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Dec 2021 • Cellulose

Effective degradation of cellulose by Microwave irradiation in alkaline solution

Lama Jabareen, Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, Aharon Gedanken

Lignocellulose biomass effectively produces chemicals and fuels, which are of importance for the establishment of a sustainable society. The conversion of cellulose, the main component of the biomass, into significant precursors that can be further converted to different chemicals or fuels under gentle conditions is a promising route. Organic acids such as acetic, glycolic and formic acid are significant examples. A novel method to produce important platform chemicals from micro-crystalline cellulose (MCC) was developed. MCC was degraded as a result of oxidation with potassium chlorate by microwave radiation in a one-pot procedure. Efficient reaction conditions such as short reaction time and full conversion of cellulose were identified. The reaction products were analyzed by 1H and 13C NMR, XPS, TGA and XRD.

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Dec 2021 • Advanced Functional Materials

Enhancing the Energy Storage Capabilities of Ti3C2Tx MXene Electrodes by Atomic Surface Reduction

Arka Saha, Netanel Shpigel, Nicole Leifer, Sarah Taragin, Tali Sharabani, Hagit Aviv, Ilana Perelshtein, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Malachi Noked, Yury Gogotsi

MXenes are a large class of 2D materials that consist of few‐atoms‐thick layers of transition metal carbides, nitrides, or carbonitrides. The surface functionalization of MXenes has immense implications for their physical, chemical, and electronic properties. However, solution‐phase surface functionalization often leads to structural degradation of the MXene electrodes. Here, a non‐conventional, single‐step atomic surface reduction (ASR) technique is adopted for the surface functionalization of MXene (Ti3C2Tx) in an atomic layer deposition reactor using trimethyl aluminum as a volatile reducing precursor. The chemical nature of the modified surface is characterized by X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. The electrochemical properties of the surface‐modified MXene are evaluated in acidic and neutral aqueous electrolyte solutions, as well as in conventional Li‐ion and …

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Dec 2021 • The journal of physical chemistry letters

What can we learn from protein-based electron transport junctions?

David Cahen, Israel Pecht, Mordechai Sheves

These questions led to an increasing number of studies, resulting in evidence for the relevance of the above motivations. 4− 8 At the same time, the results raise new, or leave open, existing issues. Herein, we discuss some of these results that we view as central and issues arising from questions 1− 3 (question 4 is left for another occasion), with further questions presented in italics.

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Dec 2021 • Optics Express

Broadband complex two-mode quadratures for quantum optics

Leon Bello, Yoad Michael, Michael Rosenbluh, Eliahu Cohen, Avi Pe’er

In their seminal paper, Caves and Schumaker presented a new formalism for quantum optics, intended to serve as a building block for describing two-photon processes, in terms of new, generalized qudratures. The important, revolutionary concept in their formalism was that it was fundamentally two-mode, ie the related observables could not be attributed to any single one of the comprising modes, but rather to a generalized complex quadrature that could only be attributed to both of them. Here, we propose a subtle, but fundamentally meaningful modification to their important work. Unlike the above proposal, we deliberately choose a frequency-agnostic definition of the two-mode quadrature, that we motivate on physical grounds. This simple modification has far-reaching implications to the formalism–the real and imaginary parts of the quadratures now coincide with the famous EPR variables, and our two-mode …

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Dec 2021 • IEEE Photonics Journal

Spectral Ghost Imaging for Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Shir Rabi, Sara Meir, Raphi Dror, Hamootal Duadi, Francesco Baldini, Francesco Chiavaioli, Moti Fridman

We experimentally demonstrate ghost imaging in the frequency domain based on frequency speckle patterns as references. Our method is suitable for measuring the spectrum of ultrafast signals with high repetition rates. We study the reconstruction resolution as a function of the signal periodicity and found the maximal signal periodicity which can be reconstructed. We also study the reconstruction resolution as a function of the speckle size and show that the speckle size determines the quality of the ghost image. Finally, we perform numerical and analytical calculations which agree with our experimental measured results. Our method is simple, broadband, and utilizes a low cost bucket detector for ultrafast spectral measurements.

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Dec 2021 • OSA Continuum

Usage of fiber optics as an underground deployable radon gas detector

Yehuda Rodal, Amir Shemer, Ariel Schwarz, Nisan Ozana, Hovav Zafrir, Zeev Zalevsky

Radon gas was previously presented to be a good tool as a proxy for pre-seismic precursory before earthquakes, especially when the detector is deployed a few meters underground in regions of high seismic activity. In this paper, we present a fiber optic-based detector that can be deployed underground and assist in the measurement of radon gas temporal concentration variations. The sensitivity of the fiber-based sensor is enhanced due to Fabry-Perot resonator realized within the fiber. The sensing principle is related to the impact of the alpha particles released from the surrounding radon gas on the optical transmission parameters of the fiber. By incorporation of WDM filters along the fiber sensor, the dispersion of the radon's radiation damage along the deployed fiber can be allocated.

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Dec 2021 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Improvement of the Electrochemical Performance of LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 via Atomic Layer Deposition of Lithium-Rich Zirconium Phosphate Coatings

Sri Harsha Akella, Sarah Taragin, Yang Wang, Hagit Aviv, Alexander C Kozen, Melina Zysler, Longlong Wang, Daniel Sharon, Sang Bok Lee, Malachi Noked

Owing to its high energy density, LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 (NMC811) is a cathode material of prime interest for electric vehicle battery manufacturers. However, NMC811 suffers from several irreversible parasitic reactions that lead to severe capacity fading and impedance buildup during prolonged cycling. Thin surface protection films coated on the cathode material mitigate degradative chemomechanical reactions at the electrode–electrolyte interphase, which helps to increase cycling stability. However, these coatings may impede the diffusion of lithium ions, and therefore, limit the performance of the cathode material at a high C-rate. Herein, we report on the synthesis of zirconium phosphate (ZrxPOy) and lithium-containing zirconium phosphate (LixZryPOz) coatings as artificial cathode–electrolyte interphases (ACEIs) on NMC811 using the atomic layer deposition technique. Upon prolonged cycling, the ZrxPOy- and …

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Dec 2021 • IEEE Photonics Journal

Spectral ghost imaging for ultrafast spectroscopy

Shir Rabi, Sara Meir, Raphi Dror, Hamootal Duadi, Francesco Baldini, Francesco Chiavaioli, Moti Fridman

We experimentally demonstrate ghost imaging in the frequency domain based on frequency speckle patterns as references. Our method is suitable for measuring the spectrum of ultrafast signals with high repetition rates. We study the reconstruction resolution as a function of the signal periodicity and found the maximal signal periodicity which can be reconstructed. We also study the reconstruction resolution as a function of the speckle size and show that the speckle size determines the quality of the ghost image. Finally, we perform numerical and analytical calculations which agree with our experimental measured results. Our method is simple, broadband, and utilizes a low cost bucket detector for ultrafast spectral measurements.

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Dec 2021 • Big Data and Cognitive Computing

Gambling Strategies and Prize-Pricing Recommendation in Sports Multi-Bets

Oz Pirvandy, Moti Fridman, Gur Yaari

A sports multi-bet is a bet on the results of a set of N games. One type of multi-bet offered by the Israeli government is WINNER 16, where participants guess the results of a set of 16 soccer games. The prizes in WINNER 16 are determined by the accumulated profit in previous rounds, and are split among all winning forms. When the reward increases beyond a certain threshold, a profitable strategy can be devised. Here, we present a machine-learning algorithm scheme to play WINNER 16. Our proposed algorithm is marginally profitable on average in a range of hyper-parameters, indicating inefficiencies in this game. To make a better prize-pricing mechanism we suggest a generalization of the single-bet approach. We studied the expected profit and risk of WINNER 16 after applying our suggestion. Our proposal can make the game more fair and more appealing without reducing the profitability. View Full-Text

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Dec 2021 • Biotechnology Advances 53, 107843, 2021

Microbial inhibition and biosensing with multifunctional carbon dots: Progress and perspectives

Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, Poushali Das, John HT Luong, Aharon Gedanken

Carbon dots (CDs) and their doped counterparts including nitrogen-doped CDs (N@CDs) have been synthesized by bottom-up or top-down approaches from different precursors. The attractiveness of such emerging 2D‑carbon-based nanosized materials is attributed to their excellent biocompatibility, preparation, aqueous dispersibility, and functionality. The antimicrobial, optical, and electrochemical properties of CDs have been advocated for two important biotechnological applications: bacterial eradication and sensing/biosensing. CDs as well as N@CDs act as antimicrobial agents as their surfaces encompass functional hydroxyl, carboxyl, and amino groups that generate free radicals. As a new class of photoluminescent nanomaterials, CDs can be employed in diversified analytics. CDs with surface carboxyl or amino groups form nanocomposites with nanomaterials or be conjugated with biorecognition …

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Dec 2021 • Desalination 520, 115336, 2021

Anions-capture materials for electrochemical electrode deionization: mechanism, performance, and development prospects

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


Dec 2021 • Israel Journal of Chemistry 61 (11-12), 697-707, 2021

Nanocrystals as Model Systems for Studying the Interplay Between Crystallization and Chirality

Uri Hananel, Assaf Ben Moshe, Gil Markovich, A Paul Alivisatos

The interplay between crystallization and chirality has fascinated chemists for over 170 years now. Many questions deal with the transfer of chirality from molecular level building blocks and crystal capping ligands to the macroscopic morphologies of crystals. Also the interest in nanoscale chiral crystallization and the relationship between chiral ligands and inorganic nanocrystals has recently arose. In this review we highlight several different topics related to studies of the interplay between chirality and crystallization that involve inorganic nanocrystals. Specifically, we differentiate between the effects of chiral molecules on inorganic nanocrystals with chiral or achiral crystal structures. In the first case, chirality may appear both at the atomic‐scale and the particle shape, and in the second case chirality may be induced only at the particle shape level. We also discuss recent progress on the relationship between the …

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Dec 2021 • Small

Interfacial Engineering of Na3V2(PO4)2F3 Hollow Spheres through Atomic Layer Deposition of TiO2: Boosting Capacity and Mitigating Structural Instability

Tali Sharabani, Sarah Taragin, Ilana Perelshtein, Malachi Noked, Ayan Mukherjee

To mitigate the associated challenges of instability and capacity improvement in Na3V2(PO4)2F3 (NVPF), rationally designed uniformly distributed hollow spherical NVPF and coating the surface of NVPF with ultrathin (≈2 nm) amorphous TiO2 by atomic layer deposition is demonstrated. The coating facilitates higher mobility of the ion through the cathode electrolyte interphase (CEI) and enables higher capacity during cycling. The TiO2@NVPF exhibit discharge capacity of >120 mAhg−1, even at 1C rates, and show lower irreversible capacity in the first cycle. Further, nearly 100% capacity retention after rate performance in high current densities and 99.9% coulombic efficiency after prolonged cycling in high current density is reported. The improved performance in TiO2@NVPF is ascribed to the passivation behavior of TiO2 coating which protects the surface of NVPF from volume expansion, significantly less …

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Dec 2021 • Energy Technology

Silver Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalyst in Alkaline Medium: Aging and Protective Coating

Anna Kitayev, Melina Zysler, Samuel Hardisty, Miles Page, Ervin Tal-Gutelmacher, David Zitoun

The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is a key process in anion exchange membrane fuel cells. The alkaline conditions should allow silver‐based cost‐efficient catalysts to replace platinum group metal materials. However, Ag electrochemical stability or lack of stability in alkaline medium is still to be demonstrated. Herein, Ag catalyst nanoparticles (NPs) are characterized by identical location transmission electron microscopy and X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy after electrochemical cycling, revealing the losses of activity and surface. Herein, a facile method for enhancing the chemical stability of Ag catalysts in an alkaline environment by depositing a protective polydopamine (PDA) coating is reported. It is enhanced via crosslinking with polyethyleneimine (PEI), on the surface of Ag NPs. The enhanced electrochemical stability of Ag PDA–PEI nanocatalyst via the analysis of ORR polarization curves during …

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Dec 2021 • Virology journal

Targeting the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus genome with the CRISPR-Cas9 platform in latently infected cells

Coral Orel Haddad, Inna Kalt, Yehuda Shovman, Lei Xia, Yehuda Schlesinger, Ronit Sarid, Oren Parnas

Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a transforming gammaherpesvirus. Like other herpesviruses, KSHV infection is for life long and there is no treatment that can cure patients from the virus. In addition, there is an urgent need to target viral genes to study their role during the infection cycle. The CRISPR-Cas9 technology offers a means to target viral genomes and thus may offer a novel strategy for viral cure as well as for better understanding of the infection process. We evaluated the suitability of this platform for the targeting of KSHV. We have used the recombinat KSHV BAC16 genome, which contains an expression cassette encoding hygromycin-resistance and a GFP marker gene. Three genes were targeted: gfp, which serves as a marker for infection; orf45 encoding a lytic viral protein; and orf73, encoding LANA which is crucial for latent infection. The fraction of cells expressing GFP, viral DNA levels and LANA expression were monitored and viral genomes were sequenced. We found that KSHV episomes can be targeted by CRISPR-Cas9. Interestingly, the quantity of KSHV DNA declined, even when target sites were not functionally important for latency. In addition, we show that antibiotic selection, used to maintain infection, interferes with the outcome of targeting. Our study provides insights into the use of this fundamental approach for the study and manipulation of KSHV. It provides guidelines for the targeting CRISPR-Cas9 to the viral genome and for outcomes interpretation.

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Dec 2021 • Oncotarget

Correction: The novel long non-coding RNA TALNEC2, regulates tumor cell growth and the stemness and radiation response of glioma stem cells

Shlomit Brodie, Hae Kyung Lee, Wei Jiang, Simona Cazacu, Cunli Xiang, Laila M Poisson, Indrani Datta, Steve Kalkanis, Doron Ginsberg, Chaya Brodie

This article has been corrected: The bioinformatics analysis of TCGA data in Figure 4 (panels A, B, C, I) was inadvertently conducted on LINC00116. We have reworked that analysis using the LINC01116 expression values so that it is aligned with the rest of the paper, which discusses LINC01116. The redrawn Figures 4A-C and 4I and edits to the associated paragraph in the text are shown below. Please note that similar trends are shown for LINC00116 and LINC01116 so the primary message of the paper is not affected. The authors declare that these corrections do not change the results or conclusions of this paper.Original article: Oncotarget. 2017; 8: 31785–31801. https://doi. org/10.18632/oncotarget. 15991

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Dec 2021 • Biophysical Reports

Rapid ensemble measurement of protein diffusion and probe blinking dynamics in cells

Simon Sehayek, Xiyu Yi, Shimon Weiss, Paul W Wiseman

We present a fluorescence fluctuation image correlation analysis method that can rapidly and simultaneously measure the diffusion coefficient, photoblinking rates, and fraction of diffusing particles of fluorescent molecules in cells. Unlike other image correlation techniques, we demonstrated that our method could be applied irrespective of a nonuniformly distributed, immobile blinking fluorophore population. This allows us to measure blinking and transport dynamics in complex cell morphologies, a benefit for a range of super-resolution fluorescence imaging approaches that rely on probe emission blinking. Furthermore, we showed that our technique could be applied without directly accounting for photobleaching. We successfully employed our technique on several simulations with realistic EMCCD noise and photobleaching models, as well as on Dronpa-C12-labeled β-actin in living NIH/3T3 and HeLa cells. We …

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Dec 2021 • Optics Express

Broadband complex two-mode quadratures for quantum optics

Leon Bello, Yoad Michael, Michael Rosenbluh, Eliahu Cohen, Avi Pe’er

In their seminal paper, Caves and Schumaker presented a new formalism for quantum optics, intended to serve as a building block for describing two-photon processes, in terms of new, generalized qudratures. The important, revolutionary concept in their formalism was that it was fundamentally two-mode, i.e. the related observables could not be attributed to any single one of the comprising modes, but rather to a generalized complex quadrature that could only be attributed to both of them. Here, we propose a subtle, but fundamentally meaningful modification to their important work. Unlike the above proposal, we deliberately choose a frequency-agnostic definition of the two-mode quadrature, that we motivate on physical grounds. This simple modification has far-reaching implications to the formalism – the real and imaginary parts of the quadratures now coincide with the famous EPR variables, and our two-mode …

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Dec 2021 • Biosensors

Highly Sensitive and Specific SARS-CoV-2 Serological Assay Using a Magnetic Modulation Biosensing System

Shira Avivi-Mintz, Yaniv Lustig, Victoria Indenbaum, Eli Schwartz, Amos Danielli

Sensitive serological assays are needed to provide valuable information about acute and past viral infections. For example, detection of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG antibodies could serve as the basis for an “immunity passport” that would enable individuals to travel internationally. Here, utilizing a novel Magnetic Modulation Biosensing (MMB) system and the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, we demonstrate a highly sensitive and specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG serological assay. Using anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive and healthy patients’ samples, and vaccinees’ samples, we compare the MMB-based SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay’s analytical and clinical sensitivities to those of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Compared with ELISA, the MMB-based assay has an ~6-fold lower limit of detection (129 ng/L vs. 817 ng/L), and it detects an increase in the IgG concentration much earlier after vaccination. Using 85 RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive samples and 79 -negative samples, the MMB-based assay demonstrated similar clinical specificity (98% vs. 99%) and sensitivity (93% vs. 92%) to the ELISA test, but with a much faster turnaround time (45 min vs. 245 min). The high analytical and clinical sensitivity, short turnaround time, and simplicity of the MMB-based assay makes it a preferred method for antibody detection.

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Dec 2021 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Selective Catalyst Surface Access through Atomic Layer Deposition

Samuel S Hardisty, Shira Frank, Melina Zysler, Reut Yemini, Anya Muzikansky, Malachi Noked, David Zitoun


Dec 2021 • Materials Science and Engineering: C

Sonochemically engineered nano-enabled zinc oxide/amylase coatings prevent the occurrence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Aleksandra Ivanova, Kristina Ivanova, Ilana Perelshtein, Aharon Gedanken, Katerina Todorova, Rositsa Milcheva, Petar Dimitrov, Teodora Popova, Tzanko Tzanov

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), caused by biofilms, are the most frequent health-care associated infections. Novel antibiofilm coatings are needed to increase the urinary catheters' life-span, decrease the prevalence of CAUTIs and reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance. Herein, antibacterial zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) were decorated with a biofilm matrix-degrading enzyme amylase (AM) and simultaneously deposited onto silicone urinary catheters in a one-step sonochemical process. The obtained nano-enabled coatings inhibited the biofilm formation of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus by 80% and 60%, respectively, for up to 7 days in vitro in a model of catheterized bladder with recirculation of artificial urine due to the complementary mode of antibacterial and antibiofilm action provided by the NPs and the enzyme. Over this period, the coatings did not induce …

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