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Phytochemical and biological studies of Vietnamese Herbal Medicine for the development of high-value healthcare products

Research project BL/V/09 (Research action BL)


Contract BL/03/V09 :

Duration of the contract :

1/11/2006-30/4/2009

Partners :

  • Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology VAST 
  • Université Catholique de Louvain 
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel 

Description :

Context and objectives

Natural products are widely used in traditional medicine, and are nowadays also gaining interest in Western countries. Medicinal plants have a potential to be developed as high-value healthcare products. However, quality control is an important issue during development of such products to ensure the identity, safety and quality of the natural and synthetized products. In this project natural compounds of vegetable origin with interesting biological activities will be examined, in order to be utilised as new drugs or in the parapharmaceutic field, e.g. as non-nutritive and alternative sweeteners, nutraceuticals or ecological insecticides. Only a limited number of natural products will be focused on and considered as case studies. Therefore, the main aims of this project were:

1) To survey Vietnamese medicinal plants, folklore medicine and other bioresources,
2) To investigate the pharmacological efficacy of selected medicinal plants and folk medicines using chemical and molecular biological techniques,
3) To develop analytical aspects for quality control of herbal drugs: proper fingerprints of crude extracts for identification and quality control purposes, and quantitative determination of specific active compounds,
4) To develop healthcare products and/or lead molecules from the examined plants.

Methodology

- Survey medicinal plants, folklore medicine and other bioresources
The plants were selected by the Vietnamese partner.
- Investigate the pharmacological efficacy of selected medicinal plants and folk medicines using chemical and molecular biological techniques
The antioxidant, the antimicrobial, and the cytotoxic activities of the selected samples were measured by the Walloon partner (UCL). From these results, interesting compounds for given activities are isolated and identified.
- Develop analytical aspects for quality control of herbal drugs: proper fingerprints of crude extracts for identification and quality control purposes, and quantitative determination of specific active compounds
A methodology to develop HPLC fingerprints is defined by the Flemish partner (VUB). HPLC fingerprints were developed and peaks responsible for given activities determined. From these results, interesting compounds for given activities are examined by HPLC-MS.
- Develop healthcare products and/or lead molecules from Vietnamese plants (performed by Vietnamese partner in cooperation with a Vietnamese company)


Documentation :

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