Posted on May 23, 2019, 12 a.m.
Ghanera is a small flowering tree in India that bears oblong purplish fruits when ripe that contain single seeds that have been found to have potential in the fight against cancer.
Ghanera is a rich source of CPT which is a topoisomerase inhibitor that has potential to treat ovarian and lung cancers. Bharathidasan University research has recently discovered ghanera fruit extract can be used as a capping agent in biosynthesis of nanoparticles that have strong anticancer and antimicrobial activities.
Nanoparticles have been studied for their potential in drug delivery as they can be engineered to suit a specific purpose such as targeting diseased cells only to allow direct therapy. When used as delivery vehicles nanoparticles reduce the damage to healthy cells as they can be more specific, and they can assist in medical diagnosis as they can help in the early detection of diseases.
Metal nanoparticles are good stabilizing agents in synthesis of nanoparticles due to their electrical, chemical, mechanical, and optical properties. As published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness this study investigated synthesized silver nanoparticles using a liquid extract from ripe ghanera fruit as a capping agent; capping agents are often used in synthesis of colloids to stop overgrowth and control structural characteristics of nanoparticles.
AgNPs were characterized using UV analysis and X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy was used to confirm the AgNPs had a spherical shape which differed in size. Ghanera fruit extract and the AgNPs were compared in terms of phenolics, tannis, and flavonoid content; the fruit extract was found to have higher amounts of each compound than the AgNPS, and to exhibited better antioxidant activity showing ghanera fruit is rich in phytochemicals that can fight oxidative stress.
AgNPs antimicrobial activity proved to be more potent against Escherichia coli. B. subtilis, Staphylococcus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa which all either cause gastrointestinal tract infections or respiratory tract infections in humans.
AgNPs with smaller particle sizes were found to be more effective against bacteria due to their large surface areas, larger surface areas meant there is more space for interacting with bacteria. They are proposed to kill bacteria by attaching to cell surfaces and disrupting their permeability and respiration, AgNPs may have the ability to penetrate inside bacterial cells.
Cytotoxicity of the ghanera extract and AgNPs were tested on HeLa cells, AgNPs were found to inhibit proliferation of this cancer cell line. Cell viability was observed to decrease as concentration of AgNPS was increased, suggesting AgNPs have strong anticancer potential. The researchers concluded AgNPs synthesized using ghanera fruit extract can be a promising candidate for biomedical applications based on their findings showing potent antimicrobial and anticancer activities.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement