Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 17

Medical, Health, Biomedical, Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering

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  • 17
    Beam Orientation Optimization Using Ant Colony Optimization in Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
    In intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning, beam angles are usually preselected on the basis of experience and intuition. Therefore, getting an appropriate beam configuration needs a very long time. Based on the present situation, the paper puts forward beam orientation optimization using ant colony optimization (ACO). We use ant colony optimization to select the beam configurations, after getting the beam configuration using Conjugate Gradient (CG) algorithm to optimize the intensity profiles. Combining with the information of the effect of pencil beam, we can get the global optimal solution accelerating. In order to verify the feasibility of the presented method, a simulated and clinical case was tested, compared with dose-volume histogram and isodose line between target area and organ at risk. The results showed that the effect was improved after optimizing beam configurations. The optimization approach could make treatment planning meet clinical requirements more efficiently, so it had extensive application perspective.
    A Novel Dosimetry System for Computed Tomography using Phototransistor
    Computed tomography (CT) dosimetry normally uses an ionization chamber 100 mm long to estimate the computed tomography dose index (CTDI), however some reports have already indicated that small devices could replace the long ion chamber to improve quality assurance procedures in CT dosimetry. This paper presents a novel dosimetry system based in a commercial phototransistor evaluated for CT dosimetry. Three detector configurations were developed for this system: with a single, two and four devices. Dose profile measurements were obtained with them and their angular response were evaluated. The results showed that the novel dosimetry system with the phototransistor could be an alternative for CT dosimetry. It allows to obtain the CT dose profile in details and also to estimate the CTDI in longer length than the 100 mm pencil chamber. The angular response showed that the one device detector configuration is the most adequate among the three configurations analyzed in this study.
    Development of EPID-based Real time Dose Verification for Dynamic IMRT
    An electronic portal image device (EPID) has become a method of patient-specific IMRT dose verification for radiotherapy. Research studies have focused on pre and post-treatment verification, however, there are currently no interventional procedures using EPID dosimetry that measure the dose in real time as a mechanism to ensure that overdoses do not occur and underdoses are detected as soon as is practically possible. As a result, an EPID-based real time dose verification system for dynamic IMRT was developed and was implemented with MATLAB/Simulink. The EPID image acquisition was set to continuous acquisition mode at 1.4 images per second. The system defined the time constraint gap, or execution gap at the image acquisition time, so that every calculation must be completed before the next image capture is completed. In addition, the
    Design and Fabrication of a Low Cost Heart Monitor using Reflectance Photoplethysmogram

    This paper presents a low cost design of heart beat monitoring device using reflectance mode PhotoPlethysmography (PPG). PPG is known for its simple construction, ease of use and cost effectiveness and can provide information about the changes in cardiac activity as well as aid in earlier non-invasive diagnostics. The proposed device is divided into three phases. First is the detection of pulses through the fingertip. The signal is then passed to the signal processing unit for the purpose of amplification, filtering and digitizing. Finally the heart rate is calculated and displayed on the computer using parallel port interface. The paper is concluded with prototyping of the device followed by verification procedure of the heartbeat signal obtained in laboratory setting.

    The Loess Regression Relationship Between Age and BMI for both Sydney World Masters Games Athletes and the Australian National Population
    Thousands of masters athletes participate quadrennially in the World Masters Games (WMG), yet this cohort of athletes remains proportionately under-investigated. Due to a growing global obesity pandemic in context of benefits of physical activity across the lifespan, the BMI trends for this unique population was of particular interest. The nexus between health, physical activity and aging is complex and has raised much interest in recent times due to the realization that a multifaceted approach is necessary in order to counteract the obesity pandemic. By investigating age based trends within a population adhering to competitive sport at older ages, further insight might be gleaned to assist in understanding one of many factors influencing this relationship.BMI was derived using data gathered on a total of 6,071 masters athletes (51.9% male, 48.1% female) aged 25 to 91 years ( =51.5, s =±9.7), competing at the Sydney World Masters Games (2009). Using linear and loess regression it was demonstrated that the usual tendency for prevalence of higher BMI increasing with age was reversed in the sample. This trend in reversal was repeated for both male and female only sub-sets of the sample participants, indicating the possibility of improved prevalence of BMI with increasing age for both the sample as a whole and these individual sub-groups.This evidence of improved classification in one index of health (reduced BMI) for masters athletes (when compared to the general population) implies there are either improved levels of this index of health with aging due to adherence to sport or possibly the reduced BMI is advantageous and contributes to this cohort adhering (or being attracted) to masters sport at older ages.
    Kerma Profile Measurements in CT Chest Scans– a Comparison of Methodologies
    The Brazilian legislation has only established diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) in terms of Multiple Scan Average Dose (MSAD) as a quality control parameter for computed tomography (CT) scanners. Compliance with DRLs can be verified by measuring the Computed Tomography Kerma Index (Ca,100) with a pencil ionization chamber or by obtaining the kerma distribution in CT scans with radiochromic films or rod shape lithium fluoride termoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-100). TL dosimeters were used to record kerma profiles and to determine MSAD values of a Bright Speed model GE CT scanner. Measurements were done with radiochromic films and TL dosimeters distributed in cylinders positioned in the center and in four peripheral bores of a standard polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) body CT dosimetry phantom. Irradiations were done using a protocol for adult chest. The maximum values were found at the midpoint of the longitudinal axis. The MSAD values obtained with three dosimetric techniques were compared.
    Coherence Analysis for Epilepsy Patients: An MEG Study
    It is crucial to quantitatively evaluate the treatment of epilepsy patients. This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that compared to the healthy control subjects, the epilepsy patients have abnormal resting-state connectivity. In this study, we used the imaginary part of coherency to measure the resting-state connectivity. The analysis results shown that compared to the healthy control subjects, epilepsy patients tend to have abnormal rhythm brain connectivity over their epileptic focus.
    Incidence of Chronic Disease and Lipid Profile in Veteran Rugby Athletes
    Recently, the health of retired National Football League players, particularly lineman has been investigated. A number of studies have reported increased cardiometabolic risk, premature cardiovascular disease and incidence of type 2 diabetes. Rugby union players have somatotypes very similar to National Football League players which suggests that rugby players may have similar health risks. The International Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival (GORF) provided a unique opportunity to investigate the demographics of veteran rugby players. METHODOLOGIES: A cross-sectional, observational study was completed using an online web-based questionnaire that consisted of medical history and physiological measures. Data analysis was completed using a one sample t-test (50yrs) and Chi-square test. RESULTS: A total of 216 veteran rugby competitors (response rate = 6.8%) representing 10 countries, aged 35-72 yrs (mean 51.2, S.D. ±8.0), participated in the online survey. As a group, the incidence of current smokers was low at 8.8% (avg 72.4 cigs/wk) whilst the percentage consuming alcohol was high (93.1% (avg 11.2 drinks/wk). Competitors reported the following top six chronic diseases/disorders; hypertension (18.6%), arthritis (OA/RA, 11.5%), asthma (9.3%), hyperlipidemia (8.2%), diabetes (all types, 7.5%) and gout (6%), there were significant differences between groups with regard to cancer (all types) and migraines. When compared to the Australian general population (Australian Bureau of Statistics data, n=18,000), GORF competitors had a significantly lower incidence of anxiety (p
    Development and Evaluation of a Dynamic Cardiac Phantom for use in Nuclear Medicine

    The aim of this study was to develop a dynamic cardiac phantom for quality control in myocardial scintigraphy. The dynamic heart phantom constructed only contained the left ventricle, made of elastic material (latex), comprising two cavities: one internal and one external. The data showed a non-significant variation in the values of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) obtained by varying the heart rate. It was also possible to evaluate the ejection fraction (LVEF) through different arrays of image acquisition and to perform an intercomparison of LVEF by two different scintillation cameras. The results of the quality control tests were satisfactory, showing that they can be used as parameters in future assessments. The new dynamic heart phantom was demonstrated to be effective for use in LVEF measurements. Therefore, the new heart simulator is useful for the quality control of scintigraphic cameras.

    Experimental Validation of Treatment Planning for Multiple Radiotherapy Fields by EDR2 Film Dosimeter
    To investigate the applicability of the EDR-2 film for clinical radiation dosimetry, percentage depth-doses, profiles and distributions in open and dynamically wedged fields were measured using film and compared with data from a Treatment Planning system.The validity of the EDR2 film to measure dose in a plane parallel to the beam was tested by irradiating 10 cm×10 cm and 4 cm×4 cm fields from a Siemens, primus linac with a 6MV beam and a source-to-surface distance of 100 cm. The film was placed Horizontally between solid water phantom blocks and marked with pin holes at a depth of 10 cm from the incident beam surface. The film measurement results, in absolute dose, were compared with ion chamber measurements using a Welhoffer scanning water tank system and Treatment Planning system. Our results indicate a maximum underestimate of calculated dose of 8 % with Treatment Planning system.
    Matching Pursuit based Removal of Cardiac Pulse-Related Artifacts in EEG/fMRI
    Cardiac pulse-related artifacts in the EEG recorded simultaneously with fMRI are complex and highly variable. Their effective removal is an unsolved problem. Our aim is to develop an adaptive removal algorithm based on the matching pursuit (MP) technique and to compare it to established methods using a visual evoked potential (VEP). We recorded the VEP inside the static magnetic field of an MR scanner (with artifacts) as well as in an electrically shielded room (artifact free). The MP-based artifact removal outperformed average artifact subtraction (AAS) and optimal basis set removal (OBS) in terms of restoring the EEG field map topography of the VEP. Subsequently, a dipole model was fitted to the VEP under each condition using a realistic boundary element head model. The source location of the VEP recorded inside the MR scanner was closest to that of the artifact free VEP after cleaning with the MP-based algorithm as well as with AAS. While none of the tested algorithms offered complete removal, MP showed promising results due to its ability to adapt to variations of latency, frequency and amplitude of individual artifact occurrences while still utilizing a common template.
    Automatic 2D/2D Registration using Multiresolution Pyramid based Mutual Information in Image Guided Radiation Therapy

    Medical image registration is the key technology in image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) systems. On the basis of the previous work on our IGRT prototype with a biorthogonal x-ray imaging system, we described a method focused on the 2D/2D rigid-body registration using multiresolution pyramid based mutual information in this paper. Three key steps were involved in the method : firstly, four 2D images were obtained including two x-ray projection images and two digital reconstructed radiographies(DRRs ) as the input for the registration ; Secondly, each pair of the corresponding x-ray image and DRR image were matched using multiresolution pyramid based mutual information under the ITK registration framework ; Thirdly, we got the final couch offset through a coordinate transformation by calculating the translations acquired from the two pairs of the images. A simulation example of a parotid gland tumor case and a clinical example of an anthropomorphic head phantom were employed in the verification tests. In addition, the influence of different CT slice thickness were tested. The simulation results showed that the positioning errors were 0.068±0.070, 0.072±0.098, 0.154±0.176mm along three axes which were lateral, longitudinal and vertical. The clinical test indicated that the positioning errors of the planned isocenter were 0.066, 0.07, 2.06mm on average with a CT slice thickness of 2.5mm. It can be concluded that our method with its verified accuracy and robustness can be effectively used in IGRT systems for patient setup.

    Characterization of Three Photodetector Types for Computed Tomography Dosimetry
    In this study three commercial semiconductor devices were characterized in the laboratory for computed tomography dosimetry: one photodiode and two phototransistors. It was evaluated four responses to the irradiation: dose linearity, energy dependence, angular dependence and loss of sensitivity after X ray exposure. The results showed that the three devices have proportional response with the air kerma; the energy dependence displayed for each device suggests that some calibration factors would be applied for each one; the angular dependence showed a similar pattern among the three electronic components. In respect to the fourth parameter analyzed, one phototransistor has the highest sensitivity however it also showed the greatest loss of sensitivity with the accumulated dose. The photodiode was the device with the smaller sensitivity to radiation, on the other hand, the loss of sensitivity after irradiation is negligible. Since high accuracy is a desired feature for a dosimeter, the photodiode can be the most suitable of the three devices for dosimetry in tomography. The phototransistors can also be used for CT dosimetry, however it would be necessary a correction factor due to loss of sensitivity with accumulated dose.
    Characterization and Development of Anthropomorphic Phantoms Liver for Use in Nuclear Medicine
    The objective this study was to characterize and develop anthropomorphic liver phantoms in tomography hepatic procedures for quality control and improvement professionals in nuclear medicine. For the conformation of the anthropomorphic phantom was used in plaster and acrylic. We constructed three phantoms representing processes with liver cirrhosis. The phantoms were filled with 99mTc diluted with water to obtain the scintigraphic images. Tomography images were analyzed anterior and posterior phantom representing a body with a greater degree cirrhotic. It was noted that the phantoms allow the acquisition of images similar to real liver with cirrhosis. Simulations of hemangiomas may contribute to continued professional education of nuclear medicine, on the question of image acquisition, allowing of the study parameters such of the matrix, energy window and count statistics.
    Multimodal Biometric System Based on Near- Infra-Red Dorsal Hand Geometry and Fingerprints for Single and Whole Hands
    Prior research evidenced that unimodal biometric systems have several tradeoffs like noisy data, intra-class variations, restricted degrees of freedom, non-universality, spoof attacks, and unacceptable error rates. In order for the biometric system to be more secure and to provide high performance accuracy, more than one form of biometrics are required. Hence, the need arise for multimodal biometrics using combinations of different biometric modalities. This paper introduces a multimodal biometric system (MMBS) based on fusion of whole dorsal hand geometry and fingerprints that acquires right and left (Rt/Lt) near-infra-red (NIR) dorsal hand geometry (HG) shape and (Rt/Lt) index and ring fingerprints (FP). Database of 100 volunteers were acquired using the designed prototype. The acquired images were found to have good quality for all features and patterns extraction to all modalities. HG features based on the hand shape anatomical landmarks were extracted. Robust and fast algorithms for FP minutia points feature extraction and matching were used. Feature vectors that belong to similar biometric traits were fused using feature fusion methodologies. Scores obtained from different biometric trait matchers were fused using the Min-Max transformation-based score fusion technique. Final normalized scores were merged using the sum of scores method to obtain a single decision about the personal identity based on multiple independent sources. High individuality of the fused traits and user acceptability of the designed system along with its experimental high performance biometric measures showed that this MMBS can be considered for med-high security levels biometric identification purposes.
    Multi-Element Synthetic Transmit Aperture Method in Medical Ultrasound Imaging
    The paper presents the multi-element synthetic transmit aperture (MSTA) method with a small number of elements transmitting and all elements apertures in medical ultrasound imaging. As compared to the other methods MSTA allows to increase the system frame rate and provides the best compromise between penetration depth and lateral resolution. In the experiments a 128-element linear transducer array with 0.3 mm pitch excited by a burst pulse of 125 ns duration were used. The comparison of 2D ultrasound images of tissue mimicking phantom obtained using the STA and the MSTA methods is presented to demonstrate the benefits of the second approach. The results were obtained using SA algorithm with transmit and receive signals correction based on a single element directivity function.
    Improved Body Mass Index Classification for Football Code Masters Athletes, A Comparison to the Australian National Population
    Thousands of masters athletes participate quadrennially in the World Masters Games (WMG), yet this cohort of athletes remains proportionately under-investigated. Due to a growing global obesity pandemic in context of benefits of physical activity across the lifespan, the prevalence of obesity in this unique population was of particular interest. Data gathered on a sub-sample of 535 football code athletes, aged 31-72 yrs ( =47.4, s =±7.1), competing at the Sydney World Masters Games (2009) demonstrated a significantly (p