As new green solvents, ionic liquids (ILs) have been generally applied in the extraction and separation of natural product. In this study, microwave assisted extraction based on IL (IL-MAE) was firstly employed to extract total biflavonoids from Selaginella doederleinii
. Based on single-factor experiment, microwave power (300–700 W), extract time (30–50 min) and extract temperature (40–60 °C) on total bioflavonoids and antioxidant activities of the extracts were further investigated by a Box-Behnken design of response surface methodology (RSM) selecting total bioflavonoids yields and IC50
of radical scavenging as index. Besides antioxidant activity of the extract was evaluated by a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydarzyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonate (ABTS) radical scavenging assay, ferric reducing power assay and chelation of ferrous ions assay, and then anticaner activity was also researched against A549 cell line and 7721 cell line. The results illustrated that three factors and their interactions could be well suited for second-order polynomial models (p
< 0.05). Through process parameters, optimization of the extract (460 W, 40 min, and 45 °C) and detection of bioactivity, the yield of total bioflavonoids was 16.83 mg/g and IC50
value was 56.24 μg/mL, respectively, indicating the extract has better anti-oxidation effect and antitumor activity. Furthermore, IL-MAE was the most efficient extracting method compared with MAE and Soxhlet extraction, which could improve extraction efficiency in a shorter time and at a lower temperature. In general, ILs-MAE was first adopted to establish a novel and green extraction process on the yields of total biflavonoids from S. doederleinii
. In addition, the extract of containing biflavones showed potent antioxidant and anticancer capacity as a utilized valuable bioactive source for natural medicine.
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