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  1. null (Ed.)
    Introduction: Vascular diseases like abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are characterized by a drastic remodeling of the vessel wall, accompanied with changes in the elastin and collagen content. At the macromolecular level, the elastin fibers in AAA have been reported to undergo significant structural alterations. While the undulations (waviness) of the collagen fibers is also reduced in AAA, very little is understood about changes in the collagen fibril at the sub-fiber level in AAA as well as in other vascular pathologies. Materials and Methods: In this study we investigated structural changes in collagen fibrils in human AAA tissue extracted at the time of vascular surgery and in aorta extracted from angiotensin II (AngII) infused ApoE−/− mouse model of AAA. Collagen fibril structure was examined using transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Images were analyzed to ascertain length and depth of D-periodicity, fibril diameter and fibril curvature. Tissues were also stained using collagen hybridizing peptide (CHP) and analyzed using fluorescent microscopy and second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy to locate regions of healthy and degraded collagen. Results: Abnormal collagen fibrils with compromised D-periodic banding were observed in the excised human tissue and in remodeled regions of AAA in AngII infused mice (Figure 1). These abnormal fibrils were characterized by statistically significant reduction in depths of D-periods and an increased curvature of collagen fibrils. These features were more pronounced in human AAA as compared to murine samples. Additionally, regions of abnormal collagen were located within the remodeled areas of AAA tissue and were distinct from healthy collagen regions as ascertained using CHP staining and SHG (Figure 1). Thoracic aorta from Ang II-infused mice, abdominal aorta from saline-infused mice, and abdominal aorta from non-AAA human controls did not contain abnormal collagen fibrils. Conclusions: The structural alterations in abnormal collagen fibrils appear similar to those reported for collagen fibrils subjected to mechanical overload or chronic inflammation in other tissues. Detection of abnormal collagen could be utilized to better understand the functional properties of the underlying extracellular matrix in vascular as well as other pathologies. 
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  2. Abstract

    Since the initial data taking of the CERN LHC, the CMS experiment has undergone substantial upgrades and improvements. This paper discusses the CMS detector as it is configured for the third data-taking period of the CERN LHC, Run 3, which started in 2022. The entire silicon pixel tracking detector was replaced. A new powering system for the superconducting solenoid was installed. The electronics of the hadron calorimeter was upgraded. All the muon electronic systems were upgraded, and new muon detector stations were added, including a gas electron multiplier detector. The precision proton spectrometer was upgraded. The dedicated luminosity detectors and the beam loss monitor were refurbished. Substantial improvements to the trigger, data acquisition, software, and computing systems were also implemented, including a new hybrid CPU/GPU farm for the high-level trigger.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2025
  3. Extended abstract of a paper presented at Microscopy and Microanalysis 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, August 4 – August 8, 2013. 
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