Publications by authors named "Jongmin Lee"

297 Publications

Spatiotemporal variation of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) associated with the microphytobenthos of tidal flats in the Yellow Sea.

Mar Pollut Bull 2021 Jul 31;171:112780. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Research Institute of Oceanography, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

The physical functions of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), viz., by-product of microphytobenthos (MPB), in tidal flat system are well documented, but some ecological aspects remain unknown. We investigated MPB biomass (Chl-a), EPS, diatom assemblage, and erodibility in two contrasting tidal flat environments (megatidal vs. macrotidal flat) in the Yellow Sea. Thick biofilms were observed when MPB bloomed, with high Chl-a and increased EPS concentrations. Among diatom genera, Navicula was the most dominant taxa found over the year (mean 41%) in both areas. Compared with non-bloom periods, the erodibility decreased by 54-73% as biofilm thickened during the blooms. It was attributed to the elevated abundance of large-sized (>40 μm) Navicula, which was expected to secrete large amounts of EPS. Overall, we successfully demonstrated spatiotemporal differences of sediment stabilization that significantly related to ecological variations of MPB, and identified the key diatom genus as a "sediment stabilizer" in the typical tidal flats of the Yellow Sea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112780DOI Listing
July 2021

Editorial for "Clinical Application of Non-Contrast-Enhanced Dixon Water-Fat Separation Compressed SENSE Whole-Heart Coronary MR Angiography at 3.0 T With and Without Nitroglycerin".

J Magn Reson Imaging 2021 Aug 3. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Radiology, Kyungpook National University, School of Medicine, Jung Gu, Dong-Duk Ro 130, Daegu, Daegu, 41944, South Korea.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.27869DOI Listing
August 2021

Blue economy and the total environment: Mapping the interface.

Environ Int 2021 Jul 28;157:106796. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Research Institute of Oceanography, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

The term 'Blue Economy (BE)' is increasingly popular in modern environmental research. The concept seeks to explore ocean-based development opportunities with environmental stewardship and protection. Yet different scholars and actors adopt this term often in conflicting ways without attempting to explore the relevance and the link between the blue economy and the broader environment viz., total environment. The potential opportunities to resolve the conflicts require a better understanding of the impacts and/or interactions of the BE on the total environment. This paper aims to map the interface between the two for a better understanding of the total environment and implications for the BE. Using a systematic literature review, this study finds that the field of the blue economy in association with the total environment is very new and emerging in the literature, and the link between the BE and the total environment is increasingly being invoked, yet clarity on the link or interactions remain vague. By analysing the co-occurrence of selected keywords and networks, we present six clusters (three for general relationship, and the other three for specific dimensions of total environment). In a general relationship between the BE and the total environment, clusters of environmental sustainability, marine resource, and economic development are identified to link directly to the BE. In specific dimensions of the total environment, clusters of growth and sustainable development, spatial planning and environmental management, and environmental sustainability and the BE are presented. The analysis outcomes show that specific areas from the total environment (growth, spatial planning, environmental management, and environmental sustainability) are directly linked to the BE where a call for a wider range of studies in the future is identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106796DOI Listing
July 2021

The first national scale evaluation of organic carbon stocks and sequestration rates of coastal sediments along the West Sea, South Sea, and East Sea of South Korea.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 23;793:148568. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Research Institute of Oceanography, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Blue carbon science requires the estimates of organic carbon stock and sequestration rate; however, holistic data analysis remains limited in South Korea. The present study reports current organic carbon stocks and sequestration rates in the coastal areas of West Sea, South Sea, and East Sea of South Korea, encompassing entire intertidal areas using long-term field survey combined with remote sensing technology. Twenty-one intertidal flats were targeted across seven provinces (Gyeonggi, Chungnam, Jeonbuk, Jeonnam, Gyeongnam, Gyeongbuk, Gangwon). Out of the evaluated environmental parameters, mud content represented a significant factor controlling sedimentary organic carbon stocks across target areas, and was significantly positively correlated to the total organic carbon (p < 0.05). Organic carbon stocks measured in salt marshes (i.e., upper intertidal zone) reflected the high carbon fixation capacity of halophytes through primary production. Sediment textural type was classified using analysis of remotely sensed imagery, and was closely correlated to field-based classification data (p < 0.05). Using field and remote sensing results, we estimated total organic carbon stocks (13,142,149 Mg C) and sequestration rates (71,383 Mg C yr) in the tidal flats of South Korea. This study presents the first report on blue carbon potential in the Korean tidal flats, providing baseline information on the carbon dynamics of intertidal sediments in this region and, potentially, elsewhere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148568DOI Listing
June 2021

Angular selection of transmitted light and enhanced spontaneous emission in grating-coupled hyperbolic metamaterials.

Opt Express 2021 Jul;29(14):21458-21472

We propose dielectric grating-coupled hyperbolic metamaterials as a functional device that shows angular selection of transmitted light and enhanced radiative emission rate. We numerically demonstrate that the surface plasmon polaritons in the hyperbolic metamaterials can be effectively outcoupled to the surrounding space by using gratings and facilitate control of the light transmission in the visible frequency. We confirm that the high density of states and the effect of outcoupled plasmonic modes of the proposed structure lead to the increase of Purcell factor and radiative emission. This work will provide multifunctionalities in sensing and imaging systems that use hyperbolic metamaterials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.428231DOI Listing
July 2021

Large-scale sediment toxicity assessment over the 15,000 km of coastline in the Yellow and Bohai seas, East Asia.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 10;792:148371. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Research Institute of Oceanography, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

The Yellow and Bohai seas have long been contaminated by persistent toxic substances (PTSs) from numerous (un)known anthropogenic sources. In this study, we used Vibrio fischeri bioassay to evaluate ecotoxicological profiles associated with sedimentary PTSs contamination at a large marine ecosystem (LME) scale. A total of 125 surface sediments collected from the coastal areas of the Yellow and Bohai seas were analyzed both for aqueous and organic extracts. Not surprisingly, the results indicated site-dependent toxicities, but most sites were identified as non-toxic to V. fischeri. For aqueous extracts and organic extracts, 13% and 8% of samples, respectively exhibited marginal toxicity, while 0% and 2% of samples exhibited moderate toxicity. However, it should be noted that organic extracts (mean TU = 56) induced stronger toxicities than aqueous samples (mean TU = 0.4). This result generally back-supported the high toxicity potentials associated with sedimentary sink of organic pollutants. Several PTSs measured in the samples indicated a significant contribution to the observed V. fischeri toxicities. Of note, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs; r = 0.28, p < 0.05), styrene oligomers (r = 0.41, p < 0.01), and alkylphenols (r = 0.38, p < 0.05) showed significant associations to the observed bacterial inhibition. Among PAHs, benzo[a]anthracene and phenanthrene exhibited a significant contribution to the observed V. fischeri toxicities. Meantime, salinity which reflects the distance from the point sources of land-driven pollutants along the rivers and estuaries in the Yellow and Bohai seas was a key environmental variable representing the sample toxicities. Overall, the present study provides baseline information for evaluating the potential sediment toxicity to implement responsible coastal management at an LME scale, and elsewhere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148371DOI Listing
June 2021

Revisiting the Proportional Recovery Model in View of the Ceiling Effect of Fugl-Meyer Assessment.

Stroke 2021 Jun 17:STROKEAHA120032409. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Heart Vascular Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea (W.H.C., Y.-H.K.).

Background And Purpose: The aim of this study was to verify the validity of the proportional recovery model in view of the ceiling effect of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients enrolled in the Korean Stroke Cohort for Functioning and Rehabilitation between August 2012 and May 2015. Recovery proportion was defined as the actual change in Fugl-Meyer Assessment score of the upper extremity between 7 days and 6 months poststroke, relative to the initial neurological impairment. We then used logistic regression to identify clinical factors attributable to a ceiling effect of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment score of the upper extremity and propensity score matching to verify the validity of the proportional recovery rule.

Results: We screened 10 636 patients and analyzed 849 patients (mean age, 65.4±11.9 years; female, 320 [37.7%]) with first-ever ischemic stroke. We found, through logistic regression analysis, that a one-unit increase in the initial neurological impairment and the age at stroke onset affected the odds ratio (1.0386 and 0.9736, respectively) of achieving the full Fugl-Meyer Assessment score of the upper limb at 6 months poststroke. We also demonstrated, through propensity score matching, that the difference in initial neurological impairment of the upper extremity resulted in discrepancy of the recovery proportion (0.92±0.20 [0-1] versus 0.81±0.31 [0-1], <0.001).

Conclusions: We demonstrated that the ceiling effect of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment score of the upper extremity is pronounced in patients with mild initial motor deficits of the upper extremity and that the recovery proportion varies according to the initial motor deficit of the upper limb using logistic regression analysis and propensity score matching, respectively. These results suggest that the proportional recovery model is not valid.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.032409DOI Listing
June 2021

A Computer-Based Method for the Investigation of Human Behavior in the Iterative Chicken Game.

Front Psychol 2021 28;12:576404. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, South Korea.

The present study develops an artificial agent that plays the iterative chicken game based on a computational model that describes human behavior in competitive social interactions in terms of fairness. The computational model we adopted in this study, named as the self-concept fairness model, decides the agent's action according to the evaluation of fairness of both opponent and self. We implemented the artificial agent in a computer program with a set of parameters adjustable by researchers. These parameters allow researchers to determine the extent to which the agent behaves aggressively or cooperatively. To demonstrate the use of the proposed method for the investigation of human behavior, we performed an experiment in which human participants played the iterative chicken game against the artificial agent. Participants were divided into two groups, each being informed to play with either a person or the computer. The behavioral analysis results showed that the proposed method can induce changes in the behavioral pattern of human players by changing the agent's behavioral pattern. Also, we found that participants tended to be more sensitive to fairness when they played with a human opponent than with a computer opponent. These results support that the artificial agent developed in this study will be useful to investigate human behavior in competitive social interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.576404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8195276PMC
May 2021

Dermatan Sulfate Is a Potential Regulator of IgH Interactions With Pre-BCR, GTF2I, and BiP ER Complex in Pre-B Lymphoblasts.

Front Immunol 2021 25;12:680212. Epub 2021 May 25.

Curandis, New York, NY, United States.

Dermatan sulfate (DS) and autoantigen (autoAg) complexes are capable of stimulating autoreactive CD5+ B1 cells. We examined the activity of DS on CD5+ pre-B lymphoblast NFS-25 cells. CD19, CD5, CD72, PI3K, and Fas possess varying degrees of DS affinity. The three pre-BCR components, Ig heavy chain mu (IgH), VpreB, and lambda 5, display differential DS affinities, with IgH having the strongest affinity. DS attaches to NFS-25 cells, gradually accumulates in the ER, and eventually localizes to the nucleus. DS and IgH co-localize on the cell surface and in the ER. DS associates strongly with 17 ER proteins (e.g., BiP/Grp78, Grp94, Hsp90ab1, Ganab, Vcp, Canx, Kpnb1, Prkcsh, Pdia3), which points to an IgH-associated multiprotein complex in the ER. In addition, DS interacts with nuclear proteins (Ncl, Xrcc6, Prmt5, Eftud2, Supt16h) and Lck. We also discovered that DS binds GTF2I, a required gene transcription factor at the locus. These findings support DS as a potential regulator of IgH in pre-B cells at protein and gene levels. We propose a (DS•autoAg)-autoBCR dual signal model in which an autoBCR is engaged by both autoAg and DS, and, once internalized, DS recruits a cascade of molecules that may help avert apoptosis and steer autoreactive B cell fate. Through its affinity with autoAgs and its control of IgH, DS emerges as a potential key player in the development of autoreactive B cells and autoimmunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.680212DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185350PMC
May 2021

Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Responses and Seroconversion in COVID-19 Patients Using Twelve Commercial Immunoassays.

Ann Lab Med 2021 Nov;41(6):577-587

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody assays have high clinical utility in managing the pandemic. We compared antibody responses and seroconversion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients using different immunoassays.

Methods: We evaluated 12 commercial immunoassays, including three automated chemiluminescent immunoassays (Abbott, Roche, and Siemens), three enzyme immunoassays (Bio-Rad, Euroimmun, and Vircell), five lateral flow immunoassays (Boditech Med, SD biosensor, PCL, Sugentech, and Rapigen), and one surrogate neutralizing antibody assay (GenScript) in sequential samples from 49 COVID-19 patients and 10 seroconversion panels.

Results: The positive percent agreement (PPA) of assays for a COVID-19 diagnosis ranged from 84.0% to 98.5% for all samples (>14 days after symptom onset), with IgM or IgA assays showing higher PPAs. Seroconversion responses varied across the assay type and disease severity. Assays targeting the spike or receptor-binding domain protein showed a tendency for early seroconversion detection and higher index values in patients with severe disease. Index values from SARS-CoV-2 binding antibody assays (three automated assays, one LFIA, and three EIAs) showed moderate to strong correlations with the neutralizing antibody percentage (r=0.517-0.874), and stronger correlations in patients with severe disease and in assays targeting spike protein. Agreement among the 12 assays was good (74.3%-96.4%) for detecting IgG or total antibodies.

Conclusions: Positivity rates and seroconversion of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies vary depending on the assay kits, disease severity, and antigen target. This study contributes to a better understanding of antibody response in symptomatic COVID-19 patients using currently available assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3343/alm.2021.41.6.577DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8203431PMC
November 2021

No effect of desmopressin administration before kidney biopsy on the risk of major post-biopsy bleeding.

Nefrologia 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, South Korea. Electronic address:

Background/aims: The most important complication of kidney biopsy is bleeding, and it is unclear whether desmopressin is effective in preventing it. Thus, the study was conducted to compare post-biopsy bleeding with or without desmopressin prescription prior to percutaneous kidney biopsy.

Methods: In this single-centered, retrospective, and observational study, 3,018 adult patients who underwent kidney biopsy between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2019 at our institute were recruited. Of these, 776 patients received desmopressin. To compare the differences in major bleeding events between patients administered and not administered with desmopressin, propensity score matching was performed.

Results: Before propensity score (PS) matching, it was observed that patients in the desmopressin group were significantly older (p<0.001) and had a higher blood pressure (p<0.001), higher serum creatinine (p<0.001), lower hemoglobin levels (p<0.001), and lower platelet counts (p=0.001) than those in the no-desmopressin group. Furthermore, the incidence of renal artery embolization was not significantly different between the two groups (p=0.077); however, blood transfusions occurred significantly more frequently in the desmopressin group (p<0.001). A comparison of the two groups after PS matching did not reveal any differences in the incidence of renal artery embolization (p=0.341), blood transfusion (p=0.579), and total major bleeding events (p=0.442). Furthermore, there was no difference in the incidence of perinephric hematoma on computed tomography or ultrasound (p=0.120).

Conclusions: We do not recommend desmopressin administration before kidney biopsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nefro.2020.12.021DOI Listing
May 2021

Reliability and validity of the Korean version of the Caregiver Burden Inventory.

Int J Rehabil Res 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, National Traffic Injury Rehabilitation Hospital, Yangpyeong, Korea Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Montefiore Health System, White Plains, New York, USA Department of Psychiatry, Cheil Hospital Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, National Rehabilitation Center Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University Department of Family Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center Department of Quality Improvement, Konkuk University Medical Center International Healthcare Research Institute, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the reliability and validity of the Korean version of the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). The study was conducted as a multicenter cross-sectional survey for caregivers caring for patients with disabilities in outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation clinics. Sociodemographic characteristics and health-related quality of life were collected via questionnaires. The CBI and Burden Interview (BI) were administered, after which internal consistency and factor analysis of the CBI and correlation between the CBI and BI were explored. A total of 151 caregivers participated. The mean age of caregivers was 53.7 ± 12.4 years, and 80.8 % were women. The majority of caregivers were the main caregivers of stroke, spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. The factor analysis confirmed its five factorial structure. The time-dependence and physical burden scores of CBI were higher than those of other factors. All five-dimensional and total scores of CBI showed high internal consistency and were well correlated with BI. In conclusion, the CBI has proven its reliability, construct validity and concurrent validity for caregivers of disabled people and has shown its advantage as a multidimensional measure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MRR.0000000000000474DOI Listing
May 2021

Characterization of suspended membrane waveguides towards a photonic atom trap integrated platform.

Opt Express 2021 Apr;29(9):13129-13140

We demonstrate an optical waveguide device, capable of supporting the high, in-vacuum, optical power necessary for trapping a single atom or a cold atom ensemble with evanescent fields. Our photonic integrated platform, with suspended membrane waveguides, successfully manages optical powers of 6 mW (500 μm span) to nearly 30 mW (125 μm span) over an un-tethered waveguide span. This platform is compatible with laser cooling and magneto-optical traps (MOTs) in the vicinity of the suspended waveguide, called the membrane MOT and the needle MOT, a key ingredient for efficient trap loading. We evaluate two novel designs that explore critical thermal management features that enable this large power handling. This work represents a significant step toward an integrated platform for coupling neutral atom quantum systems to photonic and electronic integrated circuits on silicon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.418986DOI Listing
April 2021

Demonstration of a MOT in a sub-millimeter membrane hole.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 22;11(1):8807. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, 87185, USA.

We demonstrate the generation of a cold-atom ensemble within a sub-millimeter diameter hole in a transparent membrane, a so-called "membrane MOT". With a sub-Doppler cooling process, the atoms trapped by the membrane MOT are cooled down to 10 [Formula: see text]K. The atom number inside the unbridged/bridged membrane hole is about [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text], and the [Formula: see text]-diameter of the MOT cloud is about 180 [Formula: see text]m for a 400 [Formula: see text]m-diameter membrane hole. Such a membrane device can, in principle, efficiently load cold atoms into the evanescent-field optical trap generated by the suspended membrane waveguide for strong atom-light interaction and provide the capability of sufficient heat dissipation at the waveguide. This represents a key step toward the photonic atom trap integrated platform (ATIP).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87927-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062532PMC
April 2021

Serial, self-terminating search can be distinguished from others: Evidence from multi-target search data.

Cognition 2021 07 19;212:104736. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Psychology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

How do people find a target among multiple stimuli? The process of searching for a target among distractors has been a fundamental issue in human perception and cognition, evoking raging debates. Some researchers argued that search should be carried out by serially allocating focal attention to each item until the target is found. Others claimed that multiple stimuli, sharing a finite amount of processing resource, could be processed in parallel. This strict serial/parallel dichotomy in visual search has been challenged and many recent theories suggest that visual search tasks involve both serial and parallel processes. However, some search tasks should primarily depend on serial processing, while others would rely upon parallel processing to a greater extent. Here, by simple innovation of an experimental paradigm, we were able to identify a specific behavioral pattern associated with serial, self-terminating search and clarified which tasks depend on serial processing to a greater extent than others. Using this paradigm, we provide insights regarding under which condition the search becomes more serial or parallel. We also discuss several recent models of visual search that are capable of accommodating these findings and reconciling the extant controversy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104736DOI Listing
July 2021

Bendable BiVO-Based Photoanodes on a Metal Substrate Realized through Template Engineering for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Apr 1;13(14):16478-16484. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 123 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea.

Unlike planar photoelectrodes, bendable and malleable photoelectrodes extend their application to mechanical flexibility beyond conventional rigid structures, which have garnered new attention in the field of photoelectrochemical water splitting. A bendable metal (Hastelloy), which has both bendability and compatibility with various oxide layers, allows high-temperature processes for crystallization; therefore it is far superior as a substrate than a conventional flexible polymer. In this study, we fabricate bendable BiVO crystalline thin films on the metal substrates by employing template layers (SrRuO/SrTiO) to reduce the structural misfits between BiVO and the substrate. The crystallinities were verified through X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, and photocatalytic performances were examined. The crystallinity of BiVO was significantly improved by utilizing similar lattice constants and affinities between BiVO and the oxide template layers. We also formed a type II heterojunction by adding a WO layer which complements the charge separation and charge transfer as a photoanode. The photocurrent densities of tensile-bent BiVO/WO thin films with a bending radius of 10 mm are comparable to those of pristine BiVO/WO thin film in various aqueous electrolytes. Moreover, photostability tests showed that the tensile-bent crystalline photoanodes retained 90% of their initial photocurrent density after 24 h, which proved their exceptional durability. Our work demonstrates that the bendable photoelectrodes with crystallinity hold great potential in terms of device structure for solar-driven water splitting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c02314DOI Listing
April 2021

Oscillatory shear stress promotes angiogenic effects in arteriovenous malformations endothelial cells.

Mol Med 2021 03 31;27(1):31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, 130 Dongdeok-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, 41944, Korea.

Background: Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) are subject to continuous shear stress due to blood circulation. Mechanical stress due to high shear flow can also cause arteriovenous malformation (AVM) when ECs respond hyper-sensitively to shear flow. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that angiogenesis could be promoted in response to mechanical stress via regulation of pro-angiogenic factors in AVM cells.

Methods: ECs were extracted from the tissue samples from six AVM patients and six normal patients. Shear stress at 7 dynes/cm2 were applied for 24 h. Before and after application of shear stress to each group, RT-PCR was performed to access the expression levels of angiopoietin2(AGP2), aquaporin1(AQP1) and TGFβR1. Immunofluorescences was also performed to evaluate the level of protein expressions.

Results: In both normal and AVM tissues, AGP2 and TGFβR1 under the shear stress showed increased expression in the ECs compared to the non-sheared samples. When AVMs and normal arterial vasculature were compared, the expression levels of both AGP2 and TGFβR1 in AVMs were higher when compared to normal arterial vasculature with or without shear stress. Immunofluorescence-based protein analysis also confirmed shear-induced AGP2 and TGFβR1 in both samples of normal and AVM patients.

Conclusions: AVMs exhibited higher sensitivity to shear stress by producing higher expressions of some marked genes and proteins that regulate the endothelial functions upon exposure to shear stress. While the physiological mechanism for AVMs remain elusive, our study shows the plausibility of physical stress imposed by the shearing flow can cause the occurrence of AVMs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10020-021-00291-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011119PMC
March 2021

Predicting amyloid positivity in patients with mild cognitive impairment using a radiomics approach.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 26;11(1):6954. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Center for Neuroscience Imaging Research, Institute for Basic Science, Suwon, Korea.

Predicting amyloid positivity in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is crucial. In the present study, we predicted amyloid positivity with structural MRI using a radiomics approach. From MR images (including T1, T2 FLAIR, and DTI sequences) of 440 MCI patients, we extracted radiomics features composed of histogram and texture features. These features were used alone or in combination with baseline non-imaging predictors such as age, sex, and ApoE genotype to predict amyloid positivity. We used a regularized regression method for feature selection and prediction. The performance of the baseline non-imaging model was at a fair level (AUC = 0.71). Among single MR-sequence models, T1 and T2 FLAIR radiomics models also showed fair performances (AUC for test = 0.71-0.74, AUC for validation = 0.68-0.70) in predicting amyloid positivity. When T1 and T2 FLAIR radiomics features were combined, the AUC for test was 0.75 and AUC for validation was 0.72 (p vs. baseline model < 0.001). The model performed best when baseline features were combined with a T1 and T2 FLAIR radiomics model (AUC for test = 0.79, AUC for validation = 0.76), which was significantly better than those of the baseline model (p < 0.001) and the T1 + T2 FLAIR radiomics model (p < 0.001). In conclusion, radiomics features showed predictive value for amyloid positivity. It can be used in combination with other predictive features and possibly improve the prediction performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86114-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997887PMC
March 2021

Dysfunction of anterior insula in the non- affected hemisphere in patients with post- stroke depression: A resting-state fMRI study.

Technol Health Care 2021 ;29(S1):35-48

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Jung-gu, Daegu 41944, Korea.

Background: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is a consequential neuropsychiatric sequela that occurs after stroke. However, the pathophysiology of PSD are not well understood yet.

Objective: To explore alterations in functional connectivity (FC) between anterior insula and fronto-cortical and other subcortical regions in the non-affected hemisphere in patients with PSD compared to without PSD and healthy control.

Methods: Resting-state FC was estimated between the anterior insula and cortical and subcortical brain regions in the non-affected hemisphere in 13 patients with PSD, 12 patients without PSD, and 13 healthy controls. The severity of depressive mood was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II.

Results: Patients with PSD showed significant differences in FC scores between the anterior insula and the superior frontal, middle frontal, and orbitofrontal gyrus in the non-affected hemisphere than healthy control or patients without PSD (P< 0.05). In post-hoc, patients with PSD showed higher FC scores between the anterior insula and the superior frontal region than patients without PSD (P< 0.05). Furthermore, alterations in FC of the superior frontal, middle frontal, and orbitofrontal gyrus were positively correlated with depression severity, as measured with the BDI-II (P< 0.001).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/THC-218004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8150553PMC
January 2021

Hierarchical Porous Carbon Electrodes with Sponge-Like Edge Structures for the Sensitive Electrochemical Detection of Heavy Metals.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 Feb 14;21(4). Epub 2021 Feb 14.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), 50 UNIST-gil, Eonyang-eup, Ulju-gun, Ulsan 44919, Korea.

This article presents the development of a highly sensitive electrochemical heavy metal sensor based on hierarchical porous carbon electrodes with sponge-like edge structures. Micrometer-scale hierarchical nanoporous carbon electrodes were fabricated at a wafer-scale using cost-effective batch microfabrication technologies, including the carbon microelectromechanical systems technology and oxygen plasma etching. The sponge-like hierarchical porous structure and sub-micrometer edges of the nanoporous carbon electrodes facilitate fast electron transfer rate and large active sites, leading to the efficient formation of dense heavy metal alloy particles of small sizes during the preconcentration step. This enhanced the peak current response during the square wave anodic stripping voltammetry, enabling the detection of Cd(II) and Pb(II) at concentrations as low as 0.41 and 0.7 μg L, respectively, with high sensitivity per unit sensing area (Cd: 109.45 nA μg L mm, Pb: 100.37 nA μg L mm).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21041346DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7917916PMC
February 2021

Lymphopenia as a Biological Predictor of Outcomes in COVID-19 Patients: A Nationwide Cohort Study.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 26;13(3). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Catholic Hematology Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea.

We aimed to identify whether lymphopenia is a reliable prognostic marker for COVID-19. Using data derived from a Korean nationwide longitudinal cohort of 5628 COVID-19 patients, we identified propensity-matched cohorts ( = 770) with group I of severe lymphopenia (absolute lymphocyte counts [ALC]: <500/mm, = 110), group II of mild-to-moderate lymphopenia (ALC: ≥500-<1000/mm, = 330), and group III, no lymphopenia (ALC: ≥1000/mm, = 330). A significantly higher mortality rate was associated with lymphopenia severity: 40% in group I, 22.7% in group II, and 13.0% in group III ( < 0.001). At 28 days, the estimated inferior overall survival associated with intensified lymphopenia: 62.7% in group I, 79.9% in group II, and 89.0% in group III ( < 0.001). Lymphopenia contributed significantly toward a greater need for interventions in all groups but at varying degrees: requirements of invasive ventilation, intensive oxygen supply, or adequate oxygen supply, respectively ( < 0.001). The lymphopenia intensity was independently associated with higher COVID-19 mortality in multivariable analysis; adjusted odds ratios of 5.63 (95% CI, 3.0-10.72), and 2.47 (95% CI, 1.5-4.13) for group I and group II, respectively. Lymphopenia and its severity levels may serve as reliable predictive factors for COVID-19 clinical outcomes; thus, lymphopenia may provide the prognostic granularity required for clinical use in the management of patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13030471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865511PMC
January 2021

Silver Nanowire Network Hybridized with Silver Nanoparticle-Anchored Ruthenium Oxide Nanosheets for Foldable Transparent Conductive Electrodes.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Mar 22;13(9):11396-11402. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Autonomous Material Development Lab, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Suwon 16678, Republic of Korea.

Facile strategies in flexible transparent conductive electrode materials that can sustain their electrical conductivities under 1 mm-scale radius of curvature are required for wider applications such as foldable devices. We propose a rational design as well as a fabrication process for a silver nanowire-based transparent conductive electrode with low sheet resistance and high transmittance even after prolonged cyclic bending. The electrode is fabricated on a poly(ethylene terephthalate) film through the hybridization of silver nanowires with silver nanoparticles-anchored RuO nanosheets. This hybridization significantly improves the performance of the silver nanowire network under severe bending strain and creates an electrically percolative structure between silver nanowires and RuO nanosheets in the presence of anchored silver nanoparticles on the surface of RuO nanosheets. The resistance change of this hybrid transparent conductive electrode is 8.8% after 200,000 bending cycles at a curvature radius of 1 mm, making it feasible for use in foldable devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c19471DOI Listing
March 2021

The Association between Dynamic Changes in Serum Presepsin Levels and Mortality in Immunocompromised Patients with Sepsis: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jan 2;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea.

Presepsin is a subtype of soluble CD14 that is increased in the blood of septic patients. We investigated the role of dynamic changes in serum presepsin levels in critically ill, immunocompromised patients with sepsis. This is a prospective cohort study that included 119 adult patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Presepsin level was measured on day 1 and day 3 after ICU admission. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. In immunocompromised patients, presepsin levels on day 1 were higher in patients with sepsis than those in patients without sepsis. The area under the curve (AUC) of presepsin for diagnosing sepsis in immunocompromised patients was 0.87, which was comparable with that of procalcitonin (AUC, 0.892). Presepsin levels on day 3 were higher in patients who died in the hospital than in those who survived. In immunocompromised patients who died in the hospital, presepsin levels on day 3 were significantly higher than those on day 1. In the multivariate analysis, ΔPresepsin+ alone was independently correlated with in-hospital mortality in immunocompromised patients. These findings suggest that dynamic changes in presepsin levels between day 1 and day 3 are associated with in-hospital mortality in patients with sepsis, especially in immunocompromised patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11010060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823693PMC
January 2021

Stable isotope signatures reveal the significant contributions of microphytobenthos and saltmarsh-driven nutrition in the intertidal benthic food webs.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 25;756:144068. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Research Institute of Oceanography, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

A tidal saltmarsh supporting marine ecosystem services becomes more recognized, but an understanding of its trophic dynamics is far limited. We investigated the benthic food-web dynamics in Ganghwa tidal flat, a representative tidal saltmarsh of South Korea. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio values were analyzed for the sixteen species of macrobenthos and their potential food sources such as microphytobenthos (MPB) and various organic matters. A year-round survey was conducted in the three sites at Ganghwa showing the different types of sediment bottom (sandy mud or mud) and/or vegetation (Phragmites or Suaeda). In general, the isotopic signature fairly well demonstrated that trophic structure is primarily influenced by sediment mud content and/or dominated vegetation. Among the four feeding types of consumers (filter feeder; deposit feeder; omnivore; carnivore), the deposit feeders such as mollusk, arthropod, and annelid showed increased dietary dependency on MPB at bare sites. Whilst they actively utilized C-depleted organic matters at vegetated sites. Meantime, significantly enriched stable nitrogen isotopic ratio of macrobenthos was evidenced in fall, which reflected the seasonal variation of food sources and physiological processes in survival strategy. Overall, the stable isotopic approach was useful to address the key factors (in)directly influencing the benthic food web structure and its functioning in a typical tidal saltmarsh of the Yellow Sea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144068DOI Listing
February 2021

Longitudinal Changes in Clinical Features, Management, and Outcomes of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. A Nationwide Cohort Study.

Ann Am Thorac Soc 2021 05;18(5):780-787

Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung Ang University, Seoul, South Korea.

In recent decades, diagnosis and treatment recommendations for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have changed. In Korea, the average life expectancy has increased, unmet healthcare needs have been reduced, and the number of computed tomographic examinations performed has nearly doubled. The Korean Interstitial Lung Disease Study Group conducted a nationwide cohort study for idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, including IPF, and established a registry for IPF. Using study data collected by the study group, this study aimed to evaluate longitudinal changes in clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, and mortality and analyze the extent to which changes in medication usage affected IPF-associated mortality. The study population included newly diagnosed patients with IPF from a cohort study (January 2002 to September 2008,  = 1,839, 2008 group) and prospective registry (January 2012 to August 2018,  = 1,345, 2018 group). Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox regression models were used to identify mortality-associated risk factors in each group. The 2018 group was younger, had fewer symptoms, had less honeycombing, underwent more serologic autoimmune marker and pulmonary function tests, had higher oxygen partial pressure and lower carbon dioxide partial pressure values, was less frequently diagnosed by surgical biopsy, and had better survival than the 2008 group. Steroid use and conservative care declined, whereas -acetylcysteine use increased in this group. Antifibrotic agents were used in only the 2018 group. In the 2008 group, -acetylcysteine was associated with lower mortality, whereas conservative care was associated with higher mortality. In the 2018 group, the use of antifibrotic agents was associated with lower mortality, and steroid use was associated with higher mortality. The survival rates in the 2008 and 2018 non-antifibrotic agent subgroups were similar. This study analyzed national IPF cohort data spanning 17 years. In clinical practice, the IPF diagnosis was made earlier, steroid and immunosuppressive agent use was reduced, and antifibrotic agents were administered. The survival of patients with IPF has improved over the decades, and antifibrotic use was consistently associated with improved survival.Clinical trial registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT04160715).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202005-451OCDOI Listing
May 2021

Aldosterone-induced cardiac damage in primary aldosteronism depends on its subtypes.

Endocr Connect 2021 Jan;10(1):29-36

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

Objectives: This study compared cardiac function, morphology, and tissue characteristics between two common subtypes of primary aldosteronism (PA) using a 3T MR scanner.

Design: A retrospective, single-center, observational study.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 143 consecutive patients with PA, who underwent both adrenal venous sampling and cardiac magnetic resonance. We acquired cine, late gadolinium enhancement, and pre- and postcontrast myocardial T1-mapping images.

Results: PA was diagnosed as unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) in 70 patients and bilateral hyperaldosteronism (BHA) in 73. The APA group showed significantly higher plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) and aldosterone to renin rate (ARR) than the BHA group. After controlling for age, sex, antihypertensive drugs, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and disease duration, the parameters independently associated with APA were: left ventricular end-diastolic volume index (EDVI: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.06 (95% CI: 1.030-1.096), P < 0.01), end-systolic volume index (ESVI: 1.06 (1.017-1.113), P < 0.01), stroke index (SI: 1.07 (1.020-1.121), P < 0.01), cardiac index (CI: 1.001 (1.000-1.001), P < 0.01), and native T1 (1.01 (1.000-1.019), P = 0.038). Weak positive correlations were found between PAC and EDVI (R = 0.28, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.26, P < 0.01), and SI (0.18, P = 0.03); and between ARR and EDVI (0.25, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.24, P < 0.01), and native T1 (0.17, P = 0.047).

Conclusions: APA is associated with greater LV volumetric parameters and higher native T1 values, suggesting a higher risk of volume overload and myocardial damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-20-0504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923132PMC
January 2021

From 2D to 4D Phase-Contrast MRI in the Neurovascular System: Will It Be a Quantum Jump or a Fancy Decoration?

J Magn Reson Imaging 2020 Nov 24. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.

Considering the crosstalk between the flow and vessel wall, hemodynamic assessment of the neurovascular system may offer a well-integrated solution for both diagnosis and management by adding prognostic significance to the standard CT/MR angiography. 4D flow MRI or time-resolved 3D velocity-encoded phase-contrast MRI has long been promising for the hemodynamic evaluation of the great vessels, but challenged in clinical studies for assessing intracranial vessels with small diameter due to long scan times and low spatiotemporal resolution. Current accelerated MRI techniques, including parallel imaging with compressed sensing and radial k-space undersampling acquisitions, have decreased scan times dramatically while preserving spatial resolution. 4D flow MRI visualized and measured 3D complex flow of neurovascular diseases such as aneurysm, arteriovenous shunts, and atherosclerotic stenosis using parameters including flow volume, velocity vector, pressure gradients, and wall shear stress. In addition to the noninvasiveness of the phase contrast technique and retrospective flow measurement through the wanted windows of the analysis plane, 4D flow MRI has shown several advantages over Doppler ultrasound or computational fluid dynamics. The evaluation of the flow status and vessel wall can be performed simultaneously in the same imaging modality. This article is an overview of the recent advances in neurovascular 4D flow MRI techniques and their potential clinical applications in neurovascular disease. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 5 TECHNICAL EFFICACY STAGE: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.27430DOI Listing
November 2020

Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers for the Diagnosis and Classification of Alzheimer's Disease Spectrum.

J Korean Med Sci 2020 Nov 16;35(44):e361. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are increasingly used in clinical practice for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We aimed to 1) determine cutoff values of CSF biomarkers for AD, 2) investigate their clinical utility by estimating a concordance with amyloid positron emission tomography (PET), and 3) apply ATN (amyloid/tau/neurodegeneration) classification based on CSF results.

Methods: We performed CSF analysis in 51 normal controls (NC), 23 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 65 AD dementia (ADD) patients at the Samsung Medical Center in Korea. We attempted to develop cutoff of CSF biomarkers for differentiating ADD from NC using receiver operating characteristic analysis. We also investigated a concordance between CSF and amyloid PET results and applied ATN classification scheme based on CSF biomarker abnormalities to characterize our participants.

Results: CSF Aβ42, total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) significantly differed across the three groups. The area under curve for the differentiation between NC and ADD was highest in t-tau/Aβ42 (0.994) followed by p-tau/Aβ42 (0.963), Aβ42 (0.960), t-tau (0.918), and p-tau (0.684). The concordance rate between CSF Aβ42 and amyloid PET results was 92%. Finally, ATN classification based on CSF biomarker abnormalities led to a majority of NC categorized into A-T-N-(73%), MCI as A+T-N-(30%)/A+T+N+(26%), and ADD as A+T+N+(57%).

Conclusion: CSF biomarkers had high sensitivity and specificity in differentiating ADD from NC and were as accurate as amyloid PET. The ATN subtypes based on CSF biomarkers may further serve to predict the prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e361DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7669457PMC
November 2020

Environmental drivers affecting the bacterial community of intertidal sediments in the Yellow Sea.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 6;755(Pt 2):142726. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Division of Environmental Science & Ecological Engineering, College of Life Science & Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Intertidal flats, as transition zones where terrestrial and marine ecosystems meet, provide unique environments and play an important role in marine ecosystems. In particular, the environmental characteristics of tidal marshes show are different than those of bare flats, especially in the rhizosphere. However, unlike the rhizosphere in terrestrial ecosystems, the rhizosphere of plants in tidal marsh areas and the associated microbial community have been the focus of very little research. Thus, this study investigated the diversity and variation in bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of a Phragmites australis and Suaeda japonica and along the sediment depths. High-throughput sequencing was performed by amplifying the 16S rRNA gene of environmental DNA extracted from sediment cores, and indicator species were identified with respect to the vegetation type and sediment depth. The most abundant phylum was Proteobacteria, followed by Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, and Firmicutes. In general, the results indicated that not only vegetation type and sediment depth themselves but also their interaction resulted in significant differences among the bacterial communities. The envfit results revealed that the environmental variables of sediment, such as mud content, organic matter, total organic carbon, and total nitrogen, had significant effects on the bacterial community structure. The indicator species varied depending on the vegetation type and sediment depth, showing significant correlations with certain selected environmental variables, but were fundamentally related to the rhizosphere. Overall, this study revealed the key factors that determine the bacterial community structure in tidal marshes and the indicator species according to vegetation type in the little studied rhizosphere of the intertidal ecosystem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142726DOI Listing
February 2021

The Experience of Providing Older Adult Patients with Transitional Care from an Acute Care Hospital to Home in Cooperation with a Public Health Center.

J Korean Med Sci 2020 Oct 12;35(39):e348. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Research Institute on Healthy Aging, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Background: This study aimed to describe the experience of providing older adult patients with transitional care from an acute care hospital to home in cooperation with a public health center, in order to present the barriers to that care and suggest better organizational methods.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study to show the results of the Geriatric Screening for Care-10 (GSC-10) and outcomes of transitional care. Among 659 hospitalized patients aged 65 years or above who lived in an administrative district, forty-five subjects were enrolled between June 24, 2019 and January 23, 2020. Within 48 hours of admission, using the 10 areas of GSC-10, they were assessed for cognitive impairment, depression, polypharmacy (5 or more medications), functional mobility, dysphagia, malnutrition, pain, and incontinence, and were reassessed before discharge. The transitional care plan (containing the treatment summary, the results of the GSC-10 assessment, and the post-discharge plan) was forwarded to a representative of the public health center, who provided continued disease management and various health care services, such as chronic disease and frailty care, and physical rehabilitation.

Results: Of all the participants, 64.4% had more than 1 GSC-10 concern. The most prevalent concerns were functional immobility (35.6%) and polypharmacy (22.2%). About 15.6% of the participants were readmitted to a nursing home or hospital. A total of 38 participants received the transitional care intervention. They received an average of 2.7 administered interventions. However, the rate of rejection was high (30.1%) and patients were visited an average of 16.5 days after discharge.

Conclusion: Through our experience of providing transitional care from an acute care hospital to home in cooperation with a public health center, we expect that the transitional care suitable for the Korean medical situation could be established and successful.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7550231PMC
October 2020
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