Publications by authors named "Xiang Li"

4,526 Publications

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The Impact of Blade Technology on Paralympic Sprint Performance Between 1996 and 2016: Bilateral Amputees' Competitive Advantage.

Adapt Phys Activ Q 2021 May 11:1-12. Epub 2021 May 11.

Yale School of Medicine.

It is known that high-performance sprinters with unilateral and bilateral prosthetic lower limbs run at different speeds using different spatiotemporal strategies. Historically, these athletes still competed together in the same races, but 2018 classification rule revisions saw the separation of these two groups. This study sought to compare Paralympic sprint performance between all-comer (i.e., transfemoral and transtibial) unilateral and bilateral amputee sprinters using a large athlete sample. A retrospective analysis of race speed among Paralympic sprinters between 1996 and 2016 was conducted. In total, 584 published race results from 161 sprinters revealed that unilateral and bilateral lower-extremity amputee sprinters had significantly different race speeds in all three race finals (100 m, p value <.001; 200 m, <.001; 400 m, <.001). All-comer bilateral amputee runners ran faster than their unilateral counterparts; performance differences increased with race distance. These data support current classification criteria in amputee sprinting, which may create more equal competitive fields in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2020-0064DOI Listing
May 2021

Inhibition of tetracycline on anaerobic digestion of swine wastewater.

Bioresour Technol 2021 May 5;334:125253. Epub 2021 May 5.

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University and Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha, Hunan 410082, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Petrochemical Pollution Processes and Control, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology, Maoming, Guangdong 525000, China; Maoming Engineering Research Center for Organic Pollution Control, Academy of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology, Maoming, Guangdong 525000, China. Electronic address:

The inhibition of tetracycline on anaerobic digestion of synthetic swine wastewater was examined with a semi-continuous operation for 103 days at a dosage ranging 2-8 mg/L. COD concentrations, VFA compositions in effluents and methane production were measured. The negative effects of tetracycline on the four individual steps of anaerobic digestion and its toxicity on anaerobic microorganisms were also evaluated. Results showed that continuous addition of 8 mg/L tetracycline in the bioreactor resulted in 73.28% reduction of daily methane production and made anaerobic digestion upset. Besides, methanogenesis was particularly inhibited compared to other three steps and the corresponding enzyme activities decreased by 66%. Furthermore, the polysaccharide contents in EPS increased after exposure to tetracycline, which could inhibit direct connections among microorganism. At last, long-term exposure to tetracycline inhibit anaerobic microbial activities and caused liberation of lactate dehydrogenase. The results would provide novel insights for anaerobic digestion of swine wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.125253DOI Listing
May 2021

Pomegranate-Like CuO@SiO Nanospheres as HO Self-Supplying and Robust Oxygen Generators for Enhanced Antibacterial Activity.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

College of Materials Science and Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, 53 Zhengzhou Rd., Qingdao, Shandong 266042, China.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced nanosystems represent one of the most essential, efficient, and encouraging nanobactericides for eliminating bacterial infection concerning the increasing resistance threats of existing antibiotics. Among them, Fenton-type metal peroxide nanoparticles are exciting nanomaterials with intriguing physiochemical properties, yet the study of this antimicrobial agent is still in its infancy. Herein, a robust pH-responsive Fenton nanosystem is constructed by the assembly of copper peroxide nanodots in pomegranate-like mesoporous silica nanoshells (CuO@SiO) that are capable of self-supplying HO and sustainably generating O. The enhanced antimicrobial performance is attributed to the pH responsiveness and excellent Fenton catalytic activity through either the Cu-catalyzed conversion of HO to detrimental ROS under acid treatment or in situ O evolution in neutral media. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo investigations demonstrate that this nanocomposite can exhibit boosted antimicrobial capabilities and can significantly accelerate skin wound closure, while retaining outstanding cytocompatibility and hemocompatibility. Given its excellent physicochemical and antimicrobial properties, the broad application of this nanocomposite in bacteria-associated wound management is anticipated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c02413DOI Listing
May 2021

Early discrimination between tumor-induced rickets/osteomalacia and X-linked hypophosphatemia in Chinese children and adolescents: a retrospective case-control study.

J Bone Miner Res 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Endocrinology, Laboratory of Endocrinology, National Commission of Health, State Key Laboratory of Complex Severe and Rare Diseases, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science, No. 1 Shuaifuyuan, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100730, China.

In children and adolescents distinguishing tumor-induced rickets/osteomalacia (TIR/O) from hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia (HR/O) is a medical challenge. We retrospectively studied 10 Chinese children and adolescents with TIR/O who underwent surgery at a mean age of 17.4 ± 2.1 years, and compared their characteristics to 24 age- and gender-matched patients with X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH). Positive family history of HR/O and dental problems, such as enamel hypoplasia and dental abscess, were reported in 8 (33.3%) and 5 (20.8%) patients with XLX, respectively, but not in patients with TIR/O. In addition, in comparison with XLH patients, TIR/O patients had an older disease onset age (150 versus 24 months, p < 0.001), a higher height SDS (-1.2 ± 1.8 versus -4.0 ± 1.4, p < 0.001), a lower Z-score of bone mineral density (BMD) at lumbar spine (LS) (-3.9 [6.0] versus +1.8 [7.0], p < 0.001) and a higher serum intact FGF23 level (500.27 ± 87.20 versus 121.71 ± 70.94 pg/mL, p < 0.001), corresponding to a lower serum phosphate level (0.52 ± 0.07 versus 0.64 ± 0.11 mmol/L, p = 0.005) and a higher serum ALP level (557 [631] versus 305 [249] U/L, p = 0.005). We generated Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and calculated the area under the ROC curve (AUC). The AUCs of onset age, FGF23 and LS Z-score were equal to 1, suggesting that these are excellent indices for the differential diagnosis between TIR/O and XLH. In summary, our study furthers our understanding of the spectrum of clinical, biochemical, and pathologic findings associated with TIR/O. For children and adolescent patients with HR/O, a comprehensive and careful clinical and laboratory evaluation is of great importance, and we recommend enquiry of the family history, onset age, and dental problems, as well as measurement of serum FGF23 and BMD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.4331DOI Listing
May 2021

Digital Health Literacy and Health-Related Well-Being Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Socioeconomic Status Among University Students in Hong Kong and Macao.

Asia Pac J Public Health 2021 May 10:10105395211012230. Epub 2021 May 10.

School of Nursing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China.

The current study examined the moderating role of socioeconomic status (SES) in the association between digital health literacy (DHL) and psychological well-being of 801 university students in Hong Kong and Macao amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Results showed that DHL and SES were positively associated with psychological well-being. Surprisingly, SES negatively modified the relationship between DHL and psychological well-being. We argue that while attempts are being made to improve the well-being through DHL among students and others alike, a one-size-fits-all approach would not suffice because of diversity in students' socioeconomic backgrounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10105395211012230DOI Listing
May 2021

The effects of sodium chloride on proteins aggregation, conformation and gel properties of pork myofibrillar protein Running Head: Relationship aggregation, conformation and gel properties.

J Food Sci Technol 2021 Jun 25;58(6):2258-2264. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

School of Food Science, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang, 453003 People's Republic of China.

The objective of this study was to evaluate relationship with aggregation, secondary structures and gel properties of pork myofibrillar protein with different sodium chloride (1%, 2% and 3%). When the sodium chloride increased from 1 to 3%, the active sulfhydryl, surface hydrophobicity, hardness and cooking yield of myofibrillar protein were increased significantly ( < 0.05), the particle size, total sulfhydryl and Zeta potential were decreased significantly ( < 0.05), these meant the aggregations of pork myofibrillar protein were decreased. The changes of proteins aggregation induced the strongest intensity band of Amide I shifted up from 1660 cm to 1661 cm, meanwhile, the β-sheet structure content was increased significantly ( < 0.05) with the sodium chloride increased. From the above, the lower proteins aggregation and higher β-sheet structure content could improve the water holding capacity and texture of pork myofibrillar protein gel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13197-020-04736-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8076348PMC
June 2021

An Integrated Framework for Modelling Quantitative Effects of Entry Restrictions and Travel Quarantine on Importation Risk of COVID-19.

J Biomed Inform 2021 May 6:103800. Epub 2021 May 6.

Center for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine and Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Objective: As the potential spread of COVID-19 sparked by imported cases from overseas will pose continuous challenges, it is essential to estimate the effects of control measures on reducing the importation risk of COVID-19. Our objective is to provide a framework of methodology for quantifying the combined effects of entry restrictions and travel quarantine on managing the importation risk of COVID-19 and other pandemics by leveraging different sets of parameters.

Methods: Three major categories of control measures on controlling importation risk were parameterized and modelled by the framework: 1) entry restrictions, 2) travel quarantine, and 3) domestic containment measures. Integrating the parameterized intensity of control measures, a modified SEIR model was developed to simulate the case importation and local epidemic under different scenarios of global epidemic dynamics. A web-based tool was also provided to enable interactive visualization of epidemic simulation.

Results: The simulated number of case importation and local spread modelled by the proposed framework of methods fitted well to the historical epidemic curve of China and Singapore. Based on the simulation results, the total numbers of infected cases when reducing 30% of visitor arrivals would be 88·4 (IQR 87·5-89·6) and 58·8 (IQR 58·3-59·5) times more than those when reducing 99% of visitor arrivals in mainland China and Singapore respectively, assuming actual time-varying R and travel quarantine policy. If the number of global daily new infections reached 100,000, 85%-91% of inbound travels should be reduced to keep the daily new infected number below 100 for a country with a similar travel volume as Singapore (daily 52,000 tourist arrivals in 2019). Whereas if the number was lower than 10,000, the daily new infected case would be less than 100 even with no entry restrictions.

Discussions: We proposed a framework that first estimated the intensity of travel restrictions and local containment measures for countries since the first overseas imported case. Our approach then quantified the combined effects of entry restrictions and travel quarantine using a modified SEIR model to simulate the potential epidemic spread under hypothetical intensities of these control measures. We also developed a web-based system that enables interactive simulation, which could serve as a valuable tool for health system administrators to assess policy effects on managing the importation risk. By leveraging different sets of parameters, it could adapt to any specific country and specific type of epidemic.

Conclusions: This framework has provided a valuable tool to parameterize the intensity of control measures, simulate both the case importation and local epidemic, and quantify the combined effects of entry restrictions and travel quarantine on managing the importation risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2021.103800DOI Listing
May 2021

Multiple-heteroatom doped porous carbons from self-activation of lignosulfonate with melamine for high performance supercapacitors.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Key Laboratory of Bio-based Material Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150040, China.

A facile synthesis strategy by combination self-activation of biomass materials with heteroatom dopant in one-step is developed to fabricate porous carbons (NO-PCMs) doping with N, O, and S elements from direct carbonization of sodium lignosulfonate and melamine mixture. Two different types of active defects are constructed simultaneously through the decomposition of sodium lignosulfonate in NO-PCMs, exhibiting hierarchical porosity and abundant heteroatoms contents. The typical NO-PCMs displayed high specific capacitance (300 F g at 0.1 A g) and outstanding cycling stability (99% capacitance retention after 10,000 charge/discharge cycles at 10 A g) in 6 M KOH electrolyte. Furthermore, the assembled symmetric supercapacitors exhibited high specific capacitance of 162 F g at 20 A g, 71% capacitance retention at current density up to 20 A g, and possessed high specific energy density of 21.6 Wh kg with an excellent power density of 92 W kg operated in the wide voltage range of 1.8 V in 1 M NaSO aqueous electrolyte, demonstrating the broad prospects of biomass/biowaste being used to prepare electrode materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.05.028DOI Listing
May 2021

Cocktail strategy for 'cold' tumors therapy via active recruitment of CD8+ T cells and enhancing their function.

J Control Release 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

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

In immunotherapy, 'cold' tumors, with low T cells infiltration, hardly benefit from the treatment of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). To address this issue, we screened two 'cold' tumor models for mice with high expression of galectin-3 (Gal-3) and designed a cocktail strategy to actively recruit CD8+ T cells into the tumor microenvironment (TME), which reversed 'cold' tumors into 'hot' and remarkably elevated their ICIs-responsiveness. Gal-3, an important driving force of tumorigenesis, inhibits T cell infiltration into tumor tissue that shapes 'cold' tumor phenotype, and promotes tumor metastasis. In this respect, Gal-3 antagonist G3-C12 peptide was chosen and further loaded into poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres, with the prepared G3-C12@PLGA playing a dual role of antitumor, namely, killing two birds with one stone. Specifically, G3-C12@PLGA actively recruit T cells into 'cold' tumors by rescuing IFN-γ, and simultaneously inhibit tumor metastasis induced by Gal-3. Moreover, when combined with chemotherapeutic agent (Oxaliplatin) and anti-PD-1 peptide (APP), the immunopotentiating effect of dendritic cells (DCs) was extremely improved, with T-cell depletion dramatically reversed. In vivo experiments showed that such cocktail therapy exerted remarkable antitumor effect on 'cold' breast cancer (BC) and ovarian serous cancer (OSC). These results indicated that our strategy might be promising in treating 'cold' tumors with high expression of Gal-3, which not only enhance cancer treatment outcome, but provide a new platform for the prevention of postoperative tumor recurrence/metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.05.002DOI Listing
May 2021

Associations of acute exposure to airborne pollutants with COVID-19 infection: evidence from China.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, People's Republic of China.

The outbreak of COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has spread across many countries globally. Greatly, there are limited studies concerned with the effect of airborne pollutants on COVID-19 infection, while exposure to airborne pollutants may harm human health. This paper aimed to examine the associations of acute exposure to ambient atmospheric pollutants to daily newly COVID-19 confirmed cases in 41 Chinese cities. Using a generalized additive model with Poisson distribution controlling for temperature and relative humidity, we evaluated the association between pollutant concentrations and daily COVID-19 confirmation at single-city level and multicity levels. We observed a 10-μg/m rise in levels of PM (lag 0-14), O (lag 0-1), SO (lag 0), and NO (lag 0-14) were positively associated with relative risks of 1.050 (95% CI: 1.028, 1.073), 1.011 (1.007, 1.015), 1.052 (1.022, 1.083), and 1.094 (1.028, 1.164) of daily newly confirmed cases, respectively. Further adjustment for other pollutants did not change the associations materially (excepting in the model for SO). Our results indicated that COVID-19 incidence may be susceptible to airborne pollutants such as PM, O, SO, and NO, and mitigation strategies of environmental factors are required to prevent spreading.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14159-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105699PMC
May 2021

Potential Protective Effect of Riboflavin Against Pathological Changes in the Main Organs of Male Mice Induced by Fluoride Exposure.

Biol Trace Elem Res 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

Shanxi Key Laboratory of Ecological Animal Science and Environmental Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu, Shanxi, 030801, People's Republic of China.

Long-term exposure to excessive fluorine could cause damage to various tissues and organs in human and animals. However, there is no effective antidote to prevent and cure fluorosis except for avoiding fluoride intake. As an essential nutrient, riboflavin (VB) has been identified to relieve oxidative stress and inflammation in animal tissues caused by other toxic substances, whether it can alleviate the damage caused by fluoride is unknown. For this, 32 ICR male mice were allocated to four groups of eight each. They were treated with 0 (distilled water), 100 mg/L sodium fluoride (NaF), 40 mg/L VB, and their combination (100 mg/L NaF plus 40 mg/L VB) via the drinking water for 90 consecutive days, respectively. The content of bone fluoride and the histomorphology of the main organs including liver, kidney, cerebral cortex, epididymis, small intestine, and colon were evaluated and pathologically scored. The results found that fluoride caused the pathological changes in liver, kidney, cerebral cortex, epididymis, small intestine, and colon at varying degrees, while riboflavin supplementation reduced significantly the accumulation of fluoride in bone, alleviated the morphological damage to cerebral cortex, epididymis, ileum, and colon. This study provides new clues for deeply exploring the mechanism of riboflavin intervention in fluorosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-021-02746-7DOI Listing
May 2021

Melatonin delays ovarian aging in mice by slowing down the exhaustion of ovarian reserve.

Commun Biol 2021 May 6;4(1):534. Epub 2021 May 6.

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

Studies have shown that melatonin (MLT) can delay ovarian aging, but the mechanism has not been fully elucidated. Here we show that granulosa cells isolated from mice follicles can synthesize MLT; the addition of MLT in ovary culture system inhibited follicle activation and growth; In vivo experiments indicated that injections of MLT to mice during the follicle activation phase can reduce the number of activated follicles by inhibiting the PI3K-AKT-FOXO3 pathway; during the early follicle growth phase, MLT administration suppressed follicle growth and atresia, and multiple pathways involved in folliculogenesis, including PI3K-AKT, were suppressed; MLT deficiency in mice increased follicle activation and atresia, and eventually accelerated age-related fertility decline; finally, we demonstrated that prolonged high-dose MLT intake had no obvious adverse effect. This study presents more insight into the roles of MLT in reproductive regulation that endogenous MLT delays ovarian aging by inhibiting follicle activation, growth and atresia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02042-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102596PMC
May 2021

Quantifying the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in human biomimetic liver microphysiology systems with fluorescent protein biosensors.

Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2021 May 6:15353702211009228. Epub 2021 May 6.

University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

Metabolic syndrome is a complex disease that involves multiple organ systems including a critical role for the liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a key component of the metabolic syndrome and fatty liver is linked to a range of metabolic dysfunctions that occur in approximately 25% of the population. A panel of experts recently agreed that the acronym, NAFLD, did not properly characterize this heterogeneous disease given the associated metabolic abnormalities such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), obesity, and hypertension. Therefore, metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) has been proposed as the new term to cover the heterogeneity identified in the NAFLD patient population. Although many rodent models of NAFLD/NASH have been developed, they do not recapitulate the full disease spectrum in patients. Therefore, a platform has evolved initially focused on human biomimetic liver microphysiology systems that integrates fluorescent protein biosensors along with other key metrics, the microphysiology systems database, and quantitative systems pharmacology. Quantitative systems pharmacology is being applied to investigate the mechanisms of NAFLD/MAFLD progression to select molecular targets for fluorescent protein biosensors, to integrate computational and experimental methods to predict drugs for repurposing, and to facilitate novel drug development. Fluorescent protein biosensors are critical components of the platform since they enable monitoring of the pathophysiology of disease progression by defining and quantifying the temporal and spatial dynamics of protein functions in the biosensor cells, and serve as minimally invasive biomarkers of the physiological state of the microphysiology system experimental disease models. Here, we summarize the progress in developing human microphysiology system disease models of NAFLD/MAFLD from several laboratories, developing fluorescent protein biosensors to monitor and to measure NAFLD/MAFLD disease progression and implementation of quantitative systems pharmacology with the goal of repurposing drugs and guiding the creation of novel therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15353702211009228DOI Listing
May 2021

Support Vector Machine Weather Prediction Technology Based on the Improved Quantum Optimization Algorithm.

Comput Intell Neurosci 2021 13;2021:6653659. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

College of Computer and Information Science, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing, China.

Emotion recognition is a research hotspot in the field of artificial intelligence. If the human-computer interaction system can sense human emotion and express emotion, it will make the interaction between the robot and human more natural. In this paper, a multimodal emotion recognition model based on many-objective optimization algorithm is proposed for the first time. The model integrates voice information and facial information and can simultaneously optimize the accuracy and uniformity of recognition. This paper compares the emotion recognition algorithm based on many-objective algorithm optimization with the single-modal emotion recognition model proposed in this paper and the ISMS_ALA model proposed by recent related research. The experimental results show that compared with the single-mode emotion recognition, the proposed model has a great improvement in each evaluation index. At the same time, the accuracy of emotion recognition is 2.88% higher than that of the ISMS_ALA model. The experimental results show that the many-objective optimization algorithm can effectively improve the performance of the multimodal emotion recognition model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6653659DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8057908PMC
April 2021

Revealing the heating value characteristics of sludge-based hydrochar in hydrothermal process: from perspective of hydrolysate.

Water Res 2021 Apr 21;198:117170. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Shanghai Institute for Design & Research on Environmental Engineering Co., Ltd; Shanghai Environmental Sanitation Engineering Design Institute Co., Ltd.

Hydrothermal treatment (HT) is a promising method to convert sewage sludge to hydrochar biofuel. The heating value is directly correlated to the carbon content in hydrochar; however, the release of organic matter from sludge to hydrolysate and the transfer of the Maillard reaction products generated in the hydrolysate to the solid phase alter the carbon content in hydrochar. In this study, the relationship between hydrolysate and heating value of sludge-based hydrochar was presented, aiming to explain how the calorific value of hydrochar was affected by HT conditions. We adopted a direct combustion test to verify its clean combustion features. Hydrochar derived at 260 °C and residence time of 4 h (HC 260-4) exhibited the highest calorific value (HHV = 26.23 MJ/kg) with an energy density of 1.43, and its fuel characteristics were similar to those of lignite. The increase in the HT temperature and residence time up to 260 °C and 4 h, respectively, was beneficial for enhancing HHV. Conversely, further increase of the HT temperature to 300 °C and HT time to 6 h yielded a decrease in HHV. Investigation of the underlying mechanism revealed that the protein and polysaccharide releasing from sludge to hydrolysate occurred the Maillard reaction (MR). The generated humic-like Maillard reaction product (MRP) was transferred to hydrochar, inducing an increase in the carbon content and calorific value and a decrease in the organic content of hydrolysate. As the carbohydrate content in the hydrolysate decreased, the MR was terminated, so no more MRP was transferred to hydrochar. At the same time, the protein was still continuously released at higher temperatures and longer residence times, yielding a decline in the HHV. Moreover, clean energy utilization was verified from the reduced nitrogen content in hydrochar and lower CO and NO emission of HC 260-4 in the combustion test. After the HT, increased hydrophobicity and a lower fraction of bound water improved the dewaterability, which is of great significance for applying hydrochar as biofuel. The findings of this study provided a new perspective to explain the heating value generation of hydrochar and more direct evidence to assess its clean combustion properties, with promising perspectives for practical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2021.117170DOI Listing
April 2021

PAN++: Towards Efficient and Accurate End-to-End Spotting of Arbitrarily-Shaped Text.

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 2021 May 4;PP. Epub 2021 May 4.

Scene text detection and recognition have been well explored in the past few years. Despite the progress, efficient and accurate end-to-end spotting of arbitrarily-shaped text remains challenging. In this work, we propose an end-to-end text spotting framework, termed PAN++, which can efficiently detect and recognize text of arbitrary shapes in natural scenes. PAN++ is based on the kernel representation that reformulates a text line as a text kernel (central region) surrounded by peripheral pixels. By systematically comparing with existing scene text representations, we show that our kernel representation can not only describe arbitrarily-shaped text but also well distinguish adjacent text. Moreover, as a pixel-based representation, the kernel representation can be predicted by a single fully convolutional network, which is very friendly to real-time applications. Taking the advantages of the kernel representation, we design a series of components as follows: 1) a computationally efficient feature enhancement network composed of stacked Feature Pyramid Enhancement Modules (FPEMs); 2) a lightweight detection head cooperating with Pixel Aggregation (PA); and 3) an efficient attention-based recognition head with Masked RoI. Benefiting from the above designs, our method achieves high inference speed while maintaining competitive accuracy. Extensive experiments show the superiority of our method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPAMI.2021.3077555DOI Listing
May 2021

Lysophosphatidic acid improves oocyte quality during IVM by activating the ERK1/2 pathway in cumulus cells and oocytes.

Mol Hum Reprod 2021 May 1. Epub 2021 May 1.

Assisted Reproduction Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China.

Oocyte IVM technology is an option for fertility preservation in some groups of patients, such as those with polycystic ovary syndrome, patients with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and for patients with cancer. However, the developmental potential of oocytes from IVM still needs to improve. Several previous studies have reported that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) promotes glucose metabolism, cumulus cell (CC) expansion, and oocyte nuclear maturation. However, the effect of LPA on oocyte cytoplasmic maturation, particularly mitochondrial function, has rarely been studied and the underlying mechanism is largely unknown, which impedes (pre)clinical applications of LPA. In this study, cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) and cumulus-denuded germinal vesicle oocytes (DOs) were treated with various concentrations of LPA during IVM, in the presence or absence of the oxidative stressor cyclophosphamide (CTX). In both normal and CTX-damaged COCs, the 25 μM LPA group exhibited improved CC expansion capacity, a higher nuclear maturation rate, and superior mitochondrial function, compared to no LPA treatment. When the concentration of LPA was over 40 μM, detrimental effects of LPA on oocyte maturation occurred. Compared with COCs, the addition of LPA slightly improved oocyte nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of DOs, but this was not statistically significant. We observed that LPA promotes the activation of ERK1/2, although this was not statistically significant in DOs. Furthermore, LPA could not reverse the negative effect of CC expansion and mitochondrial function after inactivation of ERK1/2 by U0126. RNA-Sequencing and RT-PCR results showed that LPA upregulated several ERK1/2 downstream genes related to CC expansion, such as Areg, Cited4, and Ptgs2. This study demonstrates that LPA improves oocyte quality during IVM through the activation of ERK1/2 pathway CCs and oocytes, which provides evidence for the potential addition of LPA to IVM medium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gaab032DOI Listing
May 2021

Circ_0023404 sponges miR-136 to induce HK-2 cells injury triggered by hypoxia/reoxygenation via up-regulating IL-6R.

J Cell Mol Med 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Nephrology, Affiliated Huai'an Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Huai'an, China.

The significance of circular RNAs (circRNAs) is reported in various kidney diseases including acute kidney injury (AKI). Specific circRNAs have the capacity to function as novel indicators of AKI. Circ_0023404 exhibits an important role in several diseases. Nevertheless, the detailed biological role of circ_0023404 in AKI remains poorly known. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of circ_0023404 on renal ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in vitro. Here, we evaluated the function of circ_0023404 in HK-2 cells in response to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). We established a cell AKI model induced by H/R in HK-2 cells. We found circ_0023404 was significantly increased in AKI. Then, we found loss of circ_0023404 increased cell growth, repressed apoptosis, reduced inflammatory factors secretion and oxidative stress generation in vitro. Besides, circ_0023404 sponged miR-136. miR-136 overturned the effects of circ_0023404 on HK-2 cell injury. We assumed IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) as a target of miR-136 and IL-6R was activated by circ_0023404 via sponging miR-136. In conclusion, we revealed circ_0023404 contributed to HK-2 cells injury stimulated by H/R via sponging miR-136 and activating IL-6R.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.15986DOI Listing
May 2021

Neuroprotective effect of helium after neonatal hypoxic ischemia: a narrative review.

Med Gas Res 2021 Jul-Sep;11(3):121-123

Department of Neurosurgery & Brain and Nerve Research Laboratory, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.

Neonatal hypoxic ischemia is one of the leading causes of permanent morbidity and mortality in newborns, which is caused by difficulty in supplying blood and oxygen to brain tissue and is often associated with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, death, short-term or long-term neurological and cognitive impairment. In recent years, the clinical therapeutic effects of noble gases have been gradually discovered and recognized. Numerous studies have shown that noble gases have unique neuroprotective effects to restore damaged nerve and relieve symptoms in patients. Although research on the neuroprotective mechanisms of xenon and argon has yielded a lot of results, studies on helium have stalled. Helium is a colorless, odorless, monoatomic inert gas. The helium has no hemodynamic or neurocognitive side effects and can be used as an ideal pre-adaptor for future clinical applications. In recent years, studies have shown that heliox (a mixture of helium and oxygen) pretreatment can protect the heart, brain, liver and intestine from damage in several animal models, where a variety of signaling pathways have been proved to be involved. There are numerous studies on it even though the mechanism of helium for protecting newborns has not been fully elucidated. It is urgent to find an effective treatment due to the high death rate and disability rate of neonatal hypoxic ischemia. It is believed that helium will be approved safely and effectively for clinical use in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2045-9912.314332DOI Listing
May 2021

Risk factors for central lymph node metastasis in the cervical region in papillary thyroid carcinoma: a retrospective study.

World J Surg Oncol 2021 Apr 30;19(1):138. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Thyroid Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, No. 295 Xichang Road, Kunming, 650032, Yunnan, China.

Background: To investigate the influence of different risk factors on central lymph node metastasis (CLNM) in the cervical region in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).

Methods: This retrospective study included 2586 PTC patients. Potential risk factors were identified by univariate analysis, and the relationships between these factors and CLNM were ascertained by multivariable analysis. A scoring system was constructed, and the optimal cut-off value was determined.

Results: On univariate analysis, sex, age, tumor diameter, multifocality, capsule invasion, vascular invasion, total number of lymph nodes in the central region, and serum thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) concentration were identified as potential risk factors for CLNM in the cervical region, whereas nerve invasion, thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration, and thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) concentration were not. Multivariable analysis indicated that male sex, young age, large tumor diameter, multifocality, vascular invasion, a large number of central lymph nodes, and a low TPOAb concentration were significant risk factors. From these factors, a preoperative CLNM risk assessment scale was constructed for predicting CLNM in the cervical region for PTC patients.

Conclusion: Male sex, young age, large tumor diameter, multifocality, vascular invasion, a large number of central lymph nodes, and a low TPOAb concentration were positively correlated with CLNM in the cervical region in PTC patients. The preoperative CLNM risk assessment scale based on these risk factors is expected to offer accurate preoperative assessment of central lymph node status in PTC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12957-021-02247-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091777PMC
April 2021

Effects of music stimulus on behavior response, cortisol level, and horizontal immunity of growing pigs.

J Anim Sci 2021 May;99(5)

Key Laboratory of Swine Facilities Engineering, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150030, P.R. China.

An enriched environment is widely used to improve domestic animals' welfare and promote their natural behaviors. Music can reduce abnormal behavior in humans, nonhuman primates, and rodents. However, little is known about the effects of music on pigs. This study aims to explore the effects of repeated music stimulation on the behavior, physiology, and immunity of growing pigs. A total of 72 hybrid piglets (Large White × Duroc × Minpig) were randomly divided into three groups, including music (Mozart K.448, 60 to 70 dB), noise (recorded mechanical noise, 80 to 85 dB), and control (natural background sound, <40 dB), and 6 h sound stimulation was given per day (1000 to 1600 hours) from 40 to 100 d of age. The behavioral activities of the pigs were observed during the music stimulation, and their serum cortisol, salivary cortisol, and serum immune indices were also measured. Compared with the control group, the music group and noise group increased activity but decreased lying of pigs (P < 0.05). A significant increase in tail-wagging, playing, and exploring behaviors of pigs was found in the music group (P < 0.05), and the noise significantly increased the aggressive behavior of the pigs (P < 0.05). Tail-wagging, playing, exploring, manipulating, and aggressive behaviors decreased over time. Short-term (8 d) music stimulus had a lower cortisol level than that of the noise and control groups (P < 0.05), whereas long-term (60 d) music stimulus increased immunoglobulin G (IgG), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels (P < 0.05) and decreased interleukin-4 (IL-4) level (P < 0.05). Long-term noise stimulus significantly reduced the level of IgG (P < 0.05) but did not affect the level of IL-2, IL-4, and IFN-γ levels (P > 0.05). In conclusion, short-term music stimulus (8 d) reduced the stress response, whereas long-term music stimulus (60 d) enhanced the immune responses. In addition, the noise increased the aggressive behavior, and long-term noise reduced the immunity of the growing pigs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skab043DOI Listing
May 2021

An Interpretable Machine Learning Survival Model for Predicting Long-term Kidney Outcomes in IgA Nephropathy.

AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2020 25;2020:737-746. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Ping An Healthcare Technology, Beijing.

IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is common worldwide and has heterogeneous phenotypes. Predicting long-term outcomes is important for clinical decision-making. As right-censored patients become common during the long-term follow-up, either excluding these patients from the cohort or labeling them as control will bias the risk estimation. Thus, we constructed a survival model using EXtreme Gradient Boosting for survival (XSBoost-Surv), to accurately predict the prognosis of IgAN patients by taking the time-to-event information into the modeling procedure. Shapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) was employed to interpret the individual predicted result and the non-linear relationships between the predictors and outcome. Experiments on real-world data showed our model achieved superior discrimination performance over other conventional survival methods. By providing insights into the exact changes in risk induced by certain characteristics of the patients, this explainable and accurate survival model can help improve the clinical understanding of renal progression and benefit the therapies for the IgAN patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8075445PMC
January 2021

A Clinically Practical and Interpretable Deep Model for ICU Mortality Prediction with External Validation.

AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2020 25;2020:629-637. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

PingAn Health Technology, Beijing, China.

Deep learning models are increasingly studied in the field of critical care. However, due to the lack of external validation and interpretability, it is difficult to generalize deep learning models in critical care senarios. Few works have validated the performance of the deep learning models with external datasets. To address this, we propose a clinically practical and interpretable deep model for intensive care unit (ICU) mortality prediction with external validation. We use the newly published dataset Philips eICU to train a recurrent neural network model with two-level attention mechanism, and use the MIMIC III dataset as the external validation set to verify the model performance. This model achieves a high accuracy (AUC = 0.855 on the external validation set) and have good interpretability. Based on this model, we develop a system to support clinical decision-making in ICUs.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8075474PMC
January 2021

Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of stapled ascaphin-8 peptides.

Bioorg Med Chem 2021 Apr 22;40:116158. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Institute of Translational Medicine, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China. Electronic address:

Ascaphin-8 is an α-helical anti-tumor and antimicrobial peptide containing 19 residues, which was isolated from norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions of the North American tailed frog Ascaphus truei. To improve both its stability and biological activities, a series of hydrocarbon-stapled analogs of Ascaphin-8 were synthesized and investigated for their potential antiproliferative activities. The activity studies were evaluated using the CCK-8 method and colony formation assay on human cancer cell lines. Ascaphin-8-3, as the most active peptide, showed a stronger inhibition effect when compared with the parent peptide for the tested cell lines. In addition, the effect of Ascaphin-8-3 on inhibiting the metastatic capabilities of A549 cells was more powerful than that of the parent peptide. This peptide derivative showed potentiality for further optimization in antitumor drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2021.116158DOI Listing
April 2021

MIR99AHG is a noncoding tumor suppressor gene in lung adenocarcinoma.

Cell Death Dis 2021 Apr 30;12(5):424. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular and Translational Cancer Research, the Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University & Jiangsu Cancer Hospital & Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research, Nanjing, China.

Little is known about noncoding tumor suppressor genes. An effective way to identify these genes is by analyzing somatic copy number variation (CNV)-related noncoding genes. By integrated bioinformatics analyses of differentially expressed long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and arm-level CNVs in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), we identified a potential antitumor gene, MIR99AHG, encoding lncRNA MIR99AHG as well as a miR-99a/let-7c/miR-125b2 cluster on chromosome 21q. All four of these transcripts were downregulated in LUAD tissues partly due to the copy number deletion of the MIR99AHG gene. Both MIR99AHG and miR-99a expression was positively correlated with the survival of LUAD patients. MIR99AHG suppressed proliferation and metastasis and promoted autophagy both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, the interaction between MIR99AHG and ANXA2 could accelerate the ANXA2-induced ATG16L vesicle biogenesis, thus promoting phagophore assembly. Additionally, miR-99a targeted a well-known autophagy suppressor, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), thereby synergistically promoting autophagy and postponing LUAD progression with MIR99AHG. In summary, MIR99AHG emerges as a noncoding tumor suppressor gene in LUAD, providing a new strategy for antitumor therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03715-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8087685PMC
April 2021

A dissecting aneurysm of the sinus of Valsalva involving the inter-ventricsular septum in a patient with syphilis and a quadricuspid aortic valve.

Echocardiography 2021 Apr 30. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Cardiology Department, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China.

Aneurysms of the sinus of Valsalva are rare, with dissecting aneurysms of the sinus of Valsalva that extend into the inter-ventricular septum being even more rare. This report describes a young patient with syphilis and a quadricuspid aortic valve who experienced a spontaneously dissecting aneurysm of the sinus of Valsalva and the basal inter-ventricular septum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/echo.15055DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical Characteristics of Patients With Dizziness/Vertigo Accompanied by Posterior Semicircular Canal Hypofunction.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 13;8:589969. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Neurology, Aerospace Center Hospital, Peking University Aerospace School of Clinical Medicine, Beijing, China.

To investigate the clinical characteristics of patients with dizziness/vertigo accompanied by loss of the posterior canal(s) (LPC). Clinical data of 23 patients with LPC were collected. We determined video-head-impulse test (vHIT) gains of all six semicircular canals and correlated vHIT findings with other vestibulo-cochlear tests, including caloric test, ocular and cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (oVEMP, cVEMP), pure tone audiometry (PTA), and analyzed the differences in clinical manifestations of patients with LPC with different etiologies. LPC was identified in 23 patients. At the time of disease onset, most patients presented with dizziness (47.8%) and vertigo (30.4%) only, and some patients (21.7%) complained of unsteadiness. Among these 23 patients with LPC, there were 14 (60.9%) patients of isolated LPC (ILPC), 21 (91.3%) patients of unilateral LPC (ULPC), and 2 (8.7%) patients of bilateral LPC (BLPC). (1) Among 14 patients with ILPC, 13 (92.9%) patients had unilateral ILPC, the rate of ipsilesional impairment on caloric test, or oVEMP/cVEMP test or PTA ipsilesionally was 53.8% (7/13) in patients with unilateral ILPC. The causes of unilateral ILPC were vertigo/dizziness of unclear origin (38.5%), labyrinthine infarction (15.4%), vestibular migraine (15.4%), and other diseases (30.8%); (2) among 21 patients with ULPC, 7 patients (33.3%) were accompanied with horizontal semicircular canal hypofunction ipsilesionally, the abnormal rate of caloric test, or oVEMP/cVEMP tests or PTA ipsilesionally was 57.1%. The causes of ULPC were vertigo/dizziness of unclear origin (33.3%), autoimmune inner ear disease (14.3%), labyrinthine infarction (14.3%), vestibular neuritis (9.5%), vestibular migraine (9.5%), and other diseases (19.0%); (3) among two patients with BLPC, one patient presented with unsteadiness, the causes of BLPC were vestibular paroxysmia and autoimmune inner ear disease. vHIT is a fast and effective method for assessing LPC, which can be used to detect isolated PC dysfunction. The causes of ILPC were peripheral origin or central origin. Patients with ILPC and ULPC mostly presented with dizziness/vertigo, and ULPC was often accompanied by ipsilateral vestibulo-cochlear impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.589969DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8076509PMC
April 2021

Machine Learning-Inspired Hybrid Precoding for mmWave MU-MIMO Systems with Domestic Switch Network.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 Apr 25;21(9). Epub 2021 Apr 25.

National Mobile Communications Research Laboratory, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China.

Hybrid precoding is an attractive technique in MU-MIMO systems with significantly reduced hardware costs. However, it still requires a complex analog network to connect the RF chains and antennas. In this paper, we develop a novel hybrid precoding structure for the downlink transmission with a compact RF structure. Specifically, the proposed structure relies on domestic connections instead of global connections to link RF chains and antennas. Fixed-degree phase shifters provide candidate signals, and simple on-off switches are used to route the signal to antennas, thus RF adders are no longer required. Baseband zero forcing and block diagonalization are used to cancel interference for single-antenna and multiple-antenna users, respectively. We formulate how to design the RF precoder by optimizing the probability distribution through cross-entropy minimization which originated in machine learning. To optimize the energy efficiency, we use the fractional programming technique and exploit the Dinkelbach method-based framework to optimize the number of active antennas. Simulation results show that proposed algorithms can yield significant advantages under different configurations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21093019DOI Listing
April 2021

Development of a High Internal Phase Emulsion of Antarctic Krill Oil Diluted by Soybean Oil Using Casein as a Co-Emulsifier.

Foods 2021 Apr 22;10(5). Epub 2021 Apr 22.

School of Food Science and Technology, Dalian Polytechnic University, Dalian 116034, China.

Antarctic krill oil (AKO) with 5-30% () dilution by soybean oil was co-emulsified by phospholipids (PLs) naturally present in AKO and 2% () casein in the aqueous phase to prepare high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs). The results showed that raising the AKO level resulted in concave-up changes in the mean size of oil droplets which became more densely packed. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and cryo-scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) micrographs revealed that PLs at higher concentrations expelled more casein particles from the oil droplet surface, which facilitated the formation of a crosslinked network structure of HIPEs, leading to reduced mobility of water molecules, extended physical stability, and somewhat solid-like behavior. The rheological analysis showed at lower levels of AKO promoted fluidity of emulsions, while at higher levels it increased elasticity. Lastly, increasing the AKO level slowed down the oxidation of HIPEs. These findings provide useful insights for developing HIPEs of highly viscous AKO and its application in foods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10050917DOI Listing
April 2021