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Nanomaterials, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2020) – 188 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Suspended 3 × 3 × 0.5 µm3 silicon chips were fabricated with distinct physical morphologies [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Coverage Layer Phase Composition-Dependent Photoactivity of One-Dimensional TiO2–Bi2O3 Composites
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10051005 (registering DOI) - 25 May 2020
Abstract
TiO2–Bi2O3 composite rods were synthesized by combining hydrothermal growth of rutile TiO2 rod templates and sputtering deposition of Bi2O3 thin films. The TiO2–Bi2O3 composite rods with β-Bi2O [...] Read more.
TiO2–Bi2O3 composite rods were synthesized by combining hydrothermal growth of rutile TiO2 rod templates and sputtering deposition of Bi2O3 thin films. The TiO2–Bi2O3 composite rods with β-Bi2O3 phase and α/β-Bi2O3 dual-phase decoration layers were designed, respectively, via in situ radio-frequency magnetron sputtering growth and post-annealing procedures in ambient air. The crystal structure, surface morphology, and photo-absorption performances of the pristine TiO2 rods decorated with various Bi2O3 phases were investigated. The crystal structure analysis reveals that the crystalline TiO2–Bi2O3 rods contained β-Bi2O3 and α/β-Bi2O3 crystallites were separately formed on the TiO2 rod templates with different synthesis approaches. The morphology analysis demonstrates that the β-Bi2O3 coverage layer on the crystalline rutile TiO2 rods showed flat layer morphology; however, the surface morphology of the α/β-Bi2O3 dual-phase coverage layer on the TiO2 rods exhibited a sheet-like feature. The results of photocatalytic decomposition towards methyl orange dyes show that the substantially improved photoactivity of the rutile TiO2 rods was achieved by decorating a thin sheet-like α/β-Bi2O3 coverage layer. The effectively photoinduced charge separation efficiency in the stepped energy band configuration in the composite rods made from the TiO2 and α/β-Bi2O3 explained their markedly improved photoactivity. The TiO2-α/β-Bi2O3 composite rods are promising for use as photocatalysts and photoelectrodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Nanomaterials Synthesis and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Graphene Decorated Zinc Oxide and Curcumin to Disinfect the Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10051004 (registering DOI) - 25 May 2020
Abstract
Sometimes, life-threatening infections are initiated by the biofilm formation facilitated at the infection site by the drug-resistant bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. The aggregation of the same type of bacteria leads to biofilm formation on the delicate tissue, dental plaque, and skin. In the [...] Read more.
Sometimes, life-threatening infections are initiated by the biofilm formation facilitated at the infection site by the drug-resistant bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. The aggregation of the same type of bacteria leads to biofilm formation on the delicate tissue, dental plaque, and skin. In the present investigation, a Graphene (Gr)-based nano-formulation containing Curcumin (C.C.M.) and Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) showed a wide range of anti-microbial activity against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) biofilm and demonstrated the anti-microbial mechanism of action. The anti-microbial effect of GrZnO nanocomposites, i.e., GrZnO-NCs, suggests that the integrated graphene-based nanocomposites effectively suppressed both sensitive as well as MRSA ATCC 43300 and BAA-1708 isolates. The S. aureus inhibitory effect of GrZnO-NCs improved >5-fold when combined with C.C.M., and demonstrated a M.I.C. of 31.25 µg/mL contrasting with the GrZnO-NCs or C.C.M. alone having M.I.C. value of 125 µg/mL each. The combination treatment of GrZnO-NCs or C.C.M. inhibited the M.R.S.A. topical dermatitis infection in a mice model with a significant decrease in the CFU count to ~64%. Interestingly, the combination of C.C.M. and GrZnO-NCs damaged the bacterial cell wall structure, resulting in cytoplasm spillage, thereby diminishing their metabolism. Thus, owing to the ease of synthesis and highly efficient anti-microbial properties, the present graphene-based curcumin nano-formulations can cater to a new treatment methodology against M.R.S.A. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biology and Medicines)
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Open AccessArticle
Antifungal Potential of Nanostructured Crystalline Copper and Its Oxide Forms
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10051003 (registering DOI) - 24 May 2020
Abstract
Copper has been used as an antimicrobial agent for over a century and is now being added to commercial fungicides. Nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the special properties they have over their bulk form. We studied nanostructured copper (Cu-NPs), investigating the [...] Read more.
Copper has been used as an antimicrobial agent for over a century and is now being added to commercial fungicides. Nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the special properties they have over their bulk form. We studied nanostructured copper (Cu-NPs), investigating the potential for improved antifungal properties derived from its special properties and studied any effect that the oxidation of copper (CuO-NPs) may have. We conducted this research against Colletotrichum gloeoesporioides, a devastating pathogen to plants/crops worldwide. Research on the effects of copper on this fungus are limited. Our studies showed that nanoforms of copper had significant antifungal activities, with Cu-NPs offering the most sustainable efficacy and was more effective than its oxidative form (CuO-NPs). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images of the treated pathogen show that the hyphae had a swollen appearance, lost their filamentous structure, and the mycelia had a powder-like structure, indicating the probable destruction of the hyphal tubular cell wall. X-ray Difractogram (XRD) outputs showed substantial changes in the physical characteristics of the Cu-NPs after interaction with the fungus. This is the first report to demonstrate chemo-physical changes in the metal compounds, opening new insights for further studies on the mechanism of copper’s antifungal properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle
CuFeAl Nanocomposite Catalysts for Coal Combustion in Fluidized Bed
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10051002 (registering DOI) - 24 May 2020
Abstract
A method of oil-drop granulation was suggested for the preparation of spherical CuFeAl nanocomposite catalysts. The catalysts were characterized by a set of physicochemical methods (X-ray diffraction, temperature-programmed reduction by H2, low-temperature nitrogen adsorption, crushing strength) and tested in the oxidation [...] Read more.
A method of oil-drop granulation was suggested for the preparation of spherical CuFeAl nanocomposite catalysts. The catalysts were characterized by a set of physicochemical methods (X-ray diffraction, temperature-programmed reduction by H2, low-temperature nitrogen adsorption, crushing strength) and tested in the oxidation of CO and burning of brown coal in a fluidized bed. It was found that the catalysts have high mechanical strength (16.2 MPa), and their catalytic properties in the oxidation of CO are comparable to the characteristics of industrial Cr-containing catalysts. It was shown that the addition of pseudoboehmite at the stage of drop formation contributes to the production of uniform spherical high-strength granules and facilitates the stabilization of the phase state of the active component. The use of CuFeAl nanocomposite catalysts for the burning of brown coal provides a low emission of CO (600 ppm) and NOx (220 ppm) and a high degree of coal burnout (95%), which are close to those of the industrial Cr-containing catalysts (emission of CO is 700 ppm, NOx—230 ppm, and degree of coal burnout is 95%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Nanocomposites and Catalysis Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanosheet-Decorated Copper Oxide Nanoparticles: A Potent Antifungal Nanocomposite against Fusarium Root Rot and Wilt Diseases of Tomato and Pepper Plants
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10051001 (registering DOI) - 24 May 2020
Abstract
Sustainable use of nanotechnology in crop protection requires an understanding of the plant’s life cycle, potential toxicological impacts of nanomaterials and their mechanism of action against the target pathogens. Herein, we show some properties of a candidate antifungal nanocomposite made from copper oxide [...] Read more.
Sustainable use of nanotechnology in crop protection requires an understanding of the plant’s life cycle, potential toxicological impacts of nanomaterials and their mechanism of action against the target pathogens. Herein, we show some properties of a candidate antifungal nanocomposite made from copper oxide (CuO; otherwise an essential soil nutrient) nanoparticles (NPs), with definite size and shape, decorating the surface of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets. The successful preparation of the rGO-CuO NPs was confirmed by spectroscopic and microscopic analyses, and its antifungal activity against wild strains of Fusarium oxysporum affecting tomato and pepper plants was successfully confirmed. A comparative analysis in vitro indicated that this nanocomposite had higher antifungal activity at only 1 mg/L than the conventional fungicide Kocide 2000 at 2.5 g/L. Further investigation suggested that rGO-CuO NPs creates pits and pores on the fungal cell membranes inducing cell death. In planta results indicated that only 1 mg/L from the nanocomposite is required to reduce Fusarium wilt and root rot diseases severity below 5% for tomato and pepper plants without any phytotoxicity for about 70 days. Comparatively, 2.5 g/L of Kocide 2000 are required to achieve about 30% disease reduction in both plants. The present study contributes to the concept of agro-nanotechnology, showing the properties of a novel ecofriendly and economic nanopesticide for sustainable plant protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biology and Medicines)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Aflatoxin B1 Based on a Porous Anodized Aluminum Membrane Combined with Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Spectroscopy
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10051000 (registering DOI) - 24 May 2020
Abstract
An Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) biosensor was fabricated via an Ag nanoparticles assembly on the surface of a porous anodized aluminum (PAA) membrane. First, the Raman reporter 4-Aminothiophenol (4-ATP) and DNA (partially complementary to AFB1 aptamer) were attached to the [...] Read more.
An Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) biosensor was fabricated via an Ag nanoparticles assembly on the surface of a porous anodized aluminum (PAA) membrane. First, the Raman reporter 4-Aminothiophenol (4-ATP) and DNA (partially complementary to AFB1 aptamer) were attached to the surface of Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) by chemical bonding to form a 4-ATP-AgNPs-DNA complex. Similarly, the surface of a PAA membrane was functionalized with an AFB1 aptamer. Then, the PAA surface was functionalized with 4-ATP-AgNPs-DNA through base complementary pairing to form AgNPs-PAA sensor with a strong Raman signal. When AFB1 was added, AgNPs would be detached from the PAA surface because of the specific binding between AFB1 and the aptamer, resulting in a reduction in Raman signals. The detection limit of the proposed biosensor is 0.009 ng/mL in actual walnut and the linear range is 0.01–10 ng/mL. The sensor has good selectivity and repeatability; it can be applied to the rapid qualitative and quantitative detection of AFB1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reduction of Health Care-Associated Infections (HAIs) with Antimicrobial Inorganic Nanoparticles Incorporated in Medical Textiles: An Economic Assessment
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050999 (registering DOI) - 23 May 2020
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Abstract
Health care-associated infections (HAIs) affect millions of patients annually with up to 80,000 affected in Europe on any given day. This represents a significant societal and economic burden. Staff training, hand hygiene, patient identification and isolation and controlled antibiotic use are some of [...] Read more.
Health care-associated infections (HAIs) affect millions of patients annually with up to 80,000 affected in Europe on any given day. This represents a significant societal and economic burden. Staff training, hand hygiene, patient identification and isolation and controlled antibiotic use are some of the standard ways to reduce HAI incidence but this is time consuming and subject and subject to rigorous implementation. In addition, the lack of antimicrobial activity of some disinfectants against healthcare-associated pathogens may also affect the efficacy of disinfection practices. Textiles are an attractive substrate for pathogens because of contact with the human body with the attendant warmth and moisture. Textiles and surfaces coated with engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have shown considerable promise in reducing the microbial burden on those surfaces. Studies have also shown that this antimicrobial affect can reduce the incidence of HAIs. For all of the promising research, there has been an absence of study on the economic effectiveness of ENM coated materials in a healthcare setting. This article examines the relative economic efficacy of ENM coated materials against an antiseptic approach. The goal is to establish the economic efficacy of the widespread usage of ENM coated materials in a healthcare setting. In the absence of detailed and segregated costs, benefits and control variables over at least cross sectional data or time series, an aggregated approach is warranted. This approach, while relying on some supposition allows for a comparison with similar data regarding standard treatment to reduce HAIs and provides a reasonable economic comparison. We find that while, relative to antiseptics, ENM coated textiles represent a significant clinical advantage, they can also offer considerable cost savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Nanoinformatics to Nanomaterials Risk Assessment and Governance)
Open AccessArticle
Development of Porous Titania Structure with Improved Photocatalytic Activity: Response Surface Modeling and Multi-Objective Optimization
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050998 (registering DOI) - 23 May 2020
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Abstract
Porous titania was successfully synthesized by an ultrasound-assisted sol-gel route. The synthesis process was empirically modeled and optimized using the response surface methodology (RSM). Input variables adopted for optimization dealt with the weight ratio of precursors (r) and the sonication time [...] Read more.
Porous titania was successfully synthesized by an ultrasound-assisted sol-gel route. The synthesis process was empirically modeled and optimized using the response surface methodology (RSM). Input variables adopted for optimization dealt with the weight ratio of precursors (r) and the sonication time (t), representing the used factors in the synthesis procedure. With regard to application, the synthesized TiO2 samples were tested for the photodegradation of two water-soluble organic pollutants under UV–Vis irradiation. Optimal conditions for the efficient pollutants’ photodegradation were found to involve a precursors ratio of 3 and a sonication time of 60 min. Thus, the M5 sample prepared under the founded optimal conditions yielded the maximal removal efficiencies of 98.4% and 46.3% for the photodegradation of CR dye and 2,4-D herbicide, respectively. In addition, the photodegradation kinetics revealed the pseudo first-order rate constants, showing the photodegradation of CR (k1 = 8.86 × 10−2 min−1) by M5 sample is about 1.3-fold faster than the photodegradation of 2,4-D pesticide (k2 = 6.84 × 10−2 min−1). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chlortetracycline-Functionalized Silver Nanoparticles as a Colorimetric Probe for Aminoglycosides: Ultrasensitive Determination of Kanamycin and Streptomycin
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050997 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 188
Abstract
Aminoglycosides (AMGs) have been extensively used to treat infectious diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria in livestock and humans. A selective and sensitive colorimetric probe for the determination of streptomycin and kanamycin was proposed based on chlortetracycline-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs–CTC) as the sensing element. [...] Read more.
Aminoglycosides (AMGs) have been extensively used to treat infectious diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria in livestock and humans. A selective and sensitive colorimetric probe for the determination of streptomycin and kanamycin was proposed based on chlortetracycline-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs–CTC) as the sensing element. Almost all of the tested aminoglycoside antibiotics can rapidly induce the aggregation of AgNPs, along with a color change from yellow to orange/red. The selective detection of aminoglycoside antibiotics, including tobramycin, streptomycin, amikacin, gentamicin, neomycin, and kanamycin, with other types of antibiotics, can be achieved by ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy. This developed colorimetric assay has ability to detect various AMGs using in-depth surface plasmon resonance (SPR) studies. With this determination of streptomycin and kanamycin was achieved at the picomolar level (pM) by using a UV–visible spectrophotometer. Under aqueous conditions, the linear range of the colorimetric sensor for streptomycin and kanamycin was 1000–1,1000 and 120–480 pM, respectively. The corresponding limit of detection was 2000 pM and 120 pM, respectively. Thus, the validated dual colorimetric and ratiometric method can find various analytical applications for the ultrasensitive and rapid detection of AMG antibiotics in water samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probing Single Events at the Nanoscale)
Open AccessArticle
Improved Photocatalyzed Degradation of Phenol, as a Model Pollutant, over Metal-Impregnated Nanosized TiO2
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050996 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 238
Abstract
Photocatalyzed degradation of phenol in aqueous solution over surface impregnated TiO2 (M = Cu, Cr, V) under UV-Vis (366 nm) and UV (254 nm) irradiation is described. Nanosized photocatalyts were prepared from TiO2-P25 by wet impregnation, and characterized by X-ray [...] Read more.
Photocatalyzed degradation of phenol in aqueous solution over surface impregnated TiO2 (M = Cu, Cr, V) under UV-Vis (366 nm) and UV (254 nm) irradiation is described. Nanosized photocatalyts were prepared from TiO2-P25 by wet impregnation, and characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, transmission electron microscopy, UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and adsorption studies. No oxide phases of the metal dopants were found, although their presence in the TiO2-P25 lattice induces tensile strain in Cu-impregnated TiO2-P25, whereas compressive strain in Cr- and V-impregnated TiO2-P25. Experimental evidences support chemical and mechanical stability of the photocatalysts. Type IV N2 adsorption–desorption isotherms, with a small H3 loop near the maximum relative pressure were observed. Metal surface impregnated photocatalysts are mesoporous with a similar surface roughness, and a narrow pore distribution around ca. 25 Å. They were chemically stable, showing no metal lixiviation. Their photocatalytic activity was followed by UV-Vis spectroscopy and HPLC–UV. A first order kinetic model appropriately fitted the experimental data. The fastest phenol degradation was obtained with M (0.1%)/TiO2-P25, the reactivity order being Cu > V >> Cr > TiO2-P25 under 366 nm irradiation, while TiO2-P25 > Cu > V > Cr, when using 254 nm radiation. TOC removal under 366 nm irradiation for 300 min showed almost quantitative mineralization for all tested materials, while 254 nm irradiation for 60 min led to maximal TOC removal (ca. 30%). Photoproducts and intermediate photoproducts were identified by HPLC–MS, and appropriate reaction pathways are proposed. The energy efficiency of the process was analysed, showing UV lamps are superior to UVA lamps, and that the efficiency of the surface impregnated catalyst varies in the order Cu > V > Cr. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nanomaterials in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Gold Nanoparticles Induce Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis in Human Kidney Cells
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050995 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 262
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are highly attractive for biomedical applications. Therefore, several in vitro and in vivo studies have addressed their safety evaluation. Nevertheless, there is a lack of knowledge regarding their potential detrimental effect on human kidney. To evaluate this effect, AuNPs with [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are highly attractive for biomedical applications. Therefore, several in vitro and in vivo studies have addressed their safety evaluation. Nevertheless, there is a lack of knowledge regarding their potential detrimental effect on human kidney. To evaluate this effect, AuNPs with different sizes (13 nm and 60 nm), shapes (spheres and stars), and coated with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA) or with sodium citrate, were synthesized, characterized, and their toxicological effects evaluated 24 h after incubation with a proximal tubular cell line derived from normal human kidney (HK-2). After exposure, viability was assessed by the MTT assay. Changes in lysosomal integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), reactive species (ROS/RNS), intracellular glutathione (total GSH), and ATP were also evaluated. Apoptosis was investigated through the evaluation of the activity of caspases 3, 8 and 9. Overall, the tested AuNPs targeted mainly the mitochondria in a concentration-dependent manner. The lysosomal integrity was also affected but to a lower extent. The smaller 13 nm nanospheres (both citrate- and MUA-coated) proved to be the most toxic among all types of AuNPs, increasing ROS production and decreasing mitochondrial membrane potential (p ≤ 0.01). For the MUA-coated 13 nm nanospheres, these effects were associated also to increased levels of total glutathione (p ≤ 0.01) and enhanced ATP production (p ≤ 0.05). Programmed cell death was detected through the activation of both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways (caspase 8 and 9) (p0.05). We found that the larger 60 nm AuNPs, both nanospheres and nanostars, are apparently less toxic than their smaller counter parts. Considering the results herein presented, it should be taken into consideration that even if renal clearance of the AuNPs is desirable, since it would prevent accumulation and detrimental effects in other organs, a possible intracellular accumulation of AuNPs in kidneys can induce cell damage and later compromise kidney function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Biocompatibility of Metallic Nanoparticles)
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Open AccessArticle
Memristive and Synaptic Characteristics of Nitride-Based Heterostructures on Si Substrate
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050994 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Brain-inspired artificial synaptic devices and neurons have the potential for application in future neuromorphic computing as they consume low energy. In this study, the memristive switching characteristics of a nitride-based device with two amorphous layers (SiN/BN) is investigated. We demonstrate the coexistence of [...] Read more.
Brain-inspired artificial synaptic devices and neurons have the potential for application in future neuromorphic computing as they consume low energy. In this study, the memristive switching characteristics of a nitride-based device with two amorphous layers (SiN/BN) is investigated. We demonstrate the coexistence of filamentary (abrupt) and interface (homogeneous) switching of Ni/SiN/BN/n++-Si devices. A better gradual conductance modulation is achieved for interface-type switching as compared with filamentary switching for an artificial synaptic device using appropriate voltage pulse stimulations. The improved classification accuracy for the interface switching (85.6%) is confirmed and compared to the accuracy of the filamentary switching mode (75.1%) by a three-layer neural network (784 × 128 × 10). Furthermore, the spike-timing-dependent plasticity characteristics of the synaptic device are also demonstrated. The results indicate the possibility of achieving an artificial synapse with a bilayer SiN/BN structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanophotonics: Characterization, Modelling, and Nanodevices)
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Open AccessArticle
Bifunctional Tm3+,Yb3+:GdVO4@SiO2 Core-Shell Nanoparticles in HeLa Cells: Upconversion Luminescence Nanothermometry in the First Biological Window and Biolabelling in the Visible
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050993 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 248
Abstract
The bifunctional possibilities of Tm,Yb:GdVO4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles for temperature sensing by using the near-infrared (NIR)-excited upconversion emissions in the first biological window, and biolabeling through the visible emissions they generate, were investigated. The two emission lines located at 700 and [...] Read more.
The bifunctional possibilities of Tm,Yb:GdVO4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles for temperature sensing by using the near-infrared (NIR)-excited upconversion emissions in the first biological window, and biolabeling through the visible emissions they generate, were investigated. The two emission lines located at 700 and 800 nm, that arise from the thermally coupled 3F2,3 and 3H4 energy levels of Tm3+, were used to develop a luminescent thermometer, operating through the Fluorescence Intensity Ratio (FIR) technique, with a very high thermal relative sensitivity . Moreover, since the inert shell surrounding the luminescent active core allows for dispersal of the nanoparticles in water and biological compatible fluids, we investigated the penetration depth that can be realized in biological tissues with their emissions in the NIR range, achieving a value of 0.8 mm when excited at powers of 50 mW. After their internalization in HeLa cells, a low toxicity was observed and the potentiality for biolabelling in the visible range was demonstrated, which facilitated the identification of the location of the nanoparticles inside the cells, and the temperature determination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanosensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Nickel Nanoparticles Induce the Synthesis of a Tumor-Related Polypeptide in Human Epidermal Keratinocytes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050992 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 243
Abstract
Although nickel allergy and carcinogenicity are well known, their molecular mechanisms are still uncertain, thus demanding studies at the molecular level. The nickel carcinogenicity is known to be dependent on the chemical form of nickel, since only certain nickel compounds can enter the [...] Read more.
Although nickel allergy and carcinogenicity are well known, their molecular mechanisms are still uncertain, thus demanding studies at the molecular level. The nickel carcinogenicity is known to be dependent on the chemical form of nickel, since only certain nickel compounds can enter the cell. This study investigates, for the first time, the cytotoxicity, cellular uptake, and molecular targets of nickel nanoparticles (NiNPs) in human skin cells in comparison with other chemical forms of nickel. The dose-response curve that was obtained for NiNPs in the cytotoxicity assays showed a linear behavior typical of genotoxic carcinogens. The exposure of keratinocytes to NiNPs leads to the release of Ni2+ ions and its accumulation in the cytosol. A 6 kDa nickel-binding molecule was found to be synthesized by cells exposed to NiNPs at a dose corresponding to medium mortality. This molecule was identified to be tumor-related p63-regulated gene 1 protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Toxicity of Nanoparticles)
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Open AccessArticle
Engineering Core-Shell Structures of Magnetic Ferrite Nanoparticles for High Hyperthermia Performance
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050991 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 207
Abstract
Magnetic ferrite nanoparticles (MFNs) with high heating efficiency are highly desirable for hyperthermia applications. As conventional MFNs usually show low heating efficiency with a lower specific loss power (SLP), extensive efforts to enhance the SLP of MFNs have been made by [...] Read more.
Magnetic ferrite nanoparticles (MFNs) with high heating efficiency are highly desirable for hyperthermia applications. As conventional MFNs usually show low heating efficiency with a lower specific loss power (SLP), extensive efforts to enhance the SLP of MFNs have been made by varying the particle compositions, sizes, and structures. In this study, we attempted to increase the SLP values by creating core-shell structures of MFNs. Accordingly, first we synthesized three different types of core ferrite nanoparticle of magnetite (mag), cobalt ferrite (cf) and zinc cobalt ferrite (zcf). Secondly, we synthesized eight bi-magnetic core-shell structured MFNs; Fe3O4@CoFe2O4 ([email protected]1, [email protected]2), CoFe2O4@Fe3O4 ([email protected]1, [email protected]2), Fe3O4@ZnCoFe2O4 ([email protected]1, [email protected]2), and ZnCoFe2O4@Fe3O4 ([email protected]1, [email protected]2), using a modified controlled co-precipitation process. SLP values of the prepared core-shell MFNs were investigated with respect to their compositions and core/shell dimensions while varying the applied magnetic field strength. Hyperthermia properties of the prepared core-shell MFNs were further compared to commercial magnetic nanoparticles under the safe limits of magnetic field parameters (<5 × 109 A/(m·s)). As a result, the highest SLP value (379.2 W/gmetal) was obtained for [email protected]1, with a magnetic field strength of 50 kA/m and frequency of 97 kHz. On the other hand, the lowest SLP value (1.7 W/gmetal) was obtained for [email protected]1, with a magnetic field strength of 40 kA/m and frequency of 97 kHz. We also found that magnetic properties and thickness of the shell play critical roles in heating efficiency and hyperthermia performance. In conclusion, we successfully enhanced the SLP of MFNs by engineering their compositions and dimensions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticle-Based Hyperthermia and Theranostics)
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Open AccessLetter
A New Design of a Thin-Film Thermoelectric Device Based on Multilayer-Structure Module
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050990 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 207
Abstract
In this work, a novel multilayer structure thin-film thermoelectric device is proposed for preparing a high performance generator. The result shows that the output voltage of the three-layer thin-film device has a linear increasing trend with the increasing temperature difference. Additionally, the device [...] Read more.
In this work, a novel multilayer structure thin-film thermoelectric device is proposed for preparing a high performance generator. The result shows that the output voltage of the three-layer thin-film device has a linear increasing trend with the increasing temperature difference. Additionally, the device was also tested as a laser power measurement and displays that it has good sensitivity. Moreover, we also fabricated the multilayer device based on the present three-layer structure. It improves upon the similar output prosperities, confirming that the present multilayer structure thin-film thermoelectric device can be considered for preparing high performance micro-self-powered sources and sensors. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Structural Properties of Janus Particles with Nano- and Mesoscale Anisotropy
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050989 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 203
Abstract
Synthesis of anisotropic Janus particles (AnJPs) is crucial for understanding the fundamental principles behind non-equilibrium self-organization of cells, bacteria, or enzymes, and for the design of novel multicomponent carriers for guided self-assembly, drug delivery or molecular imaging. Their catalytic activity, as well as [...] Read more.
Synthesis of anisotropic Janus particles (AnJPs) is crucial for understanding the fundamental principles behind non-equilibrium self-organization of cells, bacteria, or enzymes, and for the design of novel multicomponent carriers for guided self-assembly, drug delivery or molecular imaging. Their catalytic activity, as well as many other chemical and physical properties are intimately related to the nano- and mesoscale structure. An efficient and fast in situ monitoring of the structural changes involves non-destructive techniques which can probe macroscopic volumes of multicomponent systems, such as small-angle scattering (SAS). However, the interpretation of scattering data is often a difficult task since the existing models deal only with symmetric AnJPs, thus greatly restricting their applicability. Here, a general theoretical framework is developed, which describes scattering from a system containing randomly oriented and placed two-phase AnJPs with arbitrarily tunable geometric and chemical asymmetries embedded in a solution/matrix of different chemical composition. This approach allows an analytic description of the contrast matching point, and it is shown that the interplay between the scattering curves of the two phases gives rise to a rich scaling behavior which allows extracting structural information about each individual phase. To illustrate the above findings, analytic expression for the scattering curves of asymmetric AnJPs are derived, and the results are validated by Monte-Carlo simulations. The broad general features of the scattering curves are explained by using a simple scaling approach which allows gaining more physical insight into the scattering processes as well as for the interpretation of SAS intensity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
(Ag)Pd-Fe3O4 Nanocomposites as Novel Catalysts for Methane Partial Oxidation at Low Temperature
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050988 - 21 May 2020
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Abstract
Nanostructured composite materials based on noble mono-(Pd) or bi-metallic (Ag/Pd) particles supported on mixed iron oxides (II/III) with bulk magnetite structure (Fe3O4) have been developed in order to assess their potential for heterogeneous catalysis applications in methane partial oxidation. [...] Read more.
Nanostructured composite materials based on noble mono-(Pd) or bi-metallic (Ag/Pd) particles supported on mixed iron oxides (II/III) with bulk magnetite structure (Fe3O4) have been developed in order to assess their potential for heterogeneous catalysis applications in methane partial oxidation. Advancing the direct transformation of methane into value-added chemicals is consensually accepted as the key to ensuring sustainable development in the forthcoming future. On the one hand, nanosized Fe3O4 particles with spherical morphology were synthesized by an aqueous-based reflux method employing different Fe (II)/Fe (III) molar ratios (2 or 4) and reflux temperatures (80, 95 or 110 °C). The solids obtained from a Fe (II)/Fe (III) nominal molar ratio of 4 showed higher specific surface areas which were also found to increase on lowering the reflux temperature. The starting 80 m2 g−1 was enhanced up to 140 m2 g−1 for the resulting optimized Fe3O4-based solid consisting of nanoparticles with a 15 nm average diameter. On the other hand, Pd or Pd-Ag were incorporated post-synthesis, by impregnation on the highest surface Fe3O4 nanostructured substrate, using 1–3 wt.% metal load range and maintaining a constant Pd:Ag ratio of 8:2 in the bimetallic sample. The prepared nanocomposite materials were investigated by different physicochemical techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetry (TG) in air or H2, as well as several compositions and structural aspects using field emission scanning and scanning transmission electron microscopy techniques coupled to energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Finally, the catalytic results from a preliminary reactivity study confirmed the potential of magnetite-supported (Ag)Pd catalysts for CH4 partial oxidation into formaldehyde, with low reaction rates, methane conversion starting at 200 °C, far below temperatures reported in the literature up to now; and very high selectivity to formaldehyde, above 95%, for Fe3O4 samples with 3 wt.% metal, either Pd or Pd-Ag. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of New Nanoparticle Structures as Catalysts)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Photocatalytic Properties of PET Filaments Coated with Ag-N Co-Doped TiO2 Nanoparticles Sensitized with Disperse Blue Dyes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050987 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 170
Abstract
In this study, the effects of disperse blue dye-sensitization on the photocatalytic properties of the Ag-N co-doped TiO2 nanoparticles loaded on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) filaments are investigated under visible light irradiation. The microstructure and photocatalytic properties of the as-synthesized TiO2 nanocomposites, [...] Read more.
In this study, the effects of disperse blue dye-sensitization on the photocatalytic properties of the Ag-N co-doped TiO2 nanoparticles loaded on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) filaments are investigated under visible light irradiation. The microstructure and photocatalytic properties of the as-synthesized TiO2 nanocomposites, as well as the as-prepared PET filaments, are systematically characterized. The photocatalytic performance of the PET filaments coated with the Ag-N co-doped TiO2 nanoparticles sensitized with disperse blue dyes is evaluated via its capacity of photo-degrading methyl orange (MO) dyes under visible light irradiation. It is found that the holes are the predominant reactive radical species and the hydroxyl and superoxide radicals play a subordinate role in the photocatalytic reaction process. The reaction rate constant of the photocatalytic composite filaments is nearly 4.0 times higher than that of the PET filaments loaded solely with TiO2 nanoparticles. The resultant photocatalytic composite filaments are evident to be capable of repeatedly photo-degrading MO dyes without losing its photocatalytic activity significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology in Clothing & Fabrics)
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Open AccessArticle
Freeze-Dried Softisan® 649-Based Lipid Nanoparticles for Enhanced Skin Delivery of Cyclosporine A
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050986 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, affect around one quarter to one third of the world population. Systemic cyclosporine A, an immunosuppressant agent, is included in the current therapeutic armamentarium of these diseases. Despite being highly effective, it is associated with [...] Read more.
Inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, affect around one quarter to one third of the world population. Systemic cyclosporine A, an immunosuppressant agent, is included in the current therapeutic armamentarium of these diseases. Despite being highly effective, it is associated with several side effects, and its topical administration is limited by its high molecular weight and poor water solubility. To overcome these limitations, cyclosporine A was incorporated into solid lipid nanoparticles obtained from Softisan® 649, a commonly used cosmetic ingredient, aiming to develop a vehicle for application to the skin. The nanoparticles presented sizes of around 200 nm, low polydispersity, negative surface charge, and stability when stored for 8 weeks at room temperature or 4 °C. An effective incorporation of 88% of cyclosporine A within the nanoparticles was observed, without affecting its morphology. After the freeze-drying process, the Softisan® 649-based nanoparticles formed an oleogel. Skin permeation studies using pig ear as a model revealed low permeation of the applied cyclosporine A in the freeze-dried form of the nanoparticles in relation to free drug and the freshly prepared nanoparticles. About 1.0 mg of cyclosporine A was delivered to the skin with reduced transdermal permeation. These results confirm local delivery of cyclosporine A, indicating its promising topical administration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocarriers and Targeted Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Three-Dimensional Printed Polylactic Acid (PLA) Surgical Retractors with Sonochemically Immobilized Silver Nanoparticles: The Next Generation of Low-Cost Antimicrobial Surgery Equipment
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050985 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 205
Abstract
A versatile method is reported for the manufacturing of antimicrobial (AM) surgery equipment utilising fused deposition modelling (FDM), three-dimensional (3D) printing and sonochemistry thin-film deposition technology. A surgical retractor was replicated from a commercial polylactic acid (PLA) thermoplastic filament, while a thin layer [...] Read more.
A versatile method is reported for the manufacturing of antimicrobial (AM) surgery equipment utilising fused deposition modelling (FDM), three-dimensional (3D) printing and sonochemistry thin-film deposition technology. A surgical retractor was replicated from a commercial polylactic acid (PLA) thermoplastic filament, while a thin layer of silver (Ag) nanoparticles (NPs) was developed via a simple and scalable sonochemical deposition method. The PLA retractor covered with Ag NPs ([email protected]) exhibited vigorous AM properties examined by a reduction in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria viability (%) experiments at 30, 60 and 120 min duration of contact (p < 0.05). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed the surface morphology of bare PLA and [email protected] retractor, revealing a homogeneous and full surface coverage of Ag NPs. X-Ray diffraction (XRD) analysis indicated the crystallinity of Ag nanocoating. Ultraviolent-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) highlighted the AgNP plasmonic optical responses and average particle size of 31.08 ± 6.68 nm. TEM images of the [email protected] crossection demonstrated the thickness of the deposited Ag nanolayer, as well as an observed tendency of AgNPs to penetrate though the outer surface of PLA. The combination of 3D printing and sonochemistry technology could open new avenues in the manufacturing of low-cost and on-demand antimicrobial surgery equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Surface Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Human p53 In-Vitro Expressed in a Transcription-Translation Cell-Free System by a Novel Conjugate Based on Cadmium Sulphide Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050984 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Here, cadmium sulphide quantum dots (CdS QDs) have been synthetized and functionalized with Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) in a colloidal aqueous solution with a stability of over 3 months. Specific synthesis conditions, in homogeneous phase and at low temperature, have allowed limitation of [...] Read more.
Here, cadmium sulphide quantum dots (CdS QDs) have been synthetized and functionalized with Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) in a colloidal aqueous solution with a stability of over 3 months. Specific synthesis conditions, in homogeneous phase and at low temperature, have allowed limitation of S2− concentration, hence, as a consequence, there is restricted growth of the nanoparticles (NPs). This fact allows binding with BSA in the most favorable manner for the biomolecule. The presence of Cd2+ ions on the surface of the CdS nanoparticle is counteracted by the negatively charged domains of the BSA, resulting in the formation of small NPs, with little tendency for aggregation. Temperature and pH have great influence on the fluorescence characteristics of the synthetized nanoparticles. Working at low temperatures (4 °C) and pH 10–11 have proven the best result as shown by hydrolysis kinetic control of the thioacetamide precursor of S2− ion. Biological activity of the coupled BSA is maintained allowing subsequent bioconjugation with other biomolecules such as antibodies. The chemical conjugation with anti-Glutathione S-transferase (α-GST) antibody, a common tag employed in human recombinant fusion proteins, produces a strong quenching of fluorescence that proves the possibilities of its use in biological labelling. Finally, p53, onco-human recombinant protein (GST tagged in COOH terminus), has been in situ IVTT (in vitro transcription-translation) expressed and efficiently captured by the α-GST-CdS QD conjugate as a proof of the biocompatibility on IVTT systems and the functionality of conjugated antibody. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biology and Medicines)
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Open AccessArticle
CeO2-Supported Pt Catalysts Derived from MOFs by Two Pyrolysis Strategies to Improve the Oxygen Activation Ability
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050983 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 216
Abstract
Functional metal organic framework (MOF) derivatives have attracted tremendous attention as promising catalysts for various reactions. The thermal decomposition strategies have a vital effect on the structures and physicochemical properties of functional MOF derivatives. Nevertheless, what effect does the pyrolysis strategy have on [...] Read more.
Functional metal organic framework (MOF) derivatives have attracted tremendous attention as promising catalysts for various reactions. The thermal decomposition strategies have a vital effect on the structures and physicochemical properties of functional MOF derivatives. Nevertheless, what effect does the pyrolysis strategy have on MOF derivatives need further study. In this work, one-step (under dry air) and two-step (first under N2 and then dry air) pyrolysis are chosen to prepare the functional ceria-based MOF derivatives with novel hierarchical pore structure. In comparison with the derivatives prepared by one-step pyrolysis, the two-step pyrolysis composites exhibit better catalytic activity for toluene oxidation due to the higher contents of surface absorbed oxygen species and surface oxygen vacancies. The reusability and durability test demonstrates perfect stability of such functional MOF derivatives. The in-situ UV Raman reveals that two-step strategy is favorable for enhancing the gaseous oxygen activation ability of the functional MOF derivatives. Those findings may instruct the synthesis of functional MOF derivatives via different pyrolysis strategies as well as afford a further understanding of the crucial role of oxygen vacancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessReview
Electrospun Nanofibers for Chemical Separation
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050982 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 257
Abstract
The separation and purification of specific chemicals from a mixture have become necessities for many environments, including agriculture, food science, and pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. Electrospun nanofiber membranes are promising materials for the separation of various species such as particles, biomolecules, dyes, and [...] Read more.
The separation and purification of specific chemicals from a mixture have become necessities for many environments, including agriculture, food science, and pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. Electrospun nanofiber membranes are promising materials for the separation of various species such as particles, biomolecules, dyes, and metals from liquids because of the combined properties of a large specific surface, light weight, high porosity, good connectivity, and tunable wettability. This paper reviews the recent progress in the design and fabrication of electrospun nanofibers for chemical separation. Different capture mechanisms including electrostatic, affinity, covalent bonding, chelation, and magnetic adsorption are explained and their distinct characteristics are highlighted. Finally, the challenges and future aspects of nanofibers for membrane applications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Electrospun Nanofibers and Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Atomic Layer Deposition of ZnO on Mesoporous Silica: Insights into Growth Behavior of ZnO via In-Situ Thermogravimetric Analysis
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050981 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
ZnO is a remarkable material with many applications in electronics and catalysis. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ZnO on flat substrates is an industrially applied and well-known process. Various studies describe the growth of ZnO layers on flat substrates. However, the growth characteristics [...] Read more.
ZnO is a remarkable material with many applications in electronics and catalysis. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ZnO on flat substrates is an industrially applied and well-known process. Various studies describe the growth of ZnO layers on flat substrates. However, the growth characteristics and reaction mechanisms of atomic layer deposition of ZnO on mesoporous powders have not been well studied. This study investigates the ZnO ALD process based on diethylzinc (DEZn) and water with silica powder as substrate. In-situ thermogravimetric analysis gives direct access to the growth rates and reaction mechanisms of this process. Ex-situ analytics, e.g., N2 sorption analysis, XRD, XRF, HRTEM, and STEM-EDX mapping, confirm deposition of homogenous and thin films of ZnO on SiO2. In summary, this study offers new insights into the fundamentals of an ALD process on high surface area powders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biomass-Derived Carbon Molecular Sieves Applied to an Enhanced Carbon Capture and Storage Process (e-CCS) for Flue Gas Streams in Shallow Reservoirs
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050980 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 309
Abstract
It is possible to take advantage of shallow reservoirs (<300 m) for CO2 capture and storage in the post-combustion process. This process is called enhanced carbon capture and storage (e-CCS). In this process, it is necessary to use a nano-modifying agent to [...] Read more.
It is possible to take advantage of shallow reservoirs (<300 m) for CO2 capture and storage in the post-combustion process. This process is called enhanced carbon capture and storage (e-CCS). In this process, it is necessary to use a nano-modifying agent to improve the chemical-physical properties of geological media, which allows the performance of CO2 selective adsorption to be enhanced. Therefore, this study presents the development and evaluation of carbon sphere molecular nano-sieves (CSMNS) from cane molasses for e-CSS. This is the first report in the scientific literature on CSMNS, due to their size and structure. In this study, sandstone was used as geological media, and was functionalized using a nanofluid, which was composed of CNMNS dispersed in deionized water. Finally, CO2 or N2 streams were used for evaluating the adsorption process at different conditions of pressure and temperature. As the main result, the nanomaterial allowed a natural selectivity towards CO2, and the sandstone enhanced the adsorption capacity by an incremental factor of 730 at reservoir conditions (50 °C and 2.5 MPa) using a nanoparticle mass fraction of 20%. These nanofluids applied to a new concept of carbon capture and storage for shallow reservoirs present a novel landscape for the control of industrial CO2 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Carbons for Environmental and Energy Technologies)
Open AccessReview
Nanomaterials in Cosmetics: Recent Updates
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050979 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 318
Abstract
This review paper collects the recent updates regarding the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics. Special focus is given to the applications of nanomaterials in the cosmetic industry, their unique features, as well as the advantages of nanoscale ingredients compared to non-nanoscale products. The [...] Read more.
This review paper collects the recent updates regarding the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics. Special focus is given to the applications of nanomaterials in the cosmetic industry, their unique features, as well as the advantages of nanoscale ingredients compared to non-nanoscale products. The state-of-the-art practices for physicochemical and toxicological characterization of nanomaterials are also reviewed. Moreover, special focus is given to the current regulations and safety assessments that are currently in place regarding the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics—the new 2019 European guidance for the safety assessment of nanomaterials in cosmetics, together with the new proposed methodologies for the toxicity evaluation of nanomaterials. Concerns over health risks have limited the further incorporation of nanomaterials in cosmetics, and since new nanomaterials may be used in the future by the cosmetic industry, a detailed characterization and risk assessment are needed to fulfill the standard safety requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrospun PCL/PGS Composite Fibers Incorporating Bioactive Glass Particles for Soft Tissue Engineering Applications
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050978 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Poly(glycerol-sebacate) (PGS) and poly(epsilon caprolactone) (PCL) have been widely investigated for biomedical applications in combination with the electrospinning process. Among others, one advantage of this blend is its suitability to be processed with benign solvents for electrospinning. In this work, the suitability of [...] Read more.
Poly(glycerol-sebacate) (PGS) and poly(epsilon caprolactone) (PCL) have been widely investigated for biomedical applications in combination with the electrospinning process. Among others, one advantage of this blend is its suitability to be processed with benign solvents for electrospinning. In this work, the suitability of PGS/PCL polymers for the fabrication of composite fibers incorporating bioactive glass (BG) particles was investigated. Composite electrospun fibers containing silicate or borosilicate glass particles (13-93 and 13-93BS, respectively) were obtained and characterized. Neat PCL and PCL composite electrospun fibers were used as control to investigate the possible effect of the presence of PGS and the influence of the bioactive glass particles. In fact, with the addition of PGS an increase in the average fiber diameter was observed, while in all the composite fibers, the presence of BG particles induced an increase in the fiber diameter distribution, without changing significantly the average fiber diameter. Results confirmed that the blended fibers are hydrophilic, while the addition of BG particles does not affect fiber wettability. Degradation test and acellular bioactivity test highlight the release of the BG particles from all composite fibers, relevant for all applications related to therapeutic ion release, i.e., wound healing. Because of weak interface between the incorporated BG particles and the polymeric fibers, mechanical properties were not improved in the composite fibers. Promising results were obtained from preliminary biological tests for potential use of the developed mats for soft tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Electrospun Nanofibers and Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Seedless Hydrothermal Growth of ZnO Nanorods as a Promising Route for Flexible Tactile Sensors
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050977 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 257
Abstract
Hydrothermal growth of ZnO nanorods has been widely used for the development of tactile sensors, with the aid of ZnO seed layers, favoring the growth of dense and vertically aligned nanorods. However, seed layers represent an additional fabrication step in the sensor design. [...] Read more.
Hydrothermal growth of ZnO nanorods has been widely used for the development of tactile sensors, with the aid of ZnO seed layers, favoring the growth of dense and vertically aligned nanorods. However, seed layers represent an additional fabrication step in the sensor design. In this study, a seedless hydrothermal growth of ZnO nanorods was carried out on Au-coated Si and polyimide substrates. The effects of both the Au morphology and the growth temperature on the characteristics of the nanorods were investigated, finding that smaller Au grains produced tilted rods, while larger grains provided vertical rods. Highly dense and high-aspect-ratio nanorods with hexagonal prismatic shape were obtained at 75 °C and 85 °C, while pyramid-like rods were grown when the temperature was set to 95 °C. Finite-element simulations demonstrated that prismatic rods produce higher voltage responses than the pyramid-shaped ones. A tactile sensor, with an active area of 1 cm2, was fabricated on flexible polyimide substrate and embedding the nanorods forest in a polydimethylsiloxane matrix as a separation layer between the bottom and the top Au electrodes. The prototype showed clear responses upon applied loads of 2–4 N and vibrations over frequencies in the range of 20–800 Hz. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Remarkable Stability Improvement of ZnO TFT with Al2O3 Gate Insulator by Yttrium Passivation with Spray Pyrolysis
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050976 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 270
Abstract
We report the impact of yttrium oxide (YOx) passivation on the zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film transistor (TFT) based on Al2O3 gate insulator (GI). The YOx and ZnO films are both deposited by spray pyrolysis at 400 [...] Read more.
We report the impact of yttrium oxide (YOx) passivation on the zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film transistor (TFT) based on Al2O3 gate insulator (GI). The YOx and ZnO films are both deposited by spray pyrolysis at 400 and 350 °C, respectively. The YOx passivated ZnO TFT exhibits high device performance of field effect mobility (μFE) of 35.36 cm2/Vs, threshold voltage (VTH) of 0.49 V and subthreshold swing (SS) of 128.4 mV/dec. The ZnO TFT also exhibits excellent device stabilities, such as negligible threshold voltage shift (∆VTH) of 0.15 V under positive bias temperature stress and zero hysteresis voltage (VH) of ~0 V. YOx protects the channel layer from moisture absorption. On the other hand, the unpassivated ZnO TFT with Al2O3 GI showed inferior bias stability with a high SS when compared to the passivated one. It is found by XPS that Y diffuses into the GI interface, which can reduce the interfacial defects and eliminate the hysteresis of the transfer curve. The improvement of the stability is mainly due to the diffusion of Y into ZnO as well as the ZnO/Al2O3 interface. Full article
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