Planta Med 2017; 83(18): 1431-1437
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-113325
Natural Product Chemistry and Analytical Studies
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Development of a High-Performance Liquid Chromatographic Method for Asiaticoside Quantification in Different Skin Layers after Topical Application of a Centella asiatica Extract

Priscila Bianca Rodrigues da Rocha1, Bruno dos Santos Souza1, Lígia Marquez Andrade1, Ricardo Neves Marreto1, Eliana Martins Lima2, Stephânia Fleury Taveira1
  • 1Laboratory of Nanosystems and Drug Delivery Devices (NanoSYS), School of Pharmacy, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil
  • 2Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory, School of Pharmacy, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil
Further Information

Publication History

received 28 November 2016
revised 25 May 2017

accepted 05 June 2017

Publication Date:
26 June 2017 (eFirst)


The topical application of Centella asiatica extract has been commonly used for many different purposes but especially for cosmetic use in the treatment of gynoid lipodystrophy. Asiaticoside, the most active component in this extract, is responsible for its therapeutic activities. However, little is known to date about asiaticoside skin penetration. Thus, an analytical method for asiaticoside quantification in different skin layers after the topical application of C. asiatica extract was developed and skin permeation studies were performed with the plant extract to apply the analytical method developed. An extraction procedure to recover asiaticoside from the biological matrix was also developed. Asiaticoside was assayed by HPLC/UV (high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detection) using a gradient of ACN (acetonitrile) and 0.2% phosphoric acid (flow rate of 1.0 mL/min). The analytical procedure was validated according to U. S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Selectivity was shown, as endogenous skin components did not interfere with the asiaticoside peak. Analytical curve was linear (3 to 60 µg/mL) and the lower limit of quantification was determined (3 µg/mL). Asiaticoside recoveries from skin samples were 95.1% and 66.7% for the stratum corneum and remaining skin, respectively. After 48 h of in vitro permeation studies, a substantial amount of asiaticoside was quantified in the skin layers. The presence of asiaticoside was also detected in the receptor solution of Franz diffusion cells after 48 h (5.81 ± 1.00 µg/mL). The method was reliable and reproducible for asiaticoside quantification in skin samples, thereby making it possible to determine the cutaneous penetration profile of this drug in permeation studies.