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J Chromatogr A. 2007 Mar 23;1145(1-2):123-7. Epub 2007 Jan 27.

Supercritical fluid extraction of quinolizidine alkaloids from Sophora flavescens Ait. and purification by high-speed counter-current chromatography.

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State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.


Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) was used to extract quinolizidine alkaloids from Sophora flavescens Ait. (Kushen). An orthogonal test L(9)(3)(4) including pressure, temperature, flow rate of CO(2) and the amount of modifier was performed to get the optimal conditions. The process was then scaled up by 30 times with a preparative SFE system under 25 MPa, 50 degrees C and a flow rate of CO(2) (2l/min) and the amount of modifier (0.04 ml/min). The crude extracts were separated and purified by high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) with a two-phase solvent system composed of chloroform-methanol-2.3 x 10(-2)M NaH(2)PO(4) (27.5:20:12.5, v/v), and the collected fractions were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Three kinds of quinolizidine alkaloids were obtained, yielding 10.02 mg of matrine, 22.07 mg of oxysophocarpine and 79.93 mg of oxymatrine with purities of 95.6, 95.8, 99.6% in one-step separation, respectively.

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