ResearchPad - microstructure https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Diffusion MRI reveals in vivo and non-invasively changes in astrocyte function induced by an aquaporin-4 inhibitor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14694 The Glymphatic System (GS) has been proposed as a mechanism to clear brain tissue from waste. Its dysfunction might lead to several brain pathologies, including the Alzheimer’s disease. A key component of the GS and brain tissue water circulation is the astrocyte which is regulated by acquaporin-4 (AQP4), a membrane-bound water channel on the astrocytic end-feet. Here we investigated the potential of diffusion MRI to monitor astrocyte activity in a mouse brain model through the inhibition of AQP4 channels with TGN-020. Upon TGN-020 injection, we observed a significant decrease in the Sindex, a diffusion marker of tissue microstructure, and a significant increase of the water diffusion coefficient (sADC) in cerebral cortex and hippocampus compared to saline injection. These results indicate the suitability of diffusion MRI to monitor astrocytic activity in vivo and non-invasively.

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<![CDATA[Virtual supersampling as post-processing step preserves the trabecular bone morphometry in human peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9e5d5eed0c48452a446

In the clinical field of diagnosis and monitoring of bone diseases, high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) is an important imaging modality. It provides a resolution where quantitative bone morphometry can be extracted in vivo on patients. It is known that HR-pQCT provides slight differences in morphometric indices compared to the current standard approach micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). The most obvious reason for this is the restriction of the radiation dose and with this a lower image resolution. With advances in micro-CT evaluation techniques such as patient-specific remodeling simulations or dynamic bone morphometry, a higher image resolution would potentially also allow the application of such novel evaluation techniques to clinical HR-pQCT measurements. Virtual supersampling as post-processing step was considered to increase the image resolution of HR-pQCT scans. The hypothesis was that this technique preserves the structural bone morphometry. Supersampling from 82 μm to virtual 41 μm by trilinear interpolation of the grayscale values of 42 human cadaveric forearms resulted in strong correlations of structural parameters (R2: 0.96–1.00). BV/TV was slightly overestimated (4.3%, R2: 1.00) compared to the HR-pQCT resolution. Tb.N was overestimated (7.47%; R2: 0.99) and Tb.Th was slightly underestimated (-4.20%; R2: 0.98). The technique was reproducible with PE%CV between 1.96% (SMI) and 7.88% (Conn.D). In a clinical setting with 205 human forearms with or without fracture measured at 82 μm resolution HR-pQCT, the technique was sensitive to changes between groups in all parameters (p < 0.05) except trabecular thickness. In conclusion, we demonstrated that supersampling preserves the bone morphometry from HR-pQCT scans and is reproducible and sensitive to changes between groups. Supersampling can be used to investigate on the resolution dependency of HR-pQCT images and gain more insight into this imaging modality.

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<![CDATA[Preservation potential of keratin in deep time]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841b6d5eed0c484fca868

Multiple fossil discoveries and taphonomic experiments have established the durability of keratin. The utility and specificity of antibodies to identify keratin peptides has also been established, both in extant feathers under varying treatment conditions, and in feathers from extinct organisms. Here, we show localization of feather-keratin antibodies to control and heat-treated feathers, testifying to the repeatability of initial data supporting the preservation potential of keratin. We then show new data at higher resolution that demonstrates the specific response of these antibodies to the feather matrix, we support the presence of protein in heat-treated feathers using ToF-SIMS, and we apply these methods to a fossil feather preserved in the unusual environment of sinter hot springs. We stress the importance of employing realistic conditions such as sediment burial when designing experiments intended as proxies for taphonomic processes occurring in the fossil record. Our data support the hypothesis that keratin, particularly the β-keratin that comprises feathers, has potential to preserve in fossil remains.

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<![CDATA[The effect of complex intramural microstructure caused by structural remodeling on the stability of atrial fibrillation: Insights from a three-dimensional multi-layer modeling study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841fed5eed0c484fcb64c

Background

Recent researches have suggested that the complex three-dimensional structures caused by structural remodeling play a key role in atrial fibrillation (AF) substrates. Here we aimed to investigate this hypothesis using a multi-layer model representing intramural microstructural features.

Methods

The proposed multi-layer model was composed of the endocardium, connection wall, and epicardium. In the connection wall, intramural fibrosis was simulated using fibrotic patches randomly scattered in the myocardial tissue of fibrotic layers, while endo-epicardial dissociation was simulated using myocardial patches randomly scattered in the fibrotic tissue of isolation layers. Multiple simulation groups were generated to quantitatively analyze the effects of endo-epicardial dissociation and intramural fibrosis on AF stability, including a stochastic group, interrelated groups, fibrosis-degree-controlled groups, and dissociation-degree-controlled groups.

Results

1. Stable intramural re-entries were observed to move along complete re-entrant circuits inside the transmural wall in four of 65 simulations in the stochastic group. 2. About 21 of 23 stable simulations in the stochastic group were distributed in the areas with high endo-epicardial dissociation and intramural fibrosis. 3. The difference between fibrosis-degree-controlled groups and dissociation-degree-controlled groups suggested that some distributions of connection areas may affect AF episodes despite low intramural fibrosis and endo-epicardial dissociation. 4. The overview of tracking phase singularities revealed that endo-epicardial dissociation played a visible role in AF substrates.

Conclusion

The complex intramural microstructure is positively correlated with critical components of AF maintenance mechanisms. The occurrence of intramural re-entry further indicates the complexity of AF wave-dynamics.

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<![CDATA[Identification of a Novel Splicing Form of Amelogenin Gene in a Reptile, Ctenosaura similis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da82ab0ee8fa60b9b1e1

Amelogenin, the major enamel matrix protein in tooth development, has been demonstrated to play a significant role in tooth enamel formation. Previous studies have identified the alternative splicing of amelogenin in many mammalian vertebrates as one mechanism for amelogenin heterogeneous expression in teeth. While amelogenin and its splicing forms in mammalian vertebrates have been cloned and sequenced, the amelogenin gene, especially its splicing forms in non-mammalian species, remains largely unknown. To better understand the mechanism underlying amelogenin evolution, we previously cloned and characterized an amelogenin gene sequence from a squamate, the green iguana. In this study, we employed RT-PCR to amplify the amelogenin gene from the black spiny-tailed iguana Ctenosaura similis teeth, and discovered a novel splicing form of the amelogenin gene. The transcript of the newly identified iguana amelogenin gene (named C. Similis-T2L) is 873 nucleotides long encoding an expected polypeptide of 206 amino acids. The C. Similis-T2L contains a unique exon denominated exon X, which is located between exon 5 and exon 6. The C. Similis-T2L contains 7 exons including exon 1, 2, 3, 5, X, 6, and 7. Analysis of the secondary and tertiary structures of T2L amelogenin protein demonstrated that exon X has a dramatic effect on the amelogenin structures. This is the first report to provide definitive evidence for the amelogenin alternative splicing in non-mammalian vertebrates, revealing a unique exon X and the splicing form of the amelogenin gene transcript in Ctenosaura similis.

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<![CDATA[Imaging of Scleral Collagen Deformation Using Combined Confocal Raman Microspectroscopy and Polarized Light Microscopy Techniques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e7ab0ee8fa60b6bb88

This work presents an optospectroscopic characterization technique for soft tissue microstructure using site-matched confocal Raman microspectroscopy and polarized light microscopy. Using the technique, the microstructure of soft tissue samples is directly observed by polarized light microscopy during loading while spatially correlated spectroscopic information is extracted from the same plane, verifying the orientation and arrangement of the collagen fibers. Results show the response and orientation of the collagen fiber arrangement in its native state as well as during tensile and compressive loadings in a porcine sclera model. An example is also given showing how the data can be used with a finite element program to estimate the strain in individual collagen fibers. The measurements demonstrate features that indicate microstructural reorganization and damage of the sclera’s collagen fiber arrangement under loading. The site-matched confocal Raman microspectroscopic characterization of the tissue provides a qualitative measure to relate the change in fibrillar arrangement with possible chemical damage to the collagen microstructure. Tests and analyses presented here can potentially be used to determine the stress-strain behavior, and fiber reorganization of the collagen microstructure in soft tissue during viscoelastic response.

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<![CDATA[Nanoscale modifications in the early heating stages of bone are heterogeneous at the microstructural scale]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdc9f1

Nanoscale studies of bone provide key indicators to evidence subtle structural changes that may occur in the biomedical, forensic and archaeological contexts. One specific problem encountered in all those disciplines, for which the identification of nanostructural cues could prove useful, is to properly monitor the effect of heating on bone tissue. In particular, the mechanisms at work at the onset of heating are still relatively unclear. Using a multiscale approach combining Raman microspectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), synchrotron quantitative scanning small-angle X-ray scattering imaging (qsSAXSI) and polarized light (PL) microscopy, we investigate the ultrastructure of cortical bovine bone heated at temperatures < 300°C, from the molecular to the macroscopic scale. We show that, despite limited changes in crystal structure, the mineral nanoparticles increase in thickness and become strongly disorganized upon heating. Furthermore, while the nanostructure in distinct anatomical quadrants appears to be statistically different, our results demonstrate this stems from the tissue histology, i.e. from the high degree of heterogeneity of the microstructure induced by the complex cellular processes involved in bone tissue formation. From this study, we conclude that the analysis of bone samples based on the structure and organization of the mineral nanocrystals requires performing measurements at the histological level, which is an advantageous feature of qsSAXSI. This is a critical aspect that extends to a much broader range of questions relating to nanoscale investigations of bone, which could also be extended to other classes of nanostructured heterogeneous materials.

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<![CDATA[Micromechanics of Sea Urchin Spines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf7ab0ee8fa60bc3340

The endoskeletal structure of the Sea Urchin, Centrostephanus rodgersii, has numerous long spines whose known functions include locomotion, sensing, and protection against predators. These spines have a remarkable internal microstructure and are made of single-crystal calcite. A finite-element model of the spine’s unique porous structure, based on micro-computed tomography (microCT) and incorporating anisotropic material properties, was developed to study its response to mechanical loading. Simulations show that high stress concentrations occur at certain points in the spine’s architecture; brittle cracking would likely initiate in these regions. These analyses demonstrate that the organization of single-crystal calcite in the unique, intricate morphology of the sea urchin spine results in a strong, stiff and lightweight structure that enhances its strength despite the brittleness of its constituent material.

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<![CDATA[Progressive Injury in Chronic Multiple Sclerosis Lesions Is Gender-Specific: A DTI Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db44ab0ee8fa60bd7f81

Objective

To evaluate the longitudinal integrity of white matter tracts in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) as determined by changes in diffusivity indices of lesional and non-lesional white matter in the optic radiation over 12 months.

Methods

The optic radiation (OR) was identified in sixty RRMS patients using probabilistic tractography. MS lesions were segmented on FLAIR T2 images and a lesion mask was intersected with the co-registered OR. Lesions within the OR were identified in 39 patients. Voxel-based analysis of axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD) within OR lesions and non-lesional normal appearing white matter (NAWM) was performed at baseline and 12 months in 34 patients (five patients excluded due to new OR lesions).

Results

Both RD and AD demonstrated much higher values within the lesions compared with non-lesional NAWM. There was a significant (p<0.001) increase of lesional AD and RD during the follow-up period. This increase, however, was driven almost entirely by the male cohort, in which a significantly greater change in both AD (M-2.7%, F-0.9%) and RD (M-4.6%, F-0.7%) was observed during the follow-up period. Non-lesional NAWM also demonstrated an increase in both AD and RD, albeit on a much lesser scale (1.0% and 0.6% respectively). In contradistinction to lesions, the diffusivity change in non-lesional NAWM was similar between sexes.

Conclusions

The evolution of AD and RD in chronic MS lesions over 12 months suggests ongoing inflammatory demyelinating activity accompanied by axonal loss. In addition, our findings are consistent with the recently observed trend of more rapid clinical progression in males and establish a potential in vivo biomarker of gender dichotomy by demonstrating a significantly faster rate of microstructural change in the chronic lesions of male patients with MS.

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<![CDATA[A New Cell-Selective Three-Dimensional Microincubator Based on Silicon Photonic Crystals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d8ab0ee8fa60b66870

In this work, we show that vertical, high aspect-ratio (HAR) photonic crystals (PhCs), consisting of periodic arrays of 5 µm wide gaps with depth of 50 µm separated by 3 µm thick silicon walls, fabricated by electrochemical micromachining, can be used as three-dimensional microincubators, allowing cell lines to be selectively grown into the gaps. Silicon micromachined dice incorporating regions with different surface profiles, namely flat silicon and deeply etched PhC, were used as microincubators for culturing adherent cell lines with different morphology and adhesion properties. We extensively investigated and compared the proliferative behavior on HAR PhCs of eight human cell models, with different origins, such as the epithelial (SW613-B3; HeLa; SW480; HCT116; HT29) and the mesenchymal (MRC-5V1; CF; HT1080). We also verified the contribution of cell sedimentation into the silicon gaps. Fluorescence microscopy analysis highlights that only cell lines that exhibit, in the tested culture condition, the behavior typical of the mesenchymal phenotype are able to penetrate into the gaps of the PhC, extending their body deeply in the narrow gaps between adjacent silicon walls, and to grow adherent to the vertical surfaces of silicon. Results reported in this work, confirmed in various experiments, strongly support our statement that such three-dimensional microstructures have selection capabilities with regard to the cell lines that can actively populate the narrow gaps. Cells with a mesenchymal phenotype could be exploited in the next future as bioreceptors, in combination with HAR PhC optical transducers, e.g., for label-free optical detection of cellular activities involving changes in cell adhesion and/or morphology (e.g., apoptosis) in a three-dimensional microenvironment.

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<![CDATA[Determining the Contribution of Epidermal Cell Shape to Petal Wettability Using Isogenic Antirrhinum Lines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b68f4a

The petal epidermis acts not only as a barrier to the outside world but also as a point of interaction between the flower and potential pollinators. The presence of conical petal epidermal cells has previously been shown to influence the attractiveness of the flower to pollinating insects. Using Antirrhinum isogenic lines differing only in the presence of a single epidermal structure, conical cells, we were able to investigate how the structure of the epidermis influences petal wettability by measuring the surface contact angle of water drops. Conical cells have a significant impact on how water is retained on the flower surface, which may have indirect consequences for pollinator behaviour. We discuss how the petal epidermis is a highly multifunctional one and how a battery of methods, including the use of isogenic lines, is required to untangle the impacts of specific epidermal properties in an ecological context.

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<![CDATA[Understanding Financial Market States Using an Artificial Double Auction Market]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da05ab0ee8fa60b759a6

The ultimate value of theories describing the fundamental mechanisms behind asset prices in financial systems is reflected in the capacity of such theories to understand these systems. Although the models that explain the various states of financial markets offer substantial evidence from the fields of finance, mathematics, and even physics, previous theories that attempt to address the complexities of financial markets in full have been inadequate. We propose an artificial double auction market as an agent-based model to study the origin of complex states in financial markets by characterizing important parameters with an investment strategy that can cover the dynamics of the financial market. The investment strategies of chartist traders in response to new market information should reduce market stability based on the price fluctuations of risky assets. However, fundamentalist traders strategically submit orders based on fundamental value and, thereby stabilize the market. We construct a continuous double auction market and find that the market is controlled by the proportion of chartists, Pc. We show that mimicking the real state of financial markets, which emerges in real financial systems, is given within the range Pc = 0.40 to Pc = 0.85; however, we show that mimicking the efficient market hypothesis state can be generated with values less than Pc = 0.40. In particular, we observe that mimicking a market collapse state is created with values greater than Pc = 0.85, at which point a liquidity shortage occurs, and the phase transition behavior is described at Pc = 0.85.

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<![CDATA[Spatial Organization and Correlations of Cell Nuclei in Brain Tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2aab0ee8fa60bd1224

Accepting the hypothesis that cancers are self-organizing, opportunistic systems, it is crucial to understand the collective behavior of cancer cells in their tumorous heterogeneous environment. In the present paper, we ask the following basic question: Is this self-organization of tumor evolution reflected in the manner in which malignant cells are spatially distributed in their heterogeneous environment? We employ a variety of nontrivial statistical microstructural descriptors that arise in the theory of heterogeneous media to characterize the spatial distributions of the nuclei of both benign brain white matter cells and brain glioma cells as obtained from histological images. These descriptors, which include the pair correlation function, structure factor and various nearest neighbor functions, quantify how pairs of cell nuclei are correlated in space in various ways. We map the centroids of the cell nuclei into point distributions to show that while commonly used local spatial statistics (e.g., cell areas and number of neighboring cells) cannot clearly distinguish spatial correlations in distributions of normal and abnormal cell nuclei, their salient structural features are captured very well by the aforementioned microstructural descriptors. We show that the tumorous cells pack more densely than normal cells and exhibit stronger effective repulsions between any pair of cells. Moreover, we demonstrate that brain gliomas are organized in a collective way rather than randomly on intermediate and large length scales. The existence of nontrivial spatial correlations between the abnormal cells strongly supports the view that cancer is not an unorganized collection of malignant cells but rather a complex emergent integrated system.

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<![CDATA[A Model for the Ultrastructure of Bone Based on Electron Microscopy of Ion-Milled Sections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dcab0ee8fa60b67de4

The relationship between the mineral component of bone and associated collagen has been a matter of continued dispute. We use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of cryogenically ion milled sections of fully-mineralized cortical bone to study the spatial and topological relationship between mineral and collagen. We observe that hydroxyapatite (HA) occurs largely as elongated plate-like structures which are external to and oriented parallel to the collagen fibrils. Dark field images suggest that the structures (“mineral structures”) are polycrystalline. They are approximately 5 nm thick, 70 nm wide and several hundred nm long. Using energy-dispersive X-ray analysis we show that approximately 70% of the HA occurs as mineral structures external to the fibrils. The remainder is found constrained to the gap zones. Comparative studies of other species suggest that this structural motif is ubiquitous in all vertebrates.

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<![CDATA[Synergistic NGF/B27 Gradients Position Synapses Heterogeneously in 3D Micropatterned Neural Cultures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4cab0ee8fa60bda9ca

Native functional brain circuits show different numbers of synapses (synaptic densities) in the cerebral cortex. Until now, different synaptic densities could not be studied in vitro using current cell culture methods for primary neurons. Herein, we present a novel microfluidic based cell culture method that combines 3D micropatterning of hydrogel layers with linear chemical gradient formation. Micropatterned hydrogels were used to encapsulate dissociated cortical neurons in laminar cell layers and neurotrophic factors NGF and B27 were added to influence the formation of synapses. Neurotrophic gradients allowed for the positioning of distinguishable synaptic densities throughout a 3D micropatterned neural culture. NGF and B27 gradients were maintained in the microfluidic device for over two weeks without perfusion pumps by utilizing a refilling procedure. Spatial distribution of synapses was examined with a pre-synaptic marker to determine synaptic densities. From our experiments, we observed that (1) cortical neurons responded only to synergistic NGF/B27 gradients, (2) synaptic density increased proportionally to synergistic NGF/B27 gradients; (3) homogeneous distribution of B27 disturbed cortical neurons in sensing NGF gradients and (4) the cell layer position significantly impacted spatial distribution of synapses.

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<![CDATA[Mechanical Loading Attenuates Radiation-Induced Bone Loss in Bone Marrow Transplanted Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0fab0ee8fa60b78dbd

Exposure of bone to ionizing radiation, as occurs during radiotherapy for some localized malignancies and blood or bone marrow cancers, as well as during space travel, incites dose-dependent bone morbidity and increased fracture risk. Rapid trabecular and endosteal bone loss reflects acutely increased osteoclastic resorption as well as decreased bone formation due to depletion of osteoprogenitors. Because of this dysregulation of bone turnover, bone’s capacity to respond to a mechanical loading stimulus in the aftermath of irradiation is unknown. We employed a mouse model of total body irradiation and bone marrow transplantation simulating treatment of hematologic cancers, hypothesizing that compression loading would attenuate bone loss. Furthermore, we hypothesized that loading would upregulate donor cell presence in loaded tibias due to increased engraftment and proliferation. We lethally irradiated 16 female C57Bl/6J mice at age 16 wks with 10.75 Gy, then IV-injected 20 million GFP(+) total bone marrow cells. That same day, we initiated 3 wks compression loading (1200 cycles 5x/wk, 10 N) in the right tibia of 10 of these mice while 6 mice were irradiated, non-mechanically-loaded controls. As anticipated, before-and-after microCT scans demonstrated loss of trabecular bone (-48.2% Tb.BV/TV) and cortical thickness (-8.3%) at 3 wks following irradiation. However, loaded bones lost 31% less Tb.BV/TV and 8% less cortical thickness (both p<0.001). Loaded bones also had significant increases in trabecular thickness and tissue mineral densities from baseline. Mechanical loading did not affect donor cell engraftment. Importantly, these results demonstrate that both cortical and trabecular bone exposed to high-dose therapeutic radiation remain capable of an anabolic response to mechanical loading. These findings inform our management of bone health in cases of radiation exposure.

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<![CDATA[Stretching Skeletal Muscle: Chronic Muscle Lengthening through Sarcomerogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7dbc5

Skeletal muscle responds to passive overstretch through sarcomerogenesis, the creation and serial deposition of new sarcomere units. Sarcomerogenesis is critical to muscle function: It gradually re-positions the muscle back into its optimal operating regime. Animal models of immobilization, limb lengthening, and tendon transfer have provided significant insight into muscle adaptation in vivo. Yet, to date, there is no mathematical model that allows us to predict how skeletal muscle adapts to mechanical stretch in silico. Here we propose a novel mechanistic model for chronic longitudinal muscle growth in response to passive mechanical stretch. We characterize growth through a single scalar-valued internal variable, the serial sarcomere number. Sarcomerogenesis, the evolution of this variable, is driven by the elastic mechanical stretch. To analyze realistic three-dimensional muscle geometries, we embed our model into a nonlinear finite element framework. In a chronic limb lengthening study with a muscle stretch of 1.14, the model predicts an acute sarcomere lengthening from 3.09m to 3.51m, and a chronic gradual return to the initial sarcomere length within two weeks. Compared to the experiment, the acute model error was 0.00% by design of the model; the chronic model error was 2.13%, which lies within the rage of the experimental standard deviation. Our model explains, from a mechanistic point of view, why gradual multi-step muscle lengthening is less invasive than single-step lengthening. It also explains regional variations in sarcomere length, shorter close to and longer away from the muscle-tendon interface. Once calibrated with a richer data set, our model may help surgeons to prevent muscle overstretch and make informed decisions about optimal stretch increments, stretch timing, and stretch amplitudes. We anticipate our study to open new avenues in orthopedic and reconstructive surgery and enhance treatment for patients with ill proportioned limbs, tendon lengthening, tendon transfer, tendon tear, and chronically retracted muscles.

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<![CDATA[Breakdown of Inter-Hemispheric Connectivity Is Associated with Posttraumatic Symptomatology and Memory Impairment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db13ab0ee8fa60bcc91a

Altered brain anatomy in specific gray-matter regions has been shown in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recently, white-matter tracts have become a focus of research in PTSD. The corpus callosum (CC) is the principal white-matter fiber bundle, crucial in relaying sensory, motor and cognitive information between hemispheres. Alterations in CC fibers have been reported in PTSD and might be assumed to underlie substantial behavioral and cognitive sequelae; however most diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies in adult-onset PTSD failed to address the clinical correlates between imaging and PTSD symptoms severity, behavioral manifestation and cognitive functions. In the current study we examined (a) to what extent microstructural integrity of the CC is associated with memory performance and (b) whether imaging and cognitive parameters are associated with PTSD symptom severity. DTI data were obtained and fractional anisotropy (FA) values were computed for 16 patients and 14 controls. PTSD symptom severity was assessed by employing the clinician administered PTSD scale (CAPS) and memory was tested using a task probing item and associative memory for words and pictures. Significant correlations were found between PTSD symptoms severity, memory accuracy and reaction-time to CC FA values in the PTSD group. This study demonstrates meaningful clinical and cognitive correlates of microstructural connectivity. These results have implications for diagnostic tools and future studies aimed at identifying individuals at risk for PTSD.

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<![CDATA[Graphene Functionalized Scaffolds Reduce the Inflammatory Response and Supports Endogenous Neuroblast Migration when Implanted in the Adult Brain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3fab0ee8fa60bd6197

Electroactive materials have been investigated as next-generation neuronal tissue engineering scaffolds to enhance neuronal regeneration and functional recovery after brain injury. Graphene, an emerging neuronal scaffold material with charge transfer properties, has shown promising results for neuronal cell survival and differentiation in vitro. In this in vivo work, electrospun microfiber scaffolds coated with self-assembled colloidal graphene, were implanted into the striatum or into the subventricular zone of adult rats. Microglia and astrocyte activation levels were suppressed with graphene functionalization. In addition, self-assembled graphene implants prevented glial scarring in the brain 7 weeks following implantation. Astrocyte guidance within the scaffold and redirection of neuroblasts from the subventricular zone along the implants was also demonstrated. These findings provide new functional evidence for the potential use of graphene scaffolds as a therapeutic platform to support central nervous system regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Surface Microstructures on Planar Substrates and Textile Fibers Guide Neurite Outgrowth: A Scaffold Solution to Push Limits of Critical Nerve Defect Regeneration?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db13ab0ee8fa60bcca4f

The treatment of critical size peripheral nerve defects represents one of the most serious problems in neurosurgery. If the gap size exceeds a certain limit, healing can't be achieved. Connection mismatching may further reduce the clinical success. The present study investigates how far specific surface structures support neurite outgrowth and by that may represent one possibility to push distance limits that can be bridged. For this purpose, growth cone displacement of fluorescent embryonic chicken spinal cord neurons was monitored using time-lapse video. In a first series of experiments, parallel patterns of polyimide ridges of different geometry were created on planar silicon oxide surfaces. These channel-like structures were evaluated with and without amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a-C:H) coating. In a next step, structured and unstructured textile fibers were investigated. All planar surface materials (polyimide, silicon oxide and a-C:H) proved to be biocompatible, i.e. had no adverse effect on nerve cultures and supported neurite outgrowth. Mean growth cone migration velocity measured on 5 minute base was marginally affected by surface structuring. However, surface structure variability, i.e. ridge height, width and inter-ridge spacing, significantly enhanced the resulting net velocity by guiding the growth cone movement. Ridge height and inter-ridge distance affected the frequency of neurites crossing over ridges. Of the evaluated dimensions ridge height, width, and inter-ridge distance of respectively 3, 10, and 10 µm maximally supported net axon growth. Comparable artificial grooves, fabricated onto the surface of PET fibers by using an excimer laser, showed similar positive effects. Our data may help to further optimize surface characteristics of artificial nerve conduits and bioelectronic interfaces.

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