174 research outputs found

    Therapeutic enhancement of a cytotoxic agent using Photochemical internalisation in 3D compressed collagen constructs of ovarian cancer

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    Photochemical internalisation (PCI) is a method for enhancing delivery of drugs to their intracellular target sites of action. In this study we investigated the efficacy of PCI using a porphyrin photosensitiser and a cytotoxic agent on spheroid and non-spheroid compressed collagen 3D constructs of ovarian cancer versus conventional 2D culture. The therapeutic responses of two human carcinoma cell lines (SKOV3 and HEY) were compared using a range of assays including optical imaging. The treatment was shown to be effective in non-spheroid constructs of both cell lines causing a significant and synergistic reduction in cell viability measured at 48 or 96 hours post-illumination. In the larger spheroid constructs, PCI was still effective but required higher saporin and photosensitiser doses. Moreover, in contrast to the 2D and non-spheroid experiments, where comparable efficacy was found for the two cell lines, HEY spheroid constructs were found to be more susceptible to PCI and a lower dose of saporin could be used. PCI treatment was observed to induce death principally by apoptosis in the 3D constructs compared to the mostly necrotic cell death caused by PDT. At low oxygen levels (1%) both PDT and PCI were significantly less effective in the constructs

    The anti-angiogenic tyrosine kinase inhibitor Pazopanib kills cancer cells and disrupts endothelial networks in biomimetic 3D renal tumouroids

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    Pazopanib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used to treat renal cell carcinoma. Few in vitro studies investigate its effects towards cancer cells or endothelial cells in the presence of cancer. We tested the effect of Pazopanib on renal cell carcinoma cells (CAKI-2,786-O) in two-dimensional and three-dimensional tumouroids made of dense extracellular matrix, treated in normoxia and hypoxia. Finally, we engineered complex tumouroids with a stromal compartment containing fibroblasts and endothelial cells. Simple CAKI-2 tumouroids were more resistant to Pazopanib than 786-O tumouroids. Under hypoxia, while the more ‘resistant’ CAKI-2 tumouroids showed no decrease in viability, 786-O tumouroids required higher Pazopanib concentrations to induce cell death. In complex tumouroids, Pazopanib exposure led to a reduction in the overall cell viability (p < 0.0001), disruption of endothelial networks and direct killing of renal cell carcinoma cells. We report a biomimetic multicellular tumouroid for drug testing, suitable for agents whose primary target is not confined to cancer cells

    Tissue-Engineering the Fibrous Pancreatic Tumour Stroma Capsule in 3D Tumouroids to Demonstrate Paclitaxel Response

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    Pancreatic cancer is a unique cancer in that up to 90% of its tumour mass is composed of a hypovascular and fibrotic stroma. This makes it extremely difficult for chemotherapies to be delivered into the core of the cancer mass. We tissue-engineered a biomimetic 3D pancreatic cancer ("tumouroid") model comprised of a central artificial cancer mass (ACM), containing MIA Paca-2 cells, surrounded by a fibrotic stromal compartment. This stromal compartment had a higher concentration of collagen type I, fibronectin, laminin, and hyaluronic acid (HA) than the ACM. The incorporation of HA was validated with alcian blue staining. Response to paclitaxel was determined in 2D MIA Paca-2 cell cultures, the ACMs alone, and in simple and complex tumouroids, in order to demonstrate drug sensitivity within pancreatic tumouroids of increasing complexity. The results showed that MIA Paca-2 cells grew into the complex stroma and invaded as cell clusters with a maximum distance of 363.7 ”m by day 21. In terms of drug response, the IC50 for paclitaxel for MIA Paca-2 cells increased from 0.819 nM in 2D to 3.02 nM in ACMs and to 5.87 nM and 3.803 nM in simple and complex tumouroids respectively, indicating that drug penetration may be significantly reduced in the latter. The results demonstrate the need for biomimetic models during initial drug testing and evaluation

    Policy and Information Systems implementation: The Greek Property Tax Information System Case

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    This study contributes to the literature on Information Systems (IS) implementation and provides insights into how IS implementation emerges as an assemblage constituted by diverse sociomaterial practices –that is, the intertwining of humans and technology in practice– during the implementation of Greece’s Yearly Property Tax policy and information system over the period 1997-2015. Drawing on the work of Deleuze, Guattari, and Delanda on ‘assemblage theory’ and Burke’s on motive (expressed as ‘intentionality’ and ‘motivation’) we discuss IS implementation as a performative process that is shaped by assemblage agents’ intentionality and motivation and conclude that explicitly attending to these dynamics during the emergence of policy and technology as a sociomaterial assemblage contributes to a better understanding of IS implementation and its success. We propose that higher levels of motivation and intentionality are related to higher chances of successful implementation. Finally, limitations and future research directions are proposed

    The n_TOF NEAR Station Commissioning and first physics case

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    The NEAR Station is a new experimental area developed at the n_TOF Facility at CERN. The activation station of NEAR underwent a characterization of the beam following the installation of the new n_TOF Spallation Target. The commissioning of the neutron beam comprises a set of simulations made with the FLUKA code and experimental verification. The experimental determination of the neutron spectrum was made using activation techniques with three separate set-ups. Two set-ups were based on the Multi-foil Activation technique (MAM-1 and MAM-2), and the third set-up relied on the process of neutron moderation and activation of a single material (ANTILoPE). The three set-ups are presented. Also the present plans and future perspectives of the activation station of NEAR are discussed

    A HER2 selective theranostic agent for surgical resection guidance and photodynamic therapy

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    In many cancers early intervention involves surgical resection of small localised tumour masses. Inadequate resection leads to recurrence whereas overzealous treatment can lead to organ damage. This work describes production of a HER2 targeting antibody Fab fragment dual conjugated to achieve both real time near-infrared fluorescent imaging and photodynamic therapy. The use of fluorescence emission from a NIR-dye could be used to guide resection of tumour bulk, for example during endoscopic diagnosis for oesophago-gastric adenocarcinoma, this would then be followed by activation of the photodynamic therapeutic agent to destroy untreated localised areas of cancer infiltration and tumour infiltrated lymph nodes. This theranostic agent was prepared from the Fab fragment of trastuzumab initially by functional disulfide re-bridging and site-specific click reaction of a NIR-dye. This was followed by further reaction with a novel pre-activated form of the photosensitiser chlorin e6 with the exposed fragments' lysine residues. Specific binding of the theranostic agent was observed in vitro with a HER2 positive cell line and cellular near-infrared fluorescence was observed with flow cytometry. Specific photo-activity of the conjugates when exposed to laser light was observed with HER2 positive but not HER2 negative cell lines in vitro, this selectivity was not seen with the unconjugated drug. This theranostic agent demonstrates that two different photo-active functions can be coupled to the same antibody fragment with little interference to their independent activities

    Acceptability and feasibility study of patient-specific ‘tumouroids’ as personalised treatment screening tools: protocol for prospective tissue and data collection of participants with confirmed or suspected renal cell carcinoma

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    Introduction: ‘Personalised medicine’ aims to tailor interventions to the individual, and has become one of the fastest growing areas of cancer research. One of these approaches is to harvest cancer cells from patients and grow them in the laboratory, which can then be subjected to treatments and the response assessed. We have developed a 3D tumour model with a complex protein matrix that mimics the tumour stroma, cell to cell and cell-matrix interactions seen in vivo, called a tumouroid. In this study, we test the acceptability and feasibility of using this model to establish patient-derived tumouroids. Methods and analysis This is a first in-human study using prospective tissue and data collection of adult participants with confirmed or suspected renal cell carcinoma. The goals of the study are to assess patient acceptability to the use of patient-derived tumour models for future treatment decisions, and to assess the feasibility of generating patient-specific renal cancer tumouroids that can be challenged with drugs. These goals will be realised through the collection of tumour samples (expected n=10), participant-completed questionnaires (expected n=10), and in-depth semi-structured interviews with patients (expected n=5). Collected multiregional tumour samples will be dissociated to isolate primary cells which are then expanded in vitro and incorporated into tumouroids. Drug challenge will ensue and the response will be categorised into “responder”, “weak responder”, and “non-responder”. Statistical analysis will be descriptive. Ethics and dissemination: The study has ethical approval (REC reference 17/LO/1744). Findings will be made available to patients, clinicians, funders, and the National Health Service (NHS) through presentations at national and international meetings, peer-reviewed publications, social media and patient support groups. Trial Registration: Registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03300102)

    Plant communities as a tool in temporary ponds conservation in SW Portugal

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    Pond conservationTemporary ponds are seasonal wetlands annually subjected to extreme and unstable ecological conditions, neither truly aquatic nor truly terrestrial. This habitat and its flora have been poorly studied and documented because of the ephemeral character of the flora, the changeable annual weather that has a great effect on the small, herbaceous taxa and the declining abundance of temporary ponds. The objectives of this study are: (a) to define plant community diversity in terms of floristic composition of ephemeral wetlands in SW Portugal, (b) to identify temporary pond types according to their vegetation composition and (c) to identify those ponds that configure the European community priority habitat (3170* – Mediterranean temporary ponds). Vegetation sampling was conducted in 29 ponds, identifying 168 species grouped among 15 plant communities. Soil texture, pH, organic C and N content were measured, but only N and percent of clay appear to be related with the distribution of each community type. The results showed that ephemeral wetlands could be classified into four type: vernal pools, marshlands, deep ponds and disturbed wetlands. Vernal pools correspond to the Mediterranean temporary ponds (3170*), protected as priority habitat under the EU Habitats Directive. Submersed Isoetes species (Isoetes setaceum and Isoetes velatum) represents, together with Eryngium corniculatum, the indicator species for vernal pools. We identify also indicator plant communities of this priority habitat, namely I. setaceum and E. corniculatum– Baldellia ranunculoides plant communities. In this region, the conservation of temporary ponds has so far been compatible with traditional agricultural activities, but today these ponds are endangered by the intensification of agriculture and the loss of traditional land use practices and by the development of touris