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Open access

Nikolay Uzunov, Michele Bello, Laura Melendez-Alafort and Laura De Nardo

Abstract

In recent years, there is a constantly increasing interest in the application of nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis and cancer therapy. In this respect, the most promising nano-objects at present are the gold nanoparticles. A very convenient and powerful property of these objects is their ability to increase their temperature under electro-magnetic irradiation with certain wavelength. In our research we have directed our efforts toward particular nano-objects specifically sensitive to electromagnetic radiation in the near-infrared region (NIR). In order to study the photothermic properties of the solutions of gold nanoparticles in the NIR we constructed a specific electronic setup consisting of a laser system with interchangeable laser diodes with different wavelength NIR light, a thermally-insulated cuvette-holder compartment with temperature measuring probes and a NIR spectrometer to control the stimulated fluorescence emission of the nanoparticles’ solutions. The temperature measurement compartment with the thermal-insulated cuvette holder was designed to maintain the solutions’ temperature at a fixed value right before the moment of laser irradiation. To maintain the measurement setup at a fixed temperature before the irradiation we used a thermal stabilized system based on two Peltier cells with electronic temperature control. The temperatures of the ambient air and the temperature of the cuvette walls were continuously measured in order to make corrections about the temperature dissipation during the irradiation.

Open access

Vanya Koleva, Teodora Koynova, Asya Dragoeva and Nikolay Natchev

Abstract

Anthropogenic activities cause environmental pollution and alter biogeochemical cycles. Soils in cities and their vicinity are exposed to different pollutants. Nature Park Shumen Plateau is a protected area situated in the proximity of Shumen (Bulgaria). The aim of this research was to compare elemental composition of surface soil samples from Nature Park with two areas in Shumen city.

Soil samples from seven sites on the territory of Nature Park and from two urban sites were collected. The elemental composition of the samples was determined using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence technique. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis were performed to interpret the complex data.

The content of 24 elements was determined: Br, Y, Zr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, I, Cs, Ba, La, Ce Si, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, and Pb. Results presented here and previously showed that concentrations of heavy metals Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb are below the upper limit according to Bulgarian legislation. Concentrations of Mn and Fe in samples from Nature Park were comparable to the literature data reported for unpolluted areas. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis show similarity of the content of 24 elements between samples from Nature Park and from Shumen city. These findings are in accordance with our previous positive results from Allium-test: cytogenetic endpoints showed a presence of harmful compounds in Nature Park soils.

The content of heavy metals in the surface soils studied show a lack of environmental risk for Nature Park. However, a similar distribution pattern of the investigated elements in the park and two anthropologically influenced areas in Shumen city indicated a potential hazard in Nature Park.

Open access

Rostislava Todorova-Encheva

Open access

Rositsa Davidova and Senay Sevginov

Abstract

The aim of the study is to describe the testate amoebae fauna in seven reservoirs in the Northeastern Bulgaria and to investigate the relationship of taxonomic diversity and abundance of these organisms to the some characteristics of the reservoirs. A total of 52 species, varieties and forms belonging to 15 genera were identified in the benthal of the coastal zone. There are significant differences in species richness and abundance between the testacea of different reservoirs. Number of taxa was significantly higher in the Beli Lom (29 species and 12 genera) and Loznitsa (22 species and 13 genera). Most of the reservoirs - Kara Michal, Bogdantsi, Isperih, Lipnik and Brestovene have extremely poor fauna compared to other similar reservoirs. This is confirmed by the low values of the Shannon-Weaver diversity index, which varied between 1.04 and 2.396, as well as by the other indices used to assess the environmental conditions in the reservoirs. The data of the regression analysis showed that a relation between age, surface area and water volume of the reservoirs and the species richness and abundance of testacea is not established.

Open access

Maede Hasan Abdali, Karim Khoshgard and Abdolazim Sedighi Pashaki

Abstract

Purpose: To develop a multiple logistic regression model as normal tissue complication probability model by least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) technique in breast cancer patients treated with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), we focused on the changes of pulmonary function tests to achieve the optimal predictive parameters for the occurrence of symptomatic radiation pneumonitis (SRP).

Materials and methods: Dosimetric and spirometry data of 60 breast cancer patients were analyzed. Pulmonary function tests were done before RT, after completion of RT, 3, and 6 months after RT. Multiple logistic regression model was used to obtain the effective predictive parameters. Forward selection method was applied in NTCP model to determine the effective risk factors from obtained different parameters.

Results: Symptomatic radiation pneumonitis was observed in five patients. Significant changes in pulmonary parameters have been observed at six months after RT. The parameters of mean lung dose (MLD), bridge separation (BS), mean irradiated lung volume (ILVmean), and the percentage of the ipsilateral lung volume that received dose of 20 Gy (IV20) introduced as risk factors using the LASSO technique for SRP in a multiple normal tissue complication probability model in breast cancer patients treated with 3D-CRT. The BS, central lung distance (CLD) and ILV in tangential field have obtained as 23.5 (20.9-26.0) cm, 2.4 (1.5-3.3) cm, and 12.4 (10.6-14.3) % of lung volume in radiation field in patients without pulmonary complication, respectively.

Conclusion: The results showed that if BS, CLD, and ILV are more than 23 cm, 2 cm, and 12%, respectively, so incidence of SRP in the patients will be considerable. Our multiple NTCP LASSO model for breast cancer patients treated with 3D-CRT showed that in order to have minimum probability of SRP occurrence, parameters of BS, IV20, ILV and especially MLD would be kept in minimum levels. Considering dose-volume histogram, the mean lung dose factor is most important parameter which minimizing it in treatment planning, minimizes the probability of SRP and consequently improves the quality of life in breast cancer patients.

Open access

Teodora Koynova

Abstract

The green areas play a significant role in keeping the urban population healthy. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in the urban and peri-urban parks lately. The Nature Park Shumen plateau and Shumen City Park are an important green area for residents of Shumen city. The aim of this study was to make comparative analysis of the qualities of the Nature Park Shumen Plateau and the Shumen City Park as green spaces.

For quality assessment 10 criteria were used. The criteria were grouped in four categories - Green space placement, Green space use, Environment and Biodiversity. Five-point Likert scale was used to determine satisfaction with each of the 10 criteria. Nine experts did the evaluation of the criteria.

In category “Green space placement”, the Nature Park Shumen Plateau and the Shumen City Park had very similar evaluations however there were big differences in the individual criteria. According to the category “Green space use, both parks showed rather similar results. Concerning the category „Environment”, the Nature Park Shumen Plateau received slightly higher assessment and the category “Biodiversity” was ranked as twice higher.

The results show that the Nature Park Shumen Plateau and the Shumen City Park possess good quality as a green area, as the Nature Park Shumen Plateau was higher assessed compared to the Shumen City Park.

Open access

M. N. Moskovkina and I. P. Bangov

Abstract

The Quantitative Structure Retention Relationship (QSRR) approach has been applied to model the gas chromatographic retention of 16 alkyloxazoles and 16 alkylthiazoles on three capillary columns with different polarities. The potential of the Charge-related Topological Index (CTI) developed by one of the authors (I.B.) was investigated as a descriptor in QSRR linear multivariate regressions. Calculated values of atomic charges and the indication of the presence of substitutions in different positions in the solute structures are used to generate regressions. Analysis of the equations derived proves their ability to describe and evaluate the participants in the chromatographic separation process. The present quantitative characterization of the chromatographic retention of alkylazoles shows the potentials of deriving QSRR models to exhibit the retention intermolecular interactions.

Open access

Jerrin Amalraj, Ramasubramanian Velayudham and Pichandi Anchineyan

Abstract

Shielded silicon diodes are commonly employed in commissioning of Cyberknife 6 MV photon beams. This study aims to measure output factors, off centered ratio (OCR), percentage depth dose (PDD) of 6 MV photons using shielded and unshielded diodes and to compare with Gafchromic EBT3 film measurements to investigate whether EBT3 could effectively characterize small 6 MV photon beams. Output factors, OCR and PDD were measured with shielded and unshielded silicon detectors in a radiation field analyzer system at reference condition. Water equivalent solid phantom were used while irradiating EBT3 films. From multiuser data, diodes underestimated output factor by 3% for collimator fields ≤ 10 mm, while EBT3 underestimated the output factor by 3.9% for 5 mm collimator. 1D Gamma analysis of OCR between diode and film, results in gamma ≤ 1 for all measured points with 1 mm distance to agreement (DTA) and 1% relative dose difference (DD). Dose at surface is overestimated with diodes compared to EBT3. PDD results were within 2% relative dose values between diode and EBT3 except for 5 mm collimator. Except for small collimator fields of up to 10 mm, results of output factor, OCR, PDD of all detectors used in this study exhibited similar results. Relative dose measurements with Gafchromic EBT3 in this work show that EBT3 films can be used effectively as an independent tool to verify commissioning beam data of small fields only after careful verification of methodology for any systematic errors with appropriate readout procedure.

Open access

Ouroud Fellah, Samir Hameurlaine, Noureddine Gherraf, Amar Zellagui, Tahar Ali, Abdennabi Abidi, Muhammed Altun, Ibrahim Demirtas and Ayse SahinYaglioglu

Abstract

The aerial parts of T. gallica collected from three different locations (arid, humid and semi-arid) were extracted using ethyl acetate. The crude extracts were subjected to phenolic appraisal and antiproliferative activity using ELISA and xCELLigence assays. The total phenolic and flavonoids were evaluated using appropriate techniques to give a yield of total phenolics ranging between 238.46 and 348.56 mg GAE (Gallic acid equivalent)/g dry weight extract. The flavonoids yield was found to vary from 36.6 to 103.14 mg QE (quercetin equivalent)/g dry weight extract. Moreover, the extracts were tested against rat brain tumor (C6) and human cervix carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines and displayed important differences in activity. These disparities highlighted the effect of climatic factors as quality determinants of secondary metabolites and therefore as a key control of the biological therapeutic effect.

Open access

Habib Ahmad, Misbah Ahmad, Shahid Ali, M. Rauf Khattak, Wajeeha Shaheen, Jawad A. Gilani and Khalil Ahmad

Abstract

The goal of radiotherapy is to deliver prescribed dose to the target volume and simultaneously minimize the dose to the healthy organs. The purpose of this work was to verify the accuracy of calculations carried out with a treatment planning system (TPS). Measurements carried out with thermoluminescence detectors (TLDs) were compared with doses calculated with TPS. Doses were measured and calculated both in the open beam’s region and under individual blocks. Measurements were performed in the Randophantom. The work was carried out for photon beams generated in the Varian CLINAC 2100C accelerator. The maximum / minimum percentage differences between measured and calculated doses were 4.9/0.6%, 2.6/0%, and 3.5%/0.5% in open, shielded and partially shielded points, respectively. Differences between the measured and calculated doses were within acceptable limits.