Publications by authors named "Hongtao Yang"

47 Publications

Influence of Entrepreneurial Orientation on Venture Capitalists' Initial Trust.

Front Psychol 2021 1;12:633771. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

School of Business Administration, Huaqiao University, Quanzhou, China.

The effectiveness of trust has been extensively investigated in entrepreneurship studies. However, compared to the outcomes of trust, we still lack knowledge about the mechanisms underlying venture capitalists' initial trust in entrepreneurs. Drawing from signal theory and impression management theory, this study explores an impression management motivational explanation for the influencing factors of venture capitalists' initial trust. An empirical test is based on 202 valid questionnaires from venture capitalists, and the results indicate that the signal of five dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation has a significant impact on the initial trust of venture capitalists and that a signal of entrepreneurial orientation of perseverance or passion positively influences venture capitalists' initial trust through acquired impression management strategies, while a signal of entrepreneurial orientation of risk-taking, innovation, or proactivity positively affects the initial trust of venture capitalists through defensive impression management strategies. The perceptions of entrepreneurs' hypocrisy by venture capitalists negatively moderate the relationship between acquired impression management strategies and the initial trust of venture capitalists and negatively moderate the relationship between defensive impression management strategies and the initial trust of venture capitalists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.633771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8047099PMC
April 2021

The effects of Fushen Granule on the composition and function of the gut microbiota during Peritoneal Dialysis-Related Peritonitis.

Phytomedicine 2021 Jun 28;86:153561. Epub 2021 Mar 28.

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300381, PR China. Electronic address:

Background: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is an acknowledged treatment for patients with irreversible kidney failure. The treatment usually causes peritoneal dialysis-related peritonitis (PDRP), a common complication of PD that can lead to inadequate dialysis, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and even death. Recent studies indicated that Fushen Granule (FSG), a Chinese herbal formula, improves the treatment of PD. However, the mechanism of how FSG plays its role in the improvement is still unclear. Gut microbiota has been closely related to the development of various diseases. We carried out a randomized controlled trial to assess whether FSG can modulate the gut microbiota during PDRP treatment.

Methods: Forty-two PDRP patients were recruited into the clinical trial, and they were randomly divided into control(CON), probiotics(PRO) or Fushen granule group(FSG). To check whether FSG improve the PD treatment, we assessed the clinical parameters, including albumin(ALB), hemoglobin(HGB), blood urea nitrogen(BUN) and creatinine(CR). Fecal samples were collected before hospitalization and discharge, and stored at -80°C within 1 hour. And we assessed the microbial population and function by applying the 16S rRNA gene sequencing and functional enrichment analysis.

Results: Compared to control group, ALB is improved in both probiotics and FSG groups, while HGB is increased but BUN and CR is reduced in FSG group. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes revealed that FSG and PRO affected the composition of the microbial community. FSG significantly increased a abundant represented by Bacteroides, Megamonas and Rothia, which was significantly correlated with the improvements in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that FSG ameliorates the nutritional status and improves the quality of life by enriching beneficial bacteria associated with metabolism. These results indicate that FSG as alternative medicine is a promising treatment for patients with PDRP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2021.153561DOI Listing
June 2021

Effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine combined with Western medicine on deferring dialysis initiation for nondialysis chronic kidney disease stage 5 patients: a multicenter prospective nonrandomized controlled study.

Ann Transl Med 2021 Mar;9(6):490

Department of Nephrology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guiyang, China.

Background: In clinical practice, Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) purportedly has beneficial therapeutic effects for chronic kidney disease (CKD), which include delaying disease progression and dialysis initiation. However, there is a lack of high-quality evidence-based results to support this. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of CHM combined with Western medicine in the treatment of stage 5 CKD.

Methods: This was a prospective nonrandomized controlled study. Stage 5 CKD (nondialysis) patients were recruited form 29 AAA class hospitals across China from July 2014 to April 2019. According to doctors' advice and the patients' wishes, patients were assigned to the CHM group (Western medicine + CHM) and the non-CHM group (Western medicine). Patient demographic data, primary disease, blood pressure, Chinese and Western medical drugs, clinical test results, and time of dialysis initiation were collected during follow-up.

Results: A total of 908 patients were recruited in this study, and 814 patients were finally included for further analysis, including 747 patients in the CHM group and 67 patients in the non-CHM group. 482 patients in the CHM group and 52 patients in the non-CHM group initiated dialysis. The median time of initiating dialysis was 9 (7.90, 10.10) and 3 (0.98,5.02) months in the CHM group and non-CHM group, respectively. The multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that patients in the CHM group had a significantly lower risk of dialysis [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR): 0.38; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28, 0.53] compared to those in the non-CHM group. After 1:2 matching, the outcomes of 160 patients were analyzed. The multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that patients in the CHM group had a significantly lower risk of dialysis (aHR: 0.32; 95% CI: 0.21, 0.48) compared to patients in the non-CHM group. Also, the Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that the cumulative incidence of dialysis in the CHM group was significantly lower than that in the non-CHM group (log-rank test, P<0.001) before and after matching.

Conclusions: This study suggest that the combination of CHM and Western medicine could effectively reduce the incidence of dialysis and delay the time of dialysis initiation in stage 5 CKD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-21-871DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8039672PMC
March 2021

A Network Pharmacology-Based Approach to Investigating the Mechanisms of Fushen Granule Effects on Intestinal Barrier Injury in Chronic Renal Failure.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 5;2021:2097569. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Purpose: Fushen Granule (FSG) is a Chinese medicine prepared by doctors for treating patients with chronic renal failure, which is usually accompanied by gastrointestinal dysfunction. Here, we explore the protective effect of FSG on intestinal barrier injury in chronic renal failure through bioinformatic analysis and experimental verification.

Methods: In this study, information on the components and targets of FSG related to CRF is collected to construct and visualize protein-protein interaction networks and drug-compound-target networks using network pharmacological methods. DAVID is used to conduct gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis. Then, it is validated by in vitro experiments. In this study, the human intestinal epithelial (T84) cells are used and divided into four groups: control group, model group, FSG low-dose group, and FSG high-dose group. After the experiment, the activity of T84 cells is detected by a MTT assay, and the expressions of tight junction protein ZO-1, claudin-1, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2), heme oxygenase1 (HO-1), malondialdehyde (MDA), and cyclooxygenase2 (COX-2) are examined by immunofluorescence and/or western blotting.

Results: Eighty-six potential chronic renal failure-related targets are identified by FSG; among them, nine core genes are screened. Furthermore, GO enrichment analysis shows that the cancer-related signaling pathway, the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, the HIF1 signaling pathway, and the TNF signaling pathway may play key roles in the treatment of CRF by FSG. The MTT method showed that FSG is not cytotoxic to uremic toxin-induced injured T84 cells. The results of immunofluorescence and WB indicate that compared with the control group, protein expressions level of ZO-1, claudin-1, and Nrf2 in T84 cells is decreased and protein expressions level of HO-1, MDA, and COX-2 is increased after urinary toxin treatment. Instead, compared with the model group, protein expressions level of ZO-1, claudin-1, and Nrf2 in T84 cells is increased and protein expressions level of HO-1, MDA, and COX-2 is decreased after FSG treatment.

Conclusion: FSG had a protective effect on urinary toxin-induced intestinal epithelial barrier injury in chronic renal failure, and its mechanism may be related to the upregulation of Nrf2/HO-1 signal transduction and the inhibition of tissue oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Screening CRF targets and identifying the corresponding FSG components by network pharmacological methods is a practical strategy to explain the mechanism of FSG in improving gastrointestinal dysfunction in CRF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/2097569DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7954622PMC
March 2021

Bupi Yishen Formula Versus Losartan for Non-Diabetic Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Front Pharmacol 2020 29;11:627185. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Guangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) might have benefits in patients with non-diabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD), but there is a lack of high-quality evidence, especially in CKD4. This study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of Bupi Yishen Formula (BYF) vs. losartan in patients with non-diabetic CKD4. This trial was a multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized controlled trial that was carried out from 11-08-2011 to 07-20-2015. Patients were assigned (1:1) to receive either BYF or losartan for 48 weeks. The primary outcome was the change in the slope of the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) over 48 weeks. The secondary outcomes were the composite of end-stage kidney disease, death, doubling of serum creatinine, stroke, and cardiovascular events. A total of 567 patients were randomized to BYF ( = 283) or losartan ( = 284); of these, 549 (97%) patients were included in the final analysis. The BYF group had a slower renal function decline particularly prior to 12 weeks over the 48-week duration (between-group mean difference of eGFR slopes: -2.25 ml/min/1.73 m/year, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -4.03,-0.47), and a lower risk of composite outcome of death from any cause, doubling of serum creatinine level, end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), stroke, or cardiovascular events (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.61, 95%CI: 0.44,0.85). No significant between-group differences were observed in the incidence of adverse events. We conclude that BYF might have renoprotective effects among non-diabetic patients with CKD4 in the first 12 weeks and over 48 weeks, but longer follow-up is required to evaluate the long-term effects. http://www.chictr.org.cn, identifier ChiCTR-TRC-10001518.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.627185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941267PMC
January 2021

H NMR-based water-soluble lower molecule characterization and fatty acid composition of Chinese native chickens and commercial broiler.

Food Res Int 2021 Feb 15;140:110008. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Yunnan Vocational and Technical College of Agriculture, Kunming 650000, China. Electronic address:

The aim of this study was to compare the water-soluble low molecular weight (WLMW) compounds and fatty acids (FAs) in raw meat and chicken soup between the two Chinese native chickens (Wuding chicken and Yanjin silky fowl chicken) and one typical commercial broiler (Cobb chicken). The WLMW compounds of chicken meat was studied using H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H NMR) and the FAs were identified and quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Compared with typical commercial broiler, the main flavor substances (WLMW compounds and FAs) content were significantly higher in the breast and leg meat of the two Chinese native chickens (P < 0.05). Instead, the content of main flavor compounds was significantly higher in chicken soup of typical commercial broiler (P < 0.05). These results contribute to a further understanding the distinction of the flavor compounds between the typical commercial broiler and Chinese native chickens, which could be used to help assess the meat quality of different local broilers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.110008DOI Listing
February 2021

Experimental models in peritoneal dialysis (Review).

Exp Ther Med 2021 Mar 21;21(3):240. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300381, P.R. China.

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is one of the most commonly used dialysis methods and plays an important role in maintaining the quality of life of patients with end-stage renal disease. However, long-term PD treatment is associated with adverse effects on the structure and function of peritoneal tissue, which may lead to peritoneal ultrafiltration failure, resulting in dialysis failure and eventually PD withdrawal. In order to prevent the occurrence of these effects, the important issues that need to be tackled are improvement of ultrafiltration, protection of peritoneal function and extension of dialysis time. In basic PD research, a reasonable experimental model is key to the smooth progress of experiments. A good PD model should not only simulate the process of human PD as accurately as possible, but also help researchers to understand the evolution process and pathogenesis of various complications related to PD treatment. To better promote the clinical application of PD technology, the present review will summarize and evaluate the PD experimental models available, thus providing a reference for relevant PD research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.9671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7851610PMC
March 2021

In vitro and in vivo studies to evaluate the feasibility of Zn-0.1Li and Zn-0.8Mg application in the uterine cavity microenvironment compared to pure zinc.

Acta Biomater 2021 03 16;123:393-406. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Graduate School of Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-Ku, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan. Electronic address:

Significant advances have been achieved in the research evaluating Zn and its alloys as degradable metallic biomaterials mainly for application in bone and blood vessels. In the present study, the degradation behaviors of Zn-0.1Li and Zn-0.8Mg alloys in simulated uterine fluid (SUF) were systematically investigated for 300 days. In vitro viability assays were conducted in different uterine cells (HUSMCs, HEECs, and HESCs), and histological examination after the in vivo implantation into the uterine cavity was performed using pure Zn as control. The immersion test results indicated that both Zn-0.1Li and Zn-0.8Mg alloys exhibited better corrosion resistance than pure Zn, with Zn(PO)⋅4HO and CaZn(PO)⋅2HO being the main corrosion products detected in the SUF in addition to ZnO. The cell cytotoxicity assays revealed that Zn-0.1Li and Zn-0.8Mg exhibited better cytocompatibility than Zn. Moreover, the in vivo experiments demonstrated that the Zn-0.1Li and Zn-0.8Mg alloys induced less inflammation in the uterine tissue than pure Zn, with CaCO and Zn(HPO)⋅3HO being the major biocorrosion products in addition to ZnO. According to these results, zinc alloys appear to be suitable potential candidate materials for future intrauterine biomedical devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2020.12.048DOI Listing
March 2021

Identification of biomarkers and construction of a microRNA‑mRNA regulatory network for clear cell renal cell carcinoma using integrated bioinformatics analysis.

PLoS One 2021 12;16(1):e0244394. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, P. R. China.

With the recent research development, the importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in renal clear cell carcinoma (CCRCC) has become widely known. The purpose of this study is to screen out the potential biomarkers of renal clear cell carcinoma (CCRCC) by microarray analysis. The miRNA chip (GSE16441) and mRNA chip (GSE66270) related to CCRCC were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. After data filtering and pretreating, R platform and a series of analysis tools (funrich3.1.3, string, Cytoscape_ 3.2.1, David, etc.) were used to analyze chip data and identify the specific and highly sensitive biomarkers. Finally, by constructing the miRNA -mRNA interaction network, it was determined that five miRNAs (hsa-mir-199a-5p, hsa-mir-199b-5p, hsa-mir-532-3p and hsa-mir-429) and two key genes (ETS1 and hapln1) are significantly related to the overall survival rate of patients.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244394PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7802940PMC
April 2021

Biodegradable Zn-Sr alloy for bone regeneration in rat femoral condyle defect model: In vitro and in vivo studies.

Bioact Mater 2021 Jun 21;6(6):1588-1604. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Orthopaedic Implants, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200011, China.

Bone defects are commonly caused by severe trauma, malignant tumors, or congenital diseases and remain among the toughest clinical problems faced by orthopedic surgeons, especially when of critical size. Biodegradable zinc-based metals have recently gained popularity for their desirable biocompatibility, suitable degradation rate, and favorable osteogenesis-promoting properties. The biphasic activity of Sr promotes osteogenesis and inhibits osteoclastogenesis, which imparts Zn-Sr alloys with the ideal theoretical osteogenic properties. Herein, a biodegradable Zn-Sr binary alloy system was fabricated. The cytocompatibility and osteogenesis of the Zn-Sr alloys were significantly better than those of pure Zn in MC3T3-E1 cells. RNA-sequencing illustrated that the Zn-0.8Sr alloy promoted osteogenesis by activating the wnt/β-catenin, PI3K/Akt, and MAPK/Erk signaling pathways. Furthermore, rat femoral condyle defects were repaired using Zn-0.8Sr alloy scaffolds, with pure Ti as a control. The scaffold-bone integration and bone ingrowth confirmed the favorable in vivo repair properties of the Zn-Sr alloy, which was verified to offer satisfactory biosafety based on the hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining and ion concentration testing of important organs. The Zn-0.8Sr alloy was identified as an ideal bone repair material candidate, especially for application in critical-sized defects on load-bearing sites due to its favorable biocompatibility and osteogenic properties in vitro and in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioactmat.2020.11.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7691683PMC
June 2021

Efficacy of Chinese Herbal Injections for the Treatment of Primary Nephrotic Syndrome: A Bayesian Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Front Pharmacol 2020 16;11:579241. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Nephrology, The First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Background: Considering the adverse reactions and side effects of immunosuppressive and cytotoxic drugs for the treatment of Primary Nephrotic Syndrome (PNS) and the extensive exploration of Chinese herbal injections (CHIs), systematic evaluation of the efficacy of different CHIs in the treatment of PNS is a key imperative. In this study, we performed a network meta-analysis to investigate the efficacy of CHIs in the treatment of PNS.

Methods: A systematic literature review including studies published from the establishment of each database to May 28, 2020, was conducted in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, the Chinese Biological Medicine Literature Service System (CBM), the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database, the Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP), and the Wanfang Database (WF).Two evaluators independently screened the literature, extracted data and the Cochrane Reviewer's Handbook 5.1 method was used to evaluate the quality of included studies. The differences in efficacy of different CHIs were compared and ranked using Stata 16.0 software. Surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) probability values were applied to rank the examined treatments. Clustering analysis was performed to compare the effects of CHIs between two different outcomes.

Results: A total of 41 eligible randomized controlled trials involving 2879 patients and nine CHIs were included. Nine CHIs were Xiangdan injection (XDI), Huangqi injection (HQI), Shenkang injection (SKI), Danshen injection (DSI), Yinxingdamo injection (YXI), Dengzhanhuasu injection (DZI), Danhong injection (DHI), Shuxuetong injection (SXI), Chuanxiongqin injection (CXI). The results of the network meta-analysis showed that: with Western medical (WM) treatment as a co-intervention, in terms of improving the total clinical effectiveness and serum albumin level, DHI was the most likely to be the best choice for treatment (SUCRA = 82.2%); YXI had the highest probability of being the best option in terms of reducing 24-h urinary protein excretion (SUCRA = 97.8%); in cholesterol-lowering comparisons, the SUCRA value allows for the most likely to be the best treatment is DZI (SUCRA = 84.5%). SXI was the most effective CHIs in terms of lowering serum triglycerides (SUCRA = 85.6%), whereas on the reducing fibrinogen side, the efficacy of CXI was significant (SUCRA = 67.6%). The result cluster analysis indicated that YXI and DHI were the best interventions with respect to total clinical effectiveness, 24-h urinary protein excretion and serum albumin.

Conclusions: CHIs were found to be superior to WM alone in the treatment of PNS and may be beneficial for patients with PNS. WM+YXI and WM+DHI had the potential to be the best CHI with respect to the total clinical effectiveness, 24-h urinary protein excretion and serum albumin. However, more well-designed randomized controlled trials are still warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.579241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596388PMC
October 2020

Biodegradable Zn-Cu alloys show antibacterial activity against MRSA bone infection by inhibiting pathogen adhesion and biofilm formation.

Acta Biomater 2020 11 29;117:400-417. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Orthopaedic Implants, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China. Electronic address:

Bone and joint-related infections remain the primary and most critical complications of orthopedic surgery. We have innovatively prepared Zn-Cu alloys to achieve outstanding material and antibacterial properties. In this study, we systematically assessed the material properties and antibacterial activity of these Zn-Cu alloys. Our results showed that the Zn-2Cu alloy had the best mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and osteogenic properties. Findings of microbial cultures, CLSM, SEM, and TEM indicated that Zn-2Cu alloy can inhibit both coagulase-positive and coagulase-negative staphylococci, as well as antibiotic-resistant strains (MRSA and MRSE), by preventing the bacteria adhesion and the biofilm formation. Zn-2Cu alloy could broadly affect the expression of MRSA genes associated with adhesion, autolysis, biofilm formation, virulence, and drug resistance. A rat femur intramedullary nail infection-prevention model was established and the Zn-2Cu alloy-treated group showed significant antibacterial activity against MRSA and reduced the inflammatory toxic side-effects and infection-related bone loss. Collectively, our results indicate the potential utility of Zn-Cu alloy implants with 2 wt% Cu in treating orthopedic infections. Statement of significance: Osteomyelitis is a serious complication of orthopedic surgeries. Wide use of antibiotics contributes to the appearance of multi-drug resistant strains like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Alternatively, anti-osteomyelitis implants with broad-spectrum antibacterial properties can be favorable. Here, the antibacterial performance of biodegradable Zn-Cu alloys was evaluated with four different bacteria strains including antibiotic-resistant strains (MRSA and MRSE). Zn-Cu alloys exert excellent bacterial killing capability in all strains. In a rat femur infection model, the alloy showed significant antibacterial activity against MRSA and reduced inflammatory toxic side-effects as well as infection-related bone loss. The antibacterial property of Zn-2Cu alloy was associated with inhibition of gene expression related to wall synthesis, adhesion, colonization, biofilm formation, autolysis, and secretion of virulence factors in MRSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2020.09.041DOI Listing
November 2020

Resolution of Eosinophilic Peritonitis with Hypoalbuminemia by Oral Prednisone Acetate in an Elderly Patient Receiving Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis.

Iran J Kidney Dis 2020 09;14(5):412-414

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

A 79-year-old patient developed severe hypoalbuminemia associated with eosinophilic peritonitis (EP) after receiving continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) for 3 years. The hypoalbuminemia and EP treated successfully with the use of prednisone acetate. This case is reported to emphasize the importance of diagnosis of EP that should be suspected when the peritoneal dialysis (PD) patient presents with severe hypoalbuminemia combined with turbid effluent along with repeated negative cultures. A short course of low-dose oral glucocorticoid may be considered in accelerating the resolution of the episode in such cases.
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September 2020

Insights into the Role of Renal Biopsy in Patients with T2DM: A Literature Review of Global Renal Biopsy Results.

Diabetes Ther 2020 Sep 5;11(9):1983-1999. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Introduction: Renal biopsy performed in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) for atypical or suspected diabetic kidney disease (DKD) reveals one of three possibilities: diabetic nephropathy (DN, pathological diagnosis of DKD), nondiabetic kidney disease (NDKD) and DN plus NDKD (mixed form). NDKD (including the mixed form) is increasingly being recognized worldwide. With the emerging concept of DKD and the complexity of routine application of renal biopsy, the identification of "clinical indicators" to differentiate DKD from NDKD has been an area of active research.

Methods: The PubMed database was searched for relevant articles mainly according to the keyword search method. We reviewed prevalence of the three types of DKD and different pathological lesions of NDKD. We also reviewed the clinical indicators used to identify DKD and NDKD.

Results: The literature search identified 40 studies (5304 data) worldwide between 1977 and 2019 that looked at global renal biopsy and pathological NDKD lesions. The overall prevalence rate of DN, NDKD and DN plus NDKD is reported to be 41.3, 40.6 and 18.1%, respectively. In Asia, Africa (specifically Morocco and Tunisia) and Europe, the most common isolated NDKD pathological type is membranous nephropathy, representing 24.1, 15.1 and 22.6% of cases, respectively. In contrast, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is reported to be the primary pathological type in North America (specifically the USA) and Oceania (specifically New Zealand), representing 22% and 63.9% of cases, respectively. Tubulointerstitial disease accounts for a high rate in the mixed group (21.7%), with acute interstitial nephritis being the most prevalent (9.3%), followed by acute tubular necrosis (9.0%). Regarding clinical indicators to differentiate DKD from NDKD, a total of 14 indicators were identified included in 42 studies. Among these, the most commonly studied indicators included diabetic retinopathy, duration of diabetes, proteinuria and hematuria. Regrettably, indicators with high sensitivity and specificity have not yet been identified.

Conclusion: To date, renal biopsy is still the gold standard to diagnose diabetes complicated with renal disease, especially when T2DM patients present atypical DKD symptoms (e.g. absence of diabetic retinopathy, shorter duration of diabetes, microscopic hematuria, sub-nephrotic range proteinuria, lower glycated hemoglobin, lower fasting blood glucose). We conclude that renal biopsy as early as possible is of great significance to enable personalized treatment to T2DM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13300-020-00888-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7434810PMC
September 2020

Hirudin Ameliorates Renal Interstitial Fibrosis via Regulating TGF-1/Smad and NF-B Signaling in UUO Rat Model.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 26;2020:7291075. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Renal Department, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 314 Anshan Xi Road, Nan Kai District, Tianjin 300193, China.

Purpose: Hirudin, a polypeptide structure containing 65 amino acids, is a potent natural thrombin inhibitor with anticoagulant property extracted from . It has been reported to have anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic property. Here we explored the renoprotective effect of hirudin on unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) induced renal interstitial fibrosis (RIF).

Methods: Rats were randomly divided into five groups: sham group, UUO alone group, and three UUO + hirudin-treatment groups (10, 20, or 40 IU/kg/d, for 14 continuous days). At the end of the experiment period, animals were sacrificed. Pathologic changes in renal specimens were observed using hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and Masson staining. The expressions of collagen III (Col III), fibronectin (FN), -smooth muscle actin (-SMA), protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR-1), and proteins in the TGF-1/Smad and NF-B pathways in renal tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry and/or Western blotting.

Results: HE and Masson staining showed that hirudin-treated UUO rats had lower extent of renal injury and deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) in renal interstitium than those in the UUO group. The results of immunohistochemistry and WB indicated decreased protein expressions of Col III, FN, -SMA, PAR-1, and inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor- and interleukin-6 after hirudin treatment. Furthermore, hirudin reduced the expressions of transforming growth factor 1 (TGF-1), phosphorylated-Smad2, and phosphorylated-Smad3 in the UUO model. In parallel, we found inhibited nuclear factor-B (NF-B) signaling after hirudin treatment, with downregulated protein expressions of P65, phosphorylated-P65, and phosphorylated-iB and increased iB.

Conclusion: Hirudin improves kidney injury and suppresses inflammatory response and ECM accumulation in UUO rats; its underlying mechanism may be associated with the inhibition of TGF-1/Smad and NF-B signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/7291075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336220PMC
June 2020

Antibacterial and antibiofilm effects of flufenamic acid against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Pharmacol Res 2020 10 7;160:105067. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Department of Bone and Joint Surgery, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. Electronic address:

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are one of the most serious surgery complications, and their prevention is of utmost importance. Flufenamic acid is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug approved for clinical use to relieve inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients. In this study, we explored the antibacterial efficacy of flufenamic acid and the mechanisms underlying this effect. By using minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), time-kill, resistance induction assays, and the antibiotic synergy test, we demonstrated that flufenamic acid inhibited the growth of methicillin-resistant staphylococci and did not induce resistance when it was used at the MIC. Furthermore, flufenamic acid acted synergistically with the beta-lactam antibiotic oxacillin and did not show significant toxicity toward mammalian cells. The biofilm inhibition assay revealed that flufenamic acid could prevent biofilm formation on medical implants and destroy the ultrastructure of the bacterial cell wall. RNA sequencing and quantitative RT-PCR indicated that flufenamic acid inhibited the expression of genes associated with peptidoglycan biosynthesis, beta-lactam resistance, quorum sensing, and biofilm formation. Furthermore, flufenamic acid efficiently ameliorated a local infection caused by MRSA in mice. In conclusion, flufenamic acid may be a potent therapeutic compound against MRSA infections and a promising candidate for antimicrobial coating of implants and surgical devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105067DOI Listing
October 2020

Efficacy and safety of Abelmoschus manihot for IgA nephropathy: A multicenter randomized clinical trial.

Phytomedicine 2020 May 18;76:153231. Epub 2020 May 18.

Department of Nephrology, Chinese PLA Institute of Nephrology, State Key Laboratory of Kidney Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Diseases, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Chinese PLA Medical School, Beijing 100853, China. Electronic address:

Rationale And Objective: IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is an important cause for end-stage renal disease worldwide. The treatment for IgAN remains challenging, and few randomized and controlled clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate new therapies. The present study assesses the efficacy and safety of Abelmoschus manihot (AM) in IgAN patients.

Study Design: Randomized, non-inferiority, double-blind, double-dummy multicenter trial.

Setting And Participants: This trial was designed to recruit 1,600 biopsy-proven IgAN patients (proteinuria between 0.5-3.0 g/d and estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] of ≥ 45 ml/min/1.73 m) across China.

Interventions: The participants were randomized at 1:1 to AM (2.5 g for three times per day) or losartan potassium (100 mg per day) for 48 weeks.

Outcomes: The primary outcome was the change in 24-hour proteinuria from baseline to week 48. The secondary outcomes were the change in eGFR from baseline to week 48, and the incidents of endpoint events (proteinuria ≥ 3.5 g/24 h, doubling of serum creatinine, or receiving renal replacement treatment).

Results: Among 1,470 randomized patients (mean age, 37.4 [SD, 10.6] years old; 777 [52.9%] were female; mean eGFR, 95.0 [SD, 24.3] mL/min/1.73 m; mean 24-hour proteinuria, 1.2 [SD, 0.7] g/d), the mean decline in 24-h proteinuria at week 48 was 230 mg and 253 mg in the AM and losartan potassium groups, respectively (P = 0.676). The mean difference in the change in 24-h proteinuria between these two groups was -23.32 mg (95% confident interval: -123.2 to 76.6, p = 0.647). The mean decline in eGFR was 0.41 ml/min/1.73 m and 0.76 ml/min/1.73 m in the AM and losartan potassium groups, respectively (p = 0.661). The mean difference in the change in eGFR between these two groups was -0.43 ml/min/1.73 m (95% confident interval: -1.99 to 1.13, p = 0.589). The incidence of endpoint events was 8.6% in the AM group and 8.2% in the losartan group (p = 0.851).

Limitations: The results of the trial may not be generalized to IgAN patients with a proteinuria of > 3.0 g/d and an eGFR of < 45 ml/min/1.73 m. The long-term benefits of AM in reducing the risk of progressive renal dysfunction remains unclear, based on this 48-week observation.

Conclusion: AM can be recommended as a promising treatment for IgAN patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2020.153231DOI Listing
May 2020

Serum zinc levels and multiple health outcomes: Implications for zinc-based biomaterials.

Bioact Mater 2020 Jun 31;5(2):410-422. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Orthopedic Implant, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200011, China.

Background: Zinc-based biomaterials, including biodegradable metal, nanoparticles, and coatings used in medical implants release zinc ions that may increase the whole-body and serum zinc concentrations. The impact of serum zinc concentrations on major health outcomes can provide insights for device design and clinical transformation of zinc-based biomaterials.

Methods: This nationally representative cross-sectional study enrolled participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2011-2014) including 3607 participants. Using unadjusted and multivariate-adjusted logistic regression analyses, two-piecewise linear regression model with a smoothing function and threshold level analysis, we evaluated the associations between elevated serum zinc levels and major health outcomes.

Results: Elevated serum zinc levels were significantly associated with an increase in total spine and total femur bone mineral density (BMD). Every 10 μg/dL increase was associated with a 1.12-fold increase in diabetes mellitus (DM) and 1.23-fold and 1.29-fold increase in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD), in participants with serum zinc levels ≥ 100 μg/dL. It had no significant linear or nonlinear associations with risk of fractures, congestive heart failure, heart attack, thyroid disease, arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dyslipidemia and cancer.

Conclusion: Serum zinc levels are significantly associated with increased BMD in the total spine and total femur, and risk of DM, and CVD/CHD among participants with serum zinc levels ≥100 μg/dL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioactmat.2020.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7114479PMC
June 2020

Amendments to saline-sodic soils showed long-term effects on improving growth and yield of rice ( L.).

PeerJ 2020 10;8:e8726. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Changchun, China.

Background: Saline-sodic soils are widely distributed in arid and semi-arid regions around the world. High levels of salt and sodium inhibit the growth and development of crops. However, there has been limited reports on both osmotic potential in soil solutions (OP) and characteristics of Na and K absorption in rice in saline-sodic soils under various amendments application.

Methods: A field experiment was conducted between 2009 and 2017 to analyze the influence of amendments addition to saline-sodic soils on rice growth and yield. Rice was grown in the soil with no amendment (CK), with desulfurization gypsum (DG), with sandy soil (SS), with farmyard manure (FM) and with the mixture of above amendments (M). The osmotic potential in soil solution, selective absorption of K over Na (SA), selective transport of K over Na (ST), the distribution of K and Naand yield components in rice plants were investigated.

Results: The results indicated that amendments application have positive effects on rice yield. The M treatment was the best among the tested amendments with the highest rice grain yield. M treatment increased the OP values significantly to relieve the inhibition of the water uptake by plants. Additionally, the M treatment significantly enhanced K concentration and impeded Na accumulation in shoots. SA values were reduced while ST values were increased for all amendments. In conclusion, a mixture of desulfurization gypsum, sandy soil and farmyard manure was the best treatment for the improvement of rice growth and yield in the Songnen Plain, northeast China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8726DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7069413PMC
March 2020

In vitro and in vivo studies of Zn-Mn biodegradable metals designed for orthopedic applications.

Acta Biomater 2020 05 9;108:358-372. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Orthopaedic Implants, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, PR China. Electronic address:

In recent years, Zn-based materials provide a new option as biodegradable metals for orthopedic applications. To improve the low strength and brittle nature of pure Zn, small amounts of alloying element Mn (0.1, 0.4 and 0.8 wt.%) were added into Zn to fabricate binary Zn-Mn alloys. An extremely high elongation (83.96 ± 2.36%) was achieved in the resulting Zn-0.8 wt.%Mn alloy. Moreover, Zn-Mn alloys displayed significantly improved cytocompatibility as compared to pure Zn, according to cell proliferation and morphology analyses. More importantly, a significantly improved osteogenic activity was verified after adding Mn regarding ALP activity and osteogenic expression. Furthermore, Zn-0.8 wt.%Mn alloy scaffolds were implanted into the rat femoral condyle for repairing bone defects with pure Ti as control. Enhanced osteogenic activities were confirmed for Zn-0.8Mn alloy in contrast to pure Ti based on Micro-CT and histological results, and favorable in vivo biosafety of Zn-0.8Mn alloy was verified by H&E staining and blood tests. The exceptional mechanical performance and favorable osteogenic capability render Zn-Mn alloy a promising candidate material in the treatment of bone defects or fracture repair. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: The element Mn, on the one hand, as an essential trace element in the human body, promotes cell proliferation, adhesion, spreading, and regulates bone metabolism; on the other hand, it could significantly improve the ductility of Zn alloys. Here, we systematically reported the biocompatibility and biofunctionality of binary biodegradable Zn-Mn alloys in the bone environment. The Zn-Mn alloys promoted MC3T3-E1 cell proliferation, adhesion, spreading, and osteogenic differentiation in vitro. Furthermore, a rat femoral condyle defect model was established; porous Zn-Mn alloy scaffolds were manufactured to repair the bone defects. Significant bone regenerations, considerable bone ingrowth, and desirable biosafety were confirmed in vivo. Therefore, biodegradable Zn-Mn with promising osteogenic properties may become new options for orthopedic implant materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2020.03.009DOI Listing
May 2020

Alloying design of biodegradable zinc as promising bone implants for load-bearing applications.

Nat Commun 2020 01 21;11(1):401. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Materials Genome Engineering & Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.

Magnesium-based biodegradable metals (BMs) as bone implants have better mechanical properties than biodegradable polymers, yet their strength is roughly less than 350 MPa. In this work, binary Zn alloys with alloying elements Mg, Ca, Sr, Li, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Ag respectively, are screened systemically by in vitro and in vivo studies. Li exhibits the most effective strengthening role in Zn, followed by Mg. Alloying leads to accelerated degradation, but adequate mechanical integrity can be expected for Zn alloys when considering bone fracture healing. Adding elements Mg, Ca, Sr and Li into Zn can improve the cytocompatibility, osteogenesis, and osseointegration. Further optimization of the ternary Zn-Li alloy system results in Zn-0.8Li-0.4Mg alloy with the ultimate tensile strength 646.69 ± 12.79 MPa and Zn-0.8Li-0.8Mn alloy with elongation 103.27 ± 20%. In summary, biocompatible Zn-based BMs with strength close to pure Ti are promising candidates in orthopedics for load-bearing applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14153-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6972918PMC
January 2020

Efficacy and safety of anti-viral therapy for Hepatitis B virus-associated glomerulonephritis: A meta-analysis.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(1):e0227532. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Objectives: To assess the potency of anti-viral treatment for hepatitis B virus-associated glomerulonephritis (HBV-GN). Method: We searched for controlled clinical trials on anti-viral therapy for HBV-GN in MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and PubMed from inception to March 11th 2019. Seven trials, including 182 patients met the criteria for evaluating. The primary outcome measures were proteinuria and changes in the estimated glomerular filtration rate, and the secondary outcome measure was hepatitis B e-antigen clearance. A fixed or random effect model was established to analyze the data. Subgroup analyses were performed to explore the effects of clinical trial type, anti-viral drug type, age, and follow-up duration.

Results: The total remission rate of proteinuria (OR = 10.48, 95% CI: 4.60-23.89, I2 = 0%), complete remission rate of proteinuria (OR = 11.64, 95% CI: 5.17-26.21, I2 = 23%) and clearance rate of Hepatitis Be Antigen (HBeAg) were significantly higher in the anti-viral treatment group than in the control group (OR = 27.08, 95% CI: 3.71-197.88, I2 = 63%). However, antiviral therapy was not as effective regarding the eGFR (MD = 5.74, 95% CI: -4.24-15.73). In the subgroup analysis, age and drug type had significant impacts on proteinuria remission, and study type and follow-up duration only slightly affected the heterogeneity.

Conclusion: Antiviral therapy induced remission of proteinuria and increased HBeAg clearance but failed to improve the eGFR. Pediatric patients were more sensitive to antiviral therapy than adults. IFNs seem more effective but are accompanied by more adverse reactions than NAs.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227532PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6961902PMC
April 2020

Fushen Granule, A Traditional Chinese Medicine, ameliorates intestinal mucosal dysfunction in peritoneal dialysis rat model by regulating p38MAPK signaling pathway.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Apr 23;251:112501. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Department of Nephrology, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, PR China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Fushen Granule (FSG) is a Chinese medicinal formular prepared in hospital to treat intestinal mucosal dysfunction induced by peritoneal dialysis (PD). However, the mechanisms of this formular has not been studied yet.

Aim Of The Study: The present study was designed to investigate the effect of FSG against intestinal dysfunction during PD treatment and explore the potential mechanisms using a rat PD model.

Methods And Methods: In the present study, the effect of FSG on improving intestinal mucosal architecture injury was intuitively shown by hematoxylin-eosin staining, the serum levels of DAO and D-lactate were measured to evaluate the intestinal permeability by the DAO Assay Kit and D-Lactic Acid ELISA Kit. The expression of the intestinal mucosal barrier related inflammation factor by real-time PCR. The main effective constituents of FSG were characterized by UPLC/Q-TOF analysis, and the targets and pathways of the constituents were predicted via TCMSP database and IPA. the activation of p38MAPK signaling pathway by western blotting.

Results: HE staining results showed that FSG protected against intestinal mucosal injury in pathology in PD rats. FSG decreased the intestinal mucosal permeability by increasing the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) level and decreasing the intestinal clearance of fluorescein-isothiocyanate dextran (FD4) and the level of D-lactate and diamine oxidase (DAO). FSG significantly decreased the expression of ICAM-1, IL-1β, iNOS and TNF-α, and further inhibited the activation of p38MAPK signaling pathway via down-regulating the expression of P-p38MAPK and up-regulating the expression of DUSP1, occludin, and ZO-1.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that FSG ameliorated intestinal mucosal dysfunction in PD by decreasing expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting the activation of p38MAPK signaling pathway. The results provide a promising basis for the alternative medicine treatment of intestinal mucosal dysfunction in PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.112501DOI Listing
April 2020

A numerical corrosion-fatigue model for biodegradable Mg alloy stents.

Acta Biomater 2019 10 5;97:671-680. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Department of Geriatrics and Cardiovascular Medicine, Shenzhen Sun Yat-Sen Cardiovascular Hospital, Shenzhen 518112, China. Electronic address:

Biodegradable magnesium alloys have attracted research interest as matrix materials for next-generation absorbable metallic coronary stents. Subject to cyclic stresses, magnesium alloy stents (MAS) are prone to premature failures caused by corrosion fatigue damage. This work aimed to develop a numerical continuum damage mechanics model, implemented with the finite element method, which can account for the corrosion fatigue of Mg alloys and the applications in coronary stents. The parameters in the resulting phenomenological model were calibrated using our previous experimental data of HP-Mg and WE43 alloy and then applied in assessing the performance of the MAS. The results indicated that it was valid to predict the degradation rate, the damage-induced reduction of the radial stiffness, and the critical location of the MAS. Furthermore, this model and the numerical procedure can be easily adapted for other biodegradable alloy systems, for instance, Fe and Zn, and used to achieve the optimal degradation rate while improving fatigue endurance. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Subject to cyclic stresses, magnesium alloy stents are prone to premature failures caused by corrosion fatigue damage. This work aimed to develop a numerical continuum damage mechanics model, implemented with the finite element method, which can account for the corrosion fatigue of Mg alloys and the applications in coronary stents. The results indicated that it was valid to predict the degradation rate, damage-induced reduction of the radial stiffness, and the critical location of the Mg alloy stent; therefore, these stents can be easily adapted to other biodegradable alloy systems such as Fe and Zn.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2019.08.004DOI Listing
October 2019

Interfacial Zinc Phosphate is the Key to Controlling Biocompatibility of Metallic Zinc Implants.

Adv Sci (Weinh) 2019 Jul 17;6(14):1900112. Epub 2019 May 17.

Department of Biomedical Engineering University of North Texas TX 76207 USA.

Recently emerged metallic zinc (Zn) is a new generation of promising candidates for bioresorbable medical implants thanks to its essential physiological relevance, mechanical strength, and more matched degradation pace to that of tissue healing. Zn-based metals exhibit excellent biocompatibility in various animal models. However, direct culture of cells on Zn metals yields surprisingly low viability, indicating high cytotoxicity of Zn. This contradicting phenomenon should result from the different degradation mechanisms between in vitro and in vivo. To solve this puzzle, the roles of all major players, i.e., zinc phosphate (ZnP), zinc oxide (ZnO), zinc hydroxide (Zn(OH)), pH, and Zn, which are involved in the degradation process are examined. Data shows that ZnP, not ZnO or Zn(OH), significantly enhances its biocompatibility. The mild pH change during degradation also has no significant impact on cell viability. Collectively, ZnP appears to be the key to controlling the biocompatibility of Zn implants and could be applied as a novel surface coating to improve biocompatibility of different implants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/advs.201900112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661942PMC
July 2019

Challenges in the use of zinc and its alloys as biodegradable metals: Perspective from biomechanical compatibility.

Acta Biomater 2019 10 23;97:23-45. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan.

To date, more than fifty articles have been published on the feasibility studies of zinc and its alloys as biodegradable metals. These preliminary in vitro and in vivo studies showed acceptable biodegradability and reasonable biocompatibility in bone and blood microenvironments for the experimental Zn-based biodegradable metals and, for some alloy systems, superior mechanical performance over Mg-based biodegradable metals. For instance, the Zn-Li alloys exhibited higher UTS (UTS), and the Zn-Mn alloys exhibited higher elongation (more than 100%). On the one hand, similar to Mg-based biodegradable metals, insufficient strength and ductility, as well as relatively low fatigue strength, may lead to premature failure of medical devices. On the other hand, owing to the low melting point of the element Zn, several new uncertainties with regard to the mechanical properties of biomedical zinc alloys, including low creep resistance, high susceptibility to natural aging, and static recrystallization (SRX), may lead to device failure during storage at room temperature and usage at body temperature. This paper comprehensively reviews studies on these mechanical aspects of industrial Zn and Zn alloys in the last century and biomedical Zn and Zn alloys in this century. The challenges for the future design of biomedical zinc alloys as biodegradable metals to guarantee 100% mechanical compatibility are pointed out, and this will guide the mechanical property design of Zn-based biodegradable metals. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Previous studies on mechanical properties of industrial Zn and Zn alloys in the last century and biomedical Zn and Zn alloys in this century are comprehensively reviewed herein. The challenges for the future design of zinc-based biodegradable materials considering mechanical compatibility are pointed out. Common considerations such as strength, ductility, and fatigue behaviors are covered together with special attention on several new uncertainties including low creep resistance, high susceptibility to natural aging, and static recrystallization (SRX). These new uncertainties, which are not significantly observed in Mg-based and Fe-based materials, are largely due to the low melting point of the element Zn and may lead to device failure during storage at room temperature and clinical usage at body temperature. Future studies are urgently needed on these topics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2019.07.038DOI Listing
October 2019

The impact of irrigation on yield of alfalfa and soil chemical properties of saline-sodic soils.

PeerJ 2019 10;7:e7148. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

Northeast Insitute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun city, Jilin Province, China.

Background: Forage production in the saline-sodic soil of the western Songnen Plain Northeast China depends on irrigation. Therefore, the water use efficiency (WUE) and soil chemical properties are key factors in the overall forage productivity in this water scarce region. Improving forage yield, WUE, and soil properties under irrigation are very important for food and ecological security in this water-deficient region. Additionally, a suitable irrigation schedule for this region is necessary.

Methods: A field experiment was conducted between 2015 and 2018 to evaluate the effects of irrigation on artificial grassland productivity and the changes in soil chemical properties as well as to plan a reliable irrigation schedule for the western Songnen Plain. Eight irrigation treatments were designed, which depended on the three growth stages of alfalfa. The shoot height (SH), the chlorophyll content (SPAD), the dry yield (DM), the ratio of stem to leaves (SLR), the WUE, the changes in the chemical properties of the soil, and precipitation and evaporation were investigated.

Results: The SH, DM, WUE, and SLR were significantly increased by irrigation ( < 0.01). However, the SPAD resulting from irrigation was not significantly higher than the SPAD of CK (no irrigation) ( < 0.05). In addition, the soil chemical properties at the depth of 0-100 cm were significantly decreased by irrigation (0.05). For example, the soil electrical conductivity, sodium absorption ratio, and total alkalization were reduced 182-345 μS cm, 8.95-9.00 (mmol/L), and 3.29-4.65 mmol L by different irrigation treatments, respectively. Finally, considering the highest WUE of I5 (irrigation at branch stage) (2.50 kg m), relative high DM of I5 (787.00 g m), the precipitation, the evaporation, the water resources, and the changes of the soil's chemical properties, 236.50 mm of irrigation water was recommended at the branching stage of alfalfa for the western Songnen Plain, Northeast China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6626524PMC
July 2019

Longitudinal Changes of PAI-1, MMP-2, and VEGF in Peritoneal Effluents and Their Associations with Peritoneal Small-Solute Transfer Rate in New Peritoneal Dialysis Patients.

Biomed Res Int 2019 5;2019:2152584. Epub 2019 May 5.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University School of Medicine, Taiwan.

Patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) encounter peritoneal functional and structural alterations. It is still unknown whether levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1), matrix metalloproteinases- (MMP-) 2, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) exhibit dynamic changes in peritoneal effluents. The aim of the present study was to investigate the longitudinal changes in these biomarkers in PD patients and their association with peritoneal small-solute transfer rate (PSTR). This prospective, single-center cohort study included 70 new PD patients. The presence of PAI-1, MMP-2, and VEGF in peritoneal effluents was measured regularly after PD initiation. The association between those biomarkers and 4-hour effluent:plasma creatinine ratio (PSTR) was analyzed. Longitudinal follow-up showed a tendency for PAI-1 ( < 0.001) and VEGF ( = 0.04) to increase with the duration of PD. Both PSTR at baseline and PSTR at 2 years significantly associated with PAI-1, MMP-2, and VEGF levels at baseline. PSTR at 2 years also associated with the MMP-2 level at 6 months and PAI-1 level at baseline. The present study illustrated a positive association of PSTR with selected biomarkers in peritoneal effluents observed over a 2-year period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/2152584DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6525855PMC
December 2019

Prognostic impact of galectin-3 in chronic kidney disease patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Int Urol Nephrol 2019 Jun 8;51(6):1005-1011. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Department of Nephrology, First Central Hospital of Tianjin, 300192, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.

Background: Galectin-3 as a β-galactoside-binding lectin, which has served important functions in numerous biological activities including cell growth, apoptosis, pre-mRNA splicing, differentiation, transformation, angiogenesis, inflammation, fibrosis, and host defense, may be used in prediction of clinical outcomes in CKD patients. However, the given results remain debatable and inconclusive. Hence, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis to clarify the predictive value of galectin-3 in patients with CKD, especially ESRD patients going on dialysis.

Methods: PubMed and Embase electronic databases were searched to identify eligible studies reporting the association between galectin-3 and adverse outcomes in CKD patients. We searched the literatures published October 2018 or earlier. We used both fix-effects and random-effects models to calculate the overall effect estimate. An I > 50% indicates at least moderate statistical heterogeneity. A sensitivity analysis and subgroup analysis were performed to find the origin of heterogeneity.

Results: We ultimately enrolled five studies with a total of 5226 patients in this meta-analysis. The result showed that high galectin-3 levels were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular (CV) events in CKD patients. For every 1% increased in galectin-3, the risk of all-cause mortality increased by 37.9% (HR 1.379, 95% CI 1.090-1.744). Much more, the risk of CV events in CKD patients was also significantly increased (HR 1.054, 95% CI 1.007-1.102) with no statistical heterogeneity among the studies (I = 0.0%, p = 0.623). However, there was no statistical difference between the risk of all-cause mortality and galectin-3 in HD patients (HR 1.171, 95% CI 0.963-1.425).

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis suggests that high levels of galectin-3 may increase the risk of all-cause mortality and CV events in CKD patients, however, probably not a sensitive biomarker for outcomes in HD patients. Further studies were warranted to validate our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11255-019-02123-3DOI Listing
June 2019

Robust and flexible method for calibrating the focal length of on-orbit space zoom camera.

Appl Opt 2019 Feb;58(6):1467-1474

For the on-orbit space zoom camera, the camera focal length is in a constant process of change; accordingly, compared with calibrating other camera intrinsic parameters, calibrating the focal length has a practical significance for the space zoom camera. With the vanishing points obtained from the solar panel of human-made space satellites, this paper introduces a focal length self-calibration method for the on-orbit space zoom camera. First, the geometrical relationship and infinite homography of vanishing points at various camera positions are used to derive the method. To improve the accuracy and robustness performance of this approach, an optimization method is then proposed to nonlinearly optimize the camera focal length. Finally, simulation and real physical experiments demonstrate that the proposed method is flexible and accurate with good anti-noise interference and real-time capacity. The method proposed in this paper makes more realistic sense for a number of important space tasks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.58.001467DOI Listing
February 2019