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1.  Comparison of a Novel Computerized Analysis Program and Visual Interpretation of Cardiotocography 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e112296.
To compare a novel computerized analysis program with visual cardiotocography (CTG) interpretation results.
Sixty-two intrapartum CTG tracings with 20- to 30-minute sections were independently interpreted using a novel computerized analysis program, as well as the visual interpretations of eight obstetricians, to evaluate the baseline fetal heart rate (FHR), baseline FHR variability, number of accelerations, number/type of decelerations, uterine contraction (UC) frequency, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) 3-Tier FHR classification system.
There was no significant difference in interobserver variation after adding the components of computerized analysis to results from the obstetricians' visual interpretations, with excellent agreement for the baseline FHR (ICC 0.91), the number of accelerations (ICC 0.85), UC frequency (ICC 0.97), and NICHD category I (kappa statistic 0.91); good agreement for baseline variability (kappa statistic 0.68), the numbers of early decelerations (ICC 0.78) and late decelerations (ICC 0.67), category II (kappa statistic 0.78), and overall categories (kappa statistic 0.80); and moderate agreement for the number of variable decelerations (ICC 0.60), and category III (kappa statistic 0.50).
This computerized analysis program is not inferior to visual interpretation, may improve interobserver variations, and could play a vital role in prenatal telemedicine.
PMCID: PMC4249819  PMID: 25437442
2.  Loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays for screening of bacterial integrons 
Biological Research  2014;47(1):53.
The occurrence and prevalence of integrons in clinical microorganisms and their role played in antimicrobial resistance have been well studied recently. As screening and detection of integrons are concerned, current diagnostic methodologies are restricted by significant drawbacks and novel methods are required for integrons detection.
In this study, three loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays targeting on class 1, 2 and 3 integrons were implemented and evaluated. Optimization of these detection assays were performed, including studing on the reaction temperature, volume, time, sensitivity and specificity (both primers and targets). Application of the established LAMP assays were further verified on a total of 1082 isolates (previously identified to be 397 integron-positive and 685 integron-negative strains). According to the results, the indispensability of each primer had been confirmed and the optimal reaction temperature, volume and time were found to be 65°C, 45 min and 25 μL, respectively. As application was concerned, 361, 28 and 8 isolates carrying intI1, intI2 and intI3 yielded positive amplicons, respectively. Other 685 integron-negative bacteria were negative for the integron-screening LAMP assays, totaling the detection rate and specificity to be 100%.
The intI1-, intI2- and intI3-LAMP assays established in this study were demonstrated to be the valid and rapid detection methodologies for the screening of bacterial integrons.
PMCID: PMC4222780  PMID: 25418445
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP); Integron screening; Bacterial integrons; Class 1 integron; Class 2 integron; Class 3 integron
3.  Soft Stethoscope for Detecting Asthma Wheeze in Young Children 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(6):7399-7413.
Asthma is a chronic disease that is commonly suffered by children. Asthmatic children have a lower quality of life than other children. Physicians and pediatricians recommend that parents record the frequency of attacks and their symptoms to help manage their children's asthma. However, the lack of a convenient device for monitoring the asthmatic condition leads to the difficulties in managing it, especially when it is suffered by young children. This work develops a wheeze detection system for use at home. A small and soft stethoscope was used to collect the respiratory sound. The wheeze detection algorithm was the Adaptive Respiratory Spectrum Correlation Coefficient (RSACC) algorithm, which has the advantages of high sensitivity/specificity and a low computational requirement. Fifty-nine sound files from eight young children (one to seven years old) were collected in the emergency room and analyzed. The results revealed that the system provided 88% sensitivity and 94% specificity in wheeze detection. In conclusion, this small soft stethoscope can be easily used on young children. A noisy environment does not affect the effectiveness of the system in detecting wheeze. Hence, the system can be used at home by parents who wish to evaluate and manage the asthmatic condition of their children.
PMCID: PMC3715267  PMID: 23744030
CORSA; soft sensor; respiratory sound; wheeze detection; asthma; stethoscope
4.  Evaluation of the Effect of Laser Acupuncture and Cupping with Ryodoraku and Visual Analog Scale on Low Back Pain 
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of laser acupuncture (LA) and soft cupping on low back pain. In this study, the subjects were randomly assigned to two groups: active group (real LA and soft cupping) and placebo group (sham laser and soft cupping). Visual analog scale (VAS) and Ryodoraku were used to evaluate the effect of treatment on low back pain in this trial. Laser, 40 mW, wavelength 808 nm, pulse rate 20 Hz, was used to irradiate Weizhong (BL40) and Ashi acupoints for 10 minutes. And the Ryodoraku values were measured 2 times, that is, before and 15 minutes after treatment. The results show that there were significant difference between the first day baseline and the fifth day treatment in VAS in the two groups. Therefore, LA combined with soft cupping or only soft cupping was effective on low back pain. However, the Ryodoraku values of Bladder Meridian of the placebo group have been decreased apparently, and didn't come back to their original values. It means that “cupping” plays the role of “leak or purge” in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). On the other hand, the Ryodoraku values of Bladder Meridian of the active group have been turned back to almost their original values; “mend or reinforcing” effect is attributed to the laser radiation.
PMCID: PMC3482015  PMID: 23118792
5.  Rapid identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection by a new array format-based surface plasmon resonance method 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):180.
Tubercle bacillus [TB] is one of the most important chronic infectious diseases that cause millions of deaths annually. While conventional smear microscopy and culture methods are widely used for diagnosis of TB, the former is insensitive, and the latter takes up to 6 to 8 weeks to provide a result, limiting the value of these methods in aiding diagnosis and intermediate decisions on treatment. Therefore, a rapid detection method is essential for the diagnosis, prognosis assessment, and recurrence monitoring. A new surface plasmon resonance [SPR] biosensor based on an array format, which allowed immobilizing nine TB antigens onto the sensor chip, was constructed. Simultaneous determination of multiple TB antibodies in serum had been accomplished with this array-based SPR system. The results were compared with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, a conventional immunological method. Array-based SPR showed more advantages in providing label-free and real-time detection. Additionally, the high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of TB infection showed its potential for future development of biosensor arrays for TB diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3317816  PMID: 22401500
identification; TB; SPR; biosensor; antigen
6.  Wogonin Improves Histological and Functional Outcomes, and Reduces Activation of TLR4/NF-κB Signaling after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30294.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) initiates a neuroinflammatory cascade that contributes to neuronal damage and behavioral impairment. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of wogonin, a flavonoid with potent anti-inflammatory properties, on functional and histological outcomes, brain edema, and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)- and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)-related signaling pathways in mice following TBI.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Mice subjected to controlled cortical impact injury were injected with wogonin (20, 40, or 50 mg·kg−1) or vehicle 10 min after injury. Behavioral studies, histology analysis, and measurement of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and brain water content were carried out to assess the effects of wogonin. Levels of TLR4/NF-κB-related inflammatory mediators were also examined. Treatment with 40 mg·kg−1 wogonin significantly improved functional recovery and reduced contusion volumes up to post-injury day 28. Wogonin also significantly reduced neuronal death, BBB permeability, and brain edema beginning at day 1. These changes were associated with a marked reduction in leukocyte infiltration, microglial activation, TLR4 expression, NF-κB translocation to nucleus and its DNA binding activity, matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity, and expression of inflammatory mediators, including interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, macrophage inflammatory protein-2, and cyclooxygenase-2.
Our results show that post-injury wogonin treatment improved long-term functional and histological outcomes, reduced brain edema, and attenuated the TLR4/NF-κB-mediated inflammatory response in mouse TBI. The neuroprotective effects of wogonin may be related to modulation of the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC3260265  PMID: 22272328
7.  Clinical Application of Surface Plasmon Resonance-Based Biosensors for Fetal Fibronectin Detection 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(4):3879-3890.
Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. Fetal fibronectin (fFN), a glycoprotein in the extracellular matrix of the amniotic membranes, is the most powerful biomarker for predicting the risk of preterm birth. Biosensors using the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) response are potentially useful in quantitatively measuring molecules. We established a standard calibration curve of SPR intensity against fFN concentration and used the SPR-based biosensor to detect fFN concentrations in the cervicovaginal secretions of pregnant women between 22 and 34 weeks of gestation. The calibration curve extends from 0.5 ng/mL to 100 ng/mL with an excellent correlation (R2 = 0.985) based on standard fFN samples. A cutoff value of 50 ng/mL fFN concentration in commercial ELISA kits corresponds to a relative intensity of 17 arbitrary units (a.u.) in SPR. Thirty-two pregnant women were analyzed in our study. In 11 women, the SPR relative intensity was greater than or equal to 17 a.u., and in 21 women, the SPR relative intensity was less than 17 a.u. There were significant differences between the two groups in regular uterine contractions (p = 0.040), hospitalization for tocolysis (p = 0.049), and delivery weeks (p = 0.043). Our prospective study concluded that SPR-based biosensors can quantitatively measure fFN concentrations. These results reveal the potential utility of SPR-based biosensors in predicting the risk of preterm birth.
PMCID: PMC3355388  PMID: 22666007
fibronectin (fFN); surface plasmon resonance (SPR); preterm birth; biosensor
8.  Diagnostic Devices for Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(6):8319-8337.
Since the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, genomic information has been retrievable from lesser amounts of DNA than previously possible. PCR-based amplifications require high-precision instruments to perform temperature cycling reactions; further, they are cumbersome for routine clinical use. However, the use of isothermal approaches can eliminate many complications associated with thermocycling. The application of diagnostic devices for isothermal DNA amplification has recently been studied extensively. In this paper, we describe the basic concepts of several isothermal amplification approaches and review recent progress in diagnostic device development.
PMCID: PMC3436031  PMID: 22969402
isothermal nucleic acid amplification; NASBA; SDA; RCA; LAMP; HDA
9.  Emission Characteristics of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes and Organic Thin-Films with Planar and Corrugated Structures 
In this paper, we review the emission characteristics from organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic molecular thin films with planar and corrugated structures. In a planar thin film structure, light emission from OLEDs was strongly influenced by the interference effect. With suitable design of microcavity structure and layer thicknesses adjustment, optical characteristics can be engineered to achieve high optical intensity, suitable emission wavelength, and broad viewing angles. To increase the extraction efficiency from OLEDs and organic thin-films, corrugated structure with micro- and nano-scale were applied. Microstructures can effectively redirects the waveguiding light in the substrate outside the device. For nanostructures, it is also possible to couple out the organic and plasmonic modes, not only the substrate mode.
PMCID: PMC2871129  PMID: 20480033
OLED; extraction efficiency; microstructure

Results 1-9 (9)