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  • VIEWS & COMMENTS
    Maolan ZHANG, Huan WANG, Junjie MAO, Da SUN, Xiaoling LIAO
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0538-8
  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Shalmali BASU, Kamalika SEN
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 353-372. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0530-8

    Early detection of cancer has multitude of advantages like early diagnosis, reduced risk, ease in the treatment and follow up of recurrence. New and developed techniques are always under research to control the spreading malignancy. Graphene is an emerging star in biomedical field as it exhibits exceptional thermal, electrical and optical properties. Here, we review application of graphene-based materials in developing biosensing devices for the detection of different cancer biomarkers at concentrations down to sub-toxic levels. Different analytical methodologies chosen for sensing have been undertaken and their performance and background have been discussed. The trend of use of these methodologies can also be perceived from the graphical data presented.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Jinlong SU, Jie TENG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 79-97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0541-0

    Recent years witnessed a growing research interest in graphene-reinforced aluminum matrix composites (GRAMCs). Compared with conventional reinforcements of aluminum matrix composites (AMCs), graphene possesses many attractive characteristics such as extremely high strength and modulus, unique self-lubricating property, high thermal conductivity (TC) and electrical conductivity (EC), and low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). A lot of studies have demonstrated that the incorporation of graphene into Al or Al alloy can effectively enhance mechanical and physical properties of the Al matrix. The purpose of this work is aimed to trace recent development of GRAMCs. Initially, this paper covers a brief overview of fabrication methods of GRAMCs. Then, mechanical, tribological, thermal and electrical properties of recently developed GRAMCs are presented and discussed. Finally, challenges and corresponding solutions related to GRAMCs are reviewed.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Yumeng WANG, Xingsheng LI, Yue HOU, Chengri YIN, Zhenxing YIN
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 54-78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0537-9

    With the rapid development of wearable smart devices, many researchers have carried out in-depth research on the stretchable electrodes. As one of the core components for electronics, the electrode mainly transfers the electrons, which plays an important role in driving the various electrical devices. The key to the research for the stretchable electrode is to maintain the excellent electrical properties or exhibit the regular conductive change when subjected to large tensile deformation. This article outlines the recent progress of stretchable electrodes and gives a comprehensive introduction to the structures, materials, and applications, including supercapacitors, lithium-ion batteries, organic light-emitting diodes, smart sensors, and heaters. The performance comparison of various stretchable electrodes was proposed to clearly show the development challenges in this field. We hope that it can provide a meaningful reference for realizing more sensitive, smart, and low-cost wearable electrical devices in the near future.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Yimin ZHOU, Qingni XU, Chaohua LI, Yuqi CHEN, Yueli ZHANG, Bo LU
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 373-386. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0526-4

    Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) have become an attractive drug carrier because of their unique characteristics including stable physicochemical properties, large specific surface area and facile functionalization, especially made into intelligent drug delivery systems (DDSs) for cancer therapy. HMSNs are employed to transport traditional anti-tumor drugs, which can solve the problems of drugs with instability, poor solubility and lack of recognition, etc., while significantly improving the anti-tumor effect. And an unexpected good result will be obtained by combining functional molecules and metal species with HMSNs for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Actually, HMSNs-based DDSs have developed relatively mature in recent years. This review briefly describes how to successfully prepare an ordinary HMSNs-based DDS, as well as its degradation, different stimuli-responses, targets and combination therapy. These versatile intelligent nanoparticles show great potential in clinical aspects.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Atta ur Rehman KHAN, Yosry MORSI, Tonghe ZHU, Aftab AHMAD, Xianrui XIE, Fan YU, Xiumei MO
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 10-35. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0540-1

    A chronic wound in diabetic patients is a major public health concern with socioeconomic and clinical manifestations. The underlying medical condition of diabetic patients deteriorates the wound through physiological, metabolic, molecular, and cellular pathologies. Consequently, a wound enters a vicious pathological inflammatory cycle. Many therapeutic approaches are in practice to manage diabetic wounds hence ensuring the regeneration process. Polymer-based biomaterials have come up with high therapeutic promises. Many efforts have been devoted, over the years, to build an effective wound healing material using polymers. The electrospinning technique, although not new, has turned out to be one of the most effective strategies in building wound healing biomaterials due to the special structural advantages of electrospun nanofibers over the other formulations. In this review, careful integration of all electrospinning approaches has been presented which will not only give an insight into the current updates but also be helpful in the development of new therapeutic material considering pathophysiological conditions of a diabetic wound.

  • VIEWS & COMMENTS
    Bhabani Shankar DAS, Ankita DAS, Abhisek MISHRA, Manoranjan ARAKHA
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(2): 177-191. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0546-8
  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yingying WEI, Lin CHEN, Shaoban ZHAO, Xuguang LIU, Yongzhen YANG, Jinglei DU, Qiang LI, Shiping YU
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(2): 253-265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0544-x

    High fluorescence quantum yield (QY), excellent fluorescence stability, and low toxicity are essential for a good cellular imaging fluorescent probe. Green-emissive carbon quantum dots (CQDs) with many advantages, such as unique fluorescence properties, anti-photobleaching, low toxicity, fine biocompatibility and high penetration depth in tissues, have been considered as a potential candidate in cell imaging fluorescent probes. Herein, N, S-codoped green-emissive CQDs (QY= 64.03%) were synthesized by the one-step hydrothermal method, with m-phenylenediamine as the carbon and nitrogen source, and L-cysteine as the nitrogen and sulfur dopant, under the optimum condition of 200 °C reaction for 2 h. Their luminescence was found to originate from the surface state. In light of the satisfactory photobleaching resistance and the low cytotoxicity, CQDs were used as a cell imaging probe for HeLa cell imaging. The results clearly indicate that cells can be labeled with CQDs, which can not only enter the cytoplasm, but also enter the nucleus through the nuclear pore, showing their broad application prospect in the field of cell imaging.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xiang SUN, Qing-Song YAO, Yu-Chao LI, Fen ZHANG, Rong-Chang ZENG, Yu-Hong ZOU, Shuo-Qi LI
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 426-441. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0522-8

    A Mg–Al layered double hydroxide (Mg–Al-LDH) coating was firstly synthesized via an in-situ steam coating growth method on the AZ31 Mg alloy, and then was modified with poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) via dipping and vacuum freeze-drying. The microstructure and composition of LDH/PLLA hybrid coating were analyzed by XRD, SEM, EDS and FT-IR. The biocorrosion behavior of hybrid coating was evaluated by potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and hydrogen evolution test in the Hank’s solution. The results showed that LDH/PLLA coatings exhibited a much dense layer compared to the unmodified Mg–Al-LDH coating with unobvious boundary between PLLA and LDH coatings. The corrosion current density of the LDH/PLLA-10 hybrid coating decreased three orders of magnitude in comparison to its substrate. It was proven that the existence of the PLLA coating further prolonged the service life of the Mg–Al-LDH coating. What’s more, the MTT assay and live/dead staining showed that the LDH/PLLA-10 coating had good biocompatibility for Mouse NIH3T3 fibroblasts. The formation mechanism and the anti-corrosion mechanism of hybrid coatings were proposed.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yaping WANG, Songyue CHENG, Wei HU, Xue LIN, Cong CAO, Shufen ZOU, Zaizai TONG, Guohua JIANG, Xiangdong KONG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 98-112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0532-1

    A glucose-mediated drug delivery system would be highly satisfactory for diabetes diagnosis since it can intelligently release drug based on blood glucose levels. Herein, a glucose-responsive drug delivery system by integrating glucose-responsive poly(3-acrylamidophenylboronic acid) (PAPBA) functionalized hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) with transcutaneous microneedles (MNs) has been designed. The grafted PAPBA serves as gatekeeper to prevent drug release from HMSNs at normoglycemic levels. In contrast, faster drug release is detected at a typical hyperglycemic level, which is due to the change of hydrophilicity of PAPBA at high glucose concentration. After transdermal administration to diabetic rats, an effective hypoglycemic effect is achieved compared with that of subcutaneous injection. These observations indicate that the designed glucose-responsive drug delivery system has a potential application in diabetes treatment.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Lei CHANG, Xiangrui LI, Xuhui TANG, He ZHANG, Ding HE, Yujun WANG, Jiayin ZHAO, Jingan LI, Jun WANG, Shijie ZHU, Liguo WANG, Shaokang GUAN
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 413-425. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0525-5

    In this study, a micro-patterned hydroxyapatite/silk fibroin (HA-SF) coating was firstly fabricated on the surface of Mg–Zn–Y–Nd–Zr alloy by template-assisted electrospraying technique coupling with spin coating technique. Two types of micro-patterns were achieved with high contour accuracy, namely HA-SF(line-pattern) and HA-SF(dot-pattern). The microstructure, composition, surface wettability and corrosion behaviors of the coatings were investigated by SEM, EDS, FTIR, XRD, water contact angle and potentiodynamic polarization test. The results revealed the hydrophilic nature of coatings and two orders of magnitude reduction of corrosion density (icorr) as compared with that of the substrate. All the micro-patterned surfaces promoted the attachment of MC3T3-E1 cells with visible filopodia after 1 d incubation. In addition, coatings with line pattern exhibited the superior guidance to cell migration as compared to dot pattern, and the preference of cell attachment in the convex zone was observed. In summary, the obtained micro-patterned HA-SF coatings possessed the remarkably improvement of anticorrosion ability and good efficacy in guidance of cell attachment and alignment, which can serve as a promising strategy for cellular response modulation at the interface of magnesium-based implants and bone.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Tanya NANDA, Ankita RATHORE, Deepika SHARMA
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 387-401. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0531-7

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have widely been synthesized through chemical processes for biomedical applications over the past few decades. Recently, a new class of MNPs, known as bacterial magnetosomes, has been isolated from magnetotactic bacteria, a natural source. These magnetosomes are magnetite or greigite nanocrystals which are biomineralized in the bacterial cell and provide magnet-like properties to it. Contrary to MNPs, bacterial magnetosomes are biocompatible, lower in toxicity, and can be easily cleared from the body due to the presence of a phospholipid bilayer around them. They also do not demonstrate aggregation, which makes them highly advantageous. In this review, we have provided an in-depth comparative account of bacterial magnetosomes and chemically synthesized MNPs in terms of their synthesis, properties, and biomedical applications. In addition, we have also provided a contrast on how magnetosomes might have the potential to successfully substitute synthetic MNPs in therapeutic and imaging applications.

  • COMMUNICATION
    Yue ZHANG, Yihong YU, Xiankai FU, Zhisen LIU, Yinglei LIU, Song LI
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 481-487. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0521-9

    The surface reactivity of metals is fundamentally dependent on the local electronic structure generally tailored by atomic compositions and configurations during the synthesis. Herein, we demonstrate that Cu, which is inert for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) due to the fully occupied d-orbital, could be activated by applying a visible-light irradiation at ambient temperature. The ORR current is increased to 3.3 times higher in the potential range between −0.1 and 0.4 V under the light of 400 mW·cm−2, and the activity enhancement is proportional to the light intensity. Together with the help of the first-principle calculation, the remarkably enhanced electrocatalytic activity is expected to stem mainly from the decreased metal–adsorbate binding by photoexcitation. This finding provides an additional degree of freedom for controlling and manipulating the surface reactivity of metal catalysts besides materials strategy.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Zhipeng XIE, Lulu WEI, Shengwen ZHONG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 442-449. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0523-7

    The kinetics of electrode reaction was investigated by cyclic voltammetry, and cyclic voltammograms show that the reversibility of the Fe(bpy)32+/Fe(bpy)33+ electrode reaction is better than that of the Zn/Zn2+ electrode reaction on the graphite disc. However, the Fe(bpy)32+ ion diffusion in electrolyte is subject to greater resistance than that of the Zn2+ ion one. The stability of the Fe(bpy)3Cl2 solution was investigated by UV–vis spectroscopy, and the performance of a mild redox flow battery employing ZnCl2 and Fe(bpy)3Cl2 in the NaCl aqueous solution with various membranes as the separator was also investigated. It was found that the Celgard 3501 membrane cannot effectively prevent Fe(bpy)32+ ions from leaking into anolyte, leading to the rapid failure of the flow battery. Although the Nafion 115 membrane can be polluted by Fe(bpy)32+ ions, it is not invalidated. The Nafion 115 membrane shows good selectivity, which can avoid Fe(bpy)32+ ions from leakage into anolyte. The ZnCl2/Fe(bpy)3Cl2 flow battery with the Nafion 115 membrane exhibits the capacity retention of 80% after 200 cycles.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Gang LOU, Yizhi WANG, Yun MA, Jianlong KOU, Fengmin WU, Jintu FAN
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 138-146. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0536-x

    Solar-driven evaporation has been considered as one of the potential methods for desalination and sewage treatment. However, optical concentrators and complex multi-component systems are essential in advanced technologies, resulting in low efficiency and high cost. Here, we synthesize a reduced graphene oxide-based porous calcium alginate (CA-rGO) hydrogel which exhibits good performance in light absorption. More than 90% of the light in the whole spectrum can be absorbed. Meanwhile, the water vapor escapes from the CA-rGO film extremely fast. The water evaporation rate is 1.47 kg·m−2·h−1, corresponding to the efficiency 77% under only 1 kW·m−2 irradiation. The high evaporation efficiency is attributed to the distinctive structure of the film, which contains inherent porous structure of hydrogel enabling rapid water transport throughout the film, and the concave water surfaces formed in the hydrophilic pores provide a large surface area for evaporation. Hydrophobic rGO divides the evaporation surface and provides a longer three-phase evaporation line. The test on multiple cyclic radiation shows that the material has good stability. The CA-rGO hydrogel may have promising application as a membrane for solar steam generation in desalination and sewage treatment.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Miao QIN, Mengjie XU, Lulu NIU, Yizhu CHENG, Xiaolian NIU, Jinlong KONG, Xiumei ZHANG, Yan WEI, Di HUANG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 36-53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0543-y

    With the rapid improvements in nanomaterials and imaging technology, great progresses have been made in diagnosis and treatment of diseases during the past decades. Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with good biocompatibility and superparamagnetic property are usually used as contrast agent for diagnosis of diseases in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Currently, the combination of multiple imaging technologies has been considered as new tendency in diagnosis and treatment of diseases, which could enhance the accuracy and reliability of disease diagnosis and provide new strategies for disease treatment. Therefore, novel contrast agents used for multifunctional imaging are urgently needed. Fe3O4 MNPs are believed to be a potential candidate for construction of multifunctional platform in diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In recent years, there are a plethora of studies concerning the construction of multifunctional platform presented based on Fe3O4 MNPs. In this review, we introduce fabrication methods and modification strategies of Fe3O4 MNPs, expecting great improvements for diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the future.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Jingze ZHANG, Sheng ZHU, Yulin MIN, Qunjie XU
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 459-468. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0513-9

    Perovskite oxides based on the alkaline earth metal lanthanum for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in alkaline electrolytes are promising catalysts, but their catalytic activity and stability remain unsatisfactory. Here, we synthesized a series of LaFe1−xMnxO3 (x = 0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 and 1) perovskite oxides by doping Mn into LaFeO3 (LF). The results show that the doping amount of Mn has a significant effect on the catalytic performance. When x = 0.5, the catalyst LaFe0.5Mn0.5O3 (LFM) exhibits the best performance. The limiting current density in 0.1 mol·L−1 KOH solution is 7 mA·cm−2, much larger than that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst (5.5 mA·cm−2). Meanwhile, the performance of the doped catalyst is also superior to that of commercial Pt/C in terms of the long-term durability. The excellent catalytic performance of LFM may be ascribed to its abundant O2−/O species and low charge transfer resistance after doping the Mn element.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Jie TANG, Weiguang LI, Juncong CHEN, Yanqiong ZHENG, Junbiao PENG, Jianhua ZHANG, Bin WEI, Xifeng LI
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 158-165. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0533-0

    In this work, a sky-blue luminescent down-shifting (LDS) layer bis[(4,6-difluorophenyl)-pyridinato-N,C2′]c(picolinate)iridium(III) (FIrpic) was inserted between tetraphenyldibenzoperiflanthene (DBP) and MoO3 as UV-screen and sensitizer for small molecule DBP/C60 based planar heterojunction (PHJ) solar cells. With 8-nm FIrpic the short circuit current (Jsc) and power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the device are enhanced by 28% and 15%, respectively, probably originating from the re-absorption of the photons emitted from FIrpic. The Voc linearly increases over 1-nm FIrpic, ascribed to the deeper HOMO level of FIrpic than DBP, while the fill factor continuously declines from 3- to 10-nm FIrpic. The EQE spectra prove that the Jsc is mainly contributed by the photocurrent generated in DBP and C60 layers. When the FIrpic thickness is 8 nm, the film surface is very uniform with the smallest water contact angle. The impedance spectroscopy demonstrates that the device resistance gradually increases from 4.1×104 W (without FIrpic) to 4.6×104 W (with 10-nm FIrpic) with the FIrpic thickness rise, simultaneously the device transits from the insulating state into the conductive state faster for the thin FIrpic layer than the thick layer.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Ning CHEN, Sidi LI, Xueping LI, Lixia LONG, Xubo YUAN, Xin HOU, Jin ZHAO
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(2): 280-290. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0554-8

    The synergistic effect of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine) (PMPC) can effectively reduce the protein absorption, which is beneficial to theranostics. However, PEG–PMPC-based polymers have rarely been used as nanocarriers in the theranostic field due to their limited modifiability and weak interaction with other materials. Herein, a plain method was proposed to endow them with the probable ability of loading small active agents, and the relationship between the structure and the ability of loading hydrophobic agents was explored, thus expanding their applications. Firstly, mPEG–PMPC or 4-arm-PEG–PMPC polymer was synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) using mPEG-Br or 4-arm-PEG-Br as the macroinitiator. Then a strong hydrophobic segment, poly(butyl methacrylate) (PBMA), was introduced and the ability to load small hydrophobic agents was further explored. The results showed that linear mPEG–PMPC–PBMA could form micelles 50–80 nm in size and load the hydrophobic agent such as Nile red efficiently. In contrast, star-like 4-arm-PEG–PMPC–PBMA, a monomolecular micelle (10–20 nm), could hardly load any hydrophobic agent. This work highlights effective strategies for engineering PEG–PMPC-based polymers and may facilitate the further application in numerous fields.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Chunfu HUANG, Cong WU, Zilu ZHANG, Yunyun XIE, Yang LI, Caihong YANG, Hai WANG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(2): 202-215. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0551-y

    Currently, δ-MnO2 is one of the popularly studied cathode materials for aqueous zinc-ion batteries (ZIBs) but impeded by the sluggish kinetics of Zn2+ and the Mn cathode dissolution. Here, we report our discovery in the study of crystalline/amorphous MnO2 (disordered MnO2), prepared by a simple redox reaction in the order/disorder engineering. This disordered MnO2 cathode material, having open framework with more active sites and more stable structure, shows improved electrochemical performance in 2 mol·L−1 ZnSO4/0.1 mol·L−1 MnSO4 aqueous electrolyte. It delivers an ultrahigh discharge specific capacity of 636 mA·h·g−1 at 0.1 A·g−1 and remains a large discharge capacity of 216 mA·h·g−1 even at a high current density of 1 A·g−1 after 400 cycles. Hence disordered MnO2 could be a promising cathode material for aqueous ZIBs. The storage mechanism of the disordered MnO2 electrode is also systematically investigated by structural and morphological examinations of ex situ, ultimately proving that the mechanism is the same as that of the δ-MnO2 electrode. This work may pave the way for the possibility of using the order/disorder engineering to introduce novel properties in electrode materials for high-performance aqueous ZIBs.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Biyu ZHOU, Junbo LI, Binzhong LU, Wenlan WU, Leitao ZHANG, Ju LIANG, Junpeng YI, Xin LI
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 402-412. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0527-3

    In this work, zwitterionic polymer (polyzwitterion) coated nanodiamonds (ND) with tumorous pH responsiveness were prepared for efficient application of commercial NDs in tumor cells imaging. Poly(carboxybetaine methacrylate) was firstly grafted on the pristine NDs (PCBMA-@-NDs) by surface-initiated reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. To achieve pH responsiveness and activated interaction with tumor cells, PCBMA-@-NDs were subsequently modified with benzene sulfonamide (PCBSA-@-NDs) via one step carbodiimide chemistry. The surface polymer functionalization was characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR and TGA, and PCBMA-@-NDs and PCBSA-@-NDs showed great dispersibility, enhanced fluorescence intensity and excellent antifouling property in contrast to pristine NDs. Moreover, PCBSA-@-NDs was able to switch zwitterionic surface (at pH 7.4) reversibly into positive charge (at pH 6.5) via protonated or deprotonated acylsulfonamide. As expected, PCBSA-@-NDs demonstrated higher cell affinity and better imaging performance than those of zwitterionic NDs at tumor slight acid environment, proven by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Overall, we provide a feasible and valuable strategy to construct smart NDs, thus encouraging the application of cost-effective fluorescence nanomaterials in biomedical fields.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yifan ZHANG, Xueying PENG, Xinbo JING, Lin CUI, Shengchao YANG, Jianning WU, Guihua MENG, Zhiyong LIU, Xuhong GUO
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 113-123. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0539-7

    We exploited a unique porous structure of the nano-covalent triazine polymer (NCTP) containing aggregation-induced emission (AIE) group to achieve controlled release and drug tracking in tumor acidic microenvironment. NCTP was synthesized by the Friedel–Crafts alkylation and the McMurry coupling reaction. It not only had strong doxorubicin (DOX)-loading capacity due to its high specific surface area and large pore volume, but also showed the significant cumulative drug release as a result of the pH response of triazine polymers. NCTP was induced luminescence after mass accumulation near tumor cells. Besides, it had excellent biocompatibility and obvious antineoplastic toxicity. The results demonstrate that NCTP as a utility-type drug carrier provides a new route for designing the multi-functional drug delivery platform.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Liangshuo LI, Lin QIN, Xin FAN, Xinyu LI, Ming DENG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 147-157. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0535-y

    We demonstrated a simple and environment-friendly method in the preparation of N-doped carbon/PANI (NCP) composite without binder. The structure and the property of NCP have been characterized by XPS, IR, XRD, SEM, CV, GCD and EIS. The results reveal that NCP has high capacitance performance of up to 615 F·g−1 at 0.6 A·g−1. Additionally, the asymmetric NCP300//carbon supercapacitor delivers a high capacitance (111 F·g−1 at 1 A·g−1) and a capacity retention rate of 82% after 1200 cycles at 2 A·g−1. The ASC cell could deliver a high energy density of 39.1 W·h·kg−1 at a power density of 792.6 W·kg−1.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Nannan WANG, Youbin ZHENG, Yange FENG, Liqiang ZHANG, Min FENG, Xiaojuan LI, Daoai WANG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(2): 266-279. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0555-7

    Adsorption of drug powder is caused by triboelectrification on the surface of starch capsule during filling process. Furthermore, high wear rate and poor water lubricity also hinder the further practical applications of traditional starch capsule. To solve these problems, a glycerol-modified starch capsule with perfect anti-triboelectrification and enhanced lubrication performance was fabricated. Hydrogen bond between glycerol and starch molecules could reduce the bound water content on the capsule surface and thus realizes anti-triboelectrification. By adding glycerol, a three-tier structure composed of starch-glycerol-water is formed through hydrogen bonding on the surface of the starch film, which has been proven to be favorable for lubrication performance. When 5% glycerol is added, the short-circuit current (Isc) of starch-based triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is reduced by 86%, and the wear volume of the starch film is reduced by 89%. Under water lubrication condition, the lubrication performance of the starch-glycerol film can reach the super lubricated level with a friction coefficient of about 0.005. This work provides a new route to obtain modified starch capsules with improved anti-triboelectrification property, reduced wear rate and superlubricity property.

  • COMMUNICATION
    Qingyang GU, Jinyan LI, Liangshuo JI, Ruijun JU, Haibo JIN, Rongyue ZHANG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 488-496. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0529-1

    We demonstrate the fabrication of a novel magnetic nanohybrid involving the drug molecule 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) intercalated Gd–Eu layered rare-earth hydroxide (LRH) coated on magnesium ferrite particles (MgFe2O4). The structure, thermostability, morphology, luminescence properties, cytotoxic effect and magnetism are investigated. The 5-ALA intercalated composite may correspond to a monolayered vertical arrangement, and the thermal stability of organics is enhanced after intercalation. The LRH precursor shows red emission of Eu3+ and the maximum emission peak of the composite is at 451 nm, corresponding to the blue emission. The detection of drug molecules can be realized through the change of luminescence. The magnetic nanohybrid shows strong magnetic sensitivity, which provides an easy and efficient way to separate 5-ALA-MgFe2O4@LGd0.95H:Eu0.05 particles from a sol or a suspension system and to carry drugs to targeted locations under an external magnetic field. The cytotoxic effect of MgFe2O4@LRH is observed with a sulforhodamine B (SRB) colorimetric assay, which has low cytotoxic effects on selected cells. The fabrication of novel bifunctional drug carriers based on LRH with magnetic and fluorescent properties has potential applications in drug detection and drug delivery.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Dandan HAN, Jinhe WEI, Shanshan WANG, Yifan PAN, Junli XUE, Yen WEI
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 450-458. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0528-2

    The unique feather-like arrays composing of ultrathin secondary nanowires are fabricated on nickel foam (NF) through a facile hydrothermal strategy. Thus, the enhancement of electrochemical properties especially the low charge transfer resistance strongly depends on more active sites and porosity of the morphology. Benefiting from the unique structure, the optimized NiCo2O4 electrode delivers a significantly lower charge transfer resistance of 0.32 Ω and a high specific capacitance of 450 F·g−1 at 0.5 A·g−1, as well as a superior cycling stability of 139.6% capacitance retention. The improvement of the electrochemical energy storage property proves the potential of the fabrication of various binary metal oxide electrodes for applications in the electrochemical energy field.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xuhua YE, Xiangyu YAN, Xini CHU, Shixiang ZUO, Wenjie LIU, Xiazhang LI, Chao YAO
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2020, 14(4): 469-480. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-020-0524-6

    Developing photocatalysts with wide spectrum absorption and strong nitrogen activation is critical for nitrogen fixation under mild conditions. Herein, one-dimensional natural clay attapulgite (ATP) supported YF3:Sm3+ were successfully synthesized via microwave hydrothermal method, and the composites were employed as the catalyst for photocatalytic nitrogen fixation under visible-light irradiation. Results indicated that the production of ammonia reached as high as 41.2 mg·L−1 within 3 h when the molar ratio of Sm3+ and the mass fraction of YF3:Sm3+ were optimized. The enhanced fixation performance is mainly due to that the modified ATP fibber with abundant active sites and the doped fluoride with defective vacancy facilitate the adsorption and activation of N2. Furthermore, the upconversion property of YF3:Sm3+ increases the harvesting of visible-light energy, meanwhile the Z-scheme heterostructure built between YF3:Sm3+ and modified ATP inhibits the recombination of charge carriers and retains high redox potentials for N2 reduction.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Guopeng CHEN, Shuwen CHEN, Xinyi ZHANG, Fuchao YANG, Jing FU
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(1): 124-137. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0534-z

    The fundamental relationship between microstructure, constituent, processing and performances of separating materials is really a vital issue. Traditional preparation methods for separation membranes are complex, time-consuming and easy to be fouled. Also, the durability of conventional coatings on membrane is poor. By combination of bioinspiration from mussel adhesive and fish scales’ underwater superoleophobicity, we propose a general route to prepare organic–inorganic hybrid coatings, while no complex apparatus is needed. Specifically, based on the biomimetic adhesion of polydopamine (PDA), we used it as a binder to adhere TiO2 nanoparticles and built rough microstructure on fabric. In this way, we obtained TiO2-PDA treated fabric with special wettability. These TiO2-PDA treated samples owned superamphiphilicity in air, underwater superoleophobicity (underwater oil contact angles (OCAs)>150°), underoil superhydrophobicity (underoil water contact angles (WCAs)>150°), excellent multi-resistance; and can separate polar/nonpolar liquid mixture effectively. It also owned superaerophobicity underwater (underwater bubble contact angles (BCAs)>150°). The proposed TiO2-PDA coatings are highly expected to be employed for real situation of water pollution remediation, self-cleaning, oil extraction and harsh chemical engineering issues.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Qi YUAN, Ming-Guo MA
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(2): 227-240. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0549-5

    Conductive films have emerged as appealing electrode materials in flexible supercapacitors owing to their conductivity and mechanical flexibility. However, the unsatisfactory electrode structure induced poor output performance and undesirable cycling stability limited their application. Herein, a well-designed film was manufactured by the vacuum filtration and in-situ polymerization method from cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs), molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), and polypyrrole. The electrode presented an outstanding mechanical strength (21.3 MPa) and electrical conductivity (9.70 S·cm−1). Meanwhile, the introduce of hydrophilic CNFs induced a desirable increase in diffusion path of electrons and ions, along with the synergistic effect among the three components, further endowed the electrode with excellent specific capacitance (0.734 F·cm−2) and good cycling stability (84.50% after 2000 charge/discharge cycles). More importantly, the flexible all-solid-state symmetric supercapacitor delivered a high specific capacitance (1.39 F·cm−2 at 1 mA·cm−2) and a volumetric energy density (6.36 mW·h·cm−3 at the power density of 16.35 mW·cm−3). This work provided a method for preparing composite films with desired mechanical and electrochemical performance, which can broaden the high-value applications of nanocellulose.

  • LETTER
    Xue-ya ZHANG, Guo-hua JIANG, Gao SONG, Tian-qi LIU, Yan-fang SUN, Zhi-yong ZENG
    Frontiers of Materials Science, 2021, 15(2): 291-298. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11706-021-0553-9