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  1. Targeted delivery of drugs or other therapeutic agents through internal or external triggers has been used to control and accelerate the release from liposomal carriers in a number of studies, but relatively few utilize energy of therapeutic X-rays as a trigger. We have synthesized liposomes that are triggered by ionizing radiation (RTLs) to release their therapeutic payload. These liposomes are composed of natural egg phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC), cholesterol, and 1,2-disteroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy (polyethylene glycol)-2000] (DSPE-PEG-2000), and the mean size of the RTL was in the range of 114 to 133 nm, as measured by nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). The trigger mechanism is the organic halogen, chloral hydrate, which is known to generate free protons upon exposure to ionizing radiation. Once protons are liberated, a drop in internal pH of the liposome promotes destabilization of the lipid bilayer and escape of the liposomal contents. In proof of principle studies, we assessed RTL radiation-release of fluorescent tracers upon exposure to a low pH extracellular environment or exposure to X-ray irradiation. Biodistribution imaging before and after irradiation demonstrated a preferential uptake and release of the liposomes and their cargo at the site of local tumor irradiation. Finally, a potent metabolite of the commonly used chemotherapy irinotecan, SN-38, was loaded into RTL along with near infrared (NIR) fluorescent dyes for imaging studies and measuring tumor cell cytotoxicity alone or combined with radiation exposure, in vitro and in vivo. Fully loaded RTLs were found to increase tumor cell killing with radiation in vitro and enhance tumor growth delay in vivo after three IV injections combined with three, 5 Gy local tumor radiation exposures compared to either treatment modality alone. 
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  2. Abstract

    Supercapacitors are beneficial as energy storage devices and can obtain high capacitance values greater than conventional capacitors and high power densities compared to batteries. However, in order to improve upon the overall cost, energy density, and charge-discharge rates, the electrode material of supercapacitors needs to be fine-tuned with an inexpensive, high conducting source. We prepared a Co(III) complex and polypyrrole (PPy) composite thin films (CoN4-PPy) that was electrochemically deposited on the surface of a glassy carbon working electrode. Cyclic voltammetry studies indicate the superior performance of CoN4-PPy in charge storage in acidic electrolyte compared to alkaline and organic solutions. The CoN4-PPy material generated the highest amount of specific capacitance (up to 721.9 F/g) followed by Co salt and PPy (Co-PPy) material and PPy alone. Cyclic performance studies showed the excellent electrochemical stability of the CoN4-PPy film in the acidic medium. Simply electrochemically depositing an inexpensive Co(III) complex with a high electrically conducting polymer of PPy delivered a superior electrode material for supercapacitor applications. Therefore, the results indicate that novel thin films derived from Co(III) metal complex and PPy can store a large amount of energy and maintain high stability over many cycles, revealing its excellent potential in supercapacitor devices.

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  3. Abstract

    Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) convert low‐energy infrared (IR) or near‐infrared (NIR) photons into high‐energy emission radiation ranging from ultraviolet to visible through a photon upconversion process. In comparison to conventional fluorophores, such as organic dyes or semiconductor quantum dots, lanthanide‐ion‐doped UCNPs exhibit high photostability, no photoblinking, no photobleaching, low cytotoxicity, sharp emission lines, and long luminescent lifetimes. Additionally, the use of IR or NIR for excitation in such UCNPs reduces the autofluorescence background and enables deeper penetration into biological samples due to reduced light scattering with negligible damage to the samples. Because of these attributes, UCNPs have found numerous potential applications in biological and medicinal fields as novel fluorescent materials. Different upconversion mechanisms commonly observed in UCNPs, various methods that are used in their synthesis, and surface modification processes are discussed. Recent applications of Ln‐UCNPs in the biological and medicinal fields, including in vivo and in vitro biological imaging, multimodal imaging, photodynamic therapy, drug delivery, and antibacterial activity, are also presented.

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