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1.  Superhydrophobicity in perfection: the outstanding properties of the lotus leaf 
Summary
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.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.19
PMCID: PMC3148040  PMID: 21977427
epicuticular wax; leaf surface; Lotus effect; papillae; water repellency
2.  Biomimetics inspired surfaces for drag reduction and oleophobicity/philicity 
Summary
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.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.9
PMCID: PMC3148050  PMID: 21977417
aquatic animals; biomimetics; drag; lotus plants; shark skin; superhydrophobicity; superoleophobicity
3.  Hierarchically structured superhydrophobic flowers with low hysteresis of the wild pansy (Viola tricolor) – new design principles for biomimetic materials 
Summary
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.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.27
PMCID: PMC3148064  PMID: 21977435
anti-adhesive; petal effect; petal structures; polymer replication; superhydrophobic
4.  Structural, electronic and photovoltaic characterization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes grown directly on stainless steel 
Summary
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.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.3.42
PMCID: PMC3388360  PMID: 23016140
carbon nanotubes; electronic properties; heterojunction; photovoltaic; stainless steel
5.  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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001325
PMCID: PMC2117347  PMID: 18091996
6.  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.
doi:10.1021/la402242b
PMCID: PMC3842851  PMID: 24156627
7.  Ferromagnetism and Ru-Ru distance in SrRuO3 thin film grown on SrTiO3 (111) substrate 
Epitaxial SrRuO3 thin films were grown on both (100) and (111) SrTiO3 substrates with atomically flat surfaces that are required to grow high-quality films of materials under debate. The following notable differences were observed in the (111)-oriented SrRuO3 films: (1) slightly different growth mode, (2) approximately 10 K higher ferromagnetic transition temperature, and (3) better conducting behavior with higher relative resistivity ratio, than (100)c-oriented SrRuO3 films. Together with the reported results on SrRuO3 thin films grown on (110) SrTiO3 substrate, the different physical properties were discussed newly in terms of the Ru-Ru nearest neighbor distance instead of the famous tolerance factor.
PACS
75.70.Ak; 75.60.Ej; 81.15.Fg
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-8
PMCID: PMC3895815  PMID: 24393495
SrRuO3; Ferromagnetic transition temperature; Ru-Ru nearest neighbor distance; Tolerance factor
8.  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.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-347
PMCID: PMC3211436  PMID: 21711870
9.  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.
doi:10.1002/cphc.200900916
PMCID: PMC3080750  PMID: 20017183
10.  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.
doi:10.1021/ja0775927
PMCID: PMC2536642  PMID: 18177047
nanopattern; nanotechnology; surface assembly; supramolecular polymerization; surface thrombosis; biomaterial coating
11.  Nanoscaled alloy formation from self-assembled elemental Co nanoparticles on top of Pt films 
Summary
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.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.51
PMCID: PMC3190617  PMID: 22003453
alloy; Co; CoPt; epitaxy; HRTEM; magnetometry; nanoparticles; Pt; XMCD
12.  Diffusion of hydrophobin proteins in solution and interactions with a graphite surface 
BMC Biophysics  2011;4:9.
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/2046-1682-4-9
PMCID: PMC3114038  PMID: 21595866
13.  Nickel-containing nano-sized islands grown on Ge(111)-c(2 × 8) and Ag/Ge(111)-(√3 × √3) surfaces 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2013;8(1):416.
The formation of nano-islands on both a Ge(111)-c(2 × 8) surface and an Ag/Ge(111)-(√3 × √3) surface evaporated with 0.1 ML Ni was investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). We have noticed that at temperatures lower than 670 K, the reaction between Ni and the individual substrate surfaces proceeds to form different structures: flat-topped islands with a 2√7 × 2√7 or a 3 × 3 reconstruction on the Ni/Ge(111)-c(2 × 8) surface vs. islands with a 7 × 7 reconstruction on the Ni/Ag/Ge(111)-(√3 × √3) surface. From this we have inferred that within a temperature range between room temperature and 670 K, the intermediate Ag layer retards mixing between Ni and Ge atoms. As a result, the grown islands are composed of pure Ni atoms. Within a temperature range from 670 to 770 K, most islands produced on the Ag/Ge(111)-(√3 × √3) surface are identical with those formed on the Ni/Ge(111)-c(2 × 8) surface, suggesting that above 670 K, Ni atoms are likely to bind with Ge atoms. However, an essential difference between STM images of the surfaces under study exists in the appearance of large elongated islands on the Ni/Ag/Ge(111)-(√3 × √3) surface. The formation of the latter is explained in terms of a difference in energy for Ni diffusion on the Ge(111)-c(2 × 8) and Ag/Ge(111)-(√3 × √3) surfaces.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-416
PMCID: PMC3852104  PMID: 24103192
Ni; Ag; Ge(111); STM
14.  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.
doi:10.3390/ijms15033624
PMCID: PMC3975358  PMID: 24583851
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn; aporphine; Hymenolepis nana; Anisakis simplex; anthelmintic activity; peroxyl radical
15.  SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM AND T TUBULES IN DIFFERENTIATING RAT SKELETAL MUSCLE 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1971;49(2):335-344.
An electron microscope study has been made of the distribution of membrane couplings between the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and either the plasmalemma or the T tubules in fetal and neonatal rat intercostal muscle. Within primitive muscle cells at 12 days of gestation, the SR forms both simple and specialized membrane junctions with the plasmalemma; caveolae are very few, and T tubules are not detected. Undifferentiated cells neighbor muscle cells. Occasionally these cells contain subsurface couplings between the endoplasmic reticulum and plasmalemmae. Possible relationships between these couplings and the peripheral couplings of muscle cells are discussed. By 15–18 days of gestation, caveolae and beaded T tubules, comparable to those of cultured muscle, develop; T tubules lie along-side myofibrils and are rarely transverse. SR couples both to T tubules and to plasmalemmae during this period. T tubules with lineal profiles appear after further development and their orientation transverse to A–I junctions becomes increasingly evident. Membrane couplings between SR and T tubules also increase in number, whereas the incidence of peripheral coupling declines rapidly Evidence suggests that peripheral couplings are swept into myotubes as caveolae proliferate and T tubules form. SR thus appears to initially couple with the plasmalemma and then to await T tubular growth. This contrasts with the developmental pattern described in cultured chick muscle in which peripheral couplings are not reported and T tubules with diads and triads occur at very primitive stages of muscle differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2108324  PMID: 19866762
16.  Lotus leaf extract and L-carnitine influence different processes during the adipocyte life cycle 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-66
PMCID: PMC2922297  PMID: 20687953
17.  Functional correlates of compensatory renal hypertrophy 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1968;47(4):774-782.
The functional correlates of compensatory renal hypertrophy were studied by micropuncture techniques in rats after the removal of one kidney. The glomerular filtration rate increased to roughly the same extent in the whole kidney and in individual surface nephrons, resulting in a greater amount of sodium delivered to the tubules for reabsorption. The fraction of the glomerular filtrate absorbed [determined from the tubular fluid-to-plasma ratio (TF/P) for inulin] remained unchanged in both proximal and distal portions of the nephron. The way in which the tubules adjusted to nephrectomy, however, differed in proximal and distal convolutions. After nephrectomy, the reabsorptive half-time, indicated by the rate of shrinkage of a droplet of saline in a tubule blocked with oil, was unchanged in the proximal tubule but significantly shortened in the distal convoluted tubule. Nevertheless, steady-state concentrations of sodium in an isolated raffinose droplet in the distal as well as the proximal tubule were the same in hypertrophied kidneys as in control animals. Possible reasons for this paradox are discussed.
Transit time through the proximal tubules was unchanged by compensatory hypertrophy, but transit time to the distal tubules was prolonged.
Changes in renal structure resulting from compensatory hypertrophy were also found to differ in the proximal and the distal protions of the nephron. Although tubular volume increased in both protions, the volume increase was twice as great in the proximal tubule as in the distal. In order, therefore, for net reabsorption to increase in the distal tubule, where the changes in tubular volume are not so marked, an increase in reabsorptive capacity per unit length of tubule is required. This increase is reflected in the shortening of reabsorptive half-time in the oil-blocked distal tubule that was actually observed.
PMCID: PMC297228  PMID: 5641618
18.  Impact of cell shape in hierarchically structured plant surfaces on the attachment of male Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) 
Summary
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.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.3.7
PMCID: PMC3304315  PMID: 22428097
cuticular folds; epicuticular wax crystals; insect–plant interaction; papillae; structure–function relationship
19.  Synthesis of long group IV semiconductor nanowires by molecular beam epitaxy 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):113.
We report the growth of Si and Ge nanowires (NWs) on a Si(111) surface by molecular beam epitaxy. While Si NWs grow perpendicular to the surface, two types of growth axes are found for the Ge NWs. Structural studies of both types of NWs performed with electron microscopies reveal a marked difference between the roughnesses of their respective sidewalls. As the investigation of their length dependence on their diameter indicates that the growth of the NWs predominantly proceeds through the diffusion of adatoms from the substrate up along the sidewalls, difference in the sidewall roughness qualitatively explains the length variation measured between both types of NWs. The formation of atomically flat {111} sidewalls on the <110>-oriented Ge NWs accounts for a larger diffusion length.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-113
PMCID: PMC3211158  PMID: 21711645
20.  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.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-486
PMCID: PMC3212000  PMID: 21824398
21.  Antioxidant and hepatic protective effects of lotus root hot water extract with taurine supplementation in rats fed a high fat diet 
Journal of Biomedical Science  2010;17(Suppl 1):S39.
Background
Nelumbo nucifera, known as sacred lotus, is a well-known medicinal plant and this lotus root is commonly used as food compared to different parts of this plant. This study was conducted to investigate the antioxidant and hepatic protective effects of lotus root hot water extract with taurine supplementation in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
Methods
Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats (4-week-old) were randomly divided into four groups (n=8) for 6 weeks (normal diet, N group; high fat diet, HF group; high fat diet + lotus root hot water extract, HFR group; high fat diet + lotus root hot water extract + taurine, HFRT group). Lotus root hot water extract was orally administrated (400mg/kg/day) to HFR and HFRT groups and the same amount of distilled water was orally administered to N and HF groups. Taurine was supplemented by dissolving in feed water (3% w/v).
Results
The activities of glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and glutamate pyruvate transaminase in serum were lower in HFR and HFRT groups compared to HF group. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substance contents in all groups fed a high fat diet were higher compared to N group. The activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes were higher in HFR and HFRT groups compared to HF group.
Conclusions
These results suggest that lotus root hot water extract with taurine supplementation shows antioxidant and hepatic protective effects in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
doi:10.1186/1423-0127-17-S1-S39
PMCID: PMC2994372  PMID: 20804615
22.  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.
doi:10.1038/srep03899
PMCID: PMC3904147  PMID: 24469357
23.  Exfoliation and Performance Properties of Non-Oxidized Graphene in Water 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:3928.
Single-layered graphene has unique electronic, chemical, and electromechanical properties. Recently, graphite exfoliation in N-methylpyrrolidone and molten salt has been demonstrated to generate monolayer exfoliated graphene sheets (EGS). However, these solvents are either high-priced or require special care and have high boiling points and viscosities, making it difficult to deposit the dispersed graphene onto substrates. Here we show a universal principle for the exfoliation of graphite in water to single-layered and several-layered graphene sheets via the direct exfoliation of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) using pyridinium tribromide (Py+Br3−). Electrical conductivity >5100 S/cm was observed for filtered graphene paper, and the EGS exhibited superior performance as a hole transport layer compared to the conventional material N,N-di(naphthalene-1-yl)-N,N-diphenylbenzidine at low voltage. The overall results demonstrate that this method is a scalable process for the preparation of highly conductive graphene for use in the commercial manufacture of high-performance electronic devices.
doi:10.1038/srep03928
PMCID: PMC3905268  PMID: 24473336
24.  Alloying and Structure of Ultrathin Gallium Films on the (111) and (110) Surfaces of Palladium 
Growth, thermal stability, and structure of ultrathin gallium films on Pd(111) and Pd(110) are investigated by low-energy ion scattering and low-energy electron diffraction. Common to both surface orientations are growth of disordered Ga films at coverages of a few monolayers (T = 150 K), onset of alloy formation at low temperatures (T ≈ 200 K), and formation of a metastable, mostly disordered 1:1 surface alloy at temperatures around 400–500 K. At higher temperatures a Ga surface fraction of ∼0.3 is slightly stabilized on Pd(111), which we suggest to be related to the formation of Pd2Ga bulk-like films. While on Pd(110) only a Pd-up/Ga-down buckled surface was observed, an inversion of buckling was observed on Pd(111) upon heating. Similarities and differences to the related Zn/Pd system are discussed.
doi:10.1021/jp407337q
PMCID: PMC3786520  PMID: 24089625
25.  Polyphenolic extract of lotus root (edible rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera) alleviates hepatic steatosis in obese diabetic db/db mice 
Background
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as the most common liver disease of industrialized countries. Thus, discovering food components that can ameliorate NAFLD is of interest. Lotus root, the edible rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera, contains high levels of polyphenolic compounds, and several health-promoting properties of lotus root have been reported. In this study, we tested whether feeding a polyphenolic extract of lotus root to db/db mice protects them from hepatic steatosis.
Results
After 3 weeks of feeding, the hepatomegaly and hepatic triglyceride accumulation were markedly alleviated in the lotus polyphenol-diet-fed db/db mice relative to the control mice. Although the lipolytic enzyme activity was not changed, the activities of lipogenic enzymes, such as fatty acid synthase and malic enzyme, were significantly lower in the lotus polyphenol diet-fed db/db mice. Additionally, the ESI-IT/MS and MALDI-TOF MS spectra revealed the presence of B-type proanthocyanidin polymers with polymerization degree up to 9 in the polyphenolic lotus root extract.
Conclusion
We speculate that the condensed tannins contained in lotus root can alleviate hepatic steatosis by suppressing the lipogenic enzyme activity in the livers of db/db mice.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-202
PMCID: PMC3228742  PMID: 22067945

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