Publications by authors named "Hao Ren"

359 Publications

Feasibility study of simultaneous multislice diffusion kurtosis imaging with different acceleration factors in the liver.

BMC Med Imaging 2021 Sep 9;21(1):132. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Department of Radiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, 95 Yong an Road, Xicheng District, Beijing, 100050, China.

Background: Simultaneous multislice diffusion-weighted imaging (SMS-DWI) has been used to reduce image acquisition time. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) based on the SMS technique in the liver and the influence of this method compared with that of conventional DWI sequences on image quality and DKI-derived quantitative parameters.

Methods: Forty volunteers underwent SMS-DWI sequences with acceleration factors of 2 and 3 (SMS2-DWI, SMS3-DWI) and conventional DWI (C-DWI) of the liver with three b-values (50, 800, 2000 s/mm) in a 3T system. Qualitative image quality parameters and quantitative measurements of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), mean kurtosis (MK), mean apparent diffusivity (MD) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) for the liver were compared between the three sequences.

Results: The scan times of C-DWI, SMS2-DWI, and SMS3-DWI were 4 min 11 s, 2 min 2 s, and 1 min 34 s, respectively. For all image quality parameters, there were no significant differences observed between C-DWI and SMS2-DWI (all p > 0.05) in the images with b-values of 800 and 2000 s/mm. C-DWI and SMS2-DWI exhibited better scores than SMS3-DWI (all p < 0.01) in the images with b-values of 2000 s/mm. In the images with b-values of 800 s/mm, C-DWI and SMS2-DWI exhibited better scores than SMS3-DWI for artefacts and overall image quality (all p < 0.01), and C-DWI exhibited better scores than SMS3-DWI for the visibility of intrahepatic vessels (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the sharpness of the right lobe edge (p = 0.144), conspicuity of the left lobe (p = 0.370) or visibility of intrahepatic vessels (p = 0.109) between SMS2-DWI and SMS3-DWI. There were no significant differences in the sharpness of the right lobe edge (p = 0.066) or conspicuity of the left lobe (p = 0.131) between C-DWI and SMS3-DWI. For the b-value of 800 s/mm, there were no statistically significant differences between SMS2-DWI and C-DWI (p = 1.000) or between SMS2-DWI and SMS3-DWI (p = 0.059), whereas SMS3-DWI had a significantly lower SNR than C-DWI (p = 0.024). For the DKI-derived parameters (MK and MD) and ADC values, there were no significant differences between the three sequences (MK, p = 0.606; MD, p = 0.831; ADC, p = 0.264).

Conclusions: SMS-DWI with an acceleration factor of 2 is feasible for the liver, resulting in considerable reductions in scan time while maintaining similar image quality, comparable DKI parameters and ADC values compared with those of C-DWI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12880-021-00661-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8431937PMC
September 2021

The protective effect of harpagoside on angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced blood-brain barrier leakage in vitro.

Phytother Res 2021 Sep 5. Epub 2021 Sep 5.

Department of Neurology, Jiangsu Province Hospital of Chinese Medicine, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.

Hypertension and its associated dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) contribute to cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD). Angiotensin II (Ang II), a vasoactive peptide of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), is not only a pivotal molecular signal in hypertension but also causes BBB leakage, cSVD, and cognitive impair. Harpagoside, the major bioactive constituent of Scrophulariae Radix, has been commonly used for the treatment of multiple diseases including hypertension in China. The effect of harpagoside on Ang II-induced BBB damage is unclear. We employed an immortalized endothelial cell line (bEnd.3) to mimic a BBB monolayer model in vitro and investigated the effect of harpagoside on BBB and found that harpagoside alleviated Ang II-induced BBB destruction, inhibited Ang II-associated cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner and attenuated Ang II-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) impair by downregulation of Nox2, Nox4, and COX-2. Harpagoside prevented Ang II-induced apoptosis via keeping Bax/Bcl-2 balance, decreasing cytochrome c release, and inactivation of caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 (the mitochondria-dependent and death receptor-mediated apoptosis pathways). Moreover, harpagoside can alleviate Ang II-induced BBB damage through upregulation of tight junction proteins and decrease of caveolae-mediated endocytosis. Thus, harpagoside might be a potential drug to treat Ang II-induced cSVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7269DOI Listing
September 2021

Fine-Tuning the Micro-Environment to Optimize the Catalytic Activity of Enzymes Immobilized in Multivariate Metal-Organic Frameworks.

J Am Chem Soc 2021 Sep 3;143(37):15378-15390. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, P. R. China.

The artificial engineering of an enzyme's structural conformation to enhance its activity is highly desired and challenging. Anisotropic reticular chemistry, best illustrated in the case of multivariate metal-organic frameworks (MTV-MOFs), provides a platform to modify a MOF's pore and inner-surface with functionality variations on frameworks to optimize the interior environment and to enhance the specifically targeted property. In this study, we altered the functionality and ratio of linkers in zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), a subclass of MOFs, with the MTV approach to demonstrate a strategy that allows us to optimize the activity of the encapsulated enzyme by continuously tuning the framework-enzyme interaction through the hydrophilicity change in the pores' microenvironment. To systematically study this interaction, we developed the component-adjustment-ternary plot (CAT) method to approach the optimal activity of the encapsulated enzyme BCL and revealed a nonlinear correlation, first incremental and then decremental, between the BCL activity and the hydrophilic linker' ratios in MTV-ZIF-8. These findings indicated there is a spatial arrangement of functional groups along the three-dimensional space across the ZIF-8 crystal with a unique sequence that could change the enzyme structure between closed-lid and open-lid conformations. These conformation changes were confirmed by FTIR spectra and fluorescence studies. The optimized [email protected] is not only thermally and chemically more stable than free BCL in solution, but also doubles the catalytic reactivity in the kinetic resolution reaction with 99% of the products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.1c07107DOI Listing
September 2021

Indole Alkaloids from a Soil-Derived .

J Nat Prod 2021 Sep 24;84(9):2468-2474. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China.

Clonorosins A () and B (), two novel indole alkaloids featuring unprecedented 6/5/6/6/5 and 6/5/5 cores, together with seven known indole-linked 2,5-diketopiperazine alkaloids (-), were isolated from the soil-derived fungus YRS-06. The new structures were proposed through HR-MS, NMR, and ECD spectroscopic data. They were established by comparing the calculated NMR, ECD, and specific rotation data with the experimental. To assist in determining the absolute configuration of the chiral carbon in the side chain of 2,5-diketopiperazine derivatives, flexible analogues - were synthesized and analyzed. was active against with an MIC value of 50 μg/mL. and showed excellent activity against human HeLa and HepG2 cells with IC values of 0.12-0.60 μM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.1c00457DOI Listing
September 2021

Five-Year Outcomes of Post-Drug-Coated Balloon Angioplasty Dissection in Complex Femoropopliteal Artery Disease.

Int J Gen Med 2021 5;14:4197-4207. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Medical School of Chinese PLA, Beijing, 100853, People's Republic of China.

Objective: To evaluate the long-term outcomes after drug-coated balloon (DCB) angioplasty dissection in patients with complex femoropopliteal artery disease.

Methods: Two hundred patients with femoropopliteal peripheral artery disease were enrolled in the AcoArt I trial and randomly assigned to either the DCB or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) group. A total of 86 patients with post-balloon angioplasty dissection were reanalyzed. The primary endpoint was clinically driven target lesion revascularization (CD-TLR) over five years. Kaplan-Meier curve estimates were used to evaluate the association between the treatment and CD-TLR. Interaction and stratified analyses were also performed.

Results: Over five years, patients treated with DCB angioplasty demonstrated an acceptable effect with a numerically higher but not statistically significant rate of freedom from CD-TLR compared with those treated by PTA (Kaplan-Meier estimate of 77.6% vs 64.4%; log-rank = 0.08). Among the patients who underwent TLR, the mean time from intervention to TLR in the DCB group was significantly prolonged compared to the PTA group (P < 0.001). The stratified analysis showed that the Rutherford classification played an interactive role in the association between the DCB angioplasty and low CD-TLR rate at five years. No significant difference in the all-cause mortality was found in the patients with post-balloon angioplasty dissection between the two treatment groups.

Conclusion: The five-year follow-up outcomes of the post-balloon angioplasty dissection in the AcoArt I trial demonstrated that DCB angioplasty is more trustworthy than PTA, with a higher rate of freedom than CD-TLR and sustained improvement in clinical symptoms. However, the all-cause mortality rate in patients with femoropopliteal lesions is similar after both DCB angioplasty and PTA.

Clinical Trial Registration: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Unique Identifier: NCT01850056.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S316916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8352644PMC
August 2021

Mitochondria-targeted and ultrasound-responsive nanoparticles for oxygen and nitric oxide codelivery to reverse immunosuppression and enhance sonodynamic therapy for immune activation.

Theranostics 2021 25;11(17):8587-8604. Epub 2021 Jul 25.

Department of Urology, Drum Tower Hospital, Medical school of Nanjing University, Institute of Urology, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu, China.

: Sonodynamic therapy (SDT) is a promising strategy to inhibit tumor growth and activate antitumor immune responses for immunotherapy. However, the hypoxic and immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment limits its therapeutic efficacy and suppresses immune response. In this study, mitochondria-targeted and ultrasound-responsive nanoparticles were developed to co-deliver oxygen (O) and nitric oxide (NO) to enhance SDT and immune response. This system (PIH-NO) was constructed with a human serum albumin-based NO donor (HSA-NO) to encapsulate perfluorodecalin (FDC) and the sonosensitizer (IR780). , the burst release of O and NO with US treatment to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), the mitochondria targeting properties and mitochondrial dysfunction were evaluated in tumor cells. Moreover, , tumor accumulation, therapeutic efficacy, the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, immunogenic cell death, and immune activation after PIH-NO treatment were also studied in 4T1 tumor bearing mice. PIH-NO could accumulate in the mitochondria and relive hypoxia. After US irradiation, O and NO displayed burst release to enhance SDT, generated strongly oxidizing peroxynitrite anions, and led to mitochondrial dysfunction. The release of NO increased blood perfusion and enhanced the accumulation of the formed nanoparticles. Owing to O and NO release with US, PIH-NO enhanced SDT to inhibit tumor growth and amplify immunogenic cell death and . Additionally, PIH-NO promoted the maturation of dendritic cells and increased the number of infiltrating immune cells. More importantly, PIH-NO polarized M2 macrophages into M1 phenotype and depleted myeloid-derived suppressor cells to reverse immunosuppression and enhance immune response. Our findings provide a simple strategy to co-deliver O and NO to enhance SDT and reverse immunosuppression, leading to an increase in the immune response for cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.62572DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8344010PMC
July 2021

Reducing tetracycline antibiotics residues in aqueous environments using Tet(X) degrading enzymes expressed in Pichia pastoris.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jul 31;799:149360. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

National Risk Assessment Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance of Animal Original Bacteria, College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China; Guangdong Laboratory for Lingnan Modern Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China; Guangdong Key Laboratory for Veterinary Drug Development and Safety Evaluation, College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Tetracycline antibiotics (TCs) are massively produced and consumed in various industries resulting in large quantities of residuals in the environment. In this study, to achieve safe and efficient removal of residual TCs, a Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris) was gained to stably express glycosylated TCs degrading enzyme Tet(X) followed codon and expression parameter optimization of tet(X4). As expected, glycosylated Tet(X) still maintains efficient capacity of degrading TCs. The expressed Tet(X) maintained efficient TCs degrading ability over a pH range of 6.5 - 9.5 and temperature range of 17 - 47 °C. We tested this recombinant protein for its ability to degrade tetracycline in pond water and sewage models of tetracycline removal at starting levels of 10 mg/L substrate. 80.5 ± 3.8% and 26.2 ± 2.6% of tetracycline was degraded within 15 min in the presence of 0.2 μM Tet(X) and 50 μM NADPH, respectively. More importantly, the direct use of a Tet(X) degrading enzymes reduces the risk of gene transmission during degradation. Thus, the Tet(X) degrading enzyme expressed by P. pastoris is an effective and safe method for treating intractable TCs residues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149360DOI Listing
July 2021

Alpha-ketoglutarate ameliorates pressure overload-induced chronic cardiac dysfunction in mice.

Redox Biol 2021 Oct 30;46:102088. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

State Key Laboratory of Organ Failure Research, Department of Cardiology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China; Key Laboratory for Organ Failure Research, Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Increasing evidence indicates the involvement of myocardial oxidative injury and mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of heart failure (HF). Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is an intermediate metabolite of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle that participates in different cellular metabolic and regulatory pathways. The circulating concentration of AKG was found to decrease with ageing and is elevated after acute exercise and resistance exercise and in HF. Recent studies in experimental models have shown that dietary AKG reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and systemic inflammatory cytokine levels, regulates metabolism, extends lifespan and delays the occurrence of age-related decline. However, the effects of AKG on HF remain unclear. In the present study, we explored the effects of AKG on left ventricular (LV) systolic function, the myocardial ROS content and mitophagy in mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC). AKG supplementation inhibited pressure overload-induced myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis and improved cardiac systolic dysfunction; in vitro, AKG decreased the Ang II-induced upregulation of β-MHC and ANP, reduced ROS production and cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and repaired Ang II-mediated injury to the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). These benefits of AKG in the TAC mice may have been obtained by enhanced mitophagy, which cleared damaged mitochondria. In summary, our study suggests that AKG improves myocardial hypertrophy remodelling, fibrosis and LV systolic dysfunction in the pressure-overloaded heart by promoting mitophagy to clear damaged mitochondria and reduce ROS production; thus, AKG may have therapeutic potential for HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2021.102088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8353361PMC
October 2021

Trimethylamine -N-oxide induces osteogenic responses in human aortic valve interstitial cells in vitro and aggravates aortic valve lesions in mice.

Cardiovasc Res 2021 Aug 5. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

State Key Laboratory of Organ Failure Research, Department of Cardiology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Aims: Recent studies have shown that the choline-derived metabolite trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a biomarker that promotes cardiovascular disease through the induction of inflammation and stress. Inflammatory responses and stress are involved in the progression of calcified aortic valve disease (CAVD). Here, we examined whether TMAO induces the osteogenic differentiation of aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs) through endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial stress pathways in vitro and in vivo.

Methods And Results: Plasma TMAO levels were higher in patients with CAVD (n = 69) than in humans without CAVD (n = 263), as examined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Western blot and staining probes showed that TMAO- induced an osteogenic response in human AVICs. Moreover, TMAO promoted ER stress, mitochondrial stress and NF-κB activation in vitro. Notably, the TMAO- mediated effects were reversed by the use of ER stress, mitochondrial stress and NF-κB activation inhibitors and siRNA. Mice treated with supplemental choline in a high fat diet had markedly increased TMAO levels and aortic valve thicknesses, which were reduced by 3,3-dimethyl-1-butanol (DMB, an inhibitor of trimethylamine formation) treatment.

Conclusions: Choline-derived TMAO promotes osteogenic differentiation through ER and mitochondrial stress pathways in vitro and aortic valve lesions in vivo.

Translational Perspective: Trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a gut microbiota-generated metabolite, is associated with cardiovascular diseases. Here, we show that patients with calcified aortic valve disease (CAVD) have elevated circulating TMAO levels. TMAO induces osteogenic responses in human aortic valve interstitial cells via endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial stress in vitro and aggravates aortic valve lesions in mice. This may provide clues to the pathogenesis of CAVD and attractive potential targets for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvab243DOI Listing
August 2021

A Transposon-Associated CRISPR/Cas9 System Specifically Eliminates both Chromosomal and Plasmid-Borne in Escherichia coli.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2021 09 2;65(10):e0105421. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

National Risk Assessment Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance of Animal Original Bacteria, College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.

The global spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria has been one of the most severe threats to public health. The emergence of the gene has posed a considerable threat to antimicrobial medication since it deactivates one last-resort antibiotic, colistin. There have been reports regarding the mobilization of the gene facilitated by ISformed transposon Tn and mediated rapid dispersion among species. Here, we developed a CRISPR/Cas9 system flanked by IS in a suicide plasmid capable of exerting sequence-specific curing against the -bearing plasmid and killing the strain with chromosome-borne . The constructed IS-carried CRISPR/Cas9 system either restored sensitivity to colistin in strains with plasmid-borne or directly eradicated the bacteria harboring chromosome-borne by introducing an exogenous CRISPR/Cas9 targeting the gene. This method is highly efficient in removing the gene from Escherichia coli, thereby resensitizing these strains to colistin. The further results demonstrated that it conferred the recipient bacteria with immunity against the acquisition of the exogenous containing the plasmid. The data from the current study highlighted the potential of the transposon-associated CRISPR/Cas9 system to serve as a therapeutic approach to control the dissemination of resistance among clinical pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.01054-21DOI Listing
September 2021

Surface Decoration via Physical Interaction of Cupric Diethyldithiocarbamate Nanocrystals and Its Impact on Biodistribution and Tumor Targeting.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Aug 30;13(31):36894-36908. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

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

The vascular wall is the first physiologic barrier that circulating nanoparticles (NPs) encounter, which also is a key biological barrier to cancer drug delivery. NPs can continually scavenge the endothelium for biomarkers of cancer, and the chance of NPs' extravasation into the tumors can be enhanced. Here, we envision P-selectin as a target for specific delivery of drug nanocrystals to tumors. The cupric diethyldithiocarbamate nanocrystals (CuET NCs) were first prepared by an antisolvent method, and then nanocrystals were coated with fucoidan via physical interaction. The fucoidan-coated CuET nanocrystals ([email protected]) possess high drug loading and have the ability to interact with human umbilical vein endothelial cells expressing P-selectin, which transiently enhances the endothelial permeability and facilitates [email protected] extravasation from the peritumoral vascular to achieve higher tumor accumulation of drugs than bare CuET NCs. The CuET NC shows poorer anticancer efficacy than [email protected] at the same dose of CuET. Upon repeated dosing of [email protected] for 2 weeks, no mortality was observed in treated melanoma-bearing mice, while the mortality in the control group and excipient-treated groups reached 23%. The growth rate of melanoma in the [email protected] group was significantly lower than those in other groups. Furthermore, an acute toxicity study revealed that [email protected] is a safe formulation for cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c09346DOI Listing
August 2021

Diverse anti-inflammation and anti-cancer polyketides isolated from the endophytic fungi Alternaria sp. MG1.

Fitoterapia 2021 Sep 22;153:105000. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Six new polyketides, alternaritins A-D [(±)-1-4] and isoxanalteric acid I (8), and 25 known Alternaria toxins were isolated from the culture of an endophytic fungi Alternaria sp. MG1. 3 is a rare fungal metabolite. 6 is a new natural product, and 5, 7, and 9 are known previously but their absolute configurations have not been determined. Three enantiomers [(±)-1, (±)-7, and (±)-15] were separated via chiral HPLC resolution. The structures of those polyketides (1-9) were elucidated by spectrometric analysis using MS and NMR. The absolute configurations were established using X-ray diffraction analysis and statistical comparative analysis of the experimental ECD and OR data, in conjunction with quantum mechanical calculations. All of the compounds were evaluated for their bioactivities. Known compound 27 exerted the most potent cytotoxic activities against HT-1080 and NCI-H1299 cell lines. The new compounds, 2 and 3, showed moderate inhibition on COX-2, while a pair of isomers, 8 and 9, exhibited medium activity on COX-2 and uropathogenic Escherichia coli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2021.105000DOI Listing
September 2021

Valorization of Rice Straw via Hydrotropic Lignin Extraction and Its Characterization.

Molecules 2021 Jul 6;26(14). Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for Efficient Processing and Utilization of Forest Resources, Jiangsu Provincial Key Lab of Pulp & Paper Science & Technology, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China.

Rice straw hydrotropic lignin was extracted from -Toluene sulfonic acid (-TsOH) fractionation with a different combined delignification factor (CDF). Hydrotropic lignin characterization was systematically investigated, and alkaline lignin was also studied for the contrast. Results showed that the hydrotropic rice straw lignin particle was in nanometer scopes. Compared with alkaline lignin, the hydrotropic lignin had greater molecular weight. NMR analysis showed that β-aryl ether linkage was well preserved at low severities, and the unsaturation in the side chain of hydrotropic lignin was high. H units and G units were preferentially degraded and subsequently condensed at high severity. High severity also resulted in the cleavage of part β-aryl ether linkage. P-NMR showed the decrease in aliphatic hydroxyl groups and the increasing carboxyl group content at high severity. The maximum weight loss temperature of the hydrotropic lignin was in the range of 330-350 °C, higher than the alkaline lignin, and the glass conversion temperature (T) of the hydrotropic lignin was in the range of 107-125 °C, lower than that of the alkaline lignin. The hydrotropic lignin has high β-aryl ether linkage content, high activity, nanoscale particle size, and low T, which is beneficial for its further valorization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26144123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305794PMC
July 2021

Scan Time Reduction in Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Diffusion-Weighted Imaging and Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging of the Abdominal Organs: Using a Simultaneous Multislice Technique With Different Acceleration Factors.

J Comput Assist Tomogr 2021 Jul-Aug 01;45(4):507-515

From the Department of Radiology.

Objective: To investigate the feasibility of quantitative intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) and diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) analyses in the upper abdominal organs by simultaneous multislice diffusion-weighted imaging (SMS-DWI).

Subjects And Methods: In this prospective study, a total of 32 participants underwent conventional DWI (C-DWI) and SMS-DWI sequences with acceleration factors of 2 and 3 (SMS2-DWI and SMS3-DWI, respectively) in the upper abdomen with multiple b-values (0, 10, 20, 50, 80, 100, 150, 200, 500, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 seconds/mm2) on a 3 T system (MAGNETOM Prisma; Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany). Image quality and quantitatively measurements of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), true diffusion coefficient (D), pseudodiffusion coefficient (D*), perfusion fraction (f), mean kurtosis (MK), and mean apparent diffusivity (MD) for the liver, pancreas, kidney cortex and medulla, spleen, and erector spine muscle were compared between the 3 sequences.

Results: The acquisition times for C-DWI, SMS2-DWI, and SMS3-DWI were 10 minutes 57 seconds, 5 minutes 9 seconds, and 3 minutes 54 seconds. For image quality parameters, C-DWI and SMS2-DWI yielded better results than SMS3-DWI (P < 0.05). SMS2-DWI had equivalent IVIM and DKI parameters compared with that of C-DWI (P > 0.05). No statistically significant differences in the ADC, D, f, and MD values between the 3 sequences (P > 0.05) were observed. The D* and MK values of the liver (P = 0.005 and P = 0.012) and pancreas (P = 0.019) between SMS3-DWI and C-DWI were significantly different.

Conclusions: SMS2-DWI can substantially reduce the scan time while maintaining equivalent IVIM and DKI parameters in the abdominal organs compared with C-DWI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RCT.0000000000001189DOI Listing
July 2021

A retrospective cohort study in Chinese patients with adult polymyositis and dermatomyositis: risk of comorbidities and subclassification using machine learning.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2021 Jun 26. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Department of Internal Medicine of Traditional Chinese Medicine, School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Objectives: To identify the risk factors in Chinese patients with adult polymyositis and dermatomyositis for their comorbidities and explore a subclassification system.

Methods: Clinical records of 397 patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies were retrospectively reviewed. Logistic regression was used to identify potential risk factors for interstitial lung disease (ILD), other rheumatic diseases, and malignancy after bivariate analysis. Hierarchical clustering and decisional tree were utilised to identify subgroups and explore a subclassification system.

Results: A total of 119 polymyositis and 191 dermatomyositis patients were included. Anti-PM/Scl, anti-Ro52, anti-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase and anti-MDA5 (adjusted odds ratios (AOR)=4.779, 1.917, 5.092 and 7.714 respectively) antibodies were risks (p<0.05), whereas overlapping malignancy was protective (AOR=0.107; p=0.002) for ILD across polymyositis, dermatomyositis and the total group. In subgroup models, Raynaud's phenomenon, arthralgia and semi-quantitative anti-nuclear antibody (AOR=51.233, 4.261, 3.047 respectively) were risks for other overlapping rheumatic diseases (p<0.05). For overlapping malignancy, male and anti-TIF1γ antibodies (AOR=2.533, 16.949) were risks (p<0.05), whereas disease duration and combination of ILD (AOR=0.954, 0.106) were protective in the total group (p<0.05); while anti-NXP2 antibodies were identified as risk factors (AOR=73.152; p=0.038) in polymyositis. Hierarchical clustering suggested a subclassification with 6 subgroups: malignancy overlapping dermatomyositis, classical dermatomyositis, polymyositis with severe muscle involvement, dermatomyositis with ILD, polymyositis with ILD, and overlapping of myositis with other rheumatic diseases.

Conclusions: Accompanying ILD, other rheumatic diseases and malignancy are strongly associated with clinical manifestation and myositis-specific or myositis-associated autoantibodies among Chinese polymyositis and dermatomyositis patients. The subclassification system proposed a more precise phenotype defining toward stratified treatments.
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June 2021

Application of a novel hybrid algorithm of Bayesian network in the study of hyperlipidemia related factors: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Public Health 2021 07 12;21(1):1375. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Department of Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, 030001, Shanxi, China.

Background: This article aims to understand the prevalence of hyperlipidemia and its related factors in Shanxi Province. On the basis of multivariate Logistic regression analysis to find out the influencing factors closely related to hyperlipidemia, the complex network connection between various variables was presented through Bayesian networks(BNs).

Methods: Logistic regression was used to screen for hyperlipidemia-related variables, and then the complex network connection between various variables was presented through BNs. Since some drawbacks stand out in the Max-Min Hill-Climbing (MMHC) hybrid algorithm, extra hybrid algorithms are proposed to construct the BN structure: MMPC-Tabu, Fast.iamb-Tabu and Inter.iamb-Tabu. To assess their performance, we made a comparison between these three hybrid algorithms with the widely used MMHC hybrid algorithm on randomly generated datasets. Afterwards, the optimized BN was determined to explore to study related factors for hyperlipidemia. We also make a comparison between the BN model with logistic regression model.

Results: The BN constructed by Inter.iamb-Tabu hybrid algorithm had the best fitting degree to the benchmark networks, and was used to construct the BN model of hyperlipidemia. Multivariate logistic regression analysis suggested that gender, smoking, central obesity, daily average salt intake, daily average oil intake, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and physical activity were associated with hyperlipidemia. BNs model of hyperlipidemia further showed that gender, BMI, and physical activity were directly related to the occurrence of hyperlipidemia, hyperlipidemia was directly related to the occurrence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension; the average daily salt intake, daily average oil consumption, smoking, and central obesity were indirectly related to hyperlipidemia.

Conclusions: The BN of hyperlipidemia constructed by the Inter.iamb-Tabu hybrid algorithm is more reasonable, and allows for the overall linking effect between factors and diseases, revealing the direct and indirect factors associated with hyperlipidemia and correlation between related variables, which can provide a new approach to the study of chronic diseases and their associated factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11412-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8273956PMC
July 2021

Coronary artery calcification and risk of mortality and adverse outcomes in patients with COVID-19: a Chinese multicenter retrospective cohort study.

Chin J Acad Radiol 2021 Jun 28:1-9. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, 305 Zhongshan East Road, Xuanwu District, Nanjing, 210002 Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.

Background: Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is an independent risk factor of major adverse cardiovascular events; however, the impact of CAC on in-hospital death and adverse clinical outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains unclear.

Objective: To explore the association between CAC and in-hospital mortality and adverse events in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: This multicenter retrospective cohort study enrolled 2067 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients with definitive clinical outcomes (death or discharge) admitted from 22 tertiary hospitals in China between January 3, 2020 and April 2, 2020. Demographic, clinical, laboratory results, chest CT findings, and CAC on admission were collected. The primary outcome was in-hospital death and the secondary outcome was composed of in-hospital death, admission to intensive care unit (ICU), and requiring mechanical ventilation. Multivariable Cox regression analysis and Kaplan-Meier plots were used to explore the association between CAC and in-hospital death and adverse clinical outcomes.

Results: The mean age was 50 years (SD,16) and 1097 (53.1%) were male. A total of 177 patients showed high CAC level, and compared with patients with low CAC, these patients were older (mean age: 49 vs. 69 years,  < 0.001) and more likely to be male (52.0% vs. 65.0%,  = 0.001). Comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) ([33.3%, 59/177] vs. [4.7%, 89/1890],  < 0.001), presented more often among patients with high CAC, compared with patients with low CAC. As for laboratory results, patients with high CAC had higher rates of increased D-dimer, LDH, as well as CK-MB (all  < 0.05). The mean CT severity score in high CAC group was also higher than low CAC group (12.6 vs. 11.1,  = 0.005). In multivariable Cox regression model, patients with high CAC were at a higher risk of in-hospital death (hazard ratio [HR], 1.731; 95% CI 1.010-2.971,  = 0.046) and adverse clinical outcomes (HR, 1.611; 95% CL 1.087-2.387,  = 0.018).

Conclusion: High CAC is a risk factor associated with in-hospital death and adverse clinical outcomes in patients with confirmed COVID-19, which highlights the importance of calcium load testing for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and calls for attention to patients with high CAC.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42058-021-00072-4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s42058-021-00072-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237549PMC
June 2021

Efficient Nanocrystal Photovoltaics via Blade Coating Active Layer.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Jun 9;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 9.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China.

CdTe semiconductor nanocrystal (NC) solar cells have attracted much attention in recent year due to their low-cost solution fabrication process. However, there are still few reports about the fabrication of large area NC solar cells under ambient conditions. Aiming to push CdTe NC solar cells one step forward to the industry, this study used a novel blade coating technique to fabricate CdTe NC solar cells with different areas (0.16, 0.3, 0.5 cm) under ambient conditions. By optimizing the deposition parameters of the CdTe NC's active layer, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of NC solar cells showed a large improvement. Compared to the conventional spin-coated device, a lower post-treatment temperature is required by blade coated NC solar cells. Under the optimal deposition conditions, the NC solar cells with 0.16, 0.3, and 0.5 cm areas exhibited PCEs of 3.58, 2.82, and 1.93%, respectively. More importantly, the NC solar cells fabricated via the blading technique showed high stability where almost no efficiency degradation appeared after keeping the devices under ambient conditions for over 18 days. This is promising for low-cost, roll-by-roll, and large area industrial fabrication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11061522DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8226763PMC
June 2021

Comparison of Effectiveness and Safety between Intraoperative 3D-CT-Guided and C-Arm-Guided Percutaneous Balloon Compression for Idiopathic Trigeminal Neuralgia:  A  Multi-Center Retrospective Study.

Pain Res Manag 2021 7;2021:9306532. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Pain Management, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100070, China.

Objectives: To compare 3D-CT-guided and C-arm-guided percutaneous balloon compression (PBC) in terms of effectiveness and safety.

Methods: The medical records and follow-up data of patients with idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia who underwent 3D-CT-guided or C-arm-guided PBCs in Beijing Tiantan Hospital and the Characteristic Medical Center of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force between February 2018 and March 2020 were retrospectively reviewed and analysed.

Results: A total of 291 patients were included. Among them, 212 patients underwent PBC treatment with 3D-CT and others with C-arm. One (0.5%) patient in 3D-CT group and 4 (5.1%) patients in C-arm group failed to receive PBC treatment because of failure of foramen ovale (FO) puncture (=0.020). Among patients with successful attempts, 5 (2.4%) patients in the 3D-CT group and 11 (14.7%) patients in the C-arm group received more than one needle pass during the procedure ( < 0.001). The 3D-CT group required less time than the C-arm group for puncture ( < 0.001) and for the whole operation ( < 0.001). The groups shared similar initial relief rates (=0.749) and similar recurrence-free survival during follow-ups for a median of 22 months (=0.839). No puncture-related complications occurred in either group and the two groups had similar incidences of compression-related complications.

Conclusion: 3D-CT facilitated FO puncture and improved success rate of PBC. The overall time efficiency of PBC was also increased with 3D-CT. Thus, 3D-CT is a potentially useful image guidance technology for treating idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia by PBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/9306532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8203368PMC
July 2021

Rational assembly of GO-based heterocyclic sulfur- and nitrogen-containing aerogels and their adsorption properties toward rare earth elementals.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Oct 25;419:126484. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China.

An aromatic heterocyclic compound, 2-aminobenzothiazole (ABT), was used to decorate graphene oxide (GO) by a facile hydrothermal self-assembly procedure. The developed three-dimensional (3D) GO-ABT composite aerogels could be utilized as high-powered and sustainable adsorbents for the enrichment and recovery of low concentration rare earth elements (REEs) from aqueous solutions. The composition and microstructure of GO-ABT composites were explored various characterization methods. The enrichment properties of GO-ABT composites for REEs were investigated in detail, revealing the existence of S-, N- and -NH in ABT, as well as the carboxyl and hydroxyl groups of GO which might act as the major REE binding sites. The adsorption of GO-ABT composites for low concentration REEs could reach equilibrium in 30 min. Our investigations confirmed that the optimal pH value of GO-ABT composites for REEs was pH 4.0-5.0. For the adsorbent regeneration study, 50.0 mg of GO-ABT composite was used toward 20.0 mL of Er solutions. After ten regeneration cycles, the adsorption rates of GO-ABT composites for Er remained around 100%, and the desorption rates maintained over 90%. The long-term storage of the adsorbent did not affect its adsorption ability, while desorption rates increased, indicating it possessed relatively higher stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126484DOI Listing
October 2021

Deep-Learning-Assisted Single-Molecule Tracking on a Live Cell Membrane.

Anal Chem 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing and Center for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China.

Single-molecule fluorescence imaging is a powerful tool to study protein function by tracking molecular position and distribution, but the precise and rapid identification of dynamic molecules remains challenging due to the heterogeneous distribution and interaction of proteins on the live cell membrane. We now develop a deep-learning (DL)-assisted single-molecule imaging method that can precisely distinguish the monomer and complex for rapid and real-time tracking of protein interaction. This DL-based model, which comprises convolutional layers, max pooling layers, and fully connected layers, is trained to reach an accuracy of >98% for identifying monomer and complex. We use this method to investigate the dynamic process of chemokine receptor CXCR4 on the live cell membrane during the early signaling stage. The results show that, upon ligand activation, the CXCR4 undergoes a dynamic process of forming a receptor complex. We further demonstrate that the CXCR4 complex tends to be internalized at 2.5-fold higher rate into the cell interior than the monomer via the clathrin-dependent pathway. This study is the first example to scrutinize the early signaling process of CXCR4 at the single-molecule level on the live cell membrane. We envision that this DL-assisted imaging method would be a broadly useful technique to study more protein families for elucidating their physiological and pathological functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.1c00547DOI Listing
June 2021

The mechanism and function of super enhancer RNA.

Genesis 2021 Jun 24;59(5-6):e23422. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Super enhancer (SE) is a cluster of enhancers that has a stronger ability to promote transcription compared to the typical enhancer (TE). Similar to TE, which can transcribe enhancer RNA (eRNA), SE produces super enhancer RNA (seRNA). The activation of SE is cell and tissue-specific, and the SE-associated genes are mostly linked to the cell fate. This is demonstrated by the important role-played by SE in the embryonic stem cell (ESC) and multiple cancer development. SeRNA regulates transcription in both cis and trans configuration, and those located in the cytoplasm mediates various cell activities. However, the functions of seRNAs are unclear, and most of them have a synergistic effect with SE and SE-associated genes. In this mini review, we summarized the mechanisms of seRNA and functions of both SE and seRNA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dvg.23422DOI Listing
June 2021

Association of Lymphocyte-to-Monocyte Ratio with Poststroke Depression in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke.

Med Sci Monit 2021 May 22;27:e930076. Epub 2021 May 22.

Department of Neurology, Harrison International Peace Hospital, Hengshui, Hebei, China (mainland).

BACKGROUND Poststroke depression (PSD) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder after stroke. The neuroinflammatory response exerts a vital effect in the development of PSD. Lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), a systemic inflammation biomarker, is associated with poor prognosis of acute ischemic stroke (AIS). The purpose of this study was to determine the association between LMR and PSD at 3 months. MATERIAL AND METHODS AIS patients (507) were included in this study. Patients were categorized into 3 tertiles and each tertile contains 169 patients: tertile1 (>4.85), tertile 2 (2.96 to 4.85), and tertile 3 (<2.96), based on LMR values and the numbers of patients. PSD was diagnosed with a 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale score of 8 or higher. RESULTS Patients (141; 27.8%) were diagnosed with PSD at 3-month follow-up. Patients in the PSD group presented with more severe stroke and lower LMR values (P<0.001). Decreased LMRs were independently associated with occurrence of PSD (middle tertile: odds ratio [OR] 1.823, P=0.037; lowest tertile: OR 3.024, P<0.001). A significant association of a lower LMR value with PSD severity was found (middle tertile: OR 1.883, P=0.031; lowest tertile: OR 2.633, P=0.001). The receiver operating characteristic curve indicates that the optimal threshold of LMR as a predictor for PSD was 3.14, which yielded a sensitivity of 72.4% and a specificity of 68.1%. CONCLUSIONS Decreased LMR is independently associated with PSD and increased PSD severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/MSM.930076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8152443PMC
May 2021

High-Light-Tolerance PbI Boosting the Stability and Efficiency of Perovskite Solar Cells.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jun 19;13(21):24692-24701. Epub 2021 May 19.

Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials & Devices, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.

Excess lead iodide (PbI) plays a crucial role in passivating the defects of perovskite films and boosting the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of perovskite solar cells (PSCs). However, the photolysis of PbI is easily triggered by light illumination, which accelerates the decomposition of perovskite materials and weakens the long-term stability of PSCs. Herein, the high light tolerance of lead iodide (PbI) is reported by introducing an electron-donor molecule, namely, 2-thiophenecarboxamide (2-TCAm), to strengthen the [PbX] frame. Characterization reveals that the retarded decomposition of PbI is attributed to the interactions between Pb and the organic functional groups in 2-TCAm as well as the optimized distribution of PbI. The crystallization and morphology of 2-TCAm-doped perovskite films are improved simultaneously. The 2-TCAm-based PSCs achieve a 16.8% increase in PCE and nearly 12 times increase in the lifetime as compared to the reference device. The demonstrated method provides insight into the stability of PbI and its influence on PSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c02929DOI Listing
June 2021

Association between post-balloon angioplasty dissection and primary patency in complex femoropopliteal artery disease: 2-year clinical outcomes of the AcoArt I trial.

J Int Med Res 2021 Apr;49(4):3000605211006546

Medical School of Chinese PLA, Beijing, China.

Objective: To assess the association between post-balloon angioplasty dissection and the mid-term results of the AcoArt I trial evaluating complex femoropopliteal artery disease.

Methods: The outcome data for 144 patients from the AcoArt 1 trial were reanalysed. These patients were randomly divided into percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and drug-coated balloons (DCB) groups. The primary endpoint was the primary patency (PP) rate and clinically-driven target lesion revascularisation at 24 months.

Results: After 24 months of follow-up, the PP rate of dissection cases in the PTA group was lower vs non-dissection cases. In patients receiving a bailout stent for dissection, the PP rate in the PTA group was lower vs the DCB group. Cox regression analysis showed that dissection decreased the PP rate; mild dissection reduced the PP rate as follows: 52%, PTA group and 19%, DCB group. With severe dissection, the PP rate reduction was as follows: 75%, PTA group and 73%, DCB group.

Conclusions: The mid-term follow-up showed that post-balloon angioplasty dissection reduced the PP rate in the PTA group but not in the DCB group. Additionally, in patients receiving a bailout stent for dissection, the DCB group had a better PP rate than the PTA group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/03000605211006546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113968PMC
April 2021

Damaging Tumor Vessels with an Ultrasound-Triggered NO Release Nanosystem to Enhance Drug Accumulation and T Cells Infiltration.

Int J Nanomedicine 2021 1;16:2597-2613. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

School of Pharmaceutical Science, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China.

Introduction: Limited by tumor vascular barriers, restricted intratumoural T cell infiltration and nanoparticles accumulation remain major bottlenecks for anticancer therapy. Platelets are now known to maintain tumor vascular integrity. Therefore, inhibition of tumor-associated platelets may be an effective method to increase T cell infiltration and drug accumulation at tumor sites. Herein, we designed an ultrasound-responsive nitric oxide (NO) release nanosystem, SNO-HSA-PTX, which can release NO in response to ultrasound (US) irradiation, thereby inhibiting platelet function and opening the tumor vascular barrier, promoting drug accumulation and T cell infiltration.

Methods: We evaluated the ability of SNO-HSA-PTX to release NO in response to US irradiation. We also tested the effect of SNO-HSA-PTX on platelet function. Plenty of studies including cytotoxicity, pharmacokinetics study, biodistribution, blood perfusion, T cell infiltration, in vivo antitumor efficacy and safety assessment were conducted to investigate the antitumor effect of SNO-HSA-PTX.

Results: SNO-HSA-PTX with US irradiation inhibited tumor-associated platelets activation and induced openings in the tumor vascular barriers, which promoted the accumulation of SNO-HSA-PTX nanoparticles to the tumor sites. Meanwhile, the damaged vascular barriers allowed oxygen-carrying hemoglobin to infiltrate tumor regions, alleviating hypoxia of the tumor microenvironment. In addition, the intratumoral T cell infiltration was augmented, together with chemotherapy and NO therapy, which greatly inhibited tumor growth.

Discussion: Our research designed a simple strategy to open the vascular barrier by inhibiting the tumor-associated platelets, which provide new ideas for anti-tumor treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S295445DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8021257PMC
April 2021

Lignin dissolution model in formic acid-acetic acid-water systems based on lignin chemical structure.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Jul 30;182:51-58. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

College of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China. Electronic address:

The separation of lignin from woody biomass and subsequent conversion into useful products requires a solution to the problem of its solubility. The expanded C formula of lignin, along with its atomic and functional groups, was determined by elemental analysis and NMRs spectroscopy. Based on the thus-obtained expanded C formula, the cohesion parameters of lignin dispersion (10.8-11.1 cal·cm), polarity (4.15-4.31 cal·cm), hydrogen bonding (6.30-7.38 cal·cm), and solubility (13.2-14.0 cal·cm) were respectively calculated using atomic and functional group contributions method. We established the relationship between lignin structure and lignin solubility parameters. The dissolution characteristics of wheat straw organic acid lignin, industrial eucalyptus kraft lignin, bamboo kraft lignin, and softwood kraft lignin in formic acid-HO, acetic acid-HO, and formic acid-acetic acid-HO solvent systems were analyzed. The results indicate that the dissolution behavior of lignins follows the solubility parameters theory. We have developed a lignin dissolution model according to the lignin structure. This model obeys the solubility parameter theory, overcomes the limitations of the "like dissolves like" principle in organic acid-water systems, and provides a concise method for the selection of lignin solvent systems and the quantitative determination of their solvent composition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.03.179DOI Listing
July 2021

Exploratory study on classification of diabetes mellitus through a combined Random Forest Classifier.

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2021 03 20;21(1):105. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China.

Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) has become the third chronic non-communicable disease that hits patients after tumors, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and has become one of the major public health problems in the world. Therefore, it is of great importance to identify individuals at high risk for DM in order to establish prevention strategies for DM.

Methods: Aiming at the problem of high-dimensional feature space and high feature redundancy of medical data, as well as the problem of data imbalance often faced. This study explored different supervised classifiers, combined with SVM-SMOTE and two feature dimensionality reduction methods (Logistic stepwise regression and LAASO) to classify the diabetes survey sample data with unbalanced categories and complex related factors. Analysis and discussion of the classification results of 4 supervised classifiers based on 4 data processing methods. Five indicators including Accuracy, Precision, Recall, F1-Score and AUC are selected as the key indicators to evaluate the performance of the classification model.

Results: According to the result, Random Forest Classifier combining SVM-SMOTE resampling technology and LASSO feature screening method (Accuracy = 0.890, Precision = 0.869, Recall = 0.919, F1-Score = 0.893, AUC = 0.948) proved the best way to tell those at high risk of DM. Besides, the combined algorithm helps enhance the classification performance for prediction of high-risk people of DM. Also, age, region, heart rate, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and BMI are the top six most critical characteristic variables affecting diabetes.

Conclusions: The Random Forest Classifier combining with SVM-SMOTE and LASSO feature reduction method perform best in identifying high-risk people of DM from individuals. And the combined method proposed in the study would be a good tool for early screening of DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01471-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980612PMC
March 2021

Research on the predictive effect of a combined model of ARIMA and neural networks on human brucellosis in Shanxi Province, China: a time series predictive analysis.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Mar 19;21(1):280. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, China.

Background: Brucellosis is a major public health problem that seriously affects developing countries and could cause significant economic losses to the livestock industry and great harm to human health. Reasonable prediction of the incidence is of great significance in controlling brucellosis and taking preventive measures.

Methods: Our human brucellosis incidence data were extracted from Shanxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We used seasonal-trend decomposition using Loess (STL) and monthplot to analyse the seasonal characteristics of human brucellosis in Shanxi Province from 2007 to 2017. The autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model, a combined model of ARIMA and the back propagation neural network (ARIMA-BPNN), and a combined model of ARIMA and the Elman recurrent neural network (ARIMA-ERNN) were established separately to make predictions and identify the best model. Additionally, the mean squared error (MAE), mean absolute error (MSE) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) were used to evaluate the performance of the model.

Results: We observed that the time series of human brucellosis in Shanxi Province increased from 2007 to 2014 but decreased from 2015 to 2017. It had obvious seasonal characteristics, with the peak lasting from March to July every year. The best fitting and prediction effect was the ARIMA-ERNN model. Compared with those of the ARIMA model, the MAE, MSE and MAPE of the ARIMA-ERNN model decreased by 18.65, 31.48 and 64.35%, respectively, in fitting performance; in terms of prediction performance, the MAE, MSE and MAPE decreased by 60.19, 75.30 and 64.35%, respectively. Second, compared with those of ARIMA-BPNN, the MAE, MSE and MAPE of ARIMA-ERNN decreased by 9.60, 15.73 and 11.58%, respectively, in fitting performance; in terms of prediction performance, the MAE, MSE and MAPE decreased by 31.63, 45.79 and 29.59%, respectively.

Conclusions: The time series of human brucellosis in Shanxi Province from 2007 to 2017 showed obvious seasonal characteristics. The fitting and prediction performances of the ARIMA-ERNN model were better than those of the ARIMA-BPNN and ARIMA models. This will provide some theoretical support for the prediction of infectious diseases and will be beneficial to public health decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-05973-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980350PMC
March 2021

The evolution of chest CT findings from admission to follow-up in 30 moderate to severe adult patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Chin J Acad Radiol 2021 Mar 7:1-7. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Xiangyang Central Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Hubei University of Arts and Science, No.136 Jingzhou Street, Xiangyang, 441021 Hubei Province The People's Republic of China.

Objective: To analyze the evolution of chest computed tomography (CT) findings from admission to follow-up in moderate to severe patients with coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pneumonia.

Methods: During December 2019-April 2020, the sequential CT images of 30 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia were retrospectively analyzed from admission to follow-up. The qualitative evolution tendency of lung abnormalities and semi-quantitative CT scores were analyzed for temporal change.

Results: The mean hospitalized period was 24.5 ± 9.6 days (range 6-49 days). The average time from the first, second, third, fourth and follow-up CT examination to the initial symptom onset were 4.2 ± 3.1 days, 10.7 ± 4.4 days, 17.1 ± 3.9 days, 24.6 ± 7.5 days, and 42.4 ± 15.6 days, respectively. During illness day 0-5, groundglass opacity (GGO) was the main pattern. The following illness day 6-11, the main CT pattern was consolidation and reticular pattern. The consolidation and reticular pattern gradually dissipate during illness day 12-23, and the reticular pattern and light GGO increased. When illness day was ≥ 24 days, the reticular pattern and light GGO gradually decrease until complete dissipation. The highest CT score was at illness day 6-11. Pearson correlation analysis showed that the mean and maximum CT score were not correlated with the length of fever ( = 0.018,  = 0.923 and  = 0.086,  = 0.652) and hospitalization ( = 0.192,  = 0.31 and  = 0.273,  = 0.144).

Conclusions: The dynamic evolution of CT manifestation in moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia patients followed a specific pattern over time. During illness day 6-11, the extent of lung abnormalities on chest CT was the most severe.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42058-021-00058-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s42058-021-00058-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937430PMC
March 2021
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