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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Delivery Systems for Birch-bark Triterpenoids and their Derivatives in Anticancer Research

Author(s): Inese Mierina, Reinis Vilskersts and Māris Turks*

Volume 27, Issue 8, 2020

Page: [1308 - 1336] Pages: 29

DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666180530095657

Price: $65


Birch-bark triterpenoids and their semi-synthetic derivatives possess a wide range of biological activities including cytotoxic effects on various tumor cell lines. However, due to the low solubility and bioavailability, their medicinal applications are rather limited. The use of various nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems is a rapidly developing approach to the solubilization of insufficiently bioavailable pharmaceuticals. Herein, the drug delivery systems deemed to be applicable for birch-bark triterpenoid structures are reviewed. The aforementioned disadvantages of birch-bark triterpenoids and their semi-synthetic derivatives can be overcome through their incorporation into organic nanoparticles, which include various dendrimeric systems, as well as embedding the active compounds into polymer matrices or complexation with carbohydrate nanoparticles without covalent bonding. Some of the known triterpenoid delivery systems consist of nanoparticles featuring inorganic cores covered with carbohydrates or other polymers. Methods for delivering the title compounds through encapsulation and emulsification into lipophilic media are also suitable. Besides, the birch-bark triterpenoids can form self-assembling systems with increased bio-availability. Even more, the self-assembling systems are used as carriers for delivering other chemotherapeutic agents. Another advantage besides increased bioavailability and anticancer activity is the reduced overall systemic toxicity in most of the cases, when triterpenoids are delivered with any of the carriers.

Keywords: Betulin, betulinic acid, oleanolic acid, lupeol, semi-synthetic derivatives, drug delivery systems.

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