2,642 research outputs found

    A sensory-guided surgical micro-drill

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    This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published article is available from the link below. Copyright @ 2010 The Authors.This article describes a surgical robotic device that is able to discriminate tissue interfaces and other controlling parameters ahead of the drill tip. The advantage in such a surgery is that the tissues at the interfaces can be preserved. A smart tool detects ahead of the tool point and is able to control the interaction with respect to the flexing tissue, to avoid penetration or to control the extent of protrusion with respect to the position of the tissue. For surgical procedures, where precision is required, the tool offers significant benefit. To interpret the drilling conditions and the conditions leading up to breakthrough at a tissue interface, a sensing scheme is used that discriminates between the variety of conditions posed in the drilling environment. The result is a fully autonomous system, which is able to respond to the tissue type, behaviour, and deflection in real-time. The system is also robust in terms of disturbances encountered in the operating theatre. The device is pragmatic. It is intuitive to use, efficient to set up, and uses standard drill bits. The micro-drill, which has been used to prepare cochleostomies in the theatre, was used to remove the bone tissue leaving the endosteal membrane intact. This has enabled the preservation of sterility and the drilling debris to be removed prior to the insertion of the electrode. It is expected that this technique will promote the preservation of hearing and reduce the possibility of complications. The article describes the device (including simulated drill progress and hardware set-up) and the stages leading up to its use in the theatre.Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, U

    Feasibility study of a hand guided robotic drill for cochleostomy

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    The concept of a hand guided robotic drill has been inspired by an automated, arm supported robotic drill recently applied in clinical practice to produce cochleostomies without penetrating the endosteum ready for inserting cochlear electrodes. The smart tactile sensing scheme within the drill enables precise control of the state of interaction between tissues and tools in real-time. This paper reports development studies of the hand guided robotic drill where the same consistent outcomes, augmentation of surgeon control and skill, and similar reduction of induced disturbances on the hearing organ are achieved. The device operates with differing presentation of tissues resulting from variation in anatomy and demonstrates the ability to control or avoid penetration of tissue layers as required and to respond to intended rather than involuntary motion of the surgeon operator. The advantage of hand guided over an arm supported system is that it offers flexibility in adjusting the drilling trajectory. This can be important to initiate cutting on a hard convex tissue surface without slipping and then to proceed on the desired trajectory after cutting has commenced. The results for trials on phantoms show that drill unit compliance is an important factor in the design

    Clogging by sieving in microchannels: Application to the detection of contaminants in colloidal suspensions

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    We report on a microfluidic method that allows measurement of a small concentration of large contaminants in suspensions of solid micrometer-scale particles. To perform the measurement, we flow the colloidal suspension through a series of constrictions, i.e. a microchannel of varying cross-section. We show and quantify the role of large contaminants in the formation of clogs at a constriction and the growth of the resulting filter cake. By measuring the time interval between two clogging events in an array of parallel microchannels, we are able to estimate the concentration of contaminants whose size is selected by the geometry of the microfluidic device. This technique for characterizing colloidal suspensions offers a versatile and rapid tool to explore the role of contaminants on the properties of the suspensions

    Magnetic properties of 3d-impurities substituted in GaAs

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    We have calculated the magnetic properties of substituted 3d-impurities (Cr-Ni) in a GaAs host by means of first principles electronic structure calculations. We provide a novel model explaining the ferromagnetic long rang order of III-V dilute magnetic semiconductors. The origin of the ferromagnetism is shown to be due to delocalized spin-uncompensated As dangling bond electrons. Besides the quantitative prediction of the magnetic moments, our model provides an understanding of the halfmetallicity, and the raise of the critical temperature with the impurity concentration

    Polarization forces in water deduced from single molecule data

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    Intermolecular polarization interactions in water are determined using a minimal atomic multipole model constructed with distributed polarizabilities. Hydrogen bonding and other properties of water-water interactions are reproduced to fine detail by only three multipoles μH\mu_H, μO\mu_O, and θO\theta_O and two polarizabilities αO\alpha_O and αH\alpha_H, which characterize a single water molecule and are deduced from single molecule data.Comment: 4 revtex pages, 3 embedded color PS figure

    Aeroservoelastic Wind-Tunnel Tests of a Free-Flying, Joined-Wing SensorCraft Model for Gust Load Alleviation

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    A team comprised of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Boeing, and the NASA Langley Research Center conducted three aeroservoelastic wind-tunnel tests in the Transonic Dynamics Tunnel to demonstrate active control technologies relevant to large, exible vehicles. In the first of these three tests, a full-span, aeroelastically scaled, wind-tunnel model of a joined-wing SensorCraft vehicle was mounted to a force balance to acquire a basic aerodynamic data set. In the second and third tests, the same wind-tunnel model was mated to a new, two-degree-of-freedom, beam mount. This mount allowed the full-span model to translate vertically and pitch. Trimmed flight at -10% static margin and gust load alleviation were successfully demonstrated. The rigid body degrees of freedom required that the model be own in the wind tunnel using an active control system. This risky mode of testing necessitated that a model arrestment system be integrated into the new mount. The safe and successful completion of these free-flying tests required the development and integration of custom hardware and software. This paper describes the many systems, software, and procedures that were developed as part of this effort. The balance and free ying wind-tunnel tests will be summarized. The design of the trim and gust load alleviation control laws along with the associated results will also be discussed

    Exploring the types of social support exchanged by survivors of pediatric stroke and their families in an online peer support community: a qualitative thematic analysis (Preprint)

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    Background: Pediatric stroke is relatively rare, under researched and there is little awareness of its occurrence in wider society. There is a paucity of literature on effectiveness of interventions to improve rehabilitation and services available to survivors. Access to online health communities through the internet may be a means of support for pediatric stroke patients and their families during recovery, however little research has been done in this area. Objective: To identify the types of social support provided by an online peer support group to survivors of pediatric stroke and their families. Methods: Qualitative thematic analysis of posts from a pediatric stroke population on a UK online stroke community active between 2004-2011. The population was split into two groups, based upon whether stroke survivors were 18 and under ( 18y) or over 18 (>18y) at the time of posting. The posts were read by two authors who used the adapted Social Support Behaviour Code to analyze the types of social support exchanged. Results: 52 participants who experienced a pediatric stroke were identified, who posted a total of 425 messages to the community. 41 survivors were 18y at the time of posting and written about by others (31/35 mothers), while 11 were >18y and writing about themselves. Survivors and their familes joined together in discussion threads . Support was offered and received by all participants, regardless of age. Of all 425 posts, 193 (45.4%) contained at least one instance of social support. All five types of social support were identified: informational, emotional, network, esteem support and tangible aid. Informational and emotional support were most commonly exchanged. Emotional support was offered more often than informational support among participants 18y at the time of posting, this finding was reversed in the >18y group. Network support and esteem support were less commonly exchanged. Notably, no access support (a sub-category of network support) was exchanged on the community. Tangible aid was the least commonly type of support offered. Conclusions: We found evidence of engagement of childhood stroke survivors and their families in an online stroke community, with peer support being exchanged between both long and short-term survivors of pediatric stroke. Engagement of long-term survivors of pediatric stroke through the online community was key as they were able to offer informational support from lived experience. Further interventional research is needed to assess health and rehabilitation outcomes from engagement with online support groups. Research is also needed to ensure safe, nurturing online communities. Clinical Trial: n/
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