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Int J Mol Sci. 2012 Oct 30;13(11):14002-15. doi: 10.3390/ijms131114002.

Bacterial exopolysaccharides: functionality and prospects.

Author information

1
Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa. UNwodo@ufh.ac.za.

Abstract

Diverse structural, functional and valuable polysaccharides are synthesized by bacteria of all taxa and secreted into the external environment. These polysaccharides are referred to as exopolysaccharides and they may either be homopolymeric or heteropolymeric in composition and of diverse high molecular weights (10 to 1000 kDa). The material properties of exopolysaccharides have revolutionized the industrial and medical sectors due to their retinue of functional applications and prospects. These applications have been extensive in areas such as pharmacological, nutraceutical, functional food, cosmeceutical, herbicides and insecticides among others, while prospects includes uses as anticoagulant, antithrombotic, immunomodulation, anticancer and as bioflocculants. Due to the extensive applications of bacterial exopolysaccharides, this overview provides basic information on their physiologic and morphologic functions as well as their applications and prospects in the medical and industrial sectors.

PMID:
23203046
PMCID:
PMC3509562
DOI:
10.3390/ijms131114002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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