A fast, ultrasensitive electrochemical sensing platform based on graphitic carbon nitride-electrochemically deposited-poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (g-C3N4-E-PEDOT) composite was constructed by in-situ electropolymerization and applied for the quantitative determination of acetaminophen (AP). E-PEDOT was introduced as the conducting matrix for developing g-C3N4 composite to complement the poor conductivity disadvantage of g-C3N4. The strong affinity and synergetic effect between g-C3N4 and E-PEDOT, which were analyzed by PM6 computational calculation, highly improved the electron transfer property and remarkably enhanced the electrochemical catalytic activity of the composite. The g-C3N4-E-PEDOT modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) demonstrated better electrocatalytic activity towards the oxidation of AP than bare, g-C3N4 and E-PEDOT modified ones. Under the optimized conditions, the oxidation peak currents at the g-C3N4-E-PEDOT/GCE increased linearly in the concentration range of AP from 0.01 to 2 mu M and 2-100 mu M, and an ultra-low limit of detection (LOD) of 34.28 nM was obtained (S/N = 3). In addition, the g-C3N4-E-PEDOT/GCE was successfully applied for the AP determination in the clinical human serum, and also exhibited excellent selectivity, reproducibility and stability. Except the novel AP determination approach, moreover, this work provided a new electrochemical application angle of graphitic carbon nitride theoretically as well as experimentally. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) nanoparticles with reversible semiconductor-metal phase transition holds the tremendous potential as a thermochromic material for the energy-saving smart glazing. However, the trade-off between improving the luminous transmittance (T-lum) while sacrificing the solar modulation ability (Delta T-sol) hampers its bench-to-market translation. Previous studies of anti-reflection coatings (ARCs) focused primarily on increasing Tlum while neglecting DTsol, which is a key energy-saving determinant. The intrinsically low Delta T-sol (< 16%) is due to the fact that VO2 has a higher refractive index (RI) from 500 nm to 2200 nm wavelength (lambda) below its critical transition temperature (tau(c)), which causes excessive reflection at a lower temperature. This study aims to investigate ARCs with tunable RI (1.47-1.92 at lambda = 550 nm) to improve the antireflection effect at a lower temperature, thereby maximizing Delta T-sol for various VO2 nanosubstrates, e.g. continuous thin films, nanocomposites, and periodic micro-patterning films. We showed that the best performing coatings could maximize Delta T-sol (from 15.7% to 18.9%) and increase T-lum(avg) (from 39% to 44%) simultaneously, which surpasses the current benchmark specifications ever reported for ARC-coated VO2 smart glazing. In addition, the cytotoxicity analyses evidence that ARCs are feasible to improve the cyto-compatibility of VO2 nanoparticles-based nanocomposites. The presented RI-tunable ARC, which circumvents the complex materials selection and optical design, not only paves the way for practical applications of VO2-based smart windows but also has extensive applications in the field of solar cells, optical lenses, smart display, etc. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This paper focus on defining a research question while conducting action research among third-year students attending a course on Research Literacy at a teacher education college. This paper discusses the process of preparing for and conducting action research among third-year students attending a course on Research Literacy at a teacher education college. The students were asked to conduct an action research on their classroom activities. The aim of this article is to present the process and pinpointing the discomfort of the students in formulating a research question suited to action research thanks to two prerequisite conditions: the `safe space' and the `tender spot'. The research findings illustrate that the students had difficulty defining their ` tender spot'. It was necessary to create a `safe space'. Furthermore, the findings show that the `tender spot' issues were associated with disciplinary content far more than with generic lesson management or classroom management issues. The approach discussed here is leading to positive change and it may be that this professional development tool can facilitate the induction of novice teachers everywhere.
An appealing alternative approach to the conventional electro-chemical deposition is presented, which can be universally utilized to form nanomaterial coatings from their aqueous dispersions without involving their oxidation-reduction. It is based on altering the ionic strength by electrical potential in the vicinity of the electrode surface, which causes the nanomaterials to deposit. The concept has been demonstrated for four different systems.
We report the first attempt of using molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) in the shape of nanoparticles that were doped with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based sensing of molecular species. Specifically, AuNPs doped molecularly imprinted nano-spheres (AuNPs@nanoMIPs) were synthesized by one-pot precipitation polymerization using Sudan IV as the template for the SERS sensing. The AuNPs@nanoMIPs were characterized by various modes of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) that showed the exact location of the AuNPs inside the MIP particles. The effects of Au concentration and solution stirring on the shape and the polydispersity of the particles were studied. Significant enhancement of the Raman signals was observed only when the MIP particles were doped with the AuNPs. The SERS signal improved significantly with increase in the Au concentration inside the AuNPs@nanoMIPs. Selectivity measurements of the Sudan IV imprinted AuNPs@nanoMIPs carried out with different Sudan derivatives showed high selectivity of the AuNPs-doped MIP particles.
Calcium phosphate (CaP) ceramics have been prevalently used as coatings for implants because of their excellent osteoconductive and bioactive properties. Yet, bone regeneration procedures might have complications such as bacterial infection, local inflammation, bone destruction, and impaired bone healing. Here, we present a novel in situ electrodeposition of CaP with chitosan nanoparticles containing antibiotics. The deposition was shown to be fast and efficient. The deposited layer of octacalcium phosphate (OCP) and monotite contained a large amount of gentamicin, which was released gradually over a period of 15 days. These phases may be beneficial for bone growth, as OCP has higher solubility than the stoichiometric hydroxyapatite (HAp) and is commonly considered as a precursor to HAp, while monotite has even faster resorbability. In addition, both the cytotoxicity and biomineralization of the coating were studied, and the coating was proven to be noncytotoxic and highly biomimetic.
Biofouling, the adsorption of organisms to a surface, is a major problem today in many areas of our lives. This includes: (i) health, as biofouling on medical device leads to hospital-acquired infections, (ii) water, since the accumulation of organisms on membranes and pipes in desalination systems harms the function of the system, and (iii) energy, due to the heavy load of the organic layer that accumulates on marine vessels and causes a larger consumption of fuel. This paper presents an effective electrochemical approach for generating antifouling and antimicrobial surfaces. Distinct from previously reported antifouling or antimicrobial electrochemical studies, we demonstrate the formation of a hydrogen gas bubble layer through the application of a low-voltage square waveform pulses to the conductive surface. This electrochemically generated gas bubble layer serves as a separation barrier between the surroundings and the target surface where the adhesion of bacteria can be deterred. Our results indicate that this barrier could effectively reduce the adsorption of bacteria to the surface by 99.5%. We propose that the antimicrobial mechanism correlates with the fundamental of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). HER leads to an arid environment that does not allow the existence of live bacteria. In addition, we show that this drought condition kills the preadhered bacteria on the surface due to water stress. This work serves as the basis for the exploration of future self-sustainable antifouling techniques such as incorporating it with photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical reactions.
The electrochemically triggered release of doxorubicin (DOX) from flexible electrodes modified electrophoretically with reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-DOX is reported. The release is driven by a positive potential pulse that decreases the pH of the rGO-DOX surface locally, which is confirmed by scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) in situ. In vitro cell viability tests confirms that the delivery system meets therapeutic needs.