Open access article: Recent Progress in Sic Nanostructures as Anode Materials for Lithium- Ion Batteries

Author(s): Xiaohong FanDingrong DengYi Li* and Qi-Hui Wu*

Large volume variation during charge/discharge of silicon (Si) nanostructures applied as the anode electrodes for high energy lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) has been considered the most critical problem, inhibiting their commercial applications. Searching for alternative highperformance anodes for LIBs has been emphasized. Silicon carbide (SiC) nanomaterials, a wide bandgap semiconductor with excellent mechanical properties, have been investigated as anode electrode materials even as active materials, protective layers, or inactive buffer stuff. In this minireview, we briefly summarize the synthesis of SiC nanostructures, the application of SiC/C anode materials, and SiC/Si composite anodes in LIBs.

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Open access article: Formaldehyde Levels in Fabrics on the Ghanaian Market

Author(s):Patience Danquah Monnie*Rachel Amanfu and Modesta Efua Gavor

Background: Formaldehyde is a chemical used in several textile production processes, such as hardening of fibers and antimold finishing. However, it has varying effects on humans, such as irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, wheezing, chest pains and bronchitis. In the midst of COVID-19, individuals are using various fabrics for face mask production, which may be containing levels of formaldehyde that can negatively affect their health.

Methods: This study investigated formaldehyde levels in fabrics on the Ghanaian market to determine compliance to standards set by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) with the aid of experimental procedures. Thirty-two (32) different brands of fabrics were selected for the investigation. Formaldehyde levels were determined using a spectrophotometer (DR6000). Data were analyzed using the Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) for Windows version 22. The mean performance attributes and the formaldehyde levels of the sampled fabrics were determined before and after washing. Inferential statistics (Analysis of Variance and Paired Samples t-test) at 0.05 alpha levels were used to determine significant differences between and among the groups involved.

Results: The fabric samples tested positive for formaldehyde before and after washing, with some exceeding the standard limits set by the GSA before washing. Significant differences existed between and among the samples with regard to formaldehyde levels as well as weight and weave types of the samples and formaldehyde levels.

Conclusion: Washing significantly reduced the formaldehyde levels in the fabrics. It is recommended that Ghana Standards Authority takes a further look at the fabrics on the Ghanaian market to ensure manufacturers comply with set standards and consumers are also advised to wash their clothes at least once before use to reduce the level of impact formaldehyde resin may have on them.

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Open access: Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Synthesized by Micellar Approach as a Potential Dual-Mode T1-T2 Contrast Agent

Author(s):Watson BekLaudemir C. Varanda*Simone J.S. LopesDaniel A. MoraesNatalia M. Santos and Maria Eduarda S. D. Lino

Objective: A micellar approach is used to synthesize Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (USPIONs) with an average diameter of 3.4±0.5 nm, suitable for dual-mode T1-T2 contrast agents.

Methods: Micelles with 3.8 nm, measured by dynamic light scattering, were obtained by selforganizing the surfactant iron(III) dodecyl sulfate (IDS) in 1-octanol. IDS was prepared by replacing Na+ cation in sodium dodecyl sulfate molecule, and its critical micelle concentration (CMC) was measured by electrical conductivity. The USPIONs were synthesized in a biphasic system: IDS in octanol (55% above the CMC) and water containing NaBH4.

Results: A yellow precipitate is immediately formed at the water/alcohol interface, rapidly changes to a black one, and transfers to the aqueous phase. The magnetite phase was confirmed by X-ray diffraction and Mössbauer spectroscopy. The magnetic behavior shows a major paramagnetic character with a weak ferromagnetic component at 5 K, the latter attributed to the interparticle couplings below its blocking temperature (TB = 35 K). The particles were coated with carboxymethyl dextran, showing an isoelectric point of 2.7 with electrokinetic potential around -30 mV in the physiological pH range. Magnetic relaxation measurements showed relaxivity values r1 = 0.17 mM-1 s-1 and r2 = 1.73 mM-1 s-1 (r2/r1 = 10) in a 3T field. These values infer that the ultrasmall size affects the interactions with the protons of the nearby water molecules. The r2 value decreases because the core magnetization decreases with size; r1 intensifies due to the high surface.

Conclusion: The results show a system with high colloidal stability, non-cytotoxic, and potential application as T1-T2 dual-mode contrast agents.

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Open access: Viruses Broaden the Definition of Life by Genomic Incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Processes

Author(s): George B. Stefano* and Richard M. Kream

Viruses have been classified as non-living because they require a cellular host to support their replicative processes. Empirical investigations have significantly advanced our understanding of the many strategies employed by viruses to usurp and divert host regulatory and metabolic processes to drive the synthesis and release of infectious particles. The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has permitted us to evaluate and discuss a potentially novel classification of viruses as living entities. The ability of SARS CoV-2 to engender comprehensive regulatory control of integrative cellular processes is strongly suggestive of an inherently dynamic informational registry that is programmatically encoded by linear ssRNA sequences responding to distinct evolutionary constraints. Responses to positive evolutionary constraints have resulted in a single-stranded RNA viral genome that occupies a threedimensional space defined by conserved base-paring resulting from a complex pattern of both secondary and tertiary structures. Additionally, regulatory control of virus-mediated infectious processes relies on extensive protein-protein interactions that drive conformational matching and shape recognition events to provide a functional link between complementary viral and host nucleic acid and protein domains. We also recognize that the seamless integration of complex replicative processes is highly dependent on the precise temporal matching of complementary nucleotide sequences and their corresponding structural and non-structural viral proteins. Interestingly, the deployment of concerted transcriptional and translational activities within targeted cellular domains may be modeled by artificial intelligence (AI) strategies that are inherently fluid, self-correcting, and adaptive at accommodating temporal changes in host defense mechanisms. An in-depth understanding of multiple self-correcting AIassociated viral processes will most certainly lead to novel therapeutic development platforms, notably the design of efficacious neuropharmacological agents to treat chronic CNS syndromes associated with long-COVID. In summary, it appears that viruses, notably SARS-CoV-2, are very much alive due to acquired genetic advantages that are intimately entrained to existential host processes via evolutionarily constrained AI-associated learning paradigms.

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Open access article: Adenosine Blood Level: A Biomarker of White Matter Damage in Very Low Birth Weight Infants

Author(s): Marina ColellaIsabella Panfoli*Matteo DoglioMichela CassanelloMaurizio BruschiLaura C. De AngelisGiovanni CandianoAlessandro ParodiMariya MalovaAndrea PetrettoGiovanni MoranaDomenico TortoraMariasavina SeverinoMohamad MaghnieGiuseppe BuonocoreAndrea RossiOliver Baud and Luca A. Ramenghi

Background: Very low birth weight infants are at risk of developing periventricular white matter lesions. We previously reported high blood adenosine levels in premature infants and infants with low birth weight. We asked whether blood adenosine levels could be related to the vulnerability of the maturing white matter to develop lesions. The present study aims at finding a biomarker for the early detection of brain white matter lesions that can profoundly influence the neurodevelopmental outcome, whose pathophysiology is still unclear.

Methods: Dried blood spots were prospectively collected for the newborn screening program and adenosine concentration measurements. Fifty-six newborns who tested four times for blood adenosine concentration (at days 3, 15, 30, and 40 post-birth) were included in the program. All infants underwent brain MRI at term equivalent age. Neurodevelopmental outcomes were studied with Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS) at 12 ± 2 months corrected age.

Results: Blood adenosine concentration increased over time from a median of 0.75 μM at Day 3 to 1.46 μM at Day 40. Adenosine blood concentration >1.58 μM at Day 15 was significantly associated with brain white matter lesions at MRI (OR (95 % CI) of 50.0 (3.6-688.3), p-value < 0.001). A moderate negative correlation between adenosine at 15 days of life and GMDS at 12 ± 2 months corrected age was found.

Conclusion: These findings suggest a potential role for blood adenosine concentration as a biomarker of creberal white matter lesions in very low birth weight infants.

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Open access: Efficacy of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Emotion Dysregulation in Patients with Dual Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorder

Author(s):Ahmed RadyAhmed AbdelkarimAndre Ivanoff and Tarek Molokhia

Background: The published evidence supports the efficacy of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) to treat patients with borderline personality disorder and particular emphasis on emotion dysregulation as a psychopathological construct.

Aim: To assess the efficacy of DBT for improving emotion dysregulation among patients with dual diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder.

Methods: We recruited 40 patients meeting DSM-5 criteria for borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder and assigned them to one of two groups of 20 participants each. One group underwent DBT therapy and the other group followed a treatment-as-usual (TAU) protocol over one year. We used the scores of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale (DERS) at baseline, immediately after therapy, and 4 months after therapy to assess emotion dysregulation.

Results: We found significant improvements (p<0.05) in the DBT group after therapy that were maintained at least for 4 months afterwards based on the DERS scores (including subscale scores). More patients dropped out of the treatment in the TAU group than in the DBT group.

Conclusion: DBT is a potentially efficacious psychological intervention to treat emotion dysregulation in patients with borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder.

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Open access article: Quality of Life in Family Caregivers of Patients with Schizophrenia: A Narrative Review

Author(s): Jes Sebastian Völker and Ioana Valentina Micluția

Abstract: Care for schizophrenia patients over the past few decades has shifted from inpatient treatment in mental institutions towards outpatient treatment options. While this has the potential to allow patients a more regular life with the ability to work and socialize, it has increased the burden on family caregivers. This state-of-the-art narrative review summarizes the most important factors, besides the clinical symptoms of schizophrenia, that impact the quality of life of caregivers negatively. These factors include the impact of the disease on household income and socioeconomic status, anxiety, stigma, negative changes in family dynamics as well as an overall reduction of social and family contacts.

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Open Access Articles – A Sensitive Chromatographic Method for Hyaluronate Quantification Applied to Analyze the Desorption Behavior on Contact Lenses

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Analysis

Author(s): Wan-Hsin ChangPei-Yi LiuYuan-Ting Jiang*Yuan-Hao Howard Hsu*.


Background: Sodium hyaluronate (NaHA) is generally supplemented in products related to contact lenses for increasing comfort during wearing. The quantity of sodium hyaluronate and the material of lenses affect the retention of sodium hyaluronate on the contact lenses.

Methods: We developed a convenient and sensitive but unconventional chromatographic method to quantify sodium hyaluronate and analyze its release behavior from contact lenses. The reverse-phase chromatography eluted sodium hyaluronate with high molecular masses in the shortest time and could separate salt and small compounds from sodium hyaluronate.

Results: This method could accurately quantify sodium hyaluronate with diverse molecular sizes. Because sodium hyaluronate was eluted in a narrow time frame, sensitivity was significantly enhanced, and the limit of detection of this method was 0.45 μg/mL. According to this quantitation method, the attached quantity of sodium hyaluronate is related to the water content of the material. Furthermore, a material test indicated that the release efficiency of sodium hyaluronate depends on the material of lenses. Nonionic Polymacon had a longer half-life in the sodium hyaluronate release curve than negative Methafilcon A and silicone hydrogel.

Conclusion: This hyaluronate quantification method is a fast, sensitive and accurate method, making it suitable for the in vitro hyaluronate research without further derivatization. To read out more, please visit:

Open Access Articles | 3D Cascaded Convolutional Networks for Multi-vertebrae Segmentation


Journal Name: Current Medical Imaging
Formerly: Current Medical Imaging Reviews


Author(s): Liu Xia, Liu Xiao, Gan Quan, Wang Bo*.




Graphical Abstract:





Background: Automatic approach to vertebrae segmentation from computed tomography (CT) images is very important in clinical applications. As the intricate appearance and variable architecture of vertebrae across the population, cognate constructions in close vicinity, pathology, and the interconnection between vertebrae and ribs, it is a challenge to propose a 3D automatic vertebrae CT image segmentation method.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to propose an automatic multi-vertebrae segmentation method for spinal CT images.

Methods: Firstly, CLAHE-Threshold-Expansion was preprocessed to improve image quality and reduce input voxel points. Then, 3D coarse segmentation fully convolutional network and cascaded finely segmentation convolutional neural network were used to complete multi-vertebrae segmentation and classification.

Results: The results of this paper were compared with the other methods on the same datasets. Experimental results demonstrated that the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) in this paper is 94.84%, higher than the V-net and 3D U-net.

Conclusion: Method of this paper has certain advantages in automatically and accurately segmenting vertebrae regions of CT images. Due to the easy acquisition of spine CT images. It was proven to be more conducive to clinical application of treatment that uses our segmentation model to obtain vertebrae regions, combining with the subsequent 3D reconstruction and printing work. To read out more, please visit:

Open Access Articles | Antitumor Activity of Cyclodextrin-based Supramolecular Platinum Prodrug In vitro and In vivo

Journal Name: Letters in Drug Design & Discovery

Author(s): Yu-Hui Zhang, Jie Wang, Siqintana Xin, Li-Juan Wang, Xianliang Sheng*.





Graphical Abstract:



Background: Considering the limitations of cisplatin in clinical application, there is ongoing research to fabricate new platinum-containing prodrug which are highly effective to tumor cells and have low toxicity to normal cells.

Methods: In this study, a cyclodextrin-based supramolecular platinum prodrug that is 6,6’-ophenylenediseleno- bridged bis (β-cyclodextrin)s (CD) and its potassium tetrachloroplatinate(II) complex was reported. The cytotoxicity experiments were performed to evaluate the anticancer activities of supramolecular prodrug in vitro by means of MTT assay. The practical application of supramolecular prodrug in tumor treatment in vivo were evaluated using BALB/c nude mice model bearing Hela cancer cells.

Results: Compared with commercial anticancer drug cisplatin, the resultant cyclodextrin-based platinum prodrug exhibited comparative anticancer effect but with much lower toxicity side effects in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusion: The cyclodextrin-based supramolecular platinum prodrug displayed antitumor activity comparable to the commercial antitumor drug cisplatin but with lower side effects both in vitro and in vivo, implying that the two adjacent cyclodextrin cavities not merely act as desired solubilizer, but also endowed the prodrug with cell permeability through the interaction of cyclodextrin with phospholipids and cholesterol on cell membrane. To read out more, please visit:

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