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This study investigated the effect of the flavonoid-based compound isorhamnetin (ISO) on maturation and developmental competence in oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes in vitro. Treatment with 2 μM ISO (2 ISO) increases the developmental rate of oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes during in vitro maturation (IVM). The glutathione level and mRNA expression of antioxidant-related genes (NFE2L2 and SOD2) were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group, whereas the reactive oxygen species level was decreased. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of a cumulus cell expansion-related gene (SHAS2) and improved chromosomal alignment. mRNA expression of maternal genes (CCNB1, MOS, BMP15 and GDF9) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group. The total cell number per blastocyst and percentage of apoptotic cells were increased and decreased in the 2 ISO-treated group, respectively. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of development-related genes (SOX2, NANOG, and POU5F1) and anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1 and BIRC5) and decreased that of pro-apoptotic genes (CASP3 and FAS). These results demonstrate that 2 ISO improves the quality of porcine oocytes by protecting them against oxidative stress during IVM and enhances subsequent embryo development in vitro. Therefore, we propose that ISO is a useful supplement for IVM of porcine oocytes.
Our previous studies have already revealed that β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), hesperetin (HES), and icariin (ICA) antioxidants are effective for in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes. In this study, we investigated which of BCX, HES, or ICA was more effective for IVM of porcine oocytes. The antioxidant properties were assessed with aged porcine oocytes and embryos by comparing 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power, and H2O2 scavenging activity assays. The chemical assay results demonstrated that BCX had a greater DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power than HES and ICA, compared with controls. However, the H2O2 scavenging activity of the antioxidants was similar when tested at the optimal concentrations of 1 μM BCX (BCX-1), 100 μM HES (HES-100), and 5 μM ICA (ICA-5). The biological assay results showed that BCX-1 treatment was more effective in inducing a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving glutathione levels, and increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. In addition, BCX-1 inhibited apoptosis by increasing the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and decreasing pro-apoptotic genes in porcine parthenogenetic blastocysts. BCX-1 also significantly increased the blastocyst formation rate compared with the ageing control group, HES-100 and ICA-5. This study demonstrates that damage from ROS produced during oocyte ageing can be prevented by supplementing antioxidants into the IVM medium, and BCX may be a potential candidate to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
Whether an association exists between cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) and functional recovery after ischemic stroke is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the association between CMBs and functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
Consecutive patients with acute stroke were enrolled, and all patients were stratified into good and poor functional outcome groups at discharge and 6 months after ischemic stroke by using a modified Rankin Scale score. Cardiovascular risk factors, CMBs, and white matter hyperintensities were compared between these two outcome groups. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the risk of poor functional outcomes.
A total of 225 patients were enrolled, 121 of whom were classified as having a good functional outcome at discharge and 142 as having a good 6-month functional outcome. The presence of CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge [CMBs (+) patients in poor vs. good functional group; 48.1% vs. 30.6%; p=0.007] and 6 months [53.0% vs. 30.3%; p=0.001]. After adjustment for confounding factors, only the presence of infratentorial CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge and 6 months. The poor functional outcome group had more CMBs than the good outcome group at 6 months.
Infratentorial cerebral microbleeds were significantly associated with worse functional outcomes not only in the early phase of ischemic stroke but also in the chronic phase. These findings suggest that the presence of infratentorial CMBs can predict poor functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
The formation and morphological evolution of germanides formed in a ternary Ni/Ta-interlayer/Ge system were examined by ex situ and in situ annealing experiments. The Ni germanide film formed in the Ni/Ta-interlayer/Ge system maintained continuity up to 550°C, whereas agglomeration of the Ni germanide occurred in the Ni/Ge system without Ta-interlayer. Through microstructural and chemical analysis of the Ni/Ta-interlayer/Ge system during and after in situ annealing in a transmission electron microscope, it was confirmed that the Ta atoms remained uniformly on the top of the newly formed Ni germanide layer during the diffusion reaction. Consequently, the agglomeration of the Ni germanide film was retarded and the thermal stability was improved by the Ta incorporation.
We investigated the pressure dependence of the inductive coupled plasma (ICP) oxidation on the electrical characteristics of the thin oxide films. Activation energies and electron temperatures with different pressures were estimated. To demonstrate the pressure effect on the plasma oxide quality, simple N type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) transistors were fabricated and investigated in a few electrical properties. At higher pressure than 200mTorr, plasma oxide has a slightly higher on-current and a lower interfacial trap density. The on-current gain seems to be related to the field mobility increase and the lower defective interface to the electron temperature during oxidation.
Decision making in an emotionally conflicting situation is important in social life. We aimed to address the similarity and disparity of neural correlates involved in processing ambivalent stimuli in patients with schizophrenia and patients with depression. Behavioral task-related hemodynamic responses were measured using [15O]H2O positron emission tomography (PET) in 12 patients with schizophrenia and 12 patients with depression. The task was a modified word-stem completion task, which was designed to evoke ambivalence in forced and non-forced choice conditions. The prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum were found to show increased activity in the healthy control group. In the schizophrenia group, activity in these two regions was negligible. In the depression group, the pattern of activity was altered and a functional compensatory recruitment of the inferior parietal regions was suggested. The prefrontal cortex seems to be associated with the cognitive control to resolve the conflict toward the ambivalent stimuli, whereas the cerebellum reflects the sustained working memory to search for compromise alternatives. The deficit of cerebellar activation in the schizophrenia group might underlie the inability to search and consider compromising responses for conflict resolution. (JINS, 2009, 15, 990–1001.)
The morphological definition of atrial chambers, and the determination of atrial laterality, are based on analysis of the structure of the atrial appendages. The systemic and pulmonary venous connections to the heart, nonetheless, are important in the management of patients having isomeric appendages. In this study, therefore, we analysed the morphology of the postero-superior walls of the atrial chambers so as to provide evidence concerning the morphogenetic background of those hearts, and to improve operative management.
We reviewed 15 autopsied specimens with isomeric right appendages, and 10 with isomeric left appendages, paying particular attention to the morphology of the systemic and pulmonary venous connections. The postero-superior walls of the atrial chambers can be made up of the atrial body, the systemic venous components, or the pulmonary venous component. We analysed the contributions made by each of these components.
The postero-superior walls of the atrial chambers were markedly variable, but could be grouped into five patterns. Bilaterally well-developed systemic venous components and absence of the pulmonary venous component within the hypoplastic atrial body were present in 9 hearts with extracardiac pulmonary venous connections in the setting of right isomerism. Bilaterally well-developed systemic venous components, and a hypoplastic pulmonary venous component within the hypoplastic atrial body, were present in 5 hearts with intracardiac pulmonary venous connections in right isomerism. Bilaterally well-developed systemic venous components, and a hypoplastic pulmonary venous component within the sizable atrial body, were present in 1 heart with an intracardiac pulmonary venous connection in right isomerism. A well-developed pulmonary venous component within the atrial body, and hypoplasia of one systemic venous component, were present in 7 hearts with left isomerism. A well-developed pulmonary venous component within the atrial body, and hypoplasia of bilateral systemic venous components, were present in 3 hearts with left isomerism.
The postero-superior walls of the atrial chambers in hearts with isomeric atrial appendages can be analysed on the basis of a compound structure made of bilateral systemic venous components, a central pulmonary venous component, and the body of the atrium. Hearts with isomeric right appendages have absence or hypoplasia of the pulmonary venous component, while hearts with isomeric left appendages have hypoplastic systemic venous components.
Analytical electron microscopy (AEM) was used to examine the initial interfacial reaction layers between a eutectic Sn–3.5Ag solder and an electroless nickel-immersion gold-plated (ENIG) Cu substrate during reflow at 255 °C for 1 s. AEM confirmed that a thick upper (Au,Ni)Sn2 layer and a thin Ni3Sn4 layer had formed through the reaction between the solder and ENIG. The amorphous electroless Ni(P) plated layer transformed into two P-rich Ni layers. One is a crystallized P-rich Ni layer, and the other is an intermediate state P-rich Ni layer before the crystallization. The crystallized P-rich layer consisted of Ni2P and Ni12P5. A thin Ni2P layer had formed underneath the Ni3Sn4 layer and is believed to be a predecessor of the Ni2SnP ternary phase. A Ni12P5 phase was observed beneath the Ni2P thin layer. In addition, nanocrystalline Ni was found to coexist with the amorphous Ni(P) phase in the intermediate state P-rich Ni layer.
MgO thin films are widely used in plasma display panels (PDPs) to protect the dielectric layer, which is composed of PbO2, B2O3, and SiO2 compound, against ion bombardment during discharge. To improve the electrical properties of the MgO thin films, (Ba,Sr,Ca)CO3 or LaB6, which has a lower work function than that of MgO, added to the MgO films. The effects of (Ba,Sr,Ca)CO3 or LaB6 addition on the electrical properties, microstructure, and electronic band structure were investigated. In the case where (Ba,Sr,Ca)CO3 was added, the firing voltage, which is the voltage when the panel is ignited the first time during increasing input voltage, was about 18.4 V lower than that of the conventional MgO films. In the case where LaB6 was added, the firing voltage was also reduced by about 24 V. The luminance and luminous efficiency were also increased. Of particular interest was the valence band spectra changed after adding (Ba,Sr,Ca)CO3 or LaB6. The valence band edge, which is the top of the valence band, was shifted to lower binding states and the width of the valence band was increased. Moreover, the band gap was slightly reduced. Considering the emission mechanism of MgO films in plasma display panels, these results mean that the secondary electrons can be ejected more easily and the ejected electrons have more energy. Therefore, the addition of (Ba,Sr,Ca)CO3 or LaB6 might improve the electrical properties.
The dielectric and magnetic properties were investigated in Ta-substituted BiFeO3 polycrystalline ceramics synthesized by a solid-state reaction. The Ta substitution decreased the grain size by two orders of magnitude compared with that of unsubstituted ceramics and increased the electrical resistivity by 6 orders of magnitude. The high resistivity and low dielectric loss allowed the dielectric constant to be determined at room temperature. The magnetic hysteresis loops were observed in the Ta-substituted BiFeO3, and the appearance of ferromagnetism was closely associated with the distortion of the oxygen octahedra by the Ta substitution. The coupling between the electric and magnetic dipoles was examined by determining the changes of the dielectric constant with the external magnetic field.
TbMnO3 exists in an orthorhombic phase in nature. Recently, we successfully grew TbMnO3 thin films in the hexagonal phase using epitaxial stabilization techniques. In this article, we will show the details of the deposition conditions that allow us to fabricate the hexagonal TbMnO3 films on Pt–Al2O3(0001) substrates. The artificial hexagonal phase can be easily formed above 850 °C, irrespective of the oxygen partial pressure. The hexagonal TbMnO3 films showed ferroelectric properties, which are significantly enhanced compared to those of the orthorhombic TbMnO3 bulk phase. We find interesting anomalies in the magnetic and magnetodielectric properties of the TbMnO3 films at around 45 K, which should be related with the Mn3+ spin reorientation. We also find spin-glass-like behaviors in the magnetic susceptibility, which could be attributed to the geometric frustration of antiferromagnetically coupled Mn spins with an edge-sharing triangular lattice. This work shows details of the growth and properties of hexagonal TbMnO3 films.
Planarization characteristics of ultra low diluted Ceria (CeO2) based slurry, especially a multi-layered Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP) process, have been studied. The multi-layer represents the polished film consists of more than two different materials, so that, more than two different materials are exposed to the polished surface. In this work, ultra low diluted ceria based slurry was introduced to minimize micro-dishing effect of the process such as a storage node contact and a bit line contact in 80nm feature sized DRAM device, which has multi-layer film surfaces. As a result, we can minimize micro dishing of silicon dioxide and polycrystalline silicon at memory cell area, and silicon dioxide dishing at peripheral area.
Nondestructive damage sensing and load transfer mechanisms of thermal treated carbon nanotube (CNT) and nanofiber (CNF)/epoxy composites were investigated using electro-micromechanical technique. Carbon black (CB) was used only for the comparison. Electro-micromechanical techniques were applied to obtain the fiber damage and stress transferring effect of carbon nanocomposites with their contents. Thermal treatment and temperature affected on apparent modulus and electrical properties on nanocomposites due to enhanced inherent properties of each CNMs. Coefficient of variation (COV) of volumetric electrical resistance can be used to obtain the dispersion degree indirectly for various CNMs. Dispersion and surface modification are very important parameters to obtain improved mechanical and electrical properties of CNMs for multifunctional applications. Further optimized functionalization and dispersion conditions will be investigated for the following work continuously.
Electrical properties of Ti/Al Schottky junctions formed on p-GaN layers are investigated using Hall, I-V and C-V measurements in the temperature range of 82∼500K. All data exhibit extremely strong low temperature carrier freeze out effects, assured by huge decreases of the Hall concentration, zero-bias capacitance and also diode current level as the temperature decreases below ∼150K. The dramatic decrease of current level at the low temperature range indicates that tunneling plays a more important role for the low temperature conduction and the junction shows ohmic-like I-V characteristics due to large series resistance. The barrier height estimated with the thermionic model varies with a strong temperature dependency from 1.21eV at 500K to 0.24eV at 82K. High frequency equivalent circuit analysis indicates that the corrected capacitance still shows a strong frequency dependency even after compensating the series resistance effect due to the slow response of Mg acceptor state. The transition frequency of the acceptor state, which is proportional to the emission rate of the deep level, is estimated to be 142KHz at room temperature. Low frequency C-V measurements provide a proper doping profile, revealing the ∼15nm thin layer with a high doping spike of ∼8×1018/cm3 near the sample surface and the constantly doped bulk layer with a doping level of ∼1017/cm3.
Hydrido-organo-siloxane-polymer (HOSP), a typical silsesquioxane-based low dielectric constant material, was etched with ions of different incident angles in CHF3 plasma. The etch rate normalized to the rate obtained with ions incident perpendicular to the surface deviated from the general cosine dependence on the ion incident angle. That is, the rate deviated to over-cosine values at low ion angles below 70°, due to the physical sputtering of the surface by energetic ions, and to under-cosine values at high angles, above 70°, due to the redeposition of particles emitted from the bottom. The roughness of the etched surface also varied with the ion incident angle as a result of the surface etching by energetic ions and the redeposition of particles emitted from the bottom. For example, when the bias voltage was –100V, the surface roughness was different according to three angle regions: i) ion bombardment dominant region below 70°, ii) intermediate region between 70° and 85o, and iii) redeposition dominant region above 85°. The surface composition and chemical structure after etching were also affected by the ion incident angle. The F/C atomic in the surface layer was much lower at ion angles higher than 70° than below 70° because cage-like Si-O bonds were more rapidly dissociated by F atoms from fluorocarbon polymer layer than network Si-O bonds at high angles. This information obtained in this study is useful for predicting the profile and surface characteristics of interconnection patterns in microelectronics fabrication.
This paper deals with a novel structure of polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) solar cell for terrestrial applications. Grain boundary (GB) in poly-Si degrades a conversion efficiency of poly-Si solar cell. To reduce the GB side-effect, we investigated various parameters such as the preferential GB etch, etchtime, ITO electrode, heat treatment, and emitter layer effect. Among various preferential etchants such as Sirtl, Yang, Secco, and Schimmel, a Schimmel etchant illustrated an excellent preferential etching property. We observed a 10μm deep trench along grain boundaries and randomly textured grain surface with pyramid structure. We used rf magnetron sputter grown tin doped indium oxide (ITO) film as a top contact metal. ITO films showed a resistivity of 1.14 ×10-4 Ω-cm and transmittance of 90.5% for the wavelength of 594 nm. ITO films served as a top electrode as well as an effective AR coating layer. ITO film properties were strongly influenced by the preparation temperatures. Substrate temperature of 400oC gave the highest conversion efficiency of poly-Si solar cell. With well-fabricated poly-Si solar cells, we were able to achieve conversion efficiency as high as 16% at the input power of 20 mW/cm2.
We synthesized novel cross-linkable fluorinated copoly(arylene ether sulfide)s for optical waveguide applications, which have high thermal stability, high optical transparency in the infrared communication region, and much smaller birefringence than other thermally stable fluorinated polyimides. The refractive index of the material can be easily controlled from 1.515 to 1.587 by changing the copolymer composition in the materials. The birefringence of the cured polymers were 0.0031∼0.0039 at the wavelength of 1.55 μm. This is much lower than those of fluorinated polyimides for optical waveguides. The refractive index of fluorinated poly(arylene ether sulfide) (FPAESI) after being stored at 100 °C for 1000 hr remains almost constant demonstrating the thermal stability. The propagation loss of the channel waveguides fabricated using reactive ion etching was less than 0.4 dB/cm at the wavelength of 1.55 μm.
The deposition area of diamond film is increased by applying a geometry of multiple cathodes and a single anode in direct current (dc) plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD). Each cathode is made of Ta and connected independently to its own dc power supply. The operating pressure is 1.3 × 104 Pa (100 Torr), and methane-hydrogen mixed gas is used as reaction gas. The voltage and the current applied to each cathode are 650 V and 4 A, respectively. The transition from a diffuse glow to an arc is prevented by maintaining cathode temperatures above 2000 °C, which inhibits carbon deposition on the cathodes. Translucent diamond film of 3 in. diameter, thicker than 200 μm, is grown using seven cathodes with 3% CH4–H2 mixed gas for 110 h. The deposition area can be increased further by increasing the number of cathodes.
We have fabricated the a-Si:H film for pixel region and poly-Si film for driver region on the same glass substrate by a rapid thermal process successfully. By employing the halogen lamp, the considerable amount of hydrogen in the PECVD a-Si:H film, which causes the undesirable film ablation due to hydrogen evolution during excimer laser annealing, could be reduced selectively in the peripheral driver area where the a-Si:H film is recrystallized into poly-Si film in order to obtain the high mobility. After rapid thermal annealing, the hydrogen content in a-Si:H films, of which the inherent hydrogen content was found to be about 10–12 at. %, is successfully reduced to less than 5 at. %. The annealing conditions for dehydrogenation are 500, 550, 600 and 650 °C with various halogen lamp irradiation period which are below the point of the glass shrinkage. It should be noted that after rapid thermal annealing, any physical damage in the glass substrate has not been observed.
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