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Polymers 2016, 8(3), 71; doi:10.3390/polym8030071

Biopolymeric Mucin and Synthetic Polymer Analogs: Their Structure, Function and Role in Biomedical Applications

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Kentucky, 177. Paul Anderson Tower, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Esmaiel Jabbari
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 2 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4213 KB, uploaded 2 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Mucin networks are viscoelastic fibrillar aggregates formed through the complex self-association of biopolymeric glycoprotein chains. The networks form a lubricious, hydrated protective shield along epithelial regions within the human body. The critical role played by mucin networks in impacting the transport properties of biofunctional molecules (e.g., biogenic molecules, probes, nanoparticles), and its effect on bioavailability are well described in the literature. An alternate perspective is provided in this paper, presenting mucin’s complex network structure, and its interdependent functional characteristics in human physiology. We highlight the recent advances that were achieved through the use of mucin in diverse areas of bioengineering applications (e.g., drug delivery, biomedical devices and tissue engineering). Mucin network formation is a highly complex process, driven by wide variety of molecular interactions, and the network possess structural and chemical variations, posing a great challenge to understand mucin’s bulk behavior. Through this review, the prospective potential of polymer based analogs to serve as mucin mimic is suggested. These analog systems, apart from functioning as an artificial model, reducing the current dependency on animal models, can aid in furthering our fundamental understanding of such complex structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: mucin; biomimic; bioapplication; polymer analog; polymer networks; tissue engineering; drug delivery mucin; biomimic; bioapplication; polymer analog; polymer networks; tissue engineering; drug delivery
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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

Authimoolam, S.P.; Dziubla, T.D. Biopolymeric Mucin and Synthetic Polymer Analogs: Their Structure, Function and Role in Biomedical Applications. Polymers 2016, 8, 71.

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