Qualitative and quantitative high performance thin layer chromatography analysis of Calendula officinalis using high resolution plate imaging and artificial neural network data modelling
Calendula officinalis, commonly known Marigold, has been traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of an artificial neural network (ANN) to analyse thin layer chromatography (TLC) chromatograms as fingerprint patterns for quantitative estimation of chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and rutin in Calendula plant extracts. By applying samples with different weight ratios of marker compounds to the system, a database of chromatograms was constructed. A hundred and one signal intensities in each of the HPTLC chromatograms were correlated to the amounts of applied chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and rutin using an ANN. The developed ANN correlation was used to quantify the amounts of 3 marker compounds in calendula plant extracts. The minimum quantifiable level (MQL) of 610, 190 and 940 ng and the limit of detection (LD) of 183, 57 and 282 ng were established for chlorogenic, caffeic acid and rutin, respectively. A novel method for quality control of herbal products, based on HPTLC separation, high resolution digital plate imaging and ANN data analysis has been developed. The proposed method can be adopted for routine evaluation of the phytochemical variability in calendula extracts.