Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Lerato Dixon

14 Verification of the Necessity of Maintenance Anesthesia with Isoflurane after Induction with Tiletamine-Zolazepam in Dogs Using the Dixon's up-and-down Method

Authors: Sonia Lachowska, Agnieszka Antonczyk, Joanna Tunikowska, Pawel Kucharski, Bartlomiej Liszka

Abstract:

Isoflurane is one of the most commonly used anaesthetic gases in veterinary medicine. Due to its numerous side effects, intravenous anaesthesia is more often used. The combination of tiletamine with zolazepam has proved to be a safe and pharmacologically beneficial combination. Analgesic effect, fast induction time, effective myorelaxation, and smooth recovery are the main advantages of this combination of drugs. In the following study, the authors verified the necessity of isoflurane to maintain anaesthesia in dogs after the use of tiletamine-zolazepam for induction. 12 dogs were selected to the group with the inclusion criteria: ASA (American Society of Anaesthesiology) I or II. Each dog received premedication intramuscularly with medetomidine-butorfanol (10 μg/kg, 0,1 mg/kg respectively). 15 minutes from premedication, preoxygenation lasting 5 minutes was started. Anaesthesia was induced with tiletamine-zolazepam at the dose of 5 mg/kg. Then the dogs were intubated and anaesthesia was maintained with isoflurane. Initially, MAC (Minimum Alveolar Concentration) was set to 0.7 vol.%. After 15 minutes equilibration, MAC was determined using Dixon’s up-and-down method. Painful stimulation including compressions of paw pad, phalange, groin area, and clamping Backhaus on skin. Hemodynamic and ventilation parameters were measured and noted in 2 minutes intervals. In this method, the positive or negative response to the noxious stimulus is estimated and then used to determine the concentration of isoflurane for next patient. The response is only assessed once in each patient. The results show that isoflurane is not necessary to maintain anaesthesia after tiletamine-zolazepam induction. This is clinically important because the side effects resulting from using isoflurane are eliminated.

Keywords: anaesthesia, dog, Isoflurane, The Dixon's up-and-down method, Tiletamine, Zolazepam

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13 Comparison of Remifentanil EC50 for Facilitating I-Gel and Laryngeal Mask Airway Insertion with Propofol Anesthesia

Authors: Jong Yeop Kim, Jong Bum Choi, Hyun Jeong Kwak, Sook Young Lee

Abstract:

Background: Each supraglottic airway requires different anesthetic depth because it has a specific structure and different compressive force in the oropharyngeal cavity. We designed the study to investigate remifentanil effect-site concentration (Ce) in 50% of patients (EC50) for successful insertion of i- gel, and to compare it with that for laryngeal mask airway (LMA) insertion during propofol target-controlled infusion (TCI). Methods: Forty-one female patients were randomized to the i-gel group (n=20) or the LMA group (n=21). Anesthesia induction was performed using propofol Ce of 5 μg/ml and the predetermined remifentanil Ce, and i-gel or LMA insertion was attempted 5 min later. The remifentanil Ce was estimated by modified Dixon's up-and-down method (initial concentration: 3.0 ng/ml, step size: 0.5 ng/ml). The patient’s response to device insertion was classified as either ‘success (no movement)’ or ‘failure (movement)’. Results: Using the Dixon’s up and down method, EC50 of remifentanil Ce for i-gel (1.58 ± 0.41 ng/ml) was significantly lower than that for LMA (2.25 ± 0.55 ng/ml) (p=0.038). Using isotonic regression, EC50 (83% CI) of remifentanil in the i-gel group [1.50 (1.37-1.80) ng/ml] was statistically lower than that in the LMA group [2.00 (1.82-2.34) ng/ml]. EC95 (95% CI) of remifentanil in the i-gel group [2.38 (1.48-2.50) ng/ml] was statistically lower than that in the LMA group [3.35 (2.58-3.48) ng/ml]. Conclusion: We found that EC50 of remifentanil Ce for i-gel insertion (1.58 ng/ml) was significantly lower than that for LMA insertion (2.25 ng/ml), in female patients during propofol TCI without neuromuscular blockade.

Keywords: i-gel, laryngeal mask airway, propofol, remifentanil

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12 Bridging the Gap and Widening the Divide

Authors: Lerato Dixon, Thorsten Chmura

Abstract:

This paper explores whether ethnic identity in Zimbabwe leads to discriminatory behaviour and the degree to which a norm-based intervention can shift this discriminatory behaviour. Social Identity Theory suggests that group identity can lead to favouritism towards the in-group and discriminatory behaviour towards the out-group. Agents yield higher utility from maintaining positive self-esteem by confirming with group behaviour. This paper focuses on the two majority ethnic groups in Zimbabwe – the Ndebele and Shona. Racial identities are synonymous with the language spoken. Zimbabwe’s history highlights how identity formation took place. As following independence, political parties became recognised as either Ndebele or Shona-speaking. It is against this backdrop that this study investigates the degree to which norm-based nudge can alter behaviour. This paper uses experimental methods to analyse discriminatory behaviour between two naturally occurring ethnic groups in Zimbabwe. In addition, we investigate if social norm-based interventions can shift discriminatory behaviour to understand if the divide between these two identity groups can be further divided or healed. Participants are randomly assigned into three groups to receive information regarding a social norm. We compare the effect of a proscriptive social norm-based intervention, stating what shouldn't be done and prescriptive social norms as interventions, stating what should be done. Specifically, participants are either shown the socially appropriate (Heal) norm, the socially inappropriateness (Divide) norm regarding interethnic marriages or no norm-based intervention. Following the random assignment into intervention groups, participants take part in the Trust Game. We conjecture that discrimination will shift in accordance with the prevailing social norm. Instead, we find evidence of interethnic discriminatory behaviour. We also find that trust increases when interacting with Ndebele, Shona and Zimbabwean participants following the Heal intervention. However, if the participant is Shona, the Heal intervention decreases trust toward in-groups and Zimbabwean co-players. On the other hand, if the participant is Shona, the Divide treatment significantly increases trust toward Ndebele participants. In summary, we find evidence that norm-based interventions significantly change behaviour. However, the prescriptive norm-based intervention (Heal) decreases trust toward the in-group, out-group and national identity group if the participant is Shona – therefore having an adverse effect. In contrast, the proscriptive Divide treatment increases trust if the participant is Shona towards Ndebele co-players. We conclude that norm-based interventions have a ‘rebound’ effect by altering behaviour in the opposite direction.

Keywords: discrimination, social identity, social norm-based intervention, zimbabwe

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11 Mechanism of in Vitro Inhibition of Alpha-Amylase, Alpha-Glucosidase by Ethanolic Extracts of Polyalthia Longifolia, Its in Vitro Cytotoxicity on L6, Vero Cell-Lines and Influence of Glucose Uptake by Rat Hemi-Diaphragm

Authors: P. Gayathri, G. P. Jeyanthi

Abstract:

The bark of Polyalthia longifolia is used in ayurvedic system of medicine for the manangement of various ailments including diabetes mellitus. The bark of P. longifolia extracts was extracted using various polar and non-polar solvents and tested for inhibition of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase among which the ethanolic extracts were found to be more potent. The ethanolic extracts of the bark were tested for the in vitro inhibition of alpha-amylase using starch as substrate and alpha-glucosidase using p-nitro phenyl alpha-D-gluco pyranoside as substrate to establish its in vitro antidiabetic effect. The mechanism of inhibition was determined by Dixon plot and Cornish-Bowden plot. The cytotoxic effect of the extract was tested on L6 and Vero cell-lines. The extract was partially purified by TLC. The individual effect of the ethanolic extract, TLC fractions and its combinatorial effect with insulin and glibenclamide on glucose uptake by rat hemi-diaphragm were studied.Results revealed that the ethanolic extracts of Polyalthia longifolia bark exhibited competitive inhibition of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. The extracts were also found not to be cytotoxic at the highest dose of 1 mg/mL. Glucose uptake study revealed that the extract alone and when combined with insulin, decreased the glucose uptake when compared to insulin control, however the purified TLC fractions exhibited significantly higher (p<0.05) glucose uptake by the rat hemi-diaphragm when compared to insulin. The study shows various possible mechanism of in vitro antidiabetic effect of the P. longifolia bark.

Keywords: alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase, dixon, cornish-bowden, L6 , Vero cell-lines, glucose uptake, polyalthia longifolia bark, ethanolic extract, TLC fractions

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10 Ethnobotany and Antimicrobial Effects of Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Lesotho

Authors: Sandy Van Vuuren, Lerato Kose, Annah Moteetee

Abstract:

Lesotho, a country surrounded by South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) in the world. In fact, the country ranks third highest with respect to infections related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Despite the high prevalence of STI’s, treatment has been a challenge due to limited accessibility to health facilities. An estimated 77% of the population lives in rural areas and more than 60% of the country is mountainous. Therefore, many villages remain accessible only by foot or horse-back. Thus, the Basotho (indigenous people from Lesotho) have a rich cultural heritage of plant use. The aim of this study was to determine what plant species are used for the treatment of STI’s and which of these have in vitro efficacy against pathogens such as Candida albicans, Gardnerella vaginalis, Oligella ureolytica, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. A total of 34 medicinal plants were reported by traditional practitioners for the treatment of STI’s. Sixty extracts, both aqueous and organic (mixture of methanol and dichloromethane), from 24 of the recorded plant species were assessed for antimicrobial activity using the minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) micro-titre plate dilution assay. Neisseria gonorrhoeae (ATCC 19424) was found to be the most susceptible among the test pathogens, with the majority of the extracts (21) displaying noteworthy activity (MIC values ≤ 1 mg/ml). Helichrysum caespititium was found to be the most antimicrobially active species (MIC value of 0.01 mg/ml). The results of this study support, to some extent, the traditional medicinal uses of the evaluated plants for the treatment of STI’s, particularly infections related to gonorrhoea.

Keywords: Africa, Candida albicans, Gardnerella vaginalis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Oligella urealytica

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9 Patients' Perceptions of Receiving a Diagnosis of a Haematological Malignancy, following the SPIKES Protocol

Authors: Lauren Dixon, David Galvani

Abstract:

Objective: Sharing devastating news with patients is often considered the most difficult task of doctors. This study aimed to explore patients’ perceptions of receiving bad news including which features improve the experience and which areas need refining. Methods: A questionnaire was written based on the steps of the SPIKES model for breaking bad news. 20 patients receiving treatment for a haematological malignancy completed the questionnaire. Results: Overall, the results are promising as most patients praised their consultation. ‘Poor’ was more commonly rated by women and participants aged 45-64. The main differences between the ‘excellent’ and ‘poor’ consultations include the doctor’s sensitivity and checking the patients’ understanding. Only 35% of patients were asked their existing knowledge and 85% of consultations failed to discuss the impact of the diagnosis on daily life. Conclusion: This study agreed with the consensus of existing literature. The commended aspects include consultation set-up and information given. Areas patients felt needed improvement include doctors determining the patient’s existing knowledge and exploring how the diagnosis will affect the patient’s life. With a poorer prognosis, doctors should work on conveying appropriate hope. The study was limited by a small sample size and potential recall bias.

Keywords: cancer, diagnosis, haematology, patients

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8 Diagnostic Accuracy Of Core Biopsy In Patients Presenting With Axillary Lymphadenopathy And Suspected Non-Breast Malignancy

Authors: Monisha Edirisooriya, Wilma Jack, Dominique Twelves, Jennifer Royds, Fiona Scott, Nicola Mason, Arran Turnbull, J. Michael Dixon

Abstract:

Introduction: Excision biopsy has been the investigation of choice for patients presenting with pathological axillary lymphadenopathy without a breast abnormality. Core biopsy of nodes can provide sufficient tissue for diagnosis and has advantages in terms of morbidity and speed of diagnosis. This study evaluates the diagnostic accuracy of core biopsy in patients presenting with axillary lymphadenopathy. Methods: Between 2009 and 2019, 165 patients referred to the Edinburgh Breast Unit had a total of 179 axillary lymph node core biopsies. Results: 152 (92%) of the 165 initial core biopsies were deemed to contain adequate nodal tissue. Core biopsy correctly established malignancy in 75 of the 78 patients with haematological malignancy (96%) and in all 28 patients with metastatic carcinoma (100%) and correctly diagnosed benign changes in 49 of 57 (86%) patients with benign conditions. There were no false positives and no false negatives. In 67 (85.9%) of the 78 patients with hematological malignancy, there was sufficient material in the first core biopsy to allow the pathologist to make an actionable diagnosis and not ask for more tissue sampling prior to treatment. There were no complications of core biopsy. On follow up, none of the patients with benign cores has been shown to have malignancy in the axilla and none with lymphoma had their initial disease incorrectly classified. Conclusions: This study shows that core biopsy is now the investigation of choice for patients presenting with axillary lymphadenopathy even in those suspected as having lymphoma.

Keywords: core biopsy, excision biopsy, axillary lymphadenopathy, non-breast malignancy

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7 Surgical Prep-Related Burns in Laterally Positioned Hip Procedures

Authors: B. Kenny, M. Dixon, A. Boshell

Abstract:

The use of alcoholic surgical prep was recently introduced into the Royal Newcastle Center for elective procedures. In the past 3 months there have been a significant number of burns believed to be related to ‘pooling’ of this surgical prep in patients undergoing procedures where they are placed in the lateral position with hip bolsters. The aim of the audit was to determine the reason for the burns, analyze what pre-existing factors may contribute to the development of the burns and what can be changed to prevent further burns occurring. All patients undergoing a procedure performed on the hip who were placed in the lateral position with sacral and anterior, superior iliac spine (ASIS) support with ‘bolsters’ were included in the audit. Patients who developed a ‘burn’ were recorded, details of the surgery, demographics, surgical prep used and length of surgery were obtained as well as photographs taken to document the burn. Measures were then taken to prevent further burns and the efficacy was documented. Overall 14 patients developed burns over the ipsilateral ASIS. Of these, 13 were Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) and 1 was a removal of femoral nail. All patients had Chlorhexidine 0.5% in Alcohol 70% Tinted Red surgical preparation or Betadine Alcoholic Skin Prep (70% etoh). Patients were set up in the standard lateral decubitus position with sacral and bilateral ASIS bolsters with a valband covering. 86% of patients were found to have pre-existing hypersensitivities to various substances. There is very little literature besides a few case reports on surgical prep-related burns. The case reports that do exist are related to the use of tourniquet-related burns and there is no mention in the literature examining ‘bolster’ related burns. The burns are hypothesized to be caused by pooling of the alcoholic solution which is amplified by the use of Valband.

Keywords: arthroplasty, chemical burns, wounds, rehabilitation

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6 Geochemistry of Cenozoic basaltic rocks from Jiashan County of Nushan Geopark, China: Implications for Petrogenesis and Tectonic Setting

Authors: Dixon, Lieh-Chi Su, Hsiao-Ling Yu, Ren-Yi Huang, Yung-Tan Lee

Abstract:

The present paper analyzed the major, trace elements, rare earth elements of these Cenozoic basalts and combined with Sr-Nd isotopic compositions to discuss the petrogenesis of these basalts and the tectonic setting of the study area. Based on major, trace elements and fractional crystallization model we suggest that the basaltic magma has experienced olivine, clinopyroxene, and plagioclase fractionation during its evolution. Spidergrams and REE patterns reveal that Cenozoic basalts found in the Jiashan County, Anhui Province have geochemical characteristics similar to those of ocean island basalts(OIB) suggesting a derivation related to OIB-like mantle source. The slight positive Nb and Ti anomalies found in basaltic rocks of this study suggest the presence of Ti-bearing minerals in the mantle source and these Ti-bearing minerals had contributed to basaltic magma during partial melting, indicating a metasomatic event might have occurred before the partial melting. Based on 143Nd/144Nd vs. 87Sr/86Sr diagram we suggest that basalts of this study can be produced by MORB and EM-I components mixing and small degree of partial melting may be the major controlling factor during generation of basaltic magma. Some basaltic magma may be derived from partial melting of EM-Ⅰ heated by the upwelling asthenospheric mantle. The basalts fall within the WPB field in the discriminant plot of 2Nb-Zr/4-Y indicate that the volcanic activities in this region may be closely related to deep continental rifting process.

Keywords: geochemistry, cenozoic basalts, Anhui Province, Nushan Geopark, tectonic setting, fractionation

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5 To Include or Not to Include: Resolving Ethical Concerns over the 20% High Quality Cassava Flour Inclusion in Wheat Flour Policy in Nigeria

Authors: Popoola I. Olayinka, Alamu E. Oladeji, B. Maziya-Dixon

Abstract:

Cassava, an indigenous crop grown locally by subsistence farmers in Nigeria has potential to bring economic benefits to the country. Consumption of bread and other confectionaries has been on the rise due to lifestyle changes of Nigerian consumers. However, wheat, being the major ingredient for bread and confectionery production does not thrive well under Nigerian climate hence the huge spending on wheat importation. To reduce spending on wheat importation, the Federal Government of Nigeria intends passing into law mandatory inclusion of 20% high-quality cassava flour (HQCF) in wheat flour. While the proposed policy may reduce post harvest loss of cassava, and also increase food security and domestic agricultural productivity, there are downsides to the policy which include reduction in nutritional quality and low sensory appeal of cassava-wheat bread, reluctance of flour millers to use HQCF, technology and processing challenges among others. The policy thus presents an ethical dilemma which must be resolved for its successful implementation. While inclusion of HQCF to wheat flour in bread and confectionery is a topic that may have been well addressed, resolving the ethical dilemma resulting from the act has not received much attention. This paper attempts to resolve this dilemma using various approaches in food ethics (cost benefits, utilitarianism, deontological and deliberative). The Cost-benefit approach did not provide adequate resolution of the dilemma as all the costs and benefits of the policy could not be stated in the quantitative term. The utilitarianism approach suggests that the policy delivers greatest good to the greatest number while the deontological approach suggests that the act (inclusion of HQCF to wheat flour) is right hence the policy is not utterly wrong. The deliberative approach suggests a win-win situation through deliberation with the parties involved.

Keywords: HQCF, ethical dilemma, food security, composite flour, cassava bread

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4 Comparative Therapeutic Potential of 'Green Synthesized' Antimicrobials against Scalp Infections

Authors: D. Desai, J.Dixon, N. Jain, M. Datta

Abstract:

Microbial infections of scalp consist of symptomatic appearances associated with seborrhoeic dermatitis, folliculitis, furuncles, carbuncles and ringworm. The main causative organisms in these scalp-based infections are bacteria like S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and a fungus M. Furfur. Allopathic treatment of these infections is available and efficient, but occasionally, topical applications have been found to cause side effects. India is known as the botanical garden of the world and considered as the epicentre for utilization of traditional drugs. Many treatments based on herb extracts are commonly used in India. It has been observed treatment with ethnomedicines requires a higher dosage and greater time period. Additionally, repeated applications are required to obtain the full efficacy of the treatment. An attempt has been made to imbibe the traditional knowledge with nanotechnology to generate a proficient therapeutic against scalp infections. We have imbibed metallic nanoparticles with extracts from traditional medicines and propose to formulate an antimicrobial hair massager. Four commonly used herbs for treatment against scalp disorders like Zingiber officinale (ginger), Allium sativum (garlic), Azadirachta indica (neem) leaves and Citrus limon (lemon) peel was taken. 30 gms of dried homogenized powder was obtained and processed for obtaining the aqueous and ethanolic extract by soxhlet apparatus. The extract was dried and reconstituted to obtain working solution of 1mg/ml. Phytochemical analysis for the obtained extract was done. Synthesis of nanoparticles was mediated by incubating 1mM silver nitrate with extracts of various herbs to obtain silver nanoparticles. The formation of the silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was monitored using UV-Vis spectroscopy. The AgNPs thus obtained were centrifuged and dried. The AgNPs thus formed were characterized by X Ray Diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The size of the AgNPs varied from 10-20 nm and was spherical in shape. P. aeruginosa was plated on nutrient agar and comparative antibacterial activity was tested. Comparative antimicrobial potential was calculated for the extracts and the corresponding nanoconstructs. It was found AgNPs were more efficient than their aqueous and ethanolic counterparts except in the ase of C. limon. Statistical analysis was performed to validate the results obtained.

Keywords: ethnomedicine, nanoconstructs, scalp infections, Zingiber officinale

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3 Risks and Values in Adult Safeguarding: An Examination of How Social Workers Screen Safeguarding Referrals from Residential Homes

Authors: Jeremy Dixon

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Safeguarding adults forms a core part of social work practice. The Government in England and Wales has made efforts to standardise practices through The Care Act 2014. The Act states that local authorities have duties to make inquiries in cases where an adult with care or support needs is experiencing or at risk of abuse and is unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect. Despite the importance given to safeguarding adults within law there remains little research about how social workers conduct such decisions on the ground. This presentation reports on findings from a pilot research study conducted within two social work teams in a Local Authority in England. The objective of the project was to find out how social workers interpreted safeguarding duties as laid out by The Care Act 2014 with a particular focus on how workers assessed and managed risk. Ethnographic research methods were used throughout the project. This paper focusses specifically on decisions made by workers in the assessment team. The paper reports on qualitative observation and interviews with five workers within this team. Drawing on governmentality theory, this paper analyses the techniques used by workers to manage risk from a distance. A high proportion of safeguarding referrals came from care workers or managers in residential care homes. Social workers conducting safeguarding assessments were aware that they had a duty to work in partnership with these agencies. However, their duty to safeguard adults also meant that they needed to view them as potential abusers. In making judgments about when it was proportionate to refer for a safeguarding assessment workers drew on a number of common beliefs about residential care workers which were then tested in conversations with them. Social workers held the belief that residential homes acted defensively, leading them to report any accident or danger. Social workers therefore encouraged residential workers to consider whether statutory criteria had been met and to use their own procedures to manage risk. In addition social workers carried out an assessment of the workers’ motives; specifically whether they were using safeguarding procedures as a shortcut for avoiding other assessments or as a means of accessing extra resources. Where potential abuse was identified social workers encouraged residential homes to use disciplinary policies as a means of isolating and managing risk. The study has implications for understanding risk within social work practice. It shows that whilst social workers use law to govern individuals, these laws are interpreted against cultural values. Additionally they also draw on assumptions about the culture of others.

Keywords: adult safeguarding, governmentality, risk, risk assessment

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2 Mixed Monolayer and PEG Linker Approaches to Creating Multifunctional Gold Nanoparticles

Authors: D. Dixon, J. Nicol, J. A. Coulter, E. Harrison

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The ease with which they can be functionalized, combined with their excellent biocompatibility, make gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) ideal candidates for various applications in nanomedicine. Indeed several promising treatments are currently undergoing human clinical trials (CYT-6091 and Auroshell). A successful nanoparticle treatment must first evade the immune system, then accumulate within the target tissue, before enter the diseased cells and delivering the payload. In order to create a clinically relevant drug delivery system, contrast agent or radiosensitizer, it is generally necessary to functionalize the AuNP surface with multiple groups; e.g. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) for enhanced stability, targeting groups such as antibodies, peptides for enhanced internalization, and therapeutic agents. Creating and characterizing the biological response of such complex systems remains a challenge. The two commonly used methods to attach multiple groups to the surface of AuNPs are the creation of a mixed monolayer, or by binding groups to the AuNP surface using a bi-functional PEG linker. While some excellent in-vitro and animal results have been reported for both approaches further work is necessary to directly compare the two methods. In this study AuNPs capped with both PEG and a Receptor Mediated Endocytosis (RME) peptide were prepared using both mixed monolayer and PEG linker approaches. The PEG linker used was SH-PEG-SGA which has a thiol at one end for AuNP attachment, and an NHS ester at the other to bind to the peptide. The work builds upon previous studies carried out at the University of Ulster which have investigated AuNP synthesis, the influence of PEG on stability in a range of media and investigated intracellular payload release. 18-19nm citrate capped AuNPs were prepared using the Turkevich method via the sodium citrate reduction of boiling 0.01wt% Chloroauric acid. To produce PEG capped AuNPs, the required amount of PEG-SH (5000Mw) or SH-PEG-SGA (3000Mw Jenkem Technologies) was added, and the solution stirred overnight at room temperature. The RME (sequence: CKKKKKKSEDEYPYVPN, Biomatik) co-functionalised samples were prepared by adding the required amount of peptide to the PEG capped samples and stirring overnight. The appropriate amounts of PEG-SH and RME peptide were added to the AuNP to produce a mixed monolayer consisting of approximately 50% PEG and 50% RME. The PEG linker samples were first fully capped with bi-functional PEG before being capped with RME peptide. An increase in diameter from 18-19mm for the ‘as synthesized’ AuNPs to 40-42nm after PEG capping was observed via DLS. The presence of PEG and RME peptide on both the mixed monolayer and PEG linker co-functionalized samples was confirmed by both FTIR and TGA. Bi-functional PEG linkers allow the entire AuNP surface to be capped with PEG, enabling in-vitro stability to be achieved using a lower molecular weight PEG. The approach also allows the entire outer surface to be coated with peptide or other biologically active groups, whilst also offering the promise of enhanced biological availability. The effect of mixed monolayer versus PEG linker attachment on both stability and non-specific protein corona interactions was also studied.

Keywords: nanomedicine, gold nanoparticles, PEG, biocompatibility

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1 Executive Function and Attention Control in Bilingual and Monolingual Children: A Systematic Review

Authors: Zihan Geng, L. Quentin Dixon

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It has been proposed that early bilingual experience confers a number of advantages in the development of executive control mechanisms. Although the literature provides empirical evidence for bilingual benefits, some studies also reported null or mixed results. To make sense of these contradictory findings, the current review synthesize recent empirical studies investigating bilingual effects on children’s executive function and attention control. The publication time of the studies included in the review ranges from 2010 to 2017. The key searching terms are bilingual, bilingualism, children, executive control, executive function, and attention. The key terms were combined within each of the following databases: ERIC (EBSCO), Education Source, PsycINFO, and Social Science Citation Index. Studies involving both children and adults were also included but the analysis was based on the data generated only by the children group. The initial search yielded 137 distinct articles. Twenty-eight studies from 27 articles with a total of 3367 participants were finally included based on the selection criteria. The selective studies were then coded in terms of (a) the setting (i.e., the country where the data was collected), (b) the participants (i.e., age and languages), (c) sample size (i.e., the number of children in each group), (d) cognitive outcomes measured, (e) data collection instruments (i.e., cognitive tasks and tests), and (f) statistic analysis models (e.g., t-test, ANOVA). The results show that the majority of the studies were undertaken in western countries, mainly in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. A variety of languages such as Arabic, French, Dutch, Welsh, German, Spanish, Korean, and Cantonese were involved. In relation to cognitive outcomes, the studies examined children’s overall planning and problem-solving abilities, inhibition, cognitive complexity, working memory (WM), and sustained and selective attention. The results indicate that though bilingualism is associated with several cognitive benefits, the advantages seem to be weak, at least, for children. Additionally, the nature of the cognitive measures was found to greatly moderate the results. No significant differences are observed between bilinguals and monolinguals in overall planning and problem-solving ability, indicating that there is no bilingual benefit in the cooperation of executive function components at an early age. In terms of inhibition, the mixed results suggest that bilingual children, especially young children, may have better conceptual inhibition measured in conflict tasks, but not better response inhibition measured by delay tasks. Further, bilingual children showed better inhibitory control to bivalent displays, which resembles the process of maintaining two language systems. The null results were obtained for both cognitive complexity and WM, suggesting no bilingual advantage in these two cognitive components. Finally, findings on children’s attention system associate bilingualism with heightened attention control. Together, these findings support the hypothesis of cognitive benefits for bilingual children. Nevertheless, whether these advantages are observable appears to highly depend on the cognitive assessments. Therefore, future research should be more specific about the cognitive outcomes (e.g., the type of inhibition) and should report the validity of the cognitive measures consistently.

Keywords: attention, bilingual advantage, children, executive function

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