Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Bioactivity based quality control for Chinese herbal medicine

Can we establish a new quality control system for herbal medicines that is based on bioactivity rather than a few abundant chemicals?

2016 - 2018


Institute of Biology

Metabolic profiling in combination with  a multi-dimensional chemical and pharmacological approach enables linking of the complex metabolic profile of herbs with biological effects. This will be a key for quality control of TCM material.

Study of biological activity/efficacy In vivo of Chinese herbs e.g.  Radix  rheum palmatum L (Da Huang).  Radix Panax Genseng  (Ren Sheng) Astragali Radix (Huangqi) using in vivo model systems and other assay systems. The databases from plant metabolic profiles, bioactivity and animal studies can be linked and analyzed by means of multivariate data analysis (MVDA). MVDA is a powerful technique for the analysis of data sets with a large number of variables. It enables for example the visualization and interpretation of patterns in chemical profiles that correlate with a target variable like bioactivity. In this way, a plant metabolomic database can be constructed which will be extended with single compounds and metabolic profiles of all types of commercial extracts available from herbs that were grown, harvested and stored under different conditions to establish a bioactivities based quality control.

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