Yong Zhang

Shenyang Normal University, Feng-t’ien, Liaoning, China

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Publications (235)791.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Optogenetics is an emerging powerful tool to investigate workings of the nervous system. However, the use of low tissue penetrating visible light limits its therapeutic potential. Employing deep penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light for optogenetics would be beneficial but it cannot be used directly. This issue can be tackled with upconversion nanoparticles (UCNs) acting as nanotransducers emitting at shorter wavelengths extending to the UV range upon NIR light excitation. Although attractive, implementation of such NIR-optogenetics is hindered by the low UCN emission intensity that necessitates high NIR excitation intensities, resulting in overheating issues. A novel quasi-continuous wave (quasi-CW) excitation approach is developed that significantly enhances multiphoton emissions from UCNs, and for the first time NIR light-triggered optogenetic manipulations are implemented in vitro and in C. elegans. The approach developed here enables the activation of channelrhodopsin-2 with a significantly lower excitation power and UCN concentration along with negligible phototoxicity as seen with CW excitation, paving the way for therapeutic optogenetics.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Small
  • Zidong Wang · Lei Zou · Yong Zhang · Zhenxing Liu

    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · IET Control Theory and Applications
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    ABSTRACT: Lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) are an emerging class of luminescent materials that emit UV or visible light under near infra-red (NIR) excitations, thereby possessing a large anti-Stokes shift property. Due to their sharp excitation and emission bands, excellent photo- and chemical stability, low autofluorescence, and high tissue penetration depth of the NIR light used for excitation, UCNPs have surpassed conventional fluorophores in many bioapplications. A better understanding of the mechanism of upconversion, as well as the development of better approaches to preparing UCNPs, have provided more opportunities to explore their use for optical encoding, which has the potential for applications in multiplex detection and imaging. With the current ability to precisely control the microstructure and properties of UCNPs to produce particles of tunable emission, excitation, luminescence lifetime, and size, various strategies for optical encoding based on UCNPs can now be developed. These optical properties of UCNPs (such as emission and excitation wavelengths, ratiometric intensity, luminescence lifetime, and multicolor patterns), and the strategies employed to engineer these properties for optical encoding of UCNPs through homogeneous ion doping, heterogeneous structure fabrication and microbead encapsulation are reviewed. The challenges and potential solutions faced by UCNP optical encoding are also discussed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Small
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    ABSTRACT: High-quality hexagonal NaYF4:Yb,Tm upconversion nanocrystals (UCNs) prepared in organic solutions display uniform sizes and strong UC emissions, but they possess a hydrophobic surface which hinders combining them with various semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) to form a hybrid NIR-activated photocatalyst. Herein we present a facile approach to modify hydrophobic UCNs with a uniform carbon layer and enable them with hydrophilicity and surface functionalization. The carbon shell provides a good substrate for enriching with metal ions and in situ generation of CdS nanoclusters on the particle surface which can utilize both the upconverted UV and visible emissions. The developed NaYF4:Yb,Tm@C@CdS nanoparticles are characterized with TEM, SEM, XRD, PL and UV-Vis spectra and their formation mechanism is elucidated. The products display good photocatalytic activity under visible light and obviously enhanced performance under Vis-NIR light, due to the efficient utilization of UC emissions and the strong adsorption capacity of the carbon shell. The working mechanism of the hybrid photocatalysts is also proposed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Nanoscale
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    ABSTRACT: Nanoparticles exhibit size-dependent properties which make size-selective purification of proteins, DNA or synthetic nanoparticles essential for bio-analytics, clinical medicine, nano-plasmonics and nano-material sciences. Current purification methods of centrifugation, column chromatography and continuous-flow techniques suffer from particle aggregation, multi-stage process, complex setups and necessary nanofabrication. These increase process costs and time, reduce efficiency and limit dynamic range. Here, we achieve an unprecedented real-time nanoparticle separation (51-1500 nm) using a large-pore (2 μm) deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) device. No external force fields or nanofabrication are required. Instead, we investigated innate long-range electrostatic influences on nanoparticles within a fluid medium at different NaCl ionic concentrations. In this study we account for the electrostatic forces beyond Debye length and showed that they cannot be assumed as negligible especially for precise nanoparticle separation methods such as DLD. Our findings have enabled us to develop a model to simultaneously quantify and modulate the electrostatic force interactions between nanoparticle and micropore. By simply controlling buffer solutions, we achieve dynamic nanoparticle size separation on a single device with a rapid response time (<20 s) and an enlarged dynamic range (>1200%), outperforming standard benchtop centrifuge systems. This novel method and model combines device simplicity, isolation precision and dynamic flexibility, opening opportunities for high-throughput applications in nano-separation for industrial and biological applications.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Lab on a Chip
  • Lei Li · Song Bai · Wenjie Yin · Sheng Li · Yong Zhang · Zhengquan Li
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    ABSTRACT: Decreasing the shell thickness of TiO2 hollow spheres is a promising route to achieve an overall enhanced photocatalytic performance. However, in traditional synthetic approaches, the thin shell can not guarantee the structural stability of the TiO2 hollow spheres in the following calcination process to achieve a high degree of crystallinity. In this paper, ultrathin porous TiO2 hollow spheres with good structural stability, high degree of crystallinity as well as in small grain size were prepared through a novel etching and reconstruction route using amorphous SiO2/TiO2 hollow spheres as precursor. With hot water as etchant, the removal of SiO2 leads to the reconstruction of TiO2 hollow spheres and receiving a thinner and thinner shell. Such thin shell enables the exposure of more catalytic active sites of TiO2 nanocrystals and the improved photogenerated charge transfer and separation. Meanwhile, the residual SiO2 on the TiO2 shell protects the TiO2 nanocrystals from growing larger during high-temperature calcinations. The as-obtained ultrathin porous TiO2 hollow spheres exhibited enhanced photocatalytic activity in hydrogen production from water in comparison with those with thicker shell.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Chinese medical journal
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    ABSTRACT: The integration of smartphone with paper sensors recently has been gain increasing attentions because of the achievement of quantitative and rapid analysis. However, smartphone based upconversional paper sensors have been restricted by the lack of effective methods to acquire luminescence signals on test paper. Herein, by the virtue of 3D printing technology, we exploited an auxiliary reusable device, which orderly assembled a 980nm mini-laser, optical filter and mini-cavity together, for digitally imaging the luminescence variations on test paper and quantitative analyzing pesticide thiram by smartphone. In detail, copper ions decorated NaYF4:Yb/Tm upconversion nanoparticles were fixed onto filter paper to form test paper, and the blue luminescence on it would be quenched after additions of thiram through luminescence resonance energy transfer mechanism. These variations could be monitored by the smartphone camera, and then the blue channel intensities of obtained colored images were calculated to quantify amounts of thiram through a self-written Android program installed on the smartphone, offering a reliable and accurate detection limit of 0.1μM for the system. This work provides an initial demonstration of integrating upconversion nanosensors with smartphone digital imaging for point-of-care analysis on a paper-based platform.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Biosensors & Bioelectronics
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    ABSTRACT: The poor solubility of many newly discovered drugs has resulted in numerous challenges for the time-controlled release of therapeutics. In this study, an advanced drug delivery platform to encapsulate and deliver hydrophobic drugs, consisting of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles incorporated within poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) microgels, was developed. PLGA nanoparticles were used as the hydrophobic drug carrier, while the PEG matrix functioned to slow down the drug release. Encapsulation of the hydrophobic agents was characterized by fluorescence detection of the hydrophobic dye Nile Red within the microgels. In addition, the microcomposites prepared via the droplet-based microfluidic technology showed size tunability and a monodisperse size distribution, along with improved release kinetics of the loaded cargo compared with bare PLGA nanoparticles. This composite system has potential as a universal delivery platform for a variety of hydrophobic molecules.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Biomicrofluidics
  • Source
    Xinhui Xu · Yong Zhang · Qingcheng Hu · Chao Li · Chunxiao Xing

    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Development of upconversion nanocrystals (UCNs) under 808nm excitation other than 980nm is much important to biological applications for avoiding tissue over-heating. Nd3+ and Yb3+ dual-sensitized UCNs are proven to be promising candidates but how to select host materials to construct core-shell UCNs with strong UC emissions still remains unexplored. Herein, we prepare a series of homogenous and heterogeneous core-shell UCNs using NaYF4 and NaGdF4 as the core-host and/or as the shell-host, respectively, through the seed-mediate synthetic approach. Our results show that selecting the core-host in the core-shell UCNs plays the key role in determining their final UC intensities. Furthermore, homogenous core-shell UCNs can give stronger UC fluorescence than the heterogeneous ones due to the low crystal defects at the core-shell interface. Moreover, the concentration effect of activator ions and sensitizer ions in these core-shell UCNs on their UC emissions is analyzed, and optimal doping under different NIR excitation (808nm, 980nm or 808nm/980nm) is achieved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · RSC Advances
  • Dan Li · Jianjian Xie · Yong Zhang · Ru Qiao · Sheng Li · Zhengquan Li
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Development of magnetic visible-light-driven photocatalysts is desirable to the practical application of photocatalyts for collection and recycling use. Here we present a facile approach to synthesize Fe3O4@C@CdS magnetic photocatalysts which can avoid multi-step preparation process. Through one-step solvothermal carbonization of ferrocene, the produced carbon-coated Fe3O4 clusters can serve as both magnetic cores and deposition substrates for in situ generating crystalline CdS nanocrystals on them by rapid microwave irradiation. The prepared Fe3O4@C@CdS nanoparticles exhibit a uniform core-shell structure and display good photocatalytic activity and recyclability in the degradation of organic dyes. These magnetic photocatalysts may find potential application in wastewater treatment for the future environment remedy.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Alloys and Compounds
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    ABSTRACT: Current chemo/biosensors for hypochlorous acid or hypochlorite detections are usually limited to the submicromolar level because of their insufficient sensitivity, which is a problem because the concentrations in biological matrices is generally on the nanomolar scale or even lower. Developing a probe with a high enough sensitivity remains a challenge. Using the minimal background fluorescence of upconversion nanocrystals to our advantage, we herein report on an energy-transfer mechanism-based upconversion luminescent nanosensor for the sensitive and selective detection of hypochlorite in aqueous solution. In this nanosensor water-dispersible upconversion nanoparticles act as the energy donor and a novel hypochlorite-responsive coordination complex Zn(DZ)3 is employed as the energy acceptor. The quenched upconversion luminescence, induced by the Zn(DZ)3 complex, can be efficiently recovered after addition of hypochlorite through the selective oxidative breakage of the Zn-S-C bonds in the Zn(DZ)3 complex, which was verified by mass spectrometry. The detection limit for hypochlorite of this sensing system is as low as 3 nM. Furthermore, this newly coordination-complex engineered upconversion nanosensor is successfully applied to image different amounts of exogenous hypochlorite in living HeLa cells. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Small
  • Lili Cui · Xiaowei Wang · Yong Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, a novel reinforcement learning-based cooperative tracking control scheme is proposed for a class of multi-agent dynamic systems with disturbances and un-modeled dynamics on undirected graphs by using neural networks (NNs). For each agent, two NNs are employed, i.e., an actor NN which approximates the unknown nonlinearity and generates the control input, and a critic NN which evaluates the performance of the actor and updates the weights of actor NN. Further, a RISE technique is utilized in the design of the actor NN and the critic NN to compensate for the external disturbances and the NN approximation errors. Based on the Lyapunov theory, it is proved that the proposed control scheme can guarantee the tracking error of each agent to converge to zero asymptotically. Additionally, the proposed control scheme is distributed in the sense that the controller for each agent only uses the local neighbor information. Finally, two simulation examples are given to verify the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Neurocomputing
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    ABSTRACT: Plant proteins have been drawing increasing attention owing to their safety, abundance and relatively low cost in comparison with animal proteins. The development of plant protein-based delivery vehicles may lead to the provision of novel pharmaceutical products to patients. Zein is a class of alcohol-soluble prolamine proteins present in maize endosperm that was approved as a generally recognised as safe excipient in 1985 by the US FDA for use in pharmaceutical film coatings. Over the past few decades, numerous studies have been carried out to illustrate zein's potential for novel applications in the biomedical field. This paper reviews the present status of zein-based nanofibres, with emphasis on their fabrication and biomedical applications, particularly for drug delivery. Their benefits and limitations are also discussed to provide further insight into zein's potential as a promising biomaterial.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Current pharmaceutical design
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    ABSTRACT: Deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) arrays containing shaped pillars have been found to be more effective in biomedical sample separation. This study aims to numerically investigate the interplay between particles and microfluidic arrays, and to find out the key factors in determining the critical size of a DLD device with shaped pillars. A new formula is thus proposed to estimate the critical size for spherical particle separation in this kind of new DLD microfluidic arrays. The simulation results show that both rectangular and I-shaped arrays have considerably smaller critical sizes. The ratio of sub-channel widths is also found to play an important role in reducing the critical sizes. This paves a valuable way toward designing high-performance DLD microfluidic arrays.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · IEEE transactions on nanobioscience
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    Yong zhang · Minghao Lu · Guangyong Sun · Guangyao Li · Qing Li
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    ABSTRACT: The foam-filled thin-walled composite structures have proven an ideal energy absorber in automotive engineering for its extraordinary energy absorption ability and lightweight features. Unlike existing uniform foam and thickness (UFT) structure, this paper introduces functionally graded foam (FGF) to fill into functionally graded thickness (FGT) thin-walled structure, named as double functionally graded (DFG) tube, where different configurations of foam and wall thickness gradients are taken into account. To systematically explore the crashworthiness of DFG structures, first, experimental results were performed to validate finite element (FE) models. Second, a comparison of crashworthiness was carried out for (1) four different DFG structures, (2) four single functionally-graded (SFG) structures and (3) one traditional UFT structure. The results showed that the DFG structures have better energy absorption capacity than the SFG and UFT structures, especially with a convex gradient configuration. In addition, the specific energy absorption (SEA) values of these four DFG structures are fairly close to each other, while their loading responses highly depend on the combination of gradients. Of these DFG structures, Ascending– Ascending configuration exhibits best overall crashworthiness characteristics. Finally, parametric studies were performed and the results indicated that widening the ranges of foam density and tube wall thickness can improve the energy absorption of the Ascending–Ascending DFG structures without increasing the initial peak load. Therefore, the DFG structure of Ascending–Ascending gradient is recommended for a potential absorber.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Composite Structures
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    ABSTRACT: Lanthanide materials have been gaining popularity for use in various theranostic applications, primarily due to their unique optical properties such as narrow emission bands, multiple emission wavelengths, emission tunability, long fluorescence lifetime and large Stokes shift. Apart from these, some lanthanide materials also exhibit magnetic and light-up conversion properties. Such nanomaterials have been used for a wide range of applications ranging from detection of biomarkers, in vitro and in vivo imaging to therapeutic applications. Recently, combined modalities of lanthanide nanomaterials for simultaneous detection/imaging and delivery of therapeutic agents (termed 'theranostics') have been explored. The various advantages and disadvantages of using lanthanide nanomaterials as theranostic agents and potential areas for future development have been discussed in this review.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Nanomedicine
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    ABSTRACT: To develop a platform technology for photoactivation of gene expression in deep tissues. Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNs) were synthesized from rare earth elements like Ytterbium, Yttrium and Thulium. The nanoparticles were then further coated with a layer of mesoporous silica and loaded with photomorpholinos or photocaged plasmids and tested in zebrafish. The UCNs were activated using safe near-infrared (NIR) light which in turn produced UV light locally to enable photoactivation in deep tissues. Light-controlled gene knockdown was demonstrated in an in vivo model, namely zebrafish. UCNs loaded with photomorpholinos were used to knockdown a gene - ntl, which is essential for notochord formation and mesoderm patterning in zebrafish using NIR light. UCN-mediated light-controlled gene expression was also achieved by expressing GFP in tumor cells transplanted into adult zebrafish by irradiating the fish with NIR light. Apart from the delivery and control of genes, the UCNs were also used as imaging agents to image both zebrafish embryos and adult zebrafish. enabled excellent background-free, fluorescent imaging of both embryos and adult zebrafish. This technique of controlling gene expression/knockdown through NIR using UCNs is a game changer in the field of genetic manipulation and has the potential of being an excellent, safe and easy to implement tool for developmental biologists to investigate the role of specific genes in development. However, this technique is not restricted to be used only in zebrafish and can be extended for use in other animal models and even for clinical use, in various gene therapy applications.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Nanomedicine
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    ABSTRACT: Spherical superparticles consisting of small NaYF4:Yb, Er nanocrystals are developed with an emulsion method. Within each superparticle, many individual upconversion nanocrystals are condensed together and lots of small vacancies are simultaneously produced because of the packing of primary nanocrystals. Through the loading fluorescent dyes inside the vacancies of these superparticles during assembly, one can fine-tune the upconversion fluorescence of these superparticles. Nearly single-band red upconversion emission can also be achieved by loading suitable amounts of dyes in these superparticles.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Micro & Nano Letters

Publication Stats

8k Citations
791.72 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Shenyang Normal University
      Feng-t’ien, Liaoning, China
  • 2014-2015
    • Zhejiang Normal University
      • College of Chemistry and Life Sciences
      Jinhua, Zhejiang Sheng, China
    • Guangdong Medical College
      Tsamkong, Guangdong, China
    • Tongji Hospital
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China
  • 2012-2015
    • Hefei University of Technology
      • Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering
      Luchow, Anhui Sheng, China
  • 2011-2015
    • National Huaqiao University
      Amoy, Fujian, China
    • China University of Geosciences (Beijing)
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2008-2015
    • National University of Singapore
      • • Department of Bioengineering
      • • Faculty of Engineering
      Tumasik, Singapore
  • 2000-2015
    • Tsinghua University
      • Department of Computer Science and Technology
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2010-2014
    • Wuhan University of Science and Technology
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China
  • 2009-2014
    • Yancheng Teachers University
      Ching-yen-hsien, Sichuan, China
  • 2011-2013
    • Hebei Normal University
      • College of Mathematics and Information Science
      Chentow, Hebei, China
  • 2011-2012
    • Huazhong University of Science and Technology
      • Department of Control Science and Engineering
      Wuhan, Hubei, China
  • 2001-2004
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Materials Science and Engineering
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 1996-2001
    • Zhejiang University
      • • Department of Material Science and Engineering
      • • Department of Management Science and Engineering
      Hang-hsien, Zhejiang Sheng, China