Review Article Online first
Recent advances in molecular and nanoparticle probes for fluorescent bioanalysis
Nano Research
Published: 12 April 2024

With the increasing emphasis on ecological safety and physical health, the detection and treatment of harmful substances and diseases are becoming more and more prevalent. Therefore, efficiently monitoring these biological behaviors with high accuracy and sensitivity in real-time has shown prominent research significance. The use of fluorescent probes to analyze organisms has gained momentum in recent years, especially in the field of organ imaging and assisted cancer therapy, where fluorescent bioanalysis demonstrates significant advantageous. In this review, we explored the latest advancements in fluorescent molecular probes (e.g., small-molecule, macro-molecule, supramolecule) and fluorescent nanoparticle probes (e.g., quantum dots or nanoclusters, metal-organic frameworks, polymers, complexes) used as bioanalytical tools in various assays over the last three years. We also delved into their detective mechanisms, specific application areas, and characterization tools for responsive behavior. This review aims to showcase the most recent and comprehensive research progress in fluorescent bioanalysis based on molecular and nanoparticle probes, offering guidance for future developments in the design and fabrication of fluorescent probes and their potential applications.

Open Access Research Article Issue
Oil-soluble polymer brushes-functionalized nanoMOFs for highly efficient friction and wear reduction
Friction 2024, 12 (7): 1499-1511
Published: 10 January 2024

Nanomaterials as lubricating oil additives have attracted significant attention because of their designable composition and structure, suitable mechanical property, and tunable surface functionalities. However, the poor compatibility between nanomaterials and base oil limits their further applications. In this work, we demonstrated oil-soluble poly (lauryl methacrylate) (PLMA) brushes-grafted metal-organic frameworks nanoparticles (nanoMOFs) as lubricating oil additives that can achieve efficient friction reduction and anti-wear performance. Macroinitiators were synthesized by free-radical polymerization, which was coordinatively grafted onto the surface of the UiO-67 nanoparticles. Then, PLMA brushes were grown on the macroinitiator-modified UiO-67 by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization, which greatly improved the lipophilic property of the UiO-67 nanoparticles and significantly enhanced the colloidal stability and long-term dispersity in both non-polar solvent and base oil. By adding UiO-67@PLMA nanoparticles into the 500 SN base oil, coefficient of friction and wear volume reductions of 45.3% and 75.5% were achieved due to their excellent mechanical properties and oil dispersibility. Moreover, the load-carrying capacity of 500 SN was greatly increased from 100 to 500 N by the UiO-67@PLMA additives, and their excellent tribological performance was demonstrated even at a high friction frequency of 65 Hz and high temperature of 120 °C. Our work highlights oil-soluble polymer brushes-functionalized nanoMOFs for highly efficient lubricating additives.

Research Article Issue
Metal–organic framework wafer enabled fast response radiation detection with ultra-low dark current
Nano Research 2024, 17 (4): 2988-2993
Published: 20 October 2023

Semiconductive metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have attracted great interest for the electronic applications. However, dark currents of present hybrid organic–inorganic materials are 1000–10,000 times higher than those of commercial inorganic detectors, leading to poor charge transportation. Here, we demonstrate a ZIF-8 (Zn(mim)2, mim = 2-methylimidazolate) wafer with ultra-low dark current of 1.27 pA·mm−2 under high electric fields of 322 V·mm−1. The isostatic pressing preparation process provides ZIF-8 wafers with good transmittance. Besides, the presence of redox-active metals and small spatial separation between components promotes the charge hopping. The ZIF-8-based semiconductor detector shows promising X-ray detection sensitivity of 70.82 μC·Gy−1·cm−2 with low doses exposures, contributing to superior X-ray imaging capability with a relatively high spatial resolution of 1.2 lp·mm−1. Simultaneously, good peak discrimination with the energy resolution of ~ 43.78% is disclosed when the detector is illuminated by uncollimated 241Am@5.48 MeV α-particles. These results provide a broad prospect of MOFs for future radiation detection applications.

Research Article Issue
Plasma-etching on monolithic MOFs-based MIM filter boosted chemical sensing
Nano Research 2024, 17 (4): 2800-2807
Published: 26 September 2023

Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) cavity as a lithography-free structure to control light transmission and reflection has great potential in the field of optical sensing. However, the dense top metal layer of the MIM prohibits any external medium from entering the dielectric insulation layer, which limits the application of the cavity in the sensing field. Herein, we demonstrate a series of monolithic metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) based MIM cavities, which are treated by plasma etching to provide channels for chemical diffusion and to advance sensing. We modulate the bandwidth of the MIM filters by controlling the MOF thickness as insulator layers. Oxygen plasma-etching is applied to build channels on the top metal layer without altering their saturation and brightness for chemical sensing performance. The etching time regulates the number and size of channels on the top metal layer. Sensing behavior is demonstrated on the plasma-etched MOFs-based MIM cavity when external chemicals diffuse in the cavity. In addition, we generate patterned structure of the MOFs-based MIM cavity via plasma-mask method, which can transfer to different substrates and produce a controllable structure color change for chemical sensing. Our MIM cavity may promote the advancement and applications of structural color in security imaging, color display, information anticounterfeiting, and color printing.

Open Access Research Article Issue
Fluorinated graphene quantum dots with long-term lubrication for visual drug loading and joint inflammation therapy
Friction 2023, 11 (12): 2204-2220
Published: 31 March 2023

Osteoarthritis (OA) treatment mainly relies on developing new drugs or nanocarriers, while little attention is paid to building novel remedial mode and improving drug loading efficiency. This work reports an integrated nanosystem that not only realizes visual drug loading and release, but also achieves enhanced lubrication and effective joint inflammation therapy based on fluorinated graphene quantum dots (FGQDs). Oxygen introduction promotes FGQDs outstanding water-stability for months, and layered nano-sized structure further guarantees excellent lubricating properties in biomimetic synovial fluid. The special design of chemistry and structure endows FGQDs robust fluorescence in a wide range of pH conditions. Also, the excitation spectrum of FGQDs well overlaps the absorption spectrum of drugs, which further constructs a new concept of internal filtering system to visually monitor drug loading by naked eyes. More importantly, extraordinary long-term lubrication performance is reported, which is the first experimental demonstration of concentration-dependent mutations of coefficient of friction (COF). Cell incubation experiments indicate that drug-loaded FGQDs have good biocompatibility, tracking property of cellular uptake and drug release, which show efficient anti-inflammation potential for H2O2-induced chondrocyte degradation by up-regulated cartilage anabolic genes. This study establishes a promising OA treatment strategy that enables to monitor drug loading and release, to enhance long-time lubricating property, and to show effective anti-inflammatory potential for cartilage protection.

Research Article Issue
Photonic crystals constructed by isostructural metal-organic framework films
Nano Research 2023, 16 (7): 9569-9576
Published: 28 March 2023

Metal-organic framework (MOF)-on-MOF structure allows stacking various types of MOFs with different lattice constants for molecule sieving or filtering. However, the multilayered MOFs-based optical devices have incoherent interference due to the lattice-mismatch at the interface and refractive index (RI) indifference. This paper reports isostructural MOFs-based photonic crystals (PCs) designed by stacking Bragg bilayers of lattice-matched MOFs thin films through a layer-by-layer assembly method. Colloidal nanoparticles (NPs) were homogenously encapsulated in some layers of the MOFs (HKUST-1@NPs) to tune their intrinsic RI during the spraying coating process. The isostructural MOFs-based PCs were constructed on a large scale by sequentially spraying coating the low RI layer of HKUST-1 and high RI layer of HKUST-1@NPs to form the desired number of Bragg bilayers. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth profiling proved the Bragg bilayers and the homogenous encapsulation of nanomaterials in certain layers of MOFs. Bandwidth of the PCs was tailored by the thickness and RI of the Bragg bilayers, which had a great consistent with finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulation. Importantly, reflectivity of the isostructural MOFs-based PCs was up to 96%. We demonstrated high detection sensitivity for chemical sensing on the PCs, which could be advanced by encapsulating different types of nanomaterials and designing wide-band isostructural MOFs-based PCs.

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