Alves A.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine |
Alves A.,ICVS 3Bs PT Associated Laboratory |
Sousa R.A.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine |
Sousa R.A.,ICVS 3Bs PT Associated Laboratory |
And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Phycology | Year: 2013
Researchers have many times turned their attention to nature and biological processes to develop novel technologies and materials. In a medical perspective, nature-based products are believed to be a strategic alternative approach to the use of fully synthetic materials, particularly in the design of medical devices. In the past decades, marine organisms have become the focus of considerable attention as potential sources of valuable materials. The sustainable exploitation and valorisation of natural marine resources constitutes a highly attractive and strategic platform for the development of novel biomaterials, with both economic and environmental benefits. In this context, algae are known to synthesise large quantities of polysaccharides and are well established sources of these particularly interesting molecules, many of which are known for their applicability in the design of biomaterials. Agar, carrageenan and alginates are some of the most known examples, and their uses can range from food to biomedical applications. However, few of the world's available seaweed species are used commercially. Among the three main divisions of macroalgae (Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta), the green algae remain largely unexploited in this biomedical arena. While the demand for novel materials and technologies increases, so does the research of unexploited marine green algae including its unique polysaccharide ulvan. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.