Cardiomyocyte subdomain contractility arising from microenvironmental stiffness and topography.
ABSTRACT: Cellular structure and function are interdependent. To understand this relationship in beating heart cells, individual neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) were analyzed one and 3 days after plating when cultured on different stiffness (100, 400 kPa) and surface structures (flat or [Formula: see text] high, [Formula: see text] diameter, microposts spaced [Formula: see text] apart) manufactured from polydimethylsiloxane. Myofibril structure seen by immunohistochemistry was organized in three dimensions when NRVMs were attached to microposts. On day three, paxillin distribution near the post serving as cellular anchorage was quantified on both soft posts (12.04 % of total voxel count) and stiff posts (8.16 %). Living NRVMs were analyzed using line scans for sarcomeric shortening and shortening velocity, and traction force microscopy for surface stress and surface tension. One day after plating, NRVMs shortened more on soft posts ([Formula: see text] at [Formula: see text]) compared to either soft flat ([Formula: see text] at [Formula: see text]), stiff posts ([Formula: see text] at [Formula: see text]) or stiff flat ([Formula: see text] at [Formula: see text]). NRVMs have decreased shortening and shortening velocity on soft posts ([Formula: see text] at [Formula: see text]) compared to soft flat ([Formula: see text] at [Formula: see text]) substrates. The surface stress and surface tension increased over time for both soft post ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]) and flat ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]) substrates. Paxillin displacement during contraction on day three was significantly greater in NRVMs attached to soft posts [Formula: see text] compared to flat [Formula: see text] substrates. The volume and time creating four-dimensional data, interpreted by structural engineering theory, demonstrate subdomain structure is maintained by the counterbalance between the external load acting upon and the internal forces generated by the cardiomyocyte. These findings provide further insight into localized regulation of cellular mechanical function.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Telomere shortening is associated with early mortality and chronic disease. Recent studies indicate that environmental exposures, including urban and traffic-related air pollution, may shorten telomeres. Associations between exposure to household air pollution from solid fuel stoves and telomere length have not been evaluated.<h4>Methods</h4>Among 137 rural Chinese women using biomass stoves ([Formula: see text] of age), we measured 48-h personal exposures to fine particulate matter [PM [Formula: see text] in aerodynamic diameter ([Formula: see text])] and black carbon and collected oral DNA on up to three occasions over a period of 2.5 y. Relative telomere length (RTL) was quantified using a modified real-time polymerase chain reaction protocol. Mixed effects regression models were used to investigate the exposure–response associations between household air pollution and RTL, adjusting for key sociodemographic, behavioral, and environmental covariates.<h4>Results</h4>Women's daily exposures to air pollution ranged from [Formula: see text] for [Formula: see text] ([Formula: see text]) and [Formula: see text] for black carbon ([Formula: see text]). Natural cubic spline models indicated a mostly linear association between increased exposure to air pollution and shorter RTL, except at very high concentrations where there were few observations. We thus modeled the linear associations with all observations, excluding the highest 3% and 5% of exposures. In covariate-adjusted models, an interquartile range (IQR) increase in exposure to black carbon ([Formula: see text]) was associated with shorter RTL [all observations: [Formula: see text] (95% CI: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]); excluding highest 5% exposures: [Formula: see text] (95% CI: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text])]. Further adjustment for outdoor temperature brought the estimates closer to zero [all observations: [Formula: see text] (95% CI: [Formula: see text], 0.06); excluding highest 5% exposures: [Formula: see text] (95% CI: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text])]. Models with [Formula: see text] as the exposure metric followed a similar pattern.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Telomere shortening, which is a biomarker of biological aging and chronic disease, may be associated with exposure to air pollution in settings where household biomass stoves are commonly used. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP4041.
Project description:The angular distribution of [Formula: see text] ([Formula: see text]) depends on two parameters, the lepton forward-backward asymmetry, [Formula: see text], and the flat term, [Formula: see text]. Both are strongly suppressed in the standard model and constitute sensitive probes of tensor and scalar contributions. We use the latest experimental results for [Formula: see text] in combination with the branching ratio of [Formula: see text] to derive the strongest model-independent bounds on tensor and scalar effective couplings to date. The measurement of [Formula: see text] provides a complementary constraint to that of the branching ratio of [Formula: see text] and allows us - for the first time - to constrain all complex-valued (pseudo-)scalar couplings and their chirality-flipped counterparts in one fit. Based on Bayesian fits of various scenarios, we find that our bounds even become tighter when vector couplings are allowed to deviate from the standard model and that specific combinations of angular observables in [Formula: see text] are still allowed to be up to two orders of magnitude larger than in the standard model, which would place them in the region of LHCb's sensitivity.
Project description:A coarse-grained model is used to study the mechanical response of 35 virus capsids of symmetries T?=?1, T?=?2, T?=?3, pseudo T?=?3, T?=?4, and T?=?7. The model is based on the native structure of the proteins that constitute the capsids and is described in terms of the C[Formula: see text] atoms associated with each amino acid. The number of these atoms ranges between 8 460 (for SPMV - satellite panicum mosaic virus) and 135 780 (for NBV - nudaureli virus). Nanoindentation by a broad AFM tip is modeled as compression between two planes: either both flat or one flat and one curved. Plots of the compressive force versus plate separation show a variety of behaviors, but in each case there is an elastic region which extends to a characteristic force [Formula: see text]. Crossing [Formula: see text] results in a drop in the force and irreversible damage. Across the 35 capsids studied, both [Formula: see text] and the elastic stiffness are observed to vary by a factor of 20. The changes in mechanical properties do not correlate simply with virus size or symmetry. There is a strong connection to the mean coordination number [Formula: see text], defined as the mean number of interactions to neighboring amino acids. The Young's modulus for thin shell capsids rises roughly quadratically with [Formula: see text], where 6 is the minimum coordination for elastic stability in three dimensions.
Project description:We derive more than 80 embeddings of 2D hyperbolic honeycombs in Euclidean 3 space, forming 3-periodic infinite polyhedra with cubic symmetry. All embeddings are "minimally frustrated," formed by removing just enough isometries of the (regular, but unphysical) 2D hyperbolic honeycombs [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], and [Formula: see text] to allow embeddings in Euclidean 3 space. Nearly all of these triangulated "simplicial polyhedra" have symmetrically identical vertices, and most are chiral. The most symmetric examples include 10 infinite "deltahedra," with equilateral triangular faces, 6 of which were previously unknown and some of which can be described as packings of Platonic deltahedra. We describe also related cubic crystalline packings of equal hyperbolic discs in 3 space that are frustrated analogues of optimally dense hyperbolic disc packings. The 10-coordinated packings are the least "loosened" Euclidean embeddings, although frustration swells all of the hyperbolic disc packings to give less dense arrays than the flat penny-packing even though their unfrustrated analogues in [Formula: see text] are denser.
Project description:The Atacama Large Millimeter Array has allowed a detailed observation of molecules in protoplanetary disks, which can evolve toward solar systems like our own. While CO, [Formula: see text], HCO, and [Formula: see text] are often abundant species in the cold zones of the disk, [Formula: see text] or [Formula: see text] are only found in a few regions, and more-complex organic molecules are not observed. We simulate, experimentally, ice processing in disks under realistic conditions, that is, layered ices irradiated by soft X-rays. X-ray emission from young solar-type stars is thousands of times brighter than that of today's sun. The ice mantle is composed of a [Formula: see text]:[Formula: see text]:[Formula: see text] mixture, covered by a layer made of [Formula: see text] and CO. The photoproducts found desorbing from both ice layers to the gas phase during the irradiation converge with those detected in higher abundances in the gas phase of protoplanetary disks, providing important insights on the nonthermal processes that drive the chemistry in these objects.
Project description:Hemiwicking is the phenomena where a liquid wets a textured surface beyond its intrinsic wetting length due to capillary action and imbibition. In this work, we derive a simple analytical model for hemiwicking in micropillar arrays. The model is based on the combined effects of capillary action dictated by interfacial and intermolecular pressures gradients within the curved liquid meniscus and fluid drag from the pillars at ultra-low Reynolds numbers [Formula: see text]. Fluid drag is conceptualized via a critical Reynolds number: [Formula: see text], where v0 corresponds to the maximum wetting speed on a flat, dry surface and x0 is the extension length of the liquid meniscus that drives the bulk fluid toward the adsorbed thin-film region. The model is validated with wicking experiments on different hemiwicking surfaces in conjunction with v0 and x0 measurements using Water [Formula: see text], viscous FC-70 [Formula: see text] and lower viscosity Ethanol [Formula: see text].
Project description:[Formula: see text] is an intermetallic compound with a bulk Curie temperature ([Formula: see text]) of 6-13 K. While existing studies have focused on [Formula: see text] crystals, amorphous thin-films of [Formula: see text] are potentially important since they would be magnetically soft without magnetocrystalline anisotropy, meaning that small external magnetic fields could reverse the direction of their magnetization. Here, we report [Formula: see text] thin-films with a thickness in the 5-200 nm range, deposited by DC magnetron sputtering onto Si(100). Films are amorphous with a weak temperature-dependent resistivity with values ranging between 150 and 300 [Formula: see text] cm. By means of noise spectroscopy, by analyzing the time-dependence of fluctuation-induced voltages, it is found that at low temperatures the resistance fluctuations are due to the Kondo effect. Volume magnetometry indicates [Formula: see text] K with a magnetic coercive field of 30 mT at 5 K for a 125-nm-thick film. The results are promising for the development of Ferromagnet(F)/Superconductor(S)/Ferromagnet(F) pseudo spin-valve devices based on amorphous [Formula: see text] thin films.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Studies found approximately linear short-term associations between particulate matter (PM) and mortality in Western communities. However, in China, where the urban PM levels are typically considerably higher than in Western communities, some studies suggest nonlinearity in this association. Health impact assessments (HIA) of PM in China have generally not incorporated nonlinearity in the concentration-response (C-R) association, which could result in large discrepancies in estimates of excess deaths if the true association is nonlinear. OBJECTIVES:We investigated nonlinearity in the C-R associations between with PM with aerodynamic diameter [Formula: see text] ([Formula: see text]) and mortality in Beijing, China, and the sensitivity of HIA to linearity assumptions. METHODS:We modeled the C-R association between [Formula: see text] and cause-specific mortality in Beijing, China (2009-2012), using generalized linear models (GLM). [Formula: see text] was included through either linear, piecewise-linear, or spline functions to investigate evidence of nonlinearity. To determine the sensitivity of HIA to linearity assumptions, we estimated [Formula: see text]-attributable deaths using both linear- and nonlinear-based C-R associations between [Formula: see text] and mortality. RESULTS:We found some evidence that, for nonaccidental and circulatory mortality, the shape of the C-R association was relatively flat at lower concentrations of [Formula: see text], but then had a positive slope at higher concentrations, indicating nonlinearity. Conversely, the shape for respiratory mortality was positive and linear at lower concentrations of [Formula: see text], but then leveled off at the higher concentrations. Estimates of excess deaths attributable to short-term [Formula: see text] exposure were, in some cases, very sensitive to the linearity assumption in the association, but in other cases robust to this assumption. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate some evidence of nonlinearity in [Formula: see text]-mortality associations and that an assumption of linearity in this association can influence HIAs, highlighting the importance of understanding potential nonlinearity in the [Formula: see text]-mortality association at the high concentrations of [Formula: see text] in developing megacities like Beijing. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP4464.
Project description:Mixed-order phase transitions display a discontinuity in the order parameter like first-order transitions yet feature critical behavior like second-order transitions. Such transitions have been predicted for a broad range of equilibrium and nonequilibrium systems, but their experimental observation has remained elusive. Here, we analytically predict and experimentally realize a mixed-order equilibrium phase transition. Specifically, a discontinuous solid-solid transition in a 2D crystal of paramagnetic colloidal particles is induced by a magnetic field [Formula: see text] At the transition field [Formula: see text], the energy landscape of the system becomes completely flat, which causes diverging fluctuations and correlation length [Formula: see text] Mean-field critical exponents are predicted, since the upper critical dimension of the transition is [Formula: see text] Our colloidal system provides an experimental test bed to probe the unconventional properties of mixed-order phase transitions.
Project description:The properties of 2D materials can be broadly tuned through alloying and phase and strain engineering. Shape programmable materials offer tremendous functionality, but sub-micron objects are typically unachievable with conventional thin films. Here we propose a new approach, combining phase/strain engineering with shape programming, to form 3D objects by patterned alloying of 2D transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) monolayers. Conjugately, monolayers can be compositionally patterned using non-flat substrates. For concreteness, we focus on the TMD alloy MoSe[Formula: see text]S[Formula: see text]; i.e., MoSeS. These 2D materials down-scale shape/composition programming to nanoscale objects/patterns, provide control of both bending and stretching deformations, are reversibly actuatable with electric fields, and possess the extraordinary and diverse properties of TMDs. Utilizing a first principles-informed continuum model, we demonstrate how a variety of shapes/composition patterns can be programmed and reversibly modulated across length scales. The vast space of possible designs and scales enables novel material properties and thus new applications spanning flexible electronics/optics, catalysis, responsive coatings, and soft robotics.