REHYDRATION DRINK BOOSTS RECOVERY AFTER RADIATION
A group of UF Health researchers learned that a set of amino acids, formulated as a rehydration drink, helps the small intestine repair itself after radiation therapy. Radiation treatments partially destroy the cells that replenish villi — which help the body absorb water, electrolytes and nutrients — causing side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The researchers found that compared with a saline solution, the amino acid rehydration formulation prompted a “significant” twofold increase in the number of precursor cells that become functional intestinal cells.
BETTER DRUG DELIVERY
A group that includes a UF Health researcher found a way to speed the understanding of drug-delivery systems using nanoparticles — microscopic natural or engineered objects between 1 and 100 nanometers in size that have various scientific uses. The technique could speed the pace of discovering nanoparticles with specific and specialized properties. That could help make medications more effective by ensuring they penetrate relevant cells and tissues more efficiently and with lower toxicity.
A new strategy developed by UF Health researchers called the “ring distortion approach” yielded several promising compounds to fight inflammation and diseases such as colorectal cancer. By introducing dozens of complex small molecules developed from yohimbine— a drug that contains a complex ring system — and related natural products, UF College of Pharmacy researchers will add to the arsenal of compounds available to drugmakers.