Polymers come in numerous forms. Many civilization know about the man-made human-made polymers seen in daily life - frequently in the form of plastic assets - however there is likewise an diversity of natural and also biological polymeric materials. In ~ natural and also biological polymers space a specific class well-known as carbohydrate polymers, and also in this article, we’re going to look at some of the applications where carbohydrate polymers room used.

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There are countless different types of carbohydrate polymers uncovered throughout the body and also other biological materials, frequently in the kind of polysaccharides - long chains that cyclic street groups associated via an oxygen bridge. Carbohydrates are frequently disaccharides, which are two cyclic sugar devices bonded together, and these carbohydrate molecules have the right to be extended further into polysaccharide biomolecules. This polysaccharides can have really long molecular lengths and also are regularly termed carbohydrate polymers.

While over there are plenty of different carbohydrate polymers, they are often grouped into reserve carbohydrate polymers, structure carbohydrate polymers, and protective carbohydrate polymers; relying on the function inside the body the they perform. The most typical carbohydrate polymers the are uncovered in nature are cellulose, starch, dextrins and cyclodextrins, chitin and also chitosan, hyaluronic acid, and also various gums (carrageenan, xanthan, etc.).

Carbohydrate polymers are an environmentally friendly prize to artificial polymers, have actually a low cost, are uncovered in abundance, room renewable, and also can be easily modified come make products with remarkable properties. Because that these reasons, there has been a most interest in current years about using carbohydrate polymers in assorted commercial applications.

Below, we’re going come look at several of the an ext widely used applications that these usual carbohydrate polymers, yet it is no an exhaustive list.

Drug Delivery


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As carbohydrate polymers space biomolecules found in the body, they have actually the potential come be great drug shipment vessels due to their inherent biocompatibility and capability to be excreted indigenous the body after the drugs have actually been delivered.

They do have to be modified first, but as a raw starting material, details materials have good potential, through hyaluronic acid and chitosan top the way. These materials have actually been offered to develop hydrogels, liposomes, microparticles, and granules that can bring a wide variety of drugs through dermal and also oral distribution routes.

As fine as moving drugs, and also still in the clinical field, hyaluronic mountain has additionally been supplied in clinical wound dressings.

Corrosion Resistance

Carbohydrate polymers have additionally been touted as a course of molecule that deserve to prevent metals from corroding through acting as a chemistry inhibitor. Chemistry inhibitors deserve to be provided to defend metals versus changes in pH, temperature, and also moisture, as well as any changes in the machine where castle are supplied - such as alters in the electrolyte in ~ a battery system.

Carbohydrate polymers room being trialed over various other chemicals because they are less toxic, of reduced cost, are much less harsh to the environment once provided (eco-friendlier), and also are conveniently available. Plenty of carbohydrate polymers have a distinctive inhibiting device to counteract corrosion, whereby they have details absorption centers that have the right to absorb assorted molecules that would cause the steel to corrode.

The inhibiting facility is due to the cyclic ring in the long chains being able to type bonds through the just arrived molecules, thus trapping the corrosion-inducing molecules.

Catalysis

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

The use of carbohydrate polymers has extended to making use of starch, cellulose, and also chitosan together catalytic surfaces, whereby the carbohydrate polymers act together a support surface for the reaction come take location on.

There are plenty of reasons for trialing carbohydrate polymers in catalysis applications, including the ease through which the physical and chemical properties deserve to be tuned, the visibility of desirable functional groups, short toxicity, and also high heat stability.

Fuel Cells

Another area of interest is fuel cells. In fuel cell applications, chitosan, starch, cellulose, and glycogen carbohydrate polymer have been offered as the starting material in alternate synthetic pathways, to yield new low cost and eco-friendlier polymer electrolytes. In these applications, their aim has actually not to be much more efficient but carry out a much less toxic and also cheaper alternative to the status quo.

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

Sources and also Further Reading

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

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