SIGS Research: Technology backs TCM research against virus

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long played a role in treating epidemics, including SARS in 2003 and the latest combat against the novel coronavirus.

Building upon previous prescriptions used for SARS prevention and control, the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen has been using a new Chinese medicine formula with results in preventing and improving coronavirus symptoms. However, the formula’s mechanism of action and effective ingredients are still unclear.

In response, Prof. Ma Hui and Associate Prof. He Honghui from the SIGS Institute of Biopharmaceutical and Health Engineering joined hands with Dr. Zhang Zhenyu's team at Shenzhen Pingshan People's Hospital to aid Chinese medicine research using polarized optical detection methods.



The self-developed, label-free, in-vivo and real-time polarization detection technology allows the team to evaluate intervention effects and mechanisms of the Chinese medicine formula “Fei Wei Fang Gang Tang” through cell and animal models. They were able to clarify main active ingredients in the formula, and work with Huangshi Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine to observe its clinical effects. Their work will offer new strategies and theoretical basis for TCM treatment against the novel coronavirus.

At present, Western medicine provides symptomatic supportive treatment for novel coronavirus patients, but there is still no effective drug. Traditional Chinese medicine, with its rich history and treatment experience, has advantages in preventing and improving symptoms, as well as shortening the length of hospitalization. With in-depth exploration and research in the field, more effective cures can be developed to curb the development of the disease.

Source: Institute of Biopharmaceutical and Health Engineering 

Edited by Karen Lee