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1.  Fabrication of Ni-Ti-O nanotube arrays by anodization of NiTi alloy and their potential applications 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7547.
Nickel-titanium-oxide (Ni-Ti-O) nanotube arrays (NTAs) prepared on nearly equiatomic NiTi alloy shall have broad application potential such as for energy storage and biomedicine, but their precise structure control is a great challenge because of the high content of alloying element of Ni, a non-valve metal that cannot form a compact electronic insulating passive layer when anodized. In the present work, we systemically investigated the influence of various anodization parameters on the formation and structure of Ni-Ti-O NTAs and their potential applications. Our results show that well controlled NTAs can be fabricated during relatively wide ranges of the anodization voltage (5–90 V), electrolyte temperature (10–50°C) and electrolyte NH4F content (0.025–0.8 wt%) but within a narrow window of the electrolyte H2O content (0.0–1.0 vol%). Through modulating these parameters, the Ni-Ti-O NTAs with different diameter (15–70 nm) and length (45–1320 nm) can be produced in a controlled manner. Regarding potential applications, the Ni-Ti-O NTAs may be used as electrodes for electrochemical energy storage and non-enzymic glucose detection, and may constitute nanoscaled biofunctional coating to improve the biological performance of NiTi based biomedical implants.
PMCID: PMC4269879  PMID: 25520180
2.  Plasmon-induced broadband fluorescence enhancement on Al-Ag bimetallic substrates 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6014.
Surface enhanced fluorescence (SEF) utilizes the local electromagnetic environment to enhance fluorescence from the analyte on the surface of a solid substrate with nanostructures. While the detection sensitivity of SEF is improved with the development of nano-techniques, detection of multiple analytes by SEF is still a challenge due to the compromise between the high enhancing efficiency and broad response bandwidth. In this article, a high-efficiency SEF substrate with broad response bandwidth is obtained by embedding silver in an aluminum film to produce additional bonding and anti-bonding hybridized states. The bimetallic film is fabricated by ion implantation and the ion energy and fluence are tailored to control subsurface location of the fabricated bimetallic nanostructures. The process circumvents the inherent limit of aluminum materials and extends the plasmon band of aluminum from deep UV to visible range. Fluorescence from different dyes excited by 310 nm to 555 nm is enhanced by up to 11 folds on the single bimetallic film and the result is theoretically confirmed by finite-difference time-domain simulations. This work demonstrates that bimetallic film can be used for optical detection of multiple analytes.
PMCID: PMC4127495  PMID: 25109261
3.  Nanoparticles for Improving Cancer Diagnosis 
Despite the progress in developing new therapeutic modalities, cancer remains one of the leading diseases causing human mortality. This is mainly attributed to the inability to diagnose tumors in their early stage. By the time the tumor is confirmed, the cancer may have already metastasized, thereby making therapies challenging or even impossible. It is therefore crucial to develop new or to improve existing diagnostic tools to enable diagnosis of cancer in its early or even pre-syndrome stage. The emergence of nanotechnology has provided such a possibility. Unique physical and physiochemical properties allow nanoparticles to be utilized as tags with excellent sensitivity. When coupled with the appropriate targeting molecules, nanoparticle-based probes can interact with a biological system and sense biological changes on the molecular level with unprecedented accuracy. In the past several years, much progress has been made in applying nanotechnology to clinical imaging and diagnostics, and interdisciplinary efforts have made an impact on clinical cancer management. This article aims to review the progress in this exciting area with emphases on the preparation and engineering techniques that have been developed to assemble “smart” nanoprobes.
PMCID: PMC3779646  PMID: 24068857
cancer diagnosis; biomarkers; nanotechnology; nanomedicine; bioconjugation; surface modification; imaging
4.  Controlling nitrogen migration through micro-nano networks 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:3665.
Nitrogen fertilizer unabsorbed by crops eventually discharges into the environment through runoff, leaching and volatilization, resulting in three-dimensional (3D) pollution spanning from underground into space. Here we describe an approach for controlling nitrogen loss, developed using loss control fertilizer (LCF) prepared by adding modified natural nanoclay (attapulgite) to traditional fertilizer. In the aqueous phase, LCF self-assembles to form 3D micro/nano networks via hydrogen bonds and other weak interactions, obtaining a higher nitrogen spatial scale so that it is retained by a soil filtering layer. Thus nitrogen loss is reduced and sufficient nutrition for crops is supplied, while the pollution risk of the fertilizer is substantially lowered. As such, self-fabrication of nano-material was used to manipulate the nitrogen spatial scale, which provides a novel and promising approach for the research and control of the migration of other micro-scaled pollutants in environmental medium.
PMCID: PMC3891318  PMID: 24419037
5.  Direct Growth of Graphene Film on Germanium Substrate 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2465.
Graphene has been predicted to play a role in post-silicon electronics due to the extraordinary carrier mobility. Chemical vapor deposition of graphene on transition metals has been considered as a major step towards commercial realization of graphene. However, fabrication based on transition metals involves an inevitable transfer step which can be as complicated as the deposition of graphene itself. By ambient-pressure chemical vapor deposition, we demonstrate large-scale and uniform depositon of high-quality graphene directly on a Ge substrate which is wafer scale and has been considered to replace conventional Si for the next generation of high-performance metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). The immiscible Ge-C system under equilibrium conditions dictates graphene depositon on Ge via a self-limiting and surface-mediated process rather than a precipitation process as observed from other metals with high carbon solubility. Our technique is compatible with modern microelectronics technology thus allowing integration with high-volume production of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS).
PMCID: PMC3746207  PMID: 23955352
6.  Concentration- and time-dependent response of human gingival fibroblasts to fibroblast growth factor 2 immobilized on titanium dental implants 
Titanium (Ti) implants are widely used clinically, but peri-implantitis remains one of the most common and serious complications. Healthy integration between gingival tissue and the implant surface is critical to long-term success in dental implant therapy. The objective of this study was to investigate how different concentrations of immobilized fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) on the titania nanotubular surface influence the response of human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs).
Pure Ti metal was anodized at 20 V to form a vertically organized titanium dioxide nanotube array on which three concentrations of FGF2 (250 ng/mL, 500 ng/mL, or 1000 ng/mL) were immobilized by repeated lyophilization. Surface topography was observed and FGF2 elution was detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The bioactivity changes of dissolvable immobilized FGF2 were measured by methyl-thiazolyl-tetrazolium assay. Behavior of HGFs was evaluated using adhesion and methyl-thiazolyl-tetrazolium bromide assays.
The FGF2 remained for several days on the modified surface on which HGFs were cultured. Over 90% of the dissolvable immobilized FGF2 had been eluted by Day 9, whereas the FGF2 activity was found to diminish gradually from Day 1 to Day 9. The titania nanotubular surface with an optimal preparing concentration (500 ng/mL) of FGF2 immobilization exhibited improved HGF functions such as cellular attachment, proliferation, and extracellular matrix-related gene expression. Moreover, significant bidirectional as well as concentration- and time-dependent bioactivity was observed.
Synergism of the FGF2-impregnated titanium dioxide nanotubular surface revealed good gingival-implant integration, indicating that these materials might have promising applications in dentistry and other biomedical devices.
PMCID: PMC3356224  PMID: 22619534
dental implants; titanium dioxide nanotube; fibroblast growth factor 2; extracellular matrix; real-time polymerase chain reaction
7.  Light-emitting diodes enhanced by localized surface plasmon resonance 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):199.
Light-emitting diodes [LEDs] are of particular interest recently as their performance is approaching fluorescent/incandescent tubes. Moreover, their energy-saving property is attracting many researchers because of the huge energy crisis we are facing. Among all methods intending to enhance the efficiency and intensity of a conventional LED, localized surface plasmon resonance is a promising way. The mechanism is based on the energy coupling effect between the emitted photons from the semiconductor and metallic nanoparticles fabricated by nanotechnology. In this review, we describe the mechanism of this coupling effect and summarize the common fabrication techniques. The prospect, including the potential to replace fluorescent/incandescent lighting devices as well as applications to flat panel displays and optoelectronics, and future challenges with regard to the design of metallic nanostructures and fabrication techniques are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3211255  PMID: 21711711

Results 1-7 (7)