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Ulvan, a bioactive marine sulphated polysaccharide as a key constituent of hybrid biomaterials: A review

Tziveleka, Leto-Aikaterini, Ioannou, Efstathia, Roussis, Vassilios
Carbohydrate polymers 2019 v.218 pp. 355-370
Chlorophyta, bioactive properties, biocompatible materials, bones, cell walls, chondroitin sulfate, drugs, hyaluronic acid, hydrogels, nanofibers, physicochemical properties, tissue engineering
Ulvan, a sulphated polysaccharide located in the cell walls of green algae that possesses unique structural properties albeit its repeating unit shares chemical affinity with glycosoaminoglycans, such as hyaluronan and chondroitin sulphate, has been increasingly studied over the years for applications in the pharmaceutical field. The increasing knowledge on ulvan’s chemical properties and biological activities has triggered its utilization in hybrid materials, given its potential efficacy in biomedical applications. In the present review, the use of ulvan in the design of different biomaterials, including membranes, particles, hydrogels, 3D porous structures and nanofibers, is presented. The applications of these structures may vary from drug delivery to wound dressing or bone tissue engineering. In this context, general information regarding the structure and chemical variability, extraction processes, physicochemical properties, and biological activities of ulvan is reported.