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J Chromatogr A. 2004 Jan 9;1023(1):159-63.

Preparative high-speed counter-current chromatography for purification of shikonin from the Chinese medicinal plant Lithospermum erythrorhizon.

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Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.


The bioactive compound shikonin was successfully isolated and purified from the crude extract of the traditional Chinese medicinal plant Lithospermum erythrorhizon Sieb. et Zucc. by preparative high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC). The preparative HSCCC was performed using a two-phase solvent system composed of n-hexane-ethylacetate-ethanol-water (16:14:14:5 (v/v)). A total amount of 19.6 mg of shikonin at 98.9% purity was obtained from 52 mg of the crude extract (containing 38.9% shikonin) with 96.9% recovery. The preparative isolation and purification of shikonin by HSCCC was completed in 200 min in a one-step separation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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