The purpose of this study is to reduce radiation dose for chest CT examination by including Tube Current Modulation (TCM) to a standard CT protocol. A scan of an anthropomorphic male Alderson phantom was performed on a 128-slice scanner. The estimation of effective dose (ED) in both scans with and without mAs modulation was done via multiplication of Dose Length Product (DLP) to a conversion factor. Results were compared to those measured with a CT-Expo software. The size specific dose estimation (SSDE) values were obtained by multiplication of the volume CT dose index (CTDIvol) with a conversion size factor related to the phantom’s effective diameter. Objective assessment of image quality was performed with Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) measurements in phantom. SPSS software was used for data analysis. Results showed including CARE Dose 4D; ED was lowered by 48.35% and 51.51% using DLP and CT-expo, respectively. In addition, ED ranges between 7.01 mSv and 6.6 mSv in case of standard protocol, while it ranges between 3.62 mSv and 3.2 mSv with TCM. Similar results are found for SSDE; dose was higher without TCM of 16.25 mGy and was lower by 48.8% including TCM. The SNR values calculated were significantly different (p=0.03<0.05). The highest one is measured on images acquired with TCM and reconstructed with Filtered back projection (FBP). In conclusion, this study proves the potential of TCM technique in SSDE and ED reduction and in conserving image quality with high diagnostic reference level for thoracic CT examinations.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) pandemic increased significantly worldwide. The rise in cases of HIV/AIDS was also followed by an increase in the incidence of opportunistic infection, with tuberculosis being the most opportunistic infection found in HIV/AIDS and the main cause of mortality in HIV/AIDS patients. Diagnosis of tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS patients is often difficult because of the uncommon symptom in HIV/AIDS patients compared to those without the disease. Thus, diagnostic tools are required that are more effective and efficient to diagnose tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS. CXCL-10/IP-10 is a chemokine that binds to the CXCR3 receptor found in HIV/AIDS patients with a weakened immune system. Tuberculosis infection in HIV/AIDS activates chemokine IP-10 in urine, which is used as a marker for diagnosis of infection. The aim of this study was to prove whether IP-10 urine can be a biomarker diagnosis of active lung tuberculosis in HIV-AIDS patients. Design of this study is a cross sectional study involving HIV/AIDS patients with lung tuberculosis as the subject of this study. Forty-seven HIV/AIDS patients with tuberculosis based on clinical and biochemical laboratory were asked to collect urine samples and IP-10/CXCL-10 urine being measured using ELISA method with 18 healthy human urine samples as control. Forty-seven patients diagnosed as HIV/AIDS were included as a subject of this study. HIV/AIDS were more common in male than in women with the percentage in male 85.1% vs. 14.5% of women. In this study, most diagnosed patients were aged 31-40 years old, followed by those 21-30 years, and > 40 years old, with one case diagnosed at age less than 20 years of age. From the result of the urine IP-10 using ELISA method, there was significant increase of the mean value of IP-10 urine in patients with TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection compared to the healthy control with mean 61.05 pg/mL ± 78.01 pg/mL vs. mean 17.2 pg/mL. Based on this research, there was significant increase of urine IP-10/CXCL-10 in active lung tuberculosis with HIV/AIDS compared to the healthy control. From this finding, it is necessary to conduct further research into whether urine IP-10/CXCL-10 plays a significant role in TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection, which can also be used as a biomarker in the early diagnosis of TB-HIV.
Background: Physical exercise induces a pattern of hormonal and immunological responses that prevent endothelial dysfunction by maintaining the availability of nitric oxide (NO). Regular and moderate exercise stimulates NO release, that can be considered as protective factor of cardiovascular diseases, while strenuous exercise induces increased levels in a number of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) triggers endothelial activation which results in an increased vascular permeability. Nuclear gene factor kappa B (NF-κB) activates biological effect of TNF-α. Aim of Study: To determine the effect of physical exercise on the endothelial and skeletal muscle, we measured the level of NF-κB on rats’ serum, macrophages, and myocytes after strenuous physical exercise. Methods: 30 male Rattus norvegicus in the age of eight weeks were randomly divided into five groups (each containing six), and there were treated groups (T) and control group (C). The treated groups obtain strenuous physical exercise by ran on treadmill at 32 m/minutes for 1 hour or until exhaustion. Blood samples, myocytes of gastrocnemius muscle, and intraperitoneal macrophages were collected sequentially. There were investigated immediately, 2 hours, 6 hours, and 24 hours (T1, T2, T3, and T4) after sacrifice. The levels of NF-κB were measured by ELISA methods. Results: From our study, we found that the levels of NF-κB on myocytes in treated group from which its specimen was taken immediately (T1), 2 hours after treadmill (T2), and 6 hours after treadmill (T3) were significantly higher than control group (p<0.05), while the group from which its specimen was taken 24 hours after treadmill, was no significantly different (p>0.05). Also on macrophages, NF-κB in treated groups T1, T2, and T3 was significantly higher than control group (p<0.05), but there was no difference between T4 and control group (p>0.05). The level of serum NF-κB was not significantly different between treatment group as well as compared to control group (p>0.05). Serum NF-κB was significantly higher than the level on macrophages and myocytes (p<0.05). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that strenuous physical exercise stimulates the activation of NF-κB that plays a role in vascular inflammation and muscular damage, and may be recovered after resting period.
Oxytocin is a nine-amino acid peptide synthesized in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the hypothalamus. Oxytocin promotes contraction of the uterus during birth and milk ejection during breast feeding. Although oxytocin receptors are found predominantly in the breasts and uterus of females, many tissues and organs express oxytocin receptors, including the pituitary, heart, kidney, thymus, vascular endothelium, adipocytes, osteoblasts, adrenal gland, pancreatic islets, and many cell lines. On the other hand, in pancreatic islets, oxytocin receptors are expressed in both α-cells and β-cells with stronger expression in α- cells. However, to our knowledge there are no reports yet about the effect of oxytocin on cytosolic calcium reaction on α and β-cell. This study aims to investigate the effect of oxytocin on α-cells and β-cells and its oscillation pattern. Islet of Langerhans from wild type mice were isolated by collagenase digestion. Isolated and dissociated single cells either α-cells or β-cells on coverslips were mounted in an open chamber and superfused in HKRB. Cytosolic concentration ([Ca2+]i) in single cells were measured by fura-2 microfluorimetry. After measurement of [Ca2+]i, α-cells were identified by subsequent immunocytochemical staining using an anti-glucagon antiserum. In β-cells, the [Ca2+]i increase in response to oxytocin was observed only under 8.3 mM glucose condition, whereas in α-cells, [Ca2+]i an increase induced by oxytocin was observed in both 2.8 mM and 8.3 mM glucose. The oscillation incidence was induced more frequently in β-cells compared to α-cells. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that oxytocin directly interacts with both α-cells and β-cells and induces increase of [Ca2+]i and its specific patterns.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) techniques are quite popular and effective for chronic diseases. Iridology is more than 150 years old CAM technique which analyzes the patterns, tissue weakness, color, shape, structure, etc. for disease diagnosis. The objective of this paper is to validate the use of iridology for the diagnosis of the diabetes. The suggested model was applied in a systemic disease with ocular effects. 200 subject data of 100 each diabetic and non-diabetic were evaluated. Complete procedure was kept very simple and free from the involvement of any iridologist. From the normalized iris, the region of interest was cropped. All 63 features were extracted using statistical, texture analysis, and two-dimensional discrete wavelet transformation. A comparison of accuracies of six different classifiers has been presented. The result shows 89.66% accuracy by the random forest classifier.
EEG is a very complex signal with noises and other bio-potential interferences. EOG is the most distinct interfering signal when EEG signals are measured and analyzed. It is very important how to process raw EEG signals in order to obtain useful information. In this study, the EEG signal processing techniques such as EOG filtering and outlier removal were examined to minimize unwanted EOG signals and other noises. The two different mental states of resting and focusing were examined through EEG analysis. A focused state was induced by letting subjects to watch a red dot on the white screen. EEG data for 32 healthy subjects were measured. EEG data after 60-Hz notch filtering were processed by a commercially available EOG filtering and our presented algorithm based on the removal of outliers. The ratio of beta wave to theta wave was used as a parameter for determining the degree of focusing. The results show that our algorithm was more appropriate than the existing EOG filtering.
Cervical dentinal hypersensitivity (CDH) affects 8-30% of adults and nearly 85% of perio-treated patients. Various treatment schemes have been applied for treating CDH, among them being fluoride application, laser irradiation, and, recently, bioglass. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of bioglass, copper-bromide (Cu-Br) laser irradiation and their combination on dentinal tubule occlusion as a potential dentinal hypersensitivity treatment for CDH. 45 human dentin surfaces were organized into three equal groups: group A received Cu-Br laser only; group B received bioglass only; group C received bioglass followed by Cu-Br laser irradiation. Specimens were evaluated with regard to dentinal tubule occlusion under environmental scanning electron microscope. Treatment modality significantly affected dentinal tubule occlusion (p<0.001). Groups B and C scored higher dentinal tubule occlusion than group A. Binary logistic regression showed that bioglass application significantly (p<0.001) contributed to dentinal tubule occlusion, compared with other variables. Under the conditions used herein and within the limitations of this study, bioglass application, alone or combined with Cu-Br laser irradiation, is a superior method for producing dentinal tubule occlusion, and may lead to an effective treatment modality for CDH.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation exercises are a series of stretching techniques that are commonly used in rehabilitation and exercise therapy. Assessment of these exercises for true maneuvering requires extensive experience in this field and could not be down with patients themselves. In this paper, we developed software that uses Microsoft Kinect sensor, a spherical color marker, and real-time image processing methods to evaluate patient’s performance in generating true patterns of movements. The software also provides the patient with a visual feedback by showing his/her avatar in a Virtual Reality environment along with the correct path of moving hand, wrist and marker. Primary results during PNF exercise therapy of a patient in a room environment shows the ability of the system to identify any deviation of maneuvering path and direction of the hand from the one that has been performed by an expert physician.
Glaucoma is a disease that causes visual loss in adults. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve and its overall pathophysiology is still not fully understood. Vasculopathy may be one of the possible causes of nerve damage. Photographic imaging of retinal vessels by fundus camera during eye examination may complement clinical management. This paper presents an innovation for measuring central light reflex width-to-retinal vessel diameter ratio (CRR) from digital retinal photographs. Using our edge detection technique, CRRs from glaucoma and normal eyes were compared to examine differences and associations. CRRs were evaluated on fundus photographs of participants from Mettapracharak (Wat Raikhing) Hospital in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Fifty-five photographs from normal eyes and twenty-one photographs from glaucoma eyes were included. Participants with hypertension were excluded. In each photograph, CRRs from four retinal vessels, including arteries and veins in the inferotemporal and superotemporal regions, were quantified using edge detection technique. From our finding, mean CRRs of all four retinal arteries and veins were significantly higher in persons with glaucoma than in those without glaucoma (0.34 vs. 0.32, p < 0.05 for inferotemporal vein, 0.33 vs. 0.30, p < 0.01 for inferotemporal artery, 0.34 vs. 0.31, p < 0.01 for superotemporal vein, and 0.33 vs. 0.30, p < 0.05 for superotemporal artery). From these results, an increase in CRRs of retinal vessels, as quantitatively measured from fundus photographs, could be associated with glaucoma.
One of the tasks in contemporary biotechnology, pharmacology and other fields of human activities is to obtain biologically active substances from plants. They are very essential in the treatment of many diseases due to their actually high therapeutic value without visible side effects. However, sometimes the possibility of obtaining the metabolites is limited due to the reduction of wild-growing plants. That is why the plant cell cultures are of great interest as alternative sources of biologically active substances. Besides, during the monitored cultivation, it is possible to obtain substances that are not synthesized by plants in nature. Isolated culture of Ajuga genevensis with high growth activity and ability of regeneration was obtained using MS nutrient medium. The agar-diffusion method showed that aqueous extracts of callus culture revealed high antimicrobial activity towards various gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis A1WT; B. mesentericus WDCM 1873; Staphylococcus aureus WDCM 5233; Staph. citreus WT) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli WKPM M-17; Salmonella typhimurium TA 100) microorganisms. The broth dilution method revealed that the minimal and half maximal inhibitory concentration values against E. coli corresponded to the 70 μg/mL and 140 μg/mL concentration of the extract respectively. According to the photochemiluminescent analysis, callus tissue extracts of leaf and root origin showed higher antioxidant activity than the same quantity of A. genevensis intact plant extract. A. genevensis intact plant and callus culture extracts showed no cytotoxic effect on K-562 suspension cell line of human chronic myeloid leukemia. The GC-MS analysis showed deep differences between the qualitative and quantitative composition of callus culture and intact plant extracts. Hexacosane (11.17%); n-hexadecanoic acid (9.33%); and 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol (4.28%) were the main components of intact plant extracts. 10-Methylnonadecane (57.0%); methoxyacetic acid, 2-tetradecyl ester (17.75%) and 1-Bromopentadecane (14.55%) were the main components of A. genevensis callus culture extracts. Obtained data indicate that callus culture of A. genevensis can be used as an alternative source of biologically active substances.
Dysphasia is difficulty in swallowing food because of oral cavity impairments induced by stroke, muscle damage, tumor. Intermittent oro-esophageal (IOE) tube feeding is one of the well-known feeding methods for the dysphasia patients. However, it is hard to insert at the proper position in esophagus. In this study, we design and fabricate the IOE tube guide using 3-dimensional (3D) printer. The printed IOE tube is tested in a mannequin (Airway Management Trainer, Co., Ltd., Copenhagen, Denmark) mimicking human’s esophagus. The gag reflex point is measured as the design point in the mannequin. To avoid the gag reflex, we design various shapes of IOE tube guide. One structure is separated into three parts; biting part, part through oral cavity, connecting part to oro-esophageal. We designed 6 types of IOE tube guide adjusting length and angle of these three parts. To evaluate the IOE tube guide, it is inserted in the mannequin, and through the inserted guide, an endoscopic camera successfully arrived at the oro-esophageal. We had planned to apply this mannequin-based design experience to patients in near future.
The increasing demand of thermoplastic elastomers is related to the wide range of applications, such as automotive, footwear, wire and cable industries, adhesives and medical devices, cell phones, sporting goods, toys and others. These materials are susceptible to microbial attack. Moisture and organic matter present in some areas (such as shower area and sink), provide favorable conditions for microbial proliferation, which contributes to the spread of diseases and reduces the product life cycle. Compounds based on SEBS copolymers, poly(styrene-b-(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene, are a class of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), fully recyclable and largely used in domestic appliances like bath mats and tooth brushes (soft touch). Zinc oxide and zinc ions loaded in personal and home care products have become common in the last years due to its biocidal effect. In that sense, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of zinc as antimicrobial agent in compounds based on SEBS/polypropylene/oil/ calcite for use as refrigerator seals (gaskets), bath mats and sink squeegee. Two zinc oxides from different suppliers (ZnO-Pe and ZnO-WR) and one masterbatch of zinc ions (M-Zn-ion) were used in proportions of 0%, 1%, 3% and 5%. The compounds were prepared using a co-rotating double screw extruder (L/D ratio of 40/1 and 16 mm screw diameter). The extrusion parameters were kept constant for all materials. Tests specimens were prepared using the injection molding machine. A compound with no antimicrobial additive (standard) was also tested. Compounds were characterized by physical (density), mechanical (hardness and tensile properties) and rheological properties (melt flow rate - MFR). The Japan Industrial Standard (JIS) Z 2801:2010 was applied to evaluate antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). The Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) NBR 15275:2014 were used to evaluate antifungal properties against Aspergillus niger (A. niger), Aureobasidium pullulans (A. pullulans), Candida albicans (C. albicans), and Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum). The microbiological assay showed a reduction over 42% in E. coli and over 49% in S. aureus population. The tests with fungi showed inconclusive results because the sample without zinc also demonstrated an inhibition of fungal development when tested against A. pullulans, C. albicans and P. chrysogenum. In addition, the zinc loaded samples showed worse results than the standard sample when tested against A. niger. The zinc addition did not show significant variation in mechanical properties. However, the density values increased with the rise in ZnO additives concentration, and had a little decrease in M-Zn-ion samples. Also, there were differences in the MFR results in all compounds compared to the standard.
In this paper, the design and evaluation of a handle for laparoscopic surgery is presented. The design of the handle is based on ergonomic principles and tries to avoid awkward postures for surgeons. The handle combines the so-called power-grip and accurate-grip in order to provide strength and accuracy in the performance of surgery. The handle is tested using both objective and subjective approaches. The objective approach uses motion capture techniques to obtain the angles of forearm, arm, wrist and hand. The muscular effort is obtained with electromyography electrodes. On the other hand, a subjective survey has been carried out using questionnaires. Results confirm that the handle is preferred by the majority of the surgeons.
A comprehensive study of object recognition in the human brain requires combining both spatial and temporal analysis of brain activity. Here, we are mainly interested in three issues: the time perception of visual objects, the ability of discrimination between two particular categories (objects vs. animals), and the possibility to identify a particular spatial representation of visual objects. Our experiment consisted of acquiring dense electroencephalographic (EEG) signals during a picture-naming task comprising a set of objects and animals’ images. These EEG responses were recorded from nine participants. In order to determine the time perception of the presented visual stimulus, we analyzed the Event Related Potentials (ERPs) derived from the recorded EEG signals. The analysis of these signals showed that the brain perceives animals and objects with different time instants. Concerning the discrimination of the two categories, the support vector machine (SVM) was applied on the instantaneous EEG (excellent temporal resolution: on the order of millisecond) to categorize the visual stimuli into two different classes. The spatial differences between the evoked responses of the two categories were also investigated. The results showed a variation of the neural activity with the properties of the visual input. Results showed also the existence of a spatial pattern of electrodes over particular regions of the scalp in correspondence to their responses to the visual inputs.
The objective of this study was to synthesize and characterize 5-acryloyloxy-3,4-dichlorocrotonolactone (a furanone derivative), use this derivative to modify a dental restorative, and study the effect of the derivative on the antibacterial activity and compressive strength of the formed restorative. In this study, a furanone derivative was synthesized, characterized, and used to formulate a dental restorative. Compressive strength (CS) and S. mutans viability were used to evaluate the mechanical strength and antibacterial activity of the formed restorative. The fabricated restorative specimens were photocured and conditioned in distilled water at 37oC for 24 h, followed by direct testing for CS or/and incubating with S. mutans for 48 h for antibacterial testing. The results show that the modified dental restorative showed a significant antibacterial activity without substantially decreasing the mechanical strengths. With addition of the antibacterial derivative up to 30%, the restorative kept its original CS nearly unchanged but showed a significant antibacterial activity with 68% reduction in the S. mutans viability. Furthermore, the antibacterial function of the modified restorative was not affected by human saliva. The aging study also indicates that the modified restorative may have a long-lasting antibacterial function. It is concluded that this experimental antibacterial restorative may potentially be developed into a clinically attractive dental filling restorative due to its high mechanical strength and antibacterial function.