Three-dimensional imaging of porous media using confocal laser scanning microscopy. In the last decade, imaging techniques capable of reconstructing three-dimensional 3-D pore-scale model have played a pivotal role in the study of fluid flow through complex porous media. In this study, we present advances in the application of confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM to image, reconstruct and characterize complex porous geological materials with hydrocarbon reservoir and CO 2 storage potential.
CLSM has a unique capability of producing 3-D thin optical sections of a material, with a wide field of view and submicron resolution in the lateral and axial planes. However, CLSM is limited in the depth z-dimension that can be imaged in porous materials.
Bulletin of the American Physical Society
In this study, we introduce a 'grind and slice' technique to overcome this limitation. We discuss the practical and technical aspects of the confocal imaging technique with application to complex rock samples including Mt. Gambier and Ketton carbonates. We then describe the complete workflow of image processing to filtering and segmenting the raw 3-D confocal volumetric data into pores and grains. Finally, we use the resulting 3-D pore-scale binarized confocal data obtained to quantitatively determine petrophysical pore-scale properties such as total porosity, macro- and microporosity and single-phase permeability using lattice Boltzmann LB simulations, validated by experiments.
Confocal laser scanning microscopy in vivo for diagnosing melanocytic skin neoplasms. Full Text Available The authors discuss the use of confocal laser scanning microscopy in vivo CLSM for diagnosing melanocytic skin neoplasms and its value for early diagnostics of melanoma. The method ensures early diagnostics of skin melanomas with high sensitivity and specificity, which makes it possible to use CLSM for screening melanocytic skin neoplasms for the sake of the early onset of treatment to save patient life and health.
Ti-6Al-4V electron beam weld qualification using laser scanning confocal microscopy. Processing conditions for manufacturing Ti-6Al-4V components by welding using an electron beam source are known to influence the transformation microstructure in the narrow fusion and heat-affected zones of the weld region. This work examined the effect of multiple-sequence welding on the characteristics of the transformed beta microstructure, using laser scanning confocal microscopy to resolve the Widmanstaetten alpha-beta structure in the fusion zone.
The evolution in the alpha interlamellar spacing and plate thickness with processing was then related to microhardness measurements in the weld region. Embryological study of Herminium monorchis Orchidaceae using confocal scanning laser microscopy. The embryology of Herminium monorchis Orchidaceae was studied using confocal scanning laser microscopy CSLM , a new technique for embryological studies.
This technique may contribute new information to plant embryology. Herminium monorchis has a monosporic embryo sac development. The mature embryo sac is 8-nucleate. Two integuments, both 2-layered, are formed, but only the inner takes part in formation of the micropyle. Double fertilization takes place. The primary endosperm nucleus does not divide, but remains alive at least at the 3-celled stage of embryo development. The three antipodals do not show any sign of degeneration at this stage. Characterization of particle deformation during compression measured by confocal laser scanning microscopy.
Direct compression of riboflavin sodium phosphate tablets was studied by confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM. The technique is non-invasive and generates three-dimensional 3D images. The behaviour and deformation of drug particles on the upper and lower surfaces of the tablets were studied under compression forces.
Even at the lower compression force, distinct recrystallized areas in the riboflavin sodium phosphate particles were observed in both Avicel PH and Avicel PH tablets. At the higher compression force, the recrystallization of riboflavin sodium phosphate was more extensive on the upper surface of the Avicel PH tablet than the Avicel PH tablet.
The plastic deformation properties of both MCC grades reduced the fragmentation of riboflavin sodium phosphate particles. When compressed with MCC, riboflavin sodium phosphate behaved as a plastic material. The riboflavin sodium phosphate particles were more tightly bound on the upper surface of the tablet than on the lower surface, and this could also be clearly distinguished by CLSM.
Drug deformation could not be visualized by other techniques. Confocal laser scanning microscopy provides valuable information on the internal mechanisms of direct compression of tablets. Automatic segmentation of cell nuclei from confocal laser scanning microscopy images.
A newly developed experimental method combines the possibility of irradiating more than a thousand cells simultaneous with an efficient colony-forming ability and with the capability of localizing a particle track through a cell nucleus together with the assessment of the energy transfer by digital superposition of the image containing the track with that of the cells. To assess the amount of energy deposition by particles traversing the cell nucleus the intersection lengths of the particle tracks have to be known. Intersection lengths can be obtained by determining the 3D surface contours of the irradiated cell nuclei.
Confocal laser scanning microscopy using specific DNA fluorescent dye offers a possible way for the determination of the 3D shape of individual nuclei. Unfortunately, such experiments cannot be performed on living cells. One solution to this problem can be provided by building a statistical model of the shape of the nuclei of the exposed cells.
In order to build such a statistical model, a large number of cell nuclei have to be identified and segmented from confocal laser scanning microscopy images. The present paper describes a method to perform this 3D segmentation in an automatic manner in order to create a solid basis for the statistical model. Confocal laser scanning microscopy to estimate nanoparticles' human skin penetration in vitro. With rapid development of nanotechnology, there is increasing interest in nanoparticle NP application and its safety and efficacy on human skin. Three different-sized polystyrene NPs marked with red fluorescence were applied to human skin, and Calcium Green 5N was used as a counterstain.
Except with DMSO vehicle, these hydrolyzed polystyrene NPs did not penetrate intact or barrier-damaged human "viable" epidermis. Objective With rapid development of nanotechnology, there is increasing interest in nanoparticle NP application and its safety and efficacy on human skin. Methods Three different-sized polystyrene NPs marked with red fluorescence were applied to human skin, and Calcium Green 5N was used as a counterstain.
Full Text Available Populations of bacteria in sludge flocs and biofilm marked by fluorescence marked with fluorescent probes are digitised with a confocal laser scanning microscope. These data are used to analyse the microbial community structure, to obtain information on the localisation of specific bacterial groups and to examine gene expression. This information is urgently required for an in-depth understanding of the function and, more generally, the microbial ecology of biofilms.
Methods derived from quantitative image analysis are applied to digitised data from confocal laser scanning microscopes to obtain quantitative descriptions of volumetric, topological and topographical properties of different compartments of the components under research. In addition to free-moving flocs, also biofilms attached to a substratum in an experimental environment are analysed. Growth form as well as interaction of components are quantitatively described.
Classical measurements of volume and intensity shape, distribution and distance dependent interaction measurements using methods from mathematical morphology are performed. Mainly image volume processing methods are outlined. Segmented volumes are globally and individually in terms of 3Dconnected components measured and used for distance mapping transform as well as for estimation of geodesic distances from the substrate. All transformations are applied on the 3D data set. Resulting distance distributions are quantified and related to information on the identity and activity of the probe-identified bacteria.
Iris ultrastructure in patients with synechiae as revealed by in vivo laser scanning confocal microscopy : In vivo iris ultrastructure in patients with Synechiae by Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy. Iris plays important roles in ocular physiology and disease pathogenesis. Currently it is technically challenging to noninvasively examine the human iris ultrastructure in vivo.
The purpose of the current study is to reveal human iris ultrastructure in patients with synechiae by using noninvasive in vivo laser scanning confocal microscopy LSCM. The ultrastructure of iris in thirty one patients, each with synechiae but transparent cornea, was examined by in vivo LSCM.
Five characteristic iris ultrastructures was revealed in patients with synechiae by in vivo LSCM, which include: 1. Fruit-like structure; 4. Epithelioid-like structure; 5. Pigment granules can be observed as a loose structure on the top of the arborization structure. In iris-associated diseases with Tyndall's Phenomenon and keratic precipitates, the pigment particles are more likely to fall off from the arborization structure.
The ultrastructure of iris in patients with synechiae has been visualized using in vivo LSCM. Five iris ultrastructures can be clearly observed, with some of the structures maybe disease-associated. The fall-off of the pigment particles may cause the Tyndall's Phenomenon positive. In vivo LSCM provides a non-invasive approach to observe the human iris ultrastructure under certain eye disease conditions, which sets up a foundation to visualize certain iris-associated diseases in the future.
Investigation of the petrophysical properties of a porous sandstone sample using confocal scanning laser microscopy. Petford, N. Confocal scanning laser microscopy CSLM is used to produce images of the two- and three-dimensional distribution and geometry of pore space in a reservoir sandstone and measure the 2D distribution of pore throat radii. Negative imaging of the pore volume gave superior depth and feature resolution compared to positive reflection imaging. Artefacts encountered in applying classical Medial Axial Transforms to CSLM images include branch networks dominated by coordination numbers of 3.
Skeletonization using Euclidean distance maps gives increased accuracy in the description of the pore network. The microstructure of protein networks in yogurts defines important physical properties of the yogurt and hereby partly its quality. Imaging this protein network using confocal scanning laser microscopy CSLM has shown good results, and CSLM has become a standard measuring technique for fermented Here, CSLM images from a yogurt fermentation study are investigated, where production factors including fat content, protein content, heat treatment, and incubation temperature are varied.
The descriptors are evaluated through nearest neighbor classification, variance analysis For large numbers of microscopy images, subjective evaluation becomes a difficult or even impossible approach, if the images should be incorporated in any form of statistical analysis alongside Analysis of polymer grafted inside the porous hydrogel using confocal laser scanning microscopy.
Full Text Available Graft polymerization of glycidyl methacrylate onto the pore surface of polyacrylamide macroporous gel was implemented in DMSO-aqueous solution using diperiodatocuprate III complexes as an initiator. The graft polymerization was confirmed by gravimetrical methods and FTIR. The graft polymerization of polymer inside the pores of the macroporous gel resulted in increased flow resistance through the gel matrix.
The distribution of grafted polymer on the gel pore surface material was studied by scanning electron microscopy SEM and confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM. CLSM is an alternative method for studying morphology of gel surface with grafted polymer having the advantages over the SEM allowing to investigate the distribution of grafted polymer inside the hydrogel in a native hydrated state.
The microscopic techniques demonstrated uneven distribution of the grafted polymer inside the gel pores as a result of initiating the graft polymerization by insoluble initiator deposited on the pore surface. Confocal laser scanning microscopy detection of chlorophylls and carotenoids in chloroplasts and chromoplasts of tomato fruit. Plant cells are unique among eukaryotic cells because of the presence of plastids, including chloroplasts and chromoplasts.
Chloroplasts are found in green tissues and harbor the photosynthetic machinery including chlorophyll molecules , while chromoplasts are present in non-photosynthetic tissues and accumulate large amounts of carotenoids. During tomato fruit development, chloroplasts are converted into chromoplasts that accumulate high levels of lycopene, a linear carotenoid responsible for the characteristic red color of ripe fruit. Here, we describe a simple and fast method to detect both types of fully differentiated plastids chloroplasts and chromoplasts , as well as intermediate stages, in fresh tomato fruits.
The method is based on the differential autofluorescence of chlorophylls and carotenoids lycopene detected by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy. Spectral imaging technique for retinal perfusion detection using confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. To evaluate retinal perfusion in the human eye, a dual-wavelength confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope cSLO was developed that provides spectral imaging of the fundus using a combination of red nm and near-infrared nm wavelengths. The image of the ocular fundus was analyzed to find out if quantitative measurements of the reflectivity of tissue permit assessment of the oxygen perfusion of tissue.
We explored problems that affect the reproducibility of patient measurements such as non-uniformity errors on the image. For the first time, an image processing technique was designed and used to minimize the errors of oxygen saturation measurements by illumination correction in retina wide field by increasing SNR. The image correction technique improved the reproducibility of the measurements.
Average RI intensity variation of healthy retina tissue was determined within a range of about 5. The capability of the new technique to discriminate oxygenation levels of retinal artery and vein was successfully demonstrated and showed good promise in the diagnosis of the perfused retina. The binding of cellulase variants to dislocations: a semi-quantitative analysis based on CLSM confocal laser scanning microscopy images. Here we study whether cellulases bind to dislocations to a higher extent than to the surrounding cell wall.
The binding of fluorescently labelled cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases to filter paper fibers was investigated using confocal laser scanning microscopy and a ratiometric method The simplicity of males: Dwarf males of four species of Osedax Siboglinidae; Annelida investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Here, we present the first investigation of the entire muscle and nervous system in dwarf males of Osedax frankpressi, O. Sperm shape and spermiogenesis, the sperm duct and internal and external Elastomeric photo-actuators and their investigation by confocal laser scanning microscopy.
The photo-actuation behavior of nanocomposites based on ethylene—vinylacetate copolymer EVA and styrene—isoprene—styrene SIS block copolymer filled with well-dispersed and modified multiwalled carbon nanotubes MWCNTs is discussed in this paper. The nanocomposites were prepared by casting from solution.
The good dispersion of the filler was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy TEM. Nanocomposite BEs were illuminated from the bottom by a red light-emitting diode LED , and the photo-actuation was investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM. When the BEs were exposed to light, a temporary increase in the height of the element was detected. This process was observed to be reversible: after switching off the light, the BEs returned to their original shape and height.
Using confocal laser scanning microscopy to probe the milk fat globule membrane and associated proteins. The bovine milk fat globule membrane MFGM is an important, biologically relevant membrane due to its functional and health properties. Its composition has been thoroughly studied, but its structure, especially the lateral organization of its components, still remains unclear.
We have used confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM to investigate the surface structure of the MFGM in globules with different degrees of processing using two types of fluorescently labeled phospholipid probes and a protein dye. Using this technique, we have observed heterogeneities in the distribution of MFGM lipids and proteins relating to the processing and size of the globules.
The effect of pretreating the milk centrifugation, pasteurization-homogenization and churning was studied by double-staining the surface of the milk fat globules, followed by observation using CLSM, and by determining the phospholipid profile of raw milk, raw cream, processed milk and buttermilk powder.
Our findings agree with other techniques by showing that the composition of the MFGM changes with processing through the loss of phospholipids and the adsorption of caseins and whey proteins onto the surface. Imaging this protein network using confocal scanning laser microscopy CSLM has shown good results, and CSLM has become a standard measuring technique for fermented dairy products. When studying such networks, hundreds of images can be obtained, and here image analysis methods are essential for using the images in statistical analysis. Previously, methods including gray level co-occurrence matrix analysis and fractal analysis have been used with success.
However, a range of other image texture characterization methods exists. These methods describe an image by a frequency distribution of predefined image features denoted textons. Our contribution is an investigation of the choice of image analysis methods by performing a comparative study of 7 major approaches to image texture description. The descriptors are evaluated through nearest neighbor classification, variance analysis, and cluster analysis.
Our investigation suggests that the texton-based descriptors provide a fuller description of the images compared to gray-level co-occurrence matrix descriptors and fractal analysis, while still being as applicable and in some cases as easy to tune. Apoplastic pH in corn root gravitropism: a laser scanning confocal microscopy measurement. The ability to measure the pH of the apoplast in situ is of special interest as a test of the cell wall acidification theory.
Optical sectioning of living seedlings of corn roots using the laser scanning confocal microscope LSCM permits us to make pH measurements in living tissue. In the elongation zone of corn roots, the mean apoplastic pH was 4. Upon gravitropic stimulation, the pH on the convex side of actively bending roots was 4. The lowering of the apoplastic pH by 0. This technique provides site-specific evidence for the acid growth theory of cell elongation.
A statistical pixel intensity model for segmentation of confocal laser scanning microscopy images. Confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM has been widely used in the life sciences for the characterization of cell processes because it allows the recording of the distribution of fluorescence-tagged macromolecules on a section of the living cell. It is in fact the cornerstone of many molecular transport and interaction quantification techniques where the identification of regions of interest through image segmentation is usually a required step.
In many situations, because of the complexity of the recorded cellular structures or because of the amounts of data involved, image segmentation either is too difficult or inefficient to be done by hand and automated segmentation procedures have to be considered. Given the nature of CLSM images, statistical segmentation methodologies appear as natural candidates. In this work we propose a model to be used for statistical unsupervised CLSM image segmentation. The model is derived from the CLSM image formation mechanics and its performance is compared to the existing alternatives.
Results show that it provides a much better description of the data on classes characterized by their mean intensity, making it suitable not only for segmentation methodologies with known number of classes but also for use with schemes aiming at the estimation of the number of classes through the application of cluster selection criteria. Application of gold nanoparticles as contrast agents in confocal laser scanning microscopy. Confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM is a modern high-resolution optical technique providing detailed image of tissue structure with high down to microns spatial resolution.
Aiming at a concurrent improvement of imaging depth and image quality the CLSM requires the use of contrast agents. Commonly employed fluorescent contrast agents, such as fluorescent dyes and proteins, suffer from toxicity, photo-bleaching and overlapping with the tissues autofluorescence.
Gold nanoparticles are potentially highly attractive to be applied as a contrast agent since they are not subject to photo-bleaching and can target biochemical cells markers associated with the specific diseases. In current report we consider the applicability of gold nano-spheres as a contrast agent to enhance quality of CLSM images of skin tissues in vitro versus the application of optical clearing agent, such as glycerol. The enhancement of CLSM image contrast was observed with an application of gold nano-spheres diffused within the skin tissues.
We show that optical clearing agents such as a glycerol provide better CLSM image contrast than gold nano-spheres. Confocal laser-scanning microscopy of capillaries in normal and psoriatic skin. An important and most likely active role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis has been attributed to changes in cutaneous blood vessels. The purpose of this study was to use confocal laser-scanning microscopy CLSM to investigate dermal capillaries in psoriatic and normal skin.
The structures of the capillary loops in 5 healthy participants were compared with those in affected skin of 13 psoriasis patients. The diameters of the capillaries and papillae were measured for each group with CLSM. All investigated psoriasis patients showed elongated, widened, and tortuous microvessels in the papillary dermis, whereas all healthy controls showed a single capillary loop in each dermal papilla.
The capillaries of the papillary loop and the dermal papilla were significantly enlarged in the psoriatic skin lesions diameters One of the major roles of the skin microcirculation is to supply oxygen and nutrition to the surrounding tissue. Regardless of the close relationship between the microcirculation and the surrounding tissue, there are few non-invasive methods that can evaluate both the microcirculation and its surrounding tissue at the same site.
CLSM is a non-invasive technique that can visualize the internal structure of the skin at the cellular level. In addition to internal morphological information such as the extracellular matrix, our method reveals capillary structures up to the depth of the subpapillary plexus at the same site without the need for additional optical systems.
Video images at specific depths of the inner forearm skin were recorded. By creating frame-to-frame difference images from the video images using off-line video image processing, we obtained images that emphasize the brightness depending on changes of intensity coming from the movement of blood cells. Merging images from different depths of the skin elucidates the 3-dimensional fine line-structure of the microcirculation. Overall our results show the feasibility of a non-invasive, high-resolution imaging technique to characterize the skin microcirculation and the surrounding tissue.
Combining confocal laser scanning microscopy with serial section reconstruction in the study of adult neurogenesis. Full Text Available Current advances in imaging techniques have extended the possibility of visualizing small structures within large volumes of both fixed and live specimens without sectioning. These techniques have contributed valuable information to study neuronal plasticity in the adult brain.
However, technical limits still hamper the use of these approaches to investigate neurogenic regions located far from the ventricular surface such as parenchymal neurogenic niches, or the scattered neuroblasts induced by brain lesions. Here, we present a method to combine confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM and serial section reconstruction in order to reconstruct large volumes of brain tissue at cellular resolution.
In this method a series of thick sections are imaged with CLSM and the resulting stacks of images are registered and 3D reconstructed. This approach is based on existing freeware software and can be performed on ordinary laboratory personal computers PC. The 3D study unravelled a complex network of long and poorly ramified cell processes, often fascicled and mostly oriented along the internal capsule fibre bundles. These data support CLSM serial section reconstruction as a reliable alternative to the whole mount approaches to analyze cyto-architectural features of adult germinative niches.
Full Text Available Three-dimensional reconstruction of ultrastructure of rat brain with minimal effort has recently been realized by scanning electron microscopy combined with focused ion beam milling FIB-SEM. Because application of immunohistochemical staining to electron microscopy has a great advantage in that molecules of interest are specifically localized in ultrastructures, we here tried to apply immunocytochemistry to FIB-SEM and correlate immunoreactivity in confocal laser-scanning microcopy CF-LSM with that in FIB-SEM.
The dendrites of medium-sized spiny neurons in rat neostriatum were visualized with a recombinant viral vector, which labeled the infected neurons with membrane-targeted GFP in a Golgi stain-like fashion, and thalamostriatal afferent terminals were immunolabeled with Cy5 fluorescence for vesicular glutamate transporter 2 VGluT2. In the contrast-inverted FIB-SEM images, silver precipitation and DAB deposits were observed as fine dark grains and diffuse dense profiles, respectively, indicating that these immunoreactivities were easily recognizable as in the images of transmission electron microscopy.
In the sites of interest, some appositions were revealed to display synaptic specialization of asymmetric type. The present method is thus useful in the three-dimensional analysis of immunocytochemically differentiated synaptic connection in the central neural circuit. Real time detection of antibody-antigen interaction using a laser scanning confocal imaging-surface plasmon resonance system. A laser scanning confocal imaging-surface plasmon resonance LSCI-SPR instrument integrated with a wavelength-dependent surface plasmon resonance SPR sensor and a laser scanning confocal microscopy LSCM is built to detect the bonding process of human IgG and fluorescent-labeled affinity purified antibodies in real time.
The shifts of resonant wavelength at different reaction time stages are obtained by SPR, corresponding well with the changes of the fluorescence intensity collected by using LSCM. The instrument shows the merits of the combination and complementation of the SPR and LSCM, with such advantages as quantificational analysis, high spatial resolution and real time monitor, which are of great importance for practical applications in biosensor and life science.
Central serous chorioretinopathy fundus autofluorescence comparison with two different confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopes. To compare the lesion characteristics of two different types of confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy cSLO autofluorescence AF images in central serous chorioretinopathy CSC. The lesion composite pattern was categorized as diffuse or granular. The mean disease duration and subretinal fluid SRF height in the spectral domain optical coherence tomography were compared according to the FAF image characteristics.
In comparison, nine To determine the sensitivity and specificity of confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope's Topographic Change Analysis TCA; Heidelberg Retina Tomograph [HRT]; Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany parameters for discriminating between progressing glaucomatous and stable healthy eyes. The 0. Cutoffs also were applied to DIGS patients' eyes imaged at least four times with no evidence of progression nonprogressed by stereophotography or GPA.
In nonprogressing eyes, specificities were 0. In addition, TCA parameter measurements of nonprogressing eyes were similar to those of progressing eyes. TCA parameters can discriminate between progressing and longitudinally observed healthy eyes. Low specificity in apparently nonprogressing patients' eyes suggests early progression detection using TCA. Thermal maturity of Tasmanites microfossils from confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy. The Tasmanites occur in a well-characterized natural maturation sequence Ro 0.
This result suggests spectral measurements from CLSM can be used to infer thermal maturity of fluorescent organic materials in geologic samples. Spectra of regions with high fluorescence intensity at fold apices and flanks in individual Tasmanites are blue-shifted relative to less-deformed areas in the same body that have lower fluorescence intensity.
This is interpreted to result from decreased quenching moiety concentration at these locations, and indicates caution is needed in the selection of measurement regions in conventional fluorescence microscopy, where it is common practice to select high intensity regions for improved signal intensity and better signal to noise ratios. This study also documents application of CLSM to microstructural characterization of Tasmanites microfossils.
The results presented herein can be used as a basis to broaden the future application of CLSM in the geological sciences into hydrocarbon prospecting and basin analysis. Degeneration process of fungiform taste buds after severing the human chorda tympani nerve--observation by confocal laser scanning microscopy. To elucidate the degeneration process of fungiform taste buds after severing the chorda tympani nerve CTN by confocal laser scanning microscopy in vivo. Prospective study. University hospital. Seven consecutive patients whose CTN was severed during tympanoplasty for middle ear cholesteatoma.
Preoperative and postoperative gustatory functions were assessed by electrogustometry EGM. An average of 10 fungiform papillae FP in the midlateral region of the tongue were periodically observed, and the number of taste buds was counted using a confocal laser microscope. Among them, 2 to 3 reference FPs were selected based on the typical form of the FP or characteristic arrangements of taste pores.
Observation was performed before surgery, 1 or 2 days after surgery, 2 or 3 times a week until 2 weeks after surgery, once a week between 2 and 4 weeks, and every 2 to 4 weeks thereafter until all taste buds had disappeared. EGM thresholds showed no response within 1 month after surgery in all patients.
The initial change in the degeneration process was the disappearance of taste pores. The surface of taste buds became covered with epithelium. Finally, taste buds themselves atrofied and disappeared. The time course of degeneration differed depending upon individuals, each FP, and each taste bud. By employing the generalized linear mixed model under the Poisson distribution, it was calculated that all taste buds would disappear at around 50 days after surgery.
Confocal laser scanning microscopy was useful for clarifying the degeneration process of fungiform taste buds. Full Text Available We aimed to evaluate technical aspects and the clinical relevance of a simultaneous confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope and a high-speed, high-resolution, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography SDOCT device for retinal imaging. The principle of confocal scanning laser imaging provides a high resolution of retinal and choroidal vasculature with low light exposure.
Enhanced contrast, details, and image sharpness are generated using confocality. The real-time SDOCT provides a new level of accuracy for assessment of the angiographic and morphological correlation. The combined system allows for simultaneous recordings of topographic and tomographic images with accurate correlation between them. The combination of various macular diagnostic tools can lead to a better understanding and improved knowledge of macular diseases.
Confocal scanning microscopy. The purpose of the experimental activity was twofold a metrological instrument characterization and application to assessment of rough PP injection moulded Confocal microscopy is seen to be a promising technique in metrology of microstructures. Some limitations with respect to surface metrology were found during the experiments. The neuromuscular system of Pycnophyes kielensis Kinorhyncha: Allomalorhagida investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy.
Kinorhynchs are ecdysozoan animals with a phylogenetic position close to priapulids and loriciferans. To understand the nature of segmentation within Kinorhyncha and to infer a probable ancestry of segmentation within the last common ancestor of Ecdysozoa, the musculature and the nervous system of the allomalorhagid kinorhynch Pycnophyes kielensis were investigated by use of immunohistochemistry, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and 3D reconstruction software.
The kinorhynch body plan comprises 11 trunk segments. Trunk musculature consists of paired ventral and dorsal longitudinal muscles in segments as well as dorsoventral muscles in segments Dorsal and ventral longitudinal muscles insert on apodemes of the cuticle inside the animal within each segment. Strands of longitudinal musculature extend over segment borders in segments In segments , the trunk musculature is confined to the segments. Musculature of the digestive system comprises a strong pharyngeal bulb with attached mouth cone muscles as well as pharyngeal bulb protractors and retractors.
The musculature of the digestive system shows no sign of segmentation. Judged by the size of the pharyngeal bulb protractors and retractors, the pharyngeal bulb, as well as the introvert, is moved passively by internal pressure caused by concerted action of the dorsoventral muscles. The nervous system comprises a neuropil ring anterior to the pharyngeal bulb. Associated with the neuropil ring are flask-shaped serotonergic somata extending anteriorly and posteriorly. A ventral nerve cord is connected to the neuropil ring and runs toward the anterior until an attachment point in segment 1, and from there toward the posterior with one ganglion in segment 6.
Segmentation within Kinorhyncha likely evolved from an unsegmented ancestor. This conclusion is supported by continuous trunk musculature in the anterior segments , continuous pharyngeal bulb protractors and retractors throughout the anterior. Full Text Available Abstract Background Kinorhynchs are ecdysozoan animals with a phylogenetic position close to priapulids and loriciferans. Results The kinorhynch body plan comprises 11 trunk segments. Trunk musculature consists of paired ventral and dorsal longitudinal muscles in segments 1—10 as well as dorsoventral muscles in segments 1— Strands of longitudinal musculature extend over segment borders in segments 1—6.
In segments 7—10, the trunk musculature is confined to the segments. Conclusions Segmentation within Kinorhyncha likely evolved from an unsegmented ancestor. This conclusion is supported by continuous trunk musculature in the anterior segments 1—6, continuous. Observation of regenerated fungiform taste buds after severing the chorda tympani nerve using confocal laser scanning microscopy in vivo. To evaluate whether regenerated fungiform taste buds after severing the chorda tympani nerve can be detected by confocal laser scanning microscopy in vivo. Retrospective study.
Six patients with a normal gustatory function Group 1 , 9 patients with taste function recovery after severing the CTN Group 2 , and 5 patients without taste function recovery Group 3 were included. In Groups 2 and 3, canal wall up closed tympanoplasty or canal wall down with canal reconstruction tympanoplasty was performed in all patients. The severed nerves were readapted or approximated on the temporalis muscle fascia used to reconstruct the eardrum during surgery. Preoperative and postoperative gustatory functions were assessed using electrogustometry.
Twelve to months after severing the CTN, the surface of the midlateral region of the tongue was observed with a confocal laser microscope. EGM thresholds showed no response 1 month after surgery in all patients of Groups 2 and 3. In Group 2, EGM thresholds showed recovery 1 to 2 years after surgery and before confocal microscopy There was a significant difference between Group 1 The mean number of taste bud per papilla was 3. In patients with a recovered taste function Group 2 , 0 to 8 taste buds were observed in each FP. In this group, 54 The mean number of taste bud per papilla was 2. Regenerated fungiform taste bud could be observed in vivo using confocal laser scanning microscopy, indicating that regenerated taste bud can be detected without biopsy.
Studies of porphyrin-containing specimens using an optical spectrometer connected to a confocal scanning laser microscope. A spectrometer has been developed for use with a confocal scanning laser microscope. With this unit, spectral information from a single point or a user-defined region within the microscope specimen can be recorded.
A glass prism is used to disperse the spectral components of the recorded light over a linear CCD photodiode array with elements. A regulated cooling unit keeps the detector at K, thereby allowing integration times of up to 60 s. Since the entrance aperture of the spectrometer has the same size as the detector pinhole used during normal confocal scanning , the three-dimensional spatial resolution is equivalent to that of normal confocal scanning.
Light from the specimen is deflected to the spectrometer by a solenoid controlled mirror, allowing fast and easy switching between normal confocal scanning and spectrometer readings. With this equipment, studies of rodent liver specimens containing porphyrins have been made. The subcellular localization is of interest for the mechanisms of photodynamic therapy PDT of malignant tumours. Spectroscopic detection is necessary to distinguish the porphyrin signal from other fluorescent components in the specimen.
Two different substances were administered to the tissue, Photofrin, a haematoporphyrin derivative HPD and delta-amino levulinic acid ALA , a precursor to protoporphyrin IX and haem in the haem cycle. Both are substances under clinical trials for PDT of malignant tumours. Following administration of these compounds to the tissue, the potent photosensitizer and fluorescent compound Photofrin, or protoporphyrin IX, respectively, is accumulated. In this paper, we present a new method to reconstruct large volumes of nontransparent porous materials at submicron resolution.
The proposed method combines fluorescence laser scanning confocal microscopy with serial sectioning to produce a series of overlapping confocal z-stacks, which are then aligned and stitched based on phase correlation. The method can be extended in the XY plane to further increase the overall image volume. Resolution of the reconstructed image volume does not degrade with increase in sample size. We have used the method to image cementitious materials, hardened cement paste and concrete and the results obtained show that the method is reliable.
Possible applications of the method such as three-dimensional characterization of the pores and microcracks in hardened concrete, three-dimensional particle shape characterization of cementitious materials and three-dimensional characterization of other porous materials such as rocks and bioceramics are discussed. Penetration and binding of monoclonal antibody in human osteosarcoma multicell spheroids. Comparison of confocal laser scanning microscopy and autoadiography.
Penetration and binding of monoclonal antibody MAb in multicell osteosarcoma spheroids have been studied by autoradiography and confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM. Optical sectioning of the 3-dimensional spheroids was performed by CLSM. MAb had reached all parts of the spheroids within 6 h. Quantitative measurements of the fluorescence intensity of FITC-labelled MAb seen in confocal images and measurements of MAb bound per cell using flow cytometry, showed that maximum uptake was reached after 6 h.
The possibility to perform both quantatitive and qualitative measurements makes CLSM a promising method for studying antibody uptake in thick tissue samples. We present advances in the application of laser scanning confocal microscopy LSCM to image, reconstruct, and characterize statistically the microgeometry of porous geologic and engineering materials. We discuss technical and practical aspects of this imaging technique, including both its advantages and limitations. Confocal imaging can be used to optically section a material, with sub-micron resolution possible in the lateral and axial planes.
We present several examples of this application, including studying pore geometry in sandstone, characterizing brittle failure processes in low-porosity rock deformed under triaxial loading conditions in the laboratory, and analyzing the microstructure of porous ceramic insulations. We then describe approaches to extract statistical microgeometric descriptions from volumetric image data, and present results derived from confocal volumetric data sets.
Finally, we develop the use of confocal image data to automatically generate a three-dimensional mesh for numerical pore-scale flow simulations. Multimodal backside imaging of a microcontroller using confocal laser scanning and optical-beam-induced current imaging.
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Microscopy imaging with a single technology is usually restricted to a single contrast mechanism. Multimodal imaging is a promising technique to improve the structural information that could be obtained about a device under test DUT. Due to the different contrast mechanisms of laser scanning microscopy LSM , confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM and optical beam induced current microscopy OBICM , a combination could improve the detection of structures in integrated circuits ICs and helps to reveal their layout.
While OBIC imaging is sensitive to the changes between differently doped areas and to semiconductor-metal transitions, CLSM imaging is mostly sensitive to changes in absorption and reflection. Analyzing these types of microcontrollers helps to improve in the field of side-channel attacks to find hardware Trojans, possible spots for laser fault attacks and for reverse engineering.
For the experimental results the DUT is placed on a custom circuit board that allows us to measure the current while imaging it in our in-house built stage scanning microscope using a near infrared NIR laser diode as light source. The DUT is thinned and polished, allowing backside imaging through the Si-substrate. Confocal laser endomicroscopy. The aim of this study was to identify reproducible CLE features in patients with Crohn's disease Laser power abstract The reliability of the confocal laser-scanning microscope CLSM to obtain intensity measurements and quantify fluorescence data is dependent on using a correctly aligned machine that contains a stable laser power.
The laser power test appears to be one Spatially resolved analyses of uranium species using a coupled system made up of confocal laser-scanning microscopy CLSM and laser induced fluorescence spectroscopy LIFS. The fluorescent properties of uranium when excited by UV light are used increasingly for spectroscope analyses of uranium species within watery samples. Here, alongside the fluorescent properties of the hexavalent oxidation phases, the tetra and pentavalent oxidation phases also play an increasingly important role.
The detection of fluorescent emission spectrums on solid and biological samples using time-resolved laser induced fluorescence spectroscopy TRLFS or LIFS respectively has, however, the disadvantage that no statements regarding the spatial localisation of the uranium can be made. However, particularly in complex, biological samples, such statements on the localisation of the uranium enrichment in the sample are desired, in order to e. The fluorescent properties of uranium VI compounds and minerals can also be used to detect their localisation within complex samples.
So the application of fluorescent microscopic methods represents one possibility to localise and visualise uranium precipitates and enrichments in biological samples, such as biofilms or cells. The confocal laser-scanning microscopy CLSM is especially well suited to this purpose. Coupling confocal laser-scanning microscopy CLSM with laser induced fluorescence spectroscopy LIFS makes it possible to localise and visualise fluorescent signals spatially and three-dimensionally, while at the same time being able to detect spatially resolved, fluorescent-spectroscopic data.
This technology is characterised by relatively low detection limits from up to 1. Cutting efficiency of apical preparation using ultrasonic tips with microprojections: confocal laser scanning microscopy study. Full Text Available Objectives The purpose of this study was to compare the cutting efficiency of a newly developed microprojection tip and a diamond-coated tip under two different engine powers.
The ultrasonic engine was set to power-1 or The total time required for root-end preparation was recorded. All teeth were resected and the apical parts were evaluated for the number and length of cracks using a confocal scanning micrscope. The size of the root-end cavity and the width of the remaining dentin were recorded. The data were statistically analyzed using two-way analysis of variance and a Mann-Whitney test. Results There was no significant difference in the time required between the instrument groups, but the power-4 groups showed reduced preparation time for both instrument groups p Cutting efficiency of apical preparation using ultrasonic tips with microprojections: confocal laser scanning microscopy study.
The purpose of this study was to compare the cutting efficiency of a newly developed microprojection tip and a diamond-coated tip under two different engine powers. There was no significant difference in the time required between the instrument groups, but the power-4 groups showed reduced preparation time for both instrument groups p Quantitative and Qualitative Aspects of Gas-Metal-Oxide Mass Transfer in High-Temperature Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy.
During high-temperature confocal scanning laser microscopy HT-CSLM of liquid steel samples, thermal Marangoni flow and rapid mass transfer between the sample and its surroundings occur due to the relatively small sample size diameter around 5 mm and large temperature gradients. The resulting evaporation and steel-slag reactions tend to change the chemical composition in the metal.
Such mass transfer effects can change observed nonmetallic inclusions. This work quantifies oxide-metal-gas mass transfer of solutes during HT-CSLM experiments using computational simulations and experimental data for 1 dissolution of MgO inclusions in the presence and absence of slag and 2 Ca, Mg-silicate inclusion changes upon exposure of a Si-Mn-killed steel to an oxidizing gas atmosphere.
Noise analysis of a white-light supercontinuum light source for multiple wavelength confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy. The white-light supercontinuum noise level is therefore acceptable for CLSM, with the added advantage of wider wavelength flexibility over traditional CLSM excitation sources. As a result of these factors, we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this annual report will prove to be accurate. Furthermore, if our forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material.
In light of the significant uncertainties in these forward-looking statements, you should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by us or any other person that we will achieve our objectives and plans in any specified timeframe, or at all. Not applicable. Selected Financial Data. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the financial results to be expected in any future periods. Consolidated Statements of Financial Position Data:. Inventories and contracts in progress.
Trade receivables. Cash and cash equivalents. Total assets. Total liabilities. Net assets 1. Total equity. Net assets represents total assets less total liabilities. See Note 2 to our audited consolidated financial statements for more information. Cost of sales. Gross profit. Research and development expenses. Sales and marketing expenses. General and administrative expenses. Net other operating income.
Operating profit loss. Financial expenses. Financial income. Share in loss of joint venture. Profit loss before taxes. Income taxes. Net profit loss for the year. Net profit loss attributable to:. The owners of the parent. Non-controlling interest. Earnings per share attributable to the owners of the parent. Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income Data :. Net profit loss. Other comprehensive income loss , net of taxes. Total comprehensive income loss for the year, net of taxes. The year has been restated to reflect certain reclassification adjustments and the final accounting of the business combination with ACTech.
Other Data unaudited :. We calculate EBITDA as net profit plus income taxes, financial expenses less financial income , depreciation and amortization, and share in loss of joint venture. Depreciation and amortization. Non-recurring initial public offering expenses a.
Non-cash share-based compensation expenses b. Acquisition-related expenses of business combinations c. Non-recurring initial public offering expenses represent fees and costs incurred in connection with our initial public offering. Non-cash stock-based compensation expenses represent the cost of equity-settled and cash-settled share-based payments to employees.
MTLS 20F Annual Report
Acquisition-related expenses of business combinations represent fees and costs in connection with the acquisition of ACTech. Capitalization and Indebtedness. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds. Risks Relating to Our Business. We may not be able to maintain or increase the market share or reputation of our software and other products and services that they need to remain or become a market standard. The additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, industry is rapidly growing on a global scale and is subject to constant innovation and technological change.
A variety of technologies compete against one another in our market, which is driven, in part, by technological advances and end-user requirements and preferences, as well as by the emergence of new standards and practices. As the additive manufacturing market evolves, the industry standards that are adopted and adhered to are a function of the inherent qualities of the technology as well as the willingness of members of the industry to adopt them. To remain competitive, we depend in large part on our ability to increase and maintain market share and influence in the industry in order to be recognized as a market standard.
Nonetheless, in the future, our influence in setting standards for the additive manufacturing industry may be limited and the standards adopted by the market may not be compatible with our present or future products and services. We may not be successful in continuing to enhance and adapt our software, products and services in line with developments in market technologies and demands. Our present or future software, products and services could be rendered obsolete or uneconomical by technological advances by one or more of our present or future competitors or by other technologies.
Our ability to remain competitive will depend, in large part, on our ability to enhance and adapt our current software, product and services to developments in market technologies and demands and to enhance and develop new 3D printing software solutions, products and services. We believe that to remain competitive we must continuously enhance and expand the functionality and features of our products, services and technologies.
However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to:. Table of Contents The research and development programs that we are currently engaged in, or that we may establish in the future, may not be successful and our significant investments in these programs may be lost.
To remain competitive, we currently, and we intend to continue to, invest significant amounts in various research and development programs. There can be no assurances, however, that these research and development programs will improve our existing additive manufacturing software solutions, products and services or create new software, products or services. Even if some of these programs are successful, it is possible that the new software, products or services developed from such programs will not be commercially viable, that new 3D printing technologies that we, or others, develop will eventually supplant our current 3D printing technologies, that changes in the manufacturing or use of 3D printers will adversely affect the need or demand for our software, products or services or that our competitors will create or successfully market 3D printing technologies that will replace our solutions, products and services in the market.
As a result, any of our software solutions, products or services may be rendered obsolete or uneconomical and our significant investments in all or some of our research and development programs may be lost. Existing and increased competition may reduce our revenue and profits. The market segments in which we operate, Materialise Software, Materialise Medical and Materialise Manufacturing, are characterized by vigorous competition, by entry of competitors with innovative technologies, by consolidation of companies with complementary products, services and technologies, and by entry of large corporations in any one or more of our market segments.
In particular, the barriers to enter the software, medical and industrial markets with 3D printing solutions are decreasing rapidly. In the Materialise Software segment, the availability of computing devices with continually expanding performance at progressively lower prices contributes to the ease of market entry. Additionally, there are certain open source software applications that are being offered free of charge or for a nominal fee that can place additional competitive pressure on us.
In addition, 3D printer manufacturers, which closely work with their customers, may successfully bundle their own software solutions with their equipment, which may make our independent software solutions obsolete. In addition, companies that have greater financial, technical, sales and marketing and other resources, including market leaders with significant in-house capacities in software development, or existing computer-aided design, or CAD, or computer-aided manufacturing, or CAM, software providers, may, at any point in time, enter the additive manufacturing market and very rapidly gain a significant share of the markets that we target.
In the Materialise Medical segment, medical device companies are investing in 3D printing solutions that may compete with our software solutions, products and services. Companies that initially rely on us to enter the additive manufacturing market for medical applications may, as they gain experience and as 3D printing technology gains strategic importance, decide to develop their own in-house solutions and enter the market themselves with their own software, products or services, thus becoming competitors and denying us continued access to their distribution channels.
In the Materialise Manufacturing segment, as additive manufacturing gains importance as a strategic technology, our customers are likely to bring 3D manufacturing in-house and reduce or even discontinue using our 3D printing services. In addition, competitors with more efficient or profitable business models, superior techniques or more advanced technologies may take market share away from us. Because of these and other factors, competitive conditions in the industry are likely to intensify in the future.
Increased competition could result in price reductions, reduced revenue and operating margins and loss of market share, any of which would likely harm our results of operations. We rely on collaborations with users of our additive manufacturing solutions to be present in certain large scale markets and, indirectly, to expand into potentially high-growth specialty markets. Our inability to continue to develop or maintain these relationships in the future could harm our ability to remain competitive in existing markets and expand into other markets.
Our strategy includes entering into collaborations with our customers in certain large-scale markets and leveraging these collaborations to enter into other underserved specialty markets. For example, in the medical market, we have entered into collaborations with Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. Certain of our customers that have initially relied on our 3D printing software and services have announced their intention to bring their 3D printing operations in-house and enter the market themselves, and other customers may also do so in the future as they gain experience and as 3D printing technology gains strategic importance, thus denying us continued access to their distribution channels.
In addition, a change of control of any of our collaboration partners may negatively impact our relationship. If we are not able to maintain our existing collaborations and develop new collaborative relationships, our foothold in larger markets and expansion into potentially high-growth specialty markets could be harmed significantly. Table of Contents Our revenue and results of operations may fluctuate. Our revenue and results of operations may fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year and are likely to continue to vary due to a number of factors, many of which are not within our control.
You should not rely on our past results as an indication of our future performance. Fluctuations in our results of operations and financial condition may occur due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to, those listed below and those identified throughout this annual report:. Demand for additive manufacturing generally and our additive manufacturing software solutions, products and services in particular may not increase adequately. The industrial and medical industries are generally dominated by conventional production methods with limited use of additive manufacturing technology in certain specific instances.
If additive manufacturing technology, in particular but not limited to, for the production of end parts does not gain more mainstream market acceptance, or gains market acceptance at a significantly slower pace than currently expected, or if the marketplace adopts additive manufacturing based on a technology other than the technologies that we currently use or serve, we may not be able to meet our growth objectives or increase or sustain the level of sales of our additive manufacturing software solutions, products and services, and our results of operations would be adversely affected as a result.
We are dependent upon sales to certain industries. To the extent any of these industries experiences a downturn and we are unable to penetrate and expand in other industries, our results of operations may be adversely affected. Additionally, if any of these industries or their respective suppliers or other providers of manufacturing services develop new technologies or alternatives to manufacture the products that are currently manufactured using our 3D printing software, products and services, it may adversely affect our results of operations.
If our relationships with suppliers, including with limited source suppliers of consumables, were to terminate or our manufacturing arrangements were to be disrupted, our business could be adversely affected. Table of Contents We purchase consumables and other components that are used in our production from third-party suppliers.
We currently use only a limited number of suppliers for several of the consumables for our print materials. Our reliance on a limited number of vendors involves a number of risks, including:. If certain suppliers were to decide to discontinue production, or the supply to us, of a consumable or other component that we use, the unanticipated change in the availability of supplies, or unanticipated supply limitations, could cause delays in, or loss of, sales, increased production or related costs and, consequently, reduced margins, and damage to our reputation.
In addition, because we use a limited number of suppliers, increases in the prices charged by our suppliers may have an adverse effect on our results of operations, as we may be unable to find a supplier who can supply us at a lower price. As a result, the loss of a limited source supplier could adversely affect our relationships with our customers and our results of operations and financial condition. We depend on the knowledge and skills of our senior management and other key personnel, and if we are unable to retain and motivate them or recruit additional qualified personnel, our operations could suffer.
Our success depends upon the continued service and performance of our senior management and other key personnel, including engineers, designers, software developers and product managers, and our ability to identify, hire, develop, motivate and retain qualified personnel in the future.
Competition for senior management and key employees in our industry is intense and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to retain our personnel or attract new, qualified personnel. We may need to invest significant amounts of cash and equity to attract and retain new employees and we may not realize returns on these investments. Each member of senior management as well as our key employees may resign at any time. Only some of the members of our senior management are subject to non-competition agreements, which may also be difficult to enforce.
Accordingly, the adverse effect resulting from the loss of certain members of senior management or other key employees could be compounded by our inability to prevent them from competing with us. We do not carry key-man insurance on any member of our senior management team or other key personnel. If we lose the ability to hire and retain key executives and employees with a diversity and high level of skills in appropriate domains such as research and development and sales , it could have a material adverse impact on our business activities and results of operations.
We may need to raise additional capital from time to time in order to meet our growth strategy and may be unable to do so on attractive terms, or at all. We intend to continue to make investments to support the growth of our business and may require additional funds to respond to business challenges, including the need to implement our growth strategy, increase market share in our current markets or expand into other markets, or broaden our technology, intellectual property or service capabilities. Accordingly, we may require additional investments of capital from time to time, and our existing sources of cash and any funds generated from operations may not provide us with sufficient capital.
For various reasons, including any noncompliance with existing or future lending arrangements, additional financing, may not be available when needed, or may not be available on terms favorable to us. If we fail to obtain adequate capital on a timely basis or if capital cannot be obtained on terms satisfactory to us, we may not be able to achieve our planned rate of growth, which will adversely affect our results of operations. Our international operations subject us to various risks, and our failure to manage these risks could adversely affect our results of operations. We face significant operational risks as a result of doing business internationally, such as:.
We maintain important software research and development and engineering centers in Malaysia and Ukraine. In Malaysia, the government may exercise substantial control over certain sectors of the economy through regulation and state ownership. In Ukraine, the political and economic situation, in general, and the relations among Ukraine, United States, the European Union and Russia, in particular, remain unstable. We continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and have a risk mitigation plan designed to limit the impact on our operations in case of escalation of the instability in that region.
However, escalation could have a significant impact on our operations, in particular in the event where internet services would no longer be available in Ukraine or where the situation would become such that our employees would no longer be able to work from their homes. Our facility in Ukraine does not focus on sales to the Ukrainian market and mainly provides supporting activities for our global operations.
Any material disruption of these supporting activities, however, could significantly impact our ability to further develop our products and to continue to service our customers globally. Moreover, changes in the laws and regulations of Malaysia or Ukraine, or in their interpretation or enforcement, including with respect to operations such as ours, which rely to a large extent on local private entrepreneurs, may significantly impact our activities in Malaysia or Ukraine, which would limit our future growth and adversely affect our results of operations. Our failure to manage the market and operational risks associated with our international operations effectively could limit the future growth of our business and adversely affect our results of operations.
Our international operations pose currency risks, which may adversely affect our results of operations and net income.
Materialise Earnings 2018-12-31
Our results of operations may be affected by volatility in currency exchange rates and our ability to effectively manage our currency transaction risks. In general, we conduct our business, earn revenue and incur costs in the local currency of the countries in which we operate. As we continue to expand internationally, our exposure to currency risks will increase. Historically, we have not managed our foreign currency exposure in a manner that would eliminate the effects of changes in foreign exchange rates. Changes in exchange rates between the foreign currencies in which we do business and the euro will affect our revenue, cost of sales, and operating margins, and could result in exchange losses in any given reporting period.
Changes in tax laws, treaties or regulations could adversely affect our financial results. Our future effective tax rates could be adversely affected by changes in tax laws, treaties and regulations, both internationally and domestically, including possible changes to the patent income deduction and innovation income deduction regime in Belgium or the way it proportionately impacts our effective tax rate.
An increase of our future effective tax rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. We may engage in acquisitions or investments that could disrupt our business, cause dilution to our shareholders and harm our financial condition and results of operations. We have in the past and intend to continue to evaluate opportunities to acquire or invest in, companies that we believe have products, services, competencies or capabilities that are a strategic or commercial fit with any of our businesses or that otherwise offer opportunities for our company.
In connection with acquisitions or investments, we may:. If we complete an acquisition or investment, we cannot assure you that it will ultimately strengthen our competitive position or that it will be viewed positively by customers, suppliers, employees, financial markets or investors. Furthermore, future acquisitions or investments could pose numerous additional risks to our operations, including:. Alternatively, while certain acquisitions or investments may be of strategic importance for the execution of our business plan, we may not ultimately be able to complete such acquisitions or investments on favorable terms, or at all, which may in turn materially affect our ability to grow or even cause us to lose market share, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may enter into collaborations, in-licensing arrangements, joint ventures, strategic alliances or partnerships with third parties that may not result in the development of commercially viable products or the generation of significant future revenue. In the ordinary course of our business, we may enter into collaborations, in-licensing arrangements, joint ventures, strategic alliances or partnerships to develop proposed products or services and to pursue new markets. For example, in the Materialise Medical segment, we have collaborations with leading medical device companies for the development and distribution of our surgical planning software, services, and products, including with Zimmer Biomet, DJO Surgical, DePuy Synthes, Global Orthopaedic Technology, Lima and Mathys.
Proposing, negotiating and implementing collaborations, in-licensing arrangements, joint ventures, strategic alliances or partnerships may be a lengthy and complex process. Other companies, including those with substantially greater financial, marketing, sales, technology or other business resources, may compete with us for these opportunities or arrangements. We may not succeed in maintaining, renewing or extending existing collaborations or in identifying, securing, or completing any such new transactions or arrangements in a timely manner, on a cost-effective basis, on acceptable terms or at all.
We may also not realize the anticipated benefits of any such transaction or arrangement. In particular, these collaborations may not result in the development of products or services that achieve commercial success or result in significant revenue and could be terminated prior to developing any products or services.
Additionally, we may not be in a position to exercise sole decision making authority regarding the transaction or arrangement, which could create the potential risk of creating impasses on decisions, and our collaboration partners may have economic or business interests or goals that are, or that may become, inconsistent with our business interests or goals. It is possible that conflicts may arise with our current or future collaboration partners, such as conflicts concerning the achievement of performance milestones, or the interpretation of terms under any agreement, such as those related to financial obligations or the ownership or license rights or control of intellectual property developed before or during the collaboration.
If any conflicts arise with our current or future collaboration partners, they may act in their self-interest, which may be adverse to our best interest, and they may breach their obligations to us. Disputes with our collaboration partners may result in litigation or arbitration that would increase our expenses and divert the attention of our management.
Further, these transactions and arrangements are contractual in nature and may be terminated or dissolved under the terms of the applicable agreements and, in such event, we may not continue to have rights to the products or access to the markets relating to such transaction or arrangement or may need to purchase such rights at a premium.
Table of Contents Failure to comply with applicable anti-corruption legislation could result in fines, criminal penalties and an adverse effect on our business. We operate in a number of countries throughout the world, and are committed to doing business in accordance with applicable anti-corruption laws. We are subject, however, to the risk that our officers, directors, employees, agents and collaboration partners may take action determined to be in violation of such anti-corruption laws, including the U. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of , the U. Department of Commerce. In addition, actual or alleged violations could damage our reputation and ability to do business.
Errors or defects in our software or other products could cause us to incur additional costs, lose revenue and business opportunities, damage our reputation and expose us to potential liability. Sophisticated software and complex 3D printed products may contain errors, defects or other performance problems at any point in the life of the product. If errors or defects are discovered in our current or future software or other products, we may not be able to correct them in a timely manner, or provide an adequate response to our customers.
We may therefore need to expend significant financial, technical and management resources, or divert some of our development resources, in order to resolve or work around those defects. We may also experience an increase in our service and warranty costs. Claims may be made by individuals or by classes of users. Our product liability and related insurance policies may not apply or sufficiently cover any product liability lawsuit that arises from defective software or products. Customers such as our collaboration partners may also seek indemnification for third party claims allegedly arising from breaches of warranties under our collaboration agreements.
Errors, defects or other performance problems in our software or other products may also result in the loss of, or delay in, the market acceptance of our software, our products and related 3D printing or engineering services or postponement of customer deployment. Technical problems, or the loss of a customer with a particularly important global reputation, could also damage our own business reputation and cause us to lose new business opportunities. We rely on our information technology systems to manage numerous aspects of our business and customer and supplier relationships, and a disruption of these systems could adversely affect our results of operations.
We rely on our information technology systems and databases to manage numerous aspects of our business and to provide analytical information to management. Our information technology systems allow us to, among other things, optimize our software development and research and development efforts, organize our in-house 3D printing services logistics, efficiently purchase products from our suppliers, provide other procurement and logistic services, ship and invoice products to our customers on a timely basis, maintain cost-effective operations and generally provide service to our customers.
Our information technology systems are an essential component of our business and growth strategies, and a disruption to our information technology systems could significantly limit our ability to manage and operate our business efficiently. Although we take steps to secure our information technology systems, including our computer systems, intranet and internet sites, email and other telecommunications and data networks, the security measures we have implemented may not be effective and our systems may be vulnerable to, among other things, damage and interruption from power loss, including as a result of natural disasters, computer system and network failures, loss of telecommunication services, operator negligence, loss of data, security breaches, computer viruses and other disruptive events.
Any such disruption could adversely affect our reputation, brand and financial condition. A breach of security in our products or computer systems may compromise the integrity of our products, harm our reputation, create additional liability and adversely impact our financial results. We make significant efforts to maintain the security and integrity of our product source code and computer systems. The risk of a security breach or disruption, particularly through cyber attack or cyber intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments and cyber terrorists, has increased as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased.
These threats include identity theft, unauthorized access, DNS attacks, wireless network attacks, viruses and worms, advanced persistent threat APT , application centric attacks, peer-to-peer attacks, phishing, backdoor trojans and distributed denial of service DDoS attacks. Any of the foregoing could attack our products and computer systems. Despite significant efforts to create and continuously reinforce the security barriers to such programs, it is virtually impossible for us to entirely eliminate this risk.
Like all software products and computer systems, our software products and computer systems are vulnerable to such cyber attacks, and our computer systems have been subject to certain cyber security incidents in the past. Moreover, as we continue to invest in new lines of products and services we are exposed to increased security risks and the potential for unauthorized access to, or improper use of, the information of our product and service users.
If any of the foregoing occur, our reputation may suffer, customers may stop buying our products or services, we could face lawsuits and potential liability, and our results of operations could be adversely affected. Table of Contents We rely on third party technology, platform, carriers, server and hardware providers, and a failure of service by these providers could adversely affect our business and reputation.
We rely upon a third party provider to host our main servers. If this provider is unable to handle current or higher volumes of use, experiences any interruption in operations or ceases operations for any reason or if we are unable to agree on satisfactory terms for a continued hosting relationship, we would be forced to enter into a relationship with other service providers or assume hosting responsibilities ourselves. If we are forced to switch hosting facilities, we may not be successful in finding an alternative service provider on acceptable terms or in hosting the computer servers ourselves.
We may also be limited in our remedies against our third party hosting provider in the event of a failure of service. A failure or limitation of service or available capacity by our third party hosting provider could adversely affect our business and reputation. Workplace accidents or environmental damage could result in substantial remedial obligations and damage to our reputation.
Accidents or other incidents that occur at our service centers and other facilities or involve our personnel or operations could result in claims for damages against us. In addition, in the event we are found to be financially responsible, as a result of environmental or other laws or by court order, for environmental damages alleged to have been caused by us or occurring on our premises, we could be required to pay substantial monetary damages or undertake expensive remedial obligations.
The amount of any costs, including fines or damages payments that we might incur under such circumstances could substantially exceed any insurance we have to cover such losses. Any of these events, alone or in combination, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and could adversely affect our reputation. Our operations are subject to environmental laws and other government regulations that could result in liabilities in the future.
We are subject to local environmental laws and regulations governing our operations, including, but not limited to, emissions into the air and water and the use, handling, disposal and remediation of hazardous substances. A certain risk of environmental liability is inherent in our production activities. Under certain environmental laws, we could be held solely or jointly and severally responsible, regardless of fault, for the remediation of any hazardous substance contamination at our service centers and other facilities and the respective consequences arising out of human exposure to such substances or other environmental damage.
We may not have been and may not be at all times in complete compliance with environmental laws, regulations and permits, and the nature of our operations exposes us to the risk of liabilities or claims with respect to environmental and worker health and safety matters. If we violate or fail to comply with environmental laws, regulations and permits, we could be subject to penalties, fines, restrictions on operations or other sanctions, and our operations could be interrupted. The cost of complying with current and future environmental, health and safety laws applicable to our operations, or the liabilities arising from past releases of, or exposure to, hazardous substances, may result in future expenditures.
Any of these developments, alone or in combination, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If our service center operations are disrupted, sales of our 3D printing services, including the medical devices that we print, may be affected, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
We have six 3D printing service centers in Europe, the United States and Asia, including our principal 3D printing service center located in Leuven, Belgium. If the operations of these facilities are materially disrupted, whether by fires or other industrial accidents, extreme weather, natural disasters, labor stoppages, acts of terror, or otherwise, we would be unable to fulfill customer orders for the period of the disruption, we would not be able to recognize revenue on orders, we could suffer damage to our reputation, and we might need to modify our standard sales terms to secure the commitment of new customers during the period of the disruption and perhaps longer.
Depending on the cause of the disruption, we could incur significant costs to remedy the disruption and resume providing 3D printing services. Such a disruption could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. We could experience unforeseen difficulties in building and operating key portions of our 3D printing infrastructure. We have designed and built our own 3D printing operations, 3D printer platforms and other key portions of our technical infrastructure through which we serve our products and services, and we plan to continue to expand the size of our infrastructure through expanding our 3D printing facilities.
The infrastructure expansion we may undertake may be complex, and unanticipated delays in the completion of these projects or availability of components may lead to increased project costs, operational inefficiencies, or interruptions in the delivery or degradation of the quality of our products. In addition, there may be issues related to this infrastructure that are not identified during the design and implementation phases, which may only become evident after we have started to fully utilize the underlying equipment, that could further degrade the user experience or increase our costs.
We may not have adequate insurance for potential liabilities, including liabilities arising from litigation. In the ordinary course of business, we have been, and in the future may be, subject to various product and non-product related claims, lawsuits and administrative proceedings seeking damages or other remedies arising out of our commercial operations, including litigation related to defects in our software or other products.
We maintain insurance to cover our potential exposure for a number of claims and losses. However, our insurance coverage is subject to various exclusions, self-retentions and deductibles, may be inadequate or unavailable to protect us fully, and may be cancelled or otherwise terminated by the insurer. Furthermore, we face the following additional risks related to our insurance coverage:. Even a partially uninsured claim of significant size, if successful, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity. However, even if we successfully defend ourselves against any such claim, we could be forced to spend a substantial amount of money in litigation expenses, our management could be required to spend valuable time defending these claims and our reputation could suffer, any of which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Current and future global economic uncertainties and political conditions may adversely affect our results of operations. Our results of operations could be substantially affected not only by global economic conditions, but also by local operating and economic conditions, which can vary substantially by market. Unfavorable conditions can depress sales in a given market and may result in actions that adversely affect our margins, constrain our operating flexibility or result in charges that are unusual or non-recurring.
These economic developments could affect us in numerous ways, many of which we cannot predict. We are unable to predict the likely duration and severity of the current disruption in financial markets and adverse economic conditions, or the effects these disruptions and conditions could have on us.
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In addition, political and economic developments could also result in changes to legislation or reformation of government policies, rules and regulations, including in relation to tax and trade. Such changes could have a significant impact on our business by increasing the cost of doing business, affecting our ability to sell our software, products and services and negatively impacting our profitability.
For example, while the U. As a result, there remains considerable uncertainty around the withdrawal. These changes may adversely affect our operations and financial results. Additionally, there have been recent public announcements by members of the U. Congress, President Trump and his administration regarding the possible implementation of a border tax, tariff or increase in custom duties on products manufactured outside of and imported into the United States, as well as the renegotiation of U. For example, in March , Mr. Trump issued two proclamations imposing tariffs on imports of certain steel and aluminium products.
The implementation of a border tax, tariff or higher customs duties on our products imported into the United States or on raw materials we import into the United States, or any potential corresponding actions by other countries in which we do business, could negatively impact our financial performance. We face potential liability related to the privacy and security of personal information we collect. In particular, but not exclusively, in connection with our Materialise Medical segment, we may have access to personal information that is subject to a number of U.
These statutes, regulations and contractual obligations impose numerous requirements regarding the use and disclosure of personal health information with which we must comply. Our business will need to be adapted to meet these obligations and we are working on achieving compliance with the GDPR.
We have completed a gap assessment in March in which we identified the areas where we need to adapt our business processes to become fully compliant with the GDPR. We are working on implementing the findings and recommendations from the gap assessment. Table of Contents In ensuring continued compliance with the E. While this may be achieved under the E. Adherence to the Privacy Shield is not, however, mandatory. Privacy Shield or on the other authorized means and procedures to transfer personal data provided by the GDPR, such as the inclusion of standard contractual clauses in contracts between controllers and processors.
In addition, the use and disclosure of personal health and other private information is subject to regulation in other jurisdictions in which we do business or expect to do business in the future.
Those jurisdictions may attempt to apply such laws extraterritorially or through treaties or other arrangements with European governmental entities. We might unintentionally violate such laws, such laws may be modified and new laws may be enacted in the future which may increase the chance that we violate them. For example, the GDPR contains rules relating to the collection and processing of personal information, which are not identical to the current rules under national privacy laws and which contain more strict provisions. Any such developments, or developments stemming from enactment or modification of other laws, or the failure by us to comply with their requirements or to accurately anticipate the application or interpretation of these laws could create material liability to us, result in adverse publicity and negatively affect our medical business.
Our failure to accurately anticipate the application or interpretation of these statutes, regulations and contractual obligations as we develop our medical and other products and services, a failure by us to comply with their requirements e. Any legislation or regulation in the area of privacy and security of personal information could affect the way we operate and could harm our business. The costs of compliance with, and the other burdens imposed by, these and other laws or regulatory actions may prevent us from selling our solutions or increase the costs associated with selling our products and services, and may affect our ability to invest in or jointly develop our products and services in the United States, the European Union and in foreign jurisdictions.
Further, we cannot assure you that our privacy and security policies and practices will be found sufficient to protect us from liability or adverse publicity relating to the privacy and security of personal information. Our medical business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be significantly and negatively affected by substantial government regulations. Our medical products are subject to rigorous regulation by the European Commission, the U.
In general, the development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of our medical products are subject to extensive regulation and review by numerous governmental authorities in the European Union, the United States and in other markets where we are currently active or may become active in the future.
The regulatory process requires the expenditure of significant time, effort and expense to bring new medical products to market, and we cannot be certain that we will receive regulatory approvals, certifications or registrations in any country in which we plan to market our medical products. The laws and regulations, including the requirements for approvals, certifications or registrations and the time required for regulatory review, vary from country to country.
The regulatory approval process outside the European Union and the United States may include all of the risks associated with obtaining CE or FDA clearance or approval in addition to other risks. Clearance or approval by the FDA in the United States, or declaration of conformity assessment and affixing a CE mark in the European Economic Area, or EEA, does not ensure approval or certification by regulatory authorities in other countries, and approval or certification by one foreign regulatory authority does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries.
We may be required to perform additional pre-clinical or clinical studies even if FDA clearance or approval, or the right to bear the CE label, has been obtained. We may not obtain regulatory approvals or certifications outside the European Union and the United States on a timely basis, if at all.
If we fail to receive necessary approvals to commercialize our medical products in jurisdictions outside the European Union and the United States on a timely basis, or at all, our medical business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, we are required to implement and maintain stringent reporting, labeling and record keeping procedures and make our facilities and operations subject to periodic inspections, both scheduled and unannounced, by the regulatory authorities. The medical device industry is also subject to a myriad of complex laws and regulations governing reimbursement, which varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in the European Union and which includes Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement in the United States as well as healthcare fraud and abuse laws, with these laws and regulations being subject to interpretation.
In many instances, the industry does not have the benefit of significant regulatory or judicial interpretation of these laws and regulations. In certain public statements, governmental authorities have taken positions on issues for which little official interpretation was previously available. Some of these positions appear to be inconsistent with common practices within the industry but that have not previously been challenged.
Various governmental agencies have become increasingly vigilant in recent years in their investigation of various business practices. Governmental and regulatory actions against us can result in various actions that could adversely impact our medical operations, including:. Failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements could also result in civil actions against us and other unanticipated expenditures.
Any of these actions, in combination or alone, or even a public announcement that we are being investigated for possible violations of these laws, could have a material adverse effect on our medical business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. If investigated, we cannot assure that the costs of defending or resolving those investigations or proceedings would not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Many of the regulations applicable to our medical surgical guides, models, implants and software products in these countries are similar to those of the European Commission and the FDA.
In addition, in many countries the national health or social security organizations require our medical products to be qualified before they can be marketed with the benefit of reimbursement eligibility. Failure to receive or delays in the receipt of relevant foreign qualifications also could have a material adverse effect on our medical business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
As the government regulators in the European Union, United States and elsewhere have become increasingly stringent, we may be subject to more rigorous regulation by governmental authorities in the future. Modifications to our medical products marketed in the United States may require new k clearances or premarket approvals, or may require us to cease marketing or recall the modified products until clearances are obtained.
Any modification to a k -cleared device that could significantly affect its safety or efficacy, or that would constitute a major change in its intended use, technology, materials, packaging and certain manufacturing processes, may require a new k clearance or, possibly, a premarket approval, or PMA. We have made modifications to our medical products in the past and may make additional modifications in the future that we believe did not or will not require additional clearances or approvals. If the FDA requires us to cease marketing and recall the modified device until we obtain a new k clearance or PMA, our medical business, financial condition, results of operations and future growth prospects could be materially adversely affected.
Further, our medical products could be subject to recall if the FDA determines, for any reason, that our products are not safe or effective. Any recall or FDA requirement that we seek additional approvals or clearances could result in significant delays, fines, increased costs associated with modification of a product, loss of revenue and potential operating restrictions imposed by the FDA. Healthcare policy changes, including legislation to reform the U.
From time to time, legislation is drafted and introduced that could significantly change the statutory provisions governing the clearance or approval, manufacture and marketing of a medical device. In addition, regulations and guidance are often revised or reinterpreted in ways that may significantly affect our medical business and our medical products. It is impossible to predict whether legislative changes will be enacted or regulations, guidance or interpretations changed, and what the impact of such changes, if any, may be.
Table of Contents For instance, in , the U. Some of the provisions of the PPACA have yet to be fully implemented, while certain provisions have been subject to U. Efforts to repeal and replace the PPACA have been ongoing since the election, but it is unclear if these efforts will be successful. Since January , President Trump has signed Executive Orders and other directives designed to delay, circumvent or loosen the implementation of certain provisions requirements mandated by the PPACA or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the PPACA.
Furthermore, in December , a U. District Court Judge and President Trump, among others, have acknowledged the ruling will have no immediate effect pending appeal. Thus, the full impact of the PPACA, any law repealing or replacing elements of it, and the political uncertainty surrounding any repeal or replacement legislation on our business remains unclear.