Curcumin-Loaded Microparticles Show Promise as an Effective Oral Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

Curcumin-Loaded Microparticles Show Promise as an Effective Oral Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis
Researchers at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University and Southwest University in China have developed a new oral drug to treat ulcerative colitis. The study, published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, describes a novel therapeutic method consisting of microparticles loaded with natural anti-inflammatory molecules that target the lining of the colon. The study is titled "Oral administration of pH-sensitive curcumin-loaded microparticles for ulcerative colitis therapy." Ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is a chronic condition that affects the colon and is characterized by tissue inflammation and ulceration. It is the result of an exacerbated response of the immune system and, therefore, usual therapy focuses on controlling inflammation via intravenous delivery of anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressive drugs, namely, inhibitors of inflammatory cytokines such as anti-TNFα (tumor necrosis factor alpha), potent drugs that lead to T cell death and severe side effects. The microparticles used in the study were developed by an emulsion-solvent evaporation method, and consist of pH-sensitive, biocompatible and biodegradable polymers, Eudragit S100 and PLGA. These microparticles are loaded with curcumin, an active ingredient extracted from natural herbal sources with anti-inflammatory properties shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and relapse rate for ulcerative colitis in animal pre-clinical experiments. In the study, the ratio between polymer content and its effect on loading efficiency and curcumin release rate was regulated, analyzed and optimized by the research team. The results reported in the study were obtained in mice models of ulcerative colitis. pH-sensitivity, co
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