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Interface Focus

Andrea Francesco Verre, Alessandro Faroni, Maria Iliut, Claudio Silva, Cristopher Muryn, Adam J Reid, Aravind Vijayaraghavan
There is urgent need to improve the clinical outcome of peripheral nerve injury. Many efforts are directed towards the fabrication of bioengineered conduits, which could deliver stem cells to the site of injury to promote and guide peripheral nerve regeneration. The aim of this study is to assess whether graphene and related nanomaterials can be useful in the fabrication of such conduits. A comparison is made between graphene oxide (GO) and reduced GO substrates. Our results show that the graphene substrates are highly biocompatible, and the reduced GO substrates are more effective in increasing the gene expression of the biomolecules involved in the regeneration process compared to the other substrates studied...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Jakub Jakowiecki, Agnieszka Sztyler, Slawomir Filipek, Pingzuo Li, Karthik Raman, Natarajan Barathiraja, Seeram Ramakrishna, Jairam R Eswara, Ali Altaee, Adel O Sharif, Pulickel M Ajayan, Venkatesan Renugopalakrishnan
The aquaporin superfamily of hydrophobic integral membrane proteins constitutes water channels essential to the movement of water across the cell membrane, maintaining homeostatic equilibrium. During the passage of water between the extracellular and intracellular sides of the cell, aquaporins act as ultra-sensitive filters. Owing to their hydrophobic nature, aquaporins self-assemble in phospholipids. If a proper choice of lipids is made then the aquaporin biomimetic membrane can be used in the design of an artificial kidney...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Kai-Hung Yang, Alexander K Nguyen, Peter L Goering, Anirudha V Sumant, Roger J Narayan
Ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) has been demonstrated to have attractive features for biomedical applications and can be combined with nanoporous membranes for applications in drug delivery systems, biosensing, immunoisolation and single molecule analysis. In this study, free-standing nanoporous UNCD membranes with pore sizes of 100 or 400 nm were fabricated by directly depositing ultrathin UNCD films on nanoporous silicon nitride membranes and then etching away silicon nitride using reactive ion etching...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Denver P Linklater, Vladimir A Baulin, Saulius Juodkazis, Elena P Ivanova
Growing interest in the bactericidal effect of graphene and graphene-derived nanomaterials has led to the investigation and effective publication of the bactericidal effects of the substratum, many of which present highly conflicting material. The nature of bacterial cell death on graphene bio-interfaces, therefore, remains poorly understood. Here, we review recent findings on the bactericidal effect of graphene and graphene-derived nanomaterials, and proposed mechanisms of cell inactivation, due to mechanical contact with graphene materials, including lipid extraction, physical damage to membranes and pore formation...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
F Bugli, M Cacaci, V Palmieri, R Di Santo, R Torelli, G Ciasca, M Di Vito, A Vitali, C Conti, M Sanguinetti, M De Spirito, M Papi
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible for serious hospital infections worldwide and represents a global public health problem. Curcumin, the major constituent of turmeric, is effective against MRSA but only at cytotoxic concentrations or in combination with antibiotics. The major issue in curcumin-based therapies is the poor solubility of this hydrophobic compound and the cytotoxicity at high doses. In this paper, we describe the efficacy of a composite nanoparticle made of curcumin (CU) and graphene oxide (GO), hereafter GOCU, in MRSA infection treatment...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Rupy Kaur Matharu, Harshit Porwal, Lena Ciric, Mohan Edirisinghe
A novel class of ultra-thin fibres, which affect microbial growth, were explored. The microbial properties of poly(methyl methacrylate) fibres containing 2, 4 and 8 wt% of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) were studied. GNPs were dispersed in a polymeric solution and processed using pressurized gyration. Electron microscopy was used to characterize GNP and fibre morphology. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the formation of beaded porous fibres. GNP concentration was found to dictate fibre morphology. As the GNP concentration increased, the average fibre diameter increased from 0...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
A De Sanctis, S Russo, M F Craciun, A Alexeev, M D Barnes, V K Nagareddy, C D Wright
Graphene-based materials are being widely explored for a range of biomedical applications, from targeted drug delivery to biosensing, bioimaging and use for antibacterial treatments, to name but a few. In many such applications, it is not graphene itself that is used as the active agent, but one of its chemically functionalized forms. The type of chemical species used for functionalization will play a key role in determining the utility of any graphene-based device in any particular biomedical application, because this determines to a large part its physical, chemical, electrical and optical interactions...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Arghya Narayan Banerjee
Graphene and its derivatives possess some intriguing properties, which generates tremendous interests in various fields, including biomedicine. The biomedical applications of graphene-based nanomaterials have attracted great interests over the last decade, and several groups have started working on this field around the globe. Because of the excellent biocompatibility, solubility and selectivity, graphene and its derivatives have shown great potential as biosensing and bio-imaging materials. Also, due to some unique physico-chemical properties of graphene and its derivatives, such as large surface area, high purity, good bio-functionalizability, easy solubility, high drug loading capacity, capability of easy cell membrane penetration, etc...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Richard Justin, Biqiong Chen
Biodegradable chitosan-magnetic graphene quantum dot (MGQD) nanocomposites were prepared and investigated for the release of small and large molecular weight (MWt) therapeutics from detachable and non-detachable biodegradable microneedle arrays. The presence of MGQDs in chitosan increased the electrical conductivity and biodegradation rate of chitosan while maintaining its mechanical properties. The detachable microneedle arrays were created by including a water-soluble ring of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) at the base of the microneedle, which enabled the rapid detachment of the microneedle shaft from the base...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Tanveer A Tabish, Liangxu Lin, Muhammad Ali, Farhat Jabeen, Muhammad Ali, Rehana Iqbal, David W Horsell, Paul G Winyard, Shaowei Zhang
Biomolecular fractions affect the fate and behaviour of quantum dots (QDs) in living systems but how the interactions between biomolecules and QDs affect the bioavailability of QDs is a major knowledge gap in risk assessment analysis. The transport of QDs after release into a living organism is a complex process. The majority accumulate in the lungs where they can directly affect the inhalation process and lung architecture. Here, we investigate the bioavailability of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) to the lungs of rats by measuring the alterations in macromolecular fractions via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Jekaterina Kazantseva, Irina Hussainova, Roman Ivanov, Toomas Neuman, Michael Gasik
A challenge in regenerative medicine is governed by the need to have control over the fate of stem cells that is regulated by the physical and chemical microenvironment in vitro and in vivo . The differentiation of the stem cells into specific lineages is commonly guided by use of specific culture media. For the first time, we demonstrate that human mesenchymal stem cells are capable of turning spontaneously towards neurogenic lineage when seeded on graphene-augmented, highly anisotropic ceramic nanofibres without special differentiation media, contrary to commonly thought requirement of 'soft' substrates for the same purpose...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Sabine Szunerits, Rabah Boukherroub
Reliable data obtained from analysis of DNA, proteins, bacteria and other disease-related molecules or organisms in biological samples have become a fundamental and crucial part of human health diagnostics and therapy. The development of non-invasive tests that are rapid, sensitive, specific and simple would allow patient discomfort to be prevented, delays in diagnosis to be avoided and the status of a disease to be followed up. Bioanalysis is thus a progressive discipline for which the future holds many exciting opportunities...
June 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Yadvinder Malhi, Tobias Jackson, Lisa Patrick Bentley, Alvaro Lau, Alexander Shenkin, Martin Herold, Kim Calders, Harm Bartholomeus, Mathias I Disney
Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) opens up the possibility of describing the three-dimensional structures of trees in natural environments with unprecedented detail and accuracy. It is already being extensively applied to describe how ecosystem biomass and structure vary between sites, but can also facilitate major advances in developing and testing mechanistic theories of tree form and forest structure, thereby enabling us to understand why trees and forests have the biomass and three-dimensional structure they do...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
F Mark Danson, Fadal Sasse, Lucy A Schofield
The Salford Advanced Laser Canopy Analyser (SALCA) is an experimental terrestrial laser scanner designed and built specifically to measure the structural and biophysical properties of forest canopies. SALCA is a pulsed dual-wavelength instrument with co-aligned laser beams recording backscattered energy at 1063 and 1545 nm; it records full-waveform data by sampling the backscattered energy at 1 GHz giving a range resolution of 150 mm. The finest angular sampling resolution is 1 mrad and around 9 million waveforms are recorded over a hemisphere above the tripod-mounted scanner in around 110 min...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
M I Disney, M Boni Vicari, A Burt, K Calders, S L Lewis, P Raumonen, P Wilkes
Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is providing exciting new ways to quantify tree and forest structure, particularly above-ground biomass (AGB). We show how TLS can address some of the key uncertainties and limitations of current approaches to estimating AGB based on empirical allometric scaling equations (ASEs) that underpin all large-scale estimates of AGB. TLS provides extremely detailed non-destructive measurements of tree form independent of tree size and shape. We show examples of three-dimensional (3D) TLS measurements from various tropical and temperate forests and describe how the resulting TLS point clouds can be used to produce quantitative 3D models of branch and trunk size, shape and distribution...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
F Morsdorf, D Kükenbrink, F D Schneider, M Abegg, M E Schaepman
Laser scanning with its unique measurement concept holds the potential to revolutionize the way we assess and quantify three-dimensional vegetation structure. Modern laser systems used at close range, be it on terrestrial, mobile or unmanned aerial platforms, provide dense and accurate three-dimensional data whose information just waits to be harvested. However, the transformation of such data to information is not as straightforward as for airborne and space-borne approaches, where typically empirical models are built using ground truth of target variables...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Markku Åkerblom, Pasi Raumonen, Eric Casella, Mathias I Disney, F Mark Danson, Rachel Gaulton, Lucy A Schofield, Mikko Kaasalainen
We present an algorithm and an implementation to insert broadleaves or needleleaves into a quantitative structure model according to an arbitrary distribution, and a data structure to store the required information efficiently. A structure model contains the geometry and branching structure of a tree. The purpose of this work is to offer a tool for making more realistic simulations of tree models with leaves, particularly for tree models developed from terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) measurements. We demonstrate leaf insertion using cylinder-based structure models, but the associated software implementation is written in a way that enables the easy use of other types of structure models...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
D A Orwig, P Boucher, I Paynter, E Saenz, Z Li, C Schaaf
Contemporary terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is being used widely in forest ecology applications to examine ecosystem properties at increasing spatial and temporal scales. Harvard Forest (HF) in Petersham, MA, USA, is a long-term ecological research (LTER) site, a National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) location and contains a 35 ha plot which is part of Smithsonian Institution's Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO). The combination of long-term field plots, eddy flux towers and the detailed past historical records has made HF very appealing for a variety of remote sensing studies...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Ian Paynter, Daniel Genest, Francesco Peri, Crystal Schaaf
Volumetric models with known biases are shown to provide bounds for the uncertainty in estimations of volume for ecologically interesting objects, observed with a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) instrument. Bounding cuboids, three-dimensional convex hull polygons, voxels, the Outer Hull Model and Square Based Columns (SBCs) are considered for their ability to estimate the volume of temperate and tropical trees, as well as geomorphological features such as bluffs and saltmarsh creeks. For temperate trees, supplementary geometric models are evaluated for their ability to bound the uncertainty in cylinder-based reconstructions, finding that coarser volumetric methods do not currently constrain volume meaningfully, but may be helpful with further refinement, or in hybridized models...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
Ahmed Elsherif, Rachel Gaulton, Jon Mills
Vegetation water content, quantified as the leaf equivalent water thickness (EWT), can serve as an indicator of vegetation stress. The intensity data recorded by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) instruments, operating at shortwave infrared wavelengths, can be used to estimate the three-dimensional distribution of EWT, after a full and rigorous calibration for the range and incidence angle effects. However, TLS instruments do not record the incidence angles automatically, making calibration challenging. In this study, intensity data from two commercially available TLS instruments (Leica P40, 1550 nm shortwave infrared wavelength, and Leica P20, 808 nm near-infrared wavelength) were combined in a normalized difference index (NDI)...
April 6, 2018: Interface Focus
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