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Nanomaterials, Volume 7, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story Advancements in plasma-enabled synthesis have led to the development of novel and effective methods [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Mesoporous Silica Matrix as a Tool for Minimizing Dipolar Interactions in NiFe2O4 and ZnFe2O4 Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 151; doi:10.3390/nano7070151
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
NiFe2O4 and ZnFe2O4 nanoparticles have been prepared encased in the MCM (Mobile Composition of Matter) type matrix. Their magnetic behavior has been studied and compared with that corresponding to particles of the same composition and of a
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NiFe2O4 and ZnFe2O4 nanoparticles have been prepared encased in the MCM (Mobile Composition of Matter) type matrix. Their magnetic behavior has been studied and compared with that corresponding to particles of the same composition and of a similar size (prepared and embedded in amorphous silica or as bare particles). This study has allowed elucidation of the role exerted by the matrix and interparticle interactions in the magnetic behavior of each ferrite system. Thus, very different superparamagnetic behavior has been found in ferrite particles of similar size depending on the surrounding media. Also, the obtained results clearly provide evidence of the vastly different magnetic behavior for each ferrite system. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Characterisation of the Chemical Composition and Structural Features of Novel Antimicrobial Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 152; doi:10.3390/nano7070152
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
Three antimicrobial nanoparticle types (AMNP0, AMNP1, and AMNP2) produced using the TesimaTM thermal plasma technology were investigated and their compositions were determined using a combination of analytical methods. Scanning electron micrographs provided the morphology of these particles with observed sizes ranging from
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Three antimicrobial nanoparticle types (AMNP0, AMNP1, and AMNP2) produced using the TesimaTM thermal plasma technology were investigated and their compositions were determined using a combination of analytical methods. Scanning electron micrographs provided the morphology of these particles with observed sizes ranging from 10 to 50 nm, whilst FTIR spectra confirmed the absence of polar bonds and organic impurities, and strong Raman active vibrational bands at ca. 1604 and 1311 cm−1 ascribed to C–C vibrational motions were observed. Carbon signals that resonated at δC 126 ppm in the solid state NMR spectra confirmed that sp2 hybridised carbons were present in high concentration in two of the nanoparticle types (AMNP1 and AMNP2). X-ray powder diffraction suggested that AMNP0 contains single phase Tungsten carbide (WC) in a high state of purity and multiple phases of WC/WC1-x were identified in both AMNP1 and AMNP2. Finally, X-ray photoelectron spectral (XPS) analyses revealed and quantified the elemental ratios in these composite formulations. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Electrosome: A Surface-Displayed Enzymatic Cascade in a Biofuel Cell’s Anode and a High-Density Surface-Displayed Biocathodic Enzyme
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 153; doi:10.3390/nano7070153
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
The limitation of surface-display systems in biofuel cells to a single redox enzyme is a major drawback of hybrid biofuel cells, resulting in a low copy-number of enzymes per yeast cell and a limitation in displaying enzymatic cascades. Here we present the electrosome,
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The limitation of surface-display systems in biofuel cells to a single redox enzyme is a major drawback of hybrid biofuel cells, resulting in a low copy-number of enzymes per yeast cell and a limitation in displaying enzymatic cascades. Here we present the electrosome, a novel surface-display system based on the specific interaction between the cellulosomal scaffoldin protein and a cascade of redox enzymes that allows multiple electron-release by fuel oxidation. The electrosome is composed of two compartments: (i) a hybrid anode, which consists of dockerin-containing enzymes attached specifically to cohesin sites in the scaffoldin to assemble an ethanol oxidation cascade, and (ii) a hybrid cathode, which consists of a dockerin-containing oxygen-reducing enzyme attached in multiple copies to the cohesin-bearing scaffoldin. Each of the two compartments was designed, displayed, and tested separately. The new hybrid cell compartments displayed enhanced performance over traditional biofuel cells; in the anode, the cascade of ethanol oxidation demonstrated higher performance than a cell with just a single enzyme. In the cathode, a higher copy number per yeast cell of the oxygen-reducing enzyme copper oxidase has reduced the effect of competitive inhibition resulting from yeast oxygen consumption. This work paves the way for the assembly of more complex cascades using different enzymes and larger scaffoldins to further improve the performance of hybrid cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Biofuel Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Synergistic Effect of MoS2 and SiO2 Nanoparticles as Lubricant Additives for Magnesium Alloy–Steel Contacts
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 154; doi:10.3390/nano7070154
Received: 6 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
The tribological performances of the SiO2/MoS2 hybrids as lubricant additives were explored by a reciprocating ball-on-flat tribometer for AZ31 magnesium alloy/AISI 52100 bearing steel pairs. The results demonstrated that the introduction of SiO2/MoS2 hybrids into the base
[...] Read more.
The tribological performances of the SiO2/MoS2 hybrids as lubricant additives were explored by a reciprocating ball-on-flat tribometer for AZ31 magnesium alloy/AISI 52100 bearing steel pairs. The results demonstrated that the introduction of SiO2/MoS2 hybrids into the base oil exhibited a significant reduction in the friction coefficient and wear volume as well as an increase in load bearing capacity, which was better than the testing results of the SiO2 or MoS2 nanolubricants. Specifically, the addition of 0.1 wt % nano-SiO2 mixed with 1.0 wt % nano-MoS2 into the base oil reduced the friction coefficient by 21.8% and the wear volume by 8.6% compared to the 1.0 wt % MoS2 nanolubricants. The excellent lubrication behaviors of the SiO2/MoS2 hybrid nanolubricants can be explained by the micro-cooperation of different nanoparticles with disparate morphology and lubrication mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biodegradable FeMnSi Sputter-Coated Macroporous Polypropylene Membranes for the Sustained Release of Drugs
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 155; doi:10.3390/nano7070155
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 24 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2792 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pure Fe and FeMnSi thin films were sputtered on macroporous polypropylene (PP) membranes with the aim to obtain biocompatible, biodegradable and, eventually, magnetically-steerable platforms. Room-temperature ferromagnetic response was observed in both Fe- and FeMnSi-coated membranes. Good cell viability was observed in both cases
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Pure Fe and FeMnSi thin films were sputtered on macroporous polypropylene (PP) membranes with the aim to obtain biocompatible, biodegradable and, eventually, magnetically-steerable platforms. Room-temperature ferromagnetic response was observed in both Fe- and FeMnSi-coated membranes. Good cell viability was observed in both cases by means of cytotoxicity studies, though the FeMnSi-coated membranes showed higher biodegradability than the Fe-coated ones. Various strategies to functionalize the porous platforms with transferrin-Alexa Fluor 488 (Tf-AF488) molecules were tested to determine an optimal balance between the functionalization yield and the cargo release. The distribution of Tf-AF488 within the FeMnSi-coated PP membranes, as well as its release and uptake by cells, was studied by confocal laser scanning microscopy. A homogeneous distribution of the drug within the membrane skeleton and its sustained release was achieved after three consecutive impregnations followed by the addition of a layer made of gelatin and maltodextrin, which prevented exceedingly fast release. The here-prepared organic-inorganic macroporous membranes could find applications as fixed or magnetically-steerable drug delivery platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle Oxygen Partial Pressure Impact on Characteristics of Indium Titanium Zinc Oxide Thin Film Transistor Fabricated via RF Sputtering
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 156; doi:10.3390/nano7070156
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Indium titanium zinc oxide (InTiZnO) as the channel layer in thin film transistor (TFT) grown by RF sputtering system is proposed in this work. Optical and electrical properties were investigated. By changing the oxygen flow ratio, we can suppress excess and undesirable oxygen-related
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Indium titanium zinc oxide (InTiZnO) as the channel layer in thin film transistor (TFT) grown by RF sputtering system is proposed in this work. Optical and electrical properties were investigated. By changing the oxygen flow ratio, we can suppress excess and undesirable oxygen-related defects to some extent, making it possible to fabricate the optimized device. XPS patterns for O 1s of InTiZnO thin films indicated that the amount of oxygen vacancy was apparently declined with the increasing oxygen flow ratio. The fabricated TFTs showed a threshold voltage of −0.9 V, mobility of 0.884 cm2/Vs, on-off ratio of 5.5 × 105, and subthreshold swing of 0.41 V/dec. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ZnO and TiO2 Based Nanostructures)
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Open AccessArticle Thermoelectric and Transport Properties of Delafossite CuCrO2:Mg Thin Films Prepared by RF Magnetron Sputtering
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 157; doi:10.3390/nano7070157
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
P-type Mg doped CuCrO2 thin films have been deposited on fused silica substrates by Radio-Frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering. The as-deposited CuCrO2:Mg thin films have been annealed at different temperatures (from 450 to 650 °C) under primary vacuum to obtain the
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P-type Mg doped CuCrO2 thin films have been deposited on fused silica substrates by Radio-Frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering. The as-deposited CuCrO2:Mg thin films have been annealed at different temperatures (from 450 to 650 °C) under primary vacuum to obtain the delafossite phase. The annealed samples exhibit 3R delafossite structure. Electrical conductivity σ and Seebeck coefficient S of all annealed films have been measured from 40 to 220 °C. The optimized properties have been obtained for CuCrO2:Mg thin film annealed at 550 °C. At a measurement temperature of 40 °C, this sample exhibited the highest electrical conductivity of 0.60 S·cm−1 with a Seebeck coefficient of +329 µV·K−1. The calculated power factor (PF = σS²) was 6 µW·m−1·K−2 at 40 °C and due to the constant Seebeck coefficient and the increasing electrical conductivity with measurement temperature, it reached 38 µW·m−1·K−2 at 220 °C. Moreover, according to measurement of the Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity in temperature, we confirmed that CuCrO2:Mg exhibits hopping conduction and degenerates semiconductor behavior. Carrier concentration, Fermi level, and hole effective mass have been discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermoelectric Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle I-V and C-V Characterization of a High-Responsivity Graphene/Silicon Photodiode with Embedded MOS Capacitor
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 158; doi:10.3390/nano7070158
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
We study the effect of temperature and light on the I-V and C-V characteristics of a graphene/silicon Schottky diode. The device exhibits a reverse-bias photocurrent exceeding the forward current and achieves a photoresponsivity as high as 2.5A/W. We show
[...] Read more.
We study the effect of temperature and light on the I-V and C-V characteristics of a graphene/silicon Schottky diode. The device exhibits a reverse-bias photocurrent exceeding the forward current and achieves a photoresponsivity as high as 2.5 A / W . We show that the enhanced photocurrent is due to photo-generated carriers injected in the graphene/Si junction from the parasitic graphene/SiO2/Si capacitor connected in parallel to the diode. The same mechanism can occur with thermally generated carriers, which contribute to the high leakage current often observed in graphene/Si junctions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene and Nanotube Based Devices)
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Open AccessArticle Controllable Charge Transfer in Ag-TiO2 Composite Structure for SERS Application
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 159; doi:10.3390/nano7070159
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3077 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The nanocaps array of TiO2/Ag bilayer with different Ag thicknesses and co-sputtering TiO2-Ag monolayer with different TiO2 contents were fabricated on a two-dimensional colloidal array substrate for the investigation of Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) properties. For the
[...] Read more.
The nanocaps array of TiO2/Ag bilayer with different Ag thicknesses and co-sputtering TiO2-Ag monolayer with different TiO2 contents were fabricated on a two-dimensional colloidal array substrate for the investigation of Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) properties. For the TiO2/Ag bilayer, when the Ag thickness increased, SERS intensity decreased. Meanwhile, a significant enhancement was observed when the sublayer Ag was 10 nm compared to the pure Ag monolayer, which was ascribed to the metal-semiconductor synergistic effect that electromagnetic mechanism (EM) provided by roughness surface and charge-transfer (CT) enhancement mechanism from TiO2-Ag composite components. In comparison to the TiO2/Ag bilayer, the co-sputtered TiO2-Ag monolayer decreased the aggregation of Ag particles and led to the formation of small Ag particles, which showed that TiO2 could effectively inhibit the aggregation and growth of Ag nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for SERS Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Polydopamine Nanoparticles for Combined Chemo- and Photothermal Cancer Therapy
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 160; doi:10.3390/nano7070160
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Cancer therapy with two different modalities can enhance treatment efficacy and reduce side effects. This paper describes a new method for combined chemo- and photothermal therapy of cancer using poly dopamine nanoparticles (PDA-NPs), where PDA-NPs serve not only as a photothermal agent with
[...] Read more.
Cancer therapy with two different modalities can enhance treatment efficacy and reduce side effects. This paper describes a new method for combined chemo- and photothermal therapy of cancer using poly dopamine nanoparticles (PDA-NPs), where PDA-NPs serve not only as a photothermal agent with strong near infrared absorbance and high energy conversion efficiency, but also as a carrier to deliver cisplatin via interaction between cisplatin and catechol groups on PDA-NPs. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was introduced through Michael addition reaction to improve the stability of PDA-NPs in physiological condition. A remarkable synergistic therapeutic effect has been achieved compared with respective single treatments. This work suggests that the PDA-based nanoplatform can be a universal scaffold for combined chemo- and photothermal therapy of cancer. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Citrus Pectin-Derived Carbon Microspheres with Superior Adsorption Ability for Methylene Blue
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 161; doi:10.3390/nano7070161
Received: 27 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
In this study, citrus pectin-derived, green, and tunable carbon microspheres with superior adsorption capacity and high adsorption rate, as well as good reusability toward methylene blue adsorption, were prepared by a facile hydrothermal method without any hazardous chemicals. The materials hold great potential
[...] Read more.
In this study, citrus pectin-derived, green, and tunable carbon microspheres with superior adsorption capacity and high adsorption rate, as well as good reusability toward methylene blue adsorption, were prepared by a facile hydrothermal method without any hazardous chemicals. The materials hold great potential for the treatment of methylene blue wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Water Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle Biological Fate of Fe3O4 Core-Shell Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Depending on Particle Surface Chemistry
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 162; doi:10.3390/nano7070162
Received: 4 June 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The biological fate of nanoparticles (NPs) for biomedical applications is highly dependent of their size and charge, their aggregation state and their surface chemistry. The chemical composition of the NPs surface influences their stability in biological fluids, their interaction with proteins, and their
[...] Read more.
The biological fate of nanoparticles (NPs) for biomedical applications is highly dependent of their size and charge, their aggregation state and their surface chemistry. The chemical composition of the NPs surface influences their stability in biological fluids, their interaction with proteins, and their attraction to the cell membranes. In this work, core-shell magnetic mesoporous silica nanoparticles (Fe3O4@MSN), that are considered as potential theranostic candidates, are coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) or 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) lipid bilayer. Their biological fate is studied in comparison to the native NPs. The physicochemical properties of these three types of NPs and their suspension behavior in different media are investigated. The attraction to a membrane model is also evaluated using a supported lipid bilayer. The surface composition of NPs strongly influences their dispersion in biological fluids mimics, protein binding and their interaction with cell membrane. While none of these types of NPs is found to be toxic on mice four days after intravenous injection of a dose of 40 mg kg−1 of NPs, their surface coating nature influences the in vivo biodistribution. Importantly, NP coated with DMPC exhibit a strong accumulation in liver and a very low accumulation in lung in comparison with nude or PEG ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis, Characterization, and Nanomedical Applications of Conjugates between Resorcinarene-Dendrimers and Ibuprofen
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 163; doi:10.3390/nano7070163
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
Ibuprofen has been reported to possess anticancer activity. In the present work, four ibuprofen conjugates of resorcinarene-Polyamidoamine PAMAM-dendrimers were synthesized with eight or 16 ibuprofen moieties. The ibuprofen was released from the dendrimers in a dependent manner. The drug-conjugated nanoresorcinarene-dendrimers showed higher cellular
[...] Read more.
Ibuprofen has been reported to possess anticancer activity. In the present work, four ibuprofen conjugates of resorcinarene-Polyamidoamine PAMAM-dendrimers were synthesized with eight or 16 ibuprofen moieties. The ibuprofen was released from the dendrimers in a dependent manner. The drug-conjugated nanoresorcinarene-dendrimers showed higher cellular uptake than free ibuprofen. In vitro cytotoxicity studies were performed with free ibuprofen and with the synthesized conjugates in U251, PC-3, K-562, HCT-15, MCF-7, SKLU-1, and MDA U251 (human glioblastoma), PC-3 (human prostatic adenocarcinoma), K-562 (human chronic myelogenous leukemia cells), HCT-15 (human colorectal adenocarcinoma), MCF-7 (human mammary adenocarcinoma), SKLU-1 (human lung adenocarcinoma), and MDA-MB-231 (human mammary adenocarcinoma) cancer cell lines by different cytotoxicity assays. Ibuprofen conjugates of the first and second generations showed significant cytotoxic effects towards the human glioblastoma (U251) and human mammary adenocarcinoma (MCF-7, MDA) cell lines. Moreover, the ibuprofen conjugates improved cytotoxicity compared to free ibuprofen. Increased therapeutic efficacy was observed with specific ibuprofen conjugates of the second generation using low doses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle First-Principles Study of Structural, Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Metal-Centered Tetrahexahedral V15+ Cluster
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 164; doi:10.3390/nano7070164
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
The V-centered bicapped hexagonal antiprism structure (A), as the most stable geometry of the cationic V15+ cluster, is determined by using infrared multiple photo dissociation (IR-MPD) in combination with density functional theory computations. It is found that the A
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The V-centered bicapped hexagonal antiprism structure (A), as the most stable geometry of the cationic V15+ cluster, is determined by using infrared multiple photo dissociation (IR-MPD) in combination with density functional theory computations. It is found that the A structure can be stabilized by 18 delocalized 3c-2e σ-bonds on outer V3 triangles of the bicapped hexagonal antiprism surface and 12 delocalized 4c-2e σ-bonds on inner trigonal pyramidal V4 moiety, and the features are related to the strong p-d hybridization of the cluster. The total magnetic moments on the cluster are predicted to be 2.0 µB, which come mainly from the central vanadium atom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noble Metal Nanoparticles in Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Interleukin-10 Conjugation to Carboxylated PVP-Coated Silver Nanoparticles for Improved Stability and Therapeutic Efficacy
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 165; doi:10.3390/nano7070165
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a key anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive cytokine and therefore represents a potential therapeutic agent especially in inflammatory diseases. However, despite its proven therapeutic efficacy, its short half-life and proteolytic degradation in vivo combined with its low storage stability have limited its
[...] Read more.
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a key anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive cytokine and therefore represents a potential therapeutic agent especially in inflammatory diseases. However, despite its proven therapeutic efficacy, its short half-life and proteolytic degradation in vivo combined with its low storage stability have limited its therapeutic use. Strategies have been developed to overcome most of these shortcomings, including in particular bioconjugation with stabilizing agents such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) and poly (vinylpyrolidone) (PVP), but so far these have had limited success. In this paper, we present an alternative method consisting of bioconjugating IL-10 to PVP-coated silver nanoparticles (Ag-PVPs) in order to achieve its storage stability by preventing denaturation and to improve its anti-inflammatory efficacy. Silver nanoparticles capped with a carboxylated PVP were produced and further covalently conjugated with IL-10 protein by carbodiimide crosslinker chemistry. The IL-10 conjugated Ag-PVPs exhibited increased stability and anti-inflammatory effectiveness in vitro. This study therefore provides a novel approach to bioconjugating PVP-coated silver nanoparticles with therapeutic proteins, which could be useful in drug delivery and anti-inflammatory therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles in Immunology)
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Open AccessArticle Overcoming the Intrinsic Difference between Hydrophilic CH3NH3PbI3 and Hydrophobic C60 Thin Films to Improve the Photovoltaic Performance
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 166; doi:10.3390/nano7070166
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Dimethylformamide/dimethyl sulfoxide solvent mixtures were used as the CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3) precursor solvent in a one-step spin coating method to fabricate smooth and hydrophilic crystalline MAPbI3 thin films on top of hydrophobic carbon-60 (C60)
[...] Read more.
Dimethylformamide/dimethyl sulfoxide solvent mixtures were used as the CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3) precursor solvent in a one-step spin coating method to fabricate smooth and hydrophilic crystalline MAPbI3 thin films on top of hydrophobic carbon-60 (C60) thin film for highly efficient photovoltaics. The structural, optical, and excitonic characteristics of the resultant MAPbI3 thin films were analyzed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic-force microscopy, absorbance spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL) spectrometry, and nanosecond time-resolved PL. There was a trade-off between the crystallinity and surface roughness of the MAPbI3 thin films, which strongly influenced the device performance of MAPbI3-based photovoltaics. The high power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 17.55% was achieved by improving the wettability of MAPbI3 precursor solutions on top of the C60 thin films. In addition, it was predicted that the fill factor and PCE could be further improved by increasing the crystallinity of the MAPbI3 thin film while keeping it smooth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reduced Graphene Oxides: Influence of the Reduction Method on the Electrocatalytic Effect towards Nucleic Acid Oxidation
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 168; doi:10.3390/nano7070168
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3823 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
For the first time a critical analysis of the influence that four different graphene oxide reduction methods have on the electrochemical properties of the resulting reduced graphene oxides (RGOs) is reported. Starting from the same graphene oxide, chemical (CRGO), hydrothermal (hTRGO), electrochemical (ERGO),
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For the first time a critical analysis of the influence that four different graphene oxide reduction methods have on the electrochemical properties of the resulting reduced graphene oxides (RGOs) is reported. Starting from the same graphene oxide, chemical (CRGO), hydrothermal (hTRGO), electrochemical (ERGO), and thermal (TRGO) reduced graphene oxide were produced. The materials were fully characterized and the topography and electroactivity of the resulting glassy carbon modified electrodes were also evaluated. An oligonucleotide molecule was used as a model of DNA electrochemical biosensing. The results allow for the conclusion that TRGO produced the RGOs with the best electrochemical performance for oligonucleotide electroanalysis. A clear shift in the guanine oxidation peak potential to lower values (~0.100 V) and an almost two-fold increase in the current intensity were observed compared with the other RGOs. The electrocatalytic effect has a multifactorial explanation because the TRGO was the material that presented a higher polydispersity and lower sheet size, thus exposing a larger quantity of defects to the electrode surface, which produces larger physical and electrochemical areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Sensing Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Self-Assembled Behavior of pH-Responsive Chiral Liquid Crystal Amphiphilic Copolymers Based on Diosgenyl-Functionalized Aliphatic Polycarbonate
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 169; doi:10.3390/nano7070169
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
The morphological control of polymer micellar aggregates is an important issue in applications such as nanomedicine and material science. Stimuli responsive soft materials have attracted significant attention for their well-controlled morphologies. However, despite extensive studies, it is still a challenge to prepare nanoscale
[...] Read more.
The morphological control of polymer micellar aggregates is an important issue in applications such as nanomedicine and material science. Stimuli responsive soft materials have attracted significant attention for their well-controlled morphologies. However, despite extensive studies, it is still a challenge to prepare nanoscale assemblies with responsive behaviors. Herein, a new chiral liquid crystal (LC) aliphatic polycarbonate with side chain bearing diosgenyl mesogen, named mPEG43-PMCC25-P(MCC-DHO)15, was synthesized through the ring-opening polymerization and coupling reaction. The self-assembled behavior of the LC copolymer was explored. In aqueous solution, the functionalized copolymer could self-organize into different nanostructures with changing pH value, such as nanospheres and nanofibers. This would offer new possibilities in the design of nanostructured organic materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Chiral Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Precursor on Antifouling Efficacy of Vertically-Oriented Graphene Nanosheets
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 170; doi:10.3390/nano7070170
Received: 20 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
Antifouling efficacy of graphene nanowalls, i.e., substrate-bound vertically-oriented graphene nanosheets, has been demonstrated against biofilm-forming Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Where graphene nanowalls are typically prepared using costly high-temperature synthesis from high-purity carbon precursors, large-scale applications demand efficient, low-cost processes. The advancement of plasma
[...] Read more.
Antifouling efficacy of graphene nanowalls, i.e., substrate-bound vertically-oriented graphene nanosheets, has been demonstrated against biofilm-forming Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Where graphene nanowalls are typically prepared using costly high-temperature synthesis from high-purity carbon precursors, large-scale applications demand efficient, low-cost processes. The advancement of plasma enabled synthesis techniques in the production of nanomaterials has opened a novel and effective method for converting low-cost natural waste resources to produce nanomaterials with a wide range of applications. Through this work, we report the rapid reforming of sugarcane bagasse, a low-value by-product from sugarcane industry, into high-quality vertically-oriented graphene nanosheets at a relatively low temperature of 400 °C. Electron microscopy showed that graphene nanowalls fabricated from methane were significantly more effective at preventing surface attachment of Gram-negative rod-shaped Escherichia coli compared to bagasse-derived graphene, with both surfaces showing antifouling efficacy comparable to copper. Attachment of Gram-positive coccal Staphylococcus aureus was lower on the surfaces of both types of graphene compared to that on copper, with bagasse-derived graphene being particularly effective. Toxicity to planktonic bacteria estimated as a reduction in colony-forming units as a result of sample exposure showed that both graphenes effectively retarded cell replication. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High Ultraviolet Absorption in Colloidal Gallium Nanoparticles Prepared from Thermal Evaporation
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 172; doi:10.3390/nano7070172
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
New methods for the production of colloidal Ga nanoparticles (GaNPs) are introduced based on the evaporation of gallium on expendable aluminum zinc oxide (AZO) layer. The nanoparticles can be prepared in aqueous or organic solvents such as tetrahydrofuran in order to be used
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New methods for the production of colloidal Ga nanoparticles (GaNPs) are introduced based on the evaporation of gallium on expendable aluminum zinc oxide (AZO) layer. The nanoparticles can be prepared in aqueous or organic solvents such as tetrahydrofuran in order to be used in different sensing applications. The particles had a quasi mono-modal distribution with diameters ranging from 10 nm to 80 nm, and their aggregation status depended on the solvent nature. Compared to common chemical synthesis, our method assures higher yield with the possibility of tailoring particles size by adjusting the deposition time. The GaNPs have been studied by spectrophotometry to obtain the absorption spectra. The colloidal solutions exhibit strong plasmonic absorption in the ultra violet (UV) region around 280 nm, whose width and intensity mainly depend on the nanoparticles dimensions and their aggregation state. With regard to the colloidal GaNPs flocculate behavior, the water solvent case has been investigated for different pH values, showing UV-visible absorption because of the formation of NPs clusters. Using discrete dipole approximation (DDA) method simulations, a close connection between the UV absorption and NPs with a diameter smaller than ~40 nm was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocolloids for Nanomedicine and Drug delivery)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Copolymer Composition on PLGA/nHA Scaffolds’ Cytotoxicity and In Vitro Degradation
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 173; doi:10.3390/nano7070173
Received: 17 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
The influence of copolymer composition on Poly(Lactide-co-Glycolide)/nanohydroxyapatite (PLGA/nHA) composite scaffolds is studied in the context of bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The composite scaffolds are fabricated by thermally-induced phase separation and the effect of bioactive nanoparticles on their in vitro
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The influence of copolymer composition on Poly(Lactide-co-Glycolide)/nanohydroxyapatite (PLGA/nHA) composite scaffolds is studied in the context of bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The composite scaffolds are fabricated by thermally-induced phase separation and the effect of bioactive nanoparticles on their in vitro degradation in phosphate-buffered solution at 37 °C is analyzed over eight weeks. The indirect cytotoxicity evaluation of the samples followed an adaptation of the ISO 10993-5 standard test method. Based on the measurement of their molecular weight, molar mass, pH, water absorption and dimensions, the porous scaffolds of PLGA with a lower lactide/glycolide (LA/GA) molar ratio degraded faster due to their higher hydrophilicity. All of the samples without and with HA are not cytotoxic, demonstrating their potential for tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibrous Scaffolds for Biomedical Application)
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Open AccessArticle Non-Noble Metal Oxide Catalysts for Methane Catalytic Combustion: Sonochemical Synthesis and Characterisation
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 174; doi:10.3390/nano7070174
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of this study was to obtain nanocrystalline mixed metal-oxide–ZrO2 catalysts via a sonochemically-induced preparation method. The effect of a stabiliser’s addition on the catalyst parameters was investigated by several characterisation methods including X-ray Diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption, X-ray fluorescence (XRF),
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The aim of this study was to obtain nanocrystalline mixed metal-oxide–ZrO2 catalysts via a sonochemically-induced preparation method. The effect of a stabiliser’s addition on the catalyst parameters was investigated by several characterisation methods including X-ray Diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and µRaman. The sonochemical preparation method allowed us to manufacture the catalysts with uniformly dispersed metal-oxide nanoparticles at the support surface. The catalytic activity was tested in a methane combustion reaction. The activity of the catalysts prepared by the sonochemical method was higher than that of the reference catalysts prepared by the incipient wetness method without ultrasonic irradiation. The cobalt and chromium mixed zirconia catalysts revealed their high activities, which are comparable with those presented in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Hybrid Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Use of Polycaprolactone Electrospun Nanofibers as a Coating for Poly(methyl methacrylate) Bone Cement
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 175; doi:10.3390/nano7070175
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 10 July 2017
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Abstract
Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cement has limited biocompatibility. Polycaprolactone (PCL) electrospun nanofiber (ENF) has many applications in the biomedical field due to its excellent biocompatibility and degradability. The effect of coating PCL ENF on the surface topography, biocompatibility, and mechanical strength of PMMA
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Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cement has limited biocompatibility. Polycaprolactone (PCL) electrospun nanofiber (ENF) has many applications in the biomedical field due to its excellent biocompatibility and degradability. The effect of coating PCL ENF on the surface topography, biocompatibility, and mechanical strength of PMMA bone cement is not currently known. This study is based on the hypothesis that the PCL ENF coating on PMMA will increase PMMA roughness leading to increased biocompatibility without influencing its mechanical properties. This study prepared PMMA samples without and with the PCL ENF coating, which were named the control and ENF coated samples. This study determined the effects on the surface topography and cytocompatibility (osteoblast cell adhesion, proliferation, mineralization, and protein adsorption) properties of each group of PMMA samples. This study also determined the bending properties (strength, modulus, and maximum deflection at fracture) of each group of PMMA samples from an American Society of Testing Metal (ASTM) standard three-point bend test. This study found that the ENF coating on PMMA significantly improved the surface roughness and cytocompatibility properties of PMMA (p < 0.05). This study also found that the bending properties of ENF-coated PMMA samples were not significantly different when compared to those values of the control PMMA samples (p > 0.05). Therefore, the PCL ENF coating technique should be further investigated for its potential in clinical applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cultivating Fluorescent Flowers with Highly Luminescent Carbon Dots Fabricated by a Double Passivation Method
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 176; doi:10.3390/nano7070176
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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Abstract
In this work, we present the fabrication of highly luminescent carbon dots (CDs) by a double passivation method with the assistance of Ca(OH)2. In the reaction process, Ca2+ protects the active functional groups from overconsumption during dehydration and carbonization, and
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In this work, we present the fabrication of highly luminescent carbon dots (CDs) by a double passivation method with the assistance of Ca(OH)2. In the reaction process, Ca2+ protects the active functional groups from overconsumption during dehydration and carbonization, and the electron-withdrawing groups on the CD surface are converted to electron-donating groups by the hydroxyl ions. As a result, the fluorescence quantum yield of the CDs was found to increase with increasing Ca(OH)2 content in the reaction process. A blue-shift optical spectrum of the CDs was also found with increasing Ca(OH)2 content, which could be attributed to the increasing of the energy gaps for the CDs. The highly photoluminescent CDs obtained (quantum yield: 86%) were used to cultivate fluorescent carnations by a water culture method, while the results of fluorescence microscopy analysis indicated that the CDs had entered the plant tissue structure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Selective Dielectric Metasurfaces Based on Directional Conditions of Silicon Nanopillars
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 177; doi:10.3390/nano7070177
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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Abstract
Dielectric metasurfaces based on high refractive index materials have been proposed recently. This type of structure has several advantages over their metallic counterparts. In this work, we demonstrate that dielectric metasurfaces can be theoretically designed satisfying Kerker’s zero-forward condition. This is the first
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Dielectric metasurfaces based on high refractive index materials have been proposed recently. This type of structure has several advantages over their metallic counterparts. In this work, we demonstrate that dielectric metasurfaces can be theoretically designed satisfying Kerker’s zero-forward condition. This is the first time that a dielectric metasurface based on this principle has been designed. A selective dielectric metasurface of silicon nanopillars is designed to work at 632.8 nm. This structure could work both as a dielectric mirror and a reject band filter. Furthermore, by scaling up the structure, it could be possible to manufacture a terahertz (THz) dielectric mirror. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Silver Nanoparticles Size, Produced Using Plant Extract from Arbutus unedo, on Their Antibacterial Efficacy
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 178; doi:10.3390/nano7070178
Received: 17 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 10 July 2017
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Abstract
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been demonstrated to restrain bacterial growth, while maintaining minimal risk in development of bacterial resistance and human cell toxicity that conventional silver compounds exhibit. Several physical and chemical methods have been reported to synthesize AgNPs. However, these methods are
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Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been demonstrated to restrain bacterial growth, while maintaining minimal risk in development of bacterial resistance and human cell toxicity that conventional silver compounds exhibit. Several physical and chemical methods have been reported to synthesize AgNPs. However, these methods are expensive and involve heavy chemical reduction agents. An alternative approach to produce AgNPs in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way employs a biological pathway using various plant extracts to reduce metal ions. The size control issue, and the stability of nanoparticles, remain some of the latest challenges in such methods. In this study, we used two different concentrations of fresh leaf extract of the plant Arbutus unedo (LEA) as a reducing and stabilizing agent to produce two size variations of AgNPs. UV-Vis spectroscopy, Dynamic Light Scattering, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and zeta potential were applied for the characterization of AgNPs. Both AgNP variations were evaluated for their antibacterial efficacy against the gram-negative species Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as the gram-positive species Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Although significant differences have been achieved in the nanoparticles’ size by varying the plant extract concentration during synthesis, the antibacterial effect was almost the same. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Friendly Acaricidal Effects of Nylon 66 Nanofibers via Grafted Clove Bud Oil-Loaded Capsules on House Dust Mites
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 179; doi:10.3390/nano7070179
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 10 July 2017
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Abstract
Acaricidal nylon 66 fabrics (AN66Fs) grafted with clove oil-loaded microcapsules (COMCs) were developed against Dermatophagoides farina (D. gallinae). The average diameter was about 2.9 µm with a range of 100 nm–8.5 µm. COMCs carried clove oil loading of about 65 vol
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Acaricidal nylon 66 fabrics (AN66Fs) grafted with clove oil-loaded microcapsules (COMCs) were developed against Dermatophagoides farina (D. gallinae). The average diameter was about 2.9 µm with a range of 100 nm–8.5 µm. COMCs carried clove oil loading of about 65 vol %. COMCs were chemically grafted to electrospun nylon nanofibers by the chemical reactions between –OH groups of COMCs and –COOH end groups of nylon fabrics to form ester linkages. AN66Fs had an effect on D. farinae depending on COMCs loadings. The increase in COMCs loading of AN66Fs from 5 to 15 wt % increased from 22% to 93% mortality against D. farinae within 72 h. However, AN66Fs containing over 20 wt % COMCs were more effective, showing up to 100% mortality within 24 h because the large amount of monoterpene alcohol, eugenol. This research suggests the use of clove oil and its major constituent eugenol as eco-friendly bioactive agents that can serve as a replacement for synthetic acaricides in controlling the population of D. farinae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibacterial Activity of Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Nanoporous Structure Formation in GaSb, InSb, and Ge by Ion Beam Irradiation under Controlled Point Defect Creation Conditions
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 180; doi:10.3390/nano7070180
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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Abstract
Ion beam irradiation-induced nanoporous structure formation was investigated on GaSb, InSb, and Ge surfaces via controlled point defect creation using a focused ion beam (FIB). ‎This paper compares the nanoporous structure formation under the same extent of point defect creation while changing the
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Ion beam irradiation-induced nanoporous structure formation was investigated on GaSb, InSb, and Ge surfaces via controlled point defect creation using a focused ion beam (FIB). ‎This paper compares the nanoporous structure formation under the same extent of point defect creation while changing the accelerating voltage and ion dose. Although the same number of point defects were created in each case, different structures were formed on the different surfaces. The depth direction density of the point defects was an important factor in this trend. The number of point defects required for nanoporous structure formation was 4 × 1022 vacancies/m2 at a depth of 18 nm under the surface, based on a comparison of similar nanoporous structure features in GaSb. The nanoporous structure formation by ion beam irradiation on GaSb, InSb, and Ge surfaces was controlled by the number and areal distribution of the created point defects. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Dissolution-Induced Nanowire Synthesis on Hot-Dip Galvanized Surface in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 181; doi:10.3390/nano7070181
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, we demonstrate a rapid treatment method for producing a needle-like nanowire structure on a hot-dip galvanized sheet at a temperature of 50 °C. The processing method involved only supercritical carbon dioxide and water to induce a reaction on the zinc
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In this study, we demonstrate a rapid treatment method for producing a needle-like nanowire structure on a hot-dip galvanized sheet at a temperature of 50 °C. The processing method involved only supercritical carbon dioxide and water to induce a reaction on the zinc surface, which resulted in growth of zinc hydroxycarbonate nanowires into flower-like shapes. This artificial patina nanostructure predicts high surface area and offers interesting opportunities for its use in industrial high-end applications. The nanowires can significantly improve paint adhesion and promote electrochemical stability for organic coatings, or be converted to ZnO nanostructures by calcining to be used in various semiconductor applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Oil Palm Waste-Based Precursors as a Renewable and Economical Carbon Sources for the Preparation of Reduced Graphene Oxide from Graphene Oxide
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 182; doi:10.3390/nano7070182
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
Herein, a new approach was proposed to produce reduced graphene oxide (rGO) from graphene oxide (GO) using various oil palm wastes: oil palm leaves (OPL), palm kernel shells (PKS) and empty fruit bunches (EFB). The effect of heating temperature on the formation of
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Herein, a new approach was proposed to produce reduced graphene oxide (rGO) from graphene oxide (GO) using various oil palm wastes: oil palm leaves (OPL), palm kernel shells (PKS) and empty fruit bunches (EFB). The effect of heating temperature on the formation of graphitic carbon and the yield was examined prior to the GO and rGO synthesis. Carbonization of the starting materials was conducted in a furnace under nitrogen gas for 3 h at temperatures ranging from 400 to 900 °C and a constant heating rate of 10 °C/min. The GO was further synthesized from the as-carbonized materials using the ‘improved synthesis of graphene oxide’ method. Subsequently, the GO was reduced by low-temperature annealing reduction at 300 °C in a furnace under nitrogen gas for 1 h. The IG/ID ratio calculated from the Raman study increases with the increasing of the degree of the graphitization in the order of rGO from oil palm leaves (rGOOPL) < rGO palm kernel shells (rGOPKS) < rGO commercial graphite (rGOCG) < rGO empty fruit bunches (rGOEFB) with the IG/ID values of 1.06, 1.14, 1.16 and 1.20, respectively. The surface area and pore volume analyses of the as-prepared materials were performed using the Brunauer Emmett Teller-Nitrogen (BET-N2) adsorption-desorption isotherms method. The lower BET surface area of 8 and 15 m2 g−1 observed for rGOCG and rGOOPL, respectively could be due to partial restacking of GO layers and locally-blocked pores. Relatively, this lower BET surface area is inconsequential when compared to rGOPKS and rGOEFB, which have a surface area of 114 and 117 m2 g−1, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Erosion Behavior and Particle Contamination in Mass-Production CF4/O2 Plasma Chambers Using Y2O3 and YF3 Protective Coatings
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 183; doi:10.3390/nano7070183
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
Yttrium fluoride (YF3) and yttrium oxide (Y2O3) protective coatings prepared using an atmospheric plasma spraying technique were used to investigate the relationship between surface erosion behaviors and their nanoparticle generation under high-density plasma (1012–1013
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Yttrium fluoride (YF3) and yttrium oxide (Y2O3) protective coatings prepared using an atmospheric plasma spraying technique were used to investigate the relationship between surface erosion behaviors and their nanoparticle generation under high-density plasma (1012–1013 cm−3) etching. As examined by transmission electron microscopy, the Y2O3 and YF3 coatings become oxyfluorinated after exposure to the plasma, wherein the yttrium oxyfluoride film formation was observed on the surface with a thickness of 5.2 and 6.8 nm, respectively. The difference in the oxyfluorination of Y2O3 and YF3 coatings could be attributed to Y–F and Y–O bonding energies. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses revealed that a strongly fluorinated bonding (Y–F bond) was obtained on the etched surface of the YF3 coating. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that the nanoparticles on the 12-inch wafer are composed of etchant gases and Y2O3. These results indicate that the YF3 coating is a more erosion-resistant material, resulting in fewer contamination particles compared with the Y2O3 coating. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Alkali Metal Atoms Doping on Structural and Nonlinear Optical Properties of the Gold-Germanium Bimetallic Clusters
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 184; doi:10.3390/nano7070184
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
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Abstract
A new series of alkali-based complexes, AM@GenAu (AM = Li, Na, and K), have been theoretically designed and investigated by means of the density functional theory calculations. The geometric structures and electronic properties of the species are systematically analyzed. The adsorption
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A new series of alkali-based complexes, AM@GenAu (AM = Li, Na, and K), have been theoretically designed and investigated by means of the density functional theory calculations. The geometric structures and electronic properties of the species are systematically analyzed. The adsorption of alkali metals maintains the structural framework of the gold-germanium bimetallic clusters, and the alkali metals prefer energetically to be attached on clusters’ surfaces or edges. The high chemical stability of Li@Ge12Au is revealed by the spherical aromaticity, the hybridization between the Ge atoms and Au-4d states, and delocalized multi-center bonds, as well as large binding energies. The static first hyperpolarizability (βtot) is related to the cluster size and geometric structure, and the AM@GenAu (AM = Na and K) clusters exhibit the much larger βtot values up to 13050 a.u., which are considerable to establish their strong nonlinear optical (NLO) behaviors. We hope that this study will promote further application of alkali metals-adsorbed germanium-based semiconductor materials, serving for the design of remarkable and tunable NLO materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiconductor Core/Shell Nanocrystals for Optoelectronic Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Nano-Silica Sol-Gel and Carbon Nanotube Coupling Effect on the Performance of Cement-Based Materials
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 185; doi:10.3390/nano7070185
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have shown promise for improving the mechanical performance of cement composites through crack-bridging and frictional pull-out. The interactive behaviors between CNTs and cement matrix act are crucial in optimizing the reinforcement of CNTs in cement composites. This study investigates the
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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have shown promise for improving the mechanical performance of cement composites through crack-bridging and frictional pull-out. The interactive behaviors between CNTs and cement matrix act are crucial in optimizing the reinforcement of CNTs in cement composites. This study investigates the effects of nano-silica (NS) sol-gel on the interactive behaviors of CNTs and the cement matrix through a series of experiments and analyses. UV-visible spectrometer results show that CNTs are well-dispersed in suspension and the addition of NS has a negligible effect on the stability of CNT dispersion. Calorimetry tests and dynamic mechanical analysis demonstrate the nucleation and frictional performance of CNTs in cement matrix, respectively. The paper shows that the physical adsorption of NS on the CNT surface could result in the acceleration of cement hydration. Morphology observation confirms that a denser interface between CNTs and cement hydrates is formed. Finally, the improved interaction between CNTs and cement hydrates leads to a substantial increase in friction between CNTs and the cement matrix under periodic loading. NS may act as an ideal admixture for improving both the interactive behaviors between CNTs and cement matrix and the damping properties of cement composite. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Properties of Cement Mortar and Ultra-High Strength Concrete Incorporating Graphene Oxide Nanosheets
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 187; doi:10.3390/nano7070187
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
In this work, the effect of graphene oxide nanosheet (GONS) additives on the properties of cement mortar and ultra-high strength concrete (UHSC) is reported. The resulting GONS-cement composites were easy to prepare and exhibited excellent mechanical properties. However, their fluidity decreased with increasing
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In this work, the effect of graphene oxide nanosheet (GONS) additives on the properties of cement mortar and ultra-high strength concrete (UHSC) is reported. The resulting GONS-cement composites were easy to prepare and exhibited excellent mechanical properties. However, their fluidity decreased with increasing GONS content. The UHSC specimens were prepared with various amounts of GONSs (0–0.03% by weight of cement). Results indicated that using 0.01% by weight of cement GONSs caused a 7.82% in compressive strength after 28 days of curing. Moreover, adding GONSs improved the flexural strength and deformation ability, with the increase in flexural strength more than that of compressive strength. Furthermore, field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) was used to observe the morphology of the hardened cement paste and UHSC samples. FE-SEM observations showed that the GONSs were well dispersed in the matrix and the bonding of the GONSs and the surrounding cement matrix was strong. Furthermore, FE-SEM observation indicated that the GONSs probably affected the shape of the cement hydration products. However, the growth space for hydrates also had an important effect on the morphology of hydrates. The true hydration mechanism of cement composites with GONSs needs further study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Growth Mechanism Studies of ZnO Nanowires: Experimental Observations and Short-Circuit Diffusion Analysis
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 188; doi:10.3390/nano7070188
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
Plenty of studies have been performed to probe the diverse properties of ZnO nanowires, but only a few have focused on the physical properties of a single nanowire since analyzing the growth mechanism along a single nanowire is difficult. In this study, a
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Plenty of studies have been performed to probe the diverse properties of ZnO nanowires, but only a few have focused on the physical properties of a single nanowire since analyzing the growth mechanism along a single nanowire is difficult. In this study, a single ZnO nanowire was synthesized using a Ti-assisted chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method to avoid the appearance of catalytic contamination. Two-dimensional energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) mapping with a diffusion model was used to obtain the diffusion length and the activation energy ratio. The ratio value is close to 0.3, revealing that the growth of ZnO nanowires was attributed to the short-circuit diffusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ZnO and TiO2 Based Nanostructures)
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Open AccessArticle Magnetic Nanoemulsions: Comparison between Nanoemulsions Formed by Ultrasonication and by Spontaneous Emulsification
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 190; doi:10.3390/nano7070190
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
Nanoemulsions are particularly suitable as a platform in the development of delivery systems. The type of nanoemulsion with a higher stability will offer an advantage in the preparation of a delivery system for lipophilic drugs. Nanoemulsions can be fabricated by different processing methods,
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Nanoemulsions are particularly suitable as a platform in the development of delivery systems. The type of nanoemulsion with a higher stability will offer an advantage in the preparation of a delivery system for lipophilic drugs. Nanoemulsions can be fabricated by different processing methods, which are usually categorized as either high- or low-energy methods. In this study, a comparison between two methods of preparing magnetic oil-in-water (O/W) nanoemulsions is described. The nanoemulsions were formed by sonication (the high-energy method) or by spontaneous emulsification (the low-energy method). In both cases, the oil phase was olive oil, and a phospholipid and a pegylated phospholipid were used as emulsifiers. To favor the comparison, the amounts of the components were the same in both kinds of nanoemulsions. Moreover, nanoemulsions were loaded with hydrophobic superparamagnetic nanoparticles and indomethacin. In vitro, releases studies indicated a short drug burst period followed by a prolonged phase of dissolutive drug release. The Korsmeyer-Peppas model can fit the associated kinetics. The results showed that such nanoemulsions are suitable as a platform in the development of delivering systems for lipophilic drugs. The long-term stability was also examined at different temperatures, as well as the interaction with plasma proteins. Nanoemulsion obtained by the low-energy method showed a great stability at 4 °C and at ambient temperature. Its size and polydispersity did not change over more than two months. The spontaneous emulsification method therefore has great potential for forming nanoemulsion-based delivery systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Highly Efficient Near Infrared Photothermal Conversion Properties of Reduced Tungsten Oxide/Polyurethane Nanocomposites
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 191; doi:10.3390/nano7070191
Received: 21 June 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
In this work, novel WO3-x/polyurethane (PU) nanocomposites were prepared by ball milling followed by stirring using a planetary mixer/de-aerator. The effects of phase transformation (WO3 → WO2.8 → WO2.72) and different weight fractions of tungsten oxide
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In this work, novel WO3-x/polyurethane (PU) nanocomposites were prepared by ball milling followed by stirring using a planetary mixer/de-aerator. The effects of phase transformation (WO3 → WO2.8 → WO2.72) and different weight fractions of tungsten oxide on the optical performance, photothermal conversion, and thermal properties of the prepared nanocomposites were examined. It was found that the nanocomposites exhibited strong photoabsorption in the entire near-infrared (NIR) region of 780–2500 nm and excellent photothermal conversion properties. This is because the particle size of WO3-x was greatly reduced by ball milling and they were well-dispersed in the polyurethane matrix. The higher concentration of oxygen vacancies in WO3-x contribute to the efficient absorption of NIR light and its conversion into thermal energy. In particular, WO2.72/PU nanocomposites showed strong NIR light absorption of ca. 92%, high photothermal conversion, and better thermal conductivity and absorptivity than other WO3/PU nanocomposites. Furthermore, when the nanocomposite with 7 wt % concentration of WO2.72 nanoparticles was irradiated with infrared light, the temperature of the nanocomposite increased rapidly and stabilized at 120 °C after 5 min. This temperature is 52 °C higher than that achieved by pure PU. These nanocomposites are suitable functional materials for solar collectors, smart coatings, and energy-saving applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessCommunication A Simple and Highly Sensitive Thymine Sensor for Mercury Ion Detection Based on Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy and the Mechanism Study
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 192; doi:10.3390/nano7070192
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
Mercury ion (Hg2+) is recognized as one of the most toxic metal ions for the environment and for human health. Techniques utilized in the detection of Hg2+ are an important factor. Herein, a simple thymine was successfully employed as the
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Mercury ion (Hg2+) is recognized as one of the most toxic metal ions for the environment and for human health. Techniques utilized in the detection of Hg2+ are an important factor. Herein, a simple thymine was successfully employed as the surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy sensor for Hg2+ ion detection. The limit of detection (LOD) of the developed sensor is better than 0.1 nM (0.02 ppb). This sensor can also selectively distinguish Hg2+ ions over 7 types of alkali, heavy metal and transition-metal ions. Moreover, the LOD of the sensor can even achieve 1 ppb in practical application in the nature system, which is half the maximum allowable level (10 nM, 2 ppb) stipulated in the US Environmental Protection Agency standard. Further investigation of the thymine-Hg2+-thymine coordination mechanism provides a possible means of detecting other metal ions by replacing the metal ion-specific ligands. This work paves the way for the detection of toxic metal ions and environmental problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for SERS Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of the Silver Nanoparticles PEALD Process on the Surface of 1-D Titania Coatings
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 193; doi:10.3390/nano7070193
Received: 3 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
Plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) of silver nanoparticles on the surface of 1-D titania coatings, such as nanotubes (TNT) and nanoneedles (TNN), has been carried out. The formation of TNT and TNN layers enriched with dispersed silver particles of strictly defined sizes
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Plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) of silver nanoparticles on the surface of 1-D titania coatings, such as nanotubes (TNT) and nanoneedles (TNN), has been carried out. The formation of TNT and TNN layers enriched with dispersed silver particles of strictly defined sizes and the estimation of their bioactivity was the aim of our investigations. The structure and the morphology of produced materials were determined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron miscroscopy (SEM). Their bioactivity and potential usefulness in the modification of implants surface have been estimated on the basis of the fibroblasts adhesion and proliferation assays, and on the basis of the determination of their antibacterial activity. The cumulative silver release profiles have been checked with the use of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICPMS), in order to exclude potential cytotoxicity of silver decorated systems. Among the studied nanocomposite samples, TNT coatings, prepared at 3, 10, 12 V and enriched with silver nanoparticles produced during 25 cycles of PEALD, revealed suitable biointegration properties and may actively counteract the formation of bacterial biofilm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development of Poly(lactic acid)/Chitosan Fibers Loaded with Essential Oil for Antimicrobial Applications
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 194; doi:10.3390/nano7070194
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
Cinnamon essential oil (CEO) was successfully encapsulated into chitosan (CS) nanoparticles at different loading amounts (1%, 1.5%, 2%, and 2.5% v/v) using oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion and ionic-gelation methods. In order to form active packaging, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) was used to
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Cinnamon essential oil (CEO) was successfully encapsulated into chitosan (CS) nanoparticles at different loading amounts (1%, 1.5%, 2%, and 2.5% v/v) using oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion and ionic-gelation methods. In order to form active packaging, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) was used to fabricate PLA/CS-CEO composite fibers using a simple electrospinning method. The shape, size, zeta potential, and encapsulation efficacy of the CS-CEO nanoparticles were investigated. The composition, morphology, and release behavior of the composite fibers were investigated. PLA/CS-CEO-1.5 showed good stability and favorable sustained release of CEO, resulting in improved antimicrobial activity compared to the other blends. The PLA/CS-CEO fibers showed high long-term inactivation rates against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus due to the sustained release of CEO, indicating that the developed PLA/CS-CEO fibers have great potential for active food packaging applications. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Chiral Nanotubes
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 167; doi:10.3390/nano7070167
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
Organic nanotubes, as assembled nanospaces, in which to carry out host–guest chemistry, reversible binding of smaller species for transport, sensing, storage or chemical transformation purposes, are currently attracting substantial interest, both as biological ion channel mimics, or for addressing tailored material properties. Nature’s
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Organic nanotubes, as assembled nanospaces, in which to carry out host–guest chemistry, reversible binding of smaller species for transport, sensing, storage or chemical transformation purposes, are currently attracting substantial interest, both as biological ion channel mimics, or for addressing tailored material properties. Nature’s materials and machinery are universally asymmetric, and, for chemical entities, controlled asymmetry comes from chirality. Together with carbon nanotubes, conformationally stable molecular building blocks and macrocycles have been used for the realization of organic nanotubes, by means of their assembly in the third dimension. In both cases, chiral properties have started to be fully exploited to date. In this paper, we review recent exciting developments in the synthesis and assembly of chiral nanotubes, and of their functional properties. This review will include examples of either molecule-based or macrocycle-based systems, and will try and rationalize the supramolecular interactions at play for the three-dimensional (3D) assembly of the nanoscale architectures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Chiral Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Magnetic Microfluidic Biosensors
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 171; doi:10.3390/nano7070171
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
The development of portable biosening devices for the detection of biological entities such as biomolecules, pathogens, and cells has become extremely significant over the past years. Scientific research, driven by the promise for miniaturization and integration of complex laboratory equipment on inexpensive, reliable,
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The development of portable biosening devices for the detection of biological entities such as biomolecules, pathogens, and cells has become extremely significant over the past years. Scientific research, driven by the promise for miniaturization and integration of complex laboratory equipment on inexpensive, reliable, and accurate devices, has successfully shifted several analytical and diagnostic methods to the submillimeter scale. The miniaturization process was made possible with the birth of microfluidics, a technology that could confine, manipulate, and mix very small volumes of liquids on devices integrated on standard silicon technology chips. Such devices are then directly translating the presence of these entities into an electronic signal that can be read out with a portable instrumentation. For the aforementioned tasks, the use of magnetic markers (magnetic particles—MPs—functionalized with ligands) in combination with the application of magnetic fields is being strongly investigated by research groups worldwide. The greatest merits of using magnetic fields are that they can be applied either externally or from integrated microconductors and they can be well-tuned by adjusting the applied current on the microconductors. Moreover, the magnetic markers can be manipulated inside microfluidic channels by high gradient magnetic fields that can in turn be detected by magnetic sensors. All the above make this technology an ideal candidate for the development of such microfluidic biosensors. In this review, focus is given only to very recent advances in biosensors that use microfluidics in combination with magnetic sensors and magnetic markers/nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Magnetic Nanoparticles in Nanomedicine)
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Open AccessReview Application of Carbon Nanotubes in Chiral and Achiral Separations of Pharmaceuticals, Biologics and Chemicals
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 186; doi:10.3390/nano7070186
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) possess unique mechanical, physical, electrical and absorbability properties coupled with their nanometer dimensional scale that renders them extremely valuable for applications in many fields including nanotechnology and chromatographic separation. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview
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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) possess unique mechanical, physical, electrical and absorbability properties coupled with their nanometer dimensional scale that renders them extremely valuable for applications in many fields including nanotechnology and chromatographic separation. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview about the applications of CNTs in chiral and achiral separations of pharmaceuticals, biologics and chemicals. Chiral single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have been directly applied for the enantioseparation of pharmaceuticals and biologicals by using them as stationary or pseudostationary phases in chromatographic separation techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), capillary electrophoresis (CE) and gas chromatography (GC). Achiral MWCNTs have been used for achiral separations as efficient sorbent objects in solid-phase extraction techniques of biochemicals and drugs. Achiral SWCNTs have been applied in achiral separation of biological samples. Achiral SWCNTs and MWCNTs have been also successfully used to separate achiral mixtures of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Collectively, functionalized CNTs have been indirectly applied in separation science by enhancing the enantioseparation of different chiral selectors whereas non-functionalized CNTs have shown efficient capabilities for chiral separations by using techniques such as encapsulation or immobilization in polymer monolithic columns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Chiral Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessReview Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Vehicles in Cancer
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 189; doi:10.3390/nano7070189
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
Even though cancer treatment has improved over the recent decades, still more specific and effective treatment concepts are mandatory. Surgical removal is not always possible, metastases are challenging and chemo- and radiotherapy can not only have severe side-effects but also resistances may occur.
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Even though cancer treatment has improved over the recent decades, still more specific and effective treatment concepts are mandatory. Surgical removal is not always possible, metastases are challenging and chemo- and radiotherapy can not only have severe side-effects but also resistances may occur. To cope with these challenges more efficient therapies with fewer side-effects are required. One promising approach is the use of drug delivery vehicles. Here, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) are discussed as biodegradable drug carrier to improve efficacy and reduce side-effects. MSN excellently fulfill the criteria for nanoparticulate carriers: their distinct structure allows high loading capacity and a plethora of surface modifications. MSN synthesis permits fine-tuning of particle and pore sizes. Moreover, drug release can be tailored through various gatekeeper systems which are for example pH-sensitive or redox-sensitive. Furthermore, MSN can either enter tumors passively by the enhanced permeability and retention effect or can be actively targeted by various ligands. PEGylation prolongs circulation time and availability. A huge advantage of MSN is their explicitly low toxic profile in vivo. Yet, clinical translation remains challenging. Overall, mesoporous silica nanoparticles are a promising tool for innovative, more efficient and safer cancer therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Toxicity and Functionalization of Nanomaterials)
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