2,185 research outputs found

    Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes in the Brain: Cellular Internalization and Neuroinflammatory Responses

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    The potential use of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) for drug and gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) and as neural substrates makes the understanding of their in vivo interactions with the neural tissue essential. The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between chemically functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWNTs) and the neural tissue following cortical stereotactic administration. Two different f-MWNT constructs were used in these studies: shortened (by oxidation) amino-functionalized MWNT (oxMWNT-NH3+) and amino-functionalized MWNT (MWNT-NH3+). Parenchymal distribution of the stereotactically injected f-MWNTs was assessed by histological examination. Both f-MWNT were uptaken by different types of neural tissue cells (microglia, astrocytes and neurons), however different patterns of cellular internalization were observed between the nanotubes. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining for specific markers of glial cell activation (GFAP and CD11b) was performed and secretion of inflammatory cytokines was investigated using real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Injections of both f-MWNT constructs led to a local and transient induction of inflammatory cytokines at early time points. Oxidation of nanotubes seemed to induce significant levels of GFAP and CD11b over-expression in areas peripheral to the f-MWNT injection site. These results highlight the importance of nanotube functionalization on their interaction with brain tissue that is deemed critical for the development nanotube-based vector systems for CNS application

    Fatty acid neutral losses observed in tandem mass spectrometry with collision-induced dissociation allows regiochemical assignment of sulfoquinovosyl-diacylglycerols

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    A full characterization of sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols (SQDGs) in the lipid extract of spinach leaves has been achieved using liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-linear quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry (MS). Low-energy collision-induced dissociation tandem MS (MS/MS) of the deprotonated species [M - H]- was exploited for a detailed study of sulfolipid fragmentation. Losses of neutral fatty acids from the acyl side chains (i.e. [M - H - RCOOH]-) were found to prevail over ketene losses ([M - H - R'CHCO]-) or carboxylates of long-chain fatty acids ([RCOO]-), as expected for gas-phase acidity of SQDG ions. A new concerted mechanism for RCOOH elimination, based on a charge-remote fragmentation, is proposed. The preferential loss of a fatty acids molecule from the sn-1 position (i.e. [M - H - R1COOH]-) of the glycerol backbone, most likely due to kinetic control of the gas-phase fragmentation process, was exploited for the regiochemical assignment of the investigated sulfolipids. As a result, 24 SQDGs were detected and identified in the lipid extract of spinach leaves, their number and variety being unprecedented in the field of plant sulfolipids. Moreover, the prevailing presence of a palmitic acyl chain (16:0) on the glycerol sn-2 position of spinach SQDGs suggests a prokaryotic or chloroplastic path as the main route for their biosynthesis

    Emergency groin hernia repair: implications in elderly

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    BACKGROUND: Groin hernia is one of the most frequently encountered pathologies occurring in old age and it is often the cause of emergency procedures. In our study we evaluate the impact of emergency procedures in over 75 patients compared to younger patients. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study about patients who underwent emergency hernioplasty between September 2007 and January 2013. Bilateral hernias and recurrences were excluded. We divided patients into two groups by age (under and over 75 years old) and then analyzed the early postoperative surgical complications. RESULTS: A total of 48 patients were enrolled, 18 were included in under 75 group and 30 in over 75. In the older group we found a higher rate of comorbidity and also a significant higher rate of postoperative complications. Two patients of over 75 group died. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggests that a quick diagnosis and elective surgical procedures are desirable in order to avoid the complications that occur in emergency operations

    Local anesthesia for treatment of hernia in elder patients: Levobupicavaine or Bupivacaine?

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    BACKGROUND: Inguinal hernia is one of the most common diseases in the elderly. Treatment of this pathology is exclusively surgical and relies almost always on the use of local anesthesia. While in the past hernia surgery was carried out mainly by general anesthesia, in recent years there has been growing emphasis on the role of local anesthesia. METHODS: The aim of our study was to compare intra-and postoperative analgesia obtained by the use of levobupivacaine to the same obtained by bupivacaine. Bupivacaine is one of the main local anesthetics used in the intervention of inguinal hernioplasty. Levobupivacaine is an enantiomer of racemic bupivacaine with less cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity. The study was conducted from March 2011 to March 2013. We collected data of eighty patients, male and female, aged between 65 and 86 years, who underwent inguinal hernioplasty with local anesthesia. RESULTS: Evaluation of intra-operatively pain shows that minimal pain is the same in both groups. Mild pain was more frequent in the group who used levobupivacaine. Moderate pain was slightly more frequent in the group who used bupivacaine. Only one reported intense pain. Two drugs seem to have the same effect at a distance of six, twelve, eighteen and twentyfour hours. Bupivacaine shows a significantly higher number of complications, as already demonstrated by previous studies. Degree of satisfaction expressed by patients has been the same in the two groups. Levobupivacaine group has shown a greater request for paracetamol while patients who experienced bupivacaine have showed a higher request of other analgesics. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical efficacy of levobupivacaine and racemic bupivacaine are actually similar, when used under local intervention of inguinal hernioplasty. In the field of ambulatorial surgery our working group prefers levobupivacaine for its fewer side effects and for its easy handling

    Day-surgery inguinal hernia repair in the elderly: single centre experience

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    BACKGROUND: Inguinal hernioplasty is well established as a day-surgery procedure, our purpose is to assess the safeness of this approach in elderly patients. METHODS: A total of 292 inguinal hernioplasty were performed between June 2009 and February 2013. Patients were divided into 3 groups depending on the age and postoperative complications were compared in these groups. RESULTS: Despite of a large number of higher risk (ASA 3-4) patients and a higher rate of comorbidity in older patients, unplanned admission postoperative, symptoms and complications were comparable with those for the younger patients. CONCLUSIONS: Ambulatory surgery is feasible also in older patients. Age, comorbidity and higher ASA risk should not be a barrier to elective day surgery

    Laparoscopic single site (LESS) and classic video-laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the elderly: A single centre experience

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    Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the gold-standard surgical method used to treat gallbladder diseases. Recently Laparoendoscopic single site surgery (LESS) has gained greater interest and diffusion for the surgical treatment of several pathologies. In elderly patients, just few randomized controlled trials are present in the literature that confirm the clinical advantages of LESS compared with the classic laparoscopic procedures.We present in this paper the preliminary results of this randomized prospective study regarding the feasibility and safety of LESS cholecystectomy versus classic laparoscopic technique. We demonstrated that LESS technique compared with traditional technique show some advantages like: acceptable operative times, lower post-operative discomfort and sometimes reduction added complications. In addition we also demonstrate that fewer incisions and less scarring which mean less pain, and fewer parietal complications are related to this surgical procedure. In conclusion in the elderly LESS cholecystectomy technique is to be considered a suitable alternative to traditional three-port cholecystectomy

    The Role of Sound Source Perception in Gestural Sound Description

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    We investigated gesture description of sound stimuli performed during a listening task. Our hypothesis is that the strategies in gestural responses depend on the level of identification of the sound source, and specifically on the identification of the action causing the sound. To validate our hypothesis, we conducted two experiments. In the first experiment, we built two corpora of sounds. The first corpus contains sounds with identifiable causal actions. The second contains sounds where no causal actions could be identified. These corpora properties were validated through a listening test. In the second experiment, participants performed arm and hand gestures synchronously while listening to sounds taken from these corpora. Afterwards, we conducted interviews asking participants to verbalize their experience, watching their own video recordings. They were questioned on their perception of the listened sounds and on their gestural strategies. We showed that for the sounds where causal action can be identified, participants mainly mimic the action that has produced the sound. In the other case, when no action can be associated to the sound, participants trace contours related to sound acoustic features. We also found that the inter-participants gesture variability is higher for causal sounds compared to non-causal sounds. Variability demonstrates that in the first case, participants have several ways of producing the same action whereas in the second case, the sound features tend to make the gesture responses consistent

    Label-Free Intracellular Multi-Specificity in Yeast Cells by Phase-Contrast Tomographic Flow Cytometry

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    : In-flow phase-contrast tomography provides a 3D refractive index of label-free cells in cytometry systems. Its major limitation, as with any quantitative phase imaging approach, is the lack of specificity compared to fluorescence microscopy, thus restraining its huge potentialities in single-cell analysis and diagnostics. Remarkable results in introducing specificity are obtained through artificial intelligence (AI), but only for adherent cells. However, accessing the 3D fluorescence ground truth and obtaining accurate voxel-level co-registration of image pairs for AI training is not viable for high-throughput cytometry. The recent statistical inference approach is a significant step forward for label-free specificity but remains limited to cells' nuclei. Here, a generalized computational strategy based on a self-consistent statistical inference to achieve intracellular multi-specificity is shown. Various subcellular compartments (i.e., nuclei, cytoplasmic vacuoles, the peri-vacuolar membrane area, cytoplasm, vacuole-nucleus contact site) can be identified and characterized quantitatively at different phases of the cells life cycle by using yeast cells as a biological model. Moreover, for the first time, virtual reality is introduced for handling the information content of multi-specificity in single cells. Full fruition is proofed for exploring and interacting with 3D quantitative biophysical parameters of the identified compartments on demand, thus opening the route to a metaverse for 3D microscopy
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