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ISSN 0928-7329 (P)
Impact Factor 2023: 1.6
Technology and Health Care is intended to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Furthermore, upon invitation, reviews, tutorials, discussion papers and minisymposia are featured.
The following types of contributions and areas are considered:
1. Original articles:
Technology development in medicine: New concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice are presented to a readership with a widespread background in engineering and/or medicine.
Significance of medical technology and informatics for healthcare: The appropriateness, efficacy and usefulness deriving from the application of engineering methods, devices and informatics in medicine and with respect to public health are discussed.
2. Technical notes:
Short communications on novel technical developments with relevance for clinical medicine.
3. Reviews and tutorials (upon invitation only):
Tutorial and educational articles for persons with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa are presented.
4. Minisymposia (upon invitation only):
Under the leadership of a Special Editor, controversial issues relating to healthcare are highlighted and discussed by various authors.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA) is difficult to diagnose and treat clinically due to its unknown cause OBJECTIVE: Changes in natural killer (NK) cells, T lymphocytes, and Th1(IFNγ )/Th2(IL-4) cytokines were investigated in the peripheral blood of patients with URSA to examine the pathogenesis, clinical diagnosis, and inform potential treatment strategies for this condition. METHODS: For this study, we selected patients with URSA as the case group and included normal women in the control group. Flow cytometry was performed to detect lymphocytes and cytokines in the peripheral blood of all subjects.…RESULTS: The proportion of NK cells, Th1 cells, and the Th1/Th2 ratio were significantly higher in the URSA group compared to the control group; whereas the proportion of CD3+T cells was lower. Pairwise correlation analysis revealed a positive correlation between the percentage of NK cells and CD3+T cells, as well as CD3+CD4+T cells. Canonical correlation analysis indicated a significant correlation between NK cells and T cells, including their subgroups. CONCLUSION: Patients with URSA have immune balance disorders, characterised by an increased proportion of peripheral blood NK cells, Th1, and Th1/Th2 ratio along with a decreased proportion of CD3+T cells. The proportion of NK cells and CD3+T may serve as predictive factors for URSA, while NK cells are closely related to the regulation of CD3+T cells and their subsets. By regulating the level of IFN-γ , NK cells can influence the proportion of CD3+T cells and induce a Th1 (IFNγ )/Th2 (IL-4) imbalance.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: With the exponential increase in the volume of biomedical literature, text mining tasks are becoming increasingly important in the medical domain. Named entities are the primary identification tasks in text mining, prerequisites and critical parts for building medical domain knowledge graphs, medical question and answer systems, medical text classification. OBJECTIVE: The study goal is to recognize biomedical entities effectively by fusing multi-feature embedding. Multiple features provide more comprehensive information so that better predictions can be obtained. METHODS: Firstly, three different kinds of features are generated, including deep contextual word-level features, local char-level…features, and part-of-speech features at the word representation layer. The word representation vectors are inputs into BiLSTM as features to obtain the dependency information. Finally, the CRF algorithm is used to learn the features of the state sequences to obtain the global optimal tagging sequences. RESULTS: The experimental results showed that the model outperformed other state-of-the-art methods for all-around performance in six datasets among eight of four biomedical entity types. CONCLUSION: The proposed method has a positive effect on the prediction results. It comprehensively considers the relevant factors of named entity recognition because the semantic information is enhanced by fusing multi-features embedding.
Keywords: Biomedical named entity recognition, BioBERT, BiLSTM-CRF, multi-feature embedding
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a slow in taking effect systemic autoimmune disease. Prunus Tomentosa Thumb Total Flavones (PTTTF) has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to the PTTTF on adjuvant arthritis (AA) in rats and to explore the mechanism of autophagy. METHODS: Adjuvant arthritis model was established in rats. The cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), interleukin-1β (IL-1β ), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-17 (IL-17), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α ) of rat synovial tissue were determined by RT-PCR. The histopathological varieties…of knee joints in AA rats were observed by HE staining. The expressions of autophagy-related proteins ATG5, ATG7, ATG12, Beclin1, Lc3II and Bcl-2 in rat synovial tissue were determined by Western Blotting. RESULTS: PTTTF (50, 100, 200 mg/kg) significantly inhibited inflammation in rats (P < 0.01). PTTTF significantly inhibited inflammatory factor COX in rat synovial tissue. COX-2, IL-1β , IL-6, IL-17, TNF-α expression (P < 0.05); PTTTF can significantly improve the pathological damage of rat knee joint PTTTF and can significantly inhibited the expression of autophagy-related proteins in rat synovium (P < 0.05 ). CONCLUSION: PTTTF can inhibit adjuvant arthritis in rats and can inhibit the expression of autophagy-related proteins ATG5, ATG7, ATG12, Beclin1, Lc3II and Bcl-2.
Keywords: Prunus Tomentosa Thumb Total Flavones, autophagy, inflammatory factors
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Although the biomechanical features of the golf swing are extremely determined, multiple joint movements with limited pelvic and thoracic rotation movement can cause injury to the golfer and are linked with low back pain (LBP). We have developed the Pulley Master machine (PM), which is designed to offer active movement evaluation and monitoring as well as repetitive and task-specific training. OBJECTIVE: The primary goal of the present research was to analyze the effects of PM and Transfer of Electricity-Capacitive and Resistive (TECAR) therapy on the lumbar pain scale and thoracic and pelvic mobility in amateur…golfers with LBP. METHODS: Twenty-one amateur golfers with LBP (six females, mean age = 23.43 ± 2.36 years) were randomly assigned to either PM or TECAR groups for five days per week over one week. Clinical outcome measurements included pelvic and thoracic mobility as well as a pain rating scale. Statistical analyses were presented using the analysis of variance (ANOVA), and the statistical significance level was set at P < 0.05. RESULTS: ANOVA showed that PM outperformed TECAR in terms of pelvic and thoracic mobility as well as a pain rating scale. CONCLUSION: The results provide novel and encouraging clinical evidence that PM improves pain control and mobility in amateur golfers with LBP.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Differential protein expression of the oral microbiome is related to human diseases, including cancer. OBJECTIVE: In order to reveal the potential relationship between oral bacterial protein expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), we designed this study. METHODS: We obtained samples of the same patient from cancer lesion and anatomically matched normal site. Then, we used the label free quantitative technique based on liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to analyze the bacteria in the samples of oral squamous cell carcinoma at the protein level, so as to detect the functional proteins.…RESULTS: Protein diversity in the cancer samples was significantly greater than in the normal samples. We identified a substantially higher number of the taxa than those detected in previous studies, demonstrating the presence of a remarkable number of proteins in the groups. In particular, proteins involved in energy production and conversion, proton transport, hydrogen transport and hydrogen ion transmembrane transport, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter, PTS system, and L-serine dehydratase were enriched significantly in the experimental group. Moreover, some proteins associated with Actinomyces and Fusobacterium were highly associated with OSCC and provided a good diagnostic outcome. CONCLUSION: The present study revealed considerable changes in the expression of bacterial proteins in OSCC and enrich our understanding in this point.
Keywords: OSCC, LC-MS/MS, protein expression, energy production, proton transport
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since early 2020 is one of the most significant global health issues in history. Although there is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19, researchers have provided a whole array of potential treatments, both from the Western medicine approach, which is molecular target and pathogenesis based, and from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) approach, which is based on the exposure to toxins/pathogens and the balance of the body to combat them for recovery. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this research is to find combinations of Western medicine and…TCM that may offer better therapeutic efficacy synergystically with a better adverse events profile. The findings of the research may provide a new insight in the development of the treatment of COVID-19. METHODS: From the Western medicine perspective, drugs target the mechanisms of viral infection, including the stages of viral entry (Arbidol, Camostat Mesylate, Convalescent Plasma therapy) and viral replication (Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Redemsivir, Ribavirin). Additional therapies target host defenses, preventing cytokine storms (Tocilizumab) and stimulating the immune system (Interferons). On the other hand, TCM also proposed a number of treatment methods for COVID-19 with new scientific approaches identifying their antiviral and immunomodulatory activities. The novel combination of Western medicine and TCM can be proposed by analyzing their respective molecular targets. RESULTS: Although TCM is not generally accepted in the Western community because of the general lack of knowledge on their detailed mechanisms, studies and clinical trials suggest that TCM could be beneficial in combating COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Based on the principle of combining TCM and Western medicine, two combinations are tested effective in clinical trials, and three possible combinations that might be effective are proposed in the paper.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, traditional Chinese medicine, therapies
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Acute sports fatigue impairs athletes’ performance and causes other health issues; therefore, an effective method of relieving acute sports fatigue is being researched. Objective: The present study was envisaged to evaluate the effect of electric auto-massage therapy and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated (PNF) stretching method on the recovery of acute exercise fatigue using the heart rate variability-based multi-physiological index and RPE scale, and to explore the underlying principle and mechanism. METHOD: Sixty volunteers were divided into the stretching group, massage group and control group (20 subjects each) using the complete randomization method. The massage group chose…the kneading, pressing, tapping and patting techniques using the intelligent massage chair to intervene on the volunteers, the stretching group chose the PNF stretching method to intervene on the volunteers, while the control group did not adopt any of these techniques. The Rating Of Perceived Exertion (RPE) score, heart rate (HR), grip strength, skin electrical activity, heart rate variability (HRV) and blood oxygen saturation (SpO 2 ) of the three groups were recorded before and after the intervention. RESULTS: Before the intervention, there was no statistically significant difference between the values of heart rate variability (HRV) in the three groups (P > 0.05), while after the intervention, there was a statistically significant difference between the values of heart rate variability – low frequency/high frequency (HRV (LF/HF)) and HRV (HF) in the three groups as: HRV (HF): η H 2 = 0.10; P = 0.022; HRV (LF/HF): η H 2 = 0.44; P = 0.001. The results indicated that the different intervention methods presented substantial effects on the values of HRV (HF) and HRV (LF/HF) in the volunteers. The HRV (HF) values of massage group, stretching group and control group were compared, and the difference between the massage group and control group was statistically significant (P = 0.019). Further, the HRV (HF) values of massage group rose more significantly than control group after the intervention, and the difference between HRV (HF) values of massage group and stretching group was not statistically significant. When comparing the HRV (LF/HF) values of massage group, stretching group and control group, the differences between the massage group and stretching group and control group were statistically significant (P = 0.001, P < 0.05), and it was observed that the HRV (LF/HF) values of massage group decreased more significantly than those of stretching group and control group after the intervention. The difference in HRV (LF) values between the three groups after the intervention was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: 1. It was observed that the electric automatic massage therapy played a vital role in the rapid relief of exercise fatigue by soothing and regulating the human phototropic system, reducing vagal tone, and accelerating the excretion of metabolites; while PNF stretching relieved the exercise fatigue by providing physical and verbal communication to transfer the perception of fatigue, and by promoting the excretion of metabolites through muscle isometric contraction. 2. The effect of electric auto-massage therapy was marginally stronger than the commonly used PNF stretching exercise method.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The survival rate of experimental animals is a very important index in chemical toxicity evaluation experiments. The calculation of nematode survival rate is used in many experiments. OBJECTIVE: Traditional survival rate quantification methods require manual counting. This is a time-consuming and laborious work when using 384-well plate for high-throughput chemical toxicity assessment experiments. At present, there is a great need for an automatic method to identify the survival rate of nematodes in the experiment of chemical toxicity evaluation. METHODS: We designed an automatic nematode survival rate recognition method by combining the bright…field experimental image of nematodes and the dark field image of nematodes which is captured after adding Propidium Iodide dye, and used it to calculate the nematode survival rate in different chemical environments. Experiment results show that the survival rate obtained by our automatic counting method is very similar to the survival rate obtained by manual counting. RESULTS: Through several different chemical experiments, we can see that chemicals with different toxicity have different effects on the survival rate of nematodes. And the survival rate of nematodes under different chemical concentrations has an obvious gradient trend from high concentration to low concentration. In addition, our method can quantify the motility of nematodes. There are also significant differences in the motility of nematodes cultured in different chemical environments. Moreover, the nematode motility under different chemical concentrations showed an obvious gradient change trend from high concentration to low concentration. CONCLUSION: Our study provides an accurate and efficient nematode survival rate recognition method for chemical toxicology research.
Keywords: chemical toxicity, bright field image, dark field image
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Ginkgo Folium has a favorable effect on non-alcoholic fatty live disease (NAFLD), but its mechanism remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to reveal the underlying mechanism of Ginkgo Folium in the treatment of NAFLD. METHODS: Ingredients of Ginkgo Folium and ingredients-related genes were collected from TCMSP database and SwissTargetPrediction website, respectively. Genecards database was used to obtain NAFLD-related genes. Next, the protein-protein interaction network and key ingredients-genes network were constructed via Cytoscape3.7.0. Based on the Metascape website, gene ontology function analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and…Genomes pathway enrichment analysis were carried out for key genes. Finally, molecular docking was performed to present the interaction between components and genes using AutoDock Vina 1.1.2. RESULTS: Eighteen active ingredients and 10 target genes were screened from Ginkgo Folium . AKT1, TNF, EGFR, PTGS2, MAPK8, PPAγ , APP, ESR1, HIFα and PPAα were considered as potential therapeutic targets. These target genes were mainly enriched in insulin resistance, HIF-1, adipocytokine and AMPK signaling pathways. Molecular docking results suggested that Ginkgo Folium active ingredients including luteolin-4′ -glucoside, sesamin, luteolin, chryseriol, isorhamnetin and laricitrin showed strong binding capacities with AKT1. CONCLUSION: The study showed that multi-components in Ginkgo Folium interacted with AKT1 and regulated AKT-AMPK/HIF pathway to alleviate NAFLD. Our findings provided an essential role and basis for new anti-NAFLD drug discovery and further research on Ginkgo Folium .
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is a need for an improved version of the implantable catheter for malignant ascites in the abdominal cavity. OBJECTIVE: New implantable catheters have been developed that drain ascites from the abdominal cavity to the bladder by applying pressure. Based on pigtail catheters, these newly designed catheters have silicone membranes and apertures. METHODS: Experimental instruments controlled flow rates and water level to observe changes of the activation pressure and its cycle time along flow rates and turns of catheters. Furthermore, various normality tests, difference tests and non-parametric tests were investigated to observe…statistical validity. RESULTS: Cycle times were significantly affected by flow rate (3/4 cases of p < 0.05). The effects of flow rate on activation pressure, however, were not significant (1/4 case of p < 0.05). Cycle times were not significantly affected by the number of turns of the catheter (3/8 cases of p < 0.05). In contrast, the effects of the turns on activation pressure were significant (5/8 cases of p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Overall, there was no significant difference between cycle times for 1.5 turns and 2.0 turns of catheters. In addition, catheters with 1.5 turns have a lower activation pressure than catheters with 2.0 turns. It is possible to customize catheters based on the ascites excretion and urination rates of various terminal patients.
Keywords: Implantable catheter, malignant ascites, terminal cancer, time efficiency