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  1. Abstract

    Semiconductor excitations can hybridize with cavity photons to form exciton-polaritons (EPs) with remarkable properties, including light-like energy flow combined with matter-like interactions. To fully harness these properties, EPs must retain ballistic, coherent transport despite matter-mediated interactions with lattice phonons. Here we develop a nonlinear momentum-resolved optical approach that directly images EPs in real space on femtosecond scales in a range of polaritonic architectures. We focus our analysis on EP propagation in layered halide perovskite microcavities. We reveal that EP–phonon interactions lead to a large renormalization of EP velocities at high excitonic fractions at room temperature. Despite these strong EP–phonon interactions, ballistic transport is maintained for up to half-exciton EPs, in agreement with quantum simulations of dynamic disorder shielding through light-matter hybridization. Above 50% excitonic character, rapid decoherence leads to diffusive transport. Our work provides a general framework to precisely balance EP coherence, velocity, and nonlinear interactions.

     
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  2. Sepsis is a lethal syndrome manifested by an unregulated, overwhelming inflammation from the host in response to infection. Here, we exploit the use of a synthetic heparan sulfate octadecasaccharide (18-mer) to protect against sepsis. The 18-mer not only inhibits the pro-inflammatory activity of extracellular histone H3 and high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), but also elicits the anti-inflammatory effect from apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I). We demonstrate that the 18-mer protects against sepsis-related injury and improves survival in cecal ligation and puncture mice and reduces inflammation in an endotoxemia mouse model. The 18-mer neutralizes the cytotoxic histone-3 (H3) through direct interaction with the protein. Furthermore, the 18-mer enlists the actions of ApoA-I to dissociate the complex of HMGB1 and lipopolysaccharide, a toxic complex contributing to cell death and tissue damage in sepsis. Our study provides strong evidence that the 18-mer mitigates inflammatory damage in sepsis by targeting numerous mediators, setting it apart from other potential therapies with a single target. 
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