Jul 2015, Volume 9 Issue 3

Cover illustration

  • A typical microstructure of pure magnesium solidified in a wedge shaped copper mould. Pure Mg melt was cast into a wedge shaped copper mould to obtain pure magnesium with a range of grain size. Electrochemical and immersion tests were employed to measure the corrosion resistance of pure magnesium with different grain size. The electrochemical polarization curves indicated that the corrosion susceptibility increased with the grain size decrease. However, the electrochemical im [Detail] ...

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    Lei LIU,Peng LIU

    Tumor micro-environment responsive drug delivery systems (DDSs) have been developed as a potential approach to reduce the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. Glutathione (GSH) has been supposed to the most significant signal of the difference between the normal tissue and the tumor cells, besides the media pH and temperature. In recent years, the reduction-responsive DDSs have attracted more and more attention for delivery of anti-cancer drugs, based on such physiological signal. Among them, disulfide bond-containing polymers have been designed as the main tool for the purpose. The recent progress in the synthesis strategies for the disulfide bond-containing polymer-based DDS is focused in the present review.

    Xiao-Li ZHANG,Shan-Hu BAO,Yun-Chuan XIN,Xun CAO,Ping JIN

    Switchable mirrors based on magnesium--nickel alloy thin films capped with catalytic Pd--Ni alloy thin films were prepared by a DC magnetron sputtering method. Their composition, structure and surface morphology were studied by XPS, XRD and AFM. Herein, the optical switching properties and durability of the switchable mirrors were investigated by varying the Ni content in the Pd--Ni alloys. Comparing pure Pd catalyst with Pd--Ni top-capped switchable mirrors, the latter show better hydrogenation and dehydrogenation kinetics, and the speed of hydrogen desorption is obviously improved with increasing Ni content in the Pd--Ni alloy. The Pd--Ni capped switchable mirrors also have better optical switching durability. The catalytic Pd layer with the addition of Ni does not influence the transmittance (hydride state) and reflectance (metallic state) of the switchable mirrors. In addition, replacing Pd with Pd--Ni alloy decreases the cost of the switchable mirrors: employing nickel in the alloy Pd89.2Ni10.8 can save about 11% use of Pd. Therefore, the Pd--Ni alloy can provide a cheaper catalytic thin film, and it is expected to have applications in energy-saving windows, hydrogen sensors and hydrogen storage materials.

    Xiangcang REN,Chuanjin TIAN,Sa LI,Yucheng ZHAO,Chang-An WANG

    In this work, three kinds of ultrathin tremella-like MnO2 have been simply synthesized by decomposing KMnO4 under mild hydrothermal conditions. When applied as electrode materials, they all exhibited excellent electrochemical performance. The as-prepared MnO2 samples were characterized by means of XRD, SEM, TEM and XPS. Additionally, the relationship of the crystalline nature with the electrochemical performance was investigated. Among the three samples, the product with the poorest crystallinity had the highest capacitance of 220 F/g at a current density of 0.1 A/g. It is thought that the ultrathin MnO2 nanostructures can serve as promising electrode materials for supercapacitors.

    Jing LIU,Jing-Ying ZHANG,Kai LIU,Hong-Jian GAO,Xiao-Long YU,Yang CAO,Zhong-Xin LIU

    Water soluble upconversion (UC) luminescence hexagonal-phase NaGdF4: Yb3+/Tm3+ nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized by the hydrothermal method. XRD, SEM, UC photoluminescence spectra and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrum were used to characterize the nanoparticles. The intensity of UC emission region could be controlled through different sodium source and the fluorine source, 6PJ8S7/2 emission of Gd3+ is also observed at 310 nm. A broad spectrum with a dominant resonance at g of about 2 was observed by the EPR spectrum of the NaGdF4:Yb3+/Tm3+ nanoparticles. The transparent NaGdF4:Yb3+/Tm3+ solution presented naked eye-visible violet-blue light under the 980 nm LD excitation. The current work paves the way for their potential application in infrared tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

    Yichi LIU,Debao LIU,Chen YOU,Minfang CHEN

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of grain size on the corrosion resistance of pure magnesium developed for biomedical applications. High-purity magnesium samples with different grain size were prepared by the cooling rate-controlled solidification. Electrochemical and immersion tests were employed to measure the corrosion resistance of pure magnesium with different grain size. The electrochemical polarization curves indicated that the corrosion susceptibility increased as the grain size decrease. However, the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and immersion tests indicated that the corrosion resistance of pure magnesium is improved as the grain size decreases. The improvement in the corrosion resistance is attributed to refine grain can produce more uniform and density film on the surface of sample.

    Ju LIANG,Wenlan WU,Junbo LI,Chen HAN,Shijie ZHANG,Jinwu GUO,Huiyun ZHOU

    In this paper, double hydrophilic ionic liquid block copolymers (ILBCs), poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-block-poly[1-methyl-3-(2-methacryloyloxy propylimidazolium bromine)] (PNIPAM-b-PMMPImB), were polymerized by two-step reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) process. The?composition and molecular weight distributions of ILBCs were characterized using 1HNMR and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The self-assembly and temperature- and anion-responsive behaviors of ILBCs were investigated by UV-Vis spectroscopy, TEM and dynamic light scattering (DLS). With increasing the concentration of (CF3SO2)2N--, the micellization of self-assembling PNIPAM-b-PMMPImB was induced to form a core--shell structure containing the core with hydrophilic PMMPIm-(CF3SO2)2N-- surrounded by the shell of PNIPAM via the anion-responsive properties of ILBCs. However, upon temperature increasing, PNIPAM-b-PMMPImB formed the micelles composing of PNIPAM core and PMMPImB shell. The ionic liquid segment with strong hydrophilic property enhanced the hydrogen bonding interaction which expanded the temperature range of phase transition and increased the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the system. These results indicate that ILBCs prepared in this paper have excellent temperature and anion double responsive properties, and may be applied as a kind of potential environmental responsive polymer nanoparticles.

    Hui-Li DING,Tao ZHANG,Rui GAO,Xian-Ping WANG,Qian-Feng FANG,Chang-Song LIU,Jin-Ping SUO

    Mechanical and magnetic properties as well as their relationship in the reduced activation martensitic (RAM) steel were investigated in the temperature range from --90°C to 20°C. Charpy impact tests show that the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT) of the RAM steel is about --60°C. Low-temperature tensile tests show that the yield strength, ultimate tensile strength and total elongation values increase as temperature decreases, indicating that the strength and plasticity below the DBTT are higher than those above the DBTT. The coercive field (HC) in the scale of logarithm decreases linearly with the increasing temperature and the absolute value of the slope of lnHC versus temperature above the DBTT is obviously larger than that below the DBTT, also confirmed in the T91 steel. The results indicate that the non-destructive magnetic measurement is a promising candidate method for the DBTT detection of ferromagnetic steels.

    Guohui SUN,Chao FENG,Ming KONG,Xiaojie CHENG,Jiaojiao BING,Guixue XIA,Zixian BAO,Hyunjin PARK,Xiguang CHEN

    To enhance the liquor absorptivity of chitosan fibers (CS-Fs), N-succinyl surface-modified chitosan fibers (NSCS-Fs) were developed and evaluated for wound healing. The NSCS-Fs exhibited cracks on the surface and high liquor absorbing capacity with absorbing--dissolvable equilibrium state in phosphate buffer solution (PBS). The bacteriostasis ratios of NSCS-Fs against E. coli, S. aureus and C. albicans were higher than 80%. No cytotoxicity has been found for mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) treated with NSCS-Fs leach liquor. Acute oral toxicity and skin irritation experiment were taken to evaluate the safety of NSCS-Fs in vitro. Muscle implant study showed that NSCS-Fs were biodegradable and non-toxic in vivo. These results suggested that the surface modified NSCS-Fs had favorable biological properties and improved liquor absorptivity, indicating that they could be used as promising dressing materials for wound care.

    Jin-Ning WANG,Bin PI,Peng WANG,Xue-Feng LI,Hui-Lin YANG,Xue-Song ZHU

    The reinforcement of calcium phosphate materials with silk fibroin (SF) has been one of the strategies to overcome the brittleness. However, the lack of osteoinductivity may still restrict their further use. This study aimed to investigate the biocompatibility and osteogenesis capacity of a novel Semaphorin 3A-loaded chitosan microspheres/SF/α-tricalcium phosphate composite (Sema3A CMs/SF/α-TCP) in vitro. Sema3A was first incorporated into CMs, and the Sema3A CMs/SF/α-TCP composite was then prepared. The morphology of the CMs was observed using SEM. The in vitro release kinetics, cytotoxicity, and cell compatibility were evaluated, and the real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were used to evaluate the osteogenesis capacity of the composite. The in vitro release of Sema3A from the Sema3A CMs/SF/α-TCP composite showed a temporally controlled manner. The extract of the Sema3A CMs/SF/α-TCP composite presented no obvious side effect on the MC3T3-E1 cell proliferation, nor promote cell proliferation. The MC3T3-E1 cells were well-spread and presented an elongated shape on the Sema3A CMs/SF/α-TCP composite surface; the ALP activity and the osteogenic-related gene expression were higher than those seeded on the surface of the CMs/SF/α-TCP and SF/α-TCP composites. In conclusion, Sema3A CMs/SF/α-TCP has excellent biocompatibility and contributes to the osteoblastic differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells.

    Danxue LI,Xueping LV,Huanxin TU,Xuedong ZHOU,Haiyang YU,Linglin ZHANG

    Dental caries is the most common oral disease with high incidence, widely spread and can seriously affect the health of oral cavity and the whole body. Current caries prevention measures such as fluoride treatment, antimicrobial agents, and traditional Chinese herbal, have limitations to some extent. Here we design and synthesize a novel peptide based on the amelogenin, and assess its ability to promote the remineralization of initial enamel caries lesions. We used enamel blocks to form initial lesions, and then subjected to 12-day pH cycling in the presence of peptide, NaF and HEPES buffer. Enamel treated with peptide or NaF had shallower, narrower lesions, thicker remineralized surfaces and less mineral loss than enamel treated with HEPES. This peptide can promote the remineralization of initial enamel caries and inhibit the progress of caries. It is a promising anti-caries agent with various research prospects and practical application value.

    Ying DONG,Zhiye QIU,Xiaoyu LIU,Liqiang WANG,Jingxin YANG,Yifei HUANG,Fuzhai CUI

    Stable tissue integration is important to keratoprosthesis (KPro). The aim of this study was to evaluate the tissue bonding ability of hydroxyapatite (HAp)-coated titanium KPro. The samples were divided into three groups: test groups (IBAD group and AD group) and Ti control. The coated samples had a HAp layer created by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) or aerosol deposition (AD). The surface characteristics were analyzed with SEM, AFM, and XRD. The samples were surgically inserted into the muscles of rabbits. Eight weeks after healing, the attachment to the tissue was tested with a universal test device. The three samples exhibited distinctive surface morphology. The force to remove the HAp implants from the muscles was significantly greater than that of Ti group (P<0.01), with the AD samples requiring the greatest force (P<0.01). After removal, SEM showed that the tissue was firmly attached to the surface of AD samples. Photomicrographs of the peri-implant muscles showed a layer of aligned fibrous tissue without severe inflammation. The AD samples had more fibroblasts. Results indicate that because of enhanced mechanical adhesion of soft tissue to the implants, HAp-coated Ti by AD is a suitable KPro skirt material.

    Qian XIE,Weipeng WANG,Zheng XIE,Shuang SHUANG,Zhengcao LI,Zhengjun ZHANG

    Wettability manipulation of glancing angle deposited Fe/Co/Ni nanorod arrays was realized by X-ray irradiation in ultra-high vacuum chamber. Reversible transition was also purchased by alternating ethanol immersion and X-ray irradiation. Alkyl group adsorption–desorption mechanism and corresponding morphology dependence of wettability manipulation were revealed.