Polymers come in countless forms. Many people know around the man-made human-made polymers watched in daily life - commonly in the kind of plastic products - yet there is likewise an diversity of natural and also biological polymeric materials. In ~ natural and also biological polymers are a specific class recognized as carbohydrate polymers, and in this article, we’re going come look at some of the applications whereby carbohydrate polymers are used.

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There are countless different species of carbohydrate polymers uncovered throughout the body and other biological materials, regularly in the kind of polysaccharides - long chains of cyclic street groups linked via an oxygen bridge. Carbohydrates are often disaccharides, which space two cyclic sugar systems bonded together, and also these carbohydrate molecules have the right to be expanded further into polysaccharide biomolecules. This polysaccharides have the right to have very long molecular lengths and are frequently termed carbohydrate polymers.

While over there are countless different carbohydrate polymers, they are frequently grouped right into reserve carbohydrate polymers, structure carbohydrate polymers, and also protective carbohydrate polymers; depending on the duty inside the body the they perform. The most common carbohydrate polymers the are uncovered in nature room cellulose, starch, dextrins and also cyclodextrins, chitin and chitosan, hyaluronic acid, and also various gums (carrageenan, xanthan, etc.).

Carbohydrate polymers room an environmentally friendly price to synthetic polymers, have actually a short cost, are uncovered in abundance, are renewable, and also can be conveniently modified to make products with premium properties. For these reasons, there has been a the majority of interest in recent years roughly using carbohydrate polymers in assorted commercial applications.

Below, we’re going come look at several of the an ext widely used applications of these usual carbohydrate polymers, yet it is not an exhaustive list.

Drug Delivery

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As carbohydrate polymers space biomolecules uncovered in the body, they have actually the potential come be wonderful drug shipment vessels due to their inherent biocompatibility and capability to it is in excreted from the body after the drugs have actually been delivered.

They do need to be modified first, yet as a raw beginning material, certain materials have an excellent potential, v hyaluronic acid and also chitosan leading the way. This materials have been provided to develop hydrogels, liposomes, microparticles, and granules the can bring a wide range of drugs v dermal and oral delivery routes.

As fine as delivering drugs, and also still in the medical field, hyaluronic mountain has likewise been offered in medical wound dressings.

Corrosion Resistance

Carbohydrate polymers have additionally been touted together a class of molecule that have the right to prevent steels from corroding by acting together a chemical inhibitor. Chemical inhibitors can be used to protect metals versus changes in pH, temperature, and also moisture, and any alters in the maker where they are supplied - together as changes in the electrolyte within a battery system.

Carbohydrate polymers room being trialed over various other chemicals due to the fact that they are much less toxic, of reduced cost, are much less harsh to the environment once provided (eco-friendlier), and are conveniently available. Many carbohydrate polymers have actually a distinctive inhibiting system to counteract corrosion, whereby they have certain absorption centers that have the right to absorb various molecules the would reason the metal to corrode.

The inhibiting center is due to the cyclic rings in the long chains gift able to kind bonds with the just arrived molecules, thus trapping the corrosion-inducing molecules.


Carbohydrate polymers also have potential in heterogeneous catalysis - that is, catalysis where the catalyst is in a different matter state/phase come the reactants, e.g., a solid surface with fluid reactants.

The usage of carbohydrate polymers has extended to making use of starch, cellulose, and chitosan together catalytic surfaces, where the carbohydrate polymers act as a assistance surface because that the reaction come take place on.

There are numerous reasons for trialing carbohydrate polymers in catalysis applications, consisting of the ease with which the physical and also chemical properties have the right to be tuned, the visibility of preferable functional groups, low toxicity, and high heat stability.

Fuel Cells

Another area of attention is fuel cells. In fuel cell applications, chitosan, starch, cellulose, and also glycogen carbohydrate polymer have actually been supplied as the starting material in alternate synthetic pathways, to yield brand-new low cost and eco-friendlier polymer electrolytes. In this applications, your aim has actually not come be much more efficient but carry out a less toxic and cheaper different to the condition quo.

Chitosan has also been touted together a product that deserve to be offered in the proton-exchange membrane in fuel cells together its physical and chemical properties deserve to be quickly modified come fit the requirements required in these membranes, such as low methanol permeability and also hydrophobicity.

Sources and also Further Reading

“Recent advances on the applications of Carbohydrate Polymers”- Olatunde O. C. And Azeez M. A., IOSR newspaper of used Chemistry, 2018, DOI: 10.9790/5736-1107016880

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