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Nanomaterials, Volume 6, Issue 1 (January 2016)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Frontiers in Mesoporous Nanomaterials
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 15; doi:10.3390/nano6010015
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 11 January 2016
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Abstract
The Special Issue of Nanomaterials “Frontiers in Mesoporous Nanomaterials” gathers four reviews, one communication and eight regular papers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Mesoporous Nanomaterials)
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Nanomaterials in 2015
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 23; doi:10.3390/nano6010023
Received: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
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Abstract
The editors of Nanomaterials would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Application of Amine Functionalized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles on Menaquinone-7 Fermentation: A Step towards Process Intensification
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/nano6010001
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 19 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Industrial production of menaquione-7 by Bacillus subtilis natto is associated with major drawbacks. To address the current challenges in menaquione-7 fermentation, studying the effect of magnetic nanoparticles on the bacterial cells can open up a new domain for intensified menqainone-7 process. This article
[...] Read more.
Industrial production of menaquione-7 by Bacillus subtilis natto is associated with major drawbacks. To address the current challenges in menaquione-7 fermentation, studying the effect of magnetic nanoparticles on the bacterial cells can open up a new domain for intensified menqainone-7 process. This article introduces the new concept of production and application of l-lysine coated iron oxide nanoparticles (l-Lys@IONs) as a novel tool for menaquinone-7 biosynthesis. l-Lys@IONs with the average size of 7 nm were successfully fabricated and were examined in a fermentation process of l-Lys@IONs decorated Bacillus subtilis natto. Based on the results, higher menaquinone-7 specific yield was observed for l-Lys@IONs decorated bacterial cells as compared to untreated bacteria. In addition, more than 92% removal efficacy was achieved by using integrated magnetic separation process. The present study demonstrates that l-Lys@IONs can be successfully applied during a fermentation of menaquinone-7 without any negative consequences on the culture conditions. This study provides a novel biotechnological application for IONs and their future role in bioprocess intensification. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Particle Hydrophobicity, Surface Charge, Media pH Value and Complexation with Human Serum Albumin on Drug Release Behavior of Mitoxantrone-Loaded Pullulan Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 2; doi:10.3390/nano6010002
Received: 3 November 2015 / Revised: 13 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We prepared two types of cholesterol hydrophobically modified pullulan nanoparticles (CHP) and carboxyethyl hydrophobically modified pullulan nanoparticles (CHCP) substituted with various degrees of cholesterol, including 3.11, 6.03, 6.91 and 3.46 per polymer, and named CHP−3.11, CHP−6.03, CHP−6.91 and
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We prepared two types of cholesterol hydrophobically modified pullulan nanoparticles (CHP) and carboxyethyl hydrophobically modified pullulan nanoparticles (CHCP) substituted with various degrees of cholesterol, including 3.11, 6.03, 6.91 and 3.46 per polymer, and named CHP−3.11, CHP−6.03, CHP−6.91 and CHCP−3.46. Dynamic laser light scattering (DLS) showed that the pullulan nanoparticles were 80–120 nm depending on the degree of cholesterol substitution. The mean size of CHCP nanoparticles was about 160 nm, with zeta potential −19.9 mV, larger than CHP because of the carboxyethyl group. A greater degree of cholesterol substitution conferred greater nanoparticle hydrophobicity. Drug-loading efficiency depended on nanoparticle hydrophobicity, that is, nanoparticles with the greatest degree of cholesterol substitution (6.91) showed the most drug encapsulation efficiency (90.2%). The amount of drug loading increased and that of drug release decreased with enhanced nanoparticle hydrophobicity. Nanoparticle surface-negative charge disturbed the amount of drug loading and drug release, for an opposite effect relative to nanoparticle hydrophobicity. The drug release in pullulan nanoparticles was higher pH 4.0 than pH 6.8 media. However, the changed drug release amount was not larger for negative-surface nanoparticles than CHP nanoparticles in the acid release media. Drug release of pullulan nanoparticles was further slowed with human serum albumin complexation and was little affected by nanoparticle hydrophobicity and surface negative charge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles Assisted Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle Dense Plasma Focus-Based Nanofabrication of III–V Semiconductors: Unique Features and Recent Advances
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/nano6010004
Received: 12 October 2015 / Revised: 14 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hot and dense plasma formed in modified dense plasma focus (DPF) device has been used worldwide for the nanofabrication of several materials. In this paper, we summarize the fabrication of III–V semiconductor nanostructures using the high fluence material ions produced by hot,
[...] Read more.
The hot and dense plasma formed in modified dense plasma focus (DPF) device has been used worldwide for the nanofabrication of several materials. In this paper, we summarize the fabrication of III–V semiconductor nanostructures using the high fluence material ions produced by hot, dense and extremely non-equilibrium plasma generated in a modified DPF device. In addition, we present the recent results on the fabrication of porous nano-gallium arsenide (GaAs). The details of morphological, structural and optical properties of the fabricated nano-GaAs are provided. The effect of rapid thermal annealing on the above properties of porous nano-GaAs is studied. The study reveals that it is possible to tailor the size of pores with annealing temperature. The optical properties of these porous nano-GaAs also confirm the possibility to tailor the pore sizes upon annealing. Possible applications of the fabricated and subsequently annealed porous nano-GaAs in transmission-type photo-cathodes and visible optoelectronic devices are discussed. These results suggest that the modified DPF is an effective tool for nanofabrication of continuous and porous III–V semiconductor nanomaterials. Further opportunities for using the modified DPF device for the fabrication of novel nanostructures are discussed as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma Nanoengineering and Nanofabrication)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Thickness and Amount of Carbon Nanofiber Coated Carbon Fiber on Improving the Mechanical Properties of Nanocomposites
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/nano6010006
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 2 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the current study, carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were grown on a carbon fiber (CF) surface by using the chemical vapor deposition method (CVD) and the influences of some parameters of the CVD method on improving the mechanical properties of a polypropylene (PP) composite
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In the current study, carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were grown on a carbon fiber (CF) surface by using the chemical vapor deposition method (CVD) and the influences of some parameters of the CVD method on improving the mechanical properties of a polypropylene (PP) composite were investigated. To obtain an optimum surface area, thickness, and yield of the CNFs, the parameters of the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method, such as catalyst concentration, reaction temperature, reaction time, and hydrocarbon flow rate, were optimized. It was observed that the optimal surface area, thickness, and yield of the CNFs caused more adhesion of the fibers with the PP matrix, which enhanced the composite properties. Besides this, the effectiveness of reinforcement of fillers was fitted with a mathematical model obtaining good agreement between the experimental result and the theoretical prediction. By applying scanning electronic microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), and Raman spectroscopy, the surface morphology and structural information of the resultant CF-CNF were analyzed. Additionally, SEM images and a mechanical test of the composite with a proper layer of CNFs on the CF revealed not only a compactness effect but also the thickness and surface area roles of the CNF layers in improving the mechanical properties of the composites. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Determination of Cd2+ and Pb2+ Based on Mesoporous Carbon Nitride/Self-Doped Polyaniline Nanofibers and Square Wave Anodic Stripping Voltammetry
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/nano6010007
Received: 14 November 2015 / Revised: 13 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (2558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The fabrication and evaluation of a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with self-doped polyaniline nanofibers (SPAN)/mesoporous carbon nitride (MCN) and bismuth for simultaneous determination of trace Cd2+ and Pb2+ by square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV) are presented here. The morphology
[...] Read more.
The fabrication and evaluation of a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with self-doped polyaniline nanofibers (SPAN)/mesoporous carbon nitride (MCN) and bismuth for simultaneous determination of trace Cd2+ and Pb2+ by square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV) are presented here. The morphology properties of SPAN and MCN were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the electrochemical properties of the fabricated electrode were characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV). Experimental parameters, such as deposition time, pulse potential, step potential, bismuth concentration and NaCl concentration, were optimized. Under the optimum conditions, the fabricated electrode exhibited linear calibration curves ranging from 5 to 80 nM for Cd2+ and Pb2+. The limits of detection (LOD) were 0.7 nM for Cd2+ and 0.2 nM for Pb2+ (S/N = 3). Additionally, the repeatability, reproducibility, anti-interference ability and application were also investigated, and the proposed electrode exhibited excellent performance. The proposed method could be extended for other heavy metal determination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Biosensing Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Targeted Sterically Stabilized Phospholipid siRNA Nanomedicine for Hepatic and Renal Fibrosis
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 8; doi:10.3390/nano6010008
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4645 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Since its discovery, small interfering RNA (siRNA) has been considered a potent tool for modulating gene expression. It has the ability to specifically target proteins via selective degradation of messenger RNA (mRNA) not easily accessed by conventional drugs. Hence, RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics
[...] Read more.
Since its discovery, small interfering RNA (siRNA) has been considered a potent tool for modulating gene expression. It has the ability to specifically target proteins via selective degradation of messenger RNA (mRNA) not easily accessed by conventional drugs. Hence, RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics have great potential in the treatment of many diseases caused by faulty protein expression such as fibrosis and cancer. However, for clinical application siRNA faces a number of obstacles, such as poor in vivo stability, and off-target effects. Here we developed a unique targeted nanomedicine to tackle current siRNA delivery issues by formulating a biocompatible, biodegradable and relatively inexpensive nanocarrier of sterically stabilized phospholipid nanoparticles (SSLNPs). This nanocarrier is capable of incorporating siRNA in its core through self-association with a novel cationic lipid composed of naturally occuring phospholipids and amino acids. This overall assembly protects and delivers sufficient amounts of siRNA to knockdown over-expressed protein in target cells. The siRNA used in this study, targets connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), an important regulator of fibrosis in both hepatic and renal cells. Furthermore, asialoglycoprotein receptors are targeted by attaching the galactosamine ligand to the nanocarries which enhances the uptake of nanoparticles by hepatocytes and renal tubular epithelial cells, the major producers of CTGF in fibrosis. On animals this innovative nanoconstruct, small interfering RNA in sterically stabilized phospholipid nanoparticles (siRNA-SSLNP), showed favorable pharmacokinetic properties and accumulated mostly in hepatic and renal tissues making siRNA-SSLNP a suitable system for targeting liver and kidney fibrotic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles Assisted Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle Aqueous Dispersions of Silica Stabilized with Oleic Acid Obtained by Green Chemistry
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 9; doi:10.3390/nano6010009
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The present study describes for the first time the synthesis of silica nanoparticles starting from sodium silicate and oleic acid (OLA). The interactions between OLA and sodium silicate require an optimal OLA/OLANa molar ratio able to generate vesicles that can stabilize silica particles
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The present study describes for the first time the synthesis of silica nanoparticles starting from sodium silicate and oleic acid (OLA). The interactions between OLA and sodium silicate require an optimal OLA/OLANa molar ratio able to generate vesicles that can stabilize silica particles obtained by the sol-gel process of sodium silicate. The optimal molar ratio of OLA/OLANa can be ensured by a proper selection of OLA and respectively of sodium silicate concentration. The titration of sodium silicate with OLA revealed a stabilization phenomenon of silica/OLA vesicles and the dependence between their average size and reagent’s molar ratio. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) measurements emphasized the successful synthesis of silica nanoparticles starting from renewable materials, in mild condition of green chemistry. By grafting octadecyltrimethoxysilane on the initial silica particles, an increased interaction between silica particles and the OLA/OLANa complex was achieved. This interaction between the oleyl and octadecyl chains resulted in the formation of stable gel-like aqueous systems. Subsequently, olive oil and an oleophylic red dye were solubilized in these stable aqueous systems. This great dispersing capacity of oleosoluble compounds opens new perspectives for future green chemistry applications. After the removal of water and of the organic chains by thermal treatment, mesoporous silica was obtained. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Influence of Carbonaceous Matrices and Electrocatalytic MnO2 Nanopowders on Lithium-Air Battery Performances
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 10; doi:10.3390/nano6010010
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Here, we report new gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) prepared by mixing two different pore size carbonaceous matrices and pure and silver-doped manganese dioxide nanopowders, used as electrode supports and electrocatalytic materials, respectively. MnO2 nanoparticles are finely characterized in terms of structural (X-ray
[...] Read more.
Here, we report new gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) prepared by mixing two different pore size carbonaceous matrices and pure and silver-doped manganese dioxide nanopowders, used as electrode supports and electrocatalytic materials, respectively. MnO2 nanoparticles are finely characterized in terms of structural (X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX)), morphological (SEM, high-angle annular dark field (HAADF)-scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM)/TEM), surface (Brunauer Emmet Teller (BET)-Barrett Joyner Halenda (BJH) method) and electrochemical properties. Two mesoporous carbons, showing diverse surface areas and pore volume distributions, have been employed. The GDE performances are evaluated by chronopotentiometric measurements to highlight the effects induced by the adopted materials. The best combination, hollow core mesoporous shell carbon (HCMSC) with 1.0% Ag-doped hydrothermal MnO2 (M_hydro_1.0%Ag) allows reaching very high specific capacity close to 1400 mAh·g−1. Considerably high charge retention through cycles is also observed, due to the presence of silver as a dopant for the electrocatalytic MnO2 nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles for Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Repair of the Orbital Wall Fractures in Rabbit Animal Model Using Nanostructured Hydroxyapatite-Based Implant
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 11; doi:10.3390/nano6010011
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
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Abstract
Cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of nanostructured hydroxyapatite (nanoHAp) are dependent on its physical parameters. Therefore, an understanding of both surface chemistry and morphology of nanoHAp is needed in order to be able to anticipate its in vivo behavior. The aim of this paper
[...] Read more.
Cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of nanostructured hydroxyapatite (nanoHAp) are dependent on its physical parameters. Therefore, an understanding of both surface chemistry and morphology of nanoHAp is needed in order to be able to anticipate its in vivo behavior. The aim of this paper is to characterize an engineered nanoHAp in terms of physico-chemical properties, biocompatibility, and its capability to reconstitute the orbital wall fractures in rabbits. NanoHAp was synthesized using a high pressure hydrothermal method and characterized by physico-chemical, structural, morphological, and optical techniques. X-ray diffraction revealed HAp crystallites of 21 nm, while Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images showed spherical shapes of HAp powder. Mean particle size of HAp measured by DLS technique was 146.3 nm. Biocompatibility was estimated by the effect of HAp powder on the adhesion and proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in culture. The results showed that cell proliferation on powder-coated slides was between 73.4% and 98.3% of control cells (cells grown in normal culture conditions). Computed tomography analysis of the preformed nanoHAp implanted in orbital wall fractures, performed at one and two months postoperative, demonstrated the integration of the implants in the bones. In conclusion, our engineered nanoHAp is stable, biocompatible, and may be safely considered for reconstruction of orbital wall fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles Assisted Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle The Coupled Photothermal Reaction and Transport in a Laser Additive Metal Nanolayer Simultaneous Synthesis and Pattering for Flexible Electronics
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 12; doi:10.3390/nano6010012
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (947 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Laser Direct Synthesis and Patterning (LDSP) technology has advantages in terms of processing time and cost compared to nanomaterials-based laser additive microfabrication processes. In LDSP, a scanning laser on the substrate surface induces chemical reactions in the reactive liquid solution and selectively
[...] Read more.
The Laser Direct Synthesis and Patterning (LDSP) technology has advantages in terms of processing time and cost compared to nanomaterials-based laser additive microfabrication processes. In LDSP, a scanning laser on the substrate surface induces chemical reactions in the reactive liquid solution and selectively deposits target material in a preselected pattern on the substrate. In this study, we experimentally investigated the effect of the processing parameters and type and concentration of the additive solvent on the properties and growth rate of the resulting metal film fabricated by this LDSP technology. It was shown that reactive metal ion solutions with substantial viscosity yield metal films with superior physical properties. A numerical analysis was also carried out the first time to investigate the coupled opto-thermo-fluidic transport phenomena and the effects on the metal film growth rate. To complete the simulation, the optical properties of the LDSP deposited metal film with a variety of thicknesses were measured. The characteristics of the temperature field and the thermally induced flow associated with the moving heat source are discussed. It was shown that the processing temperature range of the LDSP is from 330 to 390 K. A semi-empirical model for estimating the metal film growth rate using this process was developed based on these results. From the experimental and numerical results, it is seen that, owing to the increased reflectivity of the silver film as its thickness increases, the growth rate decreases gradually from about 40 nm at initial to 10 nm per laser scan after ten scans. This self-controlling effect of LDSP process controls the thickness and improves the uniformity of the fabricated metal film. The growth rate and resulting thickness of the metal film can also be regulated by adjustment of the processing parameters, and thus can be utilized for controllable additive nano/microfabrication. Full article
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Open AccessArticle White Light-Emitting Diodes Based on AgInS2/ZnS Quantum Dots with Improved Bandwidth in Visible Light Communication
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 13; doi:10.3390/nano6010013
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 22 December 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1724 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quantum dot white light-emitting diodes (QD-WLEDs) were fabricated from green- and red-emitting AgInS2/ZnS core/shell QDs coated on GaN LEDs. Their electroluminescence (EL) spectra were measured at different currents, ranging from 50 mA to 400 mA, and showed good color stability. The
[...] Read more.
Quantum dot white light-emitting diodes (QD-WLEDs) were fabricated from green- and red-emitting AgInS2/ZnS core/shell QDs coated on GaN LEDs. Their electroluminescence (EL) spectra were measured at different currents, ranging from 50 mA to 400 mA, and showed good color stability. The modulation bandwidth of previously prepared QD-WLEDs was confirmed to be much wider than that of YAG:Ce phosphor-based WLEDs. These results indicate that the AgInS2/ZnS core/shell QDs are good color-converting materials for WLEDs and they are capable in visible light communication (VLC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Colloidal Nanocrystals)
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Open AccessArticle X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Characterization of a Li/S Cell
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 14; doi:10.3390/nano6010014
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 11 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The X-ray absorption spectroscopy technique has been applied to study different stages of the lithium/sulfur (Li/S) cell life cycle. We have investigated how speciation of S in Li/S cathodes changes upon the introduction of CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, CH3(CH2)15
[...] Read more.
The X-ray absorption spectroscopy technique has been applied to study different stages of the lithium/sulfur (Li/S) cell life cycle. We have investigated how speciation of S in Li/S cathodes changes upon the introduction of CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, CH3(CH2)15N+(CH3)3Br) and with charge/discharge cycling. The introduction of CTAB changes the synthesis reaction pathway dramatically due to the interaction of CTAB with the terminal S atoms of the polysulfide ions in the Na2Sx solution. For the cycled Li/S cell, the loss of electrochemically active sulfur and the accumulation of a compact blocking insulating layer of unexpected sulfur reaction products on the cathode surface during the charge/discharge processes make the capacity decay. A modified coin cell and a vacuum-compatible three-electrode electro-chemical cell have been introduced for further in-situ/in-operando studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Li-Ion Batteries and Beyond)
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Open AccessArticle Resistive Switching of Plasma–Treated Zinc Oxide Nanowires for Resistive Random Access Memory
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 16; doi:10.3390/nano6010016
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3001 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
ZnO nanowires (NWs) were grown on Si(100) substrates at 975 °C by a vapor-liquid-solid method with ~2 nm and ~4 nm gold thin films as catalysts, followed by an argon plasma treatment for the as-grown ZnO NWs. A single ZnO NW–based memory cell
[...] Read more.
ZnO nanowires (NWs) were grown on Si(100) substrates at 975 °C by a vapor-liquid-solid method with ~2 nm and ~4 nm gold thin films as catalysts, followed by an argon plasma treatment for the as-grown ZnO NWs. A single ZnO NW–based memory cell with a Ti/ZnO/Ti structure was then fabricated to investigate the effects of plasma treatment on the resistive switching. The plasma treatment improves the homogeneity and reproducibility of the resistive switching of the ZnO NWs, and it also reduces the switching (set and reset) voltages with less fluctuations, which would be associated with the increased density of oxygen vacancies to facilitate the resistive switching as well as to average out the stochastic movement of individual oxygen vacancies. Additionally, a single ZnO NW–based memory cell with self-rectification could also be obtained, if the inhomogeneous plasma treatment is applied to the two Ti/ZnO contacts. The plasma-induced oxygen vacancy disabling the rectification capability at one of the Ti/ZnO contacts is believed to be responsible for the self-rectification in the memory cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma Nanoengineering and Nanofabrication)
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Open AccessCommunication Nitrogen-Doped Banana Peel–Derived Porous Carbon Foam as Binder-Free Electrode for Supercapacitors
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 18; doi:10.3390/nano6010018
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nitrogen-doped banana peel–derived porous carbon foam (N-BPPCF) successfully prepared from banana peels is used as a binder-free electrode for supercapacitors. The N-BPPCF exhibits superior performance including high specific surface areas of 1357.6 m2/g, large pore volume of 0.77 cm3/g,
[...] Read more.
Nitrogen-doped banana peel–derived porous carbon foam (N-BPPCF) successfully prepared from banana peels is used as a binder-free electrode for supercapacitors. The N-BPPCF exhibits superior performance including high specific surface areas of 1357.6 m2/g, large pore volume of 0.77 cm3/g, suitable mesopore size distributions around 3.9 nm, and super hydrophilicity with nitrogen-containing functional groups. It can easily be brought into contact with an electrolyte to facilitate electron and ion diffusion. A comparative analysis on the electrochemical properties of BPPCF electrodes is also conducted under similar conditions. The N-BPPCF electrode offers high specific capacitance of 185.8 F/g at 5 mV/s and 210.6 F/g at 0.5 A/g in 6 M KOH aqueous electrolyte versus 125.5 F/g at 5 mV/s and 173.1 F/g at 0.5 A/g for the BPPCF electrode. The results indicate that the N-BPPCF is a binder-free electrode that can be used for high performance supercapacitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Li-Ion Batteries and Beyond)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Nickel Nanowires with Tunable Characteristics
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 19; doi:10.3390/nano6010019
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A one-step synthesis of magnetic nickel nanowires (NiNWs) with tunable characteristics is reported. The method is simple and easy to be conducted, leading to high compatibility with scaling-up. It is discovered that the size and morphology of NiNWs can be adjusted by tuning
[...] Read more.
A one-step synthesis of magnetic nickel nanowires (NiNWs) with tunable characteristics is reported. The method is simple and easy to be conducted, leading to high compatibility with scaling-up. It is discovered that the size and morphology of NiNWs can be adjusted by tuning the reaction temperature, time length, as well as surfactant concentration. It is found that the products have shown high purity which remained after being stored for several months. A remarkable enhanced saturation magnetization of the product was also observed, compared to that of bulk nickel. By providing both practical experimental details and in-depth mechanism, the work introduced in this paper may advance the mass production and further applications of NiNWs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles in Bioimaging)
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Open AccessCommunication A Graphene Oxide-Based Fluorescent Platform for Probing of Phosphatase Activity
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 20; doi:10.3390/nano6010020
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We presented a strategy for fabricating graphene oxide (GO)-based fluorescent biosensors to monitor the change of phosphorylation state and detect phosphatase activity. By regulating the interaction between the negatively charged phosphate group and the positively charged amino residue, we found that GO showed
[...] Read more.
We presented a strategy for fabricating graphene oxide (GO)-based fluorescent biosensors to monitor the change of phosphorylation state and detect phosphatase activity. By regulating the interaction between the negatively charged phosphate group and the positively charged amino residue, we found that GO showed different quenching efficiency toward the phosphorylated and dephosphorylated dye-labeled peptides. To demonstrate the application of our method, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was tested as a model enzyme with phosphorylated fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled short peptide FITC–Gly–Gly–Gly–Tyr(PO32−)–Arg as the probe. When the negatively charged phosphate group in the Tyr residue was removed from the peptide substrate by enzymatic hydrolysis, the resulting FITC–Gly–Gly–Gly–Tyr–Arg was readily adsorbed onto the GO surface through electrostatic interaction. As a result, fluorescence quenching was observed. Furthermore, the method was applied for the screening of phosphatase inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Biosensing Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of MnO2 and Ordered Mesoporous Carbon Composites as Electrocatalysts for Li-O2 Battery Applications
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 21; doi:10.3390/nano6010021
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The electrocatalytic activities of the MnO2/C composites are examined in Li-O2 cells as the cathode catalysts. Hierarchically mesoporous carbon-supported manganese oxide (MnO2/C) composites are prepared using a combination of soft template and hydrothermal methods. The composites are characterized
[...] Read more.
The electrocatalytic activities of the MnO2/C composites are examined in Li-O2 cells as the cathode catalysts. Hierarchically mesoporous carbon-supported manganese oxide (MnO2/C) composites are prepared using a combination of soft template and hydrothermal methods. The composites are characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, small angle X-ray scattering, The Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) measurements, galvanostatic charge-discharge methods, and rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) measurements. The electrochemical tests indicate that the MnO2/C composites have excellent catalytic activity towards oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) due to the larger surface area of ordered mesoporous carbon and higher catalytic activity of MnO2. The O2 solubility, diffusion rates of O2 and O2•− coefficients (DO2 and DO2), the rate constant (kf) for producing O2•−, and the propylene carbonate (PC)-electrolyte
decomposition rate constant (k) of the MnO2/C material were measured by RRDE experiments in the 0.1 M TBAPF6/PC electrolyte. The values of kf and k for MnO2/C are 4.29 × 10−2 cm·s−1 and 2.6 s−1, respectively. The results indicate that the MnO2/C cathode catalyst has higher electrocatalytic activity for the first step of ORR to produce O2•− and achieves a faster PC-electrolyte decomposition rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles for Catalysis)
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Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Coupling of Nanocrystalline Anatase TiO2 to Porous Nanosized LaFeO3 for Efficient Visible-Light Photocatalytic Degradation of Pollutants
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 22; doi:10.3390/nano6010022
Received: 26 November 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (5191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work we have successfully fabricated nanocrystalline anatase TiO2/perovskite-type porous nanosized LaFeO3 (T/P-LFO) nanocomposites using a simple wet chemical method. It is clearly demonstrated by means of atmosphere-controlled steady-state surface photovoltage spectroscopy (SPS) responses, photoluminescence spectra, and fluorescence spectra
[...] Read more.
In this work we have successfully fabricated nanocrystalline anatase TiO2/perovskite-type porous nanosized LaFeO3 (T/P-LFO) nanocomposites using a simple wet chemical method. It is clearly demonstrated by means of atmosphere-controlled steady-state surface photovoltage spectroscopy (SPS) responses, photoluminescence spectra, and fluorescence spectra related to the formed OH radical amount that the photogenerated charge carriers in the resultant T/P-LFO nanocomposites with a proper mole ratio percentage of TiO2 display much higher separation in comparison to the P-LFO alone. This is highly responsible for the improved visible-light activities of T/P-LFO nanocomposites for photocatalytic degradation of gas-phase acetaldehyde and liquid-phase phenol. This work will provide a feasible route to synthesize visible-light responsive nano-photocatalysts for efficient solar energy utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles for Catalysis)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Receptor-Mediated Drug Delivery Systems Targeting to Glioma
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 3; doi:10.3390/nano6010003
Received: 25 September 2015 / Revised: 8 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 28 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (889 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Glioma has been considered to be the most frequent primary tumor within the central nervous system (CNS). The complexity of glioma, especially the existence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), makes the survival and prognosis of glioma remain poor even after a standard treatment
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Glioma has been considered to be the most frequent primary tumor within the central nervous system (CNS). The complexity of glioma, especially the existence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), makes the survival and prognosis of glioma remain poor even after a standard treatment based on surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. This provides a rationale for the development of some novel therapeutic strategies. Among them, receptor-mediated drug delivery is a specific pattern taking advantage of differential expression of receptors between tumors and normal tissues. The strategy can actively transport drugs, such as small molecular drugs, gene medicines, and therapeutic proteins to glioma while minimizing adverse reactions. This review will summarize recent progress on receptor-mediated drug delivery systems targeting to glioma, and conclude the challenges and prospects of receptor-mediated glioma-targeted therapy for future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles in Theranostics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Biosensors Incorporating Bimetallic Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/nano6010005
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (968 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article presents a review of electrochemical bio-sensing for target analytes based on the use of electrocatalytic bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs), which can improve both the sensitivity and selectivity of biosensors. The review moves quickly from an introduction to the field of bio-sensing, to
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This article presents a review of electrochemical bio-sensing for target analytes based on the use of electrocatalytic bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs), which can improve both the sensitivity and selectivity of biosensors. The review moves quickly from an introduction to the field of bio-sensing, to the importance of biosensors in today’s society, the nature of the electrochemical methods employed and the attendant problems encountered. The role of electrocatalysts is introduced with reference to the three generations of biosensors. The contributions made by previous workers using bimetallic constructs, grouped by target analyte, are then examined in detail; following which, the synthesis and characterization of the catalytic particles is examined prior to a summary of the current state of endeavor. Finally, some perspectives for the future of bimetallic NPs in biosensors are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Biosensing Applications)
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Open AccessReview Excipient Nanoemulsions for Improving Oral Bioavailability of Bioactives
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(1), 17; doi:10.3390/nano6010017
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2269 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The oral bioavailability of many hydrophobic bioactive compounds found in natural food products (such as vitamins and nutraceuticals in fruits and vegetables) is relatively low due to their low bioaccessibility, chemical instability, or poor absorption. Most previous research has therefore focused on the
[...] Read more.
The oral bioavailability of many hydrophobic bioactive compounds found in natural food products (such as vitamins and nutraceuticals in fruits and vegetables) is relatively low due to their low bioaccessibility, chemical instability, or poor absorption. Most previous research has therefore focused on the design of delivery systems to incorporate isolated bioactive compounds into food products. However, a more sustainable and cost-effect approach to enhancing the functionality of bioactive compounds is to leave them within their natural environment, but specifically design excipient foods that enhance their bioavailability. Excipient foods typically do not have functionality themselves but they have the capacity to enhance the functionality of nutrients present in natural foods by altering their bioaccessibility, absorption, and/or chemical transformation. In this review article we present the use of excipient nanoemulsions for increasing the bioavailability of bioactive components from fruits and vegetables. Nanoemulsions present several advantages over other food systems for this application, such as the ability to incorporate hydrophilic, amphiphilic, and lipophilic excipient ingredients, high physical stability, and rapid gastrointestinal digestibility. The design, fabrication, and application of nanoemulsions as excipient foods will therefore be described in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles Assisted Drug Delivery)
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