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  1. Abstract

    Kagome metals AV3Sb5(A = K, Cs, Rb) provide a rich platform for intertwined orders, where evidence for time-reversal symmetry breaking, likely due to the long-sought loop currents, has emerged in STM and muon spin relaxation experiments. An isotropic component in the spontaneous optical rotation has also been reported and was interpreted as the magneto-optic Kerr effect. Intriguingly, the observed rotations differ by five orders of magnitude between different wavelengths and samples, suggesting more intricate physics. Here we report optical rotation and polar Kerr measurements in CsV3Sb5crystals at the same wavelength. We observe large isotropic components of 1 milliradian in the optical rotation that do not respond to applied magnetic fields, while the spontaneous Kerr signal is less than 20 nanoradians. Our results prove unambiguously that the reported isotropic rotation is not from time-reversal symmetry breaking but represents the long-sought specular optical rotation and indicates a new intertwined order.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 25, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Living cells have the capability to synthesize molecular components and precisely assemble them from the nanoscale to build macroscopic living functional architectures under ambient conditions. The emerging field of living materials has leveraged microbial engineering to produce materials for various applications but building 3D structures in arbitrary patterns and shapes has been a major challenge. Here we set out to develop a bioink, termed as “microbial ink” that is produced entirely from genetically engineered microbial cells, programmed to perform a bottom-up, hierarchical self-assembly of protein monomers into nanofibers, and further into nanofiber networks that comprise extrudable hydrogels. We further demonstrate the 3D printing of functional living materials by embedding programmedEscherichia coli(E. coli) cells and nanofibers into microbial ink, which can sequester toxic moieties, release biologics, and regulate its own cell growth through the chemical induction of rationally designed genetic circuits. In this work, we present the advanced capabilities of nanobiotechnology and living materials technology to 3D-print functional living architectures.

  5. Fibrin is the main component of blood clots. The mechanical properties of fibrin are therefore of critical importance in successful hemostasis. One of the divalent cations released by platelets during hemostasis is Zn2+; however, its effect on the network structure of fibrin gels and on the resultant mechanical properties remains poorly understood. Here, by combining mechanical measurements with three-dimensional confocal microscopy imaging, we show that Zn2+can tune the fibrin network structure and alter its mechanical properties. In the presence of Zn2+, fibrin protofibrils form large bundles that cause a coarsening of the fibrin network due to an increase in fiber diameter and reduction of the total fiber length. We further show that the protofibrils in these bundles are loosely coupled to one another, which results in a decrease of the elastic modulus with increasing Zn2+concentrations. We explore the elastic properties of these networks at both low and high stress: At low stress, the elasticity originates from pulling the thermal slack out of the network, and this is consistent with the thermal bending of the fibers. By contrast, at high stress, the elasticity exhibits a common master curve consistent with the stretching of individual protofibrils. These results show that the mechanicsmore »of a fibrin network are closely correlated with its microscopic structure and inform our understanding of the structure and physical mechanisms leading to defective or excessive clot stiffness.

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  6. Abstract

    Quantum anomalous Hall phases arising from the inverted band topology in magnetically doped topological insulators have emerged as an important subject of research for quantization at zero magnetic fields. Though necessary for practical implementation, sophisticated electrical control of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)‐grown quantum anomalous Hall matter have been stymied by growth and fabrication challenges. Here, a novel procedure is demonstrated, employing a combination of thin‐film deposition and 2D material stacking techniques, to create dual‐gated devices of the MBE‐grown quantum anomalous Hall insulator, Cr‐doped (Bi,Sb)2Te3. In these devices, orthogonal control over the field‐induced charge density and the electric displacement field is demonstrated. A thorough examination of material responses to tuning along each control axis is presented, realizing magnetic property control along the former and a novel capability to manipulate the surface exchange gap along the latter. Through electrically addressing the exchange gap, the capabilities to either strengthen the quantum anomalous Hall state or suppress it entirely and drive a topological phase transition to a trivial state are demonstrated. The experimental result is explained using first principle theoretical calculations, and establishes a practical route for in situ control of quantum anomalous Hall states and topology.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 20, 2023
  7. Quantification of cell-secreted molecules, e.g. , cytokines, is fundamental to the characterization of immune responses. Cytokine capture assays that use engineered antibodies to anchor the secreted molecules to the secreting cells are widely used to characterize immune responses because they allow both sensitive identification and recovery of viable responding cells. However, if the cytokines diffuse away from the secreting cells, non-secreting cells will also be identified as responding cells. Here we encapsulate immune cells in microfluidic droplets and perform in-droplet cytokine capture assays to limit the diffusion of the secreted cytokines. We use microfluidic devices to rapidly encapsulate single natural killer NK-92 MI cells and their target K562 cells into microfluidic droplets. We perform in-droplet IFN-γ capture assays and demonstrate that NK-92 MI cells recognize target cells within droplets and become activated to secrete IFN-γ. Droplet encapsulation prevents diffusion of secreted products to neighboring cells and dramatically reduces both false positives and false negatives, relative to assays performed without droplets. In a sample containing 1% true positives, encapsulation reduces, from 94% to 2%, the number of true-positive cells appearing as negatives; in a sample containing 50% true positives, the number of non-stimulated cells appearing as positives is reduced from 98%more »to 1%. After cells are released from the droplets, secreted cytokine remains captured onto secreting immune cells, enabling FACS-isolation of populations highly enriched for activated effector immune cells. Droplet encapsulation can be used to reduce background and improve detection of any single-cell secretion assay.« less