Short description of project
​Coptidis Rhizoma (黃連) is a traditional Chinese medicine and has been widely used for the management of diabetes mellitus (DM) and its complications for centuries in China. The Coptis alkaloids (CAs), especial the berberine (BBR), have been demonstrated to be the potential anti-diabetic nephropathy (DN) candidates. However, CAs and BBR have been reported to be poorly absorbed in gastrointestinal (GI) tract because of the low solubility, intestinal first-pass and the P-glycoprotein (P-gp)-mediated drug efflux. In this project, we propose to develop novel polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) for oral delivery of CAs or BBR by the following strategies: 1) synthesize a serial of Chitosan-graft-(Polyoxyethylene Ethers) copolymers (CS-graft-PEs) with functions of P-gp modulation; 2) demonstrate the biological mechanisms of the CS-graft-PEs on P-gp modulation; 3) develop the CS-graft-PEs NPs for oral delivery of CAs or BBR; 4) assess the biopharmaceutical and the pharmacological properties of CAs-/BBR-loaded CS-graft-PEs NPs for DN. Completion of this project will establish a platform for development of functional polymeric nano-systems for oral delivery of drugs influenced by P-gp. Additionally, the outcome of this project will further validate the developed functional polymers for improving the therapeutic efficacy of Coptidis Rhizoma-derived alkaloids for DN.
Information of Offered Internship
Level of Internship Hours per Month
Level 3 - 60 hours
Commencement Month
5 Months
Internship requirements: i.e. work, practice and training
The student is expected to participate in the studies for chemical analysis or in vitro pharmacological evaluation of the TCM-derived extracts/fractions/compounds for inflammatory diseases.
Students with interests in chemistry/pharmacy/Chinese medicine are all welcome.

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