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Open access

Martyna Kasela and Anna Malm

Abstract

Choosing the appropriate method for differentiation of Staphylococcus aureus strains is important for effective diagnostics and epidemiological investigations. Despite the fact that the results of phenotypic methods are strongly dependent on environmental conditions, they can still be useful in the investigation of epidemic strains of S. aureus. In this article, the potential application of commonly used phenotypic methods in epidemiological studies of S. aureus was analysed. Advantages and disadvantages of methods such as biotyping, serotyping, phage typing, AST (Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing), SDS-PAGE (Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate Polyacryl Gel Electrophoresis), MLEE (Multilocus Enzyme Electrophoresis) and MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectroscopy) were also discussed. Finally, phenotypic techniques were compared in terms of their discriminatory potential, typeability of isolates, time of analysis, reproducibility, ease of performance and ease of results interpretation.

Open access

Krzysztof Kozak, Rafal Wojcik, Maciej Czerwonka, Slawomir Mandziuk and Barbara Madej-Czerwonka

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Polish women [1], thus, the problem of surgical treatment of breasts, especially with regard to conserving and/or reconstruction surgery, is extensively discussed. Currently, in Poland, efforts are made to increase the number of oncologic and reconstructive breast centers which offer specialized treatment of this cancer, the so-called ‘Breast Units’ [1]. This paper analyzes methods of reconstructions, discusses the techniques used in particular types of surgeries and additionally informs the reader of the oncological aspects of the procedures. Based on literature, statistical data of breast reconstructions from Poland and the world are presented. Moreover, complications and psychological aspects of mammary gland surgery are dealt with, and the aesthetic effects of breast reconstructions are discussed. To support of our findings, we also present selected clinical cases from the oncological and reconstructive point of view.

Open access

Xiao-Ming Si, Yu-Hua Tian, Sha-Sha Zhang, Hua Gao, Kun Liu and Jing-Yu Jin

Abstract

The present study is aimed at testing the antidepressant--like effects and probable mechanisms of action of low molecular mass chondroitin sulfate (LMMCS) on depression induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) in mice. Four weeks of CUMS exposure resulted in depressive-like behavior, expressed by a significant decrease in the locomotor activity and sucrose consumption and increased immobility time in the forced swim test. Further, there was a significant reduction of 5-HT level in the hippocampus region of depressed mice. Treatment of mice for four weeks with LMMCS ameliorated significantly both the behavioral and biochemical changes induced by CUMS. These novel results suggest that LMMCS produces an antidepressant-like effect in mice subjected to CUMS, which might be related, at least in part, to the increase of 5-HT concentration in the hippocampus.

Open access

Dorota Kasprzak, Barbara Jodlowska-Jedrych, Katarzyna Borowska and Agnieszka Wojtowicz

Abstract

Lepidium meyenii, commonly known as Maca, is a Peruvian plant that grows high in the Andes, in areas over 4,000 meters above sea level. Its composition contains almost all of the essential amino acids and twenty of the essential fatty acids needed by man, as well as many vitamins, minerals and several sterols and glucosinolates. The specific and unique unsaturated acids and amides found only in this plant are the macaenes and macamides. Most valuable ingredients are contained within the hypocotyls. Maca comes in three forms, based on its root colour, yellow, red and black. Although used individually, consumption recommendations are usually for a mix of all three. Since Inca times, it has been considered as super food.

Although now mostly used in the form of a supplement, ongoing research does not exclude future applications of Maca as medicine. It is attributed to have an effect on male fertility (adding energy and vitality), and in regulating hormone secretion. In animal studies, Maca has been shown to have antioxidant, neuroprotective effects and antiviral activity. Moreover, it has been demonstrated to alleviate the effects of depression. In addition, there are reports that Maca reduces the development of cancer and osteoporosis, improves memory, facilitates concentration and alleviates the symptoms of menopause. The obtained results, however, require further analysis to confirm its effect. Currently, there is little information on toxicity, so there is a need for specialized research in this area, and on-going research concerns the most effective variety and form of preparation of Maca for administration to achieve best effects. The potential of Maca as medicine exists. The increasing pan-continental popularity of Maca has created the need for a better understanding of its action mechanisms.

Open access

Peace Mabeta, Kristina Pavić and Branka Zorc

Abstract

In our previous paper, we showed that three primaquine-cinnamic acid conjugates composed of primaquine (PQ) residue and cinnamic acid derivatives (CADs) bound directly by an amide linkage (1) or through an acylsemicarbazide spacer (2 and 3) had significant growth inhibitory effects on some cancer cell lines. Compound 1 induced significant growth inhibition in the colorectal adenocarcinoma (SW620), human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) and cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines, while compounds 2 and 3 selectively inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells. To better understand the underlying mechanisms of action of these PQ-CADs, morphological studies of the effects of test compounds on MCF-7 cells were undertaken using haematoxylin and eosin stain. Further analysis to determine the effects of test compounds on caspase activity and on the levels of apoptosis proteins were undertaken using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Haematoxylin and eosin staining revealed that compounds 1 and 3 induced morphological changes in MCF-7 cells characteristic of apoptosis, while 2-treated cells were in interphase. Cell cycle analysis showed that cells treated with 1 and 3 were in sub-G1, while cells treated with 2 were mainly in interphase (G1 phase). Further, the study showed that the treatment of MCF-7 cells with 1 and 3 resulted in poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage as well as caspase-9 activation, indicating that they induced apoptotic cell death. We further investigated their effects on two important processes during metastasis, namely, migration and invasion. Compounds 1 and 3 inhibited the migration and invasion of MCF-7 cells, while compound 2 had a marginal effect.

Open access

Plamen Ivanov Zagorchev, Elisaveta Georgieva Apostolova, Bissera Asenova Pilicheva, Milena Nenkova Draganova-Filipova, Vesela Yulieva Kokova and Julian Borisov Lukanov

Abstract

The aim of this study is to evaluate the antihyperalgesic and antinociceptive effects of two formulations containing peat water extracts using a model of carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia, combined with a test with a mechanical stimulus, and a hot plate test. Rats were divided into seven groups (n = 6) and received local treatment with two peat formulations and two diclofenac formulations dissolved in carbopol gel and Wolff® basis creme, respectively. Carbopol gel, Wolff® basis creme and 0.9 % NaCl without tested substances were used as controls. Both peat formulations exerted an unambiguous antihyperalgesic effect 60 minutes after the treatment. In the hot plate test, the rats treated with the Wolff® basis creme peat formulation showed a tendency to prolonged latency on the first hour. The results could be explained by partial activation of peripheral α2-adrenoceptors and the possible COX-2 suppressive activity.

Open access

Mehran Shokri, Rahmatollah Najafi, Jalal Niromand, Arefeh Babazadeh, Mostafa Javanian, Masomeh Bayani, Zahra Geraili Afra and Soheil Ebrahimpour

Abstract

In the current study, we investigated the risk factors for tuberculosis in patients admitted to the Ayatollah Rouhani Hospital in Babol, north of Iran. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 207 patients with proven tuberculosis during the years 2008-2015. Demographic data such as age and sex, smoking, history of underlying illness, illness symptoms, and laboratory results were collected and analyzed at a significant level of less than 0.05. From 207 patients, 136 were male (65.7%), 71 were female (34.3%), and 76 of them (37.3%) were smokers. It is notable that most patients (29.5%) were over the age of 71. The relation between age profile and being tuberculosis has been studied, but the co-relation was found to be not significant. The most common complaint has been coughing (60.9%).

While investigating underling diseases, the most common illness has found to be Diabetes (11.3%). Based our finding, there was a significant relationship between gender and smoking with tuberculosis. Accordingly, as smoking is one of the risk factors for tuberculosis, smokers and non-smokers should be informed that smoking carries the risk for tuberculosis. Such a program should be particularly addressed to males.

Open access

Mir-Ali Molaei, Karim Osouli-Bostanabad, Khosro Adibkia, Javad Shokri, Solmaz Asnaashari and Yousef Javadzadeh

Abstract

The study was conducted to enhance the dissolution rate of ketoconazole (KCZ) (a poorly water-soluble drug) using the liquisolid technique. Microcrystalline cellulose, colloidal silica, PEG400 and polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) were employed as a carrier, coating substance, nonvolatile solvent and additive in the KCZ liquisolid compact formulation, respectively. The drug-to-PEG400 and carrier-to-coating ratio variations, PVP concentration and aging effects on the in vitro release behavior were assessed. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) data revealed no alterations in the crystalline form of the drug and the KCZ-excipient interactions within the process. The load factor and the drug release rate were significantly enhanced compared to directly compressed tablets in the presence of the additive. Increasing the PEG400-to-drug ratio in liquid medications enhanced the dissolution rate remarkably. The dissolution profile and hardness of liquisolid compacts were not significantly altered by keeping the tablets at 40 °C and relative humidity of 75 % for 6 months. With the proposed modification of the liquisolid process, it is possible to obtain flowable, compactible liquisolid powders of high-dose poorly-water soluble drugs with an enhanced dissolution rate.

Open access

Ana Miklavžin, Mateja Cegnar, Janez Kerč and Julijana Kristl

Abstract

Oral delivery of protein drugs is greatly limited by low hydrophobicity, an important determinant for intestinal epithelial permeation and bioavailability. Herein, surface properties of recombinant erythropoietin were investigated using the fluorescent dye bis-ANS to monitor relative hydrophobicity for correlation with permeabilities with Caco-2 cells. At various pHs, bis-ANS fluorescence intensity indicated different surface hydrophobicities of erythropoietin molecules. Erythropoietin incorporated in chitosan or chitosan-trimethylchitosan (CS-TMC) nanoparticles prepared by polyelectrolyte complexation and ionotropic gelation with tripolyphosphate also showed different surface hydrophobicities. Chitosan nanoparticles with erythropoietin provided the most hydrophobic surface, followed by free erythropoietin (in water) and that loaded into CS-TMC nanoparticles. Chitosan nanoparticles were more effective than CS-TMC nanoparticles for permeation of erythropoietin across Caco-2 cell monolayers; the lowest permeability was shown by erythropoietin itself. Thus, hydrophilic protein molecules complexed with polyelectrolytes can provide more hydrophobic surfaces that enhance transepithelial permeability. This bis-ANS method also provides valuable information for the design of polyelectrolyte nanoparticules for oral delivery of protein drugs.

Open access

Jitka Mužíková, Alena Komersová, Václav Lochař, Lucie Vildová, Bára Vošoustová and Martin Bartoš

Abstract

This paper evaluates and compares the properties of directly compressible tabletting materials and matrix tablets containing a combination of α-lactose monohydrate and microcrystalline cellulose in the 3:1 ratio in a physical mixture and in a coprocessed dry binder. Tested parameters include flow properties, compressibility, compactibility and the rate of drug release from tablets. Compressibility is evaluated by means of the energy profile of the compression process. Compactibility is evaluated by means of the tensile strength of the tablets. Dissolution testing is done using the rotating basket method. Dissolution profiles are evaluated by non-linear regression analysis.

Total energy of compression and plasticity values were higher in tabletting materials with the coprocessed dry binder. Increasing additions of polyvinyl alcohol decreased the values of total energy of compression, plasticity, tensile strength of tablets and drug release rate. Dissolution behaviour of tablets, which contained the physical mixture or coprocessed dry binder and the same amount of polyvinyl alcohol, was comparable.