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1.  The Living Heart Project: A robust and integrative simulator for human heart function 
The heart is not only our most vital, but also our most complex organ: Precisely controlled by the interplay of electrical and mechanical fields, it consists of four chambers and four valves, which act in concert to regulate its filling, ejection, and overall pump function. While numerous computational models exist to study either the electrical or the mechanical response of its individual chambers, the integrative electro-mechanical response of the whole heart remains poorly understood. Here we present a proof-of-concept simulator for a four-chamber human heart model created from computer topography and magnetic resonance images. We illustrate the governing equations of excitation-contraction coupling and discretize them using a single, unified finite element environment. To illustrate the basic features of our model, we visualize the electrical potential and the mechanical deformation across the human heart throughout its cardiac cycle. To compare our simulation against common metrics of cardiac function, we extract the pressure-volume relationship and show that it agrees well with clinical observations. Our prototype model allows us to explore and understand the key features, physics, and technologies to create an integrative, predictive model of the living human heart. Ultimately, our simulator will open opportunities to probe landscapes of clinical parameters, and guide device design and treatment planning in cardiac diseases such as stenosis, regurgitation, or prolapse of the aortic, pulmonary, tricuspid, or mitral valve.
PMCID: PMC4175454  PMID: 25267880
Electro-mechanics; Excitation-contraction; Cardiac mechanics; Finite element analysis; Abaqus
2.  Future Directions in Oncofertility and Fertility Preservation: A Report from the 2011 Oncofertility Consortium Conference 
Fertility impairment and loss due to cancer or its treatment is a significant survivorship consideration for many pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivors. Chemotherapeutics, radiation, and surgery can impact the future fertility of men, women, and children with cancer. The field of oncofertility, founded to ensure the reproductive future of cancer survivors, gained momentum with 5 years of funding through a 2007 National Institutes of Health Roadmap Grant for Biomedical Research. This report from working group meetings at the fifth annual Oncofertility Consortium Conference speaks to the present state of oncofertility research and clinical care, existing gaps, and future directions for the field. This summary from conference participants and leaders in the field addresses the science, clinical specialties, and academic scholarship that can guide the field as the Roadmap Grant funding comes to a close.
PMCID: PMC3604786  PMID: 23610740
fertility; oncofertility; fertility preservation; research
3.  Assessment of synthetic glucocorticoids in asthmatic sputum 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):33-35.
Nonadherence with anti-inflammatory treatment is a frequent cause of continued symptoms in asthmatic patients. Clinical assessments including patient-reported medication administration may provide the asthma specialist incomplete information regarding actual adherence to anti-inflammatory medications. The objective of this report was to describe the first case where adherence to inhaled asthma therapy was assessed by direct analysis of glucocorticoids in induced sputum. The patient's blood, urine, and sputum were tested for synthetic corticosteroids using mass spectrometry. To evaluate a clinical suspicion of poor adherence, sputum, urine, and blood were used to assess for current compliance to medication use. We report a case where asthma specialists attributed poorly controlled asthma to nonadherence to medical therapy. After modification of the medical regimen, adherence with oral and inhaled steroids was assessed—via examination of the urine, blood, and sputum. Direct analysis of glucocorticoids in sputum is feasible and in theory could provide a novel tool to document current medication adherence. Concomitant assessment of glucocorticoids and eosinophils in the same induced sputum specimen could provide insight into possible steroid resistance in select referral patients with difficult asthma.
PMCID: PMC3390127  PMID: 22852112
Adherence; asthma; budesonide; drug monitoring; fluticasone propionate; methylprednisolone; prednisolone; prednisone; steroids; steroid dependent
4.  Serological Response of Rhesus Monkeys to Histoplasma, Blastomyces, and Coccidioides Antigens 
Journal of Bacteriology  1967;94(1):1-5.
Fifteen adult rhesus monkeys were inoculated with nonviable Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, or Coccidioides immitis. Antibody assays were made periodically during a 2-year period by use of a complement-fixation (CF) test employing four antigens and a latex-agglutination test. Selected sera were also studied in an immunodiffusion test and a coccidioidin-precipitin test. The serological patterns obtained with the anti-Histoplasma, anti-Blastomyces, and anti-Coccidioides monkey sera were comparable to those of sera from patients with diseases caused by the respective organisms. Rhesus monkeys should provide a good laboratory model for additional studies, including the influence of multiple antigenic stimuli on serologic response and patterns. Monkeys could also be used for the production of antisera required for studies to improve the specificity of the currently available CF antigens.
PMCID: PMC251862  PMID: 4961413

Results 1-4 (4)