Research Highlights

doi:10.1038/nindia.2015.92 Published online 13 July 2015

Wheat bran to make nano-anticoagulants

Using waste wheat bran, researchers have synthesized silver nanoparticles that can scavenge free radicals and prevent blood clots from forming1. These nanoparticles are anticipated to be useful for combating various diseases such as stroke, diabetes and even cancers.

Blood clots in veins and arteries can cause stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep-vein thrombosis and acute myocardial infarction. Many current therapies employ anti-clotting agents and may result in serious bleeding complications. To find a safer alternative, the researchers used wheat bran to reduce silver nitrate solution to silver nanoparticles.

Wheat bran contains the polysaccharide xylan, which is made of xylose sugar molecules. The researchers found that these molecules acted as a reducing agent and attached to the nanoparticles. They examined the anticoagulant properties of the nanoparticles by investigating their effect on clots of the blood clotting protein fibrin and also on preformed clots of human blood in a glass plate.

The scientists found that adding the nanoparticles reduced the diameter of fibrin-based artificial clots and dissolved human blood clots within 5 minutes, indicating that the nanoparticles could be used to prevent blood clots. In addition, the researchers observed that the nanoparticles exhibited antioxidant properties.

The researchers say that the nanoparticles did not show any visible color change and aggregates and were stable even after being stored for 3 months at room temperature.


References

1. Harish, B. S. et al. Synthesis of fibrinolytic active silver nanoparticle using wheat bran xylan as a reducing and stabilizing agent. Carbohydr. Polymers 132, 104–110 (2015)