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Jan 2022 • Journal of Composites Science 6 (1), 15, 2022

A Review on Synthesis Methods of Phyllosilicate-and Graphene-Filled Composite Hydrogels

Sayan Ganguly, Shlomo Margel

This review discusses, in brief, the various synthetic methods of two widely-used nanofillers; phyllosilicate and graphene. Both are 2D fillers introduced into hydrogel matrices to achieve mechanical robustness and water uptake behavior. Both the fillers are inserted by physical and chemical gelation methods where most of the chemical gelation, ie, covalent approaches, results in better physical properties compared to their physical gels. Physical gels occur due to supramolecular assembly, van der Waals interactions, electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic associations, and H-bonding. For chemical gelation, in situ radical triggered gelation mostly occurs.

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Jan 2022 • bioRxiv

Expansion Sequencing of RNA Barcoded Neurons in the Mammalian Brain: Progress and Implications for Molecularly Annotated Connectomics

Daniel R Goodwin, Alex Vaughan, Daniel Leible, Shahar Alon, Gilbert L Henry, Anne Cheng, Xiaoyin Chen, Ruihan Zhang, Andrew G Xue, Asmamaw T Wassie, Anubhav Sinha, Yosuke Bando, Atsushi Kajita, Adam H Marblestone, Anthony M Zador, Edward S Boyden, George M Church, Richie E Kohman

Mapping and molecularly annotating mammalian neural circuits is challenging due to the inability to uniquely label cells while also resolving subcellular features such as synaptic proteins or fine cellular processes. We argue that an ideal technology for connectomics would have the following characteristics: the capacity for robust distance-independent labeling, synaptic resolution, molecular interrogation, and scalable computational methods. The recent development of high-diversity cellular barcoding with RNA has provided a way to overcome the labeling limitations associated with spectral dyes, however performing all-optical circuit mapping has not been demonstrated because no method exists to image barcodes throughout cells at synaptic-resolution. Here we show ExBarSeq, an integrated method combining in situ sequencing of RNA barcodes, immunostaining, and Expansion Microscopy coupled with an end-to-end software pipeline that automatically extracts barcode identities from large imaging datasets without data processing bottlenecks. As a proof of concept, we applied ExBarSeq to thick tissue sections from mice virally infected with MAPseq viral vectors and demonstrated the extraction of 50 barcoded cells in the visual cortex as well as cell morphologies uncovered via immunostaining. The current work demonstrates high resolution multiplexing of exogenous barcodes and endogenous synaptic proteins and outlines a roadmap for molecularly annotated connectomics at a brain-wide scale.

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Jan 2022 • International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Antibacterial, Antibiofilm, and Antiviral Farnesol-Containing Nanoparticles Prevent Staphylococcus aureus from Drug Resistance Development

Aleksandra Ivanova, Kristina Ivanova, Luisa Fiandra, Paride Mantecca, Tiziano Catelani, Michal Natan, Ehud Banin, Gila Jacobi, Tzanko Tzanov

Multidrug antimicrobial resistance is a constantly growing health care issue associated with increased mortality and morbidity, and huge financial burden. Bacteria frequently form biofilm communities responsible for numerous persistent infections resistant to conventional antibiotics. Herein, novel nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with the natural bactericide farnesol (FSL NPs) are generated using high-intensity ultrasound. The nanoformulation of farnesol improved its antibacterial properties and demonstrated complete eradication of Staphylococcus aureus within less than 3 h, without inducing resistance development, and was able to 100% inhibit the establishment of a drug-resistant S. aureus biofilm. These antibiotic-free nano-antimicrobials also reduced the mature biofilm at a very low concentration of the active agent. In addition to the outstanding antibacterial properties, the engineered nano-entities demonstrated strong antiviral properties and inhibited the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 by up to 83%. The novel FSL NPs did not cause skin tissue irritation and did not induce the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines in a 3D skin tissue model. These results support the potential of these bio-based nano-actives to replace the existing antibiotics and they may be used for the development of topical pharmaceutic products for controlling microbial skin infections, without inducing resistance development. View Full-Text

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Jan 2022 • Polymers

Chiral Porous Carbon Surfaces for Enantiospecific Synthesis

Sapir Shekef Aloni, Molhm Nassir, Yitzhak Mastai

Chiral surfaces, developed in the last decade, serve as media for enantioselective chemical reactions. Until today, they have been based mostly on developments in silica templating, and are made mainly from imprints of silicate materials developed a long time ago. Here, a chiral porous activated carbon surface was developed based on a chiral ionic liquid, and the surface chemistry and pore structure were studied to lay a new course of action in the field. The enantioselectivities of surfaces are examined by using variety of methods such as circular dichroism, linear sweep voltammetry and catalysis. These techniques revealed a 28.1% preference for the D enantiomer of the amino acid proline, and linear sweep voltammetry confirmed chirality recognition by another probe. An aldol surface chiral catalytic reaction was devised and allowed to determine the root of the enantiomeric excess. These results affirm the path toward a new type of chiral surface. View Full-Text

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Jan 2022 • bioRxiv

Disrupted RNA editing in beta cells mimics early stage type 1 diabetes

Ehud Knebel, Shani Peleg, Chunhua Dai, Roni Cohen-Fultheim, Benjamin Glaser, Erez Levanon, Alvin Powers, Agnes Klochendler, Yuval Dor

A major hypothesis for the etiology of type 1 diabetes (T1D) postulates initiation by viral infection, leading to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated interferon response; however, a causal virus has not been identified. Here we use a mouse model, corroborated with human data, to demonstrate that endogenous dsRNA in beta-cells can lead to a diabetogenic immune response, thus identifying a virus-independent mechanism for T1D initiation. We found that disruption of the RNA editing enzyme ADAR in beta-cells triggers a massive interferon response, islet inflammation and beta-cell failure, with features bearing striking similarity to early-stage human T1D. Glycolysis via calcium enhances the interferon response, suggesting an actionable vicious cycle of inflammation and increased beta-cell workload.

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Jan 2022 • bioRxiv

Altered somatic hypermutation patterns in COVID-19 patients classifies disease severity

Modi Safra, Zvi Tamari, Pazit Polak, Shachaf Shiber, Moshe Matan, Hani Karameh, Yigal Helviz, Adva Levy-Barda, Vered Yahalom, Avi Peretz, Eli Ben-Chetrit, Baruch Brenner, Tamir Tuller, Meital Gal-Tanamy, Gur Yaari

The success of the human body in fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection relies on lymphocytes and their antigen receptors. Identifying and characterizing clinically relevant receptors is of utmost importance. We report here the application of a machine learning approach, utilizing B cell receptor repertoire sequencing data from severely and mildly infected individuals with SARS-CoV-2 compared with uninfected controls. In contrast to previous studies, our approach successfully stratifies non-infected from infected individuals, as well as disease level of severity. The features that drive this classification are based on somatic hypermutation patterns, and point to alterations in the somatic hypermutation process in COVID-19 patients. These features may be used to build and adapt therapeutic strategies to COVID-19, in particular to quantitatively assess potential diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies. These results constitute a proof of concept for future epidemiological challenges.

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Jan 2022 • Optica

Chemical element mapping by x-ray computational ghost fluorescence

Yishay Klein, Or Sefi, Hila Schwartz, Sharon Shwartz

Chemical element mapping is an imaging tool that provides essential information about composite materials, and it is crucial for a broad range of fields ranging from fundamental science to numerous applications. Methods that exploit x-ray fluorescence are very advantageous and are widely used, but require focusing of the input beam and raster scanning of the sample. Thus, the methods are slow and exhibit limited resolution due to focusing challenges. Here, we demonstrate an x-ray fluorescence method based on computational ghost imaging that overcomes those limitations since it does not require focusing and show that when it is combined with compressed sensing the total measurement time can be significantly reduced. Our method opens the possibility to significantly enhance the resolution of chemical element maps and to extend the applicability of x-ray fluorescence inspection to new fields where the …

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Jan 2022 • bioRxiv

A BALB/c IGHV Reference Set, defined by haplotype analysis of long-read VDJ-C sequences from F1 (BALB/c/C57BL/6) mice

Katherine JL Jackson, Justin T Kos, William Lees, William S Gibson, Melissa Laird Smith, Ayelet Peres, Gur Yaari, Martin Corcoran, Christian E Busse, Mats Ohlin, Corey T Watson, Andrew M Collins

The immunoglobulin genes of inbred mouse strains that are commonly used in models of antibody-mediated human diseases are poorly characterized. This compromises data analysis. To infer the immunoglobulin genes of BALB/c mice, we used long-read SMRT sequencing to amplify VDJ-C sequences from F1 (BALB/c x C57BL/6) hybrid animals. Previously unreported strain variations were identified in the Ighm and Ighg2b genes, and analysis of VDJ rearrangements led to the inference of 278 germline IGHV alleles. 169 alleles are not present in the C57BL/6 genome reference sequence. To establish a set of expressed BALB/c IGHV germline gene sequences, we computationally retrieved IGHV haplotypes from the IgM dataset. Haplotyping led to the confirmation of 162 BALB/c IGHV gene sequences. A musIGHV398 pseudogene variant also appears to be present in the BALB/cByJ substrain, while a functional musIGHV398 gene is highly expressed in the BALB/cJ substrain. Only four of the BALB/c alleles were also observed in the C57BL/6 haplotype. The full set of inferred BALB/c sequences has been used to establish a BALB/c IGHV reference set, hosted at We assessed whether assemblies from the Mouse Genome Project (MGP) are suitable for the determination of the genes of the IGH loci. Only 37 (43.5%) of the 85 confirmed IMGT-named BALB/c IGHV and 33 (42.9%) of the 77 confirmed non-IMGT IGHV were found in a search of the MGP BALB/cJ genome assembly. This suggests that Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire sequencing (AIRR-Seq) data, but not currently-available genome assemblies …

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Jan 2022 • Nanomaterials 12 (6), 898, 2022

Synthesis of Doped/Hybrid Carbon Dots and Their Biomedical Application

Vijay Bhooshan Kumar, Ze’ev Porat, Aharon Gedanken

Carbon dots (CDs) are a novel type of carbon-based nanomaterial that has gained considerable attention for their unique optical properties, including tunable fluorescence, stability against photobleaching and photoblinking, and strong fluorescence, which is attributed to a large number of organic functional groups (amino groups, hydroxyl, ketonic, ester, and carboxyl groups, etc.). In addition, they also demonstrate high stability and electron mobility. This article reviews the topic of doped CDs with organic and inorganic atoms and molecules. Such doping leads to their functionalization to obtain desired physical and chemical properties for biomedical applications. We have mainly highlighted modification techniques, including doping, polymer capping, surface functionalization, nanocomposite and core-shell structures, which are aimed at their applications to the biomedical field, such as bioimaging, bio-sensor applications, neuron tissue engineering, drug delivery and cancer therapy. Finally, we discuss the key challenges to be addressed, the future directions of research, and the possibilities of a complete hybrid format of CD-based materials. View Full-Text

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Jan 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2201.09386

Impact of Non-Hermiticity and Nonlinear Interactions on Disordered-Induced Localized Modes

Bhupesh Kumar, Patrick Sebbah

If disorder-induced Anderson localized states have been observed experimentally in optics, their study remains challenging leaving a number of open questions unsolved. Among them, the impact on Anderson localization of non-Hermiticity, optical gain and loss, and more generally, nonlinearities has been the subject of numerous theoretical debates, without yet any conclusive experimental demonstration. Indeed, in systems where localized modes have reasonable spatial extension to be observed and investigated, their mutual interaction and coupling to the sample boundaries make it extremely difficult to isolate them spectrally and investigate them alone. Recently, we successfully exhibited localized lasing modes individually in an active disordered medium, using pump-shaping optimization technique. However, a one-to-one identification of the lasing modes with the eigenmodes of the passive system was not possible, as the impact of non-Hermiticity and nonlinear gain on these localized states was unknown. Here, we apply the pump-shaping method to fully control the non-Hermiticity of an active scattering medium. Direct imaging of the light distribution within the random laser allows us to demonstrate unequivocally that the localized lasing modes are indeed the modes of the passive system. This opens the way to investigate the robustness of localized states in the presence of nonlinear gain and nonlinear modal interactions. We show that, surprisingly, gain saturation and mode competition for gain does not affect the spatial distribution of the modes.

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Jan 2022 • ACS Applied Nano Materials

Acoustic Green Synthesis of Graphene-Gallium Nanoparticles and PEDOT: PSS Hybrid Coating for Textile To Mitigate Electromagnetic Radiation Pollution

Poushali Das, Sayan Ganguly, Ilana Perelshtein, Shlomo Margel, Aharon Gedanken

Solid matrix-supported liquid metal nanoparticles have been drawing attention as a nanoadditive in the fabrication of electroconductive flexible and soft materials. The present work reports a facile, green, and sonochemical synthesis approach of gallium (Ga) nanoparticles embedded in reduced graphene oxide (RGO) under ambient conditions for the first time. The as-synthesized ultrasonic energy-irradiated RGO/Ga nanocomposite was studied using SEM, TEM, DSC, XRD, XPS, and solid-state NMR. Because of their electrical conductivity, RGO/Ga nanoparticles have been used as a conducting inclusion for a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) matrix and coated on cotton fabrics to develop a smart e-textile for electromagnetic (EM) radiation-shielding application. In the X-band (8.2–12.4 GHz) frequency range, the nanocomposites’ EM interference-shielding efficiency was about …

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Jan 2022 • ACS Catalysis

Recent progress and viability of PGM-free catalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction and hydrogen oxidation reaction

Wenjamin Moschkowitsch, Oran Lori, Lior Elbaz

The global energy demand is expected to rise continuously in the foreseeable future, and this demand cannot be fulfilled with fossil fuels if the ambitious goals for global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions are to be met. 1, 2 Therefore, it is necessary to switch to energy production from sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind. 3, 4 These sources suffer from intermittent production, producing a surplus of energy at certain hours and seasons and little to none at others. Hence, large energy storage solutions are necessary in order to store the excess energy in peak times and compensate at the lowand down-times. 4, 5One of the most promising energy storage solutions today is chemical, in the form of hydrogen, which can be used with fuel cells to generate electricity or burned to generate heat, as well as being used in the chemical industry for various applications. 5 It can be easily produced with various …

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Jan 2022 • Cell Reports Physical Science

A cost-effective water-in-salt electrolyte enables highly stable operation of a 2.15-V aqueous lithium-ion battery

Meital Turgeman, Vered Wineman-Fisher, Fyodor Malchik, Arka Saha, Gil Bergman, Bar Gavriel, Tirupathi Rao Penki, Amey Nimkar, Valeriia Baranauskaite, Hagit Aviv, Mikhael D Levi, Malachi Noked, Dan Thomas Major, Netanel Shpigel, Doron Aurbach

Jan 2022 • Handbook of Biofuels, 621-642, 2022

Solar intervention in bioenergy

Indra Neel Pulidindi, Aharon Gedanken

Research interest in the integration of solar energy-harvesting technology with bioenergy production is growing at a remarkable pace. The time of fruition of a completely off-grid solar-powered refinery facility is not too far, at least in the specific instance of bioenergy sources, namely, biodiesel and bioethanol. Electricity generated from solar panels is used for the cultivation of microalgae in outdoor open ponds. The solar thermal energy is converted into electricity by solar panels, and the electricity is stored in lead-acid batteries that are used to power the motors to rotate the agitator blades for stirring the contents of the algal culture. The biomass productivity of outdoor open ponds completely powered by solar energy (5.8 gm2/d of Nannochloropsis oceanica SCS-1981) is on par with the traditional raceway ponds. Such innovation in harvesting microalgae has led to energy savings and cost reduction. A solar energy …

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Jan 2022 • Optics Express

Single-shot analysis of amplified correlated light

Sara Meir, Avi Klein, Hamootal Duadi, Eliahu Cohen, Moti Fridman

Correlated beams are important in classical and quantum communication as well as other technologies. However, classical amplifiers, which are essential for long transmission of correlated beams, degrade the correlation due to noise and due to the amplifier spectral response. We measure, with a novel high resolution single-shot measurement system, the impact of amplifiers on correlated beams. We develop a new method for analyzing the correlation between the signal and idler beams by choosing peaks in the pulses according to their power levels. We demonstrate how to tailor the correlation after the amplifier to obtain either higher or lower correlation. Our research may influence the future use of amplifiers in non-classical communication systems as well as the transmission of quantum information over long distances.

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Jan 2022 • Optica

Chemical element mapping by x-ray computational ghost fluorescence

Yishay Klein, Or Sefi, Hila Schwartz, Sharon Shwartz

Chemical element mapping is an imaging tool that provides essential information about composite materials, and it is crucial for a broad range of fields ranging from fundamental science to numerous applications. Methods that exploit x-ray fluorescence are very advantageous and are widely used, but require focusing of the input beam and raster scanning of the sample. Thus, the methods are slow and exhibit limited resolution due to focusing challenges. Here, we demonstrate an x-ray fluorescence method based on computational ghost imaging that overcomes those limitations since it does not require focusing and show that when it is combined with compressed sensing the total measurement time can be significantly reduced. Our method opens the possibility to significantly enhance the resolution of chemical element maps and to extend the applicability of x-ray fluorescence inspection to new fields where the …

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Jan 2022 • ACS Photonics

Tunable Metasurface Using Thin-Film Lithium Niobate in the Telecom Regime

Aharon Weiss, Christian Frydendahl, Jonathan Bar-David, Roy Zektzer, Eitan Edrei, Jacob Engelberg, Noa Mazurski, Boris Desiatov, Uriel Levy

Metasurfaces have seen a great evolution over the last few years, demonstrating a high degree of control over the amplitude, phase, polarization, and spectral properties of reflected or transmitted electromagnetic waves. Nevertheless, the inherent limitation of static metasurface realizations, which cannot be controlled after their fabrication, engages an ongoing pursuit for reconfigurable metasurfaces with profound tunability. In this paper, we mitigate this grand challenge by demonstrating a new method for free-space rapid optical tunability and modulation, utilizing a planar aluminum nanodisk metasurface coated with indium tin oxide (ITO) on a thin film of lithium niobate (LiNbO) with a chromium/gold (Cr/Au) substrate. Resonance coupling gives rise to an enhanced, confined electromagnetic field residing in the thin film, leading to a narrow and high contrast dip in reflectance of around 1.55 μm. The precise spectral …

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Jan 2022 • The CRISPR Journal

High-throughput Imaging of CRISPR-and Recombinant Adeno-associated Virus–induced DNA Damage Response in Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells

Daniel Allen, Lucien E Weiss, Alon Saguy, Michael Rosenberg, Ortal Iancu, Omri Matalon, Ciaran Lee, Katia Beider, Arnon Nagler, Yoav Shechtman, Ayal Hendel

Jan 2022 • Materialia

Synthesis of nickel sulfide dendrites from nickel foil using thermal annealing

Pola Shriber, Maria Tkachev, Ayelet Atkins, Ilana Perelshtein, Sharon Bretler, Bruria Schmerling, Gino Mariotto, Marco Giarola, Yafit Fleger, Gilbert Daniel Nessim

Similarly to other transition metal sulfides, nickel sulfide nanocrystals can be potentially used for functional device applications. However, controlling morphology and stoichiometry to target specific applications is a synthesis challenge. In this work we developed a rapid, one-step, chemical vapor deposition synthesis of nickel sulfide dendritic nanostructures with fractal geometry. Microtome-EDS compositional analysis of the mature crystal indicates a trend of decreasing sulfur and increasing nickel concentration towards the tip of the mature crystals. Following thorough investigation of these nanocrystals at different stages of their nucleation and growth by means of XRD, HR-SEM, HR-TEM, and Raman spectroscopy, we suggest possible kinetic mechanisms for the crystal formation and development. This work contributes to the understanding of growth mechanisms of dendritic structures with complex morphology.

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Jan 2022 • ACS Omega

CVD-Assisted Synthesis of 2D Layered MoSe2 on Mo Foil and Low Frequency Raman Scattering of Its Exfoliated Few-Layer Nanosheets on CaF2 Substrates

Rajashree Konar, Bharathi Rajeswaran, Atanu Paul, Eti Teblum, Hagit Aviv, Ilana Perelshtein, Ilya Grinberg, Yaakov Raphael Tischler, Gilbert Daniel Nessim

Transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are unique layered materials with exotic properties. So, examining their structures holds tremendous importance. 2H-MoSe2 (analogous to MoS2; Gr. 6 TMDC) is a crucial optoelectronic material studied extensively using Raman spectroscopy. In this regard, low-frequency Raman (LFR) spectroscopy can probe this material’s structure as it reveals distinct vibration modes. Here, we focus on understanding the microstructural evolution of different 2H-MoSe2 morphologies and their layers using LFR scattering. We grew phase-pure 2H-MoSe2 (with variable microstructures) directly on a Mo foil using a two-furnace ambient-pressure chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system by carefully controlling the process parameters. We analyzed the layers of exfoliated flakes after ultrasonication and drop-cast 2H-MoSe2 of different layer thicknesses by choosing different concentrations of …

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Jan 2022 • Elsevier Reference Collection in Chemistry, 1, 2022

Quantum Tunneling in Computational Catalysis and Kinetics: Is it Really Important?

Ashim Nandi, Germán Molpeceres, Prashant K Gupta, Dan T Major, Johannes Kästner, Jan ML Martin, Sebastian Kozuch

Quantum tunneling (QT) is not an effect often considered in chemistry, and rightfully so. However, in many cases it is significant, and in some cases it is even considerable. In this chapter we will describe the basic tenets of QT with a focus on catalysis, followed by some of the most important tools to study and compute them. The chapter goes on to address the title of the chapter by discussing several clear cases of QT for hydrogen-based reactions in organometallic, enzymatic, astrochemical, and organic systems. The insights highlighted in the chapter showcase the importance of QT in specific catalyzed reactions and help uncover the instances that are worth of attention.

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