Nanotechnology

Nanostructures in Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) for potential therapy


With its long clinical history, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has gained acceptance for its specific efficacy and safety in the treatment of multiple diseases. Nano-sized materials study of Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) leads to an increased understanding of assessing TCM therapies, which may be a promising way to illustrate the material basis of CHMs through their processing and extraction. In this review, we provide an overview of the nanostructures of natural and engineered CHMs, including extracted CHMs, polymer nanoparticles, liposomes, micelles, and nanofibers. Subsequently, the applications of these CHM-derived nanostructures to particular diseases are summarized and discussed. Additionally, we discuss the advantages of these nanostructures for studying the therapeutic efficacy of CHMs. Finally, the key challenges and opportunities for the development of these nanostructures are outlined.

Graphical abstract: Nanostructures in Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) for potential therapy