Publications by authors named "Chen Hong"

4,021 Publications

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The Neural Markers of Self-Caught and Probe-Caught Mind Wandering: An ERP Study.

Brain Sci 2021 Oct 8;11(10). Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (Ministry of Education), Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China.

Mind-wandering (MW) is a common phenomenon, defined as task-unrelated thoughts. This study is based on event-related potentials (ERPs), using modified sustained attention to response task (modified SART, mSART) to discuss the neural patterns of different types of MW. In the current study, we defined the MW realized by participants as self-caught MW, and the MW measurement acquired by probes as probe-caught MW. The behavioral results showed that the reaction times (RTs) during self-caught MW were greater than those during non-self-caught MW. The ERP results showed that during self-caught MW, the mean amplitudes of N1 decreased significantly, indicating that the participants' attention had deviated from the current task. The increase in the mean amplitudes of P2 during self-caught MW indicated lower vigilance. We also found that the mean amplitudes of N300 reduced during self-caught MW, which indicated that cognitive control or monitoring might be affected by self-caught MW. The average amplitudes of P300 were significantly lower during probe-caught MW than during on-task, indicating the impact on high-level cognitive processing. In addition, the amplitudes of N1, P2, and N300 in anterior regions were greater than those in posterior regions. P300 amplitudes during probe-caught MW in the right hemisphere were greater than those of the left hemisphere. In summary, our research results demonstrated that alertness and cognitive processing decreased during both self-caught MW and probe-caught MW. ERPs were statistically different under the conditions of self-caught MW and probe-caught MW. The current study provided new insights into the relationship between MW and neural markers. It was the first study exploring the ERP correlates between self-caught MW and probe-caught MW based on mSART.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11101329DOI Listing
October 2021

A Microbial World: Could Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing Be Involved in Acute Respiratory Failure?

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2021 4;11:738074. Epub 2021 Oct 4.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Background: The usefulness of metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) in identifying pathogens is being investigated. We aimed to compare the power of microbial identification between mNGS and various methods in patients with acute respiratory failure.

Methods: We reviewed 130 patients with respiratory failure, and 184 specimens including blood, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), sputum, pleural effusion, ascitic fluid, and urine were tested by mNGS and conventional methods (culture, PCR). We also enrolled 13 patients to evaluate the power of mNGS and pathogen targets NGS (ptNGS) in microbial identifications. Clinical features and microbes detected were analyzed.

Results: mNGS outperformed the conventional method in the positive detection rate of (MTB) (OR, ∞; 95% CI, 1-∞; < 0.05), bacteria (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.4-5.8; < 0.0001), fungi (OR, 4.37; 95% CI, 2.7-7.2; < 0.0001), mycoplasma (OR, 10.5; 95% CI, 31.8-115; = 0.005), and virus (OR, ∞; 95% CI, 180.7-∞; < 0.0001). We showed that 20 patients (28 samples) were detected with () by mNGS, but not by the conventional method, and most of those patients were immunocompromised. Read numbers of (), (), (), , (), and () in BALF were higher than those in other sample types, and the read number of () in blood was higher than that in BALF. We found that orotracheal intubation and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were associated with a higher detection rate of bacteria and virus by mNGS, immunosuppression was associated with a higher detection rate of fungi and virus by mNGS, and inflammatory markers were associated with mNGS-positive detection rate of bacteria. In addition, we observed preliminary results of ptNGS.

Conclusion: mNGS outperformed the conventional method in the detection of MTB, bacteria, fungi, mycoplasma, and virus. Orotracheal intubation, T2DM, immunosuppression, and inflammatory markers were associated with a higher detection rate of bacteria, fungi, and virus by mNGS. In addition, ptNGS results were consistent with the detection of abundant bacteria, fungi, and mycoplasma in our specimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2021.738074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8522648PMC
October 2021

Immune Response to Silk Sericin-Fibroin Composites: Potential Immunogenic Elements, and Alternatives for Immunomodulation.

Macromol Biosci 2021 Oct 20:e2100292. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

National Engineering Research Center for Nano-Medicine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, 430074, P.R. China.

The unique properties of silk proteins (SP), particularly silk sericin (SS) and silk fibroin (SF), have attracted attention in the design of scaffolds for tissue engineering over the past decades. Since SF has good mechanical properties, while SS displays bioactivity, scaffolds combining both proteins should exhibit complementary properties enhancing the potential of these materials. Unfortunately, SS-SF composites can generate chronic immune responses and their immunogenic element is not completely clear. The potential of SS-SF composites in tissue engineering, elements which may contribute to their immunogenicity, and alternatives for their preparation and design, to modulate the immune response and take advantage of their useful properties, are discussed in this review. It is known that SS can enhance β-sheet formation in SF, which may act as hydrophobic regions with a strong affinity for adsorption proteins inducing the chronic recruitment of inflammatory cells. Therefore, tailoring the exposure of hydrophobic regions at the scaffold surface should represent a viable strategy to modulate the immune response. This could be achieved by coating SS-SF composites with SS or other hydrophilic polymers, to take advantage of their anti-biofouling properties. Research is still needed to realize the full potential of these composites for tissue engineering. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mabi.202100292DOI Listing
October 2021

Combined CTLA-4 and PD-L1 blockade in patients with chemotherapy-naïve metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is associated with increased myeloid and neutrophil immune subsets in the bone microenvironment.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Oct;9(10)

Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

Background: Immune checkpoint therapy (ICT) has low response rates in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), in part due to few T cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) promotes intratumoral T cell infiltration but induces upregulation of PD-1 and programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) within the prostate TME. Combined anti-CTLA-4 plus anti-PD-1 can partly overcome this adaptive resistance and was recently shown to augment responses in patients with mCRPC with measurable disease. Although bone is the most common site of metastasis in prostate cancer, patients with bone-predominant disease are frequently excluded from trials because they lack measurable disease, which limits assessment of disease progression and tissue sampling. We therefore designed this study to investigate combined ICT in mCRPC to bone.

Hypothesis: Combined anti-CTLA-4 (tremelimumab) plus anti-PD-L1 (durvalumab) is safe and well tolerated in patients with chemotherapy-naïve mCRPC to bone.

Patients And Methods: In this single-arm pilot study, men with chemotherapy-naïve mCRPC to bone received tremelimumab (75 mg intravenous) plus durvalumab (1500 mg intravenous) every 4 weeks (up to four doses), followed by durvalumab (1500 mg intravenous) maintenance every 4 weeks (up to nine doses). The primary endpoint was incidence of adverse events. Secondary endpoints included serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA), progression-free survival (PFS), radiographic PFS (rPFS), and maximal PSA decline.

Results: Twenty-six patients were treated between August 8, 2017 and March 28, 2019. Grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) occurred in 11 patients (42%), with no grade 4 or 5 events. TRAEs leading to discontinuation occurred in three patients (12%). PSA decline ≥50% occurred in three patients (12%). Six patients (24%) achieved stable disease for >6 months. At a median follow-up of 43.6 months, median rPFS was 3.7 months (95% CI: 1.9 to 5.7), and median overall survival was 28.1 months (95% CI: 14.5 to 37.3). Post-treatment evaluation of the bone microenvironment revealed transcriptional upregulation in myeloid and neutrophil immune subset signatures and increased expression of inhibitory immune checkpoints.

Conclusions: Tremelimumab plus durvalumab was safe and well tolerated in patients with chemotherapy-naïve mCRPC to bone, with potential activity in a small number of patients as measured by rPFS. Combination of CTLA-4 and PD-L1 blockade with therapies targeting the myeloid compartment or other inhibitory immune receptors may be necessary to overcome mechanisms of resistance within prostate bone microenvironment.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03204812.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002919DOI Listing
October 2021

Systematic review and meta-analysis of risk scores in prediction for the clinical outcomes in patients with acute variceal bleeding.

Ann Med 2021 Dec;53(1):1806-1815

Department of Gastroenterology, Zhong Da Hospital, Medical School, Southeast University, Nanjing, PR China.

Background: Acute variceal bleeding (AVB) is a life-threatening condition that needs risk stratification to guide clinical treatment. Which risk system could reflect the prognosis more accurately remains controversial. We aimed to conduct a meta-analysis of the predictive value of GBS, AIMS65, Rockall (clinical Rockall score and full Rockall score), CTP and MELD.

Method: PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Cochrane library, WANGFANG and CNKI were searched. Twenty-eight articles were included in the study. The Meta-DiSc software and MedCalc software were used to pool the predictive accuracy.

Results: Concerning in-hospital mortality, CTP, AIMS65, MELD, Full-Rockall and GBS had a pooled AUC of 0.824, 0.793, 0.788, 0.75 and 0.683, respectively. CTP had the highest sensitivity of 0.910 (95% CI: 0.864-0.944) with a specificity of 0.666 (95% CI: 0.635-0.696). AIMS65 had the highest specificity of 0.774 (95% CI: 0.749-0.798) with a sensitivity of 0.679 (95% CI: 0.617-0.736). For follow-up mortality, MELD, AIMS65, CTP, Clinical Rockall, Full-Rockall and GBS showed a pooled AUC of 0.798, 0.77, 0.746, 0.704, 0.678 and 0.618, respectively. CTP had the highest specificity (0.806, 95% CI: 0.763-0.843) with a sensitivity of 0.722 (95% CI: 0.628-0.804). GBS had the highest sensitivity 0.800 (95% CI: 0.696-0.881) with a specificity of 0.412 (95% CI: 0.368-0.457). As for rebleeding, no score performed particularly well.

Conclusions: No risk scores were ideally identified by our systematic review. CTP was superior to other risk scores in identifying AVB patients at high risk of death in hospital and patients at low risk within follow-up. Guidelines have recommended the use of GBS to risk stratification of patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. However, if the cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding is suspected oesophageal and gastric varices, extra care should be taken. Because in this meta-analysis, the ability of GBS was limited.Key messageCTP was superior in identifying AVB patients at high risk of death in hospital and low risk within follow-up.GBS, though recommended by the Guidelines, should be cautiously used when assessing AVB patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07853890.2021.1990394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8525940PMC
December 2021

Intelligent facemask based on triboelectric nanogenerator for respiratory monitoring.

Nano Energy 2021 Oct 12:106612. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Center on Nanoenergy Research, School of Physical Science & Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning, 530004, China.

The fast-spreading of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been sweeping arount the globe and brought heavy casualties and economic losses, which creats dire needs for technological solutions into medical preventive actions. In this work, triboelectric nanogenerator for respiratory sensing (RS-TENG) has been designed and integrated with facemask, which endows the latter with respiratory monitoring function. The output of RS-TENG for respiratory flow can reach up to about 8 V and 0.8 μA respectively although it varies with different respiratory status, which proves the high sensitivity of RS-TENG for respiratory monitoring. An apnea alarm system can be constructed by combining the smart facemask with circuit modules so that timely alarm can be transmitted after people stop breathing. Furthermore, RS-TENG can be used to control household appliances, which brings convenience to the life of the disabled people. Considering its incomparable advantages such as small volume, easy fabrication, simple installation and economical applicability, such design is helpful for developing multifunctional health monitoring gadgets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nanoen.2021.106612DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8505024PMC
October 2021

Electroacupuncture Promotes the Survival of the Grafted Human MGE Neural Progenitors in Rats with Cerebral Ischemia by Promoting Angiogenesis and Inhibiting Inflammation.

Neural Plast 2021 7;2021:4894881. Epub 2021 Oct 7.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Stem cells have the potential as a regenerative therapy for cerebral ischemia by improving functional outcomes. However, cell transplantation has some limitations, including a low rate of the grafted cell survival. There is still a major challenge of promoting the harmonious symbiosis between grafted cells and the host. Acupuncture can effectively improve the functional outcome after cerebral ischemia. The present study evaluated the therapeutic effects and explored the mechanism of combined medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) neural progenitors differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with electroacupuncture (EA) in a bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (2VO) rat model. The results showed that EA could promote the survival of the grafted MGE neural progenitors differentiated from hESCs and alleviate learning and memory impairment in rats with cerebral ischemia. This may have partially resulted from inhibited expression of TNF- and IL-1 and increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and blood vessel density in the hippocampus. Our findings indicated that EA could promote the survival of the grafted MGE neural progenitors and enhance transplantation therapy's efficacy by promoting angiogenesis and inhibiting inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/4894881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8516583PMC
October 2021

Effect of copy number variation of PLA2G2A gene to growth traits in Chinese cattle.

Gene 2021 Oct 13:146014. Epub 2021 Oct 13.

College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling Shaanxi, 712100, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

PLA2G2A, member of secreted phospholipases A2 (sPLA2) in superfamily of phospholipase A2, could catalyze the process of glycerophospholipids hydrolysis from position of sn-2 acyl with the release of free fatty acids and lysophospholipids. Researches about PLA2G2A gene are mostly focus on disease, including tumors and diabetes, the number of study occurred on animal breeding is weak. In this study, blood samples were collected from five breeds of Chinese cattle (Qingchuan cattle, Xianan cattle, Yunling cattle, Pinan cattle and Guyuan cattle) for PLA2G2A gene CNV type detection. SPSS 20.0 software and method of ANOVA were used to analyzed the association between types of CNV and growth traits. Results reveal that the distribution of different copy number types in different cattle breeds is different. In QC, XN and GY cattle, the frequencies of Deletion and Duplication are about 40%; in YL cattle, the frequency of Deletion type exceeds 60%; in PN cattle, the frequency of Duplication is closed to 80%. Association analysis indicate that CNV of PLA2G2A gene showed a positive effect in cattle growth: in QC cattle, Chest depth with Normal type copy number possess a increased trend(P < 0.05); individuals with Deletion type copy number have better performance on Height at sacrum, Heart girth and Body height in GY cattle (P < 0.05). The functional role and molecular mechanism of PLA2G2A gene in animal growth and development are still unclear, and it is necessary for processing a further research. This research aims to provide basic materials for molecular breeding of Chinese yellow cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2021.146014DOI Listing
October 2021

Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy Combined With Botulinum Toxin for Post-stroke Spasticity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Cureus 2021 Sep 1;13(9):e17645. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Research, Paolo Procacci Foundation, Roma, ITA.

Stroke is considered one of the main causes of adult disability and the second most serious cause of death worldwide. The combination of botulinum toxin type A (BTX) with rehabilitation techniques such as modified constraint-induced movement therapy (mCIMT) has emerged as a highly efficient intervention for stroke patients to start synchronized motor function along with spasticity reduction. The current systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted in order to evaluate the available literature about the safety and efficacy of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) combined with BTX in stroke patients with upper limb spasticity. Searches were conducted on WoS (Web of Science), Ovid, EBSCO-ASC&BSC, and PubMed for identifying relevant literature published from 2000-2020. Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and Quasi-experimental studies were considered for inclusion. Rayyan (systematic review tool) QCRI (Qatar Computing Research Institute) was used for independent screening of the studies by two reviewers. For risk of bias and study quality assessment, Cochrane risk of bias tool (RoB 2) and Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scales were used. Cochrane review manager was used to carry out the meta-analyses of the included studies. The search resulted in a total of 13065 references, of which 4967 were duplicates. After the title, abstract and full-text screening, two RCTs were deemed eligible for inclusion. Both the RCTs scored 8 on PEDro and were level evidence. The studies were heterogeneous. The findings of this meta-analysis in all the three joints post-stroke spasticity assessed on modified Ashworth scale (MAS) at four weeks post-injection aren't statistically significant (elbow P-value 0.74, wrist P-value 0.57, fingers P-value 0.42), however, according to one of the included studies the therapeutic efficacy of the combination of BTX-mCIMT injection assessed at four weeks post-injection in wrist and finger flexors was promising.  The effectiveness of BTX-CIMT combination over conventional therapy (CT) for improving post-stroke spasticity still needs to be explored with long-term, multicenter rigorously designed RCTs having a good sample size. However, the BTX-CIMT combination is promising for enhancing motor function recovery and improving activities of daily living (ADLs).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.17645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8486367PMC
September 2021

Improved Stability of a Stable Crystal Form C of 6S-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate Calcium Salt, Method Development and Validation of an LC-MS/MS Method for Rat Pharmacokinetic Comparison.

Molecules 2021 Oct 3;26(19). Epub 2021 Oct 3.

Lianyungang Jinkang Hexin Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Lianyungang 222115, China.

Folate is a vitamin beneficial for humans that plays an important role in metabolism, but it cannot be well supplemented by food; it is necessary to supplement it in other ways. Based on this consideration, a novel crystal form C of 6S-5-methyltetrahydrofolate calcium salt (MTHF CAC) was obtained. To explore the difference between MTHF CAC and the crystal form Ⅰ of 6S-5-methyltetrahydrofolate calcium salt (MTHF CA) as well as an amorphous product of 6S-5-methyltetrahydrofolate glucosamine salt (MTHF GA), their stability and pharmacokinetic behaviours were compared. The results of high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultraviolet detection analysis indicated that MTHF CAC showed a better stability than MTHF CA and MTHF GA. After oral administration of MTHF CAC, MTHF CA, and MTHF GA to male rats, the MTHF concentrations were analysed using a validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and the pharmacokinetic parameters were compared. The mean residence times (0-t) of MTHF CAC, MTHF CA, and MTHF GA were 3.7 ± 1.9 h, 1.0 ± 0.2 h ( < 0.01), and 1.5 ± 0.3 h ( < 0.05), respectively. The relative bioavailability of MTHF CAC was calculated to be 351% and 218% compared with MTHF CA and MTHF GA, respectively, which suggests that MTHF CAC can be better absorbed and utilized for a longer period of time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26196011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8512888PMC
October 2021

Potential Development of a Mobile Application for Gout Self-Management: What Support Do Patients Need?

Patient Prefer Adherence 2021 1;15:2231-2238. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

West China School of Nursing and Department of Nursing, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: With the increasing prevalence and chronic course of gout, the use of mobile health (mHealth) applications (APPs) for gout self-management is attracting considerable research attention as an effective approach to improving health outcomes. However, there is limited knowledge regarding the self-management support that a mHealth APP for gout should provide to patients according to their needs. The aim of this study was to interview patients with gout and identify their needs with respect to gout self-management support.

Patients And Methods: We conducted qualitative research using a purposive sampling method from January 2019 to August 2019. Individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients recruited from West China Hospital in Sichuan, China. The qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by thematic analysis.

Results: Ten male patients with gout were included in the final analysis. Instrumental, psychological, and relational support emerged as themes describing the needs of patients for gout self-management support. The instrumental support included health education, hospital registration, setting reminders, and shopping. Psychological support referred to helping patients mitigate various negative emotions. Relational support included interactions with healthcare providers and fellow patients.

Conclusion: The present findings indicate that healthcare providers or companies should develop mHealth APPs for gout self-management based on the needs of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S310689DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8493006PMC
October 2021

[Optimization Design of Emergency Quick Fixation Device Based on ANSYS Workbench].

Zhongguo Yi Liao Qi Xie Za Zhi 2021 Sep;45(5):512-516

Naval Special Medical Center, Shanghai, 200433.

Objective: A rapid fixation device is developed to solve the problems of emergency fixation and transportation of patients with spinal injury.

Methods: Through the analysis of the function,3D modeling design, finite element analysis and optimization design based on ANSYS Workbench, tensile strength verification experiment, we produced the prototype, and tested it, conducted a simulated rescue experiment.

Results: The fixation device designed can meet the demand of spinal injury patients for safe rescue after accidents, and the quality of the rapid fixation device was lighten by about 30% without reducing the intensity.

Conclusions: The method based on optimal design can obviously improve the structure design, and has reference significance for other related rescue equipment design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1671-7104.2021.05.009DOI Listing
September 2021

Contemporary update of retinoblastoma in China: Three-decade changes in epidemiology, clinical features, treatments and outcomes.

Am J Ophthalmol 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Department of Ophthalmology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Purpose: To report three-decade changes of clinical characteristics, progress of treatments and risk factors associated for mortality and enucleation in patients with retinoblastoma in China.

Design: Retrospective cohort study METHODS: This multicenter study included 2552 patients diagnosed with retinoblastoma in 38 medical centers in 31 provinces in China from 1989 to 2017 with follow up data. Kendall's tau-b value was used to describe correlation coefficients between eras and clinical or demographic features. Hazard ratios and odds ratios were applied to measure risk factors.

Results: In this study, 324(13%) patients died of retinoblastoma and 1414(42%) eyes were removed. The 1-, 3-and 5- year disease-specific survival were 95%, 86% and 83%, respectively. Patients were diagnosed at a better stage by International Classification for Retinoblastoma over time (Kendall's tau-b value=-0.084, P<0.001). Pathological risk factors were also less observed in recent era. New conservative therapies were adopted and used in more patients. The eye removal rate gradually decreased (Kendall's tau-b value=-0.167, P<0.001). The disease-specific survival rate were 81%, 83% and 91% in the three eras. By multivariate cox regression, bilateral tumors and extraocular extension were risk factors for death. Among intraocular disease, group E indicated higher risk of mortality. By multivariate logistics regression, unilateral tumors, earlier era of diagnosis and extraocular extension were risk factors for eye salvage failure. Among intraocular retinoblastoma, groups D and E had higher risk of eye salvage failure.

Conclusions: Patients were diagnosed at earlier stage in recent era. Conservative therapies including IAC were increasingly used. The above changes may contribute to the decreasing enucleation rate. Although no significant difference was identified in the mortality of the three eras, a decreasing trend was shown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2021.09.026DOI Listing
October 2021

Changes in exposure to ambient fine particulate matter after relocating and long term survival in Canada: quasi-experimental study.

BMJ 2021 10 8;375:n2368. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Objective: To investigate the association between changes in long term residential exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM) and premature mortality in Canada.

Design: Population based quasi-experimental study.

Setting: Canada.

Participants: 663 100 respondents to the 1996, 2001, and 2006 Canadian censuses aged 25-89 years who had consistently lived in areas with either high or low PM levels over five years preceding census day and moved during the ensuing five years.

Interventions: Changes in long term exposure to PM arising from residential mobility.

Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was deaths from natural causes. Secondary outcomes were deaths from any cardiometabolic cause, any respiratory cause, and any cancer cause. All outcomes were obtained from the national vital statistics database.

Results: Using a propensity score matching technique with numerous personal, socioeconomic, health, and environment related covariates, each participant who moved to a different PM area was matched with up to three participants who moved within the same PM area. In the matched groups that moved from high to intermediate or low PM areas, residential mobility was associated with a decline in annual PM exposure from 10.6 μg/m to 7.4 and 5.0 μg/m, respectively. Conversely, in the matched groups that moved from low to intermediate or high PM areas, annual PM increased from 4.6 μg/m to 6.7 and 9.2 μg/m. Five years after moving, individuals who experienced a reduction in exposure to PM from high to intermediate levels showed a 6.8% (95% confidence interval 1.7% to 11.7%) reduction in mortality (2510 deaths in 56 025 4925 deaths in 101 960). A greater decline in mortality occurred among those exposed to a larger reduction in PM. Increased mortality was found with exposure to PM from low to high levels, and to a lesser degree from low to intermediate levels. Furthermore, the decreases in PM exposure were most strongly associated with reductions in cardiometabolic deaths, whereas the increases in PM exposure were mostly related to respiratory deaths. No strong evidence was found for the changes in PM exposure with cancer related deaths.

Conclusions: In Canada, decreases in PM were associated with lower mortality, whereas increases in PM were associated with higher mortality. These results were observed at PM levels considerably lower than many other countries, providing support for continuously improving air quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8498990PMC
October 2021

Contribution of epididymal epithelial cell functions to sperm epigenetic changes and the health of progeny.

Hum Reprod Update 2021 Oct 7. Epub 2021 Oct 7.

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproduction, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada.

Background: Spermatozoa acquire their motility and fertilizing abilities during their maturation through the epididymis. This process is controlled by epididymal epithelial cells that possess features adapted to sense and respond to their surrounding environment and to communicate with spermatozoa. During the past decade, new intercellular communication processes have been discovered, including the secretion and transport of molecules from the epithelium to spermatozoa via extracellular vesicles (EVs), as well as sensing of the intraluminal milieu by cellular extensions.

Objective And Rationale: This review addresses recent findings regarding epididymal epithelial cell features and interactions between spermatozoa and the epididymal epithelium as well as epigenetic modifications undergone by spermatozoa during transit through the epididymal microenvironment.

Search Methods: A systematic search was conducted in Pubmed with the keyword 'epididymis'. Results were filtered on original research articles published from 2009 to 2021 and written in the English language. One hundred fifteen original articles presenting recent advancements on the epididymis contribution to sperm maturation were selected. Some additional papers cited in the primary reference were also included. A special focus was given to higher mammalian species, particularly rodents, bovines and humans, that are the most studied in this field.

Outcomes: This review provides novel insights into the contribution of epididymal epithelium and EVs to post-testicular sperm maturation. First, new immune cell populations have been described in the epididymis, where they are proposed to play a role in protecting the environment surrounding sperm against infections or autoimmune responses. Second, novel epididymal cell extensions, including dendrites, axopodia and primary cilia, have been identified as sensors of the environment surrounding sperm. Third, new functions have been outlined for epididymal EVs, which modify the sperm epigenetic profile and participate in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of paternal traits.

Wider Implications: Although the majority of these findings result from studies in rodents, this fundamental research will ultimately improve our knowledge of human reproductive physiopathologies. Recent discoveries linking sperm epigenetic modifications with paternal environmental exposure and progeny outcome further stress the importance of advancing fundamental research on the epididymis. From this, new therapeutic options for infertile couples and better counseling strategies may arise to increase positive health outcomes in children conceived either naturally or with ART.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmab029DOI Listing
October 2021

Comprehensive Analysis of NAFLD and the Therapeutic Target Identified.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 20;9:704704. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Endocrinology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a serious health threat worldwide. The aim of this study was to comprehensively describe the metabolic and immunologic characteristics of NAFLD, and to explore potential therapeutic drug targets for NAFLD. Six NAFLD datasets were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, including GSE48452, GSE63067, GSE66676, GSE89632, GSE24807, and GSE37031. The datasets we then used to identify and analyze genes that were differentially expressed in samples from patients with NAFLD and normal subjects, followed by analysis of the metabolic and immunologic characteristics of patients with NAFLD. We also identified potential therapeutic drugs for NAFLD using the Connectivity Map (CMAP) database. Moreover, we constructed a prediction model using minimum depth random forest analysis and screened for potential therapeutic targets. Finally, therapeutic targets were verified in a fatty liver model stimulated by palmitic acid (PA). A total of 1,358 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were obtained, which were mainly enriched in carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, and other metabolic pathways. Immune infiltration analysis showed that memory B cells, regulatory T cells and M1 macrophage were significantly up-regulated, while T cells follicular helper were down regulated in NAFLD. These may provide a reference for the immune-metabolism interaction in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Digoxin and helveticoside were identified as potential therapeutic drugs for NAFLD via the CMAP database. In addition, a five-gene prediction model based on minimum depth random forest analysis was constructed, and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of both training and validation set reached 1. The five candidate therapeutic targets were ENO3, CXCL10, INHBE, LRRC31, and OPTN. Moreover, the efficiency of hepatocyte adipogenesis decreased after OPTN knockout, confirming the potential use of OPTN as a new therapeutic target for NAFLD. This study provides a deeper insight into the molecular pathogenesis of NAFLD. We used five key genes to construct a diagnostic model with a strong predictive effect. Therefore, these five key genes may play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of NAFLD, particularly those with increased OPTN expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.704704DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488166PMC
September 2021

Complementation of contact tracing by mass testing for successful containment of beta COVID-19 variant (SARS-CoV-2 VOC B.1.351) epidemic in Hong Kong.

Lancet Reg Health West Pac 2021 Dec 1;17:100281. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

Background: Global dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) remains a concern. The aim of this study is to describe how mass testing and phylogenetic analysis successfully prevented local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 VOC in a densely populated city with low herd immunity for COVID-19.

Methods: In this descriptive study, we conducted contact tracing, quarantine, and mass testing of the potentially exposed contacts with the index case. Epidemiological investigation and phylogeographic analysis were performed.

Findings: Among 11,818 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 diagnosed till 13 May 2021 in Hong Kong, SARS-CoV-2 VOCs were found in 271 (2.3%) cases. Except for 10 locally acquired secondary cases, all SARS-CoV-2 VOCs were imported or acquired in quarantine hotels. The index case of this SARS-CoV-2 VOC B.1.351 epidemic, an inbound traveler with asymptomatic infection, was diagnosed 9 days after completing 21 days of quarantine. Contact tracing of 163 contacts in household, hotel, and residential building only revealed 1 (0.6%) secondary case. A symptomatic foreign domestic helper (FDH) without apparent epidemiological link but infected by virus with identical genome sequence was subsequently confirmed. Mass testing of 0.34 million FDHs identified two more cases which were phylogenetically linked. A total of 10 secondary cases were identified that were related to two household gatherings. The clinical attack rate of household close contact was significantly higher than non-household exposure during quarantine (7/25, 28% vs 0/2051, 0%; p<0.001).

Interpretation: The rising epidemic of SARS-CoV-2 VOC transmission could be successfully controlled by contact tracing, quarantine, and rapid genome sequencing complemented by mass testing.

Funding: Health and Medical Research Fund Commissioned Research on Control of Infectious Disease (see acknowledgments for full list).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2021.100281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8483778PMC
December 2021

Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound inhibits fibroblast-like synoviocyte proliferation and reduces synovial fibrosis by regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

J Orthop Translat 2021 Sep 20;30:41-50. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400010, China.

Objective: Synovial fibrosis is a characteristic symptom of osteoarthritis (OA), which is closely associated with joint pain and stiffness. Previous studies have reported that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) can alleviate cartilage degradation in OA. However, the functions and mechanisms of LIPUS in OA synovial fibrosis are still unknown.

Methods: The destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) mouse model of OA was established in C57 male mice and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) were isolated from synovial tissue of OA patients. The knee joint diameter, Masson's trichrome (MT) and Hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining were used to evaluate synovial fibrosis and hyperplasia. The Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining was performed to detected the expression of synovial fibrosis makers and the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling . FLS were treated with TGF-β1 to serve as an model of synovial fibrosis, Wnt3a was used to activate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling in cells. Cell proliferation was detected by using EdU assay, cell viability was performed by CCK8 assay. The protein levels of α-SMA, CTGF, Col Ⅰ, β-catenin, active β-catenin, c-Myc and cyclin D1 were examined by western blot and immunofluorescence staining.

Results: Two weeks after the LIPUS treatment, the synovial fibrosis, synovial hyperplasia and synoviocyte proliferation in the DMM model were significantly decreased. , LIPUS directly inhibited the TGF-β1-induced fibrotic response and proliferation of FLS. Meanwhile, LIPUS suppressed Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the synovium of DMM mice and cultured FLS. More importantly, we found that the synovial fibrosis makers, Wnt/β-catenin pathway downstream proteins and FLS proliferation were significantly decreased in Wnt3a-stimulated FLS following LIPUS treatment.

Conclusions: Our results present a novel role of LIPUS in OA-related synovial fibrosis, which is associated with its ability to repress Wnt/β-catenin signaling in FLS.

The Translational Potential Of This Article: This study provides new insight into the clinical application of LIPUS as a therapeutic option to manage synovial fibrosis in OA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jot.2021.08.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8458725PMC
September 2021

Universal Antifouling and Photothermal Antibacterial Surfaces Based on Multifunctional Metal-Phenolic Networks for Prevention of Biofilm Formation.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Oct 5;13(41):48403-48413. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

State and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Novel Functional Polymeric Materials, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, P. R. China.

Biofilms formed from the pathogenic bacteria that attach to the surfaces of biomedical devices and implantable materials result in various persistent and chronic bacterial infections, posing serious threats to human health. Compared to the elimination of matured biofilms, prevention of the formation of biofilms is expected to be a more effective way for the treatment of biofilm-associated infections. Herein, we develop a facile method for endowing diverse substrates with long-term antibiofilm property by deposition of a hybrid film composed of tannic acid/Cu ion (TA/Cu) complex and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). In this system, the TA/Cu complex acts as a multifunctional building block with three different roles: (i) as a versatile "glue" with universal adherent property for substrate modification, (ii) as a photothermal biocidal agent for bacterial elimination under irradiation of near-infrared (NIR) laser, and (iii) as a potent linker for immobilization of PEG with inherent antifouling property to inhibit adhesion and accumulation of bacteria. The resulted hybrid film shows negligible cytotoxicity and good histocompatibility and could prevent biofilm formation for at least 15 days and suppress bacterial infection , showing great potential for practical applications to solve the biofilm-associated problems of biomedical materials and devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c14979DOI Listing
October 2021

Comparative Metagenomics Reveals Microbial Communities and Their Associated Functions in Two Types of Fuzhuan Brick Tea.

Front Microbiol 2021 16;12:705681. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Xianyang, China.

Fuzhuan brick tea (FBT) is a unique post-fermented tea product, naturally co-fermented by microorganisms, and has gained global popularity due to its potential health benefits for humans. Considerable efforts have been made toward elucidating the microbial diversity within FBT, but an understanding of the underlying FBT community interactions and functions remains poorly studied. Consequently, the microbial communities of two types of FBT, originating from Hunan and Shaanxi provinces, were investigated using comparative shotgun metagenomic sequencing and functional annotations. Metagenomic analysis indicated that two communities shared similar taxonomic and functional attributes. Two samples shared 486 genera, in which contributed most to the abundant functions within the two samples. The carbohydrate active enzyme functions of the communities primarily comprised GH (32.92%), GT (26.8%), CEs (20.43%), and AAs (18.04%). Furthermore, the overall metabolic pathways encoded by the metagenomes were largely associated with carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, with nine metabolic pathways that were differential between two groups including penicillin and cephalosporin biosynthesis. Significantly, a total of 35 potential probiotics were inferred, with being the most abundant inferred probiotic (80%) within the FBT communities. This study provides new insights into FBT microbial communities on their potential functions and roles in FBT characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.705681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481837PMC
September 2021

Removal of flue gas mercury by porous carbons derived from one-pot carbonization and activation of wood sawdust in a molten salt medium.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Sep 24;424(Pt A):127336. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

School of Energy Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China. Electronic address:

Porous carbons derived from one-pot carbonization and activation of wood sawdust in a molten salt (LiCl-KCl) medium were employed for Hg removal. The carbons derived from molten salt carbonization (MSC) displayed much superior Hg removal performance comparing with the carbons derived from N pyrolysis method (NC). The best molar ratio of LiCl-KCl was 59:41, the optimal molten salt temperature was 700 °C, and the best mass ratio of wood sawdust to molten salt was 1:10. The MSC displayed good applicability at 50-125 °C. The saturation Hg adsorption capacity of MSC was about 7828.39 μg·g, far exceeding those for carbonaceous adsorbents reported in literatures. A Hg removal mechanism over MSC was proposed, i.e., the hierarchical porous structure accelerated mass transfer of Hg, and the CO groups served as electron acceptors from Hg atoms to form organic matter bonded mercury (Hg-OM). The molten salt could be easily separated from the mixture of MSC for recycling multiple times. Thus, molten salt carbonization method appears to be promising in one-pot carbonization and activation of biomass as efficient adsorbents for gaseous Hg.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127336DOI Listing
September 2021

Nimodipine Promotes Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in Rats.

Front Pharmacol 2021 13;12:733420. Epub 2021 Sep 13.

Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition that results in severe motor, sensory, and autonomic dysfunction. The L-/T-type calcium channel blocker nimodipine (NMD) exerts a protective effect on neuronal injury; however, the protective effects of long-term administration of NMD in subjects with SCI remain unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the role of long-term treatment with NMD on a clinically relevant SCI model. Female rats with SCI induced by 25 mm contusion were subcutaneously injected with vehicle or 10 mg/kg NMD daily for six consecutive weeks. We monitored the motor score, hind limb grip strength, pain-related behaviors, and bladder function in this study to assess the efficacy of NMD in rats with SCI. Rats treated with NMD showed improvements in locomotion, pain-related behaviors, and spasticity-like symptoms, but not in open-field spontaneous activity, hind limb grip strength or bladder function. SCI lesion areas and perilesional neuronal numbers, gliosis and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) fiber sprouting in the lumbar spinal cord and the expression of K-Cl cotransporter 2 (KCC2) on lumbar motor neurons were also observed to further explore the possible protective mechanisms of NMD. NMD-treated rats showed greater tissue preservation with reduced lesion areas and increased perilesional neuronal sparing. NMD-treated rats also showed improvements in gliosis, CGRP fiber sprouting in the lumbar spinal cord, and KCC2 expression in lumbar motor neurons. Together, these results indicate that long-term treatment with NMD improves functional recovery after SCI, which may provide a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of SCI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.733420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8477750PMC
September 2021

Evaluation of the nontreponemal IgM antibodies in syphilis serofast patients: A new serologic marker for active syphilis.

Clin Chim Acta 2021 Sep 27;523:196-200. Epub 2021 Sep 27.

Center of Clinical Laboratory, Zhongshan Hospital, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. Electronic address:

Background: Serofast status is challenging to interpret in clinical work, and distinguishing active syphilis in serofast patients can provide a reference for clinical diagnosis and treatment. However, effective serologic markers for active syphilis are still lacking.

Objectives: We aimed to explore the possibility of nontreponemal IgM antibodies in distinguishing active syphilis in serofast patients.

Methods: A total of 1501 clinical serum samples were collected from 301 serofast patients, and nontreponemal IgM antibodies were detected by chemiluminescence immunoassay.

Results: The results showed that a total of 29 samples (9.63%) of 301 serofast patients were positive for nontreponemal IgM antibodies, and our limited follow-up data showed that 66.67% (2/3) of the serofast patients progressed to neurosyphilis and cardiovascular syphilis.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that most serofast patients with positive nontreponemal IgM antibodies have evidence of progressive syphilis, and nontreponemal IgM antibodies can be used as a new serologic marker for the activity of syphilis. Nontreponemal IgM antibodies may play a role in the management of serofast patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2021.09.019DOI Listing
September 2021

Inhibition of Dishevelled-2 suppresses the biological behavior of pancreatic cancer by downregulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

Oncol Lett 2021 Nov 8;22(5):769. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Kangda College of Nanjing Medical University, Lianyungang, Jiangsu 222001, P.R. China.

Dishevelled-2 (DVL2) has been proven to be involved in the tumorigenesis of several human cancers, such as colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, etc. However, its role in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains unclear. The present study investigated the effects of aberrantly expressed DVL2 on PDAC. A total of 97 pancreatic cancer (PC) samples and 85 adjacent normal samples were obtained from patients who were histopathologically diagnosed with primary PDAC. The present study demonstrated that DVL2 expression was upregulated in PDAC tissues and was positively associated with advanced clinical stage and lymph node metastasis in patients with PDAC. In addition, patients with high expression of DVL2 had a shorter overall survival rate compared with those with low expression. To elucidate the role of DVL2 in PDAC, lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA was used to silence DVL2 and its physiological function was analyzed in CFPAC-1 and PANC-1 cells. The results indicated that DVL2 downregulation significantly impaired its oncogenic functions including cell proliferation, migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, DVL2 knockdown inhibits the proliferation and invasion of PC cells . In addition, co-immunoprecipitation assays revealed that DVL2 interacted with β-catenin; knockdown of DVL2 reduced the expression level of β-catenin and inhibited β-catenin translocation into the nucleus. In conclusion the findings of the present study suggested that DVL2 may be a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of PDAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.13030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8442142PMC
November 2021

Transferring waste red mud into ferric oxide decorated ANA-type zeolite for multiple heavy metals polluted soil remediation.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Sep 20;424(Pt A):127244. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Integrated Surface Water Groundwater Pollution Control, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil and Groundwater Pollution Control, Key Laboratory of Municipal Solid Waste Recycling Technology and Management of Shenzhen City, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Interfacial Science and Engineering of Materials, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China. Electronic address:

Herein, a novel "waste reclamation for soil remediation" strategy has been developed for both alkaline waste red mud (RM) recycling and heavy metal (HM) polluted soil remediation. Through a direct one-pot hydrothermal reaction process, the Al, Si, alkali, and FeO components in waste RM have been transferred into ferric oxide decorated ANA-type zeolite (FeO-ANA). As tested by the HMs polluted soil remediation and oilseed rape planting experiment, when 25 g/kg FeO-ANA is added into the Pb, Cu, Cr and anionic AsO polluted soil (HM concentration: 100-200 mg/kg), it can effectively suppress the HMs mobility in soil and reduce the bio-accumulation concentrations of HMs in the harvested oilseed rape (reduce ratio: 37.9-69.5%). The detailed mechanism study using energy dispersive X-ray energy spectroscopy, in-depth X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and density function theory calculation concludes that the Cu, Pb and Cr in soil have been adsorbed and trapped in the framework structure of ANA in FeO-ANA mainly via the cation exchange process. While the anionic AsO species are mainly caught by the FeO component in FeO-ANA via surface adsorption. Overall, this work firstly transforms waste RM into FeO-ANA for soil remediation, which is valuable to waste resource recycling and environmental conservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127244DOI Listing
September 2021

The Association between Body Mass Index and Intra-Cortical Myelin: Findings from the Human Connectome Project.

Nutrients 2021 Sep 16;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Southwest University (SWU), Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400715, China.

Intra-cortical myelin is a myelinated part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for the spread and synchronization of neuronal activity in the cortex. Recent animal studies have established a link between obesity and impaired oligodendrocyte maturation vis-à-vis cells that produce and maintain myelin; however, the association between obesity and intra-cortical myelination remains to be established. To investigate the effects of obesity on intra-cortical myelin in living humans, we employed a large, demographically well-characterized sample of healthy young adults drawn from the Human Connectome Project ( = 1066). Intra-cortical myelin was assessed using a novel T1-w/T2-w ratio method. Linear regression analysis was used to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI), an indicator of obesity, and intra-cortical myelination, adjusting for covariates of no interest. We observed BMI was related to lower intra-cortical myelination in regions previously identified to be involved in reward processing (i.e., medial orbitofrontal cortex, rostral anterior cingulate cortex), attention (i.e., visual cortex, inferior/middle temporal gyrus), and salience detection (i.e., insula, supramarginal gyrus) in response to viewing food cues (corrected < 0.05). In addition, higher BMIs were associated with more intra-cortical myelination in regions associated with somatosensory processing (i.e., the somatosensory network) and inhibitory control (i.e., lateral inferior frontal gyrus, frontal pole). These findings were also replicated after controlling for key potential confounding factors including total intracranial volume, substance use, and fluid intelligence. Findings suggested that altered intra-cortical myelination may represent a novel microstructure-level substrate underlying prior abnormal obesity-related brain neural activity, and lays a foundation for future investigations designed to evaluate how living habits, such as dietary habit and physical activity, affect intra-cortical myelination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13093221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8469469PMC
September 2021

Water-Soluble Visible Light Sensitive Photoinitiating System Based on Charge Transfer Complexes for the 3D Printing of Hydrogels.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Sep 21;13(18). Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Université de Haute-Alsace, CNRS, IS2M UMR 7361, F-68100 Mulhouse, France.

The development of visible-light 3D printing technology by using water-soluble initiating systems has attracted widespread attention due to their potential applications in the manufacture of hydrogels. Besides, at present, the preparation of water-soluble photoinitiators suitable for visible light irradiation (such as LEDs) still remains a challenge. Therefore, this work is devoted to developing water-soluble photoinitiators (PI)/photoinitiating systems (PIS) upon irradiation with a LED @ 405 nm. In detail, a new water-slightly-soluble chalcone derivative dye [()-3-(4-(dimethylamino) phenyl)-1-(4-(2-(2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethoxy) ethoxy) phenyl) prop-2-en-1-one] was synthesized here and used as a PI with a water-soluble coinitiator, i.e., triethanolamine (TEA) which was also used as an electron donor. When combined together, a charge transfer complex (CTC) formed immediately which exhibited excellent initiating ability for the free radical photopolymerization of poly(ethyleneglycol)diacrylate (PEG-DA). In light of the powerful CTC effect, the [dye-TEA] CTC could not only exhibit enhanced water solubility and mechanical properties but could also be effectively applied for 3D printing. This CTC system is environmentally friendly and cost-saving which demonstrates a great potential to prepare hydrogels via photopolymerization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13183195DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8470713PMC
September 2021

Insights into the Intrinsic Factors Affecting the NIR Reflectance Based on Rylene Diimide Molecules.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Sep 13;14(18). Epub 2021 Sep 13.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Information Materials and Technology, National Center for International Research on Green Optoelectronics, South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China.

A clear understanding of the relationships between molecular structure and NIR reflectance (700-2500 nm) behavior is important and highly desirable for developing appropriate NIR-reflective materials to combat NIR heat radiation from sunlight. In this research, three groups of imide-based compounds have been adopted to investigate the influence of the intrinsic molecular structures on the NIR-reflective properties. It is found out that for the compounds with alkyl groups, the NIR reflectance will increase as the degree of the conjugated backbone increases, especially for the reflectance from 1750 nm to 2500 nm. In addition, despite that the alkyl or amine groups deteriorate the NIR reflectance, the NIR reflectance varies within a certain interval and the isomers with branched alkyl groups show identical or smaller NIR reflectance than those of isomers with linear alkyl groups. For different compounds, crystallinity seems to almost have no relationship with their NIR reflectance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14185269DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8466077PMC
September 2021

From Anti-PD-1/PD-L1 to CTLA-4 and to MUC1-Is the Better Response to Treatment in Smokers of Cancer Patients Drug Specific?

J Pers Med 2021 Sep 13;11(9). Epub 2021 Sep 13.

Beijing Cancer Hospital and Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research, Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute, Beijing 100142, China.

Whether smokers respond to anti-cancer drugs differently than non-smokers remains controversial. The objective of this study is to explore whether the better response of the smokers is specific to therapy of anti-PD-1/PD-L1, anti-checkpoint inhibitor, individual drugs on the cell surface, or lung cancer. Our results showed that among all non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, when the data from anti-PD-1/PD-L1, anti-CTLA-4, and anti-MUC1 drugs are combined, the mean hazard ratios (HR) of smokers and non-smokers were 0.751 and 1.016, respectively. A meta-analysis with a fixed effect (FE) model indicated that the smokers have an HR value of 0.023 lower than that of the non-smokers. A stratified subgroup meta-analysis indicated that when treated with anti-CTLA-4 drugs, smokers had reduced HR values of 0.152 and 0.165 on average and FE model meta-analysis, respectively. When treated with an anti-MUC1 drug, smokers had reduced HR values of 1.563 and 0.645, on average and FE model meta-analysis, respectively. When treated with a combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab drugs, smokers had, on average, reduced HR and FE model meta-analysis values (0.257 and 0.141), respectively. Smoking is a clinical response predictor for anti-PD/PD-L1 monotherapy or first-line treatment in lung, urothelial carcinoma, and head and neck cancer. Smokers treated with other drugs have shown worse responses in comparison to non-smokers. These data suggest that, along with the progress in the development of new drugs for cancer, drugs acting on specific genotypes of smokers likely will arise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm11090914DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8471889PMC
September 2021
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