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Biotechnol Adv. 2007 Nov-Dec;25(6):537-57. Epub 2007 Jul 18.

The many ways to cleave hyaluronan.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0511, USA.


Hyaluronan is being used increasingly as a component of artificial matrices and in bioengineering for tissue scaffolding. The length of hyaluronan polymer chains is now recognized as informational, involving a wide variety of size-specific functions. Inadvertent scission of hyaluronan can occur during the process of preparation. On the other hand, certain size-specific hyaluronan fragments may be desirable, endowing the finished bioengineered product with specific properties. In this review, the vast arrays of reactions that cause scission of hyaluronan polymers is presented, including those on an enzymatic, free radical, and chemical basis.

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