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Curr Drug Deliv. 2019 Nov 11. doi: 10.2174/1567201816666191112113031. [Epub ahead of print]

Nano-soldiers ameliorate silibinin delivery: A review study.

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Department of Basic Science, Veterinary Medicine Faculty, Tabriz University, Tabriz. Iran.
Department of Basic Science, Shoushtar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shoushtar. Iran.
Pharmaceutics Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman. Iran.
Cardiovascular Diseases Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand. Iran.
Department of Basic Medical Science, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur. Iran.


Flavonoids are a large group of naturally occurring compounds which are of interest due to their great pharmacological effects and also health-promoting impacts. These properties have led to their extensive application for a variety of pathological conditions, particularly cancer. Although flavonoids are used in large quantities in a human's daily diet and a high amount of flavonoids are found in the intestine after oral usage. However, the flavonoid concentrations in tissue/plasma are low because of their low bioavailability, leading to the low efficacy of flavonoids in different clinical disorders. For this reason, nanotechnology application for delivering flavonoids to tumor sites has recently obtained remarkable attention. Silibinin is a key member of flavonoids and a bioactive component of silymarin which is widely isolated from Silybum marianum. This plant-derived chemical has a number of valuable biological and therapeutic activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-tumor, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective and anti-diabetic ones. These beneficial effects have been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro experiments. However, it seems that silibinin suffers from a variety of limitations and the poor bioavailability is the most important factor restricting its wide application. Hence, there have been attempts to improve the bioavailability of silibinin and it has been suggested that nano-soldiers are potential candidates for this aim. At the present review, we describe the different drug delivery systems for improving the bioavailability of silibinin.


Bioavailability; Cancer therapy; Drug delivery; Herbal medicine; Pharmacological effects; Silibinin

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