To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Background: Although small- and medium-sized hospitals comprise most healthcare providers in South Korea, data on antibiotic usage is limited in these facilities. We evaluated the pattern of antibiotic usage and its appropriateness in hospitals with <400 beds in South Korea. Methods: A multicenter retrospective study was conducted in 10 hospitals (6 long-term care hospitals, 3 acute-care hospitals, and 1 orthopedic hospital), with <400 beds in South Korea. We analyzed patterns of antibiotic prescription and their appropriateness in the participating hospitals. Data on the monthly antibiotic prescriptions and patient days for hospitalized patients were collected using electronic databases from each hospital. To avoid the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, data were collected from January to December 2019. For the evaluation of the appropriateness of the prescription, 25 patients under antibiotic therapy were randomly selected at each hospital over 2 separate periods. Due to the heterogeneity of their characteristics, the orthopedics hospital was excluded from the analysis. The collected data were reviewed, and the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated by 5 specialists in infectious diseases (adult and pediatric). Data from 2 hospitals were assigned to each specialist. The appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated from 3 aspects: route of administration, dose, and class. If the 3 aspects were ‘optimal,’ the prescription was considered ‘optimal.’ If only the route was ‘optimal,’ and the dose and/or class was ‘suboptimal,’ but not ‘inappropriate,’ it was considered ‘suboptimal.’ If even 1 aspect was ‘inappropriate,’ it was classified as ‘inappropriate.’ Results: The most commonly prescribed antibiotics in long-term care hospitals was fluoroquinolone, followed by β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor (antipseudomonal). In acute-care hospitals, these were third-generation cephalosporin, followed by first-generation cephalosporin and second-generation cephalosporin. The major antibiotics that were prescribed in the orthopedics hospital was first-generation cephalosporin. Only 2.3% of the antibiotics were administered inappropriately. In comparison, 15.3% of patients were prescribed an inappropriate dose. The proportion of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions was 30.6% of the total antibiotic prescriptions. Conclusions: The antibiotic usage patterns vary between small- and medium-sized hospitals in South Korea. The proportion of inappropriate prescriptions exceeded 30% of the total antibiotic prescriptions.
Background: The purpose of this study was to find out the relationship between appropriateness of antibiotic prescription and clinical outcomes in patients with community-acquired acute pyelonephritis (CA-APN). Methods: A multicenter prospective cohort study was performed in 8 Korean hospitals from September 2017 to August 2018. All hospitalized patients aged ≥19 years diagnosed with CA-APN at admission were recruited. Pregnant women and patients with insufficient data were excluded. In addition, patients with prolonged hospitalization due to medical problems that were not associated with APN treatment were excluded. The appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics was divided into “optimal,” “suboptimal,” and “inappropriate,” and optimal and suboptimal were regarded as appropriate antibiotic use. The standard for the classification of empirical antibiotics was defined reflecting the Korean national guideline for the antibiotic use in urinary tract infection 2018. The standards for the classification of definitive antibiotics were defined according to the result of in vitro susceptibility tests of causative organisms. Clinical outcomes including clinical failure (mortality or recurrence) rate, hospitalization days, and medical costs were compared between patients who were prescribed antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed them inappropriately. Results: In total, 397 and 318 patients were eligible for the analysis of the appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively. Of these, 10 (2.5%) and 18 (5.7%) were inappropriately prescribed empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively, and 28 (8.8%) were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed empirical antibiotics appropriately showed a lower mortality rate (0 vs 10%; P = .025), shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 12.5 days; P = .014), and lower medical costs (US$2,333 vs US$4,531; P = .007) compared to those who were prescribed empirical antibiotics “inappropriately.” In comparison, we detected no significant differences in clinical outcomes between patients who were prescribed definitive antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed both empirical and definitive antibiotics appropriately showed a lower clinical failure rate (0.3 vs 7.1%; P = .021) and shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 10.5 days; P = .041) compared to those who were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Conclusions: Appropriate use of antibiotics leads patients with CA-APN to better clinical outcomes including fewer hospitalization days and lower medical costs.
To evaluate the impact of a vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) screening policy change on the incidence of healthcare-associated (HA)-VRE bacteremia in an endemic hospital setting.
A quasi-experimental before-and-after study.
A 1,989-bed tertiary-care referral center in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Since May 2010, our hospital has diminished VRE screening for admitted patients transferred from other healthcare facilities. We assessed the impact of this policy change on the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia using segmented autoregression analysis of interrupted time series from January 2006 to December 2014 at the hospital and unit levels. In addition, we compared the molecular characteristics of VRE blood isolates collected before and after the screening policy change using multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
After the VRE screening policy change, the incidence of hospital-wide HA-VRE bacteremia increased, although no significant changes of level or slope were observed. In addition, a significant slope change in the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia (change in slope, 0.007; 95% CI, 0.001–0.013; P = .02) was observed in the hemato-oncology department. Molecular analysis revealed that various VRE sequence types appeared after the policy change and that clonally related strains became more predominant (increasing from 26.1% to 59.3%).
The incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia increased significantly after VRE screening policy change, and this increase was mainly driven by high-risk patient populations. When planning VRE control programs in hospitals, different approaches that consider risk for severe VRE infection in patients may be required.
To investigate the feasibility of using an ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV LED) robot for the terminal decontamination of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient rooms.
We assessed the presence of viral RNA in samples from environmental surfaces before and after UV LED irradiation in COVID-19 patient rooms after patient discharge.
We analyzed 216 environmental samples from 17 rooms: 2 from airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 15 from isolation rooms in the community treatment center (CTC). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA was detected in 40 (18.5%) of 216 samples after patient discharge: 12 (33.3%) of 36 samples from AIIRs in the ICU, and 28 (15.6%) of 180 samples from isolation rooms in the CTC. In 1 AIIR, all samples were PCR negative after UV LED irradiation. In the CTC rooms, 14 (8.6%) of the 163 samples were PCR positive after UV LED irradiation. However, viable virus was not recovered from the culture of any of the PCR-positive samples.
Although no viable virus was recovered, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on various environmental surfaces. The use of a UV LED disinfection robot was effective in spacious areas such as an ICU, but its effects varied in small spaces like CTC rooms. These findings suggest that the UV LED robot may need enough space to disinfect rooms without recontamination by machine wheels or insufficient disinfection by shadowing.
Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of porcine follicular fluid (pFF) from large-sized (LFF; >8 mm in diameter) and medium-sized (MFF; 3–6 mm in diameter) follicles on the maturation and developmental competence of porcine oocytes. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were collected from follicles 3–6 mm in diameter. The collected COCs were incubated for 22 h with LFF or MFF (in vitro maturation (IVM)-I stage) and were incubated subsequently for 22 h with LFF or MFF (IVM-II stage). Cumulus expansion was confirmed after the IVM-I stage and nuclear maturation was evaluated after the IVM-II stage. Intracellular glutathione (GSH) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured and embryonic development was evaluated. Relative cumulus expansion and GSH levels were higher in the LFF group compared with in the MFF group after the IVM-I stage (P < 0.05). After the IVM-II stage, the numbers of oocytes in metaphase-II were increased in the LFF group and GSH content was higher in all of the LFF treatment groups compared with in the MFF treatment groups during both IVM stages (P < 0.05). ROS levels were reduced by LFF treatment regardless of IVM stage (P < 0.05). Blastocyst formation and the total numbers of cells in blastocysts were increased in all LFF treatment groups compared with the control group (P < 0.05). These results suggested that pFF from large follicles at the IVM stage could improve nucleic and cytoplasmic maturation status and further embryonic development through reducing ROS levels and enhancing responsiveness to gonadotropins.
Refugees commonly experience difficulties with emotional processing, such as alexithymia, due to stressful or traumatic experiences. However, the functional connectivity of the amygdala, which is central to emotional processing, has yet to be assessed in refugees. Thus, the present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and its association with emotional processing in North Korean (NK) refugees.
This study included 45 NK refugees and 40 native South Koreans (SK). All participants were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and differences between NK refugees and native SK in terms of resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala were assessed. Additionally, the association between the strength of amygdala connectivity and the TAS score was examined.
Resting-state connectivity values from the left amygdala to the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were higher in NK refugees than in native SK. Additionally, the strength of connectivity between the left amygdala and right dlPFC was positively associated with TAS score after controlling for the number of traumatic experiences and BDI and CAPS scores.
The present study found that NK refugees exhibited heightened frontal–amygdala connectivity, and that this connectivity was correlated with alexithymia. The present results suggest that increased frontal–amygdala connectivity in refugees may represent frontal down-regulation of the amygdala, which in turn may produce alexithymia.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
In this paper, the electrical properties of bottom-gate (BG) polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin-film transistors (TFTs) by NiSi2 seed-induced lateral crystallization (SILC) and its applications are presented. Sequential lateral solidification (SLS), which is one of crystallization methods, is known to have poor electrical properties of TFTs with BG structures due to problems induced by laser. Therefore, the laser method cannot be used to well-developed production line of amorphous-Si (a-Si) TFT, resulting in large initial investment cost to change fabrication procedures. On the other hand, the BG poly-Si TFT by SILC (SILC-BGPS TFT) has basically compatible process flows with that of the a-Si TFT. The SILC-BGPS TFT exhibited threshold voltage of -3.9 V, steep subthreshold slope of 130 mV/dec, a high field-effect mobility of 129 cm2/Vs , and Ion/Ioff ratio of ∼106.
Some clinical studies have reported reduced peripheral glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) level in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). We verified whether a reduction in plasma GDNF level was associated with MDD.
Plasma GDNF level was measured in 23 healthy control subjects and 23 MDD patients before and after 6 weeks of treatment.
Plasma GDNF level in MDD patients at baseline did not differ from that in healthy controls. Plasma GDNF in MDD patients did not differ significantly from baseline to the end of treatment. GDNF level was significantly lower in recurrent-episode MDD patients than in first-episode patients before and after treatment.
Our findings revealed significantly lower plasma GDNF level in recurrent-episode MDD patients, although plasma GDNF levels in MDD patients and healthy controls did not differ significantly. The discrepancy between our study and previous studies might arise from differences in the recurrence of depression or the ages of the MDD patients.
To compare the characteristics and risk factors for surgical site infections (SSIs) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in a nationwide survey, using shared case detection and recording systems.
Retrospective cohort study.
Twenty-six hospitals participating in the Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS).
From 2006 to 2009, all patients undergoing THA and TKA in KONIS were enrolled.
SSI occurred in 161 (2.35%) of 6,848 cases (3,422 THAs and 3,426 TKAs). Pooled mean SSI rates were 1.69% and 2.82% for THA and TKA, respectively. Of the cases we examined, 42 (26%) were superficial-incisional SSIs and 119 (74%) were “severe” SSIs; of the latter, 24 (15%) were deep-incisional SSIs and 95 (59%) were organ/space SSIs. In multivariate analysis, a duration of preoperative hospital stay of greater than 3 days was a risk factor for total SSI after both THA and TKA. Diabetes mellitus, revision surgery, prolonged duration of surgery (above the 75th percentile), and the need for surgery due to trauma were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after THA, while male sex and an operating room without artificial ventilation were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after TKA. A large volume of surgeries (more than 10 procedures per month) protected against total and severe SSI, but only in patients who underwent TKA.
Risk factors for SSI after arthroplasty differ according to the site of the arthroplasty. Therefore, clinicians should take into account the site of arthroplasty in the analysis of SSI and the development of strategies for reducing SSI.
To evaluate the risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) after gastric surgery in patients in Korea.
A nationwide prospective multicenter study.
Twenty university-affiliated hospitals in Korea.
The Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS), a Web-based system, was developed. Patients in 20 Korean hospitals from 2007 to 2009 were prospectively monitored for SSI for up to 30 days after gastric surgery. Demographic data, hospital characteristics, and potential perioperative risk factors were collected and analyzed, using multivariate logistic regression models.
Of the 4,238 case patients monitored, 64.9% (2,752) were male, and mean age (±SD) was 58.8 (±12.3) years. The SSI rates were 2.92, 6.45, and 10.87 per 100 operations for the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system risk index categories of 0, 1, and 2 or 3, respectively. The majority (69.4%) of the SSIs observed were organ or space SSIs. The most frequently isolated microorganisms were Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.67 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–2.58]), increased operation time (1.20 [1.07–1.34] per 1-hour increase), reoperation (7.27 [3.68–14.38]), combined multiple procedures (1.79 [1.13–2.83]), prophylactic administration of the first antibiotic dose after skin incision (3.00 [1.09–8.23]), and prolonged duration (≥7 days) of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP; 2.70 [1.26–5.64]) were independently associated with increased risk of SSI.
Male sex, inappropriate SAP, and operation-related variables are independent risk factors for SSI after gastric surgery.
Using immunostaining methodology, we traced the axonal projection of FMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2)-like immunoreactive (LI) medial neurosecretory cells (MNCs) and lateral neurosecretory cells (LNCs) from the brain into the ventral nerve cord (VNC) and retrocerebral complex in Bombyx mori (L.) (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae). Of the seven pairs of FMRFamide-LI MNCs, one pair extended its axons from the brain pars intercerebralis into the VNC ipsilateral connective where they appeared to terminate. The axons of the remaining MNCs ran through decussation in the brain median region and contralateral nervi corporis cardiaci (NCC) I out of the brain, and eventually innervated the contralateral corpus cardiacum (CC). Axons from the single pair of FMRFamide-LI LNCs projected into the ipsilateral NCC II fused with NCC I without decussation in the brain, and finally terminated in the CC. These results suggest that transport of the FMRFamide-like neuropeptide from may be related to the modulation of functions such as gut contraction in MNCs terminating in the VNC, and regulation of production and/or secretion of specific hormones such as juvenile hormone in MNCs and LNCs terminating in the CC.
To describe the incidence of recovery of both vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from culture of a single clinical specimen, to describe the clinical characteristics of patients from whom these specimens were recovered, and to identify the risk factors of these patients.
A retrospective cohort and case-control study.
A tertiary care university hospital and referral center in Seoul, Korea.
We identified 61 case patients for whom a single clinical specimen yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and 122 control patients for whom any clinical specimen yielded only VRE on culture. The control patients were selected by matching 2 :1 with the case patients for age, sex, and first date of sampling that led to isolation of VRE or both VRE and MRSA among 1,536 VRE-colonized patients from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2006. To identify patient risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen, we performed univariate comparisons between the 2 groups and then multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The incidence of recovery of both VRE and MRSA from culture of a single clinical specimen was 3.97% (for 61 of 1,536 VRE-colonized patients) over 4 years. Among these 82 single clinical specimens, the most common type was wound specimens (26.8%), followed by lower respiratory tract specimens (18.3%), urine specimens (17.1%), and catheter tips (15.9%). Of the 61 case patients, 14 (23.0%) had 2 or more single clinical specimens that yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and the longest interval from the first sampling that yielded both organisms to the last sampling that yielded both was 174 days. Independent patient risk factors for the presence of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen were chronic renal disease (odds ratio [OR], 7.00; P = .012), urinary catheterization (OR, 3.36; P = .026), and longer total cumulative duration of hospital stay within the previous year (OR, 1.03; P < .001).
We confirmed that the recovery of VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen occurs continually. Because prolonged cell-to-cell contact can facilitate transfer of vanA, close observation and surveillance for vancomycin-resistant S. aureus, especially among patients with risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen, should be continued.
Haloperidol, a classical antipsychotic drug, affects the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway in the brain. However, findings are inconsistent and the mechanism by which haloperidol regulates ERK is poorly understood. Therefore, we examined the ERK pathway and the related protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) in detail after haloperidol administration. Haloperidol (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) induced biphasic changes in the phosphorylation level of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK), ERK, and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (p90RSK) without changing Raf-1 phosphorylation. Fifteen minutes after haloperidol administration, MEK-ERK-p90RSK phosphorylation increased, whilst PP2A activity decreased. At 60 min, the reverse was observed and the binding of PP2A to MEK and ERK increased. Higher dosages of haloperidol (2 and 4 mg/kg), affected neither MEK-ERK-p90RSK phosphorylation nor PP2A activity. Accordingly, PP2A regulates acute dose- and time-dependent changes in MEK-ERK-p90RSK phosphorylation after haloperidol treatment. These findings suggest the involvement of a dephosphorylating mechanism in the acute action of haloperidol.
Recently, the Antarctic Peninsula has received more attention due to the pronounced warming in that region. Non-glaciated coastal areas on the Peninsula can be significant energy sources for the atmosphere when they are exposed during summer despite the high degree of cloud associated with the frequent passage of low pressure systems. An eddy covariance system was established in December 2002 to evaluate the turbulent energy exchanges between the atmosphere and a non-glaciated coastal area on King George Island. Monthly average downward shortwave radiation was less than 210 Wm-2 in summer. Due to the low albedo of 0.12, monthly average net radiation reached > 130 Wm-2, a magnitude that was significantly larger than the reported magnitudes of < ~70 Wm-2 at glaciated areas with a high albedo on the Peninsula. The sum of monthly average sensible heat (< 64 Wm-2) and latent heat (< 20 Wm-2) fluxes amounted up to ~80 Wm-2, which was an order of magnitude larger than those at glaciated areas on the Antarctic Peninsula. Given that non-glaciated areas should be enlarged if the warming continues, more attention may need to be paid to the role of non-glaciated areas in the local climate to predict climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In this study, we assess the neuropsychological profiles of both early
and late symptom-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. The
early and late-onset OCD patients are compared to the control group with a
series of neuropsychological measurements. The late-onset OCD patients
exhibited impaired performance on the immediate and the delayed recall
conditions of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) and the letter
and category fluency of the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWA),
compared to the normal controls and the early-onset OCD patients. The
controls and early-onset OCD patients did not differ on any of the
neuropsychological measurements taken in this study. These results suggest
that different neurophysiological mechanisms are in play in early and
late-onset OCD patients, and age of onset can serve as a potential marker
for the subtyping of OCD. (JINS, 2007, 13,
Conventional nanoindentation testing generally uses a peak penetration depth of less than 10 % of thin-film thickness in order to measure film-only mechanical properties, without considering the critical depth for a given thin film-substrate system. The uncertainties in this testing condition make hardness measurement more difficult. We propose a new way to determine the critical relative depth for general thin-film/substrate systems; an impression volume analyzed from the remnant indent image is used here as a new parameter. Nanoindents made on soft Cu and Au thin films with various indentation loads were observed by atomic force microscope. The impression volume calculated from 3D remnant image was normalized by the indenter penetration volume. This indent volume ratio varied only slightly in the shallow regime but decreased significantly when the indenter penetration depth exceeded the targeted critical relative depth. Thus, we determined the critical relative depth by empirically fitting the trend of the indent volume ratio and determining the inflection point. The critical relative depths for Cu and Au films were determined as 0.170 and 0.173, respectively, values smaller than 0.249 and 0.183 determined from the hardness variation of the two thin films. Hence the proposed indent volume ratio is highly sensitive to the substrate constraint, and stricter control of the penetration depth is needed to measure film-only mechanical properties.
This study compared the developmental competence of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos reconstructed with different donor cells and analysed gene expression in the resulting embryos. Bovine fetal/adult ear fibroblasts and cumulus cells were used as donor cells and the developmental competence of the reconstructed embryos was monitored. The cell number and allocation in blastocysts were determined by differential staining. The Bax, E-cad, IF-tau, Hsp (heat shock protein) 70, Igf2r (insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor), DNMT (DNA methyltransferase) 1 and Mash (mammalian achaete-scute homologue) 2 genes were selected for gene expression analysis. The relative abundance (ratio to GAPDH mRNA) of gene transcripts in blastocysts was measured by semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. In experiment 1, development of SCNT preimplantation embryos and the cell numbers of inner cell masses and trophoblasts were not different among SCNT embryos derived from different cell types. In experiment 2, the relative expression of GAPDH and Hsp 70 transcripts was similar in all embryos. The expression of Bax, Igf2r and Mash2 transcripts was significantly increased in SCNT embryos reconstructed with adult fibroblasts. The E-cad transcript levels were reduced in SCNT embryos reconstructed with fetal fibroblasts. Relative abundance of DNMT1 in SCNT embryos derived from fetal fibroblasts was increased, and IF-tau expression in SCNT embryos derived from cumulus cells was increased. In conclusion, depending on the type of donor cells, preimplantation SCNT embryos displayed marked differences in gene expression. This may affect the developmental competence of SCNT embryos reconstructed with different cell types after implantation or during fetal growth in vivo.
The thermal degradation behavior of indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films coated on glass substrates using radio frequency (rf) magnetron sputtering was investigated over the temperature range of 100–400 °C in air. The resistivity of ITO films increases abruptly after the thermal degradation temperature of 250 °C is reached, with a slight increase from 200 to 250 °C. The x-ray photoelectron spectrometry intensity ratio of O/(In + Sn) in thermally degraded ITO films is higher than that in normal films. The carrier concentration gradually decreases up to 200 °C, sharply drops between 200 and 250 °C with increasing temperature, and then saturates from 275 °C. The Hall mobility drops suddenly at 275 °C. The diffusion of oxygen into oxygen interstitials and oxygen vacancies and the chemisorption of oxygen into grain boundaries decrease the carrier concentration and the Hall mobility, respectively. The former mainly affects the resistivity of ITO films below 250 °C, and the later above 250 °C.