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Biomedical Applications of Polysaccharides

  • Conrad Schuerch

Abstract

Progress has been made in correlating physical properties of soluble, insoluble, gel-, film-, and fiber-forming polysaccharides with their molecular and supermolecular structure and conformation.

Products derived from polysaccharides are available for ion exchange, for gel permeation or gel filtration, or affinity and conventional chromatographies, as gel media for microbial cultures, for electrophoresis, and so on. Polysaccharides are used as demulcents, in drug formulations, for dental-impression materials, dusting powders, hemostatics, and for treatment of mild intestinal disorders. They are used for plasma replacement, and as anticoagulants both in solution and as surface treatment on artificial organs. Polysaccharides are converted into bioactive textiles and are formed into membranes and hollow fibers for hemofiltration and hemodialysis. They can control the release of drugs as polymeric carriers or by means of microencapsulation. They have been used to enhance the rate of healing in surgery and burn therapy.

Polysaccharides are important components of interstitial fluids and connective tissue, providing mechanical strength and lubrication. Shorter sequences of saccharides on soluble proteins and on cell surfaces maintain conformation and act as important antigens interacting with soluble and membrane-bound proteins. Similar interactions control inter- and intra-cellular transport of proteins and their removal from blood serum; are involved in control of tissue growth by contact inhibition; and are also involved in bloodtyping. They can also be used to distinguish normal from malignant cells, in cell surface investigations, radioimmunoassay, and in targeting drugs to specific tissues. Similarly, the extracellular polysaccharides and surface carbohydrates of bacteria activate the immune system and are used as vaccines and adjuvants.

Keywords

Cellulose Acetate Hollow Fiber Capsular Polysaccharide Cellulose Derivative Leuconostoc Mesenteroides 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conrad Schuerch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA

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