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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 21, 2023
  2. Hydrogels prepared from supramolecular cross-linking motifs are appealing for use as biomaterials and drug delivery technologies. The inclusion of macromolecules (e.g., protein therapeutics) in these materials is relevant to many of their intended uses. However, the impact of dynamic network cross-linking on macromolecule diffusion must be better understood. Here, hydrogel networks with identical topology but disparate cross-link dynamics are explored. These materials are prepared from cross-linking with host–guest complexes of the cucurbit[7]uril (CB[7]) macrocycle and two guests of different affinity. Rheology confirms differences in bulk material dynamics arising from differences in cross-link thermodynamics. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) provides insight into macromolecule diffusion as a function of probe molecular weight and hydrogel network dynamics. Together, both rheology and FRAP enable the estimation of the mean network mesh size, which is then related to the solute hydrodynamic diameters to further understand macromolecule diffusion. Interestingly, the thermodynamics of host–guest cross-linking are correlated with a marked deviation from classical diffusion behavior for higher molecular weight probes, yielding solute aggregation in high-affinity networks. These studies offer insights into fundamental macromolecular transport phenomena as they relate to the association dynamics of supramolecular networks. Translation of these materials from in vitro to in vivo is alsomore »assessed by bulk release of an encapsulated macromolecule. Contradictory in vitro to in vivo results with inverse relationships in release between the two hydrogels underscores the caution demanded when translating supramolecular biomaterials into application.« less
  3. Urban digital twins (UDTs) have been identified as a potential technology to achieve digital transformative positive urban change through landscape architecture and urban planning. However, how this new technology will influence community resilience and adaptation planning is currently unclear. This article: (1) offers a scoping review of existing studies constructing UDTs, (2) identifies challenges and opportunities of UDT technologies for community adaptation planning, and (3) develops a conceptual framework of UDTs for community infrastructure resilience. This article highlights the need for integrating multi-agent interactions, artificial intelligence, and coupled natural–physical–social systems into a human-centered UDTs framework to improve community infrastructure resilience.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 29, 2023
  4. Mining frequent subtree patterns in a tree database (or, forest) is useful in domains such as bioinformatics and mining semi-structured data. We consider the problem of mining embedded subtrees in a database of rooted, labeled, and ordered trees. We compare two existing serial mining algorithms, PrefixTreeSpan and TreeMiner, and adapt them for parallel execution using PrefixFPM, our general-purpose framework for frequent pattern mining that is designed to effectively utilize the CPU cores in a multicore machine. Our experiments show that TreeMiner is faster than its successor PrefixTreeSpan when a limited number of CPU cores are used, as the total mining workloads is smaller; however, PrefixTreeSpan has a much higher speedup ratio and can beat TreeMiner when given enough CPU cores.
  5. The cucurbit[n]uril (CB[ n]) family of macrocycles are known to bind a variety of small molecules with high affinity. These motifs thus have promise in an ever-growing list of trace detection methods. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection schemes employing CB[ n] motifs exhibit increased sensitivity due to selective concentration of the analyte at the nanoparticle surface, coupled with the ability of CB[ n] to facilitate the formation of well-defined electromagnetic hot spots. Herein, we report a CB[7] SERS assay for quantification of phenylalanine (Phe) and further demonstrate its utility for detecting peptides with an N-terminal Phe. The CB[7]–guest interaction improves the sensitivity 5–25-fold over direct detection of Phe using citrate-capped silver nanoparticle aggregates, enabling use of a portable Raman system. We further illustrate detection of insulin via binding of CB[7] to the N-terminal Phe residue on its B-chain, suggesting a general strategy for detecting Phe-terminated peptides of clinically relevant biomolecules.