106 research outputs found

    Ionic Liquids as Designer Solvents for the Synthesis of Metal Nanoparticles

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    Size and shape-controlled synthesis of metal nanostructures has received significant interest in materials research, as metal nanoparticles are likely to have a considerable impact upon the fields of catalysis, sensing, photonics, optoelectronics and biology, due to their unique size- and shape-tunable physico-chemical properties (Hao et al., 2004; Burda et al., 2005; Shukla et al., 2005; Lu et al., 2009; Sardar et al., 2009). With significant developments in this field, the current focus is predominantly on synthesis of ultra-fine (sub-10 nm) metal nanoparticles with narrow size distribution that remain stable in reaction media, tuning the shape of metal nanostructures, to understand the metal nanoparticles shape-guiding mechanisms, and to understand their structure-property correlation (Lu et al., 2009). To prepare metal nanoparticles (colloids), the most commonly employed approach is the bottom-up wet-chemistry approach. In this approach, typically in the presence of a capping/stabilizing agent, metal ions are controllably reduced, wherein individual metal atoms combine to form metal nanoparticles stabilized by capping agents. Although in few instances reducing agents themselves act as stabilizers, capping agents are generally considered essential to minimize the surface free energy of metal nanoparticles, which would otherwise aggregate in the absence of these capping agents. In most of the well established wet-chemistry routes of metal nanoparticles synthesis, aqueous or organic solvents are generally employed, while the use of ionic liquids (ILs) for synthesis of metal nanoparticles is a relatively recent phenomenon

    Cationic Amino Acids Specific Biomimetic Silicification in Ionic Liquid: A Quest to Understand the Formation of 3-D Structures in Diatoms

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    The intricate, hierarchical, highly reproducible, and exquisite biosilica structures formed by diatoms have generated great interest to understand biosilicification processes in nature. This curiosity is driven by the quest of researchers to understand nature's complexity, which might enable reproducing these elegant natural diatomaceous structures in our laboratories via biomimetics, which is currently beyond the capabilities of material scientists. To this end, significant understanding of the biomolecules involved in biosilicification has been gained, wherein cationic peptides and proteins are found to play a key role in the formation of these exquisite structures. Although biochemical factors responsible for silica formation in diatoms have been studied for decades, the challenge to mimic biosilica structures similar to those synthesized by diatoms in their natural habitats has not hitherto been successful. This has led to an increasingly interesting debate that physico-chemical environment surrounding diatoms might play an additional critical role towards the control of diatom morphologies. The current study demonstrates this proof of concept by using cationic amino acids as catalyst/template/scaffold towards attaining diatom-like silica morphologies under biomimetic conditions in ionic liquids

    Nano-Tubular Cellulose for Bioprocess Technology Development

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    Delignified cellulosic material has shown a significant promotional effect on the alcoholic fermentation as yeast immobilization support. However, its potential for further biotechnological development is unexploited. This study reports the characterization of this tubular/porous cellulosic material, which was done by SEM, porosimetry and X-ray powder diffractometry. The results showed that the structure of nano-tubular cellulose (NC) justifies its suitability for use in “cold pasteurization” processes and its promoting activity in bioprocessing (fermentation). The last was explained by a glucose pump theory. Also, it was demonstrated that crystallization of viscous invert sugar solutions during freeze drying could not be otherwise achieved unless NC was present. This effect as well as the feasibility of extremely low temperature fermentation are due to reduction of the activation energy, and have facilitated the development of technologies such as wine fermentations at home scale (in a domestic refrigerator). Moreover, NC may lead to new perspectives in research such as the development of new composites, templates for cylindrical nano-particles, etc

    Absence of Morphotropic Phase Boundary Effects in BiFeO3-PbTiO3 Thin Films Grown via a Chemical Multilayer Deposition Method

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    Here, we report the unusual behaviour shown by the (BiFeO3)1-x-(PbTiO3)x (BF-xPT) films prepared using a multilayer deposition approach by chemical solution deposition method. Thin film samples of various compositions were prepared by depositing several bilayers of BF and PT precursors by varying the BF or PT layer thicknesses. X-ray diffraction showed that final samples of all compositions show mixing of the two compounds resulting in a single phase mixture, also confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. In contrast to bulk equilibrium compositions, our samples show a monoclinic (MA type) structure suggesting disappearance of morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) about x = 0.30 as observed in the bulk. This is accompanied by the lack of any enhancement of remnant polarization at MPB as shown by the ferroelectric measurements. Magnetic measurements show that the magnetization of the samples increases with increasing BF content. Significant magnetization of the samples indicates melting of spin spirals in the BF-xPT arising from random distribution of iron atoms across the film. Absence of Fe2+ ions in the films was corroborated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. The results illustrate that used thin film processing methodology significantly changes the structural evolution in contrast to predictions from the equilibrium phase diagram as well as modify the functional characteristics of BP-xPT system dramatically.Comment: 15 pages, 6 figure

    Using Hydrophilic Ionic Liquid, [bmim]BF4 – Ethylene Glycol System as a Novel Media for the Rapid Synthesis of Copper Nanoparticles

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    In this work, we present a novel method for the synthesis of copper nanoparticles. We utilize the charge compensatory effect of ionic liquid [bmim]BF4 in conjunction with ethylene glycol for providing electro-steric stabilization to copper nanoparticles prepared from copper sulphate using hydrazine hydrate as a reducing agent. The formed copper nanoparticles showed extended stability over a period of one year. Copper nanoparticles thus prepared were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction measurements (pXRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and quasi elastic light scattering (QELS) techniques. Powder X-ray diffraction (pXRD) analysis revealed relevant Bragg's reflection for crystal structure of copper. Powder X-ray diffraction plots also revealed no oxidized material of copper nanoparticles. TEM showed nearly uniform distribution of the particles in methanol and confirmed by QELS. Typical applications of copper nanoparticles include uses in conductive films, lubrication and nanofluids. Currently efforts are under way in our laboratory for using these nanoparticles as catalysts for a variety of organic reactions

    Micelles as Delivery Vehicles for Oligofluorene for Bioimaging

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    With the successful development of organic/polymeric light emitting diodes, many organic and polymeric fluorophores with high quantum efficiencies and optical stability were synthesized. However, most of these materials which have excellent optical properties are insoluble in water, limiting their applications in biological fields. Herein, we used micelles formed from an amino-group-containing poly(ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PCL-b-PEG-NH2) to incorporate a hydrophobic blue emitter oligofluorene (OF) to enable its application in biological conditions. Although OF is completely insoluble in water, it was successfully transferred into aqueous solutions with a good retention of its photophysical properties. OF exhibited a high quantum efficiency of 0.84 in a typical organic solvent of tetrahydrofuran (THF). In addition, OF also showed a good quantum efficiency of 0.46 after being encapsulated into micelles. Two cells lines, human glioblastoma (U87MG) and esophagus premalignant (CP-A), were used to study the cellular internalization of the OF incorporated micelles. Results showed that the hydrophobic OF was located in the cytoplasm, which was confirmed by co-staining the cells with nucleic acid specific SYTO 9, lysosome specific LysoTracker Red®, and mitochondria specific MitoTracker Red. MTT assay indicated non-toxicity of the OF-incorporated micelles. This study will broaden the application of hydrophobic functional organic compounds, oligomers, and polymers with good optical properties to enable their applications in biological research fields

    Contrasting Micro/Nano Architecture on Termite Wings: Two Divergent Strategies for Optimising Success of Colonisation Flights

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    Many termite species typically fly during or shortly after rain periods. Local precipitation will ensure water will be present when establishing a new colony after the initial flight. Here we show how different species of termite utilise two distinct and contrasting strategies for optimising the success of the colonisation flight. Nasutitermes sp. and Microcerotermes sp. fly during rain periods and adopt hydrophobic structuring/‘technologies’ on their wings to contend with a moving canvas of droplets in daylight hours. Schedorhinotermes sp. fly after rain periods (typically at night) and thus do not come into contact with mobile droplets. These termites, in contrast, display hydrophilic structuring on their wings with a small scale roughness which is not dimensionally sufficient to introduce an increase in hydrophobicity. The lack of hydrophobicity allows the termite to be hydrophilicly captured at locations where water may be present in large quantities; sufficient for the initial colonization period. The high wettability of the termite cuticle (Schedorhinotermes sp.) indicates that the membrane has a high surface energy and thus will also have strong attractions with solid particles. To investigate this the termite wings were also interacted with both artificial and natural contaminants in the form of hydrophilic silicon beads of various sizes, 4 µm C18 beads and three differently structured pollens. These were compared to the superhydrophobic surface of the planthopper (Desudaba psittacus) and a native Si wafer surface. The termite cuticle demonstrated higher adhesive interactions with all particles in comparison to those measured on the plant hopper

    Reversion of pH-Induced Physiological Drug Resistance: A Novel Function of Copolymeric Nanoparticles

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    The extracellular pH of cancer cells is lower than the intracellular pH. Weakly basic anticancer drugs will be protonated extracellularly and display a decreased intracellular concentration. In this study, we show that copolymeric nanoparticles (NPs) are able to overcome this “pH-induced physiological drug resistance” (PIPDR) by delivering drugs to the cancer cells via endocytosis rather than passive diffussion.As a model nanoparticle, Tetradrine (Tet, Pka 7.80) was incorporated into mPEG-PCL. The effectiveness of free Tet and Tet-NPs were compared at different extracellular pHs (pH values 6.8 and 7.4, respectively) by MTT assay, morphological observation and apoptotic analysis in vitro and on a murine model by tumor volume measurement, PET-CT scanning and side effect evaluation in vivo.<0.05) when the extracellular pH decreased from 7.4 to 6.8. Meanwhile, the cytotoxicity of Tet-NPs was not significantly influenced by reduced pH. In vivo experiment also revealed that Tet-NPs reversed PIPDR more effectively than other existing methods and with much less side effects.The reversion of PIPDR is a new discovered mechanism of copolymeric NPs. This study emphasized the importance of cancer microenvironmental factors in anticancer drug resistance and revealed the superiority of nanoscale drug carrier from a different aspect

    Measuring market risk with value at risk

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    Finally there's a book that strikes a balance between rigor and applicationin the area of risk management in the banking industry