Molecules 2008, 13(8), 1773-1816; doi:10.3390/molecules13081773
Review

Trehalose and Trehalose-based Polymers for Environmentally Benign, Biocompatible and Bioactive Materials

1 Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Chiba Institute of Technology, 2-17-1 Tsudanuma, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016, Japan 2 Southern Regional Research Center, USDA-ARS, New Orleans, LA, USA; Home: 2261 Brighton Place, Harvey, LA 70058, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2008; Accepted: 11 August 2008 / Published: 21 August 2008
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Abstract: Trehalose is a non-reducing disaccharide that is found in many organisms but not in mammals. This sugar plays important roles in cryptobiosis of selaginella mosses, tardigrades (water bears), and other animals which revive with water from a state of suspended animation induced by desiccation. The interesting properties of trehalose are due to its unique symmetrical low-energy structure, wherein two glucose units are bonded face-to-face by 1→1-glucoside links. The Hayashibara Co. Ltd., is credited for developing an inexpensive, environmentally benign and industrial-scale process for the enzymatic conversion of α-1,4-linked polyhexoses to α,α-D-trehalose, which made it easy to explore novel food, industrial, and medicinal uses for trehalose and its derivatives. Trehalosechemistry is a relatively new and emerging field, and polymers of trehalose derivatives appear environmentally benign, biocompatible, and biodegradable. The discriminating properties of trehalose are attributed to its structure, symmetry, solubility, kinetic and thermodynamic stability and versatility. While syntheses of trehalose-based polymer networks can be straightforward, syntheses and characterization of well defined linear polymers with tailored properties using trehalose-based monomers is challenging, and typically involves protection and deprotection of hydroxyl groups to attain desired structural, morphological, biological, and physical and chemical properties in the resulting products. In this review, we will overview known literature on trehalose’s fascinating involvement in cryptobiology; highlight its applications in many fields; and then discuss methods we used to prepare new trehalose-based monomers and polymers and explain their properties.
Keywords: Trehalose; Cryptobiosis; Biopreservation; Trehalose-based monomers; Linear polymers; Network polymers; Biocompatible polymers

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MDPI and ACS Style

Teramoto, N.; Sachinvala, N.D.; Shibata, M. Trehalose and Trehalose-based Polymers for Environmentally Benign, Biocompatible and Bioactive Materials. Molecules 2008, 13, 1773-1816.

AMA Style

Teramoto N, Sachinvala ND, Shibata M. Trehalose and Trehalose-based Polymers for Environmentally Benign, Biocompatible and Bioactive Materials. Molecules. 2008; 13(8):1773-1816.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Teramoto, Naozumi; Sachinvala, Navzer D.; Shibata, Mitsuhiro. 2008. "Trehalose and Trehalose-based Polymers for Environmentally Benign, Biocompatible and Bioactive Materials." Molecules 13, no. 8: 1773-1816.

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