414 research outputs found

    An Active and Soft Hydrogel Actuator to Stimulate Live Cell Clusters by Self-folding

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    The hydrogels are widely used in various applications, and their successful uses depend on controlling the mechanical properties. In this study, we present an advanced strategy to develop hydrogel actuator designed to stimulate live cell clusters by self-folding. The hydrogel actuator consisting of two layers with different expansion ratios were fabricated to have various curvatures in self-folding. The expansion ratio of the hydrogel tuned with the molecular weight and concentration of gel-forming polymers, and temperature-sensitive molecules in a controlled manner. As a result, the hydrogel actuator could stimulate live cell clusters by compression and tension repeatedly, in response to temperature. The cell clusters were compressed in the 0.7-fold decreases of the radius of curvature with 1.0 mm in room temperature, as compared to that of 1.4 mm in 37 degrees C. Interestingly, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) in MCF-7 tumor cells exposed by mechanical stimulation was expressed more than in those without stimulation. Overall, this new strategy to prepare the active and soft hydrogel actuator would be actively used in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and micro-scale actuators

    Low-Power Complementary Inverter Based on Graphene/Carbon-Nanotube and Graphene/MoS<sub>2</sub> Barristors

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    The recent report of a p-type graphene(Gr)/carbon-nanotube(CNT) barristor facilitates the application of graphene barristors in the fabrication of complementary logic devices. Here, a complementary inverter is presented that combines a p-type Gr/CNT barristor with a n-type Gr/MoS2 barristor, and its characteristics are reported. A sub-nW (~0.2 nW) low-power inverter is demonstrated with a moderate gain of 2.5 at an equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) of ~15 nm. Compared to inverters based on field-effect transistors, the sub-nW power consumption was achieved at a much larger EOT, which was attributed to the excellent switching characteristics of Gr barristors

    Design of the VISTA-ITL Test Facility for an Integral Type Reactor of SMART and a Post-Test Simulation of a SBLOCA Test

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    To validate the performance and safety of an integral type reactor of SMART, a thermal-hydraulic integral effect test facility, VISTA-ITL, is introduced with a discussion of its scientific design characteristics. The VISTA-ITL was used extensively to assess the safety and performance of the SMART design, especially for its passive safety system such as a passive residual heat removal system, and to validate various thermal-hydraulic analysis codes. The VISTA-ITL program includes several tests on the SBLOCA, CLOF, and PRHRS performances to support a verification of the SMART design and contribute to the SMART design licensing by providing proper test data for validating the system analysis codes. A typical scenario of SBLOCA was analyzed using the MARS-KS code to assess the thermal-hydraulic similarity between the SMART design and the VISTA-ITL facility, and a posttest simulation on a SBLOCA test for the shutdown cooling system line break has been performed with the MARS-KS code to assess its simulation capability for the SBLOCA scenario of the SMART design. The SBLOCA scenario in the SMART design was well reproduced using the VISTA-ITL facility, and the measured thermal-hydraulic data were properly simulated with the MARS-KS code

    Effects of education on low-phosphate diet and phosphate binder intake to control serum phosphate among maintenance hemodialysis patients: A randomized controlled trial.

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    Background:For phosphate control, patient education is essential due to the limited clearance of phosphate by dialysis. However, well-designed randomized controlled trials about dietary and phosphate binder education have been scarce. Methods:We enrolled maintenance hemodialysis patients and randomized them into an education group (n = 48) or a control group (n = 22). We assessed the patients' drug compliance and their knowledge about the phosphate binder using a questionnaire. Results:The primary goal was to increase the number of patients who reached a calcium-phosphorus product of lower than 55. In the education group, 36 (75.0%) patients achieved the primary goal, as compared with 16 (72.7%) in the control group (P = 0.430). The education increased the proportion of patients who properly took the phosphate binder (22.9% vs. 3.5%, P = 0.087), but not to statistical significance. Education did not affect the amount of dietary phosphate intake per body weight (education vs. control: -1.18 ± 3.54 vs. -0.88 ± 2.04 mg/kg, P = 0.851). However, the dietary phosphate-to-protein ratio tended to be lower in the education group (-0.64 ± 2.04 vs. 0.65 ± 3.55, P = 0.193). The education on phosphate restriction affected neither the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment score (0.17 ± 4.58 vs. -0.86 ± 3.86, P = 0.363) nor the level of dietary protein intake (-0.03 ± 0.33 vs. -0.09 ± 0.18, P = 0.569). Conclusion:Education did not affect the calcium-phosphate product. Education on the proper timing of phosphate binder intake and the dietary phosphate-to-protein ratio showed marginal efficacy

    Transvaginal Endoscopic Appendectomy

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    Since Kalloo and colleagues first reported the feasibility and safety of a peroral transgastric approach in the porcine model in 2004, various groups have reported more complex natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) procedures, such as the cholecystectomy, splenectomy and liver biopsy, in the porcine model. Natural orifice access to the abdominal cavity, such as transgastric, transvesical, transcolonic, and transvaginal, has been described. Although a novel, minimally invasive approach to the abdominal cavity is a peroral endoscopic transgastric approach, there are still some challenging issues, such as the risk of infection and leakage, and the method of gastric closure. Hybrid-NOTES is an ideal first step in humans. Human hybrid transvaginal access has been used for years by many surgeons for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Here, we report a transvaginal flexible endoscopic appendectomy, with a 5-mm umbilical port using ultrasonic scissors in a 74-year-old woman with acute appendicitis