Cochabamba, Costa Rica

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Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 738.25K | Year: 2011

The hindrances to full use of geospecific imagery are the labor required to create the databases, and limits on the rendering capacity of current image generators (IGs), both in polygon count and texture volume. Our solution is to create modeling tools to automate the application of ISR imagery on geospecific urban geometry and to use advanced rending techniques to visualize dense urban scenes in real time. The modeling tools will aid both current and future systems for out-the-window (OTW) and sensor simulation, providing automatic application of geospecific urban imagery as texture maps on existing 3D geometry from either NPSI OpenFlight models or geometry derived from sensor data, in minutes. The results will be compatible with current database generation tools for use on current IGs. New rendering techniques for next-generation IGs will enable denser urban environments and improve the overall scene quality while still achieving real-time update rates. The modeling tools will support the data formats required for these rendering processes.

Perrin C.,Central University of Costa Rica
American Journal of Dermatopathology | Year: 2013

This second part of the review categorizes the site-specific nail tumors, as proposed in the first part, according to their clinical presentations. Acquired localized longitudinal pachyonychia allows for the specific recognition of onychogenic nail tumor, which can be classified into 2 groups according to the predominant compartment of origin within the nail unit as follows: epithelial tumors encompassing onychocytic matricoma and onychocytic carcinoma, and fibroepithelial tumors: the so-called onychomatricoma. As onychomatricoma is neither an epithelial matrical tumor nor a tumor with a limited differentiation toward the matrix, the author proposes instead the descriptive term of panonychoma fibropapilliferum (POP). The designation of POP does convey to the surgical pathologist or the dermatopathologist the key morphological pattern of this tumor. It should be noted that the proposed term of panonychoma is analogous to the nomenclature that is well established for follicular neoplasms with differentiation toward all elements of the normal hair follicle, that is panfolliculoma. The second term fibropapilliferum is used to highlight the mixed fibroepithelial nature of this neoplasm, which forms multiple rudimentary nail units. These nail units construct multiple nail plates that join together and form a single thick nail plate. According to nail anatomy, 2 types of POP are described: POP of the apical matrix/eponychium, with a pseudo-condylomatous pattern, and POP of the ventral matrix with a foliated pattern in transverse sections and a fibrokeratoma-like pattern in the longitudinal sections. Suggestions for the evaluation and clinical management of localized longitudinal pachyonychia are proposed. On histology of a nail clipping, 2 patterns with clinical significance can be individualized. A horizontal alignment of large cavities indicates POP of the ventral matrix. A haphazard arrangement of smaller cavities in the nail plate, including an arrangement in the inferior two-thirds of the nail clipping, should prompt a biopsy of the distal ventral matrix to rule out a malignant lesion. In the setting of the "masked "nail tumor, a clinical subtype with some significance can be individualized, the subungual keratotic nodule growing rapidly. Three nail bed tumors are discussed within this latter group. Two new clinicopathological variants of subungual keratoacanthoma are described, and a new nail bed tumor is discussed: the infundibulocystic nail bed squamous cell carcinoma. The absence of striking nuclear atypia and the giant cystic to multicystic pattern distinguishes infundibulocystic nail bed squamous cell carcinoma from follicular infundibulocystic squamous cell carcinoma. The last section proposes a classification of folliculogenic nail bed tumors. The follicular microcysts of the nail bed have previously been called subungual epidermoid inclusions or onycholemmal cysts, but the term follicular microcysts of the nail bed is more pertinent, because of the multiple lines of follicular differentiation (infundibular, tricholemmal, apocrine, and sebaceous) seen in their benign and malignant counterparts. Absent in a large portion of the normal nail bed, the follicular microcysts seem to have a peculiar propensity for the formation of tumors that vary in maturity from simple follicular microcystic hyperplasia associated with acquired longitudinal melanonychia to microcystic nail bed hamartoma and microcystic nail bed carcinoma (the so-called onycholemmal carcinoma). The concluding tables emphasize the key and essential histological features required to make the diagnosis of site-specific nail tumors and guide appropriate therapy. The author proposes to categorize subungual tumors into 2 types: subungual skin tumors (including subungual skin metastasis from internal malignancies) and nail tumors. Nail tumors can be accurately classified using a combined clinical and histogenetic approach. This new and expanding group of appendageal tumors is important for both dermatologists and dermatopathologists for the potential early detection of a malignant lesion or for the avoidance of overtreatment of a benign lesion. © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Babu N.J.,University of Nottingham | Nangia A.,Central University of Costa Rica
Crystal Growth and Design | Year: 2011

The current phase of drug development is witnessing an oncoming crisis due to the combined effects of increasing R&D costs, decreasing number of new drug molecules being launched, several blockbuster drugs falling off the patent cliff, and a high proportion of advanced drug candidates exhibiting poor aqueous solubility. The traditional approach of salt formulation to improve drug solubility is unsuccessful with molecules that lack ionizable functional groups, have sensitive moieties that are prone to decomposition/racemization, and/or are not sufficiently acidic/basic to enable salt formation. Several novel examples of pharmaceutical cocrystals from the past decade are reviewed, and the enhanced solubility profiles of cocrystals are analyzed. The peak dissolution for pharmaceutical cocrystals occurs in a short time (<30 min), and high solubility is maintained over a sufficiently long period (4-6 h) for the best cases. The enhanced solubility of drug cocrystals is similar to the supersaturation phenomenon characteristic of amorphous drugs. However, in contrast to the metastable nature of amorphous phases, cocrystals are stable owing to their crystalline nature. Yet, cocrystals can exhibit dramatic solubility advantage over the stable crystalline drug form, often comparable to amorphous pharmaceuticals. The "spring and parachute" concept for amorphous drug dissolution is adapted to explain the solubility advantage of pharmaceutical cocrystals. Thus (1) the cocrystal dissociates to amorphous or nanocrystalline drug clusters (the spring), which (2) transform via fast dissolving metastable polymorphs to the insoluble crystalline modification following the Ostwalds Law of Stages, to give (3) high apparent solubility for cocrystals and optimal drug concentration (the parachute) in the aqueous medium. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Cherukuvada S.,Central University of Costa Rica | Nangia A.,Central University of Costa Rica
Chemical Communications | Year: 2014

Eutectics are a long known class of multi-component solids with important and useful applications in daily life. In comparison to other multi-component crystalline solids, such as salts, solid solutions, molecular complexes and cocrystals, eutectics are less studied in terms of molecular structure organization and bonding interactions. Classically, a eutectic is defined based on its low melting point compared to the individual components. In this article, we attempt to define eutectics not just based on thermal methods but from a structural organization view point, and discuss their microstructures and properties as organic materials vis-a-vis solid solutions and cocrystals. The X-ray crystal structure of a cocrystal is different from that of the individual components whereas the unit cell of a solid solution is similar to that of one of the components. Eutectics are closer to the latter species in that their crystalline arrangement is similar to the parent components but they are different with respect to the structural integrity. A solid solution possesses structural homogeneity throughout the structure (single phase) but a eutectic is a heterogeneous ensemble of individual components whose crystal structures are like discontinuous solid solutions (phase separated). Thus, a eutectic may be better defined as a conglomerate of solid solutions. A structural analysis of cocrystals, solid solutions and eutectics has led to an understanding that materials with strong adhesive (hetero) interactions between the unlike components will lead to cocrystals whereas those having stronger cohesive (homo/self) interactions will more often give rise to solid solutions (for similar structures of components) and eutectics (for different structures of components). We demonstrate that the same crystal engineering principles which have been profitably utilized for cocrystal design in the past decade can now be applied to make eutectics as novel composite materials, illustrated by stable eutectics of the hygroscopic salt of the anti-tuberculosis drug ethambutol as a case study. A current gap in the characterization of eutectic microstructure may be fulfilled through pair distribution function (PDF) analysis of X-ray diffraction data, which could be a rapid signature technique to differentiate eutectics from their components. This journal is © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

The 'will, skill, tool' model is a well-established theoretical framework that elucidates the conditions under which teachers are most likely to employ information and communication technologies (ICT) in the classroom. Past studies have shown that these three factors explain a very high degree of variance in the frequency of classroom ICT use. The present study replicates past findings using a different set of measures and hones in on possible subfactors. Furthermore, the study examines teacher affiliation for constructivist-style teaching, which is often considered to facilitate the pedagogical use of digital media. The study's survey of 357 Swiss secondary school teachers reveals significant positive correlations between will, skill, and tool variables and the combined frequency and diversity of technology use in teaching. A multiple linear regression model was used to identify relevant subfactors. Five factors account for a total of 60% of the explained variance in the intensity of classroom ICT use. Computer and Internet applications are more often used by teachers in the classroom when: (1) teachers consider themselves to be more competent in using ICT for teaching; (2) more computers are readily available; (3) the teacher is a form teacher and responsible for the class; (4) the teacher is more convinced that computers improve student learning; and (5) the teacher more often employs constructivist forms of teaching and learning. The impact of constructivist teaching was small, however. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kumar A.S.,Central University of Costa Rica | Nagarajan R.,Central University of Costa Rica
Organic Letters | Year: 2011

A new class of α-carboline derivatives has been synthesized by Pd2(dba)3/BINAP catalyzed amidation of 3-acetyl-2-chloroindoles followed by a Vilsmeier-Haack reaction and is reported. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Armstrong G.A.B.,Central University of Costa Rica | Drapeau P.,Central University of Costa Rica
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2013

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) presents clinically in adulthood and is characterized by the loss of motoneurons in the spinal cord and cerebral cortex. Animal models of the disease suggest that significant neuronal abnormalities exist during preclinical stages of the disease. Mutations in the gene fused in sarcoma (FUS) are associated with ALS and cause impairment in motor function in animal models. However, the mechanism of neuromuscular dysfunction underlying pathophysiological deficits causing impairment in locomotor function resulting from mutant FUS expression is unknown. To characterize the cellular pathophysiological defect, we expressed the wild-typehumangene(wtFUS)or theALS-associated mutationR521H(mutFUS)genein zebrafish larvae and characterized their motor (swimming) activity and function of their neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Additionally, we tested knockdown of zebrafish fus with an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (fus AMO). Expression of either mutFUS or knockdown of fus resulted in impaired motor activity and reducedNMJsynaptic fidelity with reduced quantal transmission. Primary motoneurons expressingmutFUSwere found to be more excitable. These impairments in neuronal function could be partially restored in fus AMO larvae also expressing wtFUS (fus AMO1wtFUS) but not mutFUS (fus AMO1mutFUS). These results show that both a loss and gain of FUS function result in defective presynaptic function at the NMJ. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Zhai L.,Central University of Costa Rica
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

Stimuli-responsive polymer films undergo interesting structural and property changes upon external stimuli. Their applications have extended from smart coatings to controlled drug release, smart windows, self-repair and other fields. This tutorial review summarizes non-covalent bonding, reversible reactions and responsive molecules that have played important roles in creating stimuli-responsive systems, and presents the recent development of three types of responsive polymer systems: layer-by-layer polymer multilayer films, polymer brushes, and self-repairing polymer films, with a discussion of their response mechanism. Future research efforts include comprehensive understanding of the response mechanism, producing polymer systems with controlled response properties regarding single or multiple external signals, combining polymer film fabrication with nanotechnology, improving the stability of polymer films on substrates, and evaluating the toxicity of the degradation products. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Central University of Costa Rica | Date: 2011-06-22

In one aspect, the invention relates to substituted purine analogs, derivatives thereof, and related compounds, which are useful as inhibitors of STAT protein activity; synthetic methods for making the compounds; pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds; and methods of treating disorders of uncontrolled cellular proliferation associated with a STAT protein activity dysfunction using the compounds and compositions. This abstract is intended as a scanning tool for purposes of searching in the particular art and is not intended to be limiting of the present invention.

Central University of Costa Rica | Date: 2011-07-14

A solid state energy conversion device and method of making is disclosed for converting energy between electromagnetic and electrical energy. The solid state energy conversion device comprises a wide bandgap semiconductor material having a first doped region. A thermal energy beam is directed onto the first doped region of the wide bandgap semiconductor material in the presence of a doping gas for converting a portion of the first doped region into a second doped region in the wide bandgap semiconductor material. A first and a second Ohmic contact are applied to the first and the second doped regions of the wide bandgap semiconductor material. In one embodiment, the solid state energy conversion device operates as a light emitting device to produce electromagnetic radiation upon the application of electrical power to the first and second Ohmic contacts. In another embodiment, the solid state energy conversion device operates as a photovoltaic device to produce electrical power between the first and second Ohmic contacts upon the application of electromagnetic radiation.

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