Inflammatory bowel disease is one of the most common diseases on our planet. According to official statistics, several billion people have certain bowel problems, including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammation of the duodenum and so on. According to Harvard University scientists, about 70,000 new cases of inflammatory bowel disease are registered each year in the US alone. However, a new remedy for the situation is called, a gel that separates the problem area from the aggressive environment of the gut and promotes tissue regeneration.
What causes inflammatory bowel disease
The exact causes of the most common diseases of this kind are still little known, but it is believed that the immune system is disturbed in this process. Inflammatory lesions destroy epithelial cells that act as a barrier. This loss of barrier function leads to a kind of cycle: Inflammation leads to even greater destruction of the barrier, and the destruction of the barrier leads to the progression of inflammation.
A new gel, developed by Harvard University scientists, helps maintain gut barrier function in inflammatory lesions. Animal experiments have shown that the drug closes intestinal wounds like a patch and promotes the healing of the mucous membrane. In addition, existing treatments for such conditions are expensive and not always effective. For example, today's standard is the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics to combat infections, which are often the "companions" to such lesions. However, anti-inflammatory drugs can have serious side effects on the whole body, and antibiotics can destroy the existing beneficial microflora, which also depends on many functions – from digestion to the production of certain vitamins.
See also: A variety of intestinal flora can be the secret of a healthy life in old age.
A research team from Harvard University led by Dr. Ing. Neil Joshi, however, has developed a new approach. The already mentioned gel contains a strain of genetically modified intestinal bacteria E. coli. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that they produce a network of nanofibers that bind directly to intestinal mucus to fill in the inflamed areas and protect them from gut microbes and factors of an aggressive gut environment.
With our "Bacterial Therapy" approach, we have created unique biomaterials that are produced by specific bacteria and adhere to the intestinal walls while firmly adhering to a viscous and moving mucus layer. That is a challenge. We named this method the probiotic associated Curli therapeutic hybrids (PATCH). – Tell the authors of the work.
To create a unique gel, a team of scientists programmed a laboratory strain of E. coli to synthesize and sequester a modified CsgA protein. It has the necessary properties, but the problem is that it only starts to work in the intestinal environment. Therefore, it has to be developed "on the spot". In addition, the new drug contains a genetically modified bacterial strain. We do not just regularly inform you about new technologies in the field of medicine on our website in Yandex.Zen. So be sure to sign up.
In addition, we have found in the course of research that bacteria, even if taken orally, are also colonized and live in the intestinal tract, so the drug will be extremely useful to patients.
Scientists believe that their approach can be used as an adjunctive therapy method. This can be used in addition to existing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial methods, as well as treatment regimens that reduce the activity of the immune system (which, as previously mentioned, is considered a leading factor in the development of inflammation). In this case, there is an additional protection of the intestine with the gel.