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    Saikosaponins are the main active ingredients of Bupleuri Radix and have been shown to have hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory and anti-viral activities. Among the saikosaponins, saikosaponin a (SSa), saikosaponin b1 (SSb1) and saikosaponin b2 (SSb2) are a group of isomers, which are difficult to separate by HPLC. In this study, a new method for separation and quantitation of saikosaponins was established by using ultra-high performance supercritical fluid chromatography (UHPSFC). A Torus Diol column (100 mm × 3 mm, 1.7 μm) was applied in this study. The mobile phase CO2 (A) was the main solvent with MeOH (B) as co-solvent. The results showed that the five saikosaponins were successfully separated within 22 min through optimization of chromatographic conditions. Besides, the UHPSFC method was applied for the quantitation of saikosaponins in a patent medicine Chaihu Dropping Pills, and demonstrated a good correlation coefficient (R2) ≥ 0.9990 in the range of 0.025 - 0.25 mg/mL. The recoveries of the five saikosaponins at three different concentrations were in the range of 90.23-99.84%. This study indicates that the proposed method has high separation efficiency in analyzing saikosaponins, which provides a new way for the separation and quantitation of saikosaponins in herbal medicines. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Tingting Sun, Jiaoyang Luo, Yuanyuan Xu, Xinqi Sun, Shihai Yang, Meihua Yang. Ultra-high performance supercritical fluid chromatography method for separation and quantitation of saikosaponins in herbal medicine. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis. 2021 May 30;199:114039

    PMID: 33839642

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