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The aging population with its concomitant medical conditions, physical and cognitive impairments, at a time of strained resources, establishes the urgent need to explore advanced technologies that may enhance function and quality of life. Recently, robotic technology, especially socially assistive robotics has been investigated to address the physical, cognitive, and social needs of older adults. Most system to date have predominantly focused on one-on-one human robot interaction (HRI). In this paper, we present a multi-user engagement-based robotic coach system architecture (ROCARE). ROCARE is capable of administering both one-on-one and multi-user HRI, providing implicit and explicit channels of communication, and individualized activity management for long-term engagement. Two preliminary feasibility studies, a one-on-one interaction and a triadic interaction with two humans and a robot, were conducted and the results indicated potential usefulness and acceptance by older adults, with and without cognitive impairment.
PURPOSE - To evaluate the accuracy and reproducibility of quantitative chemical shift-encoded (CSE) MRI to quantify proton-density fat-fraction (PDFF) in a fat-water phantom across sites, vendors, field strengths, and protocols.
METHODS - Six sites (Philips, Siemens, and GE Healthcare) participated in this study. A phantom containing multiple vials with various oil/water suspensions (PDFF:0%-100%) was built, shipped to each site, and scanned at 1.5T and 3T using two CSE protocols per field strength. Confounder-corrected PDFF maps were reconstructed using a common algorithm. To assess accuracy, PDFF bias and linear regression with the known PDFF were calculated. To assess reproducibility, measurements were compared across sites, vendors, field strengths, and protocols using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), Bland-Altman analysis, and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
RESULTS - PDFF measurements revealed an overall absolute bias (across sites, field strengths, and protocols) of 0.22% (95% confidence interval, 0.07%-0.38%) and R > 0.995 relative to the known PDFF at each site, field strength, and protocol, with a slope between 0.96 and 1.02 and an intercept between -0.56% and 1.13%. ANCOVA did not reveal effects of field strength (P = 0.36) or protocol (P = 0.19). There was a significant effect of vendor (F = 25.13, P = 1.07 × 10 ) with a bias of -0.37% (Philips) and -1.22% (Siemens) relative to GE Healthcare. The overall ICC was 0.999.
CONCLUSION - CSE-based fat quantification is accurate and reproducible across sites, vendors, field strengths, and protocols. Magn Reson Med 77:1516-1524, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
© 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
Previous research showed that mid-infrared free-electron lasers could reproducibly ablate soft tissue with little collateral damage. The potential for surgical applications motivated searches for alternative tabletop lasers providing thermally confined pulses in the 6- to-7-µm wavelength range with sufficient pulse energy, stability, and reliability. Here, we evaluate a prototype Raman-shifted alexandrite laser. We measure ablation thresholds, etch rates, and collateral damage in gelatin and cornea as a function of laser wavelength (6.09, 6.27, or 6.43 µm), pulse energy (up to 3 mJ/pulse), and spot diameter (100 to 600 µm). We find modest wavelength dependence for ablation thresholds and collateral damage, with the lowest thresholds and least damage for 6.09 µm. We find a strong spot-size dependence for all metrics. When the beam is tightly focused (~100-µm diameter), ablation requires more energy, is highly variable and less efficient, and can yield large zones of mechanical damage (for pulse energies>1 mJ). When the beam is softly focused (~300-µm diameter), ablation proceeded at surgically relevant etch rates, with reasonable reproducibility (5% to 12% within a single sample), and little collateral damage. With improvements in pulse-energy stability, this prototype laser may have significant potential for soft-tissue surgical applications.
Cell-based therapies have emerged as promising approaches for regenerative medicine. Hydrophobic poly(ester urethane)s offer the advantages of robust mechanical properties, cell attachment without the use of peptides, and controlled degradation by oxidative and hydrolytic mechanisms. However, the application of injectable hydrophobic polymers to cell delivery is limited by the challenges of protecting cells from reaction products and creating a macroporous architecture post-cure. We designed injectable carriers for cell delivery derived from reactive, hydrophobic polyisocyanate and polyester triol precursors. To overcome cell death caused by reaction products from in situ polymerization, we encapsulated bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) in fastdegrading, oxidized alginate beads prior to mixing with the hydrophobic precursors. Cells survived the polymerization at >70% viability, and rapid dissolution of oxidized alginate beads after the scaffold cured created interconnected macropores that facilitated cellular adhesion to the scaffold in vitro. Applying this injectable system to deliver BMSCs to rat excisional skin wounds showed that the scaffolds supported survival of transplanted cells and infiltration of host cells, which improved new tissue formation compared to both implanted, pre-formed scaffolds seeded with cells and acellular controls. Our design is the first to enable injectable delivery of settable, hydrophobic scaffolds where cell encapsulation provides a mechanism for both temporary cytoprotection during polymerization and rapid formation of macropores post-polymerization. This simple approach provides potential advantages for cell delivery relative to hydrogel technologies, which have weaker mechanical properties and require incorporation of peptides to achieve cell adhesion and degradability.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wearable accelerometer-based activity monitors (AMs) are used to estimate energy expenditure and ground reaction forces in free-living environments, but a lack of standardized calibration and data reporting methods limits their utility. The objectives of this study were to (1) design an inexpensive and easily reproducible AM testing system, (2) develop a standardized calibration method for accelerometer-based AMs, and (3) evaluate the utility of the system and accuracy of the calibration method. A centrifuge-type device was constructed to apply known accelerations (0-8g) to each sensitive axis of 30 custom and two commercial AMs. Accelerometer data were recorded and matrix algebra and a least squares solution were then used to determine a calibration matrix for the custom AMs to convert raw accelerometer output to units of g's. Accuracy was tested by comparing applied and calculated accelerations for custom and commercial AMs. AMs were accurate to within 4% of applied accelerations. The relatively inexpensive AM testing system (< $100) and calibration method has the potential to improve the sharing of AM data, the ability to compare data from different studies, and the accuracy of AM-based models to estimate various physiological and biomechanical quantities of interest in field-based assessments of physical activity.
In Part I of the paper, we demonstrated through simulation the potential of volumetric short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging to improve visualization of hypoechoic targets in three dimensions. Here, we demonstrate the application of volumetric SLSC imaging in phantom and in vivo experiments using a clinical 3-D ultrasound scanner and matrix array. Using a custom single-channel acquisition tool, we collected partially beamformed channel data from the fully sampled matrix array at high speeds and created matched Bmode and SLSC volumes of a vessel phantom and in vivo liver vasculature. 2-D and 3-D images rendered from the SLSC volumes display reduced clutter and improved visibility of the vessels when compared with their B-mode counterparts. We use concurrently acquired color Doppler volumes to confirm the presence of the vessels of interest and to define the regions inside the vessels used in contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) calculations. SLSC volumes show higher CNR values than their matched B-mode volumes, while the contrast values appear to be similar between the two imaging methods.
Cytometric studies utilizing flow cytometry or multi-well culture plate fluorometry are often limited by a deficit in temporal resolution and a lack of single cell consideration. Unfortunately, many cellular processes, including signaling, motility, and molecular transport, occur transiently over relatively short periods of time and at different magnitudes between cells. Here we demonstrate the multitrap nanophysiometer (MTNP), a low-volume microfluidic platform housing an array of cell traps, as an effective tool that can be used to study individual unattached cells over time with precise control over the intercellular microenvironment. We show how the MTNP platform can be used for hematologic cancer cell characterization by measuring single T cell levels of CRAC channel modulation, non-translational motility, and ABC-transporter inhibition via a calcein-AM efflux assay. The transporter data indicate that Jurkat T cells exposed to indomethacin continue to accumulate fluorescent calcein for over 60 minutes after calcein-AM is removed from the extracellular space.
PURPOSE - Head motion continues to be a major source of artifacts and data quality degradation in MRI. The goal of this work was to develop and demonstrate a novel technique for prospective, 6 degrees of freedom (6DOF) rigid body motion estimation and real-time motion correction using inductively coupled wireless nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) probe markers.
METHODS - Three wireless probes that are inductively coupled with the scanner's RF setup serve as fiducials on the subject's head. A 12-ms linear navigator module is interleaved with the imaging sequence for head position estimation, and scan geometry is updated in real time for motion compensation. Flip angle amplification in the markers allows the use of extremely small navigator flip angles (∼1°). A novel algorithm is presented to identify marker positions in the absence of marker specific receive channels. Motion correction is demonstrated in high resolution 2D and 3D gradient recalled echo experiments in a phantom and humans.
RESULTS - Significant improvement of image quality is demonstrated in phantoms and human volunteers under different motion conditions.
CONCLUSION - A novel real-time 6DOF head motion correction technique based on wireless NMR probes is demonstrated in high resolution imaging at 7 Tesla.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Raman spectroscopy (RS) has received increasing attention as a potential tool for clinical diagnostics. However, the unknown comparability of multiple tissue RS systems remains a major issue for technique standardization and future multisystem trials. In this study, we evaluated potential factors affecting data collection and interpretation, utilizing the skin as an example tissue. The effects of contact pressure and probe angle were characterized as potential user-induced variability sources. Similarly, instrumentation-induced variability sources of system stability and system-dependent response were also analyzed on skin and a nonvolatile biological tissue analog. Physiologically induced variations were studied on multiple tissue locations and patients. The effect of variability sources on spectral line shape and dispersion was analyzed with analysis-of-variance methods, and a new metric for comparing spectral dispersion was defined. In this study, in vivo measurements were made on multiple sites of skin from five healthy volunteers, with four stand-alone fiber optic probe-based tissue RS systems. System stability and controlled user-induced variables had no effects on obtained spectra. By contrast, instrumentation and anatomical location of measurement were significant sources of variability. These findings establish the comparability of tissue Raman spectra obtained by unique systems. Furthermore, we suggest steps for further procedural and instrumentation standardization prior to broad clinical applications of the technique.
Vanadium dioxide (VO(2)) is a promising reconfigurable optical material and has long been a focus of condensed matter research owing to its distinctive semiconductor-to-metal phase transition (SMT), a feature that has stimulated recent development of thermally reconfigurable photonic, plasmonic, and metamaterial structures. Here, we integrate VO(2) onto silicon photonic devices and demonstrate all-optical switching and reconfiguration of ultra-compact broadband Si-VO(2) absorption modulators (L < 1 μm) and ring-resonators (R ~ λ(0)). Optically inducing the SMT in a small, ~0.275 μm(2), active area of polycrystalline VO(2) enables Si-VO(2) structures to achieve record values of absorption modulation, ~4 dB μm(-1), and intracavity phase modulation, ~π/5 rad μm(-1). This in turn yields large, tunable changes to resonant wavelength,
~ 3 nm, approximately 60 times larger than Si-only control devices, and enables reconfigurable filtering and optical modulation in excess of 7 dB from modest Q-factor (~10(3)), high-bandwidth ring resonators (>100 GHz). All-optical integrated Si-VO(2) devices thus constitute platforms for reconfigurable photonics, bringing new opportunities to realize dynamic on-chip networks and ultrafast optical shutters and modulators.