This study analysed the physical effects of Cichorium Pumilum (CP), as a natural photosensitizer (PS), and Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), as a synthetic PS, encapsulated with silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) in photodynamic therapy. The optimum concentrations of CP and PpIX, needed to destroy Red Blood Cells (RBC), were determined and the efficacy of encapsulated CP and PpIX were compared with naked CP and PpIX was verified. The results confirmed the applicability of CP and PpIX encapsulated in SiNPs on RBCs, and established a relationship between the encapsulated CP and PpIX concentration and the time required to rupture 50% of the RBCs (t50). The CP and PpIX encapsulated in SiNPs exhibited higher efficacy compared with that of naked CP and PpIX, respectively, and CP had less efficacy compared with PpIX.
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon with two-dimensional (2D) monolayer honeycombs. A larger detection area and higher sensitivity can be provided by graphene-based nanosenor because of its 2D structure. In addition, owing to its special characteristics, including electrical, optical and physical properties, graphene is known as a more suitable candidate compared to other materials used in the sensor application. A novel model employing a field-effect transistor structure using graphene is proposed and the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of graphene are employed to model the sensing mechanism. This biosensor can detect Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, providing high levels of sensitivity. It is observed that the graphene device experiences a drastic increase in conductance when exposed to E. coli bacteria at 0-10(5) cfu/ml concentration. The simple, fast response and high sensitivity of this nanoelectronic biosensor make it a suitable device in screening and functional studies of antibacterial drugs and an ideal high-throughput platform which can detect any pathogenic bacteria. Artificial neural network and support vector regression algorithms have also been used to provide other models for the I-V characteristic. A satisfactory agreement has been presented by comparison between the proposed models with the experimental data.
Nanoparticles as solid colloidal particles are extensively studied and used as anticancer drug delivery agents because of their physical properties. This current research aims to prepare water base suspension of uncoated iron oxide nanoparticles and their biodistribution study to different organs, especially the brain, by using a single photon emission computed tomography gamma camera. The water-based suspension of iron oxide nanoparticles was synthesised by a reformed version of the co-precipitation method and labelled with Tc99m for intravenous injection. The nanoparticles were injected without surface modification. X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) techniques were used for characterisation. Peaks of XRD and EDS indicate that the particles are magnetite and exist in aqueous suspension. The average diameter of iron oxide nanoparticles without any surface coating determined by TEM is 10 nm. These particles are capable of evading the reticuloendothelial system and can cross the blood-brain barrier in the rabbit. The labelling efficiency of iron oxide nanoparticles labelled with Tc99m is 85%, which is good for the biodistribution study. The sufficient amount of iron oxide nanoparticles concentration in the brain as compared with the surrounding soft tissues and their long blood retention time indicates that the water-based suspension of iron oxide nanoparticles may be an option for drug delivery into the brain.
Miniaturisation of microchip capillary electrophoresis (MCE) is becoming an increasingly important research topic, particularly in areas related to micro total analysis systems or lab on a chip. One of the important features associated with the miniaturised MCE system is the portable power supply unit. In this work, a very low electric field MCE utilising an amperometric detection scheme was designed for use in DNA separation. The device was fabricated from a glass/polydimethylsiloxane hybrid engraved microchannel with platinum electrodes sputtered onto a glass substrate. Measurement was based on a three-electrode arrangement, and separation was achieved using a very low electric field of 12 V/cm and sample volume of 1.5 µl. The device was tested using two commercial DNA markers of different base pair sizes. The results are in agreement with conventional electrophoresis, but with improved resolution. The sensitivity consistently higher than 100 nA, and the separation time approximately 45 min, making this microchip an ideal tool for DNA analysis.
Metal-induced fluorescence enhancement (MIFE) is a promising strategy for increasing the sensitivity of fluorophores used in biological sensors. This study uses the finite-difference time-domain technique to predict the fluorescent enhancement rate of a fluorophore molecule in close proximity to a gold or silver spherical nanoparticle. By considering commercially available fluorescent dyes the computed results are compared with the published experimental data. The results show that MIFE is a complex coupling process between the fluorophore molecule and the metal nanoparticle. Nevertheless using computational electromagnetic techniques to perform calculations it is possible to calculate, with reasonable accuracy, the fluorescent enhancement. Using this methodology it will be possible to consider different shaped metal nanoparticles and any supporting substrate material in the future, an important step in building reliable biosensors capable of detecting low levels of proteins tagged with fluorescence molecules.
Linamarin-loaded poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared by the double emulsion solvent evaporation technique. The formulated PLGA (50:50) and PLGA (85:15) NPs were spherically shaped, having an average particle size < 190 nm, drug entrapment efficiency (50-52%) and zeta potentials ranging from -25 to -30 mV. Interestingly, all formulated PLGA NPs exhibited a controlled biphasic release profile. Polymer degradation was investigated in the current research to determine the major degradation products and then the polymer biocompatibility as well as safety. The PLGA NPs degradation behaviour was investigated by measuring water uptake, mass loss, change of pH of the degradation medium, morphological changes, and lactic and glycolic acid concentrations. Gravimetrical methods, pH meter, scanning electron microscope and high-performance liquid chromatography were employed, respectively. PLGA (50:50) NPs were found to degrade faster than PLGA (85:15) NPs. With regard to water uptake, mass loss and pH change, the degradation behaviour of PLGA (50:50) NPs was significantly (rho < 0.05) different from that of PLGA (85:15) NPs. A complete degradation of PLGA (50:50) NPs was achieved after 102 days, whereas, only about 60% of PLGA (85:15) NPs were degraded within the same period. Complete degradation and release of the degradation products naturally by the body ensures safety of the delivery carrier.
Kinesin is a protein-based natural nanomotor that transports molecular cargoes within cells by walking along microtubules. Kinesin nanomotor is considered as a bio-nanoagent which is able to sense the cell through its sensors (i.e. its heads and tail), make the decision internally and perform actions on the cell through its actuator (i.e. its motor domain). The study maps the agent-based architectural model of internal decision-making process of kinesin nanomotor to a machine language using an automata algorithm. The applied automata algorithm receives the internal agent-based architectural model of kinesin nanomotor as a deterministic finite automaton (DFA) model and generates a regular machine language. The generated regular machine language was acceptable by the architectural DFA model of the nanomotor and also in good agreement with its natural behaviour. The internal agent-based architectural model of kinesin nanomotor indicates the degree of autonomy and intelligence of the nanomotor interactions with its cell. Thus, our developed regular machine language can model the degree of autonomy and intelligence of kinesin nanomotor interactions with its cell as a language. Modelling of internal architectures of autonomous and intelligent bio-nanosystems as machine languages can lay the foundation towards the concept of bio-nanoswarms and next phases of the bio-nanorobotic systems development.
In this study the authors report on the development of a new type of electronic nose (e-nose) instrument, which the authors refer to as the Portable electronic Mucosa (PeM) as a continuation of previous research. It is designed to mimic the human nose by taking significant biological features and replicating them electronically. The term electronic mucosa or simply e-mucosa was used because our e-nose emulates the nasal chromatographic effect discovered in the olfactory epithelium, located within the upper turbinate. The e-mucosa generates spatio-temporal information that the authors believe could lead to improved odour discrimination. The PeM comprises three large sensor arrays each containing a total of 576 sensors, with 24 different coatings, to increase the odour selectivity. The nasal chromatographic effect provides temporal information in the human olfactory system, and is mimicked here using two-coated retentive channels. These channels are coated with polar and non-polar compounds to enhance the selectivity of the instrument. Thus, for an unknown sample, the authors have both the spatial information (as with a traditional e-nose) and the temporal information. The authors believe that this PeM may offer a way forward in developing a new range of low-cost e-noses with superior odour specificity.
The development of reliable and green methods for the fabrication of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) has many advantages in the field of nanotechnology. In this direction, the present work describes an eco-friendly and cost-effective protocol for the production of silver NPs (AgNPs) using an aqueous extract of Quercus semecarpifolia leaves. Different techniques were carried out for the characterisation of the synthesised AgNPs. The ultraviolet-visible spectroscopic analysis showed the highest absorbance peak at 430 nm. The particle size and structure were confirmed by scanning electron microscopy as well as transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. From TEM imaging, it was revealed that the formed particles were spherical with an average size of 20-50 nm. The crystalline nature of the NPs was determined by X-ray powder diffraction patterns. Thermogravimetry and differential thermal analysis were also evaluated by a temperature increment from 100 to 1000°C. Bio-inspired synthesis of AgNPs was performed for their pharmacological evaluation in relation to the activities of the crude methanolic, n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and aqueous extracts. Good cytotoxic activity was exhibited by the green-synthesised AgNPs (77%). Furthermore, the AgNPs were found to exhibit significant antioxidant activity at 300 μg/ml (82%). The AgNPs also exhibited good phytotoxic potential (75%).
Advancement in materials synthesis largely depends up on their diverse applications and commercialisation. Antifungal effects of phytogenic silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were evident, but the reports on the effects of the same on agricultural crops are scant. Herein, we report for the first time, size dependent effects of phytogenic AgNPs (synthesised using Stevia rebaudiana leaf extract) on the germination, growth and biochemical parameters of three important agricultural crops viz., rice (Oryza sativa L), maize (Zea mays L) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L). AgNPs with varied sizes were prepared by changing the concentration and quantity of the Stevia rebaudiana leaf extract. As prepared AgNPs were characterized using the techniques, such as high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, particle size and zeta potential analyser. The measured (dynamic light scattering technique) average sizes of particles are ranging from 68.5 to 116 nm. Fourier transform infrared studies confirmed the participation of alcohols, aldehydes and amides in the reduction and stabilisation of the AgNPs. Application of these AgNPs to three agricultural crop seeds (rice, maize and peanut) resulted in size dependent effects on their germination, growth and biochemical parameters such as, chlorophyll content, carotenoid and protein content. Further, antifungal activity of AgNPs also evaluated against fungi, Aspergillus niger.
In this study, nanocrystalline magnesium zinc ferrite nanoparticles were successfully prepared by a simple sol-gel method using copper nitrate and ferric nitrate as raw materials. The calcined samples were characterised by differential thermal analysis/thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the average particle size of the calcined sample was in a range of 17-41 nm with an average of 29 nm and has spherical size. A cytotoxicity test was performed on human breast cancer cells (MDA MB-231) and (MCF-7) at various concentrations starting from (0 µg/ml) to (800 µg/ml). The sample possessed a mild toxic effect toward MDA MB-231 and MCF-7 after being examined with MTT (3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2, 5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay for up to 72 h of incubation. Higher reduction of cells viability was observed as the concentration of sample was increased in MDA MB-231 cell line than in MCF-7. Therefore, further cytotoxicity tests were performed on MDA MB-231 cell line.
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is the finest grade of coconut oil, rich in phenolic content, antioxidant activity and contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). In this work formulation, characterisation and penetration of VCO-solid lipid particles (VCO-SLP) have been studied. VCO-SLP were prepared using ultrasonication of molten stearic acid and VCO in an aqueous solution. The electron microscopy imaging revealed that VCO-SLP were solid and spherical in shape. Ultrasonication was performed at several power intensities which resulted in particle sizes of VCO-SLP ranged from 0.608 ± 0.002 µm to 44.265 ± 1.870 µm. The particle size was directly proportional to the applied power intensity of ultrasonication. The zeta potential values of the particles were from -43.2 ± 0.28 mV to -47.5 ± 0.42 mV showing good stability. The cumulative permeation for the smallest sized VCO-SLP (0.608 µm) was 3.83 ± 0.01 µg/cm(2) whereas for larger carriers it was reduced (3.59 ± 0.02 µg/cm(2)). It is concluded that SLP have the potential to be exploited as a micro/nano scale cosmeceutical carrying vehicle for improved dermal delivery of VCO.
In this study, the authors synthesised silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using autoclave as a simple, unique and eco-friendly approach. The effect of Zingiber officinale extract was evaluated as a reducing and stabiliser agent. According to transmission electron microscopy results, the AgNPs were in the spherical shape with a particle size of ∼17 nm. The biomedical properties of AgNPs as antibacterial agents and free radical scavenging activity were estimated. Synthesised AgNPs showed significant 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl free radical scavenging. Strong bactericidal activity was shown by the AgNPs on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. A maximum inhibition zone of ∼14 mm was obtained for epidermidis at a concentration of 60 μg/ml for sample fabricated at 24 h. The AgNPs also showed a significant cytotoxic effect against MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines with an half maximal inhibitory concentration value of 62 μg/ml in 24 h by the MTT assay. It could be concluded that Z. officinale extract can be used effectively in the production of potential antioxidant and antimicrobial AgNPs for commercial application.
In this study, larvicidal activity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) synthesised using apple extract against fourth instar larvae of Aedes aegypti was determined. As a result, the AgNPs showed moderate larvicidal effects against Ae. aegypti larvae (LC50 = 15.76 ppm and LC90 = 27.7 ppm). In addition, comparison of larvicidal activity performance of AgNPs at high concentration prepared using two different methods showed that Ae. aegypti larvae was fully eliminated within the duration of 2.5 h. From X-ray diffraction, the AgNP crystallites were found to exhibit face centred cubic structure. The average size of these AgNPs as estimated by particle size distribution was in the range of 50-120 nm. The absorption maxima of the synthesised Ag showed characteristic Ag surface plasmon resonance peak. This green synthesis provides an economic, eco-friendly and clean synthesis route to Ag.
Ultrafine titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanowires were synthesised using a hydrothermal method with different volumes of ethylene glycol (EG) and annealing temperatures. It shows that sodium titanate nanowires synthesised using 5 and 10 ml EG, which annealed at 400°C produced TiO2 nanowires that correspond to a photochemically active phase, which is anatase. The influences of annealing temperatures (400-600°C) on the morphological arrangement of TiO2 nanowires were evident in the field emission scanning electron microscopy. The annealing temperature of 500°C led to agglomeration, which formed a mixture of TiO2 nanoparticles and nanowires. High thermal stability of TiO2 nanowires revealed by thermogravimetric analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy spectrum showed the presence of the Ti-O-Ti vibrations as evidenced due to TiO2 lattices. An antibacterial study using TiO2 nanowires toward Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae showed large zones of inhibition that indicated susceptibility of the microbe toward TiO2. Growth kinetic analysis shows that addition of TiO2 has reduced optical density (OD) suggesting an inhibition of the growth of bacteria. These results indicate TiO2 nanowires can be effectively used as an antimicrobial agent against gram-bacteria. The TiO2 nanowires could be exploited in the medical, packaging and detergent formulation industries and wastewater treatment.
In this study, the authors investigated the effects of a single layer graphene as a coating layer on top of metal thin films such as silver, gold, aluminum and copper using finite-difference time domain method. To enhance the resolution of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor, it is necessary to increase the SPR reflectivity and decrease the full-width-half maximum (FWHM) of the SPR curve so that there is minimum uncertainty in the determination of the resonance dip. Numerical data was verified with analytical and experimental data where all the data were in good agreement with resonance angle differing in <10% due to noise present in components such as humidity and temperature. In further analysis, reflectivity and FWHM were compared among four types of metal with various thin film thicknesses where graphene was applied on top of the metal layers, and data was compared against pure conventional metal thin films. A 60 nm-thick Au thin film results in higher performance with reflectivity of 92.4% and FWHM of 0.88° whereas single layer graphene-on-60 nm-thick Au gave reflectivity of 91.7% and FWHM of 1.32°. However, a graphene-on-40 nm-thick Ag also gave good performance with narrower FWHM of 0.88° and reflection spectra of 89.2%.
Nowadays, sensitive biosensors with high selectivity, lower costs and short response time are required for detection of DNA. The most preferred materials in DNA sensor designing are nanomaterials such as carbon and Au nanoparticles, because of their very high surface area and biocompatibility which lead to performance and sensitivity improvements in DNA sensors. Carbon nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be considered as a suitable DNA sensor platform due to their high surface-to-volume ratio, favourable electronic properties and fast electron transfer rate. Therefore, in this study, the CNTs which are synthesised by pulsed AC arc discharge method on a high-density polyethylene substrate are used as conducting channels in a chemiresistor for the electrochemical detection of double stranded DNA. Moreover, the response of the proposed sensor is investigated experimentally and analytically in different temperatures, which confirm good agreement between the presented model and experimental data.
This study examines the effect of nanoparticles with zinc oxides (ZnONPs) on diabetic nephropathy, which is the primary cause of mortality for diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease. Diabetes in adult male rats was induced via intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. ZnONPs were intraperitoneally administered to diabetic rats daily for 7 weeks. Diabetes was associated with increases in blood glucose level, 24-h urinary albumin excretion rate, glomerular basement membrane thickness, renal oxidative stress markers, and renal mRNA or protein expression of transforming growth factor-β1, fibronectin, collagen-IV, tumour necrosis factor-α and vascular endothelial growth factor-A. Moreover, the expression of nephrin and podocin, and the mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 were decreased in the diabetic group. These changes were not detected in the control group and were significantly prevented by ZnONP treatment. These results provide evidence that ZnONPs ameliorate the renal damage induced in a diabetic rat model of nephropathy through improving renal functionality; inhibiting renal fibrosis, oxidative stress, inflammation and abnormal angiogenesis; and delaying the development of podocyte injury. The present findings may help design the clinical application of ZnONPs for protection against the development of diabetic nephropathy.
In this study, ellagic acid (ELA), a skin anticancer drug, is capped on the surface(s) of functionalised graphene oxide (GO) nano-sheets through electrostatic and π-π staking interactions. The prepared ELA-GO nanocomposite have been thoroughly characterised by using eight techniques: Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), zeta potential, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) topographic imaging, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and surface morphology via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Furthermore, ELA drug loading and release behaviours from ELA-GO nanocomposite were studied. The ELA-GO nanocomposite has a uniform size distribution averaging 88 nm and high drug loading capacity of 30 wt.%. The in vitro drug release behaviour of ELA from the nanocomposite was investigated by UV-Vis spectrometry at a wavelength of λmax 257 nm. The data confirmed prolonged ELA release over 5000 min at physiological pH (7.4). Finally, the IC50 of this ELA-GO nanocomposite was found to be 6.16 µg/ml against B16 cell line; ELA and GO did not show any cytotoxic effects up to 50 µg/ml on the same cell lines.
In this study, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) nanoparticles were synthesised following nanoprecipitation method having different solvents and surfactant (Tween 80) concentrations. In this study, PHB nanoparticles were encapsulated with curcumin and subjected for sustained curcumin delivery. Both the curcumin loaded and unloaded PHB nanoparticles were characterised using FTIR, SEM, and AFM. Sizes of the particles were found to be between 60 and 300 nm. The drug encapsulation efficiency and in vitro drug release of the nanoparticles were analysed. Antibacterial activity and anticancer activity were also evaluated. The LC50 values of most of the nanoparticles were found to be between 10 and 20 µg/100 µl, anticancer activity of curcumin loaded PHB nanoparticles were further confirmed by AO/PI staining and mitochondrial depolarisation assay.