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Frequency response characteristics of respiratory flow-meters

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

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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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2013

Engineering three dimensional cardiac micro-tissues encapsulated with the co-culture of cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts

Description

Cardiac tissue engineering has major applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling and fundamental biological studies. Despite the significance, numerous questions still need to be explored to enhance the functionalities of the engineered tissue substitutes. In this study, three dimensional (3D)

Cardiac tissue engineering has major applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling and fundamental biological studies. Despite the significance, numerous questions still need to be explored to enhance the functionalities of the engineered tissue substitutes. In this study, three dimensional (3D) cardiac micro-tissues were developed through encapsulating co-culture of cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts, as the main cellular components of native myocardium, within photocrosslinkable gelatin-based hydrogels. Different co-culture ratios were assessed to optimize the functional properties of constructs. The geometry of the micro-tissues was precisely controlled using micro-patterning techniques in order to evaluate their role on synchronous contraction of the cells. Cardiomyocytes exhibited a native-like phenotype when co-cultured with cardiac fibroblasts as compared to the mono-culture condition. Particularly, elongated F-actin fibers with abundance of sarcomeric α-actinin and troponin-I were observed within all layers of the hydrogel constructs. Higher expressions of connexin-43 and integrin β1 indicated improved cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Amongst co-culture conditions, 2:1 (cardiomyocytes: cardiac fibroblasts) ratio exhibited enhanced functionalities, whereas decreasing the construct size adversely affected the synchronous contraction of the cells. Therefore, this study indicated that cell-cell ratio as well as the geometrical features of the micropatterned constructs are among crucial parameters, which need to be optimized in order to enhance the functionalities of engineered tissue substitutes and cardiac patches.

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2015

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Gait analysis of multiple sclerosis patients

Description

Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease, is one of the most common neurological disorder in which demyelinating of the axon occurs. The main symptoms of MS disease are fatigue, vision problems, stability issue, balance problems. Unfortunately, currently available treatments for this

Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease, is one of the most common neurological disorder in which demyelinating of the axon occurs. The main symptoms of MS disease are fatigue, vision problems, stability issue, balance problems. Unfortunately, currently available treatments for this disease do not always guarantee the improvement of the condition of the MS patient and there has not been an accurate mechanism to measure the effectiveness of the treatment due to inter-patient heterogeneity. The factors that count for varying the performance of MS patients include environmental setting, weather, psychological status, dressing style and more. Also, patients may react differently while examined at specially arranged setting and this may not be the same while he/she is at home. Hence, it becomes a major problem for MS patients that how effectively a treatment slows down the progress of the disease and gives a relief for the patient. This thesis is trying to build a reliable system to estimate how good a treatment is for MS patients. Here I study the kinematic variables such as velocity of walking, stride length, variability and so on to find and compare the variations of the patient after a treatment given by the doctor, and trace these parameters for some patients after the treatment effect subdued.

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2012

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Feasibility of investigating mineralization processes under simulated microgravity free convectionless conditions in unit gravity environment with implication on bone mineral density

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The overall goal of this research project was to assess the feasibility of investigating the effects of microgravity on mineralization systems in unit gravity environments. If possible to perform these studies in unit gravity earth environments, such as earth, such

The overall goal of this research project was to assess the feasibility of investigating the effects of microgravity on mineralization systems in unit gravity environments. If possible to perform these studies in unit gravity earth environments, such as earth, such systems can offer markedly less costly and more concerted research efforts to study these vitally important systems. Expected outcomes from easily accessible test environments and more tractable studies include the development of more advanced and adaptive material systems, including biological systems, particularly as humans ponder human exploration in deep space. The specific focus of the research was the design and development of a prototypical experimental test system that could preliminarily meet the challenging design specifications required of such test systems. Guided by a more unified theoretical foundation and building upon concept design and development heuristics, assessment of the feasibility of two experimental test systems was explored. Test System I was a rotating wall reactor experimental system that closely followed the specifications of a similar test system, Synthecon, designed by NASA contractors and thus closely mimicked microgravity conditions of the space shuttle and station. The latter includes terminal velocity conditions experienced by both innate material systems, as well as, biological systems, including living tissue and humans but has the ability to extend to include those material test systems associated with mineralization processes. Test System II is comprised of a unique vertical column design that offered more easily controlled fluid mechanical test conditions over a much wider flow regime that was necessary to achieving terminal velocities under free convection-less conditions that are important in mineralization processes. Preliminary results indicate that Test System II offers distinct advantages in studying microgravity effects in test systems operating in unit gravity environments and particularly when investigating mineralization and related processes. Verification of the Test System II was performed on validating microgravity effects on calcite mineralization processes reported earlier others. There studies were conducted on calcite mineralization in fixed-wing, reduced gravity aircraft, known as the `vomit comet' where reduced gravity conditions are include for very short (~20second) time periods. Preliminary results indicate that test systems, such as test system II, can be devised to assess microgravity conditions in unit gravity environments, such as earth. Furthermore, the preliminary data obtained on calcite formation suggest that strictly physicochemical mechanisms may be the dominant factors that control adaptation in materials processes, a theory first proposed by Liu et al. Thus the result of this study may also help shine a light on the problem of early osteoporosis in astronauts and long term interest in deep space exploration.

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2013

Applications of miniaturized ultrasound powered wireless nerve stimulators for pain management

Description

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is a debilitating chronic disease of the lower extremities particularly affecting older adults and diabetics. It results in reduction of the blood flow to peripheral tissue and sometimes causing tissue damage such that PVD patients suffer

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is a debilitating chronic disease of the lower extremities particularly affecting older adults and diabetics. It results in reduction of the blood flow to peripheral tissue and sometimes causing tissue damage such that PVD patients suffer from pain in the lower legs, thigh and buttocks after activities. Electrical neurostimulation based on the "Gate Theory of Pain" is a known to way to reduce pain but current devices to do this are bulky and not well suited to implantation in peripheral tissues. There is also an increased risk associated with surgery which limits the use of these devices. This research has designed and constructed wireless ultrasound powered microstimulators that are much smaller and injectable and so involve less implantation trauma. These devices are small enough to fit through an 18 gauge syringe needle increasing their potential for clinical use. These piezoelectric microdevices convert mechanical energy into electrical energy that then is used to block pain. The design and performance of these miniaturized devices was modeled by computer while constructed devices were evaluated in animal experiments. The devices are capable of producing 500ms pulses with an intensity of 2 mA into a 2 kilo-ohms load. Using the rat as an animal model, a series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the in-vivo performance of the devices.

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2014

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Investigation of ultrasonically powered implantable microdevices for wireless tissue impedance measurements

Description

Bioimpedance measurements have been long used for monitoring tissue ischemia and blood flow. This research employs implantable microelectronic devices to measure impedance chronically as a potential way to monitor the progress of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Ultrasonically powered implantable microdevices

Bioimpedance measurements have been long used for monitoring tissue ischemia and blood flow. This research employs implantable microelectronic devices to measure impedance chronically as a potential way to monitor the progress of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Ultrasonically powered implantable microdevices previously developed for the purposes of neuroelectric vasodilation for therapeutic treatment of PVD were found to also allow a secondary function of tissue bioimpedance monitoring. Having no structural differences between devices used for neurostimulation and impedance measurements, there is a potential for double functionality and closed loop control of the neurostimulation performed by these types of microimplants. The proposed technique involves actuation of the implantable microdevices using a frequency-swept amplitude modulated continuous waveform ultrasound and remote monitoring of induced tissue current. The design has been investigated using simulations, ex vivo testing, and preliminary animal experiments. Obtained results have demonstrated the ability of ultrasonically powered neurostimulators to be sensitive to the impedance changes of tissue surrounding the device and wirelessly report impedance spectra. Present work suggests the potential feasibility of wireless tissue impedance measurements for PVD applications as a complement to neurostimulation.

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2015

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Stress and strain propagation in soft viscoelastic tissue while tracking microscale targets

Description

Tracking microscale targets in soft tissue using implantable probes is important in clinical applications such as neurosurgery, chemotherapy and in neurophysiological application such as brain monitoring. In most of these applications, such tracking is done with visual feedback involving some

Tracking microscale targets in soft tissue using implantable probes is important in clinical applications such as neurosurgery, chemotherapy and in neurophysiological application such as brain monitoring. In most of these applications, such tracking is done with visual feedback involving some imaging modality that helps localization of the targets through images that are co-registered with stereotaxic coordinates. However, there are applications in brain monitoring where precision targeting of microscale targets such as single neurons need to be done in the absence of such visual feedback. In all of the above mentioned applications, it is important to understand the dynamics of mechanical stress and strain induced by the movement of implantable, often microscale probes in soft viscoelastic tissue. Propagation of such stresses and strains induce inaccuracies in positioning if they are not adequately compensated. The aim of this research is to quantitatively assess (a) the lateral propagation of stress and (b) the spatio-temporal distribution of strain induced by the movement of microscale probes in soft viscoelastic tissue. Using agarose hydrogel and a silicone derivative as two different bench-top models of brain tissue, we measured stress propagation during movement of microscale probes using a sensitive load cell. We further used a solution of microscale beads and the silicone derivative to quantitatively map the strain fields using video microscopy. The above measurements were done under two different types of microelectrode movement – first, a unidirectional movement and second, a bidirectional (inch-worm like) movement both of 30 μm step-size with 3min inter-movement interval. Results indicate movements of microscale probes can induce significant stresses as far as 500 μm laterally from the location of the probe. Strain fields indicate significantly high levels of displacements (in the order of 100 μm) within 100 μm laterally from the surface of the probes. The above measurements will allow us to build precise mechanical models of soft tissue and compensators that will enhance the accuracy of tracking microscale targets in soft tissue.

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2015

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Investigation of implantable multichannel neurostimulators

Description

There is a strong medical need and important therapeutic applications for improved wireless bioelectric interfaces to the nervous system. Multichannel devices are desired for neural control of robotic prosthetics that interface to remaining nerves in limb stumps of amputees and

There is a strong medical need and important therapeutic applications for improved wireless bioelectric interfaces to the nervous system. Multichannel devices are desired for neural control of robotic prosthetics that interface to remaining nerves in limb stumps of amputees and as alternatives to traditional wired arrays used in for some types of brain stimulation. This present work investigates a new approach to ultrasound-powering of implantable microelectronic devices within the tissue that may better support such applications. These devices are of ultra-miniature size that is enabled by a wireless technique. This study investigates two types of ultrasound-powered neural interfaces for multichannel sensory feedback in neurostimulation. The piezoceramics lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramic and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) polymer were the primary materials used to build the devices. They convert ultrasound to electricity that when rectified by a diode produce a current output that is neuro stimulatory to peripheral nerve or the neurons in the brain. Multichannel devices employ a form of spatial multiplexing that directs focused ultrasound towards localized and segmented regions of PVDF or PZT that allows independent channels of nerve actuation. Different frequencies of ultrasound were evaluated for best results. Firstly, a 2.25 MHz frequency signal that is reasonably penetrating through body tissue to an implant several centimeters deep and also a 5 MHz frequency more suited to application for actuation of devices within a less than a centimeter of nerve. Results show multichannel device performance to have a complex inter-relationship with frequency, size and thickness, angular incidence, channel separations, and number of folds (layers connected in series and parallel). The output electrical port impedances of PVDF devices were examined in relationship to that of stimulating electrodes and tissue interfaces. Miniature multichannel devices were constructed using an unreported method of employing state of the art laser cutting systems. The results show that PVDF based devices have advantages over PZT, because of better acoustic coupling with tissue, known better biocompatibility, and better separation between multiple channels. However, the PZT devices proved to be better overall in terms of compactness and higher outputs for a given ultrasound power level.

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2015

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Neuromodulation of peripheral nerve excitability using ultrasound

Description

The use of a non-invasive form of energy to modulate neural structures has gained wide spread attention because of its ability to remotely control neural excitation. This study investigates the ability of focused high frequency ultrasound to modulate the excitability

The use of a non-invasive form of energy to modulate neural structures has gained wide spread attention because of its ability to remotely control neural excitation. This study investigates the ability of focused high frequency ultrasound to modulate the excitability the peripheral nerve of an amphibian. A 5MHz ultrasound transducer is used for the study with the pulse characteristics of 57msec long train burst and duty cycle of 8% followed by an interrogative electrical stimulus varying from 30μsecs to 2msecs in pulse duration. The nerve excitability is determined by the compound action potential (CAP) amplitude evoked by a constant electrical stimulus. We observe that ultrasound's immediate effect on axons is to reduce the electrically evoked CAP amplitude and thereby suppressive in effect. However, a subsequent time delayed increased excitability was observed as reflected in the CAP amplitude of the nerve several tens of milliseconds later. This subsequent change from ultrasound induced nerve inhibition to increased excitability as a function of delay from ultrasound pulse application is unexpected and not predicted by typical nerve ion channel kinetic models. The recruitment curve of the sciatic nerve modified by ultrasound suggests the possibility of a fiber specific response where the ultrasound inhibits the faster fibers more than the slower ones. Also, changes in the shape of the CAP waveform when the nerve is under the inhibitive effect of ultrasound was observed. It is postulated that these effects can be a result of activation of stretch activation channels, mechanical sensitivity of the nerve to acoustic radiation pressure and modulation of ion channels by ultrasound.

The neuromodulatory capabilities of ultrasound in tandem with electrical stimulation has a significant potential for development of neural interfaces to peripheral nerve.

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2016