Friday, January 01, 2016

The Use of Propolis in Micro/Nanostructured Pharmaceutical Formulations

Recent Pat Drug Deliv Formul. 2015 Dec 29. [Epub ahead of print]


Propolis is a resinous material with complex chemical structure, produced by bees using plant sources, displaying a wide spectrum of biological activities. Many studies have reported the use of this compound in pharmaceutical, medicinal, veterinary and dentistry areas, and the results have reported its pharmacological activities. Moreover, several propolis delivery systems have been proposed and their properties evaluated, indicating that they can be used. On the other hand, considering its chemical and physical characteristics, propolis could be used as a material to produce micro/nano-structured pharmaceutical formulations. This work reviews the recent studies of development of micro/nanostructured systems using propolis or its byproduct. In addition, patents were reviewed and categorized.


This review was based on a structured search of databases for peer-reviewed papers and patents using a focused review question and inclusion/exclusion criteria. The patent documents and the quality of retrieved articles were appraised using standard tools. The characteristics of screened patents and papers were described. In addition, a deductive qualitative content analysis methodology was applied to analyze the findings and interventions of included studies using a conceptual framework.


Propolis identification, chemical composition and biological activity were discussed, and the information was structured and discussed. The literature shows the safety of this compound and the possibility to use it to prepare micro or nanostructured pharmaceutical systems. There are many strategies to modify the propolis delivery such as the use of micro/nanoemulsions, particles, thermoresponsive systems, films, hydrogels, lotions, creams, ointments, carbon nanotubes, liquid crystalline phases, and bio/mucoadhesive systems. Propolis can also be used as an excipient to produce drug-delivery systems.


Many papers and submitted or granted patent applications were found, reporting from extraction method for propolis, which provides new possibilities for incorporation of propolis components in micro/nanostructured cosmetic products, foodstuffs and medicines.

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