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Biotechnol Adv. 2003 Oct;21(7):585-98.

Producing drugs from marine sponges.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería, 04071 Almería, Spain.


Marine sponges are potential sources of many unique metabolites, including cytotoxic and anticancer compounds. Natural sponge populations are insufficient or inaccessible for producing commercial quantities of metabolites of interest. This review focuses on methods of producing sponge biomass to overcome supply limitations. Production techniques discussed include aquaculture in the sea, the controlled environments of aquariums, and culture of sponge cells and primmorphs. Cultivation in the sea and aquariums are currently the only practicable and relatively inexpensive methods of producing significant quantities of sponge biomass. In the future, metabolite production from cultured sponge cells and primmorphs may become feasible. Obtaining a consistent biomass yield in aquariums requires attention to many factors that are discussed in this work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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