"It brought down high bilirubin levels in mice within two hours while the commercially available drug silymarin took more than a day to control the levels for the equivalent dose," said Polley, adding the group has been working on this specific nanoparticle for the last five years.
The latest findings, which are currently in press for publication in the Nanomedicine journal, open a new door for "cost-effective and efficient therapeutic treatment of hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice and associated diseases," according to group leader Samir Kumar Pal.
"We have been working on detection as well as the treatment aspect of elevated bilirubin. In the near future, we could help avoid preventable deaths of newborns," said Mr. Pal, professor at the Centre's department of chemical, biological and macro-molecular sciences.
Union Minister of Science and Technology Mr. Harsh Vardhan, post his visit to Samir Kumar Pal's lab recently, had highlighted on Facebook that neonatal jaundice deaths, comprise 18 percent of newborn mortality in India.
He was particularly impressed with a non-invasive, computer-based fibre-optic detector fabricated by the group that detects bilirubin levels within three seconds by shining light on the white part of one's eye.
"Nanomedicine has huge potential for India as it has elsewhere in the world. Specially, diagnostics promises to offer cheap and faster way for detecting diseases for India. This has a huge potential for India because our healthcare is not as widespread," said Praveer Asthana, Mission Director, Nano Mission,Department of Science & Technology, India.