Background: Scutellaria barbata (S. barbata) is promising for cancer therapy. However, its
anti-cancer material basis is unclear, and a sensitive detection method for the trace level of highly active
ingredients in S. barbata is lacking.
Objective: The present study aims to develop an efficient procedure for screening and quantifying the
active ingredient groups of phenolic acid and flavonoids in S. barbata and to preliminarily evaluate S.
barbata material on multi-ingredient and multi-target bases.
Methods: Hollow fibre cell fishing with high performance liquid chromatography (HFCF–HPLC)
based on human renal adenocarcinoma ACHN cell and hollow fibre liquid phase microextraction with
HPLC (HF-LPME–HPLC) were developed and employed to study the active groups of phenolic acid
and flavonoids in S. barbata.
Results: The active ingredients were screened, and some of their structures were confirmed, including
protocatechuic acid, scutellarin, baicalein, luteolin, apigenin and wogonin; these S. barbata active ingredients
are used to treat renal cancer. The contents of these confirmed active ingredients were quantified.
The cell apoptosis rates of ACHN cells and cell fishing factors of the active ingredients screened
by HFCF–HPLC were determined. The binding sites of the active groups on ACHN cells were preliminarily
Conclusion: With simultaneous functions of active screening, confirming and quantifying, the procedures
of HFCF–HPLC coupled with HF-LPME–HPLC, can not only improve the efficiency of drug
research and narrow the gap from blind to clear for defining active ingredients but also confirms the
multi-ingredient and multi-target characteristics of TCMs.