cell tracking velocimetry as an economical and portable hematology analyzer

Anemia and iron deficiency continue to be the most prevalent nutritional disorders in the world, affecting billions of people in both developed and developing countries. The initial diagnosis of anemia is typically based on several markers, including red blood cell (RBC) count, hematocrit and total hemoglobin. Using modern hematology analyzers, erythrocyte parameters such as mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), etc. are also being used.
However, most of these commercially available analyzers pose several disadvantages: they are expensive instruments that require significant bench space and are heavy enough to limit their use to a specific lab and lead to a delay in results, making them less practical as a point-of-care instrument that can be used for swift clinical evaluation. Thus, there is a need for a portable and economical hematology analyzer that can be used at the point of need. In this work, we evaluated the performance of a system referred to as the cell tracking velocimetry (CTV) to measure several hematological parameters from fresh human blood obtained from healthy donors and from sickle cell disease subjects.
Our system, based on the paramagnetic behavior that deoxyhemoglobin or methemoglobin containing RBCs experience when suspended in water after applying a magnetic field, uses a combination of magnets and microfluidics and has the ability to track the movement of thousands of red cells in a short period of time. This allows us to measure not only traditional RBC indices but also novel parameters that are only available for analyzers that assess erythrocytes on a cell by cell basis.
As such, we report, for the first time, the use of our CTV as a hematology analyzer that is able to measure MCV, MCH, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), red cell distribution width (RDW), the percentage of hypochromic cells (which is an indicator of insufficient marrow iron supply that reflects recent iron reduction), and the correlation coefficients between these metrics. Our initial results indicate that most of the parameters measured with CTV are within the normal range for healthy adults. Only the parameters related to the red cell volume (primarily MCV and RDW) were outside the normal range.
We observed significant discrepancies between the MCV measured by our technology (and also by an automated cell counter) and the manual method that calculates MCV through the hematocrit obtained by packed cell volume, which are attributed to the artifacts of plasma trapping and cell shrinkage. While there may be limitations for measuring MCV, this device offers a novel point of care instrument to provide rapid RBC parameters such as iron stores that are otherwise not rapidly available to the clinician. Thus, our CTV is a promising technology with the potential to be employed as an accurate, economical, portable and fast hematology analyzer after applying instrument-specific reference ranges or correction factors. More Details

Preparation of transparent photoluminescence smart window by integration of rare-earth aluminate nanoparticles into recycled polyethylene waste

Novel photoluminescent nanocomposite sheets were prepared for simple commercial manufacturing of transparent and luminous photochromic smart windows. Simple physical integration of lanthanide-doped strontium aluminium oxide (LdSAO) nanoparticles into recycled polyethylene (PE) waste introduced smart nanocomposite with persistent phosphorescence and photochromic properties. Because of the nanoparticle form of LdSAO is significant to develop transparent materials; LdSAO nanoparticles were well-dispersed in the polyethylene matrix. Both morphologies and chemical compositions of LdSAO nanoparticles and LdSAO-containing luminescent polyethylene sheets were investigated.
Both LdSAO-free and photoluminescent polyethylene sheets were colorless in regular daylight. Only LdSAO-containing polyethylene luminescent samples showed a brilliant green color under an UV supply and greenish-yellow color under darkness as verified by CIE Lab parameters. Both absorbance and emission bands were monitored at 377 and 436/517 nm, respectively.
For both photoluminescence spectroscopy and mechanical properties, the LdSAO-containing polyethylene luminescent sheets were compared to the LdSAO-free sample and found to have improved scratch resistance, UV protection, and superhydrophobic activity. Based on the added amount of LdSAO, photoluminescence, decay and lifetime spectral tests showed photochromic fluorescence and long-lasting phosphorescence characteristics. PELdSAO nanocomposite sheets displayed UV protection, photostability, hydrophobicity, excellent durability as compared to the blank LdSAO-free polyethylene sheet.

Financial development during COVID-19 pandemic: the role of coronavirus testing and functional labs

The outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in early 2020, known as COVID-19, spread to more than 200 countries and negatively affected the global economic output. Financial activities were primarily depressed, and investors were reluctant to start new financial investments while ongoing projects further declined due to the global lockdown to curb the disease.
  • This study analyzes the money supply reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic using a cross-sectional panel of 115 countries. The study used robust least square regression and innovation accounting techniques to get sound parameter estimates.
  • The results show that COVID-19 infected cases are the main contributing factor that obstructs financial activities and decrease money supply. In contrast, an increasing number of recovered cases and COVID-19 testing capabilities gave investors confidence to increase stock trade across countries.
  • The overall forecast trend shows that COVID-19 infected cases and recovered cases followed the U-shaped trend, while COVID-19 critical cases and reported deaths showed a decreasing trend. Finally, the money supply and testing capacity show a positive trend over a period.
  • The study concludes that financial development can be expanded by increasing the testing capacity and functional labs to identify suspected coronavirus cases globally.

Behavior of nitrogen and sulfur compounds in the rice husk pellet bioscrubber and its circulation water

In this study, pellet-type biofilter media was developed with rice husk and applied in a wet scrubber system for odor removal. The lab-scale bioscrubber system was operated for 200 days to evaluate odorous gas removal (i.e., NH3, H2S, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulfide), and the removal mechanism of odor gases was studied by analyzing the behavior of nitrogen and sulfur compounds in circulation water of bioscrubber system. The rice husk pellets supplied the organic carbon source and phosphoric acid necessary for microbial growth, allowing the system to continue successfully for 200 days without any maintenance technology.
By analyzing the behavior of the nitrogen and sulfur compounds in the circulation water, we confirmed that the odor gas removal resulted from various mechanisms, including adsorption and biodegradation. Ammonia gas was absorbed by the rice husk pellets and accumulated in the circulation water as nitrite under conditions of sufficient alkalinity and above pH 7.
Conversely, when the alkalinity and pH decreased, nitrite was rapidly converted to nitrate. However, H2S gas was oxidized to sulfate and continuously accumulated in the circulation water regardless of the pH and alkalinity. In addition, it was confirmed that the decrease in nitrate in the bioscrubber system was due to heterotrophic denitrification by the organic carbon source supply and autotrophic denitrification by sulfur gas. During the operation of the rice husk pellet bioscrubber for 8 months, under low solubility condition, more than 99% of NH3 and H2S were removed and about 85% of methyl mercaptan (MM) and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) were removed.

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