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Abstract

We previously demonstrated that remote infrared Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization technology (Spidermass) using endogenous water as matrix (or so called water assisted laser desorption/ionization) was enabling real-time in vitro and in vivo analysis of clinical pathological tissues. In the present work, Spidermass was used to biotype human pathogens either from liquid bacteria growth in time course, from petri dish or on smears. Reproducibility experiments as well as bacteria dispersion and lipids identifications with SpiderMass in MS/MS mode were undertaken. The whole of the data establish that SpiderMass instrument allows real time bacteria biotyping and can be useful in clinic for pathogen identification.

Abstract

Paper production generates large quantities of a solid waste known as papermaking sludge (PS), which needs to be handled properly for final disposal. The high amount of this byproduct creates expensive economical costs and induces environmental and ecological risks. Therefore, it is necessary to search uses for PS, in order to reduce the negative environmental impact and to generate a more valuable byproduct. Due to the cellulolytic composition of PS, this work evaluated a solid state fermentation process using it as substrate to obtain spores of the fungus Trichoderma asperellum. Optimal conditions to obtain T. asperellum spores were: 60% water content, 3% (w/w) salts (Nutrisol P® and Nutrisol K®), inoculum concentration at 1x105 spores/g, and pasteurized or sterilized PS. Under these conditions it was possible to obtain 2.37x109 spores/g. T. asperellum spores applied directly to pepper (Capsicum anuum) seeds without PS increased significantly seedling dry mass in greenhouse assays. This work suggests an alternative, economic and abundant substrate for production of T. asperellum spores.

Abstract

Various antimicrobial solutions have been tested as additives for raw milk traditional cheeses, among which Nigella sativa cold pressed seed oil (NSSO) is recognized for its positive effect on the microbial quality of such products. The overall effect on the quality of enriched cheeses during ripening is still under extensive investigation. Three batches of traditional raw milk brined cheese were included in the current experiment: control cheese without Nigella sativa seed oil (NSSO) and cheese samples enriched with 0.2 and 1% w/w NSSO. Experimental cheese samples were analyzed in duplicates for total nitrogen content (TN), at 0, 14, 28 and 42 days of ripening, while single determinations of total nitrogen (WSN) and free amino acids (FAA) were performed at 14, 28 and 42 ripening days. The TN content revealed similar values for control cheeses and NSSO cheeses, and no significant differences were noticed within the three treatment groups (p >.05) throughout ripening. WSN values followed a significant rising shift in all cheeses during ripening, yet computing data obtained for the three considered treatments, despite an obvious higher WSN content of NSSO enriched cheeses, no statistical significance could be associated to this difference. The FAA composition of the experimental cheeses, varied quantitatively, by increasing with ripening time, but no qualitative variation was noticed during the follow-up period. The FAA composition of the did not vary significantly within treatments.

Abstract

Fungi remain a promising source of novel biologically active compounds with potentials in drug discovery and development. This study was aimed at investigating the secondary metabolites from endophytic Fusarium equiseti and Epicoccum sorghinum associated with leaves of Carica papaya collected from Agulu, Anambra State, Nigeria. Isolation of the endophytic fungi, taxonomic identification, fermentation, extraction and isolation of fungal secondary metabolites were carried out using standard procedures. Chromatographic separation and spectroscopic analyses of the fungal secondary metabolites yielded three toxigenic compounds - equisetin and its epimer 5’- epiequisetin from F. equiseti and tenuazonic acid from E. sorghinum These compounds are known to possess several beneficial biological properties that can be explored for pharmaceutical, agricultural or industrial purposes.

Abstract

The behaviour of light interaction with biological tissue is determined by micro-optical parameters: refractive index (n), absorption coefficient (µa), scattering coefficient (µs), and anisotropy (g). The goal of this study is to measure the optical properties of normal whole blood using He-Ne laser (wavelength 632.8 nm).

The refractive index is measured using the traveller microscope. The integrating sphere method is used to measure the macro-optical parameters: total diffusive reflectance, transmittance, and collimated transmittance at wavelength 632.8 nm. The macro-optical parameters are fed to Inverse Adding Doubling (IAD) theoretical technique, to estimate the micro-optical parameters (µs, µa, g). An alternative practical method is used to measure the g value based on utilising the goniometric table. The study reveals that the refractive index (n) equals 1.395±0.0547, absorption coefficient (µa) equals 2.37 mm−1, scattering coefficient (µs) equals 55.69 mm−1, and anisotropy (g) equals 0.82.

In conclusion, these findings approved, in general, the applicability of the suggested experimental set up. The set up depend on using three devices: the integrating sphere method to estimate (µs, µa, g), traveller microscope (n) and goniometer (g).

Abstract

Objective: The literature has approved that the use of the concept of diagnostic reference level (DRL) as a part of an optimization process could help to reduce patient doses in diagnostic radiology comprising the Computed Tomography (CT) examinations. There are four public/governmental CT centers in the province (Semnan, Iran) and, to our knowledge, after about 12 years since the launch of the first CT scanner in the province there is no dosimetry information on those CT scanners. The aim of this study was to evaluate CT dose indices with the aim of the establishment of the DRL for head, chest, cervical spine, and abdomen-pelvis examinations.

Methods: Scan parameters of 381 patients were collected during two months from 4 CT scanners. The CT dose index (CTDI) was measured using a calibrated ionization chamber on two cylindrical poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantoms. For each sequences, weighted CTDI (CTDIw), volumetric CTDI (CTDIv) and dose length product (DLP) were calculated. The 75th percentile was proposed as the criterion for DRL values.

Results: Proposed DRL (CTDIw, CTDIv, DLP) for the head, chest, cervical spine, and abdomen-pelvis were (46.1 mGy, 46.1 mGy, 723 mGy × cm), (13.8 mGy, 12.0 mGy, 377 mGy × cm), (40.0 mGy, 40.0 mGy, 572 mGy × cm) and (14.9 mGy, 12.1 mGy, 524 mGy × cm), respectively.

Conclusion: Comparison with the others results from the other countries indicates that the head, chest and abdomen-pelvis scans in our region are lower or in the range of the other studies investigated in terms of dose. In the case of cervical spine scanning it’s necessary to review and regulate scan protocols to reach acceptable dose levels.

Abstract

Introduction: Since the CT operators play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and exposing the patients to radiation exposure, they must be aware of all CT parameters which affect the image quality and patient dose and update their knowledge in parallel with the progresses in CT technology. Therefore, the knowledge of radiographers and CT technologists regarding the CT parameters was assessed in this study to identify and resolve any potential deficiencies.

Material and methods: This study was conducted in 2018 among 113 radiographers and 103 CT technologists in Khuzestan province using a three-part questionnaire containing demographic characteristics, general opinion on CT scan dose and questions assessing technologists’ knowledge of CT exposure parameters. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.

Results: Total knowledge scores of radiographers and CT technologists about CT exposure parameters were 36 and 42, respectively. The highest knowledge score among technologist was the knowledge of changing parameters based on patient characteristics and the lowest was in the field of awareness of noise index and diagnostic reference levels.

Conclusion: Total knowledge scores of radiographers and CT technologists about different scan parameters affecting dose and image quality was very low. Reviewing and updating the content of academic education and holding retraining courses are suggested.

Abstract

Background: The relationship between the prostate IMRT techniques and patients anatomical parameters has been rarely investigated.

Objective: to evaluate various prostate IMRT techniques based on tumor control and normal tissue complication probability (TCP and NTCP) values and also the correlation of such techniques with patients anatomical parameters. Methods: Four IMRT techniques (9, 7 and 5 fields and also automatic) were planned on the CT scans of 63 prostate cancer patients. The sum of distances between the organs at risk (OARs) and target tissue and also their average joint volumes were measured and assumed as anatomical parameters. Selected dosimetric and radiobiological parameters (TCP and NTCP) values were compared among various techniques and the correlation with the above anatomical parameters were assessed using Pearsons’ correlation.

Results: High correlations were found between the dosimetric/radiobiological parameters of OARs with the joint volumes and with the distances between the OARs and target tissue in all the techniques. The TCP and complication free tumor control probability (P+) values were decreased with increasing the joint volume and decreasing the distances between the OARs and target tissue (as poly-nominal functions). The NTCP values were increased with increasing the joint volumes and decreasing the distances (3-degree poly-nominal functions). For the low percent joint volumes (<20%) and high distances (>7 cm), The TCP, NTCP and P+ showed no statistical differences between various techniques (P-value>0.07). However, 9 and 7 fields techniques indicated better radiobiological results (P-value<0.05) in almost other ranges (>20% joint volumes and <7 cm distances).

Conclusion: Based on our results, it would be possible to compare radiobiological effects of various common IMRT techniques and choose the best one regarding to patients anatomical parameters derived from the CT scans.

Abstract

We used GATE simulation to study the effect of the coincidence time window (CTW) along with the block gap and the intercrystal gap on the count rate performance and the spatial resolution of the Biograph mCT 20 Excel. We ran simulations on our local cluster to reduce computation time. The task was split into several jobs that were then triggered simultaneously on the cluster nodes. The BiographTM mCT 20 Excel was validated using the NEMA NU 2-2012 protocol. Our results showed good agreement with experimental data. The simulated sensitivity, peak true count rate, peak noise equivalent count rate (NECR), and scatter fraction showed agreement within 3.62%, 5.77%, 0.6%, and 2.69%, respectively. In addition, the spatial resolution agreed within <0.51 mm. The results showed that a decrease in the coincidence time window and the block gap and an increase in the intercrystal gap increase the count rate performance and improve the spatial resolution. The results also showed that decreasing the coincidence time window increased the NECR by 27.37%. Changing the intercrystal gap from 0 to 0.2 mm and the block gap and from 4 to 0.4 mm increased the NECR by 5.53% and improved the spatial resolution at 1 cm by 2.91% and that at 10 cm by 3.85%. The coincidence time window, crystal gap, and block gap are important parameters with respect to improving the spatial resolution.

Abstract

Aim: To estimate the Gross Tumor Volume (GTV) using different modes (axial, helical, slow, KV-CBCT & 4D-CT) of computed tomography (CT) in pulmonary tumors.

Materials & Methods: We have retrospectively included ten previously treated case of carcinoma of primary lung or metastatic lung using Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) in this study. All the patients underwent 4 modes of CT scan Axial, Helical, Slow & 4D-CT using GE discovery 16 Slice PET-CT scanner and daily KV-CBCT for the daily treatment verification. For standardization, all the patients underwent different modes of scan using 2.5 mm slice thickness, 16 detectors rows and field of view of 400mm. Slow CT was performed using axial mode scan by increasing the CT tube rotation time (typically 3 – 4 sec.) as per the breathing period of the patients. 4D-CT scans were performed and the entire respiratory cycle was divided into ten phases. Maximum Intensity Projections (MIP), Minimum Intensity Projections (MinIP) and Average Intensity Projections (AvIP) were derived from the 10 phases. GTV volumes were delineated for all the patients in all the scanning modes (GTVAX - Axial, GTVHL - Helical, GTVSL – Slow, GTVMIP -4DCT and GTVCB – KV-CBCT) in the Eclipse treatment planning system version 11.0 (M/S Varian Medical System, USA). GTV volumes were measured, documented and compared with the different modes of CT scans.

Results: The mean ± standard deviation (range) for MIP, slow, axial, helical & CBCT were 36.5 ± 40.5 (2.29 – 87.0), 35.38 ± 39.52 (2.1 – 82), 31.95 ± 37.29 (1.32 – 66.9), 28.98 ± 33.36 (1.01 – 65.9) & 37.16 ± 42.23 (2.29 – 92). Overall underestimation of helical scan and axial scan compared to MIP is 21% and 12.5%. CBCT and slow CT volume has a good correlation with the MIP volume.

Conclusion: For SBRT in lung tumors better to avoid axial and helical scan for target delineation. MIP is a still a golden standard for the ITV delineation, but in the absence of 4DCT scanner, Slow CT and KV-CBCT data may be considered for ITV delineation with caution.