Publications by authors named "Chao Zheng"

518 Publications

Functional MXene-Based Materials for Next-Generation Rechargeable Batteries.

Adv Mater 2022 Aug 9:e2204988. Epub 2022 Aug 9.

Hefei National Research Center for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Materials for Energy Conversion, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China.

MXenes are seen as an exceptional candidate to reshape the future of energy with their viable surface chemistry, ultrathin 2D structure and excellent electronic conductivity. The extensive research efforts bring about rapid expansion of the MXene families with enriched functionalities, which significantly boost performance of the existing energy storage devices. In this review, we highlight the strategies that developed to functionalize the MXene-based materials, including tailoring their microstructure by ions/molecules/polymers-initiated interaction or self-assembly, surface/interface engineering with dopants or functional groups, constructing heterostructures from MXenes with various materials, and transforming them into a series of derivatives inherited the merits of the MXene precursors. Their applications in the emerging battery technologies are demonstrated and discussed. With the delicate functionalization and structural engineering, MXene-based electrode materials exhibit improved specific capacity and rate capability, and their presence further suppresses and even eliminates the dendrite formation on the metal anodes, which elongates the lifespan of the rechargeable batteries. Meanwhile, MXenes have served as additives for electrolytes, separators and current collectors. Finally, we propose some future directions worth of exploration to address the remaining challenging issues of MXene-based materials and achieve the next-generation high-power and low-cost rechargeable batteries. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202204988DOI Listing
August 2022

Energy-Transfer-Enabled Dearomative Cycloaddition Reactions of Indoles/Pyrroles via Excited-State Aromatics.

Acc Chem Res 2022 Aug 9. Epub 2022 Aug 9.

State Key Laboratory of Organometallic Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 345 Lingling Lu, Shanghai 200032, China.

ConspectusExploring the enormous chemical space through an expedient building-up of molecular diversity is an important goal of organic chemistry. The development of synthetic methods toward molecules with unprecedented structural motifs lays the foundation for wide applications ranging from pharmaceutical chemistry to materials science. In this regard, the dearomatization of arenes has been recognized as a unique strategy since it provides novel retrosynthetic disconnections for various spiro or fused polycyclic molecules with increased saturation and stereoisomerism. However, inherent thermodynamic challenges are associated with dearomatization processes. The disruption of the aromaticity of arene substrates usually requires large energy inputs, which makes harsh conditions necessary for many ground-state dearomatization reactions. Therefore, further expansion of the scope of dearomatization reactions remains a major problem not fully solved in organic chemistry.The past decade has witnessed tremendous progress on photocatalytic reactions under visible light. Particularly, reactions via an energy transfer mechanism have unlocked new opportunities for dearomatization reactions. Mediated by appropriately chosen photosensitizers, aromatic substrates can be excited. This kind of precise energy input might make feasible some dearomatization reactions that are otherwise unfavorable under thermal conditions because of the significant energy increases of the substrates. Nevertheless, the lifetimes of key intermediates in energy-transfer-enabled reactions, such as excited-state aromatics and downstream biradical species, are quite short. How to regulate the reactivities of these transient intermediates to achieve exclusive selectivity toward a certain reaction pathway among many possibilities is a crucial issue to be addressed.Since 2019, our group has reported a series of visible-light-induced dearomative cycloaddition reactions for indole and pyrrole derivatives. It was found that the aromatic units in substrates can be excited under the irradiation of visible light in the presence of a suitable photosensitizer. These excited aromatics readily undergo various [ + ] cycloaddition reactions with appropriately tethered unsaturated functionalities including alkenes, alkynes, -alkoxy oximes, (hetero)arenes, and vinylcyclopropanes. The reactions yield polycyclic indolines and pyrrolines with highly strained small- and/or medium-sized rings embedded, some of which possess unique bridge- or cagelike topologies. Systematic mechanistic studies confirmed the involvement of an energy transfer process. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations revealed the correlation between the substrate structure and the excitation efficiency, which accelerated the optimization of the reaction parameters. Meanwhile, DFT calculations demonstrated the competition between kinetically and thermodynamically controlled pathways for the open-shell singlet biradical intermediates, which allowed the complete switches from [2 + 2] cycloaddition to 1,5-hydrogen atom transfer in reactions with -alkoxy oximes and to [4 + 2] cycloaddition in reactions with naphthalene. Furthermore, molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations uncovered post-spin crossing dynamic effects, which determine the regioselectivity for the open-shell singlet biradical recombination step in the reactions of pyrrole-derived vinylcyclopropanes.An increasing number of scientists have joined in the research on visible-light-induced dearomative cycloaddition reactions and contributed to more elegant examples in this area. The visible-light-induced dearomatization reaction via energy transfer mechanism, although still in its infancy, has exhibited great potential in the synthesis of molecules that can hardly be accessed by other methods. We believe that future development will further push the boundary of organic chemistry and find applications in the synthesis of functional molecules and related disciplines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.2c00412DOI Listing
August 2022

American Sign Language Translation Using Wearable Inertial and Electromyography Sensors for Tracking Hand Movements and Facial Expressions.

Front Neurosci 2022 19;16:962141. Epub 2022 Jul 19.

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China.

A sign language translation system can break the communication barrier between hearing-impaired people and others. In this paper, a novel American sign language (ASL) translation method based on wearable sensors was proposed. We leveraged inertial sensors to capture signs and surface electromyography (EMG) sensors to detect facial expressions. We applied a convolutional neural network (CNN) to extract features from input signals. Then, long short-term memory (LSTM) and transformer models were exploited to achieve end-to-end translation from input signals to text sentences. We evaluated two models on 40 ASL sentences strictly following the rules of grammar. Word error rate (WER) and sentence error rate (SER) are utilized as the evaluation standard. The LSTM model can translate sentences in the testing dataset with a 7.74% WER and 9.17% SER. The transformer model performs much better by achieving a 4.22% WER and 4.72% SER. The encouraging results indicate that both models are suitable for sign language translation with high accuracy. With complete motion capture sensors and facial expression recognition methods, the sign language translation system has the potential to recognize more sentences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2022.962141DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9345758PMC
July 2022

Interpretable machine learning-derived nomogram model for early detection of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a widely targeted metabolomics study.

Nutr Diabetes 2022 Aug 5;12(1):36. Epub 2022 Aug 5.

Division of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health & Management, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Objective: Early identification of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is key to prioritizing therapy and preventing permanent blindness. This study aims to propose a machine learning model for DR early diagnosis using metabolomics and clinical indicators.

Methods: From 2017 to 2018, 950 participants were enrolled from two affiliated hospitals of Wenzhou Medical University and Anhui Medical University. A total of 69 matched blocks including healthy volunteers, type 2 diabetes, and DR patients were obtained from a propensity score matching-based metabolomics study. UPLC-ESI-MS/MS system was utilized for serum metabolic fingerprint data. CART decision trees (DT) were used to identify the potential biomarkers. Finally, the nomogram model was developed using the multivariable conditional logistic regression models. The calibration curve, Hosmer-Lemeshow test, receiver operating characteristic curve, and decision curve analysis were applied to evaluate the performance of this predictive model.

Results: The mean age of enrolled subjects was 56.7 years with a standard deviation of 9.2, and 61.4% were males. Based on the DT model, 2-pyrrolidone completely separated healthy controls from diabetic patients, and thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) might be a principal metabolite for DR detection. The developed nomogram model (including diabetes duration, systolic blood pressure and ThTP) shows an excellent quality of classification, with AUCs (95% CI) of 0.99 (0.97-1.00) and 0.99 (0.95-1.00) in training and testing sets, respectively. Furthermore, the predictive model also has a reasonable degree of calibration.

Conclusions: The nomogram presents an accurate and favorable prediction for DR detection. Further research with larger study populations is needed to confirm our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41387-022-00216-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9355962PMC
August 2022

Targeting clock-controlled gene Nrf2 ameliorates inflammation-induced intervertebral disc degeneration.

Arthritis Res Ther 2022 08 3;24(1):181. Epub 2022 Aug 3.

Institute of Orthopedic Surgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, People's Republic of China.

Background: Intervertebral disc (IVD) is a highly rhythmic tissue, which experiences a diurnal cycle of high/low mechanical loading via the changes of activity/rest phase. There are signs that disruption of the peripheral IVD clock is related to the process of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). However, it is still unclear whether inflammation could disturb the IVD clock and thus induce the process of IDD.

Methods And Results: In this study, we used IL-1β, a commonly used inflammatory factor, to induce IDD and found that the IVD clock was dampened in degenerated human nucleus pulposus specimens, rat nucleus pulposus (NP) tissues, and cells. In this study, we found that the circadian clock of NP cells was totally disrupted by knockdown of the core clock gene brain and muscle arnt-like protein-1 (Bmal1), which thus induced the dysfunction of NP cells. Next, we explored the mechanism of dampened clock-induced IDD and found that knockdown of Bmal1 decreased the expression of nuclear factor erythroid2-related factor 2 (NRF2), a downstream target gene of Bmal1, and increased inflammatory response, oxidative stress reaction, and apoptosis of NP cells. In addition, NRF2 activation attenuated the dysfunction of NP cells induced by the dampened IVD clock and the degenerative process of NP tissues in an organotypic tissue-explant model.

Conclusions: Taken together, our study extends the relationship between peripheral clock and IVD homeostasis and provides a potential therapeutic method for the prevention and recovery of IDD by targeting the clock-controlled gene Nrf2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-022-02876-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9347076PMC
August 2022

Study on Forming Law and Penetration of a Spherical Cone Composite Structure Liner Based on the Explosion Pressure-Coupling Constraint Principle.

Materials (Basel) 2022 Jul 7;15(14). Epub 2022 Jul 7.

First Research Institute, Ningbo Branch of China Academy of Ordnance Sciences, Ningbo 315103, China.

The liner is an important part of shaped charge. In this paper, the spherical cone composite structure liner composed of a spherical missing body and truncated cone (hereinafter referred to as the SCS liner) is studied. The SCS liner is made of copper. Based on this, a shaped charge structure based on the explosion pressure-coupling constraint principle is designed, filling an 8701 explosive (RDX-based explosive). Through pulse X-ray tests, numerical simulation, and static explosion tests, the significance of the detonation pressure-coupling constraint principle, as well as the forming law and penetration efficiency of the SCS liner are studied. The results show that in the pulsed X-ray test, a split jet with high velocity is formed in the SCS liner. The explosion pressure-coupling constraint principle delays the attenuation of the internal explosion pressure and improves the shape of jet. After the SCS liner is selected, the penetration depth is increased by 70.38%. The average head velocity of the explosive charge jet is 7594.81 m/s. The diameter of the hole formed by the jet of the explosive charge is 20.33 mm. The hole expands inside, and the perforation depth is 178.87 mm. The numerical simulation is in good agreement with the test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma15144750DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9322513PMC
July 2022

Quantum Simulation of Pseudo-Hermitian--Symmetric Two-Level Systems.

Authors:
Chao Zheng

Entropy (Basel) 2022 Jun 24;24(7). Epub 2022 Jun 24.

Department of Physics, College of Science, North China University of Technology, Beijing 100144, China.

Non-Hermitian (NH) quantum theory has been attracting increased research interest due to its featured properties, novel phenomena, and links to open and dissipative systems. Typical NH systems include PT-symmetric systems, pseudo-Hermitian systems, and their anti-symmetric counterparts. In this work, we generalize the pseudo-Hermitian systems to their complex counterparts, which we call systems. This complex extension adds an extra degree of freedom to the original symmetry. On the one hand, it enlarges the non-Hermitian class relevant to pseudo-Hermiticity. On the other hand, the conventional pseudo-Hermitian systems can be understood better as a subgroup of this wider class. The well-defined inner product and pseudo-inner product are still valid. Since quantum simulation provides a strong method to investigate NH systems, we mainly investigate how to simulate this novel system in a Hermitian system using the linear combination of unitaries in the scheme of duality quantum computing. We illustrate in detail how to simulate a general -pseudo-Hermitian-φ-symmetric two-level system. Duality quantum algorithms have been recently successfully applied to similar types of simulations, so we look forward to the implementation of available quantum devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e24070867DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9323109PMC
June 2022

Unexpected toroidal micelles formed from St/MMA gradient copolymers.

Authors:
Chao Zheng

Soft Matter 2022 Aug 3;18(30):5706-5713. Epub 2022 Aug 3.

Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing 400074, P. R. China.

Toroidal micelles are of great interest and rarely observed in gradient copolymer systems. Herein, we report massive toroidal micelles formed from styrene (St)/methyl methacrylate (MMA) gradient copolymers using a common solvent mixing method followed by a cooling-heating procedure. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the obtained toroidal morphology is sensitively dependent on a heat treatment procedure. Solely spherical micelles are obtained by a common solvent mixing method. These spherical micelles could be transformed into toroidal micelles vesicles during a cooling-heating process. When a reverse heating-cooling process is adopted, no toroidal micelles formed. Thus, these results add new members to the family of toroidal micelles and reveal pathway dominating morphologies in gradient copolymer micelles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d2sm00619gDOI Listing
August 2022

Characterization of Bacteriophage L5 Which Requires Type IV Pili for Infection.

Front Microbiol 2022 1;13:907958. Epub 2022 Jul 1.

Shanghai Institute of Phage, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

is a common opportunistic human pathogen. With the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) clinical infection of , phage therapy has received renewed attention in treating infections. Moreover, a detailed understanding of the host receptor of lytic phage is crucial for selecting proper phages for therapy. Here, we describe the characterization of the bacteriophage L5 with a double-stranded DNA genome of 42,925 bp. The genomic characteristics indicate that L5 is a lytic bacteriophage belonging to the subfamily In addition, the phage receptors for L5 were also identified as type IV pili, because the mutation of , which is involved in pili synthesis, resists phage infection, while the complementation of restored its phage sensitivity. This research reveals that L5 is a potential phage therapy candidate for the treatment of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.907958DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9284122PMC
July 2022

Constructing high-performance TADF polymers from non-TADF monomers: a computational investigation.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2022 Jul 27;24(29):17686-17694. Epub 2022 Jul 27.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Electronics and Information Displays & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Nanjing University of Posts & Telecommunications, 9 Wenyuan Road, Nanjing, 210023, China.

Thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) polymers excelling in simple, low-cost and large-area solution process ability have attracted tremendous attention recently, but it remains a great challenge for the design of such materials due to the lack of reliable molecular construction guidelines. Here we perform a systematic computational investigation on the construction of TADF polymers from non-TADF monomers to elucidate the effects of polymerization sites, substituent positions and substituent types. The results indicate that the polymerization of 3,6-carbazole-based monomers with different substituents is efficient to build TADF polymers due to their facile π-conjugation extendability. Especially, polymers with -phenyl-substituted monomers are promising in light of their separated frontier molecular orbitals for small Δ with favorable energy levels, bipolar charge transport properties and relatively strong absorption/emission intensity, which should be highly attractive for experimental investigations. These findings and insights are important in revealing the structure-property relation of TADF polymers made from non-TADF monomers with important clues for understanding the construction mechanism and molecular design principles of TADF polymers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d2cp01698bDOI Listing
July 2022

Research on the Mechanical Properties and Stretch Forming Simulation of Triaxial Geogrid with Different Pre-Punched Hole Diameters.

Polymers (Basel) 2022 Jun 27;14(13). Epub 2022 Jun 27.

Key Laboratory for Liquid-Solid Structural Evolution and Processing of Materials, Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science & Engineering, Shandong University, 17923 Jingshi Road, Jinan 250061, China.

In this paper, the tensile behavior of industrial polypropylene triaxial geogrid with different pre-punched hole diameters was studied by experiment and numerical analysis. The industrial polypropylene sheets with different diameters of circular holes were stretched at elevated temperature and then the tensile properties of triaxial geogrids at room temperature were evaluated. It was found that the pre-punched hole diameter of triaxial geogrid had a very close relationship with the mechanical properties. With the increase of the pre-punched hole diameter, the tensile strength of triaxial geogrid shows a trend of first increasing and then decreasing. Combined with numerical simulation, the optimal pre-punched hole diameter can be accurately obtained, and the distribution law of the width, thickness, stress, and strain of triaxial geogrid can be obtained. Under the condition of a stretching ratio of 3 and node spacing of 3 mm, it was found that the mechanical properties of industrial polypropylene triaxial geogrid was the best when the pre-punched hole diameter was 2.6 mm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym14132594DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9269259PMC
June 2022

Spatial distribution of soil nutrients and evaluation of cultivated land in Xuwen county.

PeerJ 2022 30;10:e13239. Epub 2022 Jun 30.

College of Coastal Agricultural Sciences, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang, China.

It is of great significance to promote the quantitative research of soil science and the implementation of precision agriculture. On this basis, taking Xuwen County as the research object, this paper comprehensively analyzed the soil characteristics of cultivated land in Xuwen County and clarify the soil nutrient content and spatial distribution characteristics of cultivated land in Xuwen County, this paper comprehensively applied the methods of geostatistics, geographic information system (GIS) and fuzzy mathematics, and referred to the cultivated land quality grade standard (GB/T 33469-2016), to analyze the soil characteristics and evaluate the soil fertility of this region. The results show that the optimal interpolation model of soil pH and available phosphorus (AP) is a Gaussian model, and the optimal interpolation model of soil organic matter (SOM), available nitrogen (AN) and available potassium (AK) is a J-Bessel model. In addition, the spatial correlation of AK is weak, whereas pH, SOM, AN and AP show moderate spatial correlation. The proportion of excellent, good, average, medium and poor comprehensive fertility index are 26.00%, 32.67%, 19.33%, 19.00% and 3.00%, respectively. The overall level of soil fertility in Xuwen County is above the average, and the fertility quality presents an obvious trend of high in the South and low in the North. Areas that above average fertility are mainly distributed in Maichen Town, Qujie Town, Nanshan Town and Chengbei Town. The results can provide theoretical basis for improving the utilization rate of chemical fertilizer, fine management of cultivated land and ecological environment in this region, which can help in decision-making of precision fertilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.13239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9250764PMC
June 2022

Assessing the risk of human exposure to bioaccessible arsenic from total diet through market food consumption in Chengdu, China.

Environ Geochem Health 2022 Jul 5. Epub 2022 Jul 5.

College of Environment Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China.

To assess the daily intake of total arsenic (tAs) and arsenic speciation and their potential health risks, different food groups, including vegetables, rice, meat, viscera, freshwater fish, and seafood from Chengdu, China were analyzed. The concentrations of tAs ranged from 41.3 to 1185 μg kg with a median of 238 μg kg, and 26.0% of tAs in the food groups was of inorganic toxic form. The median concentration of As(V) in rice (184 ± 21.6 μg kg) was approximately 2 to 6 times higher than those in other food groups. The bioaccessible inorganic arsenic (iAs) concentrations of the food items obtained from the local markets of Chengdu ranged from 1.07 to 24.6 μg kg (mean of 6.04 μg kg). Rice contributed toward the largest amount of daily iAs intake (66.2%). The mean daily iAs intake from vegetable, meat and viscera contributed 10.7%, 12.5% and 6.04% of total iAs intake, respectively. The actual concentration of arsenic in the food exposed to the human body depends on oral bioaccessible fraction. The oral bioaccessibility estimated daily intake (μg kg bw d) of tAs and iAs for the residents of Chengdu was 0.32 and 0.16. Health risk assessments carried out based on bioaccessible iAs concentrations showed that the food items were safe for consumption from the iAs perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10653-022-01325-6DOI Listing
July 2022

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J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2022 Jul 2. Epub 2022 Jul 2.

Cardiometabolic Diseases Research, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, United States

Diabetic nephropathy is a leading cause of end stage renal disease, characterized by endothelial dysfunction and compromised glomerular permeability barrier. Dysregulation of the ANGPT1/ANGPT2 signaling axis is implicated in disease progression. We recently described the discovery of an IgG antibody, O010, with therapeutic potential to elevate circulating endogenous ANGPT1, a TIE2 agonist. We detail the effect of various ANGPT1 elevating strategies to limit progression of renal dysfunction in diabetic-obese (db/db) mice. We demonstrate that AAV- or DNA minicircle-directed overexpression of ANGPT1 elicits a reduction in albuminuria (56-73%) and an improvement in histopathology score (18% reduction in glomerulosclerosis). An improved acetylcholine response in isolated aortic rings was also observed indicative of a benefit on vascular function. In separate pharmacokinetic studies an efficacious dose of the ANGPT1 DNA minicircle increased circulating levels of the protein by >80% resulting in a concomitant suppression of ANGPT2. At a dose of O010 producing maximal elevation of circulating ANGPT1 achievable with the molecule (60% increase), no suppression of ANGPT2 was observed in db/db suggesting insufficient pathway engagement; no reduction in albuminuria or improvement in histopathological outcomes were observed. To pinpoint the mechanism resulting in lack of efficacy we demonstrate using confocal microscopy an interference with TIE2 translocation to adherens junctions resulting in a loss of protection against vascular permeability normally conferred by ANGPT1. Results demonstrate the essential importance of ANGPT1 to maintain the glomerular permeability barrier, and due to interference of O010 with this process, led to the discontinuation of the molecule for clinical development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.121.001067DOI Listing
July 2022

Fast Near-Infrared Photodetection Using III-V Colloidal Quantum Dots.

Adv Mater 2022 Jun 29:e2203039. Epub 2022 Jun 29.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A4, Canada.

Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) are promising materials for infrared (IR) light detection due to their tunable bandgap and their solution processing; however, to date, the time response of CQD IR photodiodes is inferior to that provided by Si and InGaAs. It is reasoned that the high permittivity of II-VI CQDs leads to slow charge extraction due to screening and capacitance, whereas III-Vs-if their surface chemistry can be mastered-offer a low permittivity and thus increase potential for high-speed operation. In initial studies, it is found that the covalent character in indium arsenide (InAs) leads to imbalanced charge transport, the result of unpassivated surfaces, and uncontrolled heavy doping. Surface management using amphoteric ligand coordination is reported, and it is found that the approach addresses simultaneously the In and As surface dangling bonds. The new InAs CQD solids combine high mobility (0.04 cm V s ) with a 4× reduction in permittivity compared to PbS CQDs. The resulting photodiodes achieve a response time faster than 2 ns-the fastest photodiode among previously reported CQD photodiodes-combined with an external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 30% at 940 nm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202203039DOI Listing
June 2022

PEDOT:PSS/CuCl Composite Hole Transporting Layer for Enhancing the Performance of 2D Ruddlesden-Popper Perovskite Solar Cells.

J Phys Chem Lett 2022 Jul 27;13(26):6101-6109. Epub 2022 Jun 27.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Electronics and Information Displays & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Nanjing University of Posts & Telecommunications, 9 Wenyuan Road, Nanjing 210023, China.

Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) is a popular hole transport layer (HTL) in 2D Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) perovskite solar cell (PSCs) due to its highly conductive, transparent, and solution-processable characteristics. However, fundamental questions such as its strong acidity or mismatched energy level with the 2D RP photoactive layer often restrict the performance and stability of devices. Herein, copper chloride (CuCl), a common direct band gap semiconductor, is doped into PEDOT:PSS, lowering the acidity and tuning the work function of PEDOT:PSS. Due to the improved wettability and the existing chloride in the PEDOT:PSS/CuCl composite substrate, the coated 2D perovskite films exhibit uniform morphology, vertically oriented crystal growth, and enhanced crystallinity. In comparison with controlled devices, the PEDOT:PSS/CuCl based inverted 2D RP PSCs show a maximum power conversion efficiency of 13.36% and long-term stability. The modified PEDOT:PSS overcomes intrinsic imperfections by doping CuCl, indicating that it has a lot of promise for mass production in electrical devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.2c01399DOI Listing
July 2022

Curcumin Scaffold as a Multifunctional Tool for Alzheimer's Disease Research.

Molecules 2022 Jun 17;27(12). Epub 2022 Jun 17.

Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Organ Repair, School of Medicine, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders, which is caused by multi-factors and characterized by two histopathological hallmarks: amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of Tau proteins. Thus, researchers have been devoting tremendous efforts to developing and designing new molecules for the early diagnosis of AD and curative purposes. Curcumin and its scaffold have fluorescent and photochemical properties. Mounting evidence showed that curcumin scaffold had neuroprotective effects on AD such as anti-amyloidogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and metal chelating. In this review, we summarized different curcumin derivatives and analyzed the in vitro and in vivo results in order to exhibit the applications in AD diagnosis, therapeutic monitoring and therapy. The analysis results showed that, although curcumin and its analogues have some disadvantages such as short wavelength and low bioavailability, these shortcomings can be conquered by modifying the structures. Curcumin scaffold still has the potential to be a multifunctional tool for AD research, including AD diagnosis and therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123879DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9227459PMC
June 2022

Low VGF is associated with executive dysfunction in patients with major depressive disorder.

J Psychiatr Res 2022 Aug 14;152:182-186. Epub 2022 Jun 14.

Ningbo Kangning Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang, 315201, China. Electronic address:

Objectives: Executive dysfunction is considered to be one of the cognitive impairment dimensions that are easily observed in depression, but its underlying molecular mechanism is still unclear. Study have shown that the neuropeptide VGF (non-acronymic) plays an important role in the regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. Previous studies have shown that VGF may be related to the psychopathology of depression and cognitive impairment. However, the correlation between VGF and executive dysfunction in MDD has not been investigated.

Methods: A total of 35 MDD patients and 31 healthy control patients were enrolled in this study. The 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was used to measure the severity of depression, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) was used to assess executive dysfunction. Double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine serum VGF in peripheral blood.

Results: The level of serum VGF in MDD patients was significantly lower compared to that in the healthy control group (p < 0.001). Moreover, Response Administered (RA) scores, Response preservative errors (RPE), and Non-response preservative errors (NRPE) were all higher in the MDD group (all p < 0.05). In contrast, Categories Completed (CC) and Response Correct (RC) scores were lower (all p < 0.05). Further results showed a significant correlation between serum VGF with RA (r = -0.372, p = 0.028) and RPE scores (r = 0.507, p = 0.002) in patients with depression, while serum VGF showed no correlation with the severity of depression in either group.

Conclusions: VGF may play an important role in executive function dysfunction in MDD patients, and VGF levels may become a new marker for predicting executive function dysfunction in depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.06.030DOI Listing
August 2022

Prevalence and associated factors of secondary hyperparathyroidism after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: A meta-analysis.

Obes Rev 2022 Jun 15:e13488. Epub 2022 Jun 15.

Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and CENTRAL for relevant studies using search terms gastric bypass, RYGB and hyperparathyroidism. Thirty-four cohort studies with 4331 patients were incorporated into the final meta-analysis. Overall estimates of the prevalence of SHPT following RYGB were 39%. Subgroup analyses indicated the pooled prevalences of SHPT were 25%, 42%, 48%, and 54% for ≤1 year, >1 and ≤5 years, >5 and ≤10 years, and >10 years, respectively, after RYGB. Meta-regression showed that SHPT occurred was positively related to follow-up durations (p = 0.001). Additionally, SHPT prevalence was higher in studies in which calcium and vitamin D supplementation were considered inadequate than in those which were adequate (p = 0.002). SHPT is highly prevalent in individuals with obesity after RYGB. It seems to progress with time after surgery. Routine calcium and vitamin D supplementation post-RYGB together with targeted treatment of vitamin D deficiency, reasonable adjustment of the doses of supplementation with regular follow-up, and improved patient compliance, as well as long-term screening, are necessary to prevent the development of SHPT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13488DOI Listing
June 2022

Single-Cell Transcriptome Profiling Signatures and Alterations of Microglia Associated With Glioblastoma Associate Microglia Contribution to Tumor Formation.

Pathol Oncol Res 2022 25;28:1610067. Epub 2022 May 25.

Department of Neurosurgery, Chongqing Red Cross Hospital (Jiangbei District People's Hospital), Chongqing, China.

Glioblastoma (GBM), which occasionally occurs in pediatric patients, is the most common tumor of the central nervous system in adults. Clinically, GBM is classified as low-grade to high-grade (from 1 to 4) and is characterized by late discovery, limited effective treatment methods, and poor efficacy. With the development of immunotherapy technology, effective GBM treatment strategies are of great significance. The main immune cells found in the GBM tumor microenvironment are macrophages and microglia (MG). Both these monocytes play important roles in the occurrence and development of GBM. Macrophages are recruited during tumorigenesis, whereas MG is present in the brain during embryonic development. Interestingly, the accumulation of these monocytes is inversely proportional to the survival of adult GBM patients but not the pediatric GBM patients. This study used single-cell RNA-seq data to reveal the heterogeneity of MG in tumor lesions and to explore the role of different MG subtypes in the occurrence and development of GBM. The results may help find new targets for immunotherapy of GBM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/pore.2022.1610067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9176381PMC
June 2022

[Challenges and Prospects of Medical Device Containing Adaptive Algorithms to Supervision].

Zhongguo Yi Liao Qi Xie Za Zhi 2022 May;46(3):307-311

Zhejiang Center for Drug Inspection, Hangzhou, 310000.

With the market development and demand change, the use of adaptive algorithms in medical devices has become a possible trend. However, some uncertainties in the adaptive algorithm itself will bring challenges to the existing current supervisory work model. This article focuses on the ademptions of US agencies on artificial intelligence device supervision, and discusses the problems that existing pilot policies may encounter when facing devices with adaptive algorithms. In this way, we will provide relevant suggestions and look forward to discussing with scholars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1671-7104.2022.03.015DOI Listing
May 2022

Extracurricular sports activities modify the proprioceptive map in children aged 5-8 years.

Sci Rep 2022 06 4;12(1):9338. Epub 2022 Jun 4.

Center for the Study of Applied Psychology, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, and the School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, 510631, Guangdong, China.

The Chinese government has recently issued the strictest ever guideline to improve the compulsory education system. The new policy aims at reducing the burden of excessive homework and supplementary tutoring, whilst promoting extracurricular activities, including sports and arts, for primary and junior middle school students. To examine the impact that this reform might have on sensory development-which is critical for higher-order cognitive functions-we assessed proprioceptive abilities in children from 5 to 8 years of age. Proprioception refers to sensations of position and motion of the body in space and is mediated by activity in somatosensory and prefrontal cortical areas. By asking participants to perform position matching tasks in the forward-backward directions, we were able to compare the proprioceptive maps of children with and without regular sports training. We demonstrate that extracurricular sports activities can modify the proprioceptive map and improve proprioceptive acuity and stability in school-aged children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-13565-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9167298PMC
June 2022

Numerical analysis of die filling with a forced feeder using GPU-enhanced discrete element methods.

Int J Pharm 2022 Jun 26;622:121861. Epub 2022 May 26.

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Understanding die filling behaviour of powders is critical in developing optimal formulation and processes in various industries, such as pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. In this paper, forced die filling is analysed using a graphics processing unit (GPU) based discrete element method (DEM), for which a powder feeder equipped with a wired stirrer is considered. The influences of operating parameters, such as the initial powder bed height, the filling speed, and the stirrer speed, on the die filling performance are systematically explored. It is shown that a larger initial powder bed height leads to a higher filling ratio, which can be attributed to a higher filling intensity; while the deposited particle mass in the die is almost independent of the powder bed height, when the initial fill level is larger than a critical bed height. Additionally, the filling ratio slightly increases with the increase of stirrer speed for cases with a stirrer, while the filling ratios are lower than that without a stirrer, which is attributed to the stirrer occupying some space above the die and reducing the effective discharge area. The obtained results can provide useful information for optimising the feeder system design and the operating condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.121861DOI Listing
June 2022

Evaluation of Artificial Intelligence Methods to Estimate the Compressive Strength of Geopolymers.

Gels 2022 Apr 26;8(5). Epub 2022 Apr 26.

Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, College of Engineering, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, P.O. Box 84428, Riyadh 11671, Saudi Arabia.

The depletion of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions related to the manufacture and use of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) pose serious concerns to the environment and human life. The present research focuses on using alternative binders to replace OPC. Geopolymer might be the best option because it requires waste materials enriched in aluminosilicate for its production. The research on geopolymer concrete (GPC) is growing rapidly. However, substantial effort and expenses are required to cast specimens, cures, and tests. Applying novel techniques for the said purpose is the key requirement for rapid and cost-effective research. In this research, supervised machine learning (SML) techniques, including two individual (decision tree (DT) and gene expression programming (GEP)) and two ensembled (bagging regressor (BR) and random forest (RF)) algorithms were employed to estimate the compressive strength (CS) of GPC. The validity and comparison of all the models were made using the coefficient of determination (R), k-fold, and statistical assessments. It was noticed that the ensembled SML techniques performed better than the individual SML techniques in forecasting the CS of GPC. However, individual SML model results were also in the reasonable range. The R value for BR, RF, GEP, and DT models was 0.96, 0.95, 0.93, and 0.88, respectively. The models' lower error values such as mean absolute error (MAE) and root mean square errors (RMSE) also verified the higher precision of ensemble SML methods. The RF (MAE = 2.585 MPa, RMSE = 3.702 MPa) and BR (MAE = 2.044 MPa, RMSE = 3.180) results are better than the DT (MAE = 4.136 MPa, RMSE = 6.256 MPa) and GEP (MAE = 3.102 MPa, RMSE = 4.049 MPa). The application of SML techniques will benefit the construction sector with fast and cost-effective methods for estimating the properties of materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/gels8050271DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9140756PMC
April 2022

Activation of M-AChR and IP/Ca/PKC signaling pathways by pilocarpine increases glycine-induced currents in ventral horn neurons of the spinal cord.

Neurosci Lett 2022 06 19;782:136690. Epub 2022 May 19.

Neurobiology Laboratory, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui 241002, China. Electronic address:

Our study aimed to determine the effects of pilocarpine and the mechanisms involving muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) on glycine receptors (GlyRs) in neurons of the spinal cord ventral horn. An enzymatic digestion combined with acute mechanical separation was applied to isolate neurons from the spinal cord ventral horn. Patch-clamp recording was then used to investigate the outcomes of pilocarpine. Our results indicate that pilocarpine increased the glycine currents in a concentration-dependent manner, which was blocked by the M-AChR selective antagonists 4-DAMP and J104129. Pilocarpine also enhanced the glycine currents in nominally Ca-free extracellular solution. Conversely, the enhancement of glycine currents by pilocarpine disappeared when intracellular Ca was chelated by BAPTA. Heparin and Xe-C, which are IP receptor antagonists, also totally abolished the pilocarpine effect. Furthermore, Bis-IV, a PKC inhibitor, eliminated the pilocarpine effect. Additionally, PMA, a PKC activator, mimicked the pilocarpine effect. These results indicate that pilocarpine may increase the glycine currents by activating the M-AChRs and IP/Ca/PKC pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2022.136690DOI Listing
June 2022

Association between delta anion gap and hospital mortality for patients in cardiothoracic surgery recovery unit: a retrospective cohort study.

BMC Surg 2022 May 14;22(1):186. Epub 2022 May 14.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Jinling Hospital, School of Clinical Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 210000, China.

Backgrounds: High level of anion gap (AG) was associated with organic acidosis. This study aimed to explore the relationship between delta AG (ΔAG = AG - AG) during first 3 days after intensive care unit (ICU) admission and hospital mortality for patients admitted in the cardiothoracic surgery recovery unit (CSRU).

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we identified patients from the open access database called Multiparameter Intelligent Monitoring in Intensive Care III (MIMIC III). A logistic regression model was established to predict hospital mortality by adjusting confounding factors using a stepwise backward elimination method. We conducted receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to compare the diagnostic performance of acid-base variables. Cox regression model and Kaplan Meier curve were applied to predict patients' 90-day overall survival (OS).

Results: A total of 2,860 patients were identified. ΔAG was an independent predictive factor of hospital mortality (OR = 1.24 per 1 mEq/L increase, 95% CI: 1.11-1.39, p < 0.001). The area under curve (AUC) values of ΔAG suggested a good diagnostic accuracy (AUC = 0.769). We established the following formula to estimate patients' hospital mortality: Logit(P) = - 15.69 + 0.21ΔAG + 0.13age-0.21BE + 2.69AKF. After calculating Youden index, patients with ΔAG ≥ 7 was considered at high risk (OR = 4.23, 95% CI: 1.22-14.63, p = 0.023). Kaplan Meier curve demonstrated that patients with ΔAG ≥ 7 had a poorer 90-day OS (Adjusted HR = 3.20, 95% CI: 1.81-5.65, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: ΔAG is a prognostic factor of hospital mortality and 90-day OS. More prospective studies are needed to verify and update our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12893-022-01625-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9107697PMC
May 2022

Chiral Brønsted Acid-Catalyzed Intramolecular Asymmetric Allylic Alkylation of Indoles with Primary Alcohols.

Org Lett 2022 May 9;24(19):3544-3548. Epub 2022 May 9.

School of Pharmacy, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Mei-Long Road, Shanghai 200237, China.

Herein, chiral Brønsted acid-catalyzed intramolecular asymmetric allylic alkylation of indoles with allylic primary alcohols is described. The allyl alcohols were directly employed as the allylic precursors in this metal-free protocol, without preactivation or any additional activating reagents. This method provides the convenient synthesis of a broad range of functionalized tetrahydrocarbazoles in excellent yields (≤97%) with good enantioselectivity (≤93% ee). The optimal conditions are compatible for gram-scale reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.2c01253DOI Listing
May 2022

Diosmin mitigates high glucose-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress through PI3K/AKT pathway in HK-2 cells.

BMC Complement Med Ther 2022 Apr 27;22(1):116. Epub 2022 Apr 27.

Department of Nephrology, Huzhou Central Hospital; Affiliated Central Hospital of Huzhou University; Affiliated Huzhou Hospital; Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Huzhou City, 313000, Zhejiang Province, China.

Background: Diosmin has been reported to treat diabetes, but its role in diabetic nephropathy (DN) remains unclear. This research investigated the mechanism by which diosmin alleviated high glucose (HG)-induced HK-2 cell injury.

Methods: First, we used CCK-8 to detect the effect of 0.1, 1, or 10 μg/mL diosmin on the viability of HK-2 cells treated with normal glucose or HG. Next, we used flow cytometry, automatic biochemical analyzer, ELISA, immunofluorescence, and colorimetric assay kit to examine the apoptosis, oxidative stress, inflammatory factors, and Caspase-3 expression in HK-2 cells. Thereafter, we used the western blot and qRT-PCR to examine the expression of the endoplasmic reticulum stress-, oxidative stress-, inflammation-, apoptosis-, and autophagy, and PI3K/AKT pathway-related factors.

Results: Diosmin was non-cytotoxic to normal HK-2 cells and enhanced the HK-2 cell viability suppressed by HG. Meanwhile, diosmin restrained apoptosis, the contents of MDA, pro-inflammatory factors, and Caspase-3 but intensified the contents of SOD and CAT induced by HG. We further confirmed that diosmin blunted oxidative stress-, inflammation-, apoptosis-, and autophagy-related factors expression induced by HG via restraining the CHOP and GRP78 expressions. Further, we also discovered that PTEN level was restrained and the ratios of p-PI3K/PI3K and p-AKT/AKT were enhanced in HK-2 cells induced by HG, which was reversed by co-treatment of HG and diosmin.

Conclusions: Our study manifested that diosmin alleviated the HG-mediated endoplasmic reticulum stress injury in HK-2 cells via restraining the PI3K/AKT pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12906-022-03597-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9044681PMC
April 2022

Hedgehog signaling orchestrates cartilage-to-bone transition independently of Smoothened.

Matrix Biol 2022 06 23;110:76-90. Epub 2022 Apr 23.

Institute of Orthopedic Surgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, No. 127, Changle West Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710032, China; School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Hong Kong, L3-73, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong 999077, China; Medical Research Institute, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China. Electronic address:

Although recent lineage studies strongly support a chondrocyte-to-osteoblast differentiation continuum, the biological significance and molecular basis remain undetermined. In silico analysis at a single-cell level indicates a transient shutdown of Hedgehog-related transcriptome during simulated cartilage-to-bone transition. Prompted by this, we genetically induce gain- and loss-of function to probe the role of Hedgehog signaling in cartilage-to-bone transition. Ablating Smo in hypertrophic chondrocytes (HCs) does not result in any phenotypic outcome, whereas deleting Ptch1 in HCs leads to disrupted formation of primary spongiosa and actively proliferating HCs-derived osteogenic cells that contribute to bony bulges seen in adult mutant mice. In HCs-derived osteoblasts, constitutive activation of Hedgehog signaling blocks their further differentiation to osteocytes. Moreover, ablation of both Smo and Ptch1 in HCs reverses neither persistent Hedgehog signaling nor bone overgrowths. These results establish a functional contribution of extended chondrocyte lineage to bone homeostasis and diseases, governed by an unanticipated mode of regulation for Hedgehog signaling independently of Smo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2022.04.006DOI Listing
June 2022

How Efficient are Basic Public Health Services Between Urban and Rural in Shandong Province, China? A Data Envelopment Analysis and Panel Tobit Regression Approach.

Risk Manag Healthc Policy 2022 19;15:727-738. Epub 2022 Apr 19.

Center for Health Management and Policy Research of Public Health School, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China.

Background: Improving basic public health services efficiency becomes priority to guarantee its sustainability for Chinese government. This study aimed to explore basic public health services efficiency and its influencing factors between urban and rural in Shandong Province, China, providing policy implications to improve efficiency.

Methods: This research assessed basic public health services efficiency of 54 districts (representing urban) and 83 counties (representing rural) in Shandong, China, from 2014 to 2019. The data were obtained from Medical Management Service Center of Shandong Health Commission and Statistical Yearbooks. Input variables were subsidy funds, public health staffs and material expenditures. Output variables were assessment indicators covered all service contents from national standard. The data envelopment analysis and panel tobit regression were used to measure efficiency scores and efficiency influencing factors.

Results: Basic public health services efficiency scores of urban were higher than those of rural during 2014 to 2019. Scale efficiency change and technological change promoted basic public health services total factor productivity change of urban and rural respectively. Panel tobit regression indicated that proportion of health expenditures in general public budget expenditures (P<0.01), subsidy funds (P<0.01), public health personnel expenditures (P<0.01) and the frequency of professional health institutions' guidance (P<0.01) were positively associated with efficiency in both urban and rural. The number of primary medical and health institutions and public health personnel were positively associated with urban (P<0.01), but those did not affect rural (P>0.10).

Conclusion: To improve basic public health services efficiency, urban should focus on health resource structure, especially increasing primary medical and health institutions and public health personnel. Rural should expand the input scale, paying more attention to subsidy funds and public health personnel expenditures. The government should also care strengthening the guidance to primary medical and health institutions from professional health institutions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S354758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9034868PMC
April 2022
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