Application of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers in Analysis and Detoxification of Colocynth: Resurgence of an Obscure Ancient Botanical
Colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.) is a widely distributed plant with diverse pharmacological properties. Unfortunately severe side effects of this herb, mainly attributed to a Cucurbitacin glycoside Colocynthin, has posed a barrier for using this botanical. However, studies on animals and humans with Cucurbitacin-standardized extracts have shown the safety of this herb at a therapeutic dosage . Molecularly imprinted polymers are new promising selective adsorbents which could be used in sample preparation, drug delivery, drug polishing and detoxification. In the present study a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) capable to bind selectively to a toxic metabolite was synthesized and evaluated. The imprinted polymer was used for the development of a solid phase extraction method for the analysis and quality control of two traditional medicine dosage forms. The application of this polymer for detoxification of crude extract of plant fruits is under investigation.
Acknowledgements: The research was supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences grant (project no. 91 – 03 – 86 – 13389). Partial support for this research from the Sellergren's research group is gratefully acknowledged. References:  Lorenz PR, Lippmann F, et al. (2005) Arzneimittel-Forschung, 55: 621 – 663.