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      Alginate: From Food Industry to Biomedical Applications and Management of Metabolic Disorders


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          Initially used extensively as an additive and ingredient in the food industry, alginate has become an important compound for a wide range of industries and applications, such as the medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors. In the food industry, alginate has been used to coat fruits and vegetables, as a microbial and viral protection product, and as a gelling, thickening, stabilizing or emulsifying agent. Its biocompatibility, biodegradability, nontoxicity and the possibility of it being used in quantum satis doses prompted scientists to explore new properties for alginate usage. Thus, the use of alginate has been expanded so as to be directed towards the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, where studies have shown that it can be used successfully as biomaterial for wound, hydrogel, and aerogel dressings, among others. Furthermore, the ability to encapsulate natural substances has led to the possibility of using alginate as a drug coating and drug delivery agent, including the encapsulation of probiotics. This is important considering the fact that, until recently, encapsulation and coating agents used in the pharmaceutical industry were limited to the use of lactose, a potentially allergenic agent or gelatin. Obtained at a relatively low cost from marine brown algae, this hydrocolloid can also be used as a potential tool in the management of diabetes, not only as an insulin delivery agent but also due to its ability to improve insulin resistance, attenuate chronic inflammation and decrease oxidative stress. In addition, alginate has been recognized as a potential weight loss treatment, as alginate supplementation has been used as an adjunct treatment to energy restriction, to enhance satiety and improve weight loss in obese individuals. Thus, alginate holds the promise of an effective product used in the food industry as well as in the management of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity. This review highlights recent research advances on the characteristics of alginate and brings to the forefront the beneficial aspects of using alginate, from the food industry to the biomedical field.

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          Alginate: properties and biomedical applications.

          Alginate is a biomaterial that has found numerous applications in biomedical science and engineering due to its favorable properties, including biocompatibility and ease of gelation. Alginate hydrogels have been particularly attractive in wound healing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering applications to date, as these gels retain structural similarity to the extracellular matrices in tissues and can be manipulated to play several critical roles. This review will provide a comprehensive overview of general properties of alginate and its hydrogels, their biomedical applications, and suggest new perspectives for future studies with these polymers.
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            Degradable Controlled-Release Polymers and Polymeric Nanoparticles: Mechanisms of Controlling Drug Release.

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              Alginate derivatization: a review of chemistry, properties and applications.

              Alginates have become an extremely important family of polysaccharides because of their utility in preparing hydrogels at mild pH and temperature conditions, suitable for sensitive biomolecules like proteins and nucleic acids, and even for living cells such as islets of Langerhans. In addition, the complex monosaccharide sequences of alginates, and our growing ability to create controlled sequences by the action of isolated epimerases upon the alginate precursor poly(mannuronic acid), create remarkable opportunities for understanding the relationship of properties to sequence in natural alginates (control of monosaccharide sequence being perhaps the greatest synthetic challenge in polysaccharide chemistry). There is however a trend in recent years to create "value-added" alginates, by performing derivatization reactions on the polysaccharide backbone. For example, chemical derivatization may enable alginates to achieve enhanced hydroxyapatite (HAP) nucleation and growth, heparin-like anticoagulation properties, improved cell-surface interactions, degradability, or tuning of the hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance for optimum drug release. The creation of synthetic derivatives therefore has the potential to empower the next generation of applications for alginates. Herein we review progress towards controlled synthesis of alginate derivatives, and the properties and applications of these derivatives. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Polymers (Basel)
                Polymers (Basel)
                20 October 2020
                October 2020
                : 12
                : 10
                : 2417
                [1 ]Department of Health and Human Development, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, 720229 Suceava, Romania; roxana.puscaselu@ 123456usm.ro (R.G.P.); andrei.lobiuc@ 123456usm.ro (A.L.)
                [2 ]Department of Computers, Electronics and Automation, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, 720229 Suceava, Romania; dimian@ 123456usm.ro
                [3 ]Integrated Center for Research, Development and Innovation in Advanced Materials, Nanotechnologies, and Distributed Systems for Fabrication and Control, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, 720229 Suceava, Romania
                [4 ]Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: mcovasa@ 123456westernu.edu
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 01 September 2020
                : 16 October 2020

                drug delivery,wound dressing,metabolic disorders,microbiome,weight control,probiotics,diabetes


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