Journal of Nanomaterials The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Monitoring of Glucose in Beer Brewing by a Carbon Nanotubes Based Nylon Nanofibrous Biosensor Sun, 26 Jun 2016 11:53:28 +0000 This work presents the design, preparation, and characterization of a novel glucose electrochemical biosensor based on the immobilization of glucose oxidase (GOX) into a nylon nanofibrous membrane (NFM) prepared by electrospinning and functionalized with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNT). A disc of such GOX/CNT/NFM membrane (40 μm in thickness) was used for coating the surface of a glassy carbon electrode. The resulting biosensor was characterized by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry, with ferrocene methanol as mediator. The binding of GOX around the CNT/NFM greatly enhances the electron transfer, which results in a biosensor with a current five times higher than without CNT. The potential usefulness of the proposed biosensor was demonstrated with the analysis of glucose in commercial beverages and along the monitoring of the brewing process for making beer, from the mashing to the fermentation steps. Marco Mason, Edoardo Longo, and Matteo Scampicchio Copyright © 2016 Marco Mason et al. All rights reserved. Nanomechanical Characterization of Amyloid Fibrils Using Single-Molecule Experiments and Computational Simulations Sun, 26 Jun 2016 09:04:31 +0000 Amyloid fibrils have recently received much attention due to not only their important role in disease pathogenesis but also their excellent mechanical properties, which are comparable to those of mechanically strong protein materials such as spider silk. This indicates the necessity of understanding fundamental principles providing insight into how amyloid fibrils exhibit the excellent mechanical properties, which may allow for developing biomimetic materials whose material (e.g., mechanical) properties can be controlled. Here, we describe recent efforts to characterize the nanomechanical properties of amyloid fibrils using computational simulations (e.g., atomistic simulations) and single-molecule experiments (e.g., atomic force microscopy experiments). This paper summarizes theoretical models, which are useful in analyzing the mechanical properties of amyloid fibrils based on simulations and experiments, such as continuum elastic (beam) model, elastic network model, and polymer statistical model. In this paper, we suggest how the nanomechanical properties of amyloid fibrils can be characterized and determined using computational simulations and/or atomic force microscopy experiments coupled with the theoretical models. Bumjoon Choi, Taehee Kim, Sang Woo Lee, and Kilho Eom Copyright © 2016 Bumjoon Choi et al. All rights reserved. Manganese Oxide on Carbon Fabric for Flexible Supercapacitors Thu, 23 Jun 2016 11:33:57 +0000 We report the fabrication of uniform large-area manganese oxide (MnO2) nanosheets on carbon fabric which oxidized using O2 plasma treatment (MnO2/O2-carbon fabric) via electrodeposition process and their implementation as supercapacitor electrodes. Electrochemical measurements demonstrated that MnO2/O2-carbon fabric exhibited capacitance as high as 275 F/g at a scan rate of 5 mV/s; in addition, it showed an excellent cycling performance (less than 20% capacitance loss after 10,000 cycles). All the results suggest that MnO2/O2-carbon fabric is a promising electrode material which has great potential for application on flexible supercapacitors. Jianfeng Zhang, Mujun Chen, Yunwang Ge, and Qi Liu Copyright © 2016 Jianfeng Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Carbon Nanotube and Graphene Based Polyamide Electrospun Nanocomposites: A Review Wed, 22 Jun 2016 07:52:21 +0000 Electrospinning is a unique and versatile technique to produce nanofibres; the facility to incorporate fillers has expanded its range of applications. This review gives a brief description of the process and the different polymers employed for obtaining nanofibres. Owing to the ability of fibrillation of polyamides, these polymers have resulted in a wide variety of interesting results obtained when using this technique; therefore these features are summarised. Additionally, because of the feasibility of incorporating carbon nanotubes and graphene in these nanofibres and the growing interest on these nanomaterials, this review focuses in the most common methods employed for their incorporation in electrospun polyamides. Several equipment setups used for the electrospinning of the nanofibres are explained. The outstanding electrical, optical, crystallinity, and mechanical properties obtained by a number of research groups are discussed. The potential applications of the resulting nanocomposites have also been explored. Fabiola Navarro-Pardo, Ana L. Martinez-Hernandez, and Carlos Velasco-Santos Copyright © 2016 Fabiola Navarro-Pardo et al. All rights reserved. Study of Methylene Blue Degradation by Gold Nanoparticles Synthesized within Natural Zeolites Tue, 21 Jun 2016 14:17:03 +0000 We carried out the in situ synthesis of gold nanoparticles inside a natural clinoptilolite-type zeolite matrix, using ascorbic acid as reducing agent. The microstructure of both zeolite and zeolite-gold nanocomposite was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM), and Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) techniques. Size distribution as assessed by STEM indicated that 60% of gold nanoparticles measured less than 2.5 nm. Determination of the surface area by the BET method revealed a specific value of 27.35 m2/g. The catalytic activity of zeolite-gold regarding methylene blue degradation under different light-exposing conditions was evaluated by UV-Vis spectroscopy. The results indicated that 50% degradation was achieved in only 11 min in presence of sunlight. This reaction was faster in comparison with those obtained using a white LED light. A notable aspect of this study is that catalysis was carried out without the addition of any strong reducing agents, such as sodium borohydride (NaBH4). Ericka Rodríguez León, Eduardo Larios Rodríguez, César Rodríguez Beas, Germán Plascencia-Villa, and Ramón Alfonso Iñiguez Palomares Copyright © 2016 Ericka Rodríguez León et al. All rights reserved. Versatile Phase Transfer Method for the Efficient Surface Functionalization of Gold Nanoparticles: Towards Controlled Nanoparticle Dispersion in a Polymer Matrix Mon, 20 Jun 2016 11:38:52 +0000 In electronic devices based on hybrid materials such as nonvolatile memory elements (NVMEs), it is essential to control precisely the dispersion of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) in an insulating polymer matrix such as polystyrene in order to control the functionality of the device. In this work the incorporation of AuNPs in polystyrene films is controlled by tuning the surface functionalization of the metallic nanoparticles via ligand exchange. Two ligands with different structures were used for functionalization: 1-decanethiol and thiol-terminated polystyrene. This paper presents a versatile method for the modification of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with thiol-terminated polystyrene ligands via phase transfer process. An organic colloid of AuNPs ( nm diameter) is obtained by the phase transfer process (from water to toluene) that allows exchanging the ligand adsorbed on AuNPs surface (hydrophilic citrate/tannic acid to hydrophobic thiols). The stability, size distribution, and precise location of modified AuNPs in the polymer matrix are obtained from UV-Vis spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and electron tomography. TEM tomographic 3D imaging demonstrates that the modification of AuNPs with thiol-terminated polystyrene results in homogeneous particle distribution in the polystyrene matrix compared to 1-decanethiol modified AuNPs for which a vertical phase separation with a homogeneous layer of AuNPs located at the bottom of the polymer matrix was observed. Katarzyna Ranoszek-Soliwoda, Maria Girleanu, Beata Tkacz-Szczęsna, Marcin Rosowski, Grzegorz Celichowski, Martin Brinkmann, Ovidiu Ersen, and Jaroslaw Grobelny Copyright © 2016 Katarzyna Ranoszek-Soliwoda et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Characterization, and Photocatalytic Tests of N-Doped Zinc Oxide: A New Interesting Photocatalyst Sun, 19 Jun 2016 09:53:01 +0000 Fast and simple synthetic methods for the preparation of bare and N-doped zinc oxide, involving a stirring or microwave assisted process, are proposed. All samples were characterized by XRD analysis, BET, and DRS-UV-Vis spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activity of these nanostructured oxides was investigated using phenol and 2,4-dichlorophenol as model molecules under UV-A and visible light irradiation. N-doping in ZnO nanostructures provided a significant increase in phenol and 2,4-dichlorophenol degradation rate under Vis light, leading to a degradation rate higher than that obtained with bare ZnO. The release of chlorine as chloride ions from 2,4-dichlorophenol with N-doped ZnO was faster achieved as well and complete dechlorination was reached within 2 h of irradiation (N-doped ZnO) instead of 3 h (bare ZnO). Chiara Gionco, Debora Fabbri, Paola Calza, and Maria Cristina Paganini Copyright © 2016 Chiara Gionco et al. All rights reserved. Recent Development of Graphene-Based Cathode Materials for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Sun, 19 Jun 2016 07:38:50 +0000 Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have attracted extensive attention for serving as potential low-cost alternatives to silicon-based solar cells. As a vital role of a typical DSSC, the counter electrode (CE) is generally employed to collect electrons via the external circuit and speed up the reduction reaction of to in the redox electrolyte. The noble Pt is usually deposited on a conductive glass substrate as CE material due to its excellent electrical conductivity, electrocatalytic activity, and electrochemical stability. To achieve cost-efficient DSSCs, reasonable efforts have been made to explore Pt-free alternatives. Recently, the graphene-based CEs have been intensively investigated to replace the high-cost noble Pt CE. In this paper, we provided an overview of studies on the electrochemical and photovoltaic characteristics of graphene-based CEs, including graphene, graphene/Pt, graphene/carbon materials, graphene/conducting polymers, and graphene/inorganic compounds. We also summarize the design and advantages of each graphene-based material and provide the possible directions for designing new graphene-based catalysts in future research for high-performance and low-cost DSSCs. Man-Ning Lu, Chin-Yu Chang, Tzu-Chien Wei, and Jeng-Yu Lin Copyright © 2016 Man-Ning Lu et al. All rights reserved. Niosomes as Nanoparticular Drug Carriers: Fundamentals and Recent Applications Thu, 16 Jun 2016 11:35:15 +0000 Drug delivery systems are defined as formulations aiming for transportation of a drug to the desired area of action within the body. The basic component of drug delivery systems is an appropriate carrier that protects the drug from rapid degradation or clearance and thereby enhances drug concentration in target tissues. Based on their biodegradable, biocompatible, and nonimmunogenic structure, niosomes are promising drug carriers that are formed by self-association of nonionic surfactants and cholesterol in an aqueous phase. In recent years, numerous research articles have been published in scientific journals reporting the potential of niosomes to serve as a carrier for the delivery of different types of drugs. The present review describes preparation methods, characterization techniques, and recent studies on niosomal drug delivery systems and also gives up to date information regarding recent applications of niosomes in drug delivery. Didem Ag Seleci, Muharrem Seleci, Johanna-Gabriela Walter, Frank Stahl, and Thomas Scheper Copyright © 2016 Didem Ag Seleci et al. All rights reserved. A Laser Fabrication of Magnetic Micromachines by Using Optimized Photosensitive Ferrofluids Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:18:23 +0000 We report here a laser fabrication of magnetic micromachines by using optimized photosensitive ferrofluids. Fe3O4 nanoparticles were prepared by thermal decomposition and subsequent ligand exchange. And then, they were dispersed into photoresist. As a representative illustration, a magnetic microturbine with high surface flatness was fabricated, and its rotation speed could reach as high as 400 rpm under revolving magnetic field. Ye Tian and Xiangxin Shao Copyright © 2016 Ye Tian and Xiangxin Shao. All rights reserved. Preparation of Composite Films of a Conjugated Polymer and C60NWs and Their Photovoltaic Application Wed, 15 Jun 2016 06:43:47 +0000 Composite films of conjugated polymers, such as poly-methoxy-5-(3′,7′-dimethyloctyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MDMO-PPV) and poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), with C60 nanowhiskers (C60NWs) were prepared. The photoluminescence originating from the conjugated MDMO-PPV polymers was effectively quenched in the composite film, indicating a strong interaction between the conjugated polymer and C60NWs. The photovoltaic devices were fabricated using C60NW (conjugated polymer) composite films, resulting in a power conversion efficiency of ~0.01% for P3HT with short length thin C60NWs, which is higher than that previously reported for thick C60 nanorods. The present study gives new guidance on the selection of the type of C60NWs and the appropriate polymer for new photovoltaic devices. Takatsugu Wakahara, Kun’ichi Miyazawa, Osamu Ito, and Nobutaka Tanigaki Copyright © 2016 Takatsugu Wakahara et al. All rights reserved. XPS Studies of Electrodeposited Grown F-Doped ZnO Rods and Electrical Properties of p-Si/n-FZN Heterojunctions Wed, 15 Jun 2016 06:23:03 +0000 The chemical composition of the electrodeposited undoped and F-doped ZnO (FZN) rods was investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). These results confirmed the existence of F as a doping element into ZnO crystal lattice. The p-Si/n-ZnO and p-Si/n-FZN heterojunction diodes were fabricated and their electrical properties were investigated. Some parameters belong to these diodes such as ideality factor (n), barrier height (), and series resistance () which were calculated from the current-voltage (I-V) curves that exhibited rectifying behavior by using thermionic emission theory, Norde’s function, and Cheung’s method. There is a good agreement between the diode parameters obtained from different methods. Saliha Ilican, Mujdat Caglar, Seval Aksoy, and Yasemin Caglar Copyright © 2016 Saliha Ilican et al. All rights reserved. Biolabeling and Binding Evaluation of Amphiphilic Nanocrystallopolymers Wed, 15 Jun 2016 06:00:44 +0000 Surfactant-like inorganic-organic hybrid molecules named as nanocrystallopolymers were designed by conjugation of the hydrophilic synthetic poly(amino acid), poly-,-(N-(2-hydroxyethyl)L-aspartamide), with hydrophobic inorganic nanoparticles. In aqueous media, amphiphilic nanocrystallopolymers form self-aggregates with unique morphologies. Here, a simple biolabeling method of nanocrystallopolymers was developed. Biotin was selected as a model biomolecule. The specific binding of biotin-labeled nanocrystallopolymers to the targeted surface was evaluated with a surface plasmon resonance sensor. Kwang-Suk Jang Copyright © 2016 Kwang-Suk Jang. All rights reserved. Confined Nystatin Polyenes in Nanopore Induce Biologic Ionic Selectivity Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:55:41 +0000 Antifungal polyenes such as nystatin (or amphotericin B) molecules play an important role in regulating ions permeability through membrane cell. The creation of self-assembled nanopores into the fungal lipid membranes permits the leakage and the selectivity of ions (i.e., blockage of divalent cations) that cause the cell death. These abilities are thus of first interest to promote new biomimetic membranes with improved ionic properties. In the present work, we will use molecular dynamic simulations to interpret recent experimental data that showed the transfer of the nystatin action inside artificial nanopore in terms of ion permeability and selectivity. We will demonstrate that nystatin polyenes can be stabilized in a hydrophobic carbon nanotube, even at high concentration. The high potential interaction between the polyenes and the hydrophobic pore wall ensures the apparition of a hole inside the biomimetic nanopore that changes its intrinsic properties. The probability ratios of cation versus anion show interesting reproducibility of experimental measurements and, to a certain extent, opened the way for transferring biological properties in synthetic membranes. Khaoula Boukari, Guillaume Paris, Tijani Gharbi, Sébastien Balme, Jean-Marc Janot, and Fabien Picaud Copyright © 2016 Khaoula Boukari et al. All rights reserved. Structural and Optical Properties of Zirconia Nanoparticles by Thermal Treatment Synthesis Tue, 14 Jun 2016 09:22:32 +0000 Zirconium dioxide nanoparticles with monoclinic blended structure were successfully synthesized by thermal treatment method using zirconium (IV) acetate hydroxide as the metal precursor, polyvinylpyrrolidone as the capping agent, and deionized water as a solvent. The chemicals were mixed and stirred to form a homogeneous solution and hereafter directly underwent calcination to attain the pure nanocrystalline powder, which was confirmed by FTIR, EDX, and XRD analyses. The control over the size and optical properties of nanoparticles was achieved through changing in calcination temperatures from 600 to 900°C. The obtained average particle sizes from XRD spectra and TEM images showed that the particle size increased with increasing calcination temperature. The optical properties which were investigated using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer showed a decrease in the band gap energy with increasing calcination temperature due to the enlargement of the particle size. These results prove that, by eliminating drying process (24 h) in the present thermal treatment method, size-controlled zirconia nanoparticles were conveniently manufactured with a reduction of synthesize time and energy consumption, suitable for large-scale fabrication. Aysar S. Keiteb, Elias Saion, Azmi Zakaria, and Nayereh Soltani Copyright © 2016 Aysar S. Keiteb et al. All rights reserved. Enhanced Stem Cell Osteogenic Differentiation by Bioactive Glass Functionalized Graphene Oxide Substrates Tue, 14 Jun 2016 08:27:53 +0000 An unmet need in engineered bone regeneration is to develop scaffolds capable of manipulating stem cells osteogenesis. Graphene oxide (GO) has been widely used as a biomaterial for various biomedical applications. However, it remains challenging to functionalize GO as ideal platform for specifically directing stem cell osteogenesis. Herein, we report facile functionalization of GO with dopamine and subsequent bioactive glass (BG) to enhance stem cell adhesion, spreading, and osteogenic differentiation. On the basis of graphene, we obtained dopamine functionalized graphene oxide/bioactive glass (DGO/BG) hybrid scaffolds containing different content of DGO by loading BG nanoparticles on graphene oxide surface using sol-gel method. To enhance the dispersion stability and facilitate subsequent nucleation of BG in GO, firstly, dopamine (DA) was used to modify GO. Then, the modified GO was functionalized with bioactive glass (BG) using sol-gel method. The adhesion, spreading, and osteoinductive effects of DGO/BG scaffold on rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) were evaluated. DGO/BG hybrid scaffolds with different content of DGO could influence rBMSCs’ behavior. The highest expression level of osteogenic markers suggests that the DGO/BG hybrid scaffolds have great potential or elicit desired bone reparative outcome. Xiaoju Mo, Yan Wei, Xuehui Zhang, Qing Cai, Yang Shen, Xiaohan Dai, Song Meng, Xing Liu, Yun Liu, Zhewen Hu, and Xuliang Deng Copyright © 2016 Xiaoju Mo et al. All rights reserved. A Novel and Disposable Enzyme-Labeled Amperometric Immunosensor Based on MWCNT Fibers for Listeria monocytogenes Detection Mon, 13 Jun 2016 12:15:17 +0000 A sensitive and specific immunosensor was developed by immobilizing HRP-labeled antibody against Listeria monocytogenes onto the surface of the novel multiwalled carbon nanotube fibers. Firstly, the influence of immunoelectrode modification methods (chemical and physical method) on detection sensitivity and stability was studied. Next, immunosensor was developed, optimized, and applied for the detection of L. monocytogenes. The morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and electrochemical behaviors were by cyclic voltammetry. SEM image, relative response (%), and current data showed chemical modification for immunoelectrode was helpful to capture more target bacteria and obtain more stable current response, resulting in improving the detection sensitivity. The linear relationship between L. monocytogenes concentration and was from 102 to 105 cfu/mL (), and LOD was  cfu/mL. L. monocytogenes in mixed bacteria (1.51 × 103 cfu/mL) of milk sample (S/N > 14) were detected by developed immunosensor, showing good specificity. Good storage stability and reproducibility (RSD < 6.5%) also showed the potential application of immunosensor for the rapid detection of L. monocytogenes. Ying Lu, Yongling Liu, Yong Zhao, Wenjiao Li, Longbing Qiu, and Li Li Copyright © 2016 Ying Lu et al. All rights reserved. Gold Nanoparticles Synthesized with a Polyphenols-Rich Extract from Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) Fruits: Effects on Human Skin Cells Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:46:52 +0000 Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were obtained by green synthesis with an extract from Cornus mas fruits (GNPs-CM), characterized by several methods, and their biologic effects were evaluated on two cell lines: HaCaT, normal keratinocytes, and A431, epidermoid carcinoma. GNPs were spherical with sizes between 2 and 24 nm. Their optical spectra had a dominant plasmonic band centered at 525 nm; zeta potential distribution was narrow, centered at −19.7 mV, and the mean hydrodynamic diameter was 58 nm. GNPs were visualized in both cell types entering the cells by endocytosis. The amount of gold uptaken by the cells was dose and time dependent. The intracellular concentration of Au ions was higher in HaCaT compared to A431 cells. The toxicity of GNPs-CM was dose dependent being significant only when the highest concentrations were employed. A431 cells were less affected compared to HaCaT cells, but the difference was not statistically significant. ROS production was not significant, except in HaCaT cells at the highest concentration. The comet assay revealed no significant supplementary DNA lesions, while the secretion of inflammatory cytokines was modulated by the presence of GNPs only when the cells were additionally irradiated with UVB. These results recommend GNPs-CM for further testing and possible dermatological applications. Maria Perde-Schrepler, Luminita David, Liliana Olenic, Monica Potara, Eva Fischer-Fodor, Piroska Virag, Florica Imre-Lucaci, Ioana Brie, and Adrian Florea Copyright © 2016 Maria Perde-Schrepler et al. All rights reserved. Poly-γ-Glutamic Acid Nanoparticles Based Visible Light-Curable Hydrogel for Biomedical Application Sun, 12 Jun 2016 10:43:13 +0000 Nanoparticles and hydrogels have gained notable attention as promising potential for fabrication of scaffolds and delivering materials. Visible light-curable systems can allow for the possibility of in situ fabrication and have the advantage of optimal applicability. In this study nanogel was created from methacrylated poly-gamma-glutamic acid nanoparticles by visible (dental blue) light photopolymerization. The average size of the particles was 80 nm by DLS, and the NMR spectra showed that the methacrylation rate was 10%. Polymerization time was 3 minutes, and a stable nanogel with a swelling rate of 110% was formed. The mechanical parameters of the prepared structure (compression stress 0.73 MPa, and Young’s modulus 0.93 MPa) can be as strong as necessary in a real situation, for example, in the mouth. A retaining effect of the nanogel was found for ampicillin, and the biocompatibility of this system was tested by Alamar Blue proliferation assay, while the cell morphology was examined by fluorescence and laser scanning confocal microscopy. In conclusion, the nanogel can be used for drug delivery, or it can be suitable for a control factor in different systems. József Bakó, Farkas Kerényi, Edit Hrubi, István Varga, Lajos Daróczi, Beatrix Dienes, László Csernoch, József Gáll, and Csaba Hegedűs Copyright © 2016 József Bakó et al. All rights reserved. Functionalized Solid-Sphere PEG-b-PCL Nanoparticles to Target Brain Capillary Endothelial Cells In Vitro Sun, 12 Jun 2016 07:50:42 +0000 Nanoparticles are increasingly used to implement drug targeting strategies. In the present study, solid-sphere nanoparticles (SNPs) made of poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) were covalently linked to a monoclonal antibody (83-14 mAb) targeted against the human insulin receptor that is highly expressed on human brain microvascular endothelial cells. Resulting targeted SNPs were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), cryo-TEM, dynamic light scattering, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The critical aggregation concentration was determined using a fluorescence approach. Interaction with a well-characterized human in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier (hCMEC/D3) was analysed using an array of methods (flow cytometry, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and TEM). The toxicity on hCMEC/D3 cells and in addition on the human liver cell line HepG2 was assessed using the MTT assay. SNPs with a diameter of 80 nm and a homogeneous size distribution were obtained. Successful conjugation of 83-14 mAb using a heterobifunctional linker resulted in 5-6 molecules of fluorescently labeled 83-14 mAb per SNP. Functionalized SNPs were taken up by hCMEC/D3 cells efficiently without showing a significant toxic effect on cells of the blood-brain barrier and HepG2 cells. These results indicate that functionalized PEG-b-PCL SNPs are a promising candidate to deliver drugs to the CNS. Philip Grossen, Gabriela Québatte, Dominik Witzigmann, Cristina Prescianotto-Baschong, Le-Ha Dieu, and Jörg Huwyler Copyright © 2016 Philip Grossen et al. All rights reserved. Design of Nanoparticle-Based Carriers for Targeted Drug Delivery Thu, 09 Jun 2016 09:27:07 +0000 Nanoparticles have shown promise as both drug delivery vehicles and direct antitumor systems, but they must be properly designed in order to maximize efficacy. Computational modeling is often used both to design new nanoparticles and to better understand existing ones. Modeled processes include the release of drugs at the tumor site and the physical interaction between the nanoparticle and cancer cells. In this paper, we provide an overview of three different targeted drug delivery methods (passive targeting, active targeting, and physical targeting) and compare methods of action, advantages, limitations, and the current stages of research. For the most commonly used nanoparticle carriers, fabrication methods are also reviewed. This is followed by a review of computational simulations and models on nanoparticle-based drug delivery. Xiaojiao Yu, Ian Trase, Muqing Ren, Kayla Duval, Xing Guo, and Zi Chen Copyright © 2016 Xiaojiao Yu et al. All rights reserved. Functional Smart Dispersed Liquid Crystals for Nano- and Biophotonic Applications: Nanoparticles-Assisted Optical Bioimaging Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:46:30 +0000 Functional nematic liquid crystal structures doped with nano- and bioobjects have been investigated. The self-assembling features and the photorefractive parameters of the structured liquid crystals have been comparatively studied via microscopy and laser techniques. Fullerene, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, DNA, and erythrocytes have been considered as the effective nano- and biosensitizers of the LC mesophase. The holographic recording technique based on four-wave mixing of the laser beams has been used to investigate the laser-induced change of the refractive index in the nano- and bioobjects-doped liquid crystal cells. The special accent has been given to novel nanostructured relief with vertically aligned carbon nanotubes at the interface: solid substrate-liquid crystal mesophase. It has been shown that this nanostructured relief influences the orienting ability of the liquid crystal molecules with good advantage. As a result, it provokes the orientation of the DNA. The modified functional liquid crystal materials have been proposed as the perspective systems for both the photonics and biology as well as the medical applications. N. V. Kamanina, S. V. Likhomanova, Yu. A. Zubtcova, A. A. Kamanin, and A. Pawlicka Copyright © 2016 N. V. Kamanina et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and Evaluation of Solid-Self-Emulsifying Drug Delivery System Containing Paclitaxel for Lymphatic Delivery Wed, 08 Jun 2016 08:33:37 +0000 Solid-self-emulsifying drug delivery system (S-SEDDS) of paclitaxel (Ptx) was developed by the spray drying method with the purpose of improving the low bioavailability (BA) of Ptx. 10% oil (ethyl oleate), 80% surfactant mixture (Tween 80 : Carbitol, 90 : 10, w/w), and 10% cosolvent (PEG 400) were chosen according to their solubilizing capacity. The mean droplet size, zeta potential, and encapsulation efficiency of the prepared S-SEDDS were 16.9 ± 1.53 nm, 12.5 ± 1.66 mV, and 56.2 ± 8.1%, respectively. In the S-SEDDS, Ptx presents in the form of molecular dispersion in the emulsions or is distributed in an amorphous state or crystalline with very small size. The prepared S-SEDDS formulation showed 70 and 75% dissolution in 60 and 30 min in dissolution medium pH 1.2 and 6.8, respectively. Significant increase () in the peak concentration (), the area under the curve (), and the lymphatic targeting efficiency of Ptx was observed after the oral administration of the Ptx-loaded S-SEDDS to rats (20 mg/kg as Ptx). Our research suggests the prepared Ptx-loaded S-SEDDS can be a good candidate for the enhancement of BA and targeting drug delivery to the lymphatic system of Ptx. Hea-Young Cho, Jun-Hyuk Kang, Lien Ngo, Phuong Tran, and Yong-Bok Lee Copyright © 2016 Hea-Young Cho et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Substrate Temperature on the Corrosion Behaviour of Nanochromium Coatings Deposited by Direct Current Magnetron Sputtering Tue, 07 Jun 2016 11:38:01 +0000 Nanochromium coatings were deposited on 316L stainless steel bipolar plates of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) by a direct current magnetron sputtering technique. The effect of substrate temperature on the corrosion resistance of nanochromium coatings was investigated. The corrosion performance of the bare and chromium-coated steel in a simulated environment of PEMFC (0.5 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm F−) was studied using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, polarisation, and open circuit potential measurements. The results showed that the corrosion rates of two nanochromium coatings deposited at 300°C and 500°C were lower than those of uncoated steel by more than one order of magnitude. Electrochemical impedance spectra of both nanochromium coatings exhibited distinct characteristics in corrosive solution. The nanochromium coating deposited at 500°C showed superior stability in the corrosive solution. Yanjie Ren, Jian Chen, Yaqing Chen, Jianlin Chen, and Wei Qiu Copyright © 2016 Yanjie Ren et al. All rights reserved. Flux Enhancement in Membrane Distillation Using Nanofiber Membranes Tue, 07 Jun 2016 07:13:59 +0000 Membrane distillation (MD) is an emerging separation technology, whose largest application potential lies in the desalination of highly concentrated solutions, which are out of the scope of reverse osmosis. Despite many attractive features, this technology is still awaiting large industrial application. The main reason is the lack of commercially available membranes with fluxes comparable to reverse osmosis. MD is a thermal separation process driven by a partial vapour pressure difference. Flux, distillate purity, and thermal efficiency are always in conflict, all three being strictly connected with pore size, membrane hydrophobicity, and thickness. The world has not seen the ideal membrane yet, but nanofibers may offer a solution to these contradictory requirements. Membranes of electrospun PVDF were tested under various conditions on a direct contact (DCMD) unit, in order to determine the optimum conditions for maximum flux. In addition, their performance was compared to commonly available PTFE, PE, and PES membranes. It was confirmed that thinner membranes have higher fluxes and a lower distillate purity and also higher energy losses via conduction across the membrane. As both mass and heat transfer are connected, it is best to develop new membranes with a target application in mind, for the specific membrane module and operational conditions. T. Jiříček, M. Komárek, J. Chaloupek, and T. Lederer Copyright © 2016 T. Jiříček et al. All rights reserved. Bactericide Effect of Silver Nanoparticles as a Final Irrigation Agent in Endodontics on Enterococcus faecalis: An Ex Vivo Study Mon, 06 Jun 2016 12:29:49 +0000 The objective of this study was to determine the bactericidal effect of silver nanoparticles as a final irrigation agent in endodontics. This study included 120 uniradicular extracted dental organs inoculated with Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) and organized into 4 groups: (A) 30 teeth irrigated with a dispersion of silver nanoparticles (537 μg/mL); (B) 30 teeth irrigated with a sodium hypochlorite solution (2.25%); (C) 30 teeth irrigated with a dispersion of silver nanoparticles (537 μg/mL) + EDTA (17%); and (D) 30 teeth with a saline solution. After the irrigation protocol, the samples were analyzed through a spectrophotometer to measure the bactericidal effect and scanning electron microscope and atomic force microscope in order to observe the presence of dental smear layer. The results showed that nanoparticles of 10 nm and the sodium hypochlorite at 2.25% were effective for eliminating E. faecalis, with no significant difference between them. Pedro-IV González-Luna, Gabriel-Alejandro Martínez-Castañón, Norma-Verónica Zavala-Alonso, Nuria Patiño-Marin, Nereyda Niño-Martínez, Javier Morán-Martínez, and Jorge-Humberto Ramírez-González Copyright © 2016 Pedro-IV González-Luna et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis of Monolithic Fe2O3-Al2O3 Composite Aerogels via Organic Solvent Sublimation Drying Sun, 05 Jun 2016 11:26:30 +0000 Monolithic Fe2O3-Al2O3 composite aerogels have been prepared successfully via organic solvent sublimation drying method. The results show that a new phase forms when the right amount of ferric oxide is added to the alumina aerogel. From the TEM pictures we can see a shuttle-type structure with the length of about 15 nm forms, which leads to the high surface areas of composited aerogel. Lili Ren, Xueai Li, and Sumin Cui Copyright © 2016 Lili Ren et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Phases Content on Pt/TiO2, Pd/TiO2 Catalysts for Degradation of 4-Chlorophenol at Room Temperature Sun, 05 Jun 2016 07:09:42 +0000 Different Pt/TiO2 and Pd/TiO2 catalysts were prepared by sol-gel method. The influence of different amounts of noble metals (1–5 mol-%) present on the microstructure as well as the photocatalytic property under 4-chlorophenol degradation was evaluated. The anatase phase was favored at low Pt content; however, the apparition of new phases after 3 mol-% (PtO) suggests a saturation lattice considering our solubility limit at 1 mol-%. Similar trend was observed when Pd was added to the TiO2 lattice. The as-prepared catalysts were deeply characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) with the Rietveld Method, Raman spectroscopy, high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) adsorption analysis, and X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Unit-cell parameter of TiO2 phases varied from 30 to 93 vol-% depending on the amount of Pt or Pd added to the composite. HRTEM and HRSEM identified the phases in the catalysts and confirmed the nanometric size and morphology of the catalysts. An improvement in removal efficiency of 4-chlorophenol was obtained in all the specimens compared with the commercial Degussa P25, which can be explained in terms of phase composition and modification of the band gap. D. S. García-Zaleta, A. M. Torres-Huerta, M. A. Domínguez-Crespo, A. García-Murillo, R. Silva-Rodrigo, and R. López González Copyright © 2016 D. S. García-Zaleta et al. All rights reserved. High Current-Induced Electron Redistribution in a CVD-Grown Graphene Wide Constriction Sun, 05 Jun 2016 06:35:08 +0000 Investigating the charge transport behavior in one-dimensional quantum confined system such as the localized states and interference effects due to the nanoscale grain boundaries and merged domains in wide chemical vapor deposition graphene constriction is highly desirable since it would help to realize industrial graphene-based electronic device applications. Our data suggests a crossover from interference coherent transport to carriers flushing into grain boundaries and merged domains when increasing the current. Moreover, many-body fermionic carriers with disordered system in our case can be statistically described by mean-field Gross-Pitaevskii equation via a single wave function by means of the quantum hydrodynamic approximation. The novel numerical simulation method supports the experimental results and suggests that the extreme high barrier potential regions on graphene from the grain boundaries and merged domains can be strongly affected by additional hot charges. Such interesting results could pave the way for quantum transport device by supplying additional hot current to flood into the grain boundaries and merged domains in one-dimensional quantum confined CVD graphene, a great advantage for developing graphene-based coherent electronic devices. Chiashain Chuang, Tak-Pong Woo, Fan-Hung Liu, Masahiro Matsunaga, Yuichi Ochiai, Nobuyuki Aoki, and Chi-Te Liang Copyright © 2016 Chiashain Chuang et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Multimodal Pore Channels on Cargo Release from Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Sun, 05 Jun 2016 06:28:23 +0000 Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with multimodal pore channels were fully characterized by TEM, nitrogen adsorption-desorption, and DLS analyses. MSNs with average diameter of 200 nm with dual pore channel zones with pore diameters of 1.3–2.6 and 4 nm were tested for their use in drug delivery application. Important role of the multimodal pore systems present on MSNs on the quantitative release of model drug ibuprofen was investigated. The results obtained revealed that the release profile for ibuprofen clearly shows distinct zones which can be attributed to the respective porous channel zones present on the particles. The fluctuations in the concentration of ibuprofen during the prolonged release from MSNs were caused by the multimodal pore channel systems. Sushilkumar A. Jadhav, Valentina Brunella, Gloria Berlier, Elena Ugazio, and Dominique Scalarone Copyright © 2016 Sushilkumar A. Jadhav et al. All rights reserved.