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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: BACKGROUND: Propagation of photon signals in biological systems, such as neurons, accompanies the production of biophotons. The role of biophotons in a cell deserves special attention because it can be applied to diverse optical systems. OBJECTIVE: This work has been aimed to investigate the time behavior of biophoton signals emitted from living systems in detail, by introducing a Hamiltonian that describes the process. The ratio of the energy loss during signal dissipation will also be investigated. METHOD: To see the adiabatic properties of the biophoton signal, we introduced an adiabatic invariant of…the system according to the method of its basic formulation. RESULTS: The energy of the released biophoton dissipates over time in a somewhat intricate way when t is small. However, after a sufficient long time, it dissipates in proportion (1+λ_0t)^2 to where λ_0 is a constant that is relevant to the degree of dissipation. We have confirmed that the energy of the biophoton signal oscillates in a particular way while it dissipates. CONCLUSION: This research clarifies the characteristics of radiation fields associated with biophotons on the basis of Hamiltonian dynamics which describes phenomenological aspects of biophotons signals.
Keywords: Biophoton, energy dissipation, hamiltonian, damped harmonic oscillator, biological system
Abstract: The aim of this study is to observe the differences between mechanical and electrical dyssynchrony in patients with impaired systolic ventricular function and symptomatic heart failure and to highlight the importance of mechanical dyssynchrony besides electrical dyssynchrony in clinical guidelines and clinical practice. Fifty-eight patients with heart failure, who are with the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class II-IV and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) under 35%, were enrolled. Patients were divided into two groups, according to the duration of QRS complex (> 120 ms and ≤ 120 ms respectively). Echocardiographic parameters of interventricular (interventricular mechanical delay - IMD)…and intraventricular (septal-to-posterior wall motion delay - SPWMD) dyssynchrony were measured in both groups. Results indicate that the duration of the QRS complex (i.e. electrical dyssynchrony) is not a fully reliable indicator of ventricular dyssynchrony; therefore ecocardiographic evaluation of mechanical dyssynchrony should also be recommended for better selection of candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
Abstract: Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance (DTMR) imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have been widely used to probe noninvasively biological tissue structures. However, DTI suffers from long acquisition times, which limit its practical and clinical applications. This paper proposes a new Compressed Sensing (CS) reconstruction method that employs joint sparsity and rank deficiency to reconstruct cardiac DTMR images from undersampled k-space data. Diffusion-weighted images acquired in different diffusion directions were firstly stacked as columns to form the matrix. The matrix was row sparse in the transform domain and had a low rank. These two properties were then incorporated into the CS…reconstruction framework. The underlying constrained optimization problem was finally solved by the first-order fast method. Experiments were carried out on both simulation and real human cardiac DTMR images. The results demonstrated that the proposed approach had lower reconstruction errors for DTI indices, including fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivities (MD), compared to the existing CS-DTMR image reconstruction techniques.
Abstract: Finding the minimum number of appropriate biomarkers for specific targets such as a lung cancer has been a challenging issue in bioinformatics. We propose a hierarchical two-phase framework for selecting appropriate biomarkers that extracts candidate biomarkers from the cancer microarray datasets and then selects the minimum number of appropriate biomarkers from the extracted candidate biomarkers datasets with a specific neuro-fuzzy algorithm, which is called a neural network with weighted fuzzy membership function (NEWFM). In this context, as the first phase, the proposed framework is to extract candidate biomarkers by using a Bhattacharyya distance method that measures the similarity of two…discrete probability distributions. Finally, the proposed framework is able to reduce the cost of finding biomarkers by not receiving medical supplements and improve the accuracy of the biomarkers in specific cancer target datasets.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: For implementing autonomous rehabilitation exercises for upper limb hemiplegic patients, interfaces and a rehabilitation scenario that allow lateral and bilateral motions in a rehabilitation exercise robot are proposed. OBJECTIVE: The proposed method measures the motion information generated from the unaffected part and projects it to an affected part in which the affected part expresses motions of the unaffected part. METHODS: Both the accelerometer and gyro data were merged for estimating the motion information of the unaffected part. Also, HDR and complementary filters were applied to improve measurement errors in a data merging…process. RESULTS: For verifying the proposed method, a device, which is similar to a human body joint, was fabricated. Then, the angular values estimated by using an inertial sensor and the encoder values from the device were compared. In addition, a camera analysis was used to verify the proposed rehabilitation scenario by applying the rehabilitation interface proposed in this study to an exo-skeleton robot arm. CONCLUSION: It is possible to apply the method proposed in this study to the control variables in different upper limb rehabilitation exercise robots. Thus, it is expected that patient centered active lateral/bilateral rehabilitation exercises can be performed through this interface method.
Keywords: Lateral and bilateral upper limb movement, upper limb rehabilitation, active rehabilitation, rehabilitation interface
Abstract: This paper presents a method to characterize tissue thermal damage by taking into account the thermal-mechanical effect of soft tissues for thermal ablation. This method integrates the bio-heating conduction and non-rigid motion dynamics to describe thermal-mechanical behaviors of soft tissues and further extends the traditional tissue damage model to characterize thermal-mechanical damage of soft tissues. Simulations and comparison analysis demonstrate that the proposed method can effectively predict tissue thermal damage and it also provides reliable guidelines for control of the thermal ablation procedure.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Kidney function assessment from renography has great potential for clinical diagnosis. Compartment models are the main analytical models in this field and the vascular compartment is the most important one, whether in the two-compartment model or three-compartment model. Currently, there are some published research studies on renal cortex segmentation. However, there are few publications introducing the methods on how to segment the vascular compartment yet. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to segment the vascular compartment automatically. METHODS: This method was tested on multi-phase scan images. A feature image reconstructed from…the original images was used to segment the vascular compartment. It used the features of the time-density curve of each voxel in the contrast-enhanced images to distinguish vascular space from other areas. RESULTS: The segmentation result was evaluated by the renal glomerular filtration rate (GFR) analysis of a two-compartment model with the Patlak-Rutland technique. The dataset contained 11 kidney subjects whose GFR ranged from 19.8 ml/min to 74.9 ml/min. The results showed that the correlation between reference GFR and model derived GFR was 0.919 (P< 0.001). CONCLUSION: Compared with segmentation performed on certain phase images, this method can avoid the problem of subjective phase selection. For a given kidney data, the proposed method can always obtain the same segmentation result automatically.
Keywords: Renal function, GFR, renography, vascular compartment segmentation, time density curve, contrast-enhanced image
Abstract: It is important to detect abnormal brains accurately and early. The wavelet-energy (WE) was a successful feature descriptor that achieved excellent performance in various applications; hence, we proposed a WE based new approach for automated abnormal detection, and reported its preliminary results in this study. The kernel support vector machine (KSVM) was used as the classifier, and quantum-behaved particle swarm optimization (QPSO) was introduced to optimize the weights of the SVM. The results based on a 5 × 5-fold cross validation showed the performance of the proposed WE + QPSO-KSVM was superior to ``DWT + PCA + BP-NN'', ``DWT +…PCA + RBF-NN'', ``DWT + PCA + PSO-KSVM'', ``WE + BPNN'', ``WE +$ KSVM'', and ``DWT $+$ PCA $+$ GA-KSVM'' w.r.t. sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. The work provides a novel means to detect abnormal brains with excellent performance.
Keywords: Magnetic resonance imaging, particle swarm optimization, quantum-behaved PSO, wavelet energy
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In this study, the authors cultivated ECV-304 in vitro and incubated cells with H2 O2 , established injury models, and induced oxidized endothelial cell apoptosis. This model makes it possible to choose suitable concentrations of North Schisandra Lignans. OBJECTIVE: To study the protective effects of North Schisandra Lignans on human umbilical vein endothelial cell injuries. METHODS: Endothelial cell growth and proliferation activity were detected through the MTT method. The colorimetric method was used to determine superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the cell culture solution, as well as malondialdehyde (MDA) content…in the cell. RESULTS: North Schisandra Lignans noticeably decreased ECV-304 cell injury induced by H2 O2 . Moderate and high concentrations of North Schisandra Lignans could significantly lower MDA content and heighten SOD activity. These differences were significant compared to the H2 O2 group (P< 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: North Schisandra Lignans had an obvious protective effect on ECV-304 injured by H2 O2 $. The mechanism decreases MDA production and heightened SOD activity.
Keywords: North Schisandra Lignans, vascular endothelial cell, superoxide dismutase, malondialdehyde
Abstract: BACKGROUND: As it is not easy to investigate various variables that affect exercise efficacies and cause injuries while pedaling in the actual experiment, especially for the elderly, the musculoskeletal model simulation with a comparison of measured electromyography (EMG) data could be used to minimize experimental trials. OBJECTIVE: The measured EMG data were compared with the muscle activities from the musculoskeletal model through forward (FD) and inverse dynamic (ID) analysis. METHODS: EMG was measured from eight young adult (20's) and eight elderly (70's) in three minutes pedaling with a constant load and…40 revolutions per minute (RPM) cadence. The muscles used for the analysis were the VastusLateralis, Tibialis Anterior, Bicep Femoris, and Gastrocnemius Medial. Pearson's correlation coefficients of the muscle activity patterns, on-off set, and peak timing at the maximum muscle activity were calculated and compared. BIKE3D and GaitLowerExtremity model were used for the FD and ID simulation. RESULTS: There are significant correlations in the muscle activity patterns except in the case of Biceps Femoris muscle by ID. Thus, it can be concluded that muscle activities of model & EMG showed similar results. CONCLUSION: The result shows that it could be possible to use the musculoskeletal model for various pedaling simulations.