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ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States

Sanfratello L.,New Mexico Resonance | Sanfratello L.,University of New Mexico | Zhang J.,Duke University | Zhang J.,Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne | And 3 more authors.
Granular Matter

The distribution of the lengths of force chains in 2D granular assemblies of photoelastic disks was found to decay exponentially, with the decay length a quantitative measure of the way force is applied to the system. A plausibility argument is provided for why this statistic displays an exponential decay. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 189.48K | Year: 2009

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Bladder cancer is a common and costly disease. More than 60,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. It is the fourth most common cancer among men and the 10th among women, with a prevalence of about 500,000 in the US. Our compact NMR device will provide a rapid, accurate differential diagnosis of bladder cancer by detecting the tumor cells in urine that have sloughed off the bladder wall. Our device will excel at finding very rare cancer cells, and the identification of cells in our device will be more sensitive than the morphological identification used in cytology. Our procedure will be quick (tens of minutes as against several hours for cytology) and may not require a pathologist, thus reducing the time and cost of the test. We will achieve this high performance in a compact, cost-effective, ease-to-use device, enabling point of care diagnostics and offering earlier bladder cancer detection in those who might be ill for the first time and, especially, to individuals susceptible to recurrence of the disease. The device proposed here represents possibly the world's smallest NMR. A prototype has been built wherein the magnet (with field strength of 1T) and the sample probe together weigh significantly less than 1 kg, as shown in Preliminary Results. Thus, provided it performs as intended to sensitively detect bladder cancer cells, this will be an attractive and affordable device to be used even at points of care. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Bladder cancer is a common and costly disease. We propose to build a compact and inexpensive NMR device which will provide a rapid, accurate diagnosis of bladder cancer in urine that have sloughed off the bladder wall. This development will enable point of care diagnostics and will offer earlier bladder cancer detection in those who might be ill for the first time and, especially, to individuals susceptible to recurrence of the disease.

Abqmr, Inc. | Entity website

Last Updated March 26, 2016

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 317.29K | Year: 2011

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Research using Xenopus (frog) embryos, a model system of major importance in many areas of biomedicine, is hampered in a fundamental way by their opacity. No device for non-destructively imaging the interiors of these specimens is generally available. The long-term goal at ABQMR, Inc. is to utilize unique capabilities in the field of miniaturized NMR and MRI instrumentation to develop new devices to overcome such problems in biomedical research and other fields. The objective for this application is a mature Ultra- Compact MRI (UC-MRI) prototype, ready for deployment in research labs, optimized in size, cost, and complexity to match the constraints of Xenopus embryology research. Preliminary experiments on phantoms, oocytes, and fixed embryos show that images at the necessary spatial and temporal resolutions are within reach of the current generation of miniaturized hardware. The central hypothesis driving this effort is that a fully miniaturized UC-MRI device can be constructed and operated in the biology research laboratory to produce images of live embryos of sufficient quality to answer important questions in Xenopus research. The rationale for this work is that the availability of a Xenopus-optimized UC-MRI device willdramatically increase the access to non-destructive MRI technology, improving data quality and enabling new types of research experiments utilizing Xenopus in a wide range of biomedical fields. The project has three staged specific aims. First, build a next generation UC-MRI prototype that meets the needs of Xenopus embryology research. Preliminary work indicates the required basic improvements: increased magnetic field gradient strength, lower temperature operation at 15: C and enhanced tissue contrast via selective fatty tissue excitation. Second, demonstrate that the UC-MRI can acquire research-quality Xenopus embryo images. Working in the RandD lab with slow growing late-stage embryos, the operating protocol of the Xenopus-optimized UC-MRI will be adjusted to provide images of sufficient quality to allow reproduction of published research analyses. Third, demonstrate the acquisition of research-quality images in a research setting. Images of fast growing early- stage embryos will be acquired by developmental biologists in their own lab. Given that existing prototypes are very small, rugged, and of modest cost, the accomplishment of these aims will show that this new, technically innovative miniaturization of MRI technology is fully capable of research-quality imaging in the hands of typical researchers. The ultimate product, a highly miniaturized UC-MRI device optimized in all respects for use in Developmental Biology, is significant because it establishes universal access to MRI instrumentation, instrumentation that overcomes the essential limitation imposed by opacity, yielding new and better data in Xenopus embryo research, and positively impacting many of the biomedical research areas funded by the NIH. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed research is relevant to public health because it develops an important, currently missing tool for Xenopus embryology research, non-destructive imaging, which will further enhance the utility of this organism for addressing the fundamental biology of human disease. The project is relevant to the mission of the NCRR because it will establish a new resource for research, the Ultra-Compact MRI, which will allow scientists to advance their understanding of a wide range of diseases.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.73K | Year: 2008

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project develops compact NMR devices for rapid detection of dilute cells and pathogens to replace blood culture, providing improvements in detection speed and sensitivity while decreasing cost. They will enhance medical care and address the growing crisis of sepsis in hospitals. The devices are based on a combination of technologies - microcoil NMR and biochemical labeling by magnetic nanoparticles. The research will extend the performance boundaries of this technology, resulting in a detector for extremely dilute, immuno-magnetically labeled, pathogens. The broader impacts of this research are based on the importance of early detection of dilute concentration of pathogens and other cells that would permit more timely diagnosis of diseases, thereby enhancing healthcare outcomes. Early detection also reduces costs, as patients recover faster and require less intervention. Blood culture is a workhorse of the diagnostic lab, so there is a demand for a device that substantially improves its performance. Sepsis is a growing public health problem with significant consequences, so the motivation to adopt new tools for the detection and treatment of this condition is strong. The NMR device proposed here achieves enhanced performance in sensitivity, speed, size, and cost that will permit new uses in the future, including in the primary care setting and in the field.

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