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1.  Controlling the dispersion of supported polyoxometalate heterogeneous catalysts: impact of hybridization and the role of hydrophilicity–hydrophobicity balance and supramolecularity 
The hybridization of polyoxometalates (POMs) through an organic–inorganic association offers several processing advantages in the design of heterogeneous catalysts. A clear understanding of the organization of these hybrid materials on solid surfaces is necessary to optimise their properties. Herein, we report for the first time the organization of Keggin phosphotungstic [PW12O40]3− and Wells–Dawson (WD) phosphomolybdic [P2Mo18O62]6− anions deposited on mica (hydrophilic), and highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) (hydrophobic) surfaces. Next, the supramolecular organization of the organic–inorganic hybrid materials formed from the association of POM anions and dimethyldioctadecylammonium bromide (DODA) is investigated as a function of the hydrophilic or hydrophobic nature of the surfaces. The height of the Keggin-POM anions, measured with tapping mode (TM-AFM) is always in good agreement with the molecular dimension of symmetric Keggin-POM anions (ca. 1 nm). However, the asymmetric WD-POM anions form monolayer assemblies on the surfaces with the orientation of their long molecular axis (ca. 1.6 nm) depending on the hydrophilic or hydrophobic properties of the substrate. Namely, the long axis is parallel on mica, and perpendicular on HOPG. When hybridized with DODA, the organization of the hybrid material is dictated by the interaction of the alkyl side chains of DODA with the substrate surface. On HOPG, the DODA–POM hybrid forms small domains of epitaxially arranged straight nanorod structures with their orientation parallel to each other. Conversely, randomly distributed nanospheres are formed when the hybrid material is deposited on freshly cleaved mica. Finally, a UV–ozone treatment of the hybrid material allows one to obtain highly dispersed isolated POM entities on both hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces. The hybridization strategy to prevent the clustering of POMs on various supports would enable to develop highly dispersed POM-based heterogeneous catalysts with enhanced functionalities.
PMCID: PMC4222433  PMID: 25383286
atomic force microscopy; heterogeneous hybrid catalyst; organic–inorganic hybrid materials; polyoxometalates; supramolecular organization
2.  Modification of Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces Using an Ionic-Complementary Peptide 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(12):e1325.
Ionic-complementary peptides are novel nano-biomaterials with a variety of biomedical applications including potential biosurface engineering. This study presents evidence that a model ionic-complementary peptide EAK16-II is capable of assembling/coating on hydrophilic mica as well as hydrophobic highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surfaces with different nano-patterns. EAK16-II forms randomly oriented nanofibers or nanofiber networks on mica, while ordered nanofibers parallel or oriented 60° or 120° to each other on HOPG, reflecting the crystallographic symmetry of graphite (0001). The density of coated nanofibers on both surfaces can be controlled by adjusting the peptide concentration and the contact time of the peptide solution with the surface. The coated EAK16-II nanofibers alter the wettability of the two surfaces differently: the water contact angle of bare mica surface is measured to be <10°, while it increases to 20.3±2.9° upon 2 h modification of the surface using a 29 µM EAK16-II solution. In contrast, the water contact angle decreases significantly from 71.2±11.1° to 39.4±4.3° after the HOPG surface is coated with a 29 µM peptide solution for 2 h. The stability of the EAK16-II nanofibers on both surfaces is further evaluated by immersing the surface into acidic and basic solutions and analyzing the changes in the nanofiber surface coverage. The EAK16-II nanofibers on mica remain stable in acidic solution but not in alkaline solution, while they are stable on the HOPG surface regardless of the solution pH. This work demonstrates the possibility of using self-assembling peptides for surface modification applications.
PMCID: PMC2117347  PMID: 18091996
3.  Surface Confined Metallosupramolecular Architectures: Formation and STM Characterization 
Accounts of chemical research  2009;42(2):249-259.
Metallosupramolecular compounds have attracted a great deal of attention over the past two decades largely because of their unique, highly-complex structural characteristics, the fact that they can be prepared with relative ease using coordination-driven self-assembly techniques, and their potential electronic, magnetic, optical, and catalytic properties. In particular, the use of electron-poor square planar Pt(II) transition metals in conjunction with rigid, electron-rich pyridyl donors had enabled the spontaneous self-assembly of a rich library of 2D metallacyclic and 3D metallacage assemblies via the directional-bonding approach. With the tremendous progress that has been made in the preparation and characterization of metallosupramolecules, much attention is now being turned toward fully exploring and developing their materials properties.
Assembling metallosupramolecular compounds on solid supports represents a vitally important step toward developing their materials properties. Surfaces provide a means of uniformly aligning and orienting these highly symmetric metallacycles and metallacages, which increases the level of coherence between molecules above that which can be achieved in the solution phase and affords a means of integrating adlayers into a solid-state materials setting. The dynamic nature of kinetically labile Pt(II)-N coordination bonds, however, requires that deposition and imaging conditions be appropriate to retain the assemblies' stability. Toward these aims it is imperative to understand the factors that govern surface self-assembly and the interactions that influence the structure and stability of the resulting adlayer. Such insight can be obtained from Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), which has emerged as a powerful technique for the imaging and characterization of self-assembled adlayers.
This account describes the means by which 2D rectangular and square metallacycles and 3D trigonal bipyrimidal and chiral trigonal prism metallacages can be deposited on Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite (HOPG) and Au(111) substrates such that the assemblies remain intact and result in ordered adlayers. The effects of varying the size, symmetry, and dimensionality of supramolecular adsorbates, the choice of substrate, the use of a molecular template, and the effects of chirality have been investigated. These systematic investigations provide much insight into the various adsorbate-adsorbate and substrate-adsorbate interactions that largely determine the architecture of each assembly and affect their performance in a materials setting. Exhibiting the ability to rationally control adlayer formation and structure will greatly enhance the potential of these supramolecules to be used in a variety of applications such as in host-guest sensing/diagnostic systems, molecular electronic devices, and in heterogeneous stereoselective synthesis and catalysis.
PMCID: PMC2654282  PMID: 19072706
4.  Superhydrophobicity in perfection: the outstanding properties of the lotus leaf 
Lotus leaves have become an icon for superhydrophobicity and self-cleaning surfaces, and have led to the concept of the ‘Lotus effect’. Although many other plants have superhydrophobic surfaces with almost similar contact angles, the lotus shows better stability and perfection of its water repellency. Here, we compare the relevant properties such as the micro- and nano-structure, the chemical composition of the waxes and the mechanical properties of lotus with its competitors. It soon becomes obvious that the upper epidermis of the lotus leaf has developed some unrivaled optimizations. The extraordinary shape and the density of the papillae are the basis for the extremely reduced contact area between surface and water drops. The exceptional dense layer of very small epicuticular wax tubules is a result of their unique chemical composition. The mechanical robustness of the papillae and the wax tubules reduce damage and are the basis for the perfection and durability of the water repellency. A reason for the optimization, particularly of the upper side of the lotus leaf, can be deduced from the fact that the stomata are located in the upper epidermis. Here, the impact of rain and contamination is higher than on the lower epidermis. The lotus plant has successfully developed an excellent protection for this delicate epistomatic surface of its leaves.
PMCID: PMC3148040  PMID: 21977427
epicuticular wax; leaf surface; Lotus effect; papillae; water repellency
5.  Preparation of monolayers of [MnIII6CrIII]3+ single-molecule magnets on HOPG, mica and silicon surfaces and characterization by means of non-contact AFM 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):486.
We report on the characterization of various salts of [MnIII6CrIII]3+ complexes prepared on substrates such as highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), mica, SiO2, and Si3N4. [MnIII6CrIII]3+ is a single-molecule magnet, i.e., a superparamagnetic molecule, with a blocking temperature around 2 K. The three positive charges of [MnIII6CrIII]3+ were electrically neutralized by use of various anions such as tetraphenylborate (BPh4-), lactate (C3H5O3-), or perchlorate (ClO4-). The molecule was prepared on the substrates out of solution using the droplet technique. The main subject of investigation was how the anions and substrates influence the emerging surface topology during and after the preparation. Regarding HOPG and SiO2, flat island-like and hemispheric-shaped structures were created. We observed a strong correlation between the electronic properties of the substrate and the analyzed structures, especially in the case of mica where we observed a gradient in the analyzed structures across the surface.
PMCID: PMC3212000  PMID: 21824398
6.  Biomimetics inspired surfaces for drag reduction and oleophobicity/philicity 
The emerging field of biomimetics allows one to mimic biology or nature to develop nanomaterials, nanodevices, and processes which provide desirable properties. Hierarchical structures with dimensions of features ranging from the macroscale to the nanoscale are extremely common in nature and possess properties of interest. There are a large number of objects including bacteria, plants, land and aquatic animals, and seashells with properties of commercial interest. Certain plant leaves, such as lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaves, are known to be superhydrophobic and self-cleaning due to the hierarchical surface roughness and presence of a wax layer. In addition to a self-cleaning effect, these surfaces with a high contact angle and low contact angle hysteresis also exhibit low adhesion and drag reduction for fluid flow. An aquatic animal, such as a shark, is another model from nature for the reduction of drag in fluid flow. The artificial surfaces inspired from the shark skin and lotus leaf have been created, and in this article the influence of structure on drag reduction efficiency is reviewed. Biomimetic-inspired oleophobic surfaces can be used to prevent contamination of the underwater parts of ships by biological and organic contaminants, including oil. The article also reviews the wetting behavior of oil droplets on various superoleophobic surfaces created in the lab.
PMCID: PMC3148050  PMID: 21977417
aquatic animals; biomimetics; drag; lotus plants; shark skin; superhydrophobicity; superoleophobicity
7.  Hierarchically structured superhydrophobic flowers with low hysteresis of the wild pansy (Viola tricolor) – new design principles for biomimetic materials 
Hierarchically structured flower leaves (petals) of many plants are superhydrophobic, but water droplets do not roll-off when the surfaces are tilted. On such surfaces water droplets are in the “Cassie impregnating wetting state”, which is also known as the “petal effect”. By analyzing the petal surfaces of different species, we discovered interesting new wetting characteristics of the surface of the flower of the wild pansy (Viola tricolor). This surface is superhydrophobic with a static contact angle of 169° and very low hysteresis, i.e., the petal effect does not exist and water droplets roll-off as from a lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaf. However, the surface of the wild pansy petal does not possess the wax crystals of the lotus leaf. Its petals exhibit high cone-shaped cells (average size 40 µm) with a high aspect ratio (2.1) and a very fine cuticular folding (width 260 nm) on top. The applied water droplets are in the Cassie–Baxter wetting state and roll-off at inclination angles below 5°. Fabricated hydrophobic polymer replicas of the wild pansy were prepared in an easy two-step moulding process and possess the same wetting characteristics as the original flowers. In this work we present a technical surface with a new superhydrophobic, low adhesive surface design, which combines the hierarchical structuring of petals with a wetting behavior similar to that of the lotus leaf.
PMCID: PMC3148064  PMID: 21977435
anti-adhesive; petal effect; petal structures; polymer replication; superhydrophobic
8.  Molecular Engineering of Supramolecular Scaffold Coatings that Can Reduce Static Platelet Adhesion 
Novel supramolecular coatings that make use of low molecular weight ditopic monomers with guanine end groups are studied using fluid tapping AFM. These molecules assemble on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) from aqueous solutions to form nano-sized banding structures whose sizes can be systematically tuned at the nano-scale by tailoring the molecular structure of the monomers. The nature of the self-assembly in these systems has been studied through a combination of the self-assembly of structural derivatives and molecular modeling. Furthermore, we introduce the concept of using these molecular assemblies as scaffolds to organize functional groups on the surface. As a first demonstrationof this concept, scaffold monomers that contain a monomethyl triethyleneglycol branch were used to organize these “functional” units on a HOPG surface. These supramolecular grafted assemblies have been shown to be stable in biologically-relevant environments and even have the ability to significantly reduce static platelet adhesion.
PMCID: PMC2536642  PMID: 18177047
nanopattern; nanotechnology; surface assembly; supramolecular polymerization; surface thrombosis; biomaterial coating
9.  Interface Properties of Organic para-Hexaphenyl/α-Sexithiophene Heterostructures Deposited on Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite 
Langmuir  2013;29(47):14444-14450.
It was recently reported, that heterostructures of para-hexaphenyl (p-6P) and α-sexithiophene (6T) deposited on muscovite mica exhibit the intriguing possibility to prepare lasing nanofibers of tunable emission wavelength. For p-6P/6T heterostructures, two different types of 6T emission have been observed, namely, the well-known red emission of bulk 6T crystals and additionally a green emission connected to the interface between p-6P and 6T. In this study, the origin of the green fluorescence is investigated by photoelectron spectroscopy (PES). As a prerequisite, it is necessary to prepare structurally similar organic crystals on a conductive surface, which leads to the choice of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) as a substrate. The similarity between p-6P/6T heterostructures on muscovite mica and on HOPG is evidenced by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning force microscopy (SFM), and optical spectroscopy. PES measurements show that the interface between p-6P and 6T crystals is sharp on a molecular level without any sign of interface dipole formation or chemical interaction between the molecules. We therefore conclude that the different emission colors of the two 6T phases are caused by different types of molecular aggregation.
PMCID: PMC3842851  PMID: 24156627
10.  Direct Observation of Self-Assembled Fibrinogen Fiber Formation on Au(1,1,1) in the Absence of Thrombin 
Fibrinogen (fg) molecules were observed to form very well organized patterns of nanofibrils by self-assembling on Au (1,1,1) surface without any addition of thrombin, growing in two orientations (longitude and transverse). This observation is new and unique for gold surfaces, in contrast with Mica or HOPG surfaces. Based on the experimental results, we proposed an assembly mechanism: Au-S interactions and its activated interactions in the ‘αC-domain’ are two main causes for the patterned assembly on Au(1,1,1) surface, and ‘D: D’ and ‘γXL’ interactions help the elongation and strengthening of the fibril assembly.
PMCID: PMC3080750  PMID: 20017183
11.  Structural, electronic and photovoltaic characterization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes grown directly on stainless steel 
We have taken advantage of the native surface roughness and the iron content of AISI-316 stainless steel to grow multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by chemical vapour deposition without the addition of an external catalyst. The structural and electronic properties of the synthesized carbon nanostructures have been investigated by a range of electron microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. The results show the good quality and the high graphitization degree of the synthesized MWCNTs. Through energy-loss spectroscopy we found that the electronic properties of these nanostructures are markedly different from those of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG). Notably, a broadening of the π-plasmon peak in the case of MWCNTs is evident. In addition, a photocurrent was measured when MWCNTs were airbrushed onto a silicon substrate. External quantum efficiency (EQE) and photocurrent values were reported both in planar and in top-down geometry of the device. Marked differences in the line shapes and intensities were found for the two configurations, suggesting that two different mechanisms of photocurrent generation and charge collection are in operation. From this comparison, we are able to conclude that the silicon substrate plays an important role in the production of electron–hole pairs.
PMCID: PMC3388360  PMID: 23016140
carbon nanotubes; electronic properties; heterojunction; photovoltaic; stainless steel
12.  STM-induced light emission from thin films of perylene derivatives on the HOPG and Au substrates 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):347.
We have investigated the emission properties of N,N'-diheptyl-3,4,9,10-perylenetetracarboxylic diimide thin films by the tunneling-electron-induced light emission technique. A fluorescence peak with vibronic progressions with large Stokes shifts was observed on both highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) and Au substrates, indicating that the emission was derived from the isolated-molecule-like film condition with sufficient π-π interaction of the perylene rings of perylenetetracarboxylic diimide molecules. The upconversion emission mechanism of the tunneling-electron-induced emission was discussed in terms of inelastic tunneling including multiexcitation processes. The wavelength-selective enhanced emission due to a localized tip-induced surface plasmon on the Au substrate was also obtained.
PMCID: PMC3211436  PMID: 21711870
13.  Lotus leaf extract and L-carnitine influence different processes during the adipocyte life cycle 
The cellular and molecular mechanisms of adipose tissue biology have been studied extensively over the last two decades. Adipose tissue growth involves both an increase in fat cell size and the formation of mature adipocytes from precursor cells. To investigate how natural substances influence these two processes, we examined the effects of lotus leaf extract (Nelumbo nucifera-extract solution obtained from Silab, France) and L-carnitine on human preadipocytes and adipocytes.
For our in vitro studies, we used a lotus leaf extract solution alone or in combination with L-carnitine. Utilizing cultured human preadipocytes, we investigated lotus leaf extract solution-induced inhibition of triglyceride incorporation during adipogenesis and possible effects on cell viability. Studies on human adipocytes were performed aiming to elucidate the efficacy of lotus leaf extract solution to stimulate lipolytic activity. To further characterize lotus leaf extract solution-mediated effects, we determined the expression of the transcription factor adipocyte determination and differentiation factor 1 (ADD1/SREBP-1c) on the RNA- and protein level utilizing qRT-PCR and immunofluorescence analysis. Additionally, the effect of L-carnitine on beta-oxidation was analyzed using human preadipocytes and mature adipocytes. Finally, we investigated additive effects of a combination of lotus leaf extract solution and L-carnitine on triglyceride accumulation during preadipocyte/adipocyte differentiation.
Our data showed that incubation of preadipocytes with lotus leaf extract solution significantly decreased triglyceride accumulation during adipogenesis without affecting cell viability. Compared to controls, adipocytes incubated with lotus leaf extract solution exhibited a significant increase in lipolysis-activity. Moreover, cell populations cultivated in the presence of lotus leaf extract solution showed a decrease in adipocyte differentiation capacity as indicated by a decrease in the ADD1/SREBP-1c signal. Importantly, our results demonstrated that a combination of lotus leaf extract solution and L-carnitine reduced triglyceride accumulation to a greater extent compared to incubation with either substance alone.
Overall, our data demonstrate that a combination of lotus leaf extract and L-carnitine reduced triglyceride accumulation in human (pre)adipocytes by affecting different processes during the adipocyte life cycle. For this reason, this combination might represent a treatment option for obesity-related diseases.
PMCID: PMC2922297  PMID: 20687953
14.  High Temperature Stability of Onion-Like Carbon vs Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105788.
The thermodynamic stability of onion-like carbon (OLC) nanostructures with respect to highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) was determined in the interval 765–1030 K by the electromotive force (emf) measurements of solid electrolyte galvanic cell: (Low) Pt|Cr3C2,CrF2,OLC|CaF2s.c.|Cr3C2,CrF2,HOPG|Pt (High). The free energy change of transformation HOPG = OLC was found positive below 920.6 K crossing the zero value at this temperature. Its trend with temperature was well described by a 3rd degree polynomial. The unexpected too high values of jointly to the HR-TEM, STEM and EELS evidences that showed OLC completely embedded in rigid cages made of a Cr3C2/CrF2 matrix, suggested that carbon in the electrodes experienced different internal pressures. This was confirmed by the evaluation under constant volume of by the ratio for OLC (0.5 MPa K−1) and HOPG (8 Pa K−1) where and are the isobaric thermal expansion and isothermal compressibility coefficients, respectively. The temperature dependency of the pressure was derived and utilized to calculate the enthalpy and entropy changes as function of temperature and pressure. The highest value of the internal pressure experienced by OLC was calculated to be about 7 GPa at the highest temperature. At 920.6 K, and values are 95.8 kJ mol−1 and 104.1 JK−1 mol−1, respectively. The surface contributions to the energetic of the system were evaluated and they were found negligible compared with the bulk terms. As a consequence of the high internal pressure, the values of the enthalpy and entropy changes were mainly attributed to the formation of carbon defects in OLC considered as multishell fullerenes. The change of the carbon defect fraction is reported as a function of temperature.
PMCID: PMC4143374  PMID: 25153181
15.  Nanopatterning of Donor/Acceptor Hybrid Supramolecular Architectures on HOPG: An STM Study 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2008;130(40):13433-13441.
Hybrid supramolecular architectures have been fabricated with acceptor 1,4-bis(4-pyridylethynyl)-2,3-bis-dodecyloxy-benzene (PBP) and donor 2,6-bis(3,4,5-tris-dodecyloxy-phenyl)dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]thiophene (DTT) compounds on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surfaces and their structures and molecular conductance are characterized by scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS). Stable, one-component adlayers of PBP and DTT are also investigated. The coadsorption of two-component mixtures of PBP and DTT results in a variety of hybrid nanopattern architectures that differ from those of their respective one-component surface assemblies. Adjusting the acceptor/donor molar ratio in mixed adlayer assemblies results in dramatic changes in the structure of the hybrid nanopatterns. STS measurements indicate that the HOMO and LUMO energy levels of PBP and DTT on an HOPG surface are relatively insensitive to changes in the hybrid supramolecular architectures. These results provide important insight into the design and fabrication of two-dimensional hybrid supramolecular architectures.
PMCID: PMC2653624  PMID: 18783221
16.  Impact of cell shape in hierarchically structured plant surfaces on the attachment of male Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) 
Plant surfaces showing hierarchical structuring are frequently found in plant organs such as leaves, petals, fruits and stems. In our study we focus on the level of cell shape and on the level of superimposed microstructuring, leading to hierarchical surfaces if both levels are present. While it has been shown that epicuticular wax crystals and cuticular folds strongly reduce insect attachment, and that smooth papillate epidermal cells in petals improve the grip of pollinators, the impact of hierarchical surface structuring of plant surfaces possessing convex or papillate cells on insect attachment remains unclear. We performed traction experiments with male Colorado potato beetles on nine different plant surfaces with different structures. The selected plant surfaces showed epidermal cells with either tabular, convex or papillate cell shape, covered either with flat films of wax, epicuticular wax crystals or with cuticular folds. On surfaces possessing either superimposed wax crystals or cuticular folds we found traction forces to be almost one order of magnitude lower than on surfaces covered only with flat films of wax. Independent of superimposed microstructures we found that convex and papillate epidermal cell shapes slightly enhance the attachment ability of the beetles. Thus, in plant surfaces, cell shape and superimposed microstructuring yield contrary effects on the attachment of the Colorado potato beetle, with convex or papillate cells enhancing attachment and both wax crystals or cuticular folds reducing attachment. However, the overall magnitude of traction force mainly depends on the presence or absence of superimposed microstructuring.
PMCID: PMC3304315  PMID: 22428097
cuticular folds; epicuticular wax crystals; insect–plant interaction; papillae; structure–function relationship
17.  Diffusion of hydrophobin proteins in solution and interactions with a graphite surface 
BMC Biophysics  2011;4:9.
Hydrophobins are small proteins produced by filamentous fungi that have a variety of biological functions including coating of spores and surface adhesion. To accomplish these functions, they rely on unique interface-binding properties. Using atomic-detail implicit solvent rigid-body Brownian dynamics simulations, we studied the diffusion of HFBI, a class II hydrophobin from Trichoderma reesei, in aqueous solution in the presence and absence of a graphite surface.
In the simulations, HFBI exists in solution as a mixture of monomers in equilibrium with different types of oligomers. The oligomerization state depends on the conformation of HFBI. When a Highly Ordered Pyrolytic Graphite (HOPG) layer is present in the simulated system, HFBI tends to interact with the HOPG layer through a hydrophobic patch on the protein.
From the simulations of HFBI solutions, we identify a tetrameric encounter complex stabilized by non-polar interactions between the aliphatic residues in the hydrophobic patch on HFBI. After the formation of the encounter complex, a local structural rearrangement at the protein interfaces is required to obtain the tetrameric arrangement seen in HFBI crystals. Simulations performed with the graphite surface show that, due to a combination of a geometric hindrance and the interaction of the aliphatic sidechains with the graphite layer, HFBI proteins tend to accumulate close to the hydrophobic surface.
PMCID: PMC3114038  PMID: 21595866
18.  Anthelmintic Activities of Aporphine from Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. cv. Rosa-plena against Hymenolepis nana 
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. cv. Rosa-plena (Nelumbonaceae), commonly known as lotus, is a perennial aquatic plant grown and consumed throughout Asia. All parts of N. nucifera have been used for various medicinal purposes in oriental medicine. From the leaves of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. cv. Rosa-plena (an aquatic plant), liriodenine (1), lysicamine (2), (−)-anonaine (3), (-)-asimilobine (4), (-)-caaverine (5), (-)-N-methylasimilobine (6), (-)-nuciferine (7), (-)-nornuciferine (8), (-)-roemerine (9), 7-hydroxydehydronuciferine (10) and cepharadione B (11) were isolated and identification and anthelmintic activities of aporphine was evaluated against Anisakis simplex and Hymenolepis nana. This study found that the above constituents killed H. nana or reduced their spontaneous movements (oscillation/peristalsis). However, the above constituents at various concentrations demonstrated no larvicidal effect or ability to halt spontaneous parasite movement for 72 h against A. simplex, respectively. In addition, according to an assay of cestocidal activity against H. nana and nematocidal activity against A. simplex, we found that the above compounds showed greater lethal efficacy on H. nana than against A. simplex. Further investigation showed that these above constituents have effects against peroxyl radicals under cestocidal effect. Together, these findings suggest that these constituents of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. cv. Rosa-plena might be used as anthelmintic agents against H. nana.
PMCID: PMC3975358  PMID: 24583851
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn; aporphine; Hymenolepis nana; Anisakis simplex; anthelmintic activity; peroxyl radical
19.  Nanoscaled alloy formation from self-assembled elemental Co nanoparticles on top of Pt films 
The thermally activated formation of nanoscale CoPt alloys was investigated, after deposition of self-assembled Co nanoparticles on textured Pt(111) and epitaxial Pt(100) films on MgO(100) and SrTiO3(100) substrates, respectively. For this purpose, metallic Co nanoparticles (diameter 7 nm) were prepared with a spacing of 100 nm by deposition of precursor-loaded reverse micelles, subsequent plasma etching and reduction on flat Pt surfaces. The samples were then annealed at successively higher temperatures under a H2 atmosphere, and the resulting variations of their structure, morphology and magnetic properties were characterized. We observed pronounced differences in the diffusion and alloying of Co nanoparticles on Pt films with different orientations and microstructures. On textured Pt(111) films exhibiting grain sizes (20–30 nm) smaller than the particle spacing (100 nm), the formation of local nanoalloys at the surface is strongly suppressed and Co incorporation into the film via grain boundaries is favoured. In contrast, due to the absence of grain boundaries on high quality epitaxial Pt(100) films with micron-sized grains, local alloying at the film surface was established. Signatures of alloy formation were evident from magnetic investigations. Upon annealing to temperatures up to 380 °C, we found an increase both of the coercive field and of the Co orbital magnetic moment, indicating the formation of a CoPt phase with strongly increased magnetic anisotropy compared to pure Co. At higher temperatures, however, the Co atoms diffuse into a nearby surface region where Pt-rich compounds are formed, as shown by element-specific microscopy.
PMCID: PMC3190617  PMID: 22003453
alloy; Co; CoPt; epitaxy; HRTEM; magnetometry; nanoparticles; Pt; XMCD
20.  Polymerization or Cyclic Dimerization: Solvent Dependent Homo-Coupling of Terminal Alkynes at HOPG Surface 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:3899.
Surface reactivity has become one of the most important issues in surface chemistry over the past few years. In this work, we, for the first time, have investigated the homo-coupling of a special terminal alkyne derivative on the highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) surface. Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique, we have found that such coupling reaction seriously depends on the supramolecular assembly of the monomer on the studied substrate, whereas the latter appears an obvious solvent effect. As a result, the reaction in our system undergoes polymerization and cyclic dimerization process in 1-phenyloctane and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, respectively. That is to say, the solvent effect can be extended from the two-dimensional (2D) supramolecular self-assembly to surface chemical reactions, and the selective homo-coupling has been successfully achieved at the solid/liquid interface.
PMCID: PMC3904147  PMID: 24469357
21.  Heteroepitaxial Growth of Ferromagnetic MnSb(0001) Films on Ge/Si(111) Virtual Substrates 
Crystal Growth & Design  2013;13(11):4923-4929.
Molecular beam epitaxial growth of ferromagnetic MnSb(0001) has been achieved on high quality, fully relaxed Ge(111)/Si(111) virtual substrates grown by reduced pressure chemical vapor deposition. The epilayers were characterized using reflection high energy electron diffraction, synchrotron hard X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, and magnetometry. The surface reconstructions, magnetic properties, crystalline quality, and strain relaxation behavior of the MnSb films are similar to those of MnSb grown on GaAs(111). In contrast to GaAs substrates, segregation of substrate atoms through the MnSb film does not occur, and alternative polymorphs of MnSb are absent.
We use molecular beam epitaxy to grow ferromagnetic MnSb(0001) on Ge(111) virtual substrates on Si(111). The MnSb thin films are of high crystal quality, comparable to films grown on GaAs(111). Magnetic properties and strain relaxation are similar to films on GaAs. In contrast to MnSb-GaAs(111), alternative MnSb polymorphs and surface segregation of substrate atoms are both absent.
PMCID: PMC3880049  PMID: 24409091
22.  Characterization of Flower-Bud Transcriptome and Development of Genic SSR Markers in Asian Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112223.
Asian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) is the national flower of India, Vietnam, and one of the top ten traditional Chinese flowers. Although lotus is highly valued for its ornamental, economic and cultural uses, genomic information, particularly the expressed sequence based (genic) markers is limited. High-throughput transcriptome sequencing provides large amounts of transcriptome data for promoting gene discovery and development of molecular markers.
In this study, 68,593 unigenes were assembled from 1.34 million 454 GS-FLX sequence reads of a mixed flower-bud cDNA pool derived from three accessions of N. nucifera. A total of 5,226 SSR loci were identified, and 3,059 primer pairs were designed for marker development. Di-nucleotide repeat motifs were the most abundant type identified with a frequency of 65.2%, followed by tri- (31.7%), tetra- (2.1%), penta- (0.5%) and hexa-nucleotide repeats (0.5%). A total of 575 primer pairs were synthesized, of which 514 (89.4%) yielded PCR amplification products. In eight Nelumbo accessions, 109 markers were polymorphic. They were used to genotype a sample of 44 accessions representing diverse wild and cultivated genotypes of Nelumbo. The number of alleles per locus varied from 2 to 9 alleles and the polymorphism information content values ranged from 0.6 to 0.9. We performed genetic diversity analysis using 109 polymorphic markers. A UPGMA dendrogram was constructed based on Jaccard’s similarity coefficients revealing distinct clusters among the 44 accessions.
Deep transcriptome sequencing of lotus flower buds developed 3,059 genic SSRs, making a significant addition to the existing SSR markers in lotus. Among them, 109 polymorphic markers were successfully validated in 44 accessions of Nelumbo. This comprehensive set of genic SSR markers developed in our study will facilitate analyses of genetic diversity, construction of linkage maps, gene mapping, and marker-assisted selection breeding for lotus.
PMCID: PMC4224446  PMID: 25379700
23.  Genetic linkage maps for Asian and American lotus constructed using novel SSR markers derived from the genome of sequenced cultivar 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:653.
The genus Nelumbo Adans. comprises two living species, N. nucifera Gaertan. (Asian lotus) and N. lutea Pers. (American lotus). A genetic linkage map is an essential resource for plant genetic studies and crop improvement but has not been generated for Nelumbo. We aimed to develop genomic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers from the genome sequence and construct two genetic maps for Nelumbo to assist genome assembly and integration of a genetic map with the genome sequence.
A total of 86,089 SSR motifs were identified from the genome sequences. Di- and tri-nucleotide repeat motifs were the most abundant, and accounted for 60.73% and 31.66% of all SSRs, respectively. AG/GA repeats constituted 51.17% of dinucleotide repeat motifs, followed by AT/TA (44.29%). Of 500 SSR primers tested, 386 (77.20%) produced scorable alleles with an average of 2.59 per primer, and 185 (37.00%) showed polymorphism among two parental genotypes, N. nucifera ‘Chinese Antique’ and N. lutea ‘AL1’, and six progenies of their F1 population. The normally segregating markers, which comprised 268 newly developed SSRs, 37 previously published SSRs and 53 sequence-related amplified polymorphism markers, were used for genetic map construction. The map for Asian lotus was 365.67 cM with 47 markers distributed in seven linkage groups. The map for American lotus was 524.51 cM, and contained 177 markers distributed in 11 genetic linkage groups. The number of markers per linkage group ranged from three to 34 with an average genetic distance of 3.97 cM between adjacent markers. Moreover, 171 SSR markers contained in linkage groups were anchored to 97 genomic DNA sequence contigs of ‘Chinese Antique’. The 97 contigs were merged into 60 scaffolds.
Genetic mapping of SSR markers derived from sequenced contigs in Nelumbo enabled the associated contigs to be anchored in the linkage map and facilitated assembly of the genome sequences of ‘Chinese Antique’. The present study reports the first construction of genetic linkage maps for Nelumbo, which can serve as reference linkage maps to accelerate characterization germplasm, genetic mapping for traits of economic interest, and molecular breeding with marker-assisted selection.
PMCID: PMC3564711  PMID: 23170872
Genetic linkage map; Genome sequence; Nelumbo; SRAP; SSR
24.  STM study on the self-assembly of oligothiophene-based organic semiconductors 
The self-assembly properties of a series of functionalized regioregular oligo(3-alkylthiophenes) were investigated by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at the liquid–solid interface under ambient conditions. The characteristics of the 2-D crystals formed on the (0001) plane of highly ordered pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) strongly depend on the length of the π-conjugated oligomer backbone, on the functional groups attached to it, and on the alkyl substitution pattern on the individual thiophene units. Theoretical calculations were performed to analyze the geometry and electronic density of the molecular orbitals as well as to analyze the intermolecular interactions, in order to obtain models of the 2-D molecular ordering on the substrate.
PMCID: PMC3257505  PMID: 22259763
2-D crystals; functionalized oligothiophenes; H-bonding; intermolecular interaction; scanning tunneling microscopy
25.  Short Photoperiod Induces Dormancy in Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) 
Annals of Botany  2006;97(1):39-45.
• Background and Aims Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) has been cultivated as an ornamental and food plant in Japan for more than 1000 years. As large areas are required for its cultivation (approximately 2 m2 per plant), physiological research, such as into the effect of environmental factors on dormancy, has not been well studied until recently. In this paper, seedlings were used to examine environmental factors affecting dormancy induction.
• Methods In a first experiment, seeds were sown from 6 April to 6 October at 2-month intervals, and cultivated for 2 months in an unheated greenhouse. In a second experiment, seeds were prepared for germination on 16 November and 16 May and the seedlings were grown at 25 or 30 °C under natural daylength in phytotron growth rooms. After 1 month, the seedlings were cultivated at 20, 25 or 30 °C for a further month. The number of leaves and rhizome branches on the main stem were counted, and growth of rhizomes on the main stem was calculated using a rhizome enlargement index (= maximum internode diameter/internode length) after 2 months of culture in both experiments.
• Key Results Rhizomes elongated without enlargement when the seeds were sown in April and June. Sowing the seeds in August and October resulted in rhizome enlargement from the tenth and fifth internodes, respectively. Rhizomes enlarged in the November-sowing but elongated in the May-sowing irrespective of temperature treatments under natural daylength in the phytotron rooms. The seedlings cultivated from May at 25–30 °C for 2 months had more leaves, and more rhizome branches and nodes than those cultivated from November.
• Conclusions Short days led to induced dormancy in lotus.
PMCID: PMC2000761  PMID: 16287906
Dormancy; leaf production; Nelumbo nucifera; photoperiod; rhizome branching; rhizome enlargement; temperature

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