ResearchPad - instrument-calibration https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mechanical characterization of PVA hydrogels’ rate-dependent response using multi-axial loading]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13820 The time-dependent properties of rubber-like synthesized and biological materials are crucial for their applications. Currently, this behavior is mainly measured using axial tensile test, compression test, or indentation. Limited studies performed on using multi-axial loading measurements of time-dependent material behavior exist in the literature. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the viscoelastic response of rubber-like materials under multi-axial loading using cavity expansion and relaxation tests. The tests were performed on PVA hydrogel specimens. Three hyperelasitc models and one term Prony series were used to characterize the viscoelastic response of the hydrogels. Finite element (FE) simulations were performed to verify the validity of the calibrated material coefficients by reproducing the experimental results. The excellent agreement between the experimental, analytical and numerical data proves the capability of the cavity expansion technique to measure the time-dependent behavior of viscoelastic materials.

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<![CDATA[Improved calibration estimators for the total cost of health programs and application to immunization in Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8977b1d5eed0c4847d3333

Multi-stage/level sampling designs have been widely used by survey statisticians as a means of obtaining reliable and efficient estimates at a reasonable implementation cost. This method has been particularly useful in National country-wide surveys to assess the costs of delivering public health programs, which are generally originated in different levels of service management and delivery. Unbiased and efficient estimates of costs are essential to adequately allocate resources and inform policy and planning. In recent years, the global health community has become increasingly interested in estimating the costs of immunization programs. In such programs, part of the cost correspond to vaccines and it is in most countries procured at the central level, while the rest of the costs are incurred in states, municipalities and health facilities, respectively. As such, total program cost is a result of adding these costs, and its variance should account for the relation between the totals at the different levels. An additional challenge is the missing information at the various levels. A variety of methods have been developed to compensate for this missing data. Weighting adjustments are often used to make the estimates consistent with readily-available information. For estimation of total program costs this implies adjusting the estimates at each level to comply with the characteristics of the country. In 2014, A National study to estimate the costs of the Brazilian National Immunization Program was initiated, requested by the Ministry of Health and with the support of international partners. We formulate a quick and useful way to compute the variance and deal with missing values at the various levels. Our approach involves calibrating the weights at each level using additional readily-available information such as the total number of doses administered. Taking the Brazilian immunization costing study as an example, this approach results in substantial gains in both efficiency and precision of the cost estimate.

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<![CDATA[Spores of puffball fungus Lycoperdon pyriforme as a reference standard of stable monodisperse aerosol for calibration of optical instruments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b528ad5eed0c4842bcb24

Advanced air quality control requires real-time monitoring of particulate matter size and concentration, which can only be done using optical instruments. However, such techniques need regular calibration with reference samples. In this study, we suggest that puffball fungus (Lycoperdon pyriforme) spores can be utilized as a reference standard having a monodisperse size distribution. We compare the Lycoperdon pyriforme spores with the other commonly used reference samples, such as Al2O3 powder and polystyrene latex (PSL) microspheres. Here we demonstrate that the puffball spores do not coagulate and, thus, maintain the same particle size in the aerosol state for at least 15 minutes, which is enough for instrument calibration. Moreover, the puffball mushrooms can be stored for several years and no agglomeration of the spores occurs. They are also much cheaper than other calibration samples and no additional devices are needed for aerosol generation since the fungal fruiting body acts as an atomizer itself. The aforementioned features make the fungal spores a highly promising substance for calibration and validation of particle size analyzers, which outperforms the existing, artificially produced particles for aerosol sampling. Furthermore, the L. pyriforme spores are convenient for basic research and development of new optical measurement techniques, taking into account their uniform particle size and absent coagulation in the aerosol.

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<![CDATA[Buccal Spectral Markers for Lung Cancer Risk Stratification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0eab0ee8fa60b787e5

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US with >150,000 deaths per year. In order to more effectively reduce lung cancer mortality, more sophisticated screening paradigms are needed. Previously, our group demonstrated the use of low-coherence enhanced backscattering (LEBS) spectroscopy to detect and quantify the micro/nano-architectural correlates of colorectal and pancreatic field carcinogenesis. In the lung, the buccal (cheek) mucosa has been suggested as an excellent surrogate site in the “field of injury”. We, therefore, wanted to assess whether LEBS could similarly sense the presence of lung. To this end, we applied a fiber-optic LEBS probe to a dataset of 27 smokers without diagnosed lung cancer (controls) and 46 with lung cancer (cases), which was divided into a training and a blinded validation set (32 and 41 subjects, respectively). LEBS readings of the buccal mucosa were taken from the oral cavity applying gentle contact. The diagnostic LEBS marker was notably altered in patients harboring lung cancer compared to smoking controls. The prediction rule developed on training set data provided excellent diagnostics with 94% sensitivity, 80% specificity, and 95% accuracy. Applying the same threshold to the blinded validation set yielded 79% sensitivity and 83% specificity. These results were not confounded by patient demographics or impacted by cancer type or location. Moreover, the prediction rule was robust across all stages of cancer including stage I. We envision the use of LEBS as the first part of a two-step paradigm shift in lung cancer screening in which patients with high LEBS risk markers are funnelled into more invasive screening for confirmation.

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<![CDATA[Open-Source Syringe Pump Library]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbe090

This article explores a new open-source method for developing and manufacturing high-quality scientific equipment suitable for use in virtually any laboratory. A syringe pump was designed using freely available open-source computer aided design (CAD) software and manufactured using an open-source RepRap 3-D printer and readily available parts. The design, bill of materials and assembly instructions are globally available to anyone wishing to use them. Details are provided covering the use of the CAD software and the RepRap 3-D printer. The use of an open-source Rasberry Pi computer as a wireless control device is also illustrated. Performance of the syringe pump was assessed and the methods used for assessment are detailed. The cost of the entire system, including the controller and web-based control interface, is on the order of 5% or less than one would expect to pay for a commercial syringe pump having similar performance. The design should suit the needs of a given research activity requiring a syringe pump including carefully controlled dosing of reagents, pharmaceuticals, and delivery of viscous 3-D printer media among other applications.

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<![CDATA[Suburothelial Bladder Contraction Detection with Implanted Pressure Sensor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db05ab0ee8fa60bc8386

Aims

Managing bladder pressure in patients with neurogenic bladders is needed to improve rehabilitation options, avoid upper tract damage, incontinence, and their associated co-morbidities and mortality. Current methods of determining bladder contractions are not amenable to chronic or ambulatory settings. In this study we evaluated detection of bladder contractions using a novel piezoelectric catheter-free pressure sensor placed in a suburothelial bladder location in animals.

Methods

Wired prototypes of the pressure monitor were implanted into 2 nonsurvival (feline and canine) and one 13-day survival (canine) animal. Vesical pressures were obtained from the device in both suburothelial and intraluminal locations and simultaneously from a pressure sensing catheter in the bladder. Intravesical pressure was monitored in the survival animal over 10 days from the suburothelial location and necropsy was performed to assess migration and erosion.

Results

In the nonsurvival animals, the average correlation between device and reference catheter data was high during both electrically stimulated bladder contractions and manual compressions (r = 0.93±0.03, r = 0.89±0.03). Measured pressures correlated strongly (r = 0.98±0.02) when the device was placed in the bladder lumen. The survival animal initially recorded physiologic data, but later this deteriorated. However, endstage intraluminal device recordings correlated (r = 0.85±0.13) with the pressure catheter. Significant erosion of the implant through the detrusor was found.

Conclusions

This study confirms correlation between suburothelial pressure readings and intravesical bladder pressures. Due to device erosion during ambulatory studies, a wireless implant is recommended for clinical rehabilitation applications.

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<![CDATA[A Method and On-Line Tool for Maximum Likelihood Calibration of Immunoblots and Other Measurements That Are Quantified in Batches]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9deab0ee8fa60b687d1

Experimental measurements require calibration to transform measured signals into physically meaningful values. The conventional approach has two steps: the experimenter deduces a conversion function using measurements on standards and then calibrates (or normalizes) measurements on unknown samples with this function. The deduction of the conversion function from only the standard measurements causes the results to be quite sensitive to experimental noise. It also implies that any data collected without reliable standards must be discarded. Here we show that a “1-step calibration method” reduces these problems for the common situation in which samples are measured in batches, where a batch could be an immunoblot (Western blot), an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a sequence of spectra, or a microarray, provided that some sample measurements are replicated across multiple batches. The 1-step method computes all calibration results iteratively from all measurements. It returns the most probable values for the sample compositions under the assumptions of a statistical model, making them the maximum likelihood predictors. It is less sensitive to measurement error on standards and enables use of some batches that do not include standards. In direct comparison of both real and simulated immunoblot data, the 1-step method consistently exhibited smaller errors than the conventional “2-step” method. These results suggest that the 1-step method is likely to be most useful for cases where experimenters want to analyze existing data that are missing some standard measurements and where experimenters want to extract the best results possible from their data. Open source software for both methods is available for download or on-line use.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of laboratory and daily energy expenditure estimates from consumer multi-sensor physical activity monitors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbd65

Wearable physical activity monitors are growing in popularity and provide the opportunity for large numbers of the public to self-monitor physical activity behaviours. The latest generation of these devices feature multiple sensors, ostensibly similar or even superior to advanced research instruments. However, little is known about the accuracy of their energy expenditure estimates. Here, we assessed their performance against criterion measurements in both controlled laboratory conditions (simulated activities of daily living and structured exercise) and over a 24 hour period in free-living conditions. Thirty men (n = 15) and women (n = 15) wore three multi-sensor consumer monitors (Microsoft Band, Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge HR), an accelerometry-only device as a comparison (Jawbone UP24) and validated research-grade multi-sensor devices (BodyMedia Core and individually calibrated Actiheart). During discrete laboratory activities when compared against indirect calorimetry, the Apple Watch performed similarly to criterion measures. The Fitbit Charge HR was less consistent at measurement of discrete activities, but produced similar free-living estimates to the Apple Watch. Both these devices underestimated free-living energy expenditure (-394 kcal/d and -405 kcal/d, respectively; P<0.01). The multi-sensor Microsoft Band and accelerometry-only Jawbone UP24 devices underestimated most laboratory activities and substantially underestimated free-living expenditure (-1128 kcal/d and -998 kcal/d, respectively; P<0.01). None of the consumer devices were deemed equivalent to the reference method for daily energy expenditure. For all devices, there was a tendency for negative bias with greater daily energy expenditure. No consumer monitors performed as well as the research-grade devices although in some (but not all) cases, estimates were close to criterion measurements. Thus, whilst industry-led innovation has improved the accuracy of consumer monitors, these devices are not yet equivalent to the best research-grade devices or indeed equivalent to each other. We propose independent quality standards and/or accuracy ratings for consumer devices are required.

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<![CDATA[Development of Cheaper Embryo Vitrification Device Using the Minimum Volume Method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b704b6

This study was designed to compare the efficiency of the Cryotop and Calibrated plastic inoculation loop (CPIL) devices for vitrification of rabbit embryos on in vitro development and implantation rate, offspring rate at birth and embryonic and fetal losses. CPIL is a simple tool used mainly by microbiologists to retrieve an inoculum from a culture of microorganisms. In experiment 1, embryos were vitrified using a Cryotop device and a CPIL device. There were no significant differences in hatched/hatching blastocyst stage rates after 48 h of culture among the vitrified groups (62±4.7% and 62±4.9%, respectively); however, the rates were significantly lower (P<0.05) than those of the fresh group (95±3.4%). In experiment 2, vitrified embryos were transferred using laparoscopic technique. The number of implanted embryos was estimated by laparoscopy as number of implantation sites at day 14 of gestation. At birth, total offspring were recorded. Embryonic and fetal losses were calculated as the difference between implanted embryos and embryos transferred and total born at birth and implanted embryos, respectively. The rate of implantation and development to term was similar between both vitrification devices (56±7.2% and 50±6.8% for implantation rate and 40±7.1% and 35±6.5% for offspring rate at birth); but significantly lower than in the fresh group (78±6.6% for implantation rate and 70±7.2% for offspring rate at birth, P<0.05). Likewise, embryonic losses were similar between both vitrification devices (44±7.2% and 50±6.8%), but significantly higher than in the fresh group (23±6.6%, P < 0.05). However, fetal losses were similar between groups (10±4.4%, 15±4.8% and 8±4.2%, for vitrified, Cryotop or CPIL and fresh, respectively). These results indicate that the CPIL device is as effective as the Cryotop device for vitrification of rabbit embryos, but at a cost of €0.05 per device.

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<![CDATA[Improve the Efficiency of Surgery for Femoral Shaft Fractures with A Novel Instrument: A Randomized Controlled Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab3ab0ee8fa60bac018

Objective

To improve the efficacy of closed reduction and wire guiding during intramedullary nail internal fixation in femoral shaft fractures.

Methods

A novel instrument was designed and manufactured. Sixty-eight patients were enrolled from February 2011 to December 2013. The instrument designed was used during the operation in the experimental group, but not in the control group.

Results

All patients exhibited fracture union, excluding 1 patient in the experimental group and 2 in the control group who had non-union; all of whom achieved fracture union with reoperation. There were no statistically significant differences in operative blood loss or duration of hospital stay between the groups (P > 0.05). The operative time, frequency of wire drilling, and number of open reduction cases, were significantly smaller in the experimental group than in the control group (P < 0.05).

Conclusion

Femoral shaft fractures are difficult to reduce using general methods; the novel instrument showed high clinical value and proved effective and safe in assisting with closed reduction and intramedullary nail fixation for femoral shaft fractures.

Trial Registration

ChiCTR ChiCTR-ICR-15007335

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<![CDATA[Traceable Calibration, Performance Metrics, and Uncertainty Estimates of Minirhizotron Digital Imagery for Fine-Root Measurements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da13ab0ee8fa60b7a732

Even though fine-root turnover is a highly studied topic, it is often poorly understood as a result of uncertainties inherent in its sampling, e.g., quantifying spatial and temporal variability. While many methods exist to quantify fine-root turnover, use of minirhizotrons has increased over the last two decades, making sensor errors another source of uncertainty. Currently, no standardized methodology exists to test and compare minirhizotron camera capability, imagery, and performance. This paper presents a reproducible, laboratory-based method by which minirhizotron cameras can be tested and validated in a traceable manner. The performance of camera characteristics was identified and test criteria were developed: we quantified the precision of camera location for successive images, estimated the trueness and precision of each camera's ability to quantify root diameter and root color, and also assessed the influence of heat dissipation introduced by the minirhizotron cameras and electrical components. We report detailed and defensible metrology analyses that examine the performance of two commercially available minirhizotron cameras. These cameras performed differently with regard to the various test criteria and uncertainty analyses. We recommend a defensible metrology approach to quantify the performance of minirhizotron camera characteristics and determine sensor-related measurement uncertainties prior to field use. This approach is also extensible to other digital imagery technologies. In turn, these approaches facilitate a greater understanding of measurement uncertainties (signal-to-noise ratio) inherent in the camera performance and allow such uncertainties to be quantified and mitigated so that estimates of fine-root turnover can be more confidently quantified.

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<![CDATA[Action Sport Cameras as an Instrument to Perform a 3D Underwater Motion Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da86ab0ee8fa60b9c60a

Action sport cameras (ASC) are currently adopted mainly for entertainment purposes but their uninterrupted technical improvements, in correspondence of cost decreases, are going to disclose them for three-dimensional (3D) motion analysis in sport gesture study and athletic performance evaluation quantitatively. Extending this technology to sport analysis however still requires a methodologic step-forward to making ASC a metric system, encompassing ad-hoc camera setup, image processing, feature tracking, calibration and 3D reconstruction. Despite traditional laboratory analysis, such requirements become an issue when coping with both indoor and outdoor motion acquisitions of athletes. In swimming analysis for example, the camera setup and the calibration protocol are particularly demanding since land and underwater cameras are mandatory. In particular, the underwater camera calibration can be an issue affecting the reconstruction accuracy. In this paper, the aim is to evaluate the feasibility of ASC for 3D underwater analysis by focusing on camera setup and data acquisition protocols. Two GoPro Hero3+ Black (frequency: 60Hz; image resolutions: 1280×720/1920×1080 pixels) were located underwater into a swimming pool, surveying a working volume of about 6m3. A two-step custom calibration procedure, consisting in the acquisition of one static triad and one moving wand, carrying nine and one spherical passive markers, respectively, was implemented. After assessing camera parameters, a rigid bar, carrying two markers at known distance, was acquired in several positions within the working volume. The average error upon the reconstructed inter-marker distances was less than 2.5mm (1280×720) and 1.5mm (1920×1080). The results of this study demonstrate that the calibration of underwater ASC is feasible enabling quantitative kinematic measurements with accuracy comparable to traditional motion capture systems.

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<![CDATA[Calibration and Cross-Validation of the ActiGraph wGT3X+ Accelerometer for the Estimation of Physical Activity Intensity in Children with Intellectual Disabilities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da72ab0ee8fa60b9562e

Background

Valid objective measurement is integral to increasing our understanding of physical activity and sedentary behaviours. However, no population-specific cut points have been calibrated for children with intellectual disabilities. Therefore, this study aimed to calibrate and cross-validate the first population-specific accelerometer intensity cut points for children with intellectual disabilities.

Methods

Fifty children with intellectual disabilities were randomly assigned to the calibration (n = 36; boys = 28, 9.53±1.08yrs) or cross-validation (n = 14; boys = 9, 9.57±1.16yrs) group. Participants completed a semi-structured school-based activity session, which included various activities ranging from sedentary to vigorous intensity. Direct observation (SOFIT tool) was used to calibrate the ActiGraph wGT3X+, which participants wore on the right hip. Receiver Operating Characteristic curve analyses determined the optimal cut points for sedentary, moderate, and vigorous intensity activity for the vertical axis and vector magnitude. Classification agreement was investigated using sensitivity, specificity, total agreement, and Cohen’s kappa scores against the criterion measure of SOFIT.

Results

The optimal (AUC = .87−.94) vertical axis cut points (cpm) were ≤507 (sedentary), 1008−2300 (moderate), and ≥2301 (vigorous), which demonstrated high sensitivity (81−88%) and specificity (81−85%). The optimal (AUC = .86−.92) vector magnitude cut points (cpm) of ≤1863 (sedentary), 2610−4214 (moderate), and ≥4215 (vigorous) demonstrated comparable, albeit marginally lower, accuracy than the vertical axis cut points (sensitivity = 80−86%; specificity = 77−82%). Classification agreement ranged from moderate to almost perfect (κ = .51−.85) with high sensitivity and specificity, and confirmed the trend that accuracy increased with intensity, and vertical axis cut points provide higher classification agreement than vector magnitude cut points.

Conclusions

This study provides the first valid methods of interpreting accelerometer output in children with intellectual disabilities. The calibrated physical activity cut points are notably higher than existing cut points, thus raising questions on the validity of previous low physical activity estimates in children with intellectual disabilities that were based on typically developing cut points.

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