Micro and nanoformulations of catechins for therapeutic applications: recent advances and challenges

Document Type : Narrative Review


1 Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Kurdistan, Iran Nanobiotechnology Department, Faculty of Innovative Science and Technology, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Translational Type 1 Diabetes Research, Department of Clinical Research, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Borgmester Ib Juuls Vej 83, DK-2730 Herlev, Denmark

3 International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India



Bioactive metabolites isolated from myriad living organisms, particularly medicinal plants, can synergize the therapeutic activities of conventional drugs. Catechin is a flavan-3-ol related to flavonoids, a bioactive compound causing many therapeutic activities. Micro and nanoformulations of ((-)-epigallocatechin gallate), ((-)-epigallocatechin), ((-)-epicatechin gallate), and ((-)-epicatechin), as the leading catechins derivatives of tea (Camellia sinensis) have showed desirable antibacterial, anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-neurodegenerative, activities against Alzheimer, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson with significant applications in wound healing, tissue engineering, and various prosthetic implants. Different nanosystems produced from zero-, one-, and two-dimensional nanomaterials, such as solid lipid nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, and nanofilms, have been employed to address the disadvantages of conventional bioactive compounds. In this review, we have attempted to cover these issues, focusing on their benefits and challenges for future studies.

Graphical Abstract

Micro and nanoformulations of catechins for therapeutic applications: recent advances and challenges


  • EGCG stimulates apoptosis and limit cell division in several cancers.
  • EGCG in nanoemulsion alone can inhibit the activation of the AMPK signaling pathway in NSCLC.
  • A synergistic effect has been found for a combination of EGCG and caffeine in low doses than each metabolite alone via regulation of bile acid metabolism and gut microbiota as increased microbial bile salt hydrolase.
  • In the MOF formulation of EGCG, the collagen accumulation and re-epithelialization levels in diabetic wounds were prominently higher compared to the control group.
  • The main limitations of using EGCG are low stability, fast oxidation, and low bioavailability in physiological conditions.
  • Formulation of metal-EGCG network such as Mg2+-EGCG-coated titanium can improve osseointegration of the bone implant.


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