Publications by authors named "Vinh Nguyen"

270 Publications

Nanomedicines functionalized with anti-EGFR ligands for active targeting in cancer therapy: biological strategy, design and quality control.

Int J Pharm 2021 Jun 10:120795. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

EA6295 Nanomédicaments et Nanosondes, Université de Tours, Tours, France.

Recently, active targeting using nanocarriers with biological ligands has emerged as a novel strategy for improving the delivery of therapeutic and/or imaging agents to tumor cells. The presence of active targeting moieties on the surface of nanomedicines has been shown to play an important role in enhancing their accumulation in tumoral cells and tissues versus healthy ones. This property not only helps to increase the therapeutic index but also to minimize possible side effects of the designed nanocarriers. Since the overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) is a common occurrence linked to the progression of a broad variety of cancers, the potential application of anti-EGFR immunotherapy and EGFR-targeting ligands in active targeting nanomedicines is getting increasing attention. Henceforth, the EGFR-targeted nanomedicines were extensively studied in vitro and in vivo but exhibited both satisfactory and disappointing results, depending on used protocols. This review is designed to give an overview of a variety of EGFR-targeting ligands available for nanomedicines, how to conjugate them onto the surface of nanoparticles, and the main analytical methods to confirm this successful conjugation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120795DOI Listing
June 2021

Data-driven analysis of facial thermal responses and multimodal physiological consistency among subjects.

Sci Rep 2021 Jun 8;11(1):12059. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD, 4006, Australia.

Facial infra-red imaging (IRI) is a contact-free technique complimenting the traditional psychophysiological measures to characterize physiological profile. However, its full potential in affective research is arguably unmet due to the analytical challenges it poses. Here we acquired facial IRI data, facial expressions and traditional physiological recordings (heart rate and skin conductance) from healthy human subjects whilst they viewed a 20-min-long unedited emotional movie. We present a novel application of motion correction and the results of spatial independent component analysis of the thermal data. Three distinct spatial components are recovered associated with the nose, the cheeks and respiration. We first benchmark this methodology against a traditional nose-tip region-of-interest based technique showing an expected similarity of signals extracted by these methods. We then show significant correlation of all the physiological responses across subjects, including the thermal signals, suggesting common dynamic shifts in emotional state induced by the movie. In sum, this study introduces an innovative approach to analyse facial IRI data and highlights the potential of thermal imaging to robustly capture emotion-related changes induced by ecological stimuli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91578-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8187483PMC
June 2021

Comparison of Implant Stability Between Conventional Drills and Piezosurgical Implant Bed Preparation Techniques.

J Oral Implantol 2021 Jun 5. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Head of Department of Postgraduate Education, Faculty of Oral and Dental Medicine, J. W. Goethe-University.

This prospective study compared the stability of implants placed using piezoelectric surgery (piezo group) and those placed using conventional rotary drills (bur group) during the first 90 days postoperatively.  Teeth in the posterior maxillary regions of twenty-one patients were randomly assigned to two groups.  The implant stability quotient (ISQ) was measured at days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 42, 56 and 90 postoperatively.  Twenty eight out of 29 implants were successfully integrated at day 90 (one implant in the test group was lost). Although both groups showed a significant overall increase in implant stability with time (p< 0.0001) and a high final mean ISQ value, no statistically significant difference in stability was seen between groups. The bur group showed greater variance in ISQ values than the piezo group (p< 0.001) at all time points. Long-term studies with larger samples are needed to investigate the bone response to the use of piezoelectric surgery for implant preparation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1563/aaid-joi-D-20-00119DOI Listing
June 2021

Fat-saturated dark-blood cardiac T2 mapping in a single breath-hold.

Magn Reson Imaging 2021 May 25;81:24-32. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States of America.

Purpose: Conventional cardiac T2 mapping suffers from the partial-voluming effect in the endocardium and epicardium due to the co-presence of intra-cavity blood and epicardial fat. The aim of the study is to develop a novel single-breath-hold Fat-Saturated Dark-Blood (FSDB) cardiac T2-mapping technique to mitigate the partial-voluming and improve T2 accuracy.

Methods: The proposed FSDB T2-mapping technique combines T2-prepared bSSFP, a novel use of double inversion-recovery with heart-rate-adaptive TI, and spectrally-selective fat saturation to mitigate partial-voluming from both the blood and fat. FSDB T2 mapping was compared to conventional T2 mapping via simulations, phantom imaging, healthy-subject imaging (n = 8), and patient imaging (n = 7). In the healthy subjects, a high-resolution coplanar anatomical imaging was performed to provide a gold standard for segmentation of endocardium and epicardium. T2 maps were registered to the gold standard image to evaluate any inter-layer T2 difference, which is a surrogate for partial-voluming.

Results: Simulations and phantom imaging showed that FSDB T2 mapping was accurate in a range of heartrates, off-resonance, and T2 values, and blood/fat reasonably nulled in a range of heartrates. In healthy subjects, FSDB T2 mapping showed similar T2 values over different myocardial layers in all 3 short-axis slices (e.g. basal epicardial/mid-wall/endocardial T2 = 42 ± 2 ms/41 ± 1 ms/42 ± 1 ms), whereas conventional T2 mapping showed considerably increased T2 in the endocardium and epicardium (e.g. basal epicardial/mid-wall/endocardial T2 = 48 ± 3 ms/43 ± 1 ms/49 ± 3 ms). The homogeneous T2 in the FSDB T2 mapping increased the apparent LV-wall thickness by 25-41% compared with the conventional method.

Conclusions: The proposed technique improves accuracy of myocardial T2 mapping against partial-voluming associated with both fat and blood, facilitating a multi-layer T2 evaluation of the myocardium. This technique may improve utility of cardiac T2 mapping in diseases affecting the endocardium and epicardium, and in patients with a small heart.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2021.05.004DOI Listing
May 2021

Stability-indicating LC-MS Method for Determination of Stability of Extemporaneously Compounded Buprenorphine Oral Syringes for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther 2021 19;26(4):395-404. Epub 2021 May 19.

Objective: In the hospital settings, buprenorphine is used for the treatment of patients with neonatal abstinence syndrome. It is extemporaneously compounded and stored in oral plastic syringes. However, limited information exists about the stability of buprenorphine and its compounded formulations when stored under specific conditions. Hence, we developed a stability-indicating high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method to analyze the stability of buprenorphine over time.

Methods: A stability-indicating LC-MS method was developed to map the potential degradation peaks of buprenorphine when exposed to acidic, basic, and oxidative conditions. This method was used to study the stability of compounded buprenorphine oral syringes stored under refrigeration (2°C-8°C) and room temperature (25°C ± 2°C with 60% relative humidity). Syringes from each storage condition were assessed for stability using pH meter and stability-indicating LC-MS assay for 30 days.

Results: Buprenorphine gets completely degraded in the presence of acid at the end of 1 hour of exposure. Various degradation peaks were identified using LC-MS assay for buprenorphine under acidic, basic, and peroxide conditions. Stability study of oral buprenorphine syringes showed no precipitation, cloudiness, or color change during this study at all storage conditions. The LC-MS assay revealed that buprenorphine oral syringes retained greater than 90% of the initial concentrations for 30 days.

Conclusions: Highly sensitive stability-indicating LC-MS method was developed for studying the stability of extemporaneously compounded buprenorphine oral syringes. This study demonstrates that buprenorphine extemporaneous formulation prepared according to the manufacturers' recommendations is stable under refrigerated or room temperature conditions for 30 days in oral plastic syringes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5863/1551-6776-26.4.395DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139563PMC
May 2021

Cognitive Recovery After Stroke: A Meta-analysis and Metaregression of Intervention and Cohort Studies.

Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2021 May 22:15459683211017501. Epub 2021 May 22.

La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Background: Cognition affects poststroke recovery, but meta-analyses of cognition have not yet provided a comparison of observational and intervention evidence.

Objective: To describe the trajectory of poststroke cognition and the factors that moderate it across intervention and observational cohorts.

Methods: Six databases were searched up to January 2020. Studies describing quantitative changes in cognition in adults poststroke were included. Interventions were classified into pharmacological, therapist-led, nonroutine/alternative, and usual care. Summary estimates were compared via hierarchical mixed-effects models. Age, recovery stage, stroke etiology, cognitive domain targeted in studies, and intervention types were investigated as moderators of cognition. Recovery stage and intervention were further analyzed in a multiplicative metaregression model.

Results: A total of 43 intervention trials and 79 observation cohorts involving 28 222 stroke participants were included. Heterogeneity was significant (τ = 0.09; CI = 0.01-0.21, < .001) with no evidence of publication bias. Cognitive recovery was greater in intervention trials ( = 0.47; CI = 0.37-0.58) than observational cohorts ( = 0.28; CI = 0.20-0.36) across all moderators analyzed. Nonroutine/alternative and pharmacological trials achieved the best overall results ( = 0.57, CI = 0.42-0.73, and = 0.52, CI = 0.30-0.74, respectively), followed by therapist-led ( = 0.46; CI = 0.17-0.74), and usual care ( = 0.28; CI = 0.11-0.45) interventions. Medium recovery effects (ie, ≥ 0.5) were observed in examining first-ever stroke, executive function, visuo-perceptual, consciousness, and psychomotor skills, 61 to 180 days poststroke, in participants aged 65 to 70 years.

Conclusion: Cognitive recovery is possible using different controlled interventions in all recovery stages, with smaller benefits ≥2 years poststroke. Longer-term studies are needed to determine the role of nonroutine/alternative therapies and the association between cognitive recovery and performance in everyday activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15459683211017501DOI Listing
May 2021

Narratives of Undergraduate Research, Mentorship, and Teaching at UCLA.

Pure Appl Chem 2021 8;93(2):207-221. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 607 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States.

This work describes select narratives pertaining to undergraduate teaching and mentorship at UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry by Alex Spokoyny and his junior colleagues. Specifically, we discuss how individual undergraduate researchers contributed and jump-started multiple research themes since the conception of our research laboratory. This work also describes several recent innovations in the inorganic and general chemistry courses taught by Spokoyny at UCLA with a focus of nurturing appreciation for research and creative process in sciences including the use of social media platforms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/pac-2020-1007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081390PMC
February 2021

Duplex ultrasound in the evaluation of venous and arterial thoracic outlet syndrome.

JRSM Open 2021 Mar 22;12(3):2054270420983101. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Cardiovascular Disease, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5862, USA.

We are reporting a case of thoracic outlet syndrome and the value of duplex in the diagnosis of this syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2054270420983101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7989123PMC
March 2021

Early Essential Newborn Care can still be used with mothers who have COVID-19 if effective infection control measures are applied.

Acta Paediatr 2021 Mar 11. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Maternal Child Health and Quality and Safety, World Health Organization for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines.

We describe the first infant born to a woman with COVID-19 in Vietnam, by Caesarean section at 36 weeks and 5 days of gestation. The mother and baby remained together during their hospital stay and prolonged skin-to-skin contact and early and exclusive breastfeeding were achieved. This was in line with the World Health Organization's Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) recommendations, the national Vietnamese standard of care since 2014. The baby remained virus-free throughout the 34-day postpartum follow-up. CONCLUSION: The EENC approach can still be used with mothers who have COVID-19 if effective infection control measures are applied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.15837DOI Listing
March 2021

RGC-32 Regulates Generation of Reactive Astrocytes in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

Front Immunol 2020 25;11:608294. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Neurology, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States.

Astrocytes are increasingly recognized as critical contributors to multiple sclerosis pathogenesis. We have previously shown that lack of Response Gene to Complement 32 (RGC-32) alters astrocyte morphology in the spinal cord at the peak of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), suggesting a role for RGC-32 in astrocyte differentiation. In this study, we analyzed the expression and distribution of astrocytes and astrocyte progenitors by immunohistochemistry in spinal cords of wild-type (WT) and RGC-32-knockout (KO) mice with EAE and of normal adult mice. Our analysis showed that during acute EAE, WT astrocytes had a reactive morphology and increased GFAP expression, whereas RGC-32 KO astrocytes had a morphology similar to that of radial glia and an increased expression of progenitor markers such as vimentin and fatty acid binding protein 7 (FABP7). In control mice, GFAP expression and astrocyte density were also significantly higher in the WT group, whereas the number of vimentin and FABP7-positive radial glia was significantly higher in the RGC-32 KO group. studies on cultured neonatal astrocytes from WT and RGC-32 KO mice showed that RGC-32 regulates a complex array of molecular networks pertaining to signal transduction, growth factor expression and secretion, and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Among the most differentially expressed factors were insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs), and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF); their expression was downregulated in RGC-32-depleted astrocytes. The nuclear translocation of STAT3, a transcription factor critical for astrogliogenesis and driving glial scar formation, was also impaired after RGC-32 silencing. Taken together, these data suggest that RGC-32 is an important regulator of astrocyte differentiation during EAE and that in the absence of RGC-32, astrocytes are unable to fully mature and become reactive astrocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.608294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868332PMC
January 2021

Lumpy skin disease outbreaks in vietnam, 2020.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2021 May 21;68(3):977-980. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, National Institute of Veterinary Research, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a transboundary, systemic, viral disease of cattle. The first outbreaks of LSD were reported in Lang Son Province of Vietnam (bordered to China), and an official document has been submitted to OIE on 1 November 2020. Here, we described first the genetic profiles of this pathogen based on four well-known marker regions. The LSD virus isolated in these first outbreaks was 100% identical to viruses isolated in China (2019) based on the p32 and RP030 genes. Additionally, it is very close to the virus isolated in Russia (2017) based on the p32, RP030, thymidine kinase and ORF103 genes (100%, 99.01%, 99.08% and 99.47% identities). This finding is new, and a success in LSD virus isolation using MDBK cells from first outbreaks is important for vaccine development to control and eradicate LSD in Vietnam.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14022DOI Listing
May 2021

The SIRPα-CD47 immune checkpoint in NK cells.

J Exp Med 2021 Mar;218(3)

Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology Lab, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Here we report on the existence and functionality of the immune checkpoint signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) in NK cells and describe how it can be modulated for cell therapy. NK cell SIRPα is up-regulated upon IL-2 stimulation, interacts with target cell CD47 in a threshold-dependent manner, and counters other stimulatory signals, including IL-2, CD16, or NKG2D. Elevated expression of CD47 protected K562 tumor cells and mouse and human MHC class I-deficient target cells against SIRPα+ primary NK cells, but not against SIRPα- NKL or NK92 cells. SIRPα deficiency or antibody blockade increased the killing capacity of NK cells. Overexpression of rhesus monkey CD47 in human MHC-deficient cells prevented cytotoxicity by rhesus NK cells in a xenogeneic setting. The SIRPα-CD47 axis was found to be highly species specific. Together, the results demonstrate that disruption of the SIRPα-CD47 immune checkpoint may augment NK cell antitumor responses and that elevated expression of CD47 may prevent NK cell-mediated killing of allogeneic and xenogeneic tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20200839DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7802363PMC
March 2021

Re-expression of SMARCA4/BRG1 in small cell carcinoma of ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) promotes an epithelial-like gene signature through an AP-1-dependent mechanism.

Elife 2020 12 23;9. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, United States.

Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer. SCCOHT tumors have inactivating mutations in (BRG1), one of the two mutually exclusive ATPases of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. To address the role that BRG1 loss plays in SCCOHT tumorigenesis, we performed integrative multi-omic analyses in SCCOHT cell lines +/- BRG1 reexpression. BRG1 reexpression induced a gene and protein signature similar to an epithelial cell and gained chromatin accessibility sites correlated with other epithelial originating TCGA tumors. Gained chromatin accessibility and BRG1 recruited sites were strongly enriched for transcription-factor-binding motifs of AP-1 family members. Furthermore, AP-1 motifs were enriched at the promoters of highly upregulated epithelial genes. Using a dominant-negative AP-1 cell line, we found that both AP-1 DNA-binding activity and BRG1 reexpression are necessary for the gene and protein expression of epithelial genes. Our study demonstrates that BRG1 reexpression drives an epithelial-like gene and protein signature in SCCOHT cells that depends upon by AP-1 activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.59073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813545PMC
December 2020

Double Fence Porphyrins that are Compatible with Cobalt(II/III) Electrolyte for High-Efficiency Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Feb 7;60(9):4886-4893. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Chemistry,i-Center for Advanced Science and Technology (i-CAST), Innovation and Development Center of Sustainable Agriculture (IDCSA), National Chung Hsing University, No. 145, Xingda Rd., South Dist., Taichung City, 402, Taiwan.

A series of new double fence porphyrin dyes bJS1-bJS3, with eight long alkoxyl chains attached to four β-phenyl groups, have been designed and synthesized. The single fence meso-substituted counterparts mJS1-mJS3 were also prepared as reference dyes. Dyes bJS1-bJS3 and mJS1-mJS3 exhibit power conversion efficiencies of 8.03-10.69 % and 2.33-6.69 %, respectively. Based on photovoltaic studies, the remarkable cell performance of double fence porphyrin sensitizers can be attributed to reduced dye aggregation and a decreased charge-recombination rate. Notably, porphyrins bJS2 and bJS3 exhibit better efficiency than the benchmark YD2-o-C8 (9.83 % in this work), demonstrating that the double fence structure is a promising design strategy for efficient porphyrin sensitizers in high-performance DSSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202013964DOI Listing
February 2021

Concentrations, profiles, emission inventory, and risk assessment of chlorinated benzenes in bottom ash and fly ash of municipal and medical waste incinerators in northern Vietnam.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Mar 12;28(11):13340-13351. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Faculty of Chemistry, University of Science, Vietnam National University, 19 Le Thanh Tong, Hanoi, 10000, Vietnam.

Concentrations and congener profiles of seven di- to hexachlorinated benzenes (CBzs) were characterized in bottom ash and fly ash samples collected simultaneously from one medical waste incinerator (MEWI) and one municipal waste incinerator (MUWI) in northern Vietnam. Total concentrations of seven CBzs in the fly ash samples ranged from 6.98 to 34.4 (median 19.1) ng g in the MEWI, and ranged from 59.1 to 391 (median 197) ng g in the MUWI. Concentrations of CBzs in the bottom ash samples of the MEWI (median 1.95; range 1.53-5.98 ng g) were also lower than those measured in the MUWI samples (median 17.4; range 14.5-42.6 ng g). Levels of CBzs in the fly ash samples were significantly higher than concentrations measured in the bottom ash samples, partially indicating the low-temperature catalytic formation of these pollutants in post-combustion zone. In general, higher chlorinated congeners (e.g., hexachlorobenzene, pentachlorobenzene, and 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene) were more abundant than lower chlorinated compounds. However, compositional profiles of CBzs were different between the ash types and incinerators and even between the same sample types of different sampling days, suggesting that the formation of CBzs in these incinerators is complicated and influenced by many factors. Emission factors and annual emission amounts of CBzs were estimated for the two incinerators by using actually measured data of CBz concentrations in the ash. Daily intake doses and cancer risks of ash-bound CBzs estimated for workers in the two incinerators were generally lower than critical values, but cancer risks caused by other relevant pollutants (e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxin-related compounds) were not considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11385-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Thermal tuning of arsenic selenide glass thin films and devices.

Opt Express 2020 Nov;28(23):34744-34753

We present a method of post-deposition tuning of the optical properties of thin film dielectric filters and mirrors containing chalcogenide glass (ChG) layers by thermally adjusting their refractive index. A common challenge associated with the use of ChG films in practical applications is that they suffer from slight run-to-run variations in optical properties resulting from hard-to-control changes in source material and deposition conditions. These variations lead to inconsistencies in optical constants, making the fabrication of devices with prescribed optical properties challenging. In this paper, we present new work that takes advantage of the large variation of a ChG films' refractive index as a function of annealing. We have carried out extensive characterization of the thermal index tuning and thickness change of arsenic selenide (AsSe) ChG thin films and observed refractive index changes larger than 0.1 in some cases. We show results for refractive index as a function of annealing time and temperature and propose a model to describe this behavior based on bond rearrangement. We apply thermal refractive index tuning to permanently shift the resonance of a Fabry-Perot filter and the cutoff wavelength of a Bragg reflector. The Bragg reflector, consisting of alternating AsSe and CaF layers, exhibits high reflectance across a ∼550 nm band with only five layers. Modeling results are compared with spectroscopic measurements, demonstrating good agreement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.409531DOI Listing
November 2020

Artificial neural network modeling for Congo red adsorption on microwave-synthesized akaganeite nanoparticles: optimization, kinetics, mechanism, and thermodynamics.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 31;28(8):9133-9145. Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Faculty of Chemistry, TNU-University of Sciences, Tan Thinh Ward, Thai Nguyen, 250000, Vietnam.

This work aims to synthesize akaganeite nanoparticles (AKNPs) by using microwave and use them to adsorb Congo red dye (CR) from the aqueous solution. The AKNPs with an average particle size of about 50 nm in width and 100 nm in length could be fabricated in 20 min. The effects of pH, CR initial concentration, adsorption time, and adsorbent dosage on the adsorption process were investigated and the artificial neural network (ANN) was used to analyze the adsorption data. The various ANN structures were examined in training the data to find the optimal model. The structure with training function, TRAINLM; adaptation learning function, LARNGDM; transfer function, LOGSIG (in hidden layer) and PURELIN (in output layer); and 10 neutrons in hidden layer having the highest correlation (R = 0.996) and the lowest MSE (4.405) is the optimal ANN structure. The consistency between the experimental data and the data predicted by the ANN model showed that the behavior of the adsorption process of CR onto AKNPs under different conditions can be estimated by the ANN model. The adsorption kinetics was studied by fitting the data into pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, Elovich, and intraparticle diffusion models. The results showed that the adsorption kinetics obeyed the pseudo-second-order model and governed by several steps. The adsorption isotherms at the different temperatures were studied by fitting the data to Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin isotherm models. The R obtained from the Langmuir model was above 0.9 and the highest value in three of four temperatures, suggesting that the adsorption isotherms were the best fit to the Langmuir model and the maximum adsorption capacity was estimated to be more than 150 mg/g. Thermodynamic studies suggested that the adsorption of CR onto AKNPs was a spontaneous and endothermic process and physicochemical adsorption. The obtained results indicated the potential application of microwave-synthesize AKNPs for removing organic dyes from aqueous solutions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10633-2DOI Listing
February 2021

An application to support COVID-19 occupational health and patient tracking at a Veterans Affairs medical center.

J Am Med Inform Assoc 2020 11;27(11):1716-1720

VA Cooperative Studies Program, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Objective: Reducing risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection among healthcare personnel requires a robust occupational health response involving multiple disciplines. We describe a flexible informatics solution to enable such coordination, and we make it available as open-source software.

Materials And Methods: We developed a stand-alone application that integrates data from several sources, including electronic health record data and data captured outside the electronic health record.

Results: The application facilitates workflows from different hospital departments, including Occupational Health and Infection Control, and has been used extensively. As of June 2020, 4629 employees and 7768 patients and have been added for tracking by the application, and the application has been accessed over 46 000 times.

Discussion: Data captured by the application provides both a historical and real-time view into the operational impact of COVID-19 within the hospital, enabling aggregate and patient-level reporting to support identification of new cases, contact tracing, outbreak investigations, and employee workforce management.

Conclusions: We have developed an open-source application that facilitates communication and workflow across multiple disciplines to manage hospital employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocaa162DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665524PMC
November 2020

First Australian Case of Good Recovery of a COVID-19 Patient With Severe Neurological Symptoms Post Prolonged Hospitalization.

Cureus 2020 Sep 10;12(9):e10366. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, AUS.

A case of a 75-year-old man with COVID-19, severe neurological symptoms (acute stroke-like symptoms and signs and full recovery after a prolonged hospital stay), and intracranial hypertension is discussed with an in-depth review of his clinical features, biochemistry, haematology, highlighting the relationship between changes in neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio, C-reactive protein level, D-dimer level, and the clinical onset of acute ischemic stroke-like symptoms in the setting of COVID-19 and major neurological manifestations. This is the first such case reported in Australia to date. This case also illustrates the recovery of a patient with COVID-19 complicated with severe neurological symptoms (acute ischemic stroke-like symptoms) during the prolonged intensive care unit stay (at day 26) followed by slow neurorehabilitation and normal recovery from both respiratory and neurological involvement. The onset of acute stroke-like symptoms appears to be closely associated with changes of neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and in C-reactive protein, and D-dimer levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7549849PMC
September 2020

Unenhanced computed tomography (CT) utility for triage at the emergency department during COVID-19 pandemic.

Am J Emerg Med 2020 Jul 28. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Internal Medicine, La Tour Hospital and University of Geneva, CH-1217 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background: Unenhanced chest computed tomography (CT) can assist in the diagnosis and classification of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), complementing to the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests; the performance of which has yet to be validated in emergency department (ED) setting. The study sought to evaluate the diagnostic performance of chest CT in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 in ED.

Methods: This retrospective single-center study included 155 patients in ED who underwent both RT-PCR and chest CT for suspected COVID-19 from March 1st to April 1st, 2020. The clinical information, CT images and laboratory reports were reviewed and the performance of CT was assessed, using the RT-PCR as standard reference. Moreover, an adjudication committee retrospectively rated the probability of COVID-19 before and after the CT calculating the net reclassification improvement (NRI). Their final diagnosis was considered as reference. The proportion of patients with negative RT-PCR test that was directed to the referent hospital based on positive CT findings was also assessed.

Results: Among 155 patients, 42% had positive RT-PCR results, and 46% had positive CT findings. Chest CT showed a sensitivity of 84.6%, a specificity of 80.0% and a diagnostic accuracy of 81.9% in suggesting COVID-19 with RT-PCR as reference. Concurrently, corresponding values of 89.4%, 84.3% and 86.5% were retrieved with the adjudication committee diagnosis as reference. For the subgroup of patients with age > 65, specificity and sensitivity were 50% and 80.8%, respectively. In patients with negative RT-PCR results, 20% (18/90) had positive chest CT finding and 22% (4/18) of those were eventually considered as COVID-19 positive according to the adjudication committee. After CT, the estimated probability of COVID-19 changed in 10/104 (11%) patients with available data: 4 (4%) were downgraded, 6 (6%) upgraded. The NRI was 1.92% (NRI event -2.08% + NRI non-event 5.36%). No patient with negative RT-PCR but positive CT was eventually directed to hospital.

Conclusion: Chest CT showed promising sensitivity for diagnosing COVID-19 across all patients' subgroups. However, CT did not modify the estimated probability of COVID-19 infection in a substantial proportion of patients and its utility as an emergency department triage tool warrants further analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2020.07.058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7385067PMC
July 2020

Prevalence and Outcome of COVID-19 Infection in Cancer Patients: A National Veterans Affairs Study.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 06;113(6):691-698

Hematology and Oncology Department, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Emerging data suggest variability in susceptibility and outcome to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Identifying risk factors associated with infection and outcomes in cancer patients is necessary to develop healthcare recommendations.

Methods: We analyzed electronic health records of the US Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and assessed the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in cancer patients. We evaluated the proportion of cancer patients tested for COVID-19 who were positive, as well as outcome attributable to COVID-19, and stratified by clinical characteristics including demographics, comorbidities, cancer treatment, and cancer type. All statistical tests are 2-sided.

Results: Of 22 914 cancer patients tested for COVID-19, 1794 (7.8%) were positive. The prevalence of COVID-19 was similar across age. Higher prevalence was observed in African American (15.0%) compared with White (5.5%; P < .001) and in patients with hematologic malignancy compared with those with solid tumors (10.9% vs 7.8%; P < .001). Conversely, prevalence was lower in current smokers and patients who recently received cancer therapy (<6 months). The COVID-19-attributable mortality was 10.9%. Higher attributable mortality rates were observed in older patients, those with higher Charlson comorbidity score, and in certain cancer types. Recent (<6 months) or past treatment did not influence attributable mortality. Importantly, African American patients had 3.5-fold higher COVID-19-attributable hospitalization; however, they had similar attributable mortality as White patients.

Conclusion: Preexistence of cancer affects both susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and eventual outcome. The overall COVID-19-attributable mortality in cancer patients is affected by age, comorbidity, and specific cancer types; however, race or recent treatment including immunotherapy do not impact outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665587PMC
June 2021

Functional CRISPR dissection of gene networks controlling human regulatory T cell identity.

Nat Immunol 2020 11 28;21(11):1456-1466. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Human regulatory T (T) cells are essential for immune homeostasis. The transcription factor FOXP3 maintains T cell identity, yet the complete set of key transcription factors that control T cell gene expression remains unknown. Here, we used pooled and arrayed Cas9 ribonucleoprotein screens to identify transcription factors that regulate critical proteins in primary human T cells under basal and proinflammatory conditions. We then generated 54,424 single-cell transcriptomes from T cells subjected to genetic perturbations and cytokine stimulation, which revealed distinct gene networks individually regulated by FOXP3 and PRDM1, in addition to a network coregulated by FOXO1 and IRF4. We also discovered that HIVEP2, to our knowledge not previously implicated in T cell function, coregulates another gene network with SATB1 and is important for T cell-mediated immunosuppression. By integrating CRISPR screens and single-cell RNA-sequencing profiling, we have uncovered transcriptional regulators and downstream gene networks in human T cells that could be targeted for immunotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41590-020-0784-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577958PMC
November 2020

Acute Routine Leukocyte and Neutrophil Counts Are Predictive of Poststroke Recovery at 3 and 12 Months Poststroke: An Exploratory Study.

Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2020 09;34(9):844-855

La Trobe University, College of Science, Health and Engineering, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.

. White blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil counts (NC) are common markers of inflammation and neurological stroke damage and could be expected to predict poststroke outcomes. . The aim of this study was to explore the prognostic value of early poststroke WBC and NC to predict cognition, mood, and disability outcomes at 3 and 12 months poststroke. . Routine clinical analyses WBC and NC were collected at 3 time points in the first 4 days of hospitalization from 156 acute stroke patients. Correlations using hierarchical or ordinal regressions were explored between acute WBC and NC and functional recovery, depression, and cognition at 3 and 12 months poststroke, after covarying for age and baseline stroke severity. . We found significant increases in NC between <12 hours and 24 to 48 hours time points ( = .05). Hierarchical regressions, covaried for age and baseline stroke severity, found that 24 to 48 hours WBC ( = .05) and NC ( = .04) significantly predicted 3-month cognition scores. Similarly, 24 to 48 hours WBC ( = .05) and NC ( = .02) predicted cognition scores at 12 months. Increases in WBC and NC were predictive of increased cognition scores at both 3 and 12 months (positive recovery) though there were no significant associations between WBC and NC and disability or depression scores. . Routine acute stroke clinical laboratory tests such as WBC and NC taken between 24 and 48 hours poststroke are predictive of cognition poststroke. It is interpreted that higher rapid immunological activation in the acute phase is an indicator for the trajectory of positive stroke recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1545968320948607DOI Listing
September 2020

Loss of SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodeling Alters NRF2 Signaling in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma.

Mol Cancer Res 2020 12 27;18(12):1777-1788. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The NF-E2-related factor 2 (referred to as NRF2) transcription factor binds antioxidant responsive elements within the promoters of cytoprotective genes to induce their expression. Next-generation sequencing studies in lung cancer have shown a significant number of activating mutations within the NRF2 signaling pathway. Mutations in components of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, a general regulator of transcription using either BRG1 or BRM as the catalytic subunit, also frequently occur in lung cancers. Importantly, low BRG1 expression levels in primary human NSCLC correlated with increased NRF2-target gene expression. Here, we show that loss of SWI/SNF complex function activated a subset of NRF2-mediated transcriptional targets. Using a series of isogenic NSCLC lines with reduced or depleted BRG1 and/or BRM expression, we observed significantly increased expression of the NRF2-target genes HMOX1 and GSTM4. In contrast, expression of the NRF2 target genes NQO1 and GCLM modestly increased following BRM reduction. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that BRG1 knockdown led to increased NRF2 binding at its respective ARE sites in the HMOX1 promoter but not in NQO1 and GCLM. Our data demonstrate that loss of BRG1 or BRM in lung cancer results in activation of the NRF2/KEAP1 pathway and HMOX1 expression. Therefore, we provide an additional molecular explanation for why patients harboring BRG1 or BRM mutations show poor prognoses. A better understanding of this mechanism may yield novel insights into the design of targeted treatment modalities. IMPLICATIONS: Our study identifies a novel mechanism for how mutations in the SMARCA4 gene may drive progression of human lung adenocarcinomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-20-0082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718321PMC
December 2020

Longitudinal Stroke Recovery Associated With Dysregulation of Complement System-A Proteomics Pathway Analysis.

Front Neurol 2020 28;11:692. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Occupational Therapy, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC, Australia.

Currently the longitudinal proteomic profile of post-ischemic stroke recovery is relatively unknown with few well-accepted biomarkers or understanding of the biological systems that underpin recovery. We aimed to characterize plasma derived biological pathways associated with recovery during the first year post event using a discovery proteomics workflow coupled with a topological pathway systems biology approach. Blood samples ( = 180, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid plasma) were collected from a subgroup of 60 first episode stroke survivors from the Australian START study at 3 timepoints: 3-7 days (T1), 3-months (T2) and 12-months (T3) post-stroke. Samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry using label-free quantification (data available at ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD015006). Differential expression analysis revealed that 29 proteins between T1 and T2, and 33 proteins between T1 and T3 were significantly different, with 18 proteins commonly differentially expressed across the two time periods. Pathway analysis was conducted using Gene Graph Enrichment Analysis on both the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes and Reactome databases. Pathway analysis revealed that the significantly differentiated proteins between T1 and T2 were consistently found to belong to the complement pathway. Further correlational analyses utilized to examine the changes in regulatory effects of proteins over time identified significant inhibitory regulation of clusterin on complement component 9. Longitudinal post-stroke blood proteomics profiles suggest that the alternative pathway of complement activation remains in a state of higher activation from 3-7 days to 3 months post-stroke, while simultaneously being regulated by clusterin and vitronectin. These findings also suggest that post-stroke induced sterile inflammation and immunosuppression could inhibit recovery within the 3-month window post-stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00692DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399641PMC
July 2020

Neonicotinoids, fipronil, chlorpyrifos, carbendazim, chlorotriazines, chlorophenoxy herbicides, bentazon, and selected pesticide transformation products in surface water and drinking water from northern Vietnam.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jan 4;750:141507. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Pediatrics and Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA. Electronic address:

Studies on the occurrence of emerging pesticides in surface and drinking water in Vietnam are limited. In this study, lake water (n = 7), river water (n = 1), tap water (n = 46), and bottled water (n = 3) collected from Hanoi and other four provinces in northern Vietnam were analyzed for selected pesticides (including insecticides such as neonicotinoids, fipronil, and chlorpyrifos; fungicide carbendazim; herbicides such as atrazine, terbuthylazine, simazine, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, and bentazon) and some of their degradates by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Carbendazim (median: 86.7 ng/L) and triazines (49.3 ng/L) were the major pesticides found in lake water samples, followed by neonicotinoids and their degradation products (15.1 ng/L), chlorpyrifos and its degradate (13.4 ng/L), fipronil and its degradates (3.76 ng/L), chlorophenoxy acid herbicides (2.10 ng/L), and bentazon (0.62 ng/L). Triazines (164 ng/L) were the major pesticides in river water. Higher concentrations (median: 39.3 ng/L; range: 1.20-127) of selected pesticides were found in tap water from Hanoi than those from four other provinces studied (5.49 ng/L; 4.73-66.8 ng/L). Bottled water samples collected from Hanoi contained lower concentrations of pesticide residues (median: 3.54 ng/L, range: 2.18-8.09) than those of tap water samples. The calculated risks from pesticide exposure through ingestion of tap water by the general populations were low. However, fipronil concentrations in lake water exceeded the benchmark value recommended for freshwater in the United States or the Netherlands. Degradation of acetamiprid into desmethyl-acetamiprid was found in lake water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141507DOI Listing
January 2021

Cerebral Microbleeds and Leukoencephalopathy in Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19.

Stroke 2020 09 5;51(9):2649-2655. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Department of Neurology (S.A., A.L., K.M., S.G.), NYU Langone Health, New York, NY.

Background And Purpose: We conducted this study to investigate the prevalence and distribution of cerebral microbleeds and leukoencephalopathy in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and correlate with clinical, laboratory, and functional outcomes.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of 4131 COVID-19 positive adult patients who were admitted to 3 tertiary care hospitals of an academic medical center at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City from March 1, 2020, to May 10, 2020, to identify patients who had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. We evaluated the MRIs in detail, and identified a subset of patients with leukoencephalopathy and/or cerebral microbleeds. We compared clinical, laboratory, and functional outcomes for these patients to patients who had a brain MRI that did not show these findings.

Results: Of 115 patients who had an MRI of the brain performed, 35 (30.4%) patients had leukoencephalopathy and/or cerebral microbleeds. Patients with leukoencephalopathy and/or cerebral microbleeds had neuroimaging performed later during the hospitalization course (27 versus 10.6 days; <0.001), were clinically sicker at the time of brain MRI (median GCS 6 versus 14; <0.001), and had higher peak D-dimer levels (8018±6677 versus 3183±3482; <0.001), lower nadir platelet count (116.9±62.2 versus 158.3±76.2; =0.03), higher peak international normalized ratio (2.2 versus 1.57; <0.001) values when compared with patients who had a brain MRI that did not show these findings. They required longer ventilator support (34.6 versus 9.1 days; <0.001) and were more likely to have moderate and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome score (88.6% versus 23.8%, <0.001). These patients had longer hospitalizations (42.1 versus 20.9 days; <0.001), overall worse functional status on discharge (mRS 5 versus 4; =0.001), and higher mortality (20% versus 9%; =0.144).

Conclusions: The presence of leukoencephalopathy and/or cerebral microbleeds is associated with a critical illness, increased mortality, and worse functional outcome in patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.030940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7434006PMC
September 2020

Correlation between fractional exhaled nitric oxide and Asthma Control Test score and spirometry parameters in on-treatment-asthmatics in Ho Chi Minh City.

J Thorac Dis 2020 May;12(5):2197-2209

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Although fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a reliable and easily applied marker of airway inflammation in asthma, the relationship between FeNO and indicators of asthma control [Asthma Control Test (ACT) score] and/or severity (spirometry parameters) remains unclear. This study aims to determine possible correlations between FeNO and ACT score; and between FeNO and spirometry parameters.

Methods: A cross-sectional study with convenience sampling was conducted among ambulatory patients in the Asthma & COPD clinic at the University Medical Center, Ho Chi Minh City from March 2016 to March 2017. Using measurement of FeNO, the ACT questionnaire and a spirometry test, correlations were determined between FeNO and the ACT score and spirometry parameters.

Results: Four hundred and ten asthmatic patients (mean age 42 years; 65% female) were included and analyzed; their mean time since onset of asthma was 9.5 years. All patients were treated following step 2 to 4 of GINA guidelines. Mean (SD) FeNO was 29.5 (24.4) parts per billion (ppb) and mean (SD) ACT score was 20.5 (40). A significant difference in FeNO values was found among the three groups with different asthma control levels categorized according to the ACT score (P=0.001) but was not found among the three groups with different asthma treatment levels (P=0.425). FeNO was significantly inversely correlated with the ACT score (Spearman's r =-0.224, P<0.001) and with spirometry parameters indicate airway obstruction such as predicted FEV1, FEV1/FVC, predicted PEF and predicted FEF25-75% with Spearman's r were -0.187; -0.143; -0.091 and -0.195, respectively (all P<0.05), whereas no correlation between FeNO and FVC-an indicator of airway restriction-was found.

Conclusions: In these asthmatic patients in Vietnam, an inverse correlation was found between FeNO and the ACT score and between FeNO and spirometry indicators of airway obstruction. Therefore, FeNO may be a useful tool in asthma management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd.2020.04.01DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7330382PMC
May 2020