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Bioengineering (ENBENG), 2012 IEEE 2nd Portuguese Meeting in

Date 23-25 Feb. 2012

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 62
  • Development and validation of a computer program for simulation of the human body thermophysiological response

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (62 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The purpose of this work is the development and the validation of an accurate computer program for modeling of the thermal, the respiratory and the cardiovascular responses of a live or dead person exposed to any kind of environment while wearing different kinds of clothing and at rest or doing a moderate or intensive activity. The range of possible utilization is extensive, e.g., the optimization of sportive performance, the quantification of the thermal comfort achieved on exposition to moderate thermal environments, the evaluation of thermal stress and the risk of collapse in the execution of tasks in very hot or very cold situations or requiring high levels of effort and as support for medical activities. This manuscript describes the research efforts performed at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of University of Coimbra (DEM-FCTUC) in order to achieve mathematical and computational models suitable for the prediction of human body thermophysiological behavior. View full abstract»

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  • Validation of a waveform delineator device for cardiac studies: Repeatability and data mining analysis

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (151 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper envisages showing the potential of innovative non-invasive techniques based on affordable and easily operated instrumentation as well as user-friendly computer aided algorithms in the screening of cardiovascular (CV) diseases. These techniques are based on the assumption that arterial stiffness is currently an important predicator of the CV diseases development and can be assessed by analyzing the arterial pressure waveform (APW). A previously developed PZ based device for non-invasive APW capture is currently under test in clinical environment, using a heterogeneous population constituted by healthy and unhealthy subjects. A dedicated Matlab analysis tool was designed and developed to extract relevant information and further APW analysis. Several recordings of the APW in the same day and in consecutive months are being performed by trained observers, to evaluate its reproducibility. Data mining analysis is subsequently the last task where the Weka 3-6-5 package software is used. The usefulness of developing data mining algorithms for cardiovascular applications can benefit the CV screenings contributing for the early identification of arterial stiffness related patterns. View full abstract»

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  • Spectrophotometric approach for automatic human blood typing

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (165 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The research team is working in the development of automatic and miniaturized devices for medical applications. An example of this work is the development of a miniaturized, low cost, portable and automatic system to blood typing in emergency situations, based on a spectrophotometric approach and in the presence of agglutination (interaction between red blood cells' surface and specific reagents). The application of a simple and fast experimental protocol allows determining blood typing and enables the design of an electronic automatic system. This system will be useful to reduce some limitations of the existing systems and methods to blood typing. View full abstract»

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  • Nature-inspired particles as carriers for multimodal molecular imaging applications

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (157 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    As Magnetic Resonance is the imaging modality of choice, it is necessary to design highly sensitive systems to overcome the relatively low sensitivity of the technique. View full abstract»

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  • Spectral analysis of laser Doppler flowmetry signals

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 6
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (97 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A new multi-wavelength laser Doppler flowmeter prototype with different spaced detection optical fibres, built in order to give depth discrimination capabilities to laser Doppler flowmetry technique (LDF), was developed. The Fourier transform and the power spectral density of LDF signals measured by the laser Doppler flowmeter prototype were calculated in order to analyze the frequency oscillations present in human microcirculatory blood flow and to explore the potential of the prototype for blood flood skin depth discrimination. The spectral dependence of the signals was also calculated using the coherence function. Our results show that perfusion signals from the new prototype present marked differences when wavelengths and fibre separations are modified; these results are found both at rest and during perturbations of local blood flow. These findings support our hypothesis that wide probes and higher wavelengths measure blood flux from deeper layers. View full abstract»

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  • Development and characterization of new sensors for hemodynamic evaluation: Fibre Bragg sensor for arterial pulse waveform acquisition

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1833 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, arising their early prediction as a key aspect. The analysis of pulse wave propagation characteristics, such as velocity and morphology, can give important data about arterial stiffness, a parameter with growing significance in cardiovascular events prediction. In this paper it is presented a new optical fibre sensor to assess the pressure waveform in the carotid artery. The optical sensor is based on fibre Bragg grating technology, increasingly applied in several fields, including biomedical sensing due to its advantageous features. The Bragg sensor was characterized and tested in human carotids. It is presented a case study showing the great potential of Bragg technology in the assessment of the pressure waveform. View full abstract»

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  • Use of Shannon information to relate function and structure in the brain using diffusion spectrum imaging MRI

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (97 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The purpose of this work is to develop improvements on the most modern forms of white matter fiber tracking in the human brain. This development requires the use of computer simulations to assess the limits of the fiber tracking technology, and then the results of that simulation are used to make a thorough assessment of the experimental results in living human brains. The used fiber tracking techniques are q-ball imaging and diffusion spectrum imaging. View full abstract»

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  • An overview on the multiscale/multiframe reconstruction for Positron Emission Tomography

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (170 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    An overview of the multiscale/multiframe (MS/MF) 3D reconstruction scheme for Positron Emission Tomograph is presented. Nowadays, in clinical applications the image is reconstructed using a single scale or grid, i.e., the dimensions of the reconstructed volume or the projection space binning do not change during the reconstruction process. MS/MF introduces the concept of time frame to the multiscale reconstruction proposed by Raheja et al. This approach can be used for the generation of images reconstructed in near real time using a suitable scale, taking full advantage of list-mode reconstruction techniques. The generation of image sequences at different spatial scales and times may be useful to optimize the acquisition protocols on the fly as well as to improve the results of the segmentation and classification algorithms. View full abstract»

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  • Alginate-chitosan particulate delivery systems for mucosal immunization against tuberculosis

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 3
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (219 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Although vaccination is still the most cost-effective strategy for tuberculosis control, there is an urgent need for an improved vaccine. Current BCG vaccine lacks efficacy in preventing adult pulmonary tuberculosis, the most prevalent form of the disease. Targeting nasal mucosa, Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection site, will allow a simpler, less prone to risk of infection and more effective immunization against disease. Due to its biodegradable, immunogenic and mucoadhesive properties, chitosan particulate delivery systems can act both as carrier and as adjuvant, improving the elicited immune response. In this study, BCG was encapsulated in alginate and chitosan microparticles, via a mild ionotropic gelation procedure with sodium tripolyphosphate as a counterion. The particulate system developed shows effective modulation of BCG surface physicochemical properties, suitable for mucosal immunization. Intracellular uptake was confirmed by effective transfection of human macrophage cell lines. View full abstract»

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  • Development of skills in children with ASD using a robotic platform

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (87 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The interaction and communication skills are essential to live in society. However, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a gap in these abilities which affects their daily life. Previous studies suggest that children with ASD demonstrate some positive behaviors in presence of a robotic platform. This study intends to evaluate the effect of a robotic platform on children with ASD, checking if the platform can be a stimulating agent for children's interaction, as well as a skill learning promoter. So, it is used the robot Lego Mindstorms NXT as a mediator/reward to encourage children with ASD to interact with others and also to learn some cognitive skills. View full abstract»

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  • Study on production of mycophenolic acid by Penicillium pinophilum using response surface metodology

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (177 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Mycophenolic acid (MPA) can be produced from Penicillium pinophilum by submerged fermentation. Here we reported the use of the Plackett-Burman design to screen the limiting components for MPA production and subsequent use the response surface methodology was employed to derive a statistical model for media optimization towards production of MPA. The results obtained of Plackett-Burman indicated limitations of three components in the basal medium, aspartic acid, methionine and Tween 80. The determinant coefficient was 0.80, ensuring a satisfactory adjustment of the model to the experimental values. This statistical design was good in improving the titer of MPA up 923 mg/L and a specific productivity of 0.05 mg AMP/mg of biomass/h after 10 day of fermentation. View full abstract»

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  • Real-time dynamic monochromatic ocular wavefront aberrations during accommodation: Preliminary results

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (271 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    It has been well known that wavefront aberrations of the eye are dynamic, changing continuously over time due to factors like accommodation, blinking, pupil size, tear film stability, etc. The goal of this work is to describe the developed methodologies for computing these dynamic aberrations. In this study, we present some preliminary results of real time measurement of monochromatic ocular aberrations during accommodative changes measured experimentally using a wavefront sensor. View full abstract»

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  • FLIM as a tool for metabolic imaging of the cornea

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (137 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We intend to develop an efficient method of measuring respiratory function of the cornea. With this purpose, we resorted to fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to monitor the metabolic co-factor flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). FAD and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) are co-factors of the electron transport chain. Therefore alterations in amount of these molecules reflect alterations in the metabolism. For assessing the potential of FLIM for metabolic imaging of the cornea, we performed a series of experiments using a time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) fluorescence lifetime microscope (Picoquant to MicroTime 100 coupled to an Olympus BX51 Microscope). In this technique, the acquired signal is the convolution between the instrument response function (IRF) and the fluorescence signal from the sample. IRF was acquired using an Erythrosin B solution. In this work we show that it is possible to acquire fluorescence lifetime images of rat and bovine corneas using FAD autofluorescence. View full abstract»

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  • Structural characterization of salivary calculi

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 5
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (436 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The microstructure, local chemistry, crystallography and mechanical properties of submandibular sialoliths have been characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy combined with X-ray spectroscopy and ultramicro-indentation assays. The sialoliths presented highly mineralized, lamellar and globular regions. The fairly homogeneous mineralized regions are constituted by hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and brushite. Lamellar regions consisted of alternating layers of mineralized material and organic matter, with a concentric morphology pointing to a chronologic cyclic formation. Globular regions are composed of organic matter globules presenting high sulphur content. The Young modulus and hardness increased with the mineralization degree of the sialoliths. Nevertheless the relatively high amounts of compliant and soft organic matter present in the sialoliths may play a major role in the relatively low success of shock wave therapeutics for sialolith fragmentation. View full abstract»

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  • Retinal imaging with photoreceptor resolution

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (304 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Retinal imaging capable of resolving individual photoreceptors cannot be obtained with conventional ophthalmoscopy but requires compensation of the individual optical aberrations that blur the optical image from the fundus. This optical compensation is normally accomplished by adaptive optics. We built a retinal imaging system based on adaptive optics can image individual cone photoreceptors. The system uses infrared radiation from a superluminescent diode (SLD) and a Hartman-Shack wavefront sensor to measure eye aberrations. An ophthalmoscope channel with a digital camera is integrated with the system to visualize the retina. A deformable mirror is used to partially compensate the aberrations of the light from the eye thereby improving the image quality and optical resolution. Images from the fundus were obtained from one healthy retina at about 0.5-1.0 deg eccentricity. The cone photoreceptor mosaic is visible and individual photoreceptors can be inspected. View full abstract»

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  • Separation of cephalosporins using ionic and neutral polimeric resins

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (252 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, cephamycin C purification using column adsorption processes was investigated. Two polymeric resins were used, Q-Sepharose XL, an ionic resin, and Amberlite XAD-4, a neutral one. The column process using QXL separated two fractions with antibacterial activity. Cephamycin C was present only in the first fraction, called F1, but was not pure. In the column process using the resin XAD-4, it was not observed any separation of different compounds when the feed was the ultrafiltered broth. Nevertheless, the system was able to separate two fractions when the feed was the fraction F1. When cephalosporin C was added to F1, the column with XAD-4 also separated cephamycin C from cephalosporin C. View full abstract»

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  • Molecular determinants of virus-like nanoparticle assembly in vitro and in animal cell culture

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (494 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Protein nanoparticles, such as virus-like particles (VLPs), consist only of the virus shell without any viral genetic information packaged inside. Similarly to viruses, the structural proteins that comprise a VLP can spontaneously self-assemble to form the particle or can assemble through several intermediate steps. This work addresses the characterization, manipulation and purification of a chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency VLP constructed by fusion of SIV matrix protein (p17) and HIV-1 p6 accessory protein. This fusion protein assembles as spherical nanoparticles of about 80 nm in diameter that are released to the culture media when expressed in HEK 293T cells. A simple two-step purification process was used to purify these nanoparticles. Also, different approaches - multiple-transfections or chemical coupling - were performed to target manipulation. Finally, a new approach for the production of these virus-like particles is described where the structural protein subunits are used and their assembly is promoted in vitro. View full abstract»

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  • A modified Hilbert-Huang algorithm to the assessment of heart rate variability

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (146 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Heart rate variability is a classical method to quantify the autonomic outflow to the cardiovascular system. The current methods in frequency and time-frequency domains have shown some limitations in resolution. In this paper, we propose a modified Hilbert-Huang algorithm to the assessment of autonomic activity in heart rate signals. These approaches are evaluated while analyzing both simulated signals and experimental data from tachograms associated with cardiac autonomic blockade of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. View full abstract»

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  • SCF-assisted processing of dexamethasone-loaded poly(ε-caprolactone)/MCM-41 materials for biomedical applications

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (114 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Biodegradable polymeric foams of proper pore sizes, geometries and densities, are already known to be useful biomaterials for several pharmaceutical, biomedical and tissue engineering applications. Moreover, the combination of these biodegradable polymeric foams with biocompatible inorganic nanoparticles and with bioactive substances may lead to the generation of novel composite biomaterials presenting improved chemical, physical and biological properties. This work reports preliminary results on the use of supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) processes, namely of scCO2-assisted foaming and of scCO2-assisted impregnation/deposition, for the development of dexamethasone-loaded composite biomaterials prepared with poly(E-caprolactone) (PCL) and with mesoporous MCM-41 silica nanoparticles (SNPs). Pure PCL and PCL/MCM-41 composite materials (90:10 and 70:30, wt.%) were processed by scCO2 foaming at different experimental density (801.4 and 901.2 Kg/m3), processing time (2 and 14 hours) and depressurization rate (0.22 and 3.0 L/min) conditions. In addition, mesoporous MCM-41 SNPs were loaded with dexamethasone (DXMT) by a scCO2 impregnation/deposition method at the above referred experimental conditions, and by DXMT sorption from aqueous and from ethanolic DXMT liquid solutions (at 37 oC and atmospheric pressure). All prepared materials were characterized by simultaneous differential thermal analysis (SDT) and texturometry. DXMT release studies were performed in order to evaluate and to compare the obtained DXMT release profiles from loaded MCM-41 SNPs. Obtained results demonstrated the feasibility of using scCO2 impregnation/deposition and scCO2 foaming methods for the development of DXMT-loaded PCL/MCM-41 composite materials to be applied in hard tissue biomedical applications. View full abstract»

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  • Registration of retinal images by a MAS-ICP approach — A preliminary study

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (271 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Diabetic retinopathy has been revealed as the most common cause of blindness among people of working age. For monitoring the pathology image registration algorithms applied to retinal images is very useful. In this work, a novel vessel-based retinal image registration approach is proposed. The segmentation of the vasculature is performed by a multi-agent system model. All these information is then used in a Robust Point Matching Iterative Closest Point algorithm improved by a Region Bootstrap approach. With this preliminary study, the novelty of integrating all these algorithms for image registration preceded by a multi-agents system for image edges detection seems to be efficient for temporal retinal image registration. Consequently, a system developed on basis of this approach could help in screening programs for the diabetic retinopathy prevention. View full abstract»

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  • Synthesis optimization of pittsburgh compound B by the captive solvent method

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (223 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Carbon-11 is a positron emitting nuclide that has been used extensively to label compounds destined for molecular targets in the brain. Pittsburgh compound B ([11C]PiB) is a benzothiazole derivative of thioflavin T that is used to image beta-amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease patients with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). In this paper we report on the optimization of a fully automated synthesis, purification and reformulation of [11C]PiB suitable for use in human PET studies. [11C]PiB was prepared from 2-(4'-aminophenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole by [11C]-methylation with methyl triflate reacting in an high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) loop, purified and reformulated by solid phase extraction. The specific activity of [11C]PiB was 25 ± 10 GBq/μmol, and radiochemical purity was better than 95%. View full abstract»

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  • Modeling and simulation of acoustic propagation for mixing and pumping fluids in lab-on-a-chip devices

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (168 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The research team is focused on lab-on-a-chip devices for clinical applications, where acoustic streaming technique is used for promoting the mixing, pumping and chemical reactions of fluids, inside the microfluidic structures. In particular, this paper focuses the modeling and simulation of the acoustic streaming generated by a piezoelectric polymer - the β-PVDF in a microchannel. The simulations are based on finite elements numerical methods and are implemented in COMSOL Multiphysics software. The modeling of acoustic streaming phenomenon includes the study of the piezoelectric effect generated by an electroactive polymer and of the compressible flow Navier-Stokes equations. View full abstract»

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  • 3D automatic lung segmentation in low-dose CT

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (103 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The amount of information generated by medical imaging procedures as well as the number of exams performed all over the world is increasing over time. This leads to the need of faster and more efficient ways to deal with the large datasets characteristic of these procedures. Computer-aided diagnostic methods have an important role in this area. This paper presents a fully automatic method for the identification of the lungs in CT images. The lung regions are identified by a threshold operation as a first step. To separate merged lungs, we apply a sequence of morphological operations. Additionally the trachea and large airways are identified and removed in each slice. The proposed approach was tested in several whole-body CT studies presenting positive results. View full abstract»

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  • Biosensor platform for transcription factor DNA binding activity detection

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (78 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The general objective of this project is to develop an acoustic biosensor platform to study protein-DNA binding and its application to the study of DNA transcription factors. An impedance analysis methodology enables the calculation of the acoustic energy dissipation per unit mass observed upon DNA binding, providing quantitative information on the size and shape of the tethered molecules. The rationale of the project rely on the fact that the conformational changes and bending of DNA upon protein binding increase the rigidity of DNA films immobilized at the surface of an acoustic sensor. As a result less acoustic energy is dissipated what is signaled by a decrease of the variation of the acoustic motional resistance. Such experimental approach, together with the associated mathematical signal processing and physical modeling, will provide quantitative information on sequence and conformation DNA sequences recognized by specific transcriptional factors as well as affinity and kinetic constants. View full abstract»

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  • Preliminary characterization of the external proton beam from a PET cyclotron for use in neutron and proton radiobiology and other dosimetric studies

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 1 - 4
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1523 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Different cyclotron models capable of accelerating protons up to 20MeV have been worldwide installed. Although their purpose is mainly positron emission tomography (PET) radioisotope production, they are equipped with several beam lines suitable for scientific research. Each beam line may typically deliver proton currents up to 150 μA (1×1015 particles/s). Radiobiological and dosimetric studies can be performed using these beam lines, which may contribute to further improve ion therapy and material radiation hardness results, among other applications. We report experimental results aiming at characterizing the proton beam achievable outside a PET cyclotron. In addition, we simulate this experimental setup by using Geant4. We show that simulation is consistent with previous published experimental data and with our first-measured results. These point to a beam angular spreading which may be utilized to establish an irradiation setup within the bunker. We estimate that the dose achievable with such setup may span 4-orders-of-magnitude, useful in radiobiology, ranging from 10mGy to 100 Gy. Finally, we show by simulation that neutron and γ-ray dose on a realistic, in-bunker target is negligible down to at most the 1% level. Further quantification for lower levels is ongoing. View full abstract»

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