Application of a Customised Franz-Type Cell Coupled with HPTLC to Monitor the Timed Release of Bioactive Components in Complex Honey Matrices

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The aim of this study was to assess the release profile of components in five different honeys (a New Zealand Manuka and two Western Australian honeys, a Jarrah honey and a Coastal Peppermint honey) and their corresponding honey-loaded gel formulations using a custom-designed Franz-type diffusion cell in combination with High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC). To validate the suitability of the customised setup, release data using this new approach were compared with data obtained using a commercial Franz cell apparatus, which is an established analytical tool to monitor the release of active ingredients from topical semisolid products. The release profiles of active compounds from pure honey and honey-loaded formulations were found to be comparable in both types of Franz cells. For example, when released either from pure honey or its corresponding pre-gel formulation, the percentage release of two Jarrah honey constituents, represented by distinct bands at RF 0.21 and 0.53 and as analysed by HPTLC, was not significantly different (p = 0.9986) at 12 h with over 99% of these honey constituents being released in both apparatus. Compared to the commercial Franz diffusion cell, the customised Franz cell offers several advantages, including easy and convenient sample application, the requirement of only small sample quantities, a large diffusion surface area, an ability to analyse 20 samples in a single experiment, and lower cost compared to purchasing a commercial Franz cell. Thus, the newly developed approach coupled with HPTLC is conducive to monitor the release profile of minor honey constituents from pure honeys and honey-loaded semisolid formulations and might also be applicable to other complex natural-product-based products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalMethods and protocols
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

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