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Separating and detecting Escherichia Coli in a microfluidic thannel [i.e., channel] for urinary tract infection (UTI) applications

Description

In this thesis, I present a lab-on-a-chip (LOC) that can separate and detect Escherichia Coli (E. coli) in simulated urine samples for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) diagnosis. The LOC consists of two (concentration and sensing) chambers connected in series and

In this thesis, I present a lab-on-a-chip (LOC) that can separate and detect Escherichia Coli (E. coli) in simulated urine samples for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) diagnosis. The LOC consists of two (concentration and sensing) chambers connected in series and an integrated impedance detector. The two-chamber approach is designed to reduce the non-specific absorption of proteins, e.g. albumin, that potentially co-exist with E. coli in urine. I directly separate E. coli K-12 from a urine cocktail in a concentration chamber containing micro-sized magnetic beads (5 µm in diameter) conjugated with anti-E. coli antibodies. The immobilized E. coli are transferred to a sensing chamber for the impedance measurement. The measurement at the concentration chamber suffers from non-specific absorption of albumin on the gold electrode, which may lead to a false positive response. By contrast, the measured impedance at the sensing chamber shows ~60 kÙ impedance change between 6.4x104 and 6.4x105 CFU/mL, covering the threshold of UTI (105 CFU/mL). The sensitivity of the LOC for detecting E. coli is characterized to be at least 3.4x104 CFU/mL. I also characterized the LOC for different age groups and white blood cell spiked samples. These preliminary data show promising potential for application in portable LOC devices for UTI detection.

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Date Created
2011

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Toxicity study in Alzheimer's disease cell model

Description

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting one in nine people age 65 and older. One of the most important neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the aggregation and deposition of the protein beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting one in nine people age 65 and older. One of the most important neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the aggregation and deposition of the protein beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is produced by proteolytic processing of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP). Production of beta-amyloid from APP is increased when cells are subject to stress since both APP and beta-secretase are upregulated by stress. An increased beta-amyloid level promotes aggregation of beta-amyloid into toxic species which cause an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a decrease in cell viability. Therefore reducing beta-amyloid generation is a promising method to control cell damage following stress. The goal of this thesis was to test the effect of inhibiting beta-amyloid production inside stressed AD cell model. Hydrogen peroxide was used as stressing agent. Two treatments were used to inhibit beta-amyloid production, including iBSec1, an scFv designed to block beta-secretase site of APP, and DIA10D, a bispecific tandem scFv engineered to cleave alpha-secretase site of APP and block beta-secretase site of APP. iBSec1 treatment was added extracellularly while DIA10D was stably expressed inside cell using PSECTAG vector. Increase in reactive oxygen species and decrease in cell viability were observed after addition of hydrogen peroxide to AD cell model. The increase in stress induced toxicity caused by addition of hydrogen peroxide was dramatically decreased by simultaneously treating the cells with iBSec1 or DIA10D to block the increase in beta-amyloid levels resulting from the upregulation of APP and beta-secretase.

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Date Created
2014

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Fast, variable system delay correction for spiral MRI

Description

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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Date Created
2013

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Electrocorticographica analysis of spontaneous conversation to localize receptive and expressive language areas

Description

When surgical resection becomes necessary to alleviate a patient's epileptiform activity, that patient is monitored by video synchronized with electrocorticography (ECoG) to determine the type and location of seizure focus. This provides a unique opportunity for researchers to gather neurophysiological

When surgical resection becomes necessary to alleviate a patient's epileptiform activity, that patient is monitored by video synchronized with electrocorticography (ECoG) to determine the type and location of seizure focus. This provides a unique opportunity for researchers to gather neurophysiological data with high temporal and spatial resolution; these data are assessed prior to surgical resection to ensure the preservation of the patient's quality of life, e.g. avoid the removal of brain tissue required for speech processing. Currently considered the "gold standard" for the mapping of cortex, electrical cortical stimulation (ECS) involves the systematic activation of pairs of electrodes to localize functionally specific brain regions. This method has distinct limitations, which often includes pain experienced by the patient. Even in the best cases, the technique suffers from subjective assessments on the parts of both patients and physicians, and high inter- and intra-observer variability. Recent advances have been made as researchers have reported the localization of language areas through several signal processing methodologies, all necessitating patient participation in a controlled experiment. The development of a quantification tool to localize speech areas in which a patient is engaged in an unconstrained interpersonal conversation would eliminate the dependence of biased patient and reviewer input, as well as unnecessary discomfort to the patient. Post-hoc ECoG data were gathered from five patients with intractable epilepsy while each was engaged in a conversation with family members or clinicians. After the data were separated into different speech conditions, the power of each was compared to baseline to determine statistically significant activated electrodes. The results of several analytical methods are presented here. The algorithms did not yield language-specific areas exclusively, as broad activation of statistically significant electrodes was apparent across cortical areas. For one patient, 15 adjacent contacts along superior temporal gyrus (STG) and posterior part of the temporal lobe were determined language-significant through a controlled experiment. The task involved a patient lying in bed listening to repeated words, and yielded statistically significant activations that aligned with those of clinical evaluation. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that unconstrained conversation may be used to localize areas required for receptive and productive speech, yet suggests a simple listening task may be an adequate alternative to direct cortical stimulation.

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Date Created
2013

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Mobile health applications of breath analysis: challenges and solutions

Description

The world of healthcare can be seen as dynamic, often an area where technology and science meet to consummate a greater good for humanity. This relationship has been working well for the last century as evident by the average life

The world of healthcare can be seen as dynamic, often an area where technology and science meet to consummate a greater good for humanity. This relationship has been working well for the last century as evident by the average life expectancy change. For the greater of the last five decades the average life expectancy at birth increased globally by almost 20 years. In the United States specifically, life expectancy has grown from 50 years in 1900 to 78 years in 2009. That is a 76% increase in just over a century. As great as this increase sounds for humanity it means there are soon to be real issues in the healthcare world. A larger older population will need more healthcare services but have fewer young professionals to provide those services. Technology and science will need to continue to push the boundaries in order to develop and provide the solutions needed to continue providing the aging world population sufficient healthcare. One solution sure to help provide a brighter future for healthcare is mobile health (m-health). M-health can help provide a means for healthcare professionals to treat more patients with less work expenditure and do so with more personalized healthcare advice which will lead to better treatments. This paper discusses one area of m-health devices specifically; human breath analysis devices. The current laboratory methods of breath analysis and why these methods are not adequate for common healthcare practices will be discussed in more detail. Then more specifically, mobile breath analysis devices are discussed. The topic will encompass the challenges that need to be met in developing such devices, possible solutions to these challenges, two real examples of mobile breath analysis devices and finally possible future directions for m-health technologies.

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Date Created
2012

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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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Non-invasive method to detect the changes of glucose concentration in whole blood using photometric technique

Description

A noninvasive optical method is developed to monitor rapid changes in blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. The system depends on an optical cell built with a LED that emits light of wavelength 535nm that is a peak absorbance of

A noninvasive optical method is developed to monitor rapid changes in blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. The system depends on an optical cell built with a LED that emits light of wavelength 535nm that is a peak absorbance of hemoglobin. As the glucose concentration in the blood decreases, its osmolarity also decreases and the RBCs swell and decrease the path length absorption coefficient. Decreasing absorption coefficient increases the transmission of light through the whole blood. The system was tested with a constructed optical cell that held whole blood in a capillary tube. As expected the light transmitted to the photodiode increases with decreasing glucose concentration. The average response time of the system was between 30-40 seconds. The changes in size of the RBC cells in response to glucose concentration changes were confirmed using a cell counter and also visually under microscope. This method does not allow measuring the glucose concentration with an absolute concentration calibration. It is directed towards development of a device to monitor the changes in glucose concentration as an aid to diabetic management. This method might be improvised for precision and resolution and be developed as a ring or an earring that patients can wear.

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Date Created
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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Date Created
2013

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Characterizing retinotopic mapping using conformal geometry and Beltrami coefficient: a preliminary study

Description

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely used to measure the retinotopic organization of early visual cortex in the human brain. Previous studies have identified multiple visual field maps (VFMs) based on statistical analysis of fMRI signals, but the

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely used to measure the retinotopic organization of early visual cortex in the human brain. Previous studies have identified multiple visual field maps (VFMs) based on statistical analysis of fMRI signals, but the resulting geometry has not been fully characterized with mathematical models. This thesis explores using concepts from computational conformal geometry to create a custom software framework for examining and generating quantitative mathematical models for characterizing the geometry of early visual areas in the human brain. The software framework includes a graphical user interface built on top of a selected core conformal flattening algorithm and various software tools compiled specifically for processing and examining retinotopic data. Three conformal flattening algorithms were implemented and evaluated for speed and how well they preserve the conformal metric. All three algorithms performed well in preserving the conformal metric but the speed and stability of the algorithms varied. The software framework performed correctly on actual retinotopic data collected using the standard travelling-wave experiment. Preliminary analysis of the Beltrami coefficient for the early data set shows that selected regions of V1 that contain reasonably smooth eccentricity and polar angle gradients do show significant local conformality, warranting further investigation of this approach for analysis of early and higher visual cortex.

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Date Created
2013

Enhancing the perception of speech indexical properties of Cochlear implants through sensory substitution

Description

Through decades of clinical progress, cochlear implants have brought the world of speech and language to thousands of profoundly deaf patients. However, the technology has many possible areas for improvement, including providing information of non-linguistic cues, also called indexical properties

Through decades of clinical progress, cochlear implants have brought the world of speech and language to thousands of profoundly deaf patients. However, the technology has many possible areas for improvement, including providing information of non-linguistic cues, also called indexical properties of speech. The field of sensory substitution, providing information relating one sense to another, offers a potential avenue to further assist those with cochlear implants, in addition to the promise they hold for those without existing aids. A user study with a vibrotactile device is evaluated to exhibit the effectiveness of this approach in an auditory gender discrimination task. Additionally, preliminary computational work is included that demonstrates advantages and limitations encountered when expanding the complexity of future implementations.

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Date Created
2015