Volume 20, Issue 1, 2020 January-March

Volume 20, No 1 Pages:
2020 January-March Articles: 4

Ulcerative colitis: A review on drug delivery strategies

Ulcerative colitis is one of the two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease which has unforeseeable clinical course, marked by a chronic inflammation of the colon and remission of the disease. The treatment of Ulcerative colitis is managed by the administration of anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive drugs that are ingested orally. However, the efficacy of the drug via oral route remains unclear as the release of drugs takes place in the upper gastrointestinal tract that allows inadequate amount of drug release to the colon thereby causing various adverse effects. Therefore, the advancement of disease targeted drug delivery strategies offers numerous gains over non-targeting by granting more effective therapy and diminishing the systemic adverse effect. In this review, we investigate and discuss various approaches that assist in targeting mechanism of the respective drugs to the colon for the hindrance and management of colonic ailments.

Pharmacognostical characterization and in vitro antioxidant activity of Acacia pennata (L.) Willd. leaves: A Southeast Asian medicinal plant

Pre-defined analytical features of a plant are used as a reference to aid in accurate identification, proper standardization, and quality control. However, no systematic work on the leaves of A. pennata is available for reference to check its authenticity, purity, and quality. Therefore, the study was aimed to develop pharmacognostic parameters using standard guidelines. The work provides macroscopic, qualitative and quantitative microscopic, physicochemical parameters, chromatographic fingerprint profile, and in-vitro antioxidant activity of A. pennata. Preliminary phytochemical screening and thin-layer chromatography hints the presence of steroids and glycosides along with polyphenolic compounds viz. phenols and flavonoids. Quantification of polyphenolic phytoconstituents and assessment of in-vitro antioxidant activity of the methanolic extract was done. The current communication offers referential knowledge on the analytical and diagnostic features for accurate taxonomical identification, proper characterization and will also help in the establishment of a pharmacognostic monograph of A. pennata for effective quality control.

Reappraising Fleming’s snot and mould

Alexander Fleming, a Scottish physician at the St. Mary’s Hospital, London, made two epoch-making discoveries, lysozyme and penicillin. But contrary to popular fables, the events were not that serendipitous. He was already an established microbiologist and it took him dogged labours to vindicate his discoveries. He simply had the right mind. Penicillin was especially a hard nut to crack upon which he toiled for half a year with his associates just enough to make a convincing conclusion on the antibacterial property. He in fact utterly failed in understanding what it actually was. As he himself unpretentiously stated: “I did not invent penicillin. Nature did that. I only discovered it by accident.” But that did not debar him for sharing the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain, who isolated the compound and worked out the medicinal applications. Strangely, Fleming’s biography has been presented in bits and pieces on the crucial elements of his discoveries, and usually contradictory. This chronicle is trying to mend the gaps and broken pieces in the historical records.

The chronicles of coronaviruses: the bronchitis, the hepatitis and the common cold

Coronaviruses first appeared as chicken virus that cause respiratory disease. Historical reconsideration tells that coronavirus infection originated in the early 20th century. The first definitive account of the infection was given by Arthur Schalk and Merle Fawn in 1931 as a “new respiratory disease of baby chicks.” Leland Bushnell and Carl Brandly established virus as the causative agent in 1933 and was called infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which eventually became the coronavirus type species. An apparently unrelated viral infection was discovered from laboratory mice in 1949 as JHM that caused encephalomyelitis and another in 1951 as mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). Study in the 1960s of viruses causing common colds in humans revealed unusual human viruses (designated B814 and 229E as the sample codes). Development of transmission electron microscopy enabled structural visualisation for the first around time ­and with startling revelation – IBV, MHV, B814 and 229E were fundamentally the same virus having characteristic halo around the spherical viral core, a reminisce of solar corona for which they get a new name, coronaviruses, in 1968. The available historical records are incomplete and sometimes inaccurately represented, and this article attempt to mend the flaws whilst giving a more detailed account.