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Technology and Health Care is intended to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Furthermore, upon invitation, reviews, tutorials, discussion papers and minisymposia are featured.
The following types of contributions and areas are considered:
1. Original articles:
Technology development in medicine: New concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice are presented to a readership with a widespread background in engineering and/or medicine.
Significance of medical technology and informatics for healthcare: The appropriateness, efficacy and usefulness deriving from the application of engineering methods, devices and informatics in medicine and with respect to public health are discussed.
2. Technical notes:
Short communications on novel technical developments with relevance for clinical medicine.
3. Reviews and tutorials (upon invitation only):
Tutorial and educational articles for persons with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa are presented.
4. Minisymposia (upon invitation only):
Under the leadership of a Special Editor, controversial issues relating to healthcare are highlighted and discussed by various authors.
Abstract: Brain white matter tractography is reconstructed via diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images. Due to the complex structure of brain white matter fiber bundles, fiber crossing and fiber branching are abundant in human brain. And regular methods with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can't accurately handle this problem. the biggest problems of the brain tractography. Therefore, this paper presented a novel brain white matter tractography method based on graph theory, so the fiber tracking between two voxels is transformed into locating the shortest path in a graph. Besides, the presented method uses Q-ball imaging (QBI) as the source data instead of DTI, because…QBI can provide accurate information about multiple fiber crossing and branching in one voxel using orientation distribution function (ODF). Experiments showed that the presented method can accurately handle the problem of brain white matter fiber crossing and branching, and reconstruct brain tractograhpy both in phantom data and real brain data.
Keywords: Brain white matter, graph theory, QBI, tractography, Bayesian model
Abstract: Photosynthetic responses to light environment can be useful measurements to determine favorable habitat conditions for the conservation and cultivation of medicinal species. The nonrectangular hyperbola model, rectangular hyperbola model, modified rectangular hyperbola model, exponential model, modified exponential model are used to explore the best model for describing light-response curves in two Epimedium species. The results show that the light-response curves of E. wushanense and E. acuminatum were best described by the modified exponential model, the test MSE and MAE of the modified exponential model were smaller, and the LSP and Pmax calculated by the modified exponential model…were more accurate than those calculated by other models in E. wushanense and E. acuminatum . This model may be widely applicable to light-response curves of other Epimedium species.
Abstract: The most populous country in the world, China needs more health care. Shenmu's practices show that National Free Health Care (NFHC) system has played an active role in fulfilling the citizen's needs of health care, and alleviating the difficulties in affording the medical costs and seeing doctors. But NFHC system needs substantial financial supporting. It is worth in-depth discussing and reflecting on whether the NFHC system suits China's national conditions. The paper establishes the population age structure forecasting model and NFHC financial burden model by decomposition methodology and actuarial modelling. And it finds than the financial burden of NFHC system…in Shenmu will be increased from 256.64 million Yuan to 656.04 million Yuan in 2013-2020, with the growth rate 12.45%. Meanwhile, the percentage of the financial burden in government's annual revenue is less than 2% in 2013-2020, NFHC system has financial sustainability in Shenmu. According to the successful experience abroad and the calculated results in Shenmu, to extend the NFHC system to the whole of China has financial sustainability and realistic possibility.
Keywords: National Free Health Care, financial sustainability, decomposition methodology of conception, Shenmu County
Abstract: This research aimed to compare antioxidant and anticancer activities of the essential oil from various habitats of Selaginella doederleinii Hieron. The results showed that antioxidative activities of the essential oil were the best from Guizhou province in 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging, 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonate) (ABTS) radical scavenging, ferric reducing and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), while those of the essential oil from Sichuan province were the weakest among different habitats. The anticancer results showed that antitumor effects of the essential oil from Guizhou province were the best against A549 cell line and 7721 cell line, while those of the essential oil…from Sichuan province were the weakest among different habitats. Proliferative and antioxidant activities were correlated. The correlation coefficients (R2 ) between antioxidant and anticancer capacities varied from 0.71 to 0.94. The results of tests indicated that the antioxidant and anticancer activities of the essential oil from various habitats were great differences that might be affected by environmental variation, harvest seasons and so on. Investigation in vitro revealed that the essential oil of S. doederleinii were found to be effective in suppressing the oxidative activity and proliferation of cancer cells. This experiment provides scientific foundation for further utilization of S. doederleinii .
Abstract: The metabolites from human plasma and follicular fluid in IVF-ET are related with the metabolic activity of follicular cells and further with oocyte quality. With liquid chromatography-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (LC-TOF-MS) and organic extraction from plasma and follicular fluid, a fast and efficient method was established for detecting the metabolites of human plasma and follicular fluid. Certain metabolites were closely related with human physiological activities, such as hormone, amino acid, estrogen and fatty acid, and estrogen fatty acyllipid lipid were successfully detected in human plasma and follicular fluid. The metabolites in follicular fluid and plasma on the day of oocyte retrieval were…found to be similar. But those in the latter and basal plasma were partially different. Methyl (3α ,5β ,7α ,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxycholan-24-oate, androst-4-ene-3,17-dione and tryptophan were identified and might be potential biomarkers on oocyte quality. It demonstrates that LC-TOF-MS combined with organic extraction could be an efficient tool to investigate the metabolites of human plasma and follicular fluid. Based on this study, it is expected to provide the basis for the further steps to explore possible influential factors on oocyte quality.
Keywords: Amino acid, estrogen, follicular fluid, liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LCMS/MS), plasma
Abstract: Although diagnostic expert systems using a knowledge base which models decision-making of traditional experts can provide important information to non-experts, they tend to duplicate the errors made by experts. Decision-Theoretic Model (DTM) is therefore very useful in expert system since they prevent experts from incorrect reasoning under uncertainty. For the diagnostic expert system, corresponding DTM and arithmetic are studied and a sequential diagnostic decision-theoretic model based on Bayesian Network is given. In the model, the alternative features are categorized into two classes (including diseases features and test features), then an arithmetic for prior of test is provided. The different features…affect other features weights are also discussed. Bayesian Network is adopted to solve uncertainty presentation and propagation. The model can help knowledge engineers model the knowledge involved in sequential diagnosis and decide evidence alternative priority. A practical example of the models is also presented: at any time of the diagnostic process the expert is provided with a dynamically updated list of suggested tests in order to support him in the decision-making problem about which test to execute next. The results show it is better than the traditional diagnostic model which is based on experience.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The rupture of aneurysm is quite common in the clinics, and is hazardous to patients. Its occurrence is considered to be related to the hemodynamic abnormalities. OBJECTIVE: To construct the model of internal carotid artery aneurysm (ICA-A), and have a simulation of blood flow. METHODS: Based on the CTA data from spiral CT scan, the ICA-A model was constructed, and the types of blood flow, wall shear stress (WSS), Von Mises stress (VMS) and pressure were simulated and calculated. RESULTS: ICA-A model has been…built and shape is the same morphology as CT 3D-image. In the whole cardiac cycle, the blood flow of aneurysm body is swirl, its velocity is slower than that of aneurysm neck; the maximum deformation, wall shear stress, pressure and von mises stress of aneurysm wall is at the neck, the minimum is at the top. The highest value appeared at 0.52 s in the cardiac cycle of 0.74 s, the lowest is at 0.21 s. CONCLUSIONS: It is effective and practical to construct the model of ICA-A base on CTA data. Blood flow simulation of ICA-A will provide new basis for the study on the occurrence and development of aneurysm.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: For its function of catalysing the reaction of aldehyde to acetic acid, ALDH could be applied to antialcoholismic drug development. However, both of the production and activity of natural ALDH are too low to meet the demand. OBJECTIVE: To empirically explore whether aldh gene in Bacillus halodurans XJU-1 could be highly expressed in E.coli BL21(DE3) and to investigate the purification of recombinant protein ALDH. METHODS: The aldh gene in Bacillus halodurans XJU-1 was cloned into prokaryotic expression vector pET30b(+), then transformed into E.coli BL21(DE3) to…induce expression of ALDH. Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC) was applied in the separation and purification for ALDH proteins. RESULTS: The recombinant vector for aldh gene was constructed and expressed in BL21(DE3) successfully. The ALDH recombinant protein was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and IMAC, and obtained 30.1% of the recovery with a purification factor 8.81. CONCLUSIONS: The value of these findings, as well as wider implications for increasing the yield and the activity of ALDH, is meaningful.
Abstract: Knowledge acquisition plays very important role in the diagnostic expert system. It usually takes a long period to acquire disease knowledge using the traditional methods. To solve this problem, this paper describes relations between rough set theory and rule-based description of diseases, which corresponds to the process of knowledge acquisition of diagnostic expert system. Then the exclusive rules, inclusive rules and disease images of disease are built based on the PDES diagnosis model, and the definition of probability rule is put forward. At last, the paper presents the rule-based automated induction reasoning method, including exhaustive search, post-processing procedure, estimation for…statistic test and the bootstrap and resampling methods. We also introduce automated induction of the rule-based description, which is used in our diseases diagnostic expert system. The experimental results not only show that rough set theory gives a very suitable framework to represent processes of uncertain knowledge extraction, but also that this method induces diagnostic rules correctly. This method can act as the assistant tool for development of diagnosis expert system, and has an extensive application in intelligent information systems.
Keywords: Rule induction, rough set, knowledge acquisition, diagnostic expert system