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Sample records for improved diagnostic platforms

  1. Field-based multiplex and quantitative assay platforms for diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venkatasubbarao, Srivatsa; Dixon, C. Edward; Chipman, Russell; Scherer, Axel; Beshay, Manal; Kempen, Lothar U.; Chandra Sekhar, Jai Ganesh; Yan, Hong; Puccio, Ava; Okonkwo, David; McClain, Stephen; Gilbert, Noah; Vyawahare, Saurabh

    2011-06-01

    The U.S. military has a continued interest in the development of handheld, field-usable sensors and test kits for a variety of diagnostic applications, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and infectious diseases. Field-use presents unique challenges for biosensor design, both for the readout unit and for the biological assay platform. We have developed robust biosensor devices that offer ultra-high sensitivity and also meet field-use needs. The systems under development include a multiplexed quantitative lateral flow test strip for TBI diagnostics, a field test kit for the diagnosis of pathogens endemic to the Middle East, and a microfluidic assay platform with a label-free reader for performing complex biological automated assays in the field.

  2. Integrated rapid-diagnostic-test reader platform on a cellphone.

    PubMed

    Mudanyali, Onur; Dimitrov, Stoyan; Sikora, Uzair; Padmanabhan, Swati; Navruz, Isa; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2012-08-01

    We demonstrate a cellphone-based rapid-diagnostic-test (RDT) reader platform that can work with various lateral flow immuno-chromatographic assays and similar tests to sense the presence of a target analyte in a sample. This compact and cost-effective digital RDT reader, weighing only ~65 g, mechanically attaches to the existing camera unit of a cellphone, where various types of RDTs can be inserted to be imaged in reflection or transmission modes under light-emitting diode (LED)-based illumination. Captured raw images of these tests are then digitally processed (within less than 0.2 s per image) through a smart application running on the cellphone for validation of the RDT, as well as for automated reading of its diagnostic result. The same smart application then transmits the resulting data, together with the RDT images and other related information (e.g., demographic data), to a central server, which presents the diagnostic results on a world map through geo-tagging. This dynamic spatio-temporal map of various RDT results can then be viewed and shared using internet browsers or through the same cellphone application. We tested this platform using malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and HIV RDTs by installing it on both Android-based smartphones and an iPhone. Providing real-time spatio-temporal statistics for the prevalence of various infectious diseases, this smart RDT reader platform running on cellphones might assist healthcare professionals and policymakers to track emerging epidemics worldwide and help epidemic preparedness. PMID:22596243

  3. Integrated Rapid-Diagnostic-Test Reader Platform on a Cellphone

    PubMed Central

    Mudanyali, Onur; Dimitrov, Stoyan; Sikora, Uzair; Padmanabhan, Swati; Navruz, Isa; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2012-01-01

    We demonstrate a cellphone based Rapid-Diagnostic-Test (RDT) reader platform that can work with various lateral flow immuno-chromatographic assays and similar tests to sense the presence of a target analyte in a sample. This compact and cost-effective digital RDT reader, weighing only ~65 grams, mechanically attaches to the existing camera unit of a cellphone, where various types of RDTs can be inserted to be imaged in reflection or transmission modes under light-emitting-diode (LED) based illumination. Captured raw images of these tests are then digitally processed (within less than 0.2 sec/image) through a smart application running on the cellphone for validation of the RDT as well as for automated reading of its diagnostic result. The same smart application running on the cellphone then transmits the resulting data, together with the RDT images and other related information (e.g., demographic data) to a central server, which presents the diagnostic results on a world-map through geo-tagging. This dynamic spatio-temporal map of various RDT results can then be viewed and shared using internet browsers or through the same cellphone application. We tested this platform using malaria, tuberculosis (TB) as well as HIV RDTs by installing it on both Android based smart-phones as well as an iPhone. Providing real-time spatio-temporal statistics for the prevalence of various infectious diseases, this smart RDT reader platform running on cellphones might assist health-care professionals and policy makers to track emerging epidemics worldwide and help epidemic preparedness. PMID:22596243

  4. Highly sensitive and multiplexed platforms for allergy diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monroe, Margo R.

    Allergy is a disorder of the immune system caused by an immune response to otherwise harmless environmental allergens. Currently 20% of the US population is allergic and 90% of pediatric patients and 60% of adult patients with asthma have allergies. These percentages have increased by 18.5% in the past decade, with predicted similar trends for the future. Here we design sensitive, multiplexed platforms to detect allergen-specific IgE using the Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS) for various clinical settings. A microarray platform for allergy diagnosis allows for testing of specific IgE sensitivity to a multitude of allergens, while requiring only small volumes of patient blood sample. However, conventional fluorescent microarray technology is limited by i) the variation of probe immobilization, which hinders the ability to make quantitative, assertive, and statistically relevant conclusions necessary in immunodiagnostics and ii) the use of fluorophore labels, which is not suitable for some clinical applications due to the tendency of fluorophores to stick to blood particulates and require daily calibration methods. This calibrated fluorescence enhancement (CaFE) method integrates the low magnification modality of IRIS with enhanced fluorescence sensing in order to directly correlate immobilized probe (major allergens) density to allergen-specific IgE in patient serum. However, this platform only operates in processed serum samples, which is not ideal for point of care testing. Thus, a high magnification modality of IRIS was adapted as an alternative allergy diagnostic platform to automatically discriminate and size single nanoparticles bound to specific IgE in unprocessed, characterized human blood and serum samples. These features make IRIS an ideal candidate for clinical and diagnostic applications, such a POC testing. The high magnification (nanoparticle counting) modality in conjunction with low magnification of IRIS in a combined instrument

  5. Diagnostics development for the Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruyten, Wilhelmus M.; Friedly, V. J.; Litchford, R. J.

    1993-01-01

    We describe the development of the diagnostics systems for the first flight of the Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform (EPOP), which will center around the in-flight characterization of a 1.8 kW hydrogen arcjet system. In particular, we discuss a spacecraft communications experiment involving ground-to-spacecraft communications of the EPOP carrier; electrical probe measurements in the arcjet plume; and spectrally resolved plume imaging measurements of the same plume. The communications experiment is designed to measure small noise on the communications link which results from arcjet operation. The other two measurements primarily serve the purpose of characterization of the plume plasma. These measurements will be compared to similar measurements performed in a ground chamber to establish whether systematic differences exist between ground-based and in-flight performance of the arcjet system.

  6. A Novel Automatic Rapid Diagnostic Test Reader Platform

    PubMed Central

    Ozkan, Haydar; Kayhan, Osman Semih

    2016-01-01

    A novel automatic Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) reader platform is designed to analyze and diagnose target disease by using existing consumer cameras of a laptop-computer or a tablet. The RDT reader is useable with numerous lateral immunochromatographic assays and similar biomedical tests. The system has two different components, which are 3D-printed, low-cost, tiny, and compact stand and a decision program named RDT-AutoReader 2.0. The program takes the image of RDT, crops the region of interest (ROI), and extracts the features from the control end test lines to classify the results as invalid, positive, or negative. All related patient's personal information, image of ROI, and the e-report are digitally saved and transferred to the related clinician. Condition of the patient and the progress of the disease can be monitored by using the saved data. The reader platform has been tested by taking image from used cassette RDTs of rotavirus (RtV)/adenovirus (AdV) and lateral flow strip RDTs of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) before discarding them. The created RDT reader can also supply real-time statistics of various illnesses by using databases and Internet. This can help to inhibit propagation of contagious diseases and to increase readiness against epidemic diseases worldwide. PMID:27190549

  7. Viability study of a multiplex diagnostic platform for Chagas disease.

    PubMed

    Foti, Leonardo; Fonseca, Bruna de Paula Fonseca e; Nascimento, Lilian Dias; Marques, Christiane de Fatima Silva; da Silva, Edmilson Domingos; Duarte, Cesar Augusto Barros; Probst, Christian M; Goldenberg, Samuel; Pinto, Antônio Gomes; Krieger, Marco Aurélio

    2009-07-01

    A new multiplex assay platform was evaluated to detect Trypanosoma cruzi infection using the recombinant antigens CRA, FRA, CRAFRA fusion and parasite lysate. The antigens presented different sensitivity and specificity in a singleplex test when compared to a serial dilution of two pools comprising 10 positive serum samples and one pool of 10 negative samples. The recombinant protein CRA presented lower sensitivity (55%) in contrast to the 100% specificity and sensitivity of FRA, CRAFRA and T. cruzi lysate. These antigens also showed good results in a duplex test and the duplex test with CRAFRA/T. cruzi lysate showed better performance with 100% specificity and sensitivity, as well as a lower cut-off value in comparison to the other duplex test, FRA/T. cruzi lysate. Hence, when the antigens were used in duplex format, both tests showed decreased cut-off values and no interference between different bead sets, resulting in increasing sensitivity and specificity. The results of these multiplex tests show that they could be an alternative to singleplex detection for Chagas disease, and also indicate the necessity of using multiplex diagnostic tools to increase the sensitivity and specificity for diagnostic tests. Emerging data from the T. cruzi genome and from its ORFeome project will also allow the identification of new antigens for this disease detection application. PMID:19753468

  8. Paper-based sample-to-answer molecular diagnostic platform for point-of-care diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jane Ru; Tang, Ruihua; Wang, ShuQi; Wan Abas, Wan Abu Bakar; Pingguan-Murphy, Belinda; Xu, Feng

    2015-12-15

    Nucleic acid testing (NAT), as a molecular diagnostic technique, including nucleic acid extraction, amplification and detection, plays a fundamental role in medical diagnosis for timely medical treatment. However, current NAT technologies require relatively high-end instrumentation, skilled personnel, and are time-consuming. These drawbacks mean conventional NAT becomes impractical in many resource-limited disease-endemic settings, leading to an urgent need to develop a fast and portable NAT diagnostic tool. Paper-based devices are typically robust, cost-effective and user-friendly, holding a great potential for NAT at the point of care. In view of the escalating demand for the low cost diagnostic devices, we highlight the beneficial use of paper as a platform for NAT, the current state of its development, and the existing challenges preventing its widespread use. We suggest a strategy involving integrating all three steps of NAT into one single paper-based sample-to-answer diagnostic device for rapid medical diagnostics in the near future. PMID:26164488

  9. Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS)—A Platform Technology for Multiplexed Diagnostics and Digital Detection

    PubMed Central

    Avci, Oguzhan; Lortlar Ünlü, Nese; Yalçın Özkumur, Ayça; Ünlü, M. Selim

    2015-01-01

    Over the last decade, the growing need in disease diagnostics has stimulated rapid development of new technologies with unprecedented capabilities. Recent emerging infectious diseases and epidemics have revealed the shortcomings of existing diagnostics tools, and the necessity for further improvements. Optical biosensors can lay the foundations for future generation diagnostics by providing means to detect biomarkers in a highly sensitive, specific, quantitative and multiplexed fashion. Here, we review an optical sensing technology, Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS), and the relevant features of this multifunctional platform for quantitative, label-free and dynamic detection. We discuss two distinct modalities for IRIS: (i) low-magnification (ensemble biomolecular mass measurements) and (ii) high-magnification (digital detection of individual nanoparticles) along with their applications, including label-free detection of multiplexed protein chips, measurement of single nucleotide polymorphism, quantification of transcription factor DNA binding, and high sensitivity digital sensing and characterization of nanoparticles and viruses. PMID:26205273

  10. Improvement in the amine glass platform by bubbling method for a DNA microarray

    PubMed Central

    Jee, Seung Hyun; Kim, Jong Won; Lee, Ji Hyeong; Yoon, Young Soo

    2015-01-01

    A glass platform with high sensitivity for sexually transmitted diseases microarray is described here. An amino-silane-based self-assembled monolayer was coated on the surface of a glass platform using a novel bubbling method. The optimized surface of the glass platform had highly uniform surface modifications using this method, as well as improved hybridization properties with capture probes in the DNA microarray. On the basis of these results, the improved glass platform serves as a highly reliable and optimal material for the DNA microarray. Moreover, in this study, we demonstrated that our glass platform, manufactured by utilizing the bubbling method, had higher uniformity, shorter processing time, lower background signal, and higher spot signal than the platforms manufactured by the general dipping method. The DNA microarray manufactured with a glass platform prepared using bubbling method can be used as a clinical diagnostic tool. PMID:26468293

  11. Dielectrophoresis and its application to biomedical diagnostics platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basuray, Sagnik

    Novel pathogenic diagnostics and on field devices to attest their growth have been the current norm of scientific research and curiosity. Microfluidics and Nanofluidics have recently been on the forefront of the development of these devices for their inherent advantages of large surface to volume ratio and small diffusion times. With the advancement of soft lithographic techniques, the devices can be easily adapted for medical systems and bio-diagnostic devices to study mechanistic pathways of bio-molecules, bio-chemical reactions and as delivery modules for drug. However, the lack of better sensors, other than optics, to detect low bio-particle numbers in real samples have made the instruments bulky, expensive and not suitable for field use. Thus there is an urgent need to develop label-free, portable, inexpensive, rapid diagnostic devices. In order to achieve a viable device, researchers in these fields have been using dielectrophoresis as the mechanism of choice for a variety of tasks, from particle manipulation, to delivery, to movement of the particles through the fluid. However, the exact physical mechanism for not only the dielectrophoresis of the colloidal assembly is unclear, but the dielectrophoresis of single bio-particles/charged nano-colloids is not understood fully. In this thesis, I present a theory for charged nano-colloid dielectrophoresis taking into account the surface charge and Debye double layer effects. The exact mechanism of the origin of the Stern layer, through the surface conductance effect of a nano-colloid to form a collapsed diffuse layer that renders a nano-colloid conductive at sub-optical frequency has been formulated. This effect is utilized to optimize a nano-colloid assay to detect DNA hybridization. The collapsed diffuse layer kinetics with thick diffuse layer is solved, using spherical harmonics of the Bessel solution of the Poisson equation, to give a modified Clausius-Mosotti factor, that accounts for the size dependent

  12. Tailoring the spectral response of liquid waveguide diagnostic platforms

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yue; Phillips, Brian; Ozcelik, Damla; Parks, Joshua; Measor, Philip; Gulbransen, David; Schmidt, Holger; Hawkins, Aaron R.

    2015-01-01

    Liquid filled waveguides that form the basis for on-chip bio-photonics diagnostic platforms have primarily found application in fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy experiments that require sensitive discrimination between weak analyte signals and a variety of background signals. Primary sources of background signal can include light from excitation sources (strong, narrow frequency band) and photoluminescence generated in waveguide cladding layers (weak, wide frequency band). Here we review both solid and liquid core filtering structures which are based on anti-resonant reflection that can be integrated with waveguides for attenuating undesirable optical bands. Important criteria to consider for an optimized biosensor include cladding layer materials that minimize broad-spectrum photoluminescence and optimize layer thicknesses for creating a desired spectral response in both solid and liquid guiding layers, and a microfabrication process capable of producing regions with variable spectral response. New results describing how spurious fluorescence can be minimized by optimized thermal growth conditions and how liquid-core filter discrimination can be tuned with liquid core waveguide length are presented. PMID:22589084

  13. Tailoring the spectral response of liquid waveguide diagnostic platforms.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yue; Phillips, Brian; Ozcelik, Damla; Parks, Joshua; Measor, Philip; Gulbransen, David; Schmidt, Holger; Hawkins, Aaron R

    2012-08-01

    Liquid filled waveguides that form the basis for on-chip biophotonics diagnostic platforms have primarily found application in fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy experiments that require sensitive discrimination between weak analyte signals and a variety of background signals. Primary sources of background signal can include light from excitation sources (strong, narrow frequency band) and photoluminescence generated in waveguide cladding layers (weak, wide frequency band). Here we review both solid and liquid core filtering structures which are based on anti-resonant reflection that can be integrated with waveguides for attenuating undesirable optical bands. Important criteria to consider for an optimized biosensor include cladding layer materials that minimize broad-spectrum photoluminescence and optimize layer thicknesses for creating a desired spectral response in both solid and liquid guiding layers, and a microfabrication process capable of producing regions with variable spectral response. New results describing how spurious fluorescence can be minimized by optimized thermal growth conditions and how liquid-core filter discrimination can be tuned with liquid core waveguide length are presented. PMID:22589084

  14. New Platform Technology for Comprehensive Serological Diagnostics of Autoimmune Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Willitzki, Annika; Hiemann, Rico; Peters, Vanessa; Sack, Ulrich; Schierack, Peter; Rödiger, Stefan; Anderer, Ursula; Conrad, Karsten; Bogdanos, Dimitrios P.; Reinhold, Dirk; Roggenbuck, Dirk

    2012-01-01

    Antibody assessment is an essential part in the serological diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. However, different diagnostic strategies have been proposed for the work up of sera in particular from patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARD). In general, screening for SARD-associated antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) is followed by confirmatory testing covering different assay techniques. Due to lacking automation, standardization, modern data management, and human bias in IIF screening, this two-stage approach has recently been challenged by multiplex techniques particularly in laboratories with high workload. However, detection of antinuclear antibodies by IIF is still recommended to be the gold standard method for antibody screening in sera from patients with suspected SARD. To address the limitations of IIF and to meet the demand for cost-efficient autoantibody screening, automated IIF methods employing novel pattern recognition algorithms for image analysis have been introduced recently. In this respect, the AKLIDES technology has been the first commercially available platform for automated interpretation of cell-based IIF testing and provides multiplexing by addressable microbead immunoassays for confirmatory testing. This paper gives an overview of recently published studies demonstrating the advantages of this new technology for SARD serology. PMID:23316252

  15. SERS diagnostic platforms, methods and systems microarrays, biosensors and biochips

    DOEpatents

    Vo-Dinh, Tuan

    2007-09-11

    A Raman integrated sensor system for the detection of targets including biotargets includes at least one sampling platform, at least one receptor probe disposed on the sampling platform, and an integrated circuit detector system communicably connected to the receptor. The sampling platform is preferably a Raman active surface-enhanced scattering (SERS) platform, wherein the Raman sensor is a SERS sensor. The receptors can include at least one protein receptor and at least one nucleic acid receptor.

  16. Combined sensing platform for advanced diagnostics in exhaled mouse breath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortes, Paula R.; Wilk, Andreas; Seichter, Felicia; Cajlakovic, Merima; Koestler, Stefan; Ribitsch, Volker; Wachter, Ulrich; Vogt, Josef; Radermacher, Peter; Carter, Chance; Raimundo, Ivo M.; Mizaikoff, Boris

    2013-03-01

    Breath analysis is an attractive non-invasive strategy for early disease recognition or diagnosis, and for therapeutic progression monitoring, as quantitative compositional analysis of breath can be related to biomarker panels provided by a specific physiological condition invoked by e.g., pulmonary diseases, lung cancer, breast cancer, and others. As exhaled breath contains comprehensive information on e.g., the metabolic state, and since in particular volatile organic constituents (VOCs) in exhaled breath may be indicative of certain disease states, analytical techniques for advanced breath diagnostics should be capable of sufficient molecular discrimination and quantification of constituents at ppm-ppb - or even lower - concentration levels. While individual analytical techniques such as e.g., mid-infrared spectroscopy may provide access to a range of relevant molecules, some IR-inactive constituents require the combination of IR sensing schemes with orthogonal analytical tools for extended molecular coverage. Combining mid-infrared hollow waveguides (HWGs) with luminescence sensors (LS) appears particularly attractive, as these complementary analytical techniques allow to simultaneously analyze total CO2 (via luminescence), the 12CO2/13CO2 tracer-to-tracee (TTR) ratio (via IR), selected VOCs (via IR) and O2 (via luminescence) in exhaled breath, yet, establishing a single diagnostic platform as both sensors simultaneously interact with the same breath sample volume. In the present study, we take advantage of a particularly compact (shoebox-size) FTIR spectrometer combined with novel substrate-integrated hollow waveguide (iHWG) recently developed by our research team, and miniaturized fiberoptic luminescence sensors for establishing a multi-constituent breath analysis tool that is ideally compatible with mouse intensive care stations (MICU). Given the low tidal volume and flow of exhaled mouse breath, the TTR is usually determined after sample collection via gas

  17. A semi-automated, field-portable microscopy platform for clinical diagnostic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jagannadh, Veerendra Kalyan; Srinivasan, Rajesh; Gorthi, Sai Siva

    2015-08-01

    Clinical microscopy is a versatile diagnostic platform used for diagnosis of a multitude of diseases. In the recent past, many microfluidics based point-of-care diagnostic devices have been developed, which serve as alternatives to microscopy. However, these point-of-care devices are not as multi-functional and versatile as clinical microscopy. With the use of custom designed optics and microfluidics, we have developed a versatile microscopy-based cellular diagnostic platform, which can be used at the point of care. The microscopy platform presented here is capable of detecting infections of very low parasitemia level (in a very small quantity of sample), without the use of any additional computational hardware. Such a cost-effective and portable diagnostic device, would greatly impact the quality of health care available to people living in rural locations of the world. Apart from clinical diagnostics, it's applicability to field research in environmental microbiology has also been outlined.

  18. Establishment and Comparison of Two Different Diagnostic Platforms for Detection of DENV1 NS1 Protein.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yin-Liang; Chiu, Chien-Yu; Lin, Chun-Yu; Huang, Chung-Hao; Chen, Yen-Hsu; Destura, Raul V; Chao, Day-Yu; Wu, Han-Chung

    2015-01-01

    Dengue virus (DENV) infection is currently at pandemic levels, with populations in tropical and subtropical regions at greatest risk of infection. Early diagnosis and management remain the cornerstone for good clinical outcomes, thus efficient and accurate diagnostic technology in the early stage of the disease is urgently needed. Serotype-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the DENV1 nonstructural protein 1 (NS1), DA12-4, DA13-2, and DA15-3, which were recently generated using the hybridoma technique, are suitable for use in diagnostic platforms. Immunofluorescence assay (IFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot analysis further confirmed the serotype specificity of these three monoclonal antibodies. The ELISA-based diagnostic platform was established using the combination of two highly sensitive mAbs (DA15-3 and DB20-6). The same combination was also used for the flow cytometry-based diagnostic platform. We report here the detection limits of flow cytometry-based and ELISA-based diagnostic platforms using these mAbs to be 0.1 and 1 ng/mL, respectively. The collected clinical patient serum samples were also assayed by these two serotyping diagnostic platforms. The sensitivity and specificity for detecting NS1 protein of DENV1 are 90% and 96%, respectively. The accuracy of our platform for testing clinical samples is more advanced than that of the two commercial NS1 diagnostic platforms. In conclusion, our platforms are suitable for the early detection of NS1 protein in DENV1 infected patients. PMID:26610481

  19. Establishment and Comparison of Two Different Diagnostic Platforms for Detection of DENV1 NS1 Protein

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yin-Liang; Chiu, Chien-Yu; Lin, Chun-Yu; Huang, Chung-Hao; Chen, Yen-Hsu; Destura, Raul V.; Chao, Day-Yu; Wu, Han-Chung

    2015-01-01

    Dengue virus (DENV) infection is currently at pandemic levels, with populations in tropical and subtropical regions at greatest risk of infection. Early diagnosis and management remain the cornerstone for good clinical outcomes, thus efficient and accurate diagnostic technology in the early stage of the disease is urgently needed. Serotype-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the DENV1 nonstructural protein 1 (NS1), DA12-4, DA13-2, and DA15-3, which were recently generated using the hybridoma technique, are suitable for use in diagnostic platforms. Immunofluorescence assay (IFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot analysis further confirmed the serotype specificity of these three monoclonal antibodies. The ELISA-based diagnostic platform was established using the combination of two highly sensitive mAbs (DA15-3 and DB20-6). The same combination was also used for the flow cytometry-based diagnostic platform. We report here the detection limits of flow cytometry-based and ELISA-based diagnostic platforms using these mAbs to be 0.1 and 1 ng/mL, respectively. The collected clinical patient serum samples were also assayed by these two serotyping diagnostic platforms. The sensitivity and specificity for detecting NS1 protein of DENV1 are 90% and 96%, respectively. The accuracy of our platform for testing clinical samples is more advanced than that of the two commercial NS1 diagnostic platforms. In conclusion, our platforms are suitable for the early detection of NS1 protein in DENV1 infected patients. PMID:26610481

  20. Novel plasmonic platform for ultra-sensitive detection and diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raut, Sangram L.; Rich, Ryan; Shtoyko, Tanya; Requena, Sebastian; Bora, Ilkay; Laursen, Bo W.; Sørensen, Thomas Just; Borejdo, Julian; Gryczynski, Zygmunt; Gryczynski, Ignacy

    2016-02-01

    In this report, we describe a plasmonic platform with silver fractals for metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF) measurements. When a dye containing surface was brought into contact with silver fractals, a significantly enhanced fluorescence signal from the dye was observed. Fluorescence enhancement was studied with the N-methyl-azadioxatriangulenium chloride salt (Me-ADOTA.Cl) in PVA films made from 0.2 % PVA (w/v) solution spin-coated on a clean glass coverslip. The Plasmonic Platforms (PP) was assembled by pressing together silver fractals on one glass slide and a separate glass coverslip spin-coated with a uniform Me-ADOTA.Cl in PVA film. In addition, we also tested the ADOTA labeled human serum albumin (HSA) deposited on a glass slide for potential PP bioassay applications. Using the new PP, we could achieve more than 20-fold fluorescence enhancement (bright spots) accompanied by decrease in fluorescence lifetime. The experimental results were used to calculate the extinction (excitation) enhancement factor (GA) and fluorescence radiative rate enhancements factor (GF). No change in emission spectrum was observed for a dye with and without contact with fractals. Our studies indicate that this type of PP can be a convenient approach for constructing assays utilizing metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF) without the need for depositing the material directly on metal structures platforms.

  1. Radiative-SPR platform for the detection of apolipoprotein E for use in medical diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sciacca, Beniamino; Francois, Alexandre; Penno, Megan A. S.; Brazzatti, Julie A.; Klingler-Hoffmann, Manuela; Hoffmann, Peter; Monro, Tanya M.

    2012-03-01

    Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) based sensors enable the rapid, label-free and highly sensitive detection of a large range of biomolecules. We have previously shown that, using silver coated optical fibres with an high surface roughness, a re-scattering of the surface plasmons is possible, turning SPR into a radiative process. This approach overcomes limitations associated with current SPR technologies such as the tight tolerance on the metallic coating thickness, and results in a more compact, versatile, robust and cost-effective approach. However, the specific detection of small molecules is a challenge in SPR systems, regardless of the SPR architecture that is used. This new sensing platform, which has proved effective for the detection of large molecules such as viruses, is now demonstrated to be able to detect small proteins thanks to an improved surface functionalization procedure, a key point for reliable and robust immunosensors. Avidin, a tetrameric biotin-binding protein, was used to link biotinylated antibodies to the biotinylated surface, with a given orientation, to enable efficient sensing of the analyte. This approach may offer significant advantages compared to protein A surface functionalization strategies such as a limited cross reactivity with free IgG antibodies in clinical samples. We demonstrate that by bringing together this novel emission-based fibre SPR platform, with an improved surface functionalization process, is possible to rapidly and specifically detect human apolipoprotein E, a low molecular weight protein (~39kDa) known to be involved in cardiovascular diseases, in Alzheimer's disease and in gastric cancer. The results obtained clearly show that this new sensing platform has the potential to serve as a tool for point-of-decision medical diagnostics.

  2. Dynamic evaluation and control of blood clotting using a microfluidic platform for high-throughput diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Combariza, Miguel E.; Yu, Xinghuo; Nesbitt, Warwick; Tovar-Lopez, Francisco; Rabus, Dominik G.; Mitchell, Arnan

    2015-12-01

    Microfluidic technology has the potential to revolutionise blood-clotting diagnostics by incorporating key physiological blood flow conditions like shear rate. In this paper we present a customised dynamic microfluidic system, which evaluates the blood clotting response to multiple conditions of shear rate on a single microchannel. The system can achieve high-throughput testing through use of an advanced fluid control system, which provides with rapid and precise regulation of the blood flow conditions in the platform. We present experimental results that demonstrate the potential of this platform to develop into a high-throughput, low-cost, blood-clotting diagnostics device.

  3. Platform technologies for molecular diagnostics near the patient's bedside.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Soeren; Lüdecke, Christine; Ehrentreich-Förster, Eva; Bier, Frank F

    2013-01-01

    It is believed Lab-on-Chip systems will become a mainstream technology within the next centuries. Especially because of new findings in molecular medicine and global trends such as the changing global population in third world countries and an ageing population in industrial countries, the need for fast and reliable diagnostics is rising tremendously. Hence, diagnostics have to become more frequently and more easily available. In this regard, technologies have to be found that enable the cost-effective production and hence an affordable price. In a joint-project between seven Fraunhofer institutes a Lab-on-Chip system was developed which consists of a credit-card-sized cartridge and a base station. The cartridges contain besides the reagents necessary for a specific assay also functionalities such as pumping or heating enabling a self-contained system without any fluidic interfaces, which tend to be error-prone. Because of the modularity of the system it is possible to integrate an optical sensor as well an electrochemical sensor into the cartridge. Hence, the system can be customized to serve the needs of the particular assays. This chapter will describe the system including generic design rules for such Lab-on-Chip systems, the development of these rules into a modular Lab-on-Chip system, the integration of biomedical assays, and the production possibility of this system. PMID:23192590

  4. Digital Mammography: Improvements in Breast Cancer Diagnostic

    SciTech Connect

    Montano Zetina, Luis Manuel

    2006-01-06

    X-ray mammography is the most sensitive imaging technique for early detection of breast cancer (diagnostics). It is performed by a radiological system equipped with a rotating molybdenum (Mo) anode tube with an additional Mo filter. In the production of X-ray, bremsstrahlung photons produce an intense diffuse radiation, affecting the contrast between normal and cancerous tissue. So it is known that a good mammographic imaging can help to detect cancer in the first stages avoiding surgery, amputation or even death. In the last years there has been some developments in new imaging techniques to improve the contrast spatial resolution between different tissues: digital imaging, or the so call digital mammography. Digital mammographic imaging is considered an improvement in the prevention of breast cancer due to the advantages it offers.

  5. An Improved Platform Levelling System for Airborne Gravity Meters.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, N.

    2014-12-01

    Recent advances in sensor technology have enabled Lacoste and Romberg type relative gravity meters to improve in accuracy to the point where other non-sensor related sources of error serve to limit the overall accuracy of the system. One of these sources of error is derived from the inability of the platform, in which the sensor is mounted, to keep the sensor perfectly level during survey flight. Off level errors occur when the aircraft is unable to maintain straight and level flight along a survey line. The levelling platform of a typical Lacoste and Romberg type dynamic gravity meter utilizes a complex feedback loop involving both accelerometers and gyroscopes with an output connected to torque motors mounted to the platform to sense an off level situation and correct for it. The current system is limited by an inability of the platform to distinguish between an acceleration of the platform due to a change in heading, altitude or speed of the aircraft and a true change in the local gravity vertical. Both of these situations cause the platform to tilt in reponse however the aircraft acceleration creates an error in the gravity measurement. These off level errors can be corrected for to a limited degree depending on the algorithm used and the size and duration of the causal acceleration. High precision GPS now provides accurate real time position information which can be used to determine if an accleration is a real level change or due to an anomalous acceleration. The correct implementation of the GPS position can significantly improve the accuracy of the platform levelling including keeping the platform level during course reversals or drape flying during a survey. This can typically improve the quality of the gravity data before any processing corrections. The enhanced platform also reduces the time taken to stabilize the platform at the beginning of a survey line therefore improving the efficiency of the data collection. This paper discusses the method and

  6. Recent Progress and Future Plans for Fusion Plasma Synthetic Diagnostics Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Lei; Kramer, Gerrit; Tang, William; Tobias, Benjamin; Valeo, Ernest; Churchill, Randy; Hausammann, Loic

    2015-11-01

    The Fusion Plasma Synthetic Diagnostics Platform (FPSDP) is a Python package developed at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. It is dedicated to providing an integrated programmable environment for applying a modern ensemble of synthetic diagnostics to the experimental validation of fusion plasma simulation codes. The FPSDP will allow physicists to directly compare key laboratory measurements to simulation results. This enables deeper understanding of experimental data, more realistic validation of simulation codes, quantitative assessment of existing diagnostics, and new capabilities for the design and optimization of future diagnostics. The Fusion Plasma Synthetic Diagnostics Platform now has data interfaces for the GTS and XGC-1 global particle-in-cell simulation codes with synthetic diagnostic modules including: (i) 2D and 3D Reflectometry; (ii) Beam Emission Spectroscopy; and (iii) 1D Electron Cyclotron Emission. Results will be reported on the delivery of interfaces for the global electromagnetic PIC code GTC, the extended MHD M3D-C1 code, and the electromagnetic hybrid NOVAK eigenmode code. Progress toward development of a more comprehensive 2D Electron Cyclotron Emission module will also be discussed. This work is supported by DOE contract #DEAC02-09CH11466.

  7. Novel calibration tools and validation concepts for microarray-based platforms used in molecular diagnostics and food safety control.

    PubMed

    Brunner, C; Hoffmann, K; Thiele, T; Schedler, U; Jehle, H; Resch-Genger, U

    2015-04-01

    Commercial platforms consisting of ready-to-use microarrays printed with target-specific DNA probes, a microarray scanner, and software for data analysis are available for different applications in medical diagnostics and food analysis, detecting, e.g., viral and bacteriological DNA sequences. The transfer of these tools from basic research to routine analysis, their broad acceptance in regulated areas, and their use in medical practice requires suitable calibration tools for regular control of instrument performance in addition to internal assay controls. Here, we present the development of a novel assay-adapted calibration slide for a commercialized DNA-based assay platform, consisting of precisely arranged fluorescent areas of various intensities obtained by incorporating different concentrations of a "green" dye and a "red" dye in a polymer matrix. These dyes present "Cy3" and "Cy5" analogues with improved photostability, chosen based upon their spectroscopic properties closely matching those of common labels for the green and red channel of microarray scanners. This simple tool allows to efficiently and regularly assess and control the performance of the microarray scanner provided with the biochip platform and to compare different scanners. It will be eventually used as fluorescence intensity scale for referencing of assays results and to enhance the overall comparability of diagnostic tests. PMID:25616702

  8. Optimized diagnostic model combination for improving diagnostic accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunche, S.; Chen, C.; Pecht, M. G.

    Identifying the most suitable classifier for diagnostics is a challenging task. In addition to using domain expertise, a trial and error method has been widely used to identify the most suitable classifier. Classifier fusion can be used to overcome this challenge and it has been widely known to perform better than single classifier. Classifier fusion helps in overcoming the error due to inductive bias of various classifiers. The combination rule also plays a vital role in classifier fusion, and it has not been well studied which combination rules provide the best performance during classifier fusion. Good combination rules will achieve good generalizability while taking advantage of the diversity of the classifiers. In this work, we develop an approach for ensemble learning consisting of an optimized combination rule. The generalizability has been acknowledged to be a challenge for training a diverse set of classifiers, but it can be achieved by an optimal balance between bias and variance errors using the combination rule in this paper. Generalizability implies the ability of a classifier to learn the underlying model from the training data and to predict the unseen observations. In this paper, cross validation has been employed during performance evaluation of each classifier to get an unbiased performance estimate. An objective function is constructed and optimized based on the performance evaluation to achieve the optimal bias-variance balance. This function can be solved as a constrained nonlinear optimization problem. Sequential Quadratic Programming based optimization with better convergence property has been employed for the optimization. We have demonstrated the applicability of the algorithm by using support vector machine and neural networks as classifiers, but the methodology can be broadly applicable for combining other classifier algorithms as well. The method has been applied to the fault diagnosis of analog circuits. The performance of the proposed

  9. Platforms.

    PubMed

    Josko, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    The advent of DNA sequencing technologies and the various applications that can be performed will have a dramatic effect on medicine and healthcare in the near future. There are several DNA sequencing platforms available on the market for research and clinical use. Based on the medical laboratory scientist or researcher's needs and taking into consideration laboratory space and budget, one can chose which platform will be beneficial to their institution and their patient population. Although some of the instrument costs seem high, diagnosing a patient quickly and accurately will save hospitals money with fewer hospital stays and targeted treatment based on an individual's genetic make-up. By determining the type of disease an individual has, based on the mutations present or having the ability to prescribe the appropriate antimicrobials based on the knowledge of the organism's resistance patterns, the clinician will be better able to treat and diagnose a patient which ultimately will improve patient outcomes and prognosis. PMID:25219075

  10. Does Diagnostic Math Testing Improve Student Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Betts, Julian R.; Hahn, Youjin; Zau, Andrew C.

    2011-01-01

    The Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP) offers course-specific assessments that provide teachers with timely feedback on their students' strengths and weaknesses in mathematics, often returning feedback to teachers on individual students and the entire class within a week of testing. In this way, teachers can quickly act on what they…

  11. Electronic detection of nucleic acids: a versatile platform for molecular diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Umek, R M; Lin, S W; Vielmetter, J; Terbrueggen, R H; Irvine, B; Yu, C J; Kayyem, J F; Yowanto, H; Blackburn, G F; Farkas, D H; Chen, Y P

    2001-05-01

    A novel platform for the electronic detection of nucleic acids on microarrays is introduced and shown to perform well as a selective detection system for applications in molecular diagnostics. A gold electrode in a printed circuit board is coated with a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) containing DNA capture probes. Unlabeled nucleic acid targets are immobilized on the surface of the SAM through sequence-specific hybridization with the DNA capture probe. A separate signaling probe, containing ferrocene-modified nucleotides and complementary to the target in the region adjoining the capture probe binding site, is held in close proximity to the SAM in a sandwich complex. The SAM allows electron transfer between the immobilized ferrocenes and the gold, while insulating the electrode from soluble redox species, including unbound signaling probes. Here, we demonstrate sequence-specific detection of amplicons after simple dilution of the reaction product into hybridization buffer. In addition, single nucleotide polymorphism discrimination is shown. A genotyping chip for the C282Y single nucleotide polymorphism associated with hereditary hemochromatosis is used to confirm the genotype of six patients' DNA. In addition, a gene expression-monitoring chip is described that surveys five genes that are differentially regulated in the cellular apoptosis response. Finally, custom modification of individual electrodes through sequence-specific hybridization demonstrates the potential of this system for infectious disease diagnostics. The versatility of the electronic detection platform makes it suitable for multiple applications in diagnostics and pharmacogenetics. PMID:11333303

  12. Microbial fuel cell-based diagnostic platform to reveal antibacterial effect of beta-lactam antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Schneider, György; Czeller, Miklós; Rostás, Viktor; Kovács, Tamás

    2015-06-01

    Beta-lactam antibiotics comprise the largest group of antibacterial agents. Due to their bactericidal properties and limited toxicity to humans they are preferred in antimicrobial therapy. In most cases, therapy is empiric since susceptibility testing in diagnostic laboratories takes a relatively long time. This paper presents a novel platform that is based on the microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology and focuses on the early antibiogram determination of isolates against a series of beta-lactam antibiotics. An advantage of the system is that it can be integrated into traditional microbiological diagnostic laboratory procedures. Tested bacterium suspensions are uploaded into the anodic chambers of each miniaturized MFC unit integrated into a panel system, containing different antibiotic solutions. Electronic signals gained in each MFC unit are continuously monitored and are proportional to the metabolic activity of the presenting test bacterium. Using this method, antibiotic susceptibility can be evaluated in 2-4h after inoculation. Hereby we demonstrate the efficacy of the platform in antibiogram determination by testing the susceptibilities of Escherichia coli strain ATCC 25922 and Staphylococcus aureus strain ATCC 29213 against 10 beta-lactam antibiotics (penicillin, ampicillin, ticarcillin, cefazolin, cefuroxime, cefoperazone, cefepime, cefoxitin, cefaclor, imipenem). This paper also presents the construction of the background instrumentation and the panel system into which a printed circuit board (PCB) based electrode was integrated. Our results suggest that MFC based biosensors have the potential to be used in diagnostics for antibiogram determination. PMID:26002505

  13. DNA-Aptamer optical biosensors based on a LPG-SPR optical fiber platform for point-of-care diagnostic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coelho, L.; Queirós, R. B.; Santos, J. L.; Martins, M. Cristina L.; Viegas, D.; Jorge, P. A. S.

    2014-03-01

    Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is the base for some of the most sensitive label free optical fiber biosensors. However, most solutions presented to date require the use of fragile fiber optic structure such as adiabatic tapers or side polished fibers. On the other hand, long-period fiber gratings (LPG) present themselves as an interesting solution to attain an evanescent wave refractive index sensor platform while preserving the optical fiber integrity. The combination of these two approaches constitute a powerful platform that can potentially reach the highest sensitivities as it was recently demonstrated by detailed theoretical study [1, 2]. In this work, a LPG-SPR platform is explored in different configurations (metal coating between two LPG - symmetric and asymmetric) operating in the telecom band (around 1550 nm). For this purpose LPGs with period of 396 μm are combined with tailor made metallic thin films. In particular, the sensing regions were coated with 2 nm of chromium to improve the adhesion to the fiber and 16 nm of gold followed by a 100 nm thick layer of TiO2 dielectric material strategically chosen to attain plasmon resonance in the desired wavelength range. The obtained refractometric platforms were then validated as a biosensor. For this purpose the detection of thrombin using an aptamer based probe was used as a model system for protein detection. The surface of the sensing fibers were cleaned with isopropanol and dried with N2 and then the aminated thrombin aptamer (5'-[NH2]- GGTTGGTGTGGTTGG-3') was immobilized by physisorption using Poly-L-Lysine (PLL) as cationic polymer. Preliminary results indicate the viability of the LPFG-SPR-APTAMER as a flexible platforms point of care diagnostic biosensors.

  14. Better Tests, Better Care: Improved Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Caliendo, Angela M.; Gilbert, David N.; Ginocchio, Christine C.; Hanson, Kimberly E.; May, Larissa; Quinn, Thomas C.; Tenover, Fred C.; Alland, David; Blaschke, Anne J.; Bonomo, Robert A.; Carroll, Karen C.; Ferraro, Mary Jane; Hirschhorn, Lisa R.; Joseph, W. Patrick; Karchmer, Tobi; MacIntyre, Ann T.; Reller, L. Barth; Jackson, Audrey F.

    2013-01-01

    In this IDSA policy paper, we review the current diagnostic landscape, including unmet needs and emerging technologies, and assess the challenges to the development and clinical integration of improved tests. To fulfill the promise of emerging diagnostics, IDSA presents recommendations that address a host of identified barriers. Achieving these goals will require the engagement and coordination of a number of stakeholders, including Congress, funding and regulatory bodies, public health agencies, the diagnostics industry, healthcare systems, professional societies, and individual clinicians. PMID:24200831

  15. Improving Animal Disease Detection Through an Enhanced Passive Surveillance Platform.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Chelsea Wright; Holmstrom, Lindsey; Biggers, Keith; Wall, James; Beckham, Tammy; Coats, Matthew; Korslund, John; Colby, Michelle M

    2016-01-01

    The ability to rapidly detect and report infectious diseases of domestic animals and wildlife is paramount to reducing the size and duration of an outbreak. There is currently a need in the United States livestock industry for a centralized animal disease surveillance platform, capable of collecting, integrating, and analyzing multiple data streams with dissemination to end-users. Such a system would be disease agnostic and establish baseline information on animal health and disease prevalence; it would alert health officials to anomalies potentially indicative of emerging and/or transboundary disease outbreaks, changes in the status of endemic disease, or detection of other causative agents (eg, toxins). As a part of its mission to accelerate and develop countermeasures against the introduction of emerging and/or transboundary animal diseases into the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is leading and investing in the development of an enhanced passive surveillance platform capable of establishing animal health baselines over time and alerting health officials to potential infectious disease outbreaks or other health anomalies earlier, allowing for more rapid response, improved animal health, and increased economic security. PMID:27419928

  16. Evolvable Smartphone-Based Platforms for Point-of-Care In-Vitro Diagnostics Applications.

    PubMed

    Patou, François; AlZahra'a Alatraktchi, Fatima; Kjægaard, Claus; Dimaki, Maria; Madsen, Jan; Svendsen, Winnie E

    2016-01-01

    The association of smart mobile devices and lab-on-chip technologies offers unprecedented opportunities for the emergence of direct-to-consumer in vitro medical diagnostics applications. Despite their clear transformative potential, obstacles remain to the large-scale disruption and long-lasting success of these systems in the consumer market. For instance, the increasing level of complexity of instrumented lab-on-chip devices, coupled to the sporadic nature of point-of-care testing, threatens the viability of a business model mainly relying on disposable/consumable lab-on-chips. We argued recently that system evolvability, defined as the design characteristic that facilitates more manageable transitions between system generations via the modification of an inherited design, can help remedy these limitations. In this paper, we discuss how platform-based design can constitute a formal entry point to the design and implementation of evolvable smart device/lab-on-chip systems. We present both a hardware/software design framework and the implementation details of a platform prototype enabling at this stage the interfacing of several lab-on-chip variants relying on current- or impedance-based biosensors. Our findings suggest that several change-enabling mechanisms implemented in the higher abstraction software layers of the system can promote evolvability, together with the design of change-absorbing hardware/software interfaces. Our platform architecture is based on a mobile software application programming interface coupled to a modular hardware accessory. It allows the specification of lab-on-chip operation and post-analytic functions at the mobile software layer. We demonstrate its potential by operating a simple lab-on-chip to carry out the detection of dopamine using various electroanalytical methods. PMID:27598208

  17. Lactulose:Mannitol Diagnostic Test by HPLC and LC-MSMS Platforms: Considerations for Field Studies of Intestinal Barrier Function and Environmental Enteropathy

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Gwenyth O.; Kosek, Peter; Lima, Aldo A.M.; Singh, Ravinder; Yori, Pablo P.; Olortegui, Maribel P.; Lamsam, Jesse L.; Oliveira, Domingos B.; Guerrant, Richard L.; Kosek, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objectives: The lactulose:mannitol (L:M) diagnostic test is frequently used in field studies of environmental enteropathy (EE); however, heterogeneity in test administration and disaccharide measurement has limited the comparison of results between studies and populations. We aim to assess the agreement between L:M measurement between high-performance liquid chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPLC-PAD) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS) platforms. Methods: The L:M test was administered in a cohort of Peruvian infants considered at risk for EE. A total of 100 samples were tested for lactulose and mannitol at 3 independent laboratories: 1 running an HPLC-PAD platform and 2 running LC-MSMS platforms. Agreement between the platforms was estimated. Results: The Spearman correlation between the 2 LC-MSMS platforms was high (ρ ≥ 0.89) for mannitol, lactulose, and the L:M ratio. The correlation between the HPLC-PAD platform and LC-MSMS platform was ρ = 0.95 for mannitol, ρ = 0.70 for lactulose, and ρ = 0.43 for the L:M ratio. In addition, the HPLC-PAD platform overestimated the lowest disaccharide concentrations to the greatest degree. Conclusions: Given the large analyte concentration range, the improved accuracy of LC-MSMS has important consequences for the assessment of lactulose and mannitol following oral administration in populations at risk for EE. We recommend that researchers wishing to implement a dual-sugar test as part of a study of EE use an LC-MSMS platform to optimize the accuracy of results and increase comparability between studies. PMID:24941958

  18. Development of a Web-Enabled Learning Platform for Geospatial Laboratories: Improving the Undergraduate Learning Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mui, Amy B.; Nelson, Sarah; Huang, Bruce; He, Yuhong; Wilson, Kathi

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes a web-enabled learning platform providing remote access to geospatial software that extends the learning experience outside of the laboratory setting. The platform was piloted in two undergraduate courses, and includes a software server, a data server, and remote student users. The platform was designed to improve the quality…

  19. Improving diagnostic criteria for Propionibacterium acnes osteomyelitis: a retrospective analysis.

    PubMed

    Asseray, Nathalie; Papin, Christophe; Touchais, Sophie; Bemer, Pascale; Lambert, Chantal; Boutoille, David; Tequi, Brigitte; Gouin, François; Raffi, François; Passuti, Norbert; Potel, Gilles

    2010-07-01

    The identification of Propionibacterium acnes in cultures of bone and joint samples is always difficult to interpret because of the ubiquity of this microorganism. The aim of this study was to propose a diagnostic strategy to distinguish infections from contaminations. This was a retrospective analysis of all patient charts of those patients with >or=1 deep samples culture-positive for P. acnes. Every criterion was tested for sensitivity, specificity, and positive likelihood ratio, and then the diagnostic probability of combinations of criteria was calculated. Among 65 patients, 52 (80%) were considered truly infected with P. acnes, a diagnosis based on a multidisciplinary process. The most valuable diagnostic criteria were: >or=2 positive deep samples, peri-operative findings (necrosis, hardware loosening, etc.), and >or=2 surgical procedures. However, no single criterion was sufficient to ascertain the diagnosis. The following combinations of criteria had a diagnostic probability of >90%: >or=2 positive cultures + 1 criterion among: peri-operative findings, local signs of infection, >or=2 previous operations, orthopaedic devices; 1 positive culture + 3 criteria among: peri-operative findings, local signs of infection, >or=2 previous surgical operations, orthopaedic devices, inflammatory syndrome. The diagnosis of P. acnes osteomyelitis was greatly improved by combining different criteria, allowing differentiation between infection and contamination. PMID:20141491

  20. Bayesian reclassification statistics for assessing improvements in diagnostic accuracy.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhipeng; Li, Jialiang; Cheng, Ching-Yu; Cheung, Carol; Wong, Tien-Yin

    2016-07-10

    We propose a Bayesian approach to the estimation of the net reclassification improvement (NRI) and three versions of the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) under the logistic regression model. Both NRI and IDI were proposed as numerical characterizations of accuracy improvement for diagnostic tests and were shown to retain certain practical advantage over analysis based on ROC curves and offer complementary information to the changes in area under the curve. Our development is a new contribution towards Bayesian solution for the estimation of NRI and IDI, which eases computational burden and increases flexibility. Our simulation results indicate that Bayesian estimation enjoys satisfactory performance comparable with frequentist estimation and achieves point estimation and credible interval construction simultaneously. We adopt the methodology to analyze a real data from the Singapore Malay Eye Study. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26875442

  1. Visual aids improve diagnostic inferences and metacognitive judgment calibration.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Cokely, Edward T; Hoffrage, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Visual aids can improve comprehension of risks associated with medical treatments, screenings, and lifestyles. Do visual aids also help decision makers accurately assess their risk comprehension? That is, do visual aids help them become well calibrated? To address these questions, we investigated the benefits of visual aids displaying numerical information and measured accuracy of self-assessment of diagnostic inferences (i.e., metacognitive judgment calibration) controlling for individual differences in numeracy. Participants included 108 patients who made diagnostic inferences about three medical tests on the basis of information about the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the tests and disease prevalence. Half of the patients received the information in numbers without a visual aid, while the other half received numbers along with a grid representing the numerical information. In the numerical condition, many patients-especially those with low numeracy-misinterpreted the predictive value of the tests and profoundly overestimated the accuracy of their inferences. Metacognitive judgment calibration mediated the relationship between numeracy and accuracy of diagnostic inferences. In contrast, in the visual aid condition, patients at all levels of numeracy showed high-levels of inferential accuracy and metacognitive judgment calibration. Results indicate that accurate metacognitive assessment may explain the beneficial effects of visual aids and numeracy-a result that accords with theory suggesting that metacognition is an essential part of risk literacy. We conclude that well-designed risk communications can inform patients about healthrelevant numerical information while helping them assess the quality of their own risk comprehension. PMID:26236247

  2. Visual aids improve diagnostic inferences and metacognitive judgment calibration

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Cokely, Edward T.; Hoffrage, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Visual aids can improve comprehension of risks associated with medical treatments, screenings, and lifestyles. Do visual aids also help decision makers accurately assess their risk comprehension? That is, do visual aids help them become well calibrated? To address these questions, we investigated the benefits of visual aids displaying numerical information and measured accuracy of self-assessment of diagnostic inferences (i.e., metacognitive judgment calibration) controlling for individual differences in numeracy. Participants included 108 patients who made diagnostic inferences about three medical tests on the basis of information about the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the tests and disease prevalence. Half of the patients received the information in numbers without a visual aid, while the other half received numbers along with a grid representing the numerical information. In the numerical condition, many patients–especially those with low numeracy–misinterpreted the predictive value of the tests and profoundly overestimated the accuracy of their inferences. Metacognitive judgment calibration mediated the relationship between numeracy and accuracy of diagnostic inferences. In contrast, in the visual aid condition, patients at all levels of numeracy showed high-levels of inferential accuracy and metacognitive judgment calibration. Results indicate that accurate metacognitive assessment may explain the beneficial effects of visual aids and numeracy–a result that accords with theory suggesting that metacognition is an essential part of risk literacy. We conclude that well-designed risk communications can inform patients about healthrelevant numerical information while helping them assess the quality of their own risk comprehension. PMID:26236247

  3. Action Research to Improve the Learning Space for Diagnostic Techniques.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Ellen; Owens, Leigh

    2015-12-01

    The module described and evaluated here was created in response to perceived learning difficulties in diagnostic test design and interpretation for students in third-year Clinical Microbiology. Previously, the activities in lectures and laboratory classes in the module fell into the lower cognitive operations of "knowledge" and "understanding." The new approach was to exchange part of the traditional activities with elements of interactive learning, where students had the opportunity to engage in deep learning using a variety of learning styles. The effectiveness of the new curriculum was assessed by means of on-course student assessment throughout the module, a final exam, an anonymous questionnaire on student evaluation of the different activities and a focus group of volunteers. Although the new curriculum enabled a major part of the student cohort to achieve higher pass grades (p < 0.001), it did not meet the requirements of the weaker students, and the proportion of the students failing the module remained at 34%. The action research applied here provided a number of valuable suggestions from students on how to improve future curricula from their perspective. Most importantly, an interactive online program that facilitated flexibility in the learning space for the different reagents and their interaction in diagnostic tests was proposed. The methods applied to improve and assess a curriculum refresh by involving students as partners in the process, as well as the outcomes, are discussed. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. PMID:26753024

  4. Action Research to Improve the Learning Space for Diagnostic Techniques†

    PubMed Central

    Ariel, Ellen; Owens, Leigh

    2015-01-01

    The module described and evaluated here was created in response to perceived learning difficulties in diagnostic test design and interpretation for students in third-year Clinical Microbiology. Previously, the activities in lectures and laboratory classes in the module fell into the lower cognitive operations of “knowledge” and “understanding.” The new approach was to exchange part of the traditional activities with elements of interactive learning, where students had the opportunity to engage in deep learning using a variety of learning styles. The effectiveness of the new curriculum was assessed by means of on-course student assessment throughout the module, a final exam, an anonymous questionnaire on student evaluation of the different activities and a focus group of volunteers. Although the new curriculum enabled a major part of the student cohort to achieve higher pass grades (p < 0.001), it did not meet the requirements of the weaker students, and the proportion of the students failing the module remained at 34%. The action research applied here provided a number of valuable suggestions from students on how to improve future curricula from their perspective. Most importantly, an interactive online program that facilitated flexibility in the learning space for the different reagents and their interaction in diagnostic tests was proposed. The methods applied to improve and assess a curriculum refresh by involving students as partners in the process, as well as the outcomes, are discussed. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education PMID:26753024

  5. A Bacterial Analysis Platform: An Integrated System for Analysing Bacterial Whole Genome Sequencing Data for Clinical Diagnostics and Surveillance

    PubMed Central

    Ahrenfeldt, Johanne; Cisneros, Jose Luis Bellod; Jurtz, Vanessa; Larsen, Mette Voldby; Hasman, Henrik; Aarestrup, Frank Møller; Lund, Ole

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in whole genome sequencing have made the technology available for routine use in microbiological laboratories. However, a major obstacle for using this technology is the availability of simple and automatic bioinformatics tools. Based on previously published and already available web-based tools we developed a single pipeline for batch uploading of whole genome sequencing data from multiple bacterial isolates. The pipeline will automatically identify the bacterial species and, if applicable, assemble the genome, identify the multilocus sequence type, plasmids, virulence genes and antimicrobial resistance genes. A short printable report for each sample will be provided and an Excel spreadsheet containing all the metadata and a summary of the results for all submitted samples can be downloaded. The pipeline was benchmarked using datasets previously used to test the individual services. The reported results enable a rapid overview of the major results, and comparing that to the previously found results showed that the platform is reliable and able to correctly predict the species and find most of the expected genes automatically. In conclusion, a combined bioinformatics platform was developed and made publicly available, providing easy-to-use automated analysis of bacterial whole genome sequencing data. The platform may be of immediate relevance as a guide for investigators using whole genome sequencing for clinical diagnostics and surveillance. The platform is freely available at: https://cge.cbs.dtu.dk/services/CGEpipeline-1.1 and it is the intention that it will continue to be expanded with new features as these become available. PMID:27327771

  6. A microfluidic platform with digital readout and ultra-low detection limit for quantitative point-of-care diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Xuan, Jie; Song, Yujun; Wang, Ping; Qin, Lidong

    2015-08-21

    Quantitative assays are of great importance for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics because they can offer accurate information on the analytes. However, current POC devices often require an accessory instrument to give quantitative readouts for protein biomarkers, especially for those at very low concentration levels. Here, we report a microfluidic platform, the digital volumetric bar-chart chip (DV-chip), for quantitative POC diagnostics with ultra-low detection limits that are readable with the naked eye. Requiring no calibration, the DV-chip presents a digital ink bar chart (representing multiple bits composed of 0 and 1) for the target biomarker based on direct competition between O2 generated by the experimental and control samples. The bar chart clearly and accurately defines target concentration, allowing identification of disease status. For the standard PtNP solutions, the detection limit of the platform is approximately 0.1 pM and the dynamic range covers four orders of magnitude from 0.1 to 1000 pM. CEA samples with concentrations of 1 ng mL(-1) and 1.5 ng mL(-1) could be differentiated by the device. We also performed the ELISA assay for B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in 20 plasma samples from heart failure patients and the obtained on-chip data were in agreement with the clinical results. In addition, BNP was detectable at concentrations of less than 5 pM, which is three orders of magnitude lower than the detection limit of the previously reported readerless digital methods. By the integration of gas competition, volumetric bar chart, and digital readout, the DV-chip possesses merits of portability, visible readout, and ultra-low detection limit, which should offer a powerful platform for quantitative POC diagnostics in clinical settings and personalized detection. PMID:26170154

  7. Towards a Next-Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Service for Tumour Genotyping: A Comparison of Panels and Platforms.

    PubMed

    Burghel, George J; Hurst, Carolyn D; Watson, Christopher M; Chambers, Phillip A; Dickinson, Helen; Roberts, Paul; Knowles, Margaret A

    2015-01-01

    Detection of clinically actionable mutations in diagnostic tumour specimens aids in the selection of targeted therapeutics. With an ever increasing number of clinically significant mutations identified, tumour genetic diagnostics is moving from single to multigene analysis. As it is still not feasible for routine diagnostic laboratories to perform sequencing of the entire cancer genome, our approach was to undertake targeted mutation detection. To optimise our diagnostic workflow, we evaluated three target enrichment strategies using two next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms (Illumina MiSeq and Ion PGM). The target enrichment strategies were Fluidigm Access Array custom amplicon panel including 13 genes (MiSeq sequencing), the Oxford Gene Technologies (OGT) SureSeq Solid Tumour hybridisation panel including 60 genes (MiSeq sequencing), and an Ion AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel including 50 genes (Ion PGM sequencing). DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks of eight previously characterised cancer cell lines was tested using the three panels. Matching genomic DNA from fresh cultures of these cell lines was also tested using the custom Fluidigm panel and the OGT SureSeq Solid Tumour panel. Each panel allowed mutation detection of core cancer genes including KRAS, BRAF, and EGFR. Our results indicate that the panels enable accurate variant detection despite sequencing from FFPE DNA. PMID:26351634

  8. Connectivity of diagnostic technologies: improving surveillance and accelerating tuberculosis elimination.

    PubMed

    Andre, E; Isaacs, C; Affolabi, D; Alagna, R; Brockmann, D; de Jong, B C; Cambau, E; Churchyard, G; Cohen, T; Delmee, M; Delvenne, J-C; Farhat, M; Habib, A; Holme, P; Keshavjee, S; Khan, A; Lightfoot, P; Moore, D; Moreno, Y; Mundade, Y; Pai, M; Patel, S; Nyaruhirira, A U; Rocha, L E C; Takle, J; Trébucq, A; Creswell, J; Boehme, C

    2016-08-01

    In regard to tuberculosis (TB) and other major global epidemics, the use of new diagnostic tests is increasing dramatically, including in resource-limited countries. Although there has never been as much digital information generated, this data source has not been exploited to its full potential. In this opinion paper, we discuss lessons learned from the global scale-up of these laboratory devices and the pathway to tapping the potential of laboratory-generated information in the field of TB by using connectivity. Responding to the demand for connectivity, innovative third-party players have proposed solutions that have been widely adopted by field users of the Xpert(®) MTB/RIF assay. The experience associated with the utilisation of these systems, which facilitate the monitoring of wide laboratory networks, stressed the need for a more global and comprehensive approach to diagnostic connectivity. In addition to facilitating the reporting of test results, the mobility of digital information allows the sharing of information generated in programme settings. When they become easily accessible, these data can be used to improve patient care, disease surveillance and drug discovery. They should therefore be considered as a public health good. We list several examples of concrete initiatives that should allow data sources to be combined to improve the understanding of the epidemic, support the operational response and, finally, accelerate TB elimination. With the many opportunities that the pooling of data associated with the TB epidemic can provide, pooling of this information at an international level has become an absolute priority. PMID:27393530

  9. Connectivity of diagnostic technologies: improving surveillance and accelerating tuberculosis elimination

    PubMed Central

    Isaacs, C.; Affolabi, D.; Alagna, R.; Brockmann, D.; de Jong, B. C.; Cambau, E.; Churchyard, G.; Cohen, T.; Delmee, M.; Delvenne, J-C.; Farhat, M.; Habib, A.; Holme, P.; Keshavjee, S.; Khan, A.; Lightfoot, P.; Moore, D.; Moreno, Y.; Mundade, Y.; Pai, M.; Patel, S.; Nyaruhirira, A. U.; Rocha, L. E. C.; Takle, J.; Trébucq, A.; Creswell, J.; Boehme, C.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY In regard to tuberculosis (TB) and other major global epidemics, the use of new diagnostic tests is increasing dramatically, including in resource-limited countries. Although there has never been as much digital information generated, this data source has not been exploited to its full potential. In this opinion paper, we discuss lessons learned from the global scale-up of these laboratory devices and the pathway to tapping the potential of laboratory-generated information in the field of TB by using connectivity. Responding to the demand for connectivity, innovative third-party players have proposed solutions that have been widely adopted by field users of the Xpert® MTB/RIF assay. The experience associated with the utilisation of these systems, which facilitate the monitoring of wide laboratory networks, stressed the need for a more global and comprehensive approach to diagnostic connectivity. In addition to facilitating the reporting of test results, the mobility of digital information allows the sharing of information generated in programme settings. When they become easily accessible, these data can be used to improve patient care, disease surveillance and drug discovery. They should therefore be considered as a public health good. We list several examples of concrete initiatives that should allow data sources to be combined to improve the understanding of the epidemic, support the operational response and, finally, accelerate TB elimination. With the many opportunities that the pooling of data associated with the TB epidemic can provide, pooling of this information at an international level has become an absolute priority. PMID:27393530

  10. Microfluidic toner-based analytical devices: disposable, lightweight, and portable platforms for point-of-care diagnostics with colorimetric detection.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Karoliny Almeida; de Souza, Fabrício Ribeiro; de Oliveira, Cristina Rodrigues; da Silveira, Lucimeire Antonelli; Coltro, Wendell Karlos Tomazelli

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes the development of microfluidic toner-based analytical devices (μTADs) to perform clinical diagnostics using a scanner or cell-phone camera. μTADs have been produced in a platform composed of polyester and toner by the direct-printing technology (DPT) in a matter of minutes. This technology offers simplicity and versatility, and it does not require any sophisticated instrumentation. Toner-based devices integrate the current generation of disposable analytical devices along paper-based chips. The cost of one μTAD has been estimated to be lower than $0.10. In addition, these platforms are lightweight and portable thus enabling their use for point-of-care applications. In the last 5 years, great efforts have been dedicated to spread out the use of μTADs in bioassays. The current chapter reports the fabrication of printed microplates and integrated microfluidic toner-based devices for dengue diagnostics and rapid colorimetric assays with clinically relevant analytes including cholesterol, triglycerides, total proteins, and glucose. The use of μTADs associated with cell-phone camera may contribute to the health care, in special, to people housed in developing regions or with limited access to clinics and hospitals. PMID:25626533

  11. Engineering bacteriophage for a pragmatic low-resource setting bacterial diagnostic platform.

    PubMed

    Talbert, Joey N; Alcaine, Samuel D; Nugen, Sam R

    2016-04-01

    Bacteriophages represent multifaceted building blocks that can be incorporated as substitutes for, or in unison with other detection methods, to create powerful new diagnostics for the detection of bacteria. The ease of phage manipulation, production, and detection speed clearly highlights that there remains unrealized opportunities to leverage these phage-based components in diagnostics amenable to resource-limited settings. The passage of regulations like the Food Safety Modernization act, and the ever increasing extent of global trade and travel, will create further demand for these types of diagnostics. While phage-based diagnostics have begun to entering the market place, further research is needed to ensure the potential benefits of phage-based technologies for public health are fully realized. We are just beginning to explore the possibilities that phage-based detection can offer us in the future. The combination of engineered phages as well as engineered enzymes could result in ultrasensitive detection systems for low-resource settings. Because the reporter enzyme is synthesized in vivo, we need to consider the options outside of normal enzyme reporters. In this case, common enzyme issues such as purification and long-term stability are less important. Phage-based diagnostics were conceptualized from out-of-the box thinking and the evolution of these systems should be as well. PMID:27246532

  12. Improvement in metrology on new 3D-AFM platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, Ingo; Osborn, Marc; Hand, Sean; Chen, Qi

    2008-10-01

    According to the 2007 edition of the ITRS roadmap, the requirement for CD uniformity of isolated lines on a binary or attenuated phase shift mask is 2.1nm (3σ) in 2008 and requires improvement to1.3 nm (3σ) in 2010. In order to meet the increasing demand for CD uniformity on photo masks, improved CD metrology is required. A next generation AFM, InSightTM 3DAFM, has been developed to meet these increased requirements for advanced photo mask metrology. The new system achieves 2X improvement in CD and depth precision on advanced photo masks features over the previous generation 3D-AFM. This paper provides measurement data including depth, CD, and sidewall angle metrology. In addition the unique capabilities of damage-free defect inspection and Nanoimprint characterization by 3D AFM are presented.

  13. Measurement of Phospholipids May Improve Diagnostic Accuracy in Ovarian Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Lorelei; Han, Gang; Zhu, Weiwei; Molina, Ashley D.; Arango, Hector; LaPolla, James P.; Hoffman, Mitchell S.; Sellers, Thomas; Kirby, Tyler; Nicosia, Santo V.; Sutphen, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Background More than two-thirds of women who undergo surgery for suspected ovarian neoplasm do not have cancer. Our previous results suggest phospholipids as potential biomarkers of ovarian cancer. In this study, we measured the serum levels of multiple phospholipids among women undergoing surgery for suspected ovarian cancer to identify biomarkers that better predict whether an ovarian mass is malignant. Methodology/Principal Findings We obtained serum samples preoperatively from women with suspected ovarian cancer enrolled through a prospective, population-based rapid ascertainment system. Samples were analyzed from all women in whom a diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) was confirmed and from benign disease cases randomly selected from the remaining (non-EOC) samples. We measured biologically relevant phospholipids using liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. We applied a powerful statistical and machine learning approach, Hybrid huberized support vector machine (HH-SVM) to prioritize phospholipids to enter the biomarker models, and used cross-validation to obtain conservative estimates of classification error rates. Results The HH-SVM model using the measurements of specific combinations of phospholipids supplements clinical CA125 measurement and improves diagnostic accuracy. Specifically, the measurement of phospholipids improved sensitivity (identification of cases with preoperative CA125 levels below 35) among two types of cases in which CA125 performance is historically poor - early stage cases and those of mucinous histology. Measurement of phospholipids improved the identification of early stage cases from 65% (based on CA125) to 82%, and mucinous cases from 44% to 88%. Conclusions/Significance Levels of specific serum phospholipids differ between women with ovarian cancer and those with benign conditions. If validated by independent studies in the future, these biomarkers may serve as an adjunct at the time of clinical

  14. The road map towards providing a robust Raman spectroscopy-based cancer diagnostic platform and integration into clinic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Katherine; Isabelle, Martin; Lloyd, Gavin R.; Old, Oliver; Shepherd, Neil; Bell, Ian M.; Dorney, Jennifer; Lewis, Aaran; Gaifulina, Riana; Rodriguez-Justo, Manuel; Kendall, Catherine; Stone, Nicolas; Thomas, Geraint; Reece, David

    2016-03-01

    Despite the demonstrated potential as an accurate cancer diagnostic tool, Raman spectroscopy (RS) is yet to be adopted by the clinic for histopathology reviews. The Stratified Medicine through Advanced Raman Technologies (SMART) consortium has begun to address some of the hurdles in its adoption for cancer diagnosis. These hurdles include awareness and acceptance of the technology, practicality of integration into the histopathology workflow, data reproducibility and availability of transferrable models. We have formed a consortium, in joint efforts, to develop optimised protocols for tissue sample preparation, data collection and analysis. These protocols will be supported by provision of suitable hardware and software tools to allow statistically sound classification models to be built and transferred for use on different systems. In addition, we are building a validated gastrointestinal (GI) cancers model, which can be trialled as part of the histopathology workflow at hospitals, and a classification tool. At the end of the project, we aim to deliver a robust Raman based diagnostic platform to enable clinical researchers to stage cancer, define tumour margin, build cancer diagnostic models and discover novel disease bio markers.

  15. Modular development of a prototype point of care molecular diagnostic platform for sexually transmitted infections.

    PubMed

    Branavan, Manoharanehru; Mackay, Ruth E; Craw, Pascal; Naveenathayalan, Angel; Ahern, Jeremy C; Sivanesan, Tulasi; Hudson, Chris; Stead, Thomas; Kremer, Jessica; Garg, Neha; Baker, Mark; Sadiq, Syed T; Balachandran, Wamadeva

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents the design of a modular point of care test platform that integrates a proprietary sample collection device directly with a microfluidic cartridge. Cell lysis, within the cartridge, is conducted using a chemical method and nucleic acid purification is done on an activated cellulose membrane. The microfluidic device incorporates passive mixing of the lysis-binding buffers and sample using a serpentine channel. Results have shown extraction efficiencies for this new membrane of 69% and 57% compared to the commercial Qiagen extraction method of 85% and 59.4% for 0.1ng/µL and 100ng/µL salmon sperm DNA respectively spiked in phosphate buffered solution. Extraction experiments using the serpentine passive mixer cartridges incorporating lysis and nucleic acid purification showed extraction efficiency around 80% of the commercial Qiagen kit. Isothermal amplification was conducted using thermophillic helicase dependant amplification and recombinase polymerase amplification. A low cost benchtop real-time isothermal amplification platform has been developed capable of running six amplifications simultaneously. Results show that the platform is capable of detecting 1.32×10(6) of sample DNA through thermophillic helicase dependant amplification and 1×10(5) copy numbers Chlamydia trachomatis genomic DNA within 10min through recombinase polymerase nucleic acid amplification tests. PMID:27238759

  16. Brief Report: Excluding the ADI-R Behavioral Domain Improves Diagnostic Agreement in Toddlers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiggins, Lisa D.; Robins, Diana L.

    2008-01-01

    Past research shows poor agreement between the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and other diagnostic measures in toddlers. Our goal was to examine whether exclusion of the ADI-R behavioral domain results in improved diagnostic agreement. Toddlers aged 16-37 months (M = 26 months) received an evaluation because they failed the Modified…

  17. Improving Evapotranspiration Estimates Using Multi-Platform Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knipper, Kyle; Hogue, Terri; Franz, Kristie; Scott, Russell

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the linkages between energy and water cycles through evapotranspiration (ET) is uniquely challenging given its dependence on a range of climatological parameters and surface/atmospheric heterogeneity. A number of methods have been developed to estimate ET either from primarily remote-sensing observations, in-situ measurements, or a combination of the two. However, the scale of many of these methods may be too large to provide needed information about the spatial and temporal variability of ET that can occur over regions with acute or chronic land cover change and precipitation driven fluxes. The current study aims to improve the spatial and temporal variability of ET utilizing only satellite-based observations by incorporating a potential evapotranspiration (PET) methodology with satellite-based down-scaled soil moisture estimates in southern Arizona, USA. Initially, soil moisture estimates from AMSR2 and SMOS are downscaled to 1km through a triangular relationship between MODIS land surface temperature (MYD11A1), vegetation indices (MOD13Q1/MYD13Q1), and brightness temperature. Downscaled soil moisture values are then used to scale PET to actual ET (AET) at a daily, 1km resolution. Derived AET estimates are compared to observed flux tower estimates, the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) model output (i.e. Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) Macroscale Hydrologic Model, Mosiac Model, and Noah Model simulations), the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model (SSEBop), and a calibrated empirical ET model created specifically for the region. Preliminary results indicate a strong increase in correlation when incorporating the downscaling technique to original AMSR2 and SMOS soil moisture values, with the added benefit of being able to decipher small scale heterogeneity in soil moisture (riparian versus desert grassland). AET results show strong correlations with relatively low error and bias when compared to flux tower

  18. Leapfrog diagnostics: Demonstration of a broad spectrum pathogen identification platform in a resource-limited setting

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Resource-limited tropical countries are home to numerous infectious pathogens of both human and zoonotic origin. A capability for early detection to allow rapid outbreak containment and prevent spread to non-endemic regions is severely impaired by inadequate diagnostic laboratory capacity, the absence of a “cold chain” and the lack of highly trained personnel. Building up detection capacity in these countries by direct replication of the systems existing in developed countries is not a feasible approach and instead requires “leapfrogging” to the deployment of the newest diagnostic systems that do not have the infrastructure requirements of systems used in developed countries. Methods A laboratory for molecular diagnostics of infectious agents was established in Bo, Sierra Leone with a hybrid solar/diesel/battery system to ensure stable power supply and a satellite modem to enable efficient communication. An array of room temperature stabilization and refrigeration technologies for reliable transport and storage of reagents and biological samples were also tested to ensure sustainable laboratory supplies for diagnostic assays. Results The laboratory demonstrated its operational proficiency by conducting an investigation of a suspected avian influenza outbreak at a commercial poultry farm at Bo using broad range resequencing microarrays and real time RT-PCR. The results of the investigation excluded influenza viruses as a possible cause of the outbreak and indicated a link between the outbreak and the presence of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Conclusions This study demonstrated that by application of a carefully selected set of technologies and sufficient personnel training, it is feasible to deploy and effectively use a broad-range infectious pathogen detection technology in a severely resource-limited setting. PMID:22759725

  19. Porous Bead-Based Diagnostic Platforms: Bridging the Gaps in Healthcare

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Jie; Wong, Jorge; Christodoulides, Nicolaos; Floriano, Pierre N.; Sanchez, Ximena; McDevitt, John

    2012-01-01

    Advances in lab-on-a-chip systems have strong potential for multiplexed detection of a wide range of analytes with reduced sample and reagent volume; lower costs and shorter analysis times. The completion of high-fidelity multiplexed and multiclass assays remains a challenge for the medical microdevice field; as it struggles to achieve and expand upon at the point-of-care the quality of results that are achieved now routinely in remote laboratory settings. This review article serves to explore for the first time the key intersection of multiplexed bead-based detection systems with integrated microfluidic structures alongside porous capture elements together with biomarker validation studies. These strategically important elements are evaluated here in the context of platform generation as suitable for near-patient testing. Essential issues related to the scalability of these modular sensor ensembles are explored as are attempts to move such multiplexed and multiclass platforms into large-scale clinical trials. Recent efforts in these bead sensors have shown advantages over planar microarrays in terms of their capacity to generate multiplexed test results with shorter analysis times. Through high surface-to-volume ratios and encoding capabilities; porous bead-based ensembles; when combined with microfluidic elements; allow for high-throughput testing for enzymatic assays; general chemistries; protein; antibody and oligonucleotide applications. PMID:23202219

  20. Near-Infrared Ag2S Quantum Dots-Based DNA Logic Gate Platform for miRNA Diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Miao, Peng; Tang, Yuguo; Wang, Bidou; Meng, Fanyu

    2016-08-01

    Dysregulation of miRNA expression is correlated with the development and progression of many diseases. These miRNAs are regarded as promising biomarkers. However, it is challenging to measure these low abundant molecules without employing time-consuming radioactive labeling or complex amplification strategies. Here, we present a DNA logic gate platform for miRNA diagnostics with fluorescence outputs from near-infrared (NIR) Ag2S quantum dots (QDs). Carefully designed toehold exchange-mediated strand displacements with different miRNA inputs occur on a solid-state interface, which control QDs release from solid-state interface to solution, responding to multiplex information on initial miRNAs. Excellent fluorescence emission properties of NIR Ag2S QDs certify the great prospect for amplification-free and sensitive miRNA assay. We demonstrate the potential of this platform by achieving femtomolar level miRNA analysis and the versatility of a series of logic circuits computation. PMID:27368143

  1. Recent improvements of the JET lithium beam diagnostic

    SciTech Connect

    Brix, M.; Morgan, P.; Stamp, M.; Zastrow, K.-D.; Dunai, D.; Meszaros, B.; Petravich, G.; Refy, D. I.; Szabolics, T.; Zoletnik, S.; Lupelli, I.; Marsen, S.; Melson, T. F.; Silva, C. [EURATOM Collaboration: JET-EFDA Contributors

    2012-10-15

    A 60 kV neutral lithium diagnostic beam probes the edge plasma of JET for the measurement of electron density profiles. This paper describes recent enhancements of the diagnostic setup, new procedures for calibration and protection measures for the lithium ion gun during massive gas puffs for disruption mitigation. New light splitting optics allow in parallel beam emission measurements with a new double entrance slit CCD spectrometer (spectrally resolved) and a new interference filter avalanche photodiode camera (fast density and fluctuation studies).

  2. Miniaturized devices towards an integrated lab-on-a-chip platform for DNA diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaprou, G.; Papadakis, G.; Kokkoris, G.; Papadopoulos, V.; Kefala, I.; Papageorgiou, D.; Gizeli, E.; Tserepi, A.

    2015-06-01

    Microfluidics is an emerging technology enabling the development of Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) systems for clinical diagnostics, drug discovery and screening, food safety and environmental analysis. LOC systems integrate and scale down one or several laboratory functions on a single chip of a few mm2 to cm2 in size, and account for many advantages on biochemical analyses, such as low sample and reagent consumption, low cost, reduced analysis time, portability and point-of-need compatibility. Currently, available nucleic acid diagnostic tests take advantage of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) that allows exponential amplification of portions of nucleic acid sequences that can be used as indicators for the identification of various diseases. Here, we present a comparison between static chamber and continuous flow miniaturized PCR devices, in terms of energy consumption for devices fabricated on the same material stack, with identical sample volume and channel dimensions. The comparison is implemented by a computational study coupling heat transfer in both solid and fluid, mass conservation of species, and joule heating. Based on the conclusions of this study, we develop low-cost and fast DNA amplification devices for both PCR and isothermal amplification, and we implement them in the detection of mutations related to breast cancer. The devices are fabricated by mass production amenable technologies on printed circuit board (PCB) substrates, where copper facilitates the incorporation of on-chip microheaters, defining the thermal zones necessary for PCR or isothermal amplification methods.

  3. Shared Platform for South African Earth and Environmental Observation Systems: Recent Developments and Improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugo, Wim

    2013-04-01

    Over the past 3 years, SAEON has worked with a number of stakeholders and funders to establish a shared platform for the management of dissemination of E&EO research outputs, data sets, and services. This platform is strongly aligned with GEO principles and architecture, allowing direct integration with the GEOSS Broker. The platform has two important characteristics: 1. It reduces the cost and lead time of provision of similar infrastructure for future initiatives. 2. The platform is domain-agnostic to some degree, and can be used for non E&EO applications. Projects to achive this is under way at present. The paper describes the application of the platform for a variety of user communities and initiatives (SAEON Data Portal, South African Earth Observation System, Risk and Vulnerability Atlas, BioEnergy Atlas, National Spatial Information Framework, ICSU World Data System Components, and many more), and demonstrates use cases utilising a distributed, service oriented architecture. Significant improvements have been made to the interoperability functions available to end users and content providers, and these are demonstrated and discussed in detail. Functions include • Creation and persistence of composite maps, as well as time series or scatter charts, supporting a variety of standardized data sources. • Search facilities have been extended to allow analysis and filtering of primary search results, and to deal with large meta-data collections. • In addition, data sources, data listings, news items, images, search results, and other platform content can, with increasing flexibility, be accessed as standardized services that are processed in standardized clients, allowing creation of a rich user interface, and permitting the inclusion of platform functionality into external websites and resources. This shift to explicit service-oriented, peer-to-peer architecture is a preparation for increased distributed processing and content composition, and will support

  4. Open Access Integrated Therapeutic and Diagnostic Platforms for Personalized Cardiovascular Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Gladding, Patrick A.; Cave, Andrew; Zareian, Mehran; Smith, Kevin; Hussan, Jagir; Hunter, Peter; Erogbogbo, Folarin; Aguilar, Zoraida; Martin, David S.; Chan, Eugene; Homer, Margie L.; Shevade, Abhijit V.; Kassemi, Mohammad; Thomas, James D.; Schlegel, Todd T.

    2013-01-01

    It is undeniable that the increasing costs in healthcare are a concern. Although technological advancements have been made in healthcare systems, the return on investment made by governments and payers has been poor. The current model of care is unsustainable and is due for an upgrade. In developed nations, a law of diminishing returns has been noted in population health standards, whilst in the developing world, westernized chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease have become emerging problems. The reasons for these trends are complex, multifactorial and not easily reversed. Personalized medicine has the potential to have a significant impact on these issues, but for it to be truly successful, interdisciplinary mass collaboration is required. We propose here a vision for open-access advanced analytics for personalized cardiac diagnostics using imaging, electrocardiography and genomics. PMID:25562653

  5. Recent improvements of the JET lithium beam diagnostic.

    PubMed

    Brix, M; Dodt, D; Dunai, D; Lupelli, I; Marsen, S; Melson, T F; Meszaros, B; Morgan, P; Petravich, G; Refy, D I; Silva, C; Stamp, M; Szabolics, T; Zastrow, K-D; Zoletnik, S

    2012-10-01

    A 60 kV neutral lithium diagnostic beam probes the edge plasma of JET for the measurement of electron density profiles. This paper describes recent enhancements of the diagnostic setup, new procedures for calibration and protection measures for the lithium ion gun during massive gas puffs for disruption mitigation. New light splitting optics allow in parallel beam emission measurements with a new double entrance slit CCD spectrometer (spectrally resolved) and a new interference filter avalanche photodiode camera (fast density and fluctuation studies). PMID:23130794

  6. Drugs and diagnostic innovations to improve global health.

    PubMed

    Peeling, Rosanna W; Nwaka, Solomon

    2011-09-01

    Infectious diseases remain the major cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Affordable effective drugs and diagnostics are critical for patient management and disease control but the development of new drugs and diagnostics is too slow to keep up with the emergence and spread of infectious diseases around the world. Innovative collaborative research and development involving disease endemic countries and developed countries are urgently needed to accelerate progress along the path from discovery to product adoption. These emerging approaches and the need for increased investment in human and financial resources to support them are discussed. PMID:21896368

  7. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule: Revised Algorithms for Improved Diagnostic Validity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gotham, Katherine; Risi, Susan; Pickles, Andrew; Lord, Catherine

    2007-01-01

    Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) Modules 1-3 item and domain total distributions were reviewed for 1,630 assessments of children aged 14 months to 16 years with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or with heterogeneous non-spectrum disorders. Children were divided by language level and age to yield more homogeneous cells. Items were…

  8. Smart material platforms for miniaturized devices: implications in disease models and diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Verma, Ritika; Adhikary, Rishi Rajat; Banerjee, Rinti

    2016-05-24

    Smart materials are responsive to multiple stimuli like light, temperature, pH and redox reactions with specific changes in state. Various functionalities in miniaturised devices can be achieved through the application of "smart materials" that respond to changes in their surroundings. The change in state of the materials in the presence of a stimulus may be used for on demand alteration of flow patterns in devices, acting as microvalves, as scaffolds for cellular aggregation or as modalities for signal amplification. In this review, we discuss the concepts of smart trigger responsive materials and their applications in miniaturized devices both for organ-on-a-chip disease models and for point-of-care diagnostics. The emphasis is on leveraging the smartness of these materials for example, to allow on demand sample actuation, ion dependent spheroid models for cancer or light dependent contractility of muscle films for organ-on-a-chip applications. The review throws light on the current status, scope for technological enhancements, challenges for translation and future prospects of increased incorporation of smart materials as integral parts of miniaturized devices. PMID:27108534

  9. Diagnostic Bias and Conduct Disorder: Improving Culturally Sensitive Diagnosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mizock, Lauren; Harkins, Debra

    2011-01-01

    Disproportionately high rates of Conduct Disorder are diagnosed in African American and Latino youth of color. Diagnostic bias contributes to overdiagnosis of Conduct Disorder in these adolescents of color. Following a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder, adolescents of color face poorer outcomes than their White counterparts. These negative outcomes…

  10. Controlled Trial Using Computerized Feedback to Improve Physicians' Diagnostic Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poses, Roy M.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    A study involving 14 experienced physicians investigated the effectiveness of a computer program (providing statistical feedback to teach a clinical diagnostic rule that predicts the probability of streptococcal pharyngitis), in conjunction with traditional lecture and periodic disease-prevalence reports. Results suggest the integrated method is a…

  11. Thermal Test of an Improved Platform for Silicon Nanowire-Based Thermoelectric Micro-generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calaza, C.; Fonseca, L.; Salleras, M.; Donmez, I.; Tarancón, A.; Morata, A.; Santos, J. D.; Gadea, G.

    2016-03-01

    This work reports on an improved design intended to enhance the thermal isolation between the hot and cold parts of a silicon-based thermoelectric microgenerator. Micromachining techniques and silicon on insulator substrates are used to obtain a suspended silicon platform surrounded by a bulk silicon rim, in which arrays of bottom-up silicon nanowires are integrated later on to join both parts with a thermoelectric active material. In previous designs the platform was linked to the rim by means of bulk silicon bridges, used as mechanical support and holder for the electrical connections. Such supports severely reduce platform thermal isolation and penalise the functional area due to the need of longer supports. A new technological route is planned to obtain low thermal conductance supports, making use of a particular geometrical design and a wet bulk micromachining process to selectively remove silicon shaping a thin dielectric membrane. Thermal conductance measurements have been performed to analyse the influence of the different design parameters of the suspended platform (support type, bridge/membrane length, separation between platform and silicon rim,) on overall thermal isolation. A thermal conductance reduction from 1.82 mW/K to 1.03 mW/K, has been obtained on tested devices by changing the support type, even though its length has been halved.

  12. A Multiplexed Diagnostic Platform for Point-of-Care Pathogen Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Regan, J F; Letant, S E; Adams, K L; Mahnke, R C; Nguyen, N T; Dzenitis, J M; Hindson, B J; Hadley, D R; Makarewicz, T J; Henderer, B D; Breneman, J W; Tammero, L F; Ortiz, J I; Derlet, R W; Cohen, S; Colston, W W; McBride, M T; Birch, J M

    2008-02-04

    We developed an automated point-of-care diagnostic instrument that is capable of analyzing nasal swab samples for the presence of respiratory diseases. This robust instrument, called FluIDx, performs autonomous multiplexed RT-PCR reactions that are analyzed by microsphere xMAP technology. We evaluated the performance of FluIDx, in comparison rapid tests specific for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, in a clinical study performed at the UC Davis Medical Center. The clinical study included samples positive for RSV (n = 71), influenza A (n = 16), influenza B (n = 4), adenovirus (n = 5), parainfluenza virus (n = 2), and 44 negative samples, according to a composite reference method. FluIDx and the rapid tests detected 85.9% and 62.0% of the RSV positive samples, respectively. Similar sensitivities were recorded for the influenza B samples; whereas the influenza A samples were poorly detected, likely due to the utilization of an influenza A signature that did not accurately match currently circulating influenza A strains. Data for all pathogens were compiled and indicate that FluIDx is more sensitive than the rapid tests, detecting 74.2% (95% C.I. of 64.7-81.9%) of the positive samples in comparison to 53.6% (95% C.I. of 43.7-63.2%) for the rapid tests. The higher sensitivity of FluIDx was partially offset by a lower specificity, 77.3% versus 100.0%. Overall, these data suggest automated flow-through PCR-based instruments that perform multiplexed assays can successfully screen clinical samples for infectious diseases.

  13. Linear combinations of biomarkers to improve diagnostic accuracy with three ordinal diagnostic categories

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Le; Xiong, Chengjie; Crane, Paul; Tian, Lili

    2015-01-01

    Many researchers have addressed the problem of finding the optimal linear combination of biomarkers to maximize the area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for scenarios with binary disease status. In practice, many disease processes such as Alzheimer can be naturally classified into three diagnostic categories such as normal, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and for such diseases the volume under the ROC surface (VUS) is the most commonly used index of diagnostic accuracy. In this article, we propose a few parametric and nonparametric approaches to address the problem of finding the optimal linear combination to maximize the VUS. We carried out simulation studies to investigate the performance of the proposed methods. We apply all of the investigated approaches to a real data set from a cohort study in early stage AD. PMID:22865796

  14. Versatile microscale screening platform for improving recombinant protein productivity in Chinese hamster ovary cells

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Henning Gram; Nilsson, Claes Nymand; Lund, Anne Mathilde; Kol, Stefan; Grav, Lise Marie; Lundqvist, Magnus; Rockberg, Johan; Lee, Gyun Min; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam; Kildegaard, Helene Faustrup

    2015-01-01

    Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are widely used as cell factories for the production of biopharmaceuticals. In contrast to the highly optimized production processes for monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based biopharmaceuticals, improving productivity of non-mAb therapeutic glycoproteins is more likely to reduce production costs significantly. The aim of this study was to establish a versatile target gene screening platform for improving productivity for primarily non-mAb glycoproteins with complete interchangeability of model proteins and target genes using transient expression. The platform consists of four techniques compatible with 96-well microplates: lipid-based transient transfection, cell cultivation in microplates, cell counting and antibody-independent product titer determination based on split-GFP complementation. We were able to demonstrate growth profiles and volumetric productivity of CHO cells in 96-half-deepwell microplates comparable with those obtained in shake flasks. In addition, we demonstrate that split-GFP complementation can be used to accurately measure relative titers of therapeutic glycoproteins. Using this platform, we were able to detect target gene-specific increase in titer and specific productivity of two non-mAb glycoproteins. In conclusion, the platform provides a novel miniaturized and parallelisable solution for screening target genes and holds the potential to unravel genes that can enhance the secretory capacity of CHO cells. PMID:26657798

  15. An improved modal strain energy method for damage detection in offshore platform structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yingchao; Wang, Shuqing; Zhang, Min; Zheng, Chunmei

    2016-06-01

    The development of robust damage detection methods for offshore structures is crucial to prevent catastrophes caused by structural failures. In this research, we developed an Improved Modal Strain Energy (IMSE) method for detecting damage in offshore platform structures based on a traditional modal strain energy method (the Stubbs index method). The most significant difference from the Stubbs index method was the application of modal frequencies. The goal was to improve the robustness of the traditional method. To demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of the proposed IMSE method, both numerical and experimental studies were conducted for different damage scenarios using a jacket platform structure. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the IMSE method in damage location when only limited, spatially incomplete, and noise-polluted modal data is available. Comparative studies showed that the IMSE index outperformed the Stubbs index and exhibited stronger robustness, confirming the superiority of the proposed approach.

  16. Improved design of the omnidirectional robotic platform for enhancement of manufacturability and commercialability

    SciTech Connect

    Pin, F.G.

    1997-09-01

    The purpose of this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Nomadic Technologies, Inc., has been to produce an improved design of the Omnidirectional Holonomic Platform (OHP) that is easier to manufacture and more suitable for commercialization. The OHP technology was developed by the ORNL. In 1993, it received an R&D-100 award and in 1994, a patent was accepted by the U.S. Patent Office in final form (No. 5,374,879). The technology involves a novel wheel system assembly which, through its corresponding control system, can provide rolling platforms with a full omnidirectional motion capability, including simultaneous and independently controlled rotational and translational degrees-of-freedom. The objective of this project has been to pair ORNL`s knowledge of the OHP technology and Nomadic Technologies, Inc.`s experience in manufacturing and market-oriented robotic product development to produce and test an improved design of the OHP.

  17. An improved modal strain energy method for damage detection in offshore platform structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yingchao; Wang, Shuqing; Zhang, Min; Zheng, Chunmei

    2016-04-01

    The development of robust damage detection methods for offshore structures is crucial to prevent catastrophes caused by structural failures. In this research, we developed an Improved Modal Strain Energy (IMSE) method for detecting damage in offshore platform structures based on a traditional modal strain energy method (the Stubbs index method). The most significant difference from the Stubbs index method was the application of modal frequencies. The goal was to improve the robustness of the traditional method. To demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of the proposed IMSE method, both numerical and experimental studies were conducted for different damage scenarios using a jacket platform structure. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the IMSE method in damage location when only limited, spatially incomplete, and noise-polluted modal data is available. Comparative studies showed that the IMSE index outperformed the Stubbs index and exhibited stronger robustness, confirming the superiority of the proposed approach.

  18. A study of a self diagnostic platform for the detection of A2 biomarker for Leishmania donovani

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roche, Philip J. R.; Cheung, Maurice C.; Najih, Mohamed; McCall, Laura-Isobel; Fakih, Ibrahim; Chodavarapu, Vamsy P.; Ward, Brian; Ndao, Momar; Kirk, Andrew G.

    2012-03-01

    Visceral leishmaniasis (L.donovani) is a protozoan infection that attacks mononuclear phagocytes and causes the liver and spleen damage that can cause death. The investigation presented is a proof of concept development applying a plasmonic diagnostic platform with simple microfluidic sample delivery and optical readout. An immune-assay method is applied to the quantification of A2 protein, a highly immunogenic biomarker for the pathogen. Quantification of A2 was performed in the ng/ml range, analysis by ELISA suggested that a limit of 0.1ng/ml of A2 is approximate to 1 pathogen per ml and the sensing system shows the potential to deliver a similar level of quantification. Significant reduction in assay complexity as further enzyme linked enhancement is not required when applying a plasmonic methodology to an immunoassay. The basic instrumentation required for a portable device and potential dual optical readout where both plasmonic and photoluminescent response are assessed and investigated including consideration of the application of the device to testing where non-literate communication of results is considered and issues of performance are addressed.

  19. Improvement of the edge rotation diagnostic spectrum analysis via simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, J.; Zhuang, G. Cheng, Z. F.; Zhang, X. L.; Hou, S. Y.; Cheng, C.

    2014-11-15

    The edge rotation diagnostic (ERD) system has been developed on the Joint Texas Experimental Tokamak to measure the edge toroidal rotation velocity by observing the shifted wavelength of carbon V (C V 227.09 nm). Since the measured spectrum is an integrated result along the viewing line from the plasma core to the edge, a method via simulation has been developed to analyze the ERD spectrum. With the necessary parameters such as C V radiation profile and the ion temperature profile, a local rotation profile at the normalized minor radius of 0.5-1 is obtained.

  20. Improvement of the edge rotation diagnostic spectrum analysis via simulation.

    PubMed

    Luo, J; Zhuang, G; Cheng, Z F; Zhang, X L; Hou, S Y; Cheng, C

    2014-11-01

    The edge rotation diagnostic (ERD) system has been developed on the Joint Texas Experimental Tokamak to measure the edge toroidal rotation velocity by observing the shifted wavelength of carbon V (C V 227.09 nm). Since the measured spectrum is an integrated result along the viewing line from the plasma core to the edge, a method via simulation has been developed to analyze the ERD spectrum. With the necessary parameters such as C V radiation profile and the ion temperature profile, a local rotation profile at the normalized minor radius of 0.5-1 is obtained. PMID:25430334

  1. Adaptive optics for improved retinal surgery and diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    Humayun, M S; Sadda, S R; Thompson, C A; Olivier, S S; Kartz, M W

    2000-08-21

    It is now possible to field a compact adaptive optics (AO) system on a surgical microscope for use in retinal diagnostics and surgery. Recent developments in integrated circuit technology and optical photonics have led to the capability of building an AO system that is compact and significantly less expensive than traditional AO systems. It is foreseen that such an AO system can be integrated into a surgical microscope while maintaining a package size of a lunchbox. A prototype device can be developed in a manner that lends itself well to large-scale manufacturing.

  2. Improvement of the edge rotation diagnostic spectrum analysis via simulationa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, J.; Zhuang, G.; Cheng, Z. F.; Zhang, X. L.; Hou, S. Y.; Cheng, C.

    2014-11-01

    The edge rotation diagnostic (ERD) system has been developed on the Joint Texas Experimental Tokamak to measure the edge toroidal rotation velocity by observing the shifted wavelength of carbon V (C V 227.09 nm). Since the measured spectrum is an integrated result along the viewing line from the plasma core to the edge, a method via simulation has been developed to analyze the ERD spectrum. With the necessary parameters such as C V radiation profile and the ion temperature profile, a local rotation profile at the normalized minor radius of 0.5-1 is obtained.

  3. Online Monitoring To Enable Improved Diagnostics, Prognostics and Maintenance

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, Leonard J.

    2011-08-31

    Only time will tell what the implications of the Fukushima incident will be. Discussions are on-going with regard to continued operation and life extension of the existing fleet, new build, and the wider policy issues including technologies needed to address spent fuel storage and ensure energy security, and the related desires to provide sustainable energy systems while at the same time limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The science base for advanced diagnostics and prognostics to support its use in nuclear power plants (NPPs) for active components (pumps, valves etc) has been demonstrated. A challenge is enabling adaption of these technologies for NPP deployment and the validation of the data from these technologies. Advanced diagnostics, monitoring and prognostics applied to passive structures, which in the USA context of longer term operation is up to 80 years, are being researched. Early laboratory work is demonstrating the potential for these methods, although technical challenges remain. It can be expected that there will be an increased need for and use of on-line monitoring for a wide range of both active and passive systems in all types of nuclear power plants.

  4. Improving molecular diagnosis in epilepsy by a dedicated high-throughput sequencing platform

    PubMed Central

    Mina, Erika Della; Ciccone, Roberto; Brustia, Francesca; Bayindir, Baran; Limongelli, Ivan; Vetro, Annalisa; Iascone, Maria; Pezzoli, Laura; Bellazzi, Riccardo; Perotti, Gianfranco; De Giorgis, Valentina; Lunghi, Simona; Coppola, Giangennaro; Orcesi, Simona; Merli, Pietro; Savasta, Salvatore; Veggiotti, Pierangelo; Zuffardi, Orsetta

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) 67 epilepsy genes in 19 patients with different types of either isolated or syndromic epileptic disorders and in 15 controls to investigate whether a quick and cheap molecular diagnosis could be provided. The average number of nonsynonymous and splice site mutations per subject was similar in the two cohorts indicating that, even with relatively small targeted platforms, finding the disease gene is not an univocal process. Our diagnostic yield was 47% with nine cases in which we identified a very likely causative mutation. In most of them no interpretation would have been possible in absence of detailed phenotype and familial information. Seven out of 19 patients had a phenotype suggesting the involvement of a specific gene. Disease-causing mutations were found in six of these cases. Among the remaining patients, we could find a probably causative mutation only in three. None of the genes affected in the latter cases had been suspected a priori. Our protocol requires 8–10 weeks including the investigation of the parents with a cost per patient comparable to sequencing of 1–2 medium-to-large-sized genes by conventional techniques. The platform we used, although providing much less information than whole-exome or whole-genome sequencing, has the advantage that can also be run on ‘benchtop' sequencers combining rapid turnaround times with higher manageability. PMID:24848745

  5. Improving molecular diagnosis in epilepsy by a dedicated high-throughput sequencing platform.

    PubMed

    Della Mina, Erika; Ciccone, Roberto; Brustia, Francesca; Bayindir, Baran; Limongelli, Ivan; Vetro, Annalisa; Iascone, Maria; Pezzoli, Laura; Bellazzi, Riccardo; Perotti, Gianfranco; De Giorgis, Valentina; Lunghi, Simona; Coppola, Giangennaro; Orcesi, Simona; Merli, Pietro; Savasta, Salvatore; Veggiotti, Pierangelo; Zuffardi, Orsetta

    2015-03-01

    We analyzed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) 67 epilepsy genes in 19 patients with different types of either isolated or syndromic epileptic disorders and in 15 controls to investigate whether a quick and cheap molecular diagnosis could be provided. The average number of nonsynonymous and splice site mutations per subject was similar in the two cohorts indicating that, even with relatively small targeted platforms, finding the disease gene is not an univocal process. Our diagnostic yield was 47% with nine cases in which we identified a very likely causative mutation. In most of them no interpretation would have been possible in absence of detailed phenotype and familial information. Seven out of 19 patients had a phenotype suggesting the involvement of a specific gene. Disease-causing mutations were found in six of these cases. Among the remaining patients, we could find a probably causative mutation only in three. None of the genes affected in the latter cases had been suspected a priori. Our protocol requires 8-10 weeks including the investigation of the parents with a cost per patient comparable to sequencing of 1-2 medium-to-large-sized genes by conventional techniques. The platform we used, although providing much less information than whole-exome or whole-genome sequencing, has the advantage that can also be run on 'benchtop' sequencers combining rapid turnaround times with higher manageability. PMID:24848745

  6. Ages of celiac disease: From changing environment to improved diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Tommasini, Alberto; Not, Tarcisio; Ventura, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    From the time of Gee’s landmark writings, the recent history of celiac disease (CD) can be divided into many ages, each driven by a diagnostic advance and a deeper knowledge of disease pathogenesis. At the same time, these advances were paralleled by the identification of new clinical patterns associated with CD and by a continuous redefinition of the prevalence of the disease in population. In the beginning, CD was considered a chronic indigestion, even if the causative food was not known; later, the disease was proven to depend on an intolerance to wheat gliadin, leading to typical mucosal changes in the gut and to a malabsorption syndrome. This knowledge led to curing the disease with a gluten-free diet. After the identification of antibodies to gluten (AGA) in the serum of patients and the identification of gluten-specific lymphocytes in the mucosa, CD was described as an immune disorder, resembling a chronic “gluten infection”. The use of serological testing for AGA allowed identification of the higher prevalence of this disorder, revealing atypical patterns of presentation. More recently, the characterization of autoantibodies to endomysium and to transglutaminase shifted the attention to a complex autoimmune pathogenesis and to the increased risk of developing autoimmune disorders in untreated CD. New diagnostic assays, based on molecular technologies, will introduce new changes, with the promise of better defining the spectrum of gluten reactivity and the real burden of gluten related-disorders in the population. Herein, we describe the different periods of CD experience, and further developments for the next celiac age will be proposed. PMID:21990947

  7. Selecting Reliable mRNA Expression Measurements Across Platforms Improves Downstream Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Pan; Diao, Lixia; Shen, Li; Li, Lerong; Heymach, John Victor; Girard, Luc; Minna, John D.; Coombes, Kevin R.; Byers, Lauren Averett; Wang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    With increasing use of publicly available gene expression data sets, the quality of the expression data is a critical issue for downstream analysis, gene signature development, and cross-validation of data sets. Thus, identifying reliable expression measurements by leveraging multiple mRNA expression platforms is an important analytical task. In this study, we propose a statistical framework for selecting reliable measurements between platforms by modeling the correlations of mRNA expression levels using a beta-mixture model. The model-based selection provides an effective and objective way to separate good probes from probes with low quality, thereby improving the efficiency and accuracy of the analysis. The proposed method can be used to compare two microarray technologies or microarray and RNA sequencing measurements. We tested the approach in two matched profiling data sets, using microarray gene expression measurements from the same samples profiled on both Affymetrix and Illumina platforms. We also applied the algorithm to mRNA expression data to compare Affymetrix microarray data with RNA sequencing measurements. The algorithm successfully identified probes/genes with reliable measurements. Removing the unreliable measurements resulted in significant improvements for gene signature development and functional annotations. PMID:27199546

  8. Vibration control of platform structures with magnetorheological elastomer isolators based on an improved SAVS law

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhao-Dong; Suo, Si; Lu, Yong

    2016-06-01

    This paper presents a study on the vibration control of platform structures with magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) isolators. Firstly, a novel MRE isolator design is put forward based on the mechanical properties of MREs, and subsequently a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) dynamic model and a multiple-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) dynamic model for platform systems incorporating such isolators are developed. In order to overcome the shortcomings of the conventional on–off control law, an improved semi-active variable stiffness (SAVS) control law is proposed. The proposed SAVS scheme makes full use of the continuously variable stiffness of MREs, and it takes into account the influence of the sampling interval such that the field-dependent restoring force is made to do negative work during the whole sampling interval as far as possible. The results of numerical simulations demonstrate that the improved SAVS control law can achieve better vibration-control effectiveness than the on–off control law. The comparative results are discussed through examining the mechanisms of these two control laws in light of the power spectral density and the energy input. For an MDOF platform a simplified approach is proposed to combine the local response signals with an equivalent SDOF representation to generate the control parameters for individual isolators, and the effectiveness of such a scheme is also verified through numerical simulation.

  9. An improved molecular diagnostic assay for canine and feline dermatophytosis.

    PubMed

    Cafarchia, Claudia; Gasser, Robin B; Figueredo, Luciana A; Weigl, Stefania; Danesi, Patrizia; Capelli, Gioia; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-02-01

    The few studies attempting to specifically characterize dermatophytes from hair samples of dogs and cats using PCR-based methodology relied on sequence-based analysis of selected genetic markers. The aim of the present investigation was to establish and evaluate a PCR-based approach employing genetic markers of nuclear DNA for the specific detection of dermatophytes on such specimens. Using 183 hair samples, we directly compared the test results of our one-step and nested-PCR assays with those based on conventional microscopy and in vitro culture techniques (using the latter as the reference method). The one step-PCR was highly accurate (AUC > 90) for the testing of samples from dogs, but only moderately accurate (AUC = 78.6) for cats. A nested-PCR was accurate (AUC = 93.6) for samples from cats, and achieved higher specificity (94.1 and 94.4%) and sensitivity (100 and 94.9%) for samples from dogs and cats, respectively. In addition, the nested-PCR allowed the differentiation of Microsporum canis from Trichophyton interdigitale (zoophilic) and geophilic dermatophytes (i.e., Microsporum gypseum or Trichophyton terrestre), which was not possible using the one step-assay. The PCRs evaluated here provide practical tools for diagnostic applications to support clinicians in initiating prompt and targeted chemotherapy of dermatophytoses. PMID:22686247

  10. BREAST: a novel method to improve the diagnostic efficacy of mammography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brennan, P. C.; Tapia, K.; Ryan, J.; Lee, W.

    2013-03-01

    High quality breast imaging and accurate image assessment are critical to the early diagnoses, treatment and management of women with breast cancer. Breast Screen Reader Assessment Strategy (BREAST) provides a platform, accessible by researchers and clinicians world-wide, which will contain image data bases, algorithms to assess reader performance and on-line systems for image evaluation. The platform will contribute to the diagnostic efficacy of breast imaging in Australia and beyond on two fronts: reducing errors in mammography, and transforming our assessment of novel technologies and techniques. Mammography is the primary diagnostic tool for detecting breast cancer with over 800,000 women X-rayed each year in Australia, however, it fails to detect 30% of breast cancers with a number of missed cancers being visible on the image [1-6]. BREAST will monitor the mistakes, identify reasons for mammographic errors, and facilitate innovative solutions to reduce error rates. The BREAST platform has the potential to enable expert assessment of breast imaging innovations, anywhere in the world where experts or innovations are located. Currently, innovations are often being assessed by limited numbers of individuals who happen to be geographically located close to the innovation, resulting in equivocal studies with low statistical power. BREAST will transform this current paradigm by enabling large numbers of experts to assess any new method or technology using our embedded evaluation methods. We are confident that this world-first system will play an important part in the future efficacy of breast imaging.

  11. Application of modern diagnostic methods to environmental improvement. Annual progress report, October 1994--September 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Shepard, W.S.

    1995-12-01

    The Diagnostic Instrumentation and Analysis Laboratory (DIAL), an interdisciplinary research department in the College of Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU), is under contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and apply advanced diagnostic instrumentation and analysis techniques to aid in solving DOE`s nuclear waste problem. The program is a comprehensive effort which includes five focus areas: advanced diagnostic systems; development/application; torch operation and test facilities; process development; on-site field measurement and analysis; technology transfer/commercialization. As part of this program, diagnostic methods will be developed and evaluated for characterization, monitoring and process control. Also, the measured parameters, will be employed to improve, optimize and control the operation of the plasma torch and the overall plasma treatment process. Moreover, on-site field measurements at various DOE facilities are carried out to aid in the rapid demonstration and implementation of modern fieldable diagnostic methods. Such efforts also provide a basis for technology transfer.

  12. The effect of physical parameters of inertial stabilization platform on disturbance rejection ability and its improvement method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Yao; Deng, Chao; Gan, Xun; Tian, Jing

    2015-10-01

    The development of space optical communication requires arcsecond precision or even higher precision of the tracking performance of ATP(Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing) system under the condition of base disturbance. ATP system supported by stabilized reference beam which is provided by inertial stabilization platform with high precision and high bandwidth, can effectively restrain the influence of base angular disturbance on the line of sight. To get better disturbance rejection ability, this paper analyzes the influence of transfer characteristics and physical parameters of stabilization platform on disturbance stabilization performance, the result shows that the stabilization characteristics of inertial stabilization platform equals to the product of rejection characteristics of control loop and disturbance transfer characteristics of the platform, and improving isolation characteristics of the platform or extending control bandwidth can both achieve the result of getting a better rejection ability. Limited by factors such as mechanical characteristics of stabilization platform, bandwidth/noise of the sensor, and so on, as the control bandwidth of the LOS stabilization platform is limited, and high frequency disturbance can not be effectively rejected, so the rejection of high frequency disturbance mainly depends on the isolation characteristics of the platform itself. This paper puts forward three methods of improving the isolation characteristics of the platform itself, which includes 1) changing mechanical structure, such as reducing elastic coefficient, increasing moment of inertia of the platform, and so on; 2) changing electrical structure of the platform, such as increasing resistance, adding current loop, and so on; 3)adding a passive vibration isolator between the inertial stabilization platform and the base. The result of the experiment shows that adding current loop or adding a passive vibration isolator can effectively reject high frequency

  13. A new tool improves diagnostic test performance for transmission em evaluation of axonemal dynein arms.

    PubMed

    Funkhouser, W Keith; Niethammer, Marc; Carson, Johnny L; Burns, Kimberlie A; Knowles, Michael R; Leigh, Margaret W; Zariwala, Maimoona A; Funkhouser, William K

    2014-08-01

    Abstract Diagnosis of primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) by identification of dynein arm loss in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images can be confounded by high background noise due to random electron-dense material within the ciliary matrix, leading to diagnostic uncertainty even for experienced morphologists. The authors developed a novel image analysis tool to average the axonemal peripheral microtubular doublets, thereby increasing microtubular signal and reducing random background noise. In a randomized, double-blinded study that compared two experienced morphologists and three different diagnostic approaches, they found that use of this tool led to improvement in diagnostic TEM test performance. PMID:23957500

  14. Online Monitoring to Enable Improved Diagnostics, Prognostics and Maintenance

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, Leonard J.

    2011-02-01

    For both existing and new plant designs there are increasing opportunities and needs for the application of advanced online surveillance, diagnostic and prognostic techniques. These methods can continuously monitor and assess the health of nuclear power plant systems and components. The added effectiveness of such programs has the potential to enable holistic plant management, and minimize exposure to future and unknown risks. The 'NDE & On-line Monitoring' activities within the Advanced Instrumentation, Information and Control Systems (II&CS) Pathway are developing R&D to establish advanced condition monitoring and prognostics technologies to understand and predict future phenomena, derived from plant aging in systems, structures, and components (SSC). This research includes utilization of the enhanced functionality and system condition awareness that becomes available through the application of digital technologies at existing nuclear power plants for online monitoring and prognostics. The current state-of-the-art for on-line monitoring applied to active components (eg pumps, valves, motors) and passive structure (eg core internals, primary piping, pressure vessel, concrete, cables, buried pipes) is being reviewed. This includes looking at the current deployment of systems that monitor reactor noise, acoustic signals and vibration in various forms, leak monitoring, and now increasingly condition-based maintenance (CBM) for active components. The NDE and on-line monitoring projects are designed to look beyond locally monitored CBM. Current trends include centralized plant monitoring of SSC, potential fleet-based CBM and technology that will enable operation and maintenance to be performed with limited on-site staff. Attention is also moving to systems that use online monitoring to permit longer term operation (LTO), including a prognostic or predictive element that estimates a remaining useful life (RUL). Many, if not all, active components (pumps, valves, motors

  15. Formal Art Observation Training Improves Medical Students’ Visual Diagnostic Skills

    PubMed Central

    Naghshineh, Sheila; Hafler, Janet P.; Miller, Alexa R.; Blanco, Maria A.; Lipsitz, Stuart R.; Dubroff, Rachel P.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2008-01-01

    Background Despite evidence of inadequate physical examination skills among medical students, teaching these skills has declined. One method of enhancing inspection skills is teaching “visual literacy,” the ability to reason physiology and pathophysiology from careful and unbiased observation. Objective To improve students’ visual acumen through structured observation of artworks, understanding of fine arts concepts and applying these skills to patient care. Design Prospective, partially randomized pre- vs. post-course evaluation using mixed-methods data analysis. Participants Twenty-four pre-clinical student participants were compared to 34 classmates at a similar stage of training. Intervention Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis consists of eight paired sessions of art observation exercises with didactics that integrate fine arts concepts with physical diagnosis topics and an elective life drawing session. Measurements The frequency of accurate observations on a 1-h visual skills examination was used to evaluate pre- vs. post-course descriptions of patient photographs and art imagery. Content analysis was used to identify thematic categories. All assessments were blinded to study group and pre- vs. post-course evaluation. Results Following the course, class participants increased their total mean number of observations compared to controls (5.41 ± 0.63 vs. 0.36 ± 0.53, p < 0.0001) and had increased sophistication in their descriptions of artistic and clinical imagery. A ‘dose-response’ was found for those who attended eight or more sessions, compared to participants who attended seven or fewer sessions (6.31 + 0.81 and 2.76 + 1.2, respectively, p = 0.03). Conclusions This interdisciplinary course improved participants’ capacity to make accurate observations of art and physical findings. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0667-0) contains

  16. Self-emulsifying excipient platform for improving technological properties of alginate-hydroxypropylcellulose pellets.

    PubMed

    Mannina, Paolo; Segale, Lorena; Giovannelli, Lorella; Bonda, Andrea Foglio; Pattarino, Franco

    2016-02-29

    In this work, alginate, alginate-pectin and alginate-hydroxypropylcellulose pellets were produced by ionotropic gelation and characterized. Ibuprofen was selected as model drug; it was suspended in the polymeric solution in crystalline form or dissolved in a self-emulsifying phase and then dispersed into the polymeric solution. The self-emulsifying excipient platform composed of Labrasol (PEG-8 caprylic/capric glycerides) and d-α-tocopherol polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS), able to solubilize the drug was used to improve the technological and biopharmaceutical properties of the alginate pellets. The pellets had diameters between 1317 and 2026 μm and a high drug content (>51%). DSC analysis showed the amorphous state of drug in the pellets containing the self-emulsifying phase. All the systems restricted drug release in conditions simulating the gastric environment and made the drug completely available at a pH value typical for the intestine. Only alginate-HPC systems containing the drug solubilized into the self-emulsifying phase showed the ability to partially control the release of ibuprofen at neutral pH. The self-emulsifying excipient platform is a useful tool to improve technological and biopharmaceutical properties of alginate-HPC pellets. PMID:26721727

  17. Improving Building Energy Simulation Programs Through Diagnostic Testing (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-02-01

    New test procedure evaluates quality and accuracy of energy analysis tools for the residential building retrofit market. Reducing the energy use of existing homes in the United States offers significant energy-saving opportunities, which can be identified through building simulation software tools that calculate optimal packages of efficiency measures. To improve the accuracy of energy analysis for residential buildings, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Buildings Research team developed the Building Energy Simulation Test for Existing Homes (BESTEST-EX), a method for diagnosing and correcting errors in building energy audit software and calibration procedures. BESTEST-EX consists of building physics and utility bill calibration test cases, which software developers can use to compare their tools simulation findings to reference results generated with state-of-the-art simulation tools. Overall, the BESTEST-EX methodology: (1) Tests software predictions of retrofit energy savings in existing homes; (2) Ensures building physics calculations and utility bill calibration procedures perform to a minimum standard; and (3) Quantifies impacts of uncertainties in input audit data and occupant behavior. BESTEST-EX is helping software developers identify and correct bugs in their software, as well as develop and test utility bill calibration procedures.

  18. From sample-to-answer: integrated genotyping and immunological analysis microfluidic platforms for the diagnostic and treatment of coeliac disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, M.; Höth, J.; Erwes, J.; Latta, D.; Strobach, X.; Hansen-Hagge, T.; Klemm, R.; Gärtner, C.; Demiris, T. M.; O'Sullivan, C.; Ritzi-Lehnert, M.; Drese, K. S.

    2011-02-01

    Taking advantage of microfluidics technology, a Lab-on-Chip system was developed offering the possibility of performing HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) typing to test genetic predisposition to coeliac disease and measure the level of immunodeficiency at the point-of-care. These analysis procedures are implemented on two different microfluidic cartridges, both having identical interfacial connections to the identical automated instrument. In order to assess the concentration of the targeted analytes in human blood, finger prick samples are processed to either extract genomic DNA carrying the coeliac disease gene or blood plasma containing the disease specific antibodies. We present here the different microfluidic modules integrated in a common platform, capable of automated sample preparation and analyte detection. In summary, this new microfluidic approach will dramatically reduce the costs of materials (polymer for the disposable chips and minute amount of bio-reagents) and minimize the time for analysis down to less than 20 minutes. In comparison to the state of the art detection of coeliac disease this work represents a tremendous improvement for the patient's quality of live and will significantly reduce the cost burden on the health care system.

  19. Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Improving Maternal Health in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mashamba-Thompson, Tivani P; Sartorius, Benn; Drain, Paul K

    2016-01-01

    Improving maternal health is a global priority, particularly in high HIV-endemic, resource-limited settings. Failure to use health care facilities due to poor access is one of the main causes of maternal deaths in South Africa. "Point-of-care" (POC) diagnostics are an innovative healthcare approach to improve healthcare access and health outcomes in remote and resource-limited settings. In this review, POC testing is defined as a diagnostic test that is carried out near patients and leads to rapid clinical decisions. We review the current and emerging POC diagnostics for maternal health, with a specific focus on the World Health Organization (WHO) quality-ASSURED (Affordability, Sensitivity, Specificity, User friendly, Rapid and robust, Equipment free and Delivered) criteria for an ideal point-of-care test in resource-limited settings. The performance of POC diagnostics, barriers and challenges related to implementing POC diagnostics for maternal health in rural and resource-limited settings are reviewed. Innovative strategies for overcoming these barriers are recommended to achieve substantial progress on improving maternal health outcomes in these settings. PMID:27589808

  20. Integrated, DC voltage-driven nucleic acid diagnostic platform for real sample analysis: Detection of oral cancer.

    PubMed

    Slouka, Zdenek; Senapati, Satyajyoti; Shah, Sunny; Lawler, Robin; Shi, Zonggao; Stack, M Sharon; Chang, Hsueh-Chia

    2015-12-01

    We present an integrated and low-cost microfluidic platform capable of extraction of nucleic acids from real biological samples. We demonstrate the application of this platform in pathogen detection and cancer screening. The integrated platform consists of three units including a pretreatment unit for separation of nucleic acids from lysates, a preconcentration unit for concentration of isolated nucleic acids and a sensing unit localized at a designated position on the chip for specific detection of the target nucleic acid. The platform is based on various electrokinetic phenomena exhibited by ion exchange membranes in a DC electrical field that allow them to serve as molecular filters, analyte preconcentrators and sensors. In this manuscript, we describe each unit of the integrated chip separately and show specific detection of a microRNA (miRNA 146a) biomarker associated with oral cancer as a proof-of-concept experiment. This platform technology can easily be extended to other targets of interest by optimizing the properties of the ion exchange membranes and the specific probes functionalized onto the sensors. PMID:26459441

  1. A vibroacoustic diagnostic system as an element improving road transport safety.

    PubMed

    Komorska, Iwona

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical defects of a vehicle driving system can be dangerous on the road. Diagnostic systems, which monitor operations of electric and electronic elements and devices of vehicles, are continuously developed and improved, while defects of mechanical systems are still not managed properly. This article proposes supplementing existing on-board diagnostics with a system of diagnosing selected defects to minimize their impact. It presents a method of diagnosing mechanical defects of the engine, gearbox and other elements of the driving system on the basis of a model of the vibration signal obtained adaptively. This method is suitable for engine valves, engine head gasket, main gearbox, joints, etc. PMID:24034880

  2. Understanding latent tuberculosis: the key to improved diagnostic and novel treatment strategies

    PubMed Central

    Esmail, Hanif; Barry, Clifton E; Wilkinson, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    Treatment of latent tuberculosis (LTBI) is a vital component of tuberculosis elimination but is not efficiently implemented with available diagnostics and therapeutics. The tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assays can inform that infection has occurred but do not prove that it persists. Treatment of LTBI with isoniazid targets actively replicating bacilli but not non-replicating populations, prolonging treatment duration. Developing more predictive diagnostic tests and treatments of shorter duration requires a greater understanding of the biology of latent tuberculosis, from both host and bacillary perspectives. In this article we discuss the basis of current diagnosis and treatment of LTBI and review recent developments in understanding the biology of latency that may enable future improved diagnostic and treatment strategies. PMID:22198298

  3. A new, improved and generalizable approach for the analysis of biological data generated by -omic platforms.

    PubMed

    Pleasants, A B; Wake, G C; Shorten, P R; Hassell-Sweatman, C Z W; McLean, C A; Holbrook, J D; Gluckman, P D; Sheppard, A M

    2015-02-01

    The principles embodied by the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) view of 'life history' trajectory are increasingly underpinned by biological data arising from molecular-based epigenomic and transcriptomic studies. Although a number of 'omic' platforms are now routinely and widely used in biology and medicine, data generation is frequently confounded by a frequency distribution in the measurement error (an inherent feature of the chemistry and physics of the measurement process), which adversely affect the accuracy of estimation and thus, the inference of relationships to other biological measures such as phenotype. Based on empirical derived data, we have previously derived a probability density function to capture such errors and thus improve the confidence of estimation and inference based on such data. Here we use published open source data sets to calculate parameter values relevant to the most widely used epigenomic and transcriptomic technologies Then by using our own data sets, we illustrate the benefits of this approach by specific application, to measurement of DNA methylation in this instance, in cases where levels of methylation at specific genomic sites represents either (1) a response variable or (2) an independent variable. Further, we extend this formulation to consideration of the 'bivariate' case, in which the co-dependency of methylation levels at two distinct genomic sites is tested for biological significance. These tools not only allow greater accuracy of measurement and improved confidence of functional inference, but in the case of epigenomic data at least, also reveal otherwise cryptic information. PMID:25335490

  4. Ni(II)NTA AuNPs as a low-resource malarial diagnostic platform for the rapid colorimetric detection of Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein-2.

    PubMed

    Gulka, Christopher P; Swartz, Joshua D; Wright, David W

    2015-04-01

    Diagnosing infectious diseases remains a challenge in the developing world where there is a lack of dependable electricity, running water, and skilled technicians. Although rapid immunochromatographic tests (RDTs) have been deployed to diagnose diseases such as malaria, the extreme climate conditions encountered in these regions compounded with the discrepancies in test manufacturing have yielded varying results, so that more innovative and robust technologies are sought. Devoid of antibodies and thermally sensitive materials, we present a robust, colorimetric diagnostic platform for the detection of a malarial biomarker, Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 (PfHRP-II). The assay exploits the optical properties of gold nanoparticles, covalently coupling them to a Ni(II)NTA recognition element specific for PfHRP-II. In the presence of the recombinant malarial biomarker (rcHRP-II), the Ni(II)NTA AuNPs begin to crosslink and aggregate in as little as one minute, triggering a red-to-purple color change in solution. To increase assay sensitivity and platform stability suitable for low-resource regions, the Ni(II)NTA AuNPs were assembled with varying spacer ligands in a mixed monolayer presentation. When assembled with a negatively charged Peg4-thiol ligand, the Ni(II)NTA AuNPs demonstrate low nanomolar limits of rcHRP-II detection in physiological concentrations of human serum albumin and maintain excellent stability at 37°C when stored for four weeks. Detection of the malaria biomarker is also measured by capturing and processing images of aggregated gold nanoparticles with a smartphone camera. By utilizing a smartphone camera and image processing application, there is no significant difference in assay sensitivity and rcHRP-II limit of detection in comparison to a spectrophotometer, further making this diagnostic platform applicable for use in low-resource regions. PMID:25640131

  5. Automation Improvements for Synchrotron Based Small Angle Scattering Using an Inexpensive Robotics Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quintana, John P.

    2010-06-01

    This paper reports on the progress toward creating semi-autonomous motion control platforms for beamline applications using the iRobot Create® platform. The goal is to create beamline research instrumentation where the motion paths are based on the local environment rather than position commanded from a control system, have low integration costs and also be scalable and easily maintainable.

  6. Automation Improvements for Synchrotron Based Small Angle Scattering Using an Inexpensive Robotics Platform

    SciTech Connect

    Quintana, John P.

    2010-06-23

    This paper reports on the progress toward creating semi-autonomous motion control platforms for beamline applications using the iRobot Create registered platform. The goal is to create beamline research instrumentation where the motion paths are based on the local environment rather than position commanded from a control system, have low integration costs and also be scalable and easily maintainable.

  7. Improvement of Resilience to Disasters in Local Community Using Information Sharing Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayama, Toru; Suzuki, Yuji; Park, Wonho; Hayashi, Akira

    This paper presents a proposal for Disaster Information Sharing Platform, which enable local government and residents to share the disaster information, and to cope with the disaster under the proper balance of Self-help, Mutual-help and Public-help. Informagic, which has been developed as a concrete example of the information sharing platform, enable us to collect information from variety of sources, such as government, local government, research institutes, private contents providers and so forth, and to transmit these information to residents through multi-media, such as internet, mobile-phone network and wireless system. An experiment was conducted under the cooperation of City of Fujisawa, to investigate the effectiveness of such platform for the disaster mitigation. Further, the platform was utilized to provide information to refugees at refuges for the Iwate-Miyagi Inland Earthquake. Through these experiments, effectiveness and issues of the platform and information sharing were investigated.

  8. Microfluidic purification and concentration of malignant pleural effusions for improved molecular and cytomorphological diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Che, James; Mach, Albert J; Go, Derek E; Talati, Ish; Ying, Yong; Rao, Jianyu; Kulkarni, Rajan P; Di Carlo, Dino

    2013-01-01

    Evaluation of pleural fluids for metastatic cells is a key component of diagnostic cytopathology. However, a large background of smaller leukocytes and/or erythrocytes can make accurate diagnosis difficult and reduce specificity in identification of mutations of interest for targeted anti-cancer therapies. Here, we describe an automated microfluidic system (Centrifuge Chip) which employs microscale vortices for the size-based isolation and concentration of cancer cells and mesothelial cells from a background of blood cells. We are able to process non-diluted pleural fluids at 6 mL/min and enrich target cells significantly over the background; we achieved improved purity in all patient samples analyzed. The resulting isolated and viable cells are readily available for immunostaining, cytological analysis, and detection of gene mutations. To demonstrate the utility towards aiding companion diagnostics, we also show improved detection accuracy of KRAS gene mutations in lung cancer cells processed using the Centrifuge Chip, leading to an increase in the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic from 0.90 to 0.99. The Centrifuge Chip allows for rapid concentration and processing of large volumes of bodily fluid samples for improved cytological diagnosis and purification of cells of interest for genetic testing, which will be helpful for enhancing diagnostic accuracy. PMID:24205153

  9. Automating Data Abstraction in a Quality Improvement Platform for Surgical and Interventional Procedures

    PubMed Central

    Yetisgen, Meliha; Klassen, Prescott; Tarczy-Hornoch, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Objective: This paper describes a text processing system designed to automate the manual data abstraction process in a quality improvement (QI) program. The Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) is a clinician-led, statewide performance benchmarking QI platform for surgical and interventional procedures. The data elements abstracted as part of this program cover a wide range of clinical information from patient medical history to details of surgical interventions. Methods: Statistical and rule-based extractors were developed to automatically abstract data elements. A preprocessing pipeline was created to chunk free-text notes into its sections, sentences, and tokens. The information extracted in this preprocessing step was used by the statistical and rule-based extractors as features. Findings: Performance results for 25 extractors (14 statistical, 11 rule based) are presented. The average f1-scores for 11 rule-based extractors and 14 statistical extractors are 0.785 (min=0.576,max=0.931,std-dev=0.113) and 0.812 (min=0.571,max=0.993,std-dev=0.135) respectively. Discussion: Our error analysis revealed that most extraction errors were due either to data imbalance in the data set or the way the gold standard had been created. Conclusion: As future work, more experiments will be conducted with a more comprehensive data set from multiple institutions contributing to the QI project. PMID:25848598

  10. Application of modern diagnostic methods to environmental improvement. Annual progress report, January--October 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Shepard, W.S.

    1994-12-01

    The Diagnostic Instrumentation and Analysis Laboratory (DIAL), a research department in the College of Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU), is under contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and apply advanced diagnostic instrumentation and analysis techniques to real world processes; measurements are made in hot, highly corrosive atmospheres in which conventional measurement devices are ineffective. Task 1 of this agreement is concerned with the development and application of various diagnostic methods to characterize the plasma properties, the melt properties and the downstream emissions from a plasma torch facility designed to vitrify mixed waste. Correlation of the measured properties with the operating parameters of the torch will be sought to improve, optimize and control the overall operation of the plasma treatment process. As part of this program, diagnostic methods will be developed and evaluated for characterization, monitoring and control purposes of treatment processes in general. Task 2 of this agreement is concerned with the development of a system to monitor and control the combustion stoichiometry in real time in order to minimize environmental impact and maximize process efficiency. Staged fuel injection is also being studied to minimize NO{sub x} formation.

  11. Automated Quantification of Neuropad Improves Its Diagnostic Ability in Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Ponirakis, Georgios; Fadavi, Hassan; Petropoulos, Ioannis N; Azmi, Shazli; Ferdousi, Maryam; Dabbah, Mohammad A; Kheyami, Ahmad; Alam, Uazman; Asghar, Omar; Marshall, Andrew; Tavakoli, Mitra; Al-Ahmar, Ahmed; Javed, Saad; Jeziorska, Maria; Malik, Rayaz A

    2015-01-01

    Neuropad is currently a categorical visual screening test that identifies diabetic patients at risk of foot ulceration. The diagnostic performance of Neuropad was compared between the categorical and continuous (image-analysis (Sudometrics)) outputs to diagnose diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). 110 subjects with type 1 and 2 diabetes underwent assessment with Neuropad, Neuropathy Disability Score (NDS), peroneal motor nerve conduction velocity (PMNCV), sural nerve action potential (SNAP), Deep Breathing-Heart Rate Variability (DB-HRV), intraepidermal nerve fibre density (IENFD), and corneal confocal microscopy (CCM). 46/110 patients had DPN according to the Toronto consensus. The continuous output displayed high sensitivity and specificity for DB-HRV (91%, 83%), CNFD (88%, 78%), and SNAP (88%, 83%), whereas the categorical output showed high sensitivity but low specificity. The optimal cut-off points were 90% for the detection of autonomic dysfunction (DB-HRV) and 80% for small fibre neuropathy (CNFD). The diagnostic efficacy of the continuous Neuropad output for abnormal DB-HRV (AUC: 91%, P = 0.0003) and CNFD (AUC: 82%, P = 0.01) was better than for PMNCV (AUC: 60%). The categorical output showed no significant difference in diagnostic efficacy for these same measures. An image analysis algorithm generating a continuous output (Sudometrics) improved the diagnostic ability of Neuropad, particularly in detecting autonomic and small fibre neuropathy. PMID:26064991

  12. Improved validation platform for ultrasound-based monitoring of thermal ablation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peikari, Hamed; Lasso, Andras; Fichtinger, Gabor

    2011-03-01

    PURPOSE: Thermal ablation is a popular method in local cancer management; however it is extremely challenging to predict thermal changes in vivo. Ultrasound could be a convenient and inexpensive imaging modality for real-time monitoring of the ablation, but the required advanced image processing algorithms need extensive validation. Our goal is to design and develop a reliable test-bed for validation of these monitoring algorithms. METHOD: We previously developed a test-bed, consisting of ablated tissue sample and fiducial lines embedded in tissue-mimicking gel.1 The gel block is imaged by ultrasound and sliced to acquire pathology images. Following fiducial localization in both image modalities, the pathology and US data were registered. Ground truth ablated region is retrieved from pathology images and compared to the result of the ultrasound-based processing in 3D space. We improved on this platform to resolve limitations that hindered its usage in a larger-scale validation study. A simulator for evaluating and optimizing different line fiducial structures was implemented, and a new fiducial line structure was proposed. RESULTS: The new proposed fiducial configuration outperforms the previous in terms of accuracy, fiducial visibility, and use of larger tissue samples. Simulation results show improvement in pose recovery accuracy using our proposed fiducial structure, reducing target registration error (TRE) by 34%. Inaccurate pixel spacing information and fiducial localization noise are the main sources of error in slice pose recovery. CONCLUSION: A new generation of test-bed was developed, with software that does not require lengthy manual data processing, and is easier to maintain and extend. Further experimental work is required to optimize phantom preparation and precise pixel spacing computation.

  13. Hyaluronidase treatment of synovial fluid to improve assay precision for biomarker research using multiplex immunoassay platforms.

    PubMed

    Jayadev, Chethan; Rout, Raj; Price, Andrew; Hulley, Philippa; Mahoney, David

    2012-12-14

    Synovial fluid (SF) is a difficult biological matrix to analyse due to its complex non-Newtonian nature. This can result in poor assay repeatability and potentially inefficient use of precious samples. This study assessed the impact of SF treatment by hyaluronidase and/or dilution on intra-assay precision using the Luminex and Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) multiplex platforms. SF was obtained from patients with knee osteoarthritis at the time of joint replacement surgery. Aliquots derived from the same sample were left untreated (neat), 2-fold diluted, 4-fold diluted or treated with 2mg/ml testicular hyaluronidase (with 2-fold dilution). Preparation methods were compared in a polysterene-bead Luminex 10-plex (N=16), magnetic-bead Luminex singleplex (N=7) and MSD 4-plex (N=7). Each method was assessed for coefficient of variation (CV) of replicate measurements, number of bead events (for Luminex assays) and dilution-adjusted analyte concentration. Percentage recovery was calculated for dilutions and HAse treatment. Hyaluronidase treatment significantly increased the number of wells with satisfactory bead events/region (95%) compared to neat (48%, p<0.001) in the polystyrene-bead Luminex assay, but the magnetic-bead Luminex assay achieved ≥50 bead events irrespective of treatment method. Hyaluronidase treatment resulted in lower intra-assay CVs for detectable ligands (group average CV<10%) than neat, 2-fold and 4-fold dilution (CV~25% for all, p<0.05) in both polystyrene- and magnetic-bead Luminex assays. In addition, measured sample concentrations were higher and recovery was poor (elevated) after hyaluronidase treatment. In the MSD 4-plex, within-group comparison of the intra-assay CV or concentration was not conclusively influenced by SF preparation. However, only hyaluronidase treatment resulted in CV<25% for all samples for TNF-α. There was no effect on analyte concentrations or recovery. Hyaluronidase treatment can improve intra-assay precision and assay signal

  14. Real-time magnetic resonance imaging guidance improves the diagnostic yield of endomyocardial biopsy

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Toby; Ratnayaka, Kanishka; Karmarkar, Parag; Campbell-Washburn, Adrienne E.; Schenke, William H.; Mazal, Jonathan R.; Kocaturk, Ozgur; Faranesh, Anthony Z.; Lederman, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Diagnostic yield of endomyocardial biopsy is low, particularly in disease that affects the myocardium in a non-uniform distribution. We hypothesized that real-time MRI guidance could improve the yield through targeted biopsy of focal myocardial pathology. Methods An animal model of focal myocardial pathology was created by infusing 3mL of fluorescent microspheres (NuFlow Hydrocoat, 15μm diameter, 5 million spheres/mL) followed by 2mL of 100% ethanol to a branch coronary artery. Animals were survived for minimum 14days, before undergoing MRI guided endomyocardial biopsy using a custom 6.5Fr active visualization MRI-conditional bioptome and X-ray guided biopsy using a commercial bioptome. Specimens were analyzed using a dissecting microscope under ultraviolet light to determine the proportion of ‘on-target’ specimens containing fluorescent microspheres. Results A total of 77 specimens were obtained using real-time MRI guidance and 87 using X-ray guidance, in five animals. Specimens obtained with the MRI-conditional bioptome were smaller compared with the commercial X-ray bioptome. Real-time MRI guidance significantly increased the diagnostic yield of endomyocardial biopsy (82% vs. 56% on-target biopsy specimens with real-time MRI vs. X-ray guidance, p<0.01). Conclusions Endomyocardial biopsy performed using real-time MRI guidance is feasible and significantly improves the diagnostic yield compared with X-ray fluoroscopy guidance.

  15. 'Fab-chips': a versatile, fabric-based platform for low-cost, rapid and multiplexed diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Bhandari, Paridhi; Narahari, Tanya; Dendukuri, Dhananjaya

    2011-08-01

    Low cost and scalable manufacture of lab-on-chip devices for applications such as point-of-care testing is an urgent need. Weaving is presented as a unified, scalable and low-cost platform for the manufacture of fabric chips that can be used to perform such testing. Silk yarns with different properties are first selected, treated with the appropriate reagent solutions, dried and handloom-woven in one step into an integrated fabric chip. This platform has the unique advantage of scaling up production using existing and low cost physical infrastructure. We have demonstrated the ability to create pre-defined flow paths in fabric by using wetting and non-wetting silk yarns and a Jacquard attachment in the loom. Further, we show that yarn parameters such as the yarn twist frequency and weaving coverage area may be conveniently used to tune both the wicking rate and the absorptive capacity of the fabric. Yarns optimized for their final function were used to create an integrated fabric chip containing reagent-coated yarns. Strips of this fabric were then used to perform a proof-of-concept immunoassay with sample flow taking place by capillary action and detection being performed by a visual readout. PMID:21735030

  16. Improved Signal Processing Technique Leads to More Robust Self Diagnostic Accelerometer System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokars, Roger; Lekki, John; Jaros, Dave; Riggs, Terrence; Evans, Kenneth P.

    2010-01-01

    The self diagnostic accelerometer (SDA) is a sensor system designed to actively monitor the health of an accelerometer. In this case an accelerometer is considered healthy if it can be determined that it is operating correctly and its measurements may be relied upon. The SDA system accomplishes this by actively monitoring the accelerometer for a variety of failure conditions including accelerometer structural damage, an electrical open circuit, and most importantly accelerometer detachment. In recent testing of the SDA system in emulated engine operating conditions it has been found that a more robust signal processing technique was necessary. An improved accelerometer diagnostic technique and test results of the SDA system utilizing this technique are presented here. Furthermore, the real time, autonomous capability of the SDA system to concurrently compensate for effects from real operating conditions such as temperature changes and mechanical noise, while monitoring the condition of the accelerometer health and attachment, will be demonstrated.

  17. Urine proteomics for discovery of improved diagnostic markers of Kawasaki disease

    PubMed Central

    Kentsis, Alex; Shulman, Andrew; Ahmed, Saima; Brennan, Eileen; Monuteaux, Michael C; Lee, Young-Ho; Lipsett, Susan; Paulo, Joao A; Dedeoglu, Fatma; Fuhlbrigge, Robert; Bachur, Richard; Bradwin, Gary; Arditi, Moshe; Sundel, Robert P; Newburger, Jane W; Steen, Hanno; Kim, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Kawasaki disease (KD) is a systemic vasculitis of unknown etiology. Absence of definitive diagnostic markers limits the accuracy of clinical evaluations of suspected KD with significant increases in morbidity. In turn, incomplete understanding of its molecular pathogenesis hinders the identification of rational targets needed to improve therapy. We used high-accuracy mass spectrometry proteomics to analyse over 2000 unique proteins in clinical urine specimens of patients with KD. We discovered that urine proteomes of patients with KD, but not those with mimicking conditions, were enriched for markers of cellular injury such as filamin and talin, immune regulators such as complement regulator CSMD3, immune pattern recognition receptor muclin, and immune cytokine protease meprin A. Significant elevations of filamin C and meprin A were detected in both the serum and urine in two independent cohorts of patients with KD, comprised of a total of 236 patients. Meprin A and filamin C exhibited superior diagnostic performance as compared to currently used markers of disease in a blinded case-control study of 107 patients with suspected KD, with receiver operating characteristic areas under the curve of 0.98 (95% confidence intervals [CI] of 0.97–1 and 0.95–1, respectively). Notably, meprin A was enriched in the coronary artery lesions of a mouse model of KD. In all, urine proteome profiles revealed novel candidate molecular markers of KD, including filamin C and meprin A that exhibit excellent diagnostic performance. These disease markers may improve the diagnostic accuracy of clinical evaluations of children with suspected KD, lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets, and allow the development of a biological classification of Kawasaki disease. PMID:23281308

  18. Automated innovative diagnostic, data management and communication tool, for improving malaria vector control in endemic settings.

    PubMed

    Vontas, John; Mitsakakis, Konstantinos; Zengerle, Roland; Yewhalaw, Delenasaw; Sikaala, Chadwick Haadezu; Etang, Josiane; Fallani, Matteo; Carman, Bill; Müller, Pie; Chouaïbou, Mouhamadou; Coleman, Marlize; Coleman, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is a life-threatening disease that caused more than 400,000 deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015. Mass prevention of the disease is best achieved by vector control which heavily relies on the use of insecticides. Monitoring mosquito vector populations is an integral component of control programs and a prerequisite for effective interventions. Several individual methods are used for this task; however, there are obstacles to their uptake, as well as challenges in organizing, interpreting and communicating vector population data. The Horizon 2020 project "DMC-MALVEC" consortium will develop a fully integrated and automated multiplex vector-diagnostic platform (LabDisk) for characterizing mosquito populations in terms of species composition, Plasmodium infections and biochemical insecticide resistance markers. The LabDisk will be interfaced with a Disease Data Management System (DDMS), a custom made data management software which will collate and manage data from routine entomological monitoring activities providing information in a timely fashion based on user needs and in a standardized way. The ResistanceSim, a serious game, a modern ICT platform that uses interactive ways of communicating guidelines and exemplifying good practices of optimal use of interventions in the health sector will also be a key element. The use of the tool will teach operational end users the value of quality data (relevant, timely and accurate) to make informed decisions. The integrated system (LabDisk, DDMS & ResistanceSim) will be evaluated in four malaria endemic countries, representative of the vector control challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Zambia), highly representative of malaria settings with different levels of endemicity and vector control challenges, to support informed decision-making in vector control and disease management. PMID:27225553

  19. Improving medical diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound Doppler signals by combining neural network models.

    PubMed

    Ubeyli, Elif Derya; Güler, Inan

    2005-07-01

    There are a number of different quantitative models that can be used in a medical diagnostic decision support system including parametric methods (linear discriminant analysis or logistic regression), nonparametric models (k nearest neighbor or kernel density) and several neural network models. The complexity of the diagnostic task is thought to be one of the prime determinants of model selection. Unfortunately, there is no theory available to guide model selection. This paper illustrates the use of combined neural network models to guide model selection for diagnosis of ophthalmic and internal carotid arterial disorders. The ophthalmic and internal carotid arterial Doppler signals were decomposed into time-frequency representations using discrete wavelet transform and statistical features were calculated to depict their distribution. The first-level networks were implemented for the diagnosis of ophthalmic and internal carotid arterial disorders using the statistical features as inputs. To improve diagnostic accuracy, the second-level networks were trained using the outputs of the first-level networks as input data. The combined neural network models achieved accuracy rates which were higher than that of the stand-alone neural network models. PMID:15780863

  20. Three-dimensional textural features of conventional MRI improve diagnostic classification of childhood brain tumours.

    PubMed

    Fetit, Ahmed E; Novak, Jan; Peet, Andrew C; Arvanitits, Theodoros N

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of three-dimensional texture analysis (3D TA) of conventional MR images for the classification of childhood brain tumours in a quantitative manner. The dataset comprised pre-contrast T1 - and T2-weighted MRI series obtained from 48 children diagnosed with brain tumours (medulloblastoma, pilocytic astrocytoma and ependymoma). 3D and 2D TA were carried out on the images using first-, second- and higher order statistical methods. Six supervised classification algorithms were trained with the most influential 3D and 2D textural features, and their performances in the classification of tumour types, using the two feature sets, were compared. Model validation was carried out using the leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV) approach, as well as stratified 10-fold cross-validation, in order to provide additional reassurance. McNemar's test was used to test the statistical significance of any improvements demonstrated by 3D-trained classifiers. Supervised learning models trained with 3D textural features showed improved classification performances to those trained with conventional 2D features. For instance, a neural network classifier showed 12% improvement in area under the receiver operator characteristics curve (AUC) and 19% in overall classification accuracy. These improvements were statistically significant for four of the tested classifiers, as per McNemar's tests. This study shows that 3D textural features extracted from conventional T1 - and T2-weighted images can improve the diagnostic classification of childhood brain tumours. Long-term benefits of accurate, yet non-invasive, diagnostic aids include a reduction in surgical procedures, improvement in surgical and therapy planning, and support of discussions with patients' families. It remains necessary, however, to extend the analysis to a multicentre cohort in order to assess the scalability of the techniques used. PMID:26256809

  1. COMPREHENSIVE DIAGNOSTIC AND IMPROVEMENT TOOLS FOR HVAC-SYSTEM INSTALLATIONS IN LIGHT COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

    SciTech Connect

    Abram Conant; Mark Modera; Joe Pira; John Proctor; Mike Gebbie

    2004-10-31

    Proctor Engineering Group, Ltd. (PEG) and Carrier-Aeroseal LLP performed an investigation of opportunities for improving air conditioning and heating system performance in existing light commercial buildings. Comprehensive diagnostic and improvement tools were created to address equipment performance parameters (including airflow, refrigerant charge, and economizer operation), duct-system performance (including duct leakage, zonal flows and thermal-energy delivery), and combustion appliance safety within these buildings. This investigation, sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, involved collaboration between PEG and Aeroseal in order to refine three technologies previously developed for the residential market: (1) an aerosol-based duct sealing technology that allows the ducts to be sealed remotely (i.e., without removing the ceiling tiles), (2) a computer-driven diagnostic and improvement-tracking tool for residential duct installations, and (3) an integrated diagnosis verification and customer satisfaction system utilizing a combined computer/human expert system for HVAC performance. Prior to this work the aerosol-sealing technology was virtually untested in the light commercial sector--mostly because the savings potential and practicality of this or any other type of duct sealing had not been documented. Based upon the field experiences of PEG and Aeroseal, the overall product was tailored to suit the skill sets of typical HVAC-contractor personnel.

  2. Integrated photoacoustic, ultrasound and fluorescence platform for diagnostic medical imaging-proof of concept study with a tissue mimicking phantom

    PubMed Central

    James, Joseph; Murukeshan, Vadakke Matham; Woh, Lye Sun

    2014-01-01

    The structural and molecular heterogeneities of biological tissues demand the interrogation of the samples with multiple energy sources and provide visualization capabilities at varying spatial resolution and depth scales for obtaining complementary diagnostic information. A novel multi-modal imaging approach that uses optical and acoustic energies to perform photoacoustic, ultrasound and fluorescence imaging at multiple resolution scales from the tissue surface and depth is proposed in this paper. The system comprises of two distinct forms of hardware level integration so as to have an integrated imaging system under a single instrumentation set-up. The experimental studies show that the system is capable of mapping high resolution fluorescence signatures from the surface, optical absorption and acoustic heterogeneities along the depth (>2cm) of the tissue at multi-scale resolution (<1µm to <0.5mm). PMID:25071954

  3. Clinical applications of autoimmunity to citrullinated proteins in rheumatoid arthritis, from improving diagnostics to future therapies.

    PubMed

    Kinloch, Andrew J; Ng, Karen; Wright, Graham P

    2011-05-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), although widely considered to be the most commonly occurring autoimmune disease, has only truly been substantiated as a distinct autoimmune disease very recently. The lack of understanding of the specific autoimmune system/s at work in rheumatoid patients resulted in an absence of robust diagnostic tools and had meant that the rational choice for use and design of therapy was based on broad-spectrum immunosuppression. The revelation that the autoimmune response specific for patients with RA is to particular protein antigens bearing the post-translational modification 'citrulline' has therefore revolutionized diagnostics and has helped explain why patients carrying particular MHC alleles are predisposed to the disease. The last two decades have seen the characterization of citrullinated antigens targeted by both antibodies and T cells in rheumatoid patients. In more recent years, we have also witnessed the success of biological therapies in the treatment of RA that specifically target T cells and B cells. Ongoing mapping of antibody targets is increasing the percentage of patients who can be definitively diagnosed with, and prognosed to develop, RA. These advances have led to a great number of patents for citrullinated peptides that have been and may be, in the coming years, used in diagnostic test kits. More recently, characterization of T cell targets (citrullinated peptides) has resulted in the patenting of peptides that could be used in antigen specific therapy. This review focuses on the characterization of the autoimmune response to citrullinated protein targets in RA and how the community is translating this knowledge to improve diagnostics, prognostics and therapy. PMID:21453269

  4. Enhanced CT images by the wavelet transform improving diagnostic accuracy of chest nodules.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiuhua; Liu, Xiangye; Wang, Huan; Liang, Zhigang; Wu, Wei; He, Qian; Li, Kuncheng; Wang, Wei

    2011-02-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy in the interpretation of chest nodules using original CT images versus enhanced CT images based on the wavelet transform. The CT images of 118 patients with cancers and 60 with benign nodules were used in this study. All images were enhanced through an algorithm based on the wavelet transform. Two experienced radiologists interpreted all the images in two reading sessions. The reading sessions were separated by a minimum of 1 month in order to minimize the effect of observer's recall. The Mann-Whitney U nonparametric test was used to analyze the interpretation results between original and enhanced images. The Kruskal-Wallis H nonparametric test of K independent samples was used to investigate the related factors which could affect the diagnostic accuracy of observers. The area under the ROC curves for the original and enhanced images was 0.681 and 0.736, respectively. There is significant difference in diagnosing the malignant nodules between the original and enhanced images (z = 7.122, P < 0.001), whereas there is no significant difference in diagnosing the benign nodules (z = 0.894, P = 0.371). The results showed that there is significant difference between original and enhancement images when the size of nodules was larger than 2 cm (Z = -2.509, P = 0.012, indicating the size of the nodules is a critical evaluating factor of the diagnostic accuracy of observers). This study indicated that the image enhancement based on wavelet transform could improve the diagnostic accuracy of radiologists for the malignant chest nodules. PMID:19937084

  5. Diamond nanoparticles as a way to improve electron transfer in sol-gel L-lactate biosensing platforms.

    PubMed

    Briones, M; Casero, E; Vázquez, L; Pariente, F; Lorenzo, E; Petit-Domínguez, M D

    2016-02-18

    In the present work, we have included for the first time diamond nanoparticles (DNPs) in a sol-gel matrix derived from (3-mercaptopropyl)-trimethoxysilane (MPTS) in order to improve electron transfer in a lactate oxidase (LOx) based electrochemical biosensing platform. Firstly, an exhaustive AFM study, including topographical, surface potential (KFM) and capacitance gradient (CG) measurements, of each step involved in the biosensing platform development was performed. The platform is based on gold electrodes (Au) modified with the sol-gel matrix (Au/MPTS) in which diamond nanoparticles (Au/MPTS/DNPs) and lactate oxidase (Au/MPTS/DNPs/LOx) have been included. For the sake of comparison, we have also characterized a gold electrode directly modified with DNPs (Au/DNPs). Secondly, the electrochemical behavior of a redox mediator (hydroxymethyl-ferrocene, HMF) was evaluated at the platforms mentioned above. The response of Au/MPTS/DNPs/LOx towards lactate was obtained. A linear concentration range from 0.053 mM to 1.6 mM, a sensitivity of 2.6 μA mM(-1) and a detection limit of 16 μM were obtained. These analytical properties are comparable to other biosensors, presenting also as advantages that DNPs are inexpensive, environment-friendly and easy-handled nanomaterials. Finally, the developed biosensor was applied for lactate determination in wine samples. PMID:26826696

  6. RFID-Based Multidisciplinary Educational Platform to Improve the Engineering and Technology Curriculums

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yelamarthi, Kumar

    2012-01-01

    Multidisciplinary projects involving electrical engineering (EE), mechanical engineering (ME), and computer engineering (CE) students are both exciting and difficult to conceptualize. Answering this challenge, this paper presents a multidisciplinary educational platform on radio frequency identification-based assistive devices. The combination of…

  7. CSI/MMC studies for improving jitter performance for large multi-payload platforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chionchio, John; Garnek, Michael

    1993-01-01

    This report includes: (1) introduction to mirror motion compensation (MMS); (2) EOS platform model and disturbance definition; (3) instrument jitter response; (4) modeling uncertainties, which includes frequency, damping, lag filter, and mirror inertia; (5) multiple disturbances; (6) feedback; and (7) summary.

  8. Improved endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography brush increases diagnostic yield of malignant biliary strictures

    PubMed Central

    Shieh, Frederick K; Luong-Player, Adelina; Khara, Harshit S; Liu, Haiyan; Lin, Fan; Shellenberger, Matthew J; Johal, Amitpal S; Diehl, David L

    2014-01-01

    AIM: To determine if a new brush design could improve the diagnostic yield of biliary stricture brushings. METHODS: Retrospective chart review was performed of all endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedures with malignant biliary stricture brushing between January 2008 and October 2012. A standard wire-guided cytology brush was used prior to protocol implementation in July 2011, after which, a new 9 French wire-guided cytology brush (Infinity sampling device, US Endoscopy, Mentor, OH) was used for all cases. All specimens were reviewed by blinded pathologists who determined whether the sample was positive or negative for malignancy. Cellular yield was quantified by describing the number of cell clusters seen. RESULTS: Thirty-two new brush cases were compared to 46 historical controls. Twenty-five of 32 (78%) cases in the new brush group showed abnormal cellular findings consistent with malignancy as compared to 17 of 46 (37%) in the historical control group (P = 0.0003). There was also a significant increase in the average number of cell clusters of all sizes (21.1 vs 9.9 clusters, P = 0.0007) in the new brush group compared to historical controls. CONCLUSION: The use of a new brush design for brush cytology of biliary strictures shows increased diagnostic accuracy, likely due to improved cellular yield, as evidenced by an increase in number of cellular clusters obtained. PMID:25031790

  9. Diagnostics in a digital age: an opportunity to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes.

    PubMed

    Peeling, Rosanna W

    2015-11-01

    Diagnostics play a critical role in clinical decision making, and in disease control and prevention. Rapid point-of-care (POC) tests for infectious diseases can improve access to diagnosis and patient management, but the quality of these tests vary, quality of testing is often not assured and there are few mechanisms to capture test results for surveillance when the testing is so decentralised. A new generation of POC molecular tests that are highly sensitive and specific, robust and easy to use are now available for deployment in low resource settings. Decentralisation of testing outside of the laboratory can put tremendous stress on the healthcare system and presents challenges for training and quality assurance. A feature of many of these POC molecular devices is that they are equipped with data transmission capacities. In a digital age, it is possible to link data from diagnostic laboratories and POC test readers and devices to provide data on testing coverage, disease trends and timely information for early warning of infectious disease outbreaks to inform design or optimisation of disease control and elimination programmes. Data connectivity also allows control programmes to monitor the quality of tests and testing, and optimise supply chain management; thus, increasing the efficiency of healthcare systems and improving patient outcomes. PMID:26553825

  10. Consensus diagnostic histopathological criteria for acute gastrointestinal graft versus host disease improve interobserver reproducibility.

    PubMed

    Kreft, Andreas; Mottok, Anja; Mesteri, Ildiko; Cardona, Diana M; Janin, Anne; Kühl, Anja A; Andrulis, Mindaugas; Brunner, Andrea; Shulman, Howard M; Negri, Giovanni; Tzankov, Alexandar; Huber, Elisabeth

    2015-09-01

    Graft versus host disease (GvHD) is a clinically important complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Its diagnosis relies on clinical and histopathological findings. In order to evaluate and improve inter-institutional diagnostic agreement on histological diagnosis and grading of acute gastrointestinal GvHD, we conducted a round robin test, which included 33 biopsies from 23 patients after HSCT. Five pathologists from different institutions independently evaluated the original sections from the biopsies submitted for diagnosis. Based on their results, consensus qualitative criteria for the assessment of typical histological features of GvHD (e.g., apoptosis, crypt destruction, mucosa denudation) were proposed, including detailed descriptions as well as histological images. In a second round robin test with involvement of the same pathologists, the reproducibility of both diagnosis and grading had improved. Remaining differences were mostly related to differential diagnostic considerations, including viral infection or toxic side effects of medication, which should be resolved by integrating histopathological findings with proper clinical information. PMID:26164839

  11. A Novel Sensor Platform Matching the Improved Version of IPMVP Option C for Measuring Energy Savings

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Yen-Chieh; Lee, Da-Sheng; Lin, Cheng-Fang; Chang, Ching-Yuan

    2013-01-01

    It is easy to measure energy consumption with a power meter. However, energy savings cannot be directly computed by the powers measured using existing power meter technologies, since the power consumption only reflects parts of the real energy flows. The International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) was proposed by the Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO) to quantify energy savings using four different methodologies of A, B, C and D. Although energy savings can be estimated following the IPMVP, there are limitations on its practical implementation. Moreover, the data processing methods of the four IPMVP alternatives use multiple sensors (thermometer, hygrometer, Occupant information) and power meter readings to simulate all facilities, in order to determine an energy usage benchmark and the energy savings. This study proposes a simple sensor platform to measure energy savings. Using usually the Electronic Product Code (EPC) global standard, an architecture framework for an information system is constructed that integrates sensors data, power meter readings and occupancy conditions. The proposed sensor platform is used to monitor a building with a newly built vertical garden system (VGS). A VGS shields solar radiation and saves on energy that would be expended on air-conditioning. With this platform, the amount of energy saved in the whole facility is measured and reported in real-time. The data are compared with those obtained from detailed measurement and verification (M&V) processes. The discrepancy is less than 1.565%. Using measurements from the proposed sensor platform, the energy savings for the entire facility are quantified, with a resolution of ±1.2%. The VGS gives an 8.483% daily electricity saving for the building. Thus, the results show that the simple sensor platform proposed by this study is more widely applicable than the four complicated IPMVP alternatives and the VGS is an effective tool in reducing the carbon

  12. Simulation Training Improves Surgical Proficiency and Safety During Diagnostic Shoulder Arthroscopy Performed by Residents.

    PubMed

    Waterman, Brian R; Martin, Kevin D; Cameron, Kenneth L; Owens, Brett D; Belmont, Philip J

    2016-05-01

    Although virtual reality simulators have established construct validity, no studies have proven transfer of skills from a simulator to improved in vivo surgical skill. The current authors hypothesized that simulation training would improve residents' basic arthroscopic performance and safety. Twenty-two orthopedic surgery trainees were randomized into simulation or standard practice groups. At baseline testing, all of the participants performed simulator-based testing and a supervised, in vivo diagnostic shoulder arthroscopy with video recording. The simulation group subsequently received 1 hour of total instruction during a 3-month period, and the standard practice group received no simulator training. After intervention, both groups were reevaluated with simulator testing and a second recorded diagnostic shoulder arthroscopy. Two blinded, independent experts evaluated arthroscopic performance using the anatomic checklist, Arthroscopic Surgery Skill Evaluation Tool (ASSET) score, and total elapsed time. All outcome measures were compared within and between groups. After intervention, mean time required by the simulation group to complete the simulator task (30.64 seconds) was 8±1.2 seconds faster than the time required by the control group (38.64 seconds; P=.001). Probe distance (51.65 mm) was improved by 41.2±6.08 mm compared with the control (92.83 mm; P=.001). When comparing ASSET safety scores, the simulation group was competent (3.29) and significantly better than the control group (3.00; P=.005) during final arthroscopic testing. This study establishes transfer validity for an arthroscopic shoulder simulator model. Simulator training for residents in training can decrease surgical times, improve basic surgical skills, and confer greater patient safety during shoulder arthroscopy. [Orthopedics. 2016; 39(3):e479-e485.]. PMID:27135460

  13. Rethinking In Vitro Embryo Culture: New Developments in Culture Platforms and Potential to Improve Assisted Reproductive Technologies1

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Gary D.; Takayama, Shuichi; Swain, Jason E.

    2011-01-01

    ABSTRACT The preponderance of research toward improving embryo development in vitro has focused on manipulation of the chemical soluble environment, including altering basic salt composition, energy substrate concentration, amino acid makeup, and the effect of various growth factors or addition or subtraction of other supplements. In contrast, relatively little work has been done examining the physical requirements of preimplantation embryos and the role culture platforms or devices can play in influencing embryo development within the laboratory. The goal of this review is not to reevaluate the soluble composition of past and current embryo culture media, but rather to consider how other controlled and precise factors such as time, space, mechanical interactions, gradient diffusions, cell movement, and surface interactions might influence embryo development. Novel culture platforms are being developed as a result of interdisciplinary collaborations between biologists and biomedical, material, chemical, and mechanical engineers. These approaches are looking beyond the soluble media composition and examining issues such as media volume and embryo spacing. Furthermore, methods that permit precise and regulated dynamic embryo culture with fluid flow and embryo movement are now available, and novel culture surfaces are being developed and tested. While several factors remain to be investigated to optimize the efficiency of embryo production, manipulation of the embryo culture microenvironment through novel devices and platforms may offer a pathway toward improving embryo development within the laboratory of the future. PMID:21998170

  14. Improving healthcare services using web based platform for management of medical case studies.

    PubMed

    Ogescu, Cristina; Plaisanu, Claudiu; Udrescu, Florian; Dumitru, Silviu

    2008-01-01

    The paper presents a web based platform for management of medical cases, support for healthcare specialists in taking the best clinical decision. Research has been oriented mostly on multimedia data management, classification algorithms for querying, retrieving and processing different medical data types (text and images). The medical case studies can be accessed by healthcare specialists and by students as anonymous case studies providing trust and confidentiality in Internet virtual environment. The MIDAS platform develops an intelligent framework to manage sets of medical data (text, static or dynamic images), in order to optimize the diagnosis and the decision process, which will reduce the medical errors and will increase the quality of medical act. MIDAS is an integrated project working on medical information retrieval from heterogeneous, distributed medical multimedia database. PMID:18560078

  15. Tissular and soluble miRNAs for diagnostic and therapy improvement in digestive tract cancers.

    PubMed

    Albulescu, Radu; Neagu, Monica; Albulescu, Lucian; Tanase, Cristiana

    2011-01-01

    Digestive cancers (e.g., gastric, colorectal, pancreatic or hepatocarcinoma) are among the most frequently reported cancers in the world, and are characterized by invasivity, metastatic potential and poor outcomes. This group includes some of the most critical cancers (among them, are those ranked second to forth in cancer-related mortality) and, despite all sustained efforts, they maintain a profile of low survival rates and lack successful therapies. Discovery of biomarkers that improve disease characterization may make optimized or personalized therapy possible. Novel biomarkers are expected to provide, hopefully, less-invasive or noninvasive diagnostic tools that make possible earlier detection of disease. Also, they may provide a more reliable selection instrument in the drug discovery process. miRNAs, short noncoding RNAs, have emerged in the last few years as significant regulators of cellular activities, controlling protein expression at the post-transcriptional level, with a significant implication in pathology in general and, of most relevance, in cancers. Deregulation of miRNA expression levels and some genetic alterations were demonstrated in various cancers, including digestive cancers. Investigations in tissue samples have provided a considerable amount of knowledge, identifying altered expressions of miRNAs associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Overexpression of some tumor-inducing or tumor-promoting miRNAs was demonstrated, as well as the downregulation of tumor-suppressor miRNAs. Both individual miRNAs, as well as sets of multiple miRNAs, were set up as candidate biomarkers for diagnostics or monitoring, offering relevant insights into tumorigenic mechanisms. Circulating miRNAs were demonstrated as valuable instruments in tumor diagnosis and the prognosis of digestive cancers (affecting the esophagus, stomach, intestine, colorectum, liver and pancreas), and are being investigated thoroughly in order to generate and validate less

  16. Clinical Evaluation of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit for Scrub Typhus with Improved Performance

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Diagnosis of scrub typhus is challenging due to its more than twenty serotypes and the similar clinical symptoms with other acute febrile illnesses including leptospirosis, murine typhus and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Accuracy and rapidity of a diagnostic test to Orientia tsutsugamushi is an important step to diagnose this disease. To discriminate scrub typhus from other diseases, the improved ImmuneMed Scrub Typhus Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) was evaluated in Korea and Sri Lanka. The sensitivity at the base of each IgM and IgG indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) in Korean patients was 98.6% and 97.1%, and the specificity was 98.2% and 97.7% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for retrospective diagnosis at the base of IFA in Sri Lanka was 92.1% and 96.1%. ImmuneMed RDT was not reactive to any serum from seventeen diseases including hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (n = 48), leptospirosis (n = 23), and murine typhus (n = 48). ImmuneMed RDT shows superior sensitivity (98.6% and 97.1%) compared with SD Bioline RDT (84.4% at IgM and 83.3% at IgG) in Korea. The retrospective diagnosis of ImmuneMed RDT exhibits 94.0% identity with enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using South India patient serum samples. These results suggest that this RDT can replace other diagnostic tests and is applicable for global diagnosis of scrub typhus. This rapid and accurate diagnosis will be beneficial for diagnosing and managing scrub typhus. PMID:27478327

  17. Clinical Evaluation of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit for Scrub Typhus with Improved Performance.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Jin; Park, Sungman; Premaratna, Ranjan; Selvaraj, Stephen; Park, Sang-Jin; Kim, Sora; Kim, Donghwan; Kim, Min Soo; Shin, Dong Hoon; Choi, Kyung-Chan; Kwon, Soon-Hwan; Seo, Wonjun; Lee, Nam Taek; Kim, Seung-Han; Kang, Heui Keun; Kim, Yoon-Won

    2016-08-01

    Diagnosis of scrub typhus is challenging due to its more than twenty serotypes and the similar clinical symptoms with other acute febrile illnesses including leptospirosis, murine typhus and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Accuracy and rapidity of a diagnostic test to Orientia tsutsugamushi is an important step to diagnose this disease. To discriminate scrub typhus from other diseases, the improved ImmuneMed Scrub Typhus Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) was evaluated in Korea and Sri Lanka. The sensitivity at the base of each IgM and IgG indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) in Korean patients was 98.6% and 97.1%, and the specificity was 98.2% and 97.7% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for retrospective diagnosis at the base of IFA in Sri Lanka was 92.1% and 96.1%. ImmuneMed RDT was not reactive to any serum from seventeen diseases including hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (n = 48), leptospirosis (n = 23), and murine typhus (n = 48). ImmuneMed RDT shows superior sensitivity (98.6% and 97.1%) compared with SD Bioline RDT (84.4% at IgM and 83.3% at IgG) in Korea. The retrospective diagnosis of ImmuneMed RDT exhibits 94.0% identity with enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using South India patient serum samples. These results suggest that this RDT can replace other diagnostic tests and is applicable for global diagnosis of scrub typhus. This rapid and accurate diagnosis will be beneficial for diagnosing and managing scrub typhus. PMID:27478327

  18. Testing for cattle allergy: modified diagnostic cutoff levels improve sensitivity in symptomatic claw trimmers

    PubMed Central

    Dik, Natalja; Hallier, Ernst; Zuberbier, Torsten; Bergmann, Karl-Christian

    2010-01-01

    Background The diagnosis of cattle-related sensitization is complicated by the variability and complexity of cattle allergen extracts. Objective To evaluate a modified diagnostic procedure leading to more accurate results especially in the early phase of sensitization. Methods We tested 27 claw trimmers with and 65 without cattle-related symptoms using two commercially available cattle allergen extracts. We also used a self-prepared cattle allergen mix designed to represent the full spectrum of cattle allergens from a typical agricultural workplace. Results More than 50% of symptomatic claw trimmers showed negative test results with commercial extracts and a sensitization cutoff point of 0.35 kU/l. In contrast, with the self-prepared cattle allergen mix, positive results were observed for almost all of them. Evaluating the results of the commercial test kits at different cutoff levels, we found an ideal cutoff point to improve the sensitivity at 0.2 kU/l. Conclusion Additional tests with self-made cattle hair extracts can help to bridge the diagnostic gap seen in patients showing cattle-related symptoms, but negative results in commercially available tests. For early-stage sensitization screening, we propose to lower the cutoff level indicating sensitization to 0.2 kU/l. PMID:20658147

  19. Network Analysis of Force Concept Inventory Responses to Improve Diagnostic Utility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewe, Eric; Bruun, Jesper

    2015-04-01

    The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) is a diagnostic instrument designed to investigate students' understanding of Newtonian Mechanics and is widely used in Physics Education Research. One of the strengths of the FCI is that the distractors are drawn from student conceptions based in their experiences. The distractors chosen are often more informative about student's understanding as they identify the particular nature of students' alternative conceptions. We propose a network based analysis of the FCI which will enhance the utility of the FCI as a diagnostic tool for identifying student conceptions. In this approach, student responses are treated as a bipartite network which is then projected into two networks - students and responses. The response network includes all responses that are shared among students. We use the LANS backbone extraction algorithm to identify patterns in student responses. We use community detection algorithms on the backbone networks to identify clusters of common responses which map to models held by students, for example, ``force is needed for movement'' and ``the active agent uses the most force.'' This method has utility across a variety of instruments and could be used to improve instruction by providing in-depth knowledge of student conceptions. Supported in part by NSF Grant #PHY 134424.

  20. Efforts to improve the diagnostic accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration for pancreatic tumors

    PubMed Central

    Yamabe, Akane; Irisawa, Atsushi; Bhutani, Manoop S.; Shibukawa, Goro; Fujisawa, Mariko; Sato, Ai; Yoshida, Yoshitsugu; Arakawa, Noriyuki; Ikeda, Tsunehiko; Igarashi, Ryo; Maki, Takumi; Yamamoto, Shogo

    2016-01-01

    Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) is widely used to obtain a definitive diagnosis of pancreatic tumors. Good results have been reported for its diagnostic accuracy, with high sensitivity and specificity of around 90%; however, technological developments and adaptations to improve it still further are currently underway. The endosonographic technique can be improved when several tips and tricks useful to overcome challenges of EUS-FNA are known. This review provides various techniques and equipment for improvement in the diagnostic accuracy in EUS-FNA. PMID:27503153

  1. Improved diagnostics by automated matching and enhancement in fluorescein angiography of the ocular fundus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noordmans, Herke Jan; van den Biesen, Pieter; de Roode, Rowland; Verdaasdonk, Rudolf

    2008-02-01

    An interactive image matching program has been developed to help ophthalmologists in perceiving subtle differences between sequential images obtained during fluorescein angiography. In a pilot experiment, it appeared that the image matching program could effectively correct camera alignment errors. By offering simple tools like image overlay, blinking and image subtraction, differences between angiograms can be greatly enhanced and interpreted. It appeared that newly formed, leaking blood vessels could be detected at an earlier stage of the disease process using these tools. Treatment can be initiated right away, thereby preventing the patient from having additional visual loss. The matching program seems to improve the quality of fundus diagnostics but needs to be validated in future studies.

  2. Improving Student Outcomes with mCLASS: Math, a Technology-Enhanced CBM and Diagnostic Interview Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Ye; Gushta, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    The No Child Left Behind Act resulted in increased school-level implementation of assessment-based school interventions that aim to improve student performance. Diagnostic assessments are included among these interventions, designed to help teachers use evidence about student performance to modify and differentiate instruction and improve student…

  3. Pre-PCR processing in bioterrorism preparedness: improved diagnostic capabilities for laboratory response networks.

    PubMed

    Hedman, Johannes; Knutsson, Rickard; Ansell, Ricky; Rådström, Peter; Rasmusson, Birgitta

    2013-09-01

    Diagnostic DNA analysis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a valuable tool for rapid detection of biothreat agents. However, analysis is often challenging because of the limited size, quality, and purity of the biological target. Pre-PCR processing is an integrated concept in which the issues of analytical limit of detection and simplicity for automation are addressed in all steps leading up to PCR amplification--that is, sampling, sample treatment, and the chemical composition of PCR. The sampling method should maximize target uptake and minimize uptake of extraneous substances that could impair the analysis--so-called PCR inhibitors. In sample treatment, there is a trade-off between yield and purity, as extensive purification leads to DNA loss. A cornerstone of pre-PCR processing is to apply DNA polymerase-buffer systems that are tolerant to specific sample impurities, thereby lowering the need for expensive purification steps and maximizing DNA recovery. Improved awareness among Laboratory Response Networks (LRNs) regarding pre-PCR processing is important, as ineffective sample processing leads to increased cost and possibly false-negative or ambiguous results, hindering the decision-making process in a bioterrorism crisis. This article covers the nature and mechanisms of PCR-inhibitory substances relevant for agroterrorism and bioterrorism preparedness, methods for quality control of PCR reactions, and applications of pre-PCR processing to optimize and simplify the analysis of various biothreat agents. Knowledge about pre-PCR processing will improve diagnostic capabilities of LRNs involved in the response to bioterrorism incidents. PMID:23971826

  4. High-throughput mutation profiling improves diagnostic stratification of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Simbolo, Michele; Mian, Caterina; Barollo, Susi; Fassan, Matteo; Mafficini, Andrea; Neves, Diogo; Scardoni, Maria; Pennelli, Gianmaria; Rugge, Massimo; Pelizzo, Maria Rosa; Cavedon, Elisabetta; Fugazzola, Laura; Scarpa, Aldo

    2014-07-01

    Sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) harbors RET gene somatic mutations in up to 50 % of cases, and RAS family gene mutations occur in about 10 %. A timely and comprehensive characterization of molecular alterations is needed to improve MTC diagnostic stratification and design-tailored therapeutic approaches. Twenty surgically resected sporadic MTCs, previously analyzed for RET mutations by Sanger sequencing using DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples, were investigated for intragenic mutations in 50 cancer-associated genes applying a multigene Ion AmpliSeq next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. Thirteen (65 %) MTCs harbored a RET mutation; 10 were detected at both Sanger and NGS sequencing, while 3 undetected by Sanger were revealed by NGS. One of the 13 RET-mutated cases also showed an F354L germline mutation in STK11. Of the seven RET wild-type MTCs, four cases (57.1 %) harbored a RAS mutation: three in HRAS (all Q61R) and one in KRAS (G12R). The three remaining MTCs (15 %) resulted as wild-type for all the 50 cancer-related genes. Follow-up was available in all but one RET-mutated case. At the end of follow-up, 7 of 12 (58 %) RET-mutated patients had relapsed, while the 4 RAS-mutated MTC patients were disease-free. Two of the three patients with MTC wild-type for all 50 genes relapsed during the follow-up period. Detection of mutations by NGS has the potential to improve the diagnostic stratification of sporadic MTC. PMID:24828033

  5. The possibilities of improvement in the sensitivity of cancer fluorescence diagnostics by computer image processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledwon, Aleksandra; Bieda, Robert; Kawczyk-Krupka, Aleksandra; Polanski, Andrzej; Wojciechowski, Konrad; Latos, Wojciech; Sieron-Stoltny, Karolina; Sieron, Aleksander

    2008-02-01

    Background: Fluorescence diagnostics uses the ability of tissues to fluoresce after exposition to a specific wavelength of light. The change in fluorescence between normal and progression to cancer allows to see early cancer and precancerous lesions often missed by white light. Aim: To improve by computer image processing the sensitivity of fluorescence images obtained during examination of skin, oral cavity, vulva and cervix lesions, during endoscopy, cystoscopy and bronchoscopy using Xillix ONCOLIFE. Methods: Function of image f(x,y):R2 --> R 3 was transformed from original color space RGB to space in which vector of 46 values refers to every point labeled by defined xy-coordinates- f(x,y):R2 --> R 46. By means of Fisher discriminator vector of attributes of concrete point analalyzed in the image was reduced according to two defined classes defined as pathologic areas (foreground) and healthy areas (background). As a result the highest four fisher's coefficients allowing the greatest separation between points of pathologic (foreground) and healthy (background) areas were chosen. In this way new function f(x,y):R2 --> R 4 was created in which point x,y corresponds with vector Y, H, a*, c II. In the second step using Gaussian Mixtures and Expectation-Maximisation appropriate classificator was constructed. This classificator enables determination of probability that the selected pixel of analyzed image is a pathologically changed point (foreground) or healthy one (background). Obtained map of probability distribution was presented by means of pseudocolors. Results: Image processing techniques improve the sensitivity, quality and sharpness of original fluorescence images. Conclusion: Computer image processing enables better visualization of suspected areas examined by means of fluorescence diagnostics.

  6. NREL Develops Diagnostic Test Cases to Improve Building Energy Simulation Programs (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-12-01

    This technical highlight describes NREL research to develop a set of diagnostic test cases for building energy simulations in order to achieve more accurate energy use and savings predictions. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Residential and Commercial Buildings research groups developed a set of diagnostic test cases for building energy simulations. Eight test cases were developed to test surface conduction heat transfer algorithms of building envelopes in building energy simulation programs. These algorithms are used to predict energy flow through external opaque surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and floors. The test cases consist of analytical and vetted numerical heat transfer solutions that have been available for decades, which increases confidence in test results. NREL researchers adapted these solutions for comparisons with building energy simulation results. Testing the new cases with EnergyPlus identified issues with the conduction finite difference (CondFD) heat transfer algorithm in versions 5 and 6. NREL researchers resolved these issues for EnergyPlus version 7. The new test cases will help users and developers of EnergyPlus and other building energy tools to identify and fix problems associated with solid conduction heat transfer algorithms of building envelopes and their boundary conditions. In the long term, improvements to software algorithms will result in more accurate energy use and savings predictions. NREL researchers plan to document the set of test cases and make them available for future consideration by validation standards such as ASHRAE Standard 140: Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation of Building Energy Analysis Computer Programs. EnergyPlus users will also have access to the improved CondFD model in version 7 after its next scheduled release.

  7. Is that a Crater? Designing Citizen Science Platforms for the Volunteer and to Improve Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sprinks, J.; Houghton, R.; Bamford, S.; Morley, J. G.; Wardlaw, J.

    2015-10-01

    Citizen science platforms allow non-scientists to take part in scientific research across a range of disciplines, and often involve the collection of volunteered scientific analysis from remotely sensed imagery. What these systems ask of volunteers varies considerably in terms of task type, level of user required and user freedom. This work studied the Zooniverse's Planet Four project and investigated the effect of task workflow design on user engagement and data outputs. Results show participants found the more guided, less-autonomous interface more frustrating, while the less complex, repetitive interface resulted in greater data coverage.

  8. Burn injury diagnostic imaging device's accuracy improved by outlier detection and removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Weizhi; Mo, Weirong; Zhang, Xu; Lu, Yang; Squiers, John J.; Sellke, Eric W.; Fan, Wensheng; DiMaio, J. Michael; Thatcher, Jeffery E.

    2015-05-01

    Multispectral imaging (MSI) was implemented to develop a burn diagnostic device that will assist burn surgeons in planning and performing burn debridement surgery by classifying burn tissue. In order to build a burn classification model, training data that accurately represents the burn tissue is needed. Acquiring accurate training data is difficult, in part because the labeling of raw MSI data to the appropriate tissue classes is prone to errors. We hypothesized that these difficulties could be surmounted by removing outliers from the training dataset, leading to an improvement in the classification accuracy. A swine burn model was developed to build an initial MSI training database and study an algorithm's ability to classify clinically important tissues present in a burn injury. Once the ground-truth database was generated from the swine images, we then developed a multi-stage method based on Z-test and univariate analysis to detect and remove outliers from the training dataset. Using 10-fold cross validation, we compared the algorithm's accuracy when trained with and without the presence of outliers. The outlier detection and removal method reduced the variance of the training data from wavelength space, and test accuracy was improved from 63% to 76%. Establishing this simple method of conditioning for the training data improved the accuracy of the algorithm to match the current standard of care in burn injury assessment. Given that there are few burn surgeons and burn care facilities in the United States, this technology is expected to improve the standard of burn care for burn patients with less access to specialized facilities.

  9. [Improved quality of coronary diagnostics and interventions by virtual reality simulation].

    PubMed

    Voelker, W; Maier, S; Lengenfelder, B; Schöbel, W; Petersen, J; Bonz, A; Ertl, G

    2011-08-01

    Currently, more than 800,000 diagnostic procedures and 300,000 percutaneous coronary interventions are performed annually in 556 catheter laboratories in Germany. These numbers document the importance of training programs in interventional cardiology. However, this need is in sharp contrast to the time constraints for continuing medical education in Germany due to personnel and financial restrictions. A possible solution for this dilemma could be new training programs which partially supplement conventional clinical training by simulation-based medical education. Currently five virtual reality simulators for diagnostic procedures and percutaneous coronary interventions are available. These simulators provide a realistic hands-on training comparable to flight simulation in aviation.The simulator of choice for a defined training program depending on the underlying learning objectives could either be a simple mechanical model (for puncture training) or even a combination of virtual reality simulator and a full-scale mannequin (for team training and crisis resource management). For the selection of the adequate training program the basic skills of the trainee, the learning objectives and the underlying curriculum have to be taken into account. Absolutely mandatory for the success of simulation-based training is a dedicated teacher providing feedback and guidance. This teacher should be an experienced interventional cardiologist who knows both the simulator and the selected training cases which serve as a vehicle for transferring knowledge and skills.In this paper the potential of virtual reality simulation in cardiology will be discussed and the conditions which must be fulfilled to achieve quality improvement by simulation-based training will be defined. PMID:21748387

  10. Improving diagnostic accuracy using EHR in emergency departments: A simulation-based study.

    PubMed

    Ben-Assuli, Ofir; Sagi, Doron; Leshno, Moshe; Ironi, Avinoah; Ziv, Amitai

    2015-06-01

    It is widely believed that Electronic Health Records (EHR) improve medical decision-making by enabling medical staff to access medical information stored in the system. It remains unclear, however, whether EHR indeed fulfills this claim under the severe time constraints of Emergency Departments (EDs). We assessed whether accessing EHR in an ED actually improves decision-making by clinicians. A simulated ED environment was created at the Israel Center for Medical Simulation (MSR). Four different actors were trained to simulate four specific complaints and behavior and 'consulted' 26 volunteer ED physicians. Each physician treated half of the cases (randomly) with access to EHR, and their medical decisions were compared to those where the physicians had no access to EHR. Comparison of diagnostic accuracy with and without access showed that accessing the EHR led to an increase in the quality of the clinical decisions. Physicians accessing EHR were more highly informed and thus made more accurate decisions. The percentage of correct diagnoses was higher and these physicians were more confident in their diagnoses and made their decisions faster. PMID:25817921

  11. Deformability based sorting of red blood cells improves diagnostic sensitivity for malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Guo, Quan; Duffy, Simon P; Matthews, Kerryn; Deng, Xiaoyan; Santoso, Aline T; Islamzada, Emel; Ma, Hongshen

    2016-02-21

    The loss of red blood cell (RBC) deformability is part of the pathology of many diseases. In malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum infection, metabolism of hemoglobin by the parasite results in progressive reduction in RBC deformability that is directly correlated with the growth and development of the parasite. The ability to sort RBCs based on deformability therefore provides a means to isolate pathological cells and to study biochemical events associated with disease progression. Existing methods have not been able to sort RBCs based on deformability or to effectively enrich for P. falciparum infected RBCs at clinically relevant concentrations. Here, we develop a method to sort RBCs based on deformability and demonstrate the ability to enrich the concentration of ring-stage P. falciparum infected RBCs (Pf-iRBCs) by >100× from clinically relevant parasitemia (<0.01%). Deformability based sorting of RBCs is accomplished using ratchet transport through asymmetrical constrictions using oscillatory flow. This mechanism provides dramatically improved selectivity over previous biophysical methods by preventing the accumulation of cells in the filter microstructure to ensure that consistent filtration forces are applied to each cell. We show that our approach dramatically improves the sensitivity of malaria diagnosis performed using both microscopy and rapid diagnostic test by converting samples with difficult-to-detect parasitemia (<0.01%) into samples with easily detectable parasitemia (>0.1%). PMID:26768227

  12. Error estimates for ocean surface winds: Applying Desroziers diagnostics to the Cross-Calibrated, Multi-Platform analysis of wind speed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, Ross N.; Ardizzone, Joseph V.; Leidner, S. Mark; Smith, Deborah K.; Atlas, Robert M.

    2013-04-01

    The cross-calibrated, multi-platform (CCMP) ocean surface wind project [Atlas et al., 2011] generates high-quality, high-resolution, vector winds over the world's oceans beginning with the 1987 launch of the SSM/I F08, using Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) microwave satellite wind retrievals, as well as in situ observations from ships and buoys. The variational analysis method [VAM, Hoffman et al., 2003] is at the center of the CCMP project's analysis procedures for combining observations of the wind. The VAM was developed as a smoothing spline and so implicitly defines the background error covariance by means of several constraints with adjustable weights, and does not provide an explicit estimate of the analysis error. Here we report on our research to develop uncertainty estimates for wind speed for the VAM inputs and outputs, i.e., for the background (B), the observations (O) and the analysis (A) wind speed, based on the Desroziers et al. [2005] diagnostics (DD hereafter). The DD are applied to the CCMP ocean surface wind data sets to estimate wind speed errors of the ECMWF background, the microwave satellite observations and the resulting CCMP analysis. The DD confirm that the ECMWF operational surface wind speed error standard deviations vary with latitude in the range 0.7-1.5 m/s and that the cross-calibrated Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) wind speed retrievals standard deviations are in the range 0.5-0.8 m/s. Further the estimated CCMP analysis wind speed standard deviations are in the range 0.2-0.4 m/s. The results suggests the need to revise the parameterization of the errors due to the FGAT (first guess at the appropriate time) procedure. Errors for wind speeds < 16 m/s are homogeneous, but for the relatively rare, but critical higher wind speed situations, errors are much larger. Atlas, R., R. N. Hoffman, J. Ardizzone, S. M. Leidner, J. C. Jusem, D. K. Smith, and D. Gombos, A cross-calibrated, multi-platform ocean surface wind velocity product for

  13. Improvements on Low Level Activity Gamma Measurements and X-ray Spectrometry at the CEA-MADERE Measurement Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeyeva, Victoria; Domergue, Christophe; Destouches, Christophe; Girard, Jean Michel; Philibert, Hervé; Bonora, Jonathan; Thiollay, Nicolas; Lyoussi, Abdallah

    2016-02-01

    The CEA MADERE platform (Measurement Applied to DosimEtry in REactors) is a part of the Instrumentation Sensors and Dosimetry Laboratory (LDCI). This facility is dedicated to the specific activity measurements of solid and radioactive samples using Gamma and X-ray spectrometry. MADERE is a high-performance facility devoted to neutron dosimetry for experimental programs performed in CEA and for the irradiation surveillance programmes of PWR vessels. The MADERE platform is engaged in a continuous improvement process. Recently, two High Efficiency diodes have been integrated to the MADERE platform in order to manage the accurate low level activity measurements (few Bq per sample). This new equipment provides a good level of efficiency over the energy range from 60 keV to 2 MeV. The background continuum is reduced due to the use of a Ultra Low Background (ULB) lead shielding. Relative and absolute X-ray measurement techniques have been improved in order to facilitate absolute rhodium activity measurement (Rh103m) on solid samples. Additional efforts have been made to increase the accuracy of the relative niobium (Nb93m) activity measurement technique. The way of setting up an absolute measurement method for niobium is under investigation. After a presentation of the MADERE's measurement devices, this paper focuses on the technological options taken into account for the design of high efficiency measurement devices. Then, studies performed on X-ray measurement techniques are presented. Some details about the calculation of uncertainties and correction factors are also mentioned. Finally, future research and development axes are exposed.

  14. Improved characteristics of suspended membrane GaN light-emitting diodes on a silicon platform with reflective mirror

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xin; Gao, Xumin; Bai, Dan; Shi, Zheng; Zhu, Hongbo; Wang, Yongjin

    2016-06-01

    We propose the suspended membrane GaN light-emitting diodes with reflective mirror on silicon platform by back wafer processing. Silicon substrate under emission region is removed. Suspended membrane is thinned from backside and evaporated a reflective metal mirror. Multiple optical and electrical measurements are taken to characterize the performance of LEDs. Current density of suspended LED with reflective mirror is improved from 383.08 to 641.03 mA/mm2 compared to common LED. The reflectivity is 2.72 times of common LED in visible range. Emitted light increased by 330 % at 3 mA current in electroluminescent measurements. Light emission improvements are more obvious at larger current.

  15. Polymethyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid coatings with controllable concentration of surface carboxyl groups: A novel approach in fabrication of polymeric platforms for potential bio-diagnostic devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseini, Samira; Ibrahim, Fatimah; Djordjevic, Ivan; Koole, Leo H.

    2014-05-01

    The generally accepted strategy in development of bio-diagnostic devices is to immobilize proteins on polymeric surfaces as a part of detection process for diseases and viruses through antibody/antigen coupling. In that perspective, polymer surface properties such as concentration of functional groups must be closely controlled in order to preserve the protein activity. In order to improve the surface characteristics of transparent polymethacrylate plastics that are used for diagnostic devices, we have developed an effective fabrication procedure of polymethylmetacrylate-co-metacrylic acid (PMMA-co-MAA) coatings with controlled number of surface carboxyl groups. The polymers were processed effectively with the spin-coating technique and the detailed control over surface properties is here by demonstrated through the variation of a single synthesis reaction parameter. The chemical structure of synthesized and processed co-polymers has been investigated with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and matrix-assisted laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF-MS). The surface morphology of polymer coatings have been analyzed with atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We demonstrate that the surface morphology and the concentration of surface -COOH groups (determined with UV-vis surface titration) on the processed PMMA-co-MAA coatings can be precisely controlled by variation of initial molar ratio of reactants in the free-radical polymerization reaction. The wettability of developed polymer surfaces also varies with macromolecular structure.

  16. An e-Health Platform for the Elderly Population: The Butler System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Etchemendy, E.; Banos, R. M.; Botella, C.; Castilla, D.; Alcaniz, M.; Rasal, P.; Farfallini, L.

    2011-01-01

    The Butler system is an e-health platform designed to improve the elderly population's quality of life. The Butler system has three applications diagnostic, therapeutic and playful. The objective of this work is to present the influence of the use of the platform on elderly users' mood states and the degree of acceptance. These measures were…

  17. First TILLING Platform in Cucurbita pepo: A New Mutant Resource for Gene Function and Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Vicente-Dólera, Nelly; Troadec, Christelle; Moya, Manuel; del Río-Celestino, Mercedes; Pomares-Viciana, Teresa; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid; Picó, Belén; Román, Belén; Gómez, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    Although the availability of genetic and genomic resources for Cucurbita pepo has increased significantly, functional genomic resources are still limited for this crop. In this direction, we have developed a high throughput reverse genetic tool: the first TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) resource for this species. Additionally, we have used this resource to demonstrate that the previous EMS mutant population we developed has the highest mutation density compared with other cucurbits mutant populations. The overall mutation density in this first C. pepo TILLING platform was estimated to be 1/133 Kb by screening five additional genes. In total, 58 mutations confirmed by sequencing were identified in the five targeted genes, thirteen of which were predicted to have an impact on the function of the protein. The genotype/phenotype correlation was studied in a peroxidase gene, revealing that the phenotype of seedling homozygous for one of the isolated mutant alleles was albino. These results indicate that the TILLING approach in this species was successful at providing new mutations and can address the major challenge of linking sequence information to biological function and also the identification of novel variation for crop breeding. PMID:25386735

  18. Improved small-molecule macroarray platform for the rapid synthesis and discovery of antibacterial chalcones.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Joseph R; Bowman, Matthew D; Weisblum, Bernard; Blackwell, Helen E

    2011-03-14

    Bacterial resistance to current antibiotics is a major global health threat. Consequently, there is an urgent need for the identification of new antibacterial agents. We are applying the small-molecule macroarray platform to rapidly synthesize and screen compounds for activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Herein, we report the synthesis of a 1,3-diphenyl-2-propen-1-one (chalcone) macroarray using a Rink-amide linker-derivatized cellulose support. The Rink linker allowed for the incorporation of a broader array of library building blocks relative to our previous syntheses because milder reaction conditions could be utilized; significantly higher compound loadings were also achieved (~80% vs ~15%). Analysis of the 174-member chalcone macroarray in off-support antibacterial screening assays revealed three chalcones with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values against MRSA comparable to currently used antibacterial drugs and low hemolytic activities. These results serve to further showcase and extend the utility of the small molecule macroarray for antibacterial discovery. PMID:21210707

  19. Improved Diagnostic Multimodal Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Torteya, Antonio; Treviño, Víctor; Tamez-Peña, José G.

    2015-01-01

    The early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is very important for treatment research and patient care purposes. Few biomarkers are currently considered in clinical settings, and their use is still optional. The objective of this work was to determine whether multimodal and nonpreviously AD associated features could improve the classification accuracy between AD, MCI, and healthy controls, which may impact future AD biomarkers. For this, Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database was mined for case-control candidates. At least 652 baseline features extracted from MRI and PET analyses, biological samples, and clinical data up to February 2014 were used. A feature selection methodology that includes a genetic algorithm search coupled to a logistic regression classifier and forward and backward selection strategies was used to explore combinations of features. This generated diagnostic models with sizes ranging from 3 to 8, including well documented AD biomarkers, as well as unexplored image, biochemical, and clinical features. Accuracies of 0.85, 0.79, and 0.80 were achieved for HC-AD, HC-MCI, and MCI-AD classifications, respectively, when evaluated using a blind test set. In conclusion, a set of features provided additional and independent information to well-established AD biomarkers, aiding in the classification of MCI and AD. PMID:26106620

  20. Molecular investigations to improve diagnostic accuracy in patients with ARC syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cullinane, Andrew R; Straatman-Iwanowska, Anna; Seo, Jeong K; Ko, Jae S; Song, Kyung S; Gizewska, Maria; Gruszfeld, Dariusz; Gliwicz, Dorota; Tuysuz, Beyhan; Erdemir, Gulin; Sougrat, Rachid; Wakabayashi, Yoshiyuki; Hinds, Rupert; Barnicoat, Angela; Mandel, Hanna; Chitayat, David; Fischler, Björn; Garcia-Cazorla, Angels; Knisely, A S; Kelly, Deirdre A; Maher, Eamonn R; Gissen, Paul

    2009-02-01

    Arthrogryposis, Renal dysfunction and Cholestasis (ARC) syndrome is a multi-system autosomal recessive disorder caused by germline mutations in VPS33B. The detection of germline VPS33B mutations removes the need for diagnostic organ biopsies (these carry a>50% risk of life-threatening haemorrhage due to platelet dysfunction); however, VPS33B mutations are not detectable in approximately 25% of patients. In order further to define the molecular basis of ARC we performed mutation analysis and mRNA and protein studies in patients with a clinical diagnosis of ARC. Here we report novel mutations in VPS33B in patients from Eastern Europe and South East Asia. One of the mutations was present in 7 unrelated Korean patients. Reduced expression of VPS33B and cellular phenotype was detected in fibroblasts from patients clinically diagnosed with ARC with and without known VPS33B mutations. One mutation-negative patient was found to have normal mRNA and protein levels. This patient's clinical condition improved and he is alive at the age of 2.5 years. Thus we show that all patients with a classical clinical course of ARC had decreased expression of VPS33B whereas normal VPS33B expression was associated with good prognosis despite initial diagnosis of ARC. PMID:18853461

  1. Molecular Investigations to Improve Diagnostic Accuracy in Patients With ARC Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Cullinane, Andrew R.; Straatman-Iwanowska, Anna; Seo, Jeong K.; Ko, Jae S.; Song, Kyung S.; Gizewska, Maria; Gruszfeld, Dariusz; Gliwicz, Dorota; Tuysuz, Beyhan; Erdemir, Gulin; Sougrat, Rachid; Wakabayashi, Yoshiyuki; Hinds, Rupert; Barnicoat, Angela; Mandel, Hanna; Chitayat, David; Fischler, Björn; Garcia-Cazorla, Angels; Knisely, A. S.; Kelly, Deirdre A.; Maher, Eamonn R.; Gissen, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Arthrogryposis, Renal dysfunction and Cholestasis (ARC) syndrome is a multi-system autosomal recessive disorder caused by germline mutations in VPS33B. The detection of germline VPS33B mutations removes the need for diagnostic organ biopsies (these carry a >50% risk of life-threatening haemorrhage due to platelet dysfunction); however, VPS33B mutations are not detectable in ∼25% of patients. In order further to define the molecular basis of ARC we performed mutation analysis and mRNA and protein studies in patients with a clinical diagnosis of ARC. Here we report novel mutations in VPS33B in patients from Eastern Europe and South East Asia. One of the mutations was present in 7 unrelated Korean patients. Reduced expression of VPS33B and cellular phenotype was detected in fibroblasts from patients clinically diagnosed with ARC with and without known VPS33B mutations. One mutation-negative patient was found to have normal mRNA and protein levels. This patient's clinical condition improved and he is alive at the age of 2.5 years. Thus we show that all patients with a classical clinical course of ARC had decreased expression of VPS33B whereas normal VPS33B expression was associated with good prognosis despite initial diagnosis of ARC. PMID:18853461

  2. Using Targeted Active-Learning Exercises and Diagnostic Question Clusters to Improve Students' Understanding of Carbon Cycling in Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maskiewicz, April Cordero; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Welch, Nicole Turrill

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we used targeted active-learning activities to help students improve their ways of reasoning about carbon flow in ecosystems. The results of a validated ecology conceptual inventory (diagnostic question clusters [DQCs]) provided us with information about students' understanding of and reasoning about transformation of inorganic and…

  3. Improving lateral-flow immunoassay (LFIA) diagnostics via biomarker enrichment for mHealth.

    PubMed

    Lai, James J; Stayton, Patrick S

    2015-01-01

    Optical detection technologies based on mobile devices can be utilized to enable many mHealth applications, including a reader for lateral-flow immunoassay (LFIA). However, an intrinsic challenge associated with LFIA for clinical diagnostics is the limitation in sensitivity. Therefore, rapid and simple specimen processing strategies can directly enable more sensitive LFIA by purifying and concentrating biomarkers. Here, a binary reagent system is presented for concentrating analytes from a larger volume specimen to improve the malaria LFIA's limit of detection (LOD). The biomarker enrichment process utilizes temperature-responsive gold-streptavidin conjugates, biotinylated antibodies, and temperature-responsive magnetic nanoparticles. The temperature-responsive gold colloids were synthesized by modifying the citrate-stabilized gold colloids with a diblock copolymer, containing a thermally responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAAm) segment and a gold-binding block composed of NIPAAm-co-N,N-dimethylaminoethylacrylamide. The gold-streptavidin conjugates were synthesized by conjugating temperature-responsive gold colloids with streptavidin via covalent linkages using carbodiimide chemistry chemistry. The gold conjugates formed half-sandwiches, gold labeled biomarker, by complexing with biotinylated antibodies that were bound to Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2), a malaria antigen. When a thermal stimulus was applied in conjunction with a magnetic field, the half-sandwiches and temperature-responsive magnetic nanoparticles that were both decorated with pNIPAAm formed large aggregates that were efficiently magnetically separated from human plasma. The binary reagent system was applied to a large volume (500 μL) specimen for concentrating biomarker 50-fold into a small volume and applied directly to an off-the-shelf malaria LFIA to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. PMID:25626532

  4. An improved UPLC-MS/MS platform for quantitative analysis of glycerophosphoinositol in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Grauso, Laura; Mariggiò, Stefania; Corda, Daniela; Fontana, Angelo; Cutignano, Adele

    2015-01-01

    The glycerophosphoinositols constitute a class of biologically active lipid-derived mediators whose intracellular levels are modulated during physiological and pathological cell processes. Comprehensive assessment of the role of these compounds expands beyond the cellular biology of lipids and includes rapid and unambiguous measurement in cells and tissues. Here we describe a sensitive and simple liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for quantitative analysis of the most abundant among these phosphoinositide derivatives in mammalian cells, the glycerophosphoinositol (GroPIns). The method has been developed in mouse Raw 264.7 macrophages with limits of quantitation at 3 ng/ml. Validation on the same cell line showed excellent response in terms of linear dynamic range (from 3 to 3,000 ng/ml), intra-day and inter-day precision (coefficient of variation ≤ 7.10%) and accuracy (between 98.1 and 109.0%) in the range 10-320 ng/ml. As proof of concept, a simplified analytical platform based on this method and external calibration was also tested on four stimulated and unstimulated cell lines, including Raw 264.7 macrophages, Jurkat T-cells, A375MM melanoma cells and rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cells. The results indicate a wide variation in GroPIns levels among different cell lines and stimulation conditions, although the measurements were always in line with the literature. No significant matrix effects were observed thus indicating that the here proposed method can be of general use for similar determinations in cells of different origin. PMID:25860666

  5. Measurement of Glycosylated Alpha-Fetoprotein Improves Diagnostic Power over the Native Form in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Jonghwa; Park, Jiyoung; Yu, Su Jong; Yoon, Jung-Hwan; Kim, Youngsoo

    2014-01-01

    Serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) has long been used as a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), albeit controversially. Although it remains widely used in clinics, the value of AFP in HCC diagnosis has recently been challenged due to its significant rates of false positive and false negative findings. To improve the efficacy of AFP as HCC diagnostic marker, we developed a method of measuring total and glycosylated AFP by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM)-MS. In this study, we verified the total amount of AFP (nonglycopeptide levels) and the degree of glycosylated AFP (deglycopeptide levels) in 60 normal (41 men and 19 women; mean age 53 years; range 32–74 years), 35 LC (23 men and 12 women; mean age 56 years; range 43–78 years; HBV-related), and 60 HCC subjects (42 men and 18 women; mean age 58 years; range 38–76 years; HBV-related; 30 stage I, 15 stage II, and 10 stage III). By MRM-MS analysis, the nonglycopeptide had 56.7% sensitivity, 68.3% specificity, and an AUC of 0.687 [cutoff value: ≥0.02 (light/heavy ratio)], comparing the normal and HCC group, whereas the deglycopeptide had 93.3% sensitivity, 68.3% specificity, and an AUC of 0.859 [cutoff value: ≥0.02 (light/heavy ratio)]. In comparing the stage I HCC subgroup with the LC group, the nonglycopeptide had a sensitivity of 66.7%, specificity of 80.0%, and an AUC of 0.712 [cutoff value: ≥0.02 (light/heavy ratio)], whereas the deglycopeptide had a sensitivity of 96.7%, specificity of 80.0%, and an AUC of 0.918 [cutoff value: ≥0.02 (light/heavy ratio)]. These data demonstrate that the discriminatory power of the deglycopeptide is greater than that of the nonglycopeptide. We conclude that deglycopeptide can distinguish cancer status between normal subjects and HCC patients better than nonglycopeptide. PMID:25310463

  6. Creating a unique, multi-stakeholder Paediatric Oncology Platform to improve drug development for children and adolescents with cancer.

    PubMed

    Vassal, Gilles; Rousseau, Raphaël; Blanc, Patricia; Moreno, Lucas; Bode, Gerlind; Schwoch, Stefan; Schrappe, Martin; Skolnik, Jeffrey; Bergman, Lothar; Bradley-Garelik, Mary Brigid; Saha, Vaskar; Pearson, Andy; Zwierzina, Heinz

    2015-01-01

    Seven years after the launch of the European Paediatric Medicine Regulation, limited progress in paediatric oncology drug development remains a major concern amongst stakeholders - academics, industry, regulatory authorities, parents, patients and caregivers. Restricted increases in early phase paediatric oncology trials, legal requirements and regulatory pressure to propose early Paediatric Investigation Plans (PIPs), missed opportunities to explore new drugs potentially relevant for paediatric malignancies, lack of innovative trial designs and no new incentives to develop drugs against specific paediatric targets are some unmet needs. Better access to new anti-cancer drugs for paediatric clinical studies and improved collaboration between stakeholders are essential. The Cancer Drug Development Forum (CDDF), previously Biotherapy Development Association (BDA), with Innovative Therapy for Children with Cancer Consortium (ITCC), European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE) and European Network for Cancer Research in Children and Adolescents (ENCCA) has created a unique Paediatric Oncology Platform, involving multiple stakeholders and the European Union (EU) Commission, with an urgent remit to improve paediatric oncology drug development. The Paediatric Oncology Platform proposes to recommend immediate changes in the implementation of the Regulation and set the framework for its 2017 revision; initiatives to incentivise drug development against specific paediatric oncology targets, and repositioning of drugs not developed in adults. Underpinning these changes is a strategy for mechanism of action and biology driven selection and prioritisation of potential paediatric indications rather than the current process based on adult cancer indications. Pre-competitive research and drug prioritisation, early portfolio evaluation, cross-industry cooperation and multi-compound/sponsor trials are being explored, from which guidance for innovative trial designs will be

  7. Improvement in the Diagnostic Evaluation of a Positive Fecal Occult Blood Test in an Integrated Health Care Organization

    PubMed Central

    Miglioretti, Diana L.; Rutter, Carolyn M.; Bradford, Susan Carol; Zauber, Ann G.; Kessler, Larry G.; Feuer, Eric J.; Grossman, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Background Screening for fecal occult blood can be effective in reducing colorectal cancer mortality only if positive tests are appropriately followed up with complete diagnostic evaluation (i.e., colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy with double contrast barium enema) and treatment. Objectives To examine whether rates of complete diagnostic evaluation following a positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) have improved over time after the implementation of tracking systems and physician guidelines within a large integrated health care organization. Research Design From 1993 to 2005, 8513 positive FOBTs were identified on 8291 enrollees aged 50–79 of a large health care system. Automated records were used to identify repeat FOBTs, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and double-contrast barium enema within one year after the positive FOBT. National rates of complete diagnostic evaluation were estimated from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey. Results In this integrated health care organization, the percentage of positive FOBTs followed by complete diagnostic evaluation within one year increased from 57%–64% in 1993–1996 to 82%–86% from 2000–2005. Use of repeat FOBT following a positive FOBT decreased from 28–31% in 1993–1996 to 6–11% in 2000–2005. Based on the National Health Interview Survey, only 52% of positive FOBTs from 2000–2005 were followed by complete diagnostic evaluation nationally. Conclusions Adherence to recommendations for complete diagnostic evaluation following a positive FOBT has greatly improved over time in an integrated group medical practice. Through the use of tracking systems and screening guidelines, it may be possible to reach levels of follow-up that are comparable to those observed in randomized trials. PMID:18725839

  8. Tablets in trauma: using mobile computing platforms to improve patient understanding and experience.

    PubMed

    Furness, Nicholas D; Bradford, Oliver J; Paterson, Maurice P

    2013-03-01

    Tablets are becoming commonplace in the health care setting. Patients often request to view their radiographs after sustaining trauma. This can be challenging, especially if patients are immobile. The authors performed a prospective, questionnaire-based study to assess inpatient desire to view radiographs on tablets and whether viewing images affected patient-rated outcomes of understanding and satisfaction. Enabling trauma patients to view their images on a tablet is a worthwhile practice because it improves patient involvement in decision making, satisfaction, perceived understanding, and overall experience. PMID:23464939

  9. Being "on stage": improving platform presentation skills with microteaching exercises and feedback.

    PubMed

    Roush, Robert E

    2008-01-01

    In just over 20 years, all 78 million baby boomers will have reached their "coming of age". When this demographic milestone occurs, one in every five Americans will be at least 65 years old; millions will have comorbid and chronic conditions requiring better prepared health care providers and markedly improved services than are presently available. Thus, geroeducators must teach current and future practitioners what they need to know to help their patients have the best possible old age. To ensure that this outcome occurs, teachers must observe students and practitioners demonstrating their ability to perform taught skills competently. Using microteaching and feedback can help clinical educators be those better teachers of the caregivers of older people. PMID:19042504

  10. Functional engineered human cardiac patches prepared from nature's platform improve heart function after acute myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qingjie; Yang, Hui; Bai, Aobing; Jiang, Wei; Li, Xiuya; Wang, Xinhong; Mao, Yishen; Lu, Chao; Qian, Ruizhe; Guo, Feng; Ding, Tianling; Chen, Haiyan; Chen, Sifeng; Zhang, Jianyi; Liu, Chen; Sun, Ning

    2016-10-01

    With the advent of induced pluripotent stem cells and directed differentiation techniques, it is now feasible to derive individual-specific cardiac cells for human heart tissue engineering. Here we report the generation of functional engineered human cardiac patches using human induced pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiac cells and decellularized natural heart ECM as scaffolds. The engineered human cardiac patches can be tailored to any desired size and shape and exhibited normal contractile and electrical physiology in vitro. Further, when patching on the infarct area, these patches improved heart function of rats with acute myocardial infarction in vivo. These engineered human cardiac patches can be of great value for normal and disease-specific heart tissue engineering, drug screening, and meet the demands for individual-specific heart tissues for personalized regenerative therapy of myocardial damages in the future. PMID:27509303

  11. Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) draft genome provides a platform for trait improvement

    PubMed Central

    De Vega, Jose J.; Ayling, Sarah; Hegarty, Matthew; Kudrna, Dave; Goicoechea, Jose L.; Ergon, Åshild; Rognli, Odd A.; Jones, Charlotte; Swain, Martin; Geurts, Rene; Lang, Chunting; Mayer, Klaus F. X.; Rössner, Stephan; Yates, Steven; Webb, Kathleen J.; Donnison, Iain S.; Oldroyd, Giles E. D.; Wing, Rod A.; Caccamo, Mario; Powell, Wayne; Abberton, Michael T.; Skøt, Leif

    2015-01-01

    Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) is a globally significant forage legume in pastoral livestock farming systems. It is an attractive component of grassland farming, because of its high yield and protein content, nutritional value and ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Enhancing its role further in sustainable agriculture requires genetic improvement of persistency, disease resistance, and tolerance to grazing. To help address these challenges, we have assembled a chromosome-scale reference genome for red clover. We observed large blocks of conserved synteny with Medicago truncatula and estimated that the two species diverged ~23 million years ago. Among the 40,868 annotated genes, we identified gene clusters involved in biochemical pathways of importance for forage quality and livestock nutrition. Genotyping by sequencing of a synthetic population of 86 genotypes show that the number of markers required for genomics-based breeding approaches is tractable, making red clover a suitable candidate for association studies and genomic selection. PMID:26617401

  12. Accurate Point-of-Care Detection of Ruptured Fetal Membranes: Improved Diagnostic Performance Characteristics with a Monoclonal/Polyclonal Immunoassay

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Linda C.; Scott, Laurie; Block, Jon E.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Accurate and timely diagnosis of rupture of membranes (ROM) is imperative to allow for gestational age-specific interventions. This study compared the diagnostic performance characteristics between two methods used for the detection of ROM as measured in the same patient. METHODS Vaginal secretions were evaluated using the conventional fern test as well as a point-of-care monoclonal/polyclonal immunoassay test (ROM Plus®) in 75 pregnant patients who presented to labor and delivery with complaints of leaking amniotic fluid. Both tests were compared to analytical confirmation of ROM using three external laboratory tests. Diagnostic performance characteristics were calculated including sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy. RESULTS Diagnostic performance characteristics uniformly favored ROM detection using the immunoassay test compared to the fern test: sensitivity (100% vs. 77.8%), specificity (94.8% vs. 79.3%), PPV (75% vs. 36.8%), NPV (100% vs. 95.8%), and accuracy (95.5% vs. 79.1%). CONCLUSIONS The point-of-care immunoassay test provides improved diagnostic accuracy for the detection of ROM compared to fern testing. It has the potential of improving patient management decisions, thereby minimizing serious complications and perinatal morbidity. PMID:27199579

  13. Nanostructured lipid carriers: An emerging platform for improving oral bioavailability of lipophilic drugs

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Saba; Baboota, Sanjula; Ali, Javed; Khan, Sana; Narang, Ramandeep Singh; Narang, Jasjeet Kaur

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays exploration of novel lipid-based formulations is akin to a magnet for researchers worldwide for improving the in vivo performance of highly lipophilic drugs. Over the last few years, new compositions of lipids have been developed, and the probable bioavailability enhancement has been investigated. We reviewed the most recent data dealing with backlogs of conventional lipid-based formulations such as physical instability, limited drug loading capacities, drug expulsion during storage along with all the possible hindrances resulting in poor absorption of highly lipophilic drugs such as P-glycoprotein efflux, extensive metabolism by cytochrome P450 etc. In tandem with these aspects, an exclusive formulation approach has been discussed in detail in this paper. Therefore, this review focuses on resolving the concerned ambiguity with successful oral administration of highly lipophilic drugs through designing novel lipidic formulations (nanostructured lipid carriers [NLC]) that constitute a blend of solid and liquid lipids. The article highlights the potential role of such formulation in normalizing the in vivo fate of poorly soluble drugs. Finally, the present manuscript discusses the dominance of NLC over other lipid-based formulations and provides a perspective of how they defeat and overcome the barriers that lead to the poor bioavailability of hydrophobic drugs. PMID:26682188

  14. Nanostructured lipid carriers: An emerging platform for improving oral bioavailability of lipophilic drugs.

    PubMed

    Khan, Saba; Baboota, Sanjula; Ali, Javed; Khan, Sana; Narang, Ramandeep Singh; Narang, Jasjeet Kaur

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays exploration of novel lipid-based formulations is akin to a magnet for researchers worldwide for improving the in vivo performance of highly lipophilic drugs. Over the last few years, new compositions of lipids have been developed, and the probable bioavailability enhancement has been investigated. We reviewed the most recent data dealing with backlogs of conventional lipid-based formulations such as physical instability, limited drug loading capacities, drug expulsion during storage along with all the possible hindrances resulting in poor absorption of highly lipophilic drugs such as P-glycoprotein efflux, extensive metabolism by cytochrome P450 etc. In tandem with these aspects, an exclusive formulation approach has been discussed in detail in this paper. Therefore, this review focuses on resolving the concerned ambiguity with successful oral administration of highly lipophilic drugs through designing novel lipidic formulations (nanostructured lipid carriers [NLC]) that constitute a blend of solid and liquid lipids. The article highlights the potential role of such formulation in normalizing the in vivo fate of poorly soluble drugs. Finally, the present manuscript discusses the dominance of NLC over other lipid-based formulations and provides a perspective of how they defeat and overcome the barriers that lead to the poor bioavailability of hydrophobic drugs. PMID:26682188

  15. Hemocompatibility Improvement of Chromium-Bearing Bare-Metal Stent Platform After Magnetoelectropolishing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rokicki, Ryszard; Haider, Waseem; Maffi, Shivani Kaushal

    2015-01-01

    Research was undertaken to determine the influence of the increased content of chromium in the outermost passive layer of magneto-electrochemically refined Co-Cr alloy L-605 surface on its hemocompatibility. The chemistry, roughness, surface energy, and wettability of conventionally electropolished (EP) and magnetoelectropolished (MEP) samples were studied with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), open circuit potential, atomic force microscopy, and contact angle meter. In vitro hemocompatibility of tested material surfaces was assessed using two important indicators of vascular responses to biomaterial, namely endothelialization and platelets adhesion. The endothelialization was assessed by seeding and incubating samples with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) for 3 days before counting and observing them under a fluorescent microscope. The platelet (rich plasma blood) adhesion and activation test on EP and MEP L-605 alloy surfaces was assessed using a laser scanning confocal microscope. The XPS analysis of MEP samples showed significant enrichment of the passive layer with Cr and O when compared with the EP one. The amount of other elements in the passive layer did not show a significant difference between EP and MEP treatments. The adhesion of HUVEC cells shows remarkable affinity to surfaces enriched in Cr (MEP) with almost 100% confluency. In addition, the number of platelets that adhered to standard EP surfaces was higher compared to the MEP surface. The present study shows that the chromium-enriched surface of cobalt-chromium alloy L-605 by the magnetoelectropolishing process tremendously improves surface hemocompatibility with regard to stent functionality by enhanced endothelialization and lower platelet adhesion and should be taken under consideration as an alternative surface of biodegradable polymer drug-eluting stents, polymer-free drug-eluting stents as well as bare-metal stents.

  16. Soft x-ray power diagnostic improvements at the Omega Laser Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Sorce, C.; Schein, J.; Weber, F.; Widmann, K.; Campbell, K.; Dewald, E.; Turner, R.; Landen, O.; Jacoby, K.; Torres, P.; Pellinen, D.

    2006-10-15

    Soft x-ray power diagnostics are essential for evaluating high temperature laser plasma experiments. The Dante soft x-ray spectrometer, a core diagnostic for radiation flux and temperature measurements of Hohlraums, installed on the Omega Laser Facility at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics has recently undergone a series of upgrades. Work performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory for the development of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Dante spectrometer enables the Omega Dante to offer a total of 18 absolutely calibrated channels in the energy range from 50 eV to 20 keV. This feature provides Dante with the capability to measure higher, NIF relevant, radiation temperatures with increased accuracy including a differentiation of higher energy radiation such as the Au M and L bands. Diagnostic monitoring using experimental data from directly driven Au spherical shots is discussed.

  17. Polyethersulfone improves isothermal nucleic acid amplification compared to current paper-based diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Linnes, J C; Rodriguez, N M; Liu, L; Klapperich, C M

    2016-04-01

    Devices based on rapid, paper-based, isothermal nucleic acid amplification techniques have recently emerged with the potential to fill a growing need for highly sensitive point-of-care diagnostics throughout the world. As this field develops, such devices will require optimized materials that promote amplification and sample preparation. Herein, we systematically investigated isothermal nucleic acid amplification in materials currently used in rapid diagnostics (cellulose paper, glass fiber, and nitrocellulose) and two additional porous membranes with upstream sample preparation capabilities (polyethersulfone and polycarbonate). We compared amplification efficiency from four separate DNA and RNA targets (Bordetella pertussis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Influenza A H1N1) within these materials using two different isothermal amplification schemes, helicase dependent amplification (tHDA) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), and traditional PCR. We found that the current paper-based diagnostic membranes inhibited nucleic acid amplification when compared to membrane-free controls; however, polyethersulfone allowed for efficient amplification in both LAMP and tHDA reactions. Further, observing the performance of traditional PCR amplification within these membranes was not predicative of their effects on in situ LAMP and tHDA. Polyethersulfone is a new material for paper-based nucleic acid amplification, yet provides an optimal support for rapid molecular diagnostics for point-of-care applications. PMID:26906904

  18. Polyethersulfone improves isothermal nucleic acid amplification compared to current paper-based diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Linnes, J. C.; Rodriguez, N. M.; Liu, L.

    2016-01-01

    Devices based on rapid, paper-based, isothermal nucleic acid amplification techniques have recently emerged with the potential to fill a growing need for highly sensitive point-of-care diagnostics throughout the world. As this field develops, such devices will require optimized materials that promote amplification and sample preparation. Herein, we systematically investigated isothermal nucleic acid amplification in materials currently used in rapid diagnostics (cellulose paper, glass fiber, and nitrocellulose) and two additional porous membranes with upstream sample preparation capabilities (polyethersulfone and polycarbonate). We compared amplification efficiency from four separate DNA and RNA targets (Bordetella pertussis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Influenza A H1N1) within these materials using two different isothermal amplification schemes, helicase dependent amplification (tHDA) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), and traditional PCR. We found that the current paper-based diagnostic membranes inhibited nucleic acid amplification when compared to membrane-free controls; however, polyethersulfone allowed for efficient amplification in both LAMP and tHDA reactions. Further, observing the performance of traditional PCR amplification within these membranes was not predicative of their effects on in situ LAMP and tHDA. Polyethersulfone is a new material for paper-based nucleic acid amplification, yet provides an optimal support for rapid molecular diagnostics for point-of-care applications. PMID:26906904

  19. EPSE Project 1: Using Diagnostic Assessment To Improve Science Teaching and Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Robin; Hames, Vicky

    2002-01-01

    Reports on Project 1 from the Evidence-based Practice in Science Education (EPSE) Research Network. In this project, a group of teachers develop banks of diagnostic questions in four science topic areas: electric circuits, force and motion, matter and chemical change, and biochemical life processes. (DDR)

  20. Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning: Recent Advances in Diagnostics and Controls to Improve Air-Handling System Performance

    SciTech Connect

    Wray, Craig; Wray, Craig P.; Sherman, Max H.; Walker, I.S.; Dickerhoff, D.J.; Federspiel, C.C.

    2008-02-01

    The performance of air-handling systems in buildings needs to be improved. Many of the deficiencies result from myths and lore and a lack of understanding about the non-linear physical principles embedded in the associated technologies. By incorporating these principles, a few important efforts related to diagnostics and controls have already begun to solve some of the problems. This paper illustrates three novel solutions: one rapidly assesses duct leakage, the second configures ad hoc duct-static-pressure reset strategies, and the third identifies useful intermittent ventilation strategies. By highlighting these efforts, this paper seeks to stimulate new research and technology developments that could further improve air-handling systems.

  1. Improved genotyping vaccine and wild-type poliovirus strains by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis: clinical diagnostic implications.

    PubMed

    Georgopoulou, A; Markoulatos, P; Spyrou, N; Vamvakopoulos, N C

    2000-12-01

    The combination of preventive vaccination and diagnostic typing of viral isolates from patients with clinical poliomyelitis constitutes our main protective shield against polioviruses. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) adaptation of the reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR methodology has advanced diagnostic genotyping of polioviruses, although further improvements are definitely needed. We report here on an improved RFLP procedure for the genotyping of polioviruses. A highly conserved segment within the 5' noncoding region of polioviruses was selected for RT-PCR amplification by the UC(53)-UG(52) primer pair with the hope that it would be most resistant to the inescapable genetic alteration-drift experienced by the other segments of the viral genome. Complete inter- and intratypic genotyping of polioviruses by the present RFLP method was accomplished with a minimum set of four restriction endonucleases (HaeIII, DdeI, NcoI, and AvaI). To compensate for potential genetic drift within the recognition sites of HaeIII, DdeI, or NcoI in atypical clinical samples, the RFLP patterns generated with HpaII and StyI as replacements were analyzed. The specificity of the method was also successfully assessed by RFLP analysis of 55 reference nonpoliovirus enterovirus controls. The concerted implementation of these conditional protocols for diagnostic inter- and intratypic genotyping of polioviruses was evaluated with 21 clinical samples with absolute success. PMID:11101561

  2. Improved Genotyping Vaccine and Wild-Type Poliovirus Strains by Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis: Clinical Diagnostic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Georgopoulou, Amalia; Markoulatos, Panayotis; Spyrou, Niki; Vamvakopoulos, Nicholas C.

    2000-01-01

    The combination of preventive vaccination and diagnostic typing of viral isolates from patients with clinical poliomyelitis constitutes our main protective shield against polioviruses. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) adaptation of the reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR methodology has advanced diagnostic genotyping of polioviruses, although further improvements are definitely needed. We report here on an improved RFLP procedure for the genotyping of polioviruses. A highly conserved segment within the 5′ noncoding region of polioviruses was selected for RT-PCR amplification by the UC53-UG52 primer pair with the hope that it would be most resistant to the inescapable genetic alteration-drift experienced by the other segments of the viral genome. Complete inter- and intratypic genotyping of polioviruses by the present RFLP method was accomplished with a minimum set of four restriction endonucleases (HaeIII, DdeI, NcoI, and AvaI). To compensate for potential genetic drift within the recognition sites of HaeIII, DdeI, or NcoI in atypical clinical samples, the RFLP patterns generated with HpaII and StyI as replacements were analyzed. The specificity of the method was also successfully assessed by RFLP analysis of 55 reference nonpoliovirus enterovirus controls. The concerted implementation of these conditional protocols for diagnostic inter- and intratypic genotyping of polioviruses was evaluated with 21 clinical samples with absolute success. PMID:11101561

  3. A Diagnostic System for Improving Biomass Quality Based on a Sensor Network

    PubMed Central

    Bochtis, Dionysis D.; Sørensen, Claus G.; Green, Ole; Bartzanas, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Losses during storage of biomass are the main parameter that defines the profitability of using preserved biomass as feed for animal husbandry. In order to minimize storage losses, potential changes in specific physicochemical properties must be identified to subsequently act as indicators of silage decomposition and form the basis for preventive measures. This study presents a framework for a diagnostic system capable of detecting potential changes in specific physicochemical properties, i.e., temperature and the oxygen content, during the biomass storage process. The diagnostic system comprises a monitoring tool based on a wireless sensors network and a prediction tool based on a validated computation fluid dynamics model. It is shown that the system can provide the manager (end-user) with continuously updated information about specific biomass quality parameters. The system encompasses graphical visualization of the information to the end-user as a first step and, as a second step, the system identifies alerts depicting real differences between actual and predicted values of the monitored properties. The perspective is that this diagnostic system will provide managers with a solid basis for necessary preventive measures. PMID:22163886

  4. Development of the Zebra load region for increased capability plasma diagnostics and improved Leopard laser access

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astanovitskiy, Alexey; Presura, R.; Ivanov, V. V.; Haboub, A.; Plachaty, C.; Kindel, J. M.

    2008-11-01

    A new geometry for the load area in the Zebra (1MA pulse generator) is developed. It will form the basis for future experiments requiring Leopard (1057nm, 50TW laser) to Zebra coupling and give extended capability to z-pinch diagnostics. This required the development of a new current return, which allows laser access and installation of the OD 4'' parabolic mirror for the x-ray radiography, isochoric heating and magnetized plasma experiments, and accommodates wire-array z-pinch loads, to which the laser may then be coupled. In addition, this configuration allows diagnostics access close to the plasma, leading to a significant increase of the spatial resolution for imaging of z-pinches, as well as the photon flux in imaging and spectroscopy of laser produced plasmas. These diagnostics will allow coupling of the Leopard beam for x-ray laser probing of the pinch plasma and we will test point-projection x-ray backlighting of the pinch plasma.

  5. Improvements are needed in reporting of accuracy studies for diagnostic tests used for detection of finfish pathogens.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Ian A; Burnley, Timothy; Caraguel, Charles

    2014-12-01

    Indices of test accuracy, such as diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, are important considerations in test selection for a defined purpose (e.g., screening or confirmation) and affect the interpretation of test results. Many biomedical journals recommend that authors clearly and transparently report test accuracy studies following the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) guidelines ( www.stard-statement.org ). This allows readers to evaluate overall study validity and assess potential bias in diagnostic sensitivity and specificity estimates. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the reporting quality of studies evaluating test accuracy for finfish diseases using the 25 items in the STARD checklist. Based on a database search, 11 studies that included estimates of diagnostic accuracy were identified for independent evaluation by three reviewers. For each study, STARD checklist items were scored as "yes," "no," or "not applicable." Only 10 of the 25 items were consistently reported in most (≥80%) papers, and reporting of the other items was highly variable (mostly between 30% and 60%). Three items ("number, training, and expertise of readers and testers"; "time interval between index tests and reference standard"; and "handling of indeterminate results, missing data, and outliers of the index tests") were reported in less than 10% of papers. Two items ("time interval between index tests and reference standard" and "adverse effects from testing") were considered minimally relevant to fish health because test samples usually are collected postmortem. Modification of STARD to fit finfish studies should increase use by authors and thereby improve the overall reporting quality regardless of how the study was designed. Furthermore, the use of STARD may lead to the improved design of future studies. PMID:25252270

  6. Fungal Diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Kozel, Thomas R.; Wickes, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Early diagnosis of fungal infection is critical to effective treatment. There are many impediments to diagnosis such as a diminishing number of clinical mycologists, cost, time to result, and requirements for sensitivity and specificity. In addition, fungal diagnostics must meet the contrasting needs presented by the increasing diversity of fungi found in association with the use of immunosuppressive agents in countries with high levels of medical care and the need for diagnostics in resource-limited countries where large numbers of opportunistic infections occur in patients with AIDS. Traditional approaches to diagnosis include direct microscopic examination of clinical samples, histopathology, culture, and serology. Emerging technologies include molecular diagnostics and antigen detection in clinical samples. Innovative new technologies that use molecular and immunoassay platforms have the potential to meet the needs of both resource-rich and resource-limited clinical environments. PMID:24692193

  7. Clinical utility of machine-learning approaches in schizophrenia: improving diagnostic confidence for translational neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Iwabuchi, Sarina J; Liddle, Peter F; Palaniyappan, Lena

    2013-01-01

    Machine-learning approaches are becoming commonplace in the neuroimaging literature as potential diagnostic and prognostic tools for the study of clinical populations. However, very few studies provide clinically informative measures to aid in decision-making and resource allocation. Head-to-head comparison of neuroimaging-based multivariate classifiers is an essential first step to promote translation of these tools to clinical practice. We systematically evaluated the classifier performance using back-to-back structural MRI in two field strengths (3- and 7-T) to discriminate patients with schizophrenia (n = 19) from healthy controls (n = 20). Gray matter (GM) and white matter images were used as inputs into a support vector machine to classify patients and control subjects. Seven Tesla classifiers outperformed the 3-T classifiers with accuracy reaching as high as 77% for the 7-T GM classifier compared to 66.6% for the 3-T GM classifier. Furthermore, diagnostic odds ratio (a measure that is not affected by variations in sample characteristics) and number needed to predict (a measure based on Bayesian certainty of a test result) indicated superior performance of the 7-T classifiers, whereby for each correct diagnosis made, the number of patients that need to be examined using the 7-T GM classifier was one less than the number that need to be examined if a different classifier was used. Using a hypothetical example, we highlight how these findings could have significant implications for clinical decision-making. We encourage the reporting of measures proposed here in future studies utilizing machine-learning approaches. This will not only promote the search for an optimum diagnostic tool but also aid in the translation of neuroimaging to clinical use. PMID:24009589

  8. Clinical Utility of Machine-Learning Approaches in Schizophrenia: Improving Diagnostic Confidence for Translational Neuroimaging

    PubMed Central

    Iwabuchi, Sarina J.; Liddle, Peter F.; Palaniyappan, Lena

    2013-01-01

    Machine-learning approaches are becoming commonplace in the neuroimaging literature as potential diagnostic and prognostic tools for the study of clinical populations. However, very few studies provide clinically informative measures to aid in decision-making and resource allocation. Head-to-head comparison of neuroimaging-based multivariate classifiers is an essential first step to promote translation of these tools to clinical practice. We systematically evaluated the classifier performance using back-to-back structural MRI in two field strengths (3- and 7-T) to discriminate patients with schizophrenia (n = 19) from healthy controls (n = 20). Gray matter (GM) and white matter images were used as inputs into a support vector machine to classify patients and control subjects. Seven Tesla classifiers outperformed the 3-T classifiers with accuracy reaching as high as 77% for the 7-T GM classifier compared to 66.6% for the 3-T GM classifier. Furthermore, diagnostic odds ratio (a measure that is not affected by variations in sample characteristics) and number needed to predict (a measure based on Bayesian certainty of a test result) indicated superior performance of the 7-T classifiers, whereby for each correct diagnosis made, the number of patients that need to be examined using the 7-T GM classifier was one less than the number that need to be examined if a different classifier was used. Using a hypothetical example, we highlight how these findings could have significant implications for clinical decision-making. We encourage the reporting of measures proposed here in future studies utilizing machine-learning approaches. This will not only promote the search for an optimum diagnostic tool but also aid in the translation of neuroimaging to clinical use. PMID:24009589

  9. Edge Thomson scattering diagnostic on COMPASS tokamak: Installation, calibration, operation, improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Bohm, P. Bilkova, P.; Melich, R.; Sestak, D.; Weinzettl, V.; Stockel, J.; Hron, M.; Panek, R.; Mikulin, O.; Scannell, R.; Naylor, G.; Frassinetti, L.; Fassina, A.; Walsh, M. J.

    2014-11-15

    The core Thomson scattering diagnostic (TS) on the COMPASS tokamak was put in operation and reported earlier. Implementation of edge TS, with spatial resolution along the laser beam up to ∼1/100 of the tokamak minor radius, is presented now. The procedure for spatial calibration and alignment of both core and edge systems is described. Several further upgrades of the TS system, like a triggering unit and piezo motor driven vacuum window shutter, are introduced as well. The edge TS system, together with the core TS, is now in routine operation and provides electron temperature and density profiles.

  10. Diagnostic Marker for Improving Treatment Outcomes of Hepatitis C | NCI Technology Transfer Center | TTC

    Cancer.gov

    NCI Researchers have discovered Interferon-lambda 4 (IFNL4), a protein found through analysis of genomic data. Preliminary studies indicate that this protein may play a role in the clearance of HCV and may be a new target for diagnosing and treating HCV infection. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) Immunoepidemiology Branch is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in in-licensing or collaborative research to further co-develop a gene-based diagnostic for Hepatitis C virus (HepC, HCV).

  11. Edge Thomson scattering diagnostic on COMPASS tokamak: installation, calibration, operation, improvements.

    PubMed

    Bohm, P; Aftanas, M; Bilkova, P; Stefanikova, E; Mikulin, O; Melich, R; Janky, F; Havlicek, J; Sestak, D; Weinzettl, V; Stockel, J; Hron, M; Panek, R; Scannell, R; Frassinetti, L; Fassina, A; Naylor, G; Walsh, M J

    2014-11-01

    The core Thomson scattering diagnostic (TS) on the COMPASS tokamak was put in operation and reported earlier. Implementation of edge TS, with spatial resolution along the laser beam up to ∼1/100 of the tokamak minor radius, is presented now. The procedure for spatial calibration and alignment of both core and edge systems is described. Several further upgrades of the TS system, like a triggering unit and piezo motor driven vacuum window shutter, are introduced as well. The edge TS system, together with the core TS, is now in routine operation and provides electron temperature and density profiles. PMID:25430338

  12. A predictive nomogram improved diagnostic accuracy and interobserver agreement of perirectal lymph nodes metastases in rectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Ying; Tu, Shanshan; Liu, Yi; Qian, Youcun; Xu, Linghui; Tong, Tong; Cai, Sanjun; Peng, Junjie

    2016-01-01

    Objective To develop a predictive nomogram to improve the diagnostic accuracy and interobserver agreement of pre-therapeutic lymph nodes metastases in patients with rectal cancer. Materials and Methods An institutional database of 411 patients with rectal cancer was used to develop a nomogram to predict perirectal lymph nodes metastases. Patients' clinicopathological and MRI-assessed imaging variables were included in the multivariate logistic regression analysis. The model was externally validated and the performance was assessed by area under curve (AUC) of the receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curves. The interobserver agreement was measured between two independent radiologists. Results The diagnostic accuracy of the conventional MRI-assessed cN stage was 68%; 14.2% of the patients were over-staged and 17.8% of the patients were under-staged. A total of 35.1% of the patients had disagreed diagnosis for the cN stage between the two radiologists, with a kappa value of 0.295. A nomogram for predicting pathological lymph nodes metastases was successfully developed, with an AUC of 0.78 on the training data and 0.71 on the validation data. The predictors included in the nomogram were MRI cT stage, CRM involvement, preoperative CEA, tumor grade and lymph node size category. This nomogram yielded improved prediction in cN stage than the conventional MRI-based assessment. Conclusions By incorporating clinicopathological and MRI imaging features, we established a nomogram that improved the diagnostic accuracy and remarkably minimized the interobserver disagreement in predicting lymph nodes metastases in rectal cancers. PMID:26910373

  13. Mismatch extension of DNA polymerases and high-accuracy single nucleotide polymorphism diagnostics by gold nanoparticle-improved isothermal amplification.

    PubMed

    Chen, Feng; Zhao, Yue; Fan, Chunhai; Zhao, Yongxi

    2015-09-01

    Sequence mismatches may induce nonspecific extension reaction, causing false results for SNP diagnostics. Herein, we systematically investigated the impact of various 3'-terminal mismatches on isothermal amplification catalyzed by representative DNA polymerases. Despite their diverse efficiencies depending on types of mismatch and kinds of DNA polymerase, all 12 kinds of single 3'-terminal mismatches induced the extension reaction. Generally, only several mismatches (primer-template, C-C, G-A, A-G, and A-A) present an observable inhibitory effect on the amplification reaction, whereas other mismatches trigger amplified signals as high as those of Watson-Crick pairs. The related mechanism was deeply discussed, and a primer-design guideline for specific SNP analysis was summarized. Furthermore, we found that the addition of appropriate gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) can significantly inhibit mismatch extension and enhance the amplification specificity. Also the high-accuracy SNP analysis of human blood genomic DNA has been demonstrated by AuNPs-improved isothermal amplification, the result of which was verified by sequencing (the gold standard method for SNP assay). Collectively, this work provides mechanistic insight into mismatch behavior and achieves accurate SNP diagnostics, holding great potential for the application in molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine. PMID:26249366

  14. An improved method for estimating the entrance exposure in diagnostic radiographic examinations.

    PubMed

    Zamenhof, R G; Shahabi, S; Morgan, H T

    1987-09-01

    There is currently a widespread consensus on the importance of monitoring patient radiation exposures during radiographic examinations. Diagnostic facilities under federal jurisdiction already legislate maximum patient exposure limits for various diagnostic radiologic examinations, while an increasing number of state legislatures have instituted such regulations. Compliance requires that institutions be capable of assessing each patient's entrance exposures. A method is proposed that would facilitate the acquisition of such patient exposure information in a relatively straightforward and accurate manner, requiring a minimum number of measurements and access to a suitable programmable calculator. A standardized set of exposure measurements obtained on an accurately calibrated three-phase radiographic unit has been fitted by an analytic function. The average accuracy of the fit between the limits of 40-140 kVp and 2.5- to 6.0-mm aluminum filtration was 0.3%. The concept of linear scaling was employed to allow the analytic function to accurately reproduce the exposure outputs of different radiographic units. Validation experiments on patients indicated that an overall accuracy of 10% can be expected when using well-calibrated radiographic equipment. The method described permits institutions to verify their compliance with federal and/or state regulations and to confirm that their radiation exposures are consistent with national averages. PMID:3497556

  15. Improved Beam Diagnostic Spatial Calibration Using In-Situ Measurements of Beam Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrystal, C.; Burrell, K. H.; Pace, D. C.; Grierson, B. A.; Pablant, N. A.

    2014-10-01

    A new technique has been developed for determining the measurement geometry of the charge exchange recombination spectroscopy diagnostic (CER) on DIII-D. This technique removes uncertainty in the measurement geometry related to the position of the neutral beams when they are injecting power. This has been accomplished by combining standard measurements that use in-vessel calibration targets with spectroscopic measurements of Doppler shifted and Stark split beam emission to fully describe the neutral beam positions and CER views. A least squares fitting routine determines the measurement geometry consistent with all the calibration data. The use of beam emission measurements allows the position of the neutral beams to be determined in-situ by the same views that makeup the CER diagnostic. Results indicate that changes in the measurement geometry are required to create a consistent set of calibration measurements. However, changes in quantities derived from the geometry, e.g. ion temperature gradient and poloidal rotation, are small. Work supported by the US DOE under DE-FG02-07ER54917, DE-FC02-04ER54698, and DE-AC02-09H11466.

  16. Development and improvement of the operating diagnostics systems of NPO CKTI works for turbine of thermal and nuclear power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, I. A.; Rakovskii, V. G.; Isakov, N. Yu.; Sandovskii, A. V.

    2016-03-01

    The work results on the development and improvement of the techniques, algorithms, and software-hardware of continuous operating diagnostics systems of rotating units and parts of turbine equipment state are presented. In particular, to ensure the full remote service of monitored turbine equipment using web technologies, the web version of the software of the automated systems of vibration-based diagnostics (ASVD VIDAS) was developed. The experience in the automated analysis of data obtained by ASVD VIDAS form the basis of the new algorithm of early detection of such dangerous defects as rotor deflection, crack in the rotor, and strong misalignment of supports. The program-technical complex of monitoring and measuring the deflection of medium pressure rotor (PTC) realizing this algorithm will alert the electric power plant staff during a deflection and indicate its value. This will give the opportunity to take timely measures to prevent the further extension of the defect. Repeatedly, recorded cases of full or partial destruction of shrouded shelves of rotor blades of the last stages of low-pressure cylinders of steam turbines defined the need to develop a version of the automated system of blade diagnostics (ASBD SKALA) for shrouded stages. The processing, analysis, presentation, and backup of data characterizing the mechanical state of blade device are carried out with a newly developed controller of the diagnostics system. As a result of the implementation of the works, the diagnosed parameters determining the operation security of rotating elements of equipment was expanded and the new tasks on monitoring the state of units and parts of turbines were solved. All algorithmic solutions and hardware-software implementations mentioned in the article were tested on the test benches and applied at some power plants.

  17. Improved time response for large area microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes in fusion diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milnes, J. S.; Horsfield, C. J.; Conneely, T. M.; Howorth, J.

    2014-11-01

    Fusion diagnostics that utilise high speed scintillators often need to capture a large area of light with a high degree of time accuracy. Microchannel plate (MCP) photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are recognised as the leading device for capturing fast optical signals. However, when manufactured in their traditional proximity focused construction, the time response performance is reduced as the active area increases. This is due to two main factors: the capacitance of a large anode and the difficulty of obtaining small pore MCPs with a large area. Collaboration between Photek and AWE has produced prototype devices that combine the excellent time response of small area MCP-PMTs with a large active area by replacing the traditional proximity-gap front section with an electro-optically focused photocathode to MCP. We present results from both single and double MCP devices with a 40 mm diameter active area and show simulations for the 100 mm device being built this year.

  18. Improvements of data quality of the LHD Thomson scattering diagnostics in high-temperature plasma experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, I.; Narihara, K.; Funaba, H.; Hayashi, H.; Kohmoto, T.; Takahashi, H.; Shimozuma, T.; Kubo, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Igami, H.; Tamura, N.

    2010-10-15

    In Large Helical Device (LHD) experiments, an electron temperature (T{sub e}) more than 15 keV has been observed by the yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser Thomson scattering diagnostic. Since the LHD Thomson scattering system has been optimized for the temperature region, 50 eV{<=}T{sub e}{<=}10 keV, the data quality becomes worse in the higher T{sub e} region exceeding 10 keV. In order to accurately determine T{sub e} in the LHD high-T{sub e} experiments, we tried to increase the laser pulse energy by simultaneously firing three lasers. The technique enables us to decrease the uncertainties in the measured T{sub e}. Another signal accumulation method was also tested. In addition, we estimated the influence of high-energy electrons on T{sub e} obtained by the LHD Thomson scattering system.

  19. Improved time response for large area microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes in fusion diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    Milnes, J. S. Conneely, T. M.; Howorth, J.; Horsfield, C. J.

    2014-11-15

    Fusion diagnostics that utilise high speed scintillators often need to capture a large area of light with a high degree of time accuracy. Microchannel plate (MCP) photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are recognised as the leading device for capturing fast optical signals. However, when manufactured in their traditional proximity focused construction, the time response performance is reduced as the active area increases. This is due to two main factors: the capacitance of a large anode and the difficulty of obtaining small pore MCPs with a large area. Collaboration between Photek and AWE has produced prototype devices that combine the excellent time response of small area MCP-PMTs with a large active area by replacing the traditional proximity-gap front section with an electro-optically focused photocathode to MCP. We present results from both single and double MCP devices with a 40 mm diameter active area and show simulations for the 100 mm device being built this year.

  20. Improved time response for large area microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes in fusion diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Milnes, J S; Horsfield, C J; Conneely, T M; Howorth, J

    2014-11-01

    Fusion diagnostics that utilise high speed scintillators often need to capture a large area of light with a high degree of time accuracy. Microchannel plate (MCP) photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are recognised as the leading device for capturing fast optical signals. However, when manufactured in their traditional proximity focused construction, the time response performance is reduced as the active area increases. This is due to two main factors: the capacitance of a large anode and the difficulty of obtaining small pore MCPs with a large area. Collaboration between Photek and AWE has produced prototype devices that combine the excellent time response of small area MCP-PMTs with a large active area by replacing the traditional proximity-gap front section with an electro-optically focused photocathode to MCP. We present results from both single and double MCP devices with a 40 mm diameter active area and show simulations for the 100 mm device being built this year. PMID:25430347

  1. Improved detection of Tritrichomonas foetus in bovine diagnostic specimens using a novel probe-based real time PCR assay.

    PubMed

    McMillen, Lyle; Lew, Ala E

    2006-11-01

    A Tritrichomonas foetus-specific 5' Taq nuclease assay using a 3' minor groove binder-DNA probe (TaqMan MGB) targeting conserved regions of the internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS-1) was developed and compared to established diagnostic procedures. Specificity of the assay was evaluated using bovine venereal microflora and a range of related trichomonad species. Assay sensitivity was evaluated with log(10) dilutions of known numbers of cells, and compared to that for microscopy following culture (InPouch TF test kit) and the conventional TFR3-TFR4 PCR assay. The 5' Taq nuclease assay detected a single cell per assay from smegma or mucus which was 2500-fold or 250-fold more sensitive than microscopy following selective culture from smegma or mucus respectively, and 500-fold more sensitive than culture followed by conventional PCR assay. The sensitivity of the conventional PCR assay was comparable to the 5' Taq nuclease assay when testing purified DNA extracted from clinical specimens, whereas the 5' Taq nuclease assay sensitivity improved using crude cell lysates, which were not suitable as template for the conventional PCR assay. Urine was evaluated as a diagnostic specimen providing improved and equivalent levels of T. foetus detection in spiked urine by both microscopy following culture and direct 5' Taq nuclease detection, respectively, compared with smegma and mucus, however inconclusive results were obtained with urine samples from the field study. Diagnostic specimens (n=159) were collected from herds with culture positive animals and of the 14 animals positive by 5' Taq nuclease assay, 3 were confirmed by selective culture/microscopy detection (Fisher's exact test P<0.001). The 5' Taq nuclease assay described here demonstrated superior sensitivity to traditional culture/microscopy and offers advantages over the application of conventional PCR for the detection of T. foetus in clinical samples. PMID:16860481

  2. The well-being 5: development and validation of a diagnostic instrument to improve population well-being.

    PubMed

    Sears, Lindsay E; Agrawal, Sangeeta; Sidney, James A; Castle, Patricia H; Rula, Elizabeth Y; Coberley, Carter R; Witters, Dan; Pope, James E; Harter, James K

    2014-12-01

    Building upon extensive research from 2 validated well-being instruments, the objective of this research was to develop and validate a comprehensive and actionable well-being instrument that informs and facilitates improvement of well-being for individuals, communities, and nations. The goals of the measure were comprehensiveness, validity and reliability, significant relationships with health and performance outcomes, and diagnostic capability for intervention. For measure development and validation, questions from the Well-being Assessment and Wellbeing Finder were simultaneously administered as a test item pool to over 13,000 individuals across 3 independent samples. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on a random selection from the first sample and confirmed in the other samples. Further evidence of validity was established through correlations to the established well-being scores from the Well-Being Assessment and Wellbeing Finder, and individual outcomes capturing health care utilization and productivity. Results showed the Well-Being 5 score comprehensively captures the known constructs within well-being, demonstrates good reliability and validity, significantly relates to health and performance outcomes, is diagnostic and informative for intervention, and can track and compare well-being over time and across groups. With this tool, well-being deficiencies within a population can be effectively identified, prioritized, and addressed, yielding the potential for substantial improvements to the health status, performance, and quality of life for individuals and cost savings for stakeholders. PMID:24892873

  3. The Well-Being 5: Development and Validation of a Diagnostic Instrument to Improve Population Well-being

    PubMed Central

    Sears, Lindsay E.; Agrawal, Sangeeta; Sidney, James A.; Castle, Patricia H.; Coberley, Carter R.; Witters, Dan; Pope, James E.; Harter, James K.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Building upon extensive research from 2 validated well-being instruments, the objective of this research was to develop and validate a comprehensive and actionable well-being instrument that informs and facilitates improvement of well-being for individuals, communities, and nations. The goals of the measure were comprehensiveness, validity and reliability, significant relationships with health and performance outcomes, and diagnostic capability for intervention. For measure development and validation, questions from the Well-being Assessment and Wellbeing Finder were simultaneously administered as a test item pool to over 13,000 individuals across 3 independent samples. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on a random selection from the first sample and confirmed in the other samples. Further evidence of validity was established through correlations to the established well-being scores from the Well-Being Assessment and Wellbeing Finder, and individual outcomes capturing health care utilization and productivity. Results showed the Well-Being 5 score comprehensively captures the known constructs within well-being, demonstrates good reliability and validity, significantly relates to health and performance outcomes, is diagnostic and informative for intervention, and can track and compare well-being over time and across groups. With this tool, well-being deficiencies within a population can be effectively identified, prioritized, and addressed, yielding the potential for substantial improvements to the health status, performance, and quality of life for individuals and cost savings for stakeholders. (Population Health Management 2014;17:357–365) PMID:24892873

  4. Use of Individual-level Covariates to Improve Latent Class Analysis of Trypanosoma Cruzi Diagnostic Tests

    PubMed Central

    Tustin, Aaron W.; Small, Dylan S.; Delgado, Stephen; Neyra, Ricardo Castillo; Verastegui, Manuela R.; Ancca Juárez, Jenny M.; Quispe Machaca, Víctor R.; Gilman, Robert H.; Bern, Caryn; Levy, Michael Z.

    2013-01-01

    Statistical methods such as latent class analysis can estimate the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests when no perfect reference test exists. Traditional latent class methods assume a constant disease prevalence in one or more tested populations. When the risk of disease varies in a known way, these models fail to take advantage of additional information that can be obtained by measuring risk factors at the level of the individual. We show that by incorporating complex field-based epidemiologic data, in which the disease prevalence varies as a continuous function of individual-level covariates, our model produces more accurate sensitivity and specificity estimates than previous methods. We apply this technique to a simulated population and to actual Chagas disease test data from a community near Arequipa, Peru. Results from our model estimate that the first-line enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay has a sensitivity of 78% (95% CI: 62–100%) and a specificity of 100% (95% CI: 99–100%). The confirmatory immunofluorescence assay is estimated to be 73% sensitive (95% CI: 65–81%) and 99% specific (95% CI: 96–100%). PMID:24083130

  5. [Serological diagnosis of congenital infections and algorithms to improve diagnostic efficacy].

    PubMed

    García-Bermejo, Isabel; de Ory-Manchón, Fernando

    2015-07-01

    Congenital infection is those transmitted by the mother to the fetus before delivery. It can occur transplacentally or by direct contact with the pathogen during birth or in the immediate postnatal period. Congenital infection can be due to viruses (rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, varicella-zoster, hepatitis B and C virus, human inunodeficiencia, erythrovirus B19) as bacteria (Treponema pallidum) and parasites (Toxoplasma gondii and Trypanosoma cruzi). Serological diagnosis of congenital infection is based on both the knowledge of infectious serology in the mother, including the systematic serological screening and diagnostic aspects of the determination of IgM and confirmatory methods, IgG avidity tests, establishment of antibody profiles, and in the diagnosis the neonate. Serological diagnosis of congenital infection in the newborn is mainly based on the detection of specific IgM usually by immunoenzymatic assays or immunochemiluminescence techniques. In some instances it is important to perform the serological follow up of the newborn to confirm the congenital infection. PMID:26320992

  6. Improvement in data processing of Thomson scattering diagnostic on HL-2A tokamak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, C. H.; Wang, Y. Q.; Feng, Z.; Huang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    There are two types of digitizers to acquire the values of Thomson scattering signals in HL-2A tokamak. One is charge-sensitive analogue-to-digital converters (Q-ADCs) which simply integrates the signal over a gate interval, and the other is transient recorders with 12 bits resolution and 1 GHz sampling rate at each channel. Because the Thomson scattering diagnostic is prone to electrical noisy environment, in which Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers and polychromators are located closely to the HL-2A device, the high speed transient digitizers are found helpful to reduce noise overlapped in Thomson scattering signals. After triggered by the front of TTL pulse generated by laser light, data acquisition is fulfilled from -250 ns to 250 ns, so that the temporal evolution of Thomson scattering signals is obtained. A Gaussian function is utilized to fit the pulse shape of the digitized scattering signal by nonlinear least square methods. By pulse fitting and data processing, the influence of background perturbations is substantially reduced.

  7. Claroline, an Internet Teaching and Learning Platform to Foster Teachers' Professional Development and Improve Teaching Quality: First Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lebrun, Marcel; Docq, Francoise; Smidts, Denis

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes the findings of a survey of Higher Education teachers and students using the eLearning platform Claroline. This survey is enhanced by direct observation of the tools really used by teachers. Claroline was initially developed (in 2001-2002) to sustain and foster pedagogic innovation at the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL)…

  8. Improving the Usability of the User Interface for a Digital Textbook Platform for Elementary-School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lim, Cheolil; Song, Hae-Deok; Lee, Yekyung

    2012-01-01

    Usability is critical to the development of a user-friendly digital textbook platform interface, yet thorough research on interface development based on usability principles is in short supply. This study addresses that need by looking at usability attributes and corresponding design elements from a learning perspective. The researchers used a…

  9. Can rapid integrated polymerase chain reaction-based diagnostics for gastrointestinal pathogens improve routine hospital infection control practice? A diagnostic study.

    PubMed Central

    Pankhurst, Louise; Macfarlane-Smith, Louissa; Buchanan, James; Anson, Luke; Davies, Kerrie; O'Connor, Lily; Ashwin, Helen; Pike, Graham; Dingle, Kate E; Peto, Timothy Ea; Wordsworth, Sarah; Walker, A Sarah; Wilcox, Mark H; Crook, Derrick W

    2014-01-01

    low sensitivity to detect a key enteric pathogen, S. enterica; making it an unrealistic option for most microbiology laboratories. Extraction efficiency appears to be a major obstacle for nucleic acid-based tests for this organism, and possibly the whole Enterobacteriaceae family. To improve workflows in service microbiology laboratories, to reduce workload for infection control practitioners, and to improve outcomes for NHS patients, further research on deoxyribonucleic acid-based multiplex gastrointestinal diagnostics is urgently needed. FUNDING The Health Technology Assessment programme of the National Institute for Health Research. PMID:25146932

  10. A microwave holography methodology for diagnostics and performance improvement for large reflector antennas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rochblatt, D. J.

    1992-01-01

    This microwave holography technique utilizes the Fourier transform relation between the complex far field radiation pattern of an antenna and the complex aperture field distribution. Resulting aperture phase and amplitude distribution data can be used to precisely characterize various crucial performance parameters, including panel alignment, panel shaping, subreflector position, antenna aperture illumination, directivity at various frequencies, and gravity deformation effects. The methodology of data processing presented here was successfully applied to the Deep Space Network (DSN) 34-m beam waveguide antennas. The antenna performance was improved at all operating frequencies by reducing the main reflector mechanical surface rms error to 0.43 mm. At Ka-band (32 GHz), the estimated improvement is 4.1 dB, resulting in an aperture efficiency of 52 percent. The performance improvement was verified by efficiency measurements and additional holographic measurements.

  11. Ultrahigh field MRI in clinical neuroimmunology: a potential contribution to improved diagnostics and personalised disease management.

    PubMed

    Sinnecker, Tim; Kuchling, Joseph; Dusek, Petr; Dörr, Jan; Niendorf, Thoralf; Paul, Friedemann; Wuerfel, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 1.5 Tesla (T) is limited by modest spatial resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), impeding the identification and classification of inflammatory central nervous system changes in current clinical practice. Gaining from enhanced susceptibility effects and improved SNR, ultrahigh field MRI at 7 T depicts inflammatory brain lesions in great detail. This review summarises recent reports on 7 T MRI in neuroinflammatory diseases and addresses the question as to whether ultrahigh field MRI may eventually improve clinical decision-making and personalised disease management. PMID:26312125

  12. Modeling Formamide Denaturation of Probe-Target Hybrids for Improved Microarray Probe Design in Microbial Diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Yilmaz, L. Safak; Loy, Alexander; Wright, Erik S.; Wagner, Michael; Noguera, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

    Application of high-density microarrays to the diagnostic analysis of microbial communities is challenged by the optimization of oligonucleotide probe sensitivity and specificity, as it is generally unfeasible to experimentally test thousands of probes. This study investigated the adjustment of hybridization stringency using formamide with the idea that sensitivity and specificity can be optimized during probe design if the hybridization efficiency of oligonucleotides with target and non-target molecules can be predicted as a function of formamide concentration. Sigmoidal denaturation profiles were obtained using fluorescently labeled and fragmented 16S rRNA gene amplicon of Escherichia coli as the target with increasing concentrations of formamide in the hybridization buffer. A linear free energy model (LFEM) was developed and microarray-specific nearest neighbor rules were derived. The model simulated formamide melting with a denaturant m-value that increased hybridization free energy (ΔG°) by 0.173 kcal/mol per percent of formamide added (v/v). Using the LFEM and specific probe sets, free energy rules were systematically established to predict the stability of single and double mismatches, including bulged and tandem mismatches. The absolute error in predicting the position of experimental denaturation profiles was less than 5% formamide for more than 90 percent of probes, enabling a practical level of accuracy in probe design. The potential of the modeling approach for probe design and optimization is demonstrated using a dataset including the 16S rRNA gene of Rhodobacter sphaeroides as an additional target molecule. The LFEM and thermodynamic databases were incorporated into a computational tool (ProbeMelt) that is freely available at http://DECIPHER.cee.wisc.edu. PMID:22952791

  13. Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Using Cognitive Feedback to Improve Physicians' Diagnostic Judgments on Simulated Cases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wigton, Robert S.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    An educational intervention was effective in improving the judgment of experienced student-health physicians (N=11) in predicting positive culture in simulated patients with pharyngitis. The intervention was three parts: an initial one-hour lecture; three sessions with computer-based cognitive feedback; and monthly reports of the percentage of…

  14. Biomarkers and Molecular Analysis to Improve Bloodstream Infection Diagnostics in an Emergency Care Unit

    PubMed Central

    Loonen, Anne J. M.; de Jager, Cornelis P. C.; Tosserams, Janna; Kusters, Ron; Hilbink, Mirrian; Wever, Peter C.; van den Brule, Adriaan J. C.

    2014-01-01

    subsequent pathogen identification using molecular diagnostics. PMID:24475269

  15. Outlier detection and removal improves accuracy of machine learning approach to multispectral burn diagnostic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Weizhi; Mo, Weirong; Zhang, Xu; Squiers, John J.; Lu, Yang; Sellke, Eric W.; Fan, Wensheng; DiMaio, J. Michael; Thatcher, Jeffrey E.

    2015-12-01

    Multispectral imaging (MSI) was implemented to develop a burn tissue classification device to assist burn surgeons in planning and performing debridement surgery. To build a classification model via machine learning, training data accurately representing the burn tissue was needed, but assigning raw MSI data to appropriate tissue classes is prone to error. We hypothesized that removing outliers from the training dataset would improve classification accuracy. A swine burn model was developed to build an MSI training database and study an algorithm's burn tissue classification abilities. After the ground-truth database was generated, we developed a multistage method based on Z-test and univariate analysis to detect and remove outliers from the training dataset. Using 10-fold cross validation, we compared the algorithm's accuracy when trained with and without the presence of outliers. The outlier detection and removal method reduced the variance of the training data. Test accuracy was improved from 63% to 76%, matching the accuracy of clinical judgment of expert burn surgeons, the current gold standard in burn injury assessment. Given that there are few surgeons and facilities specializing in burn care, this technology may improve the standard of burn care for patients without access to specialized facilities.

  16. Outlier detection and removal improves accuracy of machine learning approach to multispectral burn diagnostic imaging.

    PubMed

    Li, Weizhi; Mo, Weirong; Zhang, Xu; Squiers, John J; Lu, Yang; Sellke, Eric W; Fan, Wensheng; DiMaio, J Michael; Thatcher, Jeffrey E

    2015-12-01

    Multispectral imaging (MSI) was implemented to develop a burn tissue classification device to assist burn surgeons in planning and performing debridement surgery. To build a classification model via machine learning, training data accurately representing the burn tissue was needed, but assigning raw MSI data to appropriate tissue classes is prone to error. We hypothesized that removing outliers from the training dataset would improve classification accuracy. A swine burn model was developed to build an MSI training database and study an algorithm’s burn tissue classification abilities. After the ground-truth database was generated, we developed a multistage method based on Z -test and univariate analysis to detect and remove outliers from the training dataset. Using 10-fold cross validation, we compared the algorithm’s accuracy when trained with and without the presence of outliers. The outlier detection and removal method reduced the variance of the training data. Test accuracy was improved from 63% to 76%, matching the accuracy of clinical judgment of expert burn surgeons, the current gold standard in burn injury assessment. Given that there are few surgeons and facilities specializing in burn care, this technology may improve the standard of burn care for patients without access to specialized facilities. PMID:26305321

  17. Integrating syngas fermentation with the carboxylate platform and yeast fermentation to reduce medium cost and improve biofuel productivity.

    PubMed

    Richter, Hanno; Loftus, Sarah E; Angenent, Largus T

    2013-01-01

    To ensure economic implementation of syngas fermentation as a fuel-producing platform, engineers and scientists must both lower operating costs and increase product value. A considerable part of the operating costs is spent to procure chemicals for fermentation medium that can sustain sufficient growth of carboxydotrophic bacteria to convert synthesis gas (syngas: carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide) into products such as ethanol. Recently, we have observed that wildtype carboxydotrophic bacteria (including Clostridium ljungdahlii) can produce alcohols with a longer carbon chain than ethanol via syngas fermentation when supplied with the corresponding carboxylic acid precursors, resulting in possibilities of increasing product value. Here, we evaluated a proof-of-concept system to couple syngas fermentation with the carboxylate platform to both lower medium costs and increase product value. Our carboxylate platform concept consists of an open culture, anaerobic fermentor that is fed with corn beer from conventional yeast fermentation in the corn kernel-to-ethanol industry. The mixed-culture anaerobic fermentor produces a mixture ofcarboxylic acids at dilute concentrations within the carboxylate platform effluent (CPE). Besides providing carboxylic acid precursors, this effluent may represent an inexpensive growth medium. An elemental analysis demonstrated that the CPE lacked certain essential trace metals, but contained ammonium, phosphate, sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sulphate at required concentrations. CPE medium with the addition of a trace metal solution supported growth and alcohol production of C. ljungdahlii at similar or better levels compared with an optimized synthetic medium (modified ATCC 1754 medium). Other expensive supplements, such as yeast extract or macro minerals (ammonium, phosphate), were not required. Finally, n-butyric acid and n-caproic acid within the CPE were converted into their corresponding medium

  18. Improving diagnostic capability for HPV disease internationally within the NIH-NIAID-Division of AIDS Clinical Trial Networks

    PubMed Central

    Godfrey, Catherine C.; Michelow, Pamela M.; Godard, Mandana; Sahasrabuddhe, Vikrant V.; Darden, Janice; Firnhaber, Cynthia S.; Wetherall, Neal T.; Bremer, James; Coombs, Robert W.; Wilkin, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To evaluate an external quality assurance (EQA) program for the laboratory diagnosis of human papillomavirus (HPV) disease that was established to improve international research capability within the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease–supported Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group network. Methods A three-component EQA scheme was devised comprising assessments of diagnostic accuracy of cytotechnologists and pathologists using available EQA packages, review of quality and accuracy of clinical slides from local sites by an outside expert, and HPV DNA detection using the commercially available HPV test kit. Results Seven laboratories and 17 pathologists in Africa, India, and South America participated. EQA scores were suboptimal for standard packages in three of seven laboratories. There was good agreement between the local laboratory and the central reader 70% of the time (90% confidence interval, 42%-98%). Performance on the College of American Pathologists’ HPV DNA testing panel was successful in all laboratories tested. Conclusions The prequalifying EQA round identified correctable issues that will improve the laboratory diagnosis of HPV related cervical disease at the international sites and will provide a mechanism for ongoing education and continuous quality improvement. PMID:24225757

  19. Improved cancer diagnostics by different image processing techniques on OCT images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanawade, Rajesh; Lengenfelder, Benjamin; Marini Menezes, Tassiana; Hohmann, Martin; Kopfinger, Stefan; Hohmann, Tim; Grabiec, Urszula; Klämpfl, Florian; Gonzales Menezes, Jean; Waldner, Maximilian; Schmidt, Michael

    2015-07-01

    Optical-coherence tomography (OCT) is a promising non-invasive, high-resolution imaging modality which can be used for cancer diagnosis and its therapeutic assessment. However, speckle noise makes detection of cancer boundaries and image segmentation problematic and unreliable. Therefore, to improve the image analysis for a precise cancer border detection, the performance of different image processing algorithms such as mean, median, hybrid median filter and rotational kernel transformation (RKT) for this task is investigated. This is done on OCT images acquired from an ex-vivo human cancerous mucosa and in vitro by using cultivated tumour applied on organotypical hippocampal slice cultures. The preliminary results confirm that the border between the healthy and the cancer lesions can be identified precisely. The obtained results are verified with fluorescence microscopy. This research can improve cancer diagnosis and the detection of borders between healthy and cancerous tissue. Thus, it could also reduce the number of biopsies required during screening endoscopy by providing better guidance to the physician.

  20. The Henry Ford Production System: LEAN Process Redesign Improves Service in the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory

    PubMed Central

    Cankovic, Milena; Varney, Ruan C.; Whiteley, Lisa; Brown, Ron; D'Angelo, Rita; Chitale, Dhananjay; Zarbo, Richard J.

    2009-01-01

    Accurate and timely molecular test results play an important role in patient management; consequently, there is a customer expectation of short testing turnaround times. Baseline data analysis revealed that the greatest challenge to timely result generation occurred in the preanalytic phase of specimen collection and transport. Here, we describe our efforts to improve molecular testing turnaround times by focusing primarily on redesign of preanalytic processes using the principles of LEAN production. Our goal was to complete greater than 90% of the molecular tests in less than 3 days. The project required cooperation from different laboratory disciplines as well as individuals outside of the laboratory. The redesigned processes involved defining and standardizing the protocols and approaching blood and tissue specimens as analytes for molecular testing. The LEAN process resulted in fewer steps, approaching the ideal of a one-piece flow for specimens through collection/retrieval, transport, and different aspects of the testing process. The outcome of introducing the LEAN process has been a 44% reduction in molecular test turnaround time for tissue specimens, from an average of 2.7 to 1.5 days. In addition, extending LEAN work principles to the clinician suppliers has resulted in a markedly increased number of properly collected and shipped blood specimens (from 50 to 87%). These continuous quality improvements were accomplished by empowered workers in a blame-free environment and are now being sustained with minimal management involvement. PMID:19661386

  1. Microarray Meta-Analysis and Cross-Platform Normalization: Integrative Genomics for Robust Biomarker Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Christopher J.; Hu, Pingzhao; Batt, Jane; Dos Santos, Claudia C.

    2015-01-01

    The diagnostic and prognostic potential of the vast quantity of publicly-available microarray data has driven the development of methods for integrating the data from different microarray platforms. Cross-platform integration, when appropriately implemented, has been shown to improve reproducibility and robustness of gene signature biomarkers. Microarray platform integration can be conceptually divided into approaches that perform early stage integration (cross-platform normalization) versus late stage data integration (meta-analysis). A growing number of statistical methods and associated software for platform integration are available to the user, however an understanding of their comparative performance and potential pitfalls is critical for best implementation. In this review we provide evidence-based, practical guidance to researchers performing cross-platform integration, particularly with an objective to discover biomarkers.

  2. A low cost, safe, disposable, rapid and self-sustainable paper-based platform for diagnostic testing: lab-on-paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, M. N.; Veigas, B.; Jacob, J. M.; Santos, D. S.; Gomes, J.; Baptista, P. V.; Martins, R.; Inácio, J.; Fortunato, E.

    2014-03-01

    There is a strong interest in the use of biopolymers in the electronic and biomedical industries, mainly towards low-cost applications. The possibility of developing entirely new kinds of products based on cellulose is of current interest, in order to enhance and to add new functionalities to conventional paper-based products. We present our results towards the development of paper-based microfluidics for molecular diagnostic testing. Paper properties were evaluated and compared to nitrocellulose, the most commonly used material in lateral flow and other rapid tests. Focusing on the use of paper as a substrate for microfluidic applications, through an eco-friendly wax-printing technology, we present three main and distinct colorimetric approaches: (i) enzymatic reactions (glucose detection); (ii) immunoassays (antibodies anti-Leishmania detection); (iii) nucleic acid sequence identification (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex detection). Colorimetric glucose quantification was achieved through enzymatic reactions performed within specific zones of the paper-based device. The colouration achieved increased with growing glucose concentration and was highly homogeneous, covering all the surface of the paper reaction zones in a 3D sensor format. These devices showed a major advantage when compared to the 2D lateral flow glucose sensors, where some carryover of the coloured products usually occurs. The detection of anti-Leishmania antibodies in canine sera was conceptually achieved using a paper-based 96-well enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay format. However, optimization is still needed for this test, regarding the efficiency of the immobilization of antigens on the cellulose fibres. The detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis nucleic acids integrated with a non-cross-linking gold nanoprobe detection scheme was also achieved in a wax-printed 384-well paper-based microplate, by the hybridization with a species-specific probe. The obtained results with the above

  3. A low cost, safe, disposable, rapid and self-sustainable paper-based platform for diagnostic testing: lab-on-paper.

    PubMed

    Costa, M N; Veigas, B; Jacob, J M; Santos, D S; Gomes, J; Baptista, P V; Martins, R; Inácio, J; Fortunato, E

    2014-03-01

    There is a strong interest in the use of biopolymers in the electronic and biomedical industries, mainly towards low-cost applications. The possibility of developing entirely new kinds of products based on cellulose is of current interest, in order to enhance and to add new functionalities to conventional paper-based products. We present our results towards the development of paper-based microfluidics for molecular diagnostic testing. Paper properties were evaluated and compared to nitrocellulose, the most commonly used material in lateral flow and other rapid tests. Focusing on the use of paper as a substrate for microfluidic applications, through an eco-friendly wax-printing technology, we present three main and distinct colorimetric approaches: (i) enzymatic reactions (glucose detection); (ii) immunoassays (antibodies anti-Leishmania detection); (iii) nucleic acid sequence identification (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex detection). Colorimetric glucose quantification was achieved through enzymatic reactions performed within specific zones of the paper-based device. The colouration achieved increased with growing glucose concentration and was highly homogeneous, covering all the surface of the paper reaction zones in a 3D sensor format. These devices showed a major advantage when compared to the 2D lateral flow glucose sensors, where some carryover of the coloured products usually occurs. The detection of anti-Leishmania antibodies in canine sera was conceptually achieved using a paper-based 96-well enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay format. However, optimization is still needed for this test, regarding the efficiency of the immobilization of antigens on the cellulose fibres. The detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis nucleic acids integrated with a non-cross-linking gold nanoprobe detection scheme was also achieved in a wax-printed 384-well paper-based microplate, by the hybridization with a species-specific probe. The obtained results with the above

  4. Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedly, V. J.; Ruyten, Wilhelmus M.; Litchford, R. J.; Garrison, G. W.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes the Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform (EPOP), of which the primary objective is to provide an instrumented platform for testing electric propulsion devices in space. It is anticipated that the first flight, EPOP-1, will take place on the Shuttle-deployed Wake Shield Facility in 1996, and will be designed around a commercial 1.8 kW arcjet system which will be operated on gaseous hydrogen propellant. Specific subsystems are described, including the arcjet system, the propellant and power systems, and the diagnostics systems.

  5. A model for improving student confidence and experience in diagnostic sample collection and interpretation.

    PubMed

    Williams, Laurel E; Nettifee-Osborne, Julie A; Johnson, Jeffrey L

    2006-01-01

    Confidence and proficiency in diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases is of obvious importance to veterinary students. Traditional teaching methods relying on live-animal laboratories or teaching-hospital cases may not provide the breadth and depth of experience necessary to promote optimal development of confidence and skills. These settings also raise concerns about expense, about animal welfare when animals are used in teaching laboratories, and about the stress and potential risks associated with client-owned pets in the teaching hospital. A one-week course implemented in our veterinary curriculum provides the opportunity for students to develop self-assurance and experience in sample collection and interpretation skills in a realistic, clinical-model setting. This course provides students with significantly improved levels of confidence when performing procedures and interpreting results from a variety of procedures and helps prepare them to become clinicians entering the practice of veterinary medicine. PMID:16767653

  6. Improving the diagnostic quality and adequacy of shoulder radiographs in a District General Hospital.

    PubMed

    Richards, Bethany; Riley, James; Saithna, Adnan

    2016-01-01

    A high rate of suboptimal shoulder radiographs was identified during a service evaluation exercise in our orthopaedic outpatient clinics. Inadequate radiographs require a return to the radiology department for further imaging, a resultant increased workload, delays in the clinic, increased radiation for patients, and inconvenience and decreased patient satisfaction. Furthermore, if a sub-optimal radiograph is accepted there is concern that diagnoses may be missed. The aim of this project was to decrease the rate of suboptimal radiographs by delivering a teaching package directed towards quality improvement. Evaluation criteria were set for standard orthopaedic shoulder radiographs (Anterior-posterior, axillary, and Velpeau views). Baseline data collection was performed over three, two-week periods and included all patients attending the shoulder clinic. The percentage of x-rays which were deemed adequate was only 19.4% for anterior-posterior views and 57.9% for axillary views. A comprehensive educational package was delivered to radiographers. This included a formal PowerPoint based teaching session, hands on training with practice using a skeleton, posters with step-by step instructions on how to obtain an adequate image, and PDF aide memoires suitable for viewing on a smartphone. Two subsequent two-week periods of data collection were performed to evaluate the benefit of this intervention. Delivery of focussed training and provision of easily accessible aide memoires to facilitate improved quality of radiographs resulted in a significant (p<0.05) reduction in the rate of inadequate images. There was also a significant decreases in the rate of return to the radiology department for repeat imaging. PMID:27559473

  7. Improving the diagnostic quality and adequacy of shoulder radiographs in a District General Hospital

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Bethany; Riley, James; Saithna, Adnan

    2016-01-01

    A high rate of suboptimal shoulder radiographs was identified during a service evaluation exercise in our orthopaedic outpatient clinics. Inadequate radiographs require a return to the radiology department for further imaging, a resultant increased workload, delays in the clinic, increased radiation for patients, and inconvenience and decreased patient satisfaction. Furthermore, if a sub-optimal radiograph is accepted there is concern that diagnoses may be missed. The aim of this project was to decrease the rate of suboptimal radiographs by delivering a teaching package directed towards quality improvement. Evaluation criteria were set for standard orthopaedic shoulder radiographs (Anterior-posterior, axillary, and Velpeau views). Baseline data collection was performed over three, two-week periods and included all patients attending the shoulder clinic. The percentage of x-rays which were deemed adequate was only 19.4% for anterior-posterior views and 57.9% for axillary views. A comprehensive educational package was delivered to radiographers. This included a formal PowerPoint based teaching session, hands on training with practice using a skeleton, posters with step-by step instructions on how to obtain an adequate image, and PDF aide memoires suitable for viewing on a smartphone. Two subsequent two-week periods of data collection were performed to evaluate the benefit of this intervention. Delivery of focussed training and provision of easily accessible aide memoires to facilitate improved quality of radiographs resulted in a significant (p<0.05) reduction in the rate of inadequate images. There was also a significant decreases in the rate of return to the radiology department for repeat imaging. PMID:27559473

  8. The ANA-reflex test as a model for improving clinical appropriateness in autoimmune diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Tonutti, Elio; Bizzaro, Nicola; Morozzi, Gabriella; Radice, Antonella; Cinquanta, Luigi; Villalta, Danilo; Tozzoli, Renato; Tampoia, Marilina; Porcelli, Brunetta; Fabris, Martina; Brusca, Ignazio; Alessio, Maria Grazia; Barberio, Giuseppina; Sorrentino, Maria Concetta; Antico, Antonio; Bassetti, Danila; Fontana, Desré Ethel; Imbastaro, Tiziana; Visentini, Daniela; Pesce, Giampaola; Bagnasco, Marcello

    2016-12-01

    Reflex tests are widely used in clinical laboratories, for example, to diagnose thyroid disorders or in the follow-up of prostate cancer. Reflex tests for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) have recently gained attention as a way to improve appropriateness in the immunological diagnosis of autoimmune rheumatic diseases and avoid waste of resources. However, the ANA-reflex test is not as simple as other consolidated reflex tests (the TSH-reflex tests or the PSA-reflex tests) because of the intrinsic complexity of the ANA test performed by the indirect immunofluorescence method on cellular substrates. The wide heterogeneity of the ANA patterns, which need correct interpretation, and the subsequent choice of the most appropriate confirmatory test (ANA subserology), which depend on the pattern feature and on clinical information, hinder any informatics automation, and require the pathologist's intervention. In this review, the Study Group on Autoimmune Diseases of the Italian Society of Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides some indications on the configuration of the ANA-reflex test, using two different approaches depending on whether clinical information is available or not. We further give some suggestions on how to report results of the ANA-reflex test. PMID:27423928

  9. Computational evaluation of exome sequence data using human and model organism phenotypes improves diagnostic efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Bone, William P.; Washington, Nicole L.; Buske, Orion J.; Adams, David R.; Davis, Joie; Draper, David; Flynn, Elise D.; Girdea, Marta; Godfrey, Rena; Golas, Gretchen; Groden, Catherine; Jacobsen, Julius; Köhler, Sebastian; Lee, Elizabeth M. J.; Links, Amanda E.; Markello, Thomas C.; Mungall, Christopher J.; Nehrebecky, Michele; Robinson, Peter N.; Sincan, Murat; Soldatos, Ariane G.; Tifft, Cynthia J.; Toro, Camilo; Trang, Heather; Valkanas, Elise; Vasilevsky, Nicole; Wahl, Colleen; Wolfe, Lynne A.; Boerkoel, Cornelius F.; Brudno, Michael; Haendel, Melissa A.; Gahl, William A.; Smedley, Damian

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Medical diagnosis and molecular or biochemical confirmation typically rely on the knowledge of the clinician. Although this is very difficult in extremely rare diseases, we hypothesized that the recording of patient phenotypes in Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) terms and computationally ranking putative disease-associated sequence variants improves diagnosis, particularly for patients with atypical clinical profiles. Genet Med 18 6, 608–617. Methods: Using simulated exomes and the National Institutes of Health Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) patient cohort and associated exome sequence, we tested our hypothesis using Exomiser. Exomiser ranks candidate variants based on patient phenotype similarity to (i) known disease–gene phenotypes, (ii) model organism phenotypes of candidate orthologs, and (iii) phenotypes of protein–protein association neighbors. Genet Med 18 6, 608–617. Results: Benchmarking showed Exomiser ranked the causal variant as the top hit in 97% of known disease–gene associations and ranked the correct seeded variant in up to 87% when detectable disease–gene associations were unavailable. Using UDP data, Exomiser ranked the causative variant(s) within the top 10 variants for 11 previously diagnosed variants and achieved a diagnosis for 4 of 23 cases undiagnosed by clinical evaluation. Genet Med 18 6, 608–617. Conclusion: Structured phenotyping of patients and computational analysis are effective adjuncts for diagnosing patients with genetic disorders. Genet Med 18 6, 608–617. PMID:26562225

  10. Transthoracic measurement of left coronary artery flow reserve improves the diagnostic value of routine dipyridamole-atropine stress echocardiogram

    PubMed Central

    Wejner-Mik, Paulina; Nouri, Aria; Szymczyk, Ewa; Krzemińska-Pakuła, Maria; Lipiec, Piotr

    2013-01-01

    Introduction We hypothesized that coronary flow reserve (CFR) in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) can be effectively measured during an accelerated dipyridamole-atropine stress echocardiography (DASE) protocol to improve the diagnostic performance of the test. Material and methods In 64 patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease scheduled for coronary angiography DASE with concomitant CFR measurement in LAD was performed. Results Coronary flow reserve measurement and calculation were feasible in 83% of patients. The positive predictive value of undetectable LAD flow was 81% for severe LAD disease. Measured values of CFR were in the range 1.3–4.1 (mean: 2.2 ±0.7). Significantly lower CFR was found in patients with LAD disease (1.97 ±0.62 vs. 2.55 ±0.57, p = 0.0015). The optimal cutoff for detecting ≥ 50% stenosis was CFR ≤ 2.1 (ROC AUC 0.776), corresponding with 68% sensitivity and 84% specificity. In patients with negative DASE results 67% of patients with LAD disease had abnormal CFR, whereas in patients with a positive DASE result 92% of patients with normal LAD had normal CFR. The DASE diagnostic accuracy for the detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) increased from 75% to 85% when CFR measurement was added to wall motion abnormality (WMA) analysis. No test with both abnormalities was false positive for the detection of coronary disease. Conclusions Incorporation of CFR measurement into WMA-based stress echocardiography is feasible even in an accelerated DASE protocol and can be translated into an approximate gain of 10% in overall test accuracy. PMID:24273560

  11. Strengths and limitations of microarray-based phenotype prediction: lessons learned from the IMPROVER Diagnostic Signature Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Tarca, Adi L.; Lauria, Mario; Unger, Michael; Bilal, Erhan; Boue, Stephanie; Kumar Dey, Kushal; Hoeng, Julia; Koeppl, Heinz; Martin, Florian; Meyer, Pablo; Nandy, Preetam; Norel, Raquel; Peitsch, Manuel; Rice, Jeremy J.; Romero, Roberto; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Talikka, Marja; Xiang, Yang; Zechner, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: After more than a decade since microarrays were used to predict phenotype of biological samples, real-life applications for disease screening and identification of patients who would best benefit from treatment are still emerging. The interest of the scientific community in identifying best approaches to develop such prediction models was reaffirmed in a competition style international collaboration called IMPROVER Diagnostic Signature Challenge whose results we describe herein. Results: Fifty-four teams used public data to develop prediction models in four disease areas including multiple sclerosis, lung cancer, psoriasis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and made predictions on blinded new data that we generated. Teams were scored using three metrics that captured various aspects of the quality of predictions, and best performers were awarded. This article presents the challenge results and introduces to the community the approaches of the best overall three performers, as well as an R package that implements the approach of the best overall team. The analyses of model performance data submitted in the challenge as well as additional simulations that we have performed revealed that (i) the quality of predictions depends more on the disease endpoint than on the particular approaches used in the challenge; (ii) the most important modeling factor (e.g. data preprocessing, feature selection and classifier type) is problem dependent; and (iii) for optimal results datasets and methods have to be carefully matched. Biomedical factors such as the disease severity and confidence in diagnostic were found to be associated with the misclassification rates across the different teams. Availability: The lung cancer dataset is available from Gene Expression Omnibus (accession, GSE43580). The maPredictDSC R package implementing the approach of the best overall team is available at www.bioconductor.org or http://bioinformaticsprb.med.wayne.edu/. Contact

  12. A Fast-and-Robust Profiler for Improving Polymerase Chain Reaction Diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Besseris, George J.

    2014-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is an in vitro technology in molecular genetics that progressively amplifies minimal copies of short DNA sequences in a fast and inexpensive manner. However, PCR performance is sensitive to suboptimal processing conditions. Compromised PCR conditions lead to artifacts and bias that downgrade the discriminatory power and reproducibility of the results. Promising attempts to resolve the PCR performance optimization issue have been guided by quality improvement tactics adopted in the past for industrial trials. Thus, orthogonal arrays (OAs) have been employed to program quick-and-easy structured experiments. Profiling of influences facilitates the quantification of effects that may counteract the detectability of amplified DNA fragments. Nevertheless, the attractive feature of reducing greatly the amount of work and expenditures by planning trials with saturated-unreplicated OA schemes is known to be relinquished in the subsequent analysis phase. This is because of an inherent incompatibility of ordinary multi-factorial comparison techniques to convert small yet dense datasets. Treating unreplicated-saturated data with either the analysis of variance (ANOVA) or regression models destroys the information extraction process. Both of those mentioned approaches are rendered blind to error since the examined effects absorb all available degrees of freedom. Therefore, in lack of approximating an experimental uncertainty, any outcome interpretation is rendered subjective. We propose a profiling method that permits the non-linear maximization of amplicon resolution by eliminating the necessity for direct error estimation. Our approach is distribution-free, calibration-free, simulation-free and sparsity-free with well-known power properties. It is also user-friendly by promoting rudimentary analytics. Testing our method on published amplicon count data, we found that the preponderant effect is the concentration of MgCl2 (p<0.05) followed by the

  13. Design, Implementation, and Wide Pilot Deployment of FitForAll: An Easy to use Exergaming Platform Improving Physical Fitness and Life Quality of Senior Citizens.

    PubMed

    Konstantinidis, Evdokimos I; Billis, Antonis S; Mouzakidis, Christos A; Zilidou, Vasiliki I; Antoniou, Panagiotis E; Bamidis, Panagiotis D

    2016-01-01

    Many platforms have emerged as response to the call for technology supporting active and healthy aging. Key requirements for any such e-health systems and any subsequent business exploitation are tailor-made design and proper evaluation. This paper presents the design, implementation, wide deployment, and evaluation of the low cost, physical exercise, and gaming (exergaming) FitForAll (FFA) platform system usability, user adherence to exercise, and efficacy are explored. The design of FFA is tailored to elderly populations, distilling literature guidelines and recommendations. The FFA architecture introduces standard physical exercise protocols in exergaming software engineering, as well as, standard physical assessment tests for augmented adaptability through adjustable exercise intensity. This opens up the way to next generation exergaming software, which may be more automatically/smartly adaptive. 116 elderly users piloted FFA five times/week, during an eight-week controlled intervention. Usability evaluation was formally conducted (SUS, SUMI questionnaires). Control group consisted of a size-matched elderly group following cognitive training. Efficacy was assessed objectively through the senior fitness (Fullerton) test, and subjectively, through WHOQoL-BREF comparisons of pre-postintervention between groups. Adherence to schedule was measured by attendance logs. The global SUMI score was 68.33±5.85%, while SUS was 77.7. Good usability perception is reflected in relatively high adherence of 82% for a daily two months pilot schedule. Compared to control group, elderly using FFA improved significantly strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance while presenting a significant trend in quality of life improvements. This is the first elderly focused exergaming platform intensively evaluated with more than 100 participants. The use of formal tools makes the findings comparable to other studies and forms an elderly exergaming corpus. PMID:26731797

  14. Improving Access to Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test in Niger State, Nigeria: An Assessment of Implementation up to 2013.

    PubMed

    Awoleye, Olatunji Joshua; Thron, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Nigeria's 2009-2013 malaria strategic plan adopted WHO diagnosis and treatment guidelines, which include the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) prior to prescribing treatment with artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs). The current study explores accessibility barriers to the use of RDTs in Niger State and makes recommendations for improving the uptake of RDTs. The study employs literature review, review of data from the Niger State Health Management Information System for January-October 2013, and application of Peters' conceptual framework for assessing access to health services. Data showed that 27 percent of public health facilities (HFs) implemented RDTs, with the aid of donor funds. In these facilities, 77 percent of fever cases presented during the study period were tested with RDTs; 53 percent of fever cases were confirmed cases of malaria, while 60 percent of fever cases were treated. Stockouts of RDTs were a major constraint, and severe fever tended to trigger presumptive treatment. We conclude that although implementation of RDTs led to a reduction in the use of ACTs at HFs, more substantial reduction could be achieved if the state government directed more resources towards the acquisition of RDTs as well as raising the level of awareness of potential users. PMID:27042376

  15. Improved Optical Diagnostic and Microwave Power Supply, final report. An ARRA Supplement to Instabilities in Nonthermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Hopwood, Jeffrey

    2011-05-30

    This is the final report for the supplemental program ''Improved Optical Diagnostic and Microwave Power Supply'' which has funded the purchase of laboratory instrumentation to enhance the main DOE project, ''Instabilities in Non-thermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma.'' The main program’s goals include a scientific study of the plasma physics causing large-area plasmas to become unstable at atmospheric pressure. These fundamental scientific discoveries will then allow for the design of controllable cold plasma sources capable of materials processing, including photovoltaic devices, at one atmosphere. This leads to lower costs of energy production. This final report describes only the completion of the supplement. A high-speed spectroscopic camera capable of diagnosing plasma fluctuations and instabilities on time-scales of 2 ns was specified, purchased, installed and tested at the Tufts University Plasma Laboratory. In addition, a 30 watt microwave power system capable of producing short pulses of power in the 0.8 – 4.2 GHz bands was specified, purchased, installed and tested. Scientific experiments are continuing under the funding of the main grant, but a few preliminary examples of scientific discoveries made using these items are included in this report.

  16. Improving Access to Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test in Niger State, Nigeria: An Assessment of Implementation up to 2013

    PubMed Central

    Awoleye, Olatunji Joshua; Thron, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Nigeria's 2009–2013 malaria strategic plan adopted WHO diagnosis and treatment guidelines, which include the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) prior to prescribing treatment with artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs). The current study explores accessibility barriers to the use of RDTs in Niger State and makes recommendations for improving the uptake of RDTs. The study employs literature review, review of data from the Niger State Health Management Information System for January–October 2013, and application of Peters' conceptual framework for assessing access to health services. Data showed that 27 percent of public health facilities (HFs) implemented RDTs, with the aid of donor funds. In these facilities, 77 percent of fever cases presented during the study period were tested with RDTs; 53 percent of fever cases were confirmed cases of malaria, while 60 percent of fever cases were treated. Stockouts of RDTs were a major constraint, and severe fever tended to trigger presumptive treatment. We conclude that although implementation of RDTs led to a reduction in the use of ACTs at HFs, more substantial reduction could be achieved if the state government directed more resources towards the acquisition of RDTs as well as raising the level of awareness of potential users. PMID:27042376

  17. Reassessment of offshore platforms

    SciTech Connect

    Nair, V.V.D.; Kuhn, J.M. )

    1993-05-01

    Data from Hurricane Andrew demonstrated that the systems and procedures in place for evacuating offshore workers and minimizing oil spills and environmental damage functioned as planned. While the vast majority of the platforms survived the storm with no damage, a few of the older platforms (installed prior to 1972) either collapsed or suffered severe damage. The collapsed platforms were designed with insufficient deck height to clear the storm waves. In recent years, the API RP 2A has introduced guidance for minimum air gap, minimum structures, platform inspection and platform reuse. These provisions, coupled with natural attribution of the older platforms, will significantly improve the performance of platforms in the future. The reliability of NDT techniques to detect major structural defects should be improved through continued research. While flooded member detection is used by several operators as a screening tool to detect major defects underwater, its reliability is not always good and further research is needed in this area. Another area of high priority research is related to the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) to perform underwater inspection of structures. 51 refs., 7 figs.

  18. Lysimeter Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klammler, Gernot; Murer, Erwin; Plieschnegger, Markus

    2014-05-01

    The existing European Lysimeter Platform (www.lysimeter.at/HP_EuLP) provides an overview of lysimeter types used in Europe and show details on equipment, research results and future perspectives of lysimeter facilities. However, this platform is not user-editable and has not been updated since 2008. Thus, the Lysimeter Research Group (www.lysimeter.at) intends to serve a new database based website called Lysimeter Platform, where existing information of the former European Lysimeter Platform will be transferred to the new Lysimeter Platform and, furthermore, registered users are able to create and edit sites where lysimeters, soil water samplers and soil hydrologic measuring profiles are operated. The Lysimeter Research Group is a scientific association and, therefore, the membership is free of charge. The new Lysimeter Platform contains general information of lysimeter sites worldwide (e.g., what is measured at which site) in a standardized form to get a quick but informative overview of the sites and can be linked to more detailed, already existing information provided by the site operators. Due to the standardized information in the database the Lysimeter Platform serves also as search-engine for soil water measurements and helps to find sites of interest and corresponding contact information worldwide. The Session "Estimation of soil-atmosphere and vadose zone water fluxes by use of precision lysimeter measurements" at the EGU General Assembly 2014 would be an excellent chance to present the idea and the concept of this new Lysimeter Platform to international site operators and scientists.

  19. Effects of a Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Volume of Diagnostic Material in CT-Guided Lung Biopsies

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Philip E.; Sales, Catherine M.; Hodges, Dalton C.; Sales, Elizabeth W.

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent publications have emphasized the importance of a multidisciplinary strategy for maximum conservation and utilization of lung biopsy material for advanced testing, which may determine therapy. This paper quantifies the effect of a multidisciplinary strategy implemented to optimize and increase tissue volume in CT-guided transthoracic needle core lung biopsies. The strategy was three-pronged: (1) once there was confidence diagnostic tissue had been obtained and if safe for the patient, additional biopsy passes were performed to further increase volume of biopsy material, (2) biopsy material was placed in multiple cassettes for processing, and (3) all tissue ribbons were conserved when cutting blocks in the histology laboratory. This study quantifies the effects of strategies #1 and #2. Design This retrospective analysis comparing CT-guided lung biopsies from 2007 and 2012 (before and after multidisciplinary approach implementation) was performed at a single institution. Patient medical records were reviewed and main variables analyzed include biopsy sample size, radiologist, number of blocks submitted, diagnosis, and complications. The biopsy sample size measured was considered to be directly proportional to tissue volume in the block. Results Biopsy sample size increased 2.5 fold with the average total biopsy sample size increasing from 1.0 cm (0.9–1.1 cm) in 2007 to 2.5 cm (2.3–2.8 cm) in 2012 (P<0.0001). The improvement was statistically significant for each individual radiologist. During the same time, the rate of pneumothorax requiring chest tube placement decreased from 15% to 7% (P = 0.065). No other major complications were identified. The proportion of tumor within the biopsy material was similar at 28% (23%–33%) and 35% (30%–40%) for 2007 and 2012, respectively. The number of cases with at least two blocks available for testing increased from 10.7% to 96.4% (P<0.0001). Conclusions The effect of this multidisciplinary strategy to CT

  20. Cross-platform comparison of independent datasets identifies an immune signature associated with improved survival in metastatic melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Lardone, Ricardo D.; Plaisier, Seema B.; Navarrete, Marian S.; Shamonki, Jaime M.; Jalas, John R.

    2016-01-01

    Platform and study differences in prognostic signatures from metastatic melanoma (MM) gene expression reports often hinder consensus arrival. We performed survival/outcome-based pairwise comparisons of three independent MM gene expression profiles using the threshold-free algorithm rank-rank hypergeometric overlap analysis (RRHO). We found statistically significant overlap for genes overexpressed in favorable outcome (FO) groups, but no overlap for poor outcome (PO) groups. This “favorable outcome signature” (FOS) of 228 genes coinciding on all three overlapping gene lists showed immune function predominated in FO MM. Surprisingly, specific cell signature-enrichment analysis showed B cell-associated genes enriched in FO MM, along with T cell-associated genes. Higher levels of B and T cells (p<0.05) and their relative proximity (p<0.05) were detected in FO-to-PO tumor comparisons from an independent MM patients cohort. Finally, expression of FOS in two independent Stage III MM tumor datasets correctly predicted clinical outcome in 12/14 and 44/70 patients using a weighted gene voting classifier (area under the curve values 0.96 and 0.75, respectively). This RRHO-based, cross-study analysis emphasizes the RRHO approach power, confirms T cells relevance for prolonged MM survival, supports a favorable role for B cells in anti-melanoma immunity, and suggests B cells potential as means of intervention in melanoma treatment. PMID:26883106

  1. Prosthetic Vascular Graft Infections: Bacterial Cultures from Negative-Pressure-Wound-Therapy Foams Do Not Improve Diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Scherrer, Alexandra U; Bloemberg, Guido; Zbinden, Reinhard; Zinkernagel, Annelies S; Fuchs, Claudio; Frauenfelder, Sandra; Rancic, Zoran; Mayer, Dieter; Hasse, Barbara

    2016-08-01

    We analyzed the diagnostic value of microorganisms cultured from negative-pressure-wound-therapy (NPWT) foam samples compared to that of microorganisms cultured from deep tissue samples from patients with vascular graft infections. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were 58%, 86%, 81%, and 66%, respectively. The diagnostic value of microbiological cultures from NPWT foams was poor. PMID:27252462

  2. Teachers' Perceptions of the Educational Platform--Is There a Connection between School Improvement and Regional Educational Development?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boström, Lena; Dalin, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    This research examined teachers' attitudes in a school development project, The best regional educational system in the world which focuses on regional development and school improvement. The project was performed in counties in Mid Sweden, which have a lower educational level and school achievements and a competence escape compare with other…

  3. Multicolored Silver Nanoparticles for Multiplexed Disease Diagnostics: Distinguishing Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Ebola Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Chun-Wan; de Puig, Helena; Tam, Justina; Gómez-Márquez, José; Bosch, Irene; Hamad-Schifferli, Kimberly; Gehrke, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic devices are needed for field-forward screening of severe acute systemic febrile illnesses. Multiplexed rapid lateral flow diagnostics have the potential to distinguish among multiple pathogens, thereby facilitating diagnosis and improving patient care. Here, we present a platform for multiplexed pathogen detection using multi-colored silver nanoplates. This design requires no external excitation source and permits multiplexed analysis in a single channel, facilitating integration and manufacturing. PMID:25672590

  4. Improvement of Image Quality and Diagnostic Performance by an Innovative Motion-Correction Algorithm for Prospectively ECG Triggered Coronary CT Angiography

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Bin; Yan, Hong-Bing; Mu, Chao-Wei; Gao, Yang; Hou, Zhi-Hui; Wang, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Kun; Parinella, Ashley H.; Leipsic, Jonathon A.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of a novel motion-correction algorithm (Snap-short Freeze, SSF) on image quality and diagnostic accuracy in patients undergoing prospectively ECG-triggered CCTA without administering rate-lowering medications. Materials and Methods Forty-six consecutive patients suspected of CAD prospectively underwent CCTA using prospective ECG-triggering without rate control and invasive coronary angiography (ICA). Image quality, interpretability, and diagnostic performance of SSF were compared with conventional multisegment reconstruction without SSF, using ICA as the reference standard. Results All subjects (35 men, 57.6 ± 8.9 years) successfully underwent ICA and CCTA. Mean heart rate was 68.8±8.4 (range: 50–88 beats/min) beats/min without rate controlling medications during CT scanning. Overall median image quality score (graded 1–4) was significantly increased from 3.0 to 4.0 by the new algorithm in comparison to conventional reconstruction. Overall interpretability was significantly improved, with a significant reduction in the number of non-diagnostic segments (690 of 694, 99.4% vs 659 of 694, 94.9%; P<0.001). However, only the right coronary artery (RCA) showed a statistically significant difference (45 of 46, 97.8% vs 35 of 46, 76.1%; P = 0.004) on a per-vessel basis in this regard. Diagnostic accuracy for detecting ≥50% stenosis was improved using the motion-correction algorithm on per-vessel [96.2% (177/184) vs 87.0% (160/184); P = 0.002] and per-segment [96.1% (667/694) vs 86.6% (601/694); P <0.001] levels, but there was not a statistically significant improvement on a per-patient level [97.8 (45/46) vs 89.1 (41/46); P = 0.203]. By artery analysis, diagnostic accuracy was improved only for the RCA [97.8% (45/46) vs 78.3% (36/46); P = 0.007]. Conclusion The intracycle motion correction algorithm significantly improved image quality and diagnostic interpretability in patients undergoing CCTA with prospective ECG triggering and

  5. The Features of GGT in Patients with ATP8B1 or ABCB11 Deficiency Improve the Diagnostic Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Neng-Li; Li, Li-Ting; Wu, Bing-Bing; Gong, Jing-Yu; Abuduxikuer, Kuerbanjiang; Li, Gang; Wang, Jian-She

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Genetic defects in ATP8B1 or ABCB11 account for the majority of cholestasis with low GGT. But the ranges for GGT in patients with ATP8B1 or ABCB11 deficiency are unclear. This study tried to unravel the features of GGT in these patients that improve diagnostic efficiency. Methods This study enrolled 207 patients with chronic cholestasis who were ordered to test for ATP8B1 and/or ABCB11 from January 2012 to December 2015. Additional 17 patients with ATPB81 or ABCB11 deficiency diagnosed between January 2004 and December 2011 were also enrolled in this study. 600 population-matched children served as controls. Clinical data were obtained by retrospectively reviewing medical records. Results A total of 26 patients were diagnosed with ATP8B1 deficiency and 30 patients were diagnosed with ABCB11 deficiency. GGT levels were similar between the two disorders at any observed month of age, but varied with age. The peak GGT value was <70U/L in the 2nd~6th month of life, <60U/L in the 7th~12th month and <50U/L beyond one year. GGT levels in patients with a genetic diagnosis were different from that in patients without a genetic diagnosis and controls. Larger ranges for GGT were found in patients without a genetic diagnosis. Some controls had GGT≥70U/L in the 2nd~6th month. Of the 207 patients, 39 (18.8%) obtained a genetic diagnosis. 111 patients met the ranges described above, including all the 39 patients with ATP8B1 or ABCB11 deficiency. The sensitivity was 100.0%. The rate of a positive molecular diagnosis increased to 35.1% (39/111 vs. 39/207, X2 = 10.363, P = 0.001). The remaining 96 patients exceeded the ranges described above and failed to receive a genetic diagnosis. These patients accounted for 43.8% of sequencing cost. Conclusions GGT levels in patients with ATP8B1 or ABCB11 deficiency varied with age. The peak GGT value was <70U/L in the 2nd~6th month of life, <60U/L in the 7th~12th month and <50U/L beyond one year. PMID:27050426

  6. Improvement of DNA vaccination by adjuvants and sophisticated delivery devices: vaccine-platforms for the battle against infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Advantages of DNA vaccination against infectious diseases over more classical immunization methods include the possibilities for rapid manufacture, fast adaptation to newly emerging pathogens and high stability at ambient temperatures. In addition, upon DNA immunization the antigen is produced by the cells of the vaccinated individual, which leads to activation of both cellular and humoral immune responses due to antigen presentation via MHC I and MHC II molecules. However, so far DNA vaccines have shown most efficient immunogenicity mainly in small rodent models, whereas in larger animals including humans there is still the need to improve effectiveness. This is mostly due to inefficient delivery of the DNA plasmid into cells and nuclei. Here, we discuss technologies used to overcome this problem, including physical means such as in vivo electroporation and co-administration of adjuvants. Several of these methods have already entered clinical testing in humans. PMID:25648133

  7. Lentiviral vector platform for improved erythropoietin expression concomitant with shRNA mediated host cell elastase down regulation.

    PubMed

    Dhamne, Hemant; Chande, Ajit G; Mukhopadhyaya, Robin

    2014-01-01

    Lentiviral vector (LV) mediated gene transfer holds great promise to develop stable cell lines for sustained transgene expression providing a valuable alternative to the conventional plasmid transfection based recombinant protein production methods. We report here making a third generation HIV-2 derived LV containing erythropoietin (EPO) gene expression cassette to generate a stable HEK293 cell line secreting EPO constitutively. A high producer cell clone was obtained by limiting dilution and was adapted to serum free medium. The suspension adapted cell clone stably produced milligram per liter quantities of EPO. Subsequent host metabolic engineering using lentiviral RNAi targeted to block an endogenous candidate protease elastase, identified through an in silico approach, resulted in appreciable augmentation of EPO expression above the original level. This study of LV based improved glycoprotein expression with host cell metabolic engineering for stable production of protein therapeutics thus exemplifies the versatility of LV and is of significant future biopharmaceutical importance. PMID:24325878

  8. An Internet-Based Diabetes Management Platform Improves Team Care and Outcomes in an Urban Latino Population

    PubMed Central

    Zagarins, Sofija E.; Santiago-Kelly, Paula; Rodriguez, Zoraida; Bursell, Sven-Erik; Rosal, Milagros C.; Gabbay, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To compare usual diabetes care (UDC) to a comprehensive diabetes care intervention condition (IC) involving an Internet-based “diabetes dashboard” management tool used by clinicians. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We used a parallel-group randomized design. Diabetes nurses, diabetes dietitians, and providers used the diabetes dashboard as a clinical decision support system to deliver a five-visit, 6-month intervention to 199 poorly controlled (HbA1c >7.5% [58 mmol/mol]) Latino type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients (mean age 55 years, 60% female) at urban community health centers. We compared this intervention to an established, in-house UDC program (n = 200) for its impact on blood glucose control and psychosocial outcomes. RESULTS Recruitment and retention rates were 79.0 and 88.5%, respectively. Compared with UDC, more IC patients reached HbA1c targets of <7% (53 mmol/mol; 15.8 vs. 7.0%, respectively, P < 0.01) and <8% (64 mmol/mol; 45.2 vs. 25.3%, respectively, P < 0.001). In multiple linear regression adjusting for baseline HbA1c, adjusted mean ± SE HbA1c at follow-up was significantly lower in the IC compared with the UDC group (P < 0.001; IC 8.4 ± 0.10%; UDC 9.2 ± 0.10%). The results showed lower diabetes distress at follow-up for IC patients (40.4 ± 2.1) as compared with UDC patients (48.3 ± 2.0) (P < 0.01), and also lower social distress (32.2 ± 1.3 vs. 27.2 ± 1.4, P < 0.01). There was a similar, statistically significant (P < 0.01) improvement for both groups in the proportion of patients moving from depressed status at baseline to nondepressed at follow-up (41.8 vs. 40%; no significance between groups). CONCLUSIONS The diabetes dashboard intervention significantly improved diabetes-related outcomes among Latinos with poorly controlled T2D compared with a similar diabetes team condition without access to the diabetes dashboard. PMID:25633661

  9. SveDem, the Swedish Dementia Registry – A Tool for Improving the Quality of Diagnostics, Treatment and Care of Dementia Patients in Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Religa, Dorota; Fereshtehnejad, Seyed-Mohammad; Cermakova, Pavla; Edlund, Ann-Katrin; Garcia-Ptacek, Sara; Granqvist, Nicklas; Hallbäck, Anne; Kåwe, Kerstin; Farahmand, Bahman; Kilander, Lena; Mattsson, Ulla-Britt; Nägga, Katarina; Nordström, Peter; Wijk, Helle; Wimo, Anders; Winblad, Bengt; Eriksdotter, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Background The Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem) was developed with the aim to improve the quality of diagnostic work-up, treatment and care of patients with dementia disorders in Sweden. Methods SveDem is an internet based quality registry where several indicators can be followed over time. It includes information about the diagnostic work-up, medical treatment and community support (www.svedem.se). The patients are diagnosed and followed-up yearly in specialist units, primary care centres or in nursing homes. Results The database was initiated in May 2007 and covers almost all of Sweden. There were 28 722 patients registered with a mean age of 79.3 years during 2007–2012. Each participating unit obtains continuous online statistics from its own registrations and they can be compared with regional and national data. A report from SveDem is published yearly to inform medical and care professionals as well as political and administrative decision-makers about the current quality of diagnostics, treatment and care of patients with dementia disorders in Sweden. Conclusion SveDem provides knowledge about current dementia care in Sweden and serves as a framework for ensuring the quality of diagnostics, treatment and care across the country. It also reflects changes in quality dementia care over time. Data from SveDem can be used to further develop the national guidelines for dementia and to generate new research hypotheses. PMID:25695768

  10. Education Platforms for America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    District Administration, 2012

    2012-01-01

    What is at stake for K12 education in next month's presidential election? Both President Barack Obama (Democratic Party) and Gov. Mitt Romney (Republican Party) say improving education will be a top priority in their administrations, but their policies and initiatives would likely be quite different. While political platforms rarely offer detailed…