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See detailImproved performances of intraocular lenses by poly(ethylene glycol) chemical coatings
Bozukova, Dimitriya ULg; Pagnoulle, Christophe; Gillet, Marie-Claire ULg et al

in Biomacromolecules (2007), 8(8), 2379-2387

Cataract surgery is a routine ophthalmologic intervention resulting in replacement of the opacified natural lens by a polymeric intraocular lens (IOL). A main postoperative complication, as a result of ... [more ▼]

Cataract surgery is a routine ophthalmologic intervention resulting in replacement of the opacified natural lens by a polymeric intraocular lens (IOL). A main postoperative complication, as a result of protein adsorption and lens epithelial cell (LEC) adhesion, growth, and proliferation, is the secondary cataract, referred to as posterior capsular opacification (PCO). To avoid PCO formation, a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chemical coating was created on the surface of hydrogel IOLs. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, “captive bubble” and “water droplet” contact angle measurements, and atomic force microscopy analyses proved the covalent grafting of the PEG chains on the IOL surface while keeping unchanged the optical properties of the initial material. A strong decrease of protein adsorption and cell adhesion depending on the molar mass of the grafted PEG (1100, 2000, and 5000 g/mol) was observed by performing the relevant in vitro tests with green fluorescent protein and LECs, respectively. Thus, the study provides a facile method for developing materials with nonfouling properties, particularly IOLs. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved phase segmentation using RGB imaging
Tarquini, Simone; Pirard, Eric ULg

(1996)

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See detailImproved Policy Support Through Segmentation Based on Social Acceptance
Cools, Mario ULg; Brijs, Kris; Tormans, Hans et al

in Proceedings of the 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (DVD-ROM) (2011)

This paper proposes Q-methodology as a technique for the identification of more homogeneous subgroups or ‘segments’ within a rather heterogeneous overall population when it comes to social acceptance of ... [more ▼]

This paper proposes Q-methodology as a technique for the identification of more homogeneous subgroups or ‘segments’ within a rather heterogeneous overall population when it comes to social acceptance of demand restricting policy measures. Identification of such segments would allow policy makers to better tailor their future actions and thereby increase the chance for a successful implementation of the measures they propose. A set of 33 persons, selected in function of age, gender and car ownership evaluated the acceptability of a total number of 42 demand restricting policy measures. Special care was taken that the final set of statements covered the four classically distinguished demand restricting strategies, i.e., improved transport options, incentives for the use of alternative transport modes, parking and land-use management, and institutional policy revision. In addition, a balance between both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ and ‘push’ and ‘pull’ measures was strived for. The results indicate that four different segments in terms of social acceptance of demand restricting policy measures, can be distinguished, i.e., travelers in favor of traffic calming, travelers against hard push measures, travelers in favor of demand restriction, and travelers against policy innovations. Besides the differences and similarities between these segments, the practical implications for policy makers are discussed, together with a series of specific recommendations and suggestions for future research. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved precision on the radius of the nearby super-Earth 55 Cnc e
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B.-O.; Benneke, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 539

We report on new transit photometry for the super-Earth 55 Cnc e obtained with Warm Spitzer/IRAC at 4.5 microns. An individual analysis of these new data leads to a planet radius of 2.21-0.16+0.15 Rearth ... [more ▼]

We report on new transit photometry for the super-Earth 55 Cnc e obtained with Warm Spitzer/IRAC at 4.5 microns. An individual analysis of these new data leads to a planet radius of 2.21-0.16+0.15 Rearth, in good agreement with the values previously derived from the MOST and Spitzer transit discovery data. A global analysis of both Spitzer transit time-series improves the precision on the radius of the planet at 4.5 microns to 2.20+-0.12 Rearth. We also performed an independent analysis of the MOST data, paying particular attention to the influence of the systematic effects of instrumental origin on the derived parameters and errors by including them in a global model instead of performing a preliminary detrending-filtering processing. We deduce from this reanalysis of MOST data an optical planet radius of 2.04+-0.15 Rearth that is consistent with our Spitzer infrared radius. Assuming the achromaticity of the transit depth, we performed a global analysis combining Spitzer and MOST data that results in a planet radius of 2.17+-0.10 Rearth (13,820+-620 km). These results confirm that the most probable composition of 55 Cnc e is an envelope of supercritical water above a rocky nucleus. [less ▲]

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See detailAn improved preparation method of benzyl and thenyl triphenylphosphonium salt
Zhang, Jian-Xin; Dubois, Philippe ULg; Jérôme, Robert ULg

in Synthetic Communications (1996), 26(16), 3091-3095

New benzyl and thenyl phosphonium salts have been prepared by an improved method in solution from the parent alcohols and triphenylphosphine hydrobromide. Benzyl-type alcohols containing a tertiary amine ... [more ▼]

New benzyl and thenyl phosphonium salts have been prepared by an improved method in solution from the parent alcohols and triphenylphosphine hydrobromide. Benzyl-type alcohols containing a tertiary amine can also be converted within high yields to phosphonium salts by removing the formed water by azeotropic distillation. Solvent (methylene chloride, chloroform and acetonitrile) and temperature have been chosen in close relation to the alcohol reactivity. Purification is straightforward and yields are relatively high. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved PRESS sequence for lactate detection in the human vitreous body
Balteau, Evelyne ULg; COLLIGNON, Nathalie ULg; Robe, Pierre ULg et al

in Proceedings of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (2006), 14

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See detailAn Improved Protocol for Efficient Engraftment in NOD/ LTSZ-SCIDIL-2RcNULL Mice Allows HIV Replication and Development of Anti-HIV Immune Responses
Singh, Maneesh; Singh; Gaudray et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(6), 38491

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rcnull (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rcnull (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long-term HIV-1 ... [more ▼]

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rcnull (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rcnull (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long-term HIV-1 replication studies. Total body irradiation (TBI) is a classical myeloablation regimen used to improve engraftment levels of human cells in these humanized mice. Some recent reports suggest the use of busulfan as a myeloablation regimen to transplant HPCs in neonatal and adult NSG mice. In the present study, we further ameliorated the busulfan myeloablation regimen with fresh CB-CD34+cell transplantation in 3–4 week old NSG mice. In this CB-CD34+transplanted NSG mice engraftment efficiency of human CD45+cell is over 90% in peripheral blood. Optimal engraftment promoted early and increased CD3+T cell levels, with better lymphoid tissue development and prolonged human cell chimerism over 300 days. These humanized NSG mice have shown long-lasting viremia after HIV-1JRCSF and HIV-1Bal inoculation through intravenous and rectal routes. We also saw a gradual decline of the CD4+T cell count, widespread immune activation, up-regulation of inflammation marker and microbial translocation after HIV-1 infection. Humanized NSG mice reconstituted according to our new protocol produced, moderate cellular and humoral immune responses to HIV-1 postinfection. We believe that NSG mice reconstituted according to our easy to use protocol will provide a better in vivo model for HIV-1 replication and anti-HIV-1 therapy trials. [less ▲]

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See detailAn improved protocol for efficient engraftment in NOD/LTSZ-SCIDIL-2Rgammanull mice allows HIV replication and development of anti-HIV immune responses.
Singh, Maneesh; Singh, Pratibha; Gaudray, Gilles et al

in PloS one (2012), 7(6), 38491

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rgamma(null) (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rgamma(null) (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long ... [more ▼]

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rgamma(null) (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rgamma(null) (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long-term HIV-1 replication studies. Total body irradiation (TBI) is a classical myeloablation regimen used to improve engraftment levels of human cells in these humanized mice. Some recent reports suggest the use of busulfan as a myeloablation regimen to transplant HPCs in neonatal and adult NSG mice. In the present study, we further ameliorated the busulfan myeloablation regimen with fresh CB-CD34+cell transplantation in 3-4 week old NSG mice. In this CB-CD34+transplanted NSG mice engraftment efficiency of human CD45+cell is over 90% in peripheral blood. Optimal engraftment promoted early and increased CD3+T cell levels, with better lymphoid tissue development and prolonged human cell chimerism over 300 days. These humanized NSG mice have shown long-lasting viremia after HIV-1JRCSF and HIV-1Bal inoculation through intravenous and rectal routes. We also saw a gradual decline of the CD4+T cell count, widespread immune activation, up-regulation of inflammation marker and microbial translocation after HIV-1 infection. Humanized NSG mice reconstituted according to our new protocol produced, moderate cellular and humoral immune responses to HIV-1 postinfection. We believe that NSG mice reconstituted according to our easy to use protocol will provide a better in vivo model for HIV-1 replication and anti-HIV-1 therapy trials. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved pulmonary adaptation in newborn calves with postnatal acidosis
Varga, J.; Mester, L.; Borzsonyi, L. et al

in Veterinary Journal (2001), 162

The adaptation of newborn calves to extra-uterine life was evaluated by measuring arterial blood gases, acidÐbase values, blood ions and lung mechanical function parameters in normal and acidotic calves ... [more ▼]

The adaptation of newborn calves to extra-uterine life was evaluated by measuring arterial blood gases, acidÐbase values, blood ions and lung mechanical function parameters in normal and acidotic calves during the first 24 h. Twenty-seven Holstein Friesian newborn calves were divided into two groups according to their immediate post partum arterial blood pH values (Group A blood pH ≥ 7.2: normal group; Group B blood pH between 7.2 and 7.0: acidotic group). Pulmonary function parameters were measured and arterial blood samples were analysed for blood gases, acidÐbase variables and ion content immediately post partum (within 2 min) and then 6 and 24 h after calving. Lung resistance and maximal difference between pressure maximum and pressure minimum (maxδPpl) decreased, while dynamic lung compliance increased significantly in both groups. Immediately post partum the lung resistance and maxδPpl were significantly higher in the acidotic group than in the normal group. The arterial blood pH progressively compensated with time in both groups during the first 24 h and there was no difference in arterial blood pH values between the two groups 6 h after birth. These results showed that the compensation of acidosis was associated with the improvement in lung mechanics and these changes occurred mainly during the first 6 h of life. Moderate to pronounced acidosis did not affect the pulmonary adaptation negatively, although some respiratory mechanics parameters (maxδPpl), blood pH and Ca2+ion concentrations remained significantly different between the normal and acidotic groups at 24 h. This might be the result of overcompensation of acidosis and the interdependence between blood pH and Ca2+concentrations. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved Quantification of Angiogenesis in the Rat Aortic Ring Assay
Blacher, Silvia ULg; Devy, L.; Burbridge, M. F. et al

in Angiogenesis (2001), 4(2), 133-42

In vitro angiogenesis assays are essential for the identification of potential angiogenic agents and screening for pharmacological inhibitors. Among these assays, the rat aortic ring model developed by ... [more ▼]

In vitro angiogenesis assays are essential for the identification of potential angiogenic agents and screening for pharmacological inhibitors. Among these assays, the rat aortic ring model developed by Nicosia bridges the gap between in vivo and in vitro models. The quantification of angiogenesis on this system must be applicable to characterise vascular networks of various states of complexity. We present here an improved computer-assisted image analysis which allows: (1) the determination of the aortic ring area and its factor shape; (2) the number of microvessels, the total number of branchings, the maximal microvessel length and the microvessel distribution; (3) the total number of isolated fibroblast-like cells and their distribution. We show that this method is suitable to quantify spontaneous angiogenesis as well as to analyse a complex microvascular network induced by various concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In addition, by evaluating a new parameter, the fibroblast-like cell distribution, our results show that: (1) during spontaneous angiogenic response, maximal fibroblast-like cell migration delimits microvascular outgrowth; and (2) the known angiogenic inhibitor Batimastat prevents endothelial cell sprouting without completely blocking fibroblast-like cell migration. Finally, this new method of quantification is of great interest to better understand angiogenesis and to test pro- or anti-angiogenic agents. [less ▲]

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See detailAn improved radioimmunoassay for measurement of pepsinogen in porcine blood samples
Banga-Mboko, Henri; Sulon, Joseph ULg; Lange, J. M. et al

in Veterinary Journal (2003), 165(3), 288-295

The study was conducted to develop a sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay (RIA) for the measurement of pepsinogen in porcine serum, and to use this test for the determination of pepsinogen ... [more ▼]

The study was conducted to develop a sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay (RIA) for the measurement of pepsinogen in porcine serum, and to use this test for the determination of pepsinogen concentrations in serum samples from fetuses and pigs of different ages. Compared to a previously described RIA, major improvements were made concerning the use of specific polyclonal antibodies and the use of an appropriate buffer. The assay was able to detect pepsinogen concentrations of >/=0.2 ng/mL. The recovery of pepsinogen was close to 95%. The intra-assay coefficients of variations ranged between 3.9 and 7.5% whereas the interassay ranged between 8.8 and 11.9%. These percentages correspond to a satisfactory accuracy and reproducibility of the assay. No cross-reactions were observed with the main commercially available products of the aspartic proteases family except porcine pepsin cross-reacted over 62.5 microg/mL. Pepsinogen concentrations increased steadily with increasing age of the fetuses and the pigs (P<0.05). Pepsinogen concentrations (+/-SE) in fetuses of 90-100 (n=24) and 100-110 days of pregnancy (n=36) were 0.5+/-0.1 and 5.3+/-1.3 ng/mL, respectively. In pigs of 21, 98, and 213 days of age, the pepsinogen concentrations were 290.6+/-10.8, 343.1+/-17.9 and 383.5+/-15.3 ng/mL, respectively. The results demonstrate that RIA is accurate and can be used easily to assess pepsinogen concentrations in pig sera. The test may constitute a valuable tool in epidemiological surveys and in studies related to gastric diseases in pigs. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved rank-based dependence measures for categorical data
Vandenhende, François; Lambert, Philippe ULg

in Statistics & Probability Letters (2003), 63

We extend rank-based dependence measures like Spearman's rho to categorical data so that the same ±1 limits are always reached under complete dependence. A goodness-of-fit procedure is derived for ... [more ▼]

We extend rank-based dependence measures like Spearman's rho to categorical data so that the same ±1 limits are always reached under complete dependence. A goodness-of-fit procedure is derived for dependence models using copulas. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved RAPD amplification of recalcitrant plant DNA by the use of activated charcoal during DNA extraction.
Vroh Bi, I.; Harvengt, L.; Chandelier, A. et al

in Plant Breeding (1996), 115(3),

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See detailAn Improved Reachability Analysis Method for Strongly Linear Hybrid Systems
Boigelot, Bernard ULg; Bronne, Louis; Rassart, Stéphane

in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (1997), 1254

This paper addresses the exact computation of the set of reachable states of a linear hybrid system. It proposes an approach that is an extension of classical state-space exploration. This approach uses a ... [more ▼]

This paper addresses the exact computation of the set of reachable states of a linear hybrid system. It proposes an approach that is an extension of classical state-space exploration. This approach uses a new operation, based on a cycle analysis in the control graph of the system, for generating sets of reachable states, as well as a powerful representation system for sets of values. The method broadens the range of hybrid systems for which a finite and exact representation of the set of reachable states can be computed. In particular, the state-space exploration may be performed even if the set of variable values reachable at a given control location cannot be expressed as a finite union of convex regions. The technique is illustrated on a very simple example. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved separation and quantification of dioxin and furan congeners using Novel low-bleed capillary gas chromatography columns and mass spectrometry
Dorman, Frank; Reese, Shawn; Reiner, Eric et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2004), 66

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See detailImproved separation of the 209 PCBs using GCxGC-TOFMS
Focant, Jean-François ULg; Sjödin, Andreas; Patterson, Donald G.

in Organohalogen Compounds (2004), 66

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See detailImproved separation of the 209 polychlorinated biphenyl congeners using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry
Focant, Jean-François ULg; Sjödin, Andreas; Patterson, Donald G.

in Journal of Chromatography. A (2004), 1040(2), 227-238

The separation of the 209 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners has been studied using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC x GC-TOFMS). Four ... [more ▼]

The separation of the 209 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners has been studied using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC x GC-TOFMS). Four column combinations based on thermally stable phases, DB-1/HT-8, DB-XLB/HT-8, DB-XLB/BPX-50, and HT-8/BPX-50, have been investigated. The HT-8/BPX-50 set produced the best separation. The distribution of the 100 to 150 ms wide peaks was highly structured in the chromatographic space and based on the degree of ortho-substitution within each separated homologue series. A total of 192 congeners were resolved in 146 min (1.3 analyte per min) using this column set. Eight coelutions involved 17 congeners. Among them, seven congeners were present in Aroclors at levels >1.0 wt.% (CBs 33, 47, 48, 95, 97, 163, 187). Except for CBs 47 and 48, none of the major constituents of commercial mixtures were coeluting. CB 138 was well separated from CBs 163 and 164 in the second dimension. For all column sets, CBs 20, 33, and 109 always coeluted with other PCBs. The 12 toxic dioxin-like congeners (CBs 77, 81, 105, 114, 118, 123, 126, 156, 157, 167, 169, 189), and the seven European Union marker PCBs (CBs 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, 180) were separated from any interfering congeners. This was not the case for the other investigated column sets. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved shimming for fMRI specifically optimizing the local BOLD sensitivity
Balteau, Evelyne ULg; Hutton, Chloe; Weiskopf, Nikolaus

in NeuroImage (2010), 49

In functional MRI, magnetic field inhomogeneities due to air-tissue susceptibility differences may lead to severe signal dropouts and geometric distortions in echo-planar images. Therefore, the ... [more ▼]

In functional MRI, magnetic field inhomogeneities due to air-tissue susceptibility differences may lead to severe signal dropouts and geometric distortions in echo-planar images. Therefore, the inhomogeneities in the field are routinely minimized by shimming prior to imaging. However in fMRI, the Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) effect is the measure of interest, so the BOLD sensitivity (BS) should be optimized rather than the magnetic field homogeneity. The analytical expression for an estimate of the BOLD sensitivity has been recently developed, allowing for the computation of BOLD sensitivity maps from echo-planar images and field maps. This report describes a novel shimming procedure that optimizes the local BOLD sensitivity over a region of interest. The method is applied in vivo and compared to a standard global shimming procedure. A breath-holding experiment was carried out and demonstrated that the BS-based shimming significantly improved the detection of activation in a target region of interest, the medial orbitofrontal cortex. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved spectral fitting of nitrogen dioxide from OMI in the 405-465 nm window
van Geffen, J H G M; Boersma, K F; Van Roozendael, M et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. Papers in Open Discussion (2014), 7

An improved nitrogen dioxide (NO2) slant column density retrieval for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) in the 405–465 nm spectral region is presented. Since the launch of OMI on board NASA's EOS-Aura ... [more ▼]

An improved nitrogen dioxide (NO2) slant column density retrieval for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) in the 405–465 nm spectral region is presented. Since the launch of OMI on board NASA's EOS-Aura satellite in 2004, DOAS retrievals of NO2 slant column densities have been the starting point for the KNMI DOMINO (v2.0) and NASA SP (v2.1) retrievals. However, recent intercomparisons between NO2 retrievals from OMI and other UV/Vis and limb spectrometers, as well as ground-based measurements, clearly suggested that OMI stratospheric NO2 is biased high. This study revises the OMI NO2 retrieval in detail. The representation of the OMI slit function to convolve high-resolution reference spectra onto the relevant spectral grid is improved. The window used for the wavelength calibration is optimised, leading to much-reduced fitting errors. Ozone and water vapour spectra used in the fit are updated, reflecting the recently improved knowledge on their absorption cross section as documented in the literature. The improved spectral fit also accounts for absorption by the O2–O2 collision complex and by liquid water over clear-water areas. The main changes in the improved spectral fitting result from the updates related to the wavelength calibration: the RMS error of the fit is reduced by 23% and the NO2 slant column by 0.85 × 1015 molec cm-2, independent of latitude, solar zenith angle and NO2 value. Including O2–O2 and liquid water absorption and updating the O3 and water vapour cross-section spectra further reduces NO2 slant columns on average by 0.35 × 1015 molec cm-2, accompanied with a further 9% reduction in the RMS error of the fit. The improved OMI NO2 slant columns are consistent with independent NO2 retrievals to within a range that can be explained by photo-chemically driven diurnal increases in stratospheric NO2 and by small differences in fitting window and fitting approach. The revisions indicate that current OMI NO2 slant columns suffered mostly from an additive, positive offset that is removed by the improved wavelength calibration and representation of the OMI slit function. It is therefore anticipated that the improved NO2 slant columns are most important to retrievals of spatially homogeneous stratospheric NO2 rather than to heterogeneous tropospheric NO2. [less ▲]

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