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Development of E-learning Package with Moodle LMS to Demonstrate the Production and Development of Medicinal Drugs from Plants


This platform allows the student to progress through several learning stages, commencing with good agricultural policy (GAP). This demonstrates how plants that are commercially grown for their constituent drugs are subject to variations in sunlight, rainfall, soil quality and latterly periods of harvesting, storage, drying etc. By allowing variable inputs i.e. duration of sunlight, annual rainfall, etc., for a series of specific plants, i.e. rhubarb, garlic, etc., the interactive tool allows students to develop their own understanding of the importance of the assurance of quality of medicinal plant production and also where crop failure, adulteration and legal requirements impact upon drug production. This is particularly important to those scientists involved in herbal and traditional Chinese medicine production.

Materia medica standards
The second stage of the process allows the learner to identify medicinal/Chinese medicine plants. By including a photographic database of those plants most readily used in the production of commercial drugs the students are able to identify which parts of the plant, i.e. aerial parts, roots, bark, etc., are utilized in specific drug production. Beyond this a series of microscopic photographs illustrate specific cells, organelles and plant tissues that are responsible for drug production [or in fact drug toxicity, namely oxalate crystals etc.]. This interactive stage is of particular importance to Hong Kong in that Chinese medicine production requires microscopic plant identification as indicated by the Hong Kong Department of Health “Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards Ordnance” and is currently taught on the BPharm programme.

Extraction of drugs from plants
Drug extraction, allows students via the interactive platform to vary the temperature, solvent type, acidity, alkalinity and process duration to result in a variety of results. The results of which will serve as an ideal tool to demonstrate the physico-chemical parameters involved with drug molecule extraction. This section is of fundamental importance to all chemically allied curricula, namely BPharm, Chemistry, Chinese Medicine, etc.

Purification of extracted products
The purification of extracted plant products occupies a well described area of science with chromatography.

Identification of purified compounds
The final stage of this package demonstrates the principle of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. These spectra lend themselves ideally to an e-learning package and are an ideal medium to teach the principles of spectroscopy. The physical techniques themselves in a laboratory setting deliver computer generated spectra which are then interpreted.

Principal Investigator

Dr. A.J. Worsley, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine Contact

Project level

Programme-level project

Project Completion

May 2015


E-learning package on medicinal drugs Download

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