Advancement of Nanomaterials: Nanotherapeutics and Antibacterial Performance
Carbon nanomaterials are promising in nature due to their higher surface area, known chemistry and ease of structural functionalization. A higher surface area and modulation of functionalities is the key to success to extend their potential in various domains. Present chemistry of graphene oxide (GO) synthesis is dominated by Hummer’s method and its modified versions. The non-reproducibility, variation in sources and physical reaction parameters affect size, degree of oxidation, nature, and type of oxo-functionalities. Furthermore, problems associated with its mass production demands development of better and easier synthetic protocols. In our lab, we are exploring safer, easier, less-energy intensive protocols for synthesis of GO and their advancement in biomedical applications.
Nanotherapeutics is most appealing and viable approach to enhance the potential of existing drugs rather than designing and synthesizing new drug molecules to counter diseases. More recently, gene-based antitumor therapy demands smart engineering of effective vectors.
In this respect, we have explored biocompatible polymers tethered GO nanoconjugates as efficient nonviral vectors for gene-based cancer therapeutics. A promisable transfection and gene-knock down efficiency is revealed and results were compared with commercial vector. A pH-triggered release of siRNA from the vector-siRNA complex was studied to provide a mechanistic insight toward unloading of siRNA from the vector.
In another work, enhancement in efficacy of traditional medicine with non-toxic surface modified metal oxide nanoparticles is explored. The nanoparticles are specially designed to allow sustained release of bound species to facilitate prolonged activity of drug.
Additionally, pristine GO coatings synthesized from different routes revealed remarkable antimicrobial activity due to its specific surface-interface interactions with the bacteria, which is again a valuable addition at biomedical frontiers.