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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2018 Jun;1421(1):5-18. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13570. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Therapeutic applications of betulinic acid nanoformulations.

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Product Development Cell-II, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India.
Formulation & Drug Delivery Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, India.
Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Jammu Campus, Jammu, India.


Betulinic acid (BA), a naturally occurring plant-derived pentacyclic triterpenoid, has gained attention in recent years owing to its broad-spectrum biological and medicinal properties. Despite the pharmacological activity of BA, it has been associated with some drawbacks, such as poor aqueous solubility and short half-life in vivo, which limit therapeutic application. To solve these problems, much work in recent years has focused on enhancing BA's aqueous solubility, half-life, and efficacy by using nanoscale drug delivery systems. Several different kinds of nanoscale delivery systems-including polymeric nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, liposomes, polymeric conjugates, nanoemulsions, cyclodextrin complexes, and carbon nanotubes-have been developed for the delivery of BA. Here, we focus on the recent developments of novel nanoformulations used to deliver BA in order to improve its efficacy.


betulinic acid; cancer; drug delivery; liposomes; nanoparticles

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