The term “natural products” spans an extremely large and diverse range of chemical compounds derived and isolated from biological sources. Our interest in natural products can be traced back thousands of years for their usefulness to humankind, and this continues to the present day. Compounds and extracts derived from the biosphere have found uses in medicine, agriculture, cosmetics, and food in ancient and modern societies around the world. Therefore, the ability to access natural products, understand their usefulness, and derive applications has been a major driving force in the field of natural product research.
The first edition of Natural Products Isolation provided readers for the first time with some practical guidance in the process of extraction and isolation of natural products and was the result of Richard Cannell’s unique vision and tireless efforts. Unfortunately, Richard Cannell died in 1999 soon after completing the first edition. We are indebted to him and hope this new edition pays adequate tribute to his excellent work.
The first edition laid down the “ground rules” and established the techniques available at the time. Since its publication in 1998, there have been significant developments in some areas in natural product isolation. To capture these developments, publication of a second edition is long overdue, and we believe it brings the work up to date while still covering many basic techniques known to save time and effort, and capable of results equivalent to those from more recent and expensive techniques.
The purpose of compiling Natural Products Isolation, 2nd Edition is to give a practical overview of just how natural products can be extracted, prepared, and isolated from the source material. Methodology and knowhow tend to be passed down through word of mouth and practical experience as much as through the scientific literature. The frustration involved in mastering techniques can dissuade even the most dogged of researchers from adopting a new method or persisting in an unfamiliar field of research.
Though we have tried to retain the main theme and philosophy of the first edition, we have also incorporated newer developments in this field of research. The second edition contains a total of 18 chapters, three of which are entirely new. Our intention is to provide substantial background information for aspiring natural product researchers as well as a useful reference guide to all of the available techniques for the more experienced among us.
Satyajit D. Sarker
Alexander I. Gray