Medical

Satellite-Derived Management Zones

Precision agriculture can be practiced at low cost. The term “satellite-derived management zones” (SAMZ) denotes agricultural management zones that are subdivisions of large fields and that are derived from images of the fields acquired by instruments aboard Earth orbiting satellites during approximately the past 15 years. “SAMZ” also denotes the methodology and the software that implements the methodology for creating such zones. The SAMZ approach is one of several products of continuing efforts to realize a concept of precision agriculture, which involves optimal variations in seeding, in application of chemicals, and in irrigation, plus decisions to farm or not to farm certain portions of fields, all in an effort to maximize profitability in view of spatial and temporal variations in the growth and health of crops, and in the chemical and physical conditions of soils.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Removing Pathogens Using Nano-Ceramic-Fiber Filters

Filters remove greater than 99.9999 percent of viruses and bacteria from wastewater.

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Replaceable Microfluidic Cartridges for a PCR Biosensor

Design has been optimized for detection of target DNA sequences The figure depicts a replaceable microfluidic cartridge that is a component of a miniature biosensor that detects target deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences. The biosensor utilizes (1) polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) to multiply the amount of DNA to be detected, (2) fluorogenic polynucleotide probe chemicals for labeling the target DNA sequences, and (3) a high-sensitivity epifluorescence-detection optoelectronic subsystem.

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Texturing Blood-Glucose-Monitoring Optics Using Oxygen Beams

Textures can be tailored to exclude blood cells from opticalsensing regions.A method has been invented for utilizing directed, hyperthermal oxygen atoms and ions for texturing tips of polymeric optical fibers or other polymeric optical components for use in optical measurement of concentration of glucose in blood. The required texture of the sensory surface of such a component amounts to a landscape of microscopic hills having high aspect ratios (hills taller than they are wide), with an average distance between hills of no more than about 5 μm. This limit on the average distance between hills is chosen so that blood cells (which are wider) cannot enter the valleys between the hills, where they could obstruct optical sensing of glucose in the blood plasma. On the other hand, the plasma is required to enter the valleys, and a high aspect ratio is intended to maximize the hillside and valley surface area in contact with the plasma, thereby making it possible to obtain a given level of optical glucose-measurement sensitivity with a relatively small volume of blood.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Photonics, Medical, Briefs, TSP

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Articulating Support for Horizontal Resistive Exercise

Supports can be optimized for a variety of prescribed exercises.A versatile mechanical device provides support for a user engaged in any of a variety of resistive exercises in a substantially horizontal orientation. The unique features and versatility of the device promise to be useful in bed-rest studies, rehabilitation, and specialized strength training. The device affords a capability for selectively loading and unloading of portions of the user’s body through its support mechanisms, so that specific parts of the body can be trained with little or no effect on other parts that may be disabled or in the process of recovery from injury. Thus, the device is ideal for rehabilitation exercise programs prescribed by physicians and physical therapists. The capability for selective loading and support also offers potential benefits to strength and conditioning trainers and athletes who wish to selectively strengthen selected parts.

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Stroboscopic Goggles for Reduction of Motion Sickness

The view is presented to wearer in snapshots to suppress retinal slip.A device built around a pair of electronic shutters has been demonstrated to be effective as a prototype of stroboscopic goggles or eyeglasses for preventing or reducing motion sickness. The momentary opening of the shutters helps to suppress a phenomenon that is known in the art as retinal slip and is described more fully below.

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Tissue Engineering Using Transfected Growth-Factor Genes

Cells, matrices, and bioreactors are tailored to promote functional tissue engineering of cartilage. A method of growing bioengineered tissues includes, as a major component, the use of mammalian cells that have been transfected with genes for secretion of regulator and growth-factor substances. In a typical application, one either seeds the cells onto an artificial matrix made of a synthetic or natural biocompatible material, or else one cultures the cells until they secrete a desired amount of an extracellular matrix. If such a bioengineered tissue construct is to be used for surgical replacement of injured tissue, then the cells should preferably be the patient’s own cells or, if not, at least cells matched to the patient’s cells according to a human-leucocyte-antigen (HLA) test. The bioengineered tissue construct is typically implanted in the patient’s injured natural tissue, wherein the growth-factor genes enhance metabolic functions that promote the in vitro development of functional tissue constructs and their integration with native tissues. If the matrix is biodegradable, then one of the results of metabolism could be absorption of the matrix and replacement of the matrix with tissue formed at least partly by the transfected cells.

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