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1.  Physical properties and cytotoxicity comparison of experimental gypsum-based biomaterials with two current dental cement materials on L929 fibroblast cells 
To evaluate physical properties and cytotoxicity of pure gypsum-based (pure-GYP) and experimental gypsum-based biomaterials mixed with polyacrylic acid (Gyp-PA). The results were compared with calcium hydroxide (CH) and glass ionomer cement (GIC) for application as base/liner materials.
Materials and Methods:
Vicat's needle was used to measure the setting time and solubility (%) was determined by percentage of weight loss of the materials following immersion in distilled water. For cytotoxicity test, eluates of different concentrations of materials were obtained and pipetted onto L-929 mouse fibroblast cultures and incubated for 3 days. Cellular viability was assessed using Dimethylthiazol diphenyltetrazolium bromide test to determine the cytotoxicity level. Statistical significance was determined by one-way analysis of variance followed by post hoc test (P < 0.05).
Setting time was significantly higher for pure-GYP and Gyp-PA; solubility test showed a similar tendency (pure-Gyp > Gyp-PA > CH = GIC). The pure-Gyp was found as the least cytotoxic materials at different concentrations. At 100 mg/mL dilutions of materials in growth medium highest cytotoxicity was observed with CH group.
Cytotoxic effect was not observed with pure-Gyp; application of this novel biomaterial on deeper dentin/an exposed pulp and possibility of gradual replacement of this biodegradable material by dentin like structure would be highly promising.
PMCID: PMC3740645  PMID: 23956536
Cytotoxicity; lining materials; pure α-hemihydrate gypsum; setting time; solubility
2.  Gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) Scaling on Polybenzimidazole and Cellulose Acetate Hollow Fiber Membranes under Forward Osmosis 
Membranes  2013;3(4):354-374.
We have examined the gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) scaling phenomena on membranes with different physicochemical properties in forward osmosis (FO) processes. Three hollow fiber membranes made of (1) cellulose acetate (CA), (2) polybenzimidazole (PBI)/polyethersulfone (PES) and (3) PBI-polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)/polyacrylonitrile (PAN) were studied. For the first time in FO processes, we have found that surface ionic interactions dominate gypsum scaling on the membrane surface. A 70% flux reduction was observed on negatively charged CA and PBI membrane surfaces, due to strong attractive forces. The PBI membrane surface also showed a slightly positive charge at a low pH value of 3 and exhibited a 30% flux reduction. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) force measurements confirmed a strong repulsive force between gypsum and PBI at a pH value of 3. The newly developed PBI-POSS/PAN membrane had ridge morphology and a contact angle of 51.42° ± 14.85° after the addition of hydrophilic POSS nanoparticles and 3 min thermal treatment at 95 °C. Minimal scaling and an only 1.3% flux reduction were observed at a pH value of 3. Such a ridge structure may reduce scaling by not providing a locally flat surface to the crystallite at a pH value of 3; thus, gypsum would be easily washed away from the surface.
PMCID: PMC4021950  PMID: 24957062
forward osmosis; fouling; gypsum scaling; polybenzimidazole; polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane; cellulose acetate
3.  Gypsophile Chemistry Unveiled: Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy Provides New Insight into Plant Adaptations to Gypsum Soils 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107285.
Gypsum soils are among the most restrictive and widespread substrates for plant life. Plants living on gypsum are classified as gypsophiles (exclusive to gypsum) and gypsovags (non-exclusive to gypsum). The former have been separated into wide and narrow gypsophiles, each with a putative different ecological strategy. Mechanisms displayed by gypsum plants to compete and survive on gypsum are still not fully understood. The aim of this study was to compare the main chemical groups in the leaves of plants with different specificity to gypsum soils and to explore the ability of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra analyzed with neural network (NN) modelling to discriminate groups of gypsum plants. Leaf samples of 14 species with different specificity to gypsum soils were analysed with FTIR spectroscopy coupled to neural network (NN) modelling. Spectral data were further related to the N, C, S, P, K, Na, Ca, Mg and ash concentrations of samples. The FTIR spectra of the three groups analyzed showed distinct features that enabled their discrimination through NN models. Wide gypsophiles stood out for the strong presence of inorganic compounds in their leaves, particularly gypsum and, in some species, also calcium oxalate crystals. The spectra of gypsovags had less inorganic chemical species, while those of narrow gypsum endemisms had low inorganics but shared with wide gypsophiles the presence of oxalate. Gypsum and calcium oxalate crystals seem to be widespread amongst gypsum specialist plants, possibly as a way to tolerate excess Ca and sulphate. However, other mechanisms such as the accumulation of sulphates in organic molecules are also compatible with plant specialization to gypsum. While gypsovags seem to be stress tolerant plants that tightly regulate the uptake of S and Ca, the ability of narrow gypsum endemisms to accumulate excess Ca as oxalate may indicate their incipient specialization to gypsum.
PMCID: PMC4164602  PMID: 25222564
4.  Plants Living on Gypsum: Beyond the Specialist Model 
Annals of Botany  2007;99(2):333-343.
Background and Aims
Plants from gypsum habitats are classified as gypsophiles and gypsovags. The former include both narrow endemics limited to small gypsum areas and regionally dominant gypsophiles growing in gypsum areas of large regions, whereas gypsovags are plants that can grow both in gypsum and non-gypsum soils. Factors controlling the distribution of gypsum plants are still not fully understood.
To assess how the different types of gypsum plants deal with the stressful conditions of gypsum substrates, comparisons were made of the leaf chemical composition of four gypsovags, five regionally dominant gypsophiles and four narrow gypsum endemics growing in two massive gypsum areas of the Iberian Peninsula.
Key Results
The chemical composition of gypsovags was clearly different from regionally dominant gypsophiles, while the chemical composition of narrow-gypsophile endemics was more similar to the chemical composition of gypsovags than to that of regionally dominant gypsophiles. Regionally dominant gypsophiles showed higher concentrations of ash, Ca, S, N, Mg P and Na, whereas gypsovags and local gypsophile endemics displayed higher concentrations of C and greater C : N ratios.
Such differences suggest that the three groups of gypsum plants follow diverse ecological strategies. It is suggested that regionally dominant gypsophiles might fit the ‘specialist’ model, being species specifically adapted to gypsum, whereas both gypsovags and narrow-gypsophile endemics might fit the ‘refuge’ model, being stress-tolerant species that find refuge on gypsum soils from competition. The analysis of the leaf chemical composition could be a good predictor of the degree of plants specialization to gypsum soils.
PMCID: PMC2802996  PMID: 17204537
Gypsophily; gypsum-rich soils; leaf chemical composition; narrow-endemic gypsophytes; Mediterranean semi-arid environments; plant conservation; edaphic endemism
5.  Effect of alginate chemical disinfection on bacterial count over gypsum cast 
To evaluate the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite (1 : 10) and iodophor disinfectants on alginate impressions along with their effect on the survived bacterium count on the gypsum cast.
Four alginate impression on each dentate patients were made, of which Group I were not washed or disinfected, Group II impressions were merely washed with water, Group III were disinfected by spraying with sodium hypochlorite (1 : 10), Group IV were disinfected with iodophor (1 : 213). Gypsum cast (type III) were made from all the impression. Impressions and gypsum cast were swabbed in mid palatal region for bacterial culture. Bacterial colony counting done after 3 days of incubation at 37℃ in blood agar media. The data obtained was analyzed by one way ANOVA test at a significant difference level of 0.05.
Group I and Group II showed significantly more bacteria compared to Group III and Group IV. Bacterial colonies on the alginate impression and gypsum cast in group disinfected with Sodium hypochlorite (1 : 10) were 0.18, 0.82 respectively compared to group treated with iodophor (1 : 213). There was an increase in bacterial count on dental cast compared to source alginate impressions.
Sodium hypochlorite (1 : 10) was found to be better disinfectant for alginate impression. There was an indication of increase in number of bacteria from alginate impression to making of dental cast. Additional gypsum cast disinfectant procedures need to be encouraged to completely eliminate cross infection to dental laboratory.
PMCID: PMC3381207  PMID: 22737312
Dental impression; Infection control; Dental laboratory; Sodium hypochlorite; Iodophor; Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
6.  Effects of Zinc and Strontium Substitution in Tricalcium Phosphate on Osteoclast Differentiation and Resorption 
Biomaterials science  2013;1(1):10.1039/C2BM00012A.
Bone replacement materials must be able to regulate both osteoblastic synthesis of new bone and osteoclastic resorption process in order to maintain the balance of bone remodeling. Osteoclasts generate from differentiation of mononuclear cells. In the present study, we have studied the osteoclast-like-cells responses (differentiation from mononuclear cells and resorption) to beta tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) doped with zinc (Zn) and strontium (Sr). Osteoclast-like-cells differentiation and resorption was studied in vitro using osteoclast-like-cells precursor RAW 264.7 cell, supplemented with receptor activator of nuclear factor κβ ligand (RANKL). Morphological and immunohistochemical analysis confirmed successful differentiation of osteoclast-like-cells on the doped and undoped β-TCP substrates after 8 days of culture. Cells on the substrate surface expressed specific osteoclast markers such as; actin ring, multiple nucleus, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) synthesis, and vitronectin receptor. However, quantitative TRAP assay indicated the inhibiting effect of Zn on osteoclast differentiation. Although, Zn doped β-TCP restricted osteoclast-like-cells differentiation, the samples were resorbed much faster. An increased resorption pit volume was noticed on Zn doped β-TCP samples after 28 days of culture compared to pure and Sr doped β-TCP. In this work, we demonstrated that β-TCP bone substitute materials can be successfully resorbed by osteoclast-like-cells, where both osteoclast-like-cells differentiation and resorption were modulated by Zn and/or Sr doping- a much needed property for successful bone remodeling.
PMCID: PMC3825406  PMID: 24244866
Beta-tricalcium phosphate; Zn/Sr doping; osteoclast-like cells; TRAP assay; Resorption lacunae
7.  Antibacterial and biological characteristics of plasma sprayed silver and strontium doped hydroxyapatite coatings 
Acta Biomaterialia  2012;8(8):3144-3152.
Infection in primary total joint prostheses is estimated to occur in up to 3% of all surgeries. As a measure to improve the antimicrobial properties of implant materials, silver (Ag) was incorporated into plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings. To offset potential cytotoxic effects of Ag in the coatings, strontium (Sr) was also added as a binary dopant. HA powder were doped with 2.0 wt% Ag2O, 1.0 wt% SrO and the powder was then heat treated at 800° C. Titanium substrates were coated using a 30 kW plasma spray system equipped with a supersonic nozzle. X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed the phase purity and high crystallinity of the coatings. Samples were evaluated for mechanical stability by adhesive bond strength testing. Results show that the addition of dopants did not affect the overall bond strength of the coatings. The antibacterial efficacies of the coatings were tested against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Samples that contained the Ag2O dopant were found to be highly effective against the bacterial colonization. In vitro cell-material interactions using human fetal osteoblast (hFOB) cells were characterized by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay for cell viability, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) for cell morphology and confocal imaging for the important differentiation marker alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Our results showed evidence of cytotoxic effects in the Ag-HA coatings, characterized by poor cellular morphology and cell death and nearly complete impediment of functional ALP activity. The addition of SrO to Ag-HA coatings was able to effectively offset these negative effects and improve the performance when compared to pure HA coated samples.
PMCID: PMC3393112  PMID: 22487928
hydroxyapatite; coating; antibacterial; silver; strontium
8.  Porous Allograft Bone Scaffolds: Doping with Strontium 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69339.
Strontium (Sr) can promote the process of bone formation. To improve bioactivity, porous allograft bone scaffolds (ABS) were doped with Sr and the mechanical strength and bioactivity of the scaffolds were evaluated. Sr-doped ABS were prepared using the ion exchange method. The density and distribution of Sr in bone scaffolds were investigated by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Controlled release of strontium ions was measured and mechanical strength was evaluated by a compressive strength test. The bioactivity of Sr-doped ABS was investigated by a simulated body fluid (SBF) assay, cytotoxicity testing, and an in vivo implantation experiment. The Sr molar concentration [Sr/(Sr+Ca)] in ABS surpassed 5% and Sr was distributed nearly evenly. XPS analyses suggest that Sr combined with oxygen and carbonate radicals. Released Sr ions were detected in the immersion solution at higher concentration than calcium ions until day 30. The compressive strength of the Sr-doped ABS did not change significantly. The bioactivity of Sr-doped material, as measured by the in vitro SBF immersion method, was superior to that of the Sr-free freeze-dried bone and the Sr-doped material did not show cytotoxicity compared with Sr-free culture medium. The rate of bone mineral deposition for Sr-doped ABS was faster than that of the control at 4 weeks (3.28±0.23 µm/day vs. 2.60±0.20 µm/day; p<0.05). Sr can be evenly doped into porous ABS at relevant concentrations to create highly active bone substitutes.
PMCID: PMC3724840  PMID: 23922703
9.  Chemical analysis of World Trade Center fine particulate matter for use in toxicologic assessment. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2003;111(7):972-980.
The catastrophic destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) on 11 September 2001 caused the release of high levels of airborne pollutants into the local environment. To assess the toxicity of fine particulate matter [particulate matter with a mass median aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 microm (PM2.5)], which may adversely affect the health of workers and residents in the area, we collected fallen dust samples on 12 and 13 September 2001 from sites within a half-mile of Ground Zero. Samples of WTC dust were sieved, aerosolized, and size-separated, and the PM2.5 fraction was isolated on filters. Here we report the chemical and physical properties of PM2.5 derived from these samples and compare them with PM2.5 fractions of three reference materials that range in toxicity from relatively inert to acutely toxic (Mt. St. Helens PM; Washington, DC, ambient air PM; and residual oil fly ash). X-ray diffraction of very coarse sieved WTC PM (< 53 microm) identified calcium sulfate (gypsum) and calcium carbonate (calcite) as major components. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that calcium-sulfur and calcium-carbon particles were also present in the WTC PM2.5 fraction. Analysis of WTC PM2.5 using X-ray fluorescence, neutron activation analysis, and inductively coupled plasma spectrometry showed high levels of calcium (range, 22-33%) and sulfur (37-43% as sulfate) and much lower levels of transition metals and other elements. Aqueous extracts of WTC PM2.5 were basic (pH range, 8.9-10.0) and had no evidence of significant bacterial contamination. Levels of carbon were relatively low, suggesting that combustion-derived particles did not form a significant fraction of these samples recovered in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the towers. Because gypsum and calcite are known to cause irritation of the mucus membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract, inhalation of high doses of WTC PM2.5 could potentially cause toxic respiratory effects.
PMCID: PMC1241534  PMID: 12782501
10.  Direct nanoscale observations of the coupled dissolution of calcite and dolomite and the precipitation of gypsum 
In-situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments were performed to study the overall process of dissolution of common carbonate minerals (calcite and dolomite) and precipitation of gypsum in Na2SO4 and CaSO4 solutions with pH values ranging from 2 to 6 at room temperature (23 ± 1 °C). The dissolution of the carbonate minerals took place at the (104) cleavage surfaces in sulfate-rich solutions undersaturated with respect to gypsum, by the formation of characteristic rhombohedral-shaped etch pits. Rounding of the etch pit corners was observed as solutions approached close-to-equilibrium conditions with respect to calcite. The calculated dissolution rates of calcite at pH 4.8 and 5.6 agreed with the values reported in the literature. When using solutions previously equilibrated with respect to gypsum, gypsum precipitation coupled with calcite dissolution showed short gypsum nucleation induction times. The gypsum precipitate quickly coated the calcite surface, forming arrow-like forms parallel to the crystallographic orientations of the calcite etch pits. Gypsum precipitation coupled with dolomite dissolution was slower than that of calcite, indicating the dissolution rate to be the rate-controlling step. The resulting gypsum coating partially covered the surface during the experimental duration of a few hours.
PMCID: PMC4142853  PMID: 25161860
atomic force microscopy (AFM); calcite; dissolution–precipitation; dolomite; gypsum
11.  Strontium Ranelate: The Pathophysiological Rationale 
Skeletal metabolism and the replacement of damaged tissue with the same amount of intact bone depends on the correct balance between bone formation and bone resorption.
The existence of an imbalance between bone formation and resorption is a concept central to understanding of the pathophysiology of osteoporosis and the reduction of fracture risk.
With aging, the volume of bone that is formed during the bone remodelling process and after injury is less than the volume absorbed during the bone resorption phase; this results in bone loss and increased bone fragility. In addition to bone mineral density, many other properties of bone are determined by the balance between bone formation and bone resorption. A bone that is biomechanically more fragile is also a bone that consolidates more slowly after a fracture event. Although the fracture healing stages are the same even in the presence of osteoporosis, recent studies have shown a slowdown in the process of consolidation when osteoporosis is present. In particular, strategies to reduce fracture risk and facilitate the process of consolidation of the fracture may be a primary criterion for selection.
The ability to modulate anabolic and catabolic phenomena in the skeleton, both locally and systemically, opens up a new horizon for the reduction of fracture risk and the enhancement of bone healing, particularly when the bone is qualitatively and/or quantitatively compromised.
Clinical research has recently allowed the development of therapies, such as treatment with strontium ranelate, able to increase production of bone matrix by osteoblasts and to act positively on the distribution of the skeletal microarchitecture. Strontium ranelate is able to rebalance bone turnover in favour of the formation of more resistant and elastic bone, by stimulating osteoblasts and inhibiting the resorptive activity of osteoclasts, thereby ensuring rapid and lasting protection against the risk of fractures. In vitro studies have shown that the drug is able to promote replication of the first pre-osteoblasts and their differentiation into mature osteoblasts and osteocytes interacting with the receptor CaSR and through the increased synthesis of OPG. Thanks, again, to the participation of the CaSR receptor, but also by reducing the production of RANKL, strontium ranelate decreases the resorptive activity of osteoclasts. The anabolic action of strontium ranelate in terms of mineral apposition rate in both cortical and trabecular bone was demonstrated on bone biopsies analysed by three-dimensional micro-CT. The drug was shown to increase the number of trabeculae, the cortical thickness, and the total bone volume. The bone-forming activity of strontium ranelate was also demonstrated in comparative studies versus teriparatide and antiresorptive agents. In experimental studies the bone-forming effect of strontium ranelate leads to an increase in the bone callus volume and its maturation and, in turn, to an acceleration of the consolidation of the fracture and better implant osteointegration.
In conclusion, the mechanism of action of strontium ranelate, which inhibits bone resorption in favour of new bone formation, is able to counteract, in a physiological manner, the bone loss associated with advancing age. The net effect is an increase in bone mass, trabecular and cortical bone, which explains its anti-fracture efficacy. The drug’s ability to stimulate bone formation seems to unfold at the level of the callus allowing improved fracture healing and in the case of implants potential improvement of implant osteointegration.
PMCID: PMC3213810
12.  Characterization, feasibility and optimization of Agaricus subrufescens growth based on chemical elements on casing layer 
The aim of this study was to analyze yields, biological efficiency, earliness (expressed as days to first harvest), and precociousness and establish models for the mushroom growing according to these parameters. The experiment followed a double factorial design with four sources of calcium (calcitic limestone, calcitic limestone + gypsum, dolomitic limestone and dolomitic limestone + gypsum) and 2 application times (25 days before casing and at the moment of casing), with 4 replicates for each treatment. Different calcium sources influenced differently Agaricus subrufescens production, especially as regards earliness, which showed significantly higher values when dolomitic limestone with gypsum was applied. Yield and biological efficiency were negatively correlated with H + AL, organic matter and Mg amount. Furthermore, earliness was positively correlated with H + Al, organic matter, and the amount of Mg and Fe. Finally, negative correlations were observed between precociousness and the amount of Ca, SB (sum of base), CEC (cation exchange capacity) and V% (percentage of base saturation). The models presented in this work are extremely important for predicting the agronomic performance of Agaricus subrufescens on the basis of chemical analysis provided by the casing soil.
PMCID: PMC3730930  PMID: 23961195
Almond Mushroom; Growth models; Personal correlation; Calcium sources; Mushroom cultivation
13.  Osteoclastogenesis and Osteoclastic Resorption of Tricalcium Phosphate: Effect of Strontium and Magnesium Doping 
Bone substitute materials are required to support the remodeling process, which consists of osteoclastic resorption and osteoblastic synthesis. Osteoclasts, the bone resorbing cells, generate from differentiation of hemopoietic mononuclear cells. In the present study we have evaluated the effects of 1.0 wt% strontium (Sr) and 1.0 wt% magnesium (Mg) doping in beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) on the differentiation of mononuclear cells into osteoclast-like cells and its resorptive activity. In vitro osteoclast-like cell formation, adhesion, and resorption were studied using osteoclast precursor RAW 264.7 cell, supplemented with receptor activator of nuclear factor κβ ligand (RANKL). Osteoclast-like cell formation was noticed on pure and Sr doped β-TCP samples at day 8 which was absent on Mg doped β-TCP samples indicating decrease in initial osteoclast differentiation due to Mg doping. After 21 days of culture, osteoclast-like cell formation was evident on all samples with osteoclastic markers such as actin ring, multiple nuclei, and presence of vitronectin receptor αvβ3 integrin. After osteoclast differentiation, all substrates showed osteoclast-like cell mediated degradation, however; significantly restricted for Mg doped β-TCP samples. Our present results indicated substrate chemistry controlled osteoclast differentiation and resorptive activity which can be used in designing TCP based resorbable bone substitutes with controlled degradation properties.
PMCID: PMC3430374  PMID: 22566212
Beta-tricalcium phosphate; Dopants; Osteoclast-like cells; Osteoclastogenesis; Resorption lacunae
14.  Bacterial Communities and the Nitrogen Cycle in the Gypsum Soils of Cuatro Ciénegas Basin, Coahuila: A Mars Analogue 
Astrobiology  2012;12(7):699-709.
The OMEGA/Mars Express hyperspectral imager identified gypsum at several sites on Mars in 2005. These minerals constitute a direct record of past aqueous activity and are important with regard to the search of extraterrestrial life. Gale Crater was chosen as Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's landing site because it is rich in gypsum, as are some desert soils of the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) (Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico). The gypsum of the CCB, which is overlain by minimal carbonate deposits, was the product of magmatic activity that occurred under the Tethys Sea. To examine this Mars analogue, we retrieved gypsum-rich soil samples from two contrasting sites with different humidity in the CCB. To characterize the site, we obtained nutrient data and analyzed the genes related to the N cycle (nifH, nirS, and nirK) and the bacterial community composition by using 16S rRNA clone libraries. As expected, the soil content for almost all measured forms of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus were higher at the more humid site than at the drier site. What was unexpected is the presence of a rich and divergent community at both sites, with higher taxonomic diversity at the humid site and almost no taxonomic overlap. Our results suggest that the gypsum-rich soils of the CCB host a unique microbial ecosystem that includes novel microbial assemblies. Key Words: Cuatro Ciénegas Basin—Gale Crater—Gypsum soil microbial diversity—Molecular ecology—Nitrogen cycle. Astrobiology 12, 699–709.
PMCID: PMC3426888  PMID: 22920518
15.  Morphology, Composition, and Bioactivity of Strontium-Doped Brushite Coatings Deposited on Titanium Implants via Electrochemical Deposition 
Surface modification techniques have been applied to generate titanium implant surfaces that promote osseointegration for use in dental applications. In this study, strontium-doped brushite coatings were deposited on titanium by electrochemical deposition. The phase composition of the coating was investigated by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The surface morphologies of the coatings were studied through scanning electron microscopy, and the cytocompatibility and bioactivity of the strontium-doped brushite coatings were evaluated using cultured osteoblasts. Osteoblast proliferation was enhanced by the addition of strontium, suggesting a possible mechanism by which strontium incorporation in brushite coatings increased bone formation surrounding the implants. Cell growth was also strongly influenced by the composition of the deposited coatings, with a 10% Sr-doped brushite coating inducing the greatest amount of bone formation among the tested materials.
PMCID: PMC4100132  PMID: 24901526
strontium; brushite; coating; implant; osteoblast; biomedical materials
16.  Structure and properties of strontium-doped phosphate-based glasses 
Owing to similarity in both ionic size and polarity, strontium (Sr2+) is known to behave in a comparable way to calcium (Ca2+), and its role in bone metabolism has been well documented as both anti-resorptive and bone forming. In this study, novel quaternary strontium-doped phosphate-based glasses, containing 1, 3 and 5 mol% SrO, were synthesized and characterized. 31P magic angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance results showed that, as the Sr2+ content is increased in the glasses, there is a slight increase in disproportionation of Q2 phosphorus environments into Q1 and Q3 environments. Moreover, shortening and strengthening of the phosphorus to bridging oxygen distance occurred as obtained from FTIR. The general broadening of the spectral features with Sr2+ content is most probably due to the increased variation of the phosphate–cation bonding interactions caused by the introduction of the third cation. This increased disorder may be the cause of the increased degradation of the Sr-containing glasses relative to the Sr-free glass. As confirmed from elemental analysis, all Sr-containing glasses showed higher Na2O than expected and this also could be accounted for by the higher degradation of these glasses compared with Sr-free glasses. Measurements of surface free energy (SFE) showed that incorporation of strontium had no effect on SFE, and samples had relatively higher fractional polarity, which is not expected to promote high cell activity. From viability studies, however, the incorporation of Sr2+ showed better cellular response than Sr2+-free glasses, but still lower than the positive control. This unfavourable cellular response could be due to the high degradation nature of these glasses and not due to the presence of Sr2+.
PMCID: PMC2659698  PMID: 18826914
phosphate-based glasses; biocompatibility; surface free energy; ion release; FTIR spectroscopy; nuclear magnetic resonance
17.  Comparative Evaluation of Dimensional Accuracy and Tensile Strength of a Type IV Gypsum Using Microwave and Air Drying Methods 
To evaluate dimensional accuracy and tensile strength of a type IV gypsum product, at different time intervals, dried in air or a microwave oven. Eighty specimens prepared from a cylindrical mould were used for measuring tensile strength (group A). Twenty specimens from a master die mould were used for determining dimensional accuracy (group B). In group A, 40 specimens were dried in open air at room temperature (A1). The other 40 were removed after 30 min and air dried for 20 min. These were subjected to microwave oven drying for 5 min (A2). Ten specimens each were tested under diametral compression at each of the following time periods: 1, 2, 4 and 24 h after drying. In group B, ten specimens were dried in open air at room temperature (B1). Ten specimens were removed from the mould after 30 min and air dried for 20 min. These were then dried in a microwave oven for 5 min (B2). The data was statistically analyzed using students unpaired “t” test. At all time intervals, diametral tensile strength (DTS) values for specimens dried in microwave oven were significantly higher than for those dried in open air. There were no significant differences between the dimensional accuracy of the two groups. In this study, microwave oven drying had a positive effect on the DTS of a type IV gypsum and the microwave oven dried specimens were as accurate as the air dried specimens over the same time period.
PMCID: PMC3792328  PMID: 24431786
Dimensional accuracy; Diametral tensile strength; Type IV gypsum; Microwave drying
18.  Effects of oral supplementation with stable strontium 
The biologic effects of stable strontium, a naturally occurring trace element in the diet and the body, have been little investigated. This paper discusses the effects of oral supplementation with stable strontium in laboratory studies and clinical investigations. The extent of intestinal absorption of various doses of orally administered strontium was estimated by determining serum and tissue levels with atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The central observation is that increased oral intake produces a direct increase in serum levels and intracellular uptake of strontium. The results of these studies, as well as those of other investigators, demonstrate that a moderate dosage of stable strontium does not adversely affect the level of calcium either in the serum or in soft tissues. In studies of patients receiving 1 to 1.5 g/d of strontium gluconate, a sustained increase in the serum level of strontium produced a 100-fold increase in the strontium:calcium ratio. In rats, studies indicate that an increase in intracellular strontium content following supplementation may exert a protective effect on mitochondrial structure, probably by means of a stabilizing effect of strontium on membranes. The strontium:calcium ratio in animals receiving a standard diet is higher in the cell than in the extracellular fluid; this may be of physiologic significance.
An increase in density that corresponded to the deposition of stable strontium was observed in areas of bone lesions due to metastatic cancer in patients receiving stable strontium supplementation. This suggests the possibility of using strontium to mineralize osteophenic areas and to relieve bone pain. Also, because of reports of an inverse relation between the incidence of dental caries and a high strontium content in drinking water, the use of natural water containing relatively high levels of stable strontium should be considered. In each of these instances it is important to maintain a normal dietary intake of calcium.
PMCID: PMC1862446  PMID: 6120036
19.  Strontium ranelate and alendronate have differing effects on distal tibia bone microstructure in women with osteoporosis 
Rheumatology International  2010;30(10):1341-1348.
The structural basis of the antifracture efficacy of strontium ranelate and alendronate is incompletely understood. We compared the effects of strontium ranelate and alendronate on distal tibia microstructure over 2 years using HR-pQCT. In this pre-planned, interim, intention-to-treat analysis at 12 months, 88 osteoporotic postmenopausal women (mean age 63.7 ± 7.4) were randomized to strontium ranelate 2 g/day or alendronate 70 mg/week in a double-placebo design. Primary endpoints were changes in microstructure. Secondary endpoints included lumbar and hip areal bone mineral density (aBMD), and bone turnover markers. This trial is registered with, number ISRCTN82719233. Baseline characteristics of the two groups were similar. Treatment with strontium ranelate was associated with increases in mean cortical thickness (CTh, 5.3%), cortical area (4.9%) and trabecular density (2.1%) (all P < 0.001, except cortical area P = 0.013). No significant changes were observed with alendronate. Between-group differences in favor of strontium ranelate were observed for CTh, cortical area, BV/TV and trabecular density (P = 0.045, 0.041, 0.048 and 0.035, respectively). aBMD increased to a similar extent with strontium ranelate and alendronate at the spine (5.7% versus 5.1%, respectively) and total hip (3.3% versus 2.2%, respectively). No significant changes were observed in remodeling markers with strontium ranelate, while suppression was observed with alendronate. Within the methodological constraints of HR-pQCT through its possible sensitivity to X-ray attenuation of different minerals, strontium ranelate had greater effects than alendronate on distal tibia cortical thickness and trabecular volumetric density.
PMCID: PMC2908746  PMID: 20512336
Biochemical markers; Bone mineral density; Cortical bone; Microstructure; Trabecular bone
20.  Research on flux of dry atmospheric falling dust and its characterization in a subtropical city, Guangzhou, South China 
Guangzhou is the central city in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China, and is one of the most polluted cities in the world. To characterize the ambient falling dust pollution, two typical sampling sites: urban (Wushan) and suburban (University Town) areas in Guangzhou city were chosen for falling dust collection over 1 year at time intervals of 1 or 2 months. The flux of dry deposition was calculated. In addition, mineral composition and morphology of atmospheric falling dust were studied by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and microscopic observation. The results revealed that the dust flux in Guangzhou city was 3.34–3.78 g/(m2 month) during the study period. The main minerals in the dust were quartz, illite, calcite, kaolinite, gypsum, plagioclase, dolomite, and amorphous matter. The morphological types included grained and flaky individual minerals, chain-like aggregates, spherical flying beads, and irregular aggregates, with the chain-like and spherical aggregates indicators of industrial ash. The major dusts were derived from industrial and construction activities. The gypsum present in the dust collected in winter season was not only derived from cement dust but may also have originated from the reaction of calcic material with sulfuric acids resulting from photooxidation of SOx and NOx, which confirmed serious air pollution due to SOx and NOx in Guangzhou. The abatement of fossil fuel combustion emissions and construction dust will have a significant beneficial effect on dust reduction.
PMCID: PMC2914287  PMID: 20700381
Dry falling dust; Flux; Inorganic mineral; XRD; SEM
21.  Efficacy of Strontium Ranelate in Combination with a D-Hormone Analog for the Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis 
Drugs in R&D  2014;14(4):315-324.
Vitamin D supplements are recommended in individuals with vitamin D insufficiency and established osteoporosis to reduce risk of fracture and falling. Active vitamin D metabolites have been found to be more effective for fall prevention than native vitamin D.
The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of strontium ranelate in combination with alfacalcidol and strontium ranelate alone on bone mineral density (BMD) and fall risk in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
A total of 48 women (mean age 62.4 years) with postmenopausal osteoporosis were randomized to strontium ranelate monotherapy 2 g/day (n = 16), strontium ranelate 2 g/day plus alfacalcidol 1 μg (n = 16) or control (n = 16) and followed for 6 months. All women received calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. BMD was measured at the lumbar spine and proximal femora at the beginning and end of therapy. Patients performed functional tests such as the “up and go” and chair rising tests to estimate risk of fall status. Biochemical markers of bone turnover were also assessed.
Statistically significant increases in BMD compared with baseline values and the control group were observed in both strontium ranelate treatment groups. Increases were also statistically significant in the strontium ranelate combination group compared with strontium ranelate alone. Strontium ranelate combination therapy for 6 months improved patients’ ability to perform functional tests as well as increasing the number of women capable of performing the tests. No significant changes were observed in women receiving strontium ranelate monotherapy or in the control group. Serum levels of β-CrossLaps, a marker of bone resorption, were significantly reduced compared with control in both strontium ranelate groups. A significantly greater reduction was observed in the strontium ranelate combination group compared with strontium ranelate alone (24.0 %; P = 0.008). Increases in type 1 procollagen total N-terminal propeptide (TP1NP), a marker of bone formation, reached statistical significance in both strontium ranelate groups compared with baseline.
Strontium ranelate and alfacalcidol combination therapy improves bone quality, fall risk and markers of bone turnover to a greater extent than strontium ranelate alone in patients with established osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC4269821  PMID: 25480348
22.  A Comparative Study of Physical Properties of Gypsums Manufactured in India 
Gypsum products are one of the most widely used materials in dentistry. The wide use of plaster of paris motivated a number of manufacturers to introduce different brands of the profession but their physical and mechanical properties were still questionable. The aim of this study was to access, compare and evaluate the physical properties of different brands of laboratory gypsum available in Indian dental market. Seven brands namely Calspar, Rajhans, Elephant, Horse, Lion, Johnson and Shree Niwas Chemicals were selected for the comparison of their particle size, consistency and setting time. The obtained data were tabulated and compared with Indian, Australian and US standard specification. Statistical analysis for comparative study was done. It was found that none of the brands were up to mark. The present study shall be able to provide some beneficial information regarding their quality control and guide the manufacturers for improving the standardization of their products so that most suitable type of material may be available to the profession.
PMCID: PMC3792298  PMID: 24431787
Consistency; Size; Setting time; Gypsum
23.  Shear bond strength between light polymerized hard reline resin and denture base resin subjected to long term water immersion 
The Saudi Dental Journal  2011;24(1):23-27.
Statement of the problem
The effect of long-term water immersion on the shear bond strength between denture base resin and Triad visible-light-polymerized (VLP) direct hard reline resin is not known.
The aim of this study was to investigate the bonding characteristics of Triad VLP direct hard reline resin to heat-polymerized denture base resin subjected to long-term water immersion.
Material and methods
Ninety circular disks, 15 mm in diameter and 3 mm thick, of denture base resin were polymerized from a gypsum mold. Sixty specimens were subjected to water immersion and 30 were stored at ambient room temperature for 4 months. Thirty water-immersed specimens were dried with gauze (group 1), while the other 30 water-immersed specimens were dried with a hair dryer (group 2). The dry specimens (n = 30) represented the control group (group 3). All specimens were air abraded and painted with bonding agent before packing Triad VLP direct hard-reline resin. Specimens in each group were subjected to thermal cycling for 50,000 cycles between 4 °C and 60 °C water baths with 1-min dwell time at each temperature. The bond strength at which the bond failed under stress was recorded using a universal testing machine. One-way ANOVA and Tukey post hoc comparison were applied to find significant differences between groups (α = 0.05).
Significant differences in mean shear bond strength among the specimens existed because of variable water content in the denture base resin (P < 0.05). Group 3 (dry) was higher than group 2 (desiccated), and the lowest was group 1 (saturated).
The shear bond strength of Triad VLP direct hard reline resin to denture base resin depended on the water content in the denture base resin. The dry denture base resin demonstrated superior bond strength compared with the desiccated and water-saturated denture base resins.
PMCID: PMC3723371  PMID: 23960524
Shear bond strength; Light polymerized; Hard reline resin; Denture base resin
24.  Health Survey in Gypsum Mines in India 
Mining is a hazardous occupation in which workers are exposed to adverse conditions. In India, gypsum mining is mainly carried out in the state of Rajasthan, which contributes about 99% of the total production.
The present study was carried out in 12 different gypsum mines in Rajasthan state to determine the health status of the miners.
Materials and Methods:
One hundred and fifty workers engaged in mining activities were included in the study and their health status was compared with that of 83 office staff of the same mines. The health status of the employees was evaluated using a standardized medical questionnaire and pulmonary function testing.
Statistical Analysis:
The unpaired ‘t’ test was used to determine whether there was any significant difference between the miners and the controls and the chi-square test to compare the prevalences of various respiratory impairments in workers with that in controls; we also examined the differences between smokers and nonsmokers.
Our findings show that the literacy rate is low (42%) among the miners. Pulmonary restrictive impairment was significantly higher amongst smokers as compared to nonsmokers in both miners and controls. Hypertension (22.6%), diabetes (8.8%), and musculoskeletal morbidity (8%) were the common diseases in miners.
This study shows that there is high morbidity amongst miners, thus indicating the need for regular health checkups, health education, use of personal protective devices, and engineering measures for control of the workplace environment.
PMCID: PMC2822198  PMID: 20165631
Gypsum mine; miners; morbidity; pulmonary impairment
25.  Aerosolization of Particulate (1→3)-β-d-Glucan from Moldy Materials▿  
Mold-damaged building materials may contain biologically active agents, such as (1→3)-β-d-glucan, allergens, and mycotoxins, which have been associated with adverse health effects. The release of these components from contaminated surfaces into the air is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to characterize the release of particulate (1→3)-β-d-glucan from the surface of artificially mold-contaminated materials. Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys chartarum were grown on malt extract agar (MEA), white ceiling tiles, and a wall-papered gypsum board for 1 and 6 months. The (1→3)-β-d-glucan on the surfaces of moldy materials and in air samples collected from these materials was analyzed by the Limulus amebocyte lysate assay. The aerosolization ratio was defined as the amount of (1→3)-β-d-glucan in the air divided by the amount on the surface. The results showed that the aerosolization of particulate (1→3)-β-d-glucan was influenced mainly by the type of material and the fungal species. For A. versicolor, the aerosolization ratios of particulate (1→3)-β-d-glucan released from the three types of material were not significantly different. However, the ratios for S. chartarum released from ceiling tiles and gypsum board were significantly higher than the ratios for this organism released from MEA (P < 0.001) and were comparable to those for A. versicolor. These findings indicate that the use of MEA in aerosolization experiments is likely to underestimate the release of S. chartarum particles from building materials. These results provide important background information for design of future laboratory or animal experiments, as well as for interpretation of field measurement data.
PMCID: PMC2227723  PMID: 18065630

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