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26.  An analytical approach to evaluate the performance of graphene and carbon nanotubes for NH3 gas sensor applications 
Carbon, in its variety of allotropes, especially graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), holds great potential for applications in variety of sensors because of dangling π-bonds that can react with chemical elements. In spite of their excellent features, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene have not been fully exploited in the development of the nanoelectronic industry mainly because of poor understanding of the band structure of these allotropes. A mathematical model is proposed with a clear purpose to acquire an analytical understanding of the field-effect-transistor (FET) based gas detection mechanism. The conductance change in the CNT/graphene channel resulting from the chemical reaction between the gas and channel surface molecules is emphasized. NH3 has been used as the prototype gas to be detected by the nanosensor and the corresponding current–voltage (I–V) characteristics of the FET-based sensor are studied. A graphene-based gas sensor model is also developed. The results from graphene and CNT models are compared with the experimental data. A satisfactory agreement, within the uncertainties of the experiments, is obtained. Graphene-based gas sensor exhibits higher conductivity compared to that of CNT-based counterpart for similar ambient conditions.
PMCID: PMC4077376  PMID: 24991510
carbon nanotube (CNT); conductance; FET-based gas sensor; graphene
27.  Shape-selected nanocrystals for in situ spectro-electrochemistry studies on structurally well defined surfaces under controlled electrolyte transport: A combined in situ ATR-FTIR/online DEMS investigation of CO electrooxidation on Pt 
The suitability and potential of shape selected nanocrystals for in situ spectro-electrochemical and in particular spectro-electrocatalytic studies on structurally well defined electrodes under enforced and controlled electrolyte mass transport will be demonstrated, using Pt nanocrystals prepared by colloidal synthesis procedures and a flow cell set-up allowing simultaneous measurements of the Faradaic current, FTIR spectroscopy of adsorbed reaction intermediates and side products in an attenuated total reflection configuration (ATR-FTIRS) and differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) measurements of volatile reaction products. Batches of shape-selected Pt nanocrystals with different shapes and hence different surface structures were prepared and structurally characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electrochemical methods. The potential for in situ spectro-electrocatalytic studies is illustrated for COad oxidation on Pt nanocrystal surfaces, where we could separate contributions from two processes occurring simultaneously, oxidative COad removal and re-adsorption of (bi)sulfate anions, and reveal a distinct structure sensitivity in these processes and also in the structural implications of (bi)sulfate re-adsorption on the CO adlayer.
PMCID: PMC4077536  PMID: 24991511
CO oxidation; electrocatalysis; in situ spectro-electrochemistry; Pt; shape selected nanocrystals
28.  Resonance of graphene nanoribbons doped with nitrogen and boron: a molecular dynamics study 
Based on its enticing properties, graphene has been envisioned with applications in the area of electronics, photonics, sensors, bio-applications and others. To facilitate various applications, doping has been frequently used to manipulate the properties of graphene. Despite a number of studies conducted on doped graphene regarding its electrical and chemical properties, the impact of doping on the mechanical properties of graphene has been rarely discussed. A systematic study of the vibrational properties of graphene doped with nitrogen and boron is performed by means of a molecular dynamics simulation. The influence from different density or species of dopants has been assessed. It is found that the impacts on the quality factor, Q, resulting from different densities of dopants vary greatly, while the influence on the resonance frequency is insignificant. The reduction of the resonance frequency caused by doping with boron only is larger than the reduction caused by doping with both boron and nitrogen. This study gives a fundamental understanding of the resonance of graphene with different dopants, which may benefit their application as resonators.
PMCID: PMC4077460  PMID: 24991509
dopant; graphene; molecular dynamics simulation; natural frequency; quality factor; resonance
29.  Visible light photooxidative performance of a high-nuclearity molecular bismuth vanadium oxide cluster 
The visible light photooxidative performance of a new high-nuclearity molecular bismuth vanadium oxide cluster, H3[{Bi(dmso)3}4V13O40], is reported. Photocatalytic activity studies show faster reaction kinetics under anaerobic conditions, suggesting an oxygen-dependent quenching of the photoexcited cluster species. Further mechanistic analysis shows that the reaction proceeds via the intermediate formation of hydroxyl radicals which act as oxidant. Trapping experiments using ethanol as a hydroxyl radical scavenger show significantly decreased photocatalytic substrate oxidation in the presence of EtOH. Photocatalytic performance analyses using monochromatic visible light irradiation show that the quantum efficiency Φ for indigo photooxidation is strongly dependent on the irradiation wavelength, with higher quantum efficiencies being observed at shorter wavelengths (Φ395nm ca. 15%). Recycling tests show that the compound can be employed as homogeneous photooxidation catalyst multiple times without loss of catalytic activity. High turnover numbers (TON ca. 1200) and turnover frequencies up to TOF ca. 3.44 min−1 are observed, illustrating the practical applicability of the cluster species.
PMCID: PMC4077371  PMID: 24991508
photocatalysis; photooxidation; polyoxometalate; self-assembly; vanadium oxide
30.  Nanostructure sensitization of transition metal oxides for visible-light photocatalysis 
To better utilize the sunlight for efficient solar energy conversion, the research on visible-light active photocatalysts has recently attracted a lot of interest. The photosensitization of transition metal oxides is a promising approach for achieving effective visible-light photocatalysis. This review article primarily discusses the recent progress in the realm of a variety of nanostructured photosensitizers such as quantum dots, plasmonic metal nanostructures, and carbon nanostructures for coupling with wide-bandgap transition metal oxides to design better visible-light active photocatalysts. The underlying mechanisms of the composite photocatalysts, e.g., the light-induced charge separation and the subsequent visible-light photocatalytic reaction processes in environmental remediation and solar fuel generation fields, are also introduced. A brief outlook on the nanostructure photosensitization is also given.
PMCID: PMC4077394  PMID: 24991507
carbon nanostructures; nanostructure sensitization; plasmonic metal nanostructures; quantum dots; transition metal oxides; visible-light photocatalysis
31.  A visible-light-driven composite photocatalyst of TiO2 nanotube arrays and graphene quantum dots 
TiO2 nanotube arrays are well-known efficient UV-driven photocatalysts. The incorporation of graphene quantum dots could extend the photo-response of the nanotubes to the visible-light range. Graphene quantum dot-sensitized TiO2 nanotube arrays were synthesized by covalently coupling these two materials. The product was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and UV–vis absorption spectroscopy. The product exhibited high photocatalytic performance in the photodegradation of methylene blue and enhanced photocurrent under visible light irradiation.
PMCID: PMC4077368  PMID: 24991506
anodic oxidation; graphene quantum dots; photocatalyst; photodegradation; TiO2 nanotube arrays
32.  Injection of ligand-free gold and silver nanoparticles into murine embryos does not impact pre-implantation development 
Intended exposure to gold and silver nanoparticles has increased exponentially over the last decade and will continue to rise due to their use in biomedical applications. In particular, reprotoxicological aspects of these particles still need to be addressed so that the potential impacts of this development on human health can be reliably estimated. Therefore, in this study the toxicity of gold and silver nanoparticles on mammalian preimplantation development was assessed by injecting nanoparticles into one blastomere of murine 2 cell-embryos, while the sister blastomere served as an internal control. After treatment, embryos were cultured and embryo development up to the blastocyst stage was assessed. Development rates did not differ between microinjected and control groups (gold nanoparticles: 67.3%, silver nanoparticles: 61.5%, sham: 66.2%, handling control: 79.4%). Real-time PCR analysis of six developmentally important genes (BAX, BCL2L2, TP53, OCT4, NANOG, DNMT3A) did not reveal an influence on gene expression in blastocysts. Contrary to silver nanoparticles, exposure to comparable Ag+-ion concentrations resulted in an immediate arrest of embryo development. In conclusion, the results do not indicate any detrimental effect of colloidal gold or silver nanoparticles on the development of murine embryos.
PMCID: PMC4077524  PMID: 24991505
biomedical application; confocal microscopy; gene expression; protein corona; toxicity
33.  Constant chemical potential approach for quantum chemical calculations in electrocatalysis 
In order to simulate electrochemical reactions in the framework of quantum chemical methods, density functional theory, methods can be devised that explicitly include the electrochemical potential. In this work we discuss a Grand Canonical approach in the framework of density functional theory in which fractional numbers of electrons are used to represent an open system in contact with an electrode at a given electrochemical potential. The computational shortcomings and the additional effort in such calculations are discussed. An ansatz for a SCF procedure is presented, which can be applied routinely and only marginally increases the computational effort of standard constant electron number approaches. In combination with the common implicit solvent models this scheme can become a powerful tool, especially for the investigation of omnipresent non-faradaic effects in electrochemistry.
PMCID: PMC4077294  PMID: 24991504
density functional theory; electrocatalysis; electrochemistry; electronic strutcture theory; nanoparticles; quantum chemistry
34.  Correction to "Energy dissipation in multifrequency atomic force microscopy" 
PMCID: PMC4077310  PMID: 24991503
band excitation; multifrequency atomic force microscopy (AFM); phase reference; wavelet transforms
35.  Effects of the preparation method on the structure and the visible-light photocatalytic activity of Ag2CrO4  
Silver chromate (Ag2CrO4) photocatalysts are prepared by microemulsion, precipitation, and hydrothermal methods, in order to investigate the effect of preparation methods on the structure and the visible-light photocatalytic activity. It is found that the photocatalytic activity of the prepared Ag2CrO4was highly dependent on the preparation methods. The sample prepared by microemulsion method exhibits the highest photocatalytic efficiency on the degradation of methylene blue (MB) under visible-light irradiation. The enhanced photocatalytic activity could be ascribed to the smaller particle size, higher surface area, relatively stronger light absorption, and blue-shift absorption edge, which result in the adsorption of more MB molecules, a shorter diffusion process of more photogenerated excitons, and a stronger oxidation ability of the photogenerated holes. Considering the universalities of microemulsion, precipitation, and hydrothermal methods, this work may also provide a prototype for the comparative study of semiconductor based photocatalysis for water purification and environmental remediation.
PMCID: PMC4077462  PMID: 24991502
microemulsion method; nanoparticles; photocatalysis; photocatalytic activity; silver chromate; visible-light-driven
36.  Cyclodextrin-poly(ε-caprolactone) based nanoparticles able to complex phenolphthalein and adamantyl carboxylate 
A new compound composed of poly(ε-caprolactone) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) was synthesized by click chemistry. This compound was used to obtain stable nanoparticles, which have been proven to be able to complex phenolphthalein and adamantyl carboxylate. The nanoparticles are characterized by a distinct morphology, i.e., a hydrophobic core formed by the polyester chain and a shell containing the CD part. Moreover, the formed nanoparticles have been proven to encapsulate umbelliferone in the polyester phase, which may serve as an example for the uptake of a drug. The formed nanoparticles were characterized in terms of sizes and morphology by both DLS and TEM.
PMCID: PMC4077308  PMID: 24991501
click reaction; complexation; cyclodextrin; encapsulation; nanoparticles
37.  Enhanced photocatalytic activity of Ag–ZnO hybrid plasmonic nanostructures prepared by a facile wet chemical method 
We report the synthesis of Ag–ZnO hybrid plasmonic nanostructures with enhanced photocatalytic activity by a facile wet-chemical method. The structural, optical, plasmonic and photocatalytic properties of the Ag–ZnO hybrid nanostructures were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), photoluminescence (PL) and UV–visible absorption spectroscopy. The effects of citrate concentration and Ag nanoparticle loading on the photocatalytic activity of Ag–ZnO hybrid nanostructures towards sun-light driven degradation of methylene blue (MB) have been investigated. Increase in citrate concentration has been found to result in the formation of nanodisk-like structures, due to citrate-assisted oriented attachment of ZnO nanoparticles. The decoration of ZnO nanostructures with Ag nanoparticles resulted in a significant enhancement of the photocatalytic degradation efficiency, which has been found to increase with the extent of Ag nanoparticle loading.
PMCID: PMC4077307  PMID: 24991500
Ag–ZnO; hybrid plasmonic nanostructures; photocatalysis
38.  The optimal shape of elastomer mushroom-like fibers for high and robust adhesion 
Over the last decade, significant effort has been put into mimicking the ability of the gecko lizard to strongly and reversibly cling to surfaces, by using synthetic structures. Among these structures, mushroom-like elastomer fiber arrays have demonstrated promising performance on smooth surfaces matching the adhesive strengths obtained with the natural gecko foot-pads. It is possible to improve the already impressive adhesive performance of mushroom-like fibers provided that the underlying adhesion mechanism is understood. Here, the adhesion mechanism of bio-inspired mushroom-like fibers is investigated by implementing the Dugdale–Barenblatt cohesive zone model into finite elements simulations. It is found that the magnitude of pull-off stress depends on the edge angle θ and the ratio of the tip radius to the stalk radius β of the mushroom-like fiber. Pull-off stress is also found to depend on a dimensionless parameter χ, the ratio of the fiber radius to a length-scale related to the dominance of adhesive stress. As an estimate, the optimal parameters are found to be β = 1.1 and θ = 45°. Further, the location of crack initiation is found to depend on χ for given β and θ. An analytical model for pull-off stress, which depends on the location of crack initiation as well as on θ and β, is proposed and found to agree with the simulation results. Results obtained in this work provide a geometrical guideline for designing robust bio-inspired dry fibrillar adhesives.
PMCID: PMC4077298  PMID: 24991499
gecko; mushroom-like fibers; adhesion
39.  The surface microstructure of cusps and leaflets in rabbit and mouse heart valves 
In this investigation, scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize the microstructure on the surfaces of animal heart valve cusps/leaflets. The results showed that though these surfaces appear smooth to the naked eye, they are actually comprised of a double hierarchical structure consisting of a cobblestone-like microstructure and nano-cilia along with mastoids with a directional arrangement. Such nanostructures could play a very important role in the hemocompatibility characteristics of heart valves. On this basis, the model of the microstructure was constructed and theoretical analysis was used to obtain optimal geometric parameters for the rough surface of artificial valve cusps/leaflets. This model may help improve reconstructive techniques and it may be beneficial in the design and fabrication of valve substitutes or partial substitutes. Namely, the model may help ameliorate heart valve replacement surgery.
PMCID: PMC4077300  PMID: 24991498
contact angle; geometric parameter; heart valve; hemocompatibility; microstructure
40.  Biocalcite, a multifunctional inorganic polymer: Building block for calcareous sponge spicules and bioseed for the synthesis of calcium phosphate-based bone 
Calcium carbonate is the material that builds up the spicules of the calcareous sponges. Recent results revealed that the calcium carbonate/biocalcite-based spicular skeleton of these animals is formed through an enzymatic mechanism, such as the skeleton of the siliceous sponges, evolutionarily the oldest animals that consist of biosilica. The enzyme that mediates the calcium carbonate deposition has been identified as a carbonic anhydrase (CA) and has been cloned from the calcareous sponge species Sycon raphanus. Calcium carbonate deposits are also found in vertebrate bones besides the main constituent, calcium phosphate/hydroxyapatite (HA). Evidence has been presented that during the initial phase of HA synthesis poorly crystalline carbonated apatite is deposited. Recent data summarized here indicate that during early bone formation calcium carbonate deposits enzymatically formed by CA, act as potential bioseeds for the precipitation of calcium phosphate mineral onto bone-forming osteoblasts. Two different calcium carbonate phases have been found during CA-driven enzymatic calcium carbonate deposition in in vitro assays: calcite crystals and round-shaped vaterite deposits. The CA provides a new target of potential anabolic agents for treatment of bone diseases; a first CA activator stimulating the CA-driven calcium carbonate deposition has been identified. In addition, the CA-driven calcium carbonate crystal formation can be frozen at the vaterite state in the presence of silintaphin-2, an aspartic acid/glutamic acid-rich sponge-specific protein. The discovery that calcium carbonate crystals act as bioseeds in human bone formation may allow the development of novel biomimetic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Na-alginate hydrogels, enriched with biosilica, have recently been demonstrated as a suitable matrix to embed bone forming cells for rapid prototyping bioprinting/3D cell printing applications.
PMCID: PMC4077312  PMID: 24991497
biocalcite; bioprinting; bone; bone formation; calcareous spicules; sponge
41.  Analytical development and optimization of a graphene–solution interface capacitance model 
Graphene, which as a new carbon material shows great potential for a range of applications because of its exceptional electronic and mechanical properties, becomes a matter of attention in these years. The use of graphene in nanoscale devices plays an important role in achieving more accurate and faster devices. Although there are lots of experimental studies in this area, there is a lack of analytical models. Quantum capacitance as one of the important properties of field effect transistors (FETs) is in our focus. The quantum capacitance of electrolyte-gated transistors (EGFETs) along with a relevant equivalent circuit is suggested in terms of Fermi velocity, carrier density, and fundamental physical quantities. The analytical model is compared with the experimental data and the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) is calculated to be 11.82. In order to decrease the error, a new function of E composed of α and β parameters is suggested. In another attempt, the ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm is implemented for optimization and development of an analytical model to obtain a more accurate capacitance model. To further confirm this viewpoint, based on the given results, the accuracy of the optimized model is more than 97% which is in an acceptable range of accuracy.
PMCID: PMC4077292  PMID: 24991496
analytical modeling; ant colony optimization (ACO); electrolyte-gated transistors (EGFET); graphene; quantum capacitance
42.  Towards precise defect control in layered oxide structures by using oxide molecular beam epitaxy 
In this paper we present the atomic-layer-by-layer oxide molecular beam epitaxy (ALL-oxide MBE) which has been recently installed in the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Research and we report on its present status, providing some examples that demonstrate its successful application in the synthesis of different layered oxides, with particular reference to superconducting La2CuO4 and insulator-to-metal La2− xSrxNiO4. We briefly review the ALL-oxide MBE technique and its unique capabilities in the deposition of atomically smooth single-crystal thin films of various complex oxides, artificial compounds and heterostructures, introducing our goal of pursuing a deep investigation of such systems with particular emphasis on structural defects, with the aim of tailoring their functional properties by precise defects control.
PMCID: PMC4079053  PMID: 24995148
artificial superlattices; complex oxides; defect chemistry; interface effects; molecular beam epitaxy
43.  High activity of Ag-doped Cd0.1Zn0.9S photocatalyst prepared by the hydrothermal method for hydrogen production under visible-light irradiation 
Background: The hydrothermal method was used as a new approach to prepare a series of Ag-doped Cd0.1Zn0.9S photocatalysts. The effect of Ag doping on the properties and photocatalytic activity of Cd0.1Zn0.9S was studied for the hydrogen production from water reduction under visible light irradiation.
Results: Compared to the series prepared by the co-precipitation method, samples prepared by the hydrothermal method performed with a better photocatalytic activity. The sample with the optimum amount of Ag doping showed the highest hydrogen production rate of 3.91 mmol/h, which was 1.7 times higher than that of undoped Cd0.1Zn0.9S. With the Ag doping, a red shift in the optical response was observed, leading to a larger portion of the visible light absorption than that of without doping. In addition to the larger absorption in the visible-light region, the increase in photocatalytic activity of samples with Ag doping may also come from the Ag species facilitating electron–hole separation.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that Ag doping is a promising way to enhance the activity of Cd0.1Zn0.9S photocatalyst.
PMCID: PMC4077306  PMID: 24991495
Ag doping; Cd0.1Zn0.9S; hydrogen production; hydrothermal; visible light
44.  Hole-mask colloidal nanolithography combined with tilted-angle-rotation evaporation: A versatile method for fabrication of low-cost and large-area complex plasmonic nanostructures and metamaterials 
Many nano-optical applications require a suitable nanofabrication technology. Hole-mask colloidal nanolithography has proven to be a low-cost and large-area alternative for the fabrication of complex plasmonic nanostructures as well as metamaterials. In this paper, we describe the fabrication process step by step. We manufacture a variety of different plasmonic structures ranging from simple nano-antennas over complex chiral structures to stacked composite materials for applications such as sensing. Additionally, we give details on the control of the nanostructure lateral density which allows for the multilayer-fabrication of complex nanostructures. In two accompanying movies, the fabrication strategy is explained and details are being demonstrated in the lab. The movies can be found at the website of Beilstein TV.
PMCID: PMC4077317  PMID: 24991494
hole-mask colloidal nanolithography; localized surface plasmon resonance sensing; low-cost large-area plasmonic nanostructures; multilayer fabrication; surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SERS)
45.  Artificial sunlight and ultraviolet light induced photo-epoxidation of propylene over V-Ti/MCM-41 photocatalyst 
The light irradiation parameters, including the wavelength spectrum and intensity of light source, can significantly influence a photocatalytic reaction. This study examines the propylene photo-epoxidation over V-Ti/MCM-41 photocatalyst by using artificial sunlight (Xe lamp with/without an Air Mass 1.5 Global Filter at 1.6/18.5 mW·cm−2) and ultraviolet light (Mercury Arc lamp with different filters in the range of 0.1–0.8 mW·cm−2). This is the first report of using artificial sunlight to drive the photo-epoxidation of propylene. Over V-Ti/MCM-41 photocatalyst, the propylene oxide (PO) formation rate is 193.0 and 112.1 µmol·gcat −1·h−1 with a PO selectivity of 35.0 and 53.7% under UV light and artificial sunlight, respectively. A normalized light utilization (NLU) index is defined and found to correlate well with the rate of both PO formation and C3H6 consumption in log–log scale. The light utilization with a mercury arc lamp is better than with a xenon lamp. The selectivity to PO remains practically unchanged with respect to NLU, suggesting that the photo-epoxidation occurs through the same mechanism under the conditions tested in this study.
PMCID: PMC4077301  PMID: 24991493
artificial sunlight; light irradiation effects; photo-epoxidation; ultraviolet (UV) light; V-Ti/MCM-41 photocatalyst
46.  Hairy suckers: the surface microstructure and its possible functional significance in the Octopus vulgaris sucker 
Octopus suckers are able to attach to any smooth surface and many rough surfaces. Here, we have discovered that the sucker surface, which has been hypothesised to be responsible for sealing the orifice during adhesion, is not smooth as previously assumed, but is completely covered by a dense network of hair-like micro-outgrowths. This finding is particularly important because it provides another demonstration of the role of hair-structures in a sealing mechanism in water, similar to that previously described for clingfish and abalones. Moreover, the discovered hairs may provide an additional adhesive mechanism that works in concert with suction. The discovered surface structures might be potentially interesting for biomimetics of novel technical suction cups with improved adhesion capabilities on non-smooth surfaces.
PMCID: PMC4077296  PMID: 24991492
adhesion; attachment; Mollusca; octopus sucker; underwater sealing
47.  Magnesiothermic conversion of the silica-mineralizing golden algae Mallomonas caudata and Synura petersenii to elemental silicon with high geometric precision 
Chrysophyceae, also known as golden algae, contain characteristic, three-dimensional biomineralized silica structures. Their chemical composition and microscopic structure was studied. By high-temperature conversion of the skeleton of Mallomonas caudata and Synura petersenii into elementary silicon by magnesium vapour, nanostructured defined replicates were produced which were clearly seen after removal of the formed magnesium oxide with acid.
PMCID: PMC4077295  PMID: 24991491
biomineralization; golden algae; magnesiothermic conversion; silica; silicon
48.  In vitro toxicity and bioimaging studies of gold nanorods formulations coated with biofunctional thiol-PEG molecules and Pluronic block copolymers 
In this work, we investigated the cytotoxicity, colloidal stability and optical property of gold nanorods before and after functionalizing them with thiolated PEG and Pluronic triblock copolymer (PEO–PPO–PEO) molecules. The morphology of functionalized gold nanorods was characterized by UV–visible absorption spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering. Solution phase synthesis of gold nanorods has remained the method of choice for obtaining varying shapes and aspect ratios of rod nanoparticles. This method typically involves the use of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) surfactants as directing agents to grow gold nanorods in the solution phase. The as-synthesized gold nanorods surfaces are terminated with CTAB molecules and this formulation gives rise to adverse toxicity in vitro and in vivo. To employ the gold nanorods for biological studies, it is important to eliminate or minimize the exposure of CTAB molecules from the gold nanorods surface to the local environment such as cells or tissues. Complete removal of CTAB molecules from the gold nanorods surface is unfeasible as this will render the gold nanorods structurally unstable, causing the aggregation of particles. Here, we investigate the individual use of thiolated PEG and PEO–PPO–PEO as capping agents to reduce the cytotoxicity of gold nanorods formulation, while maintaining the optical, colloidal, and structural properties of gold nanorods. We found that encapsulating gold nanorods with the thiolated PEG or PEO–PPO–PEO molecules guarantees the stability and biocompatibility of the nanoformulation. However, excessive use of these molecules during the passivation process leads to a reduction in the overall cell viability. We also demonstrate the use of the functionalized gold nanorods as scattering probes for dark-field imaging of cancer cells thereby demonstrating their biocompatibility. Our results offer a unique solution for the future development of safe scattering color probes for clinical applications such as the long term imaging of cells and tissues.
PMCID: PMC4077316  PMID: 24991490
cancer cells; dark-field imaging; gold nanorods; PEG-SH; PEO–PPO–PEO
49.  Chemi- vs physisorption in the radical functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes under microwaves 
The effect of microwaves on the functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) by the diazonium method was studied. The usage of a new approach led to the identification of the strength of the interaction (physical or chemical) between the functional groups and the carbon nanotube surface. Moreover, the nature (chemical formula) of the adsorbed/grafted functional groups was determined. According to thermogravimetric analysis coupled with mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy, the optimal functionalization level was reached after 5 min of reaction. Prolonged reaction times can lead to undesired reactions such as defunctionalization, solvent addition and polymerization of the grafted functions. The strength (chemi- vs physisorption) of the bonds between the grafted functional groups and the SWNTs is discussed showing the occurrence of physical adsorption as a consequence of defunctionalization after 15 min of reaction under microwaves. Several chemical mechanisms of grafting could be identified, and it was possible to distinguish conditions leading to the desired chemical grafting from those leading to undesired reactions such as physisorption and polymerization.
PMCID: PMC4077304  PMID: 24991489
carbon nanotubes; covalent functionalization; grafting; microwaves; physisorption
50.  An ultrasonic technology for production of antibacterial nanomaterials and their coating on textiles 
A method for the production of antibacterial ZnO nanoparticles has been developed. The technique combines passing an electric current with simultaneous application of ultrasonic waves. By using high-power ultrasound a cavitation zone is created between two zinc electrodes. This leads to the possibility to create a spatial electrical discharge in water. Creation of such discharge leads to the depletion of the electrodes and the formation of ZnO nanoparticles, which demonstrate antibacterial properties. At the end of this reaction the suspension of ZnO nanoparticles is transported to a specially developed ultrasonic reactor, in which the nanoparticles are deposited on the textile. The nanoparticles are embedded into the fibres by the cavitation jets, which are formed by asymmetrically collapsing bubbles in the presence of a solid surface and are directed towards the surface of textile at very high velocities. Fabrics coated with ZnO nanoparticles by using the developed method showed good antibacterial activity against E. coli.
PMCID: PMC4077302  PMID: 24991488
antibacterial textile; cavitation; electrical discharge in liquid; nanoparticle; ultrasound

Results 26-50 (433)