Given the available and potential treatments for specific disorde

Given the available and potential treatments for specific disorders with increased risk of sudden death, the benefit of identifying such disorders early is clear. The debate regarding universal ECG screening is social and political,

as well as scientific.”
“In the framework of long-term scientific collaboration among the founder members coming from Holland and Italy there was a growing consensus to activate a philosophical doctorate (PhD) program, involving young Italian researchers in the field of perinatal medicine, neonatology and pediatrics. The aims were to promote excellence in research, offering to young Italian physicians the opportunity to maturate an International research experience leading to PhD degree, and to promote human and technological improvement energies in perinatal, Chk inhibitor neonatal and pediatrics research. Thus, an official collaboration among the Dutch Universities from Maastricht and Utrecht and the Italian Children’s Hospital from Alessandria, has been activated on March 1st 2010, finalized to the PhD program. The experimental

phase included the selection of projects and relative candidates after an interview-selection focusing on their scientific attitudes and the availability on their research projects. Candidates’ selection started on May 2010 and on September 29th ten projects and candidates have been approved by the scientific commission. Research topics included: perinatal asphyxia, aging and the origin of adulthood neurodegenerative CT99021 molecular weight disease, neuroprotective strategies, biochemical pulmunology, intrauterine growth retardation and perinatal teratology. To date, all projects have been approved by local Ethics Committee from the University/Hospital of origin of the candidates. Five manuscripts have been published and/or submitted

to international Journals regarding pneumology, perinatal asphyxia and teratology, whilst about 60-70% of data regarding clinical studies have already been collected.”
“The radiotherapy-related types Danusertib of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) have been established, which give the most effective treatment for NPC patients using the individual therapy. To diagnose the types of NPC, we assess the general NPC cell lines CNE1, CNE2 and normal nasopharyngeal cell line NP69 using optical coherence tomography (OCT) in two steps: firstly, the OCT images of the three different types of cell pellets are captured. Secondly, by fitting Beer’s law to the averaged A-scans in these OCT datasets, the attenuation coefficients (mu (t) ) of the cells can be extracted. The median attenuation coefficients (interquartile range) of CNE1, CNE2, and NP69 are 5.58 mm(-1) (IQR 5.55 to 5.65 mm(-1)), 5.91 mm(-1) (IQR 5.82 to 5.88 mm(-1)), and 8.96 mm(-1) (IQR 8.80 to 9.47 mm(-1)), respectively. The distinguishable quantitative OCT analysis (by mu (t) ) shows that the types of NPC could potentially be differentiated in real time and noninvasive.

is a useful model for studying the molecular events involved in t

is a useful model for studying the molecular events involved in the legumes-parasite interaction. In order to gain insight into the identification of gene-regulatory elements involved in the resistance mechanism, the temporal expression pattern of ten defense-related genes was carried Out using real-time quantitative reverse-transcription

polymerase chain reaction assays. The induction of all of the analyzed transcripts significantly increased over a range from 2- to 321-fold higher than the control depending on the gene and time point. The transcriptional changes observed in response to O. crenata infection suggest that Selleckchem FK228 resistance could rely on both, the induction of general defense-related genes and more specific responses. (C) 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.”
“Purpose: How Quality of Life (QoL) assessment is conducted across different oncology wards and palliative settings is a challenging issue and needs to be searched further. There is a lack of interpretive

research study in Australian populations in which QoL assessment for cancer patients in oncology and palliative areas has deeply been explored. Therefore, an interpretive research study NSC 718781 was conducted to explore in-depth nurses’ QoL assessment conducted in oncology wards and palliative settings.

Method: The study was completed in 2007 in two major public hospitals in Adelaide, South Australia. Ten nurses were selected from different inpatient and outpatient oncology services and a palliative setting to take part in semi-structured interviews. The study was a ‘grounded theory approach’ in which some aspects of the grounded theory were used to gain a fundamental understanding and broad description of the experience of QoL assessment as conducted by nurses.

Results: After the data collection and analysis six main themes were identified. Four of the themes are presented as: a) Cues-based QoL

assessment, and b) Purpose-based QoL assessment, c) Facilitators of QoL assessment, and d) Barriers of QoL assessment.

Conclusions: Findings of the research study generally supported the notion that nurses mainly pick up on patients’ cues as a way GDC-0068 clinical trial for QoL assessment when they communicate with patients in the clinical area rather than using QoL tools. Also, nurses are, at times, uncertain if they are doing a QoL assessment and if their assessment of patients’ QoL is correct or not. Therefore, this supports a need for nurses to develop a more holistic relationship and stronger rapport with patients which underpins the assessment of cancer patients’ QoL through various cues. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“We demonstrated that exogenous application of 200 mu M salicylic acid through root feeding and foliar spray could induce resistance against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol) in tomato. Endogenous accumulation of free salicylic acid in tomato roots was detected by HPLC and identification was confirmed by LC-MS/MS analysis.

Furthermore, for most events, cumulative costs remain substantial

Furthermore, for most events, cumulative costs remain substantially higher among cases than among controls over the remaining lifetime of the patients.

Conclusions: This study provides updated estimates of medical care costs of cardiovascular events among a managed care population over various time horizons.

Results suggest that the economic burden of cardiovascular disease is substantial, both in the acute phase as well as over the longer term.”
“Polystyrene microcapsules with paraffin wax as the active agent [phase-change material (PCM)] were produced by a Shirasu porous glass emulsification technique and a subsequent suspension-like polymerization process. The suitability of the obtained microcapsules for textile applications was studied. The thermal properties, surface morphology, and structural MK5108 stability of AZD1208 chemical structure the PCM microcapsules were investigated with differential scanning calorimetry,

thermogravimetric analysis, and environmental scanning electron microscopy. The microcapsules could be used without any appreciable damage or irreversible changes in their integrity until 135 degrees C. Furthermore, these microcapsules were heat-resistant and could endure the curing conditions of textile coating up to 140 degrees C for 30 min. In addition, the stability of the microcapsules under common laundering conditions was tested. It was confirmed that the microcapsules were durable enough and maintained their stability during stirring in hot water and alkaline solutions. (C)

2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 120: 291-297, 2011″
“The aim of this paper was to evaluate the penetration enhancement properties of nanoparticles (NP) based on N-trimethyl chitosan (TMC 35% quaternization degree) loaded with insulin. The permeation performances of TMC NP were compared with those of chitosan (CS) NP and also with TMC and CS solutions. To estimate the mechanism of penetration Hippo pathway inhibitor enhancement, two different approaches have been taken into account: an in vitro study (Caco-2 cells) and an ex vivo study (excised rat duodenum, jejunum, and ileum). Insulin-loaded CS and TMC NP had dimensions of about 250 nm and had high yield and high encapsulation efficiency. The in vitro study evidenced that TMC and CS were able to enhance insulin permeation to the same extent. Penetration enhancement properties of TMC NP seem to be prevalently related to endocytosis while the widening of tight junctions appeared more important as mechanism in the case of CS NP. The ex vivo study put in evidence the role of mucus layer and of its microclimate pH. In duodenum (pH 5-5.5), CS and TMC solutions were more effective than NP while TMC NP were more efficient towards jejunum tissue (pH 6-6.5) for their high mucoadhesive potential.

These symptoms can be observed at any stage of the disease, may f

These symptoms can be observed at any stage of the disease, may fluctuate over its course, are a leading cause of stress and overload for caregivers, and increase rates of hospitalization and early institutionalization for patients with dementia. The clinician should be able to promptly recognize NPI through the use of instruments capable of measuring their frequency and severity to GSK2879552 ic50 support diagnosis, and to help monitor the treatment of behavioral symptoms. The aims of this review are to describe and update the construct ‘MBI’ and to revise the reported NPS related to prodromal

stages of dementia (MCI and MBI) and dementia stages of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.”
“This study examined the optimal conditions of neutral beam generation to maintain a high degree of neutralization

and focusing during beam energy variation Prexasertib for a neutral beam source based on inductively coupled plasma with a three-grid ion beam acceleration system. The neutral beam energy distribution was estimated by measuring the energy profiles of ions that “”survived”" the neutralization after reflection. The energy measurements of the primary and reflected ions showed narrow distribution functions, each with only one peak. At higher beam energies, both the ratio of the ion energy loss to the primary energy and the degree of energy divergence

decreased, confirming the precise alignment of the neutral beam. The neutralization efficiency of the neutral beam source with a three-grid acceleration system was found to be affected mainly by the beam angle divergence rather than by the particle translation energy. (C) 2009 American Institute of Physics.”
“Primary thyroid lymphomas (PTL) are very rare tumors, typically presentingas a rapidly enlarging, painless thyroid mass, which may cause pressure symptoms of the aerodigestive tract. Preoperative diagnosis can be established by using modern imaging methods (mainly ultrasonography) and FNA with immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Tariquidar Open (surgical) biopsy may be indicated to confirm the diagnosis and identify the subtype of PTL. Therapeutic strategies are distinct from other thyroid malignancies, and include local therapy alone (surgery or radiotherapy or surgery plus radiotherapy) or – most commonly – combined multimodality treatment (mainly chemoradiation therapy). Management should be tailored to the individual patient; treatment-related morbidity should be taken into account. A high index of suspicion from the part of the clinician is required to achieve early diagnosis and prompt treatment of this potentially curable thyroid malignancy. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ten healthy males were subcutaneously injected into the left and

Ten healthy males were subcutaneously injected into the left and right forearms with a randomized pair of the following treatments: (i) bupivacaine (5 mg); (ii) neosaxitoxin (10 mu g); (iii) neosaxitoxin

(10 mu g) plus bupivacaine (5 mg), and (iv) neosaxitoxin (10 mu g) plus epinephrine (1:100.000), but all participant received all four formulations (in 2 ml; s.c.), with 1 month elapsing between the two round of experiments. A validated sensory and pain paradigm was used for evaluating the effect of the treatment 0-72 h after the injections, measuring sensory, pain, and mechanical touch perception threshold. The duration of the effect produced by combined treatments was longer than that by the single drugs. In conclusion, bupivacaine and epinephrine potentiate the local anesthetic LY3023414 effect of neosaxitoxin in humans when co-injected subcutaneously. The present results support the idea that neosaxitoxin is a new long-acting local pain blocker, with highly potential clinical use.”
“Objective-To determine the outcome in dogs undergoing urethral stent placement for management of urethral obstruction secondary to transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).

Design-Retrospective case series.


dogs with histopathologically confirmed TCC.

Procedures-Information regarding urethral stent placement and follow-up treatment was obtained from review of medical records. Quality of life assessment was performed with an owner,Hydrochloride-Salt.html questionnaire.

Results-Self-expanding nitinol stents were successfully placed in 17 of 19 dogs; stent placement was not possible in one dog, and another dog was euthanatized 2 days after stent placement, but before discharge from the hospital. Median survival time

in 17 dogs following successful long-term stent placement was 78 days (range, 2 to 366 days). Complications following stent placement in 18 dogs included see more incontinence (n = 7), reobstruction from continued growth of urethral TCC (3), acute reobstruction shortly after the procedure (1), and stent migration (2). Of the 17 owners surveyed, 16 were satisfied with the outcome and would recommend urethral stent placement.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-The placement of self-expanding nitinol urethral stents was successful in alleviating TCC-induced urethral obstruction and providing good quality of life for most dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2012;241:1627-1632)”
“Soy protein isolate (SPI) was incubated with microbial transglutaminase (MITGase) enzyme for 5 (SPI/MTG(5)) or 24 (SPI/MTC(24)) h at 40 degrees C and the cross-linked SPI obtained was freeze-dried, and heated with 2% (w/v) ribose (R) for 2 h at 95 degrees C to produce combined-treated gels. Longer incubation period resulted in more compact and less swollen SPI particle shape when reconstituted with sugar solution. Thus, this MTGase treatment affected samples in terms of flow behaviour and gelling capacity.

Digestibility and total volatile fatty acids were lower in bacter

Digestibility and total volatile fatty acids were lower in bacterial-fungal co-culture with both high and low roughage diets. Methanogens decreased in bacterial-fungal co-culture with high roughage. With high roughage, counts were lower for bacteria with bacterial-protozoal, protozoa with fungal-protozoal, and fungi with the bacterial-fungal co-cultures. Total gas was higher in bacterial mono-culture with low roughage, but methane was not detected in any mono-culture. Digestibility

SB202190 and total volatile fatty acids were significantly lowered with protozoal mono-culture. Methanogens reduced significantly in mono-cultures with high roughage diet than control 1. Defaunation reduced methanogens without significantly affecting rumen fermentation. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“BACKGROUND: Ventricular assist devices (VAD) are associated with the formation of antibodies to anti-human leukocyte antigens (HLA) or sensitization. The incidence and effects of VAD-associated anti-HLA sensitization have not been well studied in the pediatric population.

METHODS: A retrospective review of all patients undergoing VAD implant at our institution from 1998 to 2008 was performed. Panel reactive antibody (PRA) results before VAD implant, after VAD implant, and after orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) were recorded.

Patients who became sensitized (PRA for class I and/or II immunoglobulin G antibodies >= 10%) on VAD support were compared with non-sensitized patients with regard to demographics, diagnosis, device type, check details and blood product exposure on VAD support

outcomes after OHT were also compared between groups.

RESULTS: VAD support was initiated in 20 patients (median age, 14.4 years), with 75% survival to OHT or recovery. PRA data before and after VAD implant were available for 17 patients. VAD-associated sensitization developed in 35% of recipients. There were no differences between those sensitized in association with VAD support and non-sensitized patients with regard to age, gender, diagnosis, device type, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use, or blood product exposure on VAD support. Black race predicted sensitization on VAD (p = 0.02). There were no differences in survival GSK126 molecular weight or rejection between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: VAD therapy was associated with the development of anti-HLA sensitization in 35% of recipients. Black race predicted sensitization, but there were no differences in overall survival or outcomes after OHT. J Heart Lung Transplant 2010;29:109-116 (C) 2010 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. All rights reserved.”
“The present study deals with the analysis of elastic strains and stresses in high-quality heteroepitaxial Mo/Ni superlattices with periods Lambda lying in the range 4.8-27.6 nm.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive search of PubMed, EMBASE, a

Methods: We performed a comprehensive search of PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. Studies were included if they investigated the association of BMI with AF recurrence and QoL after ablation.

Results: Of the 151 articles identified, 12 studies that enrolled 3286 individuals met the inclusion criteria. Overall, compared with normal-BMI patients, AF recurrence occured more frequently in high-BMI patients

after ablation (odds ratio: 1.32, 95% confidence interval: 1.17-1.5, P < 0.001). However, the pooled esimate of odds ratio adjusted for multiple confounders did not reach significance. JQ-EZ-05 mw The summary weighted mean difference of BMI between patients with and without recurrence was 0.43 (95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.81, P = 0.027). In addition, QoL scores were significantly lower in high-BMI than in normal-BMI patients before the ablative procedure, whereas the gap of QoL between normal-BMI and high-BMI groups was decreased at follow-up.

Conclusions: Results of this meta-analysis suggest 2 points, namely that the tight association between overweight/obesity

selleckchem and AF recurrence after ablation may be partly due to other concomitant conditions, and that impaired QoL in high-BMI groups is significantly improved after ablation.”
“Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate synovial membrane (SM) inflammation and joint effusion scores by semiquantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessment with and without enhanced sequences. Gold standards used for comparison were microscopic examination of SM biopsies for SM inflammation and joint volume measurement (JVM) after arthrocentesis for effusion.

Methods: Patients (n = 30) fulfilling ACR criteria for

knee osteoarthritis (OA) and requiring joint lavage, were evaluated with MRI: (1) SM inflammation was assessed by Whole-Organ Magnetic Resonance Imaging Score (WORMS) on T2 weighted sequences (T2w) a composite score assessing together synovitis and effusion, and the MRI-synovitis score (based on synovitis thickening in five regions of interest) on a T1-weighted fat sat sequence after contrast agent injection (T1wCE). (2) Joint click here effusion was evaluated by MRI-effusion score (T1wCE) and the WORMS (T2w). JVM was measured after arthrocentesis, and microscopic SM inflammation was determined in SM samples (n = 86). Correlations between MRI scores and clinical, biologic and histologic parameters were studied.

Results: Both scores for effusion were well correlated [r = 0.82 (0.65-0.91); P < 0.001] and presented excellent intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for intra- and inter-observer reproducibility. MRI scores for effusion were well correlated with JVM (r = 0.60 for WORMS and r = 0.59 for MRI-effusion score). Synovitis scores were highly reproducible but moderately correlated (r = 0.63; P < 0.001).

The association between trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, other

The association between trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, other

FDA C and D anti-infectives (fluconazole, clarithromycin, doxycycline, and tetracycline), and non anti-infective FDA C, D, and X drugs used during pregnancy with preterm birth and low birth weight was evaluated using multiple logistic regression, with adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as association measures.

Results: A total of 17 939 women were included in the final analysis. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was associated learn more with significantly increased risks for preterm birth (aOR 1.51, 95% CI 1.10, 2.08) and low birth weight (aOR 1.67, 95% CI 1.14, 2.46). Exposure to non anti-infective FDA category C, D and X drugs was also associated with increased risks for preterm birth (aOR 1.17, 95% CI 1.09, 1.31) and low birth weight (aOR 1.14, 95% CI 0.92, 1.42), but to a lesser degree. Other FDA Anlotinib Protein Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor C and D anti-infectives were not (statistically) significantly associated with increased risks for preterm birth (aOR 0.93,

95% CI 0.49, 1.77) or low birth weight (aOR 0.65, 95% CI 0.27, 1.60).

Conclusions: Among FDA C, D and X drugs, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, a folic acid antagonist, has the strongest association with preterm birth and low birth weight. (C) 2011 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“The effect of chitosan as internal or external coating on the mesalamine (5-ASA) release from calcium alginate microparticles (CaAl) was studied, and a delayed release of 5-ASA system intended for colonic drug delivery was developed. The external chitosan coating was developed by immersion of wetted CaAl in chitosan solution and the internal coating by mixing 5-ASA with chitosan solution and drying before the preparation of CaAl. Both systems were coated with Acryl-EZE (R) using combined fluid bed coating and immersion procedure. The results showed that in phosphate medium (pH 7.5), chitosan as 5-ASA coating promotes a quick

erosion process accelerating drug release, but chitosan as external coating (CaAlCS) does not increase the T(50) value check details compared with the microparticles without chitosan (CaAl). Chitosan as internal or external coating was not effective to avoid the quick 5-ASA release in acidic medium (pH 1.2). The presence of beta-glucosidase enzymes increases significantly the 5-ASA release for CaAl, while no effect was observed with chitosan as internal or external coating. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and X-ray data revealed that 5-ASA did not form a solid solution but was dispersed in the microparticles. The Acryl-EZE (R) coating of microparticles was effective because all the formulations showed a low release, less than 15%, of 5-ASA in acid medium at pH 1.2.

For these types of elastomers, the effect of time is similar to t

For these types of elastomers, the effect of time is similar to temperature and time-temperature superposition principle can be employed for studying the thermal degradation mechanism of elastomer containing butadiene units. (C) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 113: 3896-3900, 2009″
“The aim of this study was to formulate and evaluate in vitro, ceftriaxone sodium lipospheres dispersions for oral administration. Ceftriaxone sodium lipospheres were prepared by melt-emulsification using 30%w/w Phospholipon (R) 90H in Softisan (R) 154 as the lipid matrix containing increasing quantities of PEG 4000 (10, 20, 30, and 40%w/w). Characterization based CDK inhibitor on particle size, particle morphology, encapsulation

efficiency, loading capacity and pH were carried out on the lipospheres. Microbiological studies of the ceftriaxone sodium-loaded lipospheres were performed using Escherichia coli as the model organism. In vitro permeation of ceftriaxone sodium from the lipospheres through artificial membrane (0.22 mu m pore size) was carried out using Franz cell and simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) without pancreatin as acceptor medium. Photomicrographs revealed spherical particles within a micrometer range with minimal growth after I month P005091 order (Maximum size=64.76 +/- 3.81 mu m). Microbiological studies

indicated that lipospheres formulated with 20%w/w of PEG 4000 containing 2%w/w or 3%w/w of ceftriaxone sodium gave significantly (P<0.05) higher inhibition zone diameter than those with 30%w/w or 40%w/w of PEG 4000. The result also indicated that lipospheres with 10%w/w PEG 4000 resulted in significantly higher encapsulation efficiency (p<0.05) while those with 30%w/w gave the least, while the loading capacity values ranged from 3.22 mg of ceftriaxone sodium/100 mg of lipid to 6.36 mg of ceftriaxone sodium/100 AZD2014 manufacturer mg of lipid. Permeation coefficient values varied and ranged from 8.55 x 10(-7) cm/s to 2.08 x 10(-6) cm/s depending on the concentration of PEG 4000. The result of this study gave insight that the issue of ceftriaxone stability in

oral formulation could be adequately addressed by tactical engineering of lipid drug delivery systems such as lipospheres.”
“Background: Peri prosthetic ankle joint infection is a feared complication of total ankle arthroplasty because the implant fails in the majority of cases. However, risk factors for developing these infections are unknown.

Methods: We aimed to determine risk factors for infection in a matched case-control study that included twenty-six patients with periprosthetic ankle joint infection and two control groups, each consisting of fifty-two patients.

Results: The prevalence of periprosthetic ankle joint infection within our cohort was 4.7%. Four infections (15%) had a hematogenous origin and twenty-two (85%), an exogenous origin. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common pathogen, followed by coagulase-negative staphylococci.

There was no interaction of nicotine dependence scores and messag

There was no interaction of nicotine dependence scores and message condition on the likelihood of achieving 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence at the 3-month follow-up contact. Among continuing smokers at the 3-month follow-up, smokers who reported higher nicotine dependence scores were more likely to report smoking more cigarettes per day and this effect was greater in response to standard-care messages than gain-framed messages. Smokers with higher dependence scores who received standard-care messages also were less likely to report use Selleck MS 275 of nicotine medications compared with less dependent smokers, while there was no difference in those who

received gain-framed messages. These findings lend support to prior research demonstrating nicotine dependence heterogeneity in response to message framing interventions and suggest that gain-framed messages may result in less variable smoking outcomes than standard-care messages. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“A living organism

must not only organize itself from within; it must also maintain its organization in the face of changes in its environment and degradation of its components. We show here that a simple (M,R)-system consisting of three interlocking catalytic cycles, with every catalyst produced by the system itself, can both establish a non-trivial steady state and maintain this despite continuous loss of the catalysts by irreversible degradation. As long as at least one catalyst is present Napabucasin at a sufficient concentration in the initial state, the others can be produced and maintained. The system shows

bistability, because if the amount of catalyst in the initial state is insufficient to reach the non-trivial steady state the system collapses to a trivial steady state in which all fluxes are zero. It is also robust, because if one catalyst is catastrophically lost when the system is in steady state FK228 research buy it can recreate the same state. There are three elementary flux modes, but none of them is an enzyme-maintaining mode, the entire network being necessary to maintain the two catalysts.”
“A series of intercrosslinked networks formed by diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A epoxy resin (DGEBA) and novel bismaleimide containing phthalide cardo structure (BMIPP), with 4,40-diamino diphenyl sulfone (DDS) as hardener, have been investigated in detail. The curing behavior, thermal, mechanical and physical properties and compatibility of the blends were characterized using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), notched Izod impact test, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and water absorption test.