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Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

Mechanical Failure Of Chorioamnion And Cervical Tissue: Contributions To Preterm And Term Birth, Brandi Nicole Briggs Jul 2014

Mechanical Failure Of Chorioamnion And Cervical Tissue: Contributions To Preterm And Term Birth, Brandi Nicole Briggs

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Despite significant advances in medical research, spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) rates have not changed appreciably in over 100 years. SPTB is a global problem affecting 13 million babies annually and continues to be the leading cause of death among infants. During pregnancy, the cervix and chorioamnion (CA), the sac that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy, provide critical structural support for the growing fetus that requires optimum maintenance of tissue properties for sustaining pregnancy. This dissertation aims to elucidate the events leading to tissue failure in pregnancy by evaluating detrimental alterations in the extracellular matrix (ECM) chemistry and organization and tissue ...


On The Generalization Of Decision-Making Preferences In Movement Under Risk, Megan Kathleen O'Brien Jan 2014

On The Generalization Of Decision-Making Preferences In Movement Under Risk, Megan Kathleen O'Brien

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Nearly every aspect of our behavior is framed by risk, and people can respond to risk very differently. Some individuals readily confront highly variable situations in order to obtain large rewards (risk-seeking behavior), while others prefer more certain situations even if it means obtaining smaller rewards (risk-averse behavior).

At present, the role that risk plays in movement decisions is poorly understood. This dissertation investigates human movement decisions under risk, exploring the rationality of movement behavior in risky constructs and whether sensitivity to risk generalizes across movements. In the first study, I compared risk-sensitivity between two continuous motor tasks (arm-reaching and ...


Optically Active Plasmonic Microbubbles, Jacob Dove Jan 2014

Optically Active Plasmonic Microbubbles, Jacob Dove

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Contrast agents are used across a variety of medical imaging modalities for improved visualization of structures in the body. Microbubbles, for example, efficiently scatter ultrasound thereby providing enhanced ultrasonic imaging of the vasculature. Plasmonic nanoparticles, on the other hand, are efficient optical absorbers and can provide improvements in optical and photoacoustic imaging.

The focus of this thesis is on the development of novel contrast agents capable of enhancing both ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging modalities. The first agent is constructed by templating nanoparticles onto a lipid-encapsulated microbubble with a perfluorocarbon gas core. Using an avidin-biotin conjugation scheme, control over the nanoparticle ...