Yosephine Sri Wulan Manuhara
Prof. Dr. Yosephine Sri Wulan Manuhara, Dra., M.Si, while delivering scientific oration, Saturday, September 16. (Photo: Bambang Edi Santosa)
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Based on research conducted by Prof. Dr. Yosephine Sri Wulan Manuhara, M.Si, 95-96 percent of raw materials of medicine in Indonesia are imported, mainly from China and India. Although Indonesia is known as a country with abundance of biodiversity, but the production of medicine raw materials from plant sources still have some weaknesses.

There is limited soil and it has to compete with cultivated plants, often the resulting compound is unstable because it is affected by the climate and the soil where it grows, and excessive exploitation of the plant will cause extinction.

Prof. Manuhara who was inaugurated as a Professor of Biology, Faculty of Science and Technology developing a cultivation technique in a plant bioreactor. There are several advantages of using bioreactor. First, large quantities of planlet (plant tissue culture) can be produced in one stage.

Second, reducing the number of vessels (culture bottles) and incubation sites so reducing production costs. Third, the entire explant surface is always in contact with the medium, so the nutrients are easier to absorb by the explants that ultimately increase the growth rate. In addition, oxygen supply plays a great role in increasing the growth rate and biomass.

“In Indonesia no one has done this. I hope this will be a pilot project, “said Prof. Manuhara.

Two potential plants used by Prof. Manuhara as raw material of the drug are Javanese ginseng and longevity spinach. The bioactive compound of Javanese ginseng plant is saponin which is often found in roots.

“Javanese ginseng works effectively as a booster of vitality. Meanwhile, longevity spinach is useful as anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hiperlipidemic, and anti-microbial, “added the woman who was born on Tulungagung, March 3, 1964.

Since 2012, Prof. Manuhara has conducted research to improve the biomass and bioactive compounds of both plants above using bioreactors in laboratory scale.

Prof. Manuhara and her team will develop a large bioreactor with a capacity of 20 liters. Within the next three years, Kemenristekdikti will provide a funding support.

“I hope, this product can be offered to the industry and can answer Indonesia’s shortage of raw materials production of medicine,” explained Prof. Manuhara. (*)

Author: Binti Q. Masruroh

Editor: Defrina Sukma S

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