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Researchers at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy have developed a nanoparticle that alters the gut microbiome and alleviates symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease in mice more effectively than common FDA-approved medications.
The gut microbiome––the body's environment of healthy and unhealthy bacteria––is the next frontier for drug development, and an imbalanced gut microbiome has been implicated in many human diseases, including IBD, said James Moon, the John G. Searle Associate Professor of Pharmacy. Moon, who also has an appointment in biomedical engineering, is the principal investigator on a study that appears Aug. 19 in Nature Materials.
IBD - Term - Debilitating - Diseases - Colitis
IBD is an umbrella term for chronic debilitating and sometimes fatal diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, which are characterized by inflammation in the digestive tract and can include diarrhea, cramps, an inability to digest food, fatigue and weight loss.
"The imbalance between good and bad microbes in our gut is implicated in IBD, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's, autism and other conditions," Moon said. "Being able to modulate the gut microbiome so that we have a higher frequency of good bacteria would open many doors to new drug development.
Examples - Substances - Microbiome - People - Transplants
"We were really excited because this is one of the first examples of using safe drug-like substances to increase the good microbiome. Some people are doing fecal transplants, which isn't a great option for drug development. These nanoparticles are safe and simple to produce."
The nanoparticles consist of two naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compounds: hyaluronic acid, a natural lubricant found in...
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