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Concept: Nanotechnology


In this work, a simple method for alcohol synthesis with high enantiomeric purity was proposed. For this, colloidal gold and silver surface modifications with 3-mercaptopropanoic acid and cysteamine were used to generate carboxyl and amine functionalized gold and silver nanoparticles of 15 and 45 nm, respectively. Alcohol dehydrogenase from Thermoanaerobium brockii (TbADH) and its cofactor (NADPH) were physical and covalent (through direct adsorption and using cross-linker) immobilized on nanoparticles' surface. In contrast to the physical and covalent immobilizations that led to a loss of 90% of the initial enzyme activity and 98% immobilization, the use of a cross-linker in immobilization process promoted a loss to 30% of the initial enzyme activity and >92% immobilization. The yield of NADPH immobilization was about 80%. The best results in terms of activity were obtained with Ag-citr nanoparticle functionalized with carboxyl groups (Ag-COOH), Au-COOH(CTAB), and Au-citr functionalized with amine groups and stabilized with CTAB (Au-NH2(CTAB)) nanoparticles treated with 0.7% and 1.0% glutaraldehyde. Enzyme conformation upon immobilization was studied using fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopies. Shift in ellipticity at 222 nm with about 4 to 7 nm and significant decreasing in fluorescence emission for all bioconjugates were observed by binding of TbADH to silver/gold nanoparticles. Emission redshifting of 5 nm only for Ag-COOH-TbADH bioconjugate demonstrated change in the microenvironment of TbADH. Enzyme immobilization on glutaraldehyde-treated Au-NH2(CTAB) nanoparticles promotes an additional stabilization preserving about 50% of enzyme activity after 15 days storage. Nanoparticles attached-TbADH-NADPH systems were used for enantioselective (ee > 99%) synthesis of (S)-7-hydroxy-2-tetralol.

Concepts: Alcohol, Amine, Enzyme, Nanotechnology, Chirality, Gold, Alcohol dehydrogenase, Immobilized enzyme


Silver nanoparticles supported on nanoscale silicate platelets (AgNP/NSP) possess interesting properties, including a large surface area and high biocide effectiveness. The nanohybrid of AgNP/NSP at a weight ratio 7/93 contains 5-nm Ag particles supported on the surface of platelets with dimensions of approximately 80×80×1 nm(3). The nanohybrid expresses a trend of lower cytotoxicity at the concentration of 8.75 ppm Ag and low genotoxicity. Compared with conventional silver ions and the organically dispersed AgNPs, the nanohybrid promotes wound healing. We investigated overall wound healing by using acute burn and excision wound healing models. Tests on both infected wound models of mice were compared among the AgNP/NSP, polymer-dispersed AgNPs, the commercially available Aquacel, and silver sulfadiazine. The AgNP/NSP nanohybrid was superior for wound appearance, but had similar wound healing rates, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A levels and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 expressions to Aquacel and silver sulfadiazine.

Concepts: Wound healing, Angiogenesis, Coagulation, Platelet, Nanotechnology, Silver, Surface area


The peripheral lungs are a potential entrance portal for nanoparticles into the human body due to their large surface area. The fact that nanoparticles can be deposited in the alveolar region of the lungs is of interest for pulmonary drug delivery strategies and is of equal importance for toxicological considerations. Therefore, a detailed understanding of nanoparticle interaction with the structures of this largest and most sensitive part of the lungs is important for both nanomedicine and nanotoxicology. Astonishingly, there is still little known about the bio-nano interactions that occur after nanoparticle deposition in the alveoli. In this study, we compared the effects of surfactant-associated protein A (SP-A) and D (SP-D) on the clearance of magnetite nanoparticles (mNP) with either more hydrophilic (starch) or hydrophobic (phosphatidylcholine) surface modification by an alveolar macrophage (AM) cell line (MH-S) using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Both proteins enhanced the AM uptake of mNP compared with pristine nanoparticles; for the hydrophilic ST-mNP, this effect was strongest with SP-D, whereas for the hydrophobic PL-mNP it was most pronounced with SP-A. Using gel electrophoretic and dynamic light scattering methods, we were able to demonstrate that the observed cellular effects were related to protein adsorption and to protein-mediated interference with the colloidal stability. Next, we investigated the influence of various surfactant lipids on nanoparticle uptake by AM because lipids are the major surfactant component. Synthetic surfactant lipid and isolated native surfactant preparations significantly modulated the effects exerted by SP-A and SP-D, respectively, resulting in comparable levels of macrophage interaction for both hydrophilic and hydrophobic nanoparticles. Our findings suggest that because of the interplay of both surfactant lipids and proteins, the AM clearance of nanoparticles is essentially the same, regardless of different intrinsic surface properties.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Lung, Cell biology, Nanotechnology, Colloid, Lipid, Pulmonary surfactant


A simple method for the fabrication of porous silicon (Si) by metal-assisted etching was developed using gold nanoparticles as catalytic sites. The etching masks were prepared by spin-coating of colloidal gold nanoparticles onto Si. An appropriate functionalization of the gold nanoparticle surface prior to the deposition step enabled the formation of quasi-hexagonally ordered arrays by self-assembly which were translated into an array of pores by subsequent etching in HF solution containing H2O2. The quality of the pattern transfer depended on the chosen preparation conditions for the gold nanoparticle etching mask. The influence of the Si surface properties was investigated by using either hydrophilic or hydrophobic Si substrates resulting from piranha solution or HF treatment, respectively. The polymer-coated gold nanoparticles had to be thermally treated in order to provide a direct contact at the metal/Si interface which is required for the following metal-assisted etching. Plasma treatment as well as flame annealing was successfully applied. The best results were obtained for Si substrates which were flame annealed in order to remove the polymer matrix - independent of the substrate surface properties prior to spin-coating (hydrophilic or hydrophobic). The presented method opens up new resources for the fabrication of porous silicon by metal-assisted etching. Here, a vast variety of metal nanoparticles accessible by well-established wet-chemical synthesis can be employed for the fabrication of the etching masks.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Colloid, Silicon, Gold, Colloidal gold, Nanocrystalline silicon


We report on how to quantify the binding affinity between a nanoparticle and chemical functional group using various experimental methods such as cantilever assay, PeakForce quantitative nanomechanical property mapping, and lateral force microscopy. For the immobilization of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) onto a microscale silicon substrate, we have considered two different chemical functional molecules of amine and catecholamine (dopamine was used here). It is revealed that catecholamine-modified surface is more effective for the functionalization of AuNPs onto the surface, which is compared with the amine-modified surface from our various experiments. The dimensionless parameter (i.e., ratio of binding affinity) introduced in this work from such experiments is useful in quantitatively depicting such binding affinity, indicating that the binding affinity and stability between AuNPs and catecholamine is approximately 1.5 times stronger than that of amine. Our study sheds light on the experiment-based quantitative characterization of the binding affinity between nanomaterial and chemical groups, which will eventually provide an insight into how to effectively design the functional material using chemical groups.

Concepts: Amine, Nanoparticle, Functional group, Nanotechnology, Gold, Alkene, Amide, Imine


Tween 80 (polysorbate 80) has been used as a reducing agent and protecting agent to prepare stable water-soluble silver nanoparticles on a large scale through a one-pot process, which is simple and environmentally friendly. Silver ions can accelerate the oxidation of Tween 80 and then get reduced in the reaction process. The well-ordered arrays such as ribbon-like silver nanostructures could be obtained by adjusting the reaction conditions. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy confirms that ribbon-like silver nanostructures (approximately 50 nm in length and approximately 2 mum in width) are composed of a large number of silver nanocrystals with a size range of 2 to 3 nm. In addition, negative absorbance around 320 nm in the UV-visible spectra of silver nanoparticles has been observed, probably owing to the instability of nanosized silver colloids.

Concepts: Electron, Hydrogen, Redox, Oxidizing agent, Nanotechnology, Reducing agent, Polysorbate 80, Polysorbate


Size-controlled and monodispersed silver nanoparticles were synthesized from an aqueous solution containing silver nitrate as a metal precursor, polyvinyl alcohol as a capping agent, isopropyl alcohol as hydrogen and hydroxyl radical scavengers, and deionized water as a solvent with a simple radiolytic method. The average particle size decreased with an increase in dose due to the domination of nucleation over ion association in the formation of the nanoparticles by gamma reduction. The silver nanoparticles exhibit a very sharp and strong absorption spectrum with the absorption maximum λmax blue shifting with an increased dose, owing to a decrease in particle size. The absorption spectra of silver nanoparticles of various particle sizes were also calculated using a quantum physics treatment and an agreement was obtained with the experimental absorption data. The results suggest that the absorption spectrum of silver nanoparticles possibly derived from the intra-band excitations of conduction electrons from the lowest energy state (n = 5, l = 0) to higher energy states (n ≥ 6; Δl = 0, ±1; Δs = 0, ±1), allowed by the quantum numbers principle. This demonstrates that the absorption phenomenon of metal nanoparticles based on a quantum physics description could be exploited to be added into the fundamentals of metal nanoparticles and the related fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Concepts: Alcohol, Photon, Energy, Quantum mechanics, Chemistry, Atom, Nanotechnology, Atomic orbital


Guanine-rich oligonucleotides often show a strong tendency to form supramolecular architecture, the so-called G-quadruplex structure. Because of the biological significance, it is now considered to be one of the most important conformations of DNA. Here, we describe the direct visualization and single-molecule analysis of the formation of a tetramolecular G-quadruplex in KCl solution. The conformational changes were carried out by incorporating two duplex DNAs, with G-G mismatch repeats in the middle, inside a DNA origami frame and monitoring the topology change of the strands. In the absence of KCl, incorporated duplexes had no interaction and laid parallel to each other. Addition of KCl induced the formation of a G-quadruplex structure by stably binding the duplexes to each other in the middle. Such a quadruplex formation allowed the DNA synapsis without disturbing the duplex regions of the participating sequences, and resulted in an X-shaped structure that was monitored by atomic force microscopy. Further, the G-quadruplex formation in KCl solution and its disruption in KCl-free buffer were analyzed in real-time. The orientation of the G-quadruplex is often difficult to control and investigate using traditional biochemical methods. However, our method using DNA origami could successfully control the strand orientations, topology and stoichiometry of the G-quadruplex.

Concepts: DNA, Biology, Tertiary structure, Chemistry, Nanotechnology, G-quadruplex, Orientation, Microscopy


Carbendazim (MBC) (methyl-2-benzimidazole carbamate) and tebuconazole (TBZ) ((RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-3-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl)pentan-3-ol) are widely used in agriculture for the prevention and control of fungal diseases. Solid lipid nanoparticles and polymeric nanocapsules are carrier systems that offer advantages including changes in the release profiles of bioactive compounds and their transfer to the site of action, reduced losses due to leaching or degradation, and decreased toxicity in the environment and humans. The objective of this study was to prepare these two types of nanoparticle as carrier systems for a combination of TBZ and MBC, and then investigate the release profiles of the fungicides as well as the stabilities and cytotoxicities of the formulations. Both nanoparticle systems presented high association efficiency (>99%), indicating good interaction between the fungicides and the nanoparticles. The release profiles of MBC and TBZ were modified when the compounds were loaded in the nanoparticles, and cytotoxicity assays showed that encapsulation of the fungicides decreased their toxicity. These fungicide systems offer new options for the treatment and prevention of fungal diseases in plants.

Concepts: Agriculture, Nanotechnology, Sol-gel, Cytotoxicity, Sulfur, Toxicity, Mycology, Fungicides


To develop a comprehensive computational framework to simulate tissue distribution of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) across several species.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, Gold, Distribution, Pharmacokinetics