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Special Issue "Nanozymes and Beyond"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hui Wei

Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210093, China
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +86 25 8359 4648
Interests: functional nanomaterials, in vitro diagnostics, point-of-care, cancer nanotechnology, synthetic biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the pioneering work by Ronald Breslow and co-workers around half a century ago, researchers have established that artificial enzymes can act as excellent alternatives to natural enzymes, with numerous merits, such as high stability and low cost. Varieties of molecules, from cyclodextrins and metal complexes to supramolecules and biomolecules have been extensively explored, to mimic the structures and functions of natural enzymes through many approaches. Over the past few decades, nanomaterials have attracted great attentions in both science and engineering fields, primarily due to their unique properties compared with the corresponding bulk materials. Recently, some nanomaterials, from fullerene and its derivatives to metal nanoparticles and nanocomposites, have been found to exhibit unexpected enzyme-mimicking activities. The term "nanozymes" was coined to describe these nanomaterials with exciting enzyme-like characteristics. Nanozymes have already found a wide range of applications in biosensing, cancer diagnostics and therapy, stem cell growth, and pollutant removal, to name just a few emerging research areas.

To highlight the blooming growth of the nanozymes field, this Special Issue aims to provide a forum for the research community to present the state-of-art work on nanozymes and related studies. Thus, we would like to invite the submissions of researches articles covering the latest progress in all areas of nanozymes as well as insightful reviews. We look forward to publishing a high-quality collection on nanozymes soon!

Dr. Hui Wei
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • artificial enzymes
  • biomimetic chemistry
  • nanozymes
  • functional nanomaterials

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Effects and Mechanism of Blue Light on Monascus in Liquid Fermentation
Molecules 2017, 22(3), 385; doi:10.3390/molecules22030385
Received: 9 September 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effect of light on Monascus and the underlying mechanism have received a great deal of interest for the industrial application of Monascus pigments. In this study, we have examined the effects of blue light on the culture morphology, mycelium growth, pigments, and
[...] Read more.
The effect of light on Monascus and the underlying mechanism have received a great deal of interest for the industrial application of Monascus pigments. In this study, we have examined the effects of blue light on the culture morphology, mycelium growth, pigments, and citrinin yield of Monascus in liquid-state and oscillation fermentation, and explored the mechanism at a physiological level. It was found that blue light affected the colony morphology, the composition (chitin content), and permeability of the Monascus mycelium cell wall in static liquid culture, which indicates blue light benefits pigments secreting from aerial mycelium to culture medium. In liquid oscillation fermentation, the yields of Monascus pigments in fermentation broth (darkness 1741 U/g, blue light 2206 U/g) and mycelium (darkness 2442 U/g, blue light 1900 U/g) cultured under blue light and darkness are different. The total pigments produced per gram of Monascus mycelium under blue light was also higher (4663 U/g) than that in darkness (4352 U/g). However, the production of citrinin (88 μg/g) under blue light was evidently lower than that in darkness (150 μg/g). According to the degradation of citrinin caused by blue light and hydrogen peroxide, it can be concluded that blue light could degrade citrinin and inhibit the catalase activity of Monascus mycelium, subsequently suppressing the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, which is the active species that degrades citrinin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanozymes and Beyond)
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Open AccessArticle In Situ Enzymatically Generated Photoswitchable Oxidase Mimetics and Their Application for Colorimetric Detection of Glucose Oxidase
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 902; doi:10.3390/molecules21070902
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 26 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, a simple and amplified colorimetric assay is developed for the detection of the enzymatic activity of glucose oxidase (GOx) based on in situ formation of a photoswitchable oxidase mimetic of PO43−-capped CdS quantum dots (QDs). GOx catalyzes
[...] Read more.
In this study, a simple and amplified colorimetric assay is developed for the detection of the enzymatic activity of glucose oxidase (GOx) based on in situ formation of a photoswitchable oxidase mimetic of PO43−-capped CdS quantum dots (QDs). GOx catalyzes the oxidation of 1-thio-β-d-glucose to give 1-thio-β-d-gluconic acid which spontaneously hydrolyzes to β-d-gluconic acid and H2S; the generated H2S instantly reacts with Cd2+ in the presence of Na3PO4 to give PO43−-stabilized CdS QDs in situ. Under visible-light (λ ≥ 400 nm) stimulation, the PO43−-capped CdS QDs are a new style of oxidase mimic derived by producing some active species, such as h+, OH, O2•− and a little H2O2, which can oxidize the typical substrate (3,3,5,5-tetramethylbenzydine (TMB)) with a color change. Based on the GOx-triggered growth of the oxidase mimetics of PO43−-capped CdS QDs in situ, we developed a simple and amplified colorimetric assay to probe the enzymatic activity of GOx. The proposed method allowed the detection of the enzymatic activity of GOx over the range from 25 μg/L to 50 mg/L with a low detection limit of 6.6 μg/L. We believe the PO43−-capped CdS QDs generated in situ with photo-stimulated enzyme-mimicking activity may find wide potential applications in biosensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanozymes and Beyond)
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Open AccessArticle Introducing Thermal Wave Transport Analysis (TWTA): A Thermal Technique for Dopamine Detection by Screen-Printed Electrodes Functionalized with Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) Particles
Molecules 2016, 21(5), 552; doi:10.3390/molecules21050552
Received: 26 March 2016 / Revised: 21 April 2016 / Accepted: 22 April 2016 / Published: 26 April 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A novel procedure is developed for producing bulk modified Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) screen-printed electrodes (SPEs), which involves the direct mixing of the polymer particles within the screen-printed ink. This allowed reduction of the sample preparation time from 45 min to 1 min,
[...] Read more.
A novel procedure is developed for producing bulk modified Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) screen-printed electrodes (SPEs), which involves the direct mixing of the polymer particles within the screen-printed ink. This allowed reduction of the sample preparation time from 45 min to 1 min, and resulted in higher reproducibility of the electrodes. The samples are measured with a novel detection method, namely, thermal wave transport analysis (TWTA), relying on the analysis of thermal waves through a functional interface. As a first proof-of-principle, MIPs for dopamine are developed and successfully incorporated within a bulk modified MIP SPE. The detection limits of dopamine within buffer solutions for the MIP SPEs are determined via three independent techniques. With cyclic voltammetry this was determined to be 4.7 × 10−6 M, whereas by using the heat-transfer method (HTM) 0.35 × 10−6 M was obtained, and with the novel TWTA concept 0.26 × 10−6 M is possible. This TWTA technique is measured simultaneously with HTM and has the benefits of reducing measurement time to less than 5 min and increasing effect size by nearly a factor of two. The two thermal methods are able to enhance dopamine detection by one order of magnitude compared to the electrochemical method. In previous research, it was not possible to measure neurotransmitters in complex samples with HTM, but with the improved signal-to-noise of TWTA for the first time, spiked dopamine concentrations were determined in a relevant food sample. In summary, novel concepts are presented for both the sensor functionalization side by employing screen-printing technology, and on the sensing side, the novel TWTA thermal technique is reported. The developed bio-sensing platform is cost-effective and suitable for mass-production due to the nature of screen-printing technology, which makes it very interesting for neurotransmitter detection in clinical diagnostic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanozymes and Beyond)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Carbon Nanodots as Peroxidase Nanozymes for Biosensing
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1653; doi:10.3390/molecules21121653
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
‘Nanozymes’, a term coined by Scrimin, Pasquato, and co-workers to describe nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics, represent an exciting and emerging research area in the field of artificial enzymes. Indubitably, the last decade has witnessed substantial advancements in the design of a variety of
[...] Read more.
‘Nanozymes’, a term coined by Scrimin, Pasquato, and co-workers to describe nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics, represent an exciting and emerging research area in the field of artificial enzymes. Indubitably, the last decade has witnessed substantial advancements in the design of a variety of functional nanoscale materials, including metal oxides and carbon-based nanomaterials, which mimic the structures and functions of naturally occurring enzymes. Among these, carbon nanodots (C-dots) or carbon quantum dots (CQDs) offer huge potential due to their unique properties as compared to natural enzymes and/or classical artificial enzymes. In this mini review, we discuss the peroxidase-like catalytic activities of C-dots and their applications in biosensing. The scope intends to cover not only the C-dots but also graphene quantum dots (GQDs), doped C-dots/GQDs, carbon nitride dots, and C-dots/GQDs nanocomposites. Nevertheless, this mini review is designed to be illustrative, not comprehensive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanozymes and Beyond)
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Open AccessReview Hydrolytic Metallo-Nanozymes: From Micelles and Vesicles to Gold Nanoparticles
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1014; doi:10.3390/molecules21081014
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the term nanozymes was coined by us in 2004 to highlight the enzyme-like properties of gold nanoparticles passivated with a monolayer of Zn(II)-complexes in the cleavage of phosphate diesters, systems resembling those metallo-nanoparticles, like micelles and vesicles, have been the subject of
[...] Read more.
Although the term nanozymes was coined by us in 2004 to highlight the enzyme-like properties of gold nanoparticles passivated with a monolayer of Zn(II)-complexes in the cleavage of phosphate diesters, systems resembling those metallo-nanoparticles, like micelles and vesicles, have been the subject of investigation since the mid-eighties of the last century. This paper reviews what has been done in the field and compares the different nanosystems highlighting the source of catalysis and frequent misconceptions found in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanozymes and Beyond)
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Open AccessReview DNA Catalysis: The Chemical Repertoire of DNAzymes
Molecules 2015, 20(11), 20777-20804; doi:10.3390/molecules201119730
Received: 25 October 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (5193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Deoxyribozymes or DNAzymes are single-stranded catalytic DNA molecules that are obtained by combinatorial in vitro selection methods. Initially conceived to function as gene silencing agents, the scope of DNAzymes has rapidly expanded into diverse fields, including biosensing, diagnostics, logic gate operations, and the
[...] Read more.
Deoxyribozymes or DNAzymes are single-stranded catalytic DNA molecules that are obtained by combinatorial in vitro selection methods. Initially conceived to function as gene silencing agents, the scope of DNAzymes has rapidly expanded into diverse fields, including biosensing, diagnostics, logic gate operations, and the development of novel synthetic and biological tools. In this review, an overview of all the different chemical reactions catalyzed by DNAzymes is given with an emphasis on RNA cleavage and the use of non-nucleosidic substrates. The use of modified nucleoside triphosphates (dN*TPs) to expand the chemical space to be explored in selection experiments and ultimately to generate DNAzymes with an expanded chemical repertoire is also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanozymes and Beyond)
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