Results of research on the hazard posed by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contained in the dusts emitted from motor vehicle braking systems have been presented. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) constitute a group of chemical compounds that pose a serious danger to the human health, chiefly because of their carcinogenic properties. Investigations into the issue of environmental pollution with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons generated by motor vehicle traffic were carried out in connection with the work being done at PIMOT on systems to reduce dust emission from motor vehicle braking systems. The investigations included determination of PAH contents of the dust emitted from vehicle braking systems as well as the PAH concentrations in the indoor air in a room with the stand for testing dust emissions from braking systems and in the duct to carry away gases from that room. Moreover, the PAH contents of soil were measured in the context of location of the soil sampling points in relation to traffic routes. The PAH contents were measured in Warsaw and in Zabrze. The investigation results confirmed that PAHs considered as being most harmful to the human health due to their carcinogenic properties were actually present in the dusts emitted from braking systems. The PAH contents of soil were found to be very sensitive to the location of the soil sampling points in relation to traffic routes and this is a confirmation of the thesis that motor traffic is an important source of environmental pollution with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
With development of medical diagnostic and imaging techniques the sparing surgeries are facilitated. Renal cancer is one of examples. In order to minimize the amount of healthy kidney removed during the treatment procedure, it is essential to design a system that provides three-dimensional visualization prior to the surgery. The information about location of crucial structures (e.g. kidney, renal ureter and arteries) and their mutual spatial arrangement should be delivered to the operator. The introduction of such a system meets both the requirements and expectations of oncological surgeons. In this paper, we present one of the most important steps towards building such a system: a new approach to kidney segmentation from Computed Tomography data. The segmentation is based on the Active Contour Method using the Level Set (LS) framework. During the segmentation process the energy functional describing an image is the subject to minimize. The functional proposed in this paper consists of four terms. In contrast to the original approach containing solely the region and boundary terms, the ellipsoidal shape constraint was also introduced. This additional limitation imposed on evolution of the function prevents from leakage to undesired regions. The proposed methodology was tested on 10 Computed Tomography scans from patients diagnosed with renal cancer. The database contained the results of studies performed in several medical centers and on different devices. The average effectiveness of the proposed solution regarding the Dice Coefficient and average Hausdorff distance was equal to 0.862 and 2.37 mm, respectively. Both the qualitative and quantitative evaluations confirm effectiveness of the proposed solution.
Minimally invasive procedures for the kidney tumour removal require a 3D visualization of topological relations between kidney, cancer, the pelvicalyceal system and the renal vascular tree. In this paper, a novel methodology of the pelvicalyceal system segmentation is presented. It consists of four following steps: ROI designation, automatic threshold calculation for binarization (approximation of the histogram image data with three exponential functions), automatic extraction of the pelvicalyceal system parts and segmentation by the Locally Adaptive Region Growing algorithm. The proposed method was applied successfully on the Computed Tomography database consisting of 48 kidneys both healthy and cancer affected. The quantitative evaluation (comparison to manual segmentation) and visual assessment proved its effectiveness. The Dice Coefficient of Similarity is equal to 0.871 ± 0.060 and the average Hausdorff distance 0.46 ± 0.36 mm. Additionally, to provide a reliable assessment of the proposed method, it was compared with three other methods. The proposed method is robust regardless of the image acquisition mode, spatial resolution and range of image values. The same framework may be applied to further medical applications beyond preoperative planning for partial nephrectomy enabling to visually assess and to measure the pelvicalyceal system by medical doctors.
Graphene is a very promising material for potential applications in many fields. Since manufacturing technologies of graphene are still at the developing stage, low-frequency noise measurements as a tool for evaluating their quality is proposed. In this work, noise properties of polymer thick-film resistors with graphene nano-platelets as a functional phase are reported. The measurements were carried out in room temperature. 1/f noise caused by resistance fluctuations has been found to be the main component in the specimens. The parameter values describing noise intensity of the polymer thick-film specimens have been calculated and compared with the values obtained for other thick-film resistors and layers used in microelectronics. The studied polymer thick-film specimens exhibit rather poor noise properties, especially for the layers with a low content of the functional phase.