Publications by authors named "Nannan Wang"

174 Publications

High-Resolution Microstructure Analysis of Cork Spot Disordered Pear Fruit "Akizuki" ( Nakai) Using X-Ray CT.

Front Plant Sci 2021 16;12:715124. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Department of Horticulture, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China.

Cork spot is one of the most damaging physiological disorders in pear fruit, causing considerable economic loss every year. However, the mechanism of cork spot occurrence requires further examination. In this study, X-ray CT scanning was applied to analyze the microstructure of pear fruit "Akizuki" (), a cultivar susceptible to cork spot disorder, to elucidate the fruit texture alteration between healthy and cork spotted fruit. Results showed that cork spotted fruit had much higher porosity (9.37%) than healthy fruit (3.52%). Reconstructed three-dimensional (3D) network skeleton models showed highly branched pore channels in cork spotted fruit and a low degree of pore connectivity in healthy fruit. Even in areas of disordered fruit without cork spot, the pore throat diameter, pore length, and coordinated core number (i.e., 77, 160, and 16, respectively) were much higher than that of healthy fruit. The structure analysis of fruit core showed that core deformation only occurred in cork spotted fruit. A much more highly branched network was observed in cork spotted fruit cores compared with healthy fruit cores. High-resolution observation of flesh tissue directly demonstrated that pore size in cork spotted fruit (87 μm) was four times larger than that of healthy fruit (22 μm). Altered expression of genes related to Ca transport and the uneven distribution of intracellular Ca were also shown to associate with the development of cork spot disorder. Our results suggest that flesh tissue damage likely occurred prior to the initiation of cork spot. The dysfunction of long-distance and transmembrane Ca transport channels could be responsible for the imbalanced distribution of Ca inside the fruit, thus resulting in the development of cork spot.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.715124DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8415714PMC
August 2021

Development of Arteannuin B Sustained-Release Microspheres for Anti-Tumor Therapy by Integrated Experimental and Molecular Modeling Approaches.

Pharmaceutics 2021 Aug 11;13(8). Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.

Arteannuin B (AB) has been found to demonstrate obvious anti-tumor activity. However, AB is not available for clinical use due to its very low solubility and very short half-life. This study aimed to develop AB long sustained-release microspheres (ABMs) to improve the feasibility of clinical applications. Firstly, AB-polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) microspheres were prepared by a single emulsification method. In vitro characterization studies showed that ABMs had a low burst release and stable in vitro release for up to one week. The particle size of microspheres was 69.10 μm (). The drug loading is 37.8%, and the encapsulation rate is 85%. Moreover, molecular dynamics modeling was firstly used to simulate the preparation process of microspheres, which clearly indicated the molecular image of microspheres and provided in-depth insights for understanding several key preparation parameters. Next, in vivo pharmacokinetics (PK) study was carried out to evaluate its sustained release effect in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Subsequently, the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) method with human lung cancer cells (A549) was used to evaluate the in vitro efficacy of ABMs, which showed the of ABMs (3.82 μM) to be lower than that of AB (16.03 μM) at day four. Finally, in vivo anti-tumor activity and basic toxicity studies were performed on BALB/c nude mice by subcutaneous injection once a week, four times in total. The relative tumor proliferation rate / of AMBs was lower than 40% and lasted for 21 days after administration. The organ index, organ staining, and tumor cell staining indicated the excellent safety of ABMs than Cis-platinum. In summary, the ABMs were successfully developed and evaluated with a low burst release and a stable release within a week. Molecular dynamics modeling was firstly applied to investigate the molecular mechanism of the microsphere preparation. Moreover, the ABMs possess excellent in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activity and low toxicity, showing great potential for clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13081236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8399913PMC
August 2021

Learning lightweight super-resolution networks with weight pruning.

Neural Netw 2021 Aug 13;144:21-32. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Chongqing Key Laboratory of Image Cognition, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing 400065, China. Electronic address:

Single image super-resolution (SISR) has achieved significant performance improvements due to the deep convolutional neural networks (CNN). However, the deep learning-based method is computationally intensive and memory demanding, which limit its practical deployment, especially for mobile devices. Focusing on this issue, in this paper, we present a novel approach to compress SR networks by weight pruning. To achieve this goal, firstly, we explore a progressive optimization method to gradually zero out the redundant parameters. Then, we construct a sparse-aware attention module by exploring a pruning-based well-suited attention strategy. Finally, we propose an information multi-slicing network which extracts and integrates multi-scale features at a granular level to acquire a more lightweight and accurate SR network. Extensive experiments reflect the pruning method could reduce the model size without a noticeable drop in performance, making it possible to apply the start-of-the-art SR models in the real-world applications. Furthermore, our proposed pruning versions could achieve better accuracy and visual improvements than state-of-the-art methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2021.08.002DOI Listing
August 2021

Production of purple Ma bamboo (Dendrocalamus latiflorus Munro) with enhanced drought and cold stress tolerance by engineering anthocyanin biosynthesis.

Planta 2021 Aug 12;254(3):50. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Basic Forestry and Proteomics Center, College of Forestry, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China.

Main Conclusion: Overexpression of the leaf color (Lc) gene in Ma bamboo substantially increased the accumulation level of anthocyanin, and improved plant tolerance to cold and drought stresses, probably due to the increased antioxidant capacity. Most bamboos, including Ma bamboo (Dendrocalamus latiflorus Munro), are naturally evergreen and sensitive to cold and drought stresses, while it's nearly impossible to make improvements through conventual breeding due to their long and irregular flowering habit. Moreover, few studies have reported bamboo germplasm innovation through genetic engineering as bamboo genetic transformation remains difficult. In this study, we have upregulated anthocyanin biosynthesis in Ma bamboo, to generate non-green Ma bamboo with increased abiotic stress tolerance. By overexpressing the maize Lc gene, a bHLH transcription activator involved in the anthocyanin biosynthesis in Ma bamboo, we generated purple bamboos with increased anthocyanin levels including cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside, peonidin 3-O-rutinoside, and an unknown cyanidin pentaglycoside derivative. The expression levels of 9 anthocyanin biosynthesis genes were up-regulated. Overexpression of the Lc gene improved the plant tolerance to cold and drought stress, probably due to increased antioxidant capacity. The levels of the cold- and drought-related phytohormone jasmonic acid in the transgenic plants were also enhanced, which may also contribute to the plant stress-tolerant phenotypes. High anthocyanin accumulation level did not affect plant growth. Transcriptomic analysis showed higher expressions of genes involved in the flavonoid pathway in Lc transgenic bamboos compared with those in wild-type ones. The anthocyanin-rich bamboos generated here provide an example of ornamental and multiple agronomic trait improvements by genetic engineering in this important grass species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-021-03696-zDOI Listing
August 2021

Obesity and severe coronavirus disease 2019: molecular mechanisms, paths forward, and therapeutic opportunities.

Theranostics 2021 13;11(17):8234-8253. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Military Burn Center, the 990th Hospital of People's Liberation Army Joint Logistics Support Force, Zhumadian, Henan, China.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) appears to have higher pathogenicity among patients with obesity. Obesity, termed as body mass index greater than 30 kg/m, has now been demonstrated to be important comorbidity for disease severity during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and associated with adverse events. Unraveling mechanisms behind this phenomenon can assist scientists, clinicians, and policymakers in responding appropriately to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this review, we systemically delineated the potential mechanistic links between obesity and worsening COVID-19 from altered physiology, underlying diseases, metabolism, immunity, cytokine storm, and thrombosis. Problematic ventilation caused by obesity and preexisting medical disorders exacerbate organ dysfunction for patients with obesity. Chronic metabolic disorders, including dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, vitamin D deficiency, and polymorphisms of metabolism-related genes in obesity, probably aid SARS-CoV-2 intrusion and impair antiviral responses. Obesity-induced inadequate antiviral immunity (interferon, natural killer cells, invariant natural killer T cell, dendritic cell, T cells, B cell) at the early stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to delayed viral elimination, increased viral load, and expedited viral mutation. Cytokine storm, with the defective antiviral immunity, probably contributes to tissue damage and pathological progression, resulting in severe symptoms and poor prognosis. The prothrombotic state, driven in large part by endothelial dysfunction, platelet hyperactivation, hypercoagulability, and impaired fibrinolysis in obesity, also increases the risk of severe COVID-19. These mechanisms in the susceptibility to severe condition also open the possibility for host-directed therapies in population with obesity. By bridging work done in these fields, researchers can gain a holistic view of the paths forward and therapeutic opportunities to break the vicious cycle of obesity and its devastating complications in the next emerging pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.59293DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8343994PMC
August 2021

PharmDE: A new expert system for drug-excipient compatibility evaluation.

Int J Pharm 2021 Jul 31;607:120962. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences (ICMS), University of Macau, Macau, China. Electronic address:

Drug-excipient compatibility study is the essential basis for excipient selection at the pre-formulation stage. According to the pharmaceutical Quality by Design (QbD) principles, a comprehensive understanding of the ingredients' physicochemical properties and a theoretical evaluation of the interaction risk between the drugs and excipients are required for conducting rational compatibility experimental design. Currently, there is an urgent need to establish an artificial intelligence system for researchers to easily get through the problem because it is very inconvenient and hard to utilize those drug-excipient incompatibility data scattered in scientific literature. Here, we designed a knowledge-driven expert system named PharmDE for drug-excipient incompatibility risk evaluation. PharmDE firstly developed an information-rich database to store incompatibility data, covering 532 data items from 228 selected articles. Then, 60 drug-excipient interaction rules were created based on our knowledge and formulation research experiences. Finally, the expert system was developed by organically integrating the database searching and rule-based incompatibility risk prediction, which resulted in four main functionalities: basic search of incompatibility database, data matching by similarity search, drug incompatibility risk evaluation, and formulation incompatibility risk evaluation. PharmDE is expected to be a useful tool for drug-excipient compatibility study and accelerate drug formulation design. It is now freely available at https://pharmde.computpharm.org.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120962DOI Listing
July 2021

KFC: An Efficient Framework for Semi-Supervised Temporal Action Localization.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2021 3;30:6869-6878. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

In temporal action localization (TAL), semi-supervised learning is a promising technique to mitigate the cost of precise boundary annotations. Semi-supervised approaches employing consistency regularization (CR), encouraging models to be robust to the perturbed inputs, have achieved great success in image classification problems. The success of CR is largely depended on the perturbations, where instances are perturbed to train a robust model without altering their semantic information. However, the perturbations for image or video classification tasks are not fit to apply to TAL. Since videos in TAL are too long to train the model with raw videos in an end-to-end manner. In this paper, we devise a method named K-farthest crossover to construct perturbations based on video features and apply it to TAL. Motivated by the observation that features in the same action instance become more and more similar during the training process while those in different action instances or backgrounds become more and more divergent, we add perturbations to each feature along temporal axis and adopt CR to encourage the model to retain this observation. Specifically, for a feature, we first find the top-k dissimilar features and average them to form a perturbation. Then, similar to chromosomal crossover, we select a large part of the feature and a small part of the perturbation to recombine a perturbed feature, which preserves the feature semantics yet enough discrepancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TIP.2021.3099407DOI Listing
August 2021

Estimating Human Pose Efficiently by Parallel Pyramid Networks.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2021 30;30:6785-6800. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Good performance and high efficiency are both critical for estimating human pose in practice. Recent state-of-the-art methods have greatly boosted the pose detection accuracy through deep convolutional neural networks, however, the strong performance is typically achieved without high efficiency. In this paper, we design a novel network architecture for human pose estimation, which aims to strike a fine balance between speed and accuracy. Two essential tasks for successful pose estimation, preserving spatial location and extracting semantic information, are handled separately in the proposed architecture. Semantic knowledge of joint type is obtained through deep and wide sub-networks with low-resolution input, and high-resolution features indicating joint location are processed by shallow and narrow sub-networks. Because accurate semantic analysis mainly asks for adequate depth and width of the network and precise spatial information mostly requests preserving high-resolution features, good results can be produced by fusing the outputs of the sub-networks. Moreover, the computational cost can be considerably reduced comparing with existing networks, since the main part of the proposed network only deals with low-resolution features. We refer to the architecture as "parallel pyramid" network (PPNet), as features of different resolutions are processed at different levels of the hierarchical model. The superiority of our network is empirically demonstrated on two benchmark datasets: the MPII Human Pose dataset and the COCO keypoint detection dataset. PPNet outcompetes all recent methods by using less computation and memory to achieve better human pose estimation results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TIP.2021.3097836DOI Listing
July 2021

A Two-Stream Dynamic Pyramid Representation Model for Video-Based Person Re-Identification.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2021 12;30:6266-6276. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Video-based person re-identification (Re-ID) leverages rich spatio-temporal information embedded in sequence data to further improve the retrieval accuracy comparing with single image Re-ID. However, it also brings new difficulties. 1) Both spatial and temporal information should be considered simultaneously. 2) Pedestrian video data often contains redundant information and 3) suffers from data quality problems such as occlusion, background clutter. To solve the above problems, we propose a novel two-stream Dynamic Pyramid Representation Model (DPRM). DPRM mainly consists of three sub-models, i.e., Pyramidal Distribution Sampling Method (PDSM), Dynamic Pyramid Dilated Convolution (DPDC) and Pyramid Attention Pooling (PAP). PDSM is applied for more effective data pre-processing according to sequence semantic distribution. DPDC and PAP can be considered as two streams to describe the motion context and static appearance of a video sequence, respectively. By fusing the two-stream features together, we finally achieve comprehensive spatio-temporal representation. Notably, dynamic pyramid strategy is applied throughout the whole model. This strategy exploits multi-scale features under attention mechanism to maximally capture the most discriminative features and mitigate the impact of video data quality problems such as partial occlusion. Extensive experiments demonstrate the outperformance of DPRM. For instance, it achieves 83.0% mAP and 89.0% Rank-1 accuracy on MARS dataset and reaches state of the art.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TIP.2021.3093759DOI Listing
July 2021

Three asymmetric BODIPY derivatives as fluorescent probes for highly selective and sensitive detection of cysteine in living cells.

Anal Methods 2021 07;13(26):2908-2914

Key Laboratory for Special Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, P. R. China. and School of Pharmacy, Institutes of Integrative Medicine, Fudan University, Shanghai, 201203, P. R. China.

Biothiols are widely involved in various important physiological activities and play a significant role in maintaining redox homeostasis in living organisms. Herein, we designed and synthesized three new asymmetric fluorescent probes (BDP-S-Ph, BDP-S-ENE and BDP-S-R) to discriminate Cys from Hcy/GSH. These probes reacted with Cys to form meso-amino-BODIPYs via SNAr substitution-rearrangement, thereby inducing a fluorescence turn-on effect. Moreover, they could selectively and sensitively detect Cys in solution with low detection limits (50 nM, 28 nM and 87 nM, respectively). Through comparing the response rates of the three probes to Cys, we concluded that the increase of conformational restrictions led to a decrease in probe reactivity. Besides, the sensing mechanism was demonstrated by mass spectrometry. Furthermore, cell experiments indicated that the probes were able to image exogenous and endogenous Cys through green or red channels in living cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1ay00740hDOI Listing
July 2021

Nitrendipine-Treatment Increases Cork Spot Disorder Incidence in Pear 'Akituki' ( Nakai.) by Altering Calcium Distribution Inside the Fruit.

Plants (Basel) 2021 May 17;10(5). Epub 2021 May 17.

College of Horticulture, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China.

'Akituki' ( Nakai.) is a very popular and profitable pear cultivar in China. However, its high susceptibility to cork spot disorder has limited its expansion of cultivated area. The mechanisms of cork spot disorder have been discussed extensively, focusing on Ca deficiency, yet no consensus has been made. In this study, we applied nitrendipine (NI) as a Ca uptake inhibitor to explore the role of calcium in cork spot disorder occurrence. Results showed that NI treatment on the fruit remarkably increased the incidence of cork spot disorder; alteration of mineral contents happened at the early developmental stage of the fruit, especially on the outer flesh and the peel of the fruit; and this gap was filled gradually along with the expansion of the fruit. Significant differences in the expression levels of Ca transport-related genes were found in the inner flesh, outer flesh and peel during the fruit growth period. The observation of free Ca localization indicated the intracellular imbalance of Ca in the NI-treated fruit. In conclusion, NI treatment reduced the calcium content in the fruit at an early developmental stage, altered the related expression of genes and influenced the cellular Ca balance in the fruit, which prompted the occurrence of cork spot disorder. Measures for the prevention and control of cork spot disorder should be taken at the early stage of the fruit development in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10050994DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8155913PMC
May 2021

Partial Deficiency of Zfp217 Resists High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity by Increasing Energy Metabolism in Mice.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 20;22(10). Epub 2021 May 20.

Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction Ministry of Education, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.

Obesity-induced adipose tissue dysfunction and disorders of glycolipid metabolism have become a worldwide research priority. Zfp217 plays a crucial role in adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, but about its functions in animal models are not yet clear. To explore the role of Zfp217 in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice, global Zfp217 heterozygous knockout (Zfp217) mice were constructed. Zfp217 mice and Zfp217 mice fed a normal chow diet (NC) did not differ significantly in weight gain, percent body fat mass, glucose tolerance, or insulin sensitivity. When challenged with HFD, Zfp217 mice had less weight gain than Zfp217 mice. Histological observations revealed that Zfp217 mice fed a high-fat diet had much smaller white adipocytes in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). Zfp217 mice had improved metabolic profiles, including improved glucose tolerance, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and increased energy expenditure compared to the Zfp217 mice under HFD. We found that adipogenesis-related genes were increased and metabolic thermogenesis-related genes were decreased in the iWAT of HFD-fed Zfp217 mice compared to Zfp217 mice. In addition, adipogenesis was markedly reduced in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from Zfp217-deleted mice. Together, these data indicate that Zfp217 is a regulator of energy metabolism and it is likely to provide novel insight into treatment for obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22105390DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8161011PMC
May 2021

A validation study of the UGT1A4 rs2011404 variant and the risk of anti-tuberculosis drug-induced hepatotoxicity in an Eastern Chinese Han population.

J Clin Pharm Ther 2021 Oct 27;46(5):1288-1294. Epub 2021 May 27.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

What Is Known And Objective: Anti-tuberculosis (anti-TB) drug-induced hepatotoxicity (ATDH) is a serious adverse drug reaction. A recent study found that the rs2011404 variant of uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyl-transferase 1A4 (UGT1A4) is a marker of susceptibility to ATDH. The present study aimed to validate this relationship in an Eastern Chinese Han anti-TB treatment population.

Methods: A 1:4 matched case-control study was conducted among anti-TB treatment patients in four regions of Jiangsu. ATDH was diagnosed based on the criteria from the Chinese Society of Hepatology and the updated Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method. A conditional logistic regression model was used to estimate the association between rs2011404 genotypes and the risk of ATDH using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) and smoking, drinking, hepatoprotectant use and liver diseases as covariates.

Results And Discussion: A total of 202 ATDH cases and 808 controls were matched according to age, sex and treatment history. After correcting for potential confounding factors, conditional logistic regression analysis indicated no significant differences in genotypes between the two groups (CC vs. TC: OR = 0.933, 95% CI: 0.457-1.905, p = 0.849). Subgroup analysis suggested that patients carrying the CC genotype at rs2011404 in UGT1A4 were at a reduced risk of moderate or severe liver injury (OR = 0.293, 95% CI: 0.093-0.921, p = 0.036).

What Is New And Conclusion: Based on a 1:4 individual matched case-control study, possessing the CC genotype at rs2011404 of the UGT1A4 gene reduces the risk of moderate or severe liver injury in Eastern Chinese Han patients receiving anti-TB treatment. Further research is warranted to explain the role of the UGT1A4 gene and its contribution to individual differences in susceptibility to ATDH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpt.13452DOI Listing
October 2021

Dually Distribution Pulling Network for Cross-Resolution Person Reidentification.

IEEE Trans Cybern 2021 May 26;PP. Epub 2021 May 26.

Person reidentification (Re-ID) aims at recognizing the same identity across different camera views. However, the cross resolution of images [high resolution (HR) and low resolution (LR)] is unavoidable in a realistic scenario due to the various distances among cameras and pedestrians of interest, thus leading to cross-resolution person Re-ID problems. Recently, most cross-resolution person Re-ID methods focus on solving the resolution mismatch problem, while the distribution mismatch between HR and LR images is another factor that significantly impacts the person Re-ID performance. In this article, we propose a dually distribution pulling network (DDPN) to tackle the distribution mismatch problem. DDPN is composed of two modules, that is: 1) super-resolution module and 2) person Re-ID module. They attempt to pull the distribution of LR images closer to the distribution of HR images from image and feature aspects, respectively, through optimizing the maximum mean discrepancy losses. Extensive experiments have been conducted on three benchmark datasets and the results demonstrate the effectiveness of DDPN. Remarkably, DDPN shows a great advantage when compared to the state-of-the-art methods, for instance, we achieve rank-1 accuracy of 76.9% on VR-Market1501, which outperforms the best existing cross-resolution person Re-ID method by 10%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TCYB.2021.3077500DOI Listing
May 2021

Heterogeneous Face Interpretable Disentangled Representation for Joint Face Recognition and Synthesis.

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2021 Apr 16;PP. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Heterogeneous faces are acquired with different sensors, which are closer to real-world scenarios and play an important role in the biometric security field. However, heterogeneous face analysis is still a challenging problem due to the large discrepancy between different modalities. Recent works either focus on designing a novel loss function or network architecture to directly extract modality-invariant features or synthesizing the same modality faces initially to decrease the modality gap. Yet, the former always lacks explicit interpretability, and the latter strategy inherently brings in synthesis bias. In this article, we explore to learn the plain interpretable representation for complex heterogeneous faces and simultaneously perform face recognition and synthesis tasks. We propose the heterogeneous face interpretable disentangled representation (HFIDR) that could explicitly interpret dimensions of face representation rather than simple mapping. Benefited from the interpretable structure, we further could extract latent identity information for cross-modality recognition and convert the modality factor to synthesize cross-modality faces. Moreover, we propose a multimodality heterogeneous face interpretable disentangled representation (M-HFIDR) to extend the basic approach suitable for the multimodality face recognition and synthesis. To evaluate the ability of generalization, we construct a novel large-scale face sketch data set. Experimental results on multiple heterogeneous face databases demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2021.3071119DOI Listing
April 2021

Defect-Rich Heterogeneous MoS/rGO/NiS Nanocomposite for Efficient pH-Universal Hydrogen Evolution.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Mar 8;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Guangxi Institute Fullerene Technology (GIFT), Guangxi Key Laboratory of Processing for Non-Ferrous Metals and Featured Materials, School of Resources, Environment and Materials, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China.

Molybdenum disulfide (MoS) has been universally demonstrated to be an effective electrocatalytic catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, the low conductivity, few active sites and poor stability of MoS-based electrocatalysts hinder its hydrogen evolution performance in a wide pH range. The introduction of other metal phases and carbon materials can create rich interfaces and defects to enhance the activity and stability of the catalyst. Herein, a new defect-rich heterogeneous ternary nanocomposite consisted of MoS, NiS and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) are synthesized using ultrathin αNi(OH) nanowires as the nickel source. The MoS/rGO/NiS-5 of optimal formulation in 0.5 M HSO, 1.0 M KOH and 1.0 M PBS only requires 152, 169 and 209 mV of overpotential to achieve a current density of 10 mA cm (denoted as η), respectively. The excellent HER performance of the MoS/rGO/NiS-5 electrocatalyst can be ascribed to the synergistic effect of abundant heterogeneous interfaces in MoS/rGO/NiS, expanded interlayer spacings, and the addition of high conductivity graphene oxide. The method reported here can provide a new idea for catalyst with Ni-Mo heterojunction, pH-universal and inexpensive hydrogen evolution reaction electrocatalyst.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11030662DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001468PMC
March 2021

Robust versatile nanocellulose/polyvinyl alcohol/carbon dot hydrogels for biomechanical sensing.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 May 3;259:117753. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4SB, UK.

A new type of nanocellulose/poly(vinyl alcohol)/carbon dot (NPC) multifunctional hydrogel was successfully fabricated by an one-step in-situ hydrothermal method. The one-pot strategy led to the formation of a complex hydrogen bonding/dynamic boric acid ester/nitrogen-doped carbon dots network, and endowed the hydrogel with multifunctionality. The hydrogel underwent self-healing at room temperature (25 °C) and exhibited double-emission fluorescence and high mechanical strength (tensile strength of up to 2.98 MPa). An NPC hydrogel-based capacitive sensor exhibited remarkable linear capacitance responsiveness toward pressure, strain, and glucose concentration, and enabled real-time synchronous quantitative pressure/glucose sensing with multiple linear correlations, which was a key performance criteria for biomechanical sensors. The versatility and multiple advantages of the as-prepared hydrogel demonstrate the potential of biological-mechanical sensing materials using natural cellulosic biomass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2021.117753DOI Listing
May 2021

Co-Zeolitic Imidazolate [email protected] Aerogels from Sugarcane Bagasse for Activating Peroxymonosulfate to Degrade P-Nitrophenol.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Feb 27;13(5). Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Guangxi Institute Fullerene Technology (GIFT), Key Laboratory of New Processing Technology for Nonferrous Metals and Materials, Ministry of Education, School of Resources, Environment and Materials, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China.

An efficient, green and reusable catalyst for organic pollutant wastewater treatment has been a subject of intense research in recent decades due to the limitation of current technologies. Cellulose based aerogel composites are considered to be an especially promising candidate for next-generation catalytic material. This project was conducted in order to evaluate the behavior and ability of green and reusable sugarcane bagasse aerogels to remove P-Nitrophesnol from waste-water aqueous. Co-Zeolitic imidazolate [email protected] sugarcane bagasse aerogels composite catalysts were successfully prepared via simple in situ synthesis. The structure of hybrid aerogels and their efficient catalyst in peroxymonosulfate (PMS) activation for the degradation of p-nitrophenol (PNP) was investigated. As a result, the hybrid aerogels/PMS system removed 98.5% of PNP (10mg/L) within 60~70 min, while the traditional water treatment technology could not achieve this. In addition, through a free radical capture experiment and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), the degradation mechanism of PNP was investigated. Further research found that the hybrid aerogels can effectively activate PMS to produce sulfate (SO) and hydroxyl (OH ). Both of them contributed to the degradation of PNP, and SO plays a crucial role in the degradative process. The most important feature of hybrid aerogels can be easily separated from the solution. The obtained results showed that the outer coating structure of cellulose can stabilize Co-ZIF and reduce the dissolution of cobalt ions under complex reaction conditions. Moreover, the prepared hybrid aerogels exhibit excellent reusability and are environmentally friendly with efficient catalytic efficiency. This work provides a new strategy for bagasse applications and material reusability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13050739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7957538PMC
February 2021

BODIPY-based Fluorescent Probe for Fast Detection of Hydrogen Sulfide and Lysosome-targeting Applications in Living Cells.

Chem Asian J 2021 Apr 10;16(7):850-855. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Key Laboratory for Special Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Henan University, Kaifeng, 475004, P. R. China.

Hydrogen sulfide (H S) is recognized as an endogenous gaseous signaling agent in many biological activities. Lysosomes are the main metabolic site and play a pivotal role in cells. Herein, we designed and synthesized two new fluorescent probes BDP-DNBS and BDP-DNP with a BODIPY core to distinguish H S. The sensing mechanism is based on the inhibition-recovery of the photo-induced electron transfer (PET) process. Through comparing the responsive behaviors of the two probes toward H S, BDP-DNBS showed a fast response time (60 s), low limit of detection (LOD, 51 nM), high sensitivity and selectivity. Moreover, the reaction mechanism was demonstrated by mass spectrometry and fluorescence off-on mechanism was proved by density functional theory (DFT). Significantly, confocal fluorescence imaging indicated that BDP-DNBS was successfully used to visualize H S in lysosomes in living HeLa cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asia.202100041DOI Listing
April 2021

Flexible Body Partition-Based Adversarial Learning for Visible Infrared Person Re-Identification.

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2021 Mar 2;PP. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Person re-identification (Re-ID) aims to retrieve images of the same person across disjoint camera views. Most Re-ID studies focus on pedestrian images captured by visible cameras, without considering the infrared images obtained in the dark scenarios. Person retrieval between visible and infrared modalities is of great significance to public security. Current methods usually train a model to extract global feature descriptors and obtain discriminative representations for visible infrared person Re-ID (VI-REID). Nevertheless, they ignore the detailed information of heterogeneous pedestrian images, which affects the performance of Re-ID. In this article, we propose a flexible body partition (FBP) model-based adversarial learning method (FBP-AL) for VI-REID. To learn more fine-grained information, FBP model is exploited to automatically distinguish part representations according to the feature maps of pedestrian images. Specially, we design a modality classifier and introduce adversarial learning which attempts to discriminate features between visible and infrared modality. Adaptive weighting-based representation learning and threefold triplet loss-based metric learning compete with modality classification to obtain more effective modality-sharable features, thus shrinking the cross-modality gap and enhancing the feature discriminability. Extensive experimental results on two cross-modality person Re-ID data sets, i.e., SYSU-MM01 and RegDB, exhibit the superiority of the proposed method compared with the state-of-the-art solutions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2021.3059713DOI Listing
March 2021

CREB3L4 promotes angiogenesis and tumor progression in gastric cancer through regulating VEGFA expression.

Cancer Gene Ther 2021 Feb 26. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China.

Tumor angiogenesis is a key step in the progression of gastric cancer (GC) that delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to tumor cells and distant sites. The cyclic AMP responsive element-binding protein 3-like 4 (CREB3L4) is a transcription factor highly expressed in multiple human cancers. This study aimed to investigate the regulatory effects of CREB3L4 on GC progression and angiogenesis. CREB3L4 was overexpressed in GC tissues and cell lines, and was positively correlated with advanced tumor stage and poor survival in GC patients. The upregulation of CREB3L4 in GC cells increased cell viability, promoted cell proliferation, reduced apoptosis, enhanced cell migration and invasion, and induced the formation of tubule-like endothelial structures, whereas CREB3L4 knockdown impeded tumor cell growth, attenuated cell motility, and prevented human umbilical vein endothelial cells from forming tubule-like structures. In addition, mice inoculated with CREB3L4-deficient GC cells showed significantly suppressed tumor growth compared to the group harboring wild-type tumors. Further analysis revealed that CREB3L4 expression was positively correlated with the level of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) in gastric tumors. CREB3L4 regulated the transcription activity of VEGFA by binding to its promoter. The downregulation of VEGFA eliminated CREB3L4-induced GC cell growth and movement, and the formation of endothelial structures; while VEGFA upregulation greatly induced the growth and movement of GC cells with CREB3L4 deficiency. In conclusion, CREB3L4 promoted gastric tumor progression and endothelial angiogenesis by transcriptionally activating the VEGFA promoter, suggesting that therapeutic potential of the CREB3L4/VEGFA axis in GC treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41417-021-00305-9DOI Listing
February 2021

The role of a ceRNA regulatory network based on lncRNA MALAT1 site in cancer progression.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 May 15;137:111389. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Otolaryngology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu, Anhui 233004, China. Electronic address:

As a type of non-coding RNA of more than 200 nucleotides, long non-coding RNAs(lncRNAs) lack protein coding ability and can regulate gene expression. MicroRNAs(miRNAs), which are also non-coding RNAs, are short single-stranded RNAs, usually composed of 18-23 nucleotides. MiRNAs inhibits gene expression by specifically binding to the 3'-UTR of downstream target mRNAs and can function as oncogenes or suppressor oncogenes to regulate the occurrence and development of cancer. LncRNAs can function as competitive endogenous RNAs that bind to miRNAs, resulting in the recovery of downstream mRNA expression and activity. The regulatory network existing between lncRNAs, miRNAs and mRNAs regulates a variety of biological processes, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion as well as cell-cycle arrest. Disruption of the ceRNA network affects cell growth and development and often leads to various diseases, especially cancer. The lncRNA MALAT1, which is located on chromosome 11q13, contains more than 8000 nucleotides and is implicated in the occurrence and development of many cancers. Here, we review the impact of the ceRNA network and the lncRNA MALAT1 in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111389DOI Listing
May 2021

A resorufin-based red-emitting fluorescent probe with high selectivity for tracking endogenous peroxynitrite in living cells and inflammatory mice.

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2021 May 30;252:119502. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Key Laboratory for Special Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, PR China. Electronic address:

Peroxynitrite (ONOO) plays essential roles on various physiological and pathological processes of living systems as a short-lived and highly reactive nitrogen (RNS) specie. The construction of novel long-wavelength fluorescent probes with high specificity towards ONOO for imaging in vivo is still demand urgently. About this work, a novel resorufin-based red-emitting fluorescent probe for tracking ONOO has been constructed. The probe RFP exhibited high selectivity towards ONOO anion over other analytes. Utilizing the probe, ONOO could be directly observed by the naked eye. Furthermore, RFP was successfully applied for imaging endogenous ONOO in RAW264.7 cells and inflammatory mice. This work offers a convenient method for monitoring the intercellur ONOO that be expected to be applied for explaining the bio-functional roles of ONOO in living system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2021.119502DOI Listing
May 2021

LINC01152 upregulates MAML2 expression to modulate the progression of glioblastoma multiforme via Notch signaling pathway.

Cell Death Dis 2021 01 22;12(1):115. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Neurosurgery, the People's Hospital of China Medical University (the People's Hospital of Liaoning Province), Shenyang, 110016, Liaoning, China.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brings serious physical and psychological pain to GBM patients, whose survival rate remains not optimistic. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported to participate in the progression of many cancers, including GBM. However, the mechanism and function of long intergenic non-protein coding RNA 1152 (LINC01152) in GBM are still unclear. In our study, we aimed to explore the function and mechanism of LINC01152 in GBM. Then qRT-PCR analysis was implemented to search the expression of RNAs in GBM tissues and cells. Functional assays such as EdU assay, colony formation assay, TUNEL assay and flow cytometry analysis were conducted to estimate GBM cell proliferation and apoptosis. RNA pull down assay, luciferase reporter assay, RIP and ChIP assays were implemented to search the binding between molecules. As a result, we discovered that LINC01152 was upregulated in GBM tissues and cells. LINC01152 and mastermind like transcriptional coactivator 2 (MAML2) could both play the oncogenic part in GBM. Moreover, LINC01152 positively regulated MAML2 in GBM by sponging miR-466 and recruiting SRSF1. In turn, RBPJ/MAML2 transcription complex was found to activate the transcription of LINC01152 in GBM cells. In conclusion, LINC01152 could upregulate the expression of MAML2 to promote tumorigenesis in GBM via Notch signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-03163-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7822850PMC
January 2021

Adaptively Learning Facial Expression Representation via C-F Labels and Distillation.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2021 21;30:2016-2028. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Facial expression recognition is of significant importance in criminal investigation and digital entertainment. Under unconstrained conditions, existing expression datasets are highly class-imbalanced, and the similarity between expressions is high. Previous methods tend to improve the performance of facial expression recognition through deeper or wider network structures, resulting in increased storage and computing costs. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive supervised objective named AdaReg loss, re-weighting category importance coefficients to address this class imbalance and increasing the discrimination power of expression representations. Inspired by human beings' cognitive mode, an innovative coarse-fine (C-F) labels strategy is designed to guide the model from easy to difficult to classify highly similar representations. On this basis, we propose a novel training framework named the emotional education mechanism (EEM) to transfer knowledge, composed of a knowledgeable teacher network (KTN) and a self-taught student network (STSN). Specifically, KTN integrates the outputs of coarse and fine streams, learning expression representations from easy to difficult. Under the supervision of the pre-trained KTN and existing learning experience, STSN can maximize the potential performance and compress the original KTN. Extensive experiments on public benchmarks demonstrate that the proposed method achieves superior performance compared to current state-of-the-art frameworks with 88.07% on RAF-DB, 63.97% on AffectNet and 90.49% on FERPlus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TIP.2021.3049955DOI Listing
July 2021

Raw cellulose/polyvinyl alcohol blending separators prepared by phase inversion for high-performance supercapacitors.

Nanotechnology 2021 Feb;32(9):095403

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada.

The development of a biodegradable cellulose-based separator with excellent performance has been of great research significance and application potential for the green development of supercapacitors. Herein, the regenerated porous cellulose/Polyvinyl alcohol films (CP-10, CP-15, CP-20, CP-25) with different mass ratio were successfully fabricated by a simple blending and phase inversion process. Their electrochemical properties as separators in assembled supercapacitor were evaluated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction analysis indicate that intermolecular and intramolecular hydrogen bonding existed between cellulose and polyvinyl alcohol of the CP films. Compared with other CP films, the CP-20 film shows higher mechanical strength (28.02 MPa), better wettability (79.06°), higher porosity (59.69%) and electrolyte uptake (281.26 wt%). These properties of CP-20 are expected to show better electrochemical performance as separator. Indeed, the electrochemical tests, including electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, galvanostatic charge discharge, demonstrate that the SC-20 capacitor (with CP-20 as separator) shows the lowest equivalent series resistance of 0.57 Ω, the highest areal capacitance of 1.98 F cm at 10 mV s, specific capacitance of 134.41 F g and charge-discharge efficiency of 98.62% at 1 A g among the four capacitors with CP films as separators. Comparing the assembled SC-40 and SC-30 with two commercial separators (TF4040 and MPF30AC) and SC-PVA with Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) separator, the CV and GCD curves of SC-20 maintain the quasi rectangular and symmetrical triangular profiles respectively at different scan rates in potential window of 0-1 V. SC-20 exhibits the highest value of 28.24 Wh kg at 0.5 A g with a power density of 0.26 kW kg, and 13.41 Wh kg at 10 A g with a power density of 6.04 kW kg. SC-20 also shows the lowest voltage drop and the highest areal and specific capacitance. Moreover, SC-20 maintains the highest value of 86.81% after 4000 cycles compared to 21.18% of SC-40, 75.07% of SC-30, and 6.66% of SC-PVA, showing a superior rate capability of a supercapacitor. These results indicate that CP films can be served as promising separators for supercapacitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/abcb62DOI Listing
February 2021

Direct and Bicarbonate-Induced Iron Deficiency Differently Affect Iron Translocation in Kiwifruit Roots.

Plants (Basel) 2020 Nov 14;9(11). Epub 2020 Nov 14.

College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China.

Bicarbonate-induced iron (Fe) deficiency (+Bic) is frequently observed in kiwifruit orchards, but more research attention has been paid to direct Fe deficiency (-Fe) in plants, including kiwifruit. Here we compared the differences of kiwifruit plants between -Fe and +Bic in: (1) the traits of Fe uptake and translocation within plants, (2) Fe forms in roots, and (3) some acidic ions and metabolites in roots. The concentration of Fe derived from nutrient solution (Fedfs) in roots was less reduced in +Bic than -Fe treatment, despite similar decrease in shoots of both treatments. +Bic treatment increased Fedfs distribution in fine roots but decreased it in new leaves and stem, thereby displaying the inhibition of Fedfs translocation from roots to shoots and from fine roots to xylem of coarse roots. Moreover, +Bic imposition induced the accumulation of water-soluble Fe and apoplastic Fe in roots. However, the opposite was observed in -Fe-treated plants. Additionally, the cell wall Fe and hemicellulose Fe in roots were less reduced by +Bic than -Fe treatment. +Bic treatment also triggered the reduction in H extrusion and the accumulation of NH, succinic acid, and some amino acids in roots. These results suggest that, contrary to -Fe, +Bic treatment inhibits Fe translocation to shoots by accumulating water-soluble and apoplastic Fe and slowing down the release of hemicellulose Fe in the cell wall in kiwifruit roots, which may be related to the decreased H extrusion and the imbalance between C and N metabolisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9111578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696116PMC
November 2020

Anxiety of Nurses to support Wuhan in fighting against COVID-19 Epidemic and its Correlation With Work Stress and Self-efficacy.

J Clin Nurs 2021 Feb 22;30(3-4):397-405. Epub 2020 Nov 22.

The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.

Aims And Objectives: We aimed to investigate the anxiety of nurses who are supporting Wuhan in fighting against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and explore relevant influencing factors.

Background: The COVID-19 outbreak poses a major threat to public health worldwide. Nurses play an important role in this epidemic. However, available data on the mental health among these nurses are limited.

Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was performed.

Methods: An online questionnaire was completed by 200 nurses who went to Wuhan to help to fight against COVID-19 from another province. Data collection tools include the Chinese version of the Stress Overload Scale (SOS), the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES). Descriptive, single-factor correlation and multiple regression analyses were used in exploring related influencing factors. Reporting followed the STROBE guidelines.

Results: The scores of SAS, SOS and GSES range from 20 to 80, 22 to 110 and 10 to 40, respectively, and the SAS (31.79 ± 7.32) and SOS (40.19 ± 12.92) and GSES scores (24.83 ± 6.60) were obtained. Anxiety was positively correlated with stress (r = .679, p < .001) but negatively correlated with self-efficacy (r = -.326, p < .001). Multiple regression analysis showed that professional qualification, sleep, stress and self-efficacy were the main factors affecting nurse anxiety (p = .006, <.001, <.001, .039, respectively).

Conclusions: Nurses who are supporting Wuhan in fighting against COVID-19 were under a low level of anxiety.

Relevance To Clinical Practice: The current study suggests work stress reduction might be a key factor in reducing anxiety and maintaining mental health to support nurses who are fighting against COVID-19 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15549DOI Listing
February 2021

Gas-generating mesoporous silica nanoparticles with rapid localized drug release for enhanced chemophotothermal tumor therapy.

Biomater Sci 2020 Dec 3;8(23):6754-6763. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Biomedical Materials, Key Laboratory of Biomaterials and Nanotechnology for Cancer Immunotherapy, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin 300192, China.

Chemophotothermal combination therapy has emerged as a novel and promising strategy to treat cancer. To improve anticancer effectiveness and reduce systemic toxicity, it is essential to trigger drug release at tumor sites or within tumor cells for maximal drug exposure. Herein, we constructed gas-generating mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) that can load ammonium bicarbonate (ABC) and doxorubicin (DOX) within the pores, encapsulate indocyanine green (ICG) onto the polydopamine (PDA) layer, and modify the RGD peptide on the outer surface [denoted as M(abc)[email protected]] for triggered drug release and targeted chemophotothermal combination therapy. Upon hyperthermia or low pH value, the encapsulated ABC can efficiently generate CO gas, thus enhancing the damage to the PDA layer and accelerating DOX release. In vitro experiments showed that the M(abc)[email protected] significantly enhanced cellular uptake and cytotoxicity, and laser irradiation further increased the endocytic and cytotoxic effects. An in vivo study indicated that the nanoparticles can effectively accumulate at the tumor site and significantly inhibited tumor growth with no side-effects to the normal organs. Thus, this gas-generating MSN-based nanocarrier that can trigger drug release in response to laser irradiation or low pH value holds great potential in enhancing cancer chemophotothermal combination therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0bm01502dDOI Listing
December 2020
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