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In the treatment of infertile patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) caused by the deletion of the azoospermia factor c region (AZFc) on the Y chromosome, synchronous and asynchronous surgical strategies are discussed. Clinical data from NOA patients with the AZFc deletion who underwent micro-TESE were analyzed retrospectively. The sperm retrieval rate (SRR) and sperm utilization rate of synchronous and asynchronous operation groups were followed up and compared. The fertilization rate, high-quality embryo rate, clinical pregnancy rate, abortion rate, and cumulative live birth rate of ICSI in patients with successful sperm retrieval were compared between the two groups. The two groups had sperm utilization rates of 98.9% (93/94) and 50.0% (14/28), respectively. The asynchronous group’s sperm consumption rates were much lower than those of the synchronous operation group. Fertilization rate, high-quality embryo rate, clinical pregnancy rate of fresh transfer cycle, abortion rate, and cumulative live birth rate of patients in the synchronous operation group with fresh sperm, and the asynchronous operation group with thawed sperm, respectively, were 30.6% vs 33.8%, 33.8% vs 40.7%, 40.0% vs 12.5%, 30.4% vs 7.1%. Between the two groups, there was no significant difference. This suggests that individuals with NOA caused by the AZFc deletion have a high possibility of successfully acquiring sperm using micro-TESE and ICSI to conceive their own offspring. Synchronous micro-TESE is recommended to improve sperm utilization rate and the cumulative live birth rate.
The topological structure of a parallel manipulator (PM) determines its intrinsic topological properties (TPs). The TPs further determine essential kinematic and dynamic properties of the mechanism. TPs can be expressed through topological characteristics indexes (TCI). Therefore, defining a set of TCIs is an important issue to evaluate the TPs of PMs. This article addresses the evaluation of topological properties (ETP) of PMs based on TCI. A general and effective ETP method for PMs is proposed. Firstly, 12 TCIs are proposed, including 8 quantitative TCIs, that is, position and orientation characteristics sets (POC), dimension of the POC set, degrees of freedom (DOF), number of independent displacement equations, types and number of an Assur kinematic chain (AKC), coupling degrees of the AKCs, degrees of redundancy and the number of overs; as well as 4 qualitative TCIs, that is, selection of actuated joints, identification of inactive joints, DOF type and Input–Output motion decoupling. Secondly, the ETP method is illustrated by evaluating some well-known PMs including the Delta, Tricept, Exechon, Z3, H4 and the Gough–Stewart platform manipulators, as well as 28 other typical PMs. Via the ETP analysis of these mechanisms also some valuable design knowledge is derived and guidelines for the design of PMs are established. Finally, a 5-DOF decoupled hybrid spraying robot is developed by applying the design knowledge and the design guidelines derived from the ETP analysis.
The LiCoO2 films were directly deposited on stainless steel (SS) using medium-frequency magnetron sputtering, and the effects of annealing parameters, such as ambiences, temperatures, holding times, and heating rates, were systematically compared based on surface morphologies, crystal structures, and electrochemical properties. The results demonstrate that an aerobic atmosphere with 3.5 Pa is the most important parameter to maintain the performance of LiCoO2 films. The influence of the annealing temperature (>550 °C) ranks second because the formed (101) or (104) planes of LiCoO2 facilitate Li+ migration. A short holding time of 20 min and a moderate heating rate of 3 °C/min are selected to reduce the oxidation or inter-diffusion between the LiCoO2 films and the SS substrate. Finally, the optimal annealing process is confirmed and corresponds to the initial discharge capacity of 37.56 μA h/(cm2 μm) and the capacity retention of 83.81% at the 50th cycle.
The Hudesheng mafic–ultramafic intrusions are located in the Oulongbuluke Block, north of the Qaidam Block in Qinghai Province, NW China. We carried out a detailed study of the intrusions, including field observations, petrology, zircon U–Pb geochronology, Lu–Hf isotopes, bulk-rock major- and trace-element geochemistry, and mineral compositions, to provide a better understanding of their properties and the regional tectonic evolution. Zircon U–Pb dating on gabbro and pyroxenite samples yielded ages of 465 and 455 Ma, respectively. Geochemical data, in conjunction with the field observations and petrological features, suggest that the complex is Alaskan-type and the magma was derived from a depleted mantle source that was hydrous picritic basalt in composition and influenced by crustal contamination and slab-derived fluid metasomatism. Based on all the chronological, petrological, mineralogical and geochemical and regional geological data, we conclude that the palaeo-ocean closed diachronously from west to east between the Qaidam and Oulongbuluke blocks, and that the ocean in the east of the North Qaidam region closed after ∼455 Ma.
Manganese sulfides (MnS) with a diversity of well-defined morphologies and phases have been successfully synthesized by the solvothermal approach. The phase structure and morphology of MnS could readily be tuned by adjusting the sulfur sources and solvents. Hollow γ-MnS spheres were obtained by treating L-cysteine and manganese source in ethylene glycol (EG) at 200 °C for 2 h, whereas a replacement of the mixture solvent by EG and deionized water yields the hierarchical flower-like γ-MnS. γ-MnS tubes were also produced under the same condition by using diethylene glycol and deionized water as solvents. When thioacetamide used as the sulfur source and oleylamine used as the solvent, monodisperse α-MnS nanoparticles with the mean diameter of 17 nm could be synthesized successfully. The phase structures, sizes, and morphologies of samples were investigated in detail by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The UV-vis absorption peak and the width of band gap with different morphologies of the as-prepared MnS were measured. The samples described in this paper are promising to be utilized in solar cells, biomedicine, short wavelength electronic devices, photocatalysis, and other fields.
A sample of 28 oxygen-rich evolved stars is selected based on the presence of crystalline silicate emission features in their ISO/SWS spectra. The crystallinity, measured as the flux fraction of crystalline silicate features, is found not to be related to mass loss rate that is derived from fitting the spectral energy distribution.
This paper addresses the application of engineered nanocrystalline ultrahydrophilic titanium oxide films to artificial orthopaedic implants. Titanium (Ti) is the material of choice for orthopaedic applications and has been used for over fifty years because of its known bio-compatibility. Recently it was shown that biocompatibility of Ti metal is due to the presence of a thin native sub-stoichiometric titanium oxide layer  which enhances the adsorption of mediating proteins on the surface thus enhancing cell adhesion and growth [2,3,4]. Improving the quality of surface oxide, i.e. fabricating stoichiometric oxides as well as nanoengineering the surface topology that matches the dimensions of adhesive proteins, is crucial for the increase of protein adsorption  and, as a result, the biocompatibility of Ti implant materials. We have fabricated ultrahydrophilic nano-crystalline transparent films of anatase phase of titania (TiO2) by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) processes in an ultrahigh vacuum system. Source material was 99.9% pure rutile TiO2. Various ion beam conditions were used to produce these coatings with different grain sizes (4 to 70 nm) that affect the wettability, roughness, and the mechanical and optical properties of the coating . Our biological experiments have shown that biocompatibility of these ultrahydrophilic nanoengineered TiO2 coatings are superior to commonly used orthopaedic titanium and even hydroxyapatite.
Mg2Ni1-xCux (x = 0, 0.2, 0.4) and Mg2Ni1-yCoy (y = 0, 0.2, 0.4) were successfully synthesized via two steps: induction melting and then ball milling. The component and microstructure of the alloys were determined with x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy/x-ray energy-dispersive spectrometry (SEM/XEDS). Mg2Ni phase was observed in all 5 alloys. When the amount of Cu was increased, it led to the formation of phase from Mg2Cu to Cu11Mg10Ni9. Co2Mg was detected in the Co-containing alloys. The hydrogen absorption/desorption properties were tested with p-C-T measurement apparatus, and the results showed that the gaseous storage properties of the alloys were improved by the addition of Cu or Co.
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