Innovative Research

nessim

Prof. Daniel Gilbert Nessim, Dr. Rajashree Konar and Prof. Elisabetta Comini from the University of Brescia, Italy, studied layered transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) as the next-generation materials for gas sensing. Their exciting findings have recently been published in Sensors and Actuators: B. Chemical. Prof. They used exfoliated 2 H-WS2 nanosheets to produce high-performance NO2 sensors by conducting thermal annealing at various temperatures to study the oxidation of WS2 and confirm the long-term stability of 2 H-WS2 bulk.

The team fabricated three batches of conductometric sensors from 2 H-WS2 dispersions on electrical transducers using the droplet variation method. These sensors, with two layers (2 L), five layers (5 L), and ten layers (10 L) of WS2 nanosheets, were tested for low NO2 concentrations at different temperatures and relative humidity levels. Bio FastScan Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM, Bruker, AXS, Santa-Barbara, USA) was performed (@BINA) to confirm the layer’s thickness.

The 2 L-WS2-Based sensor outperformed others, showing the highest response at room temperature. It demonstrated excellent repeatability (4 cycles) towards 1 ppm NO2 and long-term stability (over two months). Moreover, it showed full selectivity towards NO2 (1 ppm) at room temperature over NH3 (15 ppm), H2S (15 ppm), ethanol (30 ppm), and acetone (30 ppm).

These findings confirm the potential of 2 H-WS2 nanosheets in fabricating low-power consumption devices with high sensitivity, long-term stability, and excellent selectivity towards NO2, even at high relative humidity levels. For more insights, check out the paper here https://doi.org/10.1016/j.snb.2024.135379

 


margelIn collaboration with TAMA Ltd, Prof. Shlomo Margel, and his team have recently conducted a study that addresses a significant issue in animal food production. Their findings have been published in the journal Materials Today Chemistry.”

As the world’s population expands, so does the production of animal food sources. However, this growth brings challenges - the susceptibility of hay and other food sources to mold is a serious concern for food quality and safety.

Prof. Margel’s team has proposed an innovative solution to tackle this issue. They’ve developed an anti-mold fungicide that is comprised of thymol bound on a thin silica-urea coating of polypropylene fabrics. This unique coating not only enhances the thermal stability of thymol but also allows for its prolonged release. The team extensively investigated the coating’s composition, morphology, thermal stability, and release rates. The findings revealed that the coating provided efficient protection against mold growth, with no side effects on hay exposed to thymol fumes. This research highlights the potential of this fungicide as a safe and efficient preservative for hay. It represents a significant advancement in safeguarding the quality and safety of our animal feed sources. For more information, please visit the following link https://doi.org/1 0.1016/j.mtchem.2024.102009


רחלהProf. Rachela Popovtzer (Faculty of Engineering) has recently participated in groundbreaking collaborative research led by Prof. Jonathan Leor of the Neufeld Cardiac Research Institute at Tel Aviv University. The study, published in the esteemed journal Circulation, uncovers a unique mechanism linking heart disease to cancer via cardiac extracellular vesicles carrying pro-tumorigenic factors. Prof. Popovtzer contributed to this study using a gold nanoparticle-based approach for metabolically-targeted computed tomography assessment of tumor spreading and growth. This study can promote the development of more effective treatments for cancer associated with cardiovascular diseases.
For more insights, please visit 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.123.066911

 

 

 

 


SHAHAR ALONDr. Shahar Alon and his team have diretly measured, inside biopsies, how cancer cells manipulate immune cells at the molecular level. They recently published their exciting findings in the RNA journal. Their research focused on quantifying the molecular changes that occur when an immune cell comes into contact with a tumor cell. This understanding could unlock new insights into cancer progression and immune evasion mechanisms. Dr. Shahar Alon and his team execute these measurements in situ by expansion sequencing. Expansion sequencing has been a game-changer, enabling them to sequence genes with super-resolution right where they are. They systematically examined whether individual immune cells from specific cell types express genes differently when close to individual tumor cells. Their first step was to demonstrate that a dense mapping of genes in situ can be used to segment cell bodies in 3D. This improved their ability to detect cells that are likely in contact. Next, they employed three different computational approaches to detect the molecular changes triggered by proximity: differential expression analysis, tree-based machine learning classifiers, and matrix factorization analysis. The systematic analysis revealed numerous genes in specific cell types whose expression separates immune cells that are proximal to tumor cells from those that are not. Interestingly, they found a significant overlap between the different detection methods. One remarkable finding was that an order of magnitude more genes are triggered by proximity to tumor cells in CD8 T cells than in CD4 T cells T, which aligns with the ability of CD8 T cells to directly bind Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class I on tumor cells.
In conclusion, in situ sequencing of an individual biopsy can detect genes likely involved in immune-tumor cell-cell interactions. This is a significant step forward, which might improve the personalization of immunotherapy treatments. The research was led by students Michal
Danino and Tal Goldberg under the guidance of Dr. Shahar Alon and Prof. Gonen Singer from the faculty of engineering.
For more insights visit at-
https://lnkd.in/dmA-m2CV


Tomer LewiDr. Lewi was awarded for his research on the extraordinary optical properties of materials from the chalcogenide family. His team measured the highest refractive index ever reported in the optical field (n~11) in bismuth telluride, a topological quantum material with unique properties. They developed a nano-photonic component capable of compressing light to dimensions 10 times smaller than its wavelength. Additionally, they demonstrated that mapping the phase of light in a near field can provide information about the local optical properties of materials, which is not available in other ways. In another project, the team developed optical components that are not temperature-dependent and hold potential for space optics applications. To learn more about Dr. Lewi and his research, you can watch this video: https://youtu.be/me4m1G6UScg?si=NDJbhHpkDxpRBlIO

 

 

 

 


Ayal HendelProf. Handel was awarded for his pioneering work in genetic editing technologies to cure blood and immune system diseases. This year, he published two groundbreaking papers. In the first study, published in the journal Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids, he presented preclinical evidence for the genetic correction of Bubble Boy Disease, a genetic disease characterized by the absence of an immune system. In the second study, published in the journal Nature Communications, Prof. Handel developed an innovative genetic editing method that replaces a faulty DNA segment with a correct one while removing the defective DNA from the genome. This method is preferable to existing genetic editing methods and may allow more efficient treatment of genetic diseases. To learn more about Prof. Handel and his research, you can watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNuncsZQHOw&t=1s

 

 

 

 


shavtalProf. Yaron Shav-Tal and his team have reported their recent study on Stress Granules (SGs) in the estimated journal Nucleic Acids Research. This fascinating cytoplasmic structure forms under stress conditions due to translation arrest. These granules are a complex mix of RNA-binding proteins, ribosomal subunits, and messenger RNAs (mRNAs). While it’s known that mRNAs play a role in SG formation, the link between SG assembly and nuclear processes involving mRNAs isn’t fully understood. The team has been exploring this connection by examining the impact of inhibiting mRNA transcription, splicing, and export on the assembly of SGs and the related cytoplasmic P body (PB). Their findings revealed that inhibiting these processes reduces the formation of canonical SGs in a manner independent of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 α phosphorylation and alters PB size and quantity. Interestingly, they found that the splicing inhibitor madrasin promotes the assembly of stress-like granules. They’ve also discovered that introducing synthetic mRNAs directly into the cytoplasm is enough to trigger SG assembly, provided stress-associated protein synthesis pathways are activated. Even more exciting, Prof. Shav-Tal’s team found that adding an excess of mRNA to cells with inactive splicing (and therefore low levels of cytoplasmic mRNAs) encourages SG formation under stress conditions. These findings underscore the fundamental role of the cytoplasmic abundance of newly transcribed mRNAs in the assembly of SGs. To learn more, please visit https://lnkd.in/di5tq3Fi

 


alboDr. Asaf Albo and his team developed a novel method to determine the excess electronic temperature of the upper laser level (ULL) in terahertz quantum cascade lasers (THz QCLs) by analyzing the maximum light output power (Pmax) and the current dynamic range ΔJd = ( JmaxJth). Their findings were recently published in Nanophotonics. The team has validated this method through rigorous simulation and experimentation, specifically on THz QCLs that support a clean three-level system. This detailed understanding of electronic excess temperatures is crucial for enhancing the temperature performance of THz QCLs. The benefit of their method lies in its simplicity and ease of implementation. It allows for extracting excess electron temperature without intensive experimental effort. This knowledge is set to pave the way for advancements in the temperature performance of THz QCLs, pushing the boundaries beyond the current state-of-the-art. For more insights, visit https://doi.org/10.1515/nanoph-2023-0617

 

 

 


ELBAZProf. Lior Elbaz and his team have been working with Fe–N–C catalysts, which are at the forefront of replacing Pt-based catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Their findings have been recently published in Nanoscale.
The team focused on optimizing the structure of these catalysts to achieve a high active site density and a hierarchical porous structure. This balance is crucial as it allows efficient mass transport of reactants and products, thereby enhancing the overall performance of the fuel cells.
In their innovative approach, Prof. Elbaz's team synthesized aerogels, covalent organic frameworks known for their ultra-low density, high porosity, and large surface area. The versatility of aerogels in composition and pore structure tuning makes them ideal candidates for catalysis.
The results revealed a tunable Fe–N–C catalyst based on a Fe porphyrin aerogel exhibiting high electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction activity. Additionally, the team investigated the porous structure's influence on the overall performance in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. For more insights, visit
https://lnkd.in/d7vgvfEp

 


RahimipourAlzheimer’s disease (AD), the leading cause of dementia, is responsible for up to 80% of all dementia cases. One of the key toxic events in AD is the progressive accumulation of Amyloid beta (Aβ) protein, which leads to synaptic dysfunction and neuronal death. Currently, there are no effective drugs to halt, reverse, or slow down the progression of AD, and all available treatments are merely symptomatic.
In a recent study, Prof. Shai Rahimipour and his student, Karen Zaika, demonstrated that liposomes attached to a small molecule drug, an analog of anle138b, can inhibit the aggregation and toxicity of Aβ. Bio FastScan Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM, Bruker, AXS, Santa-Barbara, USA) was performed (Bar Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced materials (BINA), Bar Ilan University) to confirm the anti-amyloidogenic activity. Images A&B show liposomes alone, C&D show Aβ alone, and E-H show Aβ treated with the liposomes.
The images reveal that untreated Aβ (C&D) forms large fibrils with a spiral structure, a characteristic of Aβ amyloids. However, when Aβ is treated with liposomes (E-H), there is a significant reduction in the length, width, and quantity of the fibrils. The attachment of the liposomes to the fibrils may suggest their high binding affinity to Aβ species (magnification in red).
These AFM results indicate that liposomes conjugated to an anle138b analog can effectively prevent the formation of Aβ aggregates, suggesting a potential treatment for AD.

For more details on AFM: eti.teblum@biu.ac.il

For more details on AD: karen zaikashai.rahimipour@biu.ac.il


NOKEDAs published in the prestigious Advanced Materials journal, Prof. Malachi Noked and his team have made a significant leap in sodium-ion battery technology. Their innovative research presents a cobalt-free cathode with impressive capacity, achieved through a high-entropy method that blends multiple elements into a single phase. This is a challenging task due to the complex interactions between the elements. Choosing oxyfluoride materials to reduce oxygen loss and adding lithium to the equation enhanced the crystal structure’s stability and improved the kinetics of the battery’s charge and discharge processes. The result? In early testing, a robust cathode with a reversible capacity of 109 mAh g−1 at 2–4 V and 144 mAh g−1 at 2–4.3 V shows great potential for long-term stability. This approach has successfully minimized phase transitions during battery operation, as evidenced by in-depth diffraction studies. Prof. Noked’s promising findings guide future research toward efficient, high-entropy cathodes for sodium-ion batteries. Dive into the full study for a deeper understanding: https://lnkd.in/dzT8w_DB

 

 


DAvid zitounProf. David Zitoun and his team have been exploring the potential of single atoms as catalysts. This innovative approach promises to significantly reduce the use of critical raw materials like platinum, a key player in hydrogen oxidation reactions (HOR). Their findings were recently published in the esteemed journal Carbon Energy. Using a redox reaction, Prof. Zitoun’s team has successfully synthesized a platinum single electrocatalyst housed within single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Intensive characterizations through electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron microscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy have confirmed the single-atom nature of the platinum. They studied the electrochemical behavior of the sample in relation to hydrogen and oxygen using the advanced floating electrode technique, developed by Prof. Anthony Kucernak’s team from Imperial College London (UK). This method minimizes mass transport limitations and provides a detailed understanding of the electrocatalyst’s activity.
The results? The single-atom samples outperformed the state-of-the-art 30% Pt/C in HOR activity while showing almost no oxygen reduction reaction activity in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell operating range. This selective activity towards HOR is a distinctive feature of the catalyst confinement within the SWCNTs. Check the whole study for a deeper understanding  
https://lnkd.in/dKh6gB2U

 


Prof. Dan T. Major, Prof. Malachi Noked, along with Prof. Sagar Mitra Prof. Dan T. Major, Prof. Malachi Noked, along with Prof. Sagar Mitra (IIT Bombay), and their team recently developed a Nb-doped P2-type single crystal cobalt-free layered oxide cathode material that offers extraordinary cycling stability and high-power performance for Na-ion batteries. Their findings, published in Energy Storage Materials last month, reveal a synergistic stabilization effect in this innovative material. By introducing Nb into the transition metal layer, they reduced the electronic band gap, boosted electronic conductivity, and alleviated ionic diffusion energy barriers. The introduction of Nb results in strong Nb-O bonds, which stabilizes the host structure, and also improves electron and Na+ mobility.
This research achieved a uniform distribution of niobium throughout the single crystal, specifically doped at the nickel site within the bulk, without triggering atomic-scale surface reorganization. The presence of single crystals enhances various kinetic factors, highlighting the profound correlation between structural defects and chemical proliferation, reducing the evolution of oxygen gas. Their P2-type Nb-doped single crystal cathode (Na0.67Ni0.31Mn0.67Nb0.02O2) shows an impressive capacity retention of >95% after 100 cycles at 0.1 C and >90% after 2000 cycles at 1 C. Further practical assessments in complete cell setups with a pre-sodiated hard carbon anode confirm the material’s viability, with capacity retention of over 93% after 100 cycles in a coin cell and approximately 89% in a pouch cell format. This comprehensive study underscores the transformative potential of Nb-doped single crystal cobalt-free P2-type layered oxide cathode materials, marking a significant leap forward in sodium-ion battery technology.

For more insights, please check out the link
https://lnkd.in/djSrQzn8


ISRAELIn honor of Israel's 76th Independence Day, we proudly present a special edition Star of David crafted through innovative 3D printing technology.
Utilizing the cutting-edge Nano-Scribe machine, the Fabrication unit in BINA printed the Star of David in a range of sizes, spanning from 1 micron to 100 microns.

Happy Independence day

For more details about 3D printing- Yossi.abulafia@biu.ac.il

 

 

 


NOKEDUnder the leadership of Prof. Malachi Noked, along with Prof. Doron Aurbach, Prof. Doron Naveh, and their team, a significant advancement has been achieved. This breakthrough has been recognized and published in the highly respected Nature Nanotechnology journal. Their research addresses a pivotal issue in the advancement of all-solid-state lithium batteries (ASSLBs)—balancing cost-efficiency with performance. The team introduced a sulfide-based ASSLB featuring a high-energy, cobalt-free LiNiO2 cathode, distinguished by its robust structure. This innovation stems from a high-pressure oxygen synthesis process, followed by the atomic layer deposition of an ultrathin, multi-element LixAlyZnzOδ protective layer. This layer not only fortifies the cathode's structure but also improves the dynamics at the interface, reducing degradation and side reactions. The result? An ASSLB that boasts an impressive areal capacity of 4.65 mAh cm−2, a specific cathode capacity of 203 mAh g−1, remarkable cycling stability with 92% capacity retention over 200 cycles, and commendable rate capability, maintaining 93 mAh g−1 at a 2C rate. This study paves the way for cost-effective yet high-performing ASSLBs, circumventing the need for expensive materials traditionally used in cathodes and coatings. It's a significant step forward in our quest for sustainable energy solutions. Dive into the full paper for a deeper understanding at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-023-01519-8

 

 


NIZTANDr. Nitzan Gonen and her team have recently published exciting research on understanding male development in mammals at Nucleic Acids ResearchTheir study sheds light on the critical role of two SOX transcription factors, SRY and SOX9, in embryonic testis. They previously discovered that the deletion of Enhancer 13 (Enh13, 557 bp long) of the Sox9 gene can lead to XY male-to-female sex reversal. While individual microdeletions in Enh13’s transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) still allow for normal testicular development, the combined microdeletions of just two SRY/SOX binding motifs can fully abolish Enh13 activity, leading to XY male-to-female sex reversal. This underscores the importance of these few nucleotides of non-coding DNA for proper male development. Interestingly, Dr. Gonen found that the nature of these TFBS mutations can lead to dramatically different phenotypic outcomes. This finding explains the distinct clinical outcomes observed in patients harboring different variants of the same enhancer.

To get more information, visit https://lnkd.in/dwXefgtV

 

 


 

dan majorA recent publication in the esteemed Angewandte Chemie journal features the innovative research of Prof. Dan T. Major and his team on the role of terpene synthases (TPS). Terpenes, a broad category of substances naturally produced by plants, bacteria, and fungi, have a range of medicinal applications. These include acting as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, mood stabilizers, and even exhibiting anti-cancer properties. Additionally, terpenes contribute to the diverse array of natural fragrances found in citrus fruits, roses, cannabis, and more.

In their innovative study, Prof. Major's team has, for the first time, identified notable differences in how these substances are synthesized in plants as opposed to bacteria and fungi. Their research methodology involved various computational tools, spanning both computational biology (for sequence comparison and motif identification) and computational chemistry (for predicting the geometry of the precursor substance that forms terpenes within the enzymes that produce them). One of these tools, specifically tailored for this study, was developed in Prof. Major's laboratory.

This pioneering research holds the potential to produce precisely and on a large scale terpenes for various medicinal and industrial applications. For more detailed insights, please visit the published article at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.202400743


sharonNew technique for improving CT scan resolution
A technique for improving the resolution of X-ray computed tomography (CT) scans is presented in a proof-of-principle study published in Communications Engineering.
The technique developed by Sharon Shwartz, Adi Ben-Yehuda and colleagues combines a single-pixel imaging method with a deep learning algorithm and a CT image reconstruction tool to measure scattered radiation produced during CT scanning, which can blur and distort images. They used their technique to reconstruct a high resolution three-dimensional CT image of a cow bone sample. They estimate the resolution of the images obtained using their method to be 500 micrometres, which they suggest is approximately an order of magnitude higher than the typical resolution of scattered X-ray imaging techniques.
The authors suggest that, with further development, their technique could have the potential to enhance the image quality of medical CT images by enabling small and complex details to be viewed at lower radiation doses, which could minimise radiation exposure for patients.

visit https://lnkd.in/df8MRiDn


 

DrorNew publication from the laboratory of Dror Fixler, in which a groundbreaking biosensor for the accurate measurement of blood oxygen is presented .

With conventional methods, scattering is often overlooked, leading to errors in blood oxygen measurement. Our optical biosensor, which utilizes the Iso-Pathlength (IPL) point, isolates absorption from scattering, enabling accurate extraction of oxygen saturation.

With a single light source and multiple photodetectors (PDs), our biosensor achieves remarkable accuracy with a margin of error of only 0.5%. It has been tested on thirty-eight people under normal and extreme conditions, proving its reliability in real-life scenarios.

This innovation promises more reliable and accessible blood oxygen monitoring.


MICHAELIProf. Shulamit Michaeli in collaboration with Prof. Ada Yunath recently unveiled the intricate dance of Trypanosomes at Nature Communications. These notorious protozoan parasites cycle between insect and mammalian hosts, triggering sleeping sickness. Prof. Michaeli and her team mapped the elusive changes of pseudouridine (Ψ) modification on rRNA across the parasite’s two life stages, employing not one but four genome-wide approaches. The results? Knocking out the snoRNAs that guide Ψ on helix 69 (H69) of the large rRNA subunit proved to be lethal, highlighting their critical role. But it gets more intriguing. A single knock-out of a snoRNA guiding Ψ530 on H69 shook up the 80S monosome’s composition, impacting the translation of a specific protein subset. Supported by a high-resolution cryo-EM structure, their study suggests that altering rRNA modifications could lead to ribosomes with a preference for translating proteins beneficial to the parasite’s state. This discovery advances our understanding of parasitic mechanisms and opens the door to targeted treatments

For more details, visit https://lnkd.in/d3htjaeK

 

 


ניצןExciting Breakthrough in Testis Modeling: Introducing Testis Organoids!

Dr. Nitzan Gonen's latest paper presents a significant advancement in the field of male reproductive health research by establishing the first-ever testis organoid model. This innovative model holds immense potential for understanding and treating disorders of sex development and male infertility.

 

 

 


MADINAA recent study delving into the effects of Ga ion irradiation on freestanding monolayer graphene, with a specific focus on the behavior of defect-induced Raman lines, was initiated by Nahum Shabi and published in Surfaces and Interfaces. The article was authored by three members of the BINA team: Nahum Shabi, Dr. Olga Girshevitz, and Dr. Madina Telkhozhayeva.

 

 

 

 


rachela EIC grant for nanoparticle-based research for cancer treatment
Prof. Rachela Popovatzer from the Faculty of Engineering and the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials won a grant of €150,000 for research aimed at making drug treatment more effective and focused.

What will the next generation of cancer drugs look like? What will make them more effective and focused? The European Union is investing in the implementation of an innovative Israeli project based on gold nanoparticles, for the more effective treatment of various cancers, including breast cancer. Behind the study is Prof. Rachela
Popovatzer, Vice Dean of the Kopkin Faculty of Engineering and a leading researcher at the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials at Bar-Ilan University. Prof. Popovatzer's innovative project, called Golden-ADC, proposes a new concept for combining antibodies and chemotherapy drugs in the treatment of tumors, such as those characteristic of breast cancer.
Prof.
Popovatzer's patent is based on insulin-coated gold nanoparticles, which serve as an innovative platform for transporting antibody-based drugs (ADCs) to tumor areas. The use of gold nanoparticles makes it possible to overcome a number of challenges that have faced biological treatment to date, including how the drug binds to the antibody. This greatly improves the effectiveness of treatment. "As part of the Golden-ADC project, we envision achieving significant progress in the development of the technology, by demonstrating a proof-of-concept that combines efficacy and safety in triple-negative breast cancer models," notes Prof. Popovatzer.
The European Research Council also believes in Prof.
Popovatzer's project, and therefore awarded him the EIC (Proof of Concept Grant) of 150,000 euros. This grant funds researchers previously supported by the European Research Council, enabling them to advance their ideas from the groundbreaking research phase towards practical applications of the findings, including the first stages of commercial use.
This is not the first time Prof.
Popovetzer has been awarded a grant from the European Union. In March 2022, she was awarded the Council's Consolidator Grant for the innovative research project BrainCRISPR, which presented a novel gold nanoplatform for inserting CRISPR biomolecules into the brain to cure rare genetic brain diseases.


אלי כהןExciting breakthrough! New article written by Dr. Eliahu Cohen's group, in collaboration with Prof. Ernesto Galvão's group at INL, introduces a novel approach that connects and unifies key quantities crucial in quantum computation, sensing, simulation, and communication. The work presents Bargmann invariants as foundational building blocks, revealing unique quantum properties. Coherence, a fundamental phenomenon across physics, underlies these quantities, broadening its scope beyond conventional optics towards sets of quantum states. "Our quantum circuits, developed through this approach, enable straightforward measurement of important quantities using quantum computers", says Dr. Cohen. The research is a result of a two-year collaboration with INL, initiated and partially funded by BINA.

https://lnkd.in/eMTg7gQq

 


Innovative ResearchNew article written by Prof. Orit Shefi in collaboration with Prof. Ester Segal from the Technion, demonstrating targeted cancer treatment by biolistic delivery of porous silicon chips loaded with light activated drug.

https://lnkd.in/dk7-sfHK