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Materials (Basel) ; 16(8)2023 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291425


Electroactive composite materials are very promising for musculoskeletal tissue engineering because they can be applied in combination with electrostimulation. In this context, novel graphene-based poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)/polyvinyl alcohol (PHBV/PVA) semi-interpenetrated networks (semi-IPN) hydrogels were engineered with low amounts of graphene (G) nanosheets dispersed within the polymer matrix to endow them with electroactive properties. The nanohybrid hydrogels, obtained by applying a hybrid solvent casting-freeze-drying method, show an interconnected porous structure and a high water-absorption capacity (swelling degree > 1200%). The thermal characterization indicates that the structure presents microphase separation, with PHBV microdomains located between the PVA network. The PHBV chains located in the microdomains are able to crystallize; even more after the addition of G nanosheets, which act as a nucleating agent. Thermogravimetric analysis indicates that the degradation profile of the semi-IPN is located between those of the neat components, with an improved thermal stability at high temperatures (>450 °C) after the addition of G nanosheets. The mechanical (complex modulus) and electrical properties (surface conductivity) significantly increase in the nanohybrid hydrogels with 0.2% of G nanosheets. Nevertheless, when the amount of G nanoparticles increases fourfold (0.8%), the mechanical properties diminish and the electrical conductivity does not increase proportionally, suggesting the presence of G aggregates. The biological assessment (C2C12 murine myoblasts) indicates a good biocompatibility and proliferative behavior. These results reveal a new conductive and biocompatible semi-IPN with remarkable values of electrical conductivity and ability to induce myoblast proliferation, indicating its great potential for musculoskeletal tissue engineering.

Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 557, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-800714


Objective: We set out to analyze the incidence and predictive factors of pulmonary embolism (PE) in hospitalized patients with Covid-19. Methods: We prospectively collected data from all consecutive patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 admitted to the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a university hospital in Barcelona, between March 9 and April 15, 2020. Patients with suspected PE, according to standardized guidelines, underwent CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA). Results: A total of 1,275 patients with Covid-19 were admitted to hospital. CTPA was performed on 76 inpatients, and a diagnosis of PE was made in 32 (2.6% [95%CI 1.7-3.5%]). Patients with PE were older, and they exhibited lower PaO2:FiO2 ratios and higher levels of D-dimer and C-reactive protein (CRP). They more often required admission to ICU and mechanical ventilation, and they often had longer hospital stays, although in-hospital mortality was no greater than in patients without PE. High CRP and D-dimer levels at admission (≥150 mg/L and ≥1,000 ng/ml, respectively) and a peak D-dimer ≥6,000 ng/ml during hospital stay were independent factors associated with PE. Prophylactic low molecular weight heparin did not appear to prevent PE. Increased CRP levels correlated with increased D-dimer levels and both correlated with a lower PaO2:FiO2. Conclusions: The 2.6% incidence of PE in Covid-19 hospitalized patients is clearly high. Higher doses of thromboprophylaxis may be required to prevent PE, particularly in patients at increased risk, such as those with high levels of CRP and D-dimer at admission. These findings should be validated in future studies.