Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 9, 2013

Interaction of Cationic CTAB Surfactant with Curcumin, an Anticarcinogenic Drug: Spectroscopic Investigation

Wechselwirkung zwischen mit kationischen Tensid CTAB und dem antikarzinogenen Wirkstoff Curcumin: Spektroskopische Untersuchung
Rakesh Sharma and Dipti Jani


Curcumin, the most active polyphenolic constituent of turmeric cucuminoids obtained from rhizome Curcuma longa, holds a high place in ayurvedic medicine but its role in conventional disease management is also established. Unfortunately, the compound has poor aqueous solubility, which results in poor bioavailability following high doses by oral administration. In order to enhance its effectiveness and improve bioavailability, surfactant assemblies as the colloidal drug carriers with desired properties have been largely utilized. The interaction of curcumin with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) surfactant has been investigated by absorption spectroscopy as a function of surfactant concentration in pre-micellar and micellar range at acidic pH of 6.4. The pre-micellar and micellar region of pure CTAB surfactant at acidic pH of 6.4 is examined through tensiometry and conductometry techniques. Spectral data shows that in presence of curcumin at lower CCTAB, the change in absorbance and peak form initially was assigned to attraction of positive head group of CTAB towards the β-diketone group of drug. In micellar region including CMC, the type of interaction corresponds to the attachment of C16 chains of CTAB to nonpolar aryl groups of drug and simultaneously displacement of polar head group from β-diketone group of the drug. Finally at post micellar CCTAB, the encapsulation of the curcumin into micelles, predominantly in intact monomeric form is observed with the sharp peak at λmax = 423 nm.


Curcumin, die aktivste polyphenolische Verbindung unter den Gelbwurzel Cucminoiden, wird aus dem Wurzelstock Curcuma longa erhalten und hat in der ayurvedischen Medizin einen hohen Stellenwert; ist aber auch in der konventionellen Krankenbehandlung etabliert. Leider ist die Verbindung schlecht wasserlöslich, was zu einer schlechten Bioverfügbarkeit und daher zu hoher Dosierung bei der oralen Verabreichung führt. Zur Erhöhung seiner Wirksamkeit und zur Verbesserung der Bioverfügbarkeit wurden Tensidaggregate als kolloidale Wirkstoffträger mit gewünschten Eigenschaften umfangreich eingesetzt. Die Wechselwirkung von Curcumin mit Cetyltrimethylammoniumbromid (CTAB) wurde abhängig von der Tensidkonzentration im vormizellaren und mizellaren Bereich bei pH 6,4 mit der Absorptionsspektroskopie untersucht. Der vormizellare und mizellare Bereich des reinen CTAB wurde bei pH 6,4 tensiometrisch und konduktometrisch untersucht. Die spektralen Daten zeigen, dass bei Anwesenheit von Curcumin bei niedrigen CTAB-Konzentrationen die Veränderung von Extinktion und ursprünglicher Peakform von der Anziehung der positiven CTAB-Kopfgruppe zur β-Diketongruppe des Wirkstoffs bestimmt wurde. Im mizellaren Bereich einschließlich der CMC, entspricht der Wechselswirkungstyp der Anlagerung der C16-Ketten des CTAB an die unpolaren Arylgruppen des Wirkstoffs bei gleichzeitiger Entfernung der polaren Kopfgruppen von den β-Diketongruppen des Wirkstoffs. Letzlich wird in der post-mizellaren Region des CTAB aufgrund des scharfen Peaks bei λmax = 423 nm beobachtet, dass Curcumin überwiegend in der intakten monomeren Form in die Mizellen eingeschlossen ist.

1 Dr. Rakesh K. Sharma, Assistant Professor, Applied Chemistry Department, Faculty of Technology & Engineering, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Post Box no. 51, Kala Bhavan, Vadodara-390001 (Gujarat) India, Tel.: (O)+912652434188 (M)+919228499273, Fax: 02652423898, E-Mail:

Dr. Rakesh K. Sharma, M.Sc., M. Phil., Ph.D., is the Assistant Professor in the Applied Chemistry Department, Faculty of Technology & Engineering, The M. S. University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. His research interests are in aggregation and phase behavior of surfactants and EO-PO based block copolymers and its application in drug delivery and detergency. He has published more than ten research papers in reputed international journals.

Dipti Jani, M.Sc., is a project student in the Applied Chemistry Department, Faculty of Technology & Engineering, The M. S. University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. She is working in the area of applications of surfactants in pharmaceutical sciences.


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Received: 2013-2-24
Revised: 2013-3-28
Published Online: 2013-09-09
Published in Print: 2013-07-15

© 2013, Carl Hanser Publisher, Munich