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1.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5618, 2020 11 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33154372

RESUMO

Systemic chemotherapy remains the backbone of many cancer treatments. Due to its untargeted nature and the severe side effects it can cause, numerous nanomedicine approaches have been developed to overcome these issues. However, targeted delivery of therapeutics remains challenging. Engineering microrobots is increasingly receiving attention in this regard. Their functionalities, particularly their motility, allow microrobots to penetrate tissues and reach cancers more efficiently. Here, we highlight how different microrobots, ranging from tailor-made motile bacteria and tiny bubble-propelled microengines to hybrid spermbots, can be engineered to integrate sophisticated features optimised for precision-targeting of a wide range of cancers. Towards this, we highlight the importance of integrating clinicians, the public and cancer patients early on in the development of these novel technologies.

2.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33205645

RESUMO

We propose and demonstrate a flexible surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) chip as a versatile platform for femtomolar detection and real-time interfacial molecule analysis. The flexible SERS chip is composed of a flexible and transparent membrane and embedded plasmonic dimers with ultrahigh particle density and ultrasmall dimer gap. The chip enables rapid identification for residuals on solid substrates with irregular surfaces or dissolved analytes in aqueous solution. The sensitivity for liquid-state measurement is down to 0.06 molecule per dimers for 10-14 mol·L-1 Rhodamine 6G molecule without molecule enrichment. Strong signal fluctuation and blinking are observed at this concentration, indicating that the detection limit is close to the single-molecule level. Meanwhile, the homogeneous liquid environment facilities accurate SERS quantification of analytes with a wide dynamic range. The synergy of flexibility and liquid-state measurement opens up avenues for the real-time study of chemical reactions. The reduction from p-nitrothiophenol (PNTP) to p-aminothiophenol (PATP) in the absence of the chemical reducing agents is observed at liquid interfaces by in situ SERS measurements, and the plasmon-induced hot electron is demonstrated to drive the catalytic reaction. We believe this robust and feasible approach is promising in extending the SERS technique as a general method for identifying interfacial molecular traces, tracking the evolution of heterogeneous reactions, elucidating the reaction mechanisms, and evaluating the environmental effects such as pH value and salty ions in SERS.

3.
Nanoscale ; 12(39): 20467-20481, 2020 Oct 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33026016

RESUMO

Cellular micromotors are attractive for locally delivering high concentrations of drug, and targeting hard-to-reach disease sites such as cervical cancer and early ovarian cancer lesions by non-invasive means. Spermatozoa are highly efficient micromotors perfectly adapted to traveling up the female reproductive system. Indeed, bovine sperm-based micromotors have shown potential to carry drugs toward gynecological cancers. However, due to major differences in the molecular make-up of bovine and human sperm, a key translational bottleneck for bringing this technology closer to the clinic is to transfer this concept to human material. Here, we successfully load human sperm with Doxorubicin (DOX) and perform treatment of 3D cervical cancer and patient-representative ovarian cancer cell cultures, resulting in strong anticancer cell effects. Additionally, we define the subcellular localization of the chemotherapeutic drug within human sperm, using high-resolution optical microscopy. We also assess drug effects on sperm motility and viability over time, employing sperm samples from healthy donors as well as assisted reproduction patients. Finally, we demonstrate guidance and release of human drug-loaded sperm onto cancer tissues using magnetic microcaps, and show the sperm microcap loaded with a second anticancer drug, camptothecin (CPT), which unlike DOX is not suitable for directly loading into sperm due to its hydrophobic nature. This co-drug delivery approach opens up novel targeted combinatorial drug therapies for future applications.

4.
Sci Adv ; 6(28): eaba5855, 2020 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32923590

RESUMO

We develop biohybrid magnetic microrobots by electrostatic self-assembly of nonmotile sperm cells and magnetic nanoparticles. Incorporating a biological entity into microrobots entails many functional advantages beyond shape templating, such as the facile uptake of chemotherapeutic agents to achieve targeted drug delivery. We present a single-step electrostatic self-assembly technique to fabricate IRONSperms, soft magnetic microswimmers that emulate the motion of motile sperm cells. Our experiments and theoretical predictions show that the swimming speed of IRONSperms exceeds 0.2 body length/s (6.8 ± 4.1 µm/s) at an actuation frequency of 8 Hz and precision angle of 45°. We demonstrate that the nanoparticle coating increases the acoustic impedance of the sperm cells and enables localization of clusters of IRONSperm using ultrasound feedback. We also confirm the biocompatibility and drug loading ability of these microrobots, and their promise as biocompatible, controllable, and detectable biohybrid tools for in vivo targeted therapy.

5.
ACS Nano ; 14(9): 10865-10893, 2020 09 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32869971

RESUMO

Medical microrobots (MRs) have been demonstrated for a variety of non-invasive biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, and assisted fertilization, among others. However, most of these demonstrations have been carried out in in vitro settings and under optical microscopy, being significantly different from the clinical practice. Thus, medical imaging techniques are required for localizing and tracking such tiny therapeutic machines when used in medical-relevant applications. This review aims at analyzing the state of the art of microrobots imaging by critically discussing the potentialities and limitations of the techniques employed in this field. Moreover, the physics and the working principle behind each analyzed imaging strategy, the spatiotemporal resolution, and the penetration depth are thoroughly discussed. The paper deals with the suitability of each imaging technique for tracking single or swarms of MRs and discusses the scenarios where contrast or imaging agent's inclusion is required, either to absorb, emit, or reflect a determined physical signal detected by an external system. Finally, the review highlights the existing challenges and perspective solutions which could be promising for future in vivo applications.

6.
ACS Nano ; 14(9): 11753-11764, 2020 Sep 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32877171

RESUMO

Sluggish conversion reactions severely impair the rate capability for lithium storage, which is the main disadvantage of the conversion-type anode materials. Here, the microplatform based on a single microelectrode is designed and utilized for the fundamental understanding of the conversion reaction. The kinetic-favorable layered structure of the anode material is on-site synthesized in the microplatform. The in situ characterization reveals that introducing an oxygen network distortion in the layered oxide anode effectively circumvents the severe passivation of the electrode material by lithium oxide, thus leading to highly reversible conversion reactions. As a result, the high-rate capability of the conversion-type anode materials is realized. The on-site synthesis strategy is further applied in the large-scale synthesis of nanomaterials for lithium-ion batteries. As such, oxide nanorods with the layered structure are synthesized by a facile chemical strategy, showing high rate performance (574 mAh g-1 at 10 A g-1). This work unveils the beneficial effect of oxygen network distortion in the layered anode for conversion reactions over cycling, thus providing an alternative strategy to enhance the rate capability of conversion-type anodes for lithium storage.

7.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3592, 2020 Jul 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32680989

RESUMO

Considerable efforts have been made to realize nanoscale diodes based on single molecules or molecular ensembles for implementing the concept of molecular electronics. However, so far, functional molecular diodes have only been demonstrated in the very low alternating current frequency regime, which is partially due to their extremely low conductance and the poor degree of device integration. Here, we report about fully integrated rectifiers with microtubular soft-contacts, which are based on a molecularly thin organic heterojunction and are able to convert alternating current with a frequency of up to 10 MHz. The unidirectional current behavior of our devices originates mainly from the intrinsically different surfaces of the bottom planar and top microtubular Au electrodes while the excellent high frequency response benefits from the charge accumulation in the phthalocyanine molecular heterojunction, which not only improves the charge injection but also increases the carrier density.

8.
Small ; 16(35): e2002410, 2020 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32700453

RESUMO

Miniaturization of batteries lags behind the success of modern electronic devices. Neither the device volume nor the energy density of microbatteries meets the requirement of microscale electronic devices. The main limitation for pushing the energy density of microbatteries arises from the low mass loading of active materials. However, merely pushing the mass loading through increased electrode thickness is accompanied by the long charge transfer pathway and inferior mechanical properties for long-term operation. Here, a new spiral microelectrode upon stress-actuation accomplishes high mass loading but short charge transfer pathways. At a small footprint area of around 1 mm2 , a 21-fold increase of the mass loading is achieved while featuring fast charge transfer at the nanoscale. The spiral microelectrode delivers a maximum area capacity of 1053 µAh cm-2 with a retention of 67% over 50 cycles. Moreover, the energy density of the cylinder microbattery using the spiral microelectrode as the anode reaches 12.6 mWh cm-3 at an ultrasmall volume of 3 mm3 . In terms of the device volume and energy density, the cylinder microbattery outperforms most of the current microbattery technologies, and hence provides a new strategy to develop high-performance microbatteries that can be integrated with miniaturized electronic devices.

9.
Biosensors (Basel) ; 10(8)2020 Jul 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32717845

RESUMO

We counted bacterial cells of E. coli strain K12 in several-microliter DI water or in several-microliter PBS in the low optical density (OD) range (OD = 0.05-1.08) in contact with the surface of Si-based impedance biochips with ring electrodes by impedance measurements. The multiparameter fit of the impedance data allowed calibration of the impedance data with the concentration cb of the E. coli cells in the range of cb = 0.06 to 1.26 × 109 cells/mL. The results showed that for E. coli in DI water and in PBS, the modelled impedance parameters depend linearly on the concentration of cells in the range of cb = 0.06 to 1.26 × 109 cells/mL, whereas the OD, which was independently measured with a spectrophotometer, was only linearly dependent on the concentration of the E. coli cells in the range of cb = 0.06 to 0.50 × 109 cells/mL.

10.
Adv Mater ; 32(37): e2003252, 2020 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32686201

RESUMO

Mechanical strain formed at the interfaces of thin films has been widely applied to self-assemble 3D microarchitectures. Among them, rolled-up microtubes possess a unique 3D geometry beneficial for working as photonic, electromagnetic, energy storage, and sensing devices. However, the yield and quality of microtubular architectures are often limited by the wet-release of lithographically patterned stacks of thin-film structures. To address the drawbacks of conventionally used wet-etching methods in self-assembly techniques, here a dry-release approach is developed to roll-up both metallic and dielectric, as well as metallic/dielectric hybrid thin films for the fabrication of electronic and optical devices. A silicon thin film sacrificial layer on insulator is etched by dry fluorine chemistry, triggering self-assembly of prestrained nanomembranes in a well-controlled wafer scale fashion. More than 6000 integrated microcapacitors as well as hundreds of active microtubular optical cavities are obtained in a simultaneous self-assembly process. The fabrication of wafer-scale self-assembled microdevices results in high yield, reproducibility, uniformity, and performance, which promise broad applications in microelectronics, photonics, and opto-electronics.

11.
Small ; 16(24): e2000213, 2020 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32431083

RESUMO

Biohybrid micromotors propelled by motile cells are fascinating entities for autonomous biomedical operations on the microscale. Their operation under physiological conditions, including highly viscous environments, is an essential prerequisite to be translated to in vivo settings. In this work, a sperm-driven microswimmer, referred to as a spermbot, is demonstrated to operate in oviduct fluid in vitro. The viscoelastic properties of bovine oviduct fluid (BOF), one of the fluids that sperm cells encounter on their way to the oocyte, are first characterized using passive microrheology. This allows to design an artificial oviduct fluid to match the rheological properties of oviduct fluid for further experiments. Sperm motion is analyzed and it is confirmed that kinetic parameters match in real and artificial oviduct fluids, respectively. It is demonstrated that sperm cells can efficiently couple to magnetic microtubes and propel them forward in media of different viscosities and in BOF. The flagellar beat pattern of coupled as well as of free sperm cells is investigated, revealing an alteration on the regular flagellar beat, presenting an on-off behavior caused by the additional load of the microtube. Finally, a new microcap design is proposed to improve the overall performance of the spermbot in complex biofluids.

12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32392393

RESUMO

An integrated system combining a magnetically-driven micromotor and a synthetized protein-based hyaluronic acid (HA) microflake is presented for the in situ selection and transport of multiple motile sperm cells (ca. 50). The system appeals for targeted sperm delivery in the reproductive system to assist fertilization or to deliver drugs. The binding mechanism between the HA microflake and sperm relies on the interactions between HA and the corresponding sperm HA receptors. Once sperm are captured within the HA microflake, the assembly is trapped and transported by a magnetically-driven helical microcarrier. The trapping of the sperm-microflake occurs by a local vortex induced by the microcarrier during rotation-translation under a rotating magnetic field. After transport, the microflake is enzymatically hydrolyzed by local proteases, allowing sperm to escape and finally reach the target location. This cargo-delivery system represents a new concept to transport not only multiple motile sperm but also other actively moving biological cargoes.

13.
ACS Nano ; 14(3): 2982-2993, 2020 03 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32096976

RESUMO

Micromotors are recognized as promising candidates for untethered micromanipulation and targeted cargo delivery in complex biological environments. However, their feasibility in the circulatory system has been limited due to the low thrust force exhibited by many of the reported synthetic micromotors, which is not sufficient to overcome the high flow and complex composition of blood. Here we present a hybrid sperm micromotor that can actively swim against flowing blood (continuous and pulsatile) and perform the function of heparin cargo delivery. In this biohybrid system, the sperm flagellum provides a high propulsion force while the synthetic microstructure serves for magnetic guidance and cargo transport. Moreover, single sperm micromotors can assemble into a train-like carrier after magnetization, allowing the transport of multiple sperm or medical cargoes to the area of interest, serving as potential anticoagulant agents to treat blood clots or other diseases in the circulatory system.

14.
Biosensors (Basel) ; 10(1)2020 Jan 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31963826

RESUMO

Deionized water and glucose without yeast and with yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) of optical density OD600 that ranges from 4 to 16 has been put in the ring electrode region of six different types of impedance biochips and impedance has been measured in dependence on the added volume (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 µL). The measured impedance of two out of the six types of biochips is strongly sensitive to the addition of both liquid without yeast and liquid with yeast and modelled impedance reveals a linear relationship between the impedance model parameters and yeast concentration. The presented biochips allow for continuous impedance measurements without interrupting the cultivation of the yeast. A multiparameter fit of the impedance model parameters allows for determining the concentration of yeast (cy) in the range from cy = 3.3 × 107 to cy = 17 × 107 cells/mL. This work shows that independent on the liquid, i.e., DI water or glucose, the impedance model parameters of the two most sensitive types of biochips with liquid without yeast and with liquid with yeast are clearly distinguishable for the two most sensitive types of biochips.


Assuntos
Técnicas Biossensoriais , Glucose/análise , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/isolamento & purificação , Água/análise , Impedância Elétrica
15.
Small ; 16(2): e1905141, 2020 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31814275

RESUMO

The development of functional microstructures with designed hierarchical and complex morphologies and large free active surfaces offers new potential for improvement of the pristine microstructures properties by the synergistic combination of microscopic as well as nanoscopic effects. In this contribution, dedicated methods of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) including tomography are used to characterize the complex hierarchically structured hybrid GaN/ZnO:Au microtubes containing a dense nanowire network on their interior. The presence of an epitaxially stabilized and chemically extremely stable ultrathin layer of ZnO on the inner wall of the produced GaN microtubes is evidenced. Gold nanoparticles initially trigger the catalytic growth of solid solution phase (Ga1- x Znx )(N1- x Ox ) nanowires into the interior space of the microtube, which are found to be terminated by AuGa-alloy nanodots coated in a shell of amorphous GaOx species after the hydride vapor phase epitaxy process. The structural characterization suggests that this hierarchical design of GaN/ZnO microtubes could offer the potential to exhibit improved photocatalytic properties, which are initially demonstrated under UV light irradiation. As a proof of concept, the produced microtubes are used as photocatalytic micromotors in the presence of hydrogen peroxide solution with luminescent properties, which are appealing for future environmental applications and active matter fundamental studies.

16.
Adv Mater ; 32(15): e1902994, 2020 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31512308

RESUMO

Modern microelectronic systems and their components are essentially 3D devices that have become smaller and lighter in order to improve performance and reduce costs. To maintain this trend, novel materials and technologies are required that provide more structural freedom in 3D over conventional microelectronics, as well as easier parallel fabrication routes while maintaining compatability with existing manufacturing methods. Self-assembly of initially planar membranes into complex 3D architectures offers a wealth of opportunities to accommodate thin-film microelectronic functionalities in devices and systems possessing improved performance and higher integration density. Existing work in this field, with a focus on components constructed from 3D self-assembly, is reviewed, and an outlook on their application potential in tomorrow's microelectronics world is provided.

17.
Lab Chip ; 19(24): 4043-4051, 2019 Dec 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31723953

RESUMO

The ability to separate specific biological components from cell suspensions is indispensable for liquid biopsies, and for personalized diagnostics and therapy. This paper describes an advanced surface acoustic wave (SAW) based device designed for the enrichment of platelets (PLTs) from a dispersion of PLTs and red blood cells (RBCs) at whole blood concentrations, opening new possibilities for diverse applications involving cell manipulation with high throughput. The device is made of patterned SU-8 photoresist that is lithographically defined on the wafer scale with a new proposed methodology. The blood cells are initially focused and subsequently separated by an acoustic radiation force (ARF) applied through standing SAWs (SSAWs). By means of flow cytometric analysis, the PLT concentration factor was found to be 7.7, and it was proven that the PLTs maintain their initial state. A substantially higher cell throughput and considerably lower applied powers than comparable devices from literature were achieved. In addition, fully coupled 3D numerical simulations based on SAW wave field measurements were carried out to anticipate the coupling of the wave field into the fluid, and to obtain the resulting pressure field. A comparison to the acoustically simpler case of PDMS channel walls is given. The simulated results show an ideal match to the experimental observations and offer the first insights into the acoustic behavior of SU-8 as channel wall material. The proposed device is compatible with current (Lab-on-a-Chip) microfabrication techniques allowing for mass-scale, reproducible chip manufacturing which is crucial to push the technology from lab-based to real-world applications.

18.
Sci Adv ; 5(10): eaax6973, 2019 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31692752

RESUMO

The dynamic characterization of water multilayers on oxide surfaces is hard to achieve by currently available techniques. Despite this, there is an increasing interest in the evolution of water nanostructures on oxides to fully understand the complex dynamics of ice nucleation and growth in natural and artificial environments. Here, we report the in situ detection of the dynamic evolution of nanoscale water layers on an amorphous oxide surface probed by optical resonances. In the water nanolayer growth process, we find an initial nanocluster morphology that turns into a planar layer beyond a critical thickness. In the reverse process, the planar water film converts to nanoclusters, accompanied by a transition from a planar amorphous layer to crystalline nanoclusters. Our results are explained by a simple thermodynamic model as well as kinetic considerations. Our work represents an approach to reveal the nanostructure and dynamics at the water-oxide interface using resonant light probing.

19.
Nano Lett ; 19(12): 8597-8604, 2019 12 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31730351

RESUMO

Novel schemes based on the design of complex three-dimensional (3D) nanoscale architectures are required for the development of the next generation of advanced electronic components. He+ focused-ion-beam (FIB) microscopy in combination with a precursor gas allows one to fabricate 3D nanostructures with an extreme resolution and a considerably higher aspect ratio than FIB-based methods, such as Ga+ FIB-induced deposition, or other additive manufacturing technologies. In this work, we report the fabrication of 3D tungsten carbide nanohelices with on-demand geometries via controlling key deposition parameters. Our results show the smallest and highest-densely packed nanohelix ever fabricated so far, with dimensions of 100 nm in diameter and aspect ratio up to 65. These nanohelices become superconducting at 7 K and show a large critical magnetic field and critical current density. In addition, given its helical 3D geometry, fingerprints of vortex and phase-slip patterns are experimentally identified and supported by numerical simulations based on the time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau equation. These results can be understood by the helical geometry that induces specific superconducting properties and paves the way for future electronic components, such as sensors, energy storage elements, and nanoantennas, based on 3D compact nanosuperconductors.

20.
Phys Rev Lett ; 123(16): 160502, 2019 Oct 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31702338

RESUMO

Transferring entangled states between photon pairs is essential in quantum communication. Semiconductor quantum dots are the leading candidate for generating polarization-entangled photons deterministically. Here we show for the first time swapping of entangled states between two pairs of photons emitted by a single dot. A joint Bell measurement heralds the successful generation of the Bell state Ψ^{+}, yielding a fidelity of 0.81±0.04 and violating the CHSH and Bell inequalities. Our photon source matches atomic quantum memory frequencies, facilitating implementation of hybrid quantum repeaters.

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