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Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(3), 38; doi:10.3390/ph9030038

Heparin: Past, Present, and Future

SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Albany, NY 12203, USA
Department of Medicine, Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, MA 01201, USA
Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute, Troy, NY 12180, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Madalena M. M. Pinto and Maria Emília de Sousa
Received: 29 May 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 4 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grand Celebration: 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Heparin)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [702 KB, uploaded 4 July 2016]   |  


Heparin, the most widely used anticoagulant drug in the world today, remains an animal-derived product with the attendant risks of adulteration and contamination. A contamination crisis in 2007–2008 increased the impetus to provide non-animal-derived sources of heparin, produced under cGMP conditions. In addition, recent studies suggest that heparin may have significant antineoplastic activity, separate and distinct from its anticoagulant activity, while other studies indicate a role for heparin in treating inflammation, infertility, and infectious disease. A variety of strategies have been proposed to produce a bioengineered heparin. In this review, we discuss several of these strategies including microbial production, mammalian cell production, and chemoenzymatic modification. We also propose strategies for creating “designer” heparins and heparan-sulfates with various biochemical and physiological properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: heparin; heparan sulfate; heparin-like molecules; bioengineering; UFH; low molecular weight heparin; anti-inflammatory; antitumor; Chinese hamster ovary cells heparin; heparan sulfate; heparin-like molecules; bioengineering; UFH; low molecular weight heparin; anti-inflammatory; antitumor; Chinese hamster ovary cells

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Oduah, E.I.; Linhardt, R.J.; Sharfstein, S.T. Heparin: Past, Present, and Future. Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9, 38.

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