Reviews & Analysis

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  • This review highlights the recent advances in fluorescence microscopic visualization of synthetic hydrogels, bio-macromolecular hydrogels, organohydrogels, and supramolecular hydrogels. Topics related to the structural changes of hydrogels, hydrogel mechanics, and super-resolution imaging of hydrogels based on fluorescence microscopy are introduced. The design concepts, imaging mechanisms, and potential applications of the novel fluorescence visualization strategies are discussed in detail. Finally, our opinions on the major challenges of current research, possible solutions, and future directions are shared.

    • Jinpan Zhong
    • Tianyi Zhao
    • Mingjie Liu
    Review Article Open Access
  • This review describes an overview of the strategies used to prepare self-healing and self-restoring materials utilizing reversible and movable crosslinks. Reversible crosslinks, consisting of noncovalent bonds, can reversibly undergo repeated cleavage and reformation. Therefore, self-healing can be achieved by effectively regenerating reversible crosslinks between polymeric chains. Movable crosslinks consist of polymer chains that penetrate macrocyclic units and have self-restoring properties due to their sliding motion along the polymeric chains. Self-restoring materials can regain their original shape and mechanical properties after a cycle of loading and unloading external stress.

    • Ryohei Ikura
    • Junsu Park
    • Yoshinori Takashima
    Review Article Open Access
  • Various changes occur in the myocardial infarcted microenvironment. An in-depth understanding of these changes has enabled the development of the functional hydrogels for cardiac repair. This article introduces recent advance in functional hydrogels for the treatment of myocardial infarction, including MMP-responsive hydrogels, ROS-scavenging hydrogels, immunomodulatory hydrogels, conductive hydrogels, vascularized hydrogels, and 3D printed hydrogels. Future perspective is also presented.

    • Tengling Wu
    • Wenguang Liu
    Review Article Open Access
  • Owing to their ultrasmall size effect, nanoparticles (NPs) have been extensively researched in biomedicine for potential applications. They can frequently interact with cells in vivo, forming a series of nano-bio interfaces. The resulting nano-bio interfaces play an important role in dominating the physiological effects of NPs. This review will summarize the progress in nano-bio interface interactions based on theoretical models and simulations. The expected goal of this review is to determine how the properties of NPs affect their interaction with cell membranes, to guide the rational de novo design of NPs, and expand their potential biomedical applications.

    • Xiao Zhang
    • Guanghui Ma
    • Wei Wei
    Review Article Open Access
  • DNA double helix exploiting Watson–Crick base-pairing lays the foundation of DNA nanotechnology. However, other forms of nucleic acids (e.g., triplex, i-motif, and G-quadruplex) exhibiting noncanonical base-base interactions bring about novel functionality. Here, we review the interplay of naturally occurring noncanonical nucleic acids and artificial DNA nanostructures in biomedical applications that have not been possible by duplex formation alone.

    • Shiliang He
    • Zhilei Ge
    • Xiuhai Mao
    Review Article Open Access
  • In this review, we summarize the latest progress in the development of strategies to relieve tumor hypoxia for improved PDT efficacy, from the design of novel nonreactive oxygen carriers to reactive materials and other strategies, including the regulation of tumor microenvironments and PDT-involved multimodal therapy.

    • Zijun Shen
    • Qingming Ma
    • Jie Cao
    Review Article Open Access
  • This review encompasses syntheses, characterizations, and applications of InP magic-sized clusters (MSCs) which are originally found as intermediates during the growth of InP quantum dots (QDs). Various tools to characterize MSCs and the intermediate characteristics of InP MSCs and InP MSCs having incorporated heterogeneous atoms such as chlorine or zinc are discussed. Developments in the syntheses of InP QDs and MSC-mediated growth mechanisms involving fragments, monomers or other nanoclusters are also addressed.

    • Yongju Kwon
    • Sungjee Kim
    Review Article Open Access
  • This review introduce the structure and properties of electrospun nanofiber materials and the various strategies for assembling soft electronic devices such as sensors, transistors, and components for energy harvesting and storage.

    • Yan Wang
    • Tomoyuki Yokota
    • Takao Someya
    Review Article Open Access
  • For the organic ferromagnetic materials, strong couplings have been observed among the charge, orbit, spin, and phonon. Therefore, the recent progress of organic magnetoelectric and optomagnetic coupling effects are briefly summarized in this review paper. Magnetoelectric coupling and opto-magnetic coupling materials have great potential applications in low-power multifunctional multiferroic magnetoelectric memory and all magneto-optical recording, respectively. However, the mechanism of the origin of the couplings is still only partly understood. Thus, further studying on the organic magnetoelectric and opto-magnetic couplings could promote the understanding on the mechanism and their potential industrial applications.

    • Zhongxuan Wang
    • Wei Qin
    Review Article Open Access
  • Despite the hopeful signs of progress of COVID-19 vaccine development and vaccination, the highly infectious nature and mutations of SARS-CoV-2 are warnings of an infighting annual revival of the virus. This article clarifies the complexities of COVID-19 by referring to the molecular-level mechanisms of the infection, immune response, replication, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which are essential during the development of an effective vaccine or a drug to fight the pandemic. Furthermore, this article underscores the significance of an interface among chemistry, nanoscience, cell biology, immunology, and virology to resolve the challenges of COVID-19.

    • Prem Kumar
    • Jeladhara Sobhanan
    • Vasudevanpillai Biju
    Review Article Open Access
  • In this review, recent developments of carbon nanomaterial-based SERS biosensors are systematically summarized, which focus on fundamental principles for carbon-based materials for SERS biosensor design, fabrication methods and operation mechanisms, providing insight into their rapidly growing future potential in the fields of biomedical and biological engineering, in-situ analysis, quantitative analysis and flexible photoelectric functional materials.

    • Xiu Liang
    • Ning Li
    • Biao Kong
    Review Article Open Access
  • The structural inhomogeneity is inherited by residual strain in perovskite crystals. The residual strain affects an electronic band structure of the perovskite film and thus determines its optoelectronic properties. Therefore, the strain engineering can be a powerful tool to not only govern structural defects but also derive demanding properties with an ensured phase stability. In this review, the effect of lattice strain is broadly explored, coupled with relevant affecting parameters.

    • Hui-Seon Kim
    • Nam-Gyu Park
    Review Article Open Access
  • Metal organic frameworks are typically synthesized at the macroscale, into powders, films or as coatings generated across appropriate supporting materials. The downsizing of metal–organic frameworks offers opportunities to not only benefit from their properties at the nanoscale but also to enhance surface interactions and reactivities. The potential and challenges with current downsizing techniques are discussed in this review in light of materials properties and application performance.

    • Ken Aldren S. Usman
    • James W. Maina
    • Joselito M. Razal
    Review Article Open Access
  • 2D materials’ thinness and environmental sensitivity induce novel surface forces which render fundamental 2D material–liquid interactions variable. 2D material wettability is perturbed by substrates and contaminants enabling templating, filtration, and actuation. Fluid structure at 2D material–liquid interfaces is similarly perturbed, partially explaining wettability modulation and enabling distinctive electro-fluidics applications including supercapacitors, energy harvesters, and sensors. Finally, nanoconfinement of molecules arising from perturbed liquid structure modified hydro-frictional behavior, influencing 2D materials’ use in microchannels. 2D material–liquid interactions will inform future fields of study, including modulation of 2D materials’ chemical reactivity, offering a rich area for research on tuned surface fluid interactions.

    • Peter Snapp
    • Jin Myung Kim
    • SungWoo Nam
    Review Article Open Access
  • An emerging annelated thiophene of benzodithiophenedione (BDD) has exhibited its distinguished photovoltaic performance since its planar molecular structure, low-lying highest occupied molecular orbit (HOMO) level and well self-assembly property. In recent 7 years, BDD-based polymer donor have shown a rapid and incredible advancement by utilizing different acceptor materials. Considering the potentials of BDD-based materials, we summarize the most recent advances in the BDD-based photovoltaic materials and highlight the relations between BDD-based molecular structures and photovoltaic properties.

    • Bing Zheng
    • Lijun Huo
    • Yongfang Li
    Review Article Open Access