Polysaccharides for health: Bioactivity, functionalisation and applications

Boeriu, C. (Invited speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talkAcademic


Invited talk, abstract and conference paper
Polysaccharides are natural biopolymers with remarkable structural diversity and functional properties and a myriad of industrial applications such as foods, adhesives, coatings, constructions, paper, pharmaceuticals and personal care. Despite their intrinsic functional versatility, most polysaccharides are modified by physical, chemical and enzymatic ways to tailor their properties. Enzymes find widespread industrial use predominantly in polysaccharides depolymerisation, debranching and de-esterification, but recently the potential of carbohydrate-active enzymes as selective and versatile tools to alter polysaccharides’ functionality by modifying the intact polymer backbone has been recognised. This paper reports the latest developments in our group on the design and enzymatic synthesis of bioactive polysaccharides and stimuli-responsive hydrogels as novel intelligent materials for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Exploiting the high chemo-, regio- and enantio-selectivity of enzymes, we obtained novel functional materials by modification of common polysaccharides like starch, amylose, pectin, inulin, arabinoxylan and chitosan using lipases and oxidases. Examples include (a) carbohydrate-protein block copolymers by enzymatic crosslinking, (b) polysaccharide hydrophobes with remarkable surface-active and rheological properties by enzymatic grafting of hydrophobic side-chains, (c) bioactive polysaccharides with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties by enzymatic hydroxyarylation and (d) enzyme-tailored chitosan derivatives forming stable hydrogels at neutral and alkaline pH with self-assembling properties by enzyme-mediated oxidation. Properties of hydrogels relevant for application as drug and cell carriers and as tissue engineering matrices will be discussed.
Period26 Sep 201828 Sep 2018
Event title2<sup>nd</sup> International Conference on Food Bioactives and Health
Event typeConference
LocationLisbon, Portugal
Degree of RecognitionInternational