Background: Different parts of Colocynth, Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad., are
used in traditional phytotherapy and homeopathy.
Objective: In our new approach, a molecularly imprinted polymer was synthesized to absorb
colocynthin, the major plant marker, and its capability was evaluated using HPLC-UV.
Method: A new method was considered to achieve optimal conditions. FT-infrared, N2
adsorption porosimetry, fluorescent and scanning electron microscopy and thermo
gravimetric profile of the polymers were studied. The imprinted polymer was applied as
molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction sorbent to enrich colocynthin from colocynth
oil extract, a traditional medicine dosage form.
Results: The imprinted polymer showed high capacity and affinity toward colocynthin.
Physical assessments demonstrated no major differences between imprinted and nonimprinted
polymers. The imprinted polymer was able to absorb colocynthin more efficiently
than non-imprinted and control simple solvent extraction from the real sample.
Conclusion: In conclusion, this polymer is capable of being applied as a promising
adsorbent for analysis of colocynth traditional medicine products.