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1.  Correlation between optic nerve involvement and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major public health problem worldwide. The aim of this study was to evaluate the rate of optic neuropathy in COPD patients.
Forty patients diagnosed with COPD and 60 healthy subjects as control group enrolled. After examination by a pulmonary subspecialist, patients were ranked by Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria, and patients with zero grades on GOLD criteria were excluded. Visual evoked potential by checkerboard (raster background) method with a frequency of 2 Hz were done for all participants. P-values less than 0.05 were considered as significant.
Fifty-five percent of COPD patients had visual evoked potential abnormalities. Mean P100 latency in both eyes was significantly longer in COPD patients. Average P100/N140 amplitude in both eyes were insignificantly higher in COPD.
Higher P100 latency in COPD patients shows demyelinating type of optic nerve involvement; however, further investigation in this area is needed.
PMCID: PMC4332314  PMID: 25709388
visual evoked potential; neuropathy; COPD
2.  Laryngeal Ultrasonography Versus Cuff Leak Test in Predicting Postextubation Stridor 
Introduction: Although cuff leak test has been proposed as a simple method of predicting the occurrence of postextubation stridor, cut-off point of cuff-leak volume substantially differs between previous studies. In addition, laryngeal ultrasonography including measurement of air column width could predict postextubation stridor. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the value of laryngeal ultrasonography versus cuff leak test in predicting postextubation stridor.
Methods: In a prospective study, all patients intubated for a minimum of 24 h for acute respiratory failure, airway protection and other causes were included. Patients were evaluated for postextubation stridor and need for reintubation after extubation. The cuff leak volume was defined as a difference between expiratory tidal volumes with the cuff inflated and deflated. Laryngeal air column width was defined as the width of air passed through the vocal cords as determined by laryngeal ultrasonography. The air-column width difference was the width difference between balloon-cuff inflation and deflation.
Results: Forty one intubated patients with the mean age of 57.16±20.07 years were included. Postextubation stridor was observed in 4 patients (9.75%). Cuff leak test (cut off point: 249 mL) showed sensitivity and specificity of 75% and 59%, respectively. In addition, laryngeal ultrasonography (cut off point for air column width: 10.95 mm) resulted in sensitivity and specificity of 50% and 54%, respectively. Positive predictive value of both methods were <20%.
Conclusion: Both cuff leak test and laryngeal ultrasonography have low positive predictive value and sensitivity in predicting postextubation stridor and should be used with caution in this regard.
PMCID: PMC3992728  PMID: 24753828
Postextubation Stridor; Laryngeal Ultrasonography; Cuff leak Test
3.  Quantum dots: synthesis, bioapplications, and toxicity 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):480.
This review introduces quantum dots (QDs) and explores their properties, synthesis, applications, delivery systems in biology, and their toxicity. QDs are one of the first nanotechnologies to be integrated with the biological sciences and are widely anticipated to eventually find application in a number of commercial consumer and clinical products. They exhibit unique luminescence characteristics and electronic properties such as wide and continuous absorption spectra, narrow emission spectra, and high light stability. The application of QDs, as a new technology for biosystems, has been typically studied on mammalian cells. Due to the small structures of QDs, some physical properties such as optical and electron transport characteristics are quite different from those of the bulk materials.
PMCID: PMC3463453  PMID: 22929008
QD delivery systems; Toxicity; Emission spectra; Luminescence characteristics
4.  Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro evaluation of novel polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles for controlled delivery of doxorubicin 
Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide-methyl methacrylic acid, PNIPAAm-MAA)-grafted magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized using silane-coated magnetic nanoparticles as a template for radical polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide and methacrylic acid. Properties of these nanoparticles, such as size, drug-loading efficiency, and drug release kinetics, were evaluated in vitro for targeted and controlled drug delivery. The resulting nanoparticles had a diameter of 100 nm and a doxorubicin-loading efficiency of 75%, significantly higher doxorubicin release at 40°C compared with 37°C, and pH 5.8 compared with pH 7.4, demonstrating their temperature and pH sensitivity, respectively. In addition, the particles were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometry. In vitro cytotoxicity testing showed that the PNIPAAm-MAA-coated magnetic nanoparticles had no cytotoxicity and were biocompatible, indicating their potential for biomedical application.
PMCID: PMC3781717  PMID: 24198493
magnetic nanoparticles; drug loading; doxorubicin release; biocompatibility
5.  Preparation and in vitro evaluation of doxorubicin-loaded Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles modified with biocompatible copolymers 
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are attractive materials that have been widely used in medicine for drug delivery, diagnostic imaging, and therapeutic applications. In our study, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and the anticancer drug, doxorubicin hydrochloride, were encapsulated into poly (D, L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) poly (ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG) nanoparticles for local treatment. The magnetic properties conferred by superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles could help to maintain the nanoparticles in the joint with an external magnet.
A series of PLGA:PEG triblock copolymers were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of D, L-lactide and glycolide with different molecular weights of polyethylene glycol (PEG2000, PEG3000, and PEG4000) as an initiator. The bulk properties of these copolymers were characterized using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. In addition, the resulting particles were characterized by x-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometry.
The doxorubicin encapsulation amount was reduced for PLGA:PEG2000 and PLGA:PEG3000 triblock copolymers, but increased to a great extent for PLGA:PEG4000 triblock copolymer. This is due to the increased water uptake capacity of the blended triblock copolymer, which encapsulated more doxorubicin molecules into a swollen copolymer matrix. The drug encapsulation efficiency achieved for Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles modified with PLGA:PEG2000, PLGA:PEG3000, and PLGA:PEG4000 copolymers was 69.5%, 73%, and 78%, respectively, and the release kinetics were controlled. The in vitro cytotoxicity test showed that the Fe3O4-PLGA:PEG4000 magnetic nanoparticles had no cytotoxicity and were biocompatible.
There is potential for use of these nanoparticles for biomedical application. Future work includes in vivo investigation of the targeting capability and effectiveness of these nanoparticles in the treatment of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3273983  PMID: 22334781
superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles; triblock copolymer; doxorubicin encapsulation; water uptake; drug encapsulation efficiency
6.  Sensitivity and specificity of median nerve ultrasonography in diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome 
Although controversial, recent studies have demonstrated advantages of sonographic techniques in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The purpose of this study was to assess the utility of median nerve ultrasonography in the diagnosis of CTS in Iranian patients.
Ninety patents with clinically suspected CTS were studied. Based on gold standard electromyography/nerve conduction velocity studies, wrists with CTS were divided into three groups on the basis of severity of CTS, ie, mild, moderate, and severe. In addition, both sides of the wrist were examined using sonography. Transverse images of the median nerve were obtained and median nerve cross-section areas were measured at three levels, ie, immediately proximal to the carpal tunnel inlet, at the carpal tunnel inlet, and at the carpal tunnel outlet. Furthermore, flexor retinaculum thickness was evaluated.
The mean age of the studied patients was 48.52 ± 12.17 years. Median values of the median nerve cross-section at the carpal tunnel inlet, carpal tunnel outlet, and proximal carpal tunnel significantly differed between the wrists with and without CTS (P < 0.05). Comparisons between the CTS groups (mild, moderate, and severe) and non-CTS wrists demonstrated that the median cross-sections of median nerve at the carpal tunnel inlet, carpal tunnel outlet, and inlet proximal carpal tunnel were significantly greater in the severe CTS group than in the other three groups (P < 0.05). The results showed that the median nerve cross-section at the three levels of carpal tunnel could only fairly differentiate severe CTS from other cases.
The present study demonstrated that median nerve ultrasonography cannot replace the gold standard test (nerve conduction velocity) for the diagnosis of CTS because of low overall sensitivity and specificity, although it might provide useful information in some patients.
PMCID: PMC3273372  PMID: 22319247
median nerve; ultrasonography; carpal tunnel syndrome; diagnosis

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