Electronic volume analysis of L1210 chemotherapy.
The rapid analysis of in vivo chemotherapy on the L1210 ascites tumor grown in C57BL/6 X DBA/2F1 mice has been shown by means of an electronic volume analysis. The drugs were injected on the 4th day of tumor growth, and the cells in the peritoneal cavity were studied at 24-hr intervals on the 5th through 7th day. Using the electronic cell volume distributions, combined with labeling indices, cell morphology, and cell counts, it was found that the alkylating agents. 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea and cyclophosphamide, at the dosages used, were more effective than the S-phase-specific drugs, palmitoyl ester of 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine, vincristine, and methotrexate. (+info
Automated food microbiology: potential for the hydrophobic grid-membrane filter.
Bacterial counts obtained on hydrophobic grid-membrane filters were comparable to conventional plate counts for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus in homogenates from a range of foods. The wide numerical operating range of the hydrophobic grid-membrane filters allowed sequential diluting to be reduced or even eliminated, making them attractive as components in automated systems of analysis. Food debris could be rinsed completely from the unincubated hydrophobic grid-membrane filter surface without affecting the subsequent count, thus eliminating the possibility of counting food particles, a common source of error in electronic counting systems. (+info
The usefulness of a piezo-micromanipulator in intracytoplasmic sperm injection in humans.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has wide clinical application. In order to achieve good results with this method, it is important to restrict the possibility of oocyte injury as much as possible, and securely inject spermatozoa into the ooplasm. For this purpose, we clinically applied piezo-ICSI, which employs a micromanipulator with piezoelectric elements, to humans, and compared the results with those obtained by conventional ICSI. Conventional ICSI and piezo-ICSI were used in 279 cycles and 335 cycles respectively. Piezo-ICSI showed significantly more favourable results, with a survival rate of 88.1% (conventional ICSI: 81.4, P < 0.001), a fertilization rate of 79.4% (conventional ICSI: 66.4%, P < 0.001), and a pregnancy rate of 23.1% (conventional ICSI: 14.9%, P < 0.05). In piezo-ICSI, the needle used is not sharpened and has a flat tip. However, deformation of the oocyte during insertion of the needle is restrained by vibration of the piezo, and the oolemma is punctured readily and securely by the piezo pulse, at the site where the spermatozoon is injected. Piezo-ICSI is a promising new technique for human ICSI that should improve the survival, fertilization and pregnancy rates after ICSI. (+info
A modular NIRS system for clinical measurement of impaired skeletal muscle oxygenation.
Near-infrared spectrometry (NIRS) is a well-known method used to measure in vivo tissue oxygenation and hemodynamics. This method is used to derive relative measures of hemoglobin (Hb) + myoglobin (Mb) oxygenation and total Hb (tHb) accumulation from measurements of optical attenuation at discrete wavelengths. We present the design and validation of a new NIRS oxygenation analyzer for the measurement of muscle oxygenation kinetics. This design optimizes optical sensitivity and detector wavelength flexibility while minimizing component and construction costs. Using in vitro validations, we demonstrate 1) general optical linearity, 2) system stability, and 3) measurement accuracy for isolated Hb. Using in vivo validations, we demonstrate 1) expected oxygenation changes during ischemia and reactive hyperemia, 2) expected oxygenation changes during muscle exercise, 3) a close correlation between changes in oxyhemoglobin and oxymyoglobin and changes in deoxyhemoglobin and deoxymyoglobin and limb volume by venous occlusion plethysmography, and 4) a minimal contribution from movement artifact on the detected signals. We also demonstrate the ability of this system to detect abnormal patterns of tissue oxygenation in a well-characterized patient with a deficiency of skeletal muscle coenzyme Q(10). We conclude that this is a valid system design for the precise, accurate, and sensitive detection of changes in bulk skeletal muscle oxygenation, can be constructed economically, and can be used diagnostically in patients with disorders of skeletal muscle energy metabolism. (+info
Prospects for treating acquired pendular nystagmus with servo-controlled optics.
PURPOSE: To determine whether a device featuring electronically controlled motor-driven prisms can reduce oscillopsia and improve acuity in patients with acquired pendular nystagmus (APN). METHODS: A device was developed that senses eye movements and, by the use of motor-driven prisms, oscillates the image of the world in lockstep with the pathologic nystagmus, to negate its deleterious visual effects. Unlike existing optical and surgical treatments for nystagmus, the device negates only the pathologic movements. Voluntary and normal reflex eye movements required for normal vision are unaffected. The benefits of the device were assessed by its impact on acuity in five patients with medication-refractory APN. RESULTS: All patients reported decreases in oscillopsia when the device was in operation. Averaged across patients, the device increased the percentage of time in which retinal image velocity was within +/-4 degrees/sec from 12.8% to 33.3%. Acuities improved in four of five patients, by an average of 0.21 logMAR units. CONCLUSIONS: The symptoms of pendular nystagmus can be treated with a servomechanical device. Further refinements in the device should result in greater improvements in acuity, and a portable, wearable version is feasible using existing technologies. (+info
Evaluation of new online automated embolic signal detection algorithm, including comparison with panel of international experts.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The clinical application of Doppler detection of circulating cerebral emboli will depend on a reliable automated system of embolic signal detection; such a system is not currently available. Previous studies have shown that frequency filtering increases the ratio of embolic signal to background signal intensity and that the incorporation of such an approach into an offline automated detection system markedly improved performance. In this study, we evaluated an online version of the system. In a single-center study, we compared its performance with that of a human expert on data from 2 clinical situations, carotid stenosis and the period immediately after carotid endarterectomy. Because the human expert is currently the "gold standard" for embolic signal detection, we also compared the performance of the system with an international panel of human experts in a multicenter study. METHODS: In the single-center evaluation, the performance of the software was tested against that of a human expert on 20 hours of data from 21 patients with carotid stenosis and 18 hours of data from 9 patients that was recorded after carotid endarterectomy. For the multicenter evaluation, a separate 2-hour data set, recorded from 5 patients after carotid endarterectomy, was analyzed by 6 different human experts using the same equipment and by the software. Agreement was assessed by determining the probability of agreement. RESULTS: In the 20 hours of carotid stenosis data, there were 140 embolic signals with an intensity of > or =7 dB. With the software set at a confidence threshold of 60%, a sensitivity of 85.7% and a specificity of 88.9% for detection of embolic signals were obtained. At higher confidence thresholds, a specificity >95% could be obtained, but this was at the expense of a lower sensitivity. In the 18 hours of post-carotid endarterectomy data, there were 411 embolic signals of > or =7-dB intensity. When the same confidence threshold was used, a sensitivity of 95.4% and a specificity of 97.5% were obtained. In the multicenter evaluation, a total of 127 events were recorded as embolic signals by at least 1 center. The total number of embolic signals detected by the 6 different centers was 84, 93, 108, 92, 63, and 78. The software set at a confidence threshold of 60% detected 90 events as embolic signals. The mean probability of agreement, including all human experts and the software, was 0.83, and this was higher than that for 2 human experts and lower than that for 4 human experts. The mean values for the 6 human observers were averaged to give P=0.84, which was similar to that of the software. CONCLUSIONS: By using the frequency specificity of the intensity increase occurring with embolic signals, we have developed an automated detection system with a much improved sensitivity. Its performance was equal to that of some human experts and only slightly below the mean performance of a panel of human experts (+info
Holding forces of single-particle dielectrophoretic traps.
We present experimental results and modeling on the efficacy of dielectrophoresis-based single-particle traps. Dielectrophoretic forces, caused by the interaction of nonuniform electric fields with objects, have been used to make planar quadrupole traps that can trap single beads. A simple experimental protocol was then used to measure how well the traps could hold beads against destabilizing fluid flows. These were compared with predictions from modeling and found to be in close agreement, allowing the determination of sub-piconewton forces. This not only validates our ability to model dielectrophoretic forces in these traps but also gives insight into the physical behavior of particles in dielectrophoresis-based traps. Anomalous frequency effects, not explainable by dielectrophoretic forces alone, were also encountered and attributed to electrohydrodynamic flows. Such knowledge can now be used to design traps for cell-based applications. (+info
A molecular logic gate.
We propose a scheme for molecule-based information processing by combining well-studied spectroscopic techniques and recent results from chemical dynamics. Specifically it is discussed how optical transitions in single molecules can be used to rapidly perform classical (Boolean) logical operations. In the proposed way, a restricted number of states in a single molecule can act as a logical gate equivalent to at least two switches. It is argued that the four-level scheme can also be used to produce gain, because it allows an inversion, and not only a switching ability. The proposed scheme is quantum mechanical in that it takes advantage of the discrete nature of the energy levels but, we here discuss the temporal evolution, with the use of the populations only. On a longer time range we suggest that the same scheme could be extended to perform quantum logic, and a tentative suggestion, based on an available experiment, is discussed. We believe that the pumping can provide a partial proof of principle, although this and similar experiments were not interpreted thus far in our terms. (+info