Recent papers

Journal of Physical Chemistry C publishes study from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences and their Spanish and Russian colleagues on new platform for optical monitoring of medium's pH

The study pH-Sensing Platform Based on Light−Matter Coupling in Colloidal Complexes of Silver Nanoplates and J-Aggregates by Victor Krivenkov, Pavel Samokhvalov, Igor Nabiev, and Yury P. Rakovich presents the results of the development of a new method for monitoring the pH by using the effect of strong light–matter coupling in plasmon–exciton nanohybrid systems.

The authors have designed colloidal complexes of silver nanoplates coated with a shell of J-aggregates of the cyanine dye JC-1 (commercial name). Upon the exposure to external electromagnetic radiation, provided that resonance conditions are met, longitudinal oscillations of electron density (localized plasmons) are formed in silver nanoplates, which allows the electromagnetic field energy to be concentrated within the plasmon mode volume (approximately equal to the volume of the nanoplatelet itself). This ultra-high concentration of photon density states allows the light–matter coupling effect to occur, with optical transitions in molecules located within the plasmon mode volume. J-aggregates of cyanine dyes are characterized by a unique optical band (the so-called J-band), which corresponds to the formation of the excitonic state, and the corresponding excitonic transition has a very large dipole moment. The use of J-aggregates of the JC-1 cyanine dye with a uniquely high excitonic transition dipole moment allowed the researchers to obtain the regime of a strong light-matter coupling (between the plasmon mode and the excitonic transition). In the optical spectrum of the resultant complexes, both the Rabi splitting effect related to the formation of hybrid polariton bands in the extinction spectrum of the complexes and the effect of induced transparency representing a spectral dip in the region of the maximum of the plasmon mode spectrum were observed. The researchers have found that a change in the pH of the medium in which the complexes are located is accompanied by a dramatic change in the strength of the light–matter coupling effect on the extinction spectrum of the complexes. They attribute this effect to a change in the dipole moment of the excitonic transition due to a change in the structure of the J-aggregates when the pH changes. This characteristic behavior makes it possible to monitor the changes in the pH in a very wide range, from 11 to 2, which significantly exceeds the ranges covered by all other optical methods. These results can be used in various technological and economic applications, including agriculture and the fields of biomedicine, biochemistry, and environment monitoring.


Contact : Prof. Igor Nabiev,


The highly rated Nanoscale journal publishes study from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences

A study performed by LRN-EA4682 together with collaborating foreign (Russian and Spanish) research centers has appeared in the Nanoscale, a prestigious international journal jointly published by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) of China. The study Strong Increase in the Effective Two-Photon Absorption Cross-Section of Excitons in Quantum Dots Due to the Nonlinear Interaction with Localized Plasmons in Gold Nanorods by Victor Krivenkov, Pavel Samokhvalov, Ana Sánchez-Iglesias, Marek Grzelczak, Igor Nabiev,and Yury Rakovich describes the effect, discovered by the authors, of a substantial increase in quantum dots' capacity for two-photon absorption as a result of nonlinear resonance energy transfer from gold plasmonic nanoparticles.

The authors have developed a thin-film hybrid material composed of semiconductor quantum dots absorbing and emitting light in the visible wavelength range and gold plasmonic nanoparticles absorbing infrared radiation. The researchers have found that the two-photon absorption capacity of quantum dots in a nonlinear mode increases more than 12-fold in this material. Two-photon absorption essentially represents an optical transition upon simultaneous absorption of two photons, the energy of this transition being equal to the sum of energies of the two photons. In the case of quantum dots, two-photon absorption leads to energy energy upconversion; i.e., obtaining one high-energy photon of visible light from two infrared photons with low energy. The authors explain the observed increase in the probability of two-photon absorption in quantum dots located near gold plasmonic nanoparticles by nonlinear near-field dipole–dipole energy transfer. This has become possible because the gold plasmonic nanoparticles used can effectively interact with the exciting infrared radiation and concentrate its energy near its surface due to the localized resonant plasmon oscillations. As a result, the energy density of the electromagnetic field of the plasmonic mode is sufficient for effective simultaneous energy transfer from two quanta of the plasmonic mode to the exciton state in the quantum dot. The results of this study make it possible to significantly increase the efficiency of the use of quantum dots for upconversion of electromagnetic field energy, which can be widely used for high-contrast bioimaging and designing of nonlinear-optical photodetectors.


Contact : Prof. Igor Nabiev,


Unveiling the elasticity of individual aortic fiber during ageing at nanoscale by in situ Atomic Force Microscopy

Arterial stiffness is a complex process affecting the aortic tree that significantly contributes to cardiovascular diseases (systolic hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure or stroke). This process involves a large extracellular matrix remodeling mainly associated with elastin content decrease and collagen content increase. Besides various chemical modifications accumulating with ageing have been also described to affect long-lived assemblies such as elastic fibers that could affect their elasticity. To precisely characterize the fiber evolution with ageing and the evolution of its elasticity, high resolution and multimodal techniques are needed to get precise insight of a single fiber behavior and of its surrounding medium. In this study, the latest developments in atomic force microscopy and the related nanomechanical modes are used to investigate at an unprecedented resolution the evolution and in a near-physiological environment, the morphology and the elasticity of aorta cross sections obtained from tissues of mice of different ages. In correlation with more classical approaches such as Pulse Wave Velocity and fluorescence imageing, we demonstrate that the relativeYoung's moduli of elastic fibers, as well as those of the surrounding areas, significantly increase with ageing. This nanoscale characterization brings a new view on the stiffness process, showing that beside the elastin and collagen content changes, elasticity is impaired at the molecular level allowing a deeper understanding of the ageing process. Such nanomechanical AFM measurements of mice tissues could easily be applied to studies of diseases during which elastic fiber suffured pathologies such as atherosclerosis and diabetes where the precise quantification of the fiber elasticity could allow to better follow the fiber remodeling and to predict the plaque rupture.


Paper from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences on developing drug delivery tools is in prestigious ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

The paper Controlling Charge Transfer from Quantum Dots to Polyelectrolyte Layers Extends Prospective Applications of Magneto-Optical Microcapsules by Galina Nifontova, Victor Krivenkov, Maria Zvaigzne, Pavel Samokhvalov, Anton Efimov, Olga Agapova, Igor Agapov, Evgeny Korostylev, Sergei Zarubin, Alexander Karaulov, Igor Nabiev, and Alyona Sukhanova reports the results of analysis of the optical properties and structure of fluorescent magnetic polyelectrolyte microcapsules labeled with fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots) and magnetic nanoparticles.

The authors have determined the effect of photoinduced charge and energy transfer processes on the stability of the fluorescent signal of the microcapsules. They have demonstrated that irradiation with visible light may change the charge of the quantum dots in the microenvironment of the polyelectrolyte polymers, which leads to changes in the intensity of their photoluminescence. The results of the experiments have made it possible to develop a physical model of photoinduced charge transfer in the polyelectrolyte microcapsule shell and the method for controlling this process by varying the surface charge of the polymer shell. These results will be used for designing fluorescent magnetic microcapsules intended for long-term imaging and the quantitative estimation of the optical signal, which will allow the range of application of the microcapsules to imaging and drug delivery to be substantially broadened.

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is a to-rated journal (with an impact factor of 8.8) published by the American Chemical Society. The journal is in the first quartile of the world's best journals in three categories: Materials Science (rank 36 among 626 journals), Medicine (92nd among 2754 journals), and Nanosciences and Nanotechnology (11th among 84 journals).

Stages of formation of the polymer microcapsule shell and its labeling with quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles (left); changes in the kinetics of photoluminescence of the microcapsules whose shell contains quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles (middle) upon irradiation, as dependent on their surface charge (right).

Abbreviations: NP, nanoparticle; QD, quantum dot; MNP, magnetic nanoparticle; PL, photoluminescence.


Optic Express publishes paper from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences on quantum dot luminescence enhancement in photonic crystals

LRN-EA4682, in collaboration with Russian colleagues, has published a paper on Enhancement of spontaneous emission of semiconductor quantum dots inside one-dimensional porous silicon photonic crystals (by Dmitriy Dovzhenko, Igor Martynov, Pavel Samokhvalov, Evgeniy Osipov, Maxim Lednev, Alexander Chistyakov, Alexander Karaulov, and Igor Nabiev, Optics Express, 2020, 28 (15), 22705–22717).

The study deals with the effect of enhanced photoluminescence of quantum dots placed into a one-dimensional porous silicon photonic crystal. Quantum dots are small-sized fluorescent nanostructures that are a promising material for applications in the field of light–matter interactions. Different methods are used for enhancing the luminescence of such structures, of special interest being the use of photonic crystals. Periodic variation of the refraction index in the photonic crystal can provide a local increase in the rate of spontaneous emission of luminophores.

Porous silicon is a material widely used for fabricating photonic crystals due to its considerable advantages such as the possibility of precisely controlling the refraction index, simple production, and a high sorption capacity. However, an increase in the radiative relaxation rate of luminophores inside photonic crystals has not been demonstrated thus far because of considerable luminescence quenching upon contact between the luminophore and the silicon surface.

This study is the first to demonstrate the enhancement of both intensity and rate of spontaneous emission of semiconductor quantum dots inside photonic structures made of porous silicon. This has been made possible by using the technique of deep oxidation of photonic crystals, which ensured the suppression of luminescence quenching and a decrease in the energy loss due to absorption. The results offer a new approach to controlling spontaneous luminescence by varying the local electromagnetic environment of luminophores in a porous matrix, which paves the way for novel optoelectronic, biosensing, and energy harvesting applications.

The Optics Express is a top-rated, entirely online, open access journal. It provides fast publication of meticulously reviewed papers on scientific and technological advances in all fields of optics and photonics. The Optics Express is in the first quartile of the world's best journals in the field of Atomic and Molecular Physics and Optics, being on the well-deserved 22nd place among 231 journals of this category.



Annalen der Physik, “Albert Einstein's journal” publishes study from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences on plasmon–exciton interaction

Annalen der Physik, a top-rated international journal, has published a study from the Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences performed in collaboration with Russian and Spanish research centers.

The paper reports new experimental data that extend the understanding of the physical basis of plasmon–exciton interaction in hybrid nanostructures based on semiconductor quantum dots and plasmon nanoparticles: Victor Krivenkov, Daria Dyagileva, Pavel Samokhvalov, Igor Nabiev, Yury Rakovich (2020) Effect of Spectral Overlap and Separation Distance on Exciton and Biexciton Quantum Yields and Radiative and Nonradiative Recombination Rates in Quantum Dots Near Plasmon Nanoparticles. Annalen der Physik, first published: 9 July 2020,

The study deals with the changes in the rates of radiative and nonradiative recombinations of exciton and biexciton states in semiconductor quantum dots under the influence of collective plasmon modes of silver nanoparticle layers. The authors used their own original approach to form self-organized layers of plasmon nanoparticles in the vicinity of quantum dots simultaneously with the monitoring of the photoluminescence of single quantum dots. The results have provided an insight into how the degree of resonance overlap of the excitation radiation, emission, and plasmon oscillation spectra affects the enhancement of the photoluminescence signals of both exciton and biexciton states in quantum dots. The data obtained in the study is of key importance for improving the light-emitting properties of novel materials based on quantum dots and plasmonic nanoparticles, as well as for developing the sources of quantum-entangled photons with the use of biexciton photoluminescence.

Annalen der Physik is one of the world's oldest scientific journals, published for more than two centuries. Albert Einstein, Heinrich Hertz, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, Max Planck, Hermann Minkowski, Erwin Schrödinger, and other world-renowned scientists published their first studies in this journal. This is where Albert Einstein published most of his works, including the famous “Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt” (On a Heuristic Point of View about the Creation and Conversion of Light, 1905), where Einstein's law of the photoelectric effect was enunciated and the foundation was laid for the quantum theory of radiation.


Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences develops new molecular biology methods

Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences has contributed three chapters to the monograph Quantum Dots: Applications in Biology published by the Humana Press in the book series Methods in Molecular Biology.

The methods described in these chapters are related with the results of ongoing research and developments in the field of micro- and nanosystems for disease diagnosis and treatment using semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots). Their unique optical properties allow quantum dots to be used as labels in diagnostic probes, theranostic systems, and microarrays in order to make analyses more sensitive and "multiplexed" (with many biomarkers detected in a single biological sample).

The chapter "Stimulus-sensitive theranostic delivery systems based on microcapsules encoded with quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles" (G. Nifontova, F. Ramos-Gomes, F. Alves, I. Nabiev, A. Sukhanova) describes a method for manufacturing optical–magnetic microcapsules, with both fluorescent quantum dots and magnetic particles integrated in the shell (Scheme 1). These microcapsules are sensitive to external stimuli (optical radiation and magnetic field) and can serve as a platform for designing theranostic systems with controlled drug release, as well as contrast agents detected be fluorescent microscopy and magnetic resonance methods, which make them promising components of diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

The chapter "Multiplexed detection of cancer serum antigens with a quantum dot-based lab-on-bead system" (T. Tsoy, A. Karaulov, I. Nabiev, A. Sukhanova) deals with the development of a suspension test system for the detection of circulating biomarkers in blood samples (Scheme 2). In this method, quantum dots with different optical properties are incorporated into the shell of microbeads, and antibodies recognizing the target biomarker of a specific disease (e.g., cancer) are attached to the microbead surface. The biomarker bound by the antibodies is imaged using an organic dye. This "lab-on-bead" provides high-precision quantitative detection of several cancer markers at a time using flow cytometry. Experiments have shown distinct advantage of the new diagnostic system over enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays routinely used in clinical laboratories.

The chapter "Comparative advantages and limitations of quantum dots in protein array applications" (N. Ayadi, F. Lafont, C. Charlier, H. Benhelli-Mokrani, P. Sokolov, A. Sukhanova, F. Fleury, I. Nabiev) describes the use of quantum dots as fluorescent labels in biochips intended for multiplexed analysis. In these biochips, quantum dots are conjugated with secondary antibodies recognizing the analyte that has been preliminarily bound by the primary antibody attached to the biochip surface (Scheme 3). The effectiveness of the test system has been demonstrated in experiments on (A) detecting DNA-protein kinases in cells and (B) estimating the level of protein phosphorylation caused by DNA damage.

The Methods in Molecular Biology book series has been published as part of Springer Protocols since 1983. The books of these series represent collections of new research methods and protocols in molecular biology and related areas described by the authors of the methods in detail sufficient for readers to reproduce the techniques in their labs.



Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences improves characteristics of quantum dot based light-emitting diodes: Paper in the top-rated Scientific Reports

Prof. Igor Nabiev, director of LRN-EA4682, in collaboration with Pavel Samokhvalov and Maria Zvaigzne, researchers of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Russia as well as A.E. Alexandrov and D.A. Lypenko, of the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, have published a study on Al-, Ga-, Mg-, or Li-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles as electron transport layers for quantum dot light-emitting diodes. The study appeared in the Scientific Reports, a top-rated journal published by the Nature Publishing Group.

The authors have analyzed how the doping of ZnO nanoparticles constituting the electron-transport layer (ETL) with Al, Ga, Mg, and Li affects the characteristics of quantum dot–based light-emitting diodes (QLEDs), next-generation light-emitting devices.

Colloidal quantum dots are promising materials for optoelectronic devices. The controllable spectral position of the peak and high quantum yield of the quantum dot luminescence make it possible to engineer highly efficient light-emitting diodes and displays with a large color range. The use zinc oxide nanoparticles as the material for ETL allowed the characteristics of QLEDs to be dramatically improved. A high electron mobility in the ZnO layer and the possibility of fine tuning of the energy bands by doping the nanoparticles has resulted in considerably increased brightness and current efficiency of the devices.

Since the first use of ZnO nanoparticles as the material for ETL, various doping strategies have been proposed that allowed the enhancement of QLED characteristics by optimizing the energy diagram of the device, modulating the electron transport, and decreasing unwanted migration of charge carriers between the active layer of quantum dots and the ETL. However, there is no clear choice of the ZnO-based ETL material, because doping with different elements yields devices with similar characteristics. The authors of the published study estimated the effects of different dopants on the QLED characteristics and performed comparative analysis.

It has been found that doping of the ETL material with aluminum ensures the best characteristics of the device in terms of brightness, current efficiency, and turn-on voltage due to the high electrical conductivity of aluminum and low roughness of its surface. The results of the study will be useful for the selection of the optimal ETL materials in future QLED developments.

Scientific Reports is a top-rated international journal of the Nature Publishing Group which publishes only original studies and developments. The journal has permanently been in the first quartile of interdisciplinary journals in SCImago's Scientific Journal Ranking (SJR) almost since its foundation.


Top-rated ACS Photonics publishes paper from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences: New method to measure fluorescent nanocrystals' two-photon absorption efficiency

The prestigious international journal ACS Photonics has published a study on the efficiency of two-photon light absorption by samples of fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals with unknown concentrations, which is a challenging issue in a number of their practical applications (Victor Krivenkov, Pavel Samokhvalov, Darya Dyagileva, Igor Nabiev, Alexander Karaulov. Determination of the single-exciton two-photon absorption cross-sections of semiconductor nanocrystals through the measurement of saturation of their two-photon-excited photoluminescence) performed by the collaboration of LRN-EA4682; National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Russia; and Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Russia.

Nanocrystal fluorescence induced by nonlinear absorption of two excitation photons at a time is increasingly widely used in imaging and detection of biological targets because it allows the excitation with infrared light instead of visible one. Nanocrystals are the best choice as fluorophores in these applications because they are capable of two-photon absorption varying for nanocrystals of different sizes, shapes, and compositions. The traditional methods of measuring the efficiency of two-photon absorption (two-photon absorption cross section) for emitting single-exciton states may be inaccurate in the case of large nanocrystals, as well as samples with unknown concentrations or low optical densities.

The authors solve this problem by analyzing the fluorescence signal saturation process with the use of their own theoretical model which takes into account incomplete relaxation of the fluorophores between laser pulses. Experiments have shown that the new method yields excellent results for samples with unknown concentrations of nanocrystals and samples with ultralow optical densities.

The results of the study extend the applications of fluorescent detection and imaging of biological objects with the use of two-photon excitation in the infrared spectral region and offer new possibilities in designing nonlinear optical photodetectors.

ACS Photonics is an interdisciplinary journal published by the American Chemical Society. The journal publishes empirical research and theoretical articles and reviews on various basic and applied aspects of photonics. ACS Photonics, first published as recently as 2014, soon became atop-rated journal. Since 2015, it has always been included in the first quartile of the SCImago journal ranking (SJR) in four categories: Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics; Biotechnology; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; and Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials.



Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences comes up with a new approach to multiplexed detection of disease markers

The top-rated Scientific Reports journal has published a study on a new method for multiplexed detection performed by researchers from LRN-EA4682 and their foreign colleagues (Kage, D., Katrin Hoffmann, K., Nifontova, G., Krivenkov, V., Sukhanova, A., Nabiev, I., Resch-Genger, U. Tempo-spectral multiplexing in flow cytometry with lifetime detection using QD-encoded polymer beads. Scientific Reports, 10, 653).

Optically encoded polymer microbeads are promising tools for detecting molecular targets by means of flow cytometry, which are being intensely developed with a view to using them in molecular diagnoses of cancer and other diseases. The designing of such microbeads is an ongoing line of research at LRN and collaborating laboratories, where, e.g., an original method has been developed to obtain microcapsules with a multilayered shell in which layers of quantum dots of different colors and types are separated from one another by polyelectrolyte layers (

The approach used in the published paper is essentially new in that not only the wavelength, but also the fluorescence lifetime are used as optical codes. The recording of the fluorescence lifetime in the flow cytometry mode has become possible owing to a novel setup which measures both the fluorescence intensities at different wavelengths and the fluorescence lifetimes directly in the fluid flow.

Four types of microbeads were used in the study, two of them containing organic fluorophores and the other two ones containing quantum dots, which have a much longer fluorescence lifetime. The former microbeads served for color coding, and the latter, for fluorescence lifetime coding. The experiments have confirmed that the differences between quantum dots in fluorescence lifetime are distinctly detectable through recording their fluorescence decay kinetics using the new cytometric setup. Obviously, more types of microbeads containing each kind of fluorophores can be used in practical applications.

Thus, the use of fluorescence kinetic parameters as "another dimension in parameter space" has enhanced the potential of multiplexed fluorescence detection within one analysis of a single sample. This is important, in particular, for making the detection of disease markers quicker, more reliable, and less expensive and will undoubtedly increase the efficiency of medical diagnosis.

Scientific Reports is a top-rated international journal of the Nature group publishing only original studies and developments. The journal has permanently been in the first quartile of interdisciplinary journals in SCImago's Scientific Journal Ranking (SJR) almost since its foundation.



Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences studying mechanisms of antitumor drug interaction with blood proteins: Publication in the Biochimie

The top-rated journal Biochimie has published a joint study from LRN-EA4682 and several French, Canadian, and Russian research centers that deals with the interaction of the Rad51 enzyme inhibitor with blood proteins (Velic, D., Charlier, C., Popova, M., Jaunet-Lahary, T., Bouchouireb, Z., Henry, S., Weigel, P., Masson, J.-Y., Laurent, A., Nabiev, I., Fleury, F. Interactions of the Rad51 inhibitor DIDS with human and bovine serum albumins: Optical spectroscopy and isothermal calorimetry approaches).

The trans-stilbene derivative DIDS, a regulator of anion transport across biological membranes, inhibits the Rad51 enzyme, which is involved in DNA break repair and largely determines the radio- and chemoresistances of cancer cells. The possibility of using DIDS in anticancer therapy depends on its stability and the mechanisms of its interaction with blood proteins.

The authors of the published study analyzed the mechanisms of interaction of DIDS with human serum albumin, a protein accounting for more than half of the serum protein content. DIDS binding sites on the albumin molecule were identified, the binding kinetics was studied, and the binding stoichiometry was established. It was found how the DIDS interactions determine the ratio between its free and bound forms in the blood and, hence, the efficiency of its transport and its resultant efficacy as an antitumor drug.

The Biochimie, a journal published by y Elsevier on behalf of the French Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is one of the oldest and leading international journals in this field, included in the first quartile (Q1) of medical journals in the SCImago ranking for twenty years in a row.


Four papers from the Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences published in the Proceedings of SPIE

The latest issue of the Proceedings of SPIE, a periodical of the International Society for Optics and Photonics, published four studies from LRN performed in collaboration with French and foreign research centers. These are extended versions of the presentations at the IV International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics (AOP 2019) organized by the International Society for Optics and Photonics in Lisbon, Portugal, in late May to early June this year.

The study Polariton-assisted emission of strongly coupled organic dye excitons in a tunable optical microcavity by D. Dovzhenko, K. Mochalov, I. Vaskan, I. Kryukova, Yu. Rakovich, and I. Nabiev demonstrated that light–matter interaction in the strong coupling regime can be controlled by means of a tunable Fabry–Perot microcavity, which was shown in experiments with the organic dye Rhodamine 6G. The results have implications for the development of novel light sources, as well as biosensing and control of chemical reactions.

The study Modification of multiphoton emission properties of single quantum dot due to the long-range coupling with plasmon nanoparticles in thin-film hybrid material by V. Krivenkov, P. Samokhvalov, A Sanchez-Iglesias, M. Grzelczak, I. Nabiev, and Yu. Rakovich dealt with the enhancement of two-photon emission of quantum dots due to their interaction with gold nanorods, which depends on the distance between the excitonic and plasmonic nanoparticles. The mechanisms of this phenomenon have been studied, and the possibility of controlling the degree of luminescence enhancement has been shown. This possibility offers opportunities for the development of novel materials in various fields of optoelectronics and quantum technologies.

The subject of the paper Nanophotonic tools based on the conjugates of nanoparticles with the single-domain antibodies for multi-photon micrometastases detection and ultrasensitive biochemical assays by A. Sukhanova, F. Ramos-Gomes, P. Chames, D. Baty, F. Alves, P. Samokhvalov, and I. Nabiev is the application of the nanoprobes consisting of quantum dots and single-domain antibodies that were earlier designed in LNBE to diagnosis and therapy of cancer. Experimental data reported by the authors demonstrate the advantage of two-photon excitation of the nanoprobe photoluminescence, which improves the sensitivity of the method and allows the imagine of cancer markers and, hence, detect newly formed metastases deep in tissues.

The paper Engineering of fluorescent biomaging tools for cancer cell targeting based on polyelectrolyte microcapsules encoded with quantum dots by G. Nifontova, M. Baryshnikova, F. Ramos-Gomes, F. Alves, I. Nabiev, and A. Sukhanova deals with another cancer theranostic tool developed in LNBE, polymer microcapsules optically encoded with quantum dots (in this case, capture antibodies are attached to the microcapsule surface). In particular, these microcapsules are potentially suitable for targeted delivery of antitumor drugs, which can be placed into the cavity of the capsule. The paper describes the procedure for fabrication and encoding of the microcapsules and reports the experimental data that confirm reliable detection of cancer cells using the new tool for delivery and bioimaging.

Practical implementation of these developments will substantially enhance the effectiveness of early diagnosis and treatment of malignant tumors.


Study from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences on nanotoxicity issues published by Frontiers in Chemistry, top-rated international journal

The Frontiers in Chemistry has published a study performed by researchers from the Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences in collaboration with their colleagues from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Russia; University of Tübingen, Germany; and Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Russia (Sukhanova, A., Poly, S., Bozrova, S., Lambert, E., Ewald, E., Molinari, M., Karaulov, A.V., Nabiev, I. Nanoparticles with a specific size and surface charge promote disruption of the secondary structure and amyloid-like fibrillation of human insulin under physiological conditions. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00480).

The study deals with nanotoxicity, a problem that has become urgent now that the prospect arises of using fluorescent nanocrystals (quantum dots) in medicine as components of diagnostic and therapeutic nanosystems. Nanotoxicity is one of the main problems precluding the introduction of nanoparticles into the body of a patient. Its solution would, in particular, take cancer diagnosis and treatment to a whole new level.

One of the causes of potential "molecular" toxicity of nanoparticles is their interaction with proteins leading to an altered conformation of the biological molecules. As a result, the function of the protein (e.g., and enzyme or a hormone) is disturbed, and, in addition, an autoimmune response occurs.

The authors of the published study analyzed how the nanoparticles' toxic effect depends on their size and surface charge under physiological conditions. They found that the toxicity depended much more on the nanoparticle size and charge than on their chemical composition. Moreover, it turned out that the degree of nanoparticle's toxicity could be controlled by varying their size and surface charge. This task has been solved by the authors. It has been demonstrated that technologies developed in LRN and collaborating organizations make it possible to either increase or almost entirely cancel the toxicity of nanoparticles of any chemical composition, irrespective of their structure.

Figure 1. The time course of the interaction between insulin and quantum dots imaged by atomic force microscopy.

The Frontiers in Chemistry publishes breakthrough studies in various fields of chemistry, biology, and medicine and at interfaces with other sciences. The journal was founded six years ago and has been included in the first quartile of journals on Chemistry in SJR.



Scientific Reports: Researchers from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences in collaboration with Russian colleagues make instrument for multiplexed detection of cancer markers

Scientific Reports, a the top-rated international journal of the Nature Publishing Group, has published a paper from LRN-EA4682 and two Russian research centers describing a method of biosensing ensuring a quicker, more sensitive, and more reliable diagnosis of cancer developed by the authors (Petrova I., Konopsky V., Nabiev I., Sukhanova A. (2019) Label-free flow multiplex biosensing via photonic crystal surface mode detection. Sci. Rep., 9, 8745).

The approach used in the study is based on independent real-time recording of the excitation angle of the surface modes of a photonic crystal bearing capture molecules (antibodies against cancer markers) and the total internal reflection angle. The approach proposed is label-free; i.e., it provides imaging without using a label. It is also quick and highly sensitive, with a detection threshold of about several tenths of a picogram per milliliter. A special advantage is that the new biosensor allows simultaneous detection of different markers in a sample, which the authors have demonstrated in this study.

Practical use of the new approach will help solving the issue of early diagnosis, which is a crucial factor in cancer treatment.

It is noteworthy that the potential use of this approach is not restricted to oncology. For example, the authors recently used the same principle for the detection of bacterial toxins in order to estimate the bacterial contamination of foods, water, and other media.

Scientific Reports is an international journal publishing original research articles from various fields of science and medicine. In the SJR, the journal has been included in the first quartile of interdisciplinary journals for about eight years, almost from the moment of its foundation, and is among the best journals in the Interdisciplinary Journal group.



Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences comes out with nonlinear optical cell with uniquely high efficiency of IR radiation conversion

The prestigious international journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics has published a study on Remarkably enhanced photoelectrical efficiency of bacteriorhodopsin in quantum dot–purple membrane complexes under two-photon excitation Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2019, 137, 117.

The H. salinarum purple membranes contain the photosensitive protein bacteriorhodopsin, which is the agent generating the transmembrane electrical potential. The protein's own light absorption spectrum is rather narrow, not covering the IR region. The photoelectrochemical cell performance is enhanced because the quantum dots, whose unique nonlinear optical properties make it possible to convert two absorbed IR photons into one quantum with a higher energy, transfer the excitation energy to bacteriorhodopsin via a nonradiative route, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET).

The photoelectrochemical cell developed in LNBE is unique among similar cells based on natural proteins and upconversion nanoparticles in that the authors have succeeded in obtaining a two-photon photoresponse owing to excitation of quantum dots in the IR spectral region, as well as highly efficient transfer of the energy of their excitation to bacteriorhodopsin. As a result, the new nano–bio hybrid system converts IR light into electricity 4.3-fold more efficiently than the original purple membranes. This has become possible due to the unique next-generation quantum dots with a multilayer shell also synthesized in LNBE. These quantum dots have a photoluminescence quantum yield as high as 100% and can be tightly bound to the purple membrane surface.

Owing to the highly efficient energy conversion, nonlinear nature of the two-photon excitation, and the related sharp threshold of radiation sensitivity, the novel photoelectrochemical cell could be widely used in biosensing, designing of elements for optical and holographic computing, and various fields of opto- and bioelectronics.

The Biosensors and Bioelectronics, with an impact factor higher than 8, is among the world's leading journals, included in Q1 of the SCImago ranking in six subject categories ( Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, Biotechnology, Electrochemistry, Medicine, and Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.


Study from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences published in top-rated Materials Science and Engineering C

The international journal Materials Science and Engineering C has published a study on a medical application of nanomaterials performed at the Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences in collaboration with Brazilian and Russian research centersde Menezes, F.D., dos Reis, S.R.R., Pinto, S.R., Portilho, F.L., do Vale Chaves e Mello, F., Helal-Neto, E., da Silva de Barros, A.O., Alencar, L.M.R., de Menezes, A.S., Santos, C.C., Saraiva-Souza, A., Perini, J.A., Machado, D.E., Felzenswalb, I., Araujo-Lima, C.F., Sukhanova, A., Nabiev, I., Santos-Oliveira, R. Graphene quantum dots unraveling: Green synthesis, characterization, radiolabeling with 99mTc, in vivo behavior and mutagenicity. MaterialsScience and Engineering C, 2019, 102, 405–414.

The study deals with the use of graphene nanoparticles for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Graphene-based nanolabels are considered promising innovative tools for medical diagnosis and in loco therapy; however, their behavior in the body and potential mutagenicity remain insufficiently understood.

The authors have developed a new green method for synthesizing graphene nanoparticles and a technique for their radioactive labeling. Experiments on mice have demonstrated that the distribution of these nanoparticles in living systems and their accumulation in different organs in healthy state and during inflammation can be traced. Tests on tissue cultures have shown that graphene nanoparticles labeled with radioactive isotopes are mutagenic.

The Elsevier journal Materials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications publishes studies at the interface of biomedical sciences and materials engineering. According to the SCImago ranking, this prestigious international journal is in the first quartile in a number of subject categories:



Optics Express, a leading international Q1 journal, publishes a study from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences

Latest results of the series of studies on light–matter interaction currently underway in LRN-EA4682 in collaboration with Russian and Spanish research centers have been published in the Optics Express (Dmitriy Dovzhenko, Konstantin Mochalov, Ivan Vaskan, Irina Kryukova, Yury Rakovich, Igor Nabiev. Polariton-Assisted Splitting of Broadband Emission Spectra of Strongly Coupled Organic Dye Excitons in Tunable Optical Microcavity).

The authors have become the first to achieve controlled variation of the photoluminescent properties of an organic fluorophore due to the strong coupling between electron transitions in its molecule and the electromagnetic modes of a tunable optical microcavity. The control of this process is ensured by the unique design of the microcavity (which the authors earlier patented), with the distance between the mirrors tuned with a nanometer precision.

The discovered effect is of utmost importance not only for basic research in resonance light–matter interactions in the strong coupling regime, but also for practical applications, such as the control of chemical reaction rate, novel sensing and diagnosis systems, as well as development of coherent light sources.

The Optics Express is a journal of the Optical Society of America, it publishes both basic and applied original studies from various fields of optics. The journal has been published for more than a decade, being included in the first quartile (Q1) of the world's best journals on Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics.


Frontiers in Chemistry, a top-rated Q1 journal from publishes a new development by the Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences, in the field of cancer diagnosis and treatment

Frontiers in Chemistry, a prestigious international journal, has published the latest result of research and developments by LRN-EA4682 in collaboration with leading Russian and German research centers in the field of diagnosis and treatment of cancer (Galina Nifontova, Fernanda Ramos-Gomes, Maria Baryshnikova, Frauke Alves, Igor Nabiev and Alyona Sukhanova. Cancer Cell Targeting with Functionalized Quantum Dot–Encoded Polyelectrolyte Microcapsules).

Polyelectrolyte microcapsules carrying monoclonal antibodies on the surface, optically tagged, and loaded with a pharmaceutical agent are promising tools for cancer diagnosis and treatment. The best candidates for the role of the optical tags are quantum dots, with their bright and stable photoluminescence, wide absorption spectra, and narrow emission spectra.

In the microprobes developed by the authors, quantum dots are embedded in the polymer shell of the capsules, which prevents their direct interaction with cells and ensures imaging of the carrier. Experiments on cell cultures have confirmed that the new microcapsules, first, find their targets, namely, cells expressing a cancer marker on their surface, with a high precision and, second, have themselves a very low cytotoxic activity. In other words, the microcapsules encoded with quantum dots are a promising platform for designing theranostic agents that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Frontiers in Chemistry is a leading international journal on chemistry publishing original, mainly interdisciplinary, breakthrough studies that present new fundamental knowledge or innovative developments. Established in 2013, Frontiers in Chemistry has been permanently included in the first quartile in its subject area since 2016 and has an impact factor higher than 4.

Two more articles by Galina Nifontova and coauthors have already been accepted for publication and will appear in Frontiers in Chemistry soon.

The article is open access at the journal's website:

Laser & Photonics Reviews

Paper from Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences and Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) is on the cover of the Laser & Photonics Reviews, a world's leading photonics journal

The editors of the Laser & Photonics Reviews, one of the world's leading journals in optics and laser physics, mark the scientific significance of Victor A. Krivenkov, Semyon A. Goncharov, Igor R. Nabiev, and Yury P. Rakovich's study Induced Transparency in Plasmon–Exciton Nanostructures for Sensing Applications by placing its on the cover of the January issue (See picture).

Laser & Photonics Reviews is a top-rated Q1 journal (with an impact factor of 8.5) published by Wiley-VCH. It is the 4th among 94 world's best journals in Optics according to the Journal Citation Reports (JСR) ranking.

The paper continues the series of top-rated collaborative publications from the Laboratoire de Recherche en Nanosciences of the Universite de Reims Champagne-Ardenne and cluster of "Mega-laboratories" of MEPhI on designing new hybrid nanostructures with controlled optical properties and their applications to nano-sensing with the use of the latest advances in physics, chemical technology of nanosystems, inorganic and organic syntheses, and biomedicine.

ACS Publications


Laboratory of Research in Nanosciences (LRN-EA4682) again on the cover of a world's leading journal

The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters has published the study Enhancement of Biexciton Emission Due to Long-Range Interaction of Single Quantum Dots and Gold Nanorods in a Thin-Film Hybrid Nanostructure by Victor Krivenkov, Simon Goncharov, Pavel Samokhvalov, Ana Sánchez-Iglesias, Marek Grzelczak, Igor Nabiev, and Yury Rakovich, in collaboration with the Russian and Spanish research centers.

Editors of this journal consider the study's scientific importance to be high enough for its graphical abstract to appear on the cover of this prestigious periodical.

The published study deals with an important current problem of nanophotonics, modification of the intensity of quantum dot luminescence by plasmonic nanoparticles. Photoluminescent semiconductor nanocrystals “quantum dots” can simultaneously generate two excitons upon absorption of radiation and then almost simultaneously emit two photons, which makes their luminescence brighter and may be useful for various quantum technological applications.

The authors have developed a thin-film composite structure with a controlled distance between quantum dots and plasmonic particles (golden nanorods) and showed that variation of this distance causes a change in the ratio between the intensities of nonradiative and radiative recombinations of excitons. The researchers explain this by enhancement of the Purcell effect (which increases the probability of radiative recombination) with increasing distance between the exciton and plasmon. Apart from the basic scientific importance, the results of the study have considerable practical implications for materials science, quantum optics, quantum technologies, and biosensing.

The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters is published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Publications and is one of the world's most prestigious journals in materials science, as well as nanoscience and nanotechnology (

This top-rated international journal with an impact factor of 8.7 (Q1 category of the best journals in the discipline) publishes only the studies that make a contribution to science owing to a significant scientific advance and/or physical insight.