as well as pharmacokinetics and dynamics studies. The last step includes the implantation of the drug-loaded fibrous meshes in vivo.

Keywords: drug delivery, electrospinning, ERAP inhibitors, liposomes

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1102 Numerical Modelling of Skin Tumor Diagnostics through Dynamic Thermography

Authors: Luiz Carlos Wrobel, Matjaz Hribersek, Jure Marn, Jurij Iljaz


Dynamic thermography has been clinically proven to be a valuable diagnostic technique for skin tumor detection as well as for other medical applications such as breast cancer diagnostics, diagnostics of vascular diseases, fever screening, dermatological and other applications. Thermography for medical screening can be done in two different ways, observing the temperature response under steady-state conditions (passive or static thermography), and by inducing thermal stresses by cooling or heating the observed tissue and measuring the thermal response during the recovery phase (active or dynamic thermography). The numerical modelling of heat transfer phenomena in biological tissue during dynamic thermography can aid the technique by improving process parameters or by estimating unknown tissue parameters based on measured data. This paper presents a nonlinear numerical model of multilayer skin tissue containing a skin tumor, together with the thermoregulation response of the tissue during the cooling-rewarming processes of dynamic thermography. The model is based on the Pennes bioheat equation and solved numerically by using a subdomain boundary element method which treats the problem as axisymmetric. The paper includes computational tests and numerical results for Clark II and Clark IV tumors, comparing the models using constant and temperature-dependent thermophysical properties, which showed noticeable differences and highlighted the importance of using a local thermoregulation model.

Keywords: boundary element method, dynamic thermography, static thermography, skin tumor diagnostic

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1101 Improved Embroidery Based Textile Electrodes For Sustainability Of Impedance Measurement Characteristics

Authors: Bulcha Belay Etana


Research shows that several challenges are to be resolved for textile sensors and wearable smart textiles systems to make it accurate and reproducible minimizing variability issues when tested. To achieve this, we developed stimulating embroidery electrode with three different filling textiles such as 3Dknit, microfiber, and nonwoven fabric, and tested with FTT for high recoverability on compression. Hence The impedance characteristics of wetted electrodes were caried out after 1hr of wetting under normal environmental conditions. The wetted 3D knit (W-3D knit), Wetted nonwoven (W-nonwoven), and wetted microfiber (W-microfiber) developed using Satin stitch performed better than a dry standard stitch or dry Satin stitch electrodes. Its performance was almost the same as that of the gel electrode (Ag/AgCl) as shown by the impedance result in figure 2 .The impedance characteristics of Dry and wetted 3D knit based Embroidered electrodes are better than that of the microfiber, and nonwoven filling textile. This is due to the fact that 3D knit fabric has high recoverability on compression to retain electrolyte gel than microfiber, and nonwoven. However,The non-woven fabric held the electrolyte for longer time without releasing it to the skin when needed, thus making its impedance characteristics poor as observed from the results. Whereas the dry Satin stitch performs better than the standard stitch based developed electrode. The inter electrode distance of all types of the electrode was 25mm, with the area of the electrode being 20mm by 20mm. Detail evaluation and further analysis is in progress for EMG monitoring application

Keywords: impedance, moisture retention, 3D knit fabric, microfiber, nonwoven

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1100 Parameter Estimation for the Oral Minimal Model and Parameter Distinctions Between Obese and Non-obese Type 2 Diabetes

Authors: Manoja Rajalakshmi Aravindakshana, Devleena Ghosha, Chittaranjan Mandala, K. V. Venkateshb, Jit Sarkarc, Partha Chakrabartic, Sujay K. Maity


Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) is the primary test used to diagnose type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in a clinical setting. Analysis of OGTT data using the Oral Minimal Model (OMM) along with the rate of appearance of ingested glucose (Ra) is performed to study differences in model parameters for control and T2DM groups. The differentiation of parameters of the model gives insight into the behaviour and physiology of T2DM. The model is also studied to find parameter differences among obese and non-obese T2DM subjects and the sensitive parameters were co-related to the known physiological findings. Sensitivity analysis is performed to understand changes in parameter values with model output and to support the findings, appropriate statistical tests are done. This seems to be the first preliminary application of the OMM with obesity as a distinguishing factor in understanding T2DM from estimated parameters of insulin-glucose model and relating the statistical differences in parameters to diabetes pathophysiology.

Keywords: oral minimal model, OGTT, obese and non-obese T2DM, mathematical modeling, parameter estimation

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1099 Efficiencies in the Use of Nanorobots in Targeted Drug Delivery for the Treatment of Cancers

Authors: Shruti Mandrekar


Cancer has been one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Accurate diagnosis of these cancers often takes time, and traditional treatments may cause harmful side effects on the patients. Nanotechnology has provided revolutionary breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers due to the biocompatibility, accessibility, control, and targeting characteristics of the nanoparticles. This research study focuses on the use of nanoparticles and nanorobots for targeted drug delivery specific to the tumor cells to minimize the adverse side effects of cancer treatment. There are various studies of nanoparticles that have been found to contribute to the drug delivery process. These include “Cornell Dots” (C Dots), bioadhesive nanoparticles, logic-gated nanorobots, and self-propelled autonomous nanorobots. Some of these nanoparticles, like C Dots, focus on the detection of the tumor and signifying the tumor location. Others, such as bioadhesive nanoparticles, are designed for the release of drug candidates once the tumor is detected. This research study aims to identify recommendations for improving upon drug delivery to target tumor cells using combined approaches from these studied uses of nanoparticles. One focus is the use of multi-gated aptamers to release drugs based on certain conditions being met, thus opening the nanostructure to release the drugs. Another option would be the controlled release of a drug using gated aptamers with bioadhesive properties. If these recommendations can be successfully evaluated in laboratory research, then it will significantly reduce the need for high doses of chemotherapy, increase the treatment efficiency, and also minimize the side effects of these anti-cancer drugs on the patient.

Keywords: nanoparticles, nanorobots, drug delivery, cancer treatment

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1098 Recent Advances of Photo-Detectors in Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography Imaging System

Authors: Qasem A. Alyazji


One of the main techniques for Positron emission tomography (PET), Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is the development of radiation detectors. The NaI(Tl) scintillator crystal coupled to an array of photomultiplier tubes known as the Anger camera, is the most dominant detectors system in PET and SPECT devices. Technological advances in many materials, in addition to the emerging importance of specialized applications such as preclinical imaging and cardiac imaging, have encouraged innovation so that alternatives to the anger camera are now part in alternative imaging systems. In this paper we will discuss the main performance characteristics of detectors devices and scanning developments in both scintillation detectors, semiconductor (solid state) detectors, and Photon Transducers such as photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), position sensitive photomultiplier tubes (PSPMTs), Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and Silicon photomultiplier (SiPMT). This paper discussed the detectors that showed promising results. This study is a review of recent developments in the detectors used in single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging system.

Keywords: SPECT, scintillation, PMTs, SiPMT, PSPMTs, APDs, semiconductor (solid state)

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1097 Human Health and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Authors: Jinpa Palmo


In many research, omega 3 fatty acid which is a polyunsaturated fatty acids is proved to be very important and essential nutrients having many different health benefits but apart from other fatty acids, it cannot be synthesise by our human body. Therefore, we have to get these fatty acids by consuming diets and supplements rich in it. Even though human beings can live by consuming other important nutrients but can live much healthier and longer by consuming omega 3 fatty acids. American heart association AHA recommends for daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids specially by those people with coronary heart disease. Fish considering as nutritional valuable animal is mostly due to its lipid content (fish oil) in which these omega 3 fatty acids are present very significantly. Fish does not actually produce these omega 3 fatty acid in their body, but receive these fatty acids through the food web in which phytoplankton are the chief source of these omega fatty acids.

Keywords: fatty acid, fish, disease, health

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1096 ECOSURF EH3 - A Taq DNA Polymerase Enhancer

Authors: Kimberley Phoena Fan, Yu Zhang


ECOSURF™ EH-3 Surfactant (EH3) is a nonionic surfactant and has superior wetting and excellent oil removal properties. It is biodegradable with low toxicity and meets or exceeds US EPA Design for the Environment Criteria, and is widely used as a home cleaner, commercial and industrial degreaser. We have recently found that EH3 also possesses a special function which is characterized as an enhancer to Taq DNA polymerase and ameliorator to reduce the effects of PCR inhibitors, i.e., blood, urea, Guanidinium thiocyanate, Humic acids, polyphenol, and Polysaccharides. This is a new kind of PCR enhancer that does not work on relieving secondary structures of GC-rich templates. We have compared EH3’s effects on Taq DNA Polymerase along with other well-known enhancers, such as DMSO, betaine, and BSA, using GC rich or deficient template and found that, unlike DMSO and Betaine, the EH3 boosting effect on PCR reaction is not through reducing Tm. The results show the same increase of PCR products regardless of the GC contents or secondary structures. The mechanism of EH3 enhancing PCR is through its direct interaction with or stimulation of the DNA polymerase and making the enzymes more resistant to inhibitors in the presence of EH3. This phenomenon has first been observed for EH3, a new type of PCR enzyme enhancer. Subsequent research also shows that a series of similar surfactants boost Taq DNA polymerase as well.

Keywords: EH3, DNA, polymerase, enhancer, raw biological samples

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1095 Formulation and Evaluation of Piroxicam Hydrotropic Starch Gel

Authors: Mohammed Ghazwani, Shyma Ali Alshahrani, Zahra Abdu Yousef, Taif Torki Asiri, Ghofran Abdur Rahman, Asma Ali Alshahrani, Umme Hani


Background and introduction: Piroxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug characterized by low solubility-high permeability used to reduce pain, swelling, and joint stiffness from arthritis. Hydrotropes are a class of compounds that normally increase the aqueous solubility of insoluble solutes. Aim: The objective of the present research study was to formulate and optimize Piroxicam hydrotropic starch gel using sodium salicylate, sodium benzoate as hydrotropic salts, and potato starch for topical application. Materials and methods: The prepared Piroxicam hydrotropic starch gel was characterized for various physicochemical parameters like drug content estimation, pH, tube extrudability, and spreadability; all the prepared formulations were subjected to in-vitro diffusion studies for six hours in 100 ml phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) and determined gel strength. Results: All formulations were found to be white opaque in appearance and have good homogeneity. The pH of formulations was found to be between 6.9-7.9. Drug content ranged from 96.8%-99.4.5%. Spreadability plays an important role in patient compliance and helps in the uniform application of gel to the skin as gels should spread easily; F4 showed a spreadability of 2.4cm highest among all other formulations. In in vitro diffusion studies, extrudability and gel strength were good with F4 in comparison with other formulations; hence F4 was selected as the optimized formulation. Conclusion: Isolated potato starch was successfully employed to prepare the gel. Hydrotropic salt sodium salicylate increased the solubility of Piroxicam and resulted in a stable gel, whereas the gel prepared using sodium benzoate changed its color after one week of preparation from white to light yellowish. Hydrotropic potato starch gel proposed a suitable vehicle for the topical delivery of Piroxicam.

Keywords: Piroxicam, potato starch, hydrotropic salts, hydrotropic starch gel

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1094 A Data-Driven Platform for Studying the Liquid Plug Splitting Ratio

Authors: Ehsan Atefi, Michael Grigware


Respiratory failure secondary to surfactant deficiency resulting from respiratory distress syndrome is considered one major cause of morbidity in preterm infants. Surfactant replacement treatment (SRT) is considered an effective treatment for this disease. Here, we introduce an AI-mediated approach for estimating the distribution of surfactant in the lung airway of a newborn infant during SRT. Our approach implements machine learning to precisely estimate the splitting ratio of a liquid drop during bifurcation at different injection velocities and patient orientations. This technique can be used to calculate the surfactant residue remaining on the airway wall during the surfactant injection process. Our model works by minimizing the pressure drop difference between the two airway branches at each generation, subject to mass and momentum conservation. Our platform can be used to generate feedback for immediately adjusting the velocity of injection and patient orientation during SRT.

Keywords: respiratory failure, surfactant deficiency, surfactant replacement, machine learning

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1093 The Stem Cell Transcription Co-factor Znf521 Sustains Mll-af9 Fusion Protein In Acute Myeloid Leukemias By Altering The Gene Expression Landscape

Authors: Emanuela Chiarella, Annamaria Aloisio, Nisticò Clelia, Maria Mesuraca


ZNF521 is a stem cell-associated transcription co-factor, that plays a crucial role in the homeostatic regulation of the stem cell compartment in the hematopoietic, osteo-adipogenic, and neural system. In normal hematopoiesis, primary human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells display typically a high expression of ZNF521, while its mRNA levels rapidly decrease when these progenitors progress towards erythroid, granulocytic, or B-lymphoid differentiation. However, most acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs) and leukemia-initiating cells keep high ZNF521 expression. In particular, AMLs are often characterized by chromosomal translocations involving the Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) gene, which MLL gene includes a variety of fusion oncogenes arisen from genes normally required during hematopoietic development; once they are fused, they promote epigenetic and transcription factor dysregulation. The chromosomal translocation t(9;11)(p21-22;q23), fusing the MLL gene with AF9 gene, results in a monocytic immune phenotype with an aggressive course, frequent relapses, and a short survival time. To better understand the dysfunctional transcriptional networks related to genetic aberrations, AML gene expression profile datasets were queried for ZNF521 expression and its correlations with specific gene rearrangements and mutations. The results showed that ZNF521 mRNA levels are associated with specific genetic aberrations: the highest expression levels were observed in AMLs involving t(11q23) MLL rearrangements in two distinct datasets (MILE and den Boer); elevated ZNF521 mRNA expression levels were also revealed in AMLs with t(7;12) or with internal rearrangements of chromosome 16. On the contrary, relatively low ZNF521 expression levels seemed to be associated with the t(8;21) translocation, that in turn is correlated with the AML1-ETO fusion gene or the t(15;17) translocation and in AMLs with FLT3-ITD, NPM1, or CEBPα double mutations. Invitro, we found that the enforced co-expression of ZNF521 in cord blood-derived CD34+ cells induced a significant proliferative advantage, improving MLL-AF9 effects on the induction of proliferation and the expansion of leukemic progenitor cells. Transcriptome profiling of CD34+ cells transduced with either MLL-AF9, ZNF521, or a combination of the two transgenes highlighted specific sets of up- or down-regulated genes that are involved in the leukemic phenotype, including those encoding transcription factors, epigenetic modulators, and cell cycle regulators as well as those engaged in the transport or uptake of nutrients. These data enhance the functional cooperation between ZNF521 and MA9, resulting in the development, maintenance, and clonal expansion of leukemic cells. Finally, silencing of ZNF521 in MLL-AF9-transformed primary CD34+ cells inhibited their proliferation and led to their extinction, as well as ZNF521 silencing in the MLL-AF9+ THP-1 cell line resulted in an impairment of their growth and clonogenicity. Taken together, our data highlight ZNF521 role in the control of self-renewal and in the immature compartment of malignant hematopoiesis, which, by altering the gene expression landscape, contributes to the development and/or maintenance of AML acting in concert with the MLL-AF9 fusion oncogene.

Keywords: AML, human zinc finger protein 521 (hZNF521), mixed lineage leukemia gene (MLL) AF9 (MLLT3 or LTG9), cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cells (CB-CD34+)

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1092 Synergistic Anti-Proliferation Effect of PLK-1 Inhibitor and Livistona Chinensis Fruit Extracts on Lung Adenocarcinoma A549 Cells

Authors: Min-Chien Su, Tzu-Hsuan Hsu, Guan-Xuan Wu, Shyh-Ming Kuo


Lung cancer is one of the clinically challenging malignant diseases worldwide. For efficient therapeutics in cancer, combination therapy has developed to acquire a better outcome. PLK-1 was one of the major factors affecting cell mitosis in cancer cells, its inhibitor Bi6727 was proven effective in treating several different cancers namely oral cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer. Despite its low toxicity toward normal cells compared to traditional chemotherapy, it is still yet to be evaluated in detail. Livistona Chinensis (LC) is a Chinese herb that used as a traditional prescription to treat lung cancer. Due to the uncertainty of the efficacy of LC, we utilized a water extraction method to extract the Livistona Chinensis and then lyophilized into powder for further study. In this study we investigated the antiproliferation activities of Bi6727 and LC extracts (LCE) on A549 non-small lung cancer cells. The IC50 of Bi6727 and LCE on A549 are 60 nM and 0.8 mg/mL, respectively. The fluorescent staining images shown nucleolus damage in cells treated with Bi6727 and mitochondrial damage after treated with LCE. A549 cells treated with Bi6727 and LCE showed increased expression of Bax, Caspase-3 and Caspase-9 proteins from Western blot assay. LCE also inhibited A549 cells growth keeping cells at G2-M phase from cell cycle assay. Apoptosis assay results showed that LCE induced late apoptosis of A549 cells. JC-1 assay showed that the mitochondria damaged at the LCE concentration of 0.4 mg/mL. In our preliminary anti-proliferation test of combined LCE and Bi-6727 on A549 cells, we found a dramatically decrease in proliferation after treated with LCE first for 24-h and then Bi-6727 for extra 24-h. This was an important finding regarding synergistic anti-proliferation effect of these drugs, However, the usage, the application sequence of LCE and Bi-6727 on A549 cells and their related mechanisms still need to be evaluated. In summary, the drugs exerted anti-proliferation effect on A549 cells independently. We hopefully combine the usage of these two drugs will bring a different and potential outcome in treating lung cancer.

Keywords: anti-proliferation, A549, Livistona Chinensis fruit extracts, PLK-1 inhibitor

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1091 Re-Differentiation Effect of Sesquiterpene Farnesol on De-Differentiated Rabbit Chondrocytes

Authors: Chun Hsien Wu, Guan Xuan Wu, Hsia Ying Cheng, Shyh Ming Kuo


Articular cartilage is composed of chondrocytes and extracellular matrix, such as collagen fibers, glycosaminoglycans, etc., which play an important role in lubricating and cushion joint activities. The phenotypic expression and metabolic activity of chondrocytes are extremely important in maintaining the functions of articular cartilage. In in vitro passaged culture of chondrocytes, chondrocytes gradually lose their original cell phenotype and morphology, which is called dedifferentiation. After continuous passaged culture of chondrocytes or induction by inflammatory factor IL-1, chondrocytes changed their phenotype and morphology. Also, the extracellular matrix type II collagen and GAG secretion were significantly reduced, while type I and X collagen were synthesized. Farnesol is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant sesquiterpene compound that has the specific property of promoting collagen production. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether farnesol could restore the original type II collagen synthesis and, furthermore, the mechanisms of farnesol on the synthesis of type II collagen from the de-differentiated chondrocytes. The obtained results showed that the de-differentiated chondrocytes significantly restored to secret type II collagen and GAG (2.5-folds increases), and the secretion of collagen I and X and PGE2 synthesis were also significantly reduced after being treated with farnesol, indicating that farnesol had a restoration/re-differentiation effect on de-differentiated chondrocytes. The de-differentiated chondrocytes exhibited decreased expression of PPAR-γ and upregulated TGF-β expression to increase the MMP-13 expression. Higher expression of MMP-13 caused chondrocytes to secret type X collagen. On the contrary, increasing the expression of PPAR-γ would benefit the production of type II collagen. As shown, the PPAR-γ expression increased, and MMP-13 expression decreased after being treated with farnesol, indicating a possible signal pathway of farnesol to restore the production of type II collagen. However, more detailed mechanisms still need to evaluate.

Keywords: chondrocytes, de-differentiation, farnesol, re-differentiation

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1090 Evaluation of Collagen Synthesis in Macrophages/Fibroblasts Co-Culture Using Polylactic Acid Particles as Stimulants

Authors: Feng Ju Chuang, Yu Wen Wang, Tai Jung Hsieh, Shyh Ming Kuo


Polylactic acid is a synthetic polymer with good biocompatibility and degradability, is widely used in clinical applications. In this study, we utilized Polylactic acid particles as stimulants for macrophages and the collagen synthesis of co-cultured fibroblasts was evaluated. The results indicated that Polylactic acid particles were nontoxic to cells from 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide. No obvious inflammation effect was observed (under the PLLA concentration of 1 mg/mL) after 24-h co-culture of Raw264.7 and NIH3T3 cells (from TNF-α assay). The addition of PLLA particles to the Raw264.7 and NIH3T3 co-cultures increased the synthesis of collagen, the highest collagen synthesis from the fibroblast was the 0.2 mg/mL (approximately 60% increased as compared with without addition Polylactic acid particles). Moreover, a co-axial atomization delivery device was used to percutaneously introduce Polylactic acid particles into the dermis layer and stimulating macrophages to secrete growth factors promoting fibroblasts to produce collagen. The preliminary results demonstrated the synthesis of collagen was increased mildly after the introduction of Polylactic acid particles for 28-d post implantation. The Polylactic acid particles could be successfully introduced into the dermis layer from H&E staining examination, however, the optimum concentration of Polylactic acid particles and the time-period for collagen synthesis still need to be evaluated.

Keywords: collagen synthesis, macrophage, NIH3T3 cells, polylactic acid particles

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1089 Therapeutic Evaluation of Bacopa Monnieri Extract on Liver Fibrosis in Rats

Authors: Yu Wen Wang, Shyh Ming Kuo, Hsia Ying Cheng, Yu Chiuan Wu


Liver fibrosis is caused by the activation of hepatic stellate cells in the liver to secrete excessive and deposition of extracellular matrix. In recent years, many treatment strategies have been developed to reduce the activation of hepatic stellate cells and therefore to increase the decomposition of extracellular matrix. Bacopa monnieri, an herbaceous plant of the scrophulariaceae, containing saponins and glycosides, which with antioxidant, anti-inflammation, pain relief and free radical scavenging characteristics. This study was to evaluate the inhibition of hepatic stellate cell activity by Bacopa monnieri extract and its therapeutic potential in treating thioacetamide-induced liver fibrosis in rats. The results showed that the IC50 of Bacopa monnieri extract was 0.39 mg/mL. Bacopa monnieri extract could effectively reduce H2O2-induced hepatic stellate cells inflammation. In the TAA-induced liver fibrosis animal studies, albumin secretion recovered to normal level after treated with Bacopa monnieri extract for 2-w, and fibrosis related proteins, α-SMA and TGF-1levels decreased indicating the extract exerted therapeutic effect on the liver fibrosis. However, inflammatory factors TNF- obviously decreased after 4-w treatment. In summary, we could successfully extract the main component-Bacopaside I from the plant and acquired a potential therapy using this component in treating TAA-induced liver fibrosis in rat.

Keywords: anti-inflammatory, Bacopa monnieri, fibrosis, hepatic stellate cells, water extract

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1088 Diffusion MRI: Clinical Application in Radiotherapy Planning of Intracranial Pathology

Authors: Pomozova Kseniia, Gorlachev Gennadiy, Chernyaev Aleksandr, Golanov Andrey


In clinical practice, and especially in stereotactic radiosurgery planning, the significance of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is growing. This makes the existence of software capable of quickly processing and reliably visualizing diffusion data, as well as equipped with tools for their analysis in terms of different tasks. We are developing the «MRDiffusionImaging» software on the standard C++ language. The subject part has been moved to separate class libraries and can be used on various platforms. The user interface is Windows WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), which is a technology for managing Windows applications with access to all components of the .NET 5 or .NET Framework platform ecosystem. One of the important features is the use of a declarative markup language, XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language), with which you can conveniently create, initialize and set properties of objects with hierarchical relationships. Graphics are generated using the DirectX environment. The MRDiffusionImaging software package has been implemented for processing diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI), which allows loading and viewing images sorted by series. An algorithm for "masking" dMRI series based on T2-weighted images was developed using a deformable surface model to exclude tissues that are not related to the area of interest from the analysis. An algorithm of distortion correction using deformable image registration based on autocorrelation of local structure has been developed. Maximum voxel dimension was 1,03 ± 0,12 mm. In an elementary brain's volume, the diffusion tensor is geometrically interpreted using an ellipsoid, which is an isosurface of the probability density of a molecule's diffusion. For the first time, non-parametric intensity distributions, neighborhood correlations, and inhomogeneities are combined in one segmentation of white matter (WM), grey matter (GM), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) algorithm. A tool for calculating the coefficient of average diffusion and fractional anisotropy has been created, on the basis of which it is possible to build quantitative maps for solving various clinical problems. Functionality has been created that allows clustering and segmenting images to individualize the clinical volume of radiation treatment and further assess the response (Median Dice Score = 0.963 ± 0,137). White matter tracts of the brain were visualized using two algorithms: deterministic (fiber assignment by continuous tracking) and probabilistic using the Hough transform. The proposed algorithms test candidate curves in the voxel, assigning to each one a score computed from the diffusion data, and then selects the curves with the highest scores as the potential anatomical connections. White matter fibers were visualized using a Hough transform tractography algorithm. In the context of functional radiosurgery, it is possible to reduce the irradiation volume of the internal capsule receiving 12 Gy from 0,402 cc to 0,254 cc. The «MRDiffusionImaging» will improve the efficiency and accuracy of diagnostics and stereotactic radiotherapy of intracranial pathology. We develop software with integrated, intuitive support for processing, analysis, and inclusion in the process of radiotherapy planning and evaluating its results.

Keywords: diffusion-weighted imaging, medical imaging, stereotactic radiosurgery, tractography

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1087 Complications and Outcomes of Cochlear Implantation in Children Younger than 12 Months: A Multicenter Study

Authors: Alimohamad Asghari, Ahmad Daneshi, Mohammad Farhadi, Arash Bayat, Mohammad Ajalloueyan, Marjan Mirsalehi, Mohsen Rajati, Seyed Basir Hashemi, Nader Saki, Ali Omidvari


Evidence suggests that Cochlear Implantation (CI) is a beneficial approach for auditory and speech skills improvement in children with severe to profound hearing loss. However, it remains controversial if implantation in children <12 months is safe and effective compared to older children. The present study aimed to determine whether children's ages affect surgical complications and auditory and speech development. The current multicenter study enrolled 86 children who underwent CI surgery at <12 months of age (group A) and 362 children who underwent implantation between 12 and 24 months of age (group B). The Categories of Auditory Performance (CAP) and Speech Intelligibility Rating (SIR) scores were determined pre-impanation, and "one-year" and "two-year" post-implantation. Four complications (overall rate: 4.65%; three minor) occurred in group A and 12 complications (overall rate: 4.41%; nine minor) occurred in group B. We found no statistically significant difference in the complication rates between the groups (p>0.05). The mean SIR and CAP scores improved over time following CI activation in both groups. However, we did not find significant differences in CAP and SIR scores between the groups across different time points. Cochlear implantation is a safe and efficient procedure in children younger than 12 months, providing substantial auditory and speech benefits comparable to children undergoing implantation at 12 to 24 months of age. Furthermore, surgical complications in younger children are similar to those of children undergoing the CI at an older age.

Keywords: cochlear implant, Infant, complications, outcome

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1086 Improving Biodegradation Behavior of Fabricated WE43 Magnesium Alloy by High-Temperature Oxidation

Authors: Jinge Liu, Shuyuan Min, Bingchuan Liu, Bangzhao Yin, Bo Peng, Peng Wen, Yun Tian


WE43 magnesium alloy can be additively manufactured via laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) for biodegradable applications, but the as-built WE43 exhibits an excessively rapid corrosion rate. High-temperature oxidation (HTO) was performed on the as-built WE43 to improve its biodegradation behavior. A sandwich structure including an oxide layer at the surface, a transition layer in the middle, and the matrix was generated influenced by the oxidation reaction and diffusion of RE atoms when heated at 525 ℃for 8 hours. The oxide layer consisted of Y₂O₃ and Nd₂O₃ oxides with a thickness of 2-3 μm. The transition layer is composed of α-Mg and Y₂O₃ with a thickness of 60-70 μm, while Mg24RE5 could be observed except α-Mg and Y₂O₃. The oxide layer and transition layer appeared to have an effective passivation effect. The as-built WE43 lost 40% weight after the in vitro immersion test for three days and finally broke into debris after seven days of immersion. The high-temperature oxidation samples kept the structural integrity and lost only 6.88 % weight after 28-day immersion. The corrosion rate of HTO samples was significantly controlled, which improved the biocompatibility of the as-built WE43 at the same time. The samples after HTO had better osteogenic capability according to ALP activity. Moreover, as built WE43 performed unqualified in cell adhesion and hemolytic test due to its excessively rapid corrosion rate. While as for HTO samples, cells adhered well, and the hemolysis ratio was only 1.59%.

Keywords: laser powder bed fusion, biodegradable metal, high temperature oxidation, biodegradation behavior, WE43

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1085 Diet-Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance

Authors: Gaby Fahmy


The last decades have seen a rise in metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease around the world. Environmental factors, especially nutrition, have contributed to this increase. Additionally, pre-conceptional parental nutritional choices have been shown to result in epigenetic modifications affecting gene expression during the developmental process in-utero. These epigenetic modifications have also been seen to extend to the following offspring in a trans-generational effect. This further highlights the significance and relevance of epigenetics and epigenetic tags, which were previously thought to be stripped in newly formed embryos. Suitable prenatal nutrition may partially counteract adverse outcomes caused by exposures to environmental contaminants, ultimately resulting in improved metabolic profiles like body weight and glucose homeostasis. This was seen in patients who were given dietary interventions like restrictive caloric intake, intermittent fasting, and time-restricted feeding. Changes in nutrition are pivotal in the regulation of epigenetic modifications that are transgenerational. For example, dietary choices such as fatty foods vs. vegetables and nuts in fathers were shown to significantly affect sperm motility and volume. This was pivotal in understanding the importance of paternal inheritance. Further research in the field is needed as it remains unclear how many generations are affected by these changes.

Keywords: epigenetics, transgenerational, diet, fasting

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1084 Developing a Thermo-Sensitive Conductive Stretchable Film to Allow Cell Sheet Harvest after Mechanical and Electrical Treatments

Authors: Wei-Wen Hu, Yong-Zhi Zhong


Depositing conductive polypyrrole (PPy) onto elastic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate can obtain a highly stretchable conductive film, which can be used to construct a bioreactor to cyclically stretch and electrically stimulate surface cells. However, how to completely harvest these stimulated muscle tissue to repair damaged muscle is a challenge. To address this concern, N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm), a monomer of temperature-sensitive polymer, was added during the polymerization of pyrrole on PDMS so that the resulting P(Py-co-NIPAAm)/PDMS should own both conductivity and thermo-sensitivity. Therefore, cells after stimulation can be completely harvested as cell sheets by reducing temperature. Mouse skeletal myoblast, C2C12 cells, were applied to examine our hypothesis. In electrical stimulation, C2C12 cells on P(Py-co-NIPAAm)/PDMS demonstrated the best myo-differentiation under the electric field of 1 V/cm. Regarding cyclic stretching, the strain equal to or higher than 9% can highly align C2C12 perpendicular to the stretching direction. The Western blotting experiments demonstrated that the cell sheets harvested by cooling reserved more extracellular matrix (ECM) than cells collected by the traditional trypsin digestion method. Immunostaining of myosin heavy chain protein (MHC) indicated that both mechanical and electrical stimuli effectively increased the number of myotubes and the differentiation ratio, and the myotubes can be aligned by cyclic stretching. Stimulated cell sheets can be harvested by cooling, and the alignment of myotubes was still maintained. These results suggested that the deposition of P(Py-co-NIPAAm) on PDMS can be applied to harvest intact cell sheets after cyclic stretching and electrical stimulation, which increased the feasibility of bioreactor for the application of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Keywords: bioreactor, cell sheet, conductive polymer, cyclic stretching, electrical stimulation, muscle tissue engineering, myogenesis, thermosensitive hydrophobicity

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1083 A Machine Learning Pipeline for Real-Time Activity Detection on Low Computational Power Devices for Metaverse Applications

Authors: Amit Kumar, Amanpreet Chander, Ashish Sahani


This paper presents our recent work on real-time human activity detection based on the media pipe pipeline and machine learning algorithms. The proposed system can detect human activities, including running, jumping, squatting, bending to the left or right, and standing still. This is a robust solution for developing a yoga, dance, metaverse, and fitness application that checks for the correction of the pose without having any additional monitor like a personal trainer. MediaPipe solution offers an open-source cross-platform which utilizes a two-step detector-tracker ML pipeline for live detection of key landmarks on our body which can be used for motion data collection. The prediction of real-time poses uses a variety of machine learning techniques and different types of analysis. Without primarily relying on powerful desktop environments for inference, our method achieves real-time performance on the majority of contemporary mobile phones, desktops/laptops, Python, or even the web. Experimental results show that our method outperforms the existing method in terms of accuracy and real-time capability, achieving an accuracy of 99.92% on testing datasets.

Keywords: human activity detection, media pipe, machine learning, metaverse applications

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