Publications by authors named "Xiaoming Liu"

665 Publications

Tailings after Iron Extraction in Bayer Red Mud by Biomass Reduction: Pozzolanic Activity and Hydration Characteristics.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Jul 15;14(14). Epub 2021 Jul 15.

School of Metallurgical and Ecological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China.

Bayer red mud (BRM) is a kind of solid waste with high hematite content, and its effective utilization is difficult due to the special physicochemical properties. In this work, FeO in BRM was reduced to FeO by biomass, and iron concentrate and high activity tailings were obtained after magnetic separation. The pozzolanic activity and hydration characteristics of the tailings were systematically studied. The results showed that the relatively stable polymerization structures of Si-O and Al-O in BRM are destroyed under the effect of biomass reduction at 650 °C, and some fracture bonds and activation points are formed in the structures. The aluminosilicate phases in the BRM were easy to transform into the active substances of Si and Al. The pozzolanic activity of tailings is greatly improved, and its pozzolanic activity index is 91%. High polymerization degree of gel and ettringite are formed since more active substances and alkali in the tailings promote the hydration reaction of cement-based cementitious materials, which made cementitious materials have dense matrix, good mechanical properties, and environmental performance. This work has realized the full quantitative utilization of BRM and provided a feasible way for the resource utilization of BRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14143955DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8306629PMC
July 2021

RANBP2 Activates -GlcNAcylation through Inducing CEBPα-Dependent OGA Downregulation to Promote Hepatocellular Carcinoma Malignant Phenotypes.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jul 12;13(14). Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Department of Oncology, Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410013, China.

-GlcNAcylation is an important post-translational modification (PTM) jointly controlled by -GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and -GlcNAcase (OGA). Aberrant hyper--GlcNAcylation is reported to yield hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) malignancy, but the underlying mechanisms of the OGT/OGA imbalance responsible for HCC tumorigenesis remain largely unknown. Here, we report that RAN-binding protein 2 (RANBP2), one of the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) E3 ligases, contributed to malignant phenotypes in HCC. RANBP2 was found to facilitate CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (CEBPα) SUMOylation and degradation by direct interplay with CEBPα. As a transcriptional factor, CEBPα was verified to augment OGA transcription, and further experiments demonstrated that RANBP2 enhanced the -GlcNAc level by downregulating OGA transcription while not affecting OGT expression. Importantly, we provided in vitro and in vivo evidence of HCC malignant phenotypes that RANBP2 triggered through an imbalance of OGT/OGA and subsequent higher -GlcNAcylation events for oncogenic proteins such as peroxisome proliferative-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC1α) in a CEBPα-dependent manner. Altogether, our results show a novel molecular mechanism whereby RANBP2 regulates its function through CEBPα-dependent OGA downregulation to induce a global change in the hyper--GlcNAcylation of genes, such as PGC1α, encouraging the further study of promising implications for HCC therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13143475DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8304650PMC
July 2021

Bio-assembling and Bioprinting for Engineering Microvessels from the Bottom Up.

Int J Bioprint 2021 11;7(3):366. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Key Laboratory of Biomimetic Robots and Systems, Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Control and Decision of Complex System, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Intelligent Robots and Systems, and School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.

Blood vessels are essential in transporting nutrients, oxygen, metabolic wastes, and maintaining the homeostasis of the whole human body. Mass of engineered microvessels is required to deliver nutrients to the cells included in the constructed large three-dimensional (3D) functional tissues by diffusion. It is a formidable challenge to regenerate microvessels and build a microvascular network, mimicking the cellular viabilities and activities in the engineered organs with traditional or existing manufacturing techniques. Modular tissue engineering adopting the "bottom-up" approach builds one-dimensional (1D) or two-dimensional (2D) modular tissues in micro scale first and then uses these modules as building blocks to generate large tissues and organs with complex but indispensable microstructural features. Building the microvascular network utilizing this approach could be appropriate and adequate. In this review, we introduced existing methods using the "bottom-up" concept developed to fabricate microvessels including bio-assembling powered by different micromanipulation techniques and bioprinting utilizing varied solidification mechanisms. We compared and discussed the features of the artificial microvessels engineered by these two strategies from multiple aspects. Regarding the future development of engineering the microvessels from the bottom up, potential directions were also concluded.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/ijb.v7i3.366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8287491PMC
June 2021

Diagnosis and follow-up MRI evaluation of tennis leg:New understanding of the pathogenesis and imaging.

Injury 2021 Jul 4. Epub 2021 Jul 4.

Department of Orthopaedics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong, China. Electronic address:

Objectives: To evaluate the Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of patients with a clinical diagnosis of tennis leg and to explore the pathogenesis of tennis leg.

Methods: A retrospective review of 58 (45 men, 13 women; age range, 7-81 years; mean age, 46.7 years) patients with a clinical diagnosis of tennis leg at our hospital during a 64-month period (May 2014 through Sep 2019) was conducted. All patients underwent MRI scan. Follow-up MRI was performed on 4 patients. Images findings, including integrity of the myotendinous junction and tendon of the gastrocnemius and soleus, and presence of fluid collection were analyzed.

Results: MRI revealed fluid collection between the medial head of the gastrocnemius and soleus in 44 cases (72.1%). In 25 cases (41.0%), the collected fluid spread to around the medial border of fascia cruris. Fifty-five cases (90.2%) had edema or disruption of the gastrocnemius, with most cases (n = 55) showing edema or disruption of the medial head of the gastrocnemius at the myotendinous junction. Twenty-two (36.1%) cases had edema or disruption of the soleus, with most cases (n = 17) showing edema or disruption of the soleus at the myotendinous junction. Plantaris tendon disruption was observed in 7 cases (11.5%). A thick area of reparative tissue at the distal myotendinous junction of the medial head of the gastrocnemius was observed in all 4 MRI patients followed up.

Conclusion: Abnormalities of the medial head of the gastrocnemius at the myotendinous junction and tendon appear to be more common than those of the plantaris tendon. Reparative tissue at the distal myotendinous junction of the medial head of the gastrocnemius may be an important specific indication of chronic tennis leg injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2021.06.035DOI Listing
July 2021

Coordinated transcriptomics and peptidomics of central nervous system identify neuropeptides and their G protein-coupled receptors in the oriental fruit moth Grapholita molesta.

Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics 2021 Jul 10;40:100882. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Department of Entomology and MOA Key Lab of Pest Monitoring and Green Management, College of Plant Protection, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China. Electronic address:

The oriental fruit moth Grapholita molesta is a cosmopolitan pest of orchard, which causes serious economic losses to the fruit production. Neuropeptides and their specific receptors (primarily G protein-coupled receptors, GPCRs) regulate multiple biological functions in insects and represent promising next-generation pest management strategy. Here, we generated a transcriptome of the central nervous system (CNS) of G. molesta. Overall, 57 neuropeptide precursor genes were identified and 128 various mature peptides were predicted from these precursors. Using peptidomic analysis of CNS of G. molesta, we identified total of 28 mature peptides and precursor-related peptides from 16 precursors. A total of 41 neuropeptide GPCR genes belonging to three classes were also identified. These GPCRs and their probable ligands were predicted. Additionally, expression patterns of these 98 genes in various larval tissues were evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR. Taken together, these results will benefit further investigations to determine physiological functions and pharmacological characterization of neuropeptides and their GPCRs in G. molesta; and to develop specific neuropeptide-based agents for this tortricid fruit pest control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbd.2021.100882DOI Listing
July 2021

One high-nuclearity Eu nanoring with rapid ratiometric fluorescence response to dipicolinic acid (an anthrax biomarker).

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jul 5;57(59):7316-7319. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

College of Chemistry and Materials Engineering, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou 325035, China.

One 18-metal Eu(iii) nanoring (size: 1.0 × 2.7 × 2.7 nm) was constructed as a rapid ratiometric fluorescent probe for the detection of dipicolinic acid with high sensitivity and selectivity, by using two types of polydentate organic ligands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cc01706cDOI Listing
July 2021

Relationship between Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha and Neuropeptide Y Expression and Neurological Function Score in Epileptic Children.

Iran J Public Health 2021 May;50(5):1056-1064

Department of Neurology (II), Xuzhou Children's Hospital, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, 221006, P.R.China.

Background: To observe the relationship between Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) and Neuropeptide Y (NPY) expression and neurological function score in epileptic children.

Methods: Fifty-four epileptic children diagnosed and treated in Xuzhou Children's Hospital, China from Feb 2017 to Mar 2018 were collected and included in a research group (RG), while 30 healthy children who underwent physical examination at the same time were included in the control group (CG). ELISA was used to detect the expression of TNF-α and NPY in the serum of children in the two groups, and those before treatment were compared. The National Institute of Health stroke scale (NIHSS) and Hamilton Anxiety (HAMA) scores before and after treatment were observed, and Pearson correlation was used to analyze the relationship between the expression levels of TNF-α and NPY in the serum as well as NIHSS and HAMA scores.

Results: The expression levels of TNF-α and NPY in the serum of children in the RG were significantly higher than those in the CG (<0.001). The expression level of TNF-α was positively correlated with the NIHSS and HAMA scores (r=0.748, <0.001) (r=0.772, <0.001). The expression level of NPY was positively correlated with the NIHSS and HAMA scores (r=0.768, <0.001) (r=0.643, <0.001).

Conclusion: TNF-α and NPY are highly expressed in epileptic children and are positively correlated with neurological function score.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v50i5.6123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223571PMC
May 2021

Automated Cell Mechanical Characterization by On-Chip Sequential Squeezing: From Static to Dynamic.

Langmuir 2021 07 25;37(27):8083-8094. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Key Laboratory of Biomimetic Robots and Systems, Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Control and Decision of Complex System, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Intelligent Robots and Systems, and School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.

The mechanical properties of cells are harmless biomarkers for cell identification and disease diagnosis. Although many systems have been developed to evaluate the static mechanical properties of cells for biomedical research, their robustness, effectiveness, and cost do not meet clinical requirements or the experiments with a large number of cell samples. In this paper, we propose an approach for on-chip cell mechanical characterization by analyzing the dynamic behavior of cells as they pass through multiple constrictions. The proposed serpentine microfluidic channel consisted of 20 constrictions connected in series and divided into five rows for tracking cell dynamic behavior. Assisted by computer vision, the squeezing time of each cell through five rows of constrictions was automatically collected and filtered to evaluate the cell's mechanical deformability. We observed a decreasing passage time and increasing dynamic deformability of the cells as they passed through the multiple constrictions. The deformability increase rate of the HeLa cells was eight times greater than that of MEF cells. Moreover, the weak correlation between the deformability increase rate and the cell size indicated that cell recognition based on measuring the deformability increase rate could hardly be affected by the cell size variation. These findings showed that the deformability increase rate of the cell under on-chip sequential squeezing as a new index has great potential in cancer cell recognition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c00441DOI Listing
July 2021

Fe-doped chrysotile nanotubes containing siRNAs to silence SPAG5 to treat bladder cancer.

J Nanobiotechnology 2021 Jun 23;19(1):189. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Oncology, The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, No.138, Tongzipo Road, Changsha, 410013, Hunan, China.

Background: For certain human cancers, sperm associated antigen 5 (SPAG5) exerts important functions for their development and progression. However, whether RNA interference (RNAi) targeting SPAG5 has antitumor effects has not been determined clinically.

Results: The results indicated that Fe-doped chrysotile nanotubes (FeSiNTs) with a relatively uniform outer diameter (15-25 nm) and inner diameter (7-8 nm), and a length of several hundred nanometers, which delivered an siRNA against the SPAG5 oncogene (siSPAG5) efficiently. The nanomaterials were designed to prolong the half-life of siSPAG5 in blood, increase tumor cell-specific uptake, and maximize the efficiency of SPAG5 silencing. In vitro, FeSiNTs carrying siSPAG5 inhibited the growth, migration, and invasion of bladder cancer cells. In vivo, the FeSiNTs inhibited growth and metastasis in three models of bladder tumors (a tail vein injection lung metastatic model, an in-situ bladder cancer model, and a subcutaneous model) with no obvious toxicities. Mechanistically, we showed that FeSiNTs/siSPAG5 repressed PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling, which suppressed the growth and progression of tumor cells.

Conclusions: The results highlight that FeSiNTs/siSPAG5 caused no activation of the innate immune response nor any systemic toxicity, indicating the possible therapeutic utility of FeSiNTs/siSPAG5 to deliver siSPAG5 to treat bladder cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12951-021-00935-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8220725PMC
June 2021

MDC-net: A new convolutional neural network for nucleus segmentation in histopathology images with distance maps and contour information.

Comput Biol Med 2021 Jun 10;135:104543. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Applied Computing, College of Computing, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, 49931, USA; Center for Biocomputing and Digital Heath, Institute of Computing and Cybersystems, & Health Research Institute, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, 49931, USA. Electronic address:

Accurate segmentation of nuclei in digital pathology images can assist doctors in diagnosing diseases and evaluating subsequent treatments. Manual segmentation of nuclei from pathology images is time-consuming because of the large number of nuclei and is also error-prone. Therefore, accurate and automatic nucleus segmentation methods are required. Owing to the large variations in the characterization of nuclei, it is difficult to accurately segment nuclei using traditional methods. In this study, we propose a new method for nucleus segmentation. The proposed method uses a deep fully convolutional neural network to perform end-to-end segmentation on pathological tissue slices. Multiple short residual connections were used to fuse feature maps from different scales to better utilize the context information. Dilated convolutions with different dilation ratios were used to increase the receptive fields. In addition, we incorporated the distance map and contour information into the segmentation method to segment touching nuclei, which is difficult via traditional segmentation methods. Finally, post-processing was used to improve the segmentation results. The results demonstrate that our segmentation method can obtain comparable or better performance than other state-of-the-art methods on the public nuclei histopathology datasets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2021.104543DOI Listing
June 2021

CRKL is a critical target of Hh-GLI2 pathway in lung adenocarcinoma.

J Cell Mol Med 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China.

Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is one of the important components of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and leads to many deaths every year. During the initiation and progression of the LUAD, the Hh-GLI2 pathway plays critical roles. Several components of this pathway have been shown to be amplified or overexpressed in LUAD, providing this pathway as an attractive target for therapeutics. However, a gap in our understanding of the Hh-GLI2 pathway is the identity of transcriptional targets of GLI2 that drive LUAD tumorigenesis. Here, we show that the oncogene CRKL is a direct target of GLI2. GLI2 turns on CRKL transcription through binding its second intron. Furthermore, CRKL is an essential mediator for GLI2-driven proliferation and migration of LUAD cells. Depletion of CRKL blunts Hh-GLI2 pathway-mediated cell proliferation and invasion. Lastly, we find that CRKL knockout cells are more sensitive to EGFR-TKI and chemotherapeutics. Taken together, our work here identifies a specific target for Hh-related malignancies and provides CRKL as a promising therapeutic target for LUAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.16592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8256351PMC
June 2021

Study of Microwave-Induced Ag Nanowire Welding for Soft Electrode Conductivity Enhancement.

Micromachines (Basel) 2021 May 27;12(6). Epub 2021 May 27.

State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, School of Electronics and Information Technology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China.

Silver nanowire (AgNW)-coated thin films are widely proposed for soft electronics application due to their good conductivity, transparency and flexibility. Here, we studied the microwave welding of AgNW-based soft electrodes for conductivity enhancement. The thermal effect of the microwave to AgNWs was analyzed by dispersing the nanowires in a nonpolar solution, the temperature of which was found to be proportional with the nanowire diameters. AgNWs were then coated on a thin film and welded under microwave heating, which achieved a film conductivity enhancement of as much as 79%. A microwave overheating of AgNWs, however, fused and broke the nanowires, which increased the film resistance significantly. A soft electrode was finally demonstrated using the microwave-welded AgNW thin film, and a 1.13 µA/mM sensitivity was obtained for glucose sensing. Above all, we analyzed the microwave thermal effect on AgNWs to provide a guidance to control the nanowire welding effect, which can be used for film conductivity enhancement and applied for soft and bio-compatible electrodes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi12060618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8229123PMC
May 2021

Local electronic structure variation resulting in Li 'filament' formation within solid electrolytes.

Nat Mater 2021 May 31. Epub 2021 May 31.

Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA.

Solid electrolytes hold great promise for enabling the use of Li metal anodes. The main problem is that during cycling, Li can infiltrate along grain boundaries and cause short circuits, resulting in potentially catastrophic battery failure. At present, this phenomenon is not well understood. Here, through electron microscopy measurements on a representative system, LiLaZrO, we discover that Li infiltration in solid oxide electrolytes is strongly associated with local electronic band structure. About half of the LiLaZrO grain boundaries were found to have a reduced bandgap, around 1-3 eV, making them potential channels for leakage current. Instead of combining with electrons at the cathode, Li ions are hence prematurely reduced by electrons at grain boundaries, forming local Li filaments. The eventual interconnection of these filaments results in a short circuit. Our discovery reveals that the grain-boundary electronic conductivity must be a primary concern for optimization in future solid-state battery design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41563-021-01019-xDOI Listing
May 2021

Loss-of-function mutations in the melanocortin 4 receptor in a UK birth cohort.

Nat Med 2021 Jun 27;27(6):1088-1096. Epub 2021 May 27.

Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Mutations in the melanocortin 4 receptor gene (MC4R) are associated with obesity but little is known about the prevalence and impact of such mutations throughout human growth and development. We examined the MC4R coding sequence in 5,724 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, functionally characterized all nonsynonymous MC4R variants and examined their association with anthropometric phenotypes from childhood to early adulthood. The frequency of heterozygous loss-of-function (LoF) mutations in MC4R was ~1 in 337 (0.30%), considerably higher than previous estimates. At age 18 years, mean differences in body weight, body mass index and fat mass between carriers and noncarriers of LoF mutations were 17.76 kg (95% CI 9.41, 26.10), 4.84 kg m (95% CI 2.19, 7.49) and 14.78 kg (95% CI 8.56, 20.99), respectively. MC4R LoF mutations may be more common than previously reported and carriers of such variants may enter adult life with a substantial burden of excess adiposity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01349-yDOI Listing
June 2021

Corrigendum: Interactive Brain Activity: Review and Progress on EEG-Based Hyperscanning in Social Interactions.

Front Psychol 2021 7;12:681900. Epub 2021 May 7.

School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01862.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.681900DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8138575PMC
May 2021

Life cycle assessment of deploying sludge minimization with (sulfidogenic-)oxic-settling-anaerobic configurations in sewage-sludge management systems.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Sep 12;335:125266. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Control & Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution (Hong Kong Branch) and Water Technology Center, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China; Shenzhen Research Institute, Fok Ying Tung Graduate School, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Guang Dong, China. Electronic address:

This study conducted life-cycle evaluation (on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy consumption and economic performance) and sensitivity analysis in nine scenarios considering the deployment of conventional anoxic/oxic (AO) and/or sludge-minimizing (OSA, SOSA) bioprocess for sewage treatment linking with subsequent sludge handling. The analysis results demonstrated that compared with conventional AO-based scenarios, OSA- and SOSA-based scenarios reduced 23-28% GHG emissions (GHGs) and 18-24% cost, despite no significant electricity consumption reduction. The scenario analysis indicates renewable energy and improving energy consumption efficiency benefit the application of OSA and SOSA. The perturbation analysis revealed that the influential factors related to energy consumption were sensitive to GHGs, energy consumption and economic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.125266DOI Listing
September 2021

Actein antagonizes colorectal cancer through blocking PI3K/Akt pathways by downregulating IMPDH2.

Anticancer Drugs 2021 Apr 23. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Anorectal Department, Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine College of Health, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Preventive Medicine Department, Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, Shandong, China.

Background: Actein, a triterpene glycoside, isolated from rhizomes of Cimicifuga foetida, was reported to exhibit anticancer effects in vitro and in vivo. However, the effects of actein on colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear. As one of the most popular cancers all over the world, CRC ranked third place in both men and women. Recently, we investigated the potential anti-CRC effects of actein and its mechanisms.

Methods: The Cell counting kit-8 cell proliferation assays, cell cycle detection, apoptosis detection, reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial membrane potential evaluation, western blot, as well as SW480 xenograft mice model were conducted to illustrate the mechanisms of action on anti-CRC effects of actein.

Results: Actein could significantly inhibit the human CRC cell lines SW480 and HT-29 proliferation, whereas less antiproliferation effects were found in normal colorectal cell lines HCoEpiC and FHC. Administration of actein resulted in G1 phase cell cycle arrest in both SW480 and HT-29 cells. Moreover, mitochondria-mediated apoptosis was also observed after treatment with actein in SW480 and HT-29 cell lines. Further investigation of mechanisms of action on actein-mediated anti-CRC proliferation effects indicated that the phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K)/Akt pathways were involved. Actein significantly downregulated the phosphorylation of key molecules in PI3K/Akt pathways, including mTOR, glycogen synthesis kinase 3β (GSK-3β), as well as FOXO1. In addition, inosine 5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase type II (IMPDH2) was also observed decreasing in both SW480 and HT-29 cell lines after actein treatment, suggesting that actein may inhibit the PI3K/Akt pathways by decreasing IMPDH2. Finally, our SW480 xenograft model verified the anti-CRC effects and the safety of actein in vivo.

Summary: Our findings suggest actein is worthy of further investigation as a novel drug candidate for the treatment of CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CAD.0000000000001080DOI Listing
April 2021

Magnetic Driven Two-Finger Micro-Hand with Soft Magnetic End-Effector for Force-Controlled Stable Manipulation in Microscale.

Micromachines (Basel) 2021 Apr 7;12(4). Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Beijing Institute of Technology, School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing 100081, China.

In recent years, micromanipulators have provided the ability to interact with micro-objects in industrial and biomedical fields. However, traditional manipulators still encounter challenges in gaining the force feedback at the micro-scale. In this paper, we present a micronewton force-controlled two-finger microhand with a soft magnetic end-effector for stable grasping. In this system, a homemade electromagnet was used as the driving device to execute micro-objects manipulation. There were two soft end-effectors with diameters of 300 μm. One was a fixed end-effector that was only made of hydrogel, and the other one was a magnetic end-effector that contained a uniform mixture of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and paramagnetic particles. The magnetic force on the soft magnetic end-effector was calibrated using an atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe. The performance tests demonstrated that the magnetically driven soft microhand had a grasping range of 0-260 μm, which allowed a clamping force with a resolution of 0.48 μN. The stable grasping capability of the magnetically driven soft microhand was validated by grasping different sized microbeads, transport under different velocities, and assembly of microbeads. The proposed system enables force-controlled manipulation, and we believe it has great potential in biological and industrial micromanipulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi12040410DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067839PMC
April 2021

Protein-derived structures determines the redox capacity of humic acids formed during hyperthermophilic composting.

Waste Manag 2021 May 23;126:810-820. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

National-Regional Joint Engineering Research Center for Soil Pollution Control and Remediation in South China, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Integrated Agro-environmental Pollution Control and Management, Institute of Eco-environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China; Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Environmental Health and Regulation, College of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China.

Humic acid (HA) in compost has received widespread attention for its high redox activity, which can mediate the degradation of organic pollution and the passivation of heavy metals in the environment. Hyperthermophilic composting (HTC) can accelerate HA formation. However, few studies have examined whether and how the structures of different organics affect the formation of the HA and HA redox structure at the molecular level in HTC. Detailed molecular information and the redox capacity (electron transfer capacity, ETC) of HA in HTC and thermophilic composting (TC) were characterized using pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and the electrochemical method, respectively. HTC promoted the formation of redox structure, leading to the improvement of the ETC of HA. Aromatics and N-containing compounds were mainly derived from protein components, and the rate at which they were transferred into HA was accelerated in HTC, while the relative abundance of lipids decreased. Partial least squares regression and correlation analysis demonstrated that protein-derived compounds were the key factor determining the HA redox capacity. Finally, partial least squares path modeling suggested that the influence mechanism of protein-derived structures on HA redox capacity might differ in HTC and TC. HTC may promote the relative abundance of N-containing components into the C-skeleton and accelerate the accumulation of the aromatic products, thereby improve the HA redox capacity. These findings provided new insight into how the redox capacity of the HA in compost could be improved and how compost products could be prepared for use in environmental remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2021.04.016DOI Listing
May 2021

Hyperthermophilic composting significantly decreases methane emissions: Insights into the microbial mechanism.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Aug 18;784:147179. Epub 2021 Apr 18.

Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Environmental Health and Regulation, College of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China; National-Regional Joint Engineering Research Center for Soil Pollution Control and Remediation in South China, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Integrated Agro-environmental Pollution Control and Management, Institute of Eco-environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China.

Methane (CH) emissions from thermophilic composting (TC) are a substantial contributor to climate change. Hyperthermophilic composting (HTC) can influence CH-related microbial communities at temperatures up to 80 °C, and thus impact the CH emissions during composting. This work investigated CH emissions in sludge-derived HTC, and explored microbial community succession with quantitative PCR and high-throughput sequencing. Results demonstrated that HTC decreased CH emissions by 52.5% compared with TC. In HTC, the CH production potential and CH oxidation potential were nearly 40% and 64.1% lower than that of TC, respectively. There was a reduction in the quantity of mcrA (3.7 × 10 to 0 g TS) in HTC, which was more significant than the reduction in pmoA (2.0 × 10 to 2.1 × 10 g TS), and thus lead to reduce CH emissions. It was found that the abundance of most methanogens and methanotrophs was inhibited in the hyperthermal environment, with a decline in Methanosarcina, Methanosaeta and Methanobrevibacter potentially being responsible for reducing the CH emissions in HTC. This work provides important insight into mitigating CH emissions in composting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147179DOI Listing
August 2021

Enhancement degree of brain metastases: correlation analysis between enhanced T2 FLAIR and vascular permeability parameters of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI.

Eur Radiol 2021 Aug 13;31(8):5595-5604. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Radiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Objectives: To investigate the correlation between enhancement degrees of brain metastases on contrast-enhanced T2-fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (CE-T2 FLAIR) and vascular permeability parameters of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI).

Methods: Thirty-nine patients with brain metastases were prospectively collected. They underwent non-enhanced T2 FLAIR, DCE-MRI, CE-T2 FLAIR, and contrast-enhanced three-dimensional brain volume imaging (CE-BRAVO). Quantitative parameters of DCE-MRI were evaluated for all lesions, which included volume transfer constant (K), rate constant (K), and fractional volume of the extracellular extravascular space (V). Contrast ratio (CR) and percentage increase (PI) values of all lesions on CE-T2 FLAIR were also measured. The tumor enhancement degree on CE-T2 FLAIR in relation to CE-BRAVO was visually classified as higher (group A), equal (group B), and lower (group C).

Results: A total of 82 brain metastases were evaluated, including 31 in group A, 19 in group B, and 32 in group C. The K and K were negatively correlated with the CR (ρ = - 0.551, p < 0.001 and ρ = - 0.708, p < 0.001, respectively) and PI (ρ = - 0.511, p < 0.001 and ρ = - 0.621, p < 0.001, respectively). The K and K of group A were significantly lower than those of group C (both p < 0.001). No significant difference was found in V among the groups (p = 0.327).

Conclusions: The enhancement degree of brain metastases on CE-T2 FLAIR is negatively correlated with K and K values, which indicate that vascular permeability parameters may play an important role in explaining the difference in enhancement between CE-T2 FLAIR and CE-BRAVO.

Key Points: • The enhancement degree on CE-T2 FLAIR was negatively correlated with K and K values. • The vascular permeability of brain metastasis accounted for the difference in enhancement degree between CE-T2 FLAIR and CE-BRAVO. • CE-T2 FLAIR is useful for detecting brain metastases with mild disruption of the blood-brain barrier.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-020-07625-8DOI Listing
August 2021

NOX4-Derived ROS Promotes Collagen I Deposition in Bronchial Smooth Muscle Cells by Activating Noncanonical p38MAPK/Akt-Mediated TGF- Signaling.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2021 19;2021:6668971. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750004, China.

Background: Airway smooth muscle (ASM) remodeling is a hallmark in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). NADPH oxidase 4- (NOX4-) mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production plays a crucial role in cell differentiation and extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis in ASM remodeling. However, the precise mechanisms underpinning its pathogenic roles remain elusive.

Methods: The expression of NOX4 and TGF- in the airway of the lung was measured in COPD patients and the control group. Cigarette smoke- (CS-) induced emphysema mice were generated, and the alteration of -SMA, NOX4, TGF- , and collagen I was accessed. The changes of the expression of ECM markers, NOX4, components of TGF-/Smad, and MAPK/Akt signaling in human bronchial smooth muscle cells (HBSMCs) were ascertained for delineating mechanisms of NOX4-mediated ROS production on cell differentiation and remodeling in human ASM cells.

Results: An increased abundance of NOX4 and TGF- proteins in the epithelial cells and ASM of lung was observed in COPD patients compared with the control group. Additionally, an increased abundance expression of NOX4 and -SMA was observed in the lungs of the CS-induced emphysema mouse model. TGF- displayed abilities to increase the oxidative burden and collagen I production, along with enhanced phosphorylation of ERK, p38MAPK, and p-Akt473 in HBSMCs. These effects of TGF- could be inhibited by the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine (NAC), siRNA-mediated knockdown of Smad3 and NOX4, and pharmacological inhibitors SB203580 (p38MAPK inhibitor) and LY294002 (Akt inhibitor).

Conclusions: NOX4-mediated ROS production alters TGF- -induced cell differentiation and collagen I protein synthesis in HBSMCs in part through the p38MAPK/Akt signaling pathway in a Smad-dependent manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6668971DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007363PMC
May 2021

Erratum to "Epithelial Cells Attenuate Toll-Like Receptor-Mediated Inflammatory Responses in Monocyte-Derived Macrophage-Like Cells to by Modulating the PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling Pathway".

Mediators Inflamm 2021 13;2021:3710790. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Conservation and Utilization of Special Biological Resources in Western China, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1155/2018/3685948.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/3710790DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987449PMC
March 2021

What Is New in the Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Dairy Products as Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods?

Biomed Res Int 2021 22;2021:8823222. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Dermatology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China 518055.

Nutraceuticals have taken on considerable significance due to their supposed safety and possible nutritional and medicinal effects. Pharmaceutical and dietary companies are conscious of monetary success, which benefits healthier consumers and the altering trends that result in these heart-oriented value-added products being proliferated. Numerous nutraceuticals are claimed to have multiple therapeutic benefits despite advantages, and unwanted effects encompass a lack of substantial evidence. Several common nutraceuticals involve glucosamine, omega-3, Echinacea, cod liver oil, folic acid, ginseng, orange juice supplemented with calcium, and green tea. This review is dedicated to improving the understanding of nutrients based on specific illness indications. It was reported that functional foods contain physiologically active components that confer various health benefits. Studies have shown that some foods and dietary patterns play a major role in the primary prevention of many ailment conditions that lead to putative functional foods being identified. Research and studies are needed to support the possible health benefits of different functional foods that have not yet been clinically validated for the relationships between diet and health. The term "functional foods" may additionally involve health/functional health foods, foods enriched with vitamins/minerals, nutritional improvements, or even conventional medicines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8823222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925044PMC
May 2021

A Wearable Navigation Device for Visually Impaired People Based on the Real-Time Semantic Visual SLAM System.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 Feb 23;21(4). Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Key Laboratory of Biomimetic Robots and Systems, Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Control and Decision of Complex System, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Intelligent Robots and Systems, and School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.

Wearable auxiliary devices for visually impaired people are highly attractive research topics. Although many proposed wearable navigation devices can assist visually impaired people in obstacle avoidance and navigation, these devices cannot feedback detailed information about the obstacles or help the visually impaired understand the environment. In this paper, we proposed a wearable navigation device for the visually impaired by integrating the semantic visual SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) and the newly launched powerful mobile computing platform. This system uses an Image-Depth (RGB-D) camera based on structured light as the sensor, as the control center. We also focused on the technology that combines SLAM technology with the extraction of semantic information from the environment. It ensures that the computing platform understands the surrounding environment in real-time and can feed it back to the visually impaired in the form of voice broadcast. Finally, we tested the performance of the proposed semantic visual SLAM system on this device. The results indicate that the system can run in real-time on a wearable navigation device with sufficient accuracy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21041536DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7926395PMC
February 2021

Early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia and other subtypes: a retrospective case report from a single pediatric center in China.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 2;147(9):2775-2788. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, National Clinical Research Center for Blood Diseases, Division of Pediatric Blood Diseases Center, Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, 288 Nanjing Road, Tianjin, 300020, China.

Purpose: Early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL) is rare in China and case reports are varied. We conducted an in-depth analysis of newly diagnosed children with T-ALL from January 1999 to April 2015 in our center, to show the biological differences between Chinese ETP-ALL children and other immune types of T-ALL.

Methods: The newly diagnosed children with T-ALL were divided into four groups according to their immunophenotype: ETP-ALL, early non-ETP-ALL, cortical T-ALL and medullary T-ALL. Disease-free survival (DFS), event-free survival (EFS), and overall survival (OS) rates were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. The Cox regression model was used for multivariate analysis.

Results: A total of 117 newly diagnosed children with T-ALL were enrolled in this study. The 10-year EFS and OS rates for all patients were 59.0 ± 4.7% and 61.0 ± 4.7%, respectively, with a median follow-up of 64 (5-167) months. Univariate analysis showed that ETP-ALL patients had the lowest 10-year DFS rate of 32.1 ± 11.7%, while cortical T-ALL had the highest DFS rate of 81.3 ± 8.5% compared with early non-ETP-ALL (61.6 ± 7.0%) and medullary T-ALL (59.1 ± 10.6%). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that only ETP-ALL and involvement of the central nervous system were independent prognostic factors.

Conclusion: Compared with other subtypes, pediatric ETP-ALL had a poor treatment response and high recurrence rate while cortical T-ALL appeared to have much better outcome. Our observations highlight the need for an individualized treatment regime for ETP-ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-021-03551-4DOI Listing
September 2021

Fabrication of a near-infrared excitation surface molecular imprinting ratiometric fluorescent probe for sensitive and rapid detecting perfluorooctane sulfonate in complex matrix.

J Hazard Mater 2021 07 10;413:125353. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Key Laboratory of Jiangxi Province for Persistent Pollutants Control and Resources Recycle, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Nanchang HangKong University, Nanchang 330063, China.

Construction of fluorescent probe for highly sensitive and selective detection of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in water and biological samples is a very important strategy in related pollutant monitoring and environmental health risk appraisal. To overcome the drawback of low sensitivity caused by high-back ground signal of the conventional sensor, a molecularly imprinted near-infrared excitation ratiometric fluorescent probe was constructed and employed to determine PFOS. The sensing process was achieved through the selectively recognition of specific cavities in the probe surface with analyte, accompanied by fluorescence quenching due to the photoinduced electron transfer effect between upconversion materials and PFOS. Under optimized experimental conditions, the fluorescence quenching efficiency of the probe has good linearity against the concentrations of PFOS response divided into two segments within linear ranges of 0.001-0.1 nmol/L and 0.1-1 nmol/L, respectively, with low detection limit of 1 pmol/L. Selective experiment results indicate that the C-F chain length plays a dominant role in molecular recognition and high sensitively detection. The fabricated probe shows well detection performance in a wide pH range. Furthermore, real samples analyses indicate that such an efficient fluorescent probe has potentials in PFOS determination in surface water, human serum and egg extract sample analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125353DOI Listing
July 2021

Personalized genealogical history of UK individuals inferred from biobank-scale IBD segments.

BMC Biol 2021 02 16;19(1):32. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

School of Biomedical Informatics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: The genealogical histories of individuals within populations are of interest to studies aiming both to uncover detailed pedigree information and overall quantitative population demographic histories. However, the analysis of quantitative details of individual genealogical histories has faced challenges from incomplete available pedigree records and an absence of objective and quantitative details in pedigree information. Although complete pedigree information for most individuals is difficult to track beyond a few generations, it is possible to describe a person's genealogical history using their genetic relatives revealed by identity by descent (IBD) segments-long genomic segments shared by two individuals within a population, which are identical due to inheritance from common ancestors. When modern biobanks collect genotype information for a significant fraction of a population, dense genetic connections of a person can be traced using such IBD segments, offering opportunities to characterize individuals in the context of the underlying populations. Here, we conducted an individual-centric analysis of IBD segments among the UK Biobank participants that represent 0.7% of the UK population.

Results: We made a high-quality call set of IBD segments over 5 cM among all 500,000 UK Biobank participants. On average, one UK individual shares IBD segments with 14,000 UK Biobank participants, which we refer to as "relatives." Using these segments, approximately 80% of a person's genome can be imputed. We subsequently propose genealogical descriptors based on the genetic connections of relative cohorts of individuals sharing at least one IBD segment and show that such descriptors offer important information about one's genetic makeup, personal genealogical history, and social behavior. Through analysis of relative counts sharing segments at different lengths, we identified a group, potentially British Jews, who has a distinct pattern of familial expansion history. Finally, using the enrichment of relatives in one's neighborhood, we identified regional variations of personal preference favoring living closer to one's extended families.

Conclusions: Our analysis revealed genetic makeup, personal genealogical history, and social behaviors at the population scale, opening possibilities for further studies of individual's genetic connections in biobank data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12915-021-00964-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7888130PMC
February 2021

Sequencing of 53,831 diverse genomes from the NHLBI TOPMed Program.

Nature 2021 02 10;590(7845):290-299. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme seeks to elucidate the genetic architecture and biology of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. The initial phases of the programme focused on whole-genome sequencing of individuals with rich phenotypic data and diverse backgrounds. Here we describe the TOPMed goals and design as well as the available resources and early insights obtained from the sequence data. The resources include a variant browser, a genotype imputation server, and genomic and phenotypic data that are available through dbGaP (Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes). In the first 53,831 TOPMed samples, we detected more than 400 million single-nucleotide and insertion or deletion variants after alignment with the reference genome. Additional previously undescribed variants were detected through assembly of unmapped reads and customized analysis in highly variable loci. Among the more than 400 million detected variants, 97% have frequencies of less than 1% and 46% are singletons that are present in only one individual (53% among unrelated individuals). These rare variants provide insights into mutational processes and recent human evolutionary history. The extensive catalogue of genetic variation in TOPMed studies provides unique opportunities for exploring the contributions of rare and noncoding sequence variants to phenotypic variation. Furthermore, combining TOPMed haplotypes with modern imputation methods improves the power and reach of genome-wide association studies to include variants down to a frequency of approximately 0.01%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03205-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875770PMC
February 2021

Bubbles in microfluidics: an all-purpose tool for micromanipulation.

Lab Chip 2021 03 4;21(6):1016-1035. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Key Laboratory of Biomimetic Robots and Systems, Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Control and Decision of Complex System, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Intelligent Robots and Systems, School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.

In recent decades, the integration of microfluidic devices and multiple actuation technologies at the microscale has greatly contributed to the progress of related fields. In particular, microbubbles are playing an increasingly important role in microfluidics because of their unique characteristics that lead to specific responses to different energy sources and gas-liquid interactions. Many effective and functional bubble-based micromanipulation strategies have been developed and improved, enabling various non-invasive, selective, and precise operations at the microscale. This review begins with a brief introduction of the morphological characteristics and formation of microbubbles. The theoretical foundations and working mechanisms of typical micromanipulations based on acoustic, thermodynamic, and chemical microbubbles in fluids are described. We critically review the extensive applications and the frontline advances of bubbles in microfluidics, including microflow patterns, position and orientation control, biomedical applications, and development of bubble-based microrobots. We lastly present an outlook to provide directions for the design and application of microbubble-based micromanipulation tools and attract the attention of relevant researchers to the enormous potential of microbubbles in microfluidics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0lc01173hDOI Listing
March 2021
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