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Fluorescent covalent organic frameworks : promising bioimaging materials
Chimatahalli Santhakumar Karthik, Tina Škorjanc, Dinesh Shetty, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: Fluorescent covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have emerged as promising candidates for imaging living cells due to their unique properties and adjustable fluorescence. In this mini-review, we provide an overview of recent advancements in fluorescent COFs for bioimaging applications. We discuss the strategies used to design COFs with desirable properties such as high photostability, excellent biocompatibility, and pH sensitivity. Additionally, we explore the various ways in which fluorescent COFs are utilized in bioimaging, including cellular imaging, targeting specific organelles, and tracking biomolecules. We delve into their applications in sensing intracellular pH, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and specific biomarkers. Furthermore, we examine how functionalization techniques enhance the targeting and imaging capabilities of fluorescent COFs. Finally, we discuss the challenges and prospects in the field of fluorescent COFs for bioimaging in living cells, urging further research in this exciting area.
Keywords: covalent organic frameworks, fluorescent materials, imaging, bioimaging, biosensors
Published in RUNG: 05.03.2024; Views: 485; Downloads: 3
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An in situ proton filter covalent organic framework catalyst for highly efficient aqueous electrochemical ammonia production
Kayaramkodath C. Ranjeesh, Sukhjot Kaur, Abdul K. Mohammed, Safa Gaber, Divyani Gupta, Khaled Badawy, Mohamed Aslam, Nirpendra Singh, Tina Škorjanc, Matjaž Finšgar, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR) driven by renewable electricity provides a green synthesis route for ammonia (NH3) production under ambient conditions but suffers from a low conversion yield and poor Faradaic efficiency (F.E.) because of strong competition from hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the poor solubility of N2 in aqueous systems. Herein, an in situ proton filter covalent organic framework catalyst (Ru-Tta-Dfp) is reported with inherent Ruthenium (Ru) sites where the framework controls reactant diffusion by suppressing proton supply and enhancing N2 flux, causing highly selective and efficient catalysis. The smart catalyst design results in a remarkable ammonia production yield rate of 2.03 mg h−1 mgcat−1 with an excellent F.E. of ≈52.9%. The findings are further endorsed with the help of molecular dynamics simulations and control COF systems without in situ proton filter feasibility. The results point to a paradigm shift in engineering high-performance NRR electrocatalysts for more feasible green NH3 production.
Keywords: covalent organic frameworks, ammonia, electrochemical synthesis, electrochemistry, nitrogen reduction reaction, ruthenium
Published in RUNG: 11.12.2023; Views: 679; Downloads: 6
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Sustained delivery of Cu(II)-based DNA intercalators by nanometer-sized cyclodextrin-based porous polymers
Tina Škorjanc, Julian Heinrich, Damjan Makuc, Nora Kulak, Matjaž Valant, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: DNA intercalators are small molecules that insert between adjacent DNA base pairs and thus disturb DNA replication and transcription, which can lead to cell death. Certain metal complexes are excellent DNA intercalators, and have shown promise in chemotherapy. Here, a cyclodextrin porous polymer was prepared, characterized, exfoliated to form nanometer-sized particles, and used as a delivery vehicle for metal-free and Cu(II)-metalated anthraquinone-based DNA intercalators with a goal to minimize side effects of the highly toxic DNA intercalators. NMR experiments, including DOSY NMR, have shown the interaction between the cyclodextrin building block and the studied DNA intercalators. Porous nature of the delivery vehicle provided ample surface area for interaction with the drug candidates, resulting in encapsulation rates of up to 56%. Sustained cargo release from the polymer was achieved over eight days, and time-dependent cytotoxicity was observed. Furthermore, optical microscopy images indicated delivery vehicle internalization as well as disturbed cellular morphology within 24 hours of incubation. We anticipate that this study will stimulate further interest in the development of polymeric delivery systems for metal complexes.
Keywords: porous organic polymers, cyclodextrin, DNA intercalators, Cu(II) complexes, metal complexes
Published in RUNG: 10.11.2023; Views: 843; Downloads: 4
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Crystallizing covalent organic frameworks from metal organic framework through chemical induced-phase engineering
Abdul Khayum Mohammed, Safa Gaber, Jesus Raya, Tina Škorjanc, Nada Elmerhi, Sasi Stephen, Pilar Pena-Sánchez, Felipe Gándara, Steven Hinder, Mark A. Baker, Kyriaki Polychronopoulou, Dinesh Shetty, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The ordered porous frameworks like MOFs and COFs are generally constructed using the monomers through distinctive metal-coordinated and covalent linkages. Meanwhile, the inter-structural transition between each class of these porous materials is an under-explored research area. However, such altered frameworks are expected to have exciting features compared to their pristine versions. Herein, we have demonstrated a chemical-induction phase-engineering strategy to transform a two dimensional conjugated Cu-based SA-MOF (Cu-Tp) into 2D-COFs (Cu-TpCOFs). The structural phase transition offered in-situ pore size engineering from 1.1 nm to 1.5–2.0 nm. Moreover, the Cu-TpCOFs showed uniform and low percentage-doped (~ 1–1.5%) metal distribution and improved crystallinity, porosity, and stability compared to the parent Cu-Tp MOF. The construction of a framework from another framework with new linkages opens interesting opportunities for phase-engineering.
Keywords: metal organic framework, covalent organic framework, phase engineering, chemical transformation, porous materials
Published in RUNG: 10.11.2023; Views: 870; Downloads: 5
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In vitro tumor hypoxia imaging with fluorescent covalent organic frameworks
Tina Skorjanc, Dinesh Shetty, Damjan Makuc, Gregor Mali, Martina Bergant Marušič, Matjaž Valant, 2023, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Hypoxia refers to a condition where cells and tissues experience low, inadequate levels of O2. While healthy tissues are typically supplied with sufficient O2 (normoxia), cancerous tissues commonly face hypoxia due to the tumor’s extraordinarily high demand for oxygen. Various fluorescent small-molecule probes have been designed for selective detection of hypoxia in living cells, but few nanomaterials have been investigated for this type of bioimaging. Herein, we prepare a fluorescent covalent organic framework (COF) with β-ketoenamine linkages and post-synthetically modify it to conjugate hypoxia-sensitive nitroimidazole moieties into its pores (NI-COF). Stacks of sheets in NI-COF observed under electron microscopy were exfoliated by ultrasonication, and dynamic light scattering measurements confirmed particle size of less than 200 nm. Thus-prepared material exhibited good stability in physiological conditions and low cytotoxicity in in vitro experiments. NI-COF also showed useful fluorescence properties with an emission peak at 490 nm (λex = 420 nm) at both neutral and mildly acidic pH levels that are characteristic of tumor tissues. Encouraged by the favorable properties of the material, we incubated HeLa cells pre-treated in either hypoxic or normoxic conditions with NI-COF. Fluorescence microscopy images demonstrated that the material was preferentially taken up by hypoxic cells, which showed higher fluorescence signal in their interior than cells cultured under normoxia conditions. It is anticipated that this study will stimulate further developments of COFs for imaging various biological conditions.
Keywords: hypoxia, fluorescence, covalent organic frameworks, imaging, tumor cells
Published in RUNG: 19.09.2023; Views: 934; Downloads: 3
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Štipendije za študij v tujini
Tina Škorjanc, other performed works

Abstract: Financiranje celotnega dodiplomskega študija je v veliko državah sveta mogoče s pomočjo vladnih oz. državnih štipendij ciljne države ali s pomočjo financiranja, ki ga ponujajo univerze. Dr. Tina Škorjanc se bo v predavanju osredotočila na oba aspekta. Predstavila bo možnosti na Japonskem, v Južni Koreji, Rusiji, Nemčiji, Singapurju, Kanadi, Italiji in Franciji ter v ZDA in Združenih arabskih emiratih, kjer je študirala tudi sama. Možnosti financiranja dodiplomskega študija v tujini obstajajo tudi v Sloveniji, zato bo opisala nekaj tovrstnih opcij. Predstavila bo tudi program Vulcanus iz Japonske, program Erasmus, ki je Slovencem večinoma dobro poznan, in različne poletne šole. Delila bo svoje izkušnje iz poletne šole na Nizozemskem in z delavnice v Savdski Arabiji. Za konec predavanja bo povedala še nekaj o sistemu prijav, vpisnih pogojih in morebitnih dodatnih zahtevah, denimo certifikatih o znanju tujega jezika. Za sodelujoče bo zagotovo zelo koristna tudi možnost postavljanja vprašanj, na katera bo z veseljem odgovorila.
Keywords: študij v tujini, štipendije, Erasmus, Vulcanus, DAAD, vladna štipendija
Published in RUNG: 01.09.2023; Views: 634; Downloads: 2
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Povratna vozovnica – Združeni arabski emirati
Tina Škorjanc, other performed works

Abstract: Tina je 26. avgusta 2011 polna pričakovanj pristala v Združenih arabskih emiratih in ti so postali njen dom za skoraj desetletje. Na potopisnem predavanju bo spregovorila o tem, kako se je v pretežno muslimanski državi počutila kot študentka naravoslovja, kako ZAE spodbujajo razvoj kulturnih dejavnosti in zakaj je kar 80 % prebivalcev tujcev. In o znamenitostih: steklenih stolpnicah in blišču Dubaja, neskončnih puščavah Abu Dabija, konjih in kamelah za lepotna tekmovanja v Adžmanu, skalnih gorovjih v Ras Al Khaimah in Umm Al Quwainu ter lepotah Indijskega oceana v Fudžeiri.
Keywords: Abu Dabi, Dubaj, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Umm al Quwain, Ajman
Published in RUNG: 01.09.2023; Views: 642; Downloads: 2
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Severovzhod ZDA skozi študentske oči
Tina Škorjanc, other performed works

Abstract: New York City – veliko jabolko – eno najbolj opevanih mest na svetu! Tina Škorjanc je kot dodiplomska študentka na New York University preživela en semester, kasneje pa na isti univerzi dokončala še prvi letnik doktorskega študija. V tem potopisnem predavanju nam bo predstavila, kako funkcionira ta največja privatna univerza v ZDA, kako je pridobila štipendije za tamkajšnji študij in kaj je počela v prostem času. Poleg glavnih znamenitosti Manhattana, kot so Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Central Park, kip svobode, metropolitanski muzej in stavba Empire State, bomo obiskali še manj znana okrožja New Yorka: Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island in zloglasni Bronx. Z avtobusom se bomo odpravili tudi v glavno mesto Združenih držav, Washington DC, na Niagarske slapove, v Boston in v Filadelfijo.
Keywords: New York City, ZDA, USA, študij v ZDA, New York University
Published in RUNG: 01.09.2023; Views: 726; Downloads: 2
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Kirgizija: pohodništvo, jahanje in gostoljubje v Centralni Aziji
Tina Škorjanc, other performed works

Abstract: Domovina jurt z neskončnimi čredami konjev in ovac, s prekrasnimi razgledi na gorovja in visokogorska jezera, z dobro ohranjenimi ostanki Svilene ceste in prava zakladnica gostoljubja domačinov – vse to je Kirgizija ali Kirgizistan, za skoraj deset Slovenij velika država v Centralni Aziji. Na potopisnem predavanju vam bom predstavila predvsem naravne lepote te dežele: pešačili bomo do visokogorskega jezera Song Kol, obiskali kanjon Skazka, jahali do nadmorske višine skoraj 4000 metrov in prehodili dolino Altyn Arashan. Med temi avanturami bomo spali pri domačinih v jurtah ali preprostih guesthouse-ih, kjer bomo priča neverjetnemu gostoljubju. Za ljubitelje zgodovine bomo obiskali park petroglifov in ostanke karavanseraja (le kaj je to?), za dopustniške navdušence se bomo kopali v ogromnem jezeru Issyk Kol, le ljubitelji petičnega turizma bodo tokrat res ostali praznih rok. »Greste« z nami?«
Keywords: Kirgizija, Kirgizistan, Centralna Azija, jurta, visokogorsko jezero, petroglif, kanjon
Published in RUNG: 01.09.2023; Views: 648; Downloads: 2
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Potopisno predavanje o Združenih arabskih emiratih : 9 let v Abu Dabiju
Tina Škorjanc, other performed works

Abstract: Predavanje je bilo izvedeno v okviru Tednov vseživljenjskega učenja, ki jih vsako leto pripravi mreža ljudskih univerz z različnih koncev Slovenije. Slušateljem so bile predstavljene prednosti in slabosti življenje v tujini, spopadanje s kulturnim šokom in nekaj praktičnih nasvetov za obisk Združenih arabskih emiratov.
Keywords: Združeni arabski emirati, ZAE, Tedni vseživljenjskega učenja, življenje v inozemstvu
Published in RUNG: 01.09.2023; Views: 716; Downloads: 3
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