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Special Issue "Nano-Materials and Methods"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mihai V. Putz

Laboratory of Structural and Computational Physical-Chemistry for Nanosciences and QSAR, Biology-Chemistry Department, West University of Timisoara, Str. Pestalozzi 16, 300115 Timisoara, Romania; and Laboratory of Renewable Energies-Photovoltaics, R&D National Institute for Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter –INCEMC–Timisoara; Str. Dr. Aurel Podeanu 144, 300569 Timișoara, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +40 256 592620
Interests: quantum physical chemistry; nanochemistry; reactivity indices and principles; electronegativity; density functional theory; path integrals; enzyme kinetics; QSAR; epistemology and philosophy of science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

From its advent, nanoscience and nanotechnology appear to deal with the deep structure of matter, substances and/or fields in mutual interaction. However, there are considerable misconceptions nowadays regarding nanoscience, whether it is scaled in time, in space, or in energy. In fact, the real nano-revolution refers to the ability to intervene and model matter at the nano-dimension rather than to just describe it in this realm. For this reason, the present Special Issue emerged as an essential service to the international community working with the nano-world at the molecular level in various ways: from the frontier’s of new nano-insights, to the exotic limiting nano-design and synthesis, towards innovative structures (materials) and functions (methods). As such, the study of nano-matter by nano-interaction (nano-materials and nano-methods) may truly close the dual circle of nano-science (controlling the matter of a substance, i.e. field complementarity and observability) with that of nano-technology (optimizing the matter for the structure and function). After all, the end-point of the nano-materials and methods endeavor should be to make an impact on the integral and integrated (holistic) nano-econo-ecological cycle at large, by monitoring the best (re)circulation of natural resources and their transformation for the betterment of everyday life, from the nano-sci-ground to multi-tech-users. This will promote a sustainable knowledge-based economy and society.

The main directions of the present Special Issue therefore accordingly include, but are not limited to:

Nanochemistry of Carbon-Based Systems; Physical Chemistry of Hybrid Nanostructures; Molecular Machines: Design, Synthesis, Functioning; Multiscale Models in Complex Nanochemical Systems; Nanochemistry for Bioactive Compounds; Renewable NanoSystems; Renewable Electro-Nano-Chemistry; Magnetic Nanomaterials; Spectral NanoMethods; Nanotechnovation Management; Strategic Management of R&D in the Nanotech-Based Economy.

Prof. Dr. Mihai V. Putz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

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

Keywords

  • nanotechnology end-points
  • renewable energy
  • carbon-based materials
  • zero-dimensional materials (metal clusters)
  • 1D materials (nanowires)
  • 2D materials (thin films)
  • chemical interaction
  • supramolecular chemistry (host-guest relationship, surfactants and micelles, biological supramolecular host species)
  • self-assembly
  • template synthesis (macro/meso/micro porous template materials), etc.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
New Insights into Flexible Transparent Conductive Silver Nanowires Films
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2803; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112803
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Flexible transparent conductive films (FTCFs) composed of silver nanowires (AgNWs) have become an important research direction because of their potential in flexible electronic devices. The optoelectronic properties of FTCFs composed of AgNWs of different lengths were evaluated in this study. AgNWs, with an [...] Read more.
Flexible transparent conductive films (FTCFs) composed of silver nanowires (AgNWs) have become an important research direction because of their potential in flexible electronic devices. The optoelectronic properties of FTCFs composed of AgNWs of different lengths were evaluated in this study. AgNWs, with an average diameter of about 25 nm and length of 15.49–3.92 μm were obtained by a sonication-induced scission process. AgNW-FTCFs were prepared on polyethylene terephthalate substrates using a Meyer bar and then dried in the ambient environment. The sheet resistance, non-uniformity factor of the sheet resistance, the root mean square roughness, and haze of the FTCFs increased as the length of AgNWs decreased. The transmittance of the films increased slightly as the length of AgNWs increased. AgNWs with a length of 15.49 μm provided an AgNW-FTCF with excellent properties including haze of 0.95%, transmittance of 93.42%, and sheet resistance of 80.15 Ω∙sq−1, without any additional post-treatment of the film. This work investigating the dependence of the optoelectronic properties of AgNW-FTCFs on AgNW length provides design guidelines for development of AgNW-FTCFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
A Kriging Surrogate Model for Uncertainty Analysis of Graphene Based on a Finite Element Method
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(9), 2355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092355
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Due to the inevitable presence of random defects, unpredictable grain boundaries in macroscopic samples, stress concentration at clamping points, and unknown load distribution in the investigation of graphene sheets, uncertainties are crucial and challenging issues that require more exploration. The application of the [...] Read more.
Due to the inevitable presence of random defects, unpredictable grain boundaries in macroscopic samples, stress concentration at clamping points, and unknown load distribution in the investigation of graphene sheets, uncertainties are crucial and challenging issues that require more exploration. The application of the Kriging surrogate model in vibration analysis of graphene sheets is proposed in this study. The Latin hypercube sampling method effectively propagates the uncertainties in geometrical and material properties of the finite element model. The accuracy and convergence of the Kriging surrogate model are confirmed by a comparison with the reported references. The uncertainty analysis for both Zigzag and Armchair graphene sheets are compared and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Nanostructured SL9-CpG Lipovaccines Elicit Immune Response for the Treatment of Melanoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(9), 2207; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092207
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 May 2019 / Published: 5 May 2019
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Abstract
Antigen peptides and adjuvants have been extensively investigated for cancer immunotherapy, and they are expected to elicit specific immune responses for cancer treatment. However, the anti-cancer efficacy of antigen peptide and adjuvant-based cancer vaccines has been limited due to the inefficient delivery to [...] Read more.
Antigen peptides and adjuvants have been extensively investigated for cancer immunotherapy, and they are expected to elicit specific immune responses for cancer treatment. However, the anti-cancer efficacy of antigen peptide and adjuvant-based cancer vaccines has been limited due to the inefficient delivery to draining lymph nodes after administration. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a suitable delivery system to transport antigen peptides and adjuvants. Here, we report a novel type of nanostructured lipovaccines for the treatment of melanoma by delivering antigen peptide (SL9) and oligodeoxynucleotide adjuvant (CpG) to the lymphatic vessels and to the draining lymph node. The SL9-CpG lipovaccines were characterized using dynamic laser scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The lymph uptake, immune response elicitation and treatment effects were evaluated on melanoma-bearing C57BL/6 mice using flow cytometry (FCM), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and tumor inhibitory efficacy. The SL9-CpG lipovaccines were uniform with a nanoscale size (~70 nm), had high encapsulation efficiency, and exhibited effective lymph uptake, resulting in activation of specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, and release of IFN-γ, and a robust inhibition of tumor growth. Therefore, the nanostructured SL9-CpG lipovaccines offer a promising strategy for melanoma treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
The Application of Selenium and Copper Nanoparticles Modifies the Biochemical Responses of Tomato Plants under Stress by Alternaria solani
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081950
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 30 March 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
Early blight is a disease that greatly affects Solanaceae, mainly damaging tomato plants, and causing significant economic losses. Although there are methods of biological control, these are very expensive and often their mode of action is slow. Due to this, there is a [...] Read more.
Early blight is a disease that greatly affects Solanaceae, mainly damaging tomato plants, and causing significant economic losses. Although there are methods of biological control, these are very expensive and often their mode of action is slow. Due to this, there is a need to use new techniques that allow a more efficient control of pathogens. Nanotechnology is a new alternative to solve these problems, allowing the creation of new tools for the treatment of diseases in plants, as well as the control of pathogens. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the foliar application of selenium and copper in the form of nanoparticles in a tomato crop infested by Alternaria solani. The severity of Alternaria solani, agronomic variables of the tomato crop, and the changes in the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant compounds were evaluated. The joint application of Se and Cu nanoparticles decreases the severity of this pathogen in tomato plants. Moreover, high doses generated an induction of the activity of the enzymes superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and phenylalanine ammonia lyase in the leaves, and the enzyme GPX in the fruit. Regarding non-enzymatic compounds in the leaves, chlorophyll a, b, and totals were increased, whereas vitamin C, glutathione, phenols, and flavonoids were increased in fruits. The application of nanoparticles generated beneficial effects by increasing the enzymatic and non-enzymatic compounds and decreasing the severity of Alternaria solani in tomato plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Gamma-Irradiation Induced Functionalization of Graphene Oxide with Organosilanes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081910
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
Gamma-ray radiation was used as a clean and easy method for turning the physicochemical properties of graphene oxide (GO) in this study. Silane functionalized-GO were synthesized by chemically grafting 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and 3-glycidyloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTES) onto GO surface using gamma-ray irradiation. This established non-contact [...] Read more.
Gamma-ray radiation was used as a clean and easy method for turning the physicochemical properties of graphene oxide (GO) in this study. Silane functionalized-GO were synthesized by chemically grafting 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and 3-glycidyloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTES) onto GO surface using gamma-ray irradiation. This established non-contact process is used to create a reductive medium which is deemed simpler, purer and less harmful compared conventional chemical reduction. The resulting functionalized-GO were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and Raman spectroscopy. The chemical interaction of silane with the GO surface was confirmed by FT-IR. X-ray diffraction reveals the change in the crystalline phases was due to surface functionalization. Surface defects of the GO due to the introduction of silane mioties was revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Thermogravimetric analysis of the functionalized-GO exhibits a multiple peaks in the temperature range of 200–650 °C which corresponds to the degradation of chemically grafted silane on the GO surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Characterization and Adsorptive Performances of a Composite Material Based on Carbon and Iron Oxide Particles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071609
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 31 March 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this paper was to produce a new composite material based on carbon and iron oxides, starting from soluble starch and ferric chloride. The composite material was synthesized by simple thermal decomposition of a reaction mass obtained from starch and iron [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to produce a new composite material based on carbon and iron oxides, starting from soluble starch and ferric chloride. The composite material was synthesized by simple thermal decomposition of a reaction mass obtained from starch and iron chloride, in an inert atmosphere. Starch used as a carbon source also efficiently stabilizes the iron oxides particles obtained during the thermal decomposition. The reaction mass used for the thermal decomposition was obtained by simultaneously mixing the carbon and iron oxide precursors, without addition of any precipitation agent. The proper composite material can be obtained by rigorously adhering to the stirring time, temperature, and water quantity used during the preparation of the reaction mass, as well as the thermal regime and the controlled atmosphere used during the thermal decomposition. Synthesized materials were characterized using thermogravimetric analysis, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FT-IR). The performances of the obtained material were highlighted by studying their adsorbent properties and by determining the maximum adsorption capacity for arsenic removal from aqueous solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Cytotoxicity Evaluation of the Magnéli Phase Titanium Suboxides (TixO2x−1) on A549 Human Lung Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(1), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010196
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The use of titanium suboxides, known as Magnéli phase TiOx, is expected to increase in the near future due to their desirable properties. In order to use Magnéli phase TiOx nanoparticles safely, it is necessary to know how nanoparticles interact [...] Read more.
The use of titanium suboxides, known as Magnéli phase TiOx, is expected to increase in the near future due to their desirable properties. In order to use Magnéli phase TiOx nanoparticles safely, it is necessary to know how nanoparticles interact with biological systems. In this study, the cytotoxicity of three different Magnéli TiOx nanoparticles was evaluated using human lung A549 cells and the results were compared with hazard data on two different TiO2 nanoparticles whose biological interactions have already been extensively studied. After A549 cells were exposed to nanoparticles, the metabolic activity was measured by the Resazurin assay, the amount of cellular proteins was measured by the Coomassie Blue assay, and lysosomal integrity was measured by the Neutral Red Uptake assay. In order to investigate possible modes of particle actions, intracellular Ca2+ level, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and photo-oxidative disruptions of lysosomal membranes were assessed. All experiments were performed in serum-containing and in serum-deprived cell culture mediums. In addition, the photocatalytic activity of Magnéli TiOx and TiO2 nanoparticles was measured. The results show that Magnéli TiOx nanoparticles increase intracellular Ca2+ but not ROS levels. In contrast, TiO2 nanoparticles increase ROS levels, resulting in a higher cytotoxicity. Although Magnéli TiOx nanoparticles showed a lower UV-A photocatalytic activity, the photo-stability of the lysosomal membranes was decreased by a greater extent, possibly due to particle accumulation inside lysosomes. We provide evidence that Magnéli TiOx nanoparticles have lower overall biological activity when compared with the two TiO2 formulations. However, some unique cellular interactions were detected and should be further studied in line with possible Magnéli TiOx application. We conclude that Magnéli phase nanoparticles could be considered as low toxic material same as other forms of titanium oxide particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Melt Electrospinning Designs for Nanofiber Fabrication for Different Applications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(10), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20102455
Received: 27 April 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Nanofibers have been attracting growing attention owing to their outstanding physicochemical and structural properties as well as diverse and intriguing applications. Electrospinning has been known as a simple, flexible, and multipurpose technique for the fabrication of submicro scale fibers. Throughout the last two [...] Read more.
Nanofibers have been attracting growing attention owing to their outstanding physicochemical and structural properties as well as diverse and intriguing applications. Electrospinning has been known as a simple, flexible, and multipurpose technique for the fabrication of submicro scale fibers. Throughout the last two decades, numerous investigations have focused on the employment of electrospinning techniques to improve the characteristics of fabricated fibers. This review highlights the state of the art of melt electrospinning and clarifies the major categories based on multitemperature control, gas assist, laser melt, coaxial, and needleless designs. In addition, we represent the effect of melt electrospinning process parameters on the properties of produced fibers. Finally, this review summarizes the challenges and obstacles connected to the melt electrospinning technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessReview
Self-Assembly of Metal Nanoclusters for Aggregation-Induced Emission
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1891; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081891
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) is an intriguing strategy to enhance the luminescence of metal nanoclusters (NCs). However, the morphologies of aggregated NCs are often irregular and inhomogeneous, leading to instability and poor color purity of the aggregations, which greatly limit their further potential in [...] Read more.
Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) is an intriguing strategy to enhance the luminescence of metal nanoclusters (NCs). However, the morphologies of aggregated NCs are often irregular and inhomogeneous, leading to instability and poor color purity of the aggregations, which greatly limit their further potential in optical applications. Inspired by self-assembly techniques, manipulating metal NCs into well-defined architectures has achieved success. The self-assembled metal NCs often exhibit enhancing emission stability and intensity compared to the individually or randomly aggregated ones. Meanwhile, the emission color of metal NCs becomes tunable. In this review, we summarize the synthetic strategies involved in self-assembly of metal NCs for the first time. For each synthetic strategy, we describe the self-assembly mechanisms involved and the dependence of optical properties on the self-assembly. Finally, we outline the current challenges to and perspectives on the development of this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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Open AccessReview
Prevention of Deficit in Neuropsychiatric Disorders through Monitoring of Arsenic and Its Derivatives as Well as Through Bioinformatics and Cheminformatics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1804; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081804
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
PDF Full-text (1227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Neuropsychiatric disorders are induced by various risk factors, including direct exposure to environmental chemicals. Arsenic exposure induces neurodegeneration and severe psychiatric disorders, but the molecular mechanisms by which brain damage is induced are not yet elucidated. Our aim is to better understand the [...] Read more.
Neuropsychiatric disorders are induced by various risk factors, including direct exposure to environmental chemicals. Arsenic exposure induces neurodegeneration and severe psychiatric disorders, but the molecular mechanisms by which brain damage is induced are not yet elucidated. Our aim is to better understand the molecular mechanisms of arsenic toxicity in the brain and to elucidate possible ways to prevent arsenic neurotoxicity, by reviewing significant experimental, bioinformatics, and cheminformatics studies. Brain damage induced by arsenic exposure is discussed taking in account: the correlation between neuropsychiatric disorders and the presence of arsenic and its derivatives in the brain; possible molecular mechanisms by which arsenic induces disturbances of cognitive and behavioral human functions; and arsenic influence during psychiatric treatments. Additionally, we present bioinformatics and cheminformatics tools used for studying brain toxicity of arsenic and its derivatives, new nanoparticles used as arsenic delivery systems into the human body, and experimental ways to prevent arsenic contamination by its removal from water. The main aim of the present paper is to correlate bioinformatics, cheminformatics, and experimental information on the molecular mechanism of cerebral damage induced by exposure to arsenic, and to elucidate more efficient methods used to reduce its toxicity in real groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods)
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