497 research outputs found

    An Imaging and Spectral Study of Ten X-Ray Filaments around the Galactic Center

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    We report the detection of 10 new X-ray filaments using the data from the {\sl Chandra} X-ray satellite for the inner 66^{\prime} (15\sim 15 parsec) around the Galactic center (GC). All these X-ray filaments are characterized by non-thermal energy spectra, and most of them have point-like features at their heads that point inward. Fitted with the simple absorbed power-law model, the measured X-ray flux from an individual filament in the 2-10 keV band is 2.8×1014\sim 2.8\times10^{-14} to 101310^{-13} ergs cm2^{-2} s1^{-1} and the absorption-corrected X-ray luminosity is 10321033\sim 10^{32}-10^{33} ergs s1^{-1} at a presumed distance of 8 kpc to the GC. We speculate the origin(s) of these filaments by morphologies and by comparing their X-ray images with the corresponding radio and infrared images. On the basis of combined information available, we suspect that these X-ray filaments might be pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) associated with pulsars of age 1033×10510^3 \sim 3\times 10^5 yr. The fact that most of the filament tails point outward may further suggest a high velocity wind blowing away form the GC.Comment: 29 pages with 7 figures and 3 pages included. Accepted to Ap

    Predicting cortical bone adaptation to axial loading in the mouse tibia

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    The development of predictive mathematical models can contribute to a deeper understanding of the specific stages of bone mechanobiology and the process by which bone adapts to mechanical forces. The objective of this work was to predict, with spatial accuracy, cortical bone adaptation to mechanical load, in order to better understand the mechanical cues that might be driving adaptation. The axial tibial loading model was used to trigger cortical bone adaptation in C57BL/6 mice and provide relevant biological and biomechanical information. A method for mapping cortical thickness in the mouse tibia diaphysis was developed, allowing for a thorough spatial description of where bone adaptation occurs. Poroelastic finite-element (FE) models were used to determine the structural response of the tibia upon axial loading and interstitial fluid velocity as the mechanical stimulus. FE models were coupled with mechanobiological governing equations, which accounted for non-static loads and assumed that bone responds instantly to local mechanical cues in an on–off manner. The presented formulation was able to simulate the areas of adaptation and accurately reproduce the distributions of cortical thickening observed in the experimental data with a statistically significant positive correlation (Kendall's τ rank coefficient τ = 0.51, p < 0.001). This work demonstrates that computational models can spatially predict cortical bone mechanoadaptation to a time variant stimulus. Such models could be used in the design of more efficient loading protocols and drug therapies that target the relevant physiological mechanisms

    Processing of soot in an urban environment: case study from the Mexico City Metropolitan Area

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    Chemical composition, size, and mixing state of atmospheric particles are critical in determining their effects on the environment. There is growing evidence that soot aerosols play a particularly important role in both climate and human health, but still relatively little is known of their physical and chemical nature. In addition, the atmospheric residence times and removal mechanisms for soot are neither well understood nor adequately represented in regional and global climate models. To investigate the effect of locality and residence time on properties of soot and mixing state in a polluted urban environment, particles of diameter 0.2&ndash;2.0 &mu;m were collected in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during the MCMA-2003 Field Campaign from various sites within the city. Individual particle analysis by different electron microscopy methods coupled with energy dispersed x-ray spectroscopy, and secondary ionization mass spectrometry show that freshly-emitted soot particles become rapidly processed in the MCMA. Whereas fresh particulate emissions from mixed-traffic are almost entirely carbonaceous, consisting of soot aggregates with liquid coatings suggestive of unburned lubricating oil and water, ambient soot particles which have been processed for less than a few hours are heavily internally mixed, primarily with ammonium sulfate. Single particle analysis suggests that this mixing occurs through several mechanisms that require further investigation. In light of previously published results, the internally-mixed nature of processed soot particles is expected to affect heterogeneous chemistry on the soot surface, including interaction with water during wet-removal

    Delivery of multipotent adult progenitor cells via a functionalized plasma polymerized surface accelerates healing of murine diabetic wounds

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    Introduction: Stem cell therapies have been investigated as potential treatment modalities for chronic wounds however there has been limited success to date. Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells (MAPCs©) have been identified as having potential as an allogenic stem cell product due to their high population doubling number and their characteristic dampening of T-cell proliferation. This helps to prevent autoimmunity and graft/cell rejection.Methods: We have developed a dressing, consisting of medical grade silicone coated with a heptylamine plasma polymer, which supports the growth and transfer of MAPCs to skin. To determine if the dressing can deliver functional stem cells into diabetic wounds, they were loaded with MAPCs and then placed over excisional wounds in both normal and diabetic mice.Results and discussion: Accelerated healing was observed in both the normal and diabetic wounds with wound gape being significantly smaller at day 3 when compared to controls. Wound analysis showed that treatment with the MAPC dressings dampened the inflammatory response with reduced numbers of neutrophils and macrophages observed. Additionally, an increase in pro-angiogenic VEGF and CD31 positive endothelial cells was observed indicating improved new blood vessel formation. The MAPC dressings had no effect on fibrosis with collagen I and III being equally affected in both control and treated wounds. Overall, the functionalized MAPC dressings improve healing responses particularly in diabetic mice with impaired healing responses and therefore, show potential for development as an advanced therapeutic approach for the treatment of chronic diabetic wounds

    Transmembrane protein PERP is a component of tessellate junctions and of other junctional and non-junctional plasma membrane regions in diverse epithelial and epithelium-derived cells

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    Protein PERP (p53 apoptosis effector related to PMP-22) is a small (21.4 kDa) transmembrane polypeptide with an amino acid sequence indicative of a tetraspanin character. It is enriched in the plasma membrane and apparently contributes to cell-cell contacts. Hitherto, it has been reported to be exclusively a component of desmosomes of some stratified epithelia. However, by using a series of newly generated mono- and polyclonal antibodies, we show that protein PERP is not only present in all kinds of stratified epithelia but also occurs in simple, columnar, complex and transitional epithelia, in various types of squamous metaplasia and epithelium-derived tumors, in diverse epithelium-derived cell cultures and in myocardial tissue. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy allow us to localize PERP predominantly in small intradesmosomal locations and in variously sized, junction-like peri- and interdesmosomal regions (“tessellate junctions”), mostly in mosaic or amalgamated combinations with other molecules believed, to date, to be exclusive components of tight and adherens junctions. In the heart, PERP is a major component of the composite junctions of the intercalated disks connecting cardiomyocytes. Finally, protein PERP is a cobblestone-like general component of special plasma membrane regions such as the bile canaliculi of liver and subapical-to-lateral zones of diverse columnar epithelia and upper urothelial cell layers. We discuss possible organizational and architectonic functions of protein PERP and its potential value as an immunohistochemical diagnostic marker

    Correlations of Behavioral Deficits with Brain Pathology Assessed through Longitudinal MRI and Histopathology in the R6/2 Mouse Model of HD

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    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. The R6/2 mouse model of HD expresses a mutant version of exon 1 HTT and develops motor and cognitive impairments, a widespread huntingtin (HTT) aggregate pathology and brain atrophy. Despite the vast number of studies that have been performed on this model, the association between the molecular and cellular neuropathology with brain atrophy, and with the development of behavioral phenotypes remains poorly understood. In an attempt to link these factors, we have performed longitudinal assessments of behavior (rotarod, open field, passive avoidance) and of regional brain abnormalities determined through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (whole brain, striatum, cortex, hippocampus, corpus callosum), as well as an end-stage histological assessment. Detailed correlative analyses of these three measures were then performed. We found a gender-dependent emergence of motor impairments that was associated with an age-related loss of regional brain volumes. MRI measurements further indicated that there was no striatal atrophy, but rather a lack of striatal growth beyond 8 weeks of age. T2 relaxivity further indicated tissue-level changes within brain regions. Despite these dramatic motor and neuroanatomical abnormalities, R6/2 mice did not exhibit neuronal loss in the striatum or motor cortex, although there was a significant increase in neuronal density due to tissue atrophy. The deposition of the mutant HTT (mHTT) protein, the hallmark of HD molecular pathology, was widely distributed throughout the brain. End-stage histopathological assessments were not found to be as robustly correlated with the longitudinal measures of brain atrophy or motor impairments. In conclusion, modeling pre-manifest and early progression of the disease in more slowly progressing animal models will be key to establishing which changes are causally related. © 2013 Rattray et al

    Homogenized stiffness matrices for mineralized collagen fibrils and lamellar bone using unit cell finite element models

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    Mineralized collagen fibrils have been usually analyzed like a two phase composite material where crystals are considered as platelets that constitute the reinforcement phase. Different models have been used to describe the elastic behavior of the material. In this work, it is shown that, when Halpin-Tsai equations are applied to estimate elastic constants from typical constituent properties, not all crystal dimensions yield a model that satisfy thermodynamic restrictions. We provide the ranges of platelet dimensions that lead to positive definite stiffness matrices. On the other hand, a finite element model of a mineralized collagen fibril unit cell under periodic boundary conditions is analyzed. By applying six canonical load cases, homogenized stiffness matrices are numerically calculated. Results show a monoclinic behavior of the mineralized collagen fibril. In addition, a 5-layer lamellar structure is also considered where crystals rotate in adjacent layers of a lamella. The stiffness matrix of each layer is calculated applying Lekhnitskii transformations and a new finite lement model under periodic boundary conditions is analyzed to calculate the homogenized 3D anisotropic stiffness matrix of a unit cell of lamellar bone. Results are compared with the rule-of-mixtures showing in general good agreement.The authors acknowledge the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad the financial support given through the project DPI2010-20990 and the Generalitat Valenciana through the Programme Prometeo 2012/023. The authors thank Ms. Carla Gonzalez Carrillo by her help in the development of some of the numerical models.Vercher Martínez, A.; Giner Maravilla, E.; Arango Villegas, C.; Tarancón Caro, JE.; Fuenmayor Fernández, FJ. (2014). Homogenized stiffness matrices for mineralized collagen fibrils and lamellar bone using unit cell finite element models. 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    New Suggestions for the Mechanical Control of Bone Remodeling

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    Bone is constantly renewed over our lifetime through the process of bone (re)modeling. This process is important for bone to allow it to adapt to its mechanical environment and to repair damage from everyday life. Adaptation is thought to occur through the mechanosensitive response controlling the bone-forming and -resorbing cells. This report shows a way to extract quantitative information about the way remodeling is controlled using computer simulations. Bone resorption and deposition are described as two separate stochastic processes, during which a discrete bone packet is removed or deposited from the bone surface. The responses of the bone-forming and -resorbing cells to local mechanical stimuli are described by phenomenological remodeling rules. Our strategy was to test different remodeling rules and to evaluate the time evolution of the trabecular architecture in comparison to what is known from μ-CT measurements of real bone. In particular, we tested the reaction of virtual bone to standard therapeutic strategies for the prevention of bone deterioration, i.e., physical activity and medications to reduce bone resorption. Insensitivity of the bone volume fraction to reductions in bone resorption was observed in the simulations only for a remodeling rule including an activation barrier for the mechanical stimulus above which bone deposition is switched on. This is in disagreement with the commonly used rules having a so-called lazy zone

    To wet or not to wet: that is the question

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    Wetting transitions have been predicted and observed to occur for various combinations of fluids and surfaces. This paper describes the origin of such transitions, for liquid films on solid surfaces, in terms of the gas-surface interaction potentials V(r), which depend on the specific adsorption system. The transitions of light inert gases and H2 molecules on alkali metal surfaces have been explored extensively and are relatively well understood in terms of the least attractive adsorption interactions in nature. Much less thoroughly investigated are wetting transitions of Hg, water, heavy inert gases and other molecular films. The basic idea is that nonwetting occurs, for energetic reasons, if the adsorption potential's well-depth D is smaller than, or comparable to, the well-depth of the adsorbate-adsorbate mutual interaction. At the wetting temperature, Tw, the transition to wetting occurs, for entropic reasons, when the liquid's surface tension is sufficiently small that the free energy cost in forming a thick film is sufficiently compensated by the fluid- surface interaction energy. Guidelines useful for exploring wetting transitions of other systems are analyzed, in terms of generic criteria involving the "simple model", which yields results in terms of gas-surface interaction parameters and thermodynamic properties of the bulk adsorbate.Comment: Article accepted for publication in J. Low Temp. Phy
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