Publications by authors named "Mihaela Badea"

46 Publications

Analysis of Recent Bio-/Nanotechnologies for Coronavirus Diagnosis and Therapy.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 Feb 20;21(4). Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Laboratoire BAE, Université de Perpignan Via domitia, 66860 Perpignan, France.

Despite barrier measures and physical distancing tailored by the populations worldwide, coronavirus continues to spread causing severe health and social-economic problems. Therefore, researchers are focusing on developing efficient detection and therapeutic platforms for SARS-CoV2. In this context, various biotechnologies, based on novel molecules targeting the virus with high specificity and affinity, have been described. In parallel, new approaches exploring nanotechnology have been proposed for enhancing treatments and diagnosis. We discuss in the first part of this review paper, the different biosensing and rapid tests based on antibodies, nucleic acids and peptide probes described since the beginning of the pandemic. Furthermore, given their numerous advantages, the contribution of nanotechnologies is also highlighted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21041485DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924586PMC
February 2021

Determination of the Antioxidant Activity of Samples of Tea and Commercial Sources of Vitamin C, Using an Enzymatic Biosensor.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2021 Feb 22;10(2). Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Pesticide Residue Analysis Center, Federal University of Maranhão, UFMA. Av. Portugueses, CCET, Bacanga, CEP, São Luis, MA 65080-040, Brazil.

Antioxidants are synthetic or natural compounds capable of preventing or delaying oxidative damage caused by chemical species that can oxidize cell biomolecules, such as proteins, membranes, and DNA, leading to the development of various pathologies, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, Parkinson, Alzheimer, and other diseases serious. In this study, an amperometric biosensor was used to determine the antioxidant activity of teas and effervescent products based on vitamin C, available on the market. A sensor composed of three electrodes was used. The performance of the following electrochemical mediators was evaluated: meldola blue combined with Reineck salt (MBRS), Prussian blue (PB), and cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPC), as well as the time of polymerization in the enzymatic immobilization process and the agitation process during chronoamperometric measurements. Prussian blue proved to be more efficient as a mediator for the desired purposes. After optimizing the construction stages of the biosensor, as well as the operational parameters, it presented stability for a period of 7 months. The results clearly indicate that the biosensor can be successfully used to detect fraud in products called "antioxidants" or even in drugs containing less ascorbic acid than indicated on the labels. The detection limit was set at 4.93 µmol·L.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox10020324DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927098PMC
February 2021

Wearable Biosensors: An Alternative and Practical Approach in Healthcare and Disease Monitoring.

Molecules 2021 Feb 1;26(3). Epub 2021 Feb 1.

University of Perpignan via Domitia, 52 Avenue Paul Alduy, CEDEX 9, 66860 Perpignan, France.

With the increasing prevalence of growing population, aging and chronic diseases continuously rising healthcare costs, the healthcare system is undergoing a vital transformation from the traditional hospital-centered system to an individual-centered system. Since the 20th century, wearable sensors are becoming widespread in healthcare and biomedical monitoring systems, empowering continuous measurement of critical biomarkers for monitoring of the diseased condition and health, medical diagnostics and evaluation in biological fluids like saliva, blood, and sweat. Over the past few decades, the developments have been focused on electrochemical and optical biosensors, along with advances with the non-invasive monitoring of biomarkers, bacteria and hormones, etc. Wearable devices have evolved gradually with a mix of multiplexed biosensing, microfluidic sampling and transport systems integrated with flexible materials and body attachments for improved wearability and simplicity. These wearables hold promise and are capable of a higher understanding of the correlations between analyte concentrations within the blood or non-invasive biofluids and feedback to the patient, which is significantly important in timely diagnosis, treatment, and control of medical conditions. However, cohort validation studies and performance evaluation of wearable biosensors are needed to underpin their clinical acceptance. In the present review, we discuss the importance, features, types of wearables, challenges and applications of wearable devices for biological fluids for the prevention of diseased conditions and real-time monitoring of human health. Herein, we summarize the various wearable devices that are developed for healthcare monitoring and their future potential has been discussed in detail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030748DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867046PMC
February 2021

New Cobalt (II) Complexes with Imidazole Derivatives: Antimicrobial Efficiency against Planktonic and Adherent Microbes and In Vitro Cytotoxicity Features.

Molecules 2020 Dec 24;26(1). Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 90-92 Panduri Str., 050663 Bucharest, Romania.

Three novel Co(II) complexes of the type [Co(CHO)L] (where CHO is methacrylate anion; L = CHN (imidazole; HIm) (), CHN (2-methylimidazole; 2-MeIm) (), CHN (2-ethylimidazole; 2-EtIm) ()) have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, IR and UV-Vis spectroscopic techniques, thermal analysis and single crystal X-ray diffraction. X-ray crystallography revealed for complexes () and () distorted trigonal bipyramid stereochemistry for Co(II), meanwhile for complex () evidenced that the unit cell comprises three molecular units with interesting structural features. In each unit, both stereochemistry adopted by metallic ion and coordination modes of carboxylate anions are different. The screening of antimicrobial activity revealed that planktonic cells were the most susceptible, with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 7.8 μg/mL for complexes () and () and 15.6 μg/mL for complex (). Complexes () and () proved to be more active than complex () against the tested bacterial strains, both in planktonic and biofilm growth state, with MIC and minimal biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) values ranging from 15.6 to 62.5 μg/mL, the best antibacterial effects being noticed against and . Remarkably, the MBEC values obtained for the four tested bacterial strains were either identical or even lower than the MIC ones. The cytotoxicity assay indicated that the tested complexes affected the cellular cycle of HeLa, HCT-8, and MG63 cells, probably by inhibiting the expression of vimentin and transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1). The obtained biological results recommend these complexes as potential candidates for the development of novel anti-biofilm agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796409PMC
December 2020

Improvement in the Pharmacological Profile of Copper Biological Active Complexes by Their Incorporation into Organic or Inorganic Matrix.

Molecules 2020 Dec 10;25(24). Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 90-92 Panduri Str., 050663 Bucharest, Romania.

Every year, more Cu(II) complexes are proven to be biologically active species, but very few are developed as drugs or entered in clinical trials. This is due to their poor water solubility and lipophilicity, low stability as well as in vivo inactivation. The possibility to improve their pharmacological and/or oral administration profile by incorporation into inorganic or organic matrix was studied. Most of them are either physically encapsulated or conjugated to the matrix via a moiety able to coordinate Cu(II). As a result, a large variety of species were developed as delivery carriers. The organic carriers include liposomes, synthetic or natural polymers or dendrimers, while the inorganic ones are based on carbon nanotubes, hydrotalcite and silica. Some hybrid organic-inorganic materials based on alginate-carbonate, gold-PEG and magnetic mesoporous silica-Schiff base were also developed for this purpose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25245830DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763451PMC
December 2020

Disparities of perceived wellness by smoking and professional status among young individuals in Brasov, Brasov County, Romania.

SAGE Open Med 2020 20;8:2050312120973483. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania.

Objective: We aimed to evaluate the association of risk factors such as smoking and professional status (students vs employed) as determinants of disparities in perceived wellness among Romanian individuals.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in which 145 participants were enrolled from December 2017 to February 2018, in Brasov, Brasov County, Transylvania, Romania. We used a simplified Perceived Wellness Survey model to measure the holistic individual perceived wellness status by professional and smoking status. Basic descriptive and multivariate analyses of variance were used to assess and contrast participants' characteristics and wellness score distributions. A factor analysis was used to estimate Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin values and calculate standardized Cronbach's coefficients.

Results: The average age of our participants was 27.7 years. Compared with students, more employed participants tended to smoke electronic cigarettes ( < 0.0001). The association between professional status and perceived wellness was non-significant. Employed participants were nevertheless more likely to regard themselves as more proactive in dealing with emotional ( < 0.0001), environmental ( = 0.0042), and spiritual issues ( = 0.0039). Perceived physical wellness was statistically different by smoking status ( < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Among our study participants, there is an association between smoking and perceived wellness. For emotional, environmental, and spiritual domains, employed participants are more likely to regard themselves as more confident. Our study demonstrates the direct application of the Perceived Wellness Survey model in predicting the disparities of perceived wellness among young individuals. It allows health agencies to target disparity interventions among populations with high risk of low perceived wellness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2050312120973483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7686610PMC
November 2020

Rare-Earth Metal Complexes of the Antibacterial Drug Oxolinic Acid: Synthesis, Characterization, DNA/Protein Binding and Cytotoxicity Studies.

Molecules 2020 Nov 19;25(22). Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 6 Traian Vuia St, 020956 Bucharest, Romania.

"Drug repositioning" is a current trend which proved useful in the search for new applications for existing, failed, no longer in use or abandoned drugs, particularly when addressing issues such as bacterial or cancer cells resistance to current therapeutic approaches. In this context, six new complexes of the first-generation quinolone oxolinic acid with rare-earth metal cations (Y, La, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb) have been synthesized and characterized. The experimental data suggest that the quinolone acts as a bidentate ligand, binding to the metal ion via the keto and carboxylate oxygen atoms; these findings are supported by DFT (density functional theory) calculations for the Sm complex. The cytotoxic activity of the complexes, as well as the ligand, has been studied on MDA-MB 231 (human breast adenocarcinoma), LoVo (human colon adenocarcinoma) and HUVEC (normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells) cell lines. UV-Vis spectroscopy and competitive binding studies show that the complexes display binding affinities (K) towards double stranded DNA in the range of 9.33 × 10 - 10.72 × 10. Major and minor groove-binding most likely play a significant role in the interactions of the complexes with DNA. Moreover, the complexes bind human serum albumin more avidly than apo-transferrin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25225418DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7699381PMC
November 2020

Anti-biofilm FeO@C-[1,3,4]thiadiazolo[3,2-]pyrimidin-4-ium-2-thiolate Derivative Core-shell Nanocoatings.

Materials (Basel) 2020 Oct 17;13(20). Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, 1-3 Aleea Portocalelor St., 60101 Bucharest, Romania.

The derivatives 5,7-dimethyl[1,3,4]thiadiazolo[3,2-]pyrimidin-4-ium-2-thiolate () and 7-methyl-5-phenyl[1,3,4]thiadiazolo[3,2-]pyrimidin-4-ium-2-thiolate () were fully characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Their supramolecular structure is built through both π-π stacking and C=S-π interactions for both compounds. The embedment of the tested compounds into FeO@C core-shell nanocoatings increased the protection degree against biofilms on the catheter surface, suggesting that these bioactive nanocoatings could be further developed as non-cytotoxic strategies for fighting biofilm-associated fungal infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma13204640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7603173PMC
October 2020

Copper(II) Complexes with Mixed Heterocycle Ligands as Promising Antibacterial and Antitumor Species.

Molecules 2020 Aug 19;25(17). Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 90-92 Panduri Str., 050663 Bucharest, Romania.

Complexes with mixed ligands [Cu(N-N)(pmtp)](ClO) (() N-N: 2,2'-bipyridine; () L: 1,10-phenanthroline and pmpt: 5-phenyl-7-methyl-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-]pyrimidine) were synthesized and structurally and biologically characterized. Compound () crystallizes into space group and () in -1. Both complexes display an intermediate stereochemistry between the two five-coordinated ones. The biological tests indicated that the two compounds exhibited superoxide scavenging capacity, intercalative DNA properties, and metallonuclease activity. Tests on various cell systems indicated that the two complexes neither interfere with the proliferation of or BJ healthy skin cells, nor cause hemolysis in the active concentration range. Nevertheless, the compounds showed antibacterial potential, with complex () being significantly more active than complex () against all tested bacterial strains, both in planktonic and biofilm growth state. Both complexes exhibited a very good activity against B16 melanoma cells, with a higher specificity being displayed by compound (). Taken together, the results indicate that complexes () and () have specific biological relevance, with potential for the development of antitumor or antimicrobial drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25173777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7504215PMC
August 2020

Editorial: Electrochemical Sensors and Biosensors in Medical and Pharmaceutical Bioanalysis.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2020 29;8:533. Epub 2020 May 29.

Analytical Chemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00533DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7273444PMC
May 2020

Functional Bioglass-Biopolymer Double Nanostructure for Natural Antimicrobial Drug Extracts Delivery.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2020 Feb 22;10(2). Epub 2020 Feb 22.

National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Măgurele 077125, Romania.

Aseptic loosening and periprosthetic infections are the main causes of implant failure. Strategies to mitigate this drawback are therefore mandatory to avoid primary and revision replacement surgeries. A functional bioapatite-biopolymer double nanostructure fabricated by matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation to prevent infection of orthopedic and dental implants could promote osseointegration and ensure controlled delivery of natural antimicrobial drugs. The synthesized nanostructure consists of two overlapping layers, the lower from a biocompatible polymer for anticorrosive protection, and the upper of bioactive glass incorporating antimicrobial plant extract, acting as a potential drug delivery system. Morphology, composition, adherence, ability for drug delivery and biological properties (cytotoxicity and antimicrobial effect) were studied. Structures proved compact and stable, conserving a remarkable drug delivery ability for more than 21 days, i.e., enough to ensure long-term microbes' eradication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano10020385DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7075305PMC
February 2020

Low Response to Clopidogrel in Coronary Artery Disease.

Am J Ther 2020 Mar/Apr;27(2):e133-e141

Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Faculty of Medicine, "Transilvania" University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania.

Background: In patients with coronary artery disease, cardiovascular mortality and other acute events showed a clear correlation with risk factors and biomarkers including platelet activation.

Study Question Of This Research: Which was the incidence of low response to clopidogrel and its correlation with risk factors and biomarkers in coronary artery disease?

Study Design: Four hundred patients (pts) with coronary artery disease-stable angina (SA) and acute coronary syndrome-were divided into 8 groups of study, consistent with low response to clopidogrel and the type of coronary artery disease. Low response to clopidogrel-defined as adenosine diphosphate test-ADP-test of >46 U by multiple electrode platelet aggregometry was evaluated in correlation with cardiovascular risk factors and biomarkers of oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, hypercoagulability, high platelet reactivity.

Results: In coronary artery disease, low response to clopidogrel significantly correlated with older than 65 years, smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, body mass index of >25, previous aspirin treatment (P < 0.05), high value of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low value of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low response to aspirin, high mean platelets volume and von Willebrand factor activity, low flow-mediated vasodilatation, total antioxidant status (P < 0.01) and only in patients with SA of male gender (P < 0.01). The incidence of other hypercoagulability biomarkers, such as reduced values of S protein, C protein, antithrombin III, and V Factor Leiden resistance to activated protein C, was very low and not correlated with low response to clopidogrel.

Conclusions: In coronary artery disease, low response to clopidogrel significantly correlated with the most of old cardiovascular risk factors, with previous aspirin treatment, low response to aspirin, higher mean platelets volume, higher von Willebrand factor activity, lower flow-mediated vasodilatation, and lower total antioxidant status values and only in patients with SA of male gender.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0000000000001099DOI Listing
November 2020

Modern interdisciplinary monitoring of cervical cancer risk.

Rom J Morphol Embryol 2019 ;60(2):469-478

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, University Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania;

Currently, Romania ranks first in Europe with regard to cervical cancer mortality. A new solution proposed for optimizing cytology-based screening, before seeing the risk associated with minor abnormalities results, is the use of molecular markers. This study concerns atypical squamous of undetermined significance (ASC-US) results, the grey zone of cytology that hides up to 15% high-grade lesions, to see how dual immunocytochemistry (ICC) staining for p16INK4a∕Ki67 help to better identify and manage high-risk (HR) ASC-US patients. We included and reviewed 183 cases with ASC-US results and p16INK4a∕Ki67 double staining (DS) performed in MICOMI Clinic (Bucharest) during 2014-2016. All patients were referred for colposcopy and biopsy if appreciated as necessary and followed-up at six and 12 months. One DS(+)∕HR human papillomavirus (HPV) negative case was positive for HPV73 Group IIB International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The mean age for ASC-US in our study group was 32 years, with a median of 31 years and 31% of patients were aged 25-29 years. The sensibility of p16INK4a∕Ki67 double immunostaining was 100%, the specificity 88%, the positive predictive value (PPV) was 82%, and the negative predictive value (NPV) was 100%. The use of p16INK4a∕Ki67 ICC test optimizes the medical approach towards screening or monitoring especially in ASC-US HR HPV(+) young patients, unnecessary colposcopies are avoided thus invasive gestures at nulliparous are limited.
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April 2020

Herbal supplements in the print media: communicating benefits and risks.

BMC Complement Altern Med 2019 Aug 2;19(1):196. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, UK.

Background: The rise in use of food supplements based on botanical ingredients (herbal supplements) is depicted as part of a trend empowering consumers to manage their day-to-day health needs, which presupposes access to clear and accurate information to make effective choices. Evidence regarding herbal supplement efficacy is extremely variable so recent regulations eliminating unsubstantiated claims about potential effects leave producers able to provide very little information about their products. Medical practitioners are rarely educated about herbal supplements and most users learn about them via word-of-mouth, allowing dangerous misconceptions to thrive, chief among them the assumption that natural products are inherently safe. Print media is prolific among the information channels still able to freely discuss herbal supplements.

Method: This study thematically analyses how 76 newspaper/magazine articles from the UK, Romania and Italy portray the potential risks and benefits of herbal supplements.

Results: Most articles referenced both risks and benefits and were factually accurate but often lacked context and impartiality. More telling was how the risks and benefits were framed in service of a chosen narrative, the paucity of authoritative information allowing journalists leeway to recontextualise herbal supplements in ways that serviced the goals and values of their specific publications and readerships.

Conclusion: Providing sufficient information to empower consumers should not be the responsibility of print media, instead an accessible source of objective information is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12906-019-2602-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6679444PMC
August 2019

Serum concentration of toxic metals and rare earth elements in children and adolescent.

Int J Environ Health Res 2020 Dec 11;30(6):696-712. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Toxicology Unit, Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Department of Clinical Sciences, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

Biomonitoring studies are important for quantifying the body burden of pollutants and their possible effects on health. Serum concentration of 42 elements was assessed by ICP-MS in 89 children (7.2 ± 3.4 years old) from Bucharest (Romania). Levels of pollutants were compared with the clinical data obtained from routine blood tests. Clinical parameters were in the physiological range. Deficiencies of manganese, selenium, and zinc were discovered. Blood levels of elements were low. The highest levels were observed among children younger than six years. The sum of iron, selenium, barium, nickel, antimony, and cerium was positively associated with hemoglobin (Spearman rho = 0.217, P-value = 0.041), while the sum of copper, thallium, niobium, and tantalum was negatively associated (Spearman rho = -0.228, P-value = 0.032). Given the inherent sensitivity of the child population, additional studies are needed to assess the effects of these elements on their health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2019.1626353DOI Listing
December 2020

Trends of Lipophilic, Antioxidant and Hematological Parameters Associated with Conventional and Electronic Smoking Habits in Middle-Age Romanians.

J Clin Med 2019 May 12;8(5). Epub 2019 May 12.

Faculty of Medicine, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov 500019, Romania.

It is known that cigarette smoking is correlated with medical associated inquires. New electronic cigarettes are intensively advertised as an alternative to conventional smoking, but only a few studies demonstrate their harmful potential. A cross-sectional study was designed using 150 subjects from Brasov (Romania), divided into three groups: non-smokers (NS = 58), conventional cigarettes smokers (CS = 58) and electronic cigarettes users (ECS = 34). The aim of this study was to determine levels of some plasma lipophilic and hematological components, and the total antioxidant status that could be associated with the smoking status of the subjects. Serum low density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol increased significantly for ECS participants versus NS group (18.9% difference) ( < 0.05). Also, the CS group is characterized by an increase of serum LDL cholesterol (7.9% difference vs. NS), but with no significant statistical difference. The variation of median values of serum very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) was in order NS < ECS < CS, with statistical difference between NS and CS groups (34.6% difference; = 0.023). When comparing the antioxidant status of the three groups, significant differences ( < 0.05) were obtained between NS vs. CS and NS vs. ECS. Similar behavior was identified for CS and ECS. Statistically significant changes ( < 0.0001) for both vitamin A and vitamin E were identified in the blood of NS vs. CS and NS vs. ECS, and also when comparing vitamin A in the blood of the CS group versus the ECS group ( < 0.05). When all groups were compared, the difference in the white blood cell (WBC) was ( = 0.008). A slight increase in the red blood cell (RBC) count was observed, but with no statistical difference between groups. These results indicated that conventional cigarette and e-cigarette usage promotes the production of excess reactive oxygen species, involving different pathways, different antioxidants and bioactive molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571835PMC
May 2019

Electrochemical strategies for gallic acid detection: Potential for application in clinical, food or environmental analyses.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Jul 30;672:129-140. Epub 2019 Mar 30.

Laboratoire Chrono-environnement, Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France. Electronic address:

Polyphenols are important to human health thus making it interesting and necessary to identify and assess methods for their detection. Gallic acid (GA) is a well-known antioxidant compound, found in tea leaves, various fruits, fruit seeds and in fruit-derived foods and beverages. In this study, to electrochemically detect this compound and assess the potential for GA detection, different analytical conditions at pH values of 5.8, 7 and 8 were tried. Two types of device were used for GA detection: (1) Lazar ORP-146C reduction-oxidation microsensors, coupled with a Jenco device, for estimation of antioxidant capacities of different electroactive media, and (2) screen-printed carbon sensors coupled with a mobile PalmSens device using differential pulse voltammetry (qualitative and quantitative GA determination). These proposed methods were validated by analysing some real samples: wine, green tea, apple juice and serum fortified with GA. Detection was evaluated in terms of specific calibration curves, with low limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ), low response time, and high sensitivities. The analytical characteristics obtained recommend these methods to be tested on more other types of real samples. Our proposed methods, used in the established conditions of pH, may have further application in other clinical, food or environmental samples analyses in which the results of total antioxidants contents are usually expressed in GA equivalents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.404DOI Listing
July 2019

X-ray Crystal Structure, Geometric Isomerism, and Antimicrobial Activity of New Copper(II) Carboxylate Complexes with Imidazole Derivatives.

Molecules 2018 Dec 9;23(12). Epub 2018 Dec 9.

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 90⁻92 Panduri Str., 050663 Bucharest, Romania.

Five new copper(II) acrylate complexes (acr is the acrylate anion: C₃H₃O₂) with imidazole derivatives (2-methylimidazole/2-MeIm, 5-methylimidazole/5-MeIm, 2-ethylimidazole/2-EtIm) of type: -[Cu(2-RIm)₂(acr)₂]·xH₂O ((): R = ⁻CH₃, x = 2; (): R = ⁻CH₂⁻CH₃, x = 0), -[Cu(2-RIm)₂(acr)₂] ((): R = ⁻CH₃; (): R = ⁻CH₂⁻CH₃) and -[Cu(5-RIm)₂(acr)₂] ((): R = ⁻CH₃) have been prepared and characterized by elemental analysis, Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometry (FTIR), Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), electronic reflectance spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and mass spectrometry. The single crystal X-ray diffraction study of complexes () and () reveals that the copper(II) ion is located on an inversion center and show elongated octahedral geometry completed by two coplanar bidentate acrylates and two unidentate imidazole derivatives displayed in positions. For complex () the single crystal X-ray diffraction shows that the copper(II) ion is in a distorted octahedral environment which can be easily confused with a trigonal prism completed by two bidentate acrylates and two unidentate imidazole derivatives displayed in positions. These results indicate the fact that complexes () and () are the geometric isomers of the same compound bis(acrylate)-bis(2-ethylimidazole)-copper(II). Complexes () and (), as well as () and (), were produced simultaneously in the reaction of the corresponding copper(II) acrylate with imidazole derivatives in methanol solution. Furthermore, in order to be able to formulate potential applications of the obtained compounds, our next goal was to investigate the in vitro antimicrobial activity of the synthesized complexes against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as fungal strains, of both clinical and ecological importance (biodeterioration of historical buildings). The isomers () and (), followed by () have shown the broadest range of antimicrobial activity. In case of () and () isomers, the trans isomer () was significantly more active than cis (), while the cis isomer () proved to be more active than trans (). Taken together, the biological evaluation results indicate that the trans () was the most active complex, demonstrating its potential for the development of novel antimicrobial agents, with potential applications in the biomedical and restoration of architectural monuments fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123253DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6321156PMC
December 2018

Body burden of organohalogenated pollutants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Romanian population: Influence of age, gender, body mass index, and habitat.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Mar 29;656:709-716. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Toxicology Unit, Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Instituto Canario de Investigación del Cáncer (ICIC), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Paseo Blas Cabrera s/n, 35016 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Electronic address:

Persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) are highly lipophilic and resistant to degradation, hence these substances are commonly found in the environment even decades after their prohibition. The aim of the present study was to determine human serum concentrations of POPs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Romanian population, investigating the role of demographic variables on the body burden of such chemicals. A cross-sectional study including a total of 121 subjects from Brasov (Transylvania region) was designed. The concentration of 62 chemicals, including organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs) and PAHs, was measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in the serum of the participants. p,p'-DDE and β-HCH were detected in 100% and 62% of the series (median values = 2.1 and 0.5 μg/L); PCB-153 was detected in 77.7% of the subjects and PCB-28 showed the highest median concentration (0.5 μg/L); BDE-47 was detected at a low concentration in 11.6% of the individuals; phenanthrene and naphthalene were present in 98.3% and 38.8% of the serum samples (median values = 0.9 and 6.5 μg/L, respectively). Age was the main determinant of the total body burden of OCPs and PCBs. A positive correlation was observed between p,p'-DDE and age (Spearman Rho = 0.312, P < 0.0001), suggesting the prevalence of higher levels of pollutants at older ages. The present results showed a significant decrease in serum levels of p,p'-DDE and HCH in Romania -a country which has traditionally reported higher values than other Eastern European countries- as well as low levels of PCBs and BDEs. The presence of PAHs suggests an unknown source of exposure that deserves further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.404DOI Listing
March 2019

Correlation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Biomarkers With Platelet Reactivity in Coronary Artery Disease.

Am J Ther 2019 Sep/Oct;26(5):563-569

Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Faculty of Medicine, "Transilvania" University, Brasov, Romania.

Background: Low response to aspirin, aspirin resistance, and high platelet reactivity on aspirin treatment are similar names for lack of response to block arachidonic acid-induced aggregation with aspirin therapy and have an important role in the evolution of coronary artery disease (CAD) with thromboembolic events.

Study Question: Was to evaluate the correlation between cardiovascular risk factors, biomarkers, and low response to aspirin in patients (pts) with CAD.

Study Design: Four hundred pts with CAD were divided into 8 groups of study, consistent with the type of CAD and low response to aspirin. Cardiovascular risk factors and biomarkers-including some of high platelet reactivity, endothelial dysfunction, hypercoagulability, and oxidative stress-were evaluated in correlation with low response to aspirin, defined as on treatment aspirin test (ASPItest) >30U by multiple electrode platelet aggregometry.

Results: In patients with CAD, low response to aspirin was significantly correlated with age older than 65 years, smoking, presence of diabetes mellitus, body mass index >25, hypertension, previous aspirin treatment, low response to clopidogrel, high mean platelets volume and von Willebrand factor activity, low flow-mediated vasodilation, and total antioxidant status (P < 0.01). In unstable angina patients, low response to aspirin was significantly correlated with male sex (P < 0.03). Incidence of other hypercoagulability biomarkers-S Protein, C Protein, Antithrombin III, and V Factor Leiden resistance to activated protein C-was low and not correlated with low response to aspirin.

Conclusions: In CAD, low response to aspirin was significantly correlated with age older than 65 years, smoking, presence of diabetes mellitus, body mass index I >25, hypertension, previous aspirin treatment, and only in unstable angina with male sex. Low response to aspirin was also statistically associated with low response to clopidogrel, high mean platelets volume, high von Willebrand factor activity, low flow-mediated vasodilation, and low total antioxidant status values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0000000000000869DOI Listing
February 2020

Body burden of toxic metals and rare earth elements in non-smokers, cigarette smokers and electronic cigarette users.

Environ Res 2018 10 13;166:269-275. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Toxicology Unit, Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Instituto Canario de Investigación del Cáncer (ICIC), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Paseo Blas Cabrera Felipe s/n, 35016 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Electronic address:

Smoking is considered an important source for inorganic elements, most of them toxic for human health. During the last years, there has been a significant increase in the use of e-cigarettes, although the role of them as source of inorganic elements has not been well established. A cross-sectional study including a total of 150 subjects from Brasov (Romania), divided into three groups (non-smokers, cigarette smokers and electronic cigarettes smokers) were recruited to disclose the role of smoking on the human exposure to inorganic elements. Concentration of 42 elements, including trace elements, elements in the ATSDR's priority pollutant list and rare earth elements (REE) were measured by ICP-MS in the blood serum of participants. Cigarette smokers showed the highest levels of copper, molybdenum, zinc, antimony, and strontium. Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) users presented the highest concentrations of selenium, silver, and vanadium. Beryllium, europium and lanthanides were detected more frequently among e-cigarette users (20.6%, 23.5%, and 14.7%) than in cigarette smokers (1.7%, 19.0%, and 12.1%, respectively); and the number of detected REE was also higher among e-cigarette users (11.8% of them showed more than 10 different elements). Serum levels of cerium and erbium increased as the duration of the use of e-cigarettes was longer. We have found that smoking is mainly a source of heavy metals while the use of e-cigarettes is a potential source of REE. However, these elements were detected at low concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.007DOI Listing
October 2018

Phytoceuticals in Acute Pancreatitis: Targeting the Balance between Apoptosis and Necrosis.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2018 4;2018:5264592. Epub 2018 Mar 4.

Faculty of General Medicine, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, B-dul Eroilor Sanitari No. 8, Sector 6, 76241 Bucharest, Romania.

Despite recent advances in understanding the complex pathogenesis of pancreatitis, the management of the disease remains suboptimal. The use of phytoceuticals (plant-derived pleiotropic multitarget molecules) represents a new research trend in pancreatology. The purpose of this review is to discuss the phytoceuticals with pancreatoprotective potential in acute pancreatitis and whose efficacy is based, at least in part, on their capacity to modulate the acinar cell death. The phytochemicals selected, belonging to such diverse classes as polyphenols, flavonoids, lignans, anthraquinones, sesquiterpene lactones, nitriles, and alkaloids, target the balance between apoptosis and necrosis. Activation of apoptosis via various mechanisms (e.g., inhibition of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis proteins by embelin, upregulation of FasL gene expression by resveratrol) and/or inhibition of necrosis seem to represent the essential key for decreasing the severity of the disease. Apart from targeting the apoptosis/necrosis balance, the phytochemicals displayed other specific protective activities: inhibition of inflammasome (e.g., rutin), suppression of neutrophil infiltration (e.g., ligustrazine, resveratrol), and antioxidant activity. Even though many of the selected phytoceuticals represent a promising therapeutic alternative, there is a shortage of human evidence, and further studies are required to provide solid basis to justify their use in the treatment of pancreatitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/5264592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5857302PMC
March 2018

Synthesis, Structural Characterization, Antimicrobial Activity, and In Vitro Biocompatibility of New Unsaturated Carboxylate Complexes with 2,2'-Bipyridine.

Molecules 2018 Jan 12;23(1). Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 90-92 Panduri Str., 050663 Bucharest, Romania.

The synthesis, structural characterization, cytotoxicity, and antimicrobial properties of four new complexes formed by employing acrylate anion and 2,2'-bipyridine are reported herein. X-ray crystallography revealed the trinuclear nature of [Mn₃(2,2'-bipy)₂(C₃H₃O₂)₆] (), meanwhile complexes with general formula [M(2,2'-bipy)(C₃H₃O₂)₂(H₂O)]∙H₂O (() M: Ni, = 1, = 0; () M: Cu, = 1, = 0; () M: Zn, = 0, = 1; 2,2'-bipy: 2,2'-bipyridine; C₃H₃O₂: acrylate anion) were shown to be mononuclear. The lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 128 μg mL was recorded for all four tested complexes against , for complex () against , and for complex () against . Compounds () and () were also potent efflux pumps activity inhibitors (EPI), proving their potential for use in synergistic combinations with antibiotics. Complexes ()-() revealed that they were not cytotoxic to HCT-8 cells. They also proved to interfere with the cellular cycle of tumour HCT-8 cells by increasing the number of cells found in the S and G2/M phases. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential of zinc and copper complexes for use in the development of novel antimicrobial and anti-proliferative agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6017882PMC
January 2018

Synthesis, Physico-chemical Characterization, Crystal Structure and Influence on Microbial and Tumor Cells of Some Co(II) Complexes with 5,7-Dimethyl-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine.

Molecules 2017 Jul 22;22(7). Epub 2017 Jul 22.

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 90-92 Panduri Str., 050663 Bucharest, Romania.

Three complexes, namely [Co(dmtp)₂(OH₂)₄][CoCl₄] (), [Co(dmtp)₂Cl₂] () and [Co(dmtp)₂(OH₂)₄]Cl₂∙2H₂O () (dmtp: 5,7-dimethyl-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-]pyrimidine), were synthesized and characterized by spectral (IR, UV-Vis-NIR), and magnetic measurements at room temperature, as well as single crystal X-ray diffraction. Complex () crystallizes in monoclinic system (space group 2/c), complex () adopts an orthorhombic system (space group bca), and complex () crystallizes in triclinic system (space group P1). Various types of extended hydrogen bonds and π-π interactions provide a supramolecular architecture for all complexes. All species were evaluated for antimicrobial activity towards planktonic and biofilm-embedded microbial cells and influence on HEp-2 cell viability, cellular cycle and gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules22071233DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152184PMC
July 2017

Synthesis and Structural Investigation of New Bio-Relevant Complexes of Lanthanides with 5-Hydroxyflavone: DNA Binding and Protein Interaction Studies.

Molecules 2016 Dec 16;21(12). Epub 2016 Dec 16.

Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 6 Traian Vuia Str., 020956 Bucharest, Romania.

In the present work, we attempted to develop new metal coordination complexes of the natural flavonoid 5-hydroxyflavone with Sm(III), Eu(III), Gd(III), Tb(III). The resultant hydroxo complexes have been characterized by a variety of spectroscopic techniques, including fluorescence, FT-IR, UV-Vis, EPR and mass spectral studies. The general chemical formula of the complexes is [Ln(CH₉O₃)₃(OH)₂(H₂O)]·H₂O, where Ln is the lanthanide cation and x = 0 for Sm(III), x = 1 for Eu(III), Gd(III), Tb(III) and = 0 for Sm(III), Gd(III), Tb(III), = 1 for Eu(III), respectively. The proposed structures of the complexes were optimized by DFT calculations. Theoretical calculations and experimental determinations sustain the proposed structures of the hydroxo complexes, with two molecules of 5-hydroxyflavone acting as monoanionic bidentate chelate ligands. The interaction of the complexes with calf thymus DNA has been explored by fluorescence titration and UV-Vis absorption binding studies, and revealed that the synthesized complexes interact with DNA with binding constants (K) ~ 10⁴. Human serum albumin (HSA) and transferrin (Tf) binding studies have also been performed by fluorescence titration techniques (fluorescence quenching studies, synchronous fluorescence spectra). The apparent association constants (K) and thermodynamic parameters have been calculated from the fluorescence quenching experiment at 299 K, 308 K, and 318 K. The quenching curves indicate that the complexes bind to HSA with smaller affinity than the ligand, but to Tf with higher binding affinities than the ligand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules21121737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273368PMC
December 2016

Nano-Engineered Biomimetic Optical Sensors for Glucose Monitoring in Diabetes.

Sensors (Basel) 2016 Nov 17;16(11). Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials (IRCBM), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, 54000 Lahore, Pakistan.

Diabetes is a rapidly growing disease that can be monitored at an individual level by controlling the blood glucose level, hence minimizing the negative impact of the disease. Significant research efforts have been focused on the design of novel and improved technologies to overcome the limitations of existing glucose analysis methods. In this context, nanotechnology has enabled the diagnosis at the single cell and molecular level with the possibility of incorporation in advanced molecular diagnostic biochips. Recent years have witnessed the exploration and synthesis of various types of nanomaterials with enzyme-like properties, with their subsequent integration into the design of biomimetic optical sensors for glucose monitoring. This review paper will provide insights on the type, nature and synthesis of different biomimetic nanomaterials. Moreover, recent developments in the integration of these nanomaterials for optical glucose biosensing will be highlighted, with a final discussion on the challenges that must be addressed for successful implementation of these nano-devices in the clinical applications is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s16111931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5134590PMC
November 2016

Ochratoxin A Detection on Antibody- Immobilized on BSA-Functionalized Gold Electrodes.

PLoS One 2016 28;11(7):e0160021. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Department of Medical And Surgical Specialties, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania.

Ochratoxin A (OTA)-a toxin produced by Aspergillus carbonarius, Aspergillus ochraceus, and Penicillium verrucosum-is one of the most-abundant food-contaminating mycotoxins. To avoid the risk of OTA consumption for humans and animals, the rapid detection and quantitation of OTA level in different commodities are of great importance. In this work, an impedimetric immunosensor for ochratoxin A (OTA) detection, a common toxic botanical contaminant, was developed via the immobilization of anti-OTA antibody on bovine serum albumin modified gold electrodes. A four-step reaction protocol was tested to modify the gold electrode and obtain the sensing substrate. All the steps of the immunosensor elaboration and also the immunochemical reaction between surface-bound antibody and ochratoxin A were analyzed using cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Modification of the impedance due to the specific antigen-antibody reaction at immunosensor surface, was used in order to detect ochratoxin A. Linear proportionality of the charge transfer resistance to the concentration of OTA allows ochratoxin A detection in the range of 2.5-100 ng/mL.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0160021PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4965031PMC
August 2017

Usage of Plant Food Supplements (PFS) for weight control in six European countries: results from the PlantLIBRA PFS Consumer Survey 2011-2012.

BMC Complement Altern Med 2016 Jul 28;16:254. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Fundación para la Investigación Nutricional, Parc Científic de Barcelona, Baldiri i Reixac, 4-8, Barcelona, 08028, Spain.

Background: Obesity is increasing worldwide and weight-control strategies, including the consumption of plant food supplements (PFS), are proliferating. This article identifies the herbal ingredients in PFS consumed for weight control and by overweight/obese dieters in six European countries, and explores the relationship between their consumption and their self-reported BMI.

Methods: Data used were a subset from the PlantLIBRA PFS Consumer Survey 2011-2012, a retrospective survey of 2359 PFS consumers. The survey used a bespoke frequency-of-PFS-usage questionnaire. Analyses were performed in two consumer subsamples of 1) respondents taking the products for "body weight reasons", and 2) "dieters for overweight/obesity", to identify the herbal ingredients consumed for these reasons. The relationship between the 5 most consumed herbal ingredients and self-reported BMI in groups 1 and 2 is explored by comparing BMI proportions of consumers vs. non-consumers (using Chi-squared test).

Results: 252 PFS (8.8 %) were consumed for "body weight reasons" (by 240 PFS consumers); 112 PFS consumers (4.8 %) were "dieting for overweight/obesity". Spain is the country where consuming herbal ingredients for body weight control and dieting were most popular. Artichoke was the most consumed herbal ingredient. Considering only the 5 top products consumed by those who responded "body weight", when using the total survey sample, a greater proportion of BMI ≥ 25 was observed among consumers of PFS containing artichoke and green tea as compared to non-consumers (58.4 % vs. 49.1 % and 63.2 % vs. 49.7 % respectively). Considering only the 5 top products consumed by "dieters" and using only the "dieters" sample, a lower proportion of BMI ≥ 25 was observed among pineapple-containing PFS consumers (38.5 % vs. 81.5 %); however, when using the entire survey sample, a greater proportion of BMI ≥ 25 was observed among artichoke-containing PFS consumers (58.4 % vs. 49.1 %).

Conclusions: A comparison of results among the scarce publications evaluating the use of weight-loss supplements at the population level is limited. Nevertheless every hint is important in finding out which are the self-treatment strategies used by overweight/obese individuals in European countries. Although limited by a small sample size, our study represents a first attempt at analysing such data in six EU countries. Our findings should encourage the conduction of further studies on this topic, long-term and large sample-sized studies, ideally conducted in the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1227-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4964311PMC
July 2016

Functionalized Antimicrobial Composite Thin Films Printing for Stainless Steel Implant Coatings.

Molecules 2016 Jun 9;21(6). Epub 2016 Jun 9.

National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, P.O. Box MG-36, Magurele, Ilfov RO-77125, Romania.

In this work we try to address the large interest existing nowadays in the better understanding of the interaction between microbial biofilms and metallic implants. Our aimed was to identify a new preventive strategy to control drug release, biofilm formation and contamination of medical devices with microbes. The transfer and printing of novel bioactive glass-polymer-antibiotic composites by Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation into uniform thin films onto 316 L stainless steel substrates of the type used in implants are reported. The targets were prepared by freezing in liquid nitrogen mixtures containing polymer and antibiotic reinforced with bioglass powder. The cryogenic targets were submitted to multipulse evaporation by irradiation with an UV KrF* (λ = 248 nm, τFWHM ≤ 25 ns) excimer laser source. The prepared structures were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and profilometry, before and after immersion in physiological fluids. The bioactivity and the release of the antibiotic have been evaluated. We showed that the incorporated antibiotic underwent a gradually dissolution in physiological fluids thus supporting a high local treatment efficiency. Electrochemical measurements including linear sweep voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy studies were carried out to investigate the corrosion resistance of the coatings in physiological environments. The in vitro biocompatibility assay using the MG63 mammalian cell line revealed that the obtained nanostructured composite films are non-cytotoxic. The antimicrobial effect of the coatings was tested against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli strains, usually present in implant-associated infections. An anti-biofilm activity was evidenced, stronger against E. coli than the S. aureus strain. The results proved that the applied method allows for the fabrication of implantable biomaterials which shield metal ion release and possess increased biocompatibility and resistance to microbial colonization and biofilm growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060740DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274373PMC
June 2016

Adverse Effects of Plant Food Supplements Self-Reported by Consumers in the PlantLIBRA Survey Involving Six European Countries.

PLoS One 2016 29;11(2):e0150089. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Fundación para la Investigacion Nutricional, Barcelona Science Park, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: The use of food supplements containing botanicals is increasing in European markets. Although intended to maintain the health status, several cases of adverse effects to Plant Food Supplements (PFS) have been described.

Objectives: To describe the self-reported adverse effects collected during the European PlantLIBRA PFS Consumer Survey 2011-2012, with a critical evaluation of the plausibility of the symptomatology reported using data from the literature and from the PlantLIBRA Poisons Centers' survey.

Subjects/setting: From the total sample of 2359 consumers involved in the consumers' survey, 82 subjects reported adverse effects due to a total of 87 PFS.

Results: Cases were self-reported, therefore causality was not classified on the basis of clinical evidence, but by using the frequency/strength of adverse effects described in scientific papers: 52 out of 87 cases were defined as possible (59.8%) and 4 as probable (4.6%). Considering the most frequently cited botanicals, eight cases were due to Valeriana officinalis (garden valerian); seven to Camellia sinensis (tea); six to Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree) and Paullinia cupana (guarana). Most adverse events related to the gastrointestinal tract, nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Conclusions: Comparing the data from this study with those published in scientific papers and obtained by the PlantLIBRA Poisons Centers' survey, some important conclusions can be drawn: severe adverse effects to PFS are quite rare, although mild or moderate adverse symptoms can be present. Data reported in this paper can help health professionals (and in particular family doctors) to become aware of possible new problems associated with the increasing use of food supplements containing botanicals.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0150089PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771165PMC
July 2016