Background: The use of plants as therapeutic drugs has long been common among human beings. The Glycyrrhiza glabra is one of the medicinal plants with many therapeutic properties. However, using this herb in traditional methods faces some challenges. The use of pharmaceutical nano-carriers such as liposomes is one of the new strategies to overcome these challenges. In this regard, the current study aimed to synthesize and characterize liposomal nano-carriers containing the G. glabra hydroalcoholic extract to improve its therapeutic effects.
Materials and Methods: After the extraction of the G. glabra root by the Soxhlet method, nano-liposomes containing G. glabra extracts were synthesized by the thin-film preparation method. Then, the encapsulation efficiency (EE) rate and drug release pattern of nanoliposome were examined using the spectrophotometry method. Next, physicochemical properties such as size, zeta potential, morphology, and non-interaction of the nano-system with the extract were investigated by dynamic-light-scattering (DLS), atomic force microscope (AFM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) methods, and finally, the toxicity of the nano-system on human foreskin fibroblast cells was assessed using the MTT method.
Results: Nano-liposomes containing licorice extracts with the EE of 2.3±75.32% were from the type of slow release and controlled release, having a size of 111.4±1.2 nm, a surface charge of -53.6±6.3, and a dispersion index of 0.210±0.13, and they had no interaction with the loaded extract. The results of the MTT test also demonstrated that the synthesized nano-liposomes were non-toxic on normal cells.
Conclusion: Overall, the findings proved that synthesized nano-liposomes with proper physicochemical properties can be a suitable carrier for the G. glabra extract and thus cause stability and improve the therapeutic effects of this herbal extract as a medicinal plant.