Publications by authors named "Chunhui Li"

198 Publications

A Novel Automatic 3D Stitching Algorithm for Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography and Its Application in Dermatology.

J Biophotonics 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

School of Science and Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and OCT Angiography (OCTA) techniques offer numerous advantages in clinical skin applications but the field of view (FOV) of current commercial systems are relatively limited to cover the entire skin lesion. The typical method to expand the FOV is to apply wide field objective lens. However, lateral resolution is often sacrificed when scanning with these lenses. To overcome this drawback, we developed an automated 3D stitching method for creating high-resolution skin structure and vascular volumes with large field of view, which was realized by montaging multiple adjacent OCT and OCTA volumes. The proposed stitching method is demonstrated by montaging 3×3 OCT and OCTA volumes (9 OCT/OCTA volumes as one dataset with each volume covers 2.5cm×2.5cm area) of healthy thin and thick skin from 6 volunteers. The proposed stitching protocol achieves high flexibility and repeatable for all the participants. Moreover, according to evaluation of structural similarity index (SSI) and feature similarity index (FSI), our proposed stitched result has a superior similarity to single scanning protocol in large-scaled. We had also verified its improved performance through assessing metrics of vessel contrast-noise-ratio (CNR) from 2.07±0.44 (single large-scaled scanning protocol) to 3.05±0.51 (proposed 3×3 sub-volume stitching method). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbio.202100152DOI Listing
July 2021

Quantitative ultrasound shear wave elastography (USWE)-measured tissue stiffness correlates with PIRADS scoring of MRI and Gleason score on whole-mount histopathology of prostate cancer: implications for ultrasound image-guided targeting approach.

Insights Imaging 2021 Jul 8;12(1):96. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Division of Imaging Sciences and Technology, School of Medicine, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, DD1 9SY, UK.

Objective: To correlate quantitative tissue stiffness measurements obtained by transrectal ultrasound shear wave elastography (USWE) with PI-RADS scoring of multiparametric magnetic imaging resonance (mpMRI) using Gleason scores of radical prostatectomy as a reference standard.

Patients And Methods: 196 men with localised prostate cancer were prospectively recruited into the study and had quantitative prostate tissue stiffness measurements in kilopascals (kPa) using transrectal USWE prior to radical prostatectomy. PI-RADS scores of mpMRI were also obtained in all the men. Imaging and histopathology of radical prostatectomy specimen were oriented to each other using patient specific customised 3D moulds to guide histopathology grossing of radical prostatectomy specimens. All included patients had confirmed PCa on TRUS-guided biopsies, had both USWE and mpMRI imaging data, and underwent radical prostatectomy. Chi-square test with 95% confidence interval was used to assess the difference between Gleason score (GS) of radical prostatectomy and PI-RADS classification, as well as GS of radical prostatectomy and stiffness (in Kpa) using USWE. The correlation coefficient (r) was calculated in order to investigate relation between PI-RADS classification and tissue stiffness in kPa.

Results: There was a statistically significant correlation between USWE-measured tissue stiffness and GS (χ (2, N = 196) = 23.577, p < 0.001). Also, there was a statistically significant correlation between Gleason score and PI-RADS score (χ (2, N = 196) = 12.838, p = 0.002). High PIRADS on MRI and high stiffness on USWE (> 100 kPa) detected more than 80% and 90% high risk prostate cancer disease. However, a weak correlation coefficient of 0.231 was observed between PI-RADS score and level of tissue stiffness measured in kPa.

Conclusion: Quantitative USWE and mpMRI using PI-RADS classification provide a good degree of prediction for Gleason score of clinically significant prostate cancer (csPCa). Stiffer lesions on ultrasound showed a weak correlation with PI-RADS scoring system. USWE could be used to target suspected prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13244-021-01039-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8266979PMC
July 2021

Complete Genome Sequence of Pasteurella multocida HuN001, a Capsular Type A Strain from a Human.

Microbiol Resour Announc 2021 Jul 1;10(26):e0039521. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Here, we report the complete genome sequence of clinical Pasteurella multocida strain HuN001, which was cultured from a sputum sample from a patient with pneumonia. Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequencing provided a complete genome sequence of P. multocida HuN001, which contains a 2,287,216-bp circular chromosome with an average G+C content of 40.33%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MRA.00395-21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8248868PMC
July 2021

Kinesin family member 3C (KIF3C) is a novel non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) oncogene whose expression is modulated by microRNA-150-5p (miR-150-5p) and microRNA-186-3p (miR-186-3p).

Bioengineered 2021 Dec;12(1):3077-3088

Department of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital of Chengde Medical College, Chengde, Hebei, China.

This study is aimed at investigating the biological function of kinesin family member 3 C (KIF3C) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) progression and its upstream regulatory mechanism. Quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry were adopted to examine microRNA-150-5p (miR-150-5p), microRNA-186-3p (miR-186-3p) and kinesin family member 3 C (KIF3C) expression levels. NSCLC cell proliferation, migration, and invasion were detected through cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay, EdU assay, and Transwell assay. The metastasis of NSCLC cells was evaluated utilizing a pulmonary metastasis model in nude mice . The targeted relationship among KIF3C 3'UTR, miR-186-3p, and miR-150-5p were verified by dual-luciferase reporter gene assays. It was confirmed that in NSCLC tissues and cells, KIF3C expression level was increased and KIF3C overexpression promoted NSCLC cell proliferation and metastasis. Additionally, miR-150-5p and miR-186-3p directly targeted KIF3C to repress its expression. Our data suggest that KIF3C, which is negatively regulated by miR-150-5p and miR-186-3p, is an oncogenic factor in NSCLC progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.1942768DOI Listing
December 2021

Genomic evolution and virulence association of sequence type 37 (ribotype 017) in China.

Emerg Microbes Infect 2021 Dec;10(1):1331-1345

School of Laboratory Medicine, Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.

sequence type (ST) 37 (ribotype 017) is one of the most prevalent genotypes circulating in China. However, its genomic evolution and virulence determinants were rarely explored. Whole-genome sequencing, phylogeographic and phylogenetic analyses were conducted for ST37 isolates. The 325 ST37 genomes from six continents, including North America ( = 66), South America ( = 4), Oceania ( = 7), Africa ( = 9), Europe ( = 138) and Asia ( = 101), were clustered into six major lineages, with region-dependent distributions, harbouring an array of antibiotic-resistance genes. The ST37 strains from China were divided into four distinct sublineages, showing five importation times and international sources. Isolates associated with severe infections exhibited significantly higher toxin productions, mRNA levels, and sporulation capacities ( < 0.001). Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis showed 10 metabolic pathways were significantly enriched in the mutations among isolates associated with severe CDI ( < 0.05). Gene mutations in glycometabolism, amino acid metabolism and biosynthesis virtually causing instability in protein activity were correlated positively to the transcription of and negatively to the expression of toxin repressor genes, and Y. In summary, our study firstly presented genomic insights into genetic characteristics and virulence association of ST37 in China. Gene mutations in certain important metabolic pathways are associated with severe symptoms and correlated with higher virulence in ST37 isolates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2021.1943538DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253194PMC
December 2021

Case Report: Infective Endocarditis Caused by in a Hemodialysis Patient.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 5;8:655640. Epub 2021 May 5.

Hospital Infection Control Center, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Fungal endocarditis (FE) is a rare but fatal disease. The incidence of infective endocarditis (IE) in hemodialysis patients with catheters is thought to be obviously higher than that in the general population. We reported a case of IE caused by () in a 36-year-old woman on hemodialysis. Because the blood cultures were persistently negative, so we used mNGS (Metagenomic next generation sequencing) for early clinical diagnosis. After treatment with voriconazole, the patient's condition improved rapidly. She continued oral voriconazole treatment 1 year after discharge and is in good condition. The diagnosis and treatment strategies of FE in hemodialysis patients were discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.655640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8131528PMC
May 2021

Perillaldehyde Inhibition of cGAS Reduces dsDNA-Induced Interferon Response.

Front Immunol 2021 22;12:655637. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, School of Life Science and Technology, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China.

Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), serving as a primary sensor of intracellular DNA, is essential to initiate anti-microbial innate immunity. Inappropriate activation of cGAS by self-DNA promotes severe autoinflammatory diseases such as Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS); thus, inhibition of cGAS may provide therapeutic benefit in anti-autoimmunity. Here we report that perillaldehyde (PAH), a natural monoterpenoid compound derived from , suppresses cytosolic-DNA-induced innate immune responses by inhibiting cGAS activity. Mice treated with PAH are more susceptible to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Moreover, administration with PAH markedly ameliorates self-DNA-induced autoinflammatory responses in a mouse model of AGS. Collectively, our study reveals that PAH can effectively inhibit cGAS-STING signaling and could be developed toward the treatment of cGAS-mediated autoimmune diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.655637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8100446PMC
April 2021

The impacts of COVID-19 preventive and control interventions on other infectious diseases in China.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2021 May 3:1-6. Epub 2021 May 3.

Infection Control Center, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410008, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2021.204DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical characteristics of patients with listeriosis.

Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2021 Mar;46(3):257-262

Infection Control Center, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008.

Objectives: To investigate the clinical characteristics of patients with listeriosis and to provide a basis for diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of hospital infection.

Methods: A total of 10 inpatients, who suffered from the listeriosis in Xiangya Hospital, Central South University from January 2013 to June 2019, were retrospectively collected for this study. The characteristics of the patients' age, gander, basic information, case type, clinical manifestations, first consultation department, days of diagnosis, infection indicator, specimen type, results of drug sensitivity, treatment plan, hospital infection or not, outcome, follow-up data were analyzed.

Results: Two cases were pregnant women and other were non-pregnant adults among 10 patients with listeriosis. Among them, there were 3 cases with hospital acquired infection. The age of patient onset was 27-71 years old, and the time from onset to diagnosis was 5-36 days. Five cases had fever, and other 5 cases had not fever. There were headache, fatigue, local pain, and other specialized symptoms in the 10 patients.The white blood cell count,the neutrophil ratio, the inflammatory index C-reactive protein, the procalcitonin were all increased, and the erythrocyte sedimentation was accelerated in the 10 patients.All the patients were sensitive to ampicillin, penicillin G, meropenem, and compound sinomine.

Conclusions: Listeriosis often affects the patients with low immunity, which often leads to misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis in clinic.So early prevention, early diagnosis, and early treatment can reduce mortality; it is important for departments of nosocomial infection management to manage patients' diet for avoiding outbreaks of listeriosis in hospital.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11817/j.issn.1672-7347.2021.200399DOI Listing
March 2021

High Internal Phase Emulsions Synergistically Stabilized by Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose and Palm Kernel Oil Ethoxylates as an Essential Oil Delivery System.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 Apr 31;69(14):4191-4203. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

China Research Institute of Daily Chemistry Company, Limited, 34 Wenyuan Street, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, People's Republic of China.

High internal phase emulsions (HIPEs) with an internal phase fraction of 84 vol % were prepared using carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and palm kernel oil ethoxylates (SOE-N-60) as a dual emulsifier. Effects of the oil-phase volume fraction, CMC concentration, and SOE-N-60 concentration on oil-in-water HIPEs stability were systematically studied by a Mastersizer 2000 instrument, Lx POL polarizing microscope, rheometer, etc. The bioavailability of tea tree oil can be effectively protected using HIPEs as a delivery system. The experimental results showed that, with the increase of the concentrations of CMC and SOE-N-60, the droplet size of HIPEs gradually decreases and the HIPEs showed good static stability. In addition, it was observed by scanning electron microscopy that the polyHIPEs materials using HIPEs stabilized by different SOE-N-60 and CMC concentrations as templates had different structures. Moreover, the synergism between CMC and SOE-N-60 surfactants plays a significant role in the preparation and stability of HIPEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c07606DOI Listing
April 2021

Role of H, HF, SO and kaolin in fixing Hg of coal fire sponge.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 1;772:145510. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Ecological Health, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China. Electronic address:

Coal fire sponges (CFS) are common in coal-fire areas. Due to the enrichment of Hg in CFS, large amounts of Hg are released by CFS into the atmosphere via natural weathering or solar radiation. Therefore, CFS should be of concern in Hg pollution management and control globally. In addition, CFS changes the Hg cycle path by capturing Hg from coal fires that would have entered the atmosphere. In this study, the concentration, distribution, species, and enrichment mechanism of CFS Hg were investigated. The results showed that the Hg concentration in CFS ranged from 1008 to 35,310 ng/g, with an average of 8932 ng/g (CFS number, n = 153). The Hg concentration of CFS in different types of land was found to be significantly inhomogeneous. To determine the status of subterranean spontaneous combustion, the Hg concentration was added, which can improve the effect of coal-fire monitoring. Compared to the background area topsoil, CFS was enriched in Hg, acid, SO, and total fluoride. The Hg species in CFS was primarily HgSO, followed by HgO. However, the primary Hg species in the surrounding topsoil were HgCl and HgO. By the simulation experiment, it was determined that hydrofluoric acid (HF) was beneficial to activate the stable species in the coal-fire areas. HgCl, HgO, or Hg were ionized by acid liquor or HF, which can promote Hg migration and increase the adsorbed ratio; in the presence of SO, the primary Hg species was HgSO. Ultimately, Hg was absorbed by clay minerals and organic matter. The high-efficiency activation of steady Hg species by the coal-fire HF should be studied further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145510DOI Listing
June 2021

Unseeded, spontaneous nucleation of spherulitic magnesium calcite.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2021 Jul 9;593:359-369. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland; Energy Geosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA, United States. Electronic address:

Most of the sedimentary carbonates deposited in the marine environments are composed of calcium carbonate minerals with varying amounts of incorporated Mg. However, understanding how interactions of impurities with carbonate and their incorporation affect sediments behavior remains a challenge. Here, a new insight is obtained by monitoring solution composition, morphology, and electrokinetic potential of carbonate particles formed in a spontaneous unseeded batch precipitation experiment using electrochemical and scanning electron microscopy methods. The solid composition and growth rate are extracted from changes in the bulk composition and fitted to chemical affinity rate law, revealing that the precipitation pathway consists of second-order dissolution and first-order precipitation. The molecular dynamics simulations show that the lattice strain induced by randomly substituting Ca by Mg stabilizes spherical nanoparticles and reduces their surface area and volume. Combining kinetics and thermodynamics insight, we conclude that variation in the carbonate bulk and interfacial energies, along with the solution supersaturation, lead to the dissolution-precipitation transformation pathway from Mg-rich to Mg-poor carbonate phase that preserves spherulitic morphology. Our findings are relevant for long-standing questions of how impurities influence diagenesis of carbonate sediments and spherulitic carbonate particles' origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2021.03.002DOI Listing
July 2021

Fine particulate matter exposure and perturbation of serum metabolome: A longitudinal study in Baoding, China.

Chemosphere 2021 Aug 26;276:130102. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Key Laboratory of Environment and Health (HUST), Ministry of Education & Ministry of Environmental Protection, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430000, Hubei, PR China; State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubation), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430000, Hubei, PR China.

Metabolomics represents a powerful tool for measuring environmental exposures and biological responses to unveil potential mechanisms. Few studies have investigated the effects of exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) longitudinally on serum metabolomics in regions with high-level PM. Therefore, we examined the changes of serum metabolomics corresponding to individual PM exposure levels in spring and autumn among 63 healthy college students in Baoding city, Hebei, China. The metabolic profiling was determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The average level of individual PM in the spring was 1.82-fold higher than in the autumn (240 μg/m vs 132 μg/m). Males were exposed to a higher level of PM than females in the spring. Metabolic profiling was clearly separated by orthogonal partial least square-discriminant analysis in males but not in females. In the analysis of the associations between the metabolome and PM of the two seasons, the changes of 14 serum metabolites were significantly associated with PM in males. The metabolites related to heme metabolism (bilirubin, biliverdin), energy metabolism and oxidative stress (2-Octenoylcarnitine, N-Heptanoylglycine, and acetylcysteine), phospholipid metabolism (lysophosphatidic acid, phospholipid acid, and lysophosphatidylethanolamine), and tryptophan metabolism (N-Acetylserotonin, indolepyruvate, and melatonin) were decreased in the range of 2.16%-6.80% for each 10 μg/m increase of PM, while thyrotropin-releasing hormone, glutathione, and phosphatidylethanolamine related to energy metabolism and oxidative stress, and phospholipid metabolism were increased in the range of 2.95%-4.90% for each 10 μg/m increase of PM. This longitudinal study suggests that higher PM exposure may induce perturbations in serum metabolic signaling related to oxidative stress and inflammation, and males may be more prone to these metabolic perturbations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130102DOI Listing
August 2021

Neuroprotective effect of ketamine against TNF-α-induced necroptosis in hippocampal neurons.

J Cell Mol Med 2021 Apr 3;25(7):3449-3459. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Anesthesiology, Xiang'an Hospital of Xiamen University, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a crucial cytokine, has various homeostatic and pathogenic bioactivities. The aim of this study was to assess the neuroprotective effect of ketamine against TNF-α-induced motor dysfunction and neuronal necroptosis in male C57BL/6J mice in vivo and HT-22 cell lines in vitro. The behavioural testing results of the present study indicate that ketamine ameliorated TNF-α-induced neurological dysfunction. Moreover, immunohistochemical staining results showed that TNF-α-induced brain dysfunction was caused by necroptosis and microglial activation, which could be attenuated by ketamine pre-treatment inhibiting reactive oxygen species production and mixed lineage kinase domain-like phosphorylation in hippocampal neurons. Therefore, we concluded that ketamine may have neuroprotective effects as a potent inhibitor of necroptosis, which provides a new theoretical and experimental basis for the application of ketamine in TNF-α-induced necroptosis-associated diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.16426DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034479PMC
April 2021

Quantitative measurement of mechanical properties in wound healing processes in a corneal stroma model by using vibrational optical coherence elastography (OCE).

Biomed Opt Express 2021 Jan 22;12(1):588-603. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

School of Science and Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK.

Corneal wound healing, caused by frequent traumatic injury to the cornea and increasing numbers of refractive surgeries, has become a vital clinical problem. In the cornea, wound healing is an extremely complicated process. However, little is known about how the biomechanical changes in wound healing response of the cornea. Collagen-based hydrogels incorporating corneal cells are suitable for replicating a three-dimensional (3D) equivalent of the cornea . In this study, the mechanical properties of corneal stroma models were quantitatively monitored by a vibrational optical coherence elastography (OCE) system during continuous culture periods. Specifically, human corneal keratocytes were seeded at 5 × 10 cells/mL in the hydrogels with a collagen concentration of 3.0 mg/mL. The elastic modulus of the unwounded constructs increased from 2.950 ± 0.2 kPa to 11.0 ± 1.4 kPa, and the maximum thickness decreased from 1.034 ± 0.1 mm to 0.464 ± 0.09 mm during a 15-day culture period. Furthermore, a traumatic wound in the construct was introduced with a size of 500 µm. The elastic modulus of the neo-tissue in the wound area increased from 1.488 ± 0.4 kPa to 6.639 ± 0.3 kPa over 13 days. This study demonstrates that the vibrational OCE system is capable of quantitative monitoring the changes in mechanical properties of a corneal stroma wound model during continuous culture periods and improves our understanding on corneal wound healing processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.404096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7899504PMC
January 2021

Dynamic flows of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic in China.

Waste Manag 2021 Apr 24;124:273-282. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a widely used plastic material that may cause significant environmental pollution. China is a major global producer and consumer of PET. Previous studies have focused on the effects of toxic elements from PET (e.g., antimony leached from PET products) on the environment. However, detailed information about PET, particularly about the PET production, trade, use, and recycling in China, is limited. This study developed a network model of PET flows in China, including the production, market trade, manufacturing and use, and waste management and recycling stages. Based on this network model, the characteristics of PET flows during three periods of development for the PET industry were analyzed. The results show that the fiber and bottle manufacturing industries are the industries with the largest PET in-use stocks. The PET flows showed different characteristics in the terms of waste import, recycling, and disposal (mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, incineration, landfill, and discarding) in the different periods of PET industrial development. Notably, the amount of discarded PET was significant, and the treatment of waste PET would probably be a challenge in the future. Policies for improving the PET cycling system were provided on the basis of the study results to promote the management and sustainable utilization of PET materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2021.01.035DOI Listing
April 2021

Core Role of Hydrophobic Core of Polymeric Nanomicelle in Endosomal Escape of siRNA.

Nano Lett 2021 04 17;21(8):3680-3689. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

School of Life Science, Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science, Institute of Engineering Medicine, Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Biotherapy, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.

Efficient endosomal escape is the most essential but challenging issue for siRNA drug development. Herein, a series of quaternary ammonium-based amphiphilic triblock polymers harnessing an elaborately tailored pH-sensitive hydrophobic core were synthesized and screened. Upon incubating in an endosomal pH environment (pH 6.5-6.8), mPEG-P(DPA--DMAEMA)-PT (PDDT, the optimized polymer) nanomicelles (PDDT-Ms) and PDDT-Ms/siRNA polyplexes rapidly disassembled, leading to promoted cytosolic release of internalized siRNA and enhanced silencing activity evident from comprehensive analysis of the colocalization and gene silencing using a lysosomotropic agent (chloroquine) and an endosomal trafficking inhibitor (bafilomycin A1). In addition, PDDT-Ms/siPLK1 dramatically repressed tumor growth in both HepG2-xenograft and highly malignant patient-derived xenograft models. PDDT-Ms-armed siPD-L1 efficiently blocked the interaction of PD-L1 and PD-1 and restored immunological surveillance in CT-26-xenograft murine model. PDDT-Ms/siRNA exhibited ideal safety profiles in these assays. This study provides guidelines for rational design and optimization of block polymers for efficient endosomal escape of internalized siRNA and cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c04468DOI Listing
April 2021

Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of COVID-19 in Adolescents and Young Adults.

Innovation (N Y) 2020 May 20;1(1):100001. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Clinical Nutrition, Chongqing University Three Gorges Hospital & Chongqing Three Gorges Central Hospital, NO.165 Xincheng Road, Wanzhou, Chongqing 404000, People's Republic of China.

Background: Adolescents and young adults might play a key role in the worldwide spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) because they are more likely to be involved in overseas study, business, work, and travel. However, the epidemiological and clinical characteristics remain unknown.

Methods: We collected demographic, epidemiological, and clinical data from 46 confirmed COVID-19 patients aged 10 to 35 years from the Chongqing Three Gorges Central Hospital. Several key epidemiological parameters, asymptomatic cases, transmission to family members, and clinical characteristics at admission and during treatment were summarized.

Results: Of 46 confirmed patients, 14 patients (30.4%) were aged between 10 and 24 years, and 24 (52.2%) patients were male. The estimated mean incubation period was 6.6 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.4-9.6). The median serial interval was 1.9 days (95% CI 0.4-6.2). Three of the asymptomatic cases showed transmission to their family members. Only one patient was identified as a severe case at admission. The common symptoms at admission were dry cough (34, 81.0%) and fever (29, 69.1%). Nearly 60% of the patients showed ground-glass opacity on chest computed tomography. Three patients developed acute kidney injury during treatment. Most of the patients (78.3%) recovered and were discharged by the end of the follow-up.

Conclusions: This single-center study with a relatively small sample size showed that adolescent and young adult patients with COVID-19 had a long incubation period and a short serial interval. The transmission occurred from asymptomatic cases to family members. Fewer patients developed complications during treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xinn.2020.04.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7237935PMC
May 2020

Associations of prenatal exposure to vanadium with early-childhood growth: A prospective prenatal cohort study.

J Hazard Mater 2021 06 11;411:125102. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Environmental Protection, and State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Prenatal vanadium exposure is reported to be associated with restricted fetal growth and adverse birth outcomes. However, trimester-specific vanadium exposure in relation to early-childhood growth still remains unclear. A total of 1873 Chinese mother-infant pairs from whom a complete series of maternal urinary samples were collected over three stages of pregnancy were included from 2014 to 2016. The urinary concentrations of vanadium were analyzed. Children's anthropometric parameters were measured at birth, 6, 12 and 24 months. In boys, each doubling increase in vanadium concentrations at middle pregnancy was inversely associated with weight-for-length [- 9.07% (-17.21%, -0.93%)] and BMI z-score [- 9.66% (-18.05%, -1.28%)] at 24 months. Moreover, vanadium exposure at late pregnancy was negatively associated with weight [- 9.85% (-16.42%, -3.28%)], weight-for-length [- 11.00% (-18.40%, -3.60%)], and BMI z-scores [- 11.05% (-18.67%, -3.42%)] at 24 months in boys. However, the negative associations were not observed in girls, and we found evidence for sex difference (FDR p for interaction=0.01, 0.01 and 0.03 for weight, weight-for-length and BMI z-scores, respectively). Prenatal vanadium exposure may have an adverse effect on early-childhood growth, and the middle and late pregnancy could be windows of vulnerability for the adverse effects of vanadium exposure on growth development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125102DOI Listing
June 2021

A Weighted Average Phase Velocity Inversion Model for Depth-Resolved Elasticity Evaluation in Human Skin In-Vivo.

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2021 06 21;68(6):1969-1977. Epub 2021 May 21.

Objective: In current surface acoustic wave (SAW) elastography field, wavelength-depth inversion model is a straightforward and widely used inversion model for depth-resolved elasticity profile reconstruction. However, the elasticity directly evaluated from the wavelength-depth relationship is biased. Thus, a new inversion model, termed weighted average phase velocity (WAPV) inversion model, is proposed to provide depth-resolved Young's modulus estimate with better accuracy.

Methods: The forward model for SAW phase velocity dispersion curve generation was derived from the numerical simulations of SAWs in layered materials, and inversion was implemented by matching the measured phase velocity dispersion curve to the one generated from the forward model using the least squares fitting. Three two-layer agar phantoms with different top-layer thicknesses and one three-layer agar phantom were tested to validate the proposed inversion model. Then the model was demonstrated on human skin at various sites (palm, forearm and back of hand) in-vivo.

Results: In multi-layered agar phantoms, depth-resolved elasticity estimates provided by the model have a maximal total inversion error of 15.2% per sample after inversion error compensation. In in-vivo human skin, the quantified bulk Young's moduli (palm: 212 ± 78 kPa; forearm: 32 ± 11 kPa and back of hand: 29 ± 8 kPa) are comparable to the reference values in the literature.

Conclusion: The WAPV inversion model can provide accurate depth-resolved Young's modulus estimates in layered biological soft tissues.

Significance: The proposed model can predict depth-resolved elasticity in layered biological soft tissues with a reasonable accuracy which traditional wavelength-depth inversion model cannot provide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2020.3045133DOI Listing
June 2021

Stalk architecture, cell wall composition, and QTL underlying high stalk flexibility for improved lodging resistance in maize.

BMC Plant Biol 2020 Nov 11;20(1):515. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Maize DNA Fingerprinting and Molecular Breeding, Maize Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture & Forestry Sciences (BAAFS), Shuguang Garden Middle Road No. 9, Haidian District, Beijing, 100097, China.

Background: Stalk fracture caused by strong wind can severely reduce yields in maize. Stalks with higher stiffness and flexibility will exhibit stronger lodging resistance. However, stalk flexibility is rarely studied in maize. Stalk fracture of the internode above the ear before tasseling will result in the lack of tassel and pollen, which is devastating for pollination in seed production. In this study, we focused on stalk lodging before tasseling in two maize inbred lines, JING724 and its improved line JING724A1 and their F population.

Results: JING724A1 showed a larger stalk fracture angle than JING724, indicating higher flexibility. In addition, compared to JING724, JING724A1 also had longer and thicker stalks, with a conical, frustum-shaped internode above the ear. Microscopy and X-ray microcomputed tomography of the internal stalk architecture revealed that JING724A1 had more vascular bundles and thicker sclerenchyma tissue. Furthermore, total soluble sugar content of JING724A1, especially the glucose component, was substantially higher than in JING724. Using an F population derived from a JING724 and JING724A1 cross, we performed bulk segregant analysis for stalk fracture angle and detected one QTL located on Chr3: 14.00-19.28 Mb. Through transcriptome data analysis and ∆ (SNP-index), we identified two candidate genes significantly associated with high stalk fracture angle, which encode a RING/U-box superfamily protein (Zm00001d039769) and a MADS-box transcription factor 54 (Zm00001d039913), respectively. Two KASP markers designed from these two candidate genes also showed significant correlations with stalk fracture angle.

Conclusions: The internode shape and glucose content are possibly correlated with stalk flexibility in maize. Two genes in the detected QTL are potentially associated with stalk fracture angle. These novel phenotypes and associated loci will provide a theoretical foundation for understanding the genetic mechanisms of lodging, and facilitate the selection of maize varieties with improved flexibility and robust lodging resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-020-02728-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7659129PMC
November 2020

Development of a Predictive Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer Model for Ablative Fractional Skin Lasers.

Lasers Surg Med 2021 07 8;53(5):731-740. Epub 2020 Nov 8.

SUPA, School of Astronomy and Physics, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, UK.

It is possible to enhance topical drug delivery by pretreatment of the skin with ablative fractional lasers (AFLs). However, the parameters to use for a given AFL to achieve the desired depth of ablation or the desired therapeutic or cosmetic outcome are hard to predict. This leaves open the real possibility of overapplication or underapplication of laser energy to the skin. In this study, we developed a numerical model consisting of a Monte Carlo radiative transfer (MCRT) code coupled to a heat transfer and tissue damage algorithm. The simulation is designed to predict the depth effects of AFL on the skin, verified with in vitro experiments in porcine skin via optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. Ex vivo porcine skin is irradiated with increasing energies (50-400 mJ/pixel) from a CO AFL. The depth of microscopic treatment zones is measured and compared with our numerical model. The data from the OCT images and MCRT model complement each other well. Nonablative thermal effects on surrounding tissue are also discussed. This model, therefore, provides an initial step toward a predictive determination of the effects of AFL on the skin. Lasers Surg. Med. © 2020 The Authors. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lsm.23335DOI Listing
July 2021

Genome-wide association studies and whole-genome prediction reveal the genetic architecture of KRN in maize.

BMC Plant Biol 2020 Oct 27;20(1):490. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China.

Background: Kernel row number (KRN) is an important trait for the domestication and improvement of maize. Exploring the genetic basis of KRN has great research significance and can provide valuable information for molecular assisted selection.

Results: In this study, one single-locus method (MLM) and six multilocus methods (mrMLM, FASTmrMLM, FASTmrEMMA, pLARmEB, pKWmEB and ISIS EM-BLASSO) of genome-wide association studies (GWASs) were used to identify significant quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) for KRN in an association panel including 639 maize inbred lines that were genotyped by the MaizeSNP50 BeadChip. In three phenotyping environments and with best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) values, the seven GWAS methods revealed different numbers of KRN-associated QTNs, ranging from 11 to 177. Based on these results, seven important regions for KRN located on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, and 10 were identified by at least three methods and in at least two environments. Moreover, 49 genes from the seven regions were expressed in different maize tissues. Among the 49 genes, ARF29 (Zm00001d026540, encoding auxin response factor 29) and CKO4 (Zm00001d043293, encoding cytokinin oxidase protein) were significantly related to KRN, based on expression analysis and candidate gene association mapping. Whole-genome prediction (WGP) of KRN was also performed, and we found that the KRN-associated tagSNPs achieved a high prediction accuracy. The best strategy was to integrate all of the KRN-associated tagSNPs identified by all GWAS models.

Conclusions: These results aid in our understanding of the genetic architecture of KRN and provide useful information for genomic selection for KRN in maize breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-020-02676-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7590725PMC
October 2020

Sequence polymorphism of the waxy gene in waxy maize accessions and characterization of a new waxy allele.

Sci Rep 2020 09 28;10(1):15851. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Maize DNA Fingerprinting and Molecular Breeding, Maize Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (BAAFS), Beijing, 100097, China.

Waxy maize has many excellent characteristics in terms of its nutritional and economic value. In recent decades, the waxy maize germplasm has increased dramatically as a result of different selection methods. We collected 200 waxy maize inbred accessions from different origins to study their genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships, and to identify new waxy mutations. A simple sequence repeat (SSR) analysis revealed wide genetic diversity among the 200 waxy maize accessions. The maize accessions were clustered into three groups. We sequenced the waxy gene from the first to the 14th exon. Nucleotide variation analysis of 167 waxy maize and 14 flint maize lines revealed some nucleotide differences in the waxy gene among different waxy maize groups, and much narrower nucleotide diversity in waxy maize than in flint maize. In a phylogenetic analysis, waxy maize carrying the same mutation allele clustered together, and waxy maize carrying different mutation alleles distributed in different groups; waxy maize was intermixed with flint maize in each branch, and wx-D7 waxy maize separated significantly from waxy maize lines carrying wx-D10, wx-124 and wx-hAT mutant alleles. The wx-hAT was a new waxy mutation identified in this study. It consisted of a 2286-bp transposon inserted into the middle of exon three of the waxy gene. A PCR marker specific for the wx-hAT allele was developed. These results will be useful for the utilization and preservation of the waxy maize germplasm, and the PCR marker has potential uses in waxy maize breeding programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-72764-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7522969PMC
September 2020

The changes in physicochemical and stable isotope compositions in the lower Yellow River of China due to artificial flooding.

J Environ Manage 2020 Dec 6;276:111205. Epub 2020 Sep 6.

State Key Laboratory of Water Environmental Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China; Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Water and Sediment Science, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.

Increasingly, modern hydrological technologies are dynamically altering river water flow and drastically affecting river hydrogeochemical cycle regimes globally. The present study focused on the reservoir discharges of artificial floodwaters that influence spatiotemporal variations in the physicochemical and stable isotope compositions in the lower Yellow River (LYR) of China. The surface water samples were collected at the nine sites along the LYR during the pre-, inter-and post-flood periods. Then, the collected samples were analysed with the following standard method. The δD and δO slopes of the waterline clearly indicated that the prolonged reservoir water and different water flows impacted the hydrological cycle in the LYR regions compared to GMWL (global meteoric water line) and LMWL (local meteoric water line). The thermal stratification processes of the water in the largest reservoir slightly enriched the heavy isotopes, and physicochemical alteration was neglected. Statistical analysis of two-way ANOVA revealed that the p-values (p < 0.01, p < 0.05) were very strong for most of the variables between the periods, and the linear regression exhibited weak values (R = 0.253, R = 0.150) at the surface water temperature variations and suggested no significant influence of isotope composition. Overall, the Xiaolangdi reservoir water prolonged time rates, and artificial floodwater flow had a very small effect on the isotope composition; in particular, a large high turbidity concentration in the discharged artificial floodwaters was the only considerable ecological risk condition in the LYR. This kind of proper monitoring work is immensely important and prevents reservoirs from causing hydrological cycle impacts in the LYR and the adjacent coastal ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111205DOI Listing
December 2020

Avulsion of coronary sinus after mapping in the great cardiac vein.

Europace 2020 09;22(9):1383

Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, 167 Beilishi Road, Xicheng, Beijing 100037, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euaa109DOI Listing
September 2020

Experimental study and reflection on peacetime and wartime reconstruction of large general hospitals in public health emergencies.

Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2020 May;45(5):489-494

Department of Hospital Infection Control Center, Xiangya Hospital, Changsha 410008.

To propose the architectural layout for the big general hospital in the face of public health emergencies, we analyzed the conditions, methods, problems and countermeasures for the reconstruction of the isolation ward from the existing medical building layout of a general hospital. The affected areas met the requirements of isolation ward in the reconstruction, and realized the corresponding partition and separation of people. But the cost of occupying the medical room should be concerned. General hospital should be alerted to potential risks of public health emergencies. The characteristics of different construction types, defects, and the function of the hospital should be considered in the construction, rebuilding, and expansion of the hospital, which shouldnot only meet the needs of the development of the hospital daily usage but also consider dealing with emergent public health events. We can adopt the reasonable layout, including setting up a firewall-like device between the channel and the floor, an ordinary ward at ordinary times, and an independent space for emergency by pulling down the gate. This strategy can not only avoid the problem of low utilization rate of the space occupied by the corresponding area in the ward for diseases spread by air and droplets, maximizing the efficiency of the medical site, but also avoid the problem of emergency response to the temporary reconstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11817/j.issn.1672-7347.2020.200401DOI Listing
May 2020

The effect of crocin on memory, hippocampal acetylcholine level, and apoptosis in a rat model of cerebral ischemia.

Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Oct 29;130:110543. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Neurosurgery, Affiliated Hospital of Hebei University, Baoding, Hebei, 071000, China. Electronic address:

Although the memory- improving effect of crocin has been suggested by previous evidences, the association between this effect and hippocampal acetylcholine (Ach) level and apoptosis is not well investigated. This study aimed to determine the protective effects of crocin on memory, hippocampal Ach level, and apoptosis in a rat model of cerebral ischemia. Male Wistar rats were divided into sham group received saline, and other 3 groups underwent 4-vessel occlusion brain ischemia (4VOI), received oral administration of either saline or crocin in doses of 30 mg/day and 60 mg/day for 7 days. Outcomes were memory, determined by radial eight-arm maze (RAM) task and Morris water maze (MWM) test, Ach release in the dorsal hippocampus (evaluated by microdialysis-HPLC) and apoptosis (investigated by TUNEL assay). 4VOI impaired memory reduced dorsal hippocampus Ach level, and induced apoptosis. Crocin, significantly improved the memory (F = 343.20; P < 0.001 for RAM error choices and F = 182.5; P < 0.0001 for MWM), increased Ach level (F = 115.1; P < 0.001) and prevented hippocampal neuronal apoptosis (W = 183.50; P < 0.001) as compared statistically by ANOVA test. Crocin can be suggested as a promising therapy for ischemic cerebrovascular accidents by its memory preserving, Ach-increasing, and neuroprotective effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110543DOI Listing
October 2020

Identification and Fine Mapping of , a Southern Corn Rust Resistance Gene in Maize.

Front Plant Sci 2020 9;11:1057. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Maize Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (BAAFS), Beijing Key Laboratory of Maize DNA Fingerprinting and Molecular Breeding, Beijing, China.

Southern corn rust (SCR) caused by Underw. is a major disease causing severe yield losses during maize production. Here, we identified and mapped the SCR resistance gene from the near-isogenic line Kangxiujing2416 (Jing2416K), which harbors in the genetic background of the susceptible inbred line Jing2416. In this study, the inheritance of SCR resistance was investigated in F and F populations derived from a cross between Jing2416K and Jing2416. The observed 3:1 segregation ratio of resistant to susceptible plants indicated that the SCR resistance is controlled by a single dominant gene. Using an F population, we performed bulked segregant analysis (BSA) sequencing and mapped to a 3.69-Mb region on chromosome arm 10S. To further narrow down the region harboring , we developed 13 insertion/deletion (InDel) markers based on the sequencing data. Finally, was mapped to a region spanning 110-kb using susceptible individuals from a large F population. Two genes ( and ) encoding putative CC-NBS-LRR (coiled-coiled, nucleotide-binding site, and leucine-rich repeat) proteins, a common characteristic of R genes, were located in this region (B73 RefGen_v4 reference genome). Sequencing and comparison of the two genes cloned from Jing2416K and Jing2416 revealed sequence variations in their coding regions. The relative expression levels of these two genes in Jing2416K were found to be significantly higher than those in Jing2416. and are thus potential candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.01057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363983PMC
July 2020

Efficient hepatic delivery and protein expression enabled by optimized mRNA and ionizable lipid nanoparticle.

Bioact Mater 2020 Dec 13;5(4):1053-1061. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

School of Life Science, Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science, Institute of Engineering Medicine, Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Biotherapy, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, 100081, China.

mRNA is a novel class of therapeutic modality that holds great promise in vaccination, protein replacement therapy, cancer immunotherapy, immune cell engineering However, optimization of mRNA molecules and efficient delivery are quite important but challenging for its broad application. Here we present an ionizable lipid nanoparticle (iLNP) based on iBL0713 lipid for and expression of desired proteins using codon-optimized mRNAs. mRNAs encoding luciferase or erythropoietin (EPO) were prepared by transcription and formulated with proposed iLNP, to form iLP171/mRNA formulations. It was revealed that both luciferase and EPO proteins were successfully expressed by human hepatocellular carcinoma cells and hepatocytes. The maximum amount of protein expression was found at 6 h post-administration. The expression efficiency of EPO with codon-optimized mRNA was significantly higher than that of unoptimized mRNA. Moreover, no toxicity or immunogenicity was observed for these mRNA formulations. Therefore, our study provides a useful and promising platform for mRNA therapeutic development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioactmat.2020.07.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7355334PMC
December 2020
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