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Targeting macrophages using nanoparticles: a potential therapeutic strategy for atherosclerosis.

J Mater Chem B 2021 Apr 30;9(15):3284-3294. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

School of Basic Medicine, Qingdao University, Ningxia Road 308, Qingdao, P. R. China.

Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of vascular diseases, with high morbidity and mortality worldwide. Macrophages play a critical role in the development and local inflammatory responses of atherosclerosis, contributing to plaque rupture and thrombosis. Considering their central roles, macrophages have gained considerable attention as a therapeutic target to attenuate atherosclerotic progression and stabilize existing plaques. Read More

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Two-dimensional layered double hydroxide nanoadjuvant: recent progress and future direction.

Nanoscale 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.

Layered double hydroxide (LDH) is a 'sandwich'-like two-dimensional clay material that has been systematically investigated for biomedical application in the past two decades. LDH is an alum-similar adjuvant, which has a well-defined layered crystal structure and exhibits high adjuvanticity. The unique structure of LDH includes positively charged layers composed of divalent and trivalent cations and anion-exchangeable interlayer galleries. Read More

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Delivery of Ferulic Acid with PEGylated DiphenylalanineBased Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Arthritis in Early Stage.

J Biomed Nanotechnol 2021 Mar;17(3):357-368

Ferulic acid (FA), an active component extracted from Chinese medicine, shows excellent anti-inflammatory properties and favorable safety in various animal models. However, the application of FA as an anti-inflammatory drug is hindered by its instability and short half-life in vivo . In this paper, we synthesize PEGylated diphenylalanine nanoparticles by using glutaraldehyde (GTA) as a cross-linker of diphenylalanine NH₂ -Phe-Phe-COOH and poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether amine (PEG -NH₂). Read More

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A Scoping Review of Exercise Referral Schemes Involving Qualified Exercise Professionals in Primary Health Care.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Acadia University, 8689, Wolfville, Canada, B4P 2R6;

Qualified exercise professionals (QEPs) have the training, knowledge, and scope of practice to effectively provide physical activity counselling, prescribe exercise, and deliver exercise programming to patients with or without chronic diseases. Healthcare providers identify an interest in referring patients to QEPs; however, the impact of exercise referral schemes (ERS) involving QEPs on patients' physical health is unclear. A scoping review regarding the available evidence of ERS involving healthcare provider referrals to QEPs was performed. Read More

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Intelligent nanogels with self-adaptive responsiveness for improved tumor drug delivery and augmented chemotherapy.

Bioact Mater 2021 Oct 24;6(10):3473-3484. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai, 201620, China.

For cancer nanomedicine, the main goal is to deliver therapeutic agents effectively to solid tumors. Here, we report the unique design of self-adaptive ultrafast charge-reversible chitosan-polypyrrole nanogels (CH-PPy NGs) for enhanced tumor delivery and augmented chemotherapy. CH was first grafted with PPy to form CH-PPy polymers that were used to form CH-PPy NGs through glutaraldehyde cross-linking a miniemulsion method. Read More

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October 2021

Advancing peptide siRNA-carrier designs through L/D-amino acid stereochemical modifications to enhance gene silencing.

Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 2021 Jun 19;24:462-476. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Oral Health Sciences, James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, SC 29425, USA.

The 599 peptide has been previously shown to effectively deliver small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to cancer cells, inducing targeted-oncogene silencing, with a consequent inhibition of tumor growth. Although effective, this study was undertaken to advance the 599 peptide siRNA-carrier design through L/D-amino acid stereochemical modifications. Consequently, 599 was modified to generate eight different peptide variants, incorporating either different stereochemical patterns of L/D-amino acids or a specific D-amino acid substitution. Read More

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Leveraging data and AI to deliver on the promise of digital health.

Int J Med Inform 2021 Apr 10;150:104456. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union, Switzerland; Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, Switzerland.

Rising rates of NCDs threaten fragile healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries. Fortunately, new digital technology provides tools to more effectively address the growing dual burden of disease. Two-thirds of the world's population subscribed to mobile services by the end of 2018, while the falling price of connectivity and the 5G networks rollout promise to accelerate the use of digital technology. Read More

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Key Characteristics of a Fragile Healthcare Supply Chain: Learning from a Pandemic.

Healthc Q 2021 Apr;24(1):36-43

A research analyst in the Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health (SCAN Health), University of Windsor. She is also a PhD candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto in Toronto, ON.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the many challenges that provincial health systems have experienced while scaling health services to protect Canadians from viral transmission and support care for those who get infected. Supply chain capacity makes it possible for health systems to deliver care and implement public health initiatives safely. In this paper, we present emerging findings from a national research study that documents the key features of the fragility of the health supply chain evident across the seven Canadian provinces. Read More

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Methods and Techniques to Facilitate the Development of NT as an Effective, Therapeutic Oncolytic Bacteria.

Front Microbiol 2021 29;12:624618. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Cell and Molecular Biology Program, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, United States.

The tumor microenvironment is characterized by anomalous vascularization, hypoxia, and acidity at the core of solid tumors that culminates in concentrated necrosis and immune system dysregulation among other effects. While this environment presents several challenges for the development of oncotherapeutics that deliver their activity via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect of the leaky blood vessels around a tumor, oncolytic bacteria, or a class of bacteria with a noted capacity to lyse solid tumors, are attracted to the very environment found at the center of solid tumors that confounds other therapeutics. It is this capacity that allows for a potent, active penetration from the tumor margins into the core, and subsequent colonization to facilitate lysis and immune reactivation. Read More

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Versatile and flexible microfluidic qPCR test for high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 and cellular response detection in nasopharyngeal swab samples.

PLoS One 2021 14;16(4):e0243333. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, FHU-OncoAge, Valbonne, France.

The emergence and quick spread of SARS-CoV-2 has pointed at a low capacity response for testing large populations in many countries, in line of material, technical and staff limitations. The traditional RT-qPCR diagnostic test remains the reference method and is by far the most widely used test. These assays are limited to a few probe sets, require large sample PCR reaction volumes, along with an expensive and time-consuming RNA extraction step. Read More

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Expert consensus of the Chinese Association for the Study of Pain on pain treatment with the transdermal patch.

World J Clin Cases 2021 Mar;9(9):2110-2122

Department of Algology, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China.

Chronic pain lasting more than 3 mo, or even several years can lead to disability. Treating chronic pain safely and effectively is a critical challenge faced by clinicians. Because administration of analgesics through oral, intravenous or intramuscular routes is not satisfactory, research toward percutaneous delivery has gained interest. Read More

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Reversible H Oxidation and Evolution by Hydrogenase Embedded in a Redox Polymer Film.

Nat Catal 2021 Mar 18;4(3):251-258. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Center for Electrochemical Sciences (CES), Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.

Efficient electrocatalytic energy conversion requires the devices to function reversibly, deliver a significant current at minimal overpotential. Redox-active films can effectively embed and stabilise molecular electrocatalysts, but mediated electron transfer through the film typically makes the catalytic response irreversible. Here, we describe a redox-active film for bidirectional (oxidation or reduction) and reversible hydrogen conversion, consisting of [FeFe] hydrogenase embedded in a low-potential, 2,2'-viologen modified hydrogel. Read More

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Transferrin: Biology and Use in Receptor-Targeted Nanotherapy of Gliomas.

ACS Omega 2021 Apr 22;6(13):8727-8733. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Use-Inspired Biomaterials & Integrated Nano Delivery (U-BiND) Systems Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, United States.

Gliomas constitute 80% of malignant brain tumors. The survival rate of patients diagnosed with malignant gliomas is only 34.4%, as seen in both adults as well as children. Read More

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Development of omega-3 loxoprofen-loaded nanoemulsion to limit the side effect associated with NSAIDs in treatment of tooth pain.

Drug Deliv 2021 Dec;28(1):741-751

Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The majority of newly developed drugs need to be incorporated with delivery systems to maximize their effect and minimize side effects. Nanoemulsions (NEs) are one type of delivery system that helps to improve the solubility and dissolution of drugs, attempting to enhance their bioavailability and onset of action. The objective of this investigation was to develop an omega-3 oil-based NE loaded with loxoprofen (LXP) to enhance its dissolution, release, and mucosal penetration and decrease its mucosal ulcerative effects when applied in an oral treatment. Read More

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December 2021

Long-term follow-up of a single dose of fluralaner in nine dogs with demodicosis.

Vet Dermatol 2021 Apr 8. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Dermatology, Veterinary Specialists Emergency Centre, 815 Ishigami Kawaguchi, Saitama, 333-0823, Japan.

Background: Long-term follow-up of oral fluralaner for canine demodicosis has not been demonstrated.

Objectives: A multicentre prospective open trial for the efficacy of oral fluralaner for the long-term (>12 month) management of canine demodicosis.

Animals: Client-owned dogs diagnosed with demodicosis at nine veterinary clinics. Read More

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Oral probiotics vaccine expressing koi herpesvirus (KHV) ORF81 protein delivered by chitosan-alginate capsules is a promising strategy for mass oral vaccination of carps against KHV infection.

J Virol 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Heilongjiang Key Laboratory for Animal Disease Control and Pharmaceutical Development, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, P.R. China

Koi herpesvirus (KHV) is highly contagious and lethal to cyprinid fish, causing significant economic losses to the carp aquaculture industry, particularly to koi carp breeders. Vaccines delivered through intramuscular needle injection or gene gun are not suitable for mass vaccination of carp. So, the development of cost-effective, oral vaccines that are easily applicable at farm level is highly desirable. Read More

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How can coproduction help to deliver culturally responsive disability support? A case study from Australia.

Health Soc Care Community 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

How to improve access and quality of social services to respond to cultural diversity is receiving increased attention. Yet no approach to cultural responsiveness has been widely accepted. Coproduction has been championed in many service fields for better service outcomes and has the potential to inform practices for cultural responsiveness. Read More

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Strategies for Improving Inhalation Technique in Children: A Narrative Review.

Patient Prefer Adherence 2021 29;15:665-675. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

University of Chicago, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Chicago, IL, USA.

Inhaled medicines are commonly utilized by children for various respiratory conditions and must be used effectively for the medication to reach the airways. Poor inhaler technique contributes to poorly controlled asthma with significant associated morbidity. Given the significant consequences of improper inhaler use in children, the goal of this review is to comprehensively describe existing and potential solutions to improve inhaler technique. Read More

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Self-Assembly of Copper-DNAzyme Nanohybrids for Dual-Catalytic Tumor Therapy.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

NCNST: National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, CAS key lab, 11 ZhongGuanCun BeiYiTiao, 100190, Haidian District, CHINA.

Despite the great efforts of using DNAzyme for gene therapy, its clinical success is limited by the lack of simple in-vivo delivery systems and limited anticancer efficacy. Here, we develop a simple approach for the synthesis of hybrid nanostructures that exclusively consists of catalytic DNAzyme and Cu 2+ with ultra-high loading capacity. The engineered Cu-DNAzyme system allows to effectively co-deliver DNAzyme and Cu 2+ into cancer cells for combinational catalytic therapy to fight against tumors. Read More

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pH and ROS sequentially responsive podophyllotoxin prodrug micelles with surface charge-switchable and self-amplification drug release for combating multidrug resistance cancer.

Drug Deliv 2021 Dec;28(1):680-691

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Yancheng No. 1 People's Hospital, Yancheng First Hospital Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Yancheng, China.

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is one of the main reasons for tumor chemotherapy failure. Podophyllotoxin (PPT) has been reported that can suppress MDR cancer cell growth; however, effective delivery of PPT to MDR cancer cells is challenged by cascaded bio-barriers. To effectively deliver PPT to MDR cancer cells, a PPT polymeric prodrug micelle (PCDMA) with the charge-conversion capability and self-acceleration drug release function are fabricated, which is composed of a pH and reactive oxygen species (ROS) sequentially responsive PPT-polymeric prodrug and an ROS generation agent, cucurbitacin B (CuB). Read More

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December 2021

Delivery Systems for Nucleic Acids and Proteins: Barriers, Cell Capture Pathways and Nanocarriers.

Pharmaceutics 2021 Mar 22;13(3). Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Grupo de Diseño de Productos y Procesos (GDPP), Department of Chemical and Food Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá 111711, Colombia.

Gene therapy has been used as a potential approach to address the diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases and inherited disorders. In this line, non-viral systems have been exploited as promising alternatives for delivering therapeutic transgenes and proteins. In this review, we explored how biological barriers are effectively overcome by non-viral systems, usually nanoparticles, to reach an efficient delivery of cargoes. Read More

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A Review of Digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I Apps): Are They Designed for Engagement?

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Mar 12;18(6). Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Faculty of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5612AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

There are different ways to deliver Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), of which in-person (face to face) is the traditional delivery method. However, the scalability of in-person therapy is low. Digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (dCBT-I) is an alternative and there are tools on the market that are validated in clinical studies. Read More

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Novel PEGylated Lipid Nanoparticles Have a High Encapsulation Efficiency and Effectively Deliver MRTF-B siRNA in Conjunctival Fibroblasts.

Pharmaceutics 2021 Mar 13;13(3). Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, King's College London, London SE1 7EH, UK.

The master regulator of the fibrosis cascade is the myocardin-related transcription factor/serum response factor (MRTF/SRF) pathway, making it a key target for anti-fibrotic therapeutics. In the past, inhibitors and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting the gene have been deployed to counter fibrosis in the eye, with the latter showing promising results. However, the biggest challenge in implementing siRNA therapeutics is the method of delivery. Read More

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New generation of DNA-based immunotherapy induces a potent immune response and increases the survival in different tumor models.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Apr;9(4)

Louvain Drug Research Institute, Advanced Drug Delivery and Biomaterials, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: Strategies to increase nucleic acid vaccine immunogenicity are needed to move towards clinical applications in oncology. In this study, we designed a new generation of DNA vaccines, encoding an engineered vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein as a carrier of foreign T cell tumor epitopes (plasmid to deliver T cell epitopes, pTOP). We hypothesized that pTOP could activate a more potent response compared with the traditional DNA-based immunotherapies, due to both the innate immune properties of the viral protein and the specific induction of CD4 and CD8 T cells targeting tumor antigens. Read More

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Societal Need for Interdisciplinary Ageing Research: An International Alliance of Research Universities "Ageing, Longevity and Health" Stream (IARU-ALH) Position Statement.

Biomed Hub 2021 Jan-Apr;6(1):42-47. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Ageing is a global concern with major social, health, and economic implications. While individual countries seek to develop responses to immediate, pressing needs, international attention and collaboration is required to most effectively address the multifaceted challenges and opportunities an ageing global population presents in the longer term. The Ageing, Longevity and Health stream of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU-ALH) was built on a solid foundation of first-class interdisciplinary research and on innovative outreach and communication centres. Read More

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February 2021

Imaging of Neurotransmitters and Small Molecules in Brain Tissues Using Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry Assisted with Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles.

J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 2021 Apr 30;32(4):1065-1079. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

London Research and Development Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON N5 V 4T3, Canada.

Inorganic nanostructured materials such as silicon, carbon, metals, and metal oxides have been explored as matrices of low-background signals to assist the laser desorption/ionization (LDI) mass spectrometric (MS) analysis of small molecules, but their applications for imaging of small molecules in biological tissues remain limited in the literature. Titanium dioxide is one of the known nanoparticles (NP) that can effectively assist LDI MS imaging of low molecular weight molecules (LMWM). TiO NP is commercially available as dispersions, which can be applied using a chemical solution sprayer. Read More

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Commentary: "Harvest for the World": Working locally to grow autism services globally - reflections on Divan et al. (2021).

J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2021 Mar 29. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

School of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience, King's College London, UK.

Autism is associated with complex and diverse needs that vary from individual to individual. Those affected, and their families, often require specialist care and support. These involve educational and clinical skills which are demanding to implement effectively, and costly, in terms of time and money, to deliver. Read More

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Splenic macrophage phagocytosis of intravenously infused mesenchymal stromal cells attenuates tumor localization.

Cytotherapy 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA; Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Electronic address:

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) possess remarkable tumor tropism, making them ideal vehicles to deliver tumor-targeted therapeutic agents; however, their value in clinical medicine has yet to be realized. A barrier to clinical utilization is that only a small fraction of infused MSCs ultimately localize to the tumor. In an effort to overcome this obstacle, we sought to enhance MSC trafficking by focusing on the factors that govern MSC arrival within the tumor microenvironment. Read More

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Evaluating the quality and safety of health-related apps and e-tools: Adapting the Mobile App Rating Scale and developing a quality assurance protocol.

Internet Interv 2021 Apr 17;24:100379. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney. Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Background: Whilst apps and e-tools have tremendous potential as low-cost, scalable mental health intervention and prevention tools, it is essential that consumers and health professionals have a means by which to evaluate their quality and safety.

Objective: This study aimed to: 1) adapt the original Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) in order to be appropriate for the evaluation of both mobile phone applications as well as e-tools; 2) test the reliability of the revised scale; and 3) develop a quality assurance protocol for identifying and rating new apps and e-tools to determine appropriateness for use in clinical practice.

Methods: The MARS was adapted to include items specific to health-related apps and e-tools, such as the availability of resources, strategies for self-management, and quality information. Read More

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Improving the way healthcare professionals deliver different news to families during pregnancy or at birth: a qualitative study.

Prim Health Care Res Dev 2021 Mar 29;22:e10. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Kent, UK.

Aim: To explore the lived experience of delivering or receiving news about an unborn or newborn child having a condition associated with a learning disability in order to inform the development of a training intervention for healthcare professionals. We refer to this news as different news.

Background: How healthcare professionals deliver different news to parents affects the way they adjust to the situation, the wellbeing of their child and their ongoing engagement with services. Read More

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