A minimally-invasive manipulator characterized by hyper-redundant kinematics and embedded sensing modules is presented in this work. The bending angles (tilt and pan) of the robot tip are controlled through tendon-driven actuation; the transmission of the actuation forces to the tip is based on a Bowden-cable solution integrating some channels for optical fibers. The viability of the real-time measurement of the feedback control variables, through optoelectronic acquisition, is evaluated for automated bending of the flexible endoscope and trajectory tracking of the tip angles. Indeed, unlike conventional catheters and cannulae adopted in neurosurgery, the proposed robot can extend the actuation and control of snake-like kinematic chains with embedded sensing solutions, enabling real-time measurement, robust and accurate control of curvature, and tip bending of continuum robots for the manipulation of cannulae and microsurgical instruments in neurosurgical procedures. A prototype of the manipulator with a length of 43 mm and a diameter of 5.5 mm has been realized via 3D printing. Moreover, a multiple regression model has been estimated through a novel experimental setup to predict the tip angles from measured outputs of the optoelectronic modules. The sensing and control performance has also been evaluated during tasks involving tip rotations.
Clonogenic assays are routinely used to evaluate the response of cancer cells to external radiation fields, assess their radioresistance and radiosensitivity, estimate the performance of radiotherapy. However, classic clonogenic tests focus on the number of colonies forming on a substrate upon exposure to ionizing radiation, and disregard other important characteristics of cells such their ability to generate structures with a certain shape. The radioresistance and radiosensitivity of cancer cells may depend less on the number of cells in a colony and more on the way cells interact to form complex networks. In this study, we have examined whether the topology of 2D cancer-cell graphs is influenced by ionizing radiation. We subjected different cancer cell lines, i.e. H4 epithelial neuroglioma cells, H460 lung cancer cells, PC3 bone metastasis of grade IV of prostate cancer and T24 urinary bladder cancer cells, cultured on planar surfaces, to increasing photon radiation levels up to 6 Gy. Fluorescence images of samples were then processed to determine the topological parameters of the cell-graphs developing over time. We found that the larger the dose, the less uniform the distribution of cells on the substrate—evidenced by high values of small-world coefficient (cc), high values of clustering coefficient (cc), and small values of characteristic path length (cpl). For all considered cell lines, 𝑠𝑤>1 for doses higher or equal to 4 Gy, while the sensitivity to the dose varied for different cell lines: T24 cells seem more distinctly affected by the radiation, followed by the H4, H460 and PC3 cells. Results of the work reinforce the view that the characteristics of cancer cells and their response to radiotherapy can be determined by examining their collective behavior—encoded in a few topological parameters—as an alternative to classical clonogenic assays.
Purpose Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is a rare, aggressive form of extranodal non-Hodgkin lym- phoma. To predict the overall survival (OS) in advance is of utmost importance as it has the potential to aid clinical decision-making. Though radiomics-based machine learning (ML) has demonstrated the promising performance in PCNSL, it demands large amounts of manual feature extraction efforts from magnetic resonance images beforehand. deep learning (DL) overcomes this limitation.Methods In this paper, we tailored the 3D ResNet to predict the OS of patients with PCNSL. To overcome the limitation of data sparsity, we introduced data augmentation and transfer learning, and we evaluated the results using r stratified k-fold cross-validation. To explain the results of our model, gradient-weighted class activation mapping was applied.Results We obtained the best performance (the standard error) on post-contrast T1-weighted (T1Gd)—area under curve = 0.81(0.03), accuracy = 0.87(0.07), precision = 0.88(0.07), recall = 0.88(0.07) and F1-score = 0.87(0.07), while compared with ML-based models on clinical data and radiomics data, respectively, further confirming the stability of our model. Also, we observed that PCNSL is a whole-brain disease and in the cases where the OS is less than 1 year, it is more difficult to distinguish the tumor boundary from the normal part of the brain, which is consistent with the clinical outcome. Conclusions All these findings indicate that T1Gd can improve prognosis predictions of patients with PCNSL. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time to use DL to explain model patterns in OS classification of patients with PCNSL. Future work would involve collecting more data of patients with PCNSL, or additional retrospective studies on different patient populations with rare diseases, to further promote the clinical role of our model.
Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma (PCNSL) is an aggressive neoplasm with a poor prognosis. Although therapeutic progresses have significantly improved Overall Survival (OS), a number of patients do not respond to HD–MTX-based chemotherapy (15–25%) or experience relapse (25–50%) after an initial response. The reasons underlying this poor response to therapy are unknown. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop improved predictive models for PCNSL. In this study, we investigated whether radiomics features can improve outcome prediction in patients with PCNSL. A total of 80 patients diagnosed with PCNSL were enrolled. A patient sub-group, with complete Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) series, were selected for the stratification analysis. Following radiomics feature extraction and selection, different Machine Learning (ML) models were tested for OS and Progression-free Survival (PFS) prediction. To assess the stability of the selected features, images from 23 patients scanned at three different time points were used to compute the Interclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) and to evaluate the reproducibility of each feature for both original and normalized images. Features extracted from Z-score normalized images were significantly more stable than those extracted from non-normalized images with an improvement of about 38% on average (p-value < 10−12). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) showed that radiomics-based prediction overcame prediction based on current clinical prognostic factors with an improvement of 23% for OS and 50% for PFS, respectively. These results indicate that radiomics features extracted from normalized MR images can improve prognosis stratification of PCNSL patients and pave the way for further study on its potential role to drive treatment choice.