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Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(9), 2435-2465; doi:10.3390/md8092435

Marine Polysaccharides in Pharmaceutical Applications: An Overview

Institute of Polymers Chemistry and Technology, C.N.R.-Via Campi Flegrei, 34-80078 Pozzuoli (Naples), Italy
Received: 22 July 2010 / Revised: 19 August 2010 / Accepted: 20 August 2010 / Published: 2 September 2010
(This article belongs to the collection Marine Polysaccharides)
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The enormous variety of polysaccharides that can be extracted from marine plants and animal organisms or produced by marine bacteria means that the field of marine polysaccharides is constantly evolving. Recent advances in biological techniques allow high levels of polysaccharides of interest to be produced in vitro. Biotechnology is a powerful tool to obtain polysaccharides from a variety of micro-organisms, by controlling the growth conditions in a bioreactor while tailoring the production of biologically active compounds. Following an overview of the current knowledge on marine polysaccharides, with special attention to potential pharmaceutical applications and to more recent progress on the discovering of new polysaccharides with biological appealing characteristics, this review will focus on possible strategies for chemical or physical modification aimed to tailor the final properties of interest.
Keywords: chitosan; alginate; agar; carrageenans; exopolysaccharides; chemical modification; drug delivery; gene delivery chitosan; alginate; agar; carrageenans; exopolysaccharides; chemical modification; drug delivery; gene delivery
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Laurienzo, P. Marine Polysaccharides in Pharmaceutical Applications: An Overview. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 2435-2465.

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