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Anal Chim Acta. 2010 Jan 4;657(1):9-18. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2009.10.024. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

Recent analytical approaches in quality control of traditional Chinese medicines--a review.

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State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) are gaining more and more attention all over the world, due to their specific theory and long historical clinical practice. But the uncontrollable quality is a bottleneck for its modernization and globalization. This paper reviewed the recent analytical methods in the quality control of TCMs, including screening strategies of bioactive markers from TCMs through biochromatographic methods, the traditional chromatographic methods, DNA methods, as well as the spectroscopic methods, including FT-IR, NIR and NMR. The comprehensive methods, such as fingerprint and multi-component quantification are emphasized; hyphenated techniques, like HPLC-MS, GC-MS, CE-MS, LC-NMR, chemometric methods, and combination of chemical and biological methods, such as biofingerprint, metabolic fingerprint are now more and more widely used in TCMs. In a few word, the analysis and quality control of TCMs are moving towards an integrative and comprehensive direction, in order to better address the inherent holistic nature of TCMs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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