Publications by authors named "Zheng Liu"

1,685 Publications

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Dynamical evolution of anisotropic response of type-II Weyl semimetal TaIrTe under ultrafast photoexcitation.

Light Sci Appl 2021 May 14;10(1):101. Epub 2021 May 14.

International Center for Quantum Materials, School of Physics, Peking University, 100871, Beijing, China.

Layered type-II Weyl semimetals, such as WTe, MoTe, and TaIrTe have been demonstrated as a supreme photodetection material with topologically enhanced responsivity and specific sensitivity to the orbital angular momentum of light. Toward future device applications with high performance and ultrafast response, it is necessary to understand the dynamical processes of hot carriers and transient electronic properties of these materials under photoexcitation. In this work, mid-infrared ultrafast spectroscopy is performed to study the dynamical evolution of the anisotropic response of TaIrTe. The dynamical relaxation of photoexcited carriers exhibits three exponential decay components relating to optical/acoustic phonon cooling and subsequent heat transfer to the substrate. The ultrafast transient dynamics imply that TaIrTe is an ideal material candidate for ultrafast optoelectronic applications, especially in the long-wavelength region. The angle-resolved measurement of transient reflection reveals that the reflectivity becomes less anisotropic in the quasi-equilibrium state, indicating a reduction in the anisotropy of dynamical conductivity in presence of photoexcited hot carriers. The results are indispensable in material engineering for polarization-sensitive optoelectronics and high field electronics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41377-021-00546-1DOI Listing
May 2021

Hydrostatic pressure effect of photocarrier dynamics in GaAs probed by time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy.

Opt Express 2021 Apr;29(9):14058-14068

Pressure effects on photocarrier dynamics such as interband relaxations and intraband cooling in GaAs have been investigated using in situ time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy with a diamond anvil cell. The interband photocarrier lifetime significantly decreases by nearly two orders of magnitude as the external hydrostatic pressure is increased up to 10 GPa. Considerable pressure tuning for the intervalley scattering processes has also been observed, and the time constants under different pressures are extracted based on the three-state rate model. This work provides new perspectives on tailoring nonequilibrium carrier dynamics in semiconductors using hydrostatic pressure and may serve as the impetus for the development of high-pressure terahertz spectroscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.421011DOI Listing
April 2021

Spatially-directed angiogenesis using ultrasound-controlled release of basic fibroblast growth factor from acoustically-responsive scaffolds.

Acta Biomater 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Radiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Applied Physics Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Electronic address:

Vascularization is a critical step following implantation of an engineered tissue construct in order to maintain its viability. The ability to spatially pattern or direct vascularization could be therapeutically beneficial for anastomosis and vessel in-growth. However, acellular and cell-based strategies to stimulate vascularization typically do not afford this control. We have developed an ultrasound-based method of spatially- controlling regenerative processes using acellular, composite hydrogels termed acoustically-responsive scaffolds (ARSs). An ARS consists of a fibrin matrix doped with a phase-shift double emulsion (PSDE). A therapeutic payload, which is initially contained within the PSDE, is released by an ultrasound-mediated process called acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV). During ADV, the perfluorocarbon (PFC) phase within the PSDE is vaporized into a gas bubble. In this study, we generated ex situ four different spatial patterns of ADV within ARSs containing basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), which were subcutaneously implanted in mice. The PFC species within the PSDE significantly affected the morphology of the ARS, based on the stability of the gas bubble generated by ADV, which impacted host cell migration. Irrespective of PFC, significantly greater cell proliferation (i.e., up to 2.9-fold) and angiogenesis (i.e., up to 3.7-fold) were observed adjacent to +ADV regions of the ARSs compared to -ADV regions. The morphology of the PSDE, macrophage infiltration, and perfusion in the implant region were also quantified. These results demonstrate that spatially-defined patterns of ADV within an ARS can elicit spatially-defined patterns of angiogenesis. Overall, these finding can be applied to improve strategies for spatially-controlling vascularization. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: : Vascularization is a critical step following implantation of an engineered tissue. The ability to spatially pattern or direct vascularization could be therapeutically beneficial for inosculation and vessel in-growth. However, acellular and cell-based strategies to stimulate vascularization typically do not afford this control. We have developed an ultrasound-based method of spatially-controlling angiogenesis using acellular, composite hydrogels termed acoustically-responsive scaffolds (ARSs). An ARS consists of a fibrin matrix doped with a phase-shift double emulsion (PSDE). An ultrasound-mediated process called acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV) was used to release basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), which was initially contained within the PSDE. We demonstrate that spatially-defined patterns of ADV within an ARS can elicit spatially-defined patterns of angiogenesis in vivo. Overall, these finding can improve strategies for spatially-controlling vascularization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.04.048DOI Listing
May 2021

LncRNA EGOT/miR-211-5p Affected Radiosensitivity of Rectal Cancer by Competitively Regulating ErbB4.

Onco Targets Ther 2021 28;14:2867-2878. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Colorectal Surgery, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Background/aims: Long non-coding ribonucleic acids (lncRNAs) are involved in the progression of cancers and affect the response to radiation therapy. This study was to investigate the mechanism of lncRNA EGOT in the radiosensitivity of rectal cancer.

Methods: The mRNA expression of EGOT, miR-211-5p and ErbB4 in rectal cancer tissues and cells was detected by qRT-PCR. The protein expression of ErbB4 was detected by Western blot. Dual-luciferase reporter assay and ribonucleic acid immunoprecipitation (RIP) were used to confirm the interaction between EGOT and miR-211-5p or miR-211-5p and ErbB4. Transfection technology was used to down-regulate and up-regulate the expression of EGOT and miR-211-5p in rectal cancer cells, respectively. MTT, colony formation and flow cytometry were used to detect the effect of EGOT and miR-211-5p on proliferation, invasion, migration and apoptosis of rectal cancer cells.

Results: The expression of EGOT was up-regulated in rectal cancer tissues and cells, and the expression of EGOT was related to the late stage of pathology. EGOT knockdown inhibited the proliferation and colony formation of rectal cancer cells and induced the apoptosis of rectal cancer cells. Moreover, EGOT knockdown was significantly enhanced the effects of radiotherapy on rectal cancer in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, EGOT was found to serve as a sponge of miR-211-5p, and ErbB4 was a downstream target of miR-211-5p. EGOT enhanced the expression of ErbB4 by regulating miR-211-5p. MiR-211-5p inhibitor restored the effect of EGOT knockdown on the radiosensitivity of rectal cancer.

Conclusion: Down-regulation of EGOT could inhibit the growth of rectal cancer cells by regulating the miR-211-5p/ErbB4 axis and improve the radiosensitivity of rectal cancer cells. EGOT may be a new therapeutic target for rectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S256989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091867PMC
April 2021

Highly Conductive Al/Al Interfaces in Ultrafine Grained Al Compact Prepared by Low Oxygen Powder Metallurgy Technique.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Apr 30;11(5). Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Magnetic Powder Metallurgy Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 2266-98 Anagahora, Shimoshidami, Moriyama, Nagoya 463-8560, Japan.

The low oxygen powder metallurgy technique makes it possible to prepare full-dense ultrafine-grained (UFG) Al compacts with an average grain size of 160 nm by local surface bonding at a substantially lower temperature of 423 K from an Al nanopowder prepared by a low oxygen induction thermal plasma process. By atomic level analysis using transmission electron microscopy, it was found that there was almost no oxide layer at the Al/Al interfaces (grain boundaries) in UFG Al compact. The electrical conductivity of the UFG Al compact reached 3.5 × 10 S/m, which is the same level as that of the cast Al bulk. The Vickers hardness of the UFG Al compact of 1078 MPa, which is 8 times that of the cast Al bulk, could be explained by the Hall-Petch law. In addition, fracture behavior was analyzed by conducting a small punch test. The as-sintered UFG Al compact initially fractured before reaching its ultimate strength due to its large number of grain boundaries with a high misorientation angle. Ultimate strength and elongation were enhanced to 175 MPa and 24%, respectively, by reduction of grain boundaries after annealing, indicating that high compatibility of strength and elongation can be realized by appropriate microstructure control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11051182DOI Listing
April 2021

Plasma Galectin-3 is associated with progression from paroxysmal to persistent atrial fibrillation.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2021 May 2;21(1):226. Epub 2021 May 2.

Heart Center and Beijing Key Laboratory of Hypertension, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100020, China.

Background: Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is currently recognized as a promising biomarker for myocardial fibrosis. This study aimed to explore the potential association between plasma Gal-3 concentrations and atrial fibrillation (AF) progression in paroxysmal AF (PAF) patients METHODS: A total of 213 PAF patients were included for analysis in this study. All peripheral blood samples were prospectively collected and stored at -80℃ for subsequent Gal-3 quantification. The AF progression was defined as transformation from PAF to persistent AF (PsAF).

Results: A total of 51 PAF patients progressed to PsAF during a mean follow-up period of 674.44 ± 19.48 days. Patients with AF progression had significantly higher baseline plasma Gal-3 concentrations than those stayed in PAF status (13.52 ± 0.94 vs. 7.93 ± 0.37, p < 0.001). All PAF patients were divided into two subgroups based on the median value of plasma Gal-3 concentrations. Kaplan-Meier curve analysis showed a significantly higher AF progression rate in the higher plasma Gal-3 concentration group (log-rank test p < 0.001). In the Cox regression analysis, plasma Gal-3 concentration and left atrial diameter (LAD) were showed significantly associated with AF progression, even after adjustment of other potential confounding risk factors. Discrimination for AF progression with a simple model which consists of plasma Gal-3 concentration and LAD was modest with a C-statistic 0.72 (95%CI 0.64-0.80). Plasma Gal-3 concentration significantly improved the predictability by appropriately reclassifying several patients with progression (NRI = 28.3%, p = 0.003).

Conclusion: Elevated plasma Gal-3 concentration is significantly associated with AF progression from PAF to PsAF. Plasma Gal-3 concentration could be used for PAF progression risk stratification and guiding management for PAF patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-021-02043-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091760PMC
May 2021

Traditional and novel organophosphate esters (OPEs) in PM of a megacity, southern China: Spatioseasonal variations, sources, and influencing factors.

Environ Pollut 2021 Apr 22;284:117208. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Resources Utilization, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China.

Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are ubiquitous contaminants in the environment, whereas their atmospheric processes and fate are poorly understood. The present study revealed the spatial heterogeneity and seasonal variations of traditional and novel OPEs in PM (particulate matter with diameters < 2.5 μm) across a megacity (including residential areas and potential source sites) in South China. Potential influencing factors on the contamination levels of OPEs were addressed. The total concentrations of 11 traditional OPEs ranging from 262 to 42,194 pg/m (median = 1872 pg/m) were substantially higher than those of 10 novel OPEs (33.5-3835 pg/m, median = 318 pg/m). Significant spatial and temporal variations in the concentrations of most OPEs were observed. The overall district-specific contamination levels in this city showed dependence on the secondary industry sector for non-predominant OPEs and on the tertiary industry for predominant OPEs. The seasonal variations of the OPE concentrations suggest difference in their sources or influence of meteorological conditions. The correlations between the individual OPEs in PM are determined largely by either their applications or physicochemical properties (in particular vapor pressure). The correlations between OPE concentrations and each meteorological factor (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and surface solar radiation) were inconsistent (positive and negative). Wind speed had the greatest effect on the OPE levels; While most OPEs bound to PM were not efficiently scavenged by below-cloud rainfall. The results suggest that atmospheric half-life and Henry's Law Constant of OPEs are also determining factors for the wind speed and rainfall influence, respectively. However, mechanisms underlying the influence of meteorological conditions on atmospheric OPEs still need further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117208DOI Listing
April 2021

The Role of PD-1/PD-Ls in the Pathogenesis of IgG4-RD.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2021 Apr 30. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Pathology and Shenzhen Institute of Research and Innovation, The University of Hong Kong, China.

Objective: To investigate the role of Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and its two ligands PD-L1 and PD-L2 in the pathogenesis of IgG4-RD.

Methods: Patients with IgG4-RD (n = 43) as well as healthy controls (n = 34) were recruited. Expression levels of PD-1, PD-L1 and PD-L2 in plasma, submandibular gland and T cell subsets were determined by ELISA, immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Naive T cells were stimulated with or without PD-L1/PD-L2 or anti-PD-L1/anti-PD-L2 for 7 days and the proportion of CD4+CD25+Treg cells was detected by flow cytometry.

Results: The expression of PD-1, PD-L1 and PD-L2 in the plasma, submandibular gland and on the surface of Treg cells were increased in IgG4-RD patients. Plasma sPD-1 was positively correlated with serum IgG, IgG1, IgG3, IgG4, IgG4-RD RI and numbers of organs involved, and negatively correlated with serum IgM, IgA, C3 and C4. Plasma sPD-L2 was positively correlated with serum IgG1, plasma sPD-L1 was positively correlated with sPD-L2 and negatively correlated with C3. Stimulation of PD-L1 but not PD-L2 promoted the differentiation of naive T cells from IgG4-RD patients into CD4+CD25+Treg cells.

Conclusion: Plasma concentration of sPD-1, sPD-L1 and sPD-L2 were significantly increased in patients with IgG4-RD, and the expression of PD-1 and PD-L2 on Treg cells were upregulated. PD-1/PD-L1 can promote the differentiation of naive T cells into Treg cells and thus participate in the pathogenesis of IgG4-RD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keab360DOI Listing
April 2021

Comparison of natural orifice specimen extraction surgery and conventional laparoscopic-assisted resection in the treatment effects of low rectal cancer.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 29;11(1):9338. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Colorectal Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150081, China.

Natural orifice specimen extraction surgery (NOSES) is an intra-abdominal procedure that does not require an auxiliary incision to take a surgical sample from the abdominal wall through the natural orifice, but there are few systematic clinical studies on it. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the safety and feasibility of NOSES. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data and follow-up of 165 patients with low rectal cancer who underwent NOSES or conventional laparoscopic surgery at our center from January 2013 to June 2015. From the perioperative data and postoperative follow-up results of both groups, patients in the NOSES group had less intraoperative bleeding (49.3 ± 55.8 ml vs. 75.1 ± 57.3 ml, p = 0.02), shorter postoperative gastrointestinal recovery (42.3 ± 15.5 h vs. 50.1 ± 17.0 h, p = 0.01), less postoperative analgesic use (35.6% vs. 57.6%, p = 0.02), lower postoperative pain scores, lower rate of postoperative complications (6.8% vs. 25.4%, p = 0.01), better satisfaction of the image and cosmesis of the abdominal wall postoperatively, and higher quality of life. Moreover, there was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) between two groups. Overall, NOSES is a safe and reliable minimally invasive surgical technique for patients with low rectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88790-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085046PMC
April 2021

Nr2e1 deficiency aggravates insulin resistance and chronic inflammation of visceral adipose tissues in a diet-induced obese mice model.

Life Sci 2021 Apr 26;278:119562. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Department of Endocrinology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. Electronic address:

Aims: To investigate the nuclear receptor subfamily 2 group E member 1 (Nr2e1) expression in adipose tissues of obese mice and assess the role of Nr2e1 in insulin resistance and chronic inflammation of the adipose tissues.

Main Methods: An obese model was established in Nr2e1 knockout (KO) mice and their wild type (WT) littermates through a long-term high-fat diet (HFD) feeding regime. The epididymal fat weight, body weight, and daily food intake were recorded. The blood lipid profile, blood inflammatory factors, and the levels of fasting blood glucose (FBG) and fasting insulin were determined. We estimated insulin resistance by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA). The expression of inflammatory factors and F4/80 was examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and western blotting to assess adipose tissues inflammation. We also determined the molecules of insulin signaling and the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway by western blotting.

Key Findings: The Nr2e1 expression was upregulated in WT obese mice when compared with that in control mice. Despite a lower body weight and epididymal fat mass in Nr2e1 mice, these rats showed increased inflammatory cytokines secretion, more pronounced hyperlipidemia, and impaired insulin sensitivity after HFD treatment. Further investigation revealed that Nr2e1 deletion affected the expression of insulin signaling and NF-κB pathway-related molecules in visceral adipose tissues.

Significance: Nr2e1 may act as a potential target to improve insulin sensitivity and inflammation in obesity and related complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119562DOI Listing
April 2021

Type-2 Fuzzy Broad Learning System.

IEEE Trans Cybern 2021 Apr 22;PP. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

The broad learning system (BLS) has been identified as an important research topic in machine learning. However, the typical BLS suffers from poor robustness for uncertainties because of its characteristic of the deterministic representation. To overcome this problem, a type-2 fuzzy BLS (FBLS) is designed and analyzed in this article. First, a group of interval type-2 fuzzy neurons was used to replace the feature neurons of BLS. Then, the representation of BLS can be improved to obtain good robustness. Second, a fuzzy pseudoinverse learning algorithm was designed to adjust the parameter of type-2 FBLS. Then, the proposed type-2 FBLS was able to maintain the fast computational nature of BLS. Third, a theoretical analysis on the convergence of type-2 FBLS was given to show the computational efficiency. Finally, some benchmark and practical problems were used to test the merits of type-2 FBLS. The experimental results indicated that the proposed type-2 FBLS can achieve outstanding performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TCYB.2021.3070578DOI Listing
April 2021

In silico screening using bulk and single-cell RNA-seq data identifies RIMS2 as a prognostic marker in basal-like breast cancer: A retrospective study.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Apr;100(16):e25414

Department of Thyroid Surgery.

Abstract: Single-cell RNA-seq has become a powerful tool to understand tumor cell heterogenicity. This study tried to screen prognosis-related genes in basal-like breast tumors and evaluate their correlations with cellular states at the single-cell level.Bulk RNA-seq data of basal-like tumor cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas-Breast Cancer (TCGA-BRCA) and single-cell RNA-seq from GSE75688 were retrospectively reviewed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves, univariate and multivariate analysis based on Cox regression model were conducted for survival analysis. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and single-cell cellular functional state analysis were performed.Twenty thousand five hundred thirty genes with bulk RNA-seq data in TCGA were subjected to screening. Preliminary screening identified 10 candidate progression-related genes, including CDH19, AQP5, SDR16C5, NCAN, TTYH1, XAGE2, RIMS2, GZMB, LY6D, and FAM3B. By checking their profiles using single-cell RNA-seq data, only CDH19, SDR16C5, TTYH1, and RIMS2 had expression in primary triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. Prognostic analysis only confirmed that RIMS2 expression was an independent prognostic indicator of favorable progression free survival (PFS) (HR: 0.78, 95%: 0.64-0.95, P  = .015). GSEA analysis showed that low RIMS2 group expression had genes significantly enriched in DNA Repair, and MYC Targets V2. Among the 89 basal-like cells, RIMS2 expression was negatively correlated with DNA repair and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT).RIMS2 expression was negatively associated with DNA repair capability of basal-like breast tumor cells and might serve as an independent indicator of favorable PFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000025414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078249PMC
April 2021

[Retracted] Anticancer activity of taraxerol acetate in human glioblastoma cells and a mouse xenograft model via induction of autophagy and apoptotic cell death, cell cycle arrest and inhibition of cell migration.

Mol Med Rep 2021 Jun 20;23(6). Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Neurosurgery, Fuzhou General Hospital of Nanjing Military Command, Dongfang Hospital, Xiamen University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350025, P.R. China.

Following the publication of the above paper, a concerned reader drew to the Editor's attention that several figures (Figs. 3, 4, 7 and 10) contained apparent anomalies, including repeated patternings of data within the same figure panels. Furthermore, Fig. 3 contained data that bore striking similarities to data published in Fig. 6 in another paper published in , which has now been retracted [Zhu Y‑Y, Huang H‑Y and Wu Y‑L: Anticancer and apoptotic activities of oleanolic acid are mediated through cell cycle arrest and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential in HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Mol Med Rep 12: 5012‑5018, 2015]. After having conducted an independent investigation in the Editorial Office, the Editor of has determined that the above paper should be retracted from the Journal on account of a lack of confidence concerning the originality and the authenticity of the data. The authors were asked for an explanation to account for these concerns, but the Editorial Office never received any reply. The Editor regrets any inconvenience that has been caused to the readership of the Journal. [the original article was published in 13: 4541‑4548, 2016; DOI: 10.3892/mmr.2016.5105].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072302PMC
June 2021

Construction of Silver Clusters Capped by Zwitterionic Ethynide Ligands.

Inorg Chem 2021 May 19;60(9):6276-6282. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

State Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Die & Mould Technology, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Wuhan 430074, China.

A zwitterionic ligand 3-(triethylammonio)propyne (TAP) has been employed to construct nine silver ethynide compounds for the first time. Single-crystal X-ray analyses reveal that compounds and are silver ethynide assemblies based on the Ag subunits and clusters - are small discrete clusters of Ag, Ag, Ag, and Ag, respectively, ligated by the bulky TAP ligand with different auxiliary ligands. In addition, upon acquiring the tripod-like BuPO, a unprecedented 80 nuclei silver ethynide cluster was isolated and determined to be [(CFCO)@Ag(TAP)(BuPO)(CFCO)] by crystallography and thermogravimetric analysis. The symmetry of Ag was deconstructed to be two [Ag(TAP)(BuPO)(CFCO)] secondary building subunits arranged in a cross way, with five CFCO trapped in the center. These results highlight that the elaborate selection of ethynide ligands is of great importance in the synthesis of novel silver ethynide clusters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c03790DOI Listing
May 2021

Controlled Growth of Large-Sized and Phase-Selectivity 2D GaTe Crystals.

Small 2021 Apr 19:e2007909. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, 639798.

GaTe has recently attracted significant interest due to its direct bandgap and unique phase structure, which makes it a good candidate for optoelectronics. However, the controllable growth of large-sized monolayer and few-layer GaTe with tunable phase structures remains a great challenge. Here the controlled growth of large-sized GaTe with high quality, chemical uniformity, and good reproducibility is achieved through liquid-metal-assisted chemical vapor deposition method. By using liquid Ga, the rapid growth of 2D GaTe flakes with high phase-selectivity can be obtained due to its reduced reaction temperature. In addition, the method is used to synthesize many Ga-based 2D materials and their alloys, showing good universality. Raman spectra suggest that the as-grown GaTe own a relatively weak van der Waals interaction, where monoclinic GaTe displays highly-anisotropic optical properties. Furthermore, a p-n junction photodetector is fabricated using GaTe as a p-type semiconductor and 2D MoSe as a typical n-type semiconductor. The GaTe/MoSe heterostructure photodetector exhibits large photoresponsivity of 671.52 A W and high photo-detectivity of 1.48 × 10 Jones under illumination, owing to the enhanced light absorption and good quality of as-grown GaTe. These results indicate that 2D GaTe is a promising candidate for electronic and photoelectronic devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.202007909DOI Listing
April 2021

Hollow Spherical Superstructure of Carbon Nanosheets for Bifunctional Oxygen Reduction and Evolution Electrocatalysis.

Nano Lett 2021 Apr 13;21(8):3640-3648. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

AIST-Kyoto University Chemical Energy Materials Open Innovation Laboratory (ChEM-OIL), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.

The pyrolysis of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is an ingenious way to synthesize carbon-based materials with unique morphology for various applications including electrocatalysis. In this work, we reported a facile morphology regulation strategy for the synthesis of a spherical superstructure of MOF nanosheets. The use of metal hydroxide nanosheets on Zn particles as precursors/templates allowed MOFs with general polyhedron shape to form nanosheets and assemble into a spherical superstructure in the ligand solution. Further, a hollow spherical superstructure of carbon nanosheets decorated with metal-based nanoparticles was fabricated through the pyrolysis of MOF nanosheet superstructures at 950 °C, where the substrate/template Zn particle cores were evaporated away. The obtained composites possess carbon-based superstructures with abundant mesopores and metal-based nanoparticles with rich alloy/oxide interfaces. These features endow this MOF-derived carbon-based material with outstanding bifunctional activity for oxygen reduction/evolution reactions and great performances in Zn-air batteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00757DOI Listing
April 2021

Individual-level socioeconomic status and contact or familiarity with people with mental illness: a cross-sectional study in Wuhou District, Chengdu, Southwest China.

BMC Fam Pract 2021 Apr 9;22(1):71. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Chengdu Dekang Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, China.

Background: People with mental illness (PWMI) often suffer from public stigma, which can make them unwilling to seek help and reduce access to early treatment. The aims of this study were to determine attitudes towards PWMI among the general public in a Chinese sample and to explore the relationships with sociodemographic characteristics.

Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted from March to June 2019. The participants' attitudes towards PWMI were evaluated by the Chinese version of the Social Distance Scale (SDSC). An independent-sample T-test and one-way ANOVA were used to determine the association of categorical variables with the outcome variable. Multiple linear regression and Spearman correlations were computed to explore the correlation between SDSC scores and individual-level socioeconomic status (SES).

Results: A total of 1437 participants were recruited, and their total SDSC score was 12.53 (SD: 3.11). Univariate analysis results showed that age, education level, educational attainment, and individual-level SES as well as whether they were caregivers/family members of PWMI were correlated with SDSC scores. The results of regression analysis showed a significant effect caused by contact or familiarity with PWMI (B = -1.134, β = -.190, P < 0.001), as well as for individual-level SES (B = -.339, β = -.110, P < 0.001). Spearman correlation results showed that SDSC scores were negatively correlated with individual-level SES (r = -.078, p < 0.01) and contact or familiarity with PWMI (r = -.168, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: This study reveals that public stigma towards PWMI is common in Southwest China. Individuals who are not a family member or a caregiver of PWMI or have low education level or low individual-level SES need to be provided more anti-stigma interventions. Contacting with PWMI is also a potentially beneficial measure to reduce social distance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12875-021-01422-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035729PMC
April 2021

Engineering High-Spin State Cobalt Cations in Spinel Zinc Cobalt Oxide for Spin Channel Propagation and Active Site Enhancement in Water Oxidation.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Nanyang Technological University, School of Materials Science and Engineering, 50 Nanyang Ave., Blk N4.1-02-20, 639798, Singapore, SINGAPORE.

Promoting the initially deficient but cost-effective catalysts to high-performing competitors is of significance in developing better catalysts. Spinel zinc cobalt oxide (ZnCo 2 O 4 ) is not considered as a superior catalyst for the electrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER), which is the bottleneck reaction in water-electrolysis. Herein, taking advantage of density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we find that the existence of low-spin (LS) state cobalt cations hinders the OER activity of spinel zinc cobalt oxide, as the t 2g 6 e g 0 configuration gives rise to purely localized electronic structure and exhibits poor binding affinity to the key reaction intermediate. Increasing the spin state of cobalt cations in spinel ZnCo 2 O 4 is found to propagate a spin channel to promote spin-selected charge transport during OER and generate better active sites for intermediates adsorption. The experiments find increasing the calcination temperature a facile approach to engineer high-spin (HS) state cobalt cations in ZnCo 2 O 4 , while not working for Co 3 O 4 . The activity of the best spin-state-engineered ZnCo 2 O 4 outperforms other typical Co-based oxides. Our work pinpoints the critical influence of the spinel composition on the splitting energy of the metals and further on the feasibility of spin state engineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202102452DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical characteristics and outcome of IgG4-related disease with hypocomplementemia: a prospective cohort study.

Arthritis Res Ther 2021 04 7;23(1):102. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, National Clinical Research Center for Dermatologic and Immunologic Diseases (NCRC-DID), Ministry of Science & Technology; State Key Laboratory of Complex Severe and Rare Diseases, Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH); Key Laboratory of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Ministry of Education, No.1 Shuai Fu Yuan, Dong Cheng District, Beijing, 100730, China.

Background: Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a newly recognized systemic, immune-mediated, and fibro-inflammatory disease. Hypocomplementemia was found in part of IgG4-RD patients especially in the setting of active disease.

Objectives: This study aimed to clarify the clinical features, treatment efficacy, and outcome in IgG4-RD patients with hypocomplementemia.

Methods: 312 IgG4-RD patients were recruited in our prospective cohort conducted in Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Patients were divided into hypocomplementemia group and normal complement group according to serum C3 and C4 levels measured at baseline before treatment. Low serum C3 levels (< 0.73 g/L) and/or C4 levels (< 0.10 g/L) were defined as hypocomplementemia. Demographic data, clinical characteristics, laboratory parameters, treatment, and outcome of two groups were analyzed and compared.

Results: Hypocomplementemia was identified in 65 (20.8%) cases of untreated IgG4-RD patients at baseline. The average age of hypocomplementemia group was 55.85 ± 10.89 years, with male predominance (72.3%). Compared with normal complement group, patients with hypocomplementemia were likely to have more involved organs, higher IgG4-RD responder index (IgG4-RD RI), and higher laboratory parameters such as counts of eosinophils, inflammatory markers, immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG1, IgG3, IgG4, and IgE. In addition, lymph nodes, lacrimal gland, submandibular gland, parotid gland, paranasal sinus, bile ducts, and prostate gland were more commonly affected (p < 0.05). Serum C3 and C4 showed a significant positively correlation with each other. Both C3 and C4 were negatively correlated with the number of involved organs, IgG, IgG3, IgG4, and IgG4-RD RI, as well as positively correlated with IgA and hypersensitive C reactive protein (hsCRP). 64 (98.5%) patients responded quickly to initial therapy at a 3-month follow-up. Fifteen (23.1%) patients relapsed during follow-up with mean recurrence time of 14.2 ± 13.8 months. Compared with normal complement group, there was no significant difference of relapse rate in two groups (P = 0.401).

Conclusions: Clinical characteristics of IgG4-related disease with hypocomplementemia differ from normal complement group. Serum C3 and C4 at baseline before treatment could be biological markers for disease activity. IgG4-RD with hypocomplementemia responded well to treatment and had no significant difference of relapse rate in IgG4-RD with normal complement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-021-02481-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025345PMC
April 2021

Beyond Sociodemographic and COVID-19-Related Factors: The Association Between the Need for Psychological and Information Support from School and Anxiety and Depression.

Med Sci Monit 2021 Apr 7;27:e929280. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

West China School of Nursing/West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (mainland).

BACKGROUND In addition to sociodemographic and COVID-19- related factors, the needs of school support, including material, psychological and information support, have seldom been discussed as factors influencing anxiety and depression among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIAL AND METHODS In this cross-sectional study, 3351 college students from China were surveyed through questionnaires about their sociodemographic and COVID-19 characteristics, the needs of school support, and their experiences with anxiety and depression. RESULTS Anxiety and depression were reported by 6.88% and 10.50% of students, respectively. Married, higher education, non-medical, and urban students had significantly higher risks of anxiety or depression. Additionally, symptoms such as cough and fever, especially when following a possible contact with suspected individuals, quarantine history of a personal contact, going out 1-3 times a week, not wearing a mask, and spending 2-3 hours browsing COVID-19-related information were significantly associated with the occurrence of anxiety or depression. Those who used methods to regulate their emotional state, used a psychological hotline, and who had visited a psychiatrist showed higher anxiety or depression. Those who used online curricula and books, used preventive methods for COVID-19, and who had real-time information about the epidemic situation of the school showed lower anxiety and depression. CONCLUSIONS In addition to sociodemographic and COVID-19-related aspects, students' needs for psychological assistance and information from schools were also associated with anxiety and depression among college students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/MSM.929280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8040519PMC
April 2021

Quantification of pitting corrosion from thermography using deep neural networks.

Rev Sci Instrum 2021 Mar;92(3):035116

School of Engineering, University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, British Columbia V1V 1V7, Canada.

Pipelines serve as the major infrastructure for transmission and distribution in oil and gas and water industries. The health condition of a metallic pipe is determined mainly by the extent to which it is corroded. Thus, the quantification of pitting corrosion in terms of metal loss is required for the understanding of pipe condition. There are different ways to quantify corrosion pit geometry. Direct methods measure the pit depth of pipe samples, which are sand/grit blasted to remove corrosion products, and are often adopted in the laboratory. Indirect methods employ non-destructive inspection techniques to detect and quantify the corrosion without sandblasting, which is preferred for a field test. In this study, pulsed thermography is considered for the quantification of pitting corrosion in a metallic pipe. Thermography testing can generate a sequence of infrared images, which reflect the diffusion process of heat through the pipe wall. This paper proposes a new deep neural network-based approach to quantify the pitting corrosion damages from the acquired thermography images. Through extensive experimental tests, the quantified results demonstrate a reasonably good linear relationship with metal loss of pipe, as the quantification accuracy was better than 98%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0026653DOI Listing
March 2021

Selectfluor-Promoted Intramolecular N-S Bond Formation of α-Carbamoyl Ketene Dithioacetals in the Presence of Water: Synthesis of Multifunctionalized Isothiazolones.

J Org Chem 2021 Apr 2;86(8):5506-5517. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin 300401, P. R. China.

A practical and efficient protocol toward fully substituted isothiazolones through Selectfluor-mediated intramolecular oxidative annulation of α-carbamoyl ketene dithioacetals has been developed in the presence of HO and metal-free conditions. Notably, the experimental results reveal that HO was crucial to the formation of new N-S bonds and the elimination of alkyl group from the sulfur atom. This protocol provides readily prepared substrates and possesses good functional group tolerance, mild reaction conditions, and operational simplicity, which provides potential access to applications in the pharmaceutical chemistry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.joc.0c03036DOI Listing
April 2021

Primary Tumor Resection for Rectal Cancer With Unresectable Liver Metastases: A Chance to Cut Is a Chance for Improved Survival.

Front Oncol 2021 15;11:628715. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, National Cancer Center, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

About half of the patients with rectal cancer will develop liver metastasis during the course of their illness. Unfortunately, a large proportion of these metastases are unresectable. Surgical resection of the primary tumor vs. palliative treatment in patients with unresectable synchronous liver metastases remains controversial. Patients with rectal cancer with surgically unresectable liver metastases were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2015. According to different treatment modalities, patients were divided into a primary tumor resection group and a non-resection group. Rates of primary tumor resection and survival were calculated for each year. Kaplan-Meier methods and Cox regression models were used to assess long-term survival. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate factors potentially associated with primary tumor resection. Among 1,957 patients, 494 (25.2%) had undergone primary tumor resection. Patients with primary tumor resection had significantly better 5-year survival rate (27.2 vs. 5.6%, < 0.001) compared to the non-resection group. Chemoradiotherapy with primary site resection was associated with the longest mean and 5-year OS (44.7 months, 32.4%). The Cox regression analyses of the subgroup indicated that patients who underwent primary tumor resection had improved survival compared with those who did not undergo resection in all 25 subgroups. Factors associated with primary tumor resection were well or moderately differentiated tumor grade, undergoing radiation, and primary tumor size <5 cm. The majority of patients with rectal cancer with unresectable liver metastases did not undergo primary tumor resection. Our results indicate that resection of the primary tumor appears to offer the greatest chance of survival. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.628715DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006931PMC
March 2021

Polymorphisms of microRNAs are associated with salt sensitivity in a Han Chinese population: the EpiSS study.

J Hum Hypertens 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University and Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, Beijing, China.

The majority of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) association studies of salt sensitivity (SS) have focused on SNPs in protein-coding genes rather than on SNPs in noncoding RNAs. This study attempted to identify the association between whole blood microRNA (miRNA)-related SNPs and the risk of SS in a Han Chinese population. A case-control study of 762 individuals was performed. A modified Sullivan's acute oral saline load and diuresis shrinkage test was used to assess SS. All SNPs were analysed by RT-PCR on a Sequenom Mass ARRAY Platform (Sequenom, San Diego, CA, USA). A genetic risk score (GRS) was used to evaluate the joint genetic effect. In total, 24 miRNA-related SNPs were genotyped, four of which (miR-1307-5p/rs11191676, miR-1307-5p/rs2292807, miR-145/rs41291957 and miR-4638-3p/rs6601178) were associated with both SS and salt sensitivity of blood pressure (SSBP) (p ≤ 0.05). MiR-382-5p/rs4906032 and miR-15b-5/rs10936201 were associated with SSBP. Weighted GRS showed that participants in the second, third and fourth quartiles had 1.760-fold (95% CI: 1.068-2.903), 2.450-fold (95% CI: 1.470-4.083) and 2.774-fold (95% CI: 1.680-4.582) increased risk of SS, respectively. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that these four SNP risk alleles may affect transcription factor binding and influence promoter activity. A total of six miRNA-related SNPs were found to be associated with SS or SSBP, and the presence of multiple risk alleles resulted in increased risk level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41371-021-00485-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Androgen receptor splice variant 7 detected by immunohistochemical is an independent poor prognostic marker in men receiving adjuvant androgen-deprivation therapy after radical prostatectomy.

Biomark Res 2021 Mar 31;9(1):23. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Urology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China.

Background: To evaluate the predictive value of AR-V7 expression detected by immunohistochemical (IHC) in the prognosis of prostate cancer patients receiving adjuvant hormonal therapy (AHT) following radical prostatectomy (RP).

Methods: We retrospectively collected data of 110 patients with prostate cancer receiving RP, followed by AHT, from Tongji hospital. IHC analysis of AR-V7 expression was performed in a retrospective cohort.

Results: In total, 110 patients were enrolled, of whom 21 patients (19.1%) were AR-V7-positive and 89 patients (80.9%) were AR-V7-negative. No significant differences in baseline characteristics were found between the two groups. AR-V7-positive patients had shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (HR: 4.26; 95% CI, 1.55 to 11.68; P = 0.003), shorter cancer-special survival (CSS) (HR: 22.47; 95% CI, 2.912 to 173.4; P = 0.003) and shorter overall survival (OS) (HR: 6.61; 95% CI, 1.40 to 31.20; P = 0.017) compared to AR-V7-negative patients. In multivariate analysis, AR-V7 is an independent risk factor for shorter PFS (HR, 3.76; 95% CI, 1.63 to 8.70; P = 0.002), shorter CSS (HR: 9.17; 95% CI, 1.48 to 55.56; P = 0.017) and shorter OS (HR: 4.81; 95% CI, 1.28 to 17.86; P = 0.020).

Conclusion: The presence of AR-V7 in prostate cancer tissue is independently associated with an unfavorable prognosis for PFS, OS and CSS in patients who received AHT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40364-021-00276-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011087PMC
March 2021

Prognostic and clinicopathological significance of GPRC5A in various cancers: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

PLoS One 2021 31;16(3):e0249040. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Medical Centre for Digestive Diseases, Second Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China.

Background: GPRC5A is associated with various cancer initiation and progression. Controversial findings have been reported about GPRC5A prognostic characteristics, and no meta-analysis has been conducted to assess the relationship between GPRC5A and cancer prognosis. Therefore, the objective of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the overall prognostic effectiveness of GPRC5A.

Methods: We first conducted a systematic search in the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, CNKI, Cochrane, and WangFang databases. The hazard ratio (HR) and odds ratios (OR) with 95% CI were then pooled to assess the associations between GPRC5A expression and overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), event-free survival (EFS), and clinicopathological characteristics. Chi-squared test and I2 statistics were completed to evaluate the heterogeneity in our study. A random-effects model was used when significant heterogeneity existed (I2>50% and p<0.05); otherwise, we chose the fixed-effect model. Subgroup analysis was stratified by tumor type, region, HR obtained measurements, and sample capacity to explore the source of heterogeneity.

Results: In total, 15 studies with 624 patients met inclusion criteria of this study. Our results showed that higher expression of GPRC5A is associated with worse OS (HR:1.69 95%CI: 1.20-2.38 I2 = 75.6% p = 0.000), as well as worse EFS (HR:1.45 95%CI: 1.02-1.95 I2 = 0.0% p = 0.354). Subgroup analysis indicated that tumor type might be the source of high heterogeneity. Additionally, cancer patients with enhanced GPRC5A expression were more likely to lymph node metastasis (OR:1.95, 95%CI 1.33-2.86, I2 = 43.9%, p = 0.129) and advanced tumor stage (OR: 1.83, 95%CI 1.15-2.92, I2 = 61.3%, p = 0.035), but not associated with age, sex, differentiation, and distant metastasis.

Conclusion: GPRC5A can be a promising candidate for predicting medical outcomes and used for accurate diagnosis, prognosis prediction for patients with cancer; however, the predictive value of GPRC5A varies significantly according to cancer type. Further studies for this mechanism will be necessary to reveal novel insights into application of GPRC5A in cancers.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249040PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011795PMC
March 2021

Comparison of Thulium Laser Resection of Bladder Tumors and Conventional Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumors for Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.

Urol Int 2021 Mar 30:1-6. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Urology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Introduction: The thulium laser resection of bladder tumors (TmLRBT) was increasingly used in the treatment of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) recently, and here we report the relevant outcomes of our institution to evaluate its efficacy and safety.

Methods: We retrospectively collected the data of NMIBC patients who underwent either TmLRBT or transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). The baseline characteristics and perioperative outcomes were compared in these 2 groups.

Results: The TmLRBT had a higher rate of detrusor identification than TURBT (97.4 vs. 87.6%, p = 0.001). After screening, 134 patients who underwent TmLRBT and 152 patients who received TURBT were enrolled in the analysis, and their baseline characteristics were similar. During the TURBT, 24 (15.8%) obturator nerve reflexes and 9 (5.9%) bladder perforations occurred, while none happened during the TmLRBT. After surgery, TmLRBT patients had fewer postoperative gross hematuria (38.1 vs. 96.7%, p < 0.001) and postoperative irrigation (27.6 vs. 92.7%, p < 0.001), and its irrigation duration was significantly shorter (2.3 vs. 3.3 day, p < 0.001). During the follow-up, no significant difference in the recurrence rate was detected (p = 0.315).

Conclusions: TmLRBT is a safer technique than conventional TURBT in the treatment of NMIBC, and it could offer better specimens for pathologic assessment while the cancer control was not compromised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000514042DOI Listing
March 2021

Screening of osteoarthritis diagnostic markers based on immune-related genes and immune infiltration.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 29;11(1):7032. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Orthopaedics, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Lanzhou, 730000, Gansu, People's Republic of China.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative disease of the bone and joints. Immune-related genes and immune cell infiltration are important in OA development. We analyzed immune-related genes and immune infiltrates to identify OA diagnostic markers. The datasets GSE51588, GSE55235, GSE55457, GSE82107, and GSE114007 were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. First, R software was used to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and differentially expressed immune-related genes (DEIRGs), and functional correlation analysis was conducted. Second, CIBERSORT was used to evaluate infiltration of immune cells in OA tissue. Finally, the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator logistic regression algorithm and support vector machine-recurrent feature elimination algorithm were used to screen and verify diagnostic markers of OA. A total of 711 DEGs and 270 DEIRGs were identified in this study. Functional enrichment analysis showed that the DEGs and DEIRGs are closely related to cellular calcium ion homeostasis, ion channel complexes, chemokine signaling pathways, and JAK-STAT signaling pathways. Differential analysis of immune cell infiltration showed that M1 macrophage infiltration was increased but that mast cell and neutrophil infiltration were decreased in OA samples. The machine learning algorithm cross-identified 15 biomarkers (BTC, PSMD8, TLR3, IL7, APOD, CIITA, IFIH1, CDC42, FGF9, TNFAIP3, CX3CR1, ERAP2, SEMA3D, MPO, and plasma cells). According to pass validation, all 15 biomarkers had high diagnostic efficacy (AUC > 0.7), and the diagnostic efficiency was higher when the 15 biomarkers were fitted into one variable (AUC = 0.758). We developed 15 biomarkers for OA diagnosis. The findings provide a new understanding of the molecular mechanism of OA from the perspective of immunology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86319-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007625PMC
March 2021

Three-Dimensional Macroporous Sponge for the Culture of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patient-Derived Xenograft Organoids.

SLAS Technol 2021 Mar 27:24726303211000685. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

The N.1 Institute for Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

This protocol focuses on the culture of cells harvested from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) as organoids using a cellulosic macroporous sponge scaffold. Compared with many other epithelial cancer types, the viability of HCC cells directly derived from patients or PDX models is notoriously challenging to maintain in vitro. We previously developed a macroporous sponge scaffold uniquely designed to provide biochemical and mechanical cues that support the culture of normal hepatocytes as spheroids with maintained functionality. Leveraging our success using this sponge scaffold to maintain normal hepatocytes in vitro, we recently demonstrated that a similar sponge scaffold enables the maintenance of HCC PDX cells as organoids with preserved viability, molecular features, and heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/24726303211000685DOI Listing
March 2021