Volume 15

  • No. 2 February 2020

    Nanotherapy boosts atherosclerotic plaque clearance

    In healthy tissue, dead cells are usually rapidly cleared by macrophages to ensure tissue homeostasis. However, in atherosclerosis, phagocytic clearance is impaired, and thus, large necrotic cores are formed. Flores et al. report a nanotherapy that restores the phagocytic capacity of macrophages and promotes inflammation resolution in atherosclerosis. Single-walled carbon nanotubes are first loaded with a chemical inhibitor of a key anti-phagocytic signalling pathway. Upon injection, they accumulate in macrophages within atherosclerotic plaques and reactivate phagocytosis. This Trojan horse strategy shows efficient plaque reduction in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.

    Article by Leeper et al N&Vs by Fredman

  • No. 1 January 2020

    The ins and outs of diradical nanographene

    Clar’s goblet is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with an unconventional source of magnetism. This bow tie shaped nanographene, which was predicted by Erich Clar in the 1970s, possesses an even number of carbon atoms and π-electrons, but the connectivity of the carbon atoms prohibits pairing of all electrons into π-bonds. The resulting diradical character makes the molecule very reactive and, thus, unstable under standard conditions. Mishra, Beyer and colleagues have now synthesized Clar’s goblet on a gold surface under ultra-high vacuum conditions. By means of low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy, they have unveiled the structure of the molecule and its antiferromagnetic ground state, and controllably manipulated the radical character. The cover art is based on a scanning probe image revealing the carbon–carbon bond structure of Clar’s goblet and shows an artificial ensemble of nine molecules.

    Letter by Fasel et al.; N&Vs by Melle-Franco