Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Haifa, Israel

The Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute was established in January 2005 as a joint endeavour of the Russell Berrie Foundation, the government of Israel and the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. It is one of the largest academic programs in Israel and is among the largest nanotechnology centers in Europe and the US.Prof. Yeshayahu Talmon of the Technion Faculty of Chemical Engineering is the Director of RBNI since 2010, when he took over from Prof. Uri Sivan. RBNI has over 110 faculty members and approximately 300 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows under its auspices at Technion. Its multidisciplinary activities span 14 different faculties. Wikipedia.

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Livney Y.D.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Livney Y.D.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute | Assaraf Y.G.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews | Year: 2013

Drug resistance is a primary hindrance towards curative cancer chemotherapy. Nanotechnology holds great promise in establishing efficacious and innovative strategies to overcome chemoresistance, and markedly facilitate complementary treatments and cancer diagnostics. Various nanomedical devices are being introduced and evaluated, demonstrating encouraging results. While stealth liposomes serve as a benchmark, astonishing progress is witnessed in polymeric nanovehicles, sometimes combined with low molecular weight surfactants, some of which inhibit drug resistance in addition to solubilizing drugs. Cutting edge multifunctional or quadrugnostic nanoparticles currently developed offer simultaneous targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics and chemosensitizers or drug-resistance gene silencing cargo, along with diagnostic imaging agents, like metallic NPs. Viral and cellular components offer exciting new routes for cancer targeting and treatment. Targeting intracellular compartments is another challenging frontier spawning pioneering approaches and results. To further enhance rational design of nanomedicine for overcoming drug resistance, we review the latest thoughts and accomplishments in recent literature. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Broza Y.Y.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute | Haick H.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Nanomedicine | Year: 2013

The importance of developing new diagnostic and detection technologies for the growing number of clinical challenges is rising each year. Here, we present a concise, yet didactic review on a new diagnostics frontier based on the detection of disease-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by means of nanomaterial-based sensors. Nanomaterials are ideal for such sensor arrays because they are easily fabricated, chemically versatile and can be integrated into currently available sensing platforms. Following a general introduction, we provide a brief description of the VOC-related diseases concept. Then, we focus on detection of VOC-related diseases by selective and crossreactive sensing approaches, through chemical, optical and mechanical transducers incorporating the most important classes of nanomaterials. Selected examples of the integration of nanomaterials into selective sensors and crossreactive sensor arrays are given. We conclude with a brief discussion on the integration possibilities of different types of nanomaterials into sensor arrays, and the expected outcomes and limitations. © 2013 Future Medicine Ltd.

Lifshitz E.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2015

The Perspective focuses on the investigation of an unresolved conflict in semiconductor colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) research, concerning the influence of the immediate surrounding on the optical properties of the materials. Today's advanced synthetic colloidal procedures offer formation of a high-quality inorganic crystallite, capped with various organic/inorganic molecular ligands. The Perspective aims to clarify whether exciton recombination processes in CQDs are influenced by the type of crystallite-ligand bonding and, moreover, whether these excitonic processes experience direct coupling to the ligands' vibrational modes. Most ligands used have redox characteristics whose functional groups are added on to the CQDs' surface via coordination, covalent or ionic bonding. The surface-ligand bonding introduces electronic states either above or below the intraband/interband energy gap, resulting in electronic passivation or in creation of trapping states that affect intraband and interband relaxation processes. Furthermore, crystalline electronic states may have a direct coupling to molecular vibrational states via direct overlap of electronic wave functions or through a long-range energy-transfer process. Also, photoejected carriers resulting from an Auger process or ionization processes may diffuse temporarily onto a ligand site. These scenarios are discussed in the current publication with supporting theoretical and experimental observations. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Paska Y.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute | Haick H.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2012

Gated silicon nanowire gas sensors have emerged as promising devices for chemical and biological sensing applications. Nevertheless, the performance of these devices is usually accompanied by a hysteresis phenomenon that limits their performance under real-world conditions. In this paper, we use a series of systematically changed trichlorosilane-based organic monolayers to study the interactive effect of hysteresis and surface chemistry on gated silicon nanowire gas sensors. The results show that the density of the exposed or unpassivated SiOH groups (trap states) on the silicon nanowire surface play by far a crucial effect on the hysteresis characteristics of the gated silicon nanowire sensors, relative to the effect of hydrophobicity or molecular density of the organic monolayer. Based on these findings, we provide a tentative model-based understanding of (i) the relation between the adsorbed organic molecules, the hysteresis, and the related fundamental parameters of gated silicon nanowire characteristics and of (ii) the relation between the hysteresis drift and possible screening effect on gated silicon nanowire gas sensors upon exposure to different analytes at real-world conditions. The findings reported in this paper could be considered as a launching pad for extending the use of the gated silicon nanowire gas sensors for discriminations between polar and nonpolar analytes in complex, real-world gas mixtures. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Under water-rich conditions, small amphiphilic and hydrophobic drug molecules self-assemble into supramolecular nanostructures. Thus, substantial modifications in their interaction with cellular structures and the ability to reach intracellular targets could happen. Additionally, drug aggregates could be more toxic than the non-aggregated counterparts, or vice versa. Moreover, since self-aggregation reduces the number of effective "monomeric" molecules that interact with the target, the drug potency could be underestimated. In other cases, the activity could be ascribed to the non-aggregated molecule while it stems from its aggregates. Thus, drug self-assembly could mislead from drug throughput screening assays to advanced preclinical and clinical trials. Finally, aggregates could serve as crystallization nuclei. The impact that this phenomenon has on the biological performance of active compounds, the inconsistent and often controversial nature of the published data and the need for recommendations/guidelines as preamble of more harmonized research protocols to characterize drug self-aggregation were main motivations for this review. First, the key molecular and environmental parameters governing drug self-aggregation, the main drug families for which this phenomenon and the methods used for its characterization are described. Then, promising nanotechnology platforms investigated to prevent/control it towards a more efficient drug development process are briefly discussed. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Danino D.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2012

Cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) is a powerful method for uncovering the structure of soft nanostructured materials. The method is based on ultra-fast cooling and conversion of a liquid sample to a vitrified (glassy) specimen that can be examined in the TEM. Direct-imaging cryo-TEM discloses both the global supramolecular structure and local aggregate-specific details, at the hydrated state, and at a nanometer resolution. This placed the method as a central characterization tool in colloid, material, bio- and nano-related technologies in academia and industry. The advancement of cryo-TEM to new fields of research has been motivated also by significant improvements in instrumentation and software. In this review, we summarize the primary principles of cryo-TEM and highlight the recent contribution of this method to understanding soft-matter self-assembly. Detailed example address the origin of the viscosity peak in micellar solutions, and the nature of exotic assemblies as branched micelles, and micellar discs and ribbons. We further emphasize the strategic application of direct-imaging cryo-TEM to study fundamental biological processes and structure-function relations using the example of membrane-remodeling proteins involved in fission and fusion. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Segev-Bar M.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute | Haick H.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
ACS Nano | Year: 2013

Flexible sensors can be envisioned as promising components for smart sensing applications, including consumer electronics, robotics, prosthetics, health care, safety equipment, environmental monitoring, homeland security and space flight. The current review presents a concise, although admittedly nonexhaustive, didactic review of some of the main concepts and approaches related to the use of nanoparticles (NPs) in flexible sensors. The review attempts to pull together different views and terminologies used in the NP-based sensors, mainly those established via electrical transduction approaches, including, but, not confined to: (i) strain-gauges, (ii) flexible multiparametric sensors, and (iii) sensors that are unaffected by mechanical deformation. For each category, the review presents and discusses the common fabrication approaches and state-of-the-art results. The advantages, weak points, and possible routes for future research, highlighting the challenges for NP-based flexible sensors, are presented and discussed as well. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Abu Shah E.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute | Keren K.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
eLife | Year: 2014

The actin cortex plays a pivotal role in cell division, in generating and maintaining cell polarity and in motility. In all these contexts, the cortical network has to break symmetry to generate polar cytoskeletal dynamics. Despite extensive research, the mechanisms responsible for regulating cortical dynamics in vivo and inducing symmetry breaking are still unclear. Here we introduce a reconstituted system that self-organizes into dynamic actin cortices at the inner interface of water-in-oil emulsions. This artificial system undergoes spontaneous symmetry breaking, driven by myosin-induced cortical actin flows, which appears remarkably similar to the initial polarization of the embryo in many species. Our in vitro model system recapitulates the rich dynamics of actin cortices in vivo, revealing the basic biophysical and biochemical requirements for cortex formation and symmetry breaking. Moreover, this synthetic system paves the way for further exploration of artificial cells towards the realization of minimal model systems that can move and divide.DOI: Copyright © 2014, Abu Shah and Keren.

Konvalina G.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute | Haick H.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

The analysis of volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath samples represents a new frontier in medical diagnostics because it is a noninvasive and potentially inexpensive way to detect illnesses. Clinical trials with spectrometry and spectroscopy techniques, the standard volatile-compound detection methods, have shown the potential for diagnosing illnesses including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, tuberculosis, diabetes, and more via breath tests. Unfortunately, this approach requires expensive equipment and high levels of expertise to operate the necessary instruments, and the tests must be done quickly and use preconcentration techniques, all of which impede its adoption.Sensing matrices based on nanomaterials are likely to become a clinical and laboratory diagnostic tool because they are significantly smaller, easier-to-use, and less expensive than spectrometry or spectroscopy. An ideal nanomaterial-based sensor for breath testing should be sensitive at very low concentrations of volatile organic compounds, even in the presence of environmental or physiological confounding factors. It should also respond rapidly and proportionately to small changes in concentration and provide a consistent output that is specific to a given volatile organic compound. When not in contact with the volatile organic compounds, the sensor should quickly return to its baseline state or be simple and inexpensive enough to be disposable.Several reviews have focused on the methodological, biochemical, and clinical aspects of breath analysis in attempts to bring breath testing closer to practice for comprehensive disease detection. This Account pays particular attention to the technological gaps and confounding factors that impede nanomaterial-sensor-based breath testing, in the hope of directing future research and development efforts towards the best possible approaches to overcome these obstacles. We discuss breath testing as a complex process involving numerous steps, each of which has several possible technological alternatives with advantages and drawbacks that might affect the performance of the nanomaterial-based sensors in a breath-testing system. With this in mind, we discuss how to choose nanomaterial-based sensors, considering the profile of the targeted breath markers and the possible limitations of the approach, and how to design the surrounding breath-testing setup. We also discuss how to tailor the dynamic range and selectivity of the applied sensors to detect the disease-related volatile organic compounds of interest. Finally, we describe approaches to overcome other obstacles by improving the sensing elements and the supporting techniques such as preconcentration and dehumidification. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Paz Y.,Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2010

A review of patents on the application of titanium dioxide photocatalysis for air treatment is presented. A comparison between water treatment and air treatment reveals that the number of scientific publications dedicated to photocatalytic air treatment is significantly lower than the number of scientific manuscripts dedicated to photocatalytic water treatment, yet the situation is reversed upon comparing relevant patents. This indicates a growing interest in the implementation of photocatalysis for air treatment purposes, which surpasses that of water treatment. This manuscript analyzes the various patents in the area of air treatment, while differentiating between indoor air treatment and outdoor air treatment. Specific efforts were made to characterize the main challenges and achievements en-route for successful implementation, which were categorized according to mass transport, adsorption of contaminants, quantum efficiency, deactivation, and, no less important, the adherence and the long term stability of the photocatalyst. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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