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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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ISSN (Print) 2639-5274
Published by Science Partner Journals Homepage  [2 journals]
  • Localized Myocardial Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Temperature-Sensitive
           Budesonide Nanoparticles during Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation

    • Abstract: Radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation has emerged as an effective alternative for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), but ablation lesions will result in swelling and hematoma of local surrounding tissue, triggering inflammatory cell infiltration and increased release of inflammatory cytokines. Some studies have shown that the inflammatory response may be related to the early occurrence of AF. The most direct way to inhibit perioperative inflammation is to use anti-inflammatory drugs such as glucocorticoids. Here, we prepared polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles loaded with budesonide (BUD) and delivered them through irrigation of saline during the onset of ablation. Local high temperature promoted local rupture of PLGA nanoparticles, releasing BUD, and produced a timely and effective local myocardial anti-inflammatory effect, resulting in the reduction of acute hematoma and inflammatory cell infiltration and the enhancement of ablation effect. Nanoparticles would also infiltrate into the local myocardium and gradually release BUD ingredients to produce a continuous anti-inflammatory effect in the next few days. This resulted in a decrease in the level of inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and an increase of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. This study explored an extraordinary drug delivery strategy to reduce ablation-related inflammation, which may prevent early recurrence of AF.
      PubDate: 31 May 2022
  • Dual-Driven Hemostats Featured with Puncturing Erythrocytes for Severe
           Bleeding in Complex Wounds

    • Abstract: Achieving rapid hemostasis in complex and deep wounds with secluded hemorrhagic sites is still a challenge because of the difficulty in delivering hemostats to these sites. In this study, a Janus particle, SEC-Fe@CaT with dual-driven forces, bubble-driving, and magnetic field– (MF–) mediated driving, was prepared via in situ loading of Fe3O4 on a sunflower sporopollenin exine capsule (SEC), and followed by growth of flower-shaped CaCO3 clusters. The bubble-driving forces enabled SEC-Fe@CaT to self-diffuse in the blood to eliminate agglomeration, and the MF-mediated driving force facilitated the SEC-Fe@CaT countercurrent against blood to access deep bleeding sites in the wounds. During the movement in blood flow, the meteor hammer-like SEC from SEC-Fe@CaT can puncture red blood cells (RBCs) to release procoagulants, thus promoting activation of platelet and rapid hemostasis. Animal tests suggested that SEC-Fe@CaT stopped bleeding in as short as 30 and 45 s in femoral artery and liver hemorrhage models, respectively. In contrast, the similar commercial product Celox™ required approximately 70 s to stop the bleeding in both bleeding modes. This study demonstrates a new hemostat platform for rapid hemostasis in deep and complex wounds. It was the first attempt integrating geometric structure of sunflower pollen with dual-driven movement in hemostasis.
      PubDate: 31 May 2022
  • Gravity-Dependent Animacy Perception in Zebrafish

    • Abstract: Biological motion (BM), depicted by a handful of point lights attached to the major joints, conveys rich animacy information, which is significantly disrupted if BM is shown upside down. This well-known inversion effect in BM perception is conserved in terrestrial vertebrates and is presumably a manifestation of an evolutionarily endowed perceptual filter (i.e., life motion detector) tuned to gravity-compatible BM. However, it remains unknown whether aquatic animals, living in a completely different environment from terrestrial animals, perceive BM in a gravity-dependent manner. Here, taking advantage of their typical shoaling behaviors, we used zebrafish as a model animal to examine the ability of teleosts to discriminate between upright (gravity-compatible) and inverted (gravity-incompatible) BM signals. We recorded their swimming trajectories and quantified their preference based on dwelling time and head orientation. The results obtained from three experiments consistently showed that zebrafish spent significantly more time swimming in proximity to and orienting towards the upright BM relative to the inverted BM or other gravity-incompatible point-light stimuli (i.e., the non-BM). More intriguingly, when the recorded point-light video clips of fish were directly compared with those of human walkers and pigeons, we could identify a unique and consistent pattern of accelerating movements in the vertical (gravity) direction. These findings, to our knowledge, demonstrate for the first time the inversion effect in BM perception in simple aquatic vertebrates and suggest that the evolutionary origin of gravity-dependent BM processing may be traced back to ancient aquatic animals.
      PubDate: 31 Aug 2022
  • Accurate Identification of DNA Replication Origin by Fusing Epigenomics
           and Chromatin Interaction Information

    • Abstract: DNA replication initiation is a complex process involving various genetic and epigenomic signatures. The correct identification of replication origins (ORIs) could provide important clues for the study of a variety of diseases caused by replication. Here, we design a computational approach named iORI-Epi to recognize ORIs by incorporating epigenome-based features, sequence-based features, and 3D genome-based features. The iORI-Epi displays excellent robustness and generalization ability on both training datasets and independent datasets of K562 cell line. Further experiments confirm that iORI-Epi is highly scalable in other cell lines (MCF7 and HCT116). We also analyze and clarify the regulatory role of epigenomic marks, DNA motifs, and chromatin interaction in DNA replication initiation of eukaryotic genomes. Finally, we discuss gene enrichment pathways from the perspective of ORIs in different replication timing states and heuristically dissect the effect of promoters on replication initiation. Our computational methodology is worth extending to ORI identification in other eukaryotic species.
      PubDate: 30 Oct 2022
  • Intralayer Phonons in Multilayer Graphene Moiré Superlattices

    • Abstract: Moiré pattern in twisted multilayers (tMLs) induces many emergent phenomena by subtle variation of atomic registry to modulate quasiparticles and their interactions, such as superconductivity, moiré excitons, and moiré phonons. The periodic superlattice potential introduced by moiré pattern also underlies patterned interlayer coupling at the interface of tMLs. Although this arising patterned interfacial coupling is much weaker than in-plane atomic interactions, it is crucial in moiré systems, as captured by the renormalized interlayer phonons in twisted bilayer transitional metal dichalcogenides. Here, we determine the quantitative relationship between the lattice dynamics of intralayer out-of-plane optical (ZO) phonons and patterned interfacial coupling in multilayer graphene moiré superlattices (MLG-MS) by the proposed perturbation model, which is previously challenging for MLGs due to their out-of-phase displacements of adjacent atoms in one atomic plane. We unveil that patterned interfacial coupling introduces profound modulations on Davydov components of nonfolded ZO phonon that are localized within the AB-stacked constituents, while the coupling results in layer-extended vibrations with symmetry of moiré pattern for moiré ZO phonons. Our work brings further degrees of freedom to engineer moiré physics according to the modulations imprinted on the phonon frequency and wavefunction.
      PubDate: 30 May 2022
  • Flexible 2D Cu Metal: Organic Framework@MXene Film Electrode with
           Excellent Durability for Highly Selective Electrocatalytic NH3 Synthesis

    • Abstract: Electrocatalytic nitrate reduction to ammonia (ENRA) is an effective strategy to resolve environmental and energy crisis, but there are still great challenges to achieve high activity and stability synergistically for practical application in a fluid environment. The flexible film electrode may solve the abovementioned problem of practical catalytic application owing to the advantages of low cost, light weight, eco-friendliness, simple and scalable fabrication, extensive structural stability, and electrocatalytic reliability. Herein, 2D hybridization copper 1,4-benzenedi-carboxylate (CuBDC) has been grown on electronegative MXene nanosheets (Ti3C2Tx) seamlessly to prepare a 2D flexible CuBDC@Ti3C2Tx electrode for ENRA. The flexible electrode simultaneously exhibits high Faradaic efficiency (86.5%) and excellent stability for NH3 synthesis, which are comparable to previously reported nanomaterials toward ENRA. Especially, the flexible electrode maintains outstanding FENH3 toward ENRA after the bending, twisting, folding, and crumpling tests, indicating excellent electroconductibility, high stability, and durability. This work not only provides mild permeation-mediated strategy to fabricate a flexible electrode but also explores the practical applications of the electrode with effectively environmental adaptability in solving global environmental contamination and energy crisis by effective ENRA.
      PubDate: 30 May 2022
  • Mechanically Reinforced Silkworm Silk Fiber by Hot Stretching

    • Abstract: Silkworm silk, which is obtained from domesticated Bombyx mori (B. mori), can be produced in a large scale. However, the mechanical properties of silkworm silk are inferior to its counterpart, spider dragline silk. Therefore, researchers are continuously exploring approaches to reinforce silkworm silk. Herein, we report a facile and scalable hot stretching process to reinforce natural silk fibers obtained from silkworm cocoons. Experimental results show that the obtained hot-stretched silk fibers (HSSFs) retain the chemical components of the original silk fibers while being endowed with increased β-sheet nanocrystal content and crystalline orientation, leading to enhanced mechanical properties. Significantly, the average modulus of the HSSFs reaches  GPa, which is about twice that of pristine silkworm silk fibers ( GPa). Besides, the tensile strength of the HSSFs reaches  GPa, which is also obviously higher than that of the pristine silk ( GPa). The results show that the hot stretching treatment is effective and efficient for producing superstiff, strong, and tough silkworm silk fibers. We anticipate this approach may be also effective for reinforcing other natural or artificial polymer fibers or films containing abundant hydrogen bonds.
      PubDate: 30 Mar 2022
  • 3D Porous MXene Aerogel through Gas Foaming for Multifunctional Pressure

    • Abstract: The development of smart wearable electronic devices puts forward higher requirements for future flexible electronics. The design of highly sensitive and high-performance flexible pressure sensors plays an important role in promoting the development of flexible electronic devices. Recently, MXenes with excellent properties have shown great potential in the field of flexible electronics. However, the easy-stacking inclination of nanomaterials limits the development of their excellent properties and the performance improvement of related pressure sensors. Traditional methods for constructing 3D porous structures have the disadvantages of complexity, long period, and difficulty of scalability. Here, the gas foaming strategy is adopted to rapidly construct 3D porous MXene aerogels. Combining the excellent surface properties of MXenes with the porous structure of aerogel, the prepared MXene aerogels are successfully used in high-performance multifunctional flexible pressure sensors with high sensitivity (306 kPa-1), wide detection range (2.3 Pa to 87.3 kPa), fast response time (35 ms), and ultrastability (>20,000 cycles), as well as self-healing, waterproof, cold-resistant, and heat-resistant capabilities. MXene aerogel pressure sensors show great potential in harsh environment detection, behavior monitoring, equipment recovery, pressure array identification, remote monitoring, and human-computer interaction applications.
      PubDate: 30 Jun 2022
  • A High Spatiotemporal Iontronic Single-Cell Viscometer

    • Abstract: Ideal single-cell viscometer has remained unachieved, leaving a gap in current palette of single-cell nanotools. Information of single-cell viscosity could contribute to our knowledge of fundamental biological processes, e.g., mass diffusion, biochemical interaction, and cellular responses to many diseases and pathologies. Although advances have been made to this end, existing methods generally suffer from limitations, e.g., low spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we describe a high spatiotemporal iontronic single-cell viscometer that operates upon a patch clamp integrated with double-barreled nanopores separated by a septum of ca. 32 nm. The system enables reversible electroosmotic manipulation of the adjacent small fluid bridging two nanopores, the viscous alternation of which could be sensitively monitored by the ionic responses. In practical cellular studies, significantly, our findings reveal not only the less deviated medium viscosities than those of lysosomes and mitochondria but also the highest viscosities in the near-nuclear region than those of mitochondrion-dense and lysosome-dense regions. This work has provided an accessible single-cell viscometer and enriched the armory of single-cell nanotools.
      PubDate: 30 Jun 2022
  • Experimental Quantum Advantage with Quantum Coupon Collector

    • Abstract: An increasing number of communication and computational schemes with quantum advantages have recently been proposed, which implies that quantum technology has fertile application prospects. However, demonstrating these schemes experimentally continues to be a central challenge because of the difficulty in preparing high-dimensional states or highly entangled states. In this study, we introduce and analyze a quantum coupon collector protocol by employing coherent states and simple linear optical elements, which was successfully demonstrated using realistic experimental equipment. We showed that our protocol can significantly reduce the number of samples needed to learn a specific set compared with the classical limit of the coupon collector problem. We also discuss the potential values and expansions of the quantum coupon collector by constructing a quantum blind box game. The information transmitted by the proposed game also broke the classical limit. These results strongly prove the advantages of quantum mechanics in machine learning and communication complexity.
      PubDate: 30 Apr 2022
  • Discovery of Muscle-Tendon Progenitor Subpopulation in Human Myotendinous
           Junction at Single-Cell Resolution

    • Abstract: The myotendinous junction (MTJ) is a complex and special anatomical area that connects muscles and tendons, and it is also the key to repairing tendons. Nevertheless, the anatomical structure and connection structure of MTJ, the cluster and distribution of cells, and which cells are involved in repairing the tissue are still unclear. Here, we analyzed the cell subtype distribution and function of human MTJ at single-cell level. We identified four main subtypes, including stem cell, muscle, tendon, and muscle-tendon progenitor cells (MTP). The MTP subpopulation, which remains the characteristics of stem cells and also expresses muscle and tendon marker genes simultaneously, may have the potential for bidirectional differentiation. We also found the muscle-tendon progenitor cells were distributed in the shape of a transparent goblet; muscle cells first connect to the MTP and then to the tendon. And after being transplanted in the MTJ injury model, MTP exhibited strong regenerative capability. Finally, we also demonstrated the importance of mTOR signaling for MTP maintenance by in vitro addition of rapamycin and in vivo validation using mTOR-ko mice. Our research conducted a comprehensive analysis of the heterogeneity of myotendinous junction, discovered a special cluster called MTP, provided new insights into the biological significance of myotendinous junction, and laid the foundation for future research on myotendinous junction regeneration and restoration.
      PubDate: 29 Sep 2022
  • Scalable Fabrication of Metallic Conductive Fibers from Rheological
           Tunable Semi-Liquid Metals

    • Abstract: Conductive polymer fibers/wires (CPFs) are important materials in modern technologies due to their unique one-dimension geometry, electrical conductivity, and flexibility. However, the advanced applications of current CPFs are limited by their low electrical conductivities (
      PubDate: 29 Oct 2022
  • Electronic Orbital Alignment and Hierarchical Phonon Scattering Enabling
           High Thermoelectric Performance p-Type Mg3Sb2 Zintl Compounds

    • Abstract: Environmentally friendly Mg3Sb2-based materials have drawn intensive attention owing to their promising thermoelectric performance. In this work, the electrical properties of p-type Mg3Sb2 are dramatically optimized by the regulation of Mg deficiency. Then, we, for the first time, found that Zn substitution at the Mg2 site leads to the alignment of and orbital, resulting in a high band degeneracy and the dramatically enhanced Seebeck coefficient, demonstrated by the DFT calculations and electronic properties measurement. Moreover, Zn alloying decreases Mg1 (Zn) vacancies formation energy and in turn increases Mg (Zn) vacancies and optimizes the carrier concentration. Simultaneously, the Mg/Zn substitutions, Mg vacancies, and porosity structure suppress the phonon transport in a broader frequency range, leading to a low lattice thermal conductivity of ~0.47 W m-1 K-1 at 773 K. Finally, a high ZT of ~0.87 at 773 K was obtained for Mg1.95Na0.01Zn1Sb2, exceeding most of the previously reported p-type Mg3Sb2 compounds. Our results further demonstrate the promising prospects of p-type Mg3Sb2-based material in the field of mid-temperature heat recovery.
      PubDate: 29 Apr 2022
  • Inherent Anharmonicity of Harmonic Solids

    • Abstract: Atomic vibrations, in the form of phonons, are foundational in describing the thermal behavior of materials. The possible frequencies of phonons in materials are governed by the complex bonding between atoms, which is physically represented by a spring-mass model that can account for interactions (spring forces) between the atoms (masses). The lowest-order, harmonic, approximation only considers linear forces between atoms and is thought incapable of explaining phenomena like thermal expansion and thermal conductivity, which are attributed to nonlinear, anharmonic, interactions. Here, we show that the kinetic energy of atoms in a solid produces a pressure much like the kinetic energy of atoms in a gas does. This vibrational or phonon pressure naturally increases with temperature, as it does in a gas and therefore results in a thermal expansion. Because thermal expansion thermodynamically defines a Grüneisen parameter , which is a typical metric of anharmonicity, we show that even a harmonic solid will necessarily have some anharmonicity. A consequence of this phonon pressure model is a harmonic estimation of the Grüneisen parameter as , where is the ratio of the transverse and longitudinal speeds of sound. We demonstrate the immediate utility of this model by developing a high-throughput harmonic estimate of lattice thermal conductivity that is comparable to other state-of-the-art estimations. By linking harmonic and anharmonic properties explicitly, this study provokes new ideas about the fundamental nature of anharmonicity, while also providing a basis for new material engineering design metrics.
      PubDate: 29 Apr 2022
  • Adhesive and Self-Healing Polyurethanes with Tunable Multifunctionality

    • Abstract: Many polyurethanes (PUs) are blood-contacting materials due to their good mechanical properties, fatigue resistance, cytocompatibility, biosafety, and relatively good hemocompatibility. Further functionalization of the PUs using chemical synthetic methods is especially attractive for expanding their applications. Herein, a series of catechol functionalized PU (C-PU-PTMEG) elastomers containing variable molecular weight of polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) soft segment are reported by stepwise polymerization and further introduction of catechol. Tailoring the molecular weight of PTMEG fragment enables a regulable catechol content, mobility of the chain segment, hydrogen bond and microphase separation of the C-PU-PTMEG elastomers, thus offering tunability of mechanical strength (such as breaking strength from 1.3 MPa to 5.7 MPa), adhesion, self-healing efficiency (from 14.9% to 96.7% within 2 hours), anticoagulant, antioxidation, anti-inflammatory properties and cellular growth behavior. As cardiovascular stent coatings, the C-PU-PTMEGs demonstrate enough flexibility to withstand deformation during the balloon dilation procedure. Of special importance is that the C-PU-PTMEG-coated surfaces show the ability to rapidly scavenge free radicals to maintain normal growth of endothelial cells, inhibit smooth muscle cell proliferation, mediate inflammatory response, and reduce thrombus formation. With the universality of surface adhesion and tunable multifunctionality, these novel C-PU-PTMEG elastomers should find potential usage in artificial heart valves and surface engineering of stents.
      PubDate: 28 Oct 2022
  • B-Site Nanoscale-Ordered Structure Enables Ultra-High Tunable Performance

    • Abstract: Tunable devices constructed by ferroelectric thin films are often desired to possess a low dielectric loss while maintainging a high dielectric tunability over a broad operating temperature range in applications, for example, resonators, filters, or phase shifters. However, it is difficult to simultaneously achieve these characteristics by traditional strategies, such as doping and strain modifying. Here, we demonstrate that the dielectric tunability of the sol-gel-prepared Pb(Sc1/2Nb1/2)0.9(Mg1/3Nb2/3)0.1O3 (PSNMN) thin film can be almost doubled from ~47% to ~80.0% (at 10 kHz) at a low electric field (~530 kV/cm), and the dielectric loss can be sharply reduced by more than an order of magnitude, from ~0.50 to ~0.037 (at 1 kHz) when the thin film was annealed in air at 650°C for 15 h under the help of an atmosphere-compensating-block (ACB) made from the proto-PSNMN gel. Moreover, the PSNMN thin film annealed with ACB also exhibited an extremely high thermally-stable dielectric tunability in an ultrabroad temperature range (>130 K), which could be attributed to the Maxwell-Wagner (MW) effect generated by the interface between the PSNMN disordered matrix and the B-site nanoscale-ordered structure formed during the long-term annealing process. The reduced dielectric loss is mainly benefited from the reduced concentration of oxygen vacancy and the possible MW effects, and the enhanced dielectric tunability could be ascribed to the weaker domain-pinning effect by oxygen vacancy. The breakthrough provides a new universal strategy to achieve utrahigh tunable performance in A(B’1/2B”1/2)O3 ferroelectric thin films with a B-site nanoscale-ordered structure, meanwhile it paves the way for ultraintergrated tunable thin-film-devices with great phase shifter performance in practical applications.
      PubDate: 28 Oct 2022
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks Offering Tunable Binary Active Sites toward
           Highly Efficient Urea Oxidation Electrolysis

    • Abstract: Electrocatalytic urea oxidation reaction (UOR) is regarded as an effective yet challenging approach for the degradation of urea in wastewater into harmless N2 and CO2. To overcome the sluggish kinetics, catalytically active sites should be rationally designed to maneuver the multiple key steps of intermediate adsorption and desorption. Herein, we demonstrate that metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can provide an ideal platform for tailoring binary active sites to facilitate the rate-determining steps, achieving remarkable electrocatalytic activity toward UOR. Specifically, the MOF (namely, NiMn0.14-BDC) based on Ni/Mn sites and terephthalic acid (BDC) ligands exhibits a low voltage of 1.317 V to deliver a current density of 10 mA cm-2. As a result, a high turnover frequency (TOF) of 0.15 s-1 is achieved at a voltage of 1.4 V, which enables a urea degradation rate of 81.87% in 0.33 M urea solution. The combination of experimental characterization with theoretical calculation reveals that the Ni and Mn sites play synergistic roles in maneuvering the evolution of urea molecules and key reaction intermediates during the UOR, while the binary Ni/Mn sites in MOF offer the tunability for electronic structure and -band center impacting on the intermediate evolution. This work provides important insights into active site design by leveraging MOF platform and represents a solid step toward highly efficient UOR with MOF-based electrocatalysts.
      PubDate: 28 Jun 2022
  • Metallic Aluminum Suboxides with Ultrahigh Electrical Conductivity at High

    • Abstract: Aluminum, as the most abundant metallic elemental content in the Earth’s crust, usually exists in the form of alumina (Al2O3). However, the oxidation state of aluminum and the crystal structures of aluminum oxides in the pressure range of planetary interiors are not well established. Here, we predicted two aluminum suboxides (Al2O, AlO) and two superoxides (Al4O7, AlO3) with uncommon stoichiometries at high pressures using first-principle calculations and crystal structure prediction methods. We find that the P4/nmm Al2O becomes stable above ~765 GPa and may survive in the deep mantles or cores of giant planets such as Neptune. Interestingly, the Al2O and AlO are metallic and have electride features, in which some electrons are localized in the interstitials between atoms. We find that Al2O has an electrical conductivity one order of magnitude higher than that of iron under the same pressure-temperature conditions, which may influence the total conductivity of giant planets. Our findings enrich the high-pressure phase diagram of aluminum oxides and improve our understanding of the interior structure of giant planets.
      PubDate: 28 Aug 2022
  • Photopolymerized 3D Printing Scaffolds with Pt(IV) Prodrug Initiator for
           Postsurgical Tumor Treatment

    • Abstract: Biomedical scaffolds have shown great success in postsurgical tumor treatment; their current efforts are focusing on eradicating residual tumor cells and circulating tumor cells and simultaneously repairing postoperative tissue defects. Herein, we report a novel photopolymerized 3D scaffold with Pt(IV) prodrug initiator to achieve the desired features for tumor comprehensive therapy. The Pt-GelMA scaffold was fabricated from the microfluidic 3D printing of methacrylate gelatin (GelMA) bioinks through a Pt(IV)-induced photocrosslinked process without any other additional photoinitiator and chemotherapeutic drug. Thus, the resultant scaffold displayed efficient cell killing ability against breast cancer cells in vitro and significantly inhibited the local tumor growth and distant metastases on an orthotopic postoperative breast cancer model in vivo. Besides, benefiting from their ordered porous structures and favorable biocompatibility, the scaffolds supported the cell attachment, spreading, and proliferation of normal cells in vitro; could facilitate the nutrient transportation; and induced new tissue ingrowth for repairing tissue defects caused by surgery. These properties indicate that such 3D printing scaffold is a promising candidate for efficient postoperative tumor treatment in the practical application.
      PubDate: 28 Aug 2022
  • Glacial Lake Area Changes in High Mountain Asia during 1990–2020 Using
           Satellite Remote Sensing

    • Abstract: Changes in a large-scale glacial lake area directly reflect the regional glacier status and climate changes. However, long time series of glacial lake dataset and comprehensive investigation of the spatiotemporal changes in the glacial lake area in the whole High Mountain Asia (HMA) region remained elusive. Satellite remote sensing provides an indispensable way for dynamic monitoring of glacial lakes over large regions. But glacial lakes are quite small and discretely distributed, and the extraction of glacial lakes is usually influenced by clouds, snow/ice cover, and terrain shadows; thus, there is a lack of an automatic method to continuously monitor the dynamic changes of glacial lakes in a large scale. In this paper, we developed a per-pixel composited method named the “multitemporal mean NDWI composite” to automatically extract the glacial lake area in HMA from 1990 to 2020 using time-series Landsat data. There were 19,294 glacial lakes covering a total area of in 1990, and 22,646 glacial lakes with an area of in 2020. It is noted that the glacial lake area in the whole HMA region expanded by over the past three decades, with high spatiotemporal heterogeneity. The glacial lake area increased at a consistent speed over time. The fastest expansion was in East Kun Lun at an average rate of , while in the Pamir and Hengduan Shan, they show slow increases with rates of and , respectively, during 1990–2020. The greatest increase in lake area occurred at 5000-5200 m a.s.l., which increased by about 45 km2 (~25%). We conclude that the temperature rise and glacier thinning are the leading factors of glacial lake expansion in HMA, and precipitation is the main source of lake water increase in West Kun Lun. Using the proposed method, a large amount of Landsat images from successive years of melting seasons can be fully utilized to obtain a pixel-level composited cloud-free and solid snow/ice-free glacial lake map. The uncertainties from supraglacial ponds and glacial meltwater were also estimated to improve the reliability and comparability of glacial lake area changes among different regions. This study provides important technical and data support for regional climate changes, glacier hydrology, and disaster analysis.
      PubDate: 27 Oct 2022
  • A Microtube-Based Wearable Closed-Loop Minisystem for Diabetes Management

    • Abstract: Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease with a high blood glucose level, leading to both seriously acute and chronic complications. The closed-loop system is an ideal system for diabetes management. However, the large size and high cost of the commercial systems restrict their widespread uses. Here, we present for the first time a microtube-based wearable closed-loop minisystem for diabetes management. The closed-loop minisystem includes a biosensing device, an electroosmotic micropump, and a printed circuit board (PCB) with an algorithm. The microtube-based sensing device coated on the outer surface of the microtube is inserted into subcutaneous tissue for detecting interstitial glucose; the current signal for sensing glucose is processed by the PCB to power the electroosmotic micropump intelligently for the delivery of insulin into the subcutaneous tissue via the microtube channel. The closed-loop minisystem worn on a diabetic SD rat can successfully maintain its blood glucose level within a safe level. It is expected that this new closed-loop paradigm could open up new prospects for clinical diabetes management.
      PubDate: 27 Oct 2022
  • Surface-Condition-Dependent Deformation Mechanisms in Lead Nanocrystals

    • Abstract: Serving as nanoelectrodes or frame units, small-volume metals may critically affect the performance and reliability of nanodevices, especially with feature sizes down to the nanometer scale. Small-volume metals usually behave extraordinarily in comparison with their bulk counterparts, but the knowledge of how their sizes and surfaces give rise to their extraordinary properties is currently insufficient. In this study, we investigate the influence of surface conditions on mechanical behaviors in nanometer-sized Pb crystals by performing in situ mechanical deformation tests inside an aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope (TEM). Pseudoelastic deformation and plastic deformation processes were observed at atomic precision during deformation of pristine and surface-oxidized Pb particles, respectively. It is found that in most of the pristine Pb particles, surface atom diffusion dominates and leads to a pseudoelastic deformation behavior. In stark contrast, in surface-passivated Pb particles where surface atom diffusion is largely inhibited, deformation proceeds via displacive plasticity including dislocations, stacking faults, and twinning, leading to dominant plastic deformation without any pseudoelasticity. This research directly reveals the dramatic impact of surface conditions on the deformation mechanisms and mechanical behaviors of metallic nanocrystals, which provides significant implications for property tuning of the critical components in advanced nanodevices.
      PubDate: 27 Jul 2022
  • Design Rules of the Mixing Phase and Impacts on Device Performance in
           High-Efficiency Organic Photovoltaics

    • Abstract: In nonfullerene acceptor- (NFA-) based solar cells, the exciton splitting takes place at both domain interface and donor/acceptor mixture, which brings in the state of mixing phase into focus. The energetics and morphology are key parameters dictating the charge generation, diffusion, and recombination. It is revealed that tailoringthe electronic properties of the mixing region by doping with larger-bandgap components could reduce the density of state but elevate the filling state level, leading to improved open-circuit voltage () and reduced recombination. The monomolecular and bimolecular recombinations are shown to be intercorrelated, which show a Gaussian-like relationship with and linear relationship with short-circuit current density () and fill factor (FF). The kinetics of hole transfer and exciton diffusion scale with similarly, indicating the carrier generation in mixing region and crystalline domain are equally important. From the morphology perspective, the crystalline order could contribute to improvement, and the fibrillar structure strongly affects the FF. These observations highlight the importance of the mixing region and its connection with crystalline domains and point out the design rules to optimize the mixing phase structure, which is an effective approach to further improve device performance.
      PubDate: 27 Jul 2022
  • 3D Printing of Nacre-Inspired Structures with Exceptional Mechanical and
           Flame-Retardant Properties

    • Abstract: Flame-retardant and thermal management structures have attracted great attention due to the requirement of high-temperature exposure in industrial, aerospace, and thermal power fields, but the development of protective fire-retardant structures with complex shapes to fit arbitrary surfaces is still challenging. Herein, we reported a rotation-blade casting-assisted 3D printing process to fabricate nacre-inspired structures with exceptional mechanical and flame-retardant properties, and the related fundamental mechanisms are studied. 3-(Trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate (TMSPMA) modified boron nitride nanoplatelets (BNs) were aligned by rotation-blade casting during the 3D printing process to build the “brick and mortar” architecture. The 3D printed structures are more lightweight, while having higher fracture toughness than the natural nacre, which is attributed to the crack deflection, aligned BN (a-BNs) bridging, and pull-outs reinforced structures by the covalent bonding between TMSPMA grafted a-BNs and polymer matrix. Thermal conductivity is enhanced by 25.5 times compared with pure polymer and 5.8 times of anisotropy due to the interconnection of a-BNs. 3D printed heat-exchange structures with vertically aligned BNs in complex shapes were demonstrated for efficient thermal control of high-power light-emitting diodes. 3D printed helmet and armor with a-BNs show exceptional mechanical and fire-retardant properties, demonstrating integrated mechanical and thermal protection.
      PubDate: 27 Jan 2022
  • Deciphering the Role of Fluoroethylene Carbonate towards Highly Reversible
           Sodium Metal Anodes

    • Abstract: Sodium metal anodes (SMAs) suffer from extremely low reversibility (95% with conventional NaPF6 salt at a regular concentration (1.0 M). The peculiar role of FEC is firstly unraveled via its involvement into the solvation structure, where a threshold FEC concentration with a coordination number>1.2 is needed in guaranteeing high Na reversibility over the long-term. Specifically, by incorporating an average number of 1.2 FEC molecules into the primary Na+ solvation sheath, lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) levels of such Na+-FEC solvates undergo further decrease, with spin electrons residing either on the O=CO(O) moiety of FEC or sharing between Na+ and its C=O bond, which ensures a prior FEC decomposition in passivating the Na surface against other carbonate molecules. Further, by adopting cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), we found that the Na filaments grow into substantially larger diameter from ~400 nm to >1 μm with addition of FEC upon the threshold value. A highly crystalline and much thinner (~40 nm) solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) is consequently observed to uniformly wrap the Na surface, in contrast to the severely corroded Na as retrieved from the blank electrolyte. The potence of FEC is further demonstrated in a series of “corrosive solvents” such as ethyl acetate (EA), trimethyl phosphate (TMP), and acetonitrile (AN), enabling highly reversible SMAs in the otherwise unusable solvent systems.
      PubDate: 27 Jan 2022
  • Heat Treatment Promotes Ubiquitin-Mediated Proteolysis of SARS-CoV-2 RNA
           Polymerase and Decreases Viral Load

    • Abstract: Despite extensive efforts, COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is still at large. Vaccination is an effective approach to curb virus spread, but several variants (e.g., delta, delta plus, omicron, and IHU) appear to weaken or possibly escape immune protection. Thus, novel and quickly scalable approaches to restrain SARS-CoV-2 are urgently needed. Multiple evidences showed thermal sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 and negative correlation between environmental temperature and COVID-19 transmission with unknown mechanism. Here, we reveal a potential mechanism by which mild heat treatment destabilizes the wild-type RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (also known as nonstructural protein 12 (NSP12)) of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the P323L mutant commonly found in SARS-CoV-2 variants, including omicron and IHU. Mechanistically, heat treatment promotes E3 ubiquitin ligase ZNF598-dependent NSP12 ubiquitination leading to proteasomal degradation and significantly decreases SARS-CoV-2 RNA copy number and viral titer. A mild daily heat treatment maintains low levels of both wild-type and P323L mutant of NSP12, suggesting clinical potential. Collectively, this novel mechanism, heat-induced NSP12 degradation, suggests a prospective heat-based intervention against SARS-CoV-2.
      PubDate: 27 Feb 2022
  • Decoy Nanozymes Enable Multitarget Blockade of Proinflammatory Cascades
           for the Treatment of Multi-Drug-Resistant Bacterial Sepsis

    • Abstract: Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction characterized by severe systemic inflammatory response to infection. Effective treatment of bacterial sepsis remains a paramount clinical challenge, due to its astonishingly rapid progression and the prevalence of bacterial drug resistance. Here, we present a decoy nanozyme-enabled intervention strategy for multitarget blockade of proinflammatory cascades to treat multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacterial sepsis. The decoy nanozymes (named MCeC@MΦ) consist mesoporous silica nanoparticle cores loaded with CeO2 nanocatalyst and Ce6 photosensitizer and biomimetic shells of macrophage membrane. By acting as macrophage decoys, MCeC@MΦ allow targeted photodynamic eradication of MDR bacteria and realize simultaneous endotoxin/proinflammatory cytokine neutralization. Meanwhile, MCeC@MΦ possess intriguing superoxide dismutase and catalase-like activities as well as hydroxyl radical antioxidant capacity and enable catalytic scavenging of multiple reactive oxygen species (ROS). These unique capabilities make MCeC@MΦ to collaboratively address the issues of bacterial infection, endotoxin/proinflammatory cytokine secretion, and ROS burst, fully cutting off the path of proinflammatory cascades to reverse the progression of bacterial sepsis. In vivo experiments demonstrate that MCeC@MΦ considerably attenuate systemic hyperinflammation and rapidly rescue organ damage within 1 day to confer higher survival rates (>75%) to mice with progressive MDR Escherichia coli bacteremia. The proposed decoy nanozyme-enabled multitarget collaborative intervention strategy offers a powerful modality for bacterial sepsis management and opens up possibilities for the treatment of cytokine storm in the COVID-19 pandemic and immune-mediated inflammation diseases.
      PubDate: 26 Sep 2022
  • Multifunctional GO Hybrid Hydrogel Scaffolds for Wound Healing

    • Abstract: Hydrogel dressings have received extensive attention for the skin wound repair, while it is still a challenge to develop a smart hydrogel for adapting the dynamic wound healing process. Herein, we develop a novel graphene oxide (GO) hybrid hydrogel scaffold with adjustable mechanical properties, controllable drug release, and antibacterial behavior for promoting wound healing. The scaffold was prepared by injecting benzaldehyde and cyanoacetate group-functionalized dextran solution containing GO into a collection pool of histidine. As the GO possesses obvious photothermal behavior, the hybrid hydrogel scaffold exhibited an obvious stiffness decrease and effectively promoted cargo release owing to the breaking of the thermosensitive C=C double bond at a high temperature under NIR light. In addition, NIR-assisted photothermal antibacterial performance of the scaffold could be also achieved with the local temperature rising after irradiation. Therefore, it is demonstrated that the GO hybrid hydrogel scaffold with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) encapsulation can achieve the adjustable mechanical properties, photothermal antibacterial, and angiogenesis during the wound healing process. These features indicated that the proposed GO hybrid hydrogel scaffold is potentially valuable for promoting wound healing and other biomedical application.
      PubDate: 26 Oct 2022
  • An AI-Based Curling Game System for Winter Olympics

    • Abstract: The real-time application of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in sports is a long-standing challenge owing to large spatial sports field, complexity, and uncertainty of real-world environment, etc. Although some AI-based systems have been applied to sporting events such as tennis, basketball, and football, they are replayed after the game rather than applied in real time. Here, we present an AI-based curling game system, termed CurlingHunter, which can display actual trajectories, predicted trajectories, and house regions of curling during the games via a giant screen in curling stadiums and a live streaming media platform on the internet in real time, so as to assist the game, improve the interest of watching game, help athletes train, etc. We provide a complete description of CurlingHunter’ architecture and a thorough evaluation of its performances and demonstrate that CurlingHunter possesses remarkable real-time performance (~9.005 ms), high accuracy ( cm under measurement  m), and good stability. CurlingHunter is the first, to the best of our knowledge, real-time system that can assist athletes to compete during the games in the history of sports and has been successfully applied in Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics. Our work highlights the potential of AI-based systems for real-time applications in sports.
      PubDate: 26 Oct 2022
  • In Situ Investigation of the Phase Transition at the Surface of
           Thermoelectric PbTe with van der Waals Control

    • Abstract: The structure of thermoelectric materials largely determines the thermoelectric characteristics. Hence, a better understanding of the details of the structural transformation process/conditions can open doors for new applications. In this study, the structural transformation of PbTe (a typical thermoelectric material) is studied at the atomic scale, and both nucleation and growth are analyzed. We found that the phase transition mainly occurs at the surface of the material, and it is mainly determined by the surface energy and the degree of freedom the atoms have. After exposure to an electron beam and high temperature, high-density crystal-nuclei appear on the surface, which continue to grow into large particles. The particle formation is consistent with the known oriented-attachment growth mode. In addition, the geometric structure changes during the transformation process. The growth of nanoparticles is largely determined by the van der Waals force, due to which adjacent particles gradually move closer. During this movement, as the relative position of the particles changes, the direction of the interaction force changes too, which causes the particles to rotate by a certain angle.
      PubDate: 26 Mar 2022
  • Fighting the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: Focusing a New Lens on COVID-19

    • PubDate: 26 Jul 2022
  • Determination of Double Beta Decay Half-Life of 136Xe with the PandaX-4T
           Natural Xenon Detector

    • Abstract: Precise measurement of two-neutrino double beta decay (DBD) half-life is an important step for the searches of Majorana neutrinos with neutrinoless double beta decay. We report the measurement of DBD half-life of 136Xe using the PandaX-4T dual-phase Time Projection Chamber (TPC) with 3.7-tonne natural xenon and the first 94.9-day physics data release. The background model in the fiducial volume is well constrained in situ by events in the outer active region. With a 136Xe exposure of 15.5 kg-year, we establish the half-life as years. This is the first DBD half-life measurement with natural xenon and demonstrates the physics capability of a large-scale liquid xenon TPC in the field of rare event searches.
      PubDate: 25 Nov 2022
  • Acceptor-Donor-Acceptor π-Stacking Boosts Intramolecular Through-Space
           Charge Transfer towards Efficient Red TADF and High-Performance OLEDs

    • Abstract: Organic push-pull systems featuring through-space charge transfer (TSCT) excited states have been disclosed to be capable of exhibiting thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF), but to realize high-efficiency long-wavelength emission still remains a challenge. Herein, we report a series of strongly emissive orange-red and red TSCT-TADF emitters having (quasi)planar and rigid donor and acceptor segments which are placed in close proximity and orientated in a cofacial manner. Emission maxima () of 594−599 nm with photoluminescence quantum yields (PLQYs) of up to 91% and delayed fluorescence lifetimes of down to 4.9 μs have been achieved for new acceptor-donor-acceptor (A-D-A) molecules in doped thin films. The presence of multiple acceptors and the strong intramolecular π-stacking interactions have been unveiled to be crucial for the efficient low-energy TSCT-TADF emissions. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) based on the new A-D-A emitters demonstrated electroluminescence with maximum external quantum efficiencies (EQEs) of up to 23.2% for the red TSCT-TADF emitters. An EQE of 18.9% at the brightness of 1000 cd m-2 represents one of the highest values for red TADF OLEDs. This work demonstrates a modular approach for developing high-performance red TADF emitters through engineering through-space interactions, and it may also provide implications to the design of TADF emitter with other colours.
      PubDate: 25 Jun 2022
  • Programming of Regulatory T Cells In Situ for Nerve Regeneration and
           Long-Term Patency of Vascular Grafts

    • Abstract: Rapid integration into the host tissue is critical for long-term patency after small diameter tissue engineering vascular grafts (sdTEVGs) transplantation. Neural recognition may be required for host integration and functionalization of the graft. However, immune rejection and inflammation hinder nerve regeneration of sdTEVGs. Here, a CRISPR/dCas9-nanocarrier was used for targeted programming of regulatory T cells (Treg cells) in situ to promote nerve regeneration of sdTEVGs by preventing excessive inflammation. Treg cells and (C-C chemokine receptor) CCR2+ macrophage recruitment occurred after transplantation. The nanodelivery system upregulated ten eleven translocation (TET2) in Treg cells in vitro. Reprogrammed Treg cells upregulated anti-inflammatory cytokines and decreased the proportion of CCR2+ macrophages. IL-6 concentrations decreased to the levels required for nerve regeneration. Implantation of CRISPR/dCas9 nanodelivery system-modified sdTEVGs in rats resulted in Treg cell editing, control of excessive inflammation, and promoted nerve regeneration. After 3 months, nerve regeneration was similar to that observed in normal blood vessels; good immune homeostasis, consistency of hemodynamics, and matrix regeneration were observed. Neural recognition promotes further integration of the graft into the host, with unobstructed blood vessels without intimal hyperplasia. Our findings provide new insights into vascular implant functionalization by the host.
      PubDate: 25 Jul 2022
  • Molecular Thermal Motion Modulated Room-Temperature Phosphorescence for
           Multilevel Encryption

    • Abstract: The stimulus-responsive room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP) materials have become an increasingly significant topic in the fields of bioimaging, sensing, and anticounterfeiting. However, this kind of materials is scarce to date, especially for the ones with delicate stimulus-responsive behavior. Herein, a universal strategy for multilevel thermal erasure of RTP via chromatographic separation of host-guest doping RTP systems is proposed. The tunable host-guest systems, matrix materials, heating temperature, and time are demonstrated to allow precise six-level data encryption, QR code encryption, and thermochromic phosphorescence encryption. Mechanistic study reveals that the thermal-responsive property might be attributed to molecular thermal motion and the separation effect of the silica gel, which provides expanded applications of host-guest RTP materials such as cold chain break detection. This work offers a simple yet universal way to construct advanced responsive RTP materials.
      PubDate: 25 Jul 2022
  • Local Atomic Configuration in Pristine and A-Site Doped Silver Niobate
           Perovskite Antiferroelectrics

    • Abstract: Antiferroelectrics have attracted increasing research interests in recent years due to both their great potential in energy storage applications and intriguing structural characteristics. However, the links between the electrical properties and structural characteristics of distorted perovskite antiferroelectrics are yet to be fully deciphered. Here, we adopt local-structure methods to elucidate the nanoscale atomic structure of AgNbO3-based antiferroelectrics and their structural evolution upon La doping. The local structural features including interatomic distance distributions and atomic displacements have been analyzed using neutron small-box pair distribution function (PDF) refinement in conjunction with large-box Reverse Monte Carlo modelling. Our results highlight the correlation of cation displacements in AgNbO3 and its disruption by the incorporation of La, apparently in corroboration with the observed anomalous dielectric properties. Spatial ordering of cation vacancies is observed in La-doped AgNbO3 samples, which coordinates with oxygen octahedral tilting to relieve lattice strain. These results provide renewed insights into the atomic structure and antiferroelectric phase instabilities of AgNbO3 and relevant perovskite materials, further lending versatile opportunities for enhancing their functionalities.
      PubDate: 25 Feb 2022
  • Graphene Oxide-Induced Substantial Strengthening of High-Entropy Alloy
           Revealed by Micropillar Compression and Molecular Dynamics Simulation

    • Abstract: Plastic deformation mechanisms at micro/nanoscale of graphene oxide-reinforced high-entropy alloy composites (HEA/GO) remain unclear. In this study, small-scale mechanical behaviors were evaluated for HEA/GO composites with 0.0 wt.%, 0.3 wt.%, 0.6 wt.%, and 1.0 wt.% GO, consisting of compression testing on micropillar and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on nanopillars. The experimental results uncovered that the composites exhibited a higher yield strength and flow stress compared with pure HEA micropillar, resulting from the GO reinforcement and grain refinement strengthening. This was also confirmed by the MD simulations of pure HEA and HEA/GO composite nanopillars. The immobile interstitial dislocations also participated in the plastic deformation of composites, in contrast to pure HEA counterpart where only mobile 1/2 perfect dislocations dominated deformation, leading to a higher yield strength for composite. Meanwhile, the MD simulations also revealed that the flow stress of composite nanopillar was significantly improved due to GO sheet effectively impeded dislocation movement. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of HEA/1.0 wt.% GO composite showed a slight reduction compared with HEA/0.6 wt.% GO composite. This correlated with the compositional segregation of Cr carbide and aggregation of GO sheets, indicative of lower work hardening rate in stress-strain curves of micropillar compression.
      PubDate: 25 Aug 2022
  • Light-Emitting Artificial Synapses for Neuromorphic Computing

    • Abstract: As the key connecting points in the neuromorphic computing systems, synaptic devices have been investigated substantially in recent years. Developing optoelectronic synaptic devices with optical outputs is becoming attractive due to many benefits of optical signals in systems. Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) are potential luminescent materials for information displays. Light-emitting diodes based on CQDs have become appealing candidates for optoelectronic synaptic devices. Moreover, light-emitting transistors exhibit great application potential in these synaptic devices. From this perspective, light-emitting artificial synapses were discussed on the basis of these structures in the devices. Their mechanisms, performance, and future development were analysed and prospected in detail.
      PubDate: 24 Sep 2022
  • Whether and When Superhydrophobic/Superoleophobic Surfaces Are Fingerprint

    • Abstract: Driven by the ever-increasing demand for fingerprint-resistant techniques in modern society, numerous researches have proposed to develop innovative antifingerprint coatings based on superhydrophobic/superoleophobic surface design. However, whether superhydrophobic/superoleophobic surfaces have favorable repellency to the microscopic fingerprint is in fact an open question. Here, we establish a reliable method that enables evaluating the antifingerprint capability of various surfaces in a quantitative way. We show that superhydrophobicity is irrelevant with fingerprint repellency. Regarding superoleophobic surfaces, two distinct wetting states of microscopic fingerprint residues, i.e., the “repellent” and the “collapsed” states, are revealed. Only in the “repellent” state, in which the fingerprint residues remain atop surface textures upon being pressed, superoleophobic surfaces can bring about favorable antifingerprint repellency, which correlates positively with their receding contact angles. A finger-deformation-dependent intrusion mechanism is proposed to account for the formation of different fingerprint wetting states. Our findings offer important insights into the mechanism of fingerprint repellency and will help the design of high-performance antifingerprint surfaces for diverse applications.
      PubDate: 24 Sep 2022
  • ATP5O Hypo-crotonylation Caused by HDAC2 Hyper-Phosphorylation Is a
           Primary Detrimental Factor for Downregulated Phospholipid Metabolism under
           Chronic Stress

    • Abstract: Objective. Chronic stress (CS)-induced abnormal metabolism and other subsequent aspects of abnormality are threatening human health. Little is known regarding whether and how protein post-translational-modifications (PTMs) correlate with abnormal metabolism under CS. The aim of this study was to address this issue and also identify novel key protein PTM. Methods. First, we screened which pan-PTM had significant change between control and CS female mice and whether clinical CS females had similar pan-PTM change. Second, we performed quantitative PTM-omics and metabolomics to verify the correlation between abnormal protein PTMs and atypical metabolism. Third, we performed quantitative phospho-omics to identify the key PTM-regulating enzyme and investigate the interaction between PTM protein and PTM-regulating enzyme. Fourth, we attempted to rectify the abnormal metabolism by correcting the activity of the PTM-regulating enzyme. Finally, we examined whether the selected key protein was also correlated with stress scores and atypical metabolism in clinical women. Results. We initially found that multiple tissues of CS female mice have downregulated pan-crotonylation, and verified that the plasma of clinical CS females also had downregulated pan-crotonylation. Then we determined that ATP5O-K51 crotonylation decreased the most and also caused gross ATP5O decrement, whereas the plasma of CS mice had downregulated phospholipids. Next, downregulating ATP5O crotonylation partially recapitulated the downregulated phospholipid metabolism in CS mice. Next, we verified that HDAC2-S424 phosphorylation determined its decrotonylation activity on ATP5O-K51. Furthermore, correcting HDAC2 hyper-phosphorylation recovered the gross ATP5O level and partially rescued the downregulated phospholipid metabolism in CS mice. Finally, the ATP5O level was also significantly lower and correlated with high stress scores and downregulated phospholipid metabolism in clinical female plasma. Conclusion. This study discovered a novel PTM mechanism involving two distinct types of PTM in CS and provided a novel reference for the clinical precautions and treatments of CS.
      PubDate: 24 Nov 2022
  • Implantable Thermal Therapeutic Device with Precise Temperature Control
           Enabled by Foldable Electronics and Heat-Insulating Pads

    • Abstract: Thermal therapy has continued to attract the attention of researchers and clinicians due to its important applications in tumor ablation, wound management, and drug release. The lack of precise temperature control capability in traditional thermal treatment may cause the decrease of therapeutic effect and thermal damage to normal tissues. Here, we report an implantable thermal therapeutic device (ITTD), which offers precise closed loop heating, in situ temperature monitoring, and thermal protection. The ITTD features a multifunctional foldable electronics device wrapped on a heat-insulating composite pad. Experimental and numerical studies reveal the fundamental aspects of the design, fabrication, and operation of the ITTD. In vivo experiments of the ITTD in thermal ablation for antitumor demonstrate that the proposed ITTD is capable of controlling the ablation temperature precisely in real time with a precision of at least 0.7°C and providing effective thermal protection to normal tissues. This proof-of-concept research creates a promising route to develop ITTD with precise temperature control capability, which is highly desired in thermal therapy and other disease diagnosis and treatments.
      PubDate: 24 May 2022
  • Realization of Oriented and Nanoporous Bismuth Chalcogenide Layers via
           Topochemical Heteroepitaxy for Flexible Gas Sensors

    • Abstract: Most van der Waals two-dimensional (2D) materials without surface dangling bonds show limited surface activities except for their edge sites. Ultrathin Bi2Se3, a topological insulator that behaves metal-like under ambient conditions, has been overlooked on its surface activities. Herein, through a topochemical conversion process, ultrathin nanoporous Bi2Se3 layers were epitaxially deposited on BiOCl nanosheets with strong electronic coupling, leading to hybrid electronic states with further bandgap narrowing. Such oriented nanoporous Bi2Se3 layers possessed largely exposed active edge sites, along with improved surface roughness and film forming ability even on inkjet-printed flexible electrodes. Superior room-temperature NO2 sensing performance was achieved compared to other 2D materials under bent conditions. Our work demonstrates that creating nanoscale features in 2D materials through topochemical heteroepitaxy is promising to achieve both favorable electronic properties and surface activity toward practical applications.
      PubDate: 24 Jun 2022
  • Flexible Vertex Engineers the Controlled Assembly of Distorted
           Supramolecular Tetrahedral and Octahedral Cages

    • Abstract: Designing and building unique cage assemblies attract increasing interest from supramolecular chemists but remain synthetically challenging. Herein, we propose the use of a flexible vertex with adjustable angles to selectively form highly distorted tetrahedral and octahedral cages, for the first time, in which the flexible vertex forms from the synergistic effect of coordination and covalent interactions. The inherent interligand angle of the vertex can be modulated by guest anions present, which allows for the fine-tuning of different cage geometries. Furthermore, the reversible structural transformation between tetrahedral and octahedral cages was achieved by anion exchange monitored by mass spectrometric technique, the smaller anions favoring tetrahedral cages, while the larger anions supporting octahedral cages. Additionally, the KBr-based cage thin films exhibited prominent enhancement of their third-order NLO responses in two or three orders of magnitude compared to those obtained for their corresponding solutions. This work not only provides a new methodology to build irregular polyhedral structures in a controlled and tunable way but also provides access to new kinds of promising functional optical materials.
      PubDate: 24 Feb 2022
  • Low Infrared Emissivity and Strong Stealth of Ti-Based MXenes

    • Abstract: Advanced scenario-adaptable infrared (IR) stealth materials are crucial for creating localized closed thermal environments. Low emissivity over the broadest possible band is expected, as is superior mechanical deformability. Herein, we report a series of Ti-based MXenes with naturally low emissivity as ideal IR shielding materials. Over a wavelength ranging from 2.5 to 25 μm, Ti3C2T film delivers an average emissivity of 0.057 with the lowest point of 0.042. Such a low emissivity coupled with outstanding structural shaping capability is beyond the current grasp. The reflection-dominated mechanism is dissected. Also, some intriguing scenarios of IR stealth for wearable electronic devices and skin thermal control are demonstrated. This finding lights an encouraging path toward next-generation IR shielding by the expanding MXene family.
      PubDate: 23 May 2022
  • Solar-Driven Producing of Value-Added Chemicals with Organic
           Semiconductor-Bacteria Biohybrid System

    • Abstract: Photosynthetic biohybrid systems exhibit promising performance in biosynthesis; however, these systems can only produce a single metabolite and cannot further transform carbon sources into highly valuable chemical production. Herein, a photosynthetic biohybrid system integrating biological and chemical cascade synthesis was developed for solar-driven conversion of glucose to value-added chemicals. A new ternary cooperative biohybrid system, namely bacterial factory, was constructed by self-assembling of enzyme-modified light-harvesting donor-acceptor conjugated polymer nanoparticles (D-A CPNs) and genetically engineered Escherichia coli (E. coli). The D-A CPNs coating on E. coli could effectively generate electrons under light irradiation, which were transferred into E. coli to promote the 37% increment of threonine production by increasing the ratio of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). Subsequently, the metabolized threonine was catalyzed by threonine deaminase covalently linking with D-A CPNs to obtain 2-oxobutyrate, which is an important precursor of drugs and chemicals. The 2-oxobutyrate yield under light irradiation is increased by 58% in comparison to that in dark. This work provides a new organic semiconductor-microorganism photosynthetic biohybrid system for biological and chemical cascade synthesis of highly valuable chemicals by taking advantage of renewable carbon sources and solar energy.
      PubDate: 23 Mar 2022
  • Li-Ca Alloy Composite Anode with Ant-Nest-Like Lithiophilic Channels in
           Carbon Cloth Enabling High-Performance Li Metal Batteries

    • Abstract: Constructing a three-dimensional (3D) multifunctional hosting architecture and subsequent thermal infusion of molten Li to produce advanced Li composite is an effective strategy for stable Li metal anode. However, the pure liquid Li is difficult to spread across the surface of various substrates due to its large surface tension and poor wettability, hindering the production and application of Li composite anode. Herein, heteroatomic Ca is doped into molten Li to generate Li-Ca alloy, which greatly regulates the surface tension of the molten alloy and improves the wettability against carbon cloth (CC). Moreover, a secondary network composed of CaLi2 intermetallic compound with interconnected ant-nest-like lithiophilic channels is in situ formed and across the primary scaffold of CC matrix by infiltrating molten Li-Ca alloy into CC and then cooling treatment (LCAC), which has a larger and lithiophilic surface to enable uniform Li deposition into interior space of the hybrid scaffold without Li dendrites. Therefore, LCAC exhibits a long-term lifespan for 1100 h under a current density of 5 mA cm-2 with fixed areal capacity of 5 mAh cm-2. Remarkably, full cells paired with practical-level LiFePO4 cathode of 2.45 mAh cm-2 deliver superior performance.
      PubDate: 23 Jun 2022
  • Distribution- and Metabolism-Based Drug Discovery: A Potassium-Competitive
           Acid Blocker as a Proof of Concept

    • Abstract: Conventional methods of drug design require compromise in the form of side effects to achieve sufficient efficacy because targeting drugs to specific organs remains challenging. Thus, new strategies to design organ-specific drugs that induce little toxicity are needed. Based on characteristic tissue niche-mediated drug distribution (TNMDD) and patterns of drug metabolism into specific intermediates, we propose a strategy of distribution- and metabolism-based drug design (DMBDD); through a physicochemical property-driven distribution optimization cooperated with a well-designed metabolism pathway, SH-337, a candidate potassium-competitive acid blocker (P-CAB), was designed. SH-337 showed specific distribution in the stomach in the long term and was rapidly cleared from the systemic compartment. Therefore, SH-337 exerted a comparable pharmacological effect but a 3.3-fold higher no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) compared with FDA-approved vonoprazan. This study contributes a proof-of-concept demonstration of DMBDD and provides a new perspective for the development of highly efficient, organ-specific drugs with low toxicity.
      PubDate: 23 Jul 2022
  • Single-Atomic Site Catalyst Enhanced Lateral Flow Immunoassay for
           Point-of-Care Detection of Herbicide

    • Abstract: Point-of-care (POC) detection of herbicides is of great importance due to their impact on the environment and potential risks to human health. Here, we design a single-atomic site catalyst (SASC) with excellent peroxidase-like (POD-like) catalytic activity, which enhances the detection performance of corresponding lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA). The iron single-atomic site catalyst (Fe-SASC) is synthesized from hemin-doped ZIF-8, creating active sites that mimic the Fe active center coordination environment of natural enzyme and their functions. Due to its atomically dispersed iron active sites that result in maximum utilization of active metal atoms, the Fe-SASC exhibits superior POD-like activity, which has great potential to replace its natural counterparts. Also, the catalytic mechanism of Fe-SASC is systematically investigated. Utilizing its outstanding catalytic activity, the Fe-SASC is used as label to construct LFIA (Fe-SASC-LFIA) for herbicide detection. The 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is selected as a target here, since it is a commonly used herbicide as well as a biomarker for herbicide exposure evaluation. A linear detection range of 1-250 ng/mL with a low limit of detection (LOD) of 0.82 ng/mL has been achieved. Meanwhile, excellent specificity and selectivity towards 2,4-D have been obtained. The outstanding detection performance of the Fe-SASC-LFIA has also been demonstrated in the detection of human urine samples, indicating the practicability of this POC detection platform for analyzing the 2,4-D exposure level of a person. We believe this proposed Fe-SASC-LFIA has potential as a portable, rapid, and high-sensitive POC detection strategy for pesticide exposure evaluation.
      PubDate: 23 Aug 2022
  • Advances in Delivering Oxidative Modulators for Disease Therapy

    • Abstract: Oxidation modulators regarding antioxidants and reactive oxygen species (ROS) inducers have been used for the treatment of many diseases. However, a systematic review that refers to delivery system for divergent modulation of oxidative level within the biomedical scope is lacking. To provide a comprehensive summarization and analysis, we review pilot designs for delivering the oxidative modulators and the main applications for inflammatory treatment and tumor therapy. On the one hand, the antioxidants based delivery system can be employed to downregulate ROS levels at inflammatory sites to treat inflammatory diseases (e.g., skin repair, bone-related diseases, organ dysfunction, and neurodegenerative diseases). On the other hand, the ROS inducers based delivery system can be employed to upregulate ROS levels at the tumor site to kill tumor cells (e.g., disrupt the endogenous oxidative balance and induce lethal levels of ROS). Besides the current designs of delivery systems for oxidative modulators and the main application cases, prospects for future research are also provided to identify intelligent strategies and inspire new concepts for delivering oxidative modulators.
      PubDate: 22 Sep 2022
  • Assessment of Transcatheter or Surgical Closure of Atrial Septal Defect
           using Interpretable Deep Keypoint Stadiometry

    • Abstract: Automated echocardiogram interpretation with artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to facilitate the serial diagnosis of heart defects by primary clinician. However, the fully automated and interpretable analysis pipeline for suggesting a treatment plan is largely underexplored. The present study targets to build an automatic and interpretable assistant for the transthoracic echocardiogram- (TTE-) based assessment of atrial septal defect (ASD) with deep learning (DL). We developed a novel deep keypoint stadiometry (DKS) model, which learns to precisely localize the keypoints, i.e., the endpoints of defects and followed by the absolute distance measurement with the scale. The closure plan and the size of the ASD occluder for transcatheter closure are derived based on the explicit clinical decision rules. A total of 3,474 2D and Doppler TTE from 579 patients were retrospectively collected from two clinical groups. The accuracy of closure classification using DKS () outperforms the “black-box” model (; ) for within-center evaluation. The results in cross-center cases or using the quadratic weighted kappa as an evaluation metric are consistent. The fine-grained keypoint label provides more explicit supervision for network training. While DKS can be fully automated, clinicians can intervene and edit at different steps of the process as well. Our deep learning keypoint localization can provide an automatic and transparent way for assessing size-sensitive congenital heart defects, which has huge potential value for application in primary medical institutions in China. Also, more size-sensitive treatment planning tasks may be explored in the future.
      PubDate: 22 Oct 2022
  • High-Throughput Calculation of Interlayer van der Waals Forces Validated
           with Experimental Measurements

    • Abstract: Interlayer van der Waals interactions play an important role in two-dimensional (2D) materials on various occasions. The interlayer binding force is often directly measured and is considered more closely related to the exfoliation condition. However, a binding force database from accurate theoretical calculations does not yet exist. In this work, the critical interlayer binding force and energy are directly calculated for 230 2D materials, which exhibit divergent trends. A linear relationship that links the two quantities with the equilibrium interlayer distance is found and checked. Experiments are carried out for three different materials using atomic force microscopy. The measured forces show a consistent trend with the calculated results, and the estimated binding strengths are of the same order of magnitude as the predicted values. Our work can provide a reliable reference for interlayer adhesion studies and help establish accurate models of exfoliation processes.
      PubDate: 22 Mar 2022
  • Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2-Neutralizing Nanobody Using Virus Receptor
           Binding Domain-Administered Model Mice

    • Abstract: Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there is an urgent requirement for the development of additional diagnostic tools for further analysis of the disease. The isolated nanobody Nb11-59 binds to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor-binding domain (RBD) with high affinity to neutralize the virus and block the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2- (ACE2-) RBD interaction. Here, we introduce a novel nanobody-based radiotracer named 68Ga-Nb1159. The radiotracer retained high affinity for the RBD and showed reliable radiochemical characteristics both in vitro and in vivo. Preclinical positron emission tomography (PET) studies of 68Ga-Nb1159 in mice revealed its rapid clearance from circulation and robust uptake into the renal and urinary systems. Fortunately, 68Ga-Nb1159 could specifically reveal the distribution of the RBD in mice. This study also helped to evaluate the pharmacodynamic effects of the neutralizing nanobody. Moreover, 68Ga-Nb1159 may be a promising tool to explore the distribution of the RBD and improve the understanding of the virus. In particular, this study identified a novel molecular radioagent and established a reliable evaluation method for specifically investigating the RBD through noninvasive and visual PET technology.
      PubDate: 22 Jul 2022
  • Proteome-Wide Profiling of the Covalent-Druggable Cysteines with a
           Structure-Based Deep Graph Learning Network

    • Abstract: Covalent ligands have attracted increasing attention due to their unique advantages, such as long residence time, high selectivity, and strong binding affinity. They also show promise for targets where previous efforts to identify noncovalent small molecule inhibitors have failed. However, our limited knowledge of covalent binding sites has hindered the discovery of novel ligands. Therefore, developing in silico methods to identify covalent binding sites is highly desirable. Here, we propose DeepCoSI, the first structure-based deep graph learning model to identify ligandable covalent sites in the protein. By integrating the characterization of the binding pocket and the interactions between each cysteine and the surrounding environment, DeepCoSI achieves state-of-the-art predictive performances. The validation on two external test sets which mimic the real application scenarios shows that DeepCoSI has strong ability to distinguish ligandable sites from the others. Finally, we profiled the entire set of protein structures in the RCSB Protein Data Bank (PDB) with DeepCoSI to evaluate the ligandability of each cysteine for covalent ligand design, and made the predicted data publicly available on website.
      PubDate: 22 Jul 2022
  • All-Biobased Hydrovoltaic-Photovoltaic Electricity Generators for
           All-Weather Energy Harvesting

    • Abstract: Hygroelectricity generators (HEGs) utilize the latent heat stored in environmental moisture for electricity generation, but nevertheless are showing relatively low power densities due to their weak energy harvesting capacities. Inspired by epiphytes that absorb ambient moisture and concurrently capture sunlight for dynamic photosynthesis, we propose herein a scenario of all-biobased hydrovoltaic-photovoltaic electricity generators (HPEGs) that integrate photosystem II (PSII) with Geobacter sulfurreducens (G.s) for simultaneous energy harvesting from both moisture and sunlight. This proof of concept illustrates that the all-biobased HPEG generates steady hygroelectricity induced by moisture absorption and meanwhile creates a photovoltaic electric field which further strengthens electricity generation under sunlight. Under environmental conditions, the synergic hydrovoltaic-photovoltaic effect in HPEGs has resulted in a continuous output power with a high density of 1.24 W/m2, surpassing all HEGs reported hitherto. This work thus provides a feasible strategy for boosting electricity generation via simultaneous energy harvesting from ambient moisture and sunlight.
      PubDate: 22 Aug 2022
  • Photocatalytic CO2–to–Ethylene Conversion over Bi2S3/CdS
           Heterostructures Constructed via Facile Cation Exchange

    • Abstract: Solar-driven CO2 conversion to multicarbon (C2+) products has emerged as a key challenge, yet this calls for a systematic investigation on the overall reaction process and mechanism at an atomic level based on the rational design of highly selective photocatalysts. Herein, we report the synthesis of compact Bi2S3/CdS heterostructures via facile cation exchange, by which a unique pathway of CO2–to–C2H4 photoconversion is achieved. Specifically, the BCS–30 shows an optimal C2H4 production rate of 3.49 μmol h−1 g−1 based on the regulation of band structures and energy levels of photocatalysts by controlled growth of Bi2S3 at CdS surface. Both experimental and theoretical results (DFT calculations) identify Bi atoms as new catalytic sites for the adsorption of CO and formation of CO−CO dimers that further hydrogenate to produce ethylene. Overall, this work demonstrates vast potentials of delicately designed heterostructures for CO2 conversion towards C2+ products under mild photocatalytic conditions.
      PubDate: 21 Oct 2022
  • Nanozyme-Triggered Cascade Reactions from Cup-Shaped Nanomotors Promote
           Active Cellular Targeting

    • Abstract: Self-propelled nanomotors have shown enormous potential in biomedical applications. Herein, we report on a nanozyme-powered cup-shaped nanomotor for active cellular targeting and synergistic photodynamic/thermal therapy under near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation. The nanomotor is constructed by the asymmetric decoration of platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) at the bottom of gold nanocups (GNCs). PtNPs with robust peroxidase- (POD-) like activity are employed not only as propelling elements for nanomotors but also as continuous O2 generators to promote photodynamic therapy via catalyzing endogenous H2O2 decomposition. Owing to the Janus structure, asymmetric propulsion force is generated to trigger the short-ranged directional diffusion, facilitating broader diffusion areas and more efficient cellular searching and uptake. This cascade strategy combines key capabilities, i.e., endogenous substrate-based self-propulsion, active cellular targeting, and enhanced dual-modal therapy, in one multifunctional nanomotor, which is crucial in advancing self-propelled nanomotors towards eventual therapeutic agents.
      PubDate: 21 Jun 2022
  • Recent Advances in Carbon-Based Adsorbents for Adsorptive Separation of
           Light Hydrocarbons

    • Abstract: Light hydrocarbons (LHs) separation is an important process in petrochemical industry. The current separation technology predominantly relies on cryogenic distillation, which results in considerable energy consumption. Adsorptive separation using porous solids has received widespread attention due to its lower energy footprint and higher efficiency. Thus, tremendous efforts have been devoted to the design and synthesis of high-performance porous solids. Among them, porous carbons display exceptional stability, tunable pore structure, and surface chemistry and thus represent a class of novel adsorbents upon achieving the matched pore structures for LHs separations. In this review, the modulation strategies toward advanced carbon-based adsorbents for LHs separation are firstly reviewed. Then, the relationships between separation performances and key structural parameters of carbon adsorbents are discussed by exemplifying specific separation cases. The research findings on the control of the pore structures as well as the quantification of the adsorption sites are highlighted. Finally, the challenges of carbonaceous adsorbents facing for LHs separation are given, which would motivate us to rationally design more efficient absorbents and separation processes in future.
      PubDate: 21 Jun 2022
  • Dip-Printed Microneedle Motors for Oral Macromolecule Delivery

    • Abstract: Micromotors have demonstrated values in drug delivery, and recent attempts focus on developing effective approaches to generate functional micromotors to improve this area. Here, with the integration of microfluidic droplet printing and wettability-induced drawing photolithography, we present an innovative spatiotemporal serial multistep dip-printing strategy to generate novel independent microneedle motors (IMNMs) for orally delivering macromolecular drugs. As the strategy combines the advantages of the hydrophilic wettability, extension effects, and capillary effects, the IMNMs with an oblate basement and a needle-shaped head or a core-shell structured multicomponent head can be created by simply printing pregel droplets layer by layer, following with simultaneous wiredrawing and solidification. Owing to the polarized magnetic particles in the bottom basement and the rapidly dissolvable polymers as the middle basement, the resultant IMNMs can respond to magnetic fields, move to desired places under a magnet, penetrate tissue-like substrates, induce head-basement separation, and leave only the needles for cargo release. Based on these features, we have demonstrated that these IMNMs can deliver insulin via intestinal tracts to realize effective blood glucose control of diabetic rabbit models. These results indicate the practical values and bright future of the dip-printing stratagem and these IMNMs in clinical applications.
      PubDate: 21 Jul 2022
  • Material Engineering in Gut Microbiome and Human Health

    • Abstract: Tremendous progress has been made in the past decade regarding our understanding of the gut microbiome’s role in human health. Currently, however, a comprehensive and focused review marrying the two distinct fields of gut microbiome and material research is lacking. To bridge the gap, the current paper discusses critical aspects of the rapidly emerging research topic of “material engineering in the gut microbiome and human health.” By engaging scientists with diverse backgrounds in biomaterials, gut-microbiome axis, neuroscience, synthetic biology, tissue engineering, and biosensing in a dialogue, our goal is to accelerate the development of research tools for gut microbiome research and the development of therapeutics that target the gut microbiome. For this purpose, state-of-the-art knowledge is presented here on biomaterial technologies that facilitate the study, analysis, and manipulation of the gut microbiome, including intestinal organoids, gut-on-chip models, hydrogels for spatial mapping of gut microbiome compositions, microbiome biosensors, and oral bacteria delivery systems. In addition, a discussion is provided regarding the microbiome-gut-brain axis and the critical roles that biomaterials can play to investigate and regulate the axis. Lastly, perspectives are provided regarding future directions on how to develop and use novel biomaterials in gut microbiome research, as well as essential regulatory rules in clinical translation. In this way, we hope to inspire research into future biomaterial technologies to advance gut microbiome research and gut microbiome-based theragnostics.
      PubDate: 21 Jul 2022
  • Highly Sensitive Temperature Sensor Based on Coupled-Beam AlN-on-Si MEMS
           Resonators Operating in Out-of-Plane Flexural Vibration Modes

    • Abstract: This paper reports a type of highly sensitive temperature sensor utilizing AlN-on-Si resonators with coupled-beam structures of double- and triple-ended-tuning-fork (D/TETF). For both resonators, the out-of-plane flexural mode is adopted as it favors the effect of thermal mismatch between the composite layers inherent to the AlN-on-Si structure and thus helps attain a large temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (TCF). The analytical model to calculate TCF values of D/TETF AlN-on-Si resonators is provided, which agrees well with the finite-element simulation and experimental results. The resonant temperature sensor is built by closing the loop of the AlN-on-Si resonator, a transimpedance amplifier, a low-pass filter, and a phase shifter to form an oscillator, the output frequency of which shifts proportionally to the ambient temperature. The measured sensitivities of the temperature sensors using D/TETF resonators are better than -1000 ppm/°C in the temperature range of 25°C~60°C, showing great potential to fulfill the on-chip temperature compensation scheme for cofabricated sensors.
      PubDate: 21 Aug 2022
  • Engineering Liquid-Vapor Phase Transition for Refreshable Haptic

    • Abstract: Haptics as a communication medium has been increasingly emphasized across various disciplines. Recent efforts have focused on developing various haptic stimulation technologies; however, most of them suffer from critical drawbacks stemming from their bulk, complexity, large power input, or high cost. Here, we describe a strategy to design portable and affordable refreshable haptic interfaces composed of an array of individually addressable and controllable liquid pouch motor-based haptic units embedded in either rigid or flexible substrates for different application contexts. The pouch motor filled with low boiling fluid, under a controlled manner, expands or contracts by Joule heating or cooling, enabling the haptic pin in contact to be protruded or retracted. Programming the actuation sequence of an array of haptic units enables the haptic interface to apply different stimuli to the skin to convey corresponding information. We finally demonstrate the applications to portable rigid braille displays and flexible epidermal VR devices. This study opens the avenue to the design of ubiquitous refreshable haptic interfaces that is portable, affordable, scalable, and uninjurious.
      PubDate: 21 Aug 2022
  • Revealing the Defect-Dominated Electron Scattering in Mg3Sb2-Based
           Thermoelectric Materials

    • Abstract: The thermoelectric parameters are essentially governed by electron and phonon transport. Since the carrier scattering mechanism plays a decisive role in electron transport, it is of great significance for the electrical properties of thermoelectric materials. As a typical example, the defect-dominated carrier scattering mechanism can significantly impact the room-temperature electron mobility of n-type Mg3Sb2-based materials. However, the origin of such a defect scattering mechanism is still controversial. Herein, the existence of the Mg vacancies and Mg interstitials has been identified by synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction. The relationship among the point defects, chemical compositions, and synthesis conditions in Mg3Sb2-based materials has been revealed. By further introducing the point defects without affecting the grain size via neutron irradiation, the thermally activated electrical conductivity can be reproduced. Our results demonstrate that the point defects scattering of electrons is important in the n-type Mg3Sb2-based materials.
      PubDate: 20 Oct 2022
  • Christmas Tree-Shaped Microneedles as FOLFIRINOX Spatiotemporal Delivery
           System for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

    • Abstract: As an effective combination chemotherapy, FOLFIRINOX regimen (fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin) has shown definite antitumor efficacy for treating pancreatic cancer (PC) nowadays. However, the traditional systematic administration of these chemotherapeutics limits the drug targeting and causes unwanted effects. Herein, we present a novel Christmas tree-shaped adhesive microneedle (MN) patch coloading fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin simultaneously to realize spatiotemporal FOLFIRINOX therapy in situ. Such MN patch was fabricated by using a layer-by-layer mold replication method, in which oxaliplatin and leucovorin are encapsulated in the top MNs, while irinotecan and fluorouracil are encapsulated in the bottom MNs. The multilayer structure imparts the MNs with enhanced adhesive ability and spatiotemporal drug release property, contributing to the antitumor effect on PC organoid models. Therefore, our Christmas tree-shaped MN patch represents an innovative approach for spatiotemporal multiple-drug delivering and realizes the combination chemotherapy for PC in a single platform.
      PubDate: 20 Oct 2022
  • In Situ 3D Bioprinting Living Photosynthetic Scaffolds for Autotrophic
           Wound Healing

    • Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting has been extensively explored for tissue repair and regeneration, while the insufficient nutrient and oxygen availability in the printed constructs, as well as the lack of adaptive dimensions and shapes, compromises the overall therapeutic efficacy and limits their further application. Herein, inspired by the natural symbiotic relationship between salamanders and algae, we present novel living photosynthetic scaffolds by using an in situ microfluidic-assisted 3D bioprinting strategy for adapting irregular-shaped wounds and promoting their healing. As the oxygenic photosynthesis unicellular microalga (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) was incorporated during 3D printing, the generated scaffolds could produce sustainable oxygen under light illumination, which facilitated the cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation even in hypoxic conditions. Thus, when the living microalgae-laden scaffolds were directly printed into diabetic wounds, they could significantly accelerate the chronic wound closure by alleviating local hypoxia, increasing angiogenesis, and promoting extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis. These results indicate that the in situ bioprinting of living photosynthetic microalgae offers an effective autotrophic biosystem for promoting wound healing, suggesting a promising therapeutic strategy for diverse tissue engineering applications.
      PubDate: 20 Mar 2022
  • Caspase-1 and Gasdermin D Afford the Optimal Targets with Distinct
           Switching Strategies in NLRP1b Inflammasome-Induced Cell Death

    • Abstract: Inflammasomes are essential complexes of innate immune system, which form the first line of host defense against pathogens. Mounting evidence accumulates that inflammasome signaling is highly correlated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, there remains a significant gap in our understanding of the regulatory mechanism of inflammasome signaling. Combining mathematical modeling with experimental analysis of NLRP1b inflammasome signaling, we found that only the expression levels of caspase-1 and GSDMD have the potential to individually switch cell death modes. Reduction of caspase-1 or GSDMD switches cell death from pyroptosis to apoptosis. Caspase-1 and GSDMD present different thresholds and exert distinct pathway choices in switching death modes. Pyroptosis switches to apoptosis with an extremely low threshold level of caspase-1, but with a high threshold of GSDMD. Caspase-1-impaired cells employ ASC-caspase-8-dependent pathway for apoptosis, while GSDMD-impaired cells primarily utilize caspase-1-dependent pathway. Additionally, caspase-1 and GSDMD can severally ignite the cooccurrence of pyroptosis and apoptosis. Landscape topography unravels that the cooccurrence is dramatically different in caspase-1- and GSDMD-impaired cells. Besides pyroptosis state and apoptosis state, a potential new “coexisting” state in single cells is proposed when GSDMD acts as the driving force of the landscape. The “seesaw model” is therefore proposed, which can well describe the death states that are controlled by caspase-1 or GSDMD in single cells. Our study sheds new light on NLRP1b inflammasome signaling and uncovers the switching mechanisms among various death modes, providing potential clues to guide the development of more rational control strategies for diseases.
      PubDate: 20 Jul 2022
  • Reconfigurable Mechanochromic Patterns into Chameleon-Inspired Photonic

    • Abstract: Photonic crystal (PC) patterns have shown wide applications in optical devices, information encryption, anticounterfeiting, etc. Unfortunately, it is still a great challenge to reconfigure the PC patterns once fabricated. Herein, a new strategy is presented to reconfigure self-recordable PC patterns by printing local patterns into the chameleon-inspired PC papers using the phase change material (PCM) as ink and then erasing the patterns in ethanol. Multicolor and high-resolution (25 and 75 μm for dot and lines, respectively) patterns can be efficiently and repeatedly reconfigured. In addition, the photonic patterns based on the PC paper and PCM combinations are gifted with mechanochromic characteristics and can show programmable and reversible color change under pressure. The high melting point of the ink, nonclosely packed structures of the PC paper, and the similar solubility parameter of PC paper, PCM, and ethanol are the keys for all these characteristics. This work offers a simple, flexible, efficient way to reconfigure PC patterns with mechanochromic properties and could open up exciting applications for novel hand-operation-based anticounterfeiting and optical devices.
      PubDate: 20 Jul 2022
  • Unveiling Dynamic System Strategies for Multisensory Processing: From
           Neuronal Fixed-Criterion Integration to Population Bayesian Inference

    • Abstract: Multisensory processing is of vital importance for survival in the external world. Brain circuits can both integrate and separate visual and vestibular senses to infer self-motion and the motion of other objects. However, it is largely debated how multisensory brain regions process such multisensory information and whether they follow the Bayesian strategy in this process. Here, we combined macaque physiological recordings in the dorsal medial superior temporal area (MST-d) with modeling of synaptically coupled multilayer continuous attractor neural networks (CANNs) to study the underlying neuronal circuit mechanisms. In contrast to previous theoretical studies that focused on unisensory direction preference, our analysis showed that synaptic coupling induced cooperation and competition in the multisensory circuit and caused single MST-d neurons to switch between sensory integration or separation modes based on the fixed-criterion causal strategy, which is determined by the synaptic coupling strength. Furthermore, the prior of sensory reliability was represented by pooling diversified criteria at the MST-d population level, and the Bayesian strategy was achieved in downstream neurons whose causal inference flexibly changed with the prior. The CANN model also showed that synaptic input balance is the dynamic origin of neuronal direction preference formation and further explained the misalignment between direction preference and inference observed in previous studies. This work provides a computational framework for a new brain-inspired algorithm underlying multisensory computation.
      PubDate: 20 Aug 2022
  • Rechargeable Metasurfaces for Dynamic Color Display Based on a
           Compositional and Mechanical Dual-Altered Mechanism

    • Abstract: Dynamic color display can be realized by tunable optical metasurfaces based on the compositional or structural control. However, it is still a challenge to realize the efficient modulation by a single-field method. Here, we report a novel compositional and mechanical dual-altered rechargeable metasurface for reversible and broadband optical reconfiguration in both visible and near-infrared wavelength regions. By employing a simple fabrication and integration strategy, the continuous optical reconfiguration is manipulated through an electro-chemo-mechanical coupled process in a lithium ion battery, where lithiation and delithiation processes occur dynamically under a low electric voltage (≤1.5 V). By controlling the phase transformation from Si to LixSi, both structural morphology and optical scattering could be rapidly and dramatically tailored within 30 s, exhibiting high-contrast colorization and decolorization in a large-area nanofilm and showing long cyclic stability. Significant wide-angle reconfiguration of high-resolution structural colors in bowtie metasurfaces is demonstrated from anomalous reflection. The results provide a multifield mechanism for reconfigurable photonic devices, and the new platform can be introduced to the multidimensional information encryption and storage.
      PubDate: 19 Oct 2022
  • Mechanistic Insights into Membrane Protein Clustering Revealed by
           Visualizing EGFR Secretion

    • Abstract: Most plasmalemmal proteins are organized into clusters to modulate various cellular functions. However, the machineries that regulate protein clustering remain largely unclear. Here, with EGFR as an example, we directly and in detail visualized the entire process of EGFR from synthesis to secretion onto the plasma membrane (PM) using a high-speed, high-resolution spinning-disk confocal microscope. First, colocalization imaging revealed that EGFR secretory vesicles underwent transport from the ER to the Golgi to the PM, eventually forming different distribution forms on the apical and basal membranes; that is, most EGFR formed larger clusters on the apical membrane than the basal membrane. A dynamic tracking image and further siRNA interference experiment confirmed that fusion of secretory vesicles with the plasma membrane led to EGFR clusters, and we showed that EGFR PM clustering may be intimately related to EGFR signaling and cell proliferation. Finally, we found that the size and origin of the secretory vesicles themselves may determine the difference in the distribution patterns of EGFR on the PM. More importantly, we showed that actin influenced the EGFR distribution by controlling the fusion of secretory vesicles with the PM. Collectively, a comprehensive understanding of the EGFR secretion process helps us to unravel the EGFR clustering process and elucidate the key factors determining the differences in the spatial distribution of EGFR PM, highlighting the correlation between EGFR secretion and its PM distribution pattern.
      PubDate: 19 Oct 2022
  • Helper T Cell (CD4+) Targeted Tacrolimus Delivery Mediates Precise
           Suppression of Allogeneic Humoral Immunity

    • Abstract: Antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is a major cause of dysfunction and loss of transplanted kidney. The current treatments for ABMR involve nonspecific inhibition and clearance of T/B cells or plasma cells. However, the prognosis of patients following current treatment is poor. T follicular helper cells (Tfh) play an important role in allograft-specific antibodies secreting plasma cell (PC) development. Tfh cells are therefore considered to be important therapeutic targets for the treatment of antibody hypersecretion disorders, such as transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases. Tacrolimus (Tac), the primary immunosuppressant, prevents rejection by reducing T cell activation. However, its administration should be closely monitored to avoid serious side effects. In this study, we investigated whether Tac delivery to helper T (CD4+) cells using functionalized mesoporous nanoparticles can block Tfh cell differentiation after alloantigen exposure. Results showed that Tac delivery ameliorated humoral rejection injury in rodent kidney graft by suppressing Tfh cell development, PC, and donor-specific antibody (DSA) generation without causing severe side effects compared with delivery through the drug administration pathway. This study provides a promising therapeutic strategy for preventing humoral rejection in solid organ transplantation. The specific and controllable drug delivery avoids multiple disorder risks and side effects observed in currently used clinical approaches.
      PubDate: 19 Jul 2022
  • Ultrasmall Coordination Polymers for Alleviating ROS-Mediated Inflammatory
           and Realizing Neuroprotection against Parkinson’s Disease

    • Abstract: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease globally, and there is currently no effective treatment for this condition. Excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and neuroinflammation are major contributors to PD pathogenesis. Herein, ultrasmall nanoscale coordination polymers (NCPs) coordinated by ferric ions and natural product curcumin (Cur) were exploited, showing efficient neuroprotection by scavenging excessive radicals and suppressing neuroinflammation. In a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced mouse PD model, such ultrasmall Fe-Cur NCPs with prolonged blood circulation and BBB traversing capability could effectively alleviate oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammatory condition in the midbrain and striatum to reduce PD symptoms. Thus, this study puts forth a unique type of therapeutics-based NCPs that could be used for safe and efficient treatment of PD with potential in clinical translation.
      PubDate: 19 Jul 2022
  • An Overview of Organs-on-Chips Based on Deep Learning

    • Abstract: Microfluidic-based organs-on-chips (OoCs) are a rapidly developing technology in biomedical and chemical research and have emerged as one of the most advanced and promising in vitro models. The miniaturization, stimulated tissue mechanical forces, and microenvironment of OoCs offer unique properties for biomedical applications. However, the large amount of data generated by the high parallelization of OoC systems has grown far beyond the scope of manual analysis by researchers with biomedical backgrounds. Deep learning, an emerging area of research in the field of machine learning, can automatically mine the inherent characteristics and laws of “big data” and has achieved remarkable applications in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. The integration of deep learning in OoCs is an emerging field that holds enormous potential for drug development, disease modeling, and personalized medicine. This review briefly describes the basic concepts and mechanisms of microfluidics and deep learning and summarizes their successful integration. We then analyze the combination of OoCs and deep learning for image digitization, data analysis, and automation. Finally, the problems faced in current applications are discussed, and future perspectives and suggestions are provided to further strengthen this integration.
      PubDate: 19 Jan 2022
  • Smartphone-Based Photoelectrochemical Immunoassay with Co9S8@ZnIn2S4 for
           Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Breast Cancer Biomarker

    • Abstract: Photoelectrochemical immunoassays incorporating specific antigen-antibody recognition reactions with the photon-electron conversion capabilities of photocatalysts have been developed for biomarker detection, but most involve bulky and expensive equipment and are unsuitable for point-of-care testing. Herein, a portable smartphone-based photoelectrochemical immunoassay was innovatively designed for the on-site detection of breast cancer biomarkers (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; HER2). The system consists of a split-type immunoassay mode, disposable screen-printed electrode covered with hierarchical Co9S8@ZnIn2S4 heterostructures, an integrated circuit board, and a Bluetooth smartphone equipped with a specially designed app. Using alkaline phosphatase (ALP) catalytic strategy to in situ generate ascorbic acid (AA) for electron-donating toward Co9S8@ZnIn2S4 heterostructures, an immunoreaction was successfully constructed for the HER2 detection in the real sample due to the positive correlation of the photocurrent signal to electron donor concentration. Differential charge density indicates that the formation of Co9S8@ZnIn2S4 heterojunction can facilitate the flow of charges in the interface and enhance the photocurrent of the composite. More importantly, the measured photocurrent signal can be wirelessly transmitted to the software and displayed on the smartphone screen to obtain the corresponding HER2 concentration value. The photocurrent values linearly with the logarithm of HER2 concentrations range spanned from 0.01 ng/mL to 10 ng/mL with a detection limit of 3.5 pg/mL. Impressively, the clinical serum specimen results obtained by the proposed method and the wireless sensing device are in good agreement with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
      PubDate: 19 Aug 2022
  • Designing Zinc Deposition Substrate with Fully Preferred Orientation to
           Elude the Interfacial Inhomogeneous Dendrite Growth

    • Abstract: The development of zinc-ion batteries with high energy density remains a great challenge due to the uncontrollable dendrite growth on their zinc metal anodes. Film anodes plated on the substrate have attracted increasing attention to alleviate these dendrite issues. Herein, we first point out that both the random crystal orientation and the low metal affinity of the substrate are important factors of zinc dendrite formation. Accordingly, the (1 0 1) fully preferred tin interface layer with high zinc affinity was fabricated by chemical tin plating on (1 0 0) oriented copper. This tin decorated copper substrate can realize high reversible zinc plating/stripping behavior, and full cell using this zinc plated substrate can be operated for more than 1000 cycles with high capacity retention (85.3%) and low electrochemical impedance. The proposed strategy can be also applied to lithium metal batteries, which demonstrates that the substrate orientation regulation and metal affinity design are the promising approaches to achieve dendrite-free metal anode and overcome the challenges of highly reactive metal anodes.
      PubDate: 19 Aug 2022
  • Recent Growth of Wettability Gradient Surfaces: A Review

    • Abstract: This review reports the recent progress and future prospects of wettability gradient surfaces (WGSs), particularly focusing on the governing principles, fabrication methods, classification, characterization, and applications. While transforming the inherent wettability into artificial wettability via bioinspiration, topographic micro/nanostructures are produced with changed surface energy, resulting in new droplet wetting regimes and droplet dynamic regimes. WGSs have been mainly classified in dry and wet surfaces, depending on the apparent surface states. Wettability gradient has long been documented as a surface phenomenon inducing the droplet mobility in the direction of decreasing wettability. However, it is herein critically emphasized that the wettability gradient does not always result in droplet mobility. Indeed, the sticky and slippery dynamic regimes exist in WGSs, prohibiting or allowing the droplet mobility, respectively. Lastly, the stringent bottlenecks encountered by WGSs are highlighted along with solution-oriented recommendations, and furthermore, phase change materials are strongly anticipated as a new class in WGSs. In all, WGSs intend to open up new technological insights for applications, encompassing water harvesting, droplet and bubble manipulation, controllable microfluidic systems, and condensation heat transfer, among others.
      PubDate: 18 Jul 2022
  • Enhanced Thermal Conductivities of Liquid Crystal Polyesters from
           Controlled Structure of Molecular Chains by Introducing Different
           Dicarboxylic Acid Monomers

    • Abstract: Enhancing thermal conductivity coefficient (λ) of liquid crystal polyesters would further widen their application in electronics and electricals. In this work, a kind of biphenyl-based dihydroxy monomer is synthesized using 4, 4’-biphenyl (BP) and triethylene glycol (TEG) as raw material, which further reacts with three different dicarboxylic acids (succinic acid, p-phenylenediacetic acid, and terephthalic acid, respectively) by melt polycondensation to prepare intrinsically highly thermally conductive poly 4’, 4”’-[1, 2-ethanediyl-bis(oxy-2, 1-ethanediyloxy)]-bis(p-hydroxybiphenyl) succinate (PEOS), poly 4’, 4”’-[1, 2-ethanediyl-bis(oxy-2, 1-ethanediyloxy)]-bis(p-hydroxybiphenyl) p-phenyldiacetate (PEOP) and poly 4’, 4”’-[1, 2-ethanediyl-bis(oxy-2, 1-ethanediyloxy)]-bis(p-hydroxybiphenyl) terephthalate (PEOT), collectively called biphenyl-based liquid crystal polyesters (B-LCPE). The results show that B-LCPE possess the desired molecular structure, exhibit smectic phase in liquid crystal range and semicrystalline polymers at room temperature, and possess excellent intrinsic thermal conductivities, thermal stabilities, and mechanical properties. of PEOT is 0.51 W/(m·K), significantly exceeds that of polyethylene terephthalate (0.15 W/(m·K)) which has similar molecular structure with PEOT, and also higher than that of PEOS (0.32 W/(m·K)) and PEOP (0.38 W/(m·K)). The corresponding heat resistance index (THRI), elasticity modulus, and hardness of PEOT are 174.6°C, 3.6 GPa, and 154.5 MPa, respectively, and also higher than those of PEOS (162.2°C, 1.8 GPa, and 83.4 MPa) and PEOP (171.8°C, 2.3 GPa, and 149.6 MPa).
      PubDate: 18 Jul 2022
  • Targeting Aberrant Histone Posttranscription Modification Machinery in
           Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Current Findings and Challenges

    • Abstract: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is an aggressive malignancy, but the survival rates of patients with ESCC have not improved as yet largely because the available targeted therapies are limited. Histone posttranscription modification (PTM) is a critical epigenetic regulation. Several deregulations in histone PTM machinery have been identified to promote malignant phenotypes of ESCC, providing druggable targets in treating ESCC. Hereby, we briefly describe current progress and challenges ahead in this field.
      PubDate: 18 Aug 2022
  • Precise Design and Deliberate Tuning of Turn-On Fluorescence in
           Tetraphenylpyrazine-Based Metal−Organic Frameworks

    • Abstract: The manipulation on turn-on fluorescence in solid state materials attracts increasing interests owing to their widespread applications. Herein we report how the nonradiative pathways of tetraphenylpyrazine (TPP) units in metal−organic frameworks (MOFs) systems could be hindered through a topological design approach. Two MOFs single crystals of different topology were constructed via the solvothermal reaction of a TPP-based 4,4,4,4-(pyrazine-2,3,5,6-tetrayl) tetrabenzoic acid (H4TCPP) ligand and metal cations, and their mechanisms of formation have been explored. Compared with the innate low-frequency vibrational modes of flu net Tb-TCPP-1, such as phenyl ring torsions and pyrazine twists, Tb-TCPP-2 adopts a shp net, so the dihedral angle of pyrazine ring and phenyl arms is larger, and the center pyrazine ring in TPP unit is coplanar, which hinders the radiationless decay of TPP moieties in Tb-TCPP-2. Thereby Tb-TCPP-2 exhibits a larger blue-shifted fluorescence and a higher fluorescence quantum yield than Tb-TCPP-1, which is consistent with the reduced nonradiative pathways. Furthermore, Density functional theory (DFT) studies also confirmed aforementioned tunable turn-on fluorescence mechanism. Our work constructed TPP-type MOFs based on a deliberately topological design approach, and the precise design of turn-on fluorescence holds promise as a strategy for controlling nonradiative pathways.
      PubDate: 17 Oct 2022
  • Comprehensive Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Variants
           in Diverse Chinese Population

    • Abstract: The SARS-CoV-2 variants have been emerging and have made great challenges to current vaccine and pandemic control strategies. It is urgent to understand the current immune status of various Chinese populations given that the preexisting immunity has been established by national vaccination or exposure to past variants. Using sera from 85 individuals (including 21 convalescents of natural infection, 15 cases which suffered a breakthrough infection after being fully vaccinated, and 49 healthy vaccinees), we showed significantly enhanced neutralizing activities against SRAS-CoV-2 variants in convalescent sera, especially those who had been fully vaccinated. The neutralizing antibodies against Omicron were detectable in 75% of convalescents and 44.9% of healthy vaccinees (), with a GMT of 289.5, 180.9-463.3, and 42.6, 31.3-59, respectively. However, the neutralizing activities were weaker in young convalescents (), with a detectable rate of 50% and a GMT of 46.4 against Omicron. We also examined and found no pan-sarbecovirus neutralizing activities in vaccinated SARS-CoV-1 survivors. A booster dose could further increase the breadth and magnitude of neutralization against WT and variants of concern (VOCs) to different degrees. In addition, we showed that COVID-19-inactivated vaccines can elicit Omicron-specific T-cell responses. The positive rates of ELISpot reactions were 26.7% (4/15) and 43.8% (7/16) in the full vaccination group and the booster vaccination group, respectively, although without statistically significant difference. The neutralizing antibody titers declined while T-cell responses remain consistent over 6 months. These findings will inform the optimization of public health vaccination and intervention strategies to protect diverse populations against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Advances. Breakthrough infection significantly boosted neutralizing activities against SARS-CoV-2 variants as compared to booster immunization with inactivated vaccine. Vaccine-induced virus-specific T-cell immunity, on the other hand, may compensate for the shortfall. Furthermore, the public health system should target the most vulnerable group due to a poorer protective serological response in both infected and vaccinated adolescents.
      PubDate: 17 Jun 2022
  • A Self-Powered Optogenetic System for Implantable Blood Glucose Control

    • Abstract: Diabetes treatment and rehabilitation are usually a lifetime process. Optogenetic engineered designer cell-therapy holds great promise in regulating blood glucose homeostasis. However, portable, sustainable, and long-term energy supplementation has previously presented a challenge for the use of optogenetic stimulation in vivo. Herein, we purpose a self-powered optogenetic system (SOS) for implantable blood glucose control. The SOS consists of a biocompatible far-red light (FRL) source, FRL-triggered transgene-expressing cells, a power management unit, and a flexible implantable piezoelectric nanogenerator (i-PENG) to supply long-term energy by converting biomechanical energy into electricity. Our results show that this system can harvest energy from body movement and power the FRL source, which then significantly enhanced production of a short variant of human glucagon-like peptide 1 (shGLP-1) in vitro and in vivo. Indeed, diabetic mice equipped with the SOS showed rapid restoration of blood glucose homeostasis, improved glucose, and insulin tolerance. Our results suggest that the SOS is sufficiently effective in self-powering the modulation of therapeutic outputs to control glucose homeostasis and, furthermore, present a new strategy for providing energy in optogenetic-based cell therapy.
      PubDate: 17 Jun 2022
  • Platelet Membrane-Coated Nanocarriers Targeting Plaques to Deliver
           Anti-CD47 Antibody for Atherosclerotic Therapy

    • Abstract: Atherosclerosis, the principle cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide, is mainly characterized by the pathological accumulation of diseased vascular cells and apoptotic cellular debris. Atherogenesis is associated with the upregulation of CD47, a key antiphagocytic molecule that is known to render malignant cells resistant to programmed cell removal, or “efferocytosis.” Here, we have developed platelet membrane-coated mesoporous silicon nanoparticles (PMSN) as a drug delivery system to target atherosclerotic plaques with the delivery of an anti-CD47 antibody. Briefly, the cell membrane coat prolonged the circulation of the particles by evading the immune recognition and provided an affinity to plaques and atherosclerotic sites. The anti-CD47 antibody then normalized the clearance of diseased vascular tissue and further ameliorated atherosclerosis by blocking CD47. In an atherosclerosis model established in ApoE−/− mice, PMSN encapsulating anti-CD47 antibody delivery significantly promoted the efferocytosis of necrotic cells in plaques. Clearing the necrotic cells greatly reduced the atherosclerotic plaque area and stabilized the plaques reducing the risk of plaque rupture and advanced thrombosis. Overall, this study demonstrated the therapeutic advantages of PMSN encapsulating anti-CD47 antibodies for atherosclerosis therapy, which holds considerable promise as a new targeted drug delivery platform for efficient therapy of atherosclerosis.
      PubDate: 17 Jan 2022
  • Continuously Quantifying Oral Chemicals Based on Flexible Hybrid
           Electronics for Clinical Diagnosis and Pathogenetic Study

    • Abstract: Simultaneous monitoring of diverse salivary parameters can reveal underlying mechanisms of intraoral biological processes and offer profound insights into the evolution of oral diseases. However, conventional analytical devices with bulky volumes, rigid formats, and discrete sensing mechanisms deviate from the requirements of continuous biophysiological quantification, resulting in huge difficulty in precise clinical diagnosis and pathogenetic study. Here, we present a flexible hybrid electronic system integrated with functional nanomaterials to continuously sense Ca2+, pH, and temperature for wireless real-time oral health monitoring. The miniaturized system with an island-bridge structure that is designed specifically to fit the teeth is only 0.4 g in weight and in dimension, allowing effective integration with customized dental braces and comfort attachment on teeth. Characterization results indicate high sensitivities of 30.3 and 60.6 mV/decade for Ca2+ and pH with low potential drifts. The system has been applied in clinical studies to conduct Ca2+ and pH mappings on carious teeth, biophysiological monitoring for up to 12 h, and outcome evaluation of dental restoration, providing quantitative data to assist in the diagnosis and understanding of oral diseases. Notably, caries risk assessment of 10 human subjects using the flexible system validates the important role of saliva buffering capacity in caries pathogenesis. The proposed flexible system may offer an open platform to carry diverse components to support both clinical diagnosis and treatment as well as fundamental research for oral diseases and induced systemic diseases.
      PubDate: 17 Aug 2022
  • Electrolyte Engineering for High-Voltage Lithium Metal Batteries

    • Abstract: High-voltage lithium metal batteries (HVLMBs) have been arguably regarded as the most prospective solution to ultrahigh-density energy storage devices beyond the reach of current technologies. Electrolyte, the only component inside the HVLMBs in contact with both aggressive cathode and Li anode, is expected to maintain stable electrode/electrolyte interfaces (EEIs) and facilitate reversible Li+ transference. Unfortunately, traditional electrolytes with narrow electrochemical windows fail to compromise the catalysis of high-voltage cathodes and infamous reactivity of the Li metal anode, which serves as a major contributor to detrimental electrochemical performance fading and thus impedes their practical applications. Developing stable electrolytes is vital for the further development of HVLMBs. However, optimization principles, design strategies, and future perspectives for the electrolytes of the HVLMBs have not been summarized in detail. This review first gives a systematical overview of recent progress in the improvement of traditional electrolytes and the design of novel electrolytes for the HVLMBs. Different strategies of conventional electrolyte modification, including high concentration electrolytes and CEI and SEI formation with additives, are covered. Novel electrolytes including fluorinated, ionic-liquid, sulfone, nitrile, and solid-state electrolytes are also outlined. In addition, theoretical studies and advanced characterization methods based on the electrolytes of the HVLMBs are probed to study the internal mechanism for ultrahigh stability at an extreme potential. It also foresees future research directions and perspectives for further development of electrolytes in the HVLMBs.
      PubDate: 17 Aug 2022
  • Shared Core Microbiome and Functionality of Key Taxa Suppressive to Banana
           Fusarium Wilt

    • Abstract: Microbial contributions to natural soil suppressiveness have been reported for a range of plant pathogens and cropping systems. To disentangle the mechanisms underlying suppression of banana Panama disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc4), we used amplicon sequencing to analyze the composition of the soil microbiome from six separate locations, each comprised of paired orchards, one potentially suppressive and one conducive to the disease. Functional potentials of the microbiomes from one site were further examined by shotgun metagenomic sequencing after soil suppressiveness was confirmed by greenhouse experiments. Potential key antagonists involved in disease suppression were also isolated, and their activities were validated by a combination of microcosm and pot experiments. We found that potentially suppressive soils shared a common core community with relatively low levels of F. oxysporum and relatively high proportions of Myxococcales, Pseudomonadales, and Xanthomonadales, with five genera, Anaeromyxobacter, Kofleria, Plesiocystis, Pseudomonas, and Rhodanobacter being significantly enriched. Further, Pseudomonas was identified as a potential key taxon linked to pathogen suppression. Metagenomic analysis showed that, compared to the conducive soil, the microbiome in the disease suppressive soil displayed a significantly greater incidence of genes related to quorum sensing, biofilm formation, and synthesis of antimicrobial compounds potentially active against Foc4. We also recovered a higher frequency of antagonistic Pseudomonas isolates from disease suppressive experimental field sites, and their protective effects against banana Fusarium wilt disease were demonstrated under greenhouse conditions. Despite differences in location and soil conditions, separately located suppressive soils shared common characteristics, including enrichment of Myxococcales, Pseudomonadales, and Xanthomonadales, and enrichment of specific Pseudomonas populations with antagonistic activity against the pathogen. Moreover, changes in functional capacity toward an increase in quorum sensing, biofilm formation, and antimicrobial compound synthesizing involve in disease suppression.
      PubDate: 16 Sep 2022
  • Tunable Multicolor Fluorescence of Perovskite-Based Composites for Optical
           Steganography and Light-Emitting Devices

    • Abstract: Multicolor fluorescence of mixed halide perovskites enormously enables their applications in photonics and optoelectronics. However, it remains an arduous task to obtain multicolor emissions from perovskites containing single halogen to avoid phase segregation. Herein, a fluorescent composite containing Eu-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), 0D Cs4PbBr6, and 3D CsPbBr3 is synthesized. Under excitations at 365 nm and 254 nm, the pristine composite emits blue (B) and red (R) fluorescence, which are ascribed to radiative defects within Cs4PbBr6 and 5D0→7FJ transitions of Eu3+, respectively. Interestingly, after light soaking in the ambient environment, the blue fluorescence gradually converts into green (G) emission due to the defect repairing and 0D-3D phase conversion. This permanent and unique photochromic effect enables anticounterfeiting and microsteganography with increased security through a micropatterning technique. Moreover, the RGB luminescence is highly stable after encapsulation by a transparent polymer layer. Thus, trichromatic light-emitting modules are fabricated by using the fluorescent composites as color-converting layers, which almost fully cover the standard color gamut. Therefore, this work innovates a strategy for construction of tunable multicolor luminescence by manipulating the radiative defects and structural dimensionality.
      PubDate: 16 Sep 2022
  • Corrigendum to “Comprehensive Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses to
           SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Diverse Chinese Population”

    • PubDate: 16 Nov 2022
  • Shape Memory Epoxy Resin and Its Composites: From Materials to

    • Abstract: Shape memory polymers (SMPs) have historically attracted attention for their unique stimulation-responsive and variable stiffness and have made notable progress in aerospace, civil industry, and other fields. In particular, epoxy resin (EP) has great potential due to its excellent mechanical properties, fatigue resistance, and radiation resistance. Herein, we focus on the molecular design and network construction of shape memory epoxy resins (SMEPs) to provide opportunities for performance and functional regulation. Multifunctional and high-performance SMEPs are introduced in detail, including multiple SMEPs, two-way SMEPs, outstanding toughness, and temperature resistance. Finally, emerging applications of SMEPs and their composites in aerospace, four-dimensional printing, and self-healing are demonstrated. Based on this, we point out the challenges ahead and how SMEPs can integrate performance and versatility to meet the needs of technological development.
      PubDate: 16 Mar 2022
  • Understanding Contact Electrification at Water/Polymer Interface

    • Abstract: Contact electrification (CE) involves a complex interplay of physical interactions in realistic material systems. For this reason, scientific consensus on the qualitative and quantitative importance of different physical mechanisms on CE remains a formidable task. The CE mechanism at a water/polymer interface is a crucial challenge owing to the poor understanding of charge transfer at the atomic level. First-principle density functional theory (DFT), used in the present work, proposes a new paradigm to address CE. Our results indicate that CE follows the same trend as the gap between the highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (HOMO and LUMO) of polymers. Electron transfer occurs at the outmost atomic layer of the water/polymer interface and is closely linked to the functional groups and atom locations. When the polymer chains are parallel to the water layer, most electrons are transferred; conversely, if they are perpendicular to each other, the transfer of charges can be ignored. We demonstrate that a decrease in the interface distance between water and the polymer chains leads to CE in quantitative agreement with the electron cloud overlap model. We finally use DFT calculations to predict the properties of CE materials and their potential for triboelectric nanogenerator energy harvesting devices.
      PubDate: 16 Feb 2022
  • Multilayer 3D Chiral Folding Polymers and Their Asymmetric Catalytic

    • Abstract: A novel class of polymers and oligomers of chiral folding chirality has been designed and synthesized, showing structurally compacted triple-column/multiple-layer frameworks. Both uniformed and differentiated aromatic chromophoric units were successfully constructed between naphthyl piers of this framework. Screening monomers, catalysts, and catalytic systems led to the success of asymmetric catalytic Suzuki-Miyaura polycouplings. Enantio- and diastereochemistry were unambiguously determined by X-ray structural analysis and concurrently by comparison with a similar asymmetric induction by the same catalyst in the asymmetric synthesis of a chiral three-layered product. The resulting chiral polymers exhibit intense fluorescence activity in a solid form and solution under specific wavelength irradiation.
      PubDate: 16 Feb 2022
  • Chemo-Biocascade Reactions Enabled by Metal–Organic Framework

    • Abstract: The one-pot combination of biocatalytic and chemocatalytic reactions represents an economically and ecologically attractive concept in the emerging cascade processes for manufacturing. The mutual incompatibility of biocatalysis and chemocatalysis, however, usually causes the deactivation of catalysts, the mismatching of reaction dynamic, and further challenges their integration into concurrent chemo-biocascades. Herein, we have developed a convenient strategy to construct versatile functional metal–organic framework micro-nanoreactors (MOF–MNRs), which can realize not only the encapsulation and protection of biocatalysts but also the controllable transmission of substances and the mutual communication of the incompatible chemo-biosystems. Importantly, the MOFs serving as the shell of MNRs have the capability of enriching the chemocatalysts on the surface and improving the activity of the chemocatalysts to sufficiently match the optimum aqueous reaction system of biocatalysts, which greatly increase the efficiency in the combined concurrent chemo-biocatalysis. Such strategy of constructing MOF–MNRs provides a unique platform for connecting the “two worlds” of chemocatalysis and biocatalysis.
      PubDate: 16 Aug 2022
  • Emerging Iontronic Sensing: Materials, Mechanisms, and Applications

    • Abstract: Iontronic sensors represent a novel class of soft electronics which not only replicate the biomimetic structures and perception functions of human skin but also simulate the mechanical sensing mechanism. Relying on the similar mechanism with skin perception, the iontronic sensors can achieve ion migration/redistribution in response to external stimuli, promising iontronic sensing to establish more intelligent sensing interface for human-robotic interaction. Here, a comprehensive review on advanced technologies and diversified applications for the exploitation of iontronic sensors toward ionic skins and artificial intelligence is provided. By virtue of the excellent stretchability, high transparency, ultrahigh sensitivity, and mechanical conformality, numerous attempts have been made to explore various novel ionic materials to fabricate iontronic sensors with skin-like perceptive properties, such as self-healing and multimodal sensing. Moreover, to achieve multifunctional artificial skins and intelligent devices, various mechanisms based on iontronics have been investigated to satisfy multiple functions and human interactive experiences. Benefiting from the unique material property, diverse sensing mechanisms, and elaborate device structure, iontronic sensors have demonstrated a variety of applications toward ionic skins and artificial intelligence.
      PubDate: 16 Aug 2022
  • Broadband Insulator-Based Dynamic Diode with Ultrafast Hot Carriers

    • Abstract: The excitation, rebound, and transport process of hot carriers (HCs) inside dynamic diode (DD) based on insulators has been rarely explored due to the original stereotyped in which it was thought that the insulators are nonconductive. However, the carrier dynamics of DD is totally different from the static diode, which may bring a subverting insight of insulators. Herein, we discovered insulators could be conductive under the framework of DD; the HC process inside the rebounding procedure caused by the disappearance and reestablishment of the built-in electric field at the interface of insulator/semiconductor heterostructure is the main generation mechanism. This type of DD can response fast up to 1 μs to mechanical excitation with an output of ~10 V, showing a wide band frequency response under different input frequencies from 0 to 40 kHz. It can work under extreme environments; various applications like underwater communication network, self-powered sensor/detector in the sea environment, and life health monitoring can be achieved.
      PubDate: 15 Sep 2022
  • High-Content Screening and Analysis of Stem Cell-Derived Neural Interfaces
           Using a Combinatorial Nanotechnology and Machine Learning Approach

    • Abstract: A systematic investigation of stem cell-derived neural interfaces can facilitate the discovery of the molecular mechanisms behind cell behavior in neurological disorders and accelerate the development of stem cell-based therapies. Nevertheless, high-throughput investigation of the cell-type-specific biophysical cues associated with stem cell-derived neural interfaces continues to be a significant obstacle to overcome. To this end, we developed a combinatorial nanoarray-based method for high-throughput investigation of neural interface micro-/nanostructures (physical cues comprising geometrical, topographical, and mechanical aspects) and the effects of these complex physical cues on stem cell fate decisions. Furthermore, by applying a machine learning (ML)-based analytical approach to a large number of stem cell-derived neural interfaces, we comprehensively mapped stem cell adhesion, differentiation, and proliferation, which allowed for the cell-type-specific design of biomaterials for neural interfacing, including both adult and human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) with varying genetic backgrounds. In short, we successfully demonstrated how an innovative combinatorial nanoarray and ML-based platform technology can aid with the rational design of stem cell-derived neural interfaces, potentially facilitating precision, and personalized tissue engineering applications.
      PubDate: 15 Sep 2022
  • Facet Engineering in Constructing Lewis Acid-Base Pairs for CO2
           Cycloaddition to High Value-Added Carbonates

    • Abstract: Cycloaddition of epoxides with CO2 to synthesis cyclic carbonates is an atom-economic pathway for CO2 utilization with promising industry application value, while its efficiency was greatly inhibited for the lack of highly active catalytic sites. Herein, by taking BiOX (, Br) with layered structure for example, we proposed a facet engineering strategy to construct Lewis acid-base pairs for CO2 cycloaddition, where the typical BiOBr with (010) facets expose surface Lewis acid Bi sites and Lewis base Br sites simultaneously. By the combination of in-situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) and theoretical calculations, the oxygen atom of the epoxide is interacted with the Lewis acid Bi site to activate the ternary ring, then facilitates the attack of the carbon atom by the Lewis base Br site for the ring-opening of the epoxide, which is the rate-determining step in the cycloaddition reaction. As a result, the BiOBr-(010) with rich surface Lewis acid-base pairs showed a high conversion of 85% with 100% atomic economy in the synthesis of cyclic-carbonates without any cocatalyst. This study provides a model structure for CO2 cycloaddition to high value-added long chain chemicals.
      PubDate: 15 Oct 2022
  • High-Throughput Computational Screening for Bipolar Magnetic

    • Abstract: Searching ferromagnetic semiconductor materials with electrically controllable spin polarization is a long-term challenge for spintronics. Bipolar magnetic semiconductors (BMS), with valence and conduction band edges fully spin polarized in different spin directions, show great promise in this aspect because the carrier spin polarization direction can be easily tuned by voltage gate. Here, we propose a standard high-throughput computational screening scheme for searching BMS materials. The application of this scheme to the Materials Project database gives 11 intrinsic BMS materials (1 experimental and 10 theoretical) from nearly ~40000 structures. Among them, a room-temperature BMS (mp-771246) is discovered with a Curie temperature of 478 K. Moreover, the BMS feature can be maintained well when cutting the bulk into (001) nanofilms for realistic applications. This work provides a feasible solution for discovering novel intrinsic BMS materials from various crystal structure databases, paving the way for realizing electric-field controlled spintronics devices.
      PubDate: 15 Mar 2022
  • Glymphatic System and Subsidiary Pathways Drive Nanoparticles Away from
           the Brain

    • Abstract: Although drug delivery systems (DDS) are efficient in brain delivery, they face failure in clinical settings due to their potential toxicity to the central nervous system. Little is known about where the DDS will go after brain delivery, and no specific elimination route that shares a passage with DDS has been verified. Hence, identifying harmless DDS for brain delivery and determining their fate there would strongly contribute to their clinical translation. In this study, we investigated nonreactive gold nanoclusters, which can deliver into the brain, to determine the elimination route of DDS. Subsequently, nanoclusters in the brain were systemically tracked and were found to be critically drained by the glymphatic system from the blood vessel basement membrane to periphery circulations (77.8 ± 23.2% and 43.7 ± 23.4% contribution). Furthermore, the nanoclusters could be actively transported across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) by exosomes (30.5 ± 27.3% and 29.2 ± 7.1% contribution). In addition, microglia promoted glymphatic drainage and passage across the BBB. The simultaneous work of the glymphatic system, BBB, and microglia revealed the fate of gold nanoclusters for brain delivery and provided a basis for further brain-delivery DDS.
      PubDate: 15 Mar 2022
  • The Role of Dihydroresveratrol in Enhancing the Synergistic Effect of
           Ligilactobacillus salivarius Li01 and Resveratrol in Ameliorating Colitis
           in Mice

    • Abstract: Currently approved therapeutical strategies for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) suffer from variable efficacy and association with risk of serious side effects. Therefore, efforts have been made in searching for alternative therapeutics strategies utilizing gut microbiota manipulation. In this study, we show that the probiotic strain Ligilactobacillus salivarius Li01 (Li01) and the phytochemical prebiotic resveratrol (RSV) have synergistic effect in ameliorating colitis in mice. Oral coadministration of Li01 (109 CFU/d) and RSV (1.5 g/kg/d) promoted restoration of various inflammatory injuries and gut microbiota composition, exhibiting a favorable anti-inflammatory effect in DSS-induced colitis mice. The combination treatment was associated with reductions in the levels of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 and increases in the levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-17A in mouse serum. Moreover, the combination treatment was found to alter the composition and metabolism of the gut microbiota, especially influencing the production of short chain fatty acids and anti-inflammatory related molecules. The mechanism underlying the improved anti-inflammatory effect from the RSV and Li01 combination treatment was found to be associated with the environmental sensor mammalian aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and tryptophan metabolism pathway. Administration of RSV in combination with Li01 in different mouse model led to enhanced conversion of RSV into metabolites, including dihydroresveratrol (DHR), resveratrol-sulfate, and resveratrol-glucuronide. DHR was found to be the dominant metabolite of RSV in conventional and colitis mice. An increased DHR/RSV ratio was confirmed to activate AHR and contribute to an enhanced anti-inflammatory effect. DHR is considered as a potential AHR ligand. The DHR/RSV ratio also affected the serotonin pathway by controlling the expression of Tph1, SERT, and 5-HT7R leading to amelioration of colitis in mice. Our data suggest that treatment with a combination of Li01 and RSV has potential as a therapeutic strategy for IBD; further investigation of this combination in clinical settings is warranted.
      PubDate: 15 Jun 2022
  • Intense Two-Octave Ultraviolet-Visible-Infrared Supercontinuum Laser via
           High-Efficiency One-Octave Second-Harmonic Generation

    • Abstract: Intense ultrabroadband laser source of high pulse energy has attracted more and more attention in physics, chemistry, biology, material science, and other disciplines. We report design and realization of a chirped periodically poled lithium niobate nonlinear crystal that supports ultrabroadband second-harmonic generation covering 350-850 nm by implementing simultaneously up to 12 orders of quasiphase matching against ultrabroadband pump laser covering 700-1700 nm with an average high conversion efficiency of about 25.8%. We obtain a flat supercontinuum spectrum with a 10 dB bandwidth covering more than one octave (about 375-1200 nm) and 20 dB bandwidth covering more than two octaves (about 350-1500 nm) in the ultraviolet-visible-infrared regime and having intense energy as 0.17 mJ per pulse through synergic action of second-order and third-order nonlinearity under pump of 0.48 mJ per pulse Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser. This scheme would provide a promising method for the construction of supercontinuum laser source with extremely broad bandwidth, large pulse energy, and high peak power for a variety of basic science and high technology applications.
      PubDate: 15 Jun 2022
  • Asymmetrical Transport Distribution Function: Skewness as a Key to Enhance
           Thermoelectric Performance

    • Abstract: How to achieve high thermoelectric figure of merit is still a scientific challenge. By solving the Boltzmann transport equation, thermoelectric properties can be written as integrals of a single function, the transport distribution function (TDF). In this work, the shape effects of transport distribution function in various typical functional forms on thermoelectric properties of materials are systematically investigated. It is found that the asymmetry of TDF, characterized by skewness, can be used to describe universally the trend of thermoelectric properties. By defining symmetric and asymmetric TDF functions, a novel skewness is then constructed for thermoelectric applications. It is demonstrated, by comparison with ab initio calculations and experiments, that the proposed thermoelectric skewness not only perfectly captures the main feature of conventional skewness but also is able to predict the thermoelectric power accurately. This comparison confirms the unique feature of our proposed thermoelectric skewness, as well as its special role of connection between the statistics of TDF and thermoelectric properties of materials. It is also found that the thermoelectric performance can be enhanced by increasing the asymmetry of TDF. Finally, it is also interesting to find that the thermoelectric transport properties based on typical quantum statistics (Fermi-Dirac distributions) can be well described by typical shape parameter (skewness) for classical statistics.
      PubDate: 15 Jul 2022
  • Ultrasound Pulse Emission Spectroscopy Method to Characterize Xylem
           Conduits in Plant Stems

    • Abstract: Although it is well known that plants emit acoustic pulses under drought stress, the exact origin of the waveform of these ultrasound pulses has remained elusive. Here, we present evidence for a correlation between the characteristics of the waveform of these pulses and the dimensions of xylem conduits in plants. Using a model that relates the resonant vibrations of a vessel to its dimension and viscoelasticity, we extract the xylem radii from the waveforms of ultrasound pulses and show that these are correlated and in good agreement with optical microscopy. We demonstrate the versatility of the method by applying it to shoots of ten different vascular plant species. In particular, for Hydrangea quercifolia, we further extract vessel element lengths with our model and compare them with scanning electron cryomicroscopy. The ultrasonic, noninvasive characterization of internal conduit dimensions enables a breakthrough in speed and accuracy in plant phenotyping and stress detection.
      PubDate: 14 Sep 2022
  • In-Depth Metaproteomics Analysis of Oral Microbiome for Lung Cancer

    • Abstract: The human oral microbiome correlates with numerous diseases, including lung cancer. Identifying the functional changes by metaproteomics helps understand the disease-related dysbiosis, yet characterizing low-abundant bacteria is challenging. Here, we developed a free-flow isoelectric focusing electrophoresis-mass spectrometry- (FFIEF-MS-) based metaproteomics strategy to reduce host interferences and enrich low-abundant bacteria for in-depth interpretation of the oral microbiome. With our method, the number of interfering peptides decreased by 52.87%, whereas the bacterial peptides and species increased by 94.97% and 44.90%, respectively, compared to the conventional metaproteomics approach. We identified 3647 bacterial proteins, which is the most comprehensive oral metaproteomics study to date. Lung cancer-associated bacteria were validated among an independent cohort. The imbalanced Fusobacterium nucleatum and Prevotella histicola and their dysregulated functions in inhibiting immune response and maintaining cell redox homeostasis were revealed. The FFIEF-MS may serve as a valuable strategy to study the mechanisms between human diseases and microbiomes with broader applications.
      PubDate: 14 Oct 2022
  • The Regulatory Effect of Braided Silk Fiber Skeletons with Differential
           Porosities on In Vivo Vascular Tissue Regeneration and Long-Term Patency

    • Abstract: The development of small-diameter vascular grafts that can meet the long-term patency required for implementation in clinical practice presents a key challenge to the research field. Although techniques such as the braiding of scaffolds can offer a tunable platform for fabricating vascular grafts, the effects of braided silk fiber skeletons on the porosity, remodeling, and patency in vivo have not been thoroughly investigated. Here, we used finite element analysis of simulated deformation and compliance to design vascular grafts comprised of braided silk fiber skeletons with three different degrees of porosity. Following the synthesis of low-, medium-, and high-porosity silk fiber skeletons, we coated them with hemocompatible sulfated silk fibroin sponges and then evaluated the mechanical and biological functions of the resultant silk tubes with different porosities. Our data showed that high-porosity grafts exhibited higher elastic moduli and compliance but lower suture retention strength, which contrasted with low-porosity grafts. Medium-porosity grafts offered a favorable balance of mechanical properties. Short-term in vivo implantation in rats indicated that porosity served as an effective means to regulate blood leakage, cell infiltration, and neointima formation. High-porosity grafts were susceptible to blood leakage, while low-porosity grafts hindered graft cellularization and tended to induce intimal hyperplasia. Medium-porosity grafts closely mimicked the biomechanical behaviors of native blood vessels and facilitated vascular smooth muscle layer regeneration and polarization of infiltrated macrophages to the M2 phenotype. Due to their superior performance and lack of occlusion, the medium-porosity vascular grafts were evaluated in long-term (24-months) in vivo implantation. The medium-porosity grafts regenerated the vascular smooth muscle cell layers and collagen extracellular matrix, which were circumferentially aligned and resembled the native artery. Furthermore, the formed neoarteries pulsed synchronously with the adjacent native artery and demonstrated contractile function. Overall, our study underscores the importance of braided silk fiber skeleton porosity on long-term vascular graft performance and will help to guide the design of next-generation vascular grafts.
      PubDate: 14 Nov 2022
  • A Humidity-Powered Soft Robot with Fast Rolling Locomotion

    • Abstract: A range of soft robotic systems have recently been developed that use soft, flexible materials and respond to environmental stimulus. The greatest challenge in their design is the integration of the actuator, energy sources, and body of robots while achieving fast locomotion and well-defined programmable trajectories. This work presents such a design that operates under constant conditions without the need for an externally modulated stimulus. By using a humidity-sensitive agarose film and overcoming the isotropic and random bending of the film, the robot, which we call the Hydrollbot, harnesses energy from evaporation for spontaneous and continuous fast self-rolling locomotion with a programmable trajectory in a constant-humidity environment. Moreover, the geometric parameters of the film were fine-tuned to maximize the rolling speed, and the optimised hydrollbot is capable of carrying a payload up to 100% of its own weight. The ability to self-propel fast under constant conditions with programmable trajectories will confer practical advantages to this robot in the applications for sensors, medical robots, actuation, etc.
      PubDate: 14 May 2022
  • Gecko-Inspired Slant Hierarchical Microstructure-Based Ultrasensitive
           Iontronic Pressure Sensor for Intelligent Interaction

    • Abstract: Highly sensitive flexible pressure sensors play an important role to ensure the safety and friendliness during the human-robot interaction process. Microengineering the active layer has been shown to improve performance of pressure sensors. However, the current structural strategy almost relying on axial compression deformation suffers structural stiffening, and together with the limited area growth efficiency of conformal interface, essentially limiting the maximum sensitivity. Here, inspired by the interface contact behavior of gecko’s feet, we design a slant hierarchical microstructure to act as an electrode contacting with an ionic gel layer, fundamentally eliminating the pressure resistance and maximizing functional interface expansion to achieving ultrasensitive sensitivity. Such a structuring strategy dramatically improves the relative capacitance change both in the low- and high-pressure region, thereby boosting the sensitivity up to 36000 kPa-1 and effective measurement range up to 300 kPa. To verify the advantages of high sensitivity, the sensor is integrated with a soft magnetic robot to demonstrate a biomimetic Venus flytrap. The ability to perceive weak stimuli allows the sensor to be used as a sensory and feedback window, realizing the capture of small live insects and the transportation of fragile objects.
      PubDate: 14 Jun 2022
  • DNA Nanotechnology-Enabled Fabrication of Metal Nanomorphology

    • Abstract: In recent decades, DNA nanotechnology has grown into a highly innovative and widely established field. DNA nanostructures have extraordinary structural programmability and can accurately organize nanoscale materials, especially in guiding the synthesis of metal nanomaterials, which have unique advantages in controlling the growth morphology of metal nanomaterials. This review started with the evolution in DNA nanotechnology and the types of DNA nanostructures. Next, a DNA-based nanofabrication technology, DNA metallization, was introduced. In this section, we systematically summarized the DNA-oriented synthesis of metal nanostructures with different morphologies and structures. Furthermore, the applications of metal nanostructures constructed from DNA templates in various fields including electronics, catalysis, sensing, and bioimaging were figured out. Finally, the development prospects and challenges of metal nanostructures formed under the morphology control by DNA nanotechnology were discussed.
      PubDate: 14 Jun 2022
  • Gravitational Equivalence Theorem and Double-Copy for Kaluza-Klein
           Graviton Scattering Amplitudes

    • Abstract: We analyze the structure of scattering amplitudes of the Kaluza-Klein (KK) gravitons and of the KK gravitational Goldstone bosons in the compactified 5d general relativity (GR). Using a general gauge fixing, we study the geometric Higgs mechanism for the massive spin-2 KK gravitons. We newly propose and prove a gravitational equivalence theorem (GRET) to connect the scattering amplitudes of longitudinal KK gravitons to that of the KK gravitational Goldstone bosons, which formulates the geometric gravitational Higgs mechanism at the scattering-matrix level. We demonstrate that the GRET provides a general energy cancellation mechanism guaranteeing the -point longitudinal KK graviton scattering amplitudes to have their leading energy dependence cancelled down by a large power factor of up to any loop level. We propose an improved double-copy approach to construct the massive KK graviton (Goldstone) amplitudes from the KK gauge boson (Goldstone) amplitudes. With these, we establish a new correspondence between the two types of energy cancellations in the four-point longitudinal KK amplitudes at tree level: in the KK gauge theory and in the KK GR theory.
      PubDate: 14 Jul 2022
  • Inhibition of Cancer Cell Migration and Glycolysis by Terahertz Wave
           Modulation via Altered Chromatin Accessibility

    • Abstract: Metastasis and metabolic disorders contribute to most cancer deaths and are potential drug targets in cancer treatment. However, corresponding drugs inevitably induce myeloid suppression and gastrointestinal toxicity. Here, we report a nonpharmaceutical and noninvasive electromagnetic intervention technique that exhibited long-term inhibition of cancer cells. Firstly, we revealed that optical radiation at the specific wavelength of 3.6 μm (i.e., 83 THz) significantly increased binding affinity between DNA and histone via molecular dynamics simulations, providing a theoretical possibility for THz modulation- (THM-) based cancer cell intervention. Subsequent cell functional assays demonstrated that low-power 3.6 μm THz wave could successfully inhibit cancer cell migration by 50% and reduce glycolysis by 60%. Then, mRNA sequencing and assays for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) indicated that low-power THM at 3.6 μm suppressed the genes associated with glycolysis and migration by reducing the chromatin accessibility of certain gene loci. Furthermore, THM at 3.6 μm on HCT-116 cancer cells reduced the liver metastasis by 60% in a metastatic xenograft mouse model by splenic injection, successfully validated the inhibition of cancer cell migration by THM in vivo. Together, this work provides a new paradigm for electromagnetic irradiation-induced epigenetic changes and represents a theoretical basis for possible innovative therapeutic applications of THM as the future of cancer treatments.
      PubDate: 14 Jul 2022
  • Mussel-Inspired and Bioclickable Peptide Engineered Surface to Combat
           Thrombosis and Infection

    • Abstract: Thrombosis and infections are the two major complications associated with extracorporeal circuits and indwelling medical devices, leading to significant mortality in clinic. To address this issue, here, we report a biomimetic surface engineering strategy by the integration of mussel-inspired adhesive peptide, with bio-orthogonal click chemistry, to tailor the surface functionalities of tubing and catheters. Inspired by mussel adhesive foot protein, a bioclickable peptide mimic (DOPA)4-azide-based structure is designed and grafted on an aminated tubing robustly based on catechol-amine chemistry. Then, the dibenzylcyclooctyne (DBCO) modified nitric oxide generating species of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) chelated copper ions and the DBCO-modified antimicrobial peptide (DBCO-AMP) are clicked onto the grafted surfaces via bio-orthogonal reaction. The combination of the robustly grafted AMP and Cu-DOTA endows the modified tubing with durable antimicrobial properties and ability in long-term catalytically generating NO from endogenous s-nitrosothiols to resist adhesion/activation of platelets, thus preventing the formation of thrombosis. Overall, this biomimetic surface engineering technology provides a promising solution for multicomponent surface functionalization and the surface bioengineering of biomedical devices with enhanced clinical performance.
      PubDate: 14 Apr 2022
  • Superlow Power Consumption Artificial Synapses Based on WSe2 Quantum Dots
           Memristor for Neuromorphic Computing

    • Abstract: As the emerging member of zero-dimension transition metal dichalcogenide, WSe2 quantum dots (QDs) have been applied to memristors and exhibited better resistance switching characteristics and miniaturization size. However, low power consumption and high reliability are still challenges for WSe2 QDs-based memristors as synaptic devices. Here, we demonstrate a high-performance, superlow power consumption memristor device with the structure of Ag/WSe2 QDs/La0.3Sr0.7MnO3/SrTiO3. The device displays excellent resistive switching memory behavior with a / ratio of ~5 × 103, power consumption per switching as low as 0.16 nW, very low set, and reset voltage of ~0.52 V and~ -0.19 V with excellent cycling stability, good reproducibility, and decent data retention capability. The superlow power consumption characteristic of the device is further proved by the method of density functional theory calculation. In addition, the influence of pulse amplitude, duration, and interval was studied to gradually modulating the conductance of the device. The memristor has also been demonstrated to simulate different functions of artificial synapses, such as excitatory postsynaptic current, spike timing-dependent plasticity, long-term potentiation, long-term depression, and paired-pulse facilitation. Importantly, digit recognition ability based on the WSe2 QDs device is evaluated through a three-layer artificial neural network, and the digit recognition accuracy after 40 times of training can reach up to 94.05%. This study paves a new way for the development of memristor devices with advanced significance for future low power neuromorphic computing.
      PubDate: 13 Sep 2022
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Spawning Habits for the Adaptive Radiation of
           Endemic East Asian Cyprinid Fishes

    • Abstract: Despite the widespread recognition of adaptive radiation as a driver of speciation, the mechanisms by which natural selection generates new species are incompletely understood. The evolutionary radiation of endemic East Asian cyprinids has been proposed as evolving through a change in spawning habits, involving a transition from semibuoyant eggs to adhesive eggs in response to crosslinked river-lake system formation. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms that underpin this radiation, associated with egg hydration and adhesiveness. We demonstrated that semibuoyant eggs enhance hydration by increasing the degradation of yolk protein and accumulation of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions, while adhesive eggs improve adhesiveness and hardness of the egg envelope by producing an adhesive layer and a unique 4th layer to the egg envelope. Based on multiomics analyses and verification tests, we showed that during the process of adaptive radiation, adhesive eggs downregulated the “vitellogenin degradation pathway,” “zinc metalloprotease pathway,” and “ubiquitin-proteasome pathway” and the pathways of Ca2+ and Mg2+ active transport to reduce their hydration. At the same time, adhesive eggs upregulated the crosslinks of microfilament-associated proteins and adhesive-related proteins, the hardening-related proteins of the egg envelope, and the biosynthesis of glycosaminoglycan in the ovary to generate adhesiveness. These findings illustrate the novel molecular mechanisms associated with hydration and adhesiveness of freshwater fish eggs and identify critical molecular mechanisms involved in the adaptive radiation of endemic East Asian cyprinids. We propose that these key egg attributes may function as “magic traits” in this adaptive radiation.
      PubDate: 13 Sep 2022
  • Dynamic Active Sites in Bi5O7I Promoted by Surface Tensile Strain Enable
           Selective Visible Light CO2 Photoreduction

    • Abstract: Surface defects with abundant localized electrons on bismuth oxyhalide catalysts are proved to have the capability to capture and activate CO2. However, bismuth oxyhalide materials are susceptible to photocorrosion, making the surface defects easily deactivated and therefore losing their function as active sites. Construction of deactivation-resistant surface defects on catalyst is essential for stable CO2 photoreduction, but is a universal challenge. In this work, the Bi5O7I nanotubes with surface tensile strain are synthesized, which are favorable for the visible light-induced dynamic I defects generation. The CO2 molecules absorbed on I defects are constantly reduced by the incoming photogenerated electrons from I-deficient Bi5O7I nanotubes and the successive protonation of CO2 molecules is thus highly promoted, realizing the selective CO2 conversion process via the route of CO2-COOH--CO. The efficient and stable photoreduction of CO2 into CO with 100% selectivity can be achieved even under visible light (λ >420 nm) irradiation benefited from the dynamic I defects as active sites. The results presented herein demonstrate the unique action mechanism of light-induced dynamic defects during CO2 photoreduction process and provide a new strategy into rational design of deactivation-resistant catalysts for selective CO2 photoreduction.
      PubDate: 13 Oct 2022
  • A Systemic Review and Meta-analysis of the Effect of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
           on Sperm Parameters

    • Abstract: Objective. Several studies examined the putative effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on sperm parameters. However, the results remain controversial. In this study, we conducted the most up-to-date systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on sperm quality in COVID-19-positive and COVID-19-negative male participants. Method. Seven databases were searched for literature released through June 10, 2022, containing estimates for the outcomes of interest. Using a random-effects model (REM) or a fixed-effects model (FEM), we analyzed the pooled results. The quality of all included studies was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. In addition, we performed a quantitative and subgroup analysis of semen data across all included studies. Results. Fourteen studies were extracted from 10 publications, involving a total of 1174 participates for meta-analysis. Sperm parameters of 521 COVID-19 male patients and 653 controls were analyzed. In 8 case-control studies, the pooled mean difference (MD) of total sperm motility was -5.37% (95% confidence interval (CI): -8.47 to -2.28; ), suggesting that total motility was significantly impaired in male COVID-19 cases. Subgroup analysis showed a significant decrease in semen volume, sperm concentration, and total motility in 238 patients with a recovery time of less than 90 days. Moreover, in the other 6 included pre- to post-COVID-19 studies, the pooled MDs of sperm concentration, total sperm count, total motility, progressive motility, and normal morphology were 6/ml (95% CI: -10.27 to -2.81; ), 6 (95% CI: -59.20 to -18.58; ), -7.21% (95% CI: -14.36 to -0.07; ), -5.12% (95% CI: -8.71 to -1.53; ), and -1.52% (95% CI: -2.88 to -0.16; ), respectively, which indicate SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly affected these five sperm parameters. Conclusion. Our results revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly correlated with decreased sperm quality. Of six sperm parameters, total motility and sperm concentration were the most significantly decreased parameters. These results suggest a possible negative influence of SARS-CoV-2 infection on testicular function and male fertility. Given the potential detrimental effect of SARS-CoV-2 on semen quality, male reproductive health should be monitored closely in patients with COVID-19. This trial is registered with CRD42021275823.
      PubDate: 13 Jul 2022
  • Direct Electron Transfer from Upconversion Graphene Quantum Dots to TiO2
           Enabling Infrared Light-Driven Overall Water Splitting

    • Abstract: Utilization of infrared light in photocatalytic water splitting is highly important yet challenging given its large proportion in sunlight. Although upconversion material may photogenerate electrons with sufficient energy, the electron transfer between upconversion material and semiconductor is inefficient limiting overall photocatalytic performance. In this work, a TiO2/graphene quantum dot (GQD) hybrid system has been designed with intimate interface, which enables highly efficient transfer of photogenerated electrons from GQDs to TiO2. The designed hybrid material with high photogenerated electron density displays photocatalytic activity under infrared light (20 mW cm-2) for overall water splitting (H2: 60.4 μmol gcat.-1 h-1 and O2: 30.0 μmol gcat.-1 h-1). With infrared light well harnessed, the system offers a solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiency of 0.80% in full solar spectrum. This work provides new insight into harnessing charge transfer between upconversion materials and semiconductor photocatalysts and opens a new avenue for designing photocatalysts toward working under infrared light.
      PubDate: 13 Apr 2022
  • Insights into Photothermally Enhanced Photocatalytic U(VI) Extraction by a
           Step-Scheme Heterojunction

    • Abstract: In this work, a CdS/BiVO4 step-scheme (S-scheme) heterojunction with self-photothermally enhanced photocatalytic effect was synthesized and applied for efficient U(VI) photoextraction. Characterizations such as transient absorption spectroscopy and Tafel test together confirmed the formation of S-scheme heterojunctions, which allows CdS/BiVO4 to avoid photocorrosion while retaining the strong reducing capacity of CdS and the oxidizing capacity of BiVO4. Experimental results such as radical quenching experiments and electron spin resonance show that U(VI) is rapidly oxidized by photoholes/•OH to insoluble UO2(OH)2 after being reduced to U(IV) by photoelectrons/•O2-, which precisely avoids the depletion of electron sacrificial agents. The rapid recombination of electron-hole pairs triggered by the S-scheme heterojunction is found to release large amounts of heat and accelerate the photocatalysis. This work offers a new enhanced strategy for photocatalytic uranium extraction and presents a direction for the design and development of new photocatalysts.
      PubDate: 12 Oct 2022
  • Continuous Three-Dimensional Printing of Architected Piezoelectric Sensors
           in Minutes

    • Abstract: Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, is thriving as an effective and robust method in fabricating architected piezoelectric structures, yet most of the commonly adopted printing techniques often face the inherent speed-accuracy trade-off, limiting their speed in manufacturing sophisticated parts containing micro-/nanoscale features. Herein, stabilized, photo-curable resins comprising chemically functionalized piezoelectric nanoparticles (PiezoNPs) were formulated, from which microscale architected 3D piezoelectric structures were printed continuously via micro continuous liquid interface production (μCLIP) at speeds of up to ~60 μm s-1, which are more than 10 times faster than the previously reported stereolithography-based works. The 3D-printed functionalized barium titanate (f-BTO) composites reveal a bulk piezoelectric charge constant of 27.70 pC N-1 with the 30 wt% f-BTO. Moreover, rationally designed lattice structures that manifested enhanced, tailorable piezoelectric sensing performance as well as mechanical flexibility were tested and explored in diverse flexible and wearable self-powered sensing applications, e.g., motion recognition and respiratory monitoring.
      PubDate: 12 Jul 2022
  • Carbon Materials Advancing Microorganisms in Driving Soil Organic Carbon

    • Abstract: Carbon emission from soil is not only one of the major sources of greenhouse gases but also threatens biological diversity, agricultural productivity, and food security. Regulation and control of the soil carbon pool are political practices in many countries around the globe. Carbon pool management in engineering sense is much bigger and beyond laws and monitoring, as it has to contain proactive elements to restore active carbon. Biogeochemistry teaches us that soil microorganisms are crucial to manage the carbon content effectively. Adding carbon materials to soil is thereby not directly sequestration, as interaction of appropriately designed materials with the soil microbiome can result in both: metabolization and thereby nonsustainable use of the added carbon, or—more favorably—a biological amplification of human efforts and sequestration of extra CO2 by microbial growth. We review here potential approaches to govern soil carbon, with a special focus set on the emerging practice of adding manufactured carbon materials to control soil carbon and its biological dynamics. Notably, research on so-called “biochar” is already relatively mature, while the role of artificial humic substance (A-HS) in microbial carbon sequestration is still in the developing stage. However, it is shown that the preparation and application of A-HS are large biological levers, as they directly interact with the environment and community building of the biological soil system. We believe that A-HS can play a central role in stabilizing carbon pools in soil.
      PubDate: 12 Jan 2022
  • Cross-Scale Synthesis of Organic High- Semiconductors Based on
           Spiro-Gridized Nanopolymers

    • Abstract: High dielectric constants in organic semiconductors have been identified as a central challenge for the improvement in not only piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and ferroelectric effects but also photoelectric conversion efficiency in OPVs, carrier mobility in OFETs, and charge density in charge-trapping memories. Herein, we report an ultralong persistence length ( nm) effect of spiro-fused organic nanopolymers on dielectric properties, together with excitonic and charge carrier behaviors. The state-of-the-art nanopolymers, namely, nanopolyspirogrids (NPSGs), are synthesized via the simple cross-scale Friedel-Crafts polygridization of A2B2-type nanomonomers. The high dielectric constant () of NPSG is firstly achieved by locking spiro-polygridization effect that results in the enhancement of dipole polarization. When doping into a polystyrene-based dielectric layer, such a high- feature of NPSG increases the field-effect carrier mobility from 0.20 to 0.90 cm2 V-1 s-1 in pentacene OFET devices. Meanwhile, amorphous NPSG film exhibits an ultralow energy disorder (
      PubDate: 12 Jan 2022
  • Site-Specific Photochemical Reaction for Improved C=C Location Analysis of
           Unsaturated Lipids by Ultraviolet Photodissociation

    • Abstract: Unraveling the complexity of the lipidome requires the development of novel approaches to facilitate structural identification and characterization of lipid species with isomer-level discrimination. Ultraviolet photodissociation tandem mass spectrometry (UVPD MS/MS) is a promising tool for structure determination of lipids. The sensitivity of UVPD for lipid analysis however is limited mainly due to weak absorption of UV photons by a C=C. Herein, a C=C site-specific derivatization, the Paternò-Büchi (PB) reaction, was used to incorporate a chromophore to the C=C moiety in fatty acyls, leading to significantly improved UVPD efficiency and sensitivity for pinpointing C=C locations. The wavelength-dependent photodissociation of the PB products demonstrated 4-CF3-benzophenone as the best reagent for UVPD in terms of the efficiency of generating C=C diagnostic fragments and simplicity for C=C location assignments. We demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach for the shotgun profiling of C=C location isomers in different lipid classes from complex lipid extracts, highlighting its potential to advancing the identification of the C=C bond locations in unsaturated lipids.
      PubDate: 12 Feb 2022
  • Aggregation-Induced Synthesis (AIS): Asymmetric Synthesis via Chiral

    • Abstract: A new chiral aggregate-based tool for asymmetric synthesis has been developed by taking advantage of chiral aggregates of GAP (Group-Assisted Purification) reagents, N-phosphonyl imines. This tool was proven to be successful in the asymmetric GAP synthesis of functionalized 2,3-dihydrobenzofurans by reacting salicyl N-phosphonyl imines with dialkyl bromomalonates in various cosolvent systems. The chiral induction can be controlled by differentiating between two asymmetric directions simply by changing the ratios of cosolvents which are commonly adopted in AIE (aggregation-induced emission) systems. The formation of chiral aggregates was witnessed by a new analytical tool—aggregation-induced polarization (AIP). The present synthetic method will be broadly extended for general organic synthesis, particularly, for asymmetric synthesis and asymmetric catalysis in the future.
      PubDate: 12 Aug 2022
  • Low Trap Density Para-F Substituted 2D PEA2PbX4 (X = Cl, Br, I) Single
           Crystals with Tunable Optoelectrical Properties and High Sensitive X-Ray
           Detector Performance

    • Abstract: Exploring halogen engineering is of great significance for reducing the density of defect states in crystals of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites and hence improving the crystal quality. Herein, high-quality single crystals of PEA2PbX4 (X = Cl, Br, I) and their para-F (p-F) substitution analogs are prepared using the facile solution method to study the effects of both p-F substitution and halogen anion engineering. After p-F substitution, the triclinic PEA2PbX4 (X = Cl, Br) and cubic PEA2PbX4 (X = I) crystals unifies to monoclinic crystal structure for p-F-PEA2PbX4 (X = Cl, Br, I) crystals. The p-F substitution and halogen engineering, together with crystal structure variation, enable the tunability of optoelectrical properties. Experimentally, after the p-F substitution, the energy levels are lowered with increased Fermi levels, and the bandgaps of p-F-PEA2PbX4 (X = Cl, Br, I) are slightly reduced. Benefitting from the enhancement of the charge transfer and the reduced trap density by p-F substitution and halogen anion engineering, the average carrier lifetime of the p-F-PEA2PbX4 is obviously reduced. Compared with PEA2PbI4, the X-ray detector based on p-F-PEA2PbI4 perovskite single-crystal has a higher sensitivity of 119.79 μC Gyair-1·cm-2. Moreover, the X-ray detector based on p-F-PEA2PbI4 single crystals exhibits higher radiation stability under high-dose X-ray irradiation, implying long-term operando stability.
      PubDate: 11 Oct 2022
  • Lipid-Based Intelligent Vehicle Capabilitized with Physical and
           Physiological Activation

    • Abstract: Intelligent drug delivery system based on “stimulus-response” mode emerging a promising perspective in next generation lipid-based nanoparticle. Here, we classify signal sources into physical and physiological stimulation according to their origin. The physical signals include temperature, ultrasound, and electromagnetic wave, while physiological signals involve pH, redox condition, and associated proteins. We first summarize external physical response from three main points about efficiency, particle state, and on-demand release. Afterwards, we describe how to design drug delivery using the physiological environment in vivo and present different current application methods. Lastly, we draw a vision of possible future development.
      PubDate: 11 Nov 2022
  • Time-Modulated Transmissive Programmable Metasurface for Low Sidelobe Beam

    • Abstract: Programmable metasurfaces have great potential for the implementation of low-complexity and low-cost phased arrays. Due to the difficulty of multiple-bit phase control, conventional programmable metasurfaces suffer a relatively high sidelobe level (SLL). In this manuscript, a time modulation strategy is introduced in the 1-bit transmissive programmable metasurface for reducing the SLLs of the generated patterns. After the periodic time modulation, harmonics are generated in each reconfigurable unit and the phase of the first-order harmonic can be dynamically controlled by applying different modulation sequences onto the corresponding unit. Through the high-speed modulation of the real-time periodic coding sequences on the metasurface by the programmable bias circuit, the equivalent phase shift accuracy to each metasurface unit can be improved to 6-bit and thus the SLLs of the metasurface could be reduced remarkably. The proposed time-modulated strategy is verified both numerically and experimentally with a transmissive programmable metasurface, which obtains an aperture efficiency over 34% and reduced SLLs of about −20 dB. The proposed design could offer a novel approach of a programmable metasurface framework for radar detection and secure communication applications.
      PubDate: 11 Jul 2022
  • Twin-Wire Networks for Zero Interconnect, High-Density 4-Wire Electrical
           Characterizations of Materials

    • Abstract: Four-wire measurements have been introduced by Lord Kelvin in 1861 and have since become the standard technique for characterizing small resistances and impedances. However, high-density 4-wire measurements are generally complex, time-consuming, and inefficient because of constraints on interconnects, pads, external wires, and mechanical contacts, thus reducing reproducibility, statistical significance, and throughput. Here, we introduce, systematically design, analyze, and experimentally validate zero interconnect networks interfaced to external instrumentation by couples of twin wire. 3D-printed holders with magnets, interconnects, nonadhesive layers, and spacers can effortlessly establish excellent electrical connections with tunable or minimum contact forces and enable accurate measurements even for delicate devices, such as thin metals on soft polymers. As an example, we measured all the resistances of a twin-wire 29-resistor network made of silver-nanoparticle ink printed on polyimide, paper, or photo paper, including during sintering or temperature calibration, resulting in an unprecedentedly easy and accurate characterization of both resistivity and its temperature coefficient. The theoretical framework and experimental strategies reported here represent a breakthrough toward zero interconnect, simple, and efficient high-density 4-wire characterizations, can be generalized to other 4-wire measurements (impedances, sensors) and can open the way to more statistically meaningful and reproducible analyses of materials, high-throughput measurements, and minimally invasive characterizations of biomaterials.
      PubDate: 11 Jan 2022
  • An Artificial Reflex Arc That Perceives Afferent Visual and Tactile
           Information and Controls Efferent Muscular Actions

    • Abstract: Neural perception and action-inspired electronics is becoming important for interactive human-machine interfaces and intelligent robots. A system that implements neuromorphic environmental information coding, synaptic signal processing, and motion control is desired. We report a neuroinspired artificial reflex arc that possesses visual and somatosensory dual afferent nerve paths and an efferent nerve path to control artificial muscles. A self-powered photoelectric synapse between the afferent and efferent nerves was used as the key information processor. The artificial reflex arc successfully responds to external visual and tactile information and controls the actions of artificial muscle in response to these external stimuli and thus emulates reflex activities through a full reflex arc. The visual and somatosensory information is encoded as impulse spikes, the frequency of which exhibited a sublinear dependence on the obstacle proximity or pressure stimuli. The artificial reflex arc suggests a promising strategy toward developing soft neurorobotic systems and prostheses.
      PubDate: 11 Feb 2022
  • Ten-Hour Stable Noninvasive Brain-Computer Interface Realized by Semidry
           Hydrogel-Based Electrodes

    • Abstract: Noninvasive brain-computer interface (BCI) has been extensively studied from many aspects in the past decade. In order to broaden the practical applications of BCI technique, it is essential to develop electrodes for electroencephalogram (EEG) collection with advanced characteristics such as high conductivity, long-term effectiveness, and biocompatibility. In this study, we developed a silver-nanowire/PVA hydrogel/melamine sponge (AgPHMS) semidry EEG electrode for long-lasting monitoring of EEG signal. Benefiting from the water storage capacity of PVA hydrogel, the electrolyte solution can be continuously released to the scalp-electrode interface during used. The electrolyte solution can infiltrate the stratum corneum and reduce the scalp-electrode impedance to 10 kΩ-15 kΩ. The flexible structure enables the electrode with mechanical stability, increases the wearing comfort, and reduces the scalp-electrode gap to reduce contact impedance. As a result, a long-term BCI application based on measurements of motion-onset visual evoked potentials (mVEPs) shows that the 3-hour BCI accuracy of the new electrode (77% to 100%) is approximately the same as that of conventional electrodes supported by a conductive gel during the first hour. Furthermore, the BCI system based on the new electrode can retain low contact impedance for 10 hours on scalp, which greatly improved the ability of BCI technique.
      PubDate: 10 Mar 2022
  • Click Modification for Polysaccharides via Novel Tunnel Transmission
           Phenomenon in Ionic Liquids

    • Abstract: It is extremely difficult to achieve a rapid and efficient modification of natural polysaccharides, due to the intrinsic strong hydrogen bonding networks and the slow mass transfer process during the reaction process. Herein, we found a fascinating anion-tunnel transmission phenomenon in the imidazolium-based ionic liquids with carboxylate anions. A novel click esterification of natural polysaccharides thus was demonstrated under a catalyst-free condition within a very short reaction time of 15 min at 0-80°C. Such a super-rapid and highly efficient modification strategy is available for various polysaccharides (cellulose, starch, inulin, pullulan, dextran, and xylan), different esterification reactions (acetification, propionation, benzoylation, and cyclohexyl formylation), and high concentrations, claiming a revolutionary potential in polysaccharide chemistry industries.
      PubDate: 10 Feb 2022
  • Nanoarray-Embedded Hierarchical Surfaces for Highly Durable Dropwise

    • Abstract: Durable dropwise condensation of saturated vapor is of significance for heat transfer and energy saving in extensive industrial applications. While numerous superhydrophobic surfaces can promote steam condensation, maintaining discrete microdroplets on surfaces without the formation of a flooded filmwise condensation at high subcooling remains challenging. Here, we report the development of carbon nanotube array-embedded hierarchical composite surfaces that enable ultra-durable dropwise condensation under a wide range of subcooling (), which outperforms existing nanowire surfaces. This performance stems from the combined strategies of the hydrophobic nanostructures that allow efficient surface renewal and the patterned hydrophilic micro frames that protect the nanostructures and also accelerate droplet nucleation. The synergistic effects of the composite design ensure sustained Cassie wetting mode and capillarity-governed droplet mobility () as well as the large specific volume of condensed droplets, which contributes to the enhanced condensation heat transfer. Our design provides a feasible alternative for efficiently transferring heat in a vapor environment with relatively high temperatures through the tunable multiscale morphology.
      PubDate: 10 Aug 2022
  • Nanotechnology Powered CRISPR-Cas Systems for Point of Care Diagnosis and

    • PubDate: 09 Sep 2022
  • Ultrasensitive Frequency Shifting of Dielectric Mie Resonance near
           Metallic Substrate

    • Abstract: Dielectric resonators on metallic surface can enhance far-field scattering and boost near-field response having promising applications in nonlinear optics and reflection-type devices. However, the dependence of gap size between dielectric resonator and metallic surface on Mie resonant frequency is complex and desires a comprehensive physical interpretation. Here, we systematically study the effect of metallic substrate on the magnetic dipole (MD) resonant frequency at X-band by placing a high permittivity CaTiO3 ceramic block on metallic substrate and regulating their gap size. The simulated and experimental results show that there are two physical mechanisms to codetermine the metallic substrate-induced MD frequency. The greatly enhanced electric field pair in the gap and the coupling of MD resonance with its mirror image are decisive for small and large gaps, respectively, making the MD resonant frequency present an exponential blue shift first and then a slight red shift with increasing gap size. Further, we use the two mechanisms to explain different frequency shifting properties of ceramic sphere near metallic substrate. Finally, taking advantage of the sharp frequency shifting to small gaps, the ceramic block is demonstrated to accurately estimate the thickness or permittivity of thin film on metallic substrate through a governing equation derived from the method of symbolic regression. We believe that our study will help to understand the resonant frequency shifting for dielectric particle near metallic substrate and give some prototypes of ultrasensitive detectors.
      PubDate: 09 May 2022
  • SARS-CoV-2 Epitopes following Infection and Vaccination Overlap Known
           Neutralizing Antibody Sites

    • Abstract: Identification of epitopes targeted following virus infection or vaccination can guide vaccine design and development of therapeutic interventions targeting functional sites, but can be laborious. Herein, we employed peptide microarrays to map linear peptide epitopes (LPEs) recognized following SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. LPEs detected by nonhuman primate (NHP) and patient IgMs after SARS-CoV-2 infection extensively overlapped, localized to functionally important virus regions, and aligned with reported neutralizing antibody binding sites. Similar LPE overlap occurred after infection and vaccination, with LPE clusters specific to each stimulus, where strong and conserved LPEs mapping to sites known or likely to inhibit spike protein function. Vaccine-specific LPEs tended to map to sites known or likely to be affected by structural changes induced by the proline substitutions in the mRNA vaccine’s S protein. Mapping LPEs to regions of known functional importance in this manner may accelerate vaccine evaluation and discovery of targets for site-specific therapeutic interventions.
      PubDate: 09 Jul 2022
  • Room-Temperature Superconductivity in Yb/Lu Substituted Clathrate
           Hexahydrides under Moderate Pressure

    • Abstract: Room temperature superconductivity is a dream that mankind has been chasing for a century. In recent years, the synthesis of H3S, LaH10, and C-S-H compounds under high pressures has gradually made that dream become a reality. But the extreme high pressure required for stabilization of hydrogen-based superconductors limit their applications. So, the next challenge is to achieve room-temperature superconductivity at significantly low pressures, even ambient pressure. In this work, we design a series of high temperature superconductors that can be stable at moderate pressures by incorporating heavy rare earth elements Yb/Lu into sodalite-like clathrate hexahydrides. In particular, the critical temperatures () of Y3LuH24, YLuH12, and YLu3H24 can reach 283 K at 120 GPa, 275 K at 140 GPa, and 288 K at 110 GPa, respectively. Their critical temperatures are close to or have reached room temperature, and minimum stable pressures are significantly lower than that of reported room temperature superconductors. Our work provides an effective method for the rational design of low-pressure stabilized hydrogen-based superconductors with room-temperature superconductivity simultaneously and will stimulate further experimental exploration.
      PubDate: 09 Aug 2022
  • Highly Efficient and Selective Photocatalytic Nonoxidative Coupling of
           Methane to Ethylene over Pd-Zn Synergistic Catalytic Sites

    • Abstract: Photocatalytic nonoxidative coupling of CH4 to multicarbon (C2+) hydrocarbons (e.g., C2H4) and H2 under ambient conditions provides a promising energy-conserving approach for utilization of carbon resource. However, as the methyl intermediates prefer to undergo self-coupling to produce ethane, it is a challenging task to control the selective conversion of CH4 to higher value-added C2H4. Herein, we adopt a synergistic catalysis strategy by integrating Pd-Zn active sites on visible light-responsive defective WO3 nanosheets for synergizing the adsorption, activation, and dehydrogenation processes in CH4 to C2H4 conversion. Benefiting from the synergy, our model catalyst achieves a remarkable C2+ compounds yield of 31.85 μmol·g-1·h-1 with an exceptionally high C2H4 selectivity of 75.3% and a stoichiometric H2 evolution. In situ spectroscopic studies reveal that the Zn sites promote the adsorption and activation of CH4 molecules to generate methyl and methoxy intermediates with the assistance of lattice oxygen, while the Pd sites facilitate the dehydrogenation of methoxy to methylene radicals for producing C2H4 and suppress overoxidation. This work demonstrates a strategy for designing efficient photocatalysts toward selective coupling of CH4 to higher value-added chemicals and highlights the importance of synergistic active sites to the synergy of key steps in catalytic reactions.
      PubDate: 08 Nov 2022
  • Shape Memory Alloy Helical Microrobots with Transformable Capability
           towards Vascular Occlusion Treatment

    • Abstract: Practical implementation of minimally invasive biomedical applications has been a long-sought goal for microrobots. In this field, most previous studies only demonstrate microrobots with locomotion ability or performing a single task, unable to be functionalized effectively. Here, we propose a biocompatible shape memory alloy helical microrobot with regulative structure transformation, making it possible to adjust its motion behavior and mechanical properties precisely. Especially, towards vascular occlusion problem, these microrobots reveal a fundamental solution strategy in the mechanical capability using shape memory effect. Such shape-transformable microrobots can not only manipulate thrust and torque by structure to enhance the unclogging efficiency as a microdriller but also utilize the high work energy to apply the expandable helical tail as a self-propulsive stent. The strategy takes advantage of untethered manipulation to operate microsurgery without unnecessary damage. This study opens a route to functionalize microrobots via accurate tuning in structures, motions, and mechanical properties.
      PubDate: 08 Jul 2022
  • Macrophage Membrane-Camouflaged shRNA and Doxorubicin: A pH-Dependent
           Release System for Melanoma Chemo-Immunotherapy

    • Abstract: Improving the efficacy of melanoma treatment remains an important global challenge. Here, we combined chemotherapy with protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor type 2(Ptpn2) based immunotherapy in an effort to address this challenge. Short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting Ptpn2 was coencapsulated with doxorubicin (DOX) in the cell membrane of M1 macrophages (M1HD@RPR). The prepared nanoparticles (NPs) were effectively phagocytosed by B16F10 cells and M1 macrophages, but not by M0 macrophages. Hence, NP evasion from the reticuloendothelial system (RES) was improved and NP enrichment in tumor sites increased. M1HD@RPR can directly kill tumor cells and stimulate immunogenic cell death (ICD) by DOX and downregulate Ptpn2. It can promote M1 macrophage polarization and dendritic cell maturation and increase the proportion of CD8+ T cells. M1HD@RPR killed and inhibited the growth of primary melanoma and lung metastatic tumor cells without harming the surrounding tissue. These findings establish M1HD@RPR as a safe multifunctional nanoparticle capable of effectively combining chemotherapy and gene immunotherapies against melanoma.
      PubDate: 08 Feb 2022
  • Lateral Hypothalamus Calcium/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II α
           Neurons Encode Novelty-Seeking Signals to Promote Predatory Eating

    • Abstract: Predatory hunting is an innate appetite-driven and evolutionarily conserved behavior essential for animal survival, integrating sequential behaviors including searching, pursuit, attack, retrieval, and ultimately consumption. Nevertheless, neural circuits underlying hunting behavior with different features remain largely unexplored. Here, we deciphered a novel function of lateral hypothalamus (LH) calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II α (CaMKIIα+) neurons in hunting behavior and uncovered upstream/downstream circuit basis. LH CaMKIIα+ neurons bidirectionally modulate novelty-seeking behavior, predatory attack, and eating in hunting behavior. LH CaMKIIα+ neurons integrate hunting-related novelty-seeking information from the medial preoptic area (MPOA) and project to the ventral periaqueductal gray (vPAG) to promote predatory eating. Our results demonstrate that LH CaMKIIα+ neurons are the key hub that integrate MPOA-conveyed novelty-seeking signals and encode predatory eating in hunting behavior, which enriched the neuronal substrate of hunting behavior.
      PubDate: 08 Aug 2022
  • Additively Manufactured Flexible Electronics with Ultrabroad Range and
           High Sensitivity for Multiple Physiological Signals’ Detection

    • Abstract: Flexible electronics can be seamlessly attached to human skin and used for various purposes, such as pulse monitoring, pressure measurement, tensile sensing, and motion detection. Despite their broad applications, most flexible electronics do not possess both high sensitivity and wide detection range simultaneously; their sensitivity drops rapidly when they are subjected to even just medium pressure. In this study, ultrabroad-range, high-sensitivity flexible electronics are fabricated through additive manufacturing to address this issue. The key to possess high sensitivity and a wide detection range simultaneously is to fabricate flexible electronics with large depth-width ratio circuit channels using the additive manufacturing inner-rinsing template method. These electronics exhibit an unprecedented high sensitivity of 320 kPa−1 over the whole detection range, which ranges from 0.3 to 30,000 Pa (five orders of magnitude). Their minimum detectable weight is 0.02 g (the weight of a fly), which is comparable with human skin. They can stretch to over 500% strain without breaking and show no tensile fatigue after 1000 repetitions of stretching to 100% strain. A highly sensitive and flexible electronic epidermal pulse monitor is fabricated to detect multiple physiological signals, such as pulse signal, breathing rhythm, and real-time beat-to-beat cuffless blood pressure. All of these signals can be obtained simultaneously for detailed health detection and monitoring. The fabrication method does not involve complex expensive equipment or complicated operational processes, so it is especially suitable for the fabrication of large-area, complex flexible electronics. We believe this approach will pave the way for the application of flexible electronics in biomedical detection and health monitoring.
      PubDate: 08 Aug 2022
  • Surface Plasmon Effect Dominated High-Performance Triboelectric
           Nanogenerator for Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture

    • Abstract: Available, effectively converting low-frequency vibration into available electricity, triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is always research hot nowadays. However, the enhancing effect of the existing methods for the output have all sorts of drawbacks, i.e., low efficiency and unstable, and its practical applications still need to be further explored. Here, leveraging core-shell nanoparticles Ag@SiO2 doping into tribo-materials generates the surface plasmon effect to boost the output performance of the TENG. On one hand, the shell alleviated the seepage effect from conventional nanoparticles; on the other hand, the surface plasmon effect enabled the core-shell nanoparticles to further boost the output performance of TENG. We circumvent the limitations and present a TENG whose output power density can be up to 4.375 mW/cm2. Points is that this article novelty investigate the high-performance TENG applicating for traditional Chinese medicine and develop a pratical self-powered acupuncture system. This technology enables rapid, routine regulation of human health at any age, which has potential applications in nearly any setting across healthcare platforms alike.
      PubDate: 07 Oct 2022
  • CCAAT/Enhancer-Binding Proteins in Fibrosis: Complex Roles Beyond
           Conventional Understanding

    • Abstract: CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBPs) are a family of at least six identified transcription factors that contain a highly conserved basic leucine zipper domain and interact selectively with duplex DNA to regulate target gene expression. C/EBPs play important roles in various physiological processes, and their abnormal function can lead to various diseases. Recently, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that aberrant C/EBP expression or activity is closely associated with the onset and progression of fibrosis in several organs and tissues. During fibrosis, various C/EBPs can exert distinct functions in the same organ, while the same C/EBP can exert distinct functions in different organs. Modulating C/EBP expression or activity could regulate various molecular processes to alleviate fibrosis in multiple organs; therefore, novel C/EBPs-based therapeutic methods for treating fibrosis have attracted considerable attention. In this review, we will explore the features of C/EBPs and their critical functions in fibrosis in order to highlight new avenues for the development of novel therapies targeting C/EBPs.
      PubDate: 07 Oct 2022
  • Bioinspired Rotation Microneedles for Accurate Transdermal Positioning and
           Ultraminimal-Invasive Biomarker Detection with Mechanical Robustness

    • Abstract: Microneedle permits transdermal biosensing and drug delivery with minor pain. However, accurate microneedle transdermal positioning with minimal skin deformation remains a significant technical challenge due to inhomogeneous skin topology and discontinuous force applied to the microneedle. Here, we introduce bioinspired rotation microneedles for in vivo accurate microneedle positioning as inspired by honeybees’ stingers. We demonstrate the benefits of rotation microneedles in alleviating skin resistance through finite element analysis, full-thickness porcine validations, and mathematical derivations of microneedle-skin interaction stress fields. The max penetration force was mitigated by up to 45.7% and the force attenuation rate increased to 2.73 times in the holding stage after penetration. A decrease in max skin deflection and a faster deformation recovery introduced by rotation microneedles implied a more precise penetration depth. Furthermore, we applied the rotation microneedles in psoriasis mice, a monogenic disorder animal model, for minimally invasive biological sample extraction and proinflammatory cytokine monitoring. An ultrasensitive detection method is realized by using only one microneedle to achieve cytokine mRNA level determination compared to commonly required biopsies or blood collection. Thus, rotation microneedles permit a simple, rapid, and ultraminimal-invasive method for subcutaneous trace biological sample acquisition and subsequent point-of-care diagnostics with minimal damage to both microneedles and skins.
      PubDate: 07 Mar 2022
  • Light-Programmable Assemblies of Isotropic Micromotors

    • Abstract: “Life-like” nonequilibrium assemblies are of increasing significance, but suffering from limited steerability as they are generally based on micro/nanomotors with inherent asymmetry in chemical composition or geometry, of which the vigorous random Brownian rotations disturb the local interactions. Here, we demonstrate that isotropic photocatalytic micromotors, due to the persistent phoretic flow from the illuminated to shadowed side irrespective of their Brownian rotations, experience light-programmable local interactions (reversibly from attraction to repulsion and/or alignment) depending on the direction of the incident lights. Thus, they can be organized into a variety of tunable nonequilibrium assemblies, such as apolar solids (i.e., immobile colloidal crystal), polar liquids (i.e., phototactic colloidal stream), and polar solids (i.e., phototactic colloidal crystal), which can further be “cut” into a predesigned pattern by utilizing the switching motor-motor interactions at superimposed-light edges. This work facilitates the development of active matters and motile functional microdevices.
      PubDate: 07 Jul 2022
  • Porous Single-Crystalline Monolith to Enhance Catalytic Activity and

    • Abstract: Engineering the catalytic activity and stability of materials would require the identification of the structural features that can tailor active sites at surfaces. Porous single crystals combine the ordered lattice structures and disordered interconnected pores, and they would therefore provide the advantages of precise structure features to identify and engineer the active sites at surfaces. Herein, we fabricate porous single-crystalline vanadium nitride (VN) at centimeter scale and further dope Fe (Fe0.1V0.9N) and Co (Co0.1V0.9N) in lattice to engineer the active sites at surface. We demonstrate that the active surface is composed of unsaturated coordination of V-N, Fe-N, and Co-N structures which lead to the generation of high-density active sites at the porous single-crystalline monolith surface. The interconnected pores aid the pore-enhanced fluxion to facilitate species diffusion in the porous architectures. In the nonoxidative dehydrogenation of ethane to ethylene, we demonstrate the outstanding performance with ethane conversion of 36% and ethylene selectivity of 99% at 660°C. Remarkably stability as a result of their single-crystalline structure, the monoliths achieve the outstanding performance without degradation being observed even after 200 hours of a continuous operation in a monolithic reactor. This work not only demonstrates the effective structural engineering to simultaneously enhance the stability and overall performance for practically useful catalytic materials but also provide a new route for the element doping of porous single crystals at large scale for the potential application in other fields.
      PubDate: 07 Jul 2022
  • Integrated Au-Nanoroded Biosensing and Regulating Platform for
           Photothermal Therapy of Bradyarrhythmia

    • Abstract: Bradyarrhythmia is a kind of cardiovascular disease caused by dysregulation of cardiomyocytes, which seriously threatens human life. Currently, treatment strategies of bradyarrhythmia mainly include drug therapy, surgery, or implantable cardioverter defibrillators, but these strategies are limited by drug side effect, surgical trauma, and instability of implanted devices. Here, we developed an integrated Au-nanoroded biosensing and regulating platform to investigate the photothermal therapy of cardiac bradyarrhythmia in vitro. Au-nanoroded electrode array can simultaneously accumulate energy from the photothermal regulation and monitor the electrophsiological state to restore normal rhythm of cardiomyocytes in real time. To treat the cardiomyocytes cultured on Au-nanoroded device by near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation, cardiomyocytes return to normal for long term after irradiation of suitable NIR energy and maintenance. Compared with the conventional strategies, the photothermal strategy is more effective and convenient to regulate the cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, mRNA sequencing shows that the differential expression genes in cardiomyocytes are significantly increased after photothermal strategy, which are involved in the regulation of the heart rate, cardiac conduction, and ion transport. This work establishes a promising integrated biosensing and regulating platform for photothermal therapy of bradyarrhythmia in vitro and provides reliable evidence of photothermal regulation on cardiomyocytes for cardiological clinical studies.
      PubDate: 07 Feb 2022
  • Honeycomb-Like Hydrogel Microspheres for 3D Bulk Construction of Tumor

    • Abstract: A two-dimensional (2D) cell culture-based model is widely applied to study tumorigenic mechanisms and drug screening. However, it cannot authentically simulate the three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment of solid tumors and provide reliable and predictable data in response to in vivo, thus leading to the research illusions and failure of drug screening. In this study, honeycomb-like gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogel microspheres are developed by synchronous photocrosslinking microfluidic technique to construct a 3D model of osteosarcoma. The in vitro study shows that osteosarcoma cells (K7M2) cultured in 3D GelMA microspheres have stronger tumorous stemness, proliferation and migration abilities, more osteoclastogenetic ability, and resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs (DOX) than that of cells in 2D cultures. More importantly, the 3D-cultured K7M2 cells show more tumorigenicity in immunologically sound mice, characterized by shorter tumorigenesis time, larger tumor volume, severe bone destruction, and higher mortality. In conclusion, honeycomb-like porous microsphere scaffolds are constructed with uniform structure by microfluidic technology to massively produce tumor cells with original phenotypes. Those microspheres could recapitulate the physiology microenvironment of tumors, maintain cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions, and thus provide an effective and convenient strategy for tumor pathogenesis and drug screening research.
      PubDate: 07 Feb 2022
  • Downregulation of circ-ZNF609 Promotes Heart Repair by Modulating RNA
           N6-Methyladenosine-Modified Yap Expression

    • Abstract: Circular RNAs take crucial roles in several pathophysiological processes. The regulatory role and its underlying mechanisms of circ-ZNF609 in the heart remains largely unknown. Here, we report that circ-ZNF609 is upregulated during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) remodeling. Knockdown of circ-ZNF609 protects against acute I/R injury and attenuates left ventricle dysfunction after I/R remodeling in vivo. In vitro, circ-ZNF609 regulates cardiomyocyte survival and proliferation via modulating the crosstalk between Hippo-YAP and Akt signaling. Mechanically, N6-methyladenosine-modification is involved in the regulatory role of circ-ZNF609 on YAP. An in-depth study indicates that knockdown of circ-ZNF609 decreases the expression of YTHDF3 and further fine-tuned the accessibility of Yap mRNA to YTHDF1 and YTHDF2 to regulate YAP expression. circ-ZNF609 knockdown represents a promising therapeutic strategy to combat the pathological process of myocardial I/R injury.
      PubDate: 07 Apr 2022
  • Engineering Stem Cell Recruitment and Osteoinduction via Bioadhesive
           Molecular Mimics to Improve Osteoporotic Bone-Implant Integration

    • Abstract: For patients with osteoporosis, the therapeutic outcomes of osteoimplants are substantially affected by the impaired proliferation, migration, and osteogenic differentiation abilities of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). To improve bone-implant integration in osteoporotic condition, here we reported a one-step biomimetic surface strategy to introduce BMSC recruiting and osteoinductive abilities onto metallic osteoimplants. In our design, the bioadhesive molecular peptide mimic inspired by mussel foot proteins (Mfps) was used as molecular bridging for surface functionalization. Specifically, a BMSC-targeting peptide sequence (E7) and an osteogenic growth peptide (Y5) were grafted onto the titanium implant surfaces through a mussel adhesion mechanism. We found that a rational E7/Y5 feeding ratio could lead to an optimal dual functionalization capable of not only significantly improving the biocompatibility of the implant but also enabling it to recruit endogenous BMSCs for colonization, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation. Mechanistically, the E7-assisted in situ recruitment of endogenous BMSCs as well as the enhanced interfacial osteogenesis and osteointegration was associated with activation of the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) receptor on the cell surface and promotion of stromal cell-derived factor (SDF-1α) autocrine secretion. We anticipated that rational dual-functional surfaces through bioadhesive molecular mimics will provide a simple, effective, nonimmunogenic, and safe means to improve the clinical outcomes of intraosseous implants, especially under osteoporotic conditions.
      PubDate: 06 Sep 2022
  • Adaptable Phosphate Networks towards Robust, Reprocessable, Weldable, and
           Alertable-Yet-Extinguishable Epoxy Vitrimer

    • Abstract: Covalent adaptable networks (CANs) combine the uniqueness of thermoplastics and thermosets to allow for reprocessability while being covalently crosslinked. However, it is highly desirable but rarely achieved for CANs to simultaneously demonstrate reversibility and mechanical robustness. Herein, we report a feasible strategy to develop a novel epoxy vitrimer (EV) composed of adaptable phosphate networks (APNs), by which the EVs exhibit promising mechanical properties (tensile strength of 62.5 ~ 87.8 MPa and tensile modulus of 1360.1 ~ 2975.3 MPa) under ambient conditions. At elevated temperatures, the topology rearrangement occurs relied on phosphate transesterification, which contributes to the shape memory performance, self-healing, reprocessing, and welding behaviors. Moreover, the incorporation of APNs allows for improvements in anti-ignition and also the inhibition of both heat release and smoke generation to avoid empyrosis, asphyxiation, and toxication during burning, showing expected intrinsic fire safety. Thermal, mechanical properties, and flame retardancy of the reprocessed EVs after hot pressing are very close to those of the original EVs, which is attributed to the sufficient reversibility of APNs. Accordingly, combining the aforementioned features, EVs are manufactured as flame-triggered switches for fire alarms, which symbolizes the innovative development of high-performance covalent adaptable polymeric materials.
      PubDate: 06 Oct 2022
  • Understanding a Single-Li-Ion COF Conductor for Being Dendrite Free in a
           Li-Organic Battery

    • Abstract: In addition to improving ion conductivity and the transference number, single-Li-ion conductors (SLCs) also enable the elimination of interfacial side reactions and concentration difference polarization. Therefore, the SLCs can achieve high performance in solid-state batteries with Li metal as anode and organic molecule as cathode. Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are leading candidates for constructing SLCs because of the excellent 1D channels and accurate chemical-modification skeleton. Herein, various contents of lithium-sulfonated covalently anchored COFs (denoted as LiO3S-COF1 and LiO3S-COF2) are controllably synthesized as SLCs. Due to the directional ion channels, high Li contents, and single-ion frameworks, LiO3S-COF2 shows exceptional Li-ion conductivity of , high transference number of 0.93, and low activation energy of 0.15 eV at room temperature. Such preeminent Li-ion-transported properties of LiO3S-COF2 permit stable Li+ plating/stripping in a symmetric lithium metal battery, effectively impeding the Li dendrite growth in a liquid cell. Moreover, the designed quasi-solid-state cell (organic anthraquinone (AQ) as cathode, Li metal as anode, and LiO3S-COF2 as electrolyte) shows high-capacity retention and rate behavior. Consequently, LiO3S-COF2 implies a potential value restraining the dissolution of small organic molecules and Li dendrite growth.
      PubDate: 06 Oct 2022
  • High-Precision Colorimetric Sensing by Dynamic Tracking of Solvent
           Diffusion in Hollow-Sphere Photonic Crystals

    • Abstract: Expensive instruments and complicated data processing are often required to discriminate solvents with similar structures and properties. Colorimetric sensors with high selectivity, low cost, and good portability are highly desirable to simplify such detection tasks. Herein, we report the fabrication of a photonic crystal sensor based on the self-assembled resorcinol formaldehyde (RF) hollow spheres to realize colorimetric sensing of polar solvents, including homologs and isomers based on the saturated diffusion time. The diffusion of solvent molecules through the photonic crystal film exhibits a unique three-step diffusion profile accompanied by a dynamic color change, as determined by the physicochemical properties of the solvent molecules and their interactions with the polymer shells, making it possible to accurately identify the solvent type based on the dynamic reflection spectra or visual perception. With its superior selectivity and sensitivity, this single-component colorimetric sensor represents a straightforward tool for convenient solvent detection and identification.
      PubDate: 06 May 2022
  • Synergetic Insulation and Induction Effects Selectively Optimize
           Multiresonance Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence

    • Abstract: Multiresonance (MR) emitters featuring narrowband emissions and theoretically 100% exciton harvesting are great potential for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) applications. However, how to functionalize MR molecules without scarifying emission color purity is still a key challenge. Herein, we report a feasible strategy for selective optimization of MR molecules, which is demonstrated by a blue MR emitter tCBNDASPO substituted with a diphenylphosphine oxide (DPPO) group. Compared to its DPPO-free parent molecule, tCBNDASPO preserves narrowband feature with full widths at half maximum (FWHM) values of 28 nm in film and 32 nm in OLEDs and achieves 40% increased photoluminescence (92%) and electroluminescence quantum efficiencies (28%). It is showed that insulation effect of P=O effectively confines the singlet excited state on MR core to keep emission color purity, and its induction effect enhances singlet radiation and triplet-to-singlet conversion. This synergism for selective optimization is based on rational linkage between MR core and functional groups.
      PubDate: 06 Jun 2022
  • lncRNA HITT Inhibits Lactate Production by Repressing PKM2 Oligomerization
           to Reduce Tumor Growth and Macrophage Polarization

    • Abstract: Lactic acid acidifies the tumor microenvironment and promotes multiple critical oncogenic processes, including immune evasion. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is a dominant form of pyruvate kinase (PK) expressed in cancers that plays essential roles in metabolic reprograming and lactate production, rendering it as an attractive therapeutic target of cancer. However, the mechanism underlying PKM2 regulation remains unclear. Here, we show that long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) HIF-1α inhibitor at transcription level (HITT) inhibits lactate production in a PKM2-dependent manner. Mechanistically, it physically interacts with PKM2 mapped to a region that has been involved in both dimer (less-active) and tetramer (more-active) formation, inhibiting PKM2 oligomerization and leading to dramatic reduction of PK activity. Under glucose starvation, HITT was reduced as a result of miR-106 induction, which subsequently facilitates PKM2 oligomerization and increases vulnerability to apoptosis under glucose starvation stress. In addition, the interaction also reduces lactate secretion from cancer cells, which subsequently polarizes macrophages toward an M2-like anti-inflammatory phenotype and thus possibly contributes to immune escape in vivo. This study highlights an important role of an lncRNA in regulating PKM2 activity and also reveals a metabolic regulatory effect of PKM2 on macrophage polarization.
      PubDate: 06 Jul 2022
  • Electrochemical Evaluation of Tumor Development via Cellular Interface
           Supported CRISPR/Cas Trans-Cleavage

    • Abstract: Evaluating tumor development is of great importance for clinic treatment and therapy. It has been known that the amounts of sialic acids on tumor cell membrane surface are closely associated with the degree of cancerization of the cell. So, in this work, cellular interface supported CRISPR/Cas trans-cleavage has been explored for electrochemical simultaneous detection of two types of sialic acids, i.e., N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) and N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). Specifically, PbS quantum dot-labeled DNA modified by Neu5Gc antibody is prepared to specifically recognize Neu5Gc on the cell surface, followed by the binding of Neu5Ac through our fabricated CdS quantum dot-labeled DNA modified by Sambucus nigra agglutinin. Subsequently, the activated Cas12a indiscriminately cleaves DNA, resulting in the release of PbS and CdS quantum dots, both of which can be simultaneously detected by anodic stripping voltammetry. Consequently, Neu5Gc and Neu5Ac on cell surface can be quantitatively analyzed with the lowest detection limits of 1.12 cells/mL and 1.25 cells/mL, respectively. Therefore, a ratiometric electrochemical method can be constructed for kinetic study of the expression and hydrolysis of Neu5Gc and Neu5Ac on cell surface, which can be further used as a tool to identify bladder cancer cells at different development stages. Our method to evaluate tumor development is simple and easy to be operated, so it can be potentially applied for the detection of tumor occurrence and development in the future.
      PubDate: 06 Apr 2022
  • Photothermal Nano-Vaccine Promoting Antigen Presentation and Dendritic
           Cells Infiltration for Enhanced Immunotherapy of Melanoma via Transdermal
           Microneedles Delivery

    • Abstract: Immunotherapy has demonstrated the potential to cure melanoma, while the current response rate is still unsatisfactory in clinics. Extensive evidence indicates the correlation between the efficacy and pre-existing T-cell in tumors, whereas the baseline T-cell infiltration is lacking in low-response melanoma patients. Herein, we demonstrated the critical contribution of dendritic cells (DCs) on melanoma survival and baseline T-cell level, as well as the efficacy of immunotherapy. Capitalized on this fact, we developed a photothermal nano-vaccine to simultaneously promote tumor antigens presentation and DCs infiltration for enhanced immunotherapy. The nano-vaccine was composed of polyserotonin (PST) core and tannic acid (TA)/Mn2+ coordination-based metal-organic-framework (MOF) shell for β-catenin silencing DNAzyme loading, which was further integrated into dissolving microneedles to allow noninvasive and transdermal administration at melanoma skin. The nano-vaccine could rapidly penetrate skin upon microneedles insertion and exert a synergistically amplified photothermal effect to induce immunogenic cell death (ICD). The MOF shell then dissociated and released Mn2+ as a cofactor to self-activate DNAzyme for β-catenin suppression, which in turn caused a persistent CCL4 excretion to promote the infiltration of DCs into the tumor. Meanwhile, the liberated PST core could effectively capture and facilitate tumor antigens presentation to DCs. As a result, potent antitumor efficacies were achieved for both primary and distal tumors without any extra treatment, indicating the great promise of such a nano-vaccine for on-demand personalized immunotherapy of melanoma.
      PubDate: 05 Sep 2022
  • Construction of Photoresponsive 3D Structures Based on Triphenylethylene
           Photochromic Building Blocks

    • Abstract: Photoresponsive materials have been widely used in sensing, bioimaging, molecular switches, information storage, and encryption nowadays. Although a large amount of photoresponsive materials have been reported, the construction of these smart materials into precisely prescribed complex 3D geometries is rarely studied. Here we designed a novel photoresponsive material methyl methacrylate containing triphenylethylene (TrPEF2-MA) that can be directly used for digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing. Based on TrPEF2-MA, a series of photoresponsive 3D structures with reversible color switching under ultraviolet/visible light irradiations were fabricated. These complex photoresponsive 3D structures show high resolutions (50 μm), excellent repeatability (25 cycles without fatigue), and tunable saturate color degrees. Multicomponent DLP 3D printing processes were also carried out to demonstrate their great properties in information hiding and information-carrying properties. This design strategy for constructing photoresponsive 3D structures is attractive in the area of adaptive camouflage, information hiding, information storage, and flexible electronics.
      PubDate: 05 Sep 2022
  • Ultrahigh Performance Triboelectric Nanogenerator Enabled by Charge
           Transmission in Interfacial Lubrication and Potential Decentralization

    • Abstract: Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is a promising strategy for harvesting low frequency mechanical energy. However, the bottlenecks of limited electric output by air/dielectric breakdown and poor durability by material abrasion seriously restrict its further improvement. Herein, we propose a liquid lubrication promoted sliding mode TENG to address both issues. Liquid lubrication greatly reduces interface material abrasion, and its high breakdown strength and charge transmission effect further enhance device charge density. Besides, the potential decentralization design by the voltage balance bar effectively suppresses the dielectric breakdown. In this way, the average power density up to 87.26 W·m-2·Hz-1, energy conversion efficiency of 48%, and retention output of 90% after 500,000 operation cycles are achieved, which is the highest average power density and durability currently. Finally, a cell phone is charged to turn on by a palm-sized TENG device at 2 Hz within 25 s. This work has a significance for the commercialization of TENG-based self-powered systems.
      PubDate: 05 Jul 2022
  • Substantially Enhanced Properties of 2D WS2 by High Concentration of
           Erbium Doping against Tungsten Vacancy Formation

    • Abstract: Doping in 2D materials is an important method for tuning of band structures. For this purpose, it is important to develop controllable doping techniques. Here, we demonstrate a substitutional doping strategy by erbium (Er) ions in the synthesis of monolayer WS2 by chemical vapor deposition. Substantial enhancements in photoluminescent and photoresponsive properties are achieved, which indicate a tungsten vacancy suppression mechanism by Er filling. Er ion doping in the monolayer WS2 is proved by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS), fluorescence, absorption, excitation, and Raman spectra. 11.5 at% of the maximum Er concentration is examined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Over 6 times enhancement of intensities with 7.9 nm redshift in peaks are observed from the fluorescent spectra of Er-doped WS2 monolayers compared with their counterparts of the pristine WS2 monolayers, which agrees well with the density functional theory calculations. In addition, over 11 times of dark current, 469 times of photocurrents, photoresponsivity, and external quantum efficiency, and two orders of photoresponse speed are demonstrated from the Er-doped WS2 photodetector compared with those of the pristine WS2 device. Our findings prove rare-earth doping in 2D materials, the exciting and ideal technique for substantially enhanced photoluminescent and photoresponsive properties.
      PubDate: 05 Jul 2022
  • Continuity Scaling: A Rigorous Framework for Detecting and Quantifying
           Causality Accurately

    • Abstract: Data-based detection and quantification of causation in complex, nonlinear dynamical systems is of paramount importance to science, engineering, and beyond. Inspired by the widely used methodology in recent years, the cross-map-based techniques, we develop a general framework to advance towards a comprehensive understanding of dynamical causal mechanisms, which is consistent with the natural interpretation of causality. In particular, instead of measuring the smoothness of the cross-map as conventionally implemented, we define causation through measuring the scaling law for the continuity of the investigated dynamical system directly. The uncovered scaling law enables accurate, reliable, and efficient detection of causation and assessment of its strength in general complex dynamical systems, outperforming those existing representative methods. The continuity scaling-based framework is rigorously established and demonstrated using datasets from model complex systems and the real world.
      PubDate: 04 May 2022
  • Analytical Modeling of Flowrate and Its Maxima in Electrochemical
           Bioelectronics with Drug Delivery Capabilities

    • Abstract: Flowrate control in flexible bioelectronics with targeted drug delivery capabilities is essential to ensure timely and safe delivery. For neuroscience and pharmacogenetics studies in small animals, these flexible bioelectronic systems can be tailored to deliver small drug volumes on a controlled fashion without damaging surrounding tissues from stresses induced by excessively high flowrates. The drug delivery process is realized by an electrochemical reaction that pressurizes the internal bioelectronic chambers to deform a flexible polymer membrane that pumps the drug through a network of microchannels implanted in the small animal. The flowrate temporal profile and global maximum are governed and can be modeled by the ideal gas law. Here, we obtain an analytical solution that groups the relevant mechanical, fluidic, environmental, and electrochemical terms involved in the drug delivery process into a set of three nondimensional parameters. The unique combinations of these three nondimensional parameters (related to the initial pressure, initial gas volume, and microfluidic resistance) can be used to model the flowrate and scale up the flexible bioelectronic design for experiments in medium and large animal models. The analytical solution is divided into (1) a fast variable that controls the maximum flowrate and (2) a slow variable that models the temporal profile. Together, the two variables detail the complete drug delivery process and control using the three nondimensional parameters. Comparison of the analytical model with alternative numerical models shows excellent agreement and validates the analytic modeling approach. These findings serve as a theoretical framework to design and optimize future flexible bioelectronic systems used in biomedical research, or related medical fields, and analytically control the flowrate and its global maximum for successful drug delivery.
      PubDate: 04 Mar 2022
  • Dirac Clouds around Dilatonic Black Holes

    • Abstract: Dirac cloud is in absence in general relativity since the superradiance mechanism fails to work for Dirac fields. For the first time, we find a novel mechanism to support Dirac clouds, which is independent on superradiance mechanism. We study quasibound states of Dirac particles around a charged spherical black hole in dilatonic gravity. We find that the quasibound states become real bound states when the central black hole becomes extremal. We make an intensive study of the energy spectrum of the stationary clouds for different fine structure constant and reveal the existence condition of these clouds. Our result strongly implies that extreme dilatonic black holes behave as elementary particles.
      PubDate: 04 Mar 2022
  • 3D Printed Bioinspired Stents with Photothermal Effects for Malignant
           Colorectal Obstruction

    • Abstract: Stent placement is an effective palliation therapy for malignant colorectal obstruction. However, recurrent obstruction is a common severe complication caused by tumor ingrowth into the stent lumen. Conventional covered stents play a part in preventing the tumor from growing inward but at the expense of significantly increasing the risk of stent migration. Therefore, there is an urgent demand to develop stents with sustained antitumor and antimigration abilities. Herein, we propose a facile method for fabricating multifunctional bioinspired colorectal stents using 3D printing technology. Inspired by high-adhesion biological structures (gecko feet, tree frog toe pads, and octopus suckers) in nature, different types of bioinspired colorectal stents are designed to reduce migration. After functionalization with graphene oxide (GO), bioinspired colorectal stents show excellent and controllable photothermal performance, which is validated by effective ablation of colon cancer cells in vitro and tumors in vivo. Besides, the bioinspired colorectal stents demonstrate the feasibility of transanal placement and opening of the obstructed colon. More importantly, the facile manufacturing process of multifunctional bioinspired colorectal stents is appealing for mass production. Hence, the developed multifunctional bioinspired colorectal stents exhibit a highly promising potential in clinical applications.
      PubDate: 04 Jul 2022
  • Erratum to “Responsive Inverse Opal Scaffolds with Biomimetic Enrichment
           Capability for Cell Culture”

    • PubDate: 04 Feb 2022
  • Biomimetic Alveolus-on-a-Chip for SARS-CoV-2 Infection Recapitulation

    • Abstract: SARS-CoV-2 has caused a severe pneumonia pandemic worldwide with high morbidity and mortality. How to develop a preclinical model for recapitulating SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis is still urgent and essential for the control of the pandemic. Here, we have established a 3D biomimetic alveolus-on-a-chip with mechanical strain and extracellular matrix taken into consideration. We have validated that the alveolus-on-a-chip is capable of recapitulating key physiological characteristics of human alveolar units, which lays a fundamental basis for viral infection studies at the organ level. Using virus-analogous chemicals and pseudovirus, we have explored virus pathogenesis and blocking ability of antibodies during viral infection. This work provides a favorable platform for SARS-CoV-2-related researches and has a great potential for physiology and pathophysiology studies of the human lung at the organ level in vitro.
      PubDate: 04 Feb 2022
  • trans-2-Enoyl-CoA Reductase Tecr-Driven Lipid Metabolism in Endothelial
           Cells Protects against Transcytosis to Maintain Blood-Brain Barrier

    • Abstract: The transport and metabolism of lipids in cerebrovascular endothelial cells (ECs) have been hypothesized to regulate blood-brain barrier (BBB) maturation and homeostasis. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) as the important lipids components of cell membranes are essential for the development and function of BBB, but the direct links of lipid metabolism and ECs barrier function remain to be established. Here, we comprehensively characterize the transcriptomic phenotype of developmental cerebrovascular ECs in single-cell resolution and firstly find that trans-2-enoyl-CoA reductase (Tecr), a very-long-chain fatty acid synthesis, is highly expressed during barriergenesis and decreased after BBB maturation. EC-specific knockout of Tecr compromises angiogenesis due to delayed vascular sprouting. Importantly, EC-specific deletion of Tecr loss restrictive quality of vascular permeability from neonatal stages to adulthood, with high levels of transcytosis, but maintains the vascular tight junctions. Moreover, lipidomic analysis shows that the expression of Tecr in ECs is associated with the containing of omega-3 fatty acids, which directly suppresses caveolae vesicles formation. These results reveal a protective role for Tecr in BBB integrity and suggest that Tecr as a novel therapeutic target in the central nervous system (CNS) diseases associated with BBB dysfunction.
      PubDate: 04 Apr 2022
  • Bionic Microbubble Neutrophil Composite for Inflammation-Responsive
           Atherosclerotic Vulnerable Plaque Pluripotent Intervention

    • Abstract: Rupture or erosion of inflammatory atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque is essential to acute coronary events, while the target intervene of vulnerable plaque is very challenging, due to the relatively small volume, high hemodynamic shear stress, and multifactorial nature of the lesion foci. Herein, we utilize the biological functionality of neutrophil and the versatility of microbubble in the acoustic field, to form Neu-balloon through CD11b antibody binding. The Neu-balloon inherits the advantage of neutrophils on firming the endothelium adhesion even at shear stress up to 16 dyne/cm2 and also maintains the acoustic enhancement property from the microbubble, to accumulate at atherosclerotic lesions under acoustic in an atherosclerotic Apo E-/- mice model. Interestingly, Neo-balloon also has high and broad drug loading capacity, which enables the delivery of indocyanine green and miR-126a-5p into vulnerable plagues in vivo. Overall, the bionic Neu-balloon holds great potential to boost on-demand drug transportation into plaques in vivo.
      PubDate: 03 Jun 2022
  • Underwater Monitoring Networks Based on Cable-Structured Triboelectric

    • Abstract: The importance of ocean exploration and underwater monitoring is becoming vital, due to the abundant biological, mineral, energy, and other resources in the ocean. Here, a self-powered underwater cable-based triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is demonstrated for underwater monitoring of mechanical motion/triggering, as well as searching and rescuing in the sea. Using a novel double-layer winding method combined with ferroelectric polarization, a self-powered cable-structured sensor with a stable electrical output has been manufactured, which can accurately respond to a variety of external mechanical stimuli. A self-powered cable sensing network woven using smart cables can comprehensively transmit information, such as the plane position and dive depth of a submersible. More precisely, it can analyze its direction of movement, speed, and path, along with transmitting information such as the submersible’s size and momentum. The developed self-powered sensor based on the cable-based TENG not only has low cost and simple structure but also exhibits working accuracy and stability. Finally, the proposed work provides new ideas for future seabed exploration and ocean monitoring.
      PubDate: 03 Feb 2022
  • Electrical Stimulation Enabled via Electrospun Piezoelectric Polymeric
           Nanofibers for Tissue Regeneration

    • Abstract: Electrical stimulation has demonstrated great effectiveness in the modulation of cell fate in vitro and regeneration therapy in vivo. Conventionally, the employment of electrical signal comes with the electrodes, battery, and connectors in an invasive fashion. This tedious procedure and possible infection hinder the translation of electrical stimulation technologies in regenerative therapy. Given electromechanical coupling and flexibility, piezoelectric polymers can overcome these limitations as they can serve as a self-powered stimulator via scavenging mechanical force from the organism and external stimuli wirelessly. Wireless electrical cue mediated by electrospun piezoelectric polymeric nanofibers constitutes a promising paradigm allowing the generation of localized electrical stimulation both in a noninvasive manner and at cell level. Recently, numerous studies based on electrospun piezoelectric nanofibers have been carried out in electrically regenerative therapy. In this review, brief introduction of piezoelectric polymer and electrospinning technology is elucidated first. Afterward, we highlight the activating strategies (e.g., cell traction, physiological activity, and ultrasound) of piezoelectric stimulation and the interaction of piezoelectric cue with nonelectrically/electrically excitable cells in regeneration medicine. Then, quantitative comparison of the electrical stimulation effects using various activating strategies on specific cell behavior and various cell types is outlined. Followingly, this review explores the present challenges in electrospun nanofiber-based piezoelectric stimulation for regeneration therapy and summarizes the methodologies which may be contributed to future efforts in this field for the reality of this technology in the clinical scene. In the end, a summary of this review and future perspectives toward electrospun nanofiber-based piezoelectric stimulation in tissue regeneration are elucidated.
      PubDate: 03 Aug 2022
  • CNS Organoid Surpasses Cell-Laden Microgel Assembly to Promote Spinal Cord
           Injury Repair

    • Abstract: The choice of therapeutic agents remains an unsolved issue in the repair of spinal cord injury. In this work, various agents and configurations were investigated and compared for their performance in promoting nerve regeneration, including bead assembly and bulk gel of collagen and Matrigel, under acellular and cell-laden conditions, and cerebral organoid (CO) as the in vitro preorganized agent. First, in Matrigel-based agents and the CO transplantations, the recipient animal gained more axon regeneration and the higher Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scoring than the grafted collagen gels. Second, new nerves more uniformly infiltrated into the transplants in bead form assembly than the molded chunks. Third, the materials loaded the neural progenitor cells (NPCs) or the CO implantation groups received more regenerated nerve fibers than their acellular counterparts, suggesting the necessity to transplant exogenous cells for large trauma (e.g., a 5 mm long spinal cord transect). In addition, the activated microglial cells might benefit from neural regeneration after receiving CO transplantation in the recipient animals. The organoid augmentation may suggest that in vitro maturation of a microtissue complex is necessary before transplantation and proposes organoids as the premium therapeutic agents for nerve regeneration.
      PubDate: 03 Aug 2022
  • Remote Measurement of the Angular Velocity Vector Based on Vectorial
           Doppler Effect Using Air-Core Optical Fiber

    • Abstract: Rotational Doppler effect has made tremendous development in both theoretical and applied research over the last decade. Different from the inertial thinking of focusing on the scalar field dominated by helical phase light, we have revealed a vectorial Doppler effect in our previous work, which is based on the spatially variant polarized light fields to simultaneously acquire the speed and direction of a target. Here, further, we propose a method to construct a flexible and robust velocimeter based on that novel effect by employing an air-core fiber with kilometer-length scale for remotely measuring the vectorial information of angular velocity in situ. In addition, we experimentally substantiate that the measurement system still has commendable accuracy in determining the direction of movement even when the air-core fiber is interfered by the external environment. The demonstrations prove the potential of vectorial Doppler effect in practical scenarios and remote measurements.
      PubDate: 02 Sep 2022
  • Activation of Pancreatic Acinar FXR Protects against Pancreatitis via
           Osgin1-Mediated Restoration of Efficient Autophagy

    • Abstract: Pancreatitis is the leading cause of hospitalization in gastroenterology, and no medications are available for treating this disease in current clinical practice. FXR plays an anti-inflammatory role in diverse inflammatory diseases, while its function in pancreatitis remains unknown. In this study, we initially observed a marked increase of nuclear FXR in pancreatic tissues of human patients with pancreatitis. Deleting the FXR in pancreatic acinar cells (FXRacinarΔ/Δ) led to more severe pancreatitis in mouse models of caerulein-induced acute and chronic pancreatitis, while the FXR agonist GW4064 significantly attenuated pancreatitis in caerulein or arginine-induced acute pancreatitis and caerulein-induced chronic pancreatitis. FXR deletion impaired the viability and stress responses of pancreatic exocrine organoids (PEOs) in vitro. Utilizing RNA-seq and ChIP-seq of PEOs, we identified Osgin1 as a direct target of FXR in the exocrine pancreas, which was also increasingly expressed in human pancreatitis tissues compared to normal pancreatic tissues. Pancreatic knockdown of Osgin1 by AAV-pan abolished the therapeutic effects of FXR activation on pancreatitis, whereas pancreatic overexpression of Osgin1 effectively alleviated caerulein-induced pancreatitis. Mechanistically, we found that the FXR-OSGIN1 axis stimulated autophagic flux in the pancreatic tissues and cell lines, which was considered as the intrinsic mechanisms through which FXR-OSGIN1 protecting against pancreatitis. Our results highlight the protective role of the FXR-OSGIN1 axis in pancreatitis and provided a new target for the treatment of this disease.
      PubDate: 02 Nov 2022
  • A Scalable Bacterial Cellulose Ionogel for Multisensory Electronic Skin

    • Abstract: Electronic skin (e-skin), a new generation of flexible electronics, has drawn interest in soft robotics, artificial intelligence, and biomedical devices. However, most existing e-skins involve complex preparation procedures and are characterized by single-sensing capability and insufficient scalability. Here, we report on a one-step strategy in which a thermionic source is used for the in situ molecularization of bacterial cellulose polymeric fibers into molecular chains, controllably constructing an ionogel with a scalable mode for e-skin. The synergistic effect of a molecular-scale hydrogen bond interweaving network and a nanoscale fiber skeleton confers a robust tensile strength (up to 7.8 MPa) and high ionic conductivity (up to 62.58 mS/cm) on the as-developed ionogel. Inspired by the tongue to engineer the perceptual patterns in this ionogel, we present a smart e-skin with the perfect combination of excellent ion transport and discriminability, showing six stimulating responses to pressure, touch, temperature, humidity, magnetic force, and even astringency. This study proposes a simple, efficient, controllable, and sustainable approach toward a low-carbon, versatile, and scalable e-skin design and structure–performance development.
      PubDate: 02 Jun 2022
  • Create Machine Vision Inspired by Eagle Eye

    • Abstract: Eagle, a representative species in the raptor world, has the sharpest visual acuity among all animals. The reputation of the “clairvoyance” is employed to describe an eagle. The excellent visual skills of eagles depend on their unique eye structures and special visual principles. The powerful vision perception mechanisms of the eagle bring abundant inspiration for traditional visual applications. Biological eagle eye vision technology provides a creative way to solve visual perception issues of “Knowing What is Where by Seeing.” The theoretical research and practical works of eagle vision would contribute to the development of machine vision, or even artificial intelligence (AI) in the real world. Furthermore, eagle eye vision also provides feasible ideas for the popularization of new concepts in the virtual world in the future.
      PubDate: 02 Jun 2022
  • Flexible Ti3C2Tx/(Aramid Nanofiber/PVA) Composite Films for Superior
           Electromagnetic Interference Shielding

    • Abstract: Multifunctional electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding materials would solve electromagnetic radiation and pollution problems from electronic devices. Herein, the directional freeze-drying technology is utilized to prepare the aramid nanofiber/polyvinyl alcohol aerogel with a directionally porous structure (D-ANF/PVA), and the dispersion is fully immersed into the D-ANF/PVA aerogel via ultrasonication and vacuum-assisted impregnation. Ti3C2T/(ANF/PVA) EMI shielding composite films with directionally ordered structure (D-Ti3C2T/(ANF/PVA)) are then prepared by freeze-drying and hot pressing. Constructing a directionally porous structure enables the highly conductive Ti3C2T nanosheets to be wrapped on the directionally porous D-ANF/PVA framework in order arrangement and overlapped with each other. And the hot pressing process effectively reduces the layer spacing between the stacked wavy D-ANF/PVA, to form a large number of Ti3C2T-Ti3C2T continuous conductive paths, which significantly improves the conductivity of the D-Ti3C2T/(ANF/PVA) EMI shielding composite film. When the amount of Ti3C2T is 80 wt%, the EMI shielding effectiveness (EMI SE) and specific SE () of D-Ti3C2T/(ANF/PVA) EMI shielding composite film achieve 70 dB and 13790 dB·cm2·g-1 (thickness and density of 120 μm and 0.423 g·cm-3), far superior to random-structured Ti3C2T/(ANF/PVA) (R-Ti3C2T/(ANF/PVA)) composite film (46 dB and 9062 dB·cm2·g-1, respectively) via blending-freeze-drying followed by hot pressing technology. Meanwhile, the D-Ti3C2T/(ANF/PVA) EMI shielding composite film possesses excellent flexibility and foldability.
      PubDate: 02 Feb 2022
  • Advances in the Emerging Gradient Designs of Li Metal Hosts

    • Abstract: Developing host has been recognized a potential countermeasure to circumvent the intrinsic drawbacks of Li metal anode (LMA), such as uncontrolled dendrite growth, unstable solid electrolyte interface, and infinite volume fluctuations. To realize proper Li accommodation, particularly bottom-up deposition of Li metal, gradient designs of host materials including lithiophilicity and/or conductivity have attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. However, a critical and specialized review on this quickly evolving topic is still absent. In this review, we attempt to comprehensively summarize and update the related advances in guiding Li nucleation and deposition. First, the fundamentals regarding Li deposition are discussed, with particular attention to the gradient design principles of host materials. Correspondingly, the progress of creating different gradients in terms of lithiophilicity, conductivity, and their hybrid is systematically reviewed. Finally, future challenges and perspective on the gradient design of advanced hosts towards practical LMAs are provided, which would provide a useful guidance for future studies.
      PubDate: 02 Aug 2022
  • Design Strategy for Vulcanization Accelerator of
           Diphenylguanidine/Cyclodextrin Inclusion Complex for Natural Rubber Latex
           Foam with Enhancing Performance

    • Abstract: Vulcanization is an essential process to obtain high-performance rubber products. Diphenylguanidine (DPG) is often used as the secondary accelerator in the vulcanization process of natural rubber (NR) latex. However, DPG would make NR latex emulsion exhibit gelation, resulting in the negative vulcanization efficiency. In addition, exposure to DPG might lead to some physiological diseases during the production process of DPG doped NR latex. Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) with the hydrophobic interior and hydrophilic exterior has the advantages of good water solubility, high bioavailability, reliable stability, and low toxicity. In this study, the inclusion complex of diphenylguanidine-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (DPG-HP-β-CD) is prepared by ball milling with a host-guest molar ratio of 1 : 1, which has also been applied to the foaming process of NR latex. The mechanical properties of DPG-HP-β-CD inclusion complex/natural rubber latex foam (DPG-HP-β-CD/NRLF) have been significantly improved, including the tensile strength, elongation at break, hardness, compression set, resilience, and antiaging performance. Further, the usage of DPG has been reduced, leading to the reduction of toxicity and environmental hazards.
      PubDate: 01 Sep 2022
  • Pollen-Inspired Photonic Barcodes with Prickly Surface for Multiplex
           Exosome Capturing and Screening

    • Abstract: Exosomes, which play an important role in intercellular communication, are closely related to the pathogenesis of disease. However, their effective capture and multiplex screening are still challenging. Here, inspired by the unique structure of pollens, we present novel photonic crystal (PhC) barcodes with prickly surface by hydrothermal synthesis for multiplex exosome capturing and screening. These pollen-inspired PhC barcodes are imparted with extremely high specific surface area and excellent prickly surface nanostructures, which can improve the capture rate and detection sensitivity of exosomes. As the internal periodic structures are kept during the hydrothermal synthesis process, the pollen-inspired PhC barcodes exhibit obvious and stable structural colors for identification, which enables multiplex detection of exosomes. Thus, the pollen-inspired PhC barcodes can not only effectively capture and enrich cancer-related exosomes but also support multiplex screening of exosomes with high sensitivity. These features make the prickly PhC barcodes ideal for the analysis of exosomes in medical diagnosis.
      PubDate: 01 Sep 2022
  • Ultrafast Preparation of Nonequilibrium FeNi Spinels by Magnetic Induction
           Heating for Unprecedented Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysis

    • Abstract: Carbon-supported nanocomposites are attracting particular attention as high-performance, low-cost electrocatalysts for electrochemical water splitting. These are mostly prepared by pyrolysis and hydrothermal procedures that are time-consuming (from hours to days) and typically difficult to produce a nonequilibrium phase. Herein, for the first time ever, we exploit magnetic induction heating-quenching for ultrafast production of carbon-FeNi spinel oxide nanocomposites (within seconds), which exhibit an unprecedentedly high performance towards oxygen evolution reaction (OER), with an ultralow overpotential of only +260 mV to reach the high current density of 100 mA cm-2. Experimental and theoretical studies show that the rapid heating and quenching process (ca. 103 K s-1) impedes the Ni and Fe phase segregation and produces a Cl-rich surface, both contributing to the remarkable catalytic activity. Results from this study highlight the unique advantage of ultrafast heating/quenching in the structural engineering of functional nanocomposites to achieve high electrocatalytic performance towards important electrochemical reactions.
      PubDate: 01 Jun 2022
  • Targeting the LSD1-G9a-ER Stress Pathway as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy
           for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    • Abstract: Despite recent advances in the management and treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the prognosis remains extremely poor, and current nonsurgical treatment options are limited. To identify new therapeutic targets, we screened a curated library of epigenetic compounds using a panel of cancer cell lines and found that coinhibiting the histone demethylase LSD1 and the histone methyltransferase G9a potently suppresses cell growth; similar results were obtained by knocking down both LSD1 and G9a expression. Importantly, we also found that inhibiting LSD1 and G9a significantly decreased tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model with ESCC cell lines. To examine the clinical relevance of these findings, we performed immunohistochemical analyses of microarray profiling data obtained from human esophageal squamous cancer tissues and found that both LSD1 and G9a are upregulated in cancer tissues compared to healthy tissues, and this increased expression was significantly correlated with poor prognosis. Mechanistically, we discovered that inhibiting LSD1 and G9a induces cell death via S-phase arrest and apoptosis, and cotargeting ER stress pathways increased this effect both in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, these findings provide compelling evidence that targeting LSD1, G9a, and ER stress-related pathways may serve as a viable therapeutic strategy for ESCC.
      PubDate: 01 Jun 2022
  • Structural Comparison and Drug Screening of Spike Proteins of Ten
           SARS-CoV-2 Variants

    • Abstract: SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has evolved many variants with stronger infectivity and immune evasion than the original strain, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Kappa, Iota, Lambda, and 21H strains. Amino acid mutations are enriched in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which plays a crucial role in cell infection. However, the impact of these mutations on protein structure and function is unclear. Understanding the pathophysiology and pandemic features of these SARS-CoV-2 variants requires knowledge of the spike protein structures. Here, we obtained the spike protein structures of 10 main globally endemic SARS-CoV-2 strains using AlphaFold2. The clustering analysis based on structural similarity revealed the unique features of the mainly pandemic SARS-CoV-2 Delta variants, indicating that structural clusters can reflect the current characteristics of the epidemic more accurately than those based on the protein sequence. The analysis of the binding affinities of ACE2-RBD, antibody-NTD, and antibody-RBD complexes in the different variants revealed that the recognition of antibodies against S1 NTD and RBD was decreased in the variants, especially the Delta variant compared with the original strain, which may induce the immune evasion of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Furthermore, by virtual screening the ZINC database against a high-accuracy predicted structure of Delta spike protein and experimental validation, we identified multiple compounds that target S1 NTD and RBD, which might contribute towards the development of clinical anti-SARS-CoV-2 medicines. Our findings provided a basic foundation for future in vitro and in vivo investigations that might speed up the development of potential therapies for the SARS-CoV-2 variants.
      PubDate: 01 Feb 2022
  • Dielectric Manipulated Charge Dynamics in Contact Electrification

    • Abstract: Surface charge density has been demonstrated to be significantly impacted by the dielectric properties of tribomaterials. However, the ambiguous physical mechanism of dielectric manipulated charge behavior still restricts the construction of high-performance tribomaterials. Here, using the atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy, an in situ method was conducted to investigate the contact electrification and charge dynamics on a typical tribomaterial (i.e., BaTiO3/PVDF-TrFE nanocomposite) at nanoscale. Combined with the characterization of triboelectric device at macroscale, it is found that the number of transferred electrons increases with contact force/area and tends to reach saturation under increased friction cycles. The incorporated high permittivity BaTiO3 nanoparticles enhance the capacitance and electron trapping capability of the nanocomposites, efficiently inhibiting the lateral diffusion of electrons and improving the output performance of the triboelectric devices. Exponential decay of the surface potential is observed over monitoring time for all dielectric samples. At high BaTiO3 loadings, more electrons can drift into the bulk and combine with the induced charges on the back electrode, forming a large leakage current and accordingly accelerating the electron dissipation. Hence, the charge trapping/storing and dissipating, as well as the charge attracting properties, should be comprehensively considered in the design of high-performance tribomaterials.
      PubDate: 01 Feb 2022
  • Bioimaging of Dissolvable Microneedle Arrays: Challenges and Opportunities

    • Abstract: The emergence of microneedle arrays (MNAs) as a novel, simple, and minimally invasive administration approach largely addresses the challenges of traditional drug delivery. In particular, the dissolvable MNAs act as a promising, multifarious, and well-controlled platform for micro-nanotransport in medical research and cosmetic formulation applications. The effective delivery mostly depends on the behavior of the MNAs penetrated into the body, and accurate assessment is urgently needed. Advanced imaging technologies offer high sensitivity and resolution visualization of cross-scale, multidimensional, and multiparameter information, which can be used as an important aid for the evaluation and development of new MNAs. The combination of MNA technology and imaging can generate considerable new knowledge in a cost-effective manner with regards to the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of active substances for the treatment of various diseases. In addition, noninvasive imaging techniques allow rapid, receptive assessment of transdermal penetration and drug deposition in various tissues, which could greatly facilitate the translation of experimental MNAs into clinical application. Relying on the recent promising development of bioimaging, this review is aimed at summarizing the current status, challenges, and future perspective on in vivo assessment of MNA drug delivery by various imaging technologies.
      PubDate: 01 Aug 2022
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Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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