Creating Knowledge Conference – Healthy Independent Lives 2

Alex Knowles, Susan Campbell, Neil Cross, Prachi Stafford – Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
Periodontopathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis modulates stress granule formation and composition in oral epithelial cells

Periodontitis, an inflammatory disease affecting ~743 million people globally, is associated with the ‘keystone’ pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, which affects several cellular pathways in host cells. The resulting infection causes inflammation and exposes host cells to a variety of stresses. During stress, host’s cellular protein synthesis is halted, leading to stalled translation initiation complexes, which become aggregated into cytoplasmic foci as stress granules (SGs). This study investigates whether P. gingivalis modulates SGs in oral epithelial cells. Oral squamous carcinoma cells (H357) were challenged with P. gingivalis and exposed to exogenous stress. SG formation was visualised by immunofluorescence staining for SG-associated proteins. It was observed that P. gingivalis infection led to modulation in SG frequency and size in response to exogenous stress. Interestingly, the levels of stress-associated proteins varied, suggesting a change in SG composition. The observed modulation may also be strain-dependent as different P. gingivalis strains induced varying modulation phenotypes.


Oana Voloaca 1,2 , M.R. Clench 1,2 , L.M. Cole 1,2 , A.J. Managh 3 , C. Greenhalgh 3 , S. Haywood-Small – Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
Novel Diagnosis Technique for Identification of Asbestos Fibres in Mesothelioma Samples using LA-ICP-MS Imaging

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive cancer of the mesothelium strongly associated with occupational and environmental exposure to asbestos and other mineral fibres (MF). There is an urgent need to develop methods to clearly identify and quantify the MF within biological samples. The current project aim is to identify MF based on their metal content within MM in vitro models as well as patient derived tissue microarrays (TMAs) using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry imaging (LA-ICP-MSI). MM models were developed using immortalised cell lines (NCI-H28, MSTO-211H, Met-5A) cultured in both 2D monolayers and 3D spheroids. Cells were exposed to various MF including actinolite, crocidolite and chrysotile. LA-ICP-MS images were acquired using Thermo Scientific™ Element™ XR sector field ICP-MS Series instrumentation in standard measurement mode. Development of this technique would ultimately involve future integration into the clinical workflow, leading to early MM diagnosis and higher overall survival rates.


M Usman, Ruth Evans, R Saatchi, R Kingshott and H Elphick – Faculty of Science Technology and Arts, Department of Engineering and Mathematics
Non-Invasive Respiration Monitoring by Thermal Imaging to Detect Sleep Apnoea

Accurate airflow measurements are vital to diagnose apnoeas; respiratory pauses occurring during sleep that interrupt airflow to the lungs. Apnoea diagnosis usually requires an overnight polysomnography during which numerous vital signs are monitored, including respiratory rate and airflow. The current gold standard in respiration monitoring is a nasal pressure sensor which is placed inside the nostrils of the patient and through which the airflow is measured. Due to the contact nature of the sensor, it is often refused or removed during polysomnography, especially in the case of paediatric patients. We have found that around 50% of children refuse the use of nasal prongs due to its invasiveness, and of those that accepted it, 64% removed the sensor over the course of the polysomnography. We evaluate a non-contact method to monitor respiration by developing infrared thermal imaging, whereby temperature fluctuations associated with respiration are measured and correlated with airflow.

We are currently evaluating the method on a sample of 30 paediatric patients that have been recorded using thermal imaging during an overnight polysomnography. In each case, we simultaneously recorded other relevant signals including electrocardiogram, electroencephalogram, electrooculography, blood oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry, SpO2) and respiratory inductance plethysmography. Nasal pressure and thermistor measurements were also recorded for the patients that accepted these sensors for direct comparison with the results of thermal imaging. A pilot study conducted on 11 health adults showed promising results, with apnoea events being well correlated between the thermal imaging and nasal pressure sensor methods in >70% of cases.