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Sample records for post-injury baicalein improves

  1. Baicalein pretreatment reduces liver ischemia/reperfusion injury via induction of autophagy in rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Anding; Huang, Liang; Guo, Enshuang; Li, Renlong; Yang, Jiankun; Li, Anyi; Yang, Yan; Liu, Shenpei; Hu, Jifa; Jiang, Xiaojing; Dirsch, Olaf; Dahmen, Uta; Sun, Jian

    2016-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that baicalein could protect against liver ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in mice. The exact mechanism of baicalein remains poorly understood. Autophagy plays an important role in protecting against I/R injury. This study was designed to determine whether baicalein could protect against liver I/R injury via induction of autophagy in rats. Baicalein was intraperitoneally injected 1 h before warm ischemia. Pretreatment with baicalein prior to I/R insult significantly blunted I/R-induced elevations of serum aminotransferase levels and significantly improved the histological status of livers. Electron microscopy and expression of the autophagic marker LC3B-II suggested induction of autophagy after baicalein treatment. Moreover, inhibition of the baicalein-induced autophagy using 3-methyladenine (3-MA) worsened liver injury. Furthermore, baicalein treatment increased heme oxygenase (HO)-1 expression, and pharmacological inhibition of HO-1 with tin protoporphyrin IX (SnPP) abolished the baicalein-mediated autophagy and the hepatocellular protection. In primary rat hepatocytes, baicalein-induced autophagy also protected hepatocytes from hypoxia/reoxygenation injury in vitro and the beneficial effect was abrogated by 3-MA or Atg7 siRNA, respectively. Suppression of HO-1 activity by SnPP or HO-1 siRNA prevented the baicalein-mediated autophagy and resulted in increased hepatocellular injury. Collectively, these results suggest that baicalein prevents hepatocellular injury via induction of HO-1-mediated autophagy.

  2. Effect of treatment with baicalein on the intracerebral tumor growth and survival of orthotopic glioma models.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fu-Rong; Jiang, Yong-Sheng

    2015-08-01

    Baicalein, a widely used Chinese herbal medicine, has been proved as a promising chemopreventive compound for many cancers. The aim of this work was to assess the anti-tumor effect of baicalein in the orthotopic glioma models. It was found that treatment of mice with U87 gliomas with baicalein (20 and 40 mg/kg/day, i.p.) significantly inhibited the intracerebral tumor growth and prolonged the survival. Furthermore, treatment with baicalein suppressed cell proliferation, promoted apoptosis, and arrested cell cycle in U87 gliomas. In addition, treatment with baicalein reduced tumor permeability, attenuated edema of tumors and brains, and improved tight junctions in gliomas. Finally, treatment with baicalein reduced the expression of HIF-1α, VEGF, and VEGFR2 in U87 gliomas. In addition, treatment with baicalein also markedly suppressed tumor growth and prolonged the survival of rats with 9L gliomas. In conclusion, baicalein has an obvious anti-tumor activity in the orthotopic glioma models. Our results suggested that treatment with baicalein might be an effective therapy for recurrent malignant brain cancers through suppressing tumor growth and alleviating edema.

  3. The flavonoid baicalein promotes NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation and enhances memory

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Wang, Fang; Yang, Yuan-Jian; Hu, Zhuang-Li; Long, Li-Hong; Fu, Hui; Xie, Na; Chen, Jian-Guo

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE There is growing interest in the physiological functions of flavonoids, especially in their effects on cognitive function and on neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of the current investigation was to evaluate the role of the flavonoid baicalein in long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampal CA1 region and cognitive behavioural performance. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Effects of baicalein on LTP in rat hippocampal slices were investigated by electrophysiological methods. Phosphorylation of Akt (at Ser473), the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) and the transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) (at Ser133) were analysed by Western blot. Fear conditioning was used to determine whether baicalein could improve learning and memory in rats. KEY RESULTS Baicalein enhanced the N-methyl-d-aspartate glutamate receptor-dependent LTP in a bell-shaped concentration-dependent manner. Addition of the lipoxygenase metabolites 12(S)-HETE and 12(S)-HPETE did not reverse these effects of baicalein. Baicalein treatment enhanced phosphorylation of Akt during induction of LTP with the same bell-shaped dose–response curve. LTP potentiation induced by baicalein was blocked by inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase. CREB phosphorylation was also increased in the CA1 region of baicalein-treated slices. Baicalein-treated rats performed significantly better than controls in a hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning task. Furthermore, baicalein treatment selectively increased the phosphorylation of Akt and CREB in the CA1 region of hippocampus, but not in the prefrontal cortex, after fear conditioning training. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Our results demonstrate that the flavonoid baicalein can facilitate memory, and therefore it might be useful in the treatment of patients with memory disorders. PMID:21133890

  4. Ameliorative effects of baicalein in MPTP-induced mouse model of Parkinson's disease: A microarray study.

    PubMed

    Gao, Li; Li, Chao; Yang, Ran-Yao; Lian, Wen-Wen; Fang, Jian-Song; Pang, Xiao-Cong; Qin, Xue-Mei; Liu, Ai-Lin; Du, Guan-Hua

    2015-06-01

    Baicalein, a flavonoid from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, has been shown to possess neuroprotective properties. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of baicalein on motor behavioral deficits and gene expression in N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced mice model of Parkinson's disease (PD). The behavioral results showed that baicalein significantly improves the abnormal behaviors in MPTP-induced mice model of PD, as manifested by shortening the total time for climbing down the pole, prolonging the latent periods of rotarod, and increasing the vertical movements. Using cDNA microarray and subsequent bioinformatic analyses, it was found that baicalein significantly promotes the biological processes including neurogenesis, neuroblast proliferation, neurotrophin signaling pathway, walking and locomotor behaviors, and inhibits dopamine metabolic process through regulation of gene expressions. Based on analysis of gene co-expression networks, the results indicated that the regulation of genes such as LIMK1, SNCA and GLRA1 by baicalein might play central roles in the network. Our results provide experimental evidence for the potential use of baicalein in the treatment of PD, and revealed gene expression profiles, biological processes and pathways influenced by baicalein in MPTP-treated mice.

  5. The flavonoid baicalein rescues synaptic plasticity and memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Gu, Xun-Hu; Xu, Li-Jun; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Wei, Bo; Yang, Yuan-Jian; Xu, Guo-Gang; Yin, Xiao-Ping; Wang, Wei

    2016-09-15

    Increasing evidence suggests that disruptions of synaptic functions correlate with the severity of cognitive deficit in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our previous study demonstrated that baicalein enhances long-term potentiation (LTP) in acute rat hippocampal slices and improves hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning in rats. Given that baicalein possess various biological activities, especially its effects on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function, we examined the effect of baicalein on synaptic function both in vitro and in vivo in AD model. The effect of baicalein on Aβ42 oligomer impaired LTP was investigated by electrophysiological methods. Baicalein was administered orally via drinking water to the APP/PS1 mice and sex- and age-matched wild-type mice. Treatment started at 5 months of age and mice were assessed for cognition and AD-like pathology at 7-month-old. Cognition was analyzed by Morris water maze test, fear conditioning test, and novel object recognition test. Changes in hippocampal 12/15 Lipoxygenase (12/15LO) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity, Aβ production, tau phosphorylation, synaptic plasticity, and dendritic spine density were evaluated. Baicalein prevented Aβ-induced impairments in hippocampal LTP through activation of serine threonine Kinase (Akt) phosphorylation. Long-term oral administration of baicalein inhibited 12/15LO and GSK3β activity, reduced β-secretase enzyme (BACE1), decreased the concentration of total Aβ, and prevented phosphorylation of tau in APP/PS1 mice. Meanwhile, baicalein restored spine number, synaptic plasticity, and memory deficits. Our results strengthen the potential of the flavonoid baicalein as a novel and promising oral bioactive therapeutic agent that prevents memory deficits in AD.

  6. Enhanced bioavailability after oral and pulmonary administration of baicalein nanocrystal.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianjun; Lv, Huixia; Jiang, Kun; Gao, Yuan

    2011-11-25

    The aim of the study was to investigate the potential of oral and pulmonary nanocrystal to enhance the bioavailability of baicalein, a bioactive flavonoid isolated from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. So far, the nano-sized delivery system of baicalein and its pulmonary delivery have received no exploration. In the present investigation, the baicalein nanocrystal was prepared by anti-solvent recrystallization followed by high pressure homogenization. In vitro characterization was performed including particle size and distribution, Zeta potential, dissolution, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray powder diffractometry. It was indicated that no crystalline change was observed after nanocrystal preparation. The baicalein nanocrystal containing only trace of stabilizer exhibited a significantly enhanced dissolution of baicalein. In vivo test was also carried out in rats and pharmacokinetic parameters of the baicalein crystal and the baicalein nanocrystal after gavage and pulmonary administration were compared, based on the simultaneous determination of baicalein and baicalin by high performance liquid chromatography. The mean relative bioavailability of oral baicalein nanocrystal was 1.67-fold that of oral baicalein crystal. The pulmonary baicalein nanocrystal had rapid and extensive absorption and had almost identical pharmacokinetic parameters to intravenous baicalein injection. PMID:21878378

  7. Baicalein suppresses the proliferation of acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia Jurkat cells by inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoping; Liu, Shengcai; Chen, Jiarui; He, Li; Meng, Xiangyu; Liu, Shangqin

    2016-10-01

    Although the response rates of chemotherapy in patients with acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) have improved significantly, the outcome of these patients is still poor. Previous studies suggested that baicalein could inhibit the growth of several cancers, while its effect on T-ALL cells remains unclear. We used Jurkat cells as an in vitro model of T-ALL. Cell counting kit-8 assay and cytometric analysis with Annexin V-FITC/PI double staining were used to investigate the proliferation and apoptosis of Jurkat cells treated with increasing concentration of baicalein for indicated time. RT-PCR and western blotting was used to test the expression of Wnt/β-catenin associated genes and proteins. In cell viability assay, baicalein could inhibit the proliferation of Jurkat cells both in dose- and time-dependent manners. In cell apoptosis assay, baicalein could stimulate apoptosis of Jurkat cells both in dose- and time-dependent manners. Moreover, we demonstrated that baicalein could down-regulated the mRNA and protein levels of β-catenin and its widely accepted downstream targets (c-Myc, cyclin D1, and Axin2) in dose-dependent manners. These results proved that baicalein might be a potential choice for the treatment of T-ALL.

  8. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Baicalein Potently Inhibits Gastric Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Jiasheng; Liu, Tianrun; Jiang, Lin; Wu, Xiangsong; Cao, Yang; Li, Maolan; Dong, Qian; Liu, Yingbin; Xu, Haineng

    2016-01-01

    Baicalein, a traditional Chinese medicine, is a member of the flavone subclass of flavonoids. It has been reported to have anticancer activities in several human cancer cell lines in vitro. However, the therapeutic effects of baicalein on human gastric cancer and the mechanisms of action of baicalein have not been extensively studied. In the present study, we utilized a cell viability assay and an in vivo tumor growth assay to test the inhibitory effects of baicalein on gastric cancer. Analyses of the cell cycle, apoptosis and alterations in protein levels were performed to elucidate how baicalein functions in gastric cancer. We found that baicalein could potently inhibit gastric cancer cell growth and colony formation. Baicalein robustly induced arrest at the S phase in the gastric cancer cell line SGC-7901. It induced SGC-7901 cell apoptosis and disrupted the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in a dose-dependent manner. Analysis of protein expression levels in SGC-7901 cells showed downregulation of Bcl-2 and upregulation of Bax in response to baicalein treatment. These results indicate that baicalein induces apoptosis of gastric cancer cells through the mitochondrial pathway. In an in vivo subcutaneous xenograft model, baicalein exhibited excellent tumor inhibitory effects. These results indicate that baicalein may be a potential drug for gastric cancer therapy. PMID:26918059

  9. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Baicalein Potently Inhibits Gastric Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Mu, Jiasheng; Liu, Tianrun; Jiang, Lin; Wu, Xiangsong; Cao, Yang; Li, Maolan; Dong, Qian; Liu, Yingbin; Xu, Haineng

    2016-01-01

    Baicalein, a traditional Chinese medicine, is a member of the flavone subclass of flavonoids. It has been reported to have anticancer activities in several human cancer cell lines in vitro. However, the therapeutic effects of baicalein on human gastric cancer and the mechanisms of action of baicalein have not been extensively studied. In the present study, we utilized a cell viability assay and an in vivo tumor growth assay to test the inhibitory effects of baicalein on gastric cancer. Analyses of the cell cycle, apoptosis and alterations in protein levels were performed to elucidate how baicalein functions in gastric cancer. We found that baicalein could potently inhibit gastric cancer cell growth and colony formation. Baicalein robustly induced arrest at the S phase in the gastric cancer cell line SGC-7901. It induced SGC-7901 cell apoptosis and disrupted the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in a dose-dependent manner. Analysis of protein expression levels in SGC-7901 cells showed downregulation of Bcl-2 and upregulation of Bax in response to baicalein treatment. These results indicate that baicalein induces apoptosis of gastric cancer cells through the mitochondrial pathway. In an in vivo subcutaneous xenograft model, baicalein exhibited excellent tumor inhibitory effects. These results indicate that baicalein may be a potential drug for gastric cancer therapy.

  10. Exploring Therapeutic Potentials of Baicalin and Its Aglycone Baicalein for Hematological Malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Haijun; Gao, Yu; Wu, Jianlei; Chen, Yingyu; Chen, Buyuan; Hu, Jianda; Zhou, Jia

    2014-01-01

    Despite tremendous advances in the targeted therapy for various types of hematological malignancies with successful improvements in the survival rates, emerging resistance issues are startlingly high and novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. In addition, chemoprevention is currently becoming an elusive goal. Plant-derived natural products have garnered considerable attention in recent years due to the potential dual functions as chemotherapeutics and dietary chemoprevention. One of the particularly ubiquitous families is the polyphenolic flavonoids. Among them, baicalin and its aglycone baicalein have been widely investigated in hematological malignancies because both of them exhibit remarkable pharmacological properties. This review focuses on the recent achievements in drug discovery research associated with baicalin and baicalein for hematological malignancy therapies. The promising anticancer activities of these two flavonoids targeting diverse signaling pathways and their potential biological mechanisms in different types of hematological malignancies, as well as the combination strategy with baicalin or baicalein as chemotherapeutic adjuvants for recent therapies in these intractable diseases are discussed. Meanwhile, the biotransformation of baicalin and baicalein and the relevant approaches to improve their bioavailability are also summarized. PMID:25128647

  11. Baicalein, a Bioflavonoid, Prevents Cisplatin-Induced Acute Kidney Injury by Up-Regulating Antioxidant Defenses and Down-Regulating the MAPKs and NF-κB Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Bidya Dhar; Kumar, Jerald Mahesh; Sistla, Ramakrishna

    2015-01-01

    Acute renal failure is a serious complication of the anticancer drug cisplatin. The potential role of baicalein, a naturally occurring bioflavonoid on cisplatin-induced renal injury is unknown. Here, we assessed the effect of baicalein against a murine model of cisplatin-induced acute renal failure and investigated the underlying possible mechanisms. Renal function, kidney histology, inflammation, oxidative stress, renal mitochondrial function, proteins involved in apoptosis, nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and effects on intracellular signaling pathways such as MAPKs, and NF-κB were assessed. Pretreatment with baicalein ameliorated the cisplatin-induced renal oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation and improved kidney injury and function. Baicalein inhibited the cisplatin-induced expression of iNOS, TNF-α, IL-6 and mononuclear cell infiltration and concealed redox-sensitive transcription factor NF-κB activation via reduced DNA-binding activity, IκBα phosphorylation and p65 nuclear translocation in kidneys. Further studies demonstrated baicalein markedly attenuated cisplatin-induced p38 MAPK, ERK1/2 and JNK phosphorylation in kidneys. Baicalein also restored the renal antioxidants and increased the amount of total and nuclear accumulation of Nrf2 and downstream target protein, HO-1 in kidneys. Moreover, baicalein preserved mitochondrial respiratory enzyme activities and inhibited cisplatin-induced apoptosis by suppressing p53 expression, Bax/Bcl-2 imbalance, cytochrome c release and activation of caspase-9, caspase-3 and PARP. Our findings suggest that baicalein ameliorates cisplatin-induced renal damage through up-regulation of antioxidant defense mechanisms and down regulation of the MAPKs and NF-κB signaling pathways. PMID:26222683

  12. Baicalein, a Bioflavonoid, Prevents Cisplatin-Induced Acute Kidney Injury by Up-Regulating Antioxidant Defenses and Down-Regulating the MAPKs and NF-κB Pathways.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Bidya Dhar; Mahesh Kumar, Jerald; Sistla, Ramakrishna

    2015-01-01

    Acute renal failure is a serious complication of the anticancer drug cisplatin. The potential role of baicalein, a naturally occurring bioflavonoid on cisplatin-induced renal injury is unknown. Here, we assessed the effect of baicalein against a murine model of cisplatin-induced acute renal failure and investigated the underlying possible mechanisms. Renal function, kidney histology, inflammation, oxidative stress, renal mitochondrial function, proteins involved in apoptosis, nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and effects on intracellular signaling pathways such as MAPKs, and NF-κB were assessed. Pretreatment with baicalein ameliorated the cisplatin-induced renal oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation and improved kidney injury and function. Baicalein inhibited the cisplatin-induced expression of iNOS, TNF-α, IL-6 and mononuclear cell infiltration and concealed redox-sensitive transcription factor NF-κB activation via reduced DNA-binding activity, IκBα phosphorylation and p65 nuclear translocation in kidneys. Further studies demonstrated baicalein markedly attenuated cisplatin-induced p38 MAPK, ERK1/2 and JNK phosphorylation in kidneys. Baicalein also restored the renal antioxidants and increased the amount of total and nuclear accumulation of Nrf2 and downstream target protein, HO-1 in kidneys. Moreover, baicalein preserved mitochondrial respiratory enzyme activities and inhibited cisplatin-induced apoptosis by suppressing p53 expression, Bax/Bcl-2 imbalance, cytochrome c release and activation of caspase-9, caspase-3 and PARP. Our findings suggest that baicalein ameliorates cisplatin-induced renal damage through up-regulation of antioxidant defense mechanisms and down regulation of the MAPKs and NF-κB signaling pathways.

  13. Flow-injection chemiluminescence determination of chrysin and baicalein assisted by theoretical prediction of chemiluminescence behavior of chrysin and baicalein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Baoxin; Guo, Lili; Xu, Chunli; Ma, Limei

    2008-12-01

    In this paper, the molecular connectivity indices were applied to theoretically predict the direct chemiluminescence (CL) behavior of chrysin and baicalein with our recently proposed discriminant function. Then, combined with flow-injection analysis, a new CL system for determination of chrysin and baicalein was proposed. The method was based on the oxidation of chrysin and baicalein by acidic KMnO 4 in the presence of formaldehyde to produce strong CL emission. The present paper suggested a new model to discover new CL analytical system: first, to theoretical predict the CL behavior, and the second, to suggest analytical system.

  14. Baicalein reduces β-amyloid and promotes nonamyloidogenic amyloid precursor protein processing in an Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, She-Qing; Obregon, Demian; Ehrhart, Jared; Deng, Juan; Tian, Jun; Hou, Huayan; Giunta, Brian; Sawmiller, Darrell; Tan, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Baicalein, a flavonoid isolated from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis, is known to modulate γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptors. Given prior reports demonstrating benefits of GABAA modulation for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) treatment, we wished to determine whether this agent might be beneficial for AD. CHO cells engineered to overexpress wild-type amyloid precursor protein (APP), primary culture neuronal cells from AD mice (Tg2576) and AD mice were treated with baicalein. In the cell cultures, baicalein significantly reduced the production of β-amyloid (Aβ) by increasing APP α-processing. These effects were blocked by the GABAA antagonist bicuculline. Likewise, AD mice treated daily with i.p. baicalein for 8 weeks showed enhanced APP α-secretase processing, reduced Aβ production, and reduced AD-like pathology together with improved cognitive performance. Our findings suggest that baicalein promotes nonamyloidogenic processing of APP, thereby reducing Aβ production and improving cognitive performance, by activating GABAA receptors. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23686791

  15. Novel antiviral activity of baicalein against dengue virus

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Dengue is a serious arboviral disease currently with no effective antiviral therapy or approved vaccine available. Therefore, finding the effective compound against dengue virus (DENV) replication is very important. Among the natural compounds, bioflavonoids derived mainly from plants are of interest because of their biological and medicinal benefits. Methods In the present study, antiviral activity of a bioflavonoid, baicalein, was evaluated against different stages of dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) replication in Vero cells using focus forming unit reduction assay and quantitative RT-PCR. Results Baicalein inhibited DENV-2 replication in Vero cells with IC50= 6.46 μg/mL and SI= 17.8 when added after adsorption to the cells. The IC50 against DENV-2 was 5.39 μg/mL and SI= 21.3 when cells were treated 5 hours before virus infection and continuously up to 4 days post infection. Baicalein exhibited direct virucidal effect against DENV-2 with IC 50= 1.55 μg/mL and showed anti-adsorption effect with IC50 = 7.14 μg/mL. Conclusions Findings presented here suggest that baicalein exerts potent antiviral activity against DENV. Baicalein possesses direct virucidal activity against DENV besides its effects against dengue virus adsorption and intracellular replication of DENV-2. Baicalein, hence, should be considered for in vivo evaluation in the development of an effective antiviral compound against DENV. PMID:23140177

  16. Ischemia-reperfusion Model of Acute Kidney Injury and Post Injury Fibrosis in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Skrypnyk, Nataliya I.; Harris, Raymond C.; de Caestecker, Mark P.

    2013-01-01

    Ischemia-reperfusion induced acute kidney injury (IR-AKI) is widely used as a model of AKI in mice, but results are often quite variable with high, often unreported mortality rates that may confound analyses. Bilateral renal pedicle clamping is commonly used to induce IR-AKI, but differences between effective clamp pressures and/or renal responses to ischemia between kidneys often lead to more variable results. In addition, shorter clamp times are known to induce more variable tubular injury, and while mice undergoing bilateral injury with longer clamp times develop more consistent tubular injury, they often die within the first 3 days after injury due to severe renal insufficiency. To improve post-injury survival and obtain more consistent and predictable results, we have developed two models of unilateral ischemia-reperfusion injury followed by contralateral nephrectomy. Both surgeries are performed using a dorsal approach, reducing surgical stress resulting from ventral laparotomy, commonly used for mouse IR-AKI surgeries. For induction of moderate injury BALB/c mice undergo unilateral clamping of the renal pedicle for 26 min and also undergo simultaneous contralateral nephrectomy. Using this approach, 50-60% of mice develop moderate AKI 24 hr after injury but 90-100% of mice survive. To induce more severe AKI, BALB/c mice undergo renal pedicle clamping for 30 min followed by contralateral nephrectomy 8 days after injury. This allows functional assessment of renal recovery after injury with 90-100% survival. Early post-injury tubular damage as well as post injury fibrosis are highly consistent using this model. PMID:23963468

  17. Evaluating predictive screening for children's post-injury mental health: New data and a replication

    PubMed Central

    Kassam-Adams, Nancy; Marsac, Meghan L.; García-España, J. Felipe; Winston, Flaura

    2015-01-01

    Background Recommended approaches for secondary prevention of posttrauma mental health difficulties in children require empirically sound predictive screening to determine which children require more intensive monitoring or targeted intervention. Although there are several promising screening tools for injured children, none has emerged as the gold standard, and little replication data are available regarding their performance. Objective To evaluate a predictive screening protocol for risk of later posttraumatic stress (PTS) and depression outcomes and address a crucial lack of replication studies by examining performance of two previously published screening tools (Screening Tool for Early Predictors of PTSD [STEPP] and Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire [CTSQ]). Method The study enrolled 290 children hospitalized after acute injury. A three-part screening protocol, including acute PTS and depression symptoms and other empirically derived risk factors, was administered in hospital as part of a stepped care study. PTS and depression symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were assessed 6 months post-injury. Results The screening protocol demonstrated excellent sensitivity (1.00) and good specificity (0.73) for prediction of 6-month PTS, moderate sensitivity (0.64) and good specificity (0.74) for 6-month depression, and excellent negative predictive value for both outcomes. Among children screening at risk, HRQoL was poorer at 6 months post-injury. Replication analyses found predictive utility (sensitivity and specificity) was low for the STEPP and moderate for the CTSQ. Conclusions This study provides additional evidence that early post-injury screening could identify children at higher risk for persistent PTS symptoms and limited support for predicting post-injury depression. Findings support acute PTS symptoms as key early risk markers. The predictive value of a negative screening result (i.e., knowing who is not at risk) may be especially important

  18. The Fascinating Effects of Baicalein on Cancer: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hui; Dong, Yonghui; Gao, Yutong; Du, Zhipeng; Wang, Yuting; Cheng, Peng; Chen, Anmin; Huang, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a major global health problem. In recent decades, the rates of both mortality and morbidity of cancer have rapidly increased for a variety of reasons. Despite treatment options, there are serious side effects associated with chemotherapy drugs and multiple forms of drug resistance that significantly reduce their effects. There is an accumulating amount of evidence on the pharmacological activities of baicalein (e.g., anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and antitumor effects). Furthermore, there has been great progress in elucidating the target mechanisms and signaling pathways of baicalein’s anti-cancer potential. The anti-tumor functions of baicalein are mainly due to its capacities to inhibit complexes of cyclins to regulate the cell cycle, to scavenge oxidative radicals, to attenuate mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), protein kinase B (Akt) or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activities, to induce apoptosis by activating caspase-9/-3 and to inhibit tumorinvasion and metastasis by reducing the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2/-9 (MMP-2/-9). In this review, we focused on the relevant biological mechanisms of baicalein involved in inhibiting various cancers, such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Moreover, we also summarized the specific mechanisms by which baicalein inhibited the growth of various tumors in vivo. Taken together, baicalein may be developed as a potential, novel anticancer drug to treat tumors. PMID:27735841

  19. Baicalein inhibits lipid accumulation by regulating early adipogenesis and m-TOR signaling.

    PubMed

    Seo, Min-Jung; Choi, Hyeon-Son; Jeon, Hui-Jeon; Woo, Mi-Seon; Lee, Boo-Yong

    2014-05-01

    Baicalein is a type of flavonoid that originates from Scutellaria baicalensis. In this study, we examined how baicalein inhibits lipid accumulation during adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells. Our data show that baicalein inhibited lipid accumulation during adipogenesis in a dose-dependent manner. Baicalein inhibition was limited to the early adipogenic stage. Cell cycle analysis showed that baicalein induced cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase through cyclin downregulation. In addition, baicalein suppressed the mRNA expression of early adipogenic factors leading to downregulation of late adipogenic factors at mRNA and protein levels. Inhibition of adipogenic factors by baicalein was correlated with downregulation of lipid synthetic enzymes. Additionally, baicalein negatively regulated the m-TOR signaling pathway involved in lipid accumulation during adipogenesis, thus inhibiting phosphorylation of m-TOR and p70S6K. In a zebrafish study, baicalein significantly reduced lipid accumulation in Nile Red staining. Consistent with a report using cell lines, mRNA expression of adipogenic factors was decreased in a dose-dependent manner by baicalein. This result reflects a reduction in total triglyceride levels based on a triglyceride assay. Our data suggest that baicalein inhibits lipid accumulation by controlling the cell cycle and m-TOR signaling in 3T3-L1 cells, and its anti-adipogenic effect was found in a zebrafish model.

  20. Preparation and evaluation of self-microemulsifying drug delivery system of baicalein.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenli; Tian, Rui; Hu, Wenjing; Jia, Yuntao; Jiang, Huiming; Zhang, Jingqing; Zhang, Liangke

    2012-12-01

    The main object of this work is to prepare self-microemulsifying drug delivery system (SMEDDS) for oral bioavailability enhancement of a poorly water-soluble drug, baicalein. SMEDDS is the mixture of surfactants, cosurfactants, and oils, which are emulsified in aqueous media under conditions of gentle agitation or gastrointestinal motility. Solubility of baicalein was determined in various vehicles. Pseudo-ternary phase diagrams were constructed to identify the efficient self-emulsification region and droplet size distributions of the resultant microemulsions were determined using a particle size analyzer. Optimized SMEDDS formulations for baicalein were Cremophor RH40 (53.57%) as surfactant, Transcutol P (21.43%) as cosurfactant, and Caprylic capric triglyceride (ODO, 25%) as oil. The drug release rate of SMEDDS was significantly higher than that of the baicalein suspension. Comparison of the pharmacokinetics between baicalein-loaded SMEDDS and baicalein suspension was also performed in rats. The plasma concentrations of baicalein and baicalin, its mainly conjugated metabolite, were determined by HPLC method. The in vivo results showed that the absorption of baicalein from SMEDDS resulted in about 200.7% increase in relative bioavailability compared with that of the baicalein suspension. Our studies illustrated the potential use of SMEDDS for the delivery of hydrophobic compounds, such as baicalein by the oral route. PMID:22982454

  1. Baicalein Reduces Liver Injury Induced by Myocardial Ischemia and Reperfusion.

    PubMed

    Lai, Chang-Chi; Huang, Po-Hsun; Yang, An-Han; Chiang, Shu-Chiung; Tang, Chia-Yu; Tseng, Kuo-Wei; Huang, Cheng-Hsiung

    2016-01-01

    Baicalein is a component of the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, which has traditionally been used to treat liver disease in China. In the present study, we investigated baicalein' ability to reduce the liver injury induced by myocardial ischemia and reperfusion (I/R). Myocardial I/R was induced in this experiment by a 40[Formula: see text]min occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery and a 3[Formula: see text]h reperfusion in rats. The induced myocardial I/R significantly increased the serum levels of aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT), indicating the presence of liver injury. Hepatic apoptosis was significantly increased. The serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-[Formula: see text] (TNF-[Formula: see text]), interleukin-1[Formula: see text] (IL-1[Formula: see text]), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were significantly elevated, as was the TNF-[Formula: see text] level in the liver. Intravenous pretreatment with baicalein (3, 10, or 30[Formula: see text]mg/kg) 10[Formula: see text]min before myocardial I/R significantly reduced the serum level increase of AST and ALT, apoptosis in the liver, and the elevation of TNF-[Formula: see text], IL-1[Formula: see text], and IL-6 levels. Moreover, baicalein increased Bcl-2 and decreased Bax in the liver. Phosphorylation of the prosurvival kinases, including Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), was also increased. In conclusion, we found that baicalein can reduce the liver injury induced by myocardial I/R. The underlying mechanisms are likely related to the inhibition of the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways, possibly via the inhibition of TNF-[Formula: see text] production, the modulation of Bcl-2 and Bax, and the activation of Akt and ERK1/2. Our findings may provide a rationale for the application of baicalein or traditional Chinese medicine containing large amounts of baicalein to prevent liver injury in acute myocardial infarction and cardiac

  2. Identification of baicalein as a ferroptosis inhibitor by natural product library screening.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yangchun; Song, Xinxin; Sun, Xiaofang; Huang, Jin; Zhong, Meizuo; Lotze, Michael T; Zeh, Herbert J; Kang, Rui; Tang, Daolin

    2016-05-13

    Ferroptosis, a novel form of regulated cell death, is characterized by oxidative injury from iron accumulation and lipid peroxidation. In a natural product library screening for ferroptosis inhibitor, we found that baicalein is a potent inhibitor of erastin-induced ferroptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. Baicalein (also termed 5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone) is a flavonoid originally obtained from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis and Scutellaria lateriflora. We showed that baicalein exhibits remarkable anti-ferroptosis activity compared with well-known ferroptosis inhibitors such as ferrostatin-1, liproxstatin-1, deferoxamine mesylate, and β-mercaptoethanol. At the biochemistry level, baicalein limits erastin-induced ferrous iron production, glutathione depletion, and lipid peroxidation. At the protein level, baicalein suppresses erastin-mediated degradation of glutathione peroxidase 4, a phospholipid hydroperoxidase that protects cells against membrane lipid peroxidation. Thus, baicalein enhances cellular anti-ferroptosis capacity and could be a potential therapeutic agent for ferroptosis-associated tissue injury.

  3. Baicalein inhibits the migration and invasive properties of human hepatoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chiu, Yung-Wei; Lin, Tseng-Hsi; Huang, Wen-Shih; Teng, Chun-Yuh; Liou, Yi-Sheng; Kuo, Wu-Hsien; Lin, Wea-Lung; Huang, Hai-I; Tung, Jai-Nien; Huang, Chih-Yang; Liu, Jer-Yuh; Wang, Wen-Hung; Hwang, Jin-Ming

    2011-09-15

    Flavonoids have been demonstrated to exert health benefits in humans. We investigated whether the flavonoid baicalein would inhibit the adhesion, migration, invasion, and growth of human hepatoma cell lines, and we also investigated its mechanism of action. The separate effects of baicalein and baicalin on the viability of HA22T/VGH and SK-Hep1 cells were investigated for 24 h. To evaluate their invasive properties, cells were incubated on matrigel-coated transwell membranes in the presence or absence of baicalein. We examined the effect of baicalein on the adhesion of cells, on the activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), protein kinase C (PKC), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and on tumor growth in vivo. We observed that baicalein suppresses hepatoma cell growth by 55%, baicalein-treated cells showed lower levels of migration than untreated cells, and cell invasion was significantly reduced to 28%. Incubation of hepatoma cells with baicalein also significantly inhibited cell adhesion to matrigel, collagen I, and gelatin-coated substrate. Baicalein also decreased the gelatinolytic activities of the matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2, MMP-9, and uPA, decreased p50 and p65 nuclear translocation, and decreased phosphorylated I-kappa-B (IKB)-{beta}. In addition, baicalein reduced the phosphorylation levels of PKC{alpha} and p38 proteins, which regulate invasion in poorly differentiated hepatoma cells. Finally, when SK-Hep1 cells were grown as xenografts in nude mice, intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of baicalein induced a significant dose-dependent decrease in tumor growth. These results demonstrate the anticancer properties of baicalein, which include the inhibition of adhesion, invasion, migration, and proliferation of human hepatoma cells in vivo. - Highlight: > Baicalein inhibits several essential steps in the onset of metastasis.

  4. Baicalein inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cells through suppressing the expression of CD24.

    PubMed

    Han, Zhengquan; Zhu, Shengming; Han, Xiao; Wang, Zian; Wu, Shiwu; Zheng, Rongsheng

    2015-12-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer death and is the most common type of liver cancer. Current therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma are still rather limited and novel therapeutic strategies are required. Baicalein, extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis, has anticancer effects on HCC in vitro and vivo. However, the detailed mechanisms are not well studied yet. In the present study, we evaluated anticancer effects of purified botanical extracts on HCC cells using high-throughput screening and investigated the effects of baicalein on HCC cells using proliferation and apoptosis assays, RT-PCR, and Western blot. Transfection was used to explore the underlying mechanisms of these effects. Our results showed that baicalein is the most efficient botanical extract in a HCC cell line as compared with the other 13 extracts. Baicalein significantly decreased the expression of c-Myc, a crucial regulator of cell proliferation, apoptosis and cellular transformation, in dose- and time-dependent manners in HCC cells. Moreover, baicalein inhibited HCC cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. The mRNA and protein expressions of CD24 were downregulated by baicalein in HCC cells and ectopic overexpression of CD24 reversed baicalein-induced inhibition of cell proliferation and survival. Taken together, our results demonstrate efficient anticancer effects of baicalein on HCC cells and indicate that baicalein suppresses cell growth and cell survival through downregulation of CD24.

  5. Inclusion complexation between baicalein and β-cyclodextrin and the influence of β-cyclodextrin on the binding of baicalein with DNA: a spectroscopic approach.

    PubMed

    Sameena, Yousuf; Chandrasekaran, Sowrirajan; Israel V M V, Enoch

    2016-07-01

    This work deals with the commonly studied cyclic oligosaccharide and gains importance as it is entered on a drug delivering carbohydrate and provides insight into the oligosaccharide complex-biomolecular interaction. The binding of a flavone, baicalein, to β-cyclodextrin and calf thymus DNA is studied. The binding of baicalein to calf thymus DNA in the presence of β-cyclodextrin is analysed using the UV-vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy. The mode of binding and structure of the baicalein-β-cyclodextrin complex are reported. The role of the structure and the stoichiometry of the inclusion complex of baicalein-β-cyclodextrin in its influence on DNA binding are analysed. Highlights • This paper deals with the binding of a flavone, baicalein to β-cyclodextrin and/or DNA. • The inclusion complexation between baicalein and β-cyclodextrin is analysed. • The stoichiometry and the binding strength of the inclusion complex is reported. • The role of β-cyclodextrin in tuning the binding of baicalein to DNA is emphasized. • Spectroscopic and docking analysis are used to articulate the results.

  6. Colon cancer chemopreventive effects of baicalein, an active enteric microbiome metabolite from baicalin.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chong-Zhi; Zhang, Chun-Feng; Chen, Lina; Anderson, Samantha; Lu, Fang; Yuan, Chun-Su

    2015-11-01

    Baicalin is a major constituent of Scutellaria baicalensis, which is a commonly used herbal medicine in many Asian countries. After oral ingestion, intestinal microbiota metabolism may change parent compound's structure and its biological activities. However, whether baicalin can be metabolized by enteric microbiota and the related anticancer activity is not clear. In this study, using human enteric microbiome incubation and HPLC analysis, we observed that baicalin can be quickly converted to baicalein. We compared the antiproliferative effects of baicalin and baicalein using a panel of human cancer cell lines, including three human colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines. In vitro antiproliferative effects on CRC cells were verified using an in vivo xenograft nude mouse model. Baicalin showed limited antiproliferative effects on some of these cancer cell lines. Baicalein, however, showed significant antiproliferative effects in all the tested cancer cell lines, especially on HCT-116 human colorectal cancer cells. In vivo antitumor results supported our in vitro data. We demonstrated that baicalein exerts potent S phase cell cycle arrest and pro-apoptotic effects in HCT-116 cells. Baicalein induced the activation of caspase 3 and 9. The in silico modeling suggested that baicalein forms hydrogen bonds with residues Ser251 and Asp253 at the active site of caspase 3, while interactions with residues Leu227 and Asp228 in caspase 9 through its hydroxyl groups. Data from this study suggested that baicalein is a potent anticancer metabolite derived from S. baicalensis. Enteric microbiota play a key role in the colon cancer chemoprevention of S. baicalensis.

  7. Baicalein Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation and the Quorum Sensing System In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ke; Hou, Changchun; Cai, Shuangqi; Huang, Yingying; Du, Zhongye; Huang, Hong; Kong, Jinliang; Chen, Yiqiang

    2016-01-01

    Biofilm formed by Staphylococcus aureus significantly enhances antibiotic resistance by inhibiting the penetration of antibiotics, resulting in an increasingly serious situation. This study aimed to assess whether baicalein can prevent Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and whether it may have synergistic bactericidal effects with antibiotics in vitro. To do this, we used a clinically isolated strain of Staphylococcus aureus 17546 (t037) for biofilm formation. Virulence factors were detected following treatment with baicalein, and the molecular mechanism of its antibiofilm activity was studied. Plate counting, crystal violet staining, and fluorescence microscopy revealed that 32 μg/mL and 64 μg/mL baicalein clearly inhibited 3- and 7-day biofilm formation in vitro. Moreover, colony forming unit count, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy showed that vancomycin (VCM) and baicalein generally enhanced destruction of biofilms, while VCM alone did not. Western blotting and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses (RTQ-PCR) confirmed that baicalein treatment reduced staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) and α-hemolysin (hla) levels. Most strikingly, real-time qualitative polymerase chain reaction data demonstrated that 32 μg/mL and 64 μg/mL baicalein downregulated the quorum-sensing system regulators agrA, RNAIII, and sarA, and gene expression of ica, but 16 μg/mL baicalein had no effect. In summary, baicalein inhibited Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation, destroyed biofilms, increased the permeability of vancomycin, reduced the production of staphylococcal enterotoxin A and α-hemolysin, and inhibited the quorum sensing system. These results support baicalein as a novel drug candidate and an effective treatment strategy for Staphylococcus aureus biofilm-associated infections. PMID:27128436

  8. Baicalein exhibits anti-inflammatory effects via inhibition of NF-κB transactivation.

    PubMed

    Patwardhan, Raghavendra S; Sharma, Deepak; Thoh, Maikho; Checker, Rahul; Sandur, Santosh K

    2016-05-15

    NF-κB is a crucial mediator of inflammatory and immune responses and a number of phytochemicals that can suppress this immune-regulatory transcription factor are known to have promising anti-inflammatory potential. However, we report that inducer of pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB functions as an anti-inflammatory agent. Our findings reveal that a plant derived flavonoid baicalein could suppress mitogen induced T cell activation, proliferation and cytokine secretion. Treatment of CD4+ T cells with baicalein prior to transfer in to lymphopenic allogenic host significantly suppressed graft versus host disease. Interestingly, addition of baicalein to murine splenic lymphocytes induced DNA binding of NF-κB but did not suppress Concanavalin A induced NF-κB. Since baicalein did not inhibit NF-κB binding to DNA, we hypothesized that baicalein may be suppressing NF-κB trans-activation. Thioredoxin system is implicated in the regulation of NF-κB trans-activation potential and therefore inhibition of thioredoxin system may be responsible for suppression of NF-κB dependent genes. Baicalein not only inhibited TrxR activity in cell free system but also suppressed mitogen induced thioredoxin activity in the nuclear compartment of lymphocytes. Similar to baicalein, pharmacological inhibitors of thioredoxin system also could suppress mitogen induced T cell proliferation without inhibiting DNA binding of NF-κB. Further, activation of cellular thioredoxin system by the use of pharmacological activator or over-expression of thioredoxin could abrogate the anti-inflammatory action of baicalein. We propose a novel strategy using baicalein to limit NF-κB dependent inflammatory responses via inhibition of thioredoxin system.

  9. Baicalein Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation and the Quorum Sensing System In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan; Liu, Tangjuan; Wang, Ke; Hou, Changchun; Cai, Shuangqi; Huang, Yingying; Du, Zhongye; Huang, Hong; Kong, Jinliang; Chen, Yiqiang

    2016-01-01

    Biofilm formed by Staphylococcus aureus significantly enhances antibiotic resistance by inhibiting the penetration of antibiotics, resulting in an increasingly serious situation. This study aimed to assess whether baicalein can prevent Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and whether it may have synergistic bactericidal effects with antibiotics in vitro. To do this, we used a clinically isolated strain of Staphylococcus aureus 17546 (t037) for biofilm formation. Virulence factors were detected following treatment with baicalein, and the molecular mechanism of its antibiofilm activity was studied. Plate counting, crystal violet staining, and fluorescence microscopy revealed that 32 μg/mL and 64 μg/mL baicalein clearly inhibited 3- and 7-day biofilm formation in vitro. Moreover, colony forming unit count, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy showed that vancomycin (VCM) and baicalein generally enhanced destruction of biofilms, while VCM alone did not. Western blotting and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses (RTQ-PCR) confirmed that baicalein treatment reduced staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) and α-hemolysin (hla) levels. Most strikingly, real-time qualitative polymerase chain reaction data demonstrated that 32 μg/mL and 64 μg/mL baicalein downregulated the quorum-sensing system regulators agrA, RNAIII, and sarA, and gene expression of ica, but 16 μg/mL baicalein had no effect. In summary, baicalein inhibited Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation, destroyed biofilms, increased the permeability of vancomycin, reduced the production of staphylococcal enterotoxin A and α-hemolysin, and inhibited the quorum sensing system. These results support baicalein as a novel drug candidate and an effective treatment strategy for Staphylococcus aureus biofilm-associated infections.

  10. Baicalein Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation and the Quorum Sensing System In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan; Liu, Tangjuan; Wang, Ke; Hou, Changchun; Cai, Shuangqi; Huang, Yingying; Du, Zhongye; Huang, Hong; Kong, Jinliang; Chen, Yiqiang

    2016-01-01

    Biofilm formed by Staphylococcus aureus significantly enhances antibiotic resistance by inhibiting the penetration of antibiotics, resulting in an increasingly serious situation. This study aimed to assess whether baicalein can prevent Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and whether it may have synergistic bactericidal effects with antibiotics in vitro. To do this, we used a clinically isolated strain of Staphylococcus aureus 17546 (t037) for biofilm formation. Virulence factors were detected following treatment with baicalein, and the molecular mechanism of its antibiofilm activity was studied. Plate counting, crystal violet staining, and fluorescence microscopy revealed that 32 μg/mL and 64 μg/mL baicalein clearly inhibited 3- and 7-day biofilm formation in vitro. Moreover, colony forming unit count, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy showed that vancomycin (VCM) and baicalein generally enhanced destruction of biofilms, while VCM alone did not. Western blotting and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses (RTQ-PCR) confirmed that baicalein treatment reduced staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) and α-hemolysin (hla) levels. Most strikingly, real-time qualitative polymerase chain reaction data demonstrated that 32 μg/mL and 64 μg/mL baicalein downregulated the quorum-sensing system regulators agrA, RNAIII, and sarA, and gene expression of ica, but 16 μg/mL baicalein had no effect. In summary, baicalein inhibited Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation, destroyed biofilms, increased the permeability of vancomycin, reduced the production of staphylococcal enterotoxin A and α-hemolysin, and inhibited the quorum sensing system. These results support baicalein as a novel drug candidate and an effective treatment strategy for Staphylococcus aureus biofilm-associated infections. PMID:27128436

  11. Baicalein induces apoptosis via ROS-dependent activation of caspases in human bladder cancer 5637 cells.

    PubMed

    Choi, Eun-Ok; Park, Cheol; Hwang, Hye-Jin; Hong, Su Hyun; Kim, Gi-Young; Cho, Eun-Ju; Kim, Wun-Jae; Choi, Yung Hyun

    2016-09-01

    Baicalein is a flavonoid derived originally from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, which has been used in Oriental medicines for treating various diseases. Although this compound has been reported to have anticancer activities in several human cancer cell lines, the therapeutic effects of baicalein on human bladder cancer and its mechanisms of action have not been extensively studied. This study investigated the proapoptotic effects of baicalein in human bladder cancer 5637 cells. For this study, cell viability and apoptosis were evaluated using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthia-zol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, trypan blue dye exclusion assay 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, and flow cytometry. Measurements of the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), caspase activity assays and western blots were conducted to determine whether 5637 cell death occurred by apoptosis. Treatment with baicalein resulted in a concentration-dependent growth inhibition coupled with apoptosis induction, as indicated by the results of nuclei morphology examination and flow cytometry analyses. The induction of the apoptotic cell death of 5637 cells by baicalein exhibited a correlation with the downregulation of members of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family, including cIAP-1 and cIAP-2, and the activation of caspase-9 and -3 accompanied by proteolytic degradation of poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase. The study also showed that baicalein decreases the expression of the proapoptotic protein Bax, increases antiapoptotic Bcl-2 expression, and noticeably aggravates the loss of MMP. Concomitantly, the data showed that baicalein increases the levels of death receptors and their associated ligands and enhances the activation of caspase-8 and truncation of Bid. However, the pan-caspase inhibitor can reverse baicalein-induced apoptosis, demonstrating that it is a caspase-dependent pathway. Moreover, it was found that baicalein can induce the production of reactive oxygen

  12. Baicalein induces apoptosis via ROS-dependent activation of caspases in human bladder cancer 5637 cells.

    PubMed

    Choi, Eun-Ok; Park, Cheol; Hwang, Hye-Jin; Hong, Su Hyun; Kim, Gi-Young; Cho, Eun-Ju; Kim, Wun-Jae; Choi, Yung Hyun

    2016-09-01

    Baicalein is a flavonoid derived originally from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, which has been used in Oriental medicines for treating various diseases. Although this compound has been reported to have anticancer activities in several human cancer cell lines, the therapeutic effects of baicalein on human bladder cancer and its mechanisms of action have not been extensively studied. This study investigated the proapoptotic effects of baicalein in human bladder cancer 5637 cells. For this study, cell viability and apoptosis were evaluated using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthia-zol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, trypan blue dye exclusion assay 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, and flow cytometry. Measurements of the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), caspase activity assays and western blots were conducted to determine whether 5637 cell death occurred by apoptosis. Treatment with baicalein resulted in a concentration-dependent growth inhibition coupled with apoptosis induction, as indicated by the results of nuclei morphology examination and flow cytometry analyses. The induction of the apoptotic cell death of 5637 cells by baicalein exhibited a correlation with the downregulation of members of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family, including cIAP-1 and cIAP-2, and the activation of caspase-9 and -3 accompanied by proteolytic degradation of poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase. The study also showed that baicalein decreases the expression of the proapoptotic protein Bax, increases antiapoptotic Bcl-2 expression, and noticeably aggravates the loss of MMP. Concomitantly, the data showed that baicalein increases the levels of death receptors and their associated ligands and enhances the activation of caspase-8 and truncation of Bid. However, the pan-caspase inhibitor can reverse baicalein-induced apoptosis, demonstrating that it is a caspase-dependent pathway. Moreover, it was found that baicalein can induce the production of reactive oxygen

  13. Synergy between baicalein and penicillins against penicillinase-producing Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Qian, Minyi; Tang, Shusheng; Wu, Congming; Wang, Yang; He, Tao; Chen, Tingting; Xiao, Xilong

    2015-09-01

    The combination of baicalein (the active constituent of Scutellaria baicalensis) with penicillin G/amoxicillin showed potent synergy against 20 clinical penicillinase-producing Staphylococcus aureus strains including 10 isolates that were additionally methicillin-resistant (MRSA). The fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) indices of penicillins+baiclein ranged from 0.14 to 0.38. Baicalein protected penicillins (penicillin G and amoxicillin) from penicillinase and increased the susceptibility of penicillinase-supplemented S. aureus ATCC 29213 in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibition of penicillinase activity by baicalein should be responsible for the synergism and protective effect. These findings offer us good evidence that the penicillins combined with baicalein showed potent synergistic activity against penicillinase-producing S. aureus and penicillinase-producing MRSA in vitro and might provide promising implications for clinical treatment of these bacterial infections.

  14. Post-injury treatment with lipopolysaccharide or lipooligosaccharide protects rat neuronal and glial cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Bingham, Deborah; John, Constance M; Panter, S Scott; Jarvis, Gary A

    2011-07-15

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability in civilians and military personnel worldwide that is caused by the acceleration force of a primary shockwave, blast wind or the force of a direct contact. Following the primary injury, secondary injury is caused by activation of the immune response due to an influx of neuro-inflammatory cells, increased production of inflammatory cytokines, and edema. In ischemia models pre-conditioning with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been shown to be neuroprotective, and post-injury conditioning with LPS was found to be protective in a spinal cord and an acute brain injury model. In this study, we utilized an in vitro scratch model of TBI to assess the effect of post-injury treatment with Escherichia coli LPS and Neisseria meningitidis lipooligosaccharide (LOS) on cell death and cytokine induction by assessing the level of lactate dehydrogenase released from cells and rat multiplex cytokine assays. Our results showed that post-injury treatment of C6 glioma cells with either the LPS or the LOS reduced cell death when compared to scratched controls treated with media only. Post-injury treatment of the primary mixed neuronal cultures with LPS reduced cell death and resulted in a significant up-regulation in IL-10 when compared to controls. With LOS post-scratch treatment of the primary cell cultures, we found that IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were significantly upregulated in addition to IL-10 compared to the media-only controls. The results strongly support additional testing of the neuroprotective ability of post-injury treatment with LPS or LOS in models of TBI.

  15. Delayed Post-Injury Administration of Riluzole Is Neuroprotective in a Preclinical Rodent Model of Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yongchao; Satkunendrarajah, Kajana; Teng, Yang; Chow, Diana S.-L.; Buttigieg, Josef

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Riluzole, a sodium/glutamate antagonist has shown promise as a neuroprotective agent. It is licensed for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is in clinical trial development for spinal cord injury (SCI). This study investigated the therapeutic time-window and pharmacokinetics of riluzole in a rodent model of cervical SCI. Rats were treated with riluzole (8 mg/kg) at 1 hour (P1) and 3 hours (P3) after injury or with vehicle. Afterward, P1 and P3 groups received riluzole (6 (mg/kg) every 12 hours for 7 days. Both P1 and P3 animals had significant improvements in locomotor recovery as measured by open field locomotion (BBB score, BBB subscore). Von Frey stimuli did not reveal an increase in at level or below level mechanical allodynia. Sensory-evoked potential recordings and quantification of axonal cytoskeleton demonstrated a riluzole-mediated improvement in axonal integrity and function. Histopathological and retrograde tracing studies demonstrated that delayed administration leads to tissue preservation and reduces apoptosis and inflammation. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was undertaken to examine the pharmacokinetics of riluzole. Riluzole penetrates the spinal cord in 15 min, and SCI slowed elimination of riluzole from the spinal cord, resulting in a longer half-life and higher drug concentration in spinal cord and plasma. Initiation of riluzole treatment 1 and 3 hours post-SCI led to functional, histological, and molecular benefits. While extrapolation of post-injury time windows from rat to man is challenging, evidence from SCI-related biomarker studies would suggest that the post-injury time window is likely to be at least 12 hours in man. PMID:23517137

  16. Pre and post-injury environmental enrichment effects functional recovery following medial frontal cortical contusion injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Jacqmain, Justin; Nudi, Evan T; Fluharty, Sarah; Smith, Jeffrey S

    2014-12-15

    The rodent has been the preferred research model for evaluating the mechanisms related to, and potential treatments for, traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many therapies previously determined to be effective in pre-clinical investigations have failed to show the same effectiveness in clinical trials. The environment a rodent is housed in plays an important role in brain and behavioral development. Housing rodents in non-enriched environments significantly alters the development of the rodent brain and its behavioral profile, negatively impacting the ecological validity of the rodent model. This investigation employed 113 male Long-Evans rats assigned to either an enriched environment (EE) or standard environment (SE) from post-natal day 25. At four months of age, rats received either a controlled cortical impact (CCI) to the medial frontal cortex (mFC) or sham injury. Rats assigned to EE or SE pre-injury were re-assigned to remain in, or switch to, EE or SE post-injury. The open-field test (OFT), vermicelli handling test (VHT) Morris water maze (MWM), and rotor-rod (RR), were used to evaluate the animals response to TBI. The data from the current investigation indicates that the performance of TBI rats assigned to pre-injury EE was improved on the MWM compared to the TBI rats assigned to pre-injury SE. However, those that were reared in the EE performed better on the MWM if placed into a SE post-injury as compared to those placed into the EE after insult. The TBI and sham groups that were raised, and remained, in the SE performed worse than any of the EE groups on the RR. TBI rats that were placed in the EE had larger cortices and more cells in the hippocampus than the TBI rats housed in the SE. These data strongly suggest that the pre-injury housing environment should be considered as investigators refine pre-clinical models of TBI.

  17. Colon cancer chemopreventive effects of baicalein, an active enteric microbiome metabolite from baicalin

    PubMed Central

    WANG, CHONG-ZHI; ZHANG, CHUN-FENG; CHEN, LINA; ANDERSON, SAMANTHA; LU, FANG; YUAN, CHUN-SU

    2015-01-01

    Baicalin is a major constituent of Scutellaria baicalensis, which is a commonly used herbal medicine in many Asian countries. After oral ingestion, intestinal micro-biota metabolism may change parent compound's structure and its biological activities. However, whether baicalin can be metabolized by enteric microbiota and the related anti-cancer activity is not clear. In this study, using human enteric microbiome incubation and HPLC analysis, we observed that baicalin can be quickly converted to baicalein. We compared the antiproliferative effects of baicalin and baicalein using a panel of human cancer cell lines, including three human colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines. In vitro antiproliferative effects on CRC cells were verified using an in vivo xenograft nude mouse model. Baicalin showed limited antiproliferative effects on some of these cancer cell lines. Baicalein, however, showed significant antiproliferative effects in all the tested cancer cell lines, especially on HCT-116 human colorectal cancer cells. In vivo antitumor results supported our in vitro data. We demonstrated that baicalein exerts potent S phase cell cycle arrest and pro-apoptotic effects in HCT-116 cells. Baicalein induced the activation of caspase 3 and 9. The in silico modeling suggested that baicalein forms hydrogen bonds with residues Ser251 and Asp253 at the active site of caspase 3, while interactions with residues Leu227 and Asp228 in caspase 9 through its hydroxyl groups. Data from this study suggested that baicalein is a potent anticancer metabolite derived from S. baicalensis. Enteric microbiota play a key role in the colon cancer chemoprevention of S. baicalensis. PMID:26398706

  18. Regulation of bone formation by baicalein via the mTORC1 pathway

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sheng-fa; Tang, Jia-jun; Chen, Jian; Zhang, Pei; Wang, Ting; Chen, Tian-yu; Yan, Bo; Huang, Bin; Wang, Liang; Huang, Min-jun; Zhang, Zhong-min; Jin, Da-di

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease that is characterized by low bone density and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue. The increasing prevalence of osteoporosis has attracted much attention. In this study, MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts were treated with the natural compound, baicalein (0.1 μmol/L, 1 μmol/L, 10 μmol/L), to stimulate differentiation over a 14-day period. In addition, a canonical ovariectomized (OVX) mouse model was used to investigate the effect of 3-month baicalein treatment (10 mg/kg per day) in preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis. In vitro, we found that baicalein induced activation of alkaline phosphatase, stimulated the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway, and induced expression of osteoblast differentiation markers, ie, osteocalcin, osterix, collagen Iα1, and runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), in osteoblasts. In vivo, several bone parameters, including trabecular thickness, trabecular bone mineral density, and trabecular number, in the distal femoral metaphysis were significantly increased in OVX mice treated intragastrically with baicalein for 3 months compared with OVX mice that were not treated with baicalein. We also found that expression of osteocalcin and RUNX2 was decreased in primary ossified tissue from the OVX group, and baicalein increased the levels of osteocalcin and RUNX2 in OVX mice. These data suggest that baicalein can stimulate MC3T3-E1 cells to differentiate into osteoblasts via activation of the mTORC1 signaling pathway, which includes protein kinases and transcription factors such as P-4E/BP1 and P-S6K1. PMID:26392752

  19. Structural Characteristics of the Alpha-Synuclein Oligomers Stabilized By the Flavonoid Baicalein

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, D.-P.; Fink, A.L.; Uversky, V.N.

    2009-05-18

    The flavonoid baicalein inhibits fibrillation of alpha-synuclein, which is a major component of Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease. It has been known that baicalein induces the formation of alpha-synuclein oligomers and consequently prevents their fibrillation. In order to evaluate the structural properties of baicalein-stabilized oligomers, we purified oligomer species by HPLC and examined their stability and structure by CD, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, size exclusion chromatography HPLC, small-angle X-ray scattering, and atomic force microscopy. Baicalein-stabilized oligomers are beta-sheet-enriched according to CD and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analyses. They did not form fibrils even after very prolonged incubation. From small-angle X-ray scattering data and atomic force microscopy images, the oligomers were characterized as quite compact globular species. Oligomers were extremely stable, with a GdmCl C(m)=3.3 M. This high stability explains the previously observed inhibition properties of baicalein against alpha-synuclein fibrillation. These baicalein-stabilized oligomers, added to the solution of aggregating alpha-synuclein, were able to noticeably inhibit its fibrillation. After prolonged coincubation, short fibrils were formed, suggesting an effective interaction of oligomers with monomeric alpha-synuclein. Membrane permeability tests suggested that the baicalein-stabilized oligomers had a mild effect on the integrity of the membrane surface. This effect was rather similar to that of the monomeric protein, suggesting that targeted stabilization of certain alpha-synuclein oligomers might offer a potential strategy for the development of novel Parkinson's disease therapies.

  20. Baicalein induces CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T cells and enhances intestinal barrier function in a mouse model of food allergy.

    PubMed

    Bae, Min-Jung; Shin, Hee Soon; See, Hye-Jeong; Jung, Sun Young; Kwon, Da-Ae; Shon, Dong-Hwa

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of food allergy, which is triggered by allergen permeation of the gastrointestinal tract followed by a T-helper (Th) 2-mediated immune response, has been increasing annually worldwide. We examined the effects of baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone), a flavonoid from Scutellaria baicalensis used in oriental herbal medicine, on regulatory T (Treg) cell induction and intestinal barrier function through the regulation of tight junctions in a mouse model of food allergy. An allergic response was induced by oral challenge with ovalbumin, and the incidence of allergic symptoms and T cell-related activity in the mesenteric lymph nodes were analyzed with and without the presence of baicalein. Our results demonstrated that the administration of baicalein ameliorated the symptoms of food allergy and attenuated serum IgE and effector T cells. However, Treg-related factors were up-regulated by baicalein. Furthermore, baicalein was shown to enhance intestinal barrier function through the regulation of tight junctions. We also found that baicalein treatment induced the differentiation of Treg cells via aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhRs). Thus, the action of baicalein as an agonist of AhR can induce Treg differentiation and enhance barrier function, suggesting that baicalein might serve as an effective immune regulator derived from foods for the treatment of food allergy.

  1. Baicalein inhibits prostate cancer cell growth and metastasis via the caveolin-1/AKT/mTOR pathway.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaoxin; Hu, Xiaolin; Xing, Zhaoquan; Xing, Rui; Lv, Renguang; Cheng, Xiangyu; Su, Jing; Zhou, Zunlin; Xu, Zhonghua; Nilsson, Sten; Liu, Zhaoxu

    2015-08-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is lethal type of genitourinary cancer due to its high morbidity and gradual resistance to androgen deprivation therapy. Accumulating evidence has recently suggested that the daily intake of flavonoids is negatively correlated with the risk of cancer. In this study, we aimed to investigate the potential effects of baicalein on androgen-independent PCa cells and the underlying mechanisms through which baicalein exerts its actions. Cell viability and flow cytometric apoptosis assays indicated that baicalein potently suppressed the growth and induced the apoptosis of DU145 and PC-3 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Consistently, the inhibitory effects of baicalein on migration and invasion were also observed in vitro. Mechanistically, we found that baicalein can suppress caveolin-1 and the phosphorylation of AKT and mTOR in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the inhibition of the activation of AKT with LY294002 significantly promoted the apoptosis and metastasis induced by baicalein. In conclusion, these findings suggested that baicalein can induce apoptosis and inhibit metastasis of androgen-independent PCa cells through inhibition of the caveolin-1/AKT/mTOR pathway, which implies that baicalein may be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of androgen-independent prostate cancer patients.

  2. Baicalein induces CD4+Foxp3+ T cells and enhances intestinal barrier function in a mouse model of food allergy

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Min-Jung; Shin, Hee Soon; See, Hye-Jeong; Jung, Sun Young; Kwon, Da-Ae; Shon, Dong-Hwa

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of food allergy, which is triggered by allergen permeation of the gastrointestinal tract followed by a T-helper (Th) 2-mediated immune response, has been increasing annually worldwide. We examined the effects of baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone), a flavonoid from Scutellaria baicalensis used in oriental herbal medicine, on regulatory T (Treg) cell induction and intestinal barrier function through the regulation of tight junctions in a mouse model of food allergy. An allergic response was induced by oral challenge with ovalbumin, and the incidence of allergic symptoms and T cell-related activity in the mesenteric lymph nodes were analyzed with and without the presence of baicalein. Our results demonstrated that the administration of baicalein ameliorated the symptoms of food allergy and attenuated serum IgE and effector T cells. However, Treg-related factors were up-regulated by baicalein. Furthermore, baicalein was shown to enhance intestinal barrier function through the regulation of tight junctions. We also found that baicalein treatment induced the differentiation of Treg cells via aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhRs). Thus, the action of baicalein as an agonist of AhR can induce Treg differentiation and enhance barrier function, suggesting that baicalein might serve as an effective immune regulator derived from foods for the treatment of food allergy. PMID:27561877

  3. Baicalein induces CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T cells and enhances intestinal barrier function in a mouse model of food allergy.

    PubMed

    Bae, Min-Jung; Shin, Hee Soon; See, Hye-Jeong; Jung, Sun Young; Kwon, Da-Ae; Shon, Dong-Hwa

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of food allergy, which is triggered by allergen permeation of the gastrointestinal tract followed by a T-helper (Th) 2-mediated immune response, has been increasing annually worldwide. We examined the effects of baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone), a flavonoid from Scutellaria baicalensis used in oriental herbal medicine, on regulatory T (Treg) cell induction and intestinal barrier function through the regulation of tight junctions in a mouse model of food allergy. An allergic response was induced by oral challenge with ovalbumin, and the incidence of allergic symptoms and T cell-related activity in the mesenteric lymph nodes were analyzed with and without the presence of baicalein. Our results demonstrated that the administration of baicalein ameliorated the symptoms of food allergy and attenuated serum IgE and effector T cells. However, Treg-related factors were up-regulated by baicalein. Furthermore, baicalein was shown to enhance intestinal barrier function through the regulation of tight junctions. We also found that baicalein treatment induced the differentiation of Treg cells via aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhRs). Thus, the action of baicalein as an agonist of AhR can induce Treg differentiation and enhance barrier function, suggesting that baicalein might serve as an effective immune regulator derived from foods for the treatment of food allergy. PMID:27561877

  4. Latest research progress in the correlation between baicalein and breast cancer invasion and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    YAN, WAN-JUN; MA, XING-CONG; GAO, XIAO-YAN; XUE, XING-HUAN; ZHANG, SHU-QUN

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer is one of the most commonly occurring female malignant tumors. According to the 2012 GLOBOCAN statistics, produced by the International Agency for Research On Cancer (‘IARC’), nearly 1.7 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer, with 522,000 related deaths: An increase in the incidence of breast cancer and associated mortality by nearly 18% from 2008. Metastasis is the final step in breast cancer progression, and represents the most common cause of mortality in patients with breast cancer. Therefore, a search for low-toxicity, safe and effective anti-breast cancer drugs in the form of natural compounds has become an intense focus of research. Baicalein, a widely used Chinese herbal medicine, has extensive antitumor activity. The present review briefly describes the research that has been performed on the association between baicalein and breast cancer metastasis, and further illustrates the influence of baicalein on the underlying mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis, adding a novel theory basis for baicalein antitumor research. In conclusion, baicalein may represent a promising target for the prevention and therapy of breast cancer. PMID:27073644

  5. Baicalein induces apoptosis of human cervical cancer HeLa cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yong; Guo, Congshan; Yang, Yanhong; Li, Fenglin; Zhang, Yanxia; Jiang, Bin; Li, Qingwang

    2015-03-01

    A number of studies have shown that baicalein shows high antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo. In this study, the inhibitory effect of baicalein on human cervical cancer HeLa cells was studied in vitro. HeLa cells were treated with high (100 µg/ml) and low (50 µg/ml) doses of baicalein, and cell growth inhibition rates were examined by the MTT assay. The morphological changes of apoptotic cells were observed under the light and electron microscope, while the rate of cell apoptosis was examined by flow cytometry. The expression of apoptosis-related proteins was analyzed by western blot, and caspase-3 activation was examined by a caspase-3 activity assay and spectrophotometry. The results demonstrated that baicalein inhibits the proliferation of HeLa cells and induces apoptosis in a caspase-3-dependent pathway, through downregulation of the B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) protein and upregulation of the Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), Fas, Fas ligand (FasL) and caspase-8. Thus, we conclude that baicalein induces apoptosis of HeLa cells via the mitochondrial and the death receptor pathways. Cell apoptosis in HeLa cells was most likely promoted by the activation of the proteolytic enzyme caspase-3 in both pathways.

  6. γ-Tocotrienol upregulates aryl hydrocarbon receptor expression and enhances the anticancer effect of baicalein.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Shuya; Baba, Kiwako; Makio, Akiko; Kumazoe, Motofumi; Huang, Yuhui; Lin, I-Chian; Bae, Jaehoon; Murata, Motoki; Yamada, Shuhei; Tachibana, Hirofumi

    2016-05-13

    Previous studies have identified biomolecules that mediate the physiological actions of food factors, such as amino acids, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, plant polyphenols, and lactobacilli, suggesting that our bodies are equipped with an innate system that senses which food factors are required to maintain our health. However, the effects of environmental factors on food factor sensing (FFS) remains largely unknown. Tocotorienols (T3s), which belongs to the vitamin E family, possess several physiological functions, including cholesterol lowering and neuroprotective effects. Here, we investigated the effects of naturally abundant γ-T3 on FFS-related gene expressions in melanoma using a DNA chip. Our results showed that γ-T3 increased the expression level of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a sensing molecule to plant polyphenol baicalein. The co-treatment with γ-T3 and baicalein enhanced the anti-proliferative activity of baicalein, accompanied by the downstream events of AhR-activation induced by baicalein. These data suggest that γ-T3 upregulates AhR expression and enhances its sensitivity to baicalein. PMID:27055589

  7. Vascular barrier protective effects of baicalin, baicalein and wogonin in vitro and in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Kwak, Soyoung; Ku, Sae-Kwang; Han, Min-Su; Bae, Jong-Sup

    2014-11-15

    Inhibition of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein and restoration of endothelial integrity is emerging as an attractive therapeutic strategy in the management of sepsis. Here, three structurally related polyphenols found in the Chinese herb Huang Qui, baicalin (BCL), baicalein (BCN), and wogonin (WGN), were examined for their effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- or cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-mediated release of HMGB1 and on modulation of HMGB1-mediated inflammatory responses. According to our data, BCL, BCN, and WGN inhibited the release of HMGB1 and down-regulated HMGB1-dependent inflammatory responses in human endothelial cells. BCL, BCN, and WGN also inhibited HMGB1-mediated hyperpermeability and leukocyte migration in mice. In addition, treatment with BCL, BCN, and WGN reduced CLP-induced release of HMGB1 and sepsis-related mortality and pulmonary injury in mice. These results indicate that BCL, BCN, and WGN could be candidate therapeutic agents for various severe vascular inflammatory diseases owing to their inhibition of the HMGB1 signaling pathway. - Highlights: • HMGB1 is an inflammatory mediator for vascular inflammation. • Baicalin, baicalein and wogonin inhibited HMGB1-induced hyperpermeability in vitro and in vivo. • Baicalin, baicalein and wogonin inhibited HMGB1-mediated inflammatory responses. • Baicalin, baicalein and wogonin suppressed the activation of NF-κB and ERK1/2 and production of TNF-α and IL-6. • Baicalin, baicalein and wogonin prevent CLP-induced septic mortality.

  8. Effect of baicalein from Scutellaria baicalensis on prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Kang, Tong Ho; Hong, Bin Na; Park, Channy; Kim, Se Young; Park, Raekil

    2010-01-29

    Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) has been thought to primarily involve damage to the sensory hair cells of the cochlea via mechanical and metabolic mechanisms. This study examined the effects of baicalin, baicalein, and Scutellaria baicalensis (SB) extract against NIHL in a mouse model. Mice received oral treatment with SB, baicalin, baicalein beginning 30 min prior to noise exposure and continuing once daily throughout the study. Hearing threshold shift was assessed by auditory brain stem responses for 35 days following noise exposure. Central auditory function was evaluated by auditory middle latency responses. Cochlear function was determined based on transient evoked otoacoustic emissions. SB significantly reduced threshold shift, central auditory function damage, and cochlear function deficits, suggesting that SB may protect auditory function in NIHL and that the active constituent may be a flavonoid, baicalein. PMID:20004700

  9. Baicalein induces programmed cell death in Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Dai, Bao-Di; Cao, Ying-Ying; Huang, Shan; Xu, Yong-Gang; Gao, Ping-Hui; Wang, Yan; Jiang, Yuan-Ying

    2009-08-01

    Recent evidence has revealed the occurrence of an apoptotic phenotype in Candida albicans that is inducible with environmental stresses such as acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and amphotericin B. In the present study, we found that the Chinese herbal medicine Baicalein (BE), which was one of the skullcapflavones, can induce apoptosis in C. albicans. The apoptotic effects of BE were detected by flow cytometry using Annexin V-FITC and DAPI, and it was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy analysis. After exposure to 4 microg/ml BE for 12 h, about 10% of C. albicans cells were apoptotic. Both the increasing intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and upregulation of some redox-related genes (CAP1, SOD2, TRR1) were observed. Furthermore, we compared the survivals of CAP1 deleted, wild-type, and overexpressed strains and found that Cap1p attenuated BE-initiated cell death, which was coherent with a higher mRNA level of the CAP1 gene. In addition, the mitochondrial membrane potential of C. albicans cells changed significantly ( p<0.001) upon BE treatment compared with control. Taken together, our results indicate that BE treatment induces apoptosis in C.albicans cells, and the apoptosis was associated with the breakdown of mitochondrial membrane potential. PMID:19734718

  10. Baicalein increases keratin 1 and 10 expression in HaCaT keratinocytes via TRPV4 receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Kuo-Feng; Ma, Kuo-Hsing; Liu, Pei-Shan; Chen, Bo-Wei; Chueh, Sheau-Huei

    2016-08-01

    In this study, we characterized the effect of baicalein on the regulation of keratinocyte differentiation and proliferation, which are abnormal in atopic dermatitis or psoriasis. Treatment of HaCaT keratinocytes with 10 μm baicalein slightly inhibited cell growth, caused morphological differentiation and increased expression of keratins 1 and 10 (K1/K10) without affecting ROS generation, cytochrome c release or apoptosis. Baicalein treatment caused growth arrest in G0 /G1 phase and also induced Ca(2+) influx via TRPV4 receptor activation. Phosphorylation of ERK, Akt and p38 MAPK, but not JNK, was increased by baicalein, and inhibition of phosphorylation of ERK, but not that of Akt or p38 MAPK, blocked the baicalein-induced increase in K1/K10 expression, suggesting that ERK activation is involved in this increase. Removal of extracellular Ca(2+) or blockade of Ca(2+) influx by pharmacological inhibition or silencing of the TRPV4 receptor did not affect growth arrest, ROS generation or apoptosis, but inhibited baicalein-induced ERK phosphorylation and K1/K10 expression. Thus, baicalein treatment increases differentiation, and decreases proliferation, of keratinocytes. The mechanism of differentiation of keratinocytes is distinct from that of proliferation, the former being Ca(2+) dependent and the latter Ca(2+) independent.

  11. Baicalein Induces Caspase-dependent Apoptosis Associated with the Generation of ROS and the Activation of AMPK in Human Lung Carcinoma A549 Cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hong Jae; Park, Cheol; Han, Min-Ho; Hong, Su-Hyun; Kim, Gi-Young; Hong, Sang Hoon; Kim, Nam Deuk; Choi, Yung Hyun

    2016-03-01

    Baicalein is one of the main bioactive flavonoids found in the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. Here, we report that baicalein-induced growth inhibition was associated with the induction of apoptosis in human lung carcinoma A549 cells. Baicalein stimulated the expression of DR5, FasL, and FADD, and activated caspase-8 by reducing the levels of FLIPs (FLICE-inhibitory proteins). The apoptotic cell death was also connected with an activation of caspase-9 and -3, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; however, a blockage of caspase activation abolished baicalein-induced apoptotic potentials. Additionally, baicalein caused a mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), the truncation of Bid, and the translocation of pro-apoptotic Bax to the mitochondria, thereby inducing the release of cytochrome c into the cytosol. In turn, baicalein increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS); however, an ROS scavenger, N-acetylcysteine, notably attenuated baicalein-mediated loss of MMP and activation of caspases. Furthermore, baicalein activated the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway. Consequently, baicalein-triggered cell death was attenuated by an AMPK inhibitor, but increased by an AMPK activator, compound C. Overall, the results suggest that the apoptotic activity of baicalein may be associated with caspase-dependent cascade through the activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic signaling pathways connected with ROS generation and AMPK activation.

  12. Baicalein Induces Caspase-dependent Apoptosis Associated with the Generation of ROS and the Activation of AMPK in Human Lung Carcinoma A549 Cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hong Jae; Park, Cheol; Han, Min-Ho; Hong, Su-Hyun; Kim, Gi-Young; Hong, Sang Hoon; Kim, Nam Deuk; Choi, Yung Hyun

    2016-03-01

    Baicalein is one of the main bioactive flavonoids found in the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. Here, we report that baicalein-induced growth inhibition was associated with the induction of apoptosis in human lung carcinoma A549 cells. Baicalein stimulated the expression of DR5, FasL, and FADD, and activated caspase-8 by reducing the levels of FLIPs (FLICE-inhibitory proteins). The apoptotic cell death was also connected with an activation of caspase-9 and -3, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; however, a blockage of caspase activation abolished baicalein-induced apoptotic potentials. Additionally, baicalein caused a mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), the truncation of Bid, and the translocation of pro-apoptotic Bax to the mitochondria, thereby inducing the release of cytochrome c into the cytosol. In turn, baicalein increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS); however, an ROS scavenger, N-acetylcysteine, notably attenuated baicalein-mediated loss of MMP and activation of caspases. Furthermore, baicalein activated the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway. Consequently, baicalein-triggered cell death was attenuated by an AMPK inhibitor, but increased by an AMPK activator, compound C. Overall, the results suggest that the apoptotic activity of baicalein may be associated with caspase-dependent cascade through the activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic signaling pathways connected with ROS generation and AMPK activation. PMID:26971531

  13. Baicalin, a metabolite of baicalein with antiviral activity against dengue virus

    PubMed Central

    Moghaddam, Ehsan; Teoh, Boon-Teong; Sam, Sing-Sin; Lani, Rafidah; Hassandarvish, Pouya; Chik, Zamri; Yueh, Andrew; Abubakar, Sazaly; Zandi, Keivan

    2014-01-01

    Baicalin, a flavonoid derived from Scutellaria baicalensis, is the main metabolite of baicalein released following administration in different animal models and human. We previously reported the antiviral activity of baicalein against dengue virus (DENV). Here, we examined the anti-DENV properties of baicalin in vitro, and described the inhibitory potentials of baicalin at different steps of DENV-2 (NGC strain) replication. Our in vitro antiviral experiments showed that baicalin inhibited virus replication at IC50 = 13.5 ± 0.08 μg/ml with SI = 21.5 following virus internalization by Vero cells. Baicalin exhibited virucidal activity against DENV-2 extracellular particles at IC50 = 8.74 ± 0.08 μg/ml and showed anti-adsorption effect with IC50 = 18.07 ± 0.2 μg/ml. Our findings showed that baicalin as the main metabolite of baicalein exerting in vitro anti-DENV activity. Further investigations on baicalein and baicalin to deduce its antiviral therapeutic effects are warranted. PMID:24965553

  14. Antiviral activity of baicalein and quercetin against the Japanese encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    Johari, Jefree; Kianmehr, Aynaz; Mustafa, Mohd Rais; Abubakar, Sazaly; Zandi, Keivan

    2012-12-07

    Japanese encephalitis (JE), a mosquito-borne viral disease, is endemic to the entire east and southeast Asia, and some other parts of the world. Currently, there is no effective therapeutic available for JE; therefore, finding the effective antiviral agent against JEV replication is crucial. In the present study, the in vitro antiviral activity of baicalein and quercetin, two purportedly antiviral bioflavonoids, was evaluated against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) replication in Vero cells. Anti-JEV activities of these compounds were examined on different stages of JEV replication cycle. The effects of the compounds on virus replication were determined by foci forming unit reduction assay (FFURA) and quantitative RT-PCR. Baicalein showed potent antiviral activity with IC(50) = 14.28 µg/mL when it was introduced to the Vero cells after adsorption of JEV. Quercetin exhibited weak anti-JEV effects with IC(50) = 212.1 µg/mL when the JEV infected cells were treated with the compound after virus adsorption. However, baicalein exhibited significant effect against JEV adsorption with IC(50) = 7.27 µg/mL while quercetin did not show any anti-adsorption activity. Baicalein also exhibited direct extracellular virucidal activity on JEV with IC(50) = 3.44 µg/mL. However, results of quantitative RT-PCR experiments confirmed the findings from FFURA. This study demonstrated that baicalein should be considered as an appropriate candidate for further investigations, such as the study of molecular and cellular mechanism(s) of action and in vivo evaluation for the development of an effective antiviral compound against Japanese encephalitis virus.

  15. Antiviral Activity of Baicalein and Quercetin against the Japanese Encephalitis Virus

    PubMed Central

    Johari, Jefree; Kianmehr, Aynaz; Mustafa, Mohd Rais; Abubakar, Sazaly; Zandi, Keivan

    2012-01-01

    Japanese encephalitis (JE), a mosquito-borne viral disease, is endemic to the entire east and southeast Asia, and some other parts of the world. Currently, there is no effective therapeutic available for JE; therefore, finding the effective antiviral agent against JEV replication is crucial. In the present study, the in vitro antiviral activity of baicalein and quercetin, two purportedly antiviral bioflavonoids, was evaluated against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) replication in Vero cells. Anti-JEV activities of these compounds were examined on different stages of JEV replication cycle. The effects of the compounds on virus replication were determined by foci forming unit reduction assay (FFURA) and quantitative RT-PCR. Baicalein showed potent antiviral activity with IC50 = 14.28 μg/mL when it was introduced to the Vero cells after adsorption of JEV. Quercetin exhibited weak anti-JEV effects with IC50 = 212.1 μg/mL when the JEV infected cells were treated with the compound after virus adsorption. However, baicalein exhibited significant effect against JEV adsorption with IC50 = 7.27 μg/mL while quercetin did not show any anti-adsorption activity. Baicalein also exhibited direct extracellular virucidal activity on JEV with IC50 = 3.44 μg/mL. However, results of quantitative RT-PCR experiments confirmed the findings from FFURA. This study demonstrated that baicalein should be considered as an appropriate candidate for further investigations, such as the study of molecular and cellular mechanism(s) of action and in vivo evaluation for the development of an effective antiviral compound against Japanese encephalitis virus. PMID:23222683

  16. Baicalein Decreases Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Damage to NG108-15 Cells via Upregulation of Nrf2.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Chao-Hung; Ma, Kuo-Hsing; Liu, Pei-Shan; Kuo, Jung-Kuei; Chueh, Sheau-Huei

    2015-08-01

    Baicalein is a flavonoid inhibitor of 12-lipoxygenase. Here, we investigated its effect on hydrogen peroxide-induced damage to NG108-15 cells. Hydrogen peroxide activated the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, decreased Nrf2 expression, increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, reduced viability, and increased cell death after 2-24 h treatment of NG108-15 cells. Co-treatment with hydrogen peroxide and baicalein completely suppressed the activation of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway by upregulating Nrf2 expression and reducing ROS stress and partially inhibited the effects on cell viability and cell death. Silencing of 12-lipoxygenase had a similar protective effect to baicalein on hydrogen peroxide-induced damage by blocking the hydrogen peroxide-induced decrease in Nrf2 expression and increase in ROS levels. Neither protective effect was altered by addition of 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, the product of 12-lipoxygenase, suggesting that hydrogen peroxide induced damage via 12-lipoxygenase by another, as yet unknown, mechanism, rather than activating it. Co-treatment of cells with hydrogen peroxide and N-acetylcysteine or the Nrf2 inducer sulforaphane reduced hydrogen peroxide-induced damage in a similar fashion to baicalein, while the Nrf2 inhibitor retinoic acid blocked the protective effect of baicalein. Silencing Nrf2 also inhibited the protective effects of baicalein, sulforaphane, and N-acetylcysteine and resulted in high ROS levels, suggesting ROS elimination was mediated by Nrf2. Taken together our results suggest that baicalein protects cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced activation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway by upregulating Nrf2 and inhibiting 12-lipoxygenase to block the increase in ROS levels. Hydrogen peroxide also activates a second mitochondrial dysfunction independent death pathway which is resistant to baicalein.

  17. Protective effects of baicalein and wogonin against benzo[a]pyrene- and aflatoxin B(1)-induced genotoxicities.

    PubMed

    Ueng, Y F; Shyu, C C; Liu, T Y; Oda, Y; Lin, Y L; Liao, J F; Chen, C F

    2001-12-15

    To evaluate the protective effects of baicalein and wogonin against benzo[a]pyrene- and aflatoxin (AF) B(1)-induced toxicities, the effects of these flavonoids on the genotoxicities and oxidation of benzo[a]pyrene and AFB(1) were studied in C57BL/6J mice. Baicalein and wogonin reduced benzo[a]pyrene and AFB(1) genotoxicities as monitored by the umuC gene expression response in Salmonella typhimurium TA1535/pSK1002. Baicalein added in vitro decreased liver microsomal benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylation (AHH) activity with an ic(50) of 33.9 +/- 1.4 microM at 100 microM benzo[a]pyrene. Baicalein also inhibited AFQ(1) and AFB(1)-epoxide formation from AFB(1) (50 microM) oxidation (AFO) with ic(50) values of 22.8 +/- 1.4 and 5.3 +/- 0.8 microM, respectively. However, the in vitro inhibitory effects of wogonin on AHH and AFO activities in liver microsomes were less than those of baicalein as inhibition by 500 microM wogonin was only about 51-65%. Treatment of mice with liquid diets containing 5 mM baicalein and wogonin resulted in 22 and 49% decreases in hepatic AHH activities, respectively. Baicalein treatment resulted in 39 and 32% decreases in AFQ(1) and AFB(1)-epoxide formation from liver microsomal AFO, respectively. Wogonin treatment resulted in 39 and 47% decreases in AFQ(1) and AFB(1)-epoxide formation, respectively. A 1-week pretreatment with wogonin significantly decreased hepatic DNA adduct formation in mice treated with 200 mg/kg of benzo[a]pyrene via gastrogavage. These in vitro and in vivo effects suggested that baicalein and wogonin might have beneficial effects against benzo[a]pyrene- and AFB(1)-induced hepatic toxicities and that wogonin had a stronger protective effect in vivo. PMID:11755119

  18. FGF22 signaling regulates synapse formation during post-injury remodeling of the spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Jacobi, Anne; Loy, Kristina; Schmalz, Anja M; Hellsten, Mikael; Umemori, Hisashi; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Bareyre, Florence M

    2015-01-01

    The remodeling of axonal circuits after injury requires the formation of new synaptic contacts to enable functional recovery. Which molecular signals initiate such axonal and synaptic reorganisation in the adult central nervous system is currently unknown. Here, we identify FGF22 as a key regulator of circuit remodeling in the injured spinal cord. We show that FGF22 is produced by spinal relay neurons, while its main receptors FGFR1 and FGFR2 are expressed by cortical projection neurons. FGF22 deficiency or the targeted deletion of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in the hindlimb motor cortex limits the formation of new synapses between corticospinal collaterals and relay neurons, delays their molecular maturation, and impedes functional recovery in a mouse model of spinal cord injury. These results establish FGF22 as a synaptogenic mediator in the adult nervous system and a crucial regulator of synapse formation and maturation during post-injury remodeling in the spinal cord. PMID:25766255

  19. Baicalein suppresses metastasis of breast cancer cells by inhibiting EMT via downregulation of SATB1 and Wnt/β-catenin pathway

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Xingcong; Yan, Wanjun; Dai, Zhijun; Gao, Xiaoyan; Ma, Yinan; Xu, Quntao; Jiang, Jiantao; Zhang, Shuqun

    2016-01-01

    Background The flavonoid baicalein, a historically used Chinese herbal medicine, shows a wide range of biological and pharmaceutical effects, among which its potent antitumor activity has raised great interest in recent years. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the antimetastatic effect of baicalein remains poorly understood. This study aimed to verify the inhibitory effects of baicalein on metastasis of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo, as well as to investigate the related mechanisms. Methods MTT assay was used to examine the inhibition of baicalein on proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells. Wound healing assay and the in vitro invasion assay was carried out to investigate the effects of baicalein on migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells, respectively. In order to explore the effects of baicalein on tumor metastasis in vivo, xenograft nude mouse model of MDA-MB-231 cells was established. Animals were randomly divided into four groups (control, therapy group, and low-dose and high-dose prevention group, n=6), and treated with baicalein as designed. Following sacrifice, their lungs and livers were collected to examine the presence of metastases. qRT-PCR and Western blot were performed to study the effects of baicalein on expression of SATB1, EMT-related molecules, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling components of MDA-MB-231 cells as well as the metastatic tissue. Effects of baicalein on the expression of target proteins in vivo were also analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Results Our results indicated that baicalein suppressed proliferation, migration, and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Based on assays carried out in xenograft nude mouse model, we found that baicalein inhibited tumor metastasis in vivo. Furthermore, baicalein significantly decreased the expression of SATB1 in MDA-MB-231 cells. It suppressed the expression of vimentin and SNAIL while enhancing the expression of E-cadherin. Baicalein

  20. Cell type-specific dependency on the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway for the endogenous Epo and VEGF induction by baicalein in neurons versus astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yu-Yo; Lin, Shang-Hsuan; Lin, Hung-Cheng; Hung, Chia-Chi; Wang, Chen-Yu; Lin, Yen-Chu; Hung, Kuo-Sheng; Lien, Cheng-Chang; Kuan, Chia-Yi; Lee, Yi-Hsuan

    2013-01-01

    The neuroprotective effect of baicalein is generally attributed to inhibition of 12/15-lipoxygenase (12/15-LOX) and suppression of oxidative stress, but recent studies showed that baicalein also activates hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIF1α) through inhibition of prolyl hydrolase 2 (PHD2) and activation of the phosphatidylinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway. Yet, the significance and regulation of prosurvival cytokines erythropoietin (Epo) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), two transcriptional targets of HIF1α, in baicalein-mediated neuroprotection in neurons and astrocytes remains unknown. Here we investigated the causal relationship between the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and Epo/VEGF expression in baicalein-mediated neuroprotection in primary rat cortical neurons and astrocytes. Our results show that baicalein induced Epo and VEGF expression in a HIF1α- and PI3K/Akt-dependent manner in neurons. Baicalein also protected neurons against excitotoxicity in a PI3K- and Epo/VEGF-dependent manner without affecting neuronal excitability. In contrast, at least a 10-fold higher concentration of baicalein was needed to induce Epo/VEGF production and PI3K/Akt activity in astrocytes for protection of neurons. Moreover, only baicalein-induced astrocytic VEGF, but not Epo expression requires HIF1α, while PI3K/Akt signaling had little role in baicalein-induced astrocytic Epo/VEGF expression. These results suggest distinct mechanisms of baicalein-mediated Epo/VEGF production in neurons and astrocytes for neuroprotection, and provide new insights into the mechanisms and potential of baicalein in treating brain injury in vivo. PMID:23904909

  1. Anti-inflammatory effects of Baicalin, Baicalein, and Wogonin in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Lee, Wonhwa; Ku, Sae-Kwang; Bae, Jong-Sup

    2015-02-01

    Here, three structurally related polyphenols found in the Chinese herb Huang Qui, namely baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin, were examined for its effects on inflammatory responses by monitoring the effects of baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated vascular inflammatory responses. We found that each compound inhibited LPS-induced barrier disruption, expression of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), and adhesion/transendothelial migration of monocytes to human endothelial cells. Each compound induced potent inhibition of phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate and LPS-induced endothelial cell protein C receptor shedding. It also suppressed LPS-induced hyperpermeability and leukocytes migration in vivo. Furthermore, each compound suppressed the production of tumor necrosis factor-α or interleukin-6 and the activation of nuclear factor-κB or extracellular regulated kinases 1/2 by LPS. Moreover, treatment with each compound resulted in reduced LPS-induced lethal endotoxemia. These results suggest that baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin posses anti-inflammatory functions by inhibiting hyperpermeability, expression of CAMs, and adhesion and migration of leukocytes, thereby endorsing its usefulness as a therapy for vascular inflammatory diseases.

  2. SUR1-Associated Mechanisms Are Not Involved in Ischemic Optic Neuropathy 1 Day Post-Injury

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, James D.; Guo, Yan; Bernstein, Steven L.

    2016-01-01

    Ischemia-reperfusion injury after central nervous system (CNS) injury presents a major health care challenge with few promising treatments. Recently, it has become possible to reduce edema after CNS injury by antagonizing a sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) regulated ion channel expressed after injury. SUR1 upregulation after injury is a necessary precondition for the formation of this channel, and has been implicated in white matter injury after clinical spinal cord trauma. Glibenclamide, an SUR1 antagonist, appears to have neuroprotective effect against cerebral stroke in an open-label small clinical trial and great effectiveness in reducing damage after varied experimental CNS injury models. Despite its importance in CNS injuries, SUR1 upregulation appears to play no part in rodent anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (rAION) injury as tested by real-time PCR and immunohistochemical staining of rAION-injured rat optic nerve (ON). Furthermore, the SUR1 antagonist glibenclamide administered immediately after rAION injury provided no protection to proximal ON microvasculature 1 day post-injury but may reduce optic nerve head edema in a manner unrelated to ON SUR1 expression. Our results suggest that there may be fundamental differences between rAION optic nerve ischemia and other CNS white matter injuries where SUR1 appears to play a role. PMID:27560494

  3. SUR1-Associated Mechanisms Are Not Involved in Ischemic Optic Neuropathy 1 Day Post-Injury.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, James D; Guo, Yan; Bernstein, Steven L

    2016-01-01

    Ischemia-reperfusion injury after central nervous system (CNS) injury presents a major health care challenge with few promising treatments. Recently, it has become possible to reduce edema after CNS injury by antagonizing a sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) regulated ion channel expressed after injury. SUR1 upregulation after injury is a necessary precondition for the formation of this channel, and has been implicated in white matter injury after clinical spinal cord trauma. Glibenclamide, an SUR1 antagonist, appears to have neuroprotective effect against cerebral stroke in an open-label small clinical trial and great effectiveness in reducing damage after varied experimental CNS injury models. Despite its importance in CNS injuries, SUR1 upregulation appears to play no part in rodent anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (rAION) injury as tested by real-time PCR and immunohistochemical staining of rAION-injured rat optic nerve (ON). Furthermore, the SUR1 antagonist glibenclamide administered immediately after rAION injury provided no protection to proximal ON microvasculature 1 day post-injury but may reduce optic nerve head edema in a manner unrelated to ON SUR1 expression. Our results suggest that there may be fundamental differences between rAION optic nerve ischemia and other CNS white matter injuries where SUR1 appears to play a role.

  4. SUR1-Associated Mechanisms Are Not Involved in Ischemic Optic Neuropathy 1 Day Post-Injury.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, James D; Guo, Yan; Bernstein, Steven L

    2016-01-01

    Ischemia-reperfusion injury after central nervous system (CNS) injury presents a major health care challenge with few promising treatments. Recently, it has become possible to reduce edema after CNS injury by antagonizing a sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) regulated ion channel expressed after injury. SUR1 upregulation after injury is a necessary precondition for the formation of this channel, and has been implicated in white matter injury after clinical spinal cord trauma. Glibenclamide, an SUR1 antagonist, appears to have neuroprotective effect against cerebral stroke in an open-label small clinical trial and great effectiveness in reducing damage after varied experimental CNS injury models. Despite its importance in CNS injuries, SUR1 upregulation appears to play no part in rodent anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (rAION) injury as tested by real-time PCR and immunohistochemical staining of rAION-injured rat optic nerve (ON). Furthermore, the SUR1 antagonist glibenclamide administered immediately after rAION injury provided no protection to proximal ON microvasculature 1 day post-injury but may reduce optic nerve head edema in a manner unrelated to ON SUR1 expression. Our results suggest that there may be fundamental differences between rAION optic nerve ischemia and other CNS white matter injuries where SUR1 appears to play a role. PMID:27560494

  5. Baicalein inhibits α-synuclein oligomer formation and prevents progression of α-synuclein accumulation in a rotenone mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qi; Uversky, Vladimir N; Huang, Mengyang; Kang, Huicong; Xu, Feng; Liu, Xiaoyan; Lian, Lifei; Liang, Qiming; Jiang, Hong; Liu, Anding; Zhang, Cuntai; Pan-Montojo, Francisco; Zhu, Suiqiang

    2016-10-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. α-Synuclein (α-syn) oligomers play a critical role in the progression of PD. Baicalein, a typical flavonoid compound, can inhibit the formation of the α-syn oligomers, and disaggregate existing α-syn oligomers in vitro. However, whether baicalein could inhibit or disaggregate α-syn oligomers in vivo has not been investigated. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the inhibitory effects of baicalein on α-syn oligomers in vivo and to explore the possible mechanisms of such inhibition. A chronic PD mouse model was created by continuous intragastric administration of rotenone (5mg/kg, 12weeks). Baicalein (100mg/kg) was intraperitoneally injected from 7week to 12week. Our result showed that the amount of α-syn, changes in the levels of the striatal neurotransmitters, and the behavioral changes found in the chronic PD mouse model were prevented after the baicalein injections. Although baicalein did not decrease α-syn mRNA expression, α-syn oligomers were significantly decreased in the ileum, thoracic spinal cord, and midbrain. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy analysis showed that baicalein could prevent α-syn monomers from the oligomer formation in vitro. Taken together, these results suggest that baicalein could prevent the progression of α-syn accumulation in PD mouse model partly by inhibiting formation of the α-syn oligomers.

  6. Baicalein attenuates inflammatory responses by suppressing TLR4 mediated NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways in LPS-induced mastitis in mice.

    PubMed

    He, Xuexiu; Wei, Zhengkai; Zhou, Ershun; Chen, Libin; Kou, Jinhua; Wang, Jingjing; Yang, Zhengtao

    2015-09-01

    Baicalein is a phenolic flavonoid presented in the dry roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. It has been reported that baicalein possesses a number of biological properties, such as antiviral, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and anticancer properties. However, the effect of baicalein on mastitis has not yet been reported. This research aims to detect the effect of baicalein on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mastitis in mice and to investigate the molecular mechanisms. Baicalein was administered intraperitoneally 1h before and 12h after LPS treatment. The results indicated that baicalein treatment markedly attenuated the damage of the mammary gland induced by LPS, suppressed the activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL-1β) in mice with LPS-induced mastitis. Besides, baicalein blocked the expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and then suppressed the phosphorylation of nuclear transcription factor-kappaB (NF-κB) p65 and degradation inhibitor of NF-κBα (IκBα) and, and inhibited the phosphorylation of p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal pathway. These findings suggested that baicalein may have a potential prospect against mastitis.

  7. Baicalein modulates stress-resistance and life span in C. elegans via SKN-1 but not DAF-16.

    PubMed

    Havermann, Susannah; Humpf, Hans-Ulrich; Wätjen, Wim

    2016-09-01

    The flavonoid baicalein has been demonstrated to be an activator of the transcription factor Nrf2 in mammalian cell lines. We show that it further modulates the Nrf2 homolog SKN-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans and by this pathway mediates beneficial effects in the nematode: baicalein enhances the resistance of C. elegans against lethal thermal and sodium arsenite stress and dose-dependently prolongs the life span of the nematode. Using RNA interference against SKN-1 we were able to show that the induction of longevity and the enhanced stress-resistance were dependent on this transcription factor. DAF-16 (homolog to mammalian FOXO) is another pivotal aging-related transcription factor in the nematode. We demonstrate that DAF-16 does not participate in the beneficial effects of baicalein: since baicalein causes no increase in the nuclear translocation of DAF-16 (DAF-16::GFP expressing strain, incubation time: 1h) and it still induces longevity even in a DAF-16 loss-of-function strain, we conclude, that baicalein increases stress-resistance and life span in C. elegans via SKN-1 but not DAF-16. PMID:27370100

  8. The impact of sport and active recreation injuries on physical activity levels at 12 months post-injury.

    PubMed

    Andrew, N; Wolfe, R; Cameron, P; Richardson, M; Page, R; Bucknill, A; Gabbe, B

    2014-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of serious sport and active recreation injury on 12-month physical activity levels. Adults admitted to hospital with sport and active recreation-related injuries, and captured by the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry were recruited to the study. Changes between preinjury and 12 month post-injury physical activity was assessed using the short International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Independent demographic, injury, and hospital variables were assessed for associations with changes in physical activity levels, using multivariate linear regression. A total of 324 patients were recruited, of which 98% were followed up at 12 months. Mean short IPAQ scores decreased from 7650 METS (95% CI: 7180, 8120) preinjury to 3880 METS; (95% CI: 3530, 4250) post-injury, independent of functional recovery. Education level and occupation group were the only variables independently associated with changes in physical activity levels post-injury. These results highlighted that sport and active recreation injuries lead to significant reductions in physical activity levels. Hence, the prevention of sport and active recreation injuries is important when considering promotion of activity at a population level.

  9. Panax Notoginseng Saponins as a Novel Nature Stabilizer for Poorly Soluble Drug Nanocrystals: A Case Study with Baicalein.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yuanbiao; Ma, Yueqin; Xu, Junnan; Liu, Yang; Yue, Pengfei; Zheng, Qin; Hu, Pengyi; Yang, Ming

    2016-01-01

    This study is aimed at seeking a nature saponin-based stabilizer for drug nanosuspensions. A poorly soluble drug (baicalein, BCL) was used as a model drug. BCL nanosuspensions with particle size of 156 nm were prepared by means of homogenization and converted into BCL nanocrystals (BCL-NC) stabilized with panax notoginseng saponins (PNS). It was found that PNS was able to prevent the aggregation of BCL-NS during storage and improve the redispersibility of BCL-NC after freeze-drying and spray-drying, compared with polymer stabilizer PVPK30. The freeze-dried and spray-dried BCL-NC with PNS exhibited excellent performance as evidenced by scanning_electron_microscope (SEM) analysis. It was the reason that PNS possessed the interfacial property (41.69 ± 0.32 mN/m) and electrostatic effect (-40.1 ± 1.6 mV), which could easily adsorb onto the surface of hydrophobic BCL nanocrystals and prevent from its aggregation. It is concluded that PNS can be used as an effective nature stabilizer for production of drug nanocrystals. PMID:27589712

  10. Development and extraction optimization of baicalein and pinostrobin from Scutellaria violacea through response surface methodology

    PubMed Central

    Subramaniam, Shankar; Raju, Ravikumar; Palanisamy, Anbumathi; Sivasubramanian, Aravind

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To develop a process that involves optimization of the amount of baicalein and pinostrobin from the hydro-methanolic extract of the leaves of Scutellaria violacea by response surface methodology (RSM). Materials and Methods: The combinatorial influence of various extraction parameters on the extraction yield was investigated by adopting Box–Behnken experimental design. Preliminary experiments carried out based on the traditional one variable at a time optimization revealed four such operational parameters to play a crucial role by influencing the yield. These four process parameters at three levels were considered to obtain the Box–Behnken experimental design. Results: RSM based model fitted to the resulting experimental data suggested that 52.3% methanol/water, 12.46:1 solvent-solid ratio, 285 rpm agitation and 6.07 h of extraction time are the optimal conditions which yielded a maximized amount of baicalein and pinostrobin of 2.9 and 4.05 mg/g DM. Analysis of variance revealed a high correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.999 for baicalein and 0.994 for pinostrobin), signifying a good fit between the regression model (second order) and the experimental observations. Conclusion: The present study signifies that both the metabolites have been extracted from S. violacea for the first time. Further, this study developed an optimized extraction procedure to obtain maximum yield of the metabolites, which is unique and better than conventional extraction methodology. The operational parameters under optimized conditions accounts for the lowest cost in extraction process thus, providing an efficient, rapid and cost-effective method for isolation and scale up of these commercially vital flavonoids. PMID:26109758

  11. Baicalein Triggers Mitochondria-Mediated Apoptosis and Enhances the Antileukemic Effect of Vincristine in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia CCRF-CEM Cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yun-Ju; Wu, Chieh-Shan; Shieh, Jeng-Jer; Wu, Jyh-Horng; Chen, Hsing-Yu; Chung, Ting-Wen; Chen, Yu-Kuo; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2013-01-01

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accounts for approximately 75% of childhood leukemia, and chemotherapy remains the mainstay therapy. Baicalein is an active flavonoid used in traditional Chinese medicine and has recently been found to have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic properties. This study aims to investigate the molecular apoptotic mechanisms of baicalein in CCRF-CEM leukemic cells and to evaluate the combined therapeutic efficacy of baicalein with several commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs in CCRF-CEM cells. Our results demonstrate that baicalein induces mitochondria-dependent cleavage of caspases-9 and -3 and PARP with concomitant decreases in IAP family proteins, survivin, and XIAP. Furthermore, our results present for the first time that baicalein triggers a convergence of the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways via the death receptor-caspase 8-tBid signaling cascade in CCRF-CEM cells. In addition, we also present for the first time that the combination of baicalein and vincristine results in a synergistic therapeutic efficacy. Overall, this combination strategy is recommended for future clinical trials in the treatment of pediatric leukemia owing to baicalein's beneficial effects in alleviating the vomiting, nausea, and skin rashes caused by chemotherapy. PMID:23476680

  12. Baicalein protects C6 glial cells against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis through regulation of the Nrf2 signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Choi, Eun-Ok; Jeong, Jin-Woo; Park, Cheol; Hong, Su Hyun; Kim, Gi-Young; Hwang, Hye-Jin; Cho, Eun-Ju; Choi, Yung Hyun

    2016-03-01

    Baicalein, a flavonoid originally obtained from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, has been reported to possess various biological properties. Although several studies have demonstrated the anti-oxidative activity of baicalein, its neuroprotective mechanisms have not been clearly established. The present study aimed to detect the effects of baicalein against hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced neuronal damage in C6 glial cells and to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in this process. The results demonstrated that baicalein effectively inhibited H2O2-induced growth and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. We noted that Baicalein also attenuated the H2O2‑induced formation of comet tail, phosphorylation of p-γH2A.X, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP or ΔΨm), and changes to apoptosis‑related protein expression, which suggests that it can prevent H2O2‑induced cellular DNA damage and apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, treatment with baicalein effectively induced the expression of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) as well as heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and thioredoxin reductase 1 (TrxR1) in a concentration and time-dependent manner. Moreover, the protective effects of baicalein against H2O2‑induced DNA damage and apoptosis were abolished by zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) IX, a HO-1 inhibitor, and auranofin, a TrxR inhibitor. In addition, we noted that the cytoprotective effects of baicalein were attenuated by transient transfection with Nrf2-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA). The findings of our present study suggest that baicalein enhances cellular antioxidant defense capacity through the inhibition of ROS generation and the activation of the Nrf2 signaling pathway, thus protecting C6 cells from H2O2-induced neuronal damage.

  13. [Preparation of baicalein using thermophilic and sugar-tolerant beta-glucosidase].

    PubMed

    Li, Shi-ping; Wen, Jian-hui; Zhao, Yi-wu; Huang, Wen-zhe; Pei, Jian-jun; Wang, Zhen-zhong; Zhao, Lin-guo; Xiao, Wei

    2015-12-01

    The reaction conditions of baicalin hydrolyzed into baicalein by a kind of thermophilic and sugar-tolerant beta-glucosidase were studied in this paper. The beta-glucosidase could catalyze baicalin into baicalein well in the acetic acid-sodium acetate buffer. The optimal enzyme activity was at 85 degrees C and pH 5.5. The enzyme was stable at the temperature less than 85 degrees C and pH range of 5-7.5. The maximum reaction rate V. and michaelis constant K. were 0.41 mmol x L(-1) x min(-1) and 3.31 mmol x L(-1) respectively. Different metal ions had different effects on the activity of enzyme. Na+ existing in acetic acid-sodium acetate buffer had an activation effect on enzyme. The enzyme activity was enhanced by the concentrations of glucose below 0.6 mol x L(-1), and was gradually inhibited when monosaccharide concentration was over 0.6 mol x L(-1). When the monosaccharide concentration reached 1.2 mol x L(-1), the inhibition rate of enzyme activity was about 50%, which showed good glucose tolerance. The good reaction conditions through the experiment have been determined as follows, the substrate: enzyme dose was 1 g: 0.2 mL, acetic acid-sodium acetate buffer pH 5.5, reaction temperature 85 degrees C, reaction time 10 h, and the enzymatic hydrolyzation ratio could reach 97%. PMID:27141672

  14. [Preparation of baicalein using thermophilic and sugar-tolerant beta-glucosidase].

    PubMed

    Li, Shi-ping; Wen, Jian-hui; Zhao, Yi-wu; Huang, Wen-zhe; Pei, Jian-jun; Wang, Zhen-zhong; Zhao, Lin-guo; Xiao, Wei

    2015-12-01

    The reaction conditions of baicalin hydrolyzed into baicalein by a kind of thermophilic and sugar-tolerant beta-glucosidase were studied in this paper. The beta-glucosidase could catalyze baicalin into baicalein well in the acetic acid-sodium acetate buffer. The optimal enzyme activity was at 85 degrees C and pH 5.5. The enzyme was stable at the temperature less than 85 degrees C and pH range of 5-7.5. The maximum reaction rate V. and michaelis constant K. were 0.41 mmol x L(-1) x min(-1) and 3.31 mmol x L(-1) respectively. Different metal ions had different effects on the activity of enzyme. Na+ existing in acetic acid-sodium acetate buffer had an activation effect on enzyme. The enzyme activity was enhanced by the concentrations of glucose below 0.6 mol x L(-1), and was gradually inhibited when monosaccharide concentration was over 0.6 mol x L(-1). When the monosaccharide concentration reached 1.2 mol x L(-1), the inhibition rate of enzyme activity was about 50%, which showed good glucose tolerance. The good reaction conditions through the experiment have been determined as follows, the substrate: enzyme dose was 1 g: 0.2 mL, acetic acid-sodium acetate buffer pH 5.5, reaction temperature 85 degrees C, reaction time 10 h, and the enzymatic hydrolyzation ratio could reach 97%.

  15. Sodium cromolyn reduces expression of CTGF, ADAMTS1, and TIMP3 and modulates post-injury patellar tendon morphology.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Aishwariya; Abraham, Thomas; Sampaio, Arthur; Cowan, Matthew; Underhill, Michael; Scott, Alexander

    2011-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether administration of a mast cell inhibitor (sodium cromolyn, SC) would influence tendon repair and extracellular matrix gene expression following acute injury. CD1 mouse patellar tendons were unilaterally injured and mast cell prevalence was determined. The effect of SC injection on tendon hypercellularity, cross-sectional area, collagen organization, and expression of extracellular matrix-related genes was examined. Mast cell prevalence was markedly increased in injured patellar tendons (p = 0.009), especially at 8 weeks post-injury (p = 0.025). SC injection increased collagen organization compared to uninjected animals at 4 weeks and attenuated the development of tendon hypercellularity and tendon thickening post-injury. Expression of CTGF, ADAMTS1, and TIMP3 in injured tendon was reduced in the SC group. SC injections moderated the structural alterations of healing tendon in association with downregulation of several genes associated with tendon fibrosis. This work corroborates previous findings pointing to a role of mast cells in tendon repair.

  16. Baicalein, a Constituent of Scutellaria baicalensis, Reduces Glutamate Release and Protects Neuronal Cell Against Kainic Acid-Induced Excitotoxicity in Rats.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yi; Lu, Cheng Wei; Lin, Tzu Yu; Huang, Shu Kuei; Wang, Su Jane

    2016-01-01

    Interest in the health benefits of flavonoids, particularly their effects on neurodegenerative disease, is increasing. This study evaluated the role of baicalein, a flavonoid compound isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine Scutellaria baicalensis, in glutamate release and glutamate neurotoxicity in the rat hippocampus. In the rat hippocampal nerve terminals (synaptosomes), baicalein inhibits depolarization-induced glutamate release, and this phenomenon is prevented by chelating the extracellular Ca[Formula: see text] ions and blocking presynaptic Cav2.2 (N-type) and Cav2.1 (P/Q-type) channel activity. In slice preparations, whole cell patch-clamp experiments revealed that baicalein reduced the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, without affecting their amplitude. In a kainic acid rat model, intraperitoneally administering baicalein to rats before the kainic acid intraperitoneal injection substantially attenuated kainic acid-induced neuronal cell death, c-Fos expression, and the activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin in the hippocampus. This study is the first to demonstrate that the natural compound baicalein inhibits glutamate release from hippocampal nerve terminals, and executes a protective action against kainic acid-induced excitotoxicity in vivo. The findings enhance the understanding of baicalein's action in the brain, and suggest that this natural compound is valuable for treating brain disorders related to glutamate excitotoxicity. PMID:27430911

  17. Anti-inflammatory activity of baicalein in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages via estrogen receptor and NF-κB-dependent pathways.

    PubMed

    Fan, Guan-Wei; Zhang, Yuan; Jiang, Xiaorui; Zhu, Yan; Wang, Bingyao; Su, Lina; Cao, Wenjie; Zhang, Han; Gao, Xiumei

    2013-12-01

    Baicalein has been used for many years as a popular antiviral and antibacterial in China. Recent investigations revealed that baicalein also has anti-inflammatory activities. Our results indicated that baicalein increases ERE-luciferase activity in an estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent manner when either ERα or ERβ were coexpressed in Hela cells. This study examined whether baicalein exerts an anti-inflammatory effect in RAW264.7 cells through an estrogen receptor-dependent pathway and through regulation of NF-ĸB activation. In lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW264.7 cells, baicalein exerts anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting iNOS, COX-2, and TNF-α mRNA expression; NO production; as well as inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, PGE2, and TNF-α) production through an ER-dependent pathway. These effects are accompanied with the inhibition of the transcription factor NF-ĸB activation and IκBα phosphorylation. We therefore conclude that baicalein inhibits LPS-induced inflammatory cytokine production via regulation of the NF-ĸB pathway and estrogen-like activity, suggesting that it may be useful for preventing inflammation-related diseases. PMID:23892998

  18. Baicalein induces G1 arrest in oral cancer cells by enhancing the degradation of cyclin D1 and activating AhR to decrease Rb phosphorylation

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Ya-Hsin; Li, Lih-Ann; Lin, Pinpin; Cheng, Li-Chuan; Hung, Chein-Hui; Chang, Nai Wen; Lin, Chingju

    2012-09-15

    Baicalein is a flavonoid, known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. As an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligand, baicalein at high concentrations blocks AhR-mediated dioxin toxicity. Because AhR had been reported to play a role in regulating the cell cycle, we suspected that the anti-cancer effect of baicalein is associated with AhR. This study investigated the molecular mechanism involved in the anti-cancer effect of baicalein in oral cancer cells HSC-3, including whether such effect would be AhR-mediated. Results revealed that baicalein inhibited cell proliferation and increased AhR activity in a dose-dependent manner. Cell cycle was arrested at the G1 phase and the expression of CDK4, cyclin D1, and phosphorylated retinoblastoma (pRb) was decreased. When the AhR was suppressed by siRNA, the reduction of pRb was partially reversed, accompanied by a decrease of cell population at G1 phase and an increase at S phase, while the reduction of cyclin D1 and CDK4 did not change. This finding suggests that the baicalein activation of AhR is indeed associated with the reduction of pRb, but is independent of the reduction of cyclin D1 and CDK4. When cells were pre-treated with LiCl, the inhibitor of GSK-3β, the decrease of cyclin D1 was blocked and the reduction of pRb was recovered. The data indicates that in HSC-3 the reduction of pRb is both mediated by baicalein through activation of AhR and facilitation of cyclin D1 degradation, which causes cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase, and results in the inhibition of cell proliferation. -- Highlights: ► Baicalein causes the G1 phase arrest by decreasing Rb phosphorylation. ► Baicalein modulates AhR-mediated cell proliferation. ► Both AhR activation and cyclin D1 degradation results in hypophosphorylation of Rb. ► Baicalein facilitates cyclin D1 degradation by signalling the GSK-3β pathway.

  19. Baicalein reverts L-valine-induced persistent sodium current up-modulation in primary cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Caioli, Silvia; Candelotti, Elena; Pedersen, Jens Z; Saba, Luana; Antonini, Alessia; Incerpi, Sandra; Zona, Cristina

    2016-04-01

    L-valine is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) largely used as dietary integrator by athletes and involved in some inherited rare diseases such as maple syrup urine disease. This pathology is caused by an altered BCAA metabolism with the accumulation of toxic keto acids in tissues and body fluids with consequent severe neurological symptoms. In animal models of BCAA accumulation, increased oxidative stress levels and lipid peroxidation have been reported. The aim of this study was to analyze both whether high BCAA concentrations in neurons induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and whether, by performing electrophysiological recordings, the neuronal functional properties are modified. Our results demonstrate that in primary cortical cultures, a high dose of valine increases ROS production and provokes neuronal hyperexcitability because the action potential frequencies and the persistent sodium current amplitudes increase significantly compared to non-treated neurons. Since Baicalein, a flavone obtained from the Scutellaria root, has been shown to act as a strong antioxidant with neuroprotective effects, we evaluated its possible antioxidant activity in primary cortical neurons chronically exposed to L-valine. The preincubation of cortical neurons with Baicalein prevents the ROS production and is able to revert both the neuronal hyperexcitability and the increase of the persistent sodium current, indicating a direct correlation between the ROS production and the altered physiological parameters. In conclusion, our data show that the electrophysiological alterations of cortical neurons elicited by high valine concentration are due to the increase in ROS production, suggesting much caution in the intake of BCAA dietary integrators. PMID:26721313

  20. Baicalein reverts L-valine-induced persistent sodium current up-modulation in primary cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Caioli, Silvia; Candelotti, Elena; Pedersen, Jens Z; Saba, Luana; Antonini, Alessia; Incerpi, Sandra; Zona, Cristina

    2016-04-01

    L-valine is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) largely used as dietary integrator by athletes and involved in some inherited rare diseases such as maple syrup urine disease. This pathology is caused by an altered BCAA metabolism with the accumulation of toxic keto acids in tissues and body fluids with consequent severe neurological symptoms. In animal models of BCAA accumulation, increased oxidative stress levels and lipid peroxidation have been reported. The aim of this study was to analyze both whether high BCAA concentrations in neurons induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and whether, by performing electrophysiological recordings, the neuronal functional properties are modified. Our results demonstrate that in primary cortical cultures, a high dose of valine increases ROS production and provokes neuronal hyperexcitability because the action potential frequencies and the persistent sodium current amplitudes increase significantly compared to non-treated neurons. Since Baicalein, a flavone obtained from the Scutellaria root, has been shown to act as a strong antioxidant with neuroprotective effects, we evaluated its possible antioxidant activity in primary cortical neurons chronically exposed to L-valine. The preincubation of cortical neurons with Baicalein prevents the ROS production and is able to revert both the neuronal hyperexcitability and the increase of the persistent sodium current, indicating a direct correlation between the ROS production and the altered physiological parameters. In conclusion, our data show that the electrophysiological alterations of cortical neurons elicited by high valine concentration are due to the increase in ROS production, suggesting much caution in the intake of BCAA dietary integrators.

  1. The natural history of a mistreated ipsilateral Galeazzi and Monteggia lesion: report of a case 39 years post-injury.

    PubMed

    Kontakis, George M; Pasku, Dritan; Pagkalos, Joseph; Katonis, Pavlos G

    2008-08-01

    Galeazzi injury combined with ipsilateral Monteggia lesion is extremely rare. A 45-year-old male patient with a mistreated Galeazzi lesion combined with an ipsilateral Monteggia fracture at the age of 6 is presented. Thirty-nine years post-injury his elbow was asymptomatic and stable and his distal radioulnar and radiocarpal joints were also asymptomatic. The strength of the limb was equal to the unaffected contralateral upper limb and he was able to work manually as a waiter for the last 20 years without any problem. The only obvious defect was a 30 degrees lack of elbow flexion and a 10 degrees lack of forearm pronation in comparison to the normal side.

  2. Baicalein inhibits MMP-2 expression in human ovarian cancer cells by suppressing the p38 MAPK-dependent NF-κB signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Yan, Hao; Xin, Shaobin; Wang, Hui; Ma, Jing; Zhang, Heng; Wei, Hailing

    2015-07-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) secreted by ovarian cancer play essential roles in tumor invasion and metastasis. In this study, we investigated the effect of baicalein, which is isolated from the traditional Chinese herbal medicine Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, on human ovarian cancer cell lines by measuring MMP-2 expression, invasive potential, and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Analysis of MMP-2 was carried out by western blots and RT-PCR. The invasion ability of ovarian cancer cells was determined using a Transwell invasion assay. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and p38 MAPK activation was assessed by western blots. The results of the present study showed that baicalein reduced the expression of MMP-2 in a dose-dependent manner and the invasion of ovarian cancer cells was also significantly suppressed by baicalein. We also found that baicalein reduced the activation of NF-κB signaling molecules; in addition, the MMP-2 expression and invasion ability of ovarian cancer cells were abolished with the treatment of the NF-κB inhibitor, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate. However, the addition of p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 significantly reduced the activation of NF-κB; meanwhile, baicalein was shown to exert an inhibitory effect on p38 activation. Furthermore, the MMP-2 expression and invasion ability of ovarian cancer cells were significantly inhibited by SB203580. In conclusion, baicalein inhibits the MMP-2 expression and invasion ability of ovarian cancer cells, possibly by the p38 MAPK-dependent NF-κB signaling pathway; these findings may provide insights into the potential of using baicalein as a therapeutic strategy against ovarian cancer.

  3. Effect of baicalein on the expression of VIP in extravillous cytotrophoblasts infected with human cytomegalovirus in vitro.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Yuan; Fang, Jian-guo; Xiao, Juan; Liu, Tao; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Yan-li; Chen, Su-hua

    2013-06-01

    This paper aimed to study the ability of baicalein to block human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection in extravillous cytotrophoblasts (EVT) and its effect on the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) expression in HCMV-infected EVT in vitro. A human trophoblast cell line (HPT-8) was chosen in this study. HCMV with 100 TCID50 was added into culture medium to infect HPT-8 cells, and then HCMV pp65 antigen was assayed by immunofluorescence staining. The infection status was determined by virus titration. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to detect virus DNA load in the infected cells. The expression of VIP mRNA and protein in the infected cells was measured by qRT-PCR, immunocytochemistry and Western blotting. Concentration of VIP secreted in supernatants was determined by ELISA. Red-stained HCMV pp65 antigens were found in infected HPT-8 cells 48 h after infection. HCMV replicated in large quantity in infected HPT-8 cells 4 days after infection, reaching a peak at day 6 post-infection. After treatment with baicalein, virus DNA load in infected HPT-8 cells was decreased (P<0.05), and the levels of VIP mRNA and protein, and the concentration were raised to the normal (P>0.05). Our study suggested that baicalein exerts a positive effect on the VIP expression in HCMV-infected EVT at maternal-fetal interface.

  4. Suppression of Very Early Stage Of Adipogenesis by Baicalein, a Plant-Derived Flavonoid through Reduced Akt-C/EBPα-GLUT4 Signaling-Mediated Glucose Uptake in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Baicalein has been used as a Chinese medicine, and is an abundant plant flavonoid present in fruits and vegetables. Here, we examined the effects of baicalein in adipogenesis and investigated its molecular mechanism in adipocytes. Baicalein lowered the intracellular lipid accumulation and decreased the transcription levels of the adipocyte-specific genes in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Glucose uptake mediated by glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) was reduced, causing down-regulation of the intracellular lipid accumulation. These reductions were also observed even when baicalein was added in only early stage of adipogenesis (0–2 days) of 6-day-adipogenesis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that baicalein decreased the binding level of C/EBPα protein to the promoter region of the GLUT4 gene. Phosphorylation of Akt at 1 h after the initiation of adipogenesis was inhibited by the treatment with baicalein. Inhibition during only the first 1.5 h after the initiation of adipogenesis by baicalein or an Akt inhibitor was enough to decrease the lipid contents in the cells undergoing adipocyte differentiation for 6 days. These results indicate that baicalein decreased the intracellular lipid accumulation by down-regulation of glucose uptake via repression of Akt-C/EBPα-GLUT4 signaling in the very early stage of adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 adipocytes. PMID:27669565

  5. Skeletal Muscle Protein Breakdown Remains Elevated in Pediatric Burn Survivors up to One-Year Post-Injury.

    PubMed

    Chao, Tony; Herndon, David N; Porter, Craig; Chondronikola, Maria; Chaidemenou, Anastasia; Abdelrahman, Doaa Reda; Bohanon, Fredrick J; Andersen, Clark; Sidossis, Labros S

    2015-11-01

    Acute alterations in skeletal muscle protein metabolism are a well-established event associated with the stress response to burns. Nevertheless, the long-lasting effects of burn injury on skeletal muscle protein turnover are incompletely understood. This study was undertaken to investigate fractional synthesis (FSR) and breakdown (FBR) rates of protein in skeletal muscle of pediatric burn patients (n  =  42, >30% total body surface area burns) for up to 1 year after injury. Skeletal muscle protein kinetics were measured in the post-prandial state following bolus injections of C6 and N phenylalanine stable isotopes. Plasma and muscle phenylalanine enrichments were quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. We found that the FSR in burn patients was 2- to 3-fold higher than values from healthy men previously reported in the literature (P ≤ 0.05). The FBR was 4- to 6-fold higher than healthy values (P  <  0.01). Therefore, net protein balance was lower in burn patients compared with healthy men from 2 weeks to 12 months post-injury (P  <  0.05). These findings show that skeletal muscle protein turnover stays elevated for up to 1 year after burn, an effect attributable to simultaneous increases in FBR and FSR. Muscle FBR exceeds FSR during this time, producing a persistent negative net protein balance, even in the post-prandial state, which likely contributes to the prolonged cachexia seen in burned victims.

  6. Baicalein, an active component of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, prevents lysophosphatidylcholine-induced cardiac injury by reducing reactive oxygen species production, calcium overload and apoptosis via MAPK pathways

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC), a metabolite from membrane phospholipids, accumulates in the ischemic myocardium and plays an important role in the development of myocardial dysfunction ventricular arrhythmia. In this study, we investigated if baicalein, a major component of Huang Qui, can protect against lysoPC-induced cytotoxicity in rat H9c2 embryonic cardiomyocytes. Methods Cell viability was detected by the MTT assay; ROS levels were assessed using DCFH-DA; and intracellular free calcium concentrations were assayed by spectrofluorophotometer. Cell apoptosis and necrosis were evaluated by the flow cytometry assay and Hoechst staining. Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs), which included the ERK, JNK, and p38, and the apoptotic mechanisms including Bcl-2/Bax, caspase-3, caspase-9 and cytochrome c pathways were examined by Western blot analysis. The activation of MAPKs was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results We found that lysoPC induced death and apoptosis of H9c2 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Baicalein could prevent lysoPC-induced cell death, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and increase of intracellular calcium concentration in H9c2 cardiomyoctes. In addition, baicalein also inhibited lysoPC-induced apoptosis, with associated decreased pro-apoptotic Bax protein, increased anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein, resulting in an increase in the Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Finally, baicalein attenuated lysoPC-induced the expression of cytochrome c, casapase-3, casapase-9, and the phosphorylations of ERK1/2, JNK, and p38. LysoPC-induced ERK1/2, JNK, and p38 activations were inhibited by baicalein. Conclusions Baicalein protects cardiomyocytes from lysoPC-induced apoptosis by reducing ROS production, inhibition of calcium overload, and deactivations of MAPK signaling pathways. PMID:25012390

  7. The Analgesic and Antineuroinflammatory Effect of Baicalein in Cancer-Induced Bone Pain.

    PubMed

    Hu, Shan; Chen, Yu; Wang, Zhi-Fu; Mao-Ying, Qi-Liang; Mi, Wen-Li; Jiang, Jian-Wei; Wu, Gen-Cheng; Wang, Yan-Qing

    2015-01-01

    Cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) is a severe type of chronic pain. It is imperative to explore safe and effective analgesic drugs for CIBP treatment. Baicalein (BE), isolated from the traditional Chinese herbal medicine Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (or Huang Qin), has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In this study, we examined the effect of BE on CIBP and the mechanism of this effect. Intrathecal and oral administration of BE at different doses could alleviate the mechanical allodynia in CIBP rats. Intrathecal 100 μg BE could inhibit the production of IL-6 and TNF-α in the spinal cord of CIBP rats. Moreover, intrathecal 100 μg BE could effectively inhibit the activation of p-p38 and p-JNK MAPK signals in CIBP rats. The analgesic effect of BE may be associated with the inhibition of the expression of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α and through the activation of p-p38 and p-JNK MAPK signals in the spinal cord. These findings suggest that BE is a promising novel analgesic agent for CIBP. PMID:26649065

  8. In vitro potential modulation of baicalin and baicalein on P-glycoprotein activity and expression in Caco-2 cells and rat gut sacs.

    PubMed

    Miao, Qing; Wang, Zhiyong; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Miao, Peipei; Zhao, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Yujie; Ma, Shuangcheng

    2016-09-01

    Context Previous studies have shown that Scutellariae Radix, the dried root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Labiatae), has a certain inhibitory effect on P-glycoprotein (P-gp), but the effects of its main active constituents on P-gp are still ambiguous. Objectives In vitro studies were performed to investigate the effects of its main active constituents (baicalin and its aglycone, baicalein) on the activity and expression of P-gp in intestine using Caco-2 cells and rat gut sacs. Materials and methods In Caco-2 cell experiments, the effects of baicalin and baicalein on P-gp activity were investigated using a P-gp substrate, rhodamine 123 and non-substrate fluorescein Na, by determining their intracellular fluorescence accumulation, and their effects on P-gp expression were determined using flow cytometry. In addition, rat gut sac model was selected to investigate the effects of baicalin and baicalein on the transport of verapamil, a classical P-gp substrate. The gut sacs of male Sprague-Dawley rats were filled with 0.4 mL the test solution contained verapamil (0.2575 mg/mL) and the drugs [baicalin and baicalein, at concentrations of 1/8 IC50 (59.875, 41.5 μg/mL), 1/4 IC50 (119.75, 83 μg/mL) and 1/2 IC50 (239.5, 166 μg/mL)], and then incubated in Tyrode's solution for a period of time. After termination of the incubation, the incubated solution was processed for the subsequent detection. Results According to the results of MTT assay, the IC50 values of verapamil, baicalin and baicalein were 104, 479, 332 μg/mL, respectively. The obtained results from the two models were confirmed mutually. As a result, baicalin exhibited no obvious effect on intracellular accumulation of Rh-123, and almost had no effect on P-gp expression and verapamil transportation, while baicalein significantly increased intracellular accumulation of Rh-123 (p < 0.01), down-regulated P-gp expression (p < 0.01) and increased the transport of verapamil (p < 0

  9. In vitro potential modulation of baicalin and baicalein on P-glycoprotein activity and expression in Caco-2 cells and rat gut sacs.

    PubMed

    Miao, Qing; Wang, Zhiyong; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Miao, Peipei; Zhao, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Yujie; Ma, Shuangcheng

    2016-09-01

    Context Previous studies have shown that Scutellariae Radix, the dried root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Labiatae), has a certain inhibitory effect on P-glycoprotein (P-gp), but the effects of its main active constituents on P-gp are still ambiguous. Objectives In vitro studies were performed to investigate the effects of its main active constituents (baicalin and its aglycone, baicalein) on the activity and expression of P-gp in intestine using Caco-2 cells and rat gut sacs. Materials and methods In Caco-2 cell experiments, the effects of baicalin and baicalein on P-gp activity were investigated using a P-gp substrate, rhodamine 123 and non-substrate fluorescein Na, by determining their intracellular fluorescence accumulation, and their effects on P-gp expression were determined using flow cytometry. In addition, rat gut sac model was selected to investigate the effects of baicalin and baicalein on the transport of verapamil, a classical P-gp substrate. The gut sacs of male Sprague-Dawley rats were filled with 0.4 mL the test solution contained verapamil (0.2575 mg/mL) and the drugs [baicalin and baicalein, at concentrations of 1/8 IC50 (59.875, 41.5 μg/mL), 1/4 IC50 (119.75, 83 μg/mL) and 1/2 IC50 (239.5, 166 μg/mL)], and then incubated in Tyrode's solution for a period of time. After termination of the incubation, the incubated solution was processed for the subsequent detection. Results According to the results of MTT assay, the IC50 values of verapamil, baicalin and baicalein were 104, 479, 332 μg/mL, respectively. The obtained results from the two models were confirmed mutually. As a result, baicalin exhibited no obvious effect on intracellular accumulation of Rh-123, and almost had no effect on P-gp expression and verapamil transportation, while baicalein significantly increased intracellular accumulation of Rh-123 (p < 0.01), down-regulated P-gp expression (p < 0.01) and increased the transport of verapamil (p < 0

  10. Post-injury administration of allicin attenuates ischemic brain injury through sphingosine kinase 2: In vivo and in vitro studies.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jia-Ji; Chang, Ting; Cai, Wen-Ke; Zhang, Zhuo; Yang, Yong-Xiang; Sun, Chao; Li, Zhu-Yi; Li, Wei-Xin

    2015-10-01

    Allicin, one of the main biologically active compounds derived from garlic, has been shown to exert various pharmacological activities and is considered to have therapeutic potential for many pathologic conditions. In the present study, we investigated the potential post-ischemic neuroprotective effects of allicin and its underlying mechanisms. Using a rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model, we found that intraperitoneal treatment with 50 mg/kg allicin significantly reduced brain infarct volume, attenuated cerebral edema and decreased the neurological deficit score. Allicin treatment also diminished TUNEL positive cells and inhibited the activation of caspase-3 after MCAO. These protective effects could be observed even if the administration was delayed to 6 h after injury. In addition, we evaluated the in vitro protective effects of allicin against oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) induced neuronal injury in primary cultured cortical neurons. Allicin (50 μM) increased neuronal viability, decreased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and inhibited apoptotic neuronal death after OGD. These protective effects could be observed even if the administration was delayed to 4 h after injury. Furthermore, allicin significantly increased the expression of sphingosine kinases 2 (Sphk2) both in vivo and in vitro. Pretreatment with the Sphk2 inhibitor ABC294640 partially reversed the protective effects of allicin against MCAO and OGD injury, indicating that an Sphk2-mediated mechanism was involved in allicin-induced protection in our models. The combination of findings suggests that post-injury administration of allicin has potential as a neuroprotective strategy for ischemic stroke. PMID:26275594

  11. Evaluation of baicalein, chitosan and usnic acid effect on Candida parapsilosis and Candida krusei biofilm using a Cellavista device.

    PubMed

    Kvasnickova, Eva; Matatkova, Olga; Cejkova, Alena; Masak, Jan

    2015-11-01

    Biofilms are often the cause of chronic human infections and contaminate industrial or medical equipment. The traditional approach has been to use increasing concentrations of antibiotics, but microorganisms rapidly develop multiresistance to them. Therefore, we investigated the use of natural substances as an alternative solution. The quantification of the biofilms based on the colonized areas was measured using a Cellavista automatic microscope equipped with image analysis software. Using the Cellavista device brings new possibilities for qualification and quantification of sessile cells. In our study, this feature was documented by exploring the antifungal/anti-biofilm activity of amphotericin B, baicalein, chitosan and usnic acid against yeast biofilm formation. The influence of these substances on the formation and eradication of opportunistic pathogenic yeasts Candida parapsilosis and Candida krusei biofilms was studied in 96-well polystyrene microtiter plates. While amphotericin B was not very efficient, the use of baicalein and chitosan, even in minimum inhibitory concentrations, was found to rapidly decrease the colonized areas in the wells. The usnic acid did not display any significant antibiofilm properties even at concentration 300μgml(-1). Our results propose that Cellavista is a promising tool for the study of yeast biofilm formation and the effects of antimicrobial agents. PMID:26362224

  12. Evaluation of baicalein, chitosan and usnic acid effect on Candida parapsilosis and Candida krusei biofilm using a Cellavista device.

    PubMed

    Kvasnickova, Eva; Matatkova, Olga; Cejkova, Alena; Masak, Jan

    2015-11-01

    Biofilms are often the cause of chronic human infections and contaminate industrial or medical equipment. The traditional approach has been to use increasing concentrations of antibiotics, but microorganisms rapidly develop multiresistance to them. Therefore, we investigated the use of natural substances as an alternative solution. The quantification of the biofilms based on the colonized areas was measured using a Cellavista automatic microscope equipped with image analysis software. Using the Cellavista device brings new possibilities for qualification and quantification of sessile cells. In our study, this feature was documented by exploring the antifungal/anti-biofilm activity of amphotericin B, baicalein, chitosan and usnic acid against yeast biofilm formation. The influence of these substances on the formation and eradication of opportunistic pathogenic yeasts Candida parapsilosis and Candida krusei biofilms was studied in 96-well polystyrene microtiter plates. While amphotericin B was not very efficient, the use of baicalein and chitosan, even in minimum inhibitory concentrations, was found to rapidly decrease the colonized areas in the wells. The usnic acid did not display any significant antibiofilm properties even at concentration 300μgml(-1). Our results propose that Cellavista is a promising tool for the study of yeast biofilm formation and the effects of antimicrobial agents.

  13. Repetitive Concussive Traumatic Brain Injury Interacts with Post-Injury Foot Shock Stress to Worsen Social and Depression-Like Behavior in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Klemenhagen, Kristen C.; O’Brien, Scott P.; Brody, David L.

    2013-01-01

    The debilitating effects of repetitive concussive traumatic brain injury (rcTBI) have been increasingly recognized in both military and civilian populations. rcTBI may result in significant neurological, cognitive, and affective sequelae, and is often followed by physical and/or psychological post-injury stressors that may exacerbate the effects of the injury and prolong the recovery period for injured patients. However, the consequences of post-injury stressors and their subsequent effects on social and emotional behavior in the context of rcTBI have been relatively little studied in animal models. Here, we use a mouse model of rcTBI with two closed-skull blunt impacts 24 hours apart and social and emotional behavior testing to examine the consequences of a stressor (foot shock fear conditioning) following brain injury (rcTBI). rcTBI alone did not affect cued or contextual fear conditioning or extinction compared to uninjured sham animals. In the sucrose preference test, rcTBI animals had decreased preference for sucrose, an anhedonia-like behavior, regardless of whether they experienced foot shock stress or were non-shocked controls. However, rcTBI and post-injury foot shock stress had synergistic effects in tests of social recognition and depression-like behavior. In the social recognition test, animals with both injury and shock were more impaired than either non-shocked injured mice or shocked but uninjured mice. In the tail suspension test, injured mice had increased depression-like behavior compared with uninjured mice, and shock stress worsened the depression-like behavior only in the injured mice with no effect in the uninjured mice. These results provide a model of subtle emotional behavioral deficits after combined concussive brain injury and stress, and may provide a platform for testing treatment and prevention strategies for social behavior deficits and mood disorders that are tailored to patients with traumatic brain injury. PMID:24058581

  14. Repetitive concussive traumatic brain injury interacts with post-injury foot shock stress to worsen social and depression-like behavior in mice.

    PubMed

    Klemenhagen, Kristen C; O'Brien, Scott P; Brody, David L

    2013-01-01

    The debilitating effects of repetitive concussive traumatic brain injury (rcTBI) have been increasingly recognized in both military and civilian populations. rcTBI may result in significant neurological, cognitive, and affective sequelae, and is often followed by physical and/or psychological post-injury stressors that may exacerbate the effects of the injury and prolong the recovery period for injured patients. However, the consequences of post-injury stressors and their subsequent effects on social and emotional behavior in the context of rcTBI have been relatively little studied in animal models. Here, we use a mouse model of rcTBI with two closed-skull blunt impacts 24 hours apart and social and emotional behavior testing to examine the consequences of a stressor (foot shock fear conditioning) following brain injury (rcTBI). rcTBI alone did not affect cued or contextual fear conditioning or extinction compared to uninjured sham animals. In the sucrose preference test, rcTBI animals had decreased preference for sucrose, an anhedonia-like behavior, regardless of whether they experienced foot shock stress or were non-shocked controls. However, rcTBI and post-injury foot shock stress had synergistic effects in tests of social recognition and depression-like behavior. In the social recognition test, animals with both injury and shock were more impaired than either non-shocked injured mice or shocked but uninjured mice. In the tail suspension test, injured mice had increased depression-like behavior compared with uninjured mice, and shock stress worsened the depression-like behavior only in the injured mice with no effect in the uninjured mice. These results provide a model of subtle emotional behavioral deficits after combined concussive brain injury and stress, and may provide a platform for testing treatment and prevention strategies for social behavior deficits and mood disorders that are tailored to patients with traumatic brain injury.

  15. Baicalein prevents 6-hydroxydopamine-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in SH-SY5Y cells via inhibition of mitochondrial oxidation and up-regulation of DJ-1 protein expression.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yue-Hua; Yu, Hai-Tao; Pu, Xiao-Ping; Du, Guan-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons at the substantia nigra. Mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the mechanism of cell damage in Parkinson's disease (PD). 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is a dopamine analog which specifically damages dopaminergic neurons. Baicalein has been previously reported to have potential in the treatment of PD. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of action of baicalein against 6-OHDA injury in SH-SY5Y cells. The results showed that baicalein significantly alleviated alterations of mitochondrial redox activity and mitochondrial membrane potential induced by 6-OHDA in a dose-dependent manner in SH-SY5Y cells compared with vehicle group. Futhermore, baicalein decreased the production of ROS and upregulated the DJ-1 protein expression in SH-SY5Y cells. In addition, baicalein also inhibited ROS production and lipid peroxidation (IC50 = 6.32 ± 0.03 μM) in rat brain mitochondia. In summary, the underlying mechanisms of baicalein against 6-OHDA-induced mitochondrial dysfunction may involve inhibition of mitochondrial oxidation and upregulation of DJ-1 protein expression. PMID:24288000

  16. Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of 8-hydroxypiperidinylmethyl-baicalein (BA-j) as a novel selective CDK1 inhibitor in monkey.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hong-Min; Sun, Yu-Ming; Zhang, Shi-Xuan; Ju, Xiu-Lan; Xie, Ai-Yun; Li, Jing; Zou, Liang; Sun, Xiao-Dan; Li, Hai-Liang; Zheng, Yang

    2015-12-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) is the only necessary CDK in the cell proliferation process and a new target in the research and development of anti-cancer drugs. 8-Hydroxypiperidinemethyl-baicalein (BA-j) is a Mannich base derivative of baicalein (BA) isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis, as a novel selective CDK1 inhibitor. 12 metabolites of BA-j in the monkey urine were identified by LC-MS-MS and (1)H NMR. The major metabolic pathways of BA-j, by capturing oxygen free radicals ((.)O2(-)) and releasing peroxides (H2O2), are degraded into active intermediate metabolite dihydroflavonol, then into main metabolite M179 by Shiff reaction, second metabolite M264 by sulfation, trace amount of metabolite M559 by glucuronidation UGT1A9, and without metabolism by CYP3A4. The metabolic process of BA-j by regulating intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was related with BA-j selectively inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Pharmacokinetics of 10mg/kg oral BA-j in monkey by HPLC-UV was best fitted to a two-compartment open model, with t1/2(β) of 4.2h, Cmax 25.4μM at 2h, and Vd 12.6L, meaning the drug distributing widely in body fluids with no special selectivity to certain tissues, and being able to permeate through the blood-brain barrier. The protein binding rate of BA-j was 91.8%. BA-j has excellent druggability for oral administration or injection, and it may be developed into a novel anti-cancer drug as a selective CDK1 inhibitor.

  17. Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of 8-hydroxypiperidinylmethyl-baicalein (BA-j) as a novel selective CDK1 inhibitor in monkey.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hong-Min; Sun, Yu-Ming; Zhang, Shi-Xuan; Ju, Xiu-Lan; Xie, Ai-Yun; Li, Jing; Zou, Liang; Sun, Xiao-Dan; Li, Hai-Liang; Zheng, Yang

    2015-12-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) is the only necessary CDK in the cell proliferation process and a new target in the research and development of anti-cancer drugs. 8-Hydroxypiperidinemethyl-baicalein (BA-j) is a Mannich base derivative of baicalein (BA) isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis, as a novel selective CDK1 inhibitor. 12 metabolites of BA-j in the monkey urine were identified by LC-MS-MS and (1)H NMR. The major metabolic pathways of BA-j, by capturing oxygen free radicals ((.)O2(-)) and releasing peroxides (H2O2), are degraded into active intermediate metabolite dihydroflavonol, then into main metabolite M179 by Shiff reaction, second metabolite M264 by sulfation, trace amount of metabolite M559 by glucuronidation UGT1A9, and without metabolism by CYP3A4. The metabolic process of BA-j by regulating intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was related with BA-j selectively inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Pharmacokinetics of 10mg/kg oral BA-j in monkey by HPLC-UV was best fitted to a two-compartment open model, with t1/2(β) of 4.2h, Cmax 25.4μM at 2h, and Vd 12.6L, meaning the drug distributing widely in body fluids with no special selectivity to certain tissues, and being able to permeate through the blood-brain barrier. The protein binding rate of BA-j was 91.8%. BA-j has excellent druggability for oral administration or injection, and it may be developed into a novel anti-cancer drug as a selective CDK1 inhibitor. PMID:26474673

  18. Baicalein attenuates the quorum sensing-controlled virulence factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and relieves the inflammatory response in P. aeruginosa-infected macrophages by downregulating the MAPK and NFκB signal-transduction pathways

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jing; Kong, Jin-liang; Dong, Bi-ying; Huang, Hong; Wang, Ke; Wu, Li-hong; Hou, Chang-chun; Liang, Yue; Li, Bing; Chen, Yi-qiang

    2016-01-01

    Burgeoning antibiotic resistance and unfavorable outcomes of inflammatory injury after Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection have necessitated the development of novel agents that not only target quorum sensing (QS) but also combat inflammatory injury with the least risk of resistance. This study aimed to assess the anti-QS and anti-inflammatory activities of baicalein, a traditional herbal medicine that is widely used in the People’s Republic of China, against P. aeruginosa infection. We found that subminimum inhibitory concentrations of baicalein efficiently interfered with the QS-signaling pathway of P. aeruginosa via downregulation of the transcription of QS-regulated genes and the translation of QS-signaling molecules. This interference resulted in the global attenuation of QS-controlled virulence factors, such as motility and biofilm formation, and the secretion into the culture supernatant of extracellular virulence factors, including pyocyanin, LasA protease, LasB elastase, and rhamnolipids. Moreover, we examined the anti-inflammatory activity of baicalein and its mode of action via a P. aeruginosa-infected macrophage model to address its therapeutic effect. Baicalein reduced the P. aeruginosa-induced secretion of the inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNFα. In addition, baicalein suppressed P. aeruginosa-induced activation of the MAPK and NFκB signal-transduction pathways in cocultured macrophages; this may be the mechanism by which baicalein inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, our study demonstrates that baicalein represents a potential treatment for P. aeruginosa infection because it clearly exhibits both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities. PMID:26792984

  19. Baicalein attenuates the quorum sensing-controlled virulence factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and relieves the inflammatory response in P. aeruginosa-infected macrophages by downregulating the MAPK and NFκB signal-transduction pathways.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jing; Kong, Jin-Liang; Dong, Bi-Ying; Huang, Hong; Wang, Ke; Wu, Li-Hong; Hou, Chang-Chun; Liang, Yue; Li, Bing; Chen, Yi-Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Burgeoning antibiotic resistance and unfavorable outcomes of inflammatory injury after Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection have necessitated the development of novel agents that not only target quorum sensing (QS) but also combat inflammatory injury with the least risk of resistance. This study aimed to assess the anti-QS and anti-inflammatory activities of baicalein, a traditional herbal medicine that is widely used in the People's Republic of China, against P. aeruginosa infection. We found that subminimum inhibitory concentrations of baicalein efficiently interfered with the QS-signaling pathway of P. aeruginosa via downregulation of the transcription of QS-regulated genes and the translation of QS-signaling molecules. This interference resulted in the global attenuation of QS-controlled virulence factors, such as motility and biofilm formation, and the secretion into the culture supernatant of extracellular virulence factors, including pyocyanin, LasA protease, LasB elastase, and rhamnolipids. Moreover, we examined the anti-inflammatory activity of baicalein and its mode of action via a P. aeruginosa-infected macrophage model to address its therapeutic effect. Baicalein reduced the P. aeruginosa-induced secretion of the inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNFα. In addition, baicalein suppressed P. aeruginosa-induced activation of the MAPK and NFκB signal-transduction pathways in cocultured macrophages; this may be the mechanism by which baicalein inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, our study demonstrates that baicalein represents a potential treatment for P. aeruginosa infection because it clearly exhibits both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities.

  20. Effects of flavonoid-induced oxidative stress on anti-H5N1 influenza a virus activity exerted by baicalein and biochanin A

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Different flavonoids are known to interfere with influenza A virus replication. Recently, we showed that the structurally similar flavonoids baicalein and biochanin A inhibit highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza A virus replication by different mechanisms in A549 lung cells. Here, we investigated the effects of both compounds on H5N1-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and the role of ROS formation during H5N1 replication. Findings Baicalein and biochanin A enhanced H5N1-induced ROS formation in A549 cells and primary human monocyte-derived macrophages. Suppression of ROS formation induced by baicalein and biochanin A using the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine strongly increased the anti-H5N1 activity of both compounds in A549 cells but not in macrophages. Conclusions These findings emphasise that flavonoids induce complex pharmacological actions some of which may interfere with H5N1 replication while others may support H5N1 replication. A more detailed understanding of these actions and the underlying structure-activity relationships is needed to design agents with optimised anti-H5N1 activity. PMID:24958200

  1. Comparative effects of low-level laser therapy pre- and post-injury on mRNA expression of MyoD, myogenin, and IL-6 during the skeletal muscle repair.

    PubMed

    Alves, Agnelo Neves; Ribeiro, Beatriz Guimarães; Fernandes, Kristianne Porta Santos; Souza, Nadhia Helena Costa; Rocha, Lília Alves; Nunes, Fabio Daumas; Bussadori, Sandra Kalil; Mesquita-Ferrari, Raquel Agnelli

    2016-05-01

    This study analyzed the effect of pre-injury and post-injury irradiation with low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the mRNA expression of myogenic regulatory factors and interleukin 6 (IL-6) during the skeletal muscle repair. Male rats were divided into six groups: control group, sham group, LLLT group, injury group; pre-injury LLLT group, and post-injury LLLT group. LLLT was performed with a diode laser (wavelength 780 nm; output power 40 mW' and total energy 3.2 J). Cryoinjury was induced by two applications of a metal probe cooled in liquid nitrogen directly onto the belly of the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle. After euthanasia, the TA muscle was removed for the isolation of total RNA and analysis of MyoD, myogenin, and IL-6 using real-time quantitative PCR. Significant increases were found in the expression of MyoD mRNA at 3 and 7 days as well as the expression of myogenin mRNA at 14 days in the post-injury LLLT group in comparison to injury group. A significant reduction was found in the expression of IL-6 mRNA at 3 and 7 days in the pre-injury LLLT and post-injury LLLT groups. A significant increase in IL-6 mRNA was found at 14 days in the post-injury LLLT group in comparison to the injury group. LLLT administered following muscle injury modulates the mRNA expression of MyoD and myogenin. Moreover, the both forms of LLLT administration were able to modulate the mRNA expression of IL-6 during the muscle repair process.

  2. Site-targeted complement inhibition by a complement receptor 2-conjugated inhibitor (mTT30) ameliorates post-injury neuropathology in mouse brains.

    PubMed

    Rich, Megan C; Keene, Chesleigh N; Neher, Miriam D; Johnson, Krista; Yu, Zhao-Xue; Ganivet, Antoine; Holers, V Michael; Stahel, Philip F

    2016-03-23

    Intracerebral complement activation after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to a cascade of neuroinflammatory pathological sequelae that propagate host-mediated secondary brain injury and adverse outcomes. There are currently no specific pharmacological agents on the market to prevent or mitigate the development of secondary cerebral insults after TBI. A novel chimeric CR2-fH compound (mTT30) provides targeted inhibition of the alternative complement pathway at the site of tissue injury. This experimental study was designed to test the neuroprotective effects of mTT30 in a mouse model of closed head injury. The administration of 500 μg mTT30 i.v. at 1 h, 4 h and 24 h after head injury attenuated complement C3 deposition in injured brains, reduced the extent of neuronal cell death, and decreased post-injury microglial activation, compared to vehicle-injected placebo controls. These data imply that site-targeted alternative pathway complement inhibition may represent a new promising therapeutic avenue for the future management of severe TBI. PMID:26892188

  3. Effect of low-energy laser irradiation and antioxidant supplementation on cell apoptosis during skeletal muscle post-injury regeneration in pigs.

    PubMed

    Otrocka-Domagała, I; Mikołajczyk, A; Paździor-Czapula, K; Gesek, M; Rotkiewicz, T; Mikiewicz, M

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of low-energy laser irradiation, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E supplementation on the apoptosis of macrophages and muscle precursor cells during skeletal muscle regeneration after bupivacaine-induced injury. The experiment was conducted on 75 gilts, divided into 5 experimental groups: I--control, II--low-energy laser irradiation, III--coenzyme Q10, IV--coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E, V--vitamin E. Muscle necrosis was induced by injection of 0.5% bupivacaine hydrochloride. The animals were euthanized on subsequent days after injury. Samples were formalin fixed and processed routinely for histopathology. Apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL method. The obtained results indicate that low-energy laser irradiation has a beneficial effect on macrophages and muscle precursor cell activity during muscle post-injury regeneration and protects these cells against apoptosis. Vitamin E has a slightly lower protective effect, limited mainly to the macrophages. Coenzyme Q10 co-supplemented with vitamin E increases the activity of macrophages and muscle precursor cells, myotube and young muscle formation. Importantly, muscle precursor cells seem to be more sensitive to apoptosis than macrophages in the environment of regenerating damaged muscle. PMID:26618584

  4. Delivery of baicalein and paclitaxel using self-assembled nanoparticles: synergistic antitumor effect in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Xi, Mei; Duan, Xuezhong; Wang, Yong; Kong, Fansheng

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Combination anticancer therapy is promising to generate synergistic anticancer effects to maximize the treatment effect and overcome multidrug resistance. The aim of the study reported here was to develop multifunctional, dual-ligand, modified, self-assembled nanoparticles (NPs) for the combination delivery of baicalein (BCL) and paclitaxel (PTX) prodrugs. Methods Prodrug of PTX and prodrug of BCL, containing dual-targeted ligands of folate (FA) and hyaluronic acid (HA), were synthesized. Multifunctional self-assembled NPs for combination delivery of PTX prodrug and BCL prodrug (PTX-BCL) were prepared and the synergistic antitumor effect was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro transfection efficiency of the novel modified vectors was evaluated in human lung cancer A549 cells and drug-resistant lung cancer A549/PTX cells. The in vivo antitumor efficiency and systemic toxicity of different formulations were further investigated in mice bearing A549/PTX drug-resistant human lung cancer xenografts. Results The size of the PTX-BCL NPs was approximately 90 nm, with a positive zeta potential of +3.3. The PTX-BCL NPs displayed remarkably better antitumor activity over a wide range of drug concentrations, and showed an obvious synergism effect with CI50 values of 0.707 and 0.513, indicating that double-ligand modification and the co-delivery of PTX and BCL prodrugs with self-assembled NPs had remarkable superiority over other formulations. Conclusion The prepared PTX-BCL NP drug-delivery system was proven efficient by its targeting of drug-resistant human lung cancer cells and delivering of BCL and PTX prodrugs. Enhanced synergistic anticancer effects were achieved by PTX-BCL NPs, and multidrug resistance of PTX was overcome by this promising targeted nanomedicine. PMID:26045664

  5. Baicalein protects against the development of angiotensin II-induced abdominal aortic aneurysms by blocking JNK and p38 MAPK signaling.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fang; Chen, Houzao; Yan, Yunfei; Liu, Yue; Zhang, Shuyang; Liu, Depei

    2016-09-01

    An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a permanent, localized dilatation of the abdominal aorta. In western countries, the morbidity of AAA is approximately 8%. Currently, pharmacotherapies for AAA are limited. Here, we demonstrate that baicalein (BAI), the main component of the Chinese traditional drug "Huang Qin", attenuates the incidence and severity of AAA in Apoe (-/-) mice infused with angiotensin II (AngII). Mechanically, BAI treatment decreases AngII-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the aortic wall. Moreover, BAI inhibits inflammatory cell accumulation in the aortas of mice infused with AngII. It also inhibits AngII-induced activation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 to maintain elastin content in vivo. In addition, it blocks AngII cascade by downregulating angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) and inhibiting mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Taken together, our findings show that BAI is an effective agent for AAA prevention. PMID:27333787

  6. Comparison of the homogeneity of mRNAs encoding SFRP5, FZD4, and Fosl1 in post-injury intervals: Subcellular localization of markers may influence wound age estimation.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xi-Yan; Du, Qiu-Xiang; Li, San-Qiang; Sun, Jun-Hong

    2016-10-01

    The inter-group heterogeneity and intra-group homogeneity of relative expression are very necessary when the mRNA were used to determine wound age accurately in forensic medicine. The aim of this study was to assess the intra-group homogeneity of SFRP5, FZD4 and Fosl1 mRNAs in post-injury intervals. The corresponding proteins show different subcellular locations. A total of 78 Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control and contusion groups. At 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, or 48 h (n = 6 per group) after contusion (under anesthesia by chloral hydrate intraperitoneally), the rats were sacrificed using a lethal dose of pentobarbital, and samples of the injured muscles were collected. The raw Ct values of SFRP5, FZD4, and Fosl1 mRNAs were obtained using real-time PCR. After normalized to RPL13 mRNA levels, the coefficient of variation (CV) and the relative average deviation (d%) of each normalized Ct, and their relative expression levels, were calculated in each post-injury interval. Two methods were applied to compare the homogeneity of the three genes. First, each gene was given a score based on its CV value in each post-injury interval. Then, the sum of the 13 scores was calculated; a low sum indicated high homogeneity. Second, the 13 calculated CVs or d%s were used as raw data, which was described as the mean ± SD. Based on this mean ± SD, a CV of the CVs and a d% of the d%s were calculated to represent the variation; a low value indicated high homogeneity. The sum of the variability of FZD4 mRNA was lower than those of the SFRP5 and Fosl1 mRNAs, consistent with the results that the FZD4 mRNA had the lowest mean, the smallest CV of all CVs, and the smallest d% of all d%s, among the three genes. In conclusion, these data indicated that mRNA encoding membranous FZD4 was likely to be more homogeneous than those encoding SFRP5 and Fosl1 within post-injury intervals. PMID:27497723

  7. Comparison of the homogeneity of mRNAs encoding SFRP5, FZD4, and Fosl1 in post-injury intervals: Subcellular localization of markers may influence wound age estimation.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xi-Yan; Du, Qiu-Xiang; Li, San-Qiang; Sun, Jun-Hong

    2016-10-01

    The inter-group heterogeneity and intra-group homogeneity of relative expression are very necessary when the mRNA were used to determine wound age accurately in forensic medicine. The aim of this study was to assess the intra-group homogeneity of SFRP5, FZD4 and Fosl1 mRNAs in post-injury intervals. The corresponding proteins show different subcellular locations. A total of 78 Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control and contusion groups. At 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, or 48 h (n = 6 per group) after contusion (under anesthesia by chloral hydrate intraperitoneally), the rats were sacrificed using a lethal dose of pentobarbital, and samples of the injured muscles were collected. The raw Ct values of SFRP5, FZD4, and Fosl1 mRNAs were obtained using real-time PCR. After normalized to RPL13 mRNA levels, the coefficient of variation (CV) and the relative average deviation (d%) of each normalized Ct, and their relative expression levels, were calculated in each post-injury interval. Two methods were applied to compare the homogeneity of the three genes. First, each gene was given a score based on its CV value in each post-injury interval. Then, the sum of the 13 scores was calculated; a low sum indicated high homogeneity. Second, the 13 calculated CVs or d%s were used as raw data, which was described as the mean ± SD. Based on this mean ± SD, a CV of the CVs and a d% of the d%s were calculated to represent the variation; a low value indicated high homogeneity. The sum of the variability of FZD4 mRNA was lower than those of the SFRP5 and Fosl1 mRNAs, consistent with the results that the FZD4 mRNA had the lowest mean, the smallest CV of all CVs, and the smallest d% of all d%s, among the three genes. In conclusion, these data indicated that mRNA encoding membranous FZD4 was likely to be more homogeneous than those encoding SFRP5 and Fosl1 within post-injury intervals.

  8. Baicalein induces apoptosis and reduces inflammation in LPS-stimulated keratinocytes by blocking the activation of NF-κB: implications for alleviating oral lichen planus.

    PubMed

    Wang, J; Luo, H; Yang, L; Li, Y

    2016-01-01

    ic inflammatory diseases, including OLP, involves in the activation of the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway. Baicalein (BAI) is an alcohol soluble flavonoid known for its anti-inflammatory effect. However, its effectiveness on keratinocytes in OLP remains unclear. In the present study, we examined inflammation in oral mucosa tissue from OLP patients. Hematoxylin and eosin staining showed denser subepithelial lymphocytes infiltration compared to the normal oral mucosa epithelium. TNF-α and IL-6 were up-regulated in oral mucosa tissue of OLP patients. We next stimulated humans keratinocytes (HaCaT cells) with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to create an inflammatory environment like that in the OLP tissue and assessed the effect of BAI on OLP and NF-κB signaling pathways. Our results showed that BAI treatment inhibited the level of TNF-α and IL-6 induced by LPS. However, the cells apoptosis was promoted after BAI treatment. Furthermore, BAI not only inhibited LPS-induced p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, but also NF-κB activation by reducing IκBα phosphorylation and the nuclear translocation of NFκB-p65 and NFκB-p50 from cytoplasm to nucleus in keratinocytes. Our findings suggest that BAI inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines by negatively regulating the NF-κB signaling pathway under LPS simulation in HaCaT cells. PMID:27453273

  9. Analysis of baicalein, baicalin and wogonin in Scutellariae radix and its preparation by microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography with 1-butyl-3-methylimizolium tetrafluoborate ionic liquid as additive.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huige; Tian, Kan; Tang, Jianghong; Qi, Shengda; Chen, Hongli; Chen, Xingguo; Hu, Zhide

    2006-10-01

    Microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography (MEEKC) using 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (BMIM-BF4) ionic liquid (IL) as additive was developed for the analysis of baicalin, wogonin and baicalein in Scutellariae radix and its preparation. After conducting a series of optimizations, baseline separation was obtained for the analytes within 5min under the optimum conditions (sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) 0.88% (m/v) ethyl acetate 0.8% (v/v) butan-1-ol 0.2% (v/v) and the buffer composition were 25% acetonitrile (v/v), 7.5 mM BMIM-BF4 and 10 mM NaH2PO4, pH 8.2, applied voltage 17.5 kV and detection at 254 nm), the method has been successfully applied to the determination and quantification of the analytes in the extracts of S. radix (cooked), S. radix (raw) and Qingfeiyihuowan which was the preparation including S. radix. PMID:16952364

  10. The effects of the flavonoid baicalein and osmolytes on the Mg 2+ accelerated aggregation/fibrillation of carboxymethylated bovine 1SS-alpha-lactalbumin.

    PubMed

    Bomhoff, Greg; Sloan, Kirk; McLain, Corey; Gogol, Edward P; Fisher, Mark T

    2006-09-01

    Many protein conformational diseases arise when proteins form alternative stable conformations, resulting in aggregation and accumulation of the protein as fibrillar deposits, or amyloids. Interestingly, numerous proteins implicated in amyloid protein formation show similar structural and functional properties. Given this similarity, we tested the notion that carboxymethylated bovine alpha-lactalbumin (1SS-alpha-lac) could serve as a general amyloid fibrillation/aggregation model system. Like most amyloid forming systems, Mg2+ ions accelerate 1SS-alpha-lac amyloid fibril formation. While osmolytes such as trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), and sucrose enhanced thioflavin T detected aggregation, a mixture of trehalose and TMAO substantially inhibited aggregation. Most importantly however, the flavonoid, baicalein, known to inhibit alpha-synuclein amyloid fibril formation, also inhibits 1SS-alpha-lac amyloid with the same apparent efficacy. These data suggest that the easily obtainable 1SS-alpha-lac protein can serve as a general amyloid model and that some small molecule amyloid inhibitors may function successfully with many different amyloid systems. PMID:16530158

  11. Mitigating role of baicalein on lysosomal enzymes and xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme status during lung carcinogenesis of Swiss albino mice induced by benzo(a)pyrene.

    PubMed

    Naveenkumar, Chandrashekar; Raghunandakumar, Subramanian; Asokkumar, Selvamani; Binuclara, John; Rajan, Balan; Premkumar, Thandavamoorthy; Devaki, Thiruvengadam

    2014-06-01

    The lungs mainly serve as a primary site for xenobiotic metabolism and constitute an important defense mechanism against inhalation of carcinogens. Our current study aimed to evaluate the chemotherapeutic efficacy of baicalein (BE) in Swiss albino mice exposed to tobacco-specific carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] for its ability to mitigate pulmonary carcinogenesis. Here, we report that altered activities/levels of lysosomal enzymes (cathepsin-D, cathepsin-B, acid phosphatase, β-D-galactosidase, β-D-glucuronidase, and β-D-N-acetyl glucosaminidase), phase I biotransformation enzymes (cytochrome P450, cytochrome b5, NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase, and NADH-cytochrome b5 reductase), and phase II enzymes (glutathione S-transferase, UDP-glucuronyl transferase, and DT-diaphorase) were observed in the B(a)P-induced mice. Treatment with BE significantly restored back the activities/levels of lysosomal enzymes, phase I and phase II biotransformation enzymes. Moreover, assessment of lysosomal abnormalities by transmission electron microscopic examination revealed that BE treatment effectively counteract B(a)P-induced oxidative damages. Protein expression levels studied by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and immunoblot analysis of CYP1A1 revealed that BE treatment effectively negate B(a)P-induced upregulated expression of CYP1A1. Further analysis of scanning electron microscopic studies in lung was carried out to substantiate the anticarcinogenic effect of BE. The overall data suggest that BE treatment significantly inhibits lysosomal and microsomal dysfunction, thus revealing its potent anticarcinogenic effect.

  12. Reducing synuclein accumulation improves neuronal survival after spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Fogerson, Stephanie M; van Brummen, Alexandra J; Busch, David J; Allen, Scott R; Roychaudhuri, Robin; Banks, Susan M L; Klärner, Frank-Gerrit; Schrader, Thomas; Bitan, Gal; Morgan, Jennifer R

    2016-04-01

    Spinal cord injury causes neuronal death, limiting subsequent regeneration and recovery. Thus, there is a need to develop strategies for improving neuronal survival after injury. Relative to our understanding of axon regeneration, comparatively little is known about the mechanisms that promote the survival of damaged neurons. To address this, we took advantage of lamprey giant reticulospinal neurons whose large size permits detailed examination of post-injury molecular responses at the level of individual, identified cells. We report here that spinal cord injury caused a select subset of giant reticulospinal neurons to accumulate synuclein, a synaptic vesicle-associated protein best known for its atypical aggregation and causal role in neurodegeneration in Parkinson's and other diseases. Post-injury synuclein accumulation took the form of punctate aggregates throughout the somata and occurred selectively in dying neurons, but not in those that survived. In contrast, another synaptic vesicle protein, synaptotagmin, did not accumulate in response to injury. We further show that the post-injury synuclein accumulation was greatly attenuated after single dose application of either the "molecular tweezer" inhibitor, CLR01, or a translation-blocking synuclein morpholino. Consequently, reduction of synuclein accumulation not only improved neuronal survival, but also increased the number of axons in the spinal cord proximal and distal to the lesion. This study is the first to reveal that reducing synuclein accumulation is a novel strategy for improving neuronal survival after spinal cord injury.

  13. Baicalein inhibits pulmonary carcinogenesis-associated inflammation and interferes with COX-2, MMP-2 and MMP-9 expressions in-vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Chandrashekar, Naveenkumar; Selvamani, Asokkumar; Subramanian, Raghunandhakumar; Pandi, Anandakumar; Thiruvengadam, Devaki

    2012-05-15

    The objective of the present study is to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of baicalein (BE) on inflammatory cytokines, which is in line with tumor invasion factors and antioxidant defensive system during benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] (50 mg/kg body weight) induced pulmonary carcinogenesis in Swiss albino mice. After experimental period, increased levels of total and differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were observed. Accompanied by marked increase in immature mast cell by toluidine blue staining and mature mast cell by safranin–alcian blue staining in B(a)P-induced lung cancer bearing animals. Protein expression levels studied by immunohistochemistry and immunoblot analysis of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β and inducible nitric oxide synthase were also found to be significantly increased in lung cancer bearing animals. B(a)P-exposed mice lung exhibits activated expression of nuclear transcription factor kappa-B as confirmed by immunofluorescence and immunoblot analysis. Administration of BE (12 mg/kg body weight) significantly counteracted all the above deleterious changes. Moreover, assessment of tumor invasion factors on protein levels by immunoblot and mRNA expression levels by RT-PCR revealed that BE treatment effectively negates B(a)P-induced upregulated expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and cyclo-oxygenase-2. Further analysis of lipid peroxidation markers such as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, hydro-peroxides and antioxidants such as glutathione-S-transferase and reduced glutathione in lung tissue was carried out to substantiate the antioxidant effect of BE. The chemotherapeutic effect observed in the present study is attributed to the potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential by BE against pulmonary carcinogenesis. -- Highlights: ► BE treatment protects from inflammatory cells and mast-cells accumulation in lungs. ► BE altered the expressions of TNF

  14. Baicalein inhibition of oxidative-stress-induced apoptosis via modulation of ERKs activation and induction of HO-1 gene expression in rat glioma cells C6

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Y.-C. . E-mail: yc3270@tmu.edu.tw; Chow, J.-M.; Lin, C.-W.; Wu, C.-Y.; Shen, S.-C.

    2006-10-15

    In the present study, we examined the protective mechanism of baicalein (BE) and its glycoside, baicalin (BI), on hydrogen-peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2})-induced cell death in rat glioma C6 cells. Results of the MTT assay, LDH release assay, and morphological observation showed that H{sub 2}O{sub 2} addition reduced the viability of C6 cells, and this was prevented by the addition of BE but not BI. Incubation of C6 cells with BE significantly decreased the intracellular peroxide level induced by H{sub 2}O{sub 2} according to flow cytometric analysis using DCHF-DA as a fluorescent substrate. Suppression of H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced apoptotic events including DNA ladders, hypodiploid cells, and activation of caspases 3, 8, and, 9 by BE but not BI was identified in C6 cells. The cytotoxicity and phosphorylation of ERK proteins induced by H{sub 2}O{sub 2} were blocked by the ERK inhibitor PD98059. Catalase addition prevented H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced ROS production, ERKs protein phosphorylation, and cell death, and BE dose-dependently inhibited H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced ERK protein phosphorylation in C6 cells. These data suggest that ROS-scavenging activity is involved in BE prevention of H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced cell death via blocking ERKs activation. Additionally, BE but not BI induced heat shock protein 32 (HSP32; HO-1) protein expression in both time- and dose-dependent manners, but not heme oxygenase 2 (HO-2), heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), or heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) protein expression. In the absence of H{sub 2}O{sub 2}, BE induces ERKs protein phosphorylation, and HO-1 protein expression induced by BE was blocked by the addition of cycloheximide, actinomycin D, and the ERK inhibitor PD98059. The addition of the HO inhibitor ZnPP inhibited the protective effect of BE against H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced cytotoxicity in C6 cells according to the MTT assay and apoptotic morphology under microscopic observation, accompanied by blocking the ROS-scavenging activity of BE

  15. Gabapentin attenuates neuropathic pain and improves nerve myelination after chronic sciatic constriction in rats.

    PubMed

    Câmara, Carlos C; Araújo, Celina V; de Sousa, Kalina Kelma Oliveira; Brito, Gerly A C; Vale, Mariana L; Raposo, Ramon da Silva; Mendonça, Fabiana Evaristo; Mietto, Bruno S; Martinez, Ana Maria B; Oriá, Reinaldo B

    2015-10-21

    Gabapentin (GBP) is an anti-convulsive drug often used as analgesic to control neuropathic pain. This study aimed at evaluating oral GBP treatment (30, 60, 120 mg/kg, 60 min prior to chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve (CCSN) along 15-day treatment post-injury, 12 h/12 h) by monitoring spontaneous and induced-pain behaviors in Wistar rats on 5th and 15th days post-injury during early neuropathic events. CCSN animals receiving saline were used as controls. Another aim of this study was to evaluate GBP effects on myelin basic protein (MBP) on the 5th and 15th days post-injury and nerve morphology by transmission electron microscopy to address nerve regeneration. On the 5th and 15th days, GBP (60 mg/kg) reduced neuropathic pain behaviors (scratching and biting) in the ipsilateral paw and alleviated mechanical allodynia in comparison with the neuropathic saline group. GBP significantly increased climbing and rearing behaviors in CCSN and CCSN-free animals suggesting increased motor activity rather than sedation. We found three-fold significant increase in MBP expression by western blots on the 15th day when compared to controls. In addition, GPB (60 mg/kg) improved nerve axonal, fiber and myelin area 15 days post-surgery. In conclusion, GBP alleviated mechanical and thermal allodynia and spontaneous pain-related behaviors and improved later nerve morphology. Our findings suggest that GBP improve nerve remyelination after chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve.

  16. Novel 3alpha-methoxyserrat-14-en-21beta-ol (PJ-1) and 3beta-methoxyserrat-14-en-21beta-ol (PJ-2)-curcumin, kojic acid, quercetin, and baicalein conjugates as HIV agents.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Reiko; Tsujii, Hiroko; Yamada, Takeshi; Kajimoto, Tetsuya; Amano, Fumio; Hasegawa, Junya; Hamashima, Yoshio; Node, Manabu; Katoh, Kayoko; Takebe, Yutaka

    2009-07-15

    Sixteen novel compounds; 3alpha-methoxyserrat-14-en-21beta-ol (1) and 3beta-methoxyserrat-14-en-21beta-ol (2) and their curcumin, kojic acid, quercetin, and baicalein conjugates (3)-(18) were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for in vitro anti-HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) activity in infected C8166-CCR5 cells, a human CD4(+) T-lymphocyte cell line. Among them, kojic acid derivatives, 9-12 showed significant biological activity. In particular, the compound 13, the conjugate of two molecules of 3alpha-methoxyserrat-14-en-21beta-ol (1) and one molecule of kojic acid, exerted significant anti-HIV activity with an EC50 value of 0.12microg/mL.

  17. A Combination Therapy of Nicotinamide and Progesterone Improves Functional Recovery following Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Todd C.; McConomy, Keith S.; Farin, Fred M.; Bammler, Theo K.; MacDonald, James W.; Kantor, Eric D.; Anderson, Gail D.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Neuroprotection, recovery of function, and gene expression were evaluated in an animal model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a combination treatment of nicotinamide (NAM) and progesterone (Prog). Animals received a cortical contusion injury over the sensorimotor cortex, and were treated with either Vehicle, NAM, Prog, or a NAM/Prog combination for 72 h and compared with a craniotomy only (Sham) group. Animals were assessed in a battery of behavioral, sensory, and both fine and gross motor tasks, and given histological assessments at 24 h post-injury to determine lesion cavity size, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes. Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine treatment-specific changes on gene expression. Our results confirm the beneficial effects of treatment with either NAM or Prog, demonstrating significant improvements in recovery of function and a reduction in lesion cavitation, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes 24 h post-injury. The combination treatment of NAM and Prog led to a significant improvement in both neuroprotection at 24 h post-injury and recovery of function in sensorimotor related tasks when compared with individual treatments. The NAM/Prog-treated group was the only treatment group to show a significant reduction of cortical loss 24 h post-injury. The combination appears to affect inflammatory and immune processes, reducing expression of a significant number of genes in both pathways. Further preclinical trials using NAM and Prog as a combination treatment should be conducted to identify the window of opportunity, determine the optimal duration of treatment, and evaluate the combination in other pre-clinical models of TBI. PMID:25313690

  18. Leucine supplementation improves regeneration of skeletal muscles from old rats.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Marcelo G; Silva, Meiricris T; da Cunha, Fernanda M; Moriscot, Anselmo S; Aoki, Marcelo S; Miyabara, Elen H

    2015-12-01

    The decreased regenerative capacity of old skeletal muscles involves disrupted turnover of proteins. This study investigated whether leucine supplementation in old rats could improve muscle regenerative capacity. Young and old male Wistar rats were supplemented with leucine; then, the muscles were cryolesioned and examined after 3 and 10 days. Leucine supplementation attenuated the decrease in the expression of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in young and old muscles on day 3 post-injury and promoted an increase in the cross-sectional area of regenerating myofibers from both young and old soleus muscles on day 10 post-injury. This supplementation decreased the levels of ubiquitinated proteins and increased the proteasome activity in young regenerating muscles, but the opposite effect was observed in old regenerating muscles. Moreover, leucine decreased the inflammation area and induced an increase in the number of proliferating satellite cells in both young and old muscles. Our results suggest that leucine supplementation improves the regeneration of skeletal muscles from old rats, through the preservation of certain biological responses upon leucine supplementation. Such responses comprise the decrease in the inflammation area, increase in the number of proliferating satellite cells and size of regenerating myofibers, combined with the modulation of components of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt-protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) pathway and ubiquitin-proteasome system.

  19. Intravenous Administration of Simvastatin Improves Cognitive Outcome following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats.

    PubMed

    Mountney, Andrea; Boutté, Angela M; Gilsdorf, Janice; Lu, Xi-Chun; Tortella, Frank C; Shear, Deborah A

    2016-08-15

    Simvastatin is a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor commonly used to reduce serum cholesterol. The beneficial effects of oral simvastatin have been reported in pre-clinical models of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The current study was designed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of simvastatin in a model of severe penetrating TBI using an intravenous (IV) route of administration. Rats were subjected to unilateral frontal penetrating ballistic-like brain injury (PBBI), and simvastatin was delivered intravenously at 30 min and 6 h post-injury and continued once daily for either 4 or 10 days post-PBBI. Motor function was assessed on the rotarod and cognitive performance was evaluated using the Morris water maze (MWM) task. Serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and the astrocytic biomarker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), were quantified at 1 h, 4 h, and 24 h post-injury. Histopathological damage was assessed at the terminal end-point. Rotarod testing revealed significant motor deficits in all injury groups but no significant simvastatin-induced therapeutic benefits. All PBBI-injured animals showed cognitive impairment on the MWM test; however, 10-day simvastatin treatment mitigated these effects. Animals showed significantly improved latency to platform and retention scores, whereas the 4-day treatment regimen failed to produce any significant improvements. Biomarker and cytokine analysis showed that IV simvastatin significantly reduced GFAP, interleukin (IL)-1α, and IL-17 serum levels by 4.0-, 2.6-, and 7.0-fold, respectively, at 4 h post-injury. Collectively, our results demonstrate that IV simvastatin provides significant protection against injury-induced cognitive dysfunction and reduces TBI-specific biomarker levels. Further research is warranted to identify the optimal dose and therapeutic window for IV delivery of simvastatin in models of severe TBI.

  20. H2O2 Improves Quality of Radix scutellariae Through Anti-oxidant Effect

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Song; Wu-lin, Cao; Hua, Jiang; Ai-hua, Zhang; Xiang-cai, Meng

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The correlation between the quality and geographical origin of herbal medicine was traced back to Tang Dynasty in China, more than 1200 years, and the effects of ecological environments on the secondary metabolites such as flavonoids have been confirmed. However, little is known about how the adversity impacts on the quality. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) may be medium between the ecological environment and the secondary metabolism. Materials and Methods: The fresh roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi were treated with 0.002 μmol/L, 0.2 μmol/L, and 20 μmol/L H2O2, respectively. A stress model was established to elucidate the change of secondary metabolism, anti-oxidant enzyme system, and enzymes relating to flavonoids. Results: The activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase decreased. Too much H2O2, firstly, boosted transformation of flavonoids glycoside into aglucon with the most remarkable activities through UDP-glucuronate baicalein 7-O-glucuronosyltransferase (UBGAT), and β-glucuronidase (GUS), then regulated the gene expression of phenylalanine ammonialyase, GUS, and UBGAT, and increased the contents of flavones, motivated the flavonoid glycoside converting into aglucon. With this action, the flavones displaced the anti-oxidant enzymes. The higher the dosage, the more baicalein and wogonin increased, the later they took action. Conclusion: The plant secondary metabolites to keep ROS constant are identical to the effective materials in clinic. They are closely linked. H2O2 can improve flavones, especially the aglucon, and further increased the quality of herbal medicine, which possesses very important value in medical practice. SUMMARY H2O2 decreasing the activities of CAT and POD lead to accumulation of more H2O2. Excess of H2O2 up-regulated PAL, BUG, promote biosynthesis of flavones, and enhance the nonenzyme system. “↑” and “↓” represent activity or content “up” and “down” respectively. PMID:27019566

  1. Diffuse Brain Injury Elevates Tonic Glutamate Levels and Potassium-Evoked Glutamate Release in Discrete Brain Regions at Two Days Post-Injury: An Enzyme-Based Microelectrode Array Study

    PubMed Central

    Hinzman, Jason M.; Currier Thomas, Theresa; Burmeister, Jason J.; Quintero, Jorge E.; Huettl, Peter; Pomerleau, Francois; Gerhardt, Greg A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors often suffer from a wide range of post-traumatic deficits, including impairments in behavioral, cognitive, and motor function. Regulation of glutamate signaling is vital for proper neuronal excitation in the central nervous system. Without proper regulation, increases in extracellular glutamate can contribute to the pathophysiology and neurological dysfunction seen in TBI. In the present studies, enzyme-based microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that selectively measure extracellular glutamate at 2 Hz enabled the examination of tonic glutamate levels and potassium chloride (KCl)-evoked glutamate release in the prefrontal cortex, dentate gyrus, and striatum of adult male rats 2 days after mild or moderate midline fluid percussion brain injury. Moderate brain injury significantly increased tonic extracellular glutamate levels by 256% in the dentate gyrus and 178% in the dorsal striatum. In the dorsal striatum, mild brain injury significantly increased tonic glutamate levels by 200%. Tonic glutamate levels were significantly correlated with injury severity in the dentate gyrus and striatum. The amplitudes of KCl-evoked glutamate release were increased significantly only in the striatum after moderate injury, with a 249% increase seen in the dorsal striatum. Thus, with the MEAs, we measured discrete regional changes in both tonic and KCl-evoked glutamate signaling, which were dependent on injury severity. Future studies may reveal the specific mechanisms responsible for glutamate dysregulation in the post-traumatic period, and may provide novel therapeutic means to improve outcomes after TBI. PMID:20233041

  2. Progesterone Reduces Secondary Damage, Preserves White Matter, and Improves Locomotor Outcome after Spinal Cord Contusion

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Ovejero, Daniel; González, Susana; Paniagua-Torija, Beatriz; Lima, Analía; Molina-Holgado, Eduardo; De Nicola, Alejandro F.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Progesterone is an anti-inflammatory and promyelinating agent after spinal cord injury, but its effectiveness on functional recovery is still controversial. In the current study, we tested the effects of chronic progesterone administration on tissue preservation and functional recovery in a clinically relevant model of spinal cord lesion (thoracic contusion). Using magnetic resonance imaging, we observed that progesterone reduced both volume and rostrocaudal extension of the lesion at 60 days post-injury. In addition, progesterone increased the number of total mature oligodendrocytes, myelin basic protein immunoreactivity, and the number of axonal profiles at the epicenter of the lesion. Further, progesterone treatment significantly improved motor outcome as assessed using the Basso-Bresnahan-Beattie scale for locomotion and CatWalk gait analysis. These data suggest that progesterone could be considered a promising therapeutical candidate for spinal cord injury. PMID:24460450

  3. Ketogenic Diet Improves Forelimb Motor Function after Spinal Cord Injury in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Streijger, Femke; Plunet, Ward T.; Lee, Jae H. T.; Liu, Jie; Lam, Clarrie K.; Park, Soeyun; Hilton, Brett J.; Fransen, Bas L.; Matheson, Keely A. J.; Assinck, Peggy; Kwon, Brian K.; Tetzlaff, Wolfram

    2013-01-01

    High fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diets (KD) are validated non-pharmacological treatments for some forms of drug-resistant epilepsy. Ketones reduce neuronal excitation and promote neuroprotection. Here, we investigated the efficacy of KD as a treatment for acute cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats. Starting 4 hours following C5 hemi-contusion injury animals were fed either a standard carbohydrate based diet or a KD formulation with lipid to carbohydrate plus protein ratio of 3:1. The forelimb functional recovery was evaluated for 14 weeks, followed by quantitative histopathology. Post-injury 3:1 KD treatment resulted in increased usage and range of motion of the affected forepaw. Furthermore, KD improved pellet retrieval with recovery of wrist and digit movements. Importantly, after returning to a standard diet after 12 weeks of KD treatment, the improved forelimb function remained stable. Histologically, the spinal cords of KD treated animals displayed smaller lesion areas and more grey matter sparing. In addition, KD treatment increased the number of glucose transporter-1 positive blood vessels in the lesion penumbra and monocarboxylate transporter-1 (MCT1) expression. Pharmacological inhibition of MCTs with 4-CIN (α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate) prevented the KD-induced neuroprotection after SCI, In conclusion, post-injury KD effectively promotes functional recovery and is neuroprotective after cervical SCI. These beneficial effects require the function of monocarboxylate transporters responsible for ketone uptake and link the observed neuroprotection directly to the function of ketones, which are known to exert neuroprotection by multiple mechanisms. Our data suggest that current clinical nutritional guidelines, which include relatively high carbohydrate contents, should be revisited. PMID:24223849

  4. Severe neurotrauma in Switzerland: have short-term outcomes improved?

    PubMed

    Haller, Chiara Simone; Walder, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Neurotrauma has a high incidence in high-income countries (790 per 100,000 population per year) and can be considered a silent epidemic. Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major burden for societies and is associated with high costs for both immediate and long-term care. Population-based studies including patients with severe TBI are rare. A recent cohort study in Switzerland observed an incidence of 11 / 100,000 population / year. Mortality rate at 14 days post-injury was 30% in Switzerland and was associated with the severity of the injury and the age of the injured person. Thirty-five percent of patients were >65 years; in this subpopulation the incidence (22/100,000/year) and death rate (41%) were higher; this high proportion of elderly patients in this setting is new. A decrease in disability in the first year after TBI was observed in large multicentre cohort studies including the Swiss cohort study. There is some evidence that the speed of decrease of disability over time is associated with intensive neurorehabilitation. In conclusion, short-term outcome may have improved for younger patients over recent years, but this improvement may be masked by the higher proportion of elderly patients with less favourable outcomes. Additionally, we propose that clinical pathways from the prehospital period to rehabilitation could be improved, and in turn allow a higher level of positive outcomes not only in young but also in elderly patients.

  5. Deficiency in complement C1q improves histological and functional locomotor outcome after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Galvan, Manuel D.; Luchetti, Sabina; Burgos, Adrian M.; Nguyen, Hal X.; Hooshmand, Mitra J.; Anderson, Aileen J.; Hamers, Frank P.T.

    2009-01-01

    Although studies have suggested a role for the complement system in the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury (SCI), that role remains poorly defined. Additionally, the relative contribution of individual complement pathways in SCI is unknown. Our initial studies revealed that systemic complement activation was strongly influenced by genetic background and gender. Thus, to investigate the role of the classical complement pathway in contusion-induced SCI, male C1q knockout (KO) and wildtype (WT) mice on a complement sufficient background (BUB) received a mild-moderate T9 contusion injury with the Infinite Horizon (IH) impactor. BUB C1q KO mice exhibited greater locomotor recovery in comparison to BUB WT mice (p < 0.05). Improved recovery observed in BUB C1q KO mice was also associated with decreased threshold for withdrawal from a mild stimulus using von Frey filament testing. Surprisingly, quantification of microglia/macrophages (F4/80) by FACS analysis showed that BUB C1q KO mice exhibited a significantly greater percentage of macrophages in the spinal cord compared to BUB WT mice 3 days post injury (p < 0.05). However, this increased macrophage response appeared to be transient as stereological assessment of spinal cord tissue obtained 28 days post injury revealed no difference in F4/80 positive cells between groups. Stereological assessment of spinal cord tissue showed that BUB C1q KO mice had reduced lesion volume and an increase in tissue sparing in comparison to BUB WT mice (p < 0.05). Taken together, these data suggest that initiation of the classical complement pathway via C1q is detrimental to recovery after SCI. PMID:19091977

  6. Heat stress preconditioning improves cognitive outcome after diffuse axonal injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Su, Zhangjie; Han, Dadong; Sun, Bo; Qiu, Jiaheng; Li, Ying; Li, Mu; Zhang, Tao; Yang, Zhuo

    2009-10-01

    This study investigates the influence of heat stress preconditioning on cognitive outcome for rats with diffuse axonal injury (DAI), and attempts to examine the underlying mechanisms. Wistar rats were divided into four groups: rats subjected to heat stress preconditioning 24 h before induction of DAI (n = 10; HSDAI group), a DAI alone group (n = 10), a heat stress alone group (n = 10), and a sham-injury group (n = 10). From day 14 post-injury, the rats' learning abilities and memory were tested using the Morris water maze (MWM) task, followed by long-term potentiation (LTP) recording of the hippocampus. In addition, hematoxylin and eosin staining (H&E) and immunohistochemical staining (IHC) were conducted to determine the presence of brain lesions and expression of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) at 24 h, and on days 14 and 20 post-injury. The rats in the DAI group displayed impaired MWM performance and attenuated LTP compared to the sham group (p < 0.05); the rats in the HSDAI and HS groups showed significant improvement in both MWM and LTP compared with the DAI group (p < 0.05), and no significant differences with the sham group (p > 0.05). Following injury, retraction balls, shrunken neurons, and HSP70 expression were visible in the brains of rats from the DAI and HSDAI groups; recovery was expedited in the rats belonging to the HSDAI group, as these pathological changes were alleviated, coincident with higher expression of HSP70. The rats' abilities for learning and memory were impaired following DAI; this may be due to the disconnection of brain regions, damage to neurons in the hippocampus, and a decrease in synaptic plasticity. Heat stress preconditioning is able to significantly attenuate this cognitive impairment, possibly mediated by the neuroprotective effect of HSP70.

  7. Improvement patterns among survivors of brain injury: three case examples documenting the effectiveness of memory compensation strategies.

    PubMed

    Van Hulle, Andrea; Hux, Karen

    2006-01-01

    Three case examples illustrate possible patterns of improved functioning that may emerge as survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) attempt compensation for persistent memory deficits impeding independent living. The task selected for report was independence in remembering to take regularly-prescribed medications. Strategies applied to promote learning included use of written reminders and use of two assistive technology (AT) devices-a wristwatch alarm (WatchMinder) and a digital voice recorder and alarm system (Voice Craft ). With participation in the intervention programme, two of the three individuals demonstrated increased independence in remembering to take medications; the third did not. The case examples illustrate varying responses of people with TBI to intervention using compensatory strategies and AT devices. Professionals and caretakers working with survivors must recognize the uniqueness of each survivor, must adjust intervention programmes accordingly and must be willing to persist in trying to increase functional independence repeatedly for many years post-injury.

  8. Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-2 (SOCS2) Regulates the Microglial Response and Improves Functional Outcome after Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Basrai, Harleen S.; Christie, Kimberly J.; Turbic, Alisa; Bye, Nicole; Turnley, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently characterized by neuronal, axonal and myelin loss, reactive gliosis and neuroinflammation, often associated with functional deficits. Endogenous repair mechanisms include production of new neurons from precursor cells, but usually the new neurons fail to integrate and survive more than a few weeks. This is in part mediated by the toxic and inflammatory environment present in the injured brain which activates precursor cells to proliferate and differentiate but limits survival of the newborn progeny. Therefore, an understanding of mechanisms that regulate production and survival of newborn neurons and the neuroinflammatory response after brain injury may lead to therapeutic options to improve outcomes. Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 2 (SOCS2) promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and survival of newborn neurons in the adult brain and regulates anti-inflammatory responses in the periphery, suggesting it may be a useful candidate to improve outcomes of TBI. In this study the functional and cellular responses of SOCS2 over-expressing transgenic (SOCS2Tg) mice were compared to wildtype littermates following mild or moderately severe TBI. Unlike wildtype controls, SOCS2Tg mice showed functional improvement on a ladder test, with a smaller lesion volume at 7d post injury and increased numbers of proliferative CD11b+ microglia/macrophages at 35d post-injury in the mild injury paradigm. At 7d post-moderately severe injury there was an increase in the area covered by cells expressing an anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype marker (CD206+) but no difference in cells with a pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype marker (CD16/32+). No effect of SOCS2 overexpression was observed in production or survival of newborn neurons, even in the presence of the neuroprotective agent erythropoietin (EPO). Therefore, SOCS2 may improve outcome of TBI in mice by regulating aspects of the neuroinflammatory response, promoting a more anti-inflammatory environment

  9. Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-2 (SOCS2) Regulates the Microglial Response and Improves Functional Outcome after Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice.

    PubMed

    Basrai, Harleen S; Christie, Kimberly J; Turbic, Alisa; Bye, Nicole; Turnley, Ann M

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently characterized by neuronal, axonal and myelin loss, reactive gliosis and neuroinflammation, often associated with functional deficits. Endogenous repair mechanisms include production of new neurons from precursor cells, but usually the new neurons fail to integrate and survive more than a few weeks. This is in part mediated by the toxic and inflammatory environment present in the injured brain which activates precursor cells to proliferate and differentiate but limits survival of the newborn progeny. Therefore, an understanding of mechanisms that regulate production and survival of newborn neurons and the neuroinflammatory response after brain injury may lead to therapeutic options to improve outcomes. Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 2 (SOCS2) promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and survival of newborn neurons in the adult brain and regulates anti-inflammatory responses in the periphery, suggesting it may be a useful candidate to improve outcomes of TBI. In this study the functional and cellular responses of SOCS2 over-expressing transgenic (SOCS2Tg) mice were compared to wildtype littermates following mild or moderately severe TBI. Unlike wildtype controls, SOCS2Tg mice showed functional improvement on a ladder test, with a smaller lesion volume at 7d post injury and increased numbers of proliferative CD11b+ microglia/macrophages at 35d post-injury in the mild injury paradigm. At 7d post-moderately severe injury there was an increase in the area covered by cells expressing an anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype marker (CD206+) but no difference in cells with a pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype marker (CD16/32+). No effect of SOCS2 overexpression was observed in production or survival of newborn neurons, even in the presence of the neuroprotective agent erythropoietin (EPO). Therefore, SOCS2 may improve outcome of TBI in mice by regulating aspects of the neuroinflammatory response, promoting a more anti-inflammatory environment

  10. Salidroside Improves Behavioral and Histological Outcomes and Reduces Apoptosis via PI3K/Akt Signaling after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Szu-Fu; Tsai, Hsin-Ju; Hung, Tai-Ho; Chen, Chien-Cheng; Lee, Chao Yu; Wu, Chun-Hu; Wang, Pei-Yi; Liao, Nien-Chieh

    2012-01-01

    Background Traumatic brain injury (TBI) induces a complex sequence of apopototic cascades that contribute to secondary tissue damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of salidroside, a phenolic glycoside with potent anti-apoptotic properties, on behavioral and histological outcomes, brain edema, and apoptosis following experimental TBI and the possible involvement of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway. Methodology/Principal Findings Mice subjected to controlled cortical impact injury received intraperitoneal salidroside (20, or 50 mg/kg) or vehicle injection 10 min after injury. Behavioral studies, histology analysis and brain water content assessment were performed. Levels of PI3K/Akt signaling-related molecules, apoptosis-related proteins, cytochrome C (CytoC), and Smac/DIABLO were also analyzed. LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, was administered to examine the mechanism of protection. The protective effect of salidroside was also investigated in primary cultured neurons subjected to stretch injury. Treatment with 20 mg/kg salidroside_significantly improved functional recovery and reduced brain tissue damage up to post-injury day 28. Salidroside_also significantly reduced neuronal death, apoptosis, and brain edema at day 1. These changes were associated with significant decreases in cleaved caspase-3, CytoC, and Smac/DIABLO at days 1 and 3. Salidroside increased phosphorylation of Akt on Ser473 and the mitochondrial Bcl-2/Bax ratio at day 1, and enhanced phosphorylation of Akt on Thr308 at day 3. This beneficial effect was abolished by pre-injection of LY294002. Moreover, delayed administration of salidroside at 3 or 6 h post-injury reduced neuronal damage at day 1. Salidroside treatment also decreased neuronal vulnerability to stretch-induced injury in vitro. Conclusions/Significance Post-injury salidroside improved long-term behavioral and histological outcomes and reduced brain edema and apoptosis

  11. Helium-neon laser improves skin repair in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Peccin, Maria Stella; Renno, Ana Claudia Muniz; de Oliveira, Flavia; Giusti, Paulo Ricardo; Ribeiro, Daniel Araki

    2012-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of helium-neon laser on skin injury in rabbits. For this purpose, 15 New Zealand rabbits underwent bilateral skin damage in leg. Helium-neon laser light, at a fluence of 6 J∕cm2 and wavelength of 632.8 nm, was applied on the left legs (laser group). The right leg lesions (control group) served as negative control. All sections were histopathologically analyzed using HE sections. The results showed little infiltration of inflammatory cells, with proliferation of fibroblasts forming a few fibrous connective tissue after 1 week post-injury. The lesion on the 3rd week was characterized by granulation tissue, which formed from proliferated fibrous connective tissue, congested blood vessels and mild mononuclear cell infiltration. On the 5th week, it was observed that debris material surrounded by a thick layer of connective tissue and dense collage, fibroblasts cells present in the dermis covered by a thick epidermal layer represented by keratinized epithelium. Taken together, our results suggest that helium-neon laser is able to improve skin repair in rabbits at early phases of recovery. PMID:23057697

  12. Helium-neon laser improves skin repair in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Peccin, Maria Stella; Renno, Ana Claudia Muniz; de Oliveira, Flavia; Giusti, Paulo Ricardo; Ribeiro, Daniel Araki

    2012-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of helium-neon laser on skin injury in rabbits. For this purpose, 15 New Zealand rabbits underwent bilateral skin damage in leg. Helium-neon laser light, at a fluence of 6 J∕cm2 and wavelength of 632.8 nm, was applied on the left legs (laser group). The right leg lesions (control group) served as negative control. All sections were histopathologically analyzed using HE sections. The results showed little infiltration of inflammatory cells, with proliferation of fibroblasts forming a few fibrous connective tissue after 1 week post-injury. The lesion on the 3rd week was characterized by granulation tissue, which formed from proliferated fibrous connective tissue, congested blood vessels and mild mononuclear cell infiltration. On the 5th week, it was observed that debris material surrounded by a thick layer of connective tissue and dense collage, fibroblasts cells present in the dermis covered by a thick epidermal layer represented by keratinized epithelium. Taken together, our results suggest that helium-neon laser is able to improve skin repair in rabbits at early phases of recovery.

  13. Ketogenic diet decreases oxidative stress and improves mitochondrial respiratory complex activity.

    PubMed

    Greco, Tiffany; Glenn, Thomas C; Hovda, David A; Prins, Mayumi L

    2016-09-01

    Cerebral metabolism of ketones after traumatic brain injury (TBI) improves neuropathology and behavior in an age-dependent manner. Neuroprotection is attributed to improved cellular energetics, although other properties contribute to the beneficial effects. Oxidative stress is responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction after TBI. Ketones decrease oxidative stress, increase antioxidants and scavenge free radicals. It is hypothesized that ketogenic diet (KD) will decrease post-TBI oxidative stress and improve mitochondria. Postnatal day 35 (PND35) male rats were given sham or controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury and placed on standard (STD) or KD. Ipsilateral cortex homogenates and mitochondria were assayed for markers of oxidative stress, antioxidant expression and mitochondrial function. Oxidative stress was significantly increased at 6 and 24 h post-injury and attenuated by KD while inducing protein expression of antioxidants, NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone 1 (NQO1) and superoxide dismutase (SOD1/2). Complex I activity was inhibited in STD and KD groups at 6 h and normalized by 24 h. KD significantly improved Complex II-III activity that was reduced in STD at 6 h. Activity remained reduced at 24 h in STD and unchanged in KD animals. These results strongly suggest that ketones improve post-TBI cerebral metabolism by providing alternative substrates and through antioxidant properties, preventing oxidative stress-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction.

  14. Rho kinase inhibition following traumatic brain injury in mice promotes functional improvement and acute neuron survival but has little effect on neurogenesis, glial responses or neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Bye, Nicole; Christie, Kimberly J; Turbic, Alisa; Basrai, Harleen S; Turnley, Ann M

    2016-05-01

    Inhibition of the Rho/Rho kinase pathway has been shown to be beneficial in a variety of neural injuries and diseases. In this manuscript we investigate the role of Rho kinase inhibition in recovery from traumatic brain injury using a controlled cortical impact model in mice. Mice subjected to a moderately severe TBI were treated for 1 or 4 weeks with the Rho kinase inhibitor Y27632, and functional outcomes and neuronal and glial cell responses were analysed at 1, 7 and 35 days post-injury. We hypothesised that Y27632-treated mice would show functional improvement, with augmented recruitment of neuroblasts from the SVZ and enhanced survival of newborn neurons in the pericontusional cortex, with protection against neuronal degeneration, neuroinflammation and modulation of astrocyte reactivity and blood-brain-barrier permeability. While Rho kinase inhibition enhanced recovery of motor function after trauma, there were no substantial increases in the recruitment of DCX(+) neuroblasts or the number of BrdU(+) or EdU(+) labelled newborn neurons in the pericontusional cortex of Y27632-treated mice. Inhibition of Rho kinase significantly reduced the number of degenerating cortical neurons at 1day post-injury compared to saline controls but had no longer term effect on neuronal degeneration, with only modest effects on astrocytic reactivity and macrophage/microglial responses. Overall, this study showed that Rho kinase contributes to acute neurodegenerative processes in the injured cortex but does not play a significant role in SVZ neural precursor cell-derived adult neurogenesis, glial responses or blood-brain barrier permeability following a moderately severe brain injury. PMID:26896832

  15. Rho kinase inhibition following traumatic brain injury in mice promotes functional improvement and acute neuron survival but has little effect on neurogenesis, glial responses or neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Bye, Nicole; Christie, Kimberly J; Turbic, Alisa; Basrai, Harleen S; Turnley, Ann M

    2016-05-01

    Inhibition of the Rho/Rho kinase pathway has been shown to be beneficial in a variety of neural injuries and diseases. In this manuscript we investigate the role of Rho kinase inhibition in recovery from traumatic brain injury using a controlled cortical impact model in mice. Mice subjected to a moderately severe TBI were treated for 1 or 4 weeks with the Rho kinase inhibitor Y27632, and functional outcomes and neuronal and glial cell responses were analysed at 1, 7 and 35 days post-injury. We hypothesised that Y27632-treated mice would show functional improvement, with augmented recruitment of neuroblasts from the SVZ and enhanced survival of newborn neurons in the pericontusional cortex, with protection against neuronal degeneration, neuroinflammation and modulation of astrocyte reactivity and blood-brain-barrier permeability. While Rho kinase inhibition enhanced recovery of motor function after trauma, there were no substantial increases in the recruitment of DCX(+) neuroblasts or the number of BrdU(+) or EdU(+) labelled newborn neurons in the pericontusional cortex of Y27632-treated mice. Inhibition of Rho kinase significantly reduced the number of degenerating cortical neurons at 1day post-injury compared to saline controls but had no longer term effect on neuronal degeneration, with only modest effects on astrocytic reactivity and macrophage/microglial responses. Overall, this study showed that Rho kinase contributes to acute neurodegenerative processes in the injured cortex but does not play a significant role in SVZ neural precursor cell-derived adult neurogenesis, glial responses or blood-brain barrier permeability following a moderately severe brain injury.

  16. Physical exercise improves arterial stiffness after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Hubli, Michèle; Currie, Katharine D.; West, Christopher R.; Gee, Cameron M.; Krassioukov, Andrei V.

    2014-01-01

    Objective/background Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), the gold-standard assessment of central arterial stiffness, has prognostic value for cardiovascular disease risk in able-bodied individuals. The aim of this study was to compare aortic PWV in athletes and non-athletes with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design Cross-sectional comparison. Methods Aortic PWV was assessed in 20 individuals with motor-complete, chronic SCI (C2–T5; 18 ± 8 years post-injury) using applanation tonometry at the carotid and femoral arterial sites. Ten elite hand-cyclists were matched for sex to 10 non-athletes; age and time since injury were comparable between the groups. Heart rate and discrete brachial blood pressure measurements were collected throughout testing. Outcome measures Aortic PWV, blood pressure, heart rate. Results Aortic PWV was significantly lower in athletes vs. non-athletes (6.9 ± 1.0 vs. 8.7 ± 2.5 m/second, P = 0.044). There were no significant between-group differences in resting supine mean arterial blood pressure (91 ± 19 vs. 81 ± 10 mmHg) and heart rate (60 ± 10 vs. 58 ± 6 b.p.m.). Conclusion Athletes with SCI exhibited improved central arterial stiffness compared to non-athletes, which is in agreement with the previous able-bodied literature. This finding implies that chronic exercise training may improve arterial health and potentially lower cardiovascular disease risk in the SCI population. PMID:24976366

  17. Primed Mesenchymal Stem Cells Alter Healing and Improve Rat Medial Collateral Ligament Healing

    PubMed Central

    Saether, Erin E.; Chamberlain, Connie S.; Aktas, Erdem; Leiferman, Ellen M.; Brickson, Stacey L.; Vanderby, Ray

    2016-01-01

    Cell therapy with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can improve tissue healing. It is possible, however, that priming MSCs prior to implantation can further enhance their therapeutic benefit. This study was then performed to test whether priming MSCs to be more anti-inflammatory would enhance healing in a rat ligament model, i.e. a medial collateral ligament (MCL). MSCs were primed for 48 hours using polyinosinic acid and polycytidylic acid (Poly (I:C)) at a concentration of 1µg/ml. Rat MCLs were surgically transected and administered 1×106 cells in a carrier solution at the time of injury. A series of healing metrics were analyzed at days 4 and 14 post-injury in the ligaments that received primed MSCs, unprimed MSCs, or no cells (controls). Applying primed MSCs beneficially altered healing by affecting endothelialization, type 2 macrophage presence, apoptosis, procollagen 1α, and IL-1Ra levels. When analyzing MSC localization, both primed and unprimed MSCs co-localized with endothelial cells and pericytes suggesting a supportive role in angiogenesis. Priming MSCs prior to implantation altered key ligament healing events, resulted in a more anti-inflammatory environment, and improved healing. PMID:26530282

  18. Panax notoginseng saponins improve recovery after spinal cord transection by upregulating neurotrophic factors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Li, Yu; Li, Xuan-Peng; Li, Yang

    2015-08-01

    Saponins extracted from Panax notoginseng are neuroprotective, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. In the present study, we established a rat model of thoracic (T10) spinal cord transection, and injected Panax notoginseng saponins (100 mg/kg) or saline 30 minutes after injury. Locomotor functions were assessed using the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scale from 1 to 30 days after injury, and immunohistochemistry was carried out in the ventral horn of the spinal cord at 1 and 7 days to determine expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Our results show that at 7-30 days post injury, the BBB score was higher in rats treated with Panax notoginseng saponins than in those that received saline. Furthermore, at 7 days, more NGF- and BDNF-immunoreactive neurons were observed in the ventral horn of the spinal cord of rats that had received Panax notoginseng saponins than in those that received saline. These results indicate that Panax notoginseng saponins caused an upregulation of NGF and BDNF in rats with spinal cord transection, and improved hindlimb motor function. PMID:26487862

  19. Panax notoginseng saponins improve recovery after spinal cord transection by upregulating neurotrophic factors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bo; Li, Yu; Li, Xuan-peng; Li, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Saponins extracted from Panax notoginseng are neuroprotective, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. In the present study, we established a rat model of thoracic (T10) spinal cord transection, and injected Panax notoginseng saponins (100 mg/kg) or saline 30 minutes after injury. Locomotor functions were assessed using the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scale from 1 to 30 days after injury, and immunohistochemistry was carried out in the ventral horn of the spinal cord at 1 and 7 days to determine expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Our results show that at 7–30 days post injury, the BBB score was higher in rats treated with Panax notoginseng saponins than in those that received saline. Furthermore, at 7 days, more NGF- and BDNF-immunoreactive neurons were observed in the ventral horn of the spinal cord of rats that had received Panax notoginseng saponins than in those that received saline. These results indicate that Panax notoginseng saponins caused an upregulation of NGF and BDNF in rats with spinal cord transection, and improved hindlimb motor function. PMID:26487862

  20. Aloe vera and Vitis vinifera improve wound healing in an in vivo rat burn wound model.

    PubMed

    Lin, Li-Xin; Wang, Peng; Wang, Yu-Ting; Huang, Yong; Jiang, Lei; Wang, Xue-Ming

    2016-02-01

    Aloe vera and Vitis vinifera have been traditionally used as wound healing agents. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of aloe emodin and resveratrol in the burn wound healing procedure. Burn wounds are common in developed and developing countries, however, in developing countries, the incidence of severe complications is higher and financial resources are limited. The results of the present study demonstrated that neither aloe emodin or resveratrol were cytotoxic to THP-1 macrophages at concentrations of 1, 100 and 500 ng/ml. A significant increase in wound-healing activity was observed in mice treated with the aloe emodin and resveratrol, compared with those which received control treatments. The levels of IL-1β in the exudates of the burn wound area of the treated mice increased in a time-dependent manner over 7 days following burn wound injury. At 10 days post-injury, steady and progressive wound healing was observed in the control animals. The present study confirmed that increased wound healing occurs following treatment with aloe emodin,, compared with resveratrol, providing support for the use of Aloe vera plants to improve burn wound healing. PMID:26677006

  1. Aloe vera and Vitis vinifera improve wound healing in an in vivo rat burn wound model.

    PubMed

    Lin, Li-Xin; Wang, Peng; Wang, Yu-Ting; Huang, Yong; Jiang, Lei; Wang, Xue-Ming

    2016-02-01

    Aloe vera and Vitis vinifera have been traditionally used as wound healing agents. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of aloe emodin and resveratrol in the burn wound healing procedure. Burn wounds are common in developed and developing countries, however, in developing countries, the incidence of severe complications is higher and financial resources are limited. The results of the present study demonstrated that neither aloe emodin or resveratrol were cytotoxic to THP-1 macrophages at concentrations of 1, 100 and 500 ng/ml. A significant increase in wound-healing activity was observed in mice treated with the aloe emodin and resveratrol, compared with those which received control treatments. The levels of IL-1β in the exudates of the burn wound area of the treated mice increased in a time-dependent manner over 7 days following burn wound injury. At 10 days post-injury, steady and progressive wound healing was observed in the control animals. The present study confirmed that increased wound healing occurs following treatment with aloe emodin,, compared with resveratrol, providing support for the use of Aloe vera plants to improve burn wound healing.

  2. Sensory Stimulation Prior to Spinal Cord Injury Induces Post-Injury Dysesthesia in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hoschouer, Emily L.; Finseth, Taylor; Flinn, Sharon; Basso, D. Michele

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Chronic pain and dysesthesias are debilitating conditions that can arise following spinal cord injury (SCI). Research studies frequently employ rodent models of SCI to better understand the underlying mechanisms and develop better treatments for these phenomena. While evoked withdrawal tests can assess hypersensitivity in these SCI models, there is little consensus over how to evaluate spontaneous sensory abnormalities that are seen in clinical SCI subjects. Overgrooming (OG) and biting after peripheral nerve injury or spinal cord excitotoxic lesions are thought to be one behavioral demonstration of spontaneous neuropathic pain or dysesthesia. However, reports of OG after contusion SCI are largely anecdotal and conditions causing this response are poorly understood. The present study investigated whether repeated application of sensory stimuli to the trunk prior to mid-thoracic contusion SCI would induce OG after SCI in mice. One week prior to SCI or laminectomy, mice were subjected either to nociceptive and mechanical stimulation, mechanical stimulation only, the testing situation without stimulation, or no treatment. They were then examined for 14 days after surgery and the sizes and locations of OG sites were recorded on anatomical maps. Mice subjected to either stimulus paradigm showed increased OG compared with unstimulated or uninjured mice. Histological analysis showed no difference in spinal cord lesion size due to sensory stimulation, or between mice that overgroomed or did not overgroom. The relationship between prior stimulation and contusion injury in mice that display OG indicates a critical interaction that may underlie one facet of spontaneous neuropathic symptoms after SCI. PMID:20121420

  3. Subdural hemorrhage in two high-school football players: post-injury helmet testing.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Jonathan A; Zuckerman, Scott L; He, Lucy; McCalley, Elizabeth; Lee, Young M; Solomon, Gary S; Halstead, P David; Sills, Allen K

    2013-01-01

    The incidence of catastrophic head injury in American football is at a 30-year high; over 90% of these injuries are secondary to subdural hemorrhage (SDH). At the present time, it is unknown why the incidence of this devastating injury complex continues to rise. Because previous investigations have documented deficiencies in the process of equipment certification at youth and high-school levels, we sought to investigate the adequacy of headgear worn by two athletes who suffered contact-related SDH on the football field and presented to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital between 2009 and 2011. Helmets worn by the struck players at the time of collision (Medium Schutt Air Advantage 7888 and Large Schutt Air XP 7890) were obtained for formal biomechanical testing at a National Operating Committee on the Safety of Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)-certified facility. Both helmets were found to be compliant with a modified version of the NOCSAE standard ND002-11m12. Based on the aforementioned tests, it can be concluded that headgear worn by both players who suffered SDH was not substandard, as defined by contemporary helmet quality assurance criteria. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first published report of helmet testing following sports-related helmeted collisions resulting in severe traumatic intracranial injuries.

  4. Whole-body vibration improves functional recovery in spinal cord injured rats.

    PubMed

    Wirth, Felicitas; Schempf, Greta; Stein, Gregor; Wellmann, Katharina; Manthou, Marilena; Scholl, Carolin; Sidorenko, Malina; Semler, Oliver; Eisel, Leonie; Harrach, Rachida; Angelova, Srebrina; Jaminet, Patrick; Ankerne, Janina; Ashrafi, Mahak; Ozsoy, Ozlem; Ozsoy, Umut; Schubert, Harald; Abdulla, Diana; Dunlop, Sarah A; Angelov, Doychin N; Irintchev, Andrey; Schönau, Eckhard

    2013-03-15

    Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a relatively novel form of exercise used to improve neuromuscular performance in healthy individuals. Its usefulness as a therapy for patients with neurological disorders, in particular spinal cord injury (SCI), has received little attention in clinical settings and, surprisingly, even less in animal SCI models. We performed severe compression SCI at a low-thoracic level in Wistar rats followed by daily WBV starting 7 (10 rats) or 14 (10 rats) days after injury (WBV7 and WBV14, respectively) and continued over a 12-week post-injury period. Rats with SCI but no WBV training (sham, 10 rats) and intact animals (10 rats) served as controls. Compared to sham-treated rats, WBV did not improve BBB score, plantar stepping, or ladder stepping during the 12-week period. Accordingly, WBV did not significantly alter plantar H-reflex, lesion volume, serotonergic input to the lumbar spinal cord, nor cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs to lumbar motoneurons at 12 weeks after SCI. However, compared to sham, WBV14, but not WBV7, significantly improved body weight support (rump-height index) during overground locomotion and overall recovery between 6-12 weeks and also restored the density of synaptic terminals in the lumbar spinal cord at 12 weeks. Most remarkably, WBV14 led to a significant improvement of bladder function at 6-12 weeks after injury. These findings provide the first evidence for functional benefits of WBV in an animal SCI model and warrant further preclinical investigations to determine mechanisms underpinning this noninvasive, inexpensive, and easily delivered potential rehabilitation therapy for SCI.

  5. Wound Healing Immediately Post-Thermal Injury Is Improved by Fat and Adipose Derived Stem Cell Isografts

    PubMed Central

    Loder, Shawn; Peterson, Jonathan R.; Agarwal, Shailesh; Eboda, Oluwatobi; Brownley, Cameron; DeLaRosa, Sara; Ranganathan, Kavitha; Cederna, Paul; Wang, Stewart C.; Levi, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Patients with severe burns suffer functional, structural, and aesthetic complications. It is important to explore reconstructive options given that no ideal treatment exists. Transfer of adipose and adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) has been shown to improve healing in various models. We hypothesize that use of fat isografts and/or ASCs will improve healing in a mouse model of burn injury. Methods Twenty 6–8 week old C57BL/6 male mice received a 30% surface area partial-thickness scald burn. Adipose tissue and ASCs from inguinal fat pads were harvested from a second group of C57BL/6 mice. Burned mice received 500μl subcutaneous injection at burn site of 1) processed adipose, 2) ASCs, 3) mixed adipose (adipose and ASCs), or 4) sham (saline) injection (n=5/group) on the first day post-injury. Mice were followed by serial photography until sacrifice at days 5 and 14. Wounds were assessed for burn depth and healing by Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) and immunohistochemistry. Results All treated groups showed improved healing over controls defined by decreased wound depth, area, and apoptotic activity. After 5 days, mice receiving ASCs or mixed adipose displayed a non-significant improvement in vascularization. No significant changes in proliferation were noted at 5 days. Conclusions Adipose isografts improve some early markers of healing post-burn injury. We demonstrate that addition of these grafts improve specific structural markers of healing. This improvement may be due to an increase in early wound vascularity post-graft. Further studies are needed to optimize use of fat or ASC grafts in acute and reconstructive surgery. PMID:25185931

  6. Embryonic stem cell transplantation after experimental traumatic brain injury dramatically improves neurological outcome, but may cause tumors.

    PubMed

    Riess, Peter; Molcanyi, Marek; Bentz, Kristine; Maegele, Mark; Simanski, Christian; Carlitscheck, Christoph; Schneider, Annette; Hescheler, Jürgen; Bouillon, Bertil; Schäfer, Ute; Neugebauer, Edmund

    2007-01-01

    Transplantation of embryonic stem (ES) cells may provide cures for the damaged nervous system. Pre-differentiated ES or neuronal precursor cells have been investigated in various animal models of neurodegenerative diseases including traumatic brain injury (TBI). To our knowledge, no study has yet examined the effects of undifferentiated, murine ES cells on functional recovery and tumorigenity following implantation into injured rat brains. We evaluated the effect of transplantation of undifferentiated, murine embryonic cells on the recovery of motor function following lateral fluid percussion brain injury in Sprague-Dawley rats. At 3 days post-injury, animals received stereotactic injections of either embryonic stem cell suspension or injections of phosphate buffered saline without cells (control) into the injured cortex. Neurological motor function assessments were performed before injury, 72 h, 1, 3, and 6 weeks after transplantation using a Rotatrod and a Composite Neuroscore test. During this time period brain injured animals receiving ES cell transplantation showed a significant improvement in the Rotarod Test and in the Composite Neuroscore Test as compared to phosphate buffered saline (PBS)-treated animals. At 1 week post-transplantation, ES cells were detectable in 100% of transplanted animals. At 7 weeks following transplantation, EScells were detectable in only one animal. Two of 10 xenotransplanted animals revealed tumor formation over the observation period. These findings provide evidence for therapeutic potency of embryonic stem cell transplantation after TBI in rat, but also raise serious safety concerns about the use of such cells in human.

  7. Endothelin receptor-A (ETa) inhibition fails to improve neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Khatibi, Nikan H; Lee, Lillian K; Zhou, Yilin; Chen, Wanqiu; Rolland, William; Fathali, Nancy; Martin, Robert; Applegate, Richard; Stier, Gary; Zhang, John H

    2011-01-01

    Cerebral hypoxia-ischemia (HI) is an important cause of mortality and disability in newborns. It is a result of insufficient oxygen and glucose circulation to the brain, initiating long-term cerebral damage and cell death. Emerging evidence suggests that endothelin receptor-A (ETA) activation can play an important role in mediating brain damage. In this study, we investigated the role of ETA receptor inhibition using ABT-627 in neonatal HI injured rats. Postnatal day 10 Sprague-Dawley rat pups (n=91) were assigned to the following groups: sham (n=28), HI (vehicle, n=32), and HI with ABT-627 at 3 mg/kg (n=31). The Rice-Vannucci model was used to induce ischemia by ligating the right common carotid artery, followed by a 2 h hypoxic episode using 8% oxygen in a 37°C chamber. Postoperative assessment was conducted at 48 h after injury and again at 4 weeks. At the acute time point, investigative markers included cerebral edema, infarction volume, and body weight change. Neurobehavioral testing was measured at 4 weeks post-injury. Our findings indicated that ABT-627 had no effect on the measured parameters. This study suggests that ETA receptor blockade using ABT-627 post-treatment fails to improve neurological outcomes in neonatal HI injured rats. PMID:21725757

  8. Embryonic and adult stem cells promote raphespinal axon outgrowth and improve functional outcome following spinal hemisection in mice.

    PubMed

    Boido, Marina; Rupa, Rosita; Garbossa, Diego; Fontanella, Marco; Ducati, Alessandro; Vercelli, Alessandro

    2009-09-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in permanent neurological deficits below the injury site. Serotonergic raphespinal projections promote functional recovery after SCI, but spontaneous regeneration of most severed axons is limited by the glial cyst and scar that form at the lesion site. Stem cell (SC) transplantation offers a promising approach for inducing regeneration through the damaged area. Here we compare the effects of transplantation of embryonic neural precursors (NPs) or adult mesenchymal SCs, both of which are potential candidates for SC therapy. The spinal cord was hemisected at the L2 neuromer in adult mice. Two weeks post-injury, we transplanted neural precursors or mesenchymal SCs into the cord, caudal to the hemisection. Injured mice without a graft served as controls. Mice were tested for functional recovery on a battery of motor tasks, then killed and analysed for survival of grafted cells, for effects of engraftment on the local cellular environment and for the sprouting of serotonergic axons. Both types of SCs survived and were integrated into the host tissue, but only the NPs expressed neuronal markers. All transplanted animals displayed an increased number of serotonin-positive fibres caudal to the hemisection, compared with untreated mice. And both cell types led to improved motor performance. These results point to a therapeutic potential for such cell grafting.

  9. Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Intraspinal Transplants Fail to Improve Motor Outcomes in a Severe Model of Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Brock, John H; Graham, Lori; Staufenberg, Eileen; Collyer, Eileen; Koffler, Jacob; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2016-06-15

    Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have been reported to exert potential neuroprotective properties in models of neurotrauma, although precise mechanisms underlying their benefits are poorly understood. Despite this lack of knowledge, several clinical trials have been initiated using these cells. To determine whether local mechanisms mediate BMSC neuroprotective actions, we grafted allogeneic BMSCs to sites of severe, compressive spinal cord injury (SCI) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Cells were administered 48 h after the original injury. Additional animals received allogeneic MSCs that were genetically modified to secrete brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to further determine whether a locally administered neurotrophic factor provides or extends neuroprotection. When assessed 2 months post-injury in a clinically relevant model of severe SCI, BMSC grafts with or without BDNF secretion failed to improve motor outcomes. Thus, allogeneic grafts of BMSCs do not appear to act through local mechanisms, and future clinical trials that acutely deliver BMSCs to actual sites of injury within days are unlikely to be beneficial. Additional studies should address whether systemic administration of BMSCs alter outcomes from neurotrauma.

  10. Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1996

    This document contains four papers presented at a symposium on performance improvement moderated by Edward Schorer at the 1996 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) "The Organizational Ecology of Ethical Problems: International Case Studies in the Light of HPT [Human Performance Technology]" (Peter J. Dean, Laurence…

  11. Tome Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Careless, James

    1994-01-01

    College catalogs can be made less costly by various techniques such as using inexpensive paper, keeping as much of the production as possible in-house, minimizing photographs and color, and printing separate catalogs for different divisions. Catalogs can be improved by providing greater visual appeal and ease of use. (MSE)

  12. An Intensive Locomotor Training Paradigm Improves Neuropathic Pain following Spinal Cord Compression Injury in Rats.

    PubMed

    Dugan, Elizabeth A; Sagen, Jacqueline

    2015-05-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is often associated with both locomotor deficits and sensory dysfunction, including debilitating neuropathic pain. Unfortunately, current conventional pharmacological, physiological, or psychological treatments provide only marginal relief for more than two-thirds of patients, highlighting the need for improved treatment options. Locomotor training is often prescribed as an adjunct therapy for peripheral neuropathic pain but is rarely used to treat central neuropathic pain. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential anti-nociceptive benefits of intensive locomotor training (ILT) on neuropathic pain consequent to traumatic SCI. Using a rodent SCI model for central neuropathic pain, ILT was initiated either 5 d after injury prior to development of neuropathic pain symptoms (the "prevention" group) or delayed until pain symptoms fully developed (∼3 weeks post-injury, the "reversal" group). The training protocol consisted of 5 d/week of a ramping protocol that started with 11 m/min for 5 min and increased in speed (+1 m/min/week) and time (1-4 minutes/week) to a maximum of two 20-min sessions/d at 15 m/min by the fourth week of training. ILT prevented and reversed the development of heat hyperalgesia and cold allodynia, as well as reversed developed tactile allodynia, suggesting analgesic benefits not seen with moderate levels of locomotor training. Further, the analgesic benefits of ILT persisted for several weeks once training had been stopped. The unique ability of an ILT protocol to produce robust and sustained anti-nociceptive effects, as assessed by three distinct outcome measures for below-level SCI neuropathic pain, suggests that this adjunct therapeutic approach has great promise in a comprehensive treatment strategy for SCI pain.

  13. D-Cycloserine improves functional outcome after traumatic brain injury with wide therapeutic window

    SciTech Connect

    Adeleye, A.; Biegon, A.; Adeleye, A.; Shohami, E.; Nachman, D.; Alexandrovich, A.; Trembovler, V.; Yaka, R.; Shoshan, Y.; Dhawan, J.; Biegon, A.

    2009-12-01

    It has been long thought that hyperactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors underlies neurological decline after traumatic brain injury. However, all clinical trials with NMDA receptor antagonists failed. Since NMDA receptors are down-regulated from 4 h to 2 weeks after brain injury, activation at 24 h, rather than inhibition, of these receptors, was previously shown to be beneficial in mice. Here, we tested the therapeutic window, dose regimen and mechanism of action of the NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS) in traumatic brain injury. Male mice were subjected to trauma using a weight-drop model, and administered 10 mg/kg (i.p.) DCS or vehicle once (8, 16, 24, or 72 h) twice (24 and 48 h) or three times (24, 48 and 72 h). Functional recovery was assessed for up to 60 days, using a Neurological Severity Score that measures neurobehavioral parameters. In all groups in which treatment was begun at 24 or 72 h neurobehavioral function was significantly better than in the vehicle-treated groups. Additional doses, on days 2 and 3 did not further improve recovery. Mice treated at 8 h or 16 h post injury did not differ from the vehicle-treated controls. Co-administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 completely blocked the protective effect of DCS given at 24 h. Infarct volume measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining at 48 h or by cresyl violet at 28 days was not affected by DCS treatment. Since DCS is used clinically for other indications, the present study offers a novel approach for treating human traumatic brain injury with a therapeutic window of at least 24 h.

  14. Combination of Eccentric Exercise and Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation to Improve Quadriceps Function Post-ACL Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Lepley, Lindsey K.; Wojtys, Edward M.; Palmieri-Smith, Riann M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has been shown to reduce quadriceps activation failure (QAF), and eccentric exercise has been shown lessen muscle atrophy post-ACL reconstruction. Given that these are two critical components of quadriceps strength, intervention combining these therapies may be effective at reinstituting quadriceps function post-anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of a combined NMES and eccentric exercise intervention to improve the recovery of quadriceps activation and strength post-reconstruction. Design Parallel longitudinal design. Setting Laboratory. Participants Thirty-six individuals post-injury were placed into four treatment groups (N&E, NMES and eccentrics; E-only, eccentrics only; N-only, NMES-only; STND, standard of care) and ten healthy controls participated. Intervention N&E and N-only received the NMES protocol 2x per week for the first six weeks post-reconstruction. N&E and E-only received the eccentric exercise protocol 2x per week beginning six weeks post-reconstruction. Main outcome measure Quadriceps activation was assessed via the superimposed burst technique and quantified via the central activation ratio. Quadriceps strength was assessed via maximal voluntary isomeric contractions (Nm/kg). Data was gathered on three occasions: pre-operative, 12-weeks-post-surgery and at return-to-play. Results No differences in pre-operative measures existed (P>0.05). E-only recovered quadriceps activation better than N-only or STND (P<0.05). N&E and E-only recovered strength better than N-only or the STND (P<0.05) and had strength values that were similar to healthy individuals at return-to-play (P>0.05). Conclusion Eccentric exercise was capable of restoring levels of quadriceps activation and strength that were similar to those of healthy adults and better than NMES alone. PMID:25819154

  15. Docosahexaenoic Acid Pretreatment Confers Protection and Functional Improvements after Acute Spinal Cord Injury in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Figueroa, Johnny D.; Cordero, Kathia; Baldeosingh, Keisha; Torrado, Aranza I.; Walker, Robert L.; Miranda, Jorge D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Currently, few interventions have been shown to successfully limit the progression of secondary damage events associated with the acute phase of spinal cord injury (SCI). Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6 n-3) is neuroprotective when administered following SCI, but its potential as a pretreatment modality has not been addressed. This study used a novel DHA pretreatment experimental paradigm that targets acute cellular and molecular events during the first week after SCI in rats. We found that DHA pretreatment reduced functional deficits during the acute phase of injury, as shown by significant improvements in Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) locomotor scores, and the detection of transcranial magnetic motor evoked potentials (tcMMEPs) compared to vehicle-pretreated animals. We demonstrated that, at 7 days post-injury, DHA pretreatment significantly increased the percentage of white matter sparing, and resulted in axonal preservation, compared to the vehicle injections. We found a significant increase in the survival of NG2+, APC+, and NeuN+ cells in the ventrolateral funiculus (VLF), dorsal corticospinal tract (dCST), and ventral horns, respectively. Interestingly, these DHA protective effects were observed despite the lack of inhibition of inflammatory markers for monocytes/macrophages and astrocytes, ED1/OX42 and GFAP, respectively. DHA pretreatment induced levels of Akt and cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) mRNA and protein. This study shows for the first time that DHA pretreatment ameliorates functional deficits, and increases tissue sparing and precursor cell survival. Further, our data suggest that DHA-mediated activation of pro-survival/anti-apoptotic pathways may be independent of its anti-inflammatory effects. PMID:21970623

  16. Improving Photosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Evans, John R.

    2013-01-01

    Photosynthesis is the basis of plant growth, and improving photosynthesis can contribute toward greater food security in the coming decades as world population increases. Multiple targets have been identified that could be manipulated to increase crop photosynthesis. The most important target is Rubisco because it catalyses both carboxylation and oxygenation reactions and the majority of responses of photosynthesis to light, CO2, and temperature are reflected in its kinetic properties. Oxygenase activity can be reduced either by concentrating CO2 around Rubisco or by modifying the kinetic properties of Rubisco. The C4 photosynthetic pathway is a CO2-concentrating mechanism that generally enables C4 plants to achieve greater efficiency in their use of light, nitrogen, and water than C3 plants. To capitalize on these advantages, attempts have been made to engineer the C4 pathway into C3 rice (Oryza sativa). A simpler approach is to transfer bicarbonate transporters from cyanobacteria into chloroplasts and prevent CO2 leakage. Recent technological breakthroughs now allow higher plant Rubisco to be engineered and assembled successfully in planta. Novel amino acid sequences can be introduced that have been impossible to reach via normal evolution, potentially enlarging the range of kinetic properties and breaking free from the constraints associated with covariation that have been observed between certain kinetic parameters. Capturing the promise of improved photosynthesis in greater yield potential will require continued efforts to improve carbon allocation within the plant as well as to maintain grain quality and resistance to disease and lodging. PMID:23812345

  17. Failure of Intravenous or Intracardiac Delivery of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to Improve Outcomes after Focal Traumatic Brain Injury in the Female Rat

    PubMed Central

    Turtzo, L. Christine; Budde, Matthew D.; Dean, Dana D.; Gold, Eric M.; Lewis, Bobbi K.; Janes, Lindsay; Lescher, Jacob; Coppola, Tiziana; Yarnell, Angela; Grunberg, Neil E.; Frank, Joseph A.

    2015-01-01

    Mesenchymal stromal cells secrete a variety of anti-inflammatory factors and may provide a regenerative medicine option for the treatment of traumatic brain injury. The present study investigates the efficacy of multiple intravenous or intracardiac administrations of rat mesenchymal stromal cells or human mesenchymal stromal cells in female rats after controlled cortical impact by in vivo MRI, neurobehavior, and histopathology evaluation. Neither intravenous nor intracardiac administration of mesenchymal stromal cells derived from either rats or humans improved MRI measures of lesion volume or neurobehavioral outcome compared to saline treatment. Few mesenchymal stromal cells (<0.0005% of injected dose) were found within 3 days of last dosage at the site of injury after either delivery route, with no mesenchymal stromal cells being detectable in brain at 30 or 56 days post-injury. These findings suggest that non-autologous mesenchymal stromal cells therapy via intravenous or intracardiac administration is not a promising treatment after focal contusion traumatic brain injury in this female rodent model. PMID:25946089

  18. Improved aethalometer

    DOEpatents

    Hansen, A.D.

    1988-01-25

    An improved aethalometer having a single light source and a single light detector and two light paths from the light source to the light detector. A quartz fiber filter is inserted in the device, the filter having a collection area in one light path and a reference area in the other light path. A gas flow path through the aethalometer housing allows ambient air to flow through the collection area of the filter so that aerosol particles can be collected on the filter. A rotating disk with an opening therethrough allows light for the light source to pass alternately through the two light paths. The voltage output of the detector is applied to a VCO and the VCO pulses for light transmission separately through the two light paths, are counted and compared to determine the absorption coefficient of the collected aerosol particles. 5 figs.

  19. Intravenous infusion of magnesium chloride improves epicenter blood flow during the acute stage of contusive spinal cord injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Muradov, Johongir M; Hagg, Theo

    2013-05-15

    Vasospasm, hemorrhage, and loss of microvessels at the site of contusive or compressive spinal cord injury lead to infarction and initiate secondary degeneration. Here, we used intravenous injection of endothelial-binding lectin followed by histology to show that the number of perfused microvessels at the injury site is decreased by 80-90% as early as 20 min following a moderate T9 contusion in adult female rats. Hemorrhage within the spinal cord also was maximal at 20 min, consistent with its vasoconstrictive actions in the central nervous system (CNS). Microvascular blood flow recovered to up to 50% of normal volume in the injury penumbra by 6 h, but not at the epicenter. A comparison with an endothelial cell marker suggested that many microvessels fail to be reperfused up to 48 h post-injury. The ischemia was probably caused by vasospasm of vessels penetrating the parenchyma, because repeated Doppler measurements over the spinal cord showed a doubling of total blood flow over the first 12 h. Moreover, intravenous infusion of magnesium chloride, used clinically to treat CNS vasospasm, greatly improved the number of perfused microvessels at 24 and 48 h. The magnesium treatment seemed safe as it did not increase hemorrhage, despite the improved parenchymal blood flow. However, the treatment did not reduce acute microvessel, motor neuron or oligodendrocyte loss, and when infused for 7 days did not affect functional recovery or spared epicenter white matter over a 4 week period. These data suggest that microvascular blood flow can be restored with a clinically relevant treatment following spinal cord injury.

  20. NAAG peptidase inhibitor improves motor function and reduces cognitive dysfunction in a model of TBI with secondary hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Gurkoff, Gene G; Feng, Jun-Feng; Van, Ken C; Izadi, Ali; Ghiasvand, Rahil; Shahlaie, Kiarash; Song, Minsoo; Lowe, David A; Zhou, Jia; Lyeth, Bruce G

    2013-06-17

    Immediately following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and TBI with hypoxia, there is a rapid and pathophysiological increase in extracellular glutamate, subsequent neuronal damage and ultimately diminished motor and cognitive function. N-acetyl-aspartyl glutamate (NAAG), a prevalent neuropeptide in the CNS, is co-released with glutamate, binds to the presynaptic group II metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 3 (mGluR3) and suppresses glutamate release. However, the catalytic enzyme glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCP II) rapidly hydrolyzes NAAG into NAA and glutamate. Inhibition of the GCP II enzyme with NAAG peptidase inhibitors reduces the concentration of glutamate both by increasing the duration of NAAG activity on mGluR3 and by reducing degradation into NAA and glutamate resulting in reduced cell death in models of TBI and TBI with hypoxia. In the following study, rats were administered the NAAG peptidase inhibitor PGI-02776 (10mg/kg) 30 min following TBI combined with a hypoxic second insult. Over the two weeks following injury, PGI-02776-treated rats had significantly improved motor function as measured by increased duration on the rota-rod and a trend toward improved performance on the beam walk. Furthermore, two weeks post-injury, PGI-02776-treated animals had a significant decrease in latency to find the target platform in the Morris water maze as compared to vehicle-treated animals. These findings demonstrate that the application of NAAG peptidase inhibitors can reduce the deleterious motor and cognitive effects of TBI combined with a second hypoxic insult in the weeks following injury. PMID:23562458

  1. Exercise-induced improvement in cognitive performance after traumatic brain-injury in rats is dependent on BDNF Activation

    PubMed Central

    Griesbach, Grace Sophia; Hovda, David Allen; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

    We have previously shown that voluntary exercise upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) within the hippocampus and is associated with an enhancement of cognitive recovery after a lateral fluid-percussion injury (FPI). In order to determine if BDNF is critical to this effect we used an immunoadhesin chimera (TrkB-IgG) that inactivates free BDNF. This BDNF inhibitor was administered to adult male rats two weeks after they had received a mild fluid percussion injury (FPI) or sham surgery. These animals were then housed with or without access to a running wheel (RW) from post-injury-day (PID) 14 to 20. On PID 21, rats were tested for spatial learning in a Morris Water Maze. Results showed that exercise counteracted the cognitive deficits associated with the injury. However this exercise-induced cognitive improvement was attenuated in the FPI-RW rats that were treated with TrkB-IgG. Molecules important for synaptic plasticity and learning were measured in a separate group of rats that were sacrificed immediately after exercise (PID 21). Western blot analyses showed that exercise increased the mature form of BDNF, synapsin I and cyclic-AMP response-element-binding protein (CREB) in the vehicle treated Sham-RW group. However, only the mature form of BDNF and CREB were increased in the vehicle treated FPI-RW group. Blocking BDNF (pre administration of TrkB-IgG) greatly reduced the molecular effects of exercise in that exercise-induced increases of BDNF, synapsin I and CREB were not observed. These studies provide evidence that BDNF has a major role in exercise's cognitive effects in traumatically injured brain. PMID:19555673

  2. N-Acetylaspartate reductions in brain injury: impact on post-injury neuroenergetics, lipid synthesis, and protein acetylation

    PubMed Central

    Moffett, John R.; Arun, Peethambaran; Ariyannur, Prasanth S.; Namboodiri, Aryan M. A.

    2013-01-01

    N-Acetylaspartate (NAA) is employed as a non-invasive marker for neuronal health using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). This utility is afforded by the fact that NAA is one of the most concentrated brain metabolites and that it produces the largest peak in MRS scans of the healthy human brain. NAA levels in the brain are reduced proportionately to the degree of tissue damage after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the reductions parallel the reductions in ATP levels. Because NAA is the most concentrated acetylated metabolite in the brain, we have hypothesized that NAA acts in part as an extensive reservoir of acetate for acetyl coenzyme A synthesis. Therefore, the loss of NAA after TBI impairs acetyl coenzyme A dependent functions including energy derivation, lipid synthesis, and protein acetylation reactions in distinct ways in different cell populations. The enzymes involved in synthesizing and metabolizing NAA are predominantly expressed in neurons and oligodendrocytes, respectively, and therefore some proportion of NAA must be transferred between cell types before the acetate can be liberated, converted to acetyl coenzyme A and utilized. Studies have indicated that glucose metabolism in neurons is reduced, but that acetate metabolism in astrocytes is increased following TBI, possibly reflecting an increased role for non-glucose energy sources in response to injury. NAA can provide additional acetate for intercellular metabolite trafficking to maintain acetyl CoA levels after injury. Here we explore changes in NAA, acetate, and acetyl coenzyme A metabolism in response to brain injury. PMID:24421768

  3. Advanced Glycation End Product Receptor-1 Transgenic Mice Are Resistant to Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Post-Injury Intimal Hyperplasia

    PubMed Central

    Torreggiani, Massimo; Liu, Huixian; Wu, Jin; Zheng, Feng; Cai, Weijing; Striker, Gary; Vlassara, Helen

    2009-01-01

    The high levels of oxidative stress (OS) and inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease are linked to pro-oxidants such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs interact with multiple receptors, including receptor 1 (AGER1), which promotes AGE removal and blocks OS and inflammation, and RAGE, which enhances inflammation. In this study, we evaluated metabolic and vascular changes in AGER1 transgenic mice (AGER1-tg) subjected to an atherogenic diet and arterial wire-injury. Both baseline and postatherogenic diet serum and tissue AGEs as well as plasma 8-isoprostane levels were lower in AGER1-tg mice than in wild-type mice. The levels of injected 125I-AGE in tissues were decreased as well in AGER1-tg mice. After ingesting a high-fat diet, AGER1-tg mice had a normal glucose tolerance and only 7% were hyperglycemic, whereas 53% of wild-type mice had stable hyperglycemia. After wire-injury, intimal lesions in AGER1-tg mice were small, whereas wild-type mice had diffuse intimal hyperplasia, a high intima/media ratio, and inflammatory cell infiltrates. In addition, AGER1 staining, prominent in AGER1-tg mice, was attenuated in 30 to 40% of wild-type cells, although all cells were strongly positive for AGEs. Thus, AGER1 overexpression in mice reduces basal levels of AGEs and OS, enhances resistance to diet-induced hyperglycemia and OS, and protects against injury-induced arterial intimal hyperplasia and inflammation, providing protection against OS and inflammation induced by AGEs and high-fat diets in vivo. PMID:19779136

  4. Schwann cell-derived Apolipoprotein D controls the dynamics of post-injury myelin recognition and degradation

    PubMed Central

    García-Mateo, Nadia; Ganfornina, Maria D.; Montero, Olimpio; Gijón, Miguel A.; Murphy, Robert C.; Sanchez, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Management of lipids, particularly signaling lipids that control neuroinflammation, is crucial for the regeneration capability of a damaged nervous system. Knowledge of pro- and anti-inflammatory signals after nervous system injury is extensive, most of them being proteins acting through well-known receptors and intracellular cascades. However, the role of lipid binding extracellular proteins able to modify the fate of lipids released after injury is not well understood. Apolipoprotein D (ApoD) is an extracellular lipid binding protein of the Lipocalin family induced upon nervous system injury. Our previous study shows that axon regeneration is delayed without ApoD, and suggests its participation in early events during Wallerian degeneration. Here we demonstrate that ApoD is expressed by myelinating and non-myelinating Schwann cells and is induced early upon nerve injury. We show that ApoD, known to bind arachidonic acid (AA), also interacts with lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) in vitro. We use an in vivo model of nerve crush injury, a nerve explant injury model, and cultured macrophages exposed to purified myelin, to uncover that: (i) ApoD regulates denervated Schwann cell-macrophage signaling, dampening MCP1- and Tnf-dependent macrophage recruitment and activation upon injury; (ii) ApoD controls the over-expression of the phagocytosis activator Galectin-3 by infiltrated macrophages; (iii) ApoD controls the basal and injury-triggered levels of LPC and AA; (iv) ApoD modifies the dynamics of myelin-macrophage interaction, favoring the initiation of phagocytosis and promoting myelin degradation. Regulation of macrophage behavior by Schwann-derived ApoD is therefore a key mechanism conditioning nerve injury resolution. These results place ApoD as a lipid binding protein controlling the signals exchanged between glia, neurons and blood-borne cells during nerve recovery after injury, and open the possibility for a therapeutic use of ApoD as a regeneration-promoting agent. PMID:25426024

  5. Schwann cell-derived Apolipoprotein D controls the dynamics of post-injury myelin recognition and degradation.

    PubMed

    García-Mateo, Nadia; Ganfornina, Maria D; Montero, Olimpio; Gijón, Miguel A; Murphy, Robert C; Sanchez, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Management of lipids, particularly signaling lipids that control neuroinflammation, is crucial for the regeneration capability of a damaged nervous system. Knowledge of pro- and anti-inflammatory signals after nervous system injury is extensive, most of them being proteins acting through well-known receptors and intracellular cascades. However, the role of lipid binding extracellular proteins able to modify the fate of lipids released after injury is not well understood. Apolipoprotein D (ApoD) is an extracellular lipid binding protein of the Lipocalin family induced upon nervous system injury. Our previous study shows that axon regeneration is delayed without ApoD, and suggests its participation in early events during Wallerian degeneration. Here we demonstrate that ApoD is expressed by myelinating and non-myelinating Schwann cells and is induced early upon nerve injury. We show that ApoD, known to bind arachidonic acid (AA), also interacts with lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) in vitro. We use an in vivo model of nerve crush injury, a nerve explant injury model, and cultured macrophages exposed to purified myelin, to uncover that: (i) ApoD regulates denervated Schwann cell-macrophage signaling, dampening MCP1- and Tnf-dependent macrophage recruitment and activation upon injury; (ii) ApoD controls the over-expression of the phagocytosis activator Galectin-3 by infiltrated macrophages; (iii) ApoD controls the basal and injury-triggered levels of LPC and AA; (iv) ApoD modifies the dynamics of myelin-macrophage interaction, favoring the initiation of phagocytosis and promoting myelin degradation. Regulation of macrophage behavior by Schwann-derived ApoD is therefore a key mechanism conditioning nerve injury resolution. These results place ApoD as a lipid binding protein controlling the signals exchanged between glia, neurons and blood-borne cells during nerve recovery after injury, and open the possibility for a therapeutic use of ApoD as a regeneration-promoting agent.

  6. Tamoxifen and estradiol improved locomotor function and increased spared tissue in rats after spinal cord injury: their antioxidant effect and role of estrogen receptor alpha.

    PubMed

    Mosquera, Laurivette; Colón, Jennifer M; Santiago, José M; Torrado, Aranza I; Meléndez, Margarita; Segarra, Annabell C; Rodríguez-Orengo, José F; Miranda, Jorge D

    2014-05-01

    17β-Estradiol is a multi-active steroid that imparts neuroprotection via diverse mechanisms of action. However, its role as a neuroprotective agent after spinal cord injury (SCI), or the involvement of the estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-α) in locomotor recovery, is still a subject of much debate. In this study, we evaluated the effects of estradiol and of Tamoxifen (an estrogen receptor mixed agonist/antagonist) on locomotor recovery following SCI. To control estradiol cyclical variability, ovariectomized female rats received empty or estradiol filled implants, prior to a moderate contusion to the spinal cord. Estradiol improved locomotor function at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days post injury (DPI), when compared to control groups (measured with the BBB open field test). This effect was ER-α mediated, because functional recovery was blocked with an ER-α antagonist. We also observed that ER-α was up-regulated after SCI. Long-term treatment (28 DPI) with estradiol and Tamoxifen reduced the extent of the lesion cavity, an effect also mediated by ER-α. The antioxidant effects of estradiol were seen acutely at 2 DPI but not at 28 DPI, and this acute effect was not receptor mediated. Rats treated with Tamoxifen recovered some locomotor activity at 21 and 28 DPI, which could be related to the antioxidant protection seen at these time points. These results show that estradiol improves functional outcome, and these protective effects are mediated by the ER-α dependent and independent-mechanisms. Tamoxifen׳s effects during late stages of SCI support the use of this drug as a long-term alternative treatment for this condition.

  7. Transplantation of erythropoietin gene-modified neural stem cells improves the repair of injured spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Min-fei; Zhang, Shu-quan; Gu, Rui; Liu, Jia-bei; Li, Ye; Zhu, Qing-san

    2015-01-01

    The protective effects of erythropoietin on spinal cord injury have not been well described. Here, the eukaryotic expression plasmid pcDNA3.1 human erythropoietin was transfected into rat neural stem cells cultured in vitro. A rat model of spinal cord injury was established using a free falling object. In the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group, transfected neural stem cells were injected into the rat subarachnoid cavity, while the neural stem cells group was injected with non-transfected neural stem cells. Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/F12 medium was injected into the rats in the spinal cord injury group as a control. At 1–4 weeks post injury, the motor function in the rat lower limbs was best in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group, followed by the neural stem cells group, and lastly the spinal cord injury group. At 72 hours, compared with the spinal cord injury group, the apoptotic index and Caspase-3 gene and protein expressions were apparently decreased, and the bcl-2 gene and protein expressions were noticeably increased, in the tissues surrounding the injured region in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group. At 4 weeks, the cavities were clearly smaller and the motor and somatosensory evoked potential latencies were remarkably shorter in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group and neural stem cells group than those in the spinal cord injury group. These differences were particularly obvious in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group. More CM-Dil-positive cells and horseradish peroxidase-positive nerve fibers and larger amplitude motor and somatosensory evoked potentials were found in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group and neural stem cells group than in the spinal cord injury group. Again, these differences were particularly obvious in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group. These data indicate that transplantation of erythropoietin gene-modified neural stem cells into the

  8. Transplantation of erythropoietin gene-modified neural stem cells improves the repair of injured spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Wu, Min-Fei; Zhang, Shu-Quan; Gu, Rui; Liu, Jia-Bei; Li, Ye; Zhu, Qing-San

    2015-09-01

    The protective effects of erythropoietin on spinal cord injury have not been well described. Here, the eukaryotic expression plasmid pcDNA3.1 human erythropoietin was transfected into rat neural stem cells cultured in vitro. A rat model of spinal cord injury was established using a free falling object. In the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group, transfected neural stem cells were injected into the rat subarachnoid cavity, while the neural stem cells group was injected with non-transfected neural stem cells. Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/F12 medium was injected into the rats in the spinal cord injury group as a control. At 1-4 weeks post injury, the motor function in the rat lower limbs was best in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group, followed by the neural stem cells group, and lastly the spinal cord injury group. At 72 hours, compared with the spinal cord injury group, the apoptotic index and Caspase-3 gene and protein expressions were apparently decreased, and the bcl-2 gene and protein expressions were noticeably increased, in the tissues surrounding the injured region in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group. At 4 weeks, the cavities were clearly smaller and the motor and somatosensory evoked potential latencies were remarkably shorter in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group and neural stem cells group than those in the spinal cord injury group. These differences were particularly obvious in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group. More CM-Dil-positive cells and horseradish peroxidase-positive nerve fibers and larger amplitude motor and somatosensory evoked potentials were found in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group and neural stem cells group than in the spinal cord injury group. Again, these differences were particularly obvious in the human erythropoietin-neural stem cells group. These data indicate that transplantation of erythropoietin gene-modified neural stem cells into the

  9. Acute administration of AMPA/Kainate blocker combined with delayed transplantation of neural precursors improves lower urinary tract function in spinal injured rats

    PubMed Central

    Mitsui, Takahiko; Neuhuber, Birgit; Fischer, Itzhak

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate bladder function recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) in response to a combination treatment of an acutely administered AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist and delayed transplantation of neuronal precurors. Female rats received a contusion injury at T8/9. The AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist NBQX was directly administered into the lesion site immediately after injury. Nine days post-injury, NRP/GRP were delivered into the lesion site. Controls received NRP/GRP grafts only or no treatment (OP-Controls). Animals underwent bladder function testing during the course of the experiment and at the endpoint. Motor function was evaluated as well. After sacrifice, histological analysis of lesion site and lumbosacral spinal cord regions was performed. Rats receiving the combined treatment (NBQX&NRP/GRP) had voided volumes/micturition resembling that of normal animals and showed greater improvement of urodynamic parameters, compared to NRP/GRP alone or OP-Controls. Similarly, NBQX&NRP/GRP induced more spouting, regeneration or sparing of descending projections to the lumbosacral cord. The density of primary afferent projections at the lumbosacral spinal cord in rats with combined treatments was similar to that of NRP/GRP alone with decreased sprouting of primary afferents in lumbosacral cord, compared to OP-Control. Immunohistochemical evaluation revealed that the combined treatment reduced the size of the lesion to a greater extent than NRP/GRP alone or OP-Controls. NRP/GRP with and without NBQX produced significant recovery of hindlimb compared to OP-Controls. In conclusions, transplants of NRP/GRP combined with NBQX promote recovery of micturition function following spinal cord injury, likely through increased neuroprotection. PMID:21937028

  10. Facilitating Mitochondrial Calcium Uptake Improves Activation-Induced Cerebral Blood Flow and Behavior after mTBI

    PubMed Central

    Murugan, Madhuvika; Santhakumar, Vijayalakshmi; Kannurpatti, Sridhar S.

    2016-01-01

    Mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI) leads to secondary neuronal loss via excitotoxic mechanisms, including mitochondrial Ca2+ overload. However, in the surviving cellular population, mitochondrial Ca2+ influx, and oxidative metabolism are diminished leading to suboptimal neuronal circuit activity and poor prognosis. Hence we tested the impact of boosting neuronal electrical activity and oxidative metabolism by facilitating mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in a rat model of mTBI. In developing rats (P25-P26) sustaining an mTBI, we demonstrate post-traumatic changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the sensorimotor cortex in response to whisker stimulation compared to sham using functional Laser Doppler Imaging (fLDI) at adulthood (P67-P73). Compared to sham, whisker stimulation-evoked positive CBF responses decreased while negative CBF responses increased in the mTBI animals. The spatiotemporal CBF changes representing underlying neuronal activity suggested profound changes to neurovascular activity after mTBI. Behavioral assessment of the same cohort of animals prior to fLDI showed that mTBI resulted in persistent contralateral sensorimotor behavioral deficit along with ipsilateral neuronal loss compared to sham. Treating mTBI rats with Kaempferol, a dietary flavonol compound that enhanced mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, eliminated the inter-hemispheric asymmetry in the whisker stimulation-induced positive CBF responses and the ipsilateral negative CBF responses otherwise observed in the untreated and vehicle-treated mTBI animals in adulthood. Kaempferol also improved somatosensory behavioral measures compared to untreated and vehicle treated mTBI animals without augmenting post-injury neuronal loss. The results indicate that reduced mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in the surviving populations affect post-traumatic neural activation leading to persistent behavioral deficits. Improvement in sensorimotor behavior and spatiotemporal neurovascular activity following kaempferol

  11. Theme: Laboratory Facilities Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Glen M.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Includes "Laboratory Facilities Improvement" (Miller); "Remodeling Laboratories for Agriscience Instruction" (Newman, Johnson); "Planning for Change" (Mulcahy); "Laboratory Facilities Improvement for Technology Transfer" (Harper); "Facilities for Agriscience Instruction" (Agnew et al.); "Laboratory Facility Improvement" (Boren, Dwyer); and…

  12. High-throughput genotoxicity assay identifies antioxidants as inducers of DNA damage response and cell death

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Jennifer T.; Sakamuru, Srilatha; Huang, Ruili; Teneva, Nedelina; Simmons, Steven O.; Xia, Menghang; Tice, Raymond R.; Austin, Christopher P.; Myung, Kyungjae

    2012-01-01

    Human ATAD5 is a biomarker for identifying genotoxic compounds because ATAD5 protein levels increase posttranscriptionally in response to DNA damage. We screened over 4,000 compounds with a cell-based quantitative high-throughput ATAD5-luciferase assay detecting genotoxic compounds. We identified 22 antioxidants, including resveratrol, genistein, and baicalein, that are currently used or investigated for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and chronic hepatitis, as well as for antiaging. Treatment of dividing cells with these compounds induced DNA damage and resulted in cell death. Despite their genotoxic effects, resveratrol, genistein, and baicalein did not cause mutagenesis, which is a major side effect of conventional anticancer drugs. Furthermore, resveratrol and genistein killed multidrug-resistant cancer cells. We therefore propose that resveratrol, genistein, and baicalein are attractive candidates for improved chemotherapeutic agents. PMID:22431602

  13. Improving Skiing: A Metaphor for Improving Leadership

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmerman, Judith A.

    2006-01-01

    Metaphors are powerful in describing organizations (Morgan, 1986; 1998) and stories reveal the meaning of experiences (Kouzes & Posner, 1993). As an avid skier and school change leader, the author has drawn on her personal experiences and the literature to develop the idea of improving skiing as a metaphor for improving leadership, particularly…

  14. Making process improvement 'stick'.

    PubMed

    Studer, Quint

    2014-06-01

    To sustain gains from a process improvement initiative, healthcare organizations should: Explain to staff why a process improvement initiative is needed. Encourage leaders within the organization to champion the process improvement, and tie their evaluations to its outcomes. Ensure that both leaders and employees have the skills to help sustain the sought-after process improvements.

  15. CHRONIC UCL INJURY: A MULTIMODAL APPROACH TO CORRECTING ALTERED MECHANICS AND IMPROVING HEALING IN A COLLEGE ATHLETE— A CASE REPORT

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Rachel; McGinty, Josh; Lucado, Ann; Collier, Beth

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tears and associated Tommy Johns surgical intervention from excessive and poor quality pitching has increased immensely—with more college and professional pitchers undergoing the surgery in 2014 alone than in the 1990s as a whole.1 Faulty mechanics developed at young ages are often well-engrained by the late adolescent years and the minimal healing ability of the largely avascular UCL often leads to delayed safe return to sport.2 Purpose The purpose of this case study was to describe an innovative, multimodal approach to conservative management of a chronic UCL injury in a college-aged baseball pitcher. This innovative approach utilizes both contractile and non-contractile dry needling to enhance soft tissue healing combined with standard conservative treatment to decrease pain and improve sport performance as measured by the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH), Numeric Pain Report Scale (NPRS), and return to sport. Study Design Retrospective Case Report Case Description A collegiate athlete presented to an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinic for treatment of UCL sprain approximately six weeks post-injury and platelet-rich plasma injection. Diagnostic testing revealed chronic ligamentous microtrauma. Impairments at evaluation included proximal stabilizing strength deficits, myofascial trigger points throughout the dominant upper extremity, improper pitching form, and inability to pitch in game conditions due to severe pain. Interventions included addressing strength deficits throughout the body, dry needling, and sport-specific biomechanical training with pitching form analysis and correction. Outcomes Conventional DASH and Sport-Specific scale on the DASH and the numeric pain rating scale improved beyond both the minimally clinically important difference and minimal detectable change over the 12 week treatment3,4 At 24-week follow up, conventional DASH scores decreased from 34.20% disability

  16. Classification accuracy improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kistler, R.; Kriegler, F. J.

    1977-01-01

    Improvements made in processing system designed for MIDAS (prototype multivariate interactive digital analysis system) effects higher accuracy in classification of pixels, resulting in significantly-reduced processing time. Improved system realizes cost reduction factor of 20 or more.

  17. Embarking on performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Brown, Bobbi; Falk, Leslie Hough

    2014-06-01

    Healthcare organizations should approach performance improvement as a program, not a project. The program should be led by a guidance team that identifies goals, prioritizes work, and removes barriers to enable clinical improvement teams and work groups to realize performance improvements. A healthcare enterprise data warehouse can provide the initial foundation for the program analytics. Evidence-based best practices can help achieve improved outcomes and reduced costs.

  18. Improving slipring performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matteo, D. N.

    1984-05-01

    The original slipring design for communications spacecraft, the handling and testing of the slipring assembly before launch, the on orbit performance indicating the need for improvement in dynamic noise, the subsequently incorporated design improvements, and the results of testing to verify noise performance improvement are described.

  19. Improving College Freshman Retention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Winnie Y.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, access to higher education was greatly improved through public funding. This improvement is not matched by a similar increase in graduation rate. The purpose of this study is to examine what postsecondary institutions can do to improve college freshman retention. The conceptual framework was based on research on college student…

  20. Improved technical specifications

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, D.R.

    1994-12-31

    Improved technical specifications for nuclear power plants are outlined. The objectives of this work are to improve safety, provide a clearer understanding of safety significance, and ease NRC and industry administrative burdens. Line item improvements, bases, and implementation of the specifications are discussed.

  1. Improving slipring performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matteo, D. N.

    1984-01-01

    The original slipring design for communications spacecraft, the handling and testing of the slipring assembly before launch, the on orbit performance indicating the need for improvement in dynamic noise, the subsequently incorporated design improvements, and the results of testing to verify noise performance improvement are described.

  2. Improved Electrophoresis Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, P. H.; Snyder, R. S.

    1982-01-01

    Several proposed modifications are expected to improve performance of a continous-flow electrophoresis cell. Changes would allow better control of buffer flow and would increase resolution by suppressing thermal gradients. Improved electrophoresis device would have high resolution and be easy to operate. Improvements would allow better flow control and heat dissipation.

  3. Improving America's Schools Act

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cradler, John; Bridgforth, Elizabeth

    1995-01-01

    The Improving America's Schools ACT (IASA) emphasizes coherent systemic education reform, with Goals 2000 setting common standards for IASA and the recently authorized School-to-Work Program. IASA addresses the need to raise academic achievement, increase opportunities to learn, improve professional development, increase community involvement, utilize instructional applications of technology, and improve assessment, and allow more local flexibility in the use of funds.

  4. Administration of low dose estrogen attenuates persistent inflammation, promotes angiogenesis, and improves locomotor function following chronic spinal cord injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Samantaray, Supriti; Das, Arabinda; Matzelle, Denise C; Yu, Shan P; Wei, Ling; Varma, Abhay; Ray, Swapan K; Banik, Naren L

    2016-05-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes loss of neurological function and, depending upon the severity of injury, may lead to paralysis. Currently, no FDA-approved pharmacotherapy is available for SCI. High-dose methylprednisolone is widely used, but this treatment is controversial. We have previously shown that low doses of estrogen reduces inflammation, attenuates cell death, and protects axon and myelin in SCI rats, but its effectiveness in recovery of function is not known. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate whether low doses of estrogen in post-SCI would reduce inflammation, protect cells and axons, and improve locomotor function during the chronic phase of injury. Injury (40 g.cm force) was induced at thoracic 10 in young adult male rats. Rats were treated with 10 or 100 μg 17β-estradiol (estrogen) for 7 days following SCI and compared with vehicle-treated injury and laminectomy (sham) controls. Histology (H&E staining), immunohistofluorescence, Doppler laser technique, and Western blotting were used to monitor tissue integrity, gliosis, blood flow, angiogenesis, the expression of angiogenic factors, axonal degeneration, and locomotor function (Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan rating) following injury. To assess the progression of recovery, rats were sacrificed at 7, 14, or 42 days post injury. A reduction in glial reactivity, attenuation of axonal and myelin damage, protection of cells, increased expression of angiogenic factors and microvessel growth, and improved locomotor function were found following estrogen treatment compared with vehicle-treated SCI rats. These results suggest that treatment with a very low dose of estrogen has significant therapeutic implications for the improvement of locomotor function in chronic SCI. Experimental studies with low dose estrogen therapy in chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) demonstrated the potential for multi-active beneficial outcomes that could ameliorate the degenerative pathways in chronic SCI as

  5. Improve Math Teaching with Incremental Improvements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Star, Jon R.

    2016-01-01

    Past educational reforms have failed because they didn't meet teachers where they were. They expected major changes in practices that may have been unrealistic for many teachers even under ideal professional learning conditions. Instead of promoting broad scale changes, improvement may be more likely if they are composed of small yet powerful…

  6. How Performance Improves

    SciTech Connect

    Jerry L. Harbour; Julie L. Marble

    2005-09-01

    Countless articles and books have been written about and numerous programs have been developed to improve performance. Despite this plethora of activity on how to improve performance, we have largely failed to address the more fundamental question of how performance actually improves. To begin exploring this more basic question, we have plotted some 1,200 performance records to date and found that irrespective of venue, industry, or business, there seems to be a fundamental and repeatable set of concepts regarding how performance improves over time. Such gained insights represent both opportunities and challenges to the performance technologist. Differences in performance outcomes may, for example, be as much a function of the life cycle stage of a performance system as the efficacy of the selected improvement method itself. Accordingly, it may be more difficult to compare differing performance improvement methods than previously thought.

  7. Continual improvement plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    NASA's approach to continual improvement (CI) is a systems-oriented, agency-wide approach that builds on the past accomplishments of NASA Headquarters and its field installations and helps achieve NASA's vision, mission, and values. The NASA of the future will fully use the principles of continual improvement in every aspect of its operations. This NASA CI plan defines a systematic approach and a model for continual improvement throughout NASA, stressing systems integration and optimization. It demonstrates NASA's constancy of purpose for improvement - a consistent vision of NASA as a worldwide leader in top-quality science, technology, and management practices. The CI plan provides the rationale, structures, methods, and steps, and it defines NASA's short term (1-year) objectives for improvement. The CI plan presents the deployment strategies necessary for cascading the goals and objectives throughout the agency. It also provides guidance on implementing continual improvement with participation from top leadership and all levels of employees.

  8. Ergonomic Improvements for Foundries

    SciTech Connect

    Frank Peters; Patrick Patterson

    2002-06-18

    The goal of this project was to make improvements to the production systems of the steel casting industry through ergonomic improvements. Because of the wide variety of products, the wide range of product sizes, and the relatively small quantities of any particular product, manual operations remain a vital part of the production systems of the steel casting companies. Ergonomic improvements will assist the operators to more efficiently and consistently produce quality products.

  9. Improving assisted living care.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Nancy; Gesell, Sabina B; Widmer, Tom

    2007-01-01

    In the absence of a national measurement system, private vendors of satisfaction measurement and improvement services have played a crucial role in the quality movement in the assisted living industry. Survey responses from 175 resident-family dyads at 20 facilities were analyzed to identify priorities for service improvement from the customers' perspective. They include improving care provided by aides and management, meal service, and activities. Practical solutions for addressing these issues are presented.

  10. Automated Student Model Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koedinger, Kenneth R.; McLaughlin, Elizabeth A.; Stamper, John C.

    2012-01-01

    Student modeling plays a critical role in developing and improving instruction and instructional technologies. We present a technique for automated improvement of student models that leverages the DataShop repository, crowd sourcing, and a version of the Learning Factors Analysis algorithm. We demonstrate this method on eleven educational…

  11. Organizing Schools for Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryk, Anthony S.

    2010-01-01

    How schools are organized and interact with the local community can dramatically alter the odds for improving student achievement. There are five essential supports for school improvement: a coherent instructional guidance system, the professional capacity of its faculty, strong parent-community-school ties, a student-centered learning climate,…

  12. Towards Whole System Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glatter, Ron

    2012-01-01

    The relationship between academies, and school autonomy more generally, and the wider system is a crucial issue in the battle to improve school-level education. International experience indicates that emphasising choice and competition to drive improvement is not effective and that changing structures does not yield better results for students. A…

  13. Improving Disambiguation in FASIT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgin, Robert; Dillon, Martin

    1992-01-01

    Discussion of automatic indexing in information retrieval systems focuses on attempts to improve the indexing representation produced by the FASIT system. Concept selection and concept grouping are explained; improving disambiguation is discussed; and a retrieval experiment to test the effectiveness of the disambiguation using the cystic fibrosis…

  14. Improving College Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seldin, Peter; And Others

    This volume contains 20 papers providing practical, ready-to-use, research-based information to foster effective college teaching. Four sections group the papers under the following topics: (1) key influences on teaching quality; (2) programs to improve teaching; (3) strategies for teaching improvement; and (4) approaches to nontraditional…

  15. Improved wire chamber

    DOEpatents

    Atac, M.

    1987-05-12

    An improved gas mixture for use with proportional counter devices, such as Geiger-Mueller tubes and drift chambers. The improved gas mixture provides a stable drift velocity while eliminating wire aging caused by prior art gas mixtures. The new gas mixture is comprised of equal parts argon and ethane gas and having approximately 0.25% isopropyl alcohol vapor. 2 figs.

  16. Improving Listening Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geiss, Patricia A.; Mayer, Rose

    This report describes a program for improving listening skills, lack of which interferes with second language acquisition. The targeted population was first- and second-year Spanish students in one middle school and one high school. Intervention over 15 weeks included changes in the classroom environment (desk arrangement, improved lighting,…

  17. Improvement of School Climate.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sierra Sands Unified School District, Ridgecrest, CA.

    THE FOLLOWING IS THE FULL TEXT OF THIS DOCUMENT: As a part of its School Improvement Program, James Monroe Junior High School planned to improve its school climate. Since the physical school environment was devoid of landscaping and did not provide places for student socialization, all interested groups (PTSA, student council, students, staff, and…

  18. Gateway to Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Andrew

    2007-01-01

    People at the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) are focused on the adult learning experience wherever it takes place--in classrooms, workshops, training centres, community centres, or at work. They exist to help those who teach to be better at what they do--and those who lead and manage to encourage this improvement--so that learners can receive a…

  19. Science Education Improvement Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Science Foundation, New Delhi (India).

    The report covers the activities of the Indian Science Improvement Project during the calendar year 1970. The major emphasis is on curriculum development activities. Topics covered include elementary and secondary school science programs, traveling science workshop, college science improvement program, special college/university program, technical…

  20. Improved solid aerosol generator

    DOEpatents

    Prescott, D.S.; Schober, R.K.; Beller, J.

    1988-07-19

    An improved solid aerosol generator used to produce a gas borne stream of dry, solid particles of predetermined size and concentration. The improved solid aerosol generator nebulizes a feed solution of known concentration with a flow of preheated gas and dries the resultant wet heated aerosol in a grounded, conical heating chamber, achieving high recovery and flow rates. 2 figs.

  1. Continuous Personal Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emiliani, M. L.

    1998-01-01

    Suggests that continuous improvement tools used in the workplace can be applied to self-improvement. Explains the use of such techniques as one-piece flow, kanban, visual controls, and total productive maintenance. Points out misapplications of these tools and describes the use of fishbone diagrams to diagnose problems. (SK)

  2. Improved nonlinear prediction method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adenan, Nur Hamiza; Md Noorani, Mohd Salmi

    2014-06-01

    The analysis and prediction of time series data have been addressed by researchers. Many techniques have been developed to be applied in various areas, such as weather forecasting, financial markets and hydrological phenomena involving data that are contaminated by noise. Therefore, various techniques to improve the method have been introduced to analyze and predict time series data. In respect of the importance of analysis and the accuracy of the prediction result, a study was undertaken to test the effectiveness of the improved nonlinear prediction method for data that contain noise. The improved nonlinear prediction method involves the formation of composite serial data based on the successive differences of the time series. Then, the phase space reconstruction was performed on the composite data (one-dimensional) to reconstruct a number of space dimensions. Finally the local linear approximation method was employed to make a prediction based on the phase space. This improved method was tested with data series Logistics that contain 0%, 5%, 10%, 20% and 30% of noise. The results show that by using the improved method, the predictions were found to be in close agreement with the observed ones. The correlation coefficient was close to one when the improved method was applied on data with up to 10% noise. Thus, an improvement to analyze data with noise without involving any noise reduction method was introduced to predict the time series data.

  3. Improved Skin Friction Interferometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westphal, R. V.; Bachalo, W. D.; Houser, M. H.

    1986-01-01

    An improved system for measuring aerodynamic skin friction which uses a dual-laser-beam oil-film interferometer was developed. Improvements in the optical hardware provided equal signal characteristics for each beam and reduced the cost and complexity of the system by replacing polarization rotation by a mirrored prism for separation of the two signals. An automated, objective, data-reduction procedure was implemented to eliminate tedious manual manipulation of the interferometry data records. The present system was intended for use in two-dimensional, incompressible flows over a smooth, level surface without pressure gradient, but the improvements discussed are not limited to this application.

  4. Improving Family Communications

    MedlinePlus

    ... Spread the Word Shop AAP Find a Pediatrician Family Life Medical Home Family Dynamics Adoption & Foster Care ... Listen Español Text Size Email Print Share Improving Family Communications Page Content Article Body How can I ...

  5. Improving Early School Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pianta, Robert C.; La Paro, Karen

    2003-01-01

    Several large-scale research efforts imply that improving instructional quality rather than assessing student readiness is a better way to promote student performance in the early grades. (Contains 12 references.) (Author/MLF)

  6. Improving a Good Thing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Planning & Management, 2002

    2002-01-01

    Summarizes research from the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida which demonstrated that improvements in portable classrooms involving illumination and ventilation saved Florida 40 percent in electric use and $6 million in energy costs. (EV)

  7. Observatory Improvements for SOFIA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peralta, Robert A.; Jensen, Stephen C.

    2012-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project between NASA and Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), the German Space Agency. SOFIA is based in a Boeing 747 SP and flown in the stratosphere to observe infrared wavelengths unobservable from the ground. In 2007 Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) inherited and began work on improving the plane and its telescope. The improvements continue today with upgrading the plane and improving the telescope. The Observatory Verification and Validation (V&V) process is to ensure that the observatory is where the program says it is. The Telescope Status Display (TSD) will provide any information from the on board network to monitors that will display the requested information. In order to assess risks to the program, one must work through the various threats associate with that risk. Once all the risks are closed the program can work towards improving the observatory.

  8. Improved Atomizer Resists Clogging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dea, J. Y.

    1983-01-01

    Improved constant-output atomizer has conical orifice that permits air to sweep out all liquid thoroughly and prevent any buildup of liquid or dissolved solids. Capillary groove guides liquid to gas jet. Simple new design eliminates clogging.

  9. Proposal Improvements That Work

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunn, F.

    1998-01-01

    Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power, an operating location of Boeing in Canoga Park, California is under contract with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama for design, development, production, and mission support of Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs). The contract was restructured in 1996 to emphasize a mission contracting environment under which Rocketdyne supports the Space Transportation System launch manifest of seven flights a year without the need for a detailed list of contract deliverables such as nozzles, turbopumps, and combustion devices. This contract structure is in line with the overall Space Shuttle program goals established by the NASA to fly safely, meet the flight manifest, and reduce cost. Rocketdyne's Contracts, Pricing, and Estimating team has worked for the past several years with representatives from MSFC, the local Defense Contract Management Command, and the DCAA to improve the quality of cost proposals to MSFC for contract changes on the SSME. The contract changes on the program result primarily from engineering change proposals for product enhancements to improve safety, maintainability, or operability in the space environment. This continuous improvement team effort has been successful in improving proposal quality, reducing cycle time, and reducing cost. Some of the principal lessons learned are highlighted here to show how proposal improvements can be implemented to enhance customer satisfaction and ensure cost proposals can be evaluated easily by external customers.

  10. Improved NASTRAN plotting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Gordon C.

    1991-01-01

    The new 1991 COSMIC/NASTRAN version, compatible with the older versions, tries to remove some old constraints and make it easier to extract information from the plot file. It also includes some useful improvements and new enhancements. New features available in the 1991 version are described. They include a new PLT1 tape with simplified ASCII plot commands and short records, combined hidden and shrunk plot, an x-y-z coordinate system on all structural plots, element offset plot, improved character size control, improved FIND and NOFIND logic, a new NASPLOT post-prosessor to perform screen plotting or generate PostScript files, and a BASIC/NASTPLOT program for PC.

  11. Abuse Tolerance Improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Orendorff, Christopher J.; Nagasubramanian, Ganesan; Fenton, Kyle R.; Allcorn, Eric

    2015-10-01

    As lithium-ion battery technologies mature, the size and energy of these systems continues to increase (> 50 kWh for EVs); making safety and reliability of these high energy systems increasingly important. While most material advances for lithium-ion chemistries are directed toward improving cell performance (capacity, energy, cycle life, etc.), there are a variety of materials advancements that can be made to improve lithium-ion battery safety. Issues including energetic thermal runaway, electrolyte decomposition and flammability, anode SEI stability, and cell-level abuse tolerance continue to be critical safety concerns. This report highlights work with our collaborators to develop advanced materials to improve lithium-ion battery safety and abuse tolerance and to perform cell-level characterization of new materials.

  12. Improved limited discrepancy search

    SciTech Connect

    Korf, R.E.

    1996-12-31

    We present an improvement to Harvey and Ginsberg`s limited discrepancy search algorithm, which eliminates much of the redundancy in the original, by generating each path from the root to the maximum search depth only once. For a complete binary tree of depth d this reduces the asymptotic complexity from O(d+2/2 2{sup d}) to O(2{sup d}). The savings is much less in a partial tree search, or in a heavily pruned tree. The overhead of the improved algorithm on a complete binary tree is only a factor of b/(b - 1) compared to depth-first search. While this constant factor is greater on a heavily pruned tree, this improvement makes limited discrepancy search a viable alternative to depth-first search, whenever the entire tree may not be searched. Finally, we present both positive and negative empirical results on the utility of limited discrepancy search, for the problem of number partitioning.

  13. Novel improved PMR polyimides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pater, R. H.

    1981-01-01

    A series of N-phenylnadimide (PN) modified PMR polyimide composites reinforced with graphite fibers was investigated. The improved flow matrix resins consist of N-phenylnadimide (PN), monomenthyl ester of 5-norbornene-2, 3-dicarboxylic acid (NE), dimethyl ester of 3,3, 4,4-benzophenonetetracarboxylic acide (BTDE), and 4,4 methylenedianiline (MDA). Five modified PMR resin systems were formulated by the addition of 4 to 20 mole percent N-phenylnadimide to the standard PMR-15 composition. These formulations and the control PMR resin were evaluated for rheological characteristics. The initial thermal and mechanical properties of the PN modified PMR and the control PMR/Celion 6000 composites were determined. The results show that the addition of N-phenylnadimide to PMR-15 significantly improved the resin flow characteristics without sacrificing the composites properties. Concentrations of 4 and 9 mole percent PN appear to improve the thermoxidative stability of PMR composites.

  14. Mesh Quality Improvement Toolkit

    2002-11-15

    MESQUITE is a linkable software library to be used by simulation and mesh generation tools to improve the quality of meshes. Mesh quality is improved by node movement and/or local topological modifications. Various aspects of mesh quality such as smoothness, element shape, size, and orientation are controlled by choosing the appropriate mesh qualtiy metric, and objective function tempate, and a numerical optimization solver to optimize the quality of meshes, MESQUITE uses the TSTT mesh interfacemore » specification to provide an interoperable toolkit that can be used by applications which adopt the standard. A flexible code design makes it easy for meshing researchers to add additional mesh quality metrics, templates, and solvers to develop new quality improvement algorithms by making use of the MESQUITE infrastructure.« less

  15. [Improving emergency department organisation].

    PubMed

    Yordanov, Youri; Beltramini, Alexandra; Debuc, Erwan; Pateron, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Emergency departments use has been constantly increasing over the world. Overcrowding is defined as a situation which compromises patient safety because of delayed cares. This situation is often reached. Emergency departments have to continuously improve their organization to be able to ensure the same quality of care to a higher number of patients. Thus a good organization is essential: it doesn't always avoid overcrowding. The rest of the hospital has to be involved in this process to ensure efficiency. We examine the various interventions and procedures that can be found in medical literature for improving patients flow and management in emergency departments. PMID:25842427

  16. Improving pulmonary rehabilitation services.

    PubMed

    Beckford, Katy

    The Clinical Audit of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services in England and Wales was the first national audit of pulmonary rehabilitation services in England and Wales. Forming part of the National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Audit Programme, it was commissioned by Healthcare Quality Improvement Programme and conducted by the Royal College of Physicians and British Thoracic Society. The audit was undertaken to geographically map pulmonary rehabilitation services and identify how they can improve. This article summarises the key findings of the audit, and its recommendations. PMID:27400620

  17. Improving designer productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, Gary C.

    1992-01-01

    Designer and design team productivity improves with skill, experience, and the tools available. The design process involves numerous trials and errors, analyses, refinements, and addition of details. Computerized tools have greatly speeded the analysis, and now new theories and methods, emerging under the label Artificial Intelligence (AI), are being used to automate skill and experience. These tools improve designer productivity by capturing experience, emulating recognized skillful designers, and making the essence of complex programs easier to grasp. This paper outlines the aircraft design process in today's technology and business climate, presenting some of the challenges ahead and some of the promising AI methods for meeting those challenges.

  18. [Improving emergency department organisation].

    PubMed

    Yordanov, Youri; Beltramini, Alexandra; Debuc, Erwan; Pateron, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Emergency departments use has been constantly increasing over the world. Overcrowding is defined as a situation which compromises patient safety because of delayed cares. This situation is often reached. Emergency departments have to continuously improve their organization to be able to ensure the same quality of care to a higher number of patients. Thus a good organization is essential: it doesn't always avoid overcrowding. The rest of the hospital has to be involved in this process to ensure efficiency. We examine the various interventions and procedures that can be found in medical literature for improving patients flow and management in emergency departments.

  19. Improving: Services for Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This guide to self-evaluation and improvement builds upon the advice given in the publication "A Guide to Evaluating Services for Children and Young People Using Quality Indicators" (HMIE, 2006) (A summary of the quality indicators is reproduced in Appendix I). Local authorities, agencies and professionals who have responsibilities for providing…

  20. School Climate Improvement Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Eugene; Jackson, David

    As a means of dramatizing the interrelationships that determine the climate of a school, a simulation experience was created for participants in this workshop on school climate improvement. A discussion of the intent of the experience includes descriptions of "good" and "poor" school environments and their impact on the school community.…

  1. Improving Your Lecturing. Revised.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diamond, Nancy A.; And Others

    A guide for faculty who want to improve their lecturing skills is presented. After identifying advantages and disadvantages of the lecture method, suggestions are offered for effective lecture preparation, with attention to organizing the body of the lecture, and beginning and closing the lecture. Vocal aspects of lecture delivery are addressed,…

  2. Environmental Improvement in Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Environmental Science and Technology, 1976

    1976-01-01

    Working with the United Nations Development Program, the Mexican government's Program for Environmental Improvement is planning, coordinating, operating and monitoring pollution abatement programs in the areas of air, water, solid waste and pesticides. A brief discussion of activities is given. (BT)

  3. Improved Regression Calibration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skrondal, Anders; Kuha, Jouni

    2012-01-01

    The likelihood for generalized linear models with covariate measurement error cannot in general be expressed in closed form, which makes maximum likelihood estimation taxing. A popular alternative is regression calibration which is computationally efficient at the cost of inconsistent estimation. We propose an improved regression calibration…

  4. Digital simulation program improved

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bramblett, E. K.

    1970-01-01

    Modified Integration Digital Analog Simulation /MIDAS/ program, which provides time oriented solutions to equations from system block diagram descriptions, is given greater speed, accuracy, flexibility, and applicability. Improved program incorporates additional elements for extended solution capability not readily available from analog computers.

  5. Issues for School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bossert, Steve

    This speech discusses problems that principals face in trying to implement effective school strategies, describes ongoing research in instructional management, and identifies school improvement strategies used by particularly effective principals. The first section addresses practical problems in finding the appropriate balance between high…

  6. Improving Alaryngeal Speech Intelligibility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christensen, John M.; Dwyer, Patricia E.

    1990-01-01

    Laryngectomized patients using esophageal speech or an electronic artificial larynx have difficulty producing correct voicing contrasts between homorganic consonants. This paper describes a therapy technique that emphasizes "pushing harder" on voiceless consonants to improve alaryngeal speech intelligibility and proposes focusing on the production…

  7. Improving School Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacBeath, John, Ed.; Mortimore, Peter, Ed.

    School effectiveness is an issue that has preoccupied researchers and policymakers for 3 decades. To study how ineffective schools become effective and what constitutes an effective school, the Improving School Effectiveness Project was carried out in Scotland from 1995 to 1997. This project forms the basis of discussion in this book, which has 11…

  8. Improving Student Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hammond, James R.; Boivin, Real G.

    1991-01-01

    This document provides brief descriptions of 12 prevention strategies, 6 curriculum-based strategies, and 7 motivational strategies for improving student behavior. Alternative schools and programs, counseling, parent involvement, community involvement, student orientation programs, learning styles, writing activities, student codes of conduct,…

  9. Improved equivalent source theory.

    PubMed

    Umul, Yusuf Z

    2009-08-01

    The equivalent source theorem, which is an important technique in the study of radiation and scattering by apertures, is improved by using the two axioms of the modified theory of physical optics. The method is applied to the problem of radiation of electromagnetic waves by a parallel plate waveguide. The results are investigated numerically.

  10. Improving Young People's Concerts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felder, Harvey

    1998-01-01

    Stresses that symphony orchestras and other professional arts organizations need to improve young people's concerts by accounting for student learning and becoming partners with music educators. Provides an experience hierarchy that helps artists and arts organizations benefit from music teachers' knowledge and a list of five elements to consider…

  11. Dynamic balance improvement program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butner, M. F.

    1983-01-01

    The reduction of residual unbalance in the space shuttle main engine (SSME) high pressure turbopump rotors was addressed. Elastic rotor response to unbalance and balancing requirements, multiplane and in housing balancing, and balance related rotor design considerations were assessed. Recommendations are made for near term improvement of the SSME balancing and for future study and development efforts.

  12. Improving Sugarbeet Storability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies were initiated to establish a storage cultivar selection program which would reduce sucrose losses through improving sugarbeet storability and resistance to rhizomania caused by Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV). Studies were conducted in outdoor and indoor commercial sugarbeet piles ...

  13. Improvements in agricultural sciences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This editorial provides insight on investigations regarding advancements in agri-food quality and testing of eco-friendly organic farming methodologies. The discussion elaborates on the advantages of recent farming techniques and their impact on improved crop yield, crop quality, and minimization of...

  14. An Improved Archimedes Pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akoglu, Resat

    2002-12-01

    In this note we propose a slightly improved version of the Archimedes pump which was advertised as a toy model in The Physics Teacher. It consists of a hose wound densely around a tube (or pipe made of metallic or plastic material) which can be rotated mechanically (a hand driven one is the most primitive case as shown in the Picture 1) or electrically.

  15. IMPROVING THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    PETERS, JON S.; SCHNEIDER, RAYMOND C.

    GUIDELINES FOR CREATING IMPROVED EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS ARE PRESENTED WITH SUPPLEMENTARY DRAWINGS, DIAGRAMS, AND PHOTOGRAPHS. POLICY DECISIONS ARE RELATED TO--(1) THE SCHOOL'S RESPONSIBILITY TO THE FUTURE, (2) INDUSTRY'S RULE IN EDUCATION, AND (3) BUILDING PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES. EDUCATIONAL PLANNING IS DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF--(1) ART…

  16. GRASS ROOTS CURRICULUM IMPROVEMENT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    SHIELDS, MILDRED B.

    THE EXPRESSED DESIRE OF NEWARK LANGUAGE ARTS TEACHERS FOR PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT IN CURRICULUM ASSESSMENT AND SHAPING LED TO THE FRAMING OF A QUESTIONNAIRE TO GIVE TEACHERS A MEANS OF EVALUATING LANGUAGE ARTS PROGRAMS AND OF SUGGESTING IMPROVEMENTS. AN ANALYSIS OF THEIR RESPONSES IDENTIFIED "CLEARLY EMERGING NEEDS" FOR--(1) A SOUND PHILOSOPHY ON…

  17. Improving Student Engagement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beuscher, Shonna; Keuer, Lynn; Muehlich, Sharon; Tyra, Carol

    This action research project implemented and evaluated an intervention for improving student engagement in the learning process. The targeted population consisted of first, third, and fifth grade students in a small, traditional, middle class community, located in central Illinois. Evidence of non-engaged behaviors were documented from teacher…

  18. Improving boiler efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Yost, L.

    1982-06-24

    Boilers and burners are designed to operate most efficiently at, or near, full load. This fact seems to indicate that on/off operation is more efficient; however, standby losses must be considered. This article examines various types of industrial boiler heat losses that reduce efficiency and discusses methods for improving operation.

  19. Home Improvement Research Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolansky, William D.; Ogwezi, Benedict

    A study was conducted to determine what alterations, additions, and improvements in older homes make them more desirable to the consumer. After a revlew of the literature, a questionnaire was developed and sent to fifty-five homeowners in Ames, Iowa, who had had major additions or renovations done by contractors during the previous five years.…

  20. INNOVATIONS FOR INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CUSHMAN, M.L.; STURGES, A.W.

    THE CATSKILL AREA PROJECT IN SMALL SCHOOL DESIGN, THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN AREA PROJECT FOR SMALL HIGH SCHOOLS, THE WESTERN STATES SMALL SCHOOLS PROJECT, AND THE TEXAS SMALL SCHOOLS PROJECT ARE DESCRIBED AND COMPARED. FINANCIAL SUPPORT COMPARISONS ARE MADE. METHODS OF IMPROVING INSTRUCTION ARE DIVIDED INTO TEACHER-CENTERED AND ADMINISTRATOR-CENTERED…

  1. Collection Maintenance and Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrne, Sherry

    This resource guide provides information about the range of activities that can be implemented to maintain and improve the condition of research collections to ensure that they remain usable as long as possible. After an introduction that describes the major activities and a review of an investigation process that gives an overview of good…

  2. Improving Teacher Education Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harding, Kelly; Parsons, Jim

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, the authors review current practices in pre-service teacher education. They suggest that radical improvements are possible and that, if practiced, would help mediate many of the pressures young teachers face. To do so, the authors: 1) outline the experiences of young teachers to consider how teachers might thrive in a difficult…

  3. Improving Enterprise in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, 2008

    2008-01-01

    "Improving Enterprise in Education" evaluates enterprise in education using a framework developed in direct response to a recommendation in "Determined to Succeed." The framework comprised quality indicators, chosen from the second edition of "How good is our school?" to focus on key features of enterprise in education: learners' experiences,…

  4. Instruction, Capacity, and Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, David K.; Ball, Deborah Loewenberg

    This research report offers a theoretical frame for examining recent instructional improvement efforts. First, it develops a theoretical view of instruction and an analysis of the environments of instruction. It analyzes the relations between instruction and its environments and the circumstances under which intervenors must operate. The report…

  5. Claim and Continuous Improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulová, Iveta; Meravá, Miroslava

    2010-01-01

    The claim will always represent the kind of information that is annoying to recipients. Systematic work with claims has a positive value for the company. Addressing the complaint has a positive effect on continuous improvement. This paper was worked out with the support of VEGA No.1/0229/08 Perspectives of quality management development in coherence with requirements of Slovak republic market.

  6. Improved vortex reactor system

    DOEpatents

    Diebold, James P.; Scahill, John W.

    1995-01-01

    An improved vortex reactor system for affecting fast pyrolysis of biomass and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) feed materials comprising: a vortex reactor having its axis vertically disposed in relation to a jet of a horizontally disposed steam ejector that impels feed materials from a feeder and solids from a recycle loop along with a motive gas into a top part of said reactor.

  7. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Forrest B.; Bull, Jeffrey S.; Rising, Michael Evan

    2015-04-14

    Twenty-eight slides give information about the work of the US DOE/NNSA Nuclear Criticality Safety Program on MCNP6 under the following headings: MCNP6.1.1 Release, with ENDF/B-VII.1; Verification/Validation; User Support & Training; Performance Improvements; and Work in Progress. Whisper methodology will be incorporated into the code, and run speed should be increased.

  8. Improved traveling wave tubes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buck, E.

    1980-01-01

    After a brief description of how a typical TWT works, multi-stage depressed collectors (MDC) are discussed. A quick method for computing the expected efficiency of a well engineered TWT is outlined to aid in estimating power supply needs. Applications of improved TWTs and a new power supply are suggested.

  9. Improving quality at Parkview.

    PubMed

    Ivey, B J

    1992-01-01

    Parkview Episcopal Medical Center in Pueblo, CO, has been implementing a continuous quality improvement (CQI)-driven organization since April 1988. Under the leadership of Michael Pugh, the medical center's president and CEO, Parkview has made great progress in this effort. However, there is much more to be accomplished in the years to come.

  10. Improving Student Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Pamela; Gilbert, Janice T.

    This report describes a program for improving the behavior of seventh and eighth grade students with learning disabilities in a self-contained classroom setting. Analysis of probable causes revealed that students demonstrated a lack of problem-solving skills, showed a low frustration tolerance, and exhibited poor self-concepts. Two major…

  11. Measuring to improve.

    PubMed

    Klein, R; Bobbitt, M

    1995-01-01

    Rush Prudential Health Plans, a managed care company located in Chicago, Illinois, is implementing a service quality improvement process across the three products it markets in the Chicago area: The Anchor Plan (a primarily staff model HMO), The Affiliates Plan (a network model HMO), and The Plus Plan (a point of service plan). In 1994, the company instituted an annual member satisfaction research study, conducted across the three plans, and began building a link between external customer requirements and internal operations. The research process consisted of three stages: determining external customer requirements, translating these customer-defined "symptoms" into underlying root causes, and developing a service quality improvement action plan. Rush Prudential determined that traditional "report card" surveys would not meet their goals for the information measurement process. A detailed diagnostic telephone survey was used to provide a picture of the entire clinical encounter, from scheduling an appointment through the time a member left the physician's office. PMID:10151598

  12. Commercial cooking equipment improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Himmel, R.L.

    1981-10-01

    A program to improve the efficiency of gas-fired commercial cooking equipment has focused on deep-fat fryers and the oven, open-top, hot-top, and fry-top sections of ranges. A newly developed infrared deep-fat fryer provided to be 25% more efficient than conventional units. Using the direct-fired forced-convection approach in an oven reduced the fuel consumed during baking by 55%. A range open-top burner system with an experimental power burner consumed 33% less fuel and time than conventional models. Preliminary modifications to heavy-duty hot-top and fry-top sections demonstrated fuel savings of 43% and 30%, respectively. More R and D is planned to incorporate manufacturer suggestions resulting in more complete experimental models that will aid in commercializing these improved appliances.

  13. Measuring to improve.

    PubMed

    Klein, R; Bobbitt, M

    1995-01-01

    Rush Prudential Health Plans, a managed care company located in Chicago, Illinois, is implementing a service quality improvement process across the three products it markets in the Chicago area: The Anchor Plan (a primarily staff model HMO), The Affiliates Plan (a network model HMO), and The Plus Plan (a point of service plan). In 1994, the company instituted an annual member satisfaction research study, conducted across the three plans, and began building a link between external customer requirements and internal operations. The research process consisted of three stages: determining external customer requirements, translating these customer-defined "symptoms" into underlying root causes, and developing a service quality improvement action plan. Rush Prudential determined that traditional "report card" surveys would not meet their goals for the information measurement process. A detailed diagnostic telephone survey was used to provide a picture of the entire clinical encounter, from scheduling an appointment through the time a member left the physician's office.

  14. Partnership for Continuous Improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    The proceedings are presented of the sixth annual conference on quality control between NASA and its contractors. The emphasis is placed on a commitment to quality and excellence that guarantees mission success. A forum is provided for representatives from government, industry, and academia to exchange ideas and experiences, encouraging total quality performance that results in high quality products and services. Key points are highlighted from the presentations and activities are described that have resulted in a broad range of improvements in products and services from government, industry, and academia. Long term commitment to quality is an essential requirement that ensures future success. That commitment reinterates the dedication to excellence in space exploration and to national quality and productivity improvement.

  15. Improved solar heating systems

    DOEpatents

    Schreyer, J.M.; Dorsey, G.F.

    1980-05-16

    An improved solar heating system is described in which the incident radiation of the sun is absorbed on collector panels, transferred to a storage unit and then distributed as heat for a building and the like. The improvement is obtained by utilizing a storage unit comprising separate compartments containing an array of materials having different melting points ranging from 75 to 180/sup 0/F. The materials in the storage system are melted in accordance with the amount of heat absorbed from the sun and then transferred to the storage system. An efficient low volume storage system is provided by utilizing the latent heat of fusion of the materials as they change states in storing ad releasing heat for distribution.

  16. Improving Vacuum Cleaners

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Under a Space Act Agreement between the Kirby company and Lewis Research Center, NASA technology was applied to a commercial vacuum cleaner product line. Kirby engineers were interested in advanced operational concepts, such as particle flow behavior and vibration, critical factors to improve vacuum cleaner performance. An evaluation of the company 1994 home care system, the Kirby G4, led to the refinement of the new G5 and future models. Under the cooperative agreement, Kirby had access to Lewis' holography equipment, which added insight into how long a vacuum cleaner fan would perform, as well as advanced computer software that can simulate the flow of air through fans. The collaboration resulted in several successes including fan blade redesign and continuing dialogue on how to improve air-flow traits in various nozzle designs.

  17. AGS preinjector improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Alessi, J.G.; Brennan, J.M.; Brown, H.N.; Brodowski, J.; Gough, R.; Kponou, A.; Prelec, K.; Staples, J.; Tanabe, J.; Witkover, R.

    1987-01-01

    In 1984, a polarized H/sup -/ source was installed to permit the acceleration of polarized protons in the AGS, using a low current, 750 keV RFQ Linear Accelerator as the preinjector. This RFQ was designed by LANL and has proved to be quite satisfactory and reliable. In order to improve the reliability and simplify maintenance of the overall AGS operations, it has been decided to replace one of the two 750 keV Cockcroft-Waltons (C-W) with an RFQ. The design of a new high current RFQ has been carried out by LBL and is also being constructed there. This paper describes the preinjector improvement project, centered around that RFQ, which is underway at BNL.

  18. Epigenetics and crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Springer, Nathan M

    2013-04-01

    There is considerable excitement about the potential for epigenetic information to contribute to heritable variation in many species. Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance is rapidly growing, and it is now possible to profile the epigenome at high resolution. Epigenetic information plays a role in developmental gene regulation, response to the environment, and in natural variation of gene expression levels. Because of these central roles, there is the potential for epigenetics to play a role in crop improvement strategies including the selection for favorable epigenetic states, creation of novel epialleles, and regulation of transgene expression. In this review we consider the potential, and the limitations, of epigenetic variation in crop improvement.

  19. Process Improvement: Customer Service.

    PubMed

    Cull, Donald

    2015-01-01

    Utilizing the comment section of patient satisfaction surveys, Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, IN went through a thoughtful process to arrive at an experience that patients said they wanted. Two Lean Six Sigma tools were used--the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and the Affinity Diagram. Even when using these tools, a facility will not be able to accomplish everything the patient may want. Guidelines were set and rules were established for the Process Improvement Team in order to lessen frustration, increase focus, and ultimately be successful. The project's success is driven by the team members carrying its message back to their areas. It's about ensuring that everyone is striving to improve the patients' experience by listening to what they say is being done right and what they say can be done better. And then acting on it. PMID:26571974

  20. Process Improvement: Customer Service.

    PubMed

    Cull, Donald

    2015-01-01

    Utilizing the comment section of patient satisfaction surveys, Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, IN went through a thoughtful process to arrive at an experience that patients said they wanted. Two Lean Six Sigma tools were used--the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and the Affinity Diagram. Even when using these tools, a facility will not be able to accomplish everything the patient may want. Guidelines were set and rules were established for the Process Improvement Team in order to lessen frustration, increase focus, and ultimately be successful. The project's success is driven by the team members carrying its message back to their areas. It's about ensuring that everyone is striving to improve the patients' experience by listening to what they say is being done right and what they say can be done better. And then acting on it.

  1. Improved Sprayable Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, W. F.; Sharpe, M. H.; Lester, C. N.; Echols, Sherman; Simpson, W. G.; Lambert, J. D.; Norton, W. F.; Mclemore, J. P.; Patel, A. K.; Patel, S. V.; Shockney, C. H.; Adams, G. R.; Kelly, M. R.; White, W. T.

    1992-01-01

    MSA-2 and MSA-2A, two similar improved versions of Marshall sprayable ablator, insulating material developed at Marshall Space Flight Center to replace both sheets of cork and MSA-1. Suitable for use on large vehicles and structures exposed to fire or other sources of heat by design or accident. Ablative insulation turns into strong char when exposed to high temperature; highly desireable property in original spacecraft application and possibly in some terrestrial applications.

  2. Teleophthalmology: improving patient outcomes?

    PubMed Central

    Sreelatha, Omana Kesary; Ramesh, Sathyamangalam VenkataSubbu

    2016-01-01

    Teleophthalmology is gaining importance as an effective eye care delivery modality worldwide. In many developing countries, teleophthalmology is being utilized to provide quality eye care to the underserved urban population and the unserved remote rural population. Over the years, technological innovations have led to improvement in evidence and teleophthalmology has evolved from a research tool to a clinical tool. The majority of the current teleophthalmology services concentrate on patient screening and appropriate referral to experts. Specialty care using teleophthalmology services for the pediatric group includes screening as well as providing timely care for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Among geriatric eye diseases, specialty teleophthalmology care is focused toward screening and referral for diabetic retinopathy (DR), glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), and other sight-threatening conditions. Comprehensive vision screening and refractive error services are generally covered as part of most of the teleophthalmology methods. Over the past decades, outcome assessment of health care system includes patients’ assessments on their health, care, and services they receive. Outcomes, by and large, remain the ultimate validators of the effectiveness and quality of medical care. Teleophthalmology produces the same desired clinical outcome as the traditional system. Remote portals allow specialists to provide care over a larger region, thereby improving health outcomes and increasing accessibility of specialty care to a larger population. A high satisfaction level and acceptance is reported in the majority of the studies because of increased accessibility and reduced traveling cost and time. Considering the improved quality of patient care and patient satisfaction reported for these telemedicine services, this review explores how teleophthalmology helps to improve patient outcomes. PMID:26929592

  3. Alumina fiber strength improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pepper, R. T.; Nelson, D. C.

    1982-01-01

    The effective fiber strength of alumina fibers in an aluminum composite was increased to 173,000 psi. A high temperature heat treatment, combined with a glassy carbon surface coating, was used to prevent degradation and improve fiber tensile strength. Attempts to achieve chemical strengthening of the alumina fiber by chromium oxide and boron oxide coatings proved unsuccessful. A major problem encountered on the program was the low and inconsistent strength of the Dupont Fiber FP used for the investigation.

  4. Improved vortex reactor system

    DOEpatents

    Diebold, J.P.; Scahill, J.W.

    1995-05-09

    An improved vortex reactor system is described for affecting fast pyrolysis of biomass and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) feed materials comprising: a vortex reactor having its axis vertically disposed in relation to a jet of a horizontally disposed steam ejector that impels feed materials from a feeder and solids from a recycle loop along with a motive gas into a top part of said reactor. 12 figs.

  5. Improved ephemerides of Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Standish, E. M.

    1994-01-01

    The history of the Pluto ephemerides created at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is given. The uncertainties of present and possible future ephemerides are illustrated, and it is shown how rapidly the error grows for any present-day ephemeris of Pluto which is extrapolated into the future--tens of thousands of kilometers after only a decade. Continuing the observations into the future not only will reduce the extrapolation time but will provide a substantial improvement to the ephemeris itself.

  6. Teleophthalmology: improving patient outcomes?

    PubMed

    Sreelatha, Omana Kesary; Ramesh, Sathyamangalam VenkataSubbu

    2016-01-01

    Teleophthalmology is gaining importance as an effective eye care delivery modality worldwide. In many developing countries, teleophthalmology is being utilized to provide quality eye care to the underserved urban population and the unserved remote rural population. Over the years, technological innovations have led to improvement in evidence and teleophthalmology has evolved from a research tool to a clinical tool. The majority of the current teleophthalmology services concentrate on patient screening and appropriate referral to experts. Specialty care using teleophthalmology services for the pediatric group includes screening as well as providing timely care for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Among geriatric eye diseases, specialty teleophthalmology care is focused toward screening and referral for diabetic retinopathy (DR), glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), and other sight-threatening conditions. Comprehensive vision screening and refractive error services are generally covered as part of most of the teleophthalmology methods. Over the past decades, outcome assessment of health care system includes patients' assessments on their health, care, and services they receive. Outcomes, by and large, remain the ultimate validators of the effectiveness and quality of medical care. Teleophthalmology produces the same desired clinical outcome as the traditional system. Remote portals allow specialists to provide care over a larger region, thereby improving health outcomes and increasing accessibility of specialty care to a larger population. A high satisfaction level and acceptance is reported in the majority of the studies because of increased accessibility and reduced traveling cost and time. Considering the improved quality of patient care and patient satisfaction reported for these telemedicine services, this review explores how teleophthalmology helps to improve patient outcomes. PMID:26929592

  7. Improved Electrohydraulic Linear Actuators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamtil, James

    2004-01-01

    A product line of improved electrohydraulic linear actuators has been developed. These actuators are designed especially for use in actuating valves in rocket-engine test facilities. They are also adaptable to many industrial uses, such as steam turbines, process control valves, dampers, motion control, etc. The advantageous features of the improved electrohydraulic linear actuators are best described with respect to shortcomings of prior electrohydraulic linear actuators that the improved ones are intended to supplant. The flow of hydraulic fluid to the two ports of the actuator cylinder is controlled by a servo valve that is controlled by a signal from a servo amplifier that, in turn, receives an analog position-command signal (a current having a value between 4 and 20 mA) from a supervisory control system of the facility. As the position command changes, the servo valve shifts, causing a greater flow of hydraulic fluid to one side of the cylinder and thereby causing the actuator piston to move to extend or retract a piston rod from the actuator body. A linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) directly linked to the piston provides a position-feedback signal, which is compared with the position-command signal in the servo amplifier. When the position-feedback and position-command signals match, the servo valve moves to its null position, in which it holds the actuator piston at a steady position.

  8. Improved flywheel materials :

    SciTech Connect

    Boyle, Timothy J.; Bell, Nelson S; Ehlen, Mark Andrew; Anderson, Benjamin John; Miller, William Kenneth

    2013-09-01

    As alternative energy generating devices (i.e., solar, wind, etc) are added onto the electrical energy grid (AC grid), irregularities in the available electricity due to natural occurrences (i.e., clouds reducing solar input or wind burst increasing wind powered turbines) will be dramatically increased. Due to their almost instantaneous response, modern flywheel-based energy storage devices can act a mechanical mechanism to regulate the AC grid; however, improved spin speeds will be required to meet the necessary energy levels to balance these green energy variances. Focusing on composite flywheels, we have investigated methods for improving the spin speeds based on materials needs. The so-called composite flywheels are composed of carbon fiber (C-fiber), glass fiber, and a glue (resin) to hold them together. For this effort, we have focused on the addition of fillers to the resin in order to improve its properties. Based on the high loads required for standard meso-sized fillers, this project investigated the utility of ceramic nanofillers since they can be added at very low load levels due to their high surface area. The impact that TiO2 nanowires had on the final strength of the flywheel material was determined by a three-point-bend test. The results of the introduction of nanomaterials demonstrated an increase in strength of the flywheels C-fiber-resin moiety, with an upper limit of a 30% increase being reported. An analysis of the economic impact concerning the utilization of the nanowires was undertaken and after accounting for new-technology and additional production costs, return on improved-nanocomposite investment was approximated at 4-6% per year over the 20-year expected service life. Further, it was determined based on the 30% improvement in strength, this change may enable a 20-30% reduction in flywheel energy storage cost ($/kW-h).

  9. Improved radioanalytical methods

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, M.D.; Aldstadt, J.H.; Alvarado, J.S.; Crain, J.S.; Orlandini, K.A.; Smith, L.L.

    1995-12-31

    Methods for the chemical characterization of the environment are being developed under a multitask project for the Analytical Services Division (EM-263) within the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management. This project focuses on improvement of radioanalytical methods with an emphasis on faster and cheaper routine methods. We have developed improved methods, for separation of environmental levels of technetium-99 and strontium-89/90, radium, and actinides from soil and water; and for separation of actinides from soil and water matrix interferences. Among the novel separation techniques being used are element- and class-specific resins and membranes. (The 3M Corporation is commercializing Empore {trademark} membranes under a cooperative research and development agreement [CRADA] initiated under this project). We have also developed methods for simultaneous detection of multiple isotopes using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The ICP-MS method requires less rigorous chemical separations than traditional radiochemical analyses because of its mass-selective mode of detection. Actinides and their progeny have been isolated and concentrated from a variety of natural water matrices by using automated batch separation incorporating selective resins prior to ICP-MS analyses. In addition, improvements in detection limits, sample volume, and time of analysis were obtained by using other sample introduction techniques, such as ultrasonic nebulization and electrothermal vaporization. Integration and automation of the separation methods with the ICP-MS methodology by using flow injection analysis is underway, with an objective of automating methods to achieve more reproducible results, reduce labor costs, cut analysis time, and minimize secondary waste generation through miniaturization of the process.

  10. Improved ion source

    DOEpatents

    Leung, K.N.; Ehlers, K.W.

    1982-05-04

    A magnetic filter for an ion source reduces the production of undesired ion species and improves the ion beam quality. High-energy ionizing electrons are confined by the magnetic filter to an ion source region, where the high-energy electrons ionize gas molecules. One embodiment of the magnetic filter uses permanent magnets oriented to establish a magnetic field transverse to the direction of travel of ions from the ion source region to the ion extraction region. In another embodiment, low energy 16 eV electrons are injected into the ion source to dissociate gas molecules and undesired ion species into desired ion species,

  11. Improving aircraft energy efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Povinelli, F. P.; Klineberg, J. M.; Kramer, J. J.

    1976-01-01

    Investigations conducted by a NASA task force concerning the development of aeronautical fuel-conservation technology are considered. The task force estimated the fuel savings potential, prospects for implementation in the civil air-transport fleet, and the impact of the technology on air-transport fuel use. Propulsion advances are related to existing engines in the fleet, to new production of current engine types, and to new engine designs. Studies aimed at the evolutionary improvement of aerodynamic design and a laminar flow control program are discussed and possibilities concerning the use of composite structural materials are examined.

  12. Improved cycling cryopump

    DOEpatents

    Batzer, T.H.; Call, W.R.

    1984-12-04

    The present invention is designed to achieve continuous high efficiency cryopumping of a vacuum vessel by improving upon and combining in a novel way the cryopumping in a novel way the cryopumping methods. The invention consists of a continuous operation cryopump, with movable louvres, with a high efficiency pumping apparatus. The pumping apparatus includes three cryogenic tubes. They are constructed of a substance of high thermal conductivity, such as aluminum and their exterior surfaces are cryogenic condensing surfaces. Through their interior liquid or gaseous helium from two reservoirs can be made to flow, alternately promoting extreme cooling or allowing some warming.

  13. Improving carbon fixation pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Ducat, DC; Silver, PA

    2012-08-01

    A recent resurgence in basic and applied research on photosynthesis has been driven in part by recognition that fulfilling future food and energy requirements will necessitate improvements in crop carbon-fixation efficiencies. Photosynthesis in traditional terrestrial crops is being reexamined in light of molecular strategies employed by photosynthetic microbes to enhance the activity of the Calvin cycle. Synthetic biology is well-situated to provide original approaches for compartmentalizing and enhancing photosynthetic reactions in a species independent manner. Furthermore, the elucidation of alternative carbon-fixation routes distinct from the Calvin cycle raises possibilities that novel pathways and organisms can be utilized to fix atmospheric carbon dioxide into useful materials.

  14. Improved tool grinding machine

    DOEpatents

    Dial, C.E. Sr.

    The present invention relates to an improved tool grinding mechanism for grinding single point diamond cutting tools to precise roundness and radius specifications. The present invention utilizes a tool holder which is longitudinally displaced with respect to the remainder of the grinding system due to contact of the tool with the grinding surface with this displacement being monitored so that any variation in the grinding of the cutting surface such as caused by crystal orientation or tool thicknesses may be compensated for during the grinding operation to assure the attainment of the desired cutting tool face specifications.

  15. Improved ion detector

    DOEpatents

    Tullis, A.M.

    1986-01-30

    An improved ion detector device of the ionization detection device chamber type comprises an ionization chamber having a central electrode therein surrounded by a cylindrical electrode member within the chamber with a collar frictionally fitted around at least one of the electrodes. The collar has electrical contact means carried in an annular groove in an inner bore of the collar to contact the outer surface of the electrode to provide electrical contact between an external terminal and the electrode without the need to solder leads to the electrode.

  16. Reversal of Established Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced, Anxiety-Like Behavior in Rats after Delayed, Post-Injury Neuroimmune Suppression

    PubMed Central

    Rodgers, Krista M.; Deming, Yuetiva K.; Bercum, Florencia M.; Chumachenko, Serhiy Y.; Wieseler, Julie L.; Johnson, Kirk W.; Watkins, Linda R.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly anxiety disorders. Yet, there are presently no therapeutic interventions to prevent the development of post-traumatic anxiety or effective treatments once it has developed. This is because, in large part, of a lack of understanding of the underlying pathophysiology. Recent research suggests that chronic neuroinflammatory responses to injury may play a role in the development of post-traumatic anxiety in rodent models. Acute peri-injury administration of immunosuppressive compounds, such as Ibudilast (MN166), have been shown to prevent reactive gliosis associated with immune responses to injury and also prevent lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI)-induced anxiety-like behavior in rats. There is evidence in both human and rodent studies that post-traumatic anxiety, once developed, is a chronic, persistent, and drug-refractory condition. In the present study, we sought to determine whether neuroinflammation is associated with the long-term maintenance of post-traumatic anxiety. We examined the efficacy of an anti-inflammatory treatment in decreasing anxiety-like behavior and reactive gliosis when introduced at 1 month after injury. Delayed treatment substantially reduced established LFPI-induced freezing behavior and reactive gliosis in brain regions associated with anxiety and continued neuroprotective effects were evidenced 6 months post-treatment. These results support the conclusion that neuroinflammation may be involved in the development and maintenance of anxiety-like behaviors after TBI. PMID:24041015

  17. Improvement of WIDGET

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodaka, N.; Tashiro, M. S.; Urata, Y.; Onda, K.; Iwakiri, W.; Sugasahara, T.; Tamagawa, T.; Kuwahara, M.; Kageyama, S.; Usui, F.; Nakada, Y.; Miyata, T.; Aoki, T.; Soyano, T.; Tarusawa, K.; Mito, H.; Tomita, H.

    2008-05-01

    The Wide-Field Telescope for Gamma-ray burst (GRB) Early Timing (WIDGET) is a robotic telescope aiming to observe the optical emission associated with the GRB. The system has a 64°×64° wide field-of-view and tracks the Swift/BAT field-of-view automatically. The WIDGET had been operated at Akeno campus of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research of the University of Tokyo through May 2004 to October 2006, and has been moved to Kiso observatory, IoA, University of Tokyo. For two years in Akeno, the WIDGET succeeded to observe the GRB position seven times simultaneously with the HETE2 or Swift. Based on the successful operation in Akeno, we have moved and improved the system to Kiso observatory to realize more sensitive and efficient observation. These major improvements have been carried out until March 2007 and we have succeeded to reduce the background and achieved the limiting magnitude of Mv = 11-12 after color correction.

  18. Improved performance white LED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narendran, Nadarajah

    2005-09-01

    This paper describes work leading to the development of a new packaging method for white LEDs, called scattered photon extraction (SPE). Previous work by our group showed that the traditional placement of the phosphor close to the die negatively affects the overall luminous efficacy and lumen maintenance of phosphor-converted white LEDs. The new SPE method enables higher luminous efficacy by placing the phosphor at a remote location from the die and by shaping the lens surrounding the die to extract a significant portion of the back-transferred light before it is absorbed by packaging components. Although the remote phosphor concept is not new, SPE is the first method to demonstrate efficient extraction of back-transferred light and show over 60 percent improvement in light output and efficacy compared to similar commercial white LEDs. At low currents, the prototype white LEDs based on the SPE technique showed over 80 lumens per watt. The SPE concept was tried on two types of commercial packages and both showed similar improvements.

  19. Improved Biosensors for Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silberg, J. J.; Masiello, C. A.; Cheng, H. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Microbes drive processes in the Earth system far exceeding their physical scale, affecting crop yields, water quality, the mobilization of toxic materials, and fundamental aspects of soil biogeochemistry. The tools of synthetic biology have the potential to significantly improve our understanding of microbial Earth system processes: for example, synthetic microbes can be be programmed to report on environmental conditions that stimulate greenhouse gas production, metal oxidation, biofilm formation, pollutant degradation, and microbe-plant symbioses. However, these tools are only rarely deployed in the lab. This research gap arises because synthetically programmed microbes typically report on their environment by producing molecules that are detected optically (e.g., fluorescent proteins). Fluorescent reporters are ideal for petri-dish applications and have fundamentally changed how we study human health, but their usefulness is quite limited in soils where detecting fluorescence is challenging. Here we describe the construction of gas-reporting biosensors, which release nonpolar gases that can be detected in the headspace of incubation experiments. These constructs can be used to probe microbial processes within soils in real-time noninvasive lab experiments. These biosensors can be combined with traditional omics-based approaches to reveal processes controlling soil microbial behavior and lead to improved environmental management decisions.

  20. Improved Rhenium Thrust Chambers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Dell, John Scott

    2015-01-01

    Radiation-cooled bipropellant thrust chambers are being considered for ascent/ descent engines and reaction control systems on various NASA missions and spacecraft, such as the Mars Sample Return and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). Currently, iridium (Ir)-lined rhenium (Re) combustion chambers are the state of the art for in-space engines. NASA's Advanced Materials Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine, a 150-lbf Ir-Re chamber produced by Plasma Processes and Aerojet Rocketdyne, recently set a hydrazine specific impulse record of 333.5 seconds. To withstand the high loads during terrestrial launch, Re chambers with improved mechanical properties are needed. Recent electrochemical forming (EL-Form"TM") results have shown considerable promise for improving Re's mechanical properties by producing a multilayered deposit composed of a tailored microstructure (i.e., Engineered Re). The Engineered Re processing techniques were optimized, and detailed characterization and mechanical properties tests were performed. The most promising techniques were selected and used to produce an Engineered Re AMBR-sized combustion chamber for testing at Aerojet Rocketdyne.

  1. Towards improved CZT crystals.

    SciTech Connect

    Zimmerman, Jonathan A.; Ward, Donald K.; Doty, F. Patrick; Wong, Bryan Matthew; Zhou, Xiao Wang

    2010-03-01

    Past experimental efforts to improve CZT crystals for gamma spectrometer applications have been focused on reducing micron-scale defects such as tellurium inclusions and precipitates. While these micron-scale defects are important, experiments have shown that the micron-scale variations in transport can be caused by the formation and aggregation of atomic-scale defects such as dislocations and point defect clusters. Moreover, dislocation cells have been found to act as nucleation sites that cause the formation of large precipitates. To better solve the uniformity problem of CZT, atomic-scale defects must be understood and controlled. To this end, we have begun to develop an atomistic model that can be used to reveal the effects of small-scale defects and to guide experiments for reducing both atomic- and micron-scale (tellurium inclusions and precipitates) defects. Our model will be based upon a bond order potential (BOP) to enable large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of material structures at a high-fidelity level that was not possible with alternative methods. To establish how BOP improves over existing approaches, we report here our recent work on the assessment of two representative literature CdTe interatomic potentials that are currently widely used: the Stillinger-Weber (SW) potential and the Tersoff-Rockett (TR) potential. Careful examinations of phases, defects, and surfaces of the CdTe system were performed. We began our study by using both potentials to evaluate the lattice constants and cohesive energies of various Cd, Te, and CdTe phases including dimer, trimer, chain, square, rhomboid, tetrahedron, diamond-cubic (dc), simple-cubic (sc), body-centered-cubic (bcc), face-centered cubic (fcc), hexagonal-close-packed (hcp), graphite-sheet, A8, zinc-blende (zb), wurtzite (wz), NaCl, CsCl, etc. We then compared the results with our calculations using the density functional theory (DFT) quantum mechanical method. We also evaluated the suitability of the

  2. Functionality Improvements to Overaero

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gee, Ken; Rizk, Yehia M.

    2000-01-01

    The functionality of the overset, static aeroelasticity, Navier-Stokes flow solver OVERAERO was increased by adding capability to the flow solver and enhancing code performance. Improvements were made to the fluids/structure interface, an MLP version of the parallel OVERAERO code was developed, and the OVERAERO-MPI code was ported to the Cray T3E. The OVERFLOW-MPI and OVERAERO-MPI codes were tested successfully on the IPG testbed and a means of reducing communication overhead within OVERFLOW-MPI was investigated. To solve an aeroelastic problem computationally, a structures grid surface definition and a fluids grid surface definition are required. Typically, the structures grid surface has a lower fidelity than the fluids grid surface. Thus, the methods developed to transfer data between the two grid systems are vital to the accuracy and efficiency of the aeroelasticity code. The fluids/structures interface developed for the OVERAERO code was improved to more accurately treat fluids surfaces that bridge between two different structural surfaces. For example, the method allowed the forward portion of a flap track fairing to deform with the wing and the aft end of the fairing to deform with the flap. A tightly-coupled version of the code based on OVERFLOW-MLP was developed to improve code performance on the SGI Origin 2000. This required a new parallelization strategy to couple the fluids and structures codes. The OVERAERO-MPI code was ported to the Cray T3E to extend the usability of the code. The port required extensive use of dynamic memory management techniques to fit large problems within the memory limitations of the T3E. The OVERFLOW-MPI and OVERAERO-MPI codes were tested on the IPG testbed being developed within NASA. For small problems with minimal data transfer between grids, there was little to no performance penalty spreading the computation across two machines. For very large problems, methods were developed to minimize intermachine communication via the

  3. Deceleration Orbit Improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Church, M.

    1991-04-26

    During the accelerator studies period of 12/90-1/91 much study time was dedicated to improving the E760 deceleration ramps. 4 general goals were in mind: (1) Reduce the relative orbit deviations from the nominal reference orbit as much as possible. This reduces the potential error in the orbit length calculation - which is the primary source of error in the beam energy calculation. (2) Maximize the transverse apertures. This minimizes beam loss during deceleration and during accidental beam blow-ups. (3) Measure and correct lattice parameters. Knowledge of {gamma}{sub T}, {eta}, Q{sub h}, Q{sub v}, and the dispersion in the straight sections allows for a more accurate energy calculation and reliable SYNCH calculations. (4) Minimize the coupling. This allows one to discern between horizontal and vertical tunes.

  4. Measuring improved patient choice.

    PubMed

    Holmes-Rovner, M; Rovner, D R

    2000-08-01

    Patient decision support (PDS) tools or decision aids have been developed as adjuncts to the clinical encounter. Their aim is to support evidence-based patient choice. Clinical trials of PDS tools have used an array of outcome measures to determine efficacy, including knowledge, satisfaction, health status and consistency between patient choice and values. This paper proposes that the correlation between 'subjective expected utility' (SEU) and decision may be the best primary endpoint for trials. SEU is a measure usually used in behavioural decision theory. The paper first describes how decision support tools may use decision analysis to structure the presentation of evidence and guide patient decision-making. Uses of expected utility (EU) are suggested for evaluating PDS tools when improving population health status is the objective. SEU is the theoretically better measure when internal consistency of patient choices is the objective. PMID:11083037

  5. Improving adolescent maternal health.

    PubMed

    Baxter, C; Moodley, D

    2015-11-01

    Each year thousands of adolescent girls and young women in South Africa (SA) become pregnant and many die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Although women of all ages are susceptible, girls<15 years of age are five times as likely, and those aged 15-19 years twice as likely, to die from complications related to childbirth than women in their 20s. In SA, non-pregnancy-related infections (e.g. HIV), obstetric haemorrhage and hypertension contributed to almost 70% of avoidable maternal deaths. In addition to the implementation of standardized preventive interventions to reduce obstetric haemorrhage and hypertension, better reproductive health services for adolescents, access to HIV care and treatment for women infected with HIV, and improved access to and uptake of long-acting reversible contraception are important ingredients for reducing maternal mortality among adolescents. PMID:26937508

  6. Software Engineering Improvement Plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    In performance of this task order, bd Systems personnel provided support to the Flight Software Branch and the Software Working Group through multiple tasks related to software engineering improvement and to activities of the independent Technical Authority (iTA) Discipline Technical Warrant Holder (DTWH) for software engineering. To ensure that the products, comments, and recommendations complied with customer requirements and the statement of work, bd Systems personnel maintained close coordination with the customer. These personnel performed work in areas such as update of agency requirements and directives database, software effort estimation, software problem reports, a web-based process asset library, miscellaneous documentation review, software system requirements, issue tracking software survey, systems engineering NPR, and project-related reviews. This report contains a summary of the work performed and the accomplishments in each of these areas.

  7. Improving precursor removal

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, C.M.; Collins, M.R.

    1995-12-01

    The purpose of this work was to determine whether dissolved organic carbon (DOC) could be feasibly removed by diatomaceous earth (DE) precoat filters amended with powdered activated carbon or anionic resin. In the first series of experiments, various precoat configurations of DE size, amendment type and concentration, and precoat weight were evaluated for their initial removals of dissolved organic matter and turbidity from a synthetic raw water source. In the second series of experiments, various body feed compositions were tested for their ability to maintain or improve the turbidity and organic carbon removal achieved by the optimum precoat while head loss through the filter was kept to a minimum. Amending the DE filter with a strong-base anionic resin in the precoat and body feed achieved significant removals of UV absorbance and DOC (> 50%) with excellent turbidity reduction and acceptable head loss development.

  8. Improving Communications Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The Space Shuttle has many communications systems which are used throughout a typical mission. Given that the radio spectrum has become increasingly congested, the ability to hear extremely weak signals requires greater receiver sensitivity. Dryden Flight Research Center approached Angle Linear, a manufacturer of linear radio frequency products and peripherals for communications, to solve the problem. The solution was a receiving preamplifier specially crafted for NASA. Communications with the Space Shuttle are now more reliable,with Dryden being able to also support local missions without purchasing additional equipment. The work has carried over into the Mir Space Station communication support effort and is under evaluation by other NASA centers. The company's preamplifier line was greatly expanded to cover a broader range of frequencies, providing the same sensational improvement to other areas of communication including business, government, trucking, land mobile, cellular and broadcast.

  9. Improving classification of psychoses.

    PubMed

    Lawrie, Stephen M; O'Donovan, Michael C; Saks, Elyn; Burns, Tom; Lieberman, Jeffrey A

    2016-04-01

    Psychosis has been recognised as an abnormal state in need of care throughout history and by diverse cultures. Present classifications of psychotic disorder remain based on the presence of specific psychotic symptoms, relative to affective and other symptoms, and their sequence and duration. Although extant diagnostic classifications have restricted validity, they have proven reliability and most clinicians and some patients find them useful. Moreover, these classifications have yet to be replaced by anything better. We propose that an expansion of the subgrouping approach inherent to classification will provide incremental improvement to present diagnostic constructs-as has worked in the rest of medicine. We also propose that subgroups could be created both within and across present diagnostic classifications, taking into consideration the potential value of continuous measures (eg, duration of psychotic symptoms and intelligence quotient). Health-care workers also need to work with service users and carers to develop and adapt approaches to diagnosis that are seen as helpful.

  10. Improved poultry house

    SciTech Connect

    1983-01-01

    The relationship of energy and poultry production was explored in three areas: methane production from litter, broiler house insulation, and broiler house HVAC systems. The findings show that while a methane plant would not be popular with individual American poultry producers; the pay back in fuel and fertilizer, if the plant was located in close proximinity to the processing plant, would be favorable. Broiler house insulation has been dramatically improved since the outset of this study. Presently, all new installations in the survey area are the Environmental houses which are fully insulated. HVAC systems have had to keep pace with the introduction of better insulation. The new Environmental houses HVAC systems are fully automated and operating on a positive atmosphere principal. Ammonia and other problems have been kept in check while reducing air changes per house from a high of 7 per hour to as little as 3 per hour.

  11. Mutations in Lettuce Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Mou, Beiquan

    2011-01-01

    Lettuce is a major vegetable in western countries. Mutations generated genetic variations and played an important role in the domestication of the crop. Many traits derived from natural and induced mutations, such as dwarfing, early flowering, male sterility, and chlorophyll deficiency, are useful in physiological and genetic studies. Mutants were also used to develop new lettuce products including miniature and herbicide-tolerant cultivars. Mutant analysis was critical in lettuce genomic studies including identification and cloning of disease-resistance genes. Mutagenesis combined with genomic technology may provide powerful tools for the discovery of novel gene alleles. In addition to radiation and chemical mutagens, unconventional approaches such as tissue or protoplast culture, transposable elements, and space flights have been utilized to generate mutants in lettuce. Since mutation breeding is considered nontransgenic, it is more acceptable to consumers and will be explored more in the future for lettuce improvement. PMID:22287955

  12. Improving classification of psychoses.

    PubMed

    Lawrie, Stephen M; O'Donovan, Michael C; Saks, Elyn; Burns, Tom; Lieberman, Jeffrey A

    2016-04-01

    Psychosis has been recognised as an abnormal state in need of care throughout history and by diverse cultures. Present classifications of psychotic disorder remain based on the presence of specific psychotic symptoms, relative to affective and other symptoms, and their sequence and duration. Although extant diagnostic classifications have restricted validity, they have proven reliability and most clinicians and some patients find them useful. Moreover, these classifications have yet to be replaced by anything better. We propose that an expansion of the subgrouping approach inherent to classification will provide incremental improvement to present diagnostic constructs-as has worked in the rest of medicine. We also propose that subgroups could be created both within and across present diagnostic classifications, taking into consideration the potential value of continuous measures (eg, duration of psychotic symptoms and intelligence quotient). Health-care workers also need to work with service users and carers to develop and adapt approaches to diagnosis that are seen as helpful. PMID:27063387

  13. Improved catalysts and method

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.E.; Noceti, R.P.

    1990-12-31

    An improved catalyst and method for the oxyhydrochlorination of methane is disclosed. The catalyst includes a pyrogenic porous support on which is layered as active material, cobalt chloride in major proportion, and minor proportions of an alkali metal chloride and of a rare earth chloride. On contact of the catalyst with a gas flow of methane, HCl and oxygen, more than 60% of the methane is converted and of that converted more than 40% occurs as monochloromethane. Advantageously, the monochloromethane can be used to produce gasoline boiling range hydrocarbons with the recycle of HCl for further reaction. This catalyst is also of value for the production of formic acid as are analogous catalysts with lead, silver or nickel chlorides substituted for the cobalt chloride. 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Improving staff selection processes.

    PubMed

    Cerinus, Marie; Shannon, Marina

    2014-11-11

    This article, the second in a series of articles on Leading Better Care, describes the actions undertaken in recent years in NHS Lanarkshire to improve selection processes for nursing, midwifery and allied health professional (NMAHP) posts. This is an area of significant interest to these professions, management colleagues and patients given the pivotal importance of NMAHPs to patient care and experience. In recent times the importance of selecting staff not only with the right qualifications but also with the right attributes has been highlighted to ensure patients are well cared for in a safe, effective and compassionate manner. The article focuses on NMAHP selection processes, tracking local, collaborative development work undertaken to date. It presents an overview of some of the work being implemented, highlights a range of important factors, outlines how evaluation is progressing and concludes by recommending further empirical research.

  15. Simulation: improving patient outcomes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Abi; Siassakos, Dimitrios; Crofts, Joanna; Draycott, Tim

    2013-06-01

    Effective training has been shown to improve perinatal care and outcome, decrease litigation claims and reduce midwifery sick leave. To be effective, training should be incentivised, in a realistic context, and delivered to inter-professional teams similar to those delivering actual care. Teamwork training is a useful addition, but it should be based on the characteristics of effective teamwork as derived from the study of frontline teams. Implementation of simulation and teamwork training is challenging, with constraints on staff time, facilities and finances. Local adoption and adaptation of effective programmes can help keep costs down, and make them locally relevant whilst maintaining effectiveness. Training programmes need to evolve continually in line with new evidence. To do this, it is vital to monitor outcomes and robustly evaluate programmes for their impact on patient care and outcome, not just on participants. PMID:23721770

  16. Boundary layer simulator improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Praharaj, Sarat C.; Schmitz, Craig P.; Nouri, Joseph A.

    1989-01-01

    Boundary Layer Integral Matrix Procedure (BLIMPJ) has been identified by the propulsion community as the rigorous boundary layer program in connection with the existing JANNAF reference programs. The improvements made to BLIMPJ and described herein have potential applications in the design of the future Orbit Transfer Vehicle engines. The turbulence model is validated to include the effects of wall roughness and a way is devised to treat multiple smooth-rough surfaces. A prediction of relaminarization regions is examined as is the combined effects of wall cooling and surface roughness on relaminarization. A turbulence model to represent the effects of constant condensed phase loading is given. A procedure is described for thrust decrement calculation in thick boundary layers by coupling the T-D Kinetics Program and BLIMPJ and a way is provided for thrust loss optimization. Potential experimental studies in rocket nozzles are identified along with the required instrumentation to provide accurate measurements in support of the presented new analytical models.

  17. Regulatory Streamlining and Improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Mark A. Carl

    2006-07-11

    The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) engaged in numerous projects outlined under the scope of work discussed in the United States Department of Energy (DOE) grant number DE-FC26-04NT15456 awarded to the IOGCC. Numerous projects were completed that were extremely valuable to state oil and gas agencies as a result of work performed utilizing resources provided by the grant. There are numerous areas in which state agencies still need assistance. This additional assistance will need to be addressed under future scopes of work submitted annually to DOE's Project Officer for this grant. This report discusses the progress of the projects outlined under the grant scope of work for the 2005-2006 areas of interest, which are as follows: Area of Interest No. 1--Regulatory Streamlining and Improvement: This area of interest continues to support IOGCC's regulatory streamlining efforts that include the identification and elimination of unnecessary duplications of efforts between and among state and federal programs dealing with exploration and production on public lands. Area of Interest No. 2--Technology: This area of interest seeks to improve efficiency in states through the identification of technologies that can reduce costs. Area of Interest No. 3--Training and Education: This area of interest is vital to upgrading the skills of regulators and industry alike. Within the National Energy Policy, there are many appropriate training and education opportunities. Education was strongly endorsed by the President's National Energy Policy Development group. Acting through the governors offices, states are very effective conduits for the dissemination of energy education information. While the IOGCC favors the development of a comprehensive, long-term energy education plan, states are also supportive of immediate action on important concerns, such as energy prices, availability and conservation. Area of Interest No. 4--Resource Assessment and Development: This area

  18. Improving Hospital Discharge Time

    PubMed Central

    El-Eid, Ghada R.; Kaddoum, Roland; Tamim, Hani; Hitti, Eveline A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Delays in discharging patients can impact hospital and emergency department (ED) throughput. The discharge process is complex and involves setting specific challenges that limit generalizability of solutions. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of using Six Sigma methods to improve the patient discharge process. This is a quantitative pre and post-intervention study. Three hundred and eighty-six bed tertiary care hospital. A series of Six Sigma driven interventions over a 10-month period. The primary outcome was discharge time (time from discharge order to patient leaving the room). Secondary outcome measures included percent of patients whose discharge order was written before noon, percent of patients leaving the room by noon, hospital length of stay (LOS), and LOS of admitted ED patients. Discharge time decreased by 22.7% from 2.2 hours during the preintervention period to 1.7 hours post-intervention (P < 0.001). A greater proportion of patients left their room before noon in the postintervention period (P < 0.001), though there was no statistical difference in before noon discharge. Hospital LOS dropped from 3.4 to 3.1 days postintervention (P < 0.001). ED mean LOS of patients admitted to the hospital was significantly lower in the postintervention period (6.9 ± 7.8 vs 5.9 ± 7.7 hours; P < 0.001). Six Sigma methodology can be an effective change management tool to improve discharge time. The focus of institutions aspiring to tackle delays in the discharge process should be on adopting the core principles of Six Sigma rather than specific interventions that may be institution-specific. PMID:25816029

  19. Composite coatings improve engines

    SciTech Connect

    Funatani, K.; Kurosawa, K. )

    1994-12-01

    About 40% of the power loss in engine systems is attributed to the adverse effects of friction in reciprocating engine components. Over half of this power loss is caused by friction between pistons, piston rings, and cylinder bores. In addition, engine parts may be attacked by corrosive gasoline substitutes such as liquid propane gas and alcohol/gasoline mixtures. To solve both friction and corrosion problems, Nihon Parkerizing Co. has improved the nickel-phosphorus based ceramic composite (NCC) plating technology that was developed for cylinder bores and pistons by Suzuki Motor Co. in the mid 1970s. Iron and nickel-based composite plating technologies have been investigated since the early 1970s, and a few have been used on small two-stroke motorcycle, outboard marine, snowmobile, and some luxury passenger car engine components. Both nickel- and iron-base plating processes are used on cylinders and pistons because they offer excellent wear and corrosion resistance. Nickel-base films have higher corrosion resistance than those based on iron, and are capable of withstanding the corrosive conditions characteristic of high methanol fuels. Unfortunately, they experience a decrease in hardness as operating temperatures increase. However, NCC coatings with phosphorus additions have high hardness even under severe operating conditions, and hardness increases upon exposure to elevated temperatures. In addition to high hardness and corrosion resistance, NCC coatings provide a low friction coefficient, which contributes to the reduction of friction losses between sliding components. When used in low-quality or alcohol fuels, the corrosion resistance of NCC coatings is far higher than that of Fe-P plating. Additionally, the coatings reduce wall and piston temperature, wear of ring groove and skirt, and carbon deposit formation, and they improve output power and torque. These advantages all contribute to the development of light and efficient engines with better fuel mileage.

  20. CONFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT USING GELS

    SciTech Connect

    Randall S. Seright

    2004-09-30

    This report describes work performed during the third and final year of the project, ''Conformance Improvement Using Gels.'' Corefloods revealed throughput dependencies of permeability reduction by polymers and gels that were much more prolonged during oil flow than water flow. This behavior was explained using simple mobility ratio arguments. A model was developed that quantitatively fits the results and predicts ''clean up'' times for oil productivity when production wells are returned to service after application of a polymer or gel treatment. X-ray computed microtomography studies of gels in strongly water-wet Berea sandstone and strongly oil-wet porous polyethylene suggested that oil penetration through gel-filled pores occurs by a gel-dehydration mechanism, rather than gel-ripping or gel-displacement mechanisms. In contrast, analysis of data from the University of Kansas suggests that the gel-ripping or displacement mechanisms are more important in more permeable, strongly water-wet sandpacks. These findings help to explain why aqueous gels can reduce permeability to water more than to oil under different conditions. Since cement is the most commonly used material for water shutoff, we considered when gels are preferred over cements. Our analysis and experimental results indicated that cement cannot be expected to completely fill (top to bottom) a vertical fracture of any width, except near the wellbore. For vertical fractures with apertures less than 4 mm, the cement slurry will simply not penetrate very far into the fracture. For vertical fractures with apertures greater than 4 mm, the slurry may penetrate a substantial distance into the bottom part of the fracture. However, except near the wellbore, the upper part of the fracture will remain open due to gravity segregation. We compared various approaches to plugging fractures using gels, including (1) varying polymer content, (2) varying placement (extrusion) rate, (3) using partially formed gels, (4

  1. BPM System Improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Church, M.

    1991-04-24

    During the accelerator studies period of 12/90 through 1/91 the Accumulator BPM system was investigated in some detail in an effort to improve its reliability and accuracy in making closed orbit measurements. The motivation for this is to try and improve the beam energy resolution for E760. The relativistic {beta} of the {bar p} is given by {beta} = f{sub R}L/c where f{sub R} is the revolution frequency, L is the orbit length ({approx} 474050mm), and c is the speed of light. Hence, the error in {beta} is given by d{beta}/{beta} = df{sub R}/f{sub R} + dL/L. Since df{sub R}/f{sub R} is {approx} 2 x 10{sup -7}, the main contribution to the error comes from dL. During the E760 run of 5/90 to 9/90 dL was estimated to be {approx} 1mm. It is thought that this can be reduced to {approx} .25mm with proper use of the present BPM system. L is given by L = L{sub 0} + {delta}L where L{sub 0} is the accurately known orbit length of a reference orbit (extracted from an energy scan of the J/{Psi} or {Psi}{prime}), and {delta}L is the difference orbit between the current orbit and the reference orbit. SL is calculated in the 1st approximation by {delta}L = {Sigma}{sub i}C{sub i}{Sigma}{sub j}{Delta}BPM{sub ij} where {Delta}BPM{sub ij} is the horizontal difference orbit at the ith BPM in the jth sector and C{sub i} are constants depending upon the location of the BPM pickup and the strength of the quadrupoles. Table I lists the constants C{sub i}, and Fig. 1 shows a typical difference orbit, {Delta}BPM{sub ij}. These studies were all done with 'reverse protons' and concentrated on closed orbit measurements with the Accumulator horizontal BPMs. The low frequency (H=2) mode of the BPM system is used in all cases, therefore it is required that the beam be bunched with ARF3 at some level. The low frequency RF module in the BPM system had previously been modified to track the H=2 frequency.

  2. Refines Efficiency Improvement

    SciTech Connect

    WRI

    2002-05-15

    Refinery processes that convert heavy oils to lighter distillate fuels require heating for distillation, hydrogen addition or carbon rejection (coking). Efficiency is limited by the formation of insoluble carbon-rich coke deposits. Heat exchangers and other refinery units must be shut down for mechanical coke removal, resulting in a significant loss of output and revenue. When a residuum is heated above the temperature at which pyrolysis occurs (340 C, 650 F), there is typically an induction period before coke formation begins (Magaril and Aksenova 1968, Wiehe 1993). To avoid fouling, refiners often stop heating a residuum before coke formation begins, using arbitrary criteria. In many cases, this heating is stopped sooner than need be, resulting in less than maximum product yield. Western Research Institute (WRI) has developed innovative Coking Index concepts (patent pending) which can be used for process control by refiners to heat residua to the threshold, but not beyond the point at which coke formation begins when petroleum residua materials are heated at pyrolysis temperatures (Schabron et al. 2001). The development of this universal predictor solves a long standing problem in petroleum refining. These Coking Indexes have great potential value in improving the efficiency of distillation processes. The Coking Indexes were found to apply to residua in a universal manner, and the theoretical basis for the indexes has been established (Schabron et al. 2001a, 2001b, 2001c). For the first time, a few simple measurements indicates how close undesired coke formation is on the coke formation induction time line. The Coking Indexes can lead to new process controls that can improve refinery distillation efficiency by several percentage points. Petroleum residua consist of an ordered continuum of solvated polar materials usually referred to as asphaltenes dispersed in a lower polarity solvent phase held together by intermediate polarity materials usually referred to as

  3. Tevatron improvement program

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, R.R.

    1983-07-01

    A modest Tevatron improvement program is suggested which would provide a storage ring for dedicated use as a p anti p collider at 2 TeV (cm) and as an ep collider at 0.2 TeV (cm). It could also serve as a useful test facility for some of the new developments necessary for an economical SSC. Because use could be made of utilities and facilities that are already installed as part of the tevatron, the cost of the p anti p option might be about 100 million dollars (not including the interaction halls or detectors). The additional cost of a 10 x 1000 GeV' ep option might be about 70 million dollars. The experimental facilities at B and D of the Tevatron might be extended for use with the new collider. As the technology of superconducting magnets develops, the cm energy of the p anti p and the ep colliders might be doubled. The intention is either to double the capability of TeV I and TeV II, or to extend the capability by addition of an ep facility. Alternatively, by adding another proton ring, a high luminosity pp facility might also result.

  4. Improving self-calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enßlin, Torsten A.; Junklewitz, Henrik; Winderling, Lars; Greiner, Maksim; Selig, Marco

    2014-10-01

    Response calibration is the process of inferring how much the measured data depend on the signal one is interested in. It is essential for any quantitative signal estimation on the basis of the data. Here, we investigate self-calibration methods for linear signal measurements and linear dependence of the response on the calibration parameters. The common practice is to augment an external calibration solution using a known reference signal with an internal calibration on the unknown measurement signal itself. Contemporary self-calibration schemes try to find a self-consistent solution for signal and calibration by exploiting redundancies in the measurements. This can be understood in terms of maximizing the joint probability of signal and calibration. However, the full uncertainty structure of this joint probability around its maximum is thereby not taken into account by these schemes. Therefore, better schemes, in sense of minimal square error, can be designed by accounting for asymmetries in the uncertainty of signal and calibration. We argue that at least a systematic correction of the common self-calibration scheme should be applied in many measurement situations in order to properly treat uncertainties of the signal on which one calibrates. Otherwise, the calibration solutions suffer from a systematic bias, which consequently distorts the signal reconstruction. Furthermore, we argue that nonparametric, signal-to-noise filtered calibration should provide more accurate reconstructions than the common bin averages and provide a new, improved self-calibration scheme. We illustrate our findings with a simplistic numerical example.

  5. Improved Search Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albornoz, Caleb Ronald

    2012-01-01

    Thousands of millions of documents are stored and updated daily in the World Wide Web. Most of the information is not efficiently organized to build knowledge from the stored data. Nowadays, search engines are mainly used by users who rely on their skills to look for the information needed. This paper presents different techniques search engine users can apply in Google Search to improve the relevancy of search results. According to the Pew Research Center, the average person spends eight hours a month searching for the right information. For instance, a company that employs 1000 employees wastes $2.5 million dollars on looking for nonexistent and/or not found information. The cost is very high because decisions are made based on the information that is readily available to use. Whenever the information necessary to formulate an argument is not available or found, poor decisions may be made and mistakes will be more likely to occur. Also, the survey indicates that only 56% of Google users feel confident with their current search skills. Moreover, just 76% of the information that is available on the Internet is accurate.

  6. Improve relief valve reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, W.E.

    1993-01-01

    This paper reports on careful evaluation of safety relief valves and their service conditions which can improve reliability and permit more time between testing. Some factors that aid in getting long-run results are: Use of valves suitable for service, Attention to design of the relieving system (including use of block valves) and Close attention to repair procedures. Use these procedures for each installation, applying good engineering practices. The Clean Air Act of 1990 and other legislation limiting allowable fugitive emissions in a hydrocarbon processing plant will greatly impact safety relief valve installations. Normal leakage rate from a relief valve will require that it be connected to a closed vent system connected to a recovery or control device. Tying the outlet of an existing valve into a header system can cause accelerated corrosion and operating difficulties. Reliability of many existing safety relief valves may be compromised when they are connected to an outlet header without following good engineering practices. The law has been enacted but all the rules have not been promulgated.

  7. Improved Anvil Forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lambert, Winifred C.

    2000-01-01

    This report describes the outcome of Phase 1 of the AMU's Improved Anvil Forecasting task. Forecasters in the 45th Weather Squadron and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group have found that anvil forecasting is a difficult task when predicting LCC and FR violations. The purpose of this task is to determine the technical feasibility of creating an anvil-forecasting tool. Work on this study was separated into three steps: literature search, forecaster discussions, and determination of technical feasibility. The literature search revealed no existing anvil-forecasting techniques. However, there appears to be growing interest in anvils in recent years. If this interest continues to grow, more information will be available to aid in developing a reliable anvil-forecasting tool. The forecaster discussion step revealed an array of methods on how better forecasting techniques could be developed. The forecasters have ideas based on sound meteorological principles and personal experience in forecasting and analyzing anvils. Based on the information gathered in the discussions with the forecasters, the conclusion of this report is that it is technically feasible at this time to develop an anvil forecasting technique that will significantly contribute to the confidence in anvil forecasts.

  8. Improved zeolitic isocracking catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Dahlberg, A.J.; Habib, M.M.; Moore, R.O.; Law, D.V.; Convery, L.J.

    1995-09-01

    Chevron Research Company introduced the first low pressure, low temperature catalytic hydrocracking process--ISOCRACKING--in 1959. Within the last four years, Chevron has developed and commercialized three new zeolitic ISOCRACKING catalysts. ICR 209 is Chevron`s latest noble metal ISOCRACKING catalyst. It offers improved liquid yield stability, longer life, and superior polynuclear aromatics control compared to its predecessor. ICR 209`s high hydrogenation activity generates the highest yields of superior quality jet fuel of any zeolitic ISOCRACKING catalyst. The second new ISOCRACKING catalyst, ICR 208, is a base metal catalyst which combines high liquid selectivity and high light naphtha octane in hydrocrackers operating for maximum naphtha production. ICR 210 is another new base metal catalyst which offers higher liquid yields and longer life than ICR 208 by virtue of a higher hydrogenation-to-acidity ratio. Both ICR 208 and ICR 210 have been formulated to provide higher liquid yield throughout the cycle and longer cycle length than conventional base metal/zeolite catalysts. This paper will discuss the pilot plant and commercial performances of these new ISOCRACKING catalysts.

  9. IMPROVED BONDING METHOD

    DOEpatents

    Padgett, E.V. Jr.; Warf, D.H.

    1964-04-28

    An improved process of bonding aluminum to aluminum without fusion by ultrasonic vibrations plus pressure is described. The surfaces to be bonded are coated with an aqueous solution of alkali metal stearate prior to assembling for bonding. (AEC) O H19504 Present information is reviewed on steady state proliferation, differentiation, and maturation of blood cells in mammals. Data are cited from metabolic tracer studies, autoradiographic studies, cytologic studies, studies of hematopoietic response to radiation injuries, and computer analyses of blood cell production. A 3-step model for erythropoiesis and a model for granulocyte kinetics are presented. New approaches to the study of lymphocytopoiesis described include extracorporeal blood irradiation to deplete lymphocytic tissue without direct injury to the formative tissues as a means to study the stressed system, function control, and rates of proliferation. It is pointed out that present knowledge indicates that lymphocytes comprise a mixed family, with diverse life spans, functions, and migration patterns with apparent aimless recycling from modes to lymph to blood to nodes that has not yet been quantitated. Areas of future research are postulated. (70 references.) (C.H.)

  10. Device for improved combustion

    SciTech Connect

    Polomchak, R.W.; Yacko, M.

    1988-03-08

    A device for improved combustion is described comprising: a tubular housing member having a first end and a second end, the first and second ends each having a circular opening therethrough; a combustion chamber disposed about the second end of the-tubular-housing member; a first conduit member extending from the first end of the tubular housing member and in fluid communication with the circular opening in the first end of the tubular housing member so as to allow the passage of air therethrough; a second conduit member axially disposed within the first conduit member and extending through the first conduit member and through the tubular housing member to the circular opening the second end of the tubular housing member so as to allow the passage of fuel therethrough; means for effecting turbulence in the air passing through the tubular housing member; means for effecting turbulence in the fuel passing through the second conduit member; means for intermixing and emitting the turbulent air and the fuel in a mushroom shaped configuration with the turbulent air surrounding the mushroom shaped configuration so as to substantially eliminate noxious waste gases as by-product of combustion of the air and fuel mixture.

  11. Improving the urban environment.

    PubMed

    Rotibi, A

    1992-11-01

    An effective environmental sanitation program should encompass key features considered necessary for a primary health care (PHC) program such as availability, accessibility, affordability, acceptability, and practicability. Poor housing conditions give rise to stress, delinquency, and crime, as well as to helminthic and other parasitic infestations. In Africa, urbanization has accelerated since the 1950s because of rural-urban migration. In Nigeria new housing construction has been poor, with inadequate provision of physical facilities and community services in residential areas. Overcrowding is rampant, with occupancy rates of 2-3 persons per room recorded for many cities including Owerri, Abba, Warri and Ontisha. In a survey of rooming-house facilities in Lagos, the average was 5-7 persons per room. 47% of households were living in just one rooms in Sokoto and 80% in the Lagos metropolitan area. An urban household survey by the Federal Office of Statistics found that 45% of households were without electricity. Similarly, 46% of households were found to be without running water, 29% obtained their water from wells, and 14% from streams. The inadequate provision of toilets poses major health risks. Many Nigerian cities lack efficient waste disposal systems: in Ibadan mounds of uncollected rubbish obstruct the roads. According to a Statistics Office survey 48% of refuse is estimated to be dumped illegally, while 23% is simply heaped in family compounds. A recently launched campaign on environmental sanitation is the start of improving the health of urban dwellers which could cut expenditure on curative health measures. PMID:12285912

  12. Image Improvement Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shine, R. A.

    1997-05-01

    Over the last decade, a repertoire of techniques have been developed and/or refined to improve the quality of high spatial resolution solar movies taken from ground based observatories. These include real time image motion corrections, frame selection, phase diversity measurements of the wavefront, and extensive post processing to partially remove atmospheric distortion. Their practical application has been made possible by the increasing availability and decreasing cost of large CCD's with fast digital readouts and high speed computer workstations with large memories. Most successful have been broad band (0.3 to 10 nm) filtergram movies which can use exposure times of 10 to 30 ms, short enough to ``freeze'' atmospheric motions. Even so, only a handful of movies with excellent image quality for more than a hour have been obtained to date. Narrowband filtergrams (about 0.01 nm), such as those required for constructing magnetograms and Dopplergrams, have been more challenging although some single images approach the quality of the best continuum images. Some promising new techniques and instruments, together with persistence and good luck, should continue the progress made in the last several years.

  13. CONFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT USING GELS

    SciTech Connect

    Randall S. Seright

    2003-09-01

    This report describes work performed during the second year of the project, ''Conformance Improvement Using Gels.'' The project has two objectives. The first objective is to identify gel compositions and conditions that substantially reduce flow through fractures that allow direct channeling between wells, while leaving secondary fractures open so that high fluid injection and production rates can be maintained. The second objective is to optimize treatments in fractured production wells, where the gel must reduce permeability to water much more than that to oil. Pore-level images from X-ray computed microtomography were re-examined for Berea sandstone and porous polyethylene. This analysis suggests that oil penetration through gel-filled pores occurs by a gel-dehydration mechanism, rather than a gel-ripping mechanism. This finding helps to explain why aqueous gels can reduce permeability to water more than to oil. We analyzed a Cr(III)-acetate-HPAM gel treatment in a production well in the Arbuckle formation. The availability of accurate pressure data before, during, and after the treatment was critical for the analysis. After the gel treatment, water productivity was fairly constant at about 20% of the pre-treatment value. However, oil productivity was stimulated by a factor of 18 immediately after the treatment. During the six months after the treatment, oil productivity gradually decreased to approach the pre-treatment value. To explain this behavior, we proposed that the fracture area open to oil flow was increased substantially by the gel treatment, followed by a gradual closing of the fractures during subsequent production. For a conventional Cr(III)-acetate-HPAM gel, the delay between gelant preparation and injection into a fracture impacts the placement, leakoff, and permeability reduction behavior. Formulations placed as partially formed gels showed relatively low pressure gradients during placement, and yet substantially reduced the flow capacity of

  14. Improved Autoassociative Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hand, Charles

    2003-01-01

    Improved autoassociative neural networks, denoted nexi, have been proposed for use in controlling autonomous robots, including mobile exploratory robots of the biomorphic type. In comparison with conventional autoassociative neural networks, nexi would be more complex but more capable in that they could be trained to do more complex tasks. A nexus would use bit weights and simple arithmetic in a manner that would enable training and operation without a central processing unit, programs, weight registers, or large amounts of memory. Only a relatively small amount of memory (to hold the bit weights) and a simple logic application- specific integrated circuit would be needed. A description of autoassociative neural networks is prerequisite to a meaningful description of a nexus. An autoassociative network is a set of neurons that are completely connected in the sense that each neuron receives input from, and sends output to, all the other neurons. (In some instantiations, a neuron could also send output back to its own input terminal.) The state of a neuron is completely determined by the inner product of its inputs with weights associated with its input channel. Setting the weights sets the behavior of the network. The neurons of an autoassociative network are usually regarded as comprising a row or vector. Time is a quantized phenomenon for most autoassociative networks in the sense that time proceeds in discrete steps. At each time step, the row of neurons forms a pattern: some neurons are firing, some are not. Hence, the current state of an autoassociative network can be described with a single binary vector. As time goes by, the network changes the vector. Autoassociative networks move vectors over hyperspace landscapes of possibilities.

  15. CONFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT USING GELS

    SciTech Connect

    Randall S. Seright

    2002-02-28

    This technical progress report describes work performed from June 20 through December 19, 2001, for the project, ''Conformance Improvement Using Gels''. Interest has increased in some new polymeric products that purport to substantially reduce permeability to water while causing minimum permeability reduction to oil. In view of this interest, we are currently studying BJ's Aqua Con. Results from six corefloods revealed that the Aqua Con gelant consistently reduced permeability to water more than that to oil. However, the magnitude of the disproportionate permeability reduction varied significantly for the various experiments. Thus, as with most materials tested to date, the issue of reproducibility and control of the disproportionate permeability remains to be resolved. Concern exists about the ability of gels to resist washout after placement in fractures. We examined whether a width constriction in the middle of a fracture would cause different gel washout behavior upstream versus downstream of the constriction. Tests were performed using a formed Cr(III)-acetate-HPAM gel in a 48-in.-long fracture with three sections of equal length, but with widths of 0.08-, 0.02-, and 0.08-in., respectively. The pressure gradients during gel extrusion (i.e., placement) were similar in the two 0.08-in.-wide fracture sections, even though they were separated by a 0.02-in.-wide fracture section. The constriction associated with the middle fracture section may have inhibited gel washout during the first pulse of brine injection after gel placement. However, during subsequent phases of brine injection, the constriction did not inhibit washout in the upstream fracture section any more than in the downstream section.

  16. Improving Antarctic infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-07-01

    Noting that U.S. activities in Antarctica “are very well managed but suffer from an aging infrastructure, lack of a capital budget, and the effects of operating in an extremely unforgiving environment,” a 23 July report from the U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel recommends a number of measures to improve the infrastructure, logistics, and other concerns. The panel's recommendations include continued use of the McMurdo, South Pole, and Palmer stations as the primary U.S. science and logistics hubs in Antarctica—because there are no reasonable alternatives, according to the panel—while upgrading or replacing some facilities, restoring the U.S. polar ocean feet, implementing state of-the-art logistics and transportation support, and establishing a long-term facilities capital plan and budget for the U.S. Antarctic Program. “The essence of our findings is that the lack of capital budgeting has placed operations at McMurdo, and to a somewhat lesser extent at Palmer Station, in unnecessary jeopardy—at least in terms of prolonged inefficiency due to deteriorating or otherwise inadequate physical assets,” the panel wrote in the cover letter accompanying the report entitled, More and Better Science in Antarctica Through Increased Logistical Effectiveness. “The Antarctica Blue Ribbon Panel encourages us to take a hard look at how we support Antarctic science and to make the structural changes, however difficult in the current fiscal environment, that will allow us to do more science in the future,” said U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Subra Suresh.

  17. Improved Coal-Thickness Measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barr, T. A.

    1984-01-01

    Summed signals and dielectric-filled antenna improve measurement. Improved FM radar for measuring thickness of coal seam eliminates spectrum splitting and reduces magnitude of echo from front coal surface.

  18. Improving Doctor/Caregiver Communication

    MedlinePlus

    ... Month Friend: Living Independently Group Improving Doctor/ Caregiver Communications Helpful Ideas for Family Caregivers From NFCA There is much to be gained by improving communications between family caregivers and health care professionals, especially ...

  19. Exercises to Improve Gait Abnormalities

    MedlinePlus

    ... Home About iChip Articles Directories Videos Resources Contact Exercises to Improve Gait Abnormalities Home » Article Categories » Exercise and Fitness Font Size: A A A A Exercises to Improve Gait Abnormalities Next Page The manner ...

  20. Improved automobile gas turbine engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kofskey, M. G.; Katsanis, T.; Roelke, R. J.; Mclallin, K. L.; Wong, R. Y.; Schumann, L. F.; Galvas, M. R.

    1976-01-01

    Upgraded engine delivers 100 hp in 3500 lb vehicle. Improved fuel economy is due to combined effects of reduced weight, reduced power-to-weight ratio, increased turbine inlet pressure, and improved component efficiencies at part power.

  1. Collaborative quality improvement in surgery.

    PubMed

    Waljee, Jennifer F; Birkmeyer, Nancy J O

    2014-08-01

    Collaborative quality improvement has demonstrated success in improving quality and reducing health care costs in several state-based examples. Professional societies and payers are keen on identifying the most effective strategies to improve the safety and efficiency of surgical care. This review highlights the development and features of collaborative quality improvement programs, their advantages and examples of successful collaborations for several surgical conditions, and their potential application for surgeons caring for patients with upper extremity trauma and disability.

  2. Why Process Improvement Training Fails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lu, Dawei; Betts, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the underlying reasons why providing process improvement training, by itself, may not be sufficient to achieve the desired outcome of improved processes; and to attempt a conceptual framework of management training for more effective improvement. Design/methodology/approach: Two similar units within…

  3. Innovation for maintenance technology improvements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shives, T. R. (Editor); Willard, W. A. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    A group of 34 submitted entries (32 papers and 2 abstracts) from the 33rd meeting of the Mechanical Failures Prevention Group whose subject was maintenance technology improvement through innovation. Areas of special emphasis included maintenance concepts, maintenance analysis systems, improved maintenance processes, innovative maintenance diagnostics and maintenance indicators, and technology improvements for power plant applications.

  4. NCCDS configuration management process improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shay, Kathy

    1993-01-01

    By concentrating on defining and improving specific Configuration Management (CM) functions, processes, procedures, personnel selection/development, and tools, internal and external customers received improved CM services. Job performance within the section increased in both satisfaction and output. Participation in achieving major improvements has led to the delivery of consistent quality CM products as well as significant decreases in every measured CM metrics category.

  5. CONFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT USING GELS

    SciTech Connect

    Randall S. Seright

    2004-03-01

    This technical progress report describes work performed from September 1, 2003, through February 29, 2004, for the project, ''Conformance Improvement Using Gels.'' We examined the properties of several ''partially formed'' gels that were formulated with a combination of high and low molecular weight HPAM polymers. After placement in 4-mm-wide fractures, these gels required about 25 psi/ft for brine to breach the gel (the best performance to date in fractures this wide). After this breach, stabilized residual resistance factors decreased significantly with increased flow rate. Also, residual resistance factors were up to 9 times greater for water than for oil. Nevertheless, permeability reduction factors were substantial for both water and oil flow. Gel with 2.5% chopped fiberglass effectively plugged 4-mm-wide fractures if a 0.5-mm-wide constriction was present. The ability to screen-out at a constriction appears crucial for particulate incorporation to be useful in plugging fractures. In addition to fiberglass, we examined incorporation of polypropylene fibers into gels. Once dispersed in brine or gelant, the polypropylene fibers exhibited the least gravity segregation of any particulate that we have tested to date. In fractures with widths of at least 2 mm, 24-hr-old gels (0.5% high molecular weight HPAM) with 0.5% fiber did not exhibit progressive plugging during placement and showed extrusion pressure gradients similar to those of gels without the fiber. The presence of the fiber roughly doubled the gel's resistance to first breach by brine flow. The breaching pressure gradients were not as large as for gels made with high and low molecular weight polymers (mentioned above). However, their material requirements and costs (i.e., polymer and/or particulate concentrations) were substantially lower than for those gels. A partially formed gel made with 0.5% HPAM did not enter a 0.052-mm-wide fracture when applying a pressure gradient of 65 psi/ft. This result

  6. Interstate Electrification Improvement Project

    SciTech Connect

    Puckette, Margaret; Kim, Jeff

    2015-07-01

    The Interstate Electrification Improvement Project, publicly known as the Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP), started in May 2011 and ended in March 2015. The project grant was awarded by the Department of Energy’s Vehicles Technology Office in the amount of $22.2 million. It had three overarching missions: 1. Reduce the idling of Class 8 tractors when parked at truck stops, to reduce diesel fuel consumption and thus U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum; 2. Stimulate job creation and economic activity as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009; 3. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from diesel combustion and the carbon footprint of the truck transportation industry. The project design was straightforward. First, build fifty Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) facilities in truck stop parking lots across the country so trucks could plug-in to 110V, 220V, or 480VAC, and shut down the engine instead of idling. These facilities were strategically located at fifty truck stops along major U.S. Interstates with heavy truck traffic. Approximately 1,350 connection points were installed, including 150 high-voltage electric standby Transport Refrigeration Unit (eTRU) plugs--eTRUs are capable of plugging in to shore power1 to cool the refrigerated trailer for loads such as produce, meats and ice cream. Second, the project provided financial incentives on idle reduction equipment to 5,000 trucks in the form of rebates, to install equipment compatible with shore power. This equipment enables drivers to shut down the main engine when parked, to heat or cool their cab, charge batteries, or use other household appliances without idling—a common practice that uses approximately 1 gallon of diesel per hour. The rebate recipients were intended to be the first fleets to plug into Shorepower to save diesel fuel and ensure there is significant population of shore power capable trucks. This two part project was designed to complement each other by

  7. Overcoming challenges in improvement work.

    PubMed

    Crisp, Helen

    2013-09-01

    The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to improve healthcare in the UK, so that we have a system of the highest possible quality-safe, effective, person-centred, timely, efficient and equitable. We believe that in order to achieve this, health services need to continually improve the way they work. The Foundation conducts research and evaluation, puts ideas into practice through improvement programmes, develops leaders and shares evidence to drive wider change. The work is a focused around two priority areas: patient safety and person-centred care. The Foundation has supported work to improve services for patients with kidney disease and, in common with other quality improvement projects, there have been challenges to overcome. Awareness of these common challenges can help others to be more prepared when planning service improvements.

  8. Improving Quality in Education: Dynamic Approaches to School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Creemers, Bert P. M.; Kyriakides, Leonidas

    2011-01-01

    This book explores an approach to school improvement that merges the traditions of educational effectiveness research and school improvement efforts. It displays how the dynamic model, which is theoretical and empirically validated, can be used in both traditions. Each chapter integrates evidence from international and national studies, showing…

  9. Continuous Quality Improvement: A Roadmap for Rural School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kilmer, Lloyd C.

    A case study documented a continuous quality improvement approach to school improvement in a rural Nebraska high school over a 2-year period. Data gathered from surveys, portfolios, pilot results, and test scores indicated that the changes during the 2-year period were not dramatic, but significant and consistent with the Total Quality literature.…

  10. Quality improvement as an investment.

    PubMed

    Weeks, William B

    2002-01-01

    Health care organizations are experiencing increasing internal and external pressures to improve the quality of care that they provide. However, there is not a framework that can be used to help understand the value of quality improvement projects and to prioritize competing projects. By understanding the current processes, costs and outcomes of care, enumerating the costs and benefits of change, anticipating the timing of the costs and benefits, and performing a financial analysis, quality improvement efforts can be evaluated as investments. Only by understanding and adapting to the financial environments in which health care organizations operate can continuous quality improvement in health care succeed. PMID:12512466

  11. School Improvement Network Directory, 1995.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gipe, Linda, Comp.

    The 1995 "School Improvement Network Directory" is part of a series designed to facilitate information exchange and support among schools and districts involved in long-term school-improvement efforts. The directory provides information about 260 schools working with the school-based-management process, Onward to Excellence (OTE), to improve…

  12. Leadership Development and School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhodes, Christopher; Brundrett, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The chosen focus of this special issue is timely given the burgeoning international interest and investment in leadership development and school improvement. In many countries leadership and improvement have been closely linked and there is no doubt that this linkage has an international reach. Together, these articles review and extend some of…

  13. Driver Improvement Training and Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whittenburg, John A.; And Others

    The last phase of the NHTSA-U.S. Coast Guard Driver Improvement Training and Evaluation Project is described. Begun in July 1970, the project had two basic objectives. The first was to determine whether or not driver training programs do, in fact, significantly reduce driver errors and accidents and improve overall driver efficiency. The second…

  14. Tools for Improving Principals' Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shen, Jianping, Ed.

    2012-01-01

    The vital role of principalship in improving schools in general and enhancing student achievement in particular has been well documented. Given its importance, there is a need for tools to improve principalship, particularly ones emphasizing those dimensions associated with student achievement. Given the accountability movement, with its…

  15. The Architecture of School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive framework for capturing the complex concept the authors call school improvement. Design/methodology/approach: The author begins by anchoring that framework on an historical understanding of school improvement. The framework itself is then presented. Five dimensions are described: the…

  16. Improving Objective Measures of Mobility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dodds, Allan G.; And Others

    1983-01-01

    The article examines shortcomings in existing objective measures of mobility for blind persons in the light of evaluative experiences and demonstrates improvements in reliability, together with a new technique for tracking pavement position. It refutes the idea that it is not possible to measure improvement in performance objectively. (Author/CL)

  17. Development Planning for School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hargreaves, David H., Ed.; Hopkins, David, Ed.

    Development planning has recently become a commonly adopted strategy for school improvement in the United Kingdom. Development planning is a description and more formal explication of the process and actions required to plan and manage change with the intention of improving the school. The chapters in this book report on the "state of the art" of…

  18. Can Teacher Evaluation Improve Teaching?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Principal Leadership, 2013

    2013-01-01

    The answer to the question, Can evaluation improve teaching? is a qualified yes. Teacher evaluation has changed and the role of the principal has changed as well; the focus now is on evidence, not merely good judgment. With the right tools, systems, and support, it should be possible to help improve teaching performance and student learning…

  19. Perspectives: The Continuous Improvement Trap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arnold, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Accrediting agencies, legislators, pundits, and even higher educational professionals have become enamored with applying the language of continuous improvement to learning outcomes. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges specifically uses the term "continuing improvement" in Core Standard 2.5, one of its…

  20. A meta-analysis of neuropsychological outcome after mild traumatic brain injury: re-analyses and reconsiderations of Binder et al. (1997), Frencham et al. (2005), and Pertab et al. (2009).

    PubMed

    Rohling, Martin L; Binder, Laurence M; Demakis, George J; Larrabee, Glenn J; Ploetz, Danielle M; Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Jennifer

    2011-05-01

    The meta-analytic findings of Binder et al. (1997) and Frencham et al. (2005) showed that the neuropsychological effect of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) was negligible in adults by 3 months post injury. Pertab et al. (2009) reported that verbal paired associates, coding tasks, and digit span yielded significant differences between mTBI and control groups. We re-analyzed data from the 25 studies used in the prior meta-analyses, correcting statistical and methodological limitations of previous efforts, and analyzed the chronicity data by discrete epochs. Three months post injury the effect size of -0.07 was not statistically different from zero and similar to that which has been found in several other meta-analyses (Belanger et al., 2005; Schretlen & Shapiro, 2003). The effect size 7 days post injury was -0.39. The effect of mTBI immediately post injury was largest on Verbal and Visual Memory domains. However, 3 months post injury all domains improved to show non-significant effect sizes. These findings indicate that mTBI has an initial small effect on neuropsychological functioning that dissipates quickly. The evidence of recovery in the present meta-analysis is consistent with previous conclusions of both Binder et al. and Frencham et al. Our findings may not apply to people with a history of multiple concussions or complicated mTBIs.

  1. Continuous quality improvement: improving hemodialysis catheter patency using urokinase.

    PubMed

    Northsea, C

    1996-12-01

    Opportunities for improvements in patient outcomes through applied continuous quality improvement (CQI) programs are endless and exciting. Improving vascular access outcomes has been a long-standing clinical problem for hemodialysis patients and the nephrology team. During the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of dialysis catheters as permanent accesses for hemodialysis patients. All hemodialysis with dialysis catheters are at risk for catheter occlusion. An innovative, 2-year CQI program was developed, implemented, and designed to improve dialysis catheter patency rates with the use of urokinase. The CQI program resulted in a number of clinical outcomes that were beneficial to the patients and dialysis staff, and were cost-effective to the program.

  2. Improving self-esteem by improving physical attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Patzer, G L

    1997-01-01

    Many characteristics comprise a person's personality: achievement orientation, interest to be sociable, aggressiveness, need for order, disposition, and so on. One of the most important personality characteristics in every person's life is self-esteem, which can be defined in terms of cognitive generalizations derived from past experiences. Since people are not isolated from their environment, a person's experiences impact his or her self-esteem. Since a person's physical attractiveness is known to be a major factor in his or her experiences, it is logical (as well as empirically documented) to be a substantial influence on self-esteem. The research shows that improving a physical trait improves attitude, personality, and self-esteem. Likewise, improving physical attractiveness improves interpersonal interactions. These more positive interactions are internalized intrapersonally (within a person), with direct, corresponding impact on the person's self-esteem.

  3. Lessons Learned on Stage: How Improv Can Improve Science Communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, G. J.; Kohn, C.; McPeek, M. A.; Serrell, N.

    2014-12-01

    A challenge facing STEM graduate students is the daunting task of communicating their research to a non-specialist audience. Strategies that work well in lab group meetings, such as using acronyms and jargon, do not work in the real world. Ideally, scientists should directly connect with any audience, responding spontaneously and actively, distilling their messages into conversational morsels that resonate with that audience. Scientists should listen. This presentation highlights a 10-week, interdisciplinary graduate course at Dartmouth College that teaches methods for communicating science with clarity, vividness, and emotion. The course was developed in partnership with Stony Brook University's Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, and emphasizes story-telling, two-way communication, active listening, and so much more. Effective message development and communication skills - spontaneity, authenticity, and connectivity - are honed through improvisational theater exercises. One might ask, "why improv?" As a co-developer/co-instructor of this graduate course and a Ph.D. candidate in Earth Sciences, my response is, "why not improv?" Improv is acting without a script. It is also underground rap battles, baking from scratch, and playing jazz flute. Improv is Macguyver. Improv is not any one particular thing so much as it is a process through which we do things. Improv can teach us a lot: how to play, how to feel comfortable and present even while flailing, and how to truly listen.

  4. Improving the breed - Shuttle development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brand, V.

    1985-01-01

    An evaluation is made of design improvements that have been made to the Space Shuttle System, and the performance gains obtained; the most important of these stem from efforts to refine procedures for rendezvous with stricken satellites, in order to repair them. Ascent performance has been improved through Space Shuttle Main Engine thrust improvements and external tank weight reductions. On-orbit living convenience has been enhanced by the addition of small sleeping compartments and a galley. Greater flexibility has been obtained for reentry and landing maneuvers. Attention is given to problems which continue to be posed by the thermal protection tiles.

  5. Waste Management Process Improvement Project

    SciTech Connect

    Atwood, J.; Borden, G.; Rangel, G. R.

    2002-02-25

    The Bechtel Hanford-led Environmental Restoration Contractor team's Waste Management Process Improvement Project is working diligently with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Richland Operations Office to improve the waste management process to meet DOE's need for an efficient, cost-effective program for the management of dangerous, low-level and mixed-low-level waste. Additionally the program must meet all applicable regulatory requirements. The need for improvement was highlighted when a change in the Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project's waste management practices resulted in a larger amount of waste being generated than the waste management organization had been set up to handle.

  6. Improving Resident Knowledge of Spacers.

    PubMed

    Kilgore, Brian; Al Katranji, Khalid; Woodall, Meredith; Shepherd, Meagan; Flesher, Susan L

    2016-10-01

    Studies show the delivery of inhaled medications is maximized when a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) with a spacer is utilized. Our residents expressed concern with their knowledge of MDIs and spacers. This study was designed to address those concerns. Residents were given a 12-question pre-intervention, self-assessment questionnaire that explored their overall knowledge and comfort in utilizing MDI with spacers. Participants then received educational intervention via multimedia videos and a demonstration of proper use of MDI with spacer. Participants were given the same questionnaire immediately following the education and again 3 months later. Improvement was significant (P < .05) for each element studied as derived from the 12 questions. Improvement remained significant when these variables were assessed in the 3-month follow-up. In this study, we successfully improved the ability of our residents to deliver quality care by improving their knowledge and confidence in utilizing MDIs with spacers. PMID:27630006

  7. Process improvement in transfusion medicine.

    PubMed

    Kopko, P M; Holland, P V

    1999-07-01

    Ongoing efforts to decrease costs in the clinical laboratory make continuous process improvement especially important in difficult economic times. Process improvement can result in decreased workload, cost savings, and increased customer satisfaction but is an abstract concept in and of itself. To illustrate the steps of process improvement, we applied them to our blood component retrieval policy. By identifying the problems with the current system, proposing and implementing solutions, and measuring the effects before and after revamping the process, we have been able to show impressive reductions in the number of component retrievals initiated, the number acted on, wasted components, and customer complaints, all of which translate into cost savings. Once the cycle is completed, it begins anew. There must always be continuous process improvement. PMID:10388909

  8. Improvement in indirect magnetostriction measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Németh, S.; Kopasz, C.; Hargitai, C.

    1992-07-01

    The SAMR and AtS methods are simultaneously applied for determination magnetostriction constants to reduce the uncertainties in the interpretation of the quantities directly measured and to improve the accuracy in λ values determined.

  9. Process improvement in transfusion medicine.

    PubMed

    Kopko, P M; Holland, P V

    1999-07-01

    Ongoing efforts to decrease costs in the clinical laboratory make continuous process improvement especially important in difficult economic times. Process improvement can result in decreased workload, cost savings, and increased customer satisfaction but is an abstract concept in and of itself. To illustrate the steps of process improvement, we applied them to our blood component retrieval policy. By identifying the problems with the current system, proposing and implementing solutions, and measuring the effects before and after revamping the process, we have been able to show impressive reductions in the number of component retrievals initiated, the number acted on, wasted components, and customer complaints, all of which translate into cost savings. Once the cycle is completed, it begins anew. There must always be continuous process improvement.

  10. Energy Improvements in Barnstable County

    SciTech Connect

    2003-09-01

    A fact sheet that describes Barnstable County, Massachusetts, effort to improve energy efficiency through a public appliance trade-in program, installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs in public buildings, and public energy education.

  11. Improved load-cell compensation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Egger, R. L.

    1977-01-01

    Improved bridge-compensation circuit saves considerable time in balancing bridge and wiring it for temperature compensation. Large bridge-balance compensation is made before temperature cycling and small adjustments are made with different type of wire.

  12. Videomicroscopy and Improved Student Attitudes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fedak, John; And Others

    1990-01-01

    The improvement in student attitudes as the result of the use of videomicroscopy in the science classroom at the elementary, secondary, and college levels is discussed. The results of published research studies are reviewed. (CW)

  13. Would decriminalising drugs improve care?

    PubMed

    Riddell, Stephen

    The decriminalisation of illegal drugs is controversial. This article examines the debate in the UK, and argues that a change in the laws would help to remove stigma and consequently change health professionals' attitudes towards drug users and improve services.

  14. Improved electrolytes for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gard, G.L.; Roe, D.K.

    1991-06-01

    Present day fuel cells based upon hydrogen and oxygen have limited performance due to the use of phosphoric acid as an electrolyte. Improved performance is desirable in electrolyte conductivity, electrolyte management, oxygen solubility, and the kinetics of the reduction of oxygen. Attention has turned to fluorosulfonic acids as additives or substitute electrolytes to improve fuel cell performance. The purpose of this project is to synthesize and electrochemically evaluate new fluorosulfonic acids as superior alternatives to phosphoric acid in fuel cells. (VC)

  15. Wind profiler signal detection improvements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, G. F.; Divis, Dale H.

    1992-01-01

    Research is described on potential improvements to the software used with the NASA 49.25 MHz wind profiler located at Kennedy Space Center. In particular, the analysis and results are provided of a study to (1) identify preferred mathematical techniques for the detection of atmospheric signals that provide wind velocities which are obscured by natural and man-made sources, and (2) to analyze one or more preferred techniques to demonstrate proof of the capability to improve the detection of wind velocities.

  16. Improving efficiency in meat production.

    PubMed

    Brameld, John M; Parr, Tim

    2016-08-01

    Selective breeding and improved nutritional management over the past 20-30 years has resulted in dramatic improvements in growth efficiency for pigs and poultry, particularly lean tissue growth. However, this has been achieved using high-quality feed ingredients, such as wheat and soya that are also used for human consumption and more recently biofuels production. Ruminants on the other hand are less efficient, but are normally fed poorer quality ingredients that cannot be digested by human subjects, such as grass or silage. The challenges therefore are to: (i) maintain the current efficiency of growth of pigs and poultry, but using more ingredients not needed to feed the increasing human population or for the production of biofuels; (ii) improve the efficiency of growth in ruminants; (iii) at the same time produce animal products (meat, milk and eggs) of equal or improved quality. This review will describe the use of: (a) enzyme additives for animal feeds, to improve feed digestibility; (b) known growth promoting agents, such as growth hormone, β-agonists and anabolic steroids, currently banned in the European Union but used in other parts of the world; (c) recent transcriptomic studies into molecular mechanisms for improved growth efficiency via low residual feed intake. In doing so, the use of genetic manipulation in animals will also be discussed.

  17. Improving efficiency in meat production.

    PubMed

    Brameld, John M; Parr, Tim

    2016-08-01

    Selective breeding and improved nutritional management over the past 20-30 years has resulted in dramatic improvements in growth efficiency for pigs and poultry, particularly lean tissue growth. However, this has been achieved using high-quality feed ingredients, such as wheat and soya that are also used for human consumption and more recently biofuels production. Ruminants on the other hand are less efficient, but are normally fed poorer quality ingredients that cannot be digested by human subjects, such as grass or silage. The challenges therefore are to: (i) maintain the current efficiency of growth of pigs and poultry, but using more ingredients not needed to feed the increasing human population or for the production of biofuels; (ii) improve the efficiency of growth in ruminants; (iii) at the same time produce animal products (meat, milk and eggs) of equal or improved quality. This review will describe the use of: (a) enzyme additives for animal feeds, to improve feed digestibility; (b) known growth promoting agents, such as growth hormone, β-agonists and anabolic steroids, currently banned in the European Union but used in other parts of the world; (c) recent transcriptomic studies into molecular mechanisms for improved growth efficiency via low residual feed intake. In doing so, the use of genetic manipulation in animals will also be discussed. PMID:27087253

  18. Qualification of improved joint heaters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, M.

    1989-01-01

    Qualification testing of the Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor improved igniter-to-case joint and field joint heaters was conducted on the fired TEM-04 static test motor and was completed on 7 Sep. 1989. The purpose of the test was to certify the installation and performance of the improved joint heaters for use on flight motors. The changes incorporated in the improved heaters improve durability and should reduce handling damage. The igniter-to-case joint and field joint primary heater circuits were subjected to five 20-hr ON cycles. The heater redundant circuits were then subjected to one 20-hr ON cycle. Voltage, current, and temperature set point values were maintained within the specified limits for both heaters during each ON cycle. When testing was complete, both heaters were removed and inspected. No discolorations or any other anomalies were found on either of the heaters. Based on the successful completion of this test, it is recommended that the improved igniter-to-case joint and field joint heaters be used on future flight motors.

  19. Continuous Improvement in Action: Educators' Evidence Use for School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cannata, Marisa; Redding, Christopher; Rubin, Mollie

    2016-01-01

    The focus of the article is the process educators use to interpret data to turn it into usable knowledge (Honig & Coburn, 2008) while engaging in a continuous improvement process. The authors examine the types of evidence educators draw upon, its perceived relevance, and the social context in which the evidence is examined. Evidence includes…

  20. Improving vision among older adults: behavioral training to improve sight.

    PubMed

    DeLoss, Denton J; Watanabe, Takeo; Andersen, George J

    2015-04-01

    A major problem for the rapidly growing population of older adults (age 65 and over) is age-related declines in vision, which have been associated with increased risk of falls and vehicle crashes. Research suggests that this increased risk is associated with declines in contrast sensitivity and visual acuity. We examined whether a perceptual-learning task could be used to improve age-related declines in contrast sensitivity. Older and younger adults were trained over 7 days using a forced-choice orientation-discrimination task with stimuli that varied in contrast with multiple levels of additive noise. Older adults performed as well after training as did college-age younger adults prior to training. Improvements transferred to performance for an untrained stimulus orientation and were not associated with changes in retinal illuminance. Improvements in far acuity in younger adults and in near acuity in older adults were also found. These findings indicate that behavioral interventions can greatly improve visual performance for older adults. PMID:25749697

  1. Engine component improvement program: Performance improvement. [fuel consumption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcaulay, J. E.

    1979-01-01

    Fuel consumption of commercial aircraft is considered. Fuel saving and retention components for new production and retrofit of JT9D, JT8D, and CF6 engines are reviewed. The manner in which the performance improvement concepts were selected for development and a summary of the current status of each of the 16 selected concepts are discussed.

  2. Improving Case Discussion with an Improv Mind-Set

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aylesworth, Andy

    2008-01-01

    Improvisational comedy emphasizes collaboration over competition. This leads to creative ideas and solutions to problems. By establishing this "improv mind-set" in the business classroom, an instructor may be able to overcome some of the problems associated with the case method (e.g., shy students, dominating students). By doing so, the learning…

  3. Surviving Performance Improvement "Solutions": Aligning Performance Improvement Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernardez, Mariano L.

    2009-01-01

    How can organizations avoid the negative, sometimes chaotic, effects of multiple, poorly coordinated performance improvement interventions? How can we avoid punishing our external clients or staff with the side effects of solutions that might benefit our bottom line or internal efficiency at the expense of the value received or perceived by…

  4. Improving Student Retention in Higher Education: Improving Teaching and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crosling, Glenda; Heagney, Margaret; Thomas, Liz

    2009-01-01

    As a key performance indicator in university quality assurance processes, the retention of students in their studies is an issue of concern world-wide. Implicit in the process of quality assurance is quality improvement. In this article, we examine student retention from a teaching and learning perspective, in terms of teaching and learning…

  5. Improved Heat-Stress Algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teets, Edward H., Jr.; Fehn, Steven

    2007-01-01

    NASA Dryden presents an improved and automated site-specific algorithm for heat-stress approximation using standard atmospheric measurements routinely obtained from the Edwards Air Force Base weather detachment. Heat stress, which is the net heat load a worker may be exposed to, is officially measured using a thermal-environment monitoring system to calculate the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT). This instrument uses three independent thermometers to measure wet-bulb, dry-bulb, and the black-globe temperatures. By using these improvements, a more realistic WBGT estimation value can now be produced. This is extremely useful for researchers and other employees who are working on outdoor projects that are distant from the areas that the Web system monitors. Most importantly, the improved WBGT estimations will make outdoor work sites safer by reducing the likelihood of heat stress.

  6. Baseline budgeting for continuous improvement.

    PubMed

    Kilty, G L

    1999-05-01

    This article is designed to introduce the techniques used to convert traditionally maintained department budgets to baseline budgets. This entails identifying key activities, evaluating for value-added, and implementing continuous improvement opportunities. Baseline Budgeting for Continuous Improvement was created as a result of a newly named company president's request to implement zero-based budgeting. The president was frustrated with the mind-set of the organization, namely, "Next year's budget should be 10 to 15 percent more than this year's spending." Zero-based budgeting was not the answer, but combining the principles of activity-based costing and the Just-in-Time philosophy of eliminating waste and continuous improvement did provide a solution to the problem.

  7. Motor activity improves temporal expectancy.

    PubMed

    Fautrelle, Lilian; Mareschal, Denis; French, Robert; Addyman, Caspar; Thomas, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Certain brain areas involved in interval timing are also important in motor activity. This raises the possibility that motor activity might influence interval timing. To test this hypothesis, we assessed interval timing in healthy adults following different types of training. The pre- and post-training tasks consisted of a button press in response to the presentation of a rhythmic visual stimulus. Alterations in temporal expectancy were evaluated by measuring response times. Training consisted of responding to the visual presentation of regularly appearing stimuli by either: (1) pointing with a whole-body movement, (2) pointing only with the arm, (3) imagining pointing with a whole-body movement, (4) simply watching the stimulus presentation, (5) pointing with a whole-body movement in response to a target that appeared at irregular intervals (6) reading a newspaper. Participants performing a motor activity in response to the regular target showed significant improvements in judgment times compared to individuals with no associated motor activity. Individuals who only imagined pointing with a whole-body movement also showed significant improvements. No improvements were observed in the group that trained with a motor response to an irregular stimulus, hence eliminating the explanation that the improved temporal expectations of the other motor training groups was purely due to an improved motor capacity to press the response button. All groups performed a secondary task equally well, hence indicating that our results could not simply be attributed to differences in attention between the groups. Our results show that motor activity, even when it does not play a causal or corrective role, can lead to improved interval timing judgments. PMID:25806813

  8. Motor activity improves temporal expectancy.

    PubMed

    Fautrelle, Lilian; Mareschal, Denis; French, Robert; Addyman, Caspar; Thomas, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Certain brain areas involved in interval timing are also important in motor activity. This raises the possibility that motor activity might influence interval timing. To test this hypothesis, we assessed interval timing in healthy adults following different types of training. The pre- and post-training tasks consisted of a button press in response to the presentation of a rhythmic visual stimulus. Alterations in temporal expectancy were evaluated by measuring response times. Training consisted of responding to the visual presentation of regularly appearing stimuli by either: (1) pointing with a whole-body movement, (2) pointing only with the arm, (3) imagining pointing with a whole-body movement, (4) simply watching the stimulus presentation, (5) pointing with a whole-body movement in response to a target that appeared at irregular intervals (6) reading a newspaper. Participants performing a motor activity in response to the regular target showed significant improvements in judgment times compared to individuals with no associated motor activity. Individuals who only imagined pointing with a whole-body movement also showed significant improvements. No improvements were observed in the group that trained with a motor response to an irregular stimulus, hence eliminating the explanation that the improved temporal expectations of the other motor training groups was purely due to an improved motor capacity to press the response button. All groups performed a secondary task equally well, hence indicating that our results could not simply be attributed to differences in attention between the groups. Our results show that motor activity, even when it does not play a causal or corrective role, can lead to improved interval timing judgments.

  9. Motor Activity Improves Temporal Expectancy

    PubMed Central

    Fautrelle, Lilian; Mareschal, Denis; French, Robert; Addyman, Caspar; Thomas, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Certain brain areas involved in interval timing are also important in motor activity. This raises the possibility that motor activity might influence interval timing. To test this hypothesis, we assessed interval timing in healthy adults following different types of training. The pre- and post-training tasks consisted of a button press in response to the presentation of a rhythmic visual stimulus. Alterations in temporal expectancy were evaluated by measuring response times. Training consisted of responding to the visual presentation of regularly appearing stimuli by either: (1) pointing with a whole-body movement, (2) pointing only with the arm, (3) imagining pointing with a whole-body movement, (4) simply watching the stimulus presentation, (5) pointing with a whole-body movement in response to a target that appeared at irregular intervals (6) reading a newspaper. Participants performing a motor activity in response to the regular target showed significant improvements in judgment times compared to individuals with no associated motor activity. Individuals who only imagined pointing with a whole-body movement also showed significant improvements. No improvements were observed in the group that trained with a motor response to an irregular stimulus, hence eliminating the explanation that the improved temporal expectations of the other motor training groups was purely due to an improved motor capacity to press the response button. All groups performed a secondary task equally well, hence indicating that our results could not simply be attributed to differences in attention between the groups. Our results show that motor activity, even when it does not play a causal or corrective role, can lead to improved interval timing judgments. PMID:25806813

  10. An Improved Cockroach Swarm Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Obagbuwa, I. C.; Adewumi, A. O.

    2014-01-01

    Hunger component is introduced to the existing cockroach swarm optimization (CSO) algorithm to improve its searching ability and population diversity. The original CSO was modelled with three components: chase-swarming, dispersion, and ruthless; additional hunger component which is modelled using partial differential equation (PDE) method is included in this paper. An improved cockroach swarm optimization (ICSO) is proposed in this paper. The performance of the proposed algorithm is tested on well known benchmarks and compared with the existing CSO, modified cockroach swarm optimization (MCSO), roach infestation optimization RIO, and hungry roach infestation optimization (HRIO). The comparison results show clearly that the proposed algorithm outperforms the existing algorithms. PMID:24959611

  11. Improving intelligence: a literature review.

    PubMed

    Buschkuehl, M; Jaeggi, S M

    2010-05-01

    Intelligence is associated with performance on a wide range of cognitive tasks and is a reliable predictor for educational and professional success. Therefore, the development of effective training regimens that aim to improve intelligence is of high interest. In recent years, there has been accumulating evidence that certain interventions have a positive impact on intelligence. The aim of the present paper is to provide a literature review on such studies. Despite promising results, we conclude that there are still many unknown variables and that the mechanisms that underlie improvements in intelligence are not well understood. More work is needed in order to disentangle these involved processes and to further refine existing training regimens.

  12. Radio Relays Improve Wireless Products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    Signal Hill, California-based XCOM Wireless Inc. developed radio frequency micromachine (RF MEMS) relays with a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract through NASA?s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In order to improve satellite communication systems, XCOM produced wireless RF MEMS relays and tunable capacitors that use metal-to-metal contact and have the potential to outperform most semiconductor technologies while using less power. These relays are used in high-frequency test equipment and instrumentation, where increased speed can mean significant cost savings. Applications now also include mainstream wireless applications and greatly improved tactical radios.

  13. Improving designer productivity. [artificial intelligence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, Gary C.

    1992-01-01

    Designer and design team productivity improves with skill, experience, and the tools available. The design process involves numerous trials and errors, analyses, refinements, and addition of details. Computerized tools have greatly speeded the analysis, and now new theories and methods, emerging under the label Artificial Intelligence (AI), are being used to automate skill and experience. These tools improve designer productivity by capturing experience, emulating recognized skillful designers, and making the essence of complex programs easier to grasp. This paper outlines the aircraft design process in today's technology and business climate, presenting some of the challenges ahead and some of the promising AI methods for meeting these challenges.

  14. Photovoltaic Cz Silicon Module Improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Jester, T. L.

    1998-09-01

    Work focused on reducing the cost per watt of Cz silicon photovoltaic modules under Phase II of Siemens Solar Industries' DOE/NREL PVMaT 4A subcontract is described in this report. New module designs were deployed in this phase of the contract, improvements in yield of over 10% were realized, and further implementation of Statistical Process Control was achieved during this phase. Module configurations representing a 12% cost reduction per watt were implemented in small scale production under Phase II of this contract. Yield improvements are described in detail, yield sensitivity to wafer thickness is quantified, and the deployment of SPC in critical process steps is reported here.

  15. [Technological improvements in interventional cardiology].

    PubMed

    Calabuig, J; Artaiz, M; Azcárate, P; Palazuelos, J; Martín-Raymondi, D

    2005-01-01

    In the last few years, the evolution of coronary interventionism has been very important. The primary success rates in the early 1990s were 86-88% with a re-stenosis rate of 30%-40%. Current primary success rates have risen to over 95% with a re-stenosis rate of under 10% even for many types of lesions classically considered complex. Currently the main limitations in interventional cardiology remain coronary segments that cannot be accessed due to chronic total occlusion, or severe proximal tortuosity or calcification. Rapid improvements have led to broader clinical indications for percutaneous revascularization procedures. We describe the latest improvements in techniques.

  16. The Power of Process Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fairfield-Sonn, James W.; Morgan, Sandra; Sumukadas, Narendar

    2004-01-01

    Over the last several decades many systematic management approaches, such as Total Quality Management, aimed at improving organizational performance and employee satisfaction have captured organizations' attention. Given their origins in statistics, operations management, and engineering, many of the concepts and techniques are technical. When…

  17. The "Data Wise" Improvement Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boudett, Kathryn Parker; City, Elizabeth A.; Murnane, Richard J.

    2006-01-01

    Organizing the work of instructional improvement around a process that has specific, manageable steps helps educators build confidence and skill in using data. A process that includes eight distinct steps can take school leaders to use their assessment data effectively, and organized these steps into three phases: Prepare, Inquire, and Act. The…

  18. Improved corn protein based articles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developing higher value uses for zein (corn protein), a potential major co-product of the bio-ethanol industry, will improve the economics of this business. Historically, zein was predominantly used in the textile fiber industry. Unfortunately the techniques used at that time to modify the zein cann...

  19. Improvement of Job Placement Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mount San Antonio Community Coll. District, Walnut, CA.

    The Improvement of Job Placement Services Project was undertaken to examine and strengthen job placement services and programs in the California community colleges. Specific objectives of the project were to: (1) select and convene a 12-member representative advisory committee to oversee project operations working with the California Placement…

  20. A Wildlife Habitat Improvement Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, S. Elaine

    The document presents an overview of Stony Acres, a "sanctuary" for wildlife as well as a place for recreation enjoyment and education undertakings. A review of the history of wildlife habitat management at Stony Acres and the need for continued and improved wildlife habitat management for the property are discussed in Chapter I. Chapter II…

  1. Performance improvement. The American way.

    PubMed

    Walker, Karen

    2007-02-15

    The role of a US-style 'improvement adviser' is to ensure chages are successfully implemented. They use coaching and facilitation to support project teams and are trained to overcome common obstacles. The advisers have advantages over traditional consultants, as they work with full inside knowledge of the organization and are there for the long-term.

  2. Methods for improving PGPR establishment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are often touted as a useful means to improve crop productivity and sustainability. However, field studies with PGPR inoculants often result in limited PGPR establishment and colonization, highlighting the need to better understand the factors involved in...

  3. Training in practical ergonomics improvements.

    PubMed

    Kogi, K

    1989-06-01

    Recent ILO experiences show that concrete ergonomics improvements can result from learning-by-doing training in real settings. Particularly important is to build on local practice focusing on good examples already available. Checklist exercise, demonstrating low-cost solutions and group work are effective training tools. Opportunities can be widely created by such enabling training.

  4. School Improvement Network 1990 Directory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Jocelyn A.; Batey, Anne

    This directory contains information about schools that are working to improve student performance through the school-based management process "Onward to Excellence." Over 600 schools were sent questionnaires asking for detailed information about activities using "Onward to Excellence" and about results of that work. Data received from 293 schools…

  5. School Improvement Network Directory, 1994.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gipe, Linda, Comp.

    Information is provided in this directory about 256 schools working with the school-based-management process, "Onward to Excellence" (OTE), to improve student performance. This directory provides information about recently trained OTE schools and about those longer term OTE Schools not profiled in last year's directory. Each entry includes a…

  6. Improving Memory in the Aged.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Linda M.; Pratt, Mary Alice

    This paper reports the results of an evaluation of a didactic-experiential program designed to improve memory functioning in healthy older adults with memory complaints, and to allay their concerns (in this case, largely unfounded) about the decline of their memory. The 7-week workshop met weekly for 2 hours, each session consisting of a lecture…

  7. Improved weather information and aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hallahan, K.; Zdanys, V.

    1973-01-01

    The major impacts of weather forecasts on aviation are reviewed. Topics discussed include: (1) present and projected structure of American aviation, (2) weather problems considered particularly important for aviation, (3) projected needs for improved weather information by aviators, (4) safety and economics, and (5) future studies utilizing satellite meteorology.

  8. Indian Teachers and School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chavers, Dean

    2000-01-01

    Past failures in American Indian education are linked to lingering assimilationist practices, outdated curricula, and low expectations of Indian youth. A key to improving Indian education is changing school culture and increasing the numbers of Indian teachers and administrators. Elements of a model teacher education program are presented, and…

  9. Zymomonas with improved xylose utilization

    DOEpatents

    Viitanen, Paul V.; Tao, Luan; Zhang, Yuying; Caimi, Perry G.; McCutchen, Carol M.; McCole, Laura; Zhang, Min; Chou, Yat-Chen; Franden, Mary Ann

    2011-08-16

    Strains of Zymomonas were engineered by introducing a chimeric xylose isomerase gene that contains a mutant promoter of the Z. mobilis glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene. The promoter directs increased expression of xylose isomerase, and when the strain is in addition engineered for expression of xylulokinase, transaldolase and transketolase, improved utilization of xylose is obtained.

  10. Improved Air-Treatment Canister

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm, A. M.

    1982-01-01

    Proposed air-treatment canister integrates a heater-in-tube water evaporator into canister header. Improved design prevents water from condensing and contaminating chemicals that regenerate the air. Heater is evenly spiraled about the inlet header on the canister. Evaporator is brazed to the header.

  11. Culture, Change, and Educational Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chadwick, Clifton, Ed.; Valenzuela, Soledad

    2008-01-01

    Efforts to improve education, including the use of educational technology, are subject to factors within the context where the change is intended. In countries not typically classified as advanced, the change methods to be used, the probability of success, and even the ways of measuring achievement most likely will vary on the basis of cultural…

  12. Improved Zero-Crossing Detector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dick, G. John; Kuhnle, Paul F.

    1992-01-01

    Improved zero-crossing-detector circuit designed for precisely measuring difference between frequencies of two frequency-standard signal sources. Contains low-bandwidth first-stage amplifier and three limiting amplifiers, each "squares" signal bit more. Crosstalk eliminated and jitter reduced to about 10 to the negative 7th power microseconds.

  13. Improving Junior High Classroom Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmer, Edmund T.; And Others

    A field experiment was conducted to determine whether descriptive-correlational results from classroom management research could be implemented by junior high school teachers, and whether such implementation would result in improved classroom management. An experimental group (18 teachers) received management manuals developed by researchers, and…

  14. Assessing and Improving Classroom Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thorp, Howard S.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Describes a convenient and economical questionnaire that science teachers can use to assess their students' perceptions of classroom environment and reports a case study of a science teacher's successful use of this questionnaire in guiding improvements in his classroom environment. (16 references) (Author)

  15. Improving Reading Performance through Hypnosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Describes a study investigating the effects of group hypnosis on the reading performance of university students in a reading and writing center. Discusses study procedures and presents data on pretest scores and gains in vocabulary and comprehension scores. Concludes that regular use of self-hypnosis significantly improved performance. (DMM)

  16. Conservation Education Improvement. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diem, Kenneth L.; Hennebry, Howard M.

    In an attempt to improve the teaching of conservation in elementary and junior high schools, a set of integrated sequential core units was formulated and tested in five Wyoming school districts during the fall and early winter of 1968. Based on a total sample of 840 elementary students (38% usable response) and 960 junior high students (49% usable…

  17. Viscosity Index Improvers and Thickeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stambaugh, R. L.; Kinker, B. G.

    The viscosity index of an oil or an oil formulation is an important physical parameter. Viscosity index improvers, VIIs, are comprised of five main classes of polymers: polymethylmethacrylates (PMAs), olefin copolymers (OCPs), hydrogenated poly(styrene-co-butadiene or isoprene) (HSD/SIP/HRIs), esterified polystyrene-co-maleic anhydride (SPEs) and a combination of PMA/OCP systems. The chemistry, manufacture, dispersancy and utility of each class are described. The comparative functions, properties, thickening ability, dispersancy and degradation of VIIs are discussed. Permanent and temporary shear thinning of VII-thickened formulations are described and compared. The end-use performance and choice of VI improvers is discussed in terms of low- and high-temperature viscosities, journal bearing oil film thickness, fuel economy, oil consumption, high-temperature pumping efficiency and deposit control. Discussion of future developments concludes that VI improvers will evolve to meet new challenges of increased thermal-oxidative degradation from increased engine operating temperatures, different base stocks of either synthetic base oils or vegetable oil-based, together with alcohol- or vegetable oil-based fuels. VI improvers must also evolve to deal with higher levels of fuel dilution and new types of sludge and also enhanced low-temperature requirements.

  18. Improving Explanatory Inferences from Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diakow, Ronli Phyllis

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation comprises three papers that propose, discuss, and illustrate models to make improved inferences about research questions regarding student achievement in education. Addressing the types of questions common in educational research today requires three different "extensions" to traditional educational assessment: (1)…

  19. A strategy for company improvement.

    PubMed

    Howley, L

    2000-03-01

    Strategies based on the kaizen methodology are designed to continuously improve company performance without the need for large capital investments. This article looks at how one company used simple kaizen principles to its advantage, achieving 67% increase in productivity and 10% reduction in the standard cost of product.

  20. Improving an Imperfect Metric System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frasier, E. Lewis

    1974-01-01

    Suggests some improvements and additional units necessary for the International Metric System to expand its use to all measureable entities and defined quantities, especially in the measurement of time and angles. Included are tables of proposed unit systems in contrast with the presently available systems. (CC)

  1. New Ideas for School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunlap, Diane

    1985-01-01

    This report is comprised of brief summaries of various research-based and theoretical concepts and techniques--taken mostly from business management--that might improve educational administration. The topics discussed include (1) a list of successful business practices identified by the book, "In Search of Excellence"; (2) Theories X, Y, and Z,…

  2. Piloting improved cookstoves in India.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Jessica J; Bhojvaid, Vasundhara; Brooks, Nina; Das, Ipsita; Jeuland, Marc A; Patange, Omkar; Pattanayak, Subhrendu K

    2015-01-01

    Despite the potential of improved cookstoves to reduce the adverse environmental and health impacts of solid fuel use, their adoption and use remains low. Social marketing-with its focus on the marketing mix of promotion, product, price, and place-offers a useful way to understand household behaviors and design campaigns to change biomass fuel use. We report on a series of pilots across 3 Indian states that use different combinations of the marketing mix. We find sales varying from 0% to 60%. Behavior change promotion that combined door-to-door personalized demonstrations with information pamphlets was effective. When given a choice amongst products, households strongly preferred an electric stove over improved biomass-burning options. Among different stove attributes, reduced cooking time was considered most valuable by those adopting a new stove. Households clearly identified price as a significant barrier to adoption, while provision of discounts (e.g., rebates given if households used the stove) or payments in installments were related to higher purchase. Place-based factors such as remoteness and nongovernmental organization operations significantly affected the ability to supply and convince households to buy and use improved cookstoves. Collectively, these pilots point to the importance of continued and extensive testing of messages, pricing models, and different stove types before scale-up. Thus, we caution that a one-size-fits-all approach will not boost improved cookstove adoption.

  3. Improving Career Exploration. Implementation Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southwest Iowa Learning Resources Center, Red Oak.

    This junior high/middle school career exploration implementation manual is designed to assist in implementing a comprehensive career exploration program using four career exploration components developed in the Improving Career Exploration project. The first of six sections addresses career exploration and career/vocational development. Basic…

  4. Application Process Improvement Yields Results.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holesovsky, Jan Paul

    1995-01-01

    After a continuing effort to improve its grant application process, the department of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is submitting many more applications and realizing increased funding. The methods and strategy used to make the process more efficient and effective are outlined. (Author/MSE)

  5. Improved Helmet-Padding Material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dawn, Frederic S.; Weiss, Fred R.; Eck, John D.

    1994-01-01

    Polyimide foamed into lightweight padding material for use in helmets. Exhibits increased resistance to ignition, combustion, and impact, and it outgasses less. Foam satisfies offgassing and toxicity requirements of NASA/JSC criteria (NHB80601B). Helmets containing this improved padding material used by firefighters, police, offshore drilling technicians, construction workers, miners, and race-car drivers.

  6. Teaching Tips: Improving College Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGlynn, Angela Provitera

    Designed to help teachers improve instruction, this handbook provides tips gathered from focus groups of teachers and students at New Jersey's Mercer County Community College, as well as from other teaching resources. The first part focuses on the contribution of faculty-student interaction to student success, listing 21 suggestions for building…

  7. Improvement of CAT scanned images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, E., Jr.

    1980-01-01

    Digital enhancement procedure improves definition of images. Tomogram is generated from large number of X-ray beams. Beams are collimated and small in diameter. Scanning device passes beams sequentially through human subject at many different angles. Battery of transducers opposite subject senses attenuated signals. Signals are transmitted to computer where they are used in construction of image on transverse plane through body.

  8. Improving Motor Skills through Listening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Lin

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses how to improve a child's motor skills through listening by using three simple steps--recording the auditory model, determining when to use the auditory model, and considering where to use the auditory model. She points out the importance of using a demonstration technique that helps learners understand the…

  9. Improving Listening Skills and Motivation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armstrong, Sandra; Rentz, Tina

    This report describes a project for improving students' listening and motivation. The action research took place from September 2001 through January 2002. The targeted first grade reading and eighth grade physical education students live in rural, Midwestern, middle- to high-income communities located in central Illinois. The problem was that…

  10. Writing Assessment for Program Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kocher, A. Thel

    1984-01-01

    The writing assessment program in the Cherry Creek, Colorado, schools is described. Writing assessments for students in grades three, six, eight, and 10 have been developed. A holistic approach is used by teachers in scoring these instruments. Improvement of students' essay-writing ability indicates the value of the assessment program. (DWH)

  11. Improving Technology and Engineering Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tech Directions, 2013

    2013-01-01

    Improving Technology and Engineering Education for All Students: A Plan of Action is the theme of this year's International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) annual conference, which meets March 7-9 in Columbus, OH. The theme is aligned with ITEEA's 2012-15 Strategic Plan: Investing in People as Educational Change Agents.…

  12. Lifestyle Improvement Program for Seniors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barclay, Ralph

    The Wayne State College Lifestyle Improvement Program for Seniors, based on the wellness concept, is designed to facilitate social interaction and health through physical activities. It is adaptable to a variety of individual needs and preferences, including exercises for cardiac rehabilitation patients. Any person over 50 can participate at no…

  13. Reading Programs: Alternatives for Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Allen, Roach

    The purpose of this guide is to help school district committees composed of parents, community groups, teachers, administrators, and students develop a plan for improving reading instruction through an emphasis on individuals as learners. Included in the table of contents are: (1) "What Should We Do about Reading Instruction?" (2) "Why This…

  14. Improving your IQ -- Intelligent Questioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kassner, Kirk

    1998-01-01

    Stresses the importance for teachers to analyze their Intelligent Questioning (IQ) and Responding to Answers (RSA) scores. Provides three methods for measuring IQ and RSA: Flowchart for Asking Effective Questions, Questioning Observation form, and Flanders Technique of Interaction Analysis. Contends that by improving these teaching skills,…

  15. Improved fire-resistant coatings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hutt, J. B.; Stuart, J. W.

    1971-01-01

    Water-base coatings containing potassium silicate show improvement in areas of quick air-drying, crack, craze, and abrasion resistance, adherence, and leach resistance. Coatings are useful as thermal-barrier layers in furnaces, and as general purpose fire resistant surfaces where vapor impermeability is not a requirement.

  16. Blended Learning Improves Science Education.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, Brent R; Stockwell, Melissa S; Cennamo, Michael; Jiang, Elise

    2015-08-27

    Blended learning is an emerging paradigm for science education but has not been rigorously assessed. We performed a randomized controlled trial of blended learning. We found that in-class problem solving improved exam performance, and video assignments increased attendance and satisfaction. This validates a new model for science communication and education.

  17. Teacher Evaluation and School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLaughlin, Milbrey Wallin

    1984-01-01

    Teacher evaluation can be used as a tool in school improvement. Principal inconstancy, insufficient time and resources, and lack of evaluating skills are some difficulties in teacher evalution. The use of evaluation as a means of professional development is discussed. (DF)

  18. Improved switch-resistor packaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redmerski, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    Packaging approach makes resistors more accessible and easily identified with specific switches. Failures are repaired more quickly because of improved accessibility. Typical board includes one resistor that acts as circuit breaker, and others are positioned so that their values can be easily measured when switch is operated. Approach saves weight by using less wire and saves valuable panel space.

  19. How High Poverty Districts Improve.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Togneri, Wendy; Anderson, Stephen E.

    2003-01-01

    Describes results of study of five high-poverty districts' successful efforts to improve academic achievement: Adline Independent School District (Texas), Chula Vista Elementary School District (California), Kent County Public Schools (Maryland), Minneapolis Public Schools (Minnesota), and Providence Public Schools (Rhode Island). Focuses on…

  20. CTE's Focus on Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, John; Kelley, Patricia; Pritz, Sandy; Hodes, Carol

    2011-01-01

    Just one of the ways career and technical education (CTE) is revamping its image is through increased attention to data-driven instructional techniques as a means of improving and focusing instruction on what matters most. Accountability and data have increasingly become a core focus of research, news, and commentary about education in recent…

  1. Improved photovoltaic cells and electrodes

    DOEpatents

    Skotheim, T.A.

    1983-06-29

    Improved photovoltaic cells and electrodes for use therein, particularly electrodes employing amorphous silicon or polyacetylene coating are produced by a process which includes filling pinholes or porous openings in the coatings by electrochemical oxidation of selected monomers to deposit insulating polymer in the openings.

  2. Piloting improved cookstoves in India.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Jessica J; Bhojvaid, Vasundhara; Brooks, Nina; Das, Ipsita; Jeuland, Marc A; Patange, Omkar; Pattanayak, Subhrendu K

    2015-01-01

    Despite the potential of improved cookstoves to reduce the adverse environmental and health impacts of solid fuel use, their adoption and use remains low. Social marketing-with its focus on the marketing mix of promotion, product, price, and place-offers a useful way to understand household behaviors and design campaigns to change biomass fuel use. We report on a series of pilots across 3 Indian states that use different combinations of the marketing mix. We find sales varying from 0% to 60%. Behavior change promotion that combined door-to-door personalized demonstrations with information pamphlets was effective. When given a choice amongst products, households strongly preferred an electric stove over improved biomass-burning options. Among different stove attributes, reduced cooking time was considered most valuable by those adopting a new stove. Households clearly identified price as a significant barrier to adoption, while provision of discounts (e.g., rebates given if households used the stove) or payments in installments were related to higher purchase. Place-based factors such as remoteness and nongovernmental organization operations significantly affected the ability to supply and convince households to buy and use improved cookstoves. Collectively, these pilots point to the importance of continued and extensive testing of messages, pricing models, and different stove types before scale-up. Thus, we caution that a one-size-fits-all approach will not boost improved cookstove adoption. PMID:25839201

  3. Improving Speaking Accuracy through Awareness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dormer, Jan Edwards

    2013-01-01

    Increased English learner accuracy can be achieved by leading students through six stages of awareness. The first three awareness stages build up students' motivation to improve, and the second three provide learners with crucial input for change. The final result is "sustained language awareness," resulting in ongoing…

  4. IMPROVING WATERBORNE DISEASE OUTBREAK INVESTIGATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This article summarizes the discussions and conclusions of a workshop held December 7-8, 1998, to consider the inherent limitations and weaknesses of waterborne outbreak investigations and make recommendations for their improvement. In recent years, an increased number of suspec...

  5. Capital Improvements for Energy Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Alan C.

    1981-01-01

    Although colleges and universities have been aggressive in making capital improvements to conserve energy, their efforts have been hampered by limited capital funds. Decisions about capital investments tend to be complex because of the interrelatedness of conservation strategies and the need to consider the cost advantage of alternatives.…

  6. The Health Improvement Network (THIN)

    Cancer.gov

    The Health Improvement Network is a collaboration between Cegedim Strategic Data EPIC, an expert in the provision of UK primary care patient data that is used for medical research, and In Practice Systems (InPS), who continue to develop and supply the widely-used Vision general practice computer system.

  7. Farm cooperation to improve sustainability.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Hans; Larsén, Karin; Lagerkvist, Carl-Johan; Andersson, Chrisitian; Blad, Fredrik; Samuelsson, Johan; Skargren, Per

    2005-06-01

    In this paper, it is demonstrated that partnership arrangements between farmers might be a way to secure the economic viability of their farms as well as to increase profitability. The article discusses empirical analyses of three different forms of collaboration, with an emphasis on the environmental improvements associated with collaboration. Collaboration between a dairy farm and a crop farm is analyzed in the first case. The results show that potential gains from improved diversification and crop rotation are substantial, and even larger when the collaboration also involves machinery. The second analysis considers external integration between farrowing and finishing-pig operations. Gains from collaboration originate from biological and technical factors, such as improved growth rate of the pigs and better utilization of buildings. Finally, an evaluation of a group of collaborating crop farmers is performed. In this case, the benefits that arise are mainly due to reduced machinery costs and/or gains due to other factors, such as improved crop rotation and managerial/marketing strategies.

  8. Leading System-Wide Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Alma

    2012-01-01

    Around the world there is a preoccupation with improving the performance of schools and school systems. Comparisons made between countries through PISA and PERLs have led to a preoccupation, and in some cases, an obsession, with securing a high position in the international league tables. The minds of policy-makers and politicians alike are…

  9. Improved Coulomb-Friction Damper

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, G. E.

    1985-01-01

    Equal damping provided on forward and reverse strokes. Improved damper has springs and wedge rings symmetrically placed on both ends of piston wedge, so friction force same in both directions of travel. Unlike conventional automotive shock absorbers, they resemble on outside, both versions require no viscous liquid and operate over wide temperature range.

  10. Clinical engagement: improving healthcare together.

    PubMed

    Riches, E; Robson, B

    2014-02-01

    Clinical engagement can achieve lasting change in the delivery of healthcare. In October 2011, Healthcare Improvement Scotland formulated a clinical engagement strategy to ensure that a progressive and sustainable approach to engaging healthcare professionals is firmly embedded in its health improvement and public assurance activities. The strategy was developed using a 90-day process, combining an evidence base of best practice and feedback from semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The strategy aims to create a culture where clinicians view working with Healthcare Improvement Scotland as a worthwhile venture, which offers a number of positive benefits such as training, career development and research opportunities. The strategy works towards developing a respectful partnership between Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the clinical community and key stakeholders whereby clinicians' contributions are recognised in a non-financial reward system. To do this, the organisation needs a sustainable infrastructure and an efficient, cost-effective approach to clinical engagement. There are a number of obstacles to achieving successful clinical engagement and these must be addressed as key drivers in its implementation. The implementation of the strategy is supported by an action and resource plan, and its impact will be monitored by a measurement plan to ensure the organisation reviews its approaches towards clinical engagement.

  11. Improved integrated sniper location system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figler, Burton D.; Spera, Timothy J.

    1999-01-01

    In July of 1995, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems, of Lexington, Massachusetts began the development of an integrated sniper location system for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and for the Department of the Navy's Naval Command Control & Ocean Surveillance Center, RDTE Division in San Diego, California. The I-SLS integrates acoustic and uncooled infrared sensing technologies to provide an affordable and highly effective sniper detection and location capability. This system, its performance and results from field tests at Camp Pendleton, California, in October 1996 were described in a paper presented at the November 1996 SPIE Photonics East Symposium1 on Enabling Technologies for Law Enforcement and Security. The I-SLS combines an acoustic warning system with an uncooled infrared warning system. The acoustic warning system has been developed by SenTech, Inc., of Lexington, Massachusetts. This acoustic warning system provides sniper detection and coarse location information based upon the muzzle blast of the sniper's weapon and/or upon the shock wave produced by the sniper's bullet, if the bullet is supersonic. The uncooled infrared warning system provides sniper detection and fine location information based upon the weapon's muzzle flash. In addition, the uncooled infrared warning system can provide thermal imagery that can be used to accurately locate and identify the sniper. Combining these two technologies improves detection probability, reduces false alarm rate and increases utility. In the two years since the last report of the integrated sniper location system, improvements have been made and a second field demonstration was planned. In this paper, we describe the integrated sniper location system modifications in preparation for the new field demonstration. In addition, fundamental improvements in the uncooled infrared sensor technology continue to be made. These improvements include higher sensitivity (lower minimum resolvable temperature

  12. Improving communication between phlebotomists and doctors: a quality improvement project.

    PubMed

    Saunsbury, Emma; Howarth, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Blood tests are a seemingly basic investigation, but are often a vital part of directing patient management. Despite the importance of this everyday process, we indentified the potential for improvement of the current phlebotomy service in our hospital, as both junior doctors and phlebotomists reported a lack of communication and standardised practice across the wards. Resulting delays in obtaining blood test results can impact detrimentally on patient safety and management. We designed a survey which highlighted inefficient handovers and discrepancies between wards as driving factors behind this. We therefore aimed to improve communication between phlebotomists and doctors, as well as the overall organisation of the service. This took the form of the "Phlebotomy Box," a box file system offering a set location for blood stickers to be situated. The box concept was optimised on a series of medical and surgical wards, incorporating multidisciplinary feedback from relevant teams. We measured how many untaken bloods were handed over to medical staff continuously, both pre- and post implementation of the phlebotomy box. Our baseline ward demonstrated poor handover rates of untaken bloods, ranging from 0% to 40%. This increased to a consistent 100% following introduction of the Phlebotomy Box and ongoing staff education. Once optimised, the box was trialled on a further two medical wards and one surgical ward, achieving 100% handover from an initial 0% to 67%. Quantitative improvement was also reflected qualitatively in widespread staff surveys, with overwhelmingly positive support and acceptance. In summary, the Phlebotomy Box innovation has led to 100% of untaken bloods being effectively handed over. We have demonstrated a significant improvement in communication and efficiency within the phlebotomy service, with tangible benefits to patient care, as minimising time lags can prevent delays in clinical decisions. The phlebotomy box represents a simplistic, sustainable

  13. Improving communication between phlebotomists and doctors: a quality improvement project

    PubMed Central

    Saunsbury, Emma; Howarth, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Blood tests are a seemingly basic investigation, but are often a vital part of directing patient management. Despite the importance of this everyday process, we indentified the potential for improvement of the current phlebotomy service in our hospital, as both junior doctors and phlebotomists reported a lack of communication and standardised practice across the wards. Resulting delays in obtaining blood test results can impact detrimentally on patient safety and management. We designed a survey which highlighted inefficient handovers and discrepancies between wards as driving factors behind this. We therefore aimed to improve communication between phlebotomists and doctors, as well as the overall organisation of the service. This took the form of the “Phlebotomy Box,” a box file system offering a set location for blood stickers to be situated. The box concept was optimised on a series of medical and surgical wards, incorporating multidisciplinary feedback from relevant teams. We measured how many untaken bloods were handed over to medical staff continuously, both pre- and post implementation of the phlebotomy box. Our baseline ward demonstrated poor handover rates of untaken bloods, ranging from 0% to 40%. This increased to a consistent 100% following introduction of the Phlebotomy Box and ongoing staff education. Once optimised, the box was trialled on a further two medical wards and one surgical ward, achieving 100% handover from an initial 0% to 67%. Quantitative improvement was also reflected qualitatively in widespread staff surveys, with overwhelmingly positive support and acceptance. In summary, the Phlebotomy Box innovation has led to 100% of untaken bloods being effectively handed over. We have demonstrated a significant improvement in communication and efficiency within the phlebotomy service, with tangible benefits to patient care, as minimising time lags can prevent delays in clinical decisions. The phlebotomy box represents a simplistic

  14. Improving communication between phlebotomists and doctors: a quality improvement project

    PubMed Central

    Saunsbury, Emma; Howarth, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Blood tests are a seemingly basic investigation, but are often a vital part of directing patient management. Despite the importance of this everyday process, we indentified the potential for improvement of the current phlebotomy service in our hospital, as both junior doctors and phlebotomists reported a lack of communication and standardised practice across the wards. Resulting delays in obtaining blood test results can impact detrimentally on patient safety and management. We designed a survey which highlighted inefficient handovers and discrepancies between wards as driving factors behind this. We therefore aimed to improve communication between phlebotomists and doctors, as well as the overall organisation of the service. This took the form of the “Phlebotomy Box,” a box file system offering a set location for blood stickers to be situated. The box concept was optimised on a series of medical and surgical wards, incorporating multidisciplinary feedback from relevant teams. We measured how many untaken bloods were handed over to medical staff continuously, both pre- and post implementation of the phlebotomy box. Our baseline ward demonstrated poor handover rates of untaken bloods, ranging from 0% to 40%. This increased to a consistent 100% following introduction of the Phlebotomy Box and ongoing staff education. Once optimised, the box was trialled on a further two medical wards and one surgical ward, achieving 100% handover from an initial 0% to 67%. Quantitative improvement was also reflected qualitatively in widespread staff surveys, with overwhelmingly positive support and acceptance. In summary, the Phlebotomy Box innovation has led to 100% of untaken bloods being effectively handed over. We have demonstrated a significant improvement in communication and efficiency within the phlebotomy service, with tangible benefits to patient care, as minimising time lags can prevent delays in clinical decisions. The phlebotomy box represents a simplistic

  15. Interventions to improve children's health by improving the housing environment.

    PubMed

    Chaudhuri, Nita

    2004-01-01

    Young children spend more than 90% of their time in the household environment--a likely place of exposure to hazardous substances. In the developing world, childhood diarrheal disease and acute lower respiratory infections represent a large portion of the global burden of disease and are strongly related to housing conditions. In the developed world, allergies and asthma are also strongly linked to housing conditions. Therefore, intervention to improve housing is essential to improve and maintain children's health. This paper will review several factors that have been shown to mediate housing and health relations, including psychosocial, environmental, socioeconomic, behavior-cultural, and physiological factors, and will provide examples of intervention to improve child health, with housing as a focus. Environmental contaminants found in the household include biological (for example, vector-borne diseases, dustmites, mold, water- and sanitation-related), chemical (for example, lead, volatile organic compounds, asbestos) or physical (for example, radon, electric and magnetic fields). Socioeconomic factors include household income, the ability to obtain adequate and appropriate housing, and the ability to implement ongoing preventative maintenance. Housing tenure has been used as a proxy for socioeconomic status and shown some relation with health outcome. Socioeconomic factors can be relevant to the ability of households to create social networks that affect health. Psychosocial factors, including stress and depression, can also be related to housing type or design. Behavioral-cultural factors include practices that might influence exposure to chemical, biological, or radiation hazards like time-activity patterns, including gender relations and household decision-making patterns. Physiological factors include genetics or the nutritional and immune status of household members, which can influence the extent to which other housing factors like biological or chemical

  16. Group discussion improves lie detection.

    PubMed

    Klein, Nadav; Epley, Nicholas

    2015-06-16

    Groups of individuals can sometimes make more accurate judgments than the average individual could make alone. We tested whether this group advantage extends to lie detection, an exceptionally challenging judgment with accuracy rates rarely exceeding chance. In four experiments, we find that groups are consistently more accurate than individuals in distinguishing truths from lies, an effect that comes primarily from an increased ability to correctly identify when a person is lying. These experiments demonstrate that the group advantage in lie detection comes through the process of group discussion, and is not a product of aggregating individual opinions (a "wisdom-of-crowds" effect) or of altering response biases (such as reducing the "truth bias"). Interventions to improve lie detection typically focus on improving individual judgment, a costly and generally ineffective endeavor. Our findings suggest a cheap and simple synergistic approach of enabling group discussion before rendering a judgment.

  17. Group discussion improves lie detection

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Nadav; Epley, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    Groups of individuals can sometimes make more accurate judgments than the average individual could make alone. We tested whether this group advantage extends to lie detection, an exceptionally challenging judgment with accuracy rates rarely exceeding chance. In four experiments, we find that groups are consistently more accurate than individuals in distinguishing truths from lies, an effect that comes primarily from an increased ability to correctly identify when a person is lying. These experiments demonstrate that the group advantage in lie detection comes through the process of group discussion, and is not a product of aggregating individual opinions (a “wisdom-of-crowds” effect) or of altering response biases (such as reducing the “truth bias”). Interventions to improve lie detection typically focus on improving individual judgment, a costly and generally ineffective endeavor. Our findings suggest a cheap and simple synergistic approach of enabling group discussion before rendering a judgment. PMID:26015581

  18. Improved ultrasonic standard reference blocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eitzen, D. G.; Sushinsky, G. F.; Chwirut, D. J.; Bechtoldt, C. J.; Ruff, A. W.

    1976-01-01

    A program to improve the quality, reproducibility and reliability of nondestructive testing through the development of improved ASTM-type ultrasonic reference standards is described. Reference blocks of aluminum, steel, and titanium alloys are to be considered. Equipment representing the state-of-the-art in laboratory and field ultrasonic equipment was obtained and evaluated. RF and spectral data on ten sets of ultrasonic reference blocks have been taken as part of a task to quantify the variability in response from nominally identical blocks. Techniques for residual stress, preferred orientation, and micro-structural measurements were refined and are applied to a reference block rejected by the manufacturer during fabrication in order to evaluate the effect of metallurgical condition on block response. New fabrication techniques for reference blocks are discussed and ASTM activities are summarized.

  19. Improved Verification for Aerospace Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Mark A.

    2008-01-01

    Aerospace systems are subject to many stringent performance requirements to be verified with low risk. This report investigates verification planning using conditional approaches vice the standard classical statistical methods, and usage of historical surrogate data for requirement validation and in verification planning. The example used in this report to illustrate the results of these investigations is a proposed mission assurance requirement with the concomitant maximum acceptable verification risk for the NASA Constellation Program Orion Launch Abort System (LAS). This report demonstrates the following improvements: 1) verification planning using conditional approaches vice classical statistical methods results in plans that are more achievable and feasible; 2) historical surrogate data can be used to bound validation of performance requirements; and, 3) incorporation of historical surrogate data in verification planning using conditional approaches produces even less costly and more reasonable verification plans. The procedures presented in this report may produce similar improvements and cost savings in verification for any stringent performance requirement for an aerospace system.

  20. Improving hydrolases for organic synthesis.

    PubMed

    Kazlauskas, R J; Weber, H K

    1998-02-01

    Improving hydrolases by site-directed mutagenesis continues to be important, but an alternative method - directed evolution - also gains favor. Directed evolution combines random mutagenesis with screening or selection for the desired property. Directed evolution is especially useful for cases like solvent tolerance or thermostability where current theories are inadequate to predict which structural changes will give improvement. Researchers have also recently made significant progress on several practical problems: how to maintain the high activity of proteases and lipases in nonpolar organic solvents, how to resolve amines, and how to efficiently recycle the unwanted enantiomer in kinetic resolutions. Besides the lipases and proteases, researchers are also developing new hydrolases, notably dehalogenases and epoxide hydrolases. PMID:9667912

  1. Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.

    1990-01-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: procurement of 17 cooperative lease agreements with private landowners, design and layout of 8.6 miles of riparian exclosure fence and 3.0 miles of instream structures, development of five fencing contracts and six instream work contracts. Results include implementation of 10 miles of fencing and 3 miles of instream work. Other activities undertaken during this report period are: data collection from 90 habitat monitoring transects, collection and summarization of temperature data, photopoint establishment, coordination with numerous agencies and tribes and education of all age groups on habitat improvement and protection. 4 refs., 4 figs., 6 tabs.

  2. Improving the Higgs Mass Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanzlik, Jessica

    2007-10-01

    The search for the Higgs boson is of great interest, with a variety of searches ongoing at the CDF and D0 experiments at the Tevatron at Fermilab, as well as planned searches in the upcoming LHC detectors ATLAS and CMS. At Fermilab, one primary mode for a low mass Higgs is via ZH production. In this channel, the Z boson decays into a neutrino pair, and the Higgs boson decays into a bottom quark and an anti-bottom quark pair. In these events, there are two jets (from the two quarks) ass well as a large energy imbalance from the undetected neutrinos. This analysis investigates the use of the energy imbalance to improve the measurement of the individual jets and thus the determination of the resulting Higgs mass. The method we investigate involves the use of Artificial Neural Networks. We present expected improvements in Higgs mass resolution.

  3. Improved consolidation of silicon carbide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freedman, M. R.; Millard, M. L.

    1986-01-01

    Alpha silicon carbide powder was consolidated by both dry and wet methods. Dry pressing in a double acting steel die yielded sintered test bars with an average flexural strength of 235.6 MPa with a critical flaw size of approximately 100 micro m. An aqueous slurry pressing technique produced sintered test bars with an average flexural strength of 440.8 MPa with a critical flaw size of approximately 25 micro m. Image analysis revealed a reduction in both pore area and pore size distribution in the slurry pressed sintered test bars. The improvements in the slurry pressed material properties are discussed in terms of reduced agglomeration and improved particle packing during consolidation.

  4. Fuel Efficiencies Through Airframe Improvements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bezos-O'Connor, Gaudy M.; Mangelsdorf, Mark F.; Maliska, Heather A.; Washburn, Anthony E.; Wahls, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    The factors of continuing strong growth in air traffic volume, the vital role of the air transport system on the economy, and concerns about the environmental impact of aviation have added focus to the National Aeronautics Research Policy. To address these concerns in the context of the National Policy, NASA has set aggressive goals in noise reduction, emissions, and energy consumption. With respect to the goal of reducing energy consumption in the fleet, the development of promising airframe technologies is required to realize the significant improvements that are desired. Furthermore, the combination of advances in materials and structures with aerodynamic technologies may lead to a paradigm shift in terms of potential configurations for the future. Some of these promising airframe technologies targeted at improved efficiency are highlighted.

  5. ROOT I/O Improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canal, Ph

    2012-12-01

    In the past year, the development of ROOT I/O has focused on improving the existing code and increasing the collaboration with the experiments’ experts. Regular I/O workshops have been held to share and build upon the various experiences and points of view. The resulting improvements in ROOT I/O span many dimensions including reduction and more control over the memory usage, reduction in CPU usage as well as optimization of the file size and the hardware I/O utilization. Many of these enhancements came as a result of an increased collaboration with the experiments’ development teams and their direct contributions both in code and quarterly ROOT I/O workshops.

  6. Improved ultrasonic standard reference blocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eitzen, D. G.

    1975-01-01

    A program to improve the quality, reproducibility and reliability of nondestructive testing through the development of improved ASTM-type ultrasonic reference standards is described. Reference blocks of aluminum, steel, and titanium alloys were considered. Equipment representing the state-of-the-art in laboratory and field ultrasonic equipment was obtained and evaluated. Some RF and spectral data on ten sets of ultrasonic reference blocks were taken as part of a task to quantify the variability in response from nominally identical blocks. Techniques for residual stress, preferred orientation, and microstructural measurements were refined and are applied to a reference block rejected by the manufacturer during fabrication in order to evaluate the effect of metallurgical condition on block response.

  7. Packing developments improve valve availability

    SciTech Connect

    Aikin, J.

    1994-01-01

    Regulatory environment and clean air legislation demand improvements in valve stuffing box performance. In normally inaccessible or hazardous areas, the cost of valve maintenance and repair in terms of safety, radiation, and toxic gas exposure is very high. AECL Research`s Mechanical Equipment Development (MED) branch at Chalk River Laboratories (Chalk River, Ont.) has researched stem packing leakage problems since the early 1970s. Early research and development (R and D) significantly improved the understanding of operational characteristics of asbestos-based valve packing. Of note was the development of live loading, a stem packing method that reduces valve leakage to near zero under most operating conditions, and significantly prolongs packing life. This article describes how stem packing developments, including live loading techniques, are reducing valve fugitive emissions and leakage.

  8. Group discussion improves lie detection.

    PubMed

    Klein, Nadav; Epley, Nicholas

    2015-06-16

    Groups of individuals can sometimes make more accurate judgments than the average individual could make alone. We tested whether this group advantage extends to lie detection, an exceptionally challenging judgment with accuracy rates rarely exceeding chance. In four experiments, we find that groups are consistently more accurate than individuals in distinguishing truths from lies, an effect that comes primarily from an increased ability to correctly identify when a person is lying. These experiments demonstrate that the group advantage in lie detection comes through the process of group discussion, and is not a product of aggregating individual opinions (a "wisdom-of-crowds" effect) or of altering response biases (such as reducing the "truth bias"). Interventions to improve lie detection typically focus on improving individual judgment, a costly and generally ineffective endeavor. Our findings suggest a cheap and simple synergistic approach of enabling group discussion before rendering a judgment. PMID:26015581

  9. Improved productivity through interactive communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marino, P. P.

    1985-01-01

    New methods and approaches are being tried and evaluated with the goal of increasing productivity and quality. The underlying concept in all of these approaches, methods or processes is that people require interactive communication to maximize the organization's strengths and minimize impediments to productivity improvement. This paper examines Bendix Field Engineering Corporation's organizational structure and experiences with employee involvement programs. The paper focuses on methods Bendix developed and implemented to open lines of communication throughout the organization. The Bendix approach to productivity and quality enhancement shows that interactive communication is critical to the successful implementation of any productivity improvement program. The paper concludes with an examination of the Bendix methodologies which can be adopted by any corporation in any industry.

  10. Improved Piezoelectric Loudspeakers And Transducers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Curtis Randall; Jalink, Antony; Hellbaum, Richard F.; Rohrbach, Wayne W.

    1995-01-01

    Loudspeakers and related acoustic transducers of improved type feature both light weight and energy efficiency of piezoelectric transducers and mechanical coupling efficiency. Active component of transducer made from wafer of "rainbow" piezoelectric material, ceramic piezoelectric material chemically reduced on one face. Chemical treatment forms wafer into dishlike shallow section of sphere. Both faces then coated with electrically conductive surface layers serving as electrodes. Applications include high-fidelity loudspeakers, and underwater echo ranging devices.

  11. Improved performance in NASTRAN (R)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Gordon C.

    1989-01-01

    Three areas of improvement in COSMIC/NASTRAN, 1989 release, were incorporated recently that make the analysis program run faster on large problems. Actual log files and actual timings on a few test samples that were run on IBM, CDC, VAX, and CRAY computers were compiled. The speed improvement is proportional to the problem size and number of continuation cards. Vectorizing certain operations in BANDIT, makes BANDIT run twice as fast in some large problems using structural elements with many node points. BANDIT is a built-in NASTRAN processor that optimizes the structural matrix bandwidth. The VAX matrix packing routine BLDPK was modified so that it is now packing a column of a matrix 3 to 9 times faster. The denser and bigger the matrix, the greater is the speed improvement. This improvement makes a host of routines and modules that involve matrix operation run significantly faster, and saves disc space for dense matrices. A UNIX version, converted from 1988 COSMIC/NASTRAN, was tested successfully on a Silicon Graphics computer using the UNIX V Operating System, with Berkeley 4.3 Extensions. The Utility Modules INPUTT5 and OUTPUT5 were expanded to handle table data, as well as matrices. Both INPUTT5 and OUTPUT5 are general input/output modules that read and write FORTRAN files with or without format. More user informative messages are echoed from PARAMR, PARAMD, and SCALAR modules to ensure proper data values and data types being handled. Two new Utility Modules, GINOFILE and DATABASE, were written for the 1989 release. Seven rigid elements are added to COSMIC/NASTRAN. They are: CRROD, CRBAR, CRTRPLT, CRBE1, CRBE2, CRBE3, and CRSPLINE.

  12. Improving vision by pupil masking.

    PubMed

    Bonaque-González, Sergio; Ríos-Rodríguez, Susana; López-Gil, Norberto

    2016-07-01

    We propose an alternative solution to improve visual quality by spatially modulating the amplitude of light passing into the eye (related to the eye's transmittance), in contrast to traditional correction of the wavefront phase (related to the local refractive power). Numerical simulations show that masking the aberrated areas at the pupil plane should enhance visual function, especially in highly aberrated eyes. This correction could be implemented in practice using customized contact or intraocular lenses. PMID:27446688

  13. Cassegrain-Antenna Gain Improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galindo, V.; Cha, A. G.; Mittra, R.

    1986-01-01

    Modified antenna feed with dual-shaped subreflectors yields 10-to20-percent improvement in efficiency of existing large-aperture paraboloidal or Cassegrainian antennas. Such offset dual-shaped subreflector (DSS) feed brings gain of existing paraboloid or Cassegrain antennas up to that of reflector antennas of more recent design at cost considerably lower than for reshaping existing reflecting surfaces. Mathematical procedures developed for synthesizing nearly optimum shapes for DSS elements of new feeds.

  14. Improving vision by pupil masking

    PubMed Central

    Bonaque-González, Sergio; Ríos-Rodríguez, Susana; López-Gil, Norberto

    2016-01-01

    We propose an alternative solution to improve visual quality by spatially modulating the amplitude of light passing into the eye (related to the eye's transmittance), in contrast to traditional correction of the wavefront phase (related to the local refractive power). Numerical simulations show that masking the aberrated areas at the pupil plane should enhance visual function, especially in highly aberrated eyes. This correction could be implemented in practice using customized contact or intraocular lenses. PMID:27446688

  15. Comfort, sustainability, and workflow improved.

    PubMed

    Seeney, Brett

    2015-02-01

    Brett Seeney, BEng Hons, CEng, FIHEEM, MCIBSE, an associate at WSP in Melbourne reports, in an article first published in the IFHE Digest 2014, on a major redevelopment scheme at the Echuca Regional Health Hospital in Australia's northern Victoria. The project innovatively harnessed the latest building services engineering technology to help the hospital operate more in a more sustainable and efficient way, while simultaneously improving comfort for patients, visitors, and staff.

  16. 32nm overlay improvement capabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichelberger, Brad; Huang, Kevin; O'Brien, Kelly; Tien, David; Tsai, Frank; Minvielle, Anna; Singh, Lovejeet; Schefske, Jeffrey

    2008-03-01

    The industry is facing a major challenge looking forward on the technology roadmap with respect to overlay control. Immersion lithography has established itself as the POR for 45nm and for the next few nodes. As the gap closes between scanner capability and device requirements new methodologies need to be taken into consideration. Double patterning lithography is an approach that's being considered for 32 and below, but it creates very strict demands for overlay performance. The fact that a single layer device will need to be patterned using two sequential single processes creates a strong coupling between the 1st and 2nd exposure. The coupling effect during the double patterning process results in extremely tight tolerances for overlay error and scanner capabilities. The purpose of this paper is to explore a new modeling method to improve lithography performance for the 32nm node. Not necessarily unique for double patterning, but as a general approach to improve overlay performance regardless of which patterning process is implemented. We will achieve this by performing an in depth source of variance analysis of current scanner performance and project the anticipated improvements from our new modeling approach. Since the new modeling approach will involve 2nd and 3rd order corrections we will also provide and analysis that outlines current metrology capabilities and sampling optimizations to further expand the opportunities of an efficient implementation of such approach.

  17. Improving Peptide Applications Using Nanotechnology.

    PubMed

    Narayanaswamy, Radhika; Wang, Tao; Torchilin, Vladimir P

    2016-01-01

    Peptides are being successfully used in various fields including therapy and drug delivery. With advancement in nanotechnology and targeted delivery carrier systems, suitable modification of peptides has enabled achievement of many desirable goals over-riding some of the major disadvantages associated with the delivery of peptides in vivo. Conjugation or physical encapsulation of peptides to various nanocarriers, such as liposomes, micelles and solid-lipid nanoparticles, has improved their in vivo performance multi-fold. The amenability of peptides to modification in chemistry and functionalization with suitable nanocarriers are very relevant aspects in their use and have led to the use of 'smart' nanoparticles with suitable linker chemistries that favor peptide targeting or release at the desired sites, minimizing off-target effects. This review focuses on how nanotechnology has been used to improve the number of peptide applications. The paper also focuses on the chemistry behind peptide conjugation to nanocarriers, the commonly employed linker chemistries and the several improvements that have already been achieved in the areas of peptide use with the help of nanotechnology.

  18. Improving Peptide Applications Using Nanotechnology.

    PubMed

    Narayanaswamy, Radhika; Wang, Tao; Torchilin, Vladimir P

    2016-01-01

    Peptides are being successfully used in various fields including therapy and drug delivery. With advancement in nanotechnology and targeted delivery carrier systems, suitable modification of peptides has enabled achievement of many desirable goals over-riding some of the major disadvantages associated with the delivery of peptides in vivo. Conjugation or physical encapsulation of peptides to various nanocarriers, such as liposomes, micelles and solid-lipid nanoparticles, has improved their in vivo performance multi-fold. The amenability of peptides to modification in chemistry and functionalization with suitable nanocarriers are very relevant aspects in their use and have led to the use of 'smart' nanoparticles with suitable linker chemistries that favor peptide targeting or release at the desired sites, minimizing off-target effects. This review focuses on how nanotechnology has been used to improve the number of peptide applications. The paper also focuses on the chemistry behind peptide conjugation to nanocarriers, the commonly employed linker chemistries and the several improvements that have already been achieved in the areas of peptide use with the help of nanotechnology. PMID:26279082

  19. Improvements to zero discharge systems

    SciTech Connect

    Van Wyk, J.E.; Hall, R.

    1995-10-01

    Zero liquid discharge systems are favored by state regulatory agencies. The major reasons are: (1) the licensing is rather straight-forward and less time consuming, and (2) the minimization and/or total elimination of pollutants to both the receiving steam and air is a positive environmental step. Waste water minimization and zero liquid discharge options have been discussed in other papers. To achieve a zero liquid discharge, the treatment of a liquid brine stream by evaporation, crystallization, dewatering, and decanting of crystallized solids becomes necessary. These unit operations are well-known and constitute a conventional zero liquid discharge system. For the authors purposes they will identify it as CZD. Another method of zero liquid discharge is a somewhat different concept that is a patented system of staged evaporation. This system has also been discussed and is known in the industry. This paper presents improvements to the staged evaporation system which utilizes all of the benefits of the staged evaporation system while incorporating features which address issues such as air quality, integration into the main power plant, and disposal of the solid material in an acceptable environmental form. This system will be referred to as IZD (Improved Zero Discharge). The improvements to the system will not only take advantage of the lower capital and operating costs inherent in the system, but provide the advantages as stated above.

  20. Improving emergency department patient flow

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Paul Richard Edwin

    2016-01-01

    Emergency departments (ED) face significant challenges in delivering high quality and timely patient care on an ever-present background of increasing patient numbers and limited hospital resources. A mismatch between patient demand and the ED’s capacity to deliver care often leads to poor patient flow and departmental crowding. These are associated with reduction in the quality of the care delivered and poor patient outcomes. A literature review was performed to identify evidence-based strategies to reduce the amount of time patients spend in the ED in order to improve patient flow and reduce crowding in the ED. The use of doctor triage, rapid assessment, streaming and the co-location of a primary care clinician in the ED have all been shown to improve patient flow. In addition, when used effectively point of care testing has been shown to reduce patient time in the ED. Patient flow and departmental crowding can be improved by implementing new patterns of working and introducing new technologies such as point of care testing in the ED.

  1. Orthogeriatric care: improving patient outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Tarazona-Santabalbina, Francisco José; Belenguer-Varea, Ángel; Rovira, Eduardo; Cuesta-Peredó, David

    2016-01-01

    Hip fractures are a very serious socio-economic problem in western countries. Since the 1950s, orthogeriatric units have introduced improvements in the care of geriatric patients admitted to hospital because of hip fractures. During this period, these units have reduced mean hospital stays, number of complications, and both in-hospital mortality and mortality over the middle term after hospital discharge, along with improvements in the quality of care and a reduction in costs. Likewise, a recent clinical trial has reported greater functional gains among the affected patients. Studies in this field have identified the prognostic factors present upon admission or manifesting themselves during admission and that increase the risk of patient mortality or disability. In addition, improved care afforded by orthogeriatric units has proved to reduce costs. Nevertheless, a number of management issues remain to be clarified, such as the optimum anesthetic, analgesic, and thromboprophylactic protocols; the type of diagnostic and therapeutic approach best suited to patients with cognitive problems; or the efficiency of the programs used in convalescence units or in home rehabilitation care. Randomized clinical trials are needed to consolidate the evidence in this regard. PMID:27445466

  2. Bioreactor control improves bioprocess performance.

    PubMed

    Simutis, Rimvydas; Lübbert, Andreas

    2015-08-01

    The performance of bioreactors is not only determined by productivity but also by process quality, which is mainly determined by variances in the process variables. As fluctuations in these quantities directly affect the variability in the product properties, combatting distortions is the main task of practical quality assurance. The straightforward way of reducing this variability is keeping the product formation process tightly under control. Purpose of this keynote is to show that there is enough evidence in literature showing that the performance of the fermentation processes can significantly be improved by feedback control. Most of the currently used open loop control procedures can be replaced by relatively simple feedback techniques. It is shown by practical examples that such a retrofitting does not require significant changes in the well-established equipment. Feedback techniques are best in assuring high reproducibility of the industrial cultivation processes and thus in assuring the quality of their products. Many developments in supervising and controlling industrial fermentations can directly be taken over in manufacturing processes. Even simple feedback controllers can efficiently improve the product quality. It's the time now that manufacturers follow the developments in most other industries and improve process quality by automatic feedback control. PMID:26228573

  3. Bioreactor control improves bioprocess performance.

    PubMed

    Simutis, Rimvydas; Lübbert, Andreas

    2015-08-01

    The performance of bioreactors is not only determined by productivity but also by process quality, which is mainly determined by variances in the process variables. As fluctuations in these quantities directly affect the variability in the product properties, combatting distortions is the main task of practical quality assurance. The straightforward way of reducing this variability is keeping the product formation process tightly under control. Purpose of this keynote is to show that there is enough evidence in literature showing that the performance of the fermentation processes can significantly be improved by feedback control. Most of the currently used open loop control procedures can be replaced by relatively simple feedback techniques. It is shown by practical examples that such a retrofitting does not require significant changes in the well-established equipment. Feedback techniques are best in assuring high reproducibility of the industrial cultivation processes and thus in assuring the quality of their products. Many developments in supervising and controlling industrial fermentations can directly be taken over in manufacturing processes. Even simple feedback controllers can efficiently improve the product quality. It's the time now that manufacturers follow the developments in most other industries and improve process quality by automatic feedback control.

  4. MWD tools improve drilling performance

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, S.D.

    1986-02-01

    Downhole measurement while drilling technology is changing the way many wells are drilled. The capability to understand what is occurring at the drill bit as it actually happens is improving drilling performance, safety, and ultimately cost effectiveness. MWD evolved because of the need to acquire real-time data at the well site. The technology was not developed by vendors as simply an ''add-on'' tool - something an operator didn't realize he needed. MWD, with state-of-the-art, rugged, electronic downhole tools, is the closest thing the petroleum industry has to aerospace engineering. The constraints placed on MWD tools are greater than any other downhole tool-including wireline electric logs - because they are in the hole for long durations, operating under severe hole conditions. MWD tools were first used to monitor directional drilling operations on a real-time basis, More recently vendors have developed formation capabilities for MWD. Tools capable of measuring other drilling parameters such as weight on bit and downhole torque and pressure are also available. MWD technology continues to advance rapidly as the second and third generation of tools and equipment are introduced. Improvements are coming in many areas, but the biggest change will be in the development of new surface equipment to analyze retrieved data. For several years, MWD has been providing a reliable and accurate stream of real-time data from downhole. New software packages for surface equipment will allow the data to be analyzed in new ways to improve drilling efficiencies.

  5. Evaluation of quality improvement programmes

    PubMed Central

    Ovretveit, J; Gustafson, D

    2002-01-01

    

 In response to increasing concerns about quality, many countries are carrying out large scale programmes which include national quality strategies, hospital programmes, and quality accreditation, assessment and review processes. Increasing amounts of resources are being devoted to these interventions, but do they ensure or improve quality of care? There is little research evidence as to their effectiveness or the conditions for maximum effectiveness. Reasons for the lack of evaluation research include the methodological challenges of measuring outcomes and attributing causality to these complex, changing, long term social interventions to organisations or health systems, which themselves are complex and changing. However, methods are available which can be used to evaluate these programmes and which can provide decision makers with research based guidance on how to plan and implement them. This paper describes the research challenges, the methods which can be used, and gives examples and guidance for future research. It emphasises the important contribution which such research can make to improving the effectiveness of these programmes and to developing the science of quality improvement. PMID:12486994

  6. Improved Cloud Condensation Nucleus Spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leu, Ming-Taun

    2010-01-01

    An improved thermal-gradient cloud condensation nucleus spectrometer (CCNS) has been designed to provide several enhancements over prior thermal- gradient counters, including fast response and high-sensitivity detection covering a wide range of supersaturations. CCNSs are used in laboratory research on the relationships among aerosols, supersaturation of air, and the formation of clouds. The operational characteristics of prior counters are such that it takes long times to determine aerosol critical supersaturations. Hence, there is a need for a CCNS capable of rapid scanning through a wide range of supersaturations. The present improved CCNS satisfies this need. The improved thermal-gradient CCNS (see Figure 1) incorporates the following notable features: a) The main chamber is bounded on the top and bottom by parallel thick copper plates, which are joined by a thermally conductive vertical wall on one side and a thermally nonconductive wall on the opposite side. b) To establish a temperature gradient needed to establish a supersaturation gradient, water at two different regulated temperatures is pumped through tubes along the edges of the copper plates at the thermally-nonconductive-wall side. Figure 2 presents an example of temperature and supersaturation gradients for one combination of regulated temperatures at the thermally-nonconductive-wall edges of the copper plates. c) To enable measurement of the temperature gradient, ten thermocouples are cemented to the external surfaces of the copper plates (five on the top plate and five on the bottom plate), spaced at equal intervals along the width axis of the main chamber near the outlet end. d) Pieces of filter paper or cotton felt are cemented onto the interior surfaces of the copper plates and, prior to each experimental run, are saturated with water to establish a supersaturation field inside the main chamber. e) A flow of monodisperse aerosol and a dilution flow of humid air are introduced into the main

  7. Mechanisms that improve referential access*

    PubMed Central

    Gernsbacher, Morton Ann

    2015-01-01

    Two mechanisms, suppression and enhancement, are proposed to improve referential access. Enhancement improves the accessibility of previously mentioned concepts by increasing or boosting their activation; suppression improves concepts’ accessibility by decreasing or dampening the activation of other concepts. Presumably, these mechanisms are triggered by the informational content of anaphors. Six experiments investigated this proposal by manipulating whether an anaphoric reference was made with a very explicit, repeated name anaphor or a less explicit pronoun. Subjects read sentences that introduced two participants in their first clauses, for example, “Ann predicted that Pam would lose the track race,” and the sentences referred to one of the two participants in their second clauses, “but Pam/she came in first very easily.” While subjects read each sentence, the activation level of the two participants was measured by a probe verification task. The first two experiments demonstrated that explicit, repeated name anaphors immediately trigger the enhancement of their own antecedents and immediately trigger the suppression of other (nonantecedent) participants. The third experiment demonstrated that less explicit, pronoun anaphors also trigger the suppression of other nonantecedents, but they do so less quickly—even when, as in the fourth experiment, the semantic information to identify their antecedents occurs prior to the pronouns (e.g., “Ann predicted that Pam would lose the track race. But after winning the race, she …”). The fifth experiment demonstrated that more explicit pronouns – pronouns that match the gender of only one participant—trigger suppression more powerfully. A final experiment demonstrated that it is not only rementioned participants who improve their referential access by triggering the suppression of other participants; newly introduced participants do so too (e.g., “Ann predicted that Pam would lose the track race, but

  8. Improved Biomass Cooking Stoves and Improved Stove Emission Equipment

    SciTech Connect

    HATFIELD, MICHAEL; Still, Dean

    2013-04-15

    In developing countries, there is an urgent need for access to safe, efficient, and more affordable cooking technologies. Nearly 2.5 billion people currently use an open fire or traditional cookstove to prepare their meals, and recent models predict that use of biomass for cooking will continue to be the dominant energy use in rural, resource-poor households through 2030. For these families, cooking poses serious risks to health, safety, and income. An alarming 4 million people, primarily women and children, die prematurely each year from indoor and outdoor exposure to the harmful emissions released by solid fuel combustion. Use of traditional stoves can also have a significant impact on deforestation and climate change. This dire situation creates a critical need for cookstoves that significantly and verifiably reduce fuel use and emissions in order to reach protective levels for human health and the environment. Additionally, advances in the scientific equipment needed to measure and monitor stove fuel use and emissions have not kept pace with the significant need within the industry. While several testing centers in the developed world may have hundred thousand-dollar emissions testing systems, organizations in the field have had little more than a thermometer, a scale, and subjective observations to quantify the performance of stove designs. There is an urgent need for easy-to-use, inexpensive, accurate, and robust stove testing equipment for use by laboratory and field researchers around the world. ASAT and their research partner, Aprovecho Research Center (ARC), have over thirty years of experience addressing these two needs, improved cookstoves and emissions monitoring equipment, with expertise spanning the full spectrum of development from conceptual design to product manufacturing and dissemination. This includes: 1) research, design, and verification of clean biomass cookstove technology and emissions monitoring equipment; 2) mass production of quality

  9. Improved multidimensional semiclassical tunneling theory.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Albert F

    2013-12-12

    We show that the analytic multidimensional semiclassical tunneling formula of Miller et al. [Miller, W. H.; Hernandez, R.; Handy, N. C.; Jayatilaka, D.; Willets, A. Chem. Phys. Lett. 1990, 172, 62] is qualitatively incorrect for deep tunneling at energies well below the top of the barrier. The origin of this deficiency is that the formula uses an effective barrier weakly related to the true energetics but correctly adjusted to reproduce the harmonic description and anharmonic corrections of the reaction path at the saddle point as determined by second order vibrational perturbation theory. We present an analytic improved semiclassical formula that correctly includes energetic information and allows a qualitatively correct representation of deep tunneling. This is done by constructing a three segment composite Eckart potential that is continuous everywhere in both value and derivative. This composite potential has an analytic barrier penetration integral from which the semiclassical action can be derived and then used to define the semiclassical tunneling probability. The middle segment of the composite potential by itself is superior to the original formula of Miller et al. because it incorporates the asymmetry of the reaction barrier produced by the known reaction exoergicity. Comparison of the semiclassical and exact quantum tunneling probability for the pure Eckart potential suggests a simple threshold multiplicative factor to the improved formula to account for quantum effects very near threshold not represented by semiclassical theory. The deep tunneling limitations of the original formula are echoed in semiclassical high-energy descriptions of bound vibrational states perpendicular to the reaction path at the saddle point. However, typically ab initio energetic information is not available to correct it. The Supporting Information contains a Fortran code, test input, and test output that implements the improved semiclassical tunneling formula. PMID:24224758

  10. Cooperation: the foundation of improvement.

    PubMed

    Clemmer, T P; Spuhler, V J; Berwick, D M; Nolan, T W

    1998-06-15

    Cooperation--working together to produce mutual benefit or attain a common purpose--is almost inseparable from the quest for improvement. Although the case for cooperation can be made on ethical grounds, neither the motivation for nor the effects of cooperation need to be interpreted solely in terms of altruism. Cooperation can be a shrewd and pragmatic strategy for accomplishing personal goals in an interdependent system. Earlier papers in this series have explored the conceptual roots of modern approaches to improvement, which lie in systems theory. To improve systems, we must usually attend first and foremost to interactions. Among humans, "better interaction" is almost synonymous with "better cooperation." Physicians have ample opportunities and, indeed, an obligation to cooperate with other physicians in the same or different specialties, with nurses and other clinical workers, with administrators, and with patients and families. Many intellectual disciplines have made cooperation an object of study. These include anthropology; social psychology; genetics; biology; mathematics; game theory; linguistics; operations research; economics; and, of course, moral and rational philosophy. Scientifically grounded methods to enhance cooperation include developing a shared purpose; creating an open, safe environment; including all who share a common purpose and encouraging diverse viewpoints; negotiating agreement; and insisting on fairness and equity in the application of rules. These methods apply at the organizational level and at the level of the individual physician. This paper describes the application of these methods at the organizational level and focuses on one especially successful example of system-level cooperation in a care delivery site where interactions matter a great deal: the modern intensive care unit. PMID:9625663

  11. Sandia technology & entrepreneurs improve Lasik

    ScienceCinema

    Neal, Dan; Turner, Tim

    2016-07-12

    Former Sandian Dan Neal started his company, WaveFront Sciences, based on wavefront sensing metrology technologies licensed from Sandia National Laboratories and by taking advantage of its Entrepreneurial Separation to Transfer Technology (ESTT) program. Abbott Medical Optics since acquired WaveFront and estimates that one million patients have improved the quality of their vision thanks to its products. ESTT is a valuable tool which allows Sandia to transfer technology to the private sector and Sandia employees to leave the Labs in order to start up new technology companies or help expand existing companies.

  12. Sandia technology & entrepreneurs improve Lasik

    SciTech Connect

    Neal, Dan; Turner, Tim

    2013-11-21

    Former Sandian Dan Neal started his company, WaveFront Sciences, based on wavefront sensing metrology technologies licensed from Sandia National Laboratories and by taking advantage of its Entrepreneurial Separation to Transfer Technology (ESTT) program. Abbott Medical Optics since acquired WaveFront and estimates that one million patients have improved the quality of their vision thanks to its products. ESTT is a valuable tool which allows Sandia to transfer technology to the private sector and Sandia employees to leave the Labs in order to start up new technology companies or help expand existing companies.

  13. Orbiter fuel cell improvement assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    The history of fuel cells and the theory of fuel cells is given. Expressions for thermodynamic and electrical efficiencies are developed. The voltage losses due to electrode activation, ohmic resistance and ionic diffusion are discussed. Present limitations of the Orbiter Fuel Cell, as well as proposed enhancements, are given. These enhancements are then evaluated and recommendations are given for fuel cell enhancement both for short-range as well as long-range performance improvement. Estimates of reliability and cost savings are given for enhancements where possible.

  14. Improving physics education in radiology.

    PubMed

    Hendee, William R

    2007-08-01

    Concern is growing that the physics education of radiologists is flawed and that without knowledge of physics principles and applications, mastery of the technology of medical imaging is impaired. Furthermore, it is proposed that a mastery of imaging technology is necessary to perfect the clinical acumen of radiologists and to preserve the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of imaging procedures. These issues were the focus of a multiorganizational educational summit on physics education of radiologists held in January 2006 in Atlanta. Recommendations for improving the physics education and knowledge of radiologists that evolved from this summit are presented here, together with progress made to date on their fulfillment.

  15. Improving abortion care in Zambia.

    PubMed

    Bradley, J; Sikazwe, N; Healy, J

    1991-01-01

    In this commentary, the impact of the introduction of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) for incomplete abortion patients and for early uterine evacuation is discussed for the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. This 3-year training and service delivery program was begun in 1988 after it was clear that 15% of maternal deaths were due to illegally induced abortion. The prior procedure of dilation and curettage (D and C) required use of the main operating room and general anesthesia, which resulted in severe congestion and treatment delays. As a result of the new MVA procedure, congestion has decreased substantially, treatment is safer and more timely, and the staff's ability to provide abortions has increased. Family planning counseling is provided to postabortion patients in a more thorough fashion, and the savings in time has improved the quality of patient-staff interactions. Specifically, the patient flow has improved from a 12-hour wait to a 4-6 hour wait and rarely requires overnight hospitalization. The demand for the main operating room had decreased which frees space, time, and commodities for other gynecological treatment. The shorter procedure and release time means a minimal loss of earnings and productivity, and allows for greater privacy in explaining absences to families, schools, or employers. The improved quality of are is reflected in the figures for number treated, i.e., in 1989, 74% were treated with MVA for incomplete abortion 12 weeks and pregnancy termination 8 weeks compared with 26% treated with D and C. In 1990, the figures were 86% with MVA and 14% with D and C. The likelihood of complications from hemorrhage and sepsis have also been reduced. The MVA procedure is also less traumatic for the patient. The increased access to safe legal abortion services is reflected in the ratio of induced to incomplete abortions between 1988-1990 (1:25 to 1:5). Family planning counseling is provided by a full-time counselor who counsels preabortion

  16. Apogee motor rocketry reliability improvements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behm, J.; Dowler, W.; Gin, W.

    1974-01-01

    Since 1963, solid propellant apogee motors have been placing satellites into geosynchronous orbits. Major technological breakthroughs are not required to satisfy future mission requirements; however, there is a need to improve reliability to enhance cost effectiveness. Several management test options are discussed. A summary of results and conclusions derived from review of missions, where failure of a solid motor was inferred, and correlation of system factors with failures are reported. Highlights of a solid motor diagnostic instrumentation study are presented. Finally, recommendations are provided for areas of future apogee motor upgrade, which will increase project cost effectiveness by reducing the potential for future flight failures.

  17. Ozone measurement systems improvements studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, R. W.; Guard, K.; Holland, A. C.; Spurling, J. F.

    1974-01-01

    Results are summarized of an initial study of techniques for measuring atmospheric ozone, carried out as the first phase of a program to improve ozone measurement techniques. The study concentrated on two measurement systems, the electro chemical cell (ECC) ozonesonde and the Dobson ozone spectrophotometer, and consisted of two tasks. The first task consisted of error modeling and system error analysis of the two measurement systems. Under the second task a Monte-Carlo model of the Dobson ozone measurement technique was developed and programmed for computer operation.

  18. Improved high pressure turbine shroud

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bessen, I. I.; Rigney, D. V.; Schwab, R. C.

    1977-01-01

    A new high pressure turbine shroud material has been developed from the consolidation of prealloyed powders of Ni, Cr, Al and Y. The new material, a filler for cast turbine shroud body segments, is called Genaseal. The development followed the identification of oxidation resistance as the primary cause of prior shroud deterioration, since conversion to oxides reduces erosion resistance and increases spalling under thermal cycled engine conditions. The NICrAlY composition was selected in preference to NIAL and FeCRALY alloys, and was formulated to a prescribed density range that offers suitable erosion resistance, thermal conductivity and elastic modulus for improved behavior as a shroud.

  19. Improved Thin, Flexible Heat Pipes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenfeld, John H.; Gernert, Nelson J.; Sarraf, David B.; Wollen, Peter J.; Surina, Frank C.; Fale, John E.

    2004-01-01

    Flexible heat pipes of an improved type are fabricated as layers of different materials laminated together into vacuum- tight sheets or tapes. In comparison with prior flexible heat pipes, these flexible heat pipes are less susceptible to leakage. Other advantages of these flexible heat pipes, relative to prior flexible heat pipes, include high reliability and greater ease and lower cost of fabrication. Because these heat pipes are very thin, they are highly flexible. When coated on outside surfaces with adhesives, these flexible heat pipes can be applied, like common adhesive tapes, to the surfaces of heat sinks and objects to be cooled, even if those surfaces are curved.

  20. Improving professional practice through certification.

    PubMed

    Valente, Sharon M

    2010-01-01

    Certification helps ensure quality of practice and currency of nursing knowledge. We designed certification review courses and evaluated their impact on satisfaction, quality of care, adverse drug events (ADEs), and RN vacancies. Certification correlated with improved patient and nurse satisfaction, quality of care, and increased nurse rates of reporting ADEs, although the ADE total rates are consistent. Certification inversely correlated with nurse vacancies. Certification has helped to enhance nurses' knowledge, productivity, quality of care, and patient and nurse satisfaction, and has decreased RN vacancies. PMID:20885144

  1. Improving nursing education classroom environments.

    PubMed

    Fisher, D L; Parkinson, C A

    1998-05-01

    This study describes the first use of a classroom environment questionnaire with a class in nursing education. An instructor of nursing students monitored classes using such a questionnaire. The questionnaire used was the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory and it was used to obtain practical and useful information about the learning environment in two different classes. Collaborative changes were made in the classes to improve the classroom environment and consequently the learning situation. Any instructor of nursing students could use this same process with this instrument.

  2. Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices.

    PubMed

    Atwater, Harry A; Polman, Albert

    2010-03-01

    The emerging field of plasmonics has yielded methods for guiding and localizing light at the nanoscale, well below the scale of the wavelength of light in free space. Now plasmonics researchers are turning their attention to photovoltaics, where design approaches based on plasmonics can be used to improve absorption in photovoltaic devices, permitting a considerable reduction in the physical thickness of solar photovoltaic absorber layers, and yielding new options for solar-cell design. In this review, we survey recent advances at the intersection of plasmonics and photovoltaics and offer an outlook on the future of solar cells based on these principles.

  3. Superalloy material with improved weldability

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, David B.; Wagner, Gregg P.; Seth, Brij B.

    2004-02-24

    A fusion weldable superalloy containing 0.005-0.5 wt. % scandium. In one embodiment, the superalloy may have a composition similar to IN-939 alloy, but having added scandium and having only 0.005-0.040 wt. % zirconium. A gas turbine component may be formed by an investment casting of such a scandium-containing superalloy, and may include a fusion weld repaired area. A scandium-containing nickel-based superalloy coated with an MCrAlY bond coat will have improved cyclic oxidation resistance due to the sulfur-gettering effect of the scandium.

  4. Improved multiprocessor garbage collection algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    Newman, I.A.; Stallard, R.P.; Woodward, M.C.

    1983-01-01

    Outlines the results of an investigation of existing multiprocessor garbage collection algorithms and introduces two new algorithms which significantly improve some aspects of the performance of their predecessors. The two algorithms arise from different starting assumptions. One considers the case where the algorithm will terminate successfully whatever list structure is being processed and assumes that the extra data space should be minimised. The other seeks a very fast garbage collection time for list structures that do not contain loops. Results of both theoretical and experimental investigations are given to demonstrate the efficacy of the algorithms. 7 references.

  5. Improved Optical Fiber Chemical Sensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Egalon, Claudio O.; Rogowski, Robert S.

    1994-01-01

    Calculations, based on exact theory of optical fiber, have shown how to increase optical efficiency sensitivity of active-core, step-index-profile optical-fiber fluorosensor. Calculations result of efforts to improve efficiency of optical-fiber chemical sensor of previous concept described in "Making Optical-Fiber Chemical Sensors More Sensitive" (LAR-14525). Optical fiber chemical detector of enhanced sensitivity made in several configurations. Portion of fluorescence or chemiluminescence generated in core, and launched directly into bound electromagnetic modes that propagate along core to photodetector.

  6. Continual Improvement in Shuttle Logistics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flowers, Jean; Schafer, Loraine

    1995-01-01

    It has been said that Continual Improvement (CI) is difficult to apply to service oriented functions, especially in a government agency such as NASA. However, a constrained budget and increasing requirements are a way of life at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC), making it a natural environment for the application of CI tools and techniques. This paper describes how KSC, and specifically the Space Shuttle Logistics Project, a key contributor to KSC's mission, has embraced the CI management approach as a means of achieving its strategic goals and objectives. An overview of how the KSC Space Shuttle Logistics Project has structured its CI effort and examples of some of the initiatives are provided.

  7. Improvements to a Compton Polarimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavness, Brandon; Gaskell, Dave; Dalton, Mark

    2011-10-01

    The Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia, uses a polarized beam of electrons to perform research on the substructure of nuclei and nucleons. Jefferson Lab uses a relatively new Compton polarimeter to continuously measure the polarization of the electron beam delivered by the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) accelerator. The Compton polarimeter determines beam polarization by colliding a high-power laser with the electron beam and measuring the scattered photons and electrons. The Compton polarimeter utilizes this asymmetry of Compton scattering rates to measure polarization to (+/-)1% every few hours. For an accurate measurement, the laser polarization and the position of the scattered photon cone must be well known. The focus of this project was to expand the instrumentation to monitor and control the Compton polarimeter with the intent of improving the electron beam polarization measurement. The individual components of the system are all working as intended, but the system as a whole will not be tested until beam operations resume. An improved measurement of the electron beam polarization will reduce the uncertainty of future experiments.

  8. Method for improving instrument response

    DOEpatents

    Hahn, David W.; Hencken, Kenneth R.; Johnsen, Howard A.; Flower, William L.

    2000-01-01

    This invention pertains generally to a method for improving the accuracy of particle analysis under conditions of discrete particle loading and particularly to a method for improving signal-to-noise ratio and instrument response in laser spark spectroscopic analysis of particulate emissions. Under conditions of low particle density loading (particles/m.sup.3) resulting from low overall metal concentrations and/or large particle size uniform sampling can not be guaranteed. The present invention discloses a technique for separating laser sparks that arise from sample particles from those that do not; that is, a process for systematically "gating" the instrument response arising from "sampled" particles from those responses which do not, is dislosed as a solution to his problem. The disclosed approach is based on random sampling combined with a conditional analysis of each pulse. A threshold value is determined for the ratio of the intensity of a spectral line for a given element to a baseline region. If the threshold value is exceeded, the pulse is classified as a "hit" and that data is collected and an average spectrum is generated from an arithmetic average of "hits". The true metal concentration is determined from the averaged spectrum.

  9. An improved criticality alarm system

    SciTech Connect

    Tyree, W.H.; Gilpin, H.E.; Balmer, D.K.; Vennitti, D.A.

    1991-12-31

    The Rocky Flats Plant near Golden, Colorado is the primary facility for the production of plutonium components used in the US arsenal of nuclear weapons. It is operated by EG&G under contract to the US Department of Energy (DOE). There are ten production buildings on plant site with neutron based criticality alarm systems. These systems have been in operation for the past seventeen years. Changes in the interpretation of A.N.S.I. standards and DOE orders have precipitated an evaluation of detector sensitivity and placement criteria. As a result of this evaluation, improvements in detector design and calibration have improved detector sensitivity by a factor of six. Testing performed on the design defined a minimum sensitivity as required by A.N.S.I. 8.3 and provided information for saturation and survivability for a fission event of up to 1 {times} 10{sup 17} fissions in 80 microseconds. A rigorous testing and calibration program has been developed and is in place. Neutron sensitivity is certified at a nearby reactor which is traceable to N.I.S.T.. 4 refs.

  10. Improved Aerogel Vacuum Thermal Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruemmele, Warren P.; Bue, Grant C.

    2009-01-01

    An improved design concept for aerogel vacuum thermal-insulation panels calls for multiple layers of aerogel sandwiched between layers of aluminized Mylar (or equivalent) poly(ethylene terephthalate), as depicted in the figure. This concept is applicable to both the rigid (brick) form and the flexible (blanket) form of aerogel vacuum thermal-insulation panels. Heretofore, the fabrication of a typical aerogel vacuum insulating panel has involved encapsulation of a single layer of aerogel in poly(ethylene terephthalate) and pumping of gases out of the aerogel-filled volume. A multilayer panel according to the improved design concept is fabricated in basically the same way: Multiple alternating layers of aerogel and aluminized poly(ethylene terephthalate) are assembled, then encapsulated in an outer layer of poly(ethylene terephthalate), and then the volume containing the multilayer structure is evacuated as in the single-layer case. The multilayer concept makes it possible to reduce effective thermal conductivity of a panel below that of a comparable single-layer panel, without adding weight or incurring other performance penalties. Implementation of the multilayer concept is simple and relatively inexpensive, involving only a few additional fabrication steps to assemble the multiple layers prior to evacuation. For a panel of the blanket type, the multilayer concept, affords the additional advantage of reduced stiffness.

  11. Surface Enhancement Improves Crack Resistance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The low plasticity burnishing (LPB) process produces a deep layer of surface compression in a quick and affordable manner to produce metal surfaces free of scratches, nicks, and gouges. The process, designed for easy inclusion in the manufacturing environment, can be performed with conventional Computer Numerical Control machine tools. This allows parts to be processed during manufacturing, rather than as a post process in a separate facility. A smooth, free-rolling spherical ball suspended in a fluid allows for single-point contact. The ball comes into mechanical contact only with the surface to be burnished, and can be moved in any direction. LPB can be applied to all types of carbon and alloy steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, titanium, and nickel- based super alloys. In addition to improving a surface's resistance to fatigue and damage, treatment stops the growth of shallow cracks. The LPB process is used on the leading edges of turbine blades to improve resistance to foreign object damage and crack growth. This means significant savings for aircraft owners, since maintenance requirements to inspect for fatigue damage, replace parts, and remove corrosion damage increase the cost of operation.

  12. Technology improves upper extremity rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Kowalczewski, Jan; Prochazka, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    Stroke survivors with hemiparesis and spinal cord injury (SCI) survivors with tetraplegia find it difficult or impossible to perform many activities of daily life. There is growing evidence that intensive exercise therapy, especially when supplemented with functional electrical stimulation (FES), can improve upper extremity function, but delivering the treatment can be costly, particularly after recipients leave rehabilitation facilities. Recently, there has been a growing level of interest among researchers and healthcare policymakers to deliver upper extremity treatments to people in their homes using in-home teletherapy (IHT). The few studies that have been carried out so far have encountered a variety of logistical and technical problems, not least the difficulty of conducting properly controlled and blinded protocols that satisfy the requirements of high-level evidence-based research. In most cases, the equipment and communications technology were not designed for individuals with upper extremity disability. It is clear that exercise therapy combined with interventions such as FES, supervised over the Internet, will soon be adopted worldwide in one form or another. Therefore it is timely that researchers, clinicians, and healthcare planners interested in assessing IHT be aware of the pros and cons of the new technology and the factors involved in designing appropriate studies of it. It is crucial to understand the technical barriers, the role of telesupervisors, the motor improvements that participants can reasonably expect and the process of optimizing IHT-exercise therapy protocols to maximize the benefits of the emerging technology.

  13. Improving cosmic string network simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hindmarsh, Mark; Rummukainen, Kari; Tenkanen, Tuomas V. I.; Weir, David J.

    2014-08-01

    In real-time lattice simulations of cosmic strings in the Abelian Higgs model, the broken translational invariance introduces lattice artifacts; relativistic strings therefore decelerate and radiate. We introduce two different methods to construct a moving string on the lattice, and study in detail the lattice effects on moving strings. We find that there are two types of lattice artifact: there is an effective maximum speed with which a moving string can be placed on the lattice, and a moving string also slows down, with the deceleration approximately proportional to the exponential of the velocity. To mitigate this, we introduce and study an improved discretization, based on the tree-level Lüscher-Weisz action, which is found to reduce the deceleration by an order of magnitude, and to increase the string speed limit by an amount equivalent to halving the lattice spacing. The improved algorithm is expected to be very useful for 3D simulations of cosmic strings in the early Universe, where one wishes to simulate as large a volume as possible.

  14. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    PubMed

    Lindh, A M; Peyrebrune, M C; Ingham, S A; Bailey, D M; Folland, J P

    2008-06-01

    Sodium bicarbonate ingestion has been shown to improve performance in single-bout, high intensity events, probably due to an increase in buffering capacity, but its influence on single-bout swimming performance has not been investigated. The effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 200 m freestyle swimming performance were investigated in elite male competitors. Following a randomised, double blind counterbalanced design, 9 swimmers completed maximal effort swims on 3 separate occasions: a control trial (C); after ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB: NaHCO3 300 mg . kg (-1) body mass); and after ingestion of a placebo (P: CaCO3 200 mg . kg (-1) body mass). The SB and P agents were packed in gelatine capsules and ingested 90 - 60 min prior to each 200 m swim. Mean 200 m performance times were significantly faster for SB than C or P (1 : 52.2 +/- 4.7; 1 : 53.7 +/- 3.8; 1 : 54.0 +/- 3.6 min : ss; p < 0.05). Base excess, pH and blood bicarbonate were all elevated pre-exercise in the SB compared to C and P trials (p < 0.05). Post-200 m blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher following the SB trial compared with P and C (p < 0.05). It was concluded that SB supplementation can improve 200 m freestyle performance time in elite male competitors, most likely by increasing buffering capacity.

  15. Technology improves upper extremity rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Kowalczewski, Jan; Prochazka, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    Stroke survivors with hemiparesis and spinal cord injury (SCI) survivors with tetraplegia find it difficult or impossible to perform many activities of daily life. There is growing evidence that intensive exercise therapy, especially when supplemented with functional electrical stimulation (FES), can improve upper extremity function, but delivering the treatment can be costly, particularly after recipients leave rehabilitation facilities. Recently, there has been a growing level of interest among researchers and healthcare policymakers to deliver upper extremity treatments to people in their homes using in-home teletherapy (IHT). The few studies that have been carried out so far have encountered a variety of logistical and technical problems, not least the difficulty of conducting properly controlled and blinded protocols that satisfy the requirements of high-level evidence-based research. In most cases, the equipment and communications technology were not designed for individuals with upper extremity disability. It is clear that exercise therapy combined with interventions such as FES, supervised over the Internet, will soon be adopted worldwide in one form or another. Therefore it is timely that researchers, clinicians, and healthcare planners interested in assessing IHT be aware of the pros and cons of the new technology and the factors involved in designing appropriate studies of it. It is crucial to understand the technical barriers, the role of telesupervisors, the motor improvements that participants can reasonably expect and the process of optimizing IHT-exercise therapy protocols to maximize the benefits of the emerging technology. PMID:21763524

  16. Pasture improvement in Spanish Dehesas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murillo Vilanova, M.; González López, F.

    2009-04-01

    In the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula, the dehesa is a widespread agro-silvo-pastoral land use system, characterized by a grassland with a disperse cover of oak trees and shrubs, where the main production is extensive livestock combined with agriculture and forestry. Many years of inappropriate management of dehesas (deforestation, overgrazing, excessive agricultural activities, etc.) has led to the degradation of vegetation and soils in extensive areas, causing reductions in biomass and biodiversity, affecting the permanence of plants and causing important losses of palatable species. As there is growing interest in these wooded rangeland ecosystems due to their economic importance and high environmental value, the recovery of the original pasture biodiversity and the increase of productivity, together with the conservation of the environment, are the main goals in these areas of low productive potential, degraded and subject to soil erosion. Soil and climate conditions have a great influence on grassland production, with rainfall producing strong seasonal and interannual variations. These natural pastures, mainly composed of summer withering annual species, reach maximum productions in spring and register low values in autumn, slowing down in winter. During the summer dry season, the wilting pastures can offer a good forage for animals. Autochthonous annual legumes play an important role because they are well adapted to local edaphic and climatic conditions and produce hard seeds which germinate in autumn. This helps them to survive the frequent droughts and offer a high quality forage, which is a valuable complement to other pasture plants with lower protein content. Therefore, for several decades, legume seeding combined with the application of phosphate fertilizer has been the most common strategy used to improve pastures in SW Spain, where dehesas cover an area of about four million hectares. This paper examines the whole process of pasture improvement

  17. Applying a science-based method to improve perinatal care: the institute for healthcare improvement perinatal improvement community.

    PubMed

    Bisognano, Maureen; Cherouny, Peter H; Gullo, Sue

    2014-10-01

    The Institute for Healthcare Improvement applies a systems-focused, science-based approach to improving perinatal care. This approach is based on the pioneering work in quality improvement and statistical process control performed by Walter Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming, and it uses the Model for Improvement, a simple and effective tool for accelerating improvement. In 2008, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement articulated a Triple Aim for improvement-better care, better health for populations, and lower per capita costs. The Triple Aim has become a guiding framework throughout health care and also guides much of the work of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement's collaborative effort to improve perinatal care-the Perinatal Improvement Community-is an ideal example of work that pursues all three dimensions of the Triple Aim. The improvement method used in the community creates the foundation for the kind of cultural transformation that Perinatal Improvement Community leaders and participants have learned is necessary to make significant and lasting change. Using a systems-focused and science-based approach to improvement equips obstetricians and gynecologists with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to improve the systems of care they work in so they can deliver the best evidence-based care to all of their patients, all of the time.

  18. Improving Teaching and Teachers: A "Generative Dance"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lampert, Magdalene

    2012-01-01

    Working on teaching as a collective practice--understanding it, specifying it, and improving it--is crucially important and too often ignored. But setting up a choice between improving teaching and improving teachers is problematic for several reasons. To begin with, it seems that the very methods Hiebert and Morris outline for improving teaching…

  19. [Improving the surgeon's image: introduction].

    PubMed

    Tajima, Tomoo

    2004-05-01

    The number of medical students who aspire to become surgeons has been decreasing in recent years. With a vicious spiral in the decreasing number and the growing deterioration of surgeons' working conditions, there is fear of deterioration of surgical care and subsequent disintegration of overall health care in Japan. The purpose of this issue is to devise a strategy for improving surgeons' image and their working conditions to attract future medical students. However, we cannot expect a quick cure for the problem of the decreasing number of applicants for surgery since this issue is deeply related to many fundamental problems in the health care system in Japan. The challenge for surgical educators in coming years will be to solve the problem of chronic sleep deprivation and overwork of surgery residents and to develop an efficient program to meet the critical educational needs of surgical residents. To solve this problem it is necessary to ensure well-motivated surgical residents and to develop an integrated research program. No discussion of these issues would be complete without attention to the allocation of scarce medical resources, especially in relation to financial incentives for young surgeons. The authors, who are conscientious representatives of this society, would like to highlight these critical problems and issues that are particularly relevant to our modern surgical practice, and it is our sincere hope that all members of this society fully recognize these critical issues in the Japanese health care system to take leadership in improving the system. With the demonstration of withholding unnecessary medical conducts we may be able to initiate a renewal of the system and eventually to fulfill our dreams of Japan becoming a nation that can attract many patients from all over the world. Furthermore, verification of discipline with quality control and effective surgical treatment is needed to avoid criticism by other disciplines for being a self

  20. Improved Mars Upper Atmosphere Climatology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bougher, S. W.

    2004-01-01

    The detailed characterization of the Mars upper atmosphere is important for future Mars aerobraking activities. Solar cycle, seasonal, and dust trends (climate) as well as planetary wave activity (weather) are crucial to quantify in order to improve our ability to reasonably depict the state of the Mars upper atmosphere over time. To date, our best information is found in the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Accelerometer (ACC) database collected during Phase 1 (Ls = 184 - 300; F10.7 = 70 - 90) and Phase 2 (Ls = 30 - 90; F10.7 = 90 - 150) of aerobraking. This database (100 - 170 km) consists of thermospheric densities, temperatures, and scale heights, providing our best constraints for exercising the coupled Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) and the Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MTGCM). The Planetary Data System (PDS) contains level 0 and 2 MGS Accelerometer data, corresponding to atmospheric densities along the orbit track. Level 3 products (densities, temperatures, and scale heights at constant altitudes) are also available in the PDS. These datasets provide the primary model constraints for the new MGCM-MTGCM simulations summarized in this report. Our strategy for improving the characterization of the Mars upper atmospheres using these models has been three-fold : (a) to conduct data-model comparisons using the latest MGS data covering limited climatic and weather conditions at Mars, (b) to upgrade the 15-micron cooling and near-IR heating rates in the MGCM and MTGCM codes for ad- dressing climatic variations (solar cycle and seasonal) important in linking the lower and upper atmospheres (including migrating tides), and (c) to exercise the detailed coupled MGCM and MTGCM codes to capture and diagnose the planetary wave (migrating plus non-migrating tidal) features throughout the Mars year. Products from this new suite of MGCM-MTGCM coupled simulations are being used to improve our predictions of the structure of the Mars upper atmosphere for the