Curr Pharm Des 2019 ;25(11):1147-1162
School of Chemical and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
Background: In recent decades, there has been an increased interest in the utilization of polysaccharides showing biological activity for various novel applications owing to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, and some specific therapeutic activities. Increasing studies have started in the past few years to develop algal polysaccharides-based biomaterials for various applications.
Methods: Saccharide mapping or enzymatic profiling plays a role in quality control of polysaccharides. Whereby, in vitro and in vivo tests as well as toxicity level discriminating polysaccharides biological activities. Extraction and purification methods are performed in obtaining algal derived polysaccharides followed by chromatographic profiles of their active compounds, structural features, physicochemical properties, and reported biological activities.
Results: Marine algae are capable of synthesizing Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and non-GAGs or GAG mimetics such as sulfated glycans. The cell walls of algae are rich in sulfated polysaccharides, including alginate, carrageenan, ulvan and fucoidan. These biopolymers are widely used algal-derived polysaccharides for biological and biomedical applications due to their biocompatibility and availability. They constitute biochemical compounds that have multi-functionalization, therapeutic potential and immunomodulatory abilities, making them promising bioactive products and biomaterials with a wide range of biomedical applications.
Conclusion: Algal-derived polysaccharides with clearly elucidated compositions/structures, identified cellular activities, as well as desirable physical properties have shown the potential that may create new opportunities. They could be maximally exploited to serve as therapeutic tools such as immunoregulatory agents or drug delivery vehicles. Hence, novel strategies could be applied to tailor multi-functionalization of the polysaccharides from algal species with vast biomedical application potentials.