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Nanomaterials, Volume 6, Issue 12 (December 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Shape and Charge of Gold Nanomaterials Influence Survivorship, Oxidative Stress and Moulting of Daphnia magna
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 222; doi:10.3390/nano6120222
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1838 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are materials with at least one dimension between 1–100 nm. The small size of ENMs results in a large surface area to volume ratio, giving ENMs novel characteristics that are not traditionally exhibited by larger bulk materials. Coupled with large
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Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are materials with at least one dimension between 1–100 nm. The small size of ENMs results in a large surface area to volume ratio, giving ENMs novel characteristics that are not traditionally exhibited by larger bulk materials. Coupled with large surface area is an enormous capacity for surface functionalization of ENMs, e.g., with different ligands or surface changes, leading to an almost infinite array of variability of ENMs. Here we explore the effects of various shaped (spheres, rods) and charged (negative, positive) gold ENMs on Daphnia magna (D. magna) in terms of survival, ENM uptake and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a key factor in oxidative stress responses. We also investigate the effects of gold ENMs binding to the carapace of D. magna and how this may induce moulting inhibition in addition to toxicity and stress. The findings suggest that ENM shape and surface charge play an important role in determining ENM uptake and toxicity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modified Nanoemulsions with Iron Oxide for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 223; doi:10.3390/nano6120223
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
A nanoemulsion (NE) is a surfactant-based, oil-in-water, nanoscale, high-energy emulsion with a mean droplet diameter of 400–600 nm. When mixed with antigen and applied nasally, a NE acts as a mucosal adjuvant and induces mucosal immune responses. One possible mechanism for the adjuvant
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A nanoemulsion (NE) is a surfactant-based, oil-in-water, nanoscale, high-energy emulsion with a mean droplet diameter of 400–600 nm. When mixed with antigen and applied nasally, a NE acts as a mucosal adjuvant and induces mucosal immune responses. One possible mechanism for the adjuvant effect of this material is that it augments antigen uptake and distribution to lymphoid tissues, where the immune response is generated. Biocompatible iron oxide nanoparticles have been used as a unique imaging approach to study the dynamics of cells or molecular migration. To study the uptake of NEs and track them in vivo, iron oxide nanoparticles were synthesized and dispersed in soybean oil to make iron oxide-modified NEs. Our results show that iron oxide nanoparticles can be stabilized in the oil phase of the nanoemulsion at a concentration of 30 µg/μL and the iron oxide-modified NEs have a mean diameter of 521 nm. In vitro experiments demonstrated that iron oxide-modified NEs can affect uptake by TC-1 cells (a murine epithelial cell line) and reduce the intensity of magnetic resonance (MR) images by shortening the T2 time. Most importantly, in vivo studies demonstrated that iron oxide-modified NE could be detected in mouse nasal septum by both transmission electron microscopy and MR imaging. Altogether these experiments demonstrate that iron oxide-modified NE is a unique tool that can be used to study uptake and distribution of NEs after nasal application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle-Biomolecule Interactions Influence Oral Absorption
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 225; doi:10.3390/nano6120225
Received: 19 October 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied in various industrial fields, such as electronics, packaging, food, and cosmetics. Accordingly, concerns about the potential toxicity of TiO2 NPs have increased. In order to comprehend their in vivo behavior and
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Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied in various industrial fields, such as electronics, packaging, food, and cosmetics. Accordingly, concerns about the potential toxicity of TiO2 NPs have increased. In order to comprehend their in vivo behavior and potential toxicity, we must evaluate the interactions between TiO2 NPs and biomolecules, which can alter the physicochemical properties and the fate of NPs under physiological conditions. In the present study, in vivo solubility, oral absorption, tissue distribution, and excretion kinetics of food grade TiO2 (f-TiO2) NPs were evaluated following a single-dose oral administration to rats and were compared to those of general grade TiO2 (g-TiO2) NPs. The effect of the interactions between the TiO2 NPs and biomolecules, such as glucose and albumin, on oral absorption was also investigated, with the aim of determining the surface interactions between them. The intestinal transport pathway was also assessed using 3-dimensional culture systems. The results demonstrate that slightly higher oral absorption of f-TiO2 NPs compared to g-TiO2 NPs could be related to their intestinal transport mechanism by microfold (M) cells, however, most of the NPs were eliminated through the feces. Moreover, the biokinetics of f-TiO2 NPs was highly dependent on their interaction with biomolecules, and the dispersibility was affected by modified surface chemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytotoxicity of Nanoparticles)
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Open AccessArticle The Chemical Deposition Method for the Decoration of Palladium Particles on Carbon Nanofibers with Rapid Conductivity Changes
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 226; doi:10.3390/nano6120226
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Palladium (Pd) metal is well-known for hydrogen sensing material due to its high sensitivity and selectivity toward hydrogen, and is able to detect hydrogen at near room temperature. In this work, palladium-doped carbon nanofibers (Pd/CNFs) were successfully produced in a facile manner via
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Palladium (Pd) metal is well-known for hydrogen sensing material due to its high sensitivity and selectivity toward hydrogen, and is able to detect hydrogen at near room temperature. In this work, palladium-doped carbon nanofibers (Pd/CNFs) were successfully produced in a facile manner via electrospinning. Well-organized and uniformly distributed Pd was observed in microscopic images of the resultant nanofibers. Hydrogen causes an increment in the volume of Pd due to the ability of hydrogen atoms to occupy the octahedral interstitial positions within its face centered cubic lattice structure, resulting in the resistance transition of Pd/CNFs. The resistance variation was around 400%, and it responded rapidly within 1 min, even in 5% hydrogen atmosphere conditions at room temperature. This fibrous hybrid material platform will open a new and practical route and stimulate further researches on the development of hydrogen sensing materials with rapid response, even to low concentrations of hydrogen in an atmosphere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of External Gaseous Environments on the Electrical Properties of ZnO Nanostructures Obtained by a Hydrothermal Method
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 227; doi:10.3390/nano6120227
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
This paper deals with experimental investigations of ZnO nanostructures, consisting of a mixture of nanoparticles and nanowires, obtained by the chemical (hydrothermal) method. The influences of both oxidizing (NO2) and reducing gases (H2, NH3), as well as
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This paper deals with experimental investigations of ZnO nanostructures, consisting of a mixture of nanoparticles and nanowires, obtained by the chemical (hydrothermal) method. The influences of both oxidizing (NO2) and reducing gases (H2, NH3), as well as relative humidity (RH) on the physical and chemical properties of ZnO nanostructures were tested. Carrier gas effect on the structure interaction with gases was also tested; experiments were conducted in air and nitrogen (N2) atmospheres. The effect of investigated gases on the resistance of the ZnO nanostructures was tested over a wide range of concentrations at room temperature (RT) and at 200 °C. The impact of near- ultraviolet (UV) excitation (λ = 390 nm) at RT was also studied. These investigations indicated a high response of ZnO nanostructures to small concentrations of NO2. The structure responses to 1 ppm of NO2 amounted to about: 600% in N2/230% in air at 200 °C (in dark conditions) and 430% in N2/340% in air at RT (with UV excitation). The response of the structure to the effect of NO2 at 200 °C is more than 105 times greater than the response to NH3, and more than 106 times greater than that to H2 in the relation of 1 ppm. Thus the selectivity of the structure for NO2 is very good. What is more, the selectivity to NO2 at RT with UV excitation increases in comparison at elevated temperature. This paper presents a great potential for practical applications of ZnO nanostructures (including nanoparticles) in resistive NO2 sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiconductor Nanoparticles for Electric Device Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Refinement of Magnetite Nanoparticles by Coating with Organic Stabilizers
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 228; doi:10.3390/nano6120228
Received: 28 September 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Magnetite nanoparticles are of great importance in nanotechnology and nanomedicine and have found manifold applications. Here, the effect of coating of magnetite nanoparticles with organic stabilizers, such as O-phosphoryl ethanolamine, glycerol phosphate, phospho-l-ascorbic acid, phospho-d,l-serine, glycolic
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Magnetite nanoparticles are of great importance in nanotechnology and nanomedicine and have found manifold applications. Here, the effect of coating of magnetite nanoparticles with organic stabilizers, such as O-phosphoryl ethanolamine, glycerol phosphate, phospho-l-ascorbic acid, phospho-d,l-serine, glycolic acid, lactic acid, d,l-malic acid, and d,l-mandelic acid was studied. Remarkably, this procedure led to an improvement of saturation magnetization in three cases rather than to an unfavorable decrease as usually observed. Detailed X-ray powder diffraction investigations revealed that changes in the average crystallite occurred in the coating process. Surprisingly, changes of the average crystallite sizes in either direction were further observed, when the exposure time to the stabilizer was increased. These results imply a new mechanism for the well-known coating of magnetite nanoparticles with stabilizers. Instead of the hitherto accepted simple anchoring of the stabilizers to the magnetite nanoparticle surfaces, a more complex recrystallization mechanism is likely, wherein partial re-dispersion of magnetite moieties from the nanoparticles and re-deposition are involved. The results can help producers and users of magnetite nanoparticles to obtain optimal results in the production of core shell magnetite nanoparticles. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication The Assembly of DNA Amphiphiles at Liquid Crystal-Aqueous Interface
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 229; doi:10.3390/nano6120229
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
In this article, we synthesized a type of DNA amphiphiles (called DNA-lipids) and systematically studied its assembly behavior at the liquid crystal (LC)—aqueous interface. It turned out that the pure DNA-lipids at various concentrations cannot trigger the optical transition of liquid crystals from
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In this article, we synthesized a type of DNA amphiphiles (called DNA-lipids) and systematically studied its assembly behavior at the liquid crystal (LC)—aqueous interface. It turned out that the pure DNA-lipids at various concentrations cannot trigger the optical transition of liquid crystals from planar anchoring to homeotropic anchoring at the liquid crystal—aqueous interface. The co-assembly of DNA-lipid and l-dilauroyl phosphatidylcholine (l-DLPC) indicated that the DLPC assembled all over the LC-aqueous interface, and DNA-lipids prefer to couple with LC in certain areas, particularly in polarized and fluorescent image, forming micron sized net-like structures. The addition of DNA complementary to DNA-lipids forming double stranded DNA-lipids caused de-assembly of DNA-lipids from LC-aqueous interface, resulting in the disappearance of net-like structures, which can be visualized through polarized microscope. The optical changes combined with DNA unique designable property and specific interaction with wide range of target molecules, the DNA-lipids decorated LC-aqueous interface would provide a new platform for biological sensing and diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA-Based Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle Optimum Conditions for the Fabrication of Zein/Ag Composite Nanoparticles from Ethanol/H2O Co-Solvents Using Electrospinning
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 230; doi:10.3390/nano6120230
Received: 13 September 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
The optimum conditions for the fabrication of zein/Ag composite nanoparticles from ethanol/H2O cosolvents using electrospinning and the properties of the composite were investigated. The zein/Ag nanoparticles were characterized using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and
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The optimum conditions for the fabrication of zein/Ag composite nanoparticles from ethanol/H2O cosolvents using electrospinning and the properties of the composite were investigated. The zein/Ag nanoparticles were characterized using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis. The antibacterial activity of the zein/Ag composite nanoparticles was also investigated. The XRD patterns and TEM images indicate the coexistence of a zein matrix and well-distributed Ag nanoparticles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Temperature- and Angle-Dependent Magnetic Properties of Ni Nanotube Arrays Fabricated by Electrodeposition in Polycarbonate Templates
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 231; doi:10.3390/nano6120231
Received: 19 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
Parallel arrays of Ni nanotubes with an external diameter of 150 nm, a wall thickness of 15 nm, and a length of 1.2 ± 0.3 µm were successfully fabricated in ion-track etched polycarbonate (PC) templates by electrochemical deposition. The morphology and crystal structure
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Parallel arrays of Ni nanotubes with an external diameter of 150 nm, a wall thickness of 15 nm, and a length of 1.2 ± 0.3 µm were successfully fabricated in ion-track etched polycarbonate (PC) templates by electrochemical deposition. The morphology and crystal structure of the nanotubes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Structural analyses indicate that Ni nanotubes have a polycrystalline structure with no preferred orientation. Angle dependent hysteresis studies at room temperature carried out by using a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) demonstrate a transition of magnetization between the two different magnetization reversal modes: curling rotation for small angles and coherent rotation for large angles. Furthermore, temperature dependent magnetic analyses performed with a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer indicate that magnetization of the nanotubes follows modified Bloch’s law in the range 60–300 K, while the deviation of the experimental curve from this law below 60 K can be attributed to the finite size effects in the nanotubes. Finally, it was found that coercivity measured at different temperatures follows Kneller’s law within the premises of Stoner–Wohlfarth model for ferromagnetic nanostructures. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Super-Hydrophobic/Icephobic Coatings Based on Silica Nanoparticles Modified by Self-Assembled Monolayers
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 232; doi:10.3390/nano6120232
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A super-hydrophobic surface has been obtained from nanocomposite materials based on silica nanoparticles and self-assembled monolayers of 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane (POTS) using spin coating and chemical vapor deposition methods. Scanning electron microscope images reveal the porous structure
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A super-hydrophobic surface has been obtained from nanocomposite materials based on silica nanoparticles and self-assembled monolayers of 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane (POTS) using spin coating and chemical vapor deposition methods. Scanning electron microscope images reveal the porous structure of the silica nanoparticles, which can trap small-scale air pockets. An average water contact angle of 163° and bouncing off of incoming water droplets suggest that a super-hydrophobic surface has been obtained based on the silica nanoparticles and POTS coating. The monitored water droplet icing test results show that icing is significantly delayed by silica-based nano-coatings compared with bare substrates and commercial icephobic products. Ice adhesion test results show that the ice adhesion strength is reduced remarkably by silica-based nano-coatings. The bouncing phenomenon of water droplets, the icing delay performance and the lower ice adhesion strength suggest that the super-hydrophobic coatings based on a combination of silica and POTS also show icephobicity. An erosion test rig based on pressurized pneumatic water impinging impact was used to evaluate the durability of the super-hydrophobic/icephobic coatings. The results show that durable coatings have been obtained, although improvement will be needed in future work aiming for applications in aerospace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle The Change of Electronic Transport Behaviors by P and B Doping in Nano-Crystalline Silicon Films with Very High Conductivities
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 233; doi:10.3390/nano6120233
Received: 14 October 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
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Abstract
Nano-crystalline Si films with high conductivities are highly desired in order to develop the new generation of nano-devices. Here, we first demonstrate that the grain boundaries played an important role in the carrier transport process in un-doped nano-crystalline Si films as revealed by
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Nano-crystalline Si films with high conductivities are highly desired in order to develop the new generation of nano-devices. Here, we first demonstrate that the grain boundaries played an important role in the carrier transport process in un-doped nano-crystalline Si films as revealed by the temperature-dependent Hall measurements. The potential barrier height can be well estimated from the experimental results, which is in good agreement with the proposed model. Then, by introducing P and B doping, it is found that the scattering of grain boundaries can be significantly suppressed and the Hall mobility is monotonously decreased with the temperature both in P- and B-doped nano-crystalline Si films, which can be attributed to the trapping of P and B dopants in the grain boundary regions to reduce the barriers. Consequently, a room temperature conductivity as high as 1.58 × 103 S/cm and 4 × 102 S/cm is achieved for the P-doped and B-doped samples, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiconductor Nanoparticles for Electric Device Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Preparation and Characterization of Zirconia-Coated Nanodiamonds as a Pt Catalyst Support for Methanol Electro-Oxidation
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 234; doi:10.3390/nano6120234
Received: 9 October 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
Zirconia-coated nanodiamond (ZrO2/ND) electrode material was successfully prepared by one-step isothermal hydrolyzing from ND-dispersed ZrOCl2·8H2O aqueous solution. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals that a highly conformal and uniform ZrO2 shell was deposited on NDs by this
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Zirconia-coated nanodiamond (ZrO2/ND) electrode material was successfully prepared by one-step isothermal hydrolyzing from ND-dispersed ZrOCl2·8H2O aqueous solution. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals that a highly conformal and uniform ZrO2 shell was deposited on NDs by this simple method. The coating obtained at 90 °C without further calcination was mainly composed of monoclinic nanocrystalline ZrO2 rather than common amorphous Zr(OH)4 clusters. The ZrO2/NDs and pristine ND powder were decorated with platinum (Pt) nanoparticles by electrodeposition from 5 mM chloroplatinic acid solution. The electrochemical studies indicate that Pt/ZrO2/ND catalysts have higher electrocatalytic activity and better stability for methanol oxidation than Pt/ND catalysts in acid. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Anticancer Activities of Biosynthesized Silver Nanoparticles Using Marine Algae Ecklonia cava
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 235; doi:10.3390/nano6120235
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) has gained great interest as a simple and eco-friendly alternative to conventional chemical methods. In this study, AgNPs were synthesized by using extracts of marine algae Ecklonia cava as reducing and capping agents. The formation of AgNPs
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Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) has gained great interest as a simple and eco-friendly alternative to conventional chemical methods. In this study, AgNPs were synthesized by using extracts of marine algae Ecklonia cava as reducing and capping agents. The formation of AgNPs using aqueous extract of Ecklonia cava was confirmed visually by color change and their surface plasmon resonance peak at 418 nm, measured by UV-visible spectroscopy. The size, shape, and morphology of the biosynthesized AgNPs were observed by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering analysis. The biosynthesized AgNPs were nearly spherical in shape with an average size around 43 nm. Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis confirmed the presence of phenolic compounds in the aqueous extract of Ecklonia cava as reducing and capping agents. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis was also carried out to demonstrate the crystalline nature of the biosynthesized AgNPs. Antimicrobial results determined by an agar well diffusion assay demonstrated a significant antibacterial activity of the AgNPs against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Antioxidant results determined by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging assay revealed an efficient antioxidant activity of the biosynthesized AgNPs. The biosynthesized AgNPs also exhibited a strong apoptotic anticancer activity against human cervical cancer cells. Our findings demonstrate that aqueous extract of Ecklonia cava is an effective reducing agent for green synthesis of AgNPs with efficient antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle Nickel Based Electrospun Materials with Tuned Morphology and Composition
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 236; doi:10.3390/nano6120236
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Nickel is set to play a crucial role to substitute the less-abundant platinum in clean electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices and catalysis. The controlled design of Ni nanomaterials is essential to fine-tune their properties to match these applications. A systematic study of
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Nickel is set to play a crucial role to substitute the less-abundant platinum in clean electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices and catalysis. The controlled design of Ni nanomaterials is essential to fine-tune their properties to match these applications. A systematic study of electrospinning and thermal post-treatment parameters has been performed to synthesize Ni materials and tune their morphology (fibers, ribbons, and sponge-like structures) and composition (metallic Ni, NiO, Ni/C, Ni3N and their combinations). The obtained Ni-based spun materials have been characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis. The possibility of upscaling and the versatility of electrospinning open the way to large-scale production of Ni nanostructures, as well as bi- and multi-metal systems for widened applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antibacterial Properties of Visible-Light-Responsive Carbon-Containing Titanium Dioxide Photocatalytic Nanoparticles against Anthrax
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 237; doi:10.3390/nano6120237
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
The bactericidal activity of conventional titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalyst is effective only on irradiation by ultraviolet light, which restricts the applications of TiO2 for use in living environments. Recently, carbon-containing TiO2 nanoparticles [TiO2(C) NP] were found to
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The bactericidal activity of conventional titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalyst is effective only on irradiation by ultraviolet light, which restricts the applications of TiO2 for use in living environments. Recently, carbon-containing TiO2 nanoparticles [TiO2(C) NP] were found to be a visible-light-responsive photocatalyst (VLRP), which displayed significantly enhanced antibacterial properties under visible light illumination. However, whether TiO2(C) NPs exert antibacterial properties against Bacillus anthracis remains elusive. Here, we evaluated these VLRP NPs in the reduction of anthrax-induced pathogenesis. Bacteria-killing experiments indicated that a significantly higher proportion (40%–60%) of all tested Bacillus species, including B. subtilis, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were considerably eliminated by TiO2(C) NPs. Toxin inactivation analysis further suggested that the TiO2(C) NPs efficiently detoxify approximately 90% of tested anthrax lethal toxin, a major virulence factor of anthrax. Notably, macrophage clearance experiments further suggested that, even under suboptimal conditions without considerable bacterial killing, the TiO2(C) NP-mediated photocatalysis still exhibited antibacterial properties through the reduction of bacterial resistance against macrophage killing. Our results collectively suggested that TiO2(C) NP is a conceptually feasible anti-anthrax material, and the relevant technologies described herein may be useful in the development of new strategies against anthrax. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle Nano Copper Oxide-Modified Carbon Cloth as Cathode for a Two-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 238; doi:10.3390/nano6120238
Received: 23 September 2016 / Revised: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
In this work, Cu2O nanoparticles were deposited on a carbon cloth cathode using a facile electrochemical method. The morphology of the modified cathode, which was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) tests, showed that the porosity and specific
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In this work, Cu2O nanoparticles were deposited on a carbon cloth cathode using a facile electrochemical method. The morphology of the modified cathode, which was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) tests, showed that the porosity and specific surface area of the cathode improved with longer deposition times. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) results showed that cupric oxide and cuprous oxide coexisted on the carbon cloth, which improved the electrochemical activity of cathode. The cathode with a deposition time of 100 s showed the best performance, with a power density twice that of bare carbon cloth. Linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) results revealed that moderate deposition of nano copper oxide on carbon cloth could dramatically reduce the charge transfer resistance, which contributed to the enhanced electrochemical performance. The mediation mechanism of copper oxide nanocatalyst was illustrated by the fact that the recycled conversion between cupric oxide and cuprous oxide accelerated the electron transfer efficiency on the cathode. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Shape Evolution of Hierarchical W18O49 Nanostructures: A Systematic Investigation of the Growth Mechanism, Properties and Morphology-Dependent Photocatalytic Activities
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 240; doi:10.3390/nano6120240
Received: 13 November 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
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Abstract
Hierarchical tungsten oxide assemblies such as spindle-like structures, flowers with sharp petals, nanowires and regular hexagonal structures are successfully synthesized via a solvothermal reduction method by simply adjusting the reaction conditions. On the basis of the experimental results, it is determined that the
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Hierarchical tungsten oxide assemblies such as spindle-like structures, flowers with sharp petals, nanowires and regular hexagonal structures are successfully synthesized via a solvothermal reduction method by simply adjusting the reaction conditions. On the basis of the experimental results, it is determined that the reaction time significantly influences the phase transition, microstructure and photocatalytic activity of the prepared samples. The possible mechanisms for the morphology evolution process have been systematically proposed. Moreover, the as-prepared products exhibit significant morphology-dependent photocatalytic activity. The flower-like W18O49 prepared at 6 h possesses a large specific surface area (150.1 m2∙g−1), improved separation efficiency of electron-hole pairs and decreased electron-transfer resistance according to the photoelectrochemical measurements. As a result, the flower-like W18O49 prepared at 6 h exhibits the highest photocatalytic activity for the degradation of Methyl orange aqueous solution. The radical trap experiments showed that the degradation of MO was driven mainly by the participation of h+ and •O2 radicals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Nano-SiO2 on the Hydration and Microstructure of Portland Cement
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 241; doi:10.3390/nano6120241
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper systematically studied the modification of cement-based materials by nano-SiO2 particles with an average diameter of about 20 nm. In order to obtain the effect of nano-SiO2 particles on the mechanical properties, hydration, and pore structure of cement-based materials, adding
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This paper systematically studied the modification of cement-based materials by nano-SiO2 particles with an average diameter of about 20 nm. In order to obtain the effect of nano-SiO2 particles on the mechanical properties, hydration, and pore structure of cement-based materials, adding 1%, 3%, and 5% content of nano-SiO2 in cement paste, respectively. The results showed that the reaction of nano-SiO2 particles with Ca(OH)2 (crystal powder) started within 1 h, and formed C–S–H gel. The reaction speed was faster after aging for three days. The mechanical properties of cement-based materials were improved with the addition of 3% nano-SiO2, and the early strength enhancement of test pieces was obvious. Three-day compressive strength increased 33.2%, and 28-day compressive strength increased 18.5%. The exothermic peak of hydration heat of cement increased significantly after the addition of nano-SiO2. Appearance time of the exothermic peak was advanced and the total heat release increased. Thermogravimetric-differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC) analysis showed that nano-SiO2 promoted the formation of C–S–H gel. The results of mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) showed that the total porosity of cement paste with 3% nano-SiO2 was reduced by 5.51% and 5.4% at three days and 28 days, respectively, compared with the pure cement paste. At the same time, the pore structure of cement paste was optimized, and much-detrimental pores and detrimental pores decreased, while less harmful pores and innocuous pores increased. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Vibration of Piezoelectric ZnO-SWCNT Nanowires
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 242; doi:10.3390/nano6120242
Received: 5 November 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
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Abstract
A hybrid nanowire (HNW) was constructed by coating a single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) with piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO). The two components of the HNW interact with each other via the van der Waals (vdW) force. This paper aims to study the effect of
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A hybrid nanowire (HNW) was constructed by coating a single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) with piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO). The two components of the HNW interact with each other via the van der Waals (vdW) force. This paper aims to study the effect of the piezoelectricity in the ZnO layer and the inter-phase vdW interaction on the fundamental vibration of the HNWs. In doing this, a new model was developed where the two components of the HNWs were modeled as Euler beams coupled via the interphase vdW interaction. Based on the model, the dependence of the frequency on an applied electrical voltage was calculated for HNWs of different geometric sizes to reveal the voltage effect. The results were then compared with those calculated without considering the inter-phase vdW interaction. It was found that the interphase vdW interaction can substantially decrease the structural stiffness, leading to a greatly enhanced piezoelectric effect but a lower frequency for the vibration of the HNWs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Antifungal Agents from Xanthene and Thiazine Dyes and Analysis of Their Effects
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 243; doi:10.3390/nano6120243
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
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Abstract
Indoor fungi growth is an increasing home health problem as our homes are more tightly sealed. One thing that limits durability of the antifungal agents is the scarcity of reactive sites on many surfaces to attach these agents. In order to increase graft
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Indoor fungi growth is an increasing home health problem as our homes are more tightly sealed. One thing that limits durability of the antifungal agents is the scarcity of reactive sites on many surfaces to attach these agents. In order to increase graft yield of photosensitizers to the fabrics, poly(acrylic acid-co-styrene sulfonic acid-co-vinyl benzyl rose bengal or phloxine B) were polymerized and then grafted to electrospun fabrics. In an alternative process, azure A or toluidine blue O were grafted to poly(acrylic acid), which was subsequently grafted to nanofiber-based and microfiber-based fabrics. The fabrics grafted with photosensitizers induced antifungal effects on all seven types of fungi in the order of rose bengal > phloxine B > toluidine blue O > azure A, which follows the quantum yield production of singlet oxygen for these photoactive dyes. Their inhibition rates for inactivating fungal spores decreased in the order of P. cinnamomi, T. viride, A. niger, A. fumigatus, C. globosum, P. funiculosum, and M. grisea, which is associated with lipid composition in membrane and the morphology of fungal spores. The antifungal activity was also correlated with the surface area of fabric types which grafted the photosensitizer covalently on the surface as determined by the bound color strength. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Graphene Oxide Bionanocomposite Coatings with High Oxygen Barrier Properties
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 244; doi:10.3390/nano6120244
Received: 20 November 2016 / Revised: 10 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 21 December 2016
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Abstract
In this work, we present the development of bionanocomposite coatings on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) with outstanding oxygen barrier properties. Pullulan and graphene oxide (GO) were used as main polymer phase and nanobuilding block (NBB), respectively. The oxygen barrier performance was investigated at different
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In this work, we present the development of bionanocomposite coatings on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) with outstanding oxygen barrier properties. Pullulan and graphene oxide (GO) were used as main polymer phase and nanobuilding block (NBB), respectively. The oxygen barrier performance was investigated at different filler volume fractions (ϕ) and as a function of different relative humidity (RH) values. Noticeably, the impermeable nature of GO was reflected under dry conditions, in which an oxygen transmission rate (OTR, mL·m−2·24 h−1) value below the detection limit of the instrument (0.01 mL·m−2·24 h−1) was recorded, even for ϕ as low as 0.0004. A dramatic increase of the OTR values occurred in humid conditions, such that the barrier performance was totally lost at 90% RH (the OTR of coated PET films was equal to the OTR of bare PET films). Modelling of the experimental OTR data by Cussler’s model suggested that the spatial ordering of GO sheets within the main pullulan phase was perturbed because of RH fluctuations. In spite of the presence of the filler, all the formulations allowed the obtainment of final materials with haze values below 3%, the only exception being the formulation with the highest loading of GO (ϕ ≈ 0.03). The mechanisms underlying the experimental observations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Polymer-Based Nanocomposites)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Nano-Biosensor for Monitoring the Neural Differentiation of Stem Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 224; doi:10.3390/nano6120224
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
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Abstract
In tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, monitoring the status of stem cell differentiation is crucial to verify therapeutic efficacy and optimize treatment procedures. However, traditional methods, such as cell staining and sorting, are labor-intensive and may damage the cells. Therefore, the development of
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In tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, monitoring the status of stem cell differentiation is crucial to verify therapeutic efficacy and optimize treatment procedures. However, traditional methods, such as cell staining and sorting, are labor-intensive and may damage the cells. Therefore, the development of noninvasive methods to monitor the differentiation status in situ is highly desirable and can be of great benefit to stem cell-based therapies. Toward this end, nanotechnology has been applied to develop highly-sensitive biosensors to noninvasively monitor the neural differentiation of stem cells. Herein, this article reviews the development of noninvasive nano-biosensor systems to monitor the neural differentiation of stem cells, mainly focusing on optical (plasmonic) and eletrochemical methods. The findings in this review suggest that novel nano-biosensors capable of monitoring stem cell differentiation are a promising type of technology that can accelerate the development of stem cell therapies, including regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Biosensors 2016)
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Open AccessReview Investigating Polymer–Metal Interfaces by Grazing Incidence Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering from Gradients to Real-Time Studies
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 239; doi:10.3390/nano6120239
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tailoring the polymer–metal interface is crucial for advanced material design. Vacuum deposition methods for metal layer coating are widely used in industry and research. They allow for installing a variety of nanostructures, often making use of the selective interaction of the metal atoms
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Tailoring the polymer–metal interface is crucial for advanced material design. Vacuum deposition methods for metal layer coating are widely used in industry and research. They allow for installing a variety of nanostructures, often making use of the selective interaction of the metal atoms with the underlying polymer thin film. The polymer thin film may eventually be nanostructured, too, in order to create a hierarchy in length scales. Grazing incidence X-ray scattering is an advanced method to characterize and investigate polymer–metal interfaces. Being non-destructive and yielding statistically relevant results, it allows for deducing the detailed polymer–metal interaction. We review the use of grazing incidence X-ray scattering to elucidate the polymer–metal interface, making use of the modern synchrotron radiation facilities, allowing for very local studies via in situ (so-called “stop-sputter”) experiments as well as studies observing the nanostructured metal nanoparticle layer growth in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Polymer-Based Nanocomposites)
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