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Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE

Issue 4 • Date July-Aug. 1995

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Displaying Results 1 - 15 of 15
  • New partnerships in bioengineering education and research at the NSF

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 432 - 438
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (849 KB)  

    The world of the 21st century will be swifter, more complex, and more connected. Solutions to tomorrow's problems will require the contributions of many disciplines and points of view. There will be tremendous challenges and opportunities for engineers-all engineers-but especially those in the field of bioengineering. Consider the problem the nation now faces with respect to the health care system. Engineers can and must be part of the solution-but to be successful in this dynamic environment, engineering graduates will need more than first-rate technical skills. They must also be able to work in teams and communicate well. Equally important, they must be able to view their work from a systems approach-across disciplines-and within the context of ethical, political, international, environmental, and economic considerations. It is time that one addresses the adequacy of engineering education to meet these demands. To educate such graduates, engineering colleges must develop and strengthen partnerships with industry, government and the broader educational community. University leaders must provide vision and support for these efforts. Likewise, industry must become more involved in the education of their current and future engineers. NSF is and will continue to do its part to encourage partnerships and foster educational experimentation and innovation at every level. In sum, partnerships are the key to ensuring U.S. engineering education is relevant, attractive and connected to its clients and stakeholders and to the nation at large.<> View full abstract»

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  • Time and frequency analysis of the brain's distributed gamma-band system

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 400 - 410
    Cited by:  Papers (30)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1072 KB)  

    Several paradigms or strategies-some of them introduced here-were applied to point out that the EEG serves as a functionally relevant signal (or operator) in various frequency channels. These can be brought to resonant behavior depending on functional brain states. The authors emphasize that the EEG-operators are functionally significant if 1-4 Hz, 4-7 Hz, 8-13 Hz, or 40 Hz activities can be brought to a resonant state with a high degree of synchrony. The time-locking of an internally induced EEG fragment may depend on the specific behavior (for example induced alpha templates prior to a cognitive target, 40 Hz induced rhythmicities with 300 ms latency in hippocampus during cognitive tasks). For topographic aspects see, e.g., Schurmann & Basar (1994) and Basar & Schurmann (1994). The authors assume that the analysis of evoked potentials (EPs) performed within the scope of resonance phenomena and/or induced rhythmicities can be developed into a most important tool to understand and to inter-relate sensory and cognitive functions of the brain. Once the physiological significance of 10 Hz and 40 Hz resonance phenomena is established, the type of component analysis here presented provides, the authors believe, an excellent possibility to describe functional states of the intact brain during consciousness. The authors assume that by using such methods, the analysis of EEG, sensory EPs, and event-related potentials will experience a renaissance in functional brain research View full abstract»

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  • Stationarity of the EEG series

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 395 - 399
    Cited by:  Papers (29)  |  Patents (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (436 KB)  

    The authors introduce a routine for the analysis of stationarity, which is based on the weak stationarity criteria. From the application of the weak stationarity criteria, one see that only in some cases or in some epochs of a series will the information obtained from these algorithms be reliable. Therefore, one can only obtain dynamic information in those cases. As a complement to this finding, the correlation dimension and the Lyapunov exponents were calculated for the different EEG series analyzed View full abstract»

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  • 60 Hz EMF health effects-a scientific uncertainty

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 370 - 374
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (592 KB)  

    Extensive epidemiological and laboratory research has been conducted over the last 15 years on the biological and health consequences of exposure to ELF EMFs. Some epidemiological studies have found weak associations between exposure to power-frequency EMFs and some forms of cancer, such as leukemia; while other studies have failed to find such associations. The primary limitation with most epidemiological studies has been with the methods of exposure assessment. Rigorous methods of exposure assessment that can be associated with biological effects are clearly needed. Epidemiological studies also continue to suffer from significant methodological difficulties associated with the effects of confounding factors. These difficulties hinder interpretation and acceptance of epidemiological findings. Laboratory studies have noted a wide variety of interesting biological effects resulting from exposure to power-frequency EMFs. The most significant and replicated findings are an apparent change in ion efflux at cell membranes in response to limited ranges and intensities of ELF electric fields, an effect of ELF magnetic fields on melatonin production, and effects on enzyme activity. Several concerns exist with regard to the laboratory findings. One concern is that the field strengths used are often orders of magnitude greater than commonly encountered in the home or office. Another concern is that much of the laboratory evidence remains to be independently confirmed. Lastly, a credible mechanism by which commonly encountered (milligauss) power-frequency EMFs could produce human health effects such as cancer still needs to be developed. Thus, the significance of the laboratory findings to human health is questionable. Though the evidence on ELF EMF health effects is mixed, it cannot be dismissed out of hand View full abstract»

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  • Stimulus waveforms for selective neural stimulation

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 375 - 385
    Cited by:  Papers (62)  |  Patents (58)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (988 KB)  

    The authors review recent efforts to design stimulus waveforms for selective electrical stimulation of the nervous system. Two types of selectivity are considered. Fiber diameter selectivity refers to the ability to activate one group of nerve fibers having a common diameter without activating nerve fibers having different diameters. Spatial selectivity refers to the ability to activate nerve fibers in a localized region without activating nerve fibers in neighboring regions. The fundamental principles governing the response of excitable nerve fibers to imposed stimuli are reviewed and used to design waveforms. The emphasis of the presentation is on excitation of peripheral myelinated nerve fibers, The underlying principles, however, are broadly applicable to all excitable membranes View full abstract»

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  • Magnetic fields and cancer

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 362 - 369
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (748 KB)  

    The massive body of epidemiological data searching for a relationship between magnetic field exposure and the incidence and development of cancer tells one that the presumably exposed population has essentially the same health characteristics as the population as a whole. Some comfort may be found in the fact that epidemiology has not revealed any large or unusual associations. But, the cost to society for this work has been substantial, and it would be difficult to justify further use of epidemiology in the study of magnetic field bioeffects. These predominantly negative results are not particularly reassuring, however. It simply underscores the obvious fact that epidemiology does not have the power to detect subtle effects, particularly when study groups with clearly different exposure levels cannot be identified, as is the case for magnetic fields. In fact, if there really were effects, the risk ratios would be understated because of the overlaps in true “exposures” in the arbitrarily chosen populations used in the studies. Laboratory studies should provide the sensitivity that is lacking in epidemiology. In addition, laboratory animals can be (and have been) exposed to huge fields for long periods of time. Certainly, some of the suggested positive effects should be followed up, but overall, results from studies of laboratory animals give little encouragement for the hypothesis that magnetic fields affect the development of cancer. It appears one must admit that, at the present time, one has no direct evidence for an association between magnetic fields and cancer. A very substantial, frontal assault on the question has not been fruitful. In the author's opinion, the mast promising approach to the subject is to step back and ask a more fundamental question. Are there any biological effects at all of modest levels of power frequency magnetic fields? There are many reports of biological effects of magnetic fields in vitro. Furthermore, it is possible to devise objective criteria for choosing the most promising of these reports for replication and further evaluation. A clear positive conclusion that magnetic fields of modest magnitudes do have biological effects would not have a direct bearing on the cancer question, but it would provide a starting point for fundamental investigations of the mechanisms of interaction between the fields and cells. Eventually, such studies could provide an intelligent basis for a renewed study of health issues, including the question of cancer View full abstract»

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  • Issues in ethics: the biomaterials crisis

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 439 - 440, 42
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (356 KB)  

    Several major suppliers of material used in medical devices, including Dow Chemical, Dow Corning and DuPont have recently decided not to sell these materials to device manufacturers. Other material suppliers have done the same or are reviewing their policies on this matter. Some of the biomaterials that have been or may soon become unavailable for medical device manufacturing include polyurethane for heart valves, polyethelene for artificial joints and silicone for implants. The withdrawal of biomaterials suppliers is the result of a number of lawsuits filed against materials suppliers by persons claiming to have been injured by medical devices. The largest group consists of plaintiffs in breast implant litigation. The author considers contributing factors in law, the seriousness of the problem and solutions to the problem View full abstract»

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  • Computer-based waveform subtraction for measuring refraction of neuromuscular transmission

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 391 - 394
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (484 KB)  

    The study demonstrated that computer-based waveform subtraction is a viable approach for the accurate determination of the refractory periods (RPs) of the neurally-evoked compound electromyograms (ncEMGs) and the refraction of neuromuscular transmission. Computer-based waveform subtraction can easily extract the R2 waveform from the complex ncEMGs and calculate accurate R2/R1 ratios. The method is more accurate and useful than the traditional “eyeballing,” which is the current method used. In the ncEMGs with twin stimuli, the interstimulus interval determines the time relationship between R2 and the R1. A short interstimulus interval obscures the R2 by the downward deflection of the R1. The emergence of the R2 is then delayed. Furthermore, the downward deflection elevates the baseline of the R2 waveform, making the measurement of the R2 amplitude difficult and unreliable by the traditional method. By use of computer-based waveform subtraction, the progression of R2 becomes smooth as the interstimulus intervals increase. The accurate R2 and the R2/R1 ratios are then available, and are suitable for evaluating the refraction of neuromuscular transmission. Applying the accurate R2/R1 in the study of neuromuscular physiology and pharmacology, a “dose-response” curve can be drawn and be used to investigate drug effects of many anesthetics and neuromuscular blocking drugs. In this study, the computer-based waveform subtraction resulted in an accurate dose response curve, similar to the traditional method but with a smaller refractory area View full abstract»

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  • Medical reforms and technology today

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 359 - 360
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (216 KB)  

    Engineering today is the backbone for support and advancement of the environment to keep the United States a world leader in the realm of health care. Over the past year, the expense for health care has astoundingly risen by over $100 billion. Hence, many politicians have proposed several ideas for a reform policy that will cut spending on health care, yet improve it at the same time. The Clinton plan seemed to spark the greatest uproar among its supporters as well as its antagonists. In any event, reform of health care is needed to stabilize the incredible spending that has come about. Some 650,000 individuals are presently employed in the medical technology profession. Any health care reform will directly affect these individuals and their families. Consider how the bioengineer will be affected. The authors first define the profession as devoted to improving and enhancing the environment and animal and human life through research and development. Since this is such a wide field, almost any reform made in the health care system will have an impact. For example, if the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is cut, research will be halted on marine technology and how aquatic organisms can protect human health and increase the safety of food products. Also, studies that focus on genetic engineering of marine plants and animals to help produce useful enzymes, polymers, and pharmaceutical products would be discontinued. Any reforms, whether loyal to Clinton or an alternative plan, will force an entirely new set of parameters and specifications onto the vast spectrum of health care. Within that spectrum lies the vital field of medical technology. All changes pertaining to medical applications of technology affect the biomedical engineer. Due to the ambiguity of the proposals presented, the effects on medical technology cannot be pre-determined as being beneficial or detrimental. One can, however, assess the limited information that is available on this matter and speculate. Regarding the proposed reforms' affect on the biomedical engineer, there appears to be certain key issues that need to be addressed. One of these pertains to the question of continued research funding. Within the pages of the Clinton plan there exists a section devoted to a vague and ambiguous exposition on the future of health research. The individual is left with more than one confusing vision of the future View full abstract»

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  • Intelligent control of power wheelchairs

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 423 - 431
    Cited by:  Papers (30)  |  Patents (9)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (840 KB)  

    Power wheelchair controllers become more sophisticated as motor control and human/machine interaction research progresses. The result of this increasing sophistication is that more people are provided with independent mobility. The challenge for engineering is to provide safe and effective mobility in a dynamic environment. Fortunately, many of the control methods outlined in here make that goal attainable. Tuneable controllers have had a significant impact, but they only allude to the possibilities for improved mobility. Shared control proves promising for expanding the number and variety of power wheelchair users. Integrated control will increase the independence of power wheelchair users in all realms of assistive technology. Fault-tolerant control can guide one towards safer and more reliable power wheelchairs. Fault-tolerant controllers may also be a cost effective solution to many electromagnetic interference related issues. Through thoughtful research and design, power wheelchair control will progress along safe and effective pathways towards providing users independent and self-guided mobility View full abstract»

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  • Statistical detection of visually evoked potentials

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 386 - 390
    Cited by:  Papers (9)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (460 KB)  

    In ophthalmologic diagnostics well-defined light stimuli are used to study the visual system. Sensor arrays are used in applications where the signal-to-noise ratio is very low or where the spatial structure of the signal is of interest. Since the signal-to-noise ratio can be exponentially increased with the designed function it can be assumed, that the reliability of signal detection will also significantly increase. In other words, for a given false detection probability, the necessary amount of data should significantly decrease. If the preconditions regarding the noise (spatial and temporal noncorrelatedness) and the signal (constant shape over the channels) are fulfilled, a detector could be used as a simple mean-value discriminator. A suitable signal detector based on the desired function and the influence of signal and noise parameters on the detection reliability will be investigated in future work View full abstract»

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  • Constraint programming for nurse scheduling

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 417 - 422
    Cited by:  Papers (19)  |  Patents (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (544 KB)  

    Nurse scheduling is a difficult, multifaceted problem. Here, the authors have presented the efficiency of Constraint Programming for solving this problem. The results obtained are very satisfactory for response time and for flexibility. The advantages of implementing this method are multiple: 1) it saves much time for the head nurse in the generation of schedules (the authors met head nurses for whom the task of scheduling takes a full working day); 2) the proposed system is not a rigid tool for schedule generation, but it is designed to help the decision maker in decisions and negotiations; 3) the proposed system is a flexible tool with respect to individual requests and for overcoming unforeseen absences; 4) it is very easy to manage constraints whether, for example, to define new constraints, activating or deactivating particular constraints, or modifying an already defined constraint. Ilog-Solver is a powerful tool for constraint programming. It provides the user with several types of variables, and the possibility of defining a specific constraint for the problem. The integration of object programming provided by Ilog-Solver allows better representation and saves much memory View full abstract»

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  • Performance of AI methods in detecting melanoma

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 411 - 416
    Cited by:  Papers (9)  |  Patents (2)
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    This research has shown that features extracted from color skin tumor images by computer vision methods can be reliable discriminators of malignant tumors from benign ones. Reliability was demonstrated by the monotonically increasing success ratios with increasing training set size and by the small standard deviations from the mean success rates. An average success rate of 70 percent in diagnosing melanoma was attained for a training set size of 60 percent. The presence or absence of atypical moles in the training and test sets was shown to have a dramatic impact on the effectiveness of the generated classification rules. This was the case with both AIM and lst-Class, and indicates a high potential for success if a method can be found for discriminating between atypical moles and melanoma View full abstract»

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  • Patents: the inventor who claimed too much

    Publication Year: 1995
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (116 KB)  

    How much right should an inventor have to control the future? That was the question decided by the United States Supreme Court in the famous 1853 case of Samuel Morse and his telegraph, and the answer the Court gave then is still the law today. This rule of law, now more than 140 years old, says that no matter how great an invention may be, there comes a point where a court will step in and say that the public's right supersedes the inventor's right. Fortunately for Morse, he was able to stop O'Reilly's infringement based on his narrower claims. Similarly, inventors seeking broad patent protection today include narrower claims in their patents to protect against the possibility that a court may find that they, too, have claimed too much View full abstract»

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  • Engineering in genomics: the interdisciplinary nature of genomics

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 443 - 448
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (652 KB)  

    The Department of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Washington is a unique example of how scientists and engineers may be trained and work together to develop new tools for cutting-edge biological research. The interdisciplinary CAP5000 Team, supported by the NIH SERCA program and Washington State, is another example of how biotechnology experts, engineers and industry can work together to fulfill some of the needs of the Human Genome Project and future needs of biotechnology research View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine contains articles on current technologies and methods used in biomedical and clinical engineering.

 

This Magazine ceased publication in 2010. The current retitled publication is IEEE Pulse.

Full Aims & Scope