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Andressa Cristhy Buch, Cristina Lúcia Silveira Sisinno, Maria Elizabeth Fernandes Correia, Emmanoel Vieira Silva-Filho
Worldwide, various guidelines and directives for human health and the environment aim to reduce anthropogenic mercury (Hg) emission. Forest ecosystems are natural sinks of this element, transferring it from the atmosphere to litter and soil. Millipedes play an important role in litter/soil and may be negatively affected by contamination. As a pioneering contribution to ecotoxicological test guidelines with millipedes in litter, the present study evaluated food preference of millipedes and mercury toxicity, to prevent interference of food types in toxicity responses...
August 15, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Diego Torricelli, Camilo Cortés, Nerea Lete, Álvaro Bertelsen, Jose E Gonzalez-Vargas, Antonio J Del-Ama, Iris Dimbwadyo, Juan C Moreno, Julian Florez, Jose L Pons
The relative motion between human and exoskeleton is a crucial factor that has remarkable consequences on the efficiency, reliability and safety of human-robot interaction. Unfortunately, its quantitative assessment has been largely overlooked in the literature. Here, we present a methodology that allows predicting the motion of the human joints from the knowledge of the angular motion of the exoskeleton frame. Our method combines a subject-specific skeletal model with a kinematic model of a lower limb exoskeleton (H2, Technaid), imposing specific kinematic constraints between them...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Joon-Hyuk Park, Paul R Stegall, David P Roye, Sunil K Agrawal
Spine deformity is typically treated with a brace that fits around the torso and hips to correct the abnormal curve of the spine. While bracing has been shown to curtail progression of abnormal spine curves, current braces impose several limitations due to their rigid, static, and sensor-less designs: (1) forces and moments exerted by the brace cannot be measured or modulated and (2) the 3-D stiffness of the human torso has not been characterized-these may be important factors to be considered in bracing treatment...
May 2018: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Noriaki Mizukami, Shizue Takeuchi, Mikio Tetsuya, Atsushi Tsukahara, Kunihiro Yoshida, Akira Matsushima, Yoichi Maruyama, Kenji Tako, Minoru Hashimoto
We have been developing the robotic wear curara as both a welfare device and rehabilitation robot that assists the elderly and disabled. curara is aimed at user friendliness. We have, thus, chosen a non-exoskeleton structure made of a plastic so that the robot is as light in weight as possible and to minimize the restraining stress against natural human movement. We verified the assistance effect of curara on 15 hemiplegic patients with stroke by comparing gait parameters (i.e., velocity, step length, cadence, and symmetry of joint angles) among three conditions...
May 2018: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Mohammad Abdul Baki, Md Muzammel Hossain, Jhuma Akter, Shamshad B Quraishi, Md Fajlul Haque Shojib, A K M Atique Ullah, Md Firoz Khan
A contaminated aquatic environment may end up in the food chain and pose risks to tourist health in a tourist destination. To assess the health risk for tourists that visit St. Martine Island, which is a popular domestic and foreign tourist destination in Bangladesh, a study is undertaken to analyse the level of heavy metal contamination from chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg) and iron (Fe) in six of the most consumed fish (L. fasciatus, R...
May 7, 2018: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Wenchao Zhu, Xiulin Xu, Xiufang Hu, Meijun An
This article presents the design of a motion control system for seated lower-limb rehabilitation training. The system is composed of lower limb exoskeleton, motor drive circuit, program of motion control, and so forth. The power of lower limbs joints is provided by six motors. The PCI-1240 motion control card is used as the core. This study achieved repetitive rotation training and gait trajectory training of lower limbs joints, of which the velocity, angle and time can be accurately controlled and adjusted...
June 1, 2017: Sheng Wu Yi Xue Gong Cheng Xue za Zhi, Journal of Biomedical Engineering, Shengwu Yixue Gongchengxue Zazhi
Yanjie Zhao, Xiaoyan Sui, Lanjie Xu, Guoyu Liu, Lihua Lu, Mingshan You, Chaojie Xie, Baoyun Li, Zhongfu Ni, Rongqi Liang
BACKGROUND: Chitin is an important component of the insect exoskeleton and peritrophic membrane. Chitin synthase 1 (CHS1) is the key enzyme in the chitin synthesis pathway, and plays role to the molting and growth of insects. Plant-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) has been used as a more target-specific and environmentally safe approach to prevent and control agricultural insects. The aims of this study were to use grain aphid (Sitobion avanae) CHS1 as the target gene and then to produce transgenic wheat lines for aphid control via plant-mediated RNAi...
May 7, 2018: Pest Management Science
Robert M Lester, Ashraf S Gorgey
Introduction: To determine whether an individual with C4 incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) with limited hand functions can effectively operate a powered exoskeleton (Ekso) to improve parameters of physical activity as determined by swing-time, up-time, walk-time, and total number of steps. Case presentation: A 21-year-old male with incomplete chronic (>1 year postinjury) SCI C4, participated in a clinical exoskeleton program to determine the feasibility of standing up and walking with limited hand functions...
2018: Spinal Cord Series and Cases
Qing Miao, Mingming Zhang, Congzhe Wang, Hongsheng Li
This review aims to compare existing robot-assisted ankle rehabilitation techniques in terms of robot design. Included studies mainly consist of selected papers in two published reviews involving a variety of robot-assisted ankle rehabilitation techniques. A free search was also made in Google Scholar and Scopus by using keywords "ankle∗ ," and "robot∗ ," and ("rehabilitat∗ " or "treat∗ "). The search is limited to English-language articles published between January 1980 and September 2016...
2018: Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Rachel A Koch, M Catherine Aime
Understanding how species accomplish dispersal of their propagules can shed light on how they are adapted for their ecosystem. Guyanagaster necrorhizus is a sequestrate fungus, meaning its dispersal propagules, or spores, are entirely enclosed within a fruiting body, termed a sporocarp. This fungus is most closely related to Armillaria and its allies. While Armillaria species form mushrooms and have forcibly discharged spores, G. necrorhizus spores have lost this ability, and by necessity, must be passively dispersed...
May 4, 2018: Molecular Ecology
Keitaro Take, Hidehisa Fujiki, Wasana Suyotha, Junji Hayashi, Kazuyoshi Takagi, Shigekazu Yano, Mamoru Wakayama
Chitinase 1 (Chi1) is an acidic and thermostable hydrolytic enzyme capable of the breakdown of chitin, a resilient biopolymer that is the primary building block of fungi cell walls and marine exoskeletons. In this study, Chi1 was purified from the bacterium Streptomyces thermodiastaticus HF 3-3, and its properties were carefully characterized. The molecular mass of Chi1 was estimated to be approximately 46 kDa and, through sequencing, its N-terminal amino acid sequence was identified as ADSGKVKL. Although the optimal operating temperature and pH for Chi1 were determined to be 65°C and pH 5...
April 27, 2018: Journal of General and Applied Microbiology
Hui-Fen Mao, Hsing-Po Huang, Tung-Wu Lu, Ting-Ming Wang, Cheng-Hua Wu, Jwu-Sheng Hu
OBJECTIVE: To quantify the effects of initial hip angle and angular hip velocity settings of a lower-limb wearable robotic exoskeleton (WRE) on the balance control and mechanical energy requirements in patients with paraplegic spinal cord injuries (SCI) during WRE-assisted sit-to-stand (STS). DESIGN: Observational, cross-sectional study. SETTING: A university hospital gait laboratory with an 8-camera motion analysis system, three forceplates, a pair of instrumented crutches, and a WRE...
April 27, 2018: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Baojun Chen, Lorenzo Grazi, Francesco Lanotte, Nicola Vitiello, Simona Crea
Repetitive lifting of heavy loads increases the risk of back pain and even lumbar vertebral injuries to workers. Active exoskeletons can help workers lift loads by providing power assistance, and therefore reduce the moment and force applied on L5/S1 joint of human body when performing lifting tasks. However, most existing active exoskeletons for lifting assistance are unable to automatically detect user's lift movement, which limits the wide application of active exoskeletons in factories. In this paper, we propose a simple but effective lift detection strategy for exoskeleton control...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Rachel A Scott, Michele L Callisaya, Gustavo Duque, Peter R Ebeling, David Scott
Sarcopenia is an age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass and function that results in disability and loss of independence. It affects up to 30% of older adults. Exercise (particularly progressive resistance training) and nutrition are key strategies in preventing and reversing declines in muscle mass, strength and power during ageing, but many sarcopenic older adults fail to meet recommended levels of both physical activity and dietary nutrient intake. Assistive technology (AT) describes devices or systems used to maintain or improve physical functioning...
June 2018: Maturitas
Yumie Ono, Kenya Wada, Masaya Kurata, Naoto Seki
Varied individual ability to control the sensory-motor rhythms may limit the potential use of motor-imagery (MI) in neurorehabilitation and neuroprosthetics. We employed neurofeedback training of MI under action observation (AO: AOMI) with proprioceptive feedback and examined whether it could enhance MI-induced event-related desynchronization (ERD). Twenty-eight healthy young adults participated in the neurofeedback training. They performed MI while watching a video of hand-squeezing motion from a first-person perspective...
April 23, 2018: Neuropsychologia
Rocco Salvatore Calabrò, Antonino Naro, Margherita Russo, Placido Bramanti, Luigi Carioti, Tina Balletta, Antonio Buda, Alfredo Manuli, Serena Filoni, Alessia Bramanti
BACKGROUND: The use of neurorobotic devices may improve gait recovery by entraining specific brain plasticity mechanisms, which may be a key issue for successful rehabilitation using such approach. We assessed whether the wearable exoskeleton, Ekso™, could get higher gait performance than conventional overground gait training (OGT) in patients with hemiparesis due to stroke in a chronic phase, and foster the recovery of specific brain plasticity mechanisms. METHODS: We enrolled forty patients in a prospective, pre-post, randomized clinical study...
April 25, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Shaowei Yao, Yu Zhuang, Zhijun Li, Rong Song
Various rehabilitation robots have been employed to recover the motor function of stroke patients. To improve the effect of rehabilitation, robots should promote patient participation and provide compliant assistance. This paper proposes an adaptive admittance control scheme (AACS) consisting of an admittance filter, inner position controller, and electromyography (EMG)-driven musculoskeletal model (EDMM). The admittance filter generates the subject's intended motion according to the joint torque estimated by the EDMM...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Naji A Alibeji, Vahidreza Molazadeh, Brad E Dicianno, Nitin Sharma
A hybrid walking neuroprosthesis that combines functional electrical stimulation (FES) with a powered lower limb exoskeleton can be used to restore walking in persons with paraplegia. It provides therapeutic benefits of FES and torque reliability of the powered exoskeleton. Moreover, by harnessing metabolic power of muscles via FES, the hybrid combination has a potential to lower power consumption and reduce actuator size in the powered exoskeleton. Its control design, however, must overcome the challenges of actuator redundancy due to the combined use of FES and electric motor...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Kyong Kim, Seong Hyun Kim, Sung Hoon Kim, Chang Ho Yu
BACKGROUND: A lightweight rehabilitation assisting system is required to help the aged and disabled with daily life activities, thereby improving the quality of their lives. OBJECTIVE: This paper discusses the development of a metal-hydride (MH) actuator, with excellent heat transfer performance, for application in a rehabilitative system incorporating an MH module. METHODS: The operating mechanism of MH actuators requires that the mechanical power of the pneumatic actuator only be generated via heat transfer through a Peltier element and the absorption/desorption of a hydrogen-contained MH module...
April 10, 2018: Technology and Health Care: Official Journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine
Sajjad Abbasi, Naghmeh Soltani, Behnam Keshavarzi, Farid Moore, Andrew Turner, Mina Hassanaghaei
Commercially-important species of fish and a crustacean from four sites in the Musa estuary and a site in the Persian Gulf have been analysed for the presence and location of microplastics (MPs). A total of 828 MPs were detected in the guts (gastrointestinal tracts), skin, muscle, gills and liver of demersal and pelagic fish (Platycephalus indicus, Saurida tumbil, Sillago sihama, Cynoglossus abbreviatus) from all five sites and in the exoskeleton and muscle of the tiger prawn, Penaeus semisulcatus, from three sites...
April 18, 2018: Chemosphere
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