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Welcoming new RSC Advances Editorial board members

RSC Advances gives a warm welcome to the following new Editorial board members: Giridhar Madras, Heloise Pastore and Manuel Minas de Piedade.

Giridhar Madras has been a Full Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Science, India since 2007 and has published more than 450 international journal articles, which have more than 13000 citations and is among the most cited engineering scientists in India with a h-index of 55. His research interests are in the area of reaction engineering applied to polymers, supercritical fluids, and catalysis.


Heloise Pastore
is currently a Full Professor at the Chemistry Institute of the State University of Campinas in Brazil and has research interests and experience in Molecular sieves, isomorphic substitution, zeolites, mcm-41 and supramolecular arrangements.

Professor Pastore is responsible for the invention of two new families of molecular sieves called CAL and UEC.

 

Manuel Minas da Piedade‘s research interests are mainly focused on the energetics of molecules (e.g. fullerenes, PAHs, ionic liquids), crystals (nucleation, polymorphism, crystal engineering), and, very recently, also living cells. He is currently based at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal as an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

 

Please see a small selection of articles from our new board members below:

Facile one-pot scalable strategy to engineer biocidal silver nanocluster assembly on thiolated PVDF membranes for water purification
Maya Sharma, Nagarajan Padmavathy, Sanjay Remanan, Giridhar Madras and Suryasarathi Bose
RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 38972-38983
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA03143A, Paper

Lamellar zeolites: an oxymoron?
F. Solânea O. Ramos, Mendelssolm K. de Pietre and Heloise O. Pastore
RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 2084-2111
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA21573J, Review Article

Direct experimental observation of the aggregation of α-amino acids into 100–200 nm clusters in aqueous solution
Daniel Hagmeyer, Johannes Ruesing, Tassilo Fenske, Heinz-Werner Klein, Carsten Schmuck, Wolfgang Schrader, Manuel E. Minas da Piedade and Matthias Epple
RSC Adv., 2012, 2, 4690-4696
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA01352E, Paper

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Sandpaper electrode harvests electricity from friction

Researchers in South Korea have developed a method to turn common sandpaper into an electrode that generates current from friction, promising a way to power portable devices with ambient mechanical energy.

Source: © iStock Sandpaper already has the rough texture required to make an effective triboelectric generator

Wirelessly powering small devices by harvesting energy from the environment could eliminate the need to ever recharge them. This is especially useful for embedded sensors as they will often be located in inaccessible places without a power supply, for example, on the inside of machines or the side of buildings.

Interested? Read the full article in Chemistry World.

The original article can be read below:

Large-sized sandpaper coated with solution-processed aluminum for a triboelectric nanogenerator with reliable durability
Daewon Kim, Hye Moon Lee and Yang-Kyu Choi
RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 137-144
DOI:  10.1039/C6RA26677K

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Major society chemistry publishers jointly commit to integration with ORCID

ORCID provides an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship and innovation activities, ensuring authors gain full credit for their work.

Today, we signed their open letter, along with ACS Publications, committing to unambiguous identification of all authors that publish in our journals.

The official press release can be read here.

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It’s in the blood

Scientists have designed a tiny fuel cell that generates electricity from the human body’s blood flow, and for the first time, they have tested the device in a person.

The blood-powered fuel cell connected to a low voltage display

The blood-powered fuel cell connected to a low voltage display

Phones, tablets and other portable electronics are common, but development of equally portable power sources is lagging behind. This is a particular concern for biomedical devices such as pacemakers. Since the 1960s, researchers have made biocompatible fuel cells that generate power inside the body. However, none of these power sources has been successfully demonstrated in a human subject.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Ex vivo electric power generation in human blood using an enzymatic fuel cell in a vein replica
Dmitry Pankratov, Lars Ohlsson, Petri Gudmundsson, Sanela Halak, Lennart Ljunggren, Zoltan Blum and Sergey Shleev
RSC Adv., 2016,6, 70215-70220
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA17122B, Communication

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Machine-learning accelerates catalytic trend spotting

Researchers in Japan have used a machine-learning method to cut the time it takes to predict the catalytic potential of different metals.

Binding between a metal surface and an adsorbate mainly depends on the electronic structure of the metal. More energy at centre of the metal’s d-band creates a stronger bond between its surface and the adsorbate. Based on this theory, scientists have long regarded a value called the d-band centre as a key indicator of a metal’s catalytic activity.

Machine learning helps researchers tackle challenging tasks, such as designing pollution filter catalysts at industrial scale © iStock

Researchers normally compute this value independently for each metal using first-principles calculations. Now, as part of a wider interest in machine-learning applications, Ichigaku Takigawa and his group at Hokkaido University have developed a new method for predicting the d-band centre value. They use readily available data, such as density and electronegativity from other metals or bimetals, to predict the d-band centre for 11 metals and their bimetallic alloys. The results compare favourably with values obtained through density functional theory.

To read the full article please visit Chemistry World.

Machine-learning prediction of the d-band center for metals and bimetals
Ichigaku Takigawa, Ken-ichi Shimizu, Koji Tsuda and Satoru Takakusagi
RSC Adv., 2016,6, 52587-52595
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA04345C, Paper

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Now you see me: autofluorescent nanoparticles for live cell imaging and biodegradation modeling

There is an increasing need for novel technologies to facilitate in vivo tissue visualization and drug delivery. However, this need is largely unmet due to the challenges associated with creating biocompatible materials that meet safety standards. In addition, the potential health risks associated with the accumulation of non-degradable imaging agents and drug carries represents a major obstacle in the innovation pipeline.

The intrinsic autofluorescent, biodegradable and biocompatible properties of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) is well appreciated. However, BSA has short excitation and emission wavelengths, which substantially restricts any in vivo biomedical applications.  Motivated by a recent report suggesting that glutaraldehyde (GA)-crosslinking induces autofluorescence in protein-based nanoparticles by modifying a series of C=C and C=N bonds, a team led by Yu Lei at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut, developed low-cost, non-toxic, BSA-based protein nanoparticles (average size ~40 nm) for live cell imaging and biodegradation analysis.

The nanoparticles were generated by adding drops of a prepared BSA solution to glutaraldehyde/n-butanol solution at high-speed, and the resulting product heated at 121°C to ensure sterility. Interestingly, a similar reaction carried out in the absence of the GA crosslinker did not produce autofluorescent BSA nanoparticles, suggesting that GA was indeed playing an important role in chemically transforming BSA. Using UV-visible spectroscopy, the investigators observed that BSA nanoparticles exhibited strong autofluorescence at both green (530 nm) and red (630 nm) wavelengths.

The BSA nanoparticles were not uniform in structure, owing to the random points of crosslinking within BSA, and also due to the ensuing condensation reaction that occurs during the sterilization step. Therefore, a clear mechanistic explanation for the strong autofluorescence warrants further investigation. However, the investigators speculate that GA-crosslinking and heating could result in new C=N bonds, which could synergize with the C=C bonds from tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine and histidine residues with BSA, leading to enhanced green and red fluorescence.

The team went on to demonstrate the utility of the BSA nanoparticles in biomedical applications such as imaging and biodegradation. They used fluorescent microscopy techniques to visualize the entry of BSA nanoparticles into human kidney cells grown in vitro. The study also found that the BSA nanoparticles were completely degraded within 18 days of injection in mice. A mathematical model for the distribution and biodegradation of the nanoparticles was in good agreement with the experimental results. Finally, to add an additional line of evidence supporting the biocompatible nature of the BSA nanoparticles, the investigators looked for signs of tissue damage in the region surrounding the site of injection, together with an analysis of internal organs including the pancreas, liver and kidney, and report that the BSA nanoparticles are biocompatible.

Read the full article here:

Xiaoyu Ma, Derek Hargrove, Qiuchen Dong, Donghui Song, Jun Chen, Shiyao Wang, Xiuling Lu, Yong Ku Cho, Tai-Hsi Fan and  Yu Lei
DOI: 10.1039/c6ra06783b
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RSC Supramolecular Chemistry Award for Editor-in-Chief Mike Ward

Each year the Royal Society of Chemistry presents prizes and awards to chemical scientists who have made a considerable contribution in their area of research, in industry and academia. This year, we are delighted to announce that RSC Advances Editor-in-Chief, Professor Mike Ward of the University of Sheffield, UK, has been awarded the 2016 RSC Supramolecular Chemistry Award, for his leading contributions to the synthesis, characterisation, host-guest chemistry and functional properties of self-assembled coordination cages.

The Supramolecular Chemistry Award is awarded biennially and recognises studies leading to the design of functionally useful supramolecular species.

In celebration of the 2016 RSC Prizes and Awards, we have collected together some of the research recently published by the winners. This collection showcases articles authored by the winners from across the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journals portfolio, which are free to access for a limited period. A full list of 2016 winners and more information about RSC Prizes and Awards can be found here.

Please join us in congratulating Mike on this achievement!

We would like to highlight the RSC Advances themed collection, Supramolecular chemistry: self-assembly and molecular recognition, Guest Edited by Mike Ward.

The articles in this issue cover many aspects of the formation of, and molecular recognition with, non-covalent self-assembled systems. Systems studied span the range of supramolecular assemblies from MOFs to gels, and potential applications or functional behaviour that are on display here include host/guest chemistry, spin crossover, molecular sensors, and extraction/separation. This collection of articles powerfully illustrates the diversity and increasing importance of supramolecular chemistry.

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Magnetic leathers

Leather is a natural, durable and flexible material that has been prepared and used by humans for millennia. Now, scientists in India have developed magnetic leathers that can make this material evermore versatile.

Made from animal hide, leather is largely made of a chromium-collagen matrix and is paramagnetic. Despite this, it does not interact effectively with magnetic fields. Introducing ferromagnetic properties to leather could enable this material to be used in smart or intelligent garments, electromagnetic interference shielding, adhesive-free wall covering and even in energy harvesting from human motion. As such, a team lead by Dr Krishbaraj Kaliappa at the Central Leather Institute in Chennai, added iron oxide nanoparticles to leather that show significant magnetic behaviour.

The team prepared leather samples using conventional finishing techniques. During this process, they applied a coating of  iron oxide nanoparticles produced by co-precipitation, or a commercially available magnetic pigment. The presence of Fe3O2 in both samples was confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. When compared to the paramagnetic control leather, magnetic hysteresis revealed considerable ferromagnetic behavior in the two samples. In addition, the leathers show significant response to permanent magnets. Further tests revealed that particle incorporation leaves other physical properties of the leather, largely unchanged.

Investigations in to the applications of these magnetic leathers have already shown them to be promising adhesive-free wall tiles. The team also demonstrate that their properties may also enable application in electromagnetic energy generation from human motion.

Digital images of the control leather , that with iron oxide nanoparticles and that with the commercially available magnetic pigment added during finishing.

Read the full article:

Magnetic leathers
P. Thanikaivelan, R. Murali and K. Krishnaraj
RSC Adv., 2016,6, 6496-6503 DOI: 10.1039/C5RA21909D

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Canine tea time

Researchers in China have manufactured dog food containing tea polyphenols. They have shown that when dogs are fed tea polyphenol containg food, antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, similar to those observed in humans, are demonstrated.

Fang Zhong and colleagues also wanted to test the foods palpability to find out if the dogs would actually enjoy eating it. Following a five day trial, it emerged that dogs actually preferred eating food that contained 0.5% tea polyphenols. The dogs’ diet was then restricted to either tea polyphenol containing food or the control food. Subsequent tests revealed higher levels of antioxidant activity in the dogs on the tea polyphenol diet, along with lower levels of fecal bacteria in their stool.

To find out more, read the full Chemistry World article.

Quantitative optimization and assessments of supplemented tea polyphenols in dry dog food considering palatability, levels of serum oxidative stress biomarkers and fecal pathogenic bacteria,
Maoshen Chen, Xuemei Chen, Wenli Cheng, Yue Li, Jianguo Ma and Fang Zhong
RSC Adv., 2016,6, 16802-16807
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA22790A

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Celebrating 100,000 pages of RSC Advances in 2015!

We are delighted to announce that RSC Advances has for the first time passed 100,000 pages of published work in 2015. This is a great achievement that we could not have reached without the outstanding support and enthusiasm of our authors and our community.

“This milestone is a great success” said Dr Binbin Zhang, Professor Yantao Li and Professor Baorong Hou, the authors of our first published article to have page numbers in the 100,000s:
One-step electrodeposition fabrication of a superhydrophobic surface on an aluminum substrate with enhanced self-cleaning and anticorrosion properties
RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 100000-100010

“Many outstanding research groups around the world have published their research works in RSC Advances. The quality of the papers published in the Journal is high, and the research works are well conducted and advance the development of the field. We believe that the research works published in RSC Advances must be interesting and attractive to most researchers in the world.”

They went on to say that “the speed of the manuscript handling process is amazing and impressive … The professional and systematic peer-review process and the first publication of the accepted manuscript play a key role. RSC Advances is a young journal, but it has received a lot of attention from the very beginning”

Congratulations and thanks to all of our authors, who have contributed to reaching this milestone. We also thank Dr Zhang, Prof. Li and Prof. Hou for their kind words and we encourage you to read their excellent article!

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