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Polymers 2018, 10(7), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070701

Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium

Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Master Course in Cosmetic Science and Technology (COSMAST), University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
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Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Abstract

Since its first isolation in 1934, hyaluronic acid (HA) has been studied across a variety of research areas. This unbranched glycosaminoglycan consisting of repeating disaccharide units of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine and d-glucuronic acid is almost ubiquitous in humans and in other vertebrates. HA is involved in many key processes, including cell signaling, wound reparation, tissue regeneration, morphogenesis, matrix organization and pathobiology, and has unique physico-chemical properties, such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, mucoadhesivity, hygroscopicity and viscoelasticity. For these reasons, exogenous HA has been investigated as a drug delivery system and treatment in cancer, ophthalmology, arthrology, pneumology, rhinology, urology, aesthetic medicine and cosmetics. To improve and customize its properties and applications, HA can be subjected to chemical modifications: conjugation and crosslinking. The present review gives an overview regarding HA, describing its history, physico-chemical, structural and hydrodynamic properties and biology (occurrence, biosynthesis (by hyaluronan synthases), degradation (by hyaluronidases and oxidative stress), roles, mechanisms of action and receptors). Furthermore, both conventional and recently emerging methods developed for the industrial production of HA and its chemical derivatization are presented. Finally, the medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications of HA and its derivatives are reviewed, reporting examples of HA-based products that currently are on the market or are undergoing further investigations. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological activity; crosslinking; drug delivery; cosmetic; food-supplement; functionalization; hyaluronan applications; hyaluronan derivatives; hyaluronan synthases; hyaluronic acid; hyaluronidases; physico-chemical properties biological activity; crosslinking; drug delivery; cosmetic; food-supplement; functionalization; hyaluronan applications; hyaluronan derivatives; hyaluronan synthases; hyaluronic acid; hyaluronidases; physico-chemical properties
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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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Fallacara, A.; Baldini, E.; Manfredini, S.; Vertuani, S. Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium. Polymers 2018, 10, 701.

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