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1.  Unravelling Site-Specific Photo-Reactions of Ethanol on Rutile TiO2(110) 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:21990.
Finding the active sites of catalysts and photo-catalysts is crucial for an improved fundamental understanding and the development of efficient catalytic systems. Here we have studied the photo-activated dehydrogenation of ethanol on reduced and oxidized rutile TiO2(110) in ultrahigh vacuum conditions. Utilizing scanning tunnelling microscopy, various spectroscopic techniques and theoretical calculations we found that the photo-reaction proceeds most efficiently when the reactants are adsorbed on regular Ti surface sites, whereas species that are strongly adsorbed at surface defects such as O vacancies and step edges show little reaction under reducing conditions. We propose that regular Ti surface sites are the most active sites in photo-reactions on TiO2.
PMCID: PMC4768110  PMID: 26915303
2.  hiPS-MSCs differentiation towards fibroblasts on a 3D ECM mimicking scaffold 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8480.
Fibroblasts are ubiquitous cells that constitute the stroma of virtually all tissues and play vital roles in homeostasis. The poor innate healing capacity of fibroblastic tissues is attributed to the scarcity of fibroblasts as collagen-producing cells. In this study, we have developed a functional ECM mimicking scaffold that is capable to supply spatial allocation of stem cells as well as anchorage and storage of growth factors (GFs) to direct stem cells differentiate towards fibroblasts. Electrospun PCL fibers were embedded in a PEG-fibrinogen (PF) hydrogel, which was infiltrated with connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) to form the 3D nanocomposite PFP-C. The human induced pluripotent stem cells derived mesenchymal stem cells (hiPS-MSCs) with an advance in growth over adult MSCs were applied to validate the fibrogenic capacity of the 3D nanocomposite scaffold. The PFP-C scaffold was found not only biocompatible with the hiPS-MSCs, but also presented intriguingly strong fibroblastic commitments, to an extent comparable to the positive control, tissue culture plastic surfaces (TCP) timely refreshed with 100% CTGF. The novel scaffold presented not only biomimetic ECM nanostructures for homing stem cells, but also sufficient cell-approachable bio-signaling cues, which may synergistically facilitate the control of stem cell fates for regenerative therapies.
PMCID: PMC4329554  PMID: 25684543
3.  Sequence dependence of electron-induced DNA strand breakage revealed by DNA nanoarrays 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7391.
The electronic structure of DNA is determined by its nucleotide sequence, which is for instance exploited in molecular electronics. Here we demonstrate that also the DNA strand breakage induced by low-energy electrons (18 eV) depends on the nucleotide sequence. To determine the absolute cross sections for electron induced single strand breaks in specific 13 mer oligonucleotides we used atomic force microscopy analysis of DNA origami based DNA nanoarrays. We investigated the DNA sequences 5′-TT(XYX)3TT with X = A, G, C and Y = T, BrU 5-bromouracil and found absolute strand break cross sections between 2.66 · 10−14 cm2 and 7.06 · 10−14 cm2. The highest cross section was found for 5′-TT(ATA)3TT and 5′-TT(ABrUA)3TT, respectively. BrU is a radiosensitizer, which was discussed to be used in cancer radiation therapy. The replacement of T by BrU into the investigated DNA sequences leads to a slight increase of the absolute strand break cross sections resulting in sequence-dependent enhancement factors between 1.14 and 1.66. Nevertheless, the variation of strand break cross sections due to the specific nucleotide sequence is considerably higher. Thus, the present results suggest the development of targeted radiosensitizers for cancer radiation therapy.
PMCID: PMC4260214  PMID: 25487346
4.  A simple method for deriving functional MSCs and applied for osteogenesis in 3D scaffolds 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2243.
We describe a simple method for bone engineering using biodegradable scaffolds with mesenchymal stem cells derived from human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPS-MSCs). The hiPS-MSCs expressed mesenchymal markers (CD90, CD73, and CD105), possessed multipotency characterized by tri-lineages differentiation: osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic, and lost pluripotency – as seen with the loss of markers OCT3/4 and TRA-1-81 – and tumorigenicity. However, these iPS-MSCs are still positive for marker NANOG. We further explored the osteogenic potential of the hiPS-MSCs in synthetic polymer polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds or PCL scaffolds functionalized with natural polymer hyaluronan and ceramic TCP (PHT) both in vitro and in vivo. Our results showed that these iPS-MSCs are functionally compatible with the two 3D scaffolds tested and formed typically calcified structure in the scaffolds. Overall, our results suggest the iPS-MSCs derived by this simple method retain fully osteogenic function and provide a new solution towards personalized orthopedic therapy in the future.
PMCID: PMC3718204  PMID: 23873182
5.  Fabrication and characterization of a rapid prototyped tissue engineering scaffold with embedded multicomponent matrix for controlled drug release 
Bone tissue engineering implants with sustained local drug delivery provide an opportunity for better postoperative care for bone tumor patients because these implants offer sustained drug release at the tumor site and reduce systemic side effects. A rapid prototyped macroporous polycaprolactone scaffold was embedded with a porous matrix composed of chitosan, nanoclay, and β-tricalcium phosphate by freeze-drying. This composite scaffold was evaluated on its ability to deliver an anthracycline antibiotic and to promote formation of mineralized matrix in vitro. Scanning electronic microscopy, confocal imaging, and DNA quantification confirmed that immortalized human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC-TERT) cultured in the scaffold showed high cell viability and growth, and good cell infiltration to the pores of the scaffold. Alkaline phosphatase activity and osteocalcin staining showed that the scaffold was osteoinductive. The drug-release kinetics was investigated by loading doxorubicin into the scaffold. The scaffolds comprising nanoclay released up to 45% of the drug for up to 2 months, while the scaffold without nanoclay released 95% of the drug within 4 days. Therefore, this scaffold can fulfill the requirements for both bone tissue engineering and local sustained release of an anticancer drug in vitro. These results suggest that the scaffold can be used clinically in reconstructive surgery after bone tumor resection. Moreover, by changing the composition and amount of individual components, the scaffold can find application in other tissue engineering areas that need local sustained release of drug.
PMCID: PMC3418070  PMID: 22904634
nanoclay; chitosan; scaffold; tissue engineering; drug delivery system
6.  Noncontact atomic force microscopy study of the spinel MgAl2O4(111) surface 
Based on high-resolution noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) experiments we reveal a detailed structural model of the polar (111) surface of the insulating ternary metal oxide, MgAl2O4 (spinel). NC-AFM images reveal a 6√3×6√3R30° superstructure on the surface consisting of patches with the original oxygen-terminated MgAl2O4(111) surface interrupted by oxygen-deficient areas. These observations are in accordance with previous theoretical studies, which predict that the polarity of the surface can be compensated by removal of a certain fraction of oxygen atoms. However, instead of isolated O vacancies, it is observed that O is removed in a distinct pattern of line vacancies reflected by the underlying lattice structure. Consequently, by the creation of triangular patches in a 6√3×6√3R30° superstructure, the polar-stabilization requirements are met.
PMCID: PMC3323907  PMID: 22496991
aluminium oxide; metal oxide surfaces; noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM); polar surfaces; reconstructions; spinel
7.  In Vivo Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticles and Silver Ions in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) 
Journal of Toxicology  2011;2012:293784.
The influence of water chemistry on characterised polyvinyl pyrrolidone- (PVP-) coated silver nanoparticles (81 nm) was investigated. NaCl solution series of 100–800 mg L−1 lead to initial and temporal increase in nanoparticles size, but agglomeration was limited. pH variation (5–8) had only minor influence on the hydrodynamic particle size. Acute toxicity of nanosivler to zebrafish (Danio rerio) was investigated in a 48-hour static renewal study and compared with the toxicity of silver ions (AgNO3). The nanosilver and silver ion 48-hour median lethal concentration (LC50) values were 84 μg L−1 and 25 μg L−1, respectively. To investigate exposure-related stress, the fish behaviour was observed visually after 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 27, 30, and 48 hours of both nanosilver and ionic silver treatments. These observations revealed increased rate of operculum movement and surface respiration after nanosilver exposure, suggesting respiratory toxicity. The present study demonstrates that silver nanoparticles are lethal to zebrafish.
PMCID: PMC3235887  PMID: 22174711

Results 1-7 (7)