Read our most downloaded RSC Advances articles of 2017

We are delighted to present a collection which showcases some of the most accessed RSC Advances articles published in 2017. This provides an easy way to access the most important papers published in RSC Advances in this year in your area of research.

RSC Advances is the largest open access chemistry journal, bringing you the latest research from right across the chemical sciences. For enhanced browsing and discoverability, topic-modelling technology automatically categorises articles into one or more of the 12 main subject categories and over 100 further subcategories.

The articles in the collection highlight the most exciting and important research published across analytical chemistry, biological chemistry, catalysis, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, energy, environmental chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, nanoscience, organic chemistry and physical chemistry.

Follow the link to find our most downloaded articles in your research area.

We hope you enjoy reading these articles!

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RSC Advances celebrates Open Access week 2017!

As we prepare to celebrate the 8th International Open Access week from 23-29 October 2017, it is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of Open Access and what it means for the RSC Advances research community…

We have published over 5600 open access articles so far in 2017, all of which are freely available to read on our website!

Open access refers to the free and permanent unrestricted online access to scholarly research and aims to maximise the visibility of research.

RSC Advances provides a high quality, open access option that helps get our authors’ work the attention that it deserves. Community-led, with an international team of associate editors, a dedicated reviewer panel and features such as article-based publishing, RSC Advances has been gold open access since January 2017, with one of the lowest article processing charges in the industry.

We deliberately push the boundaries with RSC Advances, always looking for new and unique ways to make the scientific developments we publish accessible to the widest possible audience.

See below for a sample of some of these articles that can be read for free, starting with our 5000th published article this year!

Fabrication of nanoporous copper with tunable ligaments and promising sonocatalytic performance by dealloying Cu–Y metallic glasses

Ning Wang, Ye Pan, Shikai Wu, Enming Zhang and Weiji Dai

RSC Adv., 2017,7, 43255-43265

DOI: 10.1039/C7RA08390D

High-quality CsPbBr3 perovskite nanocrystals for quantum dot light-emitting diodes

Xiafang Du, Guan Wu, Jian Cheng, Hui Dang, Kangzhe Ma, Ya-Wen Zhang, Peng-Feng Tan and Su Chen

RSC Adv., 2017,7, 10391-10396

DOI: 10.1039/C6RA27665b

Auxetic mechanical metamaterials

H. M. A. Kolken and A. A. Zadpoor

RSC Adv., 2017,7, 5111-5129

DOI: 10.1039/C7RA27333e

Enhanced seed germination and plant growth by atmospheric pressure cold air plasma: combined effect of seed and water treatment

L. Sivachandiran and A. Khacef

RSC Adv., 2017,7, 1822-1832

DOI: 10.1039/C6RA24762H

 

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Equation to end bond order contention

Written by Jennifer Newton for Chemistry World

A researcher in the US has proposed a new way of computing bond order, which he says is more general and more consistently accurate across diverse kinds of materials.

Computed bond orders in red, sum of bond orders in blue, and net atomic charges in black for two hexafluorides

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry SF6 contains six single-order S–F bonds and confirms that SF6transcends the Lewis octet rule that predicts four rather than six shared electron pairs around the central sulfur atom. The Db–F bond order (0.75) is lower than the S–F bond order (0.95)

Bond order quantifies how many electrons two atoms in a material share. But it’s a theoretical concept, not something you observe experimentally, so defining it and calculating it can get a bit fuzzy. ‘Some new chemistry students find it difficult to memorise which rules apply to which chemicals. For example, why should N2 and CF4 be described by a Lewis structure while triplet O2 and SF6are not?’ says Thomas Manz of New Mexico State University. ‘My method introduces a unifying principle where you no longer have to memorise different rules for different materials. All you have to do is calculate and you will get the accurate bond order,’ he explains.

Interested? The full story can be read in Chemistry World.

The original article can be read below and is free to access until the 13th November 2017:

Introducing DDEC6 atomic population analysis: part 3. Comprehensive method to compute bond orders
Thomas A. Manz
RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 45552-45581
DOI:10.1039/C7RA07400J

 

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Overwhelmed to death: an anti-cancer gene therapy approach paired with an immune-activating distress signal

Frontline therapies for treating colorectal cancer have shortcomings. These include their inability to impede local tumor recurrence and metastatic spread to distant sites such as the abdomen.  

Researchers have now utilized a gene therapy approach that simultaneously compromises cancer cell survival while activating immune system cells with cancer-killing abilities.

Gene therapy – an advanced technique developed to insert or inject therapeutic genes into human cells – has shown some success in treating the disease. In a previous study, Xiao and co-investigators at State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, and the Department of Thoracic Oncology Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, had used a gene therapy approach to induce cancer cell death. Their study found that Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Matrix Protein (VSVMP), when inserted into a cancer cell,  compromises the cellular skeletal framework, which is made up of structural proteins. Cell death ensued as a consequence.

In the current study, the research team further armed with VSVMP gene delivery vessel with Interleukin-12 (IL-12) – a protein known to recruit and switch on the cancer-killing functions of immune cells.

The novel drug particles are based on Heparin-polyethyleneimine (HPEI) nanoparticles. To overcome the high toxicity and non-biocompatible nature of PEI, the team used a method to covalently conjugate this substance with heparin.

Their results, based on lab-grown cancer cells and animal studies, suggest that this novel complexed drug molecule (particle size: 53nm) increases tumor cell death, reduces division frequency, and stimulates the recruitment and activation of two types of cancer-killing cells: T cells and NK cells.

Specifically, the drug inhibited the growth of C-26 colon cancer cells. Animal studies showed that the drug reduced tumor weight. Metastatic spread of tumor cells to the abdomen was also reduced. The team proposes that the drug-derived IL-12 induces a secondary cascade of chemical mediators, which in turn recruit and activate cancer-killing immune cells. Their data supports this proposal. Interestingly, their study also found that the complexed drug molecule did not show adverse side effects within the major organs.

Read the full article here:

Nanoparticles co-delivering pVSVMP and pIL12 for synergistic gene therapy of colon cancer

Yuanyuan Xiao, Yuping Yang, Yujiao Wu, Chunmei Wang, Hao Cheng, Wei Zhao, Yang Li, Beibei Liu, Jianlin Long, Wenhao Guo, Guangping Gaoa and Maling Gou

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RSC Advances 2016 Impact Factor – 3.108

The 2016 Journal Citation Reports® have just been released and we are pleased to  announce that RSC Advances received an Impact Factor of  3.108.

We would like to thank all our authors, referees and readers who have contributed to this success, as well our Editorial and Advisory Boards for their hard work and continued support. Because of you, RSC Advances has maintained its position as a high quality, broad multidisciplinary journal.

We invite you to submit your best work to RSC Advances!

Here are the top five articles that contributed to the 2016 Impact Factor. All of these articles will be free to access for 4 weeks.

Size-controlled silver nanoparticles synthesized over the range 5–100 nm using the same protocol and their antibacterial efficacy
Shekhar Agnihotri, Soumyo Mukherji and Suparna Mukherji*
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA44507K, (Open Access)
RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 3974-3983, Paper

Zinc oxide based photocatalysis: tailoring surface-bulk structure and related interfacial charge carrier dynamics for better environmental applications
S. Girish Kumar and K. S. R. Koteswara Rao*
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA13299H
RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 3306-3351, Review Article

Recent developments in heterogeneous photocatalytic water treatment using visible light-responsive photocatalysts: a review
Shuying Dong, Jinglan Feng, Maohong Fan, Yunqing Pi, Limin Hu, Xiao Han, Menglin Liu, Jingyu Sun* and Jianhui Sun*
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA13734E
RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 14610-14630, Review Article

Removal of basic dye Auramine-O by ZnS:Cu nanoparticles loaded on activated carbon: optimization of parameters using response surface methodology with central composite design
Arash Asfaram, Mehrorang Ghaedi, Shilpi Agarwal, Inderjeet Tyagi and Vinod Kumar Gupta*
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA15637D
RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 18438-18450, Paper

Glutaraldehyde in bio-catalysts design: a useful crosslinker and a versatile tool in enzyme immobilization
Oveimar Barbosa, Claudia Ortiz, Ángel Berenguer-Murcia, Rodrigo Torres, Rafael C. Rodrigues* and Roberto Fernandez-Lafuente*
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA45991H
RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 1583-1600, Review Article

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A closer look at clean dishes: detection of domestic detergent residues with LIBS technology

Dish detergents help keep our dishes clean; however, the long term health effects of detergent residues on tableware and cookware is yet to be discussed publicly. Studies suggest that certain household detergents may be linked with disturbances in hormone regulation in humans.

As a first step in uncovering the role of domestic dish detergent in affecting health, a research team comprising scientists from China Agricultural University, China Research Center of Intelligent Equipment for Agriculture, and Beijing Academy  of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, have developed a method to detect detergent residue rapidly and in real-time, i.e., the process does not involve dissolving, preparing, or conditioning the residue prior to detection.

This method is based on a process called Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). Detergent residues are first vaporized by a high-power laser, leading to the generation of vaporized plasma. At the end of the laser pulse, these atoms and ions spontaneously return from a higher energy state to a lower energy state. This energy decay is associated with the emission of optical radiation of specific wavelengths. The emitted radiation is collected and channeled toward a spectrometer, which converts wavelength information into readable numbers that scientists can record and analyze.

Although the LIBS technology has existed for several years, and is used routinely by researchers in the field, this study let by Zhao an colleagues is the first to use this method to measure household detergents.

Graphical abstract for C7RA04304J

Analogous to how a sensor at a grocery store is programmed to recognize barcodes printed on different items, the scientists used the numbers generated by the spectrometer to generate ‘signatures’ to help them recognize the different detergents used in the study. Using this method, the team found that detergent detection in real-time can be more flexible, used with tableware of different shapes, used to measure trace amounts of detergent, compatible with dry and wet dishes, and safe on tableware.

To demonstrate the utility of the method to real world applications, the team conducted a series of timed dish washes and residue analyses. Their results suggest that a 16-minute rinse removes detergent residues. They also suggest that this information will be useful in designing and programming commercial dishwashers.

This study may someday inspire public health advocates to take a closer look at the prevalence of dish residues in public and household settings. When this day arrives, LIBS technology for residue detection may be pivotal in conducting  studies to better understand the relationship between dish residues and overall wellbeing.

Read the full article here:

Detection of domestic detergent residues on porcelain tableware using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy
Xiande Zhao, Daming Dong, Yang Lic and Chunjiang Zhao
RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 28689-28695 (Open Access)

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Top 10 most downloaded articles – January-March 2017

Take a look at our most-downloaded articles for the months of January, February and March 2017 below:

Free radicals, natural antioxidants, and their reaction mechanisms
Satish Balasaheb Nimse and Dilipkumar Pal

RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 27986-28006
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA13315C

Size-controlled silver nanoparticles synthesized over the range 5–100 nm using the same protocol and their antibacterial efficacy
Shekhar Agnihotri, Soumyo Mukherji and Suparna Mukherji
RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 3974-3983
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA44507K

Thermal-runaway experiments on consumer Li-ion batteries with metal-oxide and olivin-type cathodes
Andrey W. Golubkov, David Fuchs, Julian Wagner, Helmar Wiltsche, Christoph Stangl, Gisela Fauler, Gernot Voitic, Alexander Thaler and Viktor Hacker
RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 3633-3642
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA45748F

Electrically conductive polymers and composites for biomedical applications
Gagan Kaur, Raju Adhikari, Peter Cass, Mark Bown and Pathiraja Gunatillake
RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 37553-37567
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA01851J

Auxetic mechanical metamaterials
H. M. A. Kolken and  A. A. Zadpoor
RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 5111-5129
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA27333E

Graphene and its nanocomposite material based electrochemical sensor platform for dopamine
Alagarsamy Pandikumar, Gregory Thien Soon How, Teo Peik See, Fatin Saiha Omar, Subramaniam Jayabal, Khosro Zangeneh Kamali, Norazriena Yusoff, Asilah Jamil, Ramasamy Ramaraj, Swamidoss Abraham John, Hong Ngee Lim and Nay Ming Huang
RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 63296-63323
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA13777A

Hydration of nitriles to amides by a chitin-supported ruthenium catalyst
Aki Matsuoka, Takahiro Isogawa, Yuna Morioka, Benjamin R. Knappett, Andrew E. H. Wheatley, Susumu Saito and Hiroshi Naka
RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 12152-12160
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA15682J

Dual protection of amino functions involving Boc
Ulf Ragnarsson and Leif Grehn
RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 18691-18697
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA42956C

Synthesis and properties of molybdenum disulphide: from bulk to atomic layers
Intek Song, Chibeom Park and Hee Cheul Choi
RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 7495-7514
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA11852A

Photovoltaic enhancement of bismuth halide hybrid perovskite by N-methyl pyrrolidone-assisted morphology conversion
Ashish Kulkarni, Trilok Singh, Masashi Ikegami and Tsutomu Miyasaka
RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 9456-9460
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA28190G

Interesting in submitting to RSC Advances? You can submit online today, or email us with your ideas and suggestions. We look forward to your comments!

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Tomography keeps its cool to analyse ice cream

Written by Aurora Walshe for Chemistry World

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry This 3D rendered image shows a central air cell bounded by faceted ice crystals. Scale bar is 100mm

Researchers from the UK have developed a new 3D x-ray tomography (XRT) method to visualise the effects of changing temperature on the microstructure of ice cream.

Ice cream is a mixture of milk, fats, sugars, proteins, emulsifiers, stabilisers and flavours that are aerated and then frozen to form a soft solid comprising about 30% ice, 50% air, and 5–15% fat droplets suspended in a sugar solution. Its quality depends on the size of its ice crystals and air bubbles: smaller crystals and bubbles make it smoother and creamier. And since this complex colloid is unstable above –30˚C, its microstructure will change during shipping and storage (domestic freezers are usually at around –18˚C), which will affect its taste and texture.

Interested? The full article can be read in Chemistry World.

The original RSC Advances article can be read below and is open access:

Synchrotron X-ray tomographic quantification of microstructural evolution in ice cream – a multi-phase soft solid
Enyo Guo et al.,
RSC Adv.,2017, 7, 15561-15573
DOI: 10.1039/C7RA00642J

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Can this quantum sized double-edged sword help diagnose and treat breast cancer?

In a study led by Ko and colleagues at the Department of Dental Materials, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Korea, researchers armed graphene QDs with two therapeutic moieties: a HER-targeting antibody meant to help the therapeutic QDs find HER2-expressing breast cancer cells; and doxorubicin (DOX) – a chemotherapeutic drug used widely in treating breast cancer.

Consistent with previously established criteria (size, shape etc.) for drug carriers, the current study found that the estimated size of 222 nm makes the nanocarriers good candidates for further development toward diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Further, the nanocarriers had excitation and emission wavelengths of 370 nm and 450 nm respectively, making them glow in the ultraviolet range and as a result, optimal for medical imaging applications. The research team showed through chemical binding analysis that anti-HER antibodies were firmly bound to the QDs, and that the QDs were hydrophilic. The team conducted thermal stability studies and showed that the nanocarriers were stable at temperature ranges  much greater than the physiological body temperature range.

 

The study also analyzed whether the therapeutic nanocarriers were able to specifically target and enter breast cancer cells, release the DOX payload under specific pH and temperature conditions, and subsequently induce breast cancer cell death. Using a HER2-expressing breast cancer cell line, the team showed that the nanocarriers could kill cells in a dose dependent manner. A temperature of 37oC and pH of 5.5 were optimal for DOX release. Results in fluorescent microscopy studies suggested that DOX was released immediately after the nanocarriers entered HER2-expressing cells.

 

This study proposes that graphene-based QDs, when armed with anti-HER antibodies and DOX, have great potential for translation. In addition, with biomarker-based treatment decisions entering clinical practice in oncology settings, QD-based therapeutic nanocarriers are likely to have a notable impact on cancer therapy.
Read the full article here:

Graphene quantum dot-based theranostic agents for active targeting of breast cancer
N. R. Ko, M. Nafiujjaman, J. S. Lee, H.-N. Lim,a Y.-k. Lee and I. K. Kwon

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Killing cancer cells with a DNA-based molecular bridge

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are antibodies made by clones of immune cells derived from a common parent cell. These synthesized molecules have achieved widespread clinical utility in the treatment of cancer owing to their high degree of specificity to proteins present on the surface of cancer cells, lower toxicity compared to other classes of targeted therapies, and improved treatment outcomes among patients with advanced stage cancer.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer where a subtype of immune cells called B-cells exhibit unrestrained cell division. The abnormal B-cell, now called a malignant B-cell, produces more abnormal cells like it. CD20 is a protein present on the surface of malignant B-cells. Rituximab (RTX) is used to treat patients with NHL because it can bind CD20 and consequently trigger cell death.

To address the growing need for CD20 targeted therapeutics, Cong and colleagues at the Department of Laboratory Diagnosis/Thoracic Surgery, Changhai Hospital Affiliated to The Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China, developed molecules called aptamers that can bind to CD20 with greater specificity and strength compared to RTX.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract

Aptamers are molecules made up of  single stranded DNA that form complex 3D structures and can bind to target proteins, analogous to mAbs. The team used a method called cell-SELEX to retrieve an enriched pool of highly specific CD20-binding aptamers starting with their initial aptamer library. The aptamers used in the study were obtained after 15 rounds of selective refinement.

 

The study finds that Anti-CD20 DNA Aptamer (ACDA) can bind surface CD20 in NHL cells with greater strength compared to RTX. In the past, experiments have shown that cross-linking surface CD20 with mAbs (i.e. extracellular cross-linking) is a potent method of inducing cell death. A major limitation is that extracellular cross-linking cannot be realized in vivo. Cong et al. develop a method to link two ACDA molecules with polyethyleneimine (PEI) linker’, forming a molecular bridge  – the P-ACDA – capable of spanning the distance between and cross-linking two CD20 molecules. The study finds that P-ACDA led to substantially more cell death compared to ACDA.

Aptamers as a novel class of targeted therapies are expected to outperform mAbs because they do not evoke the body’s endogenous immune response (i.e. less immunogenic) and therefore in good compliance with current FDA recommendations. They are also easier to store since they are stable across a broad temperature range ,less expensive to manufacture, show consistency between production batches and can bind to both protein as well as non-protein targets. For these reasons, the clinical relevance of aptamers in treating HNL and potentially other cancers must be watched closely in the years to come.

Read the full article here:

Cong Wu, Wei Wan, Ji Zhua, Hai Jina, Tiejun Zhao and Huafei Li

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