In situ atomic force microscopy study of Alzheimer's beta-amyloid peptide on different substrates: new insights into mechanism of beta-sheet formation.
We have applied in situ atomic force microscopy to directly observe the aggregation of Alzheimer's beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta) in contact with two model solid surfaces: hydrophilic mica and hydrophobic graphite. The time course of aggregation was followed by continuous imaging of surfaces remaining in contact with 10-500 microM solutions of Abeta in PBS (pH 7.4). Visualization of fragile nanoscale aggregates of Abeta was made possible by the application of a tapping mode of imaging, which minimizes the lateral forces between the probe tip and the sample. The size and the shape of Abeta aggregates, as well as the kinetics of their formation, exhibited pronounced dependence on the physicochemical nature of the surface. On hydrophilic mica, Abeta formed particulate, pseudomicellar aggregates, which at higher Abeta concentration had the tendency to form linear assemblies, reminiscent of protofibrillar species described recently in the literature. In contrast, on hydrophobic graphite Abeta formed uniform, elongated sheets. The dimensions of those sheets were consistent with the dimensions of beta-sheets with extended peptide chains perpendicular to the long axis of the aggregate. The sheets of Abeta were oriented along three directions at 120 degrees to each other, resembling the crystallographic symmetry of a graphite surface. Such substrate-templated self-assembly may be the distinguishing feature of beta-sheets in comparison with alpha-helices. These studies show that in situ atomic force microscopy enables direct assessment of amyloid aggregation in physiological fluids and suggest that Abeta fibril formation may be driven by interactions at the interface of aqueous solutions and hydrophobic substrates, as occurs in membranes and lipoprotein particles in vivo. (+info)
99mTc technegas ventilation and perfusion lung scintigraphy for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolus.
Lung scintigraphy is used widely for diagnosis of pulmonary embolus (PE). Technegas ventilation imaging has many advantages over other methods, but little outcome data exists on this technique. The aims of this study were to better define the role of lung scintigraphy in the management of patients with suspected PE and to evaluate technegas ventilation imaging by following patient outcomes. METHODS: A group of 717 out of 834 consecutive patients, referred to a university teaching hospital for lung scintigraphy to confirm or refute the diagnosis of PE, was followed for 18-30 mo to determine clinical outcome. The follow-up endpoints were death as a result of PE, death as a result of hemorrhage after treatment for PE, uncomplicated survival, survival with subsequent PE, nonfatal hemorrhage after treatment for PE and recurrence of PE in treated patients. Ventilation imaging was performed using technegas, and perfusion imaging was performed using intravenous 99mTc macroaggregated albumin. The modified PIOPED (Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis) diagnostic criterion was used for interpretation of lung scintigraphy. RESULTS: Diagnostic results included 3.5% normal studies, 67.4% assessed as low probability for PE, 10% as moderate probability for PE and 19.1% as high probability for PE. A total of 231 patents received therapy with heparin, followed by warfarin, including those receiving anticoagulation therapy for other conditions. Ninety-six percent of patients with normal and low probability studies (n = 508) had good outcomes, 6 patients died as a result of PE and 12 subsequently developed PE. The odds ratio for death by PE in this group was 0.2. Of the 72 moderate probability studies, 39 patients were untreated. In this group there was 1 death due to PE, and PE subsequently developed in 2 patients. None of the remaining 33 treated patients died, but 4 patients experienced bleeding complications. The odds ratio for death by PE in the moderate probability group was 0.7. In those patients with high-probability studies, there were 8 deaths by PE, 6 deaths by hemorrhage, 11 nonfatal hemorrhages and 7 patients who experienced recurrences of PE. The odds ratios in this group were 6 and 10 for death by PE, or death by PE and the treatment of PE, respectively. CONCLUSION: The use of the modified PIOPED diagnostic classification is valid for technegas lung scintigraphy. Using technegas, normal/low-probability and high-probability results are highly predictive of respective outcomes. Technegas lung scintigraphy reduces the number of indeterminate studies. (+info)
Origin of graphitic carbon and pentlandite in matrix olivines in the Allende meteorite.
Matrix olivines in the Allende carbonaceous chondrite are believed to have formed by condensation processes in the primitive solar nebula. However, transmission electron microscope observations of numerous matrix olivines show that they contain abundant, previously unrecognized, nanometer-sized inclusions of pentlandite and poorly graphitized carbon. Neither of these phases would have been stable at the high-temperature conditions required to condense iron-rich olivine in the solar nebula. The presence of these inclusions is consistent with formation of the olivines by parent body processes that involved overgrowth of fine-grained organic materials and sulfides in the precursor matrix materials. (+info)
Interlaboratory comparison of ultrasonic backscatter, attenuation, and speed measurements.
In a study involving 10 different sites, independent results of measurements of ultrasonic properties on equivalent tissue-mimicking samples are reported and compared. The properties measured were propagation speed, attenuation coefficients, and backscatter coefficients. Reasonably good agreement exists for attenuation coefficients, but less satisfactory results were found for propagation speeds. As anticipated, agreement was not impressive in the case of backscatter coefficients. Results for four sites agreed rather well in both absolute values and frequency dependence, and results from other sites were lower by as much as an order of magnitude. The study is valuable for laboratories doing quantitative studies. (+info)
Quantitative analysis of technegas SPECT: evaluation of regional severity of emphysema.
The purpose of this study was to quantify the regional severity of emphysema by 3-dimensional fractal analysis of technegas (99mTc-carbon particle radioaerosol) SPECT images. METHODS: Technegas SPECT was performed on 22 patients with emphysema. The lungs were delineated using 4 cutoff levels (15%, 20%, 25%, and 30% of the maximal pixel radioactivity), and the total number of pixels was measured in the areas surrounded by the contours obtained with each cutoff level. We calculated fractal dimensions from the relationship between the total number of pixels and cutoff levels transformed into logarithms. Fractal dimension for total or regional lung was defined as the severity of emphysema. RESULTS: Total lung fractal dimension (T-FD), upper lung fractal dimension (U-FD), and lower lung fractal dimension (L-FD) for patients with emphysema were 1.84 +/- 0.46 (mean +/-SD), 2.22 +/- 0.61, and 1.77 +/- 0.49, respectively. U-FD was significantly greater than was L-FD. Patients with the ratio of U-FD to L-FD of <1.16 had a significantly greater percentage forced vital capacity (FVC) than did patients with the ratio of >1.16. Patients with an L-FD of <1.8 had a significantly greater forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/FVC than did patients with that of >1.8. No significant difference was found between patient groups stratified by U-FD. CONCLUSION: The regional severity of emphysema was well shown by these fractal dimensions. (+info)
Tunable resistance of a carbon nanotube-graphite interface.
The transfer of electrons from one material to another is usually described in terms of energy conservation, with no attention being paid to momentum conservation. Here we present results on the junction resistance between a carbon nanotube and a graphite substrate and show that details of momentum conservation also can change the contact resistance. By changing the angular alignment of the atomic lattices, we found that contact resistance varied by more than an order of magnitude in a controlled and reproducible fashion, indicating that momentum conservation, in addition to energy conservation, can dictate the junction resistance in graphene systems such as carbon nanotube junctions and devices. (+info)
Micromethod for lead determination in whole blood by atomic absorption, with use of the graphite furnace.
I describe a micro-scale method for determining lead in whole blood by utilizing a graphite furnace. Sample pretreatment consists of fivefold dilution with a dilute surfactant. The method is directly calibrated with lead standards prepared in dilute HNO3. To eliminate a small, nonspecific absorption signal from the blood matrix, simultaneous background correction is used. Interlaboratory comparison with a flame atomic absorption technique that requires extraction yielded high correlation (r equal to 0.98). Within-run precision (coefficient of variation) ranged from 2 to 4 percent. Lead in blood can be accurately measured in as little as 20 mul of blood, hence the method is suitable for routine laboratory use and for pediatric screening. (+info)
Technique for determining nickel in blood by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry.
We describe a technique for determining nickel in serum by flameless atomic absorption, with use of dimethylglyoxime. The procedure permits a greater number of analyses per technician at a relatively low cost, yet provides acceptable accuracy and reliability. After the sample is evaporated and dry ashed in a muffle furnace at 560 degrees C for 5 h, the residual salts are dissolved in hydrochloric acid (1 mol/liter). Sodium citrate and dimethylglyoxime are then added for complexation of iron and nickel, respectively. The pH is adjusted to 9 with ammonia and the nickel dimethylglyoxime is extracted with methyl isobutyl ketone. The determination is carried out by injecting 50 mul of the organic phase into the graphite furnace, where the sample is dried at 120 degrees C and ashed at 1200 degrees C, respectively. (+info)