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1.  Neonatal systemic inflammation in rats alters retinal vessel development and simulates pathologic features of retinopathy of prematurity 
Alteration of retinal angiogenesis during development leads to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants, which is a leading cause of visual impairment in children. A number of clinical studies have reported higher rates of ROP in infants who had perinatal infections or inflammation, suggesting that exposure of the developing retina to inflammation may disturb retinal vessel development. Thus, we investigated the effects of systemic inflammation on retinal vessel development and retinal inflammation in neonatal rats.
To induce systemic inflammation, we intraperitoneally injected 100 μl lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 0.25 mg/ml) or the same volume of normal saline in rat pups on postnatal days 1, 3, and 5. The retinas were extracted on postnatal days 7 and 14, and subjected to assays for retinal vessels, inflammatory cells and molecules, and apoptosis.
We found that intraperitoneal injection of LPS impaired retinal vessel development by decreasing vessel extension, reducing capillary density, and inducing localized overgrowth of abnormal retinal vessels and dilated peripheral vascular ridge, all of which are characteristic findings of ROP. Also, a large number of CD11c+ inflammatory cells and astrocytes were localized in the lesion of abnormal vessels. Further analysis revealed that the number of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIloCD68loCD11bloCD11chi cells in the retina was higher in LPS-treated rats compared to controls. Similarly, the levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-12a were increased in LPS-treated retina. Also, apoptosis was increased in the inner retinal layer where retinal vessels are located.
Our data demonstrate that systemic LPS-induced inflammation elicits retinal inflammation and impairs retinal angiogenesis in neonatal rats, implicating perinatal inflammation in the pathogenesis of ROP.
PMCID: PMC4030274  PMID: 24886524
angiogenesis; inflammation; lipopolysaccharide; retina; retinopathy of prematurity
3.  Effects of Different Types of Contraction in Abdominal Bracing on the Asymmetry of Left and Right Abdominal Muscles 
Journal of Physical Therapy Science  2014;26(12):1843-1845.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effective strength levels of abdominal muscle contraction using the bracing contraction method. [Subjects] The experiment was conducted with 31 healthy male (M=15) and female (F=16) adults attending D University in Busan; all participants had less than obesity level BMI (BMI<30). [Methods] Bracing contraction was performed by the subjects in the hook-lying position at maximum and minimum pressure levels, five times each, using a Pressure Biofeedback Unit (PBU), and the mean measurement value was calculated. The maximum pressure level was set at 100% and the half maximum pressure level was set at 50%. Each subject’s left and right abdominal muscle thicknesses were then measured by ultrasound imaging in each state: at rest, 100% contraction, and 50% contraction. [Results] No significant differences were found between the left and right sides of the transversus abdominis (TrA) at rest, 50%, or 100% contraction. The external oblique abdominis (EO) and internal oblique abdominis (IO) showed no significant difference at rest or at the 50% contraction. However, a significant difference was noted at 100% contraction for the EO and IO. [Conclusion] Application of abdominal contraction using bracing can achieve symmetry in the left and right abdominal muscles at less than the maximum contractile strength. The occurrence of asymmetry in the left and right abdominal muscles at the maximum contractile strength suggests that the most suitable contractile strength in this exercise is less than the maximum contractile strength.
PMCID: PMC4273038  PMID: 25540478
Abdominal bracing; Symmetry; Ultrasound imaging
4.  Appropriate empirical antibiotic use and 30-d mortality in cirrhotic patients with bacteremia 
AIM: To analyze whether prompt and appropriate empirical antibiotic (AEA) use is associated with mortality in cirrhotic patients with bacteremia.
METHODS: A total of 102 episodes of bacteremia in 72 patients with cirrhosis were analyzed. AEA was defined as a using or starting an antibiotic appropriate to the isolated pathogen at the time of bacteremia. The primary endpoint was 30-d mortality.
RESULTS: The mortality rate at 30 d was 30.4% (31/102 episodes). Use of AEA was associated with better survival at 30 d (76.5% vs 46.9%, P = 0.05), and inappropriate empirical antibiotic (IEA) use was an independent factor associated with increased mortality (OR = 3.24; 95%CI: 1.50-7.00; P = 0.003, adjusted for age, sex, Child-Pugh Class, gastrointestinal bleeding, presence of septic shock). IEA use was more frequent when the isolated pathogen was a multiresistant pathogen, and when infection was healthcare-related or hospital-acquired.
CONCLUSION: AEA use was associated with increased survival of cirrhotic patients who developed bacteremia. Strategies for AEA use, tailored according to the local epidemiological patterns, are needed to improve survival of cirrhotic patients with bacteremia.
PMCID: PMC4375581  PMID: 25834324
Liver cirrhosis; Bacteremia; Appropriate antibiotics; Survival; Multiresistant pathogen
5.  The Correlation between Dynamic Balance Measures and Stance Sub-phase COP Displacement Time in Older Adults during Obstacle Crossing 
Journal of Physical Therapy Science  2013;25(9):1193-1196.
[Purpose] This study examined the relationship between the center of pressure (COP) displacement time during the stance subphases and dynamic balance ability when elderly cross obstacles 0, 10, and 40 cm in height. [Subjects] Fifteen older adults were enrolled in this study (≥65 years of age). [Methods] An F-Scan System was used to measure the COP displacement time when subjects crossed obstacles 0, 10, and 40 cm in height, and the Dynamic Gait Index, Berg Balance Scale, and Four Square Step Test were used to measure dynamic balance ability. [Results] The Dynamic Gait Index, Berg Balance Scale, and Four Square Step Test were correlated with each other. Dynamic balance tests were correlated with the COP displacement time during the stance phase. At obstacle heights of 10 and 40 cm during loading response and at all heights during pre-swing, there were correlations with dynamic balance ability. However, dynamic balance ability did not affect the COP displacement time during mid-stance and terminal stance. [Conclusion] People with a lower dynamic balance ability show a larger COP displacement time during loading response and pre-swing. Therefore, dynamic balance ability can be predicted by measuring the COP displacement time.
PMCID: PMC3818769  PMID: 24259944
Dynamic balance; Obstacle crossing; Center of pressure
6.  Ultrasonography of normal and abnormal appendix in children 
World Journal of Radiology  2011;3(4):85-91.
Appendicitis is the most common acute surgical emergency of childhood. Since the original report by Puylaert in 1986, the use of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of appendicitis has been the subject of considerable study. Among the reported diagnostic criteria, the maximal outer diameter (MOD) of the appendix is accepted as the one of the most reliable criteria used to differentiate between a normal appendix and acute appendicitis. However, MOD measurement is subject to inaccuracies because luminal distention by non-compressible, non-inflammatory material such as fecal material, or increased maximal mural thickness due to reactive mucosal lymphoid hyperplasia, or a medical cause due to a generalized gastrointestinal disease, such as Crohn’s disease, can cause the measurement to exceed the upper limits of normality. The aim of this article is to introduce the spectrum of ultrasonographic findings in the normal and abnormal appendix and eventually to reduce unnecessary surgery in children.
PMCID: PMC3084437  PMID: 21532869
Acute appendicitis; Appendix; Children; Ultrasonography
7.  MEL-18 loss mediates estrogen receptor–α downregulation and hormone independence 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2015;125(5):1801-1814.
The polycomb protein MEL-18 has been proposed as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer; however, its functional relevance to the hormonal regulation of breast cancer remains unknown. Here, we demonstrated that MEL-18 loss contributes to the hormone-independent phenotype of breast cancer by modulating hormone receptor expression. In multiple breast cancer cohorts, MEL-18 was markedly downregulated in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). MEL-18 expression positively correlated with the expression of luminal markers, including estrogen receptor–α (ER-α, encoded by ESR1). MEL-18 loss was also associated with poor response to antihormonal therapy in ER-α–positive breast cancer. Furthermore, whereas MEL-18 loss in luminal breast cancer cells resulted in the downregulation of expression and activity of ER-α and the progesterone receptor (PR), MEL-18 overexpression restored ER-α expression in TNBC. Consistently, in vivo xenograft experiments demonstrated that MEL-18 loss induces estrogen-independent growth and tamoxifen resistance in luminal breast cancer, and that MEL-18 overexpression confers tamoxifen sensitivity in TNBC. MEL-18 suppressed SUMOylation of the ESR1 transactivators p53 and SP1, thereby driving ESR1 transcription. MEL-18 facilitated the deSUMOylation process by inhibiting BMI-1/RING1B-mediated ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation of SUMO1/sentrin-specific protease 1 (SENP1). These findings demonstrate that MEL-18 is a SUMO-dependent regulator of hormone receptors and suggest MEL-18 expression as a marker for determining the antihormonal therapy response in patients with breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4463188  PMID: 25822021
Endocrinology; Oncology
8.  Development of a high-yield technique to isolate spermatogonial stem cells from porcine testes 
To date, the methods available for isolating spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) from porcine testicular cells have a low efficiency of cell separating. Therefore, we tried to develop a novel isolation technique with a high-yield cell separating ability to isolate SSCs from porcine testes.
We confirmed the presence of SSCs by measuring alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity and SSC-specific gene expression in neonatal porcine testis-derived testicular cells. Subsequently, the isolation of SSCs from testicular cells was performed using different techniques as follows: differential plating (DP), double DP, Petri dish plating post-DP, magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS), and MACS post-DP. Positive AP staining was used to assess and compare the isolation efficiency of each method.
Petri dish plating post-DP resulted in the highest isolation efficiency. The putative SSCs isolated using this method was then further characterized by analyzing the expression of SSC-specific genes and -related proteins, and germ cell-specific genes. OCT4, NANOG, EPCAM, THY1, and UCHL1 were expressed transcriptionally, and OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, TRA-1-60, TRA-1-81, and PLZF were expressed translationally in 86 % of the isolated SSCs. In contrast, no difference was observed in the percentage of cells expressing luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), a Leydig cell-specific protein, or GATA4, a Sertoli cell-specific protein, between SSCs and negative control cells. In addition, transcriptional expression of VASA, a primordial germ cell-specific marker, and DAZL, a premeiotic germ cell-specific marker, wasn’t and was detected, respectively.
We successfully developed a novel high-yield technique to isolate SSCs from porcine testes to facilitate future porcine SSC-related research.
PMCID: PMC4130942  PMID: 24938360
Porcine; Spermatogonial stem cells; Testis; Cell sorting
9.  23-gauge transconjunctival vitrectomy in eyes with pre-existing functioning filtering blebs 
BMC Ophthalmology  2015;15:81.
We investigated the outcome of 23-gauge transconjunctival pars plana vitrectomy (23G PPV) for the treatment of vitreoretinal disorder in patients with prior trabeculectomy.
We retrospectively reviewed medical records of 23G PPV in 11 eyes that had functioning filtering blebs after trabeculectomy. The main outcome measures were the visual acuity, intraocular pressure (IOP) and subconjunctival fluid height in bleb by anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) before and after the surgery.
Eyes that had 23G PPV showed improvement of visual acuity after the surgery (P =0.003). Mean IOP was 13.82 mmHg before 23G PPV and 15.82 mmHg at 6 months postoperatively, which was statistically insignificant (P = 0.758). The bleb was observed before and after surgery using anterior segment OCT, and the difference in subconjunctival fluid was not statistically significant (P =0.172).
23G PPV did not adversely affect bleb function in eyes with prior trabeculectomy.
PMCID: PMC4513617  PMID: 26204924
Trabeculectomy; Filtering bleb; 23-gauge transconjunctival vitrectomy
10.  Creating Anti-icing Surfaces via the Direct Immobilization of Antifreeze Proteins on Aluminum 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12019.
Cryoprotectants such as antifreeze proteins (AFPs) and sugar molecules may provide a solution for icing problems. These anti-icing substances protect cells and tissues from freezing by inhibiting ice formation. In this study, we developed a method for coating an industrial metal material (aluminum, Al) with AFP from the Antarctic marine diatom, Chaetoceros neogracile (Cn-AFP), to prevent or delay ice formation. To coat Al with Cn-AFP, we used an Al-binding peptide (ABP) as a conjugator and fused it with Cn-AFP. The ABP bound well to the Al and did not considerably change the functional properties of AFP. Cn-AFP-coated Al (Cn-AFP-Al) showed a sufficiently low supercooling point. Additional trehalose coating of Cn-AFP-Al considerably delayed AFP denaturation on the Al without affecting its antifreeze activity. This metal surface–coating method using trehalose-fortified AFP can be applied to other metals important in the aircraft and cold storage fields where anti-icing materials are critical.
PMCID: PMC4495550  PMID: 26153855
11.  Have You Ever Seen the Impact of Crossing Fiber in DTI?: Demonstration of the Corticospinal Tract Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0112045.
The identification of the corticospinal tract (CST) pathway with a deterministic fiber tracking approach is limited because of crossing fibers, especially for the hand fibers of the CST due to the crossing superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). We examined a patient with congenital bilateral perisylvian syndrome (CBPS) who did not have the SLF, in order to visualize CST hand fibers that were not affected by crossing fibers.
A 10-year-old girl without the SLF due to CBPS and three normal healthy subjects participated in this study. We used a deterministic fiber tracking algorithm, and the regions of interest (ROIs) were drawn in the posterior limb of internal capsule (PLIC) and the primary motor cortex. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), fractional anisotropy (FA), relative anisotropy (RA), and volume ratio (VR) were measured based on the extracted fiber tracts.
The ADC values were not different between the normal subjects and the patient with CBPS. The FA, RA, and VR values of the normal subjects were similar, but were relatively higher than those of the patient with CBPS.
Our results clearly show the impact of the crossing fiber for the hand motor fibers of the CST pathway with deterministic tracking algorithms in diffusion tensor tractography.
PMCID: PMC4489772  PMID: 26135795
12.  A Comparative Efficacy of Propacetamol and Ketorolac in Postoperative Patient Controlled Analgesia 
The Korean Journal of Pain  2015;28(3):203-209.
Ketorolac has been used as a postoperative analgesia in combination with opioids. However, the use of ketorolac may produce serious side effects in vulnerable patients. Propacetamol is known to induce fewer side effects than ketorolac because it mainly affects the central nervous system. We compared the analgesic effects and patient satisfaction levels of each drug when combined with fentanyl patient-controlled analgesia (PCA).
The patients were divided into two groups, each with n = 46. The patients in each group were given 60 mg of ketorolac or 2 g of propacetamol (mixed with fentanyl) for 10 minutes. The patients were then given 180 mg of ketorolac or 8 g of propacetamol (mixed with fentanyl and ramosetron) through PCA. We assessed the visual analogue pain scale (VAS) at the time point immediately before administration (baseline) and at 15, 30, and 60 minutes, and 24 hours after administration. Also, the side effects of each regimen and each patient's degree of satisfaction were assessed.
There was a significant decline in the VAS score in both groups (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in the VAS scores between the groups at each time point. Satisfaction scores between the groups showed no significant difference.
The efficacy of propacetamol is comparable to that of ketorolac in postoperative PCA with fentanyl.
PMCID: PMC4500785  PMID: 26175881
Efficacy; Ketorolac; Propacetamol; Patient-controlled analgesia; Visual analogue pain scale
13.  Genetic Variations of Drug Transporters Can Influence on Drug Response in Patients Treated with Docetaxel Chemotherapy 
Dose-limiting toxicities of docetaxel are widely considered to be neutropenia, anemia, skin toxicity, and nausea. One of the factors that limit the use of docetaxel is its unpredictability of inter-individual variation in toxicity.
Materials and Methods
In order to identify the genetic factors that affect the risk of docetaxel-induced toxicities, we recruited patients who received docetaxel chemotherapy. We genotyped 92 patients with single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 5 genes: CYP3A4 (CYP3A4*1B, CYP3A4*18, and CYP3A4*3), CYP3A5 (CYP3A5*2 and CYP3A5*3), ABCB1 (C1236T, G2677G/T, and C3435T), SLCO1B3 (rs11045585), and ABCC2 (rs12762549).
Out of 92 patients, 70 had grade 3 or 4 neutropenia; 4 had grade 1 or 2; and 18 had no toxicity (76.1%, 4.3%, and 19.6%, respectively). The findings of the SNP analysis showed that patients with TT genotype of ABCB1 3435C>T polymorphism showed significantly higher risk of neutropenia and anemia (p=0.029 and p=0.044, respectively). There were significant associations between docetaxel-induced leucopenia and 2677G/T of ABCB1 and rs12762549 of ABCC2 (p=0.025 and p=0.028, respectively). In a multivariate analysis, we observed that patients carrying 2677G>T in ABCB1might be associated with higher risk of chemo-resistance when treated with docetaxel (odds ratio [OR], 6.48; confidence interval, 1.92 to 21.94; p=0.003). In a subgroup analysis of non-small cell lung cancer patients, a significant association of tumor response with G2677T/A (OR, 4.54) in ABCB1 and SLCO1B3 (OR, 9.44) was observed.
Our data suggest that ABCB1 (2677G/T) and SLCO1B3 (rs11055585) might be major genetic predictors of docetaxel-related toxicities in patients receiving docetaxel chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4506105  PMID: 25648089
Docetaxel; Genetic predictor; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Tumor response
14.  Clinical Experience of Interferon Alfa-2a Treatment for Refractory Uveitis in Behçet's Disease 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2015;56(4):1158-1162.
Behçet's disease (BD) involves multisystem vasculitis of unknown origin. Ocular manifestations of BD mostly include bilateral panuveitis and retinal vasculitis, which are very challenging to treat. Interferon alfa-2a (IFN) has been recently introduced for treating refractory Behçet uveitis, mainly in Germany and Turkey. Nonetheless, there is so far no consensus about the ideal treatment regimen of IFN for Behçet uveitis. We report our experience of IFN treatment in five Korean BD patients with refractory uveitis. All patients complained of oral ulcers; one patient had a positive pathergy test and 2 showed the presence of HLA-B51. Immunosuppressive agents used prior to IFN treatment included cyclosporine and methotrexate. The IFN treatment was commenced with a dose of 6-9 MIU/day for 7 days, adjusted according to individual ocular manifestations, tapered down to 3 MIU three times in a week, and then discontinued. All patients showed positive response to IFN treatment; 50% of them showed complete response without additional major ocular inflammation during the follow-up period. Other BD symptoms also improved after IFN treatment in most cases. After treatment, the relapse rate and the required dose of oral corticosteroid were decreased in most cases, showing a significant steroid-sparing effect. However, the visual acuity was not improved in most cases due to irreversible macular sequelae. Despite the small sample size of this study, we suggest that, in Korean patients, IFN is an effective treatment modality for BD uveitis as was observed in German and Turkish patients.
PMCID: PMC4479849  PMID: 26069144
Behçet's disease; interferon alfa-2a; uveitis
15.  The First Survey of Forensically Important Entomofauna Collected from Medicolegal Autopsies in South Korea 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:606728.
Forensic entomology applies insect evidence to legal problems such as the estimation of minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). For this purpose, knowledge of the insect fauna that are attracted to human cadavers in each geographic region is a prerequisite. Despite many studies investigating the insect fauna attracted to meat, there has been no survey of the entomofauna on human cadavers in the East Asian temperate climate zone, particularly in Korea. Therefore, this study reports the entomofauna collected from medicolegal autopsies in northeastern Seoul and its suburbs. Insect samples were collected from 35 medicolegal autopsies in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Molecular and morphological methods were utilized for taxonomic identification. Among 1398 individual samples belonging to 3 orders, 13 families, 18 genera, and 32 species, the dominant family and species were Calliphoridae and Lucilia sericata, respectively. Despite its limited scale, this study provides a snapshot of the general entomofauna that are attracted to human cadavers in this region.
PMCID: PMC4491565  PMID: 26185759
16.  Bathing Effects of Various Seawaters on Allergic (Atopic) Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions Induced by 2,4-Dinitrochlorobenzene in Hairless Mice 
We evaluated the preventive effects of four types of seawater collected in Republic of Korea on hairless mice with 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene- (DNCB-) induced allergic/atopic dermatitis (AD). The anti-inflammatory effects were evaluated by measuring tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α and interleukins (ILs). Glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide anion, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were measured to evaluate the antioxidant effects. Caspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) were observed to measure the antiapoptotic effects; matrix metalloproteinase- (MMP-) 9 levels were also evaluated. Mice with AD had markedly higher clinical skin severity scores and scratching behaviors; higher TNF-α and ILs (1β, 10, 4, 5, and 13) levels; higher MDA, superoxide anion, caspase-3, PARP, and MMP-9 levels; and greater iNOS activity. However, the severity of AD was significantly decreased by bathing in seawaters, but it did not influence the dermal collagen depositions and skin tissue antioxidant defense systems. These results suggest that bathing in all four seawaters has protective effects against DNCB-induced AD through their favorable systemic and local immunomodulatory effects, active cytoprotective antiapoptotic effects, inhibitory effects of MMP activity and anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.
PMCID: PMC4488017  PMID: 26221169
17.  Multi-dimensional TOF-SIMS analysis for effective profiling of disease-related ions from the tissue surface 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11077.
Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) emerges as a promising tool to identify the ions (small molecules) indicative of disease states from the surface of patient tissues. In TOF-SIMS analysis, an enhanced ionization of surface molecules is critical to increase the number of detected ions. Several methods have been developed to enhance ionization capability. However, how these methods improve identification of disease-related ions has not been systematically explored. Here, we present a multi-dimensional SIMS (MD-SIMS) that combines conventional TOF-SIMS and metal-assisted SIMS (MetA-SIMS). Using this approach, we analyzed cancer and adjacent normal tissues first by TOF-SIMS and subsequently by MetA-SIMS. In total, TOF- and MetA-SIMS detected 632 and 959 ions, respectively. Among them, 426 were commonly detected by both methods, while 206 and 533 were detected uniquely by TOF- and MetA-SIMS, respectively. Of the 426 commonly detected ions, 250 increased in their intensities by MetA-SIMS, whereas 176 decreased. The integrated analysis of the ions detected by the two methods resulted in an increased number of discriminatory ions leading to an enhanced separation between cancer and normal tissues. Therefore, the results show that MD-SIMS can be a useful approach to provide a comprehensive list of discriminatory ions indicative of disease states.
PMCID: PMC4457153  PMID: 26046669
18.  Cu Mesh for Flexible Transparent Conductive Electrodes 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10715.
Copper electrodes with a micromesh/nanomesh structure were fabricated on a polyimide substrate using UV lithography and wet etching to produce flexible transparent conducting electrodes (TCEs). Well-defined mesh electrodes were realized through the use of high-quality Cu thin films. The films were fabricated using radio-frequency (RF) sputtering with a single-crystal Cu target—a simple but innovative approach that overcame the low oxidation resistance of ordinary Cu. Hybrid Cu mesh electrodes were fabricated by adding a capping layer of either ZnO or Al-doped ZnO. The sheet resistance and the transmittance of the electrode with an Al-doped ZnO capping layer were 6.197 ohm/sq and 90.657%, respectively, and the figure of merit was 60.502 × 10–3/ohm, which remained relatively unchanged after thermal annealing at 200 °C and 1,000 cycles of bending. This fabrication technique enables the mass production of large-area flexible TCEs, and the stability and high performance of Cu mesh hybrid electrodes in harsh environments suggests they have strong potential for application in smart displays and solar cells.
PMCID: PMC4454070  PMID: 26039977
19.  Tuning Organic Carbon Dioxide Absorbents for Carbonation and Decarbonation 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10688.
The reaction of carbon dioxide with a mixture of a superbase and alcohol affords a superbase alkylcarbonate salt via a process that can be reversed at elevated temperatures. To utilize the unique chemistry of superbases for carbon capture technology, it is essential to facilitate carbonation and decarbonation at desired temperatures in an easily controllable manner. Here, we demonstrate that the thermal stabilities of the alkylcarbonate salts of superbases in organic solutions can be tuned by adjusting the compositions of hydroxylic solvent and polar aprotic solvent mixtures, thereby enabling the best possible performances to be obtained from the various carbon dioxide capture agents based on these materials. The findings provides valuable insights into the design and optimization of organic carbon dioxide absorbents.
PMCID: PMC4451532  PMID: 26033537
20.  First Report on Fusarium Wilt of Zucchini Caused by Fusarium oxysporum, in Korea 
Mycobiology  2015;43(2):174-178.
Fusarium wilt of zucchini in Jeonju, Korea, was first noticed in May 2013. Symptoms included wilting of the foliage, drying and withering of older leaves, and stunting of plants. Infected plants eventually died during growth. Based on morphological characteristics and phylogenetic analyses of the molecular markers (internal transcribed spacer rDNA and translation elongation factor 1α), the fungus was identified as Fusarium oxysporum. Pathogenicity of a representative isolate was demonstrated via artificial inoculation, and it satisfied Koch's postulates. To our knowledge, this is the first report of F. oxysporum causing wilt of zucchini in Korea.
PMCID: PMC4505008  PMID: 26190927
Cucurbita pepo; Fusarium oxysporum; Fusarium wilt; Pathogenicity; Zucchini
21.  Ultraviolet photoconductive devices with an n-GaN nanorod-graphene hybrid structure synthesized by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10808.
The superior photoconductive behavior of a simple, cost-effective n-GaN nanorod (NR)-graphene hybrid device structure is demonstrated for the first time. The proposed hybrid structure was synthesized on a Si (111) substrate using the high-quality graphene transfer method and the relatively low-temperature metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process with a high V/III ratio to protect the graphene layer from thermal damage during the growth of n-GaN nanorods. Defect-free n-GaN NRs were grown on a highly ordered graphene monolayer on Si without forming any metal-catalyst or droplet seeds. The prominent existence of the undamaged monolayer graphene even after the growth of highly dense n-GaN NRs, as determined using Raman spectroscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), facilitated the excellent transport of the generated charge carriers through the photoconductive channel. The highly matched n-GaN NR-graphene hybrid structure exhibited enhancement in the photocurrent along with increased sensitivity and photoresponsivity, which were attributed to the extremely low carrier trap density in the photoconductive channel.
PMCID: PMC4450594  PMID: 26028318
23.  Effectiveness of Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion Varies with the Physical Properties of Demineralized Bone Matrix Strip 
Asian Spine Journal  2015;9(3):433-439.
Study Design
A randomized, controlled animal study.
To investigate the effectiveness of fusion and new bone formation induced by demineralized bone matrix (DBM) strips with jelly strengths.
Overview of Literature
The form of the DBM can make a difference to the outcome. The effect of different jelly strengths on the ability of DBM to form new bone is not known.
Forty-eight rabbits were randomized into a control group and two experimental groups. In the control group (group 1), 1.4 g of autologous iliac crest bone was placed bilaterally. In the experimental groups, a high jelly strength DBM-hyaluronic acid (HA)-gelatin strip (group 2) and a low jelly strength DBM-HA-gelatin strip (group 3) were used. The fusion was assessed with manual manipulation and radiographs. The volume of the fusion mass was determined from computed tomographic images.
The fusion rates as determined by manual palpation were 37.5%, 93.8% and 50.0% in group 1, group 2, and group 3, respectively (p<0.05). By radiography, the fusion rate of High jelly strength DBM strip was statistically significantly greater than that of the other alternatives (p<0.05). The mean bone volume of the fusion mass as determined by computed tomography was 2,142.2±318.5 mm3, 3,132.9±632.1 mm3, and 2,741.5±380.4 mm3 in group 1, group 2, and group 3, respectively (p<0.05).
These results indicate that differences in the structural and mechanical properties of gelatin that are associated with jelly strength influenced cellular responses such as cell viability and bony tissue ingrowth, facilitating greater bone fusion around high jelly strength implants.
PMCID: PMC4472593  PMID: 26097660
Demineralized bone matrix; Spinal fusion
24.  Biomimetic Hybrid Nanofiber Sheets Composed of RGD Peptide-Decorated PLGA as Cell-Adhesive Substrates 
In biomedical applications, there is a need for tissue engineering scaffolds to promote and control cellular behaviors, including adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. In particular, the initial adhesion of cells has a great influence on those cellular behaviors. In this study, we concentrate on developing cell-adhesive substrates applicable for tissue engineering scaffolds. The hybrid nanofiber sheets were prepared by electrospinning poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and M13 phage, which was genetically modified to enhance cell adhesion thru expressing RGD peptides on their surface. The RGD peptide is a specific motif of extracellular matrix (ECM) for integrin receptors of cells. RGD peptide-decorated PLGA (RGD-PLGA) nanofiber sheets were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, immunofluorescence staining, contact angle measurement and differential scanning calorimetry. In addition, the initial adhesion and proliferation of four different types of mammalian cells were determined in order to evaluate the potential of RGD-PLGA nanofiber sheets as cell-adhesive substrates. Our results showed that the hybrid nanofiber sheets have a three-dimensional porous structure comparable to the native ECM. Furthermore, the initial adhesion and proliferation of cells were significantly enhanced on RGD-PLGA sheets. These results suggest that biomimetic RGD-PLGA nanofiber sheets can be promising cell-adhesive substrates for application as tissue engineering scaffolds.
PMCID: PMC4493517  PMID: 26034884
tissue engineering scaffolds; cell-adhesive substrates; hybrid nanofiber sheets; electrospinning; poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid); RGD peptides
25.  A Case of Intussusception with Acute Appendicitis 
In children presenting to hospital with gastrointestinal symptoms, diseases such as intussusception and acute appendicitis require particular attention and careful examination. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important because of possible severe complications such as peritonitis and death. Intussusception and appendicitis share similar clinical manifestations. More importantly, the presence of acute appendicitis together with intussusception in children is very rare. We describe an interesting case of a 38-month-old boy who presented with abdominal pain in the right lower quadrant. His vital signs were stable and laboratory test findings showed no specific alterations. We detected tenderness in the right lower quadrant. A computed tomography scan showed an ileocolic intussusception with no strangulation and diffuse wall thickening of the appendix trapped within the intussusception. The patient underwent an appendectomy and manual reduction.
PMCID: PMC4493247  PMID: 26157700
Intussusception; Appendicitis

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