Nanocarriers as Tools for Delivery of Nature Derived Compounds and Extracts with Therapeutic Activity

Part of the Sustainable Agriculture Reviews book series (SARV, volume 44)


Natural medicine found its use over a long period of time. These were effectively used in treating various ailments since ancient times. Initially simple extracts were used for treatment followed by isolated compounds. Natural compounds formed integral part of drug discovery programmes for most of the time. However, with the introduction of combinatorial chemistry the use of natural compounds reduced gradually, nevertheless, natural compounds were still under extensive evaluation and newer products were being approved. Many natural compounds have potential to treat various life threatening diseases for which synthetic medicine doesn’t have specific cure. However, natural compounds have limitations owing to their poor solubility, stability and permeability. This led to their reduced usage in clinical stage.

Nanocarriers due to their unique properties, offers successful delivery of various synthetic drugs by improving/modifying the properties such as solubility, pharmacokinetics and specificity. These advantages increased the interest towards development of various nanocarriers for the effective delivery of natural molecules. This chapter explores the various delivery options of different bioactive natural molecules and extracts using different nano carriers made of polymers, lipids and inorganic materials. Various natural molecules used in different disease conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, microbial infections, inflammatory condition and psoriasis were selected and their limitation in reaching clinical stage was discussed. The role of nanocarriers in overcoming these limitations and improving their clinical promise was highlighted with relevant case studies or examples.


Nanotechnology Antibiotics Flavonoids Plant extracts Nanoparticles Liposomes 



Area under the curve




Nanostructured lipid carrier


Poly lactic-co-glycolic


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmaceuticsNational Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER)HyderabadIndia

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