Yarn supercapacitors are promising power sources for flexible electronic applications that require conventional fabric-like durability and wearer comfort. Carbon nanotube (CNT) yarn is an attractive choice for constructing yarn supercapacitors used in wearable textiles because of its high strength and flexibility. However, low capacitance and energy density limits the use of pure CNT yarn in wearable high-energy density devices. Here, transitional metal oxide pseudocapacitive materials NiO and Co3O4 are deposited on as-spun CNT yarn surface using a simple electrodeposition process. The Co3O4 deposited on the CNT yarn surface forms a uniform hybridized CNT@Co3O4 layer. The two-ply supercapacitors formed from the CNT@Co3O4 composite yarns display excellent electrochemical properties with very high capacitance of 52.6 mF cm(-2) and energy density of 1.10 mu Wh cm(-2). The high performance two-ply CNT@Co3O4 yarn supercapacitors are mechanically and electrochemically robust to meet the high performance requirements of power sources for wearable electronics.
Gold nanoparticles have garnered interest as both radiosensitzers and computed tomography (CT) contrast agents. However, the extremely high concentrations of gold required to generate CT contrast is far beyond that needed for meaningful radiosensitization, which limits their use as combined therapeutic-diagnostic (theranostic) agents. To establish a theranostic nanoplatform with well-aligned radiotherapeutic and diagnostic properties for better integration into standard radiation therapy practice, a gold-and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION)-loaded micelle (GSM) is developed. Intravenous injection of GSMs into tumor-bearing mice led to selective tumoral accumulation, enabling magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of tumor margins. Subsequent irradiation leads to a 90-day survival of 71% in GSM-treated mice, compared with 25% for irradiation-only mice. Furthermore, measurements of the GSM-enhanced MR contrast are highly predictive of tumor response. Therefore, GSMs may not only guide and enhance the efficacy of radiation therapy, but may allow patients to be managed more effectively.
Two-dimensional, solution-processable semiconductor materials are anticipated to be used in low-cost electronic applications, such as transistors and solar cells. Here, lead sulfide nanosheets with a lateral size of several micrometers are synthesized and it is shown how their height can be tuned by the variation of the ligand concentrations. As a consequence of the adjustability of the nanosheets' height between 4 to more than 20 nm charge carriers are in confinement, which has a decisive impact on their electronic properties. This is demonstrated by their use as conduction channel in a field-effect transistor. The experiments show that the performance in terms of current, On/Off ratio, and sub-threshold swing is tunable over a large range.
Bulk (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) as a photocatalyst has received increasing attention as a potential solution for the energy shortage challenge; however, its catalytic performance is highly limited by its bulk form. To improve the photochemical potential, the nanoscale form of this multiple-metal oxynitrides is desirable. In this work, a new type of (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) nanostructure is obtained. Its composition can tuned to the full range (0.18 < x < 0.95). The (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) nanostructure exhibits excellent photocatalytic activity for overall water splitting, and the highest quantum efficiency of (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) is as high as 17.3% under visible light irradiation. Using this new type of (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) nanostructure, the narrowing of the bandgap for (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) is not only due to an increase in the valence band maximum, but it is also related to a decrease in the conduction band minimum.
In this paper, a method to determine the lateral dimensions of 2D nanosheets directly in suspension by analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) is shown. The basis for this study is a well-characterized and stable dispersion of graphene oxide (GO) monolayers in water. A methodology is developed to correlate the sedimentation coefficient distribution measured by AUC with the lateral size distribution of the 2D GO nanosheets obtained from atomic force microscopy (AFM). A very high accuracy can be obtained by virtue of counting several thousand sheets, thereby minimizing any coating effects or statistical uncertainties. The AFM statistics are further used to fit the lateral size distribution obtained from the AUC to determine the unknown hydrodynamic sheet thickness or density. It is found that AUC can derive nanosheet diameter distributions with a relative error of the mean sheet diameter of just 0.25% as compared to the AFM analysis for 90 mass% of the particles in the distribution. The standard deviation of the size-dependent error for the total distribution is found to be 3.25%. Based on these considerations, an expression is given to calculate the cut size of 2D nanosheets in preparative centrifugation experiments.
Tyrosinase is an important marker of human diseases such as the neurodegeneration associated with Parkinson's disease and melanoma. Sensitive detection of tyrosinase activity in vitro and inside cells is of great significance to medical diagnostics and skin disorder treatments. With unique photophysical properties, semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are employed as photoluminescent platforms for various biosensing, in particular for the detection of enzyme activities. In this work, QDs are functionalized with tyrosine and zwitterionic molecules to construct a nanometer-scale scaffold (QD-Tyr conjugate), and this is used to test tyrosinase activity in vitro and inside cells. Tyrosinase oxidizes tyrosine to dopachrome and switches on the electron-transfer access, which relates to fluorescence quenching. High quenching efficiency is achieved by shortening the distance between the electron donors and acceptors, which is attributed to the small size of the conjugated tyrosine. Enzymatic process curves reveal the enhanced enzymatic activity on the conjugated nanoparticle substrate, which leads to highly sensitive detection of tyrosinase (as low as 1 nM). It is also demonstrated that QD-Tyr conjugates can sensitively probe intracellular tyrosinase in melanoma cells, which promises great potential in disease monitoring and medical diagnostics.
An effective and inexpensive method is developed to fabricate periodic arrays by sacrificial colloidal monolayer template route by chemical deposition and further physical deposition. By a colloidal template induced precursor solution dipping strategy, different periodic arrays of semi-hollow sphere array, inverse opal with monolayer pore arrays and hole arrays are obtained under different conditions. After magnetron sputtering deposition, their morphologies are changed to novel micro/nanostructured arrays of honeycomb-shaped arrays, hollow cavity arrays, and regular network arrays due to multiple direction deposition of sputtering deposition and shadow effect. After coating a gold thin layer, these periodic micro/nanostructured arrays are used as SERS active substrates and demonstrate a very stable SERS performance compared with periodic arrays achieved by direct colloidal template-induced chemical deposition. Additionally, a honeycomb-shaped array displays better SERS enhancement than that of a hollow cavity array or a regular network array. After optimization of honeycomb-shaped arrays with different periodicities, an array with periodicity of 350 nm demonstrates much stronger SERS enhancement and possesses a low detection limit of 10(-11) M R6G. Such stable SERS performance is useful for practical application in portable Raman detecting devices to detect organic molecules.
Developing functional biomedical devices based on semiconductor materials requires an understanding of interactions taking place at the material-biosystem interface. Cell behavior is dependent on the local physicochemical environment. While standard routes of material preparation involve chemical functionalization of the active surface, this review emphasizes both biocompatibility of unmodified surfaces as well as use of topographic features in manipulating cell-material interactions. Initially, the review discusses experiments involving unmodified II-VI and III-V semiconductors - a starting point for assessing cytotoxicity and biocompatibility - followed by specific surface modification, including the generation of submicron roughness or the potential effect of quantum dot structures. Finally, the discussion turns to more recent work in coupling topography and specific chemistry, enhancing the tunability of the cell-semiconductor interface. With this broadened materials approach, researchers' ability to tune the interactions between semiconductors and biological environments continues to improve, reaching new heights in device function.
Protein acetylation catalyzed by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) is significant in biochemistry and pharmacology because of its crucial role in epigenetic gene regulations. Herein, an antibody-free fluorescent nanosensor is developed for the facile detection of HAT activity based on acetylation protection against exopeptidase cleavage and super-quenching ability of nanomaterials. It is shown for the first time that HAT-catalyzed acetylation could protect the peptide against exopeptidase digestion. FITC-tagged acetylated peptide causes the formation of a nano-quenchers/peptide nano-complex resulting in fluorescence quenching, while the unacetylated peptide is fully degraded by exopeptidase to release the fluorophore and restore fluorescence. Four kinds of nanoquenchers, including core-shell magnetic graphitic nanocapsules (MGN), graphene oxide (GO), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), are comprehensively compared. MGN shows the best selectivity to recognize the acetylated peptide and the lowest detection limit because of its excellent quenching efficiency and magnetic enrichment property. With this MGN-based nanosensor, HAT p300 is detected down to 0.1 nM with wide linear range from 0.5 to 100 nM. This sensor is feasible to assess HAT inhibition and detect p300 activity in cell lysate. The proposed nanosensor is simple, sensitive, and cost-effective for HAT assay, presenting a promising toolkit for epigenetic research and HAT-targeted drug discovery.
The crystalline cell-surface (S) layer sgsE of Geobacillus stearothermophilus NRS 2004/3a represents a natural protein self-assembly system with nanometer-scale periodicity that is evaluated as a combined carrier/patterning element for the conception of novel types of biocatalyst aiming at the controllable display of biocatalytic epitopes, storage stability, and reuse. The glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase RmlA is used as a model enzyme and chimeric proteins are constructed by translational fusion of rmlA to the C-terminus of truncated forms of sgsE (rSgsE131–903, rSgsE331–903) and used for the construction of three principal types of biocatalysts: soluble (monomeric), self-assembled in aqueous solution, and recrystallized on negatively charged liposomes. Enzyme activity of the biocatalysts reaches up to 100% compared to sole RmlA cloned from the same bacterium. The S-layer portion of the biocatalysts confers significantly improved shelf life to the fused enzyme without loss of activity over more than three months, and also enables biocatalyst recycling. These nanopatterned composites may open up new functional concepts for biocatalytic applications in nanobiotechnology.
Crucial biological phenomena are mediated through carbohydrates that are displayed in a defined manner and interact with molecular scale precision. We lay the groundwork for the integration of recombinant carbohydrates into a “biomolecular construction kit” for the design of new biomaterials, by utilizing the self-assembly system of the crystalline cell surface (S)-layer protein SgsE of Geobacillus stearothermophilus NRS 2004/3a. SgsE is a naturally O-glycosylated protein, with intrinsic properties that allow it to function as a nanopatterned matrix for the periodic display of glycans. By using a combined carbohydrate/protein engineering approach, two types of S-layer neoglycoproteins are produced in Escherichia coli. Based on the identification of a suitable periplasmic targeting system for the SgsE self-assembly protein as a cellular prerequisite for protein glycosylation, and on engineering of one of the natural protein O-glycosylation sites into a target for N-glycosylation, the heptasaccharide from the AcrA protein of Campylobacter jejuni and the O7 polysaccharide of E. coli are co- or post-translationally transferred to the S-layer protein by the action of the oligosaccharyltransferase PglB. The degree of glycosylation of the S-layer neoglycoproteins after purification from the periplasmic fraction reaches completeness. Electron microscopy reveals that recombinant glycosylation is fully compatible with the S-layer protein self-assembly system. Tailor-made (“functional”) nanopatterned, self-assembling neoglycoproteins may open up new strategies for influencing and controlling complex biological systems with potential applications in the areas of biomimetics, drug targeting, vaccine design, or diagnostics.