Pushpamalar Janarthanan


Senior Lecturer

PhD in Applied Polymer Chemistry (Monash University, Australia)
Telephone: (+603) 5514 6000
Ext: 46173 (DID: 5514 6173)
Room number: 4-8-09 (Building 4, Level 8, No. 09)

Polymer chemistry

She is interested in the fabrication of natural biodegradable polymers into an useful materials that have potential use in many areas in industries. The only reason for looking into formulating biodegradable biomaterial is that it could disintegrate into smaller fragments that are non-toxic remnant after use.  She is experienced in producing carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) from sago waste and with incorporating other polysaccharides to prepare hydrogels in forms of beads, disks, microcapsules, and membranes  with different properties using various crosslinking methods. It can act as a carrier for active ingredients. It can be used in control release of drug delivery in medical area and slow release of fertilizer in agriculture. These polymer carriers are also could be utilized to improve wastewater treatment and solid waste management. Different methods could be used to combine different polymers to produce biodegradable plastics and nanotubes. Silver nanoparticles syntheses from various methods using plant sources are being explored.

Research interest is in developing new biodegradable polymers using plant waste and currently focusing on preparing cross-linked CMC hydrogel to be used as control release device for anticancer drug and slow release device for application of fertilizer. CMC and other polysaccharides are also incorporated to prepare drug delivery vehicles and loaded with drugs via physical or chemical methods. There are other active ingredients such as flavors, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and natural supplements can be loaded to the polymeric material and study the release pattern. Carboxymethyl cellulose and chitosan also used to prepare halloysite nanotubes for application in electronic packaging and automotive industry. Incorporate two different polysaccharides with different properties and prepare desired biodegradable plastics by blending, grafting and other methods. And also research is being done on carboxymethyl cellulose cross-linked with chitosan to prepare hydrogel beads for encapsulating activated sludge from wastewater treatment plant to degrade p-nitrophenol. Silver nanoparticles are prepared from various methods including using plant sources, CMC and cellulose. These silver nanoparticles are incorporated to polysaccharides to form hydrogel and used for wound dressing.

Currently, looking into preparing the biodegradable biomaterials as scaffold for tissue engineering, skin tissue grafting, electroactive cues for neural tissues. This natural polymer containing biomaterial tend to biocompatible with body and reduces or eliminates the toxicity issue that arises when using a synthetic materials.

Selected journal papers

Nuraina Anisa Dahlan, Si Ling Ng, Janarthanan Pushpamalar, “Absorption of methylene blue onto powdered activated carbon immobilized in a carboxymethyl sago pulp hydrogel”, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2016, 133, 44271.

Anand Kumar Veeramachineni, Thenapakiam Sathasivam, Saravanan Muniyandy, Pushpamalar Janarthanan, Steven James Langford and Lim Yau Yan “Optimizing Extraction of Cellulose and Synthesizing Pharmaceutical Grade Carboxymethyl Sago Cellulose from Malaysian Sago Pulp’ Applied Sciences, 2016, 6, (in press) (IF 1.73)

Pushpamalar, J., Veeramachineni, A. K., Owh, C. and Loh, X. J.  “Biodegradable Polysaccharides for Controlled Drug Delivery (2016), ChemPlusChem., 2016, Vol 81, 1-12. (IF 3.03).

Hui Li Tan,Yeon Yin Wong,Saravanan Muniyandy,Kamaruddin Hashim, Janarthanan Pushpamalar, “Carboxymethyl Sago Pulp/Carboxymethyl Sago Starch Hydrogel: Effect of Polymer Mixing Ratio and Study of Controlled Drug Release”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2016, Vol 133(28), 43652.

Karthik Deekonda, Saravanan Muniyandy, Yau Yan Lim, Pushpamalar Janarthanan, “Electron beam radiation mediated green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using carboxymethyl sago pulp obtained from sago waste”,Polymer, 2016, Vol 86, pg 147-156 (IF3.95).

Hui Li Tan,  Li Shan Tan,Yeon Yin Wong, Saravanan Muniyandy, Kamaruddin Hashim, Janarthanan Pushpamalar, “Dual crosslinked carboxymethyl sago pulp/pectin hydrogel beads as potential carrier for colon-targeted drug delivery”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2016, Vol 133(19), 43416. (IF1.5).

Gwendolen Ong Sze Huei, Saravanan Muniyandy, Thenapakiam Sathasivam, Anand Kumar Veeramachineni, Pushpamalar Janarthanan,"Iron cross-linked carboxymethyl cellulose-gelatin complex coacervate beads for sustained drug delivery", Chemical Papers, 2016, Vol 70(2),  pg 243-252, (IF1.5)

Saravanan Muniyandy, Thenapakiam Sathasivam, Anand Kumar Veeramachineni and Pushpamalar Janarthanan, “Dual Cross-linked Carboxymethyl sago Pulp-Gelatine Complex Coacervates for Sustained Drug Delivery”, Polymers, 2015, Vol 7(6), pg 1088-1105 (IF3.68)

Kavitha Govindasamy, Muhammad Hafiz Ramli, Pooria Pasbakhsh, Vengidesh Pushpamalar, and Babak Salamatinia, “Chitosan/cellulose/halloysite Membranes Produced Using Solvent Casting Method”, Polymers and Polymer Composites, 2015, Vol 23(5) pg 277-284 (IF0.50)

Yi Lyn Lam, Saravanan Muniyandy, Hashim Kamaruddin, Ahmad Mansor, Pushpamalar Janarthanan, “Radiation crosslink CMSP hydrogels loaded wt ciprofloxacin: Influence of irradiation on gel fraction, entrapped drug and in vitro release”, Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 2015, Vol 106, pg 213-222 (IF1.33)

Sathasivam Thenapakiam, Devakumar Ganesh Kumar, Janarthanan Pushpamalar, Muniyandy Saravanan, “Aluminium and radiation cross-linked carboxymethyl sago pulp beads for colon targeted delivery”, Carbohydrate Polymers, 2013, Vol 94, pg 356-363 (IF 4.33).

Vengidesh Pushpamalar, Steven James Langford, Mansor Ahmad, Kamaruddin Hashim,  Yau Yan Lim , “Adsorption Characterization of Ca2+, Na+ and K+ on Irradiation Crosslinked Carboxymethyl Sago Pulp Hydrogel”– Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2013, Vol 128(3) pg 1828-1833 (IF 1.34).

Vengidesh Pushpamalar, Steven James Langford,  Mansor Ahmad,  Kamaruddin Hashim,  Yau Yan Lim ,“Preparation of Carboxymethyl Sago Pulp Hydrogel from Sago Waste by Electron Beam Irradiation and Swelling Behaviour in Water and Various pH Media”- Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2013, Vol 128(1):451-459  (IF 1.34). 

Vengidesh Pushpamalar, Steven James Langford, Mansor Ahmad, Yau Yan Lim , “Optimisation of Reaction Condition for Preparing Carboxymethyl Cellulose from Sago Waste”, Carbohydrate Polymers, 2006, 64, pg 312-318 (IF 3.628).

Pushpamalar Janarthanan, Wan Md. Zin Wan Yunus, Mansor Bin Ahmad, “Thermal Behaviour and Surface Morphology Studies on Polystyrene Grafted Sago Starch”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2003, Vol 90:2053-2058 (IF 1.34). 

Pushpamalar Janarthanan, Wan Md. Zin Wan Yunus, Mansor Bin Ahmad, Mohanad Zaki Abdul Rahman, Mohamad Jelas Haron, Sidik bin Silong, “Sorption Behaviour of Polystyrene Grafted Sago Starch in Various Solvents”- Science International, 2001 Jan-March Vol 13:1, pg 37-39(IF<1.0).

PhD Students (Present)

1. Farah Rehan (May 2017-Aug 2020)

Project title: Preparation of glucagon-like peptide-1 loaded Nanoparticles and biological evaluation of their efficacy in diabetes treatment

2. Nuraina Anisa Dahlan (March 2017-June 2020

Project title: Smart shape memory polyethylene glycol-block-poly(ɛ-caprolactone)-graft-carboxymethyl cellulose 3D scaffold with pH responsive property for wound healing and skin tissue engineering

3. Tan Hui Li (July 2016-June 2020)

Project title: Fabrication of Injectable and Self-Healing Hydrogel for Biomaterial Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery

4. Ragul Paramasivam (Jan 2016-Apr 2019)

Project title: Development of recombinant multiepitope proteins based point of care test diagnosis for multiple sexual transmitted diseases in humans

5. Mr Karthik Deekonda (2 Dec 2013-1 Dec 2017) - Main supervisor

Project title: Cost effective synthesis of Silver nanoparticles and their Biomedical applications

6. Thenapakiam Sathasivam (Aug 2014-30 July 2018) - Co-supervisor

Project title: Synthesis and evaluation of semi synthetic compounds from Malaysian sago waste as potential pharmaceutical excipients in making vegetarian capsules and dissolution enhancing

7. Wong Chew Ee (24 Nov 2014-25 Nov 2018) - Co-supervisor

Project title: AntimicrobialCyclodextrinContaining Polymers

PhD Students (Completed)

1. Mr Anand Kumar Veeramachineni (1 Aug 2013-30 July 2017) - Main supervisor.

Project title: Green chemistry approach using sago waste derived carboxymethylcellulose hydrogel microcapsules for controlled release rate of hydrophilic doxorubicin (5-FU) for cancer therapy

2. Wong Siu Kuin - Co-supervisor

Project title: Bioactivities of chemical constituents of some Apocynaceae species

Honours Students (Completed)

1. Nuraina Dahlan (July 2015-June 2016)

Project title: Developing of Carboxymethyl polyvinyl alcohol (CMPVA) – Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) beads coated with modified magnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles for copper removal.

2. Wong Yeon Yin (July 2014-June 2015) - Main supervisor

Project title: Electron Beam Irradiation (EB) synthesis of Carboxymethyl Sago Pulp (CMSP) and Polyacrylic acid (PAA) Hydrogel as colon targeted drug carrier

3. Tan Hui Li (July 2014-June 2015) - Main supervisor

Project title: Preparation and Characterization of of Carboxymethyl Sago Pulp (CMSP) /Pectin Hydrogel Beads as Drug Carrier of Colon Targeted Drug

4. Tan Li Shan (July 2014-June 2015) - Main supervisor

Project title: Formation of hydrogel by cross-linking carboxymethyl cellulose from sago pulp with chitosan loaded with ibuprofen

5. Kimberley Je Teeng Lo (March 2014-Nov 2014) - Main supervisor 

Project title: Colon-specific Drug Delivery using Carboxymethyl Cellulose-Psyllium Co-polymer Hydrogel Drug Carrier- Oct2014

6. Mr Kevin Yong Jenn Ling (July 2013-June 2014) - Co-supervisor

Project title:  Preparation and characterization of sago waste derived hydrogel beads and its evaluations as activated sludge immobilization host for p-nitrophenol biodegradation 

7. Ganesh Devakumar (July 2011-June 2012) - Main supervisor

Project title: Preparation and Characterisation of Controlled Release 5-Amino Salicylic Acid Incoporated Carboxymethyl Beads Prepared by Aluminium Chloride and Electron Beam Irradiation for the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Malaysian Invention and Design Society & MOSTI awarded “ITEX’2016 Gold medal” for project entitled “Biodegradable Polymers for Drug Delivery and Waste Water Treatment”.
  • Monash University Malaysia awarded the “Long Service Award” in recognition of 15 years of service in Monash University Malaysia.
  • TienTe Lee Biomedical Foundation, Taiwan awarded “Excellent Scientific Paper Award 2014” for published paper entitled ‘Aluminium and radiation cross-linked carboxymethyl sago pulp beads for colon targeted delivery’ (Carbohydrate Polymers, 2013) and together with cash USD 3000 in May 2015.
  • PVC Award for Excellence in Research, Round 1, 2012 by Monash University Malaysia 
  • Accreditation as a Teacher in Higher Education by Staff and Education Development Association (SEDA) of United Kingdom in May 2002.
  • PhD thesis examiner for PhD student from University of Wollongong (2014)
  • Research paper reviewer for 2014 Global Conference on Polymer and Composite Materials (PCM2014).
  • Referee for international research journals such as Polymer Bulletin (IF =1.6), Journal of Applied Polymer Science (IF = 1.77) and Iranian Polymer Journal (IF= 1.81) (2013-2015)
  • Panel Judge for National Science Fair for Young Children 2012 by Malaysian Indian Science Intellectual, 2012
  • Established research collaboration with:

- Monash University Australia, Australia

- Institute of Materials Research & Engineering, Singapore

- Madras Veterinary College, TANUVAS, Chennai, India

- Translational Research Platform for Veterinary Biologicals, Centre for Animal Health Studies, Chennai, India

- Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Malaysia

- Universiti Putra Malaysia

- Universiti Sains Malaysia