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Creators/Authors contains: "Huang, Qishen"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 10, 2023
  3. Ambient temperature and humidity strongly affect inactivation rates of enveloped viruses, but a mechanistic, quantitative theory of these effects has been elusive. We measure the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on an inert surface at nine temperature and humidity conditions and develop a mechanistic model to explain and predict how temperature and humidity alter virus inactivation. We find SARS-CoV-2 survives longest at low temperatures and extreme relative humidities (RH); median estimated virus half-life is >24 hours at 10C and 40% RH, but ~1.5 hours at 27C and 65% RH. Our mechanistic model uses fundamental chemistry to explain why inactivation rate increases with increased temperature and shows a U-shaped dependence on RH. The model accurately predicts existing measurements of five different human coronaviruses, suggesting that shared mechanisms may affect stability for many viruses. The results indicate scenarios of high transmission risk, point to mitigation strategies, and advance the mechanistic study of virus transmission.
  4. 4-Mercaptopyridine (4-Mpy) is a pH reporter molecule commonly used to functionalize nanoprobes for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) based pH measurements. However, nanoprobes functionalized by 4-Mpy alone have low pH sensitivity and are subject to interference by halide ions in sample media. To improve nanoprobe pH sensitivity and reliability, we functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with both 4-Mpy and bromide ion (Br − ). Br − electrostatically stabilizes protonated 4-Mpy, thus enabling sensitive SERS detection of the protonation state of 4-Mpy as a function of pH while also reducing variability caused by external halide ions. Through optimization of the functionalization parameters, including suspension pH, [4-Mpy], and [Br − ], the developed nanoprobes enable monitoring of pH from 2.1 to 10 with high SERS activity and minimal interference from halide ions within the sample matrix. As a proof of concept, we were able to track nanoprobe location and image the pH distribution inside individual cancer cells. This study provides a novel way to engineer reliable 4-Mpy-functionalized SERS nanoprobes for the sensitive analysis of spatially localized pH features in halide ion-containing microenvironments.