Publications by authors named "Liang Dong"

1,420 Publications

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Monitoring and ecological risk assessment of contaminants in freshwater bodies by bioindicators in China: a proposed framework.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2022 Jun 24. Epub 2022 Jun 24.

National Research Center for Environmental Analysis and Measurement, Beijing, 100029, People's Republic of China.

Bioindicators can provide pollution information with longer temporal duration and larger spatial scale. It is an ideal strategy for long-term monitoring of bioaccumulative contaminants. Bioindicator monitoring has been widely used; however, there were seldom detailed studies about bioindicator methodology in literature. The present study proposed a bioindicator framework suitable for the local conditions of China, including selection of bioindicator species, evaluation of impact factors, and derivation of threshold values using per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) as an example. The criteria that proper bioindicator species should meet and the procedure how the bioindicator species is selected were proposed, under which crucian carp (Carassius auratus) was selected as the local bioindicator for studied PFASs. Several factors which may affect accumulation of contaminants in bioindicators were suggested to produce reliable and comparable results. Derivation method of bioindicator thresholds for ecological risk assessment of aquatic ecosystems was firstly developed. The long-term and short-term ecological thresholds of perfluorooctanesulfonate using crucian carp as bioindicator are 3.329 and 1.402 μg/g wet weight respectively. Using the long-term thresholds derived from chronic toxicity data and the accumulative concentrations of contaminants obtained by bioindicator results, the bioindicator monitoring can be used for long-term ecological risk surveillance. The threshold derivation method can extend the application of bioindicator monitoring from the occurrence study to ecological risk surveillance, which is especially important for China who has made progresses on regular contaminant control and starts to be concerned about the ecological risks of the emerging contaminants. The framework can be used to create national and regional long-term freshwater bioindicator monitoring programs, with the purposes of ecological risk assessment, occurrence and temporal trend study, pollution source identification, international convention fulfillment, retrospective study, etc. The bioindicator framework will benefit the aquatic environmental safety and the hazardous chemical management in China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-21223-9DOI Listing
June 2022

Accurate Mass Identification of an Interfering Water Adduct and Strategies in Development and Validation of an LC-MS/MS Method for Quantification of MPI8, a Potent SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibitor, in Rat Plasma in Pharmacokinetic Studies.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2022 May 27;15(6). Epub 2022 May 27.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX 77004, USA.

MPI8, a peptidyl aldehyde, is a potent antiviral agent against coronavirus. Due to unique tri-peptide bonds and the formyl functional group, the bioassay of MPI8 in plasma was challenged by a strong interference from water MPI8. Using QTOF LC-MS/MS, we identified MPI8•HO as the major interference form that co-existed with MPI8 in aqueous and biological media. To avoid the resolution of MPI8 and MPI8•HO observed on reverse phase columns, we found that a Kinetex hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) column provided co-elution of both MPI8 and MPI8•HO with a good single chromatographic peak and column retention of MPI8 which is suitable for quantification. Thus, a sensitive, specific, and reproducible LC-MS/MS method for the quantification of MPI8 in rat plasma was developed and validated using a triple QUAD LC-MS/MS. The chromatographic separation was achieved on a Kinetex HILIC column with a flow rate of 0.4 mL/min under gradient elution. The calibration curves were linear (r > 0.99) over MPI8 concentrations from 0.5-500 ng/mL. The accuracy and precision are within acceptable guidance levels. The mean matrix effect and recovery were 139% and 73%, respectively. No significant degradation of MPI8 occurred under the experimental conditions. The method was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic study of MPI8 after administration of MPI8 sulfonate in rats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph15060676DOI Listing
May 2022

A Review of Cobalt-Containing Nanomaterials, Carbon Nanomaterials and Their Composites in Preparation Methods and Application.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2022 Jun 14;12(12). Epub 2022 Jun 14.

A Key Laboratory of Dielectric and Electrolyte Functional Material Hebei Province, Northeastern University at Qinhuangdao, Qinhuangdao 066004, China.

With the increasing demand for sustainable and green energy, electric energy storage technologies have received enough attention and extensive research. Among them, Li-ion batteries (LIBs) are widely used because of their excellent performance, but in practical applications, the electrochemical performance of electrode materials is not satisfactory. Carbon-based materials with high chemical stability, strong conductivity, high specific surface area, and good capacity retention are traditional anode materials in electrochemical energy storage devices, while cobalt-based nano-materials have been widely used in LIBs anodes because of their high theoretical specific capacity. This paper gives a systematic summary of the state of research of cobalt-containing nanomaterials, carbon nanomaterials, and their composites in LIBs anodes. Moreover, the preparation methods of electrode materials and measures to improve electrochemical performance are also summarized. The electrochemical performance of anode materials can be significantly improved by compounding carbon nanomaterials with cobalt nanomaterials. Composite materials have better electrical conductivity, as well as higher cycle ability and reversibility than single materials, and the synergistic effect between them can explain this phenomenon. In addition, the electrochemical performance of materials can be significantly improved by adjusting the microstructure of materials (especially preparing them into porous structures). Among the different microscopic morphologies of materials, porous structure can provide more positions for chimerism of lithium ions, shorten the diffusion distance between electrons and ions, and thus promote the transfer of lithium ions and the diffusion of electrolytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano12122042DOI Listing
June 2022

The Unfolded Protein Response Sensor PERK Mediates Stiffness-Dependent Adaptation in Glioblastoma Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2022 Jun 10;23(12). Epub 2022 Jun 10.

Department of Medical Oncology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive brain tumor in adults. In addition to genetic causes, the tumor microenvironment (TME), including stiffening of the extracellular matrix (ECM), is a main driver of GBM progression. Mechano-transduction and the unfolded protein response (UPR) are essential for tumor-cell adaptation to harsh TME conditions. Here, we studied the effect of a variable stiff ECM on the morphology and malignant properties of GBM stem cells (GSCs) and, moreover, examined the possible involvement of the UPR sensor PERK herein. For this, stiffness-tunable human blood plasma (HBP)/alginate hydrogels were generated to mimic ECM stiffening. GSCs showed stiffness-dependent adaptation characterized by elongated morphology, increased proliferation, and motility which was accompanied by F-Actin cytoskeletal remodeling. Interestingly, in PERK-deficient GSCs, stiffness adaptation was severely impaired, which was evidenced by low F-Actin levels, the absence of F-Actin remodeling, and decreased cell proliferation and migration. This impairment could be linked with Filamin-A (FLN-A) expression, a known interactor of PERK, which was strongly reduced in PERK-deficient GSCs. In conclusion, we identified a novel PERK/FLNA/F-Actin mechano-adaptive mechanism and found a new function for PERK in the cellular adaptation to ECM stiffening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms23126520DOI Listing
June 2022

Feasibility study of three-material decomposition in dual-energy cone-beam CT imaging with deep learning.

Phys Med Biol 2022 Jun 21. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

Institute of Biomedical and Health Engineering, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology,Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1068 Xueyuan Avenue, Shenzhen University Town, Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518055, CHINA.

Objective: In this work, a dedicated end-to-end deep convolutional neural network (CNN), named as Triple-CBCT, is proposed to demonstrate the feasibility of reconstructing three different material distribution volumes from the dual-energy CBCT projection data.

Approach: In Triple-CBCT, the features of the sinogram and the CT image are independently extracted and cascaded via a customized domain transform network module. This Triple-CBCT network was trained by numerically synthesized dual-energy CBCT data, and was tested with experimental dual-energy CBCT data of the Iodine-CaCl2 solution and pig leg specimen scanned on an in-house benchtop system.

Main Results: Results show that the information stored in both the sinogram and CT image domains can be used together to improve the decomposition quality of multiple materials (water, iodine, CaCl2 or bone) from the dual-energy projections. In addition, both the numerical and experimental results demonstrate that the Triple-CBCT is able to generate high-fidelity dual-energy CBCT basis images.

Significance: An innovative end-to-end network that joints the sinogram and CT image domain information is developed to facilitate high quality automatic decomposition from the dual-energy CBCT scans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6560/ac7b09DOI Listing
June 2022

Deep Learning-Based Automated Detection of Arterial Vessel Wall and Plaque on Magnetic Resonance Vessel Wall Images.

Front Neurosci 2022 1;16:888814. Epub 2022 Jun 1.

Paul C. Lauterbur Research Center for Biomedical Imaging, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, China.

Purpose: To develop and evaluate an automatic segmentation method of arterial vessel walls and plaques, which is beneficial for facilitating the arterial morphological quantification in magnetic resonance vessel wall imaging (MRVWI).

Methods: MRVWI images acquired from 124 patients with atherosclerotic plaques were included. A convolutional neural network-based deep learning model, namely VWISegNet, was used to extract the features from MRVWI images and calculate the category of each pixel to facilitate the segmentation of vessel wall. Two-dimensional (2D) cross-sectional slices reconstructed from all plaques and 7 main arterial segments of 115 patients were used to build and optimize the deep learning model. The model performance was evaluated on the remaining nine-patient test set using the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and average surface distance (ASD).

Results: The proposed automatic segmentation method demonstrated satisfactory agreement with the manual method, with DSCs of 93.8% for lumen contours and 86.0% for outer wall contours, which were higher than those obtained from the traditional U-Net, Attention U-Net, and Inception U-Net on the same nine-subject test set. And all the ASD values were less than 0.198 mm. The Bland-Altman plots and scatter plots also showed that there was a good agreement between the methods. All intraclass correlation coefficient values between the automatic method and manual method were greater than 0.780, and greater than that between two manual reads.

Conclusion: The proposed deep learning-based automatic segmentation method achieved good consistency with the manual methods in the segmentation of arterial vessel wall and plaque and is even more accurate than manual results, hence improved the convenience of arterial morphological quantification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2022.888814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9198483PMC
June 2022

[Eating out of home of urban adults in eighteen provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) of China in 2017].

Wei Sheng Yan Jiu 2022 May;51(3):397-427

China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Beijing 100022, China.

Objective: To analyze the eating out of home behavior of urban adults in China.

Methods: Samples were chosen from China Food Consumption Survey in 2017. A total of 17 234 participants aged 18 and above were included in the final analysis. The food frequency questionnaire were used to collect eating out of home status in the past week. χ~2 test was used to compare the difference in the rate of eating out of home and dining places among different groups. Non-parametric test was used to compare the differences in dining out times.

Results: The overall prevalence of eating out of home was 55.6% in urban adults aged in 2017. The average number of eating out of home was 2.8 times. The proportion of eating in hotels and restaurants was 36.0%. The proportion of eating in the canteen of school, workplace and other places was 19.8%. The rate of eating out of home and dining out times were higher among male, 18-44 years old, people with higher educational level and higher household income. The proportion of students eating in canteen was higher. The proportion of professional technicians and service staff eating in hotels and restaurants were higher.

Conclusion: Eating out of home is more common among urban adults aged 18 and above in China. Young people aged 18-44 years old eat out more often in the past week. The proportion of people eating in hotels and restaurants is higher.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19813/j.cnki.weishengyanjiu.2022.03.009DOI Listing
May 2022

IL-36 is Closely Related to Neutrophilic Inflammation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2022 7;17:1339-1347. Epub 2022 Jun 7.

Department of Respiratory, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Shandong Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Jinan, People's Republic of China.

Background: Interleukin (IL)-36α, IL-36β, and IL-36γ belong to the IL-36 family and play an important role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be correlated with IL-36; however, the specific role of IL-36 in COPD is unclear. In this study, we aimed to clarify whether IL-36 could be an indicator for determining COPD severity and the specific nature of the pro-inflammatory effects of IL-36 in COPD.

Methods: A total of 70 patients with COPD and 20 control subjects were included in this study. We collected peripheral blood samples from both the groups, analyzed the blood cell fractions by routine blood examination, and measured the serum levels of IL-36α, IL-36β, and IL-36γ by performing polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In addition, the correlation between the number of neutrophils and eosinophils and the level of IL-36 was also analyzed.

Results: We found that level of IL-36 in patients with COPD was positively correlated with the number of neutrophils but not with eosinophils, whereas the correlation was not found in the control group. Moreover, the level of IL-36 was negatively correlated with the level of lung function of patients with COPD, and the levels of IL-36α, IL-36β, and IL-36γ increased with advancing disease severity.

Conclusion: In COPD, the pro-inflammatory effect of IL-36 is closely related to neutrophils, and hence, IL-36 might be considered a novel biomarker for determining COPD severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S357151DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9188371PMC
June 2022

Lignanamides from the stems of Piper hancei maxim. and their anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities.

Fitoterapia 2022 Jun 11;161:105231. Epub 2022 Jun 11.

State Key Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources, Collaborative Innovation Center for Guangxi Ethnic Medicine, School of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Four new lignanamides, hancamides A - D (1-4), together with four known analogs (5-8), were isolated from the stems of Piper hancei Maxim. Their structures were determined based on 1D and 2D NMR, IR, UV, and HR-ESIMS spectroscopic analysis as well as by comparison with the reported data. All the isolates exhibited potential inhibitory effects on NO production in LPS-induced BV-2 microglial cells, with IC values of 4.26-40.68 μM. Moreover, compounds 2 and 8 displayed moderate cytotoxic activities against MGC-803, HepG2, SKOV-3, T24, and HeLa cells, with IC values ranging from 13.57 to 34.20 μM, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2022.105231DOI Listing
June 2022

A Review on the Role of TRP Channels and Their Potential as Drug Targets_An Insight Into the TRP Channel Drug Discovery Methodologies.

Front Pharmacol 2022 24;13:914499. Epub 2022 May 24.

Aurora Biomed Inc., Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Transient receptor potential (TRP) proteins are a large group of ion channels that control many physiological functions in our body. These channels are considered potential therapeutic drug targets for various diseases such as neurological disorders, cancers, cardiovascular disease, and many more. The Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in the year 2021 was awarded to two scientists for the discovery of TRP and PIEZO ion channels. Improving our knowledge of technologies for their study is essential. In the present study, we reviewed the role of TRP channel types in the control of normal physiological functions as well as disease conditions. Also, we discussed the current and novel technologies that can be used to study these channels successfully. As such, Flux assays for detecting ionic flux through ion channels are among the core and widely used tools for screening drug compounds. Technologies based on these assays are available in fully automated high throughput set-ups and help detect changes in radiolabeled or non-radiolabeled ionic flux. Aurora's Ion Channel Reader (ICR), which works based on label-free technology of flux assay, offers sensitive, accurate, and reproducible measurements to perform drug ranking matching with patch-clamp (gold standard) data. The non-radiolabeled trace-based flux assay coupled with the ICR detects changes in various ion types, including potassium, calcium, sodium, and chloride channels, by using appropriate tracer ions. This technology is now considered one of the very successful approaches for analyzing ion channel activity in modern drug discovery. It could be a successful approach for studying various ion channels and transporters, including the different members of the TRP family of ion channels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.914499DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9170958PMC
May 2022

Micronutrient Level Is Negatively Correlated with the Neutrophil-Lymphocyte Ratio in Patients with Severe COVID-19.

Int J Clin Pract 2022 31;2022:6498794. Epub 2022 Jan 31.

Infectious Department, Zaozhuang Municipal Hospital, Zaozhuang, China.

Aim: To explore the potential relationship between NLR and micronutrient deficiency in patients with severe COVID-19 infection.

Methods: Sixteen patients were categorized into the mild group (mild COVID-19) and severe group (severe COVID-19) based on the guideline of the management of COVID-19. The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH); superoxide dismutase (SOD), the inflammatory markers (neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR)), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), c-reactive protein (CRP), selenium (Se), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and manganese (Mn) were measured in the blood.

Results: Compared to the mild group, the NLR ( < 0.05) and the level of Se ( < 0.01), Fe ( < 0.05), and Zn ( < 0.05) were significantly decreased in the severe group. The level of Se, Fe, and Zn was significantly correlated to NLR levels. Furthermore, close positive correlation was found between NLR and severity of COVID-19.

Conclusion: The micronutrient deficiency in the blood is associated with NLR in the severity of COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2022/6498794DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9159175PMC
June 2022

Four New Sesquiterpenoids from Zanthoxylum nitidum.

Chem Biodivers 2022 Jun 9:e202200449. Epub 2022 Jun 9.

State Key Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources, Collaborative Innovation Center for Guangxi Ethnic Medicine, School of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, 541004, P. R. China.

Zanthoxylum nitidum (Roxb.) DC., is one of Guangxi's characteristic national medicines, and is the classic Laoban medicine of Yao people "Ru Shan Hu" and Zhuang medicine "Liang Bei Zhen". It has been used as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and haemostatic medicine for thousands of years. In this study, four new sesquiterpenoids (1-4), along with six previously described coumarins (5-10), were isolated from 95 % EtOH extract of Zanthoxylum nitidum. Comprehensive spectroscopic analyses (NMR and HR-ESI-MS) were used to elucidate the structures of these isolates. The absolute configurations of nitidumine A-D (1-4) were established by electronic circular dichroism (ECD). Their cytotoxicity of all the isolates against five cancer cell lines (T24, HeLa, MGC-803, A549, and HepG2) was evaluated by MTT experiment and found not to be cytotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.202200449DOI Listing
June 2022

Alternatively activated macrophages promote airway inflammation through JAK3-STAT5-Fra2 in asthma.

Inflamm Res 2022 Jun 7. Epub 2022 Jun 7.

Department of Respiratory, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Shandong Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Jinan, 250014, China.

Background: Fos-related antigen-2 (Fra-2) is a transcription factor belonging to the activator protein 1 (AP-1) family, which is associated with many chronic airway diseases such as asthma. Alternatively activated (M2) macrophages are associated with Fra2 in airway diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis. However, there is no specific study that explores the relationship between M2 macrophages and Fra2 in asthma.

Objective: We hypothesized that a potential mechanism of allergic asthma could be that Fra2 is highly expressed in M2 macrophages through JAK3-STAT5 and facilitates the production of downstream T-helper 2 (Th2) cytokines, thus promoting the pathogenesis of asthma.

Methods: Peripheral venous blood and airway tissue samples of patients with asthma and controls were obtained. Moreover, a C57BL/6 mouse model of asthma was established. Fra2 expression was detected using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Macrophages were obtained by flow sorting, and expression of the JAK3-STAT5-Fra2 signaling pathway was determined using PCR and western blotting. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to determine M2 macrophage-associated Th2-type cytokine levels.

Results: Fra2 was highly expressed in patients with asthma and asthmatic mice. The JAK3-STAT5 was a signal pathway related to the high expression of Fra2 in M2 macrophages. Moreover, we found that Fra2 could affect the production of Th2 cytokines downstream of M2 macrophages, including interleukin 4 (IL-4) and IL-13.

Conclusion: M2 macrophages could promote airway inflammation through JAK3-STAT5-Fra2 to induce allergic asthma. Our study offers a new insight to further understand the pathogenesis of asthma and also provides a new direction for targeted treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00011-022-01585-zDOI Listing
June 2022

Dupilumab for alopecia areata treatment: A double-edged sword?

J Cosmet Dermatol 2022 Jun 2. Epub 2022 Jun 2.

Department of Allergy, Shandong Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Jinan, China.

Alopecia areata (AA), which is a common and inflammatory hair loss and one of the most frequent dermatological conditions with higher incidence worldwide, the complex interplay involved multiple factors was contributed to the pathogenesis that consists of immune privilege losing and destruction with autoimmune-mediated in hair follicle also the abnormal regulation of inflammatory pathways was highlighted, although it was remained unclear to date.(J Am Acad Dermatol, 78, 2018, 1) Some treatment options for AA were proposed with great advances in recent years, but the options and efficacy were limited, such as platelet-rich plasma, JAK-STAT inhibitor, PDE4 inhibitor, and others, also the good response with regrow hair of cytokine-targeted therapy like dupilumab, ustekinumab was shown.(Clin Exp Med, 21, 2021, 215; Drugs, 80, 2020, 635) Here, we present a case with onset of AA following dupilumab treatment, the chronological relationship between the AA onset and dupilumab use should be known and emphasized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocd.15136DOI Listing
June 2022

Identification of anthelmintic parbendazole as a therapeutic molecule for HNSCC through connectivity map-based drug repositioning.

Acta Pharm Sin B 2022 May 20;12(5):2429-2442. Epub 2021 Dec 20.

Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology (MOE), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China.

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is one of the most common human cancers; however, its outcome of pharmacotherapy is always very limited. Herein, we performed a batch query in the connectivity map (cMap) based on bioinformatics, queried out 35 compounds with therapeutic potential, and screened out parbendazole as a most promising compound, which had an excellent inhibitory effect on the proliferation of HNSCC cell lines. In addition, tubulin was identified as a primary target of parbendazole, and the direct binding between them was further verified. Parbendazole was further proved as an effective tubulin polymerization inhibitor, which can block the cell cycle, cause apoptosis and prevent cell migration, and it exhibited reasonable therapeutic effect and low toxicity in the and anti-tumor evaluation. Our study repositioned an anthelmintic parbendazole to treat HNSCC, which revealed a therapeutic utility and provided a new treatment option for human cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2021.12.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9136614PMC
May 2022

Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals the Regulatory Networks and Hub Genes Controlling the Unsaturated Fatty Acid Contents of Developing Seed in Soybean.

Front Plant Sci 2022 12;13:876371. Epub 2022 May 12.

School of Agriculture, Yunnan University, Kunming, China.

Soybean [ (L.) Merr.] is one of the most important crops, which produces about 25% of the world's edible oil. The nutritional value of soybean oil depends mostly on the relative contents of three unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), i.e., oleic acid, linoleic acid (LA), and linolenic acid. However, the biosynthetic mechanism of UFAs remains largely unknown, and there are few studies on RNA-seq analysis of developing seeds. To identify the candidate genes and related pathways involved in the regulation of UFA contents during seed development in soybean, two soybean lines with different UFA profiles were selected from 314 cultivars and landraces originated from Southern China, and RNA-seq analysis was performed in soybean seeds at three developmental stages. Using Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis, a series of genes and pathways related to fatty acid metabolism were identified, and 40 days after flowering (DAF) was found to be the crucial period in the formation of UFA profiles. Further, weighted gene co-expression network analysis identified three modules with six genes whose functions were highly associated with the contents of oleic and LA. The detailed functional investigation of the networks and hub genes could further improve the understanding of the underlying molecular mechanism of UFA contents and might provide some ideas for the improvement in fatty acids profiles in soybean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.876371DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9134122PMC
May 2022

Nitrate Sensor Using a Photosensitive Epoxy Bioresin.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2022 Jun 31;14(22):25949-25961. Epub 2022 May 31.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, United States.

Nitrogen management through monitoring of crop nitrate status can improve agricultural productivity, profitability, and environmental performance. Current plant nitrate test methods require expensive instruments, time-intensive labor, and trained personnel. Frequent monitoring of nitrate levels of the stalks in living plants can help to better understand the nitrogen cycle and the physiological responses to environmental variations. Although existing enzymatic electrochemical sensors provide high selectivity, they suffer from short shelf life, high cost, low-temperature storage requirement, and potential degradation over time. To overcome these issues, an artificial enzyme (vitamin B12 or VB12) and a two-dimensional material (graphene oxide or GO) are introduced into a conventional photoresist (SU8) to form a bioresin SU8-GO-VB12 that can be patterned with photolithography and laser-pyrolyzed into a carbon-based nanocomposite C-GO-VB12. The electrocatalytic activity of the cobalt factor in VB12, the surface enhancement properties of GO, and the porous feature of pyrolytic carbon are synergized through design to provide C-GO-VB12 with a superior ability to detect nitrate ions through redox reactions. In addition, laser writing-based selective pyrolysis allows applying thermal energy to target only SU8-GO-VB12 for selective pyrolysis of the bioresin into C-GO-VB12, thus reducing the total energy input and avoiding the thermal influence on the materials and structures in other areas of the substrate. The C-GO-VB12 nitrate sensor demonstrates a year-long shelf lifetime, high selectivity, and a wide dynamic range that enables a direct nitrate test for the extracted sap of maize stalk. For monitoring of the nitrate level and dynamic changes in living maize plants, a microelectromechanical system-based needle sensor is formed with C-GO-VB12. The needle sensor allows direct insertion into the plant for measurement of nitrate ions under different growth environments over time. The needle sensor represents a new method for monitoring nitrate dynamics with no need for sample preparation, thus making a significant impact in plant sciences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c01988DOI Listing
June 2022

Structurally diverse abietane-type Diterpenoids from the aerial parts of Gaultheria leucocarpa var. yunnanensis.

Phytochemistry 2022 May 28;201:113255. Epub 2022 May 28.

State Key Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources, Collaborative Innovation Center for Guangxi Ethnic Medicine, School of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, 541004, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Seven undescribed abietane-type diterpenoids, gauleucins A-G, and 11 known ones were isolated from an EtOH extract of the aerial parts of Gaultheria leucocarpa var. yunnanensis. These isolates could be classified into four subtypes: abietanes, 16-nor-abietanes, 16,18-di-nor-abietanes, and 3,4-seco-16-nor-abietane. Their structures were established by extensive spectroscopic analysis, and the absolute configurations of an undescribed and two known diterpenoids were determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction data. Four compounds showed moderate inhibitory effects against the LPS-induced production of nitric oxide in BV-2 microglial cells. In an α-glucosidase inhibitory assay, gauleucin E and margoclin displayed inhibitory activities with IC values of 319.3 and 327.9 μM, respectively, while the IC value of the positive control (acarbose) was 387.8 μM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2022.113255DOI Listing
May 2022

Constraint Mechanism of Power Device Design Based on Perovskite Quantum Dots Pumped by an Electron Beam.

Sensors (Basel) 2022 May 13;22(10). Epub 2022 May 13.

School of Physics, Changchun University of Science and Technology, Changchun 130022, China.

This paper studied the constraint mechanism for power device design based on perovskite quantum dots pumped by an electron beam. Combined with device designing, an experimental system of self-saturation luminescence and aging failure was designed for CsPbBr films. On this basis, we further completed the self-saturation luminescence and aging failure experiment and constructed a model of self-saturation luminescence and aging failure for CsPbBr device designing. Three constraints were proposed after analyzing and discussing the experimental data. Firstly, too high of a pumping current density makes it difficult to effectively promote the enhancement of luminescence efficiency. Secondly, radiation decomposition and aging failure of CsPbBr films are mainly related to the polarized degree of CsPbBr nanocrystals. Thirdly, by increasing the pumping electric field, the pumping energy can be effectively and widely delivered to the three-dimensional quantum dots film layer space, and there is a nonlinear relationship between the attenuation of the pumping energy density and the increment of the pumping electric field, which will effectively avoid the local high-energy density of instantaneous optical pumping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s22103721DOI Listing
May 2022

Physics of Brain Cancer: Multiscale Alterations of Glioblastoma Cells under Extracellular Matrix Stiffening.

Pharmaceutics 2022 May 10;14(5). Epub 2022 May 10.

Department of Biomedical Engineering-FB40, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.

The biology and physics underlying glioblastoma is not yet completely understood, resulting in the limited efficacy of current clinical therapy. Recent studies have indicated the importance of mechanical stress on the development and malignancy of cancer. Various types of mechanical stress activate adaptive tumor cell responses that include alterations in the extracellular matrix (ECM) which have an impact on tumor malignancy. In this review, we describe and discuss the current knowledge of the effects of ECM alterations and mechanical stress on GBM aggressiveness. Gradual changes in the brain ECM have been connected to the biological and physical alterations of GBM cells. For example, increased expression of several ECM components such as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), hyaluronic acid (HA), proteoglycans and fibrous proteins result in stiffening of the brain ECM, which alters inter- and intracellular signaling activity. Several mechanosensing signaling pathways have been identified that orchestrate adaptive responses, such as Hippo/YAP, CD44, and actin skeleton signaling, which remodel the cytoskeleton and affect cellular properties such as cell-cell/ECM interactions, growth, and migration/invasion of GBM cells. In vitro, hydrogels are used as a model to mimic the stiffening of the brain ECM and reconstruct its mechanics, which we also discuss. Overall, we provide an overview of the tumor microenvironmental landscape of GBM with a focus on ECM stiffening and its associated adaptive cellular signaling pathways and their possible therapeutic exploitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14051031DOI Listing
May 2022

Dynamic Changes in Ascorbic Acid Content during Fruit Development and Ripening of (an Ascorbate-Rich Fruit Crop) and the Associated Molecular Mechanisms.

Int J Mol Sci 2022 May 22;23(10). Epub 2022 May 22.

Institute of Pomology and Olericulture, College of Horticulture, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China.

is one of the very few kiwifruit genotypes with extremely high ascorbic acid (AsA) content. However, a transcriptome atlas of this species is lacking. The accumulation of AsA during fruit development and ripening and the associated molecular mechanisms are still poorly understood. Herein, dynamic changes in AsA content at six different stages of fruit development and ripening were determined. AsA content of fruit reached 1108.76 ± 35.26 mg 100 g FW at full maturity. A high-quality, full-length (FL) transcriptome of was successfully constructed for the first time using third-generation sequencing technology. The transcriptome comprises 326,926 FL non-chimeric reads, 15,505 coding sequences, 2882 transcription factors, 18,797 simple sequence repeats, 3328 long noncoding RNAs, and 231 alternative splicing events. The genes involved in AsA biosynthesis and recycling pathways were identified and compared with those in different kiwifruit genotypes. The correlation between the AsA content and expression levels of key genes in AsA biosynthesis and recycling pathways was revealed. LncRNAs that participate in AsA-related gene expression regulation were also identified. Gene expression patterns in AsA biosynthesis and metabolism exhibited a trend similar to that of AsA accumulation. Overall, this study paves the way for genetic engineering to develop kiwifruits with super-high AsA content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105808DOI Listing
May 2022

Human-to-human transmission of Chlamydia psittaci in China, 2020: an epidemiological and aetiological investigation.

Lancet Microbe 2022 May 23. Epub 2022 May 23.

Key Laboratory of Aetiology and Epidemiology of Emerging Infectious Diseases in Universities of Shandong, Shandong First Medical University and Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Tai'an, China; School of Public Health, Shandong First Medical University and Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Tai'an, China. Electronic address:

Background: Chlamydia psittaci can infect a wide range of avian species, occasionally causing psittacosis (also known as parrot fever) in humans. Most human psittacosis cases are associated with close contact with pet birds or poultry. In December, 2020, an outbreak of severe community-acquired pneumonia of unknown aetiology was reported in a hospital in Shandong province, China, and some of the patients' close contacts had respiratory symptoms. Our aims were to determine the causative agent of this epidemic and whether there had been human-to-human transmission.

Methods: For this epidemiological and aetiological investigation study, we enrolled patients who had community-acquired pneumonia confirmed by chest CT at two local hospitals in Shandong Province in China. We collected sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and nasopharyngeal swab samples from participants and detected pathogens by surveying for 22 target respiratory microbes using a commercial assay, followed by metagenomic next-generation sequencing, specific nested PCR, and qPCR tests. We excluded individuals who were C psittaci-negative on both tests. We recruited close contacts of the C psittaci-positive patients, and tested nasopharyngeal swabs from the close contacts and samples from ducks from the processing plant where these patients worked. We then integrated the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory data to reveal the potential chain of transmission of C psittaci that characterised this outbreak.

Findings: Between Dec 4 and 29, 2020, we used metagenomic next-generation sequencing and different PCR-based approaches to test 12 inpatients with community-acquired pneumonia, of whom six (50%) were workers at a duck-meat processing plant and two (17%) were unemployed people, who were positive for C psittaci and enrolled in this study. We contacted 61 close contacts of the six patients who worked at the duck-meat processing plant, of whom 61 (100%) were enrolled and tested, and we determined that the community-acquired pneumonia outbreak was caused by C psittaci. Within the outbreak cluster, 17 (77%) of 22 participants had confirmed C psittaci infections and five (23%) of 22 participants were asymptomatic C psittaci carriers. The outbreak had begun with avian-to-human transmission, and was followed by secondary and tertiary human-to-human transmission, which included transmission by several asymptomatic carriers and by health-care workers. In addition, some of the participants with confirmed C psittaci infection had no identified source of infection, which suggested cryptic bacterial transmission.

Interpretation: Our study data might represent the first documented report of human-to-human transmission of C psittaci in China. Therefore, C psittaci has the potential to evolve human-to-human transmission via various routes, should be considered an elevated biosecurity and emergent risk, and be included as part of the routine diagnosis globally, especially for high-risk populations.

Funding: Academic Promotion Programme of Shandong First Medical University, National Science and Technology Major Project, ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(22)00064-7DOI Listing
May 2022

lncRNA MNX1‑AS1 promotes prostate cancer progression through regulating miR‑2113/MDM2 axis.

Mol Med Rep 2022 07 26;26(1). Epub 2022 May 26.

Department of Urology Surgery, Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, P.R. China.

A growing number of dysregulated long non‑coding (lnc)RNAs have been verified to serve an essential role in human prostate cancer. However, the underlying mechanisms of lncRNA MNX1 Antisense RNA 1 (MNX1‑AS1) in prostate cancer has not been explored. Therefore, the present study aimed to explore the function of MNX1‑AS1 in prostate cancer tumorigenesis and investigate the in‑depth mechanism. The expression of MNX1‑AS1, microRNA (miR)‑2113 and murine double min 2 (MDM2) in prostate cancer tissues and corresponding normal tissues were assessed by reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR. The protein expression levels of MDM2 were detected by western blotting. LNCaP and PC‑3 cells were transfected with short hairpin (sh)‑MNX1‑AS1, miR‑2113 mimics, miR‑2113 inhibitor and pCDH‑MDM2 vector using Lipofectamine 3000. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion abilities were assessed by CCK‑8 assay, colony formation and Transwell assay, respectively. Dual luciferase reporter assay was carried out to confirm the putative targets of MNX1‑AS1 and miR‑2113. Tumor formation experiment in nude mice was applied to evaluate the tumor growth effect of MNX1‑AS1 . The expression of MNX1‑AS1 was significantly upregulated in the prostate cancer tissues and cell lines. MNX1‑AS1 knockdown suppressed the abilities of cell viability and migration and invasion and inhibited tumor growth . Additionally, luciferase reporter assay revealed that MNX1‑AS1 could target miR‑2113 and negatively interacted with miR‑2113 in prostate cancer cells. miR‑2113 directly targeted to MDM2 and negatively modulated the expression of MDM2. Rescue assays suggested that the viability, migration and invasion of impaired cells triggered by transfection with sh‑MNX1‑AS1 alone could be recovered by co‑transfection with sh‑MNX1‑AS1 + miR‑2113 inhibitor or sh‑MNX1‑AS1 + pCDH‑ MDM2 vector. The present study demonstrated that MNX1‑AS1 promoted prostate cancer progression through regulating miR‑2113/ MDM2 axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2022.12747DOI Listing
July 2022

Successfully treatment with Dupilumab for systemic contact dermatitis following hair dye in a patient with dermatomyositis.

J Cosmet Dermatol 2022 May 25. Epub 2022 May 25.

Department of Allergy, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Shandong Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Jinan, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocd.15112DOI Listing
May 2022

Characterization and functional validation of β-carotene hydroxylase genes in .

Hortic Res 2022 14;9:uhac063. Epub 2022 Mar 14.

College of Horticulture, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China.

Carotenoids are the pigment substances of yellow-fleshed kiwifruit, and among them β-cryptoxanthin has only been detected in the brighter yellow-fleshed variety 'Jinshi 1'. β-Carotene hydroxylase (BCH) catalyzes the formation of β-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin, but its molecular characteristics and functions have not been fully explained. Here we isolated two β-carotene hydroxylase genes, and from kiwifruit (), and their relative expression levels exhibited a close correlation with the content of β-cryptoxanthin. catalyzed the formation of β-cryptoxanthin when transformed into β-carotene-accumulating yeast cells. Moreover, silenced expression of in kiwifruit caused decreases in the contents of zeaxanthin, lutein, and β-cryptoxanthin, and an increase in β-carotene content. The content of β-carotene decreased significantly after the / genes were overexpressed in tomato. The content of zeaxanthin increased and β-carotene decreased in transgenic kiwifruit seedlings. The results will enrich our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of carotenoid biosynthesis in kiwifruit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hr/uhac063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9123235PMC
March 2022

Impact of Paenarthrobacter ureafaciens ZF1 on the soil enzyme activity and microbial community during the bioremediation of atrazine-contaminated soils.

BMC Microbiol 2022 May 24;22(1):146. Epub 2022 May 24.

College of Life Sciences, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, 150030, China.

Bioremediation of atrazine-contaminated soil is considered a safe and effective approach in removing contaminates from the soil. However, the effects of adding foreign organisms to assist bioremediation on soil environmental quality and ecosystem are unclear. Here, the ecological remediation potential of strain Paenarthrobacter ureafaciens ZF1 on atrazine-contaminated soil was investigated through miniature experiments using variations in soil enzymes and bacterial communities as indicators. The results showed that strain ZF1 accelerated atrazine degradation, which could completely degrade atrazine at concentrations of 100 mg·L atrazine within 2 h in liquid medium and could remove up to 99.3% of atrazine (100 mg·kg in soil) within 6 days. During soil bioremediation, atrazine promoted the activities of urease and cellulase, and inhibited the activities of sucrase and catalase, while the strain ZF1 significantly promoted the activities of these four enzymes. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that ZF1 affected the relative abundance and bacterial community structure, and promoted bacterial diversity and evenness. Furthermore, redundancy analysis revealed a certain correlation among the strain ZF1, atrazine residue, soil enzyme activity, and soil bacterial community. The strain ZF1 in this work demonstrated remarkable potential for ecological restoration, and can be an effective and environmentally friendly alternative in remediating atrazine-contaminated soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12866-022-02556-4DOI Listing
May 2022

Noise spectrum characteristics of marine pump units induced by different excitation sources.

Sci Rep 2022 May 23;12(1):8678. Epub 2022 May 23.

Research Center of Fluid Machinery Engineering and Technology, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013, China.

To study the noise spectrum characteristics of marine pump units induced by different excitation sources, a computational aeroacoustic (CAA) model of the internal and external field noise of a marine pump was established. The coupled acoustic-vibration method was used to obtain the spectrum characteristics of internal and external field noise. The accuracy and feasibility of the simulation method for noise prediction were confirmed through a noise test. Due to the different mediums in the internal and external fields of the marine pump, an external field acoustic model was established based on the automatically matched layer (AML) technology. The spectral characteristics of different excitation sources and the spatial distribution of the radiated sound field were analyzed, and the contribution of different sound source excitations to the internal and external sound field was revealed. The results show that the main frequency of the internal field noise generated by different excitations is at the blade passing frequency, and the internal field noise induced by the dipole acoustic excitations dominates at 180.6 dB. For the external field noise, the main frequency is still located at the blade passing frequency. The radiation noise induced by the fluid excitation (139.2 dB) is higher than that induced by the dipole excitations (surface dipole, 136.3 dB; rotating dipole, 137.3 dB).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-12755-8DOI Listing
May 2022

High temporal resolution total-body dynamic PET imaging based on pixel-level time-activity curve correction.

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2022 May 20;PP. Epub 2022 May 20.

Dynamic positron emission tomography (dPET) is currently a widely used medical imaging technique for the clinical diagnosis, staging and therapy guidance of all kinds of human cancers. Higher temporal imaging resolution for the early stage of radiotracer metabolism is desired; however, in this case, the reconstructed images with short frame durations always suffer from a limited image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and unsatisfactory image spatial resolution. The appearance of uEXPLORER (United Imaging Healthcare, Inc.) with higher PET imaging sensitivity and resolution may help solving this problem. In this work, based on dynamic PET data acquired by uEXPLORER, we proposed a dPET processing method that denoises images with short frame durations via pixel-level time-activity curve (TAC) correction based on third-order Hermite interpolation (Pitch-In). The proposed method was validated and compared to several state-of-the-art methods to demonstrate its superior performance in terms of high temporal resolution dPET image noise reduction and imaging accuracy. Higher stability and feasibility of the proposed Pitch-In method for future clinical application with high temporal resolution (HTR) dPET imaging can be expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2022.3176097DOI Listing
May 2022

Rapid variable flip angle positive susceptibility contrast imaging for clinical metal seeds.

J Magn Reson 2022 07 30;340:107232. Epub 2022 Apr 30.

Paul C. Lauterbur Research Centre for Biomedical Imaging, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Electronic address:

Positive susceptibility contrast imaging (PSCI) based on susceptibility mapping exhibits excellent efficacy for visualizing magnetic resonance (MR)-compatible metallic devices because of their high magnetic susceptibility compared to that of human tissues. However, the long-acquisition time required by the two-dimensional fast spin echo (2D FSE)-based PSCI approach, impedes its practical applications in 3D imaging. In this study, a three-dimensional (3D) susceptibility-based variable flip angle (vFA) FSE sequence was proposed to accelerate data acquisition in the clinical radiotherapy applications of ex vivo and in vivo rapid 3D PSCI for the imaging of metal seeds. Here, the proposed scheme applied a 3D modulated vFA technique for refocused imaging with an extended echo-train sequence for sampling data. The scheme integrated the projection-onto-dipole fields (PDF) to remove the background field and accelerate PSCI by using a compressive sensing framework with a variable-densitysampling mask. The experiments involved some gelatin phantoms, porcine tissues and patients with scapular tumors and brachytherapy seeds. All of the experimental results showed that the proposed scheme could accelerate data acquisition of 3D PSCI at the reduction factors of 2 ∼ 5 while accurately localizing the actual positions of the brachytherapy seeds in the ex vivo and in vivo applications. The results were compared with those of the existing methods, including susceptibility gradient mapping using the original resolution (SUMO) and gradient echo acquisition for superparamagnetic particle (GRASP).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmr.2022.107232DOI Listing
July 2022

Correction to: Glioma survival prediction from whole-brain MRI without tumor segmentation using deep attention network: a multicenter study.

Eur Radiol 2022 May 19. Epub 2022 May 19.

Department of Neurosurgery/Neuro-oncology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, 651 Dongfeng East Road, Guangzhou, 510060, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-022-08847-8DOI Listing
May 2022
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