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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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Date Created
2013

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Antibody based diagnostic and therapeutic approach for Alzheimer's disease

Description

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia leading to cognitive dysfunction and memory loss as well as emotional and behavioral disorders. It is the 6th leading cause of death in United States, and the only one among

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia leading to cognitive dysfunction and memory loss as well as emotional and behavioral disorders. It is the 6th leading cause of death in United States, and the only one among top 10 death causes that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. An estimated 5.4 million Americans live with AD, and this number is expected to triple by year 2050 as the baby boomers age. The cost of care for AD in the US is about $200 billion each year. Unfortunately, in addition to the lack of an effective treatment or AD, there is also a lack of an effective diagnosis, particularly an early diagnosis which would enable treatment to begin before significant neuronal damage has occurred.

Increasing evidence implicates soluble oligomeric forms of beta-amyloid and tau in the onset and progression of AD. While many studies have focused on beta-amyloid, soluble oligomeric tau species may also play an important role in AD pathogenesis. Antibodies that selectively identify and target specific oligomeric tau variants would be valuable tools for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications and also to study the etiology of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Recombinant human tau (rhTau) in monomeric, dimeric, trimeric and fibrillar forms were synthesized and purified to perform LDH assay on human neuroblastoma cells, so that trimeric but not monomeric or dimeric rhTau was identified as extracellularly neurotoxic to neuronal cells. A novel biopanning protocol was designed based on phage display technique and atomic force microscopy (AFM), and used to isolate single chain antibody variable domain fragments (scFvs) that selectively recognize the toxic tau oligomers. These scFvs selectively bind tau variants in brain tissue of human AD patients and AD-related tau transgenic rodent models and have potential value as early diagnostic biomarkers for AD and as potential therapeutics to selectively target toxic tau aggregates.

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Date Created
2014

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Novel nuclear magnetic resonance coil for magnetic resonance mesoscopy

Description

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an efficient non-invasive imaging tool widely used in medical field to produce high quality images. The MRI signal is detected with specifically developed radio frequency (RF) systems or "coils". There are several key parameters to

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an efficient non-invasive imaging tool widely used in medical field to produce high quality images. The MRI signal is detected with specifically developed radio frequency (RF) systems or "coils". There are several key parameters to evaluate the performance of RF coils: signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), homogeneity, quality factor (Q factor), sensitivity, etc. The choice of coil size and configuration depends on the object to be imaged. While surface coils have better sensitivity, volume coils are often employed to image a larger region of interest (ROI) as they display better spatial homogeneity. For the cell labeling and imaging studies using the newly developed siloxane based nanoemulsions as 1H MR reporter probes, the first step is to determine the sensitivity of signal detection under controlled conditions in vitro. In this thesis, a novel designed 7 Tesla RF volume coil was designed and tested for detection of small quantities of siloxane probe as well as for imaging of labeled tumor spheroid. The procedure contains PCB circuit design, RF probe design, test and subsequent modification. In this report, both theory and design methodology will be discussed.

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2014

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High-throughput platforms for tumor dormancy-relapse and biomolecule binding using aminoglycoside-derived hydrogels

Description

Relapse after tumor dormancy is one of the leading causes of cancer recurrence that ultimately leads to patient mortality. Upon relapse, cancer manifests as metastases that are linked to almost 90% cancer related deaths. Capture of the dormant and relapsed

Relapse after tumor dormancy is one of the leading causes of cancer recurrence that ultimately leads to patient mortality. Upon relapse, cancer manifests as metastases that are linked to almost 90% cancer related deaths. Capture of the dormant and relapsed tumor phenotypes in high-throughput will allow for rapid targeted drug discovery, development and validation. Ablation of dormant cancer will not only completely remove the cancer disease, but also will prevent any future recurrence. A novel hydrogel, Amikagel, was developed by crosslinking of aminoglycoside amikacin with a polyethylene glycol crosslinker. Aminoglycosides contain abundant amount of easily conjugable groups such as amino and hydroxyl moieties that were crosslinked to generate the hydrogel. Cancer cells formed 3D spheroidal structures that underwent near complete dormancy on Amikagel high-throughput drug discovery platform. Due to their dormant status, conventional anticancer drugs such as mitoxantrone and docetaxel that target the actively dividing tumor phenotype were found to be ineffective. Hypothesis driven rational drug discovery approaches were used to identify novel pathways that could sensitize dormant cancer cells to death. Strategies were used to further accelerate the dormant cancer cell death to save time required for the therapeutic outcome.

Amikagel’s properties were chemo-mechanically tunable and directly impacted the outcome of tumor dormancy or relapse. Exposure of dormant spheroids to weakly stiff and adhesive formulation of Amikagel resulted in significant relapse, mimicking the response to changes in extracellular matrix around dormant tumors. Relapsed cells showed significant differences in their metastatic potential compared to the cells that remained dormant after the induction of relapse. Further, the dissertation discusses the use of Amikagels as novel pDNA binding resins in microbead and monolithic formats for potential use in chromatographic purifications. High abundance of amino groups allowed their utilization as novel anion-exchange pDNA binding resins. This dissertation discusses Amikagel formulations for pDNA binding, metastatic cancer cell separation and novel drug discovery against tumor dormancy and relapse.

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Date Created
2016

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Targeting astrogliosis: isolation and characterization of astrocyte specific single chain antibody fragments

Description

Specificity and affinity towards a given ligand/epitope limit target-specific delivery. Companies can spend between $500 million to $2 billion attempting to discover a new drug or therapy; a significant portion of this expense funds high-throughput screening to find the most

Specificity and affinity towards a given ligand/epitope limit target-specific delivery. Companies can spend between $500 million to $2 billion attempting to discover a new drug or therapy; a significant portion of this expense funds high-throughput screening to find the most successful target-specific compound available. A more recent addition to discovering highly specific targets is the application of phage display utilizing single chain variable fragment antibodies (scFv). The aim of this research was to employ phage display to identify pathologies related to traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly astrogliosis. A unique biopanning method against viable astrocyte cultures activated with TGF-β achieved this aim. Four scFv clones of interest showed varying relative affinities toward astrocytes. One of those four showed the ability to identify reactive astroctyes over basal astrocytes through max signal readings, while another showed a statistical significance in max signal reading toward basal astrocytes. Future studies will include further affinity characterization assays. This work contributes to the development of targeting therapeutics and diagnostics for TBI.

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2013

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Siloxane based cellular labeling: functional applications in 1H MRI

Description

Modern medical conditions, including cancer, traumatic brain injury, and cardiovascular disease, have elicited the need for cell therapies. The ability to non-invasively track cells in vivo in order to evaluate these therapies and explore cell dynamics is necessary. Magnetic Resonance

Modern medical conditions, including cancer, traumatic brain injury, and cardiovascular disease, have elicited the need for cell therapies. The ability to non-invasively track cells in vivo in order to evaluate these therapies and explore cell dynamics is necessary. Magnetic Resonance Imaging provides a platform to track cells as a non-invasive modality with superior resolution and soft tissue contrast. A new methodology for cellular labeling and imaging uses Nile Red doped hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) nanoemulsions as dual modality (Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Fluorescence), dual-functional (oximetry/ detection) nanoprobes. While Gadolinium chelates and super paramagnetic iron oxide-based particles have historically provided contrast enhancement in MRI, newer agents offer additional advantages. A technique using 1H MRI in conjunction with an oxygen reporter molecule is one tool capable of providing these benefits, and can be used in neural progenitor cell and cancer cell studies. Proton Imaging of Siloxanes to Map Tissue Oxygenation Levels (PISTOL) provides the ability to track the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) labeled cells utilizing the duality of the nanoemulsions. 1H MRI based labeling of neural stem cells and cancer cells was successfully demonstrated. Additionally, fluorescence labeling of the nanoprobes provided validation of the MRI data and could prove useful for quick in vivo verification and ex vivo validation for future studies.

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2014

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A robust vitronectin-derived peptide substrate for the scalable long-term expansion and neuronal differentiation of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs)

Description

Several debilitating neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury, are characterized by the damage or loss of neuronal cell types in the central nervous system (CNS). Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem

Several debilitating neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury, are characterized by the damage or loss of neuronal cell types in the central nervous system (CNS). Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can proliferate extensively and differentiate into the various neuronal subtypes and supporting cells that comprise the CNS. As such, hNPCs have tremendous potential for disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine applications. However, the use hNPCs for the study and treatment of neurological diseases requires the development of defined, robust, and scalable methods for their expansion and neuronal differentiation. To that end a rational design process was used to develop a vitronectin-derived peptide (VDP)-based substrate to support the growth and neuronal differentiation of hNPCs in conventional two-dimensional (2-D) culture and large-scale microcarrier (MC)-based suspension culture. Compared to hNPCs cultured on ECMP-based substrates, hNPCs grown on VDP-coated surfaces displayed similar morphologies, growth rates, and high expression levels of hNPC multipotency markers. Furthermore, VDP surfaces supported the directed differentiation of hNPCs to neurons at similar levels to cells differentiated on ECMP substrates. Here it has been demonstrated that VDP is a robust growth and differentiation matrix, as demonstrated by its ability to support the expansions and neuronal differentiation of hNPCs derived from three hESC (H9, HUES9, and HSF4) and one hiPSC (RiPSC) cell lines. Finally, it has been shown that VDP allows for the expansion or neuronal differentiation of hNPCs to quantities (>1010) necessary for drug screening or regenerative medicine purposes. In the future, the use of VDP as a defined culture substrate will significantly advance the clinical application of hNPCs and their derivatives as it will enable the large-scale expansion and neuronal differentiation of hNPCs in quantities necessary for disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine applications.

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2016

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Multi-parametric MRI Study of Brain Insults (Traumatic Brain Injury and Brain Tumor) in Animal Models

Description

The objective of this small animal pre-clinical research project was to study quantitatively the long-term micro- and macro- structural brain changes employing multiparametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques. Two separate projects make up the basis of this thesis. The first

The objective of this small animal pre-clinical research project was to study quantitatively the long-term micro- and macro- structural brain changes employing multiparametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques. Two separate projects make up the basis of this thesis. The first part focuses on obtaining prognostic information at early stages in the case of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in rat animal model using imaging data acquired at 24-hours and 7-days post injury. The obtained parametric T2 and diffusion values from DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) showed significant deviations in the signal intensities from the control and were potentially useful as an early indicator of the severity of post-traumatic injury damage. DTI was especially critical in distinguishing between the cytotoxic and vasogenic edema and in identification of injury regions resolving to normal control values by day-7. These results indicate the potential of quantitative MRI as a clinical marker in predicting prognosis following TBI. The second part of this thesis focuses on studying the effect of novel therapeutic strategies employing dendritic cell (DC) based vaccinations in mice glioma model. The treatment cohorts included comparing a single dose of Azacytidine drug vs. mice getting three doses of drug per week. Another cohort was used as an untreated control group. The MRI results did not show any significant changes in between the two treated cohorts with no reduction in tumor volumes compared to the control group. The future studies would be focused on issues regarding the optimal dose for the application of DC vaccine. Together, the quantitative MRI plays an important role in the prognosis and diagnosis of the above mentioned pathologies, providing essential information about the anatomical location, micro-structural tissue environment, lesion volume and treatment response.

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Date Created
2014

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Nanoparticle Drug Delivery to Brain Tumors: From Intravenous to Intrathecal

Description

Achieving effective drug concentrations within the central nervous system (CNS) remains one of the greatest challenges for the treatment of brain tumors. The presence of the blood-brain barrier and blood-spinal cord barrier severely restricts the blood-to-CNS entry of nearly all

Achieving effective drug concentrations within the central nervous system (CNS) remains one of the greatest challenges for the treatment of brain tumors. The presence of the blood-brain barrier and blood-spinal cord barrier severely restricts the blood-to-CNS entry of nearly all systemically administered therapeutics, often leading to the development of peripheral toxicities before a treatment benefit is observed. To circumvent systemic barriers, intrathecal (IT) injection of therapeutics directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain and spinal cord has been used as an alternative administration route; however, its widespread translation to the clinic has been hindered by poor drug pharmacokinetics (PK), including rapid clearance, inadequate distribution, as well as toxicity. One strategy to overcome the limitations of free drug PK and improve drug efficacy is to encapsulate drug within nanoparticles (NP), which solubilize hydrophobic molecules for sustained release in physiological environments. In this thesis, we will develop NP delivery strategies for brain tumor therapy in two model systems: glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and deadly malignant primary brain tumor, and medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor. In the first research chapter, we developed 120 nm poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) NPs encapsulating the chemotherapy, camptothecin, for intravenous delivery to GBM. NP encapsulation of camptothecin was shown to reduce the drug’s toxicity and enable effective delivery to orthotopic GBM. To build off the success of intravenous NP, the second research chapter explored the utility of 100 nm PEGylated NPs for use with IT administration. Using in vivo imaging and ex vivo tissue slices, we found the NPs were rapidly transported by the convective forces of the CSF along the entire neuraxis and were retained for over 3 weeks. Based on their wide spread delivery and prolonged circulation, we examine the ability of the NPs to localize with tumor lesions in a leptomeningeal metastasis (LM) model of medulloblastoma. NPs administered to LM bearing mice were shown to penetrate into LM mets seeded within the meninges around the brain. These data show the potential to translate our success with intravenous NPs for GBM to improve IT chemotherapy delivery to LM.

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2018

Engineering of Electrically Conductive Cardiac Microtissues to Study the Influence of Gold Nanomaterials on Maturation and Electrophysiology of Cardiomyocytes

Description

Myocardial infarction (MI) remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the U.S., accounting for nearly 140,000 deaths per year. Heart transplantation and implantation of mechanical assist devices are the options of last resort for intractable heart failure, but

Myocardial infarction (MI) remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the U.S., accounting for nearly 140,000 deaths per year. Heart transplantation and implantation of mechanical assist devices are the options of last resort for intractable heart failure, but these are limited by lack of organ donors and potential surgical complications. In this regard, there is an urgent need for developing new effective therapeutic strategies to induce regeneration and restore the loss contractility of infarcted myocardium. Over the past decades, regenerative medicine has emerged as a promising strategy to develop scaffold-free cell therapies and scaffold-based cardiac patches as potential approaches for MI treatment. Despite the progress, there are still critical shortcomings associated with these approaches regarding low cell retention, lack of global cardiomyocytes (CMs) synchronicity, as well as poor maturation and engraftment of the transplanted cells within the native myocardium. The overarching objective of this dissertation was to develop two classes of nanoengineered cardiac patches and scaffold-free microtissues with superior electrical, structural, and biological characteristics to address the limitations of previously developed tissue models. An integrated strategy, based on micro- and nanoscale technologies, was utilized to fabricate the proposed tissue models using functionalized gold nanomaterials (GNMs). Furthermore, comprehensive mechanistic studies were carried out to assess the influence of conductive GNMs on the electrophysiology and maturity of the engineered cardiac tissues. Specifically, the role of mechanical stiffness and nano-scale topographies of the scaffold, due to the incorporation of GNMs, on cardiac cells phenotype, contractility, and excitability were dissected from the scaffold’s electrical conductivity. In addition, the influence of GNMs on conduction velocity of CMs was investigated in both coupled and uncoupled gap junctions using microelectrode array technology. Overall, the key contributions of this work were to generate new classes of electrically conductive cardiac patches and scaffold-free microtissues and to mechanistically investigate the influence of conductive GNMs on maturation and electrophysiology of the engineered tissues.

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Date Created
2018