Special Issue "Nanostructured Materials based on Noble Metals for Advanced Biological Applications"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Iole Venditti
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sciences, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy
Interests: nanostructured polymers; noble metal nanoparticles; nanotechnology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In these recent years, many efforts have been devoted to developing nanostructured materials, based on noble metals, for biological applications.

In fact, nanodimension is the strategic key for a wide range of bio-applications, such as biosensors, biocatalysis, drug delivery, imaging and theranostic applications.

A huge variety of new materials and composites have been improved, mainly via chemical approaches, using metal surface engineering to build new synergic hybrid systems.

This Special Issue focuses on highlighting the progress of new nanostrucuted materials, based on noble metals, their preparation, functionalization, characterization and advanced application in biological fields.

We invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Iole Venditti
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. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 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

  • noble metal nano-objects (nanoparticles, nanorods, nanocages, and so on)
  • synthesis of noble metal nano-objects
  • functionalized noble metal nano-objects
  • biosensors
  • sensors
  • biocatalysis
  • drug delivery
  • imaging
  • theranostic
  • nanomedicine

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Nanostructured Materials Based on Noble Metals for Advanced Biological Applications
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111593 - 10 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This special issue focuses on highlighting the progress of last decade regarding the new nanostructured materials based on noble metals, especially gold and silver. Innovative preparations, functionalizations, and characterizations of these nanomaterials are investigated. Moreover, biotechnological applications, and advanced uses of these compounds [...] Read more.
This special issue focuses on highlighting the progress of last decade regarding the new nanostructured materials based on noble metals, especially gold and silver. Innovative preparations, functionalizations, and characterizations of these nanomaterials are investigated. Moreover, biotechnological applications, and advanced uses of these compounds for environmental sensing are reported. In particular gold and silver nanomaterials are widely studied due to their high stability, amazing chemical–physical features and, for silver, marked antibacterial properties. It is also hoped that the current special issue will encourage multidisciplinary research on noble metal nanomaterials, expanding the range of potential biological applications. This must be associated with improvements in synthetic methods and with economic feasibility studies of the proposed processes, also exploring the ecotoxicological aspects. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Bifunctionalized Silver Nanoparticles as Hg2+ Plasmonic Sensor in Water: Synthesis, Characterizations, and Ecosafety
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101353 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
In this work, hydrophilic silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), bifunctionalized with citrate (Cit) and L-cysteine (L-cys), were synthesized. The typical local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) at λ max = 400 nm together with Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) measurements (<2RH> = 8 ± 1 [...] Read more.
In this work, hydrophilic silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), bifunctionalized with citrate (Cit) and L-cysteine (L-cys), were synthesized. The typical local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) at λ max = 400 nm together with Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) measurements (<2RH> = 8 ± 1 nm) and TEM studies (Ø = 5 ± 2 nm) confirmed the system nanodimension and the stability in water. Molecular and electronic structures of AgNPs were investigated by FTIR, SR-XPS, and NEXAFS techniques. We tested the system as plasmonic sensor in water with 16 different metal ions, finding sensitivity to Hg2+ in the range 1–10 ppm. After this first screening, the molecular and electronic structure of the AgNPs-Hg2+ conjugated system was deeply investigated by SR-XPS. Moreover, in view of AgNPs application as sensors in real water systems, environmental safety assessment (ecosafety) was performed by using standardized ecotoxicity bioassay as algal growth inhibition tests (OECD 201, ISO 10253:2006), coupled with determination of Ag+ release from the nanoparticles in fresh and marine aqueous exposure media, by means of ICP-MS. These latest studies confirmed low toxicity and low Ag+ release. Therefore, these ecosafe AgNPs demonstrate a great potential in selective detection of environmental Hg2+, which may attract a great interest for several biological research fields. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrophilic Silver Nanoparticles Loaded into Niosomes: Physical–Chemical Characterization in View of Biological Applications
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(8), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9081177 - 17 Aug 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used as antibacterial agents and anticancer drugs, but often their low stability limits their mass production and broad applications. The use of niosomes as a carrier to protect and envelop AgNPs gives a new perspective to solve these [...] Read more.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used as antibacterial agents and anticancer drugs, but often their low stability limits their mass production and broad applications. The use of niosomes as a carrier to protect and envelop AgNPs gives a new perspective to solve these problems. In this study, AgNPs were functionalized with sodium 3-mercapto-1-propanesulfonate (3MPS) to induce hydrophilic behavior, improving loading in Tween 20 and Span 20 niosomes (NioTw20 and NioSp20, respectively). Entrapment efficiency was evaluated by UV analyses and is around 1–4%. Dimensions were investigated by means of dynamic light scattering (DLS) (<2RH> = 140 ± 4 nm and <2RH> = 251 ± 1 nm respectively for NioTw20 + AgNPs and NioSp20 + AgNPs) and were compared with those by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and small angle X ray scattering (SAXS) analyses. Stability was assessed in water up to 90 days, and both in bovine serum and human serum for up to 8 h. In order to characterize the local structure of niosomes, SAXS measurements have been performed on Tween 20 and Span 20 empty niosomes and loaded with AgNPs. The release profiles of hydrophilic probe calcein and lipophilic probe Nile Red were performed in HEPES buffer and in human serum. All these features contribute to conclude that the two systems, NioTw20 + AgNPs and NioSp20 + AgNPs, are suitable and promising in the field of biological applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Hydrophilic Gold Nanoparticles as Carrier for Anticancer Copper(I) Complexes: Loading and Release Studies for Biomedical Applications
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 772; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050772 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which are strongly hydrophilic and dimensionally suitable for drug delivery, were used in loading and release studies of two different copper(I)-based antitumor complexes, namely [Cu(PTA)4]+ [BF4] (A; PTA = 1, 3, 5-triaza-7-phosphadamantane) and [HB(pz) [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which are strongly hydrophilic and dimensionally suitable for drug delivery, were used in loading and release studies of two different copper(I)-based antitumor complexes, namely [Cu(PTA)4]+ [BF4] (A; PTA = 1, 3, 5-triaza-7-phosphadamantane) and [HB(pz)3Cu(PCN)] (B; HB(pz)3 = tris(pyrazolyl)borate, PCN = tris(cyanoethyl)phosphane). In the homoleptic, water-soluble compound A, the metal is tetrahedrally arranged in a cationic moiety. Compound B is instead a mixed-ligand (scorpionate/phosphane), neutral complex insoluble in water. In this work, the loading procedures and the loading efficiency of A and B complexes on the AuNPs were investigated, with the aim to improve their bioavailability and to obtain a controlled release. The non-covalent interactions of A and B with the AuNPs surface were studied by means of dynamic light scattering (DLS), UV–Vis, FT-IR and high-resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HR-XPS) measurements. As a result, the AuNPs-A system proved to be more stable and efficient than the AuNPs-B system. In fact, for AuNPs-A the drug loading reached 90%, whereas for AuNPs-B it reached 65%. For AuNPs-A conjugated systems, a release study in water solution was performed over 4 days, showing a slow release up to 10%. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Active Accumulation of Spherical Analytes on Plasmonic Hot Spots of Double-Bent Au Strip Arrays by Multiple Dip-Coating
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050660 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
To achieve sensitive plasmonic biosensors, it is essential to develop an efficient method for concentrating analytes in hot spots, as well as to develop plasmonic nanostructures for concentrating light. In this study, target analytes were delivered to the surface of double-bent Au strip [...] Read more.
To achieve sensitive plasmonic biosensors, it is essential to develop an efficient method for concentrating analytes in hot spots, as well as to develop plasmonic nanostructures for concentrating light. In this study, target analytes were delivered to the surface of double-bent Au strip arrays by a multiple dip-coating method; they were self-aligned in the valleys between neighboring Au strips by capillary forces. As the valleys not only accommodate target analytes but also host strong electromagnetic fields due to the interaction between adjacent strips, sensitive measurement of target analytes was possible by monitoring changes in the wavelength of a localized surface plasmon resonance. Using the proposed plasmonic sensor and target delivery method, the adsorption and saturation of polystyrene beads 100 nm in size on the sensor surface were monitored by the shift of the resonance wavelength. In addition, the pH-dependent stability of exosomes accumulated on the sensor surface was successfully monitored by changing the pH from 7.4 to 4.0. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Shape-Controlled Synthesis of Au Nanostructures Using EDTA Tetrasodium Salt and Their Photothermal Therapy Applications
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(4), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8040252 - 18 Apr 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Tuning the optical properties of Au nanostructures is of paramount importance for scientific interest and has a wide variety of applications. Since the surface plasmon resonance properties of Au nanostructures can be readily adjusted by changing their shape, many approaches for preparing Au [...] Read more.
Tuning the optical properties of Au nanostructures is of paramount importance for scientific interest and has a wide variety of applications. Since the surface plasmon resonance properties of Au nanostructures can be readily adjusted by changing their shape, many approaches for preparing Au nanostructures with various shapes have been reported to date. However, complicated steps or the addition of several reagents would be required to achieve shape control of Au nanostructures. The present work describes a facile and effective shape-controlled synthesis of Au nanostructures and their photothermal therapy applications. The preparation procedure involved the reaction of HAuCl4 and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) tetrasodium salt, which acted as a reducing agent and ligand, at room temperature without the need for any toxic reagent or additives. The morphology control from spheres to branched forms and nanowire networks was easily achieved by varying the EDTA concentration. Detailed investigations revealed that the four carboxylic groups of the EDTA tetrasodium salt are essential for effective growth and stabilization. The produced Au nanowire networks exhibited a broad absorption band in the near-infrared (NIR) region, thereby showing efficient cancer therapeutic performance by inducing the selective photothermal destruction of cancerous glioblastoma cells (U87MG) under NIR irradiation. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Interactions of Nanoparticles and Biosystems: Microenvironment of Nanoparticles and Biomolecules in Nanomedicine
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101365 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary science covering matters involving the nanoscale level that is being developed for a great variety of applications. Nanomedicine is one of these attractive and challenging uses focused on the employment of nanomaterials in medical applications such as drug delivery. [...] Read more.
Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary science covering matters involving the nanoscale level that is being developed for a great variety of applications. Nanomedicine is one of these attractive and challenging uses focused on the employment of nanomaterials in medical applications such as drug delivery. However, handling these nanometric systems require defining specific parameters to establish the possible advantages and disadvantages in specific applications. This review presents the fundamental factors of nanoparticles and its microenvironment that must be considered to make an appropriate design for medical applications, mainly: (i) Interactions between nanoparticles and their biological environment, (ii) the interaction mechanisms, (iii) and the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles. On the other hand, the repercussions of the control, alter and modify these parameters in the biomedical applications. Additionally, we briefly report the implications of nanoparticles in nanomedicine and precision medicine, and provide perspectives in immunotherapy, which is opening novel applications as immune-oncology. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Biomedical Applications of Silver Nanoparticles: An Up-to-Date Overview
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090681 - 31 Aug 2018
Cited by 110
Abstract
During the past few years, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) became one of the most investigated and explored nanotechnology-derived nanostructures, given the fact that nanosilver-based materials proved to have interesting, challenging, and promising characteristics suitable for various biomedical applications. Among modern biomedical potential of AgNPs, [...] Read more.
During the past few years, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) became one of the most investigated and explored nanotechnology-derived nanostructures, given the fact that nanosilver-based materials proved to have interesting, challenging, and promising characteristics suitable for various biomedical applications. Among modern biomedical potential of AgNPs, tremendous interest is oriented toward the therapeutically enhanced personalized healthcare practice. AgNPs proved to have genuine features and impressive potential for the development of novel antimicrobial agents, drug-delivery formulations, detection and diagnosis platforms, biomaterial and medical device coatings, tissue restoration and regeneration materials, complex healthcare condition strategies, and performance-enhanced therapeutic alternatives. Given the impressive biomedical-related potential applications of AgNPs, impressive efforts were undertaken on understanding the intricate mechanisms of their biological interactions and possible toxic effects. Within this review, we focused on the latest data regarding the biomedical use of AgNP-based nanostructures, including aspects related to their potential toxicity, unique physiochemical properties, and biofunctional behaviors, discussing herein the intrinsic anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities of silver-based nanostructures. Full article
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