Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

SK Sahoo notches sixth retraction

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am&IChemist Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo, of the Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, India, has earned his sixth retraction for image shennanigans, this time in Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Sahoo, as we reported last year, had lost five articles in Acta Biomaterialia  for what the journal called “highly unethical practices.”

The latest retraction involves an article titled “Composite Polymeric Magnetic Nanoparticles for Codelivery of Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Anticancer Drugs and MRI Imaging for Cancer Therapy,” which first appeared online in 2011 in AM&I, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

The paper has been cited 40 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. According to the abstract:

Exercising complementary roles of polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles for precise drug delivery and image contrast agents has attracted significant attention in biomedical applications. The objective of this study was to prepare and characterize magnetic nanoparticles embedded in polylactide-co-glycolide matrixes (PLGA-MNPs) as a dual drug delivery and imaging system capable of encapsulating both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs. PLGA-MNPs were capable of encapsulating both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs in a 2:1 ratio. Biocompatibility, cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, membrane potential, and apoptosis were carried out in two different cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and PANC-1). The molecular basis of induction of apoptosis was validated by Western blotting analysis. For targeted delivery of drugs, targeting ligand such as Herceptin was used, and such a conjugated system demonstrated enhanced cellular uptake and an augmented synergistic effect in an in vitro system when compared with native drugs. Magnetic resonance imaging was carried out both in vitro and in vivo to assess the efficacy of PLGA-MNPs as contrast agents. PLGA-MNPs showed a better contrast effect than commercial contrast agents due to higher T(2) relaxivity with a blood circulation half-life ∼ 47 min in the rat model. Thus, our results demonstrated the dual usable purpose of formulated PLGA-MNPs toward either, in therapeutics by delivering different hydrophobic or hydrophilic drugs individually or in combination and imaging for cancer therapeutics in the near future.

Here’s the notice:

All authors retract this article because of inconsistencies that have been identified in data presented in several of the figures within the article and with respect to other papers published by our group. Specific identified issues relating to other published articles include:

(1) Figure 8a of Biomaterials2012, 33, 2936–2951 was incorrectly reused as Figure 5b in the present article. The control images relate to different experiments and should be different.

(2) The image of GMO-MNPs in Figure 2a was inappropriately duplicated from in PLoS ONE2011, 6, e26803 (Figure 1).

(3) The histogram in Figure 2c of the above paper is exactly same shape as that of Figure 4d in Biomaterials2010, 31, 3694–3706, even though it refers to a different distribution of particle sizes.

In addition, the portion of Figure 8a relating to β-actin was erroneously duplicated from Figure 8b of the same article.

The co-authors of the manuscript from All India Institute of Medical Sciences are not held responsible for the errors that occurred in the manuscript.

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