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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 27, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 4, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) and semen-derived enhancer of viral infection (SEVI) are considered as the two causative proteins for central pathogenic cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and HIV/AIDS, respectively. Separately, Aβ-AD and SEVI-HIV/AIDS systems have been studied extensively both in fundamental research and in clinical trials. Despite significant differences between Aβ-AD and SEVI-HIV/AIDS systems, they share some commonalities on amyloid and antimicrobial characteristics between Aβ and SEVI, there are apparent overlaps in dysfunctional neurological symptoms between AD and HIV/AIDS. Few studies have reported a potential pathological link between Aβ-AD and SEVI-HIV/AIDS at a protein level. Here, we demonstrate the cross-seeding interactions between Aβ and SEVI proteins using in vitro and in vivo approaches. Cross-seeding of SEVI with Aβ enabled to completely prevent Aβ aggregation at sub-stoichiometric concentrations, disaggregate preformed Aβ fibrils, reduce Aβ-induced cell toxicity, and attenuate Aβ-accumulated paralysis in transgenic AD C. elegans. This work describes a potential crosstalk between AD and HIV/AIDS via the cross-seeding between Aβ and SEVI, identifies SEVI as Aβ inhibitor for possible treatment or prevention of AD, and explains the role of SEVI in the gender difference in AD.

  4. The past decade has witnessed the growing interest and advances in aggregation-induced emission (AIE) molecules as driven by their unique fluorescence/optical properties in particular sensing applications including biomolecule sensing/detection, environmental/health monitoring, cell imaging/tracking, and disease analysis/diagnosis. In sharp contrast to conventional aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ) fluorophores, AIE molecules possess intrinsic advantages for the study of disease-related protein aggregates, but such studies are still at an infant stage with much less scientific exploration. This outlook mainly aims to provide the first systematic summary of AIE-based molecules for amyloid protein aggregates associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Despite a limited number of studies on AIE–amyloid systems, we will survey recent and important developments of AIE molecules for different amyloid protein aggregates of Aβ (associated with Alzheimer's disease), insulin (associated with type 2 diabetes), (α-syn, associated with Parkinson's disease), and HEWL (associated with familial lysozyme systemic amyloidosis) with a particular focus on the working principle and structural design of four types of AIE-based molecules. Finally, we will provide our views on current challenges and future directions in this emerging area. Our goal is to inspire more researchers and investment in this emerging but less explored subject, so as to advance our fundamental understanding and practical design/usagesmore »of AIE molecules for disease-related protein aggregates.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 6, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  6. Broadband photodetectors (PDs) have great applications in both industrial and scientific sectors. In this study, solution-processed broadband PDs with an “inverted” vertical photodiode device structure without incorporating transparent conductive oxides electrodes, fabricated by bulk heterojunction (BHJ) composites composed of a low optical gap conjugated polymer blended with highly electrically conductive PbS quantum dots (QDs), operated at room temperature, are reported. The low optical gap conjugated polymer incorporated with PbS QDs contributes to the spectral response from the ultraviolet (UV)-visible to the infrared (IR) range. To realize the IR spectral response and to circumvent the weak IR transparency of the transparent oxide electrodes, the implementation of a photodiode with an “inverted” vertical device structure with the Au anode and the Ba/Al bilayer semitransparent cathode passivated with the MgF 2 layer is demonstrated. Photoinduced charge carrier transfer occurring within the BHJ composite gave rise to decent photocurrent, resulting in detectivities greater than 10 12 Jones (cm Hz 1/2 /W) over the wavelength from the UV-visible to the IR range under low applied bias. Thus, our findings of the utilization of the BHJ composites and an “inverted” vertical photodiode without the incorporation of the transparent conductive oxide electrodes provide a facile way tomore »realize broadband PDs.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 17, 2023
  7. Prevention and detection of misfolded amyloid proteins and their β-structure-rich aggregates are the two promising but different (pre)clinical strategies to treat and diagnose neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's diseases (AD) and type II diabetes (T2D). Conventional strategies prevent the design of new pharmaceutical molecules with both amyloid inhibition and detection functions. Here, we propose a “like-interacts-like” design principle to de novo design a series of new self-assembling peptides (SAPs), enabling them to specifically and strongly interact with conformationally similar β-sheet motifs of Aβ (association with AD) and hIAPP (association with T2D). Collective in vitro experimental data from thioflavin (ThT), atomic force microscopy (AFM), circular dichroism (CD), and cell assay demonstrate that SAPs possess two integrated functions of (i) amyloid inhibition for preventing both Aβ and hIAPP aggregation by 34–61% and reducing their induced cytotoxicity by 7.6–35.4% and (ii) amyloid sensing for early detection of toxic Aβ and hIAPP aggregates using in-house SAP-based paper sensors and SPR sensors. The presence of both amyloid inhibition and detection in SAPs stems from strong molecular interactions between amyloid aggregates and SAPs, thus providing a new multi-target model for expanding the new therapeutic potentials of SAPs and other designs with built-in amyloid inhibition and detection functions.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 16, 2023
  8. Abstract In the past years, piezo-conductive sensors have drawn great attention in both academic and industrial sectors. The piezo-conductive sensors made by inorganic semiconductors exhibited poor mechanical flexibility, restricting their further practical applications. In this study, we report the piezo-conductive sensors by a semiconducting polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with tosylate ions (PEDOT:Tos) thin films. Systemically studies indicate that the piezo-conductive response of the PEDOT:Tos thin films is originated from the deformation of the PEDOT crystal cells and the stretched π–π distances induced by Tos. Moreover, the negative piezo-conductive effect, for the first time, is observed from PEDOT:Tos thin film under the pressure. A working mechanism is further proposed to interpret the transient from a positive to a negative piezo-conductive response within the PEDOT:Tos thin films. Our studies offer a facile route to approach effective piezo-conductive sensors based on conjugated polymers.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
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  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023