Publications by authors named "Yu-Ting Chen"

223 Publications

Formation of frameshift-stimulating RNA pseudoknots is facilitated by remodeling of their folding intermediates.

Nucleic Acids Res 2021 Jun 23. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.

Programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting is an essential regulation mechanism of translation in viruses and bacteria. It is stimulated by mRNA structures inside the coding region. As the structure is unfolded repeatedly by consecutive translating ribosomes, whether it can refold properly each time is important in performing its function. By using single-molecule approaches and molecular dynamics simulations, we found that a frameshift-stimulating RNA pseudoknot folds sequentially through its upstream stem S1 and downstream stem S2. In this pathway, S2 folds from the downstream side and tends to be trapped in intermediates. By masking the last few nucleotides to mimic their gradual emergence from translating ribosomes, S2 can be directed to fold from the upstream region. The results show that the intermediates are greatly suppressed, suggesting that mRNA refolding may be modulated by ribosomes. Moreover, masking the first few nucleotides of S1 favors the folding from S2 and yields native pseudoknots, which are stable enough to retrieve the masked nucleotides. We hypothesize that translating ribosomes can remodel an intermediate mRNA structure into a stable conformation, which may in turn stimulate backward slippage of the ribosome. This supports an interactive model of ribosomal frameshifting and gives an insightful account addressing previous experimental observations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkab512DOI Listing
June 2021

The Value of Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging (SWI) in Evaluating the Ischemic Penumbra of Patients with Acute Cerebral Ischemic Stroke.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 2021 3;17:1745-1750. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Department of Radiology, Chinese Medical Hospital of Yiwu, Yiwu, 322000, People's Republic of China.

Background: The aim of this study was to discuss the value of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) in evaluating the ischemic penumbra of patients with acute cerebral ischemic stroke.

Methods: Data were collected from 52 patients with acute cerebral ischemic stroke upon clinical diagnosis and routine examinations of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including SWI, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), and perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) within 72 hours after onset in this retrospective study. The methods also included fusing the DWI and SWI images and calculating the volume of anomaly extension of DWI and PWI-MTT (mean transit time) using semi-automatic analysis software. The SWI-DWI and PWI-DWI mismatches were interpreted, and the statistical analysis was completed.

Results: The two physicians found that the ischemic penumbra consistency is high throughout the SWI-DWI and PWI-DWI mismatches, without a significant difference (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: SWI-DWI mismatch can prevent the injection of contrast agents and make an accurate diagnosis of acute stroke ischemic penumbra, which helps guide the selection of the clinical therapeutic plan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S301870DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184242PMC
June 2021

Pyrene-Based AIEE Active Nanoprobe for Zn and Tyrosine Detection Demonstrated by DFT, Bioimaging, and Organic Thin-Film Transistor.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Applied Chemistry, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (formerly National Chiao Tung University), Hsinchu 300, Taiwan.

The development of aggregation-induced emission enhancement (AIEE) active nanoprobes without any synthetic complication for solution-state and organic thin-film transistor (OTFT)-based sensory applications is still a challenging task. In this study, the novel pyrene-incorporated Schiff base (5-phenyl-4-((pyren-1-ylmethylene)amino)-4-1,2,4-triazole-3-thiol; ) with an AIEE property was synthesized via a one-pot reaction and was reported for detecting Zn and tyrosine in the solution state and OTFT. In the AIEE studies of (in CHCN) at various water fractions (: 0-97.5%), the existence of -aggregation, crystalline changes, and nanofibers formation was confirmed by ultraviolet absorption/photoluminescence (UV/PL) spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and dynamic-light scattering (DLS) techniques. Similarly, -based Zn detection and sensory reversibility with tyrosine were demonstrated by UV/PL studies with evidence related to crystalline/nanolevel changes in PXRD, SEM, TEM, AFM, and DLS data. Distinct decay profiles associated with the AIEE and sensory responses of were observed in time-resolved photoluminescence spectra. From the standard deviation and linear fittings of PL titrations, detection limits (LODs) of the Zn with and the tyrosine with -Zn were estimated as 0.79 and 45 nM, respectively. High-resolution mass and H NMR results confirmed 2:1 and 1:1 stoichiometry and binding sites of -Zn- and tyrosine-Zn complexes. Moreover, the values of association constants determined by linear fittings were 4.205 × 10 and 1.73 × 10 M, correspondingly. Optimization via the density functional theory disclosed the binding sites and suppression of twisted intramolecular charge transfer/photoinduced electron transfer (TICT/PET) as well as the involvement of restricted intramolecular rotation in the AIEE and PET "ON-OFF-ON" mechanisms in the Zn and tyrosine sensors. Results from the B16-F10 cellular and zebrafish imaging of AIEE, Zn, and tyrosine sensors further attested the applicability of in biological samples. Finally, the and pentacene-incorporated OTFT devices were fabricated. The devices displayed more than 90% change in drain-source current when reacted with Zn with an LOD of 5.46 μM but showed no response to tyrosine, thereby confirming the reversibility. Moreover, the OTFT devices also demonstrated Zn ion detection in tap water and lake water samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c04744DOI Listing
June 2021

Identification and Isolation of an Intermediate Metabolite with Dual Antioxidant and Anti-Proliferative Activity Present in the Fungus Cultured on an Alternative Medium with Leaf Extract.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Apr 9;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan.

The fungus has been used as a folk medicine for various diseases, especially cancer. When is cultured on the original host, an endangered woody plant Hayata, the fungus produces more active ingredients, but its growth is slow. Here, leaf ethanol extract (KLEE) was used as a substitute for wood to culture on solid medium to shorten the culture period and produce active metabolites en masse. The antioxidant activities of methanol extracts from cultured on KLEE (MEAC-KLEE) were evaluated by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging effect, reducing power, and ferrous ion-chelating effect, and the effective concentration (EC) values were 0.27, 0.74, and 0.37 mg mL, respectively. MEAC-KLEE exhibited specific anti-proliferative activity against a non-small-cell lung cancer cell line (A549) by Annexin V assay. A secondary metabolite (2,4-dimethoxy-6-methylbenzene-1,3-diol, DMMB) present in the extract (MEAC-KLEE) was purified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and identified by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra. DMMB exhibited moderate antioxidant activity against DPPH radicals and reducing power, with EC values of 12.97 and 25.59 μg mL, respectively, and also induced apoptosis in A549 cells. Our results provide valuable insight into the development of DMMB for nutraceutical biotechnology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10040737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069614PMC
April 2021

The Association of Social Support and Symptomatic Remission among Community-Dwelling Schizophrenia Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 04 9;18(8). Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taoyuan City 333, Taiwan.

Schizophrenia is a mental disease that often leads to chronicity. Social support could reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms; therefore, its influence on remission should be examined. This study investigated the remission rates in community-dwelling schizophrenia patients and examined the association between social support and remission status. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 129 schizophrenia patients in Taiwan. Remission rates were evaluated, and the level of social support, clinical characteristics, sociodemographic variables, and healthy lifestyle status were compared between the remission and nonremission groups. The association between social support and remission was analyzed after adjusting for confounding factors. The mean illness duration is 12.9 years. More than 95% of the participants lived with their families, 63% were unemployed, and 43% achieved remission. Higher social support was observed in the remission group, and a significant correlation was observed between family domain of social support and remission status. Family support was a protective factor of symptomatic remission in community-dwelling schizophrenia patients in Taiwan. The results reflect the effects of a family-centered culture on patients during illness. Consequently, reinforcing family relationships and the capacity of families to manage the symptoms of patients and providing support to families are recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083977DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8070210PMC
April 2021

The impacts of biofouling on automated phosphorus analysers during long-term deployment.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Aug 19;784:147188. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

School of the Environment and Great Lakes Institute of Environmental Research, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4, Canada. Electronic address:

In-situ nutrient analysers are a promising tool for improving the temporal resolution of data and filling knowledge gaps in drivers of harmful algal blooms. There are significant challenges however regarding instrument biofouling and data drift, which remain largely unquantified and unresolved. In this study the effects of biofouling on data consistency and accuracy is quantified on automated wet chemical analysers during long-term monitoring. In 2019 three fractions of phosphorus (P); total phosphorus (TP), total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), were measured in-situ at four sites in Southern Ontario, Canada. The analysers were exposed to a wide range of P concentrations and biofouling extremes over an 8-month period. They were calibrated using chemical standards both in the field and the lab, and validated with fortnightly grab samples, and the representativeness of real-time data under a range of biofouling conditions were analysed. Results show that analysers biofouling during long-term deployment can desensitize instrument measurements, with greatest impacts on instruments operating in highly turbid environments. Temporal changes in calibration curves suggest that equilibrium P concentrations (EPC) of sediments accumulating inside filters can elicit a rapid exchange of dissolved P (SRP, TDP) with the water sample. Data drift increases the further from the EPC an instrument is required to analyse, and thus this study demonstrates that for in-situ P monitoring, unless filters are frequently replaced or renovated, in-situ probes should ideally be dedicated to a specific waterbody type defined by similar EPC values. It is recommended that in order to ensure accuracy in in-situ monitoring of TP, TDP and SRP during long-term deployment, preliminary site trials should be conducted to ascertain sediment EPC; the extent of biofouling should be monitored; and/or frequent grab samples taken for post-deployment validation. The findings apply to any in-situ phosphorus monitoring techniques for SRP or TDP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147188DOI Listing
August 2021

Associations of early pregnancy BMI with adverse pregnancy outcomes and infant neurocognitive development.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 15;11(1):3793. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

College of Life Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity amongst reproductive women has been increasing worldwide. Our aim was to compare pregnancy outcomes and infant neurocognitive development by different BMI classifications and investigate whether early pregnancy BMI was associated with risks of adverse outcomes in a Southwest Chinese population. We analysed data from 1273 women enrolled in the Complex Lipids in Mothers and Babies (CLIMB) randomized controlled trial in Chongqing, China. Maternal BMI was classified as underweight, normal weight and overweight/obese according to the Chinese, WHO Asian, and WHO European standards. For the adverse pregnancy outcomes, after adjustment for potential confounders, an underweight BMI was associated with increased risk of small for gestational age (SGA) babies, and an overweight/obese BMI was associated with increased risk of maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), caesarean section (C-section), macrosomia and large for gestational age (LGA) babies. For infant neurocognitive development, 1017 mothers and their children participated; no significant differences were seen in the Mental Development Index (MDI) or the Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) between the three BMI groups. Our findings demonstrate that abnormal early pregnancy BMI were associated with increased risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Chinese women, while early pregnancy BMI had no significant influence on the infant neurocognitive development at 12 months of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83430-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884778PMC
February 2021

The "Safe Index" Considering Body Surface Area for Prolonged Dexamethasone Regimen in Airway Control After Head and Neck Microsurgical Reconstruction.

Ann Plast Surg 2021 02;86(2S Suppl 1):S84-S90

From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung Medical College, Chang Gung University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Background: Dexamethasone (Dexa) is frequently administrated to patients receiving head and neck microsurgical reconstruction with nasotracheal intubation postoperatively for airway control. Infection is the greatest concern when prolonging the treatment course. We aimed to find out the relationship between flap infection and the safe dose of Dexa.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective review of enrolling total 156 patients underwent microsurgical free flap reconstruction for head and neck cancers with nasotracheal intubation from December 2015 to December 2016 was conducted. Among them, 139 patients had received prolonged Dexa treatment course (>2 days). Safe index was then defined as the total amount of used Dexa (in milligrams) over body weight (in kilograms), body mass index (in kilograms per square meter) and body surface area (BSA, in square meter). Statistics were performed for the cutoff level of the safe index and to find out the independent risk factors.

Results: The cutoff level of the safe index was 0.76 for body weight group, 2.28 (10-3 m2) for body mass index group, and 33.84 mg/m2 for BSA group. Safe index for BSA group also outweighed other risk factors in multivariant analysis (odds ratio = 6.242, 95% confidence interval = 2.292-17.002, P = 0.000), which is the only independent risk factors for flap infection in our cohort.

Conclusions: Throughout our study, the "safe index" helps clinician easily predict flap infection risk when using Dexa as the medication for airway control after head and neck microsurgical reconstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SAP.0000000000002660DOI Listing
February 2021

Host CDK-1 and formin mediate microvillar effacement induced by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

Nat Commun 2021 01 4;12(1):90. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) induces changes to the intestinal cell cytoskeleton and formation of attaching and effacing lesions, characterized by the effacement of microvilli and then formation of actin pedestals to which the bacteria are tightly attached. Here, we use a Caenorhabditis elegans model of EHEC infection to show that microvillar effacement is mediated by a signalling pathway including mitotic cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and diaphanous-related formin 1 (CYK1). Similar observations are also made using EHEC-infected human intestinal cells in vitro. Our results support the use of C. elegans as a host model for studying attaching and effacing lesions in vivo, and reveal that the CDK1-formin signal axis is necessary for EHEC-induced microvillar effacement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20355-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782584PMC
January 2021

Salvage surgery, chylothorax and pneumonia are the main drivers of unplanned readmissions after oesophagectomy for cancer.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2021 May;59(5):1021-1029

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Linko, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Objectives: Unplanned readmissions after surgery can be cumbersome to patients and costly on healthcare resources. The aim of this single-centre study was to identify the independent risk factors for unplanned readmissions in patients who had undergone oesophagectomy for cancer.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of 526 consecutive patients with oesophageal cancer who received transthoracic oesophagectomy and were discharged home between 2006 and 2017. Risk factors for unplanned readmission within the first 30 days from discharge were identified by multivariable competing risk analysis.

Results: The mean age of the study patients was 55.14 years and 93.7% were men. Squamous cell carcinoma was identified in 94.1% of the participants, and 68.0% received chemoradiotherapy. There were 299 (56.8%) patients who experienced at least 1 postoperative complication. Fifty-five patients (10.5%) experienced an unplanned readmission. The postoperative 90-day mortality rate among patients who experienced an unplanned readmission was significantly higher than that of cases who did not (9.1% vs 0.2%, respectively, P < 0.001). Multivariable analysis identified chylothorax [hazard ratio (HR): 3.86, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.89-7.91, P < 0.001], pneumonia (HR: 1.98, 95% CI 1.03-3.82, P = 0.042) and salvage surgery (HR: 2.27, 95% CI: 1.10-4.69, P = 0.027) as independent risk factors for unplanned readmissions.

Conclusions: Salvage surgery, postoperative chylothorax and pneumonia are the main drivers of 30-day unplanned readmissions in patients who had undergone oesophagectomy for cancer. Patients who required unplanned readmissions showed increased early mortality rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezaa451DOI Listing
May 2021

Palladium-catalyzed dearomative allylation of indoles with cyclopropyl acetylenes: access to indolenine derivatives.

Org Biomol Chem 2021 01;19(3):635-644

College of Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Chaowang Road 18#, Hangzhou 310014, China.

A palladium-catalyzed redox-neutral allylic alkylation of indoles with cyclopropyl acetylenes has been disclosed. Various 1,3-diene indolenine framework bearing a quaternary stereocenter at the C3 position were synthesized straightforwardly in good to excellent yields with high regio- and stereoselectivities. The reaction could be further expanded to the dearomatization of naphthols to synthesize functionalized cyclohexadienones with 1,3-diene motifs. The reaction exhibited high atom economy and good functional group tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ob02103bDOI Listing
January 2021

Strain-activated light-induced halide segregation in mixed-halide perovskite solids.

Nat Commun 2020 Dec 10;11(1):6328. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Institute of Materials for Electronics and Energy Technology (i-MEET), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Martensstraße 7, 91058, Erlangen, Germany.

Light-induced halide segregation limits the bandgap tunability of mixed-halide perovskites for tandem photovoltaics. Here we report that light-induced halide segregation is strain-activated in MAPb(IBr) with Br concentration below approximately 50%, while it is intrinsic for Br concentration over approximately 50%. Free-standing single crystals of CHNHPb(IBr) (35%Br) do not show halide segregation until uniaxial pressure is applied. Besides, 35%Br single crystals grown on lattice-mismatched substrates (e.g. single-crystal CaF) show inhomogeneous segregation due to heterogenous strain distribution. Through scanning probe microscopy, the above findings are successfully translated to polycrystalline thin films. For 35%Br thin films, halide segregation selectively occurs at grain boundaries due to localized strain at the boundaries; yet for 65%Br films, halide segregation occurs in the whole layer. We close by demonstrating that only the strain-activated halide segregation (35%Br/45%Br thin films) could be suppressed if the strain is properly released via additives (e.g. KI) or ideal substrates (e.g. SiO).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20066-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730187PMC
December 2020

Development of a weighted scoring system for the Electronic Driving Observation Schedule (eDOS).

MethodsX 2020 12;7:101099. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), McGill University, Canada.

The electronic Driving Observation Schedule (eDOS) is a novel approach to assessing older drivers' performance in their everyday driving environment on their chosen routes. The original eDOS total score is generated using the count of driving errors, which does not account for distinct risk levels of different types of driving errors made in different complexity of driving environments. This study was conducted to create one score to represent the complexity of driving route during each eDOS observation and one weighted eDOS total score to represent older drivers' performance accounting for the risk of driving errors by their type and the complexity of maneuvers in their corresponding environments. A literature review, a two-round survey with 13 experts in driving evaluation, and iterative discussions between primary investigators were conducted for generating these scores. Two formulae were created to calculate a weighted maneuver/environmental complexity score and a weighted eDOS total score. •An advanced weighted score is created to represent one's on-road driving performance in their everyday driving environment not only using the count of driving errors, but also accounting for the risk level of each error.•The complexity of driving maneuver and environment in each on-road driving trip can be systematically rated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666358PMC
October 2020

The Benefits of the Supercharged Ileocolic Flap in Patients Who Underwent Total Esophagectomy and Gastrectomy.

J Reconstr Microsurg 2021 Jul 17;37(6):475-485. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan.

Background:  Patients who undergo total esophagectomy and gastrectomy present a challenging scenario for reconstructive surgeons. Several techniques have been described. However, the best choice is still a matter of debate. We aim to report our experience with the supercharged ileocolic flap, then to compare the long-term functional outcomes in cancer and caustic injury patients. We investigate the safest route of transposition and demonstrate the importance of supercharging the flap. Last, we perform a literature review to compare our results with the ones reported in the literature.

Methods:  A total of 36 patients underwent the supercharged ileocolic flap procedure. The details reviewed included the type of defect, flap characteristic, route of transposition, complications, patient survival, and swallowing evaluation. Survival and long-term function preservation were considered as the main outcomes. A secondary end-point was the identification of the safest route of transposition. We extracted the pertinent literature on supercharged bowel flaps from 1995 to July 2020 RESULTS:  All flaps survived; only two flaps were partially lost. Thirty-three percent of the cohort experienced postoperative complications; the most common was leakage of the cervical anastomosis (17%), followed by neck wound infection (8%). The 5-year dysphagia-free survival rate was 87% in corrosive injury patients and 78% in cancer patients. The mean time to be free from dysphagia after surgery was 25.12 ± 4.55 months for corrosive patients and 39.56 ± 9.45 months for cancer patients ( = 0.118). The safest route of transposition was retrosternal extra-mediastinal. From the literature review, the data from 11 studies were extracted.

Conclusion:  The supercharged ileocolic flap is a robust option for total esophageal replacement when the stomach is not available and the retrosternal route is the safest for transposition. The functional outcomes are excellent, with acceptable morbidity and a good life expectancy, either in cancer and noncancer patients. Supercharging the flap is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1719046DOI Listing
July 2021

Recovery of iodide as triiodide from thin-film transistor liquid crystal display wastewater by forward osmosis.

J Hazard Mater 2021 02 11;403:123637. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Institute of Environmental Engineering and Management, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan.

Triiodide, a larger charged molecule compared to iodide, is thermodynamically favored with the presence of both iodide and iodine, and is easier to be retained by membrane processes. For the first time, iodide was recovered in the form of triiodide by forward osmosis (FO) for thin-film transistor liquid crystal display industries by preoxidation of iodide to triiodide. Partial oxidation by NaOCl was used to convert the iodide to iodine and then to form triiodide. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt (EDTA-2Na), a commonly used chelating agent in the industry, was used as the draw solute because of its low reverse salt flux. The results revealed that the ideal efficiency of iodide recovery was at pH 3 with a preoxidation (adding 0.0150 M NaClO) for the 0.048 M iodide wastewater with a recovery of 98.5%. Additionally, the Pourbaix diagram and starch indicator were used to verify the formation of triiodide. Membrane distillation was demonstrated to recover the EDTA-2Na draw solute, and more than 99% of recoveries for the draw solutes with initial water flux of 12.0 L/m h were achieved, indicating that simultaneous recovery of the EDTA-2Na draw solute and water is feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123637DOI Listing
February 2021

Revealing the local crystallinity of single silicon core-shell nanowires using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

Beilstein J Nanotechnol 2020 31;11:1147-1156. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 15, Tübingen, Germany.

Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy is combined with polarization angle-resolved spectroscopy to investigate the nanometer-scale structural properties of core-shell silicon nanowires (crystalline Si core and amorphous Si shell), which were synthesized by platinum-catalyzed vapor-liquid-solid growth and silicon overcoating by thermal chemical vapor deposition. Local changes in the fraction of crystallinity in these silicon nanowires are characterized at an optical resolution of about 300 nm. Furthermore, we are able to resolve the variations in the intensity ratios of the Raman peaks of crystalline Si and amorphous Si by applying tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, at sample positions being 8 nm apart. The local crystallinity revealed using confocal Raman spectroscopy and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy agrees well with the high-resolution transmission electron microscopy images. Additionally, the polarizations of Raman scattering and the photoluminescence signal from the tip-sample nanogap are explored by combining polarization angle-resolved emission spectroscopy with tip-enhanced optical spectroscopy. Our work demonstrates the significant potential of resolving local structural properties of Si nanomaterials at the sub-10 nanometer scale using tip-enhanced Raman techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.11.99DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7404174PMC
July 2020

Molecular diagnosis and therapy for cutaneous leishmaniasis of a returned traveler from Mexico.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2020 Jul 23. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.

Leishmaniasis is prevalent in Southern Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa, and Central and South America. Cutaneous leishmaniasis may spontaneously heal over time without treatment; however, risk of visceral dissemination and the impact of cosmetic defect are important concerns. We report a Case of cutaneous leishmaniasis in a patient who ever traveled to Mexico before the onset of a deteriorating wound around the swollen left eyebrow. A diagnosis of infection with Leishmania mexicana was made based on histopathological examination and molecular identification. Systemic treatment with liposomal amphotericin B and ketoconazole were administered with gradual healing of the lesion. Also, this traveler case implicates that the spread of endemic parasitic diseases may be a concealed risk on the public health for Taiwan underlying globalization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2020.07.007DOI Listing
July 2020

Lifespan regulation in α/β posterior neurons of the fly mushroom bodies by Rab27.

Aging Cell 2020 08 6;19(8):e13179. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Graduate Institute of Physiology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Brain function has been implicated to control the aging process and modulate lifespan. However, continuous efforts remain for the identification of the minimal sufficient brain region and the underlying mechanism for neuronal regulation of longevity. Here, we show that the Drosophila lifespan is modulated by rab27 functioning in a small subset of neurons of the mushroom bodies (MB), a brain structure that shares analogous functions with mammalian hippocampus and hypothalamus. Depleting rab27 in the α/βp neurons of the MB is sufficient to extend lifespan, enhance systemic stress responses, and alter energy homeostasis, all without trade-offs in major life functions. Within the α/βp neurons, rab27KO causes the mislocalization of phosphorylated S6K thus attenuates TOR signaling, resulting in decreased protein synthesis and reduced neuronal activity. Consistently, expression of dominant-negative S6K in the α/βp neurons increases lifespan. Furthermore, the expression of phospho-mimetic S6 in α/βp neurons of rab27KO rescued local protein synthesis and reversed lifespan extension. These findings demonstrate that inhibiting TOR-mediated protein synthesis in α/βp neurons is sufficient to promote longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7431830PMC
August 2020

[Effects of Combined Infusion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Endothelial Progenitor Cells on Lung Injury after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation].

Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi 2020 Jun;28(3):1019-1024

Department of Hematology, Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou 221002, Jiangsu Province, China,E-mail:

Objective: To investigate the effects of combined infusion of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) on lung injury after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Methods: The experiment was divided into normal control group, irradiation group, bone marrow cell transplantation group (BMT group), BMT+EPC group, BMT+MSC group and BMT+EPC+MSC group. The model of HSCT was established, on the 30th day after transplantation, the mice were sacrificed. Then lung tissue was taken for testing. The mRNA expression levels of VEGF, IL-18, IL-12b were detected by RT-PCR, and protein expression level of NLRP3 was detected by Western blot. The expression of MPO and CD146 was observed by immunohistochemistry assay.

Results: The expression level of VEGF gene in BMT+EPC+MSC group was significantly higher than that in other groups (P<0.01). The expression level of IL-18 and IL-12b gene was the highest in BMT group and the lowest in BMT+EPC+MSC group, and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). HSCT could increase the expression of NLRP3 protein, and the BMT+EPC+MSC could significantly reduce the level of NLRP3 protein in lung cells, tending to normal. Compared with normal tissues, the BMT+EPC+MSC could improve the lung tissue structure more effectively, the expression of MPO positive cells was lower, and the expression of VEGF positive cells was higher.

Conclusions: The combined infusion of MSC and EPC can promote capillary regeneration, alleviate inflammation and promote lung repair after HSCT, which is superior to single EPC or MSC infusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19746/j.cnki.issn.1009-2137.2020.03.050DOI Listing
June 2020

Changes in older drivers' self-awareness of driving ability over one year.

Accid Anal Prev 2020 Sep 8;144:105552. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, 3654 prom Sir-William-Osler, Montréal, QC, H3G 1Y5, Canada; Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), 3205 Place Alton-Goldbloom, Laval, QC, H7V 1R2, Canada. Electronic address:

Older drivers' self-awareness of driving ability can prompt self-regulatory behaviors and modifications of their everyday driving performance. To date, studies have yet to examine how older drivers' self-awareness of changes in driving ability over time or identify the characteristics of those who can accurately monitor such changes. 64 older drivers (Age: Mean = 80.0 years, SD = 5.4; male: 70 %) were recruited and categorized into four groups based on the correspondence of changes in their perceived and actual driving ability over one year: 40 % of the participants were accurate in their stable or better driving ability over time, 30 % did not detect their driving performance had worsened and over-estimated their driving ability, and the remainder either accurately detected their performance had worsened or under-estimated their driving performance. No demographic or clinical factors were associated with older drivers' self-awareness of changes in driving ability over time, except the mental processing and executive functioning measured using the Trail Making Tests Part B, showed a marginal effect. Implications for clinical importance are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2020.105552DOI Listing
September 2020

dBMHCC: A comprehensive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) biomarker database provides a reliable prediction system for novel HCC phosphorylated biomarkers.

PLoS One 2020 4;15(6):e0234084. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is associated with an absence of obvious symptoms and poor prognosis, is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Genome-wide molecular biology studies should provide biological insights into HCC development. Based on the importance of phosphorylation for signal transduction, several protein kinase inhibitors have been developed that improve the survival of cancer patients. However, a comprehensive database of HCC-related phosphorylated biomarkers (HCCPMs) and novel HCCPMs prediction platform has been lacking. We have thus constructed the dBMHCC databases to provide expression profiles, phosphorylation and drug information, and evidence type; gathered information on HCC-related pathways and their involved genes as candidate HCC biomarkers; and established a system for evaluating protein phosphorylation and HCC-related biomarkers to improve the reliability of biomarker prediction. The resulting dBMHCC contains 611 notable HCC-related genes, 234 HCC-related pathways, 17 phosphorylation-related motifs and their 255 corresponding protein kinases, 5955 HCC biomarkers, and 1077 predicted HCCPMs. Methionine adenosyltransferase 2B (MAT2B) and acireductone dioxygenase 1 (ADI1), which regulate HCC development and hepatitis C virus infection, respectively, were among the top 10 HCCPMs predicted by dBMHCC. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA), which had the highest evaluation score, was identified as the target of one HCC drug (Regorafenib), five cancer drugs, and four non-cancer drugs. dBMHCC is an open resource for HCC phosphorylated biomarkers, which supports researchers investigating the development of HCC and designing novel diagnosis methods and drug treatments. Database URL: http://predictor.nchu.edu.tw/dBMHCC.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0234084PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7272086PMC
August 2020

Improved asthma outcomes observed in the vicinity of coal power plant retirement, retrofit, and conversion to natural gas.

Nat Energy 2020 May 13;5(5):398-408. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Propeller Health, San Francisco, California, USA 94108.

Coal-fired power plants release substantial air pollution, including over 60% of U.S. sulfur dioxide (SO) emissions in 2014. Such air pollution may exacerbate asthma however direct studies of health impacts linked to power plant air pollution are rare. Here, we take advantage of a natural experiment in Louisville, Kentucky, where one coal-fired power plant retired and converted to natural gas, and three others installed SO emission control systems between 2013 and 2016. Dispersion modeling indicated exposure to SO emissions from these power plants decreased after the energy transitions. We used several analysis strategies, including difference-in-differences, first-difference, and interrupted time-series modeling to show that the emissions control installations and plant retirements were associated with reduced asthma disease burden related to ZIP code-level hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and individual-level medication use as measured by digital medication sensors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41560-020-0600-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7263319PMC
May 2020

Perceptions, clinical characteristics, and other factors associated with prolonged and high daily dose of benzodiazepine use among patients with anxiety or depressive disorders.

J Affect Disord 2020 06 19;271:215-223. Epub 2020 Apr 19.

Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan, Address: No.5, Fuxing St., Guishan Dist., Taoyuan City 333, Taiwan; College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan (l)Department of Psychiatry, New Taipei Municipal TuCheng Hospital, New Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, New Taipei Municipal TuCheng Hospital, New Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Background: Benzodiazepines (BZDs) have been widely used to treat anxiety; however, the risk of adverse health effects caused by their long-term use is high. This study examined the factors associated with the duration and higher daily dose of BZDs use among a population with anxiety or depressive disorders.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. Patients from a psychiatric outpatient department who had been prescribed BZDs were recruited. Data were collected from 250 patients.

Results: Nearly 94% of patients were long-term BZDs users. The mean duration of BZDs use was 5.5 years; and mean defined daily dose (DDD) of BZDs use, converted to diazepam milligram equivalent (DDD), was 1.53 DME-DDD. Patients who knew more about alternative treatments were less prone to use BZD longer. Patients aged 65 years or older and those with difficulty falling asleep were more prone to use BZDs longer. Patients who were currently taking BZDs at higher daily dose were those who felt more depressed, prescribed second generation antipsychotics, suffered from disrupted sleep, less aware of alternative treatments, had comorbid chronic physical illness, and were current smokers.

Limitations: The cross-sectional study design limited its ability to confirm causal relationships.

Conclusions: Long-term and excessive daily dose of BZDs use in patients with depressive or anxiety disorders needs to be noted. Providing information or program of non-pharmacological treatment in reducing anxiety and improving specific sleep disturbance is suggested. Elderly, suffering from depressive mood, had comorbid chronic physical illness need to be targeted for further intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.077DOI Listing
June 2020

Comprehending adsorption of methylethylketone and toluene and microwave regeneration effectiveness for beaded activated carbon derived from recycled waste bamboo tar.

J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2020 06;70(6):616-628

Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University , Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Beaded activated carbons (BACs) were derived from waste bamboo tar through carbonization (500°C for 2 hr) followed by physical activation using carbon dioxide (800-900°C for 2-4 hr). The adsorbent was examined for their physical and chemical properties, adsorption capacities toward methylethylketone (MEK) and toluene, and regenerabilities under microwave heating. It was found that the maximum total surface area reached for bamboo-tar-derived BAC after physical activation was 1364 m g, and more than 95% of the area was attributed to the microporous structures. Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R) isotherm models were applied to the adsorption isotherm fitting, and the minimum R for each model was 0.986, 0.915, and 0.943, respectively. The isosteric heats of adsorption calculated based on D-R parameters for methylethylketone and toluene were 44.04 to 51.50 and 45.88 to 73.27 KJ mol, respectively. They were slightly over the range of physisorption and increased with adsorbate loading, which might be related to the micropore filling mechanism. Microwave regeneration under 600 W of power output removed most of the adsorbate (>93.03%) within 8 min. The results of this study are intended to benefit future study on waste-derived adsorbent in environmental applications.

Implications: Recycling waste bamboo tar for the novel adsorbent preparation is shown feasible in this study. Beaded activated carbon (BAC) synthesized from this waste bamboo tar possessed a high specific surface area, which aided in the capturing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Three adsorption isotherms, Langmuir, Freundlich, Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R) models can be applied in interpreting the experimental adsorption data, providing information on adsorption heat and possible adsorption mechanism. A potential microwave regeneration method for BAC is tested, showing high desorption efficiencies with minimum heel formation. These findings can provide a new pathway for waste bamboo tar management and VOC abatement using adsorbents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10962247.2020.1742247DOI Listing
June 2020

Eight new flavonoids from the fruits of Daemonorops draco.

Fitoterapia 2020 Jun 12;143:104549. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

Eight new flavonoids daemoflavans A-H, including two dimeric proanthocyanidins (1 and 2), four flavans (3-6), two 2-arylbenzofurans (7 and 8), along with nine known compounds (9-17), were isolated from the fruit of Daemonorops draco. Their structures, including the absolute configurations, were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic data, ECD analysis, and X-ray crystal diffraction. Besides, the X-ray crystal data of a known compound dracoflavan B (9) was firstly reported. Daemoflavan G (7) represents a rare example of C-5 methylated 2-arylbenzofuran in natural products. Among the known compounds, 15, 16, 17 were reported from this species for the first time. All the compounds were evaluated for their cytotoxicity against HepG2 cell line. Among them, compounds 1, 9 and 10 exhibited modest cytotoxic activity with IC values of 12.4, 12.0 and 13.2 μM, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2020.104549DOI Listing
June 2020

Response to letter to the editor.

J Formos Med Assoc 2020 08 3;119(8):1335-1336. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

Department of Post-Acute Care Center, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Taichung City, 427, Taiwan; School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, 970, Taiwan; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Taichung City, 427, Taiwan. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfma.2020.02.006DOI Listing
August 2020

Protective Effect of Low-Molecular-Weight Fucoidan on Radiation-Induced Fibrosis Through TGF-β1/Smad Pathway-Mediated Inhibition of Collagen I Accumulation.

Mar Drugs 2020 Feb 27;18(3). Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan.

Radiation-induced fibrosis (RIF) occurs after radiation therapy in normal tissues due to excessive production and deposition of extracellular matrix proteins and collagen, possibly resulting in organ function impairment. This study investigates the effects of low-molecular-weight fucoidan (LMF) on irradiated NIH3T3 cells. Specifically, we quantified cellular metabolic activity, fibrosis-related mRNA expression, transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), and collagen-1 protein expression, and fibroblast contractility in response to LMF. LMF pre + post-treatment could more effectively increase cellular metabolic activity compared with LMF post-treatment. LMF pre + post-treatment inhibited TGF-β1 expression, which mediates negative activation of phosphorylated Smad3 (pSmad3) and Smad4 complex formation and suppresses downstream collagen I accumulation. In addition, LMF pre + post-treatment significantly reduced actin-stress fibers in irradiated NIH3T3 cells. LMF, a natural substance obtained from brown seaweed, may be a candidate agent for preventing or inhibiting RIF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md18030136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7142431PMC
February 2020

Personal and Clinical Factors Associated with Older Drivers' Self-Awareness of Driving Performance.

Can J Aging 2021 Mar 24;40(1):82-96. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Ottawa, Ontario.

Most older adults perceive themselves as good drivers; however, their perception may not be accurate, and could negatively affect their driving safety. This study examined the accuracy of older drivers' self-awareness of driving ability in their everyday driving environment by determining the concordance between the perceived (assessed by the Perceived Driving Ability [PDA] questionnaire) and actual (assessed by electronic Driving Observation Schedule [eDOS]) driving performance. One hundred and eight older drivers (male: 67.6%; age: mean = 80.6 years, standard deviation [SD] = 4.9 years) who participated in the study were classified into three groups: underestimation (19%), accurate estimation (29%), and overestimation (53%). Using the demographic and clinical functioning information collected in the Candrive annual assessments, an ordinal regression showed that two factors were related to the accuracy of self-awareness: older drivers with better visuo-motor processing speed measured by the Trail Making Test (TMT)-A and fewer self-reported comorbid conditions tended to overestimate their driving ability, and vice versa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S071498082000001XDOI Listing
March 2021

A strategy for promoting γ-glutamyltransferase activity and enzymatic synthesis of S-allyl-(L)-cysteine in aged garlic via high hydrostatic pressure pretreatments.

Food Chem 2020 Jun 4;316:126347. Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, National Chung Hsing University, 145 Xingda Rd., South Dist, Taichung Taiwan; Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan. Electronic address:

S-allyl-(L)-cysteine (SAC) is a bioactive compound within garlic. Its level is low since SAC formation is impeded by the cellular structure of garlic. This study investigates the effect of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) pretreatment on SAC formation in garlic aged at 40 °C for 10 days. Results showed that HHP could enhance γ-glutamyltransferase (γ-GTP) activity, damage the cellular structure of garlic and increase SAC content in aged garlic by about 7-10 times, depending on the processing parameters. HHP processing at 300 MPa for 15 min provided the optimal conditions for enhancing γ-GTP activity (45%) and promoting SAC formation (from 0.51 ± 0.01 to 5.60 ± 0.22 mg/g dry weight). It was also found that HHP could induce the greening and browning of aged garlic. As such, we consider that HHP technology is a promising technique to produce aged black garlic products with higher amounts of bioactive compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126347DOI Listing
June 2020

Isolation, Expression and Characterization of the Thermophilic Recombinant Esterase from Geobacillus thermodenitrificans PS01.

Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2020 May 20;191(1):112-124. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Department of Biological Science & Technology, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, 84001, Taiwan.

Esterases are widely used in the food industry. Here, a new thermophilic bacterium, Geobacillus thermodenitrificans PS01, was isolated and the esterase-encoding gene est1 was cloned, sequenced, and recombinant expressed in Escherichia coli Tuner (DE3). The highest activity of recombinant Est1 was detected at pH 8.0, and 40 °C and the extreme stability was observed at pH 6-9 over 30 days at 4 °C. In particular, Est1 can hydrolyze short- to medium-chain (C2-C10) triglycerides and p-nitrophenyl esters (C2-C12) and was not inhibited by most metal ions. Kinetic parameters of p-nitrophenyl butyrate hydrolysis under optimal conditions were determined: K, 22.76 μM; k, 10,415 s; and k/K, 457.53 μM s. The outstanding specification of Est1 indicates its potential for use in industrial applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12010-020-03225-wDOI Listing
May 2020