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Tools applied at the point of care can provide valuable prognostic information for practitioners. In this one-year, prospective observational study, we examined the association of the short performance physical battery (SPPB) and one-year emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. Overall, 191 new referrals attending an outpatient geriatric clinic in Hamilton, Ontario, were approached, and 120 were enrolled. SPPB and other assessments were completed during the routine clinical visit. ED visits and hospitalizations within one year of the baseline assessment were abstracted from electronic medical records. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine ED visits and hospitalization predictors. The mean SPPB score in the study cohort (mean age 80.6, SD 6.3 years; 53% female) was 6.3 (SD 3.2). SPPB score was associated with a one-year ED visit (OR = 0.90 [0.78–1.03]) and hospitalization (OR = 0.84 [0.72–0.97]) after adjusting for age, sex, and co-morbidities.
Meso-scale structure in polymeric foams determines the mechanical properties of the material. Density variations, even more than variations in the anisotropic void structure, can greatly vary the compressive and tensile response of the material. With their diverse use as both a structural material and space filler, polyurethane (PU) foams are widely studied. In this manuscript, quantitative measures of the density and anisotropic structure are provided by using micro X-ray computed tomography (microCT) to better understand the results of mechanical testing. MicroCT illustrates the variation in the density, cell morphology, size, shape, and orientation in different regions in blown foam due to the velocity profile near the casting surface. “Interrupted” in situ imaging of the material during compression of these sub-regions indicates the pathways of the structural response to the mechanical load and the changes in cell morphology as a result. It is found that molded PU foam has a 6 mm thick “skin” of higher density and highly eccentric morphological structure that leads to wide variations in mechanical performance depending upon sampling location. This comparison is necessary to understand the mechanical performance of the anisotropic structure.
Scientific digital imaging in three dimensions such as when using X-ray computed tomography offers a variety of ways to obtain, filter, and quantify data that can produce vastly different results. These opportunities, performed during image acquisition or during the data processing, can include filtering, cropping, and setting thresholds. Quantifying features in these images can be greatly affected by how the above operations are performed. For example, during binarization, setting the threshold too low or too high can change the number of objects as well as their measured diameter. Here, two facets of three-dimensional quantification are explored. The first will focus on investigating the question of how many voxels are needed within an object to have accurate geometric statistics that are due to the properties of the object and not an artifact of too few voxels. These statistics include but are not limited to percent of total volume, volume of the individual object, Feret shape, and surface area. Using simple cylinders as a starting point, various techniques for smoothing, filtering, and other processing steps can be investigated to aid in determining if they are appropriate for a specific desired statistic for a real dataset. The second area of investigation is the influence of post-processing, particularly segmentation, on measuring the damage statistics in high purity Cu. The most important parts of the pathways of processing are highlighted.
Hierarchically porous materials are of interest in a wide range of applications. If the materials are electronic, or ionic conductors, such materials are of interest as electrodes for use in fuel cells. Using hierarchically porous silica as templates, we have demonstrated the formation of hierarchically porous metal and metal oxide structures. Through the control of the synthesis conditions, we have produced partial replicas ca. 1 cubic centimeter in volume, in which two macroporous networks are separated by a nanoporous membrane. The macroporous network in the silica template is known to be bicontinuous. Our underlying model predicts that the second, induced, macroporous network should be similarly bicontinuous.
Micrometer resolution X-ray tomography of the whole sample confirms that the synthesis produces one bicontinuous macroporous network, and is consistent with the existence of a second set of macropores. Preliminary experiments were carried out using FIB/SEM serial tomography to image the second macropore network, however, the length scale of the structures is such that this approach it is unable to firmly establish that the second macropore network is bicontinuous throughout the entire sample volume.