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Mar. Drugs 2016, 14(3), 42;

Sulfated Seaweed Polysaccharides as Multifunctional Materials in Drug Delivery Applications

Centre for Marine Sciences, University of Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Drug Delivery Laboratory, Centre for Biomedical Research (CBMR), Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve, Gambelas Campus, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paola Laurienzo
Received: 14 January 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
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In the last decades, the discovery of metabolites from marine resources showing biological activity has increased significantly. Among marine resources, seaweed is a valuable source of structurally diverse bioactive compounds. The cell walls of marine algae are rich in sulfated polysaccharides, including carrageenan in red algae, ulvan in green algae and fucoidan in brown algae. Sulfated polysaccharides have been increasingly studied over the years in the pharmaceutical field, given their potential usefulness in applications such as the design of drug delivery systems. The purpose of this review is to discuss potential applications of these polymers in drug delivery systems, with a focus on carrageenan, ulvan and fucoidan. General information regarding structure, extraction process and physicochemical properties is presented, along with a brief reference to reported biological activities. For each material, specific applications under the scope of drug delivery are described, addressing in privileged manner particulate carriers, as well as hydrogels and beads. A final section approaches the application of sulfated polysaccharides in targeted drug delivery, focusing with particular interest the capacity for macrophage targeting. View Full-Text
Keywords: carrageenan; drug delivery; fucoidan; macrophage targeting; ulvan; sulfated polysaccharides carrageenan; drug delivery; fucoidan; macrophage targeting; ulvan; sulfated polysaccharides

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Cunha, L.; Grenha, A. Sulfated Seaweed Polysaccharides as Multifunctional Materials in Drug Delivery Applications. Mar. Drugs 2016, 14, 42.

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