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Chromatography technology has been widely applied in various aspects of the pharmacy research on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This paper reviews literatures, published in the past decades, on the separation of active component from TCM using chromatography technology. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC), high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC), rapid resolution liquid chromatography (RRLC), supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), affinity chromatography (AC), and bio-chromatography (BC) are introduced in detail. Compared to high performance of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), analysis time and solvent loss are significantly reduced by UPLC with increase in resolution and sensitivity. Some ingredients from nature derived drugs can be separated more completely by HSCCC, which has remarkable characteristics such as low cost, simple operation and no pollution. Trace components from complex systems can be selectively and efficiently separated and purified by AC, This feature makes it effective in isolation and identification of active components of Chinese herbs. Interference of some impurities could be excluded by BC. Active ingredients that are difficult to be separated by normal method can be acquired by SFC. Currently, application of novel chromatography techniques in TCM is still in the exploratory stage and many problems, such as preparation of stationary phase and detection, need to be solved.
College of Food and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, China.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry
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