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Carbohydr Polym. 2015 May 5;121:27-36. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.11.063. Epub 2014 Dec 31.

Review for carrageenan-based pharmaceutical biomaterials: favourable physical features versus adverse biological effects.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomas Pereira, Taipa, Macau.
2
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomas Pereira, Taipa, Macau. Electronic address: CMWang@umac.mo.

Abstract

Carrageenan (CRG) is a family of natural polysaccharides derived from seaweeds and has widely been used as food additives. In the past decade, owing to its attractive physicochemical properties, CRG has been developed into versatile biomaterials vehicles for drug delivery. Nevertheless, studies also emerged to reveal its adverse effects on the biological system. In this review, we critically appraise the latest literature (two thirds since 2008) on the development of CRG-based pharmaceutical vehicles and the perspective of using CRG for broader biomedical applications. We focus on how current strategies exploit the unique gelling mechanisms, strong water absorption and abundant functional groups of the three major CRG varieties. Notably, CRG-based matrices are demonstrated to increase drug loading and drug solubility, enabling release of orally administrated drugs in zero-order or in a significantly prolonged period. Other amazing features, such as pH-sensitivity and adhesive property, of CRG-based formulations are also introduced. Finally, we discuss the adverse influence of CRG on the human body and then suggest some future directions for the development of CRG-based biomaterials for broader applications in biomedicine.

KEYWORDS:

Carrageenan; Cytotoxicity; Drug release; Gelling; Polysaccharide biomaterials

PMID:
25659668
DOI:
10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.11.063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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