Since ancient, human have been fighting against diseases for a better chance of survival. With limited knowledge of diseases, people in the past learnt by trial and error and developed treatments from herbs and folklores. Nowadays with advanced science and technology, diagnosis methods and treatments are developed in more scientific approaches. For instance, based on the findings in pathogens infection mechanisms and drug-biomolecule interactions, chemists are now able to design and synthesize drugs with specific reactions to treat and prevent targeted diseases. Together with the modern medical diagnostic techniques which allow early diagnosis of diseases, effective and timely treatments are more possible, so as a higher survival rate and a prolonged life span for mankind.

Drug delivery


Drug delivery refers to the method and approach to bring the pharmaceutical compounds precisely to the targeted sites to take effect, for instance, crosslinking with DNA leading to DNA damage and induce subsequent cell apoptosis. However, the deactivation of drugs may take place before the drugs molecules reach the target sites as unintended reactions could occur. To make matters worse, undesired reactions can lead to side effects, damaging healthy cells and harm the patients. It is therefore necessary to deliver the drug right at the point.

Recent research directions


Building better lipid nanoparticles for drug delivery  link

Drug delivery is a significant barrier in medicine, but lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) to break through this barrier. LNPs are tiny spherical pouches made of fatty molecules that encapsulate therapeutic agents until they dock with cell membranes and release their contents. With the aid of a robot-driven workflow that is used to generate hundreds of LNP formulations in just a few hours and a small-angle X-ray scattering method. The unique shape of LNPs can be designed. Hence, currently, this method is still widely explored in vaccine injection and cancer treatment.


Bio-orthogonal chemistry in the reproductive medicine    link

The article discusses the use of bioorthogonal chemistry in drug delivery systems, highlighting its potential to improve precision and effectiveness by targeting specific molecules within cells or tissues, thereby reducing side effects and enhancing drug delivery efficiency.


Enhance drug delivery for brain tumors in children    link

Nanoparticles coated with a protein can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, which is a protective layer around the brain that can prevent drugs from reaching the tumor. In animal tests, this method was found to increase the amount of drug delivered to the tumor and reduce tumor growth. The researchers hope that this new approach can be developed for use in humans and provide a safer and more effective treatment for brain tumors in children.


Using starch as a novel drug transporter    link

Drug delivery systems, such as drug-delivery implants, can overcome the challenges of poorly absorbed active pharmaceutical ingredients due to their rapid breakdown. Currently, most drug delivery systems are based on polylactide-co-glycolide and polylactide which can cause inflammation and inactivate drugs.


Using a special pharmaceutical-grade starch. Rod-shaped implants were created using a special extrusion process, and the new system worked well for poorly water-soluble drugs. The implant degraded completely, and no side effects were observed.


RNA therapy can target cancer cells in bone marrow    link

The researchers developed lipid-based nanoparticles containing RNA molecules that silence the gene CKAP5, encoding cytoskeleton-associated protein 5. The nanoparticles were coated with antibodies to target cancer cells inside the bone marrow. The study's findings are encouraging, as it allows for the development of RNA-based therapies that can be tailored to individual patients and the progression of the disease.


Replace a carbon atom with a nitrogen atom in a molecule.    link

Replacing carbon atom with nitrogen atom is an issue with high concern in the pharmacology industry, as it would enhance the rate of drug molecules getting to the human brain. One method is to replace the carbon atom which is near the nitrogen atom in a molecule. The mechanism cleaves open the ring of atoms using ozone, and then uses the first nitrogen molecule to “guide” the second in. The methods are not yet well established but still a great movement in drug development.

Detection and diagnostics


Thanks to medical advances, cancers and many diseases are no longer incurable, and there is a greater chance to be cured if spotted in early stage. With the help of specially designed markers and more sophisticated spectrometers, it is hoped that inspection can be made more affordable, reliable, and convenient.

Recent research directions

Injection of Robots into the human body for surgeries    link

Researchers are exploring the potential of injecting robots into the human body. Microscale robots move fast (3mm/s). Some experiments on the delivery of dexamethasone have been done on mice via robot. Further testing on applying microscale robots on the human body that can treat illnesses like the bladder is still being conducted by a number of researchers.

Changing the functionality of molecules to help pharmaceutical development    link

The development of pharmaceuticals is always a long-standing issue. Synthesis of carboxylated pyridines is interested in binding pyridine to relatively inert molecules, carbon dioxide. To activate relatively stable carbon dioxide molecules, an activation strategy from electrochemistry, an electrochemical reactor with a porous membrane successfully controls the binding. With this successful experience, more pharmacophores are going to be examined.

Drug testing for Marijuana and Fentanyl   link

A method called “dilution and shoot” connecting with the tandem mass spectrum and liquid chromatography system is used to determine the content of delta 8- and 9-THC-COOH, which are ingredients in marijuana

Besides, 58.5% of fentanyl samples tested positive for at least one novel psychoactive substance, including xylazine, which possesses opioid-like effects but can't be reversed by naloxone. Nearly half of the samples contained other designer opioids and 8% had designer benzodiazepines, which can be deadly when combined with opioids outside of medical settings.

These lollipops could 'sweeten' diagnostic testing for kids and adults alike   link

Researchers have developed a new method for collecting saliva samples for diagnosing illnesses, combining the process with the enjoyment of eating a lollipop. CandyCollect, a lollipop collection device, that looks like a lollipops but has a spiral-shaped groove, was tested on 28 adult volunteers to detect Streptococcus mutans and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. CandyCollect detected these bacteria 100% of the time, making it the most popular method among participants