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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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  4. null (Ed.)
    Super resolution microscopy was developed to overcome the Abbe diffraction limit, which effects conventional optical microscopy, in order to study the smaller components of biological systems. In recent years nanomaterials have been explored as luminescent probes for super resolution microscopy, as many have advantages over traditional fluorescent dye molecules. This review will summarize several different types of nanomaterial probes, covering quantum dots, carbon dots, and dye doped nanoparticles. For the purposes of this review the term “nanoparticle” will be limited to polymer-based, protein-based, and silica-based nanoparticles, including core–shell structured nanoparticles. Luminescent nanomaterials have shown promise as super-resolution probes, and continued research in this area will yield new advances in both materials science and biochemical microscopy at the nanometer scale. 
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  5. Dye-doped nanoparticles have been investigated as bright, luminescent labels for super-resolution microscopy via localization methods. One key factor in super-resolution is the size of the luminescent label, which in some cases results in a frame shift between the label target and the label itself. Ag@SiO 2 core–shell nanoparticles, doped with organic fluorophores, have shown promise as super-resolution labels. One key aspect of these nanoparticles is that they blink under certain conditions, allowing super-resolution localization with a single excitation source in aqueous solution. In this work, we investigated the effects of both the Ag core and the silica (SiO 2 ) shell on the self-blinking properties of these nanoparticles. Both core size and shell thickness were manipulated by altering the reaction time to determine core and shell effects on photoblinking. Size and shell thickness were investigated individually under both dry and hydrated conditions and were then doped with a 1 mM solution of Rhodamine 110 for analysis. We observed that the cores themselves are weakly luminescent and are responsible for the blinking observed in the fully-synthesized metal-enhanced fluorescence nanoparticles. There was no statistically significant difference in photoblinking behavior—both intensity and duty cycle—with decreasing core size. This observation was used to synthesize smaller nanoparticles ranging from approximately 93 nm to 110 nm as measured using dynamic light scattering. The blinking particles were localized via super-resolution microscopy and show single particle self-blinking behavior. As the core size did not impact blinking performance or intensity, the nanoparticles can instead be tuned for optimal size without sacrificing luminescence properties. 
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  6. A new air and moisture stable antimony thiolate compound has been prepared that spontaneously forms stable hollow vesicles. Structural data reveals that pnictogen bonding drives the self-assembly of these molecules into a reversed bilayer. The ability to make these hollow, spherical, and chemically and temporally stable vesicles that can be broken and reformed by sonication allows these systems to be used for encapsulation and compartmentalisation in organic media. This was demonstrated through the encapsulation and characterization of several small organic reporter molecules. 
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