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      Nanocarriers in the Enhancement of Therapeutic Efficacy of Natural Drugs


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          Since time immemorial, plant derived natural products have been used for the treatment of various human diseases before the intervention of modern medicine. The basis of modern medicine is still being inspired from traditional medicine and therapies. However, despite their tremendous therapeutic potential, these natural drugs often have poor bioavailability, metabolic instability, and aqueous insolubility. These factors greatly impede a natural drug’s commercialization potential as a mainstream medicine. Therefore, the development of nanocarrier drug delivery systems is indispensable in overcoming the various constraints of the bottlenecks which occur with natural drugs. Of particular interest in this review are four plant materials endogenous to China with the common names of barrenwort or horny goat weed ( Epimedium), Shu Di Huang ( Rehmannia glutinosa, RG), ginseng ( Panax ginseng), and Dong Quai or female ginseng ( Angelica sinensis, AS), each having been scientifically investigated for a wide range of therapeutic uses as has been originally discovered from the long history of traditional usage and anecdotal information by local population groups in Asia. The integration of natural drugs from the East and nanocarrier drug delivery systems developed from the West is paving the way towards further accurate and efficient medicine therapy. We further discuss the potential benefits of these plants and the enhancement of their therapeutic efficacy by nanotechnology intervention.

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          Botanical characteristics, pharmacological effects and medicinal components of Korean Panax ginseng C A Meyer.

          Korean Panax ginseng C A Meyer is mainly used to maintain the homeostasis of the body, and the pharmacological efficacy of Korean ginseng identified by modern science includes improved brain function, pain-relieving effects, preventive effects against tumors as well as anti-tumor activity, enhanced immune system function, anti-diabetic effects, enhanced liver function, adjusted blood pressure, anti-fatigue and anti-stress effects, improved climacteric disorder and sexual functions, as well as anti-oxidative and anti-aging effects. Further clinical studies of these pharmacological efficacies will continue to be carried out. Korean ginseng is found to have such main properties as ginsenoside, ployacetylene, acid polysaccharide, anti-oxidative aromatic compound, and insulin-like acid peptides. The number of ginsenoside types contained in Korean ginseng (38 ginsenosides) is substantially more than that of ginsenoside types contained in American ginseng (19 ginsenosides). Furthermore, Korean ginseng has been identified to contain more main non-saponin compounds, phenol compounds, acid polysaccharides and polyethylene compounds than American ginseng and Sanchi ginseng.
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            The origins and evolution of "controlled" drug delivery systems.

            This paper describes the earliest days when the "controlled drug delivery" (CDD) field began, the pioneers who launched this exciting and important field, and the key people who came after them. It traces the evolution of the field from its origins in the 1960s to (a) the 1970s and 1980s, when numerous macroscopic "controlled" drug delivery (DD) devices and implants were designed for delivery as mucosal inserts (e.g., in the eye or vagina), as implants (e.g., sub-cutaneous or intra-muscular), as ingestible capsules (e.g., in the G-I tract), as topical patches (e.g., on the skin), and were approved for clinical use, to (b) the 1980s and 1990s when microscopic degradable polymer depot DD systems (DDS) were commercialized, and to (c) the currently very active and exciting nanoscopic era of targeted nano-carriers, in a sense bringing to life Ehrlich's imagined concept of the "Magic Bullet". The nanoscopic era began with systems proposed in the 1970s, that were first used in the clinic in the 1980s, and which came of age in the 1990s, and which are presently evolving into many exciting and clinically successful products in the 2000s. Most of these have succeeded because of the emergence of three key technologies: (1) PEGylation, (2) active targeting to specific cells by ligands conjugated to the DDS, or passive targeting to solid tumors via the EPR effect. The author has been personally involved in the origins and evolution of this field for the past 38 years (see below), and this review includes information that was provided to him by many researchers in this field about the history of various developments. Thus, this paper is based on his own personal involvements in the CDD field, along with many historical anecdotes provided by the key pioneers and researchers in the field. Because of the huge literature of scientific papers on CDD systems, this article attempts to limit examples to those that have been approved for clinical use, or are currently in clinical trials. Even so, it is impossible to know of and include all such examples and to properly credit all the key people who helped to bring the various technologies and devices to the clinic. The author apologizes in advance for all omissions.
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              Modern natural products drug discovery and its relevance to biodiversity conservation.

              Natural products continue to provide a diverse and unique source of bioactive lead compounds for drug discovery, but maintaining their continued eminence as source compounds is challenging in the face of the changing face of the pharmaceutical industry and the changing nature of biodiversity prospecting brought about by the Convention on Biological Diversity. This review provides an overview of some of these challenges and suggests ways in which they can be addressed so that natural products research can remain a viable and productive route to drug discovery. Results from International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBGs) working in Madagascar, Panama, and Suriname are used as examples of what can be achieved when biodiversity conservation is linked to drug discovery.

                Author and article information

                BIO Integration
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                July 2021
                06 February 2021
                : 2
                : 2
                : 40-49
                [1] 1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Medical Research Center, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510120, China
                [2] 2The First Clinical Medical School of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510004, China
                [3] 3Center for Nanomedicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
                Author notes
                *Correspondence to: Wei Tao, E-mail: taiwei.thu@ 123456gmail.com ; Phei Er Saw, E-mail: caipeie@ 123456mail.sysu.edu.cn
                Copyright © 2021 The Authors

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See https://bio-integration.org/copyright-and-permissions/

                Self URI (journal-page): https://bio-integration.org/

                Medicine,Molecular medicine,Radiology & Imaging,Biotechnology,Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine,Microscopy & Imaging
                Natural Drugs,Nanocarriers Intervention,Therapeutic Efficacy


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