Bioactivity and Applications of Sulphated Polysaccharides from Marine Microalgae
Maria Filomena de Jesus Raposo, Rui Manuel Santos Costa de Morais and Alcina Maria Miranda Bernardo de Morais
Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 233-252; doi:10.3390/md11010233
The authors review current research on the biological activities and applications of polysaccharides, active biocompounds synthesized by marine microalgae. While marine polysaccharides (such as fucoidan, carrageenan, alginate, and agar) have long been known for their texture-improving properties in food and cosmetics, recent research describes their potential for other biological applications and health benefits ranging from nutraceuticals, to therapeutic agents, to cosmetics and other areas such as lubricants.
The authors go on to specify strains of marine microalgae and the type of polysaccharides they produce. According to the authors there are extensive publications on the applications of microalgal biomass and biocompounds produced by microalgae, including literature on the antiviral activity of the polysaccharides produced by some microalgae, but little has been published in other areas and only dealing with a few marine species. Areas ripe for further investigation using marine microalgae polysaccharides in the following applications include:
- Antioxidants and Free Radical Scavenging
- Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Actvities
- Inhibition of Tumor Cell Growth
- Hypolipidaemic and Hypoglycaemic Properties
- Anticoagulant and Antithrombotic Activity
- Biolubricant Properties
The authors also cite advantages of working with microalgae for investigations into the properties they produce, including:
- Easy to grow and culture
- Harvesting does not depend on the weather or season
- Growth can be easily controlled
Should you choose to investigate the many potential new applications of polysaccharides, we invite you to contact the National Center For Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA). We have hundreds of strains of polysaccharide-producing microalgae that are available to the research community. We also offer counsel on how to grow, culture, and maintain strains to ensure productive research results.
NCMA maintains a diverse collection of marine microalgae strains to be available to the research and biotech communities to conduct further studies. We currently maintain around 3,000 strains of which a subset have been shown to produce extracellular polysaccharides, sulfated polysaccharides or their derivatives.
Table 1 below is a modification of information originally presented in the publication. It shows the group of algae, number of strains available in the NCMA collection and the type of polysaccharide it produces. We have also included the NCMA Commercialization index, which is an indicator of how easy the strain is to grow. The NCMA Commercialization Index is based on the 30 years experience of our curators maintaining the collection.
Table 1. NCMA Commercialization Index of microalgae that produce extracellular polysaccharides.
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