Clinical manifestations of AB-amyloidosis: effects of biocompatibility and flux. (73/3384)

BACKGROUND: Highly permeable biocompatible dialysis membranes may postpone the development of AB-amyloidosis, but the relative contribution of enhanced flux or reduced inflammation by highly biocompatible membranes and sterile dialysis fluid remains unknown. METHODS: In this retrospective investigation, 89 patients with end-stage renal disease maintained on regular haemodialysis for at least 10 years and treated with one type of dialysis membrane exclusively were selected for analysis. They were divided into three groups: low-flux, bioincompatible cellulose (I), low-flux, intermediately biocompatible polysulphone or PMMA (II), or high-flux, highly biocompatible polysulphone or AN69 (III). In addition, the patients were analysed according to the microbiological quality of the dialysis fluid, which had been tested regularly and was classified either as standard or as intermittently contaminated. The clinical manifestations indicative of AB-amyloidosis, namely, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthropathy and bone cysts, were diagnosed after recruitment. RESULTS: Clinical symptoms were most pronounced in group I, intermediate in group II, and lowest in group III. Patients treated with intermittently contaminated dialysis fluid showed a higher prevalence of AB-amyloidosis than patients with less contaminated dialysis fluid. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the flux characteristics of the dialyser and the microbiological quality of the dialysis fluid as well as the biocompatibility of the dialyser were independent determinants of AB-amyloidosis. CONCLUSION: It would be prudent clinical practice to employ high-flux biocompatible membranes in conjunction with ultrapure dialysis fluid for the treatment of end-stage renal disease patients who need to remain on long-term haemodialysis.  (+info)

Novel materials to enhance keratoprosthesis integration. (74/3384)

BACKGROUND: The successful integration of keratoprostheses (KPros) within the cornea depends in part on peripheral host keratocyte adhesion to anchor the implant in place and prevent epithelial downgrowth. The following study incorporated different acrylate co-monomers with poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (p(HEMA)) and measured the suitability of these materials as potential skirt materials in terms of their ability to enhance keratocyte adhesion to p(HEMA). METHODS: p(HEMA) hydrogels incorporating varying amounts of the acrylate co-monomers methacrylic acid (MA), 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DEM), or phenoxyethyl methacrylate (PEM) were formed by free radical polymerisation. Keratocytes were seeded onto discs of each material and incubated at 37 degrees C for 72 hours. Assays for viable cell adhesion were carried out. A viability/cytotoxicity assay using solutions of calcein-AM (0.5 mM) and ethidium homodimer-1 (EthD-1) (0.5 microM) were used to measure viable and non-viable cell adhesion, respectively. An ATP assay was also used to quantify cell adhesion in terms of the amount of ATP present following lysis of adherent cells. RESULTS: The viability/cytotoxicity assays indicated that the incorporation of 15 mol% of the co-monomer PEM or of 20 mol% DEM increased cell adhesion to p(HEMA) by at least four times. The ATP assays confirmed the results for PEM but absorption of ATP to the DEM containing hydrogel indicated that the assay was not a suitable measure of cell adhesion to this material. CONCLUSIONS: The properties of p(HEMA) may be moderated to enhance keratocyte adhesion by the incorporation of PEM or DEM suggesting that these may be suitable materials for use in the further development of a novel KPro skirt material.  (+info)

Extensive neurite outgrowth and active synapse formation on self-assembling peptide scaffolds. (75/3384)

A new type of self-assembling peptide (sapeptide) scaffolds that serve as substrates for neurite outgrowth and synapse formation is described. These peptide-based scaffolds are amenable to molecular design by using chemical or biotechnological syntheses. They can be tailored to a variety of applications. The sapeptide scaffolds are formed through the spontaneous assembly of ionic self-complementary beta-sheet oligopeptides under physiological conditions, producing a hydrogel material. The scaffolds can support neuronal cell attachment and differentiation as well as extensive neurite outgrowth. Furthermore, they are permissive substrates for functional synapse formation between the attached neurons. That primary rat neurons form active synapses on such scaffold surfaces in situ suggests these scaffolds could be useful for tissue engineering applications. The buoyant sapeptide scaffolds with attached cells in culture can be transported readily from one environment to another. Furthermore, these peptides did not elicit a measurable immune response or tissue inflammation when introduced into animals. These biological materials created through molecular design and self assembly may be developed as a biologically compatible scaffold for tissue repair and tissue engineering.  (+info)

Long-term follow-up of morbidity and mortality after aortic valve replacement with a mechanical valve prosthesis. (76/3384)

AIMS: The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of valve-related complications in patients with a mechanical aortic valve prosthesis and to identify risk factors for an adverse outcome. METHODS AND RESULTS: In the 424 patients, event-free survival rates 5 and 10 years after aortic valve replacement were 62% and 37%, respectively. The linearized incidence of thromboembolic events was 4.4% per patient-year, and of anticoagulant-related haemorrhage 8.5% per patient-year. Advanced NYHA functional class, atrial fibrillation, pure aortic regurgitation and thromboembolism prior to surgery decreased event-free survival. A history of pre-operative thromboembolism increased the risk for a first embolic event after aortic valve replacement (relative hazard [RH] 3.2), but was even more strongly associated with the risk for repeated events (> or =2 events, RH 5.4). After each thromboembolic episode that occurred, the risk for a subsequent one was increased. The risk for at least one, and up to three or more haemorrhages was increased in patients with a pre-operative history of bleeding (RH 3.3-5.1) and of atrial fibrillation (RH 1.8-3.9). The risk for a subsequent event was increased by a history of repeated haemorrhages, a short interval since previous bleeding, and high age. CONCLUSIONS: There were few factors strongly related to valve related morbidity. However, previous bleedings and previous thromboembolism were powerful risk factors for repeated events.  (+info)

In vivo visualization of hemodialysis-induced alterations in leukocyte-endothelial interactions. (77/3384)

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to develop a model for hemodialysis (HD) in small animals using conventional dialysis equipment that would allow the intravital microscopic observation of leukocyte-endothelial interactions in vivo. METHODS: Cuprophan dialyzers were adapted to obtain a similar ratio of membrane area to blood volume as in clinical HD. A silicone ring was inserted into the dialyzer's inlet to limit the number of blood-perfused capillaries. Rabbits were dialyzed for one hour without a dialysate flow. RESULTS: Extracorporeal circulation with the cuprophan dialyzer resulted in a transient leukopenia and complement activation. At the nadir of leukopenia, leukocytes that rolled along the venular wall were scarcely observed, whereas rolling was abundant (54 +/- 9 per min) prior to extracorporeal circulation. The adhesion of leukocytes to the vascular endothelium was not induced. After 60 minutes, rolling of leukocytes was still reduced by 73 +/- 5.5%, despite the full recovery of circulating leukocyte counts. Extracorporeal circulation without a dialyzer also tended to reduce leukocyte rolling, although systemic leukocyte counts were not affected. CONCLUSIONS: The use of adapted conventional cuprophan hemodialyzers in rabbits yielded a transient leukopenia similar to that in clinical HD. Using intravital microscopy, we demonstrated impairment of leukocyte-endothelial interactions. In addition, our data indicate that tissues, in which leukocytes can roll and adhere, are not automatically sites of leukocyte sequestration during HD-induced leukopenia.  (+info)

Randomized trial of high-flux vs low-flux haemodialysis: effects on homocysteine and lipids. (78/3384)

BACKGROUND: Uncontrolled studies have found that high-flux haemodialysis favourably modifies homocysteine and lipid profiles. We sought to confirm these findings by carrying out a randomized prospective comparison of high-flux and low-flux polysulphone in chronic, stable dialysis patients. METHODS: Forty-eight patients were randomly assigned to either high or low-flux dialysis for 3 months. Serum levels of homocysteine, lipoprotein (a), and lipids were compared between the treatment groups at monthly intervals. RESULTS: All patient characteristics and laboratory variables were equally distributed between the groups at baseline. Over the study duration, we observed no differences between high- and low-flux treatment groups for the following outcomes: pre-dialysis homocysteine, lipoprotein (a), total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides (all P>0.05). Geometric mean (interquartile range) homocysteine at baseline was 20.0 (16.8-24.5) and 19.5 (15.3-22.0) micromol/l for the high-and low-flux groups respectively (P=0.80), and levels did not change significantly during the study. We did demonstrate a more pronounced intradialytic effect of high-flux dialysis on homocysteine levels, which fell during dialysis by 42%, compared to 32% with low-flux dialysis (P<0. 001). CONCLUSIONS: In this randomized controlled trial, the effects of high-flux and low-flux haemodialysis on homocysteine and lipid profiles were comparable. The greater intradialytic effect of high-flux dialysis on homocysteine did not translate into a significant difference in pre-dialysis levels after 3 months of study.  (+info)

Cell movement is guided by the rigidity of the substrate. (79/3384)

Directional cell locomotion is critical in many physiological processes, including morphogenesis, the immune response, and wound healing. It is well known that in these processes cell movements can be guided by gradients of various chemical signals. In this study, we demonstrate that cell movement can also be guided by purely physical interactions at the cell-substrate interface. We cultured National Institutes of Health 3T3 fibroblasts on flexible polyacrylamide sheets coated with type I collagen. A transition in rigidity was introduced in the central region of the sheet by a discontinuity in the concentration of the bis-acrylamide cross-linker. Cells approaching the transition region from the soft side could easily migrate across the boundary, with a concurrent increase in spreading area and traction forces. In contrast, cells migrating from the stiff side turned around or retracted as they reached the boundary. We call this apparent preference for a stiff substrate "durotaxis." In addition to substrate rigidity, we discovered that cell movement could also be guided by manipulating the flexible substrate to produce mechanical strains in the front or rear of a polarized cell. We conclude that changes in tissue rigidity and strain could play an important controlling role in a number of normal and pathological processes involving cell locomotion.  (+info)

The utility of the microcrystalline cellulose sphere as a particulate embolic agent: an experimental study. (80/3384)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Although various particulate materials have been developed as embolization agents, their biocompatibility remains unclear. We used an animal model to examine the possibility of using FDA-approved microcrystalline cellulose spheres (CELPHERE) as solid embolic material for the permanent occlusion of blood vessels. METHODS: Angiographic and histologic studies in 12 canine renal arterial systems were conducted to evaluate the performance of CELPHERE beads at 1 hour, and at 4 and 12 weeks after embolization. RESULTS: The CELPHERE beads traveled to vessels with diameters approximating their own. Larger vessels were occluded by aggregations of beads. There was no disruption of vessel walls and no evidence of perivascular hemorrhage or inflammatory changes. CONCLUSION: Because CELPHERE beads are easy to handle, highly biocompatible, and have few adverse effects, they are suitable for intravascular applications.  (+info)