Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Differential geometry


The human face is a complex trait under strong genetic control, as evidenced by the striking visual similarity between twins. Nevertheless, heritability estimates of facial traits have often been surprisingly low or difficult to replicate. Furthermore, the construction of facial phenotypes that correspond to naturally perceived facial features remains largely a mystery. We present here a large-scale heritability study of face geometry that aims to address these issues. High-resolution, three-dimensional facial models have been acquired on a cohort of 952 twins recruited from the TwinsUK registry, and processed through a novel landmarking workflow, GESSA (Geodesic Ensemble Surface Sampling Algorithm). The algorithm places thousands of landmarks throughout the facial surface and automatically establishes point-wise correspondence across faces. These landmarks enabled us to intuitively characterize facial geometry at a fine level of detail through curvature measurements, yielding accurate heritability maps of the human face (

Concepts: Genetics, Evolution, General relativity, Face perception, Heredity, Differential geometry, Analytic geometry, Morphology


A novel procedure for biopolymer surface nanostructuring with defined surface roughness and pattern dimension is presented. The surface properties of sputtered platinum layers on the biocompatible polymer poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) are presented. The influence of thermal treatment on surface morphology and electrical resistance and Pt distribution in ca. 100 nm of altered surface is described. The thickness, roughness and morphology of Pt structures were determined by atomic force microscopy. Surface sheet resistance was studied by a two-point technique. It was the sequence of Pt layer sputtering followed by thermal treatment that dramatically changed the structure of the PLLA’s surface. Depending on the Pt thickness, the ripple-like and worm-like patterns appeared on the surface for thinner and thicker Pt layers, respectively. Electrokinetic analysis confirmed the Pt coverage of PLLA and the slightly different behaviour of non-annealed and annealed surfaces. The amount and distribution of platinum on the PLLA is significantly altered by thermal annealing.

Concepts: Layer, Differential geometry, Friction, Electrical resistance, Resistivity, Annealing, Sheet resistance, Skin effect


This study explores how contact angle hysteresis and titling angle relate with stickiness on superhydrophobic surfaces. The result indicates that contact angle hysteresis could not be mentioned as a proper factor to evaluate the surface stickiness. By analyzing the system pinning force of droplet placed on a titled surface, we concluded that both solid fraction and surface geometric factor are the critical factors determining the surface stickiness.

Concepts: Surface, Angle, Hysteresis, Differential geometry, Contact angle, Analytic geometry, Division, Fraction


The surface topography of implant fixture is an important factor affecting the osseointegration. We herein demonstrated the effects of surface microtopography of titanium disks on proliferation and differentiation of osteoblast-like cells isolated from rat calvariae. Titanium disks with machine surface (MS), rough surface (R1) and rough surface combined with small cavities (R2) were used in an in vitro culture system. Rough surfaces (R1 and R2 disks) induced stronger osteoblast proliferation and differentiation (BGP and sclerostin mRNA expressions and calcium content) than the smooth surface (MS disk). Furthermore, surface microtopography of R2 disk, which was rough with small cavities, more strongly induced cell proliferation and mineralized bone matrix production than R1 disk. Our results suggest that surface microtopography influences osteoblast proliferation and differentiation. R2 disk, which is rough with small cavities, may be used in implant fixtures to increase osseointegration.

Concepts: DNA, Bone, Cell nucleus, Gene expression, Dental implant, Surface, Osseointegration, Differential geometry


The deposition of particles on a surface by an evaporating sessile droplet is important for phenomena as diverse as printing, thin-film deposition, and self-assembly. The shape of the final deposit depends on the flows within the droplet during evaporation. These flows are typically determined at the onset of the process by the intrinsic physical, chemical, and geometrical properties of the droplet and its environment. Here, we demonstrate deterministic emergence and real-time control of Marangoni flows within the evaporating droplet by an external point source of vapor. By varying the source location, we can modulate these flows in space and time to pattern colloids on surfaces in a controllable manner.

Concepts: Water, General relativity, Systems theory, Liquid, Control theory, Differential geometry, Vapor, Evaporation


The proliferation of computer-aided design and additive manufacturing enables on-demand fabrication of complex, three-dimensional structures. However, combining the versatility of cell-laden hydrogels within the 3D printing process remains a challenge. Herein, we describe a facile and versatile method that integrates polymer networks (including hydrogels) with 3D-printed mechanical supports to fabricate multicomponent (bio)materials. The approach exploits surface tension to coat fenestrated surfaces with suspended liquid films that can be transformed into solid films. The operating parameters for the process are determined using a physical model, and complex geometric structures are successfully fabricated. We engineer, by tailoring the window geometry, scaffolds with anisotropic mechanical properties that compress longitudinally (~30% strain) without damaging the hydrogel coating. Finally, the process is amenable to high cell density encapsulation and co-culture. Viability (>95%) was maintained 28 days after encapsulation. This general approach can generate biocompatible, macroscale devices with structural integrity and anisotropic mechanical properties.

Concepts: Water, Geometry, Liquid, System, Differential geometry, Analytic geometry, Rapid manufacturing, Computer-aided engineering


Novel self-sanitizing copper oxide-impregnated solid surfaces have the potential to influence bioburden levels, potentially lowering the risk of transmission of pathogens in patient care environments. Our study showed persistently lower microbial burden over a 30-hour sampling period on a copper-impregnated tray table compared with a standard noncopper surface in occupied patient rooms after thorough initial disinfection.

Concepts: Patient, Differential geometry


Two limitations of additive manufacturing methods that arise from layer-based fabrication are slow speed and geometric constraints (which include poor surface quality). Both limitations are overcome in the work reported here, introducing a new volumetric additive fabrication paradigm that produces photopolymer structures with complex nonperiodic three-dimensional geometries on a time scale of seconds. We implement this approach using holographic patterning of light fields, demonstrate the fabrication of a variety of structures, and study the properties of the light patterns and photosensitive resins required for this fabrication approach. The results indicate that low-absorbing resins containing ~0.1% photoinitiator, illuminated at modest powers (~10 to 100 mW), may be successfully used to build full structures in ~1 to 10 s.

Concepts: Polymer, Geometry, Rhythm, Pattern, Differential geometry, Rapid prototyping, Rapid manufacturing, Solid freeform fabrication


Smart Morphable Surfaces enable switchable and tunable aerodynamic drag reduction of bluff bodies. Their topography, resembling the morphology of golf balls, can be custom-generated through a wrinkling instability on a curved surface. Pneumatic actuation of these patterns results in the control of the drag coefficient of spherical samples by up to a factor of two, over a range of flow conditions.

Concepts: Fluid dynamics, Aerodynamics, Differential geometry, Reynolds number, Drag, Aerospace engineering


The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of different volume and training surfaces during a short-term plyometric training program on neuromuscular performance. Twenty-nine subjects were randomly assigned to four groups: control group (CG, n=5), moderate volume group (MVG, n=9, 780 jumps), moderate volume hard surface group (MVGHS, n=8, 780 jumps), and high volume group (HVG, n=7, 1560 jumps). A series of tests were performed by the subjects before and after seven weeks of plyometric training. These tests were: measurement of maximum strength (5 maximum repetitions [5RM]), drop jumps (DJ) of varying height ( 20, 40, and 60cm), squat and countermovement jumps (SJ and CMJ, respectively), timed 20m sprint, agility, body weight, and height. The results of the present study suggest that high training volume leads to a significant increase in explosive performance that requires fast stretch shortening cycle (SSC) actions (such as DJ and sprint) in comparison to what is observed after a moderate training volume regimen. Secondly, when plyometric training is performed on a hard training surface (high impact reaction force), a moderate training volume induces optimal stimulus to increase explosive performance requiring fast SSC actions (e.g. DJ), maximal dynamic strength enhancement, and higher training efficiency. Thus, a finding of interest in the study was that after 7 weeks of plyometric training, performance enhancement in maximal strength and in actions requiring fast SSC (such as DJ and sprint) were dependent on the volume of training and the surface on which it was performed. This must be taken into account when using plyometric training on different surfaces.

Concepts: Time, Force, Surface, Differential geometry, Reaction, Explosive material, Plyometrics, Strength