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Zhong R.,Tsinghua University | Zhang X.,Tsinghua University | Xiao F.,The University of Hongkong | Li X.,The University of Hongkong | Cai Z.,Tsinghua University
Water Research | Year: 2011

The physical and hydrodynamic properties of kaolin flocs including floc size, strength, regrowth, fractal structure and settling velocity were investigated by in situ particle image velocimetry technique at different humic acid concentration. Jar-test experimental results showed that the adsorbed humic acid had a significant influence on the coagulation process for alum and ferric chloride. Kaolin flocs formed with the ferric chloride were larger and stronger than those for alum at same humic acid concentration. Floc strength and regrowth were estimated by strength factor and recovery factor at different humic acid concentration. It was found that the increased humic acid concentration had a slight influence on the strength of kaolin flocs and resulted in much worse floc regrowth. In addition, the floc regrowth after breakage depended on the shear history and coagulants under investigation. The changes in fractal structure recorded continuously by in situ particle image velocimetry technique during the growth-breakage-regrowth processes provided a supporting information that the kaolin flocs exhibited a multilevel structure. It was proved that the increased humic acid concentration resulted in decrease in mass fractal dimension of kaolin flocs and consequently worse sedimentation performance through free-settling and microbalance techniques. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Tsang C.M.,The University of Hongkong | Cheung Y.C.,The University of Hongkong | Lui V.W.Y.,University of Pittsburgh | Yip Y.L.,The University of Hongkong | And 6 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Cortidis rhizoma (Huanglian) and its major therapeutic component, berberine, have drawn extensive attention in recent years for their anti-cancer properties. Growth inhibitory effects of berberine on multiple types of human cancer cells have been reported. Berberine inhibits invasion, induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human cancer cells. The anti-inflammatory property of berberine, involving inhibition of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) activation, has also been documented.Methods: In this study, we have examined the effects of berberine on tumorigenicity and growth of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells and their relationship to STAT3 signaling using both in vivo and in vitro models.Results: Berberine effectively inhibited the tumorigenicity and growth of an EBV-positive NPC cell line (C666-1) in athymic nude mice. Inhibition of tumorigenic growth of NPC cells in vivo was correlated with effective inhibition of STAT3 activation in NPC cells inside the tumor xenografts grown in nude mice. In vitro, berberine inhibited both constitutive and IL-6-induced STAT3 activation in NPC cells. Inhibition of STAT3 activation by berberine induced growth inhibition and apoptotic response in NPC cells. Tumor-associated fibroblasts were found to secret IL-6 and the conditioned medium harvested from the fibroblasts also induced STAT3 activation in NPC cells. Furthermore, STAT3 activation by conditioned medium of tumor-associated fibroblasts could be blocked by berberine or antibodies against IL-6 and IL-6R.Conclusions: Our observation that berberine effectively inhibited activation of STAT3 induced by tumor-associated fibroblasts suggests a role of berberine in modulating the effects of tumor stroma on the growth of NPC cells. The effective inhibition of STAT3 activation in NPC cells by berberine supports its potential use in the treatment of NPC. © 2013 Tsang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Zhong R.,Tsinghua University | Zhang X.,Tsinghua University | Xiao F.,The University of Hongkong | Li X.,The University of Hongkong
Journal of Environmental Sciences | Year: 2011

Particle surface characteristics, floc recoverability and fractal structure of alum-kaolin flocs were investigated using in situ particle image velocimetry (PIV) and microbalance with or without humic acid. Experimental results indicated that the zeta potential of kaolin particle surface after adsorption of humic acid was related with humic acid concentration and its acid-base buffering capacity. Adsorption of humic acid resulted in more negative electrophoresis on the particle surface. Coagulant dosages for particles to form flocs would increase with increasing humic concentration. PIV was used to evaluate floc structural fragmentation, floc surface erosion as well as recoverability after high shear. It was found that the floc size during the steady phase of growth was small, while the regrowing capability decreased in the presence of humic acid. The recoverability was closely related with floc breakage modes including floc structural fragmentation and floc surface erosion. The fractal dimensions of alum-kaolin flocs by mass-size method based on microbalance would decrease with increasing humic concentration. This study proved that humic acid had adverse influences on the performance of coagulation process. © 2011 The Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Fan H.Q.,North China University of Technology | Peng Q.S.,Zhejiang University | Yu Y.Z.,The University of Hongkong
Science China Information Sciences | Year: 2013

Finely captured meshes often contain details like sharp edges, corners and shallow features. In order to improve the quality of these meshes, we present a robust and efficient high-resolution details-preserving mesh denoising algorithm. Our method consists of three stages. For each triangular face and its face neighborhood, we improve a robust density-based clustering method and apply it to the face neighborhood to extract a subset of neighbors which belong to the same cluster as the central face. And then, we filter the central face normal iteratively within this subset to remove noise. Because the faces within the extracted subset are not distributed across high-resolution details, our normal filtering can preserve such details as much as possible. Finally, we update the vertex positions to be consistent with the filtered face normals using a least-squares formulation. Experiments on various types of meshes indicate that our method has advantages over previous surface denoising methods. © 2013 Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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