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Jan 2020 • Biochemical Journal 477 (1), 23-44, 2020

Into the basket and beyond: the journey of mRNA through the nuclear pore complex

Asaf Ashkenazy-Titelman, Yaron Shav-Tal, Ralph H Kehlenbach

The genetic information encoded in nuclear mRNA destined to reach the cytoplasm requires the interaction of the mRNA molecule with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) for the process of mRNA export. Numerous proteins have important roles in the transport of mRNA out of the nucleus. The NPC embedded in the nuclear envelope is the port of exit for mRNA and is composed of ∼30 unique proteins, nucleoporins, forming the distinct structures of the nuclear basket, the pore channel and cytoplasmic filaments. Together, they serve as a rather stationary complex engaged in mRNA export, while a variety of soluble protein factors dynamically assemble on the mRNA and mediate the interactions of the mRNA with the NPC. mRNA export factors are recruited to and dissociate from the mRNA at the site of transcription on the gene, during the journey through the nucleoplasm and at the nuclear pore at the final stages of …

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Jan 2020 • Carbon

Nanocrystalline diamond sheets as protective coatings for fiber-optic measurement head

M Kosowska, D Majchrowicz, M Ficek, P Wierzba, Y Fleger, D Fixler, ...

Fiber-optic sensors find numerous applications in science and industry, but their full potential is limited because of the risk of damaging the measurement head, in particular, due to the vulnerability of unprotected tips of the fiber to mechanical damage and aggressive chemical agents. In this paper, we report the first use of a new nanocrystalline diamond structure in a fiber-optic measurement head as a protective coating of the fiber tip. The nanocrystalline sheet structures, produced with the use of Microwave Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition System (MW PA CVD), were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and successfully transferred from the deposition substrate onto the surface of the tip of a single-mode fiber sensor head. A Fabry-Perot sensing interferometer for distance measurement comprising that fiber was built. The measurement results were compared with numerical modeling …

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Jan 2020 • Batteries & Supercaps

Three‐Sodium Ion Activity of a Hollow Spherical Na3V2(PO4)2F3 Cathode: Demonstrating High Capacity and Stability

Ayan Mukherjee, Tali Sharabani, Ilana Perelshtein, Malachi Noked

Na3V2(PO4)2F3 (NVPF) is a promising cathode material for sodium ion batteries, owing to its high voltage and promising cycling profile. Nevertheless, most previous reports demonstrated only approximately 100 mAh g−1 at limited operating voltage. Using a solvothermal synthesis route, we synthesized the NVPF cathode with a controlled architecture and spherical morphology. We used this electrode as the cathode for a sodium‐ion battery and managed to intercalate/deintercalate the third Na+ ion from the structure, demonstrating a high specific capacity (197 mAh g−1). Long‐term stability challenges of these electrodes under a wide potential regime are also presented here in.

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2020 • Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

A revisit of the bond valence model makes it universal

Elena Levi, Doron Aurbach, Carlo Gatti

The use of simple, intuitive equations to correlate the geometry of crystal structures with electron descriptors of chemical bonds and material structural stability is a great advantage of the Bond Valence Model (BVM), which is based on Pauling's principles of bond order (BO) conservation and exponential BO/bond length relationship. However, the high potential of BVM to be used as an important analytical tool was overlooked in recent inorganic chemistry due to its empirical character and serious restrictions for its application. Recent quantum chemistry data (BOs and electron densities at the bond critical points, ρc) enable us to establish the validity of the BVM to any type of chemical bonds, as well as a direct BO/ρc relationship. Such a BVM revisit overcomes most of the limitations anticipated previously for the model and thus makes it universal. This Perspective highlights the advance in model development, in …

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2020 • Nanoscale Advances

Small molecule-decorated gold nanoparticles for preparing antibiofilm fabrics

Le Wang, Michal Natan, Wenshu Zheng, Wenfu Zheng, Shaoqin Liu, Gila Jacobi, Ilana Perelshtein, Aharon Gedanken, Ehud Banin, Xingyu Jiang

The increase in antibiotic resistance reported worldwide poses an immediate threat to human health and highlights the need to find novel approaches to inhibit bacterial growth. In this study, we present a series of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) capped by different N-heterocyclic molecules (N_Au NPs) which can serve as broad-spectrum antibacterial agents. Neither the Au NPs nor N-heterocyclic molecules were toxic to mammalian cells. These N_Au NPs can attach to the surface of bacteria and destroy the bacterial cell wall to induce cell death. Sonochemistry was used to coat Au NPs on the surface of fabrics, which showed superb antimicrobial activity against multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria as well as excellent efficacy in inhibiting bacterial biofilms produced by MDR bacteria. Our study provides a novel strategy for preventing the formation of MDR bacterial biofilms in a straightforward, low-cost, and efficient way …

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2020 • Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Mass-producible polyhedral macrotube carbon arrays with multi-hole cross-section profiles: superb 3D tertiary porous electrode materials for supercapacitors and capacitive …

Xiumei Ma, Qinghao Wu, Wei Alex Wang, Shanfu Lu, Yan Xiang, Doron Aurbach

Supercapacitors and capacitive deionization (CDI) cells used for energy storage and water desalination, respectively, are related devices which are based on intensive adsorption of ions to highly porous electrodes. Engineering of porous carbon electrodes with high specific surface area but a robust structure is very important for the two technologies. Herein, we report on mass-producible polyhedral macrotube carbon arrays possessing multihole cross-section profiles, which can be used as superb 3D porous materials for both supercapacitors and CDI cells. They were prepared through economical and environmentally friendly processes including carbonization of lotus stems at 500 °C followed by activation at 800 °C (LS500/A800). LS500/A800 possesses a tertiary pore structure (hierarchical macro-meso-micro porosity) that provides high density of adsorption sites, and allows fast ion adsorption through channels …

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2020 • Synchrotron Light Sources and Free-Electron Lasers: Accelerator Physics, Instrumentation and Science Applications

Quantum and nonlinear optics with hard x-rays

Ralf Röhlsberger, Jörg Evers, Sharon Shwartz

With the increasing brilliance of modern synchrotron radiation sources and free-electron lasers, the observation of nonlinear and quantum optical phenomena at x-ray wavelengths has come into reach. Single-photon x-ray detectors with quantum efficiency near unity and photon-number resolving capabilities are commercially available. Consequently, fundamental concepts in quantum optics can now also be studied in the x-ray portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. A key role in theoretical and experimental studies in x-ray quantum optics is played by the nuclear resonances of Mössbauer isotopes, the excitation of which became more and more efficient with increasing spectral flux delivered by these sources. The narrow resonance bandwidth facilitates to probe fundamental aspects of the light-matter interaction. A very sensitive manipulation of this interaction is possible by embedding Mössbauer nuclei in …

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2020 • Chemical Communications

Thiadiazole containing N-and S-rich highly ordered periodic mesoporous organosilica for efficient removal of Hg (II) from polluted water

Surajit Das, Sauvik Chatterjee, Saptarsi Mondal, Arindam Modak, Bijan Krishna Chandra, Suparna Das, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Adinath Majee, Asim Bhaumik

A new N- and S-rich highly ordered periodic mesoporous organosilica material DMTZ-PMO bearing thiadiazole and thiol moieties inside the pore-wall of a 2D-hexagonal nanomaterial has been synthesized. DMTZ-PMO shows a very high surface area (971 m2 g−1), and can be used for efficient and fast removal of Hg2+ from polluted water with a very high Hg2+ uptake capacity of 2081 mg g−1.

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2020 • RSC Advances

Synthesis through 3D printing: formation of 3D coordination polymers

Oded Halevi, Jingwei Chen, Gurunathan Thangavel, Samuel Alexander Morris, Tal Ben Uliel, Yaakov Raphael Tischler, Pooi See Lee, Shlomo Magdassi

Coordination polymers (CPs) and coordination network solids such as metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have gained increasing interest during recent years due to their unique properties and potential applications. Preparing 3D printed structures using CP would provide many advantages towards utilization in fields such as catalysis and sensing. So far, functional 3D structures were printed mostly by dispersing pre-synthesized particles of CPs and MOFs within a polymerizable carrier. This resulted in a CP active material dispersed within a 3D polymeric object, which may obstruct or impede the intrinsic properties of the CP. Here, we present a new concept for obtaining 3D free-standing objects solely composed of CP material, starting from coordination metal complexes as the monomeric building blocks, and utilizing the 3D printer itself as a tool to in situ synthesize a coordination polymer during printing, and to …

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2020 • Chemical Communications

Enhancement of the oxygen reduction reaction electrocatalytic activity of metallo-corroles using contracted cobalt (iii) CF 3-corrole incorporated in a high surface area carbon …

Hilah C Honig, Ariel Friedman, Noam Zion, Lior Elbaz

Molecular oxygen reduction reaction catalysts based on metallo-corrole with the smallest meso-substituent reported to-date, Co(III)CF3-corrole, was synthesized and compared to the well-studied Co(III)tpfcorrole when adsorbed on a high surface area carbon support. This study shows the improved electrocatalytic performance with the new corrole, attributed to its unique compact structure, which enables surface interactions in favor of lowering the reaction overpotential by 70 mV.

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2020 • CONTEXT Project, 2020

Smart textiles for healthcare and medicine applications (WG1): state-of-the art report, CONTEXT Project

Luciano F Boesel, Dijana P Furundžić, Nikola Z Furundžić, Aharon Gedanken, Ivo Grabchev, Amine Haj Taieb, Aleksandra Ivanoska-Dacik, Szymon Malionowski, Darka Marković, Gerhard Mohr, Yesim Oguz Gouillart, Pedro Maja Pinho, Abdulkadir Sezai Sarac, Desislava Staneva, Salvatore Tedesco, Jose Vicente Ros

The aim of this document is to provide information on the state-of-the-art related to the topics covered by each working group within the CONTEXT project. It provides information on materials and technologies used to develop smart textiles with targeted performance, general applications of smart textiles in the field, case-studies on the use of smart textiles, opportunities for smart textiles considering the needs of each field, trends on the development of smart textiles in terms of market and technical expectations. This paper gives an overview of the potential of smart textiles for healthcare & medicine, ongoing developments, state-of-the-art products and future developments.

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2020 • Materials

Electrochemical Activation of Li 2 MnO 3 Electrodes at 0 C and Its Impact on the Subsequent Performance at Higher Temperatures

Yehudit Grinblat, Evan Erickson, Malachi Noked, Larisa Burstein, Anatoly I Frenkel, Yoed Tsur, Boris Markovsky, Doron Aurbach

This work continues our systematic study of Li-and Mn-rich cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. We chose Li2MnO3 as a model electrode material with the aim of correlating the improved electrochemical characteristics of these cathodes initially activated at 0 C with the sstructural evolution of Li2MnO3, oxygen loss, formation of per-oxo like species (O22−) and the surface chemistry. It was established that performing a few initial charge/discharge (activation) cycles of Li2MnO3 at 0 C resulted in increased discharge capacity and higher capacity retention, and decreased and substantially stabilized the voltage hysteresis upon subsequent cycling at 30 C or at 45 C. In contrast to the activation of Li2MnO3 at these higher temperatures, Li2MnO3 underwent step-by-step activation at 0 C, providing a stepwise traversing of the voltage plateau at> 4.5 V during initial cycling. Importantly, these findings agree well with our previous studies on the activation at 0 C of 0.35 Li2MnO3· 0.65 Li [Mn0. 45Ni0. 35Co0. 20] O2 materials. The stability of the interface developed at 0 C can be ascribed to the reduced interactions of the per-oxo-like species formed and the oxygen released from Li2MnO3 with solvents in ethylene carbonate–methyl-ethyl carbonate/LiPF6 solutions. Our TEM studies revealed that typically, upon initial cycling both at 0 C and 30 C, Li2MnO3 underwent partial structural layered-to-spinel (Li2Mn2O4) transition.

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2020 • Nanoscale

Carbon nanostructures as a scaffold for human embryonic stem cell differentiation toward photoreceptor precursors

Yoav Chemla, Efrat Shawat Avraham, Amos Markus, Eti Teblum, Aviad Slotky, Yulia Kostikov, Nairouz Farah, Madina Telkhozhayeva, Irit Shoval, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Yossi Mandel

Carbon nanomaterials have been introduced as a scaffold for various biological applications due to their unique physical and electrical properties. Here we studied carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) as scaffold materials for the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) towards photoreceptor precursor cells (PRPs). We report on their cytoxicity, their effect on cell morphology, cell-surface interface and the differentiation process. To this end, hESCs were differentiated into PRPs on carbon nanofibers (CNFs), long horizontal CNTs (LHCNTs), vertically aligned CNTs (VACNTs) or glass (control) surfaces. The differentiated cells were investigated by immunohistochemistry, fluorescence imaging and electron microscopy. Our results revealed that the investigated nanomaterials were not cytotoxic to the cells during the differentiation process. The surface interface effect on the cells was …

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2020 • Journal of Materials Chemistry B

Entrapment and release kinetics study of dyes from BSA microspheres forming a matrix and a reservoir system

Kusha Sharma, Abed Saady, Avi Jacob, Ze’ev Porat, Aharon Gedanken

Two kinds of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA)-loaded microspheres were prepared in water-organic bilayer systems using ultrasonic irradiation. The first method included an aqueous solution of BSA and water-soluble dye together, mixed with dodecane, that upon sonication formed a matrix system where the dye is concentrated in the protein shell. The other system included an aqueous solution of BSA mixed with octanol-soluble dye that, upon sonication, formed a reservoir system in which the dye filled the inner volume of the microspheres. Each of these microspheres was prepared with two different dyes and their leaching profiles into pure solvents were studied using UV-vis spectrometry. Fast leaching was observed at the beginning for both systems, which levelled-off after a certain time. For the matrix system, an equilibrium state was obtained after 100–200 hours, whereas for the reservoir system, leaching …

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2020 • Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Linking structure to performance of Li 1.2 Mn 0.54 Ni 0.13 Co 0.13 O 2 (Li and Mn rich NMC) cathode materials synthesized by different methods

N Leifer, T Penki, R Nanda, J Grinblat, S Luski, D Aurbach, G Goobes

Li and Mn-rich Li1+xNiyCozMnwO2 (LMR-NMC, 0 < x < 0.2; w > 0.5) materials remain commercially relevant owing to their high specific capacity. Due to this stoichiometry, their synthesis forms always at least two phases: monoclinic Li2MnO3 and rhombohedral LiNiaCobMncO2 (a = b = c = 1) layered moieties. However, a complete understanding of their complex crystal structure has not yet been fully realized. The monoclinic phase may become electrochemically active only at high potentials (>4.6 V vs. Li). To complicate matters even more, it has been shown that the electrochemical performance of these materials, having formally the same stoichiometry, can vary with the chosen method of material synthesis. Identification of the chemical and/or structural reasons for these variations in performance is crucial to ensure the promotion of these important cathode materials towards a practical use. Yet most methods of …

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2020 • Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Two-dimensional perovskite solar cells with high luminescence and ultra-low open-circuit voltage deficit

Xiaomei Lian, Lijian Zuo, Haotian Wu, Guanqing Zhou, Chen Lin, Haiming Zhu, Gang Wu, David Cahen, Hongzheng Chen

High luminescence efficiency of the halide perovskite absorber layer in perovskite solar cells (PVSCs) will reduce the open-circuit voltage (Voc) loss and further increase the cell efficiency. Still, while quasi-2D-structure perovskite films exhibit high emissivity in light-emitting devices, quasi-2D PVSCs show severe Voc loss associated with non-radiative recombination. Here we demonstrate how the use of highly luminescent PEA0.2BA1.8MA3Pb4I13 in quasi-2D PVSCs allows, via Cl− passivation and heat-light post-co-treatment, a champion external electroluminescence quantum efficiency around 2.3% and a record low Voc deficit of 0.36 eV. To our knowledge, this is the lowest Voc loss for quasi-2D PVSCs and among the lowest for any type of PVSCs. As a result, high performance quasi-2D PVSCs are obtained, with a Voc up to 1.29 V and 15.81% efficiency, showing excellent stability, and retain 98% of the original …

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2020 • Materials Horizons

Controllable and stable organometallic redox mediators for lithium oxygen batteries

Won-Jin Kwak, Atif Mahammed, Hun Kim, Trung Thien Nguyen, Zeev Gross, Doron Aurbach, Yang-Kook Sun

The use of electrocatalysis in lithium–oxygen batteries is mandatory for reducing the over-potentials of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), below the levels that endanger the anodic stability of the electrolyte solutions and the carbon electrodes. The most effective catalysts for the OER are solubilized redox mediators that may be oxidized at relatively low potentials, but still capable of oxidizing Li2O2 back to molecular oxygen. Since for the effective and long-term utilization of redox mediators in lithium–oxygen cells a clear evaluation of their stability is essential, we have developed a useful methodology for that purpose. This revealed, quite surprisingly, that most commonly used redox mediators are unstable in lithium–oxygen cells, even under argon atmosphere and without being in contact with Li anodes. Using the abovementioned methodology for evaluating efficiency, we now introduce corrole-chelated metal …

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2020 • Catalysis Science &amp; Technology

Size dependent oxygen reduction and methanol oxidation reactions: catalytic activities of PtCu octahedral nanocrystals

Shlomi Polani, Meital Shviro, Victor Shokhen, Melina Zysler, Andreas Glüsen, Rafal Dunin-Borkowski, Marcelo Carmo, David Zitoun

The synthetic control through colloidal synthesis led to a remarkable increase in platinum mass activity in octahedral nanocrystals with a Pt-rich surface. In this manuscript, we demonstrate that the ratio of surfactant can tune the size of Pt surface enriched PtCu nano-octahedra from 8 to 18 nm with homogeneous size and shape on the carbon support. For the nano-octahedra, the Pt-rich surface has been determined by high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The Pt-rich surface exhibits an increasing compressive strain with increasing surface of the {111} facets. With increasing surface, the PtCu nano-octahedra display higher oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity, which however leads to higher onset over-potentials in the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) and CO-stripping. This observed trend for a series of size-selected nano …

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2020 • Journal of Materials Chemistry A

High-rate Na 0.7 Li 2.3 V 2 (PO 4) 2 F 3 hollow sphere cathode prepared via a solvothermal and electrochemical ion exchange approach for lithium ion batteries

Ayan Mukherjee, Tali Sharabani, Ilana Perelshtein, Malachi Noked

Na3V2(PO4)2F3 (NVPF) has been extensively studied, and has demonstrated excellent electrochemical activity in Na-ion batteries owing to its high reversible specific capacity and stability. The direct chemical synthesis of a Li analogue of NVPF (LVPF) is aided by the high thermodynamic stability of intermediate products. Even more challenging is the synthesis of LVPF with a well-controlled uniform morphology and a stable crystal structure. Herein, an electrochemical ion exchange approach was used to synthesize Na0.7Li2.3V2(PO4)F3 (N0.7L2.3VPF), an isostructural composition of Li3V2(PO4)F3. This compound was prepared via lithiation of Na0.7V2(PO4)F3 with a hierarchical morphology prepared by desodiation of NVPF. We track the phase formation, reversible structural transformation from Pnnm to Cmc21 and back to Pnnm. An initial specific discharge capacity of 185 mA h g−1 and two distinct voltage …

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2020 • Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys

rsc. li/pccp

Elena Levi, Doron Aurbach, Carlo Gatti, Sina Wrede, Haining Tian

Whilst this material has been produced with all due care, the Royal Society of Chemistry cannot be held responsible or liable for its accuracy and completeness, nor for any consequences arising from any errors or the use of the information contained in this publication. The publication of advertisements does not constitute any endorsement by the Royal Society of Chemistry or Authors of any products advertised. The views and opinions advanced by contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Society of Chemistry which shall not be liable for any resulting loss or damage arising as a result of reliance upon this material. The Royal Society of Chemistry is a charity, registered in England and Wales, Number 207890, and a company incorporated in England by Royal Charter (Registered No. RC000524), registered office: Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA, UK. Telephone:+ 44 (0) 207 4378 6556.

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2020 • Nanoscale

Carbon nanostructures as a scaffold for human embryonic stem cell differentiation toward photoreceptor precursors

Yoav Chemla, Efrat Shawat Avraham, Amos Markus, Eti Teblum, Aviad Slotky, Yulia Kostikov, Nairouz Farah, Madina Telkhozhayeva, Irit Shoval, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Yossi Mandel

Carbon nanomaterials have been introduced as a scaffold for various biological applications due to their unique physical and electrical properties. Here we studied carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) as scaffold materials for the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) towards photoreceptor precursor cells (PRPs). We report on their cytoxicity, their effect on cell morphology, cell-surface interface and the differentiation process. To this end, hESCs were differentiated into PRPs on carbon nanofibers (CNFs), long horizontal CNTs (LHCNTs), vertically aligned CNTs (VACNTs) or glass (control) surfaces. The differentiated cells were investigated by immunohistochemistry, fluorescence imaging and electron microscopy. Our results revealed that the investigated nanomaterials were not cytotoxic to the cells during the differentiation process. The surface interface effect on the cells was …

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