• Nanoformulation of Curcumin to Improve Pharmacologic Activity

      Solt, Sarah; Debrow, Justin; Hughes, Alexandra; Chen, Changqing (2021-05-01)
      Found in the plant Curcuma longa (turmeric), curcumin demonstrates a diverse array of medicinal properties with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and neuroprotectant activities. One promising application of curcumin in the treatment and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has gained scientific interest. The toxic structures, made out of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides aggregate in the brain tissue, can cause irreversible neuronal damage, manifesting in clinical signs associated with AD. Research has found curcumin able to bind to Aβ structures to ultimately inhibit toxic structure formation. Curcumin can also serve as a fluorescent probe to monitor the formation of senile plaques, since it interacts differently with various Aβ species. Such diagnostic and therapeutic potential can be hindered by the lack of drug delivery systems developed to ensure the efficient delivery of curcumin to the target site. Being a lipophilic(hydrophobic) substance, the low water solubility of curcumin prevents adequate drug transport in aqueous environment. One method of delivery involving nanoformulation through use of liposomes shows promise to increase curcumin’s solubility for its delivery, along with protection of loaded curcumin from premature degradation. In our research, curcumin was loaded into liposomes under different conditions. The stability of liposomes loaded with curcumin over time was investigated. Our research would assist scientists in therapeutic and remedial drug development to maximize the pharmacologic activities of curcumin.