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1.  Synthesis and characterization of surface-enhanced Raman-scattered gold nanoparticles 
In this paper, we report a simple, rapid, and robust method to synthesize surface-enhanced Raman-scattered gold nanoparticles (GNPs) based on green chemistry. Vitis vinifera L. extract was used to synthesize noncytotoxic Raman-active GNPs. These GNPs were characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, dynamic light-scattering, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Raman spectroscopy. The characteristic surface plasmon-resonance band at ~ 528 nm is indicative of spherical particles, and this was confirmed by TEM. The N–H and C–O stretches in FTIR spectroscopy indicated the presence of protein molecules. The predominant XRD plane at (111) and (200) indicated the crystalline nature and purity of GNPs. GNPs were stable in the buffers used for biological studies, and exhibited no cytotoxicity in noncancerous MIO-M1 (Müller glial) and MDA-MB-453 (breast cancer) cell lines. The GNPs exhibited Raman spectral peaks at 570, 788, and 1,102 cm−1. These new GNPs have potential applications in cancer diagnosis, therapy, and ultrasensitive biomarker detection.
Video abstract
doi:10.2147/IJN.S49447
PMCID: PMC3826772  PMID: 24235830
GNPs; SERS; SPR; Vitis vinifera L.; stability
2.  Enhanced convective heat transfer using graphene dispersed nanofluids 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):289.
Nanofluids are having wide area of application in electronic and cooling industry. In the present work, hydrogen exfoliated graphene (HEG) dispersed deionized (DI) water, and ethylene glycol (EG) based nanofluids were developed. Further, thermal conductivity and heat transfer properties of these nanofluids were systematically investigated. HEG was synthesized by exfoliating graphite oxide in H2 atmosphere at 200°C. The nanofluids were prepared by dispersing functionalized HEG (f-HEG) in DI water and EG without the use of any surfactant. HEG and f-HEG were characterized by powder X-ray diffractometry, electron microscopy, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy. Thermal and electrical conductivities of f-HEG dispersed DI water and EG based nanofluids were measured for different volume fractions and at different temperatures. A 0.05% volume fraction of f-HEG dispersed DI water based nanofluid shows an enhancement in thermal conductivity of about 16% at 25°C and 75% at 50°C. The enhancement in Nusselts number for these nanofluids is more than that of thermal conductivity.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-289
PMCID: PMC3211354  PMID: 21711824
3.  Inorganic nanotubes reinforced polyvinylidene fluoride composites as low-cost electromagnetic interference shielding materials 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):137.
Novel polymer nanocomposites comprising of MnO2 nanotubes (MNTs), functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (f-MWCNTs), and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) were synthesized. Homogeneous distribution of f-MWCNTs and MNTs in PVDF matrix were confirmed by field emission scanning electron microscopy. Electrical conductivity measurements were performed on these polymer composites using four probe technique. The addition of 2 wt.% of MNTs (2 wt.%, f-MWCNTs) to PVDF matrix results in an increase in the electrical conductivity from 10-16S/m to 4.5 × 10-5S/m (3.2 × 10-1S/m). Electromagnetic interference shielding effectiveness (EMI SE) was measured with vector network analyzer using waveguide sample holder in X-band frequency range. EMI SE of approximately 20 dB has been obtained with the addition of 5 wt.% MNTs-1 wt.% f-MWCNTs to PVDF in comparison with EMI SE of approximately 18 dB for 7 wt.% of f-MWCNTs indicating the potential use of the present MNT/f-MWCNT/PVDF composite as low-cost EMI shielding materials in X-band region.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-137
PMCID: PMC3211184  PMID: 21711633
4.  The efficacy of a comprehensive lifestyle modification programme based on yoga in the management of bronchial asthma: a randomized controlled trial 
Background
There is a substantial body of evidence on the efficacy of yoga in the management of bronchial asthma. Many studies have reported, as the effects of yoga on bronchial asthma, significant improvements in pulmonary functions, quality of life and reduction in airway hyper-reactivity, frequency of attacks and medication use. In addition, a few studies have attempted to understand the effects of yoga on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) or exercise tolerance capacity. However, none of these studies has investigated any immunological mechanisms by which yoga improves these variables in bronchial asthma.
Methods
The present randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted on 57 adult subjects with mild or moderate bronchial asthma who were allocated randomly to either the yoga (intervention) group (n = 29) or the wait-listed control group (n = 28). The control group received only conventional care and the yoga group received an intervention based on yoga, in addition to the conventional care. The intervention consisted of 2-wk supervised training in lifestyle modification and stress management based on yoga followed by closely monitored continuation of the practices at home for 6-wk. The outcome measures were assessed in both the groups at 0 wk (baseline), 2, 4 and 8 wk by using Generalized Linear Model (GLM) repeated measures followed by post-hoc analysis.
Results
In the yoga group, there was a steady and progressive improvement in pulmonary function, the change being statistically significant in case of the first second of forced expiratory volume (FEV1) at 8 wk, and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) at 2, 4 and 8 wk as compared to the corresponding baseline values. There was a significant reduction in EIB in the yoga group. However, there was no corresponding reduction in the urinary prostaglandin D2 metabolite (11β prostaglandin F2α) levels in response to the exercise challenge. There was also no significant change in serum eosinophilic cationic protein levels during the 8-wk study period in either group. There was a significant improvement in Asthma Quality of Life (AQOL) scores in both groups over the 8-wk study period. But the improvement was achieved earlier and was more complete in the yoga group. The number-needed-to-treat worked out to be 1.82 for the total AQOL score. An improvement in total AQOL score was greater than the minimal important difference and the same outcome was achieved for the sub-domains of the AQOL. The frequency of rescue medication use showed a significant decrease over the study period in both the groups. However, the decrease was achieved relatively earlier and was more marked in the yoga group than in the control group.
Conclusion
The present RCT has demonstrated that adding the mind-body approach of yoga to the predominantly physical approach of conventional care results in measurable improvement in subjective as well as objective outcomes in bronchial asthma. The trial supports the efficacy of yoga in the management of bronchial asthma. However, the preliminary efforts made towards working out the mechanism of action of the intervention have not thrown much light on how yoga works in bronchial asthma.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN00815962
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-9-37
PMCID: PMC2734746  PMID: 19643002
5.  Asymmetric Flexible Supercapacitor Stack 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;3(4):145-151.
Electrical double layer supercapacitor is very significant in the field of electrical energy storage which can be the solution for the current revolution in the electronic devices like mobile phones, camera flashes which needs flexible and miniaturized energy storage device with all non-aqueous components. The multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) have been synthesized by catalytic chemical vapor deposition technique over hydrogen decrepitated Mischmetal (Mm) based AB3alloy hydride. The polymer dispersed MWNTs have been obtained by insitu polymerization and the metal oxide/MWNTs were synthesized by sol-gel method. Morphological characterizations of polymer dispersed MWNTs have been carried out using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM and HRTEM). An assymetric double supercapacitor stack has been fabricated using polymer/MWNTs and metal oxide/MWNTs coated over flexible carbon fabric as electrodes and nafion®membrane as a solid electrolyte. Electrochemical performance of the supercapacitor stack has been investigated using cyclic voltammetry, galvanostatic charge-discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.
doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9127-3
PMCID: PMC3244800
Multiwalled carbon nanotubes; Polymers; Metal oxide; Supercapacitor stack; Asymmetry; Solid electrolyte
6.  Synthesis and Characterization of Magnetic Metal-encapsulated Multi-walled Carbon Nanobeads 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;3(2):76-81.
A novel, cost-effective, easy and single-step process for the synthesis of large quantities of magnetic metal-encapsulated multi-walled carbon nanobeads (MWNB) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) using catalytic chemical vapour deposition of methane over Mischmetal-based AB3alloy hydride catalyst is presented. The growth mechanism of metal-encapsulated MWNB and MWNT has been discussed based on the catalytically controlled root-growth mode. These carbon nanostructures have been characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM and HRTEM), energy dispersive analysis of X-ray (EDAX) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Magnetic properties of metal-filled nanobeads have been studied using PAR vibrating sample magnetometer up to a magnetic field of 10 kOe, and the results have been compared with those of metal-filled MWNT.
doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9116-6
PMCID: PMC3244788
Magnetic metal-filled multi-walled carbon nanobeads (MWNB); Alloy hydride catalyst; Chemical vapour deposition; Magnetization
7.  Effect of Purity and Substrate on Field Emission Properties of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2007;2(7):331-336.
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) have been synthesized by chemical vapour decomposition (CVD) of acetylene over Rare Earth (RE) based AB2(DyNi2) alloy hydride catalyst. The as-grown carbon nanotubes were purified by acid and heat treatments and characterized using powder X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Thermo Gravimetric Analysis and Raman Spectroscopy. Fully carbon based field emitters have been fabricated by spin coating a solutions of both as-grown and purified MWNT and dichloro ethane (DCE) over carbon paper with and without graphitized layer. The use of graphitized carbon paper as substrate opens several new possibilities for carbon nanotube (CNT) field emitters, as the presence of the graphitic layer provides strong adhesion between the nanotubes and carbon paper and reduces contact resistance. The field emission characteristics have been studied using an indigenously fabricated set up and the results are discussed. CNT field emitter prepared by spin coating of the purified MWNT–DCE solution over graphitized carbon paper shows excellent emission properties with a fairly stable emission current over a period of 4 h. Analysis of the field emission characteristics based on the Fowler–Nordheim (FN) theory reveals current saturation effects at high applied fields for all the samples.
doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9067-3
PMCID: PMC3246377  PMID: 21798103
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes; DyNi2alloy hydride; Spin coating; Dichloro ethane; Graphitized carbon paper; CNT field emitter; Fowler–Nordheim theory
8.  Single step process for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes and metal/alloy-filled multiwalled carbon nanotubes 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2007;2(2):75-80.
A single-step approach for the synthesis of multi-walled nanotubes (MWNT) filled with nanowires of Ni/ternary Zr based hydrogen storage alloy has been illustrated. We also demonstrate the generation of CO-free hydrogen by methane decomposition over alloy hydride catalyst. The present work also highlights the formation of single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) and MWNTs at varying process conditions. These carbon nanostructures have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high resolution TEM (HRTEM), Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and Raman spectroscopy. This new approach overcomes the existing multi-step process limitation, with possible impact on the development of future fuel cell, nano-battery and hydrogen sensor technologies.
doi:10.1007/s11671-006-9033-5
PMCID: PMC3245572
Carbon nanotubes; Nanowires; Encapsulation; Hydrogen production; Alloys; Chemical vapour deposition

Results 1-8 (8)