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    ABSTRACT: Real-time confocal imaging was utilised to monitor the in situ loss of BSA monomers and aggregate formation using Spatial Intensity Distribution Analysis (SpIDA) and Raster Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS). At the proof of concept level this work has demonstrated the applicability of RICS and SpIDA for monitoring protein oligomerisation and larger aggregate formation.
    The Analyst 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, the multifunctional peptide TatLK15 resulting from the fusion of the cell penetrating peptide Tat and the amphipathic peptide LK15 was shown to be efficient at mediating siRNA and shRNA delivery in leukemia cells to silence the bcr-abl oncoprotein. The present study focused on TatLK15 peptide cellular uptake and defining conditions for its use within a range of doses exhibiting minimal toxicity. The initial part of the study carried out in solution confirmed that the insertion of a glycine bridge allowed retention of the LK15 α-helicity, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy did not reveal preferential conformations at the studied concentrations. In the second part, TatLK15 uptake mechanisms appeared peptide dose- and cell line- dependent as well as requiring membrane potential. Below a critical dose, TatLK15 toxicity appeared limited for approximately three hours as demonstrated by the combined use of lactate dehydrogenase release, MTT assays, and time-dependent observation of membrane-impermeant dye uptake using high content screening apparatus. Furthermore, toxicity was observed to occur rapidly at higher peptide doses. Finally, a comparison between TatLK15 and another Tat amphipathic peptide construct suggested that α-helix content should be viewed as a key element in the development of similar peptides. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci.
    Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 11/2013;
  • The Journal of Rheumatology 10/2013; 40(10):1637-1639.
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    ABSTRACT: CD44, the main receptor of hyaluronic acid (HA), is overexpressed in several pathological conditions and therefore can be seen as an interesting target for therapeutic intervention. Here, an approach using HA-coated chitosan (CS)-triphosphate (TPP) nanoparticles is investigated, using CS with different molecular weight (25 and 684 kDa), which influences HA presentation, and enzymatic and pH stability. In a study of nuclease stability, post-digestion of nanoparticles with chitosanase reveals that pDNA is at least partially degraded by DNAse; this may suggest that literature results overestimate the polyplex stability against nucleases. Using cells with a significantly different CD44 expression (RAW 264.7 macrophages-high levels; K562 leukemia cells-low levels; Kelly neuroblastoma cells-absent), the selectivity of CD44-mediated transfection is proven. Further, using luciferase pDNA and then later anti-luc siRNA, low MW CS-based nanoparticles show the best results despite a lower internalization efficiency; this effect is ascribed to a more efficient endosomal disruption and nucleic acid de-complexation.
    Macromolecular Bioscience 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Underlying systems factors have been seen to be crucial contributors to the occurrence of medication errors. By understanding the causes of these errors, the most appropriate interventions can be designed and implemented to minimise their occurrence. This study aimed to systematically review and appraise empirical evidence relating to the causes of medication administration errors (MAEs) in hospital settings. Nine electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, ASSIA, PsycINFO, British Nursing Index, CINAHL, Health Management Information Consortium and Social Science Citations Index) were searched between 1985 and May 2013. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to identify eligible publications through title analysis followed by abstract and then full text examination. English language publications reporting empirical data on causes of MAEs were included. Reference lists of included articles and relevant review papers were hand searched for additional studies. Studies were excluded if they did not report data on specific MAEs, used accounts from individuals not directly involved in the MAE concerned or were presented as conference abstracts with insufficient detail. A total of 54 unique studies were included. Causes of MAEs were categorised according to Reason's model of accident causation. Studies were assessed to determine relevance to the research question and how likely the results were to reflect the potential underlying causes of MAEs based on the method(s) used. Slips and lapses were the most commonly reported unsafe acts, followed by knowledge-based mistakes and deliberate violations. Error-provoking conditions influencing administration errors included inadequate written communication (prescriptions, documentation, transcription), problems with medicines supply and storage (pharmacy dispensing errors and ward stock management), high perceived workload, problems with ward-based equipment (access, functionality), patient factors (availability, acuity), staff health status (fatigue, stress) and interruptions/distractions during drug administration. Few studies sought to determine the causes of intravenous MAEs. A number of latent pathway conditions were less well explored, including local working culture and high-level managerial decisions. Causes were often described superficially; this may be related to the use of quantitative surveys and observation methods in many studies, limited use of established error causation frameworks to analyse data and a predominant focus on issues other than the causes of MAEs among studies. As only English language publications were included, some relevant studies may have been missed. Limited evidence from studies included in this systematic review suggests that MAEs are influenced by multiple systems factors, but if and how these arise and interconnect to lead to errors remains to be fully determined. Further research with a theoretical focus is needed to investigate the MAE causation pathway, with an emphasis on ensuring interventions designed to minimise MAEs target recognised underlying causes of errors to maximise their impact.
    Drug Safety 08/2013;
  • Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 07/2013; 27(14):1669-72.
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    ABSTRACT: Undifferentiated follicular and anaplastic thyroid tumours often respond poorly to radiotherapy and show increased metastatic potential. We evaluated radiation-induced effects on metastasis in thyroid carcinoma cells and tumours, mechanistically focusing on phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and associated pathways. Migration was analysed in follicular (FTC133) and anaplastic (8505c) cells following radiotherapy (0-6 Gray) with concomitant pharmacological (GDC-0941) or genetic inhibition of PI3K. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1)-activity was measured using luciferase reporter assays and was inhibited using a dominant-negative variant. Activation and subcellular localisation of target proteins were assessed via Western blot and immunofluorescence. In vivo studies used FTC133 xenografts with metastatic lung dissemination assessed ex vivo. Radiation induced migration in a HIF-dependent manner in FTC133 cells but decreased migration in 8505c's. Post-radiation HIF-activity correlated with migratory phenotype. PI3K-targeting inhibited migration under basal and irradiated conditions through inhibition of HIF-1α, Rho-GTPase expression/activity and localisation whilst having little effect on src/FAK. In vivo, radiation induced PI3K, HIF, Rho-GTPases and src but only PI3K, HIF and Rho-GTPases were inhibited by GDC-0941. Co-treatment with GDC-0941 and radiation significantly reduced metastatic dissemination versus radiotherapy alone. Radiation modifies metastatic characteristics of thyroid carcinoma cells, which can be successfully inhibited by targeting PI3K using GDC-0941 in vitro and in vivo.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 07/2013;
  • Ergonomics 06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Over recent decades biotechnology has made significant advances owing to the emergence of powerful biochemical and biophysical instrumentation. The development of such technologies has enabled high-throughput assessment of compounds, the implementation of recombinant DNA technology, and large-scale manufacture of monoclonal antibodies. Such innovations have ultimately resulted in the current experienced biopharmaceutical stronghold in the therapeutic market. Yet aggregate prediction and profiling remains a challenge in the formulation of biopharmaceuticals due to artifacts associated with each analytical method. We review some emerging trends and novel technologies that offer a promising potential for accurately predicting and profiling protein aggregation at various stages of biopharmaceutical product design.
    Trends in Biotechnology 06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate whether the early achievement of clinical remission influences overall survival in an inception cohort of patients with inflammatory polyarthritis (IP). METHODS: Consecutive early IP patients, recruited to a primary care based inception cohort from 1990 to 1994 and from 2000 to 2004 were eligible for this study. Remission was defined as absence of clinically detectable joint inflammation on a 51-joint count. In sensitivity analyses, less stringent definitions of remission were used, based on 28-joint counts. Remission was assessed at 1, 2 and 3 years after baseline. All patients were flagged with the national death register. Censoring was set at 1 May 2011. The effect of remission on mortality was analysed using the Cox proportional hazard regression model, and presented as HRs and 95% CIs. RESULTS: A total of 1251 patients were included in the analyses. Having been in remission at least once within the first 3 years of follow-up was associated with a significantly lower risk of death: HR 0.72 (95% CI 0.55 to 0.94). Patients who were in remission 1 year after the baseline assessments and had persistent remission over time had the greatest reduction in mortality risk compared with patients who never achieved remission within the first 3 years of follow-up: HR 0.58 (95% CI 0.37 to 0.91). Remission according to less stringent definitions was associated with progressively lower protective effect. CONCLUSIONS: Early and sustained remission is associated with decreased all-cause mortality in patients with IP. This result supports clinical remission as the target in the management of IP.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 06/2013;
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