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Nanomaterials, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Ethynylation of Formaldehyde over Binary Cu-Based Catalysts: Study on Synergistic Effect between Cu+ Species and Acid/Base Sites
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071038 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
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Abstract
Most studies on the Cu-based catalysts in the ethynylation of formaldehyde are merely focused on the tuning of electronic configuration and dispersion of the Cu+ species. So far, little attention has been paid to the synergy between Cu species and promoters. Herein, [...] Read more.
Most studies on the Cu-based catalysts in the ethynylation of formaldehyde are merely focused on the tuning of electronic configuration and dispersion of the Cu+ species. So far, little attention has been paid to the synergy between Cu species and promoters. Herein, binary nano-CuO-MOx catalysts (M = Si, Al, and Mg) were synthesized and the effects of the promoter on the surface basicity/acidity were systematically studied as well as the ethynylation performance of the nano-CuO-based catalysts. The results show that the introduction of MgO provided a large number of basic sites, which could coordinate with the active Cu+ species and facilitate the dissociation of acetylene as HC ≡ Cδ− and Hδ+. The strongly nucleophilic acetylenic carbon (HC≡Cδ−) is favorable to the attack at the electropositive carbonyl Cδ+ of formaldehyde. The MgO-promoted CuO catalyst showed the highest yield of BD (94%) and the highest stability (the BD yield decreased only from 94% to 82% after eight reaction cycles). SiO2 effectively dispersed Cu species, which improved catalytic activity and stability. However, the introduction of Al2O3 resulted in a large number of acidic sites on the catalyst’s surface. This led to the polymerization of acetylene, which covered the active sites and decreased the catalyst’s activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustained Release of Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) Encapsulated Polycaprolactone (PCL) Microspheres Promote Angiogenesis In Vivo
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1037; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071037 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 14 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
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Abstract
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the Unites States and globally. The administration of growth factors to preserve cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI) is currently being explored. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a potent angiogenic factor has [...] Read more.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the Unites States and globally. The administration of growth factors to preserve cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI) is currently being explored. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a potent angiogenic factor has poor clinical efficacy due to its short biological half-life and low plasma stability. The goal of this study was to develop bFGF-loaded polycaprolactone (PCL) microspheres for sustained release of bFGF and to evaluate its angiogenic potential. The bFGF-PCL microspheres (bFGF-PCL-MS) were fabricated using the emulsion solvent-evaporation method and found to have spherical morphology with a mean size of 4.21 ± 1.28 µm. In vitro bFGF release studies showed a controlled release for up to 30 days. Treatment of HUVECs with bFGF-PCL-MS in vitro enhanced their cell proliferation and migration properties when compared to the untreated control group. Treatment of HUVECs with release media from bFGF-PCL-MS also significantly increased expression of angiogenic genes (bFGF and VEGFA) as compared to untreated cells. The in vivo angiogenic potential of these bFGF-PCL-MS was further confirmed in rats using a Matrigel plug assay with subsequent immunohistochemical staining showing increased expression of angiogenic markers. Overall, bFGF-PCL-MS could serve as a potential angiogenic agent to promote cell survival and angiogenesis following an acute myocardial infarction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nanotechnology in Cardiology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Polymer-II-VI Nanocrystals Blends: Basic Physics and Device Applications to Lasers and LEDs
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071036 (registering DOI)
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Hybrid thin films that combine organic conjugated molecules and semiconductors nanocrystals (NCs) have been deeply investigated in the previous years, due to their capability to provide an extremely broad tuning of their electronic and optical properties. In this paper we review the main [...] Read more.
Hybrid thin films that combine organic conjugated molecules and semiconductors nanocrystals (NCs) have been deeply investigated in the previous years, due to their capability to provide an extremely broad tuning of their electronic and optical properties. In this paper we review the main aspects of the basic physics of the organic–inorganic interaction and the actual state of the art of lasers and light emitting diodes based on hybrid active materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ToF-SIMS 3D Analysis of Thin Films Deposited in High Aspect Ratio Structures via Atomic Layer Deposition and Chemical Vapor Deposition
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071035 (registering DOI)
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
For the analysis of thin films, with high aspect ratio (HAR) structures, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) overcomes several challenges in comparison to other frequently used techniques such as electron microscopy. The research presented herein focuses on two different kinds of HAR [...] Read more.
For the analysis of thin films, with high aspect ratio (HAR) structures, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) overcomes several challenges in comparison to other frequently used techniques such as electron microscopy. The research presented herein focuses on two different kinds of HAR structures that represent different semiconductor technologies. In the first study, ToF-SIMS is used to illustrate cobalt seed layer corrosion by the copper electrolyte within the large through-silicon-vias (TSVs) before and after copper electroplating. However, due to the sample’s surface topography, ToF-SIMS analysis proved to be difficult due to the geometrical shadowing effects. Henceforth, in the second study, we introduce a new test platform to eliminate the difficulties with the HAR structures, and again, use ToF-SIMS for elemental analysis. We use data image slicing of 3D ToF-SIMS analysis combined with lateral HAR test chips (PillarHall™) to study the uniformity of silicon dopant concentration in atomic layer deposited (ALD) HfO2 thin films. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison Study of Functional Groups (Amine vs. Thiol) for Immobilizing AuNPs on Zeolite Surface
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071034 (registering DOI)
Received: 2 June 2019 / Revised: 14 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Immobilization of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on the surface of zeolite has received a great interest due to [email protected]’s unique characteristics and high performance for catalysis. In this work we studied the grafting of two different functional molecules; one having an amine group (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane [...] Read more.
Immobilization of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on the surface of zeolite has received a great interest due to [email protected]’s unique characteristics and high performance for catalysis. In this work we studied the grafting of two different functional molecules; one having an amine group (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) and the second having a thiol group (3-mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane (MPTES) on the surface of zeolite using the same wet chemistry method. The modified zeolite surfaces were characterized using zeta potential measurements; diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform (DRIFT) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results confirmed a successful deposition of both functional groups at the topmost surface of the zeolite. Furthermore; transmission electron microscopy (TEM), ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy and XPS results clearly evidenced that APTES provided a better AuNPs immobilization than MPTES as a result of; (1) less active functions obtained after MPTES deposition, and (2) the better attaching ability of thiol to the gold surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Nanostructures and Related Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Homogeneous Core/Shell NiMoO4@NiMoO4 and Activated Carbon for High Performance Asymmetric Supercapacitor
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1033; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071033 (registering DOI)
Received: 15 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Here, we report the extraordinary electrochemical energy storage capability of NiMoO4@NiMoO4 homogeneous hierarchical nanosheet-on-nanowire arrays (SOWAs), synthesized on nickel substrate by a two-stage hydrothermal process. Comparatively speaking, the SOWAs electrode displays superior electrochemical performances over the pure NiMoO4 nanowire [...] Read more.
Here, we report the extraordinary electrochemical energy storage capability of NiMoO4@NiMoO4 homogeneous hierarchical nanosheet-on-nanowire arrays (SOWAs), synthesized on nickel substrate by a two-stage hydrothermal process. Comparatively speaking, the SOWAs electrode displays superior electrochemical performances over the pure NiMoO4 nanowire arrays. Such improvements can be ascribed to the characteristic homogeneous hierarchical structure, which not only effectively increases the active surface areas for fast charge transfer, but also reduces the electrode resistance significantly by eliminating the potential barrier at the nanowire/nanosheet junction, an issue usually seen in other reported heterogeneous architectures. We further evaluate the performances of the SOWAs by constructing an asymmetric hybrid supercapacitor (ASC) with the SOWAs and activated carbon (AC). The optimized ASC shows excellent electrochemical performances with 47.2 Wh/kg in energy density of 1.38 kW/kg at 0–1.2 V. Moreover, the specific capacity retention can be as high as 91.4% after 4000 cycles, illustrating the remarkable cycling stability of the NiMoO4@NiMoO4//AC ASC device. Our results show that this unique NiMoO4@NiMoO4 SOWA has great prospects for future energy storage applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Oxide Nanomaterials for Energy Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Sn4P3–Carbon Composite Films for Lithium-Ion Battery Anode Fabricated by Aerosol Deposition
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071032 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
We fabricated tin phosphide–carbon (Sn4P3/C) composite film by aerosol deposition (AD) and investigated its electrochemical performance for a lithium-ion battery anode. Sn4P3/C composite powders prepared by a ball milling was used as raw material and [...] Read more.
We fabricated tin phosphide–carbon (Sn4P3/C) composite film by aerosol deposition (AD) and investigated its electrochemical performance for a lithium-ion battery anode. Sn4P3/C composite powders prepared by a ball milling was used as raw material and deposited onto a stainless steel substrate to form the composite film via impact consolidation. The Sn4P3/C composite film fabricated by AD showed much better electrochemical performance than the Sn4P3 film without complexing carbon. Although both films showed initial discharge (Li+ extraction) capacities of approximately 1000 mAh g−1, Sn4P3/C films retained higher reversible capacity above 700 mAh g−1 after 100 cycles of charge and discharge processes while the capacity of Sn4P3 film rapidly degraded with cycling. In addition, by controlling the potential window in galvanostatic testing, Sn4P3/C composite film retained the reversible capacity of 380 mAh g−1 even after 400 cycles. The complexed carbon works not only as a buffer to suppress the collapse of electrodes by large volume change of Sn4P3 in charge and discharge reactions but also as an electronic conduction path among the atomized active material particles in the film. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Formation of Highly Ordered Platinum Nanowire Arrays on Silicon via Laser-Induced Self-Organization
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071031
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) provide an elegant solution for the generation of highly ordered periodic patterns on the surface of solids. In this study, LIPSS are utilized for the formation of periodic platinum nanowire arrays. In a process based on laser-stimulated self-organization, [...] Read more.
Laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) provide an elegant solution for the generation of highly ordered periodic patterns on the surface of solids. In this study, LIPSS are utilized for the formation of periodic platinum nanowire arrays. In a process based on laser-stimulated self-organization, platinum thin films, sputter-deposited onto silicon, are transformed into nanowire arrays with an average periodicity of 538 nm. The width of the platinum nanowires is adjustable in a range from 20 nm to 250 nm by simply adjusting the thickness of the initial platinum thin films in a range from 0.3 nm to 4.3 nm. With increasing width, platinum nanowires show a rising tendency to sink into the surface of the silicon wafer, thus indicating alloying between platinum and silicon upon LIPSS-formation by a nanosecond-pulsed laser. The Pt/silicon wires may be etched away, leaving a complementary nanostructure in the silicon surface. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances and Perspectives of Molecularly Imprinted Polymer-Based Fluorescent Sensors in Food and Environment Analysis
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071030
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Molecular imprinting technology (MIT), also known as molecular template technology, is a new technology involving material chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry, and other multi-disciplinary approaches. This technology is used to realize the unique recognition ability of three-dimensional crosslinked polymers, called the molecularly imprinted polymers [...] Read more.
Molecular imprinting technology (MIT), also known as molecular template technology, is a new technology involving material chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry, and other multi-disciplinary approaches. This technology is used to realize the unique recognition ability of three-dimensional crosslinked polymers, called the molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). MIPs demonstrate a wide range of applicability, good plasticity, stability, and high selectivity, and their internal recognition sites can be selectively combined with template molecules to achieve selective recognition. A molecularly imprinted fluorescence sensor (MIFs) incorporates fluorescent materials (fluorescein or fluorescent nanoparticles) into a molecularly imprinted polymer synthesis system and transforms the binding sites between target molecules and molecularly imprinted materials into readable fluorescence signals. This sensor demonstrates the advantages of high sensitivity and selectivity of fluorescence detection. Molecularly imprinted materials demonstrate considerable research significance and broad application prospects. They are a research hotspot in the field of food and environment safety sensing analysis. In this study, the progress in the construction and application of MIFs was reviewed with emphasis on the preparation principle, detection methods, and molecular recognition mechanism. The applications of MIFs in food and environment safety detection in recent years were summarized, and the research trends and development prospects of MIFs were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Optical Sensing)
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Open AccessReview
Plasmonic Nanofactors as Switchable Devices to Promote or Inhibit Neuronal Activity and Function
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071029
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Gold nanosystems have been investigated extensively for a variety of applications, from specific cancer cell targeting to tissue regeneration. Specifically, a recent and exciting focus has been the gold nanosystems’ interface with neuronal biology. Researchers are investigating the ability to use these systems [...] Read more.
Gold nanosystems have been investigated extensively for a variety of applications, from specific cancer cell targeting to tissue regeneration. Specifically, a recent and exciting focus has been the gold nanosystems’ interface with neuronal biology. Researchers are investigating the ability to use these systems neuronal applications ranging from the enhancement of stem cell differentiation and therapy to stimulation or inhibition of neuronal activity. Most of these new areas of research are based on the integration of the plasmonic properties of such nanosystems into complex synthetic extracellular matrices (ECM) that can interact and affect positively the activity of neuronal cells. Therefore, the ability to integrate the plasmonic properties of these nanoparticles into multidimensional and morphological structures to support cellular proliferation and activity is potentially of great interest, particularly to address medical conditions that are currently not fully treatable. This review discusses some of the promising developments and unique capabilities offered by the integration of plasmonic nanosystems into morphologically complex ECM devices, designed to control and study the activity of neuronal cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Self Nano-Emulsifying Drug Delivery System Loaded with Citraland Its Antiproliferative Effect on Colorectal Cells In Vitro
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071028
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Citral is an active compound naturally found in lemongrass, lemon, and lime. Although this pale-yellow liquid confers low water solubility, the compound has been reported to possess good therapeutic features including antiproliferative and anticancer modalities. The self nano-emulsifying drug delivery system (SNEDDS) is [...] Read more.
Citral is an active compound naturally found in lemongrass, lemon, and lime. Although this pale-yellow liquid confers low water solubility, the compound has been reported to possess good therapeutic features including antiproliferative and anticancer modalities. The self nano-emulsifying drug delivery system (SNEDDS) is a type of liquid-lipid nanocarrier that is suitable for the loading of insolubilized oil-based compound such as Citral. This study reports the design and optimization of a SNEDDS formulation, synthesis and characterization as well as loading with Citral (CIT-SNEDDS). Further assessment of theantiproliferative effects of CIT-SNEDDS towards colorectal cancer cells was also conducted. SNEDDS composed of coconut oil, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and Tween 80. CIT-SNEDDS was prepared via gentle agitation of SNEDDS with 0.5% Citral for 72 h at room temperature. Physicochemical characterization was performed using several physicochemical analyses. The average particle size of CIT-SNEDDS was16.86 ± 0.15 nm, zeta potential of 0.58 ± 0.19 mV, and polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.23 ± 0.01. In vitro drug release of Citral from CIT-SNEDDS was 79.25% of release, and for Citral the release percentage was 93.56% over 72 h. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was done to determine the cytotoxicity effect of CIT-SNEDDS in human colorectal cancer cell lines HT29 and SW620. The half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) for 72 hof CIT-SNEDDS and Citral on SW620 were 16.50 ± 0.87 µg/mL and 22.50 ± 2.50 µg/mL, respectively. The IC50 values of CIT-SNEDDS and Citral after 72 h of treatment on HT29 were 34.10 ± 0.30 µg/mL and 21.77 ± 0.23 µg/mL, respectively. This study strongly suggests that CIT-SNEDDS has permitted the sustained release of Citral and that CIT-SNEDDS constitutes a potential soluble drug nanocarrier that is effective against colorectal cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials and Natural Extract)
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Open AccessArticle
GFET Asymmetric Transfer Response Analysis through Access Region Resistances
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071027
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Graphene-based devices are planned to augment the functionality of Si and III-V based technology in radio-frequency (RF) electronics. The expectations in designing graphene field-effect transistors (GFETs) with enhanced RF performance have attracted significant experimental efforts, mainly concentrated on achieving high mobility samples. However, [...] Read more.
Graphene-based devices are planned to augment the functionality of Si and III-V based technology in radio-frequency (RF) electronics. The expectations in designing graphene field-effect transistors (GFETs) with enhanced RF performance have attracted significant experimental efforts, mainly concentrated on achieving high mobility samples. However, little attention has been paid, so far, to the role of the access regions in these devices. Here, we analyse in detail, via numerical simulations, how the GFET transfer response is severely impacted by these regions, showing that they play a significant role in the asymmetric saturated behaviour commonly observed in GFETs. We also investigate how the modulation of the access region conductivity (i.e., by the influence of a back gate) and the presence of imperfections in the graphene layer (e.g., charge puddles) affects the transfer response. The analysis is extended to assess the application of GFETs for RF applications, by evaluating their cut-off frequency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Superconducting- and Graphene-based Devices)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Nanohybrid Assemblies of Porphyrin and Au10 Cluster Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071026
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
The interaction between gold sub-nanometer clusters composed of ten atoms (Au10) and tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (TPPS) was investigated through various spectroscopic techniques. Under mild acidic conditions, the formation, in aqueous solutions, of nanohybrid assemblies of porphyrin J-aggregates and Au10 cluster nanoparticles was [...] Read more.
The interaction between gold sub-nanometer clusters composed of ten atoms (Au10) and tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (TPPS) was investigated through various spectroscopic techniques. Under mild acidic conditions, the formation, in aqueous solutions, of nanohybrid assemblies of porphyrin J-aggregates and Au10 cluster nanoparticles was observed. This supramolecular system tends to spontaneously cover glass substrates with a co-deposit of gold nanoclusters and porphyrin nanoaggregates, which exhibit circular dichroism (CD) spectra reflecting the enantiomorphism of histidine used as capping and reducing agent. The morphology of nanohybrid assemblies onto a glass surface was revealed by atomic force microscopy (AFM), and showed the concomitant presence of gold nanoparticles with an average size of 130 nm and porphyrin J-aggregates with lengths spanning from 100 to 1000 nm. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) was observed for the nanohybrid assemblies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Environmental Conditions on the Fusion of Cationic Liposomes with Living Mammalian Cells
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071025
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Lipid-based nanoparticles, also called vesicles or liposomes, can be used as carriers for drugs or many types of biological macromolecules, including DNA and proteins. Efficiency and speed of cargo delivery are especially high for carrier vesicles that fuse with the cellular plasma membrane. [...] Read more.
Lipid-based nanoparticles, also called vesicles or liposomes, can be used as carriers for drugs or many types of biological macromolecules, including DNA and proteins. Efficiency and speed of cargo delivery are especially high for carrier vesicles that fuse with the cellular plasma membrane. This occurs for lipid mixture containing equal amounts of the cationic lipid DOTAP and a neutral lipid with an additional few percents of an aromatic substance. The fusion ability of such particles depends on lipid composition with phosphoethanolamine (PE) lipids favoring fusion and phosphatidyl-choline (PC) lipids endocytosis. Here, we examined the effects of temperature, ionic strength, osmolality, and pH on fusion efficiency of cationic liposomes with Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The phase state of liposomes was analyzed by small angle neutron scattering (SANS). Our results showed that PC containing lipid membranes were organized in the lamellar phase. Here, fusion efficiency depended on buffer conditions and remained vanishingly small at physiological conditions. In contrast, SANS indicated the coexistence of very small (~50 nm) objects with larger, most likely lamellar structures for PE containing lipid particles. The fusion of such particles to cell membranes occurred with very high efficiency at all buffer conditions. We hypothesize that the altered phase state resulted in a highly reduced energetic barrier against fusion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Zn+2 Doping on Ni-Based Nanoferrites; (Ni1−x ZnxFe2O4)
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071024
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Nickel zinc nanoferrites (Ni1−xZnxFe2O4) were synthesized via a chemical co-precipitation method having stoichiometric proportion (x) altering from 0.00 to 1.00 in steps of 0.25. The synthesized nanoparticles were sintered at 800 °C for 12 h. [...] Read more.
Nickel zinc nanoferrites (Ni1−xZnxFe2O4) were synthesized via a chemical co-precipitation method having stoichiometric proportion (x) altering from 0.00 to 1.00 in steps of 0.25. The synthesized nanoparticles were sintered at 800 °C for 12 h. X-ray diffraction patterns illustrate that the nanocrystalline cubic spinel ferrites have been obtained after sintering. The Scherrer formula is used to evaluate the particle size using the extreme intense peak (311). The experimental results demonstrate that precipitated particles’ size was in the range of 20–60 nm. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to investigate the elemental configuration and morphological characterizations of all the prepared samples. FTIR spectroscopy data for respective sites were examined in the range of 300–1000 cm−1. The higher frequency band ν1 were assigned due to tetrahedral complexes while lower frequency band ν2 were allocated due to octahedral complexes. Our experimental results demonstrate that the lattice constant a0 increases while lattice strain decreases with increasing zinc substitution in nickel zinc nanoferrites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Manifestation of the Purcell Effect in Current Transport through a Dot–Cavity–QED System
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071023
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
We study the transport properties of a wire-dot system coupled to a cavity and a photon reservoir. The system is considered to be microstructured from a two-dimensional electron gas in a GaAs heterostructure. The 3D photon cavity is active in the far-infrared or [...] Read more.
We study the transport properties of a wire-dot system coupled to a cavity and a photon reservoir. The system is considered to be microstructured from a two-dimensional electron gas in a GaAs heterostructure. The 3D photon cavity is active in the far-infrared or the terahertz regime. Tuning the photon energy, Rabi-resonant states emerge and in turn resonant current peaks are observed. We demonstrate the effects of the cavity–photon reservoir coupling, the mean photon number in the reservoir, the electron–photon coupling and the photon polarization on the intraband transitions occurring between the Rabi-resonant states, and on the corresponding resonant current peaks. The Rabi-splitting can be controlled by the photon polarization and the electron–photon coupling strength. In the selected range of the parameters, the electron–photon coupling and the cavity-environment coupling strengths, we observe the results of the Purcell effect enhancing the current peaks through the cavity by increasing the cavity–reservoir coupling, while they decrease with increasing electron–photon coupling. In addition, the resonant current peaks are also sensitive to the mean number of photons in the reservoir. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Facile Synthesis of Well-Dispersed Ni2P on N-Doped Nanomesh Carbon Matrix as a High-Efficiency Electrocatalyst for Alkaline Hydrogen Evolution Reaction
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071022
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
The development of non-noble metal hydrogen evolution catalysts that can replace Pt is crucial for efficient hydrogen production. Herein, we develop a type of well-dispersed Ni2P on N-doped nanomesh carbon (NC) electrocatalyst by a facile pyrolysis method, which shows excellent hydrogen [...] Read more.
The development of non-noble metal hydrogen evolution catalysts that can replace Pt is crucial for efficient hydrogen production. Herein, we develop a type of well-dispersed Ni2P on N-doped nanomesh carbon (NC) electrocatalyst by a facile pyrolysis method, which shows excellent hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalytic performance. It is rather remarkable that the overpotential of Ni2P/NC prepared under optimal proportion is 108 mV at 10 mA·cm−2 current density in 1 M KOH solution with the tafel slope of 67.3 mV·dec−1, the catalytic activity has no significant attenuation after 1000 cycles of cyclic voltammetry (CV)method. The hydrogen evolution performance of the electrocatalytic is better than most similar catalysts in alkaline media. The unique mesh structure of the carbon component in the catalyst facilitates the exposure of the active site and reduces the impedance, which improves the efficiency of electron transport as well as ensuring the stability of the hydrogen evolution reaction. In addition, we prove that nitrogen doping and pore structure are also important factors affecting catalytic activity by control experiments. Our results show that N-doped nanomesh carbon, as an efficient support, combined with Ni2P nanoparticles is of great significance for the development of efficient hydrogen evolution electrodes. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Selected Papers from the 1st International Online Conference on Nanomaterials
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071021
Received: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
After decades of intense research, nanomaterials are now an integral part of many applications and enjoy the attention of a large research community [...] Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Synthesis of Porous Organic Polymers with Tunable Amine Loadings for CO2 Capture: Balanced Physisorption and Chemisorption
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071020
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 13 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
The cross-coupling reaction of 1,3,5-triethynylbenzene with terephthaloyl chloride gives a novel ynone-linked porous organic polymer. Tethering alkyl amine species on the polymer induces chemisorption of CO2 as revealed by the studies of ex situ infrared spectroscopy. By tuning the amine loading content [...] Read more.
The cross-coupling reaction of 1,3,5-triethynylbenzene with terephthaloyl chloride gives a novel ynone-linked porous organic polymer. Tethering alkyl amine species on the polymer induces chemisorption of CO2 as revealed by the studies of ex situ infrared spectroscopy. By tuning the amine loading content on the polymer, relatively high CO2 adsorption capacities, high CO2-over-N2 selectivity, and moderate isosteric heat (Qst) of adsorption of CO2 can be achieved. Such amine-modified polymers with balanced physisorption and chemisorption of CO2 are ideal sorbents for post-combustion capture of CO2 offering both high separation and high energy efficiencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanoporous Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Low-Cost Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensing Platform with a Response Enhancement for Protein Detection
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071019
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
There are many potential applications for biosensors that can provide real-time analysis, such as environmental monitoring and disease prevention. In this study, we investigated a simple strategy for real-time protein detection, which had the advantages of affordability, fast response, portability, and ease of [...] Read more.
There are many potential applications for biosensors that can provide real-time analysis, such as environmental monitoring and disease prevention. In this study, we investigated a simple strategy for real-time protein detection, which had the advantages of affordability, fast response, portability, and ease of use. A robust quantification of protein interaction was achieved by combining capillary localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensors and complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors. Gold nanoparticles were modified on the inner wall of the capillary, which was used as a microfluidic channel and sensing surface. We functionalized one of the LSPR sensors using ligand bound to gold nanoparticle. Our proposed biosensing platform could be easily multiplexed to achieve high throughput screening of biomolecular interactions, and it has the potential for use in disposable sensors. Moreover, the sensing signal was enhanced by the extinction effect of gold nanoparticles. The experimental results showed that our device could achieve qualitative identification and quantitative measurement of transferrin and immunoglobulin G (IgG). As a field-portable and low-cost optical platform, the proposed LSPR biosensing device is broadly applicable to various protein binding tests via a similar self-assembly of organic ultrathin films. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving the Physical and Oxidative Stability of Emulsions Using Mixed Emulsifiers: Casein-Octenyl Succinic Anhydride Modified Starch Combinations
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071018
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
This study aims to investigate the influence of casein and octenyl succinic anhydride modified starch (OSAS) combinations on the physical and oxidative stability of fish oil-in-water emulsions. The interaction between casein and OSAS was manifested in changes in protein structure and hydrogen-bonding interaction. [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the influence of casein and octenyl succinic anhydride modified starch (OSAS) combinations on the physical and oxidative stability of fish oil-in-water emulsions. The interaction between casein and OSAS was manifested in changes in protein structure and hydrogen-bonding interaction. Casein–OSAS combinations could effectively inhibit droplet aggregation at pH 4 and attenuate droplet growth at a high CaCl2 concentration of 0.2 mol/L, compared with casein as an emulsifier. Nanoemulsions stabilized by casein–OSAS combinations or casein showed better oxidative stability compared with OSAS-stabilized emulsions. Therefore, casein–OSAS combinations can improve some physical properties of protein-based emulsions and oxidative stability of modified starch-based emulsions, suggesting protein-modified starch combinations are more promising in the emulsion-based food industry compared to each of the two emulsifiers alone. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Porous Silicon Bragg Reflector and 2D Gold-Polymer Nanograting: A Route Towards a Hybrid Optoplasmonic Platform
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071017
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 13 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Photonic and plasmonic systems have been intensively studied as an effective means to modify and enhance the electromagnetic field. In recent years hybrid plasmonic–photonic systems have been investigated as a promising solution for enhancing light-matter interaction. In the present work we present a [...] Read more.
Photonic and plasmonic systems have been intensively studied as an effective means to modify and enhance the electromagnetic field. In recent years hybrid plasmonic–photonic systems have been investigated as a promising solution for enhancing light-matter interaction. In the present work we present a hybrid structure obtained by growing a plasmonic 2D nanograting on top of a porous silicon distributed Bragg reflector. Particular attention has been devoted to the morphological characterization of these systems. Electron microscopy images allowed us to determine the geometrical parameters of the structure. The matching of the optical response of both components has been studied. Results indicate an interaction between the plasmonic and the photonic parts of the system, which results in a localization of the electric field profile. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biological Responses of Onion-Shaped Carbon Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071016
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 13 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Nanodiamonds are emerging as new nanoscale materials because of their chemical stability, excellent crystallinity, and unique optical properties. In this study, the structure of nanodiamonds was engineered to produce carbon nano-onion particles (CNOs) with multiple layers. Following a series of physicochemical characterizations of [...] Read more.
Nanodiamonds are emerging as new nanoscale materials because of their chemical stability, excellent crystallinity, and unique optical properties. In this study, the structure of nanodiamonds was engineered to produce carbon nano-onion particles (CNOs) with multiple layers. Following a series of physicochemical characterizations of the CNOs, various evaluations for biological responses were conducted for potential biotechnological applications of the CNOs. The possibility of biological applications was first confirmed by assessment of toxicity to animal cells, evaluation of hemolysis reactions, and evaluation of reactive oxygen species. In addition, human immune cells were evaluated for any possible induction of an immune response by CNOs. Finally, the toxicity of CNOs to Escherichia coli present in the human colon was evaluated. CNOs have the chemical and physical properties to be a unique variety of carbon nanomaterials, and their toxicity to animal and human cells is sufficiently low that their biotechnological applications in the future are expected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrothermal Synthesis of SnO2 Nanoneedle-Anchored NiO Microsphere and its Gas Sensing Performances
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071015
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
In this study, we reported a successful synthesis of a nanocomposite based on SnO2 nanoneedles anchored to NiO microsphere by a simple two-step hydrothermal route. The results show that the SnO2/NiO nanocomposite-based sensor exhibits more prominent performances than the pristine [...] Read more.
In this study, we reported a successful synthesis of a nanocomposite based on SnO2 nanoneedles anchored to NiO microsphere by a simple two-step hydrothermal route. The results show that the SnO2/NiO nanocomposite-based sensor exhibits more prominent performances than the pristine NiO microsphere to NO2 such as larger responses and more outstanding repeatability. The improved properties are mainly attributed to the p–n heterojunctions formed at the SnO2–NiO interface, leading to the change of potential barrier height and the enlargement of the depletion layer. Besides, the novel and unique nanostructure provides large and effective areas for the surface reaction. In addition, a plausible growth mechanism and the enhanced sensing mechanism were proposed to further discuss the special nanostructure which will benefit the exploration of high-performance sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors and Semiconductor Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessReview
Virus-Incorporated Biomimetic Nanocomposites for Tissue Regeneration
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071014
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Owing to the astonishing properties of non-harmful viruses, tissue regeneration using virus-based biomimetic materials has been an emerging trend recently. The selective peptide expression and enrichment of the desired peptide on the surface, monodispersion, self-assembly, and ease of genetic and chemical modification properties [...] Read more.
Owing to the astonishing properties of non-harmful viruses, tissue regeneration using virus-based biomimetic materials has been an emerging trend recently. The selective peptide expression and enrichment of the desired peptide on the surface, monodispersion, self-assembly, and ease of genetic and chemical modification properties have allowed viruses to take a long stride in biomedical applications. Researchers have published many reviews so far describing unusual properties of virus-based nanoparticles, phage display, modification, and possible biomedical applications, including biosensors, bioimaging, tissue regeneration, and drug delivery, however the integration of the virus into different biomaterials for the application of tissue regeneration is not yet discussed in detail. This review will focus on various morphologies of virus-incorporated biomimetic nanocomposites in tissue regeneration and highlight the progress, challenges, and future directions in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Based Nanomaterials and Nanostructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Lights Out! Nano-Scale Topography Imaging of Sample Surface in Opaque Liquid Environments with Coated Active Cantilever Probes
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071013
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract
Atomic force microscopy is a powerful topography imaging method used widely in nanoscale metrology and manipulation. A conventional Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) utilizes an optical lever system typically composed of a laser source, lenses and a four quadrant photodetector to amplify and measure [...] Read more.
Atomic force microscopy is a powerful topography imaging method used widely in nanoscale metrology and manipulation. A conventional Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) utilizes an optical lever system typically composed of a laser source, lenses and a four quadrant photodetector to amplify and measure the deflection of the cantilever probe. This optical method for deflection sensing limits the capability of AFM to obtaining images in transparent environments only. In addition, tapping mode imaging in liquid environments with transparent sample chamber can be difficult for laser-probe alignment due to multiple different refraction indices of materials. Spurious structure resonance can be excited from piezo actuator excitation. Photothermal actuation resolves the resonance confusion but makes optical setup more complicated. In this paper, we present the design and fabrication method of coated active scanning probes with piezoresistive deflection sensing, thermomechanical actuation and thin photoresist polymer surface coating. The newly developed probes are capable of conducting topography imaging in opaque liquids without the need of an optical system. The selected coating can withstand harsh chemical environments with high acidity (e.g., 35% sulfuric acid). The probes are operated in various opaque liquid environments with a custom designed AFM system to demonstrate the imaging performance. The development of coated active probes opens up possibilities for observing samples in their native environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Steric Interference in Bilayer Graphene with Point Dislocations
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071012
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract
We present evidence of strong steric interference in bilayer graphene containing offset point dislocations. Calculations are carried out with Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) using the Long-Range Carbon Bond-Order Potential (LCBOP) potential of Los et al.. We start by validating the potential [...] Read more.
We present evidence of strong steric interference in bilayer graphene containing offset point dislocations. Calculations are carried out with Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) using the Long-Range Carbon Bond-Order Potential (LCBOP) potential of Los et al.. We start by validating the potential in the harmonic response by comparing the predicted phonon dispersion curves to experimental data and other potentials. The requisite force constants are derived by linearization of the potential and are presented in full form. We then continue to validate the potential in applications involving the formation of dislocation dipoles and quadrupoles in monolayer configurations. Finally, we evaluate a number of dislocation quadrupole configurations in monolayer and bilayer graphene and document strong steric interactions due to out-of-plane displacements when the dislocations on the individual layers are sufficiently offset with respect to each other. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Visible Light Driven Heterojunction Photocatalyst of CuO–Cu2O Thin Films for Photocatalytic Degradation of Organic Pollutants
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071011
Received: 22 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 13 July 2019
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Abstract
A high recombination rate and low charge collection are the main limiting factors of copper oxides (cupric and cuprous oxide) for the photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants. In this paper, a high performance copper oxide photocatalyst was developed by integrating cupric oxide (CuO) [...] Read more.
A high recombination rate and low charge collection are the main limiting factors of copper oxides (cupric and cuprous oxide) for the photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants. In this paper, a high performance copper oxide photocatalyst was developed by integrating cupric oxide (CuO) and cuprous oxide (Cu2O) thin films, which showed superior performance for the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) compared to the control CuO and Cu2O photocatalyst. Our results show that a heterojunction photocatalyst of CuO–Cu2O thin films could significantly increase the charge collection, reduce the recombination rate, and improve the photocatalytic activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study of the Pressures and Points of Application of the Forces Exerted between Aligner and Tooth
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071010
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
The analysis of forces, moments and pressure points has long been of great interest in orthodontics. Hence, we set out to define a method for measuring the pressure exerted by aligners on the teeth, and specifically to identify the precise points of pressure [...] Read more.
The analysis of forces, moments and pressure points has long been of great interest in orthodontics. Hence, we set out to define a method for measuring the pressure exerted by aligners on the teeth, and specifically to identify the precise points of pressure exertion. Intraoral scans were performed on a patient with optimal alignment and levelling before and after 2º vestibularisation of the upper central incisor. Pressure sensor film was placed in a dedicated housing between the aligner and teeth in order to record the pressure exerted after 15 s of aligner application. The images captured by the film were scanned, digitised, and subsequently analysed. Areas and amounts of pressure generated by the aligners were evaluated, and the net force of each was calculated, adjusted to take into consideration passive values. The method revealed the areas of contact by which the aligner transmits force on the teeth, and the pressures at which it does so. The pressure exerted by an aligner is not evenly distributed across the entire surface of the tooth during lingual tipping of an upper incisor. The areas of force concentration were not identical, as these are influenced by factors resulting from the manufacturing and casting processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology in Dentistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Efficient Catalytic Performances of Nitro Compounds and Morin via Self-Assembled MXene-Pd Nanocomposites Synthesized through Self-Reduction Strategy
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071009
Received: 22 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
With development of the society, the problem of environmental pollution is becoming more and more serious. There is the urgent need to develop a new type of sustainable green material for degradable pollutants. However, the conventional preparation method is limited by conditions such [...] Read more.
With development of the society, the problem of environmental pollution is becoming more and more serious. There is the urgent need to develop a new type of sustainable green material for degradable pollutants. However, the conventional preparation method is limited by conditions such as cumbersome operation, high energy consumption, and high pollution. Here, a simple method named self-reduction has been proposed, to synthesize highly efficient catalytic nitro compounds and morin self-assembled MXene-Pd nanocomposites. Palladium nanoparticles were grown in situ on MXene nanosheets to form [email protected] [email protected] composites with different reaction times were prepared by adjusting the reduction reaction time. In particular, [email protected] exhibited a high catalytic effect on 4-NP and 2-NA, and the first-order rate constants of the catalysis were 0.180 s−1 and 0.089 s−1, respectively. It should be noted that after eight consecutive catalytic cycles, the conversion to catalyze 4-NP was still greater than 94%, and the conversion to catalyze 2-NA was still greater than 91.8%. Therefore, the research of self-assembled [email protected] nanocomposites has important potential value for environmental management and sustainable development of human health, and provides new clues for the future research of MXene-based new catalyst materials. Full article
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