Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)

Biological activity and photostability of biflorin micellar nanostructures.

PMID 25985360


Capraria biflora L. is a shrub from the Scrophulariaceae family which produces in its roots a compound named biflorin, an o-naphthoquinone that shows activity against Gram-positive bacteria and fungi and also presents antitumor and antimetastatic activities. However, biflorin is hydrophobic and photosensitive. These properties make its application difficult. In this work we prepared biflorin micellar nanostructures looking for a more effective vehiculation and better preservation of the biological activity. Biflorin was obtained, purified and characterized by UV-Vis, infrared (IR) and 1H- and 13C-NMR. Micellar nanostructures of biflorin were then assembled with Tween 80®, Tween 20® and saline (0.9%) and characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The results showed that the micellar nanostructures were stable and presented an average size of 8.3 nm. Biflorin micellar nanostructures' photodegradation was evaluated in comparison with biflorin in ethanol. Results showed that the biflorin in micellar nanostructures was better protected from light than biflorin dissolved in ethanol, and also indicated that biflorin in micelles were efficient against Gram-positive bacteria and yeast species. In conclusion, the results showed that the micellar nanostructures could ensure the maintenance of the biological activity of biflorin, conferring photoprotection. Moreover, biflorin vehiculation in aqueous media was improved, favoring its applicability in biological systems.