An Automatic Hybrid Method for Retinal Blood Vessel Extraction
The extraction of blood vessels from retinal images is an important and challenging task in medical analysis and diagnosis. This paper presents a novel hybrid automatic approach for the extraction of retinal image vessels. The method consists in the application of mathematical morphology and a fuzzy clustering algorithm followed by a purification procedure. In mathematical morphology, the retinal image is smoothed and strengthened so that the blood vessels are enhanced and the background information is suppressed. The fuzzy clustering algorithm is then employed to the previous enhanced image for segmentation. After the fuzzy segmentation, a purification procedure is used to reduce the weak edges and noise, and the final results of the blood vessels are consequently achieved. The performance of the proposed method is compared with some existing segmentation methods and hand-labeled segmentations. The approach has been tested on a series of retinal images, and experimental results show that our technique is promising and effective.
The phenomenon of cavitation is an unsteady flow, which is nearly inevitable in pump. It would degrade the pump performance, produce vibration and noise and even damage the pump. Hence, to improve accuracy of the nu¬merical prediction of the pump cavitation performance is much desirable. In the present work, a homogenous model, the Zwart-Gerber-Belamri cavitation model, is considered to investigate the influence of the empirical coefficients on predicting the pump cavitation performance, concerning a centrifugal pump. Three coefficients are analyzed, namely the nucleation site radius, evaporation and condensation coefficients. Also, the experiments are carried out to validate the numerical simulations. The results indicate that, to get a precise prediction, the approaches of declining the initial bubble radius, the condensation coefficient or increasing the evaporation coefficient are all feasible, especially for de¬clining the condensation coefficient, which is the most effective way.
Gang Xiong, Zhi-yong Huang, Kai-chan Cai, Ruijing Cai, Jun Zhang and Wu-jun Wang
Differentially Expressed Proteins between Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Adjacent Normal Esophageal Tissue
Proteomics was employed to identify the differentially expressed proteins between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and adjacent normal esophageal tissues. ESCC tissues and adjacent normal tissues were obtained from 10 patients with ESCC and the proteins were extracted and subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). The differentially expressed proteins were identified after image analysis, and matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) was used to confirm these proteins. Immunohistochemistry was then performed to detect the expressions of HSP27 and ANX1 in ESCC tissues and adjacent normal tissues. A total of 6 differentially expressed proteins were identified by peptide mass fingerprinting, among which SCCA1, KRT4 and ANX1 were down-regulated and TIM1, MnSOD and HSP27 up-regulated in the ESCC. Immunohistochemistry showed HSP27 was highly expressed in the ESCC which, however, had a low expression of ANX1. These findings were consistent with those in proteomics. There were differentially expressed proteins between ESCC and adjacent normal tissues. The investigation of differentially expressed proteins between ESCC and normal esophageal tissue may provide evidence for the molecular pathogenesis of ESCC.
Jian Liang, Meng Zhou, Lin-Yu Li, Ji-Cheng Shu, Yong-Hong Liang, Feng-Qin Li, Li Xiong and Hui-Lian Huang
Flow-injection mass spectrometry (FIMS) coupled with a chemometric method is proposed in this study to profile and distinguish between rhizomes of Smilax glabra (S. glabra) and Smilax china (S. china). The proposed method employed an electrospray-time-of-flight MS. The MS fingerprints were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) with the aid of SIMCA software. Findings showed that the two kinds of samples perfectly fell into their own classes. Further predictive study showed desirable predictability and the tested samples were successfully and reliably identified. The study demonstrated that the proposed method could serve as a powerful tool for distinguishing between S. glabra and S. china.
The chemokine C-C motif ligand 11, also known as eotaxin-1, has been identified as a novel mediator of inflammatory bone resorption. However, little is known regarding a potential role for CCL11/Eotaxin-1 in postmenopausal osteoporosis.
The scope of this study was to explore the relationship between serum CCL11/Eotaxin-1 concentrations and disease progression of postmenopausal females with osteoporosis.
A total of 83 postmenopausal women diagnosed with osteoporosis were enrolled. Meanwhile, 82 postmenopausal women with normal bone mineral density (BMD) and 85 healthy controls inner child-bearing age were enrolled as control. The Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to examine the BMDs at the femoral neck, lumbar spine 1-4 and total hip of all participants. Serum CCL11/Eotaxin-1 levels were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We also included inflammation marker interleukin-6 (IL-6) as well as a serum marker of bone resorption C-telopeptide cross-linked collagen type 1 (CTX-1). The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were recorded to evaluate the clinical severity in POMP females.
Serum CCL11/Eotaxin-1 levels were significantly elevated in postmenopausal osteoporotic patients PMOP patients compared with PMNOP and healthy controls. We observed a significant negative correlation of serum CCL11/Eotaxin-1 levels with lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip BMD. Furthermore, serum CCL11/ Eotaxin-1 concentrations were also positively related to the VAS and ODI scores. Last, serum CCL11/ Eotaxin-1 concentrations were positively associated with IL-6 and CTX-1 levels. These correlations remain significant after adjusting for age and BMI. Multivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that CCL11/Eotaxin-1 could serve as an independent marker.
Serum CCL 11/Eotaxin-1 may serve as a candidate biomarker for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Therapeutics targeting CCL11/Eotaxin-1 and its related signalling way to prevent and slow progression of PMOP deserve further study.
Y. Zeng, W. Ye, Z. Zhang, H. Sun, L. Yong, Y. Huang, K. Zhao, H. Liang and J. Kerns
During a nematode biodiversity survey from 2012 to 2014 in Shenzhen, China, ten nematode populations (SZX1301–SZX1310) of Xiphinema were recovered from rhizosphere of different plants, namely Acacia mangium (SZX1306), A. confuse (SZX1309), Blechnum orientale (SZX1301, SZX1302, SZX1307, SZX1308), Litchi chinensis (SZX1304, SZX1310) in Tianxinshan and Gleichenia linearis (SZX1303, SZX1305) in Yangmeikeng environmental monitoring sites. Morphological and molecular profiles of these populations were determined. Three species of Xiphinema, i.e., X. hunanienseWang & Wu, 1992, X. brasilienseLordello, 1951 and X. americanum Cobb, 1913 sensu lato were identified using morphological characters and molecular data of partial 18S and 28S D2–D3 rDNA expansion segments. Four populations (SZX1301–SZX1304) were X. hunaniense, one population (SZX1305) X. brasiliense, and five populations (SZX1306–SZX1310) X. americanum s.l.. Phylogenetic analysis based on sequences of the 28S rDNA D2–D3 expansion segment revealed these three species are all distinct species and supported a close relationship with their corresponding species. This is the first report of X. hunaniense, X. brasiliense and X. americanum s.l. in their hosts except for L. chinensis.
Yong Yang, Shuying Huang, Junfeng Gao and Zhongsheng Qian
In this paper, by considering the main objective of multi-focus image fusion and the physical meaning of wavelet coefficients, a discrete wavelet transform (DWT) based fusion technique with a novel coefficients selection algorithm is presented. After the source images are decomposed by DWT, two different window-based fusion rules are separately employed to combine the low frequency and high frequency coefficients. In the method, the coefficients in the low frequency domain with maximum sharpness focus measure are selected as coefficients of the fused image, and a maximum neighboring energy based fusion scheme is proposed to select high frequency sub-bands coefficients. In order to guarantee the homogeneity of the resultant fused image, a consistency verification procedure is applied to the combined coefficients. The performance assessment of the proposed method was conducted in both synthetic and real multi-focus images. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method can achieve better visual quality and objective evaluation indexes than several existing fusion methods, thus being an effective multi-focus image fusion method.
Our study proposes a bootstrapping-based method to automatically extract data-usage statements from academic texts.
The method for data-usage statements extraction starts with seed entities and iteratively learns patterns and data-usage statements from unlabeled text. In each iteration, new patterns are constructed and added to the pattern list based on their calculated score. Three seed-selection strategies are also proposed in this paper.
The performance of the method is verified by means of experiments on real data collected from computer science journals. The results show that the method can achieve satisfactory performance regarding precision of extraction and extensibility of obtained patterns.
While the triple representation of sentences is effective and efficient for extracting data-usage statements, it is unable to handle complex sentences. Additional features that can address complex sentences should thus be explored in the future.
Data-usage statements extraction is beneficial for data-repository construction and facilitates research on data-usage tracking, dataset-based scholar search, and dataset evaluation.
To the best of our knowledge, this paper is among the first to address the important task of automatically extracting data-usage statements from real data.
Objective: The objective was to increase the understanding of vascular access in hemodialysis
and evaluate hemodialysis-related anticoagulation treatments and the associated hemorrhagic
or thrombotic complications. Materials and Methods: In this study, an epidemiological
investigation was conducted in 1175 patients who underwent hemodialysis in seven blood
purification centers in northern Chinese. The patients were divided into two groups based on
the vascular access they used: Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) group and central venous catheter
(CVC) group. The similarities and differences of anticoagulation and hemorrhagic, thrombotic
complications were compared between two groups. Results: Arteriovenous fistula was the
most frequently used vascular access, and heparin was the most commonly used anticoagulant.
Patients in CVC group experienced significantly greater rates of low molecular weight heparin
(LMWH) administration and had a higher rate in achieving thrombotic complications than
those in AVF group. There were no significant differences in LMWH dosages in patients with
thrombotic complications, as well as the proportion of patients who received anti-platelet drugs.
Heparinized catheter lock solutions were excessively high in this study, which may lead to a
risk of hemorrhage. Conclusion: Hemodialysis-related anticoagulation treatments in China
require additional improvements, especially for the patients using CVC as vascular access.
There is an urgent need to develop clinical evaluation studies of anticoagulation treatments
for achieving more standardized and targeted treatments.