Main Applications of Polysaccharides: Current Vision and Future Horizon

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Smart and Functional Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 15534

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Food Science and Technology, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, China
Interests: polysaccharides; oligosaccharides; gut microbiota; biological acitivity; marine prebiotics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Food Science and Technology, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, China
Interests: polysaccharide; fucoidan; alginic acid; marine algae; application
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, polysaccharides have received large amounts of attention because of their important health-related activities, such as antitumor, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticoagulant, antidiabetic, UV protection, antiviral, hypoglycemic, and prebiotic activity, etc. Polysaccharides have been widely used in a broad range of functional applications, including as nutraceuticals for the prevention of chronic disease, as immunoregulatory agents, or as drug delivery vehicles. In the past few years, the number of studies regarding the structure–function relationship of bioactive polysaccharides has increased, which has given rise to research into the preparation, characterization, and health functions of these molecules.

Therefore, we would like to invite authors to contribute original research articles as well as review articles focused on the development of polysaccharides or their derivatives, including their preparation and modification, structure characterization, and bioactivity demonstrated by studies using in vitro fermentation, cell culture, animal, and human clinical trials to understand the mechanisms of action and the efficacy of bioactive carbohydrates from plants, fungi, animals, and those produced via biotechnology.

Dr. Kit Leong Cheong
Prof. Dr. Saiyi Zhong
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • polysaccharides
  • biomedical application
  • structure–activity relationship
  • drug delivery
  • biocompatible

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 4562 KiB  
Article
Effects of Pine Pollen Polysaccharides and Sulfated Polysaccharides on Ulcerative Colitis and Gut Flora in Mice
by Yali Wang, Xiao Song, Zhanjiang Wang, Zhenxiang Li and Yue Geng
Polymers 2023, 15(6), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15061414 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1978
Abstract
Polysaccharides are important biological macromolecules in all organisms, and have recently been studied as therapeutic agents for ulcerative colitis (UC). However, the effects of Pinus yunnanensis pollen polysaccharides on ulcerative colitis remains unknown. In this study, dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) was used to [...] Read more.
Polysaccharides are important biological macromolecules in all organisms, and have recently been studied as therapeutic agents for ulcerative colitis (UC). However, the effects of Pinus yunnanensis pollen polysaccharides on ulcerative colitis remains unknown. In this study, dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) was used to induce the UC model to investigate the effects of Pinus yunnanensis pollen polysaccharides (PPM60) and sulfated polysaccharides (SPPM60) on UC. We evaluated the improvement of polysaccharides on UC by analyzing the levels of intestinal cytokines, serum metabolites and metabolic pathways, intestinal flora species diversity, and beneficial and harmful bacteria. The results show that purified PPM60 and its sulfated form SPPM60 effectively alleviated the disease progression of weight loss, colon shortening and intestinal injury in UC mice. On the intestinal immunity level, PPM60 and SPPM60 increased the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-10, and IL-13) and decreased the levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α). On the serum metabolism level, PPM60 and SPPM60 mainly regulated the abnormal serum metabolism of UC mice by regulating the energy-related and lipid-related metabolism pathways, respectively. On the intestinal flora level, PPM60 and SPPM60 reduced the abundance of harmful bacteria (such as Akkermansia and Aerococcus) and induced the abundance of beneficial bacteria (such as lactobacillus). In summary, this study is the first to evaluate the effects of PPM60 and SPPM60 on UC from the joint perspectives of intestinal immunity, serum metabolomics, and intestinal flora, which may provide an experimental basis for plant polysaccharides as an adjuvant clinical treatment of UC. Full article
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17 pages, 2623 KiB  
Article
Chitosan/Gelatin Scaffolds Loaded with Jatropha mollissima Extract as Potential Skin Tissue Engineering Materials
by Matheus Ferreira de Souza, Henrique Nunes da Silva, José Filipe Bacalhau Rodrigues, Maria Dennise Medeiros Macêdo, Wladymyr Jefferson Bacalhau de Sousa, Rossemberg Cardoso Barbosa and Marcus Vinícius Lia Fook
Polymers 2023, 15(3), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15030603 - 24 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2115
Abstract
This work aimed to develop chitosan/gelatin scaffolds loaded with ethanolic extract of Jatropha mollissima (EEJM) to evaluate the influence of its content on the properties of these structures. The scaffolds were prepared by freeze-drying, with different EEJM contents (0–10% (w/w [...] Read more.
This work aimed to develop chitosan/gelatin scaffolds loaded with ethanolic extract of Jatropha mollissima (EEJM) to evaluate the influence of its content on the properties of these structures. The scaffolds were prepared by freeze-drying, with different EEJM contents (0–10% (w/w)) and crosslinked with genipin (0.5% (w/w)). The EEJM were characterized through High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to a Diode Array Detector (HPLC-DAD), and the determination of three secondary metabolites contents was accomplished. The physical, chemical and biological properties of the scaffolds were investigated. From the HPLC-DAD, six main substances were evidenced, and from the quantification of the total concentration, the condensed tannins were the highest (431.68 ± 33.43 mg·g−1). Spectroscopy showed good mixing between the scaffolds’ components. Adding and increasing the EEJM content did not significantly influence the properties of swelling and porosity, but did affect the biodegradation and average pore size. The enzymatic biodegradation test showed a maximum weight loss of 42.89 within 28 days and reinforced the efficiency of genipin in crosslinking chitosan-based materials. The addition of the extract promoted the average pore sizes at a range of 138.44–227.67 µm, which is compatible with those reported for skin regeneration. All of the scaffolds proved to be biocompatible for L929 cells, supporting their potential application as skin tissue engineering materials. Full article
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14 pages, 4528 KiB  
Article
Preparation, Characterization and Anti-Complementary Activity of Three Novel Polysaccharides from Cordyceps militaris
by Zhengyu Hu, Jiaming Wang, Long Jin, Tieqiang Zong, Yuanqi Duan, Jinfeng Sun, Wei Zhou and Gao Li
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4636; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214636 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
This investigation focuses on the three novel polysaccharides from Cordyceps militaris and then discusses their characterization and anti-complementary activity. The three polysaccharides from C. militaris (CMP-1, CMP-2 and CMP-3) were prepared using a DEAE-52 cellulose column. The HPLC, HPGPC, FT-IR and Congo red [...] Read more.
This investigation focuses on the three novel polysaccharides from Cordyceps militaris and then discusses their characterization and anti-complementary activity. The three polysaccharides from C. militaris (CMP-1, CMP-2 and CMP-3) were prepared using a DEAE-52 cellulose column. The HPLC, HPGPC, FT-IR and Congo red analyses were used to characterize their monosaccharides, molecular weight and stereo conformation, which demonstrated that the three polysaccharides were homogenous polysaccharides with different molecular weights and were composed of at least ten monosaccharides with different molar ratios, and all had a triple-helix conformation. The evaluation of anti-complementary activity demonstrated that the three polysaccharides significantly inhibited complement activation through the classical pathway and alternative pathway. Preliminary mechanism studies indicated that CMP-1, CMP-2 and CMP-3 acted with C2, C5, C9, factor B, factor B, and P components in the overactivation cascade of the complement system. The analysis of the Pearson correlation and network confirmed that the ribose, glucuronic acid and galacturonic acid composition were negatively correlated with the anti-complementary activity of polysaccharides. These results suggested that the three novel polysaccharides are potential candidates for anti-complementary drugs. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 1887 KiB  
Review
Role of Polysaccharides from Marine Seaweed as Feed Additives for Methane Mitigation in Ruminants: A Critical Review
by Kit-Leong Cheong, Yiyu Zhang, Zhuoting Li, Tongtong Li, Yiqing Ou, Jiayi Shen, Saiyi Zhong and Karsoon Tan
Polymers 2023, 15(15), 3153; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15153153 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2137
Abstract
Given the increasing concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock production, the need to discover effective strategies to mitigate methane production in ruminants is clear. Marine algal polysaccharides have emerged as a promising research avenue because of their abundance and sustainability. Polysaccharides, [...] Read more.
Given the increasing concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock production, the need to discover effective strategies to mitigate methane production in ruminants is clear. Marine algal polysaccharides have emerged as a promising research avenue because of their abundance and sustainability. Polysaccharides, such as alginate, laminaran, and fucoidan, which are extracted from marine seaweeds, have demonstrated the potential to reduce methane emissions by influencing the microbial populations in the rumen. This comprehensive review extensively examines the available literature and considers the effectiveness, challenges, and prospects of using marine seaweed polysaccharides as feed additives. The findings emphasise that marine algal polysaccharides can modulate rumen fermentation, promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms, and inhibit methanogenic archaea, ultimately leading to decreases in methane emissions. However, we must understand the long-term effects and address the obstacles to practical implementation. Further research is warranted to optimise dosage levels, evaluate potential effects on animal health, and assess economic feasibility. This critical review provides insights for researchers, policymakers, and industry stakeholders dedicated to advancing sustainable livestock production and methane mitigation. Full article
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31 pages, 2486 KiB  
Review
Chitin and Chitosan as Polymers of the Future—Obtaining, Modification, Life Cycle Assessment and Main Directions of Application
by Klaudia Piekarska, Monika Sikora, Monika Owczarek, Jagoda Jóźwik-Pruska and Maria Wiśniewska-Wrona
Polymers 2023, 15(4), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15040793 - 4 Feb 2023
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 7245
Abstract
Natural polymers are very widespread in the world, which is why it is so important to know about the possibilities of their use. Chitin is the second most abundant reproducible natural polymer in nature; however, it is insoluble in water and basic solvents. [...] Read more.
Natural polymers are very widespread in the world, which is why it is so important to know about the possibilities of their use. Chitin is the second most abundant reproducible natural polymer in nature; however, it is insoluble in water and basic solvents. Chitin is an unused waste of the food industry, for which there are possibilities of secondary management. The research led to obtaining a soluble, environmentally friendly form of chitin, which has found potential applications in the many fields, e.g., medicine, cosmetics, food and textile industries, agriculture, etc. The deacetylated form of chitin, which is chitosan, has a number of beneficial properties and wide possibilities of modification. Modification possibilities mean that we can obtain chitosan with the desired functional properties, facilitating, for example, the processing of this polymer and expanding the possibilities of its application, also as biomimetic materials. The review contains a rich description of the possibilities of modifying chitin and chitosan and the main directions of their application, and life cycle assessment (LCA)—from the source of the polymer through production materials to various applications with the reduction of waste. Full article
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