Publications by authors named "Muhammad Asif"

370 Publications

New Challenges in the Use of Nanomedicine in Cancer Therapy.

Bioengineered 2021 Dec 2. Epub 2021 Dec 2.

School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia.

Nanomedicines are applied as alternative treatments for anticancer agents. For the treatment of cancer, due to the small size in nanometers (nm), specific site targeting can be achieved with the use of nanomedicines, increasing their bioavailability and conferring fewer toxic side effects. Additionally, the use of minute amounts of drugs can lead to cost savings. In addition, nanotechnology is effectively applied in the preparation of such drugs as they are in nm sizes, considered one of the earliest cutoff values for the production of products utilized in nanotechnology. Early concepts described gold nanoshells as one of the successful therapies for cancer and associated diseases where the benefits of nanomedicine include effective active or passive targeting. Common medicines are degraded at a higher rate, whereas the degradation of macromolecules is time-consuming. All of the discussed properties are responsible for executing the physiological behaviors occurring at the following scale, depending on the geometry. Finally, large nanomaterials based on organic, lipid, inorganic, protein, and synthetic polymers have also been utilized to develop novel cancer cures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.2012907DOI Listing
December 2021

Integrated Genomic Analysis Identifies ANKRD36 Gene as a Novel and Common Biomarker of Disease Progression in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

Biology (Basel) 2021 Nov 15;10(11). Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Cancer Stem Cell Unit, Department of Anatomy, King Saud University, 11461 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is initiated in bone marrow due to chromosomal translocation t(9;22) leading to fusion oncogene BCR-ABL. Targeting BCR-ABL by tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has changed fatal CML into an almost curable disease. Despite that, TKIs lose their effectiveness due to disease progression. Unfortunately, the mechanism of CML progression is poorly understood and common biomarkers for CML progression are unavailable. This study was conducted to find novel biomarkers of CML progression by employing whole-exome sequencing (WES). : WES of accelerated phase (AP) and blast crisis (BC) CML patients was carried out, with chronic-phase CML (CP-CML) patients as control. After DNA library preparation and exome enrichment, clustering and sequencing were carried out using Illumina platforms. Statistical analysis was carried out using SAS/STAT software version 9.4, and R package was employed to find mutations shared exclusively by all AP-/BC-CML patients. Confirmation of mutations was carried out using Sanger sequencing and protein structure modeling using I-TASSER followed by mutant generation and visualization using PyMOL. : Three novel genes (ANKRD36, ANKRD36B and PRSS3) were mutated exclusively in all AP-/BC-CML patients. Only ANKRD36 gene mutations (c.1183_1184 delGC and c.1187_1185 dupTT) were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Protein modeling studies showed that mutations induce structural changes in ANKRD36 protein. : Our studies show that ANKRD36 is a potential common biomarker and drug target of early CML progression. ANKRD36 is yet uncharacterized in humans. It has the highest expression in bone marrow, specifically myeloid cells. We recommend carrying out further studies to explore the role of ANKRD36 in the biology and progression of CML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology10111182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8615070PMC
November 2021

Improving scheduling performance in congested networks.

PeerJ Comput Sci 2021 1;7:e754. Epub 2021 Nov 1.

Department of Computer Science, National Textile University, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan.

With continuously rising trends in applications of information and communication technologies in diverse sectors of life, the networks are challenged to meet the stringent performance requirements. Increasing the bandwidth is one of the most common solutions to ensure that suitable resources are available to meet performance objectives such as sustained high data rates, minimal delays, and restricted delay variations. Guaranteed throughput, minimal latency, and the lowest probability of loss of the packets can ensure the quality of services over the networks. However, the traffic volumes that networks need to handle are not fixed and it changes with time, origin, and other factors. The traffic distributions generally follow some peak intervals and most of the time traffic remains on moderate levels. The network capacity determined by peak interval demands often requires higher capacities in comparison to the capacities required during the moderate intervals. Such an approach increases the cost of the network infrastructure and results in underutilized networks in moderate intervals. Suitable methods that can increase the network utilization in peak and moderate intervals can help the operators to contain the cost of network intrastate. This article proposes a novel technique to improve the network utilization and quality of services over networks by exploiting the packet scheduling-based erlang distribution of different serving areas. The experimental results show that significant improvement can be achieved in congested networks during the peak intervals with the proposed approach both in terms of utilization and quality of service in comparison to the traditional approaches of packet scheduling in the networks. Extensive experiments have been conducted to study the effects of the erlang-based packet scheduling in terms of packet-loss, end-to-end latency, delay variance and network utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj-cs.754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8576556PMC
November 2021

Fresh insight through the VAR approach to investigate the effects of fiscal policy on environmental pollution in Pakistan.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Nov 19. Epub 2021 Nov 19.

Lecturer in Department of Economics & Business Administration, University of Education Lahore, Multan Campus, Multan, Pakistan.

This study explores the impact of fiscal policy on environmental pollution, employing the vector autoregressive (VAR) model on annual data from 1976 to 2018 in Pakistan. We estimate the effect of total expenditure, total revenue, education expenditures, health expenditures, and other dynamic determinants such as gross domestic product (GDP), private investment, market rate, and crude oil price on carbon dioxide (CO) emissions in particular. Further, this study creates impulse response functions to check the fiscal shocks, coordinating with five scenarios of public expenditures, segregated into government revenue, and education and health expenditures. The outcomes indicate that government spending in the public sectors (education and health) had a diminishing effect on CO emissions, whereas government revenue that was collected from taxes improved economic growth but at a cost of environmental pollution. In Pakistan, a fiscal policy scenario has been implemented that increases government expenditures to alleviate the effects of CO emissions. Therefore, policymakers should provide the right direction for the feasible distribution of resources in every public sector through a powerful structure, which will ultimately reduce the overall level of environmental deficit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-17438-xDOI Listing
November 2021

First report regarding molecular epidemiology and novel variant identification of in cattle from Pakistan.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Nov 10;28(11):6488-6494. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Institute of Pure and Applied biology, Zoology Division, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan 60800, Pakistan.

() is an obligate red blood cell residing tick transmitted rickettsiae that has not been studied extensively for its prevalence in cattle along with its epidemiology. Aim of this investigation was to report the seasonal prevalence, phylogeny and epidemiological parameters associated with the prevalence of in cattle breeds enrolled from District Layyah in Punjab, Pakistan. A total of 844 blood samples [Cross breed = 300, Holstein Friesian = 244, Sahiwal breed = 300)] were collected from apparently healthy cattle along with epidemiological data during 2017-18. PCR amplified 426 base pair fragment from 16S rRNA gene of in 14.4% (122/844) of cattle. Amplified 16S rRNA partial gene sequence of were confirmed by DNA sequencing and deposited to GenBank. Highest A. centrale prevalence was observed in spring (24%) followed by autumn (12.4%) summer (10%) and winter (7.1%) seasons. Sahiwal breed (18.3%) was most susceptible to infection followed by cross (12.3%) and Holstein Friesian breed (12.3%). 69/844 (8.2%) of Giemsa stained cattle blood smears were also found positive for spp. Farms where animal use to drink pool water and farms where dogs and other dairy animals were living with cattle had higher prevalence. Female cattle and dogs having tick burden were found associated with infection. Hematological profile was severely disturbed in positive cattle. It is recommended that should be screened in cattle, in addition to , for the effective control of tick born diseases in Pakistan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.07.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8570948PMC
November 2021

Age estimation from developing third molars.

Med Leg J 2021 Nov 10:258172211052930. Epub 2021 Nov 10.

Department of Forensic Odontology, Rehman College of Dentistry, Peshawar, Pakistan.

We investigated the development of third molars among Malaysians (including variations between jaws and genders) using Demirjian's method. Dental panoramic radiographs of 1224 subjects aged 8 to 24 years were examined, and the molars were assigned Demirjian et al.'s development grades (A-H). Results indicated that 18.8% had congenitally missing or extracted third molars. Development of molars begins earlier in females (also in the mandible), but by age 9, male children's molar development speeds up with more advanced grades in their middle teens than females. Grade C indicates the subject is a juvenile, while initiation of root development (Grade E), was observed from 13 years on. Grade H can occur in a child aged 18 years who technically is still a juvenile. We compared the development and growth patterns of the third molar from both the maxilla and the mandible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00258172211052930DOI Listing
November 2021

A short comparative study on modified Duckworth-Lewis methods.

PLoS One 2021 8;16(11):e0259423. Epub 2021 Nov 8.

Department of Law, Economics and Human Sciences & Decision Lab, University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

In this paper, the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) and Duckworth-Lewis-McHale-Asif (DLMA) methods of revising targets for a team batting in second innings in an interrupted Limited Overs International Cricket (LOI), are examined for fairness. The work discusses four significant points: flexibility, intuition, simplicity, and goodness-of-fit of the two mentioned methods. The research findings have shown that the DLMA method is better in every aspect than the DLS method. Further, the data of 1764 ODI matches played during 2004-2021 to investigate the compatibility of the DLMA for high run-scoring One-Day International matches. The results show that DLMA is compatible to the situation of the well-above run-scoring situation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0259423PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8575263PMC
November 2021

The impact of aqueous and N-hexane extracts of three Fabaceae species on seed germination and seedling growth of some broadleaved weed species.

PLoS One 2021 5;16(11):e0258920. Epub 2021 Nov 5.

Department of Botany, Hindu College Moradabad (Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand Univesity Bareilly), Moradabad, India.

Weed infestation is a persistent problem for centuries and continues to be major yield reducing issue in modern agriculture. Chemical weed control through herbicides results in numerous ecological, environmental, and health-related issues. Moreover, numerous herbicides have evolved resistance against available herbicides. Plant extracts are regarded as an alternative to herbicides and a good weed management option. The use of plant extracts is environmentally safe and could solve the problem of herbicide resistance. Therefore, laboratory and wire house experiments were conducted to evaluate the phytotoxic potential of three Fabaceae species, i.e., Cassia occidentalis L. (Coffee senna), Sesbania sesban (L.) Merr. (Common sesban) and Melilotus alba Medik. (White sweetclover) against seed germination and seedling growth of some broadleaved weed species. Firstly, N-hexane and aqueous extracts of these species were assessed for their phytotoxic effect against lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The extracts found more potent were further tested against germination and seedling growth of four broadleaved weed species, i.e., Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Santa-Maria), Trianthema portulacastrum L. (Pigweed), Melilotus indica L (Indian sweetclover). and Rumex dentatus L. (Toothed dock) in Petri dish and pot experiments. Aqueous extracts of all species were more toxic than their N-hexane forms for seed germination and seedling growth of lettuce; therefore, aqueous extracts were assessed for their phytotoxic potential against four broadleaved weed species. Aqueous extracts of all species proved phytotoxic against T. portulacastrum, P. hysterophorus, M. indica and R. dentatus and retarder their germination by 57, 90, 100 and 58%, respectively. Nevertheless, foliar spray of C. occidentalis extract was the most effective against T. portulacastrum as it reduced its dry biomass by 72%, while M. alba was effective against P. hysterophorus, R. dentatus and M. indica and reduced their dry biomass by 55, 68 and 81%, respectively. It is concluded that aqueous extracts of M. alba, S. sesban and C. occidentalis could be used to retard seed germination of T. portulacastrum, P. hysterophorus, M. indica and R. dentatus. Similarly, aqueous extracts of C. occidentalis can be used to suppress dry biomass of T. portulacastrum, and those of M. alba against P. hysterophorus, R. dentatus. However, use of these extracts needs their thorough testing under field conditions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258920PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8570480PMC
November 2021

3D point cloud lossy compression using quadric surfaces.

PeerJ Comput Sci 2021 6;7:e675. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Computer Sciences Department, College of Computer and Information Sciences, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University (PNU), Riyadh, Sudia Arabia.

The presence of 3D sensors in hand-held or head-mounted smart devices has motivated many researchers around the globe to devise algorithms to manage 3D point cloud data efficiently and economically. This paper presents a novel lossy compression technique to compress and decompress 3D point cloud data that will save storage space on smart devices as well as minimize the use of bandwidth when transferred over the network. The idea presented in this research exploits geometric information of the scene by using quadric surface representation of the point cloud. A region of a point cloud can be represented by the coefficients of quadric surface when the boundary conditions are known. Thus, a set of quadric surface coefficients and their associated boundary conditions are stored as a compressed point cloud and used to decompress. An added advantage of proposed technique is its flexibility to decompress the cloud as a dense or a course cloud. We compared our technique with state-of-the-art 3D lossless and lossy compression techniques on a number of standard publicly available datasets with varying the structure complexities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj-cs.675DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507489PMC
October 2021

Potential role of marine species-derived bioactive agents in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Future Microbiol 2021 11 25;16:1289-1301. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Punjab, Pakistan.

COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, has resulted in a massive global health crisis. Bioactive molecules extracted or synthesized using starting material obtained from marine species, including griffithsin, plitidepsin and fingolimod are in clinical trials to evaluate their anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anti-HIV efficacies. The current review highlights the anti-SARS-CoV-2 potential of marine-derived phytochemicals explored using ,  and models. The current literature suggests that these molecules have the potential to bind with various key drug targets of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, many of these agents have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory potentials and thus could play a role in the attenuation of COVID-19 complications. Overall, these agents may play a role in the management of COVID-19, but further preclinical and clinical studies are still required to establish their role in the mitigation of the current viral pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fmb-2021-0024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8592065PMC
November 2021

β-Caryophyllene Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Angiogenesis in Colorectal Cancer Models.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Sep 29;22(19). Epub 2021 Sep 29.

EMAN Research and Testing Laboratory, School of Pharmacy, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Gelugor 11800, Penang, Malaysia.

Beta-Caryophyllene (BCP), a naturally occurring sesquiterpene abundantly found in cloves, hops, and cannabis, is the active candidate of a relatively new group of vascular-inhibiting compounds that aim to block existing tumor blood vessels. Previously, we have reported the anti-cancer properties of BCP by utilizing a series of in-vitro anti-tumor-related assays using human colorectal carcinoma cells. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of BCP on in-vitro, ex-vivo, and in-vivo models of anti-angiogenic assays and evaluate its anti-cancer activity in xenograft tumor (both ectopic and orthotopic) mice models of human colorectal cancer. Computational structural analysis and an apoptosis antibody array were also performed to understand the molecular players underlying this effect. BCP exhibited strong anti-angiogenic activity by blocking the migration of endothelial cells, tube-like network formation, suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion from human umbilical vein endothelial cells and sprouting of rat aorta microvessels. BCP has a probable binding at Site#0 on the surface of VEGFR2. Moreover, BCP significantly deformed the vascularization architecture compared to the negative control in a chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay. BCP showed a remarkable reduction in tumor size and fluorescence molecular tomography signal intensity in all the mice treated with BCP, in a dose-dependent relationship, in ectopic and orthotopic tumor xenograft models, respectively. The histological analysis of the tumor from BCP-treated mice revealed a clear reduction of the density of vascularization. In addition, BCP induced apoptosis through downregulation of HSP60, HTRA, survivin, and XIAP, along with the upregulation of p21 expressions. These results suggest that BCP acts at multiple stages of angiogenesis and could be used as a promising therapeutic candidate to halt the growth of colorectal tumor cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910550DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8508804PMC
September 2021

Phytochemical analysis, antioxidant and antibacterial potential of some selected medicinal plants traditionally utilized for the management of urinary tract infection.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2021 May;34(3(Supplementary)):1056-1062

Department of Eastern Medicine, Directorate of Medical Sciences, GC University Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Recent studies on prevalence of urinary tract infection indicate that approximately one third population of the world has been suffering from this disease. The current study was designed to evaluate the antibacterial activity of aqueous-ethanolic extracts (30/70) of Tribulus terrestris (TT), Vaccinium macrocarpon (VM), Cuminum cyminum (CC), Rheum emodi (RE), Piper cubeba (PC) and their compound formulation "Crano-cure" against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Proteus mirabilis through disc diffusion method and agar well methods compared with standard Ciprofloxacin. DPPH radical scavenging methods were applied for antioxidant activities and phytochemical analysis was also performed to detect the phytoconstituents. All the plants exhibited potent antibacterial strength while Crano-cure showed most potent results comparable with that of standard drug. The zone of inhibition produced by disk diffusion test was 26±0.34, 26±0.75, 26±0.00, 18±0.64, 22.5±0.52, 29±0.39, 32±0.00 mm and for agar well diffusion test 23±0.67, 22±0.46, 23±0.77, 20±0.00, 22±0.46, 24±0.52, 33±0.00 mm against Tribulus terrestris, Cuminum cyminum, Rheum emodi, Piper cubeba, Vaccinium macrocarpon, crano-cure and ciprofloxacin. Similarly, percentage inhibition for antioxidant potential was 78.74, 24.57, 58.75, 20.23, 88.88, 90.12 and 92.35 respectively. The tested plants exhibited remarkable antibacterial and antioxidant activities.
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May 2021

Glimepiride-Loaded Nanoemulgel; Development, In Vitro Characterization, Ex Vivo Permeation and In Vivo Antidiabetic Evaluation.

Cells 2021 09 13;10(9). Epub 2021 Sep 13.

Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef 62521, Egypt.

Glimepiride (GMP), an oral hypoglycemic agent is extensively employed in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Transdermal delivery of GMP has been widely investigated as a promising alternative to an oral approach but the delivery of GMP is hindered owing to its low solubility and permeation. The present study was designed to formulate topical nanoemulgel GMP system and previously reported solubility enhanced glimepiride (GMP/βCD/GEL-44/16) in combination with anti-diabetic oil to enhance the hypoglycemic effect. Nanoemulsions were developed using clove oil, Tween-80, and PEG-400 and were gelled using xanthan gum (3%, /) to achieve the final nanoemulgel formulations. All of the formulations were evaluated in terms of particle size, zeta potential, pH, conductivity, viscosity, and in vitro skin permeation studies. In vivo hypoglycemic activity of the optimized nanoemulgel formulations was evaluated using a streptozocin-induced diabetes model. It was found that a synergistic combination of GMP with clove oil improved the overall drug permeation across the skin membrane and the hypoglycemic activity of GMP. The results showed that GMP/βCD/GEL-44/16-loaded nanoemulgel enhanced the in vitro skin permeation and improved the hypoglycemic activity in comparison with pure and marketed GMP. It is suggested that topical nano emulsion-based GMP gel and GMP/βCD/GEL-44/16 could be an effective alternative for oral therapy in the treatment of diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells10092404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8467883PMC
September 2021

Diagnostic Performance and Appropriate Cut-Offs of Different Anthropometric Indicators for Detecting Children with Overweight and Obesity.

Biomed Res Int 2021 15;2021:1608760. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Medical College of Rzeszów University, ul. Kopisto 2a, 35-959 Rzeszów, Poland.

In the clinical settings, different anthropometric indicators like neck circumference (NC), waist circumference (WC), midupper arm circumference (MUAC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and arm-to-height ratio (AHtR) have been suggested for evaluating overweight and obesity in children. The comparative ability of these indicators in Pakistan is yet unknown. This study is aimed at examining the validity of different anthropometric indicators of overweight and obesity simultaneously and at determining their superlative cut-off values that would correctly detect overweight and obesity in children. For this purpose, the dataset of anthropometric measurements height, weight, WC, MUAC, and NC of 5,964 Pakistani children, aged 5-12 years collected in a cross-sectional multiethnic anthropometric survey (MEAS), was used. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to assess the validity of different anthropometric indicators. The most sensitive and specific cut-off points, positive and negative predictive values of each indicator were also calculated. The results of the ROC curve indicated that all the studied indicators had a good performance but the indicators AHtR and WHtR had the highest value of the area under the curve (AUC) for the screening of children with overweight and obesity (AUC > 0.80). In the overall sample, AHtR, WHtR, MUAC, WC, and NC cut-off points indicative of overweight, in both boys and girls, were 0.14, 0.46, 18.41 cm, 62.86 cm, and 26.36 cm and 0.14, 0.47, 18.16 cm, 64.39 cm, and 26.54 cm, respectively; the corresponding values for obesity were 0.14, 0.47, 18.67 cm, 62.10 cm, and 26.36 cm and 0.14, 0.48, 20.19 cm, 64.39 cm, and 25.27 cm. We concluded that the sex-specific cut-off points for AHtR, WHtR, MUAC, WC, and NC can be used to diagnose overweight and obesity in Pakistani children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/1608760DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8457951PMC
September 2021

Designing Short Peptides to Block the Interaction of SARS-CoV-2 and Human ACE2 for COVID-19 Therapeutics.

Front Pharmacol 2021 27;12:731828. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

National Leading Research Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Myongji University, Yongin, South Korea.

To date, the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has infected 99.2 million while killed 2.2 million people throughout the world and is still spreading widely. The unavailability of potential therapeutics against this virus urges to search and develop new drugs. SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells by interacting with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor expressed on human cell surface through utilizing receptor-binding domain (RBD) of its spike glycoprotein. The RBD is highly conserved and is also a potential target for blocking its interaction with human cell surface receptor. We designed short peptides on the basis of our previously reported truncated ACE2 (tACE2) for increasing the binding affinity as well as the binding interaction network with RBD. These peptides can selectively bind to RBD with much higher affinities than the cell surface receptor. Thus, these can block all the binding residues required for binding to cell surface receptor. We used selected amino acid regions (21-40 and 65-75) of ACE2 as scaffold for the peptide design. Our designed peptide Pep1 showed interactions with RBD covering almost all of its binding residues with significantly higher binding affinity (-13.2 kcal mol) than the cell surface receptor. The molecular dynamics (MD) simulation results showed that designed peptides form a stabilized complex with RBD. We suggest that blocking the RBD through designed peptides can serve as a potential candidate for COVID-19 treatment after further clinical investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.731828DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8430035PMC
August 2021

Linguistic analysis of neologism related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Soc Sci Humanit Open 2021 2;4(1):100201. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

Ripha International University, Faisalabad Campus, Pakistan.

The current study aimed to explore the linguistic analysis of neologism related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Recently, a new coronavirus disease COVID-19 has emerged as a respiratory infection with significant concern for global public health hazards. However, with each passing day, more and more confirmed cases are being reported worldwide which has alarmed the global authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO). In this study, the researcher uses the term neologism which means the coinage of new words. Neologism played a significant role throughout the history of epidemic and pandemic. The focus of this study is on the phenomenon of neologism to explore the creation of new words during the outbreak of COVID-19. The theoretical framework of this study is based on three components of neologism, i.e. word formation, borrowing, and lexical deviation. The researcher used the model of neologism as a research tool which is presented by Krishnamurthy in 2010. The study is also compared with the theory of onomasiology by Pavol Stekauer (1998). The secondary data have been used in this study. The data were collected from articles, books, Oxford Corpus, social media, and five different websites and retrieved from January 2020 to April 2020. The findings of this study revealed that with the outbreak of COVID-19, the majority of the people on social media and state briefings, the word-formation is utilized in the form of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. The abbreviations and acronyms are also used which are related to the current situation of COVID-19. No doubt, neologisms present colorful portrayals of various social and cultural practices of respective societies the rationale behind them all remains the same.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssaho.2021.100201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8410579PMC
September 2021

Molecular Mechanisms Responsible for In Vitro Cytotoxic Attributes of Conyza bonariensis Extract against Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Jurkat Cells.

Anticancer Agents Med Chem 2021 Sep 5. Epub 2021 Sep 5.

Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of The Punjab Lahore . Pakistan.

Background: Conyza bonariensis is known to have anti-cancer properties.

Objective: The study investigated the in vitro pro-apoptotic properties of Conyza bonariensis (C. bonariensis) towards human lymphoblastic leukemia Jurkat cells.

Methods: C. bonariensis are extracted with non-polar solvent by maceration. MTS cell viability assay was employed to determine the cytotoxic activity of the extract towards human leukemia Jurket cells and normal Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) cells. The phytochemical composition of the extract was chemically characterized using HPLC. Flow cytometric studies (FACS) were conducted to explore the pro-apoptotic potential of the extract. Western blot studies were employed to identify the molecular targets involved in the induction of apoptosis.

Results: The n-hexane extract showed selective cytotoxic activity towards Jurkat cells. FACS analysis indicated that the extract induced early and late apoptosis in Jurkat cells. Western blot studies revealed that the extract down-regulated the expression of DNMT1, SIRT1, and UHRF1 with a simultaneous up-regulation of the expression of p73 and caspases-3 proteins. HPLC characterization of the extract revealed the presence of phenolic compounds.

Conclusion: Overall these findings demonstrate that the anticancer effects of a Conyza bonariensis extract towards human lymphoblastic leukemiais due to the modulation of the activity of multiple oncogenic and tumor suppressor proteins and that its phenolic content is involved are proposed to be responsible for these activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1871520621666210906092314DOI Listing
September 2021

In reply Asif M et al.

J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol 2021 08;13(3):369

Bahauddin Zakariya University, Department of Statistics, Multan, Pakistan

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http://dx.doi.org/10.4274/jcrpe.galenos.2021.2021.0222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8388058PMC
August 2021

Developing neck circumference growth reference charts for Pakistani children and adolescents using the lambda-mu-sigma and quantile regression method.

Public Health Nutr 2021 Dec 25;24(17):5641-5649. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Medical College of Rzeszów University, University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland.

Objective: Neck circumference (NC) is currently used as an embryonic marker of obesity and its associated risks. But its use in clinical evaluations and other epidemiological purposes requires sex and age-specific standardised cut-offs which are still scarce for the Pakistani paediatric population. We therefore developed sex and age-specific growth reference charts for NC for Pakistani children and adolescents aged 2-18 years.

Design: Cross-sectional multi-ethnic anthropometric survey (MEAS) study.

Setting: Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Participants: The dataset of 10 668 healthy Pakistani children and adolescents aged 2-18 years collected in MEAS were used. Information related to age, sex and NC were taken as study variables. The lambda-mu-sigma (LMS) and quantile regression (QR) methods were applied to develop growth reference charts for NC.

Results: The 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th and 95th smoothed percentile values of NC were presented. The centile values showed that neck size increased with age in both boys and girls. During 8 and 14 years of age, girls were found to have larger NC than boys. A comparison of NC median (50th) percentile values with references from Iranian and Turkish populations reveals substantially lower NC percentiles in Pakistani children and adolescents compared to their peers in the reference population.

Conclusion: The comparative results suggest that the uses of NC references of developed countries are inadequate for Pakistani children. A small variability between empirical centiles and centiles obtained by QR procedure recommends that growth charts should be constructed by QR as an alternative method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980021003669DOI Listing
December 2021

Molecular, Cytogenetic, and Hematological Analysis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients and Discovery of Two Novel Translocations.

Anal Cell Pathol (Amst) 2021 12;2021:4909012. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a disease of hematopoietic stem cells and is caused by the balanced translocations among the long arms of chromosomes 9 and 22, which are called the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome. In this study, 131 CML patients were enrolled. Complete blood cell count was performed at the time of diagnosis for all the patients. Cytogenetic (karyotyping) examination using bone marrow samples was conducted on 76 CML patients for the confirmation of Ph-positive (9;22)(q34;q11) standard translocation, complex variant translocation, and additional chromosome abnormalities. FISH was performed on 38 patients for diagnostic purposes and on 39 patients for monitoring purposes. Twenty-two samples of CML patients were evaluated by reverse transcriptase PCR and real-time PCR for the patients who failed to respond against imatinib mesylate. In this study, 72 (54.96%) were males and 59 (45.03%) were females with a median age of 38.5 years. CBC values in the diagnosis process showed that 75 patients had high values of WBC being >100 × 10/l, while 71 (58.01) patients exhibited reduced values of hemoglobin, i.e., <10.00 mg/dl, and high values of PLTs > 100 were observed in 40 (30.53%) patients. Cytogenetic results show that standard translocation was developed in 63 (82.89%), development of complex variant translocations in 4 (5.32%), additional chromosomal abnormalities (ACAs) in 3 (3.94%), and ACAs together with complex variant translocations in 1 (1.31%) patient. At the time of diagnosis, 61 (92.95%) patients were in the chronic phase, 4 (5.63%) were in the accelerated phase, and only 1 (1.40%) was in the blast crisis. Out of twenty-two patients, only 6 CML patients who were shifted from imatinib mesylate to nilotinib showed BCR-ABL-positive amplification. However, only 7 out of twenty-one patients exhibit BCR-ABL gene values ≥ 1 after three months of follow-up when analyzed by the quantitative real-time PCR. In conclusion, we found a novel five-way translocation 46XX,t(1;2;2;17;9;22)(p36.3,q21;q11.2,q21,q34,q11.2) and a novel four-way complex variant translocation 48XY,+8(8;17)(9;22),+der(22)(q11.2;q23)(q34;q11.2) in the accelerated phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/4909012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8378985PMC
August 2021

Boosting electrocatalytic activity of carbon [email protected] copper-nickel LDHs: Sensing of nitrate as biomarker for NOB detection.

J Hazard Mater 2022 Jan 13;422:126907. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Advanced Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Centre, School of Biomedical Engineering, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, PR China. Electronic address:

Morphological evolution of layered double hydroxides (LDHs) with preferential crystal facets has appealed gigantic attention of research community. Herein, we prepare hierarchical hybrid material by structurally integrating fusiform-like CuNiAl LDHs petals on conductive backbone of CF ([email protected] LDHs) and investigate electrocatalytic behavior in nitrate reduction over a potential window of -0.7 V to +0.7 V. The [email protected] LDHs electrode exhibits remarkable electrocatalytic aptitude in nitrate sensing including broad linear ranges of 5 nM to 40 µM and 75 µM to 2.4 mM with lowest detection limit of 0.02 nM (S/N = 3). The sensor shows sensitivity of 830.5 ± 1.84 µA mM cm and response time within 3 s. Owing to synergistic collaboration of improved electron transfer kinetics, specific fusiform-like morphology, presence of more catalytically active {111} facets and superb catalytic activity of LDHs, [email protected] LDHs electrode has outperformed as electrochemical sensor. Encouraged from incredible performance, [email protected] LDHs flexible electrode has been applied in real-time in-vitro detection of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) through the sensing of nitrate because NOB convert nitrite into nitrate by characteristic metabolic process to obtain their energy. Further, [email protected] LDHs based sensing podium has also been employed in in-vitro detection of nitrates from mineral water, tap water and Pepsi drink.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126907DOI Listing
January 2022

Turning the Page: Advancing Detection Platforms for Sulfate Reducing Bacteria and their Perks.

Chem Rec 2021 Aug 20. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Key Laboratory of Material Chemistry for Energy Conversion and Storage, Ministry of Education, Hubei Key Laboratory of Material Chemistry and Service Failure, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430074, P. R. China.

Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are blamed as main culprits in triggering huge corrosion damages by microbiologically influenced corrosion. They obtained their energy through enzymatic conversion of sulfates to sulfides which are highly corrosive. However, conventional SRB detection methods are complex, time-consuming and are not enough sensitive for reliable detection. The advanced biosensing technologies capable of overcoming the aforementioned drawbacks are in demand. So, nanomaterials being economical, environmental friendly and showing good electrocatalytic properties are promising candidates for electrochemical detection of SRB as compared with antibody based assays. Here, we summarize the recent advances in the detection of SRB using different techniques such as PCR, UV visible method, fluorometric method, immunosensors, electrochemical sensors and photoelectrochemical sensors. We also discuss the SRB detection based on determination of sulfide, typical metabolic product of SRB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tcr.202100166DOI Listing
August 2021

Molecular detection and prevalence of Theileria ovis and Anaplasma marginale in sheep blood samples collected from Layyah district in Punjab, Pakistan.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2021 Aug 17;53(4):439. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Institute of Pure and Applied Biology, Zoology Division, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.

Theileria ovis and Anaplasma marginale are intracellular pathogens affecting a wide range of animals, causing huge economic losses worldwide. The present study reports the molecular evidence of Theileria ovis and Anaplasma marginale in sheep blood samples (N = 218) collected from Layyah district in Punjab (Pakistan), where economy heavily relies on livestock. A 520 base pair fragment specific for 18S ribosomal RNA gene of Theileria ovis was PCR amplified in 23/218 (10.6%) sheep blood samples, while for Anaplasma marginale, a 265 base pair fragment specific for msp1b gene was generated in 15/218 (6.9%) sheep blood samples. Two blood samples were found co-infected (0.9%) with both parasites. Amplified PCR products of both parasites were confirmed by DNA sequencing and submitted to GenBank. Prevalence of both Theileria ovis (p = 0.3) and Anaplasma marginale (p = 0.4) varied non-significantly among the investigated sheep breeds. Tick burden on dogs present with sheep herds was found associated with Theileria ovis infection in sheep (p = 0.05). It was observed that lambs (p = 0.009), sheep in small herds (p = 0.04), and tick burden on dogs present with sheep herds (p = 0.01) were associated with Anaplasma marginale infection in sheep during the present study. In conclusion, we are reporting a higher prevalence of Theileria ovis than Anaplasma marginale in blood samples of sheep collected from Layyah district. Tick-infested dogs were found to be risk factors for the transmission of both pathogens in sheep, and tick control strategies should be extended to dogs associated with sheep herds in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02870-5DOI Listing
August 2021

Discovery of a novel and a rare Kristen rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) gene mutation in colorectal cancer patients.

Bioengineered 2021 12;12(1):5099-5109

Department of Molecular Biology, City Medical Complex, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in the developed world and is gradually more frequent in the developing world including Saudi Arabia. According to the Saudi Cancer Registry report 2015, CRC is the most common cancer in men (14.9%) and the second most prevalent cancer. Oncogenic mutations in the gene play a central role in tumorigenesis and are mutated in 30-40% of all CRC patients. To explore the prevalence of gene mutations in the Saudi population, we collected 80 CRC tumor tissues and sequenced the gene using automated sequencing technologies. The chromatograms presented mutations in 26 patients (32.5%) in four different codons, that is, 12, 13, 17, and 31. Most of the mutations were identified in codon 12 in 16 patients (61.5% of all mutations). We identified a novel mutation c.51 G>A in codon 17, where serine was substituted by arginine (S17R) in four patients. We also identified a very rare mutation, c.91 G>A, in which glutamic acid was replaced by lysine (E31K) in three patients. In conclusion, our findings further the knowledge about mutations in different ethnic groups is indispensable to fully understand their role in the development and progression of CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.1960715DOI Listing
December 2021

Impact of Histological Type and Grade on the Diagnostic Accuracy of Intraoperative Frozen Section for Detecting Breast Cancer Metastasis to Axillary Sentinel Lymph Nodes.

Cureus 2021 Jul 3;13(7):e16146. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Pathology, Multan Medical and Dental College, Multan, PAK.

Introduction Intraoperative sentinel lymph node (SLN) evaluation is the standard of care in patients with clinically node-negative breast cancer. The most common histological subtype of breast carcinoma is invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), followed by invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). Alternatively, histological grades vary from grades G1 to G3. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of frozen section (FS) for detecting breast cancer metastasis to SLNs with respect to histological subtypes and grades. Methods A retrospective observational study was conducted in the Department of Histopathology at Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College, Pakistan, from January 2013 till December 2020, over a duration of eight years. A total of 540 cases of primary breast cancer, undergoing upfront breast surgery were included in the study. Intraoperatively, SLNs were identified and sent for FS. After FS reporting, the remaining tissue was submitted for final (paraffin) section examination after formalin fixation, and results of FS and final (paraffin) sections were compared. Results The mean age of the patients included in the study was 52.05±12.42 years, and the median number of SLNs was three (ranging from one to 14). The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy of intraoperative FS were 88.2%, 100%, 100%, 92.5%, and 95.2%, respectively. The sensitivity of FS for IDC was 88.3%, whereas it was 85.7% for ILC. Alternatively, the sensitivity of FS for grade G1, G2, and G3 tumors was 78.3%, 91.5%, and 90.2%, respectively. The false-negative rate for grade G1 tumors was 21.7%, which was higher than G2 and G3 tumors (8.5% and 9.8%, respectively). Similarly, the false-negative rate for cases where the number of SLNs was more than three was only 5.4%, which was lower than cases with a single and two to three SLNs sent on FS (23.1 and 14.7%, respectively). Conclusion The sensitivity of intraoperative FS for detecting ILC metastasis to axillary SLNs was not substantially different from IDC; however, histological grade affects the sensitivity of FS diagnosis, with lower-grade tumors having low sensitivity. Moreover, increasing the number of SLNs sent intraoperatively on FS improves the sensitivity of FS for detecting breast cancer metastasis to axillary SLNs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.16146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8328395PMC
July 2021

Phytochemical analysis and protective effects of (cranberry) in rats () following ethylene oxide-induced oxidative insult.

Bioengineered 2021 12;12(1):4593-4604

Forensic Medicine Directorate (FMD), Ministry of Public Health, Kabul, Afghanistan.

The genus comprises more than 126 genera of perennial flowering plants that are commonly adapted to poor and acidic soils or epiphytic environments. Their molecular and genomic characterization is a result of the recent advent in next-generation sequencing technology. In the current research, extracts were prepared in different media, such as petroleum ether, methanol and ethanol. An extract of (cranberry) was used at a dose of 200-400 mg/kg by weight (B.wt). Levels of oxidative stress markers, i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) and malondialdehyde (MDA), were measured. A histopathological study of six vital organs in rats was also conducted. The results indicated that the antioxidant levels were lower in the group given only ethylene oxide (EtO) but higher in the groups receiving cranberry extract as a treatment. Major improvements were also observed in stress markers such as advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) and MDA following cranberry treatment. Histopathological changes induced by EtO were observed in the heart, kidney, liver, lung, stomach and testis and were reversed following cranberry treatment. The major toxic effects of EtO were oxidative stress and organ degeneration, as observed from various stress markers and histopathological changes. Our study showed that this extract contains strong antioxidant properties, which may contribute to the amelioration of the observed toxic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.1955528DOI Listing
December 2021

Intrinsic Rewards and Employee's Performance With the Mediating Mechanism of Employee's Motivation.

Front Psychol 2021 15;12:563070. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

School of Public Affairs, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

The prime goal of this study is to analyze the impact of intrinsic rewards on the performance of an employee. It also focuses on the role of motivation of the employee as an intervening factor. To achieve this objective, data have been collected through the questionnaire method from small and medium enterprises of Pakistan. A total of 400 questionnaires were distributed to the target population, and 300 were received. To test the hypotheses, the confirmatory factor analysis and the structural equation modeling have been used. The main results of the study have shown a positive and significant impact of intrinsic rewards on the performance of the employee. Specifically, the study reveals that the motivation of an employee significantly mediates the association between intrinsic rewards and the performance of the employee. In the light of the findings, implications are outlined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.563070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8319625PMC
July 2021

Physical mapping of QTL associated with agronomic and end-use quality traits in spring wheat under conventional and organic management systems.

Theor Appl Genet 2021 Nov 31;134(11):3699-3719. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, 4-10 Agriculture-Forestry Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2P5, Canada.

Key Message: Using phenotypic data of four biparental spring wheat populations evaluated at multiple environments under two management systems, we discovered 152 QTL and 22 QTL hotspots, of which two QTL accounted for up to 37% and 58% of the phenotypic variance, consistently detected in all environments, and fell within genomic regions harboring known genes. Identification of the physical positions of quantitative trait loci (QTL) would be highly useful for developing functional markers and comparing QTL results across multiple independent studies. The objectives of the present study were to map and characterize QTL associated with nine agronomic and end-use quality traits (tillering ability, plant height, lodging, grain yield, grain protein content, thousand kernel weight, test weight, sedimentation volume, and falling number) in hard red spring wheat recombinant inbred lines (RILs) using the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) RefSeq v2.0 physical map. We evaluated a total of 698 RILs from four populations derived from crosses involving seven parents at 3-8 conventionally (high N) and organically (low N) managed field environments. Using the phenotypic data combined across all environments per management, and the physical map between 1058 and 6526 markers per population, we identified 152 QTL associated with the nine traits, of which 29 had moderate and 2 with major effects. Forty-nine of the 152 QTL mapped across 22 QTL hotspot regions with each region coincident to 2-6 traits. Some of the QTL hotspots were physically located close to known genes. QSv.dms-1A and QPht.dms-4B.1 individually explained up to 37% and 58% of the variation in sedimentation volume and plant height, respectively, and had very large LOD scores that varied from 19.0 to 35.7 and from 16.7 to 55.9, respectively. We consistently detected both QTL in the combined and all individual environments, laying solid ground for further characterization and possibly for cloning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-021-03923-xDOI Listing
November 2021

Emerging nanotechnology role in the development of innovative solutions against COVID-19 pandemic.

Nanotechnology 2021 Sep 8;32(48). Epub 2021 Sep 8.

Institute of Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, 63100, Pakistan.

The COVID-19 outbreak is creating severe impressions on all facets of the global community. Despite strong measures worldwide to try and re-achieve normalcy, the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to survive sturdy ecological settings may contribute to its rapid spread. Scientists from different aspects of life are working together to develop effective treatment strategies against SARS-CoV-2. Apart from using clinical devices for patient recovery, the key focus is on developing antiviral drugs and vaccines. Given the physical size of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen and with the vaccine delivery platform currently undergoing clinical trials, the link between nanotechnology is clear, and previous antiviral research using nanomaterials confirms this link. Nanotechnology based products can effectively suppress various pathogens, including viruses, regardless of drug resistance, biological structure, or physiology. Thus, nanotechnology is opening up new dimensions for developing new strategies for diagnosing, preventing, treating COVID-19 and other viral ailments. This article describes the application of nanotechnology against the COVID-19 virus in terms of therapeutic purposes and vaccine development through the invention of nanomaterial based substances such as sanitizers (handwashing agents and surface disinfectants), masks and gowns, amongst other personal protective equipment, diagnostic tools, and nanocarrier systems, as well as the drawbacks and challenges of nanotechnology that need to be addressed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/ac189eDOI Listing
September 2021

Phase-sensitive detection of gas-borne Si nanoparticles via line-of-sight UV/VIS attenuation.

Opt Express 2021 Jul;29(14):21795-21809

The distinct optical properties of solid and liquid silicon nanoparticles are exploited to determine the distribution of gas-borne solid and liquid particles in situ using line-of-sight attenuation measurements carried out across a microwave plasma reactor operated at 100 mbar. The ratio between liquid and solid particles detected downstream of the plasma varied with measurement location, microwave power, and flow rate. Temperatures of the liquid particles were pyrometrically-inferred using a spectroscopic model based on Drude theory. The phase-sensitive measurement supports the understanding of nanoparticle formation and interaction and thus the overall gas-phase synthesis process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.426528DOI Listing
July 2021
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