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  1. Abstract

    A unique noncontact single cell manipulation technique based on the actuation of magnetic nanorods (MNRs) or clusters (MCs) by nonuniform alternating magnetic fields (nuAMFs) is demonstrated. Compared to the actuation of MNRs/MCs by conventional magnetophoresis, the motion of MNRs/MCs actuated by nuAMFs can be tuned by additional parameters including the shape of MNRs/MCs and the frequency of the applied magnetic fields. The manipulation of a single cell by an actuated MNR/MC are divided into five stages, i.e., approaching, pushing, carrying, dragging, and releasing. The interactions between the MNR/MC and the cell in these stages are investigated in detail both experimentally and numerically. Other applications of cell manipulation, such as concentrating cells at target locations and accumulating MNRs/MCs onto a single cell, are also demonstrated. The single cell manipulation system is simple, low‐cost, and low‐power consumption, and helps advance the state‐of‐the‐art of single‐particle manipulation.

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  2. This study shows that a hybridized plasmonic mode, represented by an additional transmission peak, in a compound structure consisting of a nanorod embedded in a nanohole can be effectively described as a quasi-dipole oscillator. When two nanorods are introduced into a nanohole, these two quasi-dipoles can couple and hybridize, giving rise to two additional transmission peaks in the enhanced optical transmission spectrum. The relative intensities of these peaks can be con-trolled by adjusting the incident polarization, while their separations can be tuned by modifying the length of the nanorods. The concept of quasi-dipoles in compound nanohole structures can be further extended to predict the coupling behavior of even more complex compound configura-tions, such as multiple nanorods within nanoholes, resulting in the generation of multiple hy-bridization states. Consequently, the shape and response of the transmission peaks can be pre-cisely engineered. This strategy could be used to design nanohole-based metasurfaces for applica-tions such as ultra-thin optical filters, waveplates, polarizers, etc. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  3. Abstract During the operation of a localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensor made in the form of a core–shell nanoparticle with the shell acting as a sensing layer, the target molecules penetrate into the shell due to intrinsic diffusion or reaction mechanisms. As a result, these molecules or various reactants are nonuniformly distributed in the shell layer. Such sensing particles are termed composition graded plasmonic particles, and their LSPR characteristics may be quite different from those of the uniform core–shell particles. Here, under the quasi-static assumption, a perturbation theory is developed to predict the LSPR properties of composition graded plasmonic particles. The effects of the composition gradient on the LSPR properties due to a metal hydride, a dielectric, and an effective medium are either numerically calculated or analytically derived. Our results show that various configurations of the composition gradient can tune the location and the amplitude of the LSPR peak. The results are important for understanding the sensing performance of composition graded plasmonic particles, and the perturbative treatment presented here can also be used for other composition graded structures. 
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  4. To sensitively detect multiple and cross-species disease-related targets from a single biological sample in a quick and reliable manner is of high importance in accurately diagnosing and monitoring diseases. Herein, a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensor based on a functionalized multiple-armed tetrahedral DNA nanostructure (FMTDN) immobilized silver nanorod (AgNR) array substrate and Au nanoparticle (AuNP) SERS tags is constructed to achieve both multiplex detection and enhanced sensitivity using a sandwich strategy. The sensor can achieve single, dual, and triple biomarker detections of three lung cancer-related nucleic acid and protein biomarkers, i.e. , miRNA-21, miRNA-486 and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in human serum. The enhanced SERS signals in multiplex detections are due to the DNA self-assembled AuNP clusters on the silver nanorod array during the assay, and the experimentally obtained relative enhancement factor ratios, 150 for AuNP dimers and 840 for AuNP trimers, qualitatively agree with the numerically calculated local electric field enhancements. The proposed FMTDN-functionalized AgNR SERS sensor is capable of multiplex and cross-species detection of nucleic acid and protein biomarkers with improved sensitivity, which has great potential for the screening and clinical diagnosis of cancer in the early stage. 
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