Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have unique physical and chemical properties. Furthermore, novel properties can be developed by attachment or encapsulation of functional groups. These unique properties facilitate the use of CNTs in drug delivery. We developed a new nanomedicine consisting of a nanocarrier, cell-targeting molecule, and chemotherapeutic drug and assessed its efficacy in vitro.
The efficacy of a single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)-based nanoconjugate system is assessed in the targeted delivery of paclitaxel (PTX) to cancer cells. SWCNTs were oxidized and reacted with octa-ammonium polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (octa-ammonium POSS) to render them biocompatible and water dispersable. The functionalized SWCNTs were loaded with PTX, a chemotherapeutic agent toxic to cancer cells, and Tn218 antibodies for cancer cell targeting. The nanohybrid composites were characterized with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and ultraviolet–visible–near-infrared (UV–Vis–NIR). Additionally, their cytotoxic effects on Colon cancer cell (HT-29) and Breast cancer cell (MCF-7) lines were assessed in vitro.
TEM, FTIR, and UV–Vis–NIR studies confirmed side-wall functionalization of SWCNT with COOH-groups, PTX, POSS, and antibodies. Increased cell death was observed with PTX–POSS–SWCNT, PTX–POSS–Ab–SWCNT, and free PTX compared to functionalized-SWCNT (f-SWCNT), POSS–SWCNT, and cell-only controls at 48 and 72 h time intervals in both cell lines. At all time intervals, there was no significant cell death in the POSS–SWCNT samples compared to cell-only controls.
The PTX-based nanocomposites were shown to be as cytotoxic as free PTX. This important finding indicates successful release of PTX from the nanocomposites and further reiterates the potential of SWCNTs to deliver drugs directly to targeted cells and tissues.
carbon nanotube; drug delivery; nanotechnology
Wettability is an important property of solid materials which can be controlled by surface energy. Dynamic control over the surface wettability is of great importance for biosensing applications. Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a biocompatible material suitable for biosensors and microfluidic devices. Nanowires of ZnO tend to show a hydrophobic nature which decelerates the adhesion or adsorption of biomolecules on the surface and, therefore, limits their application.
Surface wettability of the ZnO nanowires can be tuned using light irradiation. However, the control over wettability using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and the role of wavelength in controlling the wettability of ZnO nanowires are unclear. This is the first report on LED-based wettability control of nanowires, and it includes investigations on tuning the desired wettability of ZnO nanowires using LEDs as a controlling tool.
The investigations on spectral properties of the LED emission on ZnO nanowires’ wettability have shown strong dependency on the spectral overlap of LED emission on ZnO absorption spectra. Results indicate that LEDs offer an advanced control on dynamically tuning the wettability of ZnO nanowires.
The spectral investigations have provided significant insight into the role of irradiating wavelength of light and irradiation time on the surface wettability of ZnO nanowires. This process is suitable to realize on chip based integrated sensors and has huge potential for eco-friendly biosensing and environmental sensing applications.
surface energy; contact angle; surface wetting angle; hydrophobic surface; hydrophilic surface
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a wide, direct band gap II-VI oxide semiconductor. ZnO has large exciton binding energy at room temperature, and it is a good host material for obtaining visible and infrared emission of various rare-earth ions.
Europium oxide (Eu2O3) doped ZnO films are prepared on quartz substrate using radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering with doping concentrations 0, 0.5, 1, 3 and 5 wt%. The films are annealed in air at a temperature of 773 K for 2 hours. The annealed films are characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), micro-Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, ultraviolet (UV)-visible spectroscopy and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy.
XRD patterns show that the films are highly c-axis oriented exhibiting hexagonalwurtzite structure of ZnO. Particle size calculations using Debye-Scherrer formula show that average crystalline size is in the range 15–22 nm showing the nanostructured nature of the films. The observation of low- and high-frequency E2 modes in the Raman spectra supports the hexagonal wurtzite structure of ZnO in the films. The surface morphology of the Eu2O3 doped films presents dense distribution of grains. The films show good transparency in the visible region. The band gaps of the films are evaluated using Tauc plot model. Optical constants such as refractive index, dielectric constant, loss factor, and so on are calculated using the transmittance data. The PL spectra show both UV and visible emissions.
Highly textured, transparent, luminescent Eu2O3 doped ZnO films have been synthesized using RF magnetron sputtering. The good optical and structural properties and intense luminescence in the ultraviolet and visible regions from the films suggest their suitability for optoelectronic applications.
visible photoluminescence; dielectric constants; micro-Raman spectra; optical constants; residual stress
In this paper, the fundamental concepts and equations necessary for performing small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and MD-SAXS analyses were reviewed. Furthermore, several key biological and non-biological applications for SAXS, MD, and MD-SAXS are presented in this review; however, this article does not cover all possible applications. SAXS is an experimental technique used for the analysis of a wide variety of biological and non-biological structures. SAXS utilizes spherical averaging to produce one- or two-dimensional intensity profiles, from which structural data may be extracted. MD simulation is a computer simulation technique that is used to model complex biological and non-biological systems at the atomic level. MD simulations apply classical Newtonian mechanics’ equations of motion to perform force calculations and to predict the theoretical physical properties of the system. This review presents several applications that highlight the ability of both SAXS and MD to study protein folding and function in addition to non-biological applications, such as the study of mechanical, electrical, and structural properties of non-biological nanoparticles. Lastly, the potential benefits of combining SAXS and MD simulations for the study of both biological and non-biological systems are demonstrated through the presentation of several examples that combine the two techniques.
small angle X-ray scattering; molecular dynamics; protein folding; nanoparticles; MD-SAXS; atomistic simulation; ab initio; radius of gyration; pair distribution function; Newtonian equations of motion
Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and has been traditionally considered difficult to treat. The worldwide incidence of melanoma has been increasing faster than any other type of cancer. Early detection, surgery, and adjuvant therapy enable improved outcomes; nonetheless, the prognosis of metastatic melanoma remains poor. Several therapies have been investigated for the treatment of melanoma; however, current treatment options for patients with metastatic disease are limited and non-curative in the majority of cases. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been proposed as a promising minimally invasive therapeutic procedure that employs three essential elements to induce cell death: a photosensitizer, light of a specific wavelength, and molecular oxygen. However, classical PDT has shown some drawbacks that limit its clinical application. In view of this, the use of nanotechnology has been considered since it provides many tools that can be applied to PDT to circumvent these limitations and bring new perspectives for the application of this therapy for different types of diseases. On that ground, this review focuses on the potential use of developing nanotechnologies able to bring significant benefits for anticancer PDT, aiming to reach higher efficacy and safety for patients with malignant melanoma.
photodynamic therapy; skin cancer; melanoma; nanoparticles; nanotechnology
Among the various applications of nano-biotechnology, healthcare is considered one of the most significant domains. For that possibility to synthesize various kind of nanoparticles (NPs) and the ever-increasing ability to control their size as well as structure, to improve surface characteristics and binding NPs with other desired curing agents has played an important role. In this paper, a brief sketch of various kinds of nanomaterials and their biomedical applications is given. Despite claims of bio-nanotechnology about to touch all areas of medical science, information pertaining to the role of nanotechnology for the betterment of reproductive healthcare is indeed limited. Therefore, the various achievements of nano-biotechnology for healthcare in general have been illustrated while giving special insight into the role of nano-biotechnology for the future of reproductive healthcare betterment as well as current achievements of nanoscience and nanotechnology in this arena.
nanotechnology; nanomaterials; reproductive healthcare; reproductive organ cancer; fertility control; infertility
This article is a review of recent developments in the self-assembled nanostructures based on chelate coordination compounds. Molecular nanotechnologies of self-assembly of 3d-element aza- and thiazametalmacrocyclic complexes that happen in nanoreactors on the basis of metal hexacyanoferrate(II) gelatin-immobilized matrix under their contact with water solutions containing various (N,O,S)-donor atomic ligands and organic compounds having one or two carbonyl groups have been considered in this review. It has been noted that the assortment of macrocyclic metal chelates obtained as a result of using molecular nanotechnologies in such specific conditions considerably differs from the assortment of metal chelates formed at the conditions traditional for chemical synthesis.
nanotechnology; nanoparticles; coordination compounds; self-assembly; macrocyclic metal chelate
Carbon nanotubes can be either single-walled or multi-walled, each of which is known to have a different electron arrangement and as a result have different properties. However, the shared unique properties of both types of carbon nanotubes (CNT) allow for their potential use in various biomedical devices and therapies. Some of the most common properties of these materials include the ability to absorb near-infra-red light and generate heat, the ability to deliver drugs in a cellular environment, their light weight, and chemical stability. These properties have encouraged scientists to further investigate CNTs as a tool for thermal treatment of cancer and drug delivery agents. Various promising data have so far been obtained about the usage of CNTs for cancer treatment; however, toxicity of pure CNTs represents a major challenge for clinical application. Various techniques both in vivo and in in vitro have been conducted by a number of different research groups to establish the factors which have a direct effect on CNT-mediated cytotoxicity. The main analysis techniques include using Alamar blue, MTT, and Trypan blue assays. Successful interpretation of these results is difficult because the CNTs can significantly disrupt the emission of the certain particles, which these assays detect. In contrast, in vivo studies allow for the measurement of toxicity and pathology caused by CNTs on an organismal level. Despite the drawbacks of in vitro studies, they have been invaluable in identifying important toxicity factors, such as size, shape, purity, and functionalisation, the latter of which can attenuate CNT toxicity.
carbon nanotubes; toxicology; distribution; administration
Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have been drawing great attention recently as a material for solar energy conversion due to their versatile optical and electrical properties. The QD-sensitized solar cell (QDSC) is one of the burgeoning semiconductor QD solar cells that shows promising developments for the next generation of solar cells. This article focuses on recent developments in QDSCs, including 1) the effect of quantum confinement on QDSCs, 2) the multiple exciton generation (MEG) of QDs, 3) fabrication methods of QDs, and 4) nanocrystalline photoelectrodes for solar cells. We also make suggestions for future research on QDSCs. Although the efficiency of QDSCs is still low, we think there will be major breakthroughs in developing QDSCs in the future.
quantum dot; solar cell; quantum dot–sensitized solar cell (QDSC); quantum confinement; multiple exciton generation (MEG); photoelectrode
Hetero-junction organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells consisting of donor (D) and acceptor (A) layers have been regarded as next-generation PV cells, because of their fascinating advantages, such as lightweight, low fabrication cost, resource free, and flexibility, when compared to those of conventional PV cells based on silicon and semiconductor compounds. However, the power conversion efficiency (η) of the OPV cells has been still around 8%, though more than 10% efficiency has been required for their practical use. To fully optimize these OPV cells, it is necessary that the low mobility of carriers/excitons in the OPV cells and the open circuit voltage (V
OC), of which origin has not been understood well, should be improved. In this review, we address an improvement of the mobility of carriers/excitons by controlling the crystal structure of a donor layer and address how to increase the V
OC for zinc octaethylporphyrin [Zn(OEP)]/C60 hetero-junction OPV cells [ITO/Zn(OEP)/C60/Al]. It was found that crystallization of Zn(OEP) films increases the number of inter-molecular charge transfer (IMCT) excitons and enlarges the mobility of carriers and IMCT excitons, thus significantly improving the external quantum efficiency (EQE) under illumination of the photoabsorption band due to the IMCT excitons. Conversely, charge accumulation of photo-generated carriers in the vicinity of the donor/acceptor (D/A) interface was found to play a key role in determining the V
OC for the OPV cells.
Crystalline; molecular orientation; external quantum efficiency; intra- and inter-molecular excitons; open-circuit voltage; built-in potential
The development of specialized nanoparticles for use in the detection and treatment of cancer is increasing. Methods are being proposed and tested that could target treatments more directly to cancer cells, which could lead to higher efficacy and reduced toxicity, possibly even eliminating the adverse effects of damage to the immune system and the loss of quick replicating cells. In this mini-review we focus on recent studies that employ folate nanoconjugates to target the folate receptor. Folate receptors are highly overexpressed on the surface of many tumor types. This expression can be exploited to target imaging molecules and therapeutic compounds directly to cancerous tissues.
cancer; conjugates; doxorubicin; folate; folic acid; folate receptor; gold; nanoaggregates; 99mTc-EC20; nanotechnology
The utility of biomarker detection in tomorrow's personalized health care field will mean early and accurate diagnosis of many types of human physiological conditions and diseases. In the search for biomarkers, recombinant affinity reagents can be generated to candidate proteins or post-translational modifications that differ qualitatively or quantitatively between normal and diseased tissues. The use of display technologies, such as phage-display, allows for manageable selection and optimization of affinity reagents for use in biomarker detection. Here we review the use of recombinant antibody fragments, such as scFvs and Fabs, which can be affinity-selected from phage-display libraries, to bind with both high specificity and affinity to biomarkers of cancer, such as Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2) and Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). We discuss how these recombinant antibodies can be fabricated into nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes, nanowires, and quantum dots, for the purpose of enhancing detection of biomarkers at low concentrations (pg/mL) within complex mixtures such as serum or tissue extracts. Other sensing technologies, which take advantage of ‘Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering’ (gold nanoshells), frequency changes in piezoelectric crystals (quartz crystal microbalance), or electrical current generation and sensing during electrochemical reactions (electrochemical detection), can effectively provide multiplexed platforms for detection of cancer and injury biomarkers. Such devices may soon replace the traditional time consuming ELISAs and Western blots, and deliver rapid, point-of-care diagnostics to market.
phage-display; scFv; Fab; therapeutic antibody; affinity maturation; mutagenesis; nanotechnology; carbon nanotube; nanoshell; electrochemical detection
Novel thin film optoelectronic devices containing both inorganic colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and organic semiconductor thin films have been widely investigated in recent years for a variety of applications. Here, we review one of the most versatile and successful methods developed to integrate these two dissimilar material classes into a functional multilayered device: contact printing of colloidal QD films. Experimental details regarding the contact printing process are outlined, and the key advantages of this QD deposition method over other commonly encountered techniques are discussed. The use of tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) to effectively characterize QD film morphology both on an elastomeric stamp (before contact printing) and as-transferred to the organic semiconductor receiving film (after contact printing) is also described. Finally, we offer suggestions for future efforts directed toward the goal of rapid, continuous QD deposition over larger substrates for the advancement of hybrid optoelectronic thin film devices.
QD; monolayer; stamp; deposition; LED; organic semiconductor
Nanoscale novel devices have raised the demand for nanoscale thermal characterization that is critical for evaluating the device performance and durability. Achieving nanoscale spatial resolution and high accuracy in temperature measurement is very challenging due to the limitation of measurement pathways. In this review, we discuss four methodologies currently developed in nanoscale surface imaging and temperature measurement. To overcome the restriction of the conventional methods, the scanning thermal microscopy technique is widely used. From the perspective of measuring target, the optical feature size method can be applied by using either Raman or fluorescence thermometry. The near-field optical method that measures nanoscale temperature by focusing the optical field to a nano-sized region provides a non-contact and non-destructive way for nanoscale thermal probing. Although the resistance thermometry based on nano-sized thermal sensors is possible for nanoscale thermal probing, significant effort is still needed to reduce the size of the current sensors by using advanced fabrication techniques. At the same time, the development of nanoscale imaging techniques, such as fluorescence imaging, provides a great potential solution to resolve the nanoscale thermal probing problem.
nanoscale; scanning thermal microscopy; feature size; near-field; Raman spectroscopy resistance thermometry
Noble metal quantum clusters (NMQCs) are the missing link between isolated noble metal atoms and nanoparticles. NMQCs are sub-nanometer core sized clusters composed of a group of atoms, most often luminescent in the visible region, and possess intriguing photo-physical and chemical properties. A trend is observed in the use of ligands, ranging from phosphines to functional proteins, for the synthesis of NMQCs in the liquid phase. In this review, we briefly overview recent advancements in the synthesis of protein protected NMQCs with special emphasis on their structural and photo-physical properties. In view of the protein protection, coupled with direct synthesis and easy functionalization, this hybrid QC-protein system is expected to have numerous optical and bioimaging applications in the future, pointers in this direction are visible in the literature.
protein; peptide; noble metals; nano; quantum cluster; fluorescence
Photoinduced electron transfer in donor-acceptor systems composed of quantum dots (QDs) and electron donors or acceptors is a subject of considerable recent research interest due to the potential applications of such systems in both solar energy harvesting and degradation of organic pollutants. Herein, we employed single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy techniques for the detection of photochemical reactions between 1,4-diaminobutane (DAB) and CdSe/ZnS single QDs. We investigated the reactions by analyzing photoluminescence (PL) intensity and lifetime of QDs at ensemble and single-molecule levels. While DAB was applied to single QDs tethered on a cover slip or QDs dispersed in a solution, PL intensity of QD continuously decreased with a concomitant increase in the PL lifetime. Interestingly, these changes in the PL properties of QD were predominant under high-intensity photoactivation. We hypothesize that the above changes in the PL properties surface due to the transfer of an electron from DAB to Auger-ionized QD followed by elimination of a proton from DAB and the formation of a QD-DAB adduct. Thus, a continuous decrease in the PL intensity of QDs under high-intensity photoactivation is attributed to continuous photochemical reactions of DAB with single QDs and the formation of QD-(DAB)n adducts. We believe that detection and analysis of such photochemical reactions of single QDs with amines will be of considerable broad interest due to the significant impact of photoinduced electron transfer reactions in energy management and environmental remediation.
quantum dots; single-molecule; electron transfer; Auger ionization; CdSe/ZnS; photoluminescence; photochemical reaction
Epitaxial heterostructures combining ferroelectric (FE) and ferromagnetic (FiM) oxides are a possible route to explore coupling mechanisms between the two independent order parameters, polarization and magnetization of the component phases. We report on the fabrication and properties of arrays of hybrid epitaxial nanostructures of FiM NiFe2O4 (NFO) and FE PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 or PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3, with large range order and lateral dimensions from 200 nm to 1 micron.
The structures were fabricated by pulsed-laser deposition. High resolution transmission electron microscopy and high angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy were employed to investigate the microstructure and the epitaxial growth of the structures. Room temperature ferroelectric and ferrimagnetic domains of the heterostructures were imaged by piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and magnetic force microscopy (MFM), respectively.
PFM and MFM investigations proved that the hybrid epitaxial nanostructures show ferroelectric and magnetic order at room temperature. Dielectric effects occurring after repeated switching of the polarization in large planar capacitors, comprising ferrimagnetic NiFe2O4 dots embedded in ferroelectric PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 matrix, were studied.
These hybrid multiferroic structures with clean and well defined epitaxial interfaces hold promise for reliable investigations of magnetoelectric coupling between the ferrimagnetic / magnetostrictive and ferroelectric / piezoelectric phases.
multiferroic composites; epitaxial nanostructures; pulsed-laser deposition; piezoresponse force microscopy; magnetic force microscopy
Photovoltaic functions in organic materials are intimately connected to interfacial morphologies of molecular packing in films on the nanometer scale and molecular levels. This review will focus on current studies on correlations of nanoscale morphologies in organic photovoltaic (OPV) materials with fundamental processes relevant to photovoltaic functions, such as light harvesting, exciton splitting, exciton diffusion, and charge separation (CS) and diffusion. Small molecule photovoltaic materials will be discussed here. The donor and acceptor materials in small molecule OPV devices can be fabricated in vacuum-deposited, multilayer, crystalline thin films, or spin-coated together to form blended bulk heterojunction (BHJ) films. These two methods result in very different morphologies of the solar cell active layers. There is still a formidable debate regarding which morphology is favored for OPV optimization. The morphology of the conducting films has been systematically altered; using variations of the techniques above, the whole spectrum of film qualities can be fabricated. It is possible to form a highly crystalline material, one which is completely amorphous, or an intermediate morphology. In this review, we will summarize the past key findings that have driven organic solar cell research and the current state-of-the-art of small molecule and conducting oligomer materials. We will also discuss the merits and drawbacks of these devices. Finally, we will highlight some works that directly compare the spectra and morphology of systematically elongated oligothiophene derivatives and compare these oligomers to their polymer counterparts. We hope this review will shed some new light on the morphology differences of these two systems.
organic photovoltaics; perylene; thiophene; charge transport; transient absorption; grazing incidence x-ray scattering