Publications by authors named "Biao Zhang"

355 Publications

Occurrence and spatio-seasonal distribution of organophosphate tri- and di-esters in surface water from Dongting Lake and their potential biological risk.

Environ Pollut 2021 Mar 30;282:117031. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environment and Resources, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China; CAS Center for Excellence in Deep Earth Science, Guangzhou, 510640, China.

In this study, 24 surface water samples were collected from Dongting Lake, China, in the wet and dry seasons, then the concentrations, composition profiles and spatio-seasonal variations of nine organophosphate triesters (OPEs) and five organophosphate diesters (Di-OPs) were determined. Significantly higher total OPE concentrations (∑OPEs) were observed in the wet season (49.5-148 ng L) than in the dry season (5.00-45.7 ng L) suggesting higher input via tributaries discharge as well as wet deposition in the studied region. Whereas lower levels of TnBP and (triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) in wet season reflected their possible degradation under solar irradiation. Comparable levels of total Di-OPs (∑Di-OPs) were found in the wet season (3.41-13.9 ng L) and dry season (1.01-12.3 ng L). Tri(2-chloroethyl) phosphate and tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate were the main OPE components, while diphenyl phosphate, di-n-butyl phosphate and bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate were the main Di-OP components. High levels of OPEs and Di-OPs were found in Datong Lake suggesting possible local emissions potentially related to fishery activity in the land-locked lake. Samples at river mouths to the lake also have higher levels of target OPEs and Di-OPs, the results disclosed obvious discharges from tributaries in Hunan Province. Negligible non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks were determined based on the measured concentrations in source waters. A limited ecological risk aquatic organisms in the Dongting Lake was identified, with most risk from TPHP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117031DOI Listing
March 2021

Toyoncin-a novel leaderless bacteriocin produced by XIN-YC13 that specifically targets and .

Appl Environ Microbiol 2021 Apr 2. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

College of Life Sciences, Huaibei Normal University, Huaibei, Anhui Province 235000, China

Bacteriocins have attracted increasing interest because of their potential as natural preservatives. Recent studies showed that the group is a prominent producer of bacteriocins. Using a laboratory-based screening strategy, we identified a strain in the group, XIN-YC13, with antimicrobial activity against A novel, 70-amino acid-long leaderless bacteriocin, toyoncin, was purified from the culture supernatant of strain XIN-YC13 and its molecular mass was found to be 7817.1012 Da. Toyoncin shares no similarity with any other known bacteriocins, and its N-terminal amino acid is formylmethionine rather than methionine. Toyoncin shows good pH and heat stability and exhibits specific antimicrobial activity against two important food-borne pathogens, and Additionally, toyoncin exerts bactericidal activity and induces cell membrane damage. Toyoncin can also inhibit the outgrowth of spores. The preservation assays showed that toyoncin effectively suppressed or eradicated and in pasteurized skim milk. These results suggest that toyoncin can be used as a new bio-preservative against and in the food industry.We identified a novel leaderless bacteriocin, toyoncin, produced by XIN-YC13. Toyoncin shows good pH and heat stability; has specific antimicrobial activity against, and (two important food-borne pathogens), and destroys their cell membrane integrity. Toyoncin inhibited the outgrowth of spores and effectively inhibited or eliminated and in a milk model system. These results indicate the potential of toyoncin as a food preservative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00185-21DOI Listing
April 2021

Preparation of Thiazole-2-thiones through TBPB-Promoted Oxidative Cascade Cyclization of Enaminones with Elemental Sulfur.

Org Lett 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650500, P. R. China.

An unprecedented method for the construction of thiazole-2-thiones via an oxidative cascade cyclization strategy is described. The novel protocol involves the simultaneous formation of two C-S bonds and a C═S bond on the structure of enaminones in a single operation through a cascade of C(sp)-H/C(sp)-H bond sulfurations and C(sp)-H bond thiocarbonylation. This transformation allows for the efficient synthesis of thiazole-2-thiones with broad tolerance in moderate to excellent yields from simple enaminones with elemental sulfur.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c00751DOI Listing
March 2021

Crotonaldehyde exposure induces liver dysfunction and mitochondrial energy metabolism disorder in rats.

Toxicol Mech Methods 2021 Mar 22:1-33. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Shandong Academy of Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, Shandong First Medical University & Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan, Shandong Province, China.

Crotonaldehyde is a highly toxic pollutant, widely present in tobacco smoke and automobile exhaust. Exposure to crotonaldehyde can cause hepatotoxicity and induce liver tumors in rats; however, the underlying mechanism is unclear. Liver cells contain many mitochondria, which serve to maintain energy levels in the body. We hypothesized that the energy metabolism disorder caused by mitochondrial dysfunction is an important cause of liver injury in rats exposed to crotonaldehyde. To test this, we randomly divided 40 male Wistar rats into four groups, and provided crotonaldehyde at 0, 2.5, 4.5, and 8.5 mg/kg for 90 d by intragastric administration. The results showed that crotonaldehyde exposure caused damage to liver mitochondrial structure, reduced electron-transport chain activity and ATP levels, and interfered with mitochondrial DNA transcription. In response to increased crotonaldehyde exposure, rats exhibited increased reactive oxygen species levels, decreased superoxide dismutase and glutathione activity, and activation of the caspase-mediated apoptosis pathway, as well as elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, total bilirubin, and histopathological damage. Our findings, together with those of previous reports, should help elucidate the underlying mechanism of crotonaldehyde-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and energy metabolism disorder, and provide an important direction for the prevention and clinical intervention of liver diseases caused by crotonaldehyde and aldehydes with similar structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15376516.2021.1904073DOI Listing
March 2021

Large-scale functional network connectivity mediate the associations of gut microbiota with sleep quality and executive functions.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.

Network neuroscience has broadly conceptualized the functions of the brain as complex communication within and between large-scale neural networks. Nevertheless, whether and how the gut microbiota influence functional network connectivity that in turn impact human behaviors has yet to be determined. We collected fecal samples from 157 healthy young adults and used 16S sequencing to assess gut microbial diversity and enterotypes. Large-scale inter- and intranetwork functional connectivity was measured using a combination of resting-state functional MRI data and independent component analysis. Sleep quality and core executive functions were also evaluated. Then, we tested for potential associations between gut microbiota, functional network connectivity and behaviors. We found significant associations of gut microbial diversity with internetwork functional connectivity between the executive control, default mode and sensorimotor systems, and intranetwork connectivity of the executive control system. Moreover, some internetwork functional connectivity mediated the relations of microbial diversity with sleep quality, working memory, and attention. In addition, there was a significant effect of enterotypes on intranetwork connectivity of the executive control system, which could mediate the link between enterotypes and executive function. Our findings not only may expand existing biological knowledge of the gut microbiota-brain-behavior relationships from the perspective of large-scale functional network organization, but also may ultimately inform a translational conceptualization of how to improve sleep quality and executive functions through the regulation of gut microbiota.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25419DOI Listing
March 2021

COVID-19 immune features revealed by a large-scale single-cell transcriptome atlas.

Cell 2021 04 3;184(7):1895-1913.e19. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Biomedical Pioneering Innovation Center (BIOPIC), School of Life Sciences, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics (ICG), Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; Institute of Cancer Research, Shenzhen Bay Laboratory, Shenzhen 518132, China. Electronic address:

A dysfunctional immune response in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients is a recurrent theme impacting symptoms and mortality, yet a detailed understanding of pertinent immune cells is not complete. We applied single-cell RNA sequencing to 284 samples from 196 COVID-19 patients and controls and created a comprehensive immune landscape with 1.46 million cells. The large dataset enabled us to identify that different peripheral immune subtype changes are associated with distinct clinical features, including age, sex, severity, and disease stages of COVID-19. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA was found in diverse epithelial and immune cell types, accompanied by dramatic transcriptomic changes within virus-positive cells. Systemic upregulation of S100A8/A9, mainly by megakaryocytes and monocytes in the peripheral blood, may contribute to the cytokine storms frequently observed in severe patients. Our data provide a rich resource for understanding the pathogenesis of and developing effective therapeutic strategies for COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.01.053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857060PMC
April 2021

Rapid transport of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in multimedia environment from karst area.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 6;775:145698. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430078, China; Institute of Geological Survey, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China; Key Laboratory of Karst Dynamics, MNR & Guangxi, Institute of Karst Geology, CAGS, Guilin 541004, China; State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430078, China; Hubei Provincial Engineering Research Center of Systematic Water Pollution Control, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430078, China; Ecological Environment Monitoring Station, Ninth Division, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Tacheng, Xinjiang 834601, China. Electronic address:

Karst groundwater is crucial, but particularly vulnerable to contaminants. Anthropologically derived pollutants on the surface-environment in karst areas could easily and rapidly enter groundwater through highly developed transmissible structures and threaten water safety. To investigate such transport, we analyzed 24 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the multimedia environment from the Zigui karst area of China, where agriculture is the predominant human activity. OCPs were frequently detected with the total OCP concentrations ranged from 228 to 7970 pg/g, 300 to 32,200 pg/L, 318 to 2250 pg/L, 149 to 2760 pg/g, and 752 to 12,000 pg/g in the soil, spring water, river water, spring sediment, and river sediment, respectively. HCB and p,p'-DDT were the most dominant OCP species. Isomeric and metabolic ratios indicated fresh inputs of Lindane, technical DDT, and Aldrin, although they have been banned in China. The spatial distributions, correlation analysis, and regression analysis suggested rapid OCP transport from the soil to the spring water, and from the soil and spring water to river water. OCPs in the soil and springs explained 92.3% and 89.0% of those in the spring water and river water, respectively. The solid transport with the fast-moving water was predominant for OCPs in sediments. Highly dynamic water systems and rapid OCP transport in the intro- and inter-medium suggested by our results substantiate the groundwater's vulnerability in karst areas. More studies on levels and transport of organic contaminants in karst systems and policy for protecting the karst groundwater are urgently required to control contaminant sources and ensure groundwater sustainability, since the karst water resources may suffer a potentially bleak future consisted of the decreased groundwater quantity and low water quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145698DOI Listing
February 2021

Ultrastable FeCo Bifunctional Electrocatalyst on Se-Doped CNTs for Liquid and Flexible All-Solid-State Rechargeable Zn-Air Batteries.

Nano Lett 2021 Mar 18;21(5):2255-2264. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Frontiers Science Center for Flexible Electronics, Xi'an Institute of Flexible Electronics (IFE) and Xi'an Institute of Biomedical Materials and Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China.

The rechargeable Zn-air batteries as an environmentally friendly sustainable energy technology have been extensively studied. However, it is still a challenge to develop non-noble metal bifunctional catalysts with high oxygen reduction as well as oxygen evolution reaction (ORR and OER) activity and superior durability, which limit the large-scale application of rechargeable Zn-air batteries. Herein, we synthesized an ultrastable FeCo bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst on Se-doped CNTs (FeCo/Se-CNT) via a gravity guided chemical vapor deposition (CVD) strategy. The catalyst exhibits excellent ORR ( = 0.9 V) and OER (overpotential at 10 mA cm = 340 mV) properties simultaneously, surpassing commercial Pt/C and RuO/C catalysts. More importantly, the catalyst shows an unordinary stability, that is, is no obvious decrease after 30K cycles accelerated durability test for ORR and OER processes. The small potential gap (0.75 V) represents superior bifunctional ORR and OER activities of the FeCo/Se-CNT catalyst. The FeCo/Se-CNT catalyst possesses outstanding electrochemical performance for the rechargeable liquid and flexible all-solid-state Zn-air batteries, for example, a high open circuit voltage (OCV) and peak power density of 1.543 and 1.405 V and 173.4 and 37.5 mW cm, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00077DOI Listing
March 2021

P(NMe)-Mediated Reductive Intramolecular Annulation of Benzoylformates Tethered with a Trisubstituted Alkene Unit and Synthesis of 2,2-Disubstituted 2-Chromenes.

Org Lett 2021 Mar 17;23(5):1880-1885. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

The State Key Laboratory of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.

In this report, a P(NMe)-mediated reductive intramolecular annulation reaction has been developed with benzoyl formates bearing a trisubstituted alkene unit. It provides a facile synthesis of highly functionalized 2,2-disubstituted -chromenes with a broad substrate scope and high efficiency. Experimental results suggest this annulation reaction proceeds via a cascade of alkene isomerization/vinyl -quinone methide formation/6π-electrocyclization. As a key intermediate, the vinyl-substituted -quinone methide is presumably generated by a Kukhtin-Ramirez adduct initiated O → C vinyl migration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c00286DOI Listing
March 2021

CNOT4 suppresses non-small cell lung cancer progression and is required for effector cytolytic T lymphocytes cell responses to lung cancer cells.

Mol Immunol 2021 Apr 14;132:165-171. Epub 2021 Feb 14.

Institute of Thoracic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Shizi Street NO.188, Suzhou 215006, Jiangsu, China; Department of Thoracic Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Shizi Street NO.188, Suzhou 215006, Jiangsu, China. Electronic address:

The therapeutic options of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are limited, although a combination of targeted therapy and immunotherapy is promising. To explore novel targets for immunotherapy, we explored the role of Ccr4-Not transcription complex subunit 4 (CNOT4) in NSCLC. The expression of CNOT4 in tumor tissues was determined by immunohistochemistry staining and western blotting. The cell lines that stably express CNOT4 were established in H1299 and A549 cells. Direct cell counting, MTT assay, and colony formation were used to determine the ability of cell proliferation. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle were next analyzed by PI/Annexin V staining. Cell invasion and migration were examined by transwell assays. To further explore the function of CNOT4 in cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) mediated cytotoxicity, an in vitro co-culture system of CNOT4 overexpressing and control H1299 cells with CTLs was developed. CNOT4 was down-regulated in tumor tissues compared with paired normal tissues from patients with lung cancers. CNOT4 overexpression significantly inhibited tumor cell proliferation, colony formation, cell migration, and invasion, but promoted cell apoptosis. Furthermore, overexpression of CNOT4 enhanced cytotoxicity of CTLs to H1299. CNOT4 functions as a potential tumor suppressor of NSCLC via inhibiting tumor cell function and increasing the sensitivity to CTLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2020.12.020DOI Listing
April 2021

RPB5-mediating protein promotes the progression of non-small cell lung cancer by regulating the proliferation and invasion.

J Thorac Dis 2021 Jan;13(1):299-311

Department of Thoracic Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

Background: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between RNA polymerase II subunit 5 (RPB5)-mediating protein (RMP) and clinicopathological characteristics of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients by measuring the expression level of RMP in human NSCLC tissues and cell lines. At the same time, we studied the impact of RMP on the biological function of cancer, providing strong support for gene targeted therapy of NSCLC.

Methods: Real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot were used to determine the expression levels of messenger (m)RNA and protein in NSCLC cell lines and tissues. Cell counting kit 8 (CCK8) assay and flow cytometry were selected to detect cell proliferation, cycle and apoptosis. The wound healing assay was chosen to detect the migration and invasion ability of cells. The xenograft model was performed to study the function of RMP in vivo. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining showed the levels of RMP, Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3.

Results: First, mRNA and protein levels of RMP were relatively overexpressed in NSCLC cells. Compared with the corresponding normal tissues, the mRNA and protein levels of RMP were significantly higher in human NSCLC tissues. Concurrently, we found that the expression of RMP was related to the status of lymph nodes (LNs) in cancer tissues and T stage. Then, RMP overexpression promoted the proliferation of A549. At the same time, RMP provided A549 cells the ability to resist chemotherapy and radiotherapy; when A549 cells were treated with gefitinib and radiation, RMP reduced apoptosis. We also found that RMP can protect A549 from G2 block caused by radiation. Over-irradiated RMP-overexpressed A549 cells had lower Bcl2-associated X protein (Bax) levels and higher B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) levels. The migration and invasion ability of A549 cells was increased by RMP. Finally, RMP can promote tumor growth by increasing Bcl-2 levels and decreasing Bax and caspase-3 levels in the xenograft model.

Conclusions: There is potential for RMP to develop into a diagnostic and therapeutic target for NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-20-3461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867794PMC
January 2021

Single-cell transcriptomes of peripheral blood cells indicate and elucidate severity of COVID-19.

Sci China Life Sci 2021 Feb 4. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology and National Clinical Research Center for Blood Diseases, Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, 300020, China.

The blood and immune system of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infected patients are dysfunctional, and numerous studies have been conducted to resolve their characteristics and pathogenic mechanisms. Nevertheless, the variations of immune responses along with disease severity have not been comprehensively documented. Here, we profiled the single-cell transcriptomes of 96,313 peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) derived from 12 COVID-19 patients (including four moderate, four severe and four critical cases) and three healthy donors. We showed that proliferative CD8 effector T cells with declined immune functions and cytotoxicity accumulated in the critical stage. By contrast, the quantity of natural killer (NK) cells was significantly reduced, while they exhibited enhanced immune activities. Notably, a gradually attenuated responseto COVID-19 along with disease severity was observed in monocytes, in terms of cellular composition, transcriptional discrepancy and transcription factor regulatory network. Furthermore, we identified immune cell-type dependent cytokine signatures distinguishing the severity of COVID-19 patients. In addition, cell interactions between CD8 effector T/NK cells and monocytes mediated by inflammatory cytokines were enhanced in moderate and severe stages, but weakened in critical cases. Collectively, our work uncovers the cellular and molecular players underlying the disordered and heterogeneous immune responses associated with COVID-19 severity, which could provide valuable insights for the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11427-020-1880-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7872720PMC
February 2021

A Simple Dry Sectioning Method for Obtaining Whole-Seed-Sized Resin Section and Its Applications.

J Vis Exp 2021 01 23(167). Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology of Jiangsu Province/Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Yangzhou University; Co-Innovation Center for Modern Production Technology of Grain Crops of Jiangsu Province/Joint International Research Laboratory of Agriculture & Agri-Product Safety of the Ministry of Education, Yangzhou University;

The morphology, size and quantity of cells, starch granules and protein bodies in seed determine the weight and quality of seed. They are significantly different among different regions of seed. In order to view the morphologies of cells, starch granules and protein bodies clearly, and quantitatively analyze their morphology parameters accurately, the whole-seed-sized section is needed. Though the whole-seed-sized paraffin section can investigate the accumulation of storage materials in seeds, it is very difficult to quantitatively analyze the morphology parameters of cells and storage materials due to the low resolution of the thick section. The thin resin section has high resolution, but the routine resin sectioning method is not suitable to prepare the whole-seed-sized section of mature seeds with a large volume and high starch content. In this study, we present a simple dry sectioning method for preparing the whole-seed-sized resin section. The technique can prepare the cross and longitudinal whole-seed-sized sections of developing, mature, germinated, and cooked seeds embedded in LR White resin, even for large seeds with high starch content. The whole-seed-sized section can be stained with fluorescent brightener 28, iodine, and Coomassie brilliant blue R250 to specifically exhibit the morphology of cells, starch granules, and protein bodies clearly, respectively. The image obtained can also be analyzed quantitatively to show the morphology parameters of cells, starch granules, and protein bodies in different regions of seed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/61822DOI Listing
January 2021

3D printing of highly stretchable hydrogel with diverse UV curable polymers.

Sci Adv 2021 Jan 6;7(2). Epub 2021 Jan 6.

State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic System, Key Laboratory of Soft Machines and Smart Devices of Zhejiang Province, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China.

Hydrogel-polymer hybrids have been widely used for various applications such as biomedical devices and flexible electronics. However, the current technologies constrain the geometries of hydrogel-polymer hybrid to laminates consisting of hydrogel with silicone rubbers. This greatly limits functionality and performance of hydrogel-polymer-based devices and machines. Here, we report a simple yet versatile multimaterial 3D printing approach to fabricate complex hybrid 3D structures consisting of highly stretchable and high-water content acrylamide-PEGDA (AP) hydrogels covalently bonded with diverse UV curable polymers. The hybrid structures are printed on a self-built DLP-based multimaterial 3D printer. We realize covalent bonding between AP hydrogel and other polymers through incomplete polymerization of AP hydrogel initiated by the water-soluble photoinitiator TPO nanoparticles. We demonstrate a few applications taking advantage of this approach. The proposed approach paves a new way to realize multifunctional soft devices and machines by bonding hydrogel with other polymers in 3D forms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aba4261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787492PMC
January 2021

A high power density paper-based zinc-air battery with a hollow channel structure.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Feb;57(10):1258-1261

Key Laboratory of Low-grade Energy Utilization Technologies and Systems (Chongqing University), Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400030, China. and School of Energy and Power Engineering, Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400030, China.

In light of the surging research interest in disposable electronics, great demands have been imposed on compact power sources. Herein, a paper-based zinc-air battery that takes advantage of a hollow channel structure is reported. Unlike conventional paper-based metal-air batteries and fuel cells that tightly immobilize the electrode on the paper channel, a hollow channel layer containing potassium hydroxide solution electrolyte is sandwiched between the electrodes and paper channel layer. This novel zinc-air battery is capable of delivering a peak power density of 102 mW cm-2, surpassing state-of-the-art paper-based power sources. The superior power density originates from the boosted electrochemically active surface area of the cathode, which enhances the oxygen reduction reaction kinetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cc07687bDOI Listing
February 2021

A highly concentrated electrolyte for high-efficiency potassium metal batteries.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Feb;57(8):1034-1037

Advanced Materials Institute, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China.

We report a highly concentrated electrolyte consisting of 4 M potassium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (KFSI) in diethylene glycol dimethyl ether (DEGDME). This new electrolyte enables stable cycling of K metal anodes with a high CE (over 98% over 400 cycles), and excellent capacity retention (99.7% after 500 cycles) of K||potassium Prussian blue (KPB) batteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cc07266dDOI Listing
February 2021

Structural multi-colour invisible inks with submicron 4D printing of shape memory polymers.

Nat Commun 2021 Jan 4;12(1):112. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Engineering Product Development, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore, 487372, Singapore.

Four-dimensional (4D) printing of shape memory polymer (SMP) imparts time responsive properties to 3D structures. Here, we explore 4D printing of a SMP in the submicron length scale, extending its applications to nanophononics. We report a new SMP photoresist based on Vero Clear achieving print features at a resolution of ~300 nm half pitch using two-photon polymerization lithography (TPL). Prints consisting of grids with size-tunable multi-colours enabled the study of shape memory effects to achieve large visual shifts through nanoscale structure deformation. As the nanostructures are flattened, the colours and printed information become invisible. Remarkably, the shape memory effect recovers the original surface morphology of the nanostructures along with its structural colour within seconds of heating above its glass transition temperature. The high-resolution printing and excellent reversibility in both microtopography and optical properties promises a platform for temperature-sensitive labels, information hiding for anti-counterfeiting, and tunable photonic devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20300-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782480PMC
January 2021

Fitting Low-Resolution Protein Structures into Cryo-EM Density Maps by Multiobjective Optimization of Global and Local Correlations.

J Phys Chem B 2021 01 5;125(2):528-538. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Institute of Image Processing and Pattern Recognition, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Key Laboratory of System Control and Information Processing, Ministry of Education of China, Shanghai, China.

The rigid-body fitting of predicted structural models into cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) density maps is a necessary procedure for density map-guided protein structure determination and prediction. We proposed a novel multiobjective optimization protocol, MOFIT, which performs a rigid-body density-map fitting based on particle swarm optimization (PSO). MOFIT was tested on a large set of 292 nonhomologous single-domain proteins. Starting from structural models predicted by I-TASSER, MOFIT achieved an average coordinate root-mean-square deviation of 2.46 Å, which was 1.57, 2.79, and 3.95 Å lower than three leading single-objective function-based methods, where the differences were statistically significant with -values of 1.65 × 10, 6.36 × 10, and 6.44 × 10 calculated using two-tail Student's tests. Detailed analyses showed that the major advantages of MOFIT lie in the multiobjective protocol and the extensive PSO search simulations guided by the composite objective functions, which integrates complementary correlation coefficients from the global structure, local fragments, and individual residues with the cryo-EM density maps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.0c09903DOI Listing
January 2021

Integrative single-cell transcriptome analysis reveals a subpopulation of fibroblasts associated with favorable prognosis of liver cancer patients.

Transl Oncol 2021 Jan 6;14(1):100981. Epub 2020 Dec 6.

Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Lab, Institute of Health Service and Transfusion Medicine, Beijing 100850, China; South China Research Center for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, SCIB, Guangzhou 510005, China. Electronic address:

Single-cell transcriptome analysis has provided detailed insights into the ecosystem of liver cancer. However, the changes of the cellular and molecular components of liver tumors in comparison with normal livers have not been described at single-cell level. Here, we performed an integrative single-cell analysis of both normal livers and liver cancers. Principal component analysis was firstly performed to delineate the cell lineages in liver tissues. Differential gene expression within major cell types were then analyzed between tumor and normal samples, thus resolved the cell type-specific molecular alterations in liver cancer development. Moreover, a comparison between liver cancer derived versus normal liver derived cell components revealed that two subpopulations of fibroblasts were exclusively expanded in liver cancer tissues. By further defining subpopulation-specific gene signatures, characterizing their spatial distribution in tumor tissues and investigating their clinical significance, we found that the SPARCL1 positive fibroblasts, representing a group of tumor vessel associated fibroblasts, were related to reduced vascular invasion and prolonged survival of liver cancer patients. Through establishing an in-vitro endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition model, we verified the conversion of the fetal liver sinusoidal endothelial cells into the fibroblast-like cells, demonstrating a possible endothelial cell origination of the SPARCL1 positive fibroblasts. Our study provides new insights into the cell atlas alteration, especially the expanded fibroblasts in liver cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2020.100981DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7719961PMC
January 2021

Preparation of a Broad-Spectrum Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines (HAAs) Antibody and Its Application in Detection of Eight HAAs in Heat Processed Meat.

J Agric Food Chem 2020 Dec 16;68(52):15501-15508. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Food Science and Health, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.

Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) are potential human mutagens and carcinogens mainly generated in heat-treated meat. In this work, a broad-spectrum HAAs antibody was prepared and used to develop an indirect competitive ELISA (ic-ELISA) for simultaneous determination of eight HAAs, including 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-]quinoline (IQ), 2-amino-3,4-dimethylimidazo[4,5-] quinoline (MeIQ), 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-]quinoxaline (IQx), 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-]quinoxaline (MeIQx), 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-]quinoxaline (4,8-DiMeIQx), 2-amino-3,7,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-]quinoxaline (7,8-DiMeIQx), 2-amino-3,4,7,8-tetramethylimidazo[4,5-]quinoxaline (4,7,8-TriMeIQx), and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-]pyridine (PhIP) in grilled and fried meat samples. The limit of detection (LOD, calculated as IC) and 50% inhibition concentration (IC) of ic-ELISA were 5.29 μg/L and 99.08 μg/L, respectively. The detection results of this ic-ELISA were in good agreement with the detection results of UPLC-MS/MS in real samples, which indicated that this ic-ELISA can be applied to detect the total content of eight HAAs in heat processed meat. Use of a broad-spectrum antibody is an efficient strategy in developing immunoassay for simultaneous measuring food risk factors with similar structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c05480DOI Listing
December 2020

Occurrence, spatiotemporal distribution and potential ecological risks of antibiotics in Dongting Lake, China.

Environ Monit Assess 2020 Dec 2;192(12):804. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Resources Utilization, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China.

We investigated the occurrence and distribution of 18 antibiotics in surface water from Dongting Lake, as well as in influents and effluents from a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a swine farm. The total concentrations of target antibiotics in surface water ranged from limit of quantification to 3107 and 5.32-107 ng L in the dry season and wet season, respectively. Among these studied antibiotics, ciprofloxacin (CIP) and lomefloxacin were as the main components in the dry season, while CIP, oxytetracycline, and chlortetracycline were the main components in the wet season. The concentrations of target compounds exhibited obvious temporal-spatial variation characteristic in the studied region, suggesting their different emission sources related to pig breeding, aquaculture, and human activities, as well as possible degradation in the aquatic system. We estimated that the daily total input and output masses of antibiotics in the influent and effluent from the swine farm were 12.1 mg d pig and 7.49 μg d pig, while they were 103 μg d inhabitant and 22.9 μg d inhabitant in the WWTP. The risk assessment results indicated that CIP posed a moderate or high risk to algae in most locations in Dongting Lake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-020-08761-wDOI Listing
December 2020

Impact of Equal Channel Angular Pressing on Mechanical Behavior and Corrosion Resistance of Hot-Rolled Ti-2Fe-0.1B Alloy.

Materials (Basel) 2020 Nov 13;13(22). Epub 2020 Nov 13.

College of 2011, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China.

In the present study, the unique bimodal grain size distribution microstructure with the ultrafine substrate and embedded macro grains was fabricated by a traditional hot-rolling process in a novel low-cost Ti-2Fe-0.1B titanium alloy, which possesses a good combination of strength (around 663 MPa) and ductility (around 30%) without any post heat treatment. Meanwhile, the mechanical behavior and corrosion resistance of hot-rolled Ti-2Fe-0.1B alloy after equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) deformation were studied. Results indicated that the average grain size decreased to 0.24 μm after 4 passes ECAP deformation, which led to the enhancement of tensile strength to around 854 MPa and good ductility to around 15%. In addition, corrosion resistance was also improved after ECAP due to the rapid self-repairing and thicker passivation film. Our study revealed that the novel low-cost titanium alloy after hot-rolling and ECAP could be used instead of Ti-6Al-4V in some industrial applications due to similar mechanical behavior and better corrosion resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma13225117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7698177PMC
November 2020

The composition of antibiotic resistance genes is not affected by grazing but is determined by microorganisms in grassland soils.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 28;761:143205. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; CAS Canter for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address:

Grazing is expected to exert a substantial influence on antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in grassland ecosystems. However, the precise effects of grazing on the composition of ARGs in grassland soils remain unclear. This is especially the case for grassland soils subject to long-term grazing. Here, we investigated ARGs and bacterial community composition in soils subject to long-term historic grazing (13-39 years) and corresponding ungrazed samples. Using a combination of shotgun metagenomics, amplicon analyses and associated soil physicochemical data, we provide novel insights regarding the structure of ARGs in grassland soils. Interestingly, our analysis revealed that long-term historic grazing had no impacts on the composition of ARGs in grassland soils. An average of 378 ARGs, conferring resistance to 14 major categories of antibiotics (80%), were identified in both grazing and ungrazed sites. Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were the most prevalent predicted hosts in these soils and were also shown to harbour genetic capacity for multiple-resistant ARGs. Our results suggested that positive effects of bacterial community composition on ARGs could potentially be controlled by affecting MGEs. Soil properties had direct effects on the composition of ARGs through affecting the frequency of horizontal gene transfer among bacteria. Twelve novel ARGs were found in S. grandis steppe grasslands, indicating that different vegetation types might induce shifts in soil ARGs. Collectively, these findings suggest that soil properties, plants and microorganisms play critical roles in shaping ARG patterns in grasslands. Together, these data establish a solid baseline for understanding environmental antibiotic resistance in grasslands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143205DOI Listing
March 2021

Risk factors of liver injury in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 in Jiangsu, China: A retrospective, multi-center study.

J Med Virol 2020 Nov 11. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China.

We aimed to describe liver injury and identify the risk factors of liver injury in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients without chronic liver diseases (CLD). The clinical data of 228 confirmed COVID-19 patients without CLD were retrospectively collected from ten hospitals in Jiangsu, China. Sixty-seven (29.4%) of 228 patients without CLD showed abnormal liver function on admission, including increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (25 [11.0%]) U/L, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) 30 [13.2%]) U/L, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) 28 [12.4%]) U/L, total bilirubin (Tbil) 16 [7.0%] μmol/L, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) 10 [4.5%]) U/L. During hospitalization, 129 (56.3%) of 228 patients showed abnormal liver function, including elevated ALT (84 [36.8%]), AST (58 [25.4%]), GGT (67 [29.5%]), and Tbil (59 [25.9%]). Age over 50 years (odds ratio [OR], 2.086; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.030-4.225; p = .041), male sex (OR, 2.737; 95% CI, 1.418-5.284; p = .003), and lopinavir-ritonavir (OR, 2.504; 95% CI, 1.187-5.283; p = .016) were associated with higher risk of liver function abnormality, while the atomized inhalation of interferon α-2b (OR, 0.256; 95% CI 0.126-0.520; p < .001) was associated with reduced risk of liver function abnormality during hospitalization. Mild to moderate liver injury was common in COVID-19 patients in Jiangsu, China. Age over 50 years, male sex, and lopinavir-ritonavir were the independent risk factors of liver impairment in COVID-19 patients during hospitalization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.26663DOI Listing
November 2020

Exploring the structure evolution of MoS upon Li/Na/K ion insertion and the origin of the unusual stability in potassium ion batteries.

Nanoscale Horiz 2020 Nov;5(12):1618-1627

Department of Applied Physics, Research Institute for Smart Energy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, China. and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen 518063, China.

The recent revival of research on Na and K ion batteries has two benefits. It not only provides alternate energy storage technologies to Li ion batteries with potential cost advantages but also enhances our understanding of charge storage through systematic studies on alkali-metal ion batteries with increasing insertion ion sizes. Using MoS2 as a model material, the structure evolution upon the uptake of Li, Na, and K ions are compared through in situ TEM. Despite their larger size, insertion of K ions shows both the better electrochemical and structural stability. To understand this paradoxical and counter-intuitive phenomenon, in situ XRD is carried out to examine the phase transitions of MoS2 upon ion insertion, while ex situ TEM is further applied to closely examine the structures at the nanoscale. Complementary DFT calculations are performed to understand the kinetic/thermodynamic origins of the unusual stability. The result reveal that the less electrovalent K-S bond favors the intercalation process, resulting in preservation of the layered structure for stable cycling. This study provides a structural insight to design stable electrodes for the K-ion batteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0nh00517gDOI Listing
November 2020

Positive syphilis serology contributes to intracranial stenosis in ischemic stroke patients.

Brain Behav 2021 Jan 21;11(1):e01906. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Department of Neurology, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Cerebrovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Tianjin Huanhu Hospital, Tianjin, China.

Background And Purpose: The risk of ischemic stroke is increased among people living with syphilis infection; however, whether syphilis is an independently risk for stenosis is unclear. We investigated the clinical, laboratory, and vascular stenosis features of ischemic stroke patients living with positive syphilis serology to evaluate the role of syphilis in cerebral artery stenosis.

Methods: The demographic, clinical characteristics, and the distribution of cerebral artery stenosis were compared between 668 syphilis-positive and 785 syphilis-negative ischemic stroke patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the degree and distribution of stenosis associated with positive syphilis serology and estimate the factors related to artery stenosis in the syphilis-positive ischemic stroke patients.

Results: Syphilis-positive ischemic stroke patients were distinct from the nonsyphilis population, with a younger age, fewer women, and a different risk factor profile. Positive syphilis serology was independently associated with moderate stenosis (OR, 2.31; 95% CI 2.02-2.69; p = .003) and severe stenosis (OR, 6.15; 95% CI, 2.85-8.94; p < .001), mainly intracranial stenosis (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.15-1.92; p = .002) rather than extracranial stenosis. Among stroke patients with positive syphilis serology, the higher RPR titer (OR, 1.18, 95% CI, 1.07-1.89 for RPR titer 1:16; OR, 5.16, 95% CI 2.99-8.89 for RPR titer > 1:32) and previous unknown or untreated syphilis (OR, 3.63; 95% CI, 2.72-4.03; p < .001) were the factors related to stenosis.

Conclusions: Syphilis infection, especially when less well controlled, may play an important role in intracranial stenosis of ischemic stroke patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1906DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821556PMC
January 2021

The splicing regulatory factor hnRNPU is a novel transcriptional target of c-Myc in hepatocellular carcinoma.

FEBS Lett 2021 Jan 7;595(1):68-84. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Lab, Institute of Health Service and Transfusion Medicine, Beijing, China.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common liver cancer with high mortality. Here, we found that hnRNPU is overexpressed in HCC tissues and is correlated with the poor prognosis of HCC patients. Besides, hnRNPU is of high significance in regulating the proliferation, apoptosis, self-renewal, and tumorigenic potential of HCC cells. Mechanismly, c-Myc regulates hnRNPU expression at the transcriptional level, and meanwhile, hnRNPU stabilizes the mRNA of c-MYC. We found that the hnRNPU and c-Myc regulatory loop exerts a synergistic effect on the proliferation and self-renewal of HCC, and promotes the HCC progression. Taken together, hnRNPU functions as a novel transcriptional target of c-Myc and promotes HCC progression, which may become a promising target for the treatment of c-Myc-driven HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1873-3468.13943DOI Listing
January 2021

CNOT4 enhances the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in a model of non-small cell lung cancer.

FEBS Open Bio 2020 Dec 5;10(12):2631-2639. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Institute of Thoracic Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors that target programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) has been proposed for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, in clinical trials, cumulative response rates to anti-PD-1 treatment were approximately 20% in patients with NSCLC. CCR4-NOT transcription complex, subunit 4 (CNOT4) is a RING finger protein with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. We previously reported that CNOT4 may act as a tumor suppressor in NSCLC. Here, we examined whether CNOT4 can enhance the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in a model of NSCLC. The association of CNOT4 and overall survival was analyzed using datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Tumor models were established by subcutaneously implanting tumor cells line (A549 cell) into mice. CNOT4 was observed to be positively associated with relapse-free survival and overall survival in patients with NSCLC. CNOT4 overexpression suppressed tumor growth in vivo and enhanced the effect of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, which was accompanied by increased CD3 and CD8 T lymphocyte infiltration and higher interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α levels. In conclusion, CNOT4 may enhance the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy and may have potential as a prognostic marker for NSCLC, or as a combinational target with anti-PD-1 treatment for patients with NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.12998DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7714061PMC
December 2020

Precise discrimination of Luminal A breast cancer subtype using an aptamer in vitro and in vivo.

Nanoscale 2020 Oct 23;12(38):19689-19701. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, National Demonstration Center for Experimental Biomedical Engineering Education (Southeast University), School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, P. R. China.

Precise discrimination of breast cancer remains a challenge in clinical medicine, which depends on the development of novel specific molecular probes. However, the current technologies and antibodies cannot achieve precise discrimination of breast cancer subtypes very well. To address this problem, a novel truncated DNA aptamer MF3Ec was developed in this work. Aptamer MF3Ec exhibited high specificity and binding affinity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells with a K value of 18.95 ± 2.9 nM which is four times lower than that of the original aptamer, and could work at 4 °C, 25 °C and 37 °C with no obvious differences. Besides, aptamer MF3Ec displayed better stability in serum samples with a long existence time of about 12 h. Moreover, fluorescence imaging experiments indicated that aptamer MF3Ec was able to distinguish MCF-7 breast cancer cells from SK-BR-3, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-10A breast cancer cell subtypes, and differentiate the tumor-bearing mice and xenografted tissue sections of MCF-7 breast cancer cells from those of MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Finally, clinical experiments indicated that aptamer MF3Ec could distinguish Luminal A breast cancer subtype from Luminal B (HER2+), HER2-enriched, and triple-negative breast cancer subtypes, para-carcinoma tissues and normal breast tissues. Collectively, all these results suggest that aptamer MF3Ec is a promising probe for precise discrimination and targeted therapy of Luminal A breast cancer molecular subtype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0nr03324cDOI Listing
October 2020

Arthroscopic treatment of adult displaced tibial eminence fractures with anchor and pushlock fixation.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Sep;99(38):e21237

Arthroscopic techniques are considered the gold standard for treatment of displaced avulsion fractures of the anterior cruciate ligament. However, most arthroscopic surgical techniques and fixation methods are technically demanding and require removal of hard implant. This report describes a new, easy, safe, and all-arthroscopic method for reduction and fixation of displaced tibial intercondylar eminence fractures by using 1 anchor and 1 Pushlock.From January 2015 to June 2017, 8 adult patients with type II and III displaced tibial intercondylar eminence fractures were operated using this technique. Clinical assessment included patient demographics, cause of injury, delay before surgery, operation time, time to return to work and sport, International Knee Documentation Committee scores, and Lysholm knee scores.The average operation time was 48 minutes. The average follow-up period was 12.5 months. At the 6-month follow-up, all patients had acquired fracture union and complete functional recovery and were able to return to work. International Knee Documentation Committee objective scores and Lysholm knee scores were 92.4 (range 88-94) and 93.6 (range 90-96), respectively. At the last follow-up, anterior drawer, Lachman's test, and pivot shift tests were negative, and all patients had returned to their preinjury activity levels.Arthroscopic fixation by use of 1 anchor and 1 Pushlock is an easy, safe, and minimally invasive technique for treatment of displaced tibial intercondylar eminence fractures and does not require further surgery to remove fixation devices.Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000021237DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7505351PMC
September 2020