Journal of Nanomaterials The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Effect of Different Mediated Agents on Morphology and Crystallinity of Synthesized Silver Nanowires Prepared by Polyol Process Thu, 21 Jul 2016 13:17:44 +0000 Synthesis and characterization of multiple crystalline silver nanowires (NWs) with uniform diameters were carried out by using 1,2-propandiol and ethylene glycol (EG) as comediated solvents and FeCl3 as mediated agent in the presence of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP). Experimental data and structural characterizations revealed that AgNWs have evolved from the multiple crystalline seeds initially generated by reduction of AgNO3 with EG and 1,2-propandiol followed by reducing Fe(III) to Fe(II) which in turn reacts with and removes adsorbed atomic oxygen from the surfaces of silver seeds. In addition, uniform silver nanowires were obtained by using FeCl2 and AlCl3 as mediated agents in EG solution. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed uniform nanowires in both diameter and length. UV-Vis spectra showed adsorption peaks confirming the formation of nanowires. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns displayed the final product with high crystallinity and purity. In this study, a growth mechanism for forming AgNWs was proposed and a comparison between different mediated agents was carried out. Mohammad Taghi Satoungar, Hamed Azizi, Saeid Fattahi, Mohammad Khajeh Mehrizi, and Hedieh Fallahi Copyright © 2016 Mohammad Taghi Satoungar et al. All rights reserved. Silver Nanoparticles Embedded in Natural Rubber Films: Synthesis, Characterization, and Evaluation of In Vitro Toxicity Thu, 21 Jul 2016 12:39:29 +0000 Natural rubber (NR) films can reduce silver metal ions forming embedded metal nanoparticles, a process that could be described as green synthesis. The NR films acting as a reactor generate and incorporate silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). Organic acids and amino acids play a crucial role in the formation of AgNPs. The plasmon extinction obtained in the UV-visible spectrum shows the presence of nanoparticles in the film after dipping the NR film into a solution of silver nitrate at 80°C. Electron microscopic analysis confirms the presence of AgNPs in the NR film and characterization by atomic force microscopy shows a change in the roughness of the NR film with AgNPs. In addition, our preliminary results from in vitro toxicity studies (MTT and comet assays) of the NR films and NR films with silver nanoparticles (NR/Ag) show that they are not toxic to cell lineage CHO-K1 (cells from the ovary of a Chinese hamster), an important result for potential medical applications. Caroline S. Danna, Dalita G. S. M. Cavalcante, Andressa S. Gomes, Leandra E. Kerche-Silva, Eidi Yoshihara, Igor O. Osorio-Román, Leandra O. Salmazo, Miguel A. Rodríguez-Pérez, Ricardo F. Aroca, and Aldo E. Job Copyright © 2016 Caroline S. Danna et al. All rights reserved. Niosome Encapsulation of Curcumin: Characterization and Cytotoxic Effect on Ovarian Cancer Cells Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:54:38 +0000 Curcumin, a natural chemical compound found in Curcuma longa, has been applied in multiple medicinal areas from antibiotic to antitumor treatment. However, the chemical structure of curcumin results in poor stability, low solubility, and rapid degradation in vivo, hindering its clinical utilization. To address these issues, we have developed a novel niosome system composed of nonionic surfactants: Span 80, Tween 80, and Poloxamer 188. Curcumin was encapsulated in the niosomes with a high entrapment efficiency of %. This system provided controlled release of curcumin, thereby improving its therapeutic capability. Dynamic dialysis was conducted to evaluate the in vitro drug release of curcumin-niosomes. Curcumin-niosomes exhibited enhanced cytotoxic activity and apoptotic rate against ovarian cancer A2780 cells compared with freely dispersed curcumin. These results demonstrate that the curcumin-niosome system is a promising strategy for the delivery of curcumin and ovarian cancer therapy. Ying-Qi Xu, Wen-Rong Chen, Jonathan K. Tsosie, Xi Xie, Peng Li, Jian-Bo Wan, Cheng-Wei He, and Mei-Wan Chen Copyright © 2016 Ying-Qi Xu et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and Loading with Rifampicin of Sub-50 nm Poly(ethyl cyanoacrylate) Nanoparticles by Semicontinuous Heterophase Polymerization Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:45:10 +0000 We report the preparation of poly(ethyl cyanoacrylate) (PECA) nanoparticles by semicontinuous heterophase polymerization carried out at monomer starved conditions at three monomer addition rates. Particles in the nanometer range were obtained, the size of which diminishes with decreasing monomer addition rate as shown by the fact that particles with mean diameters of ca. 42 and 30 nm were obtained at the faster and intermediate dosing rates, respectively, whereas two populations of particles, one of 15.5 and the other of 36 nm in mean diameters, were produced at the slower dosing rate. The obtained molecular weights were from 2,200 to 3,500 g/mol, depending on the addition rate, which are typical of the anionic polymerizations of cyanoacrylates in aqueous dispersions at low pHs. The rifampicin (RIF) loading into the nanoparticles was successful since the entire drug added was incorporated. The drug release study carried out at pH of 7.2 indicated a faster release from the free RIF at intermediate and larger release times as expected since, in the nanoparticles, first the drug has to diffuse through the nanoparticle structure. The comparison of several drug release models indicates that the RIF release from PECA nanoparticles follows that of Higuchi. H. Saade, C. Barrera, R. Guerrero, E. Mendizábal, J. E. Puig, and R. G. López Copyright © 2016 H. Saade et al. All rights reserved. Nanohybrids Near-Field Optical Microscopy: From Image Shift to Biosensor Application Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:34:16 +0000 Near-Field Optical Microscopy is a valuable tool for the optical and topographic study of objects at a nanometric scale. Nanoparticles constitute important candidates for such type of investigations, as they bear an important weight for medical, biomedical, and biosensing applications. One, however, has to be careful as artifacts can be easily reproduced. In this study, we examined hybrid nanoparticles (or nanohybrids) in the near-field, while in solution and attached to gold nanoplots. We found out that they can be used for wavelength modulable near-field biosensors within conditions of artifact free imaging. In detail, we refer to the use of topographic/optical image shift and the imaging of Local Surface Plasmon hot spots to validate the genuineness of the obtained images. In summary, this study demonstrates a new way of using simple easily achievable comparative methods to prove the authenticity of near-field images and presents nanohybrid biosensors as an application. Nayla El-Kork, Paul Moretti, Bernard Jacquier, Feiran Lei, and Mohammed Ismail Copyright © 2016 Nayla El-Kork et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and Viscoelastic Properties of Composite Fibres Containing Cellulose Nanofibrils: Formation of a Coherent Fibrillar Network Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:01:52 +0000 Composite fibres with a matrix of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) as reinforcing elements were produced using a capillary viscometer. Two types of CNF were employed: one based on carboxymethylated pulp fibres and the other on TEMPO-oxidized pulp. Part of the latter nanofibrils was also grafted with PEG in order to improve the compatibility between the CNF and the PEG matrix. The nominal CNF-content was kept at 10 or 30 weight-%. The composite fibres were characterized by optical and scanning electron microscopy in addition to dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). Evaluation of the storage modulus indicated a clear reinforcing effect of the CNF, more pronounced in the case of the grafted CNF and depending on the amount of CNF. An interesting feature observed during the DMTA-measurements was that the fibrils within the composite fibres appeared to form a rather coherent and load-bearing network which was evident even after removing of the PEG-phase (by melting). An analysis of the modulus of the composite fibres using a rather simple model indicated that the CNF were more efficient as reinforcing elements at lower concentrations which may be associated with a more pronounced aggregation as the volume fraction of CNF increased. Tobias Moberg, Hu Tang, Qi Zhou, and Mikael Rigdahl Copyright © 2016 Tobias Moberg et al. All rights reserved. Analysis of Simulated Output Characteristics of Gas Sensor Based on Graphene Nanoribbon Wed, 20 Jul 2016 05:51:00 +0000 This work presents simulated output characteristics of gas sensor transistors based on graphene nanoribbon (GNRFET). The device studied in this work is a new generation of gas sensing devices, which are easy to use, ultracompact, ultrasensitive, and highly selective. We will explain how the exposure to the gas changes the conductivity of graphene nanoribbon. The equations of the GNRFET gas sensor model include the Poisson equation in the weak nonlocality approximation with proposed sensing parameters. As we have developed this model as a platform for a gas detection sensor, we will analyze the current-voltage characteristics after exposure of the GNRFET nanosensor device to NH3 gas. A sensitivity of nearly 2.7% was indicated in our sensor device after exposure of 1 ppm of NH3. The given results make GNRFET the right candidate for use in gas sensing/measuring appliances. Thus, we will investigate the effect of the channel length on the ON- and OFF-current. A. Mahmoudi, M. Troudi, Y. Bergaoui, P. Bondavalli, and N. Sghaier Copyright © 2016 A. Mahmoudi et al. All rights reserved. Icephobicity of Functionalized Graphene Surfaces Tue, 19 Jul 2016 12:15:41 +0000 Manipulating the ice nucleation ability of liquid water by solid surface is of fundamental importance, especially in the design of icephobic surfaces. In this paper, the icephobicity of graphene surfaces functionalized by sodium ions, chloride ions, or methane molecules is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The icephobicity of the surface is evaluated by the freezing temperature. The freezing temperature on surface functionalized by methane molecules decreases at first and then increases as a function of the number groups, while the freezing temperature increases monotonically as a function of the number groups upon surfaces functionalized by sodium ions or chloride ions. The difference can be partially explained by the potential morphologies near the surfaces. Additionally, the validity of indicating the ice nucleation ability of water molecules using the number of six rings in the system is examined. Current study shows that the ice nucleation upon functionalized surfaces is inhibited when compared with smooth graphene substrate, which proves the feasibility of changing the icephobicity of the surfaces by functionalizing with certain ions or molecules. Xiang-Xiong Zhang and Min Chen Copyright © 2016 Xiang-Xiong Zhang and Min Chen. All rights reserved. Study on Stability and Electrochemical Properties of Nano-LiMn1.9Ni0.1O3.99S0.01-Based Li-Ion Batteries with Liquid Electrolyte Containing LiPF6 Mon, 18 Jul 2016 15:48:44 +0000 Herein, we report on the stability and electrochemical properties of nanosized Ni and S doped lithium manganese oxide spinel (LiMn1.9Ni0.1O3.99S0.01, LMN1OS) in relation to the most commonly used electrolyte solution containing LiPF6 salt. The influence of electrochemical reaction in the presence of selected electrolyte on the LMN1OS electrode chemistry was examined. The changes in the structure, surface morphology, and composition of the LMN1OS cathode after 30 cycles of galvanostatic charging/discharging were determined. In addition, thermal stability and reactivity of the LMN1OS material towards the electrolyte system were verified. Performed studies revealed that no degradative effects, resulting from the interaction between the spinel electrode and liquid electrolyte, occur during electrochemical cycling. The LMN1OS electrode versus LiPF6-based electrolyte has been indicated as an efficient and electrochemically stable system, exhibiting high capacity, good rate capability, and excellent coulombic efficiency. The improved stability and electrochemical performance of the LMN1OS cathode material originate from the synergetic substitution of LiMn2O4 spinel with Ni and S. Monika Bakierska, Michał Świętosławski, Marta Gajewska, Dorota Majda, Marek Drozdek, and Marcin Molenda Copyright © 2016 Monika Bakierska et al. All rights reserved. Stability Investigation of Ligand-Exchanged CdSe/ZnS-Y (Y = 3-Mercaptopropionic Acid or Mercaptosuccinic Acid) through Zeta Potential Measurements Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:22:20 +0000 Quantum dots have been considered to be promising candidates for bioapplications because of their high sensitivity, rapid response, and reliability. The synthesis of high-quality quantum dots that can be dissolved in water and other biological media is a crucial step toward their further application in biology. Starting with a one-pot reaction and the successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) method, we produced the CdSe/ZnS core/shell structure. Through a ligand-exchange mechanism, we coated the as-made CdSe/ZnS structure with 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) or mercaptosuccinic acid (MSA). Various techniques, including photoluminescence (PL), ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, were utilized to characterize the ligand-coated CdSe/ZnS structure. The results show enhanced luminescence intensity, CdSe surface passivation by ZnS, and successful coating with MPA and MSA. The stability of quantum dots in solutions with different pH values was investigated by performing zeta potential measurements. The results revealed that the quantum dots shifted from displaying hydrophobic to hydrophilic behavior and could be connected with bioagents. Ngoc Thuy Vo, Hai Dang Ngo, Ngoc Phuong Do Thi, Kim Phung Nguyen Thi, Ai Phuong Duong, and Vinh Lam Copyright © 2016 Ngoc Thuy Vo et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Lipid Composition on In Vitro Release and Skin Deposition of Curcumin Encapsulated Liposomes Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:21:11 +0000 Liposomal encapsulation improves numerous physiochemical and biological properties of curcumin. The aim of this work was to impart slow release and skin delivery of curcumin via liposomal encapsulation. Liposomes were made using egg yolk phosphatidylcholine as the staple lipid while incorporating polysorbate 80 and stearylamine to prepare hybrid liposomes and positively charged liposomes, respectively. Negatively charged liposomes exhibited the highest encapsulation efficiencies (%) and loading capacities (%). The sizes of all formulations were about 250 nm, while stearylamine increased the polydispersity index. Positively charged liposomes showed lower degradation temperatures than negatively charged liposomes by 10–15°C, attributable to the presence of stearylamine. The melting temperatures of positively charged liposomes (40–50°C) were much higher than those of negatively charged liposomes (14-15°C), which may have affected release and skin deposition behavior of liposomes. The positively charged liposomes exhibited the slowest release of curcumin in phosphate buffered saline (pH 6.8) and the release profiles of all liposomal formulations conformed to the Gompertz model. The negatively charged liposomes facilitated the highest skin deposition of curcumin as revealed by studies conducted using excised pig ear skin. Concisely, positively and negatively charged liposomes were optimal for slow release and skin deposition of curcumin, respectively. Geethi Pamunuwa, Veranja Karunaratne, and D. Nedra Karunaratne Copyright © 2016 Geethi Pamunuwa et al. All rights reserved. Thermal Stresses Analysis and Optimized TTP Processes to Achieved CNT-Based Diaphragm for Thin Panel Speakers Mon, 18 Jul 2016 06:46:16 +0000 Industrial companies popularly used the powder coating, classing, and thermal transfer printing (TTP) technique to avoid oxidation on the metallic surface and stiffened speaker diaphragm. This study developed a TTP technique to fabricate a carbon nanotubes (CNTs) stiffened speaker diaphragm for thin panel speaker. The self-developed TTP stiffening technique did not require a high curing temperature that decreased the mechanical property of CNTs. In addition to increasing the stiffness of diaphragm substrate, this technique alleviated the middle and high frequency attenuation associated with the smoothing sound pressure curve of thin panel speaker. The advantage of TTP technique is less harmful to the ecology, but it causes thermal residual stresses and some unstable connections between printed plates. Thus, this study used the numerical analysis software (ANSYS) to analyze the stress and thermal of work piece which have not delaminated problems in transfer interface. The Taguchi quality engineering method was applied to identify the optimal manufacturing parameters. Finally, the optimal manufacturing parameters were employed to fabricate a CNT-based diaphragm, which was then assembled onto a speaker. The result indicated that the CNT-based diaphragm improved the sound pressure curve smoothness of the speaker, which produced a minimum high frequency dip difference (ΔdB) value. Feng-Min Lai and Chang-Yi Peng Copyright © 2016 Feng-Min Lai and Chang-Yi Peng. All rights reserved. Isolation and Characterization of Cellulose Nanofibers from Gigantochloa scortechinii as a Reinforcement Material Sun, 17 Jul 2016 13:20:57 +0000 Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) were isolated from Gigantochloa scortechinii bamboo fibers using sulphuric acid hydrolysis. This method was compared with pulping and bleaching process for bamboo fiber. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and thermogravimetric analysis were used to determine the properties of CNF. Structural analysis by FT-IR showed that lignin and hemicelluloses were effectively removed from pulp, bleached fibers, and CNF. It was found that CNF exhibited uniform and smooth morphological structures, with fiber diameter ranges from 5 to 10 nm. The percentage of crystallinity was significantly increased from raw fibers to cellulose nanofibers, microfibrillated, along with significant improvement in thermal stability. Further, obtained CNF were used as reinforcement material in epoxy based nanocomposites where tensile strength, flexural strength, and modulus of nanocomposites improved with the addition of CNF loading concentration ranges from 0 to 0.7%. Chaturbhuj K. Saurabh, Asniza Mustapha, M. Mohd. Masri, A. F. Owolabi, M. I. Syakir, Rudi Dungani, M. T. Paridah, M. Jawaid, and H. P. S. Abdul Khalil Copyright © 2016 Chaturbhuj K. Saurabh et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Different Montmorillonite Nanoclay Loading on Cure Behavior and Properties of Diglycidyl Ether of Bisphenol A Epoxy Thu, 14 Jul 2016 13:52:51 +0000 The primary focus of this study was to understand the effects of different amounts of montmorillonite nanoclay (MMT) loading on viscosity, cure behavior, reaction mechanism, and properties of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) epoxy composites. Influence of 1–3 wt.% MMT on rheological and subsequent cure behavior of SC-15 epoxy resin was studied using nonisothermal and isothermal rheometry and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Rheological properties were influenced by different amounts of MMT at lower shear rates prior to and during curing. Cure reaction mechanism was unaffected by different MMT concentration; however heat and activation energy of reactions increased with increasing MMT loading. Samples with 2 wt.% MMT showed highest reaction rate constant, indicative of catalytic behavior. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) revealed mainly intercalated microstructure throughout the MMT infused epoxy composite samples irrespective of the percent loading. Alfred Tcherbi-Narteh, Mahesh Hosur, and Shaik Jeelani Copyright © 2016 Alfred Tcherbi-Narteh et al. All rights reserved. A Review on Properties, Opportunities, and Challenges of Transformer Oil-Based Nanofluids Thu, 14 Jul 2016 09:06:22 +0000 The mineral oil or synthetic oil in conjunction with paper is mainly being applied as dielectric medium in many of the high voltage apparatus. However, the advent of high voltage levels such high voltage alternating current (HVAC) and high voltage direct current (HVDC) has prompted researchers to direct their focus onto an insulation system which can bear the rising high voltage levels. The modern insulating liquid material development is guided by various factors such as high electrical insulation requirements and other safety and economic considerations. Therefore transformer manufacturer companies have to design transformers with these new specific requirements. The transformer oil-based nanofluids with improved dielectric and thermal properties have the potential to replace mineral oil base products in the market place. They are favorable because they function more superior than mineral oil and they contribute definite insulating and thermal gains. This paper reviews recent status of nanofluids use as transformer oils. The nanofluids used as transformer oils are presented and their advantages are described in comparison with mineral oil. The multiple experimental works carried out by different researchers are described, providing an overview of the current research conducted on nanofluids. In addition scope and challenges being confronted in this area of research are clearly presented. Muhammad Rafiq, Yuzhen Lv, and Chengrong Li Copyright © 2016 Muhammad Rafiq et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Characterization of Nanostructured WC-Co/Al Powder Prepared by Mechanical Alloying Thu, 14 Jul 2016 08:09:34 +0000 Nanostructured WC-Co/Al powder was synthesized from WC-12Co powder and pure Al powder by mechanical alloying (MA). The morphology and microstructural evolution of WC-Co/Al powder were investigated by a series of characterization methods. The results showed that the β-Co phase in the initial WC-12Co powder was replaced by the AlxCo phases (such as Al9Co2 and Al13Co4). As the ball milling time increased, the average grain size of WC in the WC-Co/Al powder decreased firstly and then remained at a constant value of around 40 nm. The deposition behavior of powders sprayed by high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) spraying was investigated. During spraying, the WC-Co/Al powder had a better flattening than the WC-12Co powder without ball milling, which is beneficial to fabricate compact coatings with lower porosity. Ning Ma, Keke Zhang, Danqing Yin, Di Zhao, Zhiwei Zhu, and Fuxing Ye Copyright © 2016 Ning Ma et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and Characterization of Inulin Coated Gold Nanoparticles for Selective Delivery of Doxorubicin to Breast Cancer Cells Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:34:35 +0000 A novel folate-targeted gold-based nanosystem for achieving selectivity towards folate receptor (FR) positive cells is proposed, by virtue of the fact that the FR is a molecularly targeted entity overexpressed in a wide spectrum of solid tumors. A new inulin-folate derivative (INU-FA) has been synthesized to act as coating agent for 40 nm gold nanoparticles. The obtained polymer-coated gold nanoparticles (Au@INU-FA) were characterized in terms of hydrodynamic radius, shape, zeta potential, and aqueous stability and were loaded with doxorubicin (Au@INU-FA/Doxo). Its release capability was tested in different release media. The selectivity of Au@INU-FA/Doxo system towards FRs-positive cancer cells was proved by the differences in the quantitative uptake using human breast cancer MCF7 as FR-positive cells and 16HBE epithelial as noncancer cell line. Furthermore, the folate-mediated uptake mechanism was studied by FRs-blocking experiments. On the whole Au@INU-FA/Doxo was able to be preferentially internalized into MCF7 cells proving a folate-mediated endocytosis mechanism which allowed a higher and selective cytotoxic effect towards cancer cells. The cytotoxicity profile was evaluated on both cancer and noncancer cell lines, displaying that folate-mediated targeting implied advantageous therapeutic effects, such as amplified drug uptake and increased anticancer activity towards MCF7 cancer cells. Mariano Licciardi, Anna Li Volsi, Nicolò Mauro, Cinzia Scialabba, Gennara Cavallaro, and Gaetano Giammona Copyright © 2016 Mariano Licciardi et al. All rights reserved. Silicon Carbide-Derived Carbon Prepared by Fused Salt Electrolysis and Electrochemical Performance Wed, 13 Jul 2016 06:12:46 +0000 A number of carbide-derived carbon (CDC) samples were successfully synthesized by the electrolysis of SiC powder in molten CaCl2. The electrolysis was conducted at different temperatures (850, 900, and 950°C) for 48 h in argon at an applied constant voltage of 3.1 V. The structure of the resulting carbon is characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscope techniques. Cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge/discharge measurements are applied to investigate electrochemical performances of the SiC-CDC material. It can be seen that the degree of order of the SiC-CDC increases monotonically along with elevation of reaction temperature, while the highest specific surface area 1137.74 m2/g together with a specific capacitance of 161.27 F/g at a current density 300 mA/g was achieved from sample synthesized at 900°C. Shuyuan Wang and Guangjie Shao Copyright © 2016 Shuyuan Wang and Guangjie Shao. All rights reserved. Preparation of Nanosized LaCoO3 through Calcination of a Hydrothermally Synthesized Precursor Tue, 12 Jul 2016 14:35:35 +0000 A method for obtaining nanosized LaCoO3 crystals from calcination of a precursor powder synthesized by a hydrothermal route is reported. Details concerning the evolution of the microstructure and formation mechanism of the perovskite phase were studied by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and thermal analysis. It was found that the morphology of the sample progressively turns from a mix of fibers and rods to interconnected nanocrystals. It is determined that LaCoO3 phase is produced by a reaction of cobalt and lanthanum oxides, the latter produced by a two-step dehydration process of La(OH)3. Finally, it was found that nearly stoichiometric LaCoO3 nanocrystals can be obtained at temperatures as low as 850°C. Nevertheless, whether higher calcination temperatures are used, appropriate reaction times and a controlled atmosphere are required in order to avoid formation of lanthanum carbonates and high density of lattice defects. L. Tepech-Carrillo, A. Escobedo-Morales, A. Pérez-Centeno, E. Chigo-Anota, J. F. Sánchez-Ramírez, E. López-Apreza, and J. Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez Copyright © 2016 L. Tepech-Carrillo et al. All rights reserved. Effective Utilization of the Electrostatic Repulsion for Improved Alignment of Electrospun Nanofibers Tue, 12 Jul 2016 14:33:44 +0000 Uniaxial alignment of electrospun fibers can provide a useful approach to develop novel functional nanomaterials for applications in a wide variety of fields. In this study, a polypropylene- (PP-) coated spinneret and a metal spinneret were utilized to carry out the single-fluid electrospinning processes. A metal rod frame was utilized as the collector to steer the nanofibers. Using polyvinylpyrrolidone K90 (PVP K90) as a filament-forming polymeric model at a concentration of 9% (w/v) in ethanol, the experimental observations and results demonstrated the following results: (1) the utilization efficiency of electrical energy could be improved through the PP-coated spinneret; (2) the texture of collector had a significant influence on the collection of aligned PVP K90 nanofibers; and (3) the combination of a PP-coated spinneret with the metal frame could ensure the electrostatic repulsion forces to play their roles effectively in generating PVP K90 nanofibers with thinner diameters and in collecting uniaxial alignment of them. The mechanisms about the orientation effects of the present method are discussed. This job opens a facile way for producing aligned polymeric nanofibers based on the reasonable manipulation of the interactions between the electrostatic field and the working fluids. Yong-Hui Wu, Hai-Peng Li, Xin-Xin Shi, Jia Wan, Yi-Fan Liu, and Deng-Guang Yu Copyright © 2016 Yong-Hui Wu et al. All rights reserved. Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles by Using Ziziphus nummularia Leaves Aqueous Extract and Their Biological Activities Mon, 04 Jul 2016 12:32:08 +0000 Silver nanoparticles of Ziziphus nummularia leaves extract were synthesized and were characterized by UV-Visible spectrophotometry, particle size analyzer, X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), SEM, TGA, and EDX. The XRD pattern reveals the FCC structure of Ag nanoparticles. FTIR spectra confirmed the presence of Ag-O bonding. UV-Visible spectroscopy results confirmed the existence of Ag because of the particular peak in the region of 400–430. The SEM analysis confirmed spherical and uniform Ag nanoparticles with diameter ranging from 30 nm to 85 nm. The EDX analysis revealed strong signals in the silver region and confirmed the formation of silver nanoparticles. The antioxidant potential and antifungal and antimicrobial potential of the leaf extract and silver nanoparticles were also determined. The antioxidant property was determined using DPPH assay. The antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties were better for the silver nanoparticles than the aqueous leaf extract. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimum bactericidal (MBC), and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of plant extract and prepared silver nanoparticles were also tested. The hair growth properties of plant extracts and their respective nanoparticles were observed and good results were noted for nanoparticles as compared to the leaf extract. Farhat Ali Khan, Muhammad Zahoor, Abdul Jalal, and Aziz Ur Rahman Copyright © 2016 Farhat Ali Khan et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Superabsorbent Polymers on the Hydraulic Parameters and Water Retention Properties of Soil Sun, 03 Jul 2016 11:01:34 +0000 Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) are widely applied in dryland agriculture. However, their functional property of repeated absorption and release of soil water exerts periodic effects on the hydraulic parameters and water-retention properties of soil, and as this property gradually diminishes with time, its effects tend to be unstable. During the 120-day continuous soil cultivation experiment described in this paper, horizontal soil column infiltration and high-speed centrifugation tests were conducted on SAP-treated soil to measure unsaturated diffusivity and soil water characteristic curves. The experimental results suggest that the SAP increased the water retaining capacity of soil sections where the suction pressure was between 0 and 3,000 cm. The SAP significantly obstructed water diffusion in the soil in the early days of the experiment, but the effect gradually decreased in the later period. The average decrease in water diffusivity in the treatment groups fell from 76.6% at 0 days to 1.2% at 120 days. This research also provided parameters of time-varying functions that describe the unsaturated diffusivity and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of soils under the effects of SAPs; in future research, these functions can be used to construct water movement models applicable to SAP-treated soil. Renkuan Liao, Wenyong Wu, Shumei Ren, and Peiling Yang Copyright © 2016 Renkuan Liao et al. All rights reserved. The Comparative Study of Electrochemical Capacitance Performance between Sulphur-Doped Co3O4 and CoS Anodes Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:06:09 +0000 Anode materials with high capacitance performance are highly desirable for supercapacitors (SCs). In this work, nanomaterials cobalt sulfide (CoS), sulphur-doped Co3O4 (S-Co3O4), and Co3O4 were fabricated on a carbon cloth substrate by hydrothermal method. The composition and morphology of the material were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The electrochemical measurements were performed in a three-electrode system. The result shows that CoS nanomaterial as anode is of the best electrochemical performance, achieving areal capacitance of 1.98 F/cm2 at 2 mA/cm2 in a 5 M LiCl solution. Moreover, the CoS anode has long-term cycling stability with more than 85.7% capacitance retention after 10000 cycles, confirming its larger capacitance, good redox activity, and electrochemical stability. Wei Xu, M. A. Khan, Jiahui Chen, Yongbing Long, Gui Xu, Yu Bai, Xiaodong Zhang, Zhenmin Qiu, Sennian Lin, and Donghua Fan Copyright © 2016 Wei Xu et al. All rights reserved. What Is the Role of Nanotechnology in Diagnosis and Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer? Promising Scenarios for the Near Future Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:59:23 +0000 Metastatic breast cancer represents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge due to tumor heterogeneity and to various physiological barriers that hinder drug delivery to the metastatic sites. To overcome these limitations, nanoformulated drugs have been developed and tested in preclinical studies, and few of them have been successfully translated into clinical practice. In particular, liposomal anthracyclines and nanoformulated albumin-bound paclitaxel have revealed an improved therapeutic index when compared to conventional chemotherapy, with significant reduction of drugs toxicity. Several strategies for nanoparticles engineering have more recently been explored to increase selectivity for tumor cells and to reach poorly accessible metastatic districts. Targeted nanoparticles, directed toward tumor markers and tissue-specific metastases, may provide effective devices in case of low-vascularized and small-sized metastases, thus paving the way for a real change in the natural history of metastatic disease. A number of targets have been identified and exploited for surface functionalization of different types of nanoparticles, which are currently undergoing preclinical studies. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of current nanotechnology applied to metastatic breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Promising results encourage an upcoming translation of this research into clinical practice for an effective management of the disease in the near future. Truffi Marta, Sorrentino Luca, Mazzucchelli Serena, Fiandra Luisa, and Corsi Fabio Copyright © 2016 Truffi Marta et al. All rights reserved. Structural and Biological Assessment of Zinc Doped Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:58:01 +0000 The aim of the current research work was to study the physicochemical and biological properties of synthesized zinc doped hydroxyapatite (ZnHAp) nanoparticles with Zn concentrations (HAp), (7ZnHAp), and (10ZnHAp) for potential use in biological applications. The morphology, size, compositions, and incorporation of zinc into hydroxyapatite were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman scattering, and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). In addition, the cytotoxicity of ZnHAp nanoparticles was tested on both E. coli bacteria and human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2. The results showed that ZnHAp nanoparticles (HAp, 7ZnHAp, and 10ZnHAp) have slightly elongated morphologies with average diameters between 25 nm and 18 nm. On the other hand, a uniform and homogeneous distribution of the constituent elements (calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and oxygen) in the ZnHAp powder was noticed. Besides, FTIR and Raman analyses confirmed the proper hydroxyapatite structure of the synthesized ZnHAp nanoparticles with the signature of phosphate, carbonate, and hydroxyl groups. Moreover, it can be concluded that Zn doping at the tested concentrations is not inducing a specific prokaryote or eukaryote toxicity in HAp compounds. Cristina Liana Popa, Aurélien Deniaud, Isabelle Michaud-Soret, Régis Guégan, Mikael Motelica-Heino, and Daniela Predoi Copyright © 2016 Cristina Liana Popa et al. All rights reserved. Advances on the Use of Biodegradable Proteins/Peptides in Photothermal Theranostics Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:52:04 +0000 Recently, photothermal therapy (PTT) which employs light-induced heating to destroy cancer tissues/cells has received tremendous attention due to its improved selectivity and minimal invasion to surrounding healthy tissues. A variety of photothermal conversion agents (PTCAs) with high near-infrared (NIR) light absorbance have been widely explored for NIR light-induced PTT. However, many of them cannot be used directly in vivo owing to their nonbiodegradability, immunogenicity, poor pharmacokinetics, or potential long-term toxicity. Proteins and peptides with inherent biocompatibility and biodegradability have been used as delivery vehicles for PTCAs or used as biotemplates to direct the synthesis of PTCAs. In this review, we will summarize recent advances in the development of protein/peptide-based photothermal cancer theranostics. The perspectives and challenges of these nanoplatforms will also be discussed. Sheng Wang, Jing Lin, and Peng Huang Copyright © 2016 Sheng Wang et al. All rights reserved. Optimization of DWDM Demultiplexer Using Regression Analysis Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:48:33 +0000 We propose a novel twelve-channel Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) demultiplexer, using the two-dimensional photonic crystal (2D PC) with square resonant cavity (SRC) of ITU-T G.694.1 standard. The DWDM demultiplexer consists of an input waveguide, SRC, and output waveguide. The SRC in the proposed demultiplexer consists of square resonator and microcavity. The microcavity center rod radius () is proportional to refractive index. The refractive index property of the rods filters the wavelengths of odd and even channels. The proposed microcavity can filter twelve ITU-T G.694.1 standard wavelengths with 0.2 nm/25 GHz channel spacing between the wavelengths. From the simulation, we optimize the rod radius and wavelength with linear regression analysis. From the regression analysis, we can achieve 95% of accuracy with an average quality factor of 7890, the uniform spectral line-width of 0.2 nm, the transmission efficiency of 90%, crosstalk of −42 dB, and footprint of about 784 μm2. Venkatachalam Rajarajan Balaji, Mahalingam Murugan, and Savarimuthu Robinson Copyright © 2016 Venkatachalam Rajarajan Balaji et al. All rights reserved. Polyetherimide Nanofibres as Sorbents for Organochlorinated Pesticides Determination Thu, 30 Jun 2016 12:32:19 +0000 Electrospun polyetherimide (PEI) nanofibres were fixed on a steel wire solid phase microextraction (SPME) assembly. The basic properties of the prepared nanofibres were determined by thermogravimetry, differential scanning calorimetry, adsorption, and SEM. The analytical performance of prepared PEI SPME fibres was compared with three commercially available SPME fibres, 7 μm PDMS, 100 μm PDMS, and DVB/Carboxene/PDMS. As model water pollutants, persistent organochlorinated pesticides hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH) and chlorobenzene (ClB) were chosen as model water pollutants. The fibres were compared in the headspace- (HS-) SPME mode of GC-MS/MS instrumentation. The comparison omitted other method parameters and focused exclusively on the extraction time variability. Lab-made PEI SPME fibres showed significantly better response for the target compounds than the other tested fibres from industrial production. Based on the results, the extraction time could be shortened from 50 to 10 min, if PEI SPME fibres were used as a modification of existing analytical protocol. Antoš Vojtěch, Hrabák Pavel, Komárek Michal, and Stuchlík Martin Copyright © 2016 Antoš Vojtěch et al. All rights reserved. Optimal Synthesis of Horizontally Aligned Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Their Biofunctionalization for Biosensing Applications Thu, 30 Jun 2016 12:05:18 +0000 As an influential candidate for highly sensitive biomolecule sensor, which can capture disease related biomolecules, carbon nanotube is useful material due to its unique properties. To adopt as a sensing platform, it is strongly needed to find optimal refined synthetic condition. In order to find the optimal synthetic conditions of horizontally aligned CNT, we performed quantity control of the mixed gases of H2 and CH4 injected. We successfully find that the formation of amorphous-like carbon was critically affected by some gas condition such as the flow rate of injected gases and ratios of gas mixture. Moreover, it should be noted that our horizontally aligned carbon nanotube array platform developed would offer another potential in developing nanoscale light source, where light emission results from electron-hole carrier recombination. Dawoon Jung, Hyun Woo Park, Gidong Ma, Chang Young Lee, Taeyun Kwon, and Jae-Hee Han Copyright © 2016 Dawoon Jung et al. All rights reserved. Twist-Shaped CuO Nanowires as Anode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:26:00 +0000 Twist-shaped CuO nanowires were synthesized by two-step method consisting of solution reaction and then heat treatment. The as-synthesized samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When evaluated as anode materials for lithium ion batteries, twist-shaped CuO nanowires showed a high initial discharge capacity of 983 mAh g−1 and maintained a reversible capacity of 320 mAh g−1 over 50 cycles at the current density of 100 mA g−1. Thus, 1D twist-shaped CuO nanowires provide a new insight into the development of anode materials for next-generation high performance lithium ion batteries. Hongdong Liu, Ye Lin, Zhongli Hu, Rong Hu, Haibo Ruan, and Lei Zhang Copyright © 2016 Hongdong Liu et al. All rights reserved.