Archive for the ‘Hot articles’ Category

RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Juan A. Allegretto and Matías Rafti

We are very pleased to introduce Juan A. Allegretto and Matías Rafti, authors of the paper Synthesis and characterization of thermoresponsive ZIF-8@PNIPAm-co-MAA microgel composites with enhanced performance as an adsorption/release platform‘. Their article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Matías was kind enough to tell 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.

Meet the Authors

Juan A. Allegretto

 

Juan A. Allegretto holds a Chemistry BSc from the National University of La Plata (Universidad Nacional de La Plata – 2016), and currently conducts a PhD project related to MOFs synthesis and integration into diverse composites at the Universidad de San Martin, Argentina under the supervision of Professor Omar Azzaroni and Dr. Matías Rafti at SoftMatter Lab-INIFTA-UNLP with an scholarship granted by CONICET.

 

Matías Rafti

 

Dr Matías Rafti holds a Chemistry BSc from the National University of La Plata (Universidad Nacional de La Plata – 2003), and completed a PhD project on simulations and experiments for Heterogenous Catalysis under vacuum conditions, (2007, Prof. Vicente (Argentina, UNLP), and Prof. Imbihl (PCI, University of Hannover, Germany). He is currently a Staff Researcher at CONICET-Argentina and docent at the SoftMatter Lab-INIFTA-UNLP. Our current projects take advantage of both the synergy arising from close-collaboration with lab members with diverse expertise (e.g., x-ray scattering techniques, organic synthesis, electrochemistry, colloidal chemistry), and the wide range of available techniques allowing for a thorough physical and chemical characterization; in order to pursue the synthesis of MOF composite materials (either in colloidal suspensions or film configuration) with potential for applications in energy-related and sensing technologies.

 

Synthesis and characterization of thermoresponsive ZIF-8@PNIPAm-co-MAA microgel composites with enhanced performance as an adsorption/release platform

 

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?
We aim to develop integrated materials (aka “composites”) using building blocks which would bring different features together; to combine such components in a robust composite while maintaining functionality is a non-trivial task. Taking advantage of the expertise developed in our lab covering aspects of polymer science (softmatter) and (somehow “harder”) porous polymers (Metal Organic Frameworks or MOFs); we developed a straightforward strategy which yields MOF@Polymeric_Microgel composites featuring stimuli-responsiveness (microgel) and enhanced surface area available for adsorption (MOF).

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
The novel strategy presented is very versatile, the Zn-based ZIF-8 MOF used as proof-of-concept could be easily replaced by other MOFs, which were already employed in many interesting applications beyond adsorption. Furthermore, the MOF/Microgel composition of such highly integrated composites can be controlled, thus opening the path to new design strategies towards stimuli-responsive adsorbants.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
This work was inspired by our experience working with stimuli responsive polymeric materials and the idea of conferring such an interesting platform with additional features. We had also been working recently in the synthesis of various MOFs for diverse uses (eg. adsorption); such materials are known to suffer from hydrolysis under mild/strong conditions in aqueous environments, and such drawback hinders the otherwise immense field of applications possible. The idea behind the reported work aimed to extend the scope of uses of polymeric microgels by endowing them with high surface area; and at the same, to provide additional stability for the embedded MOF phase, thus broadening the range of conditions suitable for adsorption in aqueous environments.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
Our study is based in a meticulous selection of the composition and chemical nature of the different players, and basic chemistry notions: by introducing moieties into the microgel’s network capable to precoordinate or preconcentrate the Zn cations, we have taken advantage of the well-known coordination chemistry to direct its heterogeneous nucleation and growth of the crystalline ZIF-8 inside the microgel.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The strategy for integration of MOF and microgel phases into the composite involves the use of a pre-coordination stage, in which metal ions were adsorbed onto exposed carboxylate moieties for subsequent MOF grow within the polymeric phase. The two main challenges we faced in the present work can be summarized as follows; i) finding the appropriate concentration of pre-coordinated ionic metal precursors for MOF growth (which can be controlled by many parameters; e.g., the amount of carboxylate moieties exposed in the microgel, or the concentration of Zn2+ ions and exposure time during the preconcentration stage); and ii) finding the appropriate conditions for controlling the swelling state of the microgel which would be compatible with MOF growth (i.e., methanol content, and ionic strength).

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
In our laboratory we continually look for opportunities to combine the know-how developed in different research areas explored by staff researchers. In particular, we are very excited about the many possibilities opened by the integration of MOFs, MOFs/Polymers and MOFs/biomolecules composites into electrochemical platforms with applications in energy storage/conversion and biosensing.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
Regarding the work related to the present article, the next evident step would be to extend the characterization of the synthetized composite and to explore its possibilities as adsorptive platform. Specifically to explore new ways to confer selectivity and to acquire further control on loading/release mechanism.

 

Synthesis and characterization of thermoresponsive ZIF-8@PNIPAm-co-MAA microgel composites with enhanced performance as an adsorption/release platform
Juan A. Allegretto, Juan M. Giussi, Sergio E. Moya, Omar Azzaroni and Matias Rafti
RSC Adv., 2020, 10, 2453-2461
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA09729E , Paper

Synthesis and characterization of thermoresponsive ZIF-8@PNIPAm-co-MAA microgel composites with enhanced performance as an adsorption/release platform

 

 

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Gerrard Marangoni

Meet the Author
gerrard-marangoniWe are very pleased to introduce Gerrard Marangoni, corresponding author of the paper ‘m-s-m cationic gemini and zwitterionic surfactants – a thermodynamic analysis of their mixed micelle formation‘ with Aleisha McLachlan, Kulbir Singh, Michael McAlduff, Samantha Shortall and Shawn D. Wettig. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles.

Gerrard was kind enough to tell 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 Gerrard and his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Dr. Gerrard Marangoni is a Professor of Chemistry at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. He began his research career in colloid science as an undergraduate and graduate student; he subsequently worked with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited on the thermodynamics of radioactive compounds, and since 1992 has been at StFX University in the Department of Chemistry studying self-assembly of amphiphilic compounds. He has over 25 years of experience in surfactant and colloidal chemistry, a number of highly cited publications, and is a named author on close to 100 research papers, reports, patents and patent applications. Dr. Marangoni is a co-founder of two startup companies a member of several scientific advisory committees.

 

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?
Mixed surfactants systems are important in a number of commercial applications – understanding how they interact on a molecular level is a first step to learning how to improve their performance.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
For gemini surfactants, researchers are keenly aware of the contribution of the spacer groups towards their self-assembly – we now also appreciate that it can play a significant role in the self-assembly of mixed surfactants system with gemini and other surfactants.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
Synergism is often discussed from a thermodynamic standpoint, but rarely are the appropriate excess thermodynamic functions measured experimentally. From our previous investigation with these same systems, we observed some key differences in the synergistic effects due to a slight change in the length of the spacer group. We were eager to see how those differences (conclusions drawn from 2D NMR NOESY and conductivity experiments) showed up in the thermodynamic parameters of micelle formation; hence the calorimetry study.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
Calorimetric titration studies require careful attention to the design of each experiment with respect to concentration(s) of titrant, the size of each injection, and the number of injections. Poor design often results in a great deal of “trial and error” in order to obtain high quality thermodynamic/binding data.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
While our group has a great deal of experience with the calculation of the various thermodynamic parameters described in this work, the number of calculations involved, combined with the multiple thermodynamic models utilized make the calculations challenging.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
How well the results from the nmr experiments and calorimetry complemented each other!

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We are currently examining how the synergism extends to other key aspects and applications of surfactants (drug delivery, solubilization).

 

m-s-m cationic gemini and zwitterionic surfactants – a thermodynamic analysis of their mixed micelle formation
Aleisha McLachlan, Kulbir Singh, Michael McAlduff, D. Gerrard Marangoni, Samantha Shortall and Shawn D. Wettig
RSC Adv., 2020, 10, 3221-3232
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA09432F, Paper

m-s-m cationic gemini and zwitterionic surfactants – a thermodynamic analysis of their mixed micelle formation

 

 

 

RSC Advances Royal Society of Chemistry

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Peige Wang

Meet the Author
We are very pleased to introduce Peige Wang, co-author of the paper ‘A polypropylene mesh coated with interpenetrating double network hydrogel for local drug delivery in temporary closure of open abdomen‘ with Ze Li, Changliang Wu, Zhen Liu, Zhenlu Li, Xingang Peng, Jinjian Huang and Jianan Ren. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Peige was kind enough to tell 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 Peige and his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Peige Wang is currently the Director of Emergency Department and Emergency Surgery at the Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao and works at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Critical Care, Chinese Medical Association Surgery Branch. He is also Vice Chairman of the Professional Committee of Parenteral Fistula of the Surgical Branch of Chinese Medical Association and Deputy Chief of the Perioperative Group, China Anorectal Board.

 

 

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 double-network hydrogel combined the stiffness and elastic ability as well as in situ forming property. It can significantly reduce the inflammatory irritation caused by temporary abdominal closure friction and greatly reduce complications of the open abdomen.

The double-network hydrogel has great potential for practical application in medicine, especially in the treatment of open abdomen through temporary abdominal closure.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
Our study provides an advantagous temporary abdominal closure (TAC) biomaterial with good mechnical strength, drug releasing ability and wound healing for management of defected abdominal wall, and will have great potential clinical applications.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
Temporary abdominal closure (TAC) technology is prone to complications such as intestinal fistulas when treating open abdomen (OA). We hope to design hydrogels with appropriate stiffness and elasticity to reduce local inflammation and reduce the occurrence of complications in patients.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
The reaction substrate of the double-network hydrogel and appropriate reaction ratio.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
Results and discussion. Being a doctor requires knowledge of polymer material to process relevant data and conduct analysis and discussion.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
The emergence and commercialization of more related hydrogels can greatly reduce the incidence of complications of open abdomen (OA) in patients, speed up the recovery time of patients, reduce the length of hospital stay and medical costs.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We will further study OA-related hydrogels and promote the commercialization of hydrogels for their use in OA patients.

 

A polypropylene mesh coated with interpenetrating double network hydrogel for local drug delivery in temporary closure of open abdomen
Ze Li, Changliang Wu, Zhen Liu, Zhenlu Li, Xingang Peng, Jinjian Huang, Jianan Ren and Peige Wang
RSC Adv., 2020, 10, 1331-1340
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA10455K Paper

A polypropylene mesh coated with interpenetrating double network hydrogel for local drug delivery in temporary closure of open abdomen

 

RSC Advances Royal Society of Chemistry

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Shanshan Li

Meet the Author
We are very pleased to introduce Shanshan Li, co-author of the paper ‘Characterization of co-metabolic biodegradation of methyl tert-butyl ether by a Acinetobacter sp. strain‘ with Dan Wang, Dan Du, Keke Qian and Wei Yan. Her article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Shanshan was kind enough to tell 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 Shanshan and her article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Shanshan Li works at the Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University.

 

 

 

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 article focused on characterization the co-metabolic of MTBE by a single strain Acinetobacter sp. SL3, which possesses the ability to degrade MTBE when grown on n-alkane (C5-C8) substrates.

With the widespread use of MTBE, its contamination has aroused great public concern, so the development of effective technology to eliminate MTBE contamination is necessary. A newly isolated Acinetobacter sp. SL3, possesses the ability to continuous degrade MTBE co-metabolically, and it is significant to investigate the useful properties of the strain for the bioremediation.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
The results of this paper revealed the useful properties of Acinetobacter sp. SL3 for the bioremediation of MTBE via co-metabolism and provided a basis for the further development of new MTBE elimination technologies.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
We found that the single strain Acinetobacter sp. SL3. can degrade MTBE via co-metabolism efficiently, and the research may be applied to new MTBE elimination technologies.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
The key design consideration is the kinetic characteristic of MTBE co-metabolism associated with the potential pathway for the co-metabolism of MTBE by Acinetobacter sp. SL3 on n-octane.

In your article you mention that the findings can be used for the development of new MTBE elimination technologies. Please could you expand on this?
MTBE is used as an effective gasoline oxygenate because of its favorable properties. It is likely that MTBE contamination occur along with gasoline. The results of this article revealed that the higher MTBE degradation rate is observed with longer n-alkanes by Acinetobacter sp. SL3. The research may contribute to new ideas about eliminating MTBE polluted water or soil that are adjacent to gas stations.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The most challenging section of this paper is to propose the potential pathway for the co-metabolism of MTBE by n-octane-grown cells of Acinetobacter sp. SL3.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
I am most excited about this aspect of this work is propose the potential MTBE degradation pathway by Acinetobacter sp. SL3 grown on n-octane based on a series of experimental proofs.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
On the basis of summing up, our next work is able to concentrate on the elimination of TBA to increase MTBE degradation rate in a fixed system with time, and further verify the proposed pathway for the co-metabolism of MTBE by n-octane-grown cells of Acinetobacter sp. SL3.

 

Characterization of co-metabolic biodegradation of methyl tert-butyl ether by a Acinetobacter sp. strain
Shanshan Li, Dan Wang, Dan Du, Keke Qian and Wei Yan
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 38962-38972
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA09507A, Paper

 

RSC Advances Royal Society of Chemistry

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Atmika Paudel and Kazuhisa Sekimizu

We are very pleased to introduce Atmika Paudel and Kazuhisa Sekimizu, authors of the paper ‘GPI0363 inhibits the interaction of RNA polymerase with DNA in Staphylococcus aureus’. Their article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Atmika and Kazuhisa were kind enough to tell 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.

Meet the Authors

Dr Atmika Paudel received her undergraduate degree in Pharmacy in 2005 from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and went on to complete a Masters and PhD in Pharmaceutical Biology under the supervision of Professor Kazuhisa Sekimizu from the University of Tokyo in 2010 and 2013, respectively. Since graduation, Dr. Paudel has been a Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo and Teikyo University in Japan. Her research interest includes the discovery of novel therapeutically active antimicrobial agents active against drug-resistant superbugs using the silkworm infection model.

 

 

Kazuhisa Sekimizu

 

Professor Kazuhisa Sekimizu received his PhD in 1979 from the University of Tokyo by under the supervision of Professor Den’ichi Mizuno and is currently serving as the professor and director of Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology Japan. In his early years, Professor Sekimizu studied RNA polymerase and transcription elongation factor S-II in mammalian cells under the supervision of Professor Shunji Natori and initiation of DNA replication in Escherichia coli under the supervision of Professor Arthur Kornberg. His current research interest includes the development of silkworm as an animal model for the identification of therapeutic drugs and functional foods.

 

 

 

 

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?
SigA, an essential enzyme required for bacterial transcription, does not exist in human beings and can be targeted for the development of antibiotics that specifically inhibit microbial growth. In this study, we found that GPI0363, a SigA binding antibiotic, inhibits transcription in a different manner compared to other transcription inhibitors recently in clinical use.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
Microorganisms regularly acquire resistance against antibiotics used in the clinic. To overcome this problem, we should be ready to provide another antibiotic with a novel mode of action and a narrow spectrum of activity. The activity of GPI0363 against drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus will allow us to develop this molecule as a therapeutic approach against drug-resistant pathogens.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
GPI0363 was identified in our laboratory by using the silkworm infection model in 2017. In our earlier study, we found that a single mutation in SigA was responsible for resistance to this antibiotic. This suggested that SigA can be a druggable target for antimicrobial agents and GPI0363 could be a new kind of SigA inhibitor. Thus, we were intrigued to study the underlying mechanism of the antistaphylococcal action of GPI0363. In this study, we explain the proof of concept for the utilization of SigA as a target of antimicrobial agents.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
Due to several problems associated with absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET), most of the antimicrobial agents that display activity in vitro do not show the in vivo activity. For this reason, we use silkworms at the beginning of screening so that the compounds that do not display therapeutic activity can quickly be discarded at the early stage.

In your article you mention that GPI0363 can serve as a promising lead molecule to develop staphylococcal RNA polymerase inhibitors. Please could you tell us more about this?
SigA is present in bacteria and differs among bacterial species. Our findings suggest that GPI0363 is selective towards the inhibition of staphylococcal RNA polymerase via SigA, thus can be used for the development of tailor-made medicines for the same. Further studies in GPI0363 through the structure-activity relationship study should lead to the discovery of compounds with more potent inhibitory activity and better therapeutic activity.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The experiment to prove which step of transcription is inhibited was the most challenging to us. Our purified RNA polymerase fraction of Staphylococcus aureus contained a small amount of SigA and it was difficult to identify if GPI0363 inhibited the interaction of SigA with RNA polymerase core enzyme. To overcome this issue, we used Escherichia coli RNA polymerase core enzyme and S. aureus SigA to prepare a hybrid RNA polymerase holoenzyme.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
At this moment, I am excited for two reasons:
a. GPI0363 does not harbor cross-resistance against clinically used inhibitors of RNA polymerase.
b. We have a lead molecule to start with for the development of antimicrobial agents with therapeutic activity.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
As the next step, we plan to perform a structureactivity relationship study through the synthesis of a large number of GPI0363 derivatives; and perform crystal structure analysis of staphylococcal SigA in the presence of GPI0363.

 

GPI0363 inhibits the interaction of RNA polymerase with DNA in Staphylococcus aureus
Atmika Paudel, Suresh Panthee, Hiroshi Hamamoto and Kazuhisa Sekimizu
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 37889-37894
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA06844A, Paper

RSC Adv., 2019,9, 37889-37894 , 10.1039/C9RA06844A

 

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 Takeharu Haino

We are very pleased to introduce Takeharu Haino, co-author of the paper ‘A protocol for size separation of nanographenes’ along with Ikuya Matsumoto and . His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Professor Takeharu Haino was kind enough to tell 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 authors and their article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Meet the Author

Takeharu Haino is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University. His research field is supramolecular chemistry.

Takeharu Haino, RSC Advances, Royal Society of 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?
Oxidative cutting method basically results in various sizes of graphenes which are tough to separate easily. This paper describes quick and convenient method that separates various sized graphenes via dialysis.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
A chromatographic method is potentially effective for separation purpose; but, it is very time-consuming and tedious. This method is very convenient and quick to obtain practical amount of graphenes in various sizes.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
We needed to have uniform size graphenes to obtain reproducible results.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
A key point for this study is to obtain uniform graphenes in a practical scale.

In your article you mention that the separated nanographenes can be employed as starting materials for carbon-based functional materials. . Do you have a particular application in mind?
One of my dreams is to make efficient catalysts with these graphenes.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The quality of graphenes is often a trade-off in relation to its quantity. It is challenging to obtain high quality graphenes in a practical scale using dyalisis.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
What we prepared in this paper, we believe, is one of the highest quality graphenes via such a easy method.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We would like to functionalize these graphenes for functional material with chirality.

 

A protocol for size separation of nanographenes
Ikuya Matsumoto, Ryo Sekiya and Takeharu Haino
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 33843-33846
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA07528C, Paper

C9RA07528C

RSC Advances Royal Society of Chemistry

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RSC Advances HOT articles – a feature interview with Jawameer R. Hama

Meet the Author
We are very pleased to introduce Jawameer R. Hama, co-author of the paper ‘Pyrrolizidine alkaloids quantified in soil and water using UPLC-MS/MS‘ with Bjarne W. Strobel. His article has been very well received and handpicked by our reviewers and handling editors as one of our HOT articles. Jawameer was kind enough to tell 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 Jawameer and his article below and find more HOT articles in our online collection.

Hama received his Master degree in Analytical Chemistry from Bangor University (UK), 2013. In 2017, He became a PhD fellow at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, under the supervision of Dr. Bjarne W. Strobel. His research project focuses on quantification of crop produced natural toxins in groundwater.

 

 

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 article reports a fast, reliable, and sensitive analytical method to analyse pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in environmental samples, such as water and soil. To do this we optimised the sample preparation and analytical parameters.

How big an impact could your results potentially have?
There is a substantial impact of the study. We have pointed out that PAs can contaminate surface water, especially where there is a lot of vegetation containing PAs. This is because the concentration is much higher when compared with the pesticide concentration limits in water.

Could you explain the motivation behind this study?
We were motivated to know the fate of PAs in environmental samples, especially water, as my whole project is about water analysis. PAs are reported in food and feed – meaning they are stable and persist.

In your opinion, what are the key design considerations for your study?
There are several key designs in the study including planning and using the capacities in the house. Using an analytical system that is not in our house would be too costly. On the other hand, the capacity we have is moderately up to date.  In addition, we considered how the analytical platform could be improved compared to those already reported before by other authors. Thus, we have listed parameters to optimize the platform that haven’t been done before. The location and time of sampling are crucial too.

In your article you mention that the findings may be used as platform to further study PAs in natural water and aquifers. Do you have a particular application in mind? How does it work?
The method is validated for environmental samples, further applications would look at and analyse water samples in the areas close to water bodies where the plants containing PAs are the main vegetation. It would also test the efficiency of waste water treatment plant stations to test if PAs end up in the drinking water as well as screen and monitor the groundwater – especially in places where groundwater is used as drinking water. For that only a sample from the location is required, then the rest of the work would be quickly done in the lab.

Which part of the work towards this paper proved to be most challenging?
The sample type was challenging because this was the first time we have optimized the method for environmental samples (soil and water). When you analyse soil and water samples, it is crucial to eliminate the matrix effect during sample preparation and analysis. In addition, the sample volume was also challenging as it determines the limit of lab work and analysis.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
The concentration and the compound types are very exciting, because we proved our hypothesis that PAs are stable and persist in the environment. If not, we would have given up or changed the route of the project long before.

What is the next step? What work is planned?
We plan to collect lists of samples from potential locations and design the field scale of the locations to know what the main factors that drive PAs in water are. We also plan to correlate seasonal growth of plants, weather (precipitation, snow, temperature) and time of sampling to understand the effect of them.

 

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids Quantified in Soil and Water using UPLC-MS/MS
Jawameer R. Hama and Bjarne W. Strobel
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 30350-30357
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA05301H, Paper

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids quantified in soil and water using UPLC-MS/MS, RSC Advances

 

RSC Advances Royal Society of Chemistry

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International Open Access Week 2019

In celebration of International Open Access Week, we have collected a selection of our recent reviewer-recommended HOT articles.

As always, these articles are free to read and download. Happy reading!

 

International Open Access Week 2019

 

An anode catalyst support for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: application of organically modified titanium and silicon dioxide
Marek Malinowski, Agnieszka Iwan, Agnieszka Hreniak and Igor Tazbir
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 24428-24439
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA04862F, Paper
Subject Area: Energy

Thermostability of protein nanocages: the effect of natural extra peptide on the exterior surface
Xiaorong Zhang, Jiachen Zang, Hai Chen, Kai Zhou, Tuo Zhang, Chenyan Lv and Guanghua Zhao
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 24777-24782
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA04785A, Paper
Subject Area: Biological

Enabling chloride salts for thermal energy storage: implications of salt purity
J. Matthew Kurley, Phillip W. Halstenberg, Abbey McAlister, Stephen Raiman, Sheng Dai and Richard T. Mayes
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 25602-25608
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA03133B, Paper
Subject Area: Energy

Asymmetric retro-[1,4]-Brook rearrangement of 3-silyl allyloxysilanes via chirality transfer from silicon to carbon
Ya Wu, Hua Chen, Wenyu Yang, Yu Fan, Lu Gao, Zhishan Su, Changwei Hu and Zhenlei Song
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 26209-26213
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA05482K, Paper
Subject Area: Organic

Spermidine enhanced resistance of Chlorella to high levels of CO2 and light intensity for improving photosynthetic growth rate
Xiangdong Zhang, Jun Cheng, Hongxiang Lu, Feifei Chu, Junchen Xu, Xuebin Wang and Kefa Cen
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 26495-26502
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA05152J, Paper
Subject Area: Biological

Tannic acid-based nanopesticides coating with highly improved foliage adhesion to enhance foliar retention
Manli Yu, Changjiao Sun, Yumiao Xue, Chang Liu, Dewen Qiu, Bo Cui, Yan Zhang, Haixin Cui and Zhanghua Zeng
RSC Adv.,2019, 9, 27096-27104
DOI:
10.1039/C9RA05843E, Paper
Subject Area: Nanoscience

Activation of atomically precise silver clusters on carbon supports for styrene oxidation reactions
Kazeem O. Sulaiman, V. Sudheeshkumar and Robert W. J. Scott
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 28019-28027
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA05566E, Paper
Subject Area: Catalysis

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids quantified in soil and water using UPLC-MS/MS
Jawameer R. Hama and Bjarne W. Strobel
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 30350-30357
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA05301H, Paper
Subject Area: Environmental

Asymmetric supercapacitors with excellent rate performance by integrating Co(OH)F nanorods and layered Ti3C2Tx paper
Si Chen, Xuejiao Zhou, Xinzhi Ma, Lu Li, Panpan Sun and Mingyi Zhang
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 30957-30963
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA06393E, Paper
Subject Area: Energy

Anti-tumor effect of volatile oil from Houttuynia cordata Thunb. on HepG2 cells and HepG2 tumor-bearing mice
Linsong Yang, Weiwei Ji, Hui Zhong, Luyao Wang, Xiaolin Zhu and Jie Zhu
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 31517-31526
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA06024C, Paper
Subject Area: Biological

The role of surface copper content on biofilm formation by drinking water bacteria
I. B. Gomes, L. C. Simões and M. Simões
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 32184-32196
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA05880J, Paper
Subject Area: Biological

Mono and co-immobilization of imidazolium ionic liquids on silica: effects of the substituted groups on the adsorption behavior of 2,4-dinitrophenol
Zhike Wang, Honglian Ge, Xueyuan Wang, Cunling Ye and Shunli Fan
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 32425-32434
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA07635B, Paper
Subject Area: Environmental

Paper-based microfluidic devices based on 3D network polymer hydrogel for the determination of glucose in human whole blood
Rong-Yu He, Hsin-Yi Tseng, Hsia-An Lee, Yu-Ci Liu, Igor O. Koshevoy, Sheng-Wei Pan and Mei-Lin Ho
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 32367-32374
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA04278D, Paper
Subject Area: Analytical

Dual-mode US/MRI nanoparticles delivering siRNA and Pt(iv) for ovarian cancer treatment
Yanhua Zhang, Hui Huang, Hao Fu, Meng Zhao, Zhihua Wu, Yang Dong, He Li, Yourong Duan and Ying Sun
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 33302-33309
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA03681D, Paper
Subject Area: Chemical Biology and Medicinal

A protocol for size separation of nanographenes
Ikuya Matsumoto, Ryo Sekiya and Takeharu Haino
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 33843-33846
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA07528C, Paper
Subject Area: Materials

Long non-coding RNA PCAT1 facilitates cell growth in multiple myeloma through an MTDH-mediated AKT/β-catenin signaling pathway by sponging miR-363-3p
Ying Chen, Jinxia Hao, Jing Zhao, Ye Liu, Yuan Li, Juan Ren and Wei Wang
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 33834-33842
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA06188F, Paper
Subject Area: Biological
RSC Advances Royal Society of Chemistry

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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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Within The Heart: Regenerating Diseased Heart Valve Leaflets

Hair and nails grow back, but heart valves cannot regenerate naturally. This fact is being challenged by a team of scientists who have developed a method that could someday regrow defective heart valves.

Valvular interstitial cells (VIC), the most prevalent cells in the heart valve, are developmentally locked in a state of quiescence, preventing their division within the body. In people suffering from inflammation-induced or inborn heart valve defects, damaged valves have to be replaced surgically with either mechanical (made with artificial polymers) or bioprosthetic (made with heart tissue) valves.

People with artificial valves are required to take blood thinners for extended periods and make significant changes to their lifestyle. In addition, artificial valves in younger patients do not grow and remodel with time, causing additional complications during adulthood. These issues are further compounded by an estimate suggesting that over 850,000 patients will require heart valve transplants by the year 2050.

Soumen Jana and colleagues at the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, USA approached this problem from a different angle. Relying on studies showing that VICs can be isolated from heart valves and grown in a laboratory setting, the team developed a nanofibrous membrane-based scaffolding structure to support the growth of VICs. Similar to the cross-cross patterns formed by ropes in a hammock, their polycaprolactone polymer scaffold comprises randomly oriented nanofibers (~457 nm in diameter) to form a cradle within which VICs from defective valves can be grown.

Within the body, VICs are arranged as monolayer sheets, forming a veneer on the outer surfaces of heart valve leaflets. They form this complex structure by depositing collagen – a cellular cementing protein that allows cells to interlock like a cobblestone path to form a sheet-like structure. The researchers reasoned that by artificially simulating conditions ideal for VIC growth within the body, they could create VIC sheets in the laboratory and examine their similarity to naturally occurring VICs in heart valve leaflets.

The study found that VICs from healthy valves showed greater levels of cell division on the scaffold compared to VICs from defective valves. Interestingly, the scaffold induced collagen deposition from VICs obtained from both healthy and defective valves. The study also looked at a series of genes and proteins important in VIC growth. Patient derived VICs grown on nanofibrous scaffolds deposited appropriate amounts of cementing proteins necessary for leaflet regeneration.

Clinical trials aimed at regenerating heart valves with chemical drugs and DNA modifying methods are under way. In their study, Jana and colleagues suggest VIC regeneration as a novel idea. They also engineer a scaffold that supports VIC growth, demonstrate its practicality and highlight its ability to be translated into a clinically impactful technology.

Read the full article here:

Regeneration ability of valvular interstitial cells from diseased heart valve leaflets
Soumen Jana, Rebecca Hennessy, Federico Franchi, Melissa Young, Ryan Hennessya and Amir Lerman

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