Kanika Sharma


1 Effect of Euphorbia Pulcherrima Leaf and Inflorescence Extract on Various Cytomorphological Parameters of Aspergillus fumigatus

Authors: Arti Goel, Kanika Sharma


Microorganisms can be removed, inhibited or killed by physical agents, physical processes or chemical agents but they have their inherent disadvantages such as increased resistance against antibiotics etc. Since, plants have endless ability to synthesize aromatic substances which act as the master agents for plant defense mechanisms against microorganisms, insects and herbivores. Thus, secondary metabolites or phytochemicals obtained from plants can be used as agents of disease control nowadays. In the present study effect of different concentrations of acetone fraction of leaves and alcohol fraction of inflorescence of Euphorbia pulcherrima on various cytomorphological parameters i.e. cell number, mycelium width, conidial size, conidiophore size etc. of Aspergillus fumigatus has been studied. Change in mycelium/ hyphal cell width, conidium size, conidiophore size etc. was measured with the help of a previously calibrated oculometer. To study effect on morphology, fungal mycelium along with conidiophore and conidia were stained with cotton blue and mounted in lactophenol and observed microscopically. Inhibitory action of the acetone extract of Euphorbia pulcherrima leaf on growth of Aspergillus fumigatus was investigated. Control containing extract free medium supported profuse growth of the fungus. Although decrease in growth was observed even at 3.95μg/ml but significant inhibition of growth was started at7.81μg/ml concentration of the extract. Complete inhibition was observed at 15.62μg/ml and above. Microscopic examination revealed that at 3.95, 7.81 and 15.62μg/ml extract concentration hyphal cell width was found to be increased from 1.44μm in control to 3.86, 5.24 and 8.98 μm respectively giving a beaded appearance to the mycelium. Vesicle size was reduced from 24.78x20.08μm (control) to 11.34x10.06μm at 3.95μg/ml concentration. At 7.81 and 15.62μg/ml concentration no phialides and sterigmata were observed. Inhibitory action of the alcohol extract of inflorescence on the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus was also studied. Control containing extract free medium supported profuse growth of the fungus. Although decrease in growth was observed even at 3.95μg/ml but complete inhibition was observed at 62.5μg/ml and above. Microscopic examination revealed that hyphal cell width of Aspergillus fumigatus was found to be increased from 1.67μm in control to 5.84μm at MIC i.e. at 62.5μg/ml. Vesicle size was reduced from 44.76x 24.22μm (control) to 11.36x 6.80μm at 15.62μg/ml concentrations. At 31.25 μg/ml and 62.5μg/ml concentration no phialides and sterigmata was found. Spore germination was completely found to be inhibited at 3.95μg/ml concentration. Similarly 92.87% reduction in vesicle size was observed at 15.62μg/ml concentration. It is evident from the results that plant extracts inhibit fungal growth and this inhibition is concentration dependent. 

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity, Aspergillus fumigatus, cytomorphology, Euphorbia pulcherrima

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2 Investigating Nanocrystalline CaF2:Tm for Carbon Beam and Gamma Radiation Dosimetry

Authors: Kanika Sharma, A. Pandey, Shaila Bahl, Pratik Kumar, S. P. Lochab, Birendra Singh


In the present investigation, initially nano-particles of CaF2 were prepared by the chemical co-precipitation method and later the prepared salt was activated by thulium (0.1 mol%) using the combustion technique. The final product was characterized and confirmed by X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Further, the thermoluminescence (TL) properties of the nanophosphor were studied by irradiating it with 1.25 MeV of gamma radiation and 65 MeV of carbon (C6+) ion beam. For gamma rays, two prominent TL peaks were observed with a low temperature peak at around 1070C and a high temperature peak at around 1570C. Furthermore, the nanophosphor maintained a linear TL response for the entire range of studied doses i.e. 10 Gy to 2000 Gy for both the temperature peaks. Moreover, when the nanophosphor was irradiated with 65 MeV of C6+ ion beam the shape and structure of the glow curves remained spectacularly similar and the nanophosphor displayed a linear TL response for the full range of studied fluences i.e. 5*1010 ions/cm2 to 1 *1012 ions/ cm2. Finally, various tests like reproducibility test and batch homogeneity were also carried out to define the final product. Thus, co-precipitation method followed by combustion technique was successful in effectively producing dosimetric grade CaF2:Tm for dosimetry of gamma as well as carbon (C6+) beam.

Keywords: Radiation Dosimetry, Gamma Radiation, nanocrystalline, ion beam

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1 Synthesis and Thermoluminescence Study of Nanocrystalline Radiation Dosimeter CaSO₄:Ce/Sm/Dy

Authors: Kanika Sharma, Shaila Bahl, Pratik Kumar, S. P. Lochab, Anant Pandey, Vibha Chopra, Birendra Singh


This paper reports the thermoluminescence (TL) properties of nanocrystalline CaSO₄ activated by Ce, Sm, and Dy. TL properties are investigated by chiefly changing the dopant element and also by varying the concentration of the dopant elements (from 0.05 mol % to 0.5 mol %) so as to establish the optimized dopant concentration for each of the activators. The method of salt preparation used is the typical chemical co-precipitation method and the technique used for characterization of the prepared samples is the X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) technique. Further, the phosphors are irradiated with gamma radiation from Co-60 (1.25 MeV) source (dose range- 30 Gy to 500 Gy). The optimized concentration (vis-a-vis TL peak intensity) of activator for CaSO₄:Ce is found to be 0.2 mol %, for CaSO₄:Sm it is 0.1 mol % and for CaSO₄:Dy it is 0.2 mol %. Further, the primary study of the TL response curves for all the three phosphors confirms linearity in the studied dose range (i.e., 30 Gy to 500 Gy). Finally, CaSO₄:Dy was also studied for its energy dependence property which plays an important role in defining the utility of a phosphor for dosimetric applications. The range of doses used for the energy dependence study was from 30 Gy to 500 Gy from Cs-137 (0.662 MeV). The nano-phosphors showed potential to be used as radiation dosimeter in the studied range of gamma radiation and thus must be studied for a wider range of doses.

Keywords: Radiation Dosimetry, Thermoluminescence, Gamma Radiation, nanocrystalline

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