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Process improvement

Paul A Leighton, Stephen D Brealey, Joseph J Dias
OBJECTIVE: To explore stakeholder perspectives upon participant retention in clinical trials, and to generate strategies to support retention in a surgical, clinical trial. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: The SWIFFT trial is a multicenter study comparing treatments for the fracture of the waist of the scaphoid bone in adults. Here we report upon a multistage, iterative consultative process with SWIFFT stakeholders, these include workshops with members of the public, with nurses involved in data collection, and with consultant clinicians...
January 22, 2018: Journal of Evidence-based Medicine
Zachary M Laubach, Wei Perng, Dana C Dolinoy, Christopher D Faulk, Kay E Holekamp, Thomas Getty
Developmental plasticity, a phenomenon of importance in both evolutionary biology and human studies of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), enables organisms to respond to their environment based on previous experience without changes to the underlying nucleotide sequence. Although such phenotypic responses should theoretically improve an organism's fitness and performance in its future environment, this is not always the case. Herein, we first discuss epigenetics as an adaptive mechanism of developmental plasticity and use signaling theory to provide an evolutionary context for DOHaD phenomena within a generation...
January 21, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Daniel Ortiz, Avis Harden, Fernando F Corrales-Medina, Gaurav Saigal, Akin Tekin, Jennifer Garcia
HBL is the most common malignant liver neoplasm in children. The etiology of HBL is largely unknown but there are certain syndromes, such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, that have been clearly associated with an increased incidence of this malignancy. EBS, also known as prune belly syndrome, is a congenital anomaly characterized by lax abdominal musculature, bilateral cryptorchidism requiring, in some cases, hemodialysis due to significant kidney and urinary tract dysfunctions. Despite an improvement on the survival rates of patients with advanced-stage HBL, the presence of concomitant end-stage renal disease that occurs in patients with EBS constitutes a therapeutic challenge for the clinician not only due to the use of nephrotoxic chemotherapy but also due to the potential need for multi-organ transplant...
January 22, 2018: Pediatric Transplantation
Joanne Neale, Charlotte N E Tompkins, Rebecca McDonald, John Strang
AIM: To explore potential study participants' views on willingness to join clinical trials of pharmacological interventions for illicit opioid use to inform and improve future recruitment strategies. DESIGN: Qualitative focus group study (6 groups: oral methadone [2 groups]; buprenorphine tablets [2 groups]; injectable opioid agonist treatment [1 group]; and former opioid agonist treatment [1 group]). SETTINGS: Drug and alcohol services and a peer support recovery service (London, United Kingdom)...
January 22, 2018: Addiction
Daniel Poehnert, Nils Hadeler, Harald Schrem, Alexander Kaltenborn, Juergen Klempnauer, Markus Winny
This single-center prospective, controlled observational study investigates the impact of incisional negative pressure wound therapy on wound healing processes and its potency to prevent superficial surgical site infections after reversal of a double loop ileostomy. Furthermore, this study gains insight in socio-economic aspects, like duration of hospital stay and, for the first time, patient's quality of life during the incisional negative pressure wound treatment. To address this question, an interventional group of 24 patients treated with incisional negative pressure wound therapy (Prevena® incisional wound management system, KCI, Germany) and a respective control cohort of 25 patients treated with a standard sterile dressing were observed for 30 days in the post-operative course...
January 22, 2018: Wound Repair and Regeneration
Ke Meng, Longlong Wu, Zhou Liu, Xiao Wang, Qiaofei Xu, Youdi Hu, Sanfeng He, Xiaolong Li, Tao Li, Gang Chen
Metal halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have advanced to the forefront of solution-processed photovoltaic techniques and made stunning progress in power conversion efficiency (PCE). Further improvements in device performances rely on perfecting the structure and morphology of perovskite films. However, undesirable defects such as pinholes and grain boundaries are often created in film preparations due to lack of knowledge of the precise reaction mechanism. Here, in situ grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction (GI-XRD) investigations are performed, facilitated by other techniques, on the formation of the widely adopted MAPbI3 (MA = methylammonium) perovskite films from their intermediate adduct (IA) phases...
January 22, 2018: Advanced Materials
Ronit Amit, Susan K Jacobson
Reducing costs and increasing benefits for rural communities coexisting with large carnivores is necessary for conservation of jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor). To design acceptable incentives, stakeholders must be involved in the process. We conducted an innovative structured group communication process, based on a Delphi technique, as a template for identifying potential incentives. Community workshops with 133 members of 7 communities and iterative surveys with 25 multidisciplinary experts from government, NGOs and academia provided iterative data to design a plan of incentives through 4 rounds of discussion...
January 22, 2018: Conservation Biology: the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Shengyu Jin, Yixiu Wang, Maithilee Motlag, Shengjie Gao, Jin Xu, Qiong Nian, Wenzhuo Wu, Gary J Cheng
Ongoing efforts in triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) focus on enhancing power generation, but obstacles concerning the economical and cost-effective production of TENGs continue to prevail. Micro-/nanostructure engineering of polymer surfaces has been dominantly utilized for boosting the contact triboelectrification, with deposited metal electrodes for collecting the scavenged energy. Nevertheless, this state-of-the-art approach is limited by the vague potential for producing 3D hierarchical surface structures with conformable coverage of high-quality metal...
January 22, 2018: Advanced Materials
Hai Huang, Qiong Wang, Tao Du, Chunhao Lin, Yiming Lai, Dingjun Zhu, Wanhua Wu, Xiaoming Ma, Soumin Bai, Zean Li, Leyuan Liu, Qi Li
BACKGROUND: Matrine is a naturally occurring alkaloid extracted from the Chinese herb Sophora flavescens. It has been demonstrated to exhibit antiproliferative properties, promote apoptosis, and inhibit cell invasion in a number of cancer cell lines by modulating the NF-κB pathway to downregulate the expression of MMP2 and MM9. It has also been shown to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy when it is combined with other chemotherapy drugs. However, the therapeutic potential of matrine for prostate cancer needs to be further studied...
January 21, 2018: Prostate
Kingshuk Roy Choudhury, Sean Skwerer
PURPOSE: Many biological objects, including neuronal dendrites, blood vasculature, airways, phylogenetic trees produce tree structured data. Current methods of analysis either ignore the complex structure of trees or use distance based methods which limit the scope of multivariate modelling. METHODS: We propose a branching process model which enables analysis of both the branching structure and associated properties. Our novel parametrization preserves an important aspect of tree structure, namely its branch order...
January 22, 2018: Medical Physics
Michael D Jenkinson, Damiano Giuseppe Barone, Andrew Bryant, Luke Vale, Helen Bulbeck, Theresa A Lawrie, Michael G Hart, Colin Watts
BACKGROUND: Extent of resection is considered to be a prognostic factor in neuro-oncology. Intraoperative imaging technologies are designed to help achieve this goal. It is not clear whether any of these sometimes very expensive tools (or their combination) should be recommended as standard care for people with brain tumours. We set out to determine if intraoperative imaging technology offers any advantage in terms of extent of resection over standard surgery and if any one technology was more effective than another...
January 22, 2018: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Elisabetta Dimaggio, Giovanni Pennelli
Silicon is a material with very good thermoelectric properties, with regard to Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity. Low thermal conductivities, and hence high thermal to electrical conversion efficiencies, can be achieved in nanostructures which are smaller than the phonon mean free path but large enough to preserve the electrical conductivity. We demonstrate that it is possible to fabricate a leg of a thermoelectric generator based on large collections of long nanowires, placed perpendicularly to the two faces of a silicon wafer...
January 22, 2018: Nanotechnology
Ching-Heáng Lin, Hsin-I Chou, Ueng-Cheng Yang
OBJECTIVE: Using standards is not only useful for data interchange during the process of a clinical trial, but also useful for analyzing data in a review process. Any step, which speeds up approval of new drugs, may benefit patients. As a result, adopting standards for regulatory submission becomes mandatory in some countries. However, preparing standard-compliant documents, such as annotated case report form (aCRF), needs a great deal of knowledge and experience. The process is complex and labor-intensive...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Biomedical Informatics
Xuetao Guo, Yongyuan Yin, Chen Yang, Zhi Dang
MS-ZnS and MS-ZnS:Mn complexes were synthesized via a simple method. The results showed that sulfide was successfully loaded on the maize straw. The results of fitting the experimental data showed that the sorption conforms to the pseudo-second-order kinetics, and the TYL sorption on MS fit the Henry model well, but the Freundlich model was more suited to MS-ZnS and MS-ZnS:Mn. In addition, the kf values of MS-ZnS (206.0(mg/kg)/(mg/L)n) and MS-ZnS:Mn (382.5(mg/kg)/(mg/L)n) were significantly greater than that of MS (72...
January 17, 2018: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Zhengwu Zhang, Maxime Descoteaux, Jingwen Zhang, Gabriel Girard, Maxime Chamberland, David Dunson, Anuj Srivastava, Hongtu Zhu
Advances in understanding the structural connectomes of human brain require improved approaches for the construction, comparison and integration of high-dimensional whole-brain tractography data from a large number of individuals. This article develops a population-based structural connectome (PSC) mapping framework to address these challenges. PSC simultaneously characterizes a large number of white matter bundles within and across different subjects by registering different subjects' brains based on coarse cortical parcellations, compressing the bundles of each connection, and extracting novel connection weights...
January 18, 2018: NeuroImage
Scott R Solomon, Michael A Aubrey, Xu Zhang, Allison Piluso, Brian M Freed, Stacey Brown, Katelin C Jackson, Lawrence E Morris, H Kent Holland, Melhem M Solh, Asad Bashey
The use of post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy)-based haploidentical (haplo) transplant is increasing worldwide. However, as multiple potential haplo donors are usually available, data-driven guidance is clearly needed to help transplant centers prioritize donors. To that end, we retrospectively analyzed 208 consecutive donor-recipient pairs receiving PTCy-based haplo transplant at a single institution. Median recipient and donor age was 52 (19-75) and 38 (15-73) years, PBSC was the stem cell source in 66%, and myeloablative conditioning was used in 41%...
January 17, 2018: Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Lijun Li, Hui Liao, Yan Yang, Jianye Gong, Jianan Liu, Zedong Jiang, Yanbing Zhu, Anfeng Xiao, Hui Ni
To improve the thermostability of α-L-rhamnosidase (r-Rha1), an enzyme previously identified from Aspergillus niger JMU-TS528, multiple arginine (Arg) residues were introduced into the r-Rha1 sequence to replace several lysine (Lys) residues that located on the surface of the folded r-Rha1. Hinted by in silico analysis, five surface Lys residues (K134, K228, K406, K440, K573) were targeted to produce a list of 5 single-residue mutants and 4 multiple-residue mutants using site-directed mutagenesis. Among these mutants, a double Lys to Arg mutant, i...
January 17, 2018: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Sasmit S Deshmukh, Charles Protheroe, Matei-Alexandru Ivanescu, Sarah Lag, László Kálmán
Systematic control over molecular driving forces is essential for understanding the natural electron transfer processes as well as for improving the efficiency of the artificial mimics of energy converting enzymes. Oxygen producing photosynthesis uniquely employs manganese ions as rapid electron donors. Introducing this attribute to anoxygenic photosynthesis may identify evolutionary intermediates and provide insights to the energetics of biological water oxidation. This work presents effective environmental methods that substantially and simultaneously tune the redox potentials of manganese ions and the cofactors of a photosynthetic enzyme from native anoxygenic bacteria without the necessity of genetic modification or synthesis...
January 17, 2018: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Liangzhi Li, Pei Kang, Xin Ju, Jiajia Chen, Huibin Zou, Cuiying Hu, Lishi Yan
Erythritol, a well-known natural sweetener, is mainly produced by microbial fermentation. Various metal ions (Al3+, Cu2+, Mn2+, and Ni2+) were added to the culture medium of Trichosporonoides oedocephalis ATCC 16958 at 30 mg/L in shake flask cultures. Compared with controls, Cu2+ increased the erythritol content by 86% and decreased the glycerol byproduct by 31%. After 48 h of shake flask culture, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) showed that expression levels of erythrose reductase (ER) in presence of 30 mg/L CuSO4 · 5H2O were higher than those obtained after treatment with other examined metal ions...
January 22, 2018: Preparative Biochemistry & Biotechnology
Prachi Rastogi, Francisco Palazon, Mirko Prato, Francesco Di Stasio, Roman Krahne
The surface ligands on colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) play an important role in the performance of NCs based optoelectronic devices such as photovoltaic cells, photodetectors and light emitting diodes (LEDs). On one hand, the NC emission depends critically on the passivation of the surface to minimize trap states that can provide non-radiative recombination channels. On the other hand, the electrical properties of NC films are dominated by the ligands that constitute the barriers for charge transport from one NC to its neighbor...
January 22, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
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