Most cited article: Electrospun Chitosan Nanofibres and its Application

Author(s):Pradnya Palekar-Shanbhag*Amruta DalalTejaswini Navale and Ujala Mishra


Chitosan is a biopolymer that has been widely used in medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, cosmetics, food as well as textile, and paper industries due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxic, and less allergenic nature. In recent times, chitosan has gained much attention for its application in the form of nanofibres. Nanofibres have diameters in the range of 1 to 100 nanometers. Various processing techniques like drawing, template synthesis, phase separation, melt-blown technology, bicomponent extrusion, self-assembly and electro-spinning are involved in the fabrication of nanofibres. Among these techniques, electro-spinning is the most widely and commonly used technique as it generates ultra-thin nanofibres and has the capacity for mass production. This article reviews the process of electro-spinning and applications of the nanofibres containing chitosan in the areas of enzyme immobilization, filtration, wound dressing, tissue engineering, drug delivery, catalysis, and as an analytical system, biosensor, and diagnostic aid in detail.

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Most cited article: Drug Targeting and Conventional Treatment of Multiple Myeloma: Analysis of Target-specific Nanotherapies in Disease Models

Author(s): Christina TranEden ParkPedro L. Rodriguez Flores and Robert B. Campbell*


Extensive studies have explored potential therapies against multiple myeloma (MM), whether in hospitals, universities or in private institutional settings. Scientists continue to study the mechanism(s) underlying the disease as a basis for the development of more effective treatment options. There are many therapeutic agents and treatment regimens used for multiple myeloma. Unfortunately, no cure or definitive treatment options exist. The goal of treatment is to maintain the patient in remission for as long as possible. Therapeutic agents used in combination can effectively maintain patients in remission. While these therapies have increased patient survival, a significant number of patients relapse. The off-target toxicity and resistance exhibited by target cells remain a challenge for existing approaches. Ongoing efforts to understand the biology of the disease offer the greatest chance to improve therapeutic options. Nanoparticles (targeted drug delivery systems) offer new hope and directions for therapy. This review summarizes FDA-approved agents for the treatment of MM, highlights the clinical barriers to treatment, including adverse side effects normally associated with the use of conventional agents, and describes how nanotherapeutics have overcome barriers to impede conventional treatments.

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Most cited article: Local Delivery of Metronidazole-loaded N-Trimethyl Quaternary Ammonium Chitosan Nanoparticles for Periodontitis Treatment

Author(s):Kritika Garg*and Pravin Tirgar

Background: Recent findings suggest that chitosan has shown antibacterial activity acting through various mechanisms, but when the amine group in chitosan is converted to quaternary ammonium compound, the antibacterial activity of chitosan is elevated due to the increase in its solubility in an acidic environment.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to formulate and standardize metronidazole-loaded Ntrimethyl quaternary ammonium chitosan nanoparticles for the treatment of periodontitis.

Method: N-trimethyl quaternary ammonium chitosan derivative was synthesized, and nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared by ionic gelation methodology followed by 32 full factorial designs. Particle size, zeta potential, polydispersity index (PDI), surface morphology, thermal properties, in vitro drug release as well as antimicrobial activity, stability study, ex vivo, and acute toxicity of NPs were evaluated.

Results: The optimized batches of NPs were in the size range of 150 to 237 nm with a mean size of 117.01 ± 0.03 nm. Entrapment efficiency (EE) of 81.45 ± 0.03 % was obtained with a zeta potential (mV) of 28.19 ± 0.03 mV. Almost 98.97 ± 7.17% of the drug was released within 24 hours in vitro to obtain a sustained release drug; the optimized batches exhibited a smooth surface with appreciable in vitro, ex vivo antibacterial, and acute toxicity, and it was found that the formulation could be stored for up to 6 months.

Conclusion: The present study revealed that metronidazole-loaded N-trimethyl quaternary ammonium chitosan nanoparticles exhibit enhanced antibacterial activity against periodontal infections.

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Animated abstract: The Pathogenic Subpopulation of Th17 Cells in Obesity

Author(s):Natalia TodosenkoMaria Vulf*Kristina YurovaDaria SkuratovskaiaOlga KhaziakhmatovaNatalia GazatovaOlga MelashchenkoOlga Urazova and Larisa Litvinova

Obesity is a metabolic disease characterized by a chronic subclinical inflammatory response associated with an imbalance/dysregulation of cellular homeostasis in response to excessive nutrient intake and accumulation. CD4+ T-lymphocytes form different populations, Th1, Th2, Th9, Th17, Th22, and Treg cells, which have phenotypic and functional differences. Despite the active study of Th17 cells in severe disorders, their role in metabolic disorders, particularly in obesity, is not well understood. Th17 lymphocytes, depending on the microenvironment, can form pathogenic and nonpathogenic subpopulations. Systemic inflammation induces the reprogramming of the transcriptome of normal Th17 cells formed in epithelial tissues, which acquire new properties. A zone of overlapping states exists between IL-17A-producing cells, which does not allow a clear boundary between non-pathogenic Th17 and pathogenic Th17 lymphocytes. We assume that in obesity, the pool of inflammatory pathogenic Th17 cells with cytotoxic potential is a fraction of terminally differentiated memory lymphocytes which is responsible for developing autoimmune reactions.

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Most cited article: Contribution to Pharmacological Valorisation of Algerian Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh. Subsp. Atlanticum (Pomel) Maire; Antioxidant and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activities

Author(s):Sofiane Guettaf*Abdelmoumen BenmerzougBensouici ChawkiYavuz Selim ÇakmakSaliha DahamnaAbderrahmane Baghiani and Daoud Harzallah

Background: The traditional pharmacopoeia is full of potential resources for molecules with therapeutic effects involving the inhibition of enzymes linked to some diseases.

Objective: This work aimed to test in vitro neuroprotective activity against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) combined with the antioxidant effect of root extracts obtained by water, water/methanol, and ethyl acetate of the endemic Arctium minus. subsp. Atlanticum, a native of Algeria.

Methods: The different extracts of the root of the studied plant were obtained by decoction or maceration. The inhibitory effect of acetyl/butyrylcholinesterase (AChE/BChE) was achieved by a colorimetric method. Similarly, the antioxidant activity was measured based on several mechanisms: 1, 1- diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) and galvinoxyl (GOR) radicals free scavenging assays, β-carotene bleaching inhibition activity, and cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC).

Results: In the various tests carried out, the ethyl acetate extract (EAE) possessed the most powerful antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities compared to the other samples. The IC50 and A0.5 values of DPPH, GOR, β-carotene, CUPRAC, anti-AChE, and anti-BChE assays were 69.45±5.49, 28.87±0.18, 121.58±16.76, 37.41±1.59, 265±21, and 240±6.3 μg / mL, respectively. Likewise, a correlation could be deduced between the type of extract and the potent antioxidant/anticholinesterase potential.

Conclusion: This work examines for the first time the anticholinesterase potential combined with the antioxidant effect of Algerian Arctium minus. subsp. Atlantic. This association between the two effects could be effective in the fight against AD, and therefore, the use of this natural resource may be possible in combating this aspect of neurodegeneration.

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Podcast: Innovative Ingredients Fortified Nutrients Enriched Biscuits and Cookies: Quality and Sensory Analyses

Author(s):Niladri Chakraborty* and Rajat Chakraborty


Global suffering from COVID-19 has necessitated augmenting the immunity systems of humans through the consumption of macro-micro-nutrients and antioxidant-enriched fortified foods. In this article, fortifications of popular bakery products, viz. biscuits, and cookies, have been reviewed, encompassing the novel fortifying ingredients and innovative methods employed with an emphasis on the overall enrichment of the final product quality. A few notable features concerning novel fortified biscuits and fortified cookies have been decisively summarized. Wheat flour blended with 40% sesame-cake flour resulted in a fortified biscuit possessing higher protein (16.6%), crude fat (16.95%), and dietary fiber (8.2%) with acceptable sensory characteristics. About 9% toting up of chicken eggshell dried powder could result in high Ca content in biscuits with customary changes in texture and sensory properties. A remarkable 5% addition of bee pollen to wheat flour appreciably improved the nutrient compositions (carbohydrate 65.18%, protein 7.32%, and total dietary fiber 1.47%) along with high polyphenol and antioxidant potentials. Notably, mixing fish fillet protein concentrate with wheat flour could yield enhanced nutritional content (protein 14.63-19.52%, fat 16.2-16.5%), as well as augmented amino acids. Remarkably, wheat flour fortified with fermented jack bean flour resulted in an overall fortified biscuit with substantial carbohydrates, crude protein, fat, fiber, ash, and appreciable macro-micro mineral contents and sensory characteristics. Innovative fortified cookies were made by blending wheat flour or Brewer’s spent grain flour with one or more ingredients, e.g. full-fat soya, mushroom, cardamom powder, moringa leaves, coconut, sweet potato flour rendering amplified values of nutrients, superior physical properties, increased mineral and flavonoid contents and organoleptic qualities.

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Podcast: Research and Patents Status of Selected Phytochemicals Against Cancer: How Close and How Far?

Author(s):Homa Fatma and Hifzur R Siddique*

Background: Cancer is a global health issue and economic burden with a continuous increase in incidence and mortality. Over the years, the underlying molecular mechanism of cancers was thoroughly researched, leading to multiple drugs development. Unfortunately, most drugs have some serious drawbacks, such as therapy resistance and toxicity. Epidemiological studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has cancer-prevention properties, which shifted the attention to the potential role of phytochemicals in anti-carcinogenic activity.

Objective: To review the present status of phytochemicals research and patents in cancer prevention and chemosensitization.

Methods: We explored the relevant published articles and patents to review the phytochemicals showing cancer preventive role in preclinical settings from 1997 onwards.

Results: We summarise the role of phytochemicals on anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anti-metastatic, and pro-apoptotic activities in both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, phytochemicals might be an excellent chemosensitizing agent against chemoresistant cells and possibly one of the safest and most effective options for cancer therapy. However, one of the limitations of phytochemicals is their poor bioavailability and rapid excretion. Several analogs have been introduced to increase bioavailability, better biological efficacy, absorption, and retention. In fact, various phytochemicals and their analogs have been patented for their anti-cancerous properties.

Conclusion: This mini-review discusses various phytochemicals and their anti-cancerous and chemosensitizing roles. Due to their clinical relevance, recent trends in phytochemical extraction and exploration have shown that more and more phytochemicals are being patented.

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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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Podcast: Contribution of Pharmaceutical Care to Person-centered Health Care and the Safety of Pharmacotherapy for Hospitalized Older Individuals in Brazil: An Investigative Single-arm Intervention Trial

Author(s): Alan Maicon de Oliveira*Fabiana Rossi VaralloJoão Paulo Vilela RodriguesGuilherme José AguilarNereida Kilza da Costa Lima and Leonardo Régis Leira Pereira

Background: Adverse drug events (ADE) and medication errors (ME) provide large numbers of victims. Older people are more susceptible to these events, due to the continuing search for several chronic degenerative disease treatments. The Third Global Patient Safety Challenge announced the objective of reducing unnecessary polypharmacy, encouraging deprescription, and aiming to ensure the prescription of medications in an appropriate manner, based on the best evidence and taking into account the individual factors of people.

Objective: To evaluate whether Pharmaceutical Care (PC), when inserted in a geriatric ward and the context of person-centered health care, cooperates with the safety of pharmacotherapy in older individuals in Brazil.

Methods: This is an investigative, single-arm, preliminary study. Inclusion criteria: individuals aged ≥60 years and admitted to the geriatric ward between August 2019 to January 2020. The PC (with the practice of pharmacotherapeutic follow-up, medication reconciliation, and pharmacotherapy review) was made available to identify ADE and ME, as well as the associated factors and clinical outcomes, were analyzed.

Results: 60 participants were included. It was found that, on hospital admission, 93.3% of them were polymedicated and 86.7% had a history of using potentially inappropriate medications (PIM). ADE and ME were detected in 43 individuals (71.7%) and, in total, 115 incidents were identified, with drugs that act on the nervous system associated with them (31.9%). Acceptance of the PC’s recommendations reached the rate of 85.2%. Polypharmacy (p=0.03) and the presence of multiple diseases (p=0.03) had an effect on the presentation of ADE and ME. The number of medications in use decreased in the comparison between admission and hospital discharge (p<0.0001).

Conclusion: This investigative study indicated that ADE and ME are linked to the polypharmacy in use at the beginning of hospitalization. On the other hand, we showed that the PC (inserted in the multidisciplinary team) contributed to the deprescribing of medications at hospital discharge. Therefore, the PC can provide improvements in this scenario.

Trial Registration: Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials (registration number: RBR-34f2px4).

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