近日罗巍博士、马会茹副教授等撰写的论文“Responsive Hydrogel-based Photonic Nanochains for Microenvironment Sensing and Imaging in Real Time and High Resolution”被美国化学会领军期刊Nano Letters（影响因子：12.712）接收。
原文详细摘要如下：Microenvironment sensing and imaging are of importance in micro-scale zones like microreactors, microfluidic systems and biological cells. But they are so far implemented only based on chemical colors from dyes or quantum dots, which suffered either from photobleaching, quenching or photoblinking behaviors, or from limited color gamut. In contrast, structural colors from hydrogel-based photonic crystals (PCs) may be stable and tunable in the whole visible spectrum by diffraction peak shift, facilitating the visual detection with high accuracy. However, the current hydrogel-based PCs are all inappropriate for micro-scale detection due to the bulk size. Here we demonstrate the smallest hydrogel-based PCs ― responsive hydrogel-based photonic nanochains with high-resolution and real-time response by developing a general hydrogen bond-guided template polymerization method. A variety of mechanically separated stimuli-responsive hydrogel-based photonic nanochains have been obtained in a large scale including those responding to pH, solvent and temperature. Each of them has a submicrometer diameter and is composed of individual one dimensional periodic structure of magnetic particles locked by a tens-of-nm-thick peapod-like responsive hydrogel shell. Taking the pH-responsive hydrogel-based photonic nanochains for example, pH-induced hydrogel volume change notably alters the nanochain length, resulting in a significant variation of the structural color. The submicrometer size endows the nanochains with improved resolution and response time by 2~3 orders of magnitude than the previous counterparts. Our results for the first time validate the feasibility of using structural colors for microenvironment sensing and imaging, and may further promote the applications of responsive PCs, such as in displays and printing.