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Feb 2023 • Biosensors 13 (3), 304, 2023

Magnetite-Based Biosensors and Molecular Logic Gates: From Magnetite Synthesis to Application

Nataliia Dudchenko, Shweta Pawar, Ilana Perelshtein, Dror Fixler

In the last few decades, point-of-care (POC) sensors have become increasingly important in the detection of various targets for the early diagnostics and treatment of diseases. Diverse nanomaterials are used as building blocks for the development of smart biosensors and magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) are among them. The intrinsic properties of MNPs, such as their large surface area, chemical stability, ease of functionalization, high saturation magnetization, and more, mean they have great potential for use in biosensors. Moreover, the unique characteristics of MNPs, such as their response to external magnetic fields, allow them to be easily manipulated (concentrated and redispersed) in fluidic media. As they are functionalized with biomolecules, MNPs bear high sensitivity and selectivity towards the detection of target biomolecules, which means they are advantageous in biosensor development and lead to a more sensitive, rapid, and accurate identification and quantification of target analytes. Due to the abovementioned properties of functionalized MNPs and their unique magnetic characteristics, they could be employed in the creation of new POC devices, molecular logic gates, and new biomolecular-based biocomputing interfaces, which would build on new ideas and principles. The current review outlines the synthesis, surface coverage, and functionalization of MNPs, as well as recent advancements in magnetite-based biosensors for POC diagnostics and some perspectives in molecular logic, and it also contains some of our own results regarding the topic, which include synthetic MNPs, their application for sample preparation, and the …

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Feb 2023 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2302.00726

Quantum Engines and Refrigerators

Loris Maria Cangemi, Chitrak Bhadra, Amikam Levy

Engines are systems and devices that convert one form of energy into another, typically into a more useful form that can perform work. In the classical setup, physical, chemical, and biological engines largely involve the conversion of heat into work. This energy conversion is at the core of thermodynamic laws and principles and is codified in textbook material. In the quantum regime, however, the principles of energy conversion become ambiguous, since quantum phenomena come into play. As with classical thermodynamics, fundamental principles can be explored through engines and refrigerators, but, in the quantum case, these devices are miniaturized and their operations involve uniquely quantum effects. Our work provides a broad overview of this active field of quantum engines and refrigerators, reviewing the latest theoretical proposals and experimental realizations. We cover myriad aspects of these devices, starting with the basic concepts of quantum analogs to the classical thermodynamic cycle and continuing with different quantum features of energy conversion that span many branches of quantum mechanics. These features include quantum fluctuations that become dominant in the microscale, non-thermal resources that fuel the engines, and the possibility of scaling up the working medium's size, to account for collective phenomena in many-body heat engines. Furthermore, we review studies of quantum engines operating in the strong system-bath coupling regime and those that include non-Markovian phenomena. Recent advances in thermoelectric devices and quantum information perspectives, including quantum measurement …

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Feb 2023 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2302.00650

Multipartite entanglement detection via correlation minor norm

Rain Lenny, Amit Te'eni, Bar Y Peled, Avishy Carmi, Eliahu Cohen

Entanglement is a uniquely quantum resource giving rise to many quantum technologies. It is therefore important to detect and characterize entangled states, but this is known to be a challenging task, especially for multipartite mixed states. The correlation minor norm (CMN) was recently suggested as a bipartite entanglement detector employing bounds on the quantum correlation matrix. In this paper we explore generalizations of the CMN to multipartite systems based on matricizations of the correlation tensor. It is shown that the CMN is able to detect and differentiate classes of multipartite entangled states. We further analyze the correlations within the reduced density matrices and show their significance for entanglement detection. Finally, we employ matricizations of the correlation tensor for introducing a measure of global quantum discord.

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Feb 2023 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2302.00705

Quantum circuits measuring weak values and Kirkwood-Dirac quasiprobability distributions, with applications

Rafael Wagner, Zohar Schwartzman-Nowik, Ismael L Paiva, Amit Te'eni, Antonio Ruiz-Molero, Rui Soares Barbosa, Eliahu Cohen, Ernesto F Galvão

Weak values and Kirkwood--Dirac (KD) quasiprobability distributions have been independently associated with both foundational issues in quantum theory and advantages in quantum metrology. We propose simple quantum circuits to measure weak values, KD distributions, and density matrix spectra without the need for post-selection. This is achieved by measuring unitary-invariant, relational properties of quantum states, as functions of Bargmann invariants. Our circuits also enable direct experimental implementation of various applications of KD distributions, such as out-of-time-ordered correlators (OTOCs) and the quantum Fisher information in post-selected parameter estimation, among others. This results in a unified view of nonclassicality in all those tasks. In particular, we discuss how negativity and imaginarity of Bargmann invariants relate to set coherence.

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Feb 2023 • Results in Surfaces and Interfaces

In-situ design of hierarchical durable silica-based coatings on polypropylene films with superhydrophilic, superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties

Naftali Kanovsky, Taly Iline-Vul, Shlomo Margel

Superhydrophobic surfaces are receiving increasing attention due to their real-world applications. However, these surfaces suffer from a lack of durability and complicated synthetic processes. This research uses a combination of a simple in-situ coating process between oxygen-activated polypropylene films and unreacted silane monomers. The in-situ process uses a modified Stöber method with the addition of the surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) which aggregates silica (SiO 2) particles in a basic aqueous solution. This resulted in a layer of covalently bonded hierarchical coating of individual and aggregated SiO 2 “flakes” and particles. These coatings were found to have at least double the surface roughness than samples prepared without CTAB with superhydrophilic properties due to their high surface roughness and hydrophilic surface chemical groups. A second layer of fluorocarbon silane …

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Feb 2023 • Batteries 9 (2), 110, 2023

Recent Progress in Solid Electrolytes for All-Solid-State Metal (Li/Na)–Sulfur Batteries

Ravindra Kumar Bhardwaj, David Zitoun

Metal–sulfur batteries, especially lithium/sodium–sulfur (Li/Na-S) batteries, have attracted widespread attention for large-scale energy application due to their superior theoretical energy density, low cost of sulfur compared to conventional lithium-ion battery (LIBs) cathodes and environmental sustainability. Despite these advantages, metal–sulfur batteries face many fundamental challenges which have put them on the back foot. The use of ether-based liquid electrolyte has brought metal–sulfur batteries to a critical stage by causing intermediate polysulfide dissolution which results in poor cycling life and safety concerns. Replacement of the ether-based liquid electrolyte by a solid electrolyte (SEs) has overcome these challenges to a large extent. This review describes the recent development and progress of solid electrolytes for all-solid-state Li/Na-S batteries. This article begins with a basic introduction to metal–sulfur batteries and explains their challenges. We will discuss the drawbacks of the using liquid organic electrolytes and the advantages of replacing liquid electrolytes with solid electrolytes. This article will also explain the fundamental requirements of solid electrolytes in meeting the practical applications of all solid-state metal–sulfur batteries, as well as the electrode–electrolyte interfaces of all solid-state Li/Na-S batteries.

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Feb 2023 • Cold Spring Harbor Protocols

Courtship conditioning/suppression assays in Drosophila

Anne C von Philipsborn, Galit Shohat-Ophir, Carolina Rezaval

Naive males court both virgin and mated females but learn through experience to discriminate between them, thus minimizing futile investments in nonreceptive female flies. In the laboratory, we can exploit the innate courtship enthusiasm of males and manipulate their behavior by placing them with a nonreceptive female (immature virgin females, decapitated mature virgin females, or mature mated females), termed as the courtship suppression/conditioning assay. Early studies showed that male flies that experience failure to mate upon interaction with nonreceptive previously mated females show decreased motivation to court (courtship suppression). Courtship suppression is an important experimental paradigm for studying genes and neuronal circuits that mediate short-and long-term memory. The anti-aphrodisiac male-specific pheromone 11-cis-vaccenyl-acetate plays a key role in this conditioned response, as …

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Feb 2023 • Pharmaceutics 15 (2), 686, 2023

Bioimaging Probes Based on Magneto-Fluorescent Nanoparticles

Sayan Ganguly, Shlomo Margel

Novel nanomaterials are of interest in biology, medicine, and imaging applications. Multimodal fluorescent-magnetic nanoparticles demand special attention because they have the potential to be employed as diagnostic and medication-delivery tools, which, in turn, might make it easier to diagnose and treat cancer, as well as a wide variety of other disorders. The most recent advancements in the development of magneto-fluorescent nanocomposites and their applications in the biomedical field are the primary focus of this review. We describe the most current developments in synthetic methodologies and methods for the fabrication of magneto-fluorescent nanocomposites. The primary applications of multimodal magneto-fluorescent nanoparticles in biomedicine, including biological imaging, cancer treatment, and drug administration, are covered in this article, and an overview of the future possibilities for these technologies is provided.

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Feb 2023 • Nanophotonics

Digital laser-induced printing of MoS2

Adamantia Logotheti, Adi Levi, Doron Naveh, Leonidas Tsetseris, Ioanna Zergioti

Due to their atomic-scale thickness, handling and processing of two-dimensional (2D) materials often require multistep techniques whose complexity hampers their large-scale integration in modern device applications. Here we demonstrate that the laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) method can achieve the one-step, nondestructive printing of the prototypical 2D material MoS2. By selecting the optimal LIFT experimental conditions, we were able to transfer arrays of MoS2 pixels from a metal donor substrate to a dielectric receiver substrate. A combination of various characterization techniques has confirmed that the transfer of intact MoS2 monolayers is not only feasible, but it can also happen without incurring significant defect damage during the process. The successful transfer of MoS2 shows the broad potential the LIFT technique has in the emerging field of printed electronics, including printed devices based …

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Feb 2023 • Biophysical Journal

Towards precise optical measurements of steady state of and small changes in resting membrane potentials

Debjit Roy, Xavier Michalet, Kiran Bharadwaj, Evan W Miller, Yijie Wang, Arjun Deb, Michael A Wayne, Claudio Bruschini, Edoardo Charbon, Mahbanoo Vakili, Robert Gunsalus, Robert T Clubb, Shimon Weiss

While great progress has been achieved in developing optical methods for measuring fast changes in membrane potential (like action potentials) in excitable cells, less progress has been made in precise (and calibrated) measurements of steady state resting membrane potentials (RMPs) and small changes in RMPs (in excitable or non-excitable cells). In excitable cells, small changes in RMPs are associated with multiple physiological processes such as sub-threshold events in neuronal signaling and in synaptic plasticity. They also play an important role in cell differentiation and proliferation of cardiomyocytes. In non-excitable cells, such as bacterial colonies, RMP changes play important roles in intercellular communication, coordination, metabolism, and stress response. Accurate and precise recordings of minute RMP changes require noise-immune optical tools. We have been developing an RMP (calibrated …

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Feb 2023 • Pharmaceutics 15 (2), 686, 2023

Bioimaging probes based on magneto-fluorescent nanoparticles

Sayan Ganguly, Shlomo Margel

Novel nanomaterials are of interest in biology, medicine, and imaging applications. Multimodal fluorescent-magnetic nanoparticles demand special attention because they have the potential to be employed as diagnostic and medication-delivery tools, which, in turn, might make it easier to diagnose and treat cancer, as well as a wide variety of other disorders. The most recent advancements in the development of magneto-fluorescent nanocomposites and their applications in the biomedical field are the primary focus of this review. We describe the most current developments in synthetic methodologies and methods for the fabrication of magneto-fluorescent nanocomposites. The primary applications of multimodal magneto-fluorescent nanoparticles in biomedicine, including biological imaging, cancer treatment, and drug administration, are covered in this article, and an overview of the future possibilities for these technologies is provided.

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Feb 2023 • Nanophotonics

Digital laser-induced printing of MoS2

Adamantia Logotheti, Adi Levi, Doron Naveh, Leonidas Tsetseris, Ioanna Zergioti

Due to their atomic-scale thickness, handling and processing of two-dimensional (2D) materials often require multistep techniques whose complexity hampers their large-scale integration in modern device applications. Here we demonstrate that the laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) method can achieve the one-step, nondestructive printing of the prototypical 2D material MoS2. By selecting the optimal LIFT experimental conditions, we were able to transfer arrays of MoS2 pixels from a metal donor substrate to a dielectric receiver substrate. A combination of various characterization techniques has confirmed that the transfer of intact MoS2 monolayers is not only feasible, but it can also happen without incurring significant defect damage during the process. The successful transfer of MoS2 shows the broad potential the LIFT technique has in the emerging field of printed electronics, including printed devices based …

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Feb 2023 • npj Quantum Information

Fundamental quantum limits of magnetic nearfield measurements

Chen Mechel, Jonathan Nemirovsky, Eliahu Cohen, Ido Kaminer

Major advances in the precision of magnetic measurements bring us closer to quantum detection of individual spins at the single-atom level. On the quest for reducing both classical and quantum measurement noise, it is intriguing to look forward and search for precision limits arising from the fundamental quantum nature of the measurement process itself. Here, we present the limits of magnetic quantum measurements arising from quantum information considerations, and apply these limits to a concrete example of magnetic force microscopy (MFM). We show how such microscopes have a fundamental limit on their precision arising from the theory of imperfect quantum cloning, manifested by the entanglement between the measured system and the measurement probe. We show that counterintuitively, increasing the probe complexity decreases both the measurement noise and back action, and a judicious design …

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Feb 2023 • Nano-Structures & Nano-Objects

Nano-apertures vs. nano-barriers: Surface scanning through obstacles and super-resolution in AFM-NSOM dual-mode

Jérémy Belhassen, David Glukhov, Matityahu Karelits, Zeev Zalevsky, Avi Karsenty

As part of the performance characterization of a combined and enhanced new AFM-NSOM tip-photo-detector, diffraction limitations were studied on two complementary samples: a nano-barrier embedded between two nano-apertures and one nano-aperture embedded between two nano-barriers. These consecutive multiple-obstacle scanning paths are part of this challenging specifications study of a new conical-shaped and drilled tip-photodetector, sharing a subwavelength aperture. A super-resolution algorithm feature was added in order to overcome possible obstacles, while scanning the same object with several small angles. The new multi-mode system includes scanning topography, optical imaging and an obstacle-overcoming algorithm. The present article study emphasizes the complexity of nano-scanning multiple-apertures/barriers. Both complementary analytical (Python) and numerical (Comsol …

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Jan 2023 • Analysis & Sensing 3 (1), e202200053, 2023

Measurement of protein dynamics from site directed Cu (II) labeling

Kevin Singewald, Hannah Hunter, Timothy F Cunningham, Sharon Ruthstein, Sunil Saxena

This review describes the use of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) to measure residue specific dynamics in proteins with a specific focus on Cu(II)‐based spin labels. First, we outline approaches used to measure protein motion by nitroxide‐based spin labels. Here, we describe conceptual details and outline challenges that limit the use of nitroxide spin labels to solvent‐exposed α‐helical sites. The bulk of this review showcases the use of newly developed Cu(II)‐based protein labels. In this approach, the strategic mutation of native residues on a protein to generate two neighboring Histidine residues (i.e., the dHis motif) is exploited to enable a rigid site‐selective binding of a Cu(II) complex. The chelation of the Cu(II) complex to dHis directly anchors the Cu(II) spin label to the protein backbone. The improvement in rigidity expands both the spin‐labeling toolkit as well as the resolution of many EPR …

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Jan 2023 • Frontiers in Oncology

A predictive model for personalization of nanotechnology-based phototherapy in cancer treatment

Eli Varon, Gaddi Blumrosen, Orit Shefi

A major challenge in radiation oncology is predicting and optimizing a clinical response on a personalized manner. Recently, nanotechnology-based cancer treatments are being combined with photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT). Machine learning predictive models can be used to optimize the clinical setup configuration, such as: laser radiation intensity, treatment duration, and nanoparticles features. In this work we demonstrate a methodology to find the optimized treatment parameters for PDT and PTT by collecting data of in vitro cytotoxicity assay of PDT/PTT-induced cell death using a single nanocomplex. We examine three machine learning prediction models of regression, interpolation, and low degree analytical function to predict the laser radiation intensity and duration that maximize the treatment efficiency. To examine these prediction models accuracy, we built a dedicated dataset for PDT, PTT, and a combined treatment that is based on cell death measurements after light radiation treatment, divided to training and test sets. The preliminary results show that all models offer sufficient performance with death rate error of 0.09, 0.15, and 0.12 for the regression, interpolation, and analytical function fitting. Nevertheless, the analytical function due to its simple form has a clinical application advantage that can be used for further sensitivity analysis of the treatment parameters on the performance. In all, the results of this work form a baseline for a future machine learning base personal prediction model in combined nanotechnology-based phototherapy cancer treatment.

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Jan 2023 • Crystals

L-Glu Hierarchical Structure Crystallization Using Inorganic Ions

Michal Ejgenberg, Yitzhak Mastai

Hierarchical organic structures have gained vast attention in the past decade owing to their great potential in chemical and medical applications in industries such as the food and pharmaceutical industries. In this paper, the crystallization of L-glu hierarchical spheres using inorganic ions, namely calcium, barium and strontium cations, is described. The anti-solvent precipitation method is used for the spherical crystallization. The L-glu microspheres are characterized using various techniques, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photo-electron microscopy (XPS) and polarized microscopy (POM). It is shown that without additives, L-glu crystallizes as flower-like structures, very different from the hierarchical spheres crystallized with the charged additives. Based on our results, we suggest a mechanism for the hierarchical sphere formation based on the crystallization and self-assembly of L-glu in emulsion droplets using charged additives.

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Jan 2023 • Ultrasonics Sonochemistry

Ultrasonic-assisted synthesis of lignin-capped Cu2O nanocomposite with antibiofilm properties

Moorthy Maruthapandi, Akanksha Gupta, Arumugam Saravanan, Gila Jacobi, Ehud Banin, John HT Luong, Aharon Gedanken

Under ultrasonication, cuprous oxide (Cu2O) microparticles (<5 µm) were fragmented into nanoparticles (NPs, ranging from 10 to 30 nm in diameter), and interacted strongly with alkali lignin (Mw = 10 kDa) to form a nanocomposite. The ultrasonic wave generates strong binding interaction between lignin and Cu2O. The L-Cu nanocomposite exhibited synergistic effects with enhanced antibiofilm activities against E. coli, multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli, S. aureus (SA), methicillin-resistant SA, and P. aeruginosa (PA). The lignin-Cu2O (L-Cu) nanocomposite also imparted notable eradication of such bacterial biofilms. Experimental evidence unraveled the destruction of bacterial cell walls by L-Cu, which interacted strongly with the bacterial membrane. After exposure to L-Cu, the bacterial cells lost the integrated structural morphology. The estimated MIC for biofilm inhibition for the five tested pathogens was 1 mg …

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Jan 2023 • Materials Today Energy

Aqueous proton batteries based on acetic acid solutions: mechanistic insights

Bar Gavriel, Gil Bergman, Meital Turgeman, Amey Nimkar, Yuval Elias, Mikhael D Levi, Daniel Sharon, Netanel Shpigel, Doron Aurbach

Large grid energy storage devices are critical for the success of the clean and sustainable energy revolution. As Li-ion batteries are earmarked for electric vehicles and portable devices such as laptops and cellphones, other electrochemical systems should be developed that enable cost-effective, safe, and durable large-scale energy storage. Due to the low cost and non-flammability of aqueous electrolyte solutions, much effort is being put into the development of ‘beyond-Li’ batteries and super capacitors that can work in these environments. Here, we propose new proton batteries comprising an acetic acid electrolyte solution, NiII [FeIII(CN)6]2/3·4H2O Prussian blue analog cathodes, and Ti3C2Tx MXene anodes. Both electrodes were investigated independently to discover ideal settings for the electrochemical performance and stability. Significant attention was given to the cathodes' protons storage mechanism. In …

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Jan 2023 • Power Ultrasonics, 431-454, 2023

Power ultrasound for the production of nanomaterials

A Gedanken, I Perelshtein, N Perkas

Sonochemistry in now well recognized as a technique for the fabrication of nanomaterials. This is reflected in the many review articles on sonochemistry and nanoparticles that have been published over the last few years. It is so happened that Suslick, one of the forefathers of this field, has lately written a very comprehensive review on this topic (Bang, 2010). In his review, Suslick has summarized the work published on sonochemistry and nanomaterials until 2010. The current review will try to scan the work done in this area until the end of 2012. The current review will concentrate first on explaining why nano? Namely, when, why, and what kind of nanomaterials are produced upon the collapse of the acoustic bubble?

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Jan 2023 • Langmuir

Biotin Binding Hardly Affects Electron Transport Efficiency across Streptavidin Solid-State Junctions

Sudipta Bera, Sharada Govinda, Jerry A Fereiro, Israel Pecht, Mordechai Sheves, David Cahen

The electron transport (ETp) efficiency of solid-state protein-mediated junctions is highly influenced by the presence of electron-rich organic cofactors or transition metal ions. Hence, we chose to investigate an interesting cofactor-free non-redox protein, streptavidin (STV), which has unmatched strong binding affinity for an organic small-molecule ligand, biotin, which lacks any electron-rich features. We describe for the first time meso-scale ETp via electrical junctions of STV monolayers and focus on the question of whether the rate of ETp across both native and thiolated STV monolayers is influenced by ligand binding, a process that we show to cause some structural conformation changes in the STV monolayers. Au nanowire-electrode–protein monolayer–microelectrode junctions, fabricated by modifying an earlier procedure to improve the yields of usable junctions, were employed for ETp measurements. Our …

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