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Cheng Q.,Beihang University | Jiang L.,Beihang University | Tang Z.,CAS National Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

ConspectusNature has inspired researchers to construct structures with ordered layers as candidates for new materials with high mechanical performance. As a prominent example, nacre, also known as mother of pearl, consists of a combination of inorganic plates (aragonite calcium carbonate, 95% by volume) and organic macromolecules (elastic biopolymer, 5% by volume) and shows a unique combination of strength and toughness. Investigations of its structure reveal that the hexagonal platelets of calcium carbonate and the amorphous biopolymer are alternatively assembled into the orderly layered structure. The delicate interface between the calcium carbonate and the biopolymer is well defined. Both the building blocks that make up these assembled layers and the interfaces between the inorganic and organic components contribute to the excellent mechanical property of natural nacre.In this Account, we summarize recent research from our group and from others on the design of bioinspired materials composed by layering various primitive materials. We focus particular attention on nanoscale carbon materials. Using several examples, we describe how the use of different combinations of layered materials leads to particular properties. Flattened double-walled carbon nanotubes (FDWCNTs) covalently cross-linked in a thermoset three-dimensional (3D) network produced the materials with the highest strength. The stiffest layered materials were generated from borate orthoester covalent bonding between adjacent graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets, and the toughest layered materials were fabricated with Al2O3 platelets and chitosan via hydrogen bonding. These new building blocks, such as FDWCNTs and GO, and the replication of the elaborate micro-/nanoscale interface of natural nacre have provided many options for developing new high performance artificial materials.The interface designs for bioinspired layered materials are generally categorized into (1) hydrogen bonding, (2) ionic bonding, and (3) covalent bonding. Using these different strategies, we can tune the materials to have specific mechanical characteristics such as high strength, excellent strain resistance, or remarkable toughness. Among these design strategies, hydrogen bonding affords soft interfaces between the inorganic plates and the organic matrix. Covalent cross-linking forms chemical bonds between the inorganic plates and the organic matrix, leading to much stronger interfaces. The interfaces formed by ionic bonding are stronger than those formed by hydrogen bonding but weaker than those formed by covalent bonding. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Zhang W.,CAS National Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Nanoscale | Year: 2011

Gd@C(82)(OH)(22), a water-soluble endohedral metallofullerene derivative, has been proven to possess significant antineoplastic activity in mice. Toxicity studies of the nanoparticle have shown some evidence of low or non toxicity in mice and cell models. Here we employed Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism to further evaluate the short- and long-term toxicity of Gd@C(82)(OH)(22) and possible behavior changes under normal and stress culture conditions. With treatment of Gd@C(82)(OH)(22) at 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 and 10 μg ml(-1) within one generation (short-term), C. elegans showed no significant decrease in longevity or thermotolerance compared to the controls. Furthermore, when Gd@C(82)(OH)(22) treatment was extended up to six generations (long-term), non-toxic effects to the nematodes were found. In addition, data from body length measurement, feeding rate and egg-laying assays with short-term treatment demonstrated that the nanoparticles have no significant impact on the individual growth, feeding behavior and reproductive ability, respectively. In summary, this work has shown that Gd@C(82)(OH)(22) is tolerated well by worms and it has no apparent toxic effects on longevity, stress resistance, growth and behaviors that were observed in both adult and young worms. Our work lays the foundations for further developments of this anti-neoplastic agent for clinical applications.

Wang J.,Beihang University | Cheng Q.,Beihang University | Tang Z.,CAS National Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

Nacre (mother-of-pearl), made of inorganic and organic constituents (95 vol% aragonite calcium carbonate (CaCO 3) platelets and 5 vol% elastic biopolymers), possesses a unique combination of remarkable strength and toughness, which is compatible for conventional high performance materials. The excellent mechanical properties are related to its hierarchical structure and precisely designed organic-inorganic interface. The rational design of aragonite platelet strength, aspect ratio of aragonite platelets, and interface strength ensures that the strength of nacre is maximized under platelet pull-out failure mode. At the same time, the synergy of strain hardening mechanisms acting over multiple scales results in platelets sliding on one another, and thus maximizes the energy dissipation of viscoplastic biopolymers. The excellent integrated mechanical properties with hierarchical structure have inspired chemists and materials scientists to develop biomimetic strategies for artificial nacre materials. This critical review presents a broad overview of the state-of-the-art work on the preparation of layered organic-inorganic nanocomposites inspired by nacre, in particular, the advantages and disadvantages of various biomimetic strategies. Discussion is focused on the effect of the layered structure, interface, and component loading on strength and toughness of nacre-mimic layered nanocomposites (148 references). © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Gong J.-R.,CAS National Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Small | Year: 2010

Streaming dielectrophoresis and the corresponding electrostatic contribution to binding affinity after application of an AC electric field push the detection limit of an integrated nanoelectronic and electrokinetic device down to the attomolar level. The mechanism works for devices modified with an antibody for antigen detection and with cellular receptors for toxin screening. © 2010 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Sun J.,CAS National Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Lab on a chip | Year: 2012

This work reports on a passive double spiral microfluidic device allowing rapid and label-free tumor cell separation and enrichment from diluted peripheral whole blood, by exploiting the size-dependent hydrodynamic forces. A numerical model is developed to simulate the Dean flow inside the curved geometry and to track the particle/cell trajectories, which is validated against the experimental observations and serves as a theoretical foundation for optimizing the operating conditions. Results from separating tumor cells (MCF-7 and Hela) spiked into whole blood indicate that 92.28% of blood cells and 96.77% of tumor cells are collected at the inner and the middle outlet, respectively, with 88.5% tumor recovery rate at a throughput of 3.33 × 10(7) cells min(-1). We expect that this label-free microfluidic platform, driven by purely hydrodynamic forces, would have an impact on fundamental and clinical studies of circulating tumor cells.

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