Separation of Curcumin from Curcuma longa L. and its Conjugation with Silica Nanoparticles for Anti-cancer Activities


1 Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences

2 Chemical Engineering, Babol Noshirvani University of Technology


Curcumin is the natural bio-active component of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) with known therapeutic properties; nevertheless, its biological applications are limited due to its poor bioavailability. To overcome this limitation, curcumin was conjugated with silica nanoparticles. Curcumin was separated from turmeric by microwave-assisted extraction and silica nanoparticles were developed from rice husk. Conjugation of curcumin with silica nanoparticles was performed through ultrasound-assisted wet impregnation. XRD, FTIR and UV-visible analyses confirmed the successful synthesis of the conjugate; the drug loading in the nanoparticle was 39% as determined by HPLC analysis. TEM and AFM analyses indicated the spherical morphology of the conjugate with average particle size of 85.9 nm. The cell killing activity of the conjugate was tested against HeLa, MCF-7 and Saos-2 cancer cell lines and normal fibroblast cell line using MTT assay. The silica:curcumin conjugate was effective for destruction of cancerous cells, especially HeLa cells, with minimum side effects on healthy fibroblasts.