We haven’t published any news for a long time. From one hand, it’s wonderful that we are such a busy persons. From the other hand – it seems that nothing interesting had happened. But that is not true. That’s why we are going to tell about our recent trip to Pushino-upon-Oka – the town of peaceful biology.
We were invited by Constantin Lapin, a sensational vet surgeon, but why he is so sensational we’ll tell you later. Some theory first.
Now, imagine that we should trace the influence of some medicine on the organism functions during some periods of time, for example, within an hour, after six hours, after twelve hours, two days later, after a month etc. And to learn the medical impact we need blood tests. Scenario №1 – we have dozen of rats, and we cut one after an hour, cut the other after the six hours, than we take the third one… It is not interesting to continue. But that wasn’t the “Doctor Moreau Chronicles”, that was the ordinary way real practice goes on.
Alternative scenario. We have one rat and take the corresponding number of blood samples from it. Does everybody like blood tests? Fine, you don’t care about animal feelings, but imagine how the creature is stressed, being punctured, and how does it result in biochemical composition of its blood.
Nevertheless, if you install the catheter directly into the jugular vein, then you can tike blood samples any time you want, and the creature will not recognize it. So – up with catheterization! But who is skilled enough for such a target? And what tiny catheter should be used?
...We go on and on endless subterranean tonnels. They divide, some of them turn instantly and disappear while we pass them. We meet people. Sometimes the signposts. But we still go on and on under the ground. Rather associative.
At last, we go up and enter the tidy surgery room. Today two tiny beasts will have surgery. Don’t worry, there will be a happy end.
One – Constantin stretch out to the surface a thin pulsating vein. Two – he enters the vein with the catheter through the microscopic puncture. Three – the proximal end of the catheter (the one with the connector) is fixed above the animal back. The rat is taken to a special cage, where it will wake up. Some time later it will give some blood for the sample, but will not notice it.
And here is the second rat. Comparing to the previous one, it doesn’t feeling well under anesthesia. One – one more time the vein is stretched out to the surface, but this time it is flat and bloodless. “Ah, I dislike this vein, says Constantin, I dislike it completely. How should I puncture it?” One wrong movement, and a tiny ribbon of flesh, much thinner than one millimeter, will be torn apart and the animal will die. “Ah, I simply hate this vein”, says Constantin, and inserts the catheter directly into it. Three (did we miss the “Two”?) – and a catheter of different construction is fixed above the animal back. Some sewage – and one more rat on the clean sawdust is waiting for the consciousness to regain.
And that is a wonderful new trend. Constantin Lapin wasn’t only the inspirator of microcatheters manufacture – and a special team of professionals, including one of the pioneers of New Age vet medical disposables in Russia, Catherine Zhukova, was involved into the design and development - but also a bright promoter of the method itself, teaching specialists to use the catheterization in their common practice countrywide.
And Mystra…))) as usual is looking forward with some interest and has strong intention to support the expansion of this method in Russia, and also to help some old, antihuman practices to disappear, the faster - the better. Because we like animals.
From left to right: Nikolay Zinenko, Constantin Lapin and Catherine Zhukova in front of the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics of Russian Academy of Sciences
MYSTRA-engineering joins the global community of scientists who fight cancer. Our first step on this ground is a dialogue with medical biologists and plant physiologists, who study pharmacological properties of ginseng.
It is well known that in the Far East of Russia the Amur tiger lives and a plant named ginseng grows. Perhaps, it is also known that both the tiger and ginseng are hunted down by the poachers, who sell them to China, where body parts of the first and roots of the second play a great role in local medicine.
We sincerely doubt the benefits of tiger products on man's health, and we are absolutely against poaching. But the ginseng could really be of a great benefit to the humankind.
Now you can find the publications concerning the positive effects of ginseng in any free newspaper. However, information which shows that ginseng is much more than just one more nutritional supplement or herbalife usually is not available to the non-specialists.
So, what are the benefits of the ginseng root? Amongst the different organic substances the root contains, a significant part play glycosides. Plant's glycosides are well-known for a long time, many of them are artificially synthesized, because they are used, for example, in cardiac medications.
Berries of true ginseng Panax ginseng C.A.Mey. Photo by Evgeniy Dunaev.
From different types of ginseng more than 300 types of glycosides were distinguished (ginseng glycosides even have their own name - ginsenosides), properties of which still await their studies. However, it is already known that some of them, from the group of so-called minor ginsenosides, are effectively cause the apoptosis (death) of tumor cells, attacking the receptors on the cell membrane, and also have an indirect anti-tumor effect - via organism immune system stimulation.
In this way, medications with ginseng ginsenosides may become the solution many scientists from all around the world are searching for – the effective medicine against cancer with minimal side effects.
But where can we get such amount of ginseng? The good thing is that there is no need to dig it on the banks of the Amur River, the ginseng is successfully grown in plantations for many years now. But the final product of the plantation is the same dry root, which still needs to be turned into the medication. A more effective and perspective way to get pure ginsenosides turning out to be the cultivation of ginseng cells in industrial bioreactors.
The bioreactor subject seemed very interesting to us, so we've got in touch with our colleagues in Experimental Biological Complex (EBC) of the K.A.Timiryazev Institute of Plant Physiology and Department of Plant Physiology of M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University.
We've found out that here, in K.A.Timiryazev Institute, scientists learned to cultivate ginseng cells in the bioreactor for a long time, while cells remain a high ability to biosynthesis, which results in a huge volume of substances they produce. A long experience in the investigation of cells taken from medical plants (also from non-related systematic groups), summarized in methods of cell cultivation, which allow the application of technology in industrial scales.
Scientists from EBC have also found out that in sterile cell culture conditions the composition of glycosides does not differ from intact (natural) plants.
We have proposed a joint project to our colleagues - to create a material impregnated with ginsenosides, absorbable in the organism tissue, which forms a local depot for cytotoxic substances that inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells in internal organs. An individual engineering solution will be needed to create a minimally invasive delivery system of this compound to the metastatic tissue. So, a long road lies in front of us, but we'd like to follow it from the first steps till the destination point.
#cancerdrug #cancer #ginseng #ginsenosides #herbalcancerdrug #phytocatheter #phytoprobe
Photos taken from EBC web-page: http://ckp-rf.ru/usu/308100/?sphrase_id=923955