Fucoidan – versatile and useful

Fucoidan – a complex group of sulfated polysaccharides found in brown algae.

Because fucoidans have extensive biological activities, they are increasingly considered to be promising candidates for well-being, health and medical applications.

The broad activity spectrum of fucoidans is based on their ability to modulate the diverse (patho-) physiological functions of structurally related endogenous glycans. However, their activity profile may vary considerably depending on the structural composition and purity, and may even have undesirable effects. Brown algae also occur in the Baltic Sea, but their knowledge of the content and composition of their fucoidans has been low. Despite intensive international fucoidan research in the last 20 years, there are only a few Fucoidan products and no drugs yet. One reason is that some peculiarities of these marine polymers, which are relevant for application in products, have long been neglected. In this enterprise, therefore, a differentiated consideration of different fucoidanes for each specific application plays a central role, because it offers the key to far-reaching product diversification and successful marketing. application-oriented project, these aspects must therefore be taken into account.

Accordingly, the development goals of CRM are as follows:

  •     Extraction and fractionation of fucoidans from Baltic Sea algae and chemical characterization
  •     Investigation of parameters influencing fucoidan yield and quality to define the optimal sources of brown algae and to establish protocols for standardized fucoidan recovery
  •     Testing of fucoidans in bioassays to generate basic information on their activity and safety profile (cytotoxic, antiproliferative, free radical scavenging, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory effects, testing for usability for cosmetic or dermal applications, antimicrobial effects, including inhibition of biofilm formation)
  •     Building a systematic knowledge base on structure-activity relationships
  •     Suitable candidates for product developments are identified.
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