Sulfated Alginates as Heparin Analogues: A Review of Chemical and Functional Properties
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonMolecules. 2017, 22 (778), . 10.3390/molecules22050778
Heparin is widely recognized for its potent anticoagulating effects, but has an additional wide range of biological properties due to its high negative charge and heterogeneous molecular structure. This heterogeneity has been one of the factors in motivating the exploration of functional analogues with a more predictable modification pattern and monosaccharide sequence, that can aid in elucidating structure-function relationships and further be structurally customized to fine-tune physical and biological properties toward novel therapeutic applications and biomaterials. Alginates have been of great interest in biomedicine due to their inherent biocompatibility, gentle gelling conditions, and structural versatility from chemo-enzymatic engineering, but display limited interactions with cells and biomolecules that are characteristic of heparin and the other glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) of the extracellular environment. Here, we review the chemistry and physical and biological properties of sulfated alginates as structural and functional heparin analogues, and discuss how they may be utilized in applications where the use of heparin and other sulfated GAGs is challenging and limited.