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Visible-light-responsive ZnCuO nanoparticles: benign photodynamic killers of infectious protozoans

Authors Nadhman A, Nazir S, Khan MI, Ayub A, Muhammad B, Khan M, Shams D, Yasinzai M

Received 2 July 2015

Accepted for publication 6 September 2015

Published 4 November 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 6891—6903


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Akhtar Nadhman,1,2 Samina Nazir,2 Malik Ihsanullah Khan,1 Attiya Ayub,2,3 Bakhtiar Muhammad,3 Momin Khan,1 Dilawar Farhan Shams,4 Masoom Yasinzai1,5

1Department of Biotechnology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; 2Nanosciences and Catalysis Division, National Centre for Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan; 3Department of Chemistry, Hazara University, Dhodial, Pakistan; 4Department of Environmental Sciences, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Mardan, Pakistan; 5Center of Interdisciplinary Research, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract: Human beings suffer from several infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoans. Recently, there has been a great interest in developing biocompatible nanostructures to deal with infectious agents. This study investigated benign ZnCuO nanostructures that were visible-light-responsive due to the resident copper in the lattice. The nanostructures were synthesized through a size-controlled hot-injection process, which was adaptable to the surface ligation processes. The nanostructures were then characterized through transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, diffused reflectance spectroscopy, Rutherford backscattering, and photoluminescence analysis to measure crystallite nature, size, luminescence, composition, and band-gap analyses. Antiprotozoal efficiency of the current nanoparticles revealed the photodynamic killing of Leishmania protozoan, thus acting as efficient metal-based photosensitizers. The crystalline nanoparticles showed good biocompatibility when tested for macrophage toxicity and in hemolysis assays. The study opens a wide avenue for using toxic material in resident nontoxic forms as an effective antiprotozoal treatment.

Keywords: zinc oxide, nanoparticles, doping, photodynamic therapy, Leishmania

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