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Microcomputers play an increasingly important role in the delivery of radiation therapy. Exposure to neutron irradiation can produce undesirable effects in modern microcomputers. The objective of this study is to measure acute and cumulative effects of neutron exposure of Intel-based microcomputers in photon and proton therapy treatment environments.
Materials and methods:
Multiple computers were irradiated with neutrons produced from MEVION S250 passive scattering proton therapy and from Varian 21EX Linear Accelerator photon therapy systems. The energy of the proton beam was 232 MeV and the photon beam energies were 6 and 18 MV. Rates of fatal errors in computer processing unit (CPU) cores were measured.
Varying rates of fatal system errors due to upsets in the CPU cores were observed. Post-exposure routine stress testing revealed no permanent hardware defects in the random access memory (RAM) or hard disk drive (HDD) of any tested systems. Microchip manufacturers fit increasingly high numbers of transistors in the same volume and the susceptibility to radiation thus increases.
This work explores if the process size of a microchip is the dominant factor and also looked at the short- and long-term effects of neutron irradiation on modern microprocessors in a clinical environment. Additionally, methods of effective shielding are proposed.
Trichosporon is a yeast-like basidiomycete, a conditional pathogenic fungus that is rare in the clinic but often causes fatal infections in immunocompromised individuals. Trichosporon asahii is the most common pathogenic fungus in this genus and the occurrence of infections has dramatically increased in recent years. Here, we report a systematic literature review detailing 140 cases of T. asahii infection reported during the past 23 years. Statistical analysis shows that T. asahii infections were most frequently reported within immunodeficient or immunocompromised patients commonly with blood diseases. Antibiotic use, invasive medical equipment and chemotherapy were the leading risk factors for acquiring infection. In vitro susceptibility, clinical information and prognosis analysis showed that voriconazole is the primary drug of choice in the treatment of T. asahii infection. Combination treatment with voriconazole and amphotericin B did not show superiority over either drug alone. Finally, we found that the types of infections prevalent in China are significantly different from those in other countries. These results provide detailed information and relevant clinical treatment strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of T. asahii infection.
This technical note describes a quantitative assessment of the production of radioactive materials during a year-long clinical operation of a Mevion S250i Hyperscan proton therapy system. The production of accumulated radioactive materials plays an important role in determining radiation safety in and around the proton therapy facilities.
We have conducted a weekly room survey, every week for a year, during normal clinical operation.
Results and conclusions:
We estimated the accumulated activity from secondary neutron activation on aluminium structures at 3 m away from isocentre in the beamline to be less than 300 μCi.
The satellite constellation with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast on-board is of great importance for air traffic surveillance due to its multiple advantages compared with traditional methods. Although some research has been conducted on satellite constellation design based on coverage performance, the findings cannot entirely satisfy all the requirements of air traffic surveillance owing to the lack of analysis on inter-satellite links and network transmission. This paper presents a novel design of a low earth orbit satellite constellation network to solve this problem. Based on the requirements of space-based surveillance, an evaluation model of constellation performance is proposed concerning coverage, link and transmission. The simulation results show that the evaluation model can reflect the performance of a satellite constellation network designed for a space-based surveillance system, and a 55-satellite constellation design scheme with fairly good performance can fulfil the function of global real-time air traffic surveillance.
As the number of proton therapy facilities has steadily increased, the need for the tool to provide precise dose simulation for complicated clinical and research scenarios also increase. In this study, the treatment head of Mevion HYPERSCAN pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy system including energy modulation system (EMS) and Adaptive Aperture™ (AA) was modelled using TOPAS (TOolkit for PArticle Simulation) Monte Carlo (MC) code and was validated during commissioning process.
Materials and methods:
The proton beam characteristics including integral depth doses (IDDs) of pristine Bragg peak and in-air beam spot sizes were simulated and compared with measured beam data. The lateral profiles, with and without AA, were also verified against calculation from treatment planning system (TPS).
All beam characteristics for IDDs and in-air spot size agreed well within 1 mm and 10% separately. The full width at half maximum and penumbra of lateral dose profile also agree well within 2 mm.
The TOPAS MC simulation of the MEVION HYPERSCAN PBS proton therapy system has been modelled and validated; it could be a viable tool for research and verification of the proton treatment in the future.
Anxiety and depression are distinct clinical entities associated with mortality in haemodialysis (HD) patients.
This study aims to identify the prevalence of anxiety and depression in HD patients and uncover the association of anxiety and depression in relation to the dialysis adequacy and nutritional status.
This would help reinforce early detection and treatment to improve quality of life and patient's outcome in HD treatment.
Forty HD patients were assessed for anxiety and depression with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7 and Patient Health Questionaire [PHQ-9]). The scores of GAD-7 and PHQ-9 were correlated with the demographic, clinical and laboratory variables and nutritional status assessed by a dietician through the Subjective Global Assessment (SGA).
Out of the 40 HD patients, 7 (17.5%) were anxious and 15 (37.5%) were depressed. Patients were more anxious and less depressed with better nutrition. They were less anxious and depressed with increasing albumin levels, Charlston comorbidity index based on combined condition and age-related score and Kt/V. The univariate logistic regression analysis showed only a significant inverse correlation between depression and albumin level (P = 0.041, OR = 0.88 [95% CI = 0.78 to 0.99]) and Kt/V (P = 0.054, OR = 0.03 [95% CI = 0.01 to 1.07]).
Depression is more prevalent than anxiety in HD patients. The risk of depression also increases with poorer dialysis adequacy and nutritional status. Thus, by improving dialysis adequacy and nutritional status, we can reduce the incidence of depression. However, a significant correlation cannot be drawn for anxiety.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
In this paper, a sandwiched type frequency selective surface (FSS) is designed and analyzed. The design procedure and operating principle is given based on the equivalent circuit model. The proposed FSS includes two identical layers of periodic metallic arrays, which are separated by a foam layer. In each layer of the periodic array, the unit cell is composed of a gridded-triple square loop structure. The FSS provides three pass-bands, in which a flat band response is presented. Three bands are separated by one or two transmission zeros, which leads to a sharp rejection on both sides of each pass-band. The central frequencies of the three pass-bands are 7.0, 10.9 and 14.0 GHz. To verify the simulated results, a prototype of the FSS is fabricated and measured. The simulated results agree well with the measured ones. This work can be used in area of a radar stealth or satellite communication system.
This article overviews the ultrasonic welding process, a solid-state joining method, using the example of welding of a magnesium alloy as well as the joining of magnesium alloys in general. In situ high-speed imaging and infrared thermography were utilized to study interfacial relative motion and heat generation during ultrasonic spot welding of AZ31B magnesium (Mg) alloys. A postweld ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation was performed to study the evolution of local bond formation at the faying interface (contact surface of the joint between the top and bottom Mg sheets) at different stages of the welding process. Two distinct stages were observed as the welding process progresses. In the early stage, localized reciprocating sliding occurred at the contact faying interface between the two Mg sheets, resulting in localized rapid temperature rise from the localized frictional heating. Microscale (submillimeter) bonded regions at the Mg–Mg faying surface started to form, but the overall joint strength was low. The early-stage localized bonds were broken during the subsequent vibrations. In the later stage, no relative motion occurred at any points of the faying interface. Localized bonded regions coalesced into a macroscale joint that was strong enough to prevent the Mg–Mg interface from further breakage and sliding. With increasing welding time, the bonded area continued to increase.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
In this article, our goal is to compare the TMR10 and convolution dose calculation algorithm in GammaPlan used in stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatments with Gamma Knife and to assess if the algorithms produce clinically significant differences.
Materials and methods:
Treatment plans were analysed from ten patients who have undergone Gamma Knife SRS treatments. Patient plans were retrospectively recalculated using Lesksell GammaPlan 10 treatment software utilising the TMR10 and convolution dose calculation algorithms in order to create a paired dataset for comparison. Evaluation was based on the dose volume histogram (parameters of minimum, mean, maximum and integral doses.
The ratios of average integral doses calculated by the convolution dose calculation algorithm to the average integral doses calculated by the TMR10 algorithm are 0·997 for the target (p=0·028), 1·048 (p=0·48) for the skull and 1·005 (p=0·68) for the brainstem.
Although doses calculated with the convolution algorithm resulted in slightly higher mean integral doses for the brainstem and skull critical structures when compared to that of TMR10 doses, these results were not statistically or clinically significant. Thus we continue to use the TMR10 algorithm at our clinic.
Residual strain often occurs in metal when it was subjected to the tension load, random vibration, or high impact. The mild steel was selected as the research object, and the feasibility of using nonlinear ultrasonic technique to characterize the residual strain was investigated in this paper. First, the mild steel specimens were stretched to several different kinds of stress, then the nonlinear effect as well as the microstrain of each sample was measured. The results indicate that the microstrain increases with increasing applied stress and reaches a maximum value of about 0.036% as the tensile stress increases to the elastic limit. Compared with the original specimen, the nonlinear parameter of tensile specimen gradually increased within the elastic limit. This result reveals that the variation of nonlinear parameter was related to microstrain in mild steel, because the microstructure observation demonstrated that the dislocation structure was basically unchanged within the elastic limit. This research indicates that the nonlinear ultrasonic method has the promising potential to characterize the microstrain in metals.
Dongxiang common wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff., DXWR) is an important genetic resource for the improvement of cultivated rice. For the past three decades, great achievements have been made in the field of molecular marker development. Although structural variations (SVs) had been studied between DXWR and Nipponbare (Oryza sativa L. ssp. japonica), the development and application of SV markers in DXWR has not been reported. In this study, based on the genome-wide SV loci, we developed and synthesized a total of 195 SV markers that were evenly distributed across the 12 rice chromosomes. Then, these markers were tested for their stabilities and polymorphisms. Of these 195 markers, 147 (75.4%) were successfully amplified and displayed abundant polymorphisms between DXWR and Nipponbare. Meanwhile, through the genotyping of 20 rice varieties from 13 countries and areas, we concluded that these SV markers have a wide application prospect in the analysis of cultivated rice. Therefore, these molecular markers greatly enrich the number of markers available for DXWR, which will facilitate genomic research and molecular breeding for this important and endangered germplasm resource.
A compact wideband out-of-phase power divider (PD) with improved isolation performance is proposed. This divider is formed by connecting an additional stub for isolation to output ports of a traditional Marchand balun with a defected ground structure (DGS) been used. To verify the design, a prototype divider is fabricated and tested. The measured results validate the 53.86% band-width centered at 3.43 GHz with more than 15 dB return loss at all ports, more than 17 dB isolation, respectively.
Limited information is available on the prevalence and effect of hypertriglyceridaemic–waist (HTGW) phenotype on the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in rural populations.
In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated the prevalence of the HTGW phenotype and T2DM and the strength of their association among rural adults in China.
HTGW was defined as TAG >1·7 mmol/l and waist circumference (WC) ≥90 cm for males and ≥80 cm for females. Logistic regression analysis yielded adjusted odds ratios (aOR) relating risk of T2DM with HTGW.
Adults (n 12 345) aged 22·83–92·58 years were recruited from July to August of 2013 and July to August of 2014 from a rural area of Henan Province in China.
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM was 23·71 % (males: 15·35 %; females: 28·88 %) and 11·79 % (males: 11·15 %; females: 12·18 %), respectively. After adjustment for sex, age, smoking, alcohol drinking, blood pressure, physical activity and diabetic family history, the risk of T2DM (aOR; 95 % CI) was increased with HTGW (v. normal TAG and WC: 3·23; CI 2·53, 4·13; males: 3·37; 2·30, 4·92; females: 3·41; 2·39, 4·85). The risk of T2DM with BMI≥28·0 kg/m2, simple enlarged WC and simple disorders of lipid metabolism showed an increasing tendency (aOR=1·31, 1·75 and 2·32).
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM has reached an alarming level among rural Chinese people, and HTGW is a significant risk factor for T2DM.
Utilizing the experimental and modeling approaches, the Gamma radiation effects on stress responses of the silicon rubber foam under quasistatic compression are investigated. In the experimental work, the samples of the silicon rubber and the silicon rubber foams are quasistatically compressed before and after the Gamma radiation (a dose of 500 kGy and a dose rate of 100 Gy/min). The data reveal that the Gamma radiation obviously increases the material hardness, e.g., the compressive stresses of the silicon rubber and the silicon rubber foams both increase over 5 times as the strain is 20%. In the simulation work, a multiscale method combined with finite element method is developed to numerically predict the compressive stress of the silicon rubber foams. The microscale models are first constructed based on the real microstructures of the silicon rubber foams. The compressive stress and strain relation before and after the Gamma radiation is then simulated and obtained utilizing the phenomenological constitutive models based on the testing data of the silicon rubber. The simulation reveals that the Gamma radiation strongly affects the compressive response of the microscale models. The stress responses of the microscale models are then transferred into the macroscale models. The results also prove that the Gamma radiation obviously increases the hardness of the macroscale models. Data comparison shows that the numerical results agree with the testing data well, which verifies the developed method. The present work develops a new method to predict the radiation effects on mechanical properties of rubber foams.
Compared with commercial polyolefin membranes, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane prepared by electrostatic spinning has higher porosity, electrolyte uptake, thermal stability, and lithium-ion conductivity, etc. However, poor mechanical performance has largely limited the application of electrospun PAN separators. In this study, PAN/polyimide (PI) composite membrane is prepared by electrostatic spinning to improve the mechanical and electrochemical performances. Scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis method, and electrochemical methods were used for evaluation of the electrospun composite membrane. The results show that the composite membrane possesses good thermal stability and exhibits better mechanical performance than pristine PAN membrane (increasing by 1.1 times in tension strength). The addition of PI can increase porosity and fluid absorption rate obviously. In addition, the composite membrane has high ionic conductivity (18.77 × 10−4 S/cm), wide electrochemical window (about 4.0 V), and excellent cycling performance. It can retain a discharge specific capacity of 153 mA h/g even after 50 cycles at 0.5 C. The electrospun PAN/PI membrane may be a promising candidate for lithium-ion battery separators.