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Article

28 May 2024

Efficacy and Cytocompatibility of a Pressure Garment—Silicone Composite Dressing Material for Scar Healing

Pressure garment therapy (PGT) and silicone gel sheeting (SGS) predominate non-invasive interventions for burn injuries, but the market lacks a composite solution combining pressure garment fabric (PGF) and medical-grade silicone (e.g. Biopor®AB) for multi-therapeutic efficacy. To address this gap, a versatile composite dressing of PGF-Biopor®AB was developed. PGF-Biopor®AB incorporates dual PGF-SGS therapy, mechanotherapy, and active moisture management, to facilitate recovery of hypertrophic subsidiary structures. The PGF structure enables the application of PGT, while the Biopor®AB silicone characteristics enforce silicone gel therapy (SGT). The PGF-SGS efficacy optimization not only reduces tension but also facilitates water vapor and oxygen penetration, along with hydration of the stratum corneum. Mechanotherapy, involving tension-shielding and pressure redistribution, promotes the reorganization of the collagen-fiber network. For active moisture management, the incorporation of a microchannel structure with active nylon absorbency facilitates effective moisture control through water absorption, retention, and cellular pathways of transport. In this study, the microscale features in the structure were further investigated. Under ISO 10993-5 standard, an over 70% cell viability in 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay containing the L929 cell line verified the enhanced cell growth and inhibited proliferation, endorsing the safe usage of PGF-Biopor®AB. Patient studies of one-month efficacy in both high and low-cell-density samples and an early scarless healed wound suggest that over 70% cell viability is sufficient for optimal scar therapeutics. The multifaceted scar repair roles are fulfilled by addressing persistent inflammation, insufficient oxygenation, low levels of perfusion, and scar-healing tension, hence realising the multi-therapeutic efficacy of the composite dressing.

Article

27 May 2024

The Strange Question of Species: Biocratic Implications in Interwar Paleoanthropology

Species was one of the most controversial concepts in biological science. Not even the “New Systematics” of the 1930s and 1940s succeeded in bringing complete clarity to the issue. During the first half of the twentieth century the conceptualization of species was challenged by paleontology, a then-emerging discipline, but an ancient essentialist conception resisted, whereby each species is characterized by its own immutable essence (eidos). This simplification was transferred to physical anthropology in the study of human populations, with further cultural and political outcomes. For example: the meaning of species developed a series of biopolitical and legal implications regarding the construction of a society preserved from foreign dangerous bodies. From this perspective, the racial policy of the Third Reich established that the German national community was to be based on belonging to a same species (Art), from which Jewish population was excluded, considering it an alien species (Artfremd) and therefore incompatible. The concept of species, defined from an essentialist perspective, was in fact considered more differentiating and selective than that of “race”. Consequently, foreignness to the human species became a more radical distinguishing factor than racial classification. The article, with a focus on German academia, aims to reconstruct the debate in paleoanthropology during interwar period.

Review

24 May 2024

Current Progress on Microbial l-malic Acid Production

As an important intermediate in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, l-malic acid (l-MA) is also one of the 12 important platform bulk chemicals with high added value. Owing to its various applications in food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and industry, the global l-MA market size is growing year by year. Over the last few decades, increasing concerns regarding fossil fuels depletion and excessive CO2 emissions have led the global commitment to fostering a green economy and sustainable development. Alternatively, the sustainable microbial fermentation of l-MA has gradually attracted more and more attention. Here, this review summarizes the common l-MA biosynthesis pathways and compares the differences between different chassis microorganisms as well. Moreover, regulation strategies of genetic metabolic engineering and fermentation process to boost the l-MA production are summarized, and the research status of l-MA production from the cheaper substrates is also discussed. Finally, the direction of further exploration of industrialized l-MA biosynthesis is proposed, which provides a theoretical guidance on promoting technological innovation in industrial l-MA production.

Article

23 May 2024

Proposal for A Systemic Human Ecological Turn for Health Science and Medicine

Industrial development processes, accompanied by extreme growth processes, regards world population, pollution, food production and the exploitation of natural resources have caused severe ecological problems. This has been well known since 1972 through the study ‘The Limits to Growth’, in which humanity and the world society was called upon to make an ecological turn and to change its consumption model and the type of economic development that was not suited to finite natural resources (or a finite planet). However, the relationships between the state of the environment and human health have hardly been considered, although an ecological view of health was already proposed by Hippocrates, and as in the meantime, the technical terms “Environmental Health” and “Environmental Medicine” have become established at universities. It is only in recent times that global terms such as climate medicine, One Health, Eco Health, etc. have become powerful pragmatic and action-oriented initiatives. They can be understood as calls for a worldwide health-related ‘ecologization’ of (health) culture. Regarding these approaches we highlight theoretical and metatheoretical aspects, since in general, any real action is only as good as the analytical quality of the plan that serves as a guide for that action. From this point of view, we find that these approaches exhibit striking weaknesses. These are, among other things: the neglect of epistemological challenges combined with inconsistent conceptualizations of the category environment, the very superficial models of human beings, weaknesses of ecological frameworks in relation to the macro-, meso- and micro-eco-social levels of the targeted topics, and a vague notion of systems methodology. Following on from this, we call for an explicit social-/human-ecological framework (New Viennese School, Australian School) for environmental health issues as it has been established for decades in the field of environmental, sustainability and transformation sciences.

Article

23 May 2024

Numerical Study on Pyrolysis Characteristics of Oil-Based Drilling Cuttings in a Two-Layer Screw-Driving Spiral Heat Exchanger

Oil-based drilling cuttings is a pollutive nearly-solid waste produced in oil exploitation that has to be treated for meeting clean production requirement of oil and gas exploration. A two-layer screw-driving spiral heat exchanger was thus proposed for this purpose. To investigate its effectiveness and performance, a 10-component n-decane one-step product proportional distribution chemical model was used to describe oil-based drilling cuttings pyrolysis process, and numerical simulations were carried out of forced convection inside the heat exchanger with a full consideration of pyrolysis and evaporation effects. The influences of rotation speed, screw pitch and cross-sectional shape of spiral tube on pyrolysis, flow, and heat mass transfer characteristics were studied. The results show that the heat absorbed needed for evaporation is much less than that for pyrolysis, and the heat transfer coefficient with consideration of evaporation and pyrolysis is almost two times greater than that without. The pyrolysis rate increases first, and then decreases once the temperature is higher than 838 K due to the coupled effects of temperature and reactant concentration change. The velocity, heat transfer coefficient and conversion ratio of oil-based drilling cuttings all increase with rotation speed, but the conversion ratio increase becomes slower and slower once the rotation speed exceeds 0.2 rad·s−1. The average vorticity and flow resistance of oil-based drilling cuttings both decrease with screw pitch monotonously, while heat transfer coefficient increases first and then decreases because of the opposite effects of centrifugal force and thermal entrance length. Reducing screw pitch can increase conversion ratio, but once screw pitch is smaller than 800 mm, the conversion ratio approaches to a constant. Cross-sectional shape of spiral tube also affects pyrolysis performance, and circular cross-sectional spiral tube seems to be the best.

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