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  1. Fibronectin (FN) derived from human plasma has been used for the first time as the carbon precursor in the top-down, microwave-assisted hydrothermal synthesis of nitrogen doped carbon dots (CDs).

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  2. Dye-doped nanoparticles have been investigated as bright, fluorescent probes for localization-based super-resolution microscopy. Nanoparticle size is important in super-resolution microscopy to get an accurate size of the object of interest from image analysis. Due to their self-blinking behavior and metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF), Ag@SiO2and Au@Ag@SiO2nanoparticles have shown promise as probes for localization-based super-resolution microscopy. Here, several noble metal-based dye-doped core-shell nanoparticles have been investigated as self-blinking nanomaterial probes. It was observed that both the gold- and silver-plated nanoparticle cores exhibit weak luminescence under certain conditions due to the surface plasmon resonance bands produced by each metal, and the gold cores exhibit blinking behavior which enhances the blinking and fluorescence of the dye-doped nanoparticle. However, the silver-plated nanoparticle cores, while weakly luminescent, did not exhibit any blinking; the dye-doped nanoparticle exhibited the same behavior as the core fluorescent, but did not blink. Because of the blinking behavior, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) super-resolution analysis was able to be performed with performed on the gold core nanoparticles. A preliminary study on the use of these nanoparticles for localization-based super-resolution showed that these nanoparticles are suitable for use in STORM super resolution. Resolution enhancement was two times better than the diffraction limited images, with core sizes reduced to 15 nm using the hybrid Au–Ag cores.

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  3. null (Ed.)
    Carbon dots (CDs) are a particularly useful type of fluorescent nanoparticle that demonstrate biocompatibility, resistance to photobleaching, as well as diversity in composition and characteristics amongst the different types available. There are two main morphologies of CDs: Disk-shaped with 1–3 stacked sheets of aromatic carbon rings and quasi-spherical with a core-shell arrangement having crystalline and amorphous properties. They can be synthesized from various potentially environmentally friendly methods including hydrothermal carbonization, microwaving, pyrolysis or combustion, and are then purified via one or more methods. CDs can have either excitation wavelength-dependent or -independent emission with each having their own benefits in microscopic fluorescent imaging. Some CDs have an affinity for a particular cell type, organelle or chemical. This property allows the CDs to be used as sensors in a biological environment and can even provide quantitative information if the quenching or intensity of their fluorescence is dependent on the concentration of the analyte. In addition to fluorescent imaging, CDs can also be used for other applications including drug delivery, quality control, photodynamic therapy, and photocatalysis. 
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