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1.
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: 570; Downloads: 3
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2.
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: 752; Downloads: 6
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3.
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: 982; Downloads: 4
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4.
Enzyme-immobilized hierarchically porous covalent organic framework biocomposite for catalytic degradation of broad-range emerging pollutants in water
Nada Elmerhi, Khadega Al-Maqdi, Khawlah Athamneh, Abdul Khayum Mohammed, Tina Škorjanc, Felipe Gándara, Jesus Raya, Pascal Simon, Olivier Siri, Ali Trabolsi, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Efficient enzyme immobilization is crucial for the successful commercialization of large-scale enzymatic water treatment. However, issues such as lack of high enzyme loading coupled with enzyme leaching present challenges for the widespread adoption of immobilized enzyme systems. The present study describes the development and bioremediation application of an enzyme biocomposite employing a cationic macrocycle-based covalent organic framework (COF) with hierarchical porosity for the immobilization of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The intrinsic hierarchical porous features of the azacalix[4]arene-based COF (ACA-COF) allowed for a maximum HRP loading capacity of 0.76 mg/mg COF with low enzyme leaching (<5.0%). The biocomposite, HRP@ACA-COF, exhibited exceptional thermal stability (~200% higher relative activity than the free enzyme), and maintained ~60% enzyme activity after five cycles. LCMSMS analyses confirmed that the HRP@ACA-COF system was able to achieve >99% degradation of seven diverse types of emerging pollutants (2-mercaptobenzothiazole, paracetamol, caffeic acid, methylparaben, furosemide, sulfamethoxazole, and salicylic acid)in under an hour. The described enzyme-COF system offers promise for efficient wastewater bioremediation applications.
Keywords: covalent organic frameworks, enzymes, emerging pollutants, water purification, biocomposite
Published in RUNG: 11.08.2023; Views: 1112; Downloads: 7
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5.
Biological applications of porous polymers and covalent organic frameworks : lecture at the Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg, Tuesday, 27th June 2023, Magdeburg, Germany
Tina Škorjanc, 2023, unpublished conference contribution

Abstract: Porous organic polymers (POPs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have gained significant attention in the scientific community for a wide array of applications because of their attractive physical and chemical properties. Porosity of these materials provides ample surface area for interaction with targets, while crystallinity allows for highly specific structural tuning. In this seminar, I will present two strategies of utilizing these features of newly prepared materials in biosensing. Firstly, a cationic POP was synthesized, deposited onto interdigitated electrode arrays via a nontraditional electrophoresis technique, and utilized for electrochemical sensing of bacterial cells. As the principle of detection relied on electrostatic interactions between the cationic POP and the anionic bacterial surface, the sensor operated for both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Secondly, a small-molecule nitroimidazole target for hypoxia, a low oxygen environment present in tumors, was post-synthetically conjugated to the pores of a fluorescent COF. This material served as a useful hypoxia imaging agent in cancerous cells. The seminar will conclude with some future perspectives on POPs and COFs in biological applications followed by Q & A.
Keywords: Porous organic polymers, covalent organic frameworks, biosensors, hypoxia
Published in RUNG: 13.07.2023; Views: 1038; Downloads: 0
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6.
Covalent organic frameworks for fluorescent imaging of hypoxia
Tina Škorjanc, Dinesh Shetty, Gregor Mali, Damjan Makuc, Martina Bergant Marušič, Matjaž Valant, 2023, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: hypoxia, covalent organic frameworks, imaging, fluorescence, post-synthetic modification
Published in RUNG: 06.06.2023; Views: 1255; Downloads: 2
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