Special Issue "Biocompatible Polymers"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Marek M. Kowalczuk
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of Biology, Chemistry and Forensic Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
2. Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, Zabrze, Poland
Interests: biocompatible and biodegradable polymers; polymer mass spectrometry; bioactive oligomers; controlled drug delivery systems; ring-opening polymerization; forensic engineering of advanced polymeric materials
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The definition of biocompatibility was re-defined ten years ago, as follows: “Biocompatibility refers to the ability of a biomaterial to perform its desired function with respect to a medical therapy, without eliciting any undesirable local or systemic effects in the recipient or beneficiary of that therapy, but generating the most appropriate beneficial cellular or tissue response in that specific situation, and optimising the clinically relevant performance of that therapy”, which reflects current developments in the area of biocompatible polymers. Biocompatible polymeric materials are presently use as, e.g., long-term implantable medical devices, degradable implantable systems, transient invasive intravascular devices, and, recently, as tissue engineering scaffolds.

The biosafety of biocompatible polymers needs prediction, evaluation and indication on potential complications arising from their use and the formation of their degradation products. Thus, the methodology of forensic engineering of advanced polymeric materials is currently being developed in the area of biocompatible polymers.

This Special Issue welcomes full papers and short communications highlighting the aspects of the current trends in the area of biocompatible polymers.

Prof. Marek M. Kowalczuk
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Structure-property relationships of biocompatible polymers
  • Characterization of biocompatible polymers
  • Biodegradable polymers for medical applications
  • Biosafety of biocompatible polymeric materials
  • 3-D polymeric scaffolds

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
One Year Evaluation of Material Properties Changes of Polylactide Parts in Various Hydrolytic Degradation Conditions
Polymers 2019, 11(9), 1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11091496 - 13 Sep 2019
Abstract
Biodegradable biocompatible materials are widely used in medical applications. Determining the possibility of using biodegradable materials depends on determining the changes in their parameters over time due to degradation. The current scientific research on biodegradable materials has presented results based on research methods [...] Read more.
Biodegradable biocompatible materials are widely used in medical applications. Determining the possibility of using biodegradable materials depends on determining the changes in their parameters over time due to degradation. The current scientific research on biodegradable materials has presented results based on research methods characterized by the different geometry and cross-section size of the specimen, type of degradation medium, or different pH value of the medium or maximum degradation time. This paper presents the results of a one-year study on the influence of the type of degradation medium on the changes in mechanical behavior and the uptake of the degradation medium by biodegradable specimens with large cross-sections. In addition, a prototype of a test stand was created, which allowed for the specimens to be stored vertically to ensure regular medium exposure and eliminate the interaction of the surface of the tested specimens with the sides of the container. The obtained results allowed the statistical significance of differences in the mechanical parameters determined in the uniaxial tensile test after 2, 4, 6, 12, 26, 39, and 52 weeks of degradation to be indicated depending on the type of degradation medium. It was proven that the changes in mechanical behavior depend on the percentage change in the mass of the specimens during degradation. The percentage change in mass depends on the type of degradation medium. Based on the results of this research, it was noted that in long-term degradation above 12 weeks, buffered sodium chloride solution is the optimal choice for the degradation medium. However, distilled water or physiological saline solution can be used as an alternative during the degradation period for up to 12 weeks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Pluronic F127-Folate Coated Super Paramagenic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as Contrast Agent for Cancer Diagnosis in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040743 - 25 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Contrast agents have been widely used in medicine to enhance contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Among them, super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) have been reported to have low risk in clinical use. In our study, F127-Folate coated SPION was fabricated in [...] Read more.
Contrast agents have been widely used in medicine to enhance contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Among them, super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) have been reported to have low risk in clinical use. In our study, F127-Folate coated SPION was fabricated in order to efficiently target tumors and provide imaging contrast in MRI. SPION alone have an average core size of 15 nm. After stabilizing with Pluronic F127, the nanoparticles reached a hydrodynamic size of 180 nm and dispersed well in various kinds of media. The F127-Folate coated SPION were shown to specifically target folate receptor expressing cancer cells by flow cytometry analysis, confocal laser scanning microscope, as well as in vitro MRI. Furthermore, in vivo MRI images have shown the enhanced negative contrast from the F127-Folate coated SPION in tumor-bearing mice. In conclusion, our F127-Folate coated SPION have shown great potential as a contrast agent in MRI, as well as in the combination with drug delivery for cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Characterization and Cytotoxicity of Novel Thermoresponsive Star Copolymers of N,N′-Dimethylaminoethyl Methacrylate and Hydroxyl-Bearing Oligo(Ethylene Glycol) Methacrylate
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111255 - 12 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Novel, nontoxic star copolymers of N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and hydroxyl-bearing oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate (OEGMA-OH) were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) using hyperbranched poly(arylene oxindole) as the macroinitiator. Stars with molar masses from 100,000 g/mol to 257,000 g/mol and [...] Read more.
Novel, nontoxic star copolymers of N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and hydroxyl-bearing oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate (OEGMA-OH) were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) using hyperbranched poly(arylene oxindole) as the macroinitiator. Stars with molar masses from 100,000 g/mol to 257,000 g/mol and with various amounts of OEGMA-OH in the arms were prepared. As these polymers can find applications, e.g., as carriers of nucleic acids, drugs or antibacterial or antifouling agents, in this work, much attention has been devoted to exploring their solution behavior and their stimuli-responsive properties. The behavior of the stars was studied in aqueous solutions under various pH and temperature conditions, as well as in PBS buffer, in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) and in organic solvents for comparison. The results indicated that increasing the content of hydrophilic OEGMA-OH units in the arms up to 10 mol% increased the cloud point temperature. For the stars with an OEGMA-OH content of 10 mol%, the thermo- and pH-responsivity was switched off. Since cytotoxicity experiments have shown that the obtained stars are less toxic than homopolymer DMAEMA stars, the presented studies confirmed that the prepared polymers are great candidates for the design of various nanosystems for biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Cell Uptake and Biocompatibility of Nanoparticles Prepared from Poly(benzyl malate) (Co)polymers Obtained through Chemical and Enzymatic Polymerization in Human HepaRG Cells and Primary Macrophages
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111244 - 10 Nov 2018
Abstract
The design of drug-loaded nanoparticles (NPs) appears to be a suitable strategy for the prolonged plasma concentration of therapeutic payloads, higher bioavailability, and the reduction of side effects compared with classical chemotherapies. In most cases, NPs are prepared from (co)polymers obtained through chemical [...] Read more.
The design of drug-loaded nanoparticles (NPs) appears to be a suitable strategy for the prolonged plasma concentration of therapeutic payloads, higher bioavailability, and the reduction of side effects compared with classical chemotherapies. In most cases, NPs are prepared from (co)polymers obtained through chemical polymerization. However, procedures have been developed to synthesize some polymers via enzymatic polymerization in the absence of chemical initiators. The aim of this work was to compare the acute in vitro cytotoxicities and cell uptake of NPs prepared from poly(benzyl malate) (PMLABe) synthesized by chemical and enzymatic polymerization. Herein, we report the synthesis and characterization of eight PMLABe-based polymers. Corresponding NPs were produced, their cytotoxicity was studied in hepatoma HepaRG cells, and their uptake by primary macrophages and HepaRG cells was measured. In vitro cell viability evidenced a mild toxicity of the NPs only at high concentrations/densities of NPs in culture media. These data did not evidence a higher biocompatibility of the NPs prepared from enzymatic polymerization, and further demonstrated that chemical polymerization and the nanoprecipitation procedure led to biocompatible PMLABe-based NPs. In contrast, NPs produced from enzymatically synthesized polymers were more efficiently internalized than NPs produced from chemically synthesized polymers. The efficient uptake, combined with low cytotoxicity, indicate that PMLABe-based NPs are suitable nanovectors for drug delivery, deserving further evaluation in vivo to target either hepatocytes or resident liver macrophages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Contraction and Hydroscopic Expansion Stress of Dental Ion-Releasing Polymeric Materials
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101093 - 02 Oct 2018
Abstract
Ion-releasing polymeric restorative materials seem to be promising solutions, due to their possible anticaries effect. However, acid functional groups (monomers) and glass filler increase hydrophilicity and, supposedly, water sorption. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the influence of water sorption of [...] Read more.
Ion-releasing polymeric restorative materials seem to be promising solutions, due to their possible anticaries effect. However, acid functional groups (monomers) and glass filler increase hydrophilicity and, supposedly, water sorption. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the influence of water sorption of polymeric materials on the stress state at the restoration-tooth interface. Beautifil Bulk Fill Flow, Beautifil Flow Plus F00, Beautifil Flow F02, Dyract eXtra, Compoglass Flow, Ionosit, Glasiosite, TwinkiStar, Ionolux and Fuji II LC were used for the study. The stress state was measured using photoelastic analysis after: 0.5, 24, 72, 96, 168, 240, 336, 504, 672, 1344 and 2016 h. Moreover, water sorption, solubility and absorption dynamic were assessed. The water sorption, solubility and absorption dynamic of ion-releasing restorative materials are material dependent properties. The overall results indicated that the tested restorative materials showed significant stress decrease. The total reduction in contraction stress and water expansion stress was not observed for materials with low value of water sorption (Beautifil Bulk Fill, Dyract eXtra, Glasionosit and Twinky Star). The photoelastic method turned out to be inadequate to evaluate stress changes of resin modified glass-ionomer cement (RMGI, Fuji II LC and Ionolux). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Biophysical Characterization of Poly (l-Lactic) Acid Microcarriers with and without Modification of Chitosan and Nanohydroxyapatite
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101061 - 25 Sep 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Nowadays, microcarriers are widely utilized in drug delivery, defect filling, and cell culture. Also, many researchers focus on the combination of synthetic and natural polymers and bioactive ceramics to prepare composite biomaterials for tissue engineering and regeneration. In this study, three kinds of [...] Read more.
Nowadays, microcarriers are widely utilized in drug delivery, defect filling, and cell culture. Also, many researchers focus on the combination of synthetic and natural polymers and bioactive ceramics to prepare composite biomaterials for tissue engineering and regeneration. In this study, three kinds of microcarriers were prepared based on physical doping and surface modification, named Poly (l-lactic) acid (PLLA), PLLA/nanohydroxyapatite (PLLA/nHA), and PLLA/nHA/Chitosan (PLLA/nHA/Ch). The physicochemical properties of the microcarriers and their functional performances in MC3T3-E1 cell culture were compared. Statistical results showed that the average diameter of PLLA microcarriers was 291.9 ± 30.7 μm, and that of PLLA/nHA and PLLA/nHA/Ch microcarriers decreased to 275.7 ± 30.6 μm and 269.4 ± 26.3 μm, respectively. The surface roughness and protein adsorption of microcarriers were enhanced with the doping of nHA and coating of chitosan. The cell-carrier cultivation stated that the PLLA/nHA microcarriers had the greatest proliferation-promoting effect, while the PLLA/nHA/Ch microcarriers performed the strongest attachment with MC3T3-E1 cells. Besides, the cells on the PLLA/nHA/Ch microcarriers exhibited optimal osteogenic expression. Generally, chitosan was found to improve microcarriers with superior characteristics in cell adhesion and differentiation, and nanohydroxyapatite was beneficial for microcarriers regarding sphericity and cell proliferation. Overall, the modified microcarriers may be considered as a promising tool for bone tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Properties of Silk Fibroin/Konjac Glucomannan Blend Beads
Polymers 2018, 10(8), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080923 - 18 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Silk fibroin (SF) and konjac glucomannan (KGM) are promising materials in the biomedical field due to their low toxicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immune response. Beads of these natural polymers are interesting scaffolds for biomedical applications, but their fabrication is a challenge due [...] Read more.
Silk fibroin (SF) and konjac glucomannan (KGM) are promising materials in the biomedical field due to their low toxicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immune response. Beads of these natural polymers are interesting scaffolds for biomedical applications, but their fabrication is a challenge due to their low stability and the necessary adaptation of their chemical and mechanical properties to be successfully applied. In that sense, this study aimed to synthesize a blend of silk fibroin and konjac glucomannan (SF/KGM) in the form of porous beads obtained through dripping into liquid nitrogen, with a post-treatment using ethanol. Intermolecular hydrogen bonds promoted the integration of SF and KGM. Treated beads showed higher porous size, crystallinity, and stability than untreated beads. Characterization analyses by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric (TGA), and X-ray diffraction (XDR) evidenced that ethanol treatment allows a conformational transition from silk I to silk II in SF and an increase in the KGM deacetylation. Those chemical changes significantly enhanced the mechanical resistance of SF/KGM beads in comparison to pure SF and KGM beads. Moreover, samples showed cytocompatibility with HaCaT and BALB/c 3T3 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustained Delivery of Analgesic and Antimicrobial Agents to Knee Joint by Direct Injections of Electrosprayed Multipharmaceutical-Loaded Nano/Microparticles
Polymers 2018, 10(8), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080890 - 09 Aug 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, we developed biodegradable lidocaine–/vancomycin–/ceftazidime–eluting poly(d,l–lactide–co–glycolide) (PLGA) nano/microparticulate carriers using an electrospraying process, and we evaluated the release behaviors of the carriers in knee joints. To prepare the particles, predetermined weight percentages of PLGA, vancomycin, [...] Read more.
In this study, we developed biodegradable lidocaine–/vancomycin–/ceftazidime–eluting poly(d,l–lactide–co–glycolide) (PLGA) nano/microparticulate carriers using an electrospraying process, and we evaluated the release behaviors of the carriers in knee joints. To prepare the particles, predetermined weight percentages of PLGA, vancomycin, ceftazidime, and lidocaine were dissolved in solvents. The PLGA/antibiotic/lidocaine solutions were then fed into a syringe for electrospraying. After electrospraying, the morphology of the sprayed nano/microparticles was elucidated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The in vitro antibiotic/analgesic release characteristics of the nano/microparticles were studied using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In addition, drug release to the synovial tissues and fluids was studied in vivo by injecting drug-loaded nano/microparticles into the knee joints of rabbits. The biodegradable electrosprayed nano/microparticles released high concentrations of vancomycin/ceftazidime (well above the minimum inhibition concentration) and lidocaine into the knee joints for more than 2 weeks and for over 3 days, respectively. Such results suggest that electrosprayed biodegradable nano/microcarriers could be used for the long-term local delivery of various pharmaceuticals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Biomass Extraction Using Non-Chlorinated Solvents for Biocompatibility Improvement of Polyhydroxyalkanoates
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070731 - 03 Jul 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
An economically viable method to extract polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from cells is desirable for this biodegradable polymer of potential biomedical applications. In this work, two non-chlorinated solvents, cyclohexanone and γ-butyrolactone, were examined for extracting PHA produced by the bacterial strain Cupriavidus necator H16 cultivated [...] Read more.
An economically viable method to extract polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from cells is desirable for this biodegradable polymer of potential biomedical applications. In this work, two non-chlorinated solvents, cyclohexanone and γ-butyrolactone, were examined for extracting PHA produced by the bacterial strain Cupriavidus necator H16 cultivated on vegetable oil as a sole carbon source. The PHA produced was determined as a poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) homopolyester. The extraction kinetics of the two solvents was determined using gel permeation chromatography (GPC). When cyclohexanone was used as the extraction solvent at 120 °C in 3 min, 95% of the PHB was recovered from the cells with a similar purity to that extracted using chloroform. With a decrease in temperature, the recovery yield decreased. At the same temperatures, the recovery yield of γ-butyrolactone was significantly lower. The effect of the two solvents on the quality of the extracted PHB was also examined using GPC and elemental analysis. The molar mass and dispersity of the obtained polymer were similar to that extracted using chloroform, while the nitrogen content of the PHB extracted using the two new solvents was slightly higher. In a nutshell, cyclohexanone in particular was identified as an expedient candidate to efficiently drive novel, sustainable PHA extraction processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation, Physicochemical Properties and Hemocompatibility of Biodegradable Chitooligosaccharide-Based Polyurethane
Polymers 2018, 10(6), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10060580 - 24 May 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop a process to achieve biodegradable chitooligosaccharide-based polyurethane (CPU) with improved hemocompatibility and mechanical properties. A series of CPUs with varying chitooligosaccharide (COS) content were prepared according to the conventional two-step method. First, the prepolymer was [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to develop a process to achieve biodegradable chitooligosaccharide-based polyurethane (CPU) with improved hemocompatibility and mechanical properties. A series of CPUs with varying chitooligosaccharide (COS) content were prepared according to the conventional two-step method. First, the prepolymer was synthesized from poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and uniform-size diurethane diisocyanates (HBH). Then, the prepolymer was chain-extended by COS in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) to obtain the weak-crosslinked CPU, and the corresponding films were obtained from the DMF solution by the solvent evaporation method. The uniform-size hard segments and slight crosslinking of CPU were beneficial for enhancing the mechanical properties, which were one of the essential requirements for long-term implant biomaterials. The chemical structure was characterized by FT-IR, and the influence of COS content in CPU on the physicochemical properties and hemocompatibility was extensively researched. The thermal stability studies indicated that the CPU films had lower initial decomposition temperature and higher maximum decomposition temperature than pure polyurethane (CPU-1.0) film. The ultimate stress, initial modulus, and surface hydrophilicity increased with the increment of COS content, while the strain at break and water absorption decreased, which was due to the increment of crosslinking density. The results of in vitro degradation signified that the degradation rate increased with the increasing content of COS in CPU, demonstrating that the degradation rate could be controlled by adjusting COS content. The surface hemocompatibility was examined by protein adsorption and platelet adhesion tests. It was found that the CPU films had improved resistance to protein adsorption and possessed good resistance to platelet adhesion. The slow degradation rate and good hemocompatibility of the CPUs showed great potential in blood-contacting devices. In addition, many active amino and hydroxyl groups contained in the structure of CPU could carry out further modification, which made it an excellent candidate for wide application in biomedical field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Delivery System for the Controlled Release~of Antimicrobial Peptides: Citropin 1.1 and Temporin A
Polymers 2018, 10(5), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10050489 - 02 May 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are prospective therapeutic options for treating multiple-strain infections. However, clinical and commercial development of AMPs has some limitations due to their limited stability, low bioavailability, and potential hemotoxicity. The purpose of this study was to develop new polymeric carriers as [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are prospective therapeutic options for treating multiple-strain infections. However, clinical and commercial development of AMPs has some limitations due to their limited stability, low bioavailability, and potential hemotoxicity. The purpose of this study was to develop new polymeric carriers as highly controlled release devices for amphibian peptides citropin 1.1 (CIT) and temporin A (TEMP). The release rate of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) was strongly dependent on the API characteristics and the matrix microstructure. In the current work, we investigated the effect of the polymer microstructure on in vitro release kinetics of AMPs. Non-contact laser profilometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to determine the structural changes during matrix degradation. Moreover, geno- and cytotoxicity of the synthesized new carriers were evaluated. The in vitro release study of AMPs from the obtained non-toxic matrices shows that peptides were released with near-zero-order kinetics. The peptide “burst release” effect was not observed. New devices have reached the therapeutic concentration of AMPs within 24 h and maintained it for 28 days. Hence, our results suggest that these polymeric devices could be potentially used as therapeutic options for the treatment of local infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070701 - 25 Jun 2018
Cited by 17
Abstract
Since its first isolation in 1934, hyaluronic acid (HA) has been studied across a variety of research areas. This unbranched glycosaminoglycan consisting of repeating disaccharide units of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine and d-glucuronic acid is almost ubiquitous in humans and in other [...] Read more.
Since its first isolation in 1934, hyaluronic acid (HA) has been studied across a variety of research areas. This unbranched glycosaminoglycan consisting of repeating disaccharide units of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine and d-glucuronic acid is almost ubiquitous in humans and in other vertebrates. HA is involved in many key processes, including cell signaling, wound reparation, tissue regeneration, morphogenesis, matrix organization and pathobiology, and has unique physico-chemical properties, such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, mucoadhesivity, hygroscopicity and viscoelasticity. For these reasons, exogenous HA has been investigated as a drug delivery system and treatment in cancer, ophthalmology, arthrology, pneumology, rhinology, urology, aesthetic medicine and cosmetics. To improve and customize its properties and applications, HA can be subjected to chemical modifications: conjugation and crosslinking. The present review gives an overview regarding HA, describing its history, physico-chemical, structural and hydrodynamic properties and biology (occurrence, biosynthesis (by hyaluronan synthases), degradation (by hyaluronidases and oxidative stress), roles, mechanisms of action and receptors). Furthermore, both conventional and recently emerging methods developed for the industrial production of HA and its chemical derivatization are presented. Finally, the medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications of HA and its derivatives are reviewed, reporting examples of HA-based products that currently are on the market or are undergoing further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
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