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Sample records for direct liquefaction proof-of-concept

  1. The direct liquefaction proof of concept program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Comolli, A.G.; Lee, L.K.; Pradhan, V.R.; Stalzer, R.H. [New York & Puritan Avenues, Lawrenceville, NJ (United States)

    1995-12-31

    The goal of the Proof of Concept (POC) Program is to develop Direct Coal Liquefaction and associated transitional technologies towards commercial readiness for economically producing premium liquid fuels from coal in an environmentally acceptable manner. The program focuses on developing the two-stage liquefaction (TSL) process by utilizing geographically strategic feedstocks, commercially feasible catalysts, new prototype equipment, and testing co-processing or alternate feedstocks and improved process configurations. Other high priority objectives include dispersed catalyst studies, demonstrating low rank coal liquefaction without solids deposition, improving distillate yields on a unit reactor volume basis, demonstrating ebullated bed operations while obtaining scale-up data, demonstrating optimum catalyst consumption using new concepts (e.g. regeneration, cascading), producing premium products through on-line hydrotreating, demonstrating improved hydrogen utilization for low rank coals using novel heteroatom removal methods, defining and demonstrating two-stage product properties for upgrading; demonstrating efficient and economic solid separation methods, examining the merits of integrated coal cleaning, demonstrating co-processing, studying interactions between the preheater and first and second-stage reactors, improving process operability by testing and incorporating advanced equipment and instrumentation, and demonstrating operation with alternate coal feedstocks. During the past two years major PDU Proof of Concept runs were completed. POC-1 with Illinois No. 6 coal and POC-2 with Black Thunder sub-bituminous coal. Results from these operations are continuing under review and the products are being further refined and upgraded. This paper will update the results from these operations and discuss future plans for the POC program.

  2. Direct liquefaction proof-of-concept facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alfred G. Comolli; Peizheng Zhou; HTI Staff

    2000-01-01

    The main objective of the U.S. DOE, Office of Fossil Energy, is to ensure the US a secure energy supply at an affordable price. An integral part of this program was the demonstration of fully developed coal liquefaction processes that could be implemented if market and supply considerations so required, Demonstration of the technology, even if not commercialized, provides a security factor for the country if it is known that the coal to liquid processes are proven and readily available. Direct liquefaction breaks down and rearranges complex hydrocarbon molecules from coal, adds hydrogen, and cracks the large molecules to those in the fuel range, removes hetero-atoms and gives the liquids characteristics comparable to petroleum derived fuels. The current processes being scaled and demonstrated are based on two reactor stages that increase conversion efficiency and improve quality by providing the flexibility to adjust process conditions to accommodate favorable reactions. The first stage conditions promote hydrogenation and some oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen removal. The second stage hydrocracks and speeds the conversion to liquids while removing the remaining sulfur and nitrogen. A third hydrotreatment stage can be used to upgrade the liquids to clean specification fuels.

  3. Liquefaction of Lignocellulose in Fractionated Light Bio-Oil: Proof of Concept and Techno-Economic Assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, S.; Lange, Jean Paul; van Rossum, G.; Kersten, Sascha R.A.

    2015-01-01

    The direct thermal liquefaction of lignocellulose can provide a biocrude that could be used as a precursor for biofuels. However, earlier attempts to use the whole reactor effluent as a liquefaction medium, by recycling it to the liquefaction reactor, were hampered by the buildup of heavy products.

  4. Meteorite as raw material for Direct Metal Printing: A proof of concept study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lietaert, Karel; Thijs, Lore; Neirinck, Bram; Lapauw, Thomas; Morrison, Brian; Lewicki, Chris; Van Vaerenbergh, Jonas

    2018-02-01

    Asteroid mining as such is not a new concept, as it has been described in science fiction for more than a century and some of its aspects have been studied by academia for more than 30 years. Recently, there is a renewed interest in this subject due the more and more concrete plans for long-duration space missions and the need for resources to support industrial activity in space. The use of locally available resources would greatly improve the economics and sustainability of such missions. Due to its economy in material, use of additive manufacturing (AM) provides an interesting route to valorize these resources for the production of spare parts, tools and large-scale structures optimized for their local microgravity environment. Proof of concept has already been provided for AM of moon regolith. In this paper the concept of In-Situ Resource Utilization is extended towards the production of metallic objects using powdered iron meteorite as raw material. The meteorite-based powder was used to produce a structural part but further research is needed to obtain a high density part without microcracks.

  5. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Effects on Athletes’ Cognitive Performance: An Exploratory Proof of Concept Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davimar Borduchi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Among the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games unforgettable moments, one could not overlook performances by Phelps and Bolt, which challenge old premises about the maximum extension of individual supremacism in ultracompetitive modalities and the doping scandals. Different media channels resonated these two trends, with an unseen rise on discussions about traits and practices that may set ultrahigh performance athletes apart from the more ordinary ones. Yet, some key issues remain undebated. This paper aims to add to this debate, with a proof of concept trial, which investigates whether tDCS may serve as an aid for professional athletes. Ten professional athletes of three different modalities of (judo, N=4 athletes, swimming, N=3 athletes and rhythmic gymnastics, N=3 athletes received anodal stimulation (2mA for 20 minutes on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for ten consecutive weekdays. We observed a positive effect of tDCS in their cognitive performance, including a significant improvement in alternated, sustained and divided attention and in memory scores. We also observed a decrease in Beck Depression Inventory scores (4.50 points in this non-clinical population. These preliminary results suggest that tDCS sessions may translate into competitive advantages for professional athletes and recommend the deepening of the discussion on its ethical use in sports, which is ultimately tied to the wider debate around the risks and opportunities that neuromodulation brings to the table.

  6. Volumetric MR-Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound with Direct Skin Cooling for the Treatment of Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids : Proof-of-Concept Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ikink, Marlijne E; van Breugel, Johanna M M; Schubert, Gerald; Nijenhuis, Robbert J; Bartels, LW; Moonen, Chrit T W; van den Bosch, Maurice A A J

    2015-01-01

    Objective. To prospectively assess the safety and technical feasibility of volumetric magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) ablation with direct skin cooling (DISC) during treatment of uterine fibroids. Methods. In this proof-of-concept study, eight patients were

  7. The Milky Way: paediatric milk-based dispersible tablets prepared by direct compression - a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orubu, Samuel E F; Hobson, Nicholas J; Basit, Abdul W; Tuleu, Catherine

    2017-04-01

    Dispersible tablets are proposed by the World Health Organization as the preferred paediatric formulation. It was hypothesised that tablets made from a powdered milk-base that disperse in water to form suspensions resembling milk might be a useful platform to improve acceptability in children. Milk-based dispersible tablets containing various types of powdered milk and infant formulae were formulated. The influence of milk type and content on placebo tablet properties was investigated using a design-of-experiments approach. Responses measured included friability, crushing strength and disintegration time. Additionally, the influence of compression force on the tablet properties of a model formulation was studied by compaction simulation. Disintegration times increased as milk content increased. Compaction simulation studies showed that compression force influenced disintegration time. These results suggest that the milk content, rather than type, and compression force were the most important determinants of disintegration. Up to 30% milk could be incorporated to produce 200 mg 10-mm flat-faced placebo tablets by direct compression disintegrating within 3 min in 5-10 ml of water, which is a realistic administration volume in children. The platform could accommodate 30% of a model active pharmaceutical ingredient (caffeine citrate). © 2016 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  8. Volumetric MR-Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound with Direct Skin Cooling for the Treatment of Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids: Proof-of-Concept Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlijne E. Ikink

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To prospectively assess the safety and technical feasibility of volumetric magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU ablation with direct skin cooling (DISC during treatment of uterine fibroids. Methods. In this proof-of-concept study, eight patients were consecutively selected for clinical MR-HIFU ablation of uterine fibroids with the use of an additional DISC device to maintain a constant temperature (T≈20°C at the interface between the HIFU table top and the skin. Technical feasibility was verified by successful completion of MR-HIFU ablation. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI was used to measure the treatment effect (nonperfused volume (NPV ratio. Safety was evaluated by recording of adverse events (AEs within 30 days’ follow-up. Results. All MR-HIFU treatments were successfully completed in an outpatient setting. The median NPV ratio was 0.56 (IQR [0.27–0.72]. Immediately after treatment, two patients experienced coldness related discomfort which resolved at the same day. No serious (device-related AEs were reported. Specifically, no skin burns, cold injuries, or subcutaneous edema were observed. Conclusion. This study showed that it is safe and technically feasible to complete a volumetric MR-HIFU ablation with DISC. This technique may reduce the risk of thermal injury to the abdominal wall during MR-HIFU ablation of uterine fibroids. This trial is registered with NTR4189.

  9. Bistatic SAR: Proof of Concept.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yocky, David A.; Doren, Neall E.; Bacon, Terry A.; Wahl, Daniel E.; Eichel, Paul H.; Jakowatz, Charles V,; Delaplain, Gilbert G.; Dubbert, Dale F.; Tise, Bertice L.; White, Kyle R.

    2014-10-01

    Typical synthetic aperture RADAR (SAR) imaging employs a co-located RADAR transmitter and receiver. Bistatic SAR imaging separates the transmitter and receiver locations. A bistatic SAR configuration allows for the transmitter and receiver(s) to be in a variety of geometric alignments. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) / New Mexico proposed the deployment of a ground-based RADAR receiver. This RADAR receiver was coupled with the capability of digitizing and recording the signal collected. SNL proposed the possibility of creating an image of targets the illuminating SAR observes. This document describes the developed hardware, software, bistatic SAR configuration, and its deployment to test the concept of a ground-based bistatic SAR. In the proof-of-concept experiments herein, the RADAR transmitter will be a commercial SAR satellite and the RADAR receiver will be deployed at ground level, observing and capturing RADAR ground/targets illuminated by the satellite system.

  10. Brain-computer interface training combined with transcranial direct current stimulation in patients with chronic severe hemiparesis: Proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasashima-Shindo, Yuko; Fujiwara, Toshiyuki; Ushiba, Junichi; Matsushika, Yayoi; Kamatani, Daiki; Oto, Misa; Ono, Takashi; Nishimoto, Atsuko; Shindo, Keiichiro; Kawakami, Michiyuki; Tsuji, Tetsuya; Liu, Meigen

    2015-04-01

    Brain-computer interface technology has been applied to stroke patients to improve their motor function. Event-related desynchronization during motor imagery, which is used as a brain-computer interface trigger, is sometimes difficult to detect in stroke patients. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is known to increase event-related desynchronization. This study investigated the adjunctive effect of anodal tDCS for brain-computer interface training in patients with severe hemiparesis. Eighteen patients with chronic stroke. A non-randomized controlled study. Subjects were divided between a brain-computer interface group and a tDCS- brain-computer interface group and participated in a 10-day brain-computer interface training. Event-related desynchronization was detected in the affected hemisphere during motor imagery of the affected fingers. The tDCS-brain-computer interface group received anodal tDCS before brain-computer interface training. Event-related desynchronization was evaluated before and after the intervention. The Fugl-Meyer Assessment upper extremity motor score (FM-U) was assessed before, immediately after, and 3 months after, the intervention. Event-related desynchronization was significantly increased in the tDCS- brain-computer interface group. The FM-U was significantly increased in both groups. The FM-U improvement was maintained at 3 months in the tDCS-brain-computer interface group. Anodal tDCS can be a conditioning tool for brain-computer interface training in patients with severe hemiparetic stroke.

  11. ATAC Process Proof of Concept Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bri Rolston; Sarah Freeman

    2014-03-01

    Researchers at INL with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE-OE) evaluated a novel approach for near real-time consumption of threat intelligence. Demonstration testing in an industry environment supported the development of this new process to assist the electric sector in securing their critical networks. This report provides the reader with an understanding of the methods used during this proof of concept project. The processes and templates were further advanced with an industry partner during an onsite assessment. This report concludes with lessons learned and a roadmap for final development of these materials for use by industry.

  12. Direct catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction of spirulina to biofuels with hydrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Qin; Liao, Hansheng; Zhou, Shiqin; Li, Qiuping; Wang, Lu; Yu, Zhihao; Jing, Li

    2018-01-01

    We report herein on acquiring biofuels from direct catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction of spirulina. The component of bio-oil from direct catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction was similar to that from two independent processes (including liquefaction and upgrading of biocrude). However, one step process has higher carbon recovery, due to the less loss of carbons. It was demonstrated that the yield and HHV of bio-oil from direct catalytic algae with hydrothermal condition is higher than that from two independent processes.

  13. Natural tuning: towards a proof of concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubovsky, Sergei; Gorbenko, Victor; Mirbabayi, Mehrdad

    2013-09-01

    The cosmological constant problem and the absence of new natural physics at the electroweak scale, if confirmed by the LHC, may either indicate that the nature is fine-tuned or that a refined notion of naturalness is required. We construct a family of toy UV complete quantum theories providing a proof of concept for the second possibility. Low energy physics is described by a tuned effective field theory, which exhibits relevant interactions not protected by any symmetries and separated by an arbitrary large mass gap from the new "gravitational" physics, represented by a set of irrelevant operators. Nevertheless, the only available language to describe dynamics at all energy scales does not require any fine-tuning. The interesting novel feature of this construction is that UV physics is not described by a fixed point, but rather exhibits asymptotic fragility. Observation of additional unprotected scalars at the LHC would be a smoking gun for this scenario. Natural tuning also favors TeV scale unification.

  14. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Targeting Primary Motor Versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortices: Proof-of-Concept Study Investigating Functional Connectivity of Thalamocortical Networks Specific to Sensory-Affective Information Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankarasubramanian, Vishwanath; Cunningham, David A; Potter-Baker, Kelsey A; Beall, Erik B; Roelle, Sarah M; Varnerin, Nicole M; Machado, Andre G; Jones, Stephen E; Lowe, Mark J; Plow, Ela B

    2017-04-01

    The pain matrix is comprised of an extensive network of brain structures involved in sensory and/or affective information processing. The thalamus is a key structure constituting the pain matrix. The thalamus serves as a relay center receiving information from multiple ascending pathways and relating information to and from multiple cortical areas. However, it is unknown how thalamocortical networks specific to sensory-affective information processing are functionally integrated. Here, in a proof-of-concept study in healthy humans, we aimed to understand this connectivity using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) targeting primary motor (M1) or dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFC). We compared changes in functional connectivity (FC) with DLPFC tDCS to changes in FC with M1 tDCS. FC changes were also compared to further investigate its relation with individual's baseline experience of pain. We hypothesized that resting-state FC would change based on tDCS location and would represent known thalamocortical networks. Ten right-handed individuals received a single application of anodal tDCS (1 mA, 20 min) to right M1 and DLPFC in a single-blind, sham-controlled crossover study. FC changes were studied between ventroposterolateral (VPL), the sensory nucleus of thalamus, and cortical areas involved in sensory information processing and between medial dorsal (MD), the affective nucleus, and cortical areas involved in affective information processing. Individual's perception of pain at baseline was assessed using cutaneous heat pain stimuli. We found that anodal M1 tDCS and anodal DLPFC tDCS both increased FC between VPL and sensorimotor cortices, although FC effects were greater with M1 tDCS. Similarly, anodal M1 tDCS and anodal DLPFC tDCS both increased FC between MD and motor cortices, but only DLPFC tDCS modulated FC between MD and affective cortices, like DLPFC. Our findings suggest that M1 stimulation primarily modulates FC of sensory networks

  15. Magnetic Gimbal Proof-of-Concept Hardware performance results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Keith O.

    1993-01-01

    The Magnetic Gimbal Proof-of-Concept Hardware activities, accomplishments, and test results are discussed. The Magnetic Gimbal Fabrication and Test (MGFT) program addressed the feasibility of using a magnetic gimbal to isolate an Electro-Optical (EO) sensor from the severe angular vibrations induced during the firing of divert and attitude control system (ACS) thrusters during space flight. The MGFT effort was performed in parallel with the fabrication and testing of a mechanically gimballed, flex pivot based isolation system by the Hughes Aircraft Missile Systems Group. Both servo systems supported identical EO sensor assembly mockups to facilitate direct comparison of performance. The results obtained from the MGFT effort indicate that the magnetic gimbal exhibits the ability to provide significant performance advantages over alternative mechanically gimballed techniques.

  16. CIRCULATING MOVING BED COMBUSTION PROOF OF CONCEPT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jukkola, Glen

    2010-06-30

    Circulating Moving Bed (CMB) combustion technology has its roots in traditional circulating fluidized bed technology and involves a novel method of solid fuel combustion and heat transfer. CMB technology represents a step change in improved performance and cost relative to conventional PC and FBC boilers. The CMB heat exchanger preheats the energy cycle working fluid, steam or air, to the high temperature levels required in systems for advanced power generation. Unique features of the CMB are the reduction of the heat transfer surfaces by about 60% as a result of the enhanced heat transfer rates, flexibility of operation, and about 30% lower cost over existing technology. The CMB Phase I project ran from July 2001 through March 2003. Its objective was to continue development of the CMB technology with a series of proof of concept tests. The tests were conducted at a scale that provided design data for scale up to a demonstration plant. These objectives were met by conducting a series of experiments in ALSTOM Power’s Multi-use Test Facility (MTF). The MTF was modified to operate under CMB conditions of commercial interest. The objective of the tests were to evaluate gas-to-solids heat transfer in the upper furnace, assess agglomeration in the high temperature CMB bubbling bed, and evaluate solids-to-tube heat transfer in the moving bed heat exchanger. The Phase I program results showed that there are still some significant technical uncertainties that needed to be resolved before the technology can be confidently scaled up for a successful demonstration plant design. Work remained in three primary areas: • scale up of gas to solid heat transfer • high temperature finned surface design • the overall requirements of mechanical and process design. The CMB Phase II workscope built upon the results of Phase I and specifically addressed the remaining technical uncertainties. It included a scaled MTF heat transfer test to provide the necessary data to scale up gas

  17. US NDC Modernization: Service Oriented Architecture Proof of Concept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamlet, Benjamin R. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Encarnacao, Andre Villanova [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Jackson, Keilan R. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Hays, Ian A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Barron, Nathan E. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Simon, Luke B. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Harris, James M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Young, Christopher J. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2014-12-01

    This report is a progress update on the US NDC Modernization Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) study describing results from a proof of concept project completed from May through September 2013. Goals for this proof of concept are 1) gain experience configuring, using, and running an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), 2) understand the implications of wrapping existing software in standardized interfaces for use as web services, and 3) gather performance metrics for a notional seismic event monitoring pipeline implemented using services with various data access and communication patterns. The proof of concept is a follow on to a previous SOA performance study. Work was performed by four undergraduate summer student interns under the guidance of Sandia staff.

  18. Case studies on direct liquefaction of low rank Wyoming coal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adler, P.; Kramer, S.J.; Poddar, S.K. [Bechtel Corp., San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Previous Studies have developed process designs, costs, and economics for the direct liquefaction of Illinois No. 6 and Wyoming Black Thunder coals at mine-mouth plants. This investigation concerns two case studies related to the liquefaction of Wyoming Black Thunder coal. The first study showed that reducing the coal liquefaction reactor design pressure from 3300 to 1000 psig could reduce the crude oil equivalent price by 2.1 $/bbl provided equivalent performing catalysts can be developed. The second one showed that incentives may exist for locating a facility that liquifies Wyoming coal on the Gulf Coast because of lower construction costs and higher labor productivity. These incentives are dependent upon the relative values of the cost of shipping the coal to the Gulf Coast and the increased product revenues that may be obtained by distributing the liquid products among several nearby refineries.

  19. Direct liquefaction of plastics and coprocessing of coal with plastics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huffman, G.P.; Feng, Z.; Mahajan, V. [Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (United States)

    1995-12-31

    The objectives of this work were to optimize reaction conditions for the direct liquefaction of waste plastics and the coprocessing of coal with waste plastics. In previous work, the direct liquefaction of medium and high density polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PPE), poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), and a mixed plastic waste, and the coliquefaction of these plastics with coals of three different ranks was studied. The results established that a solid acid catalyst (HZSM-5 zeolite) was highly active for the liquefaction of the plastics alone, typically giving oil yields of 80-95% and total conversions of 90-100% at temperatures of 430-450 {degrees}C. In the coliquefaction experiments, 50:50 mixtures of plastic and coal were used with a tetralin solvent (tetralin:solid = 3:2). Using approximately 1% of the HZSM-5 catalyst and a nanoscale iron catalyst, oil yields of 50-70% and total conversion of 80-90% were typical. In the current year, further investigations were conducted of the liquefaction of PE, PPE, and a commingled waste plastic obtained from the American Plastics Council (APC), and the coprocessing of PE, PPE and the APC plastic with Black Thunder subbituminous coal. Several different catalysts were used in these studies.

  20. Electronic Vehicle Identification Architecture and Proof of Concept

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Passchier, I.; Chevrollier, N.G.; Mulder,A.; Vliet,A.O.T.van

    2009-01-01

    An architecture and a proof of concept for Electronic Vehicle Identification have beendeveloped. The system has been successfully tested in a pilot with 23 participants over a period of three months and a total distance of 75.000 km travelled. The architecture consists of a functional definition, a

  1. Solvent recyclability in a multistep direct liquefaction process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hetland, M.D.; Rindt, J.R. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Direct liquefaction research at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has, for a number of years, concentrated on developing a direct liquefaction process specifically for low-rank coals (LRCs) through the use of hydrogen-donating solvents and solvents similar to coal-derived liquids, the water/gas shift reaction, and lower-severity reaction conditions. The underlying assumption of all of the research was that advantage could be taken of the reactivity and specific qualities of LRCs to produce a tetrahydrofuran (THF)-soluble material that might be easier to upgrade than the soluble residuum produced during direct liquefaction of high-rank coals. A multistep approach was taken to produce the THF-soluble material, consisting of (1) preconversion treatment to prepare the coal for solubilization, (2) solubilization of the coal in the solvent, and (3) polishing to complete solubilization of the remaining material. The product of these three steps can then be upgraded during a traditional hydrotreatment step. The results of the EERC`s research indicated that additional studies to develop this process more fully were justified. Two areas were targeted for further research: (1) determination of the recyclability of the solvent used during solubilization and (2) determination of the minimum severity required for hydrotreatment of the liquid product. The current project was funded to investigate these two areas.

  2. Direct liquefaction of low-rank coals under mild conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Braun, N.; Rinaldi, R. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kohlenforschung, Muelheim an der Ruhr (Germany)

    2013-11-01

    Due to decreasing of petroleum reserves, direct coal liquefaction is attracting renewed interest as an alternative process to produce liquid fuels. The combination of hydrogen peroxide and coal is not a new one. In the early 1980, Vasilakos and Clinton described a procedure for desulfurization by leaching coal with solutions of sulphuric acid/H{sub 2}O{sub 2}. But so far, H{sub 2}O{sub 2} has never been ascribed a major role in coal liquefaction. Herein, we describe a novel approach for liquefying low-rank coals using a solution of H{sub 2}O{sub 2} in presence of a soluble non-transition metal catalyst. (orig.)

  3. Development of an extruder-feeder biomass direct liquefaction process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, D.H.; Wolf, D. (Arizona Univ., Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering)

    1991-10-01

    As an abundant, renewable, domestic energy resource, biomass could help the United States reduce its dependence on imported oil. Biomass is the only renewable energy technology capable of addressing the national need for liquid transportation fuels. Thus, there is an incentive to develop economic conversion processes for converting biomass, including wood, into liquid fuels. Through research sponsored by the US DOE's Biomass Thermochemical Conversion Program, the University of Arizona has developed a unique biomass direct liquefaction system. The system features a modified single-screw extruder capable of pumping solid slurries containing as high as 60 wt% wood flour in wood oil derived vacuum bottoms at pressures up to 3000 psi. The extruder-feeder has been integrated with a unique reactor by the University to form a system which offers potential for improving high pressure biomass direct liquefaction technology. The extruder-feeder acts simultaneously as both a feed preheater and a pumping device for injecting wood slurries into a high pressure reactor in the biomass liquefaction process. An experimental facility was constructed and following shakedown operations, wood crude oil was produced by mid-1985. By July 1988, a total of 57 experimental continuous biomass liquefaction runs were made using White Birch wood feedstock. Good operability was achieved at slurry feed rates up to 30 lb/hr, reactor pressures from 800 to 3000 psi and temperatures from 350{degree}C to 430{degree}C under conditions covering a range of carbon monoxide feed rates and sodium carbonate catalyst addition. Crude wood oils containing as little as 6--10 wt% residual oxygen were produced. 38 refs., 82 figs., 26 tabs.

  4. ReACT Methodology Proof of Concept Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bri Rolston; Sarah Freeman

    2014-03-01

    The Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE-OE) funded INL Researchers to evaluate a novel process for assessing and mitigating cyber security risks. The proof of concept level of the method was tested in an industry environment. This case study, plus additional case studies will support the further development of the method into a tool to assist industry in securing their critical networks. This report provides an understanding of the process developed in the Response Analysis and Characterization Tool (ReACT) project. This report concludes with lessons learned and a roadmap for final development of these tools for use by industry.

  5. Development of continuous bench scale unit for direct liquefaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Wang Lai [Korea Inst. of Energy and Resources, Daeduk (Korea, Republic of)

    1996-12-31

    Batch coal liquefaction experiments using tubing bombs and continuous experiments by cell liquefaction test facility were carried out. The main purpose was to maximize the coal liquefaction yields by improving the activity of coal dissolution catalysts which are oil soluble transition metal naphthenate and to supplement the incomplete research results. In the meantime, the study on the reaction characteristics of coal liquefaction and coal liquid upgrading catalyst upon sulfiding conditions and phosphorous addition have been conducted (author). 102 refs., 35 figs.

  6. Development of continuous bench scale unit for direct liquefaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Wang Lai [Korea Inst. of Energy and Resources, Daeduk (Korea, Republic of)

    1995-12-31

    Batch coal liquefaction experiments using tubing bombs and continuous experiments by cell liquefaction test facility were carried out. The main purpose was to maximize the coal liquefaction yields by improving the activity of coal dissolution catalysts which are oil soluble transition metal naphthenate and to supplement the incomplete research results. In the meantime, the study on the reaction characteristics of coal liquefaction and coal liquid upgrading catalyst upon sulfiding conditions and phosphorous addition have been conducted (author). 102 refs., 35 figs.

  7. Subtask 3.9 - Direct Coal Liquefaction Process Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aulich, Ted; Sharma, Ramesh

    2012-07-01

    The Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Accelergy Corporation, an advanced fuels developer with technologies exclusively licensed from ExxonMobil, undertook Subtask 3.9 to design, build, and preliminarily operate a bench-scale direct coal liquefaction (DCL) system capable of converting 45 pounds/hour of pulverized, dried coal to a liquid suitable for upgrading to fuels and/or chemicals. Fabrication and installation of the DCL system and an accompanying distillation system for off-line fractionation of raw coal liquids into 1) a naphtha middle distillate stream for upgrading and 2) a recycle stream was completed in May 2012. Shakedown of the system was initiated in July 2012. In addition to completing fabrication of the DCL system, the project also produced a 500-milliliter sample of jet fuel derived in part from direct liquefaction of Illinois No. 6 coal, and submitted the sample to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, for evaluation. The sample was confirmed by AFRL to be in compliance with all U.S. Air Force-prescribed alternative aviation fuel initial screening criteria.

  8. Novel use of residue from direct coal liquefaction process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jianli Yang; Zhaixia Wang; Zhenyu Liu; Yuzhen Zhang [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Taiyuan (China). State Key Laboratory of Coal Conversion

    2009-09-15

    Direct coal liquefaction residue (DCLR) is, commonly, designed to be used as a feed stock for gasification or combustion. Use of DCLR as a value added product is very important for improving overall economy of direct coal liquefaction processes. This study shows that the DCLR may be used as a pavement asphalt modifier. The modification ability is similar to that of Trinidad Lake Asphalt (TLA), a superior commercial modifier. Asphalts modified by two DCLRs meet the specifications of ASTM D5710 and BSI BS-3690 designated for the TLA-modified asphalts. The required addition amount for the DCLRs tested is less than that for TLA due possibly to the high content of asphaltene in DCLRs. Different compatibility was observed for the asphalts with the same penetration grade but from the different origin. Different components in the DCLR play different roles in the modification. Positive synergetic effects among the fractions were observed, which may due to the formation of the stable colloid structure. Unlike polymer-type modifier, the structure of asphalt-type modifier has a similarity with petroleum asphalts which favors the formation of a stable dispersed polar fluid (DPF) colloid structure and improves the performance of pavement asphalt. 12 refs., 1 fig., 6 tabs.

  9. Design of generic coal conversion facilities: Process release---Direct coal liquefaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1991-09-01

    The direct liquefaction portion of the PETC generic direct coal liquefaction process development unit (PDU) is being designed to provide maximum operating flexibility. The PDU design will permit catalytic and non-catalytic liquefaction concepts to be investigated at their proof-of-the-concept stages before any larger scale operations are attempted. The principal variations from concept to concept are reactor configurations and types. These include thermal reactor, ebullating bed reactor, slurry phase reactor and fixed bed reactor, as well as different types of catalyst. All of these operating modes are necessary to define and identify the optimum process conditions and configurations for determining improved economical liquefaction technology.

  10. Transcranial direct current stimulation on primary sensorimotor area has no effect in patients with drug-naïve restless legs syndrome: a proof-of-concept clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, Yong Seo; Kim, Sung Min; Lee, Chany; Lee, Byeong Uk; Moon, Ye Ji; Cho, Yong Won; Im, Chang-Hwan; Choi, Jeong Woo; Kim, Kyung Hwan; Jung, Ki-Young

    2015-02-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in people with drug-naïve restless legs syndrome (RLS). A two-week, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled trial was performed. Thirty-three females with RLS were recruited. Participants received five sessions of tDCS using cathodal, anodal or sham stimulation. They were assessed at baseline (T0), three days (T1) and 13 days (T2) after the end of tDCS. Primary outcomes included the International RLS Group Rating Scale (IRLS) and the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement (CGI-I). Secondary outcomes included the Patient Global Impression scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Medical Outcome Study sleep subscales, and the Beck Depression Inventory. Objective neurophysiological changes were assessed using event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) of electroencephalography. The changes in the IRLS scores, as well as the responder rate in the CGI-I scale, did not differ significantly among the groups. There was also no significant difference in any of the secondary outcome measures and ERD/ERS among the groups. Transcranial direct current stimulation with electrodes on the sensorimotor areas showed no significant effect in people with drug-naïve RLS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. A Numerical Proof of Concept for Thermal Flow Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Dragan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper computational fluid dynamics is used to provide a proof of concept for controlled flow separation using thermal wall interactions with the velocity boundary layer. A 3D case study is presented, using a transition modeling Shear Stress Transport turbulence model. The highly loaded single slot flap airfoil was chosen to be representative for a light aircraft and the flow conditions were modeled after a typical landing speed. In the baseline case, adiabatic walls were considered while in the separation control case, the top surface of the flaps was heated to 500 K. This heating lead to flow separation on the flaps and a significant alteration of the flow pattern across all the elements of the wing. The findings indicate that this control method has potential, with implications in both aeronautical as well as sports and civil engineering applications.

  12. Guiding periodontal pocket recolonization: a proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teughels, W; Newman, M G; Coucke, W; Haffajee, A D; Van Der Mei, H C; Haake, S Kinder; Schepers, E; Cassiman, J-J; Van Eldere, J; van Steenberghe, D; Quirynen, M

    2007-11-01

    The complexity of the periodontal microbiota resembles that of the gastro-intestinal tract, where infectious diseases are treatable via probiotics. In the oropharyngeal region, probiotic or replacement therapies have shown some benefit in the prevention of dental caries, otitis media, and pharyngitis, but their effectiveness in the treatment of periodontitis is unknown. Therefore, this study addressed the hypothesis that the application of selected beneficial bacteria, as an adjunct to scaling and root planing, would inhibit the periodontopathogen recolonization of periodontal pockets. Analysis of the data showed, in a beagle dog model, that when beneficial bacteria were applied in periodontal pockets adjunctively after root planing, subgingival recolonization of periodontopathogens was delayed and reduced, as was the degree of inflammation, at a clinically significant level. The study confirmed the hypothesis and provides a proof of concept for a guided pocket recolonization (GPR) approach in the treatment of periodontitis.

  13. Mobile Data Collection Applications: A Proof of Concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, J

    2006-01-01

    This project's goal is to provide a proof of concept for mobile data collection applications, and identify the best ways such applications could be implemented and used. Such an application should decrease the time and resources users now need to devote to redundant data processes, and provide an easy of locating and retrieving data at a later time. The two types of available mobile devices, Personal Digital Assistants and Tablet Personal Computers, each have their particular strengths that suggest themselves for certain types of applications. As such, parallel data collection applications have been developed, with a common web application for uploading information to the database. While these aspects have been developed and proven, it still remains to refine these applications, develop the tables to hold their data, and field-test with users for their feedback

  14. SPARCLE: Electrostatic Dust Control Tool Proof of Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Minetto, F.; Marshall, J.; Nuth, J.; Calle, C.

    2010-01-01

    Successful exploration of most planetary surfaces, with their impact-generated dusty regoliths, will depend on the capabilities to keep surfaces free of the performance-compromising dust. Once in contact with surfaces, whether set in motion by natural or mechanical means, regolith fines, or dust, behave like abrasive Velcro, coating surfaces, clogging mechanisms, making movement progressively more difticult, and being almost impossible to remove by mechanical mcans (brushing). The successful dust removal strategy will deal with dust dynamics resulting from interaction between Van der Waals and Coulombic forces. Here, proof of concept for an electrostatically-based concept for dust control tool is described and demonstrated. A low power focused electron beam is used in the presence of a small electrical field to increase the negative charge to mass ratio of a dusty surface until dust repulsion and attraction to a lower potential surface, acting as a dust collector, occurred. Our goal is a compact device of less than 5 kg mass and using less than 5 watts of power to be operational in less than 5 years with heritage from ionic sweepers for active spacecraft potential control (e.g ., on POLAR). Rovers could be fitted with devices that could hamess the removal of dust for sampling as part of the extended exploration process on Mercury, Mars, asteroids or outer solar system satellites, as well as the Moon.

  15. Proof of Concept for a Simple Smartphone Sky Monitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantamneni, Abhilash; Nemiroff, R. J.; Brisbois, C.

    2013-01-01

    We present a novel approach of obtaining a cloud and bright sky monitor by using a standard smartphone with a downloadable app. The addition of an inexpensive fisheye lens can extend the angular range to the entire sky visible above the device. A preliminary proof of concept image shows an optical limit of about visual magnitude 5 for a 70-second exposure. Support science objectives include cloud monitoring in a manner similar to the more expensive cloud monitors in use at most major astronomical observatories, making expensive observing time at these observatories more efficient. Primary science objectives include bright meteor tracking, bright comet tracking, and monitoring the variability of bright stars. Citizen science objectives include crowd sourcing of many networked sky monitoring smartphones typically in broader support of many of the primary science goals. The deployment of a citizen smartphone array in an active science mode could leverage the sky monitoring data infrastructure to track other non-visual science opportunities, including monitoring the Earth's magnetic field for the effects of solar flares and exhaustive surface coverage for strong seismic events.

  16. Advanced direct liquefaction concepts for PETC generic units

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-04-01

    In the Advance Coal Liquefaction Concept Proposal (ACLCP) carbon monoxide (CO) and water have been proposed as the primary reagents in the pretreatment process. The main objective of this project is to develop a methodology for pretreating coal under mild conditions based on a combination of existing processes which have shown great promise in liquefaction, extraction and pyrolysis studies. The aim of this pretreatment process is to partially depolymerise the coal, eliminate oxygen and diminish the propensity for retograde reactions during subsequent liquefaction. The desirable outcome of the CO pretreatment step should be: (1) enhanced liquefaction activity and/or selectivity toward products of higher quality due to chemical modification of the coal structure; (2) cleaner downstream products; (3) overall improvement in operability and process economics.

  17. Proton-minibeam radiation therapy: A proof of concept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prezado, Y. [IMNC-UMR 8165, CNRS, Paris 7 and Paris 11 Universities, 15 rue Georges Clemenceau, 91406 Orsay Cedex (France); Fois, G. R. [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita degli Studi di Cagliari, Strada provinciale Monserrato Sestu km 0.700, Monserrato, Cagliari 09042 (Italy)

    2013-03-15

    Purpose: This Monte Carlo simulation work aims at studying a new radiotherapy approach called proton-minibeam radiation therapy (pMBRT). The main objective of this proof of concept was the evaluation of the possible gain in tissue sparing, thanks to the spatial fractionation of the dose, which could be used to deposit higher and potentially curative doses in clinical cases where tissue tolerances are a limit for conventional methods. Methods: Monte Carlo simulations (GATE v.6) have been used as a method to calculate the ratio of the peak-to-valley doses (PVDR) for arrays of proton minibeams of 0.7 mm width and several center-to-center distances, at different depths in a water phantom. The beam penumbras were also evaluated as an important parameter for tissue sparing, for example, in the treatment of non-cancer diseases like epilepsy. Two proton energies were considered in this study: a clinically relevant energy (105 MeV) and a very high energy (1 GeV), to benefit from a reduced lateral scattering. For the latter case, an interlaced geometry was also evaluated. Results: Higher or similar PVDR than the ones obtained in x-rays minibeam radiation therapy were achieved in several pMBRT configurations. In addition, for the two energies studied, the beam penumbras are smaller than in the case of Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Conclusions: The high PVDR obtained for some configurations and the small penumbras in comparison with existing radiosurgery techniques, suggest a potential gain in healthy tissue sparing in this new technique. Biological studies are warranted to assess the effects of pMBRT on both normal and tumoral tissues.

  18. Wireless Roadside Inspection Proof of Concept Test Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Capps, Gary J [ORNL; Franzese, Oscar [ORNL; Knee, Helmut E [ORNL; Plate, Randall S [ORNL; Lascurain, Mary Beth [ORNL

    2009-03-01

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) FMCSA commissioned the Wireless Roadside Inspection (WRI) Program to validate technologies and methodologies that can improve safety through inspections using wireless technologies that convey real-time identification of commercial vehicles, drivers, and carriers, as well as information about the condition of the vehicles and their drivers. It is hypothesized that these inspections will: -- Increase safety -- Decrease the number of unsafe commercial vehicles on the road; -- Increase efficiency -- Speed up the inspection process, enabling more inspections to occur, at least on par with the number of weight inspections; -- Improve effectiveness -- Reduce the probability of drivers bypassing CMV inspection stations and increase the likelihood that fleets will attempt to meet the safety regulations; and -- Benefit industry -- Reduce fleet costs, provide good return-on-investment, minimize wait times, and level the playing field. The WRI Program is defined in three phases which are: Phase 1: Proof of Concept Test (POC) Testing of commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) or near-COTS technology to validate the wireless inspection concept. Phase 2: Pilot Test Safety technology maturation and back office system integration Phase 3: Field Operational Test Multi-vehicle testing over a multi-state instrumented corridor This report focuses on Phase 1 efforts that were initiated in March, 2006. Technical efforts dealt with the ability of a Universal Wireless Inspection System (UWIS) to collect driver, vehicle, and carrier information; format a Safety Data Message Set from this information; and wirelessly transmit a Safety Data Message Set to a roadside receiver unit or mobile enforcement vehicle.

  19. Properties of Direct Coal Liquefaction Residue Modified Asphalt Mixture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Ji

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of this paper are to use Direct Coal Liquefaction Residue (DLCR to modify the asphalt binders and mixtures and to evaluate the performance of modified asphalt mixtures. The dynamic modulus and phase angle of DCLR and DCLR-composite modified asphalt mixture were analyzed, and the viscoelastic properties of these modified asphalt mixtures were compared to the base asphalt binder SK-90 and Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS modified asphalt mixtures. The master curves of the asphalt mixtures were shown, and dynamic and viscoelastic behaviors of asphalt mixtures were described using the Christensen-Anderson-Marasteanu (CAM model. The test results show that the dynamic moduli of DCLR and DCLR-composite asphalt mixtures are higher than those of the SK-90 and SBS modified asphalt mixtures. Based on the viscoelastic parameters of CAM models of the asphalt mixtures, the high- and low-temperature performance of DLCR and DCLR-composite modified asphalt mixtures are obviously better than the SK-90 and SBS modified asphalt mixtures. In addition, the DCLR and DCLR-composite modified asphalt mixtures are more insensitive to the frequency compared to SK-90 and SBS modified asphalt mixtures.

  20. Narrative Constructions for the Organization of Self Experience: Proof of Concept via Embodied Robotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Laure Mealier

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that starting from meaning that the child derives directly from shared experience with others, adult narrative enriches this meaning and its structure, providing causal links between unseen intentional states and actions. This would require a means for representing meaning from experience—a situation model—and a mechanism that allows information to be extracted from sentences and mapped onto the situation model that has been derived from experience, thus enriching that representation. We present a hypothesis and theory concerning how the language processing infrastructure for grammatical constructions can naturally be extended to narrative constructions to provide a mechanism for using language to enrich meaning derived from physical experience. Toward this aim, the grammatical construction models are augmented with additional structures for representing relations between events across sentences. Simulation results demonstrate proof of concept for how the narrative construction model supports multiple successive levels of meaning creation which allows the system to learn about the intentionality of mental states, and argument substitution which allows extensions to metaphorical language and analogical problem solving. Cross-linguistic validity of the system is demonstrated in Japanese. The narrative construction model is then integrated into the cognitive system of a humanoid robot that provides the memory systems and world-interaction required for representing meaning in a situation model. In this context proof of concept is demonstrated for how the system enriches meaning in the situation model that has been directly derived from experience. In terms of links to empirical data, the model predicts strong usage based effects: that is, that the narrative constructions used by children will be highly correlated with those that they experience. It also relies on the notion of narrative or discourse function words. Both of

  1. Carbon footprinting of emergency medical services systems: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Ian; Brown, Lawrence H

    2009-01-01

    In this proof-of-concept study, we evaluated the availability of emergency medical services (EMS) system energy consumption data required to calculate a carbon footprint. Two diverse North American EMS systems with more than 125,000 combined annual unit responses agreed to report their energy consumption for the last fiscal or calendar year using a data-collection tool based on Carbon Trust recommendations. They also identified the source of information (e.g., bills, logs, receipts), whether the amounts reported were directly measured or estimated, and whether any of the amounts were prorated from shared facilities (e.g., electricity for a shared office building). For this proof-of-concept study, we report only descriptive data about the availability of data and aggregate carbon emissions. Both systems reported diesel fuel, gasoline, and electricity consumption. One system used natural gas; one system used aviation fuel. Direct measurement of consumption using utility bills and statements was possible for these energy types. One system prorated natural gas and electricity usage; one system was able to estimate commercial air travel. Annual carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions for these two systems totaled 11.1 million pounds of CO(2). The largest source of CO(2) emissions was diesel fuel (39%), followed by electricity (23%). These EMS systems were able to provide the data necessary to determine their carbon footprints. Future research could include broader study to establish EMS-specific norms for carbon emissions, benchmarking of these metrics between different EMS systems, and the assessment of programs designed to reduce EMS carbon emissions.

  2. Narrative Constructions for the Organization of Self Experience: Proof of Concept via Embodied Robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mealier, Anne-Laure; Pointeau, Gregoire; Mirliaz, Solène; Ogawa, Kenji; Finlayson, Mark; Dominey, Peter F.

    2017-01-01

    It has been proposed that starting from meaning that the child derives directly from shared experience with others, adult narrative enriches this meaning and its structure, providing causal links between unseen intentional states and actions. This would require a means for representing meaning from experience—a situation model—and a mechanism that allows information to be extracted from sentences and mapped onto the situation model that has been derived from experience, thus enriching that representation. We present a hypothesis and theory concerning how the language processing infrastructure for grammatical constructions can naturally be extended to narrative constructions to provide a mechanism for using language to enrich meaning derived from physical experience. Toward this aim, the grammatical construction models are augmented with additional structures for representing relations between events across sentences. Simulation results demonstrate proof of concept for how the narrative construction model supports multiple successive levels of meaning creation which allows the system to learn about the intentionality of mental states, and argument substitution which allows extensions to metaphorical language and analogical problem solving. Cross-linguistic validity of the system is demonstrated in Japanese. The narrative construction model is then integrated into the cognitive system of a humanoid robot that provides the memory systems and world-interaction required for representing meaning in a situation model. In this context proof of concept is demonstrated for how the system enriches meaning in the situation model that has been directly derived from experience. In terms of links to empirical data, the model predicts strong usage based effects: that is, that the narrative constructions used by children will be highly correlated with those that they experience. It also relies on the notion of narrative or discourse function words. Both of these are validated

  3. Narrative Constructions for the Organization of Self Experience: Proof of Concept via Embodied Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mealier, Anne-Laure; Pointeau, Gregoire; Mirliaz, Solène; Ogawa, Kenji; Finlayson, Mark; Dominey, Peter F

    2017-01-01

    It has been proposed that starting from meaning that the child derives directly from shared experience with others, adult narrative enriches this meaning and its structure, providing causal links between unseen intentional states and actions. This would require a means for representing meaning from experience-a situation model-and a mechanism that allows information to be extracted from sentences and mapped onto the situation model that has been derived from experience, thus enriching that representation. We present a hypothesis and theory concerning how the language processing infrastructure for grammatical constructions can naturally be extended to narrative constructions to provide a mechanism for using language to enrich meaning derived from physical experience. Toward this aim, the grammatical construction models are augmented with additional structures for representing relations between events across sentences. Simulation results demonstrate proof of concept for how the narrative construction model supports multiple successive levels of meaning creation which allows the system to learn about the intentionality of mental states, and argument substitution which allows extensions to metaphorical language and analogical problem solving. Cross-linguistic validity of the system is demonstrated in Japanese. The narrative construction model is then integrated into the cognitive system of a humanoid robot that provides the memory systems and world-interaction required for representing meaning in a situation model. In this context proof of concept is demonstrated for how the system enriches meaning in the situation model that has been directly derived from experience. In terms of links to empirical data, the model predicts strong usage based effects: that is, that the narrative constructions used by children will be highly correlated with those that they experience. It also relies on the notion of narrative or discourse function words. Both of these are validated in

  4. Cardiac output-based fluid optimization for kidney transplant recipients: a proof-of-concept trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbella, Davide; Toppin, Patrick Jason; Ghanekar, Anand; Ayach, Nour; Schiff, Jeffery; Van Rensburg, Adrian; McCluskey, Stuart A

    2018-04-10

    Intravenous fluid management for deceased donor kidney transplantation is an important, modifiable risk factor for delayed graft function (DGF). The primary objective of this study was to determine if goal-directed fluid therapy using esophageal Doppler monitoring (EDM) to optimize stroke volume (SV) would alter the amount of fluid given. This randomized, proof-of-concept trial enrolled 50 deceased donor renal transplant recipients. Data collected included patient characteristics, fluid administration, hemodynamics, and complications. The EDM was used to optimize SV in the EDM group. In the control group, fluid management followed the current standard of practice. The groups were compared for the primary outcome of total intraoperative fluid administered. There was no difference in the mean (standard deviation) volume of intraoperative fluid administered to the 24 control and 26 EDM patients [2,307 (750) mL vs 2,675 (842) mL, respectively; mean difference, 368 mL; 95% confidence interval (CI), - 87 to + 823; P = 0.11]. The incidence of complications in the control and EDM groups was similar (15/24 vs 17/26, respectively; P = 0.99), as was the incidence of delayed graft failure (8/24 vs 11/26, respectively; P = 0.36). Goal-directed fluid therapy did not alter the volume of fluid administered or the incidence of complications. This proof-of-concept trial provides needed data for conducting a larger trial to determine the influence of fluid therapy on the incidence in DGF in deceased donor kidney transplantation. www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02512731). Registered 31 July 2015.

  5. "Mobile technology to improve heart failure outcomes: A proof of concept paper".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athilingam, Ponrathi; Jenkins, Bradlee A; Zumpano, Heather; Labrador, Miguel A

    2018-02-01

    Heart failure (HF) causes significant symptom burden and human suffering with considerable economic burden due to hospital readmissions. Targeted interventions to encourage and support self-management behavior is warranted. To test the proof of concept of a mobile application (HeartMapp) in improving self-care management of patients with heart failure. An exploratory inquiry used a field study strategy with purposeful sampling and constant comparative analysis to test the proof of concept of HeartMapp using The Business Model Canvas framework. A total of 125 individuals, who were identified as potential candidates to use the HeartMapp completed the interview over a seven-week period in 2016. Constant comparative analysis indicated themes that Skilled Nursing Facilities had increased readmissions. Participants from Skilled Nursing Facilities reported concern on lack of staffing, star rating, and malpractice claims. Two types of patients were identified as early adapters of technology and those in denial. Health care facilities reported challenges on transitional care, nurses struggle with engagement of patients on self-care management. To avoid readmission penalty, hospitals task home care agencies to keep the patients home for 30-days. While home care agencies rely on remote telemonitoring reported that current telemonitoring devices are costly to maintain, thus exploring novel technology. The Business Model Canvas provided directions for future testing of HeartMapp for its usability as an adjunct device in home health setting to improve self-management and enhance communication with providers, and ultimately reduce readmissions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Effect of Recycle Solvent Hydrotreatment on Oil Yield of Direct Coal Liquefaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shansong Gao

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Effects of the recycle solvent hydrotreatment on oil yield of direct coal liquefaction were carried out in the 0.18 t/day direct coal liquefaction bench support unit of National Engineering Laboratory for Direct Coal Liquefaction (China. Results showed that the hydrogen-donating ability of the hydrogenated recycle solvent improved and the hydrogen consumption of solvent hydrotreatment was increased by decreasing liquid hourly space velocity (LHSV from 1.5 to 1.0 h−1 and increasing reaction pressure from 13.7 to 19.0 MPa. The hydrogen-donating ability of the hydrogenated recycle solvent was enhanced, thus promoting the oil yield and coal conversion of the liquefaction reaction. The coal conversion and distillates yield of coal liquefaction were increased from 88.74% to 88.82% and from 47.41% to 49.10%, respectively, with the increase in the solvent hydrotreatment pressure from 13.7 to 19.0 MPa. The coal conversion and distillates of coal liquefaction were increased from 88.82% to 89.27% and from 49.10% to 54.49%, respectively, when the LHSV decreased from 1.5 to 1.0 h−1 under the solvent hydrotreatment pressure of 19.0 MPa.

  7. Subtask 3.3 - Feasibility of Direct Coal Liquefaction in the Modern Economic Climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benjamin Oster; Joshua Strege; Marc Kurz; Anthony Snyder; Melanie Jensen

    2009-06-15

    Coal liquefaction provides an alternative to petroleum for the production of liquid hydrocarbon-based fuels. There are two main processes to liquefy coal: direct coal liquefaction (DCL) and indirect coal liquefaction (ICL). Because ICL has been demonstrated to a greater extent than DCL, ICL may be viewed as the lower-risk option when it comes to building a coal liquefaction facility. However, a closer look, based on conversion efficiencies and economics, is necessary to determine the optimal technology. This report summarizes historical DCL efforts in the United States, describes the technical challenges facing DCL, overviews Shenhua's current DCL project in China, provides a DCL conceptual cost estimate based on a literature review, and compares the carbon dioxide emissions from a DCL facility to those from an ICL facility.

  8. Development of e-Juba, a preliminary proof of concept unmanned ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Development of e-Juba, a preliminary proof of concept unmanned aerial vehicle designed to facilitate the transportation of microbiological test samples from remote rural clinics to National Health Laboratory Service laboratories.

  9. Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Proof of Concept Executive Summary – Vehicle Submitted

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-05-19

    This report summarizes a program of work resulting from a Cooperative Agreement between USDOT and the VII Consortium to develop and test a Proof of Concept VII system based on DSRC wireless communication between an infrastructure and mobile terminals...

  10. Flow-Control Systems Proof of Concept for Snowmelt Runoff at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    ER D C/ CR RE L TR -1 7- 1 Engineering for Polar Operations , Logistics, and Research (EPOLAR) Flow-Control Systems Proof of Concept for...January 2017 Flow-Control Systems Proof of Concept for Snowmelt Runoff at McMurdo Station, Antarctica Rosa Affleck U.S. Army Engineer Research and...runoff can be extreme where the flow can overwhelm both the drainage system and the operations and maintenance (O&M) crew. CRREL has been involved

  11. Motor fuels made by direct liquefaction of coal, peat and biomass. Drivmedel genom direktfoervaetskning av kol, torv och biomassa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Granath, L; Karlsson, G; Karlsson, G; Nilsson, T

    1981-01-01

    The Department of Chemical Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology has completed a system study concerning direct liquefaction of peat and biomass to produce transportation fuel. A comprehensive survey of coal liquefaction is included. Gasoline produced in Sweden from direct liquefaction of imported coal may compete with regular gasoline at the earliest around 1985. Biomass can become a competitive alternative to black coal at the beginning of the 21st century. Methanol can be produced from wood with a higher efficiency than the transportation fuels which are produced by direct liquefaction. The peat is not good source for liquefaction as wood chips. A continuously working liquefaction plant designed also for peat among other substances is under construction at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

  12. SUMMARY REPORT OF THE DOE DIRECT LIQUEFACTION PROCESS DEVELOPMENT CAMPAIGN OF THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY; FINAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    F.P. Burke; S.D. Brandes; D.C. McCoy; R.A. Winschel; D. Gray; G. Tomlinson

    2001-01-01

    Following the petroleum price and supply disruptions of 1973, the U.S. government began a substantial program to fund the development of alternative fuels. Direct coal liquefaction was one of the potential routes to alternative fuels. The direct coal liquefaction program was funded at substantial levels through 1982, and at much lower levels thereafter. Those processes that were of most interest during this period were designed to produce primarily distillate fuels. By 1999, U.S. government funding for the development of direct coal liquefaction ended. Now that the end of this campaign has arrived, it is appropriate to summarize the process learnings derived from it. This report is a summary of the process learnings derived from the DOE direct coal liquefaction process development campaign of the late twentieth century. The report concentrates on those process development programs that were designed to produce primarily distillate fuels and were largely funded by DOE and its predecessors in response to the petroleum supply and price disruptions of the 1970s. The report is structured as chapters written by different authors on most of the major individual DOE-funded process development programs. The focus of the report is process learnings, as opposed to, say, fundamental coal liquefaction science or equipment design. As detailed in the overview (Chapter 2), DOE's direct coal liquefaction campaign made substantial progress in improving the process yields and the quality of the distillate product. Much of the progress was made after termination by 1983 of the major demonstration programs of the ''first generation'' (SRC-II, H-Coal, EDS) processes

  13. Efficient direct coal liquefaction of a premium brown coal catalyzed by cobalt-promoted fumed oxides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trautmann, M.; Loewe, A.; Traa, Y. [Stuttgart Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Chemical Technology

    2013-11-01

    The search for alternatives in the fuel sector is an important technological challenge. An interim solution could be provided by direct coal liquefaction. Hydrogen economy and the lack of an efficient catalyst are the main obstacles for this process. We used a premium German brown coal with a high H/C molar ratio of 1.25 and nanostructured cobalt catalysts to improve the efficiency of direct coal liquefaction. We were able to recover and recycle the catalyst efficiently and reached good brown coal conversions and oil yields with single-stage coal liquefaction. The oil quality observed almost reached that of a conventional crude oil considering higher heating value (HHV), H/C molar ratio and aliphatic content. (orig.)

  14. Assessment of materials selection and performance for direct-coal- liquefaction plants in the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsen, A.R.; Judkins, R.R.; Keiser, J.R.

    1996-09-01

    Several direct coal liquefaction processes have been demonstrated at the pilot plant level in the United States. Presently only one plant remains operational, namely, the Hydrocarbon Technologies, Inc., 4.0- ton-per-day process development unit in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The period from 1974 to 1982 saw the greatest amount of development of direct coal liquefaction in the United States with four major pilot plants being devoted to variants of this technology. The plants included the SRC-I plant at Wilsonville, Alabama, which operated from 1974 to 1992; the SRC-I/II plant at Fort Lewis, Washington, which operated from 1974 to 1981; the H-Coal plant at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, which operated from 1980 to 1982; and the Exxon Coal Liquefaction Pilot Plant at Baytown, Texas, which operated from 1980 to 1982. Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists and engineers were actively involved in many phases and technical disciplines at all four of these plants, especially in materials testing, evaluation, and failure analyses. In addition, ORNL materials scientists and engineers conducted reviews of the demonstration and commercial plant designs for materials selections. The ORNL staff members worked closely with materials engineers at the pilot plants in identifying causes of materials degradation and failures, and in identifying solutions to these problems. This report provides a comprehensive summary of those materials activities. Materials performance data from laboratory and coal liquefaction pilot plant tests, failure analyses, and analyses of components after use in pilot plants were reviewed and assessed to determine the extent and causes of materials degradation in direct coal liquefaction process environments. Reviews of demonstration and commercial plant design documents for materials selections were conducted. These reviews and assessments are presented to capture the knowledge base on the most likely materials of construction for direct coal liquefaction plants.

  15. Biomass Direct Liquefaction Options. TechnoEconomic and Life Cycle Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tews, Iva J.; Zhu, Yunhua; Drennan, Corinne; Elliott, Douglas C.; Snowden-Swan, Lesley J.; Onarheim, Kristin; Solantausta, Yrjo; Beckman, David

    2014-07-31

    The purpose of this work was to assess the competitiveness of two biomass to transportation fuel processing routes, which were under development in Finland, the U.S. and elsewhere. Concepts included fast pyrolysis (FP), and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), both followed by hydrodeoxygenation, and final product refining. This work was carried out as a collaboration between VTT (Finland), and PNNL (USA). The public funding agents for the work were Tekes in Finland and the Bioenergy Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. The effort was proposed as an update of the earlier comparative technoeconomic assessment performed by the IEA Bioenergy Direct Biomass Liquefaction Task in the 1980s. New developments in HTL and the upgrading of the HTL biocrude product triggered the interest in reinvestigating this comparison of these biomass liquefaction processes. In addition, developments in FP bio-oil upgrading had provided additional definition of this process option, which could provide an interesting comparison.

  16. Loving-Kindness Meditation to Target Affect in Mood Disorders: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan G. Hofmann

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Conventional treatments for mood disorders primarily focus on reducing negative affect, but little on enhancing positive affect. Loving-kindness meditation (LKM is a traditional meditation practice directly oriented toward enhancing unconditional and positive emotional states of kindness towards oneself and others. We report here two independent and uncontrolled studies carried out at different centers, one in Boston, USA (n = 10, and one in Frankfurt, Germany (n = 8, to examine the potential therapeutic utility of a brief LKM group intervention for symptoms of dysthymia and depression. Results at both centers suggest that LKM was associated with large-sized effects on self-reported symptoms of depression (d = 3.33 and 1.90, negative affect (d = 1.98 and 0.92, and positive affect (d = 1.63 and 0.94. Large effects were also found for clinician-reported changes in depression, rumination and specific positive emotions, and moderate effects for changes in adaptive emotion regulation strategies. The qualitative data analyses provide additional support for the potential clinical utility of the intervention. This proof-of-concept evaluation of LKM as a clinical strategy warrants further investigation.

  17. Autologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cell Therapy for Autism: An Open Label Proof of Concept Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alok Sharma

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cellular therapy is an emerging therapeutic modality with a great potential for the treatment of autism. Recent findings show that the major underlying pathogenetic mechanisms of autism are hypoperfusion and immune alterations in the brain. So conceptually, cellular therapy which facilitates counteractive processes of improving perfusion by angiogenesis and balancing inflammation by immune regulation would exhibit beneficial clinical effects in patients with autism. This is an open label proof of concept study of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs intrathecal transplantation in 32 patients with autism followed by multidisciplinary therapies. All patients were followed up for 26 months (mean 12.7. Outcome measures used were ISAA, CGI, and FIM/Wee-FIM scales. Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET-CT scan recorded objective changes. Out of 32 patients, a total of 29 (91% patients improved on total ISAA scores and 20 patients (62% showed decreased severity on CGI-I. The difference between pre- and postscores was statistically significant (P<0.001 on Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test. On CGI-II 96% of patients showed global improvement. The efficacy was measured on CGI-III efficacy index. Few adverse events including seizures in three patients were controlled with medications. The encouraging results of this leading clinical study provide future directions for application of cellular therapy in autism.

  18. Automated joint space width quantification of hand and wrist joints : a proof of concept study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huo, Yinghe; Veldhuizen, Renske D; van der Heijde, Desiree M; Besselink, Nick J; Jacobs, Johannes W G; van Laar, Jacob M; Viergever, Max A; Vincken, Koen L; Lafeber, Floris P; De Hair, Maria JH

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To compare as proof of concept the sensitivity to change of automated quantification of radiographic wrist and hand joint space width (JSW) with scoring JSW according to the Sharp/van der Heijde scoring method (SHS) in two strategy groups of a treat-to-target and tight-control early

  19. Systems for Teaching Complex Texts: A Proof-of-Concept Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy

    2016-01-01

    In this article we investigate the systems that need to be in place for students to learn from increasingly complex texts. Our concept, drawn from past research, includes clear learning targets, teacher modeling, collaborative conversations, close reading, small group reading, and wide reading. Using a "proof of concept" model, we follow…

  20. Vehicle infrastructure integration proof of concept : results and findings summary-vehicle : final report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-05-18

    This document describes the objectives and the approach to the testing of the VII Proof of Concept system. A summary of the test results and findings for both the major system functions and the applications designed for the system, are presented alon...

  1. Proof of Concept for an Approach to a Finer Resolution Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris J. Cieszewski; Kim Iles; Roger C. Lowe; Michal Zasada

    2005-01-01

    This report presents a proof of concept for a statistical framework to develop a timely, accurate, and unbiased fiber supply assessment in the State of Georgia, U.S.A. The proposed approach is based on using various data sources and modeling techniques to calibrate satellite image-based statewide stand lists, which provide initial estimates for a State inventory on a...

  2. Research designs for proof-of-concept chronic pain clinical trials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gewandter, Jennifer S; Dworkin, Robert H; Turk, Dennis C

    2014-01-01

    Proof-of-concept (POC) clinical trials play an important role in developing novel treatments and determining whether existing treatments may be efficacious in broader populations of patients. The goal of most POC trials is to determine whether a treatment is likely to be efficacious for a given i...

  3. Advanced Direct Liquefaction Concepts for PETC Generic Units - Phase II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1997-09-01

    Reported here are the results of Laboratory and Bench- Scale experiments and supporting technical and economic assessments conducted under DOE Contract No. DE- AC22- 91PC91040 during the period April 1, 1997 to June 30, 1997. This contract is with the University of Kentucky Research Foundation which supports work with the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, CONSOL, Inc., LDP Associates, and Hydrocarbon Technologies, Inc. This work involves the introduction into the basic two stage liquefaction process several novel concepts which includes dispersed lower- cost catalysts, coal cleaning by oil agglomeration, and distillate hydrotreating and dewaxing. This report includes a data analysis of the ALC- 2 run which was the second continuous run in which Wyodak Black Thunder coal was fed to a two kg/ h bench- scale unit. One of the objectives of that run was to determine the relative activity of several Mo- based coal impregnated catalyst precursors. The precursors included ammonium heptamolybdate (100 mg Mo/ kg dry coal), which was used alone as well as in combination with ferrous sulfate (1% Fe/ dry coal) and nickel sulfate (50 mg Ni/ kg dry coal). The fourth precursor that was tested was phosphomolybdic acid which was used at a level of 100 mg Mo/ kg dry coal. Because of difficulties in effectively separating solids from the product stream, considerable variation in the feed stream occurred. Although the coal feed rate was nearly constant, the amount of recycle solvent varied which resulted in wide variations of resid, unconverted coal and mineral matter in the feed stream. Unfortunately, steady state was not achieved in any of the four conditions that were run. Earlier it was reported that Ni- Mo catalyst appeared to give the best results based upon speculative steady- state yields that were developed.

  4. Feasibility of Telementoring for Microneurosurgical Procedures Using a Microscope: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladd, Bryan M; Tackla, Ryan D; Gupte, Akshay; Darrow, David; Sorenson, Jeffery; Zuccarello, Mario; Grande, Andrew W

    2017-03-01

    Our pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of our telementoring-telescripting model to facilitate seamless communication between surgeons while the operating surgeon is using a microscope. As a first proof of concept, 4 students identified 20 anatomic landmarks on a dry human skull with or without telementoring guidance. To assess the ability to communicate operative information, a senior neurosurgery resident evaluated the student's ability and timing to complete a stepwise craniotomy on a cadaveric head, with and without telementoring guidance; a second portion included exposure of the anterior circulation. The mentor was able to annotate directly onto the operator's visual field, which was visible to the operator without looking away from the binocular view. The students showed that they were familiar with half (50% ± 10%) of the structures for identification and none was familiar with the steps to complete a craniotomy before using our system. With the guidance of a remote surgeon projected into the visual field of the microscope, the students were able to correctly identify 100% of the structures and complete a craniotomy. Our system also proved effective in guiding a more experienced neurosurgery resident through complex operative steps associated with exposure of the anterior circulation. Our pilot study showed a platform feasible in providing effective operative direction to inexperienced operators while operating using a microscope. A remote mentor was able to view the visual field of the microscope, annotate on the visual stream, and have the annotated stream appear in the binocular view for the operating mentee. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Direct hydrothermal liquefaction of undried macroalgae Enteromorpha prolifera using acid catalysts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Wenchao; Li, Xianguo; Liu, Shishi; Feng, Lijuan

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Bio-oil from liquefaction of wet E. prolifera was as feasible as dry powder. • Adding acid catalysts could improve the flow property of bio-oil. • Alkenes in the bio-oil converted to ketones in the presence of acid catalysts. • Content of 5-methyl furfural increased in the bio-oil obtained with acid catalysts. • Esters were formed in the bio-oil when adding sulfuric acid as a catalyst. - Abstract: Direct liquefaction of macroalgae Enteromorpha prolifera without predrying treatment was performed in a batch reactor. Effects of temperature, reaction time, biomass-to-water ratio and acid catalysts (sulfuric acid and acetic acid) on liquefaction products were investigated. Raw material and liquefaction products were analyzed by elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Results showed that liquefaction at 290 °C for 20 min with 1:3 biomass-to-water ratio produced the highest bio-oil yield of 28.4 wt%, and high heating value (HHV) was 29.5 MJ/kg. Main components of bio-oil were fatty acids, ketones, alkenes and 5-methyl furfural, and main components of water soluble organics (WSOs) were pyridines, carboxylic acids and glycerol. In the bio-oil obtained with acid catalysts, content of ketones significantly increased while alkenes disappeared. Content of 5-methyl furfural also increased. Flow property of bio-oils was improved in the presence of acid catalysts. Moreover, esters were formed when adding sulfuric acid

  6. Status of health and environmental research relative to direct coal liquefaction: 1976 to the present

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gray, R.H.; Cowser, K.E. (eds.)

    1982-06-01

    This document describes the status of health and environmental research efforts, supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), to assist in the development of environmentally acceptable coal liquefaction processes. Four major direct coal liquefaction processes are currently in (or have been investigated at) the pilot plant stage of development. Two solvent refined coal processes (SRC-I and -II), H-coal (a catalytic liquefaction process) and Exxon donor solvent (EDS). The Pacific Northwest Laboratory was assigned responsibility for evaluating SRC process materials and prepared comprehensive health and environmental effects research program plans for SRC-I and -II. A similar program plan was prepared for H-coal process materials by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A program has been developed for EDS process materials by Exxon Research and Engineering Co. The program includes short-term screening of coal-derived materials for potential health and ecological effects. Longer-term assays are used to evaluate materials considered most representative of potential commercial practice and with greatest potential for human exposure or release to the environment. Effects of process modification, control technologies and changing operational conditions on potential health and ecological effects are also being evaluated. These assessments are being conducted to assist in formulating cost-effective environmental research programs and to estimate health and environmental risks associated with a large-scale coal liquefaction industry. Significant results of DOE's health and environmental research efforts relative to coal liquefaction include the following: chemical characterization, health effects, ecological fate and effects, amelioration and risk assessment.

  7. Advanced Direct Liquefaction Concepts for PETC Generic Units - Phase II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1997-12-01

    The results of Laboratory and Bench-Scale experiments and supporting technical and economic assessments conducted under DOE Contract No. DE-AC22-91PC91040 are reported for the period July 1, 1997 to September 30, 1997. This contract is with the University of Kentucky Research Foundation which supports work with the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, CONSOL, Inc., LDP Associates, and Hydrocarbon Technologies, Inc. This work involves the introduction into the basic two stage liquefaction process several novel concepts which include dispersed lower-cost catalysts, coal cleaning by oil agglomeration, and distillate hydrotreating and dewaxing. Results are reported from experiments in which various methods were tested to activate dispersed Mo precursors. Several oxothiomolybdates precursors having S/Mo ratios from two to six were prepared. Another having a S/Mo ratio of eleven was also prepared that contained an excess of sulfur. In the catalyst screening test, none of these precursors exhibited an activity enhancement that might suggest that adding sulfur into the structure of the Mo precursors would be beneficial to the process. In another series of experiments, AHM impregnated coal slurried in the reaction mixture was pretreated withH S/H under pressure and successively heated for 30 min at 120, 250 2 2 and 360 C. THF conversions in the catalyst screening test were not affected while resid conversions o increased such that pretreated coals impregnated with 100 ppm Mo gave conversions equivalent to untreated coals impregnated with 300 ppm fresh Mo. Cobalt, nickel and potassium phosphomolybdates were prepared and tested as bimetallic precursors. The thermal stability of these compounds was evaluated in TG/MS to determine whether the presence of the added metal would stabilize the Keggin structure at reaction temperature. Coals impregnated with these salts showed the Ni and Co salts gave the same THF conversion as PMA while the Ni salt gave higher

  8. Proof of Concept of Integrated Load Measurement in 3D Printed Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaël Hinderdael

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Currently, research on structural health monitoring systems is focused on direct integration of the system into a component or structure. The latter results in a so-called smart structure. One example of a smart structure is a component with integrated strain sensing for continuous load monitoring. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, now also enables such integration of functions inside components. As a proof-of-concept, the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM technique was used to integrate a strain sensing element inside polymer (ABS tensile test samples. The strain sensing element consisted of a closed capillary filled with a fluid and connected to an externally mounted pressure sensor. The volumetric deformation of the integrated capillary resulted in pressure changes in the fluid. The obtained pressure measurements during tensile testing are reported in this paper and compared to state-of-the-art extensometer measurements. The sensitivity of the 3D printed pressure-based strain sensor is primarily a function of the compressibility of the capillary fluid. Air- and watertightness are of critical importance for the proper functioning of the 3D printed pressure-based strain sensor. Therefore, the best after-treatment procedure was selected on basis of a comparative analysis. The obtained pressure measurements are linear with respect to the extensometer readings, and the uncertainty on the strain measurement of a capillary filled with water (incompressible fluid is ±3.1 µstrain, which is approximately three times less sensitive than conventional strain gauges (±1 µstrain, but 32 times more sensitive than the same sensor based on air (compressible fluid (±101 µstrain.

  9. The larynx ruler to measure height and profile of vocal folds: a proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desuter, Gauthier; Mertens, Benjamin; Delchambre, Alain; van Lith-Bijl, Julie; van Benthem, Peter Paul; Sjögren, Elisabeth

    2017-01-01

    Glottic leakage during phonation is a direct consequence of unilateral vocal fold (VF) paralysis. This air leakage can be in the horizontal plane and in the vertical plane. Presently, there is no easily applicable medical device allowing noninvasive, office-based measurement of the relative vertical position of the VFs. The larynx ruler (LR) is a laser-based measuring device that could meet the previously stated need, using a flexible endoscope. This study represents a proof of concept regarding the use of the LR in assessing VF relative positions in the vertical plane. One fresh male human cadaver larynx, free of neurologic and anatomic disease, was explored with the LR system through the operative channel of a flexible gastroenterology video-endoscope. The tip of the video-endoscope was located in the laryngeal vestibule. The right crico-arytenoid joint was posteriorly disarticulated. Tilting of the VF was obtained by pulling or pushing the arytenoid cartilage with a mosquito forceps fixed to the stump of the previously sectioned superior tip of the posterior crico-arytenoid muscle allowing anterior and posterior tilting of the arytenoid cartilage in order to induce an elevation or a depression of the VF process. Ten "push" and ten "pull" sessions were performed. The distance from the tip of the video-endoscope to each illuminated pixel of the laser beam was recorded. The level difference between the left and right VFs was measured for each recording. Data provided by the LR were consistently in accordance with the movements applied on the VFs. The accuracy of 0.2 mm of the LR is compatible with the envisioned applications for the human larynx. The LR system represents a feasible technique to evaluate respective vertical position of VFs in the human larynx. Technical limitations were identified that will require improvements before experimental use on human beings.

  10. Conversion of Low-Rank Wyoming Coals into Gasoline by Direct Liquefaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polyakov, Oleg

    2013-12-31

    Under the cooperative agreement program of DOE and funding from Wyoming State’s Clean Coal Task Force, Western Research Institute and Thermosolv LLC studied the direct conversion of Wyoming coals and coal-lignin mixed feeds into liquid fuels in conditions highly relevant to practice. During the Phase I, catalytic direct liquefaction of sub-bituminous Wyoming coals was investigated. The process conditions and catalysts were identified that lead to a significant increase of desirable oil fraction in the products. The Phase II work focused on systematic study of solvothermal depolymerization (STD) and direct liquefaction (DCL) of carbonaceous feedstocks. The effect of the reaction conditions (the nature of solvent, solvent/lignin ratio, temperature, pressure, heating rate, and residence time) on STD was investigated. The effect of a number of various additives (including lignin, model lignin compounds, lignin-derivable chemicals, and inorganic radical initiators), solvents, and catalysts on DCL has been studied. Although a significant progress has been achieved in developing solvothermal depolymerization, the side reactions – formation of considerable amounts of char and gaseous products – as well as other drawbacks do not render aqueous media as the most appropriate choice for commercial implementation of STD for processing coals and lignins. The trends and effects discovered in DCL point at the specific features of liquefaction mechanism that are currently underutilized yet could be exploited to intensify the process. A judicious choice of catalysts, solvents, and additives might enable practical and economically efficient direct conversion of Wyoming coals into liquid fuels.

  11. Continuous bench-scale slurry catalyst testing direct coal liquefaction rawhide sub-bituminous coal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bauman, R.F.; Coless, L.A.; Davis, S.M. [and others

    1995-12-31

    In 1992, the Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored research to demonstrate a dispersed catalyst system using a combination of molybdenum and iron precursors for direct coal liquefaction. This dispersed catalyst system was successfully demonstrated using Black Thunder sub-bituminous coal at Wilsonville, Alabama by Southern Electric International, Inc. The DOE sponsored research continues at Exxon Research and Development Laboratories (ERDL). A six month continuous bench-scale program using ERDL`s Recycle Coal Liquefaction Unit (RCLU) is planned, three months in 1994 and three months in 1995. The initial conditions in RCLU reflect experience gained from the Wilsonville facility in their Test Run 263. Rawhide sub-bituminous coal which is similar to the Black Thunder coal tested at Wilsonville was used as the feed coal. A slate of five dispersed catalysts for direct coal liquefaction of Rawhide sub-bituminous coal has been tested. Throughout the experiments, the molybdenum addition rate was held constant at 100 wppm while the iron oxide addition rate was varied from 0.25 to 1.0 weight percent (dry coal basis). This report covers the 1994 operations and accomplishments.

  12. Advanced direct liquefaction concepts for PETC generic units. Final report, Phase I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-03-01

    The Advanced Concepts for Direct Coal Liquefaction program was initiated by the Department of Energy in 1991 to develop technologies that could significantly reduce the cost of producing liquid fuels by the direct liquefaction of coal. The advanced 2-stage liquefaction technology that was developed at Wilsonville over the past 10 years has contributed significantly toward decreasing the cost of producing liquids from coal to about $33/bbl. It remains, however, the objective of DOE to further reduce this cost to a level more competitive with petroleum based products. This project, among others, was initiated to investigate various alternative approaches to develop technologies that might ultimately lead to a 25 % reduction in cost of product. In this project a number of novel concepts were investigated, either individually or in a coupled configuration that had the potential to contribute toward meeting the DOE goal. The concepts included mature technologies or ones closely related to them, such as coal cleaning by oil agglomeration, fluid coking and distillate hydrotreating and dewaxing. Other approaches that were either embryonic or less developed were chemical pretreatment of coal to remove oxygen, and dispersed catalyst development for application in the 2-stage liquefaction process. This report presents the results of this project. It is arranged in four sections which were prepared by participating organizations responsible for that phase of the project. A summary of the overall project and the principal results are given in this section. First, however, an overview of the process economics and the process concepts that were developed during the course of this program is presented.

  13. Space network scheduling benchmark: A proof-of-concept process for technology transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moe, Karen; Happell, Nadine; Hayden, B. J.; Barclay, Cathy

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes a detailed proof-of-concept activity to evaluate flexible scheduling technology as implemented in the Request Oriented Scheduling Engine (ROSE) and applied to Space Network (SN) scheduling. The criteria developed for an operational evaluation of a reusable scheduling system is addressed including a methodology to prove that the proposed system performs at least as well as the current system in function and performance. The improvement of the new technology must be demonstrated and evaluated against the cost of making changes. Finally, there is a need to show significant improvement in SN operational procedures. Successful completion of a proof-of-concept would eventually lead to an operational concept and implementation transition plan, which is outside the scope of this paper. However, a high-fidelity benchmark using actual SN scheduling requests has been designed to test the ROSE scheduling tool. The benchmark evaluation methodology, scheduling data, and preliminary results are described.

  14. Process control plan for Single Shell Tank (SST) Saltcake Dissolution Proof of Concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ESTEY, S.D.

    2001-01-01

    This document describes the process controls for the tank 241-U-107 (U-107) saltcake dissolution proof-of-concept operations. Saltcake dissolution is defined as a method by which water-soluble salts will be retrieved from the Hanford Site radioactive waste tanks utilizing dissolution as the mobilizing mechanism. The proof-of-concept operations will monitor the retrieval process and transfer at least 100 kgal of fluid from tank U-107 to the double-shell tank (DST) system during the performance period. Tank U-107 has been identified as posing the highest long-term risk to the Columbia River of all single shell tanks (SSTs). This is because of the high content of mobile, long-lived radionuclides mostly in the saltcake waste in the tank. To meet current contractual and consent decree commitments, tank U-107 is being prepared for interim stabilization in August 2001. It is currently scheduled for saltcake retrieval in 2023, near the end of the SST retrieval campaign because of a lack of infrastructure in U-Farm. The proof-of-concept test will install a system to dissolve and retrieve a portion of the saltcake as part of, and operating in parallel with, the standard interim stabilization system to be installed on tank U-107. This proof-of-concept should provide key information on spray nozzle selection and effective spray patterns, leak detection, monitoring, and mitigation (LDMM) and in-tank saltcake solubility data that will help in the design of a full-tank retrieval demonstration system

  15. Improving Dialysis Adherence for High Risk Patients Using Automated Messaging: Proof of Concept

    OpenAIRE

    Som, A.; Groenendyk, J.; An, T.; Patel, K.; Peters, R.; Polites, G.; Ross, W. R.

    2017-01-01

    Comorbidities and socioeconomic barriers often limit patient adherence and self-management with hemodialysis. Missed sessions, often associated with communication barriers, can result in emergency dialysis and avoidable hospitalizations. This proof of concept study explored using a novel digital-messaging platform, EpxDialysis, to improve patient-to-dialysis center communication via widely available text messaging and telephone technology. A randomized controlled trial was conducted through W...

  16. Collecting standardised oral health data via mobile application: A proof of concept study in the Netherlands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joost C L den Boer

    Full Text Available FDI World Dental Federation, founded as Fédération Dentaire Internationale, has taken the initiative to develop the Oral Health Observatory, a mobile application to conduct oral health surveys worldwide. The aim is to collect reliable standardized international data on oral health and oral health care via a network of dentists. A proof of concept study project was set up in the Netherlands to test the methodology and to validate the approach. Data about caries, gingivitis, oral self-care and oral health related quality of life were analysed and compared to datasets validated in other studies. The Android app embeds three questionnaires addressing oral health history, status and patient behaviour. One questionnaire was completed by the patient and two by the dentist. The proof of concept study involved two phases: in the first phase, five dentists, regular participants in KNMT-surveys, evaluated the usability of the app; after the first phase, the app was adjusted for a second phase. For this phase an extra 15 dentists were recruited from a group of 20 other dentists: five of them declined to participate. Attention was paid to ensuring there was a proportional representation of gender, age and region. In the second phase the five first and 15 new participants collected data on up to a maximum of 38 patients. Data from this 653 patients correspond with results from previously published surveys on the prevalence of caries and gingivitis in the Netherlands. Hence demonstrating an association between caries and gingivitis with oral self-care, problems eating and experiencing oral pain. This proof of concept study shows that the app makes it possible to collect reliable information on oral health in a short period of time. Both dentists and patients evaluated the methodology as user-friendly. Altogether, the results of this proof of concept study are promising.

  17. Collecting standardised oral health data via mobile application: A proof of concept study in the Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Boer, Joost C L; van Dijk, Ward; Horn, Virginie; Hescot, Patrick; Bruers, Josef J M

    2018-01-01

    FDI World Dental Federation, founded as Fédération Dentaire Internationale, has taken the initiative to develop the Oral Health Observatory, a mobile application to conduct oral health surveys worldwide. The aim is to collect reliable standardized international data on oral health and oral health care via a network of dentists. A proof of concept study project was set up in the Netherlands to test the methodology and to validate the approach. Data about caries, gingivitis, oral self-care and oral health related quality of life were analysed and compared to datasets validated in other studies. The Android app embeds three questionnaires addressing oral health history, status and patient behaviour. One questionnaire was completed by the patient and two by the dentist. The proof of concept study involved two phases: in the first phase, five dentists, regular participants in KNMT-surveys, evaluated the usability of the app; after the first phase, the app was adjusted for a second phase. For this phase an extra 15 dentists were recruited from a group of 20 other dentists: five of them declined to participate. Attention was paid to ensuring there was a proportional representation of gender, age and region. In the second phase the five first and 15 new participants collected data on up to a maximum of 38 patients. Data from this 653 patients correspond with results from previously published surveys on the prevalence of caries and gingivitis in the Netherlands. Hence demonstrating an association between caries and gingivitis with oral self-care, problems eating and experiencing oral pain. This proof of concept study shows that the app makes it possible to collect reliable information on oral health in a short period of time. Both dentists and patients evaluated the methodology as user-friendly. Altogether, the results of this proof of concept study are promising.

  18. Application Development for Optimizing Patient Placement on Aeromedical Evacuation Flights: Proof-of-Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-12

    PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Brittany Fouts, Jennifer Serres, Ray Hill, Frank Ciarallo 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f...APPENDIX A – Flowchart for Graphical Prototype ...................................................................... 9 APPENDIX B – Proof-of-Concept App...would like to thank the programming team at the Department of Operational Analysis at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air

  19. Toward a Proof of Concept Cloud Framework for Physics Applications on Blue Gene Supercomputers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreher, Patrick; Scullin, William; Vouk, Mladen

    2015-01-01

    Traditional high performance supercomputers are capable of delivering large sustained state-of-the-art computational resources to physics applications over extended periods of time using batch processing mode operating environments. However, today there is an increasing demand for more complex workflows that involve large fluctuations in the levels of HPC physics computational requirements during the simulations. Some of the workflow components may also require a richer set of operating system features and schedulers than normally found in a batch oriented HPC environment. This paper reports on progress toward a proof of concept design that implements a cloud framework onto BG/P and BG/Q platforms at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. The BG/P implementation utilizes the Kittyhawk utility and the BG/Q platform uses an experimental heterogeneous FusedOS operating system environment. Both platforms use the Virtual Computing Laboratory as the cloud computing system embedded within the supercomputer. This proof of concept design allows a cloud to be configured so that it can capitalize on the specialized infrastructure capabilities of a supercomputer and the flexible cloud configurations without resorting to virtualization. Initial testing of the proof of concept system is done using the lattice QCD MILC code. These types of user reconfigurable environments have the potential to deliver experimental schedulers and operating systems within a working HPC environment for physics computations that may be different from the native OS and schedulers on production HPC supercomputers. (paper)

  20. Development of a small prototype for a proof-of-concept of OpenPET imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaya, Taiga; Yoshida, Eiji; Wakizaka, Hidekatsu; Kokuryo, Daisuke; Tsuji, Atsushi; Mitsuhashi, Takayuki; Tashima, Hideaki; Nishikido, Fumihiko; Inadama, Naoko; Murayama, Hideo; Kinouchi, Shoko; Inaniwa, Taku; Sato, Shinji; Nakajima, Yasunori; Kawai, Hideyuki; Haneishi, Hideaki; Suga, Mikio

    2011-01-01

    The OpenPET geometry is our new idea to visualize a physically opened space between two detector rings. In this paper, we developed the first small prototype to show a proof-of-concept of OpenPET imaging. Two detector rings of 110 mm diameter and 42 mm axial length were placed with a gap of 42 mm. The basic imaging performance was confirmed through phantom studies; the open imaging was realized at the cost of slight loss of axial resolution and 24% loss of sensitivity. For a proof-of-concept of PET image-guided radiation therapy, we carried out the in-beam tests with 11 C radioactive beam irradiation in the heavy ion medical accelerator in Chiba to visualize in situ distribution of primary particles stopped in a phantom. We showed that PET images corresponding to dose distribution were obtained. For an initial proof-of-concept of real-time multimodal imaging, we measured a tumor-inoculated mouse with 18 F-FDG, and an optical image of the mouse body surface was taken during the PET measurement by inserting a digital camera in the ring gap. We confirmed that the tumor in the gap was clearly visualized. The result also showed the extension effect of an axial field-of-view (FOV); a large axial FOV of 126 mm was obtained with the detectors that originally covered only an 84 mm axial FOV. In conclusion, our initial imaging studies showed promising performance of the OpenPET.

  1. The larynx ruler to measure height and profile of vocal folds: a proof of concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desuter G

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Gauthier Desuter,1,2 Benjamin Mertens,3 Alain Delchambre,3 Julie van Lith-Bijl,1,4 Peter Paul van Benthem,2 Elisabeth Sjögren2 1Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery Department, Voice & Swallowing Clinic, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; 2Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery Department, LUMC, University of Leiden, Leiden, the Netherlands; 3BEAMS Department, Ecole Polytechnique de Bruxelles, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium; 4Otolaryngology Department, Flevoziekenhuis, Almere, the Netherlands Introduction: Glottic leakage during phonation is a direct consequence of unilateral vocal fold (VF paralysis. This air leakage can be in the horizontal plane and in the vertical plane. Presently, there is no easily applicable medical device allowing noninvasive, office-based measurement of the relative vertical position of the VFs. The larynx ruler (LR is a laser-based measuring device that could meet the previously stated need, using a flexible endoscope. This study represents a proof of concept regarding the use of the LR in assessing VF relative positions in the vertical plane. Materials and methods: One fresh male human cadaver larynx, free of neurologic and anatomic disease, was explored with the LR system through the operative channel of a flexible gastroenterology video-endoscope. The tip of the video-endoscope was located in the laryngeal vestibule. The right crico-arytenoid joint was posteriorly disarticulated. Tilting of the VF was obtained by pulling or pushing the arytenoid cartilage with a mosquito forceps fixed to the stump of the previously sectioned superior tip of the posterior crico-arytenoid muscle allowing anterior and posterior tilting of the arytenoid cartilage in order to induce an elevation or a depression of the VF process. Ten “push” and ten “pull” sessions were performed. The distance from the tip of the video-endoscope to each illuminated pixel of the

  2. Noncatalytic Direct Liquefaction of Biorefinery Lignin by Ethanol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Joachim Bachmann; Jensen, Anders; Madsen, Line Riis

    2017-01-01

    There is a growing interest in lignin valorization to biofuels and chemicals. Here, we propose a novel and simple noncatalytic process to directly liquefy lignin rich solid residual from second generation bioethanol production by solvolysis with ethanol. Through an extensive parameter study...... in batch autoclaves assessing the effects of varying reaction temperature, reaction time, and solvent:lignin ratio, it is shown that hydrothermally pretreated enzymatic hydrolysis lignin solvolysis in supercritical ethanol can produce a heptane soluble bio-oil without the need for exhaustive deoxygenation....... The process does not require addition of catalyst or a reducing agent such as hydrogen. The process is advantageously carried out with a low reaction period ((ethanol:lignin (w/w) ratio of 2:1) which is a previously unexplored domain for lignin...

  3. Optimization for microwave-assisted direct liquefaction of bamboo residue in glycerol/methanol mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiulong Xie; Jinqiu Qi; Chungyun Hse; Todd F. Shupe

    2015-01-01

    Bamboo residues were liquefied in a mixture of glycerol and methanol in the presence of sulfuric acid using microwave energy. We investigated the effects of liquefaction conditions, including glycerol/methanol ratio, liquefaction temperature, and reaction time on the conversion yield. The optimal liquefaction conditions were under the temperature of 120

  4. Development of a small prototype for a proof-of-concept of OpenPET imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamaya, Taiga; Yoshida, Eiji; Wakizaka, Hidekatsu; Kokuryo, Daisuke; Tsuji, Atsushi; Mitsuhashi, Takayuki; Tashima, Hideaki; Nishikido, Fumihiko; Inadama, Naoko; Murayama, Hideo; Kinouchi, Shoko [Molecular Imaging Center, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8555 (Japan); Inaniwa, Taku; Sato, Shinji [Research Center for Charged Particle Therapy, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8555 (Japan); Nakajima, Yasunori [Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 226-8503 (Japan); Kawai, Hideyuki; Haneishi, Hideaki; Suga, Mikio, E-mail: taiga@nirs.go.jp [Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoicho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522 (Japan)

    2011-02-21

    The OpenPET geometry is our new idea to visualize a physically opened space between two detector rings. In this paper, we developed the first small prototype to show a proof-of-concept of OpenPET imaging. Two detector rings of 110 mm diameter and 42 mm axial length were placed with a gap of 42 mm. The basic imaging performance was confirmed through phantom studies; the open imaging was realized at the cost of slight loss of axial resolution and 24% loss of sensitivity. For a proof-of-concept of PET image-guided radiation therapy, we carried out the in-beam tests with {sup 11}C radioactive beam irradiation in the heavy ion medical accelerator in Chiba to visualize in situ distribution of primary particles stopped in a phantom. We showed that PET images corresponding to dose distribution were obtained. For an initial proof-of-concept of real-time multimodal imaging, we measured a tumor-inoculated mouse with {sup 18}F-FDG, and an optical image of the mouse body surface was taken during the PET measurement by inserting a digital camera in the ring gap. We confirmed that the tumor in the gap was clearly visualized. The result also showed the extension effect of an axial field-of-view (FOV); a large axial FOV of 126 mm was obtained with the detectors that originally covered only an 84 mm axial FOV. In conclusion, our initial imaging studies showed promising performance of the OpenPET.

  5. Proof-of-concept study of a marine ion-selective optical sensing instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobron, P.; Thompson, C.; Bamsey, M.

    2013-12-01

    We have developed a proof-of-concept instrument for real-time in-situ characterization of the ion chemistry of the ocean. Our instrument uses optical sensors equipped with ion-selective membranes which exhibit a change in an optical property that can be correlated with the concentration of a specific ion. We have implemented a system for multi-ion sensing that includes the use of a single spectrometer in tandem with a fiber optic multiplexer that is capable of reading a suite of attached optrodes, each of them dedicated to a unique ion. In this abstract we report the experimental characterization of calcium and potassium optrodes as a template for ion-selective optrodes and their application to the characterization of the oceans. The tests were performed at the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility of the University of Guelph. Guelph's optrode housing was tested by immersing it in a 1/2 strength Hoagland's hydroponic solution to test functionality of the K+ and Ca2+ optrodes in this environment. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of recording spectral information in sub-minute times from more than one optrode simultaneously in a given aqueous system. This proof-of-concept study has allowed us to measure parameters of interest and comparison to analytical predictions for critical subsystems of a deployable system, and demonstrates maturity of the multi-ion sensing optrode technology. Critical advantages of our optrode system are that it: (1) enables concurrent measurements of multiple ionic species relevant in ocean sciences; (2) has high time and spatial resolution; (3) has low limits of detection; (4) uses low-cost, low-mass, energy efficient optoelectronics. Our system has the potential for facilitating new observational, experimental, and analytic capabilities in ocean sciences, including: (a) health and environment monitoring; (b) aquaculture; (c) global change, e.g. ocean acidification; and (d) origin of life research. Proof-of-concept setup at

  6. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Environmental Technologies Proof-of-Concepts. Final report FY-96

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barrie, S.L.; Carpenter, G.S.; Crockett, A.B. [and others

    1997-04-01

    The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Environmental Technologies Proof-of-Concept Project was initiated for the expedited development of new or conceptual technologies in support of groundwater fate, transport, and remediation; buried waste characterization, retrieval, and treatment; waste minimization/pollution prevention; and spent fuel handling and storage. In Fiscal Year 1996, The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory proposed 40 development projects and the Department of Energy funded 15. The projects proved the concepts of the various technologies, and all the technologies contribute to successful environmental management.

  7. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Environmental Technologies Proof-of-Concepts. Final report FY-96

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrie, S.L.; Carpenter, G.S.; Crockett, A.B.

    1997-04-01

    The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Environmental Technologies Proof-of-Concept Project was initiated for the expedited development of new or conceptual technologies in support of groundwater fate, transport, and remediation; buried waste characterization, retrieval, and treatment; waste minimization/pollution prevention; and spent fuel handling and storage. In Fiscal Year 1996, The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory proposed 40 development projects and the Department of Energy funded 15. The projects proved the concepts of the various technologies, and all the technologies contribute to successful environmental management

  8. Addressing asthma and obesity in children with community health workers: proof-of-concept intervention development

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Molly A; Rothschild, Steven K.; Lynch, Elizabeth; Christoffel, Katherine Kaufer; Pag?n, Militza M.; Rodriguez, Jose Luis; Barnes, Anna; Karavolos, Kelly; Diaz, Antonieta; Hoffman, Lucretia M.; Plata, Diana; Villalpando, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Background The objective of this study was to design and test the feasibility and impact of a community health worker (CHW) intervention for comorbid asthma and obesity. Methods Using a proof of concept study design, we collected pre/post outcomes from a single intervention cohort of urban low-income in a single community area. A community-based participatory research approach was employed. Forty-six children and their caregivers were recruited. Children were 5?12 years old with physician-dia...

  9. ISOCELL trademark proof-of-concept for retrieval of wastes and contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatwin, T.D.; Krieg, R.K.

    1992-01-01

    ISOCELL TM cryogenic technology is designed to immobilize buried hazardous, radioactive, and mixed waste and contaminated soil by creating a block of frozen waste and soil that can be safely retrieved, stored, transported, and treated with a minimum of dust or aerosol production. A ''proof-of-concept'' test of the ISOCELL process was conducted in clean soil by RKK, Ltd., for the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). Results indicate ISOCELL technology successfully froze moist soil into a solid block capable of being lifted and retrieved. Test conditions were compared to characteristics of possible buried waste sites in the INEL

  10. Supply Chain Based Solution to Prevent Fuel Tax Evasion: Proof of Concept Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Capps, Gary J [ORNL; Lascurain, Mary Beth [ORNL; Franzese, Oscar [ORNL; Earl, Dennis Duncan [ORNL; West, David L [ORNL; McIntyre, Timothy J [ORNL; Chin, Shih-Miao [ORNL; Hwang, Ho-Ling [ORNL; Connatser, Raynella M [ORNL; Lewis Sr, Samuel Arthur [ORNL; Moore, Sheila A [ORNL

    2011-12-01

    The goal of this research was to provide a proof-of-concept (POC) system for preventing non-taxable (non-highway diesel use) or low-taxable (jet fuel) petrochemical products from being blended with taxable fuel products and preventing taxable fuel products from cross-jurisdiction evasion. The research worked to fill the need to validate the legitimacy of individual loads, offloads, and movements by integrating and validating, on a near-real-time basis, information from global positioning system (GPS), valve sensors, level sensors, and fuel-marker sensors.

  11. Think You Can Shrink? A Proof-of-Concept Study for Men's Health Education Through Edutainment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ungar, Thomas; Norman, Cameron D; Knaak, Stephanie

    2017-01-01

    Connecting people to useful, actionable health resources is a substantive challenge that sits at the heart of health communication. Digital media provides means of producing, distributing and revising content and creates possibilities for new and multiple channels for reaching and engaging audiences, particularly when combined with social media. While there is much promise of digital media forms to deliver audiences and promote engagement, the health communication landscape is still largely hit-and-miss with few 'best practice' examples to follow. Proof-of-concept studies allow for a structured, focused exploration of ways to leverage the potential of digital media and learn what approaches have the promise to invest resources in amid a sea of possible options. Think You Can Shrink? (TYCS) is a multi-episode web series modelled on a reality TV show format. The show's key objective is to educate men and demonstrate, through modelling, ways men can support other men to encourage help-seeking behaviours and greater health communication, which in turn, may also lead to better health outcomes. Given the newness of the approach, the project was launched as a proof-of-concept study to explore: (a) whether this approach could engage the interest of men, (b) what initial impact this approach might induce and (c) the kind of audiences this approach might most appeal to.

  12. Kinesthetic stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: An "on-off" proof of concept trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Alfredo I; Pérez, Diego; Feuerstein, Delphine; Loiodice, Corinne; Graindorge, Laurence; Guerrero, Gustavo; Limousin, Nadège; Gagnadoux, Frédéric; Dauvilliers, Yves; Tamisier, Renaud; Prigent, Arnaud; Mabo, Philippe; Amblard, Amel; Senhadji, Lotfi; Pépin, Jean-Louis

    2018-02-15

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the upper airway narrows or collapses due to the loss of upper airway muscle activation at sleep onset. This study investigated the effectiveness of triggered kinesthetic stimulation in patients with OSA. This proof-of-concept, open-label, multicenter prospective study was conducted on 24 patients with severe OSA. During a one night evaluation, kinesthetic stimulation was intermittently delivered in 30 minute periods. The duration of apneas and hypopneas during Stim on and Stim off periods were compared. Five hospital-based university centers in France participated. Sleep studies were evaluated by a single scorer at a core laboratory (CHU Grenoble). Results show that during the Stim on phases, statistically significant decreases in durations of apneas and hypopneas were observed in 56% and 46% of patients, respectively. Overall, 75% of patients showed an improvement in apneas or hypopneas durations. The mean reduction in durations for patients with a significant decrease was 4.86 seconds for apneas and 6.00 seconds for hypopneas. This proof of concept study is the first to identify kinesthetic stimulation as a potentially effective therapy for OSA. These data justify evaluation in a controlled study.

  13. Co, Fe and Ni catalysts supported on coke for direct coal liquefaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez, Jose A; Villalba, Oscar A; Rodriguez, Luis I; Hernandez, Orlando; Agamez, Yasmin Y; Dias Jose de Jesus

    2008-01-01

    Transition metal catalysts supported on coke were prepared by impregnation with a solution of complex of metal-thiourea, that is produced from salt precursors of cobalt chloride, Nickel chloride or iron sulfate and ammonium. sulphide formation on the support surface was generated by decomposition of the metal complex. The catalysts obtained were used in direct coal liquefaction of a medium volatile bituminous coal (Yerbabuena N 1) from Cundinamarca using a 250 Ml, Parr reactor at 723 K and a hydrogen-donor solvent. The catalytic results show, for all samples, both a good coal conversion and an enhancement of the yield of oils, this indicates that the proposed preparation method of catalyst is effective and that eventually the H 2 S sulphidation conventional process could be replaced

  14. Characterization of the impregnated iron based catalyst for direct coal liquefaction by EXAFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Jianli; Zhun Jisheng; Liu Zhenyu; Zhong Bing

    2002-01-01

    Catalyst plays an important role in direct coal liquefaction (DCL). Iron catalysts are regarded as the most attractive catalysts for DCL. To maximize catalytic effect and minimize catalysts usage, ultra-fine size catalysts are preferred. The most effective catalysts are found to be those impregnated onto coal because of their high dispersion on coal surface and intimate contact with coal particles. Besides the physical size, chemical form of a catalyst or a catalyst precursor is also important in determination of DCL activity. The expended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy technique were used in this study. It was shown that the catalysts tested are in nanomater range and have structure mainly in the form of γ-FeOOH and FeS, or possibly of Fe/O/S. The presence of γ-FeOOH can be attributed to the interaction between Fe and the oxygen containing groups of coal or oxygen from moisture

  15. Proof of Concept: Model Based Bionic Muscle with Hyperbolic Force-Velocity Relation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. F. B. Haeufle

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, the hyperbolic Hill-type force-velocity relation was derived from basic physical components. It was shown that a contractile element CE consisting of a mechanical energy source (active element AE, a parallel damper element (PDE, and a serial element (SE exhibits operating points with hyperbolic force-velocity dependency. In this paper, a technical proof of this concept was presented. AE and PDE were implemented as electric motors, SE as a mechanical spring. The force-velocity relation of this artificial CE was determined in quick release experiments. The CE exhibited hyperbolic force-velocity dependency. This proof of concept can be seen as a well-founded starting point for the development of Hill-type artificial muscles.

  16. Opportunities and pitfalls in clinical proof-of-concept: principles and examples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chao

    2018-04-01

    Clinical proof-of-concept trials crucially inform major resource deployment decisions. This paper discusses several mechanisms for enhancing their rigour and efficiency. The importance of careful consideration when using a surrogate endpoint is illustrated; situational effectiveness of run-in patient enrichment is explored; a versatile tool is introduced to ensure a strong pharmacological underpinning; the benefits of dose-titration are revealed by simulation; and the importance of adequately scheduled observations is shown. The general process of model-based trial design and analysis is described and several examples demonstrate the value in historical data, simulation-guided design, model-based analysis and trial adaptation informed by interim analysis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Proof-of-concept experimental study of damage detection of concrete piles using embedded piezoceramic transducers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, R L; Gu, H; Song, G; Mo, Y L

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a proof-of-concept experimental study of an innovative active-sensing approach for damage detection of concrete piles by using embedded piezoceramic transducers. In the proposed active-sensing approach, one piezoceramic transducer is used as an actuator to generate a stress wave to propagate through the concrete pile and the other distributed piezoceramic transducers are used as sensors to detect the wave response. Cracks or damage inside the concrete structure act as stress relief in the wave propagation path. The amplitude of the wave and the transmission energy will decrease due to the existence of cracks or damage. Experiments were performed on two bored piles instrumented with embedded piezoceramic transducers. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach for pile damage detection. (fast track communication)

  18. An adaptive two-stage dose-response design method for establishing proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchetti, Yoko; Anderson, Stewart J; Sampson, Allan R

    2013-01-01

    We propose an adaptive two-stage dose-response design where a prespecified adaptation rule is used to add and/or drop treatment arms between the stages. We extend the multiple comparison procedures-modeling (MCP-Mod) approach into a two-stage design. In each stage, we use the same set of candidate dose-response models and test for a dose-response relationship or proof of concept (PoC) via model-associated statistics. The stage-wise test results are then combined to establish "global" PoC using a conditional error function. Our simulation studies showed good and more robust power in our design method compared to conventional and fixed designs.

  19. Measuring Light Pollution with Fisheye Lens Imagery from A Moving Boat – A Proof of Concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Jechow

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Near all-sky imaging photometry was performed from a boat on the Gulf of Aqaba to measure the night sky brightness in a coastal environment. The boat was not anchored, and therefore drifted and rocked. The camera was mounted on a tripod without any inertia/motion stabilization. A commercial digital single lens reflex (DSLR camera and fisheye lens were used with ISO setting of 6400, with the exposure time varied between 0.5 s and 5 s. We find that despite movement of the vessel the measurements produce quantitatively comparable results apart from saturation effects. We discuss the potential and limitations of this method for mapping light pollution in marine and freshwater systems. This work represents the proof of concept that all-sky photometry with a commercial DSLR camera is a viable tool to determine light pollution in an ecological context from a moving boat.

  20. The proof-of-concept experiment for the spiral line induction accelerator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Putnam, S D; Bailey, V L; Smith, J; Lidestri, J; Thomas, H; Lackner, H; Nishimoto, H [Pulse Sciences, Inc., San Leandro, CA (United States)

    1997-12-31

    A proof-of-concept experiment (POCE) for the Spiral Line Induction Accelerator (SLIA) is underway at Pulse Sciences, Inc. to demonstrate a new compact high current ({>=} few kiloamperes) recirculating induction accelerator for high power ({>=} 100 kW) commercial processing and other applications. Hardware has been fabricated to generate 9.5 MeV electron beams at 2 and 10 kA by recirculating the beam for two passes through each of two 1.5 MeV accelerating units. Initial experiments have demonstrated acceleration of 2 and 10 kA beams to 5.5 MeV by transport around a complete turn with two passes through a single accelerating unit and work is currently in progress to complete the full POCE. Experimental results to date are reported. (author). 5 figs., 14 refs.

  1. Ionospheric Data Assimilation and Targeted Observation Strategies: Proof of Concept Analysis in a Geomagnetic Storm Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostelich, Eric; Durazo, Juan; Mahalov, Alex

    2017-11-01

    The dynamics of the ionosphere involve complex interactions between the atmosphere, solar wind, cosmic radiation, and Earth's magnetic field. Geomagnetic storms arising from solar activity can perturb these dynamics sufficiently to disrupt radio and satellite communications. Efforts to predict ``space weather,'' including ionospheric dynamics, require the development of a data assimilation system that combines observing systems with appropriate forecast models. This talk will outline a proof-of-concept targeted observation strategy, consisting of the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter, coupled with the Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamics Global Circulation Model, to select optimal locations where additional observations can be made to improve short-term ionospheric forecasts. Initial results using data and forecasts from the geomagnetic storm of 26-27 September 2011 will be described. Work supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Grant Number FA9550-15-1-0096) and by the National Science Foundation (Grant Number DMS-0940314).

  2. A proof-of-concept implementation of persistence in a hierarchical storage system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grossman, R.; Qin, Xiao; Lifka, D.

    1992-01-01

    The concept of providing transparent access to a collection of files in a mass storage system is a familiar one. The goal of this project was to investigate the feasibility of providing similar access to a collection of persistent, complex objects. We describe an architecture for interfacing a persistent store of complex objects to a hierarchical storage system. Persistent object stores support the uniform creation, storage, and access of complex objects, regardless of their lifetimes. In other words, a mechanism is provided so that persistent objects outlive the processes which create them and can be accessed in a uniform manner by other processes. We validated this architecture by implementing a proof-of-concept system and testing the system on two stores of data. These tests indicate that this architecture supports the creation. storage and access of very large persistent object stores

  3. Proof of concept in cardiovascular risk: the paradoxical findings in blood pressure and lipid abnormalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fuchs FD

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Flavio Danni Fuchs, Sandra Costa Fuchs, Leila Beltrami Moreira, Miguel GusDivision of Cardiology and Postgraduate Studies Program in Cardiology, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, BrazilAbstract: High blood pressure and lipoprotein abnormalities were identified by many cohort studies as the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Laboratory experiments apparently confirmed their role in the causation of atherosclerosis, but a proof of concept requires the corroboration by clinical trials in human beings. The size of benefit in clinical trials regarding the control of high blood pressure was within the estimations of risk provided by cohort studies. For a reduction of 10 mmHg in systolic blood pressure or 5 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure, the relative risk reduction of coronary heart disease was 22% (95% confidence interval 27%–17% in a meta-analysis of clinical trials, close to the estimation of reduction of 25% (95% confidence interval 23%–27% provided by a meta-analysis of cohort studies. The corresponding values for stroke were 41% (95% confidence interval 33%–48% in clinical trials compared to a cohort risk prediction of 36% (95% confidence interval 34%–38%. This efficacy was shared by all blood pressure-lowering drugs. The same figure has not paradoxically happened with drugs that act over abnormalities of cholesterol and lipoproteins. Only statins, which have other beneficial actions as well, have consistently lowered the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, an efficacy that was not reproduced by older and newer quite potent lipid drugs. The adverse effects of these drugs may nullify their beneficial effects over lipoproteins and abnormalities of lipoproteins may only be surrogate markers of the underlying real risks.Keywords: proof of concept, hypertension, lipoproteins, clinical trials

  4. Design trade-off and proof of concept for LOUPE, the Lunar Observatory for Unresolved Polarimetry of Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoeijmakers, H J; Arts, M L J; Snik, F; Keller, C U; Kuiper, J M

    2016-09-19

    We provide a proof of the technical feasibility of LOUPE, the first integral-field snapshot spectropolarimeter, designed to monitor the reflected flux and polarization spectrum of Earth. These are to be used as benchmark data for the retrieval of biomarkers and atmospheric and surface characteristics from future direct observations of exoplanets. We perform a design trade-off for an implementation in which LOUPE performs snapshot integral-field spectropolarimetry at visible wavelengths. We used off-the-shelf optics to construct a polarization modulator, in which polarization information is encoded into the spectrum as a wavelength-dependent modulation, while spatial resolution is maintained using a micro-lens array. The performance of this design concept is validated in a laboratory setup. Our proof-of-concept is capable of measuring a grid of 50 × 50 polarization spectra between 610 and 780 nm of a mock target planet - proving the merit of this design. The measurements are affected by systematic noise on the percent level, and we discuss how to mitigate this in future iterations. We conclude that LOUPE can be small and robust while meeting the science goals of this particular space application, and note the many potential applications that may benefit from our concept for doing snapshot integral-field spectropolarimetry.

  5. Stimulating neural plasticity with real-time fMRI neurofeedback in Huntington's disease: A proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papoutsi, Marina; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Langbehn, Douglas; Reilmann, Ralf; Rees, Geraint; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2018-03-01

    Novel methods that stimulate neuroplasticity are increasingly being studied to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions. We sought to determine whether real-time fMRI neurofeedback training is feasible in Huntington's disease (HD), and assess any factors that contribute to its effectiveness. In this proof-of-concept study, we used this technique to train 10 patients with HD to volitionally regulate the activity of their supplementary motor area (SMA). We collected detailed behavioral and neuroimaging data before and after training to examine changes of brain function and structure, and cognitive and motor performance. We found that patients overall learned to increase activity of the target region during training with variable effects on cognitive and motor behavior. Improved cognitive and motor performance after training predicted increases in pre-SMA grey matter volume, fMRI activity in the left putamen, and increased SMA-left putamen functional connectivity. Although we did not directly target the putamen and corticostriatal connectivity during neurofeedback training, our results suggest that training the SMA can lead to regulation of associated networks with beneficial effects in behavior. We conclude that neurofeedback training can induce plasticity in patients with Huntington's disease despite the presence of neurodegeneration, and the effects of training a single region may engage other regions and circuits implicated in disease pathology. © 2017 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Contact-free monitoring of vessel graft stiffness - proof of concept as a tool for vascular tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoenicka, Markus; Kaspar, Marcel; Schmid, Christof; Liebold, Andreas; Schrammel, Siegfried

    2017-10-01

    Tissue-engineered vessel grafts have to mimic the biomechanical properties of native blood vessels. Manufacturing processes often condition grafts to adapt them to the target flow conditions. Graft stiffness is influenced by material properties and dimensions and determines graft compliance. This proof-of-concept study evaluated a contact-free method to monitor biomechanical properties without compromising sterility. Forced vibration response analysis was performed on human umbilical vein (HUV) segments mounted in a buffer-filled tubing system. A linear motor and a dynamic signal analyser were used to excite the fluid by white noise (0-200 Hz). Vein responses were read out by laser triangulation and analysed by fast Fourier transformation. Modal analysis was performed by monitoring multiple positions of the vessel surface. As an inverse model of graft stiffening during conditioning, HUV were digested proteolytically, and the course of natural frequencies (NFs) was monitored over 120 min. Human umbilical vein showed up to five modes with NFs in the range of 5-100 Hz. The first natural frequencies of HUV did not alter over time while incubated in buffer (p = 0.555), whereas both collagenase (-35%, p = 0.0061) and elastase (-45%, p direct measurement of stiffness as an important biomechanical property, obviating the need to monitor surrogate parameters. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. STUDY OF SOLVENT AND CATALYST INTERACTIONS IN DIRECT COAL LIQUEFACTION; FINAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael T. Klein; William H. Calkins; Jasna Tomic

    2000-01-01

    To provide a better understanding of the roles of a solid catalyst and the solvent in Direct Coal Liquefaction, a small reactor was equipped with a porous-walled basket which was permeable to the solvent but was not permeable to the coal or solid catalyst. With this equipment and a high volatile bituminous coal it was found that direct contact between the catalyst in the basket and the coal outside the basket is not required for catalyzed coal liquefaction. The character of the solvent in this system makes a significant difference in the conversion of the coal, the better solvents being strong donor solvents. Because of the extensive use of thermogravimetric analysis in this laboratory, it was noted that the peak temperature for volatiles evolution from coal was a reliable measure of coal rank. Because of this observation, a variety of coals of a range of ranks was investigated. It was shown in this work that measuring the peak temperature for volatiles evolution was a quite precise indicator of rank and correlated closely with the rank value obtained by measuring vitrinite reflectance, a more difficult measurement to make. This prompted the desire to know the composition of the volatile material evolved as a function of coal rank. This was then measured by coupling a TGA to a mass spectrometer using laser activation and photoionization detection TG-PI-MS. The predominant species in volatiles of low rank coal turned out to be phenols with some alkenes. As the rank increases, the relative amounts of alkene and aromatic hydrocarbons increases and the oxygenated species decrease. It was shown that these volatiles were actually pyrolytic products and not volatilization products of the coal. Solvent extraction experiments coupled with Thermogravimetric-photoionization-mass spectrometry (TG-PI-MS) indicated that the low boiling and more extractable material are essentially similar in chemical types to the non-extractable portions but apparently higher molecular weight

  8. STUDY OF SOLVENT AND CATALYST INTERACTIONS IN DIRECT COAL LIQUEFACTION; SEMIANNUAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael T. Klein

    2000-01-01

    There are several aspects of the Direct Coal Liquefaction process which are not fully understood and which if better understood might lead to improved yields and conversions. Among these questions are the roles of the catalyst and the solvent. While the solvent is known to act by transfer of hydrogen atoms to the free radicals formed by thermal breakdown of the coal in an uncatalyzed system, in the presence of a solid catalyst as is now currently practiced, the yields and conversions are higher than in an uncatalyzed system. The role of the catalyst in this case is not completely understood. DOE has funded many projects to produce ultrafine and more active catalysts in the expectation that better contact between catalyst and coal might result. This approach has met with limited success probably because mass transfer between two solids in a fluid medium i.e. the catalyst and the coal, is very poor. It is to develop an understanding of the role of the catalyst and solvent in Direct Liquefaction that this project was initiated. Specifically it was of interest to know whether direct contact between the coal and the catalyst was important. By separating the solid catalyst in a stainless steel basket permeable to the solvent but not the coal in the liquefaction reactor, it was shown that the catalyst still maintains a catalytic effect on the liquefaction process. There is apparently transfer of hydrogen atoms from the catalyst through the basket wall to the coal via the solvent. Strong hydrogen donor solvents appear to be more effective in this respect than weak hydrogen donors. It therefore appears that intimate contact between catalyst and coal is not a requirement, and that the role of the catalyst may be to restore the hydrogen donor strength to the solvent as the reaction proceeds. A range of solvents of varying hydrogen donor strength was investigated. Because of the extensive use of thermogravimetric analysis in this laboratory in was noted that the peak

  9. Prototype Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies: Branded Food Products Database for Public Health Proof of Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Prototype Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (Prototype FNDDS) Branded Food Products Database for Public Health is a proof of concept database. The database contains a small selection of food products which is being used to exhibit the approach for incorporation of the Branded Food ...

  10. Pharmaceutical development of an amorphous solid dispersion formulation of elacridar hydrochloride for proof-of-concept clinical studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sawicki, E.; Schellens, J. H M; Beijnen, J. H.; Nuijen, B.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: A novel tablet formulation containing an amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) of elacridar hydrochloride was developed with the purpose to resolve the drug’s low solubility in water and to conduct proof-of-concept clinical studies. Significance: Elacridar is highly demanded for

  11. Pilot program (proof of concept) to mitigate Phytophthora ramorum at an infested nursery based on a systems approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gary Chastagner; Marianne Elliott

    2017-01-01

    The primary purpose of this program was to demonstrate proof of concept of certain mitigation approaches at a repeat P. ramorum-positive nursery site in Washington. Approaches included steam treatment of infested soil areas; creating a gravel “sandwich” above steam-treated and potentially infested soil surfaces; improving drainage systems; required...

  12. Advanced direct liquefaction concepts for PETC generic units. Quarterly technical progress report, January--March 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-04-01

    In the Advance Coal Liquefaction Concept Proposal (ACLCP) carbon monoxide (CO) and water have been proposed as the primary reagents in the pretreatment process. The main objective of this project is to develop a methodology for pretreating coal under mild conditions based on a combination of existing processes which have shown great promise in liquefaction, extraction and pyrolysis studies. The aim of this pretreatment process is to partially depolymerise the coal, eliminate oxygen and diminish the propensity for retograde reactions during subsequent liquefaction. The desirable outcome of the CO pretreatment step should be: (1) enhanced liquefaction activity and/or selectivity toward products of higher quality due to chemical modification of the coal structure; (2) cleaner downstream products; (3) overall improvement in operability and process economics.

  13. A Proof-of-Concept for Semantically Interoperable Federation of IoT Experimentation Facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanza, Jorge; Sanchez, Luis; Gomez, David; Elsaleh, Tarek; Steinke, Ronald; Cirillo, Flavio

    2016-06-29

    The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is unanimously identified as one of the main pillars of future smart scenarios. The potential of IoT technologies and deployments has been already demonstrated in a number of different application areas, including transport, energy, safety and healthcare. However, despite the growing number of IoT deployments, the majority of IoT applications tend to be self-contained, thereby forming application silos. A lightweight data centric integration and combination of these silos presents several challenges that still need to be addressed. Indeed, the ability to combine and synthesize data streams and services from diverse IoT platforms and testbeds, holds the promise to increase the potentiality of smart applications in terms of size, scope and targeted business context. In this article, a proof-of-concept implementation that federates two different IoT experimentation facilities by means of semantic-based technologies will be described. The specification and design of the implemented system and information models will be described together with the practical details of the developments carried out and its integration with the existing IoT platforms supporting the aforementioned testbeds. Overall, the system described in this paper demonstrates that it is possible to open new horizons in the development of IoT applications and experiments at a global scale, that transcend the (silo) boundaries of individual deployments, based on the semantic interconnection and interoperability of diverse IoT platforms and testbeds.

  14. Adaptive tight frame based medical image reconstruction: a proof-of-concept study for computed tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Weifeng; Cai, Jian-Feng; Gao, Hao

    2013-01-01

    A popular approach for medical image reconstruction has been through the sparsity regularization, assuming the targeted image can be well approximated by sparse coefficients under some properly designed system. The wavelet tight frame is such a widely used system due to its capability for sparsely approximating piecewise-smooth functions, such as medical images. However, using a fixed system may not always be optimal for reconstructing a variety of diversified images. Recently, the method based on the adaptive over-complete dictionary that is specific to structures of the targeted images has demonstrated its superiority for image processing. This work is to develop the adaptive wavelet tight frame method image reconstruction. The proposed scheme first constructs the adaptive wavelet tight frame that is task specific, and then reconstructs the image of interest by solving an l 1 -regularized minimization problem using the constructed adaptive tight frame system. The proof-of-concept study is performed for computed tomography (CT), and the simulation results suggest that the adaptive tight frame method improves the reconstructed CT image quality from the traditional tight frame method. (paper)

  15. Tattoo-based noninvasive glucose monitoring: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandodkar, Amay J; Jia, Wenzhao; Yardımcı, Ceren; Wang, Xuan; Ramirez, Julian; Wang, Joseph

    2015-01-06

    We present a proof-of-concept demonstration of an all-printed temporary tattoo-based glucose sensor for noninvasive glycemic monitoring. The sensor represents the first example of an easy-to-wear flexible tattoo-based epidermal diagnostic device combining reverse iontophoretic extraction of interstitial glucose and an enzyme-based amperometric biosensor. In-vitro studies reveal the tattoo sensor's linear response toward physiologically relevant glucose levels with negligible interferences from common coexisting electroactive species. The iontophoretic-biosensing tattoo platform is reduced to practice by applying the device on human subjects and monitoring variations in glycemic levels due to food consumption. Correlation of the sensor response with that of a commercial glucose meter underscores the promise of the tattoo sensor to detect glucose levels in a noninvasive fashion. Control on-body experiments demonstrate the importance of the reverse iontophoresis operation and validate the sensor specificity. This preliminary investigation indicates that the tattoo-based iontophoresis-sensor platform holds considerable promise for efficient diabetes management and can be extended toward noninvasive monitoring of other physiologically relevant analytes present in the interstitial fluid.

  16. Evaluation of early efficacy endpoints for proof-of-concept trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Cong; Sun, Linda; Li, Chih-Lin

    2013-03-11

    A Phase II proof-of-concept (POC) trial usually uses an early efficacy endpoint other than a clinical endpoint as the primary endpoint. Because of the advancement in bioscience and technology, which has yielded a number of new surrogate biomarkers, drug developers often have more candidate endpoints to choose from than they can handle. As a result, selection of endpoint and its effect size as well as choice of type I/II error rates are often at the center of heated debates in design of POC trials. While optimization of the trade-off between benefit and cost is the implicit objective in such a decision-making process, it is seldom explicitly accounted for in practice. In this research note, motivated by real examples from the oncology field, we provide practical measures for evaluation of early efficacy endpoints (E4) for POC trials. We further provide optimal design strategies for POC trials that include optimal Go-No Go decision criteria for initiation of Phase III and optimal resource allocation strategies for conducting multiple POC trials in a portfolio under fixed resources. Although oncology is used for illustration purpose, the same idea developed in this research note also applies to similar situations in other therapeutic areas or in early-stage drug development in that a Go-No Go decision has to rely on limited data from an early efficacy endpoint and cost-effectiveness is the main concern.

  17. Targeting Endothelial Adhesion Molecule Transcription for Treatment of Inflammatory Disease: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liam M. Ashander

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Targeting the endothelial adhesion molecules that control leukocyte trafficking into a tissue has been explored as a biological therapy for inflammatory diseases. However, these molecules also participate in leukocyte migration for immune surveillance, and inhibiting the physiological level of an adhesion molecule might promote infection or malignancy. We explored the concept of targeting endothelial adhesion molecule transcription during inflammation in a human system. Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1 mediates leukocyte migration across the retinal endothelium in noninfectious posterior uveitis. We observed an increase in the transcription factor, nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells 1 (NF-κB1, in parallel with ICAM-1, in human retinal endothelial cells treated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α, and identified putative binding sites for NF-κB1 within the ICAM-1 regulatory region. We targeted induced NF-κB1 expression in endothelial cells with small interfering (siRNA. Knockdown of NF-κB1 significantly decreased cell surface expression of ICAM-1 protein induced by TNF-α but did not reduce constitutive ICAM-1 expression. Consistently, NF-κB1 knockdown significantly reduced leukocyte binding to cell monolayers in the presence of TNF-α but did not impact baseline binding. Findings of this proof-of-concept study indicate that induced transcription of endothelial adhesion molecules might be targeted therapeutically for inflammatory disease in humans.

  18. Performing particle image velocimetry using artificial neural networks: a proof-of-concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabault, Jean; Kolaas, Jostein; Jensen, Atle

    2017-12-01

    Traditional programs based on feature engineering are underperforming on a steadily increasing number of tasks compared with artificial neural networks (ANNs), in particular for image analysis. Image analysis is widely used in fluid mechanics when performing particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV), and therefore it is natural to test the ability of ANNs to perform such tasks. We report for the first time the use of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and fully connected neural networks (FCNNs) for performing end-to-end PIV. Realistic synthetic images are used for training the networks and several synthetic test cases are used to assess the quality of each network’s predictions and compare them with state-of-the-art PIV software. In addition, we present tests on real-world data that prove ANNs can be used not only with synthetic images but also with more noisy, imperfect images obtained in a real experimental setup. While the ANNs we present have slightly higher root mean square error than state-of-the-art cross-correlation methods, they perform better near edges and allow for higher spatial resolution than such methods. In addition, it is likely that one could with further work develop ANNs which perform better that the proof-of-concept we offer.

  19. A Proof-of-Concept for Semantically Interoperable Federation of IoT Experimentation Facilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Lanza

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The Internet-of-Things (IoT is unanimously identified as one of the main pillars of future smart scenarios. The potential of IoT technologies and deployments has been already demonstrated in a number of different application areas, including transport, energy, safety and healthcare. However, despite the growing number of IoT deployments, the majority of IoT applications tend to be self-contained, thereby forming application silos. A lightweight data centric integration and combination of these silos presents several challenges that still need to be addressed. Indeed, the ability to combine and synthesize data streams and services from diverse IoT platforms and testbeds, holds the promise to increase the potentiality of smart applications in terms of size, scope and targeted business context. In this article, a proof-of-concept implementation that federates two different IoT experimentation facilities by means of semantic-based technologies will be described. The specification and design of the implemented system and information models will be described together with the practical details of the developments carried out and its integration with the existing IoT platforms supporting the aforementioned testbeds. Overall, the system described in this paper demonstrates that it is possible to open new horizons in the development of IoT applications and experiments at a global scale, that transcend the (silo boundaries of individual deployments, based on the semantic interconnection and interoperability of diverse IoT platforms and testbeds.

  20. Motivated Forgetting in Early Mathematics: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Ramirez

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Educators assume that students are motivated to retain what they are taught. Yet, students commonly report that they forget most of what they learn, especially in mathematics. In the current study I ask whether students may be motivated to forget mathematics because of academic experiences threaten the self-perceptions they are committed to maintaining. Using a large dataset of 1st and 2nd grade children (N = 812, I hypothesize that math anxiety creates negative experiences in the classroom that threaten children’s positive math self-perceptions, which in turn spurs a motivation to forget mathematics. I argue that this motivation to forget is activated during the winter break, which in turn reduces the extent to which children grow in achievement across the school year. Children were assessed for math self-perceptions, math anxiety and math achievement in the fall before going into winter break. During the spring, children’s math achievement was measured once again. A math achievement growth score was devised from a regression model of fall math achievement predicting spring achievement. Results show that children with higher math self-perceptions showed reduced growth in math achievement across the school year as a function of math anxiety. Children with lower math interest self-perceptions did not show this relationship. Results serve as a proof-of-concept for a scientific account of motivated forgetting within the context of education.

  1. A proof-of-concept transient diagnostic expert system for BWRs [Boiling Water Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshida, K.; Naser, J.A.

    1988-05-01

    A proof-of-concept transient diagnostic expert system has been developed to identify the cause and the type of an abnormal transient in a boiling water nuclear power plant. For this expert system development, the calculational results of the simulation code RETRAN were used as the knowledge source. The knowledge extracted from the RETRAN analyses was transformed into IF-THEN rules in the knowledge base for the expert system. An important feature of this expert system is the introduction of certainty factors to allow diagnosis even in the cases where data may be either missing or marked as invalid. To increase the capability of this diagnostic system to distinguish between similiar transients, backward chaining reasoning is used to support the forward chaining reasoning with certainty factors. Through this effort, it has been demonstrated that an expert system can be successfully used to create a transient diagnostic system. It has also successfully demonstrated that RETRAN can be used as the knowledge source for developing the knowledge base of the diagnostic system

  2. Proof-of-Concept of a Millimeter-Wave Integrated Heterogeneous Network for 5G Cellular

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shozo Okasaka

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The fifth-generation mobile networks (5G will not only enhance mobile broadband services, but also enable connectivity for a massive number of Internet-of-Things devices, such as wireless sensors, meters or actuators. Thus, 5G is expected to achieve a 1000-fold or more increase in capacity over 4G. The use of the millimeter-wave (mmWave spectrum is a key enabler to allowing 5G to achieve such enhancement in capacity. To fully utilize the mmWave spectrum, 5G is expected to adopt a heterogeneous network (HetNet architecture, wherein mmWave small cells are overlaid onto a conventional macro-cellular network. In the mmWave-integrated HetNet, splitting of the control plane (CP and user plane (UP will allow continuous connectivity and increase the capacity of the mmWave small cells. mmWave communication can be used not only for access linking, but also for wireless backhaul linking, which will facilitate the installation of mmWave small cells. In this study, a proof-of-concept (PoC was conducted to demonstrate the practicality of a prototype mmWave-integrated HetNet, using mmWave technologies for both backhaul and access.

  3. Proof-of-Concept of a Millimeter-Wave Integrated Heterogeneous Network for 5G Cellular.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okasaka, Shozo; Weiler, Richard J; Keusgen, Wilhelm; Pudeyev, Andrey; Maltsev, Alexander; Karls, Ingolf; Sakaguchi, Kei

    2016-08-25

    The fifth-generation mobile networks (5G) will not only enhance mobile broadband services, but also enable connectivity for a massive number of Internet-of-Things devices, such as wireless sensors, meters or actuators. Thus, 5G is expected to achieve a 1000-fold or more increase in capacity over 4G. The use of the millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum is a key enabler to allowing 5G to achieve such enhancement in capacity. To fully utilize the mmWave spectrum, 5G is expected to adopt a heterogeneous network (HetNet) architecture, wherein mmWave small cells are overlaid onto a conventional macro-cellular network. In the mmWave-integrated HetNet, splitting of the control plane (CP) and user plane (UP) will allow continuous connectivity and increase the capacity of the mmWave small cells. mmWave communication can be used not only for access linking, but also for wireless backhaul linking, which will facilitate the installation of mmWave small cells. In this study, a proof-of-concept (PoC) was conducted to demonstrate the practicality of a prototype mmWave-integrated HetNet, using mmWave technologies for both backhaul and access.

  4. Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogenschutz, Michael P; Forcehimes, Alyssa A; Pommy, Jessica A; Wilcox, Claire E; Barbosa, P C R; Strassman, Rick J

    2015-03-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that classic (5HT2A agonist) hallucinogens have clinically relevant effects in alcohol and drug addiction. Although recent studies have investigated the effects of psilocybin in various populations, there have been no studies on the efficacy of psilocybin for alcohol dependence. We conducted a single-group proof-of-concept study to quantify acute effects of psilocybin in alcohol-dependent participants and to provide preliminary outcome and safety data. Ten volunteers with DSM-IV alcohol dependence received orally administered psilocybin in one or two supervised sessions in addition to Motivational Enhancement Therapy and therapy sessions devoted to preparation for and debriefing from the psilocybin sessions. Participants' responses to psilocybin were qualitatively similar to those described in other populations. Abstinence did not increase significantly in the first 4 weeks of treatment (when participants had not yet received psilocybin), but increased significantly following psilocybin administration (p psilocybin session (at week 4) strongly predicted change in drinking during weeks 5-8 (r = 0.76 to r = 0.89) and also predicted decreases in craving and increases in abstinence self-efficacy during week 5. There were no significant treatment-related adverse events. These preliminary findings provide a strong rationale for controlled trials with larger samples to investigate efficacy and mechanisms. NCT02061293. © The Author(s) 2015.

  5. Modeling Child–Nature Interaction in a Nature Preschool: A Proof of Concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter H. Kahn

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available This article provides a proof of concept for an approach to modeling child–nature interaction based on the idea of interaction patterns: characterizations of essential features of interaction between humans and nature, specified abstractly enough such that countless different instantiations of each one can occur – in more domestic or wild forms – given different types of nature, people, and purposes. The model draws from constructivist psychology, ecological psychology, and evolutionary psychology, and is grounded in observational data collected through a time-sampling methodology at a nature preschool. Through using a nature language that emphasizes ontogenetic and phylogenetic significance, seven keystone interaction patterns are described for this nature preschool: using one’s body vigorously in nature, striking wood on wood, constructing shelter, being in solitude in nature, lying on earth, cohabiting with a wild animal, and being outside in weather. These 7 interactions patterns are then brought together with 13 other patterns published elsewhere to provide a total of 20 keystone interaction patterns that begin to fill out the model, and to show its promise. Discussion focuses on what the model aims to be in terms of both product and process, on what work the model can currently do, and how to further develop the model.

  6. Proof-of-concept study of an at-home, engaging, digital intervention for pediatric ADHD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi O Davis

    Full Text Available Pharmacological and behavioral therapies have limited impact on the distinct neurocognitive impairments associated with ADHD, and existing cognitive training programs have shown limited efficacy. This proof-of-concept study assessed treatment acceptability and explored outcomes for a novel digital treatment targeting cognitive processes implicated in ADHD.Participants included 40 children with ADHD and 40 children without ADHD. Following psychiatric screening, ADHD ratings, and baseline neuropsychological measures, participants completed 28-days of at-home treatment. Neuropsychological assessment was repeated at end-of-study along with treatment satisfaction measures.Eighty-four percent of treatment sessions were completed and ratings showed strong intervention appeal. Significant improvements were observed on a computerized attention task for the ADHD group and a highly impaired ADHD High Severity subgroup. There was no change for the non-ADHD group. Spatial working memory also improved for the ADHD group and the ADHD High Severity subgroup.Findings provide preliminary support that this treatment may improve attention, working memory, and inhibition in children with ADHD. Future research requires larger-scale randomized controlled trials that also evaluate treatment impact on functional impairments.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01943539.

  7. Biocatalytic coatings for air pollution control: a proof of concept study on VOC biodegradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, José M; Bernal, Oscar I; Flickinger, Michael C; Muñoz, Raúl; Deshusses, Marc A

    2015-02-01

    Although biofilm-based biotechnologies exhibit a large potential as solutions for off-gas treatment, the high water content of biofilms often causes pollutant mass transfer limitations, which ultimately limit their widespread application. The present study reports on the proof of concept of the applicability of bioactive latex coatings for air pollution control. Toluene vapors served as a model volatile organic compound (VOC). The results showed that Pseudomonas putida F1 cells could be successfully entrapped in nanoporous latex coatings while preserving their toluene degradation activity. Bioactive latex coatings exhibited toluene specific biodegradation rates 10 times higher than agarose-based biofilms, because the thin coatings were less subject to diffusional mass transfer limitations. Drying and pollutant starvation were identified as key factors inducing a gradual deterioration of the biodegradation capacity in these innovative coatings. This study constitutes the first application of bioactive latex coatings for VOC abatement. These coatings could become promising means for air pollution control. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Reservoir Cannulas for Pediatric Oxygen Therapy: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace Wu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hypoxemia is a complication of pneumonia—the leading infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Treatment generally requires oxygen-enriched air, but access in low-resource settings is expensive and unreliable. We explored use of reservoir cannulas (RCs, which yield oxygen savings in adults but have not been examined in children. Toddler, small child, and adolescent breathing profiles were simulated with artificial lung and airway models. An oxygen concentrator provided flow rates of 0 to 5 L/min via a standard nasal cannula (NC or RC, and delivered oxygen fraction (FdO2 was measured. The oxygen savings ratio (SR and absolute flow savings (AFS were calculated, comparing NC and RC. We demonstrated proof-of-concept that pendant RCs could conserve oxygen during pediatric therapy. SR mean and standard deviation were 1.1±0.2 to 1.4±0.4, 1.1±0.1 to 1.7±0.3, and 1.3±0.1 to 2.4±0.3 for toddler, small child, and adolescent models, respectively. Maximum AFS observed were 0.3±0.3, 0.2±0.1, and 1.4±0.3 L/min for the same models. RCs have the potential to reduce oxygen consumption during treatment of hypoxemia in children; however, further evaluation of products is needed, followed by clinical analysis in patients.

  9. Reservoir Cannulas for Pediatric Oxygen Therapy: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Grace; DiBlasi, Robert M.; Saxon, Eugene; Austin, Glenn; Ginsburg, Amy Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxemia is a complication of pneumonia—the leading infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Treatment generally requires oxygen-enriched air, but access in low-resource settings is expensive and unreliable. We explored use of reservoir cannulas (RCs), which yield oxygen savings in adults but have not been examined in children. Toddler, small child, and adolescent breathing profiles were simulated with artificial lung and airway models. An oxygen concentrator provided flow rates of 0 to 5 L/min via a standard nasal cannula (NC) or RC, and delivered oxygen fraction (FdO2) was measured. The oxygen savings ratio (SR) and absolute flow savings (AFS) were calculated, comparing NC and RC. We demonstrated proof-of-concept that pendant RCs could conserve oxygen during pediatric therapy. SR mean and standard deviation were 1.1 ± 0.2 to 1.4 ± 0.4, 1.1 ± 0.1 to 1.7 ± 0.3, and 1.3 ± 0.1 to 2.4 ± 0.3 for toddler, small child, and adolescent models, respectively. Maximum AFS observed were 0.3 ± 0.3, 0.2 ± 0.1, and 1.4 ± 0.3 L/min for the same models. RCs have the potential to reduce oxygen consumption during treatment of hypoxemia in children; however, further evaluation of products is needed, followed by clinical analysis in patients. PMID:27999601

  10. Proof of Concept of Automated Collision Detection Technology in Rugby Sevens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Anthea C; Anson, Judith M; Pyne, David B

    2017-04-01

    Clarke, AC, Anson, JM, and Pyne, DB. Proof of concept of automated collision detection technology in rugby sevens. J Strength Cond Res 31(4): 1116-1120, 2017-Developments in microsensor technology allow for automated detection of collisions in various codes of football, removing the need for time-consuming postprocessing of video footage. However, little research is available on the ability of microsensor technology to be used across various sports or genders. Game video footage was matched with microsensor-detected collisions (GPSports) in one men's (n = 12 players) and one women's (n = 12) rugby sevens match. True-positive, false-positive, and false-negative events between video and microsensor-detected collisions were used to calculate recall (ability to detect a collision) and precision (accurately identify a collision). The precision was similar between the men's and women's rugby sevens game (∼0.72; scale 0.00-1.00); however, the recall in the women's game (0.45) was less than that for the men's game (0.69). This resulted in 45% of collisions for men and 62% of collisions for women being incorrectly labeled. Currently, the automated collision detection system in GPSports microtechnology units has only modest utility in rugby sevens, and it seems that a rugby sevens-specific algorithm is needed. Differences in measures between the men's and women's game may be a result of physical size, and strength, and physicality, as well as technical and tactical factors.

  11. Development of a proof of concept low temperature 4He Superfluid Magnetic Pump

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahromi, Amir E.; Miller, Franklin K.

    2017-03-01

    We describe the development and experimental results of a proof of concept Superfluid Magnetic Pump in this work. This novel low temperature, no moving part pump can replace the existing bellows-piston driven 4He or 3He-4He mixture compressor/circulators used in various sub Kelvin refrigeration systems such as dilution, Superfluid pulse tube, Stirling, or active magnetic regenerative refrigerators. Due to the superior thermal transport properties of sub-Lambda 4He this pump can also be used as a simple circulator to distribute cooling over large surface areas. Our pump was experimentally shown to produce a maximum flow rate of 440 mg/s (averaged over cycle), 665 mg/s (peak) and produced a maximum pressure difference of 2323 Pa using only the more common isotope of helium, 4He. This pump worked in an ;ideal; thermodynamic state: The experimental results matched with the theoretical values predicted by a computer model. Pump curves were developed to map the performance of this pump. This successful demonstration will enable this novel pump to be implemented in suitable sub Kelvin refrigeration systems.

  12. Rethinking the data model: the drillbit proof-of-concept library

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebke, Johannes; Waller, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The focus of many software architectures of the LHC experiments is to deliver a well-designed Event Data Model (EDM). Changes and additions to the stored data are often expensive, requiring large amounts of CPU time, disk storage and man-power. In addition, differing needs between groups of physicists lead to a tendency for common data formats to grow in terms of contained information whilst still not managing to service all needs. We introduce a new way of thinking about the data model based on the Dremel column store architecture published by Google. We present an EDM concept based on Dremel, which has the potential to significantly reduce the storage requirement for these common formats, decrease the time needed for independent physicists to compare their results and improve the speed at which data reprocessings can feasibly take place. The Dremel low-level encoding is implemented in a proof-of-concept C++ library called Drillbit, and it is shown that using a different encoding of the current data could save as much as 20% of disk space on average across a wide number of real-world derived data sets.

  13. Feasibility of international data collection and feedback on post-operative pain data: proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaslansky, R; Chapman, C R; Rothaug, J; Bäckström, R; Brill, S; Davidson, E; Elessi, K; Fletcher, D; Fodor, L; Karanja, E; Konrad, C; Kopf, A; Leykin, Y; Lipman, A; Puig, M; Rawal, N; Schug, S; Ullrich, K; Volk, T; Meissner, W

    2012-03-01

    Post-operative pain exacts a high toll from patients, families, healthcare professionals and healthcare systems worldwide. PAIN-OUT is a research project funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Program designed to develop effective, evidence-based approaches to improve pain management after surgery, including creating a registry for feedback, benchmarking and decision support. In preparation for PAIN-OUT, we conducted a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of international data collection with feedback to participating sites. Adult orthopaedic or general surgery patients consented to participate between May and October 2008 at 14 collaborating hospitals in 13 countries. Project staff collected patient-reported outcomes and process data from 688 patients and entered the data into an online database. Project staff in 10 institutions met the enrolment criteria of collecting data from at least 50 patients. The completeness and quality of the data, as assessed by rate of missing data, were acceptable; only 2% of process data and 0.06% of patient-reported outcome data were missing. Participating institutions received access to select items as Web-based feedback comparing their outcomes to those of the other sites, presented anonymously. We achieved proof of concept because staff and patients in all 14 sites cooperated well despite marked differences in cultures, nationalities and languages, and a central database management team was able to provide valuable feedback to all. © 2011 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters.

  14. Proof of concept and dose estimation with binary responses under model uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingenberg, B

    2009-01-30

    This article suggests a unified framework for testing Proof of Concept (PoC) and estimating a target dose for the benefit of a more comprehensive, robust and powerful analysis in phase II or similar clinical trials. From a pre-specified set of candidate models, we choose the ones that best describe the observed dose-response. To decide which models, if any, significantly pick up a dose effect, we construct the permutation distribution of the minimum P-value over the candidate set. This allows us to find critical values and multiplicity adjusted P-values that control the familywise error rate of declaring any spurious effect in the candidate set as significant. Model averaging is then used to estimate a target dose. Popular single or multiple contrast tests for PoC, such as the Cochran-Armitage, Dunnett or Williams tests, are only optimal for specific dose-response shapes and do not provide target dose estimates with confidence limits. A thorough evaluation and comparison of our approach to these tests reveal that its power is as good or better in detecting a dose-response under various shapes with many more additional benefits: It incorporates model uncertainty in PoC decisions and target dose estimation, yields confidence intervals for target dose estimates and extends to more complicated data structures. We illustrate our method with the analysis of a Phase II clinical trial. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. A contact-free volumetric measurement of facial volume after third molar osteotomy: proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brüllmann, Dan; Jürchott, Lena Marie; John, Christoph; Trempler, Christina; Schwanecke, Ulrich; Schulze, Ralf K W

    2014-01-01

    The present study tested the reliability of an optical scanning device for the objective assessment of postoperative facial swelling. Twenty control subjects bearing a defined volume of water (10-30 mL) in an intraorally carried balloon were tested to assess the measurement accuracy of the device. As a proof of concept, facial volumes of 59 surgical cases were recorded before osteotomy and 1 and 7 days after intervention with the use of a structured light scanner. The median difference between the applied and the measured volumes was 0.67 mL for the control test with the artificial swelling simulated using water balloons. For subjects having third molar osteotomy, extraoral volume increased to 5.29 cm(3) 1 day after surgery (95% CI 5.22-8.52) and decreased to 0.00 mL (95% CI 0.85-2.55) after 7 days. Contact-free visible-light 3-dimensional scanning is reliable for the objective assessment of postoperative facial swelling. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Metacognitive executive function training for young children with ADHD: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Leanne; Nakonezny, Paul A

    2015-09-01

    Executive functions (EF) are impaired in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may be especially critical for interventions to target EF in early childhood given the developmental progression of EF deficits that may contribute to later functional impairments. This proof-of-concept study examined the initial efficacy of an intervention program on EF and ADHD. We also examined child performance on three neurocognitive tasks assessing cognitive flexibility, auditory/visual attention, and sustained/selective attention. Children with ADHD (ages 3-7) and their parents were randomized to receive an intervention targeting metacognitive EF deficits (n = 13) or to a waitlist control condition (n = 12). Linear model analysis of covariance compared groups on parent EF ratings, blinded clinician ratings of ADHD symptoms and improvement, and child performance on neurocognitive measures. Children who received the intervention significantly improved on parent ratings of attention shifting and emotion regulation in addition to clinician ratings of inattention. Moderate effect sizes showed additional intervention effects on parent ratings of inhibition, memory, and planning, and clinician ratings of hyperactivity/impulsivity and overall improvement. Small effect sizes were observed for improvement on child neurocognitive measures. Although replication with a larger sample and an active control group is needed, EF training with a metacognitive focus is a potentially promising intervention for young children with ADHD.

  17. Distributed electrical time domain reflectometry (ETDR) structural sensors: design models and proof-of-concept experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stastny, Jeffrey A.; Rogers, Craig A.; Liang, Chen

    1993-07-01

    A parametric design model has been created to optimize the sensitivity of the sensing cable in a distributed sensing system. The system consists of electrical time domain reflectometry (ETDR) signal processing equipment and specially designed sensing cables. The ETDR equipment sends a high-frequency electric pulse (in the giga hertz range) along the sensing cable. Some portion of the electric pulse will be reflected back to the ETDR equipment as a result of the variation of the cable impedance. The electric impedance variation in the sensing cable can be related to its mechanical deformation, such as cable elongation (change in the resistance), shear deformation (change in the capacitance), corrosion of the cable or the materials around the cable (change in inductance and capacitance), etc. The time delay, amplitude, and shape of the reflected pulse provides the means to locate, determine the magnitude, and indicate the nature of the change in the electrical impedance, which is then related to the distributed structural deformation. The sensing cables are an essential part of the health-monitoring system. By using the parametric design model, the optimum cable parameters can be determined for specific deformation. Proof-of-concept experiments also are presented in the paper to demonstrate the utility of an electrical TDR system in distributed sensing applications.

  18. Photodynamic therapy in neurosurgery: a proof of concept of treatment planning system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, C.; Reyns, N.; Mordon, S.; Vermandel, M.

    2017-02-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor. PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT) appears as an interesting research field to improve GBM treatment. Nevertheless, PDT cannot fit into the current therapeutic modalities according to several reasons: the lack of reliable and reproducible therapy schemes (devices, light delivery system), the lack of consensus on a photosensitizer and the absence of randomized and controlled multicenter clinical trial. The main objective of this study is to bring a common support for PDT planning. Here, we describe a proof of concept of Treatment Planning System (TPS) dedicated to interstitial PDT for GBM treatment. The TPS was developed with the integrated development environment C++ Builder XE8 and the environment ArtiMED, developed in our laboratory. This software enables stereotactic registration of DICOM images, light sources insertion and an accelerated CUDA GPU dosimetry modeling. Although, Monte-Carlo is more robust to describe light diffusion in biological tissue, analytical model accelerated by GPU remains relevant for dose preview or fast reverse planning processes. Finally, this preliminary work proposes a new tool to plan interstitial or intraoperative PDT treatment and might be included in the design of future clinical trials in order to deliver PDT straightforwardly and homogenously in investigator centers.

  19. Estimating Highway Volumes Using Vehicle Probe Data - Proof of Concept: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hou, Yi [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Young, Stanley E [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Sadabadi, Kaveh [University of Maryland; SekuBa, PrzemysBaw [University of Maryland; Markow, Denise [I95 Corridor Coalition

    2018-03-13

    This paper examines the feasibility of using sampled commercial probe data in combination with validated continuous counter data to accurately estimate vehicle volume across the entire roadway network, for any hour during the year. Currently either real time or archived volume data for roadways at specific times are extremely sparse. Most volume data are average annual daily traffic (AADT) measures derived from the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS). Although methods to factor the AADT to hourly averages for typical day of week exist, actual volume data is limited to a sparse collection of locations in which volumes are continuously recorded. This paper explores the use of commercial probe data to generate accurate volume measures that span the highway network providing ubiquitous coverage in space, and specific point-in-time measures for a specific date and time. The paper examines the need for the data, fundamental accuracy limitations based on a basic statistical model that take into account the sampling nature of probe data, and early results from a proof of concept exercise revealing the potential of probe type data calibrated with public continuous count data to meet end user expectations in terms of accuracy of volume estimates.

  20. Online support groups for young women with breast cancer: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, Joanne; Rojubally, Adina; Linden, Wolfgang; Zhong, Lihong; Mackenzie, Gina; Mahmoud, Sahar; Giese-Davis, Janine

    2017-07-01

    This initial study examined a therapist-led, synchronous, online support group (OSG) with psycho-education (OSG + E) compared to self-help psycho-education (E). The study aims were to examine proof of concept-feasibility, acceptability, and usefulness-and to hone methods for a formal RCT. One hundred five young breast cancer survivors (<50 years) post-treatment were randomized either to OSG + E or E. OSG + E received a therapist-led 10-week synchronous online intervention. E received a self-help workbook. Assessments were at baseline, 10 weeks, and 3 months, with willing OSG + E members completing post-study interviews. Researchers used inductive analysis, generating qualitative themes for feasibility, acceptability, and usefulness. We examined trajectories for one primary and two secondary quantitative outcomes and a combined moderator to discover who preferentially benefitted from the intervention. Qualitative analyses revealed that synchronous chat was at times challenging, but minimal technical coaching, structure, set topics, and professional facilitation enabled conversations that were focused and meaningful. A combined moderator indicated that generally more women benefitted from OSG + E relative to E and particularly those women in semi-rural and rural areas. This study suggests that therapist-led synchronous OSGs are feasible, acceptable, and useful for young breast cancer survivors and that a future RCT with a larger sample size, perhaps more focused on non-urban areas, is needed to establish its effectiveness.

  1. Water-Soluble Dried Blood Spot in Protein Analysis: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosting, Cecilie; Gjelstad, Astrid; Halvorsen, Trine Grønhaug

    2015-08-04

    In the present work human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was used as a model protein in a proof-of-concept study combining water-soluble dried blood spot (DBS) material in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)-based protein analysis. A water-soluble material consisting of commercially available carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was evaluated as sampling material for this purpose. The material dissolved readily at physiological pH. Different sample preparation methods were evaluated, and in the final method, 15 μL of whole blood was deposited and dried on CMC before the whole spot was dissolved prior to cleanup by immunoaffinity extraction, tryptic digest, and preconcentration by solid-phase extraction (SPE). The results indicated complete dissolution of hCG from the spots, acceptable limit of detection (LOD) (0.1 IU/mL), linearity (R(2) = 0.959), accuracy (16%), and precision (≤22%). Long-term stability (45 days) of hCG in dried spots at reduced temperatures (≤8 °C) was also demonstrated. The analyte recovery was comparable to the commercially available nonsolvable cellulose material (FTA DMPK-C card).

  2. Performance evaluation of a proof-of-concept 70 W internal reforming methanol fuel cell system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avgouropoulos, G.; Schlicker, S.; Schelhaas, K.-P.; Papavasiliou, J.; Papadimitriou, K. D.; Theodorakopoulou, E.; Gourdoupi, N.; Machocki, A.; Ioannides, T.; Kallitsis, J. K.; Kolb, G.; Neophytides, S.

    2016-03-01

    A proof-of-concept 70 W Internal Reforming Methanol Fuel Cell (IRMFC) stack including Balance-of-Plant (BoP) was designed, assembled and tested. Advent TPS® high-temperature, polymer electrolyte membrane electrode assemblies were employed for fuel cell operation at 200 °C. In order to avoid phosphoric acid poisoning of the reformer, the anode electrocatalyst of each cell was indirectly adjoined, via a separation plate, to a highly active CuMnAlOx catalyst coated onto copper foam, which served as methanol reforming layer. The reformer was in-situ converting the methanol/steam feed to the required hydrogen (internal reforming concept) at 200 °C, which was readily oxidized at the anode electrodes. The operation of the IRMFC was supported through a number of BoP components consisting of a start-up subsystem (air blower, evaporator and monolithic burner), a combined afterburner/evaporator device, methanol/water supply and data acquisition units (reactants/products analysis, temperature control, flow control, system load/output control). Depending on the composition of the liquid MeOH/H2O feed streams, current densities up to 0.18 A cm-2 and power output up to 70 W could be obtained with remarkable repeatability. Specific targets for improvement of the efficiency were identified.

  3. Forward Genetic Screening Using Behavioral Tests in Zebrafish: A Proof of Concept Analysis of Mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlai, Robert; Poshusta, Tanya L; Rampersad, Mindy; Fernandes, Yohaan; Greenwood, Tammy M; Cousin, Margot A; Klee, Eric W; Clark, Karl J

    2017-01-01

    The zebrafish enjoys several advantages over other model organisms. It is small, easy to maintain, prolific, and numerous genetic tools are available for it. For example, forward genetic screens have allowed investigators to identify important genes potentially involved in a variety of functions from embryogenesis to cancer. However, despite its sophisticated behavioral repertoire, behavioral methods have rarely been utilized in forward genetic screens. Here, we employ a two-tiered strategy, a proof of concept study, to explore the feasibility of behavioral screens. We generated mutant lines using transposon-based insertional mutagenesis, allowing us to bias mutant selection with target genes expressed within the brain. Furthermore, we employed an efficient and fast behavioral pre-selection in which we investigated the locomotory response of 5-day post-fertilization old larval fish to hyperosmotic shock. Based on this assay, we selected five lines for our lower throughput secondary adult behavioral screen. The latter screen utilized tests in which computer animated image presentation and video-tracking-based automated quantification of behavior allowed us to compare heterozygous zebrafish with their wild-type siblings on their responses to a variety of stimuli. We found significant mutation induced adult behavioral alterations in 4 out of the 5 lines analyzed, including changes in response to social or fear inducing stimuli, to handling and novelty, or in habituation to novelty. We discuss the pros and cons of behavioral phenotyping and of the use of different forward genetic methods in biomedical research with zebrafish.

  4. Automation of strategy using IDEF0 — A proof of concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary R. Waissi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this interdisciplinary paper is to show that an existing modeling language, Integration Definition for Function Modeling (IDEF0, is applicable for use in strategy modeling and for automation of strategic plan development and implementation. We will show how utilization of the systems modeling language IDEF0 simplifies strategic plan development, and moves strategic planning and management from a static, document-based approach to a model- and software-based approach. A sequence of examples, as a proof-of-concept, is shown to demonstrate the use of IDEF0 to translate document-based strategic plans to model-based plans. The advantages of IDEF0 include: a well-tested language, and comprehensive systems modeling technique. The resulting IDEF0 models are well-defined, well-structured, easy to understand, easy to modify and use, and can be extended to any depth of detail. It is noted, that while the paper focuses on small- and medium manufacturing enterprises (SME, the approach can be used for strategy development and strategy automation of any size company or organization.

  5. Technical Note: Motion-perturbation method applied to dosimetry of dynamic MLC target tracking—A proof-of-concept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feygelman, Vladimir, E-mail: vladimir.feygelman@moffitt.org; Tonner, Brian; Hunt, Dylan; Zhang, Geoffrey; Moros, Eduardo [Department of Radiation Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida 33612 (United States); Stambaugh, Cassandra [Department of Physics, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612 (United States); Nelms, Benjamin E. [Canis Lupus LLC, Merrimac, Wisconsin 53561 (United States)

    2015-11-15

    Purpose: Previous studies show that dose to a moving target can be estimated using 4D measurement-guided dose reconstruction based on a process called virtual motion simulation, or VMS. A potential extension of VMS is to estimate dose during dynamic multileaf collimator (MLC)-tracking treatments. The authors introduce a modified VMS method and quantify its performance as proof-of-concept for tracking applications. Methods: Direct measurements with a moving biplanar diode array were used to verify accuracy of the VMS dose estimates. A tracking environment for variably sized circular MLC apertures was simulated by sending preprogrammed control points to the MLC while simultaneously moving the accelerator treatment table. Sensitivity of the method to simulated tracking latency (0–700 ms) was also studied. Potential applicability of VMS to fast changing beam apertures was evaluated by modeling, based on the demonstrated dependence of the cumulative dose on the temporal dose gradient. Results: When physical and virtual latencies were matched, the agreement rates (2% global/2 mm gamma) between the VMS and the biplanar dosimeter were above 96%. When compared to their own reference dose (0 induced latency), the agreement rates for VMS and biplanar array track closely up to 200 ms of induced latency with 10% low-dose cutoff threshold and 300 ms with 50% cutoff. Time-resolved measurements suggest that even in the modulated beams, the error in the cumulative dose introduced by the 200 ms VMS time resolution is not likely to exceed 0.5%. Conclusions: Based on current results and prior benchmarks of VMS accuracy, the authors postulate that this approach should be applicable to any MLC-tracking treatments where leaf speeds do not exceed those of the current Varian accelerators.

  6. Noninvasive referencing of intraocular tumors for external beam radiation therapy using optical coherence tomography: A proof of concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rüegsegger, Michael B.; Steiner, Patrick; Kowal, Jens H.; Geiser, Dominik; Pica, Alessia; Aebersold, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: External beam radiation therapy is currently considered the most common treatment modality for intraocular tumors. Localization of the tumor and efficient compensation of tumor misalignment with respect to the radiation beam are crucial. According to the state of the art procedure, localization of the target volume is indirectly performed by the invasive surgical implantation of radiopaque clips or is limited to positioning the head using stereoscopic radiographies. This work represents a proof-of-concept for direct and noninvasive tumor referencing based on anterior eye topography acquired using optical coherence tomography (OCT). Methods: A prototype of a head-mounted device has been developed for automatic monitoring of tumor position and orientation in the isocentric reference frame for LINAC based treatment of intraocular tumors. Noninvasive tumor referencing is performed with six degrees of freedom based on anterior eye topography acquired using OCT and registration of a statistical eye model. The proposed prototype was tested based on enucleated pig eyes and registration accuracy was measured by comparison of the resulting transformation with tilt and torsion angles manually induced using a custom-made test bench. Results: Validation based on 12 enucleated pig eyes revealed an overall average registration error of 0.26 ± 0.08° in 87 ± 0.7 ms for tilting and 0.52 ± 0.03° in 94 ± 1.4 ms for torsion. Furthermore, dependency of sampling density on mean registration error was quantitatively assessed. Conclusions: The tumor referencing method presented in combination with the statistical eye model introduced in the past has the potential to enable noninvasive treatment and may improve quality, efficacy, and flexibility of external beam radiotherapy of intraocular tumors

  7. Technical Note: Motion-perturbation method applied to dosimetry of dynamic MLC target tracking—A proof-of-concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feygelman, Vladimir; Tonner, Brian; Hunt, Dylan; Zhang, Geoffrey; Moros, Eduardo; Stambaugh, Cassandra; Nelms, Benjamin E.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Previous studies show that dose to a moving target can be estimated using 4D measurement-guided dose reconstruction based on a process called virtual motion simulation, or VMS. A potential extension of VMS is to estimate dose during dynamic multileaf collimator (MLC)-tracking treatments. The authors introduce a modified VMS method and quantify its performance as proof-of-concept for tracking applications. Methods: Direct measurements with a moving biplanar diode array were used to verify accuracy of the VMS dose estimates. A tracking environment for variably sized circular MLC apertures was simulated by sending preprogrammed control points to the MLC while simultaneously moving the accelerator treatment table. Sensitivity of the method to simulated tracking latency (0–700 ms) was also studied. Potential applicability of VMS to fast changing beam apertures was evaluated by modeling, based on the demonstrated dependence of the cumulative dose on the temporal dose gradient. Results: When physical and virtual latencies were matched, the agreement rates (2% global/2 mm gamma) between the VMS and the biplanar dosimeter were above 96%. When compared to their own reference dose (0 induced latency), the agreement rates for VMS and biplanar array track closely up to 200 ms of induced latency with 10% low-dose cutoff threshold and 300 ms with 50% cutoff. Time-resolved measurements suggest that even in the modulated beams, the error in the cumulative dose introduced by the 200 ms VMS time resolution is not likely to exceed 0.5%. Conclusions: Based on current results and prior benchmarks of VMS accuracy, the authors postulate that this approach should be applicable to any MLC-tracking treatments where leaf speeds do not exceed those of the current Varian accelerators

  8. Sharing Data between Mobile Devices, Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure Task 8 : D2X Hub Proof-of-Concept Test Evaluation Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-25

    The Task 8 D2X Hub Proof-of-Concept Test Evaluation Report provides results of the experimental data analysis performed in accordance with the experimental plan for the proof-of-concept version of the prototype system. The data set analyzed includes ...

  9. Preparation and Properties of Asphalt Binders Modified by THFS Extracted From Direct Coal Liquefaction Residue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Ji

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to study the preparation and viscoelastic properties of asphalt binder modified by tetrahydrofuran soluble fraction (THFS extracted from direct coal liquefaction residue. The modified asphalt binders, which blended with SK-90 (control asphalt binder and 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% THFS (by weight of SK-90, were fabricated. The preparation process for asphalt binder was optimized in terms of the orthogonal array test strategy and gray correlation analysis results. The properties of asphalt binder were measured by applying Penetration performance grade and Superpave performance grade specifications. In addition, the temperature step and frequency sweep test in Dynamic Shear Rheometer were conducted to predict the rheological behavior, temperature and frequency susceptibility of asphalt binder. The test results suggested the optimal preparation process, such as 150 °C shearing temperature, 45 min shearing time and 4000 rpm shearing rate. Subsequently, the addition of THFS was beneficial in increasing the high-temperature properties but decreased the low-temperature properties and resistance to fatigue. The content analysis of THFS showed the percentage of 4~6% achieved a balance in the high-and-low temperature properties of asphalt binder. The asphalt binder with higher THFS content exhibited higher resistance to rutting and less sensitivity to frequency and temperature.

  10. Production and Optimization of Direct Coal Liquefaction derived Low Carbon-Footprint Transportation Fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven Markovich

    2010-06-30

    This report summarizes works conducted under DOE Contract No. DE-FC26-05NT42448. The work scope was divided into two categories - (a) experimental program to pretreat and refine a coal derived syncrude sample to meet transportation fuels requirements; (b) system analysis of a commercial scale direct coal liquefaction facility. The coal syncrude was derived from a bituminous coal by Headwaters CTL, while the refining study was carried out under a subcontract to Axens North America. The system analysis included H{sub 2} production cost via six different options, conceptual process design, utilities requirements, CO{sub 2} emission and overall plant economy. As part of the system analysis, impact of various H{sub 2} production options was evaluated. For consistence the comparison was carried out using the DOE H2A model. However, assumptions in the model were updated using Headwaters database. Results of Tier 2 jet fuel specifications evaluation by the Fuels & Energy Branch, US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RZPF) located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio) are also discussed in this report.

  11. Real-Time Dynamic Brake Assessment Proof of Concept Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lascurain, Mary Beth [ORNL; Franzese, Oscar [ORNL; Capps, Gary J [ORNL

    2011-11-01

    This proof-of-concept research was performed to explore the feasibility of using real-world braking data from commercial motor vehicles to make a diagnosis of brake condition similar to that of the performance-based brake tester (PBBT). This was done by determining the relationship between pressure and brake force (P-BF), compensating for the gross vehicle weight (GVW). The nature of this P-BF relationship (e.g., low braking force for a given brake application pressure) may indicate brake system problems. In order to determine the relationship between brake force and brake application pressure, a few key parameters of duty cycle information were collected. Because braking events are often brief, spanning only a few seconds, a sample rate of 10 Hz was needed. The algorithm under development required brake application pressure and speed (from which deceleration was calculated). Accurate weight estimation was also needed to properly derive the braking force from the deceleration. In order to ensure that braking force was the predominant factor in deceleration for the segments of data used in analysis, the data was screened for grade as well. Also, the analysis needed to be based on pressures above the crack pressure. The crack pressure is the pressure below which the individual brakes are not applied due the nature of the mechanical system. This value, which may vary somewhat from one wheel end to another, is approximately 10 psi. Therefore, only pressures 15 psi and above were used in the analysis. The Department of Energy s Medium Truck Duty Cycle research has indicated that under the real-world circumstances of the test vehicle brake pressures of up to approximately 30 psi can be expected. Several different types of data were collected during the testing task of this project. Constant-pressure stopping tests were conducted at several combinations of brake application pressure (15, 20, 25, and 30 psi), load conditions (moderately and fully laden), and speeds (20 and

  12. Generation of composite Persea americana (Mill.) (avocado) plants: A proof-of-concept-study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhu, S Ashok; Ndlovu, Buyani; Engelbrecht, Juanita; van den Berg, Noëlani

    2017-01-01

    Avocado (Persea americana (Mill.)), an important commercial fruit, is severely affected by Phytophthora Root Rot in areas where the pathogen is prevalent. However, advances in molecular research are hindered by the lack of a high-throughput transient transformation system in this non-model plant. In this study, a proof-of-concept is demonstrated by the successful application of Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated plant transformation to produce composite avocado plants. Two ex vitro strategies were assessed on two avocado genotypes (Itzamna and A0.74): In the first approach, 8-week-old etiolated seedlings were scarred with a sterile hacksaw blade at the base of the shoot, and in the second, inch-long incisions were made at the base of the shoot (20-week-old non-etiolated plants) with a sterile blade to remove the cortical tissue. The scarred/wounded shoot surfaces were treated with A. rhizogenes strains (K599 or ARqua1) transformed with or without binary plant transformation vectors pRedRootII (DsRed1 marker), pBYR2e1-GFP (GFP- green fluorescence protein marker) or pBINUbiGUSint (GUS- beta-glucuronidase marker) with and without rooting hormone (Dip 'N' Grow) application. The treated shoot regions were air-layered with sterile moist cocopeat to induce root formation. Results showed that hormone application significantly increased root induction, while Agrobacterium-only treatments resulted in very few roots. Combination treatments of hormone+Agrobacterium (-/+ plasmids) showed no significant difference. Only the ARqua1(+plasmid):A0.74 combination resulted in root transformants, with hormone+ARqua1(+pBINUbiGUSint) being the most effective treatment with ~17 and 25% composite plants resulting from strategy-1 and strategy-2, respectively. GUS- and GFP-expressing roots accounted for less than 4 and ~11%, respectively, of the total roots/treatment/avocado genotype. The average number of transgenic roots on the composite plants was less than one per plant in all treatments

  13. Computing under-ice discharge: A proof-of-concept using hydroacoustics and the Probability Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, John W.; Henneberg, Mark F.; Mills, Taylor J.; Kohn, Michael S.; Epstein, Brian; Hittle, Elizabeth A.; Damschen, William C.; Laveau, Christopher D.; Lambrecht, Jason M.; Farmer, William H.

    2018-01-01

    Under-ice discharge is estimated using open-water reference hydrographs; however, the ratings for ice-affected sites are generally qualified as poor. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, conducted a proof-of-concept to develop an alternative method for computing under-ice discharge using hydroacoustics and the Probability Concept.The study site was located south of Minturn, Colorado (CO), USA, and was selected because of (1) its proximity to the existing USGS streamgage 09064600 Eagle River near Minturn, CO, and (2) its ease-of-access to verify discharge using a variety of conventional methods. From late September 2014 to early March 2015, hydraulic conditions varied from open water to under ice. These temporal changes led to variations in water depth and velocity. Hydroacoustics (tethered and uplooking acoustic Doppler current profilers and acoustic Doppler velocimeters) were deployed to measure the vertical-velocity profile at a singularly important vertical of the channel-cross section. Because the velocity profile was non-standard and cannot be characterized using a Power Law or Log Law, velocity data were analyzed using the Probability Concept, which is a probabilistic formulation of the velocity distribution. The Probability Concept-derived discharge was compared to conventional methods including stage-discharge and index-velocity ratings and concurrent field measurements; each is complicated by the dynamics of ice formation, pressure influences on stage measurements, and variations in cross-sectional area due to ice formation.No particular discharge method was assigned as truth. Rather one statistical metric (Kolmogorov-Smirnov; KS), agreement plots, and concurrent measurements provided a measure of comparability between various methods. Regardless of the method employed, comparisons between each method revealed encouraging results depending on the flow conditions and the absence or presence of ice

  14. Automated joint space width quantification of hand and wrist joints: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huo, Yinghe; Veldhuizen, Renske D; van der Heijde, Desiree M; Besselink, Nick J; Jacobs, Johannes W G; van Laar, Jacob M; Viergever, Max A; Vincken, Koen L; Lafeber, Floris P; de Hair, Maria J H

    2016-01-01

    To compare as proof of concept the sensitivity to change of automated quantification of radiographic wrist and hand joint space width (JSW) with scoring JSW according to the Sharp/van der Heijde scoring method (SHS) in two strategy groups of a treat-to-target and tight-control early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) study. Digital radiographs were assessed for JSW changes of 134 patients of the 236 patients participating in the second Computer Assisted Management in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis trial, of whom both baseline and year 2 radiographs were available (year 1 radiographs n=125). Of those 134 patients, 70 started with methotrexate and prednisone (MTX+Pred) and 64 with MTX and placebo (MTX+Plac). JSW change over 1 and 2 years of the hands and wrists was assessed, applying both the joint space narrowing (JSN) subscore of the SHS by 2 readers and the automated assessment with the JSW quantification software 'JSQ'. For both methods, progression of JSW change of the hand and wrist was analysed using linear mixed modelling (dependent variable 'JSW', factor 'strategy group', covariate 'follow-up time in years', interaction term 'strategy group*follow-up time'; radiographs of baseline, year 1 and year 2 were used). For each method the standardised mean difference (SMD) for the change in JSW from baseline to year 2 between the treatment strategies was obtained using a non-parametric method. Patient characteristics of the current subpopulation were similar to those of the whole study population. JSN of the hand and wrist according to SHS at 2 years was present in 16 vs. 23% in the MTX+Pred group vs. the MTX+Plac group. The mean yearly progression rates of JSW change of the hands and wrists using JSQ were -0.00mm (95% confidence interval (CI) -0.01; 0.01) for MTX+Pred vs. -0.02mm (95%CI -0.03; -0.01) for MTX+Plac, p=0.045, and using SHS JSN they were 0.19 units (95%CI 0.09; 0.30) vs. 0.30 units (95%CI 0.14; 0.45) for MTX+Pred vs. MTX+Plac, p=0.271. The SMD for the change from

  15. Development of an extruder-feeder biomass direct liquefaction process. Volume 2, Parts 4--8: Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, D.H.; Wolf, D. [Arizona Univ., Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering

    1991-10-01

    As an abundant, renewable, domestic energy resource, biomass could help the United States reduce its dependence on imported oil. Biomass is the only renewable energy technology capable of addressing the national need for liquid transportation fuels. Thus, there is an incentive to develop economic conversion processes for converting biomass, including wood, into liquid fuels. Through research sponsored by the US DOE`s Biomass Thermochemical Conversion Program, the University of Arizona has developed a unique biomass direct liquefaction system. The system features a modified single-screw extruder capable of pumping solid slurries containing as high as 60 wt% wood flour in wood oil derived vacuum bottoms at pressures up to 3000 psi. The extruder-feeder has been integrated with a unique reactor by the University to form a system which offers potential for improving high pressure biomass direct liquefaction technology. The extruder-feeder acts simultaneously as both a feed preheater and a pumping device for injecting wood slurries into a high pressure reactor in the biomass liquefaction process. An experimental facility was constructed and following shakedown operations, wood crude oil was produced by mid-1985. By July 1988, a total of 57 experimental continuous biomass liquefaction runs were made using White Birch wood feedstock. Good operability was achieved at slurry feed rates up to 30 lb/hr, reactor pressures from 800 to 3000 psi and temperatures from 350{degree}C to 430{degree}C under conditions covering a range of carbon monoxide feed rates and sodium carbonate catalyst addition. Crude wood oils containing as little as 6--10 wt% residual oxygen were produced. 38 refs., 82 figs., 26 tabs.

  16. Endoventricular Deep Brain Stimulation of the Third Ventricle: Proof of Concept and Application to Cluster Headache.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabardès, Stéphan; Carron, Romain; Seigneuret, Eric; Torres, Napoleon; Goetz, Laurent; Krainik, Alexandre; Piallat, Brigitte; Pham, Pascale; David, Olivier; Giraud, Pierrick; Benabid, Alim Louis

    2016-12-01

    The third ventricle (3rd V) is surrounded by centers related to satiety, homeostasis, hormones, sleep, memory, and pain. Stimulation of the wall of the 3rd V could be useful to treat disorders related to dysfunction of the hypothalamus. To assess safety and efficacy of endoventricular electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus using a floating deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead laid on the floor of the 3rd V to treat refractory cluster headaches (CH). Seven patients, aged 24 to 60 years, experiencing chronic CH (mean chronic duration 5.8 ± 2.5 years) were enrolled in this pilot, prospective, open study assessing the safety and potential efficacy of chronic DBS of the 3rd V. Number of attacks was collected during baseline and was compared with those occurring at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperation. Any side effects that occurred during or after surgery were reported. Effect on mood was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale during baseline and at 6 and 12 months postoperation. Insertion of the lead into the posterior 3rd V and chronic stimulation was feasible and safe in all patients. The voltage ranged from 0.9 to 2.3 volts. The most common side effect was transient trembling vision during stimulation. At 12 months, 3 of 7 patients were pain free, 2 had 90% improvement, 1 of 7 had 75% improvement, and 1 of 7 was not significantly improved. This proof of concept demonstrates the feasibility, safety, and potential efficacy of 3rd V DBS using an endoventricular road that could be applied to treat various diseases involving hypothalamic areas. CCH, chronic cluster headacheCH, cluster headacheDBS, deep brain stimulationHAD, hospital anxiety depressionONS, occipital nerve stimulationPAG, periaqueductal gray matterPH, posterior hypothalamusPVG, periventricular gray matter3rd V, third ventricle.

  17. A novel stereotactic frame for real PET-guided biopsies: A preclinical proof-of-concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes-Rodicio, J; Sanchez-Merino, G; Garcia-Fidalgo, M A; Tobalina-Larrea, I

    2017-09-01

    To design, build and test a stereotactic device that allows PET image-guided biopsies to be performed. An initial prototype consisting of four main pieces, one of which contains radioactive markers to make it visible in the PET images, was built using a 3D printer. Once the device is mounted, a spherical coordinate system is built with the entrance needle point in the skin as the origin of coordinates. Two in-house software programs, namely getCoord.ijm, which obtains the spherical coordinates of the tumour tissue to be biopsied, and getNeedle.ijm, which virtualizes the inner needle tip once the puncture has taken place, were written. This prototype was tested on an FDG-doped phantom to characterize both the accuracy of the system and the procedure time. Up to 11 complete biopsy procedures were conducted. The mean total procedure time was less than 20min, which is less than the procedure time of conventional standard CT-guided biopsies. The overall accuracy of the system was found to be 5.0±1.3mm, which outperforms the criterion used in routine clinical practice when targeting tumours with a diameter of 10mm. A stereotactic frame to conduct real PET image-guided biopsies has been designed and built. A proof-of-concept was performed to characterize the system. The procedure time and accuracy of the system were found to meet the current needs of physicians performing biopsies. Copyright © 2017 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Proof of Concept: Design and Initial Evaluation of a Device to Measure Gastrointestinal Transit Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Robert H; Savir-Baruch, Bital; Halama, James R; Venu, Mukund; Gabriel, Medhat S; Bova, Davide

    2017-09-01

    Chronic constipation and gastrointestinal motility disorders constitute a large part of a gastroenterology practice and have a significant impact on a patient's quality of life and lifestyle. In most cases, medications are prescribed to alleviate symptoms without there being an objective measurement of response. Commonly used investigations of gastrointestinal transit times are currently limited to radiopaque markers or electronic capsules. Repeated use of these techniques is limited because of the radiation exposure and the significant cost of the devices. We present the proof of concept for a new device to measure gastrointestinal transit time using commonly available and inexpensive materials with only a small amount of radiotracer. Methods: We assembled gelatin capsules containing a 67 Ga-citrate-radiolabeled grain of rice embedded in paraffin for use as a point-source transit device. It was tested for stability in vitro and subsequently was given orally to 4 healthy volunteers and 10 patients with constipation or diarrhea. Imaging was performed at regular intervals until the device was excreted. Results: The device remained intact and visible as a point source in all subjects until excretion. When used along with a diary of bowel movement times and dates, the device could determine the total transit time. The device could be visualized either alone or in combination with a barium small-bowel follow-through study or a gastric emptying study. Conclusion: The use of a point-source transit device for the determination of gastrointestinal transit time is a feasible alternative to other methods. The device is inexpensive and easy to assemble, requires only a small amount of radiotracer, and remains inert throughout the gastrointestinal tract, allowing for accurate determination of gastrointestinal transit time. Further investigation of the device is required to establish optimum imaging parameters and reference values. Measurements of gastrointestinal transit time

  19. Improving ethanol productivity through self-cycling fermentation of yeast: a proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jie; Chae, Michael; Sauvageau, Dominic; Bressler, David C

    2017-01-01

    The cellulosic ethanol industry has developed efficient strategies for converting sugars obtained from various cellulosic feedstocks to bioethanol. However, any further major improvements in ethanol productivity will require development of novel and innovative fermentation strategies that enhance incumbent technologies in a cost-effective manner. The present study investigates the feasibility of applying self-cycling fermentation (SCF) to cellulosic ethanol production to elevate productivity. SCF is a semi-continuous cycling process that employs the following strategy: once the onset of stationary phase is detected, half of the broth volume is automatically harvested and replaced with fresh medium to initiate the next cycle. SCF has been shown to increase product yield and/or productivity in many types of microbial cultivation. To test whether this cycling process could increase productivity during ethanol fermentations, we mimicked the process by manually cycling the fermentation for five cycles in shake flasks, and then compared the results to batch operation. Mimicking SCF for five cycles resulted in regular patterns with regards to glucose consumption, ethanol titer, pH, and biomass production. Compared to batch fermentation, our cycling strategy displayed improved ethanol volumetric productivity (the titer of ethanol produced in a given cycle per corresponding cycle time) and specific productivity (the amount of ethanol produced per cellular biomass) by 43.1 ± 11.6 and 42.7 ± 9.8%, respectively. Five successive cycles contributed to an improvement of overall productivity (the aggregate amount of ethanol produced at the end of a given cycle per total processing time) and the estimated annual ethanol productivity (the amount of ethanol produced per year) by 64.4 ± 3.3 and 33.1 ± 7.2%, respectively. This study provides proof of concept that applying SCF to ethanol production could significantly increase productivities, which will help strengthen the

  20. Nitrous Oxide for Treatment-Resistant Major Depression: A Proof-of-Concept Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagele, Peter; Duma, Andreas; Kopec, Michael; Gebara, Marie Anne; Parsoei, Alireza; Walker, Marie; Janski, Alvin; Panagopoulos, Vassilis N; Cristancho, Pilar; Miller, J Philip; Zorumski, Charles F; Conway, Charles R

    2015-07-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, such as ketamine, have rapid antidepressant effects in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). We hypothesized that nitrous oxide, an inhalational general anesthetic and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, may also be a rapidly acting treatment for TRD. In this blinded, placebo-controlled crossover trial, 20 patients with TRD were randomly assigned to 1-hour inhalation of 50% nitrous oxide/50% oxygen or 50% nitrogen/50% oxygen (placebo control). The primary endpoint was the change on the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-21) 24 hours after treatment. Mean duration of nitrous oxide treatment was 55.6 ± 2.5 (SD) min at a median inspiratory concentration of 44% (interquartile range, 37%-45%). In two patients, nitrous oxide treatment was briefly interrupted, and the treatment was discontinued in three patients. Depressive symptoms improved significantly at 2 hours and 24 hours after receiving nitrous oxide compared with placebo (mean HDRS-21 difference at 2 hours, -4.8 points, 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.8 to -7.8 points, p = .002; at 24 hours, -5.5 points, 95% CI, -2.5 to -8.5 points, p nitrous oxide and placebo, p nitrous oxide compared with one patient (5%) and none after placebo (odds ratio for response, 4.0, 95% CI, .45-35.79; OR for remission, 3.0, 95% CI, .31-28.8). No serious adverse events occurred; all adverse events were brief and of mild to moderate severity. This proof-of-concept trial demonstrated that nitrous oxide has rapid and marked antidepressant effects in patients with TRD. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Quality Improvement in Kidney Transplantation: A Proof of Concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivas, T R; Taber, D J; Su, Z; Zhang, J; Mour, G; Northrup, D; Tripathi, A; Marsden, J E; Moran, W P; Mauldin, P D

    2017-03-01

    We sought proof of concept of a Big Data Solution incorporating longitudinal structured and unstructured patient-level data from electronic health records (EHR) to predict graft loss (GL) and mortality. For a quality improvement initiative, GL and mortality prediction models were constructed using baseline and follow-up data (0-90 days posttransplant; structured and unstructured for 1-year models; data up to 1 year for 3-year models) on adult solitary kidney transplant recipients transplanted during 2007-2015 as follows: Model 1: United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data; Model 2: UNOS & Transplant Database (Tx Database) data; Model 3: UNOS, Tx Database & EHR comorbidity data; and Model 4: UNOS, Tx Database, EHR data, Posttransplant trajectory data, and unstructured data. A 10% 3-year GL rate was observed among 891 patients (2007-2015). Layering of data sources improved model performance; Model 1: area under the curve (AUC), 0.66; (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.60, 0.72); Model 2: AUC, 0.68; (95% CI: 0.61-0.74); Model 3: AUC, 0.72; (95% CI: 0.66-077); Model 4: AUC, 0.84, (95 % CI: 0.79-0.89). One-year GL (AUC, 0.87; Model 4) and 3-year mortality (AUC, 0.84; Model 4) models performed similarly. A Big Data approach significantly adds efficacy to GL and mortality prediction models and is EHR deployable to optimize outcomes. © 2016 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

  2. Machine learning methods to predict child posttraumatic stress: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxe, Glenn N; Ma, Sisi; Ren, Jiwen; Aliferis, Constantin

    2017-07-10

    The care of traumatized children would benefit significantly from accurate predictive models for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), using information available around the time of trauma. Machine Learning (ML) computational methods have yielded strong results in recent applications across many diseases and data types, yet they have not been previously applied to childhood PTSD. Since these methods have not been applied to this complex and debilitating disorder, there is a great deal that remains to be learned about their application. The first step is to prove the concept: Can ML methods - as applied in other fields - produce predictive classification models for childhood PTSD? Additionally, we seek to determine if specific variables can be identified - from the aforementioned predictive classification models - with putative causal relations to PTSD. ML predictive classification methods - with causal discovery feature selection - were applied to a data set of 163 children hospitalized with an injury and PTSD was determined three months after hospital discharge. At the time of hospitalization, 105 risk factor variables were collected spanning a range of biopsychosocial domains. Seven percent of subjects had a high level of PTSD symptoms. A predictive classification model was discovered with significant predictive accuracy. A predictive model constructed based on subsets of potentially causally relevant features achieves similar predictivity compared to the best predictive model constructed with all variables. Causal Discovery feature selection methods identified 58 variables of which 10 were identified as most stable. In this first proof-of-concept application of ML methods to predict childhood Posttraumatic Stress we were able to determine both predictive classification models for childhood PTSD and identify several causal variables. This set of techniques has great potential for enhancing the methodological toolkit in the field and future studies should seek to

  3. Development of a Proof of Concept Low Temperature Superfluid Magnetic Pump with Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahromi, Amir E.

    State of the art particle and photon detectors such as Transition Edge Sensors (TES) and Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKID) use large arrays of sensors or detectors for space science missions. As the size of these space science detectors increases, future astrophysics missions will require sub-Kelvin coolers over larger areas. This leads to not only increased cooling power requirements, but also a requirement for distributed sub-Kelvin cooling. Development of a proof of concept Superfluid Magnetic Pump is discussed in this work. This novel low temperature, no moving part pump can replace the existing bellows-piston driven 4He or 3He- 4He mixture compressor/circulators used in various sub Kelvin refrigeration systems such as dilution, Superfluid pulse tube, or active magnetic regenerative refrigerators. Due to its superior thermal transport properties this pump can also be used as a simple circulator of sub-Lambda 4He to distribute cooling over large surface areas. The pump discussed in this work was experimentally shown to produce a maximum flow rate of 440 mg/s (averaged over cycle), 665 mg/s (peak) and produced a maximum pressure difference of 2323 Pascal. This pump worked in an "ideal" thermodynamic state: The experimental results matched with the theoretical values predicted by a computer model. Pump curves were developed to map the performance of this pump. This successful demonstration will enable this novel pump to be put to test in suitable sub Kelvin refrigeration systems. Numerical modeling of an Active Magnetic Regenerative Refrigerator (AMRR) that uses the Superfluid Magnetic Pump (SMP) to circulate liquid 3He-4He through a magnetic regenerator is presented as a potential application of such a pump.

  4. Transhiatal Chest Drainage After Hybrid Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy: Proof of Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asti, Emanuele; Sironi, Andrea; Bonitta, Gianluca; Bernardi, Daniele; Bonavina, Luigi

    2018-04-01

    Intercostal pleural drainage is standard practice after transthoracic esophagectomy but has some drawbacks. We hypothesized that a transhiatal pleural drain introduced through the subxyphoid port site incision at laparoscopy can be as effective as the intercostal drainage and may enhance patient recovery. A proof of concept study was designed to assess a new method of pleural drainage in patients undergoing hybrid Ivor Lewis esophagectomy (laparoscopy and right thoracotomy). The main study aims were safety and efficacy of transhiatal pleural drainage with a 15 Fr Blake tube connected to a portable vacuum system. Pre- and postoperative data, mean duration, and total and daily output of drainage were recorded in an electronic database. Postoperative complications were scored according to the Dindo-Clavien classification. Between June 2015 and December 2016, 50 of 63 consecutive patients met the criteria for inclusion in the study. No conversions from the portable vacuum system to underwater seal and suction occurred. There was no mortality. The overall morbidity rate was 40%. Two patients (4%) required reoperation for hemothorax and chylothorax, respectively. Percutaneous catheter drainage for residual pneumothorax was necessary in 2 patients (4%) on postoperative day 2. The mean duration of drainage was 7 days (interquartile range [IQR] = 2), and the total volume of drain output was 1580 mL (IQR = 880). No pleural effusion on chest X-ray was detected at the 3-month follow-up visit. Transhiatal pleural drainage is safe and effective after hybrid Ivor Lewis esophagectomy and could replace the intercostal drain in selected patients.

  5. Dextromethorphan/quinidine pharmacotherapy in patients with treatment resistant depression: A proof of concept clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murrough, James W; Wade, Elizabeth; Sayed, Sehrish; Ahle, Gabriella; Kiraly, Drew D; Welch, Alison; Collins, Katherine A; Soleimani, Laili; Iosifescu, Dan V; Charney, Dennis S

    2017-08-15

    At least one-third of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have treatment-resistant depression (TRD), defined as lack of response to two or more adequate antidepressant trials. For these patients, novel antidepressant treatments are urgently needed. The current study is a phase IIa open label clinical trial examining the efficacy and tolerability of a combination of dextromethorphan (DM) and the CYP2D6 enzyme inhibitor quinidine (Q) in patients with TRD. Dextromethorphan acts as an antagonist at the glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, in addition to other pharmacodynamics properties that include activity at sigma-1 receptors. Twenty patients with unipolar TRD who completed informed consent and met all eligibility criteria we enrolled in an open-label study of DM/Q up to 45/10mg by mouth administered every 12h over the course of a 10-week period, and constitute the intention to treat (ITT) sample. Six patients discontinued prior to study completion. There was no treatment-emergent suicidal ideation, psychotomimetic or dissociative symptoms. Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score was reduced from baseline to the 10-week primary outcome (mean change: -13.0±11.5, t 19 =5.0, p<0.001), as was QIDS-SR score (mean change: -5.9±6.6, t 19 =4.0, p<0.001). The response and remission rates in the ITT sample were 45% and 35%, respectively. Open-label, proof-of-concept design. Herein we report acceptable tolerability and preliminary efficacy of DM/Q up to 45/10mg administered every 12h in patients with TRD. Future larger placebo controlled randomized trials in this population are warranted. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Using Big Data in oncology to prospectively impact clinical patient care: A proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougoud-Chauvin, Vérène; Lee, Jae Jin; Santos, Edgardo; Williams, Vonetta L; Battisti, Nicolò M L; Ghia, Kavita; Sehovic, Marina; Croft, Cortlin; Kim, Jongphil; Balducci, Lodovico; Kish, Julie A; Extermann, Martine

    2018-04-17

    Big Data is widely seen as a major opportunity for progress in the practice of personalized medicine, attracting the attention from medical societies and presidential teams alike as it offers a unique opportunity to enlarge the base of evidence, especially for older patients underrepresented in clinical trials. This study prospectively assessed the real-time availability of clinical cases in the Health & Research Informatics Total Cancer Care™ (TCC) database matching community patients with cancer, and the impact of such a consultation on treatment. Patients aged 70 and older seen at the Lynn Cancer Institute (LCI) with a documented malignancy were eligible. Geriatric screening information and the oncologist's pre-consultation treatment plan were sent to Moffitt. A search for similar patients was done in TCC and additional information retrieved from Electronic Medical Records. A report summarizing the data was sent and the utility of such a consultation was assessed per email after the treatment decision. Thirty one patients were included. The geriatric screening was positive in 87.1% (27) of them. The oncogeriatric consultation took on average 2.2 working days. It influenced treatment in 38.7% (12), and modified it in 19.4% (6). The consultation was perceived as "somewhat" to "very useful" in 83.9% (26). This study establishes a proof of concept of the feasibility of real time use of Big Data for clinical practice. The geriatric screening and the consultation report influenced treatment in 38.7% of cases and modified it in 19.4%, which compares very well with oncogeriatric literature. Additional steps are needed to render it financially and clinically viable. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Design and proof of concept of an innovative very high temperature ceramic solar absorber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leray, Cédric; Ferriere, Alain; Toutant, Adrien; Olalde, Gabriel; Peroy, Jean-Yves; Chéreau, Patrick; Ferrato, Marc

    2017-06-01

    Hybrid solar gas-turbine (HSGT) is an attractive technology to foster market penetration of CSP. HSGT offers some major advantages like for example high solar-to-electric conversion efficiency, reduced water requirement and low capital cost. A very high temperature solar receiver is needed when elevated solar share is claimed. A few research works, as reported by Karni et al. [8] and by Buck et al. [1], have been dedicated to solar receiver technologies able to deliver pressurized air at temperature above 750°C. The present work focuses on research aiming at developing an efficient and reliable solar absorber able to provide pressurized air at temperature up to 1000°C and more. A surface absorber technology is selected and a modular design of receiver is proposed in which each absorber module is made of BOOSTEC® SiC ceramic (silicon carbide) as bulk material with straight air channels inside. Early stage experimental works done at CNRS/PROMES on lab-scale absorbers showed that the thermo-mechanical behavior of this material is a critical issue, resulting in elevated probability of failure under severe conditions like large temperature gradient or steep variation of solar flux density in situations of cloud covering. This paper reports on recent progress made at CNRS/PROMES to address this critical issue. The design of the absorber has been revised and optimized according to thermo-mechanical numerical simulations, and an experimental proof of concept has been done on a pilot-scale absorber module at Themis solar tower facility.

  8. A small molecule (pluripotin as a tool for studying cancer stem cell biology: proof of concept.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan D Mertins

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cancer stem cells (CSC are thought to be responsible for tumor maintenance and heterogeneity. Bona fide CSC purified from tumor biopsies are limited in supply and this hampers study of CSC biology. Furthermore, purified stem-like CSC subpopulations from existing tumor lines are unstable in culture. Finding a means to overcome these technical challenges would be a useful goal. In a first effort towards this, we examined whether a chemical probe that promotes survival of murine embryonic stem cells without added exogenous factors can alter functional characteristics in extant tumor lines in a fashion consistent with a CSC phenotype. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The seven tumor lines of the NCI60 colon subpanel were exposed to SC-1 (pluripotin, a dual kinase and GTPase inhibitor that promotes self-renewal, and then examined for tumorigenicity under limiting dilution conditions and clonogenic activity in soft agar. A statistically significant increase in tumor formation following SC-1 treatment was observed (p<0.04. Cloning efficiencies and expression of putative CSC surface antigens (CD133 and CD44 were also increased. SC-1 treatment led to sphere formation in some colon tumor lines. Finally, SC-1 inhibited in vitro kinase activity of RSK2, and another RSK2 inhibitor increased colony formation implicating a role for this kinase in eliciting a CSC phenotype. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings validate a proof of concept study exposure of extant tumor lines to a small molecule may provide a tractable in vitro model for understanding CSC biology.

  9. Towards soil property retrieval from space: Proof of concept using in situ observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandara, Ranmalee; Walker, Jeffrey P.; Rüdiger, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable that controls the exchange of water and energy fluxes between the land surface and the atmosphere. However, the temporal evolution of soil moisture is neither easy to measure nor monitor at large scales because of its high spatial variability. This is mainly a result of the local variation in soil properties and vegetation cover. Thus, land surface models are normally used to predict the evolution of soil moisture and yet, despite their importance, these models are based on low-resolution soil property information or typical values. Therefore, the availability of more accurate and detailed soil parameter data than are currently available is vital, if regional or global soil moisture predictions are to be made with the accuracy required for environmental applications. The proposed solution is to estimate the soil hydraulic properties via model calibration to remotely sensed soil moisture observation, with in situ observations used as a proxy in this proof of concept study. Consequently, the feasibility is assessed, and the level of accuracy that can be expected determined, for soil hydraulic property estimation of duplex soil profiles in a semi-arid environment using near-surface soil moisture observations under naturally occurring conditions. The retrieved soil hydraulic parameters were then assessed by their reliability to predict the root zone soil moisture using the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator model. When using parameters that were retrieved using soil moisture observations, the root zone soil moisture was predicted to within an accuracy of 0.04 m3/m3, which is an improvement of ∼0.025 m3/m3 on predictions that used published values or pedo-transfer functions.

  10. First-in-Man Computed Tomography-Guided Percutaneous Revascularization of Coronary Chronic Total Occlusion Using a Wearable Computer: Proof of Concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opolski, Maksymilian P; Debski, Artur; Borucki, Bartosz A; Szpak, Marcin; Staruch, Adam D; Kepka, Cezary; Witkowski, Adam

    2016-06-01

    We report a case of successful computed tomography-guided percutaneous revascularization of a chronically occluded right coronary artery using a wearable, hands-free computer with a head-mounted display worn by interventional cardiologists in the catheterization laboratory. The projection of 3-dimensional computed tomographic reconstructions onto the screen of virtual reality glass allowed the operators to clearly visualize the distal coronary vessel, and verify the direction of the guide wire advancement relative to the course of the occluded vessel segment. This case provides proof of concept that wearable computers can improve operator comfort and procedure efficiency in interventional cardiology. Copyright © 2016 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Using Patterns for Multivariate Monitoring and Feedback Control of Linear Accelerator Performance: Proof-of-Concept Research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cordes, Gail Adele; Van Ausdeln, Leo Anthony; Velasquez, Maria Elena

    2002-01-01

    The report discusses preliminary proof-of-concept research for using the Advanced Data Validation and Verification System (ADVVS), a new INEEL software package, to add validation and verification and multivariate feedback control to the operation of non-destructive analysis (NDA) equipment. The software is based on human cognition, the recognition of patterns and changes in patterns in time-related data. The first project applied ADVVS to monitor operations of a selectable energy linear electron accelerator, and showed how the software recognizes in real time any deviations from the optimal tune of the machine. The second project extended the software method to provide model-based multivariate feedback control for the same linear electron accelerator. The projects successfully demonstrated proof-of-concept for the applications and focused attention on the common application of intelligent information processing techniques

  12. Validation, Proof-of-Concept, and Postaudit of the Groundwater Flow and Transport Model of the Project Shoal Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed Hassan

    2004-01-01

    The groundwater flow and radionuclide transport model characterizing the Shoal underground nuclear test has been accepted by the State of Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. According to the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO) between DOE and the State of Nevada, the next steps in the closure process for the site are then model validation (or postaudit), the proof-of-concept, and the long-term monitoring stage. This report addresses the development of the validation strategy for the Shoal model, needed for preparing the subsurface Corrective Action Decision Document-Corrective Action Plan and the development of the proof-of-concept tools needed during the five-year monitoring/validation period. The approach builds on a previous model, but is adapted and modified to the site-specific conditions and challenges of the Shoal site

  13. Validation, Proof-of-Concept, and Postaudit of the Groundwater Flow and Transport Model of the Project Shoal Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahmed Hassan

    2004-09-01

    The groundwater flow and radionuclide transport model characterizing the Shoal underground nuclear test has been accepted by the State of Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. According to the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO) between DOE and the State of Nevada, the next steps in the closure process for the site are then model validation (or postaudit), the proof-of-concept, and the long-term monitoring stage. This report addresses the development of the validation strategy for the Shoal model, needed for preparing the subsurface Corrective Action Decision Document-Corrective Action Plan and the development of the proof-of-concept tools needed during the five-year monitoring/validation period. The approach builds on a previous model, but is adapted and modified to the site-specific conditions and challenges of the Shoal site.

  14. Using the automata processor for fast pattern recognition in high energy physics experiments—A proof of concept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Michael H.L.S., E-mail: mwang@fnal.gov [Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Cancelo, Gustavo; Green, Christopher [Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Guo, Deyuan; Wang, Ke [University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Zmuda, Ted [Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States)

    2016-10-01

    We explore the Micron Automata Processor (AP) as a suitable commodity technology that can address the growing computational needs of pattern recognition in High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments. A toy detector model is developed for which an electron track confirmation trigger based on the Micron AP serves as a test case. Although primarily meant for high speed text-based searches, we demonstrate a proof of concept for the use of the Micron AP in a HEP trigger application.

  15. Augmented Reality Application for Training in Maritime Operations. A Proof of Concept AR Application Developed for Microsoft HoloLens

    OpenAIRE

    Xue, Hui

    2017-01-01

    Augmented reality (AR) is an advanced technology that integrates augmentations with the real world. This technology has been used to provide training and education along with other purposes. This work has been focused on enriching the learning experience of the maritime trainee by applying AR technology. In this work, a proof of concept AR application (App) is developed for the training of the maritime students. The App was designed to introduce the selected stations and panel in the Kongsber...

  16. What is Proof of Concept Research and how does it Generate Epistemic and Ethical Categories for Future Scientific Practice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendig, Catherine Elizabeth

    2016-06-01

    "Proof of concept" is a phrase frequently used in descriptions of research sought in program announcements, in experimental studies, and in the marketing of new technologies. It is often coupled with either a short definition or none at all, its meaning assumed to be fully understood. This is problematic. As a phrase with potential implications for research and technology, its assumed meaning requires some analysis to avoid it becoming a descriptive category that refers to all things scientifically exciting. I provide a short analysis of proof of concept research and offer an example of it within synthetic biology. I suggest that not only are there activities that circumscribe new epistemological categories but there are also associated normative ethical categories or principles linked to the research. I examine these and provide an outline for an alternative ethical account to describe these activities that I refer to as "extended agency ethics". This view is used to explain how the type of research described as proof of concept also provides an attendant proof of principle that is the result of decision-making that extends across practitioners, their tools, techniques, and the problem solving activities of other research groups.

  17. Hyperbrain features of team mental models within a juggling paradigm: a proof of concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edson Filho

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background Research on cooperative behavior and the social brain exists, but little research has focused on real-time motor cooperative behavior and its neural correlates. In this proof of concept study, we explored the conceptual notion of shared and complementary mental models through EEG mapping of two brains performing a real-world interactive motor task of increasing difficulty. We used the recently introduced participative “juggling paradigm,” and collected neuro-physiological and psycho-social data. We were interested in analyzing the between-brains coupling during a dyadic juggling task, and in exploring the relationship between the motor task execution, the jugglers’skill level and the task difficulty. We also investigated how this relationship could be mirrored in the coupled functional organization of the interacting brains. Methods To capture the neural schemas underlying the notion of shared and complementary mental models, we examined the functional connectivity patterns and hyperbrain features of a juggling dyad involved in cooperative motor tasks of increasing difficulty. Jugglers’ cortical activity was measured using two synchronized 32-channel EEG systems during dyadic juggling performed with 3, 4, 5 and 6 balls. Individual and hyperbrain functional connections were quantified through coherence maps calculated across all electrode pairs in the theta and alpha bands (4–8 and 8–12 Hz. Graph metrics were used to typify the global topology and efficiency of the functional networks for the four difficulty levels in the theta and alpha bands. Results Results indicated that, as task difficulty increased, the cortical functional organization of the more skilled juggler became progressively more segregated in both frequency bands, with a small-world organization in the theta band during easier tasks, indicative of a flow-like state in line with the neural efficiency hypothesis. Conversely, more integrated functional patterns

  18. Successful Proof of Concept of Family Planning and Immunization Integration in Liberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Chelsea M; Fields, Rebecca; Mazzeo, Corinne I; Taylor, Nyapu; Pfitzer, Anne; Momolu, Mary; Jabbeh-Howe, Cuallau

    2015-01-01

    non-pilot facilities, possibly due to higher than average background dropout rates at pilot sites prior to the intervention in Lofa and the disproportionate effect of data from 1 large facility in Bong. The project provided considerable basic support to assess this proof of concept. However, results suggest that introducing a simple model that is minimally disruptive to existing immunization service delivery can facilitate integration. The model is currently being scaled-up to other counties in Liberia, which could potentially contribute to increased postpartum contraceptive uptake, leading to longer birth intervals and improved health outcomes for children and mothers. PMID:25745121

  19. Fatigue design of a mechanically biocompatible lattice for a proof-of-concept femoral stem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arabnejad Khanoki, Sajad; Pasini, Damiano

    2013-06-01

    A methodology is proposed to design a spatially periodic microarchitectured material for a two-dimensional femoral implant under walking gait conditions. The material is composed of a graded lattice with controlled property distribution that minimizes concurrently bone resorption and interface failure. The periodic microstructure of the material is designed for fatigue fracture caused by cyclic loadings on the hip joint as a result of walking. The bulk material of the lattice is Ti6AL4V and its microstructure is assumed free of defects. The Soderberg diagram is used for the fatigue design under multiaxial loadings. Two cell topologies, square and Kagome, are chosen to obtain optimized property gradients for a two-dimensional implant. Asymptotic homogenization (AH) theory is used to address the multiscale mechanics of the implant as well as to capture the stress and strain distribution at both the macro and the microscale. The microstress distribution found with AH is also compared with that obtained from a detailed finite element analysis. For the maximum value of the von Mises stress, we observe a deviation of 18.6% in unit cells close to the implant boundary, where the AH assumption of spatial periodicity of the fluctuating fields ceases to hold. In the second part of the paper, the metrics of bone resorption and interface shear stress are used to benchmark the graded cellular implant with existing prostheses made of fully dense titanium implant. The results show that the amount of initial postoperative bone loss for square and Kagome lattice implants decreases, respectively, by 53.8% and 58%. In addition, the maximum shear interface failure at the distal end is significantly reduced by about 79%. A set of proof-of-concepts of planar implants have been fabricated via Electron Beam Melting (EBM) to demonstrate the manufacturability of Ti6AL4V into graded lattices with alternative cell size. Optical microscopy has been used to measure the morphological parameters

  20. RNA Interference Technology to Control Pest Sea Lampreys - A Proof-of-Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, George; Childs, Darcy; Docker, Margaret F.; McCauley, David W.; Whyard, Steven

    2014-01-01

    The parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) has caused extensive losses to commercial fish stocks of the upper Great Lakes of North America. Methods of controlling the sea lamprey include trapping, barriers to prevent migration, and use of a chemical lampricide (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) to kill the filter-feeding larvae. Concerns about the non-specificity of these methods have prompted continued development of species-specific methods to control lampreys outside their native range. In this study, we considered the utility of RNA interference to develop a sea lamprey-specific lampricide. Injection of six different short interfering, double-stranded RNAs (siRNAs) into lamprey embryos first confirmed that the siRNAs could reduce the targeted transcript levels by more than 50%. Two size classes of lamprey larvae were then fed the siRNAs complexed with liposomes, and three of the siRNAs (targeting elongation factor 1α, calmodulin, and α-actinin) reduced transcript levels 2.5, 3.6, and 5.0–fold, respectively, within the lamprey midsections. This is not only the first demonstration of RNAi in lampreys, but it is also the first example of delivery of siRNAs to a non-mammalian vertebrate through feeding formulations. One of the siRNA treatments also caused increased mortality of the larvae following a single feeding of siRNAs, which suggests that prolonged or multiple feedings of siRNAs could be used to kill filter-feeding larvae within streams, following development of a slow-release formulation. The genes targeted in this study are highly conserved across many species, and only serve as a proof-of-concept demonstration that siRNAs can be used in lampreys. Given that RNA interference is a sequence-specific phenomenon, it should be possible to design siRNAs that selectively target gene sequences that are unique to sea lampreys, and thus develop a technology to control these pests without adversely affecting non-target species. PMID:24505485

  1. RNA interference technology to control pest sea lampreys--a proof-of-concept.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Heath

    Full Text Available The parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus has caused extensive losses to commercial fish stocks of the upper Great Lakes of North America. Methods of controlling the sea lamprey include trapping, barriers to prevent migration, and use of a chemical lampricide (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol to kill the filter-feeding larvae. Concerns about the non-specificity of these methods have prompted continued development of species-specific methods to control lampreys outside their native range. In this study, we considered the utility of RNA interference to develop a sea lamprey-specific lampricide. Injection of six different short interfering, double-stranded RNAs (siRNAs into lamprey embryos first confirmed that the siRNAs could reduce the targeted transcript levels by more than 50%. Two size classes of lamprey larvae were then fed the siRNAs complexed with liposomes, and three of the siRNAs (targeting elongation factor 1α, calmodulin, and α-actinin reduced transcript levels 2.5, 3.6, and 5.0-fold, respectively, within the lamprey midsections. This is not only the first demonstration of RNAi in lampreys, but it is also the first example of delivery of siRNAs to a non-mammalian vertebrate through feeding formulations. One of the siRNA treatments also caused increased mortality of the larvae following a single feeding of siRNAs, which suggests that prolonged or multiple feedings of siRNAs could be used to kill filter-feeding larvae within streams, following development of a slow-release formulation. The genes targeted in this study are highly conserved across many species, and only serve as a proof-of-concept demonstration that siRNAs can be used in lampreys. Given that RNA interference is a sequence-specific phenomenon, it should be possible to design siRNAs that selectively target gene sequences that are unique to sea lampreys, and thus develop a technology to control these pests without adversely affecting non-target species.

  2. RNA interference technology to control pest sea lampreys--a proof-of-concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, George; Childs, Darcy; Docker, Margaret F; McCauley, David W; Whyard, Steven

    2014-01-01

    The parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) has caused extensive losses to commercial fish stocks of the upper Great Lakes of North America. Methods of controlling the sea lamprey include trapping, barriers to prevent migration, and use of a chemical lampricide (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) to kill the filter-feeding larvae. Concerns about the non-specificity of these methods have prompted continued development of species-specific methods to control lampreys outside their native range. In this study, we considered the utility of RNA interference to develop a sea lamprey-specific lampricide. Injection of six different short interfering, double-stranded RNAs (siRNAs) into lamprey embryos first confirmed that the siRNAs could reduce the targeted transcript levels by more than 50%. Two size classes of lamprey larvae were then fed the siRNAs complexed with liposomes, and three of the siRNAs (targeting elongation factor 1α, calmodulin, and α-actinin) reduced transcript levels 2.5, 3.6, and 5.0-fold, respectively, within the lamprey midsections. This is not only the first demonstration of RNAi in lampreys, but it is also the first example of delivery of siRNAs to a non-mammalian vertebrate through feeding formulations. One of the siRNA treatments also caused increased mortality of the larvae following a single feeding of siRNAs, which suggests that prolonged or multiple feedings of siRNAs could be used to kill filter-feeding larvae within streams, following development of a slow-release formulation. The genes targeted in this study are highly conserved across many species, and only serve as a proof-of-concept demonstration that siRNAs can be used in lampreys. Given that RNA interference is a sequence-specific phenomenon, it should be possible to design siRNAs that selectively target gene sequences that are unique to sea lampreys, and thus develop a technology to control these pests without adversely affecting non-target species.

  3. Optimizing the conditions for the microwave-assisted direct liquefaction of Ulva prolifera for bio-oil production using response surface methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Junhai; Zhuang, Yingbin; Li, Yan; Chen, Limei; Guo, Jingxue; Li, Demao; Ye, Naihao

    2013-01-01

    Microwave-assisted direct liquefaction (MADL) of Ulva prolifera was performed in ethylene glycol (EG) using sulfuric acid (H 2 SO 4 ) as a catalyst. Response Surface Methodology (RSM) based on central composite rotatable design (CCRD) was employed to optimize the conditions of three independent variables (catalyst content, solvent-to-feedstock ratio and temperature) for the liquefaction yield. And the bio-oil was analyzed by elementary analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic analysis (FT-IR) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The maximum liquefaction yield was 93.17%, which was obtained under a microwave power of 600 W for 30 min at 165 °C with a solvent-to-feedstock ratio of 18.87:1 and 4.93% sulfuric acid. The bio-oil was mainly composed of phthalic acid esters, alkenes and a fatty acid methyl ester with a long chain from C 16 to C 20 . - Highlights: • Ulva prolifera was converted to bio-oil through microwave-assisted direct liquefaction. • Response surface methodology was used to optimize the liquefaction technology. • A maximum liquefaction rate of 93.17 wt% bio-oil was obtained. • The bio-oil was composed of carboxylic acids and esters

  4. BDNF-Val66Met-Polymorphism Impact on Cortical Plasticity in Schizophrenia Patients: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitsche, Michael A.; Wobrock, Thomas; Bunse, Tilmann; Rein, Bettina; Herrmann, Maximiliane; Schmitt, Andrea; Nieratschker, Vanessa; Witt, Stephanie H.; Rietschel, Marcella; Falkai, Peter; Hasan, Alkomiet

    2015-01-01

    Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to be a moderator of neuroplasticity. A frequent BDNF-polymorphism (Val66Met) is associated with impairments of cortical plasticity. In patients with schizophrenia, reduced neuroplastic responses following non-invasive brain stimulation have been reported consistently. Various studies have indicated a relationship between the BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism and motor-cortical plasticity in healthy individuals, but schizophrenia patients have yet to be investigated. The aim of this proof-of-concept study was, therefore, to test the impact of the BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism on inhibitory and facilitatory cortical plasticity in schizophrenia patients. Methods: Cortical plasticity was investigated in 22 schizophrenia patients and 35 healthy controls using anodal and cathodal transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the left primary motor cortex. Animal and human research indicates that excitability shifts following anodal and cathodal tDCS are related to molecular long-term potentiation and long-term depression. To test motor-cortical excitability before and after tDCS, well-established single- and paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation protocols were applied. Results: Our analysis revealed increased glutamate-mediated intracortical facilitation in met-heterozygotes compared to val-homozygotes at baseline. Following cathodal tDCS, schizophrenia met-heterozygotes had reduced gamma-amino-butyric-acid-mediated short-interval intracortical inhibition, whereas healthy met-heterozygotes displayed the opposite effect. The BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism did not influence single-pulse motor-evoked potential amplitudes after tDCS. Conclusions: These preliminary findings support the notion of an association of the BDNF-Val66Met-polymorphism with observable alterations in plasticity following cathodal tDCS in schizophrenia patients. This indicates a complex interaction between inhibitory

  5. Urban Form Energy Use and Emissions in China: Preliminary Findings and Model Proof of Concept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aden, Nathaniel; Qin, Yining; Fridley, David

    2010-12-15

    Urbanization is reshaping China's economy, society, and energy system. Between 1990 and 2008 China added more than 300 million new urban residents, bringing the total urbanization rate to 46%. The ongoing population shift is spurring energy demand for new construction, as well as additional residential use with the replacement of rural biomass by urban commercial energy services. This project developed a modeling tool to quantify the full energy consequences of a particular form of urban residential development in order to identify energy- and carbon-efficient modes of neighborhood-level development and help mitigate resource and environmental implications of swelling cities. LBNL developed an integrated modeling tool that combines process-based lifecycle assessment with agent-based building operational energy use, personal transport, and consumption modeling. The lifecycle assessment approach was used to quantify energy and carbon emissions embodied in building materials production, construction, maintenance, and demolition. To provide more comprehensive analysis, LBNL developed an agent-based model as described below. The model was applied to LuJing, a residential development in Jinan, Shandong Province, to provide a case study and model proof of concept. This study produced results data that are unique by virtue of their scale, scope and type. Whereas most existing literature focuses on building-, city-, or national-level analysis, this study covers multi-building neighborhood-scale development. Likewise, while most existing studies focus exclusively on building operational energy use, this study also includes embodied energy related to personal consumption and buildings. Within the boundaries of this analysis, food is the single largest category of the building energy footprint, accounting for 23% of the total. On a policy level, the LCA approach can be useful for quantifying the energy and environmental benefits of longer average building lifespans. In

  6. Proof-of-Concept Experiments on a Gallium-Based Ignitron for Pulsed Power Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, H. K.; Hanson, V. S.; Polzin, K. A.; Pearson, J. B.

    2015-01-01

    ignitron designs have used mercury as the liquid metal cathode, owing to its presence as a liquid at room temperatures and a vapor pressure of 10 Pa (75 mtorr) at room temperature. While these are favorable properties, there are obvious environmental and personal safety concerns with the storage, handling, and use of mercury and its compounds. The purpose of the present work was to fabricate and test an ignitron that used as its cathode an alternate liquid metal that was safe to handle and store. To that end, an ignitron test article that used liquid gallium as the cathode material was developed and tested. Gallium is a metal that has a melting temperature of 29.76 C, which is slightly above room temperature, and a boiling point of over 2,300 C at atmospheric pressure. This property makes gallium the element with the largest relative difference between melting and boiling points. Gallium has a limited role in biology, and when ingested, it will be subsequently processed by the body and expelled rather than accumulating to toxic levels. The next section of this Technical Memorandum (TM) provides background information on the development of mercury-based ignitrons, which serves as the starting point for the development of the gallium-based variant. Afterwards, the experimental hardware and setup used in proof-of-concept testing of a basic gallium ignitron are presented. Experimental data, consisting of discharge voltage and current waveforms as well as high-speed imaging of the gallium arc discharge in the gallium ignitron test article, are presented to demonstrate the efficacy of the concept. Discussion of the data and suggestions on improvements for future iterations of the design are presented in the final two sections of this TM.

  7. Timing Sunsets with Smartphones: Proof of Concept for a Citizen Science Project that Quantifies the Atmosphere and Supports Astronomical Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Teresa; Kantamneni, A.; Bartlett, J. L.; Nemiroff, R. J.

    2014-01-01

    Current models that predict the times of sunrise and sunset are only accurate, typically, to a few minutes. Variations in atmospheric refraction contribute to the differences between computed and observed times. At high latitudes, slight changes in refraction can cause the Sun to remain continuously above the horizon instead of appearing to set. A substantial collection of observations would help constrain atmospheric models, which should, in turn, complement astronomical observations through improved understanding of air stability, refraction, and transparency. We report on a small project recording data from a few smartphones as a proof of concept for a possible larger scale citizen science effort.

  8. Analysis and Test Correlation of Proof of Concept Box for Blended Wing Body-Low Speed Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spellman, Regina L.

    2003-01-01

    The Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) is a 14.2% scale remotely piloted vehicle of the revolutionary Blended Wing Body concept. The design of the LSV includes an all composite airframe. Due to internal manufacturing capability restrictions, room temperature layups were necessary. An extensive materials testing and manufacturing process development effort was underwent to establish a process that would achieve the high modulus/low weight properties required to meet the design requirements. The analysis process involved a loads development effort that incorporated aero loads to determine internal forces that could be applied to a traditional FEM of the vehicle and to conduct detailed component analyses. A new tool, Hypersizer, was added to the design process to address various composite failure modes and to optimize the skin panel thickness of the upper and lower skins for the vehicle. The analysis required an iterative approach as material properties were continually changing. As a part of the material characterization effort, test articles, including a proof of concept wing box and a full-scale wing, were fabricated. The proof of concept box was fabricated based on very preliminary material studies and tested in bending, torsion, and shear. The box was then tested to failure under shear. The proof of concept box was also analyzed using Nastran and Hypersizer. The results of both analyses were scaled to determine the predicted failure load. The test results were compared to both the Nastran and Hypersizer analytical predictions. The actual failure occurred at 899 lbs. The failure was predicted at 1167 lbs based on the Nastran analysis. The Hypersizer analysis predicted a lower failure load of 960 lbs. The Nastran analysis alone was not sufficient to predict the failure load because it does not identify local composite failure modes. This analysis has traditionally been done using closed form solutions. Although Hypersizer is typically used as an optimizer for the design

  9. Can openEHR archetypes be used in a national context? The Danish archetype proof-of-concept project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Knut; Tvede, Ida; Petersen, Jan; Bredegaard, Kirsten

    2009-01-01

    Semantic interoperability and secondary use of data are important informatics challenges in modern healthcare. Connected Digital Health Denmark is investigating if the openEHR reference model, archetypes and templates could be used for representing and exchanging clinical content specification and could become a candidate for a national logical infrastructure for semantic interoperability. The Danish archetype proof-of-concept project has tried out some elements of the openEHR methodology in cooperation with regions and vendors. The project has pointed out benefits and challenges using archetypes, and has identified barriers that need to be addressed in the next steps.

  10. Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toor, Saqib; Rosendahl, Lasse; Hoffmann, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Biomass is one of the most abundant sources of renewable energy, and will be an important part of a more sustainable future energy system. In addition to direct combustion, there is growing attention on conversion of biomass into liquid en-ergy carriers. These conversion methods are divided...... into biochemical/biotechnical methods and thermochemical methods; such as direct combustion, pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction etc. This chapter will focus on hydrothermal liquefaction, where high pressures and intermediate temperatures together with the presence of water are used to convert biomass...... into liquid biofuels, with the aim of describing the current status and development challenges of the technology. During the hydrothermal liquefaction process, the biomass macromolecules are first hydrolyzed and/or degraded into smaller molecules. Many of the produced molecules are unstable and reactive...

  11. Using fluorescence lymphangiography to define the ileocolic mesentery: proof of concept for the watershed area using real-time imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, D S; Joshi, H M; Rodriguez-Justo, M; Walsh, D; Coffey, J C; Chand, M

    2017-09-01

    Recent advances in mesenteric science have demonstrated that the mesentery is a continuous structure with a 'watershed' area at the mesenteric apex between the right colon and terminal ileum, where lymphatic flow can proceed either proximally or distally. With this new understanding of the anatomy, functional features are emerging, which can have an impact on surgical management. Fluorescence lymphangiography or lymphoscintigraphy with indocyanine green allows real-time visualization of lymphatic channels, which highlights sentinel lymph nodes and may facilitate identification of the ideal margins for mesenteric lymphadenectomy during bowel resection for colon cancer. By using this novel technology, it is possible to demonstrate a watershed area in the ileocolic region and may facilitate more precise mesenteric dissection. In the present study, we provide proof of concept for the ileocolic watershed area using fluorescence lymphangiography.

  12. Fuzzy logic inference-based Pavement Friction Management and real-time slippery warning systems: A proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najafi, Shahriar; Flintsch, Gerardo W; Khaleghian, Seyedmeysam

    2016-05-01

    Minimizing roadway crashes and fatalities is one of the primary objectives of highway engineers, and can be achieved in part through appropriate maintenance practices. Maintaining an appropriate level of friction is a crucial maintenance practice, due to the effect it has on roadway safety. This paper presents a fuzzy logic inference system that predicts the rate of vehicle crashes based on traffic level, speed limit, and surface friction. Mamdani and Sugeno fuzzy controllers were used to develop the model. The application of the proposed fuzzy control system in a real-time slippery road warning system is demonstrated as a proof of concept. The results of this study provide a decision support model for highway agencies to monitor their network's friction and make appropriate judgments to correct deficiencies based on crash risk. Furthermore, this model can be implemented in the connected vehicle environment to warn drivers of potentially slippery locations. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Supercritical CO2 Foaming of Thermoplastic Materials Derived from Maize: Proof-of-Concept Use in Mammalian Cell Culture Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo-de Santiago, Grissel; Portales-Cabrera, Cynthia Guadalupe; Portillo-Lara, Roberto; Araiz-Hernández, Diana; Del Barone, Maria Cristina; García-López, Erika; Rojas-de Gante, Cecilia; de los Angeles De Santiago-Miramontes, María; Segoviano-Ramírez, Juan Carlos; García-Lara, Silverio; Rodríguez-González, Ciro Ángel; Alvarez, Mario Moisés; Di Maio, Ernesto; Iannace, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    Background Foams are high porosity and low density materials. In nature, they are a common architecture. Some of their relevant technological applications include heat and sound insulation, lightweight materials, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Foams derived from natural polymers are particularly attractive for tissue culture due to their biodegradability and bio-compatibility. Here, the foaming potential of an extensive list of materials was assayed, including slabs elaborated from whole flour, the starch component only, or the protein fraction only of maize seeds. Methodology/Principal Findings We used supercritical CO2 to produce foams from thermoplasticized maize derived materials. Polyethylene-glycol, sorbitol/glycerol, or urea/formamide were used as plasticizers. We report expansion ratios, porosities, average pore sizes, pore morphologies, and pore size distributions for these materials. High porosity foams were obtained from zein thermoplasticized with polyethylene glycol, and from starch thermoplasticized with urea/formamide. Zein foams had a higher porosity than starch foams (88% and 85%, respectively) and a narrower and more evenly distributed pore size. Starch foams exhibited a wider span of pore sizes and a larger average pore size than zein (208.84 vs. 55.43 μm2, respectively). Proof-of-concept cell culture experiments confirmed that mouse fibroblasts (NIH 3T3) and two different prostate cancer cell lines (22RV1, DU145) attached to and proliferated on zein foams. Conclusions/Significance We conducted screening and proof-of-concept experiments on the fabrication of foams from cereal-based bioplastics. We propose that a key indicator of foamability is the strain at break of the materials to be foamed (as calculated from stress vs. strain rate curves). Zein foams exhibit attractive properties (average pore size, pore size distribution, and porosity) for cell culture applications; we were able to establish and sustain mammalian cell cultures on zein

  14. Supercritical CO2 foaming of thermoplastic materials derived from maize: proof-of-concept use in mammalian cell culture applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo-de Santiago, Grissel; Portales-Cabrera, Cynthia Guadalupe; Portillo-Lara, Roberto; Araiz-Hernández, Diana; Del Barone, Maria Cristina; García-López, Erika; Rojas-de Gante, Cecilia; de Los Angeles De Santiago-Miramontes, María; Segoviano-Ramírez, Juan Carlos; García-Lara, Silverio; Rodríguez-González, Ciro Ángel; Alvarez, Mario Moisés; Di Maio, Ernesto; Iannace, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    Foams are high porosity and low density materials. In nature, they are a common architecture. Some of their relevant technological applications include heat and sound insulation, lightweight materials, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Foams derived from natural polymers are particularly attractive for tissue culture due to their biodegradability and bio-compatibility. Here, the foaming potential of an extensive list of materials was assayed, including slabs elaborated from whole flour, the starch component only, or the protein fraction only of maize seeds. We used supercritical CO2 to produce foams from thermoplasticized maize derived materials. Polyethylene-glycol, sorbitol/glycerol, or urea/formamide were used as plasticizers. We report expansion ratios, porosities, average pore sizes, pore morphologies, and pore size distributions for these materials. High porosity foams were obtained from zein thermoplasticized with polyethylene glycol, and from starch thermoplasticized with urea/formamide. Zein foams had a higher porosity than starch foams (88% and 85%, respectively) and a narrower and more evenly distributed pore size. Starch foams exhibited a wider span of pore sizes and a larger average pore size than zein (208.84 vs. 55.43 μm2, respectively). Proof-of-concept cell culture experiments confirmed that mouse fibroblasts (NIH 3T3) and two different prostate cancer cell lines (22RV1, DU145) attached to and proliferated on zein foams. We conducted screening and proof-of-concept experiments on the fabrication of foams from cereal-based bioplastics. We propose that a key indicator of foamability is the strain at break of the materials to be foamed (as calculated from stress vs. strain rate curves). Zein foams exhibit attractive properties (average pore size, pore size distribution, and porosity) for cell culture applications; we were able to establish and sustain mammalian cell cultures on zein foams for extended time periods.

  15. Supercritical CO2 foaming of thermoplastic materials derived from maize: proof-of-concept use in mammalian cell culture applications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grissel Trujillo-de Santiago

    Full Text Available Foams are high porosity and low density materials. In nature, they are a common architecture. Some of their relevant technological applications include heat and sound insulation, lightweight materials, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Foams derived from natural polymers are particularly attractive for tissue culture due to their biodegradability and bio-compatibility. Here, the foaming potential of an extensive list of materials was assayed, including slabs elaborated from whole flour, the starch component only, or the protein fraction only of maize seeds.We used supercritical CO2 to produce foams from thermoplasticized maize derived materials. Polyethylene-glycol, sorbitol/glycerol, or urea/formamide were used as plasticizers. We report expansion ratios, porosities, average pore sizes, pore morphologies, and pore size distributions for these materials. High porosity foams were obtained from zein thermoplasticized with polyethylene glycol, and from starch thermoplasticized with urea/formamide. Zein foams had a higher porosity than starch foams (88% and 85%, respectively and a narrower and more evenly distributed pore size. Starch foams exhibited a wider span of pore sizes and a larger average pore size than zein (208.84 vs. 55.43 μm2, respectively. Proof-of-concept cell culture experiments confirmed that mouse fibroblasts (NIH 3T3 and two different prostate cancer cell lines (22RV1, DU145 attached to and proliferated on zein foams.We conducted screening and proof-of-concept experiments on the fabrication of foams from cereal-based bioplastics. We propose that a key indicator of foamability is the strain at break of the materials to be foamed (as calculated from stress vs. strain rate curves. Zein foams exhibit attractive properties (average pore size, pore size distribution, and porosity for cell culture applications; we were able to establish and sustain mammalian cell cultures on zein foams for extended time periods.

  16. Auditory-motor mapping training as an intervention to facilitate speech output in non-verbal children with autism: a proof of concept study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Y Wan

    Full Text Available Although up to 25% of children with autism are non-verbal, there are very few interventions that can reliably produce significant improvements in speech output. Recently, a novel intervention called Auditory-Motor Mapping Training (AMMT has been developed, which aims to promote speech production directly by training the association between sounds and articulatory actions using intonation and bimanual motor activities. AMMT capitalizes on the inherent musical strengths of children with autism, and offers activities that they intrinsically enjoy. It also engages and potentially stimulates a network of brain regions that may be dysfunctional in autism. Here, we report an initial efficacy study to provide 'proof of concept' for AMMT. Six non-verbal children with autism participated. Prior to treatment, the children had no intelligible words. They each received 40 individual sessions of AMMT 5 times per week, over an 8-week period. Probe assessments were conducted periodically during baseline, therapy, and follow-up sessions. After therapy, all children showed significant improvements in their ability to articulate words and phrases, with generalization to items that were not practiced during therapy sessions. Because these children had no or minimal vocal output prior to treatment, the acquisition of speech sounds and word approximations through AMMT represents a critical step in expressive language development in children with autism.

  17. A Proof of Concept to Bridge the Gap between Mass Spectrometry Imaging, Protein Identification and Relative Quantitation: MSI~LC-MS/MS-LF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laëtitia Théron

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI is a powerful tool to visualize the spatial distribution of molecules on a tissue section. The main limitation of MALDI-MSI of proteins is the lack of direct identification. Therefore, this study focuses on a MSI~LC-MS/MS-LF workflow to link the results from MALDI-MSI with potential peak identification and label-free quantitation, using only one tissue section. At first, we studied the impact of matrix deposition and laser ablation on protein extraction from the tissue section. Then, we did a back-correlation of the m/z of the proteins detected by MALDI-MSI to those identified by label-free quantitation. This allowed us to compare the label-free quantitation of proteins obtained in LC-MS/MS with the peak intensities observed in MALDI-MSI. We managed to link identification to nine peaks observed by MALDI-MSI. The results showed that the MSI~LC-MS/MS-LF workflow (i allowed us to study a representative muscle proteome compared to a classical bottom-up workflow; and (ii was sparsely impacted by matrix deposition and laser ablation. This workflow, performed as a proof-of-concept, suggests that a single tissue section can be used to perform MALDI-MSI and protein extraction, identification, and relative quantitation.

  18. Fabrication of an interim complete removable dental prosthesis with an in-office digital light processing three-dimensional printer: A proof-of-concept technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wei-Shao; Harris, Bryan T; Pellerito, John; Morton, Dean

    2018-04-30

    This report describes a proof of concept for fabricating an interim complete removable dental prosthesis with a digital light processing 3-dimensional (3D) printer. Although an in-office 3D printer can reduce the overall production cost for an interim complete removable dental prosthesis, the process has not been validated with clinical studies. This report provided a preliminary proof of concept in developing a digital workflow for the in-office additively manufactured interim complete removable dental prosthesis. Copyright © 2018 Editorial Council for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Direct liquefaction of wood through solvolysis and catalytic hydrodeoxygenation: an engineering assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moffat, J.M.; Overend, J.P.

    1985-01-01

    Liquefaction of wood to produce fuel and chemical intermediates has been intensively studied over the last decade. The results of Canadian research into process feasibility are presented on the basis of two studies, the first in 1980 utilizing data of the mid-70s and the other on the basis of research conducted up to 1982. The earlier study was for a single reactor concept in which catalyst, wood and hydrogen were reacted to produce a proto-oil, while the later study embodies a two-stage concept involving dissolution of the polymer matrix followed by fractionation and catalytic upgrading using hydrodeoxygenation. Increased knowledge of the characteristics of the first stage products show that there are many component mixtures containing between 10 and 20% oxygen. Most of the oxygen is in aromatic phenol-type structures with some ether linkages, and low severity processes to deoxygenate the product while increasing the hydrogen to carbon ratio are called for. The economic prospects for a two-stage process are described on the basis of a hydrocarbon process proposed by HRI International for Kraft process lignin. These show that a mix of BTX products and fuel oil could generate a profitable rate of return. 62 references.

  20. Long-distance travel modeling: proof of concept : research results digest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    This research project was established to provide ADOT with direction on the best sources of data and best practices for updating its long-distance personal travel models to better reflect observed travel behavior. Its original intent was to recommend...

  1. Sunshine Program for fiscal 1981. Research on direct coal-liquefaction reactor; 1981 nendo sekitan chokusetsu ekika hannoki no kenkyu seika hokokusho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1982-04-17

    The research aims to develop a new-type high-efficiency reactor for direct coal-liquefaction from a reaction engineering viewpoint and, at the same time, to settle problems expected to occur in industrializing this technique. The research items are Item 1 on the analysis of characteristics of a tubular continuous reactor and Item 2 on high-activity catalysts. Under Item 1, on the assumption that liquefaction reaction is dominantly a reaction in a continuous phase, a reactor is selected in consideration of homogeneous-phase reaction, and operating conditions are set according to the selected reactor and to the liquefaction reaction characteristics. A somewhat large Re number is assigned to the paste. Since the hydrogen partial pressure lowers with the progress of reaction, hydrogen is resupplied at the middle of the reaction tube. The volume of gas increases toward the final stage of reaction, decreasing the continuous phase holdup. Since it is undesirable to let the decrease stand, a vapor-liquid separator is provided for the control of the gas volume. In this fiscal year, investigation is conducted into details so as to determine if the reactor is equipped with intended characteristics. Under Item 2, the iron ore is deemed to be the most promising as disposal catalysts for liquefaction. In this fiscal year, studies are conducted to disclose the activity etc. of catalysts of this type. (NEDO)

  2. Unconventional Coal in Wyoming: IGCC and Gasification of Direct Coal Liquefaction Residue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffers, William Clemens

    Two unconventional uses for Wyoming Powder River Basin coal were investigated in this study. The first was the use of coal fired integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants to generate electricity. Twenty-eight different scenarios were modeled using AspenPlusRTM software. These included slurry, mechanical and dried fed gasifiers; Wyodak and Green River coals, 0%, 70%, and 90% CO2 capture; and conventional evaporative vs air cooling. All of the models were constructed on a feed basis of 6,900 tons of coal per day on an "as received basis". The AspenPlus RTM results were then used to create economic models using Microsoft RTM Excel for each configuration. These models assumed a 3 year construction period and a 30 year plant life. Results for capital and operating costs, yearly income, and internal rates of return (IRR) were compared. In addition, the scenarios were evaluated to compare electricity sales prices required to obtain a 12% IRR and to determine the effects of a carbon emissions tax on the sales price. The second part of the study investigated the gasification potential of residue remaining from solvent extraction or liquefaction of Powder River Basin Coal. Coal samples from the Decker mine on the Wyoming-Montana border were extracted with tetralin at a temperature of 360°C and pressure of 250 psi. Residue from the extraction was gasified with CO2 or steam at 833°C, 900°C and 975°C at pressures of 0.1 and 0.4 MPa. Product gases were analyzed with a mass spectrometer. Results were used to determine activation energies, reaction order, reaction rates and diffusion effects. Surface area and electron microscopic analyses were also performed on char produced from the solvent extraction residue.

  3. Proof-of-Concept Part Task Trainer for Close Air Support Procedures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    Application of Firepower JavaScript Object Notation xvi JTAC Joint Terminal Attack Controller KILSWITCH Kinetic Integrated Low-cost SoftWare...SUMMARY This chapter discussed the basics of the close air support mission, the importance of standardized procedures and quality training for the pilots...Bowman et al. 1999). In that article , the authors discuss the importance of direct experience and how it relates to education. They comment that

  4. Development and proof-of-concept of three-dimensional lung histology volumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathew, Lindsay; Alabousi, Mostafa; Wheatley, Andrew; Aladl, Usaf; Slipetz, Deborah; Hogg, James C.; Fenster, Aaron; Parraga, Grace

    2012-03-01

    Most medical imaging is inherently three-dimensional (3D) but for validation of pathological findings, histopathology is commonly used and typically histopathology images are acquired as twodimensional slices with quantitative analysis performed in a single dimension. Histopathology is invasive, labour-intensive, and the analysis cannot be performed in real time, yet it remains the gold standard for the pathological diagnosis and validation of clinical or radiological diagnoses of disease. A major goal worldwide is to improve medical imaging resolution, sensitivity and specificity to better guide therapy and biopsy and to one day delay or replace biopsy. A key limitation however is the lack of tools to directly compare 3D macroscopic imaging acquired in patients with histopathology findings, typically provided in a single dimension (1D) or in two dimensions (2D). To directly address this, we developed methods for 2D histology slice visualization/registration to generate 3D volumes and quantified tissue components in the 3D volume for direct comparison to volumetric micro-CT and clinical CT. We used the elastase-instilled mouse emphysema lung model to evaluate our methods with murine lungs sectioned (5 μm thickness/10 μm gap) and digitized with 2μm in-plane resolution. 3D volumes were generated for wildtype and elastase mouse lung sections after semi-automated registration of all tissue slices. The 1D mean linear intercept (Lm) for wildtype (WT) (47.1 μm +/- 9.8 μm) and elastase mouse lung (64.5 μm +/- 14.0 μm) was significantly different (p<.001). We also generated 3D measurements based on tissue and airspace morphometry from the 3D volumes and all of these were significantly different (p<.0001) when comparing elastase and WT mouse lung. The ratio of the airspace-to-lung volume for the entire lung volume was also significantly and strongly correlated with Lm.

  5. Stroke Volume estimation using aortic pressure measurements and aortic cross sectional area: Proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamoi, S; Pretty, C G; Chiew, Y S; Pironet, A; Davidson, S; Desaive, T; Shaw, G M; Chase, J G

    2015-08-01

    Accurate Stroke Volume (SV) monitoring is essential for patient with cardiovascular dysfunction patients. However, direct SV measurements are not clinically feasible due to the highly invasive nature of measurement devices. Current devices for indirect monitoring of SV are shown to be inaccurate during sudden hemodynamic changes. This paper presents a novel SV estimation using readily available aortic pressure measurements and aortic cross sectional area, using data from a porcine experiment where medical interventions such as fluid replacement, dobutamine infusions, and recruitment maneuvers induced SV changes in a pig with circulatory shock. Measurement of left ventricular volume, proximal aortic pressure, and descending aortic pressure waveforms were made simultaneously during the experiment. From measured data, proximal aortic pressure was separated into reservoir and excess pressures. Beat-to-beat aortic characteristic impedance values were calculated using both aortic pressure measurements and an estimate of the aortic cross sectional area. SV was estimated using the calculated aortic characteristic impedance and excess component of the proximal aorta. The median difference between directly measured SV and estimated SV was -1.4ml with 95% limit of agreement +/- 6.6ml. This method demonstrates that SV can be accurately captured beat-to-beat during sudden changes in hemodynamic state. This novel SV estimation could enable improved cardiac and circulatory treatment in the critical care environment by titrating treatment to the effect on SV.

  6. Exploring Normalized Systems Potential for Dutch MoD’s Agility : A Proof of Concept on Flexibility, Time-to-market, Productivity and Quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Op 't Land, M.; Krouwel, M.R.; Van Dipten, E.G.; Verelst, J.

    2011-01-01

    Both the Command and Control Support Centre (C2SC) of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, and Capgemini are constantly exploring better ways of building and maintaining information systems which ef- fectively support strategy and operations of an enterprise. In a Proof of Concept conducted in March and

  7. Development of a lozenge for oral transmucosal delivery of trans-resveratrol in humans: proof of concept.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otis L Blanchard

    Full Text Available Resveratrol provides multiple physiologic benefits which promote healthspan in various model species and clinical trials support continued exploration of resveratrol treatment in humans. However, there remains concern regarding low bioavailability and wide inter-individual differences in absorption and metabolism in humans, which suggests a great need to develop novel methods for resveratrol delivery. We hypothesized that oral transmucosal delivery, using a lozenge composed of a resveratrol-excipient matrix, would allow resveratrol to be absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream. We pursued proof of concept through two experiments. In the first experiment, the solubility of trans-resveratrol (tRES in water and 2.0 M solutions of dextrose, fructose, ribose, sucrose, and xylitol was determined using HPLC. Independent t-tests with a Bonferroni correction were used to compare the solubility of tRES in each of the solutions to that in water. tRES was significantly more soluble in the ribose solution (p = 0.0013 than in the other four solutions. Given the enhanced solubility of tRES in a ribose solution, a resveratrol-ribose matrix was developed into a lozenge suitable for human consumption. Lozenges were prepared, each containing 146±5.5 mg tRES per 2000 mg of lozenge mass. Two healthy human participants consumed one of the prepared lozenges following an overnight fast. Venipuncture was performed immediately before and 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes following lozenge administration. Maximal plasma concentrations (Cmax for tRES alone (i.e., resveratrol metabolites not included were 325 and 332 ng⋅mL(-1 for the two participants at 15 minute post-administration for both individuals. These results suggest a resveratrol-ribose matrix lozenge can achieve greater Cmax and enter the bloodstream faster than previously reported dosage forms for gastrointestinal absorption. While this study is limited by small sample size and only one method of resveratrol

  8. Protecting an island nation from extreme pandemic threats: Proof-of-concept around border closure as an intervention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt Boyd

    Full Text Available Countries are well advised to prepare for future pandemic risks (e.g., pandemic influenza, novel emerging agents or synthetic bioweapons. These preparations do not typically include planning for complete border closure. Even though border closure may not be instituted in time, and can fail, there might still plausible chances of success for well organized island nations.To estimate costs and benefits of complete border closure in response to new pandemic threats, at an initial proof-of-concept level. New Zealand was used as a case-study for an island country.An Excel spreadsheet model was developed to estimate costs and benefits. Case-study specific epidemiological data was sourced from past influenza pandemics. Country-specific healthcare cost data, valuation of life, and lost tourism revenue were imputed (with lost trade also in scenario analyses.For a new pandemic equivalent to the 1918 influenza pandemic (albeit with half the mortality rate, "Scenario A", it was estimated that successful border closure for 26 weeks provided a net societal benefit (e.g., of NZ$11.0 billion, USD$7.3 billion. Even in the face of a complete end to trade, a net benefit was estimated for scenarios where the mortality rate was high (e.g., at 10 times the mortality impact of "Scenario A", or 2.75% of the country's population dying giving a net benefit of NZ$54 billion (USD$36 billion. But for some other pandemic scenarios where trade ceased, border closure resulted in a net negative societal value (e.g., for "Scenario A" times three for 26 weeks of border closure-but not for only 12 weeks of closure when it would still be beneficial.This "proof-of-concept" work indicates that more detailed cost-benefit analysis of border closure in very severe pandemic situations for some island nations is probably warranted, as this course of action might sometimes be worthwhile from a societal perspective.

  9. Flipping the classroom to teach Millennial residents medical leadership: a proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucardie, Alicia T; Berkenbosch, Lizanne; van den Berg, Jochem; Busari, Jamiu O

    2017-01-01

    The ongoing changes in health care delivery have resulted in the reform of educational content and methods of training in postgraduate medical leadership education. Health care law and medical errors are domains in medical leadership where medical residents desire training. However, the potential value of the flipped classroom as a pedagogical tool for leadership training within postgraduate medical education has not been fully explored. Therefore, we designed a learning module for this purpose and made use of the flipped classroom model to deliver the training. The flipped classroom model reverses the order of learning: basic concepts are learned individually outside of class so that more time is spent applying knowledge to discussions and practical scenarios during class. Advantages include high levels of interaction, optimal utilization of student and expert time and direct application to the practice setting. Disadvantages include the need for high levels of self-motivation and time constraints within the clinical setting. Educational needs and expectations vary within various generations and call for novel teaching modalities. Hence, the choice of instructional methods should be driven not only by their intrinsic values but also by their alignment with the learners' preference. The flipped classroom model is an educational modality that resonates with Millennial students. It helps them to progress quickly beyond the mere understanding of theory to higher order cognitive skills such as evaluation and application of knowledge in practice. Hence, the successful application of this model would allow the translation of highly theoretical topics to the practice setting within postgraduate medical education.

  10. Triple-Gene Therapy for Stroke: A Proof-of-Concept in Vivo Study in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail E. Sokolov

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Natural brain repair after stroke is extremely limited, and current therapeutic options are even more scarce with no clinical break-through in sight. Despite restricted regeneration in the central nervous system, we have previously proved that human umbilical cord blood mono-nuclear cells (UCB-MC transduced with adenoviral vectors carrying genes encoding vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF, and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM successfully rescued neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. This proof-of-principle project was aimed at evaluating the beneficial effects of the same triple-gene approach in stroke. Rats subjected to distal occlusion of the middle cerebral artery were treated intrathecally with a combination of these genes either directly or using our cell-based (UCB-MC approach. Various techniques and markers were employed to evaluate brain injury and subsequent recovery after treatment. Brain repair was most prominent when therapeutic genes were delivered via adenoviral vector- or UCB-MC-mediated approach. Remodeling of brain cortex in the stroke area was confirmed by reduction of infarct volume and attenuated neural cell death, depletion of astrocytes and microglial cells, and increase in the number of oligodendroglial cells and synaptic proteins expression. These results imply that intrathecal injection of genetically engineered UCB-MC over-expressing therapeutic molecules (VEGF, GDNF, and NCAM following cerebral blood vessel occlusion might represent a novel avenue for future research into treating stroke.

  11. Efficiency of chlorophyll in gross primary productivity: A proof of concept and application in crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitelson, Anatoly A; Peng, Yi; Viña, Andrés; Arkebauer, Timothy; Schepers, James S

    2016-08-20

    One of the main factors affecting vegetation productivity is absorbed light, which is largely governed by chlorophyll. In this paper, we introduce the concept of chlorophyll efficiency, representing the amount of gross primary production per unit of canopy chlorophyll content (Chl) and incident PAR. We analyzed chlorophyll efficiency in two contrasting crops (soybean and maize). Given that they have different photosynthetic pathways (C3 vs. C4), leaf structures (dicot vs. monocot) and canopy architectures (a heliotrophic leaf angle distribution vs. a spherical leaf angle distribution), they cover a large spectrum of biophysical conditions. Our results show that chlorophyll efficiency in primary productivity is highly variable and responds to various physiological and phenological conditions, and water availability. Since Chl is accessible through non-destructive, remotely sensed techniques, the use of chlorophyll efficiency for modeling and monitoring plant optimization patterns is practical at different scales (e.g., leaf, canopy) and under widely-varying environmental conditions. Through this analysis, we directly related a functional characteristic, gross primary production with a structural characteristic, canopy chlorophyll content. Understanding the efficiency of the structural characteristic is of great interest as it allows explaining functional components of the plant system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. Patient Safety Culture and the Ability to Improve: A Proof of Concept Study on Hand Hygiene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caris, Martine G; Kamphuis, Pim G A; Dekker, Mireille; de Bruijne, Martine C; van Agtmael, Michiel A; Vandenbroucke-Grauls, Christina M J E

    2017-11-01

    OBJECTIVE To investigate whether the safety culture of a hospital unit is associated with the ability to improve. DESIGN Qualitative investigation of safety culture on hospital units following a before-and-after trial on hand hygiene. SETTING VU University Medical Center, a tertiary-care hospital in the Netherlands. METHODS With support from hospital management, we implemented a hospital-wide program to improve compliance. Over 2 years, compliance was measured through direct observation, twice before, and 4 times after interventions. We analyzed changes in compliance from baseline, and selected units to evaluate safety culture using a positive deviance approach: the hospital unit with the highest hand hygiene compliance and 2 units that showed significant improvement (21% and 16%, respectively) were selected as high performing. Another 2 units showed no improvement and were selected as low performing. A blinded, independent observer conducted interviews with unit management, physicians, and nurses, based on the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Safety culture was categorized as pathological (lowest level), reactive, bureaucratic, proactive, or generative (highest level). RESULTS Overall, 3 units showed a proactive or generative safety culture and 2 units had bureaucratic or pathological safety cultures. When comparing compliance and interview results, high-performing units showed high levels of safety culture, while low-performing units showed low levels of safety culture. CONCLUSIONS Safety culture is associated with the ability to improve hand hygiene. Interventions may not be effective when applied in units with low levels of safety culture. Although additional research is needed to corroborate our findings, the safety culture on a unit can benefit from enhancement strategies such as team-building exercises. Strengthening the safety culture before implementing interventions could aid improvement and prevent nonproductive interventions. Infect Control

  13. Quantitative Assessment of Orbital Implant Position--A Proof of Concept.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruud Schreurs

    Full Text Available In orbital reconstruction, the optimal location of a predefined implant can be planned preoperatively. Surgical results can be assessed intraoperatively or postoperatively. A novel method for quantifying orbital implant position is introduced. The method measures predictability of implant placement: transformation parameters between planned and resulting implant position are quantified.The method was tested on 3 human specimen heads. Computed Tomography scans were acquired at baseline with intact orbits (t0, after creation of the defect (t1 and postoperatively after reconstruction of the defect using a preformed implant (t2. Prior to reconstruction, the optimal implant position was planned on the t0 and t1 scans. Postoperatively, the planned and realized implant position were compared. The t0 and t2 scans were fused using iPlan software and the resulting implant was segmented in the fused t2 scan. An implant reference frame was created (Orbital Implant Positioning Frame; the planned implant was transformed to the reference position using an Iterative Closest Point approach. The segmentation of the resulting implant was also registered on the reference position, yielding rotational (pitch, yaw, roll as well as translational parameters of implant position.Measurement with the Orbital Implant Positioning Frame proved feasible on all three specimen. The positional outcome provided more thorough and accurate insight in resulting implant position than could be gathered from distance measurements alone. Observer-related errors were abolished from the process, since the method is largely automatic.A novel method of quantifying surgical outcome in orbital reconstructive surgery was presented. The presented Orbital Implant Positioning Frame assessed all parameters involved in implant displacement. The method proved to be viable on three human specimen heads. Clinically, the method could provide direct feedback intraoperatively and could improve

  14. Flipping the classroom to teach Millennial residents medical leadership: a proof of concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucardie AT

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Alicia T Lucardie,1 Lizanne Berkenbosch,2 Jochem van den Berg,3 Jamiu O Busari3,4 1Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, 2Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, 3Department of Pediatrics, Zuyderland Medical Center, Heerlen, 4Department of Educational Development and Research, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands Introduction: The ongoing changes in health care delivery have resulted in the reform of educational content and methods of training in postgraduate medical leadership education. Health care law and medical errors are domains in medical leadership where medical residents desire training. However, the potential value of the flipped classroom as a pedagogical tool for leadership training within postgraduate medical education has not been fully explored. Therefore, we designed a learning module for this purpose and made use of the flipped classroom model to deliver the training. Evidence: The flipped classroom model reverses the order of learning: basic concepts are learned individually outside of class so that more time is spent applying knowledge to discussions and practical scenarios during class. Advantages include high levels of interaction, optimal utilization of student and expert time and direct application to the practice setting. Disadvantages include the need for high levels of self-motivation and time constraints within the clinical setting. Discussion: Educational needs and expectations vary within various generations and call for novel teaching modalities. Hence, the choice of instructional methods should be driven not only by their intrinsic values but also by their alignment with the learners’ preference. The flipped classroom model is an educational modality that resonates with Millennial students. It helps them to progress quickly beyond the mere understanding of theory to higher order

  15. A dynamic collimation system for penumbra reduction in spot-scanning proton therapy: Proof of concept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hyer, Daniel E., E-mail: daniel-hyer@uiowa.edu; Hill, Patrick M.; Wang, Dongxu; Smith, Blake R.; Flynn, Ryan T. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242 (United States)

    2014-09-15

    Purpose: In the absence of a collimation system the lateral penumbra of spot scanning (SS) dose distributions delivered by low energy proton beams is highly dependent on the spot size. For current commercial equipment, spot size increases with decreasing proton energy thereby reducing the benefit of the SS technique. This paper presents a dynamic collimation system (DCS) for sharpening the lateral penumbra of proton therapy dose distributions delivered by SS. Methods: The collimation system presented here exploits the property that a proton pencil beam used for SS requires collimation only when it is near the target edge, enabling the use of trimmers that are in motion at times when the pencil beam is away from the target edge. The device consists of two pairs of parallel nickel trimmer blades of 2 cm thickness and dimensions of 2 cm × 18 cm in the beam's eye view. The two pairs of trimmer blades are rotated 90° relative to each other to form a rectangular shape. Each trimmer blade is capable of rapid motion in the direction perpendicular to the central beam axis by means of a linear motor, with maximum velocity and acceleration of 2.5 m/s and 19.6 m/s{sup 2}, respectively. The blades travel on curved tracks to match the divergence of the proton source. An algorithm for selecting blade positions is developed to minimize the dose delivered outside of the target, and treatment plans are created both with and without the DCS. Results: The snout of the DCS has outer dimensions of 22.6 × 22.6 cm{sup 2} and is capable of delivering a minimum treatment field size of 15 × 15 cm{sup 2}. Using currently available components, the constructed system would weigh less than 20 kg. For irregularly shaped fields, the use of the DCS reduces the mean dose outside of a 2D target of 46.6 cm{sup 2} by approximately 40% as compared to an identical plan without collimation. The use of the DCS increased treatment time by 1–3 s per energy layer. Conclusions: The spread of

  16. A dynamic collimation system for penumbra reduction in spot-scanning proton therapy: Proof of concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hyer, Daniel E.; Hill, Patrick M.; Wang, Dongxu; Smith, Blake R.; Flynn, Ryan T.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: In the absence of a collimation system the lateral penumbra of spot scanning (SS) dose distributions delivered by low energy proton beams is highly dependent on the spot size. For current commercial equipment, spot size increases with decreasing proton energy thereby reducing the benefit of the SS technique. This paper presents a dynamic collimation system (DCS) for sharpening the lateral penumbra of proton therapy dose distributions delivered by SS. Methods: The collimation system presented here exploits the property that a proton pencil beam used for SS requires collimation only when it is near the target edge, enabling the use of trimmers that are in motion at times when the pencil beam is away from the target edge. The device consists of two pairs of parallel nickel trimmer blades of 2 cm thickness and dimensions of 2 cm × 18 cm in the beam's eye view. The two pairs of trimmer blades are rotated 90° relative to each other to form a rectangular shape. Each trimmer blade is capable of rapid motion in the direction perpendicular to the central beam axis by means of a linear motor, with maximum velocity and acceleration of 2.5 m/s and 19.6 m/s 2 , respectively. The blades travel on curved tracks to match the divergence of the proton source. An algorithm for selecting blade positions is developed to minimize the dose delivered outside of the target, and treatment plans are created both with and without the DCS. Results: The snout of the DCS has outer dimensions of 22.6 × 22.6 cm 2 and is capable of delivering a minimum treatment field size of 15 × 15 cm 2 . Using currently available components, the constructed system would weigh less than 20 kg. For irregularly shaped fields, the use of the DCS reduces the mean dose outside of a 2D target of 46.6 cm 2 by approximately 40% as compared to an identical plan without collimation. The use of the DCS increased treatment time by 1–3 s per energy layer. Conclusions: The spread of the lateral

  17. Three-dimensional quantitative analysis of healthy foot shape: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanković, Kristina; Booth, Brian G; Danckaers, Femke; Burg, Fien; Vermaelen, Philippe; Duerinck, Saartje; Sijbers, Jan; Huysmans, Toon

    2018-01-01

    Foot morphology has received increasing attention from both biomechanics researches and footwear manufacturers. Usually, the morphology of the foot is quantified by 2D footprints. However, footprint quantification ignores the foot's vertical dimension and hence, does not allow accurate quantification of complex 3D foot shape. The shape variation of healthy 3D feet in a population of 31 adult women and 31 adult men who live in Belgium was studied using geometric morphometric methods. The effect of different factors such as sex, age, shoe size, frequency of sport activity, Body Mass Index (BMI), foot asymmetry, and foot loading on foot shape was investigated. Correlation between these factors and foot shape was examined using multivariate linear regression. The complex nature of a foot's 3D shape leads to high variability in healthy populations. After normalizing for scale, the major axes of variation in foot morphology are (in order of decreasing variance): arch height, combined ball width and inter-toe distance, global foot width, hallux bone orientation (valgus-varus), foot type (e.g. Egyptian, Greek), and midfoot width. These first six modes of variation capture 92.59% of the total shape variation. Higher BMI results in increased ankle width, Achilles tendon width, heel width and a thicker forefoot along the dorsoplantar axis. Age was found to be associated with heel width, Achilles tendon width, toe height and hallux orientation. A bigger shoe size was found to be associated with a narrow Achilles tendon, a hallux varus, a narrow heel, heel expansion along the posterior direction, and a lower arch compared to smaller shoe size. Sex was found to be associated with differences in ankle width, Achilles tendon width, and heel width. Frequency of sport activity was associated with Achilles tendon width and toe height. A detailed analysis of the 3D foot shape, allowed by geometric morphometrics, provides insights in foot variations in three dimensions that can not be

  18. Catalytic conversion of light alkanes-proof-of-concept stage - Phase IV. Topical report, February 1, 1994--January 31, 1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-12-31

    This report details the research performed on Phase IV of the extended Cooperative Agreement. This Phase, entitled C{sub 1}-C{sub 4} Research, provides the research support which accompanies the C{sub 4} Proof-of-Concept Phase (Phase V) as the two major activities of the Cooperative Agreement during calendar 1993. It is the objective of this phase to understand the nature of the catalysts and catalytic activity of perhaloporphyrin complexes uncovered during Phases I-III in order that superior catalytic materials can be made and tested which meet commercial criteria for the oxidation of the C{sub 1}-C{sub 4} light alkane gases found in natural gas and other available hydrocarbon streams. During Phase IV, we have examined the physical and electronic structures of the very active perhaloporphyrin catalysts which we have developed, and have gained an understanding of the properties which make them active. This has led us to design and synthesize materials which are cheaper, more active, more robust and, in general superior for carrying out practical catalysis. Our early generation perhaloporphyrin catalysts, while exhibiting unprecedented catalytic activity, were far too expensive for use in converting natural gas or its C{sub 1}-C{sub 4} components.

  19. Belatacept-based, ATG-Fresenius-induction regimen for kidney transplant recipients: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicora, Federico; Mos, Fernando; Petroni, Jorgelina; Casanova, Matías; Reniero, Liliana; Roberti, Javier

    2015-01-01

    Belatacept provides effective immunosuppression while avoiding the nephrotoxicities associated with calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs). However, existing belatacept-based regimens still have high rates of acute rejection. We hypothesized that therapy with belatacept, mycophenolic acid (MMA), steroids and induction therapy with rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin Fresenius (ATGF), rejection rate could be reduced. Prospective, single center, proof-of-concept study including males and females aged ≥18years, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-seropositive recipients of a first, HLA non-identical, live or deceased donor kidney allograft. Only patients with a calculated panel reactive antibody score of 0% were included. Three donors were positive for Chagas disease. Six of twelve patients had at least one infection and five were readmitted to the hospital for treatment. One patient had a Trypanosoma cruzi infection via the graft treated successfully. Median cold ischemia time for the transplant patients with a deceased donor was 21.5h. Mean serum creatinine levels at 1, 3 and 6months were 1.76±0.59, 1.55±0.60 and 1.49±0.60mg/dl, respectively. Two of twelve patients experienced clinical, biopsy-proven rejection, successfully treated with methylprednisolone. No patient developed post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) or any other malignancy and no patient lost their graft or died during follow-up. The potential of this approach makes it worthy of further investigation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Intra-Target Microdosing - A Novel Drug Development Approach: Proof of Concept, Safety, and Feasibility Study in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, T; MacLeod, D; Lee, K; Santoro, A; DeMasi, D K; Hawk, T; Feinglos, M; Rowland, M; Noveck, R J

    2017-09-01

    Intra-Target Microdosing (ITM) is a novel drug development approach aimed at increasing the efficiency of first-in-human (FIH) testing of new molecular entities (NMEs). ITM combines intra-target drug delivery and "microdosing," the subpharmacological systemic exposure. We hypothesized that when the target tissue is small (about 1/100th of total body mass), ITM can lead to target therapeutic-level exposure with minimal (microdose) systemic exposure. Each of five healthy male volunteers received insulin microdose into the radial artery or full therapeutic dose intravenously in separate visits. Insulin and glucose levels were similar between systemic administration and ITM administration in the ipsilateral hand, and glucose levels demonstrated a reduction in the ipsilateral hand but not in the contralateral hand. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake demonstrated differences between the ipsilateral and contralateral arms. The procedures were safe and well-tolerated. Results are consistent with ITM proof-of-concept (POC) and demonstrate the ethical, regulatory, and logistical feasibility of the approach. © 2017 The Authors. Clinical and Translational Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  1. Optimal cost-effective designs of Phase II proof of concept trials and associated go-no go decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Cong; Beckman, Robert A

    2009-01-01

    This manuscript discusses optimal cost-effective designs for Phase II proof of concept (PoC) trials. Unlike a confirmatory registration trial, a PoC trial is exploratory in nature, and sponsors of such trials have the liberty to choose the type I error rate and the power. The decision is largely driven by the perceived probability of having a truly active treatment per patient exposure (a surrogate measure to development cost), which is naturally captured in an efficiency score to be defined in this manuscript. Optimization of the score function leads to type I error rate and power (and therefore sample size) for the trial that is most cost-effective. This in turn leads to cost-effective go-no go criteria for development decisions. The idea is applied to derive optimal trial-level, program-level, and franchise-level design strategies. The study is not meant to provide any general conclusion because the settings used are largely simplified for illustrative purposes. However, through the examples provided herein, a reader should be able to gain useful insight into these design problems and apply them to the design of their own PoC trials.

  2. Knowledge management in secondary pharmaceutical manufacturing by mining of data historians-A proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneghetti, Natascia; Facco, Pierantonio; Bezzo, Fabrizio; Himawan, Chrismono; Zomer, Simeone; Barolo, Massimiliano

    2016-05-30

    In this proof-of-concept study, a methodology is proposed to systematically analyze large data historians of secondary pharmaceutical manufacturing systems using data mining techniques. The objective is to develop an approach enabling to automatically retrieve operation-relevant information that can assist the management in the periodic review of a manufactory system. The proposed methodology allows one to automatically perform three tasks: the identification of single batches within the entire data-sequence of the historical dataset, the identification of distinct operating phases within each batch, and the characterization of a batch with respect to an assigned multivariate set of operating characteristics. The approach is tested on a six-month dataset of a commercial-scale granulation/drying system, where several millions of data entries are recorded. The quality of results and the generality of the approach indicate that there is a strong potential for extending the method to even larger historical datasets and to different operations, thus making it an advanced PAT tool that can assist the implementation of continual improvement paradigms within a quality-by-design framework. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Virtual Reality-Based Attention Bias Modification Training for Social Anxiety: A Feasibility and Proof of Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urech, Antoine; Krieger, Tobias; Chesham, Alvin; Mast, Fred W; Berger, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) programs have been considered as a promising new approach for the treatment of various disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, previous studies yielded ambiguous results regarding the efficacy of ABM in SAD. The present proof-of-concept study investigates the feasibility of a newly developed virtual reality (VR)-based dot-probe training paradigm. It was designed to facilitate attentional disengagement from threatening stimuli in socially anxious individuals (N = 15). The following outcomes were examined: (a) self-reports of enjoyment, motivation, flow, and presence; (b) attentional bias for social stimuli; and (c) social anxiety symptoms. Results showed that ABM training is associated with high scores in enjoyment, motivation, flow, and presence. Furthermore, significant improvements in terms of attention bias and social anxiety symptoms were observed from pre- to follow-up assessment. The study suggests that VR is a feasible and presumably a promising new medium for ABM trainings. Controlled studies will need to be carried out.

  4. Virtual Reality-Based Attention Bias Modification Training for Social Anxiety: A Feasibility and Proof of Concept Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine eUrech

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Attention bias modification (ABM programs have been considered as a promising new approach for the treatment of various disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD. However, previous studies yielded ambiguous results regarding the efficacy of ABM in SAD. The present proof-of-concept study investigates the feasibility of a newly developed virtual reality (VR-based dot-probe training paradigm. It was designed to facilitate attentional disengagement from threatening stimuli in socially anxious individuals (N=15. The following outcomes were examined: (a self-reports of enjoyment, motivation, flow and presence, (b attentional bias for social stimuli, and (c social anxiety symptoms. Results showed that ABM training is associated with high scores in enjoyment, motivation, flow and presence. Furthermore, significant improvements in terms of attention bias and social anxiety symptoms were observed from pre- to follow-up assessment. The study suggests that VR is a feasible and presumably a promising new medium for ABM trainings. Controlled studies will need to be carried out.

  5. Googling Service Boundaries for Endovascular Clot Retrieval Hub Hospitals in a Metropolitan Setting: Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Thanh G; Beare, Richard; Chen, Jian; Clissold, Benjamin; Ly, John; Singhal, Shaloo; Ma, Henry; Srikanth, Velandai

    2017-05-01

    There is great interest in how endovascular clot retrieval hubs provide services to a population. We applied a computational method to objectively generate service boundaries for such endovascular clot retrieval hubs, defined by traveling time to hub. Stroke incidence data merged with population census to estimate numbers of stroke in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Traveling time from randomly generated addresses to 4 endovascular clot retrieval-capable hubs (Royal Melbourne Hospital [RMH], Monash Medical Center [MMC], Alfred Hospital [ALF], and Austin Hospital [AUS]) estimated using Google Map application program interface. Boundary maps generated based on traveling time at various times of day for combinations of hubs. In a 2-hub model, catchment was best distributed when RMH was paired with MMC (model 1a, RMH 1765 km 2 and MMC 1164 km 2 ) or with AUS (model 1c, RMH 1244 km 2 and AUS 1685 km 2 ), with no statistical difference between models ( P =0.20). Catchment was poorly distributed when RMH was paired with ALF (model 1b, RMH 2252 km 2 and ALF 676 km 2 ), significantly different from both models 1a and 1c (both P AUS was superior to that of RMH, MMC, and ALF in catchment distribution and travel time. The method was also successfully applied to the city of Adelaide demonstrating wider applicability. We provide proof of concept for a novel computational method to objectively designate service boundaries for endovascular clot retrieval hubs. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  6. Proof of Concept: Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor decreases inflammation and improves muscle insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frankwich Karen

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obesity is a state of subclinical inflammation resulting in loss of function of insulin receptors and decreased insulin sensitivity. Inhibition of the inflammatory enzymes, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs, for 6 months in rodent models restores insulin receptor function and insulin sensitivity. Methods This 12-week double-blind, randomized, placebo (PL-controlled proof-of-concept study was performed to determine if the MMP inhibitor (MMPI, doxycycline, decreased global markers of inflammation and enhanced muscle insulin sensitivity in obese people with type 2 diabetes (DM2. The study included non-DM2 controls (n = 15, and DM2 subjects randomized to PL (n = 13 or doxycycline 100 mg twice daily (MMPI; n = 11. All participants were evaluated on Day 1; MMPI and PL groups were also evaluated after 84 days of treatment. Results There was a significant decrease in inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (P  Conclusions This study demonstrated short term treatment of people with diabetes with an MMPI resulted in decreased inflammation and improved insulin sensitivity. Larger, longer studies are warranted to determine if doxycycline can improve glucose control in people with diabetes. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01375491

  7. Effects of tolcapone on working memory and brain activity in abstinent smokers: A proof-of-concept study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashare, Rebecca L.; Wileyto, E. Paul; Ruparel, Kosha; Goelz, Patricia M.; Hopson, Ryan D.; Valdez, Jeffrey N.; Gur, Ruben C.; Loughead, James; Lerman, Caryn

    2014-01-01

    Background Dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are thought to play an important role in cognitive function and nicotine dependence. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor tolcapone, an FDA-approved treatment for Parkinson’s disease, increases prefrontal dopamine levels, with cognitive benefits that may vary by COMT genotype. We tested whether tolcapone alters working memory-related brain activity and performance in abstinent smokers. Methods In this double-blind crossover study, 20 smokers completed 8 days of treatment with tolcapone and placebo. In both medication periods, smokers completed blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI scans while performing a working memory N-back task after 24 h of abstinence. Smokers were genotyped prospectively for the COMT val158met polymorphism for exploratory analysis. Results Compared to placebo, tolcapone modestly improved accuracy (p = 0.017) and enhanced suppression of activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) (p = 0.002). There were no effects of medication in other a priori regions of interest (dorsolateral PFC, dorsal cingulate/medial prefrontal cortex, or posterior cingulate cortex). Exploratory analyses suggested that tolcapone led to a decrease in BOLD signal in several regions among smokers with val/val genotypes, but increased or remained unchanged among met allele carriers. Tolcapone did not attenuate craving, mood, or withdrawal symptoms compared to placebo. Conclusions Data from this proof-of-concept study do not provide strong support for further evaluation of COMT inhibitors as smoking cessation aids. PMID:24095246

  8. Evaluating a Proof-of-Concept Approach of the German Health Telematics Infrastructure in the Context of Discharge Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübner, Ursula; Schulte, Georg; Sellemann, Björn; Quade, Matthias; Rottmann, Thorsten; Fenske, Matthias; Egbert, Nicole; Kuhlisch, Raik; Rienhoff, Otto

    2015-01-01

    Although national eHealth strategies have existed now for more than a decade in many countries, they have been implemented with varying success. In Germany, the eHealth strategy so far has resulted in a roll out of electronic health cards for all citizens in the statutory health insurance, but in no clinically meaningful IT-applications. The aim of this study was to test the technical and organisation feasibility, usability, and utility of an eDischarge application embedded into a laboratory Health Telematics Infrastructure (TI). The tests embraced the exchange of eDischarge summaries based on the multiprofessional HL7 eNursing Summary standard between a municipal hospital and a nursing home. All in all, 36 transmissions of electronic discharge documents took place. They demonstrated the technical-organisation feasibility and resulted in moderate usability ratings. A comparison between eDischarge and paper-based summaries hinted at higher ratings of utility and information completeness for eDischarges. Despite problems with handling the electronic health card, the proof-of-concept for the first clinically meaningful IT-application in the German Health TI could be regarded as successful.

  9. Treatment of Wound Healing Disorders of Radial Forearm Free Flap Donor Sites Using Cold Atmospheric Plasma: A Proof of Concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwig, Stefan; Doll, Christian; Voss, Jan Oliver; Hertel, Moritz; Preissner, Saskia; Raguse, Jan Dirk

    2017-02-01

    The treatment of wound healing disturbances of the radial forearm free flap donor site after reconstructive surgery is typically long and burdensome and often requires additional surgery. Cold atmospheric plasma is a promising approach to overcome these impairments. The aim of this proof of concept study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of plasma irradiation in patients with wound healing disorders with exposed brachial tendons of the radial forearm. Four patients (mean age 64.2 years, range 44 to 80) who had undergone radial forearm free flap procedures and developed wound healing disturbance leading to exposed flexor tendons were included in the present prospective case series. In addition to routine wound care, all sites were irradiated with cold atmospheric plasma. The primary outcome variable was complete wound closure. In all patients, complete wound repair in terms of the absence of tendon exposure was observed within a mean treatment time of 10.1 weeks (range 4.9 to 16). No undesirable side effects were observed, and no inflammation or infection occurred. Cold atmospheric plasma could offer a reliable conservative treatment option for complicated wound healing disturbances. This was exemplarily shown in the case of radial forearm free flap donor site morbidity with exposed flexor tendons in the present study. Copyright © 2016 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Genetic moderation of the association between regulatory focus and reward responsiveness: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, Elena L; Hariri, Ahmad R; Pizzagalli, Diego A; Strauman, Timothy J

    2013-02-01

    Recent studies implicate individual differences in regulatory focus as contributing to self-regulatory dysfunction, particularly not responding to positive outcomes. How such individual differences emerge, however, is unclear. We conducted a proof-of-concept study to examine the moderating effects of genetically driven variation in dopamine signaling, a key modulator of neural reward circuits, on the association between regulatory focus and reward cue responsiveness. Healthy Caucasians (N=59) completed a measure of chronic regulatory focus and a probabilistic reward task. A common functional genetic polymorphism impacting prefrontal dopamine signaling (COMT rs4680) was evaluated. Response bias, the participants' propensity to modulate behavior as a function of reward, was predicted by an interaction of regulatory focus and COMT genotype. Specifically, self-perceived success at achieving promotion goals predicted total response bias, but only for individuals with the COMT genotype (Val/Val) associated with relatively increased phasic dopamine signaling and cognitive flexibility. The combination of success in promotion goal pursuit and Val/Val genotype appears to facilitate responding to reward opportunities in the environment. This study is among the first to integrate an assessment of self-regulatory style with an examination of genetic variability that underlies responsiveness to positive outcomes in goal pursuit.

  11. Proof of concept for molecular velcro based on the attractive interaction between porphyrin and pyridine containing copolymers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Sievers

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In this short communication, we investigated the synthesis and mixing of porphyrin and pyridine functionalized copolymers as a proof of concept for a velcro-like interaction. A functionalized porphyrin monomer with one polymerizable side chain was synthesized following a rational synthetic pathway. Subsequent copolymerization and careful removal of residual free porphyrin led to poly(n-butyl acrylate-co-5,10,15-triphenyl-20-(3-vinylphenylporphyrin. The immobilized porphyrin was transformed into the corresponding zinc(II complex, which is capable of the coordinative binding of one pyridine moiety. Complete metallation was proven by absorption spectroscopy. 4-Vinylpyridine was immobilized by copolymerization with n-butyl acrylate, too. Via controlled radical polymerization conditions, the molecular weight of poly(n-butyl acrylate-co-4-vinylpyridine was limited to one tenth of the molecular weight of the porphyrin containing copolymer. This large difference in the molecular weight easily allowed identifying the polymers in the mixture of both. With the help of diffusion ordered nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the complete and temperature-stable precipitation of the porphyrin containing copolymer was observed, proving the expected attractive interaction and supramolecular network formation.

  12. Stem cell-based treatments against stroke: observations from human proof-of-concept studies and considerations regarding clinical applicability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten Roland Doeppner

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Ischemic stroke remains a heavy burden for industrialized countries. The only causal therapy is the recanalization of occluded vessels via thrombolysis, which due to a narrow time window still can be offered only to a minority of patients. Since the majority of patients continues to exhibit neurological deficits even following successful thrombolysis, restorative therapies are urgently needed that promote brain remodeling and repair once stroke injury has occurred. Due to their unique properties of action, stem cell-based strategies gained increasing interest during recent years. Using various stroke models in both rodents and primates, the transplantation of stem cells, namely of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs or neural progenitor cells (NPCs, has been shown to promote neurological recovery most likely via indirect bystander actions. In view of promising observations, clinical proof-of-concept studies are currently under way, in which effects of stem and precursor cells are evaluated in human stroke patients. In this review we summarize already published studies, which due to the broad experience in other medical contexts mostly employed bone marrow-derived MSCs by means of intravenous transplantation. With the overall number of clinical trials limited in number, only a fraction of these studies used non-treated control groups, and only single studies were adequately blinded. Despite these limitations, first promising results justify the need for more elaborate clinical trials in order to make stem cell transplantation a success for stroke treatment in the future.

  13. Parameters recorded by software of non-invasive ventilators predict COPD exacerbation: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borel, Jean-Christian; Pelletier, Julie; Taleux, Nellie; Briault, Amandine; Arnol, Nathalie; Pison, Christophe; Tamisier, Renaud; Timsit, Jean-François; Pepin, Jean-Louis

    2015-03-01

    To assess whether daily variations in three parameters recorded by non-invasive ventilation (NIV) software (respiratory rate (RR), percentage of respiratory cycles triggered by the patient (%Trigg) and NIV daily use) predict the risk of exacerbation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treated by home NIV. Patients completed the EXACT-Pro questionnaire daily to detect exacerbations. The 25th and 75th percentiles of each 24 h NIV parameter were calculated and updated daily. For a given day, when the value of any parameter was >75th or 75th, 'low value' <25th). Stratified conditional logistic regressions estimated the risk of exacerbation when ≥2 days (for RR and %Trigg) or ≥3 days (for NIV use) out of five had an 'abnormal value'. Sixty-four patients were included. Twenty-one exacerbations were detected and medically confirmed. The risk of exacerbation was increased when RR (OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 22.4) and %Trigg (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.1 to 14.5) were considered as 'high value' on ≥2 days out of five. This proof-of-concept study shows that daily variations in RR and %Trigg are predictors of an exacerbation. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  14. Using Expectancy Value Theory as a Framework to Reduce Student Resistance to Active Learning: A Proof of Concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Katelyn M; Ashley, Michael; Brownell, Sara E

    2017-01-01

    There has been a national movement to transition college science courses from passive lectures to active learning environments. Active learning has been shown to be a more effective way for students to learn, yet there is concern that some students are resistant to active learning approaches. Although there is much discussion about student resistance to active learning, few studies have explored this topic. Furthermore, a limited number of studies have applied theoretical frameworks to student engagement in active learning. We propose using a theoretical lens of expectancy value theory to understand student resistance to active learning. In this study, we examined student perceptions of active learning after participating in 40 hours of active learning. We used the principal components of expectancy value theory to probe student experience in active learning: student perceived self-efficacy in active learning, value of active learning, and potential cost of participating in active learning. We found that students showed positive changes in the components of expectancy value theory and reported high levels of engagement in active learning, which provide proof of concept that expectancy value theory can be used to boost student perceptions of active learning and their engagement in active learning classrooms. From these findings, we have built a theoretical framework of expectancy value theory applied to active learning.

  15. Body weight-supported bedside treadmill training facilitates ambulation in ICU patients: An interventional proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommers, Juultje; Wieferink, Denise C; Dongelmans, Dave A; Nollet, Frans; Engelbert, Raoul H H; van der Schaaf, Marike

    2017-10-01

    Early mobilisation is advocated to improve recovery of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors. However, severe weakness in combination with tubes, lines and machinery are practical barriers for the implementation of ambulation with critically ill patients. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training (BWSTT) in critically ill patients in the ICU. A custom build bedside Body Weight-Supported Treadmill was used and evaluated in medical and surgical patients in the ICU. Feasibility was evaluated according to eligibility, successful number of BWSTT, number of staff needed, adverse events, number of patients that could not have walked without BWSTT, patient satisfaction and anxiety. Twenty participants, underwent 54 sessions BWSTT. Two staff members executed the BWSTT and no adverse events occurred. Medical equipment did not have to be disconnected during all treatment sessions. In 74% of the sessions, the participants would not have been able to walk without the BWSTT. Patient satisfaction with BWSTT was high and anxiety low. This proof of concept study demonstrated that BWSTT is safe, reduces staff resource, and facilitates the first time to ambulation in critically ill patients with severe muscle weakness in the ICU. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. FY 1980 Report on results of Sunshine Project. Research and development of coal liquefaction techniques (Development of direct hydrogenation type liquefaction plant and researches on liquefaction reactions in the presence of iron-based catalyst); 1980 nendo sekitan ekika gijutsu no kenkyu kaihatsu, chokusetsu suiten ekika plant no kaihatsu seika hokokusho. Tetsukei shokubai ni yoru ekika hanno no kenkyu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1981-03-01

    This program is aimed at development of iron-based catalyst suited for direct hydrogenation type coal liquefaction by elucidating the effects of the catalyst on the liquefaction reactions. The iron-based catalyst seems to act as the radical stabilizer rather than the reaction promoter, because the increased quantity of the catalyst and increased H{sub 2} pressure share the common pattern rather than the catalyst enhances the activity, which is associated with increased reaction temperature or residence time. This is more notably observed when the coal species is changed to brown coal. In other words, recombination of the decomposition products by polycondensation is accelerated in the presence of the catalyst in decomposition of brown coal from bituminous coal, with the result that the catalyst effects are more notably observed. Whether this results from difference in age between brown coal and bituminous coal or content of specific types of ashes should be elucidated, because this point is considered to deeply relate to eventual development of the liquefaction reaction system. The FY 1980 program includes the primary screening of different types of iron compounds and tests of some iron-metal-based catalysts. (NEDO)

  17. A non-axial superconducting magnet design for optimized patient access and minimal SAD for use in a Linac-MR hybrid: proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaghoobpour Tari, Shima; Wachowicz, Keith; Gino Fallone, B

    2017-04-21

    A prototype rotating hybrid magnetic resonance imaging system and linac has been developed to allow for simultaneous imaging and radiation delivery parallel to B 0 . However, the design of a compact magnet capable of rotation in a small vault with sufficient patient access and a typical clinical source-to-axis distance (SAD) is challenging. This work presents a novel superconducting magnet design as a proof of concept that allows for a reduced SAD and ample patient access by moving the superconducting coils to the side of the yoke. The yoke and pole-plate structures are shaped to direct the magnetic flux appropriately. The outer surface of the pole plate is optimized subject to the minimization of a cost function, which evaluates the uniformity of the magnetic field over an ellipsoid. The magnetic field calculations required in this work are performed with the 3D finite element method software package Opera-3D. Each tentative design strategy is virtually modeled in this software package, which is externally controlled by MATLAB, with its key geometries defined as variables. The optimization variables are the thickness of the pole plate at control points distributed over the pole plate surface. A novel design concept as a superconducting non-axial magnet is introduced, which could create a large uniform B 0 magnetic field with fewer geometric restriction. This non-axial 0.5 T superconducting magnet has a moderately reduced SAD of 123 cm and a vertical patient opening of 68 cm. This work is presented as a proof of principle to investigate the feasibility of a non-axial magnet with the coils located around the yoke, and the results encourage future design optimizations to maximize the benefits of this non-axial design.

  18. A non-axial superconducting magnet design for optimized patient access and minimal SAD for use in a Linac-MR hybrid: proof of concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaghoobpour Tari, Shima; Wachowicz, Keith; Fallone, B. Gino

    2017-04-01

    A prototype rotating hybrid magnetic resonance imaging system and linac has been developed to allow for simultaneous imaging and radiation delivery parallel to B 0. However, the design of a compact magnet capable of rotation in a small vault with sufficient patient access and a typical clinical source-to-axis distance (SAD) is challenging. This work presents a novel superconducting magnet design as a proof of concept that allows for a reduced SAD and ample patient access by moving the superconducting coils to the side of the yoke. The yoke and pole-plate structures are shaped to direct the magnetic flux appropriately. The outer surface of the pole plate is optimized subject to the minimization of a cost function, which evaluates the uniformity of the magnetic field over an ellipsoid. The magnetic field calculations required in this work are performed with the 3D finite element method software package Opera-3D. Each tentative design strategy is virtually modeled in this software package, which is externally controlled by MATLAB, with its key geometries defined as variables. The optimization variables are the thickness of the pole plate at control points distributed over the pole plate surface. A novel design concept as a superconducting non-axial magnet is introduced, which could create a large uniform B 0 magnetic field with fewer geometric restriction. This non-axial 0.5 T superconducting magnet has a moderately reduced SAD of 123 cm and a vertical patient opening of 68 cm. This work is presented as a proof of principle to investigate the feasibility of a non-axial magnet with the coils located around the yoke, and the results encourage future design optimizations to maximize the benefits of this non-axial design.

  19. AGuIX, a theranostic nano-particle to improve image-guided radiation therapy: a proof of concept in pancreatic cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Detappe, Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies demonstrated AGuIX ability to act as an efficient radiosensitizer under the presence of preclinical radiations or monoenergetic radiation beams for multiple cancer models. The preclinical irradiation (220 kV) has been shown effective in activating high atomic number (Z) nanoparticles. The energy peak is close to the k-edge of the different high-Z elements used (50.2 keV for the gadolinium), leading to a strong photoelectric effect. Auger electrons generation and biological effects occur afterwards creating a local dose enhancement. However, clinical treatments use a higher energy beam (≥6 MV). At these energy ranges, the photoelectric probability is less important, decreasing the direct interaction of the nanoparticles with the incoming photons. We performed a proof of concept on a pancreatic tumor model, known for its low survival rates, with preclinical and clinical radiation beams to evaluate the efficacy of the AGuIX. To increase the efficacy of the clinical radiation beam without modifying the nanoparticle structure in order to obtain a dose enhancement close to the one observed with the preclinical beam, we evaluated key clinical beam parameters to understand and increase the mechanisms of interaction between the incident photons and the high-Z nanoparticles. Hence, we evaluated analytically the impact of the radiation beam under different conditions of irradiation, confirming the potential of the AGuIX with a preclinical beam, and finally shown their significant efficacy under a clinical setup. This study is the first to evaluate the potential of a high-Z nanoparticle to act as radiosensitizer following low dose intravenous injections. (author)

  20. Combustion oil production by direct liquefaction of the black liquor; Obtencao de oleo combustivel atraves da liquefacao direta de lixivia negra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costa, J L.M. [Universidade Estadual de Maringa, PR (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Rodrigues, J A.R.; Schuchardt, U [Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Quimica

    1985-12-31

    A large number of publications about the liquefaction of carbonaceous materials with carbon monoxide in water have appeared. As carbon monoxide reacts with water to form formate. We have decided to use this compound for the direct liquefaction of black liquor, obtained from the pulp and paper industry. The reactions were performed in a stainless steel autoclave of 1 litre using a ratio of water/black liquor/sodium formate of 69/29,5/1,5 %. The reaction conditions were varied between 200 and 300 deg C and 110 to 130 bar of inert gas. We obtained heavy oils of an average molecular weight around 500 in 90 to 100 % yield on a dry and ash-free basis. The calorific value of this oil was estimated in 38000 kJ/kg. (author). 12 refs., 2 figs., 7 tabs

  1. Coal liquefaction and gas conversion: Proceedings. Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-12-31

    Volume I contains papers presented at the following sessions: AR-Coal Liquefaction; Gas to Liquids; and Direct Liquefaction. Selected papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  2. Decreasing the Burden of Side Effects Through Positive Message Framing: an Experimental Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Marcel; Rief, Winfried; Doering, Bettina K

    2018-05-21

    Informing patients about treatment side effects increases the occurrence and intensity of side effects. Since the obligatory informed consent procedure in drug treatments requires transparency and nocebo research suggests that the informed consent of a drug leads to an increased occurrence of the mentioned side effects, the aim of this proof of concept study was to determine the effect of two different framings of informed consent on the occurrence, intensity, and perceived threat of side effects. Healthy male participants (n = 80) were randomized to one of two framing groups. The positive framing group was informed that the common side effect dizziness was a sign that the drug had started to work, while the neutral framing group was told that dizziness is an unpleasant but well-known side effect. Side effects were measured after the administration of metoprolol, an antihypertensive agent. Post hoc moderator analyses investigated the effect of pre-existing negative beliefs about the general harm of medication on the framing manipulation. Metoprolol-specific drug-attributed side effects were rated significantly less threatening in the positive framing group. The between-group effect size (Cohen's d) was small (d = 0.38, p = 0.049). Exploratory post hoc moderator analyses suggest that participants who believed that medication is a source of harmful effects benefited from positive framing, compared to neutral framing of drug-attributed side effects. Positive framing was partially effective in decreasing specific side effect measures, particularly among participants with a tendency to believe that medicine is harmful. Informed consent procedures should therefore be personalized, focusing on patients with negative treatment beliefs.

  3. Integrating health education and physical activity programming for cardiovascular health promotion among female inmates: A proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Uma S; Jordan, Jeremy S; Funk, Daniel; Gavin, Kristin; Tibbetts, Erica; Collins, Bradley N

    2016-05-01

    Female inmate populations in the United States tend to be overweight, physically inactive, experience high stress, and have a history of nicotine and other drug dependence. Thus, they bear an elevated risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease than the general population. However, few evidence-based health interventions exist for this population. This study will test proof of concept, feasibility, and potential efficacy of a multiple health behavior change intervention that integrates CV-health promotion education delivered during a physical activity (PA) program (indoor cycling) tailored to this population. This study uses a quasi-experimental 2-group design with two measurement time-points: baseline and 8-week end of treatment. N=120 incarcerated women (18-59years of age) who are medically cleared for participation in PA will be enrolled. Indoor cycling instructors will be trained to deliver five health education topics over an 8-week period during twice-weekly cycling classes. Topics match the American Heart Association recommendations for CV health: (a) nutrition, (b) PA promotion, (c) weight management, (d) stress management, and (e) smoking cessation and relapse prevention. Modes of intervention include instructor advice, written materials and audio/video clips reviewed during class. CV-related and mental health measures will be assessed at both time-points. Results will guide a full scale efficacy study. Future research in this area has potential to impact the health of female inmates, a high-risk population. Moreover, this multiple health behavior change intervention model represents a community approach to health promotion that could generalize to other underserved populations who may benefit most from similar intervention efforts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Fostering Spontaneous Visual Attention in Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Proof-of-Concept Study Comparing Singing and Speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Grace Anne; Abel, Larry Allen

    2018-01-22

    Children on the autism spectrum are reported to have lower rates of social gaze as early as toddlerhood, and this pattern persists across the lifespan. Finding ways to promote more natural and spontaneous engagement in social interactions may help to boost developmental opportunities in the child's home and community settings. This proof-of-concept study hypothesized that a video of a singer would elicit more attention to the performer, particularly to her face, than a video of her reading a story, and that the child's familiarity with the material would enhance attention. Sixteen children on the autism spectrum (7-10 years old) watched 4 videos 1 min long comprising a favorite song or story, and an unfamiliar song and story. Eye movements were recorded, and three-way repeated measures ANOVAs examined the proportion of total valid visual dwell time and fixations, in each trial and each target area. For proportion of both dwell time and fixation counts, children were significantly more likely to look at the performer's face and body and less at the prop during singing than story-telling and when familiar rather than unfamiliar material was presented. These findings raise important issues for supporting children to naturally initiate looking toward a person's face. Autism Res 2018. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Children on the autism spectrum may have difficulty looking at people, particularly their faces. In this study, children watched videos of someone singing or reading a story. The results show that children look more at the person if they were singing and if the story was familiar to them. Using songs and familiar stories may be a way to help children with autism to naturally engage with others. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. How much is left in your "sleep tank"? Proof of concept for a simple model for sleep history feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorrian, Jillian; Hursh, Steven; Waggoner, Lauren; Grant, Crystal; Pajcin, Maja; Gupta, Charlotte; Coates, Alison; Kennaway, David; Wittert, Gary; Heilbronn, Leonie; Vedova, Chris Della; Banks, Siobhan

    2018-02-02

    Technology-supported methods for sleep recording are becoming increasingly affordable. Sleep history feedback may help with fatigue-related decision making - Should I drive? Am I fit for work? This study examines a "sleep tank" model (SleepTank ™ ), which is analogous to the fuel tank in a car, refilled by sleep, and depleted during wake. Required inputs are sleep period time and sleep efficiency (provided by many consumer-grade actigraphs). Outputs include suggested hours remaining to "get sleep" and percentage remaining in tank (Tank%). Initial proof of concept analyses were conducted using data from a laboratory-based simulated nightshift study. Ten, healthy males (18-35y) undertook an 8h baseline sleep opportunity and daytime performance testing (BL), followed by four simulated nightshifts (2000 h-0600 h), with daytime sleep opportunities (1000 h-1600 h), then an 8 h night-time sleep opportunity to return to daytime schedule (RTDS), followed by daytime performance testing. Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) and Karolinska Sleepiness Scale were performed at 1200 h on BL and RTDS, and at 1830 h, 2130 h 0000 h and 0400 h each nightshift. A 40-minute York Driving Simulation was performed at 1730 h, 2030 h and 0300 h on each nightshift. Model outputs were calculated using sleep period timing and sleep efficiency (from polysomnography) for each participant. Tank% was a significant predictor of PVT lapses (p performance and sleepiness measures indicated relatively good predictive value. Results provide tentative evidence that this "sleep tank" model may be an informative tool to aid in individual decision-making based on sleep history. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Accelerating the commercialization of university technologies for military healthcare applications: the role of the proof of concept process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa, Rosibel; DeLong, Hal; Kenyon, Jessica; Wilson, Eli

    2011-06-01

    The von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at UC San Diego (vonliebig.ucsd.edu) is focused on accelerating technology transfer and commercialization through programs and education on entrepreneurism. Technology Acceleration Projects (TAPs) that offer pre-venture grants and extensive mentoring on technology commercialization are a key component of its model which has been developed over the past ten years with the support of a grant from the von Liebig Foundation. In 2010, the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center partnered with the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), to develop a regional model of Technology Acceleration Program initially focused on military research to be deployed across the nation to increase awareness of military medical needs and to accelerate the commercialization of novel technologies to treat the patient. Participants to these challenges are multi-disciplinary teams of graduate students and faculty in engineering, medicine and business representing universities and research institutes in a region, selected via a competitive process, who receive commercialization assistance and funding grants to support translation of their research discoveries into products or services. To validate this model, a pilot program focused on commercialization of wireless healthcare technologies targeting campuses in Southern California has been conducted with the additional support of Qualcomm, Inc. Three projects representing three different universities in Southern California were selected out of forty five applications from ten different universities and research institutes. Over the next twelve months, these teams will conduct proof of concept studies, technology development and preliminary market research to determine the commercial feasibility of their technologies. This first regional program will help build the needed tools and processes to adapt and replicate this model across other regions in the

  7. Proof-of-Concept of a Networked Validation Environment for Distributed Air/Ground NextGen Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, James; Larson, Natalie; Nelson, Justin; Reed, Joshua; Suggs, Marvin; Underwood, Matthew; Papelis, Yiannis; Ballin, Mark G.

    2013-01-01

    The National Airspace System (NAS) must be improved to increase capacity, reduce flight delays, and minimize environmental impacts of air travel. NASA has been tasked with aiding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in NAS modernization. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is an enabling technology that is fundamental to realization of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Despite the 2020 FAA mandate requiring ADS-B Out equipage, airspace users are lacking incentives to equip with the requisite ADS-B avionics. A need exists to validate in flight tests advanced concepts of operation (ConOps) that rely on ADS-B and other data links without requiring costly equipage. A potential solution is presented in this paper. It is possible to emulate future data link capabilities using the existing in-flight Internet and reduced-cost test equipment. To establish proof-of-concept, a high-fidelity traffic operations simulation was modified to include a module that simulated Internet transmission of ADS-B messages. An advanced NASA ConOp, Flight Deck Interval Management (FIM), was used to evaluate technical feasibility. A preliminary assessment of the effects of latency and dropout rate on FIM was performed. Flight hardware that would be used by proposed test environment was connected to the simulation so that data transfer from aircraft systems to test equipment could be verified. The results indicate that the FIM ConOp, and therefore, many other advanced ConOps with equal or lesser response characteristics and data requirements, can be evaluated in flight using the proposed concept.

  8. Design of a complex virtual reality simulation to train finger motion for persons with hemiparesis: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamovich, Sergei V; Fluet, Gerard G; Mathai, Abraham; Qiu, Qinyin; Lewis, Jeffrey; Merians, Alma S

    2009-07-17

    Current neuroscience has identified rehabilitation approaches with the potential to stimulate adaptive changes in the brains of persons with hemiparesis. These approaches include, intensive task-oriented training, bimanual activities and balancing proximal and distal upper extremity interventions to reduce competition between these segments for neural territory. This paper describes the design and feasibility testing of a robotic/virtual environment system designed to train the hand and arm of persons with hemiparesis. The system employs a simulated piano that presents visual, auditory and tactile feedback comparable to an actual piano. Arm tracking allows patients to train both the arm and hand as a coordinated unit, emphasizing the integration of both transport and manipulation phases. The piano trainer includes songs and scales that can be performed with one or both hands. Adaptable haptic assistance is available for more involved subjects. An algorithm adjusts task difficulty in proportion to subject performance. A proof of concept study was performed on four subjects with upper extremity hemiparesis secondary to chronic stroke to establish: a) the safety and feasibility of this system and b) the concurrent validity of robotically measured kinematic and performance measures to behavioral measures of upper extremity function. None of the subjects experienced adverse events or responses during or after training. As a group, the subjects improved in both performance time and key press accuracy. Three of the four subjects demonstrated improvements in fractionation, the ability to move each finger individually. Two subjects improved their aggregate time on the Jebsen Test of Hand Function and three of the four subjects improved in Wolf Motor Function Test aggregate time. The system designed in this paper has proven to be safe and feasible for the training of hand function for persons with hemiparesis. It features a flexible design that allows for the use and further

  9. A Phase I proof-of-concept and safety trial of sildenafil to treat cerebral vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington, Chad W; Derdeyn, Colin P; Dhar, Rajat; Arias, Eric J; Chicoine, Michael R; Cross, DeWitte T; Dacey, Ralph G; Han, Byung Hee; Moran, Christopher J; Rich, Keith M; Vellimana, Ananth K; Zipfel, Gregory J

    2016-02-01

    Studies show that phosphodiesterase-V (PDE-V) inhibition reduces cerebral vasospasm (CVS) and improves outcomes after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). This study was performed to investigate the safety and effect of sildenafil (an FDA-approved PDE-V inhibitor) on angiographic CVS in SAH patients. A2-phase, prospective, nonrandomized, human trial was implemented. Subarachnoid hemorrhage patients underwent angiography on Day 7 to assess for CVS. Those with CVS were given 10 mg of intravenous sildenafil in the first phase of the study and 30 mg in the second phase. In both, angiography was repeated 30 minutes after infusion. Safety was assessed by monitoring neurological examination findings and vital signs and for the development of adverse reactions. For angiographic assessment, in a blinded fashion, pre- and post-sildenafil images were graded as "improvement" or "no improvement" in CVS. Unblinded measurements were made between pre- and post-sildenafil angiograms. Twelve patients received sildenafil; 5 patients received 10 mg and 7 received 30 mg. There were no adverse reactions. There was no adverse effect on heart rate or intracranial pressure. Sildenafil resulted in a transient decline in mean arterial pressure, an average of 17% with a return to baseline in an average of 18 minutes. Eight patients (67%) were found to have a positive angiographic response to sildenafil, 3 (60%) in the low-dose group and 5 (71%) in the high-dose group. The largest degree of vessel dilation was an average of 0.8 mm (range 0-2.1 mm). This corresponded to an average percentage increase in vessel diameter of 62% (range 0%-200%). The results from this Phase I safety and proof-of-concept trial assessing the use of intravenous sildenafil in patients with CVS show that sildenafil is safe and well tolerated in the setting of SAH. Furthermore, the angiographic data suggest that sildenafil has a positive impact on human CVS.

  10. Enrichment of circulating tumor cells from a large blood volume using leukapheresis and elutriation: proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eifler, Robert L; Lind, Judith; Falkenhagen, Dieter; Weber, Viktoria; Fischer, Michael B; Zeillinger, Robert

    2011-03-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the applicability of a sequential process using leukapheresis, elutriation, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to enrich and isolate circulating tumor cells from a large blood volume to allow further molecular analysis. Mononuclear cells were collected from 10 L of blood by leukapheresis, to which carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester prelabeled CaOV-3 tumor cells were spiked at a ratio of 26 to 10⁶ leukocytes. Elutriation separated the spiked leukapheresates primarily by cell size into distinct fractions, and leukocytes and tumor cells, characterized as carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester positive, EpCAM positive and CD45 negative events, were quantified by flow cytometry. Tumor cells were isolated from the last fraction using FACS or anti-EpCAM coupled immunomagnetic beads, and their recovery and purity determined by fluorescent microscopy and real-time PCR. Leukapheresis collected 13.5 x 10⁹ mononuclear cells with 87% efficiency. In total, 53 to 78% of spiked tumor cells were pre-enriched in the last elutriation fraction among 1.6 x 10⁹ monocytes. Flow cytometry predicted a circulating tumor cell purity of ~90% giving an enrichment of 100,000-fold following leukapheresis, elutriation, and FACS, where CaOV-3 cells were identified as EpCAM positive and CD45 negative events. FACS confirmed this purity. Alternatively, immunomagnetic bead adsorption recovered 10% of tumor cells with a median purity of 3.5%. This proof of concept study demonstrated that elutriation and FACS following leukapheresis are able to enrich and isolate tumor cells from a large blood volume for molecular characterization. Copyright © 2010 International Clinical Cytometry Society.

  11. Calculation of bedload transport in Swiss mountain rivers using the model sedFlow: proof of concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. U. M. Heimann

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Fully validated numerical models specifically designed for simulating bedload transport dynamics in mountain streams are rare. In this study, the recently developed modelling tool sedFlow has been applied to simulate bedload transport in the Swiss mountain rivers Kleine Emme and Brenno. It is shown that sedFlow can be used to successfully reproduce observations from historic bedload transport events with plausible parameter set-ups, meaning that calibration parameters are only varied within ranges of uncertainty that have been pre-determined either by previous research or by field observations in the simulated study reaches. In the Brenno river, the spatial distribution of total transport volumes has been reproduced with a Nash–Sutcliffe goodness of fit of 0.733; this relatively low value is partially due to anthropogenic extraction of sediment that was not considered. In the Kleine Emme river, the spatial distribution of total transport volumes has been reproduced with a goodness of fit of 0.949. The simulation results shed light on the difficulties that arise with traditional flow-resistance estimation methods when macro-roughness is present. In addition, our results demonstrate that greatly simplified hydraulic routing schemes, such as kinematic wave or uniform discharge approaches, are probably sufficient for a good representation of bedload transport processes in reach-scale simulations of steep mountain streams. The influence of different parameters on simulation results is semi-quantitatively evaluated in a simple sensitivity study. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the usefulness of sedFlow for a range of practical applications in alpine mountain streams.

  12. Evaluation of the Wii Balance Board for walking aids prediction: proof-of-concept study in total knee arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pua, Yong-Hao; Clark, Ross A; Ong, Peck-Hoon

    2015-01-01

    To provide proof-of-concept for the validity of the Wii Balance Board (WBB) measures to predict the type of walking aids required by inpatients with a recent (≤4 days) total knee arthroplasty (TKA). A cross-sectional sample of 89 inpatients (mean age, 67.0±8 years) with TKA was analyzed. A multivariable proportional odds prediction model was constructed using 8 pre-specified predictors – namely, age, sex, body mass index, knee pain, knee range-of-motion, active knee lag, and WBB-derived standing balance. The type of walking aids prescribed on day 4 post-surgery was the outcome of interest – an ordinal variable with 4 categories (walking stick, narrow- and broad-base quadstick, and walking frame). Women, increasing body mass index, and poorer standing balance were independently associated with greater odds for requiring walking aids with a larger base-of-support. The concordance-index of the prediction model was 0.74. The model comprising only WBB-derived standing balance had nearly half (44%) the explanatory power of the full model. Adding WBB-derived standing balance to conventional demographic and knee variables resulted in a continuous net reclassification index of 0.60 (95%CI,0.19-1.01), predominantly due to better identification of patients who required walking aids with a large base-of-support (sensitivity gain). The WBB was able to provide quantitative measures of standing balance which could assist healthcare professionals in prescribing the appropriate type of walking aids for patients. Further investigation is needed to assess whether using the WBB could lead to meaningful changes in clinical outcomes such as falls.

  13. Evaluation of the Wii Balance Board for walking aids prediction: proof-of-concept study in total knee arthroplasty.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Hao Pua

    Full Text Available To provide proof-of-concept for the validity of the Wii Balance Board (WBB measures to predict the type of walking aids required by inpatients with a recent (≤4 days total knee arthroplasty (TKA.A cross-sectional sample of 89 inpatients (mean age, 67.0±8 years with TKA was analyzed. A multivariable proportional odds prediction model was constructed using 8 pre-specified predictors – namely, age, sex, body mass index, knee pain, knee range-of-motion, active knee lag, and WBB-derived standing balance. The type of walking aids prescribed on day 4 post-surgery was the outcome of interest – an ordinal variable with 4 categories (walking stick, narrow- and broad-base quadstick, and walking frame.Women, increasing body mass index, and poorer standing balance were independently associated with greater odds for requiring walking aids with a larger base-of-support. The concordance-index of the prediction model was 0.74. The model comprising only WBB-derived standing balance had nearly half (44% the explanatory power of the full model. Adding WBB-derived standing balance to conventional demographic and knee variables resulted in a continuous net reclassification index of 0.60 (95%CI,0.19-1.01, predominantly due to better identification of patients who required walking aids with a large base-of-support (sensitivity gain.The WBB was able to provide quantitative measures of standing balance which could assist healthcare professionals in prescribing the appropriate type of walking aids for patients. Further investigation is needed to assess whether using the WBB could lead to meaningful changes in clinical outcomes such as falls.

  14. Possible application of silicon photomultiplier technology to detect the presence of spirit and intention: three proof-of-concept experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Gary E

    2010-01-01

    Research investigating the survival of consciousness hypothesis has been hampered by the lack of an independent measure of the purported presence of spirit (POS). Although numerous anecdotes involving electronic devices (including tape recorders, answering machines, and computers) claim that POS can be detected with sensitive electromagnetic sensors, little systematic laboratory research has investigated this possibility. The purpose of this exploratory laboratory research was to test the feasibility of using a state-of-the-art silicon photomultiplier system to detect low photon levels potentially associated with POS. A PCDMini photon counting device manufactured by sensL provided a sensitive measure of sums of photons over time. Three proof-of-concept experiments were conducted. Each included multiple five-minute trials of "invited spirit" conditions as well as baseline controls. One experiment included a set of 10 noninvited control trials as well as controls for experimenter intention per se. Data were collected as part of a university laboratory devoted to researching advances in consciousness and health. The participants were purported spirits presumably motivated to participate in the research. The primary intervention was the experimenter's intention for purported spirits to enter the light-tight chamber on specified trials. In a light-tight chamber, the PCDMini device software counted and displayed individual sums of typically 13 to 25 photon detections per approximately 90-milliseconds time periods (in complete darkness, most time periods contained zero photons detected); the number of photon sums could be counted precisely in five-minute periods. The average number of photon sums was found to be significantly higher in purported POS trials compared with noninvited trials. Matched control trials as well as explicit experimenter intention trials showed no effects. Silicon photomultiplier devices may be sufficiently sensitive to investigate the POS and

  15. Combined ecological momentary assessment and global positioning system tracking to assess smoking behavior: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, John T; Schick, Robert S; Hallyburton, Matt; Dennis, Michelle F; Kollins, Scott H; Beckham, Jean C; McClernon, F Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods have provided a rich assessment of the contextual factors associated with a wide range of behaviors including alcohol use, eating, physical activity, and smoking. Despite this rich database, this information has not been linked to specific locations in space. Such location information, which can now be easily acquired from global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices, could provide unique information regarding the space-time distribution of behaviors and new insights into their determinants. In a proof of concept study, we assessed the acceptability and feasibility of acquiring and combining EMA and GPS data from adult smokers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were adults with ADHD who were enrolled in a larger EMA study on smoking and psychiatric symptoms. Among those enrolled in the latter study who were approached to participate (N = 11), 10 consented, provided daily EMA entries, and carried a GPS device with them during a 7-day assessment period to assess aspects of their smoking behavior. The majority of those eligible to participate were willing to carry a GPS device and signed the consent (10 out of 11, 91%). Of the 10 who consented, 7 participants provided EMA entries and carried the GPS device with them daily for at least 70% of the sampling period. Data are presented on the spatial distribution of smoking episodes and ADHD symptoms on a subset of the sample to demonstrate applications of GPS data. We conclude by discussing how EMA and GPS might be used to study the ecology of smoking and make recommendations for future research and analysis.

  16. Volcanic ash dosage calculator: A proof-of-concept tool to support aviation stakeholders during ash events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacre, H.; Prata, A.; Shine, K. P.; Irvine, E.

    2017-12-01

    The volcanic ash clouds produced by Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in April/May 2010 resulted in `no fly zones' which paralysed European aircraft activity and cost the airline industry an estimated £1.1 billion. In response to the crisis, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in collaboration with Rolls Royce, produced the `safe-to-fly' chart. As ash concentrations are the primary output of dispersion model forecasts, the chart was designed to illustrate how engine damage progresses as a function of ash concentration. Concentration thresholds were subsequently derived based on previous ash encounters. Research scientists and aircraft manufactures have since recognised the importance of volcanic ash dosages; the accumulated concentration over time. Dosages are an improvement to concentrations as they can be used to identify pernicious situations where ash concentrations are acceptably low but the exposure time is long enough to cause damage to aircraft engines. Here we present a proof-of-concept volcanic ash dosage calculator; an innovative, web-based research tool, developed in close collaboration with operators and regulators, which utilises interactive data visualisation to communicate the uncertainty inherent in dispersion model simulations and subsequent dosage calculations. To calculate dosages, we use NAME (Numerical Atmospheric-dispersion Modelling Environment) to simulate several Icelandic eruption scenarios, which result in tephra dispersal across the North Atlantic, UK and Europe. Ash encounters are simulated based on flight-optimal routes derived from aircraft routing software. Key outputs of the calculator include: the along-flight dosage, exposure time and peak concentration. The design of the tool allows users to explore the key areas of uncertainty in the dosage calculation and to visualise how this changes as the planned flight path is varied. We expect that this research will result in better informed decisions from key stakeholders during

  17. EROI Analysis for Direct Coal Liquefaction without and with CCS: The Case of the Shenhua DCL Project in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaoyang Kong

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Currently, there are considerable discrepancies between China’s central government and some local governments in attitudes towards coal to liquids (CTL technology. Energy return on investment (EROI analysis of CTL could provide new insights that may help solve this dilemma. Unfortunately, there has been little research on this topic; this paper therefore analyses the EROI of China’s Shenhua Group Direct Coal Liquefaction (DCL project, currently the only DCL commercial project in the world. The inclusion or omission of internal energy and by-products is controversial. The results show that the EROIstnd without by-product and with internal energy is 0.68–0.81; the EROIstnd (the standard EROI without by-product and without internal energy is 3.70–5.53; the EROIstnd with by-product and with internal energy is 0.76–0.90; the EROIstnd with by-product and without internal energy is 4.13–6.14. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider carbon capture and storage (CCS as a means to control the CO2 emissions. Considering the added energy inputs of CCS at the plant level, the EROIs decrease to 0.65–0.77, 2.87–3.97, 0.72–0.85, and 3.20–4.40, respectively. The extremely low, even negative, net energy, which may be due to high investments in infrastructure and low conversion efficiency, suggests CTL is not a good choice to replace conventional energy sources, and thus, Chinese government should be prudent when developing it.

  18. Analysis of the Effect of Environmental Conditions in Conducting Amphibious Assaults Using a Ship Simulator/Vessel-Response Model Proof-of-Concept Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-01

    the exit interview conducted at the conclusion of the testing period. Appendix B summarizes the recommendations the craftmasters made for improving ...the “Go/No-Go” condition. Unlike USACE applications , where that scenario is known by interviewing harbor pilots, the Go/No-Go conditions are...summarizes a proof-of-concept study for demonstrating the application of these technologies to allow commanders to determine the feasibility of surface

  19. A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Controlled Study of Gabapentin: Effects on Cannabis Use, Withdrawal and Executive Function Deficits in Cannabis-Dependent Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-01-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial w...

  20. Allocentric spatial memory testing predicts conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia: an initial proof-of-concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth A Wood

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is one of the first regions to exhibit neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD and knowledge of its role in allocentric spatial memory may therefore aid early diagnosis of AD. The 4 Mountains Test (4MT is a short and easily administered test of spatial memory based on the cognitive map theory of hippocampal function as derived from rodent single cell and behavioral studies. The 4MT has been shown in previous cross-sectional studies to be sensitive and specific for mild cognitive impairment due to AD. This report describes the initial results of a longitudinal study testing the hypothesis that allocentric spatial memory is predictive of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.Fifteen patients with mild cognitive impairment underwent baseline testing on the 4MT in addition to CSF amyloid/tau biomarker studies, volumetric MRI and neuropsychological assessment including the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT and Trail Making Test B (TMT-B. At 24 months, 9/15 patients had converted to AD dementia. The 4MT predicted conversion to AD with 93% accuracy (Cohen’s d = 2.52. The predictive accuracies of the comparator measures were as follows: CSF tau/β-amyloid1-42 ratio 92% (d = 1.81, RAVLT 64% (d = 0.41, TMT-B 78% (d = 1.56, and hippocampal volume 77% (d = 0.65. CSF tau levels were strongly negative correlated with 4MT scores (r = -0.71. This proof-of-concept study provides initial support for the hypothesis that allocentric spatial memory testing is a predictive cognitive marker of hippocampal neurodegeneration in pre-dementia AD. The 4MT is a brief, noninvasive, straightforward spatial memory test and is therefore ideally suited for use in routine clinical diagnostic practice. This is of particular importance given the current unmet need for simple accurate diagnostic tests for early AD and the ongoing development of potential disease-modifying therapeutic agents which may be more efficacious when given

  1. Design of the Growth hormone deficiency and Efficacy of Treatment (GET) score and non-interventional proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kann, Peter H; Bergmann, Simona; Bidlingmaier, Martin; Dimopoulou, Christina; Pedersen, Birgitte T; Stalla, Günter K; Weber, Matthias M; Meckes-Ferber, Stefanie

    2018-02-13

    The adverse effects of growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) in adults (AGHD) on metabolism and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) can be improved with GH substitution. This investigation aimed to design a score summarising the features of GHD and evaluate its ability to measure the effect of GH substitution in AGHD. The Growth hormone deficiency and Efficacy of Treatment (GET) score (0-100 points) assessed (weighting): HRQoL (40%), disease-related days off work (10%), bone mineral density (20%), waist circumference (10%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (10%) and body fat mass (10%). A prospective, non-interventional, multicentre proof-of-concept study investigated whether the score could distinguish between untreated and GH-treated patients with AGHD. A 10-point difference in GET score during a 2-year study period was expected based on pre-existing knowledge of the effect of GH substitution in AGHD. Of 106 patients eligible for analysis, 22 were untreated GHD controls (9 females, mean ± SD age 52 ± 17 years; 13 males, 57 ± 13 years) and 84 were GH-treated (31 females, age 45 ± 13 years, GH dose 0.30 ± 0.16 mg/day; 53 males, age 49 ± 15 years, GH dose 0.25 ± 0.10 mg/day). Follow-up was 706 ± 258 days in females and 653 ± 242 days in males. The GET score differed between the untreated control and treated groups with a least squares mean difference of + 10.01 ± 4.01 (p = 0.0145). The GET score appeared to be a suitable integrative instrument to summarise the clinical features of GHD and measure the effects of GH substitution in adults. Exercise capacity and muscle strength/body muscle mass could be included in the GET score. NCT number: NCT00934063 . Date of registration: 02 July 2009.

  2. Impact of follicular G-CSF quantification on subsequent embryo transfer decisions: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lédée, N; Gridelet, V; Ravet, S; Jouan, C; Gaspard, O; Wenders, F; Thonon, F; Hincourt, N; Dubois, M; Foidart, J M; Munaut, C; Perrier d'Hauterive, S

    2013-02-01

    Previous experiments have shown that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), quantified in the follicular fluid (FF) of individual oocytes, correlates with the potential for an ongoing pregnancy of the corresponding fertilized oocytes among selected transferred embryos. Here we present a proof of concept study aimed at evaluating the impact of including FF G-CSF quantification in the embryo transfer decisions. FF G-CSF was quantified with the Luminex XMap technology in 523 individual FF samples corresponding to 116 fresh transferred embryos, 275 frozen embryos and 131 destroyed embryos from 78 patients undergoing ICSI. Follicular G-CSF was highly predictive of subsequent implantation. The receiving operator characteristics curve methodology showed its higher discriminatory power to predict ongoing pregnancy in multivariate logistic regression analysis for FF G-CSF compared with embryo morphology [0.77 (0.69-0.83), P Embryos were classified by their FF G-CSF concentration: Class I over 30 pg/ml (a highest positive predictive value for implantation), Class II from 30 to 18.4 pg/ml and Class III Embryos derived from Class I follicles had a significantly higher implantation rate (IR) than those from Class II and III follicles (36 versus 16.6 and 6%, P Embryos derived from Class I follicles with an optimal morphology reached an IR of 54%. Frozen-thawed embryos transfer derived from Class I follicles had an IR of 37% significantly higher than those from Class II and III follicles, respectively, of 8 and 5% (P embryos but also 10% of the destroyed embryos were derived from G-CSF Class I follicles. Non-optimal embryos appear to have been transferred in 28% (22/78) of the women, and their pregnancy rate was significantly lower than that of women who received at least one optimal embryo (18 versus 36%, P = 0.04). Monitoring FF G-CSF for the selection of embryos with a better potential for pregnancy might improve the effectiveness of IVF by reducing the time and cost

  3. Treatment of Sarcopenia with Bimagrumab: Results from a Phase II, Randomized, Controlled, Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooks, Daniel; Praestgaard, Jens; Hariry, Sam; Laurent, Didier; Petricoul, Olivier; Perry, Robert G; Lach-Trifilieff, Estelle; Roubenoff, Ronenn

    2017-09-01

    To assess the effects of bimagrumab on skeletal muscle mass and function in older adults with sarcopenia and mobility limitations. A 24-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm, proof-of-concept study. Five centers in the United States. Community-dwelling adults (N = 40) aged 65 and older with gait speed between 0.4 and 1.0 m/s over 4 m and an appendicular skeletal muscle index of 7.25 kg/m 2 or less for men and 5.67 kg/m 2 or less for women. Intravenous bimagrumab 30 mg/kg (n = 19) or placebo (n = 21). Change from baseline in thigh muscle volume (TMV), subcutaneous and intermuscular fat, appendicular and total lean body mass, grip strength, gait speed, and 6-minute walk distance (6MWD). Thirty-two (80%) participants completed the study. TMV increased by Week 2, was sustained throughout the treatment period, and remained above baseline at the end of study in bimagrumab-treated participants, whereas there was no change with placebo treatment (Week 2: 5.15 ± 2.19% vs -0.34 ± 2.59%, P < .001; Week 4: 6.12 ± 2.56% vs 0.16 ± 3.42%, P < .001; Week 8: 8.01 ± 3.70% vs 0.35 ± 3.32%, P < .001; Week 16: 7.72 ± 5.31% vs 0.42 ± 5.14%, P < .001; Week 24: 4.80 ± 5.81% vs -1.01 ± 4.43%, P = .002). Participants with slower walking speed at baseline receiving bimagrumab had clinically meaningful and statistically significantly greater improvements in gait speed (mean 0.15 m/s, P = .009) and 6MWD (mean 82 m, P = .022) than those receiving placebo at Week 16. Adverse events in the bimagrumab group included muscle-related symptoms, acne, and diarrhea, most of which were mild in severity and resolved by the end of study. Treatment with bimagrumab over 16 weeks increased muscle mass and strength in older adults with sarcopenia and improved mobility in those with slow walking speed. © 2017, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2017, The American Geriatrics Society.

  4. The Ocean Carbon States Database: a proof-of-concept application of cluster analysis in the ocean carbon cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latto, Rebecca; Romanou, Anastasia

    2018-03-01

    In this paper, we present a database of the basic regimes of the carbon cycle in the ocean, the ocean carbon states, as obtained using a data mining/pattern recognition technique in observation-based as well as model data. The goal of this study is to establish a new data analysis methodology, test it and assess its utility in providing more insights into the regional and temporal variability of the marine carbon cycle. This is important as advanced data mining techniques are becoming widely used in climate and Earth sciences and in particular in studies of the global carbon cycle, where the interaction of physical and biogeochemical drivers confounds our ability to accurately describe, understand, and predict CO2 concentrations and their changes in the major planetary carbon reservoirs. In this proof-of-concept study, we focus on using well-understood data that are based on observations, as well as model results from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) climate model. Our analysis shows that ocean carbon states are associated with the subtropical-subpolar gyre during the colder months of the year and the tropics during the warmer season in the North Atlantic basin. Conversely, in the Southern Ocean, the ocean carbon states can be associated with the subtropical and Antarctic convergence zones in the warmer season and the coastal Antarctic divergence zone in the colder season. With respect to model evaluation, we find that the GISS model reproduces the cold and warm season regimes more skillfully in the North Atlantic than in the Southern Ocean and matches the observed seasonality better than the spatial distribution of the regimes. Finally, the ocean carbon states provide useful information in the model error attribution. Model air-sea CO2 flux biases in the North Atlantic stem from wind speed and salinity biases in the subpolar region and nutrient and wind speed biases in the subtropics and tropics. Nutrient biases are shown to be most important in

  5. Design of a complex virtual reality simulation to train finger motion for persons with hemiparesis: a proof of concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiu Qinyin

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current neuroscience has identified rehabilitation approaches with the potential to stimulate adaptive changes in the brains of persons with hemiparesis. These approaches include, intensive task-oriented training, bimanual activities and balancing proximal and distal upper extremity interventions to reduce competition between these segments for neural territory. Methods This paper describes the design and feasibility testing of a robotic/virtual environment system designed to train the hand and arm of persons with hemiparesis. The system employs a simulated piano that presents visual, auditory and tactile feedback comparable to an actual piano. Arm tracking allows patients to train both the arm and hand as a coordinated unit, emphasizing the integration of both transport and manipulation phases. The piano trainer includes songs and scales that can be performed with one or both hands. Adaptable haptic assistance is available for more involved subjects. An algorithm adjusts task difficulty in proportion to subject performance. A proof of concept study was performed on four subjects with upper extremity hemiparesis secondary to chronic stroke to establish: a the safety and feasibility of this system and b the concurrent validity of robotically measured kinematic and performance measures to behavioral measures of upper extremity function. Results None of the subjects experienced adverse events or responses during or after training. As a group, the subjects improved in both performance time and key press accuracy. Three of the four subjects demonstrated improvements in fractionation, the ability to move each finger individually. Two subjects improved their aggregate time on the Jebsen Test of Hand Function and three of the four subjects improved in Wolf Motor Function Test aggregate time. Conclusion The system designed in this paper has proven to be safe and feasible for the training of hand function for persons with hemiparesis

  6. Reconstruction of 3D Shapes of Opaque Cumulus Clouds from Airborne Multiangle Imaging: A Proof-of-Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A. B.; Bal, G.; Chen, J.

    2015-12-01

    Operational remote sensing of microphysical and optical cloud properties is invariably predicated on the assumption of plane-parallel slab geometry for the targeted cloud. The sole benefit of this often-questionable assumption about the cloud is that it leads to one-dimensional (1D) radiative transfer (RT)---a textbook, computationally tractable model. We present new results as evidence that, thanks to converging advances in 3D RT, inverse problem theory, algorithm implementation, and computer hardware, we are at the dawn of a new era in cloud remote sensing where we can finally go beyond the plane-parallel paradigm. Granted, the plane-parallel/1D RT assumption is reasonable for spatially extended stratiform cloud layers, as well as the smoothly distributed background aerosol layers. However, these 1D RT-friendly scenarios exclude cases that are critically important for climate physics. 1D RT---whence operational cloud remote sensing---fails catastrophically for cumuliform clouds that have fully 3D outer shapes and internal structures driven by shallow or deep convection. For these situations, the first order of business in a robust characterization by remote sensing is to abandon the slab geometry framework and determine the 3D geometry of the cloud, as a first step toward bone fide 3D cloud tomography. With this specific goal in mind, we deliver a proof-of-concept for an entirely new kind of remote sensing applicable to 3D clouds. It is based on highly simplified 3D RT and exploits multi-angular suites of cloud images at high spatial resolution. Airborne sensors like AirMSPI readily acquire such data. The key element of the reconstruction algorithm is a sophisticated solution of the nonlinear inverse problem via linearization of the forward model and an iteration scheme supported, where necessary, by adaptive regularization. Currently, the demo uses a 2D setting to show how either vertical profiles or horizontal slices of the cloud can be accurately reconstructed

  7. Pediatric microdose study of [(14)C]paracetamol to study drug metabolism using accelerated mass spectrometry: proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooij, Miriam G; van Duijn, Esther; Knibbe, Catherijne A J; Windhorst, Albert D; Hendrikse, N Harry; Vaes, Wouter H J; Spaans, Edwin; Fabriek, Babs O; Sandman, Hugo; Grossouw, Dimitri; Hanff, Lidwien M; Janssen, Paul J J M; Koch, Birgit C P; Tibboel, Dick; de Wildt, Saskia N

    2014-11-01

    Pediatric drug development is hampered by practical, ethical, and scientific challenges. Microdosing is a promising new method to obtain pharmacokinetic data in children with minimal burden and minimal risk. The use of a labeled oral microdose offers the added benefit to study intestinal and hepatic drug disposition in children already receiving an intravenous therapeutic drug dose for clinical reasons. The objective of this study was to present pilot data of an oral [(14)C]paracetamol [acetaminophen (AAP)] microdosing study as proof of concept to study developmental pharmacokinetics in children. In an open-label microdose pharmacokinetic pilot study, infants (0-6 years of age) received a single oral [(14)C]AAP microdose (3.3 ng/kg, 60 Bq/kg) in addition to intravenous therapeutic doses of AAP (15 mg/kg intravenous every 6 h). Blood samples were taken from an indwelling catheter. AAP blood concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and [(14)C]AAP and metabolites ([(14)C]AAP-Glu and [(14)C]AAP-4Sul) were measured by accelerator mass spectrometry. Ten infants (aged 0.1-83.1 months) were included; one was excluded as he vomited shortly after administration. In nine patients, [(14)C]AAP and metabolites in blood samples were detectable at expected concentrations: median (range) maximum concentration (C max) [(14)C]AAP 1.68 (0.75-4.76) ng/L, [(14)C]AAP-Glu 0.88 (0.34-1.55) ng/L, and [(14)C]AAP-4Sul 0.81 (0.29-2.10) ng/L. Dose-normalized oral [(14)C]AAP C max approached median intravenous average concentrations (C av): 8.41 mg/L (3.75-23.78 mg/L) and 8.87 mg/L (3.45-12.9 mg/L), respectively. We demonstrate the feasibility of using a [(14)C]labeled microdose to study AAP pharmacokinetics, including metabolite disposition, in young children.

  8. The Ocean Carbon States Database: a proof-of-concept application of cluster analysis in the ocean carbon cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Latto

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present a database of the basic regimes of the carbon cycle in the ocean, the ocean carbon states, as obtained using a data mining/pattern recognition technique in observation-based as well as model data. The goal of this study is to establish a new data analysis methodology, test it and assess its utility in providing more insights into the regional and temporal variability of the marine carbon cycle. This is important as advanced data mining techniques are becoming widely used in climate and Earth sciences and in particular in studies of the global carbon cycle, where the interaction of physical and biogeochemical drivers confounds our ability to accurately describe, understand, and predict CO2 concentrations and their changes in the major planetary carbon reservoirs. In this proof-of-concept study, we focus on using well-understood data that are based on observations, as well as model results from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS climate model. Our analysis shows that ocean carbon states are associated with the subtropical–subpolar gyre during the colder months of the year and the tropics during the warmer season in the North Atlantic basin. Conversely, in the Southern Ocean, the ocean carbon states can be associated with the subtropical and Antarctic convergence zones in the warmer season and the coastal Antarctic divergence zone in the colder season. With respect to model evaluation, we find that the GISS model reproduces the cold and warm season regimes more skillfully in the North Atlantic than in the Southern Ocean and matches the observed seasonality better than the spatial distribution of the regimes. Finally, the ocean carbon states provide useful information in the model error attribution. Model air–sea CO2 flux biases in the North Atlantic stem from wind speed and salinity biases in the subpolar region and nutrient and wind speed biases in the subtropics and tropics. Nutrient biases are shown

  9. The detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from patients' breath using canine scent detection: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitiyakara, Taya; Redmond, Susan; Unwanatham, Nattawut; Rattanasiri, Sasivimol; Thakkinstian, Amarin; Tangtawee, Pongsatorn; Mingphruedhi, Somkit; Sobhonslidsuk, Abhasnee; Intaraprasong, Pongphob; Kositchaiwat, Chomsri

    2017-09-13

    . Our results show that this is possible with an accuracy of 78% (p < 0.001 when compared to chance alone), and are thus a proof of concept. Further refinement of the process of detection will be needed before clinical application.

  10. Allocentric Spatial Memory Testing Predicts Conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Dementia: An Initial Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Ruth A; Moodley, Kuven K; Lever, Colin; Minati, Ludovico; Chan, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus is one of the first regions to exhibit neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and knowledge of its role in allocentric spatial memory may therefore aid early diagnosis of AD. The 4 Mountains Test (4MT) is a short and easily administered test of spatial memory based on the cognitive map theory of hippocampal function as derived from rodent single cell and behavioral studies. The 4MT has been shown in previous cross-sectional studies to be sensitive and specific for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD. This report describes the initial results of a longitudinal study testing the hypothesis that allocentric spatial memory is predictive of conversion from MCI to dementia. Fifteen patients with MCI underwent baseline testing on the 4MT in addition to CSF amyloid/tau biomarker studies, volumetric MRI and neuropsychological assessment including the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) and Trail Making Test "B" (TMT-B). At 24 months, 9/15 patients had converted to AD dementia. The 4MT predicted conversion to AD with 93% accuracy (Cohen's d  = 2.52). The predictive accuracies of the comparator measures were as follows: CSF tau/β-amyloid 1-42 ratio 92% ( d  = 1.81), RAVLT 64% ( d  = 0.41), TMT-B 78% ( d  = 1.56), and hippocampal volume 77% ( d  = 0.65). CSF tau levels were strongly negatively correlated with 4MT scores ( r  = -0.71). This proof-of-concept study provides initial support for the hypothesis that allocentric spatial memory testing is a predictive cognitive marker of hippocampal neurodegeneration in pre-dementia AD. The 4MT is a brief, non-invasive, straightforward spatial memory test and is therefore ideally suited for use in routine clinical diagnostic practice. This is of particular importance given the current unmet need for simple accurate diagnostic tests for early AD and the ongoing development of potential disease-modifying therapeutic agents, which may be more efficacious when given earlier in

  11. The Ocean Carbon States Database: A Proof-of-Concept Application of Cluster Analysis in the Ocean Carbon Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latto, Rebecca; Romanou, Anastasia

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, we present a database of the basic regimes of the carbon cycle in the ocean, the 'ocean carbon states', as obtained using a data mining/pattern recognition technique in observation-based as well as model data. The goal of this study is to establish a new data analysis methodology, test it and assess its utility in providing more insights into the regional and temporal variability of the marine carbon cycle. This is important as advanced data mining techniques are becoming widely used in climate and Earth sciences and in particular in studies of the global carbon cycle, where the interaction of physical and biogeochemical drivers confounds our ability to accurately describe, understand, and predict CO2 concentrations and their changes in the major planetary carbon reservoirs. In this proof-of-concept study, we focus on using well-understood data that are based on observations, as well as model results from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) climate model. Our analysis shows that ocean carbon states are associated with the subtropical-subpolar gyre during the colder months of the year and the tropics during the warmer season in the North Atlantic basin. Conversely, in the Southern Ocean, the ocean carbon states can be associated with the subtropical and Antarctic convergence zones in the warmer season and the coastal Antarctic divergence zone in the colder season. With respect to model evaluation, we find that the GISS model reproduces the cold and warm season regimes more skillfully in the North Atlantic than in the Southern Ocean and matches the observed seasonality better than the spatial distribution of the regimes. Finally, the ocean carbon states provide useful information in the model error attribution. Model air-sea CO2 flux biases in the North Atlantic stem from wind speed and salinity biases in the subpolar region and nutrient and wind speed biases in the subtropics and tropics. Nutrient biases are shown to be most important

  12. Using peer observers to assess the quality of cancer multidisciplinary team meetings: a qualitative proof of concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harris J

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Jenny Harris,1 James SA Green,2,3 Nick Sevdalis,4 Cath Taylor1 1Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, London, UK; 2Department of Urology, Whipps Cross University Hospital, London, UK; 3Department of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, UK; 4Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London, UK Background: Multidisciplinary team (MDT working is well established as the foundation for providing cancer services in the UK and elsewhere. A core activity is the weekly meeting (or case conference/tumor boards where the treatment recommendations for individual patients are agreed. Evidence suggests that the quality of team working varies across cancer teams, and this may impact negatively on the decision-making process, and ultimately patient care. Feedback on performance by expert observers may improve performance, but can be resource-intensive to implement. This proof of concept study sought to: develop a structured observational assessment tool for use by peers (managers or clinicians from the local workforce and explore its usability; assess the feasibility of the principle of observational assessment by peers; and explore the views of MDT members and observers about the utility of feedback from observational assessment. Methods: For tool development, the content was informed by national clinical consensus recommendations for best practice in cancer MDTs and developed in collaboration with an expert steering group. It consisted of ten subdomains of team working observable in MDT meetings that were rated on a 10-point scale (very poor to very good. For observational assessment, a total of 19 peer observers used the tool (assessing performance in 20 cancer teams from four hospitals. For evaluation, telephone interviews with 64 team members and all peer observers were analyzed thematically. Results: The tool was easy to use and areas for refinement were identified. Peer

  13. Risk assessment for job burnout with a mobile health web application using questionnaire data: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Känel, Roland; van Nuffel, Marc; Fuchs, Walther J

    2016-01-01

    Job burnout has become a rampant epidemic in working societies, causing high productivity loss and healthcare costs. An easy accessible tool to detect clinically relevant risk may bear the potential to timely avert the dire sequelae of burnout. As a start, we performed a proof of concept study to test the utilization of a mobile health web application for a free and anonymous burnout risk assessment with established questionnaires. We designed a client-side javascript web application for users who filled out demographic and psychometric data forms over the internet. Users were recruited through social media, back links from hospital websites, and search engine optimization. Similar to population-based studies, we used the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS) to calculate a burnout risk index (BRIX). As additional mental health burden indices, users filled out the Perceived Stress Scale, Insomina Severity Index, and Profile of Mood States. Within six months, the MBI-GS was completed by 11,311 users (median age 33 years, 85 % women) of whom 20.0 % had no clinically relevant burnout risk, 54.7 % had mild-to-moderate risk, and 25.3 % had high risk. In the 2947 users completing all questionnaires, female sex ( B  = -0.03), cohabiting ( B  = -0.03), negative affect ( B  = 0.46), positive affect ( B  = -0.20), perceived stress ( B  = 0.18), and insomnia symptoms ( B  = 0.04) explained 56.2 % of the variance in the continuously scaled BRIX. The reliability was good to excellent for all psychometric scales. The weighting of the BRIX with mental health burden indices primarily modified the risk in users with mild-to-moderate burnout risk. A low-threshold web application can reliably assess the risk of job burnout. As the bulk of users had clinically relevant burnout scores, a web application may be useful to target employees at risk. The clinical value of the BRIX and its modification with coexistent/absent mental health burden

  14. mHealth medication and blood pressure self-management program in Hispanic hypertensives: a proof of concept trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sieverdes JC

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available John C Sieverdes,1 Mathew Gregoski,1 Sachin Patel,1 Deborah Williamson,1 Brenda Brunner-Jackson,1 Judith Rundbaken,1 Eveline Treiber,1 Lydia Davidson,1 Frank A Treiber1,21Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles, College of Nursing, 2College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USAAbstract: Patient nonadherence to medication regimens and provider therapeutic inertia (failure to respond in timely manner to clinical data are two primary contributors to ineffective chronic disease management. This 3-month proof of concept trial used an iterative design approach guided by self-determination theory and the technology acceptance model to develop a culturally sensitive, patient-centered, and provider-centered mobile health medication and blood pressure self-management program. Cellular connected electronic medication trays provided reminder signals for patients to take medications and smartphone messaging reminded patients to take at-home blood pressures using a Bluetooth-enabled monitor. Providers were given bimonthly feedback. Motivational and reinforcement text and audio messages were sent based upon medication adherence rates and blood pressure levels. Ten Hispanics with uncontrolled essential hypertension were randomized to standard care and Smartphone Medication Adherence Stops Hypertension (SMASH intervention groups. Primary outcomes of provider and patient acceptability of the program were found to be high. Retention rates for the 3-month program were 100%, with mean ± standard deviation overall medication adherence for the SMASH group at 97.2% ± 2.8%, with all strongly believing the program helped them remember to take their medication. SMASH participants measured their blood pressure every 3 days 83.2% ± 6.0% of the time and completed 89.2% ± 19.06% of the expected readings. Nonparametric tests showed statistical significance for resting blood pressure changes between groups at months 2 (P = 0

  15. Coal liquefaction and gas conversion contractors review conference: Proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    This volume contains 55 papers presented at the conference. They are divided into the following topical sections: Direct liquefaction; Indirect liquefaction; Gas conversion (methane conversion); and Advanced research liquefaction. Papers in this last section deal mostly with coprocessing of coal with petroleum, plastics, and waste tires, and catalyst studies. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  16. Engineering brown fat into skeletal muscle using ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction gene delivery in obese Zucker rats: Proof of concept design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastarrachea, Raul A; Chen, Jiaxi; Kent, Jack W; Nava-Gonzalez, Edna J; Rodriguez-Ayala, Ernesto; Daadi, Marcel M; Jorge, Barbara; Laviada-Molina, Hugo; Comuzzie, Anthony G; Chen, Shuyuan; Grayburn, Paul A

    2017-09-01

    Ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) is a novel means of tissue-specific gene delivery. This approach systemically infuses transgenes precoupled to gas-filled lipid microbubbles that are burst within the microvasculature of target tissues via an ultrasound signal resulting in release of DNA and transfection of neighboring cells within the tissue. Previous work has shown that adenovirus containing cDNA of UCP-1, injected into the epididymal fat pads in mice, induced localized fat depletion, improving glucose tolerance, and decreasing food intake in obese diabetic mice. Our group recently demonstrated that gene therapy by UTMD achieved beta cell regeneration in streptozotocin (STZ)-treated mice and baboons. We hypothesized that gene therapy with BMP7/PRDM16/PPARGC1A in skeletal muscle (SKM) of obese Zucker diabetic fatty (fa/fa) rats using UTMD technology would produce a brown adipose tissue (BAT) phenotype with UCP-1 overexpression. This study was designed as a proof of concept (POC) project. Obese Zucker rats were administered plasmid cDNA contructs encoding a gene cocktail with BMP7/PRDM16/PPARGC1A incorporated within microbubbles and intravenously delivered into their left thigh. Controls received UTMD with plasmids driving a DsRed reporter gene. An ultrasound transducer was directed to the thigh to disrupt the microbubbles within the microcirculation. Blood samples were drawn at baseline, and after treatment to measure glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids levels. SKM was harvested for immunohistochemistry (IHC). Our IHC results showed a reliable pattern of effective UTMD-based gene delivery in enhancing SKM overexpression of the UCP-1 gene. This clearly indicates that our plasmid DNA construct encoding the gene combination of PRDM16, PPARGC1A, and BMP7 reprogrammed adult SKM tissue into brown adipose cells in vivo. Our pilot established POC showing that the administration of the gene cocktail to SKM in this rat model of genetic obesity using UTMD

  17. Cone beam CT imaging with limited angle of projections and prior knowledge for volumetric verification of non-coplanar beam radiation therapy: a proof of concept study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Bowen; Xing, Lei; Han, Bin; Koong, Albert; Chang, Daniel; Cheng, Jason; Li, Ruijiang

    2013-11-01

    registration significantly improved the reconstructed image quality, with a reduction of mostly 2-3 folds (up to 100) in root mean square image error. The proposed algorithm provides a remedy for solving the problem of non-coplanar CBCT reconstruction from limited angle of projections by combining the PICCS technique and rigid image registration in an iterative framework. In this proof of concept study, non-coplanar beams with couch rotations of 45° can be effectively verified with the CBCT technique.

  18. SU-E-J-12: An Image-Guided Soft Robotic Patient Positioning System for Maskless Head-And-Neck Cancer Radiotherapy: A Proof-Of-Concept Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogunmolu, O; Gans, N; Jiang, S; Gu, X

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: We propose a surface-image-guided soft robotic patient positioning system for maskless head-and-neck radiotherapy. The ultimate goal of this project is to utilize a soft robot to realize non-rigid patient positioning and real-time motion compensation. In this proof-of-concept study, we design a position-based visual servoing control system for an air-bladder-based soft robot and investigate its performance in controlling the flexion/extension cranial motion on a mannequin head phantom. Methods: The current system consists of Microsoft Kinect depth camera, an inflatable air bladder (IAB), pressured air source, pneumatic valve actuators, custom-built current regulators, and a National Instruments myRIO microcontroller. The performance of the designed system was evaluated on a mannequin head, with a ball joint fixed below its neck to simulate torso-induced head motion along flexion/extension direction. The IAB is placed beneath the mannequin head. The Kinect camera captures images of the mannequin head, extracts the face, and measures the position of the head relative to the camera. This distance is sent to the myRIO, which runs control algorithms and sends actuation commands to the valves, inflating and deflating the IAB to induce head motion. Results: For a step input, i.e. regulation of the head to a constant displacement, the maximum error was a 6% overshoot, which the system then reduces to 0% steady-state error. In this initial investigation, the settling time to reach the regulated position was approximately 8 seconds, with 2 seconds of delay between the command start of motion due to capacitance of the pneumatics, for a total of 10 seconds to regulate the error. Conclusion: The surface image-guided soft robotic patient positioning system can achieve accurate mannequin head flexion/extension motion. Given this promising initial Result, the extension of the current one-dimensional soft robot control to multiple IABs for non-rigid positioning control

  19. SU-E-J-12: An Image-Guided Soft Robotic Patient Positioning System for Maskless Head-And-Neck Cancer Radiotherapy: A Proof-Of-Concept Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ogunmolu, O; Gans, N [The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX (United States); Jiang, S; Gu, X [UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: We propose a surface-image-guided soft robotic patient positioning system for maskless head-and-neck radiotherapy. The ultimate goal of this project is to utilize a soft robot to realize non-rigid patient positioning and real-time motion compensation. In this proof-of-concept study, we design a position-based visual servoing control system for an air-bladder-based soft robot and investigate its performance in controlling the flexion/extension cranial motion on a mannequin head phantom. Methods: The current system consists of Microsoft Kinect depth camera, an inflatable air bladder (IAB), pressured air source, pneumatic valve actuators, custom-built current regulators, and a National Instruments myRIO microcontroller. The performance of the designed system was evaluated on a mannequin head, with a ball joint fixed below its neck to simulate torso-induced head motion along flexion/extension direction. The IAB is placed beneath the mannequin head. The Kinect camera captures images of the mannequin head, extracts the face, and measures the position of the head relative to the camera. This distance is sent to the myRIO, which runs control algorithms and sends actuation commands to the valves, inflating and deflating the IAB to induce head motion. Results: For a step input, i.e. regulation of the head to a constant displacement, the maximum error was a 6% overshoot, which the system then reduces to 0% steady-state error. In this initial investigation, the settling time to reach the regulated position was approximately 8 seconds, with 2 seconds of delay between the command start of motion due to capacitance of the pneumatics, for a total of 10 seconds to regulate the error. Conclusion: The surface image-guided soft robotic patient positioning system can achieve accurate mannequin head flexion/extension motion. Given this promising initial Result, the extension of the current one-dimensional soft robot control to multiple IABs for non-rigid positioning control

  20. Report on 1981 result of Sunshine Project. Research on direct liquefaction reactor of coal; 1981 nendo sekitan no chokusetsu ekika hannoki no kenkyu seika hokokusho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1981-07-01

    This paper explains the results of research on direct liquefaction reaction of coal in fiscal 1981. The direct liquefaction is a reaction of three phases, gas-liquid-solid, under high temperature and high pressure. A tube type was employed in order to increase volume efficiency of the reactor, the continuous phase disperse number was decreased in order to bring it close to plug flow, and the paste Re number was increased to some extent in order to prevent sedimentation of coal particles. Hydrogen was supplied from the tube halfway for the purpose of supplementing the lowering of hydrogen partial pressure with the progress of reaction. A gas-liquid separator was installed so that increase in gas quantity was controlled in the rear stage of the reactor. As for catalysts, iron ore-sulfur system was examined which was promising as a disposable catalyst in place of the conventional iron system. Effect of catalytic addition was clearly recognizable in comparison with non-catalytic, with an exothermic peak observed comparable to the coal hydrogenation reaction of 350-420 degree C. Its catalytic effect was also presumable from the high pressure differential thermal analysis curve. The catalytic mechanism in the case where sulfur is added to hematite and limonite is similar to that of Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3} - sulfur catalyst, with the center of activity supposed to be Fe{sub 1-x}S. The catalytic effect is largely dependent on the particle size. (NEDO)

  1. Achievement report for fiscal 1993 on research under Sunshine Program. Research on direct liquefaction reaction of coal; 1993 nendo sekitan no chokusetsu ekika hanno ni kansuru kenkyu seika hokokusho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-03-01

    The reaction velocity constant of coal or the distribution of products in a high-pressure hydrocracking process of coal are found not to be affected by the temperature rise rate. The liquefaction of coal using CO and water is analyzed using a high-pressure differential thermal analyzer. The hydrogen gas generated during the water gas reaction reacts with CO for the formation of alcohols, carbonic acid, etc. The reaction rate is found to be higher when the specimen contains more oxygen. When coals greatly different from each other in terms of thermolytic reactivity, caking property, and intersolubility with medium oils are mixed, synergistic effects are exhibited, positive when active hydrogen supply is abundant and negative when it is short. In the case of the Hokkaido coal which contains 73.0-87.4% carbon, the grain diameter does not affect the liquefaction rate when the coal is crushed to the 48-mesh size approximately. Reaction velocity in direct liquefaction does not relate to hydrogen pressure. Asphaltenes in coal liquefaction are produced at the beginning of reaction, to be reduced in molecular weight due to cleavage of methylene crosslinks with the progress of reaction. Studies are conducted in a 0.1t/d-capable bench plant about liquefaction reaction characteristics and coal liquid properties, and chemical structures. (NEDO)

  2. Body-Machine Interface Enables People With Cervical Spinal Cord Injury to Control Devices With Available Body Movements: Proof of Concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdollahi, Farnaz; Farshchiansadegh, Ali; Pierella, Camilla; Seáñez-González, Ismael; Thorp, Elias; Lee, Mei-Hua; Ranganathan, Rajiv; Pedersen, Jessica; Chen, David; Roth, Elliot; Casadio, Maura; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando

    2017-05-01

    This study tested the use of a customized body-machine interface (BoMI) for enhancing functional capabilities in persons with cervical spinal cord injury (cSCI). The interface allows people with cSCI to operate external devices by reorganizing their residual movements. This was a proof-of-concept phase 0 interventional nonrandomized clinical trial. Eight cSCI participants wore a custom-made garment with motion sensors placed on the shoulders. Signals derived from the sensors controlled a computer cursor. A standard algorithm extracted the combinations of sensor signals that best captured each participant's capacity for controlling a computer cursor. Participants practiced with the BoMI for 24 sessions over 12 weeks performing 3 tasks: reaching, typing, and game playing. Learning and performance were evaluated by the evolution of movement time, errors, smoothness, and performance metrics specific to each task. Through practice, participants were able to reduce the movement time and the distance from the target at the 1-second mark in the reaching task. They also made straighter and smoother movements while reaching to different targets. All participants became faster in the typing task and more skilled in game playing, as the pong hit rate increased significantly with practice. The results provide proof-of-concept for the customized BoMI as a means for people with absent or severely impaired hand movements to control assistive devices that otherwise would be manually operated.

  3. Dynamic infrared thermography (DIRT) for assessment of skin blood perfusion in cranioplasty: a proof of concept for qualitative comparison with the standard indocyanine green video angiography (ICGA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathmann, P; Chalopin, C; Halama, D; Giri, P; Meixensberger, J; Lindner, D

    2018-03-01

    Complications in wound healing after neurosurgical operations occur often due to scarred dehiscence with skin blood perfusion disturbance. The standard imaging method for intraoperative skin perfusion assessment is the invasive indocyanine green video angiography (ICGA). The noninvasive dynamic infrared thermography (DIRT) is a promising alternative modality that was evaluated by comparison with ICGA. The study was carried out in two parts: (1) investigation of technical conditions for intraoperative use of DIRT for its comparison with ICGA, and (2) visual and quantitative comparison of both modalities in a proof of concept on nine patients. Time-temperature curves in DIRT and time-intensity curves in ICGA for defined regions of interest were analyzed. New perfusion parameters were defined in DIRT and compared with the usual perfusion parameters in ICGA. The visual observation of the image data in DIRT and ICGA showed that operation material, anatomical structures and skin perfusion are represented similarly in both modalities. Although the analysis of the curves and perfusion parameter values showed differences between patients, no complications were observed clinically. These differences were represented in DIRT and ICGA equivalently. DIRT has shown a great potential for intraoperative use, with several advantages over ICGA. The technique is passive, contactless and noninvasive. The practicability of the intraoperative recording of the same operation field section with ICGA and DIRT has been demonstrated. The promising results of this proof of concept provide a basis for a trial with a larger number of patients.

  4. Report on results of R and D of coal liquefaction technology under Sunshine Project in fiscal 1981. Development of direct hydro-liquefaction plant (research on liquefaction by bench scale equipment, and research on solid-liquid separation method); 1981 nendo sekitan ekika gijutsu no kenkyu kaihatsu, chokusetsu suiten ekika plant no kaihatsu seika hokokusho. Bench scale sochi ni yoru ekika kenkyu, koeki bunriho ni kansuru kenkyu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1982-03-01

    This paper explains the results of development of direct hydro-liquefaction plant under the Sunshine Project in fiscal 1981. As element studies for supplementing and supporting a 2.4 t/day PDU (process development unit), in the research using a 0.1 t/day bench scale continuous type equipment of fiscal 1981, a hydrogenation experiment was conducted for anthracene oil and also, an examination was made on the reaction conditions of Taiheiyo coal and Horonai coal, as well as on the catalyst and reaction ratio and on the product material distribution. A medium oil equalizing test was performed using Taiheiyo coal in order to obtain knowledge about equalized medium oil. Liquefaction characteristics in the preheating process and reaction process were elucidated by means of a semi-batch device. Comparative studies were made between domestic and overseas coals, in coal properties and liquefaction characteristics using a shaking type autoclave. The performance of iron-sulfur based catalysts was also examined. In the research on a solid-liquid separation method, the basic properties of coal liquefied crude oil were measured such as general properties, solid grading distribution and distillation characteristics, with the basic tests carried out for standing separation, filtrating separation and centrifuging separation, providing selected materials of the solid-liquid separation method suitable for the crude oil produced by the direct hydro-liquefaction method. In addition, studies were conducted on the use of residual oil generated by solid-liquid separation, providing knowledge of the viscosity and thermal cracking. (NEDO)

  5. Development of a new test for the easy characterization of the adhesion at the interface of bilayer tablets: proof-of-concept study by experimental design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busignies, Virginie; Mazel, Vincent; Diarra, Harona; Tchoreloff, Pierre

    2014-12-30

    Although, adhesion at the interface of bilayer tablets is critical for their design it is difficult to characterize this adhesion between layers. In view of this, a new test with an easy implementation was proposed for the characterization of the interface of bilayer tablets. This work is presented as a proof-of-concept study to investigate the reliability of this new test with regard to the effects of some critical process parameters (e.g., compaction pressure applied on each layer) and material attributes (e.g., elasticity of the layered materials) on the interfacial adhesion of bilayer tablets. This was investigated using a design of experiment approach and the results obtained were in good accordance with those obtained with other tests and thus, confirms the potential of such a method for the measurement of the interfacial adhesion of bilayer tablets. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Gene Disruption in Scedosporium aurantiacum: Proof of Concept with the Disruption of SODC Gene Encoding a Cytosolic Cu,Zn-Superoxide Dismutase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pateau, Victoire; Razafimandimby, Bienvenue; Vandeputte, Patrick; Thornton, Christopher R; Guillemette, Thomas; Bouchara, Jean-Philippe; Giraud, Sandrine

    2018-02-01

    Scedosporium species are opportunistic pathogens responsible for a large variety of infections in humans. An increasing occurrence was observed in patients with underlying conditions such as immunosuppression or cystic fibrosis. Indeed, the genus Scedosporium ranks the second among the filamentous fungi colonizing the respiratory tracts of the CF patients. To date, there is very scarce information on the pathogenic mechanisms, at least in part because of the limited genetic tools available. In the present study, we successfully developed an efficient transformation and targeted gene disruption approach on the species Scedosporium aurantiacum. The disruption cassette was constructed using double-joint PCR procedure, and resistance to hygromycin B as the selection marker. This proof of concept was performed on the functional gene SODC encoding the Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase. Disruption of the SODC gene improved susceptibility of the fungus to oxidative stress. This technical advance should open new research areas and help to better understand the biology of Scedosporium species.

  7. Using measures of wellbeing for impact evaluation: Proof of concept developed with an Indigenous community undertaking land management programs in northern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Silva; Stoeckl, Natalie; Jarvis, Diane; Addison, Jane; Prior, Sharon; Esparon, Michelle

    2018-05-05

    Combining insights from literature on the Theory of Change, Impact Evaluation, and Wellbeing, we develop a novel approach to assessing impacts. Intended beneficiaries identify and rate factors that are important to their wellbeing, their satisfaction with those factors now, and before an intervention. Qualitative responses to questions about perceived changes and causes of change are linked to quantitative data to draw inferences about the existence and/or importance of impact(s). We use data from 67 Ewamian people, in a case study relating to Indigenous land management, to provide proof of concept. 'Knowing that country is being looked after' and 'Having legal right/access to the country' were identified as important to wellbeing, with perceptions that Native Title determination, declared Indigenous Protected Area and associated land management programs have had a significant and positive impact on them. Further method testing might determine the utility of this approach in a wide range of settings.

  8. Technology Assessment for Proof-of-Concept UF6 Cylinder Unique Identification Task 3.1.2 Report – Survey and Assessment of Technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wylie, Joann; Hockert, John

    2014-04-24

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Nonproliferation and International Security’s (NA-24) Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) and the nuclear industry have begun to develop approaches to identify and monitor uranium hexafluoride (UF6) cylinders. The NA-24 interest in a global monitoring system for UF6 cylinders relates to its interest in supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in deterring and detecting diversion of UF6 (e.g., loss of cylinder in transit) and undeclared excess production at conversion and enrichment facilities. The industry interest in a global monitoring system for UF6 cylinders relates to the improvements in operational efficiencies that such a system would provide. This task is part of an effort to survey and assess technologies for a UF6 cylinder to identify candidate technologies for a proof-of-concept demonstration and evaluation for the Cylinder Identification System (CIS).

  9. Electrochemical degradation of PAH compounds in process water: A kinetic study on model solutions and a proof of concept study on runoff water from harbour sediment purification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muff, Jens; Søgaard, Erik Gydesen

    2010-01-01

    The present study has investigated the possibility to apply electrochemical oxidation in the treatment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) pollutants in water. The reaction kinetics of naphthalene, fluoranthene, and pyrene oxidation have been studied in a batch recirculation experimental...... oxidation side reaction at lower applied voltages. A proof of concept study in real polluted water demonstrated the applicability of the electrochemical oxidation technique for larger scale use, where especially the indirect chloride mediated oxidation approach was a promising technique. However, the risk....... Decreased current densities from 200 to 15 mA cm-2 in the NaCl electrolyte also decreased the removal rates, but significantly enhanced the current efficiencies of the PAH oxidation, based on a defined current efficiency constant, kq. This observation is believed to be due to the suppression of the water...

  10. Effect of operating conditions on direct liquefaction of low-lipid microalgae in ethanol-water co-solvent for bio-oil production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ji, Changhao; He, Zhixia; Wang, Qian; Xu, Guisheng; Wang, Shuang; Xu, Zhixiang; Ji, Hengsong

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Low-lipid microalgae was selected as feedstock for DL in ethanol-water co-solvent. • Operating conditions had great influence on product yields and conversion rate. • Bio-oil could be obtained from all three main components. • Ethanol and water showed obviously synergistic effect during the DL of microalgae. • Bio-oil composition from DL of microalgae was different from lignocellulose biomass. - Abstract: In this work, the direct liquefaction (DL) of low-lipid microalgae Spirulina was investigated in a 50 ml autoclave reactor with ethanol and water as co-solvent. The objective of this research was carried out to examine the effect of operating conditions such as reaction temperature, reaction time, solvent/microalgae (S/M) ratio and ethanol-water co-solvent (EWCS) composition on product distribution and bio-oil characterization. The results revealed that the optimal operating conditions for bio-oil yield and conversion rate were reaction temperature of 300 °C, reaction time of 45 min, ethanol content of 50 vol.% and S/M ratio of 40/4 ml/g, which gave the bio-oil yield of 59.5% and conversion rate of 94.73%. Conversion rate in EWCS was significantly higher than that in pure water or ethanol, suggesting the synergistic effect between ethanol and water during microalgae DL. Distinct difference in composition and relative content of compound among bio-oils in different solvents were observed by GC–MS and FT-IR. Compared with hydrothermal liquefaction, the most abundant compounds in bio-oil from both EWCS and pure ethanol were esters. The presence of ethanol could enhance the bio-oil yield and improve bio-oil quality by promoting the formation of esters.

  11. Whole-body vibration as a mode of dyspnoea free physical activity: a community-based proof-of-concept trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furness, Trentham; Joseph, Corey; Welsh, Liam; Naughton, Geraldine; Lorenzen, Christian

    2013-11-11

    The potential of whole-body vibration (WBV) as a mode of dyspnoea free physical activity for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unknown among community-based settings. Furthermore, the acute effects of WBV on people with COPD have not been profiled in community-based settings. The aim of this community-based proof-of-concept trial was to describe acute effects of WBV by profiling subjective and objective responses to physical activity. Seventeen community-dwelling older adults with COPD were recruited to participate in two sessions; WBV and sham WBV (SWBV). Each session consisted of five one-minute bouts interspersed with five one-minute passive rest periods. The gravitational force was ~2.5 g for WBV and ~0.0 g for SWBV. Reliability of baseline dyspnoea, heart rate, and oxygen saturation was first established and then profiled for both sessions. Acute responses to both WBV and SWBV were compared with repeated measures analysis of variance and repeated contrasts. Small changes in dyspnoea and oxygen saturation lacked subjective and clinical meaningfulness. One session of WBV and SWBV significantly increased heart rate (p ≤ 0.02), although there was no difference among WBV and SWBV (p = 0.67). This community-based proof-of-concept trial showed that a session of WBV can be completed with the absence of dyspnoea for people with COPD. Furthermore, there were no meaningful differences among WBV and SWBV for heart rate and oxygen saturation. There is scope for long-term community-based intervention research using WBV given the known effects of WBV on peripheral muscle function and functional independence.

  12. A multi-channel bioluminescent bacterial biosensor for the on-line detection of metals and toxicity. Part II: technical development and proof of concept of the biosensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Charrier, Thomas; Thouand, Gerald [UMR CNRS 6144 GEPEA, CBAC, Nantes University, PRES UNAM, Campus de la Courtaisiere-IUT, La Roche-sur-Yon cedex (France); Chapeau, Cyrille [Biolumine, Biokar Diagnostic, Rue des Quarante Mines ZAC de Ther-Allonne, Beauvais Cedex (France); Bendria, Loubna; Daniel, Philippe [UMR CNRS 6087 LPEC, Universite du Maine, Av Olivier Messiaen, Le Mans cedex 9 (France); Picart, Pascal [UMR CNRS 6613 IAM-LAUM, Ecole Nationale des Ingenieurs du Mans, Universite du Maine, Le Mans Cedex 9 (France)

    2011-05-15

    This research study deals with the on-line detection of heavy metals and toxicity within the context of environmental pollution monitoring. It describes the construction and the proof of concept of a multi-channel bioluminescent bacterial biosensor in immobilized phase: Lumisens3. This new versatile device, designed for the non-stop analysis of water pollution, enables the insertion of any bioluminescent strains (inducible or constitutive), immobilized in a multi-well removable card. The technical design of Lumisens3 has benefited from both a classical and a robust approach and includes four main parts: (1) a dedicated removable card contains 64 wells, 3 mm in depth, arranged in eight grooves within which bacteria are immobilized, (2) this card is incubated on a Pelletier block with a CCD cooled camera on top for bioluminescence monitoring, (3) a fluidic network feeds the card with the sample to be analyzed and finally (4) a dedicated computer interface, BIOLUX 1.0, controls all the elements of the biosensor, allowing it to operate autonomously. The proof of concept of this biosensor was performed using a set of four bioluminescent bacteria (Escherichia coli DH1 pBzntlux, pBarslux, pBcoplux, and E. coli XL1 pBfiluxCDABE) in the on-line detection of CdCl{sub 2} 0.5 {mu}M and As{sub 2}O{sub 3} 5 {mu}M from an influent. When considering metals individually, the ''fingerprints'' from the biosensor were as expected. However, when metals were mixed together, cross reaction and synergistic effects were detected. This biosensor allowed us to demonstrate the simultaneous on-line cross detection of one or several heavy metals as well as the measurement of the overall toxicity of the sample. (orig.)

  13. A Virtual Reality avatar interaction (VRai) platform to assess residual executive dysfunction in active military personnel with previous mild traumatic brain injury: proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robitaille, Nicolas; Jackson, Philip L; Hébert, Luc J; Mercier, Catherine; Bouyer, Laurent J; Fecteau, Shirley; Richards, Carol L; McFadyen, Bradford J

    2017-10-01

    This proof of concept study tested the ability of a dual task walking protocol using a recently developed avatar-based virtual reality (VR) platform to detect differences between military personnel post mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and healthy controls. The VR platform coordinated motion capture, an interaction and rendering system, and a projection system to present first (participant-controlled) and third person avatars within the context of a specific military patrol scene. A divided attention task was also added. A healthy control group was compared to a group with previous mTBI (both groups comprised of six military personnel) and a repeated measures ANOVA tested for differences between conditions and groups based on recognition errors, walking speed and fluidity and obstacle clearance. The VR platform was well tolerated by both groups. Walking fluidity was degraded for the control group within the more complex navigational dual tasking involving avatars, and appeared greatest in the dual tasking with the interacting avatar. This navigational behaviour was not seen in the mTBI group. The present findings show proof of concept for using avatars, particularly more interactive avatars, to expose differences in executive functioning when applying context-specific protocols (here for the military). Implications for rehabilitation Virtual reality provides a means to control context-specific factors for assessment and intervention. Adding human interaction and agency through avatars increases the ecologic nature of the virtual environment. Avatars in the present application of the Virtual Reality avatar interaction platform appear to provide a better ability to reveal differences between trained, military personal with and without mTBI.

  14. Coupling HPLC-SPE-NMR with a microplate-based high-resolution antioxidant assay for efficient analysis of antioxidants in food--validation and proof-of-concept study with caper buds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiese, Stefanie; Wubshet, Sileshi G; Nielsen, John; Staerk, Dan

    2013-12-15

    This work describes the coupling of a microplate-based antioxidant assay with a hyphenated system consisting of high-performance liquid chromatography-solid-phase extraction-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, i.e., HPLC-SPE-NMR/high-resolution antioxidant assay, for the analysis of complex food extracts. The applicability of the microplate-based antioxidant assay for high-resolution screening of common food phenolics as well as parameters related to their trapping efficiency, elution behavior, and recovery on/from SPE cartridges are described. It was found that the microplate-based high-resolution antioxidant assay is an attractive and easy implementable alternative to direct on-line screening methods. Furthermore, it was shown that Resin SH and Resin GP SPE material are superior to RP C18HD for trapping of phenolic compounds. Proof-of-concept study was performed with caper bud extract, revealing the most important antioxidants to be quercetin, kaempferol, rutin, kaempferol-3-O-β-rutinoside and N(1),N(5),N(10)-triphenylpropenoyl spermidine amides. Targeted isolation of the latter, and comprehensive NMR experiments showed them to be N(1),N(10)-di-(E)-caffeoyl-N(5)-p-(E)-coumaroyl spermidine, N(1)-(E)-caffeoyl-N(5),N(10)-di-p-(E)-coumaroyl spermidine, N(10)-(E)-caffeoyl-N(1),N(5)-di-p-(E)-coumaroyl spermidine, and N(1),N(5),N(10)-tri-p-(E)-coumaroyl spermidine amides. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Coal liquefaction process streams characterization and evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robbins, G.A.; Brandes, S.D.; Winschel, R.A.; Burke, F.P.

    1992-03-01

    CONSOL R D is conducting a three-year program to characterize process and product streams from direct coal liquefaction process development projects. The program objectives are two-fold: (1) to obtain and provide appropriate samples of coal liquids for the evaluation of analytical methodology, and (2) to support ongoing DOE-sponsored coal liquefaction process development efforts. The two broad objectives have considerable overlap and together serve to provide a bridge between process development and analytical chemistry.

  16. Monitoring pharmacologically induced immunosuppression by immune repertoire sequencing to detect acute allograft rejection in heart transplant patients: a proof-of-concept diagnostic accuracy study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Vollmers

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available It remains difficult to predict and to measure the efficacy of pharmacological immunosuppression. We hypothesized that measuring the B-cell repertoire would enable assessment of the overall level of immunosuppression after heart transplantation.In this proof-of-concept study, we implemented a molecular-barcode-based immune repertoire sequencing assay that sensitively and accurately measures the isotype and clonal composition of the circulating B cell repertoire. We used this assay to measure the temporal response of the B cell repertoire to immunosuppression after heart transplantation. We selected a subset of 12 participants from a larger prospective cohort study (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01985412 that is ongoing at Stanford Medical Center and for which enrollment started in March 2010. This subset of 12 participants was selected to represent post-heart-transplant events, with and without acute rejection (six participants with moderate-to-severe rejection and six without. We analyzed 130 samples from these patients, with an average follow-up period of 15 mo. Immune repertoire sequencing enables the measurement of a patient's net state of immunosuppression (correlation with tacrolimus level, r = -0.867, 95% CI -0.968 to -0.523, p = 0.0014, as well as the diagnosis of acute allograft rejection, which is preceded by increased immune activity with a sensitivity of 71.4% (95% CI 30.3% to 94.9% and a specificity of 82.0% (95% CI 72.1% to 89.1% (cell-free donor-derived DNA as noninvasive gold standard. To illustrate the potential of immune repertoire sequencing to monitor atypical post-transplant trajectories, we analyzed two more patients, one with chronic infections and one with amyloidosis. A larger, prospective study will be needed to validate the power of immune repertoire sequencing to predict rejection events, as this proof-of-concept study is limited to a small number of patients who were selected based on several criteria including the

  17. Real-time modulation of visual feedback on human full-body movements in a virtual mirror: development and proof-of-concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosink, Meyke; Robitaille, Nicolas; McFadyen, Bradford J; Hébert, Luc J; Jackson, Philip L; Bouyer, Laurent J; Mercier, Catherine

    2015-01-05

    Virtual reality (VR) provides interactive multimodal sensory stimuli and biofeedback, and can be a powerful tool for physical and cognitive rehabilitation. However, existing systems have generally not implemented realistic full-body avatars and/or a scaling of visual movement feedback. We developed a "virtual mirror" that displays a realistic full-body avatar that responds to full-body movements in all movement planes in real-time, and that allows for the scaling of visual feedback on movements in real-time. The primary objective of this proof-of-concept study was to assess the ability of healthy subjects to detect scaled feedback on trunk flexion movements. The "virtual mirror" was developed by integrating motion capture, virtual reality and projection systems. A protocol was developed to provide both augmented and reduced feedback on trunk flexion movements while sitting and standing. The task required reliance on both visual and proprioceptive feedback. The ability to detect scaled feedback was assessed in healthy subjects (n = 10) using a two-alternative forced choice paradigm. Additionally, immersion in the VR environment and task adherence (flexion angles, velocity, and fluency) were assessed. The ability to detect scaled feedback could be modelled using a sigmoid curve with a high goodness of fit (R2 range 89-98%). The point of subjective equivalence was not significantly different from 0 (i.e. not shifted), indicating an unbiased perception. The just noticeable difference was 0.035 ± 0.007, indicating that subjects were able to discriminate different scaling levels consistently. VR immersion was reported to be good, despite some perceived delays between movements and VR projections. Movement kinematic analysis confirmed task adherence. The new "virtual mirror" extends existing VR systems for motor and pain rehabilitation by enabling the use of realistic full-body avatars and scaled feedback. Proof-of-concept was demonstrated for the assessment of

  18. Ustekinumab for patients with primary biliary cholangitis who have an inadequate response to ursodeoxycholic acid: A proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschfield, Gideon M; Gershwin, M Eric; Strauss, Richard; Mayo, Marlyn J; Levy, Cynthia; Zou, Bin; Johanns, Jewel; Nnane, Ivo P; Dasgupta, Bidisha; Li, Katherine; Selmi, Carlo; Marschall, Hanns-Ulrich; Jones, David; Lindor, Keith

    2016-07-01

    The interleukin (IL)-12 signaling cascade has been associated with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). This multicenter, open-label, proof-of-concept study evaluated the anti-IL12/23 monoclonal antibody, ustekinumab (90 mg subcutaneous at weeks 0 and 4, then every 8 weeks through week 20), in adults with PBC and an inadequate response to ursodeoxycholic acid therapy (i.e., alkaline phosphatase [ALP] >1.67× upper limit of normal [ULN] after ≥6 months). ALP response was defined as a >40% decrease from baseline and ALP remission as ALP normalization (if baseline ALP 1.67×-2.8× ULN) or 2.8× ULN). Changes in Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF) scores and serum bile acids were also assessed. At baseline, patients had median disease duration of 3.2 years, median ELF score of 9.8, and highly elevated total bile acid concentration (median, 43.3 μmol/L); 13 of 20 (65%) patients had baseline ALP >3× ULN. Although steady-state serum ustekinumab concentrations were reached by week 12, no patient achieved ALP response or remission. Median percent ALP reduction from baseline to week 28 was 12.1%. ELF score decreased slightly from baseline to week 28 (median reduction: 0.173), and total serum bile acid concentrations decreased from baseline to week 28 (median reduction: 8.8 μmol/L). No serious infections or discontinuations resulting from adverse events were reported through week 28. One patient had a serious upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage considered unrelated to test agent by the investigator. Open-label ustekinumab therapy, though associated with a modest decrease in ALP after 28 weeks of therapy, did not otherwise appreciably change ALP and overt proof-of-concept was not established as per prespecified primary endpoint of proposed efficacy. No new ustekinumab safety signals were observed. (Hepatology 2016;64:189-199). © 2015 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

  19. Methods of natural gas liquefaction and natural gas liquefaction plants utilizing multiple and varying gas streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilding, Bruce M; Turner, Terry D

    2014-12-02

    A method of natural gas liquefaction may include cooling a gaseous NG process stream to form a liquid NG process stream. The method may further include directing the first tail gas stream out of a plant at a first pressure and directing a second tail gas stream out of the plant at a second pressure. An additional method of natural gas liquefaction may include separating CO.sub.2 from a liquid NG process stream and processing the CO.sub.2 to provide a CO.sub.2 product stream. Another method of natural gas liquefaction may include combining a marginal gaseous NG process stream with a secondary substantially pure NG stream to provide an improved gaseous NG process stream. Additionally, a NG liquefaction plant may include a first tail gas outlet, and at least a second tail gas outlet, the at least a second tail gas outlet separate from the first tail gas outlet.

  20. Cell therapy in the treatment of bipolar mania in an animal model: a proof of concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruna M. Ascoli

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction The rationale of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs as a novel therapeutic approach in certain neurodegenerative diseases is based on their ability to promote neurogenesis. Hippocampal atrophy has been related to bipolar disorder (BD in preclinical, imaging and postmortem studies. Therefore, the development of new strategies to stimulate the neurogenesis process in BD is crucial. Objectives To investigate the behavioral and neurochemical changes induced by transplantation of MSCs in a model of mania-like behavior induced by lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX. Methods Wistar rats (n=65 received one oral daily dose of LDX (10 mg/kg or saline for 14 days. On the 8th day of treatment, the animals additionally received intrahippocampal saline or MSC (1 µL containing 25,000 cells or lithium (47.5 mg/kg as an internal experimental control. Two hours after the last administration, behavioral and neurochemical analyses were performed. Results LDX-treated rats had increased locomotor activity compared to saline-saline rats (p=0.004, and lithium reversed LDX-related hyperactive behavior (p0.05 in the hippocampus of rats. Conclusion Even though these results suggest that a single intrahippocampal injection of MSCs was not helpful to treat hyperactivity induced by LDX and neither influenced BDNF secretion, we cannot rule out the possible therapeutic effects of MSCs. Further research is required to determine direct effects of LDX on brain structures as well as in other pathophysiological targets related to BD.

  1. Methodology for Management of Information Security in Industrial Control Systems: A Proof of Concept aligned with Enterprise Objectives.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Bustamante

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This article is an extended version of the study presented at the IEEE Ecuador Technical Chapters Meeting (ETCM-2016. At that time, a methodological proposal was designed, implemented, and applied in a group of industrial plants for the management of the information security of the Industrial control systems (ICS. The present study displays an adaptation and improvement of such methodology with the purpose of aligning the proposal for the effective management of information security with the strategic objectives. The development of this study has been divided into three distinctive phases. Firstly, we induced the articulation of PMI-PMBOK v5 and ITIL v3 both for the management of the project and for the verification of risks in the IT services. Second, we applied a set of risk mitigation strategies based on international standards as NIST 800-82 and 800-30. Thirdly, we assembled the two mentioned phases in a Guide for standards-based instructions and security policies, which previously have been encouraged on NIST 800-82, 800-53 and 800-12. Hereby, we observed the reduction of incidents of information security, the correct delimitation of the functions of the direct responsible of the ICS and the improvement of the communication between the operative and technical areas of the involved companies. The results demonstrate the functionality of these improvements, especially in the context of the availability and integrity of information, which generates an added value to the enterprise.

  2. Gadoxetate disodium-induced tachypnoea and the effect of dilution method. A proof-of-concept study in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akai, Hiroyuki; Yasaka, Koichiro; Kunimatsu, Akira [University of Tokyo, Department of Radiology, Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo (Japan); Nojima, Masanori [University of Tokyo, Division of Advanced Medicine Promotion, The Advanced Clinical Research Centre, Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo (Japan); Inoue, Yusuke [Kitasato University School of Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Sagamihara, Kanagawa (Japan); Abe, Osamu [University of Tokyo, Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo (Japan); Ohtomo, Kuni [International University of Health and Welfare, Ohtawara, Tochigi (Japan); Kiryu, Shigeru [International University of Health and Welfare Hospital, Department of Radiology, Nasushiobara, Tochigi (Japan)

    2018-02-15

    To directly investigate the rapid respiratory effect of gadoxetate disodium in an experimental study using mice. After confirming the steady respiratory state under general anaesthesia, eight mice were injected with all test agents in the following order: phosphate-buffered saline (A, control group), 1.25 mmol/kg of gadoteridol (B) or gadopentetate dimeglumine (C), or 0.31 mmol/kg of gadoxetate disodium (D, E). The experimenter was not blinded to the agents. The injection dose was fixed as 100 μL for Groups A-D and 50 μL for Group E. We continuously monitored and recorded respiratory rate (RR), peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO{sub 2}), and heart rate. The time-series changes from 0 to 30 s were compared by the linear mixed method Groups D and E showed the largest RR increase (20.6 and 20.3 breaths/min, respectively) and were significantly larger compared to Group A (3.36 breaths/min, both P<0.001). RR change of Groups D and E did not differ. RR change of Groups B and C was smaller (0.72 and 12.4 breaths/min, respectively) and did not differ statistically with Group A. Significant bradycardia was observed only in Group C (P<0.001). SpO{sub 2} was constant in all groups. Gadoxetate disodium causes a rapid tachypnoea without significant change of SpO{sub 2} and heart rate regardless of the dilution method. (orig.)

  3. Continuous stroke volume estimation from aortic pressure using zero dimensional cardiovascular model: proof of concept study from porcine experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamoi, Shun; Pretty, Christopher; Docherty, Paul; Squire, Dougie; Revie, James; Chiew, Yeong Shiong; Desaive, Thomas; Shaw, Geoffrey M; Chase, J Geoffrey

    2014-01-01

    Accurate, continuous, left ventricular stroke volume (SV) measurements can convey large amounts of information about patient hemodynamic status and response to therapy. However, direct measurements are highly invasive in clinical practice, and current procedures for estimating SV require specialized devices and significant approximation. This study investigates the accuracy of a three element Windkessel model combined with an aortic pressure waveform to estimate SV. Aortic pressure is separated into two components capturing; 1) resistance and compliance, 2) characteristic impedance. This separation provides model-element relationships enabling SV to be estimated while requiring only one of the three element values to be known or estimated. Beat-to-beat SV estimation was performed using population-representative optimal values for each model element. This method was validated using measured SV data from porcine experiments (N = 3 female Pietrain pigs, 29-37 kg) in which both ventricular volume and aortic pressure waveforms were measured simultaneously. The median difference between measured SV from left ventricle (LV) output and estimated SV was 0.6 ml with a 90% range (5th-95th percentile) -12.4 ml-14.3 ml. During periods when changes in SV were induced, cross correlations in between estimated and measured SV were above R = 0.65 for all cases. The method presented demonstrates that the magnitude and trends of SV can be accurately estimated from pressure waveforms alone, without the need for identification of complex physiological metrics where strength of correlations may vary significantly from patient to patient.

  4. Mobile phone-based evaluation of latent tuberculosis infection: Proof of concept for an integrated image capture and analysis system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naraghi, Safa; Mutsvangwa, Tinashe; Goliath, René; Rangaka, Molebogeng X; Douglas, Tania S

    2018-05-08

    The tuberculin skin test is the most widely used method for detecting latent tuberculosis infection in adults and active tuberculosis in children. We present the development of a mobile-phone based screening tool for measuring the tuberculin skin test induration. The tool makes use of a mobile application developed on the Android platform to capture images of an induration, and photogrammetric reconstruction using Agisoft PhotoScan to reconstruct the induration in 3D, followed by 3D measurement of the induration with the aid of functions from the Python programming language. The system enables capture of images by the person being screened for latent tuberculosis infection. Measurement precision was tested using a 3D printed induration. Real-world use of the tool was simulated by application to a set of mock skin indurations, created by a make-up artist, and the performance of the tool was evaluated. The usability of the application was assessed with the aid of a questionnaire completed by participants. The tool was found to measure the 3D printed induration with greater precision than the current ruler and pen method, as indicated by the lower standard deviation produced (0.3 mm versus 1.1 mm in the literature). There was high correlation between manual and algorithm measurement of mock skin indurations. The height of the skin induration and the definition of its margins were found to influence the accuracy of 3D reconstruction and therefore the measurement error, under simulated real-world conditions. Based on assessment of the user experience in capturing images, a simplified user interface would benefit wide-spread implementation. The mobile application shows good agreement with direct measurement. It provides an alternative method for measuring tuberculin skin test indurations and may remove the need for an in-person follow-up visit after test administration, thus improving latent tuberculosis infection screening throughput. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

  5. Remote measurement of surface-water velocity using infrared videography and PIV: a proof-of-concept for Alaskan rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinzel, Paul J.; Legleiter, Carl; Nelson, Jonathan M.; Conaway, Jeffrey S.

    2017-01-01

    Thermal cameras with high sensitivity to medium and long wavelengths can resolve features at the surface of flowing water arising from turbulent mixing. Images acquired by these cameras can be processed with particle image velocimetry (PIV) to compute surface velocities based on the displacement of thermal features as they advect with the flow. We conducted a series of field measurements to test this methodology for remote sensing of surface velocities in rivers. We positioned an infrared video camera at multiple stations across bridges that spanned five rivers in Alaska. Simultaneous non-contact measurements of surface velocity were collected with a radar gun. In situ velocity profiles were collected with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP). Infrared image time series were collected at a frequency of 10Hz for a one-minute duration at a number of stations spaced across each bridge. Commercial PIV software used a cross-correlation algorithm to calculate pixel displacements between successive frames, which were then scaled to produce surface velocities. A blanking distance below the ADCP prevents a direct measurement of the surface velocity. However, we estimated surface velocity from the ADCP measurements using a program that normalizes each ADCP transect and combines those normalized transects to compute a mean measurement profile. The program can fit a power law to the profile and in so doing provides a velocity index, the ratio between the depth-averaged and surface velocity. For the rivers in this study, the velocity index ranged from 0.82 – 0.92. Average radar and extrapolated ADCP surface velocities were in good agreement with average infrared PIV calculations.

  6. A new scalar resonance at 750 GeV: towards a proof of concept in favor of strongly interacting theories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Son, Minho; Urbano, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    We interpret the recently observed excess in the diphoton invariant mass as a new spin-0 resonant particle. On theoretical grounds, an interesting question is whether this new scalar resonance belongs to a strongly coupled sector or a well-defined weakly coupled theory. A possible UV-completion that has been widely considered in literature is based on the existence of new vector-like fermions whose loop contributions — Yukawa-coupled to the new resonance — explain the observed signal rate. The large total width preliminarily suggested by data seems to favor a large Yukawa coupling, at the border of a healthy perturbative definition. This potential problem can be fixed by introducing multiple vector-like fermions or large electric charges, bringing back the theory to a weakly coupled regime. However, this solution risks to be only a low-energy mirage: large multiplicity or electric charge can dangerously reintroduce the strong regime by modifying the renormalization group running of the dimensionless couplings. This issue is also tightly related to the (in)stability of the scalar potential. First, we study — in the theoretical setup described above — the parametric behavior of the diphoton signal rate, total width, and one-loop β functions. Then, we numerically solve the renormalization group equations, taking into account the observed diphoton signal rate and total width, to investigate the fate of the weakly coupled theory. We find that — with the only exception of few fine-tuned directions — weakly coupled interpretations of the excess are brought back to a strongly coupled regime if the running is taken into account.

  7. A health record integrated clinical decision support system to support prescriptions of pharmaceutical drugs in patients with reduced renal function: design, development and proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shemeikka, Tero; Bastholm-Rahmner, Pia; Elinder, Carl-Gustaf; Vég, Anikó; Törnqvist, Elisabeth; Cornelius, Birgitta; Korkmaz, Seher

    2015-06-01

    To develop and verify proof of concept for a clinical decision support system (CDSS) to support prescriptions of pharmaceutical drugs in patients with reduced renal function, integrated in an electronic health record system (EHR) used in both hospitals and primary care. A pilot study in one geriatric clinic, one internal medicine admission ward and two outpatient healthcare centers was evaluated with a questionnaire focusing on the usefulness of the CDSS. The usage of the system was followed in a log. The CDSS is considered to increase the attention on patients with impaired renal function, provides a better understanding of dosing and is time saving. The calculated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the dosing recommendation classification were perceived useful while the recommendation texts and background had been used to a lesser extent. Few previous systems are used in primary care and cover this number of drugs. The global assessment of the CDSS scored high but some elements were used to a limited extent possibly due to accessibility or that texts were considered difficult to absorb. Choosing a formula for the calculation of eGFR in a CDSS may be problematic. A real-time CDSS to support kidney-related drug prescribing in both hospital and outpatient settings is valuable to the physicians. It has the potential to improve quality of drug prescribing by increasing the attention on patients with renal insufficiency and the knowledge of their drug dosing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Controlled Study of Gabapentin: Effects on Cannabis Use, Withdrawal and Executive Function Deficits in Cannabis-Dependent Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-01-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 50 unpaid treatment-seeking male and female outpatients, aged 18–65 years, diagnosed with current cannabis dependence. Subjects received either gabapentin (1200 mg/day) or matched placebo. Manual-guided, abstinence-oriented individual counseling was provided weekly to all participants. Cannabis use was measured by weekly urine toxicology and by self-report using the Timeline Followback Interview. Cannabis withdrawal symptoms were assessed using the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist. Executive function was measured using subtests from the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System. Relative to placebo, gabapentin significantly reduced cannabis use as measured both by urine toxicology (p=0.001) and by the Timeline Followback Interview (p=0.004), and significantly decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist (pbrain stress systems that are dysregulated in drug dependence and withdrawal. PMID:22373942

  9. The Application of Informatics in Delineating the Proof of Concept for Creating Knowledge of the Value Added by Interprofessional Practice and Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Cerra

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The resurgence of interest in the promise of interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP to positively impact health outcomes, requires the collection of appropriate data that can be analyzed and from which information and knowledge linking IPECP interventions to improved health outcomes might be produced and reported to stakeholders such as health systems, policy makers and regulators, payers, and accreditation agencies. To generate such knowledge the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota has developed three strategies, the first two of which are: (1 creating an IPECP research agenda, and (2 a national Nexus Innovation Network (NIN of intervention projects that are generating data that are being input and housed in a National Center Data Repository (NCDR. In this paper, the informatics platform supporting the work of these first two strategies is presented as the third interconnected strategy for knowledge generation. The proof of concept for the informatics strategy is developed in this paper by describing: data input from the NIN into the NCDR, the linking and merging of those data to produce analyzable data files that incorporate institutional and individual level data, and the production of meaningful analyses to create and provide relevant information and knowledge. This paper is organized around the concepts of data, information and knowledge—the three conceptual foundations of informatics.

  10. Novel Biochar-Plant Tandem Approach for Remediating Hexachlorobenzene Contaminated Soils: Proof-of-Concept and New Insight into the Rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yang; Li, Yang; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Fang; Bian, Yongrong; Boughner, Lisa A; Jiang, Xin

    2016-07-13

    Volatilization of semi/volatile persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from soils is a major source of global POPs emission. This proof-of-concept study investigated a novel biochar-plant tandem approach to effectively immobilize and then degrade POPs in soils using hexachlorobenzene (HCB) as a model POP and ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) as a model plant growing in soils amended with wheat straw biochar. HCB dissipation was significantly enhanced in the rhizosphere and near rhizosphere soils, with the greatest dissipation in the 2 mm near rhizosphere. This enhanced HCB dissipation likely resulted from (i) increased bioavailability of immobilized HCB and (ii) enhanced microbial activities, both of which were induced by ryegrass root exudates. As a major component of ryegrass root exudates, oxalic acid suppressed HCB sorption to biochar and stimulated HCB desorption from biochar and biochar-amended soils, thus increasing the bioavailability of HCB. High-throughput sequencing results revealed that the 2 mm near rhizosphere soil showed the lowest bacterial diversity due to the increased abundance of some genera (e.g., Azohydromonas, Pseudomonas, Fluviicola, and Sporocytophaga). These bacteria were likely responsible for the enhanced degradation of HCB as their abundance was exponentially correlated with HCB dissipation. The results from this study suggest that the biochar-plant tandem approach could be an effective strategy for remediating soils contaminated with semi/volatile organic contaminants.

  11. Are reflective models appropriate for very short scales? Proofs of concept of formative models using the Ten-Item Personality Inventory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myszkowski, Nils; Storme, Martin; Tavani, Jean-Louis

    2018-04-27

    Because of their length and objective of broad content coverage, very short scales can show limited internal consistency and structural validity. We argue that it is because their objectives may be better aligned with formative investigations than with reflective measurement methods that capitalize on content overlap. As proofs of concept of formative investigations of short scales, we investigate the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). In Study 1, we administered the TIPI and the Big Five Inventory (BFI) to 938 adults, and fitted a formative Multiple Indicator Multiple Causes model, which consisted of the TIPI items forming 5 latent variables, which in turn predicted the 5 BFI scores. These results were replicated in Study 2, on a sample of 759 adults, with, this time, the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) as the external criterion. The models fit the data adequately, and moderate to strong significant effects (.37<|β|<.69, all p<.001) of all 5 latent formative variables on their corresponding BFI and NEOPI-R scores were observed. This study presents a formative approach that we propose to be more consistent with the aims of scales with broad content and short length like the TIPI. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Targeted adsorption of molecules in the colon with the novel adsorbent-based medicinal product, DAV132: A proof of concept study in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gunzburg, Jean; Ducher, Annie; Modess, Christiane; Wegner, Danilo; Oswald, Stefan; Dressman, Jennifer; Augustin, Violaine; Feger, Céline; Andremont, Antoine; Weitschies, Werner; Siegmund, Werner

    2015-01-01

    During antibiotic treatments, active residuals reaching the colon profoundly affect the bacterial flora resulting in the emergence of resistance. To prevent these effects, we developed an enteric-coated formulated activated-charcoal based product, DAV132, meant to deliver its adsorbent to the ileum and neutralize antibiotic residues in the proximal colon. In a randomized, control, crossover study, the plasma pharmacokinetics of the probe drugs amoxicillin (500 mg) absorbed in the proximal intestine, and sulfapyridine (25 mg) metabolized from sulfasalazine in the cecum and rapidly absorbed, were compared after a single administration in 18 healthy subjects who had received DAV132, uncoated formulated activated charcoal (FAC) or water 16 and 8 hours before, concomitantly with the probe drugs, and 8 hours thereafter. The AUC0-96 h of amoxicillin was reduced by more than 70% when it was taken with FAC, but bioequivalent when it was taken with water or DAV132. By contrast, the AUC0-96 h of sulfapyridine was reduced by more than 90% when administered with either FAC or DAV132 in comparison with water. The results show that DAV132 can selectively adsorb drug compounds in the proximal colon, without interfering with drug absorption in the proximal small intestine, thereby constituting a proof of concept that DAV132 actually functions in humans. © 2014, The American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

  13. Proof of concept Laplacian estimate derived for noninvasive tripolar concentric ring electrode with incorporated radius of the central disc and the widths of the concentric rings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makeyev, Oleksandr; Lee, Colin; Besio, Walter G

    2017-07-01

    Tripolar concentric ring electrodes are showing great promise in a range of applications including braincomputer interface and seizure onset detection due to their superiority to conventional disc electrodes, in particular, in accuracy of surface Laplacian estimation. Recently, we proposed a general approach to estimation of the Laplacian for an (n + 1)-polar electrode with n rings using the (4n + 1)-point method for n ≥ 2 that allows cancellation of all the truncation terms up to the order of 2n. This approach has been used to introduce novel multipolar and variable inter-ring distances concentric ring electrode configurations verified using finite element method. The obtained results suggest their potential to improve Laplacian estimation compared to currently used constant interring distances tripolar concentric ring electrodes. One of the main limitations of the proposed (4n + 1)-point method is that the radius of the central disc and the widths of the concentric rings are not included and therefore cannot be optimized. This study incorporates these two parameters by representing the central disc and both concentric rings as clusters of points with specific radius and widths respectively as opposed to the currently used single point and concentric circles. A proof of concept Laplacian estimate is derived for a tripolar concentric ring electrode with non-negligible radius of the central disc and non-negligible widths of the concentric rings clearly demonstrating how both of these parameters can be incorporated into the (4n + 1)-point method.

  14. Inducing Hepatitis C Virus Resistance After Pig Liver Transplantation-A Proof of Concept of Liver Graft Modification Using Warm Ex Vivo Perfusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldaracena, N; Spetzler, V N; Echeverri, J; Kaths, J M; Cherepanov, V; Persson, R; Hodges, M R; Janssen, H L A; Selzner, N; Grant, D R; Feld, J J; Selzner, M

    2017-04-01

    Normothermic ex vivo liver perfusion (NEVLP) offers the potential to optimize graft function prior to liver transplantation (LT). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is dependent on the presence of miRNA(microRNA)-122. Miravirsen, a locked-nucleic acid oligonucleotide, sequesters miR-122 and inhibits HCV replication. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of delivering miravirsen during NEVLP to inhibit miR-122 function in a pig LT model. Pig livers were treated with miravirsen during NEVLP or cold storage (CS). Miravirsen absorption, miR-122 sequestration, and miR-122 target gene derepression were determined before and after LT. The effect of miravirsen treatment on HCV infection of hepatoma cells was also assessed. NEVLP improved miravirsen uptake versus CS. Significant miR-122 sequestration and miR-122 target gene derepression were seen with NEVLP but not with CS. In vitro data confirmed miravirsen suppression of HCV replication after established infection and prevented HCV infection with pretreatment of cells, analogous to the pretreatment of grafts in the transplant setting. In conclusion, miravirsen delivery during NEVLP is a potential strategy to prevent HCV reinfection after LT. This is the first large-animal study to provide "proof of concept" for using NEVLP to modify and optimize liver grafts for transplantation. © 2016 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

  15. First Human Use of a Radiopharmaceutical Prepared by Continuous-Flow Microfluidic Radiofluorination: Proof of Concept with the Tau Imaging Agent [18F]T807

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven H. Liang

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite extensive preclinical imaging with radiotracers developed by continuous-flow microfluidics, a positron emission tomographic (PET radiopharmaceutical has not been reported for human imaging studies by this technology. The goal of this study was to validate the synthesis of the tau radiopharmaceutical 7-(6-fluoropyridin-3-yl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole ([18F]T807 and perform first-in-human PET scanning enabled by microfluidic flow chemistry. [18F]T807 was synthesized by our modified one-step method and adapted to suit a commercial microfluidic flow chemistry module. For this proof of concept, the flow system was integrated to a GE Tracerlab FXFN unit for high-performance liquid chromatography purification and formulation. Three consecutive productions of [18F]T807 were conducted to validate this radiopharmaceutical. Uncorrected radiochemical yields of 17 ± 1% of crude [18F]T807 (≈ 500 mCi, radiochemical purity 95% were obtained from the microfluidic device. The crude material was then purified, and > 100 mCi of the final product was obtained in an overall uncorrected radiochemical yield of 5 ± 1% (n = 3, relative to starting [18F]fluoride (end of bombardment, with high radiochemical purity (≥ 99% and high specific activities (6 Ci/μmol in 100 minutes. A clinical research study was carried out with [18F]T807, representing the first reported human imaging study with a radiopharmaceutical prepared by this technology.

  16. Activity Monitoring and Heart Rate Variability as Indicators of Fall Risk: Proof-of-Concept for Application of Wearable Sensors in the Acute Care Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razjouyan, Javad; Grewal, Gurtej Singh; Rishel, Cindy; Parthasarathy, Sairam; Mohler, Jane; Najafi, Bijan

    2017-07-01

    Growing concern for falls in acute care settings could be addressed with objective evaluation of fall risk. The current proof-of-concept study evaluated the feasibility of using a chest-worn sensor during hospitalization to determine fall risk. Physical activity and heart rate variability (HRV) of 31 volunteers admitted to a 29-bed adult inpatient unit were recorded using a single chest-worn sensor. Sensor data during the first 24-hour recording were analyzed. Participants were stratified using the Hendrich II fall risk assessment into high and low fall risk groups. Univariate analysis revealed age, daytime activity, nighttime side lying posture, and HRV were significantly different between groups. Results suggest feasibility of wearable technology to consciously monitor physical activity, sleep postures, and HRV as potential markers of fall risk in the acute care setting. Further study is warranted to confirm the results and examine the efficacy of the proposed wearable technology to manage falls in hospitals. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 43(7), 53-62.]. Copyright 2017, SLACK Incorporated.

  17. Clinical proof-of-concept trial to assess the therapeutic effect of sirolimus in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease: SUISSE ADPKD study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wüthrich Rudolf P

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Currently there is no effective treatment available to retard cyst growth and to prevent the progression to end-stage renal failure in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD. Evidence has recently been obtained from animal experiments that activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling pathway plays a crucial role in cyst growth and renal volume expansion, and that the inhibition of mTOR with rapamycin (sirolimus markedly slows cyst development and renal functional deterioration. Based on these promising results in animals we have designed and initiated the first randomized controlled trial (RCT to examine the effectiveness, safety and tolerability of sirolimus to retard disease progression in ADPKD. Method/design This single center, randomised controlled, open label trial assesses the therapeutic effect, safety and tolerability of the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus (Rapamune® in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and preserved renal function. The primary outcome will be the inhibition of kidney volume growth measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI volumetry. Secondary outcome parameters will be preservation of renal function, safety and tolerability of sirolimus. Discussion The results from this proof-of-concept RCT will for the first time show whether treatment with sirolimus effectively retards cyst growth in patients with ADPKD. Trial registration NCT00346918

  18. Proof of concept of a workflow methodology for the creation of basic canine head anatomy veterinary education tool using augmented reality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roxie Christ

    Full Text Available Neuroanatomy can be challenging to both teach and learn within the undergraduate veterinary medicine and surgery curriculum. Traditional techniques have been used for many years, but there has now been a progression to move towards alternative digital models and interactive 3D models to engage the learner. However, digital innovations in the curriculum have typically involved the medical curriculum rather than the veterinary curriculum. Therefore, we aimed to create a simple workflow methodology to highlight the simplicity there is in creating a mobile augmented reality application of basic canine head anatomy. Using canine CT and MRI scans and widely available software programs, we demonstrate how to create an interactive model of head anatomy. This was applied to augmented reality for a popular Android mobile device to demonstrate the user-friendly interface. Here we present the processes, challenges and resolutions for the creation of a highly accurate, data based anatomical model that could potentially be used in the veterinary curriculum. This proof of concept study provides an excellent framework for the creation of augmented reality training products for veterinary education. The lack of similar resources within this field provides the ideal platform to extend this into other areas of veterinary education and beyond.

  19. Proof of concept of a workflow methodology for the creation of basic canine head anatomy veterinary education tool using augmented reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christ, Roxie; Guevar, Julien; Poyade, Matthieu; Rea, Paul M

    2018-01-01

    Neuroanatomy can be challenging to both teach and learn within the undergraduate veterinary medicine and surgery curriculum. Traditional techniques have been used for many years, but there has now been a progression to move towards alternative digital models and interactive 3D models to engage the learner. However, digital innovations in the curriculum have typically involved the medical curriculum rather than the veterinary curriculum. Therefore, we aimed to create a simple workflow methodology to highlight the simplicity there is in creating a mobile augmented reality application of basic canine head anatomy. Using canine CT and MRI scans and widely available software programs, we demonstrate how to create an interactive model of head anatomy. This was applied to augmented reality for a popular Android mobile device to demonstrate the user-friendly interface. Here we present the processes, challenges and resolutions for the creation of a highly accurate, data based anatomical model that could potentially be used in the veterinary curriculum. This proof of concept study provides an excellent framework for the creation of augmented reality training products for veterinary education. The lack of similar resources within this field provides the ideal platform to extend this into other areas of veterinary education and beyond.

  20. Promoting the inclusion of Afghan women and men in research: reflections from research and community partners involved in implementing a 'proof of concept' project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Elisha; Yelland, Jane; Szwarc, Josef; Casey, Sue; Chesters, Donna; Duell-Piening, Philippa; Wahidi, Sayed; Fouladi, Fatema; Brown, Stephanie

    2015-01-31

    With mounting evidence that poor maternal and child health outcomes are related to the social determinants of health, researchers need to engage with vulnerable and isolated communities to gather the evidence that is essential to determine appropriate solutions. Conventional research methods may not ensure the degree and quality of participation that is necessary for meaningful study findings. Participatory methods provide reciprocal opportunities for often excluded communities to both take part in, and guide the conduct of research. The Having a baby in a new country research project was undertaken to provide evidence about how women and men of refugee background experience health services at the time of having a baby. This two year, multifaceted proof of concept study comprised: 1) an organisational partnership to oversee the project; 2) a community engagement framework including: female and male Afghan community researchers, community and sector stakeholder advisory groups and community consultation and engagement. Inclusive research strategies that address power imbalances in research, and diversity of and within communities, are necessary to obtain the evidence required to address health inequalities in vulnerable populations. Such an approach involves mindfully adapting research processes to ensure that studies have regard for the advice of community members about the issues that affect them. Researchers have much to gain by committing time and resources to engaging communities in reciprocal ways in research processes.

  1. Proof of Concept Coded Aperture Miniature Mass Spectrometer Using a Cycloidal Sector Mass Analyzer, a Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Field Emission Electron Ionization Source, and an Array Detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsden, Jason J.; Herr, Philip J.; Landry, David M. W.; Kim, William; Vyas, Raul; Parker, Charles B.; Kirley, Matthew P.; Keil, Adam D.; Gilchrist, Kristin H.; Radauscher, Erich J.; Hall, Stephen D.; Carlson, James B.; Baldasaro, Nicholas; Stokes, David; Di Dona, Shane T.; Russell, Zachary E.; Grego, Sonia; Edwards, Steven J.; Sperline, Roger P.; Denton, M. Bonner; Stoner, Brian R.; Gehm, Michael E.; Glass, Jeffrey T.

    2018-02-01

    Despite many potential applications, miniature mass spectrometers have had limited adoption in the field due to the tradeoff between throughput and resolution that limits their performance relative to laboratory instruments. Recently, a solution to this tradeoff has been demonstrated by using spatially coded apertures in magnetic sector mass spectrometers, enabling throughput and signal-to-background improvements of greater than an order of magnitude with no loss of resolution. This paper describes a proof of concept demonstration of a cycloidal coded aperture miniature mass spectrometer (C-CAMMS) demonstrating use of spatially coded apertures in a cycloidal sector mass analyzer for the first time. C-CAMMS also incorporates a miniature carbon nanotube (CNT) field emission electron ionization source and a capacitive transimpedance amplifier (CTIA) ion array detector. Results confirm the cycloidal mass analyzer's compatibility with aperture coding. A >10× increase in throughput was achieved without loss of resolution compared with a single slit instrument. Several areas where additional improvement can be realized are identified.

  2. The Use of Screen-Printed Electrodes in a Proof of Concept Electrochemical Estimation of Homocysteine and Glutathione in the Presence of Cysteine Using Catechol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia T. Lee

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Screen printed electrodes were employed in a proof of concept determination of homocysteine and glutathione using electrochemically oxidized catechol via a 1,4-Michael addition reaction in the absence and presence of cysteine, and each other. Using cyclic voltammetry, the Michael reaction introduces a new adduct peak which is analytically useful in detecting thiols. The proposed procedure relies on the different rates of reaction of glutathione and homocysteine with oxidized catechol so that at fast voltage scan rates only homocysteine is detected in cyclic voltammetry. At slower scan rates, both glutathione and homocysteine are detected. The combination of the two sets of data provides quantification for homocysteine and glutathione. The presence of cysteine is shown not to interfere provided sufficient high concentrations of catechol are used. Calibration curves were determined for each homocysteine and glutathione detection; where the sensitivities are 0.019 µA·µM−1 and 0.0019 µA·µM−1 and limit of detections are ca. 1.2 µM and 0.11 µM for homocysteine and glutathione, respectively, within the linear range. This work presents results with potential and beneficial use in re-useable and/or disposable point-of-use sensors for biological and medical applications.

  3. Proof-of-Concept Testing of the Passive Cooling System (T-CLIP™) for Solar Thermal Applications at an Elevated Temperature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Seung Jun [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Applied Engineering and Technology; Quintana, Donald L. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Applied Engineering and Technology; Vigil, Gabrielle M. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Applied Engineering and Technology; Perraglio, Martin Juan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Applied Engineering and Technology; Farley, Cory Wayne [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Applied Engineering and Technology; Tafoya, Jose I. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Applied Engineering and Technology; Martinez, Adam L. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Applied Engineering and Technology

    2015-11-30

    The Applied Engineering and Technology-1 group (AET-1) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) conducted the proof-of-concept tests of SolarSPOT LLC’s solar thermal Temperature- Clipper, or T-CLIP™ under controlled thermal conditions using a thermal conditioning unit (TCU) and a custom made environmental chamber. The passive T-CLIP™ is a plumbing apparatus that attaches to a solar thermal collector to limit working fluid temperature and to prevent overheating, since overheating may lead to various accident scenarios. The goal of the current research was to evaluate the ability of the T-CLIP™ to control the working fluid temperature by using its passive cooling mechanism (i.e. thermosiphon, or natural circulation) in a small-scale solar thermal system. The assembled environmental chamber that is thermally controlled with the TCU allows one to simulate the various possible weather conditions, which the solar system will encounter. The performance of the T-CLIP™ was tested at two different target temperatures: 1) room temperature (70 °F) and 2) an elevated temperature (130 °F). The current test campaign demonstrated that the T-CLIP™ was able to prevent overheating by thermosiphon induced cooling in a small-scale solar thermal system. This is an important safety feature in situations where the pump is turned off due to malfunction or power outages.

  4. The Application of Informatics in Delineating the Proof of Concept for Creating Knowledge of the Value Added by Interprofessional Practice and Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerra, Frank; Pacala, James; Brandt, Barbara F; Lutfiyya, May Nawal

    2015-11-12

    The resurgence of interest in the promise of interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP) to positively impact health outcomes, requires the collection of appropriate data that can be analyzed and from which information and knowledge linking IPECP interventions to improved health outcomes might be produced and reported to stakeholders such as health systems, policy makers and regulators, payers, and accreditation agencies. To generate such knowledge the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota has developed three strategies, the first two of which are: (1) creating an IPECP research agenda, and (2) a national Nexus Innovation Network (NIN) of intervention projects that are generating data that are being input and housed in a National Center Data Repository (NCDR). In this paper, the informatics platform supporting the work of these first two strategies is presented as the third interconnected strategy for knowledge generation. The proof of concept for the informatics strategy is developed in this paper by describing: data input from the NIN into the NCDR, the linking and merging of those data to produce analyzable data files that incorporate institutional and individual level data, and the production of meaningful analyses to create and provide relevant information and knowledge. This paper is organized around the concepts of data, information and knowledge-the three conceptual foundations of informatics.

  5. Persistent Luminescence Nanophosphor Involved Near-Infrared Optical Bioimaging for Investigation of Foodborne Probiotics Biodistribution in Vivo: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaoyao; Liu, Jing-Min; Zhang, Dongdong; Ge, Kun; Wang, Peihua; Liu, Huilin; Fang, Guozhen; Wang, Shuo

    2017-09-20

    Probiotics has attracted great attention in food nutrition and safety research field, but thus far there are limited analytical techniques for visualized and real-time monitoring of the probiotics when they are ingested in vivo. Herein, the optical bioimaging technique has been introduced for investigation of foodborne probiotics biodistribution in vivo, employing the near-infrared (NIR) emitting persistent luminescence nanophosphors (PLNPs) of Cr 3+ -doped zinc gallogermanate (ZGGO) as the contrast nanoprobes. The ultrabrightness, super long afterglow, polydispersed size, low toxicity, and excellent photostability and biocompatibility of PLNPs were demonstrated to be qualified as a tracer for labeling probiotics via antibody (anti-Gram positive bacteria LTA antibody) recognition as well as contrast agent for long-term bioimaging the probiotics. In vivo optical bioimaging assay showed that the LTA antibody functionalized ZGGO nanoprobes that could be efficiently tagged to the probiobics were successfully applied for real-time monitoring and nondamaged probing of the biodistribution of probiotics inside the living body after oral administration. This work presents a proof-of-concept that exploited the bioimaging methodology for real-time and nondamaged researching the foodborne probiotics behaviors in vivo, which would open up a novel way of food safety detection and nutrition investigation.

  6. Proof of concept for the simplified breakdown of cellulose by combining Pseudomonas putida strains with surface displayed thermophilic endocellulase, exocellulase and β-glucosidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozakidis, Iasson E P; Brossette, Tatjana; Lenz, Florian; Maas, Ruth M; Jose, Joachim

    2016-06-10

    The production and employment of cellulases still represents an economic bottleneck in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels and other biocommodities. This process could be simplified by displaying the necessary enzymes on a microbial cell surface. Such an approach, however, requires an appropriate host organism which on the one hand can withstand the rough environment coming along with lignocellulose hydrolysis, and on the other hand does not consume the generated glucose so that it remains available for subsequent fermentation steps. The robust soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida showed a strongly reduced uptake of glucose above a temperature of 50 °C, while remaining structurally intact hence recyclable, which makes it suitable for cellulose hydrolysis at elevated temperatures. Consequently, three complementary, thermophilic cellulases from Ruminiclostridium thermocellum were displayed on the surface of the bacterium. All three enzymes retained their activity on the cell surface. A mixture of three strains displaying each one of these enzymes was able to synergistically hydrolyze filter paper at 55 °C, producing 20 μg glucose per mL cell suspension in 24 h. We could establish Pseudomonas putida as host for the surface display of cellulases, and provided proof-of-concept for a fast and simple cellulose breakdown process at elevated temperatures. This study opens up new perspectives for the application of P. putida in the production of biofuels and other biotechnological products.

  7. Improving late life depression and cognitive control through the use of therapeutic video game technology: A proof-of-concept randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguera, Joaquin A; Gunning, Faith M; Areán, Patricia A

    2017-06-01

    Existing treatments for depression are known to have only modest effects, are insufficiently targeted, and are inconsistently utilized, particularly in older adults. Indeed, older adults with impaired cognitive control networks tend to demonstrate poor response to a majority of existing depression interventions. Cognitive control interventions delivered using entertainment software have the potential to not only target the underlying cerebral dysfunction associated with depression, but to do so in a manner that is engaging and engenders adherence to treatment protocol. In this proof-of-concept trial (Clinicaltrials.gov #: NCT02229188), individuals with late life depression (LLD) (22; 60+ years old) were randomized to either problem solving therapy (PST, n = 10) or a neurobiologically inspired digital platform designed to enhance cognitive control faculties (Project: EVO™, n = 12). Given the overlapping functional neuroanatomy of mood disturbances and executive dysfunction, we explored the impact of an intervention targeting cognitive control abilities, functional disability, and mood in older adults suffering from LLD, and how those outcomes compare to a therapeutic gold standard. EVO participants demonstrated similar improvements in mood and self-reported function after 4 weeks of treatment to PST participants. The EVO participants also showed generalization to untrained measures of working memory and attention, as well as negativity bias, a finding not evident in the PST condition. Individuals assigned to EVO demonstrated 100% adherence. This study provides preliminary findings that this therapeutic video game targeting cognitive control deficits may be an efficacious LLD intervention. Future research is needed to confirm these findings. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Understanding Social Situations (USS): A proof-of-concept social-cognitive intervention targeting theory of mind and attributional bias in individuals with psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiszdon, Joanna M; Roberts, David L; Penn, David L; Choi, Kee-Hong; Tek, Cenk; Choi, Jimmy; Bell, Morris D

    2017-03-01

    In this proof-of-concept trial, we examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of Understanding Social Situations (USS), a new social-cognitive intervention that targets higher level social-cognitive skills using methods common to neurocognitive remediation, including drill and practice and hierarchically structured training, which may compensate for the negative effects of cognitive impairment on learning. Thirty-eight individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders completed the same baseline assessment of cognitive and social-cognitive functioning twice over a 1-month period to minimize later practice effects, then received 7-10 sessions of USS training, and then completed the same assessment again at posttreatment. USS training was well tolerated and received high treatment satisfaction ratings. Large improvements on the USS Skills Test, which contained items similar to but not identical to training stimuli, suggest that we were effective in teaching specific training content. Content gains generalized to improvements on some of the social-cognitive tasks, including select measures of attributional bias and theory of mind. Importantly, baseline neurocognition did not impact the amount of learning during USS (as indexed by the USS Skills Test) or the amount of improvement on social-cognitive measures. USS shows promise as a treatment for higher level social-cognitive skills. Given the lack of relationship between baseline cognition and treatment effects, it may be particularly appropriate for individuals with lower range cognitive function. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Analyzing a steady-state phenomenon using an ensemble of sequential transient events: A proof of concept on photocurrent of bacteriorhodopsin upon continuous photoexcitation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hung, Chang-Wei; Chu, Li-Kang, E-mail: lkchu@mx.nthu.edu.tw [Department of Chemistry, National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kuang-Fu Rd., Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan (China); Ho, Ching-Hwa [Interdisplinary Program of Science, National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kuang-Fu Rd., Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan (China)

    2014-10-14

    The proton pump activity of bacteriorhodopsin in aqueous solution upon excitation with modulated continuous light was monitored electrochemically and analyzed by superimposing a series of transient proton translocation events Hᵢ⁺(t). An evolution function f(t)=(he{sup –lt}+k)/(h+k) , including a decay and a stationary offset, was introduced to weight the contribution of the individual transient events evolving with time in the envelope of the steady-state event. The evolution of the total proton concentration can be treated as an ensemble of weighted sequential transient events, H{sub total}⁺(t)=Σ{{sub i=0}sup n}Hᵢ⁺(t)∙f(t), and the temporal profile of the photocurrent is derived by differentiating the proton concentration with respect to time, (table) . The temporal profiles of the bacteriorhodopsin photocurrent in pH range of 6.3–8.1 were analyzed using a well-defined kinetics model and restricted mathematical formulization, and fitted temporal behaviors agreed with the observations. This successful proof-of-concept study on analyzing a steady-state phenomenon using an ensemble of sequential transient events can be generalized to quantify other phenomena upon continuous stimulation, such as estimation of the light-driven ion pump activities of the photosynthetic proteins upon illumination.

  10. A proof-of-concept randomized controlled study of gabapentin: effects on cannabis use, withdrawal and executive function deficits in cannabis-dependent adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-06-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 50 unpaid treatment-seeking male and female outpatients, aged 18-65 years, diagnosed with current cannabis dependence. Subjects received either gabapentin (1200 mg/day) or matched placebo. Manual-guided, abstinence-oriented individual counseling was provided weekly to all participants. Cannabis use was measured by weekly urine toxicology and by self-report using the Timeline Followback Interview. Cannabis withdrawal symptoms were assessed using the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist. Executive function was measured using subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. Relative to placebo, gabapentin significantly reduced cannabis use as measured both by urine toxicology (p=0.001) and by the Timeline Followback Interview (p=0.004), and significantly decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist (pcannabis dependence that merits further study, and provides an alternative conceptual framework for treatment of addiction aimed at restoring homeostasis in brain stress systems that are dysregulated in drug dependence and withdrawal.

  11. Design and Proof-of-Concept Use of a Circular PMMA Platform with 16-Well Sample Capacity for Microwave-Accelerated Bioassays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, Muzaffer; Aslan, Kadir

    2013-01-01

    We demonstrate the design and the proof-of-concept use of a new, circular poly(methyl methacrylate)-based bioassay platform (PMMA platform), which affords for the rapid processing of 16 samples at once. The circular PMMA platform (5 cm in diameter) was coated with a silver nanoparticle film to accelerate the bioassay steps by microwave heating. A model colorimetric bioassay for biotinylated albumin (using streptavidin-labeled horse radish peroxidase) was performed on the PMMA platform coated with and without silver nanoparticles (a control experiment), and at room temperature and using microwave heating. It was shown that the simulated temperature profile of the PMMA platform during microwave heating were comparable to the real-time temperature profile during actual microwave heating of the constructed PMMA platform in a commercial microwave oven. The model colorimetric bioassay for biotinylated albumin was successfully completed in ~2 min (total assay time) using microwave heating, as compared to 90 min at room temperature (total assay time), which indicates a ~45-fold decrease in assay time. Our PMMA platform design afforded for significant reduction in non-specific interactions and low background signal as compared to non-silvered PMMA surfaces when employed in a microwave-accelerated bioassay carried out in a conventional microwave cavity.

  12. The Hopper: A Wearable Robotic Device Testbed for Micro-Gravity Bone-Loading Proof-of-Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, C. E.; Rovekamp, R. N.; Neuhaus, P. D.

    2015-01-01

    Wearable robotic systems are showing increased potential for addressing crew countermeasures needs. Wearable robots offer a compactness, programmability, and eccentric loading capability not present in more conventional exercise equipment. Correspondingly, advancements in the man to machine interface has progressed, allowing for higher loads to be applied directly to the person in new and novel ways. Recently, the X1 exoskeleton, a lower extremity wearable robot originally designed for mobility assistance and rehabilitation, underwent human subject testing to assess its potential as a knee dynamometer. This was of interest to NASA physiologists because currently strength is not assessed in flight due to hardware limitations, and thus there is a poor understanding of the time course of in-flight changes to muscle strength. The study concluded that the X1 compared well with the Biodex, the "gold standard" in terrestrial dynamometry, with coefficients of variation less than 6.0%. In a following study, the X1 powered ankle was evaluated for its efficacy in exercising calf muscles. Current on-orbit countermeasures equipment does not adequately protect the calf from atrophy. The results of this study were also positive (targeted muscle activity demonstrated via comparing pre- and post-exercise magnetic resonance imaging T2 measurements), again showing the efficacy of wearable robotic devices for addressing the countermeasure needs of our astronauts. Based on these successes and lessons learned, the Grasshopper was co-developed between IHMC (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition) and NASA. The Grasshopper, or the Hopper for short, is a wearable robotic device designed to address muscle and bone density loss for astronauts spending extended periods of time in micro-gravity. The Grasshopper connects to the user's torso like a hiking backpack, over the shoulders and around the waist. At the feet are footplates that strap to the user. There are two actuators, one

  13. Detection and characterisation of deep-sea benthopelagic animals from an autonomous underwater vehicle with a multibeam echosounder: A proof of concept and description of data-processing methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Katherine M.; Jarvis, Toby; Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Waluk, Chad M.; Caress, David W.; Thomas, Hans; Smith, Kenneth L.

    2018-04-01

    Benthopelagic animals are an important component of the deep-sea ecosystem, yet are notoriously difficult to study. Multibeam echosounders (MBES) deployed on autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) represent a promising technology for monitoring this elusive fauna at relatively high spatial and temporal resolution. However, application of this remote-sensing technology to the study of small (relative to the sampling resolution), dispersed and mobile animals at depth does not come without significant challenges with respect to data collection, data processing and vessel avoidance. As a proof of concept, we used data from a downward-looking RESON SeaBat 7125 MBES mounted on a Dorado-class AUV to detect and characterise the location and movement of backscattering targets (which were likely to have been individual fish or squid) within 50 m of the seafloor at 800 m depth in Monterey Bay, California. The targets were detected and tracked, enabling their numerical density and movement to be characterised. The results revealed a consistent movement of targets downwards away from the AUV that we interpreted as an avoidance response. The large volume and complexity of the data presented a computational challenge, while reverberation and noise, spatial confounding and a marginal sampling resolution relative to the size of the targets caused difficulties for reliable and comprehensive target detection and tracking. Nevertheless, the results demonstrate that an AUV-mounted MBES has the potential to provide unique and detailed information on the in situ abundance, distribution, size and behaviour of both individual and aggregated deep-sea benthopelagic animals. We provide detailed data-processing information for those interested in working with MBES water-column data, and a critical appraisal of the data in the context of aquatic ecosystem research. We consider future directions for deep-sea water-column echosounding, and reinforce the importance of measures to mitigate vessel

  14. Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toor, Saqib; Rosendahl, Lasse; Rudolf, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews the hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass with the aim of describing the current status of the technology. Hydrothermal liquefaction is a medium-temperature, high-pressure thermochemical process, which produces a liquid product, often called bio-oil or bi-crude. During...... the hydrothermal liquefaction process, the macromolecules of the biomass are first hydrolyzed and/or degraded into smaller molecules. Many of the produced molecules are unstable and reactive and can recombine into larger ones. During this process, a substantial part of the oxygen in the biomass is removed...... by dehydration or decarboxylation. The chemical properties of bio-oil are highly dependent of the biomass substrate composition. Biomass constitutes of various components such as protein; carbohydrates, lignin and fat, and each of them produce distinct spectra of compounds during hydrothermal liquefaction...

  15. First patients treated with a 1.5 T MRI-Linac: clinical proof of concept of a high-precision, high-field MRI guided radiotherapy treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raaymakers, B. W.; Jürgenliemk-Schulz, I. M.; Bol, G. H.; Glitzner, M.; Kotte, A. N. T. J.; van Asselen, B.; de Boer, J. C. J.; Bluemink, J. J.; Hackett, S. L.; Moerland, M. A.; Woodings, S. J.; Wolthaus, J. W. H.; van Zijp, H. M.; Philippens, M. E. P.; Tijssen, R.; Kok, J. G. M.; de Groot-van Breugel, E. N.; Kiekebosch, I.; Meijers, L. T. C.; Nomden, C. N.; Sikkes, G. G.; Doornaert, P. A. H.; Eppinga, W. S. C.; Kasperts, N.; Kerkmeijer, L. G. W.; Tersteeg, J. H. A.; Brown, K. J.; Pais, B.; Woodhead, P.; Lagendijk, J. J. W.

    2017-12-01

    The integration of 1.5 T MRI functionality with a radiotherapy linear accelerator (linac) has been pursued since 1999 by the UMC Utrecht in close collaboration with Elekta and Philips. The idea behind this integrated device is to offer unrivalled, online and real-time, soft-tissue visualization of the tumour and the surroundings for more precise radiation delivery. The proof of concept of this device was given in 2009 by demonstrating simultaneous irradiation and MR imaging on phantoms, since then the device has been further developed and commercialized by Elekta. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the clinical feasibility of online, high-precision, high-field MRI guidance of radiotherapy using the first clinical prototype MRI-Linac. Four patients with lumbar spine bone metastases were treated with a 3 or 5 beam step-and-shoot IMRT plan. The IMRT plan was created while the patient was on the treatment table and based on the online 1.5 T MR images; pre-treatment CT was deformably registered to the online MRI to obtain Hounsfield values. Bone metastases were chosen as the first site as these tumors can be clearly visualized on MRI and the surrounding spine bone can be detected on the integrated portal imager. This way the portal images served as an independent verification of the MRI based guidance to quantify the geometric precision of radiation delivery. Dosimetric accuracy was assessed post-treatment from phantom measurements with an ionization chamber and film. Absolute doses were found to be highly accurate, with deviations ranging from 0.0% to 1.7% in the isocenter. The geometrical, MRI based targeting as confirmed using portal images was better than 0.5 mm, ranging from 0.2 mm to 0.4 mm. In conclusion, high precision, high-field, 1.5 T MRI guided radiotherapy is clinically feasible.

  16. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled proof of concept study to evaluate samidorphan in the prevention of olanzapine-induced weight gain in healthy volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Bernard L; Martin, William; Memisoglu, Asli; DiPetrillo, Lauren; Correll, Christoph U; Kane, John M

    2017-11-17

    Antipsychotic medications are associated with weight gain and adverse metabolic effects that complicate the treatment and management of schizophrenia. Olanzapine (OLZ) in particular is associated with significant weight gain and adverse metabolic effects. The present Phase 1, proof of concept, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the safety and effect on weight of a combination of OLZ (10mg) and the opioid modulator samidorphan (SAM; 5mg) in comparison to OLZ alone in healthy, male normal weight volunteers. Altogether, 106 male subjects with stable body weight and BMI 18-25kg/m 2 were randomized to OLZ alone, OLZ+SAM, SAM alone, or placebo in a 2:2:1:1 ratio. The primary efficacy endpoint, mean (SD) body weight change from baseline to last assessment in the 3-week treatment period, was significantly less for OLZ+SAM vs. OLZ alone subjects [+2.2 (1.4) kg vs. +3.1 (1.9) kg; respectively; p=0.02]. In contrast, there was no significant difference in weight from baseline for either SAM or placebo [+0.1 (1.0) kg and +0.8 (1.4) kg, respectively]; p=0.09. Overall, OLZ+SAM compared to OLZ alone had similar safety and tolerability. In addition, less nausea was observed in subjects given OLZ+SAM compared to SAM alone. Thus, OLZ+SAM may offer effective treatment of schizophrenia with less weight gain and metabolic risk. Additional research exploring additional doses over longer durations in psychiatric populations is warranted. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Synergistic Cytotoxicity from Drugs and Cytokines In Vitro as an Approach to Classify Drugs According to Their Potential to Cause Idiosyncratic Hepatotoxicity: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiuri, Ashley R; Wassink, Bronlyn; Turkus, Jonathan D; Breier, Anna B; Lansdell, Theresa; Kaur, Gurpreet; Hession, Sarah L; Ganey, Patricia E; Roth, Robert A

    2017-09-01

    Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (IDILI) typically occurs in a small fraction of patients and has resulted in removal of otherwise efficacious drugs from the market. Current preclinical testing methods are ineffective in predicting which drug candidates have IDILI liability. Recent results suggest that immune mediators such as tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF) and interferon- γ (IFN) interact with drugs that cause IDILI to kill hepatocytes. This proof-of-concept study was designed to test the hypothesis that drugs can be classified according to their ability to cause IDILI in humans using classification modeling with covariates derived from concentration-response relationships that describe cytotoxic interaction with cytokines. Human hepatoma (HepG2) cells were treated with drugs associated with IDILI or with drugs lacking IDILI liability and cotreated with TNF and/or IFN. Detailed concentration-response relationships were determined for calculation of parameters such as the maximal cytotoxic effect, slope, and EC 50 for use as covariates for classification modeling using logistic regression. These parameters were incorporated into multiple classification models to identify combinations of covariates that most accurately classified the drugs according to their association with human IDILI. Of 14 drugs associated with IDILI, almost all synergized with TNF to kill HepG2 cells and were successfully classified by statistical modeling. IFN enhanced the toxicity mediated by some IDILI-associated drugs in the presence of TNF. In contrast, of 10 drugs with little or no IDILI liability, none synergized with inflammatory cytokines to kill HepG2 cells and were classified accordingly. The resulting optimal model classified the drugs with extraordinary selectivity and specificity. Copyright © 2017 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  18. Pulmonary hyperpolarized (129) Xe morphometry for mapping xenon gas concentrations and alveolar oxygen partial pressure: Proof-of-concept demonstration in healthy and COPD subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouriadov, A; Farag, A; Kirby, M; McCormack, D G; Parraga, G; Santyr, G E

    2015-12-01

    Diffusion-weighted (DW) hyperpolarized (129) Xe morphometry magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to map regional differences in lung tissue micro-structure. We aimed to generate absolute xenon concentration ([Xe]) and alveolar oxygen partial pressure (pA O2 ) maps by extracting the unrestricted diffusion coefficient (D0 ) of xenon as a morphometric parameter. In this proof-of-concept demonstration, morphometry was performed using multi b-value (0, 12, 20, 30 s/cm(2) ) DW hyperpolarized (129) Xe images obtained in four never-smokers and four COPD ex-smokers. Morphometric parameters and D0 maps were computed and the latter used to generate [Xe] and pA O2 maps. Xenon concentration phantoms estimating a range of values mimicking those observed in vivo were also investigated. Xenon D0 was significantly increased (P = 0.035) in COPD (0.14 ± 0.03 cm(2) /s) compared with never-smokers (0.12 ± 0.02 cm(2) /s). COPD ex-smokers also had significantly decreased [Xe] (COPD = 8 ± 7% versus never-smokers = 13 ± 8%, P = 0.012) and increased pA O2 (COPD = 18 ± 3% versus never-smokers = 15 ± 3%, P = 0.009) compared with never-smokers. Phantom measurements showed the expected dependence of D0 on [Xe] over the range of concentrations anticipated in vivo. DW hyperpolarized (129) Xe MRI morphometry can be used to simultaneously map [Xe] and pA O2 in addition to providing micro-structural biomarkers of emphysematous destruction in COPD. Phantom measurements of D0 ([Xe]) supported the hypotheses that differences in subjects may reflect differences in functional residual capacity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Hybrid Assistive Limb Exoskeleton HAL in the Rehabilitation of Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: Proof of Concept; the Results in 21 Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Oliver; Grasmuecke, Dennis; Meindl, Renate C; Tegenthoff, Martin; Schwenkreis, Peter; Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Wessling, Martin; Schildhauer, Thomas A; Fisahn, Christian; Aach, Mirko

    2018-02-01

    The use of mobile exoskeletons is becoming more and more common in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation. The hybrid assistive limb (HAL) exoskeleton provides a tailored support depending on the patient's voluntary drive. After a pilot study in 2014 that included 8 patients with chronic SCI, this study of 21 patients with chronic SCI serves as a proof of concept. It was conducted to provide further evidence regarding the efficacy of exoskeletal-based rehabilitation. Functional assessment included walking speed, distance, and time on a treadmill, with additional analysis of functional mobility using the following tests: 10-meter walk test (10MWT), timed up and go (TUG) test, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), and the walking index for SCI II (WISCI-II) score. After a training period of 90 days, all 21 patients significantly improved their functional and ambulatory mobility without the exoskeleton. Patients were assessed by the 6MWT, the TUG test, and the 10MWT, which also indicated an increase in the WISCI-II score along with significant improvements in HAL-associated walking speed, distance, and time. Although, exoskeletons are not yet an established treatment in the rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries, the devices will play a more important role in the future. The HAL exoskeleton training enables effective, body weight-supported treadmill training and is capable of improving ambulatory mobility. Future controlled studies are required to enable a comparison of the new advances in the field of SCI rehabilitation with traditional over-ground training. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Oxygen Mapping within Healthy and Acutely Infarcted Brain Tissue in Humans Using the NMR Relaxation of Lipids: A Proof-Of-Concept Translational Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colliez, Florence; Safronova, Marta M; Magat, Julie; Joudiou, Nicolas; Peeters, André P; Jordan, Bénédicte F; Gallez, Bernard; Duprez, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    The clinical applicability of brain oxygenation mapping using the MOBILE (Mapping of Oxygen By Imaging Lipids relaxation Enhancement) magnetic resonance (MR) technique was assessed in the clinical setting of normal brain and of acute cerebral ischemia as a founding proof-of-concept translational study. Changes in the oxygenation level within healthy brain tissue can be detected by analyzing the spin-lattice proton relaxation ('Global T1' combining water and lipid protons) because of the paramagnetic properties of molecular oxygen. It was hypothesized that selective measurement of the relaxation of the lipid protons ('Lipids T1') would result in enhanced sensitivity of pO2 mapping because of higher solubility of oxygen in lipids than in water, and this was demonstrated in pre-clinical models using the MOBILE technique. In the present study, 12 healthy volunteers and eight patients with acute (48-72 hours) brain infarction were examined with the same clinical 3T MR system. Both Lipids R1 (R1 = 1/T1) and Global R1 were significantly different in the infarcted area and the contralateral unaffected brain tissue, with a higher statistical significance for Lipids R1 (median difference: 0.408 s-1; pbrain tissue of stroke patients were not significantly different from the R1 values calculated in the brain tissue of healthy volunteers. The main limitations of the present prototypic version of the MOBILE sequence are the long acquisition time (4 min), hampering robustness of data in uncooperative patients, and a 2 mm slice thickness precluding accurate measurements in small infarcts because of partial volume averaging effects.

  1. First-in-Human PET/CT Imaging of Metastatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms with Cyclotron-Produced 44Sc-DOTATOC: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Aviral; van der Meulen, Nicholas P; Müller, Cristina; Klette, Ingo; Kulkarni, Harshad R; Türler, Andreas; Schibli, Roger; Baum, Richard P

    2017-05-01

    44 Sc is a promising positron emission tomography (PET) radionuclide (T 1/2  = 4.04 hours, E β+average  = 632 keV) and can be made available, using a cyclotron production route, in substantial quantities as a highly pure product. Herein, the authors report on a first-in-human PET/CT study using 44 Sc-DOTATOC prepared with cyclotron-produced 44 Sc. The production of 44 Sc was carried out through the 44 Ca(p,n) 44 Sc nuclear reaction at Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland. After separation, 44 Sc was shipped to Zentralklinik Bad Berka, Germany, where radiolabeling was performed, yielding radiochemically pure 44 Sc-DOTATOC. Two patients, currently followed up after peptide receptor radionuclide therapy of metastatic neuroendocrine neoplasms, participated in this proof-of-concept study. Blood sampling was performed before and after application of 44 Sc-DOTATOC. PET/CT acquisitions, performed at different time points after injection of 44 Sc-DOTATOC, allowed detection of even very small lesions on delayed scans. No clinical adverse effects were observed and the laboratory hematological, renal, and hepatic profiles remained unchanged. In this study, cyclotron-produced 44 Sc was used in the clinic for the first time. It is attractive for theranostic application with 177 Lu, 90 Y, or 47 Sc as therapeutic counterparts. 44 Sc-based radiopharmaceuticals will be of particular value for PET facilities without radiopharmacy, to which they can be shipped from a centralized production site.

  2. Y-90 SPECT ML image reconstruction with a new model for tissue-dependent bremsstrahlung production using CT information: a proof-of-concept study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Hongki; Fessler, Jeffrey A.; Wilderman, Scott J.; Brooks, Allen F.; Dewaraja, Yuni K.

    2018-06-01

    While the yield of positrons used in Y-90 PET is independent of tissue media, Y-90 SPECT imaging is complicated by the tissue dependence of bremsstrahlung photon generation. The probability of bremsstrahlung production is proportional to the square of the atomic number of the medium. Hence, the same amount of activity in different tissue regions of the body will produce different numbers of bremsstrahlung photons. Existing reconstruction methods disregard this tissue-dependency, potentially impacting both qualitative and quantitative imaging of heterogeneous regions of the body such as bone with marrow cavities. In this proof-of-concept study, we propose a new maximum-likelihood method that incorporates bremsstrahlung generation probabilities into the system matrix, enabling images of the desired Y-90 distribution to be reconstructed instead of the ‘bremsstrahlung distribution’ that is obtained with existing methods. The tissue-dependent probabilities are generated by Monte Carlo simulation while bone volume fractions for each SPECT voxel are obtained from co-registered CT. First, we demonstrate the tissue dependency in a SPECT/CT imaging experiment with Y-90 in bone equivalent solution and water. Visually, the proposed reconstruction approach better matched the true image and the Y-90 PET image than the standard bremsstrahlung reconstruction approach. An XCAT phantom simulation including bone and marrow regions also demonstrated better agreement with the true image using the proposed reconstruction method. Quantitatively, compared with the standard reconstruction, the new method improved estimation of the liquid bone:water activity concentration ratio by 40% in the SPECT measurement and the cortical bone:marrow activity concentration ratio by 58% in the XCAT simulation.

  3. A Novel Automated Slide-Based Technology for Visualization, Counting, and Characterization of the Formed Elements of Blood: A Proof of Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelman, James W; Tanasijevic, Milenko J; Zahniser, David J

    2017-08-01

    - A novel automated slide-based approach to the complete blood count and white blood cell differential count is introduced. - To present proof of concept for an image-based approach to complete blood count, based on a new slide preparation technique. A preliminary data comparison with the current flow-based technology is shown. - A prototype instrument uses a proprietary method and technology to deposit a precise volume of undiluted peripheral whole blood in a monolayer onto a glass microscope slide so that every cell can be distinguished, counted, and imaged. The slide is stained, and then multispectral image analysis is used to measure the complete blood count parameters. Images from a 600-cell white blood cell differential count, as well as 5000 red blood cells and a variable number of platelets, that are present in 600 high-power fields are made available for a technologist to view on a computer screen. An initial comparison of the basic complete blood count parameters was performed, comparing 1857 specimens on both the new instrument and a flow-based hematology analyzer. - Excellent correlations were obtained between the prototype instrument and a flow-based system. The primary parameters of white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet counts resulted in correlation coefficients (r) of 0.99, 0.99, and 0.98, respectively. Other indices included hemoglobin (r = 0.99), hematocrit (r = 0.99), mean cellular volume (r = 0.90), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (r = 0.97), and mean platelet volume (r = 0.87). For the automated white blood cell differential counts, r values were calculated for neutrophils (r = 0.98), lymphocytes (r = 0.97), monocytes (r = 0.76), eosinophils (r = 0.96), and basophils (r = 0.63). - Quantitative results for components of the complete blood count and automated white blood cell differential count can be developed by image analysis of a monolayer preparation of a known volume of peripheral blood.

  4. Breath-print analysis by e-nose for classifying and monitoring chronic liver disease: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vincentis, Antonio; Pennazza, Giorgio; Santonico, Marco; Vespasiani-Gentilucci, Umberto; Galati, Giovanni; Gallo, Paolo; Vernile, Chiara; Pedone, Claudio; Antonelli Incalzi, Raffaele; Picardi, Antonio

    2016-05-05

    Since the liver plays a key metabolic role, volatile organic compounds in the exhaled breath might change with type and severity of chronic liver disease (CLD). In this study we analysed breath-prints (BPs) of 65 patients with liver cirrhosis (LC), 39 with non-cirrhotic CLD (NC-CLD) and 56 healthy controls by the e-nose. Distinctive BPs characterized LC, NC-CLD and healthy controls, and, among LC patients, the different Child-Pugh classes (sensitivity 86.2% and specificity 98.2% for CLD vs healthy controls, and 87.5% and 69.2% for LC vs NC-CLD). Moreover, the area under the BP profile, derived from radar-plot representation of BPs, showed an area under the ROC curve of 0.84 (95% CI 0.76-0.91) for CLD, of 0.76 (95% CI 0.66-0.85) for LC, and of 0.70 (95% CI 0.55-0.81) for decompensated LC. By applying the cut-off values of 862 and 812, LC and decompensated LC could be predicted with high accuracy (PPV 96.6% and 88.5%, respectively). These results are proof-of-concept that the e-nose could be a valid non-invasive instrument for characterizing CLD and monitoring hepatic function over time. The observed classificatory properties might be further improved by refining stage-specific breath-prints and considering the impact of comorbidities in a larger series of patients.

  5. Noninvasive Differentiation between Hepatic Steatosis and Steatohepatitis with MR Imaging Enhanced with USPIOs in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smits, Loek P; Coolen, Bram F; Panno, Maria D; Runge, Jurgen H; Nijhof, Wouter H; Verheij, Joanne; Nieuwdorp, Max; Stoker, Jaap; Beuers, Ulrich H; Nederveen, Aart J; Stroes, Erik S

    2016-03-01

    To (a) study the optimal timing and dosing for ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide particle (USPIO)-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the liver in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, (b) evaluate whether hepatic USPIO uptake is decreased in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and (c) study the diagnostic accuracy of USPIO-enhanced MR imaging to distinguish between NASH and simple steatosis. This prospective study was approved by the local institutional review board, and informed consent was obtained from all patients. Quantitative R2* MR imaging of the liver was performed at baseline and 72 hours after USPIO administration in patients with biopsy-proven NASH (n = 13), hepatic steatosis without NASH (n = 11), and healthy control subjects (n = 9). The hepatic USPIO uptake in the liver was quantified by the difference in R2* (ΔR2*) between the contrast material-enhanced images and baseline images. Between-group differences in mean ΔR2* were tested with the Student t test, and diagnostic accuracy was tested by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Patients with NASH had a significantly lower ΔR2* 72 hours after USPIO administration when compared with patients who had simple steatosis and healthy control subjects (mean ± standard deviation for patients with NASH, 37.0 sec(-1) ± 16.1; patients with simple steatosis, 61.0 sec(-1) ± 17.3; and healthy control subjects, 72.2 sec(-1) ± 22.0; P = .006 for NASH vs simple steatosis; P steatosis was 0.87 (95% confidence interval: 0.72, 1.00). This proof-of-concept study provides clues that hepatic USPIO uptake in patients with NASH is decreased and that USPIO MR imaging can be used to differentiate NASH from simple steatosis.

  6. Skin conductance biofeedback training in adults with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy and stress-triggered seizures: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micoulaud-Franchi, Jean-Arthur; Kotwas, Iliana; Lanteaume, Laura; Berthet, Christelle; Bastien, Mireille; Vion-Dury, Jean; McGonigal, Aileen; Bartolomei, Fabrice

    2014-12-01

    The present proof-of-concept study investigated the feasibility of skin conductance biofeedback training in reducing seizures in adults with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), whose seizures are triggered by stress. Skin conductance biofeedback aims to increase levels of peripheral sympathetic arousal in order to reduce cortical excitability. This might seem somewhat counterintuitive, since such autonomic arousal may also be associated with increased stress and anxiety. Thus, this sought to verify that patients with TLE and stress-triggered seizures are not worsened in terms of stress, anxiety, and negative emotional response to this nonpharmacological treatment. Eleven patients with drug-resistant TLE with seizures triggered by stress were treated with 12 sessions of biofeedback. Patients did not worsen on cognitive evaluation of attentional biases towards negative emotional stimuli (P>.05) or on psychometric evaluation with state anxiety inventory (P = .059); in addition, a significant improvement was found in the Negative Affect Schedule (P = .014) and in the Beck Depression Inventory (P = .009). Biofeedback training significantly reduced seizure frequency with a mean reduction of -48.61% (SD = 27.79) (P = .005). There was a correlation between the mean change in skin conductance activity over the biofeedback treatment and the reduction of seizure frequency (r(11) = .62, P = .042). Thus, the skin conductance biofeedback used in the present study, which teaches patients to achieve an increased level of peripheral sympathetic arousal, was a well-tolerated nonpharmacological treatment. Further, well-controlled studies are needed to confirm the therapeutic value of this nonpharmacological treatment in reducing seizures in adults with drug-resistant TLE with seizures triggered by stress. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The problem of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole in cork planks studied by attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy: proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Ana R; Lopes, Luís F; Brito de Barros, Ricardo; Ilharco, Laura M

    2015-01-14

    Attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR) proved to be a promising detection technique for 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), which confers organoleptic defects to bottled alcoholic beverages, allowing the proposal of a criterion for cork plank acceptance when meant for stopper production. By analysis of a significant number of samples, it was proved that the presence of TCA, even in very low concentrations, imparts subtle changes to the cork spectra, namely, the growth of two new bands at ∼1417 (νC═C of TCA ring) and 1314 cm–1 (a shifted νCC of TCA) and an increase in the relative intensities of the bands at ∼1039 cm–1 (δCO of polysaccharides) and ∼813 cm–1 (τCH of suberin), the latter by overlapping with intense bands of TCA. These relative intensities were evaluated in comparison to a fingerprint of suberin (νasC–O–C), at 1161 cm–1. On the basis of those spectral variables, a multivariate statistics linear analysis (LDA) was performed to obtain a discriminant function that allows classifying the samples according to whether they contain or not TCA. The methodology proposed consists of a demanding acceptance criterion for cork planks destined for stopper production (with the guarantee of nonexistence of TCA) that results from combining the quantitative results with the absence of the two TCA correlated bands. ATR infrared spectroscopy is a nondestructive and easy to apply technique, both on cork planks and on stoppers, and has proven more restrictive than other techniques used in the cork industry that analyze the cleaning solutions. At the level of proof of concept, the method here proposed is appealing for high-value stopper applications.

  8. Low-Level Tragus Stimulation for the Treatment of Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury in Patients With ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lilei; Huang, Bing; Po, Sunny S; Tan, Tuantuan; Wang, Menglong; Zhou, Liping; Meng, Guannan; Yuan, Shenxu; Zhou, Xiaoya; Li, Xuefei; Wang, Zhuo; Wang, Songyun; Jiang, Hong

    2017-08-14

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether low-level tragus stimulation (LL-TS) treatment could reduce myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The authors' previous studies suggested that LL-TS could reduce the size of myocardial injury induced by ischemia. Patients who presented with STEMI within 12 h of symptom onset, treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention, were randomized to the LL-TS group (n = 47) or the control group (with sham stimulation [n = 48]). LL-TS, 50% lower than the electric current that slowed the sinus rate, was delivered to the right tragus once the patients arrived in the catheterization room and lasted for 2 h after balloon dilatation (reperfusion). All patients were followed for 7 days. The occurrence of reperfusion-related arrhythmia, blood levels of creatine kinase-MB, myoglobin, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and inflammatory markers, and echocardiographic characteristics were evaluated. The incidence of reperfusion-related ventricular arrhythmia during the first 24 h was significantly attenuated by LL-TS. In addition, the area under the curve for creatine kinase-MB and myoglobin over 72 h was smaller in the LL-TS group than the control group. Furthermore, blood levels of inflammatory markers were decreased by LL-TS. Cardiac function, as demonstrated by the level of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, the left ventricular ejection fraction, and the wall motion index, was markedly improved by LL-TS. LL-TS reduces myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in patients with STEMI. This proof-of-concept study raises the possibility that this noninvasive strategy may be used to treat patients with STEMI undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. A single-arm trial indirect comparison investigation: a proof-of-concept method to predict venous leg ulcer healing time for a new acellular synthetic matrix matched to standard care control

    OpenAIRE

    Shannon, R; Nelson, A

    2017-01-01

    To compare data on time to healing from two separate cohorts: one treated with a new acellular synthetic matrix plus standard care (SC) and one matched from four large UK pragmatic, randomised controlled trials [venous leg ulcer (VLU) evidence network]. We introduce a new proof-of-concept strategy to a VLU clinical evidence network, propensity score matching and sensitivity analysis to predict the feasibility of the new acellular synthetic matrix plus SC for success in future randomised, cont...

  10. Cooperative research in coal liquefaction. Final report, May 1, 1990-- April 30, 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huffman, G.P. [ed.

    1992-02-15

    The Consortium for Fossil Fuel Liquefaction Science (CFFLS) is currently engaged in a three year contract with the US Department of Energy investigating a range of research topics dealing with direct coal liquefaction. This report summarizes the results of this program in its second year, from May 1, 1990 to April 30, 1991. Accomplishments for this period are presented for the following tasks: Iron-based catalysts for coal liquefaction, exploratory research on coal conversion, novel coal liquefaction concepts, and novel catalysts for coal liquefaction.

  11. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial of creatine monohydrate as adjunctive treatment for bipolar depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toniolo, Ricardo Alexandre; Silva, Michelle; Fernandes, Francy de Brito Ferreira; Amaral, José Antonio de Mello Siqueira; Dias, Rodrigo da Silva; Lafer, Beny

    2018-02-01

    Depressive episodes are a major cause of morbidity and dysfunction in individuals suffering from bipolar disorder. Currently available treatments for this condition have limited efficacy and new therapeutic options are needed. Extensive research in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder points to the existence of mitochondrial and bioenergetic dysfunction. We hypothesized that creatine monohydrate, a nutraceutical that works as a mitochondrial modulator, would be effective as an adjunctive therapy for bipolar depression. We conducted a double-blind trial in which 35 patients with bipolar disorder type I or II in a depressive episode by DSM-IV criteria and in use of regular medication for the treatment of this phase of the disease were randomly allocated into two adjunctive treatment groups for 6 weeks: creatine monohydrate 6 g daily (N = 17) or placebo (N = 18). Primary efficacy was assessed by the change in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). We did not find a statistically significant difference in the comparison between groups for the change in score on the MADRS after 6 weeks in an intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis (p = 0.560; Cohen's d = 0.231). However, we found significant superiority of creatine add-on vs. placebo when we considered the remission criterion of a MADRS score ≤ 12 at week 6 analyzing the outcome of the 35 randomized patients on ITT (52.9% remission in the creatine group vs. 11.1% remission in the placebo group) and of the 23 completers (66.7% remission in the creatine group vs. 18.2% remission in the placebo group) (p = 0.012; OR = 9.0 and p = 0.036; OR = 9.0, respectively). Two patients who received creatine switched to hypomania/mania early in the trial. No clinically relevant physical side-effects were reported or observed. This proof-of-concept study, aiming to restore brain bioenergetics using an adjunctive mitochondrial modulator, is not conclusive on the efficacy of creatine add-on for bipolar

  12. Carbohydrate restricted diet in conjunction with metformin and liraglutide is an effective treatment in patients with deteriorated type 2 diabetes mellitus: Proof-of-concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Müller Jürgen E

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic progressive disease. During the course of the disease intensive treatment is often necessary resulting in multiple interventions including administration of insulin. Although dietary intervention is highly recommended, the clinical results of the widely prescribed diets with low fat content and high carbohydrates are disappointing. In this proof-of-concept study, we tested the effect of dietary carbohydrate-restriction in conjunction with metformin and liraglutide on metabolic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods Forty patients with type 2 diabetes already being treated with two oral anti-diabetic drugs or insulin treatment and who showed deterioration of their glucose metabolism (i.e. HbA1c >7.5, were treated. A carbohydrate-restricted diet and a combination of metformin and liraglutide were instituted, after stopping either insulin or oral anti-diabetic drugs (excluding metformin. After enrollment, the study patients were scheduled for follow-up visits at one, two, three and six months. Primary outcome was glycemic control, measured by HbA1c at six months. Secondary outcomes were body weight, lipid-profile and treatment satisfaction. Results Thirty-five (88% participants completed the study. Nearly all participating patients experienced a drop in HbA1c and body weight during the first three months, an effect which was maintained until the end of the study at six months. Seventy-one percent of the patients reached HbA1c values below 7.0%. The range of body weight at enrollment was extreme, reaching 165 kg as the highest initial value. The average weight loss after 6 months was 10%. Most patients were satisfied with this treatment. During the intervention no significant change of lipids was observed. Most patients who were on insulin could maintain the treatment without insulin with far better metabolic control. Conclusions Carbohydrate restriction in conjunction with

  13. Design considerations and analysis planning of a phase 2a proof of concept study in rheumatoid arthritis in the presence of possible non-monotonicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Liu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is important to quantify the dose response for a drug in phase 2a clinical trials so the optimal doses can then be selected for subsequent late phase trials. In a phase 2a clinical trial of new lead drug being developed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA, a U-shaped dose response curve was observed. In the light of this result further research was undertaken to design an efficient phase 2a proof of concept (PoC trial for a follow-on compound using the lessons learnt from the lead compound. Methods The planned analysis for the Phase 2a trial for GSK123456 was a Bayesian Emax model which assumes the dose-response relationship follows a monotonic sigmoid “S” shaped curve. This model was found to be suboptimal to model the U-shaped dose response observed in the data from this trial and alternatives approaches were needed to be considered for the next compound for which a Normal dynamic linear model (NDLM is proposed. This paper compares the statistical properties of the Bayesian Emax model and NDLM model and both models are evaluated using simulation in the context of adaptive Phase 2a PoC design under a variety of assumed dose response curves: linear, Emax model, U-shaped model, and flat response. Results It is shown that the NDLM method is flexible and can handle a wide variety of dose-responses, including monotonic and non-monotonic relationships. In comparison to the NDLM model the Emax model excelled with higher probability of selecting ED90 and smaller average sample size, when the true dose response followed Emax like curve. In addition, the type I error, probability of incorrectly concluding a drug may work when it does not, is inflated with the Bayesian NDLM model in all scenarios which would represent a development risk to pharmaceutical company. The bias, which is the difference between the estimated effect from the Emax and NDLM models and the simulated value, is comparable if the true dose response

  14. Point-of-care genetic testing for personalisation of antiplatelet treatment (RAPID GENE): a prospective, randomised, proof-of-concept trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Jason D; Wells, George A; Le May, Michel R; Labinaz, Marino; Glover, Chris; Froeschl, Michael; Dick, Alexander; Marquis, Jean-Francois; O'Brien, Edward; Goncalves, Sandro; Druce, Irena; Stewart, Alexandre; Gollob, Michael H; So, Derek Y F

    2012-05-05

    Prospective assessment of pharmacogenetic strategies has been limited by an inability to undertake bedside genetic testing. The CYP2C19*2 allele is a common genetic variant associated with increased rates of major adverse events in individuals given clopidogrel after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). We used a novel point-of-care genetic test to identify carriers of the CYP2C19*2 allele and aimed to assess a pharmacogenetic approach to dual antiplatelet treatment after PCI. Between Aug 26, 2010, and July 7, 2011, 200 patients were enrolled into our prospective, randomised, proof-of-concept study. Patients undergoing PCI for acute coronary syndrome or stable angina were randomly assigned to rapid point-of-care genotyping or to standard treatment. Individuals in the rapid genotyping group were screened for the CYP2C19*2 allele. Carriers were given 10 mg prasugrel daily, and non-carriers and patients in the standard treatment group were given 75 mg clopidogrel daily. The primary endpoint was the proportion of CYP2C19*2 carriers with high on-treatment platelet reactivity (P2Y12 reactivity unit [PRU] value of more than 234) after 1 week of dual antiplatelet treatment, which is a marker associated with increased adverse cardiovascular events. Interventional cardiologists and data analysts were masked to genetic status and treatment. Patients were not masked to treatment allocation. All analyses were by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01184300. After randomisation, 187 patients completed follow-up (91 rapid genotyping group, 96 standard treatment). 23 individuals in each group carried at least one CYP2C19*2 allele. None of the 23 carriers in the rapid genotyping group had a PRU value of more than 234 at day 7, compared with seven (30%) given standard treatment (p=0·0092). The point-of-care genetic test had a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI 92·3-100) and a specificity of 99·3% (96·3-100). Point-of-care genetic testing after

  15. Advancing the citizen scientist's contributions to documenting and understanding natural hazards: a proof of concept for linking crowdsourced and remotely sensed data on landslide hazards in El Salvador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, E. R.; Griffin, R.; Markert, K. N.

    2017-12-01

    Scientists, practitioners, policymakers, and citizen groups, share a role in ensuring "that all sectors have access to, understand and can use scientific information for better informed decision-making" (Sendai Framework 2015-2030). When it comes to understanding hazards and exposure, inventories on disaster events are often limited. Thus, there are many opportunities for citizen scientists to engage in improving the collective understanding—and ultimately reduction—of disaster risk. Landslides are very difficult to forecast on spatial and temporal scales meaningful for early warning and evacuation. Heuristic hazard mapping methods are very common in regional hazard zonation and rely on expert knowledge of previous events and local conditions, but they often lack a temporal component. As new data analysis packages are becoming more open and accessible, probabilistic approaches that consider high resolution spatial and temporal dimensions are becoming more common, but this is only possible when rich inventories of landslide events exist. The work presented offers a proof of concept on incorporating crowd-sourced data to improve landslide hazard model performance. Starting with a national inventory of 90 catalogued landslides in El Salvador for a study period of 1998 to 2011, we simulate the addition of over 600 additional crowd-sourced landslide events that would have been identified through human interpretation of high resolution imagery in the Google Earth time slider feature. There is a noticeable improvement in performance statistics between static heuristic hazard models and probabilistic models that incorporate the events identified by the "crowd." Such a dynamic incorporation of crowd-sourced data on hazard events is not so far-fetched. Given the engagement of "local observers" in El Salvador who augment in situ hydro-meteorological measurements, the growing access to Earth observation data to the lay person, and immense interest behind connecting citizen

  16. Design considerations and analysis planning of a phase 2a proof of concept study in rheumatoid arthritis in the presence of possible non-monotonicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Feng; Walters, Stephen J; Julious, Steven A

    2017-10-02

    It is important to quantify the dose response for a drug in phase 2a clinical trials so the optimal doses can then be selected for subsequent late phase trials. In a phase 2a clinical trial of new lead drug being developed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a U-shaped dose response curve was observed. In the light of this result further research was undertaken to design an efficient phase 2a proof of concept (PoC) trial for a follow-on compound using the lessons learnt from the lead compound. The planned analysis for the Phase 2a trial for GSK123456 was a Bayesian Emax model which assumes the dose-response relationship follows a monotonic sigmoid "S" shaped curve. This model was found to be suboptimal to model the U-shaped dose response observed in the data from this trial and alternatives approaches were needed to be considered for the next compound for which a Normal dynamic linear model (NDLM) is proposed. This paper compares the statistical properties of the Bayesian Emax model and NDLM model and both models are evaluated using simulation in the context of adaptive Phase 2a PoC design under a variety of assumed dose response curves: linear, Emax model, U-shaped model, and flat response. It is shown that the NDLM method is flexible and can handle a wide variety of dose-responses, including monotonic and non-monotonic relationships. In comparison to the NDLM model the Emax model excelled with higher probability of selecting ED90 and smaller average sample size, when the true dose response followed Emax like curve. In addition, the type I error, probability of incorrectly concluding a drug may work when it does not, is inflated with the Bayesian NDLM model in all scenarios which would represent a development risk to pharmaceutical company. The bias, which is the difference between the estimated effect from the Emax and NDLM models and the simulated value, is comparable if the true dose response follows a placebo like curve, an Emax like curve, or log

  17. Developing professional caregivers' empathy and emotional competencies through mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR): results of two proof-of-concept studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamothe, Martin; McDuff, Pierre; Pastore, Yves D; Duval, Michel; Sultan, Serge

    2018-01-05

    To assess the feasibility and acceptability of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)-based intervention and determine if the intervention is associated with a significant signal on empathy and emotional competencies. Two pre-post proof-of-concept studies. Participants were recruited at the University of Montreal's Psychology Department (Study 1) and the CHU Sainte-Justine Department of Hematology-Oncology (Study 2). Study 1: 12 students completed the 8-week programme (mean age 24, range 18-34). Study 2: 25 professionals completed the 8-week programme (mean age 48, range 27-63). Standard MBSR programme including 8-week mindfulness programme consisting of 8 consecutive weekly 2-hour sessions and a full-day silent retreat. Mindfulness as measured by the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale; empathy as measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)'s Perspective Taking and Empathic Concern subscales; identification of one's own emotions and those of others as measured by the Profile of Emotional Competence (PEC)'s Identify my Emotions and Identify Others' Emotions subscales; emotional acceptance as measured by the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) and the Emotion Regulation Scale (ERQ)'s Expressive Suppression subscale; and recognition of emotions in others as measured by the Geneva Emotion Recognition Test (GERT). In both studies, retention rates (80%-81%) were acceptable. Participants who completed the programme improved on all measures except the PEC's Identify Others' Emotions and the IRI's Empathic Concern (Cohen's d median=0.92, range 45-1.72). In Study 2, favourable effects associated with the programme were maintained over 3 months on the PEC's Identify my Emotions, the AAQ-II, the ERQ's Expressive Suppression and the GERT. The programme was feasible and acceptable. It was associated with a significant signal on the following outcomes: perspective taking, the identification of one's own emotions and emotional acceptance, thus, justifying

  18. Developing professional caregivers’ empathy and emotional competencies through mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR): results of two proof-of-concept studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamothe, Martin; McDuff, Pierre; Pastore, Yves D; Duval, Michel; Sultan, Serge

    2018-01-01

    Objectives To assess the feasibility and acceptability of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)-based intervention and determine if the intervention is associated with a significant signal on empathy and emotional competencies. Design Two pre–post proof-of-concept studies. Setting Participants were recruited at the University of Montreal’s Psychology Department (Study 1) and the CHU Sainte-Justine Department of Hematology-Oncology (Study 2). Participants Study 1: 12 students completed the 8-week programme (mean age 24, range 18–34). Study 2: 25 professionals completed the 8-week programme (mean age 48, range 27–63). Intervention Standard MBSR programme including 8-week mindfulness programme consisting of 8 consecutive weekly 2-hour sessions and a full-day silent retreat. Outcomes measures Mindfulness as measured by the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale; empathy as measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)’s Perspective Taking and Empathic Concern subscales; identification of one’s own emotions and those of others as measured by the Profile of Emotional Competence (PEC)’s Identify my Emotions and Identify Others’ Emotions subscales; emotional acceptance as measured by the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) and the Emotion Regulation Scale (ERQ)’s Expressive Suppression subscale; and recognition of emotions in others as measured by the Geneva Emotion Recognition Test (GERT). Results In both studies, retention rates (80%–81%) were acceptable. Participants who completed the programme improved on all measures except the PEC’s Identify Others’ Emotions and the IRI’s Empathic Concern (Cohen’s d median=0.92, range 45–1.72). In Study 2, favourable effects associated with the programme were maintained over 3 months on the PEC’s Identify my Emotions, the AAQ-II, the ERQ’s Expressive Suppression and the GERT. Conclusions The programme was feasible and acceptable. It was associated with a significant signal on the

  19. Subject-specific cardiovascular system model-based identification and diagnosis of septic shock with a minimally invasive data set: animal experiments and proof of concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geoffrey Chase, J; Starfinger, Christina; Hann, Christopher E; Lambermont, Bernard; Ghuysen, Alexandre; Kolh, Philippe; Dauby, Pierre C; Desaive, Thomas; Shaw, Geoffrey M

    2011-01-01

    identification process for validation. Importantly, all identified parameter trends match physiologically and clinically and experimentally expected changes, indicating that no diagnostic power is lost. This work represents a further with human subjects validation for this model-based approach to cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy guidance in monitoring endotoxic disease states. The results and methods obtained can be readily extended from this case study to the other animal model results presented previously. Overall, these results provide further support for prospective, proof of concept clinical testing with humans

  20. Mindful2Work: Effects of Combined Physical Exercise, Yoga, and Mindfulness Meditations for Stress Relieve in Employees. A Proof of Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruin, Esther I; Formsma, Anne R; Frijstein, Gerard; Bögels, Susan M

    2017-01-01

    Work-related stress and associated illness and burnout is rising in western society, with now as much as almost a quarter of European and half of USA's employees estimated to be at the point of burnout. Mindfulness meditation, yoga, and physical exercise have all shown beneficial effects for work-related stress and illness. This proof of concept study assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of the newly developed Mindful2Work training, a combination of physical exercise, restorative yoga, and mindfulness meditations, delivered in six weekly group sessions plus a follow-up session. Participants ( n  = 26, four males), referred by company doctors with (work-related) stress and burnout complaints, completed measurements pre and post the intervention, as well as at 6-week (FU1) and 6-month (FU2) follow-up. Results showed very high feasibility and acceptability of the Mindful2Work training. The training and trainers were rated with an 8.1 and 8.4 on a 1-10 scale, respectively, and training dropout rate was zero. Significant improvements with (very) large effect sizes were demonstrated for the primary outcome measures of physical and mental workability, and for anxiety, depression, stress, sleep quality, positive and negative affect, which remained (very) large and mostly increased further over time. Risk for long-term dropout from work (checklist individual strength [CIS]) was 92 % at pre-test, reduced to 67 % at post-test, to 44 % at FU1, and 35 % at FU2, whereas employees worked (RTWI) 65 % of their contract hours per week at pre-test, which increased to 73 % at post-test, 81 % at FU1 and 93 % at FU2. Intensity of home practice or number of attended sessions were not related to training effects. To conclude, the newly developed Mindful2Work training seems very feasible, and acceptable, and although no control group was included, the large effects of Mindful2Work are highly promising.

  1. Tracking of Listeria monocytogenes in meat establishment using Whole Genome Sequencing as a food safety management tool: A proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nastasijevic, Ivan; Milanov, Dubravka; Velebit, Branko; Djordjevic, Vesna; Swift, Craig; Painset, Anais; Lakicevic, Brankica

    2017-09-18

    Repeated Listeria outbreaks particularly associated with Ready-To-Eat (RTE) delicatessen meat products have been reported annually at global level. The most frequent scenario that led to foodborne outbreaks was the post-thermal treatment cross-contamination of deli meat products during slicing and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). The precondition for such cross contamination is the previous introduction of Listeria into meat processing facilities and subsequent colonization of the production environment, associated with formation of biofilms resilient to common sanitation procedures regularly applied in meat establishments. The use of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) can facilitate the understanding of contamination and colonization routes of pathogens within the food production environment and enable efficient pathogen tracking among different departments. This study aimed to: a) provide a proof of concept on practical use of WGS in a meat establishment to define the entry routes and spread pattern of L. monocytogenes, and b) to consider the regular use of WGS in meat processing establishments as a strong support of food safety management system. The results revealed that Listeria spp. was present in slaughter line, chilling chambers, deboning, slicing, MAP, as well as in corridors and dispatch (53 positive samples, out of 240). Eight L. monocytogenes isolates (out of 53) were identified from the slaughterhouse, chilling chambers, deboning, MAP and dispatch. L. monocytogenes isolates were of three different serotypes (1/2a, 1/2c, 4b) and correspondingly of three MLST sequence types. Overall, two pairs of L. monocytogenes isolates were genetically identical, i.e. two serotype 4b isolates (ST1), isolated from water drain at dispatch unit and two isolates obtained from slaughterhouse (floorwall junction at the carcass wash point) and MAP (water drain). These findings indicated that L. monocytogenes isolates identified in meat processing units (MAP, chilling chamber

  2. Abatacept reduces disease activity and ultrasound power Doppler in ACPA-negative undifferentiated arthritis: a proof-of-concept clinical and imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Maya H; Hensor, Elizabeth M A; Rakieh, Chadi; Freeston, Jane E; Middleton, Edward; Horton, Sarah; Das, Sudipto; Peterfy, Charles; Tan, Ai Lyn; Wakefield, Richard J; Emery, Paul

    2017-01-01

    No proven treatment exists for ACPA-negative undifferentiated arthritis (UA). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether abatacept is effective in treating poor prognosis, ACPA-negative UA, including its effect on power Doppler on US (PDUS). A proof-of-concept, open-label, prospective study of 20 patients with DMARD-naïve, ACPA-negative UA (⩾2 joint synovitis) and PDUS ⩾ 1 with clinical and 20-joint US (grey scale/PDUS) assessments at baseline, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. All patients received 12 months of abatacept (monotherapy for minimum first 6 months). The primary end point was a composite of the proportion of patients that at 6 months achieved DAS44 remission, a maximum of one swollen joint for at least 3 consecutive months and no radiographic progression (over 0-12 months). Twenty of the 23 patients screened were enrolled [14 female; mean (sd) age 53.4 (11.2) years, symptom duration 7.5 (0.9) months]. Two (10%) achieved the composite primary end point. A reduction in the mean (sd) DAS44 was observed from a baseline value of 2.66 (0.77) to 2.01 (0.81) at 6 months and to 1.78 (0.95) at 12 months. The DAS44 remission rates were 6/20 (30%; 95% CI: 15, 51%) at 6 months and 8/20 (40%; 95% CI: 22, 62%) at 12 months. A striking decrease in the median (interquartile range; IQR) total PDUS score was noted from 10 (4-23) at baseline to 3 (2-12) and 3 (0-5) at 6 and 12 months, respectively. This report is a first in potentially identifying an effective therapy, abatacept monotherapy, for poor-prognosis, ACPA-negative UA, supported by a clear reduction in PDUS. These data justify evaluation in a controlled study. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. WE-AB-BRB-01: Development of a Probe-Format Graphite Calorimeter for Practical Clinical Dosimetry: Numerical Design Optimization, Prototyping, and Experimental Proof-Of-Concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Renaud, J; Seuntjens, J; Sarfehnia, A

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: In this work, the feasibility of performing absolute dose to water measurements using a constant temperature graphite probe calorimeter (GPC) in a clinical environment is established. Methods: A numerical design optimization study was conducted by simulating the heat transfer in the GPC resulting from irradiation using a finite element method software package. The choice of device shape, dimensions, and materials was made to minimize the heat loss in the sensitive volume of the GPC. The resulting design, which incorporates a novel aerogel-based thermal insulator, and 15 temperature sensitive resistors capable of both Joule heating and measuring temperature, was constructed in house. A software based process controller was developed to stabilize the temperatures of the GPC’s constituent graphite components to within a few 10’s of µK. This control system enables the GPC to operate in either the quasi-adiabatic or isothermal mode, two well-known, and independent calorimetry techniques. Absorbed dose to water measurements were made using these two methods under standard conditions in a 6 MV 1000 MU/min photon beam and subsequently compared against TG-51 derived values. Results: Compared to an expected dose to water of 76.9 cGy/100 MU, the average GPC-measured doses were 76.5 ± 0.5 and 76.9 ± 0.5 cGy/100 MU for the adiabatic and isothermal modes, respectively. The Monte Carlo calculated graphite to water dose conversion was 1.013, and the adiabatic heat loss correction was 1.003. With an overall uncertainty of about 1%, the most significant contributions were the specific heat capacity (type B, 0.8%) and the repeatability (type A, 0.6%). Conclusion: While the quasi-adiabatic mode of operation had been validated in previous work, this is the first time that the GPC has been successfully used isothermally. This proof-of-concept will serve as the basis for further study into the GPC’s application to small fields and MRI-linac dosimetry. This work has been

  4. Can Seeding in the Clinic Reach a Wide Audience? A Proof of Concept Study on Spreading a Health Message About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Using a Shareable Online Video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Michaela; Rapley, Tim; Foster, Helen; Pain, Clare

    2016-01-01

    Background Shareable online video offers the potential for spreading a health message across online and real world social networks. Seeding a message in a clinical setting may be advantageous. Objective To investigate the potential of an online video to spread a health message about juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) when delivered or seeded in a clinical setting and investigate factors that influence sharing behavior. Methods Multimethod proof of concept study. Concepts for two different styles of video were developed using focus groups and interviews and reviewed by an online market research panel. We compared dissemination of the two videos from two specialist pediatric rheumatology clinics in NHS Hospitals. Participants were 15 patients, family members, and clinical staff with knowledge of JIA at concept stage; 300 market research panel members in development stage; and 38 patients and their parents or guardians in the seeding stage. Newly diagnosed patients with JIA and/or parents or guardians were invited to view and share an online video with a health message about JIA across real-life and electronic social networks. Main outcome measures were viewing statistics, sharing behavior and patterns, and participant feedback. Results Of 38 patients and/or their parents or guardians given links, 26 visited the video webpage and shared the link, 2 visited and did not share, and 10 did not visit. Most links were viewed and shared within a few days. A total of 3314 pageviews were recorded with a mean of 89.6 pageviews per link (range 0-1245). Links were accessed from 26 countries, with most viewers in the United Kingdom (82.5%). Mothers were the most active group of sharers. Conclusions Distribution of a video link in a clinical setting may be an effective way to spread a health message. Parents or guardians of children with JIA are more likely to share a link than young people. Dissemination depends on a small number of active sharers, the content of the video, and

  5. Can Seeding in the Clinic Reach a Wide Audience? A Proof of Concept Study on Spreading a Health Message About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Using a Shareable Online Video.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Michaela; Rapley, Tim; Foster, Helen; Pain, Clare; Gerrand, Craig

    2016-02-22

    Shareable online video offers the potential for spreading a health message across online and real world social networks. Seeding a message in a clinical setting may be advantageous. To investigate the potential of an online video to spread a health message about juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) when delivered or seeded in a clinical setting and investigate factors that influence sharing behavior. Multimethod proof of concept study. Concepts for two different styles of video were developed using focus groups and interviews and reviewed by an online market research panel. We compared dissemination of the two videos from two specialist pediatric rheumatology clinics in NHS Hospitals. Participants were 15 patients, family members, and clinical staff with knowledge of JIA at concept stage; 300 market research panel members in development stage; and 38 patients and their parents or guardians in the seeding stage. Newly diagnosed patients with JIA and/or parents or guardians were invited to view and share an online video with a health message about JIA across real-life and electronic social networks. Main outcome measures were viewing statistics, sharing behavior and patterns, and participant feedback. Of 38 patients and/or their parents or guardians given links, 26 visited the video webpage and shared the link, 2 visited and did not share, and 10 did not visit. Most links were viewed and shared within a few days. A total of 3314 pageviews were recorded with a mean of 89.6 pageviews per link (range 0-1245). Links were accessed from 26 countries, with most viewers in the United Kingdom (82.5%). Mothers were the most active group of sharers. Distribution of a video link in a clinical setting may be an effective way to spread a health message. Parents or guardians of children with JIA are more likely to share a link than young people. Dissemination depends on a small number of active sharers, the content of the video, and the willingness of participants to share health

  6. Fasinumab (REGN475, an antinerve growth factor monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of acute sciatic pain: results of a proof-of-concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiseo PJ

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Paul J Tiseo,1 Haobo Ren,2 Scott Mellis3 1Pharmacovigilance Operations and Risk Management, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Tarrytown, NY, USA; 2Biostatitics, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Basking Ridge, NJ, USA; 3Translational Medicine and Predictive Medicine, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Tarrytown, NY, USA Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of subcutaneously administered fasinumab (REGN475, a nerve growth factor-neutralizing antibody, in patients with acute sciatic pain receiving standard of care therapy. Methods: This was a double-blind, parallel-group, proof-of-concept study. Patients with unilateral, moderate-to-severe sciatic pain of 2–16 weeks' duration were randomized to a subcutaneous dose of placebo (n=51, fasinumab 0.1 mg/kg (n=53, or 0.3 mg/kg (n=53; follow-up was 12 weeks. Pain was assessed in a daily diary using a numerical rating scale (NRS (0= no pain, 10= worst pain for average and worst leg and back pain. The primary efficacy end point was the area under the curve of NRS scores for average leg pain from baseline to week 4. Key secondary end points included changes in average and worst leg and back pain from baseline to the end of week 4 and to each weekly study visit. Patient functioning (Oswestry Disability Index and concomitant analgesic use were also assessed. Safety and tolerability were evaluated by treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs. Results: Demographic and clinical characteristics were similar among the treatment groups; 141 (88.7% patients completed the study. For the primary end point, mean ± standard deviation area under the curve values from baseline to week 4 were not significantly different between placebo (96.8±6.0 and fasinumab 0.1 mg/kg (112.7±58.3; P=0.0610 or fasinumab 0.3 mg/kg (112.4±55.8; P=0.0923. All secondary efficacy end points of changes in pain and function demonstrated responses that were similar between placebo and fasinumab groups. Incidence of TEAEs was 45.1%, 50

  7. Coal liquefaction becomes viable

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2005-11-15

    In 2003 the May/June issue of CoalTrans International speculated that coal liquefaction would become viable due to falling coal prices. This has not proved the case but the sustained high oil price is sparking new interest. A survey by Energy Intelligence and Marketing Research during November 2005 revealed a growth in the number of projects under development or at the feasibility stage. The article reports projects in China, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and India. China is commissioning the first wave of large liquefaction plants. The key question is whether other countries, particularly the USA, will follow.

  8. Effect of properties of iron compounds on the catalytic activity in direct coal liquefaction; Tetsu kagobutsu no keitai to sekitan ekika kassei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneko, T.; Tazawa, K. [Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Tokyo (Japan); Shimasaki, K. [Kobe Steel Ltd. (Japan)

    1998-08-20

    When considering merchandising scale of the coal liquefaction process, it is a preliminary condition that metal used for its catalyst is rich in resource volume, cheap in production cost, without pollution, and so forth, and application of cheap iron ore and ferrous compounds to disposable catalyst is desired. As liquefaction activity of the iron ore was hitherto improved by its micro crushing, its mechanical crush had a limit of about 2 {mu}m in mean particle diameter. However, together with recent crushing technique, crushers with high performance were developed, and then micro crushing by sub-micron became possible industri8ally even for iron ore. In this study, three kinds of Australian iron ores such as limonite of ferric hydroxide type iron ore, pyrite of ferrous sulfide type, and hematite of ferric oxide type were micro crushed to examine coal liquefaction activity and hydrogenation reaction activity of 1-methyl naphthalene (1-MN) and also relationship between properties and activity of catalyst for the latter before and after reaction. 11 refs., 8 figs., 5 tabs.

  9. Three-dimensional structure discrepancy between HLA alleles for effective prediction of aGVHD severity and optimal selection of recipient-donor pairs: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Hongxing; Yuan, Fang; Sun, Yuying; Liu, Jinfeng; Liu, Shuguang; Luo, Yuan; Liang, Fei; Liu, Nan; Long, Juan; Zhao, Xiao; Kong, Fanhua; Xi, Yongzhi

    2015-11-24

    The optimal selection of recipient-donor pair and accurate prediction of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) severity are always the two most crucial works in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), which currently rests mostly with HLA compatibility, the most polymorphic loci in the human genome, in clinic. Thus, there is an urgent need for a rapid and reliable quantitative system for optimal recipient-donor pairs selection and accurate prediction of aGVHD severity prior to allo-HSCT. For these reasons, we have developed a new selection/prediction system for optimal recipient-donor selection and effective prediction of aGVHD severity based on HLA three-dimensional (3D) structure modeling (HLA-TDSM) discrepancy, and applied this system in a pilot randomized clinical allo-HSCT study. The 37 patient-donor pairs in the study were typed at low- and high-resolution levels for HLA-A/-B/-DRB1/-DQB1 loci. HLA-TDSM system covering the 10000 alleles in HLA class I and II consists of the revised local and coordinate root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) values for each locus. Its accuracy and reliability were confirmed using stably transfected Hmy2.CIR-HLA-B cells, TCR Vβ gene scan, and antigen-specific alloreactive cytotoxic lymphocytes. Based on the preliminary results, we theoretically defined all HLA acceptable versus unacceptable mismatched alleles. More importantly, HLA-TDSM enabled a successful retrospective verification and prospective prediction for aGVHD severity in a pilot randomized clinical allo-HSCT study of 32 recipient-donor transplant pairs. There was a strong direct correlation between single/total revised RMSD and aGVHD severity (92% in retrospective group vs 95% in prospective group). These results seem to be closely related to the 3D structure discrepancy of mismatched HLA-alleles, but not the number or loci of mismatched HLA-alleles. Our data first provide the proof-of-concept that HLA-TDSM is essential for optimal selection of

  10. In-line carbon nanofiber reinforced hollow fiber-mediated liquid phase microextraction using a 3D printed extraction platform as a front end to liquid chromatography for automatic sample preparation and analysis: A proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worawit, Chanatda; Cocovi-Solberg, David J; Varanusupakul, Pakorn; Miró, Manuel

    2018-08-01

    A novel concept for automation of nanostructured hollow-fiber supported microextraction, combining the principles of liquid-phase microextraction (LPME) and sorbent microextraction synergically, using mesofluidic platforms is proposed herein for the first time, and demonstrated with the determination of acidic drugs (namely, ketoprofen, ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen) in urine as a proof-of-concept applicability. Dispersed carbon nanofibers (CNF) are immobilized in the pores of a single-stranded polypropylene hollow fiber (CNF@HF) membrane, which is thereafter accommodated in a stereolithographic 3D-printed extraction chamber without glued components for ease of assembly. The analytical method involves continuous-flow extraction of the acidic drugs from a flowing stream donor (pH 1.7) into an alkaline stagnant acceptor (20 mmol L -1 NaOH) containing 10% MeOH (v/v) across a dihexyl ether impregnated CNF@HF membrane. The flow setup features entire automation of the microextraction process including regeneration of the organic film and on-line injection of the analyte-laden acceptor phase after downstream neutralization into a liquid chromatograph (LC) for reversed-phase core-shell column-based separation. Using a 12-cm long CNF@HF and a sample volume of 6.4 mL, linear dynamic ranges of ketoprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and ibuprofen, taken as models of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, spanned from ca. 5-15 µg L -1 to 500 µg L -1 with enhancement factors of 43-97 (against a direct injection of 10 µL standards into LC), and limits of detection from 1.6 to 4.3 µg L -1 . Relative recoveries in real urine samples ranged from 97% to 105%, thus demonstrating the reliability of the automatic CNF@HF-LPME method for in-line matrix clean-up and determination of drugs in urine at therapeutically relevant concentrations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Liquefaction of uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-02-01

    Numerical methods for assessing the liquefaction potential of soils are reviewed with a view to their application to uranium tailings. The method can be divided into two categories: total stress analysis, where changes in pore pressure are not considered in the soil model, and effective stress analysis, where changes in pore pressure are included in the soil model. Effective stress analysis is more realistic, but few computer programs exist for such analysis in two or three dimensions. A simple linearized, two-dimensional, finite element effective stress analysis which incorporates volumetric compaction due to shear motion is described and implemented. The new program is applied to the assessment of liquefaction potential of tailings in the Quirke Mine tailings area near Elliot Lake, Ontario. The results are compared with those of a total stress analysis. Both analyses indicate liquefaction would occur if a magnitude 6.0 earthquake were to occur near the area. However, the extent of liquefaction predicted by the effective stress analysis is much less than that predicted by the total stress analysis. The results of both methods are sensitive to assumed material properties and to the method used to determine the cyclic shear strength of the tailings. Further analysis, incorporating more in situ and/or laboratory data, is recommended before conclusions can be made concerning the dynamic stability of these tailings

  12. Dispersed-phase catalysis in coal liquefaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Utz, B.R.; Cugini, A.V.; Frommell, E.A.

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports that the specific reaction (activation) conditions for the conversion of catalyst precursors to unsupported catalyst have a direct effect on the catalytic activity and dispersion. The importance of reaction intermediates in decomposition of ammonium heptamolybdate and ammonium tetrathiomolybdate, and the sensitivity of these intermediates to reaction conditions, were studied in coal liquefaction systems. Recent results indicate that optimization of activation conditions facilitates the formation of a highly dispersed and active form of molybdenum disulfide for coal liquefaction. The use of the catalyst precursors ammonium heptamolybdate, ammonium tetrathiomolybdate, and molybdenum trisulfide for the conversion of coal to soluble products will be discussed. The use of an unsupported dispersed-phase catalyst for direct coal liquefaction is not a novel concept and has been employed in may studies with varying success. Dispersed-phase catalysts soluble and oil-soluble salts, and as finely divided powders. While some methods of catalyst introduction give higher dispersion of the catalyst and greater activity for the liquefaction of coal, all of the techniques allow the formation of a finely dispersed inorganic phase

  13. Coal liquefaction technologies for producing ultra clean fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tahir, M.S.; Haq, N.U.; Nasir, H.; Islam, N.

    2011-01-01

    The expanding demand for petroleum, accompanied by the diminishing petroleum reserves and the energy security, has intensified the significance in coal liquefaction technologies (CTL) globally and specially in Pakistan. Pakistan is rich in coal resources, but short of petroleum. The Geological Survey of Pakistan based on wide spread drilling over an area of 9000 sq. km, a total of 175 billion tons of coal resource potential has been assessed. This paper overviews a general introduction on the mechanisms and processes of CLT such as direct coal liquefaction (DCL) and indirect coal liquefaction (ICL) technologies. (author)

  14. Targeted polyethylene glycol gold nanoparticles for the treatment of pancreatic cancer: from synthesis to proof-of-concept in vitro studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spadavecchia J

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Jolanda Spadavecchia,1,2,* Dania Movia,3,* Caroline Moore,3,4 Ciaran Manus Maguire,3,4 Hanane Moustaoui,2 Sandra Casale,1 Yuri Volkov,3,4 Adriele Prina-Mello3,4 1Laboratoire de Réactivité de Surface, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris VI, Paris, 2Centre National de la recherche française, UMR 7244, CSPBAT, Laboratory of Chemistry, Structures, and Properties of Biomaterials and Therapeutic Agents, Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Bobigny, France; 3AMBER Centre, CRANN Institute, 4Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: The main objective of this study was to optimize and characterize a drug delivery carrier for doxorubicin, intended to be intravenously administered, capable of improving the therapeutic index of the chemotherapeutic agent itself, and aimed at the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In light of this goal, we report a robust one-step method for the synthesis of dicarboxylic acid-terminated polyethylene glycol (PEG-gold nanoparticles (AuNPs and doxorubicin-loaded PEG-AuNPs, and their further antibody targeting (anti-Kv11.1 polyclonal antibody [pAb]. In in vitro proof-of-concept studies, we evaluated the influence of the nanocarrier and of the active targeting functionality on the anti-tumor efficacy of doxorubicin, with respect to its half-maximal effective concentration (EC50 and drug-triggered changes in the cell cycle. Our results demonstrated that the therapeutic efficacy of doxorubicin was positively influenced not only by the active targeting exploited through anti-Kv11.1-pAb but also by the drug coupling with a nanometer-sized delivery system, which indeed resulted in a 30-fold decrease of doxorubicin EC50, cell cycle blockage, and drug localization in the cell nuclei. The cell internalization pathway was strongly influenced by the active targeting of the Kv11.1 subunit of the human Ether-à-go-go related gene

  15. Open access to Water Indicators for Climate Change Adaptation: proof-of-concept for the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lottle, Lorna; Arheimer, Berit; Gyllensvärd, Frida; Dejong, Fokke; Ludwig, Fulco; Hutjes, Ronald; Martinez, Bernat

    2017-04-01

    Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is still in the development phase and will combine observations of the climate system with the latest science to develop authoritative, quality-assured information about the past, current and future states of the climate and climate dependent sectors in Europe and worldwide. C3S will provide key indicators on climate change drivers and selected sectorial impacts. The aim of these indicators will be to support adaptation and mitigation. This presentation will show one service already operational as a proof-of-concept of this future climate service. The project "Service for Water Indicators in Climate Change Adaptation" (SWICCA) has developed a sectorial information service for water management. It offers readily available climate-impact data, for open access from the web-site http://swicca.climate.copernicus.eu/. The development is user-driven with the overall goal to speed up the workflow in climate-change adaptation of water management across Europe. The service is co-designed by consultant engineers and agencies in 15 case-studies spread out over the continent. SWICCA has an interactive user-interface, which shows maps and graphs, and facilitates data download in user-friendly formats. In total, more than 900 open dataset are given for various hydrometeorological (and a few socioeconomical) variables, model ensembles, resolutions, time-periods and RCPs. The service offers more than 40 precomputed climate impact indicators (CIIs) and transient time-series of 4 essential climate variables ECVs) with high spatial and temporal resolution. To facilitate both near future and far future assessments, SWICCA provides the indicators for different time ranges; normally, absolute values are given for a reference period (e.g. 1971-2000) and the expected future changes for different 30-year periods, such as early century (2011-2040), mid-century (2041-2070) and end-century (2071-2100). An ensemble of model results is always given to

  16. Oral prenylation inhibition with lonafarnib in chronic hepatitis D infection: a proof-of-concept randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2A trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Christopher; Canini, Laetitia; Dahari, Harel; Zhao, Xiongce; Uprichard, Susan L; Haynes-Williams, Vanessa; Winters, Mark A; Subramanya, Gitanjali; Cooper, Stewart L; Pinto, Peter; Wolff, Erin F; Bishop, Rachel; Han, Ma Ai Thanda; Cotler, Scott J; Kleiner, David E; Keskin, Onur; Idilman, Ramazan; Yurdaydin, Cihan; Glenn, Jeffrey S; Heller, Theo

    2015-01-01

    Summary Background Therapies for chronic hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection are unsatisfactory. Prenylation is essential for HDV and inhibition abrogates HDV production in experimental models. In a proof-of-concept study, we aimed to assess the effect on HDV RNA levels, safety, and tolerability of the prenylation inhibitor lonafarnib in patients with chronic delta hepatitis. Methods In this phase 2A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study, patients aged 18 years or older with chronic HDV infection were randomly assigned (3:1 in group 1 and 2:1 in group 2) to receive lonafarnib 100 mg (group 1) or lonafarnib 200 mg (group 2) twice daily for 28 days with 6 months’ follow-up. Participants were randomised by random-number tables blocked in groups of four without stratification. Both groups enrolled six treatment participants and two placebo participants. Group 1 placebo patients received open-label lonafarnib as group 2 participants. The primary therapeutic endpoint was a decrease in HDV RNA viral titre in serum and the primary safety endpoint was the ability to tolerate the drug at the prescribed dose for the full 4-week duration, defined as drug discontinuation due to intolerance or grade 3/4 adverse events. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01495585. Findings Between Jan 19, 2012, and April 28, 2014, 14 patients were enrolled, of whom eight were assigned to group 1 and six were assigned to group 2. At day 28, compared with placebo, mean log HDV RNA declines from baseline were −0.73 log IU/mL in group 1 (95% CI 0.17–1.31; p=0.03) and −1.54 log IU/mL in group 2 (1.21–1.93; p<0.0001). Lonafarnib serum concentrations correlated with HDV RNA change (r2=0.78, p<0.0001). Model fits show that hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) remained stable after a short pharmacological delay (0.75 days [SE 0.24]), lonafarnib effectiveness in blocking HDV production was greater in group 2 than in group 1 (0.952 [SE 0.06] vs 0.739 [0

  17. Exploring the Feasibility and Potential of Virtual Panels for Soliciting Feedback on Nutrition Education Materials: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Cameron D; Haresign, Helen; Mehling, Christine; Bloomberg, Honey

    2016-01-01

    A changing and cluttered information landscape has put pressure on health organizations to produce consumer information materials that are not only factual but high quality and engaging to audiences. User-centered design methods can be useful in obtaining feedback from consumers; however, they are labor intensive and slow, which is not responsive to the fast-paced communication landscape influenced by social media. EatRight Ontario (ERO), a provincial nutrition and health support program of Dietitians of Canada, develops evidence-based resources for consumers and sought to increase user-centered design activities by exploring whether the standard approach to feedback could be replicated online. While online feedback has been used in marketing research, few examples are available in health promotion and public health to guide programming and policy. This study compared a traditional in-person approach for recruitment and feedback using paper surveys with an Internet-based approach using Facebook as a recruitment tool and collecting user feedback via the Web. The purpose of the proof-of-concept study was to explore the feasibility of the approach and compare an online versus traditional approach in terms of recruitment issues and response. An exploratory, two-group comparative trial was conducted using a convenience and purposive sampling. Participants reviewed a handout on healthy eating and then completed an 18-item survey with both forced-choice items and open-ended responses. One group viewed a hard-copy prototype and completed a paper survey and the other viewed a PDF prototype via Web links and completed a Web survey. The total days required to fulfill the sample for each group were used as the primary method of efficiency calculation. In total, 44 participants (22 per condition) completed the study, consisting of 42 women and 2 men over the age of 18. Few significant differences were detected between the groups. Statistically significant (P≤.05) differences

  18. Residual Liquefaction under Standing Waves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirca, V.S. Ozgur; Sumer, B. Mutlu; Fredsøe, Jørgen

    2012-01-01

    This paper summarizes the results of an experimental study which deals with the residual liquefaction of seabed under standing waves. It is shown that the seabed liquefaction under standing waves, although qualitatively similar, exhibits features different from that caused by progressive waves....... The experimental results show that the buildup of pore-water pressure and the resulting liquefaction first starts at the nodal section and spreads towards the antinodal section. The number of waves to cause liquefaction at the nodal section appears to be equal to that experienced in progressive waves for the same...

  19. Coal liquefaction committee report for fiscal 1981; 1981 nendo sekitan ekika iinkai hokokusho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1982-03-01

    For the assurance of smooth progress of coal technology development endeavors, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has installed coal technology development committees (general committee on coal technologies, coal liquefaction committee, plant materials committee, coal type survey committee, total system committee, and coal gasification committee). The coal liquefaction committee deliberates and evaluates liquefaction technology and propels forward smoothly the efforts to develop the technology. Under the coal liquefaction committee, there are four subcommittees, which are the 1st subcommittee (primary liquefaction subcommittee), 2nd subcommittee (solid/liquid separation subcommittee), 3rd subcommittee (secondary hydrogenation subcommittee), and the 4th subcommittee (brown coal liquefaction subcommittee). The 2nd and 3rd subcommittees deal with common tasks as they were studied in fiscal 1980. The 1st subcommittee incorporates into itself the old subcommittees that respectively worked on the three liquefaction processes (the direct hydrogenation process, the solvent extraction process, and the Solvolysis process), and is designed to provide a site for information exchange. A brown coal liquefaction committee is incorporated into the coal liquefaction committee as the 4th subcommittee. This report is a compilation of the agendas of the respective subcommittees of the coal liquefaction committee. (NEDO)

  20. Efficacy of a Community-Based Technology-Enabled Physical Activity Counseling Program for People With Knee Osteoarthritis: Proof-of-Concept Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linda C; Sayre, Eric C; Xie, Hui; Falck, Ryan S; Best, John R; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Grewal, Navi; Hoens, Alison M; Noonan, Greg; Feehan, Lynne M

    2018-04-30

    Current practice guidelines emphasize the use of physical activity as the first-line treatment of knee osteoarthritis; however, up to 90% of people with osteoarthritis are inactive. We aimed to assess the efficacy of a technology-enabled counseling intervention for improving physical activity in people with either a physician-confirmed diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis or having passed two validated criteria for early osteoarthritis. We conducted a proof-of-concept randomized controlled trial. The immediate group received a brief education session by a physical therapist, a Fitbit Flex, and four biweekly phone calls for activity counseling. The delayed group received the same intervention 2 months later. Participants were assessed at baseline (T0) and at the end of 2 months (T1), 4 months (T2), and 6 months (T3). Outcomes included (1) mean time on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA ≥3 metabolic equivalents [METs], primary outcome), (2) mean time on MVPA ≥4 METs, (3) mean daily steps, (4) mean time on sedentary activities, (5) Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), and (6) Partners in Health scale. Mixed-effects repeated measures analysis of variance was used to assess five planned contrasts of changes in outcome measures over measurement periods. The five contrasts were (1) immediate T1-T0 vs delayed T1-T0, (2) delayed T2-T1 vs delayed T1-T0, (3) mean of contrast 1 and contrast 2, (4) immediate T1-T0 vs delayed T2-T1, and (5) mean of immediate T2-T1 and delayed T3-T2. The first three contrasts estimate the between-group effects. The latter two contrasts estimate the effect of the 2-month intervention delay on outcomes. We recruited 61 participants (immediate: n=30; delayed: n=31). Both groups were similar in age (immediate: mean 61.3, SD 9.4 years; delayed: mean 62.1, SD 8.5 years) and body mass index (immediate: mean 29.2, SD 5.5 kg/m 2 ; delayed: mean 29.2, SD 4.8 kg/m 2 ). Contrast analyses revealed significant between-group effects in

  1. Cooperative research in coal liquefaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huffman, G.P.; Sendlein, L.V.A. (eds.)

    1991-05-28

    Significant progress was made in the May 1990--May 1991 contract period in three primary coal liquefaction research areas: catalysis, structure-reactivity studies, and novel liquefaction processes. A brief summary of the accomplishments in the past year in each of these areas is given.

  2. U.S. DOE indirect coal liquefaction program: An overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shen, J.; Schmetz, E.; Winslow, J.; Tischer, R. [Dept. of Energy, Germantown, MD (United States); Srivastava, R.

    1997-12-31

    Coal is the most abundant domestic energy resource in the United States. The Fossil Energy Organization within the US Department of Energy (DOE) has been supporting a coal liquefaction program to develop improved technologies to convert coal to clean and cost-effective liquid fuels to complement the dwindling supply of domestic petroleum crude. The goal of this program is to produce coal liquids that are competitive with crude at $20 to $25 per barrel. Indirect and direct liquefaction routes are the two technologies being pursued under the DOE coal liquefaction program. This paper will give an overview of the DOE indirect liquefaction program. More detailed discussions will be given to the F-T diesel and DME fuels which have shown great promises as clean burning alternative diesel fuels. The authors also will briefly discuss the economics of indirect liquefaction and the hurdles and opportunities for the early commercial deployment of these technologies. Discussions will be preceded by two brief reviews on the liquid versus gas phase reactors and the natural gas versus coal based indirect liquefaction.

  3. Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, Douglas C.

    2010-12-10

    Hydrothermal liquefaction technology is describes in its relationship to fast pyrolysis of biomass. The scope of work at PNNL is discussed and some intial results are presented. HydroThermal Liquefaction (HTL), called high-pressure liquefaction in earlier years, is an alternative process for conversion of biomass into liquid products. Some experts consider it to be pyrolysis in solvent phase. It is typically performed at about 350 C and 200 atm pressure such that the water carrier for biomass slurry is maintained in a liquid phase, i.e. below super-critical conditions. In some applications catalysts and/or reducing gases have been added to the system with the expectation of producing higher yields of higher quality products. Slurry agents ('carriers') evaluated have included water, various hydrocarbon oils and recycled bio-oil. High-pressure pumping of biomass slurry has been a major limitation in the process development. Process research in this field faded away in the 1990s except for the HydroThermal Upgrading (HTU) effort in the Netherlands, but has new resurgence with other renewable fuels in light of the increased oil prices and climate change concerns. Research restarted at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2007 with a project, 'HydroThermal Liquefaction of Agricultural and Biorefinery Residues' with partners Archer-Daniels-Midland Company and ConocoPhillips. Through bench-scale experimentation in a continuous-flow system this project investigated the bio-oil yield and quality that could be achieved from a range of biomass feedstocks and derivatives. The project was completed earlier this year with the issuance of the final report. HydroThermal Liquefaction research continues within the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium with the effort focused at PNNL. The bench-scale reactor is being used for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass including pine forest residue and corn stover. A complementary project is an international

  4. EXPLORATORY RESEARCH ON NOVEL COAL LIQUEFACTION CONCEPT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brandes, S.D.; Winschel, R.A.

    1998-11-30

    The report presents a summary the work performed under DOE Contract No. DE-AC22-95PC95050. Investigations performed under Task 4--Integrated Flow Sheet Testing are detailed. In this program, a novel direct coal liquefaction technology was investigated by CONSOL Inc. with the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and LDP Associates. The process concept explored consists of a first-stage coal dissolution step in which the coal is solubilized by hydride ion donation. In the second stage, the products are catalytically upgraded to refinery feedstocks. Integrated first-stage and solids-separation steps were used to prepare feedstocks for second-stage catalytic upgrading. An engineering and economic evaluation was conducted concurrently with experimental work throughout the program. Approaches to reduce costs for a conceptual commercial plant were recommended at the conclusion of Task 3. These approaches were investigated in Task 4. The economic analysis of the process as it was defined at the conclusion of Task 4, indicates that the production of refined product (gasoline) via this novel direct liquefaction technology is higher than the cost associated with conventional two-stage liquefaction technologies.

  5. Cooperative research in coal liquefaction infratechnology and generic technology development: Final report, October 1, 1985 to December 31, 1986

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sendlein, L.V.A.

    1987-06-29

    During the first year of its research program, the Consortium for Fossil Fuel Liquefaction Science has made significant progress in many areas of coal liquefaction and coal structure research. Research topics for which substantial progress has been made include integrated coal structure and liquefaction studies, investigation of differential liquefaction processes, development and application of sophisticated techniques for structural analysis, computer analysis of multivariate data, biodesulfurization of coal, catalysis studies, co-processing of coal and crude oil, coal dissolution and extraction processes, coal depolymerization, determination of the liquefaction characteristics of many US coals for use in a liquefaction database, and completion of a retrospective technology assessment for direct coal liquefaction. These and related topics are discussed in considerably more detail in the remainder of this report. Individual projects are processed separately for the data base.

  6. Thiazide diuretic-caused hyponatremia in the elderly hypertensive: will a bottle of Nepro a day keep hyponatremia and the doctor away? Study protocol for a proof-of-concept feasibility trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzicka, Marcel; McCormick, Brendan; Magner, Peter; Ramsay, Tim; Edwards, Cedric; Bugeja, Ann; Hiremath, Swapnil

    2018-01-01

    Hypertension is the most common modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with an increasing prevalence with age, but with easily available medications to control it. Adverse effects of these medications do limit their use, in particular hyponatremia due to thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics. This is more common in the elderly patients due to a combination of inadequate protein intake and impaired urinary dilution capability, made worse by additional thiazide use. Limiting free water intake and increasing protein intake are often not successful resulting in thiazide avoidance. Daily protein supplement is a potential option in this clinical scenario. We describe the protocol for a feasibility study to explore this option. This is a single-arm, prospective, open-label proof-of-concept trial, including elderly patients with thiazide diuretic-induced hyponatremia. Forty patients will be enrolled and receive a bottle of a protein supplement daily, providing 120 mmol of solutes and permitting an extra 163 mL free water loss, for 4 weeks. The main outcome measures will be (1) feasibility for enrollment, (2) safety of the intervention, and (3) potential efficacy of the intervention in improving hyponatremia. Secondary outcome measures will include changes in urine osmolality, body weight, and urea measurements. Thiazide diuretic-induced hyponatremia is an important adverse effect, with significant clinical impact, such as delirium and falls, and limits the use of these potent antihypertensive agents. There are little data on the effect or safety of protein supplementation and also on whether a trial of this is feasible. The results of this proof-of-concept feasibility trial will help plan and execute a larger definitive trial to test protein supplementation as an effective strategy in this condition. The trial is registered with Clinical trials, registration identifier: NCT02614807.

  7. Injury profile SIMulator, a Qualitative aggregative modelling framework to predict injury profile as a function of cropping practices, and abiotic and biotic environment. II. Proof of concept: design of IPSIM-wheat-eyespot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin, Marie-Hélène; Colbach, Nathalie; Lucas, Philippe; Montfort, Françoise; Cholez, Célia; Debaeke, Philippe; Aubertot, Jean-Noël

    2013-01-01

    IPSIM (Injury Profile SIMulator) is a generic modelling framework presented in a companion paper. It aims at predicting a crop injury profile as a function of cropping practices and abiotic and biotic environment. IPSIM's modelling approach consists of designing a model with an aggregative hierarchical tree of attributes. In order to provide a proof of concept, a model, named IPSIM-Wheat-Eyespot, has been developed with the software DEXi according to the conceptual framework of IPSIM to represent final incidence of eyespot on wheat. This paper briefly presents the pathosystem, the method used to develop IPSIM-Wheat-Eyespot using IPSIM's modelling framework, simulation examples, an evaluation of the predictive quality of the model with a large dataset (526 observed site-years) and a discussion on the benefits and limitations of the approach. IPSIM-Wheat-Eyespot proved to successfully represent the annual variability of the disease, as well as the effects of cropping practices (Efficiency = 0.51, Root Mean Square Error of Prediction = 24%; bias = 5.0%). IPSIM-Wheat-Eyespot does not aim to precisely predict the incidence of eyespot on wheat. It rather aims to rank cropping systems with regard to the risk of eyespot on wheat in a given production situation through ex ante evaluations. IPSIM-Wheat-Eyespot can also help perform diagnoses of commercial fields. Its structure is simple and permits to combine available knowledge in the scientific literature (data, models) and expertise. IPSIM-Wheat-Eyespot is now available to help design cropping systems with a low risk of eyespot on wheat in a wide range of production situations, and can help perform diagnoses of commercial fields. In addition, it provides a proof of concept with regard to the modelling approach of IPSIM. IPSIM-Wheat-Eyespot will be a sub-model of IPSIM-Wheat, a model that will predict injury profile on wheat as a function of cropping practices and the production situation.

  8. FY 1980 Report on results of Sunshine Project. Research and development of coal liquefaction techniques (Development of direct hydrogenation type liquefaction plant and 2.4 T/D test plant); 1980 nendo sekitan ekika gijutsu no kenkyu kaihatsu, chokusetsu suiten ekika plant no kaihatsu seika hokokusho. 2.4T/nichi jikken plant no kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1981-03-01

    This program is aimed at construction and operation of a 2.4 T/D test plant for eventual commercialization of the direct hydrogenation type liquefaction process. The FY 1980 program includes designs of the test plant, procurement and manufacture of some equipment, and works for construction of the bases, buildings and scaffolds. The construction site for the 2.4 T/D plant was changed in July 1980 from Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding's Chiba works to NKK's Keihin Steelworks, which was accompanied by some changes in the basic and detailed designs. The detailed designs were reviewed for construction of the test plant, to reflect the results of the individual elementary researches. The works for the FY 1980 program also include preparations for obtaining approvals of plant construction, based on the revised designs, from the related government offices, and equipment procurement. This paper presents the major drawings for the plant construction, including those for PID designs, overall plant layouts, piping systems, buildings, scaffolds, and pipe racks. The loading data are also included. (NEDO)

  9. Secondary liquefaction in ethanol production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2007-01-01

    The invention relates to a method of producing ethanol by fermentation, said method comprising a secondary liquefaction step in the presence of a themostable acid alpha-amylase or, a themostable maltogenic acid alpha-amylase.......The invention relates to a method of producing ethanol by fermentation, said method comprising a secondary liquefaction step in the presence of a themostable acid alpha-amylase or, a themostable maltogenic acid alpha-amylase....

  10. Evaluation of soil liquefaction potential for level ground during earthquakes. A summary report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seed, H.B.; Arango, I.; Chan, C.K.

    1975-10-01

    The results of a three-year research program conducted to investigate the settlement and liquefaction of sands under multi-directional shaking are evaluated. The investigation indicated that the behavior of a saturated sand under cyclic loading conditions is a function of its geologic and seismic history and grain structure as well as its placement density. It is concluded that the resistance to liquefaction of a sand deposit can best be estimated by laboratory testing on undisturbed samples. It is shown that cyclic triaxial tests used in conjunction with appropriate correction factors to account for multi-directional shaking, simple shear loading conditions, and overconsolidation effects can provide valid data on cyclic loading characteristics. The concepts of ''limited strain potential'' and acceptable value of the factor of safety against initial liquefaction are introduced. Finally, the two basic methods for evaluating liquefaction potential and the effects of liquefaction are reviewed and updated with the information obtained through this research effort

  11. Magnetic refrigerator for hydrogen liquefaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Numazawa, T [National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba (Japan); Kamlya, K. [Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Naka (Japan); Utaki, T. [Osaka University, Osaka (Japan); Matsumoto, K. [Kanazawa University, Kanazawa (Japan)

    2013-06-15

    This paper reviews the development status of magnetic refrigeration system for hydrogen liquefaction. There is no doubt that hydrogen is one of most important energy sources in the near future. In particular, liquid hydrogen can be utilized for infrastructure construction consisting of storage and transportation. Liquid hydrogen is in cryogenic temperatures and therefore high efficient liquefaction method must be studied. Magnetic refrigeration which uses the magneto-caloric effect has potential to realize not only the higher liquefaction efficiency > 50 %, but also to be environmentally friendly and cost effective. Our hydrogen magnetic refrigeration system consists of Carnot cycle for liquefaction stage and AMR (active magnetic regenerator) cycle for precooling stages. For the Carnot cycle, we develop the high efficient system > 80 % liquefaction efficiency by using the heat pipe. For the AMR cycle, we studied two kinds of displacer systems, which transferred the working fluid. We confirmed the AMR effect with the cooling temperature span of 12 K for 1.8 T of the magnetic field and 6 second of the cycle. By using the simulation, we estimate the total efficiency of the hydrogen liquefaction plant for 10 kg/day. A FOM of 0.47 is obtained in the magnetic refrigeration system operation temperature between 20 K and 77 K including LN2 work input.

  12. Plasma electrolytic liquefaction of cellulosic biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dingliang, TANG; Xianhui, ZHANG; Si-ze, YANG

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, the rapid liquefaction of a corncob was achieved by plasma electrolysis, providing a new method for cellulosic biomass liquefaction. The liquefaction rate of the corncob was 95% after 5 min with polyethylene glycol and glycerol as the liquefying agent. The experiments not only showed that H+ ions catalyzed the liquefaction of the corncob, but also that using accelerated H+ ions, which were accelerated by an electric field, could effectively improve the liquefaction efficiency. There was an obvious discharge phenomenon, in which the generated radicals efficiently heated the solution and liquefied the biomass, in the process of plasma electrolytic liquefaction. Finally, the optimum parameters of the corncob liquefaction were obtained by experimentation, and the liquefaction products were analyzed.

  13. Kinetics of coal liquefaction during heating-up and isothermal stages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xian Li; Haoquan Hu; Shengwei Zhu; Shuxun Hu; Bo Wu; Meng Meng [Dalian University of Technology, Dalian (China). Institute of Coal Chemical Engineering

    2008-04-15

    Direct liquefaction of Shenhua bituminous coal was carried out in a 500 ml autoclave with iron catalyst and coal liquefaction cycle-oil as solvent at initial hydrogen of 8.0 MPa, residence time of 0-90 min. To investigate the liquefaction kinetics, a model for heating-up and isothermal stages was developed to estimate the rate constants of both stages. In the model, the coal was divided into three parts, easy reactive part, hard reactive part and unreactive part, and four kinetic constants were used to describe the reaction mechanism. The results showed that the model is valid for both heating-up and isothermal stages of liquefaction perfectly. The rate-controlled process for coal liquefaction is the reaction of preasphaltene plus asphaltene (PAA) to oil plus gas (O + G). The upper-limiting conversion of isothermal stage was estimated by the kinetic calculation. 21 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  14. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for rapid detection of Streptococcus agalactiae (group B streptococcus) in vaginal swabs - a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, James Patrick; Cox, Ciara; Fairley, Derek John; Burke, Rachael; Shields, Michael D; Watt, Alison; Coyle, Peter Valentine

    2017-03-01

    Neonatal sepsis caused by Streptococcus agalactiae [group B streptococcus (GBS)] is a life-threatening condition, which is preventable if colonized mothers are identified and given antibiotic prophylaxis during labour. Conventional culture is time consuming and unreliable, and many available non-culture diagnostics are too complex to implement routinely at point of care. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a method that, enables the rapid and specific detection of target nucleic acid sequences in clinical materials without the requirement for extensive sample preparation. A prototype LAMP assay targeting GBS sip gene is described. The assay was 100 % specific for GBS, with a limit of detection of 14 genome copies per reaction. The clinical utility of the LAMP assay for rapid direct molecular detection of GBS was determined by testing a total of 157 vaginal swabs with minimal sample processing using a rapid lysis solution. Compared to a reference quantitative real-time PCR assay, the direct LAMP protocol had a sensitivity and specificity of 95.4 and 100 %, respectively, with positive and negative predictive values of 100 and 98.3 %, respectively. Positive and negative likelihood ratios were infinity and 0.05, respectively. The direct LAMP method required a mean time of 45 min from the receipt of a swab to generation of a confirmed result, compared to 2 h 30 min for the reference quantitative real-time PCR test. The direct LAMP protocol described is easy to perform, facilitating rapid and accurate detection of GBS in vaginal swabs. This test has a potential for use at point of care.

  15. The efficacy of lapatinib in metastatic breast cancer with HER2 non-amplified primary tumors and EGFR positive circulating tumor cells: a proof-of-concept study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Stebbing

    Full Text Available Analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs provides real-time measures of cancer sub-populations with potential for CTC-directed therapeutics. We examined whether lapatinib which binds both HER2 and EGFR could induce depletion of the EGFR-positive pool of CTCs, which may in turn lead to clinical benefits.Patients with metastatic breast cancer and HER2 non-amplified primary tumors with EGFR-positive CTCs were recruited and lapatinib 1500 mg daily was administered, in a standard two step phase 2 trial.There were no responses leading to termination at the first analysis with 16 patients recruited out of 43 screened. In 6 out of 14 (43% individuals eligible for the efficacy analysis, a decrease in CTCs was observed with most of these having a greater decrease in their EGFR-positive CTC pool.This is one of the first studies of CTC-directed therapeutics and suggests that lapatinib monotherapy is not having any demonstrable clinical effects by reducing the EGFR-positive pool of CTCs in HER2 non-amplified primary tumors. Our attempt to expand the pool of patients eligible for a targeted therapy was unsuccessful; the role of clonal populations in cancer biology and therapeutic strategies to control them will require extensive evaluation in years to come.Clinical trials.gov NCT00820924.

  16. High-resolution α-amylase assay combined with high-performance liquid chromatography−solid-phase extraction−nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for expedited identification of α-amylase inhibitors – proof of concept and α-amylase inhibitor in cinnamon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Okutan, Leyla; Kongstad, Kenneth Thermann; Jäger, Anna

    2014-01-01

    . In combination with HPLC–HRMS–SPE–NMR, this provides an analytical platform that allows simultaneous chemical and biological profiling of α-amylase inhibitors in plant extracts. Proof-of-concept with an artificial mixture of six compounds—of which three are known α-amylase inhibitors—showed that the high...

  17. Pharmacodynamic evaluation of intragastric pH and implications for famotidine dosing in the prophylaxis of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug induced gastropathy-a proof of concept analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Jeffery D; Holt, Robert J; Jung, Donald; Tidmarsh, George F; Grahn, Amy Y; Ball, Julie; Peura, David A

    2014-01-01

    Famotidine given at a dose of 80 mg/day is effective in preventing NSAID-induced gastropathy. The aim of this proof of concept study was to compare twice a day (BID) vs 3-times a day (TID) administration of this total dose of famotidine on intragastric pH in healthy volunteers. Two analyses were undertaken: (1) a 13 subject controlled cross-over 24-h intragastric pH evaluation of the BID and TID administration of 80 mg/day of famotidine, as well as measures for drug accumulation over 5 days (EudraCT, number 2006-002930-39); and (2) a pharmacokinetic (PK)/pharmacodynamic (PD) model which predicted steady-state famotidine plasma concentrations and pH of the two regimens. For the cross-over study, gastric pH was above 3.5 for a mean of 20 min longer for TID dosing compared to BID dosing on Day 1. On Day 5, the mean time above this threshold was higher with the BID regimen by ∼25 min. For pH 4, subjects' gastric pH was above this pH value for a mean of 25 min longer for TID dosing compared to BID dosing on Day 1. For Day 5, the pH was above 4 for ∼45 min longer with the TID regimen as compared with the BID regimen. The mean 24-h gastric pH values when taken in the upright position trended higher for the TID dosing period compared to the BID regimen on Day 1. The steady-state simulation model indicated that, following TID dosing, intragastric pH will be above 3 for 24 h vs 16 h for the BID regimen. There was no evidence for plasma accumulation of famotidine with TID dosing as compared to BID dosing from either analysis. The data indicate that overall more time is spent above the acidic threshold pH values when 80 mg/day of famotidine is administered TID vs BID. Key limitations included small study size with a short duration and lack of a baseline examination, but was compensated for by the cross-over and PK/PD modeling design. Although most of the comparisons in this proof of concept study were not statistically significant these results have

  18. Liquefaction resistance of calcareous sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandoval Vallejo, Eimar

    2012-01-01

    Calcareous sands are unique in terms of their origin, mineralogy, shape, fragility and intra particle porosity. This article presents results from an experimental program carried out to study the liquefaction resistance of a calcareous sand retrieved from Cabo Rojo at Puerto Rico. The experimental program included mineralogical characterization, index properties, and undrained cyclic triaxial tests on isotropically consolidated reconstituted samples. Due to the large variation in the calcareous sand properties, results are compared with previous researches carried out on other calcareous sands around the world. Results showed a wide range in the liquefaction resistance of the studied calcareous sands. Cabo Rojo sand experienced greater liquefaction resistance than most of the calcareous sands used for comparison. Important differences in the excess pore pressure generation characteristics were also found.

  19. Partial filling affinity capillary electrophoresis as a useful tool for fragment-based drug discovery: A proof of concept on thrombin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farcaş, E; Bouckaert, C; Servais, A-C; Hanson, J; Pochet, L; Fillet, M

    2017-09-01

    With the emergence of more challenging targets, a relatively new approach, fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD), proved its efficacy and gained increasing importance in the pharmaceutical industry. FBDD identifies low molecular-weight (MW) ligands (fragments) that bind to biologically important macromolecules, then a structure-guided fragment growing or merging approach is performed, contributing to the quality of the lead. However, to select the appropriate fragment to be evolved, sensitive analytical screening methods must be used to measure the affinity in the μM or even mM range. In this particular context, we developed a robust and selective partial filling affinity CE (ACE) method for the direct binding screening of a small fragment library in order to identify new thrombin inhibitors. To demonstrate the accuracy of our assay, the complex dissociation constants of three known thrombin inhibitors, namely benzamidine, p-aminobenzamidine and nafamostat were determined and found to be in good concordance with the previously reported values. Finally, the screening of a small library was performed and demonstrated the high discriminatory power of our method towards weak binders compared to classical spectrophotometric activity assay, proving the interest of our method in the context of FBDD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Thoughts turned into high-level commands: Proof-of-concept study of a vision-guided robot arm driven by functional MRI (fMRI) signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minati, Ludovico; Nigri, Anna; Rosazza, Cristina; Bruzzone, Maria Grazia

    2012-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated the possibility of using functional MRI to control a robot arm through a brain-machine interface by directly coupling haemodynamic activity in the sensory-motor cortex to the position of two axes. Here, we extend this work by implementing interaction at a more abstract level, whereby imagined actions deliver structured commands to a robot arm guided by a machine vision system. Rather than extracting signals from a small number of pre-selected regions, the proposed system adaptively determines at individual level how to map representative brain areas to the input nodes of a classifier network. In this initial study, a median action recognition accuracy of 90% was attained on five volunteers performing a game consisting of collecting randomly positioned coloured pawns and placing them into cups. The "pawn" and "cup" instructions were imparted through four mental imaginery tasks, linked to robot arm actions by a state machine. With the current implementation in MatLab language the median action recognition time was 24.3s and the robot execution time was 17.7s. We demonstrate the notion of combining haemodynamic brain-machine interfacing with computer vision to implement interaction at the level of high-level commands rather than individual movements, which may find application in future fMRI approaches relevant to brain-lesioned patients, and provide source code supporting further work on larger command sets and real-time processing. Copyright © 2012 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A hands-free region-of-interest selection interface for solo surgery with a wide-angle endoscope: preclinical proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Kyunghwa; Choi, Hyunseok; Hong, Hanpyo; Adikrishna, Arnold; Jeon, In-Ho; Hong, Jaesung

    2017-02-01

    A hands-free region-of-interest (ROI) selection interface is proposed for solo surgery using a wide-angle endoscope. A wide-angle endoscope provides images with a larger field of view than a conventional endoscope. With an appropriate selection interface for a ROI, surgeons can also obtain a detailed local view as if they moved a conventional endoscope in a specific position and direction. To manipulate the endoscope without releasing the surgical instrument in hand, a mini-camera is attached to the instrument, and the images taken by the attached camera are analyzed. When a surgeon moves the instrument, the instrument orientation is calculated by an image processing. Surgeons can select the ROI with this instrument movement after switching from 'task mode' to 'selection mode.' The accelerated KAZE algorithm is used to track the features of the camera images once the instrument is moved. Both the wide-angle and detailed local views are displayed simultaneously, and a surgeon can move the local view area by moving the mini-camera attached to the surgical instrument. Local view selection for a solo surgery was performed without releasing the instrument. The accuracy of camera pose estimation was not significantly different between camera resolutions, but it was significantly different between background camera images with different numbers of features (P solo surgeries without a camera assistant.

  2. A Two-Step Absorber Deposition Approach To Overcome Shunt Losses in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Using Tin Sulfide as a Proof-of-Concept Material System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinmann, Vera; Chakraborty, Rupak; Rekemeyer, Paul H.; Hartman, Katy; Brandt, Riley E.; Polizzotti, Alex; Yang, Chuanxi; Moriarty, Tom; Gradečak, Silvija; Gordon, Roy G.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2016-08-31

    As novel absorber materials are developed and screened for their photovoltaic (PV) properties, the challenge remains to reproducibly test promising candidates for high-performing PV devices. Many early-stage devices are prone to device shunting due to pinholes in the absorber layer, producing 'false-negative' results. Here, we demonstrate a device engineering solution toward a robust device architecture, using a two-step absorber deposition approach. We use tin sulfide (SnS) as a test absorber material. The SnS bulk is processed at high temperature (400 degrees C) to stimulate grain growth, followed by a much thinner, low-temperature (200 degrees C) absorber deposition. At a lower process temperature, the thin absorber overlayer contains significantly smaller, densely packed grains, which are likely to provide a continuous coating and fill pinholes in the underlying absorber bulk. We compare this two-step approach to the more standard approach of using a semi-insulating buffer layer directly on top of the annealed absorber bulk, and we demonstrate a more than 3.5x superior shunt resistance Rsh with smaller standard error ..sigma..Rsh. Electron-beam-induced current (EBIC) measurements indicate a lower density of pinholes in the SnS absorber bulk when using the two-step absorber deposition approach. We correlate those findings to improvements in the device performance and device performance reproducibility.

  3. A novel duplex ddPCR assay for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis japonica: proof of concept in an experimental mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weerakoon, Kosala G; Gordon, Catherine A; Cai, Pengfei; Gobert, Geoffrey N; Duke, Mary; Williams, Gail M; McManus, Donald P

    2017-07-01

    The current World Health Organization strategic plan targets the elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem by 2025 and accurate diagnostics will play a pivotal role in achieving this goal. DNA-based detection methods provide a viable alternative to some of the commonly used tests, notably microscopy and serology, for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis. The detection of parasite cell-free DNA in different clinical samples is a recent valuable advance, which provides significant benefits for accurate disease diagnosis. Here we validated a novel duplex droplet digital PCR assay for the diagnosis of Chinese (SjC) and Philippine (SjP) strains of Schistosoma japonicum infection in a mouse model. The assay proved applicable for both SjC and SjP infections and capable of detecting infection at a very early intra-mammalian stage in conveniently obtainable samples (urine and saliva) as well as in serum and feces. The target DNA copy numbers obtained in the assay showed a positive correlation with the infection burden assessed by direct traditional parasitology. The potential to detect parasite DNA in urine and saliva has important practical implications for large-scale epidemiological screening programmes in the future, particularly in terms of logistical convenience, and the assay has the potential to be a valuable additional tool for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis japonica.

  4. Protective effects of acute exercise prior to doxorubicin on cardiac function of breast cancer patients: A proof-of-concept RCT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkham, A A; Shave, R E; Bland, K A; Bovard, J M; Eves, N D; Gelmon, K A; McKenzie, D C; Virani, S A; Stöhr, E J; Warburton, D E R; Campbell, K L

    2017-10-15

    Preclinical studies have reported that a single treadmill session performed 24h prior to doxorubicin provides cardio-protection. We aimed to characterize the acute change in cardiac function following an initial doxorubicin treatment in humans and determine whether an exercise session performed 24h prior to treatment changes this response. Breast cancer patients were randomized to either 30min of vigorous-intensity exercise 24h prior to the first doxorubicin treatment (n=13), or no vigorous exercise for 72h prior to treatment (control, n=11). Echocardiographically-derived left ventricular volumes, longitudinal strain, twist, E/A ratio, and circulating NT-proBNP, a marker of later cardiotoxicity, were measured before and 24-48h after the treatment. Following treatment in the control group, NT-proBNP, end-diastolic and stroke volumes, cardiac output, E/A ratio, strain, diastolic strain rate, twist, and untwist velocity significantly increased (all p≤0.01). Whereas systemic vascular resistance (pvolume overload, and changes in longitudinal strain and twist opposite in direction to documented longer-term changes. An exercise session performed 24h prior to treatment attenuated NT-proBNP release and increased systolic function. Future investigations should verify these findings in a larger cohort and across multiple courses of doxorubicin. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Double-digest RAD sequencing outperforms microsatellite loci at assigning paternity and estimating relatedness: A proof of concept in a highly promiscuous bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Derrick J; Butcher, Bronwyn G; Campagna, Leonardo; Webster, Michael S; Lovette, Irby J

    2018-02-17

    Information on genetic relationships among individuals is essential to many studies of the behaviour and ecology of wild organisms. Parentage and relatedness assays based on large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci hold substantial advantages over the microsatellite markers traditionally used for these purposes. We present a double-digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-seq) analysis pipeline that, as such, simultaneously achieves the SNP discovery and genotyping steps and which is optimized to return a statistically powerful set of SNP markers (typically 150-600 after stringent filtering) from large numbers of individuals (up to 240 per run). We explore the trade-offs inherent in this approach through a set of experiments in a species with a complex social system, the variegated fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti) and further validate it in a phylogenetically broad set of other bird species. Through direct comparisons with a parallel data set from a robust panel of highly variable microsatellite markers, we show that this ddRAD-seq approach results in substantially improved power to discriminate among potential relatives and considerably more precise estimates of relatedness coefficients. The pipeline is designed to be universally applicable to all bird species (and with minor modifications to many other taxa), to be cost- and time-efficient, and to be replicable across independent runs such that genotype data from different study periods can be combined and analysed as field samples are accumulated. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Spatially Resolved MR-Compatible Doppler Ultrasound: Proof of Concept for Triggering of Diagnostic Quality Cardiovascular MRI for Function and Flow Quantification at 3T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Lindsey Alexandra; Manasseh, Gibran; Chmielewski, Aneta; Hachulla, Anne-Lise; Speicher, Daniel; Greiser, Andreas; Muller, Hajo; de Perrot, Thomas; Vallee, Jean-Paul; Salomir, Rares

    2018-02-01

    We demonstrate the use of a magnetic-resonance (MR)-compatible ultrasound (US) imaging probe using spatially resolved Doppler for diagnostic quality cardiovascular MR imaging (MRI) as an initial step toward hybrid US/MR fetal imaging. A newly developed technology for a dedicated MR-compatible phased array ultrasound-imaging probe acquired pulsed color Doppler carotid images, which were converted in near-real time to a trigger signal for cardiac cine and flow quantification MRI. Ultrasound and MR data acquired simultaneously were interference free. Conventional electrocardiogram (ECG) and the proposed spatially resolved Doppler triggering were compared in 10 healthy volunteers. A synthetic "false-triggered" image was retrospectively processed using metric optimized gating (MOG). Images were scored by expert readers, and sharpness, cardiac function and aortic flow were quantified. Four-dimensional (4-D) flow (two volunteers) showed feasibility of Doppler triggering over a long acquisition time. Imaging modalities were compatible. US probe positioning was stable and comfortable. Image quality scores and quantified sharpness were statistically equal for Doppler- and ECG-triggering (p ). ECG-, Doppler-triggered, and MOG ejection fractions were equivalent (p ), with false-triggered values significantly lower (p 0.05). 4-D flow quantification gave consistent results between ECG and Doppler triggering. We report interference-free pulsed color Doppler ultrasound during MR data acquisition. Cardiovascular MRI of diagnostic quality was successfully obtained with pulsed color Doppler triggering. The hardware platform could further enable advanced free-breathing cardiac imaging. Doppler ultrasound triggering is applicable where ECG is compromised due to pathology or interference at higher magnetic fields, and where direct ECG is impossible, i.e., fetal imaging.

  7. Binary moving-blocker-based scatter correction in cone-beam computed tomography with width-truncated projections: proof of concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ho; Fahimian, Benjamin P.; Xing, Lei

    2017-03-01

    This paper proposes a binary moving-blocker (BMB)-based technique for scatter correction in cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). In concept, a beam blocker consisting of lead strips, mounted in front of the x-ray tube, moves rapidly in and out of the beam during a single gantry rotation. The projections are acquired in alternating phases of blocked and unblocked cone beams, where the blocked phase results in a stripe pattern in the width direction. To derive the scatter map from the blocked projections, 1D B-Spline interpolation/extrapolation is applied by using the detected information in the shaded regions. The scatter map of the unblocked projections is corrected by averaging two scatter maps that correspond to their adjacent blocked projections. The scatter-corrected projections are obtained by subtracting the corresponding scatter maps from the projection data and are utilized to generate the CBCT image by a compressed-sensing (CS)-based iterative reconstruction algorithm. Catphan504 and pelvis phantoms were used to evaluate the method’s performance. The proposed BMB-based technique provided an effective method to enhance the image quality by suppressing scatter-induced artifacts, such as ring artifacts around the bowtie area. Compared to CBCT without a blocker, the spatial nonuniformity was reduced from 9.1% to 3.1%. The root-mean-square error of the CT numbers in the regions of interest (ROIs) was reduced from 30.2 HU to 3.8 HU. In addition to high resolution, comparable to that of the benchmark image, the CS-based reconstruction also led to a better contrast-to-noise ratio in seven ROIs. The proposed technique enables complete scatter-corrected CBCT imaging with width-truncated projections and allows reducing the acquisition time to approximately half. This work may have significant implications for image-guided or adaptive radiation therapy, where CBCT is often used.

  8. A proof-of-concept model for the identification of the key events in the infection process with specific reference to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in corneal infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilias Soumpasis

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: It is a common medical practice to characterise an infection based on the causative agent and to adopt therapeutic and prevention strategies targeting the agent itself. However, from an epidemiological perspective, exposure to a microbe can be harmless to a host as a result of low-level exposure or due to host immune response, with opportunistic infection only occurring as a result of changes in the host, pathogen, or surrounding environment. Methods: We have attempted to review systematically the key host, pathogen, and environmental factors that may significantly impact clinical outcomes of exposure to a pathogen, using Pseudomonas aeruginosa eye infection as a case study. Results and discussion: Extended contact lens wearing and compromised hygiene may predispose users to microbial keratitis, which can be a severe and vision-threatening infection. P. aeruginosa has a wide array of virulence-associated genes and sensing systems to initiate and maintain cell populations at the corneal surface and beyond. We have adapted the well-known concept of the epidemiological triangle in combination with the classic risk assessment framework (hazard identification, characterisation, and exposure to develop a conceptual pathway-based model that demonstrates the overlapping relationships between the host, the pathogen, and the environment; and to illustrate the key events in P. aeruginosa eye infection. Conclusion: This strategy differs from traditional approaches that consider potential risk factors in isolation, and hopefully will aid the identification of data and models to inform preventive and therapeutic measures in addition to risk assessment. Furthermore, this may facilitate the identification of knowledge gaps to direct research in areas of greatest impact to avert or mitigate adverse outcomes of infection.

  9. Transport fuels from two-stage coal liquefaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benito, A.; Cebolla, V.; Fernandez, I.; Martinez, M.T.; Miranda, J.L.; Oelert, H.; Prado, J.G. (Instituto de Carboquimica CSIC, Zaragoza (Spain))

    1994-03-01

    Four Spanish lignites and their vitrinite concentrates were evaluated for coal liquefaction. Correlationships between the content of vitrinite and conversion in direct liquefaction were observed for the lignites but not for the vitrinite concentrates. The most reactive of the four coals was processed in two-stage liquefaction at a higher scale. First-stage coal liquefaction was carried out in a continuous unit at Clausthal University at a temperature of 400[degree]C at 20 MPa hydrogen pressure and with anthracene oil as a solvent. The coal conversion obtained was 75.41% being 3.79% gases, 2.58% primary condensate and 69.04% heavy liquids. A hydroprocessing unit was built at the Instituto de Carboquimica for the second-stage coal liquefaction. Whole and deasphalted liquids from the first-stage liquefaction were processed at 450[degree]C and 10 MPa hydrogen pressure, with two commercial catalysts: Harshaw HT-400E (Co-Mo/Al[sub 2]O[sub 3]) and HT-500E (Ni-Mo/Al[sub 2]O[sub 3]). The effects of liquid hourly space velocity (LHSV), temperature, gas/liquid ratio and catalyst on the heteroatom liquids, and levels of 5 ppm of nitrogen and 52 ppm of sulphur were reached at 450[degree]C, 10 MPa hydrogen pressure, 0.08 kg H[sub 2]/kg feedstock and with Harshaw HT-500E catalyst. The liquids obtained were hydroprocessed again at 420[degree]C, 10 MPa hydrogen pressure and 0.06 kg H[sub 2]/kg feedstock to hydrogenate the aromatic structures. In these conditions, the aromaticity was reduced considerably, and 39% of naphthas and 35% of kerosene fractions were obtained. 18 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  10. Co-registration of pre-operative CT with ex vivo surgically excised ground glass nodules to define spatial extent of invasive adenocarcinoma on in vivo imaging: a proof-of-concept study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rusu, Mirabela [Case Western Reserve University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland, OH (United States); GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY (United States); Rajiah, Prabhakar [UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States); Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH (United States); Gilkeson, Robert; Yang, Michael; Donatelli, Christopher; Linden, Philip [Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH (United States); Thawani, Rajat; Madabhushi, Anant [Case Western Reserve University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland, OH (United States); Jacono, Frank J. [Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH (United States); Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH (United States)

    2017-10-15

    To develop an approach for radiology-pathology fusion of ex vivo histology of surgically excised pulmonary nodules with pre-operative CT, to radiologically map spatial extent of the invasive adenocarcinomatous component of the nodule. Six subjects (age: 75 ± 11 years) with pre-operative CT and surgically excised ground-glass nodules (size: 22.5 ± 5.1 mm) with a significant invasive adenocarcinomatous component (>5 mm) were included. The pathologist outlined disease extent on digitized histology specimens; two radiologists and a pulmonary critical care physician delineated the entire nodule on CT (in-plane resolution: <0.8 mm, inter-slice distance: 1-5 mm). We introduced a novel reconstruction approach to localize histology slices in 3D relative to each other while using CT scan as spatial constraint. This enabled the spatial mapping of the extent of tumour invasion from histology onto CT. Good overlap of the 3D reconstructed histology and the nodule outlined on CT was observed (65.9 ± 5.2%). Reduction in 3D misalignment of corresponding anatomical landmarks on histology and CT was observed (1.97 ± 0.42 mm). Moreover, the CT attenuation (HU) distributions were different when comparing invasive and in situ regions. This proof-of-concept study suggests that our fusion method can enable the spatial mapping of the invasive adenocarcinomatous component from 2D histology slices onto in vivo CT. (orig.)

  11. Co-registration of pre-operative CT with ex vivo surgically excised ground glass nodules to define spatial extent of invasive adenocarcinoma on in vivo imaging: a proof-of-concept study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rusu, Mirabela; Rajiah, Prabhakar; Gilkeson, Robert; Yang, Michael; Donatelli, Christopher; Linden, Philip; Thawani, Rajat; Madabhushi, Anant; Jacono, Frank J.

    2017-01-01

    To develop an approach for radiology-pathology fusion of ex vivo histology of surgically excised pulmonary nodules with pre-operative CT, to radiologically map spatial extent of the invasive adenocarcinomatous component of the nodule. Six subjects (age: 75 ± 11 years) with pre-operative CT and surgically excised ground-glass nodules (size: 22.5 ± 5.1 mm) with a significant invasive adenocarcinomatous component (>5 mm) were included. The pathologist outlined disease extent on digitized histology specimens; two radiologists and a pulmonary critical care physician delineated the entire nodule on CT (in-plane resolution: <0.8 mm, inter-slice distance: 1-5 mm). We introduced a novel reconstruction approach to localize histology slices in 3D relative to each other while using CT scan as spatial constraint. This enabled the spatial mapping of the extent of tumour invasion from histology onto CT. Good overlap of the 3D reconstructed histology and the nodule outlined on CT was observed (65.9 ± 5.2%). Reduction in 3D misalignment of corresponding anatomical landmarks on histology and CT was observed (1.97 ± 0.42 mm). Moreover, the CT attenuation (HU) distributions were different when comparing invasive and in situ regions. This proof-of-concept study suggests that our fusion method can enable the spatial mapping of the invasive adenocarcinomatous component from 2D histology slices onto in vivo CT. (orig.)

  12. Experimental Treatment with Favipiravir for Ebola Virus Disease (the JIKI Trial): A Historically Controlled, Single-Arm Proof-of-Concept Trial in Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sissoko, Daouda; Laouenan, Cedric; Folkesson, Elin; M’Lebing, Abdoul-Bing; Beavogui, Abdoul-Habib; Baize, Sylvain; Camara, Alseny-Modet; Maes, Piet; Shepherd, Susan; Danel, Christine; Carazo, Sara; Conde, Mamoudou N.; Gala, Jean-Luc; Colin, Géraldine; Savini, Hélène; Bore, Joseph Akoi; Le Marcis, Frederic; Koundouno, Fara Raymond; Petitjean, Frédéric; Lamah, Marie-Claire; Diederich, Sandra; Tounkara, Alexis; Poelart, Geertrui; Berbain, Emmanuel; Dindart, Jean-Michel; Duraffour, Sophie; Lefevre, Annabelle; Leno, Tamba; Peyrouset, Olivier; Irenge, Léonid; Bangoura, N’Famara; Palich, Romain; Hinzmann, Julia; Kraus, Annette; Barry, Thierno Sadou; Berette, Sakoba; Bongono, André; Camara, Mohamed Seto; Chanfreau Munoz, Valérie; Doumbouya, Lanciné; Souley Harouna; Kighoma, Patient Mumbere; Koundouno, Fara Roger; Réné Lolamou; Loua, Cécé Moriba; Massala, Vincent; Moumouni, Kinda; Provost, Célia; Samake, Nenefing; Sekou, Conde; Soumah, Abdoulaye; Arnould, Isabelle; Komano, Michel Saa; Gustin, Lina; Berutto, Carlotta; Camara, Diarra; Camara, Fodé Saydou; Colpaert, Joliene; Delamou, Léontine; Jansson, Lena; Kourouma, Etienne; Loua, Maurice; Malme, Kristian; Manfrin, Emma; Maomou, André; Milinouno, Adele; Ombelet, Sien; Sidiboun, Aboubacar Youla; Verreckt, Isabelle; Yombouno, Pauline; Bocquin, Anne; Carbonnelle, Caroline; Carmoi, Thierry; Frange, Pierre; Mely, Stéphane; Nguyen, Vinh-Kim; Pannetier, Delphine; Taburet, Anne-Marie; Treluyer, Jean-Marc; Kolie, Jacques; Moh, Raoul; Gonzalez, Minerva Cervantes; Kuisma, Eeva; Liedigk, Britta; Ngabo, Didier; Rudolf, Martin; Thom, Ruth; Kerber, Romy; Gabriel, Martin; Di Caro, Antonino; Wölfel, Roman; Badir, Jamal; Bentahir, Mostafa; Deccache, Yann; Dumont, Catherine; Durant, Jean-François; El Bakkouri, Karim; Gasasira Uwamahoro, Marie; Smits, Benjamin; Toufik, Nora; Van Cauwenberghe, Stéphane; Ezzedine, Khaled; Dortenzio, Eric; Pizarro, Louis; Etienne, Aurélie; Guedj, Jérémie; Fizet, Alexandra; Barte de Sainte Fare, Eric; Murgue, Bernadette; Tran-Minh, Tuan; Rapp, Christophe; Piguet, Pascal; Poncin, Marc; Draguez, Bertrand; Allaford Duverger, Thierry; Barbe, Solenne; Baret, Guillaume; Defourny, Isabelle; Carroll, Miles; Raoul, Hervé; Augier, Augustin; Eholie, Serge P.; Yazdanpanah, Yazdan; Levy-Marchal, Claire; Antierrens, Annick; Van Herp, Michel; Günther, Stephan; de Lamballerie, Xavier; Keïta, Sakoba; Mentre, France

    2016-01-01

    Background Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a highly lethal condition for which no specific treatment has proven efficacy. In September 2014, while the Ebola outbreak was at its peak, the World Health Organization released a short list of drugs suitable for EVD research. Favipiravir, an antiviral developed for the treatment of severe influenza, was one of these. In late 2014, the conditions for starting a randomized Ebola trial were not fulfilled for two reasons. One was the perception that, given the high number of patients presenting simultaneously and the very high mortality rate of the disease, it was ethically unacceptable to allocate patients from within the same family or village to receive or not receive an experimental drug, using a randomization process impossible to understand by very sick patients. The other was that, in the context of rumors and distrust of Ebola treatment centers, using a randomized design at the outset might lead even more patients to refuse to seek care. Therefore, we chose to conduct a multicenter non-randomized trial, in which all patients would receive favipiravir along with standardized care. The objectives of the trial were to test the feasibility and acceptability of an emergency trial in the context of a large Ebola outbreak, and to collect data on the safety and effectiveness of favipiravir in reducing mortality and viral load in patients with EVD. The trial was not aimed at directly informing future guidelines on Ebola treatment but at quickly gathering standardized preliminary data to optimize the design of future studies. Methods and Findings Inclusion criteria were positive Ebola virus reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) test, age ≥ 1 y, weight ≥ 10 kg, ability to take oral drugs, and informed consent. All participants received oral favipiravir (day 0: 6,000 mg; day 1 to day 9: 2,400 mg/d). Semi-quantitative Ebola virus RT-PCR (results expressed in “cycle threshold” [Ct]) and biochemistry tests were performed at day 0

  13. Experimental Treatment with Favipiravir for Ebola Virus Disease (the JIKI Trial: A Historically Controlled, Single-Arm Proof-of-Concept Trial in Guinea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daouda Sissoko

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus disease (EVD is a highly lethal condition for which no specific treatment has proven efficacy. In September 2014, while the Ebola outbreak was at its peak, the World Health Organization released a short list of drugs suitable for EVD research. Favipiravir, an antiviral developed for the treatment of severe influenza, was one of these. In late 2014, the conditions for starting a randomized Ebola trial were not fulfilled for two reasons. One was the perception that, given the high number of patients presenting simultaneously and the very high mortality rate of the disease, it was ethically unacceptable to allocate patients from within the same family or village to receive or not receive an experimental drug, using a randomization process impossible to understand by very sick patients. The other was that, in the context of rumors and distrust of Ebola treatment centers, using a randomized design at the outset might lead even more patients to refuse to seek care. Therefore, we chose to conduct a multicenter non-randomized trial, in which all patients would receive favipiravir along with standardized care. The objectives of the trial were to test the feasibility and acceptability of an emergency trial in the context of a large Ebola outbreak, and to collect data on the safety and effectiveness of favipiravir in reducing mortality and viral load in patients with EVD. The trial was not aimed at directly informing future guidelines on Ebola treatment but at quickly gathering standardized preliminary data to optimize the design of future studies.Inclusion criteria were positive Ebola virus reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR test, age ≥ 1 y, weight ≥ 10 kg, ability to take oral drugs, and informed consent. All participants received oral favipiravir (day 0: 6,000 mg; day 1 to day 9: 2,400 mg/d. Semi-quantitative Ebola virus RT-PCR (results expressed in "cycle threshold" [Ct] and biochemistry tests were performed at day 0, day 2, day 4, end

  14. Summary of FY 1980 results of Sunshine Project. Development of coal liquefaction techniques; 1980 nendo sekitan ekika gijutsu no kaihatsu seika hokokusho. Sunshine keikaku itaku kenkyu kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1981-03-01

    This report summarizes the results of the 3 R and D themes for coal liquefaction techniques, pursued by the Sunshine Project; (1) development of solvent extraction type liquefaction plant, and brown coal liquefaction technique R and D demonstration surveys, (2) development of solvolysis type liquefaction plant, and (3) development of direct hydrogenation type liquefaction plant. For the theme (1), the 1 T/D test plant, solid/liquid separator and small-size continuous settlement separator are constructed, and partly completed. The elementary studies include solvent extraction type liquefaction process, materials for coal liquefaction plant and solid/liquid separation. Australia's Victoria brown coal and Chinese coal are studied to clarify the possible problems involved in liquefaction of these coal species for commercialization of the liquefaction techniques in the early stage. The elementary techniques studied include dehydration of brown coal, milling at high temperature in oil, de-ashing, and secondary and primary hydrogenation. For the theme (2), the 1 T/D plant is inspected and maintained to clarify the problems involved in the continuous operation, revamped and repaired as necessary, given preventive maintenance, and tested for operability confirmation. The elementary studies include solvolysis type liquefaction process, scale-up, hydrogenation plant for solvolysis pitch. For the item (3), the 2.4 T/D test plant is constructed, and the elementary studies are conducted, for, e.g., liquefaction reactions in the presence of an iron-based catalyst. (NEDO)

  15. Summary of FY 1980 results of Sunshine Project. Development of coal liquefaction techniques; 1980 nendo sekitan ekika gijutsu no kaihatsu seika hokokusho. Sunshine keikaku itaku kenkyu kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1981-03-01

    This report summarizes the results of the 3 R and D themes for coal liquefaction techniques, pursued by the Sunshine Project; (1) development of solvent extraction type liquefaction plant, and brown coal liquefaction technique R and D demonstration surveys, (2) development of solvolysis type liquefaction plant, and (3) development of direct hydrogenation type liquefaction plant. For the theme (1), the 1 T/D test plant, solid/liquid separator and small-size continuous settlement separator are constructed, and partly completed. The elementary studies include solvent extraction type liquefaction process, materials for coal liquefaction plant and solid/liquid separation. Australia's Victoria brown coal and Chinese coal are studied to clarify the possible problems involved in liquefaction of these coal species for commercialization of the liquefaction techniques in the early stage. The elementary techniques studied include dehydration of brown coal, milling at high temperature in oil, de-ashing, and secondary and primary hydrogenation. For the theme (2), the 1 T/D plant is inspected and maintained to clarify the problems involved in the continuous operation, revamped and repaired as necessary, given preventive maintenance, and tested for operability confirmation. The elementary studies include solvolysis type liquefaction process, scale-up, hydrogenation plant for solvolysis pitch. For the item (3), the 2.4 T/D test plant is constructed, and the elementary studies are conducted, for, e.g., liquefaction reactions in the presence of an iron-based catalyst. (NEDO)

  16. EARTHQUAKE INDUCED LIQUEFACTION ANALYSIS OF

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    liquefaction analysis of Tendaho earth-fill dam, which is part ... sugar cane plantation in an area of 60,000 hectares. The project .... The model is prepared using the QUAKE/W program for the ..... Geo-slope International, Ltd., Canada. Dynamic ...

  17. Cooperative research program in coal liquefaction. Quarterly report, May 1, 1993--October 31, 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoffman, G.P. [ed.

    1994-07-01

    This report summarizes progress in four areas of research under the general heading of Coal Liquefaction. Results of studies concerning the coliquefaction of coal with waste organic polymers or chemical products of these polymers were reported. Secondly, studies of catalytic systems for the production of clean transportation fuels from coal were discussed. Thirdly, investigations of the chemical composition of coals and their dehydrogenated counterparts were presented. These studies were directed toward elucidation of coal liquefaction processes on the chemical level. Finally, analytical methodologies developed for in situ monitoring of coal liquefaction were reported. Techniques utilizing model reactions and methods based on XAFS, ESR, and GC/MS are discussed.

  18. Experimental validation of a mathematical model for seabed liquefaction in waves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumer, B. Mutlu; Kirca, Özgür; Fredsøe, Jørgen

    2011-01-01

    This paper summarizes the results of an experimental study directed towards the validation of a mathematical model for the buildup of pore water pressure and resulting liquefaction of marine soils under progressive waves. Experiments were conducted under controlled conditions with silt ( d50 = 0.......070 mm) in a wave flume with a soil pit. Waves with wave heights in the range 7.7-18 cm with the water depth 55 cm and the wave period 1.6 s enabled us to study both the liquefaction and no-liquefaction regime pore water pressure buildup. The experimental data was used to validate the model. A numerical...

  19. Proof of Concept in Disrupted Tactical Networking

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    of this work; rather, we focus on the selection of components and prototyping projectile- based nodes. This work is accomplished through basic...listening to Internet radio when an add plays about a restaurant just up ahead, or the driver approaches a billboard which has changed to advertise...of people are poor, a select few garner vast wealth (p. 102, 2010). Pareto’s work became known as Pareto’s law, where in many systems 20% of the

  20. DNA watermarks: A proof of concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barnekow Angelika

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background DNA-based watermarks are helpful tools to identify the unauthorized use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs protected by patents. In silico analyses showed that in coding regions synonymous codons can be used to insert encrypted information into the genome of living organisms by using the DNA-Crypt algorithm. Results We integrated an authenticating watermark in the Vam7 sequence. For our investigations we used a mutant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain, called CG783, which has an amber mutation within the Vam7 sequence. The CG783 cells are unable to sporulate and in addition display an abnormal vacuolar morphology. Transformation of CG783 with pRS314 Vam7 leads to a phenotype very similar to the wildtype yeast strain CG781. The integrated watermark did not influence the function of Vam7 and the resulting phenotype of the CG783 cells transformed with pRS314 Vam7-TB shows no significant differences compared to the CG783 cells transformed with pRS314 Vam7. Conclusion From our experiments we conclude that the DNA watermarks produced by DNA-Crypt do not influence the translation from mRNA into protein. By analyzing the vacuolar morphology, growth rate and ability to sporulate we confirmed that the resulting Vam7 protein was functionally active.

  1. Probabilistic liquefaction hazard analysis at liquefied sites of 1956 Dunaharaszti earthquake, in Hungary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Győri, Erzsébet; Gráczer, Zoltán; Tóth, László; Bán, Zoltán; Horváth, Tibor

    2017-04-01

    Liquefaction potential evaluations are generally made to assess the hazard from specific scenario earthquakes. These evaluations may estimate the potential in a binary fashion (yes/no), define a factor of safety or predict the probability of liquefaction given a scenario event. Usually the level of ground shaking is obtained from the results of PSHA. Although it is determined probabilistically, a single level of ground shaking is selected and used within the liquefaction potential evaluation. In contrary, the fully probabilistic liquefaction potential assessment methods provide a complete picture of liquefaction hazard, namely taking into account the joint probability distribution of PGA and magnitude of earthquake scenarios; both of which are key inputs in the stress-based simplified methods. Kramer and Mayfield (2007) has developed a fully probabilistic liquefaction potential evaluation method using a performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE) framework. The results of the procedure are the direct estimate of the return period of liquefaction and the liquefaction hazard curves in function of depth. The method combines the disaggregation matrices computed for different exceedance frequencies during probabilistic seismic hazard analysis with one of the recent models for the conditional probability of liquefaction. We have developed a software for the assessment of performance-based liquefaction triggering on the basis of Kramer and Mayfield method. Originally the SPT based probabilistic method of Cetin et al. (2004) was built-in into the procedure of Kramer and Mayfield to compute the conditional probability however there is no professional consensus about its applicability. Therefore we have included not only Cetin's method but Idriss and Boulanger (2012) SPT based moreover Boulanger and Idriss (2014) CPT based procedures into our computer program. In 1956, a damaging earthquake of magnitude 5.6 occurred in Dunaharaszti, in Hungary. Its epicenter was located

  2. The efficacy and tolerability of 5-aminolevulinic acid 5% thermosetting gel photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris. A two-center, prospective assessor-blinded, proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serini, Stefano Maria; Cannizzaro, Maria Vittoria; Dattola, Annunziata; Garofalo, Virginia; Del Duca, Esther; Ventura, Alessandra; Milani, Massimo; Campione, Elena; Bianchi, Luca

    2018-05-22

    Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, commonly treated with topical or systemic drugs, according to the severity of the condition. Retinoids and antibiotic compounds are considered cornerstone approaches in this condition. However, low adherence to the therapy and the issue of bacterial resistance undermine the efficacy in the long term. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with 20% aminolevulinic acid (ALA) has shown to be effective in the treatment of inflammatory acne. Skin tolerability, however, could be a limiting factor for a widespread use of this approach. A new formulation of 5% ALA in thermosetting gel has been recently available. This formulation allows a more convenient application procedure without occlusion and better and more efficient release of the active compound in comparison with traditional ALA formulations like creams or ointments. To evaluate in a two-center, assessor-blinded, prospective, proof-of-concept study, the efficacy, and tolerability of red-light (630 nm) PDT with a new 5-ALA "low-dose" topical gel formulation (5%) in the treatment of inflammatory mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris (AV). A total of 35 subjects with moderate AV of the face (mean age: 24 ± 8 years, 13 men and 22 women) were enrolled, after their written informed consent. The primary outcome was the evolution of GAG (Global Acne Grade System) score at baseline and after an average of three, 630-nm, 15-minute, PDT sessions, performed every 2 weeks. GAG score was also calculated in a follow-up visit 6 months after the last PDT session. Skin tolerability was assessed during PDT sessions with a patient-reported discomfort level evaluation score from 0 (no discomfort at all) to 3 (severe discomfort). At baseline, the GAG score was 21 ± 6. After the last PDT session, the GAG score evaluated in a blinded fashion (digital photographs) was significantly reduced to 6.5 ± 5.7, representing a 70% reduction (P = .0001, Wilcoxon test; mean difference 14.9; 95% CI of

  3. Design of a Bayesian adaptive phase 2 proof-of-concept trial for BAN2401, a putative disease-modifying monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satlin, Andrew; Wang, Jinping; Logovinsky, Veronika; Berry, Scott; Swanson, Chad; Dhadda, Shobha; Berry, Donald A

    2016-01-01

    Recent failures in phase 3 clinical trials in Alzheimer's disease (AD) suggest that novel approaches to drug development are urgently needed. Phase 3 risk can be mitigated by ensuring that clinical efficacy is established before initiating confirmatory trials, but traditional phase 2 trials in AD can be lengthy and costly. We designed a Bayesian adaptive phase 2, proof-of-concept trial with a clinical endpoint to evaluate BAN2401, a monoclonal antibody targeting amyloid protofibrils. The study design used dose response and longitudinal modeling. Simulations were used to refine study design features to achieve optimal operating characteristics. The study design includes five active treatment arms plus placebo, a clinical outcome, 12-month primary endpoint, and a maximum sample size of 800. The average overall probability of success is ≥80% when at least one dose shows a treatment effect that would be considered clinically meaningful. Using frequent interim analyses, the randomization ratios are adapted based on the clinical endpoint, and the trial can be stopped for success or futility before full enrollment. Bayesian statistics can enhance the efficiency of analyzing the study data. The adaptive randomization generates more data on doses that appear to be more efficacious, which can improve dose selection for phase 3. The interim analyses permit stopping as soon as a predefined signal is detected, which can accelerate decision making. Both features can reduce the size and duration of the trial. This study design can mitigate some of the risks associated with advancing to phase 3 in the absence of data demonstrating clinical efficacy. Limitations to the approach are discussed.

  4. Parameter Optimization for Feature and Hit Generation in a General Unknown Screening Method-Proof of Concept Study Using a Design of Experiment Approach for a High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Procedure after Data Independent Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmiger, Marco P; Poetzsch, Michael; Steuer, Andrea E; Kraemer, Thomas

    2018-03-06

    High resolution mass spectrometry and modern data independent acquisition (DIA) methods enable the creation of general unknown screening (GUS) procedures. However, even when DIA is used, its potential is far from being exploited, because often, the untargeted acquisition is followed by a targeted search. Applying an actual GUS (including untargeted screening) produces an immense amount of data that must be dealt with. An optimization of the parameters regulating the feature detection and hit generation algorithms of the data processing software could significantly reduce the amount of unnecessary data and thereby the workload. Design of experiment (DoE) approaches allow a simultaneous optimization of multiple parameters. In a first step, parameters are evaluated (crucial or noncrucial). Second, crucial parameters are optimized. The aim in this study was to reduce the number of hits, without missing analytes. The obtained parameter settings from the optimization were compared to the standard settings by analyzing a test set of blood samples spiked with 22 relevant analytes as well as 62 authentic forensic cases. The optimization lead to a marked reduction of workload (12.3 to 1.1% and 3.8 to 1.1% hits for the test set and the authentic cases, respectively) while simultaneously increasing the identification rate (68.2 to 86.4% and 68.8 to 88.1%, respectively). This proof of concept study emphasizes the great potential of DoE approaches to master the data overload resulting from modern data independent acquisition methods used for general unknown screening procedures by optimizing software parameters.

  5. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin 3 (NT3) levels in post-mortem brain tissue from patients with depression compared to healthy individuals - a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheldrick, A; Camara, S; Ilieva, M; Riederer, P; Michel, T M

    2017-10-01

    The neurotrophic factors (NTF) hypothesis of depression was postulated nearly a decade ago and is nowadays widely acknowledged. Previous reports suggest that cerebral concentrations of NTF may be reduced in suicide victims who received minimal or no antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Recent evidence suggests that antidepressant treatment may improve or normalise cerebral concentrations of neurotrophic factors. Therefore, we examined the concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin 3 (NT3) in different brain regions (cortex, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hippocampus, putamen and nucleus caudatus) of 21 individuals - 7 patients of which 4 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and overall age 86.8±5 years who received antidepressant pharmacotherapy (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors [SSRI]; tricyclic antidepressants [TCA]), 3 patients with MDD without antidepressant treatment and overall age 84.3±5 years versus 14 unaffected subjects at age 70.3±13.8. We detected significant elevation of BDNF (parietal cortex) and NT3 (parietal, temporal and occipital cortex, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, putamen and nucleus caudatus regions) in MDD patients who received antidepressant medication compared to MDD untreated patients and controls. Moreover, we detected a significant decrease of NT3 levels in the parietal cortex of patients suffering from MDD non-treated patients without treatment compared to healthy individuals. Although the limited statistical power due to the small sample size in this proof of concept study corroborates data from previous studies, which show that treatment with antidepressants mediates alterations in neuroplasticity via the action of NTF. However, more research using post-mortem brain tissue with larger samples needs to be carried out as well as longitudinal studies to further verify these results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. Antiplatelet therapy in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: protocol of a randomised controlled proof-of-concept trial (APPLE COPD-ICON 2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunadian, Vijay; Chan, Danny; Ali, Hani; Wilkinson, Nina; Howe, Nicola; McColl, Elaine; Thornton, Jared; von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Alexander; Holstein, Eva-Maria; Burns, Graham; Fisher, Andrew; Stocken, Deborah; De Soyza, Anthony

    2018-05-26

    The antiplatelet therapy in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (APPLE COPD-ICON2) trial is a prospective 2×2 factorial, double-blinded proof-of-concept randomised controlled trial targeting patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at high risk of cardiovascular disease. The primary goal of this trial is to investigate if treatment with antiplatelet therapy will produce the required response in platelet function measured using the Multiplate test in patients with COPD. Patients with COPD are screened for eligibility using inclusion and exclusion criteria. Eligible patients are randomised and allocated into one of four groups to receive aspirin plus placebo, ticagrelor plus placebo, aspirin plus ticagrelor or placebo only. Markers of systemic inflammation, platelet reactivity, arterial stiffness, carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), lung function and quality of life questionnaires are assessed. The primary outcome consists of inhibition (binary response) of aspirin and ADP-induced platelet function at 6 months. Secondary outcomes include changes in inflammatory markers, CIMT, non-invasive measures of vascular stiffness, quality of life using questionnaires (EuroQol-five dimensions-five levels of perceived problems (EQ5D-5L), St. George's COPD questionnaire) and to record occurrence of repeat hospitalisation, angina, myocardial infarction or death from baseline to 6 months. Safety outcomes will be rates of major and minor bleeding, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, forced vital capacity and Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale. The study was approved by the North East-Tyne and Wear South Research Ethics Committee (15/NE/0155). Findings of the study will be presented in scientific sessions and published in peer-reviewed journals. ISRCTN43245574; Pre-results. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights

  7. Outline of research achievement of fiscal 1983. Development of coal liquefaction technologies; Sekitan ekika gijutsu kaihatsu. 1983 nendo kenkyu seika no gaiyo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1983-07-01

    Reported are the results of (1) the development of bituminous coal liquefaction technology, (2) development of brown coal liquefaction technology, (3) experimental fabrication and development of plant equipment and materials therefor, and (4) a survey on coal type selection. The goals of the development are mentioned below. Under Item (1), an optimum liquefaction process and a solid/liquid separation process are to be defined, the effect of iron-based catalysts upon liquefaction reaction is to be elucidated, a technology for constructing a direct hydroliquefaction unit is to be established, and a plant using such a unit is to be developed. Under Item (2), an optimum liquefaction technology is to be established, high in economic efficiency and reliability, by subjecting Australia's Victoria brown coal to the direct liquefaction process. In particular, a new brown coal liquefaction technology is to be established, which will be an organic combination of a novel, raw brown coal slurry dehydration technology, a solvent deashing technology, and the secondary hydrogenation technology, all centering on the basic technology of primary hydrogenation. Under Item (3), reactor materials, accessory materials, slurry pumps, etc., are to be experimentally manufactured and developed further. Under Item (4), data are to be collected on coal resources, coal quality, liquefaction characteristics, etc., during the process of technology development for liquefaction, etc. Furthermore, methods are to be established for the effective utilization of liquefaction products and for their optimum refining. (NEDO)

  8. Coal liquefaction process streams characterization and evaluation. Quarterly technical progress report, October 1--December 31, 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robbins, G.A.; Brandes, S.D.; Winschel, R.A.; Burke, F.P.

    1992-03-01

    CONSOL R&D is conducting a three-year program to characterize process and product streams from direct coal liquefaction process development projects. The program objectives are two-fold: (1) to obtain and provide appropriate samples of coal liquids for the evaluation of analytical methodology, and (2) to support ongoing DOE-sponsored coal liquefaction process development efforts. The two broad objectives have considerable overlap and together serve to provide a bridge between process development and analytical chemistry.

  9. Advances in Seabed Liquefaction and its Implications for Marine Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumer, B. Mutlu

    2013-01-01

    A review is presented of recent advances in seabed liquefaction and its implications for marine structures. The review is organized in seven sections: Residual liquefaction, including the sequence of liquefaction, mathematical modelling, centrifuge modelling and comparison with standard wave-flum......-flume results; Momentary liquefaction; Floatation of buried pipelines; Sinking of pipelines and marine objects; Liquefaction at gravity structures; Stability of rock berms in liquefied soils; and Impact of seismic-induced liquefaction....

  10. Coal liquefaction still a dream

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Overberg, H

    1982-03-19

    Liquefaction of coal is not profitable in West Germany and will not be so far some time to coal. This is true for West German and imported coal. The result may be improved but not changed by combined conversion of coal and top residues of distilleries. These are the main statements of a study carried out by Messrs. Veba Oel AG, Gelsenkirchen, on behalf of the Federal Minister for Research and Technology. The results of the study are presented in 20 volumes.

  11. Liquefaction technology assessment. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1979-05-01

    A survey of coal liquefaction technology and analysis of projected relative performance of high potential candidates has been completed and the results are reported here. The key objectives of the study included preparation of a broad survey of the status of liquefaction processes under development, selection of a limited number of high potential process candidates for further study, and an analysis of the relative commercial potential of these candidates. Procedures which contributed to the achievement of the above key goals included definition of the characteristics and development status of known major liquefaction process candidates, development of standardized procedures for assessing technical, environmental, economic and product characteristics for the separate candidates, and development of procedures for selecting and comparing high potential processes. The comparisons were made for three production areas and four marketing areas of the US. In view of the broad scope of the objectives the survey was a limited effort. It used the experience gained during preparation of seven comprehensive conceptual designs/economic evaluations plus comprehensive reviews of the designs, construction and operation of several pilot plants. Results and conclusions must be viewed in the perspective of the information available, how this information was treated, and the full context of the economic comparison results. Comparative economics are presented as ratios; they are not intended to be predictors of absolute values. Because the true cost of constructing and operating large coal conversion facilities will be known only after commercialization, relative values are considered more appropriate. (LTN)

  12. Coal liquefaction: A research and development needs assessment: Final report, Volume II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schindler, H.D.; Burke, F.P.; Chao, K.C.; Davis, B.H.; Gorbaty, M.L.; Klier, K.; Kruse, C.W.; Larsen, J.W.; Lumpkin, R.E.; McIlwain, M.E.; Wender, I.; Stewart, N.

    1989-03-01

    Volume II of this report on an assessment of research needs for coal liquefaction contains reviews of the five liquefaction technologies---direct, indirect, pyrolysis, coprocessing, and bioconversion. These reviews are not meant to be encyclopedic; several outstanding reviews of liquefaction have appeared in recent years and the reader is referred to these whenever applicable. Instead, these chapters contain reviews of selected topics that serve to support the panel's recommendations or to illustrate recent accomplishments, work in progress, or areas of major research interest. At the beginning of each of these chapters is a brief introduction and a summary of the most important research recommendations brought out during the panel discussions and supported by the material presented in the review. A review of liquefaction developments outside the US is included. 594 refs., 100 figs., 60 tabs.

  13. Liquefaction macrophenomena in the great Wenchuan earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Longwei; Yuan, Xiaoming; Cao, Zhenzhong; Hou, Longqing; Sun, Rui; Dong, Lin; Wang, Weiming; Meng, Fanchao; Chen, Hongjuan

    2009-06-01

    On May 12, 2008 at 14:28, a catastrophic magnitude M s 8.0 earthquake struck the Sichuan Province of China. The epicenter was located at Wenchuan (31.00°N, 103.40°E). Liquefaction macrophenomena and corresponding destruction was observed throughout a vast area of 500 km long and 200 km wide following the earthquake. This paper illustrates the geographic distribution of the liquefaction and the relationship between liquefaction behavior and seismic intensity, and summarizes the liquefaction macrophenomena, including sandboils and waterspouts, ground subsidence, ground fissures etc., and relevant liquefaction features. A brief summary of the structural damage caused by liquefaction is presented and discussed. Based on comparisons with liquefaction phenomena observed in the 1976 Tangshan and 1975 Haicheng earthquakes, preliminary analyses were performed, which revealed some new features of liquefaction behavior and associated issues arising from this event. The site investigation indicated that the spatial non-uniformity of liquefaction distribution was obvious and most of the liquefied sites were located in regions of seismic intensity VIII. However, liquefaction phenomena at ten different sites in regions of seismic intensity VI were also observed for the first time in China mainland. Sandboils and waterspouts ranged from centimeters to tens of meters, with most between 1 m to 3 m. Dramatically high water/sand ejections, e.g., more than 10 m, were observed at four different sites. The sand ejections included silty sand, fine sand, medium sand, course sand and gravel, but the ejected sand amount was less than that in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. Possible liquefaction of natural gravel soils was observed for the first time in China mainland.

  14. GP-support by means of AGnES-practice assistants and the use of telecare devices in a sparsely populated region in Northern Germany – proof of concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scriba Sibylle

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In many rural regions in Germany, the proportion of the elderly population increases rapidly. Simultaneously, about one-third of the presently active GPs will retire until 2010. Often it is difficult to find successors for vacant GP-practices. These regions require innovative concepts to avoid the imminent shortage in primary health care. The AGnES-concept comprises the delegation of GP-home visits to qualified AGnES-practice assistants (AGnES: GP-supporting, community-based, e-health-assisted, systemic intervention. Main objectives were the assessment of the acceptance of the AGnES-concept by the participating GPs, patients, and AGnES-practice assistants, the kind of delegated tasks, and the feasibility of home telecare in a GP-practice. Methods In this paper, we report first results of the implementation of this concept in regular GP-practices, conducted November 2005 – March 2007 on the Island of Rügen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. This study was meant as a proof of concept. The GP delegated routine home-visits to qualified practice employees (here: registered nurses. Eligible patients were provided with telecare-devices to monitor disease-related physiological values. All delegated tasks, modules conducted and questionnaire responses were documented. The participating patients were asked for their acceptance based on standardized questionnaires. The GPs and AGnES-practice assistants were asked for their judgement about different project components, the quality of health care provision and the competences of the AGnES-practice assistants. Results 550 home visits were conducted. 105 patients, two GPs and three AGnES-practice assistants (all registered nurses participated in the project. 48 patients used telecare-devices to monitor health parameters. 87.4% of the patients accepted AGnES-care as comparable to common GP-care. In the course of the project, the GPs delegated an increasing number of both monitoring

  15. A Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trial of A Single Luteal Use of Long-Acting Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Antagonist Degarelix in Controlled Ovarian Stimulation for In Vitro Fertilization: Long Antagonist Protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evangelos G. Papanikolaou

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available IntroductionA drawback of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH antagonist protocols in in vitro fertilization (IVF is that they have limited flexibility in cycle programming. This proof of concept study explored the efficacy of a single-dose, long-acting GnRH antagonist IVF protocol. Trial registration number is NCT03240159, retrospectively registered on March 08, 2017.Materials and methodsThe efficacy of a single-dose long-acting antagonist, degarelix, was explored initially in healthy donors and subsequently in infertile patients. In the first part, five healthy oocyte donors underwent ovarian stimulation with this new protocol: in the late luteal phase, at day 24, a bolus injection of degarelix was administered subcutaneously to control the LH surge in the follicular phase. Ovarian stimulation with gonadotropins was initiated subsequently from day 7 to day 10. End points were first to inhibit the LH surge later in the follicular phase and, second, to retrieve mature oocytes for IVF. In the second part, five infertile women received the same bolus injection of degarelix administered during the luteal phase at day 24. Different gonadotropin starting days (day 2 through day 8 were tested in order to observe possible differences in ovarian stimulation. In these infertile patients, fresh embryo transfers were performed to assess the pregnancy efficacy of this protocol on pregnancy outcomes and to address any possible negative effects on endometrium receptivity.ResultsIn the first part of the study, all donors were effectively downregulated with a single luteal dose of 0.5 ml of degarelix for up to 22 days until the final oocyte maturation triggering day. Mature oocytes were retrieved after 36 h from all patients and all produced 2–7 blastocysts. In the second part, all five infertile patients achieved sufficient LH downregulation and completed ovarian stimulation without any LH surge. All patients (except one with freeze all strategy had

  16. Can Fire and Rescue Services and the National Health Service work together to improve the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable older people? Design of a proof of concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whiting David G

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Older adults are at increased risk both of falling and of experiencing accidental domestic fire. In addition to advanced age, these adverse events share the risk factors of balance or mobility problems, cognitive impairment and socioeconomic deprivation. For both events, the consequences include significant injury and death, and considerable socioeconomic costs for the individual and informal carers, as well as for emergency services, health and social care agencies. Secondary prevention services for older people who have fallen or who are identifiable as being at high risk of falling include NHS Falls clinics, where a multidisciplinary team offers an individualised multifactorial targeted intervention including strength and balance exercise programmes, medication changes and home hazard modification. A similar preventative approach is employed by most Fire and Rescue Services who conduct Home Fire Safety Visits to assess and, if necessary, remedy domestic fire risk, fit free smoke alarms with instruction for use and maintenance, and plan an escape route. We propose that the similarity of population at risk, location, specific risk factors and the commonality of preventative approaches employed could offer net gains in terms of feasibility, effectiveness and acceptability if activities within these two preventative approaches were to be combined. Methods/Design This prospective proof of concept study, currently being conducted in two London boroughs, (Southwark and Lambeth aims to reduce the incidence of both fires and falls in community-dwelling older adults. It comprises two concurrent 12-month interventions: the integration of 1 fall risk assessments into the Brigade's Home Fire Safety Visit and 2 fire risk assessments into Falls services by inviting older clinic attendees to book a Visit. Our primary objective is to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of these interventions. Furthermore, we are evaluating their

  17. Catheter-based renal denervation in patients with uncontrolled hypertension in the absence of antihypertensive medications (SPYRAL HTN-OFF MED): a randomised, sham-controlled, proof-of-concept trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, Raymond R; Mahfoud, Felix; Kandzari, David E; Kario, Kazuomi; Pocock, Stuart; Weber, Michael A; Ewen, Sebastian; Tsioufis, Konstantinos; Tousoulis, Dimitrios; Sharp, Andrew S P; Watkinson, Anthony F; Schmieder, Roland E; Schmid, Axel; Choi, James W; East, Cara; Walton, Anthony; Hopper, Ingrid; Cohen, Debbie L; Wilensky, Robert; Lee, David P; Ma, Adrian; Devireddy, Chandan M; Lea, Janice P; Lurz, Philipp C; Fengler, Karl; Davies, Justin; Chapman, Neil; Cohen, Sidney A; DeBruin, Vanessa; Fahy, Martin; Jones, Denise E; Rothman, Martin; Böhm, Michael

    2017-11-11

    Previous randomised renal denervation studies did not show consistent efficacy in reducing blood pressure. The objective of our study was to evaluate the effect of renal denervation on blood pressure in the absence of antihypertensive medications. SPYRAL HTN-OFF MED was a multicentre, international, single-blind, randomised, sham-controlled, proof-of-concept trial. Patients were enrolled at 21 centres in the USA, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Eligible patients were drug-naive or discontinued their antihypertensive medications. Patients with an office systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 150 mm Hg or greater and less than 180 mm Hg, office diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90 mm Hg or greater, and a mean 24-h ambulatory SBP of 140 mm Hg or greater and less than 170 mm Hg at second screening underwent renal angiography and were randomly assigned to renal denervation or sham control. Patients, caregivers, and those assessing blood pressure were blinded to randomisation assignments. The primary endpoint, change in 24-h blood pressure at 3 months, was compared between groups. Drug surveillance was done to ensure patient compliance with absence of antihypertensive medication. The primary analysis was done in the intention-to-treat population. Safety events were assessed at 3 months. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02439749. Between June 25, 2015, and Jan 30, 2017, 353 patients were screened. 80 patients were randomly assigned to renal denervation (n=38) or sham control (n=42) and followed up for 3 months. Office and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure decreased significantly from baseline to 3 months in the renal denervation group: 24-h SBP -5·5 mm Hg (95% CI -9·1 to -2·0; p=0·0031), 24-h DBP -4·8 mm Hg (-7·0 to -2·6; prenal denervation for 3-month change in both office and 24-h blood pressure from baseline: 24-h SBP -5·0 mm Hg (95% CI -9·9 to -0·2; p=0·0414), 24-h DBP -4·4 mm Hg (-7·2 to -1·6; p=0·0024), office SBP -7·7 mm Hg (-14·0

  18. Safety and efficacy of at-home robotic locomotion therapy in individuals with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury: a prospective, pre-post intervention, proof-of-concept study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rüdiger Rupp

    Full Text Available The compact Motorized orthosis for home rehabilitation of Gait (MoreGait was developed for continuation of locomotion training at home. MoreGait generates afferent stimuli of walking with the user in a semi-supine position and provides feedback about deviations from the reference walking pattern.Prospective, pre-post intervention, proof-of-concept study to test the feasibility of an unsupervised home-based application of five MoreGait prototypes in subjects with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI.Twenty-five (5 tetraplegia, 20 paraplegia participants with chronic (mean time since injury: 5.8 ± 5.4 (standard deviation, SD years sensorimotor iSCI (7 ASIA Impairment Scale (AIS C, 18 AIS D; Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury (WISCI II: Interquartile range 9 to 16 completed the training (45 minutes / day, at least 4 days / week, 8 weeks. Baseline status was documented 4 and 2 weeks before and at training onset. Training effects were assessed after 4 and 8 weeks of therapy.After therapy, 9 of 25 study participants improved with respect to the dependency on walking aids assessed by the WISCI II. For all individuals, the short-distance walking velocity measured by the 10-Meter Walk Test showed significant improvements compared to baseline (100% for both self-selected (Mean 139.4% ± 35.5% (SD and maximum (Mean 143.1% ± 40.6% (SD speed conditions as well as the endurance estimated with the six-minute walk test (Mean 166.6% ± 72.1% (SD. One device-related adverse event (pressure sore on the big toe occurred in over 800 training sessions.Home-based robotic locomotion training with MoreGait is feasible and safe. The magnitude of functional improvements achieved by MoreGait in individuals with iSCI is well within the range of complex locomotion robots used in hospitals. Thus, unsupervised MoreGait training potentially represents an option to prolong effective training aiming at recovery of locomotor function beyond in-patient rehabilitation

  19. Whole Algae Hydrothermal Liquefaction Technology Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biddy, M.; Davis, R.; Jones, S.

    2013-03-01

    This technology pathway case investigates the feasibility of using whole wet microalgae as a feedstock for conversion via hydrothermal liquefaction. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline-, diesel-, and jet-range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  20. Wave liquefaction in soils with clay content

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirca, Özgür; Sumer, B. Mutlu; Fredsøe, Jørgen

    2012-01-01

    The paper presents the results of an experimental study of the influence of clay content (in silt-clay and sand-clay mixtures) on liquefaction beneath progressive waves. The experiments showed that the influence of clay content is very significant. Susceptibility of silt to liquefaction is increa...

  1. Geological occurrence response to trace elemental migration in coal liquefaction based on SPSS: take no. 11 coalbed in Antaibao mine for example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Xiaohong; Qin, Yong; Yang, Weifeng

    2013-03-01

    Coal liquefaction is an adoptable method to transfer the solid fossil energy into liquid oil in large scale, but the dirty material in which will migrate to different step of liquefaction. The migration rule of some trace elements is response to the react activity of macerals in coal and the geological occurrence of the element nature of itself. In this paper, from the SPSS data correlation analysis and hierarchical clustering dendrogram about the trace elements with macerals respond to coal liquefaction yield, it shows the trace elements in No.11 Antaibao coal seam originated from some of lithophile and sulphophle elements. Correlation coefficient between liquefaction yield of three organic macerals and migration of the elements in liquefaction residue indicated that the lithophile are easy to transfer to residue, while sulphophle are apt to in the liquid products. The activated macerals are response to sulphophle trace elements. The conclusion is useful to the coal blending and environmental effects on coal direct liquefaction.

  2. FY 1980 Report on results of research and development project, recommissioned by Sunshine Project. Development of direct hydrogenation type coal liquefaction plant (Development of power recovery system by hydrohoist); 1980 nendo chokusetsu suiten ekika plant no kaihatsu seika hokokusho. Hydrohoist ni yoru doryoku kaishu system no kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1981-03-01

    The R and D program was implemented for a hydrohoist system, with the objectives to reduce wear and power requirements in the direct hydrogenation type coal liquefaction plant. Direct hydrogenation, operating at elevated pressure in the presence of catalyst, is suitable for liquefaction of coal to produce light liquid products, which are in great demand. However, there are many mechanical problems to be solved, because the plant is operated under very severe conditions. The proposed hydrohoist system combines supply of the feed slurry with the let-down step for the slurry effluent as the product of the high-pressure system, to save energy by recovering power from the effluent slurry and, at the same time, reduce wear of the pumps and let-down valves, for the direct hydrogenation plant operating at 150 to 300 kg/cm{sup 2} in the presence of catalyst to liquefy coal. Such a system has been already commercialized for transferring coal and other minerals. In the FY 1980, basic tests are conducted using a small autoclave, to extract the problematical points for the test system. The results serve as the bases for designs and construction of the basic test system by which the hydrohoist system is to be studied and evaluated. (NEDO)

  3. Coal liquefaction with preasphaltene recycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weimer, Robert F.; Miller, Robert N.

    1986-01-01

    A coal liquefaction system is disclosed with a novel preasphaltene recycle from a supercritical extraction unit to the slurry mix tank wherein the recycle stream contains at least 90% preasphaltenes (benzene insoluble, pyridine soluble organics) with other residual materials such as unconverted coal and ash. This subject process results in the production of asphaltene materials which can be subjected to hydrotreating to acquire a substitute for No. 6 fuel oil. The preasphaltene-predominant recycle reduces the hydrogen consumption for a process where asphaltene material is being sought.

  4. Earthquake-induced liquefaction in Ferland, Quebec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tuttle, M.; Seeber, L.

    1991-02-01

    Detailed geological investigations are under way at a number of liquefaction sites in the Ferland-Boilleau valley, Quebec, where sand boils, ground cracks and liquefaction-related damages to homes were documented immediately following the Ms=6.0, Mblg=6.5 Saguenay earthquake of November 25, 1988. To date, results obtained from these subsurface investigations of sand boils at two sites in Ferland, located about 26 km from the epicentre, indicate that: the Saguenay earthquake induced liquefaction in late-Pleistocene and Holocene sediments which was recorded as sand dikes, sills and vents in near-surface sediments and soils; earthquake-induced liquefaction and ground failure have occurred in this area at least three times in the past 10,000 years; and, the size and morphology of liquefaction features and the liquefaction susceptibility of source layers of the features may be indicative of the intensity of ground shaking. These preliminary results are very promising and suggest that with continued research liquefaction features will become a useful tool in glaciated terrains, such as northeastern North America, for determining not only the timing and location but also the size of past earthquakes

  5. Repeat dose of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist trigger in polycystic ovarian syndrome undergoing In Vitro fertilization cycles provides a better cycle outcome - a proof-of-concept study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishna Deepika

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Is a single dose of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa trigger to induce final oocyte maturation in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF cycles with GnRH antagonist protocol sufficient to provide optimal oocyte maturity? Design: This is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, proof-of-concept study. Setting: This study was carried out at a tertiary care center. Material and Methods: A total of 125 patients diagnosed with PCOS defined as per the ESHRE/ASRM Rotterdam criteria (2003 undergoing IVF in antagonist protocol were randomized into two groups. Group A: single dose of GnRHa 0.2 mg, 35 h prior to oocyte retrieval, and Group B: 0.2 mg GnRHa 35 h prior to oocyte retrieval + repeat dose of 0.1 mg 12 h following the 1st dose. 12 h post-trigger, luteinizing hormone (LH, progesterone (P4, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH values were estimated. Statistical Analysis: Continuous variables were expressed as mean ± standard deviation and categorical variables as proportions where applicable. Independent sample t-test was used for continuous variables which were normally distributed and Mann–Whitney U-test for data not normally distributed. Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test was used for categorical variables where appropriate. Odds ratio (OR with 95% confidence intervals (CIs was calculated. In addition, receiver operating characteristic curve was used to evaluate the post-trigger LH, P4, and FSH values at 12 h as predictors of oocyte maturity. Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcome: maturity rate of the oocytes. Secondary outcomes: oocyte yield, fertilization rate, availability of good quality embryos on day 3, blastocyst conversion, OHSS rates, post-trigger serum LH (IU/L, FSH (IU/L, and P4 (ng/mL levels implantation rate and clinical pregnancy rate. Results: A higher number of mature (metaphase II oocytes were obtained in Group B compared to Group A (OR of 0.47; CI: 0.38–0

  6. Moderate hypothermia within 6 h of birth plus inhaled xenon versus moderate hypothermia alone after birth asphyxia (TOBY-Xe): a proof-of-concept, open-label, randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azzopardi, Denis; Robertson, Nicola J; Bainbridge, Alan; Cady, Ernest; Charles-Edwards, Geoffrey; Deierl, Aniko; Fagiolo, Gianlorenzo; Franks, Nicholas P; Griffiths, James; Hajnal, Joseph; Juszczak, Edmund; Kapetanakis, Basil; Linsell, Louise; Maze, Mervyn; Omar, Omar; Strohm, Brenda; Tusor, Nora; Edwards, A David

    2016-02-01

    Moderate cooling after birth asphyxia is associated with substantial reductions in death and disability, but additional therapies might provide further benefit. We assessed whether the addition of xenon gas, a promising novel therapy, after the initiation of hypothermia for birth asphyxia would result in further improvement. Total Body hypothermia plus Xenon (TOBY-Xe) was a proof-of-concept, randomised, open-label, parallel-group trial done at four intensive-care neonatal units in the UK. Eligible infants were 36-43 weeks of gestational age, had signs of moderate to severe encephalopathy and moderately or severely abnormal background activity for at least 30 min or seizures as shown by amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG), and had one of the following: Apgar score of 5 or less 10 min after birth, continued need for resuscitation 10 min after birth, or acidosis within 1 h of birth. Participants were allocated in a 1:1 ratio by use of a secure web-based computer-generated randomisation sequence within 12 h of birth to cooling to a rectal temperature of 33·5°C for 72 h (standard treatment) or to cooling in combination with 30% inhaled xenon for 24 h started immediately after randomisation. The primary outcomes were reduction in lactate to N-acetyl aspartate ratio in the thalamus and in preserved fractional anisotropy in the posterior limb of the internal capsule, measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy and MRI, respectively, within 15 days of birth. The investigator assessing these outcomes was masked to allocation. Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00934700, and with ISRCTN, as ISRCTN08886155. The study was done from Jan 31, 2012, to Sept 30, 2014. We enrolled 92 infants, 46 of whom were randomly assigned to cooling only and 46 to xenon plus cooling. 37 infants in the cooling only group and 41 in the cooling plus xenon group underwent magnetic resonance assessments and were included in the analysis of

  7. Detection and localization of carcinoma within the prostate using high resolution transrectal gamma imaging (TRGI) of monoclonal antibody directed at prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA)—Proof of concept and initial imaging results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franc, Benjamin L.; Cho, Steve Y.; Rosenthal, Seth A.; Cui, Yonggang; Tsui, Benjamin; Vandewalker, Kristen M.N.; Holz, Andrew L.; Poonamallee, Uday; Pomper, Martin G.; James, Ralph B.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Molecular imaging methods may identify primary prostate cancer foci and potentially guide biopsy and optimal management approaches. In this exploratory study, safety and first human imaging experience of a novel solid state endocavity transrectal gamma-imaging (TRGI) device was evaluated. Methods: Twelve patients received 5 ± 0.5 mCi In-111 capromab pendetide (ProstaScint ® ) intravenously and the prostate of each was imaged 4 days later transrectally using an endoluminal cadmium zinc telluride (CZT)-based compact gamma camera (ProxiScan™, Hybridyne Imaging Technologies, Inc.). Immediate and 5–7-day post imaging safety assessments were performed. In those patients with a prostate cancer diagnosis (N = 10), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT-CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pelvis were also acquired. Images were reviewed and sites of suspected cancer were localized by prostate quadrant by consensus of two nuclear medicine physicians. Pathology from TRUS biopsy, or surgical pathology following prostatectomy (N = 3) when available, served as the gold standard. Results: There were no serious adverse events associated with TRGI. No focal signal was detected in patients without a diagnosis of prostate cancer (N = 2). Of 40 quadrants evaluated in the cancer cohort (N = 10), 22 contained malignancy. In 8 of these 10 patients, the most focal site of uptake on TRGI corresponded to a prostatic quadrant with biopsy-proven malignancy. In 6 cancer-containing quadrants, TRGI was positive where SPECT-CT was negative; MRI showed a detectable abnormality in only 1 of these 6 quadrants. Qualitative image review of the planar TRGI images for prostate cancer localization was severely limited in some cases by scatter artifact within the vicinity of the prostate gland arising from physiologic urine and blood pool activity from nearby structures. Conclusions: TRGI is a safe imaging method that can potentially detect radiopharmaceutical uptake of primary prostate cancer and facilitate prostatic quadrant – localization of cancer. Further investigation of this technology is warranted

  8. Technology for advanced liquefaction processes: Coal/waste coprocessing studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cugini, A.V.; Rothenberger, K.S.; Ciocco, M.V. [Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center, PA (United States)] [and others

    1995-12-31

    The efforts in this project are directed toward three areas: (1) novel catalyst (supported and unsupported) research and development, (2) study and optimization of major operating parameters (specifically pressure), and (3) coal/waste coprocessing. The novel catalyst research and development activity has involved testing supported catalysts, dispersed catalysts, and use of catalyst testing units to investigate the effects of operating parameters (the second area) with both supported and unsupported catalysts. Several supported catalysts were tested in a simulated first stage coal liquefaction application at 404{degrees}C during this performance period. A Ni-Mo hydrous titanate catalyst on an Amocat support prepared by Sandia National laboratories was tested. Other baseline experiments using AO-60 and Amocat, both Ni-Mo/A