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New Oral Nanomedicine Strategy Targets Gut-Brain Axis to Treat IBD

In a new study appearing in Science Advances, researchers from Southwest Jiaotong University and elsewhere describe a method to develop a nanomedicine to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Previous studies had suggested that oxidative stress and gut microbial disturbances are crucial IBD triggers. As a result, many studies have focused on developing intravenous and oral delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) nanomedicines that reduce inflammatory cytokines and scavenging reactive oxygen species, thereby reducing oxidative stress in IBD. However, those modes of delivery are plagued with problems such as insufficient residence time and low targeting efficiency for inflamed colons. The new method the researchers developed — a polyphenol-armored nanomedicine — aims to overcome many of these problems. This nanomedicine includes TNF-α-siRNA, a gallic acid-mediated graphene quantum dot-encapsulated bovine serum albumin nanoparticle, and a chitosan and tannin acid multilayer shell, which the researchers referred to as the medicine's "armor." According to the researchers, the nanomedicine "suppressed hyperactive immune responses and modulated bacterial gut microbiota homeostasis in a mouse model of acute colitis" and could suppress intestinal inflammation and improve anxiety, depression, and cognitive behavioral functions. "Overall, this polyphenol-armored strategy offers a universal, powerful platform for the design of oral nanomedicines for inflammatory diseases," they add.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.