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Insights into the dynamics of electrochemical processes are critically needed to improve our fundamental understanding of electron, charge, and mass transfer mechanisms and reaction kinetics that influence a broad range of applications, from the functionality of electrical energy-storage and conversion devices (e.g., batteries, fuel cells, and supercapacitors), to materials degradation issues (e.g., corrosion and oxidation), and materials synthesis (e.g., electrodeposition). To unravel these processes, in situ electrochemical scanning/transmission electron microscopy (ec-S/TEM) was developed to permit detailed site-specific characterization of evolving electrochemical processes that occur at electrode–electrolyte interfaces in their native electrolyte environment, in real time and at high-spatial resolution. This approach utilizes “closed-form” microfabricated electrochemical cells that couple the capability for quantitative electrochemical measurements with high spatial and temporal resolution imaging, spectroscopy, and diffraction. In this article, we review the state-of-the-art instrumentation for in situ ec-S/TEM and how this approach has resulted in new observations of electrochemical processes.
Neonates with CHD are at increased risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis due to mesenteric hypoperfusion. Necrotising enterocolitis results in repeated feed interruptions contributing to poor growth during the early post-operative phase. Poor weight gain and longer hospital stay are risk factors for death in neonates with CHD. Abdominal radiography is used as a diagnostic tool for necrotising enterocolitis; however, its utility is limited in the early stages of necrotising enterocolitis when pneumatosis intestinalis is absent. Calprotectin is a neutrophil activation biomarker, and elevated levels are evident in inflammatory diseases such as necrotising enterocolitis. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a correlation between faecal calprotectin concentration and gut inflammation in neonates with CHD. This prospective single-centre study recruited newly diagnosed term patients with duct-dependent CHD between March 2018 and March 2019. Faecal calprotectin concentrations were measured in post-surgical patients using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. A total of 30 patients were included in the analysis. Calprotectin concentration for patients who developed necrotising enterocolitis was 3528 µg/g compared with 390 µg/g without, compared with 1339 µg/g in patients with suspected necrotising enterocolitis (p = 0.0001). Patients with suspected necrotising enterocolitis had a significantly longer length of hospital stay, on average 18 days longer compared to patients without necrotising enterocolitis (p = 0.03). Faecal calprotectin concentrations may reflect severity of gut inflammation in neonates with CHD. Suspected necrotising enterocolitis contributes to longer days nil by mouth and an increase in length of hospital stay.
There is demand for new, effective and scalable treatments for depression, and development of new forms of cognitive bias modification (CBM) of negative emotional processing biases has been suggested as possible interventions to meet this need.
We report two double blind RCTs, in which volunteers with high levels of depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory ii (BDI-ii) > 14) completed a brief course of emotion recognition training (a novel form of CBM using faces) or sham training. In Study 1 (N = 36), participants completed a post-training emotion recognition task whilst undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate neural correlates of CBM. In Study 2 (N = 190), measures of mood were assessed post-training, and at 2-week and 6-week follow-up.
In both studies, CBM resulted in an initial change in emotion recognition bias, which (in Study 2) persisted for 6 weeks after the end of training. In Study 1, CBM resulted in increases neural activation to happy faces, with this effect driven by an increase in neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala. In Study 2, CBM did not lead to a reduction in depressive symptoms on the BDI-ii, or on related measures of mood, motivation and persistence, or depressive interpretation bias at either 2 or 6-week follow-ups.
CBM of emotion recognition has effects on neural activity that are similar in some respects to those induced by Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) administration (Study 1), but we find no evidence that this had any later effect on self-reported mood in an analogue sample of non-clinical volunteers with low mood (Study 2).
Short-term survival after paediatric cardiac surgery has improved significantly over the past 20 years and increasing attention is being given to measuring and reducing incidence of morbidities following surgery. How to best use routinely collected data to share morbidity information constitutes a challenge for clinical teams interested in analysing their outcomes for quality improvement. We aimed to develop a tool facilitating this process in the context of monitoring morbidities following paediatric cardiac surgery, as part of a prospective multi-centre research study in the United Kingdom.
We developed a prototype software tool to analyse and present data about morbidities associated with cardiac surgery in children. We used an iterative process, involving engagement with potential users, tool design and implementation, and feedback collection. Graphical data displays were based on the use of icons and graphs designed in collaboration with clinicians.
Our tool enables automatic creation of graphical summaries, displayed as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, from a spreadsheet containing patient-level data about specified cardiac surgery morbidities. Data summaries include numbers/percentages of cases with morbidities reported, co-occurrences of different morbidities, and time series of each complication over a time window.
Our work was characterised by a very high level of interaction with potential users of the tool, enabling us to promptly account for feedback and suggestions from clinicians and data managers. The United Kingdom centres involved in the project received the tool positively, and several expressed their interest in using it as part of their routine practice.
The number of people growing older with severe mental illness (SMI) is rising, reflecting societal trends towards an ageing population. Evidence suggests that older people are less likely to seek help, be referred for and receive psychological therapy compared with younger people, but past research has focused on those with mild to moderate mental health needs.
This research aims to identify the specific barriers faced by older people with SMI.
We interviewed 53 participants (22 service users with SMI aged over 50 years, 11 carers of people with SMI, and 20 health care professionals) about their views and experiences of accessing therapy for SMI in later life.
Thematic analysis revealed five themes: organizational and resource issues; myths about therapy and attitudinal barriers; stigma; encouraging access to therapy; and meeting age-specific needs.
Barriers faced by older people with SMI are not only age-related, but also reflect specific issues associated with having a SMI over many years. Improving awareness of the benefits of psychological therapies is important not only for older people with SMI themselves, but also for their carers and staff who work with them.
To identify interstage best practices associated with lower mortality, we studied National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative centres registry using a positive deviance approach.
Positive deviant and control centre team members were interviewed to identify potential interstage best practices. Subsequently, all collaborative centres were surveyed on the use of these practices to test their associations with centre mortality. Questionnaires were scored using Likert scales; the overall score was linearly transformed to a 0–100-point scale with higher scores indicating increased use of practices. Mortality was based on patients enrolled after a centre’s first year in the collaborative. Centre mortality rates were divided into tertiles. Survey scores for the low mortality tertile were compared with the other tertiles.
For this study, seven positive deviant and four control teams were interviewed. A total of 20 potential best practices were identified, including team composition, improvement practices, and parent involvement. Questionnaires were completed by 36/43 eligible centres, providing 1504 patients for analysis. Average survey score was 50.2 (SD 13.4). Average mortality was 6.1% (SD 4.1). There was no correlation between survey scores and mortality (r=0.14, p=0.41). The one practice associated with the low mortality tertile was frequency of discussion of interstage results: 58.3% of low mortality teams discussed results at least monthly versus 8.4% of the middle and high tertile centres (p=0.02).
Low-mortality centres more frequently discuss interstage results than high-mortality centres. Heightened awareness of outcomes may influence practice; however, further study is needed to understand the variation in outcomes across centres.
Secondary plant compounds have shown bioactivity against multi-drug resistant Haemonchus contortus in small ruminants. This study screened 51 strains of birdsfoot trefoil (BFT, Lotus corniculatus) crude aqueous extracts (BFT-AqE) for anti-parasitic activity in vitro against egg hatching, and of those 51 strains, 13 were selected for further testing of motility of first (L1) and third stage (L3) larvae, and exsheathment of L3. Proanthocyanidin content ranged between 1.4 and 63.8 mg PAC g−1 powder across the 51 BFT strains. When tested against egg hatching, 21 of the 51 aqueous extracts had an EC50 of 1–2 mg powder mL−1, 70% of the strains were >90% efficacious at 6 mg powder mL−1 and 11 of the strains were 100% efficacious at 3 mg powder mL−1 BFT-AqE. Across the 13 strains tested against L3, efficacy ranged from 0 to 75% exsheathment inhibition, and 17 to 92% L3 motility inhibition at a concentration of 25 mg powder mL−1 BFT-AqE. There was no correlation between the PAC content of BFT powders and the anti-parasitic activity of aqueous extracts, therefore other secondary compounds may have contributed to the observed anti-parasitic effects. Further testing of BFT using bioactivity-driven fractionation and screening of BFT populations for the identified anti-parasitic compounds is needed.
The biological domain has the potential to offer a rich source of analogies to solve engineering design problems. However, due to the complexity embedded in biological systems, adding to the lack of structured, detailed, and searchable knowledge bases, engineering designers find it hard to access the knowledge in the biological domain, which therefore poses challenges in understanding the biological concepts in order to apply these concepts to engineering design problems. In order to assist the engineering designers in problem-solving, we report, in this paper, a web-based tool called Idea-Inspire 4.0 that supports analogical design using two broad features. First, the tool provides access to a number of biological systems using a searchable knowledge base. Second, it explains each one of these biological systems using a multi-modal representation: that is, using function decomposition model, text, function model, image, video, and audio. In this paper, we report two experiments that test how well the multi-modal representation in Idea-Inspire 4.0 supports understanding and application of biological concepts in engineering design problems. In one experiment, we use Bloom's method to test “analysis” and “synthesis” levels of understanding of a biological system. In the next experiment, we provide an engineering design problem along with a biological-analogous system and examine the novelty and requirement-satisfaction (two major indicators of creativity) of resulting design solutions. In both the experiments, the biological system (analogue) was provided using Idea-Inspire 4.0 as well as using a conventional text-image representation so that the efficacy of Idea-Inspire 4.0 is tested using a benchmark.
The goal of this paper is to examine meaning as a component of creativity. We take a demand-based approach for conceptualizing meaning, and propose that it emerges from user needs instead of emerging from already existing creative solutions. Meaning is proposed as a third component of creativity, alongside novelty and usefulness. We test this proposition in a pre-study, and two empirical studies. In the pre-study, designers define creativity and provide examples of solutions that they deem creative. The results of the pre-study yield a 24-item scale for assessing creativity. Then, we conduct two empirical studies, in which we utilize the created scale for measuring creativity, and for examining the components arising thereof. In the first study, we ask creators (design engineering students) to generate ideas for one of two design briefs. Afterwards, creators were asked to rate their own creations, on the 24-item creativity scale. Here, we find a four-factor solution for creative outcomes, consisting of the dimensions novelty, usefulness, cleverness, and meaning. In the second study, we ask independent evaluators (individuals with related and relevant degrees) to assess the creators’ work on the creativity scale. Here, we find a three-factor solution for creative outcomes, consisting of the dimensions novelty, usefulness, and meaning. In both studies, meaning emerged as a separate component of creativity. Additionally, in both studies, it accounted for variance that was unaccounted for by novelty and usefulness, thereby increasing the overall explanatory power of creative solutions. These findings strongly speak of meaning as a third component of creativity.
Traditionally, design opportunities and directions are conceived based on expertise, intuition, or time-consuming user studies and marketing research at the fuzzy front end of the design process. Herein, we propose the use of the total technology space map (TSM) as a visual ideation aid for rapidly conceiving high-level design opportunities. The map is comprised of various technology domains positioned according to knowledge proximity, which is measured based on a large quantity of patent data. It provides a systematic picture of the total technology space to enable stimulated ideation beyond the designer's knowledge. Designers can browse the map and navigate various technologies to conceive new design opportunities that relate different technologies across the space. We demonstrate the process of using TSM as a rapid ideation aid and then analyze its applications in two experiments to show its effectiveness and limitations. Furthermore, we have developed a cloud-based system for computer-aided ideation, that is, InnoGPS, to integrate interactive map browsing for conceiving high-level design opportunities with domain-specific patent retrieval for stimulating concrete technical concepts, and to potentially embed machine-learning and artificial intelligence in the map-aided ideation process.
Design problems are often presented as structured briefs with detailed constraints and requirements, suggesting a fixed definition. However, past studies have identified the importance of exploring design problems for creative design outcomes. Previous protocol studies of designers has shown that problems can “co-evolve” with the development of solutions during the design process. But to date, little evidence has been provided about how designers systematically explore presented problems to create better solutions. In this study, we conducted a qualitative analysis of 252 design problems collected from publically available sources, including award-winning product designs and open-source design competitions. This database offers an independent sample of presented problems, designers’ alternative problem descriptions, and innovative solutions. We report the results of this large-scale qualitative analysis aimed at characterizing changes to problems during the design process. Inductive coding was used to identify content patterns in “discovered” problem descriptions, with qualitative codes reliably scored by two independent coders. A total of 32 distinct patterns of problem exploration were identified across designers and presented problems. Each pattern is described in the form of a generalized strategy to guide designers as they explore problem spaces. The exploration patterns identified in this study are the first empirical evidence of problem exploration in independent design problems. Further, the presence of exploration patterns in discovered problems is associated with the selection of the corresponding solution as a challenge finalist. These empirically identified strategies for problem exploration may be useful for computational tools supporting designers.
Analogy is a core cognition process used to produce inferences as well as new ideas using previous knowledge and experience. Ontology is a formal representation of a set of domain concepts and their relationships. The use of analogy and ontology in design activities to support design creativity have previously been explored. This paper explores an approach to construct ontologies with sufficient richness and coverage to support reasoning over real-world datasets for prompting creative idea generation. This approach has been implemented into a computational tool for assisting designers in generating creative ideas during the early stages of design. The tool, called “the Retriever”, has been developed based on ontology by embracing the aspects of analogical reasoning. A case study has indicated that the tool can be effective and useful for idea generation. The results have indicated that the tool, in its current formulation, can significantly improve the fluency and flexibility of idea generation and the usefulness of ideas, as well as slightly increase the originality of ideas, for the case study concerned.
In the product design realm, designers often use presentations to convey certain ideas about a product or a specific stage of the design process. The popular forms of presentation include verbal pitching, two-dimensional drawing, and prototyping. The clients, investigators, and other audiences rely on such presentations to evaluate an idea. Popular idea evaluation assessment tools, such as the consensual assessment technique, utilize such interactions. On the other hand, numerous pieces of literature state that the audiences are heavily influenced by the quality of presentation when evaluating the worth of the product being presented. In this study, we examine if the audience is able to discriminate between the quality of the presentation and the quality of the idea being presented. A total of 613 ideas were evaluated over a 4-year period during a specific product design class at different phases in the design process. The result shows that no matter the kind of presentation tool used, the presentation quality ratings and the idea value ratings had a very strong positive correlation despite the explicit instructions to reviewers to separate presentation quality from concept quality. Our additional analysis shows that such a pattern did not change during the different phases of the design process.
It is well-known that creativity is crucial for sustaining a product against competition. Many factors have been proposed in the literature as indicators of creativity, among which outcome-characteristics-based factors are considered the most reliable; among these, the creativity of an outcome is often indicated by two major factors: novelty and usefulness. Only a few studies address as to how creativity assessment methods and their results can be used during the design process. To systematically address the issue of how to influence creativity of design solutions, the following questions have been framed. (1) Which factors should be used as indicators of creativity consistently across different phases of the engineering design process? (2) How can creativity be assessed in terms of these factors during the engineering design process? In this work, we consider novelty and usefulness as the necessary factors for creativity. It is found, however, that it is not possible to directly assess the usefulness of outcomes during the design process. Therefore, requirement satisfaction is used as a proxy for usefulness. We propose a creativity assessment method that uses novelty and requirement satisfaction as indicators for creativity; the method can be used for assessing not only complete products but also ideas or concepts, as they evolve through the phases of the design process. The application of the method in design is explained using a detailed example from a case study.
Few studies have investigated the patterns of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom change in prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. In this study, we aimed to understand the patterns of PTSD symptom change in both PE and present-centered therapy (PCT).
Participants were active duty military personnel (N = 326, 89.3% male, 61.2% white, 32.5 years old) randomized to spaced-PE (S-PE; 10 sessions over 8 weeks), PCT (10 sessions over 8 weeks), or massed-PE (M-PE; 10 sessions over 2 weeks). Using latent profile analysis, we determined the optimal number of PTSD symptom change classes over time and analyzed whether baseline and follow-up variables were associated with class membership.
Five classes, namely rapid responder (7–17%), steep linear responder (14–22%), gradual responder (30–34%), non-responder (27–33%), and symptom exacerbation (7–13%) classes, characterized each treatment. No baseline clinical characteristics predicted class membership for S-PE and M-PE; in PCT, more negative baseline trauma cognitions predicted membership in the non-responder v. gradual responder class. Class membership was robustly associated with PTSD, trauma cognitions, and depression up to 6 months after treatment for both S-PE and M-PE but not for PCT.
Distinct profiles of treatment response emerged that were similar across interventions. By and large, no baseline variables predicted responder class. Responder status was a strong predictor of future symptom severity for PE, whereas response to PCT was not as strongly associated with future symptoms.
Although interstage mortality for infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome has declined within the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative, variation across centres persists. It remains unclear whether centres with lower interstage mortality have lower-risk patients or whether differences in care may explain this variation. We examined previously established risk factors across National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative centres with lower and higher interstage mortality rates.
Lower-mortality centres were defined as those with >25 consecutive interstage survivors. Higher-mortality centres were defined as those with cumulative interstage mortality rates >10%, which is a collaborative historic baseline rate. Baseline risk factors and perioperative characteristics were compared.
Seven lower-mortality centres were identified (n=331 patients) and had an interstage mortality rate of 2.7%, as compared with 13.3% in the four higher-mortality centres (n=173 patients, p<0.0001). Of all baseline risk factors examined, the only factor that differed between the lower- and higher-mortality centres was postnatal diagnosis (18.4 versus 31.8%, p=0.001). In multivariable analysis, there remained a significant mortality difference between the two groups of centres after adjusting for this variable: adjusted mortality rate was 2.8% in lower-mortality centres compared with 12.6% in higher-mortality centres, p=0.003. Secondary analyses identified multiple differences between groups in perioperative practices and other variables.
Variation in interstage mortality rates between these two groups of centres does not appear to be explained by differences in baseline risk factors. Further study is necessary to evaluate variation in care practices to identify targets for improvement efforts.