Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Call for Nanotechnology Data Reporting Guidelines

Dr. Mervi Heiskanen

Dr. Stephanie Morris

The authors of this article are both Program Managers based at the US National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology and Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research, respectively, working towards improving quality of and access to published experimental data.

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in improving how nanomaterials are defined and characterized due to a lack of specific nano-related metadata standards in the Nanotechnology field. The nano-community agrees data reporting guidelines would facilitate data reproducibility and reuse.

The recent collaboration between Elsevier Journals and the NCI cancer Nanotechnology Laboratory (caNanoLab) data portal is an important step towards providing researchers with easy access to high quality nanotechnology data for reproduction and re-use. However, access to data is only useful if information about experimental details is available. Is there something we can do to improve usability of nanotechnology data?

The lack of high quality nanotechnology research data is a known challenge, further complicated by the diversity and growing number of nanomaterials. The OMICs communities (e.g., genomics and proteomics) have pioneered the development of databases such as the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) Database and the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB), as well as standard guidelines for recording data. These guidelines define the minimum information that must be reported and stored, and facilitate data reproducibility and integration across different datasets to enable further analysis by the research community. Many of these reporting guidelines can be accessed at Biosharing, and are required by journals for data deposition during the manuscript submission process.

Several STM journals already require authors to adhere to minimum characterization requirements, particularly when reporting new chemical compounds, which reviewers are asked to evaluate to ensure reproducibility and reliability of the research. Nature and its sister journals have further enforced this for their life science articles by implementing an initiative which includes the submission of a checklist by authors intended to remind them to provide sufficient experimental details to enable reproducibility. However, we need to agree on a nanotechnology-specific checklist, and extend the reproducibility initiative to include other relevant journals. This needs to be a collaborative effort driven by the research community, editors and publishers, regulatory agencies, and funding organizations in order for this to become common practice and lead to improvements in data reuse.

The nanotechnology community is in the early stages of defining metadata that should be included in data submissions, and recognizes the metadata will differ by research field (e.g., biomedicine, ecological studies, and health and safety). Examples of nanomaterial databases working towards this goal include caNanoLab, which uses MinChar, and the Nanomaterial Registry’s Minimal Information about Nanomaterials (MIAN). However, there is no common minimal information guideline agreed upon by the larger nanotechnology community. The need for the development of a common reporting recommendation has been recognized by the NCI Nanotechnology Working Group (NCI Nano WG). With active participants from federal institutions, academia, and industry, primarily from the US and the NanoSafety Cluster in Europe, the NCI Nano WG can serve as a coordinating body for collecting community input across nanotechnology research fields. A nanotechnology minimal information standard is also of great interest to the US National Nanotechnology Initiative, which has developed a signature initiative on nanoinformatics (Nanotechnology Knowledge Infrastructure) that works with the nanotechnology community to provide resources and tools.

We believe that data submission guidelines combined with better access to data will improve data quality and reproducibility and will ultimately translate to advances in areas such as biomedical research, environmental safety, and nanomanufacturing. Collaboration and coordination among all stakeholders is needed to ensure data submission guidelines benefit all parties.

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

DisclosureViews expressed in this web article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or polices of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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Nanoscale 2014 Impact Factor released

We are thrilled to announce that Nanoscale’s latest impact factor has risen to 7.394 according to the 2014 Journal Citation Reports ®.

Thank you to all of the authors and referees who have contributed to our journal. Special thanks goes to our dedicated team of Editorial Board members without whom our continued success would not have been possible.

We invite you to join your peers and submit your best work to Nanoscale today.

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6th International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology (ChinaNANO 2015)

ChinaNANO 2015

Nanoscale is proud to collaborate with the 6th International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology (ChinaNANO 2015), which will be held at the Beijing International Convention Center in Beijing, China on 3-5 September 2015. The conference is organised by the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China. Professor Chunli Bai will act as the Chairman of the organising committee.

ChinaNANO 2015 aims to stimulate discussions on the forefront of research in nanoscience and nanotechnology, focusing on the following topics: carbon nanomaterials, inorganic nanomaterials and MOFs, self-assembly and supramolecules, nanocomposites and applications, energy and environmental nanotechnology, nanophotonics and optoelectronics, nanodevices and nanosystems, nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine, nanocharacterization and metrology, modelling and simulation of nanostructures, and the environment, safety and health of nanomaterials.

Submit your abstract now – the deadline is 30 April 2015. For more information, please see the conference website.

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Disrupting graphene

Scientists across the field of 2D materials have put forward a roadmap to steer graphene research off the drawing board, to a point where it emerges within disruptive technologies that alter people’s lives the world over.

The roadmap is split into 11 science and technology themes including spintronics, biomedical devices and energy conversion and storage. Short-, medium- and long-term targets for technological milestones as well as safety profiles sit alongside the plethora of potential applications.

Interested? Read the full story by Harriet Brewerton in Chemistry World.

The original article is free to access and can be read at:

Andrea C. Ferrari, Francesco Bonaccorso, Vladimir Fal’ko, Konstantin S. Novoselov, Stephan Roche, Peter Bøggild, Stefano Borini, Frank H. L. Koppens, Vincenzo Palermo, Nicola Pugno, José A. Garrido, Roman Sordan, Alberto Bianco, Laura Ballerini, Maurizio Prato, Elefterios Lidorikis, Jani Kivioja, Claudio Marinelli, Tapani Ryhänen, Alberto Morpurgo, Jonathan N. Coleman, Valeria Nicolosi, Luigi Colombo, Albert Fert, Mar Garcia-Hernandez, Adrian Bachtold, Grégory F. Schneider, Francisco Guinea, Cees Dekker, Matteo Barbone, Zhipei Sun, Costas Galiotis, Alexander N. Grigorenko, Gerasimos Konstantatos, Andras Kis, Mikhail Katsnelson, Lieven Vandersypen, Annick Loiseau, Vittorio Morandi, Daniel Neumaier, Emanuele Treossi, Vittorio Pellegrini, Marco Polini, Alessandro Tredicucci, Gareth M. Williams, Byung Hee Hong, Jong-Hyun Ahn, Jong Min Kim, Herbert Zirath, Bart J. van Wees, Herre van der Zant, Luigi Occhipinti, Andrea Di Matteo, Ian A. Kinloch, Thomas Seyller, Etienne Quesnel, Xinliang Feng, Ken Teo, Nalin Rupesinghe, Pertti Hakonen, Simon R. T. Neil, Quentin Tannock, Tomas Löfwander and Jari Kinaret
Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 4598-4810. DOI: 10.1039/C4NR01600A
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Nanoscale journals working together

Nanoscale & Nanoscale Horizons

The launch of Nanoscale Horizons seeks to build on and strengthen the nanoscience content already published in journals across the Royal Society of Chemistry portfolio. In particular, Nanoscale Horizons will complement and work alongside Nanoscale to provide a rounded view of innovation, and bridge the various disciplines in research across nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Nanoscale Horizons aims to publish first reports of exceptional significance in the field, therefore positioning itself as a premier journal in its field. The journal will publish leading research containing a clear conceptual advance and new insights into the topic presented. As such, there will be highly stringent criteria for publication, imposed by our Scientific Editors and Publishing Editors.

Nanoscale will continue to publish high impact research across the breadth of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The criteria for publication remain the same and will continue to be upheld by the journal’s Associate Editors to maintain Nanoscale’s reputation for publishing high quality, community-spanning research.

As with other Royal Society of Chemistry journals, the Nanoscale Horizons Editorial team will try to find the most suitable home for any manuscript that we receive. We endeavour to provide authors with the option to automatically transfer their manuscript to Nanoscale or another journal within our portfolio, where manuscripts are deemed more suitable for publication elsewhere.

To find out more about Nanoscale Horizons and keep up-to-date with all of the latest news, visit the webpage and sign up for the e-alerts.

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Nanoscale’s new sister

Introducing Nanoscale Horizons – launching next year

The home for rapid reports of exceptional significance in nanoscience and nanotechnology is on its way.

Our newest journal will work alongside Nanoscale to provide a rounded view of innovation in nano research, and bridge the various disciplines involved with nanoscience and nanotechnology. We’ll be looking for high impact work in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to IT, healthcare and detection science.

A pioneering Editorial Board Chair

Our Editorial Board Chair is Professor Harold Craighead, Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, USA and a pioneer in nanofabrication methods. He will head up an expert editorial board, led by Executive Editor Dr Fiona McKenzie.

Rapid reports, cutting-edge research

The first issue in 2016 will lay the groundwork for what aims to be the journal of choice for outstanding research across a broad spectrum.

Articles published will benefit from wide exposure, and content published during 2016 and 2017 is free upon registration – giving maximum visibility to your research.

Nanoscale Horizons will be launching very soon. Sign up to our Email Alerts Service and make sure you’re among the first to hear the latest.

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Hybridized doxorubicin-Au nanospheres exhibit enhanced Near-infrared surface plasmon absorption for photothermal therapy applications

Plasmon absorption stability of DAuNS and the triggered release of DOX

As cancer therapy evolves there is a desire to explore minimally invasive treatments which are applicable to all patients, regardless of concerns with drug resistance and tumour morphology. One such option being investigated is photothermal therapy (PTT), which seeks to achieve these aims through the selective uptake of photosensitizing agents by cancerous cells prior to their abalation using a near infa-red (NIR) light source.  However, currently the efficacy of PTT is reduced due to heterogeneous heat distribution, resulting in the accumulation of sub-lethal doses of the sensitizing agent within areas of the tumor.

Zhou and co-workers have sought to overcome this issue by creating a “double punch” strategy for tumour targeting using PTT. Through the implantation of hollow gold nanoshells with the chemical agent doxorubicin (DAuNS), a novel combination of a photosensitizing agent and a chemical targeting agent has been created. Furthermore, this unique, yet simple synthesis strategy is thought to be interconvertible with other drug and nanomaterial combinations, thus, widening the scope for potential PTT treatments.

Through comparisons with ‘single-strategy’ treatments of bare hollow gold nanoshells (HAuNS) or doxorubicin, the improved efficacy of the DAuNS is well established through both in-vitro and in vivo studies. This significant improvement can be attributed to the enhanced plasmon absorption in the NIR region of DAuNS in comparison to HAuNS (1.5 fold increase), with a more efficient photothermal conversion and a greater efficacy in tumor killing also established. These properties are only enhanced by the combined chemotherapeutic effect achieved through the deployment of the doxorubicin payload.

As this strategy obviates the concerns of genetic drug resistance and is a minimally invasive treatment, it could carry significant potential. This potential is only further enhanced by the ability to exchange different chemotherapeutic reagents, and as such this could be a significant breakthrough which aids future cancer therapies.

Hybridized Doxorubicin-Au Nanospheres Exhibit Enhanced Near-infrared Surface Plasmon Absorption for Photothermal Therapy Applications
Jialin Zhou, Zuhua Wang, Qingpo Li, Fei Liu, Yongzhong Du, Hong Yuan, Fu-Qiang Hu, Yinghui Wei and Jian You
Nanoscale, 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C4NR07279K.

Dr Derek Craig is a guest web writer for the Nanoscale blog. He is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of St. Andrews based in the fields of Biophotonics and Materials Science. With a background in chemistry, his work mainly focuses on the synthesis of nano to meso materials and the use of imaging techniques to study biological samples.
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Shepherding cells – moving in the right direction?

image file: c4nr06594h-f1.tif

Schematic representation depicting the ability for an external magnetic field to attract magnetic nanoparticles which have been internalised within cells. For details please view the full article.

Superparamagnetic nanoparticles are widely used for non-invasive imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) due to their ability to only become magnetised under the influence of an external magnetic field. In this article, it is demonstrated that labelling cells with magnetite nanoparticles can allow for manipulation of both direction and speed of the migration of cells using an external magnet. Bespoke nanoparticles were synthesised with a positive charge to induce internalisation into two different cell lines that are important for wound repair. Placing labelled cells under the influence of an external magnetic field resulted in 2D migration of cells towards the magnet, whereas non-labelled cells (in a magnetic field) and labelled cells with no magnetic showed no directional movement.  The migration could be monitored by bright field and fluorescent microscopy as the nanoparticles contained a fluorescent tag.  The possibility of controlling cell mobility is suggested to have importance in not only cell therapies, but also tissue engineering and cell tracking. This tailored synthesis approach could also allow tracking of cells in vivo using a bi-modal imaging approach of dual MRI and whole animal fluorescence.

Manipulating Directional Cell Motility Using Intracellular Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles
Michael Bradshaw, Tristan Clemons, Diwei Ho, Lucia Gutierrez, Francisco Lazaro, Michael House, Timothy Guy St Pierre, Mark Fear, Fiona Wood and Swaminathan Iyer
Nanoscale, 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C4NR06594H

Dr Mike Barrow is a guest web writer for the Nanoscale blog. He currently works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Liverpool.

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Introducing our new Associate Editors: Xiaogang Liu, Hongxing Xu and Yves Dufrêne

We are pleased to introduce three new Associate Editors for Nanoscale: Xiaogang Liu, Hongxing Xu and Yves Dufrêne.

Professor Xiaogang Liu

Xiaogang is Dean’s Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore. He obtained his B. Eng from the Beijing Technology and Business University in China, and MS degree in Chemistry from East Carolina University, US. After completing his PhD at Northwestern University in the US, Professor Liu worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), before joining the National University of Singapore. His research interests encompass supramolecular chemistry, materials science, and bioinorganic chemistry, specifically controlling assemblies of dynamically interacting biological molecules and understanding the relationship between structure and physical properties.

Xiaogang says: “I’m thrilled to take on a new role as an Associate Editor for Nanoscale, a forum that enables researchers to share their exciting work in the diverse field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. I look forward to working with members of our community and do hope to continue to improve the quality of the journal.”

Professor Hongxing Xu

Hongxing is Professor, the director of the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and the Vice Dean of the School of Physics and Technology and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Wuhan University. His research is focused on surface enhanced spectroscopy and nanoplasmonics, in particular, phenomena, mechanisms, devices and applications based on surface plasmon resonances in novel metal nanostructure systems.

Professor Yves Dufrêne

Yves is a Research Director of the National Fund for Scientific Research and a Professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. He obtained his Bioengineering degree and PhD at UCL, then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory, USA, before returning to UCL. He is interested in nanobioscience and nanobiotechnology, specifically in the development and use of advanced nanoscale techniques for analyzing biological systems. His research focuses on studying the nanoscale surface architecture, biophysical properties and molecular interactions of living cells – particularly microbial pathogens – using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The goals are to further understand key cellular functions, like cell adhesion, and to contribute to the development of nanoscopy techniques for the life sciences.

We are delighted to welcome Yves to the Nanoscale Editorial Board. He comments: “I am very honored and excited to become Associate Editor of such a great journal, definitely one of the very best in nanoscience. My main mission will be to promote publication of top-quality research in the fast moving area of nanobioscience and nanomedicine.”

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HOT article: Glance into the nanoparticle-imprinted mirror antenna (NIMA)

An ultrahigh-sensitivity plasmonic antenna (NIMA)

Researchers using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) are always on the look out for new substrates that take advantage of coupled metallic nanoparticles to improve sensitivity.  In this HOT article, researchers from Taiwan have introduced NIMAs (nanoparticle (NP)-imprinted mirror antennas) for exactly this purpose.

The researchers deposited Ag on a polycarbonate substrate and used Si molds to create 2D periodic nanostructures, which were then used to create NIMAs by self-assembling Ag nanoparticles onto the Ag mirrors.  The formation of 2D nanoclusters on the mirror results in more intense Raman signals as a result of electromagnetic coupling between the NPs in the clusters. NIMAs have several advantages over other SERS-active substrates. For example, NIMAs gain broadband enhancement from single structures, rather than from various substrates with different morphologies. Also, using a deeper, more consistent structure and tuning the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) modes can drastically improve the SERS enhancement observed from NIMAs.

The researchers have produced a SERS-active substrate that is compatible in the visible to near-infrared regime and is capable of detecting rhodamine 6G at a concentration as low as 10-15 M.  These attractive advantages should be enough for any SERS researcher to reflect on the possibility of adopting NIMAs as a sensing platform in the future.

Chen-Chieh Yu, Yi-Chuan Tseng, Pao-Yun Su, Keng-Te Lin, Chang-Ching Shao, Sin-Yi Chou, Yu-Ting Yen and Hsuen-Li Chen
Nanoscale, 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C4NR05902F.

Dr Lee Barrett is a guest web writer for the Nanoscale blog. Lee is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Molecular Nanometrology at the University of Strathclyde. His research is currently focused on the development of nanoparticle-based sensors and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS).

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