Publications by authors named "Zheng Han"

319 Publications

Generation of Vertebra Micro-CT-like Image from MDCT: A Deep-Learning-Based Image Enhancement Approach.

Tomography 2021 Nov 12;7(4):767-782. Epub 2021 Nov 12.

Department of Radiology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China.

This paper proposes a deep-learning-based image enhancement approach that can generate high-resolution micro-CT-like images from multidetector computed tomography (MDCT). A total of 12,500 MDCT and micro-CT image pairs were obtained from 25 vertebral specimens. Then, a pix2pixHD model was trained and evaluated using the structural similarity index measure (SSIM) and Fréchet inception distance (FID). We performed subjective assessments of the micro-CT-like images based on five aspects. Micro-CT and micro-CT-like image-derived trabecular bone microstructures were compared, and the underlying correlations were analyzed. The results showed that the pix2pixHD method (SSIM, 0.804 ± 0.037 and FID, 43.598 ± 9.108) outperformed the two control methods (pix2pix and CRN) in enhancing MDCT images ( < 0.05). According to the subjective assessment, the pix2pixHD-derived micro-CT-like images showed no significant difference from the micro-CT images in terms of contrast and shadow ( > 0.05) but demonstrated slightly lower noise, sharpness and trabecular bone texture ( < 0.05). Compared with the trabecular microstructure parameters of micro-CT images, those of pix2pixHD-derived micro-CT-like images showed no significant differences in bone volume fraction (BV/TV) ( > 0.05) and significant correlations in trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) and trabecular spacing (Tb.Sp) (Tb.Th, R = 0.90, < 0.05; Tb.Sp, R = 0.88, < 0.05). The proposed method can enhance the resolution of MDCT and obtain micro-CT-like images, which may provide new diagnostic criteria and a predictive basis for osteoporosis and related fractures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tomography7040064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8628970PMC
November 2021

Assessment of Human Exposure to Five Mycotoxins in China by Biomonitoring Approach.

Toxins (Basel) 2021 Oct 28;13(11). Epub 2021 Oct 28.

Key Laboratory of Protected Horticultural Technology, Institute for Agro-Food Standards and Testing Technology, Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai 201403, China.

This biomonitoring study was conducted to investigate the concentration levels of five mycotoxins in urine samples from 269 healthy volunteers living in the Yangtze River Delta, China. Alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), tenuazonic acid (TeA) and tentoxin (TEN) were detected in 38.3%, 48.7%, 63.9% and 23.4% of urine samples with the concentrations ranging from 0.057 to 45.8 ng/mL, 0.020 to 0.802 ng/mL, 0.050 to 80.6 ng/mL and 0.021 to 0.939 ng/mL, respectively. Altenuene (ALT) was not detected in any urine sample. Based on the urinary concentrations, the probable daily intake (PDI) values of mycotoxins were calculated, and 100%, 99.2-100%, 0.372% and 1.12% of participants exceeded the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) values for AOH, AME, TeA and TEN, respectively. This study revealed high potential health risks related to the contaminations of major mycotoxins in China and highlighted the necessity for more toxicological studies to provide better basis for further comprehensive risk assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins13110762DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8625692PMC
October 2021

Hierarchical MXene/transition metal chalcogenide heterostructures for electrochemical energy storage and conversion.

Nanoscale 2021 Nov 25. Epub 2021 Nov 25.

Environmental Process Modeling Centre, Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637141.

MXenes have gained rapidly increasing attention owing to their two-dimensional (2D) layered structures and unique mechanical and physicochemical properties. However, MXenes have some intrinsic limitations (, the restacking tendency of the 2D structure) that hinder their practical applications. Transition metal chalcogenide (TMC) materials such as SnS, NiS, MoS, FeS, and NiSe have attracted much interest for energy storage and conversion by virture of their earth-abundance, low costs, moderate overpotentials, and unique layered structures. Nonetheless, the intrinsic poor electronic conductivity and huge volume change of TMC materials during the alkali metal-ion intercalation/deintercalation process cause fast capacity fading and poor-rate and poor-cycling performances. Constructing heterostructures based on metallic conductive MXenes and highly electrochemically active TMCs is a promising and effective strategy to solve these problems and enhance the electrochemical performances. This review highlights and discusses the recent research development of MXenes and hierarchical MXene/TMC heterostructures, with a focus on the synthesis strategies, surface/heterointerface engineering, and potential applications for lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, lithium-sulfur batteries, supercapacitors, electrocatalysis, and photocatalysis. The critical challenges and perspectives of the future development of MXenes and hierarchical MXene/TMC heterostructures for electrochemical energy storage and conversion are forecasted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr05799eDOI Listing
November 2021

The association of blood urea nitrogen levels upon emergency admission with mortality in acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Chron Respir Dis 2021 Jan-Dec;18:14799731211060051

Department of Respiratory Medicine Affiliated Jinhua Hospital, RinggoldID:117946Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital, Jinhua, China.

Background And Purpose: High blood urea nitrogen (BUN) is associated with an elevated risk of mortality in various diseases, such as heart failure and pneumonia. Heart failure and pneumonia are common comorbidities of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). However, data on the relationship of BUN levels with mortality in patients with AECOPD are sparse. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between BUN level and in-hospital mortality in a cohort of patients with AECOPD who presented at the emergency department (ED).

Methods: A total of 842 patients with AECOPD were enrolled in the retrospective observational study from January 2018 to September 2020. The outcome was all-cause in-hospital mortality. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis and logistic regression models were performed to evaluate the association of BUN levels with in-hospital mortality in patients with AECOPD. Propensity score matching was used to assemble a cohort of patients with similar baseline characteristics, and logistic regression models were also performed in the propensity score matching cohort.

Results: During hospitalization, 26 patients (3.09%) died from all causes, 142 patients (16.86%) needed invasive ventilation, and 190 patients (22.57%) were admitted to the ICU. The mean level of blood urea nitrogen was 7.5 ± 4.5 mmol/L. Patients in the hospital non-survivor group had higher BUN levels (13.48 ± 9.62 mmol/L vs. 7.35 ± 4.14 mmol/L, < 0.001) than those in the survivor group. The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.76 (95% CI 0.73-0.79, < 0.001), and the optimal BUN level cutoff was 7.63 mmol/L for hospital mortality. As a continuous variable, BUN level was associated with hospital mortality after adjusting respiratory rate, level of consciousness, pH, PCO lactic acid, albumin, glucose, CRP, hemoglobin, platelet distribution width, D-dimer, and pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.03-1.17, =0.005). The OR of hospital mortality was significantly higher in the BUN level ≥7.63 mmol/L group than in the BUN level <7.63 mmol/L group in adjusted model (OR 3.29, 95% CI 1.05-10.29, =0.041). Similar results were found after multiple imputation and in the propensity score matching cohort.

Conclusions: Increased BUN level at ED admission is associated with hospital mortality in patients with AECOPD who present at the ED. The level of 7.63 mmol/L can be used as a cutoff value for critical stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14799731211060051DOI Listing
November 2021

Dynamic contrast-enhanced CEST MRI using a low molecular weight dextran.

NMR Biomed 2021 Nov 15:e4649. Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Natural and synthetic sugars have great potential for developing highly biocompatible and translatable chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI contrast agents. In this study, we aimed to develop the smallest clinically available form of dextran, Dex1 (molecular weight, MW ~ 1 kDa), as a new CEST agent. We first characterized the CEST properties of Dex1 in vitro at 11.7 T and showed that the Dex1 had a detectable CEST signal at ~1.2 ppm, attributed to hydroxyl protons. In vivo CEST MRI studies were then carried out on C57BL6 mice bearing orthotopic GL261 brain tumors (n = 5) using a Bruker BioSpec 11.7 T MRI scanner. Both steady-state full Z-spectral images and single offset (1.2 ppm) dynamic dextran-enhanced (DDE) images were acquired before and after the intravenous injection of Dex1 (2 g/kg). The steady-state Z-spectral analysis showed a significantly higher CEST contrast enhancement in the tumor than in contralateral brain (∆MTR  = 0.010 ± 0.006 versus 0.002 ± 0.008, P = 0.0069) at 20 min after the injection of Dex1. Pharmacokinetic analyses of DDE were performed using the area under the curve (AUC) in the first 10 min after Dex1 injection, revealing a significantly higher uptake of Dex1 in the tumor than in brain tissue for tumor-bearing mice (AUC[0-10 min] = 21.9 ± 4.2 versus 5.3 ± 6.4%·min, P = 0.0294). In contrast, no Dex1 uptake was foundling in the brains of non-tumor-bearing mice (AUC[0-10 min] = -1.59 ± 2.43%·min). Importantly, the CEST MRI findings were consistent with the measurements obtained using DCE MRI and fluorescence microscopy, demonstrating the potential of Dex1 as a highly translatable CEST MRI contrast agent for assessing tumor hemodynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nbm.4649DOI Listing
November 2021

Van der Waals ferromagnetic Josephson junctions.

Nat Commun 2021 Nov 12;12(1):6580. Epub 2021 Nov 12.

State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics & Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 200050, Shanghai, China.

Superconductor-ferromagnet interfaces in two-dimensional heterostructures present a unique opportunity to study the interplay between superconductivity and ferromagnetism. The realization of such nanoscale heterostructures in van der Waals (vdW) crystals remains largely unexplored due to the challenge of making atomically-sharp interfaces from their layered structures. Here, we build a vdW ferromagnetic Josephson junction (JJ) by inserting a few-layer ferromagnetic insulator CrGeTe into two layers of superconductor NbSe. The critical current and corresponding junction resistance exhibit a hysteretic and oscillatory behavior against in-plane magnetic fields, manifesting itself as a strong Josephson coupling state. Also, we observe a central minimum of critical current in some JJ devices as well as a nontrivial phase shift in SQUID structures, evidencing the coexistence of 0 and π phase in the junction region. Our study paves the way to exploring sensitive probes of weak magnetism and multifunctional building-blocks for phase-related superconducting circuits using vdW heterostructures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26946-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8589954PMC
November 2021

Molecular Stabilization of Sub-Nanometer Cu Clusters for Selective CO Electromethanation.

ChemSusChem 2021 Oct 29. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

Department of Chemical Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, P. R. China.

Electrochemical CO methanation powered by renewable electricity provides a promising approach to utilizing CO in the form of a high-energy-density, clean fuel. Cu nanoclusters have been predicted by theoretical calculations to improve methane selectivity. Direct electrochemical reduction of Cu-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) results in large-size Cu nanoparticles which favor multi-carbon products. This study concerns an electrochemical oxidation-reduction method to prepare Cu clusters from MOFs. The derived Cu clusters exhibit a faradaic efficiency of 51.2 % for CH with a partial current density of >150 mA cm . High-resolution microscopy, in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy, in situ Raman spectroscopy, and a range of ex situ spectroscopies indicate that the distinctive CH selectivity is due to the sub-nanometer size of the derived materials, as well as stabilization of the clusters by residual ligands of the pristine MOF. This work offers a new insight into steering product selectivity of Cu by an electrochemical processing method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202102010DOI Listing
October 2021

Chemical characteristics, evolution, and quality of groundwater and processes controlling its fluoride concentration features: case study of a typical high-fluoride areas in the Southwestern Shandong Plain, China.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Oct 27. Epub 2021 Oct 27.

801 Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Shandong Provincial Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, Jinan, 250014, China.

In this study, the groundwater (GW) in the high-fluorine area of the Southwestern Shandong Plain was divided according to the characteristics of high Na% (> 75%), and its water chemistry characteristics and causes were discussed separately, and the hydrochemical process of the formation of high-fluorine GW was determined. Finally, the GW quality of the study area was evaluated. The results proved that silicate hydrolysis can significantly promote the release of F in fluorine-containing minerals; high %Na can be used as one of the early-warning conditions for judging high-fluoride areas. To this end, 132 GW samples were collected from 66 wells during the dry and wet seasons. The study area was found to have weakly alkaline GW (pH 7.1-8.9) and could be divided into high %Na areas (HNA) and non-HNA. GW exhibited different hydrochemical characteristics between HNA and non-HNA. In non-HNA, total hardness (TH) exceeded 200 mg/L, and total dissolved solids (TDS) ranged from 514.1 to 5246.1 mg/L; in HNA, TH was less than 200 mg/L, TDS ranged from 552.8 to 1298.3 mg/L, and Na increased with TDS, whereas Ca and Mg contents were low. The main water type in HNA was HCO-Na and in non-HNA was SO·Cl-Ca·Mg and SO·Cl-Na. The study area is experiencing serious fluoride pollution. GW in HNA is mostly controlled by carbonate and silicate hydrolysis and evaporation, whereas GW in non-HNA is controlled by dolomite dissolution and cation exchange in the main. Moreover, GW in HNA has significantly been altered by albite hydrolysis, which produces Na and HCO and triggers various reactions promoting the release of F from fluorine-containing minerals (FCM). Regarding the water quality for irrigation, GW in HNA was found to be less suitable than that in non-HNA. Nevertheless, in terms of the water quality index (WQI), GW is moderate for drinking and poor for irrigation. Therefore, extensive attention should be paid to the exploitation and management of high-sodium GW in the plain area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16928-2DOI Listing
October 2021

Genomic and pathogenic investigations of serotype 7 population derived from a human patient and pigs.

Emerg Microbes Infect 2021 Dec;10(1):1960-1974

OIE Reference Lab for Swine Streptococcosis, MOE Joint International Research Laboratory of Animal Health and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China.

is one of the important emerging zoonotic pathogens. Serotype 2 is most prevalent in patients worldwide. In the present study, we first isolated one serotype 7 strain GX69 from the blood culture of a patient with septicemia complicated with pneumonia in China. In order to deepen the understanding of serotype 7 population characteristics, we investigated the phylogenetic structure, genomic features, and virulence of serotype 7 population, including 35 strains and 79 genomes. Significant diversities were revealed in serotype 7 population, which were clustered into 22 sequence types (STs), five minimum core genome (MCG) groups, and six lineages. Lineages 1, 3a, and 6 were mainly constituted by genomes from Asia. Genomes of Lineages 2, 3b, and 5a were mainly from Northern America. Most of genomes from Europe (41/48) were clustered into Lineage 5b. In addition to strain GX69, 13 of 21 serotype 7 representative strains were classified as virulent strains using the C57BL/6 mouse model. Virulence-associated genes preferentially present in highly pathogenic serotype 2 strains were not suitable as virulence indicators for serotype 7 strains. Integrative mobilizable elements were widespread and may play a critical role in disseminating antibiotic resistance genes of serotype 7 strains. Our study confirmed serotype 7 is a non-negligible pathotype and deepened the understanding of the population structure of serotype 7, which provided valuable information for the improved surveillance of this serotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2021.1988725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8525962PMC
December 2021

Exploration on the coordinated development of urbanization and the eco-environmental system in central China.

Environ Res 2021 Oct 4:112097. Epub 2021 Oct 4.

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Hazara University Mansehra, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Scientific evaluation of the interaction between urbanization and the eco-environmental system in Central China is of great significance. To optimizing the quality of urbanization and improving the eco-environmental state. As a case study of Central China, this research attempts to build a set of analytical systems to realize the integrated deconstruction from analyzing comprehensive evaluation indexes, quantification of coupling coordination, spatiotemporal evolution traits, decoupling path exploration to influential factor analysis. It tries to clarify the differences between cities, identify problematic areas, and propose targeted improvement measures. The outcomes show that the urbanization level of the cities in Central China has been improved significantly. In contrast, their eco-environmental levels are fluctuating, with the growth rate lower than that of urbanization. The coordination level between the two systems is rising, changing from primary dysfunction to intermediate coordination. The coordination level is characterized by obvious spatial association dominated by Types H-H and L-L and ever-increasing agglomeration. The decoupling between the two systems only falls into two types: strong decoupling and relative decoupling with expansion, indicating a negative effect between them. There is a problem regarding negative urbanization development. The factors including energy consumption, investment in fixed assets, opening to the outside world, technological progress, and government management capabilities all have an impact on the coordination of the two with divergent significances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.112097DOI Listing
October 2021

SDG128 is involved in maize leaf inclination.

Plant J 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, Division of Molecular Cell Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui, 230027, China.

Maize leaf angle (LA) is a complex quantitative trait that is controlled by developmental signals, hormones, and environmental factors. However, the connection between histone methylation and LAs in maize remains unclear. Here, we reported that SET domain protein 128 (SDG128) is involved in leaf inclination in maize. Knockdown of SDG128 using an RNA interference approach resulted in an expanded architecture, less large vascular bundles, more small vascular bundles, and larger spacing of large vascular bundles in the auricles. SDG128 interacts with ZmGID2 both in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of ZmGID2 also showed a larger LA with less large vascular bundles and larger spacing of vascular bundles. In addition, the transcription level of cell wall expansion family genes ZmEXPA1, ZmEXPB2, and GRMZM2G005887; transcriptional factor genes Lg1, ZmTAC1, and ZmCLA4; and auxin pathway genes ZmYUCCA7, ZmYUCCA8, and ZmARF22 was reduced in SDG128 and ZmGID2 knockdown plants. SDG128 directly targets ZmEXPA1, ZmEXPB2, LG1, and ZmTAC1 and is required for H3K4me3 deposition at these genes. Together, the results of the present study suggest that SDG128 and ZmGID2 are involved in the maize leaf inclination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tpj.15527DOI Listing
October 2021

Role of LAMP2 in the regulation of astrocytes in dentate gyrus of Alzheimer's disease rats β-amyloid and significance of expression in clearance.

Panminerva Med 2021 Oct 5. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Department of Neurology, Shaanxi Provincial People's Hospital, Xi'an, China -

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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0031-0808.21.04480-3DOI Listing
October 2021

Factors Influencing the Popularity of a Health-Related Answer on a Chinese Question-and-Answer Website: Case Study.

J Med Internet Res 2021 09 28;23(9):e29885. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore.

Background: Social question-and-answer (Q&A) sites have become an important venue for individuals to obtain and share human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine knowledge.

Objective: This study aims to examine how different features of an HPV vaccine-related answer are associated with users' response behaviors on social Q&A websites.

Methods: A total of 2953 answers and 270 corresponding questions regarding the HPV vaccine were collected from a leading Chinese social Q&A platform, Zhihu. Three types of key features, including content, context, and contributor, were extracted and coded. Negative binomial regression models were used to examine their impact on the vote and comment count of an HPV vaccine-related answer.

Results: The findings showed that both content length and vividness were positively related to the response behaviors of HPV vaccine-related answers. In addition, compared with answers under the question theme benefits and risks, answers under the question theme vaccination experience received fewer votes and answers under the theme news opinions received more votes but fewer comments. The effects of characteristics of contributors were also supported, suggesting that answers from a male contributor with more followers and no professional identity would attract more votes and comments from community members. The significant interaction effect between content and context features further showed that long and vivid answers about HPV vaccination experience were more likely to receive votes and comments of users than those about benefits and risks.

Conclusions: The study provides a complete picture of the underlying mechanism behind response behaviors of users toward HPV vaccine-related answers on social Q&A websites. The results help health community organizers develop better strategies for building and maintaining a vibrant web-based community for communicating HPV vaccine knowledge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/29885DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8512191PMC
September 2021

Factors influencing COVID-19 vaccination intention: The roles of vaccine knowledge, vaccine risk perception, and doctor-patient communication.

Patient Educ Couns 2021 Sep 20. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Objective: This study aims to investigate factors influencing COVID-19 vaccination intention in the United States.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 800 respondents recruited from an online panel managed by a survey company. Path analysis was employed to examine the relationships between the study variables.

Results: First, perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 vaccine side effects was negatively associated with vaccination intention whereas perceived severity did not show any significant impact. Second, vaccine-related knowledge was not directly related to vaccination intention, but it had an indirect and positive effect on vaccination intention via decreasing perceived susceptibility. Third, doctor-patient communication strengthened the negative effect of vaccine knowledge on perceived susceptibility and severity.

Conclusion: The results of this study offer insights on how to increase people's vaccination intention and reduce their psychological concerns when making COVID-19 vaccine-related decisions.

Practice Implications: Government agencies should actively promote the effectiveness and importance of vaccination, while addressing concerns about vaccine safety in the public; Health initiatives also need to enhance the level of knowledge about COVID-19 vaccines through various media channels; Doctors can start the conversations about COVID-19 vaccination with their patients at the point of care and/or via online communication platforms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2021.09.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8450210PMC
September 2021

Production of Toxins in Yellow Peach () upon Artificial Inoculation with .

Toxins (Basel) 2021 09 15;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Institute for Agro-Food Standards and Testing Technology, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Protected Horticultural Technology, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai 201403, China.

The yellow peach (), an important fruit in China, is highly susceptible to infection by sp., leading to potential health risks and economic losses. In the current study, firstly, yellow peaches were artificially inoculated with . Then, the fruits were stored at 4 °C and 28 °C to simulate the current storage conditions that consumers use, and the toxins (ATs) contents from different parts of the fruits were analyzed via ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). The results showed that the growth of . and the ATs production were dramatically affected by the storage temperature. At 28 °C, the fungi grew rapidly and the lesion diameter reached about 4.0 cm within 15 days of inoculation, while, at 4 °C, the fungal growth was noticeably inhibited, with no significant change in the lesion diameter. To our surprise, high contents of ATs were produced under both storage conditions even though the fungal growth was suppressed. With an increase in the incubation time, the amounts of ATs showed a steady tendency to increase in most cases. Remarkably, alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), alternariol (AOH), and tenuazonic acid (TeA) were detected in the rotten tissue and also in the surrounding tissue, while a large amount of TeA could also be found in the healthy tissue. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the production of ATs by the infection of sp. in yellow peach fruits via artificial inoculation under regulated conditions, and, based on the evidence herein, it is recommended that ATs be included in monitoring and control programs of yellow peach management and food safety administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins13090656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8473313PMC
September 2021

Effects of Cells Self-aggregation in the Treatment of Neurogenic Erectile Dysfunction With Traditional Single Cell Suspension of Adipose-derived Stem Cells.

Urology 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Department of Urology, the Third Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, China; Department of Urology, the Fourth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Objective: To clarify the effects of cellular self-aggregation of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) on erectile function (EF).

Methods: A model of neurogenic erectile dysfunction was performed using bilateral cavernous nerve crush injury in rats. ADSCs suspensions (1 × 10/0.2 ml), were administered via intracavernous injection (ICI) after being allowed to shelve for 0 minute (ICI 0) or 60 minutes (ICI 60) in vitro, as well as cell aggregates isolated from ICI 60 (ICI A). The caudal vein injection group (CVI 60) was used to evaluate whether cell self-aggregation was beneficial to EF when introduced into the peripheral circulation. One day after the transplantation, the distribution of cells was observed. EF and histopathological changes were evaluated after 4 weeks.

Results: Approximately 85% of ADSCs self-aggregated into cell clusters at 60 minutes. The ICI 60 had more significant improvements in EF and more visualized ADSCs retained in the corpus cavernosum (CC) than ICI 0 and CVI 60 (P <.05), but no significant difference between ICI 60 and ICI A. In the CVI 60 group, the cell clusters formed by self-aggregation could hardly reach the CC and were mostly found in lung tissue. Immunofluorescence staining showed increased the content of expressing biomarkers of smooth muscle, nerve within the CC tissue in the ICI groups when compared to the CVI group.

Conclusion: ADSCs self-aggregation before ICI may be an influential factor in the treatment of neurogenic erectile dysfunction. Its potential mechanism may be through improving cell retention in the CC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.09.002DOI Listing
September 2021

A Scalable Graph Neural Network Method for Developing an Accurate Force Field of Large Flexible Organic Molecules.

J Phys Chem Lett 2021 Aug 16;12(33):7982-7987. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), Institute of Materials Research (iMR), Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (TSIGS), Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, P. R. China.

An accurate force field is the key to the success of all molecular mechanics simulations on organic polymers and biomolecules. Accurate correlated wave function (CW) methods scale poorly with system size, so this poses a great challenge to the development of an extendible force field for large flexible organic molecules at the CW level of accuracy. In this work, we combine the physics-driven nonbonding potential with a data-driven subgraph neural network bonding model (named sGNN). Tests on polyethylene glycol, polyethene, and their block polymers show that our strategy is highly accurate and robust for molecules of different sizes and chemical compositions. Therefore, one can develop a parameter library of small molecular fragments (with sizes easily accessible to CW methods) and assemble them to predict the energy of large polymers, thus opening a new path to next-generation organic force fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c02214DOI Listing
August 2021

National Early Warning Score in Predicting Severe Adverse Outcomes of Emergency Medicine Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

J Multidiscip Healthc 2021 4;14:2067-2078. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Affiliated Jinhua Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital, Jinhua, 321000, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China.

Background: For emergency triage, it is very important to identify patient severity according to their vital signs and chief complaint. Several studies have examined the predictive value of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) for specific emergency patients and have shown it to be effective. However, few have studied the utility of NEWS in emergency triage for general emergency medicine patients. The aim of this research was to investigate the performance of NEWS in emergency triage with regard to predicting adverse outcomes.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study carried out at a tertiary care center hospital in Jinhua, China. A total of 62,403 patients attending the emergency department (ED) from January to December 2018 were included. The NEWS, Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS), and quick Sepsis Related Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) score were obtained from emergency triage. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the associations between the NEWS, MEWS, and qSOFA, as well as those between other parameters with ED mortality. The predictive performances for emergency observation, death, and intensive care unit (ICU) admission of NEWS, MEWS and qSOFA were compared to the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC).

Results: Of the total participants, 6502 were placed under emergency observation, 106 died in the ED, 638 were admitted to the ICU, and 324 died in-hospital. The NEWS, qSOFA, age, and gender were significantly associated with ED mortality. NEWS was significantly better at discriminating all outcomes, and the area under the curve and 95% confidence intervals for ED mortality, observation in ED, composite of ED mortality and ICU admission, and in-hospital mortality were 0.862 (0.859-0.865), 0.691 (0.687-0.695), 0.859 (0.856-0.861), and 0.805 (0.802-0.808), respectively.

Conclusion: NEWS shows good performance in discriminating critical emergency patients in ED triage for emergency medicine patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S324068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8354023PMC
August 2021

Emergency admission parameters for predicting in-hospital mortality in patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with hypercapnic respiratory failure.

BMC Pulm Med 2021 Aug 6;21(1):258. Epub 2021 Aug 6.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Affiliated Jinhua Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, China.

Background: Acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) is a common presentation in emergency departments (ED) that can be fatal. This study aimed to develop a mortality risk assessment model for patients presenting to the ED with AECOPD and hypercapnic respiratory failure.

Methods: We analysed 601 participants who were presented to an ED of a tertiary hospital with AECOPD between 2018 and 2020. Patient demographics, vital signs, and altered mental status were assessed on admission; moreover, the initial laboratory findings and major comorbidities were assessed. We used least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression to identify predictors for establishing a nomogram for in-hospital mortality. Predictive ability was assessed using the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC). A 500 bootstrap method was applied for internal validation; moreover, the model's clinical utility was evaluated using decision curve analysis (DCA). Additionally, the nomogram was compared with other prognostic models, including CRB65, CURB65, BAP65, and NEWS.

Results: Among the 601 patients, 19 (3.16%) died during hospitalization. LASSO regression analysis identified 7 variables, including respiratory rate, PCO, lactic acid, blood urea nitrogen, haemoglobin, platelet distribution width, and platelet count. These 7 variables and the variable of concomitant pneumonia were used to establish a predictive model. The nomogram showed good calibration and discrimination for mortality (AUC 0.940; 95% CI 0.895-0.985), which was higher than that of previous models. The DCA showed that our nomogram had clinical utility.

Conclusions: Our nomogram, which is based on clinical variables that can be easily obtained at presentation, showed favourable predictive accuracy for mortality in patients with AECOPD with hypercapnic respiratory failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12890-021-01624-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8349105PMC
August 2021

Investigation of the Genomic and Pathogenic Features of the Potentially Zoonotic .

Pathogens 2021 Jul 2;10(7). Epub 2021 Jul 2.

State Key Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changping, Beijing 102206, China.

Recently, reference strains of serotype 20, 22, and 26 were reclassified as . The public health significance of is underestimated due to the lack of clinical isolates. In the present study, we first reported two sporadic infections in humans, after using full-length 16S rRNA and housekeeping genes' phylogeny and ANI values of genome sequence comparisons to determine the species of their isolates BS26 and BS27. Compared to highly pathogenic strain P1/7, strains BS26 and BS27 possessed a delayed capacity to initiate lethal infection, which may attribute to the later production of higher level of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Differed to strain P1/7, strains did not induce significant inflammatory response in the brain of mice. Histopathological changes in liver and lungs were widely present in mice infected with strains. Our data indicated that the pathogenic mechanism of may be different from that of . Three lineages in the core-genome phylogenetic tree and ten types of gene cluster were found in 13 genomes, indicating high heterogeneity of this species. The similarity of CPS structure and antibiotic-resistant genes relative to indicated the evolutionary affinity between the two species. Our data suggested is a potential zoonotic pathogen and poses severe threat to health of susceptible people. Further study on the epidemiology and public health significance of is urgently necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10070834DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8308872PMC
July 2021

Metastatic Urachal Carcinoma Treated With Several Different Combined Regimens: A Case Report.

Front Oncol 2021 16;11:662589. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Medical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Yan'an University, Yan'an, China.

Urachal carcinoma is a rare bladder malignance. This study presents a case of an elderly patient with urachal carcinoma who was found to have pulmonary metastases 1 year after 5 recurrent resections. The patient was treated with up to 7 different chemotherapy regimens, including a VEGF monoclonal antibody and anti-PD-1 antibody. This is the first report of PD-1 antibody being used in patients with urachus, although the disease progressed after only four cycles of the application. The patient's disease was controlled by the FOLFIRI combined with the VEGF monoclonal antibody regimen. The most prominent issues at present are the difficulty of obtaining drugs for rare cancers and the lack of late-stage clinical trials to guide therapeutic decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.662589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322726PMC
July 2021

sp. nov. and sp. nov., isolated from faeces of Tibetan antelope () and leaves of dandelion (), respectively, on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2021 Jul;71(7)

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, PR China.

In the present study, four bacterial strains, two (S-713 and 406) isolated from faecal samples of Tibetan antelopes and the other two (S-531 and 1598) from leaves of dandelion collected on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of PR China, were analysed using a polyphasic approach. All four isolates were aerobic, rod-shaped, non-motile, oxidase-negative, Gram-stain-positive and catalase-positive. According to four phylogenetic trees, strain pairs S-713/406 and S-531/1598 form two independent branches belonging to the genus , and are closest to , , , , and . Although sharing MK8-(H) as their major isoprenoid quinone, strains S-713 and S-531 contained C 9 (24.64 and 16.34 %) and iso-C (9.74 and 29.38 %), respectively, as their main fatty acids, with remarkable differences in their biochemical profiles but only slight ones in their optimal growth conditions. The chromosomes of strains S-713 and S-531 were 4 207 844 bp (G+C content, 73.0 mol%) and 4 809 817 bp (G+C content, 72.5 mol%), respectively. Collectively, the two strain pairs represent two separate novel species of the genus , for which the names sp. nov. and sp. nov. are proposed, with S-713 (=JCM 33698=CGMCC 4.7660) and S-531 (=JCM 33468=CGMCC 4.7659) as the respective type strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijsem.0.004920DOI Listing
July 2021

Application efficacy of bundled nursing management in care of elderly patients with pressure ulcers.

Am J Transl Res 2021 15;13(6):6738-6744. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of General Surgery, Affiliated Renhe Hospital of China Three Gorges University Yichang, Hubei Province, China.

Objective: To discuss the efficacy of bundled nursing management in nursing of elderly patients with pressure ulcers.

Methods: 148 hospitalized elderly patients with pressure ulcers in our hospital were taken as the study subjects. The study subjects were randomly assigned to the observation group (n=74) and the control group (n=74) using the random number table method. The control group adopted the routine nursing model, while the observation group adopted the bundled nursing. A comparison of the two groups included the cure rate of pressure ulcers, anxiety (using self-rating anxiety scale), depression (using self-rating depression scale), quality of living (using MOS SF-36 scale), sleep quality and patient satisfaction.

Results: The cure rate of pressure ulcers in the observation group was greater than that in the control group (P<0.01). The SAS and SDS scores in the observation group were significantly less than those in the control group (P<0.001). The scores of physical function, general health, social function, emotional role, and mental health in the observation group were greater than those in the control group (all P<0.01). The sleep quality scores in the observation group were less than those in the control group (all P<0.001). The nursing satisfaction in the observation group was greater than that in the control group (P<0.05).

Conclusion: The application of bundled nursing management in the nursing of elderly patients with pressure ulcers is effective, which can promote the cure rate of pressure ulcers, improve the depression or anxiety, quality of living and sleep of patients, and enhance patient satisfaction. It deserves clinical promotion and use.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290705PMC
June 2021

Societal impact of research: a text mining study of impact types.

Scientometrics 2021 Jul 10:1-21. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Department of Information Resources Management, Business School, Nankai University, 94 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin, 300071 China.

In addition to academic impact, researchers are increasingly concerned with understanding and demonstrating the practical impact of research outside academia. Several frameworks capturing key impact types have been developed based on project experiences, expert opinions, and surveys. This empirical study seeks to contribute to this development by identifying impact types documented in 6,882 case studies submitted to impact evaluation groups in Australia (Engagement and Impact Assessment) and the United Kingdom (Research Excellence Framework). The results of text mining indicate three emerging impact types that extend existing frameworks in terms of the recognition of new opportunities, the length of use, and experience improvement, thereby allowing a variety of researchers, not just those who address popular, short-term, and instrumental issues, to understand and demonstrate their practice impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-04096-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8272605PMC
July 2021

sp. nov. and sp. nov., two new members of the family .

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2021 Jul;71(7)

Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, PR China.

Four obligatory anaerobic, Gram-stain-positive, non-motile and rod-shaped organisms (HF-1365, HF-1362, HF-1101 and HF-4214) were isolated from faecal samples of healthy Chinese subjects. Results of 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses showed that these isolates belong to the genera (strains HF-1365 and HF-1362) and (strains HF-1101 and HF-4214), closest to (both 98.6 %) and (98.0 and 97.8 %), respectively. The whole genome sequences of strains HF-1365 and HF-1101 were 2.3 and 4.2 Mb in size with 61.7 and 66.2 mol% DNA G+C content, respectively. The average nucleotide identity and digital DNA-DNA hybridization values indicated that strains HF-1365 and HF-1101 represent novel species in the genera and . Major fatty acid constituents (>10 %) of strains HF-1365 and HF-1362 were C (24.7 and 23.9 %), C (21.9 and 20.6 %) and summed feature 1 (Ciso H/C 3OH; 12.8 and 10.8 %); those of strains HF-1101 and HF-4214 were C 9c (32.4 and 33.1 %) and C (13.9 and 14.0 %). Strain HF-1365 had phospholipid, glycolipid, lipid and phosphoglycolipid without any known quinones, while strain HF-1101 had diphosphatidylglycerol as the major polar lipid and MK-7 (80.7 %) as the predominant quinone. On the basis of their phylogenetic and phenotypic characteristics, strains HF-1365 and HF-1101 represent two distinct species, respectively, in the genera and , for which the names sp. nov. (type strain HF-1365=CGMCC 1.17435=GDMCC 1.1705=JCM 33601) and sp. nov. (type strain HF-1101=CGMCC 1.17436=GDMCC 1.1668=JCM 33773) are proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijsem.0.004840DOI Listing
July 2021

sp. nov. and sp. nov., isolated from bat faeces of and species.

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2021 Jul;71(7)

State Key Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206, PR China.

Four aerobic, Gram-stain-positive, rod-shaped bacteria (HY60, HY54, HY82 and HY89) were isolated from bat faeces of and species collected in PR China. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the four novel strains formed two separate but adjacent subclades close to CGMCC 1.12260 (97.6-97.7 % similarity), JCM 18706 (97.3-97.5 %) and JCM 30493 (97.3-97.4 %). The 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity was 98.3 % between strains HY60 and HY82, and identical within strain pairs HY60/HY54 and HY82/HY89. The DNA G+C contents of strains HY60 and HY82 were 61.9 and 63.3 mol%, respectively. The digital DNA-DNA hybridization and average nucleotide identity values between each novel strain and their closest relatives were all below the 70 % and 95-96 % thresholds for species delimitation, respectively. All four novel strains contained -C, -C, -C and -C as the main fatty acids, MK-11 and MK-12 as the major respiratory quinones, and diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol and one unidentified glycolipid as the predominant polar lipids. The cell-wall peptidoglycan was of B type and contained alanine, glutamate, glycine and ornithine. The acyl type of the muramic acid was glycolyl. The whole-cell sugars were rhamnose and ribose. Based on the foregoing polyphasic analyses, it was concluded that the four uncharacterized strains represented two novel species of the genus , for which the names sp. nov. [type strain HY60 (=CGMCC 1.17468=GDMCC 1.1951=KACC 22102)] and sp. nov. [type strain HY82 (=CGMCC 1.17469=GDMCC 1.1949=KACC 22101)] are proposed, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijsem.0.004858DOI Listing
July 2021

Prediction model of emergency mortality risk in patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding: a retrospective study.

PeerJ 2021 24;9:e11656. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Affiliated Jinhua Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital, Jinhua, ZheJiang, China.

Background: Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is a common presentation in emergency departments and carries significant morbidity worldwide. It is paramount that treating physicians have access to tools that can effectively evaluate the patient risk, allowing quick and effective treatments to ultimately improve their prognosis. This study aims to establish a mortality risk assessment model for patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding at an emergency department.

Methods: A total of 991 patients presenting with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding between July 2016 and June 2019 were enrolled in this retrospective single-center cohort study. Patient demographics, parameters assessed at admission, laboratory test, and clinical interventions were extracted. We used the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression to identify predictors for establishing a nomogram for death in the emergency department or within 24 h after leaving the emergency department and a corresponding nomogram. The area under the curve of the model was calculated. A bootstrap resampling method was used to internal validation, and decision curve analysis was applied for evaluate the clinical utility of the model. We also compared our predictive model with other prognostic models, such as AIMS65, Glasgow-Blatchford bleeding score, modified Glasgow-Blatchford bleeding score, and Pre-Endoscopic Rockall Score.

Results: Among 991 patients, 41 (4.14%) died in the emergency department or within 24 h after leaving the emergency department. Five non-zero coefficient variables (transfusion of plasma, D-dimer, albumin, potassium, age) were filtered by the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression analysis and used to establish a predictive model. The area under the curve for the model was 0.847 (95% confidence interval [0.794-0.900]), which is higher than that of previous models for mortality of patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The decision curve analysis indicated the clinical usefulness of the model.

Conclusions: The nomogram based on transfusion of plasma, D-dimer, albumin, potassium, and age effectively assessed the prognosis of patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding presenting at the emergency department.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.11656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236237PMC
June 2021

The population structure, antimicrobial resistance, and pathogenicity of Streptococcus suis cps31.

Vet Microbiol 2021 Aug 12;259:109149. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

MOE Joint International Research Laboratory of Animal Health and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China; Key Lab of Animal Bacteriology, Ministry of Agriculture, Nanjing, 210095, China; OIE Reference Lab for Swine Streptococcosis, Nanjing, 210095, China. Electronic address:

Streptococcus suis is a zoonotic pathogen that can cause invasive infections in humans and pigs. The S. suis cps31 strains (SS31) were frequently isolated from healthy or diseased pigs and one human infection case caused by SS31 was reported in Thailand in 2015. However, except for a few epidemiologic studies, little information is available for SS31. To characterize SS31, a total of 75 SS31 strains were analyzed, including 52 strains that were isolated from healthy or diseased pigs and 23 strains whose information was accessed from NCBI. The MLST analysis showed that SS31 exhibited high heterogeneity. The phylogenetic analysis and minimum core-genome (MCG) classification revealed that 75 strains were clustered into 3 lineages. Strains from NCBI mainly at Lineage 2 belong to MCG7-3, and most of strains from China at Lineage 3 belong to MCG7-2. This finding indicated that their evolutionary path was different. All SS31 strains were resistant to more than three classes of antimicrobial agents, and major antimicrobial resistance genes for strains from Lineage 3 were carried by prophages. This observation is different from the previous observation that integrative conjugative elements and integrative and mobilizable elements are major vehicles of antimicrobial resistance genes for S. suis. In addition to strains isolated from diseased pigs, seven of 47 strains isolated from clinically healthy pigs were also pathogenic in a zebrafish infection model. These findings reveal unique characteristics of SS31 and contribute to establishing public health surveillance for SS31 and clarifying the diversity of S. suis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2021.109149DOI Listing
August 2021

Medical Image Segmentation With Deep Atlas Prior.

IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2021 12 30;40(12):3519-3530. Epub 2021 Nov 30.

Organ segmentation from medical images is one of the most important pre-processing steps in computer-aided diagnosis, but it is a challenging task because of limited annotated data, low-contrast and non-homogenous textures. Compared with natural images, organs in the medical images have obvious anatomical prior knowledge (e.g., organ shape and position), which can be used to improve the segmentation accuracy. In this paper, we propose a novel segmentation framework which integrates the medical image anatomical prior through loss into the deep learning models. The proposed prior loss function is based on probabilistic atlas, which is called as deep atlas prior (DAP). It includes prior location and shape information of organs, which are important prior information for accurate organ segmentation. Further, we combine the proposed deep atlas prior loss with the conventional likelihood losses such as Dice loss and focal loss into an adaptive Bayesian loss in a Bayesian framework, which consists of a prior and a likelihood. The adaptive Bayesian loss dynamically adjusts the ratio of the DAP loss and the likelihood loss in the training epoch for better learning. The proposed loss function is universal and can be combined with a wide variety of existing deep segmentation models to further enhance their performance. We verify the significance of our proposed framework with some state-of-the-art models, including fully-supervised and semi-supervised segmentation models on a public dataset (ISBI LiTS 2017 Challenge) for liver segmentation and a private dataset for spleen segmentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TMI.2021.3089661DOI Listing
December 2021
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