We report our approach to creating a microfluidic chip (namely UroLOC) that mimics the acinar/tubular structure and the luminal microenvironment of exocrine glands. The chip utilises a nanostructured membrane that is designed to provide a 3-dimensional supporting scaffold for the growth of exocrine acinus epithelial cells. The nanostructured membrane was produced using layer-by-layer assembly of polyelectrolytes, and formed into 3-dimensional hemispherical cavities and “finger-like” structures in order to mimic the natural architecture of acini found in exocrine glands. We utilised normal (PNT2) and cancerous (PC3, LNCaP) prostate epithelial cells to demonstrate the proof-of-concept of using MALDI (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation) profiling of secretions collected after 48 hours of cell growth, with no concentration or purification steps and without any a priori on the knowledge of targeted proteins. This MALDI profiling analysis of the crude supernatants from 3 different cell lines (PNT2, PC3 and LNCaP) demonstrated the capacity of the MALDI profiling approach to discriminate between the different secretome signatures. The UroLOC concept and secretome profiling that we describe opens new opportunities in terms of liquid-biopsy based diagnosis, particularly for the early stages of carcinogenesis.
Gastric ulcer is one of the common cause of hospital consultation with an increasing prevalence worldwide and it is traditionally managed with herbal medicine in the developing countries. This study investigated the gastroprotective effects of methanol extract of Eremomastax speciosa leaf in rats. Cold maceration in 80% methanol was adopted during extract preparation while gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) was employed in the phytochemical analysis. The doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg E. speciosa were used on ethanol-and indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer models in rats. The shay rat method was used to determine the effects of ESE on gastric acidity while the anticholinergic and antihistaminic activities were investigated on isolated rabbit jejunum ex vivo. The GC-MS analysis identified six bioactive compounds. Both ESE and cimetidine significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the severity of indomethacin- and ethanol-induced gastric injuries and gastric acid contents in Shay rats. The extract elicited concentration-dependent relaxation of isolated rabbit jejunum and reduced the contraction induced by both acetylcholine and histamine in the same tissue. The findings showed that ESE protected the rats against chemical-induced gastric ulcer through anticholinergic and antihistaminic mechanisms.
The presence of oil hydrocarbons and salts in soils has as consequence the poor growth of plants due to the low availability of nutrients caused by unappropriate water regime, increased soil toxicity and the deterioration of soil structure. The present research has as main purpose the improvement of the bean plants (cultivar UNIDOR) growth and to stimulate microbial activity in rhizosphere using various natural stimulators and fertilizers (AMALGEROL,VERMIPLANT, POCO, IGUANA and FORMULEX) in greenhouse experiments on oil-polluted soil from Icoana farm, Olt county. The total counts of microorganisms (heterotrophic aerobic bacteria and filamentous fungi) were estimated by dilution plate method. The global microbial activity was measured as soil respiration by substrate-induced respiration method. Total bean plants biomass accumulation significantly increased under the influence of natural stimulators and fertilizers added (excepting IGUANA) when compared to untreated control. The best results were recorded for VERMIPLANT. Natural products induced activation of physiological activities of soil microbiota reflected in increased values of CO2 released by respiration, lower levels of colonization with phytopathogenic species, the domination of fluorescent pseudomonads, actinomycetes and cellulolytic fungi, too. The particular aspect of paper circular chromatograms reflected qualitative differences between rhizosphere soils determined by the effect of treatments with natural stimulators and fertilizers.
Analytical laboratory results greatly influence medical diagnosis, about 70% of medical decisions are based on laboratory results. Quality assurance and quality control are designed to detect and correct errors in a laboratory’s analytical process to ensure both the reliability and accuracy of test results. Unreliable performance can result in misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. Furthermore, improved quality guarantees increased productivity at a lower cost. Quality assurance programmes include internal quality control, external quality assessment, proficiency surveillance and standardization. It is necessary to try to ensure compliance with the requirements of the standards at all levels of the process. The sources of these standards are the International Standards Organization (ISO), national standards bodies, guidelines from professional organisations, accreditation bodies and governmental regulations. Laboratory networks increase the performance of laboratories in support of diagnostic screening programme. It is essential that genetic laboratories of a network have procedures underpinned by a robust quality assurance system to minimize errors and to reassure the clinicians and the patients that international standards are being met. This article provides an overview of the bases of quality assurance and its importance in genetic tests and it reports the EBTNA quality assurance system which is a clear and simple system available for access to adequate standardization of a genetic laboratory’s network.
Soils from rural zones with high natural value (HNV) agriculture systems are an important source of beneficial microbial species that can be useful for various biotechnological purposes, such as transfer of suppressiveness against plant pathogens from suppressive to disease-inducing soils by using inoculation with antagonistic selected strains.
The main goal of the paper was to present the results of the research carried out on strains isolated from soil microbial populations in HNV agriculture system (Mureș county, Romania) responsible for specific suppressiveness against soil-borne phytopathogens. The dual culture method was used for assessing the mechanisms involved in antagonism against a plant pathogenic strain from genus Fusarium.
The global microbial activity measured as soil respiration was intense. Total counts of bacteria and fungi estimated by dilution plate were also high.
The community of heterotrophic aerobic bacteria included 13 species. Associations of fluorescent pseudomonads and actinomycetes were dominant and presented antagonistic activity against Fusarium.
Twenty fungal species presented cellulolytic capability evidenced by growth on culture media with cellulose as sole source of carbon. Over cellulolytic capacity, the selected isolate of Trichoderma viride presented antagonistic activity against pathogenic Fusarium strain. Both biochemical mechanism and hyperparasitism were evidenced as involved in its antifungal activity.
The brain consist of about 75 percent water. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is an advanced magnetic resonance (MR) technique imaging that has been developed for diagnostic and research in medicine. It can be use DTI tractography to better understand degenerating axons of white matter lesions in some neurological diseases such as MS, AD, trauma, cerebral ischemia, epilepsy, brain tumors and metabolic disorders.
Cardiovascular disorders include various conditions characterized by morphological and functional defects of the heart and vascular system. Molecular biology techniques (in particular DNA sequencing) have recently offered new insights into the etiology of cardiovascular defects, revealing their association with germline as well as somatic mutations.
Genetic tests are evaluated on the basis of their analytical and clinical validity, clinical utility, and ethical, legal and social implications. Next generation sequencing is so far the best approach for molecular diagnosis of congenital heart defects and vascular anomalies, the genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity of which makes them difficult to diagnose. Understanding the molecular causes of congenital heart defects and vascular anomalies has permitted clinical trials of drugs targeting affected genes and pathways.
The articles in this Special Issue aim to provide guidance for those concerned with diagnosis and research in the field of cardiovascular defects. The approach to genetic testing is discussed.
Aortic valve stenosis (AVS) is a congenital aortic defect in which the aortic lumen narrows due to thickening or calcification of the aortic valve without obstructing left ventricular outflow. Depending on the site of obstruction, AVS is classified as valvular, sub-valvular or supra-valvular. The prevalence of AVS is about 3% and increases with age. One in eight persons over the age of 75 years has moderate or severe AVS. AVS has autosomal dominant inheritance. It can be associated with mutations in the following genes: NOTCH1, SMAD6, SMAD4, and ELN. This Utility Gene Test was developed on the basis of the analysis of the literature and existing diagnostic protocols. It is useful for confirming diagnosis, as well as for differential diagnosis, couple risk assessment and access to clinical trials, when available.
Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a congenital heart defect characterized by an opening in the atrial septum. About 1/3 of patients with Noonan syndrome caused by mutation in the PTPN11 gene have ASD. The prevalence of ASD is estimated at 100 per 100,000 live births. ASD may have autosomal dominant or recessive inheritance. This Utility Gene Test was prepared on the basis of an analysis of the literature and existing diagnostic protocols. It is useful for confirming diagnosis, as well as for differential diagnosis, couple risk assessment and access to clinical trials.
Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) is a congenital heart defect characterized by a shared atrioventricular junction coexisting with deficient atrioventricular septation. The main morphological characteristic of AVSD is a common atrioventricular canal. The prevalence of AVSD is estimated at 0.31/1000 live births and is higher among subjects with PTPN11 mutations. ASD may have autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive inheritance. This Utility Gene Test was prepared on the basis of an analysis of the literature and existing diagnostic protocols. It is useful for confirming diagnosis, as well as for differential diagnosis, couple risk assessment and access to clinical trials.