Recent Submissions

  • Chick chorioallantoic membrane assay as an in vivo model to study the effect of nanoparticle-based anticancer drugs in ovarian cancer

    Vu, Binh Thanh; Shahin, Sophia Allaf; Croissant, Jonas G.; Fatieiev, Yevhen; Matsumoto, Kotaro; Le-Hoang Doan, Tan; Yik, Tammy; Simargi, Shirleen; Conteras, Altagracia; Ratliff, Laura; Jimenez, Chiara Mauriello; Raehm, Laurence; Khashab, Niveen M.; Durand, Jean-Olivier; Glackin, Carlotta; Tamanoi, Fuyuhiko (Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2018-05-29) [Article]
    New therapy development is critically needed for ovarian cancer. We used the chicken egg CAM assay to evaluate efficacy of anticancer drug delivery using recently developed biodegradable PMO (periodic mesoporous organosilica) nanoparticles. Human ovarian cancer cells were transplanted onto the CAM membrane of fertilized eggs, resulting in rapid tumor formation. The tumor closely resembles cancer patient tumor and contains extracellular matrix as well as stromal cells and extensive vasculature. PMO nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin were injected intravenously into the chicken egg resulting in elimination of the tumor. No significant damage to various organs in the chicken embryo occurred. In contrast, injection of free doxorubicin caused widespread organ damage, even when less amount was administered. The lack of toxic effect of nanoparticle loaded doxorubicin was associated with specific delivery of doxorubicin to the tumor. Furthermore, we observed excellent tumor accumulation of the nanoparticles. Lastly, a tumor could be established in the egg using tumor samples from ovarian cancer patients and that our nanoparticles were effective in eliminating the tumor. These results point to the remarkable efficacy of our nanoparticle based drug delivery system and suggests the value of the chicken egg tumor model for testing novel therapies for ovarian cancer.
  • Nanosheets of Nonlayered Aluminum Metal-Organic Frameworks through a Surfactant-Assisted Method

    Pustovarenko, Alexey; Goesten, Maarten G.; Sachdeva, Sumit; Shan, Meixia; Amghouz, Zakariae; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Dikhtiarenko, Alla; Rodenas, Tania; Keskin, Damla; Voets, Ilja K.; Weckhuysen, Bert M.; Eddaoudi, Mohamed; de Smet, Louis C. P. M.; Sudhölter, Ernst J. R.; Kapteijn, Freek; Seoane, Beatriz; Gascon, Jorge (Advanced Materials, Wiley, 2018-05-18) [Article]
    During the last decade, the synthesis and application of metal-organic framework (MOF) nanosheets has received growing interest, showing unique performances for different technological applications. Despite the potential of this type of nanolamellar materials, the synthetic routes developed so far are restricted to MOFs possessing layered structures, limiting further development in this field. Here, a bottom-up surfactant-assisted synthetic approach is presented for the fabrication of nanosheets of various nonlayered MOFs, broadening the scope of MOF nanosheets application. Surfactant-assisted preorganization of the metallic precursor prior to MOF synthesis enables the manufacture of nonlayered Al-containing MOF lamellae. These MOF nanosheets are shown to exhibit a superior performance over other crystal morphologies for both chemical sensing and gas separation. As revealed by electron microscopy and diffraction, this superior performance arises from the shorter diffusion pathway in the MOF nanosheets, whose 1D channels are oriented along the shortest particle dimension.
  • Effective Interfacially Polymerized Polyester Solvent Resistant Nanofiltration Membrane from Bioderived Materials

    Abdellah, Mohamed H.; Perez Manriquez, Liliana; Puspasari, Tiara; Scholes, Colin A.; Kentish, Sandra E.; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor (Advanced Sustainable Systems, Wiley, 2018-05-18) [Article]
    Utilization of sustainable and environmentally friendly solvents for the preparation of membranes has attracted growing interest in recent years. In this work, a polyester thin film composite solvent resistant nanofiltration (SRNF) membrane is prepared by interfacial polymerization on a cellulose support. The cellulose support is prepared by nonsolvent-induced phase separation from a dope solution containing an ionic liquid as an environmentally friendly solvent (negligible vapor pressure). The polyester film is formed via the interfacial reaction between quercetin, a plant-derived polyphenol, and terephthaloyl chloride. Alpha-pinene is used as a green alternative solvent to dissolve terephthaloyl chloride (TPC) while quercetin is dissolved in a 0.2 m NaOH solution. The interfacial polymerization reaction is successfully confirmed by Fourier transform infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy while scanning electron and atomic force microscopy are used to characterize the membrane structure. The composite membrane shows an outstanding performance with a molecular weight cut-off around 330 Da combined with a dimethylformamide (DMF) permeance up to 2.8 L m−2 bar−1 h−1. The membrane is stable in strong aprotic solvents such as DMF offering potential application in the pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries.
  • CO2 Selective, Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-7 Based Polymer Composite Mixed-Matrix Membranes

    Chakrabarty, Tina; Neelakanda, Pradeep; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor (Journal of Materials Science Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2018-05-17) [Article]
    CO2 removal is necessary to mitigate the effects of global warming but it is a challenging process to separate CO2 from natural gas, biogas, and other gas streams. Development of hybrid membranes by use of polymers and metal-organic framework (MOF) particles is a viable option to overcome this challenge. A ZIF-7 nano-filler that was synthesized in our lab was embedded into a designed polymer matrix at various loadings and the performance of the mixed matrix membranes was evaluated in terms of gas permeance and selectivity. Hybrid membranes with various loadings (20, 30 and 40 wt%) were developed and tested at room temperature by a custom made time lag equipment and a jump in selectivity was observed when compared with the pristine polymer. A commercially attractive region for the selectivity CO2 over CH4 was achieved with a selectivity of 39 for 40 wt% particle loading. An increase in selectivity was observed with the increase of ZIF-7 loadings. Best performance was seen at 40% ZIF-7 loaded membrane with an ideal selectivity of 39 for CO2 over CH4. The obtained selectivity was 105% higher for CO2 over CH4 than the selectivity of the pristine polymer with a slight decrease in permeance. Morphological characterization of such developed membranes showed an excellent compatibility between the polymer and particle adhesion.
  • On the Peculiar Molecular Shape and Size Dependence of the Dynamics of Fluids confined in a Small-Pore Metal-Organic Framework

    Skarmoutsos, Ioannis; Eddaoudi, Mohamed; Maurin, Guillaume (The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-05-15) [Article]
    Force field based-Molecular dynamics simulations were deployed to systematically explore the dynamics of confined molecules of different shapes and sizes, i.e. linear (CO2 and N2) and spherical (CH4) fluids, in a model small pore system, i.e. the Metal-Organic Framework SIFSIX-2-Cu-i. These computations unveil an unprecedented molecular symmetry dependence of the translational and rotational dynamics of fluids confined in channel-like nanoporous materials. In particular this peculiar behaviour is reflected by the extremely slow decay of the Legendre reorientational correlation functions of even-parity order for the linear fluids which is associated to jump-like orientation flips, while the spherical fluid shows a very fast decay taking place in a sub-picosecond time scale. Such a fundamental understanding is relevant to diverse disciplines such as in chemistry, physics, biology and materials science where diatomic or polyatomic molecules of different shapes/sizes diffuse through nanopores.
  • Impact of Pore–Walls Ligand Assembly on the Biodegradation of Mesoporous Organosilica Nanoparticles for Controlled Drug Delivery

    Omar, Haneen; Moosa, Basem; Alamoudi, Kholod; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Emwas, Abdul-Hamid M.; El Tall, Omar; Vu, Binh; Tamanoi, Fuyu; AlMalik, Abdulaziz; Khashab, Niveen M. (ACS Omega, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-05-14) [Article]
    Porous materials with molecular-scale ordering have attracted major attention mainly because of the possibility to engineer their pores for selective applications. Periodic mesoporous organosilica is a class of hybrid materials where self-assembly of the organic linkers provides a crystal-like pore wall. However, unlike metal coordination, specific geometries cannot be predicted because of the competitive and dynamic nature of noncovalent interactions. Herein, we study the influence of competing noncovalent interactions in the pore walls on the biodegradation of organosilica frameworks for drug delivery application. These results support the importance of studying self-assembly patterns in hybrid frameworks to better engineer the next generation of dynamic or “soft” porous materials.
  • In Situ Spectroscopic Ellipsometry in the Field of Industrial Membranes

    Ogieglo, Wojciech (Ellipsometry of Functional Organic Surfaces and Films, Springer International Publishing, 2018-05-06) [Book Chapter]
    Industrial membranes are playing an ever increasing role in the ongoing and necessary transition of our society towards more sustainable growth and development. Already today membranes offer more energy efficient alternatives to the traditional often very energy intensive industrial separation processes such as (cryogenic) distillation or crystallization. For many years reverse osmosis membranes have offered a viable method for the production of potable water via desalination processes and their significance continuously increases. Recently, membrane technology has been demonstrated to play a significant role in potential methods to generate or store energy on an industrial scale. For molecular separations often the key for an efficient membrane operation often lies in the application of an (ultra-) thin organic polymer, inorganic or hybrid selective layer whose interaction with the separated mixture defines the membrane performance. Ellipsometry has started gaining increasing attention in this area due to its large potential to conduct in-situ, non-destructive and very precise analysis of the film-fluid interactions. In this chapter, we aim to review the important recent developments in the application of ellipsometry in industrial membrane-related studies. We briefly introduce the basics of membrane science and discuss the used experimental setups and optical models. Further we focus on fundamental studies of sorption, transport and penetrant-induced phenomena in thin films exposed to organic solvents or high pressure gases. The application of in-situ ellipsometry is discussed for studies of new, promising membrane materials and the use of the technique for emerging direct studies of operating membranes is highlighted.
  • Thin porphyrin composite membranes with enhanced organic solvent transport

    Phuoc, Duong; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor; Nunes, Suzana Pereira (Journal of Membrane Science, Elsevier BV, 2018-05-01) [Article]
    Extending the stability of polymeric membranes in organic solvents is important for applications in chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Thin-film composite membranes with enhanced solvent permeance are proposed, using porphyrin as a building block. Hybrid polyamide films are formed by interfacial polymerization of 5,10,15,20-(tetra-4-aminophenyl)porphyrin/m-phenylene diamine (MPD) mixtures with trimesoyl chloride. Porphyrin is a non-planar molecule, containing a heterocyclic tetrapyrrole unit. Its incorporation into a polyamide film leads to higher free volume than that of a standard polyamide film. Polyamide films derived from porphyrin and MPD amines with a fixed total amine concentration of 1wt% and various porphyrin/MPD ratios were fabricated and characterized. The porphyrin/MPD polyamide film was complexed with Cu(II), due to the binding capacity of porphyrin to metal ions. By coupling scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), Cu mapping was obtained, revealing the distribution of porphyrin in the interfacial polymerized layer. By using porphyrin as amine-functionalized monomer a membrane with thin selective skin and enhanced solvent transport is obtained, with good dye selectivity in the nanofiltration range. For instance, an ultra-fast hexane permeance, 40-fold increased, was confirmed when using 0.5/0.5 porphyrin/MPD mixtures, instead of only MPD as amine monomer. A rejection of 94.2% Brilliant Blue R (826g/mol) in methanol was measured.
  • Catalytic amino acid production from biomass-derived intermediates

    Deng, Weiping; Wang, Yunzhu; Zhang, Sui; Gupta, Krishna M.; Hülsey, Max J.; Asakura, Hiroyuki; Liu, Lingmei; Han, Yu; Karp, Eric M.; Beckham, Gregg T.; Dyson, Paul J.; Jiang, Jianwen; Tanaka, Tsunehiro; Wang, Ye; Yan, Ning (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018-04-30) [Article]
    Amino acids are the building blocks for protein biosynthesis and find use in myriad industrial applications including in food for humans, in animal feed, and as precursors for bio-based plastics, among others. However, the development of efficient chemical methods to convert abundant and renewable feedstocks into amino acids has been largely unsuccessful to date. To that end, here we report a heterogeneous catalyst that directly transforms lignocellulosic biomass-derived α-hydroxyl acids into α-amino acids, including alanine, leucine, valine, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine in high yields. The reaction follows a dehydrogenation-reductive amination pathway, with dehydrogenation as the rate-determining step. Ruthenium nanoparticles supported on carbon nanotubes (Ru/CNT) exhibit exceptional efficiency compared with catalysts based on other metals, due to the unique, reversible enhancement effect of NH3 on Ru in dehydrogenation. Based on the catalytic system, a two-step chemical process was designed to convert glucose into alanine in 43% yield, comparable with the well-established microbial cultivation process, and therefore, the present strategy enables a route for the production of amino acids from renewable feedstocks. Moreover, a conceptual process design employing membrane distillation to facilitate product purification is proposed and validated. Overall, this study offers a rapid and potentially more efficient chemical method to produce amino acids from woody biomass components.
  • Topologically guided tuning of Zr-MOF pore structures for highly selective separation of C6 alkane isomers

    Wang, Hao; Dong, Xinglong; Lin, Junzhong; Teat, Simon J.; Jensen, Stephanie; Cure, Jeremy; Alexandrov, Eugeny V.; Xia, Qibin; Tan, Kui; Wang, Qining; Olson, David H.; Proserpio, Davide M.; Chabal, Yves J.; Thonhauser, Timo; Sun, Junliang; Han, Yu; Li, Jing (Nature Communications, Springer Nature, 2018-04-25) [Article]
    As an alternative technology to energy intensive distillations, adsorptive separation by porous solids offers lower energy cost and higher efficiency. Herein we report a topology-directed design and synthesis of a series of Zr-based metal-organic frameworks with optimized pore structure for efficient separation of C6 alkane isomers, a critical step in the petroleum refining process to produce gasoline with high octane rating. Zr6O4(OH)4(bptc)3 adsorbs a large amount of n-hexane but excluding branched isomers. The n-hexane uptake is ~70% higher than that of a benchmark adsorbent, zeolite-5A. A derivative structure, Zr6O4(OH)8(H2O)4(abtc)2, is capable of discriminating all three C6 isomers and yielding a high separation factor for 3-methylpentane over 2,3-dimethylbutane. This property is critical for producing gasoline with further improved quality. Multicomponent breakthrough experiments provide a quantitative measure of the capability of these materials for separation of C6 alkane isomers. A detailed structural analysis reveals the unique topology, connectivity and relationship of these compounds.
  • High Dehumidification Performance of Amorphous Cellulose Composite Membranes prepared from Trimethylsilyl Cellulose

    Puspasari, Tiara; Akhtar, Faheem Hassan; Ogieglo, Wojciech; Alharbi, Ohoud; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor (Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2018-04-11) [Article]
    Cellulose is widely regarded as an environmentally friendly, natural and low cost material which can significantly contribute the sustainable economic growth. In this study, cellulose composite membranes were prepared via regeneration of trimethylsilyl cellulose (TMSC), an easily synthesized cellulose derivative. The amorphous hydrophilic feature of the regenerated cellulose enabled fast permeation of water vapour. The pore-free cellulose layer thickness was adjustable by the initial TMSC concentration and acted as an efficient gas barrier. As a result, a 5,000 GPU water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) at the highest ideal selectivity of 1.1 x 106 was achieved by the membranes spin coated from a 7% (w/w) TMSC solution. The membranes maintained a 4,000 GPU WVTR with selectivity of 1.1 x 104 in the mixed-gas experiments, surpassing the performances of the previously reported composite membranes. This study provides a simple way to not only produce high performance membranes but also to advance cellulose as a low-cost and sustainable membrane material for dehumidification applications.
  • Synthesis of Sub-10 nm Two-Dimensional Covalent Organic Thin Film with Sharp Molecular Sieving Nanofiltration

    Gadwal, Ikhlas; Sheng, Guan; Thankamony, Roshni Lilly; Liu, Yang; Li, Huifang; Lai, Zhiping (ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-04-06) [Article]
    We demonstrated here a novel and facile synthesis of two-dimensional (2D) covalent organic thin film with pore size around 1.5 nm using a planar, amphiphilic and substituted heptacyclic truxene based triamine and a simple dialdehyde as building blocks by dynamic imine bond formation at the air/water interface using Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) method. Optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM), all unanimously showed the formation of large, molecularly thin and free-standing membrane that can be easily transferred on different substrate surfaces. The 2D membrane supported on a porous polysulfone showed a rejection rate of 64 and 71% for NaCl and MgSO4, respectively, and a clear molecular sieving at molecular size around 1.3 nm, which demonstrated a great potential in the application of pretreatment of seawater desalination and separation of organic molecules.
  • Single-site catalyst promoters accelerate metal-catalyzed nitroarene hydrogenation

    Wang, Liang; Guan, Erjia; Zhang, Jian; Yang, Junhao; Zhu, Yihan; Han, Yu; Yang, Ming; Cen, Cheng; Fu, Gang; Gates, Bruce C.; Xiao, Feng-Shou (Nature Communications, Springer Nature, 2018-04-04) [Article]
    Atomically dispersed supported metal catalysts are drawing wide attention because of the opportunities they offer for new catalytic properties combined with efficient use of the metals. We extend this class of materials to catalysts that incorporate atomically dispersed metal atoms as promoters. The catalysts are used for the challenging nitroarene hydrogenation and found to have both high activity and selectivity. The promoters are single-site Sn on TiO2 supports that incorporate metal nanoparticle catalysts. Represented as M/Sn-TiO2 (M = Au, Ru, Pt, Ni), these catalysts decidedly outperform the unpromoted supported metals, even for hydrogenation of nitroarenes substituted with various reducible groups. The high activity and selectivity of these catalysts result from the creation of oxygen vacancies on the TiO2 surface by single-site Sn, which leads to efficient, selective activation of the nitro group coupled with a reaction involving hydrogen atoms activated on metal nanoparticles.
  • The Mechanism of Low-Temperature Oxidation of Carbon Monoxide by Oxygen over the PdCl2–CuCl2/γ-Al2O3 Nanocatalyst

    Bruk, Lev; Titov, Denis; Ustyugov, Alexander; Zubavichus, Yan; Chernikova, Valeriya; Tkachenko, Olga; Kustov, Leonid; Murzin, Vadim; Oshanina, Irina; Temkin, Oleg (Nanomaterials, MDPI AG, 2018-04-03) [Article]
    The state of palladium and copper on the surface of the PdCl2–CuCl2/γ-Al2O3 nanocatalyst for the low-temperature oxidation of CO by molecular oxygen was studied by various spectroscopic techniques. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS), freshly prepared samples of the catalyst were studied. The same samples were also evaluated after interaction with CO, O2, and H2O vapor in various combinations. It was shown that copper exists in the form of Cu2Cl(OH)3 (paratacamite) nanophase on the surface of the catalyst. No palladium-containing crystalline phases were identified. Palladium coordination initially is comprised of four chlorine atoms. It was shown by XAS that this catalyst is not capable of oxidizing CO at room temperature in the absence of H2O and O2 over 12 h. Copper(II) and palladium(II) are reduced to Cu(I) and Pd(I,0) species, respectively, in the presence of CO and H2O vapor (without O2). It was found by DRIFTS that both linear (2114 cm−1, 1990 cm−1) and bridging (1928 cm−1) forms of coordinated CO were formed upon adsorption onto the catalyst surface. Moreover, the formation of CO2 was detected upon the interaction of the coordinated CO with oxygen. The kinetics of CO oxidation was studied at 18–38 °C at an atmospheric pressure for CO, O2, N2, and H2O (gas) mixtures in a flow reactor (steady state conditions).
  • Porous Porphyrin-Based Organosilica Nanoparticles for NIR Two-Photon Photodynamic Therapy and Gene Delivery in Zebrafish

    Mauriello Jimenez, Chiara; Aggad, Dina; Croissant, Jonas G.; Tresfield, Karen; Laurencin, Danielle; Berthomieu, Dorothée; Cubedo, Nicolas; Rossel, Mireille; Alsaiari, Shahad K.; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Sougrat, Rachid; Roldan-Gutierrez, Manuel A.; Richeter, Sébastien; Oliviero, Erwan; Raehm, Laurence; Charnay, Clarence; Cattoën, Xavier; Clément, Sébastien; Wong Chi Man, Michel; Maynadier, Marie; Chaleix, Vincent; Sol, Vincent; Garcia, Marcel; Gary-Bobo, Magali; Khashab, Niveen M.; Bettache, Nadir; Durand, Jean-Olivier (Advanced Functional Materials, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018-03-30) [Article]
    Periodic mesoporous organosilica nanoparticles emerge as promising vectors for nanomedicine applications. Their properties are very different from those of well-known mesoporous silica nanoparticles as there is no silica source for their synthesis. So far, they have only been synthesized from small bis-silylated organic precursors. However, no studies employing large stimuli-responsive precursors have been reported on such hybrid systems yet. Here, the synthesis of porphyrin-based organosilica nanoparticles from a large octasilylated metalated porphyrin precursor is described for applications in near-infrared two-photon-triggered spatiotemporal theranostics. The nanoparticles display unique interconnected large cavities of 10-80 nm. The framework of the nanoparticles is constituted with J-aggregates of porphyrins, which endows them with two-photon sensitivity. The nanoparticle efficiency for intracellular tracking is first demonstrated by the in vitro near-infrared imaging of breast cancer cells. After functionalization of the nanoparticles with aminopropyltriethoxysilane, two-photon-excited photodynamic therapy in zebrafish is successfully achieved. Two-photon photochemical internalization in cancer cells of the nanoparticles loaded with siRNA is also performed for the first time. Furthermore, siRNA targeting green fluorescent protein complexed with the nanoparticles is delivered in vivo in zebrafish embryos, which demonstrates the versatility of the nanovectors for biomedical applications.
  • One-of-A-Kind: A Microporous Metal-Organic Framework Capable of Adsorptive Separation of Linear, Mono- and Di-branched Alkane Isomers via Temperature- and Adsorbate-Dependent Molecular Sieving

    Wang, Hao; Dong, Xinglong; Velasco, Ever; Olson, David H.; Han, Yu; Li, Jing (Energy & Environmental Science, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2018-03-29) [Article]
    Separation of alkane isomers represents a crucial process in the petrochemical industry in order to achieve high octane rating of gasoline. Herein, we report the first example of complete separation of linear, monobranched and dibranched alkane isomers by a single adsorbent. A calcium-based robust microporous metal-organic framework, Ca(H2tcpb) (tcpb = 1,2,4,5-tetrakis(4-carboxyphenyl)-benzene) exhibits unique molecular exclusion behavior which enables full separation of binary or ternary mixtures of alkane isomers into pure form of each isomerate. The successful separation of monobranched and dibranched hexane isomers will not only lead to the production of higher quality gasoline with maximum possible octane numbers but also fill the gap in the current separation technology. Exploration of separation mechanism indicates that structural flexibility and adsorbate-dependent structure change of the porous framework plays a vital role for the observed temperature-dependent molecular sieving property of the adsorbent.
  • Tailoring the Crystal Structure of Nanoclusters Unveiled High Photoluminescence via Ion Pairing

    Bootharaju, Megalamane Siddaramappa; Kozlov, Sergey M.; Cao, Zhen; Shkurenko, Aleksander; El-Zohry, Ahmed M.; Mohammed, Omar F.; Eddaoudi, Mohamed; Bakr, Osman; Cavallo, Luigi; Basset, Jean-Marie (Chemistry of Materials, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-03-26) [Article]
    The lack of structurally distinct nanoclusters (NCs) of identical size and composition prevented the mechanistic understanding of their structural effects on ion pairing and concomitant optical properties. To produce such highly sought NCs, we designed a new monothiolate-for-dithiolate exchange strategy that enabled the selective transformation of the structure of a NC without affecting its metal atomicity or composition. Through this method, a bimetallic [PtAg28(BDT)12(PPh3)4]4– NC (1) was successfully synthesized from [PtAg28(S-Adm)18(PPh3)4]2+ NC (2) (S-Adm, 1-adamantanethiolate; BDT, 1,3-benzenedithiolate; PPh3, triphenylphosphine). The determined X-ray crystal structure of 1 showed a PtAg12 icosahedron core and a partially exposed surface, which are distinct from a face-centered cubic PtAg12 core and a fully covered surface of 2. We reveal through mass spectrometry (MS) that 1 forms ion pairs with counterions attracted by the core charge of the cluster, which is in line with density functional simulations. The MS data for 1, 2, and other NCs suggested that such attraction is facilitated by the exposed surface of 1. The formation of ion pairs increases the photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield of 1 up to 17.6% depending on the bulkiness of the counterion. Unlike small counterions, larger ones are calculated to occupy ≤90% of the volume near the exposed cluster surface and to make the ligand shell of 1 more rigid, which is observed to increase the PL. Thus, the developed synthesis strategy for structurally different NCs of the same size and composition allows us to probe the structure–property relationship for ion pairing and concomitant PL enhancement.
  • Zeolite-like Metal–Organic Framework (MOF) Encaged Pt(II)-Porphyrin for Anion-Selective Sensing

    Masih, Dilshad; Chernikova, Valeriya; Shekhah, Osama; Eddaoudi, Mohamed; Mohammed, Omar F. (ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-03-26) [Article]
    The selectivity and sensitivity of sensors are of great interest to the materials chemistry community, and a lot of effort is now devoted to improving these characteristics. More specifically, the selective sensing of anions is one of the largest challenges impeding the sensing-research area due to their similar physical and chemical behaviors. In this work, platinum–metalated porphyrin (Pt(II)TMPyP) was successfully encapsulated in a rho-type zeolite-like metal–organic framework (rho-ZMOF) and applied for anion-selective sensing. The sensing activity and selectivity of the MOF-encaged Pt(II)TMPyP for various anions in aqueous and methanolic media were compared to that of the free (nonencapsulated) Pt(II)TMPyP. While the photoinduced triplet-state electron transfer of Pt(II)TMPyP showed a very low detection limit for anions with no selectivity, the Pt(II)TMPyP encapsulated in the rho-ZMOF framework possessed a unique chemical structure to overcome such limitations. This new approach has the potential for use in other complex sensing applications, including biosensors, which require ion selectivity.
  • Development of ZIF-8 membranes: opportunities and challenges for commercial applications

    Lai, Zhiping (Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, Elsevier BV, 2018-03-24) [Article]
    Metal organic framework (MOF) membranes have attracted significant attentions in recent years because of their potentials in gas and liquid separations and other applications such as catalysis and chemical sensors, etc. More than half of the MOF membrane publications up to date are related to ZIF-8 system, because of its easy synthesis, relatively high stability, and excellent gas separation performance, which allows many novel ideas to be easily implemented. Extensive studies have shown that ZIF-8 membranes hold great potentials in gas separations, but may face great challenges in liquid separations mainly because of their poor stability. This is also a common observation for other MOF membranes. As such, in this article we use ZIF-8 membrane as a prototype and focus on its development in gas separations for the discussions of the most concerned issues related to membrane commercialization including membrane synthesis, separation performance, stability, process reproducibility, and finally on the opportunities and challenges that MOF membranes may face in industrial applications.
  • Cooperative Assembly of Magneto-Nanovesicles with Tunable Wall Thickness and Permeability for MRI-Guided Drug Delivery

    Yang, Kuikun; Liu, Yijing; Liu, Yi; Zhang, Qian; Kong, Chuncai; Yi, Chenglin; Zhou, Zijian; Wang, Zhantong; Zhang, Guofeng; Zhang, Yang; Khashab, Niveen M.; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Nie, Zhihong (Journal of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-03-15) [Article]
    This article describes the fabrication of nanosized magneto-vesicles (MVs) comprising tunable layers of densely packed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in membranes via cooperative assembly of polymer-tethered SPIONs and free poly(styrene)- b-poly(acrylic acid) (PS- b-PAA). The membrane thickness of MVs could be well controlled from 9.8 to 93.2 nm by varying the weight ratio of PS- b-PAA to SPIONs. The increase in membrane thickness was accompanied by the transition from monolayer MVs, to double-layered MVs and to multilayered MVs (MuMVs). This can be attributed to the variation in the hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance of polymer-grafted SPIONs upon the insertion and binding of PS- b-PAA onto the surface of nanoparticles. Therapeutic agents can be efficiently encapsulated in the hollow cavity of MVs and the release of payload can be tuned by varying the membrane thickness of nanovesicles. Due to the high packing density of SPIONs, the MuMVs showed the highest magnetization and transverse relaxivity rate ( r2) in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) among these MVs and individual SPIONs. Upon intravenous injection, doxorubicin-loaded MuMVs conjugated with RGD peptides could be effectively enriched at tumor sites due to synergetic effect of magnetic and active targeting. As a result, they exhibited drastically enhanced signal in MRI, improved tumor delivery efficiency of drugs as well as enhanced antitumor efficacy, compared with groups with only magnetic or active targeting strategy. The unique nanoplatform may find applications in effective disease control by delivering imaging and therapy to organs/tissues that are not readily accessible by conventional delivery vehicles.

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