This study represents the first quantitative evaluation of pollution transport budget within the boundary layer of typical cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region from the perspective of horizontal and vertical exchanges and further discusses the impact of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL)-free troposphere (FT) exchange on concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) within the ABL during heavy pollution. From the perspective of the transport flux balance relationship, differences in pollution transport characteristics between the two cities is mainly reflected in the ABL-FT exchange effect. The FT mainly flowed into the ABL in BJ, while in SJZ, the outflow from the ABL to the FT was more intense. Combined with an analysis of vertical wind profile distribution, BJ was found to be more susceptible to the influence of northwest cold high prevailing in winter, while sinking of strong cold air allowed the FT flowing into the ABL influence the vertical exchange over BJ. In addition, we selected a typical pollution event for targeted analysis to understand mechanistic details of the influence of ABL-FT exchange on the pollution event. These results showed that ABL-FT interaction played an important role in PM2.5 concentration within the ABL during heavy pollution. Especially in the early stage of heavy pollution, FT transport contributed as much as 82.74% of PM2.5 within the ABL. These findings are significant for improving our understanding of pollution transport characteristics within the boundary layer and the effect of ABL-FT exchange on air quality.
Many environmental contaminants could be transmitted from parents and generate impairments to their progeny. The 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TBP), a novel brominated flame retardant which has been frequently detected in various organisms, was supposed to be bioaccumulated and intergenerational transmitted in human beings. Previous studies revealed that TBP could disrupt thyroid endocrine system in zebrafish larvae. However, there is no available data regarding the parental and transgenerational toxicity of this contaminant. Thus, in this study adult zebrafish were exposed to environmental contaminated levels of TBP for 60 days to investigate the parental and transgenerational impairments on thyroid endocrine system. Chemical analysis verified the bioaccumulation of TBP in tested organs of parents (concentration: liver>gonads>brain) and its transmission into eggs. For adults, increased thyroid hormones, disturbed transcriptions of related genes and histopathological changes in thyroid follicles indicate obvious thyroid endocrine disruptions. Transgenerational effects are indicated by the increased thyroid hormones both in eggs (maternal source) and in developed larvae (newly synthesized), as well as disrupted transcriptional profiles of key genes in HPT axis. The overall results suggest that the accumulated TBP could be transmitted from parent to offspring and generate thyroid endocrine disruptions in both generations.
Cyanide (CN⁻) is extensively used in the process of plating devices and for surface treatment in the electroplating industry and is extremely hazardous to humans and the environment. Peroxymonosulfate (PMS)-based advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) hold considerable promise for CN⁻ removal. However, the activity of sulfate radical and hydroxyl radical generated in the PMS activation process is low in the base condition, leading to a drop in its efficiency in CN⁻ removal. Thus, a photo-electrocatalytic system (PEC), developed using a TiO2 photoanode and a carbon aerogel cathode, was used to activate PMS for the removal of CN⁻ from wastewater through the generation of radicals and non-radicals. The PEC/PMS system could effectively remove CN⁻, with the removal efficiency reaching 98.5% within 2 min, when PMS concentration was at the 0.25 mmol/L level, and the applied bias voltage was -0.5 V. The main active species in the PEC/PMS system were superoxide radicals and singlet oxygen, which was proved through electron paramagnetic resonance detection and quenching experiments. Results obtained through in-situ Raman measurements, photocurrent tests, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements indicated that the TiO2 could activate PMS to generate active species. Following many cycles of experimentation, it was discovered that the system displayed high catalytic performance and possessed satisfactory stability to remove CN⁻ economically and efficiently.
As a common practice in agricultural system, straw return has been reported to release a large number of trace gases and attracted much attention. However, the role of straw return in toluene emission remains poorly understood. In this study we measured the emissions of toluene as well as other 50 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from wheat straw return for 66 days under flooded and non-flooded conditions, respectively. The results showed that substantial toluene was released from the returned wheat straw particularly under flooded condition, and primarily derived from the secondary product. Toluene emissions from the returned wheat straw were 36.8 and 8.45 mg C/kg, sharing 28.0% and 8.6% of total VOCs released, and over 90% of toluene emissions occurred between days 24-56 and 0-17 under flooded and non-flooded conditions, respectively. The emission rates of toluene were relatively high but decreased sharply at the beginning 2 days, and then was steady until 24 days under the two moisture conditions. After the initial decrease these rose again to form one “peak emission window” between days 24-56 under flooded condition, while these were still very low and steady until the end under non-flooded condition. The toluene emission rates significantly positively correlated with microbial biomass C under flooded condition, but negatively associated with bacteria and fungus number, microbial biomass C, and CO2 flux under non-flooded condition, suggesting that microorganism might play an important role in toluene emissions from wheat straw return. A rough estimate indicated that straw return might be important for biogenic toluene.
Recently, air pollution especially fine particulate matters (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) has become a severe issue in China. In this study, we first characterized the temporal trends of PM2.5 and O3 for Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan respectively during 2018-2020. The annual mean PM2.5 has decreased by 7.82%-33.92%, while O3 concentration showed insignificant variations by -6.77%-4.65% during 2018-2020. The generalized additive models (GAMs) were implemented to quantify the contribution of individual meteorological factors and their gas precursors on PM2.5 and O3. On a short-term perspective, GAMs modeling shows that the daily variability of PM2.5 concentration is largely related to the variation of precursor gases (R = 0.67-0.90), while meteorological conditions mainly affect the daily variability of O3 concentration (R = 0.65-0.80) during 2018-2020. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on PM2.5 and O3 concentrations were also quantified by using GAMs. During the 2020 lockdown, PM2.5 decreased significantly for these megacities, yet the ozone concentration showed an increasing trend compared to 2019. The GAMs analysis indicated that the contribution of precursor gases to PM2.5 and O3 changes is 3-8 times higher than that of meteorological factors. In general, GAMs modeling on air quality is helpful to the understanding and control of PM2.5 and O3 pollution in China.
An advanced cost-saving method of removal of high-As(III) from SO4(-II)-rich metallurgical wastewater has been developed by diluting the SO4(-II) content with As(III)-Cl(-I)-rich metallurgical wastewater and then by the direct precipitation of As(III) with Fe(III) at pH 2.3. As(III) removal at various SO4(-II)/Cl(-I) molar ratios and temperatures was investigated. The results showed that 65.2‒98.2% of As(III) immobilization into solids occurred at the SO4(-II)/Cl(-I) molar ratios of 1:1‒32 and 15‒60 °C in 3 days, which were far higher than those in aqueous sole SO4(-II) or Cl(-I) media at the equimolar SO4(-II) or Cl(-I) and the same temperature. SO4(-II)/Cl(-I) molar ratio of 1:4 and 25 °C were optimal conditions to reach the As removal maximum. Mixed aqueous SO4(-II) and Cl(-I) played a synergetic role in the main tooeleite formation together with (Cl(-I)-free) ferric arsenite hydroxychloride (FAHC) involving the substitution of AsO3³⁻ for Cl(-I) for enhanced As fixation. The competitive complexation among FeH2AsO3²⁺, FeSO4⁺ and FeCl²⁺ complexes was the main mechanism for the maximum As(III) precipitation at the SO4(-II)/Cl(-I) molar ratio of 1:4. Low As(III) immobilization at high temperature with increased Fe(III) hydrolysis was due to the formation of As(III)-bearing ferrihydrite with the relatively high Fe/As molar ratio at acidic pH.
Many per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFASs) may disrupt maternal thyroid hormone homeostasis in pregnancy. Concerns should be raised regarding the PFASs exposure in pregnant women because thyroid hormones are involved in the early development of the fetus. In this study, we measured the concentrations of 13 PFASs, including five novel short-chain PFASs, in serum from 123 pregnant women in Beijing, China. Linear regression models were used to investigate the association between thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) or free thyroxine (FT4) levels and PFASs concentrations under consideration of the impacts of pregnancy-induced physiological factors. We found that perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) (β=0.189, 95%CI=-0.039, 0.417, p=0.10) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) (β=-0.554, 95%CI=-1.16, 0.049, p=0.071) were suggestive of significant association with TSH in thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) negative women. No association was observed between all PFASs and FT4 levels after controlling for these confounding factors, such as BMI, gestational weight gain and maternal age. These findings suggest that it should pay more attention to the association between thyroid hormone levels and short-chain PFASs concentrations. Future studies could consider a greater sample and the inclusion of other clinical indicators of thyroid function, such as free T3 and total T3.
Biological degradation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) regulates its structure and fate in river ecosystems. Previous views suggested that labile components were dominantly consumed by microbial metabolism. Here we provide new observations that a part of recalcitrant compounds largely contribute to riverine DOM biodegradation. The excitation-emission matrix fluorescent spectroscopy combined with peak picking and parallel factor analysis are used to explore component variability during DOM incubation. Humic-like and tryptophan-like DOM are the primary components of riverine DOM, with proportion contributions of 39%–82% and 16%–61% for % of the maximum fluorescence intensity, respectively. After 56 days of aerobic incubation in the dark, large amounts of tyrosine-like DOM generation are observed. Elevated temperature enhances the decomposition of ultraviolet humic-like substance and further stimulates labile DOM bio-mineralization into carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, averaged proportions of amino acid compositions (peak B and T) markedly increase (p < 0.05) as the humic-like compositions (peak A, M and C) decrease after DOM incubation, suggesting incomplete degradation of refractory DOM from high-molecular to low-molecular weight compounds. The findings support the new notion of the continuous DOM biodegradation in a mode as “steps by steps”, contributing to a new understanding of carbon cycling for the UN Sustainable Development Goal.
The turbulent standard deviations and the turbulent third-order and fourth-order moments are the key turbulence dispersion parameters in Lagrangian dispersion models. However, the characteristics of these parameters under heavy haze conditions in urban areas have not been fully investigated, and the commonly used similarity relations of these parameters in models were based on observations in highly flat and sparsely populated areas. In this paper, the vertical profiles of these parameters and their local similarity relations under heavy haze conditions in the wintertime of Beijing have been analyzed by using data collected at a 325-m meteorological tower. The heavy haze process has been divided into three stages: transport stage (TS), cumulative stage (CS), and dispersion stage (DS). Results show that the turbulent dispersion parameters behave differently during three stages. In the TS and DS, the maxima appear in the profiles of the turbulent standard deviations above the urban canopy; in the CS, the turbulent standard deviation are almost constant with height. The analysis of the third and fourth order moments shows that the wind velocities above the urban canopy in the TS deviate from the Gaussian distribution more significantly than those in the CS and DS. The local similarity relations of the turbulent dispersion parameters in the TS, especially for the longitudinal wind components, are normally different from those in the CS and DS. Thus, different from the common assumptions in Lagrangian models, the turbulence dispersion in horizontal directions is anisotropic and should be parameterized by multiple similarity relations under heavy haze conditions.
Atmospheric oxidizing capacity (AOC) is the fundamental driving factors of chemistry process (e.g., the formation of ozone (O3) and secondary organic aerosols (SOA)) in the troposphere. However, accurate quantification of AOC still remains uncertainty. In this study, a comprehensive field campaign was conducted during autumn 2019 in downtown of Beijing, where O3 and PM2.5 episodes had been experienced successively. The observation-based model (OBM) is used to quantify the AOC at O3 and PM2.5 episodes. The strong intensity of AOC is found at O3 and PM2.5 episodes, and hydroxyl radical (OH) is the dominating daytime oxidant for both episodes. The photolysis of O3 is main source of OH at O3 episode; the photolysis of nitrous acid (HONO) and formaldehyde (HCHO) plays important role in OH formation at PM2.5 episode. The radicals loss routines vary according to precursor pollutants, resulting in different types of air pollution. O3 budgets and sensitivity analysis indicates that O3 production is transition regime (both VOC and NOx-limited) at O3 episode. The heterogeneous reaction of hydroperoxy radicals (HO2) on aerosol surfaces has significant influence on OH and O3 production rates. The HO2 uptake coefficient (γHO2) is the determining factor and required accurate measurement in real atmospheric environment. Our findings could provide the important bases for coordinated control of PM2.5 and O3 pollution.
Tendon-bone healing is essential for an effective rotator cuff tendon repair surgery, however, this remains a significant challenge due to the lack of biomaterials with high strength and bioactivity. Inspired by the high-performance exoskeleton of natural organisms, we set out to apply natural fish scale (FS) modified by calcium silicate nanoparticles (CS NPs) as a new biomaterial (CS-FS) to overcome the challenge. Benefit from its “Bouligand” microstructure, such FS-based scaffold maintained excellent tensile strength (125.05 MPa) and toughness (14.16 MJ/m³), which are 1.93 and 2.72 times that of natural tendon respectively, allowing it to well meet the requirements for rotator cuff tendon repair. Additionally, CS-FS showed diverse bioactivities by stimulating the differentiation and phenotypic maintenance of multiple types of cells participated into the composition of tendon-bone junction, (e.g. bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), chondrocyte, and tendon stem/progenitor cells (TSPCs)). In both rat and rabbit rotator cuff tear (RCT) models, CS-FS played a key role in the tendon-bone interface regeneration and biomechanical function, which may be achieved by activating BMP-2/Smad/Runx2 pathway in BMSCs. Therefore, natural fish scale -based biomaterials are the promising candidate for clinical tendon repair due to their outstanding strength and bioactivity.
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1016/j.bioactmat.2021.08.027.].
Meniscus is a wedge-shaped fibrocartilaginous tissue, playing important roles in maintaining joint stability and function. Meniscus injuries are difficult to heal and frequently progress into structural breakdown, which then leads to osteoarthritis. Regeneration of heterogeneous tissue engineering meniscus (TEM) continues to be a scientific and translational challenge. The morphology, tissue architecture, mechanical strength, and functional applications of the cultivated TEMs have not been able to meet clinical needs, which may due to the negligent attention on the importance of microenvironment in vitro and in vivo. Herein, we combined the 3D (three-dimensional)-printed gradient porous scaffolds, spatiotemporal partition release of growth factors, and anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant microenvironment regulation of Ac2-26 peptide to prepare a versatile meniscus composite scaffold with heterogeneous bionic structures, excellent biomechanical properties and anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. By observing the results of cell activity and differentiation, and biomechanics under anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant microenvironments in vitro, we explored the effects of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant microenvironments on construction of regional and functional heterogeneous TEM via the growth process regulation, with a view to cultivating a high-quality of TEM from bench to bedside.
Desert dust strongly influences the climate and the environment by altering the radiation budget, participating in atmospheric chemical reactions, and engaging the biogeochemical cycle. Studying its impacts requires knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of the original particles from the source origin. Unfortunately, the field collection of atmospheric samples in the desert is impractical. Fine surface soil is thus considered an alternative material from which to obtain the information applicable to dust particles from the desert soil. In this study, a laboratory system was set up to generate dust particles with simulated natural wind erosion processes from surface soils or directly from desert surfaces. Surface soils and field dust were simultaneously collected during a local blowing dust event. The comparison between the laboratory-generated dust and the field dust showed a consistent trend in particle size distribution and chemical composition. The chemical compositions were found to have explainable differences with the Certified Reference Materials for Asian dust (CJ-2). The laboratory-generated dust particles with the system could be applied as surrogates for soil-emitted dust in desert areas.
Osteoporosis is one of the most disabling consequences of aging, osteoporotic fractures and higher risk of the subsequent fractures leading to substantial disability and deaths, indicating both local fractures healing and the early anti-osteoporosis therapy are of great significance. Teriparatide is strong bone formation promoter effective in treating osteoporosis, while side effects limit clinical applications. Traditional drug delivery is lack of sensitive and short-term release, finding a new non-invasive and easily controllable drug delivery to not only repair the local fractures but also improve total bone mass has remained a great challenge. Thus, bioinspired by the natural bone components, we develop appropriate interactions between inorganic biological scaffolds and organic drug molecules, achieving both loaded with the teriparatide in the scaffold and capable of releasing on demand. Herein, biomimetic bone microstructure of mesoporous bioglass, a near-infrared ray triggered switch, thermosensitive liposomes based on a valve, and polydopamine coated as a heater is developed rationally for osteoporotic bone regeneration. Teriparatide is pulsatile released from intelligent delivery, not only rejuvenating osteoporotic bone defect, but also presenting strong systemic anti-osteoporosis therapy. This biomimetic bone carrying novel drug delivery platform is well worth expecting to be a new promising strategy and clinically commercialized to help patients survive from the osteoporotic fracture.
Nano/micro fibers have evoked much attention of scientists and have been researched as cutting edge and hotspot in the area of fiber science in recent years due to the rapid development of various advanced manufacturing technologies, and the appearance of fascinating and special functions and properties, such as the enhanced mechanical strength, high surface area to volume ratio and special functionalities shown in the surface, triggered by the nano or micro-scale dimensions. In addition, these outstanding and special characteristics of the nano/micro fibers impart fiber-based materials with wide applications, such as environmental engineering, electronic and biomedical fields. This review mainly focuses on the recent development in the various nano/micro fibers fabrication strategies and corresponding applications in the biomedical fields, including tissue engineering scaffolds, drug delivery, wound healing, and biosensors. Moreover, the challenges for the fabrications and applications and future perspectives are presented.
The fluorescent dye 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) has been widely used to stain microorganisms in various environment media. We applied DAPI fluorescence enumeration to airborne microorganisms and found that non-biological particles, including organic compounds, minerals, and soot, were also visible upon exposure to UV excitation under fluorescence microscope. Using laboratory-prepared biological particles as the control, we investigated the feasibility of identifying both biological and non-biological particles in the same sample with DAPI staining. We prepared biological (bacterial, fungi, and plant detritus) and non-biological (biochar, soot, mineral, metal, fly ash, salt) particles in the laboratory and enumerated the particles and their mixture with DAPI. We found that mineral particles were transparent, and biochar, soot, metals and fly ash particles were black under a filter set at excitation 350/50 nm and emission 460/50 nm bandpass (DAPI-BP), while biological particles were blue, as expected. Particles of the water-soluble salts NaCl and (NH4)2SO4 were yellow under a filter set at excitation 340–380 nm and emission 425 nm long pass (DAPI-LP). Case studies with samples of dustfall, atmospheric aerosols and surface soils could allow for the quantification of the relative number of different types of particles and particles with organic matter or salt coating as well. Fluorescence enumeration with DAPI stain is thus able to identify the co-existence of biological and non-biological particles in the air, at least to the extent of those examined in this study.
The regeneration of articular cartilage remains a great challenge due to the difficulty in effectively enhancing spontaneous healing. Recently, the combination of implanted stem cells, suitable biomaterials and bioactive molecules has attracted attention for tissue regeneration. In this study, a novel injectable nanocomposite was rationally designed as a sustained release platform for enhanced cartilage regeneration through integration of a chitosan-based hydrogel, articular cartilage stem cells (ACSCs) and mesoporous SiO2 nanoparticles loaded with anhydroicaritin (AHI). The biocompatible engineered nanocomposite acting as a novel 3D biomimetic extracellular matrix exhibited a remarkable sustained release effect due to the synergistic regulation of the organic hydrogel framework and mesopore channels of inorganic mSiO2 nanoparticles (mSiO2 NPs). Histological assessment and biomechanical tests showed that the nanocomposites exhibited superior performance in inducing ACSCs proliferation and differentiation in vitro and promoting extracellular matrix (ECM) production and cartilage regeneration in vivo. Such a novel multifunctional biocompatible platform was demonstrated to significantly enhance cartilage regeneration based on the sustained release of AHI, an efficient bioactive natural small molecule for ACSCs chondrogenesis, within the hybrid matrix of hydrogel and mSiO2 NPs. Hence, the injectable nanocomposite holds great promise for use as a 3D biomimetic extracellular matrix for tissue regeneration in clinical diagnostics.
Wound healing is one of the major global health concerns in patients with diabetes. Overactivation of pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages is associated with delayed wound healing in diabetes. miR-29ab1 plays a critical role in diabetes-related macrophage inflammation. Hence, inhibition of inflammation and regulation of miR-29 expression have been implicated as new points for skin wound healing. In this study, the traditional Chinese medicine, puerarin, was introduced to construct an injectable and self-healing [email protected] ([email protected]) hydrogel. The [email protected] hydrogel promoted diabetic wound healing and accelerated angiogenesis, which were related to the inhibition of the miR-29 mediated inflammation response. Compared to healthy subjects, miR-29a and miR-29b1 were ectopically increased in the skin wound of the diabetic model, accompanied by upregulated M1-polarization, and elevated levels of IL-1β and TNF-α. Further evaluations by miR-29ab1 knockout mice exhibited superior wound healing and attenuated inflammation. The present results suggested that miR-29ab1 is essential for diabetic wound healing by regulating the inflammatory response. Suppression of miR-29ab1 by the [email protected] hydrogel has the potential for improving medical approaches for wound repair.
Non-fasting lipidemia (nFL), mainly contributed by postprandial lipidemia (PL), has recently been recognized as an important cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk as fasting lipidemia (FL). PL serves as a common feature of dyslipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), albeit effective therapies targeting on PL were limited. In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether the therapy combining probiotics (Prob) and berberine (BBR), a proven antidiabetic and hypolipidemic regimen via altering gut microbiome, could effectively reduce PL in T2D and to explore the underlying mechanism. Blood PL (120 min after taking 100 g standard carbohydrate meal) was examined in 365 participants with T2D from the Probiotics and BBR on the Efficacy and Change of Gut Microbiota in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes (PREMOTE study), a random, placebo-controlled, and multicenter clinical trial. Prob+BBR was superior to BBR or Prob alone in improving postprandial total cholesterol (pTC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (pLDLc) levels with decrement of multiple species of postprandial lipidomic metabolites after 3 months follow-up. This effect was linked to the changes of fecal Bifidobacterium breve level responding to BBR alone or Prob+BBR treatment. Four fadD genes encoding long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase were identified in the genome of this B. breve strain, and transcriptionally activated by BBR. In vitro BBR treatment further decreased the concentration of FFA in the culture medium of B. breve compared to vehicle. Thus, the activation of fadD by BBR could enhance FFA import and mobilization in B. breve and diliminish the intraluminal lipids for absorption to mediate the effect of Prob+BBR on PL. Our study confirmed that BBR and Prob (B. breve) could exert a synergistic hypolipidemic effect on PL, acting as a gut lipid sink to achieve better lipidemia and CVD risk control in T2D.
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