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Abstract

Gout (Gr. podagra) is a multifactorial pathology, which means that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the aetiology of the disease. For these reasons, revealing risk factors could be of very high importance in prevention and treatment of gout. In the present study, we found that a major role in gout predisposition is played by specific alleles in the ABCG2 gene. The study used survey data for 43 gout patients and 99 healthy control individuals who were geno-typed for rs2231142. It was found that allelic variant rs2231142 in the ABCG2 gene had the strongest association with gout. Among other co-factors studied, sex, and increased body mass index were associated with gout.

Abstract

The test-plate image of an image quality test tool is processed. The processing is based on quality assurance with the well-established test device ETR-1. A program is developed to analyze the parameters such as contrast, low contrast and resolution automatically. This results in more accurate patient positioning for the On-Board Imager (OBI) system. The contrast and resolution are measured by means of Bresenham’s line algorithm. The low contrast is calculated with the help of binary masking. The modulation transfer function (MTF) is also observed for the system. The developed program imports the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) image and returns the image parameters. The program can process the ideal image or the less noisy image. The no-rotation-mode or the slight-rotation-mode of the test-plate can be analyzed.

Abstract

Due to velopharyngeal incompetence, airflow overflows from the oral cavity to the nasal cavity, which results in hypernasality. Hypernasality greatly reduces speech intelligibility and affects the daily communication of patients with cleft palate. Accurate assessment of hypernasality grades can provide assisted diagnosis for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in clinical settings. Utilizing a support vector machine (SVM), this paper classifies speech recordings into four grades (normal, mild, moderate and severe hypernasality) based on vocal tract characteristics. Linear prediction (LP) analysis is widely used to model the vocal tract. Glottal source information may be included in the LP-based spectrum. The stabilized weighted linear prediction (SWLP) method, which imposes the temporal weights on the closed-phase interval of the glottal cycle, is a more robust approach for modeling the vocal tract. The extended weighted linear prediction (XLP) method weights each lagged speech signal separately, which achieves a finer time scale on the spectral envelope than the SWLP method. Tested speech recordings were collected from 60 subjects with cleft palate and 20 control subjects, and included a total of 4640 Mandarin syllables. The experimental results showed that the spectral envelope of normal speech decreases faster than that of hypernasal speech in the high-frequency part. The experimental results also indicate that the SWLP- and XLP-based methods have smaller correlation coefficients between normal and hypernasal speech than the LP method. Thus, the SWLP and XLP methods have better ability to distinguish hypernasal from normal speech than the LP method. The classification accuracies of the four hypernasality grades using the SWLP and XLP methods range from 83.86% to 97.47%. The selection of the model order and the size of the weight function are also discussed in this paper.

Abstract

Brain connectivity estimation is a useful method to study brain functions and diagnose neuroscience disorders. Effective connectivity is a subdivision of brain connectivity which discusses the causal relationship between different parts of the brain. In this study, a dual Kalman-based method is used for effective connectivity estimation. Because of connectivity changes in autism, the method is applied to autistic signals for effective connectivity estimation. For method validation, the dual Kalman based method is compared with other connectivity estimation methods by estimation error and the dual Kalman-based method gives acceptable results with less estimation errors. Then, connectivities between active brain regions of autistic and normal children in the resting state are estimated and compared. In this simulation, the brain is divided into eight regions and the connectivity between regions and within them is calculated. It can be concluded from the results that in the resting state condition the effective connectivity of active regions is decreased between regions and is increased within each region in autistic children. In another result, by averaging the connectivity between the extracted active sources of each region, the connectivity between the left and right of the central part is more than that in other regions and the connectivity in the occipital part is less than that in others.

Abstract

In recent times, the control of human-computer interface (HCI) systems is triggered by electrooculography (EOG) signals. Eye movements recognized based on the EOG signal pattern are utilized to govern the HCI system and do a specific job based on the type of eye movement. With the knowledge of various related examinations, this paper intends a novel model for eye movement recognition based on EOG signals by utilizing Grey Wolf Optimization (GWO) with neural network (NN). Here, the GWO is used to minimize the error function from the classifier. The performance of the proposed methodology was investigated by comparing the developed model with conventional methods. The results reveal the loftier performance of the adopted method with the error minimization analysis and recognition performance analysis in correspondence with varied performance measures such as accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, precision, false-positive rate (FPR), false-negative rate (FNR), negative predictive value (NPV), false discovery rate (FDR) and the F1 score.

Abstract

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a common tool used for the detection of epileptic seizures. However, the visual analysis of long-term EEG recordings is characterized by its subjectivity, time-consuming procedure and its erroneous detection. Various epileptic seizure detection algorithms have been proposed to deal with such issues. In this study, a novel automatic seizure-detection approach is proposed. Three different strategies are suggested to the user whereby he/she could choose the appropriate one for a given classification problem. Indeed, the feature extraction step, including both linear and nonlinear measures, is performed either directly from the EEG signals, or from the derived sub-bands of tunable-Q wavelet transform (TQWT), or even from the intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) of multivariate empirical mode decomposition (MEMD). The classification procedure is executed using a support vector machine (SVM). The performance of the proposed method is evaluated through a publicly available database from which six binary classification cases are formulated to discriminate between healthy, seizure and non-seizure EEG signals. Our results show high performance in terms of accuracy (ACC), sensitivity (SEN) and specificity (SPE) compared to the state-of-the-art approaches. Thus, the proposed approach for automatic seizure detection can be considered as a valuable alternative to existing methods, able to alleviate the overload of visual analysis and accelerate the seizure detection.

Abstract

Bone drilling is a well-known process in operative fracture treatment and reconstructive surgery. The cutting ability of the drill is lost when used for multiple times. In this study, the effect of different levels of drill wear on bone temperature, drilling force, torque, delamination around the drilling region and surface roughness of the hole was investigated using a series of experiments. Experimental results demonstrated that the wear of the drill is strongly related to the drilling force, torque, temperature and surface roughness of the drilled hole. Statistical analysis was performed to find the effect of various factors on multiple response variables in the bone drilling process. The favorable conditions for bone drilling are obtained when feed rate, drill speed and the roughness of the cutting edge of the drill were fixed at 30 mm, 2000 rpm and up to 2 mm, respectively. Further, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to determine the factor with a significant impact on the response variables. F-test and p-value indicated that the feed rate had the highest effect on grey relational grade followed by the roughness of the drill. This study suggests that the sharp drill along with controlled drilling speed and feed rate may be used for safe and efficient surgical drilling in bone.

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Abstract

Osteocytes are of high importance in bone metabolism as they orchestrate bone remodeling, react to mechanosensory stimuli and have endocrine functions. In vitro investigations with osteocytes are therefore of high relevance for biomaterial and drug testing. The application of primary human cells instead of rodent osteocyte cell lines like MLOY4 and IDG SW3 is desirable but provides the challenge of isolating these cells, which are deeply embedded into the mineralized bone matrix. The present study describes an improved protocol for the isolation of human primary osteocytes. In contrast to an already established protocol, resting steps between the demineralization /digestion steps of the bone particles considerably improved the yield of osteocytes. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis revealed the expression of typical osteocyte markers like osteocalcin, E11/podoplanin and dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP-1).

Abstract

B-mode ultrasonography and sonoelastography are used in the clinical diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCa). A combination of the two ultrasound (US) modalities using computer aid may be helpful for improving the diagnostic performance. A technique for computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) of PCa is presented based on multimodal US. Firstly, quantitative features are extracted from both B-mode US images and sonoelastograms, including intensity statistics, regional percentile features, gray-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) texture features and binary texture features. Secondly, a deep network named PGBM-RBM2 is proposed to learn and fuse multimodal features, which is composed of the point-wise gated Boltzmann machine (PGBM) and two layers of the restricted Boltzmann machines (RBMs). Finally, the support vector machine (SVM) is used for prostatic disease classification. Experimental evaluation was conducted on 313 multimodal US images of the prostate from 103 patients with prostatic diseases (47 malignant and 56 benign). Under five-fold cross-validation, the classification sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, Youden’s index and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve with the PGBM-RBM2 were 87.0%, 88.8%, 87.9%, 75.8% and 0.851, respectively. The results demonstrate that multimodal feature learning and fusion using the PGBM-RBM2 can assist in the diagnosis of PCa. This deep network is expected to be useful in the clinical diagnosis of PCa.