Current article: Recent Updates on Oral and Dermal Film-based Formulations and their Applications

Author(s): Saily ShindeMihir Ghonge, and Harsha Kathpalia*


On the one hand, oral formulations are susceptible to problems, including instability accompanied by erratic absorption throughout the gastrointestinal tract, first-pass metabolism, and patient-related and pathological difficulties in consumption. On the other hand, the world has been observing a shift from conventional dermal formulations to more cosmetically attractive ones. Amid all these, polymeric films and film-forming systems have emerged as promising candidates for addressing the above problems. Oral films have been studied for their potential applications in immediate and sustained-release formulations and have markedly shown increased plasma concentrations of drugs that otherwise undergo degradation in the gastrointestinal tract and the liver and have an obvious edge in treating pathologies of the oral cavity. At the same time, a variety of dermal film formulations have been developed and studied for treating wounds, skin infections and pathologies, corns and calluses, and managing pain. This review article attempts to cover significant findings in oral and dermal applications of these formulations under one umbrella and provide readers with a compilation of relevant research works and marketed formulations.

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Current article: Highlighting the Potential Role of Exosomes as the Targeted Nanotherapeutic Carrier in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Author(s): Alisha KheraHema K. AlajangiAkhil KhajuriaRavi P. Barnwal*Santosh Kumar* and Gurpal Singh*


Breast cancer, being the second most common type of cancer, is a leading cause of death in the female population. Of all the available treatments existing for breast cancer, exosomes appear as an important medium for the site targeted delivery of drugs. Exosomes, unlike all the other extracellular vesicles, play a vital role in the transport of numerous biomolecules throughout the body and can easily be detected because of the presence of specific biomarkers. Apart from playing a wide variety of roles in the progression of many diseases, they are also responsible for tumor progression and metastasis in breast cancer. Exosomes and related engineering strategies are being discussed as nano-carrier for the delivery of different drugs in the case of breast cancer. Overall, we have discussed in this review the role of exosomes in breast cancer and the engineering strategies being devised for making them an efficient drug delivery system.

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Current article: Mechanism of CAV and CAVIN Family Genes in Acute Lung Injury based on DeepGene

Author(s): Changsheng LiHexiao TangZetian YangZheng TangNitao ChengJingyu Huang* and Xuefeng Zhou*

Background: The fatality rate of acute lung injury (ALI) is as high as 40% to 60%. Although various factors, such as sepsis, trauma, pneumonia, burns, blood transfusion, cardiopulmonary bypass, and pancreatitis, can induce ALI, patients with these risk factors will eventually develop ALI. The rate of developing ALI is not high, and the outcomes of ALI patients vary, indicating that it is related to genetic differences between individuals. In a previous study, we found multiple functions of cavin-2 in lung function. In addition, many other studies have revealed that CAV1 is a critical regulator of lung injury. Due to the strong relationship between cavin-2 and CAV1, we suspect that cavin-2 is also associated with ALI. Furthermore, we are curious about the role of the CAV family and Cavin family genes in ALI.

Methods: To reveal the mechanism of CAV and CAVIN family genes in ALI, we propose Deepgene to predict whether CAV and CAVIN family genes are associated with ALI. This method constructs a gene interaction network and extracts gene expression in 84 tissues. We divided these features into two groups and used two network encoders to encode and learn the features.

Results: Compared with DNN, GBDT, RF and KNN, the AUC of Deepgene increased by 7.89%, 16.84%, 20.19% and 32.01%, respectively. The AUPR scores increased by 8.05%, 15.58%, 22.56% and 23.34%. DeepGENE shows that CAVIN-1, CAVIN-2, CAVIN-3 and CAV2 are related to ALI.

Conclusion: DeepGENE is a reliable method for identifying acute lung injury-related genes. Multiple CAV and CAVIN family genes are associated with acute lung injury-related genes through multiple pathways and gene functions.

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Current article: miRNA-1260b Promotes Breast Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion by Downregulating CCDC134

Author(s): Zhijian HuangShijian ZhenLiangzi JinJian ChenYuanyuan Han*Wen Lei* and Fuqing Zhang*

Background: Breast cancer (BRCA) is the most common type of cancer among women worldwide. MiR-1260b has been widely demonstrated to participate in multiple crucial biological functions of cancer tumorigenesis, but its functional effect and mechanism in human breast cancer have not been fully understood.

Methods: qRT-PCR was used to detect miR-1260b expression in 29 pairs of breast cancer tissues and normal adjacent tissues. Besides, the expression level of miR-1260b in BRCA cells was also further validated by qRT-PCR. miR-1260b played its role in the prognostic process by using Kaplan-Meier curves. In addition, miR-1260b knockdown and target gene CCDC134 overexpression model was constructed in cell line MDA-MB-231. Transwell migration and invasion assay was performed to analyze the effect of miR-1260b and CCDC134 on the biological function of BRCA cells. TargetScan and miRNAWalk were used to find possible target mRNAs. The relationship between CCDC134 and immune cell surface markers was analyzed using TIMER and database and the XIANTAO platform. GSEA analysis was used to identify possible CCDC134-associated molecular mechanisms and pathways.

Results: In the present study, miR-1260b expression was significantly upregulated in human breast cancer tissue and a panel of human breast cancer cell lines, while the secretory protein coiled-coil domain containing 134 (CCDC134) exhibited lower mRNA expression. High expression of miR-1260b was associated with poor overall survival among the patients by KM plot. Knockdown of miR-1260b significantly suppressed breast cancer cell migration and invasion and yielded the opposite result. In addition, overexpression of CCDC134 could inhibit breast cancer migration and invasion, and knockdown yielded the opposite result. There were significant positive correlations of CCDC134 with CD25 (IL2RA), CD80 and CD86. GSEA showed that miR-1260b could function through the MAPK pathway by downregulating CCDC134.

Conclusion: Collectively, these results suggested that miR-1260b might be an oncogene of breast cancer and might promote the migration and invasion of BRCA cells by down-regulating its target gene CCDC134 and activating MAPK signaling pathway as well as inhibiting immune function and causing immune escape in human breast cancer.

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Current article: The Role of RNA m6A Modification in Cancer Glycolytic Reprogramming

Author(s): Yuanqi LiHao HuangShaoxian WuYou Zhou*Tao Huang* and Jingting Jiang*

As one of the main characteristics of neoplasia, metabolic reprogramming provides nutrition and energy to enhance cell proliferation and maintain environment homeostasis. Glycolysis is one of the most important components of cancer metabolism and the Warburg effect contributes to the competitive advantages of cancer cells in the threatened microenvironment. Studies show strong links between N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification and metabolic recombination of cancer cells. As the most abundant modification in eukaryotic RNA, m6A methylation plays important roles in regulating RNA processing, including splicing, stability, transportation, translation and degradation. The aberration of m6A modification can be observed in a variety of diseases such as diabetes, neurological diseases and cancers. This review describes the mechanisms of m6A on cancer glycolysis and their applications in cancer therapy and prognosis evaluation, aiming to emphasize the importance of targeting m6A in modulating cancer metabolism.

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Current article: Gene Therapy, A Potential Therapeutic Tool for Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Applications, Challenges and Future Perspective

Author(s):Shalini Mani*Divya Jindal and Manisha Singh

Neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders are the main risks for the health care system, exhibiting a huge socioeconomic load. The available range of pharmacotherapeutics mostly provides palliative consequences and fails to treat such conditions. The molecular etiology of various neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders is mostly associated with a change in genetic background, which can be inherited/triggered by other environmental factors. To address such conditions, gene therapy is considered a potential approach claiming a permanent cure of the disease primarily by deletion, silencing, or edition of faulty genes and by insertion of healthier genes. In gene therapy, vectors (viral/nonvial) play an important role in delivering the desired gene to a specific region of the brain. Targeted gene therapy has unraveled opportunities for the treatment of many neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. For improved gene delivery, the current techniques mainly focus on designing a precise viral vector, plasmid transfection, nanotechnology, microRNA, and in vivo clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based therapy. These latest techniques have great benefits in treating predominant neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism spectrum disorder, as well as rarer diseases. Nevertheless, all these delivery methods have their limitations, including immunogenic reactions, off-target effects, and a deficiency of effective biomarkers to appreciate the effectiveness of therapy. In this review, we present a summary of the current methods in targeted gene delivery, followed by the limitations and future direction of gene therapy for the cure of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.

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Current article: Classical Hallucinogens As Antidepressant Drugs: A Cautionary Approach

Author(s): Rafael G. dos Santos*Giordano Novak RossiJaime E. C. HallakDost Öngür and Serdar M. Dursun


Classical hallucinogens (or serotoninergic psychedelics) include lysergic acid diethylamide(LSD), psilocybin, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) (present in ayahuasca, a plant preparation traditionally used in Amazonian medicine rich in DMT and β-carbolines such as harmine) [1]. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, these drugs were investigated in patients with depression and anxiety,
with promising preliminary results [1]. Nevertheless, due to increased recreational use by the youth, the association of these drugs to the counterculture, and regulatory changes regarding the performance of clinical trials (i.e., use of control groups and/or placebo), human hallucinogen research was abandoned in the early 1970’s. Besides the lack of control groups and/or placebo (which were used in a minority of studies), other important methodological limitations of this first wave of human research included non-standardized interventions (which therapeutic model to use), the inexact definition of diagnoses and clinical criteria for efficacy and safety (often based on case reports or case series), and broad variation in drugs and doses (mostly LSD in several doses and dosing regimens, but also psilocybin and mescaline)
[1]. Culturally, these drugs were not only associated with the youth and the counterculture but also with insanity and cult-like movements led by guru-like persons. Taken together, these factors maintained the absence of human hallucinogen research until the early 1990s

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New article: When the Mind Comes to Live Inside the Body: The Ontogeny of the Perceptual Control Clock

Author(s): Sari Goldstein Ferber*Ronny Geva and Aron Weller


In this editorial, we discuss the neurobiological processes underlying the early emergence of awareness that we term the “when” and “how” the mind comes to live inside the body. We describe an accumulative developmental process starting during embryonic life and continuing to fetal and postnatal development, of coupling of heart rate, body movements, and sleep states on the behavioral level with underlying mechanisms on the structural, functional, cellular, and molecular levels. A developmental perspective is proposed based on Perceptual Control Theory (PCT). This includes a developing sequence of modules starting from early sensing of neural intensities to early manifestation of human mindful capacities. We also address pharmacological treatments administered to preterm infants, which may interfere with this development, and highlight the need to consider this potential “side effect” of current pharmaceuticals when developing novel pharmacogenomic treatments.

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CURRENT ARTICLE: Automated Cultivation System for Microalgae: Growth Factors and Control

Author(s):Jiun Gia KhorHooi Ren LimWen Yi Chia and Kit Wayne Chew*

Background: Microalgae have been a hot research topic due to their various biorefinery applications, particularly microalgae as potential alternative nutraceuticals and supplements have a large and rapidly growing market. However, commercial production is limited due to high processing cost, low efficiency, and scale up of biomass production.

Objective: It is important to control the microalgae cultivation system with optimal parameters to maximize biomass productivity. The growth factors, including pH, temperature, light intensity, salinity, and nutrients, are discussed as these can significantly affect the cultivation. To monitor and control these in real-time, an automated system incorporating advanced digital technologies like sensors, controllers, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) could be applied.

Conclusion: This perspective provides insights into the implementation of an automated microalgae cultivation system that improves productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency.

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Current article: Nutraceutical Approach to the Management of Cystic Fibrosis

Author(s):Manali Chindarkar and Srujana Medithi*

Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive monogenic disease marked by a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene mutations affect respiratory, digestive and reproductive functions and impede bicarbonate, bile acid, and sweat secretion. Moreover, the current trend indicates that CF is no longer only a paediatric disease, but has progressively become a disease that also affects adults. This calls for addressing the condition with an appropriate nutraceutical approach.

Objective: The study aims to find and collate nutritional targets in the management of cystic fibrosis.

Methods: Studies highlighting the benefits of nutrients or nutraceuticals in the management of cystic fibrosis were included from previously published research articles (1971 to 2020). Data including nutrients, nutraceuticals, study design, study model, sample size, age, dose and duration of the dose of the supplement were extracted from the studies included and explored to understand their role.

Results: About 26 studies were included in the present review. It was found that nutrient interventions comprising nutraceuticals, including dietary fibre, proteins and amino acids (taurine, arginine, glutathione), fats (medium-chain triglycerides, polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids), phytochemicals (apigenin, genistein, quercetin, curcumin, allicin, beta-carotene, Pulmonaria officinalis L, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate), micronutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and zinc in addition to antioxidants exhibit improvement in the symptomatic condition of cystic fibrosis patients.

Conclusion: The advent of nutraceuticals in the food industry and studies indicating their promising benefits have paved a path for targeted therapies in cystic fibrosis.

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