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2.  Green synthesis of silk sericin-capped silver nanoparticles and their potent anti-bacterial activity 
In this study, a ‘green chemistry’ approach was introduced to synthesize silk sericin (SS)-capped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) under an alkaline condition (pH 11) using SS as a reducing and stabilizing agent instead of toxic chemicals. The SS-capped AgNPs were successfully synthesized at various concentrations of SS and AgNO3, but the yields were different. A higher yield of SS-capped AgNPs was obtained when the concentrations of SS and AgNO3 were increased. The SS-capped AgNPs showed a round shape and uniform size with diameter at around 48 to 117 nm. The Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy result proved that the carboxylate groups obtained from alkaline degradation of SS would be a reducing agent for the generation of AgNPs while COO− and NH2 + groups stabilized the AgNPs and prevented their precipitation or aggregation. Furthermore, the SS-capped AgNPs showed potent anti-bacterial activity against various gram-positive bacteria (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) 0.008 mM) and gram-negative bacteria (MIC ranging from 0.001 to 0.004 mM). Therefore, the SS-capped AgNPs would be a safe candidate for anti-bacterial applications.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-79
PMCID: PMC3996096  PMID: 24533676
Green synthesis; Silver nanoparticle; Silk sericin; Alkaline degradation; Anti-bacterial activity
3.  A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study of Cappra® for the Treatment of Mild or Mild to Moderate Erectile Dysfunction in Thai Male 
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the major health concerns affects the quality of life among Thai male. The treatment of ED by the first-line drugs is limited to a certain group of patients due to their side effects and costs. Alternative medicine can be beneficial for the treatment of ED. This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of Cappra®, a traditional herbal medicine which was used in Thailand for decades, for the treatment of mild and mild to moderate ED in Thai patients. A total of 63 patients with mild or mild to moderate ED were randomized to receive Cappra® or placebo for two weeks in the first period, followed by one week washout period. The patients were switched to the alternative treatment in the second period. The efficacy was assessed by the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire and adverse events. Sixty one patients completed the study. There was an improvement of IIEF score for all domains in Cappra® group compared with placebo group. The mean change of IIEF score from baseline for erectile function domain of Cappra® was significantly higher than placebo (4.87 vs 3.44, p = 0.032). The most common adverse events were dizziness (13.3% Cappra®, 9.6% placebo), face numbness (1.6% Cappra®, 0% placebo), and tachycardia (1.6% Cappra®, 0% placebo). The results from this study demonstrated that Cappra® is effective and well-tolerated and can be used as alternative therapy for mild and mild to moderate ED.
PMCID: PMC3746578  PMID: 24146455
Erectile dysfunction; herbal medicine; International Index of Erectile Function; IIEF
4.  Preliminary Characterization of Genipin-Cross-Linked Silk Sericin/Poly(vinyl alcohol) Films as Two-Dimensional Wound Dressings for the Healing of Superficial Wounds 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:904314.
The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) films were developed aiming to be applied as two-dimensional wound dressings for the treatment of superficial wounds. The effects of genipin cross-linking concentration on the physical and biological properties of the films were investigated. The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films showed the increased surface density, tensile strength, and percentage of elongation, but decreased percentage of light transmission, water vapor transmission rate, and water swelling, compared to the non-cross-linked films. This explained that the cross-linking bonds between genipin and silk sericin would reduce the mobility of molecular chains within the films, resulting in the more rigid molecular structure. Silk sericin was released from the genipin-cross-linked films in a sustained manner. In addition, either L929 mouse fibroblast or HaCat keratinocyte cells showed high percentage of viability when cultured on the silk sericin/PVA films cross-linked with 0.075 and 0.1% w/v genipin. The in vivo safety test performed according to ISO 10993-6 confirmed that the genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films were safe for the medical usages. The efficacy of the films for the treatment of superficial skin wounds will be further investigated in vivo and clinically. The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films would be promising choices of two-dimensional wound dressings for the treatment of superficial wounds.
doi:10.1155/2013/904314
PMCID: PMC3784068  PMID: 24106722
5.  Mulberry Leaf Reduces Oxidation and C-Reactive Protein Level in Patients with Mild Dyslipidemia 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:787981.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is the inflammatory marker that could represent the inflammation in blood vessels resulted from dyslipidemia. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antioxidative activity of mulberry leaf powder using DPPH assay and the effect of mulberry leaf powder on lipid profile, CRP level, and antioxidative parameters in mild dyslipidemia patients. A within-subjects design was conducted and patients received three tablets of 280 mg mulberry leaf powder three times a day before meals for 12 weeks. Total of 25 patients were enrolled but one subject was excluded. After three months of mulberry leaf consumption, serum triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level were significantly reduced and more than half of all patients' CRP levels decreased every month as well as the mean CRP level but no statistically significant difference was found. The average erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity of patients was increased but not at significant level; however, the mean serum 8-isoprostane level was significantly lower after mulberry treatment for 12 weeks. It can be concluded that mulberry leaf powder exhibited antioxidant activity and mulberry leaf powder has potential to decrease serum triglyceride, LDL, and CRP levels in mild dyslipidemia patients without causing severe adverse reactions.
doi:10.1155/2013/787981
PMCID: PMC3581086  PMID: 23484158
6.  Sericin cream reduces pruritus in hemodialysis patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:119.
Background
Uremic pruritus (UP) is a significant complication in ESRD patients and substantially impairs their quality of life. UP is considered to be a skin manifestation of chronic inflammation. Because sericin can suppress the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term safety and efficacy of sericin cream for treating UP in hemodialysis patients.
Methods
This study used a double-blind design to investigate the effects of random topical administration of sericin cream and cream base (placebo) on either the right or left extremities of hemodialysis patients for 6 weeks. Skin hydration, irritation and pigmentation were evaluated every 2 weeks using Skin Diagnostic SD27. The visual analog scale for itching was also evaluated every 2 weeks, and the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form was performed on the day of each patient’s enrollment and after 6 weeks of treatment.
Results
Fifty dialysis patients were enrolled, 47 of which completed the study. The hydration of the skin of the patients’ extremities increased significantly after administration of sericin cream; significant differences were found between sericin treatment and control after 6 weeks of treatment (p = 0.041 for arms and p = 0.022 for legs, respectively). Moreover, a significant difference was also found in skin irritation between the two treatments (p = 0.013 for arms and p = 0.027 for legs, respectively). At the end of the study, the skin pigmentation level was significantly reduced on both the arms (p = 0.032) and legs (p = 0.021) of the sericin-treated side compared with the side treated with cream base. The mean itching score decreased significantly from moderate to severe at the time of enrollment to mild pruritus after 6 weeks of treatment (p = 0.002). A better quality of life was found in all domains tested although statistically significant differences before and after treatment was found only in the patients’ pain scores, the effect of kidney disease on daily life, sleep quality and symptoms or problems related to kidney disease.
Conclusions
We conclude that sericin cream has a high potential for reducing UP in hemodialysis patients.
The trial registration number of this study is ISRCTN16019033; its public title is “sericin cream reduces pruritus in hemodialysis patients”.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-119
PMCID: PMC3472272  PMID: 23006933
Pruritus; Hemodialysis; Sericin; Hydration; Inflammation; Pigmentation
7.  The Effect of Sterilization Methods on the Physical Properties of Silk Sericin Scaffolds 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2011;12(2):771-781.
Protein-based biomaterials respond differently to sterilization methods. Since protein is a complex structure, heat, or irradiation may result in the loss of its physical or biological properties. Recent investigations have shown that sericin, a degumming silk protein, can be successfully formed into a 3-D scaffolds after mixing with other polymers which can be applied in skin tissue engineering. The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of ethanol, ethylene oxide (EtO) and gamma irradiation on the sterilization of sericin scaffolds. The influence of these sterilization methods on the physical properties such as pore size, scaffold dimensions, swelling and mechanical properties, as well as the amount of sericin released from sericin/polyvinyl alcohol/glycerin scaffolds, were also investigated. Ethanol treatment was ineffective for sericin scaffold sterilization whereas gamma irradiation was the most effective technique for scaffold sterilization. Moreover, ethanol also caused significant changes in pore size resulting from shrinkage of the scaffold. Gamma-irradiated samples exhibited the highest swelling property, but they also lost the greatest amount of weight after immersion for 24 h compared with scaffolds obtained from other sterilization methods. The results of the maximum stress test and Young’s modulus showed that gamma-irradiated and ethanol-treated scaffolds are more flexible than the EtO-treated and untreated scaffolds. The amount of sericin released, which was related to its collagen promoting effect, was highest from the gamma-irradiated scaffold. The results of this study indicate that gamma irradiation should have the greatest potential for sterilizing sericin scaffolds for skin tissue engineering.
doi:10.1208/s12249-011-9641-y
PMCID: PMC3134674  PMID: 21671201
ethanol; ethylene oxide; gamma irradiation; scaffold; sericin
8.  Comparative Clinical Study of Bactigras and Telfa AMD for Skin Graft Donor-Site Dressing 
The Bactigras® paraffin tulle coated with chlorhexidine is normally used for the treatment of donor-site wounds in burn patients who received split-thickness skin grafts in several centers. It has some disadvantages, such as adhesion to wound surfaces and pain from the irritation caused by this dressing. The Telfa AMD®, a non-adherent wound dressing which consists of absorbent cotton fibers impregnated with polyhexamethylene biguanide enclosed in a sleeve of thermoplastic polymers, is a new option for donor-site wound care which causes less adherence to the wound. The purpose of this study was to compare clinical efficacy of these two dressings for the management of donor-site wounds. Thirty-two patients who received split-thickness skin grafts by donor site harvesting from the thigh were enrolled in this study and randomized into two groups receiving either the Bactigras® or the Telfa AMD® wound treatment. Re-epithelialization, pain, infection and cost-effectiveness analyses were compared between both groups. The results showed that there was no significant difference in age, area of donor sites or length of hospital stays between the groups (p > 0.05). However, the day of re-epithelialization (≥90%) was significantly shorter in patients treated with the Telfa AMD® compared to the Bactigras® group (14.00 ± 3.05 vs. 9.25 ± 1.88 days for Bactigras® and Telfa AMD® groups, respectively, p < 0.001). The average pain score was also significantly lower in the Telfa AMD® group (1.57 ± 0.55 vs. 4.70 ± 1.16, p < 0.001). There was no difference in the cost of treatment between the groups (4.64 ± 1.97 vs. 5.72 ± 2.54 USD, p = 0.19). This study indicated that the Telfa AMD® was an effective dressing for the treatment of donor-site wounds.
doi:10.3390/ijms12085031
PMCID: PMC3179149  PMID: 21954342
Bactigras; burn; chlorhexidine; donor site wound; polyhexamethylene biguanide; Telfa AMD
9.  The Effect of Sericin from Various Extraction Methods on Cell Viability and Collagen Production 
Silk sericin (SS) can accelerate cell proliferation and attachment; however, SS can be extracted by various methods, which result in SS exhibiting different physical and biological properties. We found that SS produced from various extraction methods has different molecular weights, zeta potential, particle size and amino acid content. The MTT assay indicated that SS from all extraction methods had no toxicity to mouse fibroblast cells at concentrations up to 40 μg/mL after 24 h incubation, but SS obtained from some extraction methods can be toxic at higher concentrations. Heat-degraded SS was the least toxic to cells and activated the highest collagen production, while urea-extracted SS showed the lowest cell viability and collagen production. SS from urea extraction was severely harmful to cells at concentrations higher than 100 μg/mL. SS from all extraction methods could still promote collagen production in a concentration-dependent manner, even at high concentrations that are toxic to cells.
doi:10.3390/ijms11052200
PMCID: PMC2885102  PMID: 20559510
sericin; cell viability; collagen; extraction; concentration
10.  In Vitro Evaluation of the Antimicrobial Effectiveness and Moisture Binding Properties of Wound Dressings 
A variety of silver-coated dressings and some impregnated with other chemicals are now available in the market; however, there have been few studies analyzing their comparative efficacies as antimicrobial agents. Moreover, their properties for retaining an appropriate level of moisture that is critical for effective wound healing have never been reported. Five commercially available silver-containing and chlorhexidine dressings, Urgotul SSD®, Bactigras®, Acticoat®, Askina Calgitrol Ag® and Aquacel Ag®, were tested to determine their comparative antimicrobial effectiveness in vitro against five common wound pathogens, namely methicillin-sensitive and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Mepitel®, a flexible polyamide net coated with soft silicone, was used as a control. The zones of inhibition and both the rapidity and the extent of killing of these pathogens were evaluated. All five antimicrobial dressings investigated exerted some bactericidal activity, particularly against E. coli. The spectrum and rapidity of action ranged widely for the different dressings. Acticoat® had a broad spectrum of action against both Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. Other dressings demonstrated a narrower range of bactericidal activities. Regarding the absorption and release of moisture, Askina Calgitrol Ag® absorbed and released the most moisture from the environment. Aquacel Ag® also exhibited good moisture absorption and moisture release, but to a lower degree. The other tested dressings absorbed or released very little moisture. Askina Calgitrol Ag® and Aquacel Ag® are good alternative dressings for treating wounds with high exudates and pus. An understanding of the characteristics of these dressings will be useful for utilizing them for specific requirements under specified conditions.
doi:10.3390/ijms11082864
PMCID: PMC2996738  PMID: 21152279
antimicrobial; moisture absorption; wound dressing
11.  Effectiveness and tolerability of rosiglitazone on insulin resistance and body composition in nondiabetic Thai patients undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis: A 12-week pilot study 
Background: Patients with chronic renal insufficiency, especially those undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), normally have insulin resistance due to deficiencies in insulin secretion and degradation, as well as tissue resistance to insulin at both receptor and postreceptor levels.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and tolerability of rosiglitazone on insulin resistance and body composition in patients without diabetes mellitus (DM) undergoing CAPD.
Methods: This pilot study included a pretest and posttest with a repeated-measure design in a small number of patients. CAPD patients without DM received rosiglitazone 2-mg tablets BID for 12 weeks. Homeostasis Model Assessment Index of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) were used to assess insulin resistance and body composition, respectively. Tolerability was assessed using laboratory analyses as well as physical examination findings to evaluate peripheral edema. Peripheral edema was assessed by the study investigators.
Results: Thirteen Thai patients (mean [SD] age, 54.17 [11.42] years [range, 35–85 years]; body mass index [BMI], >20 to <30 kg/m2; fasting blood glucose [FBG] concentration, <5.39 mmol/L) were included in the study. One patient was withdrawn due to illness unrelated to the study. No significant difference was found in FBG concentration between baseline and posttreatment (after 12 weeks of treatment) (5.45 [0.59] vs 5.24 [0.51] mmol/L), but fasting plasma insulin concentrations (28.50 [23.70] vs 10.15 [4.22] μIU/mL; P = 0.005) and HOMA-IR score (6.70 [5.23] vs 2.40 [1.15]; P = 0.011) were significantly lower. There were no significant changes in weight or BMI from baseline to posttreatment. Seven subjects (58.3%) experienced weight gain at week 4, while 2 patients (16.7%) still had weight gain after 12 weeks of treatment. A significant increase was found between baseline and posttreatment in total body water (38.03 [4.55] vs 42.44 [5.99] L; P = 0.018), extracellular fluid (20.24 [3.75] vs 26.22 [8.69] L; P = 0.005), plasma fluid (4.29 [0.80] vs 5.20 [0.93] L; P = 0.005), and interstitial fluid (14.99 [2.78] vs 17.68 [3.07] L; P = 0.040). Using BIA, no significant changes were observed in intracellular fluid, fat mass, or liver function. After 12 weeks of rosiglitazone administration, 2 patients (16.7%) had mild edema.
Conclusions: Rosiglitazone 2 mg BID for 12 weeks was associated with significantly improved insulin resistance in this small group of nondiabetic Thai patients undergoing CAPD. There was a significant increase in total body water and extracellular fluid after administration of rosiglitazone for 12 weeks. There were no significant changes in FBG, weight, or BMI.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2009.10.002
PMCID: PMC3967294  PMID: 24683246
rosiglitazone; insulin resistance; body composition; nondiabetic; CAPD

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