School of Chemistry - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 915
Limitations of conjugated polymers as emitters in triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion
(ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2021-10-11)
Triplet–triplet annihilation upconversion performances for poly(phenylene-vinylene) emitters were investigated through a series of copolymers with bulky sidechains.
Early Warning System for Illicit Drug Use at Large Public Events: Trace Residue Analysis of Discarded Drug Packaging Samples
(AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2021-10-06)
Inspired by Locard's exchange principle, which states "every contact leaves a trace", a trace residue sampling strategy has been developed for the analysis of discarded drug packaging samples (DPS), as part of an early warning system for illicit drug use at large public events including music/dance festivals. Using direct analysis in real time/mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry, rapid and high-throughput identification and characterization of a wide range of illicit drugs and adulterant substances was achieved, including in complex polydrug mixtures and at low relative ion abundances. A total of 1362 DPS were analyzed either off-site using laboratory-based instrumentation or on-site and in close to real time using a transportable mass spectrometer housed within a mobile analytical laboratory, with each analysis requiring less than 1 min per sample. Of the DPS analyzed, 92.2% yielded positive results for at least one of 15 different drugs and/or adulterants, including cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine, as well as numerous novel psychoactive substances (NPS). Also, 52.6% of positive DPS were found to contain polydrug mixtures, and a total of 42 different drug and polydrug combinations were observed throughout the study. For analyses performed on-site, reports to key stakeholders including event organizers, first aid and medical personnel, and peer-based harm reduction workers could be provided in as little as 5 min after sample collection. Following risk assessment of the potential harms associated with their use, drug advisories or alerts were then disseminated to event staff and patrons and subsequently to the general public when substances with particularly toxic properties were identified.
Synthesis, characterization, in vitro cytotoxicity activity, and molecular docking studies of mononuclear and binuclear Macroacyclic Schiff base complexes
(PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2021-10-01)
A number of binuclear and mononuclear macroacyclic Schiff base complexes containing piperazine moieties were synthesized. The binuclear complexes (M2L1) characterized by elemental analysis, IR and, also Ni(II) complex by a X-ray single crystal structural analysis. In this case, X-ray showed that each nickel atom is in a mer-N3O3 octahedral coordination environment. Moreover, mononuclear macroacyclic Schiff base complexes (ML2 and ML3) were prepared based on the condensation reaction of an amine containing piperazine moiety and 2-hydroxy banzaldehyde or formyl pyridine in 1:2 mol ratio in the presence of Ni(II), Cu(II), and Co(II) ions. All of compounds were characterized by elemental analyses, FT-IR, mass spectrometry and ligands characterized by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. The cytotoxicity of the complexes was evaluated against two different cancer cell lines including MCF-7 (breast) and A549 (lung) adenocarcinoma cells. In general, binuclear complexes, possesses a higher cytotoxic effect against the tested cells than the other complexes. In addition, the biological assessment of complexes have been examined via molecular docking. As an interesting results, the binuclear complexes have the highest inhibition effect against cytotoxic receptors.
Revealing the influence of steric bulk on the triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion performance of conjugated polymers
(NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2021-10-01)
A series of poly(phenylene-vinylene)-based copolymers are synthesized using the Gilch method incorporating monomers with sterically bulky sidechains. The photochemical upconversion performance of these polymers as emitters are investigated using a palladium tetraphenyltetrabenzoporphyrin triplet sensitizer and MEH-PPV as reference. Increased incorporation of sterically bulky monomers leads to a reduction in the upconversion efficiency despite improved photoluminescence quantum yield. A phosphorescence quenching study indicates issues with the energy transfer process between the triplet sensitizer and the copolymers. The best performance with 0.18% upconversion quantum yield is obtained for the copolymer containing 10% monomer with bulky sidechains.
Collagen-Targeted Peptides for Molecular Imaging of Diffuse Cardiac Fibrosis
Background Cardiac fibrosis is the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix in the heart, triggered by a cardiac insult, aging, genetics, or environmental factors. Molecular imaging of the cardiac extracellular matrix with targeted probes could improve diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. However, although this technology has been used to demonstrate focal scarring arising from myocardial infarction, its capacity to demonstrate extracellular matrix expansion and diffuse cardiac fibrosis has not been assessed. Methods and Results Here, we report the use of collagen-targeted peptides labeled with near-infrared fluorophores for the detection of diffuse cardiac fibrosis in the β2-AR (β-2-adrenergic receptor) overexpressing mouse model and in ischemic human hearts. Two approaches were evaluated, the first based on a T peptide that binds matrix metalloproteinase-2-proteolyzed collagen IV, and the second on the cyclic peptide EP-3533, which targets collagen I. The systemic and cardiac uptakes of both peptides (intravenously administered) were quantified ex vivo by near-infrared imaging of whole organs, tissue sections, and heart lysates. The peptide accumulation profiles corresponded to an immunohistochemically-validated increase in collagen types I and IV in hearts of transgenic mice versus littermate controls. The T peptide could encouragingly demonstrate both the intermediate (7 months old) and severe (11 months old) cardiomyopathic phenotypes. Co-immunostainings of fluorescent peptides and collagens, as well as reduced collagen binding of a control peptide, confirmed the collagen specificity of the tracers. Qualitative analysis of heart samples from patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy compared with nondiseased donors supported the collagen-enhancement capabilities of these peptides also in the clinical settings. Conclusions Together, these observations demonstrate the feasibility and translation potential of molecular imaging with collagen-binding peptides for noninvasive imaging of diffuse cardiac fibrosis.
Sono‐Fenton Chemistry Converts Phenol and Phenyl Derivatives into Polyphenols for Engineering Surface Coatings
We report a sono-Fenton strategy to mediate the supramolecular assembly of metal–phenolic networks (MPNs) as substrate-independent coatings using phenol and phenyl derivatives as building blocks. The assembly process is initiated from the generation of hydroxyl radicals (.OH) using high-frequency ultrasound (412 kHz), while the metal ions synergistically participate in the production of additional .OH for hydroxylation/phenolation of phenol and phenyl derivatives via the Fenton reaction and also coordinate with the phenolic compounds for film formation. The coating strategy is applicable to various phenol and phenyl derivatives and different metal ions including FeII, FeIII, CuII, and CoII. In addition, the sono-Fenton strategy allows real-time control over the assembly process by turning the high-frequency ultrasound on or off. The properties of the building blocks are maintained in the formed films. This work provides an environmentally friendly and controllable method to expand the application of phenolic coatings for surface engineering.
Ultrasound-Assisted Microencapsulation of Soybean Oil and Vitamin D Using Bare Glycogen Nanoparticles
Ultrasonically synthesized core-shell microcapsules can be made of synthetic polymers or natural biopolymers, such as proteins and polysaccharides, and have found applications in food, drug delivery and cosmetics. This study reports on the ultrasonic synthesis of microcapsules using unmodified (natural) and biodegradable glycogen nanoparticles derived from various sources, such as rabbit and bovine liver, oyster and sweet corn, for the encapsulation of soybean oil and vitamin D. Depending on their source, glycogen nanoparticles exhibited differences in size and 'bound' proteins. We optimized various synthetic parameters, such as ultrasonic power, time and concentration of glycogens and the oil phase to obtain stable core-shell microcapsules. Particularly, under ultrasound-induced emulsification conditions (sonication time 45 s and sonication power 160 W), native glycogens formed microcapsules with diameter between 0.3 μm and 8 μm. It was found that the size of glycogen as well as the protein component play an important role in stabilizing the Pickering emulsion and the microcapsules shell. This study highlights that native glycogen nanoparticles without any further tedious chemical modification steps can be successfully used for the encapsulation of nutrients.
Toward an Understanding of the Propensity for Crystalline Hydrate Formation by Molecular Compounds. Part 2
(AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2021-09-01)
The propensity of molecular organic compounds to form stoichiometric or nonstoichiometric crystalline hydrates remains a challenging aspect of crystal engineering and is of practical relevance to fields such as pharmaceutical science. In this work, we address the propensity for hydrate formation of a library of eight compounds comprised of 5- and 6-membered N-heterocyclic aromatics classified into three subgroups: linear dipyridyls, substituted Schiff bases, and tripodal molecules. Each molecular compound studied possesses strong hydrogen bond acceptors and is devoid of strong hydrogen bond donors. Four methods were used to screen for hydrate propensity using the anhydrate forms of the molecular compounds in our library: water slurry under ambient conditions, exposure to humidity, aqueous solvent drop grinding (SDG), and dynamic water vapor sorption (DVS). In addition, crystallization from mixed solvents was studied. Water slurry, aqueous SDG, and exposure to humidity were found to be the most effective methods for hydrate screening. Our study also involved a structural analysis using the Cambridge Structural Database, electrostatic potential (ESP) maps, full interaction maps (FIMs), and crystal packing motifs. The hydrate propensity of each compound studied was compared to a compound of the same type known to form a hydrate through a previous study of ours. Out of the eight newly studied compounds (herein numbered 4-11), three Schiff bases were observed to form hydrates. Three crystal structures (two hydrates and one anhydrate) were determined. Compound 6 crystallized as an isolated site hydrate in the monoclinic space group P21/a, while 7 and 10 crystallized in the monoclinic space group P21/c as a channel tetrahydrate and an anhydrate, respectively. Whereas we did not find any direct correlation between the number of H-bond acceptors and either hydrate propensity or the stoichiometry of the resulting hydrates, analysis of FIMs suggested that hydrates tend to form when the corresponding anhydrate structure does not facilitate intermolecular interactions.
Graphene/fluorescein dye-based sensor for detecting As(III) in drinking water
(NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2021-08-27)
A complex of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and fluorescein (FL) dye nanoparticles of size between 50 and 100 nm has been prepared and its sensing performance for detection of As(III) in drinking water has been reported. When As(III) binds to the rGO-FL nanoparticles the relative quenching of fluorescence was increased with increase in As(III) concentration thus provide two linear calibration ranges (0-4.0 mmol L-1 and 4.0-10 mmol L-1). The fluorescence quenching mechanism was investigated by using time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular modeling. The detection limit of this sensor has been determined as equal to 0.96 µg L-1 which is about 10 times lower than the WHO stipulated standard for As(III) in drinking water (10 µg L-1). The analytical performance and potential application of the nanosensor was compared to commercial field kits used in arsenic monitoring. The sensor proposed in this study is fast, sensitive and accurate for detection of As(III) in drinking water and environmental samples.
Selective crystallization via vibrational strong coupling
(ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2021-08-10)
The coupling of (photo)chemical processes to optical cavity vacuum fields is an emerging method for modulating molecular and material properties. Recent reports have shown that strong coupling of the vibrational modes of solvents to cavity vacuum fields can influence the chemical reaction kinetics of dissolved solutes. This suggests that vibrational strong coupling might also effect other important solution-based processes, such as crystallization from solution. Here we test this hitherto unexplored notion, investigating pseudopolymorphism in the crystallization from water of ZIF metal-organic frameworks inside optical microcavities. We find that ZIF-8 crystals are selectively obtained from solution inside optical microcavities, where the OH stretching vibration of water is strongly coupled to cavity vacuum fields, whereas mixtures of ZIF-8 and ZIF-L are obtained otherwise. Moreover, ZIF crystallization is accelerated by solvent vibrational strong coupling. This work suggests that cavity vacuum fields might become a tool for materials synthesis, biasing molecular self-assembly and driving macroscopic material outcomes.
Modeling radiative and non-radiative pathways at both the Franck-Condon and Herzberg-Teller approximation level.
(AIP Publishing, 2021-08-07)
Here, we present a concise model that can predict the photoluminescent properties of a given compound from first principles, both within and beyond the Franck-Condon approximation. The formalism required to compute fluorescence, Internal Conversion (IC), and Inter-System Crossing (ISC) is discussed. The IC mechanism, in particular, is a difficult pathway to compute due to difficulties associated with the computation of required bosonic configurations and non-adiabatic coupling elements. Here, we offer a discussion and breakdown on how to model these pathways at the Density Functional Theory (DFT) level with respect to its computational implementation, strengths, and current limitations. The model is then used to compute the photoluminescent quantum yield (PLQY) of a number of small but important compounds: anthracene, tetracene, pentacene, diketo-pyrrolo-pyrrole (DPP), and Perylene Diimide (PDI) within a polarizable continuum model. Rate constants for fluorescence, IC, and ISC compare well for the most part with respect to experiment, despite triplet energies being overestimated to a degree. The resulting PLQYs are promising with respect to the level of theory being DFT. While we obtained a positive result for PDI within the Franck-Condon limit, the other systems require a second order correction. Recomputing quantum yields with Herzberg-Teller terms yields PLQYs of 0.19, 0.08, 0.04, 0.70, and 0.99 for anthracene, tetracene, pentacene, DPP, and PDI, respectively. Based on these results, we are confident that the presented methodology is sound with respect to the level of quantum chemistry and presents an important stepping stone in the search for a tool to predict the properties of larger coupled systems.