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Biomolecular Assembly in Nanoscale

Biomolecular assembly plays a key role in nearly all life processes, providing hierarchical supramolecular struc-ture, molecular recognition, and communication within cells. Since these assembly processes rely on precise interactions between the functional groups of biomole-cules, researchers tried to mimic and engineer biomole-cule assembly with a variety of goals, from modulating cellular functions to the creation of unique nanostruc-ture. Moreover, computational methods have been de-veloped dramatically in parallel with advances in under-standing the structure and properties of naturally occur-ring assemblies. The concise design of the unit struc-ture allows to create an unprecedented supramolecular structure. This thematic series aims to introduce the lat-est research trend of utilizing biomolecular assembly and their representative applications including therapeu-tics, biocatalysts, and functional nanomaterials.

Nanotechnology Enabled Battery Breakthrough

Nanotechnology gives us a new opportunity to solve the chronic issues that cannot be solved in traditional material design and fabrication process for next-generation battery. Along with rapid expansion of electric vehicles market, intensive attention is being paid to exploit nanostructured materials and nanotechnology for addressing various technical issues of batteries for electric vehicle applications. Recently we have indeed witnessed that nanotechnology provides a potential solution to some key challenges of next-generation battery systems. Motivated by these trends, this issue aims to introduce recent research efforts towards bat-tery technology breakthrough driven by nanotechnology.

Cancer-targeted imaging and therapy

Cancer is a pivotal medical application of nanotechnology. Nano-scale materials provide unlimited advantages of pinpointed diagnosis by molecular detection of tumor microenvironment and targeted molecular therapy in response to pathological stimuli. Since the key concept of utilizing nanotechnology in cancer diagnosis and therapy was conceived a few decades ago, immense research and development efforts have been invested with relatively little successes. This theme issue will overview the current status and key accomplishment in the field as well as offering perspectives and guides for the next generation nanotechnology in cancer imaging and therapy. 

Recent Research Trend on 2D Transition Metal Carbides or Carbonitrides MXene Nanomaterials

MXenes ae newely emerging two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials. MXenes are transition metal carbides, nitrides, and/or carbonitrides with the general formula Mn+1XnTx, where M is an early transition metal (e.g., Ti, Zr, V, Nb, Ta, or Mo), X is carbon and/or nitrogen, and Tx represents the functional groups on the surface. Since the discovery at Drexel University in 2011, MXenes have received immense attention in the areas of energy storage, electromagnetic interference shielding, antennas, transparent conductors, sensors, membranes, catalysis and medicine, due to their many advantages including the outstanding metallic conductivity, low density, large specific surface area, tunable surface chemistry, and solution processability. This thematic series aim to introduce the latest research trend of the synthesis of MXenes and their representative applications including electrochemical energy storage and EMI shielding.

Sustainable Hydrogen Production

Converting renewable energy or materials into non-polluting fuels is a major challenge. Hydrogen (H2) is a clean and renewable energy source as primary alternatives to fossil fuels. A highly promising study is (photo)catalytic to produce H2 through appropriate chemical reactions. H2 can be produced from a variety of primary or renewable sources such as water, natural gas, and lignocellulosic biomass. Papers in this thematic series will introduce and review recent advances in the development of eco-friendly process for hydrogen production specifically by utilizing the catalytic water splitting, photochemical devices, and lignocellulosic biomass.

Organs-on-a-chip for nanoscience and technology

Organs-on-a-chip and microphysiological systems pro-vide new opportunities to create microengineered in vitro models of complex human physiological systems with unprecedented realism and predictive capacity. With the rapid evolution of this disruptive technology, increasing attention is being paid to its potential as a novel platform to enable and facilitate research in nano-science and engineering. Conversely, efforts are under-way to leverage nanoengineering techniques to advance the capabilities of organ-on-a-chip systems for a variety of biomedical applications. Motivated by these emerg-ing trends, this special issue aims to introduce recent interdisciplinary research efforts directed towards the convergence of organ-on-a-chip with nanotechnology. 

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