Natural Polymers: Isolation, Modification, and Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 August 2024 | Viewed by 11931

Special Issue Editors

College of Food Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
Interests: marine natural products; human health; skin aging
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
College of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
Interests: bioapplication of biomass-derived materials; toxicity assessment of environmental pollutants; biorefinery; cellulose
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural polymers such as carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids possess various health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and anticancer bioactivities. Based on their health benefits, bioactive natural polymers have been utilized in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical industries.

To obtain natural polymers from marine and terrestrial organisms, physical, chemical, biological, and combined methods have been widely investigated. Despite the tremendous progress that has been made in the development of these isolation and purification technologies, there are still some problems, such as the high amount of consumption of chemical solvents, which can easily be destroyed and deactivated. Thus, finding environmentally friendly, sustainable, and industrialized technologies to obtain natural polymers from marine and terrestrial organisms is still remarkably challenging.

This Special Issue presents studies on advances in isolation, modification, and applications of natural polymers from marine and terrestrial organisms, including isolation, characterization, modification, and bioactivity evaluation.

Dr. Lei Wang
Dr. Caoxing Huang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • polysaccharides
  • human health
  • nutraceutical
  • cosmeceutical
  • pharmaceutical

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 2019 KiB  
Article
Targeting Bacterial Nanocellulose Properties through Tailored Downstream Techniques
by Everton Henrique Da Silva Pereira, Marija Mojicevic, Cuneyt Erdinc Tas, Eduardo Lanzagorta Garcia and Margaret Brennan Fournet
Polymers 2024, 16(5), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16050678 - 2 Mar 2024
Viewed by 893
Abstract
Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is a biodegradable polysaccharide with unique properties that make it an attractive material for various industrial applications. This study focuses on the strain Komagataeibacter medellinensis ID13488, a strain with the ability to produce high yields of BNC under acidic growth [...] Read more.
Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is a biodegradable polysaccharide with unique properties that make it an attractive material for various industrial applications. This study focuses on the strain Komagataeibacter medellinensis ID13488, a strain with the ability to produce high yields of BNC under acidic growth conditions and a promising candidate to use for industrial production of BNC. We conducted a comprehensive investigation into the effects of downstream treatments on the structural and mechanical characteristics of BNC. When compared to alkaline-treated BNC, autoclave-treated BNC exhibited around 78% superior flexibility in average, while it displayed nearly 40% lower stiffness on average. An SEM analysis revealed distinct surface characteristics, indicating differences in cellulose chain compaction. FTIR spectra demonstrated increased hydrogen bonding with prolonged interaction time with alkaline solutions. A thermal analysis showed enhanced thermal stability in alkaline-treated BNC, withstanding temperatures of nearly 300 °C before commencing degradation, compared to autoclaved BNC which starts degradation around 200 °C. These findings provide valuable insights for tailoring BNC properties for specific applications, particularly in industries requiring high purity and specific mechanical characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers: Isolation, Modification, and Applications)
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16 pages, 4278 KiB  
Article
Effect of Pulsed Electric Field Treatment on the Protein, Digestibility, and Physicochemical Properties of Starch Granules in Wheat Flour
by Piyada Achayuthakan, Rungtiwa Wongsagonsup, Jiratthitikan Sriprablom, Manop Suphantharika and Panich Intra
Polymers 2023, 15(20), 4087; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15204087 - 14 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
The effect of pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment depends mainly on the electric field strength and treatment time. In this study, wheat flour–water suspensions were treated with PEF at an electric field strength of 3 kV/cm for 0 to 1400 pulses to obtain [...] Read more.
The effect of pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment depends mainly on the electric field strength and treatment time. In this study, wheat flour–water suspensions were treated with PEF at an electric field strength of 3 kV/cm for 0 to 1400 pulses to obtain a specific energy input of 0 to 656 kJ/kg. The effect of PEF on the removal or unfolding of proteins from the starch surface, digestibility, starch granule structure, and physicochemical properties of wheat flour was studied. The removal of proteins from the surface and the damage to the internal structure of wheat starch granules after PEF treatment was detected by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and FTIR. The damage of the PEF-treated wheat starch granules was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). From CLSM results, penetration of dextran (Mw 10,000 Da) into starch granules of wheat flour was dependent on the energy input of PEF. The high the energy input showed the intense penetration of the biopolymer. The benefits of the accessibility of biopolymer in starch granules are to increase enzyme digestion, especially rapidly digestible starch (RDS). The RDS of wheat flour treated with PEF at 656 kJ/kg was 41.72%, whereas the RDS of wheat flour control was 27.59%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers: Isolation, Modification, and Applications)
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11 pages, 6640 KiB  
Article
Protective Effect of Sargassum fusiforme Fucoidan against Ethanol-Induced Oxidative Damage in In Vitro and In Vivo Models
by Lei Wang, Jae-Young Oh, Hye-Won Yang, Jimin Hyun, Ginnae Ahn, Xiaoting Fu, Jiachao Xu, Xin Gao, Seon-Heui Cha and You-Jin Jeon
Polymers 2023, 15(8), 1912; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15081912 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1803
Abstract
Our previous studies have evaluated the bioactivities of a fucoidan isolated from Sargassum fusiforme (SF-F). To further investigate the health benefit of SF-F, in the present study, the protective effect of SF-F against ethanol (EtOH)-induced oxidative damage has been evaluated in in vitro [...] Read more.
Our previous studies have evaluated the bioactivities of a fucoidan isolated from Sargassum fusiforme (SF-F). To further investigate the health benefit of SF-F, in the present study, the protective effect of SF-F against ethanol (EtOH)-induced oxidative damage has been evaluated in in vitro and in vivo models. SF-F effectively improved the viability of EtOH-treated Chang liver cells by suppressing apoptosis. In addition, the in vivo test results indicate that SF-F significantly and dose-dependently increased the survival rate of zebrafish treated with EtOH. Further research results show that this action works through decreasing cell death via reduced lipid peroxidation by scavenging intracellular reactive oxygen species in EtOH-stimulated zebrafish. These results indicate that SF-F effectively protected Chang liver cells and zebrafish against EtOH-induced oxidative damage and suggest the potential of SF-F to be used as an ingredient in the functional food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers: Isolation, Modification, and Applications)
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Review

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29 pages, 1587 KiB  
Review
Chitosan Nanoparticles for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment
by Yedi Herdiana
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3485; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163485 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3119
Abstract
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic ailment that results from the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn and acid regurgitation. This review explores nanotechnology as a novel treatment approach for GERD. Chitosan nanoparticles (CSNPs) offer several advantages, including [...] Read more.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic ailment that results from the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn and acid regurgitation. This review explores nanotechnology as a novel treatment approach for GERD. Chitosan nanoparticles (CSNPs) offer several advantages, including biocompatibility, biodegradability, and targeted drug delivery capabilities. CSNPs have been extensively studied due to their ability to encapsulate and release medications in a controlled manner. Different nanoparticle (NP) delivery systems, including gels, microspheres, and coatings, have been developed to enhance drug retention, drug targeting, and controlled release in the esophagus. These nanoparticles can target specific molecular pathways associated with acid regulation, esophageal tissue protection, and inflammation modulation. However, the optimization of nanoparticle formulations faces challenges, including ensuring stability, scalability, and regulatory compliance. The future may see CSNPs combined with other treatments like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or mucosal protectants for a synergistic therapeutic approach. Thus, CSNPs provide exciting opportunities for novel GERD treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers: Isolation, Modification, and Applications)
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22 pages, 1634 KiB  
Review
Chitosan-Based Polymer Blends for Drug Delivery Systems
by Malkiet Kaur, Ameya Sharma, Vivek Puri, Geeta Aggarwal, Paramjot Maman, Kampanart Huanbutta, Manju Nagpal and Tanikan Sangnim
Polymers 2023, 15(9), 2028; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15092028 - 25 Apr 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3627
Abstract
Polymers have been widely used for the development of drug delivery systems accommodating the regulated release of therapeutic agents in consistent doses over a long period, cyclic dosing, and the adjustable release of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs. Nowadays, polymer blends are increasingly [...] Read more.
Polymers have been widely used for the development of drug delivery systems accommodating the regulated release of therapeutic agents in consistent doses over a long period, cyclic dosing, and the adjustable release of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs. Nowadays, polymer blends are increasingly employed in drug development as they generate more promising results when compared to those of homopolymers. This review article describes the recent research efforts focusing on the utilization of chitosan blends with other polymers in an attempt to enhance the properties of chitosan. Furthermore, the various applications of chitosan blends in drug delivery are thoroughly discussed herein. The literature from the past ten years was collected using various search engines such as ScienceDirect, J-Gate, Google Scholar, PubMed, and research data were compiled according to the various novel carrier systems. Nanocarriers made from chitosan and chitosan derivatives have a positive surface charge, which allows for control of the rate, duration, and location of drug release in the body, and can increase the safety and efficacy of the delivery system. Recently developed nanocarriers using chitosan blends have been shown to be cost-effective, more efficacious, and prolonged release carriers that can be incorporated into suitable dosage forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers: Isolation, Modification, and Applications)
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