Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: biophysics

9 The Importance of Introducing New Academic Programs in ‎Egyptian National Cancer ‎Institute

Authors: Mohammed S. Mohammed, Asmaa M. S. Mohammed


Background: To achieve the quality of cancer care, the oncologic academic programs should be continuously developed with establishing new ones. We highlighted three disciplines, Clinical nutrition, medical biophysics and radiobiology and Psycho-oncology programs; without a doubt, the Egyptian National Cancer Institute, in ‎the accreditation era, will be establishing them ‎ due to their importance in improving the skills of cancer practitioners. Methods: The first suggested program in Clinical Nutrition that is dealing with the assessment of the patient's well-being before, during and after treatment to avoid the defects in the metabolism resulting from the cancer disease and its treatment by giving the supplements in the patient's diet. The second program is Medical Biophysics and Radiobiology, which there's no denying that it ‎is ‎provided ‎in Cairo University as a good program in the faculty of science but lacks the clinical ‎practice. Hence, it is probably better to establish this program in our institute to ‎improve the ‎practitioner skills and introduce a tailored radiation therapy regimen for every patient according to ‎their characteristic profile.‎ While patients are receiving their treatment, the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder arises, so the importance of the third program, Psycho-Oncology, is clearly obtained. This program is concerned with the psychological, social, behavioral, and ethical aspects of cancer. The area of multi-disciplinary interest has boundaries with the major specialties in oncology: the clinical disciplines (surgery, medicine, pediatrics, and radiotherapy), epidemiology, immunology, endocrinology, biology, pathology, bioethics, palliative care, rehabilitation medicine, clinical trials research and decision making, as well as psychiatry and psychology. Results: It is a prospective academic plan which is compatible with the institutional vision and its strategic plan. Conclusion: In this context, evaluating and understanding the suggested academic programs has become a mandatory part of cancer care. And it is essential to be provided by the NCI.

Keywords: clinical nutrition, psycho-oncology, medical biophysics and radiobiology, medical education

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8 Monte Carlo and Biophysics Analysis in a Criminal Trial

Authors: Luca Indovina, Carmela Coppola, Carlo Altucci, Riccardo Barberi, Rocco Romano


In this paper a real court case, held in Italy at the Court of Nola, in which a correct physical description, conducted with both a Monte Carlo and biophysical analysis, would have been sufficient to arrive at conclusions confirmed by documentary evidence, is considered. This will be an example of how forensic physics can be useful in confirming documentary evidence in order to reach hardly questionable conclusions. This was a libel trial in which the defendant, Mr. DS (Defendant for Slander), had falsely accused one of his neighbors, Mr. OP (Offended Person), of having caused him some damages. The damages would have been caused by an external plaster piece that would have detached from the neighbor’s property and would have hit Mr DS while he was in his garden, much more than a meter far away from the facade of the building from which the plaster piece would have detached. In the trial, Mr. DS claimed to have suffered a scratch on his forehead, but he never showed the plaster that had hit him, nor was able to tell from where the plaster would have arrived. Furthermore, Mr. DS presented a medical certificate with a diagnosis of contusion of the cerebral cortex. On the contrary, the images of Mr. OP’s security cameras do not show any movement in the garden of Mr. DS in a long interval of time (about 2 hours) around the time of the alleged accident, nor do they show any people entering or coming out from the house of Mr. DS in the same interval of time. Biophysical analysis shows that both the diagnosis of the medical certificate and the wound declared by the defendant, already in conflict with each other, are not compatible with the fall of external plaster pieces too small to be found. The wind was at a level 1 of the Beaufort scale, that is, unable to raise even dust (level 4 of the Beaufort scale). Therefore, the motion of the plaster pieces can be described as a projectile motion, whereas collisions with the building cornice can be treated using Newtons law of coefficients of restitution. Numerous numerical Monte Carlo simulations show that the pieces of plaster would not have been able to reach even the garden of Mr. DS, let alone a distance over 1.30 meters. Results agree with the documentary evidence (images of Mr. OP’s security cameras) that Mr. DS could not have been hit by plaster pieces coming from Mr. OP’s property.

Keywords: biophysics analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, Newton’s law of restitution, projectile motion

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7 Diagnostics via Biophysical Resistotrons

Authors: Matt Vellkorn, Mara Sarinski


The field of advanced diagnostics is a very rapidly changing one. A new technology that has not been fully used yet are resistotrons. A resistotron is a physical device thatis used to detect the presence of low energy alpha particles. It has been used for many years in nuclear physics as an alpha particle detector. Since they are used in nuclear physics, they have to be accurate. They have to be able to differentiate between alpha particles and other types of radiation. The resistotrons are primarily used for safety. They are used in areas where people or animals can get exposed to radiation. A typical example is in the treatment of nuclear waste. As it is with any nuclear physics instrument, a resistotron has to be very accurate and reliable. In the past, the instrument was very expensive because they were made out of copper. Today, they are made out of brass. The main difference is that brass is much less expensive than copper.

Keywords: biosensors, resistotrons, biophysics, diagnostics

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6 The Application of FSI Techniques in Modeling of Realist Pulmonary Systems

Authors: Abdurrahim Bolukbasi, Hassan Athari, Dogan Ciloglu


The modeling lung respiratory system which has complex anatomy and biophysics presents several challenges including tissue-driven flow patterns and wall motion. Also, the lung pulmonary system because of that they stretch and recoil with each breath, has not static walls and structures. The direct relationship between air flow and tissue motion in the lung structures naturally prefers an FSI simulation technique. Therefore, in order to toward the realistic simulation of pulmonary breathing mechanics the development of a coupled FSI computational model is an important step. A simple but physiologically-relevant three dimensional deep long geometry is designed and fluid-structure interaction (FSI) coupling technique is utilized for simulating the deformation of the lung parenchyma tissue which produces airflow fields. The real understanding of respiratory tissue system as a complex phenomenon have been investigated with respect to respiratory patterns, fluid dynamics and tissue visco-elasticity and tidal breathing period.

Keywords: lung deformation and mechanics; Tissue mechanics; Viscoelasticity; Fluid-structure interactions; ANSYS

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5 The Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Field on Rats Brain

Authors: Omar Abdalla, Abdelfatah Ahmed, Ahmed Mustafa, Abdelazem Eldouma


The purpose of this study is evaluating the effect of extremely low frequency magnetic field on Waster rats brain. The number of rats used in this study were 25, which were divided into five groups, each group containing five rats as follows: Group 1: The control group which was not exposed to energized field; Group 2: Rats were exposed to a magnetic field with an intensity of 0.6 mT (2 hours/day); Group 3: Rats were exposed to a magnetic field of 1.2 mT (2 hours/day); Group4: Rats were exposed to a magnetic field of 1.8 mT (2 hours/day); Group 5: Rats were exposed to a magnetic field of 2.4 mT (2 hours/day) and all groups were exposed for seven days, by designing a maze and calculating the time average for arriving to the decoy at special conditions. We found the time average before exposure for the all groups was G2=330 s, G3=172 s, G4=500 s and G5=174 s, respectively. We exposed all groups to ELF-MF and measured the time and we found: G2=465 s, G3=388 s, G4=501 s, and G5=442 s. It was observed that the time average increased directly with field strength. Histological samples of frontal lop of brain for all groups were taken and we found lesion, atrophy, empty vacuoles and disorder choroid plexus at frontal lope of brain. And finally we observed the disorder of choroid plexus in histological results and Alzheimer's symptoms increase when the magnetic field increases.

Keywords: nonionizing radiation, biophysics, magnetic field, shrinkage

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4 Determination of Biomolecular Interactions Using Microscale Thermophoresis

Authors: Lynn Lehmann, Dinorah Leyva, Ana Lazic, Stefan Duhr, Philipp Baaske


Characterization of biomolecular interactions, such as protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid or protein-small molecule, provides critical insights into cellular processes and is essential for the development of drug diagnostics and therapeutics. Here we present a novel, label-free, and tether-free technology to analyze picomolar to millimolar affinities of biomolecular interactions by Microscale Thermophoresis (MST). The entropy of the hydration shell surrounding molecules determines thermophoretic movement. MST exploits this principle by measuring interactions using optically generated temperature gradients. MST detects changes in the size, charge and hydration shell of molecules and measures biomolecule interactions under close-to-native conditions: immobilization-free and in bioliquids of choice, including cell lysates and blood serum. Thus, MST measures interactions under close-to-native conditions, and without laborious sample purification. We demonstrate how MST determines the picomolar affinities of antibody::antigen interactions, and protein::protein interactions measured from directly from cell lysates. MST assays are highly adaptable to fit to the diverse requirements of different and complex biomolecules. NanoTemper´s unique technology is ideal for studies requiring flexibility and sensitivity at the experimental scale, making MST suitable for basic research investigations and pharmaceutical applications.

Keywords: biochemistry, biophysics, molecular interactions, quantitative techniques

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3 Exo-III Assisted Amplification Strategy through Target Recycling of Hg²⁺ Detection in Water: A GNP Based Label-Free Colorimetry Employing T-Rich Hairpin-Loop Metallobase

Authors: Abdul Ghaffar Memon, Xiao Hong Zhou, Yunpeng Xing, Ruoyu Wang, Miao He


Due to deleterious environmental and health effects of the Hg²⁺ ions, various online, detection methods apart from the traditional analytical tools have been developed by researchers. Biosensors especially, label, label-free, colorimetric and optical sensors have advanced with sensitive detection. However, there remains a gap of ultrasensitive quantification as noise interact significantly especially in the AuNP based label-free colorimetry. This study reported an amplification strategy using Exo-III enzyme for target recycling of Hg²⁺ ions in a T-rich hairpin loop metallobase label-free colorimetric nanosensor with an improved sensitivity using unmodified gold nanoparticles (uGNPs) as an indicator. The two T-rich metallobase hairpin loop structures as 5’- CTT TCA TAC ATA GAA AAT GTA TGT TTG -3 (HgS1), and 5’- GGC TTT GAG CGC TAA GAA A TA GCG CTC TTT G -3’ (HgS2) were tested in the study. The thermodynamic properties of HgS1 and HgS2 were calculated using online tools ( The lab scale synthesized uGNPs were utilized in the analysis. The DNA sequence had T-rich bases on both tails end, which in the presence of Hg²⁺ forms a T-Hg²⁺-T mismatch, promoting the formation of dsDNA. Later, the Exo-III incubation enable the enzyme to cleave stepwise mononucleotides from the 3’ end until the structure become single-stranded. These ssDNA fragments then adsorb on the surface of AuNPs in their presence and protect AuNPs from the induced salt aggregation. The visible change in color from blue (aggregation stage in the absence of Hg²⁺) and pink (dispersion state in the presence of Hg²⁺ and adsorption of ssDNA fragments) can be observed and analyzed through UV spectrometry. An ultrasensitive quantitative nanosensor employing Exo-III assisted target recycling of mercury ions through label-free colorimetry with nanomolar detection using uGNPs have been achieved and is further under the optimization to achieve picomolar range by avoiding the influence of the environmental matrix. The proposed strategy will supplement in the direction of uGNP based ultrasensitive, rapid, onsite, label-free colorimetric detection.

Keywords: colorimetric, Exo-III, gold nanoparticles, Hg²⁺ detection, label-free, signal amplification

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2 Nanomechanical Characterization of Healthy and Tumor Lung Tissues at Cell and Extracellular Matrix Level

Authors: Valeria Panzetta, Ida Musella, Sabato Fusco, Paolo Antonio Netti


The study of the biophysics of living cells drew attention to the pivotal role of the cytoskeleton in many cell functions, such as mechanics, adhesion, proliferation, migration, differentiation and neoplastic transformation. In particular, during the complex process of malignant transformation and invasion cell cytoskeleton devolves from a rigid and organized structure to a more compliant state, which confers to the cancer cells a great ability to migrate and adapt to the extracellular environment. In order to better understand the malignant transformation process from a mechanical point of view, it is necessary to evaluate the direct crosstalk between the cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) in a context which is close to in vivo conditions. In this study, human biopsy tissues of lung adenocarcinoma were analyzed in order to define their mechanical phenotype at cell and ECM level, by using particle tracking microrheology (PTM) technique. Polystyrene beads (500 nm) were introduced into the sample slice. The motion of beads was obtained by tracking their displacements across cell cytoskeleton and ECM structures and mean squared displacements (MSDs) were calculated from bead trajectories. It has been already demonstrated that the amplitude of MSD is inversely related to the mechanical properties of intracellular and extracellular microenvironment. For this reason, MSDs of particles introduced in cytoplasm and ECM of healthy and tumor tissues were compared. PTM analyses showed that cancerous transformation compromises mechanical integrity of cells and extracellular matrix. In particular, the MSD amplitudes in cells of adenocarcinoma were greater as compared to cells of normal tissues. The increased motion is probably associated to a less structured cytoskeleton and consequently to an increase of deformability of cells. Further, cancer transformation is also accompanied by extracellular matrix stiffening, as confirmed by the decrease of MSDs of matrix in tumor tissue, a process that promotes tumor proliferation and invasiveness, by activating typical oncogenic signaling pathways. In addition, a clear correlation between MSDs of cells and tumor grade was found. MSDs increase when tumor grade passes from 2 to 3, indicating that cells undergo to a trans-differentiation process during tumor progression. ECM stiffening is not dependent on tumor grade, but the tumor stage resulted to be strictly correlated with both cells and ECM mechanical properties. In fact, a greater stage is assigned to tumor spread to regional lymph nodes and characterized by an up-regulation of different ECM proteins, such as collagen I fibers. These results indicate that PTM can be used to get nanomechanical characterization at different scale levels in an interpretative and diagnostic context.

Keywords: cytoskeleton, extracellular matrix, mechanical properties, particle tracking microrheology, tumor

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1 Structural Molecular Dynamics Modelling of FH2 Domain of Formin DAAM

Authors: Rauan Sakenov, Peter Bukovics, Peter Gaszler, Veronika Tokacs-Kollar, Beata Bugyi


FH2 (formin homology-2) domains of several proteins, collectively known as formins, including DAAM, DAAM1 and mDia1, promote G-actin nucleation and elongation. FH2 domains of these formins exist as oligomers. Chain dimerization by ring structure formation serves as a structural basis for actin polymerization function of FH2 domain. Proper single chain configuration and specific interactions between its various regions are necessary for individual chains to form a dimer functional in G-actin nucleation and elongation. FH1 and WH2 domain-containing formins were shown to behave as intrinsically disordered proteins. Thus, the aim of this research was to study structural dynamics of FH2 domain of DAAM. To investigate structural features of FH2 domain of DAAM, molecular dynamics simulation of chain A of FH2 domain of DAAM solvated in water box in 50 mM NaCl was conducted at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K, with VMD 1.9.2, NAMD 2.14 and Amber Tools 21 using 2z6e and 1v9d PDB structures of DAAM was obtained on I-TASSER webserver. Calcium and ATP bound G-actin 3hbt PDB structure was used as a reference protein with well-described structural dynamics of denaturation. Topology and parameter information of CHARMM 2012 additive all-atom force fields for proteins, carbohydrate derivatives, water and ions were used in NAMD 2.14 and ff19SB force field for proteins in Amber Tools 21. The systems were energy minimized for the first 1000 steps, equilibrated and produced in NPT ensemble for 1ns using stochastic Langevin dynamics and the particle mesh Ewald method. Our root-mean square deviation (RMSD) analysis of molecular dynamics of chain A of FH2 domains of DAAM revealed similar insignificant changes of total molecular average RMSD values of FH2 domain of these formins at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K. In contrast, total molecular average RMSD values of G-actin showed considerable increase at 328K, which corresponds to the denaturation of G-actin molecule at this temperature and its transition from native, ordered, to denatured, disordered, state which is well-described in the literature. RMSD values of lasso and tail regions of chain A of FH2 domain of DAAM exhibited higher than total molecular average RMSD at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K. These regions are functional in intra- and interchain interactions and contain highly conserved tryptophan residues of lasso region, highly conserved GNYMN sequence of post region and amino acids of the shell of hydrophobic pocket of the salt bridge between Arg171 and Asp321, which are important for structural stability and ordered state of FH2 domain of DAAM and its functions in FH2 domain dimerization. In conclusion, higher than total molecular average RMSD values of lasso and post regions of chain A of FH2 domain of DAAM may explain disordered state of FH2 domain of DAAM at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K. Finally, absence of marked transition, in terms of significant changes in average molecular RMSD values between native and denatured states of FH2 domain of DAAM at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K, can make it possible to attribute these formins to the group of intrinsically disordered proteins rather than to the group of intrinsically ordered proteins such as G-actin.

Keywords: FH2 domain, DAAM, formins, molecular modelling, computational biophysics

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