The Optimized Fabrication of Nanobubbles as Ultrasound Contrast Agents for Tumor Imaging.
ABSTRACT: Nanobubbles, which have the potential for ultrasonic targeted imaging and treatment in tumors, have been a research focus in recent years. With the current methods, however, the prepared uniformly sized nanobubbles either undergo post-formulation manipulation, such as centrifugation, after the mixture of microbubbles and nanobubbles, or require the addition of amphiphilic surfactants. These processes influence the nanobubble stability, possibly create material waste, and complicate the preparation process. In the present work, we directly prepared uniformly sized nanobubbles by modulating the thickness of a phospholipid film without the purification processes or the addition of amphiphilic surfactants. The fabricated nanobubbles from the optimal phospholipid film thickness exhibited optimal physical characteristics, such as uniform bubble size, good stability, and low toxicity. We also evaluated the enhanced imaging ability of the nanobubbles both in vitro and in vivo. The in vivo enhancement intensity in the tumor was stronger than that of SonoVue after injection (UCA; 2?min: 162.47?±?8.94?dB vs. 132.11?±?5.16?dB, P?
Project description:While bulk-sized metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) face limits to their utilization in various research fields such as energy storage applications, nanoarchitectonics is believed to be a possible solution. It is highly challenging to realize MOF nanobubbles with monocrystalline frameworks. By a spatially controlled etching approach, here, we can achieve the synthesis of zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF-8) nanobubbles with a uniform size of less than 100 nm. Interestingly, the ZIF-8 nanobubbles possess a monocrystalline nanoshell with a thickness of around 10 nm. Under optimal pyrolytic conditions, the ZIF-8 nanobubbles can be converted into hollow carbon nanobubbles while keeping their original shapes. The structure of the nanobubble enhances the fast Na<sup>+</sup>/K<sup>+</sup> ion intercalation performance. Such remarkable improvement cannot be realized by conventional MOFs or their derived carbons.
Project description:Pulmonary surfactant provides an alveolar surface-active film that is critical for normal lung function. Our objective was to determine in vitro film formation properties of therapeutic and infant surfactants and the influence of surfactant protein (SP)-B content.We used a multiwell fluorescent assay measuring maximum phospholipid surface accumulation (Max), phospholipid concentration required for half-maximal film formation (½Max), and time for maximal accumulation (tMax).Among five therapeutic surfactants, calfactant (highest SP-B content) had film formation values similar to natural surfactant, and addition of SP-B to beractant (lowest SP-B) normalized its Max value. Addition of budesonide to calfactant did not adversely affect film formation. In tracheal aspirates of preterm infants with evolving chronic lung disease, SP-B content correlated with ½Max and tMax values, and SP-B supplementation of SP-B-deficient infant surfactant restored normal film formation. Reconstitution of normal surfactant indicated a role for both SP-B and SP-C in film formation.Film formation in vitro differs among therapeutic surfactants and is highly dependent on SP-B content in infant surfactant. The results support a critical role of SP-B for promoting surface film formation.
Project description:Graphene has sparked extensive research interest for its excellent physical properties and its unique potential for application in absorption of electromagnetic waves. However, the processing of stable large-scale graphene and magnetic particles on a micrometer-thick conductive support is a formidable challenge for achieving high reflection loss and impedance matching between the absorber and free space. Herein, a novel and simple approach for the processing of a CNT film-Fe3O4-large scale graphene composite is studied. The Fe3O4 particles with size in the range of 20-200?nm are uniformly aligned along the axial direction of the CNTs. The composite exhibits exceptionally high wave absorption capacity even at a very low thickness. Minimum reflection loss of -44.7?dB and absorbing bandwidth of 4.7?GHz at -10?dB are achieved in composites with one-layer graphene in six-layer CNT film-Fe3O4 prepared from 0.04?M FeCl3. Microstructural and theoretical studies of the wave-absorbing mechanism reveal a unique Debye dipolar relaxation with an Eddy current effect in the absorbing bandwidth.
Project description:Layer by layer (lbl) assembled multilayer thin films are used in drug delivery systems with attractive advantages such as unlimited selection of building blocks and free modification of the film structure. In this paper, we report the fundamental properties of lbl films constructed from different substances such as PS-b-PAA amphiphilic block copolymer micelles (BCM) as nano-sized drug vehicles, 2D-shaped graphene oxide (GO), and branched polyethylenimine (bPEI). These films were fabricated by successive lbl assembly as a result of electrostatic interactions between the carboxyl group of BCM and amine group of functionalized GO or bPEI under various pH conditions. We also compared the thickness, roughness, morphology and degree of adsorption of the (bPEI/BCM) films to those in the (GO/BCM) films. The results showed significant difference because of the distinct pH dependence of each material. In addition, drug release rates of the GO/BCM film were more rapid those of the (bPEI/BCM) film in pH 7.4 and pH 2 PBS buffer solutions. In (bPEI/BCM/GO/BCM) film, the inserted GO layers into bPEI/BCM multilayer induced rapid drug release. We believe that these materials &pH dependent film properties allow developments in the control of coating techniques for biological and biomedical applications.
Project description:Owing to their high thermal and optical performances, carbon nanotube (CNT) films are used in various photo-thermo-electric (PTE) applications, such as terahertz (THz) sensing and energy harvesting. To improve the performance of PTE devices, a device structure should be designed based on a deep understanding of the thermal and optical responses of the CNT film. However, the optical properties of CNT films in the THz frequency region remain unclear because of the difficulties associated with device processing and measurements. Herein, we report our findings on the thermal and optical characteristics of CNT films. The shape of the CNT film that maximizes the product of the thermal and optical factors (optimal structure of the PTE sensor) depends on the frequency of the irradiating electromagnetic wave. The optimal film thickness and width values for THz irradiation range from 300-600 nm and 50-70 µm, respectively. Subsequently, we fabricated a serially connected, multi-element PTE sensor with an optimal device structure and enhanced the detection sensitivity by approximately 13 times compared with a single-element PTE sensor. In addition, we demonstrated the first THz spectroscopy application using a PTE sensor. The findings of this study, thermal/optical factor enhancement, and micro-sized CNT film processing technology can be used to improve the performance of all CNT-based photothermal devices, including PTE sensors and thermoelectric generators.
Project description:The crystal structure of a designed phospholipid-inspired amphiphilic phosphopeptide at 0.8 Å resolution is presented. The phosphorylated β-hairpin peptide crystallizes to form a lamellar structure that is stabilized by intra- and intermolecular hydrogen bonding, including an extended β-sheet structure, as well as aromatic interactions. This first reported crystal structure of a two-tailed peptidic bilayer reveals similarities in thickness to a typical phospholipid bilayer. However, water molecules interact with the phosphopeptide in the hydrophilic region of the lattice. Additionally, solid-state NMR was used to demonstrate correlation between the crystal structure and supramolecular nanostructures. The phosphopeptide was shown to self-assemble into semi-elliptical nanosheets, and solid-state NMR provides insight into the self-assembly mechanisms. This work brings a new dimension to the structural study of biomimetic amphiphilic peptides with determination of molecular organization at the atomic level.
Project description:Lyotropic myelin figures (MFs), i.e., long cylindrical structures formed by certain surfactants, owe their name to their resemblance to the biological membrane that covers nerve fibers. Herein, we used a strong bilayer-forming zwitterionic phospholipid stained by the Nile Red dye to study lamellar mesophases. Polarized optical microscopy and fluorescence confocal microscopy allowed us to investigate the morphology of myelin structures and determine the orientational order of amphiphilic molecules. The cross-sectional views reveal significant differences in the configurations of MFs within the liquid crystalline cell, as well as the details of a spontaneous and stimulated formation of branched lipid tubes. Our results provide insights into small-scale morphology and out-of-equilibrium structural changes in the multilamellar structures.
Project description:Thermoelectric generators based on single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have great potential for use in wearable and skin electronics because of their lightweight and mechanically soft structure. However, the fabrication of air-stable n-type thermoelectric SWCNTs using conventional processes is challenging. Herein, we propose a facile process for fabricating air-stable n-type SWCNT films with anionic surfactants via drop casting followed by heat treatment. We examined different surfactants (Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate, Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, and Sodium Cholate) and heat-treatment temperatures. The optimal SWCNT film maintained the n-type Seebeck coefficient for 35 days. Moreover, to further extend the n-type Seebeck coefficient maintenance, we periodically reheated the SWCNT film with a surfactant that had returned to the p-type Seebeck coefficient. The reheated film recovered the n-type Seebeck coefficient, and the effect of the reheating treatment lasted for several reheating cycles. Finally, we elucidated a simple mechanism for realizing an air-stable n-type Seebeck coefficient based on spectroscopic analyses of the SWCNT films.
Project description:Gas microbubbles stabilized with lipids, surfactants, proteins and/or polymers are widely used clinically as ultrasound contrast agents. Because of their large 1-10?µm size, applications of microbubbles are confined to the blood vessels. Accordingly, there is much interest in generating nanoscale echogenic bubbles (nanobubbles), which can enable new uses of ultrasound contrast agents in molecular imaging and drug delivery, particularly for cancer applications. While the interactions of microbubbles with ultrasound have been widely investigated, little is known about the activity of nanobubbles under ultrasound exposure. In this work, we demonstrate that cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) can be used to image nanoscale lipid and polymer-stabilized perfluorocarbon gas bubbles before and after their destruction with high intensity ultrasound. In addition, cryo-EM can be used to observe electron-beam induced dissipation of nanobubble encapsulated perfluorocarbon gas.
Project description:In order to overcome the various defects caused by the limitations of solid metal as a shielding material, the development of electromagnetic shielding materials with flexibility and excellent mechanical properties is of great significance for the next generation of intelligent electronic devices. Here, the aramid nanofiber/Ti<sub>3</sub>C<sub>2</sub>T<sub>x</sub> MXene (ANF/MXene) composite films with multilayer structure were successfully prepared through a simple alternate vacuum-assisted filtration (AVAF) process. With the intervention of the ANF layer, the multilayer-structure film exhibits excellent mechanical properties. The ANF2/MXene1 composite film exhibits a tensile strength of 177.7 MPa and a breaking strain of 12.6%. In addition, the ANF5/MXene4 composite film with a thickness of only 30 μm exhibits an electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding efficiency of 37.5 dB and a high EMI-specific shielding effectiveness value accounting for thickness (SSE/t) of 4718 dB·cm<sup>2</sup> g<sup>-1</sup>. Moreover, the composite film was excellent in heat-insulation performance and in avoiding light-to-heat conversion. No burning sensation was produced on the surface of the film with a thickness of only 100 μm at a high temperature of 130 °C. Furthermore, the surface of the film was only mild when touched under simulated sunlight. Therefore, our multilayer-structure film has potential significance in practical applications such as next-generation smart electronic equipment, communications, and military applications.