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Article in Nanoscale

Article in Nanoscale

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15. February 2024

Researchers Aljaž Kavčič, MSc., Rok Podlipec, PhD, Ana Krišelj, MSc., Andreja Jelen, PhD and Assist. Prof. Matjaž Humar, PhD in collaboration with a colleague from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana have published a paper titled Intracellular biocompatible hexagonal boron nitride quantum emitters as single-photon sources and barcodes in the journal Nanoscale.

In this work, they demonstrate single-photon emission from hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) color centers embedded inside live cells and their application to cellular barcoding. The emission from live cells was observed as multiple diffraction-limited spots, which exhibited excellent single-photon characteristics with high single-photon purity of 0.1 and superb emission stability without photobleaching or spectral shifts over several hours. Due to different emission wavelengths and peak widths of the color centers, they were employed as barcodes. Each barcode can exist in one out of 470 possible distinguishable states and a combination of a few barcodes per cell can be used to uniquely tag virtually an unlimited number of cells. The barcodes developed here offer some excellent properties, including ease of production by a single-step procedure, biocompatibility and biodegradability, emission stability, no photobleaching, small size and a huge number of unique barcodes, while, due to the single photon emission, presented concepts could in future be extended to quantum-limited sensing and super-resolution imaging.

Article in Optics Express

Article in Optics Express

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12. February 2024

Mimoza Naseska, PhD, and Assist. Prof. Matjaž Humar, PhD, from the Department of Solid State Physics F5, in collaboration with colleagues from CENN Nanocenter, Imperial College London, and the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, have published an article titled Non-contact Monitoring of Glucose Concentration and pH by Integration of Wearable and Implantable Hydrogel Sensors with Optical Coherence Tomography in the journal Optics Express.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive imaging technique with large penetration depth into the tissue, but limited chemical specificity. By incorporating functional co-monomers, hydrogels can be designed to respond to specific molecules and undergo reversible volume changes. In this study, we present implantable and wearable biocompatible hydrogel sensors combined with OCT to monitor their thickness change as a tool for continuous and real-time monitoring of glucose concentration and pH. The results demonstrate the potential of combining hydrogel biosensors with OCT for non-contact continuous in-vivo monitoring of physiological parameters.

Figure: pH-sensitive hydrogel film for wound monitoring. a) The graph shows the deswelling of the film as a response to increasing pH of the solution. b) OCT B-scan of the hydrogel film located below a finger patch (upper right) and of the surrounding area with no hydrogel film (lower right).… Read the rest “Article in Optics Express”

Article in Journal of magnetic resonance

Article in Journal of magnetic resonance

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12. February 2024

Prof Igor Serša, PhD from the Department of Solid State Physics F5 published an article in Journal of magnetic resonance with the title Comparison of driven equilibrium and standard spin-echo sequence in MR microscopy: Analysis of signal dependence on RF pulse imperfection and diffusion. Fast MR imaging of samples with long NMR relaxation times is often challenging. In this study, a solution to this problem is proposed, based on the use of a spin-echo (SE) sequence for MR imaging, upgraded with a driven equilibrium method. The proposed (DE-SE) sequence was first theoretically analyzed and later verified by experiments on test samples performed on a 9.4 T system for MR microscopy. Experiments on water have shown that the DE-SE sequence can produce about 10 times more signal than the SE sequence. The presented DE-SE sequence has proven to be effective for fast imaging of samples with long T1 relaxation times in MR microscopy and is therefore also suitable for fast proton density weighted imaging of materials.

Article in Nanomaterials

Article in Nanomaterials

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9. February 2024

Samo Kralj from the Department of Condensed Matter Physics F5 and colleagues from The Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana have published an article in the journal Nanomaterials. They numerically studied localized elastic distortions in curved, effectively two-dimensional nematic shells using a mesoscopic Helfrich-Landau-de Gennes-type approach. They limited our theoretical consideration to axially symmetric shapes. They determined conditions for which nonsingular line-like localized nematic distortions could appear enabled by order reconstruction mechanism.

Article in Nanomaterials

Article in Nanomaterials

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9. February 2024

Young researcher Maha Zid has with collaborators theoretically studied the generic mechanisms that could establish critical behavior in nematic liquid crystals (NLCs). The corresponding free energy density terms should exhibit linear coupling with the nematic order parameter and, via this coupling, enhance the nematic order. They consider both temperature- and pressure-driven, order–disorder phase transitions. They derive a scaled effective free energy expression that describes how qualitatively different mechanisms enforce critical behavior.  Main focus is devoted on the impact of nanoparticles (NPs) in homogeneous NP-NLC mixtures. They illustrate that in the case of pressure-driven phase changes, lower concentrations are needed to impose critical point conditions in comparison with pure temperature variations.

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