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Biological Polysaccharides: Advances and Challenges

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 2792

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Green Processes Center, Department of Chemical Engineering, Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, Beer-Sheva 8410001, Israel
Interests: antiviral bioactivity; antioxidants; drug delivery; glycosylation; inflammation; red algae; renewable polysaccharides; rheology; structure and function of polysaccharides
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biodegradable and renewable, polysaccharides derived from various organisms comprise diverse functional groups and are characterized by unique, physicochemical properties. Moreover, some possess beneficial bioactivities—e.g., anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and antitumor—which render them potential candidates in a variety of biotechnology applications. Indeed, many of these natural polysaccharides are already being used in the biomedical, cosmetics, and food industries, among others. In addition, they are highly flexible, able to be used in different forms, e.g., as hydrogels, xerogels, fibers, films, and nanoparticles, according to the specific needs of the application. Due to their complex structural forms and biodiversity, however, much work remains to be carried out before their true potential applicability can be realized.

This Special Issue of IJMS entitled “Biological Polysaccharides: Advance and Challenge” aims to provide a thorough, up-to-date summary of the latest advances in the development of renewable polysaccharides as bio-inspired materials. I seek contributions from researchers with the relevant expertise to provide IJMS readers with fundamental knowledge about the current state of the art of polysaccharide research in both the basic and bio-applied sciences, including but not limited to the fundamental study of polysaccharide bioactivities, drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and wound healing.

I hope that the upcoming Special Issue will open the door to new ideas about and further research into the uses of polysaccharides in various biotechnological applications. 

Dr. Oshrat Levy-Ontman
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • applications
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidants
  • bioactivities
  • drug delivery
  • polysaccharides
  • structural characterization
  • renewability
  • wound healing

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1476 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Drug-Loading and Release Ability of FucoPol Hydrogel Membranes
by Diana Araújo, Matilde Martins and Filomena Freitas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(19), 14591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241914591 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1145
Abstract
The polysaccharide FucoPol has recently been shown to yield hydrogel membranes (HMs) characterized by good mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and anti-inflammatory activity that render them promising biomaterials for use in the biomedical field. Subsequently to such findings, envisaging their development into novel delivery systems [...] Read more.
The polysaccharide FucoPol has recently been shown to yield hydrogel membranes (HMs) characterized by good mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and anti-inflammatory activity that render them promising biomaterials for use in the biomedical field. Subsequently to such findings, envisaging their development into novel delivery systems for topical applications, in this study, FucoPol HMs prepared by crosslinking the biopolymer with iron cations were loaded with caffeine or diclofenac sodium as model drugs. Two loading methods, namely diffusion and mixing, were applied to evaluate the FucoPol’s HM drug-loading capacity and entrapment efficiency. The diffusion method led to a higher caffeine loading (101.9 ± 19.1 mg/g) in the HM1_DCAF membranes, while the mixing method resulted in a higher diclofenac sodium loading (82.3 ± 5.1 mg/g) in the HM1_DDS membranes. The HM1_DCAF membranes were characterized by increased mechanical and rheological parameters, such as their hardness (130.0 ± 5.3 kPa) and storage modulus (1014.9 ± 109.7 Pa), compared to the HM1_DDS membranes that exhibited lower values (7.3 ± 1.2 kPa and 19.8 ± 3.8 Pa, respectively), probably due to leaching occurring during the drug-loading process. The release profiles revealed a fast release of both APIs from the membranes loaded by diffusion, while a prolonged and sustained release was obtained from the membranes loaded by mixing. Moreover, for all API-loaded membranes, the release mechanism followed Fickian diffusion, with the release rate being essentially governed by the diffusion process. These findings, together with their previously shown biological properties, support the suitability of the developed FucoPol HMs to be used as platforms for the topical delivery of drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Polysaccharides: Advances and Challenges)
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12 pages, 3043 KiB  
Article
Studying the Relationship between the Antiviral Activity and the Structure of ἰ-Carrageenan Using Ultrasonication
by Oshrat Levy-Ontman, Eiman Abu-Galiyun and Mahmoud Huleihel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(18), 14200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241814200 - 17 Sep 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
ἰ-carrageenan is a linear macroalgal polysaccharide that is well known for its antiviral bioactivity. Although it is considered a candidate for antiviral therapeutics, its application is highly limited due to its low solubility and high viscosity, which lower its adsorption efficiency. With the [...] Read more.
ἰ-carrageenan is a linear macroalgal polysaccharide that is well known for its antiviral bioactivity. Although it is considered a candidate for antiviral therapeutics, its application is highly limited due to its low solubility and high viscosity, which lower its adsorption efficiency. With the aim of deriving an active ἰ-carrageenan fragment with an improved adsorption capacity, we studied the effects of ultrasonication on structural changes in ἰ-carrageenan with respect to changes in its bioactivity against herpesviruses. An FTIR analysis revealed that ultrasonication increased the hydrophilicity of ἰ-carrageenan without changing its functional groups, and a rheological analysis demonstrated that it gradually decreased the strength of the polysaccharide gel, which completely lost its gel structure and formed small nanoparticles after 30 min of ultrasonication. Concomitantly with these physicochemical changes, a plaque assay revealed that longer ultrasonication increased the antiviral activity of ἰ-carrageenan against two herpesviruses, namely, HSV-1 and VZV. Finally, we separated the 30-min ultrasonicated ἰ-carrageenan into four fractions and found that fractions with a lower molecular weight were significantly less active against both herpesviruses than those with a higher molecular weight. Our findings show that ultrasonication induces physicochemical changes in ἰ-carrageenan that increase its antiviral bioactivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Polysaccharides: Advances and Challenges)
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