The latest medical research on Technology

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Laser ablation of anal fistulae: a 6-year experience in a tertiary teaching hospital in Malaysia.

Lasers in Medical Science

Several studies have investigated the role of laser ablation of anal fistulae in the European setting. However, long-term follow-up results following laser fistula ablations are not widely investigated and no study was performed in the Asia-Pacific, a region with a distinctive prevalence of tuberculosis. The primary objective of this study is to report a single-centre experience with laser ablation of anal fistulae in Malaysia over a period of 6 years.

This was a retrospective observational study assessing the outcomes following 70 laser ablations of anal fistulae from February 2014 till December 2019. All cases were assessed using endoanal ultrasound. The laser ablation procedures were performed using laser systems and fibres from Endoteq Medizinische Laser GmBH, Germany, and Biolitec AG, Jena, Germany. Laser fibres were introduced into the fistula tract and laser energy was emitted radially in continuous mode when activated during the procedure. Pre-defined post-procedural outcomes (primary healing, healing failure or recurrence) were recorded as either present or absent during subsequent follow-up appointments and the data was analysed.

Over a median follow-up period of 10 months, primary healing was reported following 42 procedures (60.0%). Healing failure was reported following 28 procedures (40.0%) whilst recurrence was seen after 16 procedures (22.86%). No new cases of incontinence were reported following the procedure.

The reported primary healing rate following laser ablation of anal fistulae in this study appears consistent with existing literature published by other international centres. The most apparent clinical advantage of this procedure is sphincter-function preservation. However, the primary healing rate after isolated laser fistula ablation is still suboptimal. Judicious patient selection and application in anal fistulae with suitable characteristics could potentially improve the post-procedural outcomes.

Infection calls for thrombosis: Fact or superstition?

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Despite all the efforts, pump thrombosis and thromboembolic complications still remain among the most dreadful complications after long-term ventri...

The pros and cons of follicular unit extraction (FUE) versus elliptical donor harvesting (FUT).

J Cosmet Laser

Hair transplantation has evolved as a practice since the 1960's with advances in technology and surgical technique. With various surgical technique...

Coculture of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells/macrophages on decellularized placental sponge promotes differentiation into the osteogenic lineage.

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Several factors like three-dimensional microstructure, growth factors, cytokines, cell-cell communication, and coculture with functional cells can affect the stem cells behavior and differentiation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of decellularized placental sponge as adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) and macrophage coculture systems, and guiding the osteogenic differentiation of stem cells.

The decellularized placental sponge (DPS) was fabricated, and its mechanical characteristics were evaluated using degradation assay, swelling rate, pore size determination. Its structure was also investigated using hematoxylin and eosin staining and scanning electron microscopy. Mouse peritoneal macrophages and AD-MSCs were isolated and characterized. The differentiation potential of AD-MSCs co-cultured with macrophages was evaluated by RT-qPCR of osteogenic genes on the surface of DPS. The in vivo biocompatibility of DPS was determined by subcutaneous implantation of scaffold and histological evaluations of the implanted site.

The DPS had 67% porosity with an average pore size of 238 μm. The in vitro degradation assay showed around 25% weight loss during 30 days in PBS. The swelling rate was around 50% during 72 hours. The coculture of AD-MSCs/macrophages on the DPS showed a significant upregulation of four differentiation osteogenic lineage genes in AD-MSCs on days 14 and 21 and a significantly higher mineralization rate than the groups without DPS. Subcutaneous implantation of DPS showed in vivo biocompatibility of scaffold during 28 days follow up.

Our findings suggest the decellularized placental sponge as an excellent bone substitute providing a naturally derived matrix substrate with biostructure close to the natural bone that guided differentiation of stem cells toward bone cells and a promising coculture substrate for crosstalk of macrophage and mesenchymal stem cells in vitro.

Statistical quantification of confounding bias in machine learning models.


The lack of nonparametric statistical tests for confounding bias significantly hampers the development of robust, valid, and generalizable predictive models in many fields of research. Here I propose the partial confounder test, which, for a given confounder variable, probes the null hypotheses of the model being unconfounded.

The test provides a strict control for type I errors and high statistical power, even for nonnormally and nonlinearly dependent predictions, often seen in machine learning. Applying the proposed test on models trained on large-scale functional brain connectivity data (N= 1,865) (i) reveals previously unreported confounders and (ii) shows that state-of-the-art confound mitigation approaches may fail preventing confounder bias in several cases.

The proposed test (implemented in the package mlconfound; can aid the assessment and improvement of the generalizability and validity of predictive models and, thereby, fosters the development of clinically useful machine learning biomarkers.

Customized normothermic machine perfusion decreases ischemia-reperfusion injury compared with static cold storage in a porcine model of liver transplantation.

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Liver transplantation has been demonstrated to be the best treatment for several liver diseases, while grafts are limited. This has caused an increase in waiting lists, making it necessary to find ways to expand the number of organs available for transplantation. Normothermic perfusion (NMP) of liver grafts has been established as an alternative to static cold storage (SCS), but only a small number of perfusion machines are commercially available.

Using a customized ex-situ machine perfusion, we compared the results between ex-situ NMP and SCS preservation in a porcine liver transplant model.

During NMP, lactate concentrations were 80% lower after the three hours perfusion period, compared with SCS. Bile production had a 2.5-fold increase during the NMP period. After transplantation, aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels were 35% less in the NMP group, compared to the SCS group. In pathologic analyses of grafts after transplant, tissue oxidation did not change between groups, but the ischemia-reperfusion injury score was lower in the NMP group.

NMP reduced hepatocellular damage and ischemia-reperfusion injury when compared to SCS using a customized perfusion machine. This could be an alternative for low-income countries to include machine perfusion in their therapeutic options.

A curated human cellular microRNAome based on 196 primary cell types.


An incomplete picture of the expression distribution of microRNAs (miRNAs) across human cell types has long hindered our understanding of this important regulatory class of RNA. With the continued increase in available public small RNA sequencing datasets, there is an opportunity to more fully understand the general distribution of miRNAs at the cell level.

From the NCBI Sequence Read Archive, we obtained 6,054 human primary cell datasets and processed 4,184 of them through the miRge3.0 small RNA sequencing alignment software. This dataset was curated down, through shared miRNA expression patterns, to 2,077 samples from 196 unique cell types derived from 175 separate studies. Of 2,731 putative miRNAs listed in miRBase (v22.1), 2,452 (89.8%) were detected. Among reasonably expressed miRNAs, 108 were designated as cell specific/near specific, 59 as infrequent, 52 as frequent, 54 as near ubiquitous, and 50 as ubiquitous. The complexity of cellular microRNA expression estimates recapitulates tissue expression patterns and informs on the miRNA composition of plasma.

This study represents the most complete reference, to date, of miRNA expression patterns by primary cell type. The data are available through the human cellular microRNAome track at the UCSC Genome Browser ( and an R/Bioconductor package (

Utilization of gold nanoparticles for the detection of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue based on laser-induced fluorescence and diffuse reflectance characteristics: an in vitro study.

Lasers in Medical Science

Squamous cell carcinoma is a very common type of oral cancer that affects the health of people with an unacceptably high mortality rate attributed ...

Efficacy of local hemostatic agents after endoscopic submucosal dissection: a meta-analysis.

Minim Invasive Ther

Topical hemostatic agents have been used to reduce bleeding rates after endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for gastric cancer. However, to date, no review has summarized evidence on their efficacy.

PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, CENTRAL, and Google Scholar were searched for studies comparing bleeding rates after ESD with and without local hemostatic agents.

Eleven studies were included. The studies used polyglycolic acid (PGA) sheets and fibrin glue, fibrin glue, oxidized regenerated cellulose, polysaccharide hemostatic powder, or polyethylene oxide adhesive. Meta-analysis revealed a statistically significant reduction in the risk of delayed bleeding with the use of PGA sheets & fibrin glue (six studies; RR: 0.35 95% CI: 0.20, 0.63 p = 0.0005). However, meta-analysis of two studies showed no difference in the risk of bleeding based on the use of fibrin glue (RR: 0.44 95% CI: 0.03, 7.17 p = 0.56). Scarce data were available for the remaining hemostatic agents.

A large number of different hemostatic agents have been used to reduce the risk of bleeding after ESD for gastric cancer. Observational studies indicate that the use of PGA with fibrin glue could reduce the risk of bleeding after ESD. However, evidence for other agents was too scarce to derive conclusions.

Association mapping across a multitude of traits collected in diverse environments in maize.


Classical genetic studies have identified many cases of pleiotropy where mutations in individual genes alter many different phenotypes. Quantitativ...

AOSRV: Development and preliminary performance assessment of a new robotic system for autonomous percutaneous vertebroplasty.

Int J Med

Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) is one of the most effective treatments for patients with vertebral fracture that need surgical treatment, and surgical robotics are promising tools to provide surgeons with improved precision, surgical efficiency and reduce radiation exposure. However, there are currently few robotics that are developed to help assist with PVP.

A new spinal surgical robotic system "AOSRV" for autonomous vertebral puncture and bone cement injection was designed and customized in this study. To investigate its practical abilities and the advantages, we performed single-segment/double-segment PVP simulation surgeries on pig spinal specimens manually and using AOSRV.

By contrast with the freehand group (FG) in single-segment (SS)/double-segment (DS) surgery, the robotic group (RG) was superior in the operation time (RGSS = 21.14 ± 4.11 min, FGSS = 33.17 ± 6.83 min; RGDS = 42.39 ± 7.31 min, FGDS = 62.86 ± 20.39 min), puncture adjustments (RGSS = 2.30 ± 1.77, FGSS = 14.86 ± 5.46; RGDS = 3.91 ± 1.76, FGDS = 20.00 ± 7.76), intraoperative fluoroscopies (RGSS = 4.10 ± 1.52, FGSS = 20.57 ± 5.44; RGDS = 7.82 ± 1.40, FGDS = 25.91 ± 7.23) and bone cement leakage rate (RGSS = 30%, FGSS = 71.4%; RGDS = 38.6%, FGDS = 83.3%).

AOSRV was successfully developed and had a promising preliminary performance. An innovative attempt was made for the blank space of the autonomous vertebroplasty surgical robotics, and it may shed a light on more promising applications in the future. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.