Agharkar Research Institute

Pune, India

Agharkar Research Institute

Pune, India
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Arora S.,Agharkar Research Institute | Rajwade J.M.,Agharkar Research Institute | Paknikar K.M.,Agharkar Research Institute
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Nanotechnology is considered as one of the key technologies of the 21st century and promises revolution in our world. Objects at nano scale, take on novel properties and functions that differ markedly from those seen in the corresponding bulk counterpart primarily because of their small size and large surface area. Studies have revealed that the same properties that make nanoparticles so unique could also be responsible for their potential toxicity. Nanotechnology is rapidly advancing, with more than 1000 nanoproducts already on the market. Considering the fact that intended as well as unintended exposure to nanomaterials is increasing and presently no clear regulatory guideline(s) on the testing/evaluation of nanoparticulate materials are available, the in vitro toxicological studies become extremely relevant and important. This review presents a summary of nanotoxicology and a concise account of the in vitro toxicity data on nanomaterials. For nanomaterials to move into the applications arena, it is important that nanotoxicology research uncovers and understands how these multiple factors influence their toxicity so that the ensuing undesirable effects can be avoided. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Sen B.,Feng Chia University | Suttar R.R.,Agharkar Research Institute
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2012

Biohydrogen (bioH 2) production from starch-containing wastewater is an energy intensive process as it involves thermophilic temperatures for hydrolysis prior to dark fermentation. Here we report a low energy consumption bioH 2 production process with sago starch powder and wastewater at 30 °C using enriched anaerobic mixed cultures. The effect of various inoculum pretreatment methods like heat (80 °C, 2 h), acid (pH 4, 2.5 N HCl, 24 h) and chemical (0.2 g L -1 bromoethanesulphonic acid, 24 h) on bioH 2 production from starch powder (1% w/v) showed highest yield (323.4 mL g -1 starch) in heat-treatment and peak production rate (144.5 mL L -1 h -1) in acid-treatment. Acetate (1.07 g L -1) and butyrate (1.21 g L -1) were major soluble metabolites of heat-treatment. Heat-treated inoculum was used to develop mixed cultures on sago starch (1% w/v) in minimal medium with 0.1% peptone-yeast extract (PY) at initial pH 7 and 30 °C. The effect of sago starch concentration, pH, inoculum size and nutrients (PY and Fe ions) on batch bioH 2 production showed 0.5% substrate, pH 7, 10% inoculum size and 0.1% PY as the best H 2 yielding conditions. Peak H 2 yield and production rate were 412.6 mL g -1 starch and 78.6 mL L -1 h -1, respectively at the optimal conditions. Batch experiment results using sago-processing wastewater under similar conditions showed bioH 2 yield of 126.5 mL g -1 COD and 456 mL g -1 starch. The net energy was calculated to be +2.97 kJ g -1 COD and +0.57 kJ g -1 COD for sago starch powder and wastewater, respectively. Finally, the estimated net energy value of +2.85 × 10 13 kJ from worldwide sago-processing wastewater production indicates that this wastewater can serve as a promising feedstock for bioH 2 production with low energy input. © 2012, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ghormade V.,Agharkar Research Institute | Deshpande M.V.,CSIR - National Chemical Laboratory | Paknikar K.M.,Agharkar Research Institute
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2011

Indiscriminate use of pesticides and fertilizers causes environmental pollution, emergence of agricultural pests and pathogens, and loss of biodiversity. Nanotechnology, by virtue of nanomaterial related properties, has potential agro-biotechnological applications for alleviation of these problems. The literature pertaining to the role of nanotechnology in plant and soil systems demonstrates that nanomaterials may assist in a) the controlled release of agrochemicals for nutrition and protection against pests and pathogens, b) delivery of genetic material, c) sensitive detection of plant disease and pollutants and d) protection and formation of soil structure. For instance, porous silica (15 nm) and biodegradable, polymeric chitosan (78 nm) nanoparticles displayed slow release of encapsulated pesticide and fertilizer, respectively. Further, nanosized gold (5-25 nm) delivered DNA to plant cells while iron oxide (30 nm) based nanosensors detected pesticides at minute levels. These functions assist the development of precision farming by minimizing pollution and maximizing the value of farming practice. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Umrani R.D.,Agharkar Research Institute | Paknikar K.M.,Agharkar Research Institute
Nanomedicine | Year: 2014

Aim: The correlation of diabetes and an imbalance in zinc homeostasis makes zinc-based therapy an attractive proposition. In this study, zinc oxide nanoparticles were evaluated for antidiabetic effects and safety. Materials & methods: Zinc oxide nanoparticles (1, 3 and 10 mg/kg) were tested for antidiabetic activity in streptozotocin-induced Type 1 and 2 diabetic rats. A single-dose pharmacokinetic study, cytotoxicity, hemolysis, acute and subacute toxicity tests, and mechanism-of-action studies were performed. Results: Oral administration of zinc oxide nanoparticles resulted in significant antidiabetic effects-that is, improved glucose tolerance, higher serum insulin (70%), reduced blood glucose (29%), reduced nonesterified fatty acids (40%) and reduced triglycerides (48%). Nanoparticles were systemically absorbed resulting in elevated zinc levels in the liver, adipose tissue and pancreas. Increased insulin secretion and superoxide dismutase activity were also seen in rat insulinoma (RIN-5F) cells. Nanoparticles were safe up to a 300 mg/kg dose in rats. Conclusion: Zinc oxide nanoparticles are a promising antidiabetic agent warranting further studies. Original submitted 9 July 2012; Revised submitted 27 November 2012; Published online 21 February 201. © 2014 Future Medicine Ltd.

Limaye R.B.,Agharkar Research Institute | Kumaran K.P.N.,Agharkar Research Institute
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

The pollen signatures preserved in the mangrove sediments provided records of species variation over a period of time with past climate and sea level changes. The Airoli profile has a Late Pleistocene sequence, and all the other studied profiles and intervals cover the Holocene only. The absence of mangrove signatures during the Late Pleistocene interval is attributed to a relatively low sea level. The ideal conditions for mangrove development along Konkan prevailed during Middle Holocene, when the first extensive mangrove swamps appeared in Sindhudurg (Dhamapur-Hadi) area particularly between 7220 and 4770 yrs BP. This period coincides with the Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) when Monsoon Asia witnessed much higher precipitation. However, the mangroves responded to environmental changes due to relative abundance of fresh water leading to change in species composition. Two different scenarios of mangrove response during the Late Holocene, one in Dhamapur and the other in Palm Beach, are found to be significant. The Rhizophora-Sonneratia transition from Early Mid-Holocene to Late Holocene is considered to be the most distinctive feature. The decline of mangroves since 3500 yrs BP and further degradation has been attributed to the prevailing arid climate and weakening trends of the monsoon until 1500 yrs BP. However, there seems to be a positive trend in emergence of mangroves in the least disturbed areas of south Konkan, attributed to strengthening of summer monsoon in the recent past. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Rajwade J.M.,Agharkar Research Institute | Paknikar K.M.,Agharkar Research Institute | Kumbhar J.V.,Agharkar Research Institute
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Bacterial cellulose produced by few but specific microbial genera is an extremely pure natural exopolysaccharide. Besides providing adhesive properties and a competitive advantage to the cellulose over-producer, bacterial cellulose confers UV protection, ensures maintenance of an aerobic environment, retains moisture, protects against heavy metal stress, etc. This unique nanostructured matrix is being widely explored for various medical and nonmedical applications. It can be produced in various shapes and forms because of which it finds varied uses in biomedicine. The attributes of bacterial cellulose such as biocompatibility, haemocompatibility, mechanical strength, microporosity and biodegradability with its unique surface chemistry make it ideally suited for a plethora of biomedical applications. This review highlights these qualities of bacterial cellulose in detail with emphasis on reports that prove its utility in biomedicine. It also gives an in-depth account of various biomedical applications ranging from implants and scaffolds for tissue engineering, carriers for drug delivery, wound-dressing materials, etc. that are reported until date. Besides, perspectives on limitations of commercialisation of bacterial cellulose have been presented. This review is also an update on the variety of low-cost substrates used for production of bacterial cellulose and its nonmedical applications and includes patents and commercial products based on bacterial cellulose. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Tupe R.,Agharkar Research Institute | Chiplonkar S.A.,Agharkar Research Institute
Nutrition | Year: 2010

Objective: Populations subsisting on plant foods are believed to be at a high risk of mineral deficiencies. The aim of the present study was to examine the diet patterns of vegetarian adolescent girls for zinc adequacy and devise recipes to improve bioavailable zinc intakes. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 630 schoolgirls (10-16 y old) from Pune, India, from 2006 to 2007. Diet was assessed by a 24-h recall method on 3 random days. Diet patterns were identified by principal component analysis. Nutrient intakes were estimated using the cooked-foods database of our laboratory. Twenty recipes representing the diet patterns were formulated using foods that have a high zinc content and using methods such as sprouting/fermentation. In vitro zinc dialyzability of the recipes was determined by simulating gastrointestinal conditions and atomic absorption spectrometry. Results: Five diet patterns were identified reflecting intakes of different cereals. Girls in the five diet patterns had inadequate intakes of energy, protein, and micronutrients including zinc compared with the recommended dietary intakes of India. In the new cereal-based recipes, the average contents of energy, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, β-carotene, and vitamin C per 100 g of cooked weight were 205 kcal, 6.2 g, 2.5 mg, 105 mg, 1.5 mg, 716 μg, and 4.4 mg, respectively. Therefore, a supplement of 200 g of the recipe would fulfil 75% of the daily zinc requirement of adolescents and increase other micronutrient intake manifolds. Conclusion: Diets of Indian schoolgirls were deficient in zinc. Zinc-rich recipes with high bioavailability have the potential to alleviate zinc deficiency in adolescents. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kawade R.,Agharkar Research Institute
Global Health Action | Year: 2012

Background: Zinc is important in adolescence because of its role in growth and sexual maturation. Adolescents from developing countries such as India may be at high risk of zinc deficiency because of unwholesome food habits and poor bioavailability of zinc from plant-based diets. Objectives: (1) to study zinc status and its association with profile of other micronutrients, (2) to construct a simple tool in the form of Adolescent Micronutrient Quality Index (AMQI) to assess quality of diets of the girls and (3) to examine the effect of zinc supplement on health of adolescent girls. Methods: Girls (10-16 years) from two secondary schools of Pune, Maharashtra state, in Western India were enrolled in a cross-sectional study (n=630). Data were collected on dietary intake, cognitive performance, taste acuity, haemoglobin, erythrocyte zinc and plasma levels of zinc, vitamin C, β-carotene and retinol. AMQI was developed using age-sex-specific Indian dietary guidelines and healthy foods and habits described in the recent US dietary guidelines. Zinc-rich recipes were developed considering habitual diets of the girls and vegetarian sources of zinc. An intervention trial (n=180) was conducted to assess the effect of zinc-rich dietary supplements and ayurvedic zinc (Jasad) supplementation. Results: Prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies was high in these girls. Poor cognitive performance was seen in half of the girls, and salt taste perception was affected in 45%. AMQI was correlated with nutrient intakes and blood micronutrient levels (pB0.01), indicating the potential of AMQI to measure micronutrient quality of diets of adolescent girls. Results of the intervention trial indicated that supplementation of zinc-rich recipes vis-a-vis ayurvedic Jasad zinc has the potential to improve plasma zinc status, cognitive performance and taste acuity in adolescent girls. Conclusion: Review of the studies on Indian adolescent girls demonstrates the necessity of adopting zinc and micronutrient-rich diets for positive health building in adolescents. © 2012 Rama Kawade.

Umrani R.D.,Agharkar Research Institute | Paknikar K.M.,Agharkar Research Institute
Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology | Year: 2011

Bhasmas are unique Ayurvedic metallic preparations used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. With increasing knowledge of risk of nanomaterials, it becomes imperative to assess the safety of nanoparticulate Ayurvedic medicines using toxicity models. In this study, zinc bhasma was characterized using modern physicochemical techniques. In vitro toxicity test revealed no major cytotoxicity at all the dose levels tested. No behavioral abnormality, clinical signs and mortality was seen indicating no adverse effects. SGOT, SGPT and serum urea were also not significantly altered indicating no major organ toxicity. In the current study, zinc bhasma appears safe for human use. Copyright © 2011 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.

Ratnaparkhi A.,Agharkar Research Institute
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2013

Mitochondria are increasingly being identified as integrators and regulators of cell signaling pathways. Folded gastrulation (Fog) is a secreted signaling molecule best known for its role in regulating cell shape change at the ventral furrow during gastrulation in Drosophila. Fog is thought to signal, through a G-protein-coupled receptor, to effect downstream cytoskeletal changes necessary for cell shape change. However, the mechanisms regulating Fog signaling that lead to change in cell morphology are poorly understood. This study describes the identification of proteins involved in mitochondrial fusion and fission as regulators of Fog signaling. Pro-fission factors were found to function as enhancers of signaling, whereas pro-fusion factors were found to have the opposite effect. Consistent with this, activation of Fog signaling resulted in mitochondrial fragmentation, and inhibiting this process could attenuate Fog signaling. The findings presented here show that mitochondria, through regulation of fusion and fission, function as downstream effectors and modulators of Fog signaling and Fog-dependent cell shape change. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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