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A multiple biomarker assay for quality assessment of botanical drugs using a versatile microfluidic chip.

Scientific reports (2017-09-28)
Zhen-Hao Li, Ni Ai, Lawrence X Yu, Zhong-Zhi Qian, Yi-Yu Cheng
ABSTRACT

Quality control is critical for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs. Current quality control method for botanical drugs is mainly based on chemical testing. However, chemical testing alone may not be sufficient as it may not capture all constituents of botanical drugs. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a bioassay correlating with the drug's known mechanism of action to ensure its potency and activity. Herein we developed a multiple biomarker assay to assess the quality of botanicals using microfluidics, where enzyme inhibition was employed to indicate the drug's activity and thereby evaluate biological consistency. This approach was exemplified on QiShenYiQi Pills using thrombin and angiotensin converting enzyme as "quality biomarkers". Our results demonstrated that there existed variations in potency across different batches of the intermediates and preparations. Compared with chromatographic fingerprinting, the bioassay provided better discrimination ability for some abnormal samples. Moreover, the chip could function as "affinity chromatography" to identify bioactive phytochemicals bound to the enzymes. This work proposed a multiple-biomarker strategy for quality assessment of botanical drugs, while demonstrating for the first time the feasibility of microfluidics in this field.

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Sigma-Aldrich
N-[3-(2-Furyl)acryloyl]-Phe-Gly-Gly