Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

88 articles

6 publishers

Join mailing list

May 2022 • Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical

Rapid printing of a Bacterial array for a Solid-Phase Assay (BacSPA) of heavy metal ions

Tzu-Yun Chien, Richard Marín-Benavides, Shimshon Belkin, Ji-Yen Cheng

Bacterial whole-cell biosensors have been used to detect numerous pollutants for decades. In this work, a rapid sensing method using patterned bacterial arrays on solidified agar media was reported. A printing system, which quickly patterns 384-spot bacterial arrays via inertial impact, was developed in this study. The droplet formation was observed by a high-speed camera and simulated in COMSOL software to investigate the printing conditions. We found that the droplet volume and speed were influenced by the accelerations of the impact. Following adjustment, the printer could eject discrete droplets and pattern arrays with high accuracy. The printed bacteria were incubated, and images acquired by a commercial digital camera were analyzed by the Python program. The areas of 384 spots in a single array were similar, with a high roundness and low deviations. We found that the printer plate quality influenced …

Show more

Apr 2022 • Science Advances

MEMS cantilever–controlled plasmonic colors for sustainable optical displays

Zhengli Han, Christian Frydendahl, Noa Mazurski, Uriel Levy

Conventional optical displays using indium tin oxide and liquid crystal materials present challenges for long-term sustainability. We show here a cost-effective and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS)–compatible fast and full-range electrically controlled RGB color display. This is achieved by combining transmission-based plasmonic metasurfaces with MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology, using only two common materials: aluminum and silicon oxide. White light is filtered into RGB components by plasmonic metasurfaces made of aluminum nanohole arrays. The transmission through each color filter is modulated by MEMS miniaturized cantilevers fabricated with aluminum and silicon oxide on top of the color filters. We show that the relative transmission of a color subpixel can be freely modulated from 35 to 100%. The pixels can also operate well above 800 Hz for future ultrafast …

Show more

Apr 2022 • Science Advances

Chip-scale atomic wave-meter enabled by machine learning

Eitan Edrei, Niv Cohen, Elam Gerstel, Shani Gamzu-Letova, Noa Mazurski, Uriel Levy

The quest for miniaturized optical wave-meters and spectrometers has accelerated the design of novel approaches in the field. Particularly, random spectrometers (RS) using the one-to-one correlation between the wavelength and an output random interference pattern emerged as a promising tool combining high spectral resolution and cost-effectiveness. Recently, a chip-scale platform for RS has been demonstrated with a markedly reduced footprint. Yet, despite the evident advantages of such modalities, they are very susceptible to environmental fluctuations and require an external calibration process. To address these challenges, we demonstrate a paradigm shift in the field, enabled by the integration of atomic vapor with a photonic chip and the use of a machine learning classification algorithm. Our approach provides a random wave-meter on chip device with accurate calibration and enhanced robustness …

Show more

Mar 2022 • Nano Letters

Interior and Edge Magnetization in Thin Exfoliated CrGeTe3 Films

Avia Noah, Hen Alpern, Sourabh Singh, Alon Gutfreund, Gilad Zisman, Tomer D Feld, Atzmon Vakahi, Sergei Remennik, Yossi Paltiel, Martin Emile Huber, Victor Barrena, Hermann Suderow, Hadar Steinberg, Oded Millo, Yonathan Anahory

CrGeTe3 (CGT) is a semiconducting vdW ferromagnet shown to possess magnetism down to a two-layer thick sample. Although CGT is one of the leading candidates for spintronics devices, a comprehensive analysis of CGT thickness dependent magnetization is currently lacking. In this work, we employ scanning SQUID-on-tip (SOT) microscopy to resolve the magnetic properties of exfoliated CGT flakes at 4.2 K. Combining transport measurements of CGT/NbSe2 samples with SOT images, we present the magnetic texture and hysteretic magnetism of CGT, thereby matching the global behavior of CGT to the domain structure extracted from local SOT magnetic imaging. Using this method, we provide a thickness dependent magnetization state diagram of bare CGT films. No zero-field magnetic memory was found for films thicker than 10 nm, and hard ferromagnetism was found below that critical thickness. Using …

Show more

Mar 2022 • Engineering in Life Sciences

Introduction of quorum sensing elements into bacterial bioreporter circuits enhances explosives’ detection capabilities

Etai Shpigel, Shiri Nathansohn, Anat Glozman, Rachel Rosen, Benjamin Shemer, Sharon Yagur‐Kroll, Tal Elad, Shimshon Belkin

A possible solution for the standoff detection of buried landmines is based on the use of microbial bioreporters, genetically engineered to emit a remotely detectable optical signal in response to trace amounts of explosives’ signature chemicals, mostly 2,4‐dinitrotoluene (DNT). Previously developed DNT sensor strains were based on the fusion of a DNT‐inducible gene promoter to a reporting element, either a fluorescent protein gene or a bacterial bioluminescence gene cassette. In the present study, a different approach was used: the DNT‐inducible promoter activates, in Escherichia coli, the quorum‐sensing luxI and luxR genes of Aliivibrio fischeri. N‐Acyl homoserine lactone (AHL), synthesized by LuxI, combines with LuxR and activates the bioluminescence reporter genes. The resulting bioreporter displayed a dose‐dependent luminescent signal in the presence of DNT. Performance of the sensor strain was …

Show more

Mar 2022 • ACS nano

Complete Mapping of Interacting Charging States in Single Coupled Colloidal Quantum Dot Molecules

Yossef E Panfil, Jiabin Cui, Somnath Koley, Uri Banin

Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs), major building blocks in modern optoelectronic devices, have so far been synthesized with only one emission center where the exciton resides. Recent development of coupled colloidal quantum dots molecules (CQDM), where two core–shell CQDs are fused to form two emission centers in close proximity, allows exploration of how charge carriers in one CQD affect the charge carriers in the other CQD. Cryogenic single particle spectroscopy reveals that while CQD monomers manifest a simple emission spectrum comprising a main emission peak with well-defined phonon sidebands, CQDMs exhibit a complex spectrum with multiple peaks that are not all spaced according to the known phonon frequencies. Based on complementary emission polarization and time-resolved analysis, this is assigned to fluorescence of the two coupled emission centers. Moreover, the complex peak …

Show more

Mar 2022 • Nano Letters

Resonant Laser Printing of Optical Metasurfaces

Xiaolong Zhu, Jacob Engelberg, Sergei Remennik, Binbin Zhou, Jonas Nyvold Pedersen, Peter Uhd Jepsen, Uriel Levy, Anders Kristensen

One of the challenges for metasurface research is upscaling. The conventional methods for fabrication of metasurfaces, such as electron-beam or focused ion beam lithography, are not scalable. The use of ultraviolet steppers or nanoimprinting still requires large-size masks or stamps, which are costly and challenging in further handling. This work demonstrates a cost-effective and lithography-free method for printing optical metasurfaces. It is based on resonant absorption of laser light in an optical cavity formed by a multilayer structure of ultrathin metal and dielectric coatings. A nearly perfect light absorption is obtained via interferometric control of absorption and operating around a critical coupling condition. Controlled by the laser power, the surface undergoes a structural transition from random, semiperiodic, and periodic to amorphous patterns with nanoscale precision. The reliability, upscaling, and …

Show more

Mar 2022 • Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical

Machine-learning assisted antibiotic detection and categorization using a bacterial sensor array

Wei-Che Huang, Chin-Dian Wei, Shimshon Belkin, Tung-Han Hsieh, Ji-Yen Cheng

With the extensive global use of antibiotics, the problems associated with environmental and food antibiotic residues have significantly increased, necessitating new methods for rapid detection and categorization of compounds with antibiotic activity. In an answer to this need, we report a new platform, bacterial array solid-phase assay (BacSPA), based on monitoring the responses of 15 stress-responsive Escherichia coli sensor strains. These bioreporters, genetically modified by fusing bioluminescence (luxCDABE) reporter genes upstream of stress-induced gene promoters, were inoculated on solidified agar slabs individually mixed with 11 different antibiotics, belonging to 7 mode of action classes. The antibiotic-induced bioluminescence by the different strains generated a distinct response pattern for each antibiotic class. This luminescence pattern was monitored by time-lapse photography, and a machine …

Show more

Feb 2022 • Nature Photonics

Standardizing flat lens characterization

Jacob Engelberg, Uriel Levy

The field of fiat lens research brings innovative nanophotonic design concepts to the world of macro-optics. However, when evaluating the performance of these lenses a lack of consistency prevents proper comparison of competing technologies. This problem can be solved by using methods developed in industry for conventional lenses.

Show more

Feb 2022 • ACS nano

Entropy of Branching Out: Linear versus Branched Alkylthiols Ligands on CdSe Nanocrystals

Orian Elimelech, Omer Aviv, Meirav Oded, Xiaogang Peng, Daniel Harries, Uri Banin

Surface ligands of semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) play key roles in determining their colloidal stability and physicochemical properties and are thus enablers also for the NCs flexible manipulation toward numerous applications. Attention is usually paid to the ligand binding group, while the impact of the ligand chain backbone structure is less discussed. Using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), we studied the effect of structural changes in the ligand chain on the thermodynamics of the exchange reaction for oleate coated CdSe NCs, comparing linear and branched alkylthiols. The investigated alkylthiol ligands differed in their backbone length, branching position, and branching group length. Compared to linear ligands, lower exothermicity and entropy loss were observed for an exchange with branched ligands, due to steric hindrance in ligand packing, thereby justifying their previous classification as “entropic …

Show more

Jan 2022 • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Multiscale X-ray study of Bacillus subtilis biofilms reveals interlinked structural hierarchy and elemental heterogeneity

David N Azulay, Oliver Spaeker, Mnar Ghrayeb, Michaela Wilsch-Bräuninger, Ernesto Scoppola, Manfred Burghammer, Ivo Zizak, Luca Bertinetti, Yael Politi, Liraz Chai

Biofilms are multicellular microbial communities that encase themselves in an extracellular matrix (ECM) of secreted biopolymers and attach to surfaces and interfaces. Bacterial biofilms are detrimental in hospital and industrial settings, but they can be beneficial, for example, in agricultural as well as in food technology contexts. An essential property of biofilms that grants them with increased survival relative to planktonic cells is phenotypic heterogeneity, the division of the biofilm population into functionally distinct subgroups of cells. Phenotypic heterogeneity in biofilms can be traced to the cellular level; however, the molecular structures and elemental distribution across whole biofilms, as well as possible linkages between them, remain unexplored. Mapping X-ray diffraction across intact biofilms in time and space, we revealed the dominant structural features in Bacillus subtilis biofilms, stemming from matrix …

Show more

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


Jan 2022 • Langmuir

Understanding the Adhesion Mechanism of Hydroxyapatite-Binding Peptide

Tal Duanis-Assaf, Tan Hu, Maayan Lavie, Zhuo Zhang, Meital Reches

Understanding the interactions between the protein collagen and hydroxyapatite is of high importance for understanding biomineralization and bone formation. Here, we undertook a reductionist approach and studied the interactions between a short peptide and hydroxyapatite. The peptide was selected from a phage-display library for its high affinity to hydroxyapatite. To study its interactions with hydroxyapatite, we performed an alanine scan to determine the contribution of each residue. The interactions of the different peptide derivatives were studied using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring and with single-molecule force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy. Our results suggest that the peptide binds via electrostatic interactions between cationic moieties of the peptide and the negatively charged groups on the crystal surface. Furthermore, our findings show that cationic residues have a …

Show more

Jan 2022 • Microbial biotechnology

Sense and sensibility: of synthetic biology and the redesign of bioreporter circuits

Shimshon Belkin, Baojun Wang


Jan 2022 • Polymers 14 (9), 1641, 2022

Urinary Stent Development and Evaluation Models: In Vitro, Ex Vivo and In Vivo—A European Network of Multidisciplinary Research to Improve Urinary Stents (ENIUS) Initiative

Noor Buchholz, Alberto Budia, Julia de la Cruz, Wolfgang Kram, Owen Humphreys, Meital Reches, Raquel Valero Boix, Federico Soria Gálvez

Background: When trying to modify urinary stents, certain pre-clinical steps have to be followed before clinical evaluation in humans. Usually, the process starts as an in silico assessment. The urinary tract is a highly complex, dynamic and variable environment, which makes a computer simulation closely reflecting physiological conditions extremely challenging. Therefore, the pre-clinical evaluation needs to go through further steps of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo assessments. Methods and materials: Within the European Network of Multidisciplinary Research to Improve Urinary Stents (ENIUS), the authors summarized and evaluated stent assessment models in silico, in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo. The topic and relevant sub-topics were researched in a systematic literature search in Embase, Scope, Web of Science and PubMed. Clinicaltrials. gov was consulted for ongoing trials. Articles were selected systematically according to guidelines with non-relevant, non-complete, and non-English or Spanish language articles excluded. Results: In the first part of this paper, we critically evaluate in vitro stent assessment models used over the last five decades, outlining briefly their strengths and weaknesses. In the second part, we provide a step-by-step guide on what to consider when setting up an ex vivo model for stent evaluation on the example of a biodegradable stent. Lastly, the third part lists and discusses the pros and cons of available animal models for urinary stent evaluation, this being the final step before human trials. Conclusions: We hope that this overview can provide a practical guide and a critical discussion of the experimental pre-clinical …

Show more

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 …

Show more

Jan 2022 • bioRxiv

Molecular architecture of the TasA biofilm scaffold in Bacillus subtilis

Jan Boehning, Mnar Ghrayeb, Conrado Pedebos, Daniel Abbas, Syma Khalid, Liraz Chai, Tanmay Bharat

Many bacteria in nature exist in multicellular communities termed biofilms. Cells within biofilms are embedded in a primarily self-secreted extracellular polymeric matrix that provides rigidity to the biofilm and protects cells from chemical and mechanical stresses. In the Gram-positive model biofilm-forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis, TasA is the major protein component of the biofilm matrix, where it has been reported to form functional amyloid fibres contributing to biofilm structure and stability. The structure of TasA fibres, however, and how fibres scaffold the biofilm at the molecular level, is not known. Here, we present electron cryomicroscopy structures of TasA fibres, which show that rather than forming amyloid fibrils, TasA monomers assemble into filaments through donor strand complementation, with each subunit donating a beta-strand to complete the fold of the next subunit along the filament. Combining electron cryotomography, atomic force microscopy, and mutational studies, we show how TasA filaments congregate in three dimensions to form abundant fibre bundles that are essential for B. subtilis biofilm formation. This study explains the previously observed biochemical properties of TasA and shows, for the first time, how a bacterial extracellular globular protein can assemble from monomers into beta-sheet-rich fibres, and how such fibres assemble into bundles in biofilms. We establish a hierarchical, atomic-level assembly mechanism of biofilm scaffolding that provides a structural framework for understanding bacterial biofilm formation.

Show more

Jan 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2201.08156

One-dimensional bound states in the continuum in the w~ k space for nonlinear optical applications

Kaili Sun, Hui Jiang, Dmitry A Bykov, Vien Van, Uriel Levy, Yangjian Cai, Zhanghua Han

The phenomenon of bound state in the continuum (BIC) with infinite quality factor and lifetime has emerged in recent years in photonics as a new tool of manipulating light-matter interactions. However, most of the investigated structures only support BIC resonances at very few discrete positions in the w~k space, restricting their applications in many fields where random or more input frequencies than the number of supported BIC resonances are required. In this work, we demonstrate that a new set of BIC resonances can be supported by making use of a special composite grating consisting of two ridge arrays with the same period and zero-approaching ridge width difference on a slab waveguide. These BIC resonances are distributed continuously over a broad band along a line in the w~k space and can thus be considered as one-dimensional BICs. With a slight increase of the width difference, these BICs will switch to quasi-BIC modes and it is possible to choose arbitrarily any frequencies on the dispersion line to achieve significantly enhanced light-matter interactions, facilitating many applications where multiple input wavelengths are required, e.g. sum or difference frequency generations in nonlinear optics.

Show more

Jan 2022 • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Direct measurement of the viscoelectric effect in water

Di Jin, Yongyun Hwang, Liraz Chai, Nir Kampf, Jacob Klein

The viscoelectric effect concerns the increase in viscosity of a polar liquid in an electric field due to its interaction with the dipolar molecules and was first determined for polar organic liquids more than 80 y ago. For the case of water, however, the most common polar liquid, direct measurement of the viscoelectric effect is challenging and has not to date been carried out, despite its importance in a wide range of electrokinetic and flow effects. In consequence, estimates of its magnitude for water vary by more than three orders of magnitude. Here, we measure the viscoelectric effect in water directly using a surface force balance by measuring the dynamic approach of two molecularly smooth surfaces with a controlled, uniform electric field between them across highly purified water. As the water is squeezed out of the gap between the approaching surfaces, viscous damping dominates the approach dynamics; this is …

Show more

Jan 2022 • bioRxiv

The inhibitory effect of EGCG-AgNP-lysozyme bioconjugates on biofilm formation

Brahmaiah Meesaragandla, Shahar Hayet, Tamir Fine, Una Janke, Liraz Chai, Mihaela Delcea

Multidrug resistance of pathogenic bacteria to antimicrobial drugs has become a major problem for the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Here, we report on the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) ligand, which is known to present antibacterial activity. We further describe the interaction of EGCG-AgNPs with lysozyme, an antibacterial enzyme abundant in fluids like serum, saliva and tears, and the formation of EGCG-AgNP-lysozyme bioconjugates. Our results demonstrate the formation of lysozyme protein corona as shown by UV-Vis, dynamic light scattering and SDS-PAGE analyses. Using circular dichroism spectroscopy we found that lysozyme preserves its secondary structure at low concentration of EGCG-AgNPs, whereas higher concentrations induce protein structural changes. Furthermore, we have shown in bacterial growth and biofilm formation assays that EGCG presents no antibacterial activity on planktonic Bacillus subtilis cells when it was bound to AgNPs. It was found that EGCG-AgNPs (>40 nM) inhibit B. subtilis in biofilm forming conditions and the inhibition effect is reduced by lysozyme corona formation on EGCG-AgNPs. Our results demonstrate that EGCG-AgNPs could be used as antibiofilm agents because they showed lower cytotoxicity and significant inhibitory effect on pellicle formation.

Show more

2022 • Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology

Enhancing DNT detection by a bacterial bioreporter: Directed evolution of the transcriptional activator YhaJ

Tal Elad, Benjamin Shemer, Shilat Simanowitz, Yossef Kabessa, Yosef Mizrachi, Azriel Gold, Etai Shpigel, Aharon J Agranat, Shimshon Belkin

Detection of buried landmines is a dangerous and complicated task that consumes large financial resources and poses significant risks to the personnel involved. A potential alternative to conventional detection methodologies is the use of microbial bioreporters, capable of emitting an optical signal upon exposure to explosives, thus revealing to a remote detector the location of buried explosive devices. We have previously reported the design, construction, and optimization of an Escherichia coli-based bioreporter for the detection of 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and its accompanying impurity 2, 4-dinitrotoluene (DNT). Here we describe the further enhancement of this bioreporter by the directed evolution of YhaJ, the transcriptional activator of the yqjF gene promoter, the sensing element of the bioreporter’s molecular circuit. This process resulted in a 37-fold reduction of the detection threshold, as well as significant …

Show more

logo
Articali

Powered by Articali

TermsPrivacy