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A Novel Computing Platform for Accelerated Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Cancer Imaging

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Compressed sensing magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is a noninvasive and in vivo potential diagnostic technique for cancer imaging. This technique undersamples the distribution of specific cancer biomarkers within an MR image as well as changes in the temporal dimension

Compressed sensing magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is a noninvasive and in vivo potential diagnostic technique for cancer imaging. This technique undersamples the distribution of specific cancer biomarkers within an MR image as well as changes in the temporal dimension and subsequently reconstructs the missing data. This technique has been shown to retain a high level of fidelity even with an acceleration factor of 5. Currently there exist several different scanner types that each have their separate analytical methods in MATLAB. A graphical user interface (GUI) was created to facilitate a single computing platform for these different scanner types in order to improve the ease and efficiency with which researchers and clinicians interact with this technique. A GUI was successfully created for both prospective and retrospective MRSI data analysis. This GUI retained the original high fidelity of the reconstruction technique and gave the user the ability to load data, load reference images, display intensity maps, display spectra mosaics, generate a mask, display the mask, display kspace and save the corresponding spectra, reconstruction, and mask files. Parallelization of the reconstruction algorithm was explored but implementation was ultimately unsuccessful. Future work could consist of integrating this parallelization method, adding intensity overlay functionality and improving aesthetics.

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2016-05

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Lead identification, optimization and characterization of novel cancer treatment strategies using repositioned drugs

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and novel methods of treating advanced malignancies are of high importance. Of these deaths, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the second most fatal carcinomas in men and

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and novel methods of treating advanced malignancies are of high importance. Of these deaths, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the second most fatal carcinomas in men and women respectively, while pancreatic cancer is the fourth most fatal in both men and women. Developing new drugs for the treatment of cancer is both a slow and expensive process. It is estimated that it takes an average of 15 years and an expense of $800 million to bring a single new drug to the market. However, it is also estimated that nearly 40% of that cost could be avoided by finding alternative uses for drugs that have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The research presented in this document describes the testing, identification, and mechanistic evaluation of novel methods for treating many human carcinomas using drugs previously approved by the FDA. A tissue culture plate-based screening of FDA approved drugs will identify compounds that can be used in combination with the protein TRAIL to induce apoptosis selectively in cancer cells. Identified leads will next be optimized using high-throughput microfluidic devices to determine the most effective treatment conditions. Finally, a rigorous mechanistic analysis will be conducted to understand how the FDA-approved drug mitoxantrone, sensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis.

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Date Created
2013

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Synthesis and Characterization of Amphiphilic molecules for their use in health care industry

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Amphipathic molecules consist of hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions, which make them surface-active molecules. The uniqueness of these compounds results in inducing low surface tension and self-assembly of the molecules inside a solvent which have been exploited in personal care, the

Amphipathic molecules consist of hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions, which make them surface-active molecules. The uniqueness of these compounds results in inducing low surface tension and self-assembly of the molecules inside a solvent which have been exploited in personal care, the oil industry and agriculture industry. Amphipathic molecules are also used in the healthcare industry as drug delivery systems and other bio-nanotechnology applications.

In this thesis, a novel series of grafted siloxanes have been explored for their probable application in the healthcare industry. The siloxanes are grafted with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and quaternary ammonium salt (QUAT). The effects of varying 1) molar ratios of QUAT to PEG and 2) PEG chain length on contact angle, surface tension, critical micelle concentration (CMC), and micelle assembly properties were studied. In contact angle experiments, the hydrophilicity of grafted siloxanes increased by grafting PEG and QUAT. The amphiphilicity increases and CMC decreases as the PEG chain length shortens. Adding QUAT also reduces CMC. These trends were observed in surface tension and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry experiments. A change in self-assembly behaviour was also observed in Dynamic Light Scattering experiments upon increasing the PEG chain length and its ratio relative to the quaternary ammonium in the siloxane polymer.

These polymers have also been studied for their probable application as a sensitive 1H NMR spectroscopy indicator of tissue oxygenation (pO2) based on spectroscopic spin-lattice relaxometry. The proton imaging of siloxanes to map tissue oxygenation levels (PISTOL) technique is used to map T1 of siloxane polymer, which is correlated to dynamic changes in tissue pO2 at various locations by a linear relationship between pO2 and 1/T1. The T1-weighted echo spin signals were observed in an initial study of siloxanes using the PISTOL technique.

The change in the ratio of QUAT to PEG and the varying chain length of PEG have a significant effect on the physical property characteristics of siloxane graft copolymers. The conclusions and observations of the present work serve as a benchmark study for further development of adaptive polymers and for the creation of integrated “nanoscale” probes for PISTOL oximetry and drug delivery.

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2018