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Technology and Health Care is intended to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Furthermore, upon invitation, reviews, tutorials, discussion papers and minisymposia are featured.
The following types of contributions and areas are considered:
1. Original articles:
Technology development in medicine: New concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice are presented to a readership with a widespread background in engineering and/or medicine.
Significance of medical technology and informatics for healthcare: The appropriateness, efficacy and usefulness deriving from the application of engineering methods, devices and informatics in medicine and with respect to public health are discussed.
2. Technical notes:
Short communications on novel technical developments with relevance for clinical medicine.
3. Reviews and tutorials (upon invitation only):
Tutorial and educational articles for persons with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa are presented.
4. Minisymposia (upon invitation only):
Under the leadership of a Special Editor, controversial issues relating to healthcare are highlighted and discussed by various authors.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The global community is faced with aging societies, which will result in increased health care costs. we have been introducing our International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-certified health education system in Thailand and Indonesia. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to collect data on the effects of this ISO-certified health education system, to extend the healthy life expectancy and to study the feasibility of implementing this program and in new social contexts. METHODS: We implemented the health education program recruiting 43, 114 and 119 participants, respectively, in Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. The…participants’ conditions before and after the program were determined through anthropometry, physical fitness tests, blood chemistry tests, brain function tests and pedometry. RESULTS: Regarding pedometry, the Japanese participants took the highest number of daily steps on average, followed by the Indonesian and Thai participants. In the 10-m obstacle walk, the Thai and Indonesian participants had significantly increased times. Furthermore, the differentiation reaction time, reverse differentiation reaction time, total number of “misses”, total number of “mistakes” and total number of errors significantly improved. CONCLUSION: It is possible to implement a program of an ISO-certified health education system, but how to develop exercise habits is important.
Keywords: Brain function, health promotion, pedometer, physical fitness
Abstract: BACKGROUND: To develop wearable healthcare sensors that use fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors, a stretch textile product with an embedded FBG sensor is required. OBJECTIVE: The FBG sensor, which is an optical fiber, was embedded into a textile product following a wavy pattern by using a warp knitting machine. METHODS: When an optical fiber is embedded in a textile product, the effect of the cycle length of wavy pattern and the number of cycles on the optical loss is verified. The shorter the cycle length of the wavy pattern of the optical fiber,…and more increase in the number of cycles, the longer the textile product in which the optical fiber is embedded can expand and contract. However, when the cycle length of the wave pattern is 30 mm (shortest), large in optical loss, the pulse wave signal cannot be measured. If the cycle length of the wavy pattern is 50 mm or more, small in optical loss, the pulse wave signal is measured. RESULTS: Compared with a straight pattern embedding FBG sensor, the amplitude value of the pulse wave signal measured with a cycle length of 50 mm is large, therefore the sensor sensitivity in this state is greater. This result is consistent with the measurement sensitivity depending on the angle of installation with respect to the direction of the artery. CONCLUSION: With a cycle length of wavy pattern of 50 mm and 4 cycles, a stretch textile product with an embedded FBG sensor can be fabricated. Pulse wave signals are measured with this textile product, and the development of wearable healthcare sensors is expected.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Alveolar echinococcosis is an epidemic disease caused by the parasitism of Echinococcus multilocularis (Em) larvae in the intermediate or final host. OBJECTIVE: To identify and analyze B-cell and T-cell (Th1, Th2, and Th17) epitopes of the Em antigen protein thrombospondin 3 (TSP3). METHODS: The amino acid sequence of TSP3 was obtained, and the secondary structural characteristics of TSP3 were predicted using bioinformatics software to further predict its potential T-cell and B-cell epitopes. The spleen lymphocytes of BALB/c mice, which were immunized with the TSP3 protein, were collected for co-culture with B-cell…and T-cell antigen small peptides. The B-cell epitopes and T-cell epitope subtypes Th1, Th2, and Th17 were identified as having good immunogenicity. RESULTS: After identification, it was found that the predominant epitopes of B cells existing in TSP3 were T18-33, T45-55, and T110-122. Furthermore, the predominant epitopes of T cells existing in TSP3 were T33-42, T45-55, T80-90, and T110-122 in the T1 subtype, T45-55, T68-77, and T92-104 in the Th2 subtype, and T53-63 and T80-90 in the Th17 subtype. CONCLUSIONS: Six T-cell and eight B-cell dominant epitopes of the TSP3 antigen were revealed; these results may be applied in the development of a dominant epitope vaccine.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Preservation of quality of life regarding fecal continence after abdominoperineal excision (APE) in cancer is challenging. Simultaneous soft tissue coverage and restoration of continence mechanism can be provided through an interdisciplinary collaboration of colorectal and plastic reconstructive surgery. OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of surgical procedure and outcome combining soft tissue reconstruction using a central perforated vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap (VRAM), implementing a perineostoma and restoring anorectal angle augmenting the levator ani by neurostimulated graciloplasty. METHODS: 14 Patients underwent APE due to cancer. In all patients coverage was achieved by pedicled VRAM and…simultaneous pull-through descendostomy (perineostoma). 10 of those patients received a levator augmentation additionally. Postoperative complications, functional measures of continence as well as quality of life were obtained. RESULTS: Perineal minor complication rate was 43% without need of surgical intervention. All but one VRAM survived. Continence measures and disease specific life quality showed a good preservation of continence in most patients. CONCLUSION: The results present a complex therapy option accomplished by a collaboration of two highly specialized partners (visceral and plastic surgery) after total loss of the sphincter function and consecutive fecal insufficiency after APE.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Addressing intensity inhomogeneity is critical in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) because associated errors can adversely affect post-processing and quantitative analysis of images (i.e., segmentation, registration, etc.), as well as the accuracy of clinical diagnosis. Although several prior methods have been proposed to eliminate or correct intensity inhomogeneity, some significant disadvantages have remained, including alteration of tissue contrast, poor reliability and robustness of algorithms, and prolonged acquisition time. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we propose an intensity inhomogeneity correction method based on volume and surface coils simultaneous reception (VSSR). METHODS: The VSSR method comprises…of two major steps: 1) simultaneous image acquisition from both volume and surface coils and 2) denoising of volume coil images and polynomial surface fitting of bias field. Extensive in vivo experiments were performed considering various anatomical structures, acquisition sequences, imaging resolutions, and orientations. In terms of correction performance, the proposed VSSR method was comparatively evaluated against several popular methods, including multiplicative intrinsic component optimization and improved nonparametric nonuniform intensity normalization bias correction methods. RESULTS: Experimental results show that VSSR is more robust and reliable and does not require prolonged acquisition time with the volume coil. CONCLUSION: The VSSR may be considered suitable for general implementation.
Keywords: Intensity inhomogeneity correction, volume and surface coil simultaneously received, magnetic resonance imaging
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hemodynamics and their clinical outcome of cerebral aneurysms treated with flow diverter (FD) stents have thus far been investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Although human blood is characterized as a non-Newtonian patientspecific fluid, non-patient-specific blood properties (PSBP) were applied in most extant studies. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the hemodynamic effects caused by PSBPs in aneurysms treated with FD stents. METHODS: We measured blood properties (density and viscosity) for 12 patients who underwent FD stent deployment. We conducted CFD simulations with the measured PSBPs and non-PSBPs quoted from previous studies. The average…blood flow velocity and wall shear stress within the aneurysms were calculated and two simulation patterns were compared. RESULTS: The velocity and wall shear stress changed by 2.93% and 3.16% on average, respectively, without an FD stent deployed. Conversely, with the FD stents deployed, the change rates increased to 11.1% and 9.06% on average, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The change in hemodynamic parameters if PSBPs are considered, may not be negligible when conducting CFD simulations of FD stent deployed aneurysms To obtain an adequate hemodynamic environment for cerebral aneurysms with FD stents deployed, it is recommended to use PSBPs for CFD simulations.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Catheter jamming is an emerging and possibly underrated complication. OBJECTIVE: To find the criteria for determining if the catheter cannot be removed through the mechanical analysis of fracture tension and fracture strain (ε f) of Peripheral Inserted Central Catheters (PICC). METHOD: We removed 30 pieces of PICC catheters from patients and recorded the indwelling time. Those with an indwelling time shorter than 12 weeks belonged to the short-term group. Those with an indwelling time longer than 12 weeks belonged to the long-term group. The first half of the same catheter…is section A, and the second half is section B. The fraction tension and fracture strain of the catheter were measured, and statistical analysis was conducted. RESULTS: The fracture tension of catheter in sections A and B were 5.8917 ± 1.0095 and 6.0670 ± 0.8066 Newtons respectively (p = 0.393) and the fracture strain of catheter in sections A and B were 6.0611 ± 1.0810 and 6.2543 ± 0.7187 Newtons respectively (p = 0.343). The fracture tension of catheter in short-term and long-term group were 6.0696 ± 0.9414 and 5.9192 ± 0.8972 Newtons respectively (p = 0.535) and the fracture strain of catheter in short-term and long-term group were 6.0067 ± 0.7227 and 6.2584 ± 1.0212 respectively (p = 0.301). CONCLUSION: It is objective and consistent to take the catheter fracture tension as the standard. This standard would be able to accurately define the concept of catheter failure and reduce the risk of catheter fracture and the misdiagnosis of catheter failure. The catheter fracture tension and fracture strain was not affected by the catheter indwelling time. It is recommended to set the tensile force as 5 Newtons and carry it out at a speed of 100 mm/min for the catheter drawing of the PICC single-lumen silicone catheter (4.0F) from Budd Company.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Analysis of the reactions of different organs to external stimuli is an important area of research in physiological science. OBJECTIVE: In this paper, we investigated the correlation between the brain and facial muscle activities by information-based analysis of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals and electromyogram (EMG) signals using Shannon entropy. METHOD: The EEG and EMG signals of thirteen subjects were recorded during rest and auditory stimulations using relaxing, pop, and rock music. Accordingly, we calculated the Shannon entropy of these signals. RESULTS: The results showed that rock music has a greater…effect on the information of EEG and EMG signals than pop music, which itself has a greater effect than relaxing music. Furthermore, a strong correlation (r = 0.9980) was found between the variations of the information of EEG and EMG signals. CONCLUSION: The activities of the facial muscle and brain are correlated in different conditions. This technique can be utilized to investigate the correlation between the activities of different organs versus brain activity in different situations.