Nosilac projekta: Institut za proučavanja lekovitog bilja Dr Josif Pančić

Učesnik projekta: Farmaceutski fakultet Beograd - Katedra za mikrobiologiju i imunologiju

Trajanje projekta: 3 godine

Active substances from supercritical plant extracts for high value added products   

Summary: Phytopreparations for treatment of infected skin and mucosa, based on standardized herbal extracts loaded into biodegradable and bio-compatible polymers, obtained by high pressure CO2 green processes. Preparations based on extracts with immune boosting capability. 

Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are the global treat to human life. According to published data in 2015, only in Europe, over 33,000 deaths and 874,000 disability-adjusted life-years caused by antibiotic resistant infection each year acquired in hospitals or community, accounting about $1.5 billion in direct and indirect costs. Therfore, five multi-resistant pathogens Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species have priority status for researchers. Infection triggers immune response, which causes inflammation and tissue damage slowing the healing process. Increasing evidence indicates that bacteria in chronic wounds live in biofilm communities, which protect them from the host defenses and develop antibiotic resistance. The main technological (innovative) contribution of our project will be to develop a such fundamental knowledge, which can be exploited to address the most important emerging global health problems for combating the antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. Natural antimicrobial agents (essential oils or phenolic compounds) possess antimicrobial activity, synergism with antibiotics, and wound healing properties, as well as other biological activities (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory). The aim of Serbian team is processing of natural material obtained from renewable resources for preparation of high-quality added value products for the treatment of the impaired skin conditions in diabetic patients. For this purpose, different plant material, as valuable source of natural substances with biological activity such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and the most desirable, antimicrobial, will be tested. Extracts obtained from plant material have complex multi-component nature that may be especially well suitable for simultaneous treatment of multiple targets. These extracts properties, accompanied by the possibility of low-dose administration of active components, reduce the potential undesired events and at the same time provide prospective synergistic effects leading to a safer product compared to synthetic alternatives. Considering global health trends and growing consumers expectations to substitute potentially harmful chemicals with natural products combined with the urgent need for the identification of effective, safe, and cost efficient skin and mucosa healing promoters, is unequivocal and has driven an increase in the search for potent, cost effective skin/mucosa healing agents from plants. The effective treatment of wounds remains a major global health challenge. The occurrence of various forms of wounds such as cutaneous infection, dry skin, pruritus, chronic and acute wounds, pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, and diabetic ulcers has increased over the years in most countries due to variety of health issues and increase of life expectancy in developed countries. It is estimated that about 80% of the world’s population depends on medicines of plant origin for treatment of diseases. A growing consumer demand for natural ingredients, GMO-free, artificial-free and new green technologies can be met not only by use of natural material from renewable resources but also by applying green process of supercritical fluid extraction to obtain the high quality mixtures of herbal extracts. Additionally, impregnation of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers with phytocomponents will allow to set controlled release of bioactive components and to increase number of product application. In the definition phase of the project, standardized extracts will be produced from plant material ([Serbia-Camellia sinensis, Vaccinium myrtillus, Juniperus communis], [Poland-Curcuma longa L., Euterpe oleracea., Rosmarinus officinalis, Laurus nobilis, Hippophae rhamnoides]) using the latest high pressure separation techniques applying supercritical CO2 as well as conventional extraction methods. Carriers chosen for impregnation with phytocomponents and preparation of controlled release devices are chitosan, starch, and gelatin. In the implementation phase, technologies for the production of standardized/stabilized extracts will be elaborated, in vivo and in vitro tests will be performed, and value added products based on the obtained standardized extracts will be formulated. Polish partners will conduct research on the production of food additives with the use of plant extracts that boosts immune  capability  of the human body against pathogenic factors. Serbian partners are interested in development of phytopreparations based on extracts and natural polymers for controlled release of bioactive components and treatment of infected skin and mucosa. The safety and efficacy studies will be performed to support evidences for health benefits.