Publications by authors named "Mohsin Ali"

140 Publications

Rationally optimized generation of integrated with stable and high yield lycopene biosynthesis from heterologous mevalonate (MVA) and lycopene expression pathways.

Synth Syst Biotechnol 2021 Jun 22;6(2):85-94. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai, 200237, PR China.

The stability and high productivity of heterogeneous terpenoid production in expression system is one of the most key issues for its large scale industrialization. In the current study on taking lycopene biosynthesis as an example, an integrated system has been generated successfully, which resulted into stable and high lycopene production. In this process, two modules of mevalonate (MVA) pathway and one module of lycopene expression pathway were completely integrated in the chromosome. Firstly, the copy number and integrated position of three modules of heterologous pathways were rationally optimized. Later, a strain DH416 equipped with heterogeneous expression pathways through chromosomal integration was efficiently derived from parental strain DH411. The evolving DH416 strain efficiently produced the lycopene level of 1.22 g/L (49.9 mg/g DCW) in a 5 L fermenter with mean productivity of 61.0 mg/L/h. Additionally, the integrated strain showed more genetic stability than the plasmid systems after successive 21st passage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.synbio.2021.04.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091476PMC
June 2021

Maxillary anterior teeth dimension and relative width proportion in a Saudi subpopulation.

J Taibah Univ Med Sci 2021 Apr 11;16(2):209-216. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Dental Department, Prince Sultan Military Medical City (PSMMC), Riyadh, KSA.

Objectives: Achieving a natural smile while restoring anterior teeth is challenging. Selecting appropriate dimensions of teeth is important for aesthetics. This study aims to measure and analyse the dimensions of the maxillary anterior teeth and their relative width proportions in a Saudi subpopulation.

Methods: One hundred and eighty patients (112 men and 68 women) with intact maxillary anterior teeth (age range = 20-30 years) participated in this research. Maxillary impressions (Vinyl Polysiloxane) were created and poured. A digital caliper was used to record the length and width of maxillary anterior teeth in millimetres (mm) from the dental casts, and the casts were digitally photographed to calculate relative width ratios.

Results: The mean width for central incisor was 8.74 mm (men = 8.89 mm, women = 8.60 mm), lateral incisor 6.64 mm (men = 6.79 mm, women = 6.49 mm) and canine 7.82 mm (men = 8.01 mm women = 7.63 mm). The recorded mean lengths for these teeth were 9.84 mm (men = 10.04 mm, women = 9.64 mm), 8.09 mm (men = 8.30 mm, women = 7.89 mm) and 9.08 mm (men = 9.48 mm, women = 8.69 mm). The mean values of apparent width/width ratio measured on the cast photographs were 63.69 mm for the lateral incisor/central incisor and 78.35 mm for canine/lateral incisor. No statistically significant difference was found between the mean values of the apparent width/width ratio of the right and left sides and between men and women.

Conclusions: This study showed a minor asymmetry between left and right side anterior teeth among the participants. The width to length ratio of the central and lateral incisors was similar for both genders, with minor differences in the canines. A squarish form of anterior teeth for the Saudi population with dimensional similarities to the Turkish population was found.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtumed.2020.12.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046947PMC
April 2021

Development and evaluation of physiologically based pharmacokinetic drug-disease models for predicting captopril pharmacokinetics in chronic diseases.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 21;11(1):8589. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.

The advancement in the processing speeds of computing machines has facilitated the development of complex physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models. These PBPK models can incorporate disease-specific data and could be used to predict pharmacokinetics (PK) of administered drugs in different chronic conditions. The present study aimed to develop and evaluate PBPK drug-disease models for captopril after incorporating relevant pathophysiological changes occurring in adult chronic kidney disease (CKD) and chronic heart failure (CHF) populations. The population-based PBPK simulator Simcyp was used as a modeling and simulation platform. The visual predictive checks and mean observed/predicted ratios (ratio) of the PK parameters were used for model evaluation. The developed disease models were successful in predicting captopril PK in all three stages of CKD (mild, moderate, and severe) and CHF, as the observed and predicted PK profiles and the ratio for the PK parameters were in close agreement. The developed captopril PBPK models can assist in tailoring captopril dosages in patients with different disease severity (CKD and CHF).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88154-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8060346PMC
April 2021

Metal (II) Complexes of Fluconazole: Thermal, XRD and Cytotoxicity Studies.

Iran J Pharm Res 2020 ;19(3):171-182

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, St. John's University, Queens, NY 11439, USA.

We report thermal, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and cytotoxicity studies of complexes of fluconazole (FCZ) with Cu (II), Fe(II), Cd(II), Co(II), Ni(II), and Mn(II). From XRD measurements, FCZ and its metal complexes were identified as polycrystalline. Marked differences in the X-ray patterns of drug and its metal complexes revealed that the complexes are indeed different compounds and not just the mixture of the starting materials. Unlike pristine FCZ, which did not exhibit cytotoxicity, three complexes derived from Fe(II), Cu(II) and Co (II) proved to be effective in the cytotoxicity assay. The Cu(II)-FCZ exhibited significant activity against SNB-19, HCT-15, COLO-205, and KB-3-1 cell lines, while Fe(II)-FCZ and Co(II)-FCZ were found cytotoxic only to KB-3-1 cell line. For the pure FCZ, thermogravimetry revealed massive weight loss in the temperature range of 215 to 297 °C, due to the volatilization of FCZ. All the complexes followed multi-stage degradation profiles, eventually resulting in the formation of metal oxides. For pure FCZ, differential scanning calorimetry revealed melting point at 137 °C, followed by two further endothermic transitions at 294 °C and 498.44 °C representing the volatilization and subsequent degradation of FCZ, respectively. The absence of endothermic FCZ melting peak at around 137 °C indicates that the complexes represent different compounds. All complexes exhibit endothermic transitions at around 240-300 °C, representing melting and removal of ligand moiety, followed by another endothermic transition at around 498-499 °C, representing the ligand decomposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.22037/ijpr.2020.1101142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7757997PMC
January 2020

Inducing Non-genetically Modified Induced Embryonic Sertoli Cells Derived From Embryonic Stem Cells With Recombinant Protein Factors.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2020 25;8:533543. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China.

Embryonic Sertoli cells (eSCs) possess multiple supporting functions and research value in gonadal development and sex determination. However, the limitation of acquiring quality eSCs had hindered the further application. Herein, we successfully derived non-genetically modified (non-GM)-induced embryonic Sertoli-like cells (eSLCs) from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) with a TM4 cell-derived conditioned medium containing recombinant endogenous protein factors , , , , , and . These eSLCs were determined through morphology; transcriptional expression levels of stage-specific, epithelial, and mesenchymal marker genes; flow cytometry, immunofluorescence; and immunocytochemistry and functionally determined by coculture with spermatogonia stem cells. Results indicated that these eSLCs performed similarly to eSCs in specific biomarkers and expression of marker genes and supported the maturation of spermatogonia. The study induced eSLCs from mouse ESCs by defined protein factors. However, the inducing efficiency of the non-GM method was still lower than that of the lentiviral transduction method. Thus, this work established a foundation for future production of non-GM eSLCs for clinical applications and fundamental theory research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.533543DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875124PMC
January 2021

Enhanced Biosynthesis of Chlorogenic Acid and Its Derivatives in Methyl-Jasmonate-Treated Cells: A Study on Metabolic and Transcriptional Responses of Cells.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2020 5;8:604957. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Natural Products and Functional Foods, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, China.

Chlorogenic acid and its derivatives (CQAs) are considered as important bioactive secondary metabolites in Ellis (). However, few studies have investigated the biosynthesis and regulation of CQAs in . In this study, methyl jasmonate (MeJA) was used to enhance CQAs accumulation in cultured cells. Moreover, the possible molecular mechanism of MeJA-mediated accumulation of CQAs is also explored. To this end, time-course transcriptional profiles of cells responding to MeJA were used to investigate the mechanism from different aspects, including jasmonate (JAs) biosynthesis, signal transduction, biosynthesis of precursor, CQAs biosynthesis, transporters, and transcription factors (TFs). A total of 57,069 unigenes were assembled from the clean reads, in which 80.7% unigenes were successfully annotated. Furthermore, comparative transcriptomic results indicated that differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were mainly involved in JAs biosynthesis and signal transduction (25 DEGs), biosynthesis of precursor for CQAs (18 DEGs), CQAs biosynthesis (19 DEGs), and transporters (29 DEGs). Most of these DEGs showed continuously upregulated expressions over time, which might activate the jasmonic acid (JA) signal transduction network, boost precursor supply, and ultimately stimulate CQAs biosynthesis. Additionally, various TFs from different TF families also responded to MeJA elicitation. Interestingly, 38 DEGs from different subgroups of the MYB family might display positive or negative regulations on phenylpropanoids, especially on CQAs biosynthesis. Conclusively, our results provide insight into the possible molecular mechanism of regulation on CQAs biosynthesis, which led to a high CQAs yield in the cells under MeJA treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.604957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813945PMC
January 2021

Research advances and applications of biosensing technology for the diagnosis of pathogens in sustainable agriculture.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 19;28(8):9002-9019. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan.

Plant diseases significantly impact the global economy, and plant pathogenic microorganisms such as nematodes, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and viroids may be the etiology for most infectious diseases. In agriculture, the development of disease-free plants is an important strategy for the determination of the survival and productivity of plants in the field. This article reviews biosensor methods of disease detection that have been used effectively in other fields, and these methods could possibly transform the production methods of the agricultural industry. The precise identification of plant pathogens assists in the assessment of effective management steps for minimization of production loss. The new plant pathogen detection methods include evaluation of signs of disease, detection of cultured organisms, or direct examination of contaminated tissues through molecular and serological techniques. Laboratory-based approaches are costly and time-consuming and require specialized skills. The conclusions of this review also indicate that there is an urgent need for the establishment of a reliable, fast, accurate, responsive, and cost-effective testing method for the detection of field plants at early stages of growth. We also summarized new emerging biosensor technologies, including isothermal amplification, detection of nanomaterials, paper-based techniques, robotics, and lab-on-a-chip analytical devices. However, these constitute novelty in the research and development of approaches for the early diagnosis of pathogens in sustainable agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12419-6DOI Listing
February 2021

Sandwich-Type Near-Infrared Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles for Revealing the Fate of Transplanted Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jan 13;13(3):3512-3520. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China.

Near-infrared conjugated polymer nanoparticles (NIR-CPNs) have been widely used in imaging fields. However, most of them face the aggregation-induced fluorescence quenching (ACQ) dilemma and serious dye leakage behavior, which impedes the long-term monitoring of transplanted cells . In the present work, a novel strategy of sandwich-type encapsulation of the conjugated polymer interlayer in the crystalline SiO core + shell ([email protected]@SiO) is developed, which works well to avoid the ACQ problem by homogeneously dispersing poly((9,9-dioctylfluorene-2,7-diyl)--(4,7-di(thiophene-2-yl)-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)-5',5″-diyl) (PFTBT) and suppressing intermolecular π-π stacking. Furthermore, the unparalleled nanostructure efficiently stabilizes nanoparticles and successfully achieves long-term biocompatibility without interfering the biological characteristics of stem cells, indicating the potential of [email protected]@SiO in cell labeling. In addition, the fate of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hucMSCs) in a mouse model with acute liver injury was disclosed. We found that the hucMSCs mainly migrated from the lungs to the injured liver and most transplanted hucMSCs were cleared up by the liver at 8 days post-injection. Revelation of the shuttle process and period will benefit in improving the clinical efficacy of hucMSCs, and the sandwich-type encapsulation strategy could also open a new avenue to obtain bright and robust NIR-CPNs for long-term fluorescence imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c13815DOI Listing
January 2021

Predicting the European stock market during COVID-19: A machine learning approach.

MethodsX 2021 23;8:101198. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan.

This research attempts to explore the total of 21 potential internal and external shocks to the European market during the Covid-19 Crisis. Using the time series of 1 Jan 2020 to 26 June 2020, I employ a machine learning technique, i.e. Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) to examine the research question for its benefits over the traditional regression methods. This further allows me to cater to the issue of limited data during the crisis and at the same time, allows both variable selection and regularization in the analysis. Additionally, LASSO is not susceptible to and sensitive to outliers and multi-collinearity. The European market is mostly affected by indices belonging to Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, France, Germany, and the S&P500 index. There is a significant difference in the predictors before and after the pandemic announcement by WHO. Before the Pandemic period announcement by WHO, Europe was hit by the gold market, EUR/USD exchange rate, Dow Jones index, Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and Turkey and after the announcement by WHO, only France and Germany were selected by the lasso approach. It is found that Germany and France are the most predictors in the European market.•A LASSO approach is used to predict the European stock market index during COVID-19•European market is mostly affected by the indices belonging to Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, France, Germany, and the S&P500 index.•There is a significant difference in the predictors before and after the pandemic announcement by WHO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101198DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7777545PMC
December 2020

Interactive role of zinc and iron lysine on L. growth, photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity irrigated with tannery wastewater.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2020 Dec 2;26(12):2435-2452. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451 Saudi Arabia.

Abstract: Untreated wastewater contains toxic amounts of heavy metals such as chromium (Cr), which poses a serious threat to the growth and physiology of plants when used in irrigation. Though, Cr is among the most widespread toxic trace elements found in agricultural soils due to various anthropogenic activities. To explore the interactive effects of micronutrients with amino acid chelators [iron-lysine (Fe-lys) and zinc-lysine (Zn-lys)], pot experiments were conducted in a controlled environment, using spinach ( L.) plant irrigated with tannery wastewater. . was treated without Fe and Zn-lys (0 mg/L Zn-lys and 0 mg/L Fe-lys) and also treated with various combinations of (interactive application) Fe and Zn-lys (10 mg/L Zn-lys and 5 mg/L Fe-lys), when cultivated at different levels [0 (control) 33, 66 and 100%) of tannery wastewater in the soil having a toxic level of Cr in it. According to the results, we have found that, high concentration of Cr in the soil significantly ( < 0.05) reduced plant height, fresh biomass of roots and leaves, dry biomass of roots and leaves, root length, number of leaves, leaf area, total chlorophyll contents, carotenoid contents, transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), net photosynthesis (PN), and water use efficiency (WUE) and the contents of Zn and Fe in the plant organs without foliar application of Zn and Fe-lys. Moreover, phytotoxicity of Cr increased malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in the plant organs (roots and leaves), which induced oxidative damage in . manifested by the contents of hydrogen peroxide (HO) and membrane leakage. The negative effects of Cr toxicity could be overturned by Zn and Fe-lys application, which significantly ( < 0.05) increase plant growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, and gaseous exchange attributes by reducing oxidative stress (HO, MDA, EL) and increasing the activities of various antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Furthermore, the supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys increased the contents of essential nutrients (Fe and Zn) and decreased the content of Cr in all plant parts compared to the plants cultivated in tannery wastewater without application of Fe-lys. Taken together, foliar supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys alleviates Cr toxicity in . by increased morpho-physiological attributes of the plants, decreased Cr contents and increased micronutrients uptake by the soil, and can be an effective in heavy metal toxicity remedial approach for other crops.

Graphic Abstract:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-020-00912-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772129PMC
December 2020

Silicon mediated improvement in the growth and ion homeostasis by decreasing Na uptake in maize (Zea mays L.) cultivars exposed to salinity stress.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Jan 26;158:208-218. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Silicon (Si), a major contributing constituent for plant resistance against abiotic stresses. In spite of this, the detailed mechanisms underlying the potential of Si in mitigating salt toxicity in maize (Zea mays L.) are still poorly understood. The present study deals with the response of Si application on growth, gaseous exchange, ion homeostasis and antioxidant enzyme activities in two maize cultivars (P1574 and Hycorn 11) grown under saline conditions. Salt stress remarkably reduced the plant tissue (roots and shoots) biomass, relative water contents (RWC), membrane stability index (MSI), gaseous exchange characteristics, and antioxidant enzymatic activities i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT). However, salt-induced phytotoxicity increased the plant tissue concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (HO), Na/K ionic ratio, Na translocation (root to shoot), and its uptake. The detrimental effects were more prominent in Hycorn 11 cultivar than the P1574 cultivar at higher salinity level (S2; 160 mM NaCl). The addition of Si alleviated salt toxicity, which was more obvious in P1574 relative to Hycorn 11 as demonstrated by an increasing trend in RWC, MSI, and activities of SOD, POD, APX and CAT. Besides, Si-induced mitigation of salt stress was due to the depreciation in Na/K ratio, Na ion uptake at the surface of maize roots, translocation in plant tissues and thereby significantly reduced Na ion accumulation. The findings showed a new dimension regarding the beneficial role of Si in maize plants grown under salt toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.10.040DOI Listing
January 2021

A systematic review on chromatography-based method validation for quantification of vancomycin in biological matrices.

Bioanalysis 2020 Dec 4;12(24):1767-1786. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab, Lahore 54000, Pakistan.

A fully validated bioanalytical methods are prerequisite for pharmacokinetic and bioequivalence studies as well as for therapeutic drug monitoring. Due to high pharmacokinetic variability and narrow therapeutic index, vancomycin requires reliable quantification methods for therapeutic drug monitoring. To identify published chromatographic based bioanalytical methods for vancomycin in current systematic review, PubMed and ScienceDirect databases were searched. The selected records were evaluated against the method validation criteria derived from international guidelines for critical assessment. The major deficiencies were identified in method validation parameters specifically for accuracy, precision and number of calibration and validation standards, which compromised the reliability of the validated bioanalytical methods. The systematic review enacts to adapt the recommended international guidelines for suggested validation parameters to make bioanalysis reliable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4155/bio-2020-0230DOI Listing
December 2020

Synthesis, characterization and SEM studies of novel 1-indanyl isoniazid and hydrazide Schiff base derivatives as new anti-tubercular agents.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2020 May;33(3):1095-1103

Provincial Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory, OJHA Institute of Chest Diseases, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi.

The aim of study was to synthesize 1-indanyl isoniazid and sixteen other hydrazide Schiff base derivatives from 1-indanone. All synthesized derivatives were screened for the inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis on three Mycobacterial strains ATCC H37Rv, known INH-sensitive (INH-S) and INH-resistant strains (INH-R) by proportion method. The derivatives were characterized using different spectroscopic techniques such as UV-Visible, FTIR, H NMR, and HREIMS. In addition, to gain more insight into morphology of the structures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was also performed. The results revealed that 1-indanyl isoniazid derivative (UN-1) exhibited more potent and high anti-mycobacterial activity against both INH-sensitive and INH-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis when compared to standard anti-tubercular drug isoniazid which might be a novel isoniazid derivative as a new anti-tubercular agent.
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May 2020

Maize endophytic microbial-communities revealed by removing PCR and 16S rRNA sequencing and their synthetic applications to suppress maize banded leaf and sheath blight.

Microbiol Res 2021 Jan 5;242:126639. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Science and Technology and the Key Lab of Crop Disease Monitoring & Safety Control in Hubei Province, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, 430070, China. Electronic address:

Endophytic microbial-communities have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for host plant health. The removing-PCR (R-PCR) is a simple culture-independent cost-effective method to identify endophytic microbial-communities. Microbial communities from maize plant grown in different soil types were identified and characterized via the R-PCR and 16S rRNA sequencing. Culture-dependent microbial community identified through 16S rRNA gene sequencing, further these bacterial communities screened for antagonistic assay against Rhizoctonia solani WH1, in vitro compatibility tests, plant-growth-promoting traits and BIOLOG identification. After that, synthetic-communities (SycomA and SycomB) were prepared by mixing different compatible bacterial-strains to use as an inoculant to suppress pathogens of maize. We identified 167 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and unexpected 8 fungal OTUs through the R-PCR, whereas, 95 bacterial OTUs via 16S rRNA sequencing from maize leaves and roots. SycomA and SycomB treatments suppressed the disease level and promoted growth attributes more effectively as compare to the single bacterial-strain and control treatments. This study establishes an efficient approach to isolate, identify and characterize diverse endophytic microbial-community assembly in maize leaves and roots, to successfully apply particular microbes to improve crop growth in soils affected by soil-borne-pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micres.2020.126639DOI Listing
January 2021

Screening and Preponderance of Peptic ulcer and its Contributing risk factors Among Basrah City Residents in Iraq.

Curr Drug Saf 2020 Oct 13. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of General Surgery, College of Medicine, Basrah University, Basrah. Iraq.

Background: With the recent widespread use of over- the- counter drugs, there has been a noticeable increase in the occurrence of gastrointestinal discomfort and peptic ulcer disease. However, peptic ulcer is a highly complex disorder resulting from an imbalance between gstricdestructive and protective factors.

Objectives: To identifyrisk factors of peptic ulcer disease.

Methods: This study was organized at Al-Basra teaching hospital and Al Sader teaching hospital in Basrah city, Iraq. Medical records and questionnaires filled by patients undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic upper gastrointestinal endoscopies following their gastric discomfort complaints. Information related to patients, disease history and medication history during six months prior to endoscopy procedures was collected.

Results: A total of 476 patients were identified, including 246 (51.7%) patients with endoscopically diagnosed peptic ulcers and 230 (48.3%) patients without peptic ulcers. The population was predominately male and there were significant differences between age groups.Smoking correlated with a high relative risk;however, alcohol drinking had no significant role as a causative factor. The most extensively used drugs by patients who complained of peptic ulcers are NSAIDs, iron supplements, corticosteroids, and antiplatelet agents. A small number of patients weretreated for hypertension and diabetes, which were correlated with peptic ulcer risks. The presence of H-pylori infections was significantly associated with peptic ulcer diagnosis.

Conclusion: The risk of peptic ulcer disease appeared to increase with chronic medication use and smoking, which aggravatethe contributing risk by H-pylori infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1574886315666201013151640DOI Listing
October 2020

Analysis and prediction of the COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan.

J Biol Dyn 2020 12;14(1):730-747

Department of Mathematics, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.

In this study, we estimate the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan prior to and after lockdown restrictions were eased. We also project the epidemic curve considering realistic quarantine, social distancing and possible medication scenarios. The pre-lock down value of is estimated to be 1.07 and the post lock down value is estimated to be 1.86. Using this analysis, we project the epidemic curve. We note that if no substantial efforts are made to contain the epidemic, it will peak in mid-September, 2020, with the maximum projected active cases being close to 700, 000. In a realistic, best case scenario, we project that the epidemic peaks in early to mid-July, 2020, with the maximum active cases being around 120, 000. We note that social distancing measures and medication will help flatten the curve; however, without the reintroduction of further lock down, it would be very difficult to make .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17513758.2020.1814883DOI Listing
December 2020

Two-Component-System RspA1/A2-Dependent Regulation on Primary Metabolism in A30 Cultivated With Glutamate as the Sole Nitrogen Source.

Front Microbiol 2020 31;11:1658. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China.

In our previous study, a two-component-system (TCS) RspA1/A2 was identified and proven to play a positive role in the regulation of salinomycin (antibiotic) biosynthesis in . However, the regulatory mechanism of RspA1/A2 using a carbon source (glucose or acetate) for the cell growth of is still unclear till present research work. Therefore, in this work, the mechanistic pathway of RspA1/A2 on carbon source metabolism is unveiled. Firstly, this work reports that the response regulator RspA1 gene knocked-out mutant ΔrspA1 exhibits lower biomass accumulation and lower glucose consumption rates as compared to the parental strain A30 when cultivated in a defined minimal medium (MM) complemented with 75 mM glutamate. Further, it is demonstrated that the regulation of TCS RspA1/A2 on the phosphoenolpyruvate-pyruvate-oxaloacetate node results in decreasing the intracellular acetyl-CoA pool in mutant ΔrspA1. Subsequently, it was verified that the RspA1 could not only directly interact with the promoter regions of key genes encoding AMP-forming acetyl-CoA synthase (ACS), citrate synthase (CS), and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDH) but also bind promoter regions of the genes , , and in gluconeogenesis. In addition, the transcriptomic data analysis showed that pyruvate and glutamate transformations supported robust TCS RspA1/A2-dependent regulation of glucose metabolism, which led to a decreased flux of pyruvate into the TCA cycle and an increased flux of gluconeogenesis pathway in mutant ΔrspA1. Finally, a new transcriptional regulatory network of TCS RspA1/A2 on primary metabolism across central carbon metabolic pathways including the glycolysis pathway, TCA cycle, and gluconeogenesis pathway is proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.01658DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7411085PMC
July 2020

Two antimicrobial genes from Aegilops tauschii Cosson identified by the Bacillus subtilis expression system.

Sci Rep 2020 08 7;10(1):13346. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Science and Technology and the Key Lab of Crop Disease Monitoring and Safety Control in Hubei Province, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, Hubei Province, China.

Antimicrobial genes play an important role as a primary defense mechanism in all multicellular organisms. We chose Bacillus subtilis as a target pathogen indicator and transferred the Aegilops tauschii Cosson cDNA library into B. subtilis cells. Expression of the candidate antimicrobial gene can inhibit B. subtilis cell growth. Using this strategy, we screened six genes that have an internal effect on the indicator bacteria. Then, the secreted proteins were extracted and tested; two genes, AtR100 and AtR472, were found to have strong external antimicrobial activities with broad-spectrum resistance against Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, Clavibacter fangii, and Botrytis cinerea. Additionally, thermal stability tests indicated that the antimicrobial activities of both proteins were thermostable. Furthermore, these two proteins exhibited no significant hemolytic activities. To test the feasibility of application at the industrial level, liquid fermentation and spray drying of these two proteins were conducted. Powder dilutions were shown to have significant inhibitory effects on B. cinerea. Fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry results showed that the purified protein impaired and targeted the cell membranes. This study revealed that these two antimicrobial peptides could potentially be used for replacing antibiotics, which would provide the chance to reduce the emergence of drug resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70314-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414872PMC
August 2020

Optic Nerve Edema, Venous Stasis Retinopathy, and Peripheral Retinal Whitening in a Teenage Girl.

JAMA Ophthalmol 2020 10;138(10):1087-1088

The Retina Group of Washington, Sterling, Virginia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.1398DOI Listing
October 2020

Foliar application of gibberellic acid endorsed phytoextraction of copper and alleviates oxidative stress in jute (Corchorus capsularis L.) plant grown in highly copper-contaminated soil of China.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Oct 24;27(29):37121-37133. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, People's Republic of China.

Copper (Cu) is an abundant essential micronutrient element in various rocks and minerals and is required for a variety of metabolic processes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. However, excess Cu can disturb normal development by adversely affecting biochemical reactions and physiological processes in plants. The present study was conducted to explore the potential of gibberellic acid (GA) on fibrous jute (Corchorus capsularis L.) seedlings grown on Cu mining soil obtained from Hubei Province China. Exogenous application of GA (10, 50, and 100 mg/L) on 60-day-old seedlings of C. capsularis which was able to grow in highly Cu-contaminated soil (2221 mg/kg) to study different morphological, physiological, and Cu uptake and accumulation in different parts of C. capsularis seedlings. According to the results, increasing concentration of GA (more likely 100 mg/L) alleviates Cu toxicity in C. capsularis seedlings by increasing plant growth, biomass, photosynthetic pigments, and gaseous exchange attributes. The results also showed that exogenous application of GA reduced oxidative stress in C. capsularis seedlings by the generation of extra reactive oxygen species (ROS). The reduction in oxidative stress in C. capsularis seedlings is because that plant has strong enzymatic antioxidants [superoxidase dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT)], which ultimately increased their activities to overcome oxidative damage in the cells/tissues. In addition to the plant growth, biomass, and photosynthesis, foliar application of GA also helps to increase metal (Cu) concentration in different parts of the plants when compared to 0 mg/L of application of GA. From these findings, we can conclude that foliar application of GA plays a promising role in reducing ROS generation in the plant cells/tissues and increased phytoextraction of Cu in different plant parts. However, more investigation is needed on field experiments to find a combination of GA with a very higher concentration of Cu using fibrous C. capsularis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09764-3DOI Listing
October 2020

Biotic stress triggered small RNA and RNAi defense response in plants.

Mol Biol Rep 2020 Jul 19;47(7):5511-5522. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Pathology Section, Department of Forest Conservation and Protection, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Nigeria.

The yield of crops is largely affected by different types of biotic stresses. To minimize the damage, crop plants adapted themselves to overcome the stress conditions through gene expression reprogramming at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. With a better knowledge of plants' responses in adverse environments, new methodologies and strategies have been applied to develop better stress-tolerant plants. In this manner, small RNAs (micro RNA and small-interfering RNA) are reported to play a central role to combat biotic stresses in plants. Depending upon the stress stimuli, these small RNAs can up or down regulate the genes expression, that indicate their potential role in overcoming the stress. These stress-induced small RNAs may reduce the expression of the target gene(s) that might negatively influence plants' response to the adverse conditions. Contrariwise, miRNA, a class of small RNA, can downregulate its expression to upregulate the expression of the target gene(s), which might positively aid to the stress adaptation. Along with this, benefits of RNA interference (RNAi) have also been stated in functional genomic research on insects, fungi and plant pathogens. RNAi is involved in the safe transport of dsRNA to the targeted mRNA(s) in the biotic stress-causing agents (for example fungi and insects) and saves the plant from damage, which is a safer approach compared to use of chemical pesticides. The current review summarizes the role of small RNAs and the use of RNAi to save the plants from biotic stress conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-020-05583-4DOI Listing
July 2020

Role of a Two-Component Signal Transduction System RspA1/A2 in Regulating the Biosynthesis of Salinomycin in Streptomyces albus.

Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2021 May 10;193(5):1296-1310. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237, People's Republic of China.

The two-component system "AfsQ1/Q2" plays a crucial role to activate the production of antibiotics ACT, RED, and CDA through directly binding the promoters of pathway-specific activator genes actII-ORF4, redZ, and cdaR respectively when grown under glutamate-supplemented minimal medium in Streptomyces coelicolor. In this report, we demonstrated that the RspA1/A2 (a homologous protein of two-component system AfsQ1/Q2) plays a regulatory role in salinomycin biosynthesis in Streptomyces albus. Gene deletion and complementation experiments showed that the RspA1/A2 promoted salinomycin production but inhibited cell growth when cultured in YMG medium supplemented with 3% soybean oil. More importantly, RspA1/A2 strengthens salinomycin biosynthesis by directly affecting the transcription of the pathway-specific activator gene slnR. Meanwhile, RspA1/A2 plays a negative role in the regulation of nitrogen assimilation and urea decarboxylation by interacting with the promoters of genes gdhA, glnA, amtB, and SLNWT_1828/1829. Gene sigW is located downstream of rspA1/A2 and encodes an extracytoplasmic function sigma factor. Moreover, it negatively regulates the salinomycin biosynthesis and promotes cell growth, which antagonizes the function of RspA1/A2. In short, these useful findings are proved helpful to enrich the understanding of the regulatory pathways of antibiotic biosynthesis by an ECF σ factor-TCS signal transduction system in Streptomyces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12010-020-03357-zDOI Listing
May 2021

Xanthan-Curdlan nexus for synthesizing edible food packaging films.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Nov 5;162:43-49. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, PR China. Electronic address:

In this study, we prepared a series of edible blend films of xanthan and curdlan by mixing different ratios of these two biopolymers. Characterization techniques like FTIR, XRD, TGA and SEM analysis were applied to investigate the newly formed films. Moreover, mechanical properties, moisture absorbance properties and water solubility of these films were also determined. The obtained results demonstrated that the strong intermolecular hydrogen bonding was observed between xanthan and curdlan at pH 5. At this pH, the xanthan-curdlan hydrogel retained the original structure of xanthan and sustained self-aggregation of xanthan chains via hydrogen bonding, which led to strong intermolecular bonding between xanthan and curdlan. Furthermore, the 5:5 and 4:6 ratios of xanthan and curdlan showed greater interaction in the blend films that resulted in their excellent miscibility. Moreover, highest tensile strength of 28.13 and 26.45 MPa were also found in the same rational of XG/CG blend films. In addition, it was observed that the curdlan incorporation improved the water solubility properties of XG/CG blend films. Conclusively, this xanthan/curdlan nexus with excellent mechanical and moisture barrier properties confirm its potential application and prospective use as food packaging material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.06.008DOI Listing
November 2020

The role of asymptomatic class, quarantine and isolation in the transmission of COVID-19.

J Biol Dyn 2020 12;14(1):389-408

Department of Mathematics, Lahore University of Management Sciences, DHA Lahore, Pakistan.

We formulate a deterministic epidemic model for the spread of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). We have included asymptomatic, quarantine and isolation compartments in the model, as studies have stressed upon the importance of these population groups on the transmission of the disease. We calculate the basic reproduction number [Formula: see text] and show that for [Formula: see text] the disease dies out and for [Formula: see text] the disease is endemic. Using sensitivity analysis we establish that [Formula: see text] is most sensitive to the rate of quarantine and isolation and that a high level of quarantine needs to be maintained as well as isolation to control the disease. Based on this we devise optimal quarantine and isolation strategies, noting that high levels need to be maintained during the early stages of the outbreak. Using data from the Wuhan outbreak, which has nearly run its course we estimate that [Formula: see text] which while in agreement with other estimates in the literature is on the lower side.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17513758.2020.1773000DOI Listing
December 2020

Machine Learning in Cardiology-Ensuring Clinical Impact Lives Up to the Hype.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther 2020 09 4;25(5):379-390. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health at Mount Sinai, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Despite substantial advances in the study, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular disease, numerous challenges relating to optimally screening, diagnosing, and managing patients remain. Simultaneous improvements in computing power, data storage, and data analytics have led to the development of new techniques to address these challenges. One powerful tool to this end is machine learning (ML), which aims to algorithmically identify and represent structure within data. Machine learning's ability to efficiently analyze large and highly complex data sets make it a desirable investigative approach in modern biomedical research. Despite this potential and enormous public and private sector investment, few prospective studies have demonstrated improved clinical outcomes from this technology. This is particularly true in cardiology, despite its emphasis on objective, data-driven results. This threatens to stifle ML's growth and use in mainstream medicine. We outline the current state of ML in cardiology and outline methods through which impactful and sustainable ML research can occur. Following these steps can ensure ML reaches its potential as a transformative technology in medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1074248420928651DOI Listing
September 2020

Synthesis of Honeycomb-Structured Beryllium Oxide via Graphene Liquid Cells.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2020 Sep 30;59(36):15734-15740. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA.

Using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy, we show that beryllium oxide crystallizes in the planar hexagonal structure in a graphene liquid cell by a wet-chemistry approach. These liquid cells can feature van-der-Waals pressures up to 1 GPa, producing a miniaturized high-pressure container for the crystallization in solution. The thickness of as-received crystals is beyond the thermodynamic ultra-thin limit above which the wurtzite phase is energetically more favorable according to the theoretical prediction. The crystallization of the planar phase is ascribed to the near-free-standing condition afforded by the graphene surface. Our calculations show that the energy barrier of the phase transition is responsible for the observed thickness beyond the previously predicted limit. These findings open a new door for exploring aqueous-solution approaches of more metal-oxide semiconductors with exotic phase structures and properties in graphene-encapsulated confined cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202007244DOI Listing
September 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - An epidemic or pandemic for financial markets.

J Behav Exp Finance 2020 Sep 16;27:100341. Epub 2020 May 16.

Suleman Dawood School of Business, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, Pakistan.

The novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has quickly evolved from a provincial health scare to a global meltdown. While it has brought nearly half the world to a standstill it has affected the financial markets in unseen ways by eroding a quarter of wealth in nearly a month. This paper investigates the reaction of financial markets globally in terms of their decline and volatility as Coronavirus epicentre moved from China to Europe and then to the US. Findings suggest that the earlier epicentre China has stabilized while the global markets have gone into a freefall especially in the later phase of the spread. Even the relatively safer commodities have suffered as the pandemic moves into the US.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbef.2020.100341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7229737PMC
September 2020

Engineering Edge States of Graphene Nanoribbons for Narrow-Band Photoluminescence.

ACS Nano 2020 Apr 16;14(4):5090-5098. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States.

Solid-state narrow-band light emitters are on-demand for quantum optoelectronics. Current approaches based on defect engineering in low-dimensional materials usually introduce a broad range of emission centers. Here, we report narrow-band light emission from covalent heterostructures fused to the edges of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) by controllable on-surface reactions from molecular precursors. Two types of heterojunction (HJ) states are realized by sequentially synthesizing GNRs and graphene nanodots (GNDs) and then coupling them together. HJs between armchair GNDs and armchair edges of the GNR are coherent and give rise to narrow-band photoluminescence. In contrast, HJs between the armchair GNDs and the zigzag ends of GNRs are defective and give rise to nonradiative states near the Fermi level. At low temperatures, sharp photoluminescence emissions with peak energy range from 2.03 to 2.08 eV and line widths of 2-5 meV are observed. The radiative HJ states are uniform, and the optical transition energy is controlled by the band gaps of GNRs and GNDs. As these HJs can be synthesized in a large quantity with atomic precision, this finding highlights a route to programmable and deterministic creation of quantum light emitters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c01737DOI Listing
April 2020

A comprehensive quality control system suitable for academic research: application in a pediatric study.

Bioanalysis 2020 Mar 4;12(5):319-333. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Institute of Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacotherapy, Heinrich Heine University, Universitaetsstrasse 1, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany.

Clinical research in pediatrics is progressively initiated by academia. As the reliability of pharmacodynamic measures is closely linked to the quality of bioanalytical data, bioanalytical quality assurance is crucial. However, clear guidance on comprehensive bioanalytical quality monitoring in the academic environment is lacking. By applying regulatory guidelines, international recommendations and scientific discussions, a five-step quality control system for monitoring the bioanalysis of aldosterone by immunoassay was developed. It comprised performance qualification, calibration curve evaluation, analysis of the intra- and inter-run performance via quality control samples, incurred sample reanalysis and external quality assessment by interlaboratory testing. A total of 55 out of 70 runs were qualified for the quantification of aldosterone in the study sample enabling the evaluation of 954 pediatric samples and demonstrating reliability over the 29-month bioanalysis period. The bioanalytical quality control system successfully monitored the aldosterone assay performance and proved its applicability in the academic environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4155/bio-2019-0242DOI Listing
March 2020

Should 1 or 2 Venous Anastomoses Be Done in Microsurgical Flap Transfer?

Ann Plast Surg 2020 11;85(5):522-526

From the Section of Plastic Surgery, Aga Khan University.

Background: Venous compromise is still the most common cause of free flap failure. The need of a second venous anastomosis to prevent free flap failure is controversial. It is proposed that the use of dual venous anastomoses reduces venous compromise. However, some surgeons suggest that dual venous drainage reduces venous blood flow causing a potential risk of thrombosis.

Objective: This study aimed to compare the frequency of reexploration secondary to venous thrombosis in free flap surgeries in reconstruction of soft tissue defects with 1-vein versus 2-vein anastomosis.

Materials And Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study including 298 flaps. In 180 of these patients, 2-vein anastomosis was done, and in 118, 1-vein anastomosis was done. The study was conducted at Aga Khan University Hospital from January 2017 to December 2018.

Results: The number of venous anastomosis was not associated with flap survival. The group with dual anastomosis required more frequent reexploration as compared with 1 venous anastomosis group (8% vs 1.7%).Outcome and salvage rate were better in the 2-vein group as compared with the 1-vein group (64% vs 50%).

Conclusion: There is no difference in flap survival in single or dual venous anastomosis, but we have noticed higher reexploration rates in the 2-vein group. However, outcome is better in the 2-vein group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SAP.0000000000002309DOI Listing
November 2020