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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

Engineering a three dimensional micropatterned tumor model for breast cancer cell migration studies

Description

Breast cancer cell invasion is a highly orchestrated process driven by a myriad of complex microenvironmental stimuli. These complexities make it difficult to isolate and assess the effects of specific parameters including matrix stiffness and tumor architecture on disease progression.

Breast cancer cell invasion is a highly orchestrated process driven by a myriad of complex microenvironmental stimuli. These complexities make it difficult to isolate and assess the effects of specific parameters including matrix stiffness and tumor architecture on disease progression. In this regard, morphologically accurate tumor models are becoming instrumental to perform fundamental studies on cancer cell invasion within well-controlled conditions. In this study, the use of photocrosslinkable hydrogels and a novel, two-step photolithography technique was explored to microengineer a 3D breast tumor model. The microfabrication process presented herein enabled precise localization of the cells and creation of high stiffness constructs adjacent to a low stiffness matrix. To validate the model, breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MCF7) and normal mammary epithelial cells (MCF10A) were embedded separately within the tumor model and cellular proliferation, migration and cytoskeletal organization were assessed. Proliferation of metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells was significantly higher than tumorigenic MCF7 and normal mammary MCF10A cells. MDA-MB-231 exhibited highly migratory behavior and invaded the surrounding matrix, whereas MCF7 or MCF10A cells formed clusters that were confined within the micropatterned circular features. F-actin staining revealed unique 3D protrusions in MDA-MB-231 cells as they migrated throughout the surrounding matrix. Alternatively, there were abundance of 3D clusters formed by MCF7 and MCF10A cells. The results revealed that gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel, integrated with the two-step photolithography technique, has great promise in creating 3D tumor models with well-defined features and tunable stiffness for detailed studies on cancer cell invasion and drug responsiveness.

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Date Created
2015

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Comprehensive Analysis of Volatile Biomarkers for Female Fertility

Description

One out of ten women has a difficult time getting or staying pregnant in the United States. Recent studies have identified aging as one of the key factors attributed to a decline in female reproductive health. Existing fertility diagnostic methods

One out of ten women has a difficult time getting or staying pregnant in the United States. Recent studies have identified aging as one of the key factors attributed to a decline in female reproductive health. Existing fertility diagnostic methods do not allow for the non-invasive monitoring of hormone levels across time. In recent years, olfactory sensing has emerged as a promising diagnostic tool for its potential for real-time, non-invasive monitoring. This technology has been proven promising in the areas of oncology, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Little work, however, has addressed the use of olfactory sensing with respect to female fertility. In this work, we perform a study on ten healthy female subjects to determine the volatile signature in biological samples across 28 days, correlating to fertility hormones. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in the air above the biological sample, or headspace, were collected by solid phase microextraction (SPME), using a 50/30 µm divinylbenzene/carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS) coated fiber. Samples were analyzed, using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS). A regression model was used to identify key analytes, corresponding to the fertility hormones estrogen and progesterone. Results indicate shifts in volatile signatures in biological samples across the 28 days, relevant to hormonal changes. Further work includes evaluating metabolic changes in volatile hormone expression as an early indicator of declining fertility, so women may one day be able to monitor their reproductive health in real-time as they age.

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Date Created
2018

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Development of Pediatric Patient-Derived Extracellular Matrix-Incorporated Gelatin-Based Hydrogels for Cardiac Tissue Engineering

Description

Severe cases of congenital heart defect (CHD) require surgeries to fix the structural problem, in which artificial grafts are often used. Although outcome of surgeries has improved over the past decades, there remains to be patients who require re-operations due

Severe cases of congenital heart defect (CHD) require surgeries to fix the structural problem, in which artificial grafts are often used. Although outcome of surgeries has improved over the past decades, there remains to be patients who require re-operations due to graft-related complications and the growth of patients which results in a mismatch in size between the patient’s anatomy and the implanted graft. A graft in which cells of the patient could infiltrate, facilitating transformation of the graft to a native-like tissue, and allow the graft to grow with the patient heart would be ideal. Cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) technologies, including extracellular matrix (ECM)-based hydrogels has emerged as a promising approach for the repair of cardiac damage. However, most of the previous studies have mainly focused on treatments for ischemic heart disease and related heart failure in adults, therefore the potential of CTE for CHD treatment is underexplored. In this study, a hybrid hydrogel was developed by combining the ECM derived from cardiac tissue of pediatric CHD patients and gelatin methacrylate (GelMA). In addition, the influence of incorporating gold nanorods (GNRs) within the hybrid hydrogels was studied. The functionalities of the ECM-GelMA-GNR hydrogels as a CTE scaffold were assessed by culturing neonatal rat cardiomyocytes on the hydrogel. After 8 days of cell culture, highly organized sarcomeric alpha-actinin structures and connexin 43 expression were evident in ECM- and GNR-incorporated hydrogels compared to pristine GelMA hydrogel, indicating cell maturation and formation of cardiac tissue. The findings of this study indicate the promising potential of ECM-GelMA-GNR hybrid hydrogels as a CTE approach for CHD treatment.

As another approach to improve CHD treatment, this study sought the possibility of performing a proteomic analysis on cardiac ECM of pediatric CHD patient tissue. As the ECM play important roles in regulating cell signaling, there is an increasing interest in studying the ECM proteome and the influences caused by diseases. Proteomics on ECM is challenging due to the insoluble nature of ECM proteins which makes protein extraction and digestion difficult. In this study, as a first step to perform proteomics, optimization on sample preparation procedure was attempted.

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Date Created
2018

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Intra- and Inter-Modality Registration for Validation of MRI based Hypoxia Imaging

Description

Hypoxia is a pathophysiological condition which results from lack of oxygen supply in tumors. The assessment of tumor hypoxia and its response to therapies can provide guidelines for optimization and personalization of therapeutic protocols for better treatment. Previous research has

Hypoxia is a pathophysiological condition which results from lack of oxygen supply in tumors. The assessment of tumor hypoxia and its response to therapies can provide guidelines for optimization and personalization of therapeutic protocols for better treatment. Previous research has shown the difficulty in measuring hypoxia anatomically due to its heterogenous nature. This makes the study of hypoxia through various imaging modalities and mapping techniques crucial. The potential of hypoxia targeting T1 contrast agent GdDO3NI in generating hypoxia maps has been studied earlier. In this work, the similarities between hypoxia maps generated by MRI using GdDO3NI and pimonidazole based immunohistochemistry (IHC) in non-small cell lung carcinoma bearing mice have been studied. Six NCI-H1975 tumor-bearing mice were studied. All animal studies were approved by Arizona State University’s Institute of Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Post co-injection of GdDO3NI and pimonidazole, T1 weighted 3D gradient echo MR images were acquired. For ex-vivo analysis of hypoxia, 30 μm thick tumor sections were obtained for each harvested tumor and were stained for pimonidazole and counter-stained with DAPI for nuclear staining. Pimonidazole (PIMO) is clinically used as a “gold standard” hypoxia marker. The key process involved stacking and iterative registration based on quality metric SSIM (Structural Similarity) Index of DAPI stained images of 5 consecutive tumor sections to produce a 3D volume stack of 150 μm thickness. Information from the 3D volume is combined to produce one final slide by averaging. The same registration transform was applied to stack the pimonidazole images which were previously thresholded to highlight hypoxic regions. The registered IHC stack was then co-registered with a single thresholded T1 weighted gradient echo MRI slice of the same location (~156 μm thick) using an elastic B-splines transform. The same transform was applied to achieve the co-registration of pimonidazole and MR percentage enhancement image. Image similarity index after the co-registration was found to be greater than 0.5 for 5 of the animals suggesting good correlation. R2 values were calculated for both hypoxic regions as well as tumor boundaries. All the tumors showed a high boundary correlation value of R2 greater than 0.8. Half of the animals showed high R2 values greater than 0.5 for hypoxic fractions. The RMSE values for the co-registration of all the animals were found to be low further suggesting better correspondence and validating the MR based hypoxia imaging.

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Date Created
2018

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Thermal Actuation and Fluidic Characterization of a Fluorescence-Based Multiplexed Detection System

Description

This work describes efforts made toward the development of a compact, quantitative fluorescence-based multiplexed detection platform for point-of-care diagnostics. This includes the development of a microfluidic delivery and actuation system for multistep detection assays. Early detection of infectious diseases requires

This work describes efforts made toward the development of a compact, quantitative fluorescence-based multiplexed detection platform for point-of-care diagnostics. This includes the development of a microfluidic delivery and actuation system for multistep detection assays. Early detection of infectious diseases requires high sensitivity dependent on the precise actuation of fluids.

Methods of fluid actuation were explored to allow delayed delivery of fluidic reagents in multistep detection lateral flow assays (LFAs). Certain hydrophobic materials such as wax were successfully implemented in the LFA with the use of precision dispensed valves. Sublimating materials such as naphthalene were also characterized along with the implementation of a heating system for precision printing of the valves.

Various techniques of blood fractionation were also investigated and this work demonstrates successful blood fractionation in an LFA. The fluid flow of reagents was also characterized and validated with the use of mathematical models and multiphysics modeling software. Lastly intuitive, user-friendly mobile and desktop applications were developed to interface the underlying Arduino software. The work advances the development of a system which successfully integrates all components of fluid separation and delivery along with highly sensitive detection and a user-friendly interface; the system will ultimately provide clinically significant diagnostics in a of point-of-care device.

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Date Created
2018