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David Coles, Lucas C Flatten, Thomas Sydney, Emily Hounslow, Semion K Saikin, Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Vlatko Vedral, Joseph Kuo-Hsiang Tang, Robert A Taylor, Jason M Smith, David G Lidzey
Photosynthetic organisms rely on a series of self-assembled nanostructures with tuned electronic energy levels in order to transport energy from where it is collected by photon absorption, to reaction centers where the energy is used to drive chemical reactions. In the photosynthetic bacteria Chlorobaculum tepidum, a member of the green sulfur bacteria family, light is absorbed by large antenna complexes called chlorosomes to create an exciton. The exciton is transferred to a protein baseplate attached to the chlorosome, before migrating through the Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex to the reaction center...
August 15, 2017: Small
Chae-Seok Lim, Cheng Wen, Yanghui Sheng, Guangfu Wang, Zhuan Zhou, Shiqiang Wang, Huaye Zhang, Anpei Ye, J Julius Zhu
Intermolecular interactions dominate the behavior of signal transduction in various physiological and pathological cell processes, yet assessing these interactions remains a challenging task. Here, this study reports a single-molecule force spectroscopic method that enables functional delineation of two interaction sites (≈35 pN and ≈90 pN) between signaling effectors Ras and BRaf in the canonical mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. This analysis reveals mutations on BRaf at Q257 and A246, two sites frequently linked to cardio-faciocutaneous syndrome, result in ≈10-30 pN alterations in RasBRaf intermolecular binding force...
August 15, 2017: Small
Andrés Gómez, José Manuel Vila-Fungueiriño, Rahma Moalla, Guillaume Saint-Girons, Jaume Gázquez, María Varela, Romain Bachelet, Martí Gich, Francisco Rivadulla, Adrián Carretero-Genevrier
Materials that can couple electrical and mechanical properties constitute a key element of smart actuators, energy harvesters, or many sensing devices. Within this class, functional oxides display specific mesoscale responses which often result in great sensitivity to small external stimuli. Here, a novel combination of molecular beam epitaxy and a water-based chemical-solution method is used for the design of mechanically controlled multilevel device integrated on silicon. In particular, the possibility of adding extra functionalities to a ferroelectric oxide heterostructure by n-doping and nanostructuring a BaTiO3 thin film on Si(001) is explored...
August 15, 2017: Small
Taehwa Lee, Wei Luo, Qiaochu Li, Hakan Demirci, L Jay Guo
Beyond the implementation of the photoacoustic effect to photoacoustic imaging and laser ultrasonics, this study demonstrates a novel application of the photoacoustic effect for high-precision cavitation treatment of tissue using laser-induced focused ultrasound. The focused ultrasound is generated by pulsed optical excitation of an efficient photoacoustic film coated on a concave surface, and its amplitude is high enough to produce controllable microcavitation within the focal region (lateral focus <100 µm)...
August 15, 2017: Small
Kanna Aoki, Keita Ishiguro, Masaki Denokami, Yuya Tanahashi, Kentaro Furusawa, Norihiko Sekine, Tadafumi Adschiri, Minoru Fujii
Although, varieties of micro- to nanoscale fabrication technologies have been invented and refined for silicon (Si) processing because Si is the basic material of integrated circuits, the layouts are based on layer-by-layer approaches, making it difficult to realize three-dimensional (3D) structures with complicated shapes normal to the planar surface (along the out-of-plane direction) of the wafers used. Here, a novel and direct Si-processing technology that enables to bend thin layers of Si surfaces into various 3D curved structures at the micrometer scale is introduced...
August 14, 2017: Small
Max Pillong, Jan A Hiss, Petra Schneider, Yen-Chu Lin, Gernot Posselt, Bernhard Pfeiffer, Markus Blatter, Alex T Müller, Simon Bachler, Claudia S Neuhaus, Petra S Dittrich, Karl-Heinz Altmann, Silja Wessler, Gisbert Schneider
Specific interactions of peptides with lipid membranes are essential for cellular communication and constitute a central aspect of the innate host defense against pathogens. A computational method for generating innovative membrane-pore-forming peptides inspired by natural templates is presented. Peptide representation in terms of sequence- and topology-dependent hydrophobic moments is introduced. This design concept proves to be appropriate for the de novo generation of first-in-class membrane-active peptides with the anticipated mode of action...
August 11, 2017: Small
Mengxi Liu, Jianping Shi, Yuanchang Li, Xiebo Zhou, Donglin Ma, Yue Qi, Yanfeng Zhang, Zhongfan Liu
The existence of defects in 2D semiconductors has been predicted to generate unique physical properties and markedly influence their electronic and optoelectronic properties. In this work, it is found that the monolayer MoS2 prepared by chemical vapor deposition is nearly defect-free after annealing under ultrahigh vacuum conditions at ≈400 K, as evidenced by scanning tunneling microscopy observations. However, after thermal annealing process at ≈900 K, the existence of dominant single sulfur vacancies and relatively rare vacancy chains (2S, 3S, and 4S) is convinced in monolayer MoS2 as-grown on Au foils...
August 11, 2017: Small
Lijie Bai, Fan Ye, Luna Li, Jingjing Lu, Shuxian Zhong, Song Bai
Integration of plasmonic metal and cocatalyst with semiconductor is a promising approach to simultaneously optimize the generation, transfer, and consumption of photoinduced charge carriers for high-performance photocatalysis. The photocatalytic activities of the designed hybrid structures are greatly determined by the efficiencies of charge transfer across the interfaces between different components. In this paper, interface design of Ag-BiOCl-PdOx hybrid photocatalysts is demonstrated based on the choice of suitable BiOCl facets in depositing plasmonic Ag and PdOx cocatalyst, respectively...
August 10, 2017: Small
Jia Li, Xun Guan, Chen Wang, Hung-Chieh Cheng, Ruoqi Ai, Kangkang Yao, Peng Chen, Zhengwei Zhang, Xidong Duan, Xiangfeng Duan
Two-dimensional layered materials (2DLMs) have attracted considerable recent interest as a new material platform for fundamental materials science and potential new technologies. Here we report the growth of layered metal halide materials and their optoelectronic properties. BiI3 nanoplates can be readily grown on SiO2 /Si substrates with a hexagonal geometry, with a thickness in the range of 10-120 nm and a lateral dimension of 3-10 µm. Transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction studies demonstrate that the individual nanoplates are high quality single crystals...
August 9, 2017: Small
Bohdan Andreiuk, Andreas Reisch, Marion Lindecker, Gautier Follain, Nadine Peyriéras, Jacky G Goetz, Andrey S Klymchenko
Fluorescent polymer nanoparticles for long-term labeling and tracking of living cells with any desired color code are developed. They are built from biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) polymer loaded with cyanine dyes (DiO, DiI, and DiD) with the help of bulky fluorinated counterions, which minimize aggregation-caused quenching. At the single particle level, these particles are ≈20-fold brighter than quantum dots of similar color. Due to their identical 40 nm size and surface properties, these nanoparticles are endocytosed equally well by living cells...
August 9, 2017: Small
Yu Song, Haotian Chen, Zongming Su, Xuexian Chen, Liming Miao, Jinxin Zhang, Xiaoliang Cheng, Haixia Zhang
Rapid improvement of wearable electronics stimulates the demands for the matched functional devices and energy storage devices. Meanwhile, wearable microsystem requires every parts possessing high compressibility to accommodate large-scale mechanical deformations and complex conditions. In this work, a general carbon nanotube-polydimethylsiloxane (CNT-PDMS) sponge electrode is fabricated as the elementary component of the compressible system. CNT-PDMS sponge performs high sensitivity as a piezoresistance sensor, which is capable of detecting stress repeatedly and owns great electrochemical performance as a compressible supercapacitor which maintains stably under compressive strains, respectively...
August 8, 2017: Small
Jaegeun Lee, Dong-Myeong Lee, Young-Kwan Kim, Hyeon Su Jeong, Seung Min Kim
This study demonstrates that small amount of oxygen incorporated into carbon nanotubes (CNTs) during the purification process greatly increases their solubility in chlorosulfonic acid (CSA). Using as-purchased and unpurified CNT powders, the optimal purification process is established to significantly increase the solubility of CNTs in CSA, and spin CNT fibers with high mechanical strength (0.84 N tex(-1) ) and electrical conductivity (1.4 MS m(-1) ) from the CNT liquid crystal dope with high concentration of CNTs in CSA...
August 8, 2017: Small
Wei Guo, Chang Yu, Shaofeng Li, Juan Yang, Zhibin Liu, Changtai Zhao, Huawei Huang, Mengdi Zhang, Xiaotong Han, Yingying Niu, Jieshan Qiu
The high-performance electrode materials with tuned surface and interface structure and functionalities are highly demanded for advanced supercapacitors. A novel strategy is presented to conFigure high-stacking-density, superior-roughness nickel manganese layered double hydroxide (LDH) bridged by vertically aligned graphene (VG) with nickel foam (NF) as the conductive collector, yielding the LDH-NF@VG hybrids for asymmetric supercapacitors. The VG nanosheets provide numerous electron transfer channels for quick redox reactions, and well-developed open structure for fast mass transport...
August 8, 2017: Small
Shengli Zhang, Jiachen Zang, Hai Chen, Meiliang Li, Chuanshan Xu, Guanghua Zhao
Ferritins are ubiquitous iron storage proteins where Fe(II) sequestration prevents not only its spontaneous oxidation to Fe(III) but also production of toxic free radicals. Recently, scientists have subverted these nature functions and used ferritin cage structures of nanometer dimensions for encapsulation of guest molecules such as anti-cancer drugs or bioactive nutrients based on pH induced ferritin disassembly and reassembly property. However, prior to this study, ferritin nanocage was required to disassemble only under harsh pH conditions (≤2...
August 8, 2017: Small
Mingming Wan, Xinlu Zhang, Meiyan Li, Bo Chen, Jie Yin, Haichao Jin, Lin Lin, Chao Chen, Ning Zhang
A new type of hollow nanostructure featured double metal-organic frameworks shells with metal nanoparticles (MNPs) is designed and fabricated by the methods of ship in a bottle and bottle around the ship. The nanostructure material, hereinafter denoted as Void@HKUST-1/Pd@ZIF-8, is confirmed by the analyses of photograph, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, inductively coupled plasma, and N2 sorption. It possesses various multifunctionally structural characteristics such as hollow cavity which can improve mass transfer, the adjacent of the inner HKUST-1 shell to the void which enables the matrix of the shell to host and well disperse MNPs, and an outer ZIF-8 shell which acts as protective layer against the leaching of MNPs and a sieve to guarantee molecular-size selectivity...
August 8, 2017: Small
Yijia Wei, Xiaoxia Chang, Tuo Wang, Chengcheng Li, Jinlong Gong
Cuprous oxide (Cu2 O) photocathode is reported as a promising candidate for photoelectrochemical water splitting. The p-type Cu2 O usually forms a Schottky junction with the conductive substrate due to its large work function, which blocks the collection of photogenerated holes. NiO is considered as one of the most promising hole transfer layers (HTL) for its high hole mobility, good stability, and easy processability to form a film by spin coating. The utilization of NiO HTL to form an Ohmic back contact to Cu2 O is described, thus achieving a positive onset potential of 0...
August 8, 2017: Small
Miaoyi Wang, Ghizal Siddiqui, Ove J R Gustafsson, Aleksandr Käkinen, Ibrahim Javed, Nicolas H Voelcker, Darren J Creek, Pu Chun Ke, Thomas P Davis
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is widely used as an antifouling and stealth polymer in surface engineering and nanomedicine. However, recent research has revealed adverse effects of bioaccumulation and immunogenicity following the administration of PEG, prompting this proteomic examination of the plasma protein coronae association with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) grafted with brushed PEG (bPEG) and an alternative, brushed phosphorylcholine (bPC). Using label-free quantitation by liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry, this study determines protein abundances for the in vitro hard coronae of bare, bPC-, and bPEG-grafted IONPs in human plasma...
August 7, 2017: Small
Eloise Pariset, Catherine Pudda, François Boizot, Nicolas Verplanck, Jean Berthier, Aurélie Thuaire, Vincent Agache
Deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) devices enable to separate nanometer to micrometer-sized particles around a cutoff diameter, during their transport through a microfluidic channel with slanted rows of pillars. In order to design appropriate DLD geometries for specific separation sizes, robust models are required to anticipate the value of the cutoff diameter. So far, the proposed models result in a single cutoff diameter for a given DLD geometry. This paper shows that the cutoff diameter actually varies along the DLD channel, especially in narrow pillar arrays...
August 7, 2017: Small
Chengfei Li, Liuqing Li, Zhaopeng Li, Weihao Zhong, Zhenghui Li, Xiaoqing Yang, Guoqing Zhang, Haiyan Zhang
A novel metallo-organic molecule, ferrocene, is selected as building block to construct Fe3 O4 dots embedded in 3D honeycomb-like carbon (Fe3 O4 dots/3DHC) by using SiO2 nanospheres as template. Unlike previously used inorganic Fe3 O4 sources, ferrocene simultaneously contains organic cyclopentadienyl groups and inorganic Fe atoms, which can be converted to carbon and Fe3 O4 , respectively. Atomic-scale Fe distribution in started building block leads to the formation of ultrasmall Fe3 O4 dots (≈3 nm). In addition, by well controlling the feed amount of ferrocene, Fe3 O4 dots/3DHC with well-defined honeycomb-like meso/macropore structure and ultrathin carbon wall can be obtained...
August 7, 2017: Small
Abdolrahman Omidinia-Anarkoli, Sarah Boesveld, Urandelger Tuvshindorj, Jonas C Rose, Tamás Haraszti, Laura De Laporte
To regenerate soft aligned tissues in living organisms, low invasive biomaterials are required to create 3D microenvironments with a structural complexity to mimic the tissue's native architecture. Here, a tunable injectable hydrogel is reported, which allows precise engineering of the construct's anisotropy in situ. This material is defined as an Anisogel, representing a new type of tissue regenerative therapy. The Anisogel comprises a soft hydrogel, surrounding magneto-responsive, cell adhesive, short fibers, which orient in situ in the direction of a low external magnetic field, before complete gelation of the matrix...
August 7, 2017: Small
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