Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dr. Ayesha Ihsan

Principal Scientist

Work Phone: +92 41 9201316; Ext. 3311
Fax Phone: +92 41 9201322
Dr. Ayesha Ihsan


  • Ph. D. (Biotechnology), NIBGE, Faisalabad with Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad in 2014 with partial research work at University of Liverpool, UK and University of Massachusetts, USA.
  • M. Phil. (Biotechnology), NIBGE, Faisalabad with Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad in 2005
  • M. Sc. (Chemistry), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad in 2002.


Research Interests:

Working enthusiastically at nano- bio-interface and touching different aspects of medicine, bioactivity, bio-imaging, toxicity etc.

  • Designing of nanomaterials to overcome challenges of traditional medicine like to enhance the bioavailability of different natural anti-inflammatory and antiviral compounds. Nanocarriers designing for combination therapy of complex diseases like tumor.
  • Exploring the immunomodulatory potential of nanomaterials for designing nano-vaccines and other immunotherapeutics.
  • Devising fluorescent assay for noxious environmental pollutants like heavy metals and pesticides etc.


A)                Drug Delivery and Bio-imaging:

The research in the field of nanoscale science and technology has been much acknowledged in the biological world as compared to other contemporary research areas due to the need of many biological issues to be addressed at molecular level. The fundamental functional units of biological systems like enzymes, motors, membranes, and nucleic acid are all comprise of complex nanoscale units. Diagnostics and therapeutics are the two potential areas of biomedical research where the applications of nanomaterials are enthusiastically being explored for expanding the capability of existing materials/tools and also for the development of new materials/tools. At National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) Faisalabad, we are working to develop different drug delivery system and imaging agents. We have worked on the thermoresponvie drug delivery systems (TDDS) for cancer therapeutics. These thermoresponsive lipid based DDS release drug at hyperthermia i.e. 39 oC and do not release the drug at normal body temperature. In addition these TDDS can cross the blood brain barrier which is a significant step to treat the brain cancer. The findings have been published in prestigious journals. We are also using these TDDS for enhancing the bioavailability of different anti-inflammatory compounds and anticancer drugs. To work on this aspect, I was awarded with one national research grant. For imaging applications, we have synthesized and characterized different nanomaterials with fluorescent properties like gold nanoclusters and carbon dots. We are working to explore the cytotoxicity (if any) of these imaging agents for their safe use in cancer theranostics.


B)    Immunotherapeutic:

Besides their tunable imaging and optical properties, different nanomaterials can be an active therapeutic agent and can be used to boost the immune system. In our current studies, physicochemical or structural features of nanoparticles decide their immunogenic role. In certain cases the efficiency of gold nanomaterials was equal to anticancer drug (doxorubicin) against human fibroblast cells.

On the other hand some of our designed nanomaterials can solely stimulate the immune system of mammals and birds. To work in this direction, recently we have won another national research grant by Higher education Commission (Total worth Rs.5.37 million) 


Fluorescent nanomaterials for sensing applications:

Fluorescent nanomaterials (organic or inorganic) have promising optical characteristics based on their ultra-small size, good biocompatibility and tunable bright fluorescence. These nanomaterials have been used for the sensitive and selective detection of various analytes.  Using fluorescent gold nanoclusters we have devised fluorescent turn off sensor for heavy metal ion detection in drinking water. We have also devised a fluorescent turn on sensor for the detection of pesticide in drinking water. This work was sponsored by International foundation for science, Sweden. We are further using these clusters for the sensitive and selective detection of other noxious pollutants and pesticides. 



Selected Publications:

  • Muhammad Rizwan Younis, Chen Wang, Ruibing An,  Shouju Wang , Muhammad Adnan Younis, Zhong-Qiu Li, Yang Wang, Ayesha Ihsan, Deju Ye, and Xing-Hua Xia, 2019. Low Power Single Laser Activated Synergistic Cancer Phototherapy Using Photosensitizer Functionalized Dual Plasmonic Photothermal Nanoagents. ACS Nano 13(2), 2544-2557. 
  • Mukhtiar Ahmed, Muhammad Faisal, Ayesha Ihsan, Muhammad Moazzam Naseer, 2019. Fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) as convenient probes for metal ion detection in aqueous medium. Accepted in Analyst 
  • Usman Munir, Ayesha Ihsan, Yasra Sarwar, Sadia Zafar Bajwa, Khizra Bano, Bushra Tehseen, Neelum Zeb, Irshad Hussain, Tayyab Ansari, Madiha Saeed, Whaeed S Khan, Y., Bajwa, S.Z., Bano, K., Tehseen, B., Zeb, N., Hussain, I., Ansari, M.T., Saeed, M., 2018. Hollow mesoporous hydroxyapatite nanostructures; smart nanocarriers with high drug loading and controlled releasing features. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 544(1), 112-120. 
  • Mubashar Rehman, Ayesha Ihsan*, Asadullah Madni, Sadia Zafar Bajwa, Di Shi, Thomas J Webster, Waheed S Khan. Solid lipid nanoparticles for thermoresponsive targeting: evidence from spectrophotometry, electrochemical, and cytotoxicity studies. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2017. 12:8325                                                                             
  • Mubashar Rehman, Asadullah Madni, Di Shi, Ayesha Ihsan, Thomas J Webster, Enhanced blood brain barrier permeability and glioblastoma cell targeting via thermoresponsive lipid nanoparticles. Nanoscale, 2017. 9:15434-15440 
  • Farooq Aziz, Ayesha Ihsan,  Alia Nazir , Ishaq Ahmad , Sadia Bajwa, Asma Rehman, Abdullah Dillao, Waheed S Khan, Novel route synthesis of porous and solid gold nanoparticles for investigating their comparative performance as contrast agent in computed tomography scan and effect on liver and kidney function. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2017;12:1555. 
  • Mukhtiar Ahmed, Shahid Hameed, Ayesha Ihsan, Moazzam Naseer. Fluorescent thiazol-substituted pyrazoline nanoparticles for sensitive and highly selective sensing of explosive 2, 4, 6-trinitrophenol in aqueous medium. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. 2017;248:57-62. 
  • Bushra Jamil, Rashida Abbasi, Shahid Abbasi, Saifullah  Khan, Ayesha Ihsan, M. Imran. (2016). Encapsulation of cardamom essential oil in chitosan nano-composites: In-vitro efficacy on antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens and cytotoxicity studies. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7, 1580.
  • Waseem Akhtar Qureshi, Ruifang Zhao, Hai Wang, Tianjiao Ji, Yanping Ding, Ayesha Ihsan, Ayeesha Mujeeb, Guangjun Nie, Yuliang Zha. Co-delivery of doxorubicin and quercetin via mPEG–PLGA copolymer assembly for synergistic anti-tumor efficacy and reducing cardio-toxicity. Sci. Bull. (2016) 61:1689–1698. 
  • Ayesha Ihsan, Noktan Alyami, Habib Katsie, Dalaver H. Anjum, Waheed S. Khan and Irshad Hussain. From porous gold nanocups to porous gold nanospheres and solid partiacles- A new synthetic approach. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2015) 446: 59-66 
  • Mubashar Rehman, Asadullah Madni, Ayesha Ihsan, Waheed S Khan, Muhammad Imran  Khan, Muhammad Ahmed, Muhmmad Ishfaq, Sadia Zafar Bajwa, Imran Shakir. Solid and liquid lipid-based binary solid lipid nanoparticles of diacerin: In vitro evaluation of sustained release, simultaneous loading of gold nanoparticles and potential thermoresponsive behaviour. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 10 (2015); 2805-2814
  • Ayesha Ihsan, Irshad Hussain, Waheed S. Khan, Asma Rehman, M. Afzal  Ghauri and Chuanbao Cao,  Facile synthesis of metallized nanocontainers for the entrapment and controlled release of hydrophobic compounds. Material Letters.95 (2013): 78-81.


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