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Abstract

Activated charcoal was microencapsulated with Lactobacillus acidophilus 314 previously adapted for urea uptake. The creatinine removal capacity of this combination microcapsule was evaluated in-vitro in media simulating the small intestine. Results show that microcapsules containing both activated charcoal and L. acidophilus 314 demonstrated potential for decreasing creatinine. Interestingly, when co-encapsulating both activated charcoal and L. acidophilus 314 a smaller decrease in creatinine was observed than when encapsulating them separately. However, co-encapsulated microcapsules were more stable in various parts of the gastrointestinal system and survived longer in storage. These results suggest the feasibility of using microcapsules containing activated charcoal and probiotic bacteria as oral adjuvants for creatinine removal and provides a theoretical model for the use of these microcapsules to remove any unwanted metabolite.

Abstract

Hepatitis is a global disease that is on the rise and is currently the cause of more deaths than the human immunodeficiency virus each year. As a result, there is an increasing need for antivirals. Previously, effective antivirals have been found in the form of substrate-mimetic antiviral protease inhibitors. The application of machine learning has been used to predict cleavage patterns of viral proteases to provide information for future drug design. This study has successfully applied and compared several machine learning algorithms to hepatitis C viral NS3 serine protease cleavage data. Results have found that differences in sequence-extraction methods can outweigh differences in algorithm choice. Models produced from pseudo-coded datasets all performed with high accuracy and outperformed models created with orthogonal-coded datasets. However, no single pseudo-model performed significantly better than any other. Evaluation of performance measures also show that the correct choice of model scoring system is essential for unbiased model assessment.

Abstract

The soil degraded and changed by the anthropic activity must be monitored and the awareness of the intrinsic processes will allow a pertinent analysis of the effects of the application of the new technologies on the management and the sustainability of the soil.

Two natural and anthropic Phaeozems were analyzed from the point of view of chemical, microbiological characteristics, quality and composition of organic compounds.

Total values of microbial biomass and bacterial and fungal counts were generally twice higher in Calcaric Phaeozems than in Verti-Stagnic Phaeozems.

The content of humic precursors in Calcaric Phaeozems was quantitatively higher than that determined in Verti-stagnic Phaeozems, with a total content of phenols of 14.6mgGAExg−1d.m., polysaccharides and proteins of 97mgxg−1, respectivelly 16.6mgxl−1.

The ascending chromatograms showed specific distribution and higher density of the organic compounds in the CAFT sub-fraction of the Verti-stagnic Phaeozems. Pfeiffer specific chromatograms revealed an enzyme activity much higher than average at the Verti-stagnic Phaeozems, with a well-characterized functional diversity. The nutritional reserve appeared increased but poorly diversified in the Calcaric Phaeozems. Humification processes are intense, colloidal substances are present, the mineral component is very well integrated in the organic material at the Verti-stagnic Phaeozems and complex protein content is well revealed especially in the Calcaric Phaeozems.

Capillary dynamolysis reflected a characteristic pattern of Phaeozems soils, with particularities for each soil type, represented by colors, contours and particular forms of the specific structures developed.

Both soils presented good conditions for sustaining vegetation either natural or cultivated but results indicated that anthropic intervention determined a more dynamic mineralization of organic matter. Further monitoring of soil organic matter dynamics is needed and adjusting management practices for conservation of biodiversity and global ecosystem protection against the effect of anthropic intervention.

Abstract

Some mineral nutrients may help to alleviate cadmium stress in plants. Therefore, influence of Fe, Ca, and Zn supplements on photosynthesis light reactions under Cd stress studied in two Indian rice cultivars namely, MO-16 and MTU-7029 respectively. Exogenous application of both Fe and Ca ions helped to uphold quantum efficiency and linear electron transport during Cd stress. Also, recovery of biomass noticed during Cd treatment with Fe and Ca supplements. It was found that accumulation of carotenoids as well as non photochemical quenching enhances with Fe, Ca, and Zn supplements. Chlorophyll a/b ratio increased with Cd accumulation as a strategy to increase light harvest. Lipid peroxidation level was ascertained the highest during Cd plus Zn treatments. Above results point that both Fe and Ca ions supplements help to alleviate Cd stress on photosynthesis light reactions of rice plants.

Abstract

Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth.) is a climbing plant known for its ornamental properties and ease of cultivation in temperate climates. Quality and colour of flowers and leaves, especially in the production of ornamentals, are important parameters both for producers and for customers. This study aimed to investigate the changes in photosynthetic pigment, protein and dry matter content of in vitro-propagated I. purpurea following chitosan treatment with different polymerization degrees (DP) and to determine the indirect effect of this biopolymer on leaves of the plant. Nodal explants of I. purpurea were cultured in medium supplemented with 5, 10 and 20 mg L−1 concentrations of a chitosan oligomers mixture with a variable degree of polymerization (DP) ranging from 2 to 15 or chitosan polymer with DP of 70. It was found that both oligomeric and polymeric chitosan treatments increased chlorophyll-a contents in the leaves when compared to the chitosan-naïve control group. Polymeric chitosan stimulated chlorophyll-b and carotenoid synthesis more effectively than the oligomer mixture. Also, 10 mg L−1 polymeric chitosan better triggered total protein production and plant dry matter content in I. purpurea. The results of this study showed that, due to their stimulatory effects on photosynthetic pigment, protein and plant dry matter production, chitosan oligomers at low concentration and polymers at moderate concentration might be considered as safe and natural biostimulants for ornamental plants which could affect the plant’s attractiveness and commercial success.

Abstract

This study developed a simple wire phantom and an algorithm to automatically measure the modulation transfer function (MTF) in computed tomography (CT) and implemented it to evaluate the effect of focal spot size and reconstruction filter type. The phantom consisted of a resin cylinder filled with water, with a tin wire of diameter 0.1 mm positioned along the center of the cylinder. The automated MTF algorithm used an axial image of the phantom and comprised several steps. The center position of a region of interest (ROI) was automatically determined at the center of the wire image. The pixels were then summed along the y-direction to obtain the profile of the pixel values at a point along the x-direction. Following this, both edges of the profile were made equal to zero. The profile curve was then normalized so that the total of all the data was equal to unity. The normalized profile curve is the line spread function (LSF), and the MTF curve was obtained by taking its Fourier transform. Our system (phantom and algorithm) is able to differentiate the MTFs of CT images from different focal sizes and reconstruction filter types.

Abstract

Today, to establish a diagnosis, the patient must undergo a biopsy followed by histopathological diagnosis, which causes unnecessary cost, patient trauma, and time delay to obtain a diagnosis. However, the metastases can be discovered by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, which is a simple method that investigates the light distribution within tissue. The theme of this paper is the use of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) to determine the optical spectrum of hamster specimen’s tissue and to differentiate biological changes due to laser irradiation (scattering, and cell changes) under the skin. DRS measurements were made on healthy and malignant tissue to diagnose the stages of cancer formation using a fiber-optic probe. The results show that malignant tissue is characterized by a significant decrease in diffuse reflectance spectrum compared to normal tissue.

Abstract

Aim: To study the dosimetric advantages of the jaw tracking technique in intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT) for carcinoma of cervix patients.

Materials and Methods: We retrospectively selected ten previously treated cervix patients in this study. All the ten patients underwent CT simulation along with immobilization and positional devices. Targets and organ at risks (OARs) were delineated slice by slice for all the patients. All the patients were planned for IMRT and VMAT with intend to deliver 50 Gy in 25 fractions. All the plans were planned with 6 MV photon beam using millennium-120 multi leaf collimator (MLC) using the TrueBeam linear accelerator. IMRT and VMAT plans were performed with jaw tracking (JT) and with static jaw (SJ) techniques by keeping the same constraints and priorities for the target volumes and critical structures for a particular patient. For standardization, all the plans were normalized to the target mean of the planning target volume. All the plans were accepted with the criteria of bladder mean dose < 40 Gy and rectum mean dose < 40 Gy without compromising the target volumes. Target conformity, dose to the critical structures and low dose volumes were recorded and analyzed for IMRT and VMAT plans with and without jaw tracking for all the patients.

Results: The conformity index average of all patients followed by standard deviation (̄x± σ̄x) for JT-IMRT, SJ-IMRT, JT-VMAT and SJ-VMAT were 1.176 ± 0.139, 1.175 ± 0.139, 1.193 ± 0.220 and 1.228 ± 0.192 and homogeneity index were 0.089 ± 0.022, 0.085 ± 0.024, 0.102 ± 0.016 and 0.101 ± 0.016. In low dose volume J,T-IMRT shows a 5.4% (p-value < 0.001) overall reduction in volume receiving at least 5 Gy (V5) compared to SJ-IMRT, whereas 1.2% reduction was observed in V5 volume in JT-VMAT compared to SJ-VMAT. JT-IMRT showed mean reduction in rectum and bladder of 1.34% (p-value < 0.001) and 1.46% (p-value < 0.001) compared to SJ-IMRT, while only 0.30% and 0.03% reduction were observed between JT-VMAT and SJ-VMAT. JT-IMRT plans also showed considerable dose reduction to inthe testine, right femoral head, left femoral head and cauda compared to the SJ-IMRT plans.

Conclusion: Jaw tracking resulted in decreased dose to critical structures in IMRT and VMAT plans. But significant dose reductions were observed for critical structures in the JT-IMRT compared to SJ-IMRT technique. In JT-VMAT plans dose reduction to the critical structures were not significant compared to the JT-IMRT due to relatively lesser monitor units in the VMAT plans.

Abstract

Monte Carlo and TL dosimetry applied to the characterization of 125I brachytherapy with a different design with other 125I seeds. In a water phantom, lattice configuration simulated with 125I seed in the center and 10 nm gold and gadolinium nan-particle filed voxels. This simulation conducted to the characterization of the nano-particles DEF in low energy and prostate tissue. To study of the prostate brachytherapy, a humanoid computational phantom developed by CT slices applied. KTMAN-2 computational phantom contains 29 organs and 19 skeletal regions and was produced from cross-sectional x-ray computed tomography (CT slices) images. The simulated seed was 125I seed having an average energy of 28.4 keV for photons, a half-life of 59.4 days. DEF factor in the seed radiation energy (28.4 keV) DEF factor was found to be two times higher for the gold nano-particles. It was revealed than gold-nano-particles posing Z about 1.24 times higher than gadolinium led to around 200% DEF increasing in the same conditions and the nano-particles size. It was concluded that in low energy sources brachytherapy, photoelectric is dominant in the presence of relative high element nanoparticles. This leads to a high dose increasing in some micro-meters and causes a dramatic dose gradient in the vicinity of a nano-particle. This dose gradient effectively kills the tumor cells in continuous low energy irradiation in the presence of a high Z material nano-scaled particle. Application of gold nano-particles in low energy brachytherapy is recommended.

Abstract

Nowadays healthcare is a standout amongst the most rapidly developing application zone in body area networks (BANs). BANs are anticipated to play a significant role in the stream of patient-health monitoring. To provide, secure BAN access to the entire system without disturbing the confidentiality of patients’ therapeutic data is a major challenge. Security of the BAN can be improved by using a polynomial curve-based steganography technique. The performance of the proposed BAN is evaluated by using a Fourier transform and Wavelet transform. The results of the proposed BAN are presented and compared for both the transforms.