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BCIT Citations Collection

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Design of a dynamic model of genes with multiple autonomous regulatory modules by evolutionary computations
A new approach to design a dynamic model of genes with multiple autonomous regulatory modules by evolutionary computations is proposed. The approach is based on Genetic Algorithms (GA), with new crossover operators especially designed for these purposes. The new operators use local homology between parental strings to preserve building blocks found by the algorithm. The approach exploits the subbasin-portal architecture of the fitness functions suitable for this kind of evolutionary modeling. This architecture is significant for Royal Road class fitness functions. Two real-life Systems Biology problems with such fitness functions are implemented here: evolution of the bacterial promoter rrnP1 and of the enhancer of the Drosophila even-skipped gene. The effectiveness of the approach compared to standard GA is demonstrated on several benchmark and reallife tasks., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
Designing an educational game (Heroes of Math Island)
Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In response to the need for more empirical research with respect to emotion and learning, this study provided an empirical investigation of the students’ interaction with an educational game, Heroes of Math Island, specifically designed for this study. The purpose of this study was to explore learners’ emotional states triggered during gameplay with the goal of providing critical information needed for the design of advanced learning technologies (ALTs) and intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs). The study used the design-based research (DBR) paradigm by combining exploration with design, and mixed methodologies including: pretest, intervention (gameplay), posttest, post-questionnaire, and interview. Fifteen students (seven boys and eight girls) from grades six and seven participated in this study. Findings report on heuristics of educational technology design, emotion, and learning., Conference paper, Published., Peer reviewed
Detection and classification of sensory information from acute spinal cord recordings
One avenue of research for partial restoration of function following spinal cord injury is the use of neural prostheses, an example of which is functional electrical stimulation (FES) devices for motor functions. Neural prostheses may also be useful for the extraction of sensory information directly from the nervous system. We suggest the spinal cord as a possible site for the detection of peripheral sensory information from neural activity alone. Acute multichannel extracellular recordings were used to extract neural spike activity elicited from peripheral sensations from the spinal cords of rats. To test the recording method and classification potential, eight classes of sensory events were recorded consisting of electrical stimulation of seven locations on rat forepaws, and another class of data during which no stimulus was present. A dual-stage classification scheme using principal component analysis and k-Means clustering was devised to classify the sensory events during single trials. The eight tasks were correctly identified at a mean accuracy of 96%. Thus, we have shown the methodology to detect and classify peripheral sensory information from multichannel recordings of the spinal cord. These methods may be useful, for example, in a closed-loop FES for restoration of hand grasp., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Manuscript received October 24, 2005; revised February 25, 2006.
Determination of Aloin A and Aloin B in aloe vera raw materials and finished products by high-performance liquid chromatography
A single-laboratory validation (SLV) was conducted on an HPLC method for the detection and quantification of aloin A and aloin B in Aloe vera raw materials and finished products. An extraction procedure using sonication with an acidified solvent was used for solid test materials while liquid test materials only required dilution, if necessary, prior to filtration and analysis. Separation was achieved using a fused core C18 column in 18 min under isocratic elution conditions allowing for a single analyte (aloin A) calibration curve to quantify both aloins. Adequate chromatographic resolution (Rs ≥ 1) was achieved for aloin A and aloin B. The calibration curves for aloin A exhibited coefficients of determination (r(2)) of ≥ 99.9% over the linear range of 0.3-50 μg/mL. The LOD values were 0.092 and 0.087 μg/mL, and LOQ 0.23 and 0.21 μg/mL for aloin A and aloin B, respectively. Repeatability studies were performed on nine test materials on each of 3 separate days, with five of the test materials determined to be above the LOQ having repeatability RSD (RSDr) values ranging from 0.61 to 6.30%. Method accuracy was determined through a spike recovery study on both liquid and solid matrixes at three different levels: low, medium, and high. For both aloins, the recovery in the liquid matrix ranged from 92.7 to 106.3% with an RSDr of 0.15 to 4.30%, while for the solid matrix, the recovery ranged from 84.4 to 108.9% with an RSDr of 0.23 to 3.84%. Based on the results of the SLV study, it is recommended that this method be evaluated for reproducibility through a collaborative study., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received January 27, 2013; Accepted by AP April 10, 2014.
Determination of anthocyanins in cranberry fruit and cranberry fruit products by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection
A single-laboratory validation study was conducted on an HPLC method for the detection and quantification of cyanidin-3-O-galactoside (C3Ga), cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (C3GI), cyanidin-3-O-arabinoside (C3Ar), peonidin-3-O-galactoside (P3Ga), and peonidin-3-O-arabinoside (P3Ar) in cranberry fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) raw material and finished products. An extraction procedure using a combination of sonication and shaking with acidified methanol was optimized for all five anthocyanins in freeze-dried cranberry fruit and finished products (commercial extract powder, juice, and juice cocktail). Final extract solutions were analyzed by HPLC using a C18 RP column. Calibration curves for all anthocyanin concentrations had correlation coefficients (r2) of > or = 99.8%. The method detection limits for C3Ga, C3Gl, C3Ar, P3Ga, and P3Ar were estimated to be 0.018, 0.016, 0.006, 0.013, and 0.011 microg/mL, respectively. Separation was achieved with a chromatographic run time of 35 min using a binary mobile phase with gradient elution. Quantitative determination performed in triplicate on four test materials on each of 3 days (n = 12) resulted in RSD(r) from 1.77 to 3.31%. Analytical range, as defined by the calibration curves, was 0.57-36.53 microg/mL for C3Ga, 0.15-9.83 microg/mL for C3GI, 0.28-17.67 microg/mL for C3Ar, 1.01-64.71 microg/mL for P3Ga, and 0.42-27.14 microg/mL for P3Ar. For solid materials prepared by the described method, this translates to 0.06-3.65 mglg for C3Ga, 0.02-0.98 mg/g for C3Gl, 0.03-1.77 mg/g for C3Ar, 0.10-6.47 mg/g for P3Ga, and 0.04-2.71 mg/g for P3Ar., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received August 5, 2010; Accepted by AP October 27, 2010.
Determination of ginsenoside content in Asian and North American ginseng raw materials and finished products by high-performance liquid chromatography
A single-laboratory validation study was conducted for the quantification of Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rb2, and Rd in Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) and North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) raw materials and finished products by RP-HPLC. The extraction with aqueous methanol was optimized for whole root, powdered extract, and finished product (raw, tablet, and capsule matrixes) test articles. Root materials were treated with base to hydrolyze acidic malonyl ginsenosides to their neutral counterparts. Calibration curves for each ginsenoside were linear over the following ranges (microg/g): 5-394 for Rg1, 15-1188 for Re, 39-2981 for Rb1, 6-499 for Rc, 5-406 for Rb2, and 7-600 for Rd, all having a coefficient of determination (r2) of > or = 99.5%. The LOD for Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rb2, and Rd was determined to be 1.06, 1.25, 2.19, 1.24, 1.27, and 1.70 microg/mL, respectively. Quantitative determinations performed with eight test materials by two analysts over 3 days (n = 12) resulted in RSDr values that ranged from 1.11 to 7.61%., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received May 10, 2011; Accepted by AP May 11, 2011.
Determination of ginsenoside content in Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer and Panax quinquefolius L. root materials and finished products by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet absorbance detection
An interlaboratory study was conducted on an HPLC method with UV absorbance detection, previously validated using AOAC single-laboratory validation guidelines, for the determination of the six major ginsenosides (Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rb2, and Rd) in Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer and Panax quinquefolius L. root materials, extracts, and finished products. Fourteen participating laboratories analyzed five test materials (P. ginseng whole root, P. ginseng powdered extract, P. quinquefolius whole root, P. quinquefolius powdered extract, and P. ginseng powdered extract spiked in a matrix blank) as blind duplicates, and two test materials (P. ginseng powdered whole root tablet and P. quinquefolius powdered extract hard-filled capsule) as single samples. Due to the variability of the ginsenosides (low level concentration of Rb2 in P. quinquefolius raw materials and in P. ginseng spiked matrix blanks, and the possibility of incomplete hydrolysis of the finished products during processing), it was deemed more applicable to analyze total ginsenosides rather than individual ones. Outliers were evaluated and omitted using the Cochran's test and single and double Grubbs' tests. The reproducibility RSD (RSD(R)) for the blind duplicate samples ranged from 4.38 to 5.39%, with reproducibility Horwitz Ratio (HorRat(R)) values ranging from 1.5 to 1.9. For the single replicate samples, the data sets were evaluated solely by their repeatability HorRat (HorRat(r)), which were 2.9 and 3.5 for the capsule and tablet samples, respectively. Based on these results, the method is recommended for AOAC Official First Action for the determination of total ginsenosides in P. ginseng and P. quinquefolius root materials and powdered extracts., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
Determination of hydrastine and berberine in goldenseal raw materials, extracts, and dietary supplements by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV
A multilaboratory collaborative study was conducted on a high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method utilizing UV detection, previously validated using AOAC single-laboratory validation guidelines for determination of hydrastine and berberine in goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) raw materials, extracts, and dietary supplements at levels ranging from 0.4 to 6% (w/w). Nine collaborating laboratories determined the hydrastine and berberine content in 8 blind samples. Sample materials included powdered botanical raw materials, whole root material, and 4 finished product dietary supplements containing either goldenseal powdered root material or extract. The materials were extracted with an acidified water and acetonitrile solution. HPLC analyses of the extracts were performed on a C18 column using UV detection at 230 nm. Results for powdered root material and capsule products ranged from about 0.2% (w/w) for each alkaloid to about 4% (w/w) for each alkaloid. Liquid tincture results were approximately 4000-5000 microg/mL for each alkaloid. Reproducibility relative standard deviations (RSDR) for hydrastine ranged from 2.68 to 6.65%, with HorRat values ranging from 0.77 to 1.89. RSDR for berberine ranged from 5.66 to 7.68%, with HorRat values ranging from 1.32 to 2.12. All finished products containing goldenseal extract yielded HorRat values <2.0. Based on these results, the method is recommended for Official First Action for determination of hydrastine and berberine in goldenseal raw materials and dietary supplement finished products containing powdered goldenseal and goldenseal extract., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
Determination of major phenolic compounds in Echinacea spp. raw materials and finished products by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection
A method previously validated to determine caftaric acid, chlorogenic acid, cynarin, echinacoside, and cichoric acid in echinacea raw materials has been successfully applied to dry extract and liquid tincture products in response to North American consumer needs. Single-laboratory validation was used to assess the repeatability, accuracy, selectivity, LOD, LOQ, analyte stability (ruggedness), and linearity of the method, with emphasis on finished products. Repeatability precision for each phenolic compound was between 1.04 and 5.65% RSD, with HorRat values between 0.30 and 1.39 for raw and dry extract finished products. HorRat values for tinctures were between 0.09 and 1.10. Accuracy of the method was determined through spike recovery studies. Recovery of each compound from raw material negative control (ginseng) was between 90 and 114%, while recovery from the finished product negative control (maltodextrin and magnesium stearate) was between 97 and 103%. A study was conducted to determine if cichoric acid, a major phenolic component of Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench and E. angustifolia DC, degrades during sample preparation (extraction) and HPLC analysis. No significant degradation was observed over an extended testing period using the validated method., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
Determination of mitragynine in mitragyna speciosa raw materials and finished products by liquid chromatography with UV detection
Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia, and its leaves are used in herbal formulations because they contain indole alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxy (7-OH) mitragynine. An HPLC method was developed, optimized, and validated using single-laboratory validation guidelines to quantify mitragynine in kratom raw materials and finished products. The method optimization evaluated several extraction parameters including solvent type, solvent volume, time, and extraction method. The separation of the mitragynine alkaloids was achieved in 18 min with a fused-core C18 EVO column using gradient separation with ammonium bicarbonate (pH 9.5) and acetonitrile. The calibration range for mitragynine was 1.0–500 μg/mL with correlation coefficients of ≥99.9% throughout method development and validation. The method detection limit and LOQ were 0.2 and 0.6 μg/mL, respectively for mitragynine. Eight test samples were obtained to evaluate method repeatability. RSDr ranged from 0.4 to 1.0%, whereas intermediate precision ranged from 3.7 to 7.3%, with HorRat values from 0.68 to 1.96. 7-OH mitragynine was below the LOQ for all samples, therefore, spikes repeatability sample RSD values were <1%. The validation data presented meet the Standard Method Performance Requirements as specified by the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Kratom Working Group., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received July 12, 2016; Accepted by AP September 12, 2016.
Determination of phenolic constituents in echinacea raw materials and dietary supplements by HPLC-UV
A collaborative study was conducted to evaluate an HPLC method for determining phenolic compounds in Echinacea spp. raw materials, powdered extracts, and tinctures. Eleven collaborating laboratories received three practice samples representing each matrix type, phenolic reference standards, eight test samples as blind duplicates, the validated analytical method, and instructions. Test samples included two raw materials, four extracts (including one in combination with astragalus and reishi), one ethanolic tincture in combination with goldenseal, and one glycerite tincture. Each material was extracted with a 60% methanol aqueous solution, separated on a C18 column, and detected at 330 nm. Results reported by laboratories for total phenolics in Echinacea roots, aerial parts, and extracts ranged from 9.5 to 62.9 mg/g with RSDR ranging from 3.64 and 7.95% and Horwitz ratio (HorRat) values ranging from 1.06 to 2.01. Total phenolics in the ethanolic tincture ranged from 4837 to 5962 μg/mL, with an RSDR of 6.35% and a HorRat value of 1.45. The glycerite tincture showed poor interlaboratory precision with a HorRat value of 3.32, an RSDR of 21.8%, and reported total phenolic values ranging from 257 to 539 μg/mL., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received May 4, 2016; Accepted by AP May 25, 2016.
Determination of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine, and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid in food products containing cyanobacteria by ultra-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry
A single-laboratory validation study was completed for the determination of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine (AEG), and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) in bulk natural health product supplements purchased from a health food store in Canada. BMAA and its isomers were extracted with acid hydrolysis to free analytes from protein association. Acid was removed with the residue evaporated to dryness and reconstituted with derivatization using 6-aminoquinolyl-N-hydroxysuccinimidyl carbamate (AccQ-Fluor). Chromatographic separation and detection were achieved using RP ultra-performance LC coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer operated in multiple reaction monitoring mode. Data from biological samples were evaluated for precision and accuracy across different days to ensure repeatability. Accuracy was assessed by spike recovery of biological samples using varying amino acid concentrations, with an average recovery across all samples of 108.6%. The analytical range was found to be 764-0.746 ng/mL prior to derivatization, thereby providing a linear range compatible with potentially widely varying analyte concentrations in commercial health food products. Both the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U. S. Pharmacopeia definitions were evaluated for determining method limits, with the FDA approach found to be most suitable having an LOD of 0.187 ng/mL and LLOQ of 0.746 ng/mL. BMAA in the collected specimens was detected at concentrations lower than 1 μg/g, while AEG and DAB were found at concentrations as high as 100 μg/g. Finding these analytes, even at low concentrations, has potential public health significance and suggests a need to screen such products prior to distribution. The method described provides a rapid, accurate, and precise method to facilitate that screening process., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received April 15, 2015; Accepted by SG June 22, 2015.
Developing safe fall strategies for lower limb exoskeletons
Proceedings of the 2017 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) QEII Centre, London, UK, July 17-20, 2017. One of the main challenges in the use of a powered lower limb exoskeleton (LLE) is to ensure that balance is maintained throughout the operation of the device. Since no control strategy has yet been implemented that prevents falls in the case of a loss of balance, head or other serious injuries may occur during independent use of LLEs in the event of a fall. These safety concerns limit LLEs in the community to supervised use only. Using the backward fall as a model, we used optimization techniques to develop safe fall control strategies in order to avoid head impact and mitigate the impact velocity of the hips. From available human biomechanics data, we first developed an optimization methodology to study falls of healthy people. The results showed similar kinematic and dynamic characteristics to findings of previous studies on real-life human falls. Second, we extended the optimization methodology to include characteristics of a hypothetical LLE and to generate optimal joint trajectories and optimal torque profiles for the fall duration. The results revealed that by applying the optimal fall strategy, the severity of a simulated fall was minimized compared to when the device fell with locked joints (i.e., how currently used exoskeletons fall): head impact was avoided and hip impact velocity was reduced by more than 50%., Conference paper, Published.
Development and benchmarking of a new hygrothermal model
Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components: 11 May 2008, Istanbul, Turkey. This paper presents a new hygrothermal model (HAMFit) for simulating the transport of heat, air and moisture across building envelopes. The model is based on partial differential equations solved simultaneously for air velocity, temperature, and moisture distributions for given interior and exterior conditions using finite-element-based commercial software called COMSOL Multiphysics and MatLab. The model is benchmarked using internationally-published numerical model test cases., Conference paper, Published. A version of this document is published in: 11th International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components, Istanbul, Turkey, May 11-14, 2008, pp. 1-8.
Development and evaluation of a compliance-independent pressure transducer for biomedical applications
Proceedings of 17th International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on 20-23 Sept. 1995. The measurement of pressure at a device/tissue interface is desirable in many biomedical engineering applications such as tourniquets and mammography in order to optimize the design or performance of the device. Testing of a selection of existing interface transducers has demonstrated that many are dependent on device and tissue compliance. Such a transducer is only useful in an application where it has been calibrated for specific device/tissue compliance combinations. To overcome this limitation the authors have developed an interface pressure transducer whose output signal is not affected by changes in interface compliance. This enables the transducer to quantitatively measure pressure in many applications without the need to calibrate the transducer for varying compliance conditions. The signal from such a transducer could be incorporated into a control system to measure and control the pressure applied by a mammography machine to the breast., Conference paper, Published.
Development and evaluation of an affordable lift device to reduce musculo-skeletal injuries among home support workers
Home support workers (HSWs) work in clients’ homes assisting with rehabilitation and activities of daily living. Like all health-care professionals, HSWs are at an increased risk for developing back injuries. Lift devices have been shown to reduce injuries to the worker. Presently, there are few lifting devices for home use that cost under $4000 CDN. Our study involved designing a safe and affordable lift device (retail cost under $2000 CDN) to be used by HSWs in the home and evaluating it in a typical bathroom. Thirty-eight HSWs and three seniors evaluated the BCIT lift, a commercially available lift (BHM Medical Inc.) and the manual method of transfer and lift. Results indicated that the BCIT lift was an improvement over the manual method of transferring, and approximated the more expensive, automatic lift in terms of perceived exertion, ease of use and safety. Feedback provided to the researchers has been incorporated into a new, ergonomically sound and marketable lift device., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received 1 February 2003, Revised 27 January 2004, Accepted 23 February 2004, Available online 6 May 2004.

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