Publications by authors named "Xiaojuan Gong"

67 Publications

A fluorometric and colorimetric dual-readout nanoprobe based on Cl and N co-doped carbon quantum dots with large stokes shift for sequential detection of morin and zinc ion.

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2021 Nov 27;261:120028. Epub 2021 May 27.

Institute of Environmental Science, and Shanxi Laboratory for Yellow River, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, PR China. Electronic address:

A novel visual nanoprobe was developed for the sequential detection of morin and zinc ion (Zn) based on Cl and N co-doped carbon quantum dots (ClNCQDs) via a fluorometric and colorimetric dual-readout mode. The yellow fluorescence ClNCQDs was synthesized by the one-step hydrothermal treatment of o-chlorobenzoic acid and p-phenylenediamine. The most distinctive property of the ClNCQDs is the large stokes shift (177 nm), which is significantly higher than other reported CQDs. The fluorescence of the ClNCQDs can be effectively quenched by morin based on the synergistic effect of IFE, electrostatic interaction, and dynamic quenching process, and recovered upon the addition of Zn due to strong interaction between morin and Zn. The nanoprobe exhibited favorable selectivity and sensitivity toward morin and Zn with detection limits of 0.09 µM and 0.17 µM, respectively. Simultaneously, the color of the ClNCQDs solution was changed (light-pink → faint-yellow → dark-yellow) along with the variation of the fluorescence signal of the ClNCQDs. This proposed nanoprobe was successfully applied for morin and Zn analyses in actual samples and live cells with high accuracy. The results of this study demonstrate the great application prospects of the ClNCQDs for morin and Zn detection in complex actual samples and biosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2021.120028DOI Listing
November 2021

Nitrogen-doped carbon dots for wash-free imaging of nucleolus orientation.

Mikrochim Acta 2021 May 10;188(6):183. Epub 2021 May 10.

Institute of Environmental Science, and Shanxi Laboratory for Yellow River, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, People's Republic of China.

Carbon dots (CDs) are a rising star in the field of cellular imaging, especially cytoplasmic imaging, attributing to the super-stable optical performance and ultra-low biological toxicity. Nucleolus can accurately reflect the expression state of a cell and is strongly linked to the occurrence and development of many diseases, so exploring bran-new CDs for nucleolus-orientation imaging with no-wash technology has important theoretical value and practical significance. Herein, nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) with green fluorescence (the relative fluorescence quantum yield of 24.4%) was fabricated by the hydrothermal treatment of m-phenylenediamine and p-aminobenzoic acid. The N-CDs possess small size, bright green fluorescence, abundant surface functional groups, excellent fluorescence stability and good biocompatibility, facilitating that the N-CDs are an excellent imaging reagent for cellular imaging. N-CDs can particularly bind to RNA in nucleoli to enhance their fluorescence, which ensures that the N-CDs can be used in nucleolus-orientation imaging with high specificity and wash-free technique. This study demonstrates that the N-CDs have a significant feasibility to be used for nucleolus-orientation imaging in biomedical analysis and clinical diagnostic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00604-021-04837-7DOI Listing
May 2021

Development of an ultrasensitive spectrophotometric method for carmine determination based on fluorescent carbon dots.

Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 2021 May 8;38(5):731-740. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, PR China.

A high-efficiency spectrophotometric method based on nitrogen-doped fluorescent carbon dots (N-FCDs) was developed for the ultrasensitive determination of carmine (CRM) in foodstuffs. The N-FCDs were fabricated via a one-pot hydrothermal method with -phenylenediamine as the starting material. The detection principle was based on the fluorescence quenching effect of N-FCDs by CRM, where their interaction was due to the inner filter effect (IFE) and static quenching. A good linear relationship was established for CRM detection in a concentration range of 0.1-10.0 μM with a detection limit as low as 11.2 nM. The proposed method achieved satisfactory results for CRM determination in commercial food products with recoveries better than 98.6% and relative standard deviations (RSDs) less than 4.07%. The method established in this study was simple, ultrasensitive and reliable for rapid detecting CRM in a food matrix, which could be potentially used as a useful sensing agent for the analysis of additive food colourants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19440049.2021.1889045DOI Listing
May 2021

Correction to: Development of a highly sensitive fluorescence method for tartrazine determination in food matrices based on carbon dots.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2021 Mar 12;413(8):2275. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, 225001, Jiangsu, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-021-03217-7DOI Listing
March 2021

Azithromycin detection in cells and tablets by N,S co-doped carbon quantum dots.

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2021 May 29;252:119506. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Institute of Environmental Science, and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, PR China. Electronic address:

Azithromycin (AZM) is one of the most widely used antibiotics. AZM abuse is easy to cause great harm to human body, so developing a rapid and sensitive method to detect AZM is of great importance. Herein, 3-aminothiophenol as only reaction precursor, nitrogen and sulfur co-doped carbon quantum dots (N,S-CQDs) were fabricated by one-step hydrothermal carbonization method. All characteristics demonstrate that N,S-CQDs possess good water solubility, high fluorescence stability and low cytotoxicity. Without being disturbed by amino acids and drugs, the most interesting finding is that AZM can efficiently quench the fluorescence of N,S-CQDs by a synergistic effect of electrostatic interaction and static quenching. A fluorescent probe for the detection of AZM was constructed with high selectivity and good sensitivity, achieving two linear ranges of 2.5-32.3 μM and 37.2-110 μM and a limit of detection of 0.76 µM. The proposed fluorescent method was used for the detection of AZM in cells with fulfilling results. More importantly, the fluorescent probe was successfully used to the detection of AZM in tablets and human urine with recovery rate and relative standard deviations of 98.2-104.8% and 0.04-3.46%, respectively, which was confirmed by the standard method of HPLC-UV. This finding illustrates the usefulness and feasibility of N,S-CQDs as an effective fluorescent probe for the detection of AZM in tablets and human urine, which is helpful for supervising and guiding pharmacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2021.119506DOI Listing
May 2021

A facile synthesis of long-wavelength emission nitrogen-doped carbon dots for intracellular pH variation and hypochlorite sensing.

Biomater Sci 2021 Mar 3;9(6):2255-2261. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Institute of Environmental Science, and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, No. 92 Wucheng rd., Taiyuan 030006, China.

Intracellular pH and hypochlorite (ClO) concentration play an important role in life activities, so there is an urgent need to develop a valid strategy to monitor pH and ClO in biological systems with high sensitivity and specificity. In this study, we report long-wavelength emission nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) and their potential applications in intracellular pH variation, ClO sensing and cell imaging. The N-CDs were prepared via a facile one-pot hydrothermal method of neutral red (NR) and glutamine (Gln). N-CDs exhibited a pH-sensitive response in the range of 4.0-9.0 and a good linear relationship in the range of 5.6-7.4, which indicated that N-CDs are an ideal agent for monitoring pH fluctuations in living cells. In addition, ClO was capable of reducing the photoluminescence of N-CDs based on static quenching. The linear range is 1.5-112.5 μM and 112.5-187.5 μM, and the LOD is 0.27 μM. Besides, the as-fabricated N-CDs have been smoothly achieved to monitor pH and ClO in PC-12 living cells due to their great biocompatibility and lower cytotoxicity, demonstrating their promising applications in the biomedical field. Compared with other CD-based methods, the as-proposed N-CDs have a longer fluorescence emission, which makes them potentially valuable in biological systems. The results pave a way towards the construction of long-wavelength carbon-based nanomaterials for fluorescence sensing and cell imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0bm02047hDOI Listing
March 2021

One-step synthesis of red emission multifunctional carbon dots for label-free detection of berberine and curcumin and cell imaging.

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2021 Apr 6;251:119432. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Institute of Environmental Science, and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China. Electronic address:

In this work, the red emission multifunctional carbon dots (R-CDs) were prepared via one-pot hydrothermal strategy of neutral red (NR) and ethylenediamine (EDA) for the label-free detection of berberine and curcumin, cell imaging, and fluorescent flexible film. The as-fabricated R-CDs not only possess good water dispersibility and excellent fluorescence stability, but also were successfully employed as a photoluminescent nanoprobe for label-free monitoring of berberine (BRH) and curcumin (Cur) based on dynamic quenching and internal filter effect (IFE), respectively. More importantly, as-proposed R-CDs displayed outstanding cellular permeability and lower cytotoxicity for cellular applications, which was consistent with the results of confocal fluorescence imaging and cell viability measurement of SMMC7721 cells. Thus, the multifunctional R-CDs may provide a rich tool library for biosensing and cellular imaging reagent applications. Interestingly, R-CDs were also used to manufacture R-CDs/PVA composites as fluorescent flexible films. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a label-free multifunctional fluorescent nanoprobe for berberine and curcumin based on red emission CDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2021.119432DOI Listing
April 2021

Development of a highly sensitive fluorescence method for tartrazine determination in food matrices based on carbon dots.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2021 Feb 19;413(5):1485-1492. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, 225001, Jiangsu, China.

In this work, an ultrasensitive sensing system based on fluorescent carbon dots (CDs) was developed for the tartrazine (Tar) determination. The CDs were prepared via a simple one-pot hydrothermal method with m-phenylenediamine as the only precursor. The physical and chemical properties were in detail characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), MALDI-TOF MS, UV-vis absorption and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Upon exposure to Tar, the fluorescence of CDs was efficiently quenched via the dynamic interaction between CDs and Tar as well as the inner filter effect (IFE). With this information, the CDs were proposed as a fluorescence probe for Tar detection. It was found that CDs had high sensitivity and selectivity for Tar sensing, and the linear relationship was observed in the range of 0.01-25.0 μM with the corresponding detection limit (3σ/k) of 12.4 nM, which is much more sensitive than any of the existed CD-based sensing platform. The investigated sensing system was finally utilized for Tar sensing in various food matrices with a high degree of accuracy. The spiked recoveries were in a range of 96.4-105.2%, and the relative standard deviations (RSDs) were lower than 4.13%. This work highlights the great application prospects of CDs for Tar sensing in a rapid, simple, and sensitive way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-020-03118-1DOI Listing
February 2021

Ratiometric fluorescent sensors for sequential on-off-on determination of riboflavin, Ag and l-cysteine based on NPCl-doped carbon quantum dots.

Anal Chim Acta 2021 Feb 2;1144:1-13. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Institute of Environmental Science, And School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, PR China. Electronic address:

The fluorescent sensor, especially ratiometric fluorescent sensor, is one of the most important applications for CQDs, which is becoming a research hotspot. Herein, carbon quantum dots co-doped with nitrogen, phosphorus and chlorine (NPCl-CQDs) were synthesized by acid-base neutralization reaction exothermic carbonization method. The as-fabricated NPCl-CQDs could emit blue fluorescence and possess excellent fluorescence properties. Based on the FRET, multifunctional and ratiometric fluorescent sensors for "on-off-on" sequential determination of riboflavin, Ag, and Cys with good selectivity and high sensitivity were established. The linear range of riboflavin, Ag, and Cys are 0.50-10.18 μM and 15.89-27.76 μM, 0.66-1.46 mM and 1.50-4.20 mM, and 0.01-0.15 μM and 0.15-0.36 μM with the limit of detection of 3.50 nM, 26.38 μM, and 0.96 nM, respectively. Furthermore, the sensors were successfully used to determine riboflavin, Ag, and Cys in tablets, river water, and human urine with the recoveries of 95.2-104.0%, 95.6-102.0%, and 94.8-106.4%, respectively. More importantly, the as-constructed "on-off-on" NPCl-CQDs-based ratiometric fluorescent sensors were applied for detecting riboflavin, Ag, and Cys in HeLa cells with satisfying results. The finding of this study shows the feasibility and effectiveness of the NPCl-CQDs as the available ratiometric fluorescent sensors for the determination of riboflavin, Ag, and Cys in real samples and living cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2020.11.054DOI Listing
February 2021

Nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and chlorine co-doped carbon nanodots as an "off-on" fluorescent probe for sequential detection of curcumin and europium ion and luxuriant applications.

Mikrochim Acta 2021 01 5;188(1):16. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Institute of Environmental Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, People's Republic of China.

Nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and chlorine co-doped carbon nanodots (NSPCl-CNDs) were fabricated by acid-base neutralization and exothermic carbonization of glucose. The obtained NSPCl-CNDs possess excellent fluorescence properties and good biocompatibility. Curcumin (Cur) can dramatically quench the fluorescence of NSPCl-CNDs based on a synergistic effect of electrostatic interaction, inner filter effect, and static quenching, so a "turn-off" fluorescent probe for Cur detection was constructed with linear ranges of 0.24-13.16 μM and 13.62-57.79 μM. The LOD and LOQ of this fluorescent probe for Cur are 8.71 nM and 29.03 nM, respectively. More importantly, the fluorescence of the NSPCl-CNDs-Cur system can be recovered by europium ion (Eu), so a "turn-on" fluorescent probe for Eu determination was established. The linear range, LOD, and LOQ for the detection of Eu were 2.36-32.91 μΜ, 73.29 nM, and 244.30 nM, respectively. The proposed fluorescence methods were successfully utilized for Cur and Eu determination in real samples with recoveries in the range 95.64-104.13% and 97.06-98.70%, respectively. Furthermore, the qualitative analysis of Cur can be realized by reagent strips with satisfying results. Finally, the as-constructed "off-on" fluorescent probe was successfully used to sequentially analyze Cur and Eu at the cellular level. This method is simple and easy to implement, manifesting that NSPCl-CNDs have potential application value in fluorescent probing, food and drug testing, environmental monitoring, and cellular labeling. Graphical abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00604-020-04618-8DOI Listing
January 2021

A sensitive spectrofluorimetry method based on S and N dual-doped carbon nanoparticles for ultra-trace detection of ferrocyanide ion in food salt samples.

Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 2021 Feb 10;38(2):195-207. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University , Yangzhou, Jiangsu, PR China.

An ultra-sensitive spectrofluorimetry method was developed and validated for the rapid determination of ferrocyanide ions (hexacyanidoferrate(II), FeCN , FCNs) by using sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) dual-doped fluorescence carbon nanoparticles (-FCNPs) as nanoprobe. The fluorescence of -FCNPs was strongly reduced due to the dynamic interaction between -FCNPs and FeCNs. The developed method proved to be highly sensitive and selective for FeCNs detection with linearity in three concentration ranges over four orders of magnitude, covering 0.01-200.0 μg/mL. A limit of detection (LOD) of 2.8 ng/mL was obtained. The method was successfully applied for the determination of FeCNs in a series of dietary food salt samples and gave satisfactory results; the spiked recoveries were 97.6‒104.6% with standard uncertainty less than 5.8%. The method proved to be applicable for ultra-trace detection of FeCNs in food salt samples, having advantages in great simplicity, rapid response, low cost, favourable selectivity, and high sensitivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19440049.2020.1852322DOI Listing
February 2021

Fe and intracellular pH determination based on orange fluorescence carbon dots co-doped with boron, nitrogen and sulfur.

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 2021 Jan 3;118:111478. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Institute of Environmental Science, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, PR China.

The fluorescent boron, nitrogen and sulfur co-doped carbon dots (BNSCDs) were prepared by simple hydrothermal reaction of 4-carboxyphenylboronic acid and 2,5-diaminobenzenesulfonic acid at 200 °C for 8 h. The fluorescence of the BNSCDs could be quenched by Fe based on the electron transfer between Fe and BNSCDs, so a label-free, good selectivity and high sensitivity method for Fedetermination was established with linear range and LOD of 1.5-692 μmol/L and 87 nmol/L, respectively. And then the fluorescent probe was employed for detection of Fe in tap water, coal gangue, fly ash and food samples successfully. Moreover, the as-prepared BNSCDs could serve as a novel pH fluorescent probe in the range of pH 1.60-7.00, which could be attributed to the proton transfer of carboxyl groups on the surface of BNSCDs. More importantly, the pH fluorescent probe possesses fast, real-time and low toxicity, applying for intracellular pH fluorescence imaging in HIC, HIEC, LO2 and SMMC7721 cells. In view of its simplicity, timely response and outstanding compatibility, the as-fabricated BNSCDs show the potential applications in water quality and solid waste monitoring, food detection, real-time measuring of intracellular pH change in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2020.111478DOI Listing
January 2021

Disturbance of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in hepatic lipid metabolism in rats fed with high fat diet.

Food Chem Toxicol 2020 Dec 6;146:111848. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Institute of Environmental Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, China. Electronic address:

Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), which is widely used as an industrial plasticizer, may cause liver damage. Concomitantly, bad dietary habits can exacerbate the liver burden. In this study, high-fat diet (HFD)-fed rats were treated with DEHP (10, 100, or 300 mg/kg bw) for 5 weeks, and a biochemical method was adopted to detect serum lipid contents. Key metabolic genes and pathological changes were assessed by different methods (RT-PCR, Western Bloting, ELISA and HE staining). The rats which were exposed to DEHP at a dose of 10 mg/kg bw exhibited dyslipidemia and increased transcription of SREBP-1 and its target FAS, thereby prompting de novo lipogenesis, but they did not become obese. Instead, DEHP at a dose of 300 mg/kg bw elevated the levels of AMPK phosphorylation and the mRNA levels of PPAR-α, PGC-1α, CPT-1 and lipin-1 in the liver, which led to fatty acid oxidation. Additionally, DEHP at the highest dose increased the TNF-α mRNA expression in the liver. Based on these findings, we conclude that excess fatty acid oxidation might increase the inflammatory response. No toxic effects on hepatic function were observed. These findings suggest that different doses of DEHP have the potential to disturb hepatic metabolic imbalance in HFD-fed rats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111848DOI Listing
December 2020

A turn-off-on near-infrared photoluminescence sensor for sequential detection of Fe and ascorbic acid based on glutathione-capped gold nanoclusters.

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2021 Feb 22;247:119085. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Institute of Environmental Science, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, PR China.

Many reports have suggested that near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes are one of the most promising molecules for improving the sensitivity of fluorescence sensing and imaging. Herein, gold nanoclusters with excellent near-infrared photoluminescence (PL) were synthesized by a simply hydrothermal treatment of hydrogen tetrachloroaurate(III) trihydrate and glutathione (GSH). The NIR PL of GSH-capped gold nanoclusters (GSH-AuNCs) can be significantly quenched by Fe, which follows a dynamic quenching mechanism. However, the NIR PL of the GSH-AuNCs/Fe system can be recovered after the addition of ascorbic acid (AA). The decrease and increase of NIR PL intensities of GSH-AuNCs were linearly correlated with the concentration of Fe and AA, respectively. Therefore, a turn-off-on NIR PL sensing strategy can be constructed for sequential detection of Fe and AA with the linear range of 0.7-180 μM and 0.5-120 μM, respectively. The proposed NIR PL sensor exhibits excellent sensing performance and has been applied to the determination of Fe and AA in real samples with satisfactory results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2020.119085DOI Listing
February 2021

MICA polymorphisms associated with antithyroid drug-induced agranulocytosis in the Chinese Han population.

Immun Inflamm Dis 2020 12 5;8(4):695-703. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.

Background: Graves' disease (GD) is a clinical autoimmune thyroid disease. During the treatment of GD, antithyroid drug-induced agranulocytosis (TIA) is a common and even life-threatening adverse drug reaction. Previous studies suggested that susceptibility to TIA is strongly associated with HLA-B*27:05, HLA-B*38:02, and HLA-DRB1*08:03 genetic variation and six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MICA genes.

Aims: The purpose of this study is to further study the associations between TIA, HLA-B and MICA.

Materials & Methods: We genotyped MICA-STR and MICA-129 variants in 41 TIA and 308 control patients with GD and investigated the linkage effect among SNPs and short tandem repeat (STR) of MICA and HLA-B alleles.

Results: The results showed that MICA*A5.1 was significantly associated with TIA (p = .007, odd ratio = 1.958, 95% confidence interval, 1.192-3.214). In addition, high linkage among MICA-129 and six SNPs MICA and HLA-B was detected, and two haplotypes (AAAACAAAAACGGCCTA and AACAAAAAAAACATTAA (p = 5.14E-07 and p = 3.42E-08, respectively)) were significantly associated with TIA. Furthermore, when we analyzed only MICA-129 and HLA-B separately, the haplotypes (AAAACAAAAAA with p = 2.49E-07 and AACAAAAAAAA with p = 2.14E-09) were identified with more significant effects. MICA-129 was completely linked to six SNPs with haplotypes ACATTACA (p = 2.05E-05) significantly associated with TIA.

Conclusion: These data indicated that there was a significant linkage effect between MICA-129 and other alleles, suggesting that they exert interactive effects as risk factors for the development of TIA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iid3.359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7654430PMC
December 2020

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma preferentially takes up and is suppressed by synthetic nanoparticles carrying apolipoprotein A-II and a lipid gemcitabine prodrug in mice.

Cancer Lett 2020 12 16;495:112-122. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

CSIRO Manufacturing, 11 Julius Ave, North Ryde NSW 2113, Australia; NanoMed Pty Ltd, 2/11-13 Orion Road, Lane Cove West 2066, New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address:

We hypothesised that synthetic HDL nanoparticles carrying a gemcitabine prodrug and apolipoprotein A-II (sHDLGemA2) would target scavenger receptor-B1 (SR-B1) to preferentially and safely deliver gemcitabine into pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We designed, manufactured and characterised sHDLGemA2 nanoparticles sized ~130 nm, incorporating 20 mol% of a gemcitabine prodrug within the lipid bilayer, which strengthens on adding ApoA-II. We measured their ability to inhibit growth in cell lines and cell-derived and patient-derived murine PDAC xenografts. Fluorescent-labelled sHDLGemA2 delivered gemcitabine inside xenografts. Xenograft levels of active gemcitabine after sHDLGemA2 were similar to levels after high-dose free gemcitabine. Growth inhibition in mice receiving 4.5 mg gemcitabine/kg/d, carried in sHDLGemA2, was equivalent to inhibition after high-dose (75 mg/kg/d) free gemcitabine, and greater than inhibition after low-dose (4.5 mg/kg/d) free gemcitabine. sHDLGemA2 slowed growth in semi-resistant cells and a resistant human xenograft. sHDLGemA2 targeted xenografts more effectively than sHDLGemA1. SR-B1 was over-expressed in PDAC cells and xenografts. Targeting by ApoA-II was suppressed by anti-SR-B1. Because sHDLGemA2 provided only ~6% of the free gemcitabine dose for an equivalent response, patient side effects can be greatly reduced, and the sHDLGemA2 concept should be developed through clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2020.08.045DOI Listing
December 2020

Design of long-wavelength emission carbon dots for hypochlorous detection and cellular imaging.

Talanta 2020 Nov 25;219:121170. Epub 2020 May 25.

Institute of Environmental Science, And School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, China. Electronic address:

A facile strategy for the preparation of nitrogen and phosphorus co-doped carbon dots (N, P-CDs) with long-wavelength emission is attractively proposed in one-pot hydrothermal strategy. The resulting N, P-CDs hold exceptional optical features and display excitation wavelength-independent properties with the emission wavelength at 590 nm, which enable it with the satisfactory relative quantum yield (QY) of 15.6% in long-wavelength region. In addition, the proposed N, P-CDs demonstrates specific selectivity towards ClO over other competitive reactive oxygen species and exhibits rapid fluorescence response time to ClO. Moreover, the N, P-CDs exhibits low-cytotoxicity and excellent cell membrane permeability for recognizing ClO in SMMC-7721 cells, which demonstrates their enormous potential in biological system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2020.121170DOI Listing
November 2020

A novel forensic panel of 186-plex SNPs and 123-plex STR loci based on massively parallel sequencing.

Int J Legal Med 2021 May 26;135(3):709-718. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

College of Forensic Medicine, Health Science Center, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China.

The MiSeq® FGX Forensic system and the HID-Ion AmpliSeq Panel were previously developed for massively parallel sequencing (MPS) for forensic casework. Among the three major sequencing platforms, BGISEQ-500, which is based on multiple PCRs, is still lacking in forensics. Here, a novel forensic panel was constructed to detect 186 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 123 short tandem repeats (STRs) with MPS technology on the BGISEQ-500™ platform. First, the library preparation, sequencing process, and data analysis were performed, focusing on the average depth of coverage and heterozygote balance. We calculated the allelic frequencies and forensic parameters of STR and SNP loci in 73 unrelated Chinese Han individuals. In addition, performance was evaluated with accuracy, uniformity, sensitivity, PCR inhibitor, repeatability and reproducibility, mixtures, degraded samples, case-type samples, and pedigree analyses. The results showed that 100% accurate and concordant genotypes can be obtained, and the loci with an abundance in the interquartile range accounted for 92.90% of the total, suggesting reliable uniformity in this panel. We obtained a locus detection rate that was higher than 98.78% from 78 pg of input DNA, and the optimal amount was 1.25-10 ng. The maximum concentrations of hematin and humic acid were 200 and 100 μM, respectively (the ratios of detected loci were 96.52% and 92.41%), in this panel. As a mixture, compared with those of SNPs, minor-contributor alleles of STRs could be detected at higher levels. For the degraded sample, the ratio of detected loci was 98.41%, and most profiles from case-type samples were not significantly different in abundance in our studies. As a whole, this panel showed high-performance, reliable, robust, repeatable, and reproducible results, which are sufficient for paternity testing, individual identification, and use for potentially degraded samples in forensic science.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02403-zDOI Listing
May 2021

Hypoxia imaging in living cells, tissues and zebrafish with a nitroreductase-specific fluorescent probe.

Analyst 2020 Aug 8;145(16):5657-5663. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Institute of Environmental Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, P. R. China.

Hypoxia in solid tumors is directly linked to the elevated levels of endogenous nitroreductase (NTR). We present a novel fluorescent probe, namely NTNO, for nitroreductase-specific detection based on the NTR-catalyzed reduction of the nitro unit to an amine functionality, and demonstrated its application for hypoxia imaging. NTNO was designed by incorporating a nitro unit as the NTR response site into a benzothiazole derivative. Upon reacting with NTR in the presence of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), the fluorescence of the probe was strongly and sensitively turned on, with a good linearity in the NTR concentration range of 0.5-8.0 μg mL and a detection limit of 48 ng mL. Most notably, NTNO has been successfully used for imaging hypoxia levels in living cells, tumor tissues and zebrafish, making it of great potential to monitor NTR in biological systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0an00378fDOI Listing
August 2020

Biomimetic Gemcitabine-Lipid Prodrug Nanoparticles for Pancreatic Cancer.

Chempluschem 2020 06;85(6):1283-1291

CSIRO Manufacturing, P.O. BOX 52, North Ryde, NSW, 1670, Australia.

Gemcitabine (Gem) is a key drug for pancreatic cancer, yet limited by high systemic toxicity, low bioavailability and poor pharmacokinetic profiles. To overcome these limitations, Gem prodrug amphiphiles were synthesised with oleyl, linoleyl and phytanyl chains. Self-assembly and lyotropic mesophase behaviour of these amphiphiles were examined using polarised optical microscopy and Synchrotron SAXS (SSAXS). Gem-phytanyl was found to form liquid crystalline inverse cubic mesophase. This prodrug was combined with phospholipids and cholesterol to create biomimetic Gem-lipid prodrug nanoparticles (Gem-LPNP), verified by SSAXS and cryo-TEM to form liposomes. In vitro testing of the Gem-LPNP in several pancreatic cancer cell lines showed lower toxicity than Gem. However, in a cell line-derived pancreatic cancer mouse model Gem-LPNP displayed greater tumour growth inhibition than Gem using a fraction (<6 %) of the clinical dose and without any systemic toxicity. The easy production, improved efficacy and low toxicity of Gem-LPNP represents a promising new nanomedicine for pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cplu.202000253DOI Listing
June 2020

Bright-yellow-emissive nitrogen-doped carbon nanodots as a fluorescent nanoprobe for the straightforward detection of glutathione in food samples.

Food Chem 2020 May 1;325:126946. Epub 2020 May 1.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, PR China. Electronic address:

In this work, a novel yellow-emissive nanoprobe was for the first time developed for the fast detection of glutathione (GSH) based on nitrogen-doped carbon nanodots (N-CNDs) prepared via hydrothermal heating of o-Phenylenediamine. The N-CNDs and GSH could form non-fluorescent complex via static interaction, resulting in the fluorescence quenching of N-CNDs. Under optimal conditions, the N-CNDs served as a fluorescent nanoprobe for GSH sensing in a straightforward way with high selectivity and sensitivity. Two good linear responses were found for GSH detection in concentration ranges of 0.1-1.0 μM and 1.0-220.0 μM, respectively. The corresponding detection limits are as low as 0.059 μM and 5.54 μM, respectively. Meanwhile, the proposed sensing system was successfully applied for GSH determination in vegetable and fruit samples with high accuracy. This work highlights the detection of GSH in a simple, fast, cost-effective, selective and ultrasensitive way, which paves a new way for other food quality monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126946DOI Listing
May 2020

A ratiometric and far-red fluorescence "off-on" sensor for sequential determination of copper(II) and L-histidine based on FRET system between N-acetyl-L-cysteine-capped AuNCs and N,S,P co-doped carbon dots.

Mikrochim Acta 2020 04 28;187(5):299. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Institute of Environmental Science, and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, People's Republic of China.

A far-red fluorescence "off-on" sensing strategy is described for sequential ratiometric determination of Cu and L-histidine (L-His) based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) system. N,S,P co-doped carbon dots (N,S,P-CDs) and N-acetyl-L-cysteine functionalized gold nanoclusters (NAC-AuNCs) are used in the FRET system, which serve as energy donor and acceptor, respectively. After adding NAC-AuNCs into the solution of N,S,P-CDs, the fluorescence of N,S,P-CDs is effectively quenched, while the far-red fluorescence of NAC-AuNCs appears. Cu can decrease fluorescence of NAC-AuNCs, and then L-His can effectively recover the fluorescence of NAC-AuNCs. The possible reason is that the stronger affinity between Cu and L-His can pull Cu away from the surface of NAC-AuNCs. Through it all, the emission intensity of N,S,P-CDs remains nearly constant, so the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 485 and 625 nm exhibits a linear correlation to the Cu and L-His concentration, respectively. The sensing platform shows good selectivity towards Cu and L-His with a linear range of 0.65-26.58 μM and 3.13-56.25 μM and determination limits of 0.50 μM and 0.374 μM, respectively. The proposed method has been successfully used for Cu and L-His determination in real samples with satisfying results. Graphical abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00604-020-04242-6DOI Listing
April 2020

Study on the Relationship Between Microbial Composition and Living Environment in Important Medical Mites Based on Illumina MiSeq Sequencing Technology.

J Med Entomol 2020 07;57(4):1049-1056

Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China.

The microbiota of mites is closely related to their growth, development, and pathogenicity. Therefore, it is necessary to study the bacteria in mites. Here, for the first time, based on 16s rRNA V3-V4 region, the microbiota of 45 samples of nine species in six families of medically important mites were analyzed using Illumina MiSeq sequencing technique. The results showed that, at the phylum level, Proteobacteria (56.20-86.40%) were the dominant, followed by Firmicutes (6.41-19.43%), Bacteroidetes (5.56-13.38%) and Actinobacteria (1.93-28.07%). But at the genera the microbiota of mites are different, showing four characteristics: 1) The microbiota is related to the parasitic host. Demodex folliculorum (Acariforms: Demodicidae) and D. brevis (Acariforms: Demodicidae), both parasitizing humans, showed similar microbial composition, as did D. canis (Acariforms: Demodicidae) and Sarcoptes scabiei canis (Acariforms: Sarcoptidae) parasitizing dogs, but D. caprae (Acariforms: Demodicidae) parasitizing sheep showed unique microbial community; 2) The microbiota is related to mite's species. Dermatophagoides farinae and Cheyletus malaccensis (Acariforms: Cheyletidae), both collecting from flour, show respective microbial composition; 3) The microbiota is related to the life stage. There were differences in microbiota between adults and larvae of D. farinae, but no differences observed in Psoroptes cuniculi (Acariforms: Psoroptidae); and 4) The microbiota is related to the blood-feeding state. The microbiota of blood-fed Ornithonyssus bacoti (Parasitiformes: Macronyssidae) adults was significantly higher than that of unfed adults. This indicates that the microbiota of mites is affected by mite species, parasitic host, growth stage and habitat. Therefore, understanding these influencing factors will have a very important guiding significance for the prevention and control of mite-borne diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjaa034DOI Listing
July 2020

A fast detection of peroxynitrite in living cells.

Anal Chim Acta 2020 Apr 5;1106:96-102. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Institute of Environmental Science, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, PR China. Electronic address:

Peroxynitrite (ONOO) plays a crucial role in the regulation of diverse pathophysiological processes, and high level of ONOO is profound association with numerous diseases. Herein, we developed an anthraquinone-based fluorescent probe L for ONOO determination by a new recognition mechanism: amido oxidized nitroso-group by ONOO. Probe L with amine-based recognition receptor is more selective to ONOO than other reactive oxygen species, including HO and ClO. Furthermore, ONOO could be rapidly detected by probe L with a Limit of Detection of 13 nM. More importantly, L could be used to monitor intracellular ONOO in SMMC-7721 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2020.02.009DOI Listing
April 2020

Stress response and silencing verification of heat shock proteins in Dermatophagoides farinae under temperature stress.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Feb 5;144:351-361. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, China.

Dermatophagoides farinae is a major exogenous allergen. Its ability to tolerate adverse external temperatures makes it responsible for widespread occurrence of allergies. Heat shock protein (HSP), a recognized temperature stress response gene, but its role in D. farinae remained unclear. Here, we performed a comprehensive study. First, we found that 25 °C was the optimal temperature, and all mites died at 48 or -20 °C for 1 h (LT100). Thus, 41 °C (LT15), 43 °C (LT25), 45 °C (LT45), and -10 °C (LT25) were selected as stress temperatures to perform de novo RNA-seq. Then, 17 main genes of the 47 differentially expressed HSP, were detected by qRT-PCR. Temperature and time gradient versus expression magnitude histogram revealed that HSP70, HSP83-1, HSP83-2, and HSP16-1 showed heat stress response only at 41-43 °C, while HSC71 and HSF played a regulatory role under both heat and cold stress, particularly HSF, with strong intensity, long duration, and quick upregulation at recovery for 10-20 min. Finally, gene expression and D. farinae survival rates significantly decreased following RNAi. These findings indicated that HSPs conferred thermo-tolerance or cold-tolerance to D. farinae. In conclusion, this was the first meaningful exploration that confirmed HSP and HSF playing an important role in temperature resistance of D. farinae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.12.014DOI Listing
February 2020

De novo transcriptome sequencing and differential gene expression analysis of two parasitic human Demodex species.

Parasitol Res 2019 Dec 6;118(12):3223-3235. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong University, No.76 Yanta West Road, Xi'an, 710061, China.

Demodex are among the tiniest organisms in Acari and are important mammalian parasites. However, differences in pathogenicity between two human parasites, Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis, remain unknown. Related genetic studies are limited by RNA extraction difficulties and molecular data deficiencies. In this study, RNA extraction, de novo sequencing, functional annotation, and differential gene expression analyses were performed to compare D. folliculorum and D. brevis. This yielded 67.09 and 65.10 million clean reads, respectively, with similar annotations. Bioinformatics analyses and manual alignments identified 237 coding sequences comprising 48 genes from 29 families, including five important functional classes. Of these, 30 genes from 20 families related to metabolism, motion, detoxification and stress response, and allergic reaction were differentially expressed between the two species. Cathepsin type 1, serine protease inhibitor, arginine kinase, triosephosphate isomerase, muscle-specific protein 20-2, myosin alkaline light chain, troponin C, tropomyosin, and heat shock protein 90 were highly expressed in D. folliculorum, whereas cathepsin type 2, aspartic protease, serine protease, myosin heavy chain type 2, and alpha tubulin type 1C were highly expressed in D. brevis. Verified coding sequences were nearly consistent with unigene clusters. Further, absolute quantification results demonstrated that differentially expressed genes followed the predicted expression trend. Therefore, the first RNA sequencing and functional annotation analysis of two Demodex species was successful. Differential expression of important functional genes is likely implicated in pathogenicity disparities between these two species. Our study provides molecular data and technical support for further studies on human Demodex pathogenicity and functional genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-019-06461-0DOI Listing
December 2019

Comparative study of Cl,N-Cdots and N-Cdots and application for trinitrophenol and ClO sensor and cell-imaging.

Anal Chim Acta 2019 Dec 7;1091:76-87. Epub 2019 Sep 7.

Institute of Environmental Science and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, PR China. Electronic address:

To understand the effect of Cl doping in carbon dots, nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-Cdots) and nitrogen and chlorine dual-doped carbon dots (Cl,N-Cdots) were fabricated by high-temperature carbonization and low-temperature concentrated acid (HCl) acidification of dried shaddock peel, respectively. The quantum yield of Cl,N-Cdots is about four times of that of N-Cdots and the size of Cl,N-Cdots is smaller than that of N-Cdots. Furthermore, since trinitrophenol (PA) and ClO could effectively quench the fluorescence of Cl,N-Cdots, the fluorescence sensors for determining PA and ClO was constructed, respectively. The linear range of PA and ClO are 0.9-90 μM and 3.24-216 μM with the limit of detection of 37.1 nM and 2.88 μM, respectively. The proposed sensor was used to detect PA in Taiyuan tap water, Wutai tap water, Wutai rain water and Wutai river water samples with encouraging results. The as-constructed sensor was also used to detect ClO in Taiyuan tap water and commercial disinfectants. Last but not least, Cl,N-Cdots was employed as an agent for A549 and HeLa cell-imaging, possessing optimal imaging effect and ultra-low cytotoxicity. Our results suggested that Cl,N-Cdots has promising applications in sensing, water monitoring, commodity supervision and cell-imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2019.09.019DOI Listing
December 2019

A sensitivity enhanced fluorescence method for the detection of ferrocyanide ions in foodstuffs using carbon nanoparticles as sensing agents.

Food Chem 2020 Mar 16;308:125590. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, PR China. Electronic address:

A novel fluorescent nanoprobe was for the first time developed for the efficient detection of ferrocyanide ions ([Fe(CN)]) based on nitrogen (N), sulfur (S) and chlorine (Cl) co-doped carbon nanoparticles (N,S,Cl-CNPs). The N,S,Cl-CNPs were fabricated through a simple and ultrafast acid-base neutralization method. The sensing mechanism was based on the quenching effect of [Fe(CN)] on the fluorescence emission of N,S,Cl-CNPs via dynamic interaction. The N,S,Cl-CNPs were found to show high selectivity and sensitivity towards [Fe(CN)] detection with two good linear relationships were achieved in the concentration ranges of 0.01-1.0 μg/mL and 1.0-50.0 μg/mL, respectively, and the detection limits are as low as 3.3 and 21.8 ng/mL, respectively. The proposed fluorescence method was successfully applied for [Fe(CN)] analyses in food samples with high accuracy. The results of this study indicate the great application prospects of N,S,Cl-CNPs for [Fe(CN)] detection in complex food matrix.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.125590DOI Listing
March 2020

Controllable Fabrication, Photoluminescence Mechanism, and Novel Application of Green-Yellow-Orange Fluorescent Carbon-Based Nanodots.

ACS Biomater Sci Eng 2019 Oct 4;5(10):5060-5071. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

Institute of Environmental Science, and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, P. R. China.

Carbon-based nanodots (CBNs), as spick-and-span carbon nanomaterials, have been widely studied and applied in numerous fields. However, the controlled fabrication and photoluminescence (PL) mechanism remains an incompletely understood and widely debated topic. Herein, green, yellow, and orange light-emitting CBNs were fabricated by a one-step hydrothermal process with 4-aminobenzoic acid and 1,3-diaminobenzene, 1,2-diaminobenzene, and 1,4-diaminobenzene as precursors, respectively; the resulting CBNs were named gCBNs, yCBNs, and oCBNs, respectively. By adjusting the reaction conditions, including precursor, solvent, atmosphere, and dissolved solvent, the controllable fabrication of CBNs can be realized. We speculate that the PL of CBNs is dominated by the degrees of oxidation and amidation, which, together, cause the differences in the density of N-states and quantum size, ultimately manifesting as changes in three CBNs' fluorescence behaviors. Finally, the CBNs were used as agents to image four model cells, demonstrating that CBNs are potentially useful in biological labeling and multicolor bioimaging. More importantly, CBNs can be conjugated to the targeted micromolecule, DNA, RNA, and/or anticarcinogen groups to construct nanocomposite materials, which could be applied to identify target materials and/or execute the sustained release of drugs. We want to offer a guide for controllable fabrication of CBNs and further expanding the application depth and breadth in the biomedical field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b01153DOI Listing
October 2019

Correction: One-step synthesis of a dual-emitting carbon dot-based ratiometric fluorescent probe for the visual assay of Pb and PPi and development of a paper sensor.

J Mater Chem B 2019 Nov 11;7(42):6643. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Department Institute of Environmental Science, and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, China.

Correction for 'One-step synthesis of a dual-emitting carbon dot-based ratiometric fluorescent probe for the visual assay of Pb and PPi and development of a paper sensor' by Yifang Gao et al., J. Mater. Chem. B, 2019, 7, 5502-5509.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9tb90133gDOI Listing
November 2019
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