Natural Product Research Group CRI
Research on natural products remains a substantial and successful approach to provide a diverse and unique source of bioactive compounds for drug discovery; therefore it is traditionally claimed as the cornerstones of drug discovery and development. The therapeutic role of medicinal plants is justified by the presence of their bioactive molecules. Due to disease-inhibiting capabilities, they are greatly valuable as natural drugs, provide essential bioactive compounds that are less toxic and more compelling, and bring biological and chemical means of modification and extraction of natural products into potent drug. The bioactive compounds derived from the medicinal plants are mostly plant secondary metabolites, and many naturally occurring pure compounds have become medicines, dietary supplements, and other commercially viable products.
This research group places special emphasis in the fundamental and applied biodiversity-based drug discovery research which aims to screen for natural products from medicinal plants with significant potential for application as therapeutic agents and to elucidate the biosynthetic pathways responsible for the formation of important and chemically complex natural product.
Key research areas:
- Development of biopolymer-based microsphere as the matrix for the Caesalpiniaceae extract capsule via emulsion solvent evaporation technique for the treatment of uterine fibroid. (Project leader: Dr. Hema Ramachandran)
- Caesalpiniaceae is widely used in Ayurveda especially in the fertility regulation in female and has been considered as an important remedy for the treatment of uterine fibroid. Development of biopolymer-based microspheres loaded with Caesalpiniaceae extract by single emulsion solvent evaporation technique would open an intriguing opportunity to ensure homogenous distribution of the drug within the polymer matrix and a better control of drug release while maintaining the biodegradability and biocompatibility of biopolymer.
- Ethnobotanical study on polyherbal formulation consisting of Hydrangeaceae, Berberidaceae and Apocynaceae in the treatment of urolithiasis (Project leader: Ms. Sarah Stephenie)
- Urolithiasis is the formation of urinary stones in the kidney, bladder and/or urethra. It is a painful urologic disorder that occurs in 12% of the global population. Patients undergoing allopathic treatment or medication to treat urolithiasis including surgery have high chances for the recurrence of calculi mainly among male patients. It is known that alternative medicines consisting of medicinal plants are widely used to treat these conditions. Although it is an effective method of treatment, scientific evidence and side effects from usage of these alternative medicines are not recorded. The output of this research would provide scientific evidence for this polyherbal formulation to be used as a treatment for urolithiasis.