Individual Components (individual + component)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Microfluidic tectonics platform: A colorimetric, disposable botulinum toxin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system

ELECTROPHORESIS, Issue 10-11 2004
Jaisree Moorthy
Abstract A fabrication platform for realizing integrated microfluidic devices is discussed. The platform allows for creating specific microsystems for multistep assays in an ad hoc manner as the components that perform the assay steps can be created at any location inside the device via in situ fabrication. The platform was utilized to create a prototype microsystem for detecting botulinum neurotoxin directly from whole blood. Process steps such as sample preparation by filtration, mixing and incubation with reagents was carried out on the device. Various microfluidic components such as channel network, valves and porous filter were fabricated from prepolymer mixture consisting of monomer, cross-linker and a photoinitiator. For detection of the toxoid, biotinylated antibodies were immobilized on streptavidin-functionalized agarose gel beads. The gel beads were introduced into the device and were used as readouts. Enzymatic reaction between alkaline phosphatase (on secondary antibody) and substrate produced an insoluble, colored precipitate that coated the beads thus making the readout visible to the naked eye. Clinically relevant amounts of the toxin can be detected from whole blood using the portable enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) system. Multiple layers can be realized for effective space utilization and creating a three-dimensional (3-D) chaotic mixer. In addition, external materials such as membranes can be incorporated into the device as components. Individual components that were necessary to perform these steps were characterized, and their mutual compatibility is also discussed. [source]

Louisiana waterthrushes (Seiurus motacilla) and habitat assessments as cost-effective indicators of instream biotic integrity

Summary 1. Benthic stream animals, in particular macroinvertebrates, are good indicators of water quality, but sampling can be laborious to obtain accurate indices of biotic integrity. Thus, tools for bioassessment that include measurements other than macroinvertebrates would be valuable additions to volunteer monitoring protocols. 2. We evaluated the usefulness of a stream-dependent songbird, the Louisiana waterthrush (waterthrush, Seiurus motacilla) and the Environmental Protection Agency Visual Habitat Assessment (EPA VHA) as indicators of the macrobenthos community in headwater streams of the Georgia Piedmont, U.S.A. We sampled macrobenthos, surveyed waterthrushes and measured habitat characteristics along 39 headwater reaches across 17 catchments ranging from forested to heavily urbanised or grazed by cattle. 3. Of the indicators considered, waterthrush occupancy was best for predicting relative abundances of macrobenthic taxa, while the EPA VHA was best for predicting Ephemeroptera,Plecoptera,Trichoptera (EPT) richness. Individual components of EPA VHA scores were much less useful as indicators of EPT richness and % EPT when compared with the total score. Waterthrushes were found along streams with higher % EPT, a lower Family Biotic Index (FBI) values and greater macrobenthos biomass. 4. While macroinvertebrates remain one of the most direct indicators of stream water quality, stream bird surveys and reach-scale habitat assessments can serve as cost-effective indicators of benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Using stream-dependent birds as an early warning signal for degradation of stream biotic integrity could improve the efficacy of catchment monitoring programmes in detecting and identifying perturbations within the catchment. [source]

Effect of plant phenolics, tocopherol and ascorbic acid on oxidative stability of pork patties

Lindsey Haak
Abstract BACKGROUND: There is great interest in the use of naturally occurring antioxidants to delay oxidation in meat products. The effect of rosemary extract (RE), green tea extract (TE), tocopherol, trolox, ascorbic acid (AA) and ascorbyl palmitate (AP), at levels of 50,200 ppm of antioxidant components, on colour (CIE L*a*b*), lipid (TBARS) and protein oxidation (thiol groups) in fresh, frozen and cooked pork patties during illuminated chill storage was investigated. Individual components of RE and TE were also tested. RESULTS: RE, TE, AP, tocopherol and trolox equally inhibited lipid oxidation in fresh and frozen patties, whereas for cooked patties RE was most effective. AA stimulated lipid oxidation. No dose effect in the range of 50,200 ppm was found for fresh and frozen patties, whereas for cooked patties higher doses of RE and TE more efficiently prevented lipid oxidation. Protein oxidation was hardly influenced by antioxidant treatment. Colour stability decreased as follows: tocopherol, AA and AP > RE and TE > trolox. Antioxidant properties of the extracts and their major antioxidant components were comparable. CONCLUSION: The relative effect of the antioxidants depends on the oxidation parameter assessed, the applied dose and the hydrophilic/lipophilic character. Copyright 2009 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Remodeling of extracellular matrix at ovulation of the bovine ovarian follicle

H.F. Irving-Rodgers
Abstract Using immunohistochemistry and RNA analyses we examined the fate of components of a newly identified matrix that develops between granulosa cells (focimatrix, abbreviated from focal intraepithelial matrix) and of the follicular basal lamina in ovulating bovine ovarian follicles. Pre- and postovulatory follicles were generated by treatment with estradiol (Day 1), progesterone (Days 1,10), and prostaglandin analogue (Day 9) with either no further treatment (Group 1, n,=,6) and or with 25 mg porcine LH (Day 11, Group 2, n,=,8 or Day 10, Group 3, n,=,8) and ovariectomy on Day 12 (12,14 hr post LH in Group 2, 38,40.5 hr in Group 3). In the time frame examined no loss of follicular basal lamina laminin chains ,2 and ,1 or nidogen 1 was observed. In the follicular basal lamina collagen type IV ,1 and perlecan were present prior to ovulation; after ovulation collagen type IV ,1 was discontinuously distributed and perlecan was absent. Versican in the theca interna adjacent to the follicular basal lamina in preovulatory follicles was not observed post ovulation, however, the granulosa cells then showed strong cytoplasmic staining for versican. Expression of versican isoforms V0, V1, and V3 was detected at all stages. Focimatrix was observed in preovulatory follicles. It contained collagen type IV ,1, laminins ,2 and ,1, nidogen 1 and perlecan and underwent changes in composition similar to that of the follicular basal lamina. In conclusion focimatrix and the follicular basal lamina are degraded at ovulation. Individual components are lost at different times. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Effect of 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid, its formulation materials and benzothiadiazole on systemic resistance to alternaria leaf spot in cotton

E.S. Colson-Hanks
A wettable powder (WP) formulation providing 5,25 ,g mL,1 of 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid (INA) and 15,75 ,g mL,1 of WP applied to cotton cotyledons significantly increased the resistance of the next two leaves to challenge inoculation by Alternaria macrospora. The wettable powder alone at 15,75 ,g mL,1 had a lesser effect. A wettable granule (WG) formulation supplying 35 ,g mL,1 of benzo-(1,2,3)-thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH) and 35 ,g mL,1 of WG, applied as a cotyledonary treatment, significantly reduced the formation of lesions on the subsequent two leaves when challenged with A. macrospora. The WG control had no effect. Each treatment except for the WG control also raised the activities of ,-1,3-glucanase in unchallenged leaf and stem tissue. Each of the components of the wettable powder without INA applied to cotyledons raised enzyme activities in the next leaves. Individual components, as suspensions of silicic acid and kaolin and solutions of the detergent Attisol II, the wetting agent Ultravon W300 and pure INA, applied to cotyledons increased the resistance of the next leaves to A. macrospora. The responsiveness of cotton to BTH and to each of the components of formulated INA is discussed in relation to knowledge of the effects of BTH and INA on other plants and to possible ways in which the other components of the wettable powder may affect the process of signalling for systemic resistance to disease. [source]

Quality in the outsourcing process: part I. The quality outsourcer

Yvonne Russell Dr.
Abstract In clinical research, the definition of quality and overall responsibility for ensuring that performance parameters are adequately tracked and the necessary corrective action taken, lies firmly in the hands of the outsourcing project director/manager (outsourcer or sponsor). Meticulous planning of requirements prior to project start and strong ,general management' throughout the life of the outsourced project play a critical role in influencing both the outcome of the study and also in determining the quality of the research data. For ,quality in the outsourcing process', read ,quality outsourcing'. The implementation of a carefully formulated project-specific outsourcing strategy means that macromanagement (general management), not micromanagement (defined here as a form of ,intensive therapy for the ailing project' management), will be the primary task of the sponsor. A research team that is well-defined, with all members (sponsor and vendor alike) mindful of their individual responsibilities, in addition to being well-directed, will achieve consensus of opinion faster and deliver a quality product. An outsourcing strategy for the full clinical development program, clearly defined outsourcing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and a strategy tailored to each individually outsourced project form an integral part of the recipe to outsourcing success. Individual components of an outsourcing strategy and how one can safeguard that an outsourced project is brought to completion successfully, and to the prescribed quality standards, are addressed in detail in this article. Part two of this article, entitled ,Quality in the Outsourcing Process: II. The Vendor Selection Process and The Quality Vendor', will provide the quality outsourcer with tips and tools on how to make a quality decision in the vendor selection process and addresses further issues that are fundamental to the maintenance of quality in the outsourcing process. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Low-Temperature-Grown Transition Metal Oxide Based Storage Materials and Oxide Transistors for High-Density Non-volatile Memory

Myoung-Jae Lee
Abstract An effective stacked memory concept utilizing all-oxide-based device components for future high-density nonvolatile stacked structure data storage is developed. GaInZnO (GIZO) thin-film transistors, grown at room temperature, are integrated with one-diode (CuO/InZnO),one-resistor (NiO) (1D,1R) structure oxide storage node elements, fabricated at room temperature. The low growth temperatures and fabrication methods introduced in this paper allow the demonstration of a stackable memory array as well as integrated device characteristics. Benefits provided by low-temperature processes are demonstrated by fabrication of working devices over glass substrates. Here, the device characteristics of each individual component as well as the characteristics of a combined select transistor with a 1D,1R cell are reported. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis of a NiO resistance layer deposited by sputter and atomic layer deposition confirms the importance of metallic Ni content in NiO for bi-stable resistance switching. The GIZO transistor shows a field-effect mobility of 30,cm2,V,1,s,1, a Vth of +1.2,V, and a drain current on/off ratio of up to 108, while the CuO/InZnO heterojunction oxide diode has forward current densities of 2,,104,A,cm,2. Both of these materials show the performance of state-of-the-art oxide devices. [source]

Efficacy and safety of mesalamine 1 g HS versus 500 mg BID suppositories in mild to moderate ulcerative proctitis: A multicenter randomized study

Mark Lamet MD
Abstract Background: Ulcerative proctitis (UP) usually presents as fresh rectal bleeding. Successful treatment using topical mesalamine 5-aminosalicyclic acid (5-ASA) 500 mg BID suppository led to developing a once-a-day formulation that could contribute to better acceptability and ease of use by patients. The objective of this randomized trial, conducted in 18 centers, was to compare efficacy of 2 modes of treatment with 5-ASA suppositories. Methods: Ninety-nine patients with mild or moderate UP limited to 15 cm of the anal margin, evidenced by a disease activity index (DAI) between 4 and 11, were randomized to 5-ASA 500 mg suppository (Canasa; Axcan Pharma) BID or 1 g at bedtime (HS) for 6 weeks. The study used a noninferiority hypothesis based on the mean difference in DAI values after 6 weeks of treatment on an intent-to-treat basis using analysis of covariance. DAI was derived from a composite of the measures of stool frequency, rectal bleeding, mucosal visualization at endoscopy, and general well being. Results: There was no difference between groups at baseline for demographic and clinical parameters. Mean DAIs fell from 6.6 1.5 (SD) to 1.6 2.3 in the 500 mg BID group (n = 48) and from 6.1 1.5 to 1.3 2.2 in the 1 g HS group (n = 39). There was no significant difference (P = 0.74) in mean DAI at week 6 between the 2 groups. Both groups showed a significant reduction (P < 0.0001) in DAI over the course of the 6 weeks. Both formulations showed effectiveness in reducing each individual component of the DAI. There was no significant difference between treatments in adverse events, and both groups had an overall drug compliance of greater than 95%. Conclusion: This study showed that 1 g HS and 500 mg BID mesalamine suppository treatments of UP patients were equivalent in all facets of efficacy, safety, and compliance in a 6-week trial. [source]

Effect of molecular weight, temperature, and additives on the moisture sorption properties of polyethylene glycol

Jared A. Baird
Abstract Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a hygroscopic polymer that undergoes the phenomenon of deliquescence once a critical relative humidity (RH0) is reached. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the deliquescence behavior of PEG will be affected by the polymer molecular weight, temperature, and the presence of additives. The deliquescence relative humidity for single component (RH0) and binary mixtures (RH0,mix) were measured using an automated gravimetric moisture analyzer at 25 and 40C. Changes in PEG crystallinity after exposure to moisture were qualitatively assessed using powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). Optical microscopy was used to visually observe the deliquescence phenomenon. For single component systems, decreasing PEG MW and elevating the temperature resulted in a decrease in the observed RH0. Physical mixtures of acetaminophen and anhydrous citric acid with both PEG 3350 and PEG 100,000 exhibited deliquescence (RH0,mix) at a relative humidity below that of either individual component. Qualitative changes in crystallinity were observed from the X-ray diffractograms for each PEG MW grade at high relative humidities, indicating that phase transformation (deliquescence) of the samples had occurred. In conclusion, it was found that the deliquescence behavior of PEG was affected by the polymer MW, temperature, and the presence of additives. This phenomenon may have important implications for the stability of PEG containing formulations. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 99:154,168, 2010 [source]

Characterization of amorphous API:Polymer mixtures using X-ray powder diffraction

Ann Newman
Abstract Recognizing limitations with the standard method of determining whether an amorphous API,polymer mixture is miscible based on the number of glass transition temperatures (Tg) using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements, we have developed an X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) method coupled with computation of pair distribution functions (PDF), to more fully assess miscibility in such systems. The mixtures chosen were: dextran,poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) and trehalose,dextran, both prepared by lyophilization; and indomethacin,PVP, prepared by evaporation from organic solvent. Immiscibility is detected when the PDF profiles of each individual component taken in proportion to their compositions in the mixture agree with the PDF of the mixture, indicating phase separation into independent amorphous phases. A lack of agreement of the PDF profiles indicates that the mixture with a unique PDF is miscible. In agreement with DSC measurements that detected two independent Tg values for the dextran,PVP mixture, the PDF profiles of the mixture matched very well indicating a phase separated system. From the PDF analysis, indomethacin,PVP was shown to be completely miscible in agreement with the single Tg value measured for the mixture. In the case of the trehalose,dextran mixture, where only one Tg value was detected, however, PDF analysis clearly revealed phase separation. Since DSC can not detect two Tg values when phase separation produces amorphous domains with sizes less than approximately 30 nm, it is concluded that the trehalose,dextran system is a phase separated mixture with a structure equivalent to a solid nanosuspension having nanosize domains. Such systems would be expected to have properties intermediate to those observed for miscible and macroscopically phase separated amorphous dispersions. However, since phase separation has occurred, the solid nanosuspensions would be expected to exhibit a greater tendency for physical instability under a given stress, that is, crystallization, than would a miscible system. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 97:4840,4856, 2008 [source]

Obesity dynamics and cardiovascular risk factor stability in obese adolescents

Ram Weiss
Aim:, Cross-sectional studies showed worsening of cardiovascular risk factors with increasing severity of childhood obesity. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of obesity dynamics on cardiovascular risk factors and on the stability of the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome (MS) in obese youth. Methods and results:, A longitudinal assessment of components of the MS using two definitions was performed in 186 obese adolescents (106 females/80 males, age 13.1 2.5 yr). Components of the MS were assessed at baseline and after 19 7 months. We stratified the cohort into three categories based on the 25th and 75th percentile of body mass index (BMI) z-score change: category 1 reduced BMI z-score by 0.09 or more, category 2 had a BMI z-score change of between ,0.09 and 0.12, and category 3 increased BMI z-score by >0.12. Subjects who reduced their BMI z-score significantly decreased their fasting and 2-h glucose levels and triglyceride levels and increased their high density lipoprotein cholesterol in comparison to subjects who increased their BMI z-score. BMI z-score changes negatively correlated with changes in insulin sensitivity (r = ,0.36, p < 0.001). Among those with no MS at baseline (n = 119), 10 (8%), most of whom significantly increased their BMI z-score, developed MS. Of 67 who had MS at baseline, 33 (50%), most of whom decreased their BMI z-score, lost the diagnosis. Conclusions:, Obesity dynamics, tightly linked to changes in insulin sensitivity, have an impact on each individual component of the MS and on the stability of the diagnosis of MS in obese youth. [source]

UROX 2.0: an interactive tool for fitting atomic models into electron-microscopy reconstructions

Xavier Siebert
Electron microscopy of a macromolecular structure can lead to three-dimensional reconstructions with resolutions that are typically in the 30,10, range and sometimes even beyond 10,. Fitting atomic models of the individual components of the macromolecular structure (e.g. those obtained by X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance) into an electron-microscopy map allows the interpretation of the latter at near-atomic resolution, providing insight into the interactions between the components. Graphical software is presented that was designed for the interactive fitting and refinement of atomic models into electron-microscopy reconstructions. Several characteristics enable it to be applied over a wide range of cases and resolutions. Firstly, calculations are performed in reciprocal space, which results in fast algorithms. This allows the entire reconstruction (or at least a sizeable portion of it) to be used by taking into account the symmetry of the reconstruction both in the calculations and in the graphical display. Secondly, atomic models can be placed graphically in the map while the correlation between the model-based electron density and the electron-microscopy reconstruction is computed and displayed in real time. The positions and orientations of the models are refined by a least-squares minimization. Thirdly, normal-mode calculations can be used to simulate conformational changes between the atomic model of an individual component and its corresponding density within a macromolecular complex determined by electron microscopy. These features are illustrated using three practical cases with different symmetries and resolutions. The software, together with examples and user instructions, is available free of charge at [source]

Energy absorption capacity; a new concept for stability analysis of nonlinear dynamic systems,

Ali Akbar Jamshidifar
Abstract Stability is the main concern considered for every system. Generally the well-known Lyapunov and input-output stability methods are utilized for the stability analysis of nonlinear systems. These methods face serious difficulties as the size and complexity of the systems increases. In this paper a new approach is presented to overcome this problem by introducing a new concept "Energy Absorption Capacity" (EAC) for every component. The EAC of the system can be derived from its component EACs considering their interaction. It is shown that the stability of every individual component is assured if its EAC has a positive value. The proposed approach is less conservative compared to a Lyapunov-based approach. This is due to its reliance on EAC as the extreme value of energy function rather than the function itself. Some examples are given to support the proposed approach. Copyright 2009 John Wiley and Sons Asia Pte Ltd and Chinese Automatic Control Society [source]

Maximum likelihood constrained deconvolution.

I: Algorithm, qualitative, quantitative enhancement in synthetic two-dimensional NMR spectra
Abstract The maximum likelihood method is a constrained iterative spectral deconvolution technique in which a spectral fitting model is determined by minimizing the variance of fit in the time domain in a nonlinear iterative manner. Application of this method to synthetic 2-dimensional (2-D) NMR spectra, which have heavily overlapped multiplets associated with low signal to noise ratios, yields contrast-enhanced spectra with simultaneous noise suppression and resolution improvement. This protocol greatly facilitates peak recognition and often partitions overlapping multiplets into individual components, leading to a more accurate interpretation of resonance frequencies, coupling constants, and multiplets than does the conventional apodization or Fourier transform method. These advantages are useful for constructing reliable 3-D molecular structures for complex molecular systems. 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Concepts Magn Reson 14: 402,415, 2002 [source]

Parallel space-filling curve generation through sorting

J. Luitjens
Abstract In this paper we consider the scalability of parallel space-filling curve generation as implemented through parallel sorting algorithms. Multiple sorting algorithms are studied and results show that space-filling curves can be generated quickly in parallel on thousands of processors. In addition, performance models are presented that are consistent with measured performance and offer insight into performance on still larger numbers of processors. At large numbers of processors, the scalability of adaptive mesh refined codes depends on the individual components of the adaptive solver. One such component is the dynamic load balancer. In adaptive mesh refined codes, the mesh is constantly changing resulting in load imbalance among the processors requiring a load-balancing phase. The load balancing may occur often, requiring the load balancer to perform quickly. One common method for dynamic load balancing is to use space-filling curves. Space-filling curves, in particular the Hilbert curve, generate good partitions quickly in serial. However, at tens and hundreds of thousands of processors serial generation of space-filling curves will hinder scalability. In order to avoid this issue we have developed a method that generates space-filling curves quickly in parallel by reducing the generation to integer sorting. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Multicentre study of fragrance allergy in Hungary

Immediate, late type reactions
The authors followed the frequency of fragrance contact sensitization in Hungary in a multicentre study in the years 1998 and 1999. A total of 3604 patients were tested with fragrance mix (FM), and positive reactions were observed in 294 (8.2%). In 160 FM hypersensitive patients, the study was continued with patch testing of the mix constituents (cinnamic alcohol, cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol, amyl cinnamic aldehyde, hydroxycitronellal, geraniol, isoeugenol, oak moss absolute). Of the patients tested, 70.6% produced positive reactions to the constituents. FM contact sensitization was mainly observed in female patients (74.4%). The incidence of contact urticaria in FM hypersensitive patients was 6.1%. Simultaneous patch test trials of other environmental contact allergens, in both early and late evaluations, mainly confirmed hypersensitivity reactions to balsams. Female dominance of hypersensitivity reactions observed during testing the individual components of the mix was striking (82.4%). In positive skin reactions, cinnamic alcohol, isoeugenol and oak moss provoked skin symptoms most frequently. We also tested the 104 patients who produced negative reactions to FM with the constituent individual allergens, with 11.9% positive incidence. The clinical symptoms of the patients were above all manifest in the form of contact eczema, located on the hands, face, eyelids and axillae. With this study, the authors, members of the Hungarian Contact Dermatitis Research Group, call attention to one of the most frequent allergens in the environment. [source]

The metabolic syndrome: evolving evidence that thiazolidinediones provide rational therapy

Kathleen L. Wyne
The metabolic syndrome, also known as the dysmetabolic syndrome, syndrome X or the insulin resistance syndrome, refers to the clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors that are present in many individuals who are at increased risk for both cardiovascular events and type 2 diabetes. Prediabetic subjects typically exhibit an atherogenic pattern of cardiovascular risks that is associated with hyperinsulinaemia. Thus, identification of components of the metabolic syndrome is important if patients are to be treated early enough to prevent cardiovascular events and other complications related to diabetes. Therapies targeted to specific components of the metabolic syndrome such as improving glycaemic control, managing dyslipidaemia and reducing the prothrombotic state should help to minimize cardiovascular risk, particularly if initiated early. Traditional pharmacologic agents used to manage the individual components of the metabolic syndrome do not typically impact the other components. The thiazolidinediones, a new class of agents that improve insulin resistance, have the ability, in addition to their glucose-lowering effects, to exert several powerful anti-atherogenic properties, including anti-inflammatory effects in the vascular endothelium, redistribution of visceral fat and reduction of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinaemia and hyperproinsulinaemia. This makes the thiazolidinediones ideal candidates for the early treatment of many components associated with the metabolic syndrome. [source]

Prediction of cardiovascular and total mortality in Chinese type 2 diabetic patients by the WHO definition for the metabolic syndrome

G. T.-C.
Aim:, The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MES) in type 2 diabetic patients and the predictive values of the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) definitions and the individual components of the MES on total and cardiovascular mortality. Methods:, A prospective analysis of a consecutive cohort of 5202 Chinese type 2 diabetic patients recruited between July 1994 and April 2001. Results:, The prevalence of the MES was 49.2,58.1% depending on the use of various criteria. There were 189 deaths (men: 100 and women: 89) in these 5205 patients during a median (interquartile range) follow-up period of 2.1 (0.3,3.6 years). Of these, 164 (87%) were classified as cardiovascular deaths. Using the NCEP criterion, patients with MES had a death rate similar to those without (3.51 vs. 3.85%). By contrast, based on the WHO criteria, patients with MES had a higher mortality rate than those without (4.3 vs. 2.4%, p = 0.002). Compared to patients with neither NCEP- nor WHO-defined MES, only the group with MES defined by the WHO, but not NCEP, criterion had significantly higher mortality rate (2.6 vs. 6.8%, p < 0.001). Using Cox regression analysis, only age, duration of diabetes and smoking were identified as independent factors for cardiovascular or total death. Among the various components of MES, hypertension, low BMI and albuminuria were the key predictors for these adverse events. Conclusions:, In Chinese type 2 diabetic patients, the WHO criterion has a better discriminative power over the NCEP criterion for predicting death. Among the various components of the MES defined either by WHO or NCEP, hypertension, albuminuria and low BMI were the main predictors of cardiovascular and total mortality. [source]

Increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Type 2 diabetic patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

G. Targher
Abstract Aims, To estimate the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Type 2 diabetic patients with and without non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and to assess whether NAFLD is independently related to prevalent CVD. Methods, We studied 400 Type 2 diabetic patients with NAFLD and 400 diabetic patients without NAFLD who were matched for age and sex. Main outcome measures were prevalent CVD (as ascertained by medical history, physical examination, electrocardiogram and echo-Doppler scanning of carotid and lower limb arteries), NAFLD (by ultrasonography) and presence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) as defined by the World Health Organization or Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Results, The prevalences of coronary (23.0 vs. 15.5%), cerebrovascular (17.2 vs. 10.2%) and peripheral (12.8 vs. 7.0%) vascular disease were significantly increased in those with NAFLD as compared with those without NAFLD (P < 0.001), with no differences between sexes. The MetS (by any criteria) and all its individual components were more frequent in NAFLD patients (P < 0.001). In logistic regression analysis, male sex, age, smoking history and MetS were independently related to prevalent CVD, whereas NAFLD was not. Conclusions, The prevalence of CVD is increased in patients with Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD in association with an increased prevalence of MetS as compared with diabetic patients without NAFLD. Follow-up studies are necessary to determine whether this higher prevalence of CVD among diabetic patients with NAFLD affects long-term mortality. Diabet. Med. (2006) [source]

Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant ,-lipoic acid: a meta-analysis

D. Ziegler
Abstract Aims To determine the efficacy and safety of 600 mg of ,-lipoic acid given intravenously over 3 weeks in diabetic patients with symptomatic polyneuropathy. Methods We searched the database of VIATRIS GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, for clinical trials of ,-lipoic acid according to the following prerequisites: randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial using ,-lipoic acid infusions of 600 mg i.v. per day for 3 weeks, except for weekends, in diabetic patients with positive sensory symptoms of polyneuropathy which were scored by the Total Symptom Score (TSS) in the feet on a daily basis. Four trials (ALADIN I, ALADIN III, SYDNEY, NATHAN II) comprised n = 1258 patients (,-lipoic acid n = 716; placebo n = 542) met these eligibility criteria and were included in a meta-analysis based on the intention-to-treat principle. Primary analysis involved a comparison of the differences in TSS from baseline to the end of i.v. Treatment between the groups treated with ,-lipoic acid or placebo. Secondary analyses included daily changes in TSS, responder rates (, 50% improvement in TSS), individual TSS components, Neuropathy Impairment Score (NIS), NIS of the lower limbs (NIS-LL), individual NIS-LL components, and the rates of adverse events. Results After 3 weeks the relative difference in favour of ,-lipoic acid vs. placebo was 24.1% (13.5, 33.4) (geometric mean with 95% confidence interval) for TSS and 16.0% (5.7, 25.2) for NIS-LL. The responder rates were 52.7% in patients treated with ,-lipoic acid and 36.9% in those on placebo (P < 0.05). On a daily basis there was a continuous increase in the magnitude of TSS improvement in favour of ,-lipoic acid vs. placebo which was noted first after 8 days of treatment. Among the individual components of the TSS, pain, burning, and numbness decreased in favour of ,-lipoic acid compared with placebo, while among the NIS-LL components pin-prick and touch-pressure sensation as well as ankle reflexes were improved in favour of ,-lipoic acid after 3 weeks. The rates of adverse events did not differ between the groups. Conclusions The results of this meta-analysis provide evidence that treatment with ,-lipoic acid (600 mg/day i.v.) over 3 weeks is safe and significantly improves both positive neuropathic symptoms and neuropathic deficits to a clinically meaningful degree in diabetic patients with symptomatic polyneuropathy. Diabet. Med. 21, 114,121 (2004) [source]

Post-earthquake bridge repair cost and repair time estimation methodology

Kevin R. Mackie
Abstract While structural engineers have traditionally focused on individual components (bridges, for example) of transportation networks for design, retrofit, and analysis, it has become increasingly apparent that the economic costs to society after extreme earthquake events are caused at least as much from indirect costs as direct costs due to individual structures. This paper describes an improved methodology for developing probabilistic estimates of repair costs and repair times that can be used for evaluating the performance of new bridge design options and existing bridges in preparation for the next major earthquake. The proposed approach in this paper is an improvement on previous bridge loss modeling studies,it is based on the local linearization of the dependence between repair quantities and damage states so that the resulting model follows a linear relationship between damage states and repair points. The methodology uses the concept of performance groups (PGs) that account for damage and repair of individual bridge components and subassemblies. The method is validated using two simple examples that compare the proposed method to simulation and previous methods based on loss models using a power,law relationship between repair quantities and damage. In addition, an illustration of the method is provided for a complete study on the performance of a common five-span overpass bridge structure in California. Intensity-dependent repair cost ratios (RCRs) and repair times are calculated using the proposed approach, as well as plots that show the disaggregation of repair cost by repair quantity and by PG. This provides the decision maker with a higher fidelity of data when evaluating the contribution of different bridge components to the performance of the bridge system, where performance is evaluated in terms of repair costs and repair times rather than traditional engineering quantities such as displacements and stresses. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Four ways towards tropical herbivore megadiversity

Thomas M. Lewinsohn
Abstract Most multicellular species alive are tropical arthropods associated with plants. Hence, the host-specificity of these species, and their diversity at different scales, are keys to understanding the assembly structure of global biodiversity. We present a comprehensive scheme in which tropical herbivore megadiversity can be partitioned into the following components: (A) more host plant species per se, (B) more arthropod species per plant species, (C) higher host specificity of herbivores, or (D) higher species turnover (beta diversity) in the tropics than in the temperate zone. We scrutinize recent studies addressing each component and identify methodological differences among them. We find substantial support for the importance of component A, more tropical host species. A meta-analysis of published results reveals intermediate to high correlations between plant and herbivore diversity, accounting for up to 60% of the variation in insect species richness. Support for other factors is mixed, with studies too scarce and approaches too uneven to allow for quantitative summaries. More research on individual components is unlikely to resolve their relative contribution to overall herbivore diversity. Instead, we call for the adoption of more coherent methods that avoid pitfalls for larger-scale comparisons, for studies assessing different components together rather than singly, and for studies that investigate herbivore beta-diversity (component D) in a more comprehensive perspective. [source]

Empirically evaluated treatments for body image disturbance: a review

Clare Farrell
Abstract Body image disturbance is both a risk factor for the development of disturbed eating and a central feature of clinical eating disorders. This review examines empirically tested interventions for people with high levels of body image disturbance. The most commonly used therapies with the most empirical support are cognitive-behavioural. The specificity of the body image interventions and the importance of individual components have not yet been established. Prevention programmes to address body image disturbance appear promising, although further research evidence is required. It is concluded that treatments for addressing body image disturbance are hindered by the lack of a clearly specified theoretical model of the maintenance of body image disturbance and that such an analysis is needed to increase the effectiveness of current interventions. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. [source]

Structural Studies of ,-Cyclodextrin and Permethylated ,-Cyclodextrin Inclusion Compounds of Cyclopentadienyl Metal Carbonyl Complexes

Susana S. Braga
Abstract [CpM(CO)nCl] complexes with M = Fe (n = 2) and Mo (n = 3) have been immobilised in plain ,-cyclodextrin (,-CD) and permethylated ,-CD (TRIMEB) by methods tailored according to the stabilities and solubilities of the individual components. Four adducts were obtained with a 1:1 host/guest stoichiometry. The compounds were studied by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), 13C{1H} CP/MAS NMR and FTIR spectroscopy. A comparison of the experimental powder XRD data for the TRIMEB/[CpMo(CO)3Cl] inclusion compound with reference patterns revealed that the crystal packing is very similar to that reported previously for a TRIMEB/ethyl laurate inclusion compound. The unit-cell parameters refined to a = 14.731, b = 22.476, c = 27.714 (volume = 9176.3 3), and the space group was confirmed as P212121. A hypothetical structural model of the inclusion compound was subsequently obtained by global optimisation using simulated annealing. ( Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2006) [source]

Potential clinical relevance of the ,little brain' on the mammalian heart

J. A. Armour
It is hypothetized that the heart possesses a nervous system intrinsic to it that represents the final relay station for the co-ordination of regional cardiac indices. This ,little brain' on the heart is comprised of spatially distributed sensory (afferent), interconnecting (local circuit) and motor (adrenergic and cholinergic efferent) neurones that communicate with others in intrathoracic extracardiac ganglia, all under the tonic influence of central neuronal command and circulating catecholamines. Neurones residing from the level of the heart to the insular cortex form temporally dependent reflexes that control overlapping, spatially determined cardiac indices. The emergent properties that most of its components display depend primarily on sensory transduction of the cardiovascular milieu. It is further hypothesized that the stochastic nature of such neuronal interactions represents a stabilizing feature that matches cardiac output to normal corporal blood flow demands. Thus, with regard to cardiac disease states, one must consider not only cardiac myocyte dysfunction but also the fact that components within this neuroaxis may interact abnormally to alter myocyte function. This review emphasizes the stochastic behaviour displayed by most peripheral cardiac neurones, which appears to be a consequence of their predominant cardiac chemosensory inputs, as well as their complex functional interconnectivity. Despite our limited understanding of the whole, current data indicate that the emergent properties displayed by most neurones comprising the cardiac neuroaxis will have to be taken into consideration when contemplating the targeting of its individual components if predictable, long-term therapeutic benefits are to accrue. [source]

Restoration of Conductivity with TTF-TCNQ Charge-Transfer Salts

Susan A. Odom
Abstract The formation of the conductive TTF-TCNQ (tetrathiafulvalene,tetracyanoquinodimethane) charge-transfer salt via rupture of microencapsulated solutions of its individual components is reported. Solutions of TTF and TCNQ in various solvents are separately incorporated into poly(urea-formaldehyde) core,shell microcapsules. Rupture of a mixture of TTF-containing microcapsules and TCNQ-containing microcapsules results in the formation of the crystalline salt, as verified by FTIR spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction. Preliminary measurements demonstrate the partial restoration of conductivity of severed gold electrodes in the presence of TTF-TCNQ derived in situ. This is the first microcapsule system for the restoration of conductivity in mechanically damaged electronic devices in which the repairing agent is not conductive until its release. [source]

Microbial biodegradation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons

Ri-He Peng
Abstract Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread in various ecosystems and are pollutants of great concern due to their potential toxicity, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity. Because of their hydrophobic nature, most PAHs bind to particulates in soil and sediments, rendering them less available for biological uptake. Microbial degradation represents the major mechanism responsible for the ecological recovery of PAH-contaminated sites. The goal of this review is to provide an outline of the current knowledge of microbial PAH catabolism. In the past decade, the genetic regulation of the pathway involved in naphthalene degradation by different gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria was studied in great detail. Based on both genomic and proteomic data, a deeper understanding of some high-molecular-weight PAH degradation pathways in bacteria was provided. The ability of nonligninolytic and ligninolytic fungi to transform or metabolize PAH pollutants has received considerable attention, and the biochemical principles underlying the degradation of PAHs were examined. In addition, this review summarizes the information known about the biochemical processes that determine the fate of the individual components of PAH mixtures in polluted ecosystems. A deeper understanding of the microorganism-mediated mechanisms of catalysis of PAHs will facilitate the development of new methods to enhance the bioremediation of PAH-contaminated sites. [source]

Negotiating the Network: The Contracting Experiences of Community Mental Health Agencies in New Zealand

Susan Newberry
Structural options for reforming New Zealand'spublicly funded health services included a hierarchy, a market model, or hybrid arrangements such as quasi-markets and networks. A survey of 28 community mental health agencies, contracting with the four regional health authorities, found that three structures emerged: a quasi-market, a coercive network and a beneficent network. Further reforms to the publicly funded health services created a single purchaser and preferred a network structure. Performance assessment of these reformed health services requires assessment of the whole network and not just individual components. The accounting profession, although closely involved in the public sector reforms, appears to have overlooked this task. [source]

Fuel Cell Vehicle Simulation , Part 1: Benchmarking Available Fuel Cell Vehicle Simulation Tools

FUEL CELLS, Issue 3 2003
K.H. Hauer
Abstract Fuel cell vehicle simulation is one method for systematic and fast investigation of the different vehicle options (fuel choice, hybridization, reformer technologies). However, a sufficient modeling program, capable of modeling the different design options, is not available today. Modern simulation programs should be capable of serving as tools for analysis as well as development. Shortfalls of the existing programs, initially developed for internal combustion engine hybrid vehicles, are: (i)Insufficient modeling of transient characteristics; (ii) Insufficient modeling of the fuel cells system; (iii) Insufficient modeling of advanced hybrid systems; (iv) Employment of a non-causal (backwards looking) structure; (v) Significant shortcomings in the area of controls. In the area of analysis, a modeling tool for fuel cell vehicles needs to address the transient dynamic interaction between the electric drive train and the fuel cell system. Especially for vehicles with slow responding on-board fuel processor, this interaction is very different from the interaction between a battery (as power source) and an electric drive train in an electric vehicle design. Non-transient modeling leads to inaccurate predictions of vehicle performance and fuel consumption. When applied in the area of development, the existing programs do not support the employment of newer techniques, such as rapid prototyping. This is because the program structure merges control algorithms and component models, or different control algorithms (from different components) are lumped together in one single control block and not assigned to individual components as they are in real vehicles. In both cases, the transfer of control algorithms from the model into existing hardware is not possible. This paper is the first part of a three part series and benchmarks the "state of the art" of existing programs. The second paper introduces a new simulation program, which tries to overcome existing barriers. Specifically it explicitly recognizes the dynamic interaction between fuel cell system, drive train and optional additional energy storage. [source]

Organization of Organic Molecules with Inorganic Nanoparticles: Hybrid Nanodiodes,

Kallol Mohanta
Abstract A monolayer of inorganic nanoparticles and a monolayer of organic molecules have been electrostatically assembled in sequence. Such assemblies or organizations exhibit electrical rectification. When the sequence of the organization is reversed, the direction of rectification becomes opposite. In both n-type ZnO/organic and organic/n-ZnO assemblies, electron flow is favorable from the n-ZnO nanoparticle to the (electron-accepting) organic molecule. While the individual components do not show any rectification, substitutes of the organic molecule tune electrical rectification. Junctions between a p-type ZnO nanoparticle and an electron-donating metal phthalocyanine favor current flow in the nanoparticle-to-phthalocyanine direction. The rectification in a junction between a nanoparticle and an organic molecule is due to the parity between free carriers in the former component and the type of carrier-accepting nature in the latter one. By observing electrical rectification with the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope, organic/inorganic hybrid nanodiodes or rectifiers on the molecular/nanoscale have been established. [source]