Research progress on nanotechnology for delivery of active ingredients from traditional Chinese medicines
There is growing acceptance of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) as potential sources of clinical agents based on the demonstrated efficacies of numerous bioactive compounds first identified in TCM extracts, such as paclitaxel, camptothecin, and artemisinin. However, there are several challenges to achieving the full clinical potential of many TCMs, particularly the generally high hydrophobicity and low bioavailability. Recently, however, numerous studies have attempted to circumvent the limited in vivo activity and systemic toxicity of TCM ingredients by incorporation into nanoparticle-based delivery systems. Many of these formulations demonstrate improved bioavailability, enhanced tissue targeting, and greater in vivo stability compared to the native compound. This review summarizes nanoformulations of the most promising and extensively studied TCM compounds to provide a reference for further research. Combining these natural compounds with nanotechnology-based delivery systems may further improve the clinical utility of these agents, in turn leading to more intensive research on traditional medicinal compounds.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry B Recent Review Articles