Posts tagged with "injuries"

Myotubes illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bio-inspired Muscle Growth

Bio-inspired scaffolds help promote muscle growth

Rice University bioengineers adapt extracellular matrix for electrospinning

Rice University bioengineers are fabricating and testing tunable electrospun scaffolds completely derived from decellularized skeletal muscle to promote the regeneration of injured skeletal muscle.

Their paper in Science Advances shows how natural extracellular matrix can be made to mimic native skeletal muscle and direct the alignment, growth and differentiation of myotubes, one of the building blocks of skeletal muscle. The bioactive scaffolds are made in the lab via electrospinning, a high-throughput process that can produce single micron-scale fibers.

The research could ease the burden of performing an estimated 4.5 million reconstructive surgeries per year to repair injuries suffered by civilians and military personnel.

Current methods of electrospinning decellularized muscle require a copolymer to aid in scaffold fabrication. The Rice process does not.

“The major innovation is the ability to prepare scaffolds that are 100% extracellular matrix,” said bioengineer and principal investigator Antonios Mikos of Rice’s Brown School of Engineering. “That’s very important because the matrix includes all the signaling motifs that are important for the formation of the particular tissue.”

The scaffolds leverage bioactive cues from decellularized muscle with the tunable material properties afforded through electrospinning to create a material rich with biochemical signals and highly specific topography. The material is designed to degrade as it is replaced by new muscle within the body.

Experiments revealed that cells proliferate best when the scaffolds are not saturated with a crosslinking agent, allowing them access to the biochemical cues within the scaffold matrix.

Electrospinning allowed the researchers to modulate crosslink density. They found that intermediate crosslinking led to better retention of fiber alignment during cell culture.

Most decellularized matrix for muscle regeneration comes from such thin membranes as skin or small intestine tissue. “But for muscle, because it’s thick and more complex, you have to cut it smaller than clinically relevant sizes and the original material properties are lost,” said Rice graduate student and lead author Mollie Smoak. “It doesn’t resemble the original material by the time you’re done.

“In our case, electrospinning was the key to make this material very tunable and have it resemble what it once was,” she said.

“It can generate fibers that are highly aligned, very similar to the architecture that one finds in skeletal muscle, and with all the biochemical cues needed to facilitate the creation of viable muscle tissue,” Mikos said.

Mikos said using natural materials rather than synthetic is important for another reason. “The presence of a synthetic material, and especially the degradation products, may have an adverse effect on the quality of tissue that is eventually formed,” he said.

“For eventual clinical application, we may use a skeletal muscle or matrix from an appropriate source because we’re able to very efficiently remove the DNA that may elicit an immune response,” Mikos said. “We believe that may make it suitable to translate the technology for humans.”

Smoak said the electrospinning process can produce muscle scaffolds in any size, limited only by the machinery.

“We’re fortunate to collaborate with a number of surgeons, and they see promise in this material being used for craniofacial muscle applications in addition to sports- or trauma-induced injuries to large muscles,” she said. “These would include the animation muscles in your face that are very fine and have very precise architectures and allow for things like facial expressions and chewing.”

Co-authors of the paper are Rice graduate student Katie Hogan and Jane Grande-Allen, the Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering. Mikos is the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation supported the research. 

Read the abtract here.

This news release can be found here.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter.

DeMarcus Walker illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Justice for DeMarcus Walker

DeMarcus Walker. Say his name. Say his name along with the other victims of the hate crimes that fill our society. Just over a year ago, Demarcus was going about his Saturday morning shopping just like many others. On March 7, 2020, at approximately 10:25 in the morning, Walker was run down with a Chevy Impala and then brutally beaten with a baseball bat.

DeMarcus Walker suffered life-threatening injuries and, unfortunately, was not able to pull through. He passed away April 11, 2020, from tracheal narrowing and cerebral edema and hemorrhage due to complications from blunt injuries of the head, which was noted in his autopsy. His death was ruled a homicide.

Zai’quaria Walker, DeMarcus Walker’s daughter, stated to NBC News Anchor Tom Powell “When it’s your family it’s a different kind of pain.” She desperately asked “Why that day? What was going through your head to do that then and there?”

Houston Walker, DeMarcus Walker’s father, commented during a news conference “I feel like it was a hate crime. It had to be. The way I understand in the paper, he was walking around Walmart with a ski mask on looking for people to beat up. That’s how I feel about it.”

Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, states “Senseless violence has afflicted America throughout the weeks, and it seems that there is no end in sight. As a nation, we must unite and abandon this malevolent behavior. Once we recognize why the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities are under constant attack because they are intrinsically different, then we will begin to heal. At the end of the day, our legal system is not designed to protect them. In the case of DeMarcus Walker, justice must be served and the person who attempted to kill him must be held accountable according to the highest standards of the law. We can no longer allow malicious intent to pass unnoticed in our judicial system.”.

Police arrested 21-year-old Levi Arnold, who has recently pleaded guilty but mentally ill to charges of murder and resisting law enforcement for the cold-blooded crime he committed last year outside of the Apple Glen Walmart in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Arnold will be sentenced on April 16, 2021, and is facing 51 years in prison.

Explosion illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Nashville Christmas Bombing

By Hannah DiPilato

Christmas morning had a horrific start for Nashville, Tennessee when a bomb went off at 6 a.m. Friday morning. 

Planted in an RV that was parked on the street, the bomb left excessive damage for the city; over 40 buildings were impacted. The most bizarre part was the fifteen-minute evacuation warning that played before the bomb erupted. This gave the surrounding area time to evacuate in order to prevent death and injury.

The police are currently investigating the situation and believe it was a suicide bombing. Human remains have been recovered from the scene of the incident, but no fatalities have been confirmed yet. So far, three injuries have been recorded due to the blast, but all are in stable condition. 

A tip released to law enforcement about the vehicle involved in the bombing has led agents to Antioch, a town just southeast of Nashville, to search a home. According to FBI spokesman, Jason Pack, they are conducting “court-authorized activity,” but have not reported who resides in the home. Law enforcement has received 500 leads and tips that are now being investigated. 

Douglas Korneski, FBI special agent in charge of the Memphis Field Office, was unable to identify any potential suspects at a press conference held on Saturday afternoon. However, as of now, police have identified one person of interest. 

One possible motive of the attack could be the destruction of the nearby AT&T building which caused major problems for cell service in many southern states. Korneski said the FBI is, “looking at every possible motive that could be involved,” when asked about the AT&T building being a possible target.

Mayor John Cooper has enforced a curfew in the downtown area until Sunday as a preventative measure until investigators can learn more about what occurred. The downtown area, and heart of Nashville tourism, was shut down so investigators could comb through the remains from the explosion.

Many residents of the area reported hearing gunshots at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Christmas morning. The white RV responsible for the explosion was parked directly in front of 166 Second Ave. North, which is the AT&T transmission building. 

The eerie message projecting from the van said, “This vehicle will explode in 15 minutes,” according to Betsy Williams, a resident that lived nearby the scene. The message repeated for a minute and then proceeded to count down from 15 minutes. At approximately 6:30 a.m. the recording changed as the time inched closer to the threat of an eruption. “If you can hear this message, evacuate now,” the voice boomed, minutes from when the street was blown up. 

Six police officers that were on the scene immediately began evacuating homes after hearing the message. No officials suffered serious injuries, one officer was knocked over by the force of the blast and another officer suffered from hearing loss. 

The investigation for answers continues into Saturday night and law enforcement is working hard to keep Nashville safe in the coming days. Korneski said the investigation will take time because “the investigative team is turning over every stone.” 

Navigating Healthcare

Navigating our healthcare system can be challenging, especially when you are not feeling well.  One of the biggest questions that patients face is deciding whether their symptoms warrant a trip to a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, or the emergency room.

For most health problems, your primary care doctor—usually a family doctor, internist, or pediatrician—is often in the best person to provide the first line of advice for health concerns.  These primary care physicians are equipped to handle most chronic health problems and minor complaints. Examples of conditions that can be managed by your primary care physician include muscle strains/sprains, joint and back pain, coughs and cold symptoms, minor burns and injuries, headaches, and stomach and intestinal problems (as long as the patient can drink fluids normally).

Many primary care physicians are able to perform procedures like joint injections and drainage of abscesses, dress wounds, and provide referrals to the right specialist if needed.  Most primary care offices can order blood tests, and many can perform immediate rapid tests for pregnancy, urine infections, strep throat, and influenza. Some even offer x-rays on-site.  

An advantage to seeing a primary care physician is that your regular doctor usually knows you and your medical problems best and is able to provide follow-up for your medical conditions.  If you’re having a hard time finding a primary care physician, you can ask your friends or family for recommendations, check with your insurance company to see who is in network, or search for your area on this physician mapper.  

Urgent care clinics include walk-in clinics which may be associated with a retail pharmacy or hospital system. They are most often staffed with nurse practitioners and physician assistants which means that you are unlikely to see a physician. Examples of complaints that can be managed by an urgent care clinic include straightforward conditions like colds, influenza, minor sprains/strains, minor skin cuts, and minor burns (not to hands/feet/genitals/face). Urgent care facilities often have access to an x-ray machine and can diagnosis and splint (but not cast) a fracture.  They may also have access to some of the more common blood tests. An advantage of urgent care is that they are often open on weekends and after hours when your primary care physician may not be available.

The emergency department (ED) should be reserved for true emergencies. Examples of

complaints that should be seen in the ED include chest pain, shortness of breath, stroke symptoms such as difficulty speaking or weakness on one side of the body, fractures where there is bone outside of the skin, fainting, severe headache, and inability to keep down liquids. EDs are always open but can be the most expensive option when it is not a true emergency. When you go to the ED, you may see a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.  It’s important to be aware that not all EDs have physicians working on-site. When you or your loved one in sick, you should ask the credentials of the clinicians who are taking care of you and know that it is okay to ask to be seen by a physician.

Rebekah Bernard MD is a Family Physician and the president of Physicians for Patient Protection.

Examining Concussions In Youth Sports

A recent article by Time Magazine cited that children who have been diagnosed with depression are more likely to suffer a concussion while playing youth sports. This correlation flips a common belief that athletes of all ages are more likely to experience symptoms of depression during and after suffering the effects of a concussion.

The article is just the latest in a string of new discoveries regarding brain injuries in American sports. Researchers from across the nation are looking at different angles in order to keep American athletes safer in the future. Consider that Philly.com reported that between 1.1 million and 1.9 million children and teens are treated for concussions caused by organized sports.

These numbers don’t tell the whole story as one of the links between depression and concussions is the fact that students who have suffered from depression are more in tune with their bodies. They are more likely to document the injury and speak up about an issue.

Not reporting a concussion can come from a fear of missing a game, school or after work job. It can also come from simply not understanding what is happening to a person’s body.  Concussion awareness is just as important as the equipment being used in the prevention and proper medical care after a concussion.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation has determined that at least 1 in 5 sports-related concussions are the result of a head impact with the playing field surface. The turf is the common culprit in all sports.

It’s why GreenPlay is helping athletes at all levels become safer through synthetic turfgrass technology. Turfgrass is the term used to describe engineered natural turf on playing fields. Pristine turfgrass is proven to be the benchmark for safety and performance. Compared to synthetic turf, turfgrass has shown to produce exceptional results under impact tests to access head injuries.

Owner of GreenPlay, Domenic Carapella, explains the impact pristine Turfgrass is making for athletes across the country saying, “Turfgrass helps lessen the harsh blows to the head and body that often happen during sports activities at all levels. When it comes to what we can control, the playing surface should be just as important as the equipment being worn.”

According to Greenplay Organics:

  • It’s important to discuss the issue of concussions in American youth sports in order to help drive change for the children of our country.
  • Pristine Turfgrass is the benchmark for the safest, high-performance playing surface.
  • Turfgrass is firm to run on, provides ideal traction and is resilient under bodily and head impacts.

Trevor Lewis Out With Broken Foot

By Reid Urban

The injuries keep continuing to pile up for the Los Angeles Kings and today, they lost another player to a long-term injury.

Forward Trevor Lewis broke his foot in morning skate on Friday and is out on a week-to-week basis. This news comes on the heels of the team recalling goalie Cole Kehler to replace Peter Budaj, who is battling an illness. Kehler will back up Petersen tonight and perhaps the next few games.

Losing Lewis is a big blow for the Kings. Despite his lackluster offensive numbers on the season, he is a big key forward for them. He averages around 14 minutes a night and he is regularly on the penalty kill. His stats this season were also in the positive, despite him only having three points in 17 games. He is still very reliable and in tough situations, interim head coach Willie Desjardins has put him out there.

In his absence, newcomer Carl Hagelin will most likely pick up the penalty kill minutes. However, it’s still unclear who might get the increased opportunity up front, as Hagelin may not be the immediate answer beyond the penalty kill.

Hopefully, Lewis can recover and get back onto this team before any more damage can be done. However, his injury and the recent trade of Tanner Pearson may either be bad news or it could allow younger and more excited rookies to get into the lineup and produce.

PENCE AT OLYMPICS

Olympics, Two-Thirds of US to VP Pence: Not Appropriate to Stay Seated During Opening Ceremonies

Viewing of Games on Streaming Devices Makes a ‘Breakthrough’ Impact;
Americans Disapprove of  ‘Shut Up and Dribble by Wide Margin,’ also say Athletes should be Able to Comment on Social Issues;
Approval of Subsidies to U.S. Olympic Athletes by More than 2 to 1;
Absence of Matt Lauer and Bob Costas gauged; Ban on tackle football until freshman year in high school?

Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to remain seated as the combined North and South Korean teams entered the stadium during Olympic Opening Ceremonies received a harsh rebuke from the American public – by 3-to-1, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week,

A strong 66% said the gesture was not appropriate, with only 18% supporting the decision.  People in the 18-44 age bracket disapproved by 72%-14%, while older people, by 60% to 22% –  were somewhat more supportive — but still strongly opposed.

“It’s a departure from the reaction to most actions taken by the current administration during this era of polarization,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute.   “Eighteen percent is less than half of the usual approval found from polling on other administration actions.”

The poll was conducted this week with random calls to 775 adults on landlines and cellphones across the country, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.

Olympic Games: Streaming Garners ‘Breakthrough’ Numbers; General Interest Levels Gauged; Impact of Absence of Bob Costas and Matt Lauer; Subsidies for U.S. Olympic Athletes Favored

As for the Olympic Games themselves, 17% named “streaming” as the manner in which they mostly watched the Games, and while 54% named NBC’s primetime coverage, the 17% is significant for the communications industry as a breakthrough number.  (12% named “other TV networks” as their most preferred option).

“It’s eye-popping,” said Gentile.  “It marks yet another breakthrough in the so-called ‘cord-cutting’ era.  That little more than half of the audience primarily watches on NBC primetime would have been considered remarkable just four years ago. And as a sign of things to come, 44% of those 18-29 chose streaming, about the same as chose NBC prime time.”

Meanwhile, as far as general interest in the Winter Olympics,  only 9% say their interest in greater, while 18% say it is less than previously.  But among those 18-29, coveted by advertisers, interest was greater among 20%, with only single digits in older age groups (7% in the 30-44 category, 6% among 45-59 and 7% among 60+).

“This could be due to the X-Games influence and the increased snow-boarding coverage,” added Gentile.

66% said it didn’t matter whether they were viewing an event live or delayed.  And 66% also said that NBC has done a good job of generating interest in the Games.

This is the first Olympics in many years without Matt Lauer’s presence in the morning, and Bob Costas serving as host in prime time.  16% said the evening coverage was “not as good” without Costas, and 11% said morning coverage was “not as good” without Lauer.

Asked whether the US Olympic Committee should subsidize American athletes who cannot earn a living participating in sports like luge, cross-country skiing, and other sports, 59% said they should offer subsidies with only 22% saying no.

Athletes Voicing Opinions on Social Positions Supported; A Rebuff to Fox’s Ingraham.

The Poll asked whether professional athletes should use their fame to comment on social issues.  47% said yes, and 42% said no, with 11% having no opinion.  But asked about Fox News’ host Laura Ingraham’s comment that the players (notably LeBron James and Kevin Durant) should “shut up and dribble,” only 25% approved while 46% disapproved.  (30% had no opinion).  Among those who identified themselves as African-American, only 12% expressed approval of her comment, with 69% disapproving.

Ban on Tackle Football until Freshman Year in High School?

Finally, the Poll asked for opinions on the bill in the California State Legislature to ban organized tackle football until freshman year in high school in response to the danger of brain injury to younger players.  The bill received support from 46% (nationally), with 24% disapproval.  30% had no opinion or did not know.

This release can also be found here.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at here.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone February 19-21 among 775 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

The results:

1. Which ongoing sports event or season are you most interested in, the Winter Olympics, college basketball, the NBA, the NHL or the opening of baseball’s spring training camps?

1.     Winter Olympics               31%

2.     College basketball            10

3.     NBA                                   17

4.     NHL                                     6

5.     Spring training                   12

6.     Don’t know/No opinion    24

2.     Would you say your interest in the Winter Olympics currently taking place in South Korea is greater than, less than or about the same as interest in previous Olympics?

1.     Greater than                       9

2.     Less than                          18

3.     About the same                52

4.     Not interested at all        15

5.     Don’t know                         5

(If “Not interested at all” skip to question 7)

 

3.     Where have you watched more Olympic coverage, NBC’s prime time, daily coverage on other TV networks or streaming coverage on handheld devices?

1.     NBC Prime Time               54

2.     Other TV networks          12

3.     Streaming                          17

4.     Don’t know                        17

4.     Are you more likely to watch an Olympic event if it’s presented live or does it not matter if the presentation is delayed?

1.     Live                                   30

2.     Doesn’t matter                   66

3.     Don’t know/No opinion        5

5.     For many years Matt Lauer hosted NBC’s morning Olympic coverage and Bob Costas hosted the evening presentation.  Do you think the morning Olympic coverage on the Today show is as good without Matt Lauer, not as good or about the same?

1.     As good                             16

2.     Not as good                      11

3.     About the same                 32

4.     Don’t know/No opinion      42

6.     How about the evening coverage without Bob Costas, as good, not as good or about the same?

1.     As good                             12

2.     Not as good                      16

3.     About the same                 40

4.     Don’t know/No opinion      32

7.     Do you think NBC, the presenting network in the U.S., has done a good job of generating interest in the Games?

1.     Yes                                    66

2.     No                                     17

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      17

8.     Should the US Olympic Committee subsidize American athletes who cannot earn a living participating in their sports like luge, cross country skiing, etc.?

1.     Yes                                    59

2.     No                                     22

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      19

9.     Vice President Mike Pence attended the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony in South Korea and was seated in the VIP box with various foreign dignitaries and heads of state.  He remained seated when the combined North and South Korean team entered the arena during the parade of nations.  Do you think it was appropriate for him to remain seated while all others stood?

1.     Yes                                    18

2.     No                                     66

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      16

10.  Do you think professional athletes should use their fame as a platform to make comments about social issues?

1.     Yes                                    47

2.     No                                     42

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      11

11.  Two weeks ago the California State Legislature introduced a bill to ban organized tackle football until freshman year in high school in response to the danger of brain injury to younger players. Do you approve of this bill, disapprove or have no opinion?

1.     Approve                            46

2.     Disapprove                       24

3.     No opinion                         23

4.     Don’t know                          7

12.  Fox News host Laura Ingraham, in response to comments by LeBron James and Kevin Durant criticizing President Trump, said the players should “shut up and dribble”.  Do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove or have no opinion regarding Laura Ingraham’s statement?

1.     Strongly approve             16

2.     Somewhat approve            9

3.     Somewhat disapprove     11

4.     Strongly disapprove         35

5.     Don’t know/No Opinion    30

13.  How closely do you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?

1.     Very closely                      15

2.     Closely                               37

3.     Not closely                        30

4.     Not at all                           18

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been developing students in mind, heart and spirits since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hal’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Business.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, the University has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth in addition to an impressive 95-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have been awarded nearly 20 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors including a Rhodes Scholar. In the past five years, the University has invested more than $134 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a new School of Medicine as well as a new College of Communication and the Arts.

A founding member of the new Big East Conference, the Seton Hall Pirates field 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams. The University’s beautiful main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles from New York City – offering its students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The University’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark. For more information, visit www.shu.edu