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News Article | September 7, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

Edible ginger-derived nano-lipids created from a specific population of ginger nanoparticles show promise for effectively targeting and delivering chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat colon cancer, according to a study by researchers at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Wenzhou Medical University and Southwest University in China. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women in the U.S., and the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women worldwide. The incidence of colorectal cancer has increased over the last few years, with about one million new cases diagnosed annually. Non-targeted chemotherapy is the most common therapeutic strategy available for colon cancer patients, but this treatment method is unable to distinguish between cancerous and healthy cells, leading to poor therapeutic effects on tumor cells and severe toxic side effects on healthy cells. Enabling chemotherapeutic drugs to target cancer cells would be a major development in the treatment of colon cancer. In this study, the researchers isolated a specific nanoparticle population from edible ginger (GDNP 2) and reassembled their lipids, naturally occurring molecules that include fats, to form ginger-derived nano-lipids, also known as nanovectors. To achieve accurate targeting of tumor tissues, the researchers modified the nanovectors with folic acid to create FA-modified nanovectors (FA nanovectors). Folic acid shows high-affinity binding to the folate receptors that are highly expressed on many tumors and almost undetectable on non-tumor cells. The FA nanovectors were tested as a delivery platform for doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic drug used to treat colon cancer. The researchers found that doxorubicin was efficiently loaded into the FA nanovectors, and the FA nanovectors were efficiently taken up by colon cancer cells, exhibited excellent biocompatibility and successfully inhibited tumor growth. Compared to a commercially available option for delivering doxorubicin, the FA nanovectors released the drug more rapidly in an acidic pH that resembled the tumor environment, suggesting this delivery strategy could decrease the severe side effects of doxorubicin. These findings were published in the journal Molecular Therapy. “Our results show that FA nanovectors made of edible ginger-derived lipids could shift the current paradigm of drug delivery away from artificially synthesized nanoparticles toward the use of nature-derived nanovectors from edible plants,” says Dr. Didier Merlin, a professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and a Research Career Scientist at the VA Medical Center. “Because they are nontoxic and can be produced on a large scale, FA nanovectors derived from edible plants could represent one of the safest targeted therapeutic delivery platforms.” Dr. Mingzhen Zhang of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State is the first author of the study. Co-authors of the study include Dr. Emilie Viennois, Dr. Zhan Zhang and Moon Kwon Han of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State; Dr. Bo Xiao of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Southwest University in Chonqing, China; and Dr. Changlong Xu of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Wenzhou Medical University in Wenzhou, China. The study was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.


News Article | August 22, 2016
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Abstract: A recent study by researchers at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center took them to a not-so-likely destination: local farmers markets. They went in search of fresh ginger root. Back at the lab, the scientists turned the ginger into what they are calling GDNPs, or ginger-derived nanoparticles. The process started simply enough, with your basic kitchen blender. But then it involved super-high-speed centrifuging and ultrasonic dispersion of the ginger juice, to break it up into single pellets. (Don't try this at home!) The research team, led by Dr. Didier Merlin with VA and the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, believes the particles may be good medicine for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The particles may also help fight cancer linked to colitis, the scientists believe. They report their findings, based on experiments with cells and mice, in the September 2016 issue of Biomaterials. Each ginger-based nanoparticle was about 230 nanometers in diameter. More than 300 of them could fit across the width of a human hair. Fed to lab mice, the particles appeared to be nontoxic and had significant therapeutic effects: Importantly, they efficiently targeted the colon. They were absorbed mainly by cells in the lining of the intestines, where IBD inflammation occurs. The particles reduced acute colitis and prevented chronic colitis and colitis-associated cancer. They enhanced intestinal repair. Specifically, they boosted the survival and proliferation of the cells that make up the lining of the colon. They also lowered the production of proteins that promote inflammation, and raised the levels of proteins that fight inflammation. Part of the therapeutic effect, say the researchers, comes from the high levels of lipids--fatty molecules--in the particles, a result of the natural lipids in the ginger plant. One of the lipids is phosphatidic acid, an important building block of cell membranes. The particles also retained key active constituents found naturally in ginger, such as 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol. Past lab studies have shown the compounds to be active against oxidation, inflammation, and cancer. They are what make standard ginger an effective remedy for nausea and other digestion problems. Traditional cultures have used ginger medicinally for centuries, and health food stores carry ginger-based supplements--such as chews, or the herb mixed with honey in a syrup--as digestive aids. Delivering these compounds in a nanoparticle, says Merlin's team, may be a more effective way to target colon tissue than simply providing the herb as a food or supplement. The idea of fighting IBD with nanoparticles is not new. In recent years, Merlin's lab and others have explored how to deliver conventional drugs via nanotechnology. Some of this research is promising. The approach may allow low doses of drugs to be delivered only where they are needed--inflamed tissue in the colon--and thus avoid unwanted systemic effects. The advantage of ginger, say the researchers, is that it's nontoxic, and could represent a very cost-effective source of medicine. The group is looking at ginger, and other plants, as potential "nanofactories for the fabrication of medical nanoparticles." Merlin and his VA and Georgia State University coauthors elaborated on the idea in a report earlier this year titled "Plant-derived edible nanoparticles as a new therapeutic approach against diseases." They wrote that plants are a "bio-renewable, sustainable, diversified platform for the production of therapeutic nanoparticles." ### The ginger nanoparticle work was supported by VA, the National Institutes of Health, and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | April 8, 2016
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Abstract: Nanoparticles designed to block a cell-surface molecule that plays a key role in inflammation could be a safe treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University and Southwest University in China. The scientists developed nanoparticles, or microscopic particles, to reduce the expression of CD98, a glycoprotein that promotes inflammation. Their findings are published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. "Our results suggest this nanoparticle could potentially be used as an efficient therapeutic treatment for inflammation," said Didier Merlin, professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and researcher at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "We targeted CD98 because we determined in a previous study that CD98 is highly over-expressed in activated immune cells involved in IBD." In the United States, as many as 1.3 million people suffer from IBD, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, conditions with chronic or recurring abnormal response to the body's immune system and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD gets worse over time and causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms, such as persistent diarrhea, cramping abdominal pain, fever, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite and weight loss. Surgery is required when medication can no longer control the symptoms, and patients also have an increased risk of colon cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study suggests the development of nanotherapeutic strategies could be an alternative to currently available drugs, which are limited by serious side effects, in treating inflammatory conditions such as IBD. In the study, researchers formed the nanoparticles by combining CD98 siRNA, small interfering RNA that inhibit CD98 gene expression in macrophages (immune cells involved in IBD), with urocanic acid-modified chitosan (UAC). Chitosan is a polysaccharide obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish. When introduced to macrophages, the nanoparticles had an anti-inflammatory effect on these immune cells. Researchers found the nanoparticles had a desirable particle size and no apparent toxicity against macrophages and colon epithelial cells. Cell studies showed nanoparticles with a weight ratio of 60:1 (UAC:siCD98) had the best anti-inflammatory capacity. ### Co-authors of the study include Emilie Viennois from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Panpan Ma of Southwest University in Chongqing, China; and Bo Xiao from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Southwest University in Chongqing, China. The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Home > Press > Nano-lipid particles from edible ginger could improve drug delivery for colon cancer, study finds Abstract: Edible ginger-derived nano-lipids created from a specific population of ginger nanoparticles show promise for effectively targeting and delivering chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat colon cancer, according to a study by researchers at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Wenzhou Medical University and Southwest University in China. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women in the United States, and the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women worldwide. The incidence of colorectal cancer has increased over the last few years, with about one million new cases diagnosed annually. Non-targeted chemotherapy is the most common therapeutic strategy available for colon cancer patients, but this treatment method is unable to distinguish between cancerous and healthy cells, leading to poor therapeutic effects on tumor cells and severe toxic side effects on healthy cells. Enabling chemotherapeutic drugs to target cancer cells would be a major development in the treatment of colon cancer. In this study, the researchers isolated a specific nanoparticle population from edible ginger (GDNP 2) and reassembled their lipids, naturally occurring molecules that include fats, to form ginger-derived nano-lipids, also known as nanovectors. To achieve accurate targeting of tumor tissues, the researchers modified the nanovectors with folic acid to create FA-modified nanovectors (FA nanovectors). Folic acid shows high-affinity binding to the folate receptors that are highly expressed on many tumors and almost undetectable on non-tumor cells. The FA nanovectors were tested as a delivery platform for doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic drug used to treat colon cancer. The researchers found that doxorubicin was efficiently loaded into the FA nanovectors, and the FA nanovectors were efficiently taken up by colon cancer cells, exhibited excellent biocompatibility and successfully inhibited tumor growth. Compared to a commercially available option for delivering doxorubicin, the FA nanovectors released the drug more rapidly in an acidic pH that resembled the tumor environment, suggesting this delivery strategy could decrease the severe side effects of doxorubicin. These findings were published in the journal Molecular Therapy. "Our results show that FA nanovectors made of edible ginger-derived lipids could shift the current paradigm of drug delivery away from artificially synthesized nanoparticles toward the use of nature-derived nanovectors from edible plants," said Dr. Didier Merlin, a professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and a Research Career Scientist at the VA Medical Center. "Because they are nontoxic and can be produced on a large scale, FA nanovectors derived from edible plants could represent one of the safest targeted therapeutic delivery platforms." ### Dr. Mingzhen Zhang of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State is the first author of the study. Co-authors of the study include Dr. Emilie Viennois, Dr. Zhan Zhang and Moon Kwon Han of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State; Dr. Bo Xiao of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Southwest University in Chonqing, China; and Dr. Changlong Xu of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Wenzhou Medical University in Wenzhou, China. The study was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Listening to metaphors involving arms or legs loops in a region of the brain responsible for visual perception of those body parts, scientists have discovered. The finding, recently published in Brain & Language, is another example of how neuroscience studies are providing evidence for "grounded cognition" -- the idea that comprehension of abstract concepts in the brain is built upon concrete experiences, a proposal whose history extends back millennia to Aristotle. When study participants heard sentences that included phrases such as "shoulder responsibility," "foot the bill" or "twist my arm", they tended to engage a region of the brain called the left extrastriate body area or EBA. The same level of activation was not seen when participants heard literal sentences containing phrases with a similar meaning, such as "take responsibility" or "pay the bill." The study included 12 right-handed, English-speaking people, and blood flow in their brains was monitored by functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). "The EBA is part of the extrastriate visual cortex, and it was known to be involved in identifying body parts," says senior author Krish Sathian, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and psychology at Emory University. "We found that the metaphor selectivity of the EBA matches its visual selectivity." The EBA was not activated when study participants heard literal, non-metaphorical sentences describing body parts. "This suggests that deep semantic processing is needed to recruit the EBA, over and above routine use of the words for body parts," Sathian says. Sathian's research team had previously observed that metaphors involving the sense of touch, such as "a rough day", activate a region of the brain important for sensing texture. In addition, other researchers have shown that motion-related metaphors engage parts of the brain involved in motor control or in the perception of movement. Relative to those previous findings, the researchers were surprised to find that body part metaphors did not tend to activate areas of the brain linked to motor control or the sense of touch. "It is a negative result, but just because we didn't detect signals with these brain imaging methods doesn't mean subtler connections don't exist," Sathian says. The Brain & Language paper includes analysis of "resting state connectivity", showing that the EBA appears to communicate with language processing areas of the brain, even while someone is not listening to a metaphor. Follow-up research could test whether magnetic stimulation of the EBA interferes with processing of body part metaphors. In one reported case of damage to the brain including the EBA, the affected person was impaired in using body part words to refer to inanimate objects (the teeth of a comb or the arm of a chair). Separately, the EBA was recently shown to be involved in understanding the meaning of gestures. Research on metaphor comprehension can inform rehabilitation approaches for someone who has had a stroke or traumatic brain injury affecting the ability to process language. "Engaging their senses multimodally may be a way to bootstrap rehab for those individuals," says Sathian, who is director of the Rehabilitation R&D Center at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The first author of the paper is senior research associate Simon Lacey, PhD. Collaborators at Auburn University and Purdue University contributed to the paper. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (BCS1125756) and the Veterans Administration.


News Article | April 8, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

​Nanoparticles designed to block a cell-surface molecule that plays a key role in inflammation could be a safe treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University and Southwest University in China. The scientists developed nanoparticles, or microscopic particles, to reduce the expression of CD98, a glycoprotein that promotes inflammation. Their findings are published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. “Our results suggest this nanoparticle could potentially be used as an efficient therapeutic treatment for inflammation,” says Didier Merlin, professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and researcher at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “We targeted CD98 because we determined in a previous study that CD98 is highly over-expressed in activated immune cells involved in IBD.” In the U.S., as many as 1.3 million people suffer from IBD, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, conditions with chronic or recurring abnormal response to the body’s immune system and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD gets worse over time and causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms, such as persistent diarrhea, cramping abdominal pain, fever, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Surgery is required when medication can no longer control the symptoms, and patients also have an increased risk of colon cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study suggests the development of nanotherapeutic strategies could be an alternative to currently available drugs, which are limited by serious side effects, in treating inflammatory conditions such as IBD. In the study, researchers formed the nanoparticles by combining CD98 siRNA, small interfering RNA that inhibit CD98 gene expression in macrophages (immune cells involved in IBD), with urocanic acid-modified chitosan (UAC). Chitosan is a polysaccharide obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish. When introduced to macrophages, the nanoparticles had an anti-inflammatory effect on these immune cells. Researchers found the nanoparticles had a desirable particle size and no apparent toxicity against macrophages and colon epithelial cells. Cell studies showed nanoparticles with a weight ratio of 60:1 (UAC:siCD98) had the best anti-inflammatory capacity. Co-authors of the study include Emilie Viennois from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Panpan Ma of Southwest University in Chongqing, China; and Bo Xiao from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Southwest University in Chongqing, China. The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Source: University of Georgia


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Moving Analytics, a company focused on digital solutions for patient rehab programs, announced Monday the close of an investment from OCA Ventures, a leading venture capital firm based in Chicago. Moving Analytics helps hospitals increase enrollment and completion rates in their cardiac rehab programs through a technology-enabled, home-based programs. The San Francisco-based company will use the capital to further expand its sales and marketing efforts and expand into its existing customer locations. "We are excited to partner with OCA Ventures to add further value to our customers," said Moving Analytics CEO and Founder Harsh Vathsangam. "Having them on our team will help us focus on our mission to make cardiac rehab, and more generally - post-acute care, universally accessible." Moving Analytics’ product is based on MULTIFIT, an evidence-based cardiac rehab program developed by world-renowned researchers at Stanford University. The program has been validated on over 70,000 patients and is widely considered the best-in-class program for post-acute heart care. “We are delighted to participate in this round of financing for Moving Analytics.” said Bob Saunders, General Partner of OCA Ventures. “What excites us about this investment is the deep expertise behind the team and strong evidence base behind their solution. At the same time, their technology platform provides a highly scalable pathway of delivering rehab.” Using Moving Analytics’ solution, a care manager can generate an individualized care plan for the patient and send this plan to his or her smartphone. At home, the app guides the patient through a series of supervised exercises, delivers educational content and provides an easy to use interface to track vital signs and chat with his or her provider. The app also analyzes patient behaviors and alerts the care manager if any issues should arise. The care manager coaches the patients in weekly phone-based sessions and modifies their treatment plan based on new symptoms and progress. OCA Ventures joins a team of existing investors in Moving Analytics, including Launchpad Digital Health, a digital health investment firm and accelerator based in San Francisco, CA, and HealthX ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund based in Madison, WI. Moving Analytics is currently being used in several hospitals across the country including NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, Our Lady of Lourdes, New Jersey and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Georgia. About Moving Analytics Moving Analytics is a digital health company based in San Francisco, CA. Moving Analytics’ first product, Movn, helps hospitals implement virtual cardiac rehab programs. Movn provides a turnkey program that includes evidence-based clinical protocols, online case management system, mobile application for patients and implementation support. They are working with 10 leading hospitals across the United States including Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, NYU Langone Medical Center and Keck School of Medicine. About OCA Ventures OCA Ventures is an early stage (Seed, Series A, and Series B) venture capital firm focused on equity investments in companies with dramatic growth potential, primarily in technology and highly-scalable services businesses. OCA invests in many industries, with a preference for technology, financial services, education and healthcare technology. Founded in 1999, the firm is investing out of its fourth fund in companies spread throughout the United States.


Edible ginger-derived nano-lipids created from a specific population of ginger nanoparticles show promise for effectively targeting and delivering chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat colon cancer, according to a study by researchers at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Wenzhou Medical University and Southwest University in China.


News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: www.materialstoday.com

Edible ginger-derived nanoparticles could alleviate symptons of Crohn’s disease and ulceratice colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), researchers claim. The research team, led by Dr Didier Merlin alongside the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, report their findings in the September 2016 issue of Biomaterials. They tested three Ginger-derived nanoparticles (GDNP), which had been isolated from ginger juice and purified using a sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation method. “GDNPs mainly accumulated at the 8/30% (band 1) and 30/45% (band 2) interfaces of the sucrose gradient; a faint band was also detected at the 45/60% interface (band 3), the study reports. The particles were fed to lab mice, and appeared to be nontoxic. They had significant therapeutic effects, with GDNP 2 seemingly the most beneficial. The study shows they were absorbed mainly by cells in the lining of the intestines, where IBD inflammation occurs. The particles were also shown to reduce acute colitis and prevented chronic colitis and colitis-associated cancer, and they enhanced intestinal repair. This story is reprinted from material from Nutra Ingredients Asia, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Please click here to access the full study.


A recent study by researchers at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center took them to a not-so-likely destination: local farmers markets. They went in search of fresh ginger root.

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