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Nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems and herbal medicines: a review

Authors Bonifácio BV, Silva PB, Ramos MAS, Negri KMS, Bauab TM, Chorilli M

Received 7 August 2013

Accepted for publication 21 September 2013

Published 9 December 2013 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1—15

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S52634

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Bruna Vidal Bonifácio, Patricia Bento da Silva, Matheus Aparecido dos Santos Ramos, Kamila Maria Silveira Negri, Taís Maria Bauab, Marlus Chorilli

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, São Paulo State University, Araraquara, Brazil

Abstract: Herbal medicines have been widely used around the world since ancient times. The advancement of phytochemical and phytopharmacological sciences has enabled elucidation of the composition and biological activities of several medicinal plant products. The effectiveness of many species of medicinal plants depends on the supply of active compounds. Most of the biologically active constituents of extracts, such as flavonoids, tannins, and terpenoids, are highly soluble in water, but have low absorption, because they are unable to cross the lipid membranes of the cells, have excessively high molecular size, or are poorly absorbed, resulting in loss of bioavailability and efficacy. Some extracts are not used clinically because of these obstacles. It has been widely proposed to combine herbal medicine with nanotechnology, because nanostructured systems might be able to potentiate the action of plant extracts, reducing the required dose and side effects, and improving activity. Nanosystems can deliver the active constituent at a sufficient concentration during the entire treatment period, directing it to the desired site of action. Conventional treatments do not meet these requirements. The purpose of this study is to review nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems and herbal medicines.

Keywords: natural products, herbal medicines, nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, biological activity

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