Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 8

Medical, Health, Biomedical, Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering

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  • 8
    Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface to Control Both Mecha TE Robotic Hands Using Emotiv EEG Neuroheadset

    Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a noninvasive technique that registers signals originating from the firing of neurons in the brain. The Emotiv EEG Neuroheadset is a consumer product comprised of 14 EEG channels and was used to record the reactions of the neurons within the brain to two forms of stimuli in 10 participants. These stimuli consisted of auditory and visual formats that provided directions of ‘right’ or ‘left.’ Participants were instructed to raise their right or left arm in accordance with the instruction given. A scenario in OpenViBE was generated to both stimulate the participants while recording their data. In OpenViBE, the Graz Motor BCI Stimulator algorithm was configured to govern the duration and number of visual stimuli. Utilizing EEGLAB under the cross platform MATLAB®, the electrodes most stimulated during the study were defined. Data outputs from EEGLAB were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics® Version 20. This aided in determining the electrodes to use in the development of a brain-machine interface (BMI) using real-time EEG signals from the Emotiv EEG Neuroheadset. Signal processing and feature extraction were accomplished via the Simulink® signal processing toolbox. An Arduino™ Duemilanove microcontroller was used to link the Emotiv EEG Neuroheadset and the right and left Mecha TE™ Hands.

    Anti-Aging Effects of Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid on Elastin Fibers of Artificially Photo-Aged Human Dermal Fibroblast Cell Lines

    Skin aging is a slow multifactorial process influenced by both internal as well as external factors. Ultra-violet radiations (UV), diet, smoking and personal habits are the most common environmental factors that affect skin aging. Fat contents and fibrous proteins as collagen and elastin are core internal structural components. The direct influence of UV on elastin integrity and health is central on aging of skin especially by time. The deposition of abnormal elastic material is a major marker in a photo-aged skin. Searching for compounds that may protect against cutaneous photodamage is exceedingly valued. Retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids have been endorsed by some researchers as possible candidates for protecting and or repairing the effect of UV damaged skin. For consolidating a better system of anti- and protective effects of such anti-aging agents, we evaluated the combinatory effects of various dosages of lactic acid and retinol on the dermal fibroblast’s elastin levels exposed to UV. The UV exposed cells showed significant reduction in the elastin levels. A combination of drugs with a higher concentration of lactic acid (30 -35 mM) and a lower concentration of retinol (10-15mg/mL) showed to work better in maintaining elastin concentration in UV exposed cells. We assume this preservation could be the result of increased tropo-elastin gene expression stimulated by retinol whereas lactic acid probably repaired the UV irradiated damage by enhancing the amount and integrity of the elastin fibers.

    Development of a Real-Time Simulink Based Robotic System to Study Force Feedback Mechanism during Instrument-Object Interaction

    Robotic surgery is used to enhance minimally invasive surgical procedure. It provides greater degree of freedom for surgical tools but lacks of haptic feedback system to provide sense of touch to the surgeon. Surgical robots work on master-slave operation, where user is a master and robotic arms are the slaves. Current, surgical robots provide precise control of the surgical tools, but heavily rely on visual feedback, which sometimes cause damage to the inner organs. The goal of this research was to design and develop a realtime Simulink based robotic system to study force feedback mechanism during instrument-object interaction. Setup includes three VelmexXSlide assembly (XYZ Stage) for three dimensional movement, an end effector assembly for forceps, electronic circuit for four strain gages, two Novint Falcon 3D gaming controllers, microcontroller board with linear actuators, MATLAB and Simulink toolboxes. Strain gages were calibrated using Imada Digital Force Gauge device and tested with a hard-core wire to measure instrument-object interaction in the range of 0-35N. Designed Simulink model successfully acquires 3D coordinates from two Novint Falcon controllers and transfer coordinates to the XYZ stage and forceps. Simulink model also reads strain gages signal through 10-bit analog to digital converter resolution of a microcontroller assembly in real time, converts voltage into force and feedback the output signals to the Novint Falcon controller for force feedback mechanism. Experimental setup allows user to change forward kinematics algorithms to achieve the best-desired movement of the XYZ stage and forceps. This project combines haptic technology with surgical robot to provide sense of touch to the user controlling forceps through machine-computer interface.

    Comparison of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines and Random Forest Regression in Predicting Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second

    Pulmonary Function Tests are important non-invasive diagnostic tests to assess respiratory impairments and provides quantifiable measures of lung function. Spirometry is the most frequently used measure of lung function and plays an essential role in the diagnosis and management of pulmonary diseases. However, the test requires considerable patient effort and cooperation, markedly related to the age of patients resulting in incomplete data sets. This paper presents, a nonlinear model built using Multivariate adaptive regression splines and Random forest regression model to predict the missing spirometric features. Random forest based feature selection is used to enhance both the generalization capability and the model interpretability. In the present study, flow-volume data are recorded for N= 198 subjects. The ranked order of feature importance index calculated by the random forests model shows that the spirometric features FVC, FEF25, PEF, FEF25-75, FEF50 and the demographic parameter height are the important descriptors. A comparison of performance assessment of both models prove that, the prediction ability of MARS with the `top two ranked features namely the FVC and FEF25 is higher, yielding a model fit of R2= 0.96 and R2= 0.99 for normal and abnormal subjects. The Root Mean Square Error analysis of the RF model and the MARS model also shows that the latter is capable of predicting the missing values of FEV1 with a notably lower error value of 0.0191 (normal subjects) and 0.0106 (abnormal subjects) with the aforementioned input features. It is concluded that combining feature selection with a prediction model provides a minimum subset of predominant features to train the model, as well as yielding better prediction performance. This analysis can assist clinicians with a intelligence support system in the medical diagnosis and improvement of clinical care.

    Object-Oriented Programming for Modeling and Simulation of Systems in Physiology

    Object-oriented modeling is spreading in current simulation of physiological systems through the use of the individual components of the model and its interconnections to define the underlying dynamic equations. In this paper we describe the use of both the SIMSCAPE and MODELICA simulation environments in the object-oriented modeling of the closed loop cardiovascular system. The performance of the controlled system was analyzed by simulation in light of the existing hypothesis and validation tests previously performed with physiological data. The described approach represents a valuable tool in the teaching of physiology for graduate medical students.

    Peer-Mediated Intervention for Social Communication Difficulties in Adolescents with Autism: Literature Review and Research Recommendations

    Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often experience social-communication difficulties that negatively impact their social interactions with typical peers. However, unlike other age and disability groups, there is little intervention research to inform best practice for these students. One evidence-based strategy for younger students with ASD is peer-mediated intervention (PMI). PMI may be particularly promising for use with adolescents, as peers are readily available and are natural experts for encouraging authentic high school conversations. This paper provides a review of previous research that evaluated the use of PMI to improve the socialcommunication skills of students with ASD. Specific intervention features associated with positive student outcomes are identified and recommendations for future research are provided. Adolescents with ASD are targeted due the critical importance of social conversation at the high school level.

    Investigating the Efficacy of HIV/AIDS Psycho-Education and Behavioural Skills Training in Reducing Sexual Risk Behaviours in a Trucking Population in Nigeria

    Long Distance Truck Drivers (LDTDs) have been found to be a high risk group in the spread of HIV/AIDS globally; perhaps, due to their high Sexual Risk Behaviours (SRBs). Interventions for reducing SRBs in trucking population have not been fully exploited. A quasi-experimental control group pretest-posttest design was used to assess the efficacy of psycho-education and behavioural skills training in reducing SRBs among LDTDs. Sixteen drivers rivers were randomly assigned into either experimental or control groups using balloting technique. Questionnaire was used as an instrument for data collection. Repeated measures t-test and independent t-test were used to test hypotheses. Intervention had significant effect on the SRBs among LDTDs at post-test (t{7}= 6.01, p<.01) and at follow up (t{7} = 6.42, p<.01). No significant difference in sexual risk behaviour of LDTDs at post-test and at follow-up stage. Similarly, intervention had significant effects on sexual risk behaviour at post-test (t {14} = - 4.69, p<.05) and at follow-up (t {14} = -9.56, p<.05) respectively. At post-test and follow-up stages, drivers in experimental group reported reduced SRBs than those in control group. Drivers in experimental group reported lower sexual risk behaviour a week after intervention as well as at three months follow-up than those in control group. It is concluded that HIV/AIDS preventive intervention that provides the necessary informational and behavioural skills content can significantly impact long distance truck drivers’ sexual risk behaviours.

    Health Psychology Intervention – Identifying Early Symptoms in Neurological Disorders
    Cortisol is essential to the regulation of the immune system and pathological yawning is a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). Electromyography activity (EMG) in the jaw muscles typically rises when the muscles are moved – extended or flexed; and yawning has been shown to be highly correlated with cortisol levels in healthy people as shown in the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis. It is likely that these elevated cortisol levels are also seen in people with MS. The possible link between EMG in the jaw muscles and rises in saliva cortisol levels during yawning were investigated in a randomized controlled trial of 60 volunteers aged 18-69 years who were exposed to conditions that were designed to elicit the yawning response. Saliva samples were collected at the start and after yawning, or at the end of the presentation of yawning-provoking stimuli, in the absence of a yawn, and EMG data was additionally collected during rest and yawning phases. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Yawning Susceptibility Scale, General Health Questionnaire, demographic, and health details were collected and the following exclusion criteria were adopted: chronic fatigue, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart condition, high blood pressure, hormone replacement therapy, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Significant differences were found between the saliva cortisol samples for the yawners, t (23) = -4.263, p = 0.000, as compared with the non-yawners between rest and poststimuli, which was non-significant. There were also significant differences between yawners and non-yawners for the EMG potentials with the yawners having higher rest and post-yawning potentials. Significant evidence was found to support the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis suggesting that rises in cortisol levels are associated with the yawning response. Further research is underway to explore the use of cortisol as a potential diagnostic tool as an assist to the early diagnosis of symptoms related to neurological disorders. Bournemouth University Research & Ethics approval granted: JC28/1/13-KA6/9/13. Professional code of conduct, confidentiality, and safety issues have been addressed and approved in the Ethics submission. Trials identification number: ISRCTN61942768. http://www.controlled-trials.com/isrctn/