Publications by authors named "Lauren Ma"

2 Publications

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Increased peripheral blood neutrophil activation phenotypes and NETosis in critically ill COVID-19 patients: a case series and review of the literature.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 May 14. Epub 2021 May 14.

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego (UCSD), La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

Background: Increased inflammation has been well defined in COVID-19, while definitive pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils are known to contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Changes in neutrophil function in COVID-19 may give insight into disease pathogenesis and identify therapeutic targets.

Methods: Blood was obtained serially from critically ill COVID-19 patients for eleven days. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), oxidative burst, phagocytosis and cytokine levels were assessed. Lung tissue was obtained immediately post-mortem for immunostaining. Pubmed searches for neutrophils, lung and COVID-19 yielded ten peer-reviewed research articles in English.

Results: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines IL-8 and IL-6, and general inflammatory cytokines IP-10, GM-CSF, IL-1b, IL-10 and TNF, were identified both at first measurement and across hospitalization (p<0.0001). COVID neutrophils had exaggerated oxidative burst (p<0.0001), NETosis (p<0.0001) and phagocytosis (p<0.0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis correlated with leukocytosis and neutrophilia, and neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma of 40% of SARS-CoV-2 infected lungs available for examination (2 out of 5). While elevations in IL-8 and ANC correlated with disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death.

Conclusions: Literature to date demonstrates compelling evidence of increased neutrophils in the circulation and lungs of COVID-19 patients. importantly, neutrophil quantity and activation correlates with severity of disease. Similarly, our data shows that circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with enhanced NETosis and oxidative burst.
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May 2021

A BIM-based system for demolition and renovation waste estimation and planning.

Waste Manag 2013 Jun 13;33(6):1539-51. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong.

Due to the rising worldwide awareness of green environment, both government and contractors have to consider effective construction and demolition (C&D) waste management practices. The last two decades have witnessed the growing importance of demolition and renovation (D&R) works and the growing amount of D&R waste disposed to landfills every day, especially in developed cities like Hong Kong. Quantitative waste prediction is crucial for waste management. It can enable contractors to pinpoint critical waste generation processes and to plan waste control strategies. In addition, waste estimation could also facilitate some government waste management policies, such as the waste disposal charging scheme in Hong Kong. Currently, tools that can accurately and conveniently estimate the amount of waste from construction, renovation, and demolition projects are lacking. In the light of this research gap, this paper presents a building information modeling (BIM) based system that we have developed for estimation and planning of D&R waste. BIM allows multi-disciplinary information to be superimposed within one digital building model. Our system can extract material and volume information through the BIM model and integrate the information for detailed waste estimation and planning. Waste recycling and reuse are also considered in our system. Extracted material information can be provided to recyclers before demolition or renovation to make recycling stage more cooperative and more efficient. Pick-up truck requirements and waste disposal charging fee for different waste facilities will also be predicted through our system. The results could provide alerts to contractors ahead of time at project planning stage. This paper also presents an example scenario with a 47-floor residential building in Hong Kong to demonstrate our D&R waste estimation and planning system. As the BIM technology has been increasingly adopted in the architectural, engineering and construction industry and digital building information models will likely to be available for most buildings (including historical buildings) in the future, our system can be used in various demolition and renovation projects and be extended to facilitate project control.
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June 2013