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Bioengineering, Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2023) – 109 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Little is known about the content and functions of human fallopian tube epithelium (hFTE)-derived small extracellular vesicles (sEVs). We have established a microfluidic platform to culture hFTE for EV collection with adequate yield for mass spectrometry-based proteomic profiling and reported 295 common hFTE sEV proteins for the first time. By correlating sEV protein profiles with hFTE tissue transcripts characterized using the GeoMx® Cancer Transcriptome Atlas, spatial transcriptomics analysis revealed cell-type-specific transcripts of hFTE that encode sEV proteins. The baseline proteomic profile of sEVs derived from hFTE tissue established by our study can be used to evaluate whether the fallopian tube shifts its sEV cargo during ovarian cancer carcinogenesis and the role of sEV proteins in fallopian tube reproductive functions. View this paper
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16 pages, 3684 KiB  
Article
AI Model for Detection of Abdominal Hemorrhage Lesions in Abdominal CT Images
by Young-Jin Park, Hui-Sup Cho and Myoung-Nam Kim
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040502 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Information technology has been actively utilized in the field of imaging diagnosis using artificial intelligence (AI), which provides benefits to human health. Readings of abdominal hemorrhage lesions using AI can be utilized in situations where lesions cannot be read due to emergencies or [...] Read more.
Information technology has been actively utilized in the field of imaging diagnosis using artificial intelligence (AI), which provides benefits to human health. Readings of abdominal hemorrhage lesions using AI can be utilized in situations where lesions cannot be read due to emergencies or the absence of specialists; however, there is a lack of related research due to the difficulty in collecting and acquiring images. In this study, we processed the abdominal computed tomography (CT) database provided by multiple hospitals for utilization in deep learning and detected abdominal hemorrhage lesions in real time using an AI model designed in a cascade structure using deep learning, a subfield of AI. The AI model was used a detection model to detect lesions distributed in various sizes with high accuracy, and a classification model that could screen out images without lesions was placed before the detection model to solve the problem of increasing false positives owing to the input of images without lesions in actual clinical cases. The developed method achieved 93.22% sensitivity and 99.60% specificity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Advanced Medical Imaging)
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18 pages, 515 KiB  
Review
The Role of Augmented Reality in the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery Procedures: A Scoping Review
by Phillipp Brockmeyer, Bernhard Wiechens and Henning Schliephake
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040501 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
The purpose of this review was to analyze the evidence on the role of augmented reality (AR) in the improvement of minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedures. A scoping literature search of the PubMed and ScienceDirect databases was performed to identify articles published in [...] Read more.
The purpose of this review was to analyze the evidence on the role of augmented reality (AR) in the improvement of minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedures. A scoping literature search of the PubMed and ScienceDirect databases was performed to identify articles published in the last five years that addressed the direct impact of AR technology on MIS procedures or that addressed an area of education or clinical care that could potentially be used for MIS development. A total of 359 studies were screened and 31 articles were reviewed in depth and categorized into three main groups: Navigation, education and training, and user-environment interfaces. A comparison of studies within the different application groups showed that AR technology can be useful in various disciplines to advance the development of MIS. Although AR-guided navigation systems do not yet offer a precision advantage, benefits include improved ergonomics and visualization, as well as reduced surgical time and blood loss. Benefits can also be seen in improved education and training conditions and improved user-environment interfaces that can indirectly influence MIS procedures. However, there are still technical challenges that need to be addressed to demonstrate added value to patient care and should be evaluated in clinical trials with sufficient patient numbers or even in systematic reviews or meta-analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue VR/AR Applications in Biomedical Imaging)
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15 pages, 632 KiB  
Review
A Review of Voice-Based Pain Detection in Adults Using Artificial Intelligence
by Sahar Borna, Clifton R. Haider, Karla C. Maita, Ricardo A. Torres, Francisco R. Avila, John P. Garcia, Gioacchino D. De Sario Velasquez, Christopher J. McLeod, Charles J. Bruce, Rickey E. Carter and Antonio J. Forte
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040500 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2423
Abstract
Pain is a complex and subjective experience, and traditional methods of pain assessment can be limited by factors such as self-report bias and observer variability. Voice is frequently used to evaluate pain, occasionally in conjunction with other behaviors such as facial gestures. Compared [...] Read more.
Pain is a complex and subjective experience, and traditional methods of pain assessment can be limited by factors such as self-report bias and observer variability. Voice is frequently used to evaluate pain, occasionally in conjunction with other behaviors such as facial gestures. Compared to facial emotions, there is less available evidence linking pain with voice. This literature review synthesizes the current state of research on the use of voice recognition and voice analysis for pain detection in adults, with a specific focus on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques. We describe the previous works on pain recognition using voice and highlight the different approaches to voice as a tool for pain detection, such as a human effect or biosignal. Overall, studies have shown that AI-based voice analysis can be an effective tool for pain detection in adult patients with various types of pain, including chronic and acute pain. We highlight the high accuracy of the ML-based approaches used in studies and their limitations in terms of generalizability due to factors such as the nature of the pain and patient population characteristics. However, there are still potential challenges, such as the need for large datasets and the risk of bias in training models, which warrant further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Learning and Medical Innovation in Minimally Invasive Surgery)
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13 pages, 10136 KiB  
Article
Biomechanical Investigation of Hallux Valgus Deformity Treated with Different Osteotomy Methods and Kirschner Wire Fixation Strategies Using the Finite Element Method
by Kao-Shang Shih, Ching-Chi Hsu and Guan-Ting Huang
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040499 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2885
Abstract
The aim of this study was to propose a finite element method based numerical approach for evaluating various hallux valgus treatment strategies. We developed three-dimensional hallux valgus deformity models, with different metatarsal osteotomy methods and Kirschner wire fixation strategies, under two types of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to propose a finite element method based numerical approach for evaluating various hallux valgus treatment strategies. We developed three-dimensional hallux valgus deformity models, with different metatarsal osteotomy methods and Kirschner wire fixation strategies, under two types of standing postures. Ten Kirschner wire fixations were analyzed and compared. The fixation stability, bone stress, implant stress, and contact pressure on the osteotomy surface were calculated as the biomechanical indexes. The results showed that the biomechanical indexes of the osteotomy and Kirschner wire fixations for hallux valgus deformity could be effectively analyzed and fairly evaluated. The distal metatarsal osteotomy method provided better biomechanical indexes compared to the proximal metatarsal osteotomy method. This study proposed a finite element method based numerical approach for evaluating various osteotomy and Kirschner wire fixations for hallux valgus deformity before surgery. Full article
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13 pages, 1123 KiB  
Article
Bipedal Static Supination and Dynamic Forefoot Loading Characteristics in Taiwanese College Badminton Players: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Tong-Hsien Chow, Chin-Chia Hsu, Chih-Cheng Chen and Chin-Hsien Hsu
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040498 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1640
Abstract
Context: Badminton is a unilateral sport that involves repetitive jumping, lunging and quick changes of direction with the lower limb, thus, plantar pressure profiles and foot postural profiles are critical to maintaining balance and coordination. Objective: The purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
Context: Badminton is a unilateral sport that involves repetitive jumping, lunging and quick changes of direction with the lower limb, thus, plantar pressure profiles and foot postural profiles are critical to maintaining balance and coordination. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the characteristics of static and dynamic plantar pressure profiles with rearfoot posture in elite and recreational badminton players as well as assess the transitional changes of plantar loads between static and dynamic states. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 65 college-level elite male badminton players (mean age: 20.2 ± 1.2 years; mean height: 177.4 ± 4.6 cm; mean weight: 72.6 ± 4.6 kg) and 68 recreational badminton players of the same gender (mean age: 19.9 ± 0.8 years; mean height: 170.3 ± 3.9 cm; mean weight: 67.7 ± 3.2 kg). The JC Mat was used to evaluate the arch index (AI), plantar pressure distribution (PPD), centers of gravity, and the characteristics of the footprint. Static foot posture was determined by examining the rearfoot alignment. Results: Both groups’ AI fell within the normal range. The static plantar loads of the elite group were distributed at the bipedal lateral part of longitudinal arches and heels (p < 0.01), while the right foot experienced higher centers of gravity (p < 0.05). The elite group’s static rearfoot postural alignment exhibited a higher degree of rearfoot varus than the recreational group (p < 0.05). In addition, the elite group’s dynamic plantar loads were mainly exerted at the medial and lateral metatarsals of both feet (p < 0.05). During the transition state, the recreational group’s plantar loads were mainly shifted to the bipedal lateral part of metatarsals and heels (p < 0.05), whereas the elite group’s bipedal lateral longitudinal arches as well as the medial and lateral heels experienced a reduction in plantar loads (p < 0.01). Conclusion: For elite badminton players, the findings revealed a possible connection among the static supinated foot, centers of gravity tending towards the right foot, and increased forefoot plantar loads in the dynamic state. The finding merits further exploration of the possible links between transitional changes in plantar pressure distribution in both states and related foot injuries resulting from intense competition and regular training in badminton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics, Health, Disease and Rehabilitation)
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17 pages, 1041 KiB  
Review
A Review of Biomechanical and Physiological Effects of Using Poles in Sports
by Maximilian Saller, Niko Nagengast, Michael Frisch and Franz Konstantin Fuss
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040497 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1706
Abstract
The use of poles in sports, to support propulsion, is an integral and inherent component of some sports disciplines such as skiing (cross-country and roller), Nordic walking, and trail running. The aim of this review is to summarize the current state-of-the-art of literature [...] Read more.
The use of poles in sports, to support propulsion, is an integral and inherent component of some sports disciplines such as skiing (cross-country and roller), Nordic walking, and trail running. The aim of this review is to summarize the current state-of-the-art of literature on multiple influencing factors of poles in terms of biomechanical and physiological effects. We evaluated publications in the subfields of biomechanics, physiology, coordination, and pole properties. Plantar pressure and ground reaction forces decreased with the use of poles in all included studies. The upper body and trunk muscles were more active. The lower body muscles were either less active or no different from walking without poles. The use of poles led to a higher oxygen consumption (VO2) without increasing the level of perceived exertion (RPE). Furthermore, the heart rate (HR) tended to be higher. Longer poles reduced the VO2 and provided a longer thrust phase and greater propulsive impulse. The mass of the poles showed no major influence on VO2, RPE, or HR. Solely the activity of the biceps brachii increased with the pole mass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Biomechanics and Wearable Technology)
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23 pages, 1544 KiB  
Review
5-Aminolevulinic Acid as a Theranostic Agent for Tumor Fluorescence Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy
by Richard Howley, Sharayu Chandratre and Bin Chen
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040496 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2700
Abstract
5-Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring amino acid synthesized in all nucleated mammalian cells. As a porphyrin precursor, ALA is metabolized in the heme biosynthetic pathway to produce protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), a fluorophore and photosensitizing agent. ALA administered exogenously bypasses the rate-limit [...] Read more.
5-Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring amino acid synthesized in all nucleated mammalian cells. As a porphyrin precursor, ALA is metabolized in the heme biosynthetic pathway to produce protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), a fluorophore and photosensitizing agent. ALA administered exogenously bypasses the rate-limit step in the pathway, resulting in PpIX accumulation in tumor tissues. Such tumor-selective PpIX disposition following ALA administration has been exploited for tumor fluorescence diagnosis and photodynamic therapy (PDT) with much success. Five ALA-based drugs have now received worldwide approval and are being used for managing very common human (pre)cancerous diseases such as actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma or guiding the surgery of bladder cancer and high-grade gliomas, making it the most successful drug discovery and development endeavor in PDT and photodiagnosis. The potential of ALA-induced PpIX as a fluorescent theranostic agent is, however, yet to be fully fulfilled. In this review, we would like to describe the heme biosynthesis pathway in which PpIX is produced from ALA and its derivatives, summarize current clinical applications of ALA-based drugs, and discuss strategies for enhancing ALA-induced PpIX fluorescence and PDT response. Our goal is two-fold: to highlight the successes of ALA-based drugs in clinical practice, and to stimulate the multidisciplinary collaboration that has brought the current success and will continue to usher in more landmark advances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy)
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13 pages, 8614 KiB  
Article
Density Spectral Array Enables Precise Sedation Control for Supermicrosurgical Lymphaticovenous Anastomosis: A Retrospective Observational Cohort Study
by En-Bo Wu, Yu-Hsuan Lin, Johnson Chia-Shen Yang, Chiung-Wen Lai, Jo-Chi Chin and Shao-Chun Wu
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040494 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2057
Abstract
Supermicrosurgical lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA) is a minimally invasive surgical technique that creates bypasses between lymphatic vessels and veins, thereby improving lymphatic drainage and reducing lymphedema. This retrospective single-center study included 137 patients who underwent non-intubated LVA in southern Taiwan. A total of 119 [...] Read more.
Supermicrosurgical lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA) is a minimally invasive surgical technique that creates bypasses between lymphatic vessels and veins, thereby improving lymphatic drainage and reducing lymphedema. This retrospective single-center study included 137 patients who underwent non-intubated LVA in southern Taiwan. A total of 119 patients were enrolled and assigned to two study groups: the geriatric (age ≥ 75 years, n = 23) and non-geriatric groups (age < 75 years, n = 96). The primary outcome was to investigate and compare the arousal and maintenance of the propofol effect-site concentration (Ce) using an electroencephalographic density spectral array (EEG DSA) in both groups. The results showed that the geriatric group required less propofol (4.05 [3.73–4.77] mg/kg/h vs. 5.01 [4.34–5.92] mg/kg/h, p = 0.001) and alfentanil (4.67 [2.53–5.82] μg/kg/h vs. 6.68 [3.85–8.77] μg/kg/h, p = 0.047). The median arousal Ce of propofol among the geriatric group (0.6 [0.5–0.7] μg/mL) was significantly lower than that in patients aged ≤ 54 years (1.3 [1.2–1.4] μg/mL, p < 0.001), 55–64 years (0.9 [0.8–1.0] μg/mL, p < 0.001), and <75 years (0.9 [0.8–1.2] μg/mL, p < 0.001). In summary, the combined use of EEG DSA provides the objective and depth of adequate sedation for extensive non-intubated anesthesia in late-elderly patients who undergo LVA without perioperative complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosignal Processing)
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16 pages, 2544 KiB  
Article
Point-of-Interest Preference Model Using an Attention Mechanism in a Convolutional Neural Network
by Abbas Bagherian Kasgari, Sadaf Safavi, Mohammadjavad Nouri, Jun Hou, Nazanin Tataei Sarshar and Ramin Ranjbarzadeh
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040495 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2080
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in developing next point-of-interest (POI) recommendation systems in both industry and academia. However, current POI recommendation strategies suffer from the lack of sufficient mixing of details of the features related to individual users and [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in developing next point-of-interest (POI) recommendation systems in both industry and academia. However, current POI recommendation strategies suffer from the lack of sufficient mixing of details of the features related to individual users and their corresponding contexts. To overcome this issue, we propose a deep learning model based on an attention mechanism in this study. The suggested technique employs an attention mechanism that focuses on the pattern’s friendship, which is responsible for concentrating on the relevant features related to individual users. To compute context-aware similarities among diverse users, our model employs six features of each user as inputs, including user ID, hour, month, day, minute, and second of visiting time, which explore the influences of both spatial and temporal features for the users. In addition, we incorporate geographical information into our attention mechanism by creating an eccentricity score. Specifically, we map the trajectory of each user to a shape, such as a circle, triangle, or rectangle, each of which has a different eccentricity value. This attention-based mechanism is evaluated on two widely used datasets, and experimental outcomes prove a noteworthy improvement of our model over the state-of-the-art strategies for POI recommendation. Full article
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31 pages, 2550 KiB  
Review
A Narrative Review of Speech and EEG Features for Schizophrenia Detection: Progress and Challenges
by Felipe Lage Teixeira, Miguel Rocha e Costa, José Pio Abreu, Manuel Cabral, Salviano Pinto Soares and João Paulo Teixeira
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040493 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2150
Abstract
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects an estimated 21 million people worldwide. The literature establishes that electroencephalography (EEG) is a well-implemented means of studying and diagnosing mental disorders. However, it is known that speech and language provide unique and essential information about [...] Read more.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects an estimated 21 million people worldwide. The literature establishes that electroencephalography (EEG) is a well-implemented means of studying and diagnosing mental disorders. However, it is known that speech and language provide unique and essential information about human thought. Semantic and emotional content, semantic coherence, syntactic structure, and complexity can thus be combined in a machine learning process to detect schizophrenia. Several studies show that early identification is crucial to prevent the onset of illness or mitigate possible complications. Therefore, it is necessary to identify disease-specific biomarkers for an early diagnosis support system. This work contributes to improving our knowledge about schizophrenia and the features that can identify this mental illness via speech and EEG. The emotional state is a specific characteristic of schizophrenia that can be identified with speech emotion analysis. The most used features of speech found in the literature review are fundamental frequency (F0), intensity/loudness (I), frequency formants (F1, F2, and F3), Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCC’s), the duration of pauses and sentences (SD), and the duration of silence between words. Combining at least two feature categories achieved high accuracy in the schizophrenia classification. Prosodic and spectral or temporal features achieved the highest accuracy. The work with higher accuracy used the prosodic and spectral features QEVA, SDVV, and SSDL, which were derived from the F0 and spectrogram. The emotional state can be identified with most of the features previously mentioned (F0, I, F1, F2, F3, MFCCs, and SD), linear prediction cepstral coefficients (LPCC), linear spectral features (LSF), and the pause rate. Using the event-related potentials (ERP), the most promissory features found in the literature are mismatch negativity (MMN), P2, P3, P50, N1, and N2. The EEG features with higher accuracy in schizophrenia classification subjects are the nonlinear features, such as Cx, HFD, and Lya. Full article
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9 pages, 242 KiB  
Editorial
AI in MRI: Computational Frameworks for a Faster, Optimized, and Automated Imaging Workflow
by Efrat Shimron and Or Perlman
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040492 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3080
Abstract
Over the last decade, artificial intelligence (AI) has made an enormous impact on a wide range of fields, including science, engineering, informatics, finance, and transportation [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AI in MRI: Frontiers and Applications)
16 pages, 7410 KiB  
Article
The Power of ECG in Semi-Automated Seizure Detection in Addition to Two-Channel behind-the-Ear EEG
by Miguel Bhagubai, Kaat Vandecasteele, Lauren Swinnen, Jaiver Macea, Christos Chatzichristos, Maarten De Vos and Wim Van Paesschen
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040491 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2016
Abstract
Long-term home monitoring of people living with epilepsy cannot be achieved using the standard full-scalp electroencephalography (EEG) coupled with video. Wearable seizure detection devices, such as behind-the-ear EEG (bte-EEG), offer an unobtrusive method for ambulatory follow-up of this population. Combining bte-EEG with electrocardiography [...] Read more.
Long-term home monitoring of people living with epilepsy cannot be achieved using the standard full-scalp electroencephalography (EEG) coupled with video. Wearable seizure detection devices, such as behind-the-ear EEG (bte-EEG), offer an unobtrusive method for ambulatory follow-up of this population. Combining bte-EEG with electrocardiography (ECG) can enhance automated seizure detection performance. However, such frameworks produce high false alarm rates, making visual review necessary. This study aimed to evaluate a semi-automated multimodal wearable seizure detection framework using bte-EEG and ECG. Using the SeizeIT1 dataset of 42 patients with focal epilepsy, an automated multimodal seizure detection algorithm was used to produce seizure alarms. Two reviewers evaluated the algorithm’s detections twice: (1) using only bte-EEG data and (2) using bte-EEG, ECG, and heart rate signals. The readers achieved a mean sensitivity of 59.1% in the bte-EEG visual experiment, with a false detection rate of 6.5 false detections per day. Adding ECG resulted in a higher mean sensitivity (62.2%) and a largely reduced false detection rate (mean of 2.4 false detections per day), as well as an increased inter-rater agreement. The multimodal framework allows for efficient review time, making it beneficial for both clinicians and patients. Full article
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12 pages, 1018 KiB  
Article
Effect of Passive Ultrasonic Irrigation, Er,Cr:YSGG Laser, and Photon-Induced Photoacoustic Streaming against Enterococcus faecalis Biofilms in the Apical Third of Root Canals
by Ibrahim Seghayer, Angeline H. C. Lee, Gary S. P. Cheung and Chengfei Zhang
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040490 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1356
Abstract
Purpose: This study aimed to compare the antibacterial effectiveness of passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI), Er,Cr:YSGG laser (WTL), and photon-induced photoacoustic streaming (PIPS) using an Er:YAG laser against Enterococcus faecalis biofilms in the apical third of root canals. Methods: Root canals of 70 single-rooted [...] Read more.
Purpose: This study aimed to compare the antibacterial effectiveness of passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI), Er,Cr:YSGG laser (WTL), and photon-induced photoacoustic streaming (PIPS) using an Er:YAG laser against Enterococcus faecalis biofilms in the apical third of root canals. Methods: Root canals of 70 single-rooted human teeth were instrumented and infected with E. faecalis for 3 weeks to form biofilms. The samples were randomly divided into five groups as follows: (i) PUI + 3% NaOCl (n = 16); (ii) Er,Cr:YSGG laser (n = 16); (iii) PIPS + 3% NaOCl (n = 16); (iv) positive control group (n = 10); and (v) negative control group (n = 10). The bacterial content in the root canal was sampled using (a) the paper-point sampling method before (S1) and after (S2) treatment and (b) pulverising the apical 5 mm of the root. The number of bacteria recovered from each group was counted as colony-forming units (CFUs). The amount of reduction between the groups was compared with the Kruskal–Wallis test and post-test Dunn’s multiple comparisons tests. The significance level was set at 5% (p < 0.05). Results: The samples from the paper-point sampling method showed that the amount of bacteria before (S1) and after treatment (S2) was significantly different between PIPS and WTL, as well as between the PUI and WTL groups. In contrast, no significant difference was found between the PIPS and PUI groups. From the pulverised samples, the results indicated no significant difference among all experimental groups in the amount of bacterial reduction in the apical 5 mm of the root. Conclusions: PUI and PIPS showed a significantly greater reduction in bacterial content within the main root canal compared with the WTL. There was no difference among all experimental groups in the apical third of the root. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemical Engineering)
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18 pages, 3755 KiB  
Article
Multi-Objective Optimisation of a Novel Bypass Graft with a Spiral Ridge
by Antonios Xenakis, Andres Ruiz-Soler and Amir Keshmiri
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040489 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1129
Abstract
The low long-term patency of bypass grafts is a major concern for cardiovascular treatments. Unfavourable haemodynamic conditions in the proximity of distal anastomosis are closely related to thrombus creation and lumen lesions. Modern graft designs address this unfavourable haemodynamic environment with the introduction [...] Read more.
The low long-term patency of bypass grafts is a major concern for cardiovascular treatments. Unfavourable haemodynamic conditions in the proximity of distal anastomosis are closely related to thrombus creation and lumen lesions. Modern graft designs address this unfavourable haemodynamic environment with the introduction of a helical component in the flow field, either by means of out-of-plane helicity graft geometry or a spiral ridge. While the latter has been found to lack in performance when compared to the out-of-plane helicity designs, recent findings support the idea that the existing spiral ridge grafts can be further improved in performance through optimising relevant design parameters. In the current study, robust multi-objective optimisation techniques are implemented, covering a wide range of possible designs coupled with proven and well validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) algorithms. It is shown that the final set of suggested design parameters could significantly improve haemodynamic performance and therefore could be used to enhance the design of spiral ridge bypass grafts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Biomechanics)
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18 pages, 3260 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Apical Periodontitis Treatment: A Narrative Review
by Zulema Arias, Mohammed Zahedul Islam Nizami, Xiaoting Chen, Xinyi Chai, Bin Xu, Canyan Kuang, Kazuhiro Omori and Shogo Takashiba
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040488 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4747
Abstract
Apical periodontitis is an inflammatory response caused by pulp infection. It induces bone resorption in the apical and periapical regions of the tooth. The most conservative approach to treat this condition is nonsurgical endodontic treatment. However, clinical failure has been reported with this [...] Read more.
Apical periodontitis is an inflammatory response caused by pulp infection. It induces bone resorption in the apical and periapical regions of the tooth. The most conservative approach to treat this condition is nonsurgical endodontic treatment. However, clinical failure has been reported with this approach; thus, alternative procedures are required. This review highlights recent literature regarding advanced approaches for the treatment of apical periodontitis. Various therapies, including biological medications, antioxidants, specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators, and stem cell therapy, have been tested to increase the success rate of treatment for apical periodontitis. Some of these approaches remain in the in vivo phase of research, while others have just entered the translational research phase to validate clinical application. However, a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms that occur during development of the immunoinflammatory reaction in apical periodontitis remains unclear. The aim of this review was to summarize advanced approaches for the treatment of apical periodontitis. Further research can confirm the potential of these alternative nonsurgical endodontic treatment approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine)
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22 pages, 888 KiB  
Article
Blood Glucose Level Time Series Forecasting: Nested Deep Ensemble Learning Lag Fusion
by Heydar Khadem, Hoda Nemat, Jackie Elliott and Mohammed Benaissa
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040487 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2552
Abstract
Blood glucose level prediction is a critical aspect of diabetes management. It enables individuals to make informed decisions about their insulin dosing, diet, and physical activity. This, in turn, improves their quality of life and reduces the risk of chronic and acute complications. [...] Read more.
Blood glucose level prediction is a critical aspect of diabetes management. It enables individuals to make informed decisions about their insulin dosing, diet, and physical activity. This, in turn, improves their quality of life and reduces the risk of chronic and acute complications. One conundrum in developing time-series forecasting models for blood glucose level prediction is to determine an appropriate length for look-back windows. On the one hand, studying short histories foists the risk of information incompletion. On the other hand, analysing long histories might induce information redundancy due to the data shift phenomenon. Additionally, optimal lag lengths are inconsistent across individuals because of the domain shift occurrence. Therefore, in bespoke analysis, either optimal lag values should be found for each individual separately or a globally suboptimal lag value should be used for all. The former approach degenerates the analysis’s congruency and imposes extra perplexity. With the latter, the fine-tunned lag is not necessarily the optimum option for all individuals. To cope with this challenge, this work suggests an interconnected lag fusion framework based on nested meta-learning analysis that improves the accuracy and precision of predictions for personalised blood glucose level forecasting. The proposed framework is leveraged to generate blood glucose prediction models for patients with type 1 diabetes by scrutinising two well-established publicly available Ohio type 1 diabetes datasets. The models developed undergo vigorous evaluation and statistical analysis from mathematical and clinical perspectives. The results achieved underpin the efficacy of the proposed method in blood glucose level time-series prediction analysis. Full article
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11 pages, 5045 KiB  
Article
Impact of an Accessory for Left Ventricular Assist Devices on Device Flow and Pressure Head In Vitro
by Florian Meissner, Derya Eichelkraut, Marius Schimmel, Sven Maier, Heiko Vestner, Manuela Schoen, Martin Czerny and Wolfgang Bothe
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040486 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
A novel accessory directing the blood from the outflow of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) back through the left ventricular apex and across the aortic valve allows LVAD implantation via the left ventricular apex solely but may affect the LVAD performance. We [...] Read more.
A novel accessory directing the blood from the outflow of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) back through the left ventricular apex and across the aortic valve allows LVAD implantation via the left ventricular apex solely but may affect the LVAD performance. We quantified the effect of the accessory on LVAD flow and pressure head in vitro. In a mock circulatory loop, a centrifugal-flow LVAD (HeartMate 3, Abbott, Abbott Park, IL, USA) with (Accessory) and without the accessory (Control) was compared under physiological conditions using a water/glycerol solution as a blood substitute. The pump was operated at 4000, 5200, and 6400 rpm and 5 different resistance levels. Flow, inlet, and outlet pressure were measured, and pressure head was calculated. Compared to the Control, flow and pressure head in the Accessory group were reduced by an overall average of 0.26 L/min and 9.9 mmHg (all speeds and resistance levels). The highest decline in flow and pressure head occurred at the lowest resistance levels. In conclusion, the accessory leads to a reduction of LVAD flow and pressure head that is enhanced by decreases in resistance. Future developments in the LVAD accessory’s design may reduce these effects and allow unimpaired LVAD performance and minimally invasive device implantation. Full article
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16 pages, 1209 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Profiling of Cancer-Associated Cells in the Blood of Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy to Predict Pathological Complete Response
by Adity A. Pore, Chathurika S. Dhanasekara, Hunaiz Bin Navaid, Siva A. Vanapalli and Rakhshanda Layeequr Rahman
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040485 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1564
Abstract
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) can affect pathological complete response (pCR) in breast cancers; the resection that follows identifies patients with residual disease who are then offered second-line therapies. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cancer-associated macrophage-like cells (CAMLs) in the blood can be used as [...] Read more.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) can affect pathological complete response (pCR) in breast cancers; the resection that follows identifies patients with residual disease who are then offered second-line therapies. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cancer-associated macrophage-like cells (CAMLs) in the blood can be used as potential biomarkers for predicting pCR before resection. CTCs are of epithelial origin that undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition to become more motile and invasive, thereby leading to invasive mesenchymal cells that seed in distant organs, causing metastasis. Additionally, CAMLs in the blood of cancer patients are reported to either engulf or aid the transport of cancer cells to distant organs. To study these rare cancer-associated cells, we conducted a preliminary study where we collected blood from patients treated with NAC after obtaining their written and informed consent. Blood was collected before, during, and after NAC, and Labyrinth microfluidic technology was used to isolate CTCs and CAMLs. Demographic, tumor marker, and treatment response data were collected. Non-parametric tests were used to compare pCR and non-pCR groups. Univariate and multivariate models were used where CTCs and CAMLs were analyzed for predicting pCR. Sixty-three samples from 21 patients were analyzed. The median(IQR) pre-NAC total and mesenchymal CTC count/5 mL was lower in the pCR vs. non-pCR group [1(3.5) vs. 5(5.75); p = 0.096], [0 vs. 2.5(7.5); p = 0.084], respectively. The median(IQR) post-NAC CAML count/5 mL was higher in the pCR vs. non-pCR group [15(6) vs. 6(4.5); p = 0.004]. The pCR group was more likely to have >10 CAMLs post-NAC vs. non-pCR group [7(100%) vs. 3(21.4%); p = 0.001]. In a multivariate logistic regression model predicting pCR, CAML count was positively associated with the log-odds of pCR [OR = 1.49(1.01, 2.18); p = 0.041], while CTCs showed a negative trend [Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.44(0.18, 1.06); p = 0.068]. In conclusion, increased CAMLs in circulation after treatment combined with lowered CTCs was associated with pCR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering-Inspired Cancer Research)
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17 pages, 3482 KiB  
Review
β-Glucosidase and Its Application in Bioconversion of Ginsenosides in Panax ginseng
by Thi Ngoc Anh Tran, Jin-Sung Son, Muhammad Awais, Jae-Heung Ko, Deok Chun Yang and Seok-Kyu Jung
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040484 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2254
Abstract
Ginsenosides are a group of bioactive compounds isolated from Panax ginseng. Conventional major ginsenosides have a long history of use in traditional medicine for both illness prevention and therapy. Bioconversion processes have the potential to create new and valuable products in pharmaceutical [...] Read more.
Ginsenosides are a group of bioactive compounds isolated from Panax ginseng. Conventional major ginsenosides have a long history of use in traditional medicine for both illness prevention and therapy. Bioconversion processes have the potential to create new and valuable products in pharmaceutical and biological activities, making them both critical for research and highly economic to implement. This has led to an increase in the number of studies that use major ginsenosides as a precursor to generate minor ones using β-glucosidase. Minor ginsenosides may also have useful properties but are difficult to isolate from raw ginseng because of their scarcity. Bioconversion processes have the potential to create novel minor ginsenosides from the more abundant major ginsenoside precursors in a cost-effective manner. While numerous bioconversion techniques have been developed, an increasing number of studies have reported that β-glucosidase can effectively and specifically generate minor ginsenosides. This paper summarizes the probable bioconversion mechanisms of two protopanaxadiol (PPD) and protopanaxatriol (PPT) types. Other high-efficiency and high-value bioconversion processes using complete proteins isolated from bacterial biomass or recombinant enzymes are also discussed in this article. This paper also discusses the various conversion and analysis methods and their potential applications. Overall, this paper offers theoretical and technical foundations for future studies that will be both scientifically and economically significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biologically Active Recombinant Proteins)
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12 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
Structural Identifiability and Observability of Microbial Community Models
by Sandra Díaz-Seoane, Elena Sellán and Alejandro F. Villaverde
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040483 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Biological communities are populations of various species interacting in a common location. Microbial communities, which are formed by microorganisms, are ubiquitous in nature and are increasingly used in biotechnological and biomedical applications. They are nonlinear systems whose dynamics can be accurately described by [...] Read more.
Biological communities are populations of various species interacting in a common location. Microbial communities, which are formed by microorganisms, are ubiquitous in nature and are increasingly used in biotechnological and biomedical applications. They are nonlinear systems whose dynamics can be accurately described by models of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). A number of ODE models have been proposed to describe microbial communities. However, the structural identifiability and observability of most of them—that is, the theoretical possibility of inferring their parameters and internal states by observing their output—have not been determined yet. It is important to establish whether a model possesses these properties, because, in their absence, the ability of a model to make reliable predictions may be compromised. Hence, in this paper, we analyse these properties for the main families of microbial community models. We consider several dimensions and measurements; overall, we analyse more than a hundred different configurations. We find that some of them are fully identifiable and observable, but a number of cases are structurally unidentifiable and/or unobservable under typical experimental conditions. Our results help in deciding which modelling frameworks may be used for a given purpose in this emerging area, and which ones should be avoided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Computational Methods for Living Systems at Different Scales)
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18 pages, 1980 KiB  
Review
Standardization of Animal Models and Techniques for Platelet-Rich Fibrin Production: A Narrative Review and Guideline
by Carlos Fernando Mourão, Adam Lowenstein, Rafael Coutinho Mello-Machado, Shahram Ghanaati, Nelson Pinto, Tomoyuki Kawase, Gutemberg Gomes Alves and Michel Reis Messora
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040482 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
Experimental research is critical for advancing medical knowledge and enhancing patient outcomes, including in vitro and in vivo preclinical assessments. Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a blood by-product that has garnered attention in the medical and dental fields due to its potential for tissue [...] Read more.
Experimental research is critical for advancing medical knowledge and enhancing patient outcomes, including in vitro and in vivo preclinical assessments. Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a blood by-product that has garnered attention in the medical and dental fields due to its potential for tissue regeneration and wound healing. Animal models, such as rabbits and rats, have been used to produce PRF and examine its properties and applications. PRF has demonstrated potential in the dental and medical fields for reducing inflammation, promoting tissue repair, and accelerating wound healing. This narrative review aims to compare existing evidence and provide guidelines for PRF animal research, emphasizing the importance of standardizing animal models, following ethical considerations, and maintaining transparency and accountability. The authors highlight the necessity to use the correct relative centrifugal force (RCF), standardize centrifugal calibration, and report detailed information about blood collection and centrifuge parameters for reproducible results. Standardizing animal models and techniques is crucial for narrowing the gap between laboratory research and clinical applications, ultimately enhancing the translation of findings from bench to bedside. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Autologous PRP Therapy)
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13 pages, 2585 KiB  
Article
Performance Comparison of Machine Learning Approaches on Hepatitis C Prediction Employing Data Mining Techniques
by Azadeh Alizargar, Yang-Lang Chang and Tan-Hsu Tan
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040481 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2973
Abstract
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Due to the late onset of symptoms, early diagnosis is difficult in this disease. Efficient prediction can save patients before permeant liver damage. The main objective of this study is [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Due to the late onset of symptoms, early diagnosis is difficult in this disease. Efficient prediction can save patients before permeant liver damage. The main objective of this study is to employ various machine learning techniques to predict this disease based on common and affordable blood test data to diagnose and treat patients in the early stages. In this study, six machine learning algorithms (Support Vector Machine (SVM), K-nearest Neighbors (KNN), Logistic Regression, decision tree, extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost), artificial neural networks (ANN)) were utilized on two datasets. The performances of these techniques were compared in terms of confusion matrix, precision, recall, F1 score, accuracy, receiver operating characteristics (ROC), and the area under the curve (AUC) to identify a method that is appropriate for predicting this disease. The analysis, on NHANES and UCI datasets, revealed that SVM and XGBoost (with the highest accuracy and AUC among the test models, >80%) can be effective tools for medical professionals using routine and affordable blood test data to predict hepatitis C. Full article
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14 pages, 614 KiB  
Review
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Plastic and Craniomaxillofacial Surgery: A Scoping Review
by Nicolas Kaplan, Mitchell Marques, Isabel Scharf, Kevin Yang, Lee Alkureishi, Chad Purnell, Pravin Patel and Linping Zhao
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040480 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have evolved since their introduction to medicine in the 1990s. More powerful software, the miniaturization of hardware, and greater accessibility and affordability enabled novel applications of such virtual tools in surgical practice. This scoping review aims [...] Read more.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have evolved since their introduction to medicine in the 1990s. More powerful software, the miniaturization of hardware, and greater accessibility and affordability enabled novel applications of such virtual tools in surgical practice. This scoping review aims to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the literature by including all articles between 2018 and 2021 pertaining to VR and AR and their use by plastic and craniofacial surgeons in a clinician-as-user, patient-specific manner. From the initial 1637 articles, 10 were eligible for final review. These discussed a variety of clinical applications: perforator flaps reconstruction, mastectomy reconstruction, lymphovenous anastomosis, metopic craniosynostosis, dermal filler injection, auricular reconstruction, facial vascularized composite allotransplantation, and facial artery mapping. More than half (60%) involved VR/AR use intraoperatively with the remainder (40%) examining preoperative use. The hardware used predominantly comprised HoloLens (40%) and smartphones (40%). In total, 9/10 Studies utilized an AR platform. This review found consensus that VR/AR in plastic and craniomaxillofacial surgery has been used to enhance surgeons’ knowledge of patient-specific anatomy and potentially facilitated decreased intraoperative time via preoperative planning. However, further outcome-focused research is required to better establish the usability of this technology in everyday practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue VR/AR Applications in Biomedical Imaging)
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14 pages, 4296 KiB  
Article
The Corneal Ectasia Model of Rabbit: A Validity and Stability Study
by Junchao Wei, Rui He, Xiaogang Wang, Yaowen Song, Jinhan Yao, Xiaona Liu, Xin Yang, Weiyi Chen and Xiaona Li
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040479 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Keratoconus is a bilateral progressive degenerative corneal disease characterized by localized corneal thinning and dilatation. The pathogenesis of keratoconus is not fully elucidated. To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease and to explore potential treatments, animal models are essential [...] Read more.
Keratoconus is a bilateral progressive degenerative corneal disease characterized by localized corneal thinning and dilatation. The pathogenesis of keratoconus is not fully elucidated. To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease and to explore potential treatments, animal models are essential for basic research. Several attempts have been made to establish animal models of corneal ectasia by using collagenase. However, continuous changes of the cornea have not been well-tracked for the model. In this study, corneal morphology and biomechanical behavior in vivo were determined before and after collagenase Ⅱ treatment at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. The elastic modulus and histology of cornea tissues ex vivo were measured at 8 weeks postoperatively. The results showed that the posterior corneal curvature (Km B) increased and central corneal thickness (CCT) decreased after collagenase treatment. The mechanical properties of ectatic corneas weakened significantly and the collagen fiber interval in the stromal layer was increased and disorganized. This study provides insights into the changes of corneal morphology and biomechanical properties in a rabbit model of corneal ectasia. Changes observed at 8 weeks indicated that the cornea was still undergoing remodeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ophthalmic Engineering)
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35 pages, 18334 KiB  
Article
Improvement of HEK293 Cell Growth by Adapting Hydrodynamic Stress and Predicting Cell Aggregate Size Distribution
by Stefan Seidel, Rüdiger W. Maschke, Fruhar Mozaffari, Regine Eibl-Schindler and Dieter Eibl
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040478 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4950
Abstract
HEK293 is a widely used cell line in the fields of research and industry. It is assumed that these cells are sensitive to hydrodynamic stress. The aim of this research was to use particle image velocimetry validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to determine [...] Read more.
HEK293 is a widely used cell line in the fields of research and industry. It is assumed that these cells are sensitive to hydrodynamic stress. The aim of this research was to use particle image velocimetry validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to determine the hydrodynamic stress in both shake flasks, with and without baffles, and in stirred Minifors 2 bioreactors to evaluate its effect on the growth and aggregate size distribution of HEK293 suspension cells. The HEK FreeStyleTM 293-F cell line was cultivated in batch mode at different specific power inputs (from 63 W m3 to 451 W m3), whereby 60 W m3 corresponds to the upper limit, which is what has been typically described in published experiments. In addition to the specific growth rate and maximum viable cell density VCDmax, the cell size distribution over time and cluster size distribution were investigated. The VCDmax of (5.77±0.02)·106cellsmL1 was reached at a specific power input of 233 W m3 and was 23.8% higher than the value obtained at 63 W m3 and 7.2% higher than the value obtained at 451 W m3. No significant change in the cell size distribution could be measured in the investigated range. It was shown that the cell cluster size distribution follows a strict geometric distribution whose free parameter p is linearly dependent on the mean Kolmogorov length scale. Based on the performed experiments, it has been shown that by using CFD-characterised bioreactors, the VCDmax can be increased and the cell aggregate rate can be precisely controlled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemical Engineering)
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14 pages, 1689 KiB  
Article
Testing the Level of Agreement between Two Methodological Approaches of the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) for Occupational Health Practice—An Exemplary Application in the Field of Dentistry
by Ramona Nowara, Fabian Holzgreve, Rejane Golbach, Eileen M. Wanke, Christian Maurer-Grubinger, Christina Erbe, Doerthe Brueggmann, Albert Nienhaus, David A. Groneberg and Daniela Ohlendorf
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040477 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Background: The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) is used for the risk assessment of workplace-related activities. Thus far, the paper and pen method (RULA-PP) has been predominantly used for this purpose. In the present study, this method was compared with an RULA evaluation [...] Read more.
Background: The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) is used for the risk assessment of workplace-related activities. Thus far, the paper and pen method (RULA-PP) has been predominantly used for this purpose. In the present study, this method was compared with an RULA evaluation based on kinematic data using inertial measurement units (RULA-IMU). The aim of this study was, on the one hand, to work out the differences between these two measurement methods and, on the other, to make recommendations for the future use of the respective method on the basis of the available findings. Methods: For this purpose, 130 (dentists + dental assistants, paired as teams) subjects from the dental profession were photographed in an initial situation of dental treatment and simultaneously recorded with the IMU system (Xsens). In order to compare both methods statistically, the median value of the difference of both methods, the weighted Cohen’s Kappa, and the agreement chart (mosaic plot) were applied. Results: In Arm and Wrist Analysis—area A—here were differences in risk scores; here, the median difference was 1, and the agreement in the weighted Cohen’s kappa test also remained between 0.07 and 0.16 (no agreement to poor agreement). In area B—Neck, Trunk, and Leg Analysis—the median difference was 0, with at least one poor agreement in the Cohen’s Kappa test of 0.23–0.39. The final score has a median of 0 and a Cohen’s Kappa value of 0.21–0.28. In the mosaic plot, it can be seen that RULA-IMU had a higher discriminatory power overall and more often reached a value of 7 than RULA-PP. Conclusion: The results indicate a systematic difference between the methods. Thus, in the RULA risk assessment, RULA-IMU is mostly one assessment point above RULA-PP. Therefore, future study results of RULA by RULA-IMU can be compared with literature results obtained by RULA-PP to further improve the risk assessment of musculoskeletal diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Movement and Ergonomics)
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15 pages, 2597 KiB  
Article
Pallidal Recordings in Chronically Implanted Dystonic Patients: Mitigation of Tremor-Related Artifacts
by Jasmin Del Vecchio Del Vecchio, Ibrahem Hanafi, Nicoló Gabriele Pozzi, Philipp Capetian, Ioannis U. Isaias, Stefan Haufe and Chiara Palmisano
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040476 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1730
Abstract
Low-frequency oscillatory patterns of pallidal local field potentials (LFPs) have been proposed as a physiomarker for dystonia and hold the promise for personalized adaptive deep brain stimulation. Head tremor, a low-frequency involuntary rhythmic movement typical of cervical dystonia, may cause movement artifacts in [...] Read more.
Low-frequency oscillatory patterns of pallidal local field potentials (LFPs) have been proposed as a physiomarker for dystonia and hold the promise for personalized adaptive deep brain stimulation. Head tremor, a low-frequency involuntary rhythmic movement typical of cervical dystonia, may cause movement artifacts in LFP signals, compromising the reliability of low-frequency oscillations as biomarkers for adaptive neurostimulation. We investigated chronic pallidal LFPs with the PerceptTM PC (Medtronic PLC) device in eight subjects with dystonia (five with head tremors). We applied a multiple regression approach to pallidal LFPs in patients with head tremors using kinematic information measured with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and an electromyographic signal (EMG). With IMU regression, we found tremor contamination in all subjects, whereas EMG regression identified it in only three out of five. IMU regression was also superior to EMG regression in removing tremor-related artifacts and resulted in a significant power reduction, especially in the theta-alpha band. Pallido-muscular coherence was affected by a head tremor and disappeared after IMU regression. Our results show that the Percept PC can record low-frequency oscillations but also reveal spectral contamination due to movement artifacts. IMU regression can identify such artifact contamination and be a suitable tool for its removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics-Based Motion Analysis, Volume II)
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16 pages, 3127 KiB  
Article
WBM-DLNets: Wrapper-Based Metaheuristic Deep Learning Networks Feature Optimization for Enhancing Brain Tumor Detection
by Muhammad Umair Ali, Shaik Javeed Hussain, Amad Zafar, Muhammad Raheel Bhutta and Seung Won Lee
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040475 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1920
Abstract
This study presents wrapper-based metaheuristic deep learning networks (WBM-DLNets) feature optimization algorithms for brain tumor diagnosis using magnetic resonance imaging. Herein, 16 pretrained deep learning networks are used to compute the features. Eight metaheuristic optimization algorithms, namely, the marine predator algorithm, atom search [...] Read more.
This study presents wrapper-based metaheuristic deep learning networks (WBM-DLNets) feature optimization algorithms for brain tumor diagnosis using magnetic resonance imaging. Herein, 16 pretrained deep learning networks are used to compute the features. Eight metaheuristic optimization algorithms, namely, the marine predator algorithm, atom search optimization algorithm (ASOA), Harris hawks optimization algorithm, butterfly optimization algorithm, whale optimization algorithm, grey wolf optimization algorithm (GWOA), bat algorithm, and firefly algorithm, are used to evaluate the classification performance using a support vector machine (SVM)-based cost function. A deep-learning network selection approach is applied to determine the best deep-learning network. Finally, all deep features of the best deep learning networks are concatenated to train the SVM model. The proposed WBM-DLNets approach is validated based on an available online dataset. The results reveal that the classification accuracy is significantly improved by utilizing the features selected using WBM-DLNets relative to those obtained using the full set of deep features. DenseNet-201-GWOA and EfficientNet-b0-ASOA yield the best results, with a classification accuracy of 95.7%. Additionally, the results of the WBM-DLNets approach are compared with those reported in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosignal Processing)
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14 pages, 352 KiB  
Review
Response to Mechanical Properties and Physiological Challenges of Fascia: Diagnosis and Rehabilitative Therapeutic Intervention for Myofascial System Disorders
by Yuya Kodama, Shin Masuda, Toshinori Ohmori, Akihiro Kanamaru, Masato Tanaka, Tomoyoshi Sakaguchi and Masami Nakagawa
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040474 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5466
Abstract
Damage to the fascia can cause significant performance deficits in high-performance sports and recreational exercise and may contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders and persistent potential pain. The fascia is widely distributed from head to toe, encompassing muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves, [...] Read more.
Damage to the fascia can cause significant performance deficits in high-performance sports and recreational exercise and may contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders and persistent potential pain. The fascia is widely distributed from head to toe, encompassing muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves, and internal organs and comprising various layers of different depths, indicating the complexity of its pathogenesis. It is a connective tissue composed of irregularly arranged collagen fibers, distinctly different from the regularly arranged collagen fibers found in tendons, ligaments, or periosteum, and mechanical changes in the fascia (stiffness or tension) can produce changes in its connective tissue that can cause pain. While these mechanical changes induce inflammation associated with mechanical loading, they are also affected by biochemical influences such as aging, sex hormones, and obesity. Therefore, this paper will review the current state of knowledge on the molecular level response to the mechanical properties of the fascia and its response to other physiological challenges, including mechanical changes, innervation, injury, and aging; imaging techniques available to study the fascial system; and therapeutic interventions targeting fascial tissue in sports medicine. This article aims to summarize contemporary views. Full article
18 pages, 2925 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Low and High Temperature Sintering for Processing of Bovine Bone as Block Grafts for Oral Use: A Biological and Mechanical In Vitro Study
by Asrar Elahi, Warwick Duncan, Kai-Chun Li, John Neil Waddell and Dawn Coates
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040473 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1814
Abstract
Large oral bone defects require grafting of bone blocks rather than granules to give physically robust, biocompatible and osteoconductive regeneration. Bovine bone is widely accepted as a source of clinically appropriate xenograft material. However, the manufacturing process often results in both reduced mechanical [...] Read more.
Large oral bone defects require grafting of bone blocks rather than granules to give physically robust, biocompatible and osteoconductive regeneration. Bovine bone is widely accepted as a source of clinically appropriate xenograft material. However, the manufacturing process often results in both reduced mechanical strength and biological compatibility. The aim of this study was to assess bovine bone blocks at different sintering temperatures and measure the effects on mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Bone blocks were divided into four groups; Group 1: Control (Untreated); Group 2: Initial boil for 6 h; Group 3: Boil 6 h followed by sintering at 550 °C for 6 h; Group 4: Boil 6 h followed by sintering at 1100 °C for 6 h. Samples were assessed for their purity, crystallinity, mechanical strength, surface morphology, chemical composition, biocompatibility and clinical handling properties. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey’s tests for normally distributed and Friedman test for abnormally distributed quantitative data from compression tests and PrestoBlue™ metabolic activity tests. The threshold for statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. The results showed that higher temperature sintering (Group 4) removed all organic material (0.02% organic components and 0.02% residual organic components remained) and increased crystallinity (95.33%) compared to Groups 1–3. All test groups (Group 2–4) showed decreased mechanical strength (MPa: 4.21 ± 1.97, 3.07 ± 1.21, 5.14 ± 1.86, respectively) compared with raw bone (Group 1) (MPa: 23.22 ± 5.24, p <0.05), with micro-cracks seen under SEM in Groups 3 and 4. Group 4 had the highest biocompatibility (p < 0.05) with osteoblasts as compared to Group 3 at all time points in vitro. Clinical handling tests indicated that Group 4 samples could better withstand drilling and screw placement but still demonstrated brittleness compared to Group 1. Hence, bovine bone blocks sintered at 1100 °C for 6 h resulted in highly pure bone with acceptable mechanical strength and clinical handling, suggesting it is a viable option as a block grafting material. Full article
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