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A Battery-Less, Implantable Neuro-Electronic Interface for Studying the Mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation in Rat Models. - IEEE transactions on biomedical circuits and systems
Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been a promising alternative for treating several neural disorders, the mechanisms underlying the DBS remain not fully understood. As rat models provide the advantage of recording and stimulating different disease-related regions simultaneously, this paper proposes a battery-less, implantable neuro-electronic interface suitable for studying DBS mechanisms with a freely-moving rat. The neuro-electronic interface mainly consists of a microsystem able to interact with eight different brain regions bi-directionally and simultaneously. To minimize the size of the implant, the microsystem receives power and transmits data through a single coil. In addition, particular attention is paid to the capability of recording neural activities right after each stimulation, so as to acquire information on how stimulations modulate neural activities. The microsystem has been fabricated with the standard 0.18 Î¼m CMOS technology. The chip area is 7.74 mm (2) , and the microsystem is able to operate with a single supply voltage of 1 V. The wireless interface allows a maximum power of 10 mW to be transmitted together with either uplink or downlink data at a rate of 2 Mbps or 100 kbps, respectively. The input referred noise of recording amplifiers is 1.16 Î¼Vrms, and the stimulation voltage is tunable from 1.5 V to 4.5 V with 5-bit resolution. After the electrical functionality of the microsystem is tested, the capability of the microsystem to interface with rat brain is further examined and compared with conventional instruments. All experimental results are presented and discussed in this paper.
In-situ hybridization of calcium silicate and hydroxyapatite-gelatin nanocomposites enhances physical property and in vitro osteogenesis. - Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine
Low mechanical strengths and inadequate bioactive material-tissue interactions of current synthetic materials limit their clinical applications in bone regeneration. Here, we demonstrate gelatin modified siloxane-calcium silicate (GEMOSIL-CS), a nanocomposite made of gelatinous hydroxyapatite with in situ pozzolanic formation of calcium silicate (CS) interacting among gelatin, silica and Calcium Hydroxide (Ca(OH)2). It is shown the formation of CS matrices, which chemically bonds to the gelatinous hydroxyapatite, provided hygroscopic reinforcement mechanism and promoted both in vitro and in vivo osteogenic properties of GEMOSIL-CS. The formation of CS was identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and powder X-ray diffraction. The interfacial bindings within nanocomposites were studied by FTIR and thermogravimetric analysis. Both gelatin and CS have been found critical to the structure integrity and mechanical strengths (93 MPa in compressive strength and 58.9 MPa in biaxial strength). The GEMOSIL-CS was biocompatible and osteoconductive as result of type I collagen secretion and mineralized nodule formation from MC3T3 osteoblasts. SEM and TEM indicated the secretion of collagen fibers and mineral particles as the evidence of mineralization in the early stage of osteogenic differentiation. In vivo bone formation capability was performed by implanting GEMOSIL-CS into rat calvarial defects for 12 weeks and the result showed comparable new bone formation between GEMOSIL-CS group (20%) and the control (20.19%). The major advantage of GEMOSIL-CS composites is in situ self-hardening in ambient or aqueous environment at room temperature providing a simple, fast and cheap method to produce porous scaffolds.
A fully integrated nose-on-a-chip for rapid diagnosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia. - IEEE transactions on biomedical circuits and systems
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) still lacks a rapid diagnostic strategy. This study proposes installing a nose-on-a-chip at the proximal end of an expiratory circuit of a ventilator to monitor and to detect metabolite of pneumonia in the early stage. The nose-on-a-chip was designed and fabricated in a 90-nm 1P9M CMOS technology in order to downsize the gas detection system. The chip has eight on-chip sensors, an adaptive interface, a successive approximation analog-to-digital converter (SAR ADC), a learning kernel of continuous restricted Boltzmann machine (CRBM), and a RISC-core with low-voltage SRAM. The functionality of VAP identification was verified using clinical data. In total, 76 samples infected with pneumonia (19 Klebsiella, 25 Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 16 Staphylococcus aureus, and 16 Candida) and 41 uninfected samples were collected as the experimental group and the control group, respectively. The results revealed a very high VAP identification rate at 94.06% for identifying healthy and infected patients. A 100% accuracy to identify the microorganisms of Klebsiella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida from VAP infected patients was achieved. This chip only consumes 1.27 mW at a 0.5 V supply voltage. This work provides a promising solution for the long-term unresolved rapid VAP diagnostic problem.
Integrated wetland management: an analysis with group model building based on system dynamics model. - Journal of environmental management
The wetland system possesses diverse functions such as preserving water sources, mediating flooding, providing habitats for wildlife and stabilizing coastlines. Nonetheless, rapid economic growth and the increasing population have significantly deteriorated the wetland environment. To secure the sustainability of the wetland, it is essential to introduce integrated and systematic management. This paper examines the resource management of the Jiading Wetland by applying group model building (GMB) and system dynamics (SD). We systematically identify local stakeholders' mental model regarding the impact brought by the yacht industry, and further establish a SD model to simulate the dynamic wetland environment. The GMB process improves the stakeholders' understanding about the interaction between the wetland environment and management policies. Differences between the stakeholders' perceptions and the behaviors shown by the SD model also suggest that our analysis would facilitate the stakeholders to broaden their horizons and achieve consensus on the wetland resource management.Copyright Â© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sparse data analysis strategy for neural spike classification. - Computational intelligence and neuroscience
Many of the multichannel extracellular recordings of neural activity consist of attempting to sort spikes on the basis of shared characteristics with some feature detection techniques. Then spikes can be sorted into distinct clusters. There are in general two main statistical issues: firstly, spike sorting can result in well-sorted units, but by with no means one can be sure that one is dealing with single units due to the number of neurons adjacent to the recording electrode. Secondly, the waveform dimensionality is reduced in a small subset of discriminating features. This shortening dimension effort was introduced as an aid to visualization and manual clustering, but also to reduce the computational complexity in automatic classification. We introduce a metric based on common neighbourhood to introduce sparsity in the dataset and separate data into more homogeneous subgroups. The approach is particularly well suited for clustering when the individual clusters are elongated (that is nonspherical). In addition it does need not to select the number of clusters, it is very efficient to visualize clusters in a dataset, it is robust to noise, it can handle imbalanced data, and it is fully automatic and deterministic.
User-friendly tools for quantifying the dynamics of cellular morphology and intracellular protein clusters. - Methods in cell biology
Understanding the heterogeneous dynamics of cellular processes requires not only tools to visualize molecular behavior but also versatile approaches to extract and analyze the information contained in live-cell movies of many cells. Automated identification and tracking of cellular features enable thorough and consistent comparative analyses in a high-throughput manner. Here, we present tools for two challenging problems in computational image analysis: (1) classification of motion for cells with complex shapes and dynamics and (2) segmentation of clustered cells and quantification of intracellular protein distributions based on a single fluorescence channel. We describe these methods and user-friendly software(1) (MATLAB applications with graphical user interfaces) so these tools can be readily applied without an extensive knowledge of computational techniques.Â© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Inhibitory GEF phosphorylation provides negative feedback in the yeast polarity circuit. - Current biology : CB
Cell polarity is critical for the form and function of many cell types. During polarity establishment, cells define a cortical "front" that behaves differently from the rest of the cortex. The front accumulates high levels of the active form of a polarity-determining Rho-family GTPase (Cdc42, Rac, or Rop) that then orients cytoskeletal elements through various effectors to generate the polarized morphology appropriate to the particular cell type [1, 2]. GTPase accumulation is thought to involve positive feedback, such that active GTPase promotes further delivery and/or activation of more GTPase in its vicinity . Recent studies suggest that once a front forms, the concentration of polarity factors at the front can increase and decrease periodically, first clustering the factors at the cortex and then dispersing them back to the cytoplasm [4-7]. Such oscillatory behavior implies the presence of negative feedback in the polarity circuit , but the mechanism of negative feedback was not known. Here we show that, in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the catalytic activity of the Cdc42-directed GEF is inhibited by Cdc42-stimulated effector kinases, thus providing negative feedback. We further show that replacing the GEF with a phosphosite mutant GEF abolishes oscillations and leads to the accumulation of excess GTP-Cdc42 and other polarity factors at the front. These findings reveal a mechanism for negative feedback and suggest that the function of negative feedback via GEF inhibition is to buffer the level of Cdc42 at the polarity site.Copyright Â© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Draft Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas nitroreducens Strain TX1, Which Degrades Nonionic Surfactants and Estrogen-Like Alkylphenols. - Genome announcements
Pseudomonas nitroreducens TX1 ATCC PTA-6168 was isolated from rice field drainage in Taiwan. The bacterium is of special interest because of its capability to use nonionic surfactants (alkylphenol polyethoxylates) and estrogen-like compounds (4-t-octylphenol and 4-nonylphenol) as a sole carbon source. This is the first report on the genome sequence of P.Â nitroreducens.
A miniature electronic nose system based on an MWNT-polymer microsensor array and a low-power signal-processing chip. - Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry
This article introduces a power-efficient, miniature electronic nose (e-nose) system. The e-nose system primarily comprises two self-developed chips, a multiple-walled carbon nanotube (MWNT)-polymer based microsensor array, and a low-power signal-processing chip. The microsensor array was fabricated on a silicon wafer by using standard photolithography technology. The microsensor array comprised eight interdigitated electrodes surrounded by SU-8 "walls," which restrained the material-solvent liquid in a defined area of 650â€‰Ã—â€‰760Â Î¼m(2). To achieve a reliable sensor-manufacturing process, we used a two-layer deposition method, coating the MWNTs and polymer film as the first and second layers, respectively. The low-power signal-processing chip included array data acquisition circuits and a signal-processing core. The MWNT-polymer microsensor array can directly connect with array data acquisition circuits, which comprise sensor interface circuitry and an analog-to-digital converter; the signal-processing core consists of memory and a microprocessor. The core executes the program, classifying the odor data received from the array data acquisition circuits. The low-power signal-processing chip was designed and fabricated using the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company 0.18-Î¼m 1P6M standard complementary metal oxide semiconductor process. The chip consumes only 1.05Â mW of power at supply voltages of 1 and 1.8Â V for the array data acquisition circuits and the signal-processing core, respectively. The miniature e-nose system, which used a microsensor array, a low-power signal-processing chip, and an embedded k-nearest-neighbor-based pattern recognition algorithm, was developed as a prototype that successfully recognized the complex odors of tincture, sorghum wine, sake, whisky, and vodka.
Quantitative detection of nitroxyl upon trapping with glutathione and labeling with a specific fluorogenic reagent. - Free radical biology & medicine
Donors of nitroxyl (HNO) have shown promise for treatment of stroke, heart failure, alcoholism and cancer. However, comparing the pharmacological capacities of various donors is difficult without first quantifying the amount of HNO released from each donor. Detection and quantitation of HNO has been complicated by the rapid self-consumption of HNO through irreversible dimerization, poor selectivity of trapping agents against other nitrogen oxides, and/or low sensitivity towards HNO. Here, an assay is described for the trapping of HNO by glutathione (GSH) followed by labeling of GSH with the fluorogenic agent, naphthalene-2,3-dicarboxaldehyde (NDA), and subsequent quantitation by fluorescence difference. The newly developed assay was used to validate the pH-dependence of HNO release from isopropylamine NONOate (IPA/NO), which is a dual donor of HNO and NO at physiological pH. Furthermore, varied assay conditions were utilized to suggest the ratios of the products of the reaction of GSH with HNO. At intracellular concentrations of GSH, the disulfide (GSSG) was the major product, but significant concentrations of glutathione sulfinamide (GS(O)NHâ‚‚) were also detected. This suggests that GS(O)NHâ‚‚, which is a selective biomarker of HNO, may be produced in concentrations that are amenable to in vivo analysis.Copyright Â© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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