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Abstract

The present study aims to calculate a new database of conversion coefficients from fluence and air Kerma to personal dose equivalent in two terms: absorbed dose and Kerma-approximations. In this work, we propose a new equation to perform an analytical fit of our Monte Carlo (MC) calculated conversion coefficients for photons for different angles. Also, we have calculated the conversion coefficients using the EGSnrc code. The conversion coefficients have been calculated for beams of monoenergetic photons from 0.015 to 10 MeV, incident on phantom ICRU for angles of incidence from 0° to a 75° in steps of 15°. Our computed values agree well when compared with those published for the ICRU 57 in Kerma-approximations with statistical uncertainties in the calculation around 2%. We can conclude from this work that the analytical approach is successful and powerful such as Monte Carlo methods to calculate the operational quantities.

Abstract

The purpose of this work was to develop and validate a Monte Carlo model for a Dual Source Computed Tomography (DSCT) scanner based on the Monte Carlo N-particle radiation transport computer code (MCNP5). The geometry of the Siemens Somatom Definition CT scanner was modeled, taking into consideration the x-ray spectrum, bowtie filter, collimator, and detector system. The accuracy of the simulation from the dosimetry point of view was tested by calculating the Computed Tomography Dose Index (CTDI) values. Furthermore, typical quality assurance phantoms were modeled in order to assess the imaging aspects of the simulation. Simulated projection data were processed, using the MATLAB software, in order to reconstruct slices, using a Filtered Back Projection algorithm. CTDI, image noise, CT-number linearity, spatial and low contrast resolution were calculated using the simulated test phantoms. The results were compared using several published values including IMPACT, NIST and actual measurements. Bowtie filter shapes are in agreement with those theoretically expected. Results show that low contrast and spatial resolution are comparable with expected ones, taking into consideration the relatively limited number of events used for the simulation. The differences between simulated and nominal CT-number values were small. The present attempt to simulate a DSCT scanner could provide a powerful tool for dose assessment and support the training of clinical scientists in the imaging performance characteristics of Computed Tomography scanners.

Abstract

Aim: To conduct a study on the effect of random setup errors inpatient for dose delivery in Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy plans using Octavius 4D phantom.

Materials and methods: 11 patients with cancer of H&N were selected for this study. An IMRT plan was created for each patient. The IMRT quality assurance plans were transferred to Mosaiq workstation in a linear accelerator. These plans were delivered at the reference treatment position. Subsequently, the QA plans were delivered on the Octavius 4D phantom after introducing errors in various translational and rotational directions. The setup inaccuracies introduced varied from 1 mm to 5 mm along X, Y. These setup uncertainties were then introduced along X and Y direction simultaneously in equal measures. Similarly, IMRT plans were delivered also after introducing roll and yaw rotation of 1, 2 and 3 degrees in phantom. The deviation of gamma indices at all these positions was analyzed with respect to the reference setup position.

Results: The percentage of points passing the gamma acceptance criterion decrease as we increase the setup error. The change is found to be very insignificant with setup error up to 2 mm along X, Y or XY direction. Similarly, the rotational error of up to 3 degrees is found to be acceptable.

Conclusions: Small setup (< 2 mm) correction in patients may not adversely affect the dose delivery. But an error of similar magnitude in 2 directions simultaneously has a much greater impact on IMRT dose delivery.

Abstract

In the present paper, some imaging properties of nanoparticles-based contrast agents including gold, bismuth, and silver were assessed and compared with conventional (iodinated) contrast agent in spectral computed tomography (CT). A spectral CT scanner with photon-counting detectors (PCD) and 6 energy bins was simulated using the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation method. The nanoparticles were designed with a diameter of 50 nm at concentrations of 2, 4, and 8 mg/ml. Water-filled cylindrical phantom was modeled with a diameter of 10 cm containing a hole with a diameter of 5 cm in its center, where was filled with contrast agents. The MC results were used to reconstruct images. Image reconstruction was accomplished with the filtered back-projection (FBP) method with hamming filter and linear interpolation method. CT number and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of all studied contrast materials were calculated in spectral images. The simulations indicated that nanoparticle-based contrast agents have a higher CT number and CNR than the iodinated contrast agent at the same concentration and for all energy bins. In general, gold nanoparticles produced the highest CT number and CNR compared to silver and bismuth nanoparticles at the same concentration. However, at low energies (below 80 keV), silver nanoparticles performed similarly to gold nanoparticles and at high energies (120 keV), bismuth nanoparticles can be a good substitute for gold nanoparticles.

Abstract

According to the Google I/O 2018 key notes, in future artificial intelligence, which also includes machine learning and deep learning, will mostly evolve in healthcare domain. As there are lots of subdomains which come under the category of healthcare domain, the proposed paper concentrates on one such domain, that is breast cancer and pneumonia. Today, just classifying the diseases is not enough. The system should also be able to classify a particular patient’s disease. Thus, this paper shines the light on the importance of multi spectral classification which means the collection of several monochrome images of the same scene. It can be proved to be an important process in the healthcare areas to know if a patient is suffering from a specific disease or not. The convolutional layer followed by the pooling layer is used for the feature extraction process and for the classification process; fully connected layers followed by the regression layer are used.

Abstract

The imperative use of ionizing radiation in medicine causes the inevitable occupational exposure of the medical workers during the course of routine duties. The magnitude of health risk due to such radiation exposures has been described in terms of occupational radiation doses. In this context, it is obligatory to monitor, measure and document the radiation dose of occupationally exposed medical workers. This study aims to review the whole-body occupational radiation exposures of medical workers in Pakistan. Specifically, online literature published during 2000-2018 was reviewed for the occupational radiation exposures of Pakistani medical workers. Analysis of the extracted personal dosimetry data revealed that the total number of monitored medical occupational workers was 26046. The range of total cumulative and annual average effective doses was 94-15785 Person-mSv and 0.66-7.37 mSv, respectively. A significant number of the workers (25477; ~98%) received an annual dose below 5 mSv, while only 18 workers received an occupational exposure exceeding the annual dose limit of 20 mSv. It is expected that this study will provide a useful reference for evaluating and improving radiation protection and safety policies in the country.

Abstract

In forests, edaphic microbial communities are involved in litter decomposition and soil forming processes, with major contribution to humification, especially bacteria and fungi being responsible for the main ecosystem services fulfilled by the soil. Research has been carried out aiming to characterize the structure and diversity of microbial communities in the Rendzic Leptosols (WRB) under natural deciduous forest from Visterna, Babadag Plateau and to assess their contribution to ecosystem services provided by soil. The paper presents the results of quantitative estimations and taxonomic composition of soil and litter communities of heterotrophic bacteria and fungi, identification of cellulolytic species, as well as the microbial biomass and global physiological activities expressed as soil respiration potential. More than a half of bacterial species were common in litter and soil (SI=57.14%) and were represented by dominant species of fluorescent or non-fluorescent pseudomonads and Bacillus subtilis but no similarity was found between the two fungal communities. Fungal populations included cosmopolitan species, such as antagonists and strong cellulolytic representatives of genera Penicillium, Trichoderma, Mortierella, Chaetomium, Epicoccum, Aspergillus. Microbial density and microbial biomass presented the highest values in the litter (684 mg C x kg-1 d.s.) and in surface horizon Am1 of soil profile than in the bottom layers. The highest diversity was found in Am1 horizon (0-5 cm) H’=1.983 bits and ε=0.869 for cellulolytic community. Soil respiration reflected the intense physiological activity of microbiome, with high values associated to numerous effectives of bacteria and fungi especially in surface horizon. Microorganisms identified contribute to formation of soil by recycling of nutrients, cellulose decomposition, the synthesis of stable organic matter (humic acids), aggregation of soil particles, biological control of pathogens by antagonistic activity. They improve plant uptake of water and nutrients by forming symbioses (ectomycorrhizae), thus modelling the structure of vegetation.

Abstract

Stressful saline concentrations in soils affect photosynthesis by damaging pigments, photosystems, components of electron transport system, and enzymes involved in the process. Plants respond through very complex stress adaptation mechanisms including proteome modulation, alterations in pigment content, cell osmotic adjustment and control of ion and water homeostasis mechanisms, which stabilize cytosolic glutathione redox potential, etc. The level of plant sensitivity depends on salt toxicity levels, growth stage, physiological and genetic factors. With aim the investigation of the salinity tolerant cultivars, and for the elucidation of mechanisms underlying this complex biological process, here we analyze the impact of four NaCl concentrations (0-50-100-200mM) in growth parameters (root, shoot and leaves length), pigment content (chla, chlb, carotenoids), and GSH content, during seedling of five bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars in modified Hoagland solutions. Based on biometric parameters, pigment synthesis and GSH content cultivar Nogal is salt-sensitive (growth and pigments reduced); cultivar Viktoria is medium-tolerant (growth partially impaired, pigments constant), cultivar Toborzo and cultivar Suba are medium-tolerant (growth partially impaired, pigments increased), cultivar Dajti salt-tolerant (growth partially impaired/ leaves developed, pigments increased). Quantity of GSH in response to different levels of salinity is cultivar specific, and time of exposure to salinity is in negative correlation to GSH content for all investigated cultivars.

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the effects of possible zinc (Zn) and molybdenum (Mo) contaminations on the critically endangered European Bluestar (Amsonia orientalis). The effects of Zn and Mo were tested in a dose-dependent manner on in vitro cultures. Zn at 0.1 mM in the medium inhibited root development whereas Mo showed the same effect only at ≥2.5 mM concentration. Gradual inhibition of shoot development was observed after treatment with both metals. Protein contents were also negatively affected by increasing metal concentrations, while proline levels increased gradually. Successive increases in metal concentrations resulted in higher hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations. The activity of the antioxidant enzymes, peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), were found to be enhanced in response to increasing metal concentrations. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity decreased after Zn treatment but increased after Mo treatment. A marked increase in POD and CAT in response to metal stress suggests that these enzymes might have a significant cooperative role in regulating H2O2 production, although CAT, in response to drought and salt stress, has been reported to only play a supplementary role in A. orientalis. These results indicated that A. orientalis is susceptible to long-term Zn stress but can tolerate up to 2.5 mM Mo in the long-term. Deficiency of Mo is more common than high toxic concentrations in the environment. Therefore Zn contamination should be considered as one of the major threats for A. orientalis in its native habitat.

Abstract

Yarrow essential oil is used in complementary and alternative therapy for several diseases. Biological effects of essential oils span various cells and microorganisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different concentrations of the essential oil obtained from the yarrow plant (Achillea millefolium) on HeLa (CCL-2) cells. The components of the essential oil were studied by means of GC-MS analysis. Out of 10 determined compounds in the essential oil; 1,8-Cineole, Camphor, Beta-eudesmol and Camphene were found to be higher than others; and their biological effects were depicted with Ingeniuty Pathway Analysis (IPA) analysis. Moreover, cell cycle and proliferation tests were conducted on HeLa cells where yarrow plant’s essential oil was used. When extracted yarrow oil applied on HeLA Cells, apoptotic effects had been determined, furthermore proliferation of these cells decreased. In addition, activation of cell cycle control points was observed . Essential oil components could arrest the development of HeLa cells due to induction of cellular damage control mechanisms. In conclusion, we propose that the essential oil had a more repressive effect on HeLa cells, decreases their proliferation and prevented the increase in the number of cells.