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  • ISSN: 2334-1815
    Special Issue on
    Research at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
    James G. Ryan*
    Faculty members at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) authored six papers in this special issue of JSM Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine. As the founding dean of JSNN, I thought a brief introduction to our school might be useful for you and your readers because JSNN is a relatively new school.
    Research Article
    Jianjun Wei1*, Matthew Kofke2, Sameer Singhal3 and David H. Waldeck2*
    Abstract: Ordered arrays of nanostructures in thin metal (Au) films have been studied for localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensing with a transmission spectral mode. We report on a nanoslit array device that is designed to permit extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) with a tunable primary peak in the visible to near infrared range and a spectral shape and light transmission that is determined by surface plasmon manipulation in the embedded gold film. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulation studies show that a nanoslit array device can provide a well-defined transmission resonance and display a monotonically increasing value of the resonance peak wavelength, λmax, with increasing period. Simulations studies show that the refractive index (RI) changes occurring on the in-slit gold surfaces contribute the most to the resonance transmission wavelength shift, suggesting that the strong confinement of LSPR in the narrow slit region is the origin of the sensitive RI response. These planar nanoslit arraydevices were used to detect the ligand binding protein, β-lactoglobulin (β-LG), with functionalization of specific binding retinals linked via a self-assembled monolayer at the array surfaces. These results illustrate the promise ofnanoslit arrays for LSPR bio-detection in a lab-on-chip device platform.
    Tajkarimi M1, Iyer D1, Tarrannum M1, Cunningham Q2, Sharpe I2, Harrison SH2 and Graves JL1*
    Abstract: Silver nanoparticles are being increasingly used as antimicrobials. The shapes, sizes, and coatings of silver nanoparticles are factors known to individually influence the release of silver ions (Ag+) and thereby their effectiveness. However, size and coating effects have not been investigated in combination. This experiment investigates the effect of size and coating of spherical silver nanoparticles specifically 10 nm spherical (citrate-coated, polyvinylpyrrolidone --PVP-coated), 40nm spherical (citrate-coated, PVP-coated) and bulk silver nitrate on the gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli. We found that citrate coatings and smaller sizes of silver nanoparticles had significantly higher antimicrobial effect against Escherichia coli MG1655 compared to larger PVP-coated nanoparticles, while bulk silver nitrate was most effective. Thus, with regard to a gram-negative bacterium, the positively-charged citrate coating was more effective than the negatively-charged PVP coating. This indicates that care must be taken to determine the best type of silver nanoparticles to use against different bacterial species, and that the cellular composition and environment of bacteria may be expected to influence nanoparticle effectiveness.
    Richard Stall1, Adam Boseman2, JijinYang3, Dennis La Jeunesse1,2 and Yashomati M. Patel1*
    Abstract: Structural changes at the plasma membrane of adipocytes are critical to proper insulin stimulated glucose uptake and thus glucose homeostasis. Insulin stimulates the fusion of insulin responsive glucose transporters (GLUT4) containing vesicles at the plasma membrane in adipocytes. Previous studies have focused on the molecular and cellular events required for GLUT4 vesicle fusion, however the structural changes occurring at the plasma membrane are less well characterized. In order to investigate the changes that occur at the plasma membrane upon insulin stimulation we first had to visualize the plasma membrane surface at the nanometer scale. Helium ion microscopy (HIM) is a new technology that allows for high resolution visualization of nanostructures without the need for sample coating. In order to visualize adipocytes plasma membrane surfaces, we first had to develop a protocol for sample preparation to maintain the detail and contrast of nanostructures for imaging by HIM. Our findings show that our sample preparation protocol allows for the visualization of plasma membrane textures and nanostructures. We further show nano structural details of the inner surface of adipocyte plasma membranes by imaging plasma membrane sheets. Finally we examined 3T3-L1 preadipocytes at various stages of differentiation to visualize the structural changes occurring in the conversion of fibroblastic preadipocytes into mature adipocytes. Our results show the unique membrane textures and nanostructures present on various cell types. Taken together, we established a protocol for sample preparation of preadipocytes and adipocyte for the HIM that allows for high resolution visualization of nanostructures on both the cytoplasmic and exofacial surfaces of the plasma membrane.
    Mahdi Ghazizadeh1, Joseph E. Estevez2, Ajit D. Kelkar1* and James G. Ryan2
    Abstract: Mechanical properties of Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes (HBNNTs) were predicted using Molecular Dynamic (MD) simulations. Five armchair BNNTs with different diameters ranging from 0.542 nm to 5.56 nm were hydrogenated on all Nitrogen atoms in their structures. Energy minimization and geometry optimization were performed. MD simulations were then conducted on HBNNTs using ensemble NVT (fixed number of atom, volume and temperature) and NPT (fixed number of atom, pressure and temperature). The Young`s Modulus was obtained using a linear regression to extrapolate the data to the theoretical density of the tubes. MD simulations results show that there is a decrease in Young`s Modulus of BNNTs`when H atomsbonded to all Nitrogen atoms in the system.
    Alan J. Covell and Dennis La Jeunesse*
    Abstract: Nanostructures have a profound effect on cellular behavior. Nanostructures have been shown to effect cellular adhesion, proliferation and differentiation in a myriad of cell types in various ways. Cells interact with nanostructures as small as 10 nm; however there is not a clear understanding of whether cells interact with anything smaller. In this study we investigate the role that sub-10nm sized features play oncellulargrowth and morphology by comparing the growth and morphological responses of MDCK epithelial cells and NIH3T3 fibroblasts cultured on an ultra-flat/atomically flat, “nanosmooth”Silicon (Si) Wafer and a “nanorough”Glass coverslip substrate. We have found that loss of sub 10 nm features results in profound alteration to the growth of MDCK epithelial cells and alters cell morphology and actin cytoskeletal organization. Theseresults demonstrate the importance of considering nanoscale structure, even irregular structure, during device design.
    Mini Review
    Joseph L. Graves*
    Metallic and metallic oxide nanoparticles are being hailed by some as a powerful new weapon against multi-drug resistant bacteria [1]. Their effectiveness against both bacteria and viruses are due to their high surface-to-volume ratio and their unique chemical and physical properties. Clearly there is an urgent need for new approaches to control multidrug resistant bacteria. These organisms are rapidly becoming a crucial concern for modern agriculture and medicine. For example in 2013, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) killed more people in the USA than Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-AIDS), hepatitis B, and tuberculosis combined.
    Review Article
    Srinivas G, Ochije H, Mohan R*
    Abstract: Proteins are building blocks of biological systems and play an important role from the health and medical perspective in the drug reactions and efficiency. Proteins function well in their natural water solvent environments and are influenced by modified solvent environments such as alcohol. Effect of protein-solvent interaction on the protein structure is widely studied with experimental and computational techniques. However, molecular level understanding of proteins interaction with many solvents is still not fully understood. The present work aims to obtain a detailed understanding of solvent effect on lysozyme protein, using water, ethanol, and different concentrations of water-ethanol mixtures as solvents. We use detailed atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to study using GROMACS code. Compared to neat water environment, the lysozome structure shows remarkable changes in water-ethanol mixed solvent, with increasing ethanol concentration. Significant changes were observed in the protein secondary structure involving alpha helices. We found that increasing ethanol concentration results in a systematic increase in total energy, enthalpy, root mean square deviation (RMSD), and radius of gyration of lysozyme protein. A polynomial interpolation approach is presented to determine these quantities for any intermediate alcohol percentage, and compared with the values obtained from a full MD simulation. Results from MD simulation were in good agreement with those obtained from the interpolation approach. The polynomial approach eliminates the need for computationally intensive full MD analysis for the concentrations within the range (0-12%) studied.
  • Current Issue Highlights
  • Principles and applications of dielectrophoresis (DEP) of biomolecules, suspended in aqueous medium, are reviewed.

    In this work, microporous TiO2 photocatalyst (IL-TiO2) with high photocatalytic performance was prepared via a sol-gel method using the ionic solvent

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