Optical microscopy has been one of the most important tools for visualizing biological samples since the seventeenth century. Recently, with the advances in femtosecond laser technology, all the nonlinear optical processes have now been included as optical microscopy methods, and second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy has emerged as a powerful new optical imaging tool with applications in medicine and biology. Here we use SHG microscopy to obtain images of 76 prostate biopsies on histological slides. Multiple samples from the excised prostates of patients who underwent a radical prostatectomy were evaluated. The samples were collected from prostate positions as in needle biopsy procedures. The results show the collagen fiber architecture among malignant acini, and analysis of the fiber orientation in the images reveals that the collagen fibers become more aligned at higher malignancy grades. Furthermore, we find that the degree of fiber alignment correlates directly with the Gleason patterns.
The combined use of the microcapillary cell (MEC) and scanning vibrating electrode technique (SVET) and low-angle cross sections was employed to elucidate the role of each coating region on the protection of the cut-edge corrosion of galvanized steels. Different compounds are involved in the blocking action of the corrosion products: Zincite (ZnO) on the steel substrate, hydrozincite (Zn5(OH)6(CO3)2) at the coating/steel interface, and Simonkolleite (Zn5(OH)8Cl2) and ZnO on the different coating regions in different proportions. The coating surface is also active at the initial stage and during long-term protection and thus, must be considered in experimental simulation of the cut-edge corrosion.
The use of chitosan functionalized silica for benznidazole delivery in the treatment of neglected disease such as Chagas disease is one of the forms not yet explored, but with great potential for this therapy, as little is known about nanoformulations for the treatment of Chagas disease. In this work, we used chitosan-succinate covalently attached to the surface pore of MSNs to act as anchor for benznidazole as a delivery system. The samples were characterized structurally and chemically with multiple techniques. The applicability of functionalized MSNs as platforms for benznidazole delivery into T. cruzi parasites was assessed. The results demonstrate that the proposed system is a potential promising nanoplatform for drug and gene delivery targeting neglected diseases such as Chagas disease.
We use molecular dynamics simulations to study the diffusion of water inside deformed carbon nanotubes with different degrees of eccentricity at 300 K. We found a water structural transition between tubular-like to single-file for (7,7) nanotubes associated with change from a high to low mobility regimes. Water is frozen when confined in a perfect (9,9) nanotube and it becomes liquid if such a nanotube is deformed above a certain threshold. Water diffusion enhancement (suppression) is related to a reduction (increase) in the number of hydrogen bonds. This suggests that the shape of the nanotube is an important ingredient when considering the dynamical and structural properties of confined water.
Synthetic polymers are made up of repeated monomeric units, and this gives them a very versatile appearance, making them useful in many areas of science. One is the pharmaceutical, which correlates the properties of the polymer with the active principle, so they can be used as an excipient or in the controlled release system. The PMMA-g-PEG4000 has characteristics derived from its precursors, that are pharmacologically active. When we incorporate drugs into this structure, the polymer can act on the controlled release, lessening the toxic character of the drug and producing fewer side effects. In this work, incorporations of the drug indomethacin were made in the PMMA-g-PEG copolymer and derivatives (PMMA-g-PEG4000 ETIL and PMMA-g-PEG4000 ACET). The samples were characterized by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements. For each sample, the controlled release was performed in a total time of 4 h and the efficiency of the modified structures was verified.
The addition of propolis extract (PE) to the glass ionomer results in an adhesive material for restorative treatment, with interesting properties mainly due to the flavonoids contained in the propolis extract. However, no study of the flavonoid release profile in these materials was reported. This work studies the flavonoid release profile in such materials aiming to contribute to the future synthesis of optimized devices adept to prolong the efficacy of the drug. The study involved the synthesis and study of the physicochemical, antibacterial and mechanical properties of glass ionomer cement (GIC) and glass-ionomer-propolis composites (GIC-PE). The samples were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and thermogravimetric analyses. The released concentration of flavonoids, the antimicrobial activity and the compressive strength were also evaluated. Antimicrobial activity was assessed against Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus salivarius, and Candida albicans, common pathogens in the mouth. The results indicate that the antibacterial activity of GIC-PE samples is closely correlated with the release of flavonoids. The method used to prepare the composite GIC-PE leads to an initial drug delivery burst effect able to diminish partially the population of bacteria tested. The mechanical properties and thermal stability of GIC-PE are higher than those of the GIC and are clearly related to its microstructure. This study is clinically significant because the addition of propolis extract (PE) to the GIC resulted in a novel differentiated product with enhanced mechanical and antimicrobial properties compared to the GIC.
We employed PBE and BLYP semi-local functionals and the van der Waals density functional of Dion et al. (2004) (vdW-DF) to investigate structural properties of liquid acetonitrile and methanol. Among those functionals the vdW-DF is the only one that correctly predicts energy minima in inter-molecular interactions between acetonitrile molecules. We found that van der Waals interactions have a negligible effect on H-bonds in methanol chains. However, it significantly increases chain packing resulting in a more dense liquid in comparison to the other two functionals. The overall trend is that the vdW-DF tends to overestimate density and bulk modulus, meanwhile the semi-local functionals tend to underestimate density. Thus, van der Waals interactions play an important role in the properties of liquids in which much stronger dipole-dipole interactions are present.