Marine-Derived Polymers in Ionic Liquids: Architectures Development and Biomedical Applications
3B´s Research Group, I3Bs- Research Institute on Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Avepark, 4805-017 Barco, Guimarães, Portugal
ICVS/3B´s – PT Government Associate Laboratory, 4805-017 Braga/Guimarães, Portugal
The Discoveries Centre for Regenerative and Precision Medicine, Headquarters at University of Minho, Avepark, 4805-017 Barco, Guimarães, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(7), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18070346
Received: 27 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 27 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine-Derived Products for Biomedicine)
Marine resources have considerable potential to develop high-value materials for applications in different fields, namely pharmaceutical, environmental, and biomedical. Despite that, the lack of solubility of marine-derived polymers in water and common organic solvents could restrict their applications. In the last years, ionic liquids (ILs) have emerged as platforms able to overcome those drawbacks, opening many routes to enlarge the use of marine-derived polymers as biomaterials, among other applications. From this perspective, ILs can be used as an efficient extraction media for polysaccharides from marine microalgae and wastes (e.g., crab shells, squid, and skeletons) or as solvents to process them in different shapes, such as films, hydrogels, nano/microparticles, and scaffolds. The resulting architectures can be applied in wound repair, bone regeneration, or gene and drug delivery systems. This review is focused on the recent research on the applications of ILs as processing platforms of biomaterials derived from marine polymers.