ResearchPad - waves https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Microbeam X-ray diffraction study of lipid structure in stratum corneum of human skin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7631 Human skin, not previously frozen, was studied by small-angle X-ray diffraction. The samples were folded so that a 6μm X-ray beam passed through the top layer of skin, stratum corneum. Diffraction patterns recorded with this method consisted of peaks at about q = 0.5, 1.0 and 1.4 nm-1 in the direction perpendicular to the skin surface more clearly than in previous studies. These peaks are interpreted to arise from lipids between corneocytes. A simple unit of a linear electron density profile with three minima was used to account for the observed intensity profiles. Combinations of calculated diffraction from models with one, two and three units accounted for the major part of the observed diffraction pattern, showing the diversity in the structure of the intercellular lipids.

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<![CDATA[Precise frequency synchronization detection method based on the group quantization stepping law]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8e0d5eed0c48496f2f7

A precise frequency synchronization detection method is proposed based on the group quantization steeping law. Based on the different-frequency group quantization phase processing, high-precision frequency synchronization can be achieved by measuring phase comparison result quantization. If any repeated phase differences in the quantized phase comparison results are used as the starting and stopping signal of the counter gate, the time interval between identical phase differences is a group period as gate time. By measuring and analyzing the quantized phase comparison results, the ±1−word counting error is overcome in the traditional frequency synchronization detection method, and the system response time is significantly shortened. The experimental results show that the proposed frequency synchronization detection method is advanced and scientific. The measurement resolution is notably stable and the frequency stability better than the E-12/s level can be obtained. The method is superior to the traditional frequency synchronization detection method in many aspects, such as system reliability and stability, detection speed, development cost, power consumption and volume.

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<![CDATA[Dissimilarity between living and dead benthic foraminiferal assemblages in the Aveiro Continental Shelf (Portugal)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52f3d5eed0c4842bd308

This study compares living (LA) and dead (DA) benthic foraminiferal assemblages and identifies different factors that possibly cause differences in the distribution of both assemblages in the Aveiro Continental Shelf (Portugal). A total of 44 sediment samples was collected during summers of 1994 and 1995 along transects (east-west direction) and between 10 and 200 m water depth. Complex statistical analyses allow us to compare the abundance and composition of the LAs and DAs in function of depth, grain-size and total organic matter in all studied stations even in those where the numbers of individuals were rare in one or both assemblages. The highest densities and diversities of the LAs are found in the middle continental shelf on gravel deposits (coarse and very coarse sands) mostly due to the substrate stability, reduced deposition of fine sedimentary particles, availability of organic matter with high quality related to oceanic primary productivity likely induced by upwelling events, and oxygenated porewaters conditions. The DAs have, in general, higher densities and diversities than the LAs. In the outer continental shelf, the dissimilarity between both assemblages is higher due to the accumulation of tests, low dilution by sedimentary particles and scarcity of living foraminifera. Based on the comparison of LAs and DAs and considering the characteristics of the study area and the species ecology, it has been possible to understand the cause of temporal deviation between the LAs and DAs of benthic foraminifera. This deviation is much more pronounced in the inner shelf where the energy of the waves and the currents induce very dynamic sedimentary processes preventing the development of large LAs and the preservation of DAs. Some deviation also occurs in the middle shelf due to the seasonal loss of empty tests. The most well-preserved time-averaged DAs were found in the outer continental shelf.

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<![CDATA[Further empirical data for torsion on bowed strings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e932d5eed0c48496f96e

Research on bowed string motion focuses on transverse waves rather than on torsional waves. These are believed to play only a minor role for stabilizing vibrations and no role for perception. Here, torsion is measured on both sides of the bow contact point for a variety of bridge-bow distances on a cello string. Every periodic string release is preceeded by a reverse torsional motion independent from bowing position or dynamics. Transverse and torsional motions are coupled and there are cases of stabilization, but also cases of perturbation or surrender. Structural and timing analyses of torsional waves suggest that the earlier concepts of differential slipping can be essentially confirmed while the concept of Schelleng ripples cannot be confirmed and the concept of subharmonics is under question.

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<![CDATA[The difference between horizontal-to-vertical spectra ratio and empirical transfer function as revealed by vertical arrays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b527ed5eed0c4842bc9ba

The horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) and empirical transfer function analyses were performed on the S-wave recordings from two vertical borehole strong motion arrays: the Garner Valley Downhole Array in southern California, and the KiK-net Ichinoseki-Nishi Vertical Array in West Ichinoseki, Japan. The results show that the discrepancy between the HVSR and the transfer function is mainly caused by the significant site response of the vertical component, thus, vertical incident P-waves are proposed to play an important role in the vertical amplification. The P-wave amplification is frequency-dependent. In the low-frequency range within f0 (the fundamental frequency of the site), the effect of the vertical P-wave amplification is slight, this is why HVSR and transfer function match in this frequency range. In the high-frequency range near 2 f0 or larger, the P-wave amplification is obvious, which maybe explain the discrepancy between the HVSR and the transfer function.

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<![CDATA[The tropical-subtropical coupling in the Southeast Atlantic from the perspective of the northern Benguela upwelling system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c468d5eed0c4845e86f5

In the Benguela upwelling system, the environmental conditions are determined to a large extent by central water masses advected from remote areas onto the shelf. The origin, spreading pathways and fate of those water masses are investigated with a regional ocean model that is analysed using Eulerian passive tracers and on the basis of Lagrangian trajectories. Two major water masses influencing the Benguela upwelling system are identified: tropical South Atlantic Central Water (SACW) and subtropical Eastern South Atlantic Central Water (ESACW). The spreading of tropical waters into the subtropical Benguela upwelling system is mediated by equatorial currents and their continuation in the Southeast Atlantic. This tropical-subtropical connection has been attributed to signal propagation in the equatorial and coastal waveguides. However, there exists an additional spreading path for tropical central water in the open ocean. This mass transport fluctuates on a seasonal scale around an averaged meridional transport in Sverdrup balance. The inter-annual variability of the advection of tropical waters is related to Benguela Niños, as evidenced by the 2010/2011 event. The northern Benguela upwelling system is a transition zone between SACW and ESACW since they encounter each other at about 20°S. Both water masses have seasonal variable shares in the upwelled water there. To summarise the main pathways of central water mass transport, an enhanced scheme for the subsurface circulation in the Southeast Atlantic is presented.

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<![CDATA[Effect of In Situ short–term temperature increase on carbon metabolism and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes in a community dominated by the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c46655bd5eed0c484518c48

Seagrasses form one of the most productive and threatened ecosystems worldwide because of global change and anthropogenic pressures. The frequency of extreme climatic events, such as heat waves, are expected to increase and may drive even more adverse effects than gradual warming. This study explores for the first time the effects of a sudden and temporary increase of temperature in situ on carbon metabolism and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes in a community dominated by a seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa) during two contrasting seasons (winter and summer). Results showed a positive correlation between temperature and seagrass production between seasons, while the experimental sudden and temporary increase in water temperature did not produce significant differences in carbon community metabolism and DOC fluxes in winter. In contrast, high temperature conditions in summer enhanced significantly the net community production and affected positively to DOC fluxes. Hence, this study indicates that a sudden and temporary increase in water temperature, which characterize marine heat waves, in temperate areas may enhance the autotrophic metabolism of seagrass communities and can yield an increase in the DOC released, in contrast to previous researches suggesting solely negative effects on seagrasses.

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<![CDATA[Doppler sonography enhances rtPA-induced fibrinolysis in an in vitro clot model of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhages]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605aabd5eed0c4847cd3f5

Background

Transcranial Doppler (TCD) was shown to enhance intravascular fibrinolysis by rtPA in ischemic stroke. Studies revealed that catheter-based administration of rtPA induces lysis of intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH). However, it is unknown whether TCD would be suitable to enhance rtPA-induced fibrinolysis in patients with ICH. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of TCD to enhance rtPA-induced fibrinolysis in an in vitro clot system.

Methods

Reproducible human blood clots of 25 ml were incubated in a water bath at 37°C during treatments. They were weighed before and after 6 different treatments: (I) control (incubation only), (II) rtPA only, (III) one Doppler probe, (IV) two Doppler probes placed vis-à-vis, (V) one probe and rtPA and (VI) two probes and rtPA. To quantify lysis of the blood clots and attenuation of the Doppler through a temporal squama acoustic peak rarefaction pressure (APRP) was measured in the field of the probes. Temperature was assessed to evaluate possible side effects.

Results

Clot weight was reduced in all groups. The control group had the highest relative end weight of 70.2%±7.2% compared to all other groups (p<0,0001). Most efficient lysis was achieved using (VI) 2 probes and rtPA 36.3%±4.4% compared to (II, III, IV) (p<0.0001; p = 0.0002; p = 0.048). APRP was above lysis threshold (535.5±7.2 kPa) using 2 probes even through the temporal squama (731.6±32.5 kPa) (p = 0.0043). There was a maximal temperature elevation of 0.17±0.07°C using both probes.

Conclusions

TCD significantly enhances rtPA-induced lysis of blood clots, and the effect is amplified by using multiple probes. Our results indicate that bitemporal TCD insonation of hematomas could be a new and safe approach to enhance fibrinolysis of ICH´s treated with intralesional catheter and rtPA.

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<![CDATA[Function and energy consumption constrain neuronal biophysics in a canonical computation: Coincidence detection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf09d5eed0c484913d9f

Neural morphology and membrane properties vary greatly between cell types in the nervous system. The computations and local circuit connectivity that neurons support are thought to be the key factors constraining the cells’ biophysical properties. Nevertheless, additional constraints can be expected to further shape neuronal design. Here, we focus on a particularly energy-intense system (as indicated by metabolic markers): principal neurons in the medial superior olive (MSO) nucleus of the auditory brainstem. Based on a modeling approach, we show that a trade-off between the level of performance of a functionally relevant computation and energy consumption predicts optimal ranges for cell morphology and membrane properties. The biophysical parameters appear most strongly constrained by functional needs, while energy use is minimized as long as function can be maintained. The key factors that determine model performance and energy consumption are 1) the saturation of the synaptic conductance input and 2) the temporal resolution of the postsynaptic signals as they reach the soma, which is largely determined by active membrane properties. MSO cells seem to operate close to pareto optimality, i.e., the trade-off boundary between performance and energy consumption that is formed by the set of optimal models. Good performance for drastically lower costs could in theory be achieved by small neurons without dendrites, as seen in the avian auditory system, pointing to additional constraints for mammalian MSO cells, including their circuit connectivity.

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<![CDATA[Detection and analysis of spatiotemporal patterns in brain activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed751d5eed0c484f13ef0

There is growing evidence that population-level brain activity is often organized into propagating waves that are structured in both space and time. Such spatiotemporal patterns have been linked to brain function and observed across multiple recording methodologies and scales. The ability to detect and analyze these patterns is thus essential for understanding the working mechanisms of neural circuits. Here we present a mathematical and computational framework for the identification and analysis of multiple classes of wave patterns in neural population-level recordings. By drawing a conceptual link between spatiotemporal patterns found in the brain and coherent structures such as vortices found in turbulent flows, we introduce velocity vector fields to characterize neural population activity. These vector fields are calculated for both phase and amplitude of oscillatory neural signals by adapting optical flow estimation methods from the field of computer vision. Based on these velocity vector fields, we then introduce order parameters and critical point analysis to detect and characterize a diverse range of propagating wave patterns, including planar waves, sources, sinks, spiral waves, and saddle patterns. We also introduce a novel vector field decomposition method that extracts the dominant spatiotemporal structures in a recording. This enables neural data to be represented by the activity of a small number of independent spatiotemporal modes, providing an alternative to existing dimensionality reduction techniques which separate space and time components. We demonstrate the capabilities of the framework and toolbox with simulated data, local field potentials from marmoset visual cortex and optical voltage recordings from whole mouse cortex, and we show that pattern dynamics are non-random and are modulated by the presence of visual stimuli. These methods are implemented in a MATLAB toolbox, which is freely available under an open-source licensing agreement.

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<![CDATA[Mechanistic insight into spontaneous transition from cellular alternans to arrhythmia—A simulation study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae43ed5eed0c484589394

Cardiac electrical alternans (CEA), manifested as T-wave alternans in ECG, is a clinical biomarker for predicting cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. However, the mechanism underlying the spontaneous transition from CEA to arrhythmias remains incompletely elucidated. In this study, multiscale rabbit ventricular models were used to study the transition and a potential role of INa in perpetuating such a transition. It was shown CEA evolved into either concordant or discordant action potential (AP) conduction alternans in a homogeneous one-dimensional tissue model, depending on tissue AP duration and conduction velocity (CV) restitution properties. Discordant alternans was able to cause conduction failure in the model, which was promoted by impaired sodium channel with either a reduced or increased channel current. In a two-dimensional homogeneous tissue model, a combined effect of rate- and curvature-dependent CV broke-up alternating wavefronts at localised points, facilitating a spontaneous transition from CEA to re-entry. Tissue inhomogeneity or anisotropy further promoted break-up of re-entry, leading to multiple wavelets. Similar observations have also been seen in human atrial cellular and tissue models. In conclusion, our results identify a mechanism by which CEA spontaneously evolves into re-entry without a requirement for premature ventricular complexes or pre-existing tissue heterogeneities, and demonstrated the important pro-arrhythmic role of impaired sodium channel activity. These findings are model-independent and have potential human relevance.

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<![CDATA[Identification of knee gait waveform pattern alterations in individuals with patellofemoral pain using fast Fourier transform]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b55d5eed0c4846eb613

Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is one of the most common overuse injuries of the knee. Previous research has found that individuals with PFP exhibit differences in peak hip kinematics; however, differences in peak knee kinematics, where the pain originates, are difficult to elucidate. To better understand the mechanism behind PFP, we sought to characterize differences in knee gait kinematic waveform patterns in individuals with PFP compared to healthy individuals using fast Fourier transform (FFT). Sixteen control and sixteen individuals with PFP participated in a fast walk protocol. FFT was used to decompose the sagittal, frontal and transverse plane knee gait waveforms into sinusoidal signals. A two-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc analysis compared group, limb and interaction effects on sagittal, frontal and transverse amplitude, frequency and phase components between control and PFP individuals gait waveforms. Differences in frequency and phase values were found in the sagittal and frontal plane knee waveforms between the control and PFP groups. The signal-to-noise ratio also reported significant differences between the PFP and control limbs in the sagittal (p<0.01) and frontal planes (p = 0.04). The findings indicate that differences in gait patterns in the individuals with PFP were not the result of amplitude differences, but differences attributed to temporal changes in gait patterns detected by the frequency and phase metrics. These changes suggest that individuals with PFP adopted a more deliberate, stiffer gait and exhibit altered joint coordination. And the FFT technique could serve as a fast, quantifiable tool for clinicians to detect PFP.

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<![CDATA[Mixed effects approach to the analysis of the stepped wedge cluster randomised trial—Investigating the confounding effect of time through simulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0af1d5eed0c484426f5a

Background

A stepped wedge cluster randomised trial (SWCRT) is a multicentred study which allows an intervention to be rolled out at sites in a random order. Once the intervention is initiated at a site, all participants within that site remain exposed to the intervention for the remainder of the study.

The time since the start of the study (“calendar time”) may affect outcome measures through underlying time trends or periodicity. The time since the intervention was introduced to a site (“exposure time”) may also affect outcomes cumulatively for successful interventions, possibly in addition to a step change when the intervention began.

Methods

Motivated by a SWCRT of self-monitoring for bipolar disorder, we conducted a simulation study to compare model formulations to analyse data from a SWCRT under 36 different scenarios in which time was related to the outcome (improvement in mood score). The aim was to find a model specification that would produce reliable estimates of intervention effects under different scenarios. Nine different formulations of a linear mixed effects model were fitted to these datasets. These models varied in the specification of calendar and exposure times.

Results

Modelling the effects of the intervention was best accomplished by including terms for both calendar time and exposure time. Treating time as categorical (a separate parameter for each measurement time-step) achieved the best coverage probabilities and low bias, but at a cost of wider confidence intervals compared to simpler models for those scenarios which were sufficiently modelled by fewer parameters. Treating time as continuous and including a quadratic time term performed similarly well, with slightly larger variations in coverage probability, but narrower confidence intervals and in some cases lower bias. The impact of misspecifying the covariance structure was comparatively small.

Conclusions

We recommend that unless there is a priori information to indicate the form of the relationship between time and outcomes, data from SWCRTs should be analysed with a linear mixed effects model that includes separate categorical terms for calendar time and exposure time. Prespecified sensitivity analyses should consider the different formulations of these time effects in the model, to assess their impact on estimates of intervention effects.

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<![CDATA[The effect of complex intramural microstructure caused by structural remodeling on the stability of atrial fibrillation: Insights from a three-dimensional multi-layer modeling study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841fed5eed0c484fcb64c

Background

Recent researches have suggested that the complex three-dimensional structures caused by structural remodeling play a key role in atrial fibrillation (AF) substrates. Here we aimed to investigate this hypothesis using a multi-layer model representing intramural microstructural features.

Methods

The proposed multi-layer model was composed of the endocardium, connection wall, and epicardium. In the connection wall, intramural fibrosis was simulated using fibrotic patches randomly scattered in the myocardial tissue of fibrotic layers, while endo-epicardial dissociation was simulated using myocardial patches randomly scattered in the fibrotic tissue of isolation layers. Multiple simulation groups were generated to quantitatively analyze the effects of endo-epicardial dissociation and intramural fibrosis on AF stability, including a stochastic group, interrelated groups, fibrosis-degree-controlled groups, and dissociation-degree-controlled groups.

Results

1. Stable intramural re-entries were observed to move along complete re-entrant circuits inside the transmural wall in four of 65 simulations in the stochastic group. 2. About 21 of 23 stable simulations in the stochastic group were distributed in the areas with high endo-epicardial dissociation and intramural fibrosis. 3. The difference between fibrosis-degree-controlled groups and dissociation-degree-controlled groups suggested that some distributions of connection areas may affect AF episodes despite low intramural fibrosis and endo-epicardial dissociation. 4. The overview of tracking phase singularities revealed that endo-epicardial dissociation played a visible role in AF substrates.

Conclusion

The complex intramural microstructure is positively correlated with critical components of AF maintenance mechanisms. The occurrence of intramural re-entry further indicates the complexity of AF wave-dynamics.

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<![CDATA[A novel 3D ray launching technique for radio propagation prediction in indoor environments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8687e240307c73f6bbfec6

Radio propagation prediction simulation methods based on deterministic technique such as ray launching is extensively used to accomplish radio channel characterization. However, the superiority of the simulation depends on the number of rays launched and received. This paper presented the indoor three-dimensional (3D) Minimum Ray Launching Maximum Accuracy (MRLMA) technique, which is applicable for an efficient indoor radio wave propagation prediction. Utilizing the novel MRLMA technique in the simulation environment for ray lunching and tracing can drastically reduce the number of rays that need to be traced, and improve the efficiency of ray tracing. Implementation and justification of MRLMA presented in the paper. An indoor office 3D layouts are selected and simulations have been performed using the MRLMA and other reference techniques. Results showed that the indoor 3D MRLMA model is appropriate for wireless communications network systems design and optimization process with respect to efficiency, coverage, number of rays launching, number of rays received by the mobile station, and simulation time.

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<![CDATA[Perceptual Stability of the Lissajous Figure Is Modulated by the Speed of Illusory Rotation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f5ab0ee8fa60b6fcbf

Lissajous figures represent ambiguous structure-from-motion stimuli rotating in depth and have proven to be a versatile tool to explore the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying bistable perception. They are generated by the intersection of two sinusoids with perpendicular axes and increasing phase-shift whose frequency determines the speed of illusory 3D rotation. Recently, we found that Lissajous figures of higher shifting frequencies elicited longer perceptual phase durations and tentatively proposed a “representational momentum” account. In this study, our aim was twofold. First, we aimed to gather more behavioral evidence related to the perceptual dynamics of the Lissajous figure by simultaneously varying its shifting frequency and size. Using a conventional analysis, we investigated the effects of our experimental manipulations on transition probability (i.e., the probability that the current percept will change at the next critical stimulus configuration). Second, we sought to test the impact of our experimental factors on the occurrence of transitions in bistable perception by means of a Bayesian approach that can be used to directly quantify the impact of contextual cues on perceptual stability. We thereby estimated the implicit prediction of perceptual stability and how it is modulated by experimental manipulations.

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<![CDATA[An on-chip instrument for white blood cells classification based on a lens-less shadow imaging technique]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc130

Routine blood tests provide important basic information for disease diagnoses. The proportions of three subtypes of white blood cells (WBCs), which are neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, is key information for disease diagnosis. However, current instruments for routine blood tests, such as blood cell analyzers, flow cytometers, and optical microscopes, are cumbersome, time consuming and expensive. To make a smaller, automatic low-cost blood cell analyzer, much research has focused on a technique called lens-less shadow imaging, which can obtain microscopic images of cells in a lens-less system. Nevertheless, the efficiency of this imaging system is not satisfactory because of two problems: low resolution and imaging diffraction phenomena. In this paper, a novel method of classifying cells with the shadow imaging technique was proposed. It could be used for the classification of the three subtypes of WBCs, and the correlation of the results of classification between the proposed system and the reference system (BC-5180, Mindray) was 0.93. However, the instrument was only 10 × 10 × 10 cm, and the cost was less than $100. Depending on the lens-free shadow imaging technology, the main hardware could be integrated on a chip scale and could be called an on-chip instrument.

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<![CDATA[The Effect of Gap Junctional Coupling on the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Ca2+ Signals and the Harmonization of Ca2+-Related Cellular Responses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da21ab0ee8fa60b7ede4

Calcium ions (Ca2+) are important mediators of a great variety of cellular activities e.g. in response to an agonist activation of a receptor. The magnitude of a cellular response is often encoded by frequency modulation of Ca2+ oscillations and correlated with the stimulation intensity. The stimulation intensity highly depends on the sensitivity of a cell to a certain agonist. In some cases, it is essential that neighboring cells produce a similar and synchronized response to an agonist despite their different sensitivity. In order to decipher the presumed function of Ca2+ waves spreading among connecting cells, a mathematical model was developed. This model allows to numerically modifying the connectivity probability between neighboring cells, the permeability of gap junctions and the individual sensitivity of cells to an agonist. Here, we show numerically that strong gap junctional coupling between neighbors ensures an equilibrated response to agonist stimulation via formation of Ca2+ phase waves, i.e. a less sensitive neighbor will produce the same or similar Ca2+ signal as its highly sensitive neighbor. The most sensitive cells within an ensemble are the wave initiator cells. The Ca2+ wave in the cytoplasm is driven by a sensitization wave front in the endoplasmic reticulum. The wave velocity is proportional to the cellular sensitivity and to the strength of the coupling. The waves can form different patterns including circular rings and spirals. The observed pattern depends on the strength of noise, gap junctional permeability and the connectivity probability between neighboring cells. Our simulations reveal that one highly sensitive region gradually takes the lead within the entire noisy system by generating directed circular phase waves originating from this region.

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<![CDATA[Detailing Radio Frequency Heating Induced by Coronary Stents: A 7.0 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6dab0ee8fa60b935f4

The sensitivity gain of ultrahigh field Magnetic Resonance (UHF-MR) holds the promise to enhance spatial and temporal resolution. Such improvements could be beneficial for cardiovascular MR. However, intracoronary stents used for treatment of coronary artery disease are currently considered to be contra-indications for UHF-MR. The antenna effect induced by a stent together with RF wavelength shortening could increase local radiofrequency (RF) power deposition at 7.0 T and bears the potential to induce local heating, which might cause tissue damage. Realizing these constraints, this work examines RF heating effects of stents using electro-magnetic field (EMF) simulations and phantoms with properties that mimic myocardium. For this purpose, RF power deposition that exceeds the clinical limits was induced by a dedicated birdcage coil. Fiber optic probes and MR thermometry were applied for temperature monitoring using agarose phantoms containing copper tubes or coronary stents. The results demonstrate an agreement between RF heating induced temperature changes derived from EMF simulations versus MR thermometry. The birdcage coil tailored for RF heating was capable of irradiating power exceeding the specific-absorption rate (SAR) limits defined by the IEC guidelines by a factor of three. This setup afforded RF induced temperature changes up to +27 K in a reference phantom. The maximum extra temperature increase, induced by a copper tube or a coronary stent was less than 3 K. The coronary stents examined showed an RF heating behavior similar to a copper tube. Our results suggest that, if IEC guidelines for local/global SAR are followed, the extra RF heating induced in myocardial tissue by stents may not be significant versus the baseline heating induced by the energy deposited by a tailored cardiac transmit RF coil at 7.0 T, and may be smaller if not insignificant than the extra RF heating observed under the circumstances used in this study.

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<![CDATA[Investigating a Novel Activation-Repolarisation Time Metric to Predict Localised Vulnerability to Reentry Using Computational Modelling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e5ab0ee8fa60b6b135

Exit sites associated with scar-related reentrant arrhythmias represent important targets for catheter ablation therapy. However, their accurate location in a safe and robust manner remains a significant clinical challenge. We recently proposed a novel quantitative metric (termed the Reentry Vulnerability Index, RVI) to determine the difference between activation and repolarisation intervals measured from pairs of spatial locations during premature stimulation to accurately locate the critical site of reentry formation. In the clinic, the method showed potential to identify regions of low RVI corresponding to areas vulnerable to reentry, subsequently identified as ventricular tachycardia (VT) circuit exit sites. Here, we perform an in silico investigation of the RVI metric in order to aid the acquisition and interpretation of RVI maps and optimise its future usage within the clinic. Within idealised 2D sheet models we show that the RVI produces lower values under correspondingly more arrhythmogenic conditions, with even low resolution (8 mm electrode separation) recordings still able to locate vulnerable regions. When applied to models of infarct scars, the surface RVI maps successfully identified exit sites of the reentrant circuit, even in scenarios where the scar was wholly intramural. Within highly complex infarct scar anatomies with multiple reentrant pathways, the identified exit sites were dependent upon the specific pacing location used to compute the endocardial RVI maps. However, simulated ablation of these sites successfully prevented the reentry re-initiation. We conclude that endocardial surface RVI maps are able to successfully locate regions vulnerable to reentry corresponding to critical exit sites during sustained scar-related VT. The method is robust against highly complex and intramural scar anatomies and low resolution clinical data acquisition. Optimal location of all relevant sites requires RVI maps to be computed from multiple pacing locations.

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