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Concept: Silver


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


We report an enhancement in the efficiency of organic solar cells via the incorporation of gold (Au) or silver (Ag) nanoparticles (NPs) in the hole-transporting buffer layer of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), which was formed on an indium tin oxide (ITO) surface by the spin-coating of PEDOT:PSS-Au or Ag NPs composite solution. The composite solution was synthesized by a simple in situ preparation method which involved the reduction of chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) or silver nitrate (AgNO3) with sodium borohydride (NaBH4) solution in the presence of aqueous PEDOT:PSS media. The NPs were well dispersed in the PEDOT:PSS media and showed a characteristic absorption peak due to the surface plasmon resonance effect. Organic solar cells with the structure of ITO/PEDOT:PSS-Au, Ag NPs/poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PC61BM)/LiF/Al exhibited an 8% improvement in their power conversion efficiency mainly due to the enlarged surface roughness of the PEDOT:PSS, which lead to an improvement in the charge collection and ultimately improvements in the short-circuit current density and fill factor.

Concepts: Gold, Lithium aluminium hydride, Solar cell, Indium tin oxide, Energy conversion, Silver, Surface plasmon resonance, PEDOT:PSS


Silver nanoparticle (Ag NP)-loaded chitosan composites have numerous biomedical applications; however, fabricating uniform composite microparticles remains challenging. This paper presents a novel microfluidic approach for single-step and in situ synthesis of Ag NP-loaded chitosan microparticles. This proposed approach enables obtaining uniform and monodisperse Ag NP-loaded chitosan microparticles measuring several hundred micrometers. In addition, the diameter of the composites can be tuned by adjusting the flow on the microfluidic chip. The composite particles containing Ag NPs were characterized using UV-vis spectra and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry data. The characteristic peaks of Ag NPs in the UV-vis spectra and the element mapping or pattern revealed the formation of nanosized silver particles. The results of antibacterial tests indicated that both chitosan and composite particles showed antibacterial ability, and Ag NPs could enhance the inhibition rate and exhibited dose-dependent antibacterial ability. Because of the properties of Ag NPs and chitosan, the synthesized composite microparticles can be used in several future potential applications, such as bactericidal agents for water disinfection, antipathogens, and surface plasma resonance enhancers.

Concepts: Synthesis, Composite material, Silver, In situ, Microfluidics, Composite video, Aramid, Kevlar


Silver (Ag) is one of the seven metals of antiquity and an important engineering material in the electronic, medical, and chemical industries because of its unique noble and catalytic properties. Ag thin films are extensively used in modern electronics primarily because of their oxidation-resistance. Here we report a novel phenomenon of Ag nano-volcanic eruption that is caused by interactions between Ag and oxygen (O). It involves grain boundary liquation, the ejection of transient Ag-O fluids through grain boundaries, and the decomposition of Ag-O fluids into O2 gas and suspended Ag and Ag2O clusters. Subsequent coating with re-deposited Ag-O and the de-alloying of O yield a conformal amorphous Ag coating. Patterned Ag hillock arrays and direct Ag-to-Ag bonding can be formed by the homogenous crystallization of amorphous coatings. The Ag “nano-volcanic eruption” mechanism is elaborated, shedding light on a new mechanism of hillock formation and new applications of amorphous Ag coatings.

Concepts: Oxygen, Crystallography, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Chemical element, Materials science, Silver, Chemical industry


The ability to pattern planar and freestanding 3D metallic architectures at the microscale would enable myriad applications, including flexible electronics, displays, sensors, and electrically small antennas. A 3D printing method is introduced that combines direct ink writing with a focused laser that locally anneals printed metallic features “on-the-fly.” To optimize the nozzle-to-laser separation distance, the heat transfer along the printed silver wire is modeled as a function of printing speed, laser intensity, and pulse duration. Laser-assisted direct ink writing is used to pattern highly conductive, ductile metallic interconnects, springs, and freestanding spiral architectures on flexible and rigid substrates.

Concepts: Electricity, Heat, Aluminium, Metal, Copper, Silver, Printing, Inkjet printer


Microparticles containing substantial amounts of radiocesium collected from the ground in Fukushima were investigated mainly by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray microanalysis with scanning TEM (STEM). Particles of around 2 μm in diameter are basically silicate glass containing Fe and Zn as transition metals, Cs, Rb and K as alkali ions, and Sn as substantial elements. These elements are homogeneously distributed in the glass except Cs which has a concentration gradient, increasing from center to surface. Nano-sized crystallites such as copper- zinc- and molybdenum sulfide, and silver telluride were found inside the microparticles, which probably resulted from the segregation of the silicate and sulfide (telluride) during molten-stage. An alkali-depleted layer of ca. 0.2 μm thick exists at the outer side of the particle collected from cedar leaves 8 months after the nuclear accident, suggesting gradual leaching of radiocesium from the microparticles in the natural environment.

Concepts: Electron, Iron, Chernobyl disaster, Uranium, Zinc, Copper, Silver, Transition metal


Conformational changes of Aβ peptide result in its transformation from native monomeric state to the toxic soluble dimers, oligomers and insoluble aggregates that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Interactions of zinc ions with Aβ are mediated by the N-terminal Aβ1-16 domain and appear to play a key role in AD progression. There is a range of results indicating that these interactions trigger the Aβ plaque formation. We have determined structure and functional characteristics of the metal binding domains derived from several Aβ variants and found that their zinc-induced oligomerization is governed by conformational changes in the minimal zinc binding site 6HDSGYEVHH14. The residue H6 and segment 11EVHH14, which are part of this site are crucial for formation of the two zinc-mediated interaction interfaces in Aβ. These structural determinants can be considered as promising targets for rational design of the AD-modifying drugs aimed at blocking pathological Aβ aggregation.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Proteins, Protein, Peptide, Aluminium, Monomer, Silver, Oligomer


Throughout Antiquity magical amulets written on papyri, lead and silver were used for apotropaic reasons. While papyri often can be unrolled and deciphered, metal scrolls, usually very thin and tightly rolled up, cannot easily be unrolled without damaging the metal. This leaves us with unreadable results due to the damage done or with the decision not to unroll the scroll. The texts vary greatly and tell us about the cultural environment and local as well as individual practices at a variety of locations across the Mediterranean. Here we present the methodology and the results of the digital unfolding of a silver sheet from Jerash in Jordan from the mid-8(th) century CE. The scroll was inscribed with 17 lines in presumed pseudo-Arabic as well as some magical signs. The successful unfolding shows that it is possible to digitally unfold complexly folded scrolls, but that it requires a combination of the know-how of the software and linguistic knowledge.

Concepts: Epistemology, Linguistics, Writing, Silver, Jordan, Torah, Codex, Scroll


The degradation of some organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs) in the presence of metal ions was studied by (31)P-NMR spectroscopy. Both (31)P-NMR and gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy results were used in order to determine the nature of metabolites formed after degradation. The degraded organophosphorus pesticide were investigated for chlorpyrifos and phoxim in the presence of several metal ions including Hg(2+), Cu(2+), Cd(2+), Ni(2+), Pb(2+), and Ag(+). (31)P-NMR results indicated Ag(+) and Hg(2+) ion promoted degradation of OPPs and other metal ions formed complex with OPPs and cannot degrade OPPs. We found that the degradation of chlorpyrifos and phoxim with Ag(+) or Hg(2+) led to the formation of O,O-diethyl-O-methyl phosphorothionate, (C(2)H(5)O)(2)(CH(3)O)PS, at metal ion/pesticide mole ratios ≤1.0 and completely decomposed at a higher mole ratio of 10. Finally, the method was successfully applied to the degradation study of a number of technical and formulated pesticides in the presence of Ag(+) ion at a metal ion/pesticide mole ratio of 10.

Concepts: Iron, Hydrogen, Metal, Solid, Potassium, Silver, Ionic bond, Nickel


Understanding the factors that influence the growth and final shape of noble metal nanostructures is important for controlling their properties. However, relative to their single-crystalline counterparts, the growth of nanoparticles that contain twin defects can be difficult to control because multiple competitive growth pathways can yield such structures. We used spherical, cubic, and octahedral single-crystalline gold nanoparticles as dual electron microscopy labels and plasmonic seeds to track the growth of multiply twinned silver nanostructures. As the bimetallic nanostructures grew, they successively developed twin planes to ultimately form multiply twinned nanoparticles from single-crystalline seeds. Collectively, these data demonstrate how a series of nanoparticles of different shapes and internal crystal structures are interrelated and develop from one another.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Structure, Nanomaterials, Gold, Silver, Crystal system, Polyhedron, Shape