Novel system enhances bioavailability of herbal ingredients in medicines

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Herbal drugs can be encapsulated with suitable biopolymers as nanocarriers

Dr S. Prabhakaran, Sr. Scientist at CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) Chennai Centre, has developed a new prototype of temperature and flow control ultrasonic spray (tFOCUS) system with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies programme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, and aligned with the ‘Make in India’ initiative to enhance colloidal stability of poorly water-soluble herbal extracts.

The delivery of herbal therapeutic ingredients as drugs in conventional forms shows variable and non-uniform absorption. Lower duration of residence in the stomach and varying gastric emptying time may limit the bioavailability of these drugs.

To overcome such limitations, herbal drugs can be encapsulated with suitable biopolymers as nanocarriers. The nanocarrier can significantly enhance the gastric emptying time and deliver higher amount of drug for a sustained period in the stomach. In addition, the amount of drug required to be incorporated to nanocarriers is much less than required when encapsulated in a tablet. 

The prototype of tFOCUS system enhanced the solubility of poorly water-soluble multi-herbal extracts using nanoencapsulation biocompatible polymer in rapid reaction process at room temperature, which is compactable with temperature-sensitive therapeutic active ingredients.

The research team has allied with BAL Research Foundation (BRF) Bengaluru for further upscale of the technology.

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