The mission of the research group “Natural Products & Food Research and Analysis – Pharmaceutical Technology” (NatuRAPT) is to make a contribution to human health by increasing our knowledge on medicinal plants and food plants, including the chemical profiling of their constituents and metabolites, the development of methods to assure their quality, optimalisation of their formulation to guarantee and improve bioavailability, and evaluation of their health effects.
The research group is active in the field of medicinal plants, natural products, and functional food science. Biologically active principles are isolated and identified, and analytical methods developed and validated. With flash chromatography, semi-preparative and analytical LC-MS, LC-SPE-NMR and GC-MS, the consortium has built up a fast purification and identification platform for natural compounds and food constituents. By means of the different techniques available in the research group, analytical methods for most classes of constituents can be developed. Health effects of medicinal plants, natural products, food and food supplements are evaluted in vitro and in vivo. The lab has a high expertise in the determination of oxidative stress parameters. A gastrointestinal dialysis model was developed to study the metabolism of natural products and food constituents, to identify active metabolites, and how formulation influences bioavailability of active constituents in food, herbal preparations or other medicinal products.
Furthermore, the research group focuses on innovative dosage forms, including formulation- and process-optimization. Formulations include solutions, emulsions or suspensions, as well as solid dispersions, micro- and nanoparticles, spray-dried and freeze-dried powders to be used in hard gelatin capsules or tablets. In addition to the physicochemical characterization, stability research and packaging studies complete the evaluation of the formulations. This knowledge will contribute to the development of herbal medicinal products and food supplements that meet high quality standards, and are safe and efficacious.