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Zebrafish uses for pharmacological and toxicological profiling of Traditional Chinese Medicinal herb extracts

2017-05-18 16:03      Release party: ASEM CCSTI

Content description

The use of zebrafish for discovering the properties of natural products with potential medicinal use has been deeply validated by twenty years of research all around the world.

ZeClinics has implemented advanced assays with the use of zebrafish aimed at identifying the toxicological and pharmacological properties of many different types of chemical entities, with the use of zebrafish, with high predictive value for human effects.

Why zebrafish? Because it offers a number of advantages: 1) Reduced size, allowing studying multiple experimental conditions in parallel; 2) Transparency, allowing an easy in vivo visualization in all their tissues; 3) Fast life cycle, cutting experimental times; 4) Genetic homology with humans, which permits generating human disease models; 5) Large number of embryos simultaneously, which makes zebrafish a perfect high-throughput model for predicting safety and efficacy.

With the recent revolution in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine R&D approach an urgent need entered into force aiming at determining the “real” pharmacological properties of thousands of plant extracts, so far used for therapeutic application, but without a proper scientific understanding of their functions and mechanisms of actions. As examples of the innovative approach applied to Chinese herbs there are two centres of excellence, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Integrative Medical Centre, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK developing advanced research programs for the understanding the therapeutic actions of several natural products.

In this project idea ZeClinics is seeking a local academic or industrial partner in China, with an interest and access to the traditional Chinese medicinal plants extracts and looking for innovative models (our zebrafish-based screening platform) to further classify their therapeutic products.


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