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Indian nettle tea helps to synthesis zinc oxide nanoparticles for therapeutic use

Professor Rajeshwari Sivaraj a Nanobiotechnologist and her team from Karpagam University, in India recently visited the university to work with Dr Pattanathu Rahman, a Senior Lecturer in Process Biotechnology in the School of Science and Engineering, to investigate how Indian nettle tea can synthesise nanoparticles which control cancer cells and pathogens.

Pictured: Dr Pattanathu Rahman with Dr Rajeshwari Sivaraj’s team The project was sponsored by a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship Commission followed by an Indo-UK workshop on ‘International Research Opportunities and Biomanufacturing Technology’ organised by both institutions.

Dr Sivaraj spent two months at Teesside University working with Dr Rahman to carry out the work.

The Indian nettle plant (Acalypha indica) leaf extract is held in high esteem in traditional Tamil Siddha medicine as it is believed to rejuvenate the body.

In this study, initially zinc oxide nanoparticles were synthesized using aqueous extract of Acalypha indica leaf extract.

The synthesized nanoparticles were confirmed by their optical property, crystal analysis, functional groups, morphology, size and elemental analysis. Acalypha mediated zinc oxide nanoparticles were spherical in shape with an average particle size of 36-40 nm. Infrared spectra showed the metal oxide functional groups.

All the characterisation analyses were reveals that nanoparticles are highly stable and crystal in nature. The antimicrobial analysis reveals that Acalypha mediated zinc oxide nanoparticles were effective against pathogenic microorganisms and higher than the standard antibiotics. Acalypha mediated zinc oxide nanoparticles also showed effective cytotoxic effect against MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines with an IC 50 value of 23.23 µg/ml/24 h by the MTT assay.

The results support the benefits of using biological method for synthesizing zinc oxide nanoparticles with antimicrobial and cyto-toxic activities and potential to develop novel therapeutic agents.

Professor Rajeshwari Sivaraj and Dr Pattanathu Rahman plan to carry out further work in this area as part of the ongoing collaboration between Teesside and Karpagam University.

Pictured: Dr Pattanathu Rahman with Dr Rajeshwari Sivaraj’s team

24 February 2014 | Grapevine 143