BioMed Research International
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Alleviating Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Stress: A Chinese Medicine Approach in Neonatal Rats

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BioMed Research International publishes original research articles and review articles covering a wide range of subjects within the biomedical sciences. The journal will accept both basic and translational research.

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BioMed Research International maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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Research Article

Deep Learning Combined with Radiologist’s Intervention Achieves Accurate Segmentation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Dual-Phase Magnetic Resonance Images

Purpose. Segmentation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is crucial; however, manual segmentation is subjective and time-consuming. Accurate and automatic lesion contouring for HCC is desirable in clinical practice. In response to this need, our study introduced a segmentation approach for HCC combining deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs) and radiologist intervention in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We sought to design a segmentation method with a deep learning method that automatically segments using manual location information for moderately experienced radiologists. In addition, we verified the viability of this method to assist radiologists in accurate and fast lesion segmentation. Method. In our study, we developed a semiautomatic approach for segmenting HCC using DCNN in conjunction with radiologist intervention in dual-phase gadolinium-ethoxybenzyl-diethylenetriamine penta-acetic acid- (Gd-EOB-DTPA-) enhanced MRI. We developed a DCNN and deep fusion network (DFN) trained on full-size images, namely, DCNN-F and DFN-F. Furthermore, DFN was applied to the image blocks containing tumor lesions that were roughly contoured by a radiologist with 10 years of experience in abdominal MRI, and this method was named DFN-R. Another radiologist with five years of experience (moderate experience) performed tumor lesion contouring for comparison with our proposed methods. The ground truth image was contoured by an experienced radiologist and reviewed by an independent experienced radiologist. Results. The mean DSC of DCNN-F, DFN-F, and DFN-R was (median, 0.72), (median, 0.77), and (median, 0.88), respectively. The mean DSC of the segmentation by the radiologist with moderate experience was (median, 0.83), which was lower than the performance of DFN-R. Conclusions. Deep learning using dual-phase MRI shows great potential for HCC lesion segmentation. The radiologist-aided semiautomated method (DFN-R) achieved improved performance compared to manual contouring by the radiologist with moderate experience, although the difference was not statistically significant.

Review Article

Quercetin as a Promising Antiprotozoan Phytochemical: Current Knowledge and Future Research Avenues

Despite tremendous advances in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, only few antiparasitic drugs have been developed to date. Protozoan infections such as malaria, leishmaniasis, and trypanosomiasis continue to exact an enormous toll on public health worldwide, underscoring the need to discover novel antiprotozoan drugs. Recently, there has been an explosion of research into the antiprotozoan properties of quercetin, one of the most abundant flavonoids in the human diet. In this review, we tried to consolidate the current knowledge on the antiprotozoal effects of quercetin and to provide the most fruitful avenues for future research. Quercetin exerts potent antiprotozoan activity against a broad spectrum of pathogens such as Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma spp., Plasmodium spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Trichomonas spp., and Toxoplasma gondii. In addition to its immunomodulatory roles, quercetin disrupts mitochondrial function, induces apoptotic/necrotic cell death, impairs iron uptake, inhibits multiple enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis and the glycolytic pathways, suppresses the activity of DNA topoisomerases, and downregulates the expression of various heat shock proteins in these pathogens. In vivo studies also show that quercetin is effective in reducing parasitic loads, histopathological damage, and mortality in animals. Future research should focus on designing effective drug delivery systems to increase the oral bioavailability of quercetin. Incorporating quercetin into various nanocarrier systems would be a promising approach to manage localized cutaneous infections. Nevertheless, clinical trials are needed to validate the efficacy of quercetin in treating various protozoan infections.

Research Article

Screening Marine Microbial Metabolites as Promising Inhibitors of Borrelia garinii: A Structural Docking Approach towards Developing Novel Lyme Disease Treatment

Lyme disease caused by the Borrelia species is a growing health concern in many parts of the world. Current treatments for the disease may have side effects, and there is also a need for new therapies that can selectively target the bacteria. Pathogens responsible for Lyme disease include B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii. In this study, we employed structural docking-based screening to identify potential lead-like inhibitors against the bacterium. We first identified the core essential genome fraction of the bacterium, using 37 strains. Later, we screened a library of lead-like marine microbial metabolites () against the arginine deiminase (ADI) protein of Borrelia garinii. This protein plays a crucial role in the survival of the bacteria, and inhibiting it can kill the bacterium. The prioritized lead compounds demonstrating favorable binding energies and interactions with the active site of ADI were then evaluated for their drug-like and pharmacokinetic parameters to assess their suitability for development as drugs. Results from molecular dynamics simulation (100 ns) and other scoring parameters suggest that the compound CMNPD18759 (common name: aureobasidin; IUPAC name: 2-[(4R,6R)-4,6-dihydroxydecanoyl]oxypropan-2-yl (3S,5R)-3,5-dihydroxydecanoate) holds promise as a potential drug candidate for the treatment of Lyme disease, caused by B. garinii. However, further experimental studies are needed to validate the efficacy and safety of this compound in vivo.

Research Article

Identifying G6PC3 as a Potential Key Molecule in Hypoxic Glucose Metabolism of Glioblastoma Derived from the Depiction of 18F-Fluoromisonidazole and 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography

Purpose. Glioblastoma is the most aggressive primary brain tumor, characterized by its distinctive intratumoral hypoxia. Sequential preoperative examinations using fluorine-18-fluoromisonidazole (18F-FMISO) and fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) could depict the degree of glucose metabolism with hypoxic condition. However, molecular mechanism of glucose metabolism under hypoxia in glioblastoma has been unclear. The aim of this study was to identify the key molecules of hypoxic glucose metabolism. Methods. Using surgically obtained specimens, gene expressions associated with glucose metabolism were analyzed in patients with glioblastoma () who underwent preoperative 18F-FMISO and 18F-FDG PET to identify affected molecules according to hypoxic condition. Tumor in vivo metabolic activities were semiquantitatively evaluated by lesion-normal tissue ratio (LNR). Protein expression was confirmed by immunofluorescence staining. To evaluate prognostic value, relationship between gene expression and overall survival was explored in another independent nonoverlapping clinical cohort () and validated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database (). Results. Among the genes involving glucose metabolic pathway, mRNA expression of glucose-6-phosphatase 3 (G6PC3) correlated with 18F-FDG LNR (). In addition, G6PC3 mRNA expression in 18F-FMISO high-accumulated glioblastomas was significantly higher than that in 18F-FMISO low-accumulated glioblastomas (). Protein expression of G6PC3 was consistent with mRNA expression, which was confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis. These findings indicated that the G6PC3 expression might be facilitated by hypoxic condition in glioblastomas. Next, we investigated the clinical relevance of G6PC3 in terms of prognosis. Among the glioblastoma patients who received gross total resection, mRNA expressions of G6PC3 in the patients with poor prognosis (less than 1-year survival) were significantly higher than that in the patients who survive more than 3 years. Moreover, high mRNA expression of G6PC3 was associated with poor overall survival in glioblastoma, as validated by TCGA database. Conclusion. G6PC3 was affluently expressed in glioblastoma tissues with coincidentally high 18F-FDG and 18F-FMISO accumulation. Further, it might work as a prognostic biomarker of glioblastoma. Therefore, G6PC3 is a potential key molecule of glucose metabolism under hypoxia in glioblastoma.

Research Article

Assessment of Violence during COVID-19 among Reproductive Age Women in Arsi Zone, South East Ethiopia

Background. Preventive measures, like staying at home during lockdown, are mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly as a result of staying at home, violence against women is beginning to increase in correlation with these measures. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of violence against women of reproductive age during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Arsi Zone. Methods. A community-based cross-sectional study design was employed from February 15 to March 30, 2021. A multistage sampling technique was used to recruit 1458 women aged 15-49 years old. Data entry was performed using Epi info-7 and exported to SPSS version 25 for analysis. A logistic regression analysis was employed to identify factors associated with violence against women at value <0.05 and AOR values with 95% CI. Results. The prevalence of violence against women during COVID-19 was 51.1% (95% CI 48.5-53.7%). Psychological violence (31.8%) and controlling behavior violence (29.3%) were the leading types of violence followed by economic (20.2%) and sexual violence (15.6%). Respondents who had monthly income of <1000 birr (AOR = 1.72; 95% CI, 1.18, 2.51), 1001-2000 birr (AOR = 2.22; 95% CI, 1.51, 3.27), 2001-3000 birr (AOR = 1.91; 95% CI, 1.26, 2.91), and 3001-4000 birr (AOR = 2.03; 95% CI, 1.31, 3.14), quarreled with their partner’s family (; 95% CI: 2.14–5.30), witnessed chilhood family violence (; 95% CI: 1.81–3.02), and decisions made on the household issue by husband only (; 95% CI: 2.01–3.41) or wife only (; 95% CI: 1.33–2.98) were significantly associated with violence against women. In addition, we found that participants whose partners cannot read and write (; 95% CI: 1.19– 5.81), drink alcohol (; 95% CI: 2.10–3.76), chew chat (; 95% CI: 2.21–4.85), ever fighting or aggressive with other men (; 95% CI: 1.51–4.95), and partners’ families taking part in the decision making (; 95% CI: 1.49–3.62) were also associated with violence against women. Conclusions. One in every two women was the victim of any form of violence in the study area. Hence, empowering women’s economic status and enhancing community-based health education for males on behavioral lifestyle modification were required to prevent violence against women.

Research Article

Anatomical Bases of the Temporal Muscle Trigger Points

Background and Purpose. Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a chronic or acute form of musculoskeletal pain that affects nearly three-quarters of the world’s population. It is characterized by muscle pain and stiffness, with palpable nodules and hyperirritability areas called myofascial trigger points (MTPs). The temporal muscle is frequently involved in MPS, and four MTPs in the temporal muscle have been described in the literature, but no anatomical description of the MTPs has been reported. The present study described the entry points of deep temporal nerves in the temporal muscle belly and related these points to the MTPs described in the literature. Method. Temporal muscles of 14 adult cadavers were studied. The muscle bellies were divided into six areas, three superior (1.2 and 3) and three inferior areas (4, 5, and 6) lower, according to a Cartesian plane to analyze and describe the entry points of the branches of the deep temporal nerves into the muscle. The branching distribution was analyzed using Poisson log-linear tests with Bonferroni post hoc tests for comparison between groups (sextants) (). Results. Deep temporal nerve entry points were found in the temporal muscle in all areas. Most of the branches were observed in areas 2 and 5, which coincide with the muscle fibers responsible for mandible elevation and related to the previously described MTPs. Fewer branches were found in areas 1 and 6, where contraction produces mandible retraction. Conclusion. There is an anatomical correlation between the branching pattern of the deep temporal nerve and temporal muscle trigger points. Adequate knowledge of the innervation of the temporal muscle may help elucidate the pathophysiology of myofascial syndromes and provide a rational basis for interventional or conservative approaches and help surgeons avoid iatrogenic lesions to the deep temporal nerve lesion.

BioMed Research International
 Journal metrics
See full report
Acceptance rate8%
Submission to final decision110 days
Acceptance to publication24 days
CiteScore5.300
Journal Citation Indicator-
Impact Factor-
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