Natural medicines are derived from natural sources such as plants, animals and/or mineral origins. The use of traditional natural products is an empirical healthcare system based on thousands of years of human experience. Over the past few decades, quality control and safety evaluation methods for natural products, though sophisticated and techlogically advanced, still lack comprehensiveness and practicability to some extent. Generally, those methods fully satisfy the modern scientific requirements for extraction, identification, purity, quality and pharmacological effects in the assessment of chemical drugs. However, they are t suitable for handling the complex chemical characteristics of natural products. Therefore, a better understanding of the basic properties of natural medicines and advanced chemical, pharmacological and biological techniques would facilitate the application of the natural products in public health. The purpose of this book is to address the issues mentioned above and present related solutions. The book covers the below topics: Advanced analytical techlogies in the application of the natural medicines (eg: mass spectrometry, gas or liquid chromatography, and NMR); Recent advances in biochemistry research of natural medicines (e.g. gene expression microarray, tissue microarray, and chromatin-precipitation assay); Invations in analytical chemistry of natural products; Quality control and safety evaluation of traditional medical material and finished products; Detection of low quality and adulterants of natural product; Identification of the plant by various analytical techniques; Regulations and management of natural products from foreign countries; Novel cell-based models used for the high-throughput screening for drug discovery in natural products; Pharmacological effects of natural products in vitro and in vivo; Advanced modeling techniques used in pharamcokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of natural products (eg: Pharsight WINNONLIN, Simcyp, and Gastroplus).
Dr Zhang is an associate professor in National Institute for Nutrition and Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. His areas of expertise include pharmacokinetics, bioanalysis and pharmaceutics. He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications, two books and two book chapters, and he serves as an editor for 10 international journals.