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Analytical and in silico study of the inclusion complexes between tropane alkaloids atropine and scopolamine with cyclodextrins

Monica Butnariu, Massimiliano Peana, Ioan Sarac, Salvatore Chirumbolo, Haralampos Tzoupis, Christos T. Chasapis, and Geir Bjørklund

Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” From Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania



Received: 16 December 2020  Accepted: 12 June 2021


Datura stramonium L. (Solanaceae) possesses a rich tropane alkaloids (TAs) spectrum. The plant contains, in particular, the allelopathic compounds scopolamine and atropine, which are poorly soluble in water, thus limiting their use in agrochemical formulations as biocidal and deterrent agents against herbivore insects. The efficacy of the hydrophobic TAs extracts could be increased with the improvement of their dissolution/leaching properties. This is important for improving screening and test performance and for elucidating the activity of environmentally friendly agricultural approaches, with new perspectives for the production and use of those biodegradable insecticidal products. The present study explores the aspects of atropine and scopolamine complexation with cyclodextrin (CDs) through FT-IR and UV–Vis spectroscopies. In addition, the structures of the inclusion complex of atropine, scopolamine and β-CD have been investigated by molecular modeling techniques. The results obtained indicate that β-CDs are a promising carriers for improving the properties of TAs, therefore increasing their application potential in agrochemical formulations.

Graphic abstract

Keywords: Allelochemical; Tropane alkaloids; UV–VIS; FT-IR; Cyclodextrins; Molecular docking

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-021-01742-4


Chemical Papers 75 (10) 5523–5533 (2021)

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