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Abstract  

The method of proton particle-induced X-ray emission (proton PIXE) has been employed to study the trace element composition of human fingernails. The samples were colleted from 51 subjects randomly selected from a working community of about 500 adults and they were analyzed by the thick-target external beam technique of the PIXE method. The samples were exposed to the proton beam as 1-mm thick pellets and irradiated with 2 MeV protons having 20 nA beam intensity. For 40 C irradiations, the concentration of fourteen elements, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Rb, Sr and Pb, were measured by comparison with a calibration obtained from the NBS orchard leaf standard (SRM 1571). Some anomalous cases have been revealed from this study and they are attributed to environmental factors. The frequency distributions of the elements are presented and the results compared with available data.

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A stability-indicating reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method has been developed for analysis of gemifloxacin in tablet formulations. When the drug was subjected to forced degradation under acidic, basic, thermal, oxidative, and photolytic conditions, the degradation products produced were successfully separated on a 250 mm × 4.6 mm, 5-μm particle, C18 column with ammonium acetate buffer (pH 2.7; 0.05 m)-acetonitrile 70:30 (υ/υ) as mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.7 mL min−1. Diode-array detection was performed at 272 nm. The method was validated in accordance with ICH guidelines. Response was a linear function of concentration over the range 0.256–128 μg mL−1 (correlation coefficient 0.9990). The limits of detection and quantification were 10 and 30 ng mL−1, respectively. Separation of gemifloxacin from its stress-induced degradation products and excipients was adequate; resolution was >1.5 within 11 min. The purity index for the gemifloxacin peak after all types of stress was >0.999, indicating complete separation of the analyte peak from the degradation products. The method can therefore be regarded as stability-indicating. It is rapid, and suitable for purity and assay determination not only for routine quality control but also in stability studies.

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Ashwaghanda, Withania somnifera, is one of the most widely used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Leaves and roots are the traditionally used parts of the plant. An RP-HPLC method using a binary acetonitrile-water gradient containing 0.1% acetic acid has been developed for analysis of withaferin A. The method was validated in accordance with ICH guidelines and used for analysis of the withanolide content of the flowers, leaves, and roots of W. somnifera. The withanolide content was highest in the flowers.

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The solid-state deaquation of thetrans- andcis-oximates of lawsone (I) and phthiocol (II) with cobalt(II) was investigated by means of non-isothermal thermogravimetry. The modes of deaquation during the thermolyses of hydrated oximates of (I) and (II) with compositions CoL2·2H2O were compared. The weight lossvs. temperature data were treated by using the Coats and Redfern relations. The kinetic data support a rearrangement-type mechanism for the deaquation of the oximate of phthiocol. TheE a values for both the ligands and water molecules were found to be ∼23 kJ/mol.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: A. Khan, S. Tarafdar, M. Ali, S. Biswas, S. Akhter, D. Saha, A. Islam, M. Billah, D. Hadi and F. Maroof

Abstract  

An investigation is conducted on the status of trace and minor elements in some foodstuffs (cereals, vegetables, milk, egg and fish), commonly consumed in Bangladesh, using proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and radioisotope-induced X-ray fluorescence (XRF) techniques. In PIXE measurements, the samples were irradiated in air with 2.0 MeV (energy on the target) protons having the beam intensity of 30 nA for characteristic X-ray excitation, while in XRF analysis, the samples were excited for 5000 seconds with a 10 mCi Cd-109 annular X-ray source. The elemental concentration of K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, As, Br, Rb, Sr, Mo, and Pb were determined in the samples by comparison with X-ray yield curves constructed from IAEA and NBS standard reference materials. The validity of the analytical procedures (PIXE and XRF) followed in this study has been confirmed by comparative measurements of Cu, Zn and Mn in some varieties of rice with atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results indicate that none of the food regimes investigated here is burdened with heavy metals beyond permissible limits except five species of vegetables with chromium having the range of 0.99–3.59 mg/kg compared to the literature value of 0.0–0.36 mg/kg (dry weight basis). An average value of 0.2 mg/kg of arsenic was observed both in IRRI (n=16) and local Aman (n=12) varieties of rice and only one hen egg contained 1.7 mg/kg of lead in yolk. The zinc content in some marine fish from Bay of Bengal was reported to be 5.4–19.5 mg/kg, whereas in the present study of sweet-water fish, the level is found to be 15.2–62.1 mg/kg (fresh weight basis) for five species. In human milk, both Cu (0.12–0.25 mg/l, n=8) and Zn (0.28–1.80 mg/l, n=8) levels appear to be almost half the literature values (n=25). On the other hand formula milk has higher values of Cu (0.32–1.63 mg/kg, n=16) and Zn (5.16–19.8 mg/kg, n=16).

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Extensive research on Ficus species has shown their excellent cytotoxic potential which motivated the authors for further evaluation of its other species. In this article, the β-sitosterol content in the chloroform extract of the leaves of five Ficus species (Ficus carica [FCCE], Ficus nitida [FNCE], Ficus ingens [FICE], Ficus palmata [FPCE], and Ficus vasta [FVCE]) was estimated by a validated high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) method along with cytotoxic activity. The chromatography was performed on glass-backed silica gel 60 F254 HPTLC plates with hexane and ethyl acetate (8:2, v/v) as the mobile phase. The developed plate was derivatized with p-anisaldehyde reagent, scanned, and quantified at λ = 550 nm. It furnished a compact and intense peak of β-sitosterol at R F = 0.17 ± 0.001. The contents of β-sitosterol (μg mg−1 of the dried weight of the extract) in the selected Ficus species were found as: FCCE (1.047 μg mg−1) > FVCE (0.771 μg mg−1) > FNCE (0.372 μg mg−1) > FPCE (0.309 μg mg−1), while it was absent in F. ingens. Methylthiazol tetrazolium (MTT) assay was used to compare the cytotoxic potential of all Ficus species against HepG2 (liver), HEK-293 (kidney), MCF-7 (breast), and MDA-MB 231 (breast) cell lines. The FCCE exhibited good cytotoxic property against HepG2, HEK-293, and MDA-MB-231 cells (IC50: 32.5, 41.4, and 47.3 μg mL−1, respectively), while FICE showed against HepG2 and MDA-MB-231 cells (IC50: 31.4 and 41.2 μg mL−1, respectively). The remaining Ficus extracts were found to be very less effective or insignificant. The cytotoxic property of FCCE is also supported by the HPTLC estimation of β-sitosterol which is reported to exhibit anticancer properties by interfering with multiple cell signaling pathways, including cell cycle, apoptosis, and proliferation. Our data suggest that the developed HPTLC method can be further employed in the analysis of marketed herbal formulations, and the active Ficus species can be further subjected to isolation of cytotoxic phytoconstituents.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: Rabia Nazir, Muhammad Mazhar, Tehmina Wakeel, Muhammad J. Akhtar, Muhammad Siddique, Muhammad Nadeem, Nawazish A. Khan and Muhammad R. Shah

Abstract

Pyrolysis of trisbipyridineiron(II) chloride under controlled thermal conditions and inert atmosphere of argon gas yields a residue of iron nanoparticles. Evolved gas analysis by GC–MS and 1H NMR revealed emission of bipyridine, 6-chlorobipyridine, 6,6′-dichlorbipyridine, bipyridine hydrochloride, and hydrochloric acid as decomposition products. CHN, XRPD, EDXRF, TEM, AFM, and 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy of the residue indicated formation of pure iron nanoparticles in the size range of 50–72 nm. Based on these results a mechanism for thermal degradation of trisbipyridineiron(II) chloride has been worked out.

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Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t) is well known for its biocontrol potential against a variety of insects. Nematicidal potential of ten B.t isolates was tested against root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne javanica (Treub) Chitwood) in vitro, under greenhouse as well as in field conditions. Eggs and second stage juveniles (J2) were exposed to 5 and 25% concentrations of bacterial cell-free aqueous extracts up to 96 h. B.t isolates showed lesser degrees of nematicidal activity at 5% concentration. However, some B.t isolates (B.t-14, B.t-16 and B.t-64) greatly reduced egg hatching and increased J2. All B.t isolates revealed suppressed egg hatching and increased mortality of J2 at 25% concentration. Soil applications with most of the B.t isolates under greenhouse and field conditions significantly improved height and fresh weights of root-knot nematode parasitized okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench). Some isolates, including B.t-64 reduced the number of galls and egg masses. B.t-64 reduced gall formation up to 70% under greenhouse conditions. However, 29% of decrease was observed in field conditions. Similarly, B.t-64 treated plants showed a 56% decreased in eggs/egg mass in a field experiment. Population of root-knot nematodes in the rhizosphere was decreased up to 61% in the field experiment as compared to control.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Abdul Malik Tareen, M. Rafique, A. Wadood, M. Qasim, H. Rahman, S. H. Shah, K. Khan and G. S. Pirkani

Abstract

Malaria is a serious global health challenge, which is responsible for more than one million deaths a year. Malarial infection is more prevalent in developing countries including Pakistan. Significant efforts have been made to control malaria; however, due to socio-environmental factors, it remains a frequent problem in Quetta. The present study was undertaken to determine the malarial incidence, species prevalence, and its demographic evaluation in human population of Quetta, Pakistan. A total of 1831 subjects, comprising 1072 male and 759 female presenting symptoms of malaria, were included in this study. Blood samples from clinically suspected individuals were subjected to the standard immunochromatographic and malaria parasite smear analysis for malaria diagnosis. Out of 1831 subjects, 338 (18.45%) patients were positive for malarial parasite while the species prevalence was found as 276 (81.66%) and 62 (18.34%) for Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium falciparum, respectively. Furthermore, seasonal variations gradual increase in the prevalence rate. The age group of 21–30 years (30.47%) was found more prone to malaria. The suspected malaria cases were found more frequent in rural (72.1%) as compared to urban (27.9%). In addition, the malaria burden was high in urban area (22.89%) population as compared to the rural area (16.74%) population. It was observed that the highest disease occurrence was caused by P. vivax, which reflects a serious threat for public health. The current findings will be helpful to plan effective strategies to prevent and control malaria in this area.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: R. Goswami, R.U. Zunjare, S. Khan, V. Muthusamy, A. Baveja, A.K. Das, S.K. Jaiswal, J.S. Bhat, S.K. Guleria and F. Hossain

Vitamin-A deficiency is a major health concern. Traditional yellow maize possesses low provitamin-A (proA). Mutant crtRB1 gene significantly enhances proA. 24 experimental hybrids possessing crtRB1 allele were evaluated for β-carotene (BC), β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), lutein (LUT), zeaxanthin (ZEA), total carotenoids (TC) and grain yield at multi-locations. BC (0.64–17.24 µg/g), BCX (0.45–6.84 µg/g), proA (0.86–20.46 µg/g), LUT (9.60–31.03 µg/g), ZEA (1.24–12.73 µg/g) and TC (20.60–64.02 µg/g) showed wide variation. No significant genotype × location interaction was observed for carotenoids. The mean BC (8.61 µg/g), BCX (4.04 µg/g) and proA (10.63 µg/g) in crtRB1-based hybrids was significantly higher than normal hybrids lacking crtRB1-favourable allele (BC: 1.73 µg/g, BCX: 1.29 µg/g and proA: 2.37 µg/g). Selected crtRB1-based hybrids possessed 33% BC and 40% BCX compared to 6% BC and 5% BCX in normal hybrids. BC showed positive correlation with BCX (r = 0.90), proA (r = 0.99) and TC (r = 0.64) among crtRB1-based hybrids. Carotenoids didn't show association with grain yield. Average yield potential of proA rich hybrids (6794 kg/ha) was at par with normal hybrids (6961 kg/ha). PROAH-13, PROAH-21, PROAH-17, PROAH-11, PROAH-23, PROAH-24 and PROAH-3 were the most promising with >12 µg/g proA and >6000 kg/ha grain yield. The newly identified crtRB1-based hybrids assume significance in alleviating malnutrition.

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