Researchers have discovered an effective oral therapy to treat ulcerative colitis that consists of microparticles and natural herb molecules targeting the colon. Findings from the study are published in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces

A team from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University and Southwest University in China found that orally administered microparticles with properties of pH-sensitivity, controlled drug release and colon targeting was effective in treating ulcerative colitis.  Microparticles loaded with curcumin, an herbal anti-inflammatory agent, proved to be a promising drug carrier, they noted. 

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An emulsion-solvent evaporation method was used to develop pH-sensitive microparticles composed of a biocompatible polymer and loaded with curcumin. Pre-clinical research has shown that curcumin can diminish inflammation in animals with colitis and decrease the rate of ulcerative colitis relapse. The microparticles were then tested in mice induced with ulcerative colitis. orally administered microparticles may be an “efficient drug delivery system because they are characterized by a high drug loading capacity and may target colitis tissues based on abnormalities,” concluded Didier Merlin, professor in the Institute.

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