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Michael Pieroni, Clara Lagomarsini, Danilo De Rossi, Federico Carpi
Electrically tunable lenses are conceived as deformable adaptive optical components able to change focus without motor-controlled translations of stiff lenses. In order to achieve large tuning ranges, large deformations are needed. This requires new technologies for the actuation of highly stretchable lenses. This paper presents a configuration to obtain compact tunable lenses entirely made of soft solid matter (elastomers). This was achieved by combining the advantages of dielectric elastomer actuation (DEA) with a design inspired by the accommodation of reptiles and birds...
October 26, 2016: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Bailiang Wang, Zi Ye, Qingwen Xu, Huihua Liu, Quankui Lin, Hao Chen, Kaihui Nan
Once a biomedical implant is implanted into a human body, proteins and bacteria can easily colonize the implant, and subsequently, a biofilm can grow on the surface. A biofilm can protect the inhabiting bacteria against macrophages and neutrophil cell attack from the host immune system. The most important issue for artificial antibacterial surfaces is the accumulation of the bacteria corpse after they are killed by contact, which promotes further adhesion of bacteria and biofilm formation. Therefore, we constructed a novel multifunctional bactericidal and fouling release antibacterial surface through the combination of temperature-responsive N-vinylcaprolactam (VCL), hydrophilic 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) and a bactericidal quaternary ammonium salt (2-(dimethylamino)-ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA(+)))...
October 26, 2016: Biomaterials Science
Mohammad Taghi Noorbala, Mohammad Noorbala, Mohammad Hossein Dashti-Rahmatabadi, Mahdi Noorbala, Roghaye Noorbala, Behare Mozaffary
BACKGROUND: Recently, the radiation application research center for the atomic energy organization of Yazd (Iran) has developed a hydrogel dressing which was evaluated for quality and safety in 2008. Its efficacy for assisting in the wound healing process was approved for animal use, and its use has proven to be more effective than a related Syrian material. OBJECTIVES: We have already confirmed the safety and efficacy of Irgel use on mice (1, 2), so this study was conducted in order to further evaluate its effectiveness on human burn wounds, and to compare its efficacy with MaxGel, another hydrogel...
August 2016: Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal
Amy Warner, Ann Kjellstedt, Alba Carreras, Gerhard Böttcher, Xiao-Rong Peng, Patrick Seale, Nicholas Oakes, Daniel Lindén
Activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) present potential new therapies for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Here, we examined the effects of β3-adrenergic stimulation on tissue-specific uptake and storage of free fatty acids (FFA) and its implications for whole-body FFA metabolism in diet-induced obese rats using a multi-radiotracer technique. Male Wistar rats were high fat-fed for 12 weeks and administered β3-agonist CL316,243 (CL, 1 mg/kg/day) or saline via osmotic minipumps during the last three weeks...
October 25, 2016: American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism
Eleftherios Pelechas, Nikolaos Tsigaridas, Sofia Kyrama, Stratos Trogganis, Christoforos Kardamis
Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature falls below 35°C, which, in severe cases, can lead to electrocardiographic changes. Several conditions that occur in the psychiatric population increase the risk of hypothermia. This risk can be further increased by the use of several classes of medications such as antipsychotics, beta-adrenergic antagonists and benzodiazepines. We report on three psychiatric patients who were admitted for hypothermia and developed electrocardiographic manifestations (sinus bradycardia, QT prolongation and Osborn waves), which completely resolved after treatment...
September 8, 2016: Hellenic Journal of Cardiology: HJC, Hellēnikē Kardiologikē Epitheōrēsē
Palena A Pinto, Guillaume Colas, Tobin Filleter, Grace M De Souza
Yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (3Y-TZP) is a ceramic material used in indirect dental restorations. However, phase transformation at body temperature may compromise the material's mechanical properties, affecting the clinical performance of the restoration. The effect of mastication on 3Y-TZP aging has not been investigated. 3Y-TZP specimens (IPS E-max ZirCAD and Z5) were aged in three different modes (n=13): no aging (control), hydrothermal aging (HA), or chewing simulation (CS). Mechanical properties and surface topography were analyzed...
October 26, 2016: Microscopy and Microanalysis
Yoonja Kang, Ying-Zhong Tang, Gordon T Taylor, Christopher J Gobler
To date, the life stages of pelagophytes have been poorly described. This study describes the ability of Aureoumbra lagunensis to enter a resting stage in response to environmental stressors including high temperature, nutrient depletion, and darkness as well as their ability to revert from resting cells back to vegetative cells after exposure to optimal light, temperature, and nutrient conditions. Resting cells became round in shape and larger in size, filled with red accumulation bodies, had smaller and fewer plastids, more vacuolar space, contained lower concentrations of chlorophyll a and RNA, displayed reduced photosynthetic efficiency, and lower respiration rates relative to vegetative cells...
October 25, 2016: Journal of Phycology
Craig R White, Lesley A Alton, Taryn S Crispin, Lewis G Halsey
The energetic costs for animals to locomote on land influence many aspects of their ecology. Size accounts for much of the among-species variation in terrestrial transport costs, but species of similar body size can still exhibit severalfold differences in energy expenditure. We compiled measurements of the (mass-specific) minimum cost of pedestrian transport (COTmin, mL/kg/m) for 201 species - by far the largest sample to date - and used phylogenetically informed comparative analyses to investigate possible eco-evolutionary differences in COTmin between various groupings of those species...
September 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Hedwig Schroeck, Angela K Lyden, Wendy L Benedict, Satya Krishna Ramachandran
Background. Despite increasing adoption of active warming methods over the recent years, little is known about the effectiveness of these interventions on the occurrence of abnormal postoperative temperatures in sick infants. Methods. Preoperative and postoperative temperature readings, patient characteristics, and procedural factors of critically ill infants at a single institution were retrieved retrospectively from June 2006 until May 2014. The primary endpoints were the incidence and trend of postoperative hypothermia and hyperthermia on arrival at the intensive care units...
2016: Anesthesiology Research and Practice
Holjes Salgado-Lugo, Alejandro Sánchez-Arreguín, José Ruiz-Herrera
Chitin synthases are highly important enzymes in nature, where they synthesize structural components in species belonging to different eukaryotic kingdoms, including kingdom Fungi. Unfortunately, their structure and the molecular mechanism of synthesis of their microfibrilar product remain largely unknown, probably because no fungal active chitin synthases have been isolated, possibly due to their extreme hydrophobicity. In this study we have turned to the heterologous expression of the transcript from a small chitin synthase of Rhizopus oryzae (RO3G_00942, Chs1) in Escherichia coli...
October 21, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Smitha Kakde, Raj S Bhopal, Swati Bhardwaj, Anoop Misra
OBJECTIVE: Known risk factors do not fully explain the comparatively high susceptibility to coronary heart disease (CHD) in South Asians (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan populations in South Asia and overseas). The search for explanatory hypotheses and cofactors that raise susceptibility of South Asians to CHD continues. The aim of this study was to propose "the high-heat food preparation hypothesis," where neo-formed contaminants (NFCs) such as trans-fatty acids (TFAs) and advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are the cofactors...
July 26, 2016: Nutrition
Xia Song, Yuting Wen, Jing-Ling Zhu, Feng Zhao, Zhongxing Zhang, Jun Li
Paclitaxel (PTX), a hydrophobic anticancer drug, is facing several clinical limitations such as low bioavailability and drug resistance. To solve the problems, a well-defined b-cyclodextrin-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) star polymer was synthesized and used as a nanocarrier to improve the water solubility and aim to thermoresponsive delivery of PTX to cancer cells. The star polymer was able to form supramolecular self-assembled inclusion complex with PTX via host-guest interaction at room temperature, which is below the low critical solution temperature (LCST) of the star polymer, significantly improving the solubilization of PTX...
October 24, 2016: Biomacromolecules
Pham Thi Kim Lien, Keiichi Izumikawa, Kei Muroi, Kaoru Irie, Yasuyuki Suda, Kenji Irie
Scd6, a yeast homologue of human RAP55, is a component of messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) that repress translation by binding to translation initiation factors, and also is a decapping activator along with the binding partners Edc3 and Dhh1. Herein, we report that Scd6 is a substrate of the intrinsic protein arginine methyltransferase, Hmt1, in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that several arginine residues within the Scd6 RGG motif, which is important for mRNA binding, were methylated in Hmt1 dependent manner...
2016: PloS One
Zhengqing Zhang, Huapeng Wang, Chunfeng Hao, Wei Zhang, Miaomiao Yang, Yong Chang, Menglou Li
Dastarcus helophoroides, which has a relatively longer lifespan compared to other insects, is one of the most effective natural enemies of many large-body long-horned beetles. Methuselah (Mth) is associated with the lifespan, stress resistance, and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster, but Mth is not present in non-drosophiline insects. A number of methuselah-like genes (mth-likes, mthls) have been identified in non-drosophiline insects, but it is still unknown whether they are present in Dastarcus helophoroides...
October 21, 2016: Genes
B E Husic, D Schebarchov, D J Wales
We use the harmonic superposition approach to examine how a single atom substitution affects low-temperature anomalies in the vibrational heat capacity (CV) of model nanoclusters. Each anomaly is linked to competing solidlike "phases", where crossover of the corresponding free energies defines a solid-solid transition temperature (Ts). For selected Lennard-Jones clusters we show that Ts and the corresponding CV peak can be tuned over a wide range by varying the relative atomic size and binding strength of the impurity, but excessive atom-size mismatch can destroy a transition and may produce another...
October 24, 2016: Nanoscale
Zhao-Qing Du, Li-Na Zhang, Qiang Lu, Yi-Fan Ren, Yi Lv, Xue-Min Liu, Xu-Feng Zhang
The standard therapeutic protocols of pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) have not been well established yet. We investigated the clinical characteristics, disease progression, choices of treatments and outcomes of PLA with different size. 410 cases of patients with PLA were enrolled retrospectively from 2000 to 2014, and were grouped as small abscess (≤5 cm, n = 125), large abscess (5 cm to 10 cm, n = 218) and giant abscess (>10 cm, n = 36). The most common bacteria were Klebsiella pneumonia (22%) and Escherichia coli (11%) by pus culture, and Escherichia coli (36...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Shuai Yu, Bingbing Cheng, Tingfeng Yao, Cancan Xu, Kytai T Nguyen, Yi Hong, Baohong Yuan
Recently, we developed a new technology, ultrasound-switchable fluorescence (USF), for high-resolution imaging in centimeter-deep tissues via fluorescence contrast. The success of USF imaging highly relies on excellent contrast agents. ICG-encapsulated poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) nanoparticles (ICG-NPs) are one of the families of the most successful near-infrared (NIR) USF contrast agents. However, the first-generation ICG-NPs have a short shelf life (<1 month). This work significantly increases the shelf life of the new-generation ICG-NPs (>6 months)...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Vaishali Yadav, Shyam Sunder Chatterjee, Muhammed Majeed, Vikas Kumar
AIM: To compare stress resistance increasing and analgesic activities of piperlongumine and a methanolic Piper longum fruit extract (PLE). METHODS: Efficacies of a single and repeated daily oral doses (1-256 mg/kg/day) of PLE, piperlongumine, and 50 mg/kg/day doxycycline against foot shock stress triggered alteration in body weights and core temperatures, and of their 11 daily doses on antidepressants like activity in tail suspension test and on pentobarbital induced sedation in male mice were compared...
October 2016: Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
Maurizio Forte, Luigi Mita, Rosa Perrone, Sergio Rossi, Mario Argirò, Damiano Gustavo Mita, Marco Guida, Marianna Portaccio, Tzonka Godievargova, Yavour Ivanov, Mahmoud T Tamer, Ahmed M Omer, Mohamed S Mohy Eldin
The removal of methylparaben (MP), a well-known endocrine disruptor, from aqueous solutions using polyacrylonitrile (PAN) beads has been studied under batch conditions, at room temperature and at different initial MP concentrations. The kinetic and equilibrium results have been analyzed. Kinetic modeling analysis has been carried out with three different types of adsorption models: pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and Elovich model. Kinetic data analysis indicated that the adsorption was a second-order process...
October 22, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Miguel N Centelles, Michael Wright, Wladyslaw Gedroyc, Maya Thanou
Image guided drug delivery has gained significant attention during the last few years. Labelling nanoparticles or macromolecules and monitoring their fate in the body provides information that can be used to modulate their biodistribution and improve their pharmacokinetics. In this study we label antibodies and monitor their distribution in the tumours post intravenous injection. Using Focused Ultrasound (FUS, a non-invasive method of hyperthermia) we increase the tumour temperature to 42°C for a short period of time (3-5min) and we observe an increased accumulation of labelled antibody...
October 19, 2016: Pharmacological Research: the Official Journal of the Italian Pharmacological Society
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