Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/1822/39658

TítuloAssessing the application of polypropylene multifilament yarns in brain phantoms
Autor(es)Guise, Catarina
Fangueiro, Raúl
Schneider, Walter
Nóbrega, J. M.
Brain phantom
Hollow fiber
Resumo(s)The currently available clinical imaging methods do not provide highly detailed information about location and severity of axonal injury or the expected recovery time of patients with traumatic brain injury [1]. High-Definition Fiber Tractography (HDFT) is a novel imaging modality that allows visualizing and quantifying, directly, the degree of axons damage, predicting functional deficits due to traumatic axonal injury and loss of cortical projections. This imaging modality is based on diffusion technology [2]. The inexistence of a phantom able to mimic properly the human brain hinders the possibility of testing, calibrating and validating these medical imaging techniques. Most research done in this area fails in key points, such as the size limit reproduced of the brain fibers and the quick and easy reproducibility of phantoms [3]. For that reason, it is necessary to develop similar structures matching the micron scale of axon tubes. Flexible textiles can play an important role since they allow producing controlled packing densities and crossing structures that match closely the human crossing patterns of the brain. To build a brain phantom, several parameters must be taken into account in what concerns to the materials selection, like hydrophobicity, density and fiber diameter, since these factors influence directly the values of fractional anisotropy. Fiber cross-section shape is other important parameter. Earlier studies showed that synthetic fibrous materials are a good choice for building a brain phantom [4]. The present work is integrated in a broader project that aims to develop a brain phantom made by fibrous materials to validate and calibrate HDFT. Due to the similarity between thousands of hollow multifilaments in a fibrous arrangement, like a yarn, and the axons, low twist polypropylene multifilament yarns were selected for this development. In this sense, extruded hollow filaments were analysed in scanning electron microscope to characterize their main dimensions and shape. In order to approximate the dimensional scale to human axons, five types of polypropylene yarns with different linear density (denier) were used, aiming to understand the effect of linear density on the filament inner and outer areas. Moreover, in order to achieve the required dimensions, the polypropylene filaments cross-section was diminished in a drawing stage of a filament extrusion line. Subsequently, tensile tests were performed to characterize the mechanical behaviour of hollow filaments and to evaluate the differences between stretched and non-stretched filaments. In general, an increase of the linear density causes the increase in the size of the filament cross section. With the increase of structure orientation of filaments, induced by stretching, breaking tenacity increases and elongation at break decreases. The production of hollow fibers, with the required characteristics, is one of the key steps to create a brain phantom that properly mimics the human brain that may be used for the validation and calibration of HDFT, an imaging approach that is expected to contribute significantly to the areas of brain related research.
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