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  1. Ullah F, Abdullah AH, Kaiwartya O, Cao Y
    J Med Syst, 2017 Jun;41(6):93.
    PMID: 28466452 DOI: 10.1007/s10916-017-0739-y
    Recently, Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) has witnessed significant attentions in research and product development due to the growing number of sensor-based applications in healthcare domain. Design of efficient and effective Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol is one of the fundamental research themes in WBAN. Static on-demand slot allocation to patient data is the main approach adopted in the design of MAC protocol in literature, without considering the type of patient data specifically the level of severity on patient data. This leads to the degradation of the performance of MAC protocols considering effectiveness and traffic adjustability in realistic medical environments. In this context, this paper proposes a Traffic Priority-Aware MAC (TraPy-MAC) protocol for WBAN. It classifies patient data into emergency and non-emergency categories based on the severity of patient data. The threshold value aided classification considers a number of parameters including type of sensor, body placement location, and data transmission time for allocating dedicated slots patient data. Emergency data are not required to carry out contention and slots are allocated by giving the due importance to threshold value of vital sign data. The contention for slots is made efficient in case of non-emergency data considering threshold value in slot allocation. Moreover, the slot allocation to emergency and non-emergency data are performed parallel resulting in performance gain in channel assignment. Two algorithms namely, Detection of Severity on Vital Sign data (DSVS), and ETS Slots allocation based on the Severity on Vital Sign (ETS-SVS) are developed for calculating threshold value and resolving the conflicts of channel assignment, respectively. Simulations are performed in ns2 and results are compared with the state-of-the-art MAC techniques. Analysis of results attests the benefit of TraPy-MAC in comparison with the state-of-the-art MAC in channel assignment in realistic medical environments.
  2. Ullah F, Othman MB, Javed F, Ahmad Z, Akil HM, Rasib SZ
    Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2016 Feb;83:376-84.
    PMID: 26597568 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2015.11.040
    A new approach to design multifunctional chitosan based nanohydrogel with enhanced glucose sensitivity, stability, drug loading and release profile are reported. Two approaches were followed for functionalization of chitosan based nanohydrogel with 3-APBA via EDC and 3-APTES. The effective functionalization, structure and morphology of Chitosan based IPN respectively were confirmed by FTIR, SEM and AFM. At physiological conditions, the glucose-induced volume phase transition and release profile of the model drug Alizarin Red with 1,2-diol structure (comparative to insulin as a drug as well as a dye for bio separation) were studied at various glucose concentrations, pH and ionic strengths. The results suggested a new concept for diabetes treatment and diols sensitivity in view of their potential hi-tech applications in self-regulated on-off response to the treatment (drug delivery and bio separation concurrently).
  3. Othman MB, Khan A, Ahmad Z, Zakaria MR, Ullah F, Akil HM
    Carbohydr Polym, 2016 Jan 20;136:1182-93.
    PMID: 26572461 DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.10.034
    This study attempted to clarify the influence of a cross-linker, N,N-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA), and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) on the non-isothermal kinetic degradation, solid state and lifetime of hydrogels using the Flynn-Wall-Ozawa (F-W-O), Kissinger, and Coats-Redfern (C-Red) methods. The series of dual-responsive Cs-PNIPAM-MBA microgels were synthesized by soapless-emulsion free radical copolymerization in an aqueous medium at 70 °C. The thermal properties were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) under nitrogen atmosphere. The apparent activation energy using the chosen Flynn-Wall-Ozawa and Kissinger methods showed that they fitted each other. Meanwhile, the type of solid state mechanism was determined using the Coats-Redfern method proposed for F1 (pure Cs) and F2 (Cs-PNIPAM-MBA hydrogel series) types, which comprise random nucleation with one nucleus reacting on individual particles, and random nucleation with two nuclei reacting on individual particles, respectively. On average, a higher Ea was attributed to the greater cross-linking density of the Cs hydrogel.
  4. Ullah F, Othman MB, Javed F, Ahmad Z, Md Akil H
    Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl, 2015 Dec 1;57:414-33.
    PMID: 26354282 DOI: 10.1016/j.msec.2015.07.053
    This article aims to review the literature concerning the choice of selectivity for hydrogels based on classification, application and processing. Super porous hydrogels (SPHs) and superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) represent an innovative category of recent generation highlighted as an ideal mould system for the study of solution-dependent phenomena. Hydrogels, also termed as smart and/or hungry networks, are currently subject of considerable scientific research due to their potential in hi-tech applications in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, bioseparation, biosensor, agriculture, oil recovery and cosmetics fields. Smart hydrogels display a significant physiochemical change in response to small changes in the surroundings. However, such changes are reversible; therefore, the hydrogels are capable of returning to its initial state after a reaction as soon as the trigger is removed.
  5. Ahmad M, Zafar M, Sultana S, Ahmad M, Abbas Q, Ayoub M, et al.
    Microsc. Res. Tech., 2018 Sep;81(9):1004-1016.
    PMID: 30303585 DOI: 10.1002/jemt.23066
    Pollen micro-morphological features have proven to be helpful for the plant taxonomists in the identification and classification of plants. The utilization of this plantmayhelpfulin the areas of lignocellulosic conversion to biofuels and diversify application toward biomass. The current study was planned with the aim to evaluate the pollen features of complex Ranunculaceous flora of District Chitral, Northern Pakistan using both scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Light Microscope (LM) for their taxonomic importance. Pollens of 18 Ranunculaceous species belonging to 6 genera were collected from different localities of the research area. SEM and LM were used to examine both qualitative and quantitative micro-morphological features. Sculptring of the sexine include; Scabrate, psilate, echinate, verrucate, perforate gemmate, and reticulate and so forth. Shape of the pollens was sub-spheroidal, spheroidal, prolate, subprolate and oblate and so forth. Type of pollen was ranged from mono to tricolpate and tricolporate. Quantitative characters include length/width of the pollen, colpus, exine thickness, and P/E ratio. Based on these micro-morphological features a taxonomic key was prepared for the fast and correct identification. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT: Study of the pollen micro-morphological features of Ranunculaceous species by SEM and LM. Analysing both qualitative and quantitative characters of the pollens. Preparation of taxonomic key based on micro-morphological features for the correct and fast identification.
  6. Ullah F, Javed F, Othman MBH, Khan A, Gul R, Ahmad Z, et al.
    J Biomater Sci Polym Ed, 2018 03;29(4):376-396.
    PMID: 29285989 DOI: 10.1080/09205063.2017.1421347
    Addressing the functional biomaterials as next-generation therapeutics, chitosan and alginic acid were copolymerized in the form of chemically crosslinked interpenetrating networks (IPNs). The native hydrogel was functionalized via carbodiimide (EDC), catalyzed coupling of soft ligand (1,2-Ethylenediamine) and hard ligand (4-aminophenol) to replace -OH groups in alginic acid units for extended hydrogel- interfaces with the aqueous and sparingly soluble drug solutions. The chemical structure, Lower solution critical temperature (LCST ≈ 37.88 °C), particle size (Zh,app ≈ 150-200 nm), grain size (160-360 nm), surface roughness (85-250 nm), conductivity (37-74 mv) and zeta potential (16-32 mv) of native and functionalized hydrogel were investigated by using FT-IR, solid state-13C-NMR, TGA, DSC, FESEM, AFM and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements. The effective swelling, drug loading (47-78%) and drug release (53-86%) profiles were adjusted based on selective functionalization of hydrophobic IPNs due to electrostatic complexation and extended interactions of hydrophilic ligands with the aqueous and drug solutions. Drug release from the hydrogel matrices with diffusion coefficient n ≈ 0.7 was established by Non- Fickian diffusion mechanism. In vitro degradation trials of the hydrogel with a 20% loss of wet mass in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) and 38% loss of wet mass in simulated intestinal fluid (SIF), were investigated for 400 h through bulk erosion. Consequently, a slower rate of drug loading and release was observed for native hydrogel, due to stronger H-bonding, interlocking and entanglement within the IPNs, which was finely tuned and extended by the induced hydrophilic and functional ligands. In the light of induced hydrophilicity, such functional hydrogel could be highly attractive for extended release of sparingly soluble drugs.
  7. Rasib SZM, Ahmad Z, Khan A, Akil HM, Othman MBH, Hamid ZAA, et al.
    Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2018 Mar;108:367-375.
    PMID: 29222015 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.12.021
    In this study, chitosan-poly(methacrylic acid-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) [chitosan-p(MAA-co-NIPAM)] hydrogels were synthesized by emulsion polymerization. In order to be used as a carrier for drug delivery systems, the hydrogels had to be biocompatible, biodegradable and multi-responsive. The polymerization was performed by copolymerize MAA and NIPAM with chitosan polymer to produce a chitosan-based hydrogel. Due to instability during synthesis and complexity of components to produce the hydrogel, further study at different times of reaction is important to observe the synthesis process, the effect of end product on swelling behaviour and the most important is to find the best way to control the hydrogel synthesis in order to have an optimal swelling behaviour for drug release application. Studied by using Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy found that, the synthesized was successfully produced stable chitosan-based hydrogel with PNIPAM continuously covered the outer surface of hydrogel which influenced much on the stability during synthesis. The chitosan and PMAA increased the zeta potential of the hydrogel and the chitosan capable to control shrinkage above human body temperature. The chitosan-p(MAA-co-NIPAM) hydrogels also responses to pH and temperature thus improved the ability to performance as a drug carrier.
  8. Zaman K, Rahim F, Taha M, Wadood A, Adnan Ali Shah S, Gollapalli M, et al.
    Bioorg. Chem., 2019 08;89:102999.
    PMID: 31151055 DOI: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2019.102999
    Isoquinoline analogues (KA-1 to 16) have been synthesized and evaluated for their E. coli thymidine phosphorylase inhibitory activity. Except compound 11, all other analogs showed outstanding thymidine inhibitory potential ranging in between 4.40 ± 0.20 to 69.30 ± 1.80 µM when compared with standard drug 7-Deazaxanthine (IC50 = 38.68 ± 4.42 µM). Structure Activity Relationships has been established for all compounds, mainly based on substitution pattern on phenyl ring. All analogs were characterized by various spectroscopic techniques such as 1H NMR, 13C NMR and EI-MS. The binding interactions of isoquinoline analogues with the active site of TP enzyme, the molecular docking studies were performed. Furthermore, the angiogenic inhibitory potentials of isoquinoline analogues (KA-1-9, 14, 12 and 16) were determined in the presence of standard drug Dexamethasone based on percentage inhibitions at various concentrations. Herein this work analogue KA-12, 14 and 16 emerged with most potent angiogenic inhibitory potentials among the synthesized analogues.
  9. Majid Shah S, Ullah F, Ayaz M, Sadiq A, Hussain S, Ali Shah AU, et al.
    Steroids, 2019 08;148:56-62.
    PMID: 31085212 DOI: 10.1016/j.steroids.2019.05.001
    The current study was aimed to evaluate the anti-leishmanial potentials of β-sitosterol isolated from Ifloga spicata. The anti-leishmanial potential of β-sitosterol is well documented against Leishmania donovani and Leishmania amazonensis but unexplored against Leishmania tropica. Structure of the compound was elucidated by FT-IR, mass spectrometry and multinuclear (1H and 13C) magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The compound was evaluated for its anti-leishmanial potentials against L. tropica KWH23 using in vitro anti-promastigote, DNA interaction, apoptosis, docking studies against leishmanolysin (GP63) and trypanothione reductase (TR) receptors using MOE 2016 software. β-sitosterol exhibited significant activity against leishmania promastigotes with IC50 values of 9.2 ± 0.06 μg/mL. The standard drug glucantaime showed IC50 of 5.33 ± 0.07 µg/mL. Further mechanistic studies including DNA targeting and apoptosis induction via acridine orange assay exhibited promising anti-leishmanial potentials for β-sitosterol. Molecular docking with leishmanolysin (GP63) and trypanothione reductase (TR) receptors displayed the binding scores of β-sitosterol with targets TR and GP63 were -7.659 and -6.966 respectively. The low binding energies -61.54 (for TR) and -33.24 (for GP63) indicate that it strongly bind to the active sites of target receptors. The results confirmed that β-sitosterol have considerable anti-leishmanial potentials and need further studies as potential natural anti-leishmanial agent against L. tropica.
  10. Jamila N, Khan N, Hwang IM, Saba M, Khan F, Amin F, et al.
    Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2020 Mar 15;147:853-866.
    PMID: 31739066 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.09.245
    Gums; composed of polysaccharides, carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals, are high molecular weight hydrophilic compounds with several biological applications. This study describes the nutritional and toxic elements content, chemical composition, synthesis of silver nanoparticles (G-AgNPs), and pharmacological and catalytic properties of Prunus armeniaca (apricot), Prunus domestica (plums), Prunus persica (peaches), Acacia modesta (phulai), Acacia arabica (kikar), and Salmalia malabarica (silk cotton tree) gums. The elemental contents were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and ICP-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). NMR spectroscopy was used for the identification of class of compounds in the mixture, their functional groups were determined through FTIR techniques, and plasmon resonance and size of G-AgNPs through UV-Vis spectroscopic technique and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). From the results, nutritional elements were present at appreciable concentrations, whereas toxic elements showed content below the maximum permissible ranges. Using the elemental data, linear discriminant and principal component analyses classified the gums to 99.9% variability index. Furthermore, G-AgNPs exhibited significant antioxidant, antibacterial, and redox catalytic potential. Hence, the subject G-AgNPs could have promising nutritional, therapeutic and environmental remediation applications.
  11. Shah SM, Ullah F, Khan S, Shah SM, de Matas M, Hussain Z, et al.
    Drug Des Devel Ther, 2016;10:3837-3850.
    PMID: 27920499
    Artemether (ARTM) is a very effective antimalarial drug with poor solubility and consequently low bioavailability. Smart nanocrystals of ARTM with particle size of 161±1.5 nm and polydispersity index of 0.172±0.01 were produced in <1 hour using a wet milling technology, Dena(®) DM-100. The crystallinity of the processed ARTM was confirmed using differential scanning calorimetry and powder X-ray diffraction. The saturation solubility of the ARTM nanocrystals was substantially increased to 900 µg/mL compared to the raw ARTM in water (145.0±2.3 µg/mL) and stabilizer solution (300.0±2.0 µg/mL). The physical stability studies conducted for 90 days demonstrated that nanocrystals stored at 2°C-8°C and 25°C were very stable compared to the samples stored at 40°C. The nanocrystals were also shown to be stable when processed at acidic pH (2.0). The solubility and dissolution rate of ARTM nanocrystals were significantly increased (P<0.05) compared to those of its bulk powder form. The results of in vitro studies showed significant antimalarial effect (P<0.05) against Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. The IC50 (median lethal oral dose) value of ARTM nanocrystals was 28- and 54-fold lower than the IC50 value of unprocessed drug and 13- and 21-fold lower than the IC50 value of the marketed tablets, respectively. In addition, ARTM nanocrystals at the same dose (2 mg/kg) showed significantly (P<0.05) higher reduction in percent parasitemia (89%) against P. vivax compared to the unprocessed (27%), marketed tablets (45%), and microsuspension (60%). The acute toxicity study demonstrated that the LD50 value of ARTM nanocrystals is between 1,500 mg/kg and 2,000 mg/kg when given orally. This study demonstrated that the wet milling technology (Dena(®) DM-100) can produce smart nanocrystals of ARTM with enhanced antimalarial activities.
  12. Hussain S, Ullah F, Sadiq A, Ayaz M, Shah AA, Ali Shah SA, et al.
    Curr Top Med Chem, 2019;19(30):2805-2813.
    PMID: 31702502 DOI: 10.2174/1568026619666191105103801
    BACKGROUND: Liver cancer is a devastating cancer with increasing incidence and mortality rates worldwide. Plants possess numerous therapeutic properties, therefore the search for novel, naturally occurring cytotoxic compounds is urgently needed.

    METHODS: The anticancer activity of plant extracts and isolated compounds from Anchusa arvensis (A. arvensis) were studied against the cell culture of HepG-2 (human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines) using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-yl)-diphenyl tetrazoliumbromide (MTT) assay. Apoptosis was investigated by performing Acridine orange -ethidium bromide staining, styox green assay and DNA interaction study. We also used tools for computational chemistry studies of isolated compounds with the tyrosine kinase.

    RESULTS: In MTT assay, the crude extract caused a significant cytotoxic effect with IC50 of 34.14 ± 0.9 μg/ml against HepG-2 cell lines. Upon fractionation, chloroform fraction (Aa.Chm) exhibited the highest antiproliferative activity with IC50 6.55 ± 1.2 μg/ml followed by ethyl acetate (Aa.Et) fraction (IC50, 24.59 ± 0.85 μg/ml) and n-hexane (Aa.Hex) fraction (IC50 29.53 ± 1.5μg/ml). However, the aqueous (Aa.Aq) fraction did not show any anti-proliferative activity. Bioactivity-guided isolation led to the isolation of two compounds which were characterized as para-methoxycatechol (1) and decane (2) through various spectroscopic techniques. Against HepG-2 cells, compound 1 showed marked potency with IC50 6.03 ± 0.75 μg/ml followed by 2 with IC50 18.52 ± 1.9 μg/ml. DMSO was used as a negative control and doxorubicin as a reference standard (IC50 1.3 ± 0.21 μg/ml). It was observed that compounds 1-2 caused apoptotic cell death evaluated by Acridine orange -ethidium bromide staining, styox green assay and DNA interaction study, therefore both compounds were tested for molecular docking studies against tyrosine kinase to support cytotoxic activity.

    CONCLUSION: This study revealed that the plant extracts and isolated compounds possess promising antiproliferative activity against HepG-2 cell lines via apoptotic cell death.

  13. Hussain S, Ullah F, Ayaz M, Ali Shah SA, Ali Shah AU, Shah SM, et al.
    Drug Des Devel Ther, 2019;13:4195-4205.
    PMID: 31849451 DOI: 10.2147/DDDT.S228971
    Background: Cancer is one of the chronic health conditions worldwide. Various therapeutically active compounds from medicinal plants were the current focus of this research in order to uncover a treatment regimen for cancer. Anchusa arvensis (A. anchusa) (L.) M.Bieb. contains many biologically active compounds.

    Methods: In the current study, new ester 3-hydroxyoctyl -5- trans-docosenoate (compound-1) was isolated from the chloroform soluble fraction of A. anchusa using column chromatography. Using MTT assay, the anticancer effect of the compound was determined in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG-2) compared with normal epithelial cell line (Vero). DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging assays were performed to assess the antioxidant potential. The Molecular Operating Environment (MOE-2016) tool was used against tyrosine kinase.

    Results: The structure of the compound was elucidated based on IR, EI, and NMR spectroscopy technique. It exhibited a considerable cytotoxic effect against HepG-2 cell lines with IC50 value of 6.50 ± 0.70 µg/mL in comparison to positive control (doxorubicin) which showed IC50 value of 1.3±0.21 µg/mL. The compound did not show a cytotoxic effect against normal epithelial cell line (Vero). The compound also exhibited significant DPHH scavenging ability with IC50 value of 12 ± 0.80 µg/mL, whereas ascorbic acid, used as positive control, demonstrated activity with IC50 = 05 ± 0.15 µg/mL. Similarly, it showed ABTS radical scavenging ability (IC50 = 130 ± 0.20 µg/mL) compared with the value obtained for ascorbic acid (06 ± 0.85 µg/mL). In docking studies using MOE-2016 tool, it was observed that compound-1 was highly bound to tyrosine kinase by having two hydrogen bonds at the hinge region. This good bonding network by the compound might be one of the reasons for showing significant activity against this enzyme.

    Conclusion: Our findings led to the isolation of a new compound from A. anchusa which has significant cytotoxic activity against HepG-2 cell lines with marked antioxidant potential.

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