Archive for the ‘Hot Article Feature Interviews’ Category

RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Sergiusz Luliński

We are very pleased to introduce Sergiusz Luliński, corresponding author of the paper ‘Development of structurally extended benzosiloxaboroles – synthesis and in vitro biological evaluation‘. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Sergiusz told us more about the work that went into this article and what he hopes to achieve in the future. You can find out more about the author and his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the author

Prof. Sergiusz Luliński obtained the PhD degree in chemistry from the Warsaw University of Tech-nology in 2001. Since the beginning of his science career, his research interest has concentrated on main group organometallic chemistry. Currently, his work is focused on the chemistry of novel bio-active boracyclic compounds for applications in medicinal chemistry. He is also interested in the design of various organoboron compounds and their use as porous or luminescent materials. He has published 70 research papers in respected chemistry journals.

 

 

 

The Luliński research group

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will become the most significant threat that humanity has to face in the coming decades. In our work, we explore a new class of boraheterocycles termed benzosiloxaboroles. They exhibit a large variety of biological activities, which can be exploited in future.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
This work reports a new family of structurally expanded benzosiloxaboroles with a particular focus on deriva-tives with pendant arylsulfonate groups, which showed the most promising antibacterial activity, especially to-wards various strains of Staphylococcus aureus. In a general sense, our long-term project indicates that ben-zosiloxaboroles are promising antimicrobial agents as well as β-lactams inhibitors.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
Clinical strains of methicillin-resistant S. aureus have been a severe problem in hospitals and open treatment for many years. They are resistant to almost all β-lactams and often resistant to other classes of antibiotics. There-fore, it is necessary to search for novel potent antibacterials, preferably featuring a new mechanism of action.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
The key design considerations include the improvement of antibacterial potency of benzosiloxaboroles while simultaneously retaining their low cytotoxicity. In addition, we aim at development of effective methods for preparation of a library benzosiloxaboroles with diverse substitution pattern.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The most tricky part of the project was the optimization of synthetic procedures including preparation of the key ionic intermediate as well as subsequent derivatizations with benzoyl and benzenesulfonyl chlorides as electro-philic partners.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
In our long-term work, we investigate the influence of the substitution of benzosiloxaboroles on biological activi-ty and physicochemical properties. It is exciting that benzenesulfonyl derivatives show such a high activity against S. aureus MRSA strains and enterococci which constitute a serious problem in medicine.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We will continue the work on organoboron antimicrobial agents. Specifically, we would like to establish the correlation between structure and activity of substituted benzosiloxaboroles.

 

Development of structurally extended benzosiloxaboroles – synthesis and in vitro biological evaluation
P. Pacholak, J. Krajewska, P. Wińska, J. Dunikowska, U. Gogowska, J. Mierzejewska, K. Durka, K. Woźniak, A. E. Laudy and S. Luliński
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 25104-25121

DOI: 10.1039/D1RA04127D, Paper

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Magne Olav Sydnes

We are very pleased to introduce Magne Olav Sydnes, corresponding author of the paper ‘Photodegradable antimicrobial agents − synthesis, photodegradation, and biological evaluation‘. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Magne told us more about the work that went into this article and what he hopes to achieve in the future. You can find out more about the author and his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the author

Sydnes obtained his PhD degree in 2004 from Australian National University under the guidance of Professor Banwell. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow both in Australia and Japan, including two years as a JSPS postdoctoral fellow in Professor Isobe’s group at Nagoya University. In 2009 he joined International Research Institute of Stavanger, Norway, as a researcher. Since December 2011 he has been at University of Stavanger. Research interests include natural product synthesis, medicinal chemistry, catalysis, chemical biology, analytical chemistry, and environmental chemistry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
The focus of the article is to make compounds that have antimicrobial activity that can decompose under light. The long term aim of our work is to make antibiotics that can decompose in the environment after they have done their work in the patient (human or animal).

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
Antimicrobial resistance is a big and growing problem. We see this as a potential solution to this problem (one of several). With an antibiotic that decomposes after use it will not be laying around in the environment for long enough to make it possible for microorganisms to generate resistance towards it.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
The motivation behind this study was to establish a strategy that makes it possible to decompose the active compound into inactive fragments.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
Two key design concepts: 1) a new scaffold that has not been used in antibiotics previously; and 2) having a system that can decompose at a pH similar to the pH of natural water. One of our compounds decomposes very efficiently at pH 8 and the pH of sea water is 7.5-8.4.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The method for how to make our compounds decompose under light we established quite early in the project. What was more troublesome was to make compounds that actually had biological activity.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
I am excited about all the possibilities that this chemistry opens. Not just for antibiotics but for pharmaceuticals in general. We do see an increasing concentration of a range of pharmaceuticals in the environment (including antibiotics). This chemistry opens the possibility to increase their decomposition after passing through the patient’s body.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We plan to use the results in order to make more active compounds and also make compounds that has activity towards Gram-negative bacteria.

 

Photodegradable antimicrobial agents − synthesis, photodegradation, and biological evaluation
Vebjørn Eikemo, Leiv K. Sydnes and Magne O. Sydnes
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 32339-32345

DOI: 10.1039/D1RA06324C, Paper

RSC Advances Royal Society of ChemistrySubmit to RSC Advances today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Asmaa Ibrahim

We are very pleased to introduce Asmaa Ibrahim, corresponding author of the paper ‘Flavonoids of Salvadora persica L. (meswak) and its liposomal formulation as a potential inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2‘. Her article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Asmaa told us more about the work that went into this article and what she hopes to achieve in the future. You can find out more about Asmaa and her co-authors and their article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the authors

Dr Asmaa Ibrahim is an Associate Professor of Pharmacognosy at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Heliopolis University and Beni-Suef University. She obtained her B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacognosy) from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University. Her field of specialization is production of medicinal plants, isolation, structure elucidation, analysis and testing biological activity of natural products especially those related with COVID-19.

 

 

 

Marwa Salah Elhawary received her B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical sciences from Nahda University Beni suef in 2013. She joined Deraya University in Minia as a Teaching assistant at the department of Pharmacognosy. Her research focused on the isolation of active constituents from plants to develop various and unique biological activities of natural products.

 

 

 

Dr Dalia El Amir received her PhD in Pharmacognosy from Beni-Suef University, Egypt (2015). She is now a lecturer of Pharmacognosy at faculty of Pharmacy. She is interested in natural products isolation and structural elucidation using spectroscopic and metabolomic techniques to discover lead compounds as anti-infectives.

 

 

 

Hesham Refaat received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Pharmaceutical sciences and Pharmaceutics from Minia University. In 2017. He joined in Deraya University in Minia as a Teaching assistant at the department of Pharmaceutical technology. His research focused on the delivery of natural products through the development of various nanocarrier systems such as liposomes and spanlastics.

 

 

 

 

Dr Eman Alaaeldin is an assistant Prof. of Pharmaceutics at Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University/Egypt. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from Minia University (2015) under the channel system and joint supervision scheme between Minia University and Tokushima University/Japan. Dr Eman’s research interests are currently focused on design and development nanocarriers and targeted delivery of drugs.

 

 

 

Dr Omar Mohammed Aly is a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Egypt. Dr. Omar worked ahead of the medicinal and organic chemistry department from September, 2009,till 2015. Prof. Omar’s research interest is focused on computer-aided drug design and the discovery of new anticancer and antiviral drugs.

 

 

Dr Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz Elrehany is a Prof. of Biochemistry at Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Egypt. He is graduated from faculty of Pharmacy, Assiut University in 1985, and received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Minia University in 1994. His research interests are currently focused on protein isolation, purification and characterization, also molecular biology research and gene therapy.

 

 

 

Dr Mohamed S. Kamel is a Professor of natural products chemistry, Deraya and Minia Universities. He studied and carried out research in Hiroshima University, Japan, Oulu University, Finland and Hohenheim University, Germany. He got a grant for carrying out research in Japan by JSPS and got awards for international publication 4 times from Minia University. His research focused on Isolation of naturally occurring compounds from plants & plant endophytes using normal and advanced tools such as CC,MPLC and HPLC with different stationary phases, Interpretation of the compounds by using advanced techniques as EI,FAB,ESI/MS in addition to 1-and 2-D NMR procedures including H-H COSY,NOESY,HSQC & HMBC and biological investigation of the identified compounds such as antihyperglycemic,antioxidant and hepatoprotective actions.

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Since the emergence of the new coronavirus at the end of 2019, our tremendous interest around-the-clock was to identify a safe and effective medicine to combat COVID-19 that has afflicted the world. This study deals with potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 virus from a natural plant and proved this postulate through a laboratory basis and not just a virtual study.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
It was worthy to find a cheap, readily available, safe natural source for promising anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents if administered during outbreak, could help to protect from person-to-person transmission, prevent disease progression and limit viral load. The results move towards producing a drug that can eradicate the COVID-19 epidemic.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
The world health organization (WHO) declared SARS-CoV-2 as a world health emergency pandemic. Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases and deaths are still steadily increasing due to its rapid human to human transmission, leading to a massive strain on healthcare system, with several reports of inadequate medical supplies and deaths of hospital workers. Hospitals are forced to face the kind of life-and-death choice encountered only in times of war. Moreover, few non-approved protocols are being used to treat laboratory-confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients with serious side effects. All these factors motivated us to hopefully find a cure for this pandemic.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
The key design is to experimentally inspect a mixture of eleven flavonol glycosides prepared from Salvadora persica that was hypothesized from molecular docking study to affect SARS-CoV-2 through inhibiting Mpro and blocking contact surface of hACE2-COVID 19 spike protein complex.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The most challenging part is the comparison of RT-PCR test results of flavonol mixture and its liposomal formulation with that of the FDA-approved anti-COVID-19 agent, remidisivir. Encapsulation in the form of liposomal formulation resulted in a significant improvement in human coronavirus inhibition by 2.25-fold than un-encapsulated fraction approaching that of remidisivir. Moreover, when we tested the cytotoxicity effect of flavonol mixture, we found that it had established a safety profile for human use. This study represents a transition step from a screening computational hit to a practical laboratory-based proof.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
Surprisingly, Salvadora persica or chewing stick, commonly known in Arabic as Meswak, is one of the popular plants between Muslims as oral hygiene tool that could leak its anti-SARS-CoV-2 phytochemicals in the aqueous saliva during regular mechanical use as a brushing tool.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
Clinical studies will be continued recently for further investigation of the anti-viral and the anti-inflammatory effects of the liposomal formulation prepared from the flavonol mixture of S. persica on treatment of COVID-19 patients.

 

Flavonoids of Salvadora persica L. (meswak) and its liposomal formulation as a potential inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2tudies
Asmaa I. Owis, Marwa S. El-Hawary, Dalia El Amir, Hesham Refaat, Eman Alaaeldin, Omar M. Aly, Mahmoud A. Elrehany and Mohamed S. Kamel
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 13537-13544
DOI: 10.1039/D1RA00142F, Paper

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Suresh Kumar Mohankumar and Jubie Selvaraj

We are very pleased to introduce Suresh Kumar Mohankumar and Jubie Selvaraj, corresponding and first authors of the paper ‘Identification of (2R,3R)-2-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)chroman-3-yl-3,4,5-trihydroxy benzoate as multiple inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 targets; a systematic molecular modelling approach‘. Their article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Suresh and Jubie told us more about the work that went into this article and what they hope to achieve in the future. You can find out more about the authors and their article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Nature’s oldest pharmacy has always been a treasure of novel drugs and medicines, and should any of these compounds assist us in battling the COVID-19 pandemic? We have screened and sorted the natural compounds that can fight against COVID-19 in more than one way using the artificial intelligence-aided computer program to answer this.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
Our findings suggested that one of the compounds in Green Tea can protect/battle with coronavirus virtually. It is still a preliminary step, but it urges further research to establish the scientific shreds of evidence for its safe use in clinics.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
As basic researchers in the pharmaceutical sciences, we thought of possible contributions to managing the most devastating pandemic.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?

• The systematic molecular modeling approach
• Poly targeting: Can the bioactive work in more than one possible way?
• Structure-based analogs synthesis and its impact

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
Sorting natural compounds that can work on multiple anti-covid targets and designing the analogs were the most challenging.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
The sorted compound, gallocatechin, is present in Green tea, could be readily available, accessible, and affordable if further studies and proven clinically safe for use to prevent or treat COVID-19.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We need to establish that the sorted lead works biologically, as hypothesized. We welcome potential collaborators and partners to further this up with relevant pre-clinical and clinical studies.

 

Identification of (2R,3R)-2-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)chroman-3-yl-3,4,5-trihydroxy benzoate as multiple inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 targets; a systematic molecular modelling approach
Jubie Selvaraj, Shyam Sundar P, Logesh Rajan, Divakar Selvaraj, Dhanabal Palanisamy, Krishnan Namboori PK and Suresh Kumar Mohankumar
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 13051-13060
DOI: 10.1039/D1RA01603B, Paper

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Muhammad Munir Sajid

We are very pleased to introduce Muhammad Munir Sajid, one of the corresponding authors of the paper ‘Construction of 1T-MoS2 quantum dots-interspersed (Bi1−xFex)VO4 heterostructures for electron transport and photocatalytic properties‘, and his co-authors. Their article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Munir told us more about the work that went into this article and what they hopes to achieve in the future. You can find out more about the authors and their article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the authors

Dr. Muhammad Munir Sajid is currently working as a postdoc employee at School of Physics at Henan Normal University. He has obtained his PhD in Physics from Government College University (GCU), Faisalabad-Pakistan. His research interests includes; synthesis of composite nanoparticles & thin films synthesis via chemical methods for multifaceted applications i.e. Photocatalysis, bio-sensing, antimicrobial functions, and hydrogen storage applications.

 

 

 

Dr. Haifa Zhai is currently an associate professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Henan Normal University, China. He received his PhD degree in Materials Physics and Chemistry at Nanjing University (NJU) in 2011, China and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in NJU from 2011 to 2013 and visiting scholar in Chemical Engineering at the Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) from 2018 to 2019. His current research interests focus on sustainable energy and environmental science based on nanostructured functional materials.

 

 

Dr. Naveed Akhter Shad is currently working as PSA (Senior Researcher) at National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad-Pakistan. He has obtained his PhD in Physics from Government College University (GCU), Faisalabad-Pakistan. His research interests includes; synthesis of novel nanomaterials for multifarious applications i.e. Photocatalysis, Photo electrochemical, Electrochemical bio-sensing, HRP, super capacitors and Hydrogen storage features.

 

 

 

Dr. Muhammad Shafique completed his doctorate degree in Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Groningen, The Netherlands in 2013. After completing PhD, I am working as Assistant Professor in Department of Microbiology, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan. His research is focused on viral/bacterial diseases of humans like HCV, HBV, RSV & Measles as well as animals such as NDV and IBDV. The group is also working for development and evaluation of animal vaccines (poultry) by using novel techniques against Newcastle Disease virus.

 

 

Dr. Amir Muhammad Afzal is currently working as an Assistant Professor at Riphah International University, Lahore. He has obtained his PhD degree in Physics from Sejong University, Seoul, South Korea. Besides, he has also completed Postdoc from Kwangwoon University, Seoul, South Korea. His research interests includes TMDs based Nano devices such as FETs, photodetectors, Solar cells and sensors.

 

 

 

Dr. Yasir Javed did his PhD at Universite denis diderot-Paris 7, France. He is currently working as assistant professor in University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan. His research interests are synthesis of metal oxide nanomaterials for biomedical, sensing and photocatalysis applications.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Sadaf Bashir Khan is currently working as a postdoc researcher in Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS), China. She received her Ph.D. degree in Material Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. She has expertise in thin films fabrication and nanaparticles sysnthesis via PVd techniques and chemical methods. She did simulation and modeling of a single layer, bilayer, and multilayer or composite coatings and synthesizing nanoparticles according to photocatalytic and optoelectronic applications for solar cell applications and eliminating environmental pollution.

 

 

 

 

Prof. Nasir Amin is currently working as a Professor of Physics at Government College University Faisalabad-Pakistan. He had worked as Acting Vice Chancellor, Dean Faculty of Physical Sciences, Chairman Department of Physics and chaired various key administrative positions at Government College University Faisalabad. He had established state of the art laser spectroscopy lab at UAF and modern Nanomaterials Bio-sensing research centre & PLD lab at Government College University Faisalabad-Pakistan.

 

 

 

Prof. Zhengjun Zhang received his B.S., MS and Ph.D degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University in 1991, 1993, and 1995, respectively. He is currently a Professor at School of Materials Science and Engineering in Tsinghua University. His major research interests are nanostructures and thin films fabrication and characterization, plasmonic nanostructures, chemical and biological sensors, nano-photocatalysts.

 

 

 

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
The focus of the present study is to:

  • Construct 1T-MoS2@(Bi1-xFex) VO4 heterostructures through the sonication-assisted hydrothermal method and analyze its visible light-dependent photocatalytic activity.
  • Besides this, the mechanism involved for the synthesis of heterostructures and optimum condition for photocatalytic degradation of crystal violet (CV) dye is explored and discussed thoroughly.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
Semiconductor photocatalysts compounds have an array of emergent properties of interest to the materials science community. The outcomes of this study will contribute to synthesize stable, resistant and reusable catalyst to handle the industrial organic pollutant degradation in an economical, cost-effective and easy way. However; it would take some time to get mature for industrial applications.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
This study is part of a larger effort to understand and control the surface area and electron-hole pairs separation to enhance the photocatalytic activity, From the literature survey, Bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) and Ferric Vanadate (FeVO4) are potential candidates for light-driven photocatalysts due to narrowband gaps ranging from 2.0 to 2.72 eV due to their remarkable chemical stability, noble catalytic activity, minimal optical damage and commercial cost-effective availability Both BiVO4 and FeVO4 possess a suitable energy band in a visible light range indicating tremendous photocatalytic and electrochemical applications. It is also observed that in scheelite ABO4 the B site was partially filled by substituted material. Taking the same idea in the monoclinic BiVO4, Bi3+ is 8 coordinated with ionic radius 1.17 Å, and the ionic radius of 4-coordinated V5+ is 0.355 Å. FeVO4 has two different crystal structures including triclinic (P-1) and orthorhombic (cm) symmetry respectively. The ionic radius of 8-coordinated Fe3+ is 0.78 Å. Reviewed literature has suggested that the heterostructures of BiVO4-FeVO4 would be useful in generating efficiency of electron-hole pair and thus enhancing the photocatalytic activity of (Bi1-xFex) VO4 heterostructures nano photocatalyst. Meanwhile, from a literature study, MoS2 is very sensitive for photodetection, moreover large electronic conductivity, substitute for noble metals co-catalysts, the abundance of existence, cost-effectiveness. MoS2 in cooperation with (Bi1-xFex)VO4 and enhanced the light absorption intensity range in the visible region of light. The small MoS2 co-catalysts particles close intact with (Bi1-xFex)VO4 and generate a nanoporous structure that offering more active agent sites.

Inspired by these concepts, 1T-MoS2 quantum dots-interspersed in (Bi1-xFex)VO4 hereafter 1T-MoS2@(Bi1-xFex)VO4 heterostructures were prepared through sonication assisted hydrothermal method. The synthesized 1T-MoS2@(Bi1-xFex)VO4 heterostructures exhibit excellent visible light-dependent photocatalytic activity. Photoluminance study revealed excellent controlled electron-hole transfer activity. The 1T-MoS2@(Bi0.40Fe0.60)VO4 heterostructures with 2.0 wt% of 1T-MoS2 loading with mix phase exhibited optimal enhanced photocatalytic response, as well as good stability and reusability.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
The key design considerations were elaborated in the schematic figure below:

  • Key design considerations of 1T-MoS2 quantum dots-interspersed (Bi1-xFex)VO4 heterostructures
  • Increment in the electron-hole separation mechanism
  • To enhance catalyst surface area
  • Control electron transport
  • Heightened photocatalytic properties

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
Optimum conditions prerequisite for the construction of 1T-MoS2@(Bi1-xFex) VO4 by the dosage variation effect of 1T-MoS2 on the photocatalytic activity of the photocatalysts were the most challenging task.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
We feel excited at two moments firstly, when we synthesize 1T-MoS2@(Bi1-xFex) VO4 heterostructures appropriately and secondly when we practically and experimentally improve photocatalytic response which is ascribed due to the higher electron transfer from semiconductor to the MoS2 surface and as a result, hinders the fast electron-hole recombination.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
In the future, we are planning to extend the current design using biocompatible polymers to fabricate and synthesize multifunctional bendable polymer-based nanocomposites thin films for sensing or energy storage application besides degradation of environmental pollutants.

 

Construction of 1T-MoS2 quantum dots-interspersed (Bi1−xFex)VO4 heterostructures for electron transport and photocatalytic properties
Muhammad Munir Sajid, Haifa Zhai, Naveed Akhtar Shad, Muhammad Shafique, Amir Muhammad Afzal, Yasir Javed, Sadaf Bashir Khan, Nasir Amin and Zhengjun Zhang
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 13105-13118
DOI: 10.1039/D1RA00807B, Paper

RSC Advances Royal Society of ChemistrySubmit to RSC Advances today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Tarek Aboul-Fadl

We are very pleased to introduce Tarek Aboul-Fadl, corresponding authors of the paper ‘Inversion kinetics of some E/Z 3-(benzylidene)-2-oxo-indoline derivatives and their in silico CDK2 docking studies‘. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Tarek told us more about the work that went into this article and what he hopes to achieve in the future. You can find out more about the author and his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the author

Dr Tarek Aboul-Fadl is a Prof. of Medicinal Chemistry at Faculty of Pharmacy, Assiut University/Egypt. Dr Aboul-Fadl received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Medicinal Chemistry from Assiut University (1994) under the channel system and joint supervision scheme between Assiut University and Josai University/Japan. Dr Aboul-Fadl performed his postdoctoral training as a postdoctoral research fellow and Scientist at Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Austria (1997- 1998), Institute of Pharmacy and Food Chemistry, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU), Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany (1999 and 2013) and Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, USA (2001-2002 and 2004-2005). Dr Aboul-Fadl joined Department of Medicinal Chemistry as an assistant Prof. in 1994, then promoted to associate Prof. in 1999 and to Professor in 2004. Dr Aboul-Fadl is a member of Egyptian Syndicate of Pharmacists since 1984, Egyptian Society of Pharmacists since 1994, American Chemical Society since 2002, The Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New TB Drugs (WGND) since Feb. 2010 and Member of Drug Research Council of Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology since June 2018. He is the author or co-author of more than 130 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and conferences and he has 4 patents Furthermore, he is a reviewer and a member of editorial board of several international journals. Dr Aboul-Fadl’s research interests are currently focused on computer aided drug design, design and development of cell cycle inhibitors as a potential anticancer agents, design and development of antituburcular drugs and Prodrugs and chemical delivery systems. ( Web: https://cutt.ly/nxONkAT).

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Atoms of a particular molecule can arrange distinctly in the space giving to what is called isomers. The later do not necessarily share similar chemical or physical properties. Moreover, they could exert different biological activity and even toxicity, the tragedy of the thalidomide drug is still in mind.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
E/Z-Isomerization of some drugs such as Sunitinib “ an anticancer drug” and its analogs as our molecules can affect the bioavailability and the pharmacological activities. Accordingly the possibility of inversion of these isomers to each other worthy to be study for good shelf live, maximum biological activities and drug safety.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
Sunitinib as an anticancer drug is bound to its receptor in the form of Z-diastereomer, even though they were the E-diastereomer in solution. The E form must be isomerized to the Z form before binding as the E-diastereomer is inactive. This was the motive to study the rate of isomerization in a polar solvent as DMSO. Furthermore, generation of a good multiple regression equation for prediction of stability of the diastereomers based on Quantum mechanics parameters.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
Development of inexpensive new anti-cancer agents with good potency and offer both selectivity and lower toxicity.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The most challenging part was the generation of the predictive equation from the Quantum mechanics parameters and the rate of isomerization.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
Agreement of the laboratory results with those obtained by applying the generated equation. This will lead to confident prediction for the isomerisation rates of similar molecules and possible wide application in the pharmaceutical field.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
In vitro study of the antiproliferative activity and CDK2 inhibitory activity of the synthesized compounds. Investigations of isomerization in non-polar solvents and buffer induced isomerization particularly physiological and simulated gastric fluids buffers in addition to photoisomerization of these compounds and similar analogues.

 

Inversion kinetics of some E/Z 3-(benzylidene)-2-oxo-indoline derivatives and their in silico CDK2 docking studies
Hany S. Mansour, Hend A. A. Abd El-wahab, Ahmed M. Ali and Tarek Aboul-Fadl
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 7839-7850
DOI: 10.1039/D0RA10672K, Paper

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Ruel McKenzie

We are very pleased to introduce Ruel McKenzie, corresponding authors of the paper ‘Breaking the bottleneck: stilbene as a model compound for optimizing 6π e photocyclization efficiency‘. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Ruel told us more about the work that went into this article and what he hopes to achieve in the future. You can find out more about the author and his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the author

Dr. Ruel McKenzie was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. He is an assistant professor in the School of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron. Prior to his current role, Dr. McKenzie was an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and a postdoctoral researcher at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas in the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser. His degrees are in chemical engineering and he is a graduate of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (B.Sc. and Ph.D.) and Columbia University (M. Sc.). Dr. McKenzie’s research activities are primarily in the field of chemical physics/physical chemistry of soft matter. His research is focused on making advances in the areas of soft matter dynamics, enabling complex structures and multifunctional materials.

 

 

 

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Stilbene was used as a model compound to mechanistically understand and overcome some factors that have limited 6π e photocyclization reactions to dilute conditions – which essentially limited throughput. This is of interest because the synthesis of polycyclic aromatic compounds is typically conducted through such photochemical routes.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
Polycyclic aromatic compounds have an array of emergent properties of interest to the materials science community. The results from this work will contribute to efforts to increase the production scale of polycyclic aromatic compounds that use similar photochemical routes. We demonstrated the utility of an alternative oxidizing agent to the convention which increased the throughput by over 10-fold and could be extended to high concentrations without the evolution of undesired products. We anticipate further work in screening other potential oxidizing agents that may be used for enhanced throughput. This work also highlighted the relevance of stereoconformation on the reaction dynamics and the impact of light source on the equilibrium conformation, especially as concentration increased.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
This study is part of a larger effort to understand and control the formation of complex architectures of polycyclic aromatic compounds and enabling synthesis of such compounds at high throughput using photochemical routes. The transformation of stilbene to phenanthrene represented the most basic molecular geometry that could be studied, and it afforded us the opportunity to monitor the photocyclization reaction in a straightforward manner.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
The key design considerations from this study were the impact of conformer and oxidizing agents on the reaction dynamics.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
Samples needed to be prepared in a dark room to maintain the integrity of the pure isomers and post-reaction removal of one of the oxidizing agents at high concentrations was a laborious process.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
We are currently excited about the revelation on the impact of the light source on the equilibrium stereoconformation, which is a design aspect of the reaction that appears to have been largely overlooked. The light source will drive the photoactive molecule to an equilibrium stereoconformation irrespective of the starting conformation. Understanding this relationship between physical aspects of the light source (such as wavelength and intensity) and equilibrium stereoconformation (or conformation pathway) will help to elucidate how complex structures are formed (or can be manipulated) during photochemical synthesis of polycyclic aromatic compounds.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We are extending our current understanding of the mechanism of phenanthrene formation to study photocyclization in larger polycyclic aromatic molecules towards elucidating the mechanisms of forming complex geometries.

 

Breaking the bottleneck: stilbene as a model compound for optimizing 6π e photocyclization efficiency
Joshua Seylar, Dmytro Stasiouk, Davide L. Simone, Vikas Varshney, James E. Heckler and Ruel McKenzie
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 6504-6508
DOI: 10.1039/D0RA10619D, Paper

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Seong Jun Kang and Jae Seung Shin

We are very pleased to introduce Seong Jun Kang and Jae Seung Shin, corresponding and first authors of the paper ‘Improving the performance of quantum-dot light-emitting diodes via an organic–inorganic hybrid hole injection layer‘. Their article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our January HOT articles. The authors told us more about the work that went into this article and what they hope to achieve in the future. You can find out more about their article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the authors

Seong Jun Kang received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Yonsei University. In 2005, He joined in University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as a postdoctoral research associate, where he was involved in research of flexible and stretchable electronic devices based on carbon nanomaterials. In 2007, he joined Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science as a research scientist. From 2010, he joined to the Department of Advanced Materials Engineering for Information and Electronics at Kyung Hee University, where he has been an associate professor since 2014. His research interests focused on transparent, flexible and stretchable electronics based on nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotube, graphene and quantum-dots. Also, he focused on the study of interfacial electronic structures between nanomaterials for the high-performance optoelectronics.

 

Jae Seung Shin received his B.S., and currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Advanced Materials Engineering for Information and Electronics from Kyung Hee University, Korea in 2020. His research interests are the development of optoelectronics based on quantum-dots and oxide semiconductors.

 

 

 

 

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Quantum-dot light emitting diodes(QLEDs) are considered as a next-generation display due to its vivid color and stability. The goal of our research was to improve the device performance using a mixture of conductive polymer and metal oxide.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
Our results provide that performance and stability can be improved by applying an organic-inorganic hybrid hole injection layer to the QLED structure, and furthermore, it can be easily fabricated with a single-layer hole injection layer.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
To develop a high-performance QLEDs with a high-stability, it is important to charge injection and transport behavior. Therefore, we suggest a new type of organic-inorganic charge injection materials.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
A key design consideration in this study is to find the optimal V2O5 mixture concentration.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
Including vanadium ions into the polymer during the synthesis of organic-inorganic hybrid hole injection materials was the most challenging part.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
We are excited about the remarkable improvement in the operational lifetime of PEDOT:PSS-based devices due to the inorganic mixture.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We are currently working on doping metal into hole injection materials to improve the charge balance of QLEDs.

 

Improving the performance of quantum-dot light-emitting diodes via an organic–inorganic hybrid hole injection layer
Jae Seung Shin, Tae Yeon Kim, Su Been Heo, Jong-Am Hong, Yongsup Park and Seong Jun Kang
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 4168-4172
DOI: 10.1039/D0RA10422A, Paper

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Dulal Senapati

We are very pleased to introduce Dulal Senapati, corresponding author of the paper ‘Impact of porous nanomaterials on inhibiting protein aggregation behaviour‘. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our February HOT articles. Dulal told us more about the work that went into this article and what he hope to achieve in the future. You can find out more about his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the authors

Dr. Dulal Senapati is an Associate Professor in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD) at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Kolkata, INDIA. He earned his Ph.D. in 2005 with Prof. Puspendu K. Das at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. After finishing his Ph.D., he immediately joined as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA in the laboratory of Prof. Robert M. Dickson and continued till 2008. In 2008, he moved to Jackson State University, USA to pursue his second Postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. P. C. Ray and continued till 2013. In 2013, he joined SINP as an Associate Professor-‘E’ and was promoted to Associate Professor-‘F’ in 2018. The central theme of Dr. Senapati’s laboratory (Nanophotonics Laboratory) is to design, characterizing, and finding applications of defect enriched anisotropic plasmonic, magnetic, and magnetoplasmonic nanomaterials in the field of sensing, diagnosis, catalysis, and therapeutics. Details of his publication, citation, and h-index are listed in: https://scholar.google.co.in/citations?user=0b5q6hAAAAAJ&hl=en.

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Of late, several diseases caused by “misfolding” of one or more key proteins are drawing attention to biologists. Of these, neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc. are of special interest because any drug which would prevent these misfolded proteins to aggregate, must also cross the blood-brain-barrier to reach the brain. The focus of our article is to find a way to prevent non-specific protein aggregation by interfering with their physical properties, especially those that trigger misfolding and cause the disease. In this research work we used non-toxic and biocompatible nanomaterials, with potentials to act as vehicles to cross the barrier, for preventing their aggregation and thereby inhibiting these diseases. This study could be fruitful to formulate nanotherapeutic drugs for future clinical applications.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
This work could have huge impact in the field of Nanomedicine. The assay is already shown to be effective in cellular model, and in future we have a plan to validate it in Alzheimer’s diseases animal model. Once established, this work has the potential to revolutionize the use of nanotherapeutic drugs for future clinical applications of neurodegenerative diseases.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
The main motivation behind this work was to understand the role of nanoparticles, especially porous nanomaterials to control aggregation of protein which may cause different neurodegenerative diseases. Though the literature is rich in the therapeutic applications of non-porous inorganic nanoparticles, the role of corresponding porous nanomaterials has not been explored to the same extent. Porous nanomaterials are more effective due to their highly controllable and isotropic nature of large accessible pore size, and easy release of incorporated materials from their pores.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
Following are the two key design considerations for our study:
(i) Designing of bio compatible and cost effective nanomaterials to achieve the desired structure.
(ii) To control the fibrillation process of model protein aggregates in presence of porous nanomaterials at pH 1.8.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
(i) synthesis of monodispersed porous nanomaterials with uniform pore diameter distribution.
(ii) High contrasted images of aggregated Insulin in presence of porous nano-silica (PNS).
(iii) Stable cell culture of SHSY5Y human cell line (Neuroblastoma of neuronal origin).

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
We are extremely excited by finding out a cheap and nontoxic way to restrict the protein aggregation which we potentially can use to formulate nanotherapeutic drugs for future clinical applications.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
Next step is to validate our assay in Alzheimer’s disease animal model. This may help revolutionize the formulation of nanotherapeutic drugs for future clinical applications.

 

Impact of porous nanomaterials on inhibiting protein aggregation behaviour
Munmun Bardhan, Sandip Dolui, Siddhi Chaudhuri, Uttam Paul, Gaurav Bhattacharjee, Manorama Ghosal, Nakul C. Maiti, Debashis Mukhopadhyay and Dulal Senapati
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 3354-3362
DOI: 10.1039/D0RA10927D, Paper

RSC Advances Royal Society of ChemistrySubmit to RSC Advances today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Annamalai Senthil Kumar, Desikan Rajagopal and Mansi Gandhi

We are very pleased to introduce Annamalai Senthil KumarDesika Rajagopal and Mansi Gandhi, authors of the paper ‘In situ electro-organic synthesis of hydroquinone using anisole on MWCNT/Nafion modified electrode surface and its heterogeneous electrocatalytic reduction of toxic Cr(vi) species‘. Their article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our January HOT articles. The authors told us more about the work that went into this article and what they hope to achieve in the future. You can find out more about their article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the authors

Annamalai Senthil Kumar is a Senior Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, School of Advanced Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Tamil Nadu, India & part of CO2 Research and Green Technology Centre, VIT. His research interest includes interdisciplinary areas of Nano-, Bio- and Molecular- Electrochemistry especially design and development of redo active chemically modified electrode for electrocatalytic and electrochemical sensor applications. He has published nearly 200 publications (Scopus Index(R); 7406627815). His h-index value is 36. He has been serving as an Advisory Board member of Analyst (RSC) (2014-) and an (Invited) elected member of Fellow Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).

 

 

 

Dr. Desikan Rajagopal is Professor and Head of the Department of Chemistry at School of Advanced Sciences, VIT University, Vellore. His research interest includes the design and organic-synthesis of biologically relevant organic molecules, electro-organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry. Prior to this, he was leading a drug development program for cardiovascular disease at Columbus in USA. He has published more than 47 research papers, six US patents and seven book chapters. Apart from research, he is highly passionate in teaching to undergraduate and masters students in the specialized areas of chemistry. He is also a consultant to several industries.

 

 

Mansi Gandhi is a Research Scholar working under Prof Desikan Rajagopal and Prof A Senthil Kumar on topic In-situ electro-organic synthesis and electrocatalysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Could you briefly explain the focus of your article to the non-specialist (in one or two sentences only) and why it is of current interest?
Conventional organic synthesis and electro-organic synthesis are known in the literature. However, carbon nano tube mediated organic reactions is either unknown or scarce. Herein, we introduce a new concept of “in-situ electro-organic synthesis” of a redox-active molecule, hydroquinone on MWCNT modified glassy carbon electrode surface with anisole as a precursor.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
It is a novel and new method to prepare a chemically modified electrode of a desired organic redox-active molecule for selective electrochemical sensor and bio-electrochemical sensor applications. This may be considered as a game-changer in the field of electrochemical sensors.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
This study aims at integrating a multi-disciplinary approach involving organic chemistry, electrochemistry, nanotechnology and bio-sensor areas.

The development of new redox-active organic molecules-based chemically modified electrodes that are stable under the working condition and effective towards targeted analyte are rarely reported in the literature. Similarly, high-valent Cr(VI) species have been used as an oxidant for the alcohol oxidation reaction. In this work, we have reversed the concept, i.e, redox-active polyphenolic compound, Hydroquinone modified electrode for Cr(VI) reduction reaction, has been introduced.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
A strong surface-confined electrochemical oxidation of organic precursors on graphitic material via π- π interaction is a key step for this new concept.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
Isolation of extremely minute quantity fraction of the redox-active organic compound trapped on the MWCNT and its characterization by GC-MS and NMR.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
Introduction and coining the concept “In-situ Electro-organic synthesis” for the development of new redox-active chemically modified electrodes.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
With this new concept, we will like to oxidize inert and difficultly-oxidizable substances like benzene and polyaromatic hydrocarbon on the graphitic surface to develop certain molecular-electronic materials.

 

In situ electro-organic synthesis of hydroquinone using anisole on MWCNT/Nafion modified electrode surface and its heterogeneous electrocatalytic reduction of toxic Cr(vi) species
Mansi Gandhi, Desikan Rajagopal and Annamalai Senthil Kumar
RSC Adv., 2021,11, 4062-4076
DOI: 10.1039/D0RA10370E, Paper

RSC Advances Royal Society of ChemistrySubmit to RSC Advances today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

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