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In Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology

BACKGROUND : Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as a significant part of the global pharmaceutical science, the abundant molecular compounds it contains is a valuable potential source of designing and screening new drugs. However, due to the un-estimated quantity of the natural molecular compounds and diversity of the related problems drug discovery such as precise screening of molecular compounds or the evaluation of efficacy, physicochemical properties and pharmacokinetics, it is arduous for researchers to design or screen applicable compounds through old methods. With the rapid development of computer technology recently, especially artificial intelligence (AI), its innovation in the field of virtual screening contributes to an increasing efficiency and accuracy in the process of discovering new drugs.

PURPOSE : This study systematically reviewed the application of computational approaches and artificial intelligence in drug virtual filtering and devising of TCM and presented the potential perspective of computer-aided TCM development.

STUDY DESIGN : We made a systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Then screening the most typical articles for our research.

METHODS : The systematic review was performed by following the PRISMA guidelines. The databases PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, CNKI were used to search for publications that focused on computer-aided drug virtual screening and design in TCM.

RESULT : Totally, 42 corresponding articles were included in literature reviewing. Aforementioned studies were of great significance to the treatment and cost control of many challenging diseases such as COVID-19, diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease (AD), etc. Computational approaches and AI were widely used in virtual screening in the process of TCM advancing, which include structure-based virtual screening (SBVS) and ligand-based virtual screening (LBVS). Besides, computational technologies were also extensively applied in absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity (ADMET) prediction of candidate drugs and new drug design in crucial course of drug discovery.

CONCLUSIONS : The applications of computer and AI play an important role in the drug virtual screening and design in the field of TCM, with huge application prospects.

Lin Yumeng, Zhang You, Wang Dongyang, Yang Bowen, Shen Ying-Qiang


Artificial intelligence (AI), Computer-assisted, Drug screening, Drug design, Natural products, Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)