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Extraction of Bioactive Substances from Plants Accelerated 12 Times in Siberia
January 30, 2018 09:54


    Scientists of the Phytochemistry Laboratory of the Tomsk State University with colleagues from the Ramkhahang Bangkok University have developed an ultrasound method for increasing the degree of extraction of biologically active substances (BAS) from plants, the press service of the TSU reports. In addition, during the experiments, biologists succeeded in discovering a new source of ecdysteroids (molting hormones), which produce adaptogenic, immunostimulating, and hepatoprotective effects and are capable of inhibiting the growth of sarcoma cells. The findings have been published in the International Journal of Food and Biosystems Engineering.

    Ecdysteroids are the molting hormones and metamorphosis of insects and crustaceans. However, animals themselves cannot synthesize these substances and consume them from plants. The Phytochemistry Laboratory of the Siberian TSU is one of the few in the world that has been studying ecdysteroids for 30 years and searching for plants that they are part of. These secondary metabolites are very promising for pharmacology: on their basis, substances of varied biological activities have been created abroad.

     “Together with Thai colleagues, we studied three species of sawwort. A chromatographic analysis of the seeds obtained from the Jena Botanical Garden (Germany) was preliminarily carried out. Its results confirmed the high probability of the presence of ecdysteroids in adult plants”, - says Larisa Zibareva, head of the Phytochemistry Laboratory at TSU. “After that, these species were grown in the Botanical Garden of TSU; the raw materials were tested for the content of ecdysteroids and flavonoids by means of high-performance liquid chromatography and used to isolate pure compounds”.

      The traditional method of extracting BAS involves five steps and takes an average of 12 hours. In the course of experiments, scientists applied high intensity ultrasound, which made it possible to accelerate the extraction process and reduce the time costs to one hour, that is, 12 times. Moreover, the yield of useful extract increased.

      The final part of the research was carried out at the Ramhameng University in Bangkok. From Tomsk, individual biologically active sulfuric compounds were brought there to study chemical structures using the NMR and mass spectrometry methods. This made it possible to identify the isolated substances and discover a new source of BAS - Serratula cupuliformis, a traditional plant in the northern part of China, in which ecdysteroids were first identified.

     “The data obtained are not only of fundamental importance, but may as well be successfully applied in pharmacology. Based on steroid substances of vegetable origin, we can develop drugs that will be no less effective than synthetic "chemicals", but safe for people”, - Larisa Zibareva said.

It should be mentioned that scientists of the Phytochemistry Laboratory intend to expand their research, in particular, to start collaborating with IT experts on computer prediction of the biological activity of plants based on the structure of secondary metabolite compounds.





Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Medicine Phytochemistry    

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