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The objective of the present work was to evaluate the behavior of osteogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on a double-layer, protective, and bioactive hybrid coating sterilized by 3 different processes: steam autoclave, hydrogen peroxide plasma, and ethylene oxide. The hybrid coating was obtained from a sol consisting of the silane precursors tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and methyltriethoxysilane (MTES), applied on a Ti6Al4V substrate. To promote bioactivity, hydroxyapatite (HA) particles were dispersed in a second coating (bioactive layer: TEOS/MTES + HA) applied on the first (TEOS/MTES). The sterilized coatings were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, wettability, and micrometer roughness. The behavior of hydrolytic degradation was evaluated by the mass variation of the samples and the release of silicon by the technique of high-resolution atomic absorption spectrometry. All coatings presented morphological and superficial alterations after sterilization. Sterilization by ethylene oxide and hydrogen peroxide plasma intensified the hydrolytic degradation of the bioactive coating causing a greater release of silicon. The sterilized hybrid coatings did not show cytotoxicity to MSCs. Adhesion, viability, and osteogenic differentiation were favored on the sterilized coating of hydrogen peroxide plasma, which is opposite to what was observed for the ethylene oxide-sterilized coating.
In the process of researching this chapter, the first author spent a crisp December day touring London’s major bookshops in an attempt to discover what recent books on health might have to say about leadership and what those on leadership might have to say about health. It was a pleasant way to spend a day, but, as a research exercise, it was something of a failure. Of the books on health, not a single one had an index entry for leadership and most restricted their coverage of the topic to general discussions of team and patient management as aspects of effective healthcare. Conversely, very few of the books on leadership had much to say about health, although the biographies of influential leaders (e.g. Obama, Gillard, Thatcher) typically included significant sections devoted to the biographee’s policy on health (e.g. democratisation, rationalisation, privatisation).
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Right heart function is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality in pulmonary arterial hypertension and many CHD. We investigated whether treatment with the prostacyclin analogue treprostinil could prevent pressure overload-induced right ventricular hypertrophy and failure.
Male Wistar rats were randomised to severe pulmonary trunk banding with a 0.5-mm banding clip (n=41), moderate pulmonary trunk banding with a 0.6-mm banding clip (n=36), or sham procedure (n=10). The banded rats were randomised to 6 weeks of treatment with a moderate dose of treprostinil (300 ng/kg/minute), a high dose of treprostinil (900 ng/kg/minute), or vehicle.
Pulmonary trunk banding effectively induced hypertrophy, dilatation, and decreased right ventricular function. The severely banded animals presented with decompensated heart failure with extracardial manifestations. Treatment with treprostinil neither reduced right ventricular hypertrophy nor improved right ventricular function.
In the pulmonary trunk banding model of pressure overload-induced right ventricular hypertrophy and failure, moderate- and high-dose treatment with treprostinil did not improve right ventricular function neither in compensated nor in decompensated right heart failure.
Given the high intake levels of soya and low incidence rates of breast cancer in Asian countries, isoflavones, substances with an oestrogen-like structure occurring principally in soyabeans, are postulated to be cancer protective. In the present study, we examined the association of dietary isoflavone intake with breast cancer risk in 84 450 women (896 in situ and 3873 invasive cases) who were part of the Multiethnic Cohort (Japanese Americans, whites, Latinos, African Americans and Native Hawaiians) with a wide range of soya intake levels. The absolute levels of dietary isoflavone intake estimated from a baseline FFQ were categorised into quartiles, with the highest quartile being further subdivided to assess high dietary intake. The respective intake values for the quartiles (Q1, Q2, Q3, and lower and upper Q4) were 0– < 3·2, 3·2– < 6·7, 6·7– < 12·9, 12·9– < 20·3, and 20·3–178·7 mg/d. After a mean follow-up period of 13 years, hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI were calculated using Cox regression models stratified by age and adjusted for known confounders. Linear trends were tested by modelling continuous variables of interest assigned the median value within the corresponding quartile. No statistically significant association was observed between dietary isoflavone intake and overall breast cancer risk (HR for upper Q4 v. Q1: 0·96 (95 % CI 0·85, 1·08); P trend = 0·40). While the test for interaction was not significant (P= 0·14), stratified analyses suggested possible ethnic/racial differences in risk estimates, indicating that higher isoflavone intakes may be protective in Latina, African American and Japanese American women. These results are in agreement with those of previous meta-analyses showing no protection of isoflavones at low intake levels, but suggesting inverse associations in populations consuming high amounts of soya.
Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case–control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41 nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23 nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.
Eutectic fibers consisting of an ordered arrangement of LiF fibrils inside a LiREF4 matrix (RE = Y, Gd) can be grown with the micro-pulling-down method at sufficiently large pulling rate exceeding 120 mm/h. The distance between individual fibrils could be scaled down to 1 µm at 300 mm/h pulling. LiF-LiYF4 has stronger tendency to form facetted eutectic colonies than LiF-LiGdF4, explained by the larger entropy of melting of the former.
Deriving glacier outlines from satellite data has become increasingly popular in the past decade. In particular when glacier outlines are used as a base for change assessment, it is important to know how accurate they are. Calculating the accuracy correctly is challenging, as appropriate reference data (e.g. from higher-resolution sensors) are seldom available. Moreover, after the required manual correction of the raw outlines (e.g. for debris cover), such a comparison would only reveal the accuracy of the analyst rather than of the algorithm applied. Here we compare outlines for clean and debris-covered glaciers, as derived from single and multiple digitizing by different or the same analysts on very high- (1 m) and medium-resolution (30 m) remote-sensing data, against each other and to glacier outlines derived from automated classification of Landsat Thematic Mapper data. Results show a high variability in the interpretation of debris-covered glacier parts, largely independent of the spatial resolution (area differences were up to 30%), and an overall good agreement for clean ice with sufficient contrast to the surrounding terrain (differences ∼5%). The differences of the automatically derived outlines from a reference value are as small as the standard deviation of the manual digitizations from several analysts. Based on these results, we conclude that automated mapping of clean ice is preferable to manual digitization and recommend using the latter method only for required corrections of incorrectly mapped glacier parts (e.g. debris cover, shadow).
A functionalization method for the specific and selective immobilization of the streptavidin (SA) protein on semiconductor nanowires (NWs) was developed. Silicon (Si) and silicon carbide (SiC) NWs were functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and subsequently biotinylated for the conjugation of SA. Existence of a thin native oxide shell on both Si and SiC NWs enabled efficient binding of APTES with the successive attachment of biotin and SA as was confirmed with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated nonspecific, electrostatic binding of the SA and the bovine serum albumin (BSA) proteins to APTES-coated NWs. Inhibition of nonspecific BSA binding and enhancement of selective SA binding were achieved on biotinylated NWs. The biofunctionalized NWs have the potential to be used as biosensing platforms for the specific and selective detection of proteins.
We assessed serum homocysteine (tHcy) and folate concentrations among US adolescents before and after fortification of cereal-grain products with folic acid, and associations with demographic, behavioural and physiological factors.
Observational study conducted among participants of a randomized trial.
The Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH) study.
Adolescents (n 2445) in grades 8 (pre-fortification, mean age 14 years) and 12 (post-fortification, mean age 18 years).
Average serum concentrations of tHcy, folate and vitamin B6 increased by 17 %, 16 % and 14 %, respectively, while serum concentrations of vitamin B12 decreased by 11 % post-fortification. Folic acid fortification provided, on average, an additional intake of 118 μg folate/d. Male sex (P < 0·0001) and white race (P = 0·0008) were associated with significantly greater increases in tHcy concentration, while increases in BMI (P = 0·006) and serum folate concentration (P < 0·0001) were associated with significant decreases in tHcy concentration. Female sex (P < 0·0001), non-smoking (P < 0·0001), use of multivitamins (P < 0·0001) and higher dietary intake of folate (P = 0·001) were associated with significantly greater increases in serum folate concentrations. From grade 8 to grade 12, the upward age trend in serum tHcy concentration was uninterrupted in its course (P > 0·50); whereas serum folic acid concentration showed a downward trend that incurred a discrete jump upward (17 % higher; P < 0·0001) with fortification. These trends differed significantly for males v. females (P < 0·001 for interaction).
Fortification had a significant impact on improving folate status but not serum tHcy concentrations among US adolescents.
A comparative study for picosecond and nanosecond laser structuring was performed in order to identify structure geometries and dimensions that efficiently reduce the significant volume changes during electrochemical cycling of SnO2, a promising anode material. Line structures with widths of 20 μm could significantly improve cycling stability of 3 μm thick magnetron sputtered SnO2 thin films. A reduction of structure size led to further improvement of capacity retention. Free-standing conical micro-structures exhibited the best cycling behavior.
Attempts to reduce high utilisation of mental health inpatient care by targeting the critical time of hospital discharge are rare. In this study, we test the effect of a needs-oriented discharge planning intervention on number and duration of psychiatric inpatient treatment episodes (primary), as well as on outpatient service use, needs, psychopathology, depression and quality of life (secondary).
Four hundred and ninety-one adults with a defined high utilisation of mental health care gave informed consent to participate in a multicentre RCT carried out at five psychiatric hospitals in Germany (Düsseldorf, Greifswald, Regensburg, Ravensburg and Günzburg). Subjects allocated to the intervention group were offered a manualised needs-led discharge planning and monitoring intervention with two intertwined sessions administered at hospital discharge and 3 months thereafter. Outcomes were assessed at four measurement points during a period of 18 months following discharge.
Intention-to-treat analyses showed no effect of the intervention on primary or secondary outcomes.
Process evaluation pending, the intervention cannot be recommended for implementation in routine care. Other approaches, e.g. team-based community care, might be more beneficial for people with persistent and severe mental illness.
The phase equilibria and oxidation resistance of alloys lying near the Cr-rich end of the Cr- Ta-Si system have been investigated. Samples were prepared by arc-melting and homogenized at 1300°C for 500hrs. Identification of the phases present and their compositions were carried out using x-ray diffraction and electron probe micro-analysis and the ternary phase diagram on the Cr-rich end was plotted. A three-phase equilibria was found to exist between an A2 Cr-solid solution, a hexagonal Laves phase and the A15 Cr3Si intermetallic phase for alloys with higher contents of Si.Thermo-gravimetric analysis of the alloys at 1100°C demonstrated an improvement in the oxidation resistance of the ternary alloys with increasing Si-content. The microstructures of the oxidized samples revealed the formation of a thick chromia layer on top of a Cr,Ta-mixed oxide layer and an internal oxidation zone for all the alloys. A protective silica layer was not observed to form in any of the alloys tested.
The need of intelligent implant materials for applications in the area of minimally invasive surgery leads to tremendous attention for polymers which combine degradability and shape-memory capability. Application of heat, and thereby exceeding a certain switching temperature Tsw, causes the device to changes its shape. The precise control of Tsw is particularly challenging. It was investigated in how far Tg, that can be used as Tsw, of amorphous polymer networks from star-shaped polyester macrotetrols crosslinked with a low-weight linker can be controlled systematically by incorporation of different comonomers into poly(rac-lactide) prepolymers. The molecular mass of the prepolymers as well as type and content of the comonomers was varied. The Tg could be adjusted by selection of comonomer type and ratio without affecting the advantageous elastic properties of the polymer networks.
The general design principle of shape-memory polymers (SMP) requires two key compo-nents: covalent or physical crosslinks (hard domains) determining the permanent shape and switching domains fixing the temporary shape as well as influencing the switching temperature Tsw. In conventional thermoplastic SMP hard and switching domains determining segments are combined in one macromolecule, e.g. block copolymers such as polyurethanes. Recently, binary polymer blends having shape-memory properties, from two different multiblock copolymers have been presented, whereby the first one is providing the segments forming hard domains and the second one the segments forming the switching domains. Besides the shape-memory proper-ties, the mechanical properties of such materials are application relevant. Here we investigate how the blend composition influences mechanical properties of this new class of shape-memory materials.