Effect of structure: A new insight into nanoparticle assemblies from inanimate to animate

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Science Advances  13 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 20, eaba1321
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba1321


Nanoparticle (NP) assemblies are among the foremost achievements of nanoscience and nanotechnology because their interparticle interactions overcome the weaknesses displayed by individual NPs. However, previous studies have considered NP assemblies as inanimate, which had led to their dynamic properties being overlooked. Animate properties, i.e., those mimicking biological properties, endow NP ensembles with unique and unexpected functionalities for practical applications. In this critical review, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the properties of NP assemblies, particularly their animate properties. Key examples are used to illustrate critical concepts, and special emphasis is placed on animate property-dependent applications. Last, we discuss the barriers to further advances in this field.

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