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Nanosizing Cynomorium: Thumbs up for Potential Antifungal Applications

Division of Bioorganic Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Saarland University, D-66123 Saarbruecken, Germany
Institute of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 35037 Marburg, Germany
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, Yerevan State University, Yerevan 375049, Armenia
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Inventions 2017, 2(3), 24;
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites for Environmental Applications)
PDF [2038 KB, uploaded 7 September 2017]


Cynomorium coccineum L., the desert thumb, is a rather exotic, parasitic plant unable to engage in photosynthesis, yet rich in a variety of unique compounds with a wide spectrum of biological applications. Whilst extraction, separation and isolation of such compounds is time consuming, the particular properties of the plant, such as dryness, hardness and lack of chlorophyll, render it a prime target for possible nanosizing. The entire plant, the external layer (coat) as well as its peel, are readily milled and high pressure homogenized to yield small, mostly uniform spherical particles with diameters in the range of 300 to 600 nm. The best quality of particles is obtained for the processed entire plant. Based on initial screens for biological activity, it seems that these particles are particularly active against the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans, whilst no activity could be observed against the model nematode Steinernema feltiae. This activity is particularly pronounced in the case of the external layer, whilst the peeled part does not seem to inhibit growth of C. albicans. Thanks to the ease of sample preparation, the good quality of the nanosuspension obtained, and the interesting activity of this natural product, nanosized coats of Cynomorium may well provide a lead for future development and applications as “green” materials in the field of medicine, but also environmentally, for instance in agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial activity; Candida albicans; Cynomorium; homogenization; nanoparticles antimicrobial activity; Candida albicans; Cynomorium; homogenization; nanoparticles

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Griffin, S.; Alkhayer, R.; Mirzoyan, S.; Turabyan, A.; Zucca, P.; Sarfraz, M.; Nasim, M.J.; Trchounian, A.; Rescigno, A.; Keck, C.M.; Jacob, C. Nanosizing Cynomorium: Thumbs up for Potential Antifungal Applications. Inventions 2017, 2, 24.

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