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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-05-18
    Description: Objectives The aim of this pilot study was to estimate the sample size for a large pragmatic study of the comparative effectiveness of electroacupuncture (EA) for low back pain (LBP) after back surgery. Design A randomised, active-controlled, assessor-blinded trial. Participants Patients with recurrent or persistent LBP, defined as a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score of ≥50 mm, with or without leg pain after back surgery. Interventions Patients were randomised to an EA plus usual care (UC) group or to a UC alone group at a 1:1 ratio. Patients assigned to each group received UC, including drug therapy, physical therapy and back pain education, twice a week for 4 weeks; those assigned to the EA plus UC group additionally received EA. Outcome measures The primary outcome was severity of LBP as measured by VAS. Secondary outcomes included back pain-related disability, assessed using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and quality of life, assessed using the EuroQol Five Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using paired and independent t-tests. A p value of 〈0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Thirty-nine patients were allocated to receive EA plus UC (n=18) or UC alone (n=21). There was no statistically significant difference in VAS or EQ-5D scores between the two groups, but there was a significant decrease in ODI scores (p=0.0081). Using G*Power, it was calculated that 40 participants per group would be needed for a future trial according to VAS scores. Considering for a 25% dropout rate, 108 participants (54 per group) would be needed. Conclusions A future trial addressing the risk of bias and including the estimated sample size would allow for better clinical assessment of the benefits of EA plus UC in treatment of patients with non-acute pain after back surgery. Trial registration number NCT01966250; Results .
    Keywords: Open access, Complementary medicine
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-04-29
    Description: The regulation of water content in polymeric membranes is important in a number of applications, such as reverse electrodialysis and proton-exchange fuel-cell membranes. External thermal and water management systems add both mass and size to systems, and so intrinsic mechanisms of retaining water and maintaining ionic transport in such membranes are particularly important for applications where small system size is important. For example, in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, where water retention in the membrane is crucial for efficient transport of hydrated ions, by operating the cells at higher temperatures without external humidification, the membrane is self-humidified with water generated by electrochemical reactions. Here we report an alternative solution that does not rely on external regulation of water supply or high temperatures. Water content in hydrocarbon polymer membranes is regulated through nanometre-scale cracks ('nanocracks') in a hydrophobic surface coating. These cracks work as nanoscale valves to retard water desorption and to maintain ion conductivity in the membrane on dehumidification. Hydrocarbon fuel-cell membranes with surface nanocrack coatings operated at intermediate temperatures show improved electrochemical performance, and coated reverse-electrodialysis membranes show enhanced ionic selectivity with low bulk resistance.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉Park, Chi Hoon -- Lee, So Young -- Hwang, Doo Sung -- Shin, Dong Won -- Cho, Doo Hee -- Lee, Kang Hyuck -- Kim, Tae-Woo -- Kim, Tae-Wuk -- Lee, Mokwon -- Kim, Deok-Soo -- Doherty, Cara M -- Thornton, Aaron W -- Hill, Anita J -- Guiver, Michael D -- Lee, Young Moo -- England -- Nature. 2016 Apr 28;532(7600):480-3. doi: 10.1038/nature17634.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Energy Engineering, College of Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea. ; Department of Life Science, College of Natural Science, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea. ; School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea. ; Manufacturing Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia. ; State Key Laboratory of Engines, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China. ; Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Tianjin 300072, China.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Keywords: Biomimetic Materials/chemistry ; Biomimetics ; Cactaceae/metabolism ; Desiccation ; Dialysis ; Electrochemistry ; Humidity ; Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions ; *Membranes, Artificial ; *Nanotechnology ; Plant Stomata/metabolism ; Polymers/*chemistry ; Protons ; Surface Properties ; Temperature ; Water/*analysis
    Print ISSN: 0028-0836
    Electronic ISSN: 1476-4687
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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