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Fast, variable system delay correction for spiral MRI

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging using spiral trajectories has many advantages in speed, efficiency in data-acquistion and robustness to motion and flow related artifacts. The increase in sampling speed, however, requires high performance of the gradient system. Hardware inaccuracies from system delays

Magnetic Resonance Imaging using spiral trajectories has many advantages in speed, efficiency in data-acquistion and robustness to motion and flow related artifacts. The increase in sampling speed, however, requires high performance of the gradient system. Hardware inaccuracies from system delays and eddy currents can cause spatial and temporal distortions in the encoding gradient waveforms. This causes sampling discrepancies between the actual and the ideal k-space trajectory. Reconstruction assuming an ideal trajectory can result in shading and blurring artifacts in spiral images. Current methods to estimate such hardware errors require many modifications to the pulse sequence, phantom measurements or specialized hardware. This work presents a new method to estimate time-varying system delays for spiral-based trajectories. It requires a minor modification of a conventional stack-of-spirals sequence and analyzes data collected on three orthogonal cylinders. The method is fast, robust to off-resonance effects, requires no phantom measurements or specialized hardware and estimate variable system delays for the three gradient channels over the data-sampling period. The initial results are presented for acquired phantom and in-vivo data, which show a substantial reduction in the artifacts and improvement in the image quality.

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2013

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Coronary artery plaque assessment with fast switched dual energy X-ray computed tomography angiography

Description

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) has a high negative predictive value for ruling out coronary artery disease with non-invasive evaluation of the coronary arteries. My work has attempted to provide metrics that could increase the positive predictive value of coronary

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) has a high negative predictive value for ruling out coronary artery disease with non-invasive evaluation of the coronary arteries. My work has attempted to provide metrics that could increase the positive predictive value of coronary CTA through the use of dual energy CTA imaging. After developing an algorithm for obtaining calcium scores from a CTA exam, a dual energy CTA exam was performed on patients at dose levels equivalent to levels for single energy CTA with a calcium scoring exam. Calcium Agatston scores obtained from the dual energy CTA exam were within ±11% of scores obtained with conventional calcium scoring exams. In the presence of highly attenuating coronary calcium plaques, the virtual non-calcium images obtained with dual energy CTA were able to successfully measure percent coronary stenosis within 5% of known stenosis values, which is not possible with single energy CTA images due to the presence of the calcium blooming artifact. After fabricating an anthropomorphic beating heart phantom with coronary plaques, characterization of soft plaque vulnerability to rupture or erosion was demonstrated with measurements of the distance from soft plaque to aortic ostium, percent stenosis, and percent lipid volume in soft plaque. A classification model was developed, with training data from the beating heart phantom and plaques, which utilized support vector machines to classify coronary soft plaque pixels as lipid or fibrous. Lipid versus fibrous classification with single energy CTA images exhibited a 17% error while dual energy CTA images in the classification model developed here only exhibited a 4% error. Combining the calcium blooming correction and the percent lipid volume methods developed in this work will provide physicians with metrics for increasing the positive predictive value of coronary CTA as well as expanding the use of coronary CTA to patients with highly attenuating calcium plaques.

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2013

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Frequency response characteristics of respiratory flow-meters

Description

Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where

Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where the rate of airflow passing the aircraft is used to determine the speed of the plane. A clinical example would be that the flow of a patient's breath which could help determine the state of the patient's lungs. This project is focused on the flow-meter that are used for airflow measurement in human lungs. In order to do these measurements, resistive-type flow-meters are commonly used in respiratory measurement systems. This method consists of passing the respiratory flow through a fluid resistive component, while measuring the resulting pressure drop, which is linearly related to volumetric flow rate. These types of flow-meters typically have a low frequency response but are adequate for most applications, including spirometry and respiration monitoring. In the case of lung parameter estimation methods, such as the Quick Obstruction Method, it becomes important to have a higher frequency response in the flow-meter so that the high frequency components in the flow are measurable. The following three types of flow-meters were: a. Capillary type b. Screen Pneumotach type c. Square Edge orifice type To measure the frequency response, a sinusoidal flow is generated with a small speaker and passed through the flow-meter that is connected to a large, rigid container. True flow is proportional to the derivative of the pressure inside the container. True flow is then compared with the measured flow, which is proportional to the pressure drop across the flow-meter. In order to do the characterization, two LabVIEW data acquisition programs have been developed, one for transducer calibration, and another one that records flow and pressure data for frequency response testing of the flow-meter. In addition, a model that explains the behavior exhibited by the flow-meter has been proposed and simulated. This model contains a fluid resistor and inductor in series. The final step in this project was to approximate the frequency response data to the developed model expressed as a transfer function.

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2013

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Designing m-health modules with sensor interfaces for DSP education

Description

Advancements in mobile technologies have significantly enhanced the capabilities of mobile devices to serve as powerful platforms for sensing, processing, and visualization. Surges in the sensing technology and the abundance of data have enabled the use of these portable devices

Advancements in mobile technologies have significantly enhanced the capabilities of mobile devices to serve as powerful platforms for sensing, processing, and visualization. Surges in the sensing technology and the abundance of data have enabled the use of these portable devices for real-time data analysis and decision-making in digital signal processing (DSP) applications. Most of the current efforts in DSP education focus on building tools to facilitate understanding of the mathematical principles. However, there is a disconnect between real-world data processing problems and the material presented in a DSP course. Sophisticated mobile interfaces and apps can potentially play a crucial role in providing a hands-on-experience with modern DSP applications to students. In this work, a new paradigm of DSP learning is explored by building an interactive easy-to-use health monitoring application for use in DSP courses. This is motivated by the increasing commercial interest in employing mobile phones for real-time health monitoring tasks. The idea is to exploit the computational abilities of the Android platform to build m-Health modules with sensor interfaces. In particular, appropriate sensing modalities have been identified, and a suite of software functionalities have been developed. Within the existing framework of the AJDSP app, a graphical programming environment, interfaces to on-board and external sensor hardware have also been developed to acquire and process physiological data. The set of sensor signals that can be monitored include electrocardiogram (ECG), photoplethysmogram (PPG), accelerometer signal, and galvanic skin response (GSR). The proposed m-Health modules can be used to estimate parameters such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, step count, and heart rate variability. A set of laboratory exercises have been designed to demonstrate the use of these modules in DSP courses. The app was evaluated through several workshops involving graduate and undergraduate students in signal processing majors at Arizona State University. The usefulness of the software modules in enhancing student understanding of signals, sensors and DSP systems were analyzed. Student opinions about the app and the proposed m-health modules evidenced the merits of integrating tools for mobile sensing and processing in a DSP curriculum, and familiarizing students with challenges in modern data-driven applications.

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2013

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MRI visualization and mathematical modeling of local drug delivery

Description

Controlled release formulations for local, in vivo drug delivery are of growing interest to device manufacturers, research scientists, and clinicians; however, most research characterizing controlled release formulations occurs in vitro because the spatial and temporal distribution of drug delivery is

Controlled release formulations for local, in vivo drug delivery are of growing interest to device manufacturers, research scientists, and clinicians; however, most research characterizing controlled release formulations occurs in vitro because the spatial and temporal distribution of drug delivery is difficult to measure in vivo. In this work, in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of local drug delivery is performed to visualize and quantify the time resolved distribution of MRI contrast agents. I find it is possible to visualize contrast agent distributions in near real time from local delivery vehicles using MRI. Three dimensional T1 maps are processed to produce in vivo concentration maps of contrast agent for individual animal models. The method for obtaining concentration maps is analyzed to estimate errors introduced at various steps in the process. The method is used to evaluate different controlled release vehicles, vehicle placement, and type of surgical wound in rabbits as a model for antimicrobial delivery to orthopaedic infection sites. I are able to see differences between all these factors; however, all images show that contrast agent remains fairly local to the wound site and do not distribute to tissues far from the implant in therapeutic concentrations. I also produce a mathematical model that investigates important mechanisms in the transport of antimicrobials in a wound environment. It is determined from both the images and the mathematical model that antimicrobial distribution in an orthopaedic wounds is dependent on both diffusive and convective mechanisms. Furthermore, I began development of MRI visible therapeutic agents to examine active drug distributions. I hypothesize that this work can be developed into a non-invasive, patient specific, clinical tool to evaluate the success of interventional procedures using local drug delivery vehicles.

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Date Created
2013

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The influence of dome size, parent vessel angle, and coil packing density on coil embolization treatment in cerebral aneurysms

Description

A cerebral aneurysm is a bulging of a blood vessel in the brain. Aneurysmal rupture affects 25,000 people each year and is associated with a 45% mortality rate. Therefore, it is critically important to treat cerebral aneurysms effectively before they

A cerebral aneurysm is a bulging of a blood vessel in the brain. Aneurysmal rupture affects 25,000 people each year and is associated with a 45% mortality rate. Therefore, it is critically important to treat cerebral aneurysms effectively before they rupture. Endovascular coiling is the most effective treatment for cerebral aneurysms. During coiling process, series of metallic coils are deployed into the aneurysmal sack with the intent of reaching a sufficient packing density (PD). Coils packing can facilitate thrombus formation and help seal off the aneurysm from circulation over time. While coiling is effective, high rates of treatment failure have been associated with basilar tip aneurysms (BTAs). Treatment failure may be related to geometrical features of the aneurysm. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of dome size, parent vessel (PV) angle, and PD on post-treatment aneurysmal hemodynamics using both computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and particle image velocimetry (PIV). Flows in four idealized BTA models with a combination of dome sizes and two different PV angles were simulated using CFD and then validated against PIV data. Percent reductions in post-treatment aneurysmal velocity and cross-neck (CN) flow as well as percent coverage of low wall shear stress (WSS) area were analyzed. In all models, aneurysmal velocity and CN flow decreased after coiling, while low WSS area increased. However, with increasing PD, further reductions were observed in aneurysmal velocity and CN flow, but minimal changes were observed in low WSS area. Overall, coil PD had the greatest impact while dome size has greater impact than PV angle on aneurysmal hemodynamics. These findings lead to a conclusion that combinations of treatment goals and geometric factor may play key roles in coil embolization treatment outcomes, and support that different treatment timing may be a critical factor in treatment optimization.

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2013

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A chip for hydrodynamic microvortical rotation of live single cells

Description

Single cell analysis has become increasingly important in understanding disease onset, progression, treatment and prognosis, especially when applied to cancer where cellular responses are highly heterogeneous. Through the advent of single cell computerized tomography (Cell-CT), researchers and clinicians now have

Single cell analysis has become increasingly important in understanding disease onset, progression, treatment and prognosis, especially when applied to cancer where cellular responses are highly heterogeneous. Through the advent of single cell computerized tomography (Cell-CT), researchers and clinicians now have the ability to obtain high resolution three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of single cells. Yet to date, no live-cell compatible version of the technology exists. In this thesis, a microfluidic chip with the ability to rotate live single cells in hydrodynamic microvortices about an axis parallel to the optical focal plane has been demonstrated. The chip utilizes a novel 3D microchamber design arranged beneath a main channel creating flow detachment into the chamber, producing recirculating flow conditions. Single cells are flowed through the main channel, held in the center of the microvortex by an optical trap, and rotated by the forces induced by the recirculating fluid flow. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was employed to optimize the geometry of the microchamber. Two methods for the fabrication of the 3D microchamber were devised: anisotropic etching of silicon and backside diffuser photolithography (BDPL). First, the optimization of the silicon etching conditions was demonstrated through design of experiment (DOE). In addition, a non-conventional method of soft-lithography was demonstrated which incorporates the use of two positive molds, one of the main channel and the other of the microchambers, compressed together during replication to produce a single ultra-thin (<200 µm) negative used for device assembly. Second, methods for using thick negative photoresists such as SU-8 with BDPL have been developed which include a new simple and effective method for promoting the adhesion of SU-8 to glass. An assembly method that bonds two individual ultra-thin (<100 µm) replications of the channel and the microfeatures has also been demonstrated. Finally, a pressure driven pumping system with nanoliter per minute flow rate regulation, sub-second response times, and < 3% flow variability has been designed and characterized. The fabrication and assembly of this device is inexpensive and utilizes simple variants of conventional microfluidic fabrication techniques, making it easily accessible to the single cell analysis community.

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2012

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A liquid-to-solid gelling polymer system for cerebral aneurysm embolization: : formulation, characterization, and testing

Description

Treatment of cerebral aneurysms using non-invasive methods has existed for decades. Since the advent of modern endovascular techniques, advancements to embolic materials have largely focused on improving platinum coil technology. However, the recent development of Onyx®, a liquid-delivery precipitating polymer

Treatment of cerebral aneurysms using non-invasive methods has existed for decades. Since the advent of modern endovascular techniques, advancements to embolic materials have largely focused on improving platinum coil technology. However, the recent development of Onyx®, a liquid-delivery precipitating polymer system, has opened the door for a new class of embolic materials--liquid-fill systems. These liquid-fill materials have the potential to provide better treatment outcomes than platinum coils. Initial clinical use of Onyx has proven promising, but not without substantial drawbacks, such as co-delivery of angiotoxic compounds and an extremely technical delivery procedure. This work focuses on formulation, characterization and testing of a novel liquid-to-solid gelling polymer system, based on poly(propylene glycol) diacrylate (PPODA) and pentaerythritol tetrakis(3-mercaptopropionate) (QT). The PPODA-QT system bypasses difficulties associated with Onyx embolization, yet still maintains non-invasive liquid delivery--exhibiting the properties of an ideal embolic material for cerebral aneurysm embolization. To allow for material visibility during clinical delivery, an embolic material must be radio-opaque. The PPODA-QT system was formulated with commercially available contrast agents and the gelling kinetics were studied, as a complete understanding of the gelling process is vital for clinical use. These PPODA-QT formulations underwent in vitro characterization of material properties including cytotoxicity, swelling, and degradation behaviors. Formulation and characterization tests led to an optimized PPODA-QT formulation that was used in subsequent in vivo testing. PPODA-QT formulated with the liquid contrast agent ConrayTM was used in the first in vivo studies. These studies employed a swine aneurysm model to assess initial biocompatibility and test different delivery strategies of PPODA-QT. Results showed good biocompatibility and a suitable delivery strategy, providing justification for further in vivo testing. PPODA-QT was then used in a small scale pilot study to gauge long-term effectiveness of the material in a clinically-relevant aneurysm model. Results from the pilot study showed that PPODA-QT has the capability to provide successful, long-term treatment of model aneurysms as well as facilitate aneurysm healing.

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2011

Optimizing micro-vortex chamber for living single cell rotation

Description

Single cell phenotypic heterogeneity studies reveal more information about the pathogenesis process than conventional bulk methods. Furthermore, investigation of the individual cellular response mechanism during rapid environmental changes can only be achieved at single cell level. By enabling the study

Single cell phenotypic heterogeneity studies reveal more information about the pathogenesis process than conventional bulk methods. Furthermore, investigation of the individual cellular response mechanism during rapid environmental changes can only be achieved at single cell level. By enabling the study of cellular morphology, a single cell three-dimensional (3D) imaging system can be used to diagnose fatal diseases, such as cancer, at an early stage. One proven method, CellCT, accomplishes 3D imaging by rotating a single cell around a fixed axis. However, some existing cell rotating mechanisms require either intricate microfabrication, and some fail to provide a suitable environment for living cells. This thesis develops a microvorterx chamber that allows living cells to be rotated by hydrodynamic alone while facilitating imaging access. In this thesis work, 1) the new chamber design was developed through numerical simulation. Simulations revealed that in order to form a microvortex in the side chamber, the ratio of the chamber opening to the channel width must be smaller than one. After comparing different chamber designs, the trapezoidal side chamber was selected because it demonstrated controllable circulation and met the imaging requirements. Microvortex properties were not sensitive to the chambers with interface angles ranging from 0.32 to 0.64. A similar trend was observed when chamber heights were larger than chamber opening. 2) Micro-particle image velocimetry was used to characterize microvortices and validate simulation results. Agreement between experimentation and simulation confirmed that numerical simulation was an effective method for chamber design. 3) Finally, cell rotation experiments were performed in the trapezoidal side chamber. The experimental results demonstrated cell rotational rates ranging from 12 to 29 rpm for regular cells. With a volumetric flow rate of 0.5 µL/s, an irregular cell rotated at a mean rate of 97 ± 3 rpm. Rotational rates can be changed by altering inlet flow rates.

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2011

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Filtering techniques for improving radio-frequency identification machine control

Description

Human operators have difficulty driving cranes quickly, accurately, and safely because of the slow response of heavy crane structures, non-intuitive control interfaces, and payload oscillations. Recently, a novel hand-motion crane control system has been proposed to improve performance by coupling

Human operators have difficulty driving cranes quickly, accurately, and safely because of the slow response of heavy crane structures, non-intuitive control interfaces, and payload oscillations. Recently, a novel hand-motion crane control system has been proposed to improve performance by coupling an intuitive control interface with an element that reduces the complex oscillatory behavior of the payload. Hand-motion control allows operators to drive a crane by simply moving a hand-held radio-frequency tag through the desired path. Real-time location sensors are used to track the movements of the tag and the tag position is used in a feedback control loop to drive the crane. An input shaper is added to eliminate dangerous payload oscillations. However, tag position measurements are corrupted by noise. It is important to understand the noise properties so that appropriate filters can be designed to mitigate the effects of noise and improve tracking accuracy. This work discusses implementing filtering techniques to address the issue of noise in the operating environment. Five different filters are used on experimentally-acquired tag trajectories to reduce noise. The filtered trajectories are then used to drive crane simulations. Filter performance is evaluated with respect to the energy usage of the crane trolley, the settling time of the crane payload oscillations, and the safety corridor of the crane trajectory. The effects of filter window lengths on these parameters are also investigated. An adaptive filtering technique, namely the Kalman filter, adapts to the noise characteristics of the workspace to minimize the tag tracking error and performs better than the other filtering techniques examined.

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2012