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Journal: Annals of biomedical engineering


Active electronic implants are powered by primary batteries, which induces the necessity of implant replacement after battery depletion. This causes repeated interventions in a patients' life, which bears the risk of complications and is costly. By using energy harvesting devices to power the implant, device replacements may be avoided and the device size may be reduced dramatically. Recently, several groups presented prototypes of implants powered by subcutaneous solar cells. However, data about the expected real-life power output of subcutaneously implanted solar cells was lacking so far. In this study, we report the first real-life validation data of energy harvesting by subcutaneous solar cells. Portable light measurement devices that feature solar cells (cell area = 3.6 cm(2)) and continuously measure a subcutaneous solar cell’s output power were built. The measurement devices were worn by volunteers in their daily routine in summer, autumn and winter. In addition to the measured output power, influences such as season, weather and human activity were analyzed. The obtained mean power over the whole study period was 67 µW (=19 µW cm(-2)), which is sufficient to power e.g. a cardiac pacemaker.

Concepts: Measurement, Solar cell, Energy conversion, Energy conversion efficiency, Diode, IBM, P-n junction, Energy harvesting


Regulations have allowed for increased unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations over the last decade, yet operations over people are still not permitted. The objective of this study was to estimate the range of injury risks to humans due to UAS impact. Three commercially-available UAS models that varied in mass (1.2-11 kg) were evaluated to estimate the range of risk associated with UAS-human interaction. Live flight and falling impact tests were conducted using an instrumented Hybrid III test dummy. On average, live flight tests were observed to be less severe than falling impact tests. The maximum risk of AIS 3+ injury associated with live flight tests was 11.6%, while several falling impact tests estimated risks exceeding 50%. Risk of injury was observed to increase with increasing UAS mass, and the larger models tested are not safe for operations over people in their current form. However, there is likely a subset of smaller UAS models that are safe to operate over people. Further, designs which redirect the UAS away from the head or deform upon impact transfer less energy and generate lower risk. These data represent a necessary impact testing foundation for future UAS regulations on operations over people.

Concepts: Mathematics, Risk, Fixed-wing aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicle, Helicopter, Unmanned vehicles, Unmanned Aircraft System


The incidence of wound infections that do not adequately respond to standard-of-care antimicrobial treatment has been increasing. To address this challenge, a novel antimicrobial magnetic thermotherapy platform has been developed in which a high-amplitude, high-frequency, alternating magnetic field is used to rapidly heat magnetic nanoparticles that are bound to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The antimicrobial efficacy of this platform was evaluated in the treatment of both an in vitro culture model of S. aureus biofilm and a mouse model of cutaneous S. aureus infection. We demonstrated that an antibody-targeted magnetic nanoparticle bound to S. aureus was effective at thermally inactivating S. aureus and achieving accelerated wound healing without causing tissue injury.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Nanoparticle, Staphylococcus aureus, Infection, Staphylococcus, Magnetism, Wound, Magnetic nanoparticles


Baseball pitching imposes a dangerous valgus load on the elbow that puts the joint at severe risk for injury. The goal of this study was to develop a musculoskeletal modeling approach to enable evaluation of muscle-tendon contributions to mitigating elbow injury risk in pitching. We implemented a forward dynamic simulation framework that used a scaled biomechanical model to reproduce a pitching motion recorded from a high school pitcher. The medial elbow muscles generated substantial, protective, varus elbow moments in our simulations. For our subject, the triceps generated large varus moments at the time of peak valgus loading; varus moments generated by the flexor digitorum superficialis were larger, but occurred later in the motion. Increasing muscle-tendon force output, either by augmenting parameters associated with strength and power or by increasing activation levels, decreased the load on the ulnar collateral ligament. Published methods have not previously quantified the biomechanics of elbow muscles during pitching. This simulation study represents a critical advancement in the study of baseball pitching and highlights the utility of simulation techniques in the study of this difficult problem.

Concepts: Simulation, Baseball, Pitcher, Fastball, Catcher, Baseball positions, Tommy John surgery, Relief pitcher


Head impact exposure in youth football has not been well-documented, despite children under the age of 14 accounting for 70% of all football players in the United States. The objective of this study was to quantify the head impact exposure of youth football players, age 9-12, for all practices and games over the course of single season. A total of 50 players (age = 11.0 ± 1.1 years) on three teams were equipped with helmet mounted accelerometer arrays, which monitored each impact players sustained during practices and games. During the season, 11,978 impacts were recorded for this age group. Players averaged 240 ± 147 impacts for the season with linear and rotational 95th percentile magnitudes of 43 ± 7 g and 2034 ± 361 rad/s(2). Overall, practice and game sessions involved similar impact frequencies and magnitudes. One of the three teams however, had substantially fewer impacts per practice and lower 95th percentile magnitudes in practices due to a concerted effort to limit contact in practices. The same team also participated in fewer practices, further reducing the number of impacts each player experienced in practice. Head impact exposures in games showed no statistical difference. While the acceleration magnitudes among 9-12 year old players tended to be lower than those reported for older players, some recorded high magnitude impacts were similar to those seen at the high school and college level. Head impact exposure in youth football may be appreciably reduced by limiting contact in practices. Further research is required to assess whether such a reduction in head impact exposure will result in a reduction in concussion incidence.

Concepts: Redox, United States, The Age, Middle school, High school, American football, 2000s American television series, 1990s American television series


A striking feature of stress relaxation in biological soft tissue is that it frequently follows a power law in time with an exponent that is independent of strain even when the elastic properties of the tissue are highly nonlinear. This kind of behavior is an example of quasi-linear viscoelasticity, and is usually modeled in a purely empirical fashion. The goal of the present study was to account for quasi-linear viscoelasticity in mechanistic terms based on our previously developed hypothesis that it arises as a result of isolated micro-yield events occurring in sequence throughout the tissue, each event passing the stress it was sustaining on to other regions of the tissue until they themselves yield. We modeled stress relaxation computationally in a collection of stress-bearing elements. Each element experiences a stochastic sequence of either increases in elastic equilibrium length or decreases in stiffness according to the stress imposed upon it. This successfully predicts quasi-linear viscoelastic behavior, and in addition predicts power-law stress relaxation that proceeds at the same slow rate as observed in real biological soft tissue.

Concepts: Time, Continuum mechanics, Viscoelasticity, Elasticity, Linear elasticity, Hooke's law, Stress relaxation, Creep


Numerical simulations are performed on patient-specific basilar aneurysms that are treated with shape memory polymer (SMP) foam. In order to assess the post-treatment hemodynamics, two modeling approaches are employed. In the first, the foam geometry is obtained from a micro-CT scan and the pulsatile blood flow within the foam is simulated for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian viscosity models. In the second, the foam is represented as a porous media continuum, which has permeability properties that are determined by computing the pressure gradient through the foam geometry over a range of flow speeds comparable to those of in vivo conditions. Virtual angiography and additional post-processing demonstrate that the SMP foam significantly reduces the blood flow speed within the treated aneurysms, while eliminating the high-frequency velocity fluctuations that are present within the pre-treatment aneurysms. An estimation of the initial locations of thrombus formation throughout the SMP foam is obtained by means of a low fidelity thrombosis model that is based upon the residence time and shear rate of blood. The Newtonian viscosity model and the porous media model capture similar qualitative trends, though both yield a smaller volume of thrombus within the SMP foam.

Concepts: Blood, Fluid dynamics, Continuum mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Viscosity, Non-Newtonian fluid, Rheology, Newtonian fluid


Rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when the local wall stress exceeds the local wall strength. Knowledge of AAA wall mechanics plays a fundamental role in the development and advancement of AAA rupture risk assessment tools. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the biaxial mechanical properties of AAA tissue. Multiple biaxial test protocols were performed on AAA samples harvested from 28 patients undergoing open surgical repair. Both the Tangential Modulus ™ and stretch ratio (λ) were recorded and compared in both the circumferential (ϴ) and longitudinal (L) directions at physiologically relevant stress levels, the influence of patient specific factors such as sex, age AAA diameter and status were examined. The biomechanical response was also fit to a hyperplastic material model. The AAA tissue was found to be anisotropic with a greater tendency to stiffen in the circumferential direction compared to the longitudinal direction. An anisotropic hyperelastic constitutive model represented the data well and the properties were not influenced by the investigated patient specific factors however, a future study utilizing a larger cohort of patients is warranted to confirm these findings. This work provides further insights on the biomechanical behavior of AAA and may be useful in the development of more reliable rupture risk assessment tools.

Concepts: Hospital, Aortic aneurysm, Aneurysm, Aortic dissection, Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Aneurysm of sinus of Valsalva, Elasticity, Risk assessment


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world. In the last three decades, fluid dynamics investigations have been an important component in the study of the cardiovascular system and CVD. A large proportion of studies have been restricted to computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling of blood flow. However, with the development of flow measurement techniques such as particle image velocimetry (PIV), and recent advances in additive manufacturing, experimental investigation of such flow systems has become of interest to validate CFD studies, testing vascular implants and using the data for therapeutic procedures. This article reviews the technical aspects of in-vitro arterial flow measurement with the focus on PIV. CAD modeling of geometries and rapid prototyping of molds has been reviewed. Different processes of casting rigid and compliant models for experimental analysis have been reviewed and the accuracy of construction of each method has been compared. A review of refractive index matching and blood mimicking flow circuits is also provided. Methodologies and results of the most influential experimental studies are compared to elucidate the benefits, accuracy and limitations of each method.


Physical differences between youth and adults, which include incomplete myelination, limited neck muscle development, and a higher head-body ratio in the youth population, likely contribute towards the increased susceptibility of youth to concussion. Previous research efforts have considered the biomechanics of concussion for adult populations, but these known age-related differences highlight the necessity of quantifying the risk of concussion for a youth population. This study adapted the previously developed Generalized Acceleration Model for Brian Injury Threshold (GAMBIT) that combines linear and rotational head acceleration to model the risk of concussion for a youth population with the Generalized Acceleration Model for Concussion in Youth (GAM-CY). Survival analysis was used in conjunction with head impact data collected during participation in youth football to model risk between individuals who sustained medically-diagnosed concussions (n = 15). Receiver operator characteristic curves were generated for peak linear acceleration, peak rotational acceleration, and GAM-CY, all of which were observed to be better injury predictors than random guessing. GAM-CY was associated with an area under the curve of 0.89 (95% confidence interval: 0.82-0.95) when all head impacts experienced by the concussed players were considered. Concussion tolerance was observed to be lower for youth athletes, with average peak linear head acceleration of 62.4 ± 29.7 g compared to 102.5 ± 32.7 g for adults and average peak rotational head acceleration of 2609 ± 1591 rad/s2 compared to 4412 ± 2326 rad/s2. These data provide further evidence of age-related differences in concussion tolerance and may be used for the development of youth-specific protective designs.