Concept: Universal Serial Bus
Current multiplexed diagnostics for Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses are situated outside the intersection of affordability, high performance, and suitability for use at the point-of-care in resource-limited settings. Consequently, insufficient diagnostic capabilities are a key limitation facing current Zika outbreak management strategies. Here we demonstrate highly sensitive and specific detection of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses by coupling reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) with our recently developed quenching of unincorporated amplification signal reporters (QUASR) technique. We conduct reactions in a simple, inexpensive and portable “LAMP box” supplemented with a consumer class smartphone. The entire assembly can be powered by a 5 V USB source such as a USB power bank or solar panel. Our smartphone employs a novel algorithm utilizing chromaticity to analyze fluorescence signals, which improves the discrimination of positive/negative signals by 5-fold when compared to detection with traditional RGB intensity sensors or the naked eye. The ability to detect ZIKV directly from crude human sample matrices (blood, urine, and saliva) demonstrates our device’s utility for widespread clinical deployment. Together, these advances enable our system to host the key components necessary to expand the use of nucleic acid amplification-based detection assays towards point-of-care settings where they are needed most.
In order to confirm the relation between stent struts and the jailed side branch (SB), the actual wire re-crossing position and the optimal wire re-crossing position during a bifurcation stenting, we developed the instant stent-accentuated three-dimensional optical coherence tomography (iSA 3D-OCT) system based on a novel algorithm. Stent struts in two-dimensional optical coherence tomography (2D-OCT) are represented as high-intensity line segments or spots in low-intensity background. Stent struts disappear and a vessel image is created by the mean filter followed by the minimum filter. A strut image is created by subtracting a vessel image from an original image, and accentuated. By adding a vessel image to a strut image, iSA 2D-OCT is created. It took only 3 s to accentuate stent struts of 100 frames by ImageJ with its macro program. By the iSA 3D-OCT system which consists of the console of OCT, the USB selector, USB cables, the USB flash drive, the computer, and three freeware programs, it took about 65 s from an export of the image data to an observation of iSA 3D-OCT semi-automatically. During a bifurcation stenting procedure, we could confirm the relation between stent struts and the jailed SB, the actual wire re-crossing position and the optimal wire re-crossing position. Using the iSA 3D-OCT system, a detailed process during a bifurcation PCI can be observed in very short waiting time, about 65 s. It is expected to improve the outcome of a complicated bifurcation PCI by the iSA 3D-OCT system.
The Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencer, currently in pre-release testing through the MinION Access Programme (MAP), promises long reads in real-time from a cheap, compact, USB device. Tools have been released to extract FASTA/Q from the MinION base calling output and to provide basic yield statistics. However, no single tool yet exists to provide comprehensive alignment-based quality control and error profile analysis - something that is extremely important given the speed with which the platform is evolving.
Technological progress provides us with an increasing variety of devices that now mediate what previously has been achieved by social face-to-face interaction. Here, we investigate whether this leads to the incorporation of such devices into representations of our body. Using explicit (body ownership questionnaire) and implicit (proprioceptive drift rate) measures together with a synchronous/asynchronous stroking technique, we show that people have an increased tendency to integrate non-corporeal objects into their body after synchronous stroking. Explicit measures of body ownership show that people had greater average scores in the synchronous condition as compared to the asynchronous condition for all objects that we tested (computer mouse, rubber hand, smart phone, and a wooden block). However, our implicit measure of body ownership showed a numerically larger proprioceptive drift for a rubber hand than for a computer mouse, numerically comparable ownership measures for a smart phone and a rubber hand, and a significantly stronger proprioceptive drift for a smart phone than for a wooden block. These findings suggest that direct, subjective measures and indirect, objective measures of body ownership are based on different kinds of information; the latter might be more sensitive to objects for which we recall past agency based on our history of personal experiences with these objects. Taken altogether, our observations support the idea that the perceived bodily self is rather flexible and is likely to emerge through multisensory integration and top-down expectations of agency.
Detection of cholesterol crystals (Chcs) in atherosclerosis disease is important for understanding the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. Polarization microscopy (PM) has been in use traditionally for detecting Chcs, but they have difficulty in distinguishing Chcs with other crystalline materials in tissue, such as collagens. Thus, most studies using PM have been limited to studying cell-level samples. Although various methods have been proposed to detect Chcs with high specificity, most of them have low signal-to-noise ratios, a high system construction cost, and are difficult to operate due to a complex protocol. To address these problems, we have developed a simple and inexpensive universal serial bus (USB) PM system equipped with a 5700 K cool-white light-emitting diode (LED). In this system, Chcs are shown in a light blue color while collagen is shown in a yellow color. More importantly, the contrast between Chcs and collagens is improved by a factor of 2.3 under an aqueous condition in these PM images. These imaging results are well-matched with the ones acquired with two-photon microscopy (TPM). The system can visualize the features of atherosclerosis that cannot be visualized by the conventional hematoxylin and eosin and oil-red-o staining methods. Thus, we believe that this simple USB PM system can be widely used to identify Chcs in atherosclerosis.
Fatigue management interventions for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) often feature structured programmes requiring repeated, in-person attendance that is not possible for all individuals. We sought to determine whether MS INFoRm, a self-directed fatigue management resource for individuals with MS, was worth further, more rigorous evaluation. Our indicators of worthiness were actual use of the resource by participants over 3 months, reductions in fatigue impact and increases in self-efficacy, and participant reports of changes in fatigue management knowledge and behaviours. This was a single-group, mixed-methods, before-after pilot study in individuals with MS reporting mild to moderate fatigue. Thirty-five participants were provided with MS INFoRm by a USB flash drive to use at home for 3 months, on their own volition. Twenty-three participants completed all standardized questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and study process measures. Participants reported actively using MS INFoRm over the 3-month study period (median total time spent using MS INFoRm=315 min) as well as significantly lower overall fatigue impact (Modified Fatigue Impact Scale: t=2.6, P=0.01), increased knowledge of MS fatigue (z=-2.8, P=0.01) and greater confidence in managing MS fatigue (z=-3.3, P=0.001). Individuals with significant reductions in fatigue impact also reported behavioural changes including tracking fatigue, better communication with others, greater awareness, improved quality of life and being more proactive. This study provides evidence that further rigorous evaluation of MS INFoRm, a self-directed resource for managing fatigue, is worth pursuing.
The objectives of this study were to explore self-reported Internet and electronic platforms used to search for and store medical and dental information among people of Mexican origin. A sample of adults self-identified as European American (250) and as Mexican American (255), residing in Central Indiana, answered a one-time survey that included technology use questions and measured acculturation via the Psychological-Behavioral Acculturation Scale. Overall use of information technologies was estimated through an Information and Communication Technology score. Overall, participants with higher scores searched online for general and oral health information at higher rates than those with lower scores. Younger Mexican Americans and those with higher use scores were more likely to search online for general health information, as were those more psychologically and behaviorally acculturated. Interestingly, Mexican Americans were more likely than European Americans to search online for dental health information. All participants demonstrated high interest in accessing and storing their own health information especially on paper format; storage in other places, such as personal computers, smartphones, or USB flash drives, was less endorsed. Most participants would allow spouses access to their health records; however, there were significant differences between both population groups regarding access given to physicians, dentists and other family members, with Mexican Americans reporting more restrictions. Our findings provide initial information on differential use pattern of electronic health resources among Mexican Americans and suggest that new information technologies reach population groups traditionally underserved; such features may help address disparities in general and dental health.
Significantly increased use of USB devices due to their user-friendliness and large storage capacities poses various threats for many users/companies in terms of data theft that becomes easier due to their efficient mobility. Investigations for such data theft activities would require gathering critical digital information capable of recovering digital forensics artifacts like date, time, and device information. This research gathers three sets of registry and logs data: first, before insertion; second, during insertion; and the third, after removal of a USB device. These sets are analyzed to gather evidentiary information from Registry and Windows Event log that helps in tracking a USB device. This research furthers the prior research on earlier versions of Microsoft Windows and compares it with latest Windows 10 system. Comparison of Windows 8 and Windows 10 does not show much difference except for new subkey under USB Key in registry. However, comparison of Windows 7 with latest version indicates significant variances.
In this work, a family of pH-responsive fluorescent probes has been designed in a rational manner with the aid of quantum chemistry tools, covering the entire pH range from 0-14. Relying on the boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) core, all the probes as well as selected reference dyes display very similar spectroscopic properties with ON-OFF fluorescence switching responses, facilitating optical readout in simple devices used for detection and analysis. Embedding of the probes and references dyes into hydrogel spots on a plastic strip yielded a test strip that reversibly indicates pH with a considerably small uncertainty of ca. 0.1 pH units. These strips are not only reusable but, combined with a 3D-printed case that can be attached to a smartphone, the USB port of which drives the integrated LED used for excitation, allows for autonomous operation in on-site or in-the-field applications; the developed Android application software (“app”) further simplifies operation for unskilled users.
Smartphone application for multi-phasic interventional trials in psychiatry: Technical design of an automated smart server
- Technology and health care : official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine
- Published over 3 years ago
Smartphones and their accompanying applications are currently widely utilized in various healthcare interventions. Prior to the deployment of these tools for healthcare intervention, typically, proof of concept feasibility studies, as well as randomized trials are conducted to determine that these tools are efficacious prior to their actual implementation. In the field of psychiatry, most of the current interventions seek to compare smartphone based intervention against conventional care. There remains a paucity of research evaluating different forms of interventions using a single smartphone application. In the field of nutrition, there has been recent pioneering research demonstrating how a multi-phasic randomized controlled trial could be conducted using a single smartphone application. Despite the innovativeness of the previous smartphone conceptualization, there remains a paucity of technical information underlying the conceptualization that would support a multi-phasic interventional trial. It is thus the aim of the current technical note to share insights into an innovative server design that would enable the delivery of multi-phasic trials.