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Special Issue "Functional Crystals for (Nano-)Technological and Biomedical Applications"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Structure".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 1831

Special Issue Editors

Institute for Scientific and Technological Resources (SCTs), University of Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
Interests: HR-TEM; biomaterials; protein crystal growth; biophysics; biomedical
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Faculty of Chemistry, University of Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
Interests: crystallography; MOFs; hybrid materials; crystal prediction; synthesis; nanocomposites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The necessity of growing crystals has led to a tremendous progress in different research topics leading to useful (industrial) applications in divergent fields. For instance, the structural determination of functional compounds, inorganic molecules and biological macromolecules requires the ordered condensation of the respective molecules (liquid or solid material) in a definite pattern with surface regularity reflects an internal symmetry, i.e., crystal growth. This is because many structural characterization methodologies can then be used to reveal their accurate 3D structure, such as X-ray, synchrotron, neutron, and XFEL crystallography, as well as NMR. On the other hand, crystallization, itself is used as a tool in many pharmaceutical, technological, and biomedical applications. As an example, crystallization is used as a tool for purification of a target molecule from its surrounding. Even more, crystallization is used to separate molecules of a specific handedness (chirality) from its opposite counterpart (left and right). In addition, the growth of nanocrystals or nanoparticles attracted a lot of interest for their potential applications in (bio)nanotechnology and targeted therapeutical delivery applications.

Therefore, in this special issue focused on the scope of crystals with potential applications in (nano)technology and biomedicine, we are accepting submissions that present tools for facilitating nucleation, the early onset of crystallization, and their routes, given the recent reveals of the nucleation mechanism that has gone beyond the classical nucleation theory. Furthermore, submissions addressing new crystallization routes and methods to obtain high-quality crystals or facilitating control over crystal size, habit, or handedness are included within the scope of this issue. Moreover, manuscripts describing the structural determination and applications of functional crystals are directly related to this special issue.

We welcome manuscripts in the form of full papers, communications, minireviews and reviews.

Dr. Alaa Adawy
Prof. Dr. Santiago Garcia-Granda
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • crystal structure
  • nucleation
  • crystallization methodologies
  • crystal growth
  • biological macromolecules
  • biomaterials
  • MOFs
  • hybrid molecules

Published Papers (1 paper)

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18 pages, 3198 KiB  
An Eco-Benign Biomimetic Approach for the Synthesis of Ni/ZnO Nanocomposite: Photocatalytic and Antioxidant Activities
Molecules 2023, 28(4), 1705; - 10 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1233
With the increasing demand for wastewater treatment and multidrug resistance among pathogens, it was necessary to develop an efficient catalyst with enhanced photocatalytic and antibacterial applications. The present study proposes a facile and green strategy for synthesizing zinc oxide (ZnO) decorated nickel (Ni) [...] Read more.
With the increasing demand for wastewater treatment and multidrug resistance among pathogens, it was necessary to develop an efficient catalyst with enhanced photocatalytic and antibacterial applications. The present study proposes a facile and green strategy for synthesizing zinc oxide (ZnO) decorated nickel (Ni) nanomaterials. The synthesized Ni/ZnO nanocomposite displays a high crystallinity and spherical morphology, which was systematically characterized by XRD, SEM, FT-IR, UV-visible spectroscopy, EDX, HRTEM, and XPS techniques. In addition, the bacteriological tests indicated that Ni/ZnO nanocomposite exhibits potent antibacterial activity against human pathogens, i.e., Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and Escherichia coli (E. coli). The inhibition zone observed in light and dark conditions for E. coli was 16 (±0.3) mm and 8 (±0.4) mm, respectively, which confirms the high efficacy of the nanocomposite in the presence of light compared to dark conditions. The detailed inhibition mechanism of said bacterium and damage were also studied through fluorescence spectroscopy and SEM analysis, respectively. Evaluation of antioxidant activity based on free radical scavenging activity revealed that the Ni/ZnO nanocomposite effectively scavenges DPPH. In the photocatalytic performance, the Ni/ZnO nanocomposite exhibited a remarkable degradation ability under the optimized condition, which was attributed to their controllable size, high surface area, and exceptional morphology. Good selectivity, high photodegradation, and antibacterial activities and satisfactory hemolytic behavior of the as-prepared nanocomposite make them able to become a potential candidate for superior biological performance and environmental remediation. Full article
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