In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (28)

Articles by Taizo Mori in JoVE

Other articles by Taizo Mori on PubMed

Localization of Laminin Alpha3B Chain in Vascular and Epithelial Basement Membranes of Normal Human Tissues and Its Down-regulation in Skin Cancers

Journal of Molecular Histology. Aug, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18670895

The basement membrane (BM) proteins laminins, which consist of alpha, beta and gamma chains, play critical roles in the maintenance of tissue structures. One of laminin alpha chains, alpha3 has two isoforms, the truncated form alpha3A and the full-sized form alpha3B. In contrast to alpha3A laminins, little is known about alpha3B laminins. To show the histological distribution of the laminin alpha3B chain, we prepared alpha3B-specific monoclonal antibodies. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the alpha3B chain was colocalized with the alpha3A, beta3 and gamma2 chains in the epithelial BMs of the skin, esophagus, breast and lung, suggesting the presence of laminin-3B32 (laminin-5B) and laminin-3A32 (laminin-5A). In the lung alveoli, laminin-3B32 was dominant over laminin-3A32, but vice versa in other epithelial BMs. In contrast, the BMs of blood vessels including capillaries were strongly positive for alpha3B, but almost or completely negative for alpha3A, beta3 and gamma2. alpha3B was colocalized with beta1 and gamma1 in these BMs. The alpha3B chain was scarcely detected in the vessels of malignant skin cancers, though the gamma2 and beta3 chains were highly expressed in the cancer cells. These results strongly suggest that the laminin alpha3B chain is widely expressed in vascular BMs of normal tissues, probably as laminin-3B11/3B21 (laminin-6B/7B).

Helical Polyacetylene--origins and Synthesis

Chemical Record (New York, N.Y.). 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19107913

We present the origins and synthesis of helical polyacetylene (H-PA) by focusing on its peculiar spiral morphology. Interfacial polymerization of acetylene was carried out in an asymmetric reaction field consisting of chiral nematic liquid crystal (N*-LC) and Ziegler-Natta catalyst. As the N*-LC is composed of nematic liquid crystal and a chiral compound such as a binaphthyl derivative with either the R- or S-configuration, the screw directions of the polyacetylene chain and fibril bundle--and even the spiral morphology--are rigorously controlled by the chirality of the selected compound. Interestingly, the screw directions of the fibril and the bundle in H-PA were found to be opposite to that of N*-LC. It is worthwhile to emphasize that the hierarchical spiral morphology involving the primary to higher order structure is generated in a synthetic polymer such as polyacetylene by using N*-LC as an asymmetric polymerization solvent.

Two-dimensional Nanoarchitectonics Based on Self-assembly

Advances in Colloid and Interface Science. Feb, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20138601

Top-down nanofabrication techniques, especially photolithography, have advanced nanotechnology to a point where system-process integration with bottom-up self-assembly is now required. Because most lithographic techniques are constrained to two-dimensional planes, investigation of integrated self-assembly systems should focus on two-dimensional organization. In this review, research on two-dimensional nanoartchitectonics is classified and summarized according to the type of interface used. Pattern formation following deposition of vaporized molecules onto a solid surface can be analyzed with high structural precision using scanning probe microscopy under ultra high vacuum. Transitions of adsorbed phases and adjustment of pattern mismatch by conformational changes of adsorbed molecules are discussed, in addition to the forces constraining pattern formation, i.e., two-dimensional hydrogen bond networks, van der Waals forces, and molecule-surface interactions. Molecular deposition at a liquid-solid interface broadens the range of molecules that can be investigated. The more complex molecules discussed in this work are C(60)-fullerene derivatives and designer DNA strands. Gas-liquid interfaces, e.g. between air and water, allow dynamic formations that can adjust to molecular conformational changes. In this case, any resulting patterns can be modulated by varying conditions macroscopically. Using flexible molecules at the fluid air-water interface also permits dynamic operation of molecular machines by macroscopic mechanical motion, thus enabling, hand-operated nanotechnology.

Laminin-3B11, a Novel Vascular-type Laminin Capable of Inducing Prominent Lamellipodial Protrusions in Microvascular Endothelial Cells

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nov, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20805229

The basement membrane (BM) proteins laminins, which consist of α, β, and γ chains, support tissue structures and cellular functions. To date only α4 and α5 types of laminins have been identified in the BMs of blood vessels. Our recent study suggested the presence of novel α3B-containing laminins in vascular BMs. Here we identified and characterized the third member of vascular laminins, laminin-3B11 (Lm3B11). RT-PCR analysis showed that microvascular endothelial (MVE) cells and umbilical vein endothelial cells expressed the messages for the α3B, β1, β2, and γ1 chains. In the culture of MVE cells, α3B was associated with β1 and γ1, producing Lm3B11. Recombinant Lm3B11 was overexpressed by introducing the cDNAs of the three chains into HEK-293 cells and purified to homogeneity. Purified Lm3B11 exhibited relatively weak cell adhesion activity through both α3β1 and α6β1 integrins. Most characteristically, Lm3B11 strongly stimulated MVE cells to extend many lamellipodial protrusions. This pseudopodial branching was blocked by an inhibitor for Src or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Consistently, Lm3B11 stimulated the phosphorylation of Src and Akt more strongly than other laminins, suggesting that the integrin-derived signaling is mediated by these factors. The unique activity of Lm3B11 appears to be favorable to the branching of capillaries and venules.

Mechanical Tuning of Molecular Recognition to Discriminate the Single-methyl-group Difference Between Thymine and Uracil

Journal of the American Chemical Society. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20806893

Construction of enzyme-like artificial cavities is a complex and challenging subject. Rather than synthesizing complicated host molecules, we have proposed mechanical adaptation of relatively simple hosts within dynamic media to determine the optimum conformation for molecular recognition. Here we have applied this concept to one of the most challenging biomolecular recognition problems, i.e., that of discriminating thymine from uracil. We synthesized the novel cholesterol-armed triazacyclononane as a host molecule and subjected it to structural tuning by compression of its Langmuir monolayers in the absence and in the presence of Li(+) cations in the subphase. Experimental results confirm that the monolayer of triazacyclononane host selectively recognizes uracil over adenine (ca. 7 times based on the binding constant) and thymine (ca. 64 times) under optimized conditions ([LiCl] = 10 mM at surface pressure of 35 mN m(-1)). The concept of mechanical tuning of a host structure for optimization of molecular recognition offers a novel methodology in host-guest chemistry as an alternative to the more traditional molecular design strategies.

Downregulation of a Newly Identified Laminin, Laminin-3B11, in Vascular Basement Membranes of Invasive Human Breast Cancers

Cancer Science. May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21276136

Laminins present in the basement membranes (BM) of blood vessels are involved in angiogenesis and other vascular functions that are critical for tumor growth and metastasis. Two major vascular laminins, the α4 (laminin-411/421) and α5 (laminin-511/521) types, have been well characterized. We recently found a third type of vascular laminin, laminin-3B11, consisting of the α3B, β1 and γ1 chains, and revealed its biological activity. Laminin-3B11 potently stimulates vascular endothelial cells to extend lamellipodial protrusions. To understand the roles of laminin-3B11 in blood vessel functions and tumor growth, we examined localization of the laminin α3B chain in normal mammary glands and breast cancers, in comparison with the α4 and α5 laminins. In the immunohistochemical analysis, the α3B laminin was co-localized with the α4 and α5 laminins in the BM of venules and capillaries of normal breast tissues, but α3B was scarcely detected in vessels near invasive breast carcinoma cells. In contrast, the α4 laminin was overexpressed in capillaries of invasive carcinomas, where a large number of macrophages were found. The α5 laminin appeared to be weakly downregulated in cancer tissues, especially in capillary vessels. Furthermore, our in vitro analysis indicated that TNF-α significantly suppressed the laminin α3B expression in vascular endothelial cells, while it, as well as IL-1β and TGF-α, upregulated the α4 expression. These results suggest that Lm3B11/3B21 may be required for normal mature vessels and interfere with tumor angiogenesis.

Mechanical Tuning of Molecular Machines for Nucleotide Recognition at the Air-water Interface

Nanoscale Research Letters. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21711806

Molecular machines embedded in a Langmuir monolayer at the air-water interface can be operated by application of lateral pressure. As part of the challenge associated with versatile sensing of biologically important substances, we here demonstrate discrimination of nucleotides by applying a cholesterol-armed-triazacyclononane host molecule. This molecular machine can discriminate ribonucleotides based on a twofold to tenfold difference in binding constants under optimized conditions including accompanying ions in the subphase and lateral surface pressures of its Langmuir monolayer. The concept of mechanical tuning of the host structure for optimization of molecular recognition should become a novel methodology in bio-related nanotechnology as an alternative to traditional strategies based on increasingly complex and inconvenient molecular design strategies.

Mechanical Control of Nanomaterials and Nanosystems

Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21953700

In situations of power outage or shortage, such as periods just following a seismic disaster, the only reliable power source available is the most fundamental of forces i.e., manual mechanical stimuli. Although there are many macroscopic mechanical tools, mechanical control of nanomaterials and nanosystems has not been an easy subject to develop even by using advanced nanotechnological concepts. However, this challenge has now become a hot topic and many new ideas and strategies have been proposed recently. This report summarizes recent research examples of mechanical control of nanomaterials and nanosystems. Creation of macroscopic mechanical outputs by efficient accumulation of molecular-level phenomena is first briefly introduced. We will then introduce the main subject: control of molecular systems by macroscopic mechanical stimuli. The research described is categorized according to the respective areas of mechanical control of molecular structure, molecular orientation, molecular interaction including cleavage and healing, and biological and micron-level phenomena. Finally, we will introduce two more advanced approaches, namely, mechanical strategies for microdevice fabrication and mechanical control of molecular machines. As mechanical forces are much more reliable and widely applicable than other stimuli, we believe that development of mechanically responsive nanomaterials and nanosystems will make a significant contribution to fundamental improvements in our lifestyles and help to maintain and stabilize our society.

A Mechanically Controlled Indicator Displacement Assay

Angewandte Chemie (International Ed. in English). Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22930528

Langmuir Nanoarchitectonics: One-touch Fabrication of Regularly Sized Nanodisks at the Air-water Interface

Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids. Jun, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23320820

In this article, we propose a novel methodology for the formation of monodisperse regularly sized disks of several nanometer thickness and with diameters of less than 100 nm using Langmuir monolayers as fabrication media. An amphiphilic triimide, tri-n-dodecylmellitic triimide (1), was spread as a monolayer at the air-water interface with a water-soluble macrocyclic oligoamine, 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane (cyclen), in the subphase. The imide moieties of 1 act as hydrogen bond acceptors and can interact weakly with the secondary amine moieties of cyclen as hydrogen bond donors. The monolayer behavior of 1 was investigated through π-A isotherm measurements and Brewster angle microscopy (BAM). The presence of cyclen in the subphase significantly shifted isotherms and induced the formation of starfish-like microstructures. Transferred monolayers on solid supports were analyzed by reflection absorption FT-IR (FT-IR-RAS) spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The Langmuir monolayer transferred onto freshly cleaved mica by a surface touching (i.e., Langmuir-Schaefer) method contained disk-shaped objects with a defined height of ca. 3 nm and tunable diameter in the tens of nanometers range. Several structural parameters such as the disk height, molecular aggregation numbers in disk units, and 2D disk density per unit surface area are further discussed on the basis of AFM observations together with aggregate structure estimation and thermodynamic calculations. It should be emphasized that these well-defined structures are produced through simple routine procedures such as solution spreading, mechanical compression, and touching a substrate at the surface. The controlled formation of defined nanostructures through easy macroscopic processes should lead to unique approaches for economical, energy-efficient nanofabrication.

Enzyme Nanoarchitectonics: Organization and Device Application

Chemical Society Reviews. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23348617

Fabrication of ultrasmall functional machines and their integration within ultrasmall areas or volumes can be useful for creation of novel technologies. The ultimate goal of the development of ultrasmall machines and device systems is to construct functional structures where independent molecules operate as independent device components. To realize exotic functions, use of enzymes in device structures is an attractive solution because enzymes can be regarded as efficient machines possessing high reaction efficiencies and specificities and can operate even under ambient conditions. In this review, recent developments in enzyme immobilization for advanced functions including device applications are summarized from the viewpoint of micro/nano-level structural control, or nanoarchitectonics. Examples are roughly classified as organic soft matter, inorganic soft materials or integrated/organized media. Soft matter such as polymers and their hybrids provide a medium appropriate for entrapment and encapsulation of enzymes. In addition, self-immobilization based on self-assembly and array formation results in enzyme nanoarchitectures with soft functions. For the confinement of enzymes in nanospaces, hard inorganic mesoporous materials containing well-defined channels play an important role. Enzymes that are confined exhibit improved stability and controllable arrangement, which are useful for formation of functional relays and for their integration into artificial devices. Layer-by-layer assemblies as well as organized lipid assemblies such as Langmuir-Blodgett films are some of the best media for architecting controllable enzyme arrangements. The ultrathin forms of these films facilitate their connection with external devices such as electrodes and transistors. Artificial enzymes and enzyme-mimicking catalysts are finally briefly described as examples of enzyme functions involving non-biological materials. These systems may compensate for the drawbacks of natural enzymes, such as their instabilities under harsh conditions. We believe that enzymes and their mimics will be freely coupled, organized and integrated upon demand in near future technologies.

Interfacial Nanoarchitectonics: Lateral and Vertical, Static and Dynamic

Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23547872

The exploration of nanostructures and nanomaterials is essential to the development of advanced functions. For such innovations, nanoarchitectonics has been proposed as a novel paradigm of nanotechnology aimed at assembling nanoscale structural units into predesigned configurations or arrangements. In this Feature Article, we provide an overview of several recent research works from the viewpoint of interfacial nanoarchitectonics with features developed in lateral directions or grown in vertical directions with construction on solid, static, or flexible dynamic surfaces. Lateral nanoarchitectonics at a static interface provides molecular organization by bottom-up nanoarchitectonics and can also be used to realize device integration by top-down nanoarchitectonics. In particular, in the latter case, the fabrication of novel devices, so-called atomic switches, are introduced as a demonstration of atomic-level electronics. Lateral nanoarchitectonics at dynamic interfaces is exemplified by 2D molecular patterning and molecular machine operation induced by macroscopic motion. The dynamic nature of interfaces enables us to operate molecular-sized machines by macroscopic mechanical stimuli such as our hand motion, which we refer to as hand-operated nanotechnology. Vertical nanoarchitectonics is mainly discussed in relation to layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly. By using this technique, we can assemble a variety of functional materials in ultrathin film structures of defined thickness and layer sequence. The organization of biomolecules (or even living cells) within thin films and their integration with device structures is exemplified. Finally, the anticipated research directions of interfacial nanoarchitectonics are described.

Fullerene Nanoarchitectonics: from Zero to Higher Dimensions

Chemistry, an Asian Journal. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23589223

The strategic design of nanostructured materials, the properties of which could be controlled across different length scales and which, at the same time, could be used as building blocks for the construction of devices and functional systems into new technological platforms that are based on sustainable processes, is an important issue in bottom-up nanotechnology.Such strategic design has enabled the fabrication of materials by using convergent bottom-up and top-down strategies. Recent developments in the assembly of functional fullerene (C60) molecules, either in bulk or at interfaces, have allowed the production of shape-controlled nano-to-microsized objects that possess excellent optoelectronic properties, thus enabling the fabrication of optoelectronic devices. Because fullerene molecules can be regarded as an ideal zero-dimensional (0D) building units with attractive functions, the construction of higher-dimensional objects, that is, 1D, 2D, and 3D nanomaterials may realize important aspects of nanoarchitectonics. This Focus Review summarizes the recent developments in the production of nanostructured fullerenes and techniques for the elaboration of fullerene nanomaterials into hierarchic structures.

Amphiphile Nanoarchitectonics: from Basic Physical Chemistry to Advanced Applications

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics : PCCP. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23639971

Amphiphiles, either synthetic or natural, are structurally simple molecules with the unprecedented capacity to self-assemble into complex, hierarchical geometries in nanospace. Effective self-assembly processes of amphiphiles are often used to mimic biological systems, such as assembly of lipids and proteins, which has paved a way for bottom-up nanotechnology with bio-like advanced functions. Recent developments in nanostructure formation combine simple processes of assembly with the more advanced concept of nanoarchitectonics. In this perspective, we summarize research on self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules such as lipids, surfactants or block copolymers that are a focus of interest for many colloid, polymer, and materials scientists and which have become increasingly important in emerging nanotechnology and practical applications, latter of which are often accomplished by amphiphile-like polymers. Because the fundamental science of amphiphiles was initially developed for their solution assembly then transferred to assemblies on surfaces as a development of nanotechnological techniques, this perspective attempts to mirror this development by introducing solution systems and progressing to interfacial systems, which are roughly categorized as (i) basic properties of amphiphiles, (ii) self-assembly of amphiphiles in bulk phases, (iii) assembly on static surfaces, (iv) assembly at dynamic interfaces, and (v) advanced topics from simulation to application. This progression also represents the evolution of amphiphile science and technology from simple assemblies to advanced assemblies to nanoarchitectonics.

25th Anniversary Article: What Can Be Done with the Langmuir-Blodgett Method? Recent Developments and Its Critical Role in Materials Science

Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24302266

The Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique is known as an elegant method for fabrication of well-defined layered structures with molecular level precision. Since its discovery the LB method has made an indispensable contribution to surface science, physical chemistry, materials chemistry and nanotechnology. However, recent trends in research might suggest the decline of the LB method as alternate methods for film fabrication such as layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly have emerged. Is LB film technology obsolete? This review is presented in order to challenge this preposterous question. In this review, we summarize recent research on LB and related methods including (i) advanced design for LB films, (ii) LB film as a medium for supramolecular chemistry, (iii) LB technique for nanofabrication and (iv) LB involving advanced nanomaterials. Finally, a comparison between LB and LbL techniques is made. The latter reveals the crucial role played by LB techniques in basic surface science, current advanced material sciences and nanotechnologies.

Micrometer-level Naked-eye Detection of Caesium Particulates in the Solid State

Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. Feb, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 27877560

Large amounts of radioactive material were released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, contaminating the local environment. During the early stages of such nuclear accidents, iodine I-131 (half-life 8.02 d) is usually detectable in the surrounding atmosphere and bodies of water. On the other hand, in the long-term, soil and water contamination by Cs-137, which has a half-life of 30.17 years, is a serious problem. In Japan, the government is planning and carrying out radioactive decontamination operations not only with public agencies but also non-governmental organizations, making radiation measurements within Japan. If caesium (also radiocaesium) could be detected by the naked eye then its environmental remediation would be facilitated. Supramolecular material approaches, such as host-guest chemistry, are useful in the design of high-resolution molecular sensors and can be used to convert molecular-recognition processes into optical signals. In this work, we have developed molecular materials (here, phenols) as an optical probe for caesium cation-containing particles with implementation based on simple spray-on reagents and a commonly available fluorescent lamp for naked-eye detection in the solid state. This chemical optical probe provides a higher spatial resolution than existing radioscopes and gamma-ray cameras.

Lnk Prevents Inflammatory CD8⁺ T-cell Proliferation and Contributes to Intestinal Homeostasis

European Journal of Immunology. Jun, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24536025

The intracellular adaptor Lnk (also known as SH2B3) regulates cytokine signals that control lymphohematopoiesis, and Lnk(-/-) mice have expanded B-cell, megakaryocyte, and hematopoietic stem-cell populations. Moreover, mutations in the LNK gene are found in patients with myeloproliferative disease, whereas LNK polymorphisms have recently been associated with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease. Here, we describe a previously unrecognized function of Lnk in the control of inflammatory CD8(+) T-cell proliferation and in intestinal homeostasis. Mature T cells from newly generated Lnk-Venus reporter mice had low but substantial expression of Lnk, whereas Lnk expression was downregulated during homeostatic T-cell proliferation under lymphopenic conditions. The numbers of CD44(hi) IFN-γ(+) CD8(+) effector or memory T cells were found to be increased in Lnk(-/-) mice, which also exhibited shortening of villi in the small intestine. Lnk(-/-) CD8(+) T cells survived longer in response to stimulation with IL-15 and proliferated even in nonlymphopenic hosts. Transfer of Lnk(-/-) CD8(+) T cells together with WT CD4(+) T cells into Rag2-deficient mice recapitulated a sign of villous abnormality. Our results reveal a link between Lnk and immune cell-mediated intestinal tissue destruction.

Intracellular Imaging of Cesium Distribution in Arabidopsis Using Cesium Green

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Jun, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24840061

The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was one of the most serious adverse effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, was accompanied by the release of a large quantity of radioactive materials including (137)Cs to the environment. In a previous report, we developed and proposed a cesium (Cs) fluorescent probe, "Cesium Green", that enables the detection of cesium carbonate particles by spraying an alcoholic solution of the Cesium Green probe. In this paper, the sensing activity of this probe was investigated for its selectivity (by using an optode method) and for its application to detect micrometer-sizes Cs particles. Cesium Green was also assessed for its use in plant cellular imaging of Cs localization in Arabidopsis. Cesium Green enabled high-resolution Cs imaging of Cs-containing particles and of Cs contained in plants.

Aligned 1-D Nanorods of a π-gelator Exhibit Molecular Orientation and Excitation Energy Transport Different from Entangled Fiber Networks

Journal of the American Chemical Society. Jun, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24873554

Linear π-gelators self-assemble into entangled fibers in which the molecules are arranged perpendicular to the fiber long axis. However, orientation of gelator molecules in a direction parallel to the long axes of the one-dimensional (1-D) structures remains challenging. Herein we demonstrate that, at the air-water interface, an oligo(p-phenylenevinylene)-derived π-gelator forms aligned nanorods of 340 ± 120 nm length and 34 ± 5 nm width, in which the gelator molecules are reoriented parallel to the long axis of the rods. The orientation change of the molecules results in distinct excited-state properties upon local photoexcitation, as evidenced by near-field scanning optical microscopy. A detailed understanding of the mechanism by which excitation energy migrates through these 1-D molecular assemblies might help in the design of supramolecular structures with improved charge-transport properties.

Lnk/Sh2b3 Controls the Production and Function of Dendritic Cells and Regulates the Induction of IFN-γ-producing T Cells

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Aug, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25024389

Dendritic cells (DCs) are proficient APCs that play crucial roles in the immune responses to various Ags and pathogens and polarize Th cell immune responses. Lnk/SH2B adaptor protein 3 (Sh2b3) is an intracellular adaptor protein that regulates B lymphopoiesis, megakaryopoiesis, and expansion of hematopoietic stem cells by constraining cytokine signals. Recent genome-wide association studies have revealed a link between polymorphism in this adaptor protein and autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. We found that Lnk/Sh2b3 was also expressed in DCs and investigated its role in the production and function of DC lineage cells. In Lnk(-/-) mice, DC numbers were increased in the spleen and lymph nodes, and growth responses of bone marrow-derived DCs to GM-CSF were augmented. Mature DCs from Lnk(-/-) mice were hypersensitive and showed enhanced responses to IL-15 and GM-CSF. Compared to normal DCs, Lnk(-/-) DCs had enhanced abilities to support the differentiation of IFN-γ-producing Th1 cells from naive CD4(+) T cells. This was due to their elevated expression of IL-12Rβ1 and increased production of IFN-γ. Lnk(-/-) DCs supported the appearance of IFN-γ-producing T cells even under conditions in which normal DCs supported induction of regulatory T cells. These results indicated that Lnk/Sh2b3 plays a regulatory role in the expansion of DCs and might influence inflammatory immune responses in peripheral lymphoid tissues.

Multicolour Fluorescent Memory Based on the Interaction of Hydroxy Terphenyls with Fluoride Anions

Chemistry (Weinheim an Der Bergstrasse, Germany). Dec, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25297535

Memory operations based on variation of a molecule's properties are important because they may lead to device miniaturization to the molecular scale or increasingly complex information processing protocols beyond the binary level. Molecular memory also introduces possibilities related to information-storage security where chemical information (or reagents) might be used as an encryption key, in this case, acidic/basic reagents. Chemical memory that possesses both volatile and non-volatile functionality requires reversible conversion between at least two chemically different stable or quasi-stable states. Here we have developed the phenol-phenoxide equilibrium of phenol fluorophores as a data storage element, which can be used to write or modulate data using chemical reagents. The properties of this system allow data to be stored and erased either in non-volatile or volatile modes. We also demonstrate non-binary switching of states made possible by preparation of  a composite containing the molecular memory elements.

Detecting, Visualizing, and Measuring Gold Nanoparticle Chirality Using Helical Pitch Measurements in Nematic Liquid Crystal Phases

ACS Nano. Dec, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25383947

Chirality at the nanoscale, or more precisely, the chirality or chiroptical effects of chiral ligand-capped metal nanoparticles (NPs) is an intriguing and rapidly evolving field in nanomaterial research with promising applications in catalysis, metamaterials, and chiral sensing. The aim of this work was to seek out a system that not only allows the detection and understanding of NP chirality but also permits visualization of the extent of chirality transfer to a surrounding medium. The nematic liquid crystal phase is an ideal candidate, displaying characteristic defect texture changes upon doping with chiral additives. To test this, we synthesized chiral cholesterol-capped gold NPs and prepared well-dispersed mixtures in two nematic liquid crystal hosts. Induced circular dichroism spectropolarimetry and polarized light optical microscopy revealed that all three gold NPs induce chiral nematic phases, and that those synthesized in the presence of a chiral bias (disulfide) are more powerful chiral inducers than those where the NP was formed in the absence of a chiral bias (prepared by conjugation of a chiral silane to preformed NPs). Helical pitch data here visually show a clear dependence on the NP size and the number of chiral ligands bound to the NP surface, thereby supporting earlier experimental and theoretical data that smaller metal NPs made in the presence of a chiral bias are stronger chiral inducers.

Detection of Ethanol in Alcoholic Beverages or Vapor Phase Using Fluorescent Molecules Embedded in a Nanofibrous Polymer

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Mar, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25756646

An alcohol sensor was developed using the solid-state fluorescence emission of terphenyl-ol (TPhOH) derivatives. Admixtures of TPhOH and sodium carbonate exhibited bright sky-blue fluorescence in the solid state upon addition of small quantities of ethanol. A series of terphenol derivatives was synthesized, and the effects of solvent polarities and the structures of these π-conjugated systems on their fluorescence were systematically investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. In particular, π-extended TPhOHs and TPhOHs containing electron-withdrawing groups exhibited significant solvatochromism, and fluorescence colors varied from blue to red. Detection of ethanol contents in alcohol beverages (detection limit ∼ 5 v/v %) was demonstrated using different TPhOHs revealing the effect of molecular structure on sensing properties. Ethanol contents in alcoholic beverages could be estimated from the intensity of the fluorescence elicited from the TPhOHs. Moreover, when terphenol and Na2CO3 were combined with a water-absorbent polymer, ethanol could be detected at lower concentrations. Detection of ethanol vapor (8 v/v % in air) was also accomplished using a nanofibrous polymer scaffold as the immobilized sensing film.

Mechanochemical Tuning of the Binaphthyl Conformation at the Air-Water Interface

Angewandte Chemie (International Ed. in English). Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26073773

Gradual and reversible tuning of the torsion angle of an amphiphilic chiral binaphthyl, from -90° to -80°, was achieved by application of a mechanical force to its molecular monolayer at the air-water interface. This 2D interface was an ideal location for mechanochemistry for molecular tuning and its experimental and theoretical analysis, since this lowered dimension enables high orientation of molecules and large variation in the area. A small mechanical energy (<1 kcal mol(-1) ) was applied to the monolayer, causing a large variation (>50 %) in the area of the monolayer and modification of binaphthyl conformation. Single-molecule simulations revealed that mechanical energy was converted proportionally to torsional energy. Molecular dynamics simulations of the monolayer indicated that the global average torsion angle of a monolayer was gradually shifted.

Significant Enhancement of the Chiral Correlation Length in Nematic Liquid Crystals by Gold Nanoparticle Surfaces Featuring Axially Chiral Binaphthyl Ligands

ACS Nano. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26735843

Chirality is a fundamental scientific concept best described by the absence of mirror symmetry and the inability to superimpose an object onto its mirror image by translation and rotation. Chirality is expressed at almost all molecular levels, from single molecules to supramolecular systems, and present virtually everywhere in nature. Here, to explore how chirality propagates from a chiral nanoscale surface, we study gold nanoparticles functionalized with axially chiral binaphthyl molecules. In particular, we synthesized three enantiomeric pairs of chiral ligand-capped gold nanoparticles differing in size, curvature, and ligand density to tune the chirality transfer from nanoscale solid surfaces to a bulk anisotropic liquid crystal medium. Ultimately, we are examining how far the chirality from a nanoparticle surface reaches into a bulk material. Circular dichroism spectra of the gold nanoparticles decorated with binaphthyl thiols confirmed that the binaphthyl moieties form a cisoid conformation in isotropic organic solvents. In the chiral nematic liquid crystal phase, induced by dispersing the gold nanoparticles into an achiral anisotropic nematic liquid crystal solvent, the binaphthyl moieties on the nanoparticle surface form a transoid conformation as determined by imaging the helical twist direction of the induced cholesteric phase. This suggests that the ligand density on the nanoscale metal surfaces provides a dynamic space to alter and adjust the helicity of binaphthyl derivatives in response to the ordering of the surrounding medium. The helical pitch values of the induced chiral nematic phase were determined, and the helical twisting power (HTP) of the chiral gold nanoparticles calculated to elucidate the chirality transfer efficiency of the binaphthyl ligand capped gold nanoparticles. Remarkably, the HTP increases with increasing diameter of the particles, that is, the efficiency of the chirality transfer of the binaphthyl units bound to the nanoparticle surface is diminished as the size of the particle is reduced. However, in comparison to the free ligands, per chiral molecule all tested gold nanoparticles induce helical distortions in a 10- to 50-fold larger number of liquid crystal host molecules surrounding each particle, indicating a significantly enhanced chiral correlation length. We propose that both the helicity and the chirality transfer efficiency of axially chiral binaphthyl derivatives can be controlled at metal nanoparticle surfaces by adjusting the particle size and curvature as well as the number and density of the chiral ligands to ultimately measure and tune the chiral correlation length.

Determining the Composition of Gold Nanoparticles: a Compilation of Shapes, Sizes, and Calculations Using Geometric Considerations

Journal of Nanoparticle Research : an Interdisciplinary Forum for Nanoscale Science and Technology. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27766020

Size, shape, overall composition, and surface functionality largely determine the properties and applications of metal nanoparticles. Aside from well-defined metal clusters, their composition is often estimated assuming a quasi-spherical shape of the nanoparticle core. With decreasing diameter of the assumed circumscribed sphere, particularly in the range of only a few nanometers, the estimated nanoparticle composition increasingly deviates from the real composition, leading to significant discrepancies between anticipated and experimentally observed composition, properties, and characteristics. We here assembled a compendium of tables, models, and equations for thiol-protected gold nanoparticles that will allow experimental scientists to more accurately estimate the composition of their gold nanoparticles using TEM image analysis data. The estimates obtained from following the routines described here will then serve as a guide for further analytical characterization of as-synthesized gold nanoparticles by other bulk (thermal, structural, chemical, and compositional) and surface characterization techniques. While the tables, models, and equations are dedicated to gold nanoparticles, the composition of other metal nanoparticle cores with face-centered cubic lattices can easily be estimated simply by substituting the value for the radius of the metal atom of interest.

Mechanically Induced Opening-Closing Action of Binaphthyl Molecular Pliers: Digital Phase Transition Vs. Continuous Conformational Change

Chemphyschem : a European Journal of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27781370

Reversible dynamic control of structure is a significant challenge in molecular nanotechnology. Previously, we have reported a mechanically induced continuous (analog) conformational variation in an amphiphilic binaphthyl, where closing of 'molecular pliers' was achieved by compression of a molecular monolayer composed of these molecules at the air-water interface. In this work we report that a phase transition induced by an applied mechanical stress enables discontinuous 'digital' (1/0) opening of simple binaphthyl molecular pliers. A lipid matrix at the air-water interface promotes the formation of quasi-stable nanocrystals, in which binaphthyl molecules have an open transoid configuration. The crystallization/dissolution of quasi-stable binaphthyl crystals with accompanying conformational change was reversible and repeatable.

Effects of Structural Variations on the Cellular Response and Mechanical Properties of Biocompatible, Biodegradable, and Porous Smectic Liquid Crystal Elastomers

Macromolecular Bioscience. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27805765

The authors report on series of side-chain smectic liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) cell scaffolds based on star block-copolymers featuring 3-arm, 4-arm, and 6-arm central nodes. A particular focus of these studies is placed on the mechanical properties of these LCEs and their impact on cell response. The introduction of diverse central nodes allows to alter and custom-modify the mechanical properties of LCE scaffolds to values on the same order of magnitude of various tissues of interest. In addition, it is continued to vary the position of the LC pendant group. The central node and the position of cholesterol pendants in the backbone of ε-CL blocks (alpha and gamma series) affect the mechanical properties as well as cell proliferation and particularly cell alignment. Cell directionality tests are presented demonstrating that several LCE scaffolds show cell attachment, proliferation, narrow orientational dispersion of cells, and highly anisotropic cell growth on the as-synthesized LCE materials.

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