Medicinal plants have been used in the pharmaceutical industry and traditional medicine for several millennia but only about 6% of higher plant species have been screened for biologic activity, of which only 15% have been evaluated phytochemicaly. The purpose of this visit is to establish optimized extraction protocols for bioactive metabolites (belonging to the terpenoid and coumarin classes) from rare medicinal plants relevant to human health and develop optimized chromatographic conditions for their analysis and mass spectral characterization (using LC-MS-QToF, LC-IonTrap-MS). We will also attempt to develop a method for in vitro propagation of the medicinal plant Tripterygium regellii with the aim of producing cultures that will yield higher concentrations of bioactive diterpene triptolide and related compounds, currently under investigation for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive potential.
Project co-leader: Bernd Markus Lange, PhD
Collaborator: Jasenka Piljac Žegarac, PhD