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1.  Flow Characterization of a Spinner Flask for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Culture Application 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e106493.
We present detailed quantitative measurement analyses for flow in a spinner flask with spinning rates between 20 to 45 RPM, utilizing the optical velocimetry measurement technique of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). A partial section of the impeller was immersed in the working fluid to reduce the shear forces induced on the cells cultured on microcarriers. Higher rotational speeds improved the mixing effect in the medium at the expense of a higher shear environment. It was found that the mouse induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells achieved the optimum number of cells over 7 days in 25 RPM suspension culture. This condition translates to 0.0984 Pa of maximum shear stress caused by the interaction of the fluid flow with the bottom surface. However, inverse cell growth was obtained at 28 RPM culture condition. Such a narrow margin demonstrated that mouse iPS cells cultured on microcarriers are very sensitive to mechanical forces. This study provides insight to biomechanical parameters, specifically the shear stress distribution, for a commercially available spinner flask over a wide range of Reynolds number.
PMCID: PMC4184809  PMID: 25279733
2.  Rapid efficient synthesis and characterization of silver, gold, and bimetallic nanoparticles from the medicinal plant Plumbago zeylanica and their application in biofilm control 
Nanoparticles (NPs) have gained significance in medical fields due to their high surface-area-to-volume ratio. In this study, we synthesized NPs from a medicinally important plant – Plumbago zeylanica.
Materials and methods
Aqueous root extract of P. zeylanica (PZRE) was analyzed for the presence of flavonoids, sugars, and organic acids using high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC), gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS), and biochemical methods. The silver NPs (AgNPs), gold NPs (AuNPs), and bimetallic NPs (AgAuNPs) were synthesized from root extract and characterized using ultraviolet-visible spectra, X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The effects of these NPs on Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli biofilms were studied using quantitative biofilm inhibition and disruption assays, as well as using fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy.
PZRE showed the presence of phenolics, such as plumbagin, and flavonoids, in addition to citric acid, sucrose, glucose, fructose, and starch, using HPTLC, GC-TOF-MS, and quantitative analysis. Bioreduction of silver nitrate (AgNO3) and chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) were confirmed at absorbances of 440 nm (AgNPs), 570 nm (AuNPs), and 540 nm (AgAuNPs), respectively. The maximum rate of synthesis at 50°C was achieved with 5 mM AgNO3 within 4.5 hours for AgNPs; and with 0.7 mM HAuCl4 within 5 hours for AuNPs. The synthesis of AgAuNPs, which completed within 90 minutes with 0.7 mM AgNO3 and HAuCl4, was found to be the fastest. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed bioreduction, while EDS and XRD patterns confirmed purity and the crystalline nature of the NPs, respectively. TEM micrographs and DLS showed about 60 nm monodispersed Ag nanospheres, 20–30 nm Au nanospheres adhering to form Au nanotriangles, and about 90 nm hexagonal blunt-ended AgAuNPs. These NPs also showed antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity against E. coli, A. baumannii, S. aureus, and a mixed culture of A. baumannii and S. aureus. AgNPs inhibited biofilm in the range of 96%–99% and AgAuNPs from 93% to 98% in single-culture biofilms. AuNPs also showed biofilm inhibition, with the highest of 98% in S. aureus. AgNPs also showed good biofilm disruption, with the highest of 88% in A. baumannii.
This is the first report on rapid and efficient synthesis of AgNPs, AuNPs and AgAuNPs from P. zeylanica and their effect on quantitative inhibition and disruption of bacterial biofilms.
PMCID: PMC4043712  PMID: 24920901
P. zeylanica; AgNPs; AuNPs; AgAuNPs; biofilm inhibition and disruption; GC-TOF-MS
3.  Carboplatin loaded polymethylmethacrylate nano-particles in an adjunctive role in retinoblastoma: An animal trial 
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology  2014;62(5):585-589.
The purpose of the study is to compare the intra-vitreal concentrations of carboplatin, post peri-ocular injections of commercially available carboplatin (CAC) and a novel carboplatin loaded polymethylmethacrylate nanoparticulate carboplatin (NPC), in either eye, as a model system for treatment of advanced intra-ocular retinoblastoma (RB).
Experimental, comparative, animal study.
Materials and Methods:
Polymethylmethacrylate nanoparticles were prepared by free radical emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate in aqueous solution of carboplatin in the presence of surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate and thermal initiator ammonium persulfate. 21 Sprague-Dawley rats, aged between 6 weeks and 3 months were enrolled. The right eye of each rat was injected peri-ocularly with CAC formulation (1 ml of 10 mg/ml) and the left eye with NPC (1 ml of 10 mg/ml), post-anesthesia, by an ophthalmologist trained in ocular oncology. Three rats each were euthanized on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 28 and 42, post-injection and both eyes were carefully enucleated. Intra-vitreal concentrations of CAC and NPC were determined with Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. Analysis of data was done with paired t-test.
The intra-vitreal concentration of carboplatin with NPC was ~3-4 times higher than with CAC in all animals, on all the days (P < 0.05).
A higher trans-scleral permeability gradient is obtained with the novel nanoparticles than with the commercial drug, leading to sustained higher levels of carboplatin in the vitreous. Peri-ocular injection of NPC could thus have an adjuvant efficacy in the treatment for advanced clinical RB, specifically those with vitreous seeds.
PMCID: PMC4065510  PMID: 24881606
Carboplatin; intra-vitreal concentration; nanoparticle; peri-ocular injection; polymethylmethacrylate; retinoblastoma; subconjunctival
4.  Synthesis, optimization, and characterization of silver nanoparticles from Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and their enhanced antibacterial activity when combined with antibiotics 
The development of nontoxic methods of synthesizing nanoparticles is a major step in nanotechnology to allow their application in nanomedicine. The present study aims to biosynthesize silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using a cell-free extract of Acinetobacter spp. and evaluate their antibacterial activity.
Eighteen strains of Acinetobacter were screened for AgNP synthesis. AgNPs were characterized using various techniques. Reaction parameters were optimized, and their effect on the morphology of AgNPs was studied. The synergistic potential of AgNPs on 14 antibiotics against seven pathogens was determined by disc-diffusion, broth-microdilution, and minimum bactericidal concentration assays. The efficacy of AgNPs was evaluated as per the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) breakpoints of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.
Only A. calcoaceticus LRVP54 produced AgNPs within 24 hours. Monodisperse spherical nanoparticles of 8–12 nm were obtained with 0.7 mM silver nitrate at 70°C. During optimization, a blue-shift in ultraviolet-visible spectra was seen. X-ray diffraction data and lattice fringes (d =0.23 nm) observed under high-resolution transmission electron microscope confirmed the crystallinity of AgNPs. These AgNPs were found to be more effective against Gram-negative compared with Gram-positive microorganisms. Overall, AgNPs showed the highest synergy with vancomycin in the disc-diffusion assay. For Enterobacter aerogenes, a 3.8-fold increase in inhibition zone area was observed after the addition of AgNPs with vancomycin. Reduction in MIC and minimum bactericidal concentration was observed on exposure of AgNPs with antibiotics. Interestingly, multidrug-resistant A. baumannii was highly sensitized in the presence of AgNPs and became susceptible to antibiotics except cephalosporins. Similarly, the vancomycin-resistant strain of Streptococcus mutans was also found to be susceptible to antibiotic treatment when AgNPs were added. These biogenic AgNPs showed significant synergistic activity on the β-lactam class of antibiotics.
This is the first report of synthesis of AgNPs using A. calcoaceticus LRVP54 and their significant synergistic activity with antibiotics resulting in increased susceptibility of multidrug-resistant bacteria evaluated as per MIC breakpoints of the CLSI standard.
PMCID: PMC3826770  PMID: 24235826
Ag nanoparticles; lattice fringes; disc-diffusion; minimum inhibitory concentration; synergistic activity
5.  In-Vivo Efficacy of Compliant 3D Nano-Composite in Critical-Size Bone Defect Repair: a Six Month Preclinical Study in Rabbit  
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77578.
Bone defects above critical size do not heal completely by itself and thus represent major clinical challenge to reconstructive surgery. Numerous bone substitutes have already been used to promote bone regeneration, however their use, particularly for critical-sized bone defects along with their long term in vivo safety and efficacy remains a concern. The present study was designed to obtain a complete healing of critical-size defect made in the proximal tibia of New Zealand White rabbit, using nano-hydroxyapatite/gelatin and chemically carboxymethylated chitin (n-HA/gel/CMC) scaffold construct. The bone-implant interfaces and defect site healing was evaluated for a period up to 25 weeks using radiography, micro-computed tomography, fluorescence labeling, and histology and compared with respective SHAM (empty contra lateral control). The viscoelastic porous scaffold construct allows easy surgical insertion and post-operatively facilitate oxygenation and angiogenesis. Radiography of defect treated with scaffold construct suggested expedited healing at defect edges and within the defect site, unlike confined healing at edges of the SHAM sites. The architecture indices analyzed by micro-computed tomography showed a significant increase in percentage of bone volume fraction, resulted in reconciled cortico-trabecular bone formation at n-HA/gel/CMC constructs treated site (15.2% to 52.7%) when compared with respective SHAM (10.2% to 31.8%). Histological examination and fluorescence labeling revealed that the uniformly interconnected porous surface of scaffold construct enhanced osteoblasts’ activity and mineralization. These preclinical data suggest that, n-HA/gel/CMC construct exhibit stimulation of bone's innate regenerative capacity, thus underscoring their use in guided bone regeneration.
PMCID: PMC3799616  PMID: 24204879
6.  Enhanced Growth of Endothelial Precursor Cells on PCG-Matrix Facilitates Accelerated, Fibrosis-Free, Wound Healing: A Diabetic Mouse Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69960.
Diabetes mellitus (DM)-induced endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) dysfunction causes impaired wound healing, which can be rescued by delivery of large numbers of ‘normal’ EPCs onto such wounds. The principal challenges herein are (a) the high number of EPCs required and (b) their sustained delivery onto the wounds. Most of the currently available scaffolds either serve as passive devices for cellular delivery or allow adherence and proliferation, but not both. This clearly indicates that matrices possessing both attributes are ‘the need of the day’ for efficient healing of diabetic wounds. Therefore, we developed a system that not only allows selective enrichment and expansion of EPCs, but also efficiently delivers them onto the wounds. Murine bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (MNCs) were seeded onto a PolyCaprolactone-Gelatin (PCG) nano-fiber matrix that offers a combined advantage of strength, biocompatibility wettability; and cultured them in EGM2 to allow EPC growth. The efficacy of the PCG matrix in supporting the EPC growth and delivery was assessed by various in vitro parameters. Its efficacy in diabetic wound healing was assessed by a topical application of the PCG-EPCs onto diabetic wounds. The PCG matrix promoted a high-level attachment of EPCs and enhanced their growth, colony formation, and proliferation without compromising their viability as compared to Poly L-lactic acid (PLLA) and Vitronectin (VN), the matrix and non-matrix controls respectively. The PCG-matrix also allowed a sustained chemotactic migration of EPCs in vitro. The matrix-effected sustained delivery of EPCs onto the diabetic wounds resulted in an enhanced fibrosis-free wound healing as compared to the controls. Our data, thus, highlight the novel therapeutic potential of PCG-EPCs as a combined ‘growth and delivery system’ to achieve an accelerated fibrosis-free healing of dermal lesions, including diabetic wounds.
PMCID: PMC3724903  PMID: 23922871
7.  Gnidia glauca flower extract mediated synthesis of gold nanoparticles and evaluation of its chemocatalytic potential 
Novel approaches for synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are of utmost importance owing to its immense applications in diverse fields including catalysis, optics, medical diagnostics and therapeutics. We report on synthesis of AuNPs using Gnidia glauca flower extract (GGFE), its detailed characterization and evaluation of its chemocatalytic potential.
Synthesis of AuNPs using GGFE was monitored by UV-Vis spectroscopy and was found to be rapid that completed within 20 min. The concentration of chloroauric acid and temperature was optimized to be 0.7 mM and 50°C respectively. Bioreduced nanoparticles varied in morphology from nanotriangles to nanohexagons majority being spherical. AuNPs were characterized employing transmission electron microscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Confirmation of elemental gold was carried out by elemental mapping in scanning transmission electron microscopic mode, energy dispersive spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction studies. Spherical particles of size ~10 nm were found in majority. However, particles of larger dimensions were in range between 50-150 nm. The bioreduced AuNPs exhibited remarkable catalytic properties in a reduction reaction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol by NaBH4 in aqueous phase.
The elaborate experimental evidences support that GGFE can provide an environmentally benign rapid route for synthesis of AuNPs that can be applied for various purposes. Biogenic AuNPs synthesized using GGFE exhibited excellent chemocatalytic potential.
PMCID: PMC3462129  PMID: 22548753
Gnidia glauca; Gold nanoparticles; UV-Visible spectroscopy; Transmission electron microscopy; High resolution transmission electron microscopy; Elemental mapping; Energy dispersive spectroscopy; Dynamic light scattering; X-ray diffraction; Chemocatalysis
8.  Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Dioscorea bulbifera tuber extract and evaluation of its synergistic potential in combination with antimicrobial agents 
Development of an environmentally benign process for the synthesis of silver nanomaterials is an important aspect of current nanotechnology research. Among the 600 species of the genus Dioscorea, Dioscorea bulbifera has profound therapeutic applications due to its unique phytochemistry. In this paper, we report on the rapid synthesis of silver nanoparticles by reduction of aqueous Ag+ ions using D. bulbifera tuber extract.
Methods and results
Phytochemical analysis revealed that D. bulbifera tuber extract is rich in flavonoid, phenolics, reducing sugars, starch, diosgenin, ascorbic acid, and citric acid. The biosynthesis process was quite fast, and silver nanoparticles were formed within 5 hours. Ultraviolet-visible absorption spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and x-ray diffraction confirmed reduction of the Ag+ ions. Varied morphology of the bioreduced silver nanoparticles included spheres, triangles, and hexagons. Optimization studies revealed that the maximum rate of synthesis could be achieved with 0.7 mM AgNO3 solution at 50°C in 5 hours. The resulting silver nanoparticles were found to possess potent antibacterial activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Beta-lactam (piperacillin) and macrolide (eryth-romycin) antibiotics showed a 3.6-fold and 3-fold increase, respectively, in combination with silver nanoparticles selectively against multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Notable synergy was seen between silver nanoparticles and chloramphenicol or vancomycin against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and was supported by a 4.9-fold and 4.2-fold increase in zone diameter, respectively. Similarly, we found a maximum 11.8-fold increase in zone diameter of streptomycin when combined with silver nanoparticles against E. coli, providing strong evidence for the synergistic action of a combination of antibiotics and silver nanoparticles.
This is the first report on the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using D. bulbifera tuber extract followed by an estimation of its synergistic potential for enhancement of the antibacterial activity of broad spectrum antimicrobial agents.
PMCID: PMC3273981  PMID: 22334779
Dioscorea bulbifera tuber extract; silver nanoparticles; antimicrobial synergy
9.  Synthesis of silicalite-poly(furfuryl alcohol) composite membranes for oxygen enrichment from air 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):637.
Silicalite-poly(furfuryl alcohol) [PFA] composite membranes were prepared by solution casting of silicalite-furfuryl alcohol [FA] suspension on a porous polysulfone substrate and subsequent in situ polymerization of FA. X-ray diffraction, nitrogen sorption, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize silicalite nanocrystals and silicalite-PFA composite membranes. The silicalite-PFA composite membrane with 20 wt.% silicalite loading exhibits good oxygen/nitrogen selectivity (4.15) and high oxygen permeability (1,132.6 Barrers) at 50°C. Silicalite-PFA composite membranes are promising for the production of oxygen-enriched air for various applications.
PMCID: PMC3261223  PMID: 22209012
poly(furfuryl alcohol); silicalite; composite membrane; air separation
10.  In Vivo Evaluation of the Biocompatibility of Surface Modified Hemodialysis Polysulfone Hollow Fibers in Rat 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25236.
Polysulfone (Psf) hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) have been widely used in blood purification but their biocompatibility remains a concern. To enhance their biocompatibility, Psf/TPGS (d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate) composite HFMs and 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) coated Psf HFMs have been prepared. They have been evaluated for in vivo biocompatibility and graft acceptance and compared with sham and commercial membranes by intra-peritoneal implantation in rats at day 7 and 21. Normal body weights, tissue formation and angiogenesis indicate acceptance of implants by the animals. Hematological observations show presence of post-surgical stress which subsides over time. Serum biochemistry results reveal normal organ function and elevated liver ALP levels at day 21. Histological studies exhibit fibroblast recruitment cells, angiogenesis and collagen deposition at the implant surface indicating new tissue formation. Immuno-histochemistry studies show non-activation of MHC molecules signifying biocompatibilty. Additionally, Psf/TPGS exhibit most favorable tissue response as compared with other HFMs making them the material of choice for HFM preparation for hemodialysis applications.
PMCID: PMC3201955  PMID: 22046236
11.  Islet-Like Cell Aggregates Generated from Human Adipose Tissue Derived Stem Cells Ameliorate Experimental Diabetes in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20615.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is caused by auto immune destruction of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Currently available treatments include transplantation of isolated islets from donor pancreas to the patient. However, this method is limited by inadequate means of immuno-suppression to prevent islet rejection and importantly, limited supply of islets for transplantation. Autologous adult stem cells are now considered for cell replacement therapy in diabetes as it has the potential to generate neo-islets which are genetically part of the treated individual. Adopting methods of islet encapsulation in immuno-isolatory devices would eliminate the need for immuno-suppressants.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In the present study we explore the potential of human adipose tissue derived adult stem cells (h-ASCs) to differentiate into functional islet like cell aggregates (ICAs). Our stage specific differentiation protocol permit the conversion of mesodermic h-ASCs to definitive endoderm (Hnf3β, TCF2 and Sox17) and to PDX1, Ngn3, NeuroD, Pax4 positive pancreatic endoderm which further matures in vitro to secrete insulin. These ICAs are shown to produce human C-peptide in a glucose dependent manner exhibiting in-vitro functionality. Transplantation of mature ICAs, packed in immuno-isolatory biocompatible capsules to STZ induced diabetic mice restored near normoglycemia within 3–4 weeks. The detection of human C-peptide, 1155±165 pM in blood serum of experimental mice demonstrate the efficacy of our differentiation approach.
h-ASC is an ideal population of personal stem cells for cell replacement therapy, given that they are abundant, easily available and autologous in origin. Our findings present evidence that h-ASCs could be induced to differentiate into physiologically competent functional islet like cell aggregates, which may provide as a source of alternative islets for cell replacement therapy in type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3110196  PMID: 21687731

Results 1-11 (11)