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Ravindran T.K.S.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Universal coverage by health services is one of the core obligations that any legitimate government should fulfil vis - vis its citizens. However, universal coverage may not in itself ensure universal access to health care. Among the many challenges to ensuring universal coverage as well as access to health care are structural inequalities by caste, race, ethnicity and gender. Based on a review of published literature and applying a gender-analysis framework, this paper highlights ways in which the policies aimed at promoting universal coverage may not benefit women to the same extent as men because of gender-based differentials and inequalities in societies. It also explores how gender-blind organisation and delivery of health care services may deny universal access to women even when universal coverage has been nominally achieved. The paper then makes recommendations for addressing these. © 2012 Ravindran; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Easo S.L.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology | Mohanan P.V.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology
Carbohydrate Polymers | Year: 2013

Iron oxide nanoparticles are one of the most important genres of nanoparticles with promise. Dextran, a stable biocompatible coating agent was employed in the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles in the presence of urea. The morphology of nanoparticles was confirmed by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. These particles were also assessed for cytotoxicity, cellular uptake and cell adhesion in vitro using murine fibroblast cell line. The synthesized nanoparticles were superparamagnetic, possessed spherical shape with narrow size distribution and were found to be biocompatible and non-toxic. This study serves as a background for using DIONPs in further in vitro and in vivo studies with a long term goal of using it in biological applications. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Manju S.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology | Sreenivasan K.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2011

Polymer-drug conjugates have gained much attention largely to circumvent lower drug solubility and to enhance drug stability. Curcumin is widely known for its medicinal properties including its anticancer efficacy. One of the serious drawbacks of curcumin is its poor water solubility which leads to reduced bioavailability. With a view to address these issues, we synthesized hyaluronic acid-curcumin (HA-Cur) conjugate. The drug conjugate was characterized using FT-IR, NMR, Dynamic light scattering and TEM techniques. The conjugates, interestingly found to assembles as micelles in aqueous phase. The formation of micelles seems to improve the stability of the drug in phisiological pH. We also assessed cytotoxicty of the conjugate using L929 fibroblast cells and quantified by MTT assay. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source


Morris V.B.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology | Sharma C.P.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology
Biomaterials | Year: 2011

Folate receptor mediated gene targeting provides several advantages such as delivery of high concentration of gene at specific tumor sites including brain, lung, ovary, uterus and kidney where folate receptors are over expressed. In the present study for both systemic stability and tumor targeting ability, poly (ethylene glycol)-folic acid (PEG-FA) conjugate was coupled with an arginine modified oligo (alkylaminosiloxane) graft poly (ethyleneimine) having enhanced transfection efficiency compared to poly (ethyleneimine). The resultant polymer P(SiDAAr)5FP2 complexed pDNA effectively and showed protection against nuclease degradation. The PEG group provided improved blood compatibility and cell viability. Uniformly oriented arginine moiety helped to enhance cellular and nuclear localisation, which led to improved transfection. The polymer was capable of releasing pDNA at the nucleus and being cleared from the cell after its purpose. Transfection in presence of cellular uptake inhibitors showed multiple pathways for cellular uptake of the targeted polymer, out of which folate receptor mediated uptake was more prominent. The folate mediated cellular uptake of P(SiDAAr)5FP2 was then confirmed by flow cytometric evaluation. The high accumulation of targeted polymers in the tumor tissues of tumor bearing mice from 2nd hour onwards proved the active targeting effect of the polymer. Besides tumor accumulation, the material showed capability to diffuse through the vascular endothelium. This property is expected to be beneficial for brain targeting experiments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Manju S.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology | Sreenivasan K.,Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2012

Curcumin (Cur) shows low anticancer activity in vivo due to its reduced systemic bioavailability stemmed from its poor aqueous solubility and instability. Suitably functionalized nanocarriers designed to empty the drug specifically at tumor sites can potentially enhance the antitumor activity of Cur. We devised a simple method for the fabrication of water soluble Cur conjugated gold nanoparticles to target various cancer cell lines. Cur was conjugated to hyaluronic acid (HA) to get a water soluble conjugate (HA-Cur). We generated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) by reducing chloroauric acid using HA-Cur, which played the dual role of a reducing and stabilizing agent and subsequently anchored folate conjugated PEG. These entities were probed using different analytical techniques, assayed the blood compatibility and cytotoxicity. Their interaction with cancer cell lines (HeLa cells, glyoma cells and Caco 2 cells) was followed by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Blood-materials interactions studies showed that the nanoparticles are highly hemocompatible. Flow cytometry and confocal microscopy results showed significant cellular uptake and internalization of the particles by cells. HA-Cur@AuNPs exhibited more cytotoxicity comparing to free Cur. The strategy, we adopted here, resulted the formation blood compatible Cur conjugated AuNPs with enhanced targeting and improved efficacy. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

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