Publications by authors named "Mengdan Zhao"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Use of Machine Learning Algorithms to Predict the Understandability of Health Education Materials: Development and Evaluation Study.

JMIR Med Inform 2021 May 6;9(5):e28413. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Background: Improving the understandability of health information can significantly increase the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of health education programs for vulnerable populations. There is a pressing need to develop clinically informed computerized tools to enable rapid, reliable assessment of the linguistic understandability of specialized health and medical education resources. This paper fills a critical gap in current patient-oriented health resource development, which requires reliable and accurate evaluation instruments to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of health education resource evaluation.

Objective: We aimed to translate internationally endorsed clinical guidelines to machine learning algorithms to facilitate the evaluation of the understandability of health resources for international students at Australian universities.

Methods: Based on international patient health resource assessment guidelines, we developed machine learning algorithms to predict the linguistic understandability of health texts for Australian college students (aged 25-30 years) from non-English speaking backgrounds. We compared extreme gradient boosting, random forest, neural networks, and C5.0 decision tree for automated health information understandability evaluation. The 5 machine learning models achieved statistically better results compared to the baseline logistic regression model. We also evaluated the impact of each linguistic feature on the performance of each of the 5 models.

Results: We found that information evidentness, relevance to educational purposes, and logical sequence were consistently more important than numeracy skills and medical knowledge when assessing the linguistic understandability of health education resources for international tertiary students with adequate English skills (International English Language Testing System mean score 6.5) and high health literacy (mean 16.5 in the Short Assessment of Health Literacy-English test). Our results challenge the traditional views that lack of medical knowledge and numerical skills constituted the barriers to the understanding of health educational materials.

Conclusions: Machine learning algorithms were developed to predict health information understandability for international college students aged 25-30 years. Thirteen natural language features and 5 evaluation dimensions were identified and compared in terms of their impact on the performance of the models. Health information understandability varies according to the demographic profiles of the target readers, and for international tertiary students, improving health information evidentness, relevance, and logic is critical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/28413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8138706PMC
May 2021

Engineering of bioactive metal sulfide nanomaterials for cancer therapy.

J Nanobiotechnology 2021 Mar 31;19(1):93. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Pharmacy, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310006, China.

Metal sulfide nanomaterials (MeSNs) are a novel class of metal-containing nanomaterials composed of metal ions and sulfur compounds. During the past decade, scientists found that the MeSNs engineered by specific approaches not only had high biocompatibility but also exhibited unique physicochemical properties for cancer therapy, such as Fenton catalysis, light conversion, radiation enhancement, and immune activation. To clarify the development and promote the clinical transformation of MeSNs, the first section of this paper describes the appropriate fabrication approaches of MeSNs for medical science and analyzes the features and limitations of each approach. Secondly, we sort out the mechanisms of functional MeSNs in cancer therapy, including drug delivery, phototherapy, radiotherapy, chemodynamic therapy, gas therapy, and immunotherapy. It is worth noting that the intact MeSNs and the degradation products of MeSNs can exert different types of anti-tumor activities. Thus, MeSNs usually exhibit synergistic antitumor properties. Finally, future expectations and challenges of MeSNs in the research of translational medicine are spotlighted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12951-021-00839-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011210PMC
March 2021

The role of short-chain fatty acids in immunity, inflammation and metabolism.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2020 Dec 1:1-12. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Pharmacy, Women's Hospital School of Medicine Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are carboxylic acids with carbon atom numbers less than 6, which are important metabolites of gut microbiome. Existing research shows that SCFAs play a vital role in the health and disease of the host. First, SCFAs are the key energy source for colon and ileum cells, and affect the intestinal epithelial barrier and defense functions by regulating related gene expression. Second, SCFAs regulate the function of innate immune cells to participate in the immune system, such as macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells. Third, SCFAs can also regulate the differentiation of T cells and B cells and the antigen-specific adaptive immunity mediated by them. Besides, SCFAs are raw materials for sugar and lipid synthesis, which provides a theoretical basis for studying the potential role of SCFAs in regulating energy homeostasis and metabolism. There are also studies showing that SCFAs inhibit tumor cell proliferation and promote apoptosis. In this article, we summarized in detail the role of SCFAs in immunity, inflammation and metabolism, and briefly introduced the role of SCFAs in tumor cell survival. It provides a systematic theoretical basis for the study of SCFAs as potential drugs to promote human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2020.1854675DOI Listing
December 2020

Redox-responsive polymer inhibits macrophages uptake for effective intracellular gene delivery and enhanced cancer therapy.

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 2019 Mar 7;175:392-402. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, 310058, China. Electronic address:

The development of advanced gene delivery carriers with stimuli-responsive release manner for tumor therapeutics is desirable, since they can exclusively release the therapeutic gene via their structural changes in response to the specific stimuli of the target site. Moreover, interactions between macrophages and drug delivery systems (DDSs) seriously impair the treatment efficiency of DDSs, thus macrophages uptake inhibition would to some extent improve the intracellular uptake of DDSs in tumor cells. Herein, a PEGylated redox-responsive gene delivery system was developed for effective cancer therapy. PEG modified glycolipid-like polymer (P-CSSO) was electrostatic interacted with p53 to form P-CSSO/p53 complexes, which exhibited an enhanced redox sensitivity in that the disulfide bond was degraded and the rate the plasmid released from P-CSSO was 2.29-fold that of nonresponsive platform (P-CSO-SA) in 10 mM levels of glutathione (GSH). PEGylation could significantly weaken macrophages uptake, while enhance the accumulation of P-CSSO in tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with nonresponsive complexes (P-CSO-SA/p53) (59.2%) and Lipofectamine™ 2000/p53 complexes (52.0%), the tumor inhibition rate of P-CSSO/p53 complexes (77.1%) significantly increased, which was higher than CSSO/p53 complexes (69.9%). The present study indicates that tumor microenvironment sensitive and macrophages uptake suppressive P-CSSO/p53 is a powerful in vivo gene delivery system for enhanced anticancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2018.12.016DOI Listing
March 2019

Knockdown of STAT3 expression in SKOV3 cells by biodegradable siRNA-PLGA/CSO conjugate micelles.

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 2015 Mar 28;127:155-63. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Women's Hospital, Medicine of School, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310006, China.

Biodegradable and biocompatible poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)was conjugated to the 5'-thiol end of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) small interfering RNA (STAT3-siRNA) via a disulfide bond. In aqueous environments, these siRNA-PLGA conjugates can spontaneously form core/shell type spherical micelles with a particle size of about 200 nm. A biodegradable, low molecular weight cationic polymer, chitosan oligosaccharide (CSO), was added to the siRNA-PLGA micelles at different nitrogen to phosphate (N/P) ratios to form stable, spherical siRNA-PLGA/CSO micelles with sizes of 150-180 nm. The siRNA-PLGA/CSO micelles were produced via ionic complexation between negatively charged siRNA and positively charged CSO on the outer shell of the micelles. The siRNA-PLGA/CSO micelles exhibited superior cellular uptake and STAT3 gene silencing efficiency in SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells when compared with siRNA/CSO complexes at the same N/P ratios with no significant differences with lipofectamine 2000. Furthermore, the siRNA-PLGA/CSO micelles showed that the efficiencies of cellular uptake and STAT3 gene silencing gradually increased with increasing N/P ratios. The siRNA-PLGA/CSO micelles also inhibited the growth of SKOV3 cells, as well as, promoted apoptosis of the cells. These results indicate that siRNA-PLGA/CSO micelles can be utilized as a novel and efficient siRNA carrier to treat a variety of diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2015.01.034DOI Listing
March 2015

Design, synthesis and cytotoxic activities of novel aliphatic amino-substituted flavonoids.

Molecules 2013 Nov 13;18(11):14070-84. Epub 2013 Nov 13.

College of Life Sciences, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou 310018, Zhejiang, China.

A series of flavonoids 9a-f, 13b, 13d, 13e and 14a-f bearing diverse aliphatic amino moieties were designed, synthesized and evaluated for their cytotoxic activities against the ECA-109, A-549, HL-60, and PC-3 cancer cell lines. Most of the compounds exhibited moderate to good activities. The structure-activity relationships were studied, revealing that the chalcone skeleton is the most preferable for cytotoxic activities. Chalcone 9d was the most promising compound due to its high potency against the examined cancer cell lines (its IC₅₀ values against ECA-109, A549, HL-60 and PC-3 cells were 1.0, 1.5, 0.96 and 3.9 μM, respectively).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules181114070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6270462PMC
November 2013

Pigment epithelium derived factor inhibits the growth of human endometrial implants in nude mice and of ovarian endometriotic stromal cells in vitro.

PLoS One 2012 18;7(9):e45223. Epub 2012 Sep 18.

Women's Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.

Angiogenesis is a prerequisite for the formation and development of endometriosis. Pigment epithelium derived factor (PEDF) is a natural inhibitor of angiogenesis. We previously demonstrated a reduction of PEDF in the peritoneal fluid, serum and endometriotic lesions from women with endometriosis compared with women without endometriosis. Here, we aim to investigate the inhibitory effect of PEDF on human endometriotic cells in vivo and in vitro. We found that PEDF markedly inhibited the growth of human endometrial implants in nude mice and of ovarian endometriotic stromal cells in vitro by up-regulating PEDF expression and down-regulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. Moreover, apoptotic index was significantly increased in endometriotic lesions in vivo and endometriotic stromal cells in vitro when treated with PEDF. In mice treated with PEDF, decreased microvessel density labeled by Von Willebrand factor but not by α-Smooth Muscle Actin was observed in endometriotic lesions. And it showed no increase in PEDF expression of the ovary and uterus tissues. These findings suggest that PEDF gene therapy may be a new treatment for endometriosis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0045223PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445506PMC
February 2013
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