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Bioengineering Conference (NEBEC), 2013 39th Annual Northeast

Date 5-7 April 2013

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 171
  • [Front cover]

    Page(s): C4
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  • [Title page i]

    Page(s): i
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  • [Title page iii]

    Page(s): iii
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  • [Copyright notice]

    Page(s): iv
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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): v - xvi
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  • Welcome Message from the Conference Chair

    Page(s): xviii
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  • Conference Committee List

    Page(s): xix
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  • NEBEC 2013 Sponsors

    Page(s): xx - xxiii
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  • Optimizing Polymeric Nanoparticle Core Designs for Gene Delivery

    Page(s): 1 - 2
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (240 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Polymeric nanoparticles offer extraordinary promise as gene delivery vehicles, and recent advances in their designs have allowed for targeted deliveries with multi-stage releases of payloads. Despite these advances, delivery efficiency can still be improved. Namely, the core of a multilayered particle may be designed in such a way as to facilitate unloading once within the cell, with minimized electrostatic binding and waste of genes following endocytotic burst. Through creating a core particle that is semi-stable, further layers may functionally stabilize the polymeric complex until intracellular delivery is achieved, at which point the semistable configuration may promote payload release. View full abstract»

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  • Induction of Apoptosis by Targeted Ultrasound Contrast Agents in Cancer Therapy

    Page(s): 3 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1086 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This research aims to develop an injectable polymer-based, platform to enable minimally-invasive targeted delivery of bioactive nano particles. Studies have shown polymer-stabilized gas microbubbles to be effective in enhancing an ultrasound image, especially those involving cancerous tumors. These contrast agents can serve a dual purpose when designed to include a specific ligand conjugated to the surface for targeting and a drug encapsulated in the shell. Research is underway to harness these techniques in the fight against cancer. Tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a protein that not only binds to cell death receptors (DR4 and DR5) on cancerous cells for targeting, but this binding also promotes apoptosis in the targeted cell. Healthy cells have decoy receptors that compete for binding. Our hypothesis is that intravenously injected TRAIL-conjugated microbubbles, when exposed to ultrasound (US), will burst to form nanoshards (n-Sh) which will transport the TRAIL to cancer cell receptors, where binding initiates apoptosis. View full abstract»

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  • Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Matrix-Degradation by Podosomes

    Page(s): 5 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (175 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    During plaque formation, vascular smooth muscle cells migrate from the medial layer into the intima. The exact mechanism by which vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) invade through the extracellular matrix into the intimal layer remains unclear. VSMCs have been shown to exhibit podosomes, sub-cellular structures known to release matrix metalloproteinases. Here, we investigated the formation and matrix degrading ability of podosomes in VSMCs before and after treatment with phorbol 12, 13-dibutyrate (PDBu), an activator of protein kinase C (PKC). Using a fluorescently-labeled gelatin substrate, we find that VSMC degrade matrix even in the absence of observable podosome formation. However, the extent of degradation is significantly increased when podosome formation is induced using PDBu. Our current work is expanding these studies to identify the physical triggers of podosome formation in the in vivo microenvironment. View full abstract»

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  • Reduced Adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus to ZnO/PVC Nanocomposites

    Page(s): 7 - 8
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (153 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In hospitals and clinics worldwide, medical device surfaces have become a rapidly growing source of nosocomial infections. In particular, patients requiring mechanical ventilation (and, thus, intubation with an endotracheal tube) for extended lengths of time are faced with a high probability of contracting ventilator-associated pneumonia. In this study, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) taken from a conventional endotracheal tube was embedded with varying concentrations of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. Staphylococcus aureus biofilms were then grown on these nanocomposite surfaces during a 24-hour culture. Bacterial proliferation on the samples embedded with the highest concentration of ZnO nanoparticles was 87% less when compared to the control, indicating that this technique is effective at reducing biofilm formation on PVC surfaces without the use of antibiotics. View full abstract»

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  • Nanomechanics of Mice Sensory Neurons as Measured by Atomic Force Microscopy

    Page(s): 9 - 10
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (150 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We use atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the morphological and nanomechanical properties of mice dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons in regenerative growth mode. A prior peripheral nerve injury in vivo, promotes a rapid elongated mode of sensory neurons neurite regrowth in vitro. Complementary differential interference contrast microscopy results show that conditioned axotomy, induced by sciatic nerve injury, did not increase somatic size of adult lumbar sensory neurons but promoted the appearance of larger growth cones. Our AFM data indicate that neurons having a regenerative growth are characterized by softer growth cones, compared to control neurons. The increase of the growth cone membrane elasticity suggests a modification in the ratio and the inner framework of the main structural proteins. View full abstract»

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  • Selection of Temporal Gates for Bi-Exponential Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

    Page(s): 11 - 12
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (141 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Fluorescence lifetime imaging is a commonly-used molecular imaging technique for preclinical and clinical studies of cells or tissues. Herein, the accuracy of lifetime imaging in the case of a bi-exponential model is investigated based on limited time data points. An in silico investigation shows that estimation accuracy of the model parameters involved (lifetimes and fractional amplitudes) can be maintained while reducing the number of time-gates used to eight. Recommendations of which time gates to use are also made based upon the presented analysis. View full abstract»

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  • Infrared Spectroscopy to Measure Collagen and Elastin in Aorta Using Multivariate Analysis

    Page(s): 13 - 14
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (142 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Pathological changes in extracellular matrix (ECM) occur in the context of abdominal aortic aneurysm disease. The objective of this study is to assess the capability of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to differentiate major aorta ECM components. Two partial least squares (PLS) models were developed using mixtures of matrix components in potassium bromide pellets. In the first model collagen and elastin powders were mixed in varying percentages. In the second model, pig aorta specimens were selectively degraded by enzymatic treatment of either collagen or elastin and used to prepare pellets. The results of the PLS model showed the ability of FTIR methodology for differentiation of elastin and collagen. These results lay the foundation for application of the methodology to assess the progression of AAA pathology. View full abstract»

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  • Eating Event Detection by Magnetic Proximity Sensing

    Page(s): 15 - 16
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (443 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Eating event detection is an important problem in automatic dietary study using a wearable computer, such as the eButton. In this work, we approach this detection problem based on the use of a small magnet marker attached to a finger and a miniature magnetometer installed within the eButton. Our experimental results indicate that our magnetic approach is effective when the distance between the marker and the wearable computer is within 12cm, and the range of detection is approximately 15cm. We also found that the proximity signal patterns corresponding to eating and other daily activities are different, which can be used to reduce the false detection rate. In addition, our approach is convenient, low-cost and energy efficient, suitable for practical applications. View full abstract»

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  • Quantifying the Effect of Mechanical Vestibular Stimulation on Muscle Tone and Spasticity

    Page(s): 17 - 18
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (318 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The purpose of this pilot study is to determine whether mechanical stimulations to the otoliths would result in a change on the muscle tone on disabled subjects and to test the hypothesis of stimulating the otolith organs in the vestibular system and its effect on the muscle tone/spasticity in individuals with neuromotor disabilities, in addition to that is the importance of developing a deeper understanding of the process of vertical vestibular stimulation using a mechanical vestibular chair and to establish a clinical procedure that reduces spasticity in individuals with neuromotor disabilities. One spastic subject was tested and the muscle tone was evaluated using the "(PKD Test)". View full abstract»

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  • Muscle Activation of Participants while Walking on a Robotic-Assisted Locomotion Training

    Page(s): 19 - 20
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (191 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    NaTUre-gaits (Natural and TUnable rehabilitation gait system), has been developed for a robotic-assisted overground walking training. Effects on muscle activation of participants during walking with the system were evaluated and analyzed. Clinical trials were conducted and electromyographic (EMG) signals were collected from major lower limb muscle groups. Comparisons of muscle activation were provided between healthy and SCI/stroke participants walking with the device. Preliminary results showed that this device can provide a training effect to rehabilitation. View full abstract»

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  • Detection of User Intent in Neurorehablitation Using a Commercial EEG Headset

    Page(s): 21 - 22
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (199 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Neurorehabilitation has recently been augmented with the use of virtual reality and rehabilitation robotics. In each case a necessary condition for success is the linkage of user intent to the interventions. In many systems, some known volitional control must exist in order to synchronize the user intended movement with the therapeutic virtual or robotic movement. Individuals without such residual movements are unable to fully benefit from these therapies. This project demonstrates the feasibility of using a low cost, commercial EEG system with BCI2000 software [3] to access the imagined movement without the need for physical movement. View full abstract»

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  • Evaluation of Circumferential and Longitudinal Strain in a Rabbit Fetal Heart Model Using 4D Echocardiography

    Page(s): 23 - 24
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (221 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Strain determination in fetal hearts is essential but conventional methods do not provide opportunities for orthogonal strain analysis and require the use of EKG-gating. A new non-gated 4D echocardiography method was tested for accuracy in strain computation. Fifteen rabbit hearts were studied. Each heart was mounted in a water tank to facilitate ultrasound scanning, connected to a calibrated pump by a balloon sutured into the left ventricle (LV), and pumped at Stroke Volumes (SV) 1-5 ml and Stroke Rates (SR) 40 and 80 bpm. Three 0.7mm sonomicrometry crystals were secured in the myocardium to conduct longitudinal strain (LS) and circumferential strain (CS) measurements. At each SV and each SR, 4D images were obtained by an X6-1 probe interfaced with the Philips iU-22 ultrasound system while sonomicrometry displacement was recorded. This process was performed pre and post simulated myocardial infarction (MI). 4D images were analyzed offline for strain by a MATLAB-based program. 4D echocardiography-derived strain data correlated with sonomicrometry-derived strain at each SV (CS: R2 = 0.91, p<;0.05; LS: R2 = 0.87, p<;0.05). A decrease in strain post-MI was detected by both echocardiography and sonomicrometry. Non-gated 4D echocardiography is an accurate method for strain determination of fetal hearts. View full abstract»

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  • Learning Cultured Neuronal Network Evolution Using False Discovery Rate Analysis

    Page(s): 25 - 26
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (584 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Despite numerous studies carried out using Multi Electrode Arrays (MEAs), there are no quantitative studies that assess how the development of dissociated rat cortical neurons can be affected by chronic external stimulation. Furthermore, there is a lack of quantitative analysis tools in use for processing spike data sets recorded from large neuronal populations. With this work, we want to emphasize the importance of using statistical analysis as a mathematical tool to identify functional and significant electrical connections, to quantify the temporal evolution and the early development of dissociated cortical neurons when presented with external stimulation. The False Discovery Rate technique we propose guarantees that when analyzing the neuronal evoked responses, we are accounting for the natural variability and randomness that are typical characteristics of the nervous system. Our preliminary findings suggest that electrical stimulation has significant effects on neuron electrical activity. View full abstract»

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  • Constructing 3D-Printable CAD Models of Prostates from MR Images

    Page(s): 27 - 28
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (186 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes the development of a procedure to generate patient-specific, three-dimensional (3D) solid models of prostates (and related anatomy) from magnetic resonance (MR) images. The 3D models are rendered in STL file format which can be physically printed or visualized on a holographic display system. An example is presented in which a 3D model is printed following this procedure. View full abstract»

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  • Development of a Neural Network Model for Controlling Horizontal Saccadic Eye Movements

    Page(s): 29 - 30
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (139 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We present a neural network that mimics the timing, firing rate and synchrony of the neuronal populations involved in the execution of horizontal saccades. While each involved neuron encompasses dendritic, axonal and synaptic components, the control mechanism of the saccades is also investigated in our study. The proposed saccade generator captures in essence the neural dynamics of the Hodgkin-Huxley model and a time-varying FitzHugh-Nagumo model. It evolves so that a burst discharge (pulse) from the agonist motoneurons and a pause in firing from antagonist motoneurons serve as the neural inputs to the agonist and antagonist muscles. The importance of simulating horizontal saccades is that it provides a framework for early diagnosis and treatment of injuries sustained during the mild traumatic brain injury. View full abstract»

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  • Bacteria Fighting Paper Towels: The Influence of Selenium Nanoparticles

    Page(s): 31 - 32
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (201 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Bacterial infections are commonly found on paper towels and other paper products leading to the potential spread of bacteria and consequent health concerns. The objective of this in vitro study was to introduce antibacterial properties to standard paper towel surfaces by coating them with selenium nanoparticles. Scanning electron microscopy was used to measure the size and distribution of the selenium coatings on the paper towels. The amount of selenium precipitated on the paper towels was measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy. In vitro bacterial studies with S. aureus were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the selenium coatings at inhibiting bacterial growth. Results showed that the selenium nanoparticles coated on the paper towel surfaces were well distributed and were semi spherical 50nm in diameter. Most importantly, the selenium nanoparticle coated paper towels inhibited S. aureus growth by 90% after 24, 48 and 72 hours compared with uncoated paper towels. Thus, this study showed that nano-selenium coated paper towels may lead to an increased eradication of bacteria to clean a more wide-range of clinical environments and for the food industry, thus, improving health. View full abstract»

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  • Dynamic Micropattern Geometry atop Shape Memory Polymers

    Page(s): 33 - 34
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (4034 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Substrates micropatterned with cell adhesion proteins have been used to investigate how protein density and geometry affect cell behaviors such as cell migration, growth, and differentiation. Existing technologies are limited in that they typically feature protein micropatterns that are static and unable to change while cells are attached. Here we micropatterned shape memory polymer (SMP) substrates that were capable of transitioning from a stretched state to a contracted state to control the width of patterned lines presented to attached cells. We found that micropattern geometry changed as the SMP substrate transitioned to its unstretched shape. Cells attached to dynamic patterns balled up and contracted their nuclei. The results suggest that micropatterned SMP cell culture substrates can be used to study the temporal aspects of cell mechanobiology. View full abstract»

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