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The large-aperture pulse compression grating (PCG) is a critical component in generating an ultra-high-intensity, ultra-short-pulse laser; however, the size of the PCG manufactured by transmission holographic exposure is limited to large-scale high-quality materials. The reflective method is a potential way for solving the size limitation, but there is still no successful precedent due to the lack of scientific specifications and advanced processing technology of exposure mirrors. In this paper, an analytical model is developed to clarify the specifications of components, and advanced processing technology is adopted to control the spatial frequency errors. Hereafter, we have successfully fabricated a multilayer dielectric grating of 200 mm × 150 mm by using an off-axis reflective exposure system with Φ300 mm. This demonstration proves that PCGs can be manufactured by using the reflection holographic exposure method and shows the potential for manufacturing the meter-level gratings used in 100 petawatt class high-power lasers.
Maximizing the energy-loading performance of gratings is a universal theme in high-energy pulse compression. However, sporadic grating designs strongly restrict the development of high-power laser engineering. This study proposes an all- and mixed-dielectric grating design paradigm for Nd:glass-based pulse compressors. The solution regions are classified according to the line density. High diffraction efficiency solutions are described in more detail based on the dispersion amount and incident angle. Moreover, an energy scaling factor of 7.09 times larger than that of the National Ignition Facility’s Advanced Radiographic Capability (NIF-ARC) is obtained by taking advantage of the low electric field intensity at transverse magnetic polarization and a small incident angle. These results make a pioneering contribution to facilitate future 20–50-petawatt-class ultrafast laser systems.
This study aimed to analyze the clinical effects of microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE) surgery combined with an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) regimen in the treatment of non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) patients with different etiologies. In total, 128 NOA patients participated in this study, in which they received infertility treatment by micro-TESE surgery combined with an ICSI regimen, and all patients were divided into three groups [the Klinefelter syndrome (KS), the idiopathic and the secondary NOA groups]. In addition, the sperm retrieval rate (SRR), fertilization rate, embryo development status and clinical treatment effects were analyzed. Among the 128 NOA patients, the SRR of KS NOA patients was 48.65%, those of idiopathic and the secondary patients were 33.82% and 73.91%, respectively. Regardless of etiologies, there was no correlation with age, hormone value or testicular volume. Further analysis showed that the SRR of the KS group was positively related with testosterone (T) values, and the SRR of the secondary group had a positive relationship with follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone values. In the subsequent clinical treatment, the retrieved sperm was subjected to ICSI and achieved good treatment effects, especially in the secondary group, and the implantation rate (55.56%) and clinical pregnancy rate (68.42%) were both higher than those of the idiopathic group (28.75% and 40.00%) and KS group (22.05% and 30.77%). Micro-TESE surgery combined with ICSI insemination is the most effective treatment regimen for NOA patients. The SRR of NOA patients with different etiologies are related to certain specific factors, and micro-TESE surgery seems to be the ideal and only way to have biological children.
Non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA), the most severe type of male infertility, affects approximately 1% of men worldwide. However, the aetiology of most NOA cases is not definite, that is defined as idiopathic NOA (INOA), posing a clinical conundrum worldwide. Most of these patients must receive donor sperm treatment until the emergence of microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE). Although this procedure has recently become a promising treatment for INOA, the low sperm retrieval rate and testicular trauma have prompted us to explore appropriate non-invasive molecular biomarkers to predict the outcomes of sperm recovery preoperatively. Previous studies have identified a spectrum of biomarkers to address this challenging issue at various levels in different tissues, such as DNAs, RNAs, protein and steroid levels in the blood and seminal fluid. To better understand and assess the predictive values of diverse molecular biomarkers from different tissues on the outcome of sperm retrieval by micro-TESE in patients with INOA, we summarised recent findings and discussed the potential applications of these methods. The ultimate goal of this study was to provide references for further studies and clinical management.
To explore whether embryo culture with melatonin (MT) can improve the embryonic development and clinical outcome of patients with repeated cycles after in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) failure, immature oocytes from controlled ovarian superovulation cycles were collected for in vitro maturation (IVM) and ICSI. The obtained embryos were cultured in 0, 10–11, 10–9, 10–7 and 10–5 M MT medium respectively, and 10–9 M was screened out as the optimal concentration. Subsequently, 140 patients who underwent failed IVF/ICSI cycles received 140 cycles of embryo culture in vitro with a medium containing 10–9 M MT, these 140 MT culture cycles were designated as the experimental group (10–9 M group), and the control group was the previous failed cycles of patients (0 M group). The results showed that the fertilization, cleavage, high-quality embryo, blastocyst, and high-quality blastocyst rates of the 10–9 M group were significantly higher than those of the 0 M group (P < 0.01; P < 0.01; P < 0.0001; P < 0.0001; P < 0.0001). To date, in total, 50 vitrified-warmed cycle transfers have been performed in the 10–9 M group and the implantation rate, biochemical pregnancy rate and clinical pregnancy rate were significantly higher than those in the 0 M group (all P < 0.0001). Two healthy infants were delivered successfully and the other 18 women who achieved clinical pregnancy also had good examination indexes. Therefore the application of 10–9 M MT to embryo cultures in vitro improved embryonic development in patients with repeated cycles after failed IVF/ICSI cycles and had good clinical outcomes.
To explore whether different polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) concentrations affect the results of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a prospective study was conducted for 194 couples undergoing 210 ICSI therapy cycles. These cycles were divided into three groups (10, 7 and 5% groups) using the corresponding concentration of PVP for sperm immobilization. The main outcome measures were analyzed. Results indicated that, with a decrease in PVP concentrations, all of the main outcome measures increased. In particular, the high-quality cleavage embryo rate in the 7% group was significantly lower than in the 5% group (P < 0.01), and the cleavage, high-quality cleavage embryo, and high-quality blastocyst rates in the 5% group were significantly higher than those in the 10% group (all P < 0.001). For high-/intermediate-quality semen, all of the main outcome measures were significantly increased with 5% PVP. For the poor-quality semen, only the high-quality cleavage embryo and high-quality blastocyst rates were significantly higher in the 5% group. Therefore, lowering PVP concentrations greatly promoted the development of embryos in ICSI cycles, with an optimal concentration of 5% for ICSI.
The principal pathway for the movement of water and cryoprotectants in oocytes/embryos at various stages helps in the selection of suitable cryoprotectant(s) and optimal conditions for cryopreservation. The permeability to water and cryoprotectants of mammalian oocytes/embryos can be measured as changes in volume in hypertonic solutions containing sucrose or cryoprotectant. A longer exposure to the cryoprotectant solution(s) would be necessary to dehydrate the cells and allow the cryoprotectant(s) to permeate sufficiently. For vitrification of oocytes/early embryos, a two-step treatment would be effective, in which oocytes/embryos are first pretreated in a solution containing a low concentration of cryoprotectant for permeation in less toxic conditions, and then in the vitrification solution for a short time to cause the embryos to shrink by rapid dehydration. Conditions suitable for the cryopreservation of mammalian oocytes and embryos differ among maturational/developmental stages even in the same species.
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