Engineering and Information Technology Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 342
A Portable Real-Time Ringdown Breath Acetone Analyzer: Toward Potential Diabetic Screening and Management
Breath analysis has been considered a suitable tool to evaluate diseases of the respiratory system and those that involve metabolic changes, such as diabetes. Breath acetone has long been known as a biomarker for diabetes. However, the results from published data by far have been inconclusive regarding whether breath acetone is a reliable index of diabetic screening. Large variations exist among the results of different studies because there has been no "best-practice method" for breath-acetone measurements as a result of technical problems of sampling and analysis. In this mini-review, we update the current status of our development of a laser-based breath acetone analyzer toward real-time, one-line diabetic screening and a point-of-care instrument for diabetic management. An integrated standalone breath acetone analyzer based on the cavity ringdown spectroscopy technique has been developed. The instrument was validated by using the certificated gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The linear fittings suggest that the obtained acetone concentrations via both methods are consistent. Breath samples from each individual subject under various conditions in total, 1257 breath samples were taken from 22 Type 1 diabetic (T1D) patients, 312 Type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients, which is one of the largest numbers of T2D subjects ever used in a single study, and 52 non-diabetic healthy subjects. Simultaneous blood glucose (BG) levels were also tested using a standard diabetic management BG meter. The mean breath acetone concentrations were determined to be 4.9 ± 16 ppm (22 T1D), and 1.5 ± 1.3 ppm (312 T2D), which are about 4.5 and 1.4 times of the one in the 42 non-diabetic healthy subjects, 1.1 ± 0.5 ppm, respectively. A preliminary quantitative correlation (R = 0.56, p < 0.05) between the mean individual breath acetone concentration and the mean individual BG levels does exist in 20 T1D subjects with no ketoacidosis. No direct correlation is observed in T1D subjects, T2D subjects, and healthy subjects. The results from a relatively large number of subjects tested indicate that an elevated mean breath acetone concentration exists in diabetic patients in general. Although many physiological parameters affect breath acetone, under a specifically controlled condition fast (<1 min) and portable breath acetone measurement can be used for screening abnormal metabolic status including diabetes, for point-of-care monitoring status of ketone bodies which have the signature smell of breath acetone, and for breath acetone related clinical studies requiring a large number of tests.
Three-Dimensional Gait Analysis in Children Undergoing Gastrocsoleus Lengthening for Equinus Secondary to Cerebral Palsy
Background and Objectives: Equinus is the most common deformity in children with cerebral palsy, and surgical lengthening of the gastrocsoleus muscle-tendon unit is the most commonly performed operation for children with cerebral palsy. Treatment outcomes of orthopaedic surgery can be measured objectively with three-dimensional gait analysis. This study examined the quality of evidence for gastrocsoleus lengthening surgery based on objective measures. Materials and Methods: A search was performed with Medline, Embase and PubMed from 1990 to 25 August 2020 using the keywords "cerebral palsy", "equinus", "surgery" and "gait analysis". Only studies of gastrocsoleus lengthening surgery using three-dimensional gait analysis were included, yielding 34 studies. Results: Fourteen studies reported swing phase kinematics and all studies reported a significant improvement. Rates of recurrent equinus and calcaneus were reported in 21 studies and varied widely based on follow-up period and surgical technique. Conclusions: Poor study quality and marked variability in study samples and interventions made comparison difficult. Future studies should consider prospective design, controls or comparison groups and more detailed breakdowns of outcomes by cerebral palsy subtype, sagittal gait pattern, and equinus type in order to allow more rigorous treatment recommendations to be made.
Embodiment and Estrangement: Results from a First-in-Human "Intelligent BCI" Trial
While new generations of implantable brain computer interface (BCI) devices are being developed, evidence in the literature about their impact on the patient experience is lagging. In this article, we address this knowledge gap by analysing data from the first-in-human clinical trial to study patients with implanted BCI advisory devices. We explored perceptions of self-change across six patients who volunteered to be implanted with artificially intelligent BCI devices. We used qualitative methodological tools grounded in phenomenology to conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Results show that, on the one hand, BCIs can positively increase a sense of the self and control; on the other hand, they can induce radical distress, feelings of loss of control, and a rupture of patient identity. We conclude by offering suggestions for the proactive creation of preparedness protocols specific to intelligent-predictive and advisory-BCI technologies essential to prevent potential iatrogenic harms.
Intermittent control models of human standing: similarities and differences
Two architectures of intermittent control are compared and contrasted in the context of the single inverted pendulum model often used for describing standing in humans. The architectures are similar insofar as they use periods of open-loop control punctuated by switching events when crossing a switching surface to keep the system state trajectories close to trajectories leading to equilibrium. The architectures differ in two significant ways. Firstly, in one case, the open-loop control trajectory is generated by a system-matched hold, and in the other case, the open-loop control signal is zero. Secondly, prediction is used in one case but not the other. The former difference is examined in this paper. The zero control alternative leads to periodic oscillations associated with limit cycles; whereas the system-matched control alternative gives trajectories (including homoclinic orbits) which contain the equilibrium point and do not have oscillatory behaviour. Despite this difference in behaviour, it is further shown that behaviour can appear similar when either the system is perturbed by additive noise or the system-matched trajectory generation is perturbed. The purpose of the research is to come to a common approach for understanding the theoretical properties of the two alternatives with the twin aims of choosing which provides the best explanation of current experimental data (which may not, by itself, distinguish between the two alternatives) and suggesting future experiments to distinguish between the two alternatives.
Placement of Deep Brain Electrodes in the Dog Using the Brainsight Frameless Stereotactic System: A Pilot Feasibility Study
BACKGROUND: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) together with concurrent EEG recording has shown promise in the treatment of epilepsy. A novel device is capable of combining these 2 functions and may prove valuable in the treatment of epilepsy in dogs. However, stereotactic implantation of electrodes in dogs has not yet been evaluated. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility and safety of implanting stimulating and recording electrodes in the brain of normal dogs using the Brainsight system and to evaluate the function of a novel DBS and recording device. ANIMALS: Four male intact Greyhounds, confirmed to be normal by clinical and neurologic examinations and hematology and biochemistry testing. METHODS: MRI imaging of the brain was performed after attachment of fiducial markers. MRI scans were used to calculate trajectories for electrode placement in the thalamus and hippocampus, which was performed via burr hole craniotomy. Postoperative CT scanning was performed to evaluate electrode location and accuracy of placement was calculated. Serial neurologic examinations were performed to evaluate neurologic deficits and EEG recordings obtained to evaluate the effects of stimulation. RESULTS: Electrodes were successfully placed in 3 of 4 dogs with a mean accuracy of 4.6 ± 1.5 mm. EEG recordings showed evoked potentials in response to stimulation with a circadian variation in time-to-maximal amplitude. No neurologic deficits were seen in any dog. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Stereotactic placement of electrodes is safe and feasible in the dog. The development of a novel device capable of providing simultaneous neurostimulation and EEG recording potentially represents a major advance in the treatment of epilepsy.
A hybrid medical text classification framework: Integrating attentive rule construction and neural network
(Elsevier BV, 2021-07)
The main objective of this work is to improve the quality and transparency of the medical text classification solutions. Conventional text classification methods provide users with only a restricted mechanism (based on frequency) for selecting features. In this paper, a three-stage hybrid method combining the gated attention-based bi-directional Long Short-Term Memory (ABLSTM) and the regular expression based classifier is proposed for medical text classification tasks. The bi-directional Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) architecture with an attention layer allows the network to weigh words according to their perceived importance and focus on crucial parts of a sentence. Feature words (or keywords) extracted by ABLSTM model are utilized to guide the regular expression rule construction. Our proposed approach leverages the advantages of both the interpretability of rule-based algorithms and the computational power of deep learning approaches for a production-ready scenario. Experimental results on real-world medical online query data clearly validate the superiority of our system in selecting domain-specific and topic-related features. Results show that the proposed approach achieves an accuracy of 0.89 and an F1-score of 0.92 respectively. Furthermore, our experimentation also illustrates the versatility of regular expressions as a user-level tool for focusing on desired patterns and providing interpretable solutions for human modification.
A Method for Evaluating Options for Motif Detection in Electricity Meter Data
(School of Statistics, Renmin University of China, 2021)
Investigation of household electricity usage patterns, and mat- ching the patterns to behaviours, is an important area of research given the centrality of such patterns in addressing the needs of the electricity indu- stry. Additional knowledge of household behaviours will allow more effective targeting of demand side management (DSM) techniques. This paper addresses the question as to whether a reasonable number of meaningful motifs, that each represent a regular activity within a domestic household, can be identified solely using the household level electricity meter data. Using UK data collected from several hundred households in Spring 2011 monitored at a frequency of five minutes, a process for finding repeating short patterns (motifs) is defined. Different ways of representing the motifs exist and a qualitative approach is presented that allows for choosing between the options based on the number of regular behaviours detected (neither too few nor too many).
On the Importance of Diversity in Re-Sampling for Imbalanced Data and Rare Events in Mortality Risk Models
Surgical risk increases significantly when patients present with comorbid conditions. This has resulted in the creation of numerous risk stratification tools with the objective of formulating associated surgical risk to assist both surgeons and patients in decision-making. The Surgical Outcome Risk Tool (SORT) is one of the tools developed to predict mortality risk throughout the entire perioperative period for major elective in-patient surgeries in the UK. In this study, we enhance the original SORT prediction model (UK SORT) by addressing the class imbalance within the dataset. Our proposed method investigates the application of diversity-based selection on top of common re-sampling techniques to enhance the classifier's capability in detecting minority (ĝ€mortality') events. Diversity amongst training datasets is an essential factor in ensuring re-sampled data keeps an accurate depiction of the minority/majority class region, thereby solving the generalization problem of mainstream sampling approaches. We incorporate the use of the Solow-Polasky measure as a drop-in functionality to evaluate diversity, with the addition of greedy algorithms to identify and discard subsets that share the most similarity. Additionally, through empirical experiments, we prove that the performance of the classifier trained over diversity-based dataset outperforms the original classifier over ten external datasets. Our diversity-based re-sampling method elevates the performance of the UK SORT algorithm by 1.4%.
Refractoriness in Sustained Visuo-Manual Control: Is the Refractory Duration Intrinsic or Does It Depend on External System Properties?
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-01-01)
Researchers have previously adopted the double stimulus paradigm to study refractoriness in human neuromotor control. Currently, refractoriness, such as the Psychological Refractory Period (PRP) has only been quantified in discrete movement conditions. Whether refractoriness and the associated serial ballistic hypothesis generalises to sustained control tasks has remained open for more than sixty years. Recently, a method of analysis has been presented that quantifies refractoriness in sustained control tasks and discriminates intermittent (serial ballistic) from continuous control. Following our recent demonstration that continuous control of an unstable second order system (i.e. balancing a 'virtual' inverted pendulum through a joystick interface) is unnecessary, we ask whether refractoriness of substantial duration (~200 ms) is evident in sustained visual-manual control of external systems. We ask whether the refractory duration (i) is physiologically intrinsic, (ii) depends upon system properties like the order (0, 1(st), and 2(nd)) or stability, (iii) depends upon target jump direction (reversal, same direction). Thirteen participants used discrete movements (zero order system) as well as more sustained control activity (1(st) and 2(nd) order systems) to track unpredictable step-sequence targets. Results show a substantial refractory duration that depends upon system order (250, 350 and 550 ms for 0, 1(st) and 2(nd) order respectively, n=13, p<0.05), but not stability. In sustained control refractoriness was only found when the target reverses direction. In the presence of time varying actuators, systems and constraints, we propose that central refractoriness is an appropriate control mechanism for accommodating online optimization delays within the neural circuitry including the more variable processing times of higher order (complex) input-output relations.